Diplomacy is an essential skill in the century swiftly taking shape around us, but we find that hurling playground insults at the leader of another nation has become normal in post-9/11 Washington.
It’s getting downright difficult to keep track of all the epithets American statesmen, stateswomen, political leaders and legislators use to tell us just who Vladimir Putin is — and with what bottomless contempt we should regard the Russian president.
I long for the days when he was simply “Hitler.” Such as when Hillary Clinton compared him with der Führer after Moscow re-annexed Crimea in response to the coup the U.S. had just engineered in Kiev. That was back in 2014. There were few complications then: All we needed to do was hate him.
Now the names we have for Putin roll around among like pinballs. “Hitler” has fallen somewhat out of fashion, the hyperbole having proven too silly, or maybe because NATO is now arming a Nazi-infested regime.
He’s all sorts of other things too, keeping us well on the side of repugnance and hostility, and safely away from a serious, adult understanding of the man, the nation and what the man and the nation are doing — in Ukraine and elsewhere. READ MORE
Vijay Prashad presents six theses about the establishment of the U.S.-shaped world order in 1990 and its current fragility in the face of growing Russian and Chinese power.
The war in Ukraine has focused attention on the shifts taking place in the world order. Russia’s military intervention has been met with sanctions from the West as well as with the transport of arms and mercenaries to Ukraine. These sanctions will have a major impact on the Russian economy as well as the Central Asian states, but they will also negatively impact the European population who will see energy and food prices rise further. Until now, the West has decided not to intervene with direct military force or to try and establish a ‘’no-fly zone.’
It is recognized, sanely, that such an intervention could escalate into a full-scale war between the United States and Russia, the consequences of which are unthinkable given the nuclear weapons capacities of both countries. Short of any other kind of response, the West – as with the Russian intervention in Syria in 2015 – has had to accept Moscow’s actions. READ MORE
+ The tributes to Madeleine Albright, who died this week at 84, are sickening to read. The lede for her obituary should read very simply: Chief architect of a sanction regime that killed 500,000 Iraqi children, whose deaths she said were “worth it.”
+ In our identity-obsessed political culture, Madeleine Albright finally proved that American woman (the Israelis and Brits had demonstrated this quality decades earlier) are fully capable of supervising mass death without flinching or showing the tiniest twinge of regret or remorse.
+ It is the ultimate moral crime to target for misery, pain and death those least responsible for the offenses of their tyrannical rulers. Yet this is the very policy Madeleine Albright made Standard Operating Procedure for US diplomacy. READ MORE
By following the Truman Doctrine, Brian Terrell says the U.S exploits and dishonors the very real aspirations of people for peace and self-determination.
In April 1941, four years before he was to become president and eight months before the United States entered World War II, Sen. Harry Truman of Missouri reacted to the news that Germany had invaded the Soviet Union:
“If we see that Germany is winning the war, we ought to help Russia; and if Russia is winning, we ought to help Germany, and in that way let them kill as many as possible.”
Truman was not called out as a cynic when he spoke these words from the floor of the Senate. On the contrary, when he died in 1972, Truman’s obituary in The New York Times cited this statement as establishing his “reputation for decisiveness and courage.” “This basic attitude,” gushed the Times, “prepared him to adopt from the start of his Presidency, a firm policy,” an attitude that prepared him to order the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with “no qualms.” READ MORE
Gulf Arab regimes, and other developing countries, will adjust to a new world where power is shifting. It is no longer the world the U.S. shaped after the Cold War, writes As’ad AbuKhalil.
It is premature to determine the exact shape of the world in the wake of the Russian military intervention in the Ukraine. At the risk of repeating dreaded cliches, it is clear that the world order has been irrevocably altered. The post-cold war era is over, forever.
The U.S. established global supremacy after the collapse of the U.S.S.R. and ensured that NATO would form a security siege around Russia to keep it weak and vulnerable — and to maintain American hegemony throughout the continent. Never has America been challenged in such a direct and focused way as by Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.
The old rules that the U.S. imposed — by force — will be no more. While China has been cautious in expressing support for Russia in its official pronouncements, its media have been clear in refuting U.S. propaganda claims. The reverberations of the cataclysmic event will be felt for years to come and will affect regional and international conflicts. READ MORE
If the U.S. right wing has its way, educational programming during Women’s History Month will sideline Billie Jean King, Rosa Parks and Gloria Steinem in favor of Amy Coney Barrett, Nikki Haley and Condoleezza Rice. Trans athletes will be barred from competing in school sports, and comprehensive sex education classes that cover gender identity and sexual preference will be disallowed. What’s more, history classes that include a robust discussion of the racist foundation of the U.S. — referred to by conservatives as critical race theory (CRT) — will be prohibited. READ MORE
Microplastics, as their name suggests, are typically defined as plastic particles that are five millimeters or less across or in length. Because they often contain chemicals linked to illnesses like cancer and infertility, health experts agree that they should not be in our bodies, although they acknowledge that their exact impact has not been precisely quantified. More importantly, because plastic is used in a wide range of commonly used products, microplastics are absolutely everywhere — even in the plants that we eat, which can absorb them through their roots.
With NATO countries recommitting themselves to the alliance and passing sweeping sanctions against Russia as punishment for Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, is this the dawn of a new Cold War? We speak with foreign policy expert William Hartung, a senior research fellow at the Quincy Institute, who warns that hawks in Washington are pushing for a massive increase in the U.S. military budget, which is already a record-high $800 billion a year. “There’s a danger that not only will this be a war in Ukraine, but the U.S. will use it as an excuse for a more aggressive policy around the world, arguing that it’s to counter Russia or China or Iran, or whoever the enemy of the moment is.” Hartung also speaks about the Saudi-led war in Yemen, where U.S. support has allowed the conflict to rage for years, killing about 400,000 people. Unlike in Ukraine, where the U.S. has more limited leverage, the Biden administration could “end that killing tomorrow,” Hartung says. READ MORE
Eighteen months ago, reports started to surface that Boris Johnson’s Conservative government in the U.K. was planning to detain would-be asylum seekers in places as far away as the South Atlantic. Some sites, such as Ascension Island, are 4,000 miles from Britain.
Johnson’s plan was actually a spinoff of a never-implemented idea put forward by the Labour government back in 2003 to “offshore” the country’s asylum process to “regional protection zones” in the vicinity of the conflicts and collapsing economies that were sending hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers to the U.K. and other European countries. Then-Prime Minister Tony Blair and his colleagues backed off of that idea after it received tremendous pushback from social justice and immigrant rights organizers, who averred that it would place large and unfair financial burdens on poor countries that had the geographic misfortune to be located on the periphery of war zones. READ MORE
Federal waivers that have given U.S. schools the flexibility to offer universal free lunches throughout the pandemic are at risk of ending as Senate Republicans — led by Mitch McConnell — stonewall a proposed extension of the relief measures, potentially depriving millions of children of no-cost meals in the coming months.
Politico reported Monday that McConnell, the Senate minority leader, is “forcefully opposing” a provision to extend the federal school lunch waivers as part of an omnibus government funding package that Congress must pass by midnight Friday to avert a shutdown. READ MORE
A federal health agency tasked with covering Covid-19 testing and treatment for uninsured Americans officially stopped accepting claims on Wednesday because it is out of funding, a shortfall caused by congressional lawmakers' failure to approve new coronavirus aid.
Martin Kramer, a spokesperson for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), said in a statement Tuesday that "the lack of funding for Covid-19 needs is having real consequences."
"We have begun an orderly shutdown of the program," Kramer said, referring to the HRSA Covid-19 Uninsured Program, which has been reimbursing providers for coronavirus care for the uninsured since the early stages of the pandemic.
Nearly 10% of U.S. residents—around 31 million people—don't have any form of health insurance, according to federal estimates.
It’s been frigid cold and over 4,000 Minneapolis educators are out on the picket lines striking for a second week. Smaller class sizes, improved health care, more mental health supports, competitive pay for teachers along with increased pay for educational support professionals are central to our demands. Still, spirits are up. We know our cause is just. Our demands are not only what educators and students deserve, they are 100% possible. The powers that be say there is not enough money, yet our state recently touts a 9.3 billion dollar surplus. Educators in St. Paul were set to go on strike at the same time, yet at the last minute came to an impressive deal with the district. This victory lets us know victory is possible in Minneapolis. Indeed, the solidarity between districts and educator union chapters serves as a pathway forward for the labor movement. Possibilities for even bigger demands in future struggles are possible now more than ever before. READ MORE
One of the two senior investigators who resigned from the Manhattan District Attorney’s investigation into former President Donald Trump’s financial documents last month said in his resignation letter that there was “no doubt” that Trump had committed a crime.
The letter was written by Mark Pomerantz, a former federal prosecutor who came out of retirement to join the investigation, and was obtained by The New York Times this week. Pomerantz and attorney Carey Dunne abruptly resigned from their positions on the inquiry in February; at the time, sources noted that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg appeared “disinterested” in pursuing the investigation further, following his election to the position after former DA Cyrus Vance retired. READ MORE
Frontline community activists on Friday joined climate and environmental campaigners in denouncing the Biden administration's plan to ramp up U.S. gas shipments to the European Union in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Elida Castillo, program director at Chispa Texas, said in a statement that "our thoughts are with those in Ukraine and Europe who are facing humanitarian and energy crises, but we cannot disregard the crises our communities are facing every day."
U.S. President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Friday announced a joint task force whose goal is "to reduce Europe's dependence on Russian fossil fuels and strengthen European energy security."
Under the task force plan, the U.S. aims to export 50 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe annually through at least 2030. The move comes amid sanctions-driven cutbacks in fossil fuel shipments from Russia, which before the Ukrainian invasion supplied roughly 40% of Europe's gas and 27% of its oil imports. READ MORE
"We are anonymous because we fear retaliation." This text was part of a letter signed by 500 Google employees last October, in which they decried their company's direct support for the Israeli government and military.
In their letter, the signatories protested a $1.2 billion contract between Google, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the Israeli government which provides cloud services for the Israeli military and government that "allows for further surveillance of and unlawful data collection on Palestinians, and facilitates expansion of Israel's illegal settlements on Palestinian land".
This is called Project Nimbus. The project was announced in 2018 and went into effect in May 2021, in the first week of the Israeli war on besieged Gaza, which killed over 250 Palestinians and wounded many more. READ MORE
Thousands of Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island, New York began voting Friday to whether or not to join the Amazon Labor Union, an independent group started by an employee who drew national attention to working conditions at the company in 2020.
The union election could make the JFK8 warehouse the first unionized Amazon facility in the country. According to the Washington Post, the results of the Staten Island vote and a union election being held at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama will both be announced in early April.
Amazon Labor Union was started by Chris Smalls after he was fired by the company. After the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020, Smalls led his coworkers at JFK8 in a walkout over what employees said was a lack of safety precautions. READ MORE
It's important now, in light of both world events and the way the Republican party has been captured by a small group of rightwing billionaires and white supremacists, to introduce Americans to an 18th century word that is new to most people alive today, at least in the context of partisan politics.
That word is: faction.
The crises caused by faction were a big deal at the founding of our republic. Faction was a matter of conversation among average people.
It was the same when the South was seized by an oligarchic faction of plantation owners and turned from a whites-only democracy into a neofascist oligarchy in the 1840s and 1850s.
Factions are destroyers of democracies.
It was a faction of oligarchs led by Vladimir Putin that took over Russia after that country adopted Milton Friedman's neoliberal policies of privatization, low taxes, and deregulation, producing an explosion of billionaires who weakened the new Russian democracy by pouring outsized chunks of their money into Russia's politics. READ MORE
On Friday, the seventh anniversary of the beginning of the Saudi-led war on Yemen, four members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus implored President Joe Biden to immediately end U.S. military support for the deadly assault—and vowed to pass a War Powers Resolution to make it happen if the White House refuses.
"Seven years ago today, the United States began unauthorized military participation in Saudi Arabia's devastating war in Yemen. In the time since, Saudi Arabia's airstrikes and air-and-sea blockade have cost hundreds of thousands of lives and threatened millions more with famine, triggering the worst humanitarian crisis in the world," CPC Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Reps. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said in a statement. READ MORE
Satellite imagery showing the recent "complete collapse" of the Conger Ice Shelf in East Antarctica sparked fresh alarm over the climate emergency on Friday.
"While humans are killing humans, and governments are spending on weaponry as if there is no tomorrow, the environment is collapsing—so that there will be no tomorrow," said former Greek finance minister and Progressive International co-founder Yanis Varoufakis.
During that week, an unprecedented heat wave hit the region, with parts of East Antarctica seeing temperatures 40 degrees Celsius above normal. Scientists attributed the "freakish" warming to an atmospheric river. READ MORE
It’s almost a mantra in climate science: The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. But that figure, found in scientific studies, advocacy reports, the popular press, and even the 2021 U.N. climate assessment, is incorrect, obscuring the true toll of global warming on the north, a team of climate scientists reports this week. In fact, the researchers say, the Arctic is warming four times faster than the global average.
“Everybody knows [the Arctic] is a canary when it comes to climate change,” says Peter Jacobs, a climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, who presented the work on 13 December at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union. “Yet we’re misreporting it by a factor of two. Which is just bananas.”
Researchers have long known the world warms faster in the far north, because of a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification. The drivers of amplification include increased solar heating, as dark ocean water replaces reflective sea ice, along with occasional intrusions of tropical heat, carried to the Arctic by “atmospheric rivers,” narrow parades of dense clouds that drag water vapor northward. READ MORE
Around 20,000 years ago, the world was so frigid that massive glaciers sucked up enough water to lower sea levels by 400 feet. As the sea pulled back, newly exposed land froze to form permafrost, a mixture of earth and ice that today sprawls across the far north. But as the world warmed into the climate we enjoy today (for the time being), sea levels rose again, submerging the coastal edges of that permafrost, which remain frozen below the water.
It’s a huge, hidden climate variable that scientists are racing to understand. They know full well that the destruction of terrestrial permafrost is a significant source of carbon entering the atmosphere. As it thaws, microbes munch on the organic matter it contains, releasing carbon dioxide (if the material is fairly dry) and methane (if the melted ice forms a pond). This can form a feedback loop, in which more permafrost thaw produces more emissions, which heat the planet to thaw even more permafrost. That’s an extra-big problem because the Arctic is now warming four times as fast as the rest of the planet. READ MORE
The Arizona Senate on Wednesday passed a Republican-authored bill that advocates warn could prompt "the most extreme voter purge in the country" by requiring state residents to retroactively provide proof of citizenship to stay on the rolls.
"Take the proof of citizenship requirement for voter registration, which was adopted in '04. By making this a requirement for voters, this bill would retroactively apply it to the millions of AZ voters registered before the proof of citizenship law took effect 18 years ago," Rodriguez explained. "Arizona is the only state in the nation with a documentary proof of citizenship requirement currently in force, but it exempts previously registered voters. But this bill would do away with that protection." READ MORE
What is the status of our democracy—is it alive, do we still live in a democratic republic, or is our democracy dead, no longer a governance of, by and for the people? How is the American Experiment faring? As it turns out, not so well.
To this point on November 22, 2021, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IIDEA), based in Stockholm, Sweden, released its 2021 Report on “The Global State of Democracy. The report’s introduction begins with these chilling statements. “Democracy is at risk,” “Its survival is endangered by a perfect storm of threats, both from within and from a rising tide of authoritarianism.” “The world is becoming more authoritarian as nondemocratic regimes become even more brazen in their repression, and many democratic governments suffer from backsliding by adopting their tactics of restricting free speech and weakening the rule of law.” READ MORE
Three years after the end of World War II, diplomat George Kennan outlined the challenges the country faced this way:
We have about 50% of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3% of its population. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security.
That, in a nutshell, was the postwar version of U.S. exceptionalism and Washington was then planning to manage the world in such a way as to maintain that remarkably grotesque disparity. The only obstacle Kennan saw was poor people demanding a share of the wealth.
Today, as humanity confronts a looming climate catastrophe, what’s needed is a new political-economic project. Its aim would be to replace such exceptionalism and the hoarding of the earth’s resources with what’s been called “a good life for all within planetary boundaries.”
Back in 1948, few if any here were thinking about the environmental effects of the over-consumption of available resources. Yet even then, however unknown, this country’s growing wealth had a dark underside: the slow-brewing crisis of climate change. Wealth all too literally meant the intensified extraction of resources and the production of goods. As it happened, fossil fuels (and the greenhouse gases that went with their burning) were essential to every step in the process. READ MORE
I’d like to make a political—rather turbulent—weather forecast. It’s not exactly a prediction because predictions tend to imply the foreordained. What I propose is much more fluid and supple. In other words, I’m wrapping myself in a rather threadbare plausible deniability in case things don’t turn out as imagined.
The forecast is for an accelerating whirlpool of international violence that could possibly be remembered, historically, as the Third World War. The current situation involving Russia and Ukraine is what congeals the storm clouds of this forecast.
In terms of geopolitical history, Russia has a longstanding worry—three major invasions (one by France, two by Germany) since the early nineteenth century—and therefore wanting Ukraine as a Slavic buffer against those encroaching, marauding Europeans. Perfectly rational in the world of geopolitics. READ MORE
9/11 seemed to come out of nowhere when I was a kid. One minute it was all bubblegum, Britney Spears, Pokémon cards, and gender dysphoria and the next the sky was raining commercial airliners and America was at war with an enemy who seemed to be simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. A dozen clean cut young Arabs bought plain tickets one crisp late summer mourning and brought a seemingly impenetrable superpower to its knees with little more than boxcutters and a sense of direction.
I remember thinking, who the fuck are these guys? Where did they come from? And why were they so goddamn pissed off? I spent the better part of my life trying to answer those questions and coming to increasingly shocking conclusions. It turned out that these terrorists were the toxic byproduct of a shadowy cabal of Saudi financed madrassas and Wahhabi mercenaries known collectively as Al-Qaeda and it turned out that my own beloved government knew them pretty damn well. In fact, they helped create them as a part of another seemingly endless war with another enemy who was supposedly everywhere and nowhere, until they were dead. READ MORE
U.S. hypocrisy on war crimes makes a rules-based world, one that abides by international law, impossible.
The branding of Vladimir Putin as a war criminal by Joe Biden, who lobbied for the Iraq war and staunchly supported the 20 years of carnage in the Middle East, is one more example of the hypocritical moral posturing sweeping across the United States.
It is unclear how anyone would try Putin for war crimes since Russia, like the United States, does not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. But justice is not the point.
Politicians like Biden, who do not accept responsibility for our well-documented war crimes, bolster their moral credentials by demonizing their adversaries. They know the chance of Putin facing justice is zero. And they know their chance of facing justice is the same. READ MORE
“You’re denying the agency of Ukrainians!”
This is a line you’ve probably had bleated at you by propagandized empire livestock if you’ve engaged in online debate about the role Western powers have played in paving the way to this war.
One of the many, many tricks that imperial spinmeisters have pulled out of their hats in their shockingly frenetic campaign to manage the narrative about what’s happening in Ukraine is to insist that it’s outrageous and disgusting to suggest that Ukraine is being used as a sacrificial pawn in the grand chessboard maneuverings of the U.S.-centralized empire, because it is denying the “agency” of that nation. The argument is that Ukraine freely chose to enter into the situation in which it now finds itself, with no outside pressure or influence of any kind whatsoever. READ MORE
You know you are being aggressively propagandized about Ukraine by the mass media and by Silicon Valley. You can feel it in your guts. Everyone can feel it, on some level. It feels gross.
The split on this issue is between those who trust this gut feeling and those who choose to psychologically compartmentalize away from it. Because if you don’t compartmentalize away from it, the implications of this are very frightening. It means pretty much everything you’ve been told your whole life about the government, about your nation, about the news media, and about the way the world works, has been a lie.
But that is the basic reality. If you’ve already seen this, you won’t experience cognitive dissonance when you observe it in the unprecedented imperial narrative management campaign we’re seeing with Ukraine. If you haven’t seen it, you’ll likely experience a lot of cognitive dissonance if you try to square your gut feeling that you’re being propagandized about Ukraine with your belief that your favorite politicians and news sources always tell you the objective truth. And you will compartmentalize accordingly. READ MORE
The biggest business in America is stealing and defrauding the federal government, Uncle Sam, and you the taxpayers. In terms of sheer stolen dollars, the total amount is greater than the annual sales of Amazon and Walmart over the past two years.
Before getting to the real big stuff, start with how much was stolen or not delivered by the contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just in one program, John Spoko—Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), estimated that $30 billion of the $100 billion repairs project was purloined. Despite his many damning reports on what was also wasted—like the $40 million natural gas-powered fueling station (there were no natural gas-powered cars in Afghanistan)—no one was indicted, no one was fired, no one missed a promotion. This is according to author Andrew Cockburn, who interviewed Spoko extensively for his new book The Spoils of War: Power, Profit, and the American War Machine. In fact, Cockburn writes: “They were giving bonuses to people for stealing our money.”
Of the $360 billion in annual billing fraud by the health care industry, over $100 billion is fraud on Medicare and Medicaid. READ MORE
This week Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited the EU Parliament to deliver a speech on the threat to democracy the West is currently facing. The idea of such an obvious tyrant delivering a speech about democracy being under threat after ushering in one of the most insane authoritarian nightmares faced by the West in decades would be laughable if it were a work of fiction.
Unfortunately, however, it was no work of fiction; and as the reactions from other EU MEPs highlight, it did not go unnoticed. After Trudeau’s lip service to “democracy” in Brussels on Wednesday — which he gave to a largely empty room, several MEPs called him out, accusing him of violating human rights over the handling of the Freedom Convoy protest in Ottawa last month and Covid in general. READ MORE
Please read this article very carefully, because it contains very important information that is going to affect you and your family. In fact, it is going to affect every man, woman and child on the face of the planet. For the past couple of years, I have been specifically warning that a major global food crisis was coming. In fact, in recent months I have been writing about this multiple times per week. At first, I think that a lot of people out there thought that I was exaggerating, but at this point the reality that we are heading into a major global food crisis has become undeniable. In fact, Joe Biden just told a press conference in Brussels that worldwide food shortages are “going to be real”…
President Joe Biden said that the world will experience food shortages as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and production increases were a subject of discussions at a Group of Seven meeting on Thursday.
“It’s going to be real,” Biden said at a news conference in Brussels. “The price of the sanctions is not just imposed upon Russia. It’s imposed upon an awful lot of countries as well, including European countries and our country as well.”
And Biden is definitely not alone. READ MORE
The executive director of the UN’s World Food Program is saying that we are now facing “a catastrophe on top of a catastrophe.” Unfortunately, he is not exaggerating. The global price of food was skyrocketing even before the war on the other side of the globe erupted, and now many of the countries that are extremely dependent on agricultural exports from Ukraine and Russia are going to have to turn elsewhere for answers. Meanwhile, severe drought is threatening production in the other major “breadbasket” of the world. We are being warned that the winter wheat harvest in the U.S. could be “disastrous” this year, and that is very unwelcome news. Because if some sort of a miracle does not happen, we will soon see hunger and famine on a scale that once would have been unimaginable to many people.
We really are facing a “perfect storm” as far as global food production is concerned. The following comes from a recent New York Times article… READ MORE
The United Nations’ goal was to raise more than $4.2 billion for the people of war-torn Yemen by March 15. But when that deadline rolled around, just $1.3 billion had come in.
“I am deeply disappointed,” said Jan Egeland, the secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council. “The people of Yemen need the same level of support and solidarity that we’ve seen for the people of Ukraine. The crisis in Europe will dramatically impact Yemenis’ access to food and fuel, making an already dire situation even worse.”
“Since the onset of the Ukraine conflict, we have seen the prices of food skyrocket by more than 150 percent,” said Basheer Al Selwi, a spokesperson for the International Commission of the Red Cross in Yemen. “Millions of Yemeni families don’t know how to get their next meal.”
The ghastly blockade and bombardment of Yemen, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, is now entering its eighth year. The United Nations estimated last fall that the Yemen death toll would top 377,000 people by the end of 2021. READ MORE
We have arrived, way ahead of schedule, into the dystopian future dreamed up by such science fiction writers as George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Margaret Atwood and Philip K. Dick.
Much like Orwell’s Big Brother in 1984, the government and its corporate spies now watch our every move.
Much like Huxley’s A Brave New World, we are churning out a society of watchers who “have their liberties taken away from them, but … rather enjoy it, because they [are] distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing.”
Much like Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, the populace is now taught to “know their place and their duties, to understand that they have no real rights but will be protected up to a point if they conform, and to think so poorly of themselves that they will accept their assigned fate and not rebel or run away.” READ MORE
On Monday, President Joe Biden said “evolving intelligence” indicates Russia is preparing a massive cyberattack against the United States in response to its support for Ukraine. “The magnitude of Russia’s cyber capacity is fairly consequential and it’s coming,” Biden said.
Days prior to Biden’s remarks, an FBI advisory issued to US businesses warned “Kremlin-linked hackers could target US organizations as the Russian military continues to suffer heavy losses in Ukraine and as Western sanctions on the Kremlin begin to bite,” reports CNN.
Anne Neuberger, Biden’s national security adviser, said during a White House press briefing on Monday Russia is preparing “preparatory activity” for a cyber attack on the United States and its allies. She declared the coming attacks are “not about espionage, it’s probably very likely about disruptive or destructive [cyber] activity” in response to US assistance to Ukraine. The following day, US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly made similar remarks to business executives, according to CNN. READ MORE
It has been nearly three months since a jury found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty on 5 of the 6 counts of luring and grooming underage girls for sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein and his pedophile cohorts.
Due to the nature of her charges, Maxwell could face a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.
- Count 1: Conspiracy to entice a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts – maximum sentence of five years
- Count 2: Enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts – maximum sentence of five years
- Count 3: Conspiracy to transport a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity – maximum sentence of five years
- Count 4: Transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity – maximum sentence of 10 years
- Count 5: Conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors – maximum sentence of five years
- Count 6: Sex trafficking of minors – maximum sentence of 40 years
US District Judge Alison J. Nathan has stated that Maxwell will be sentenced on June 28 and we’ve heard nothing else since. READ MORE
They’re at it again: Republicans want to raise taxes on poor and working-class Americans, end Social Security and Medicare, jack up pollution and corporate profits, all while continuing to pamper their billionaire donor base.
This time it’s the guy in charge of getting Republican senators elected and re-elected, Florida’s Senator Rick Scott.
You may remember him as the guy who ran the company convicted of the largest Medicare fraud in the history of America, who then took his money and ran for Governor of Florida, where he prevented the state from expanding Medicaid for low-income Floridians for all the years he ran the state.
Now he’s the second-richest guy in the senate and, IMHO, the leading candidate for the GOP nomination for president in 2024. And, true to form, he’s echoing the sentiments of the richest guy in the Senate, Mitt Romney, the last guy before Trump to have that nomination. READ MORE
IN THE LATE 1990S, at a time when U.S. global dominance still looked invincible, Singaporean diplomat and academic Kishore Mahbubani raised questions about whether a rising Asia might thwart American hegemony in the near future.
The crux of Mahbubani’s argument — laid out in his provocatively titled 1998 book, “Can Asians Think?” — was that Western elites, then flush with their victory in the Cold War, had become overly comfortable with dictating the bounds of legitimate debate and sound policy to the rest of the world. That imperious relationship, which had existed since the colonial period, was about to come to an end, said Mahbubani. Asians and other non-Westerners had their own ideas about how the world should be run and would soon have the strength to implement them. READ MORE
After learning from a ProPublica analysis that his Missouri city is a hot spot of toxic air pollution, Verona Mayor Joseph Heck demanded that government officials look into the local cancer rate.
Three months later, the state health department confirmed his fears: The rate of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the Verona zip code is more than twice as high as that of the surrounding county and state, officials told him. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer that begins in the lymphatic system, can be caused by exposure to ethylene oxide, a potent carcinogen released by the BCP Ingredients plant in Verona. ProPublica’s unique analysis of air pollution data from the Environmental Protection Agency found the facility’s ethylene oxide emissions substantially increased local cancer risk; in some areas, the estimated industrial cancer risk was 27 times what the EPA considers acceptable. READ MORE
Mapping Cancer-Causing Industrial Air Pollution
A Series of Related Articles by ProPublica
"Polluters are turning neighborhoods into “sacrifice zones” where residents breathe in carcinogens. The EPA allows it. We mapped the hot spots"
This includes a Detailed Map of Cancer-Causing Industrial Air Pollution in the U.S.
Zoom in on your area.
Despite the conflict in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia initiated by Washington, Russian gas is flowing to Europe in maximum volumes, European media outlets stress. At Mallnow, the point of arrival of the Yamal-Europe pipeline in Germany, supplies, which were interrupted for a few days after the start of Russia’s military special operation in Ukraine on February 24, have only increased and now reached their highest level. The Gascade portal also confirms this, showing that they fell to zero on February 24 and 27 and then fluctuated, but started rising steadily from March 7.
Russia is in full compliance with its obligations to supply oil and gas to Europe, and Nord Stream 2 must be launched to quickly reduce gas prices in the EU, from which Europeans are suffering and businesses there are going bankrupt, the Russian ambassador to France, Alexey Meshkov, said. Gas deliveries via Ukraine are also proceeding normally, with Gazprom meeting its contractual obligations to deliver just over 109 million m3 of gas per day to the European market. READ MORE
The US dollar, as the international reserve currency, has long served as an essential medium of exchange between countries with different national currencies. To fulfil this role, a reserve currency needs to be stable, safe and easily accessible to all countries. In the 20th Century, the dollar’s international status caused it to grow in value, enabling the US to bear huge levels of foreign debt.
Naturally, therefore, any report that a country disagreeing with Washington’s policies may turn to payments in its own currency instead of the US dollar is a source of undisguised alarm in the West. But now it is clear to everyone that the US dollar is losing its global position and its status as the world’s reserve currency of choice. And Washington’s inability to maintain the growth of the global economy and deglobalization are not the only causes of this phenomenon. READ MORE
A growing number of independent media and civil society organizations are joining the investigation of hundreds of secret US biological laboratories around the world, including around Russia and China, rightfully suspected of developing and testing internationally banned biological weapons, to prevent Washington from launching a new, this time biological war in the world. The New Eastern Outlook has been involved in this investigation for a number of years, and its sources have repeatedly uncovered US criminal activity in Ukraine, Georgia and the Central Asian countries.
It is noteworthy that the more justified and documented such criminal activity by the United States becomes, the louder the “objections” from Washington resound. And on March 22, in a meeting with business representatives, even US President Joe Biden tried to assure that the United States allegedly has no biological or chemical weapons in Europe. “It’s just not true, I guarantee it,” Biden said. At the same time, the “wise” American leader decided to deflect the blame onto Russia, in yet another fake way, accusing it of developing biological weapons in Ukraine and clearly in US secret biological laboratories.
But as is well known, the loudest shout of “Catch the thief” is from the thief himself! READ MORE
The largest investigation in journalism history exposes a shadow financial system that benefits the world’s most rich and powerful. | A Series of Related Articles by The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
The U.S. got its war in Ukraine. Without it, Washington could not attempt to destroy Russia’s economy, orchestrate worldwide condemnation and lead an insurgency to bleed Russia, all part of an attempt to bring down its government. Joe Biden has now left no doubt that it’s true.
The president of the United States has confirmed what Consortium News and others have been reporting since the beginnings of Russsiagate in 2016, that the ultimate U.S. aim is to overthrow the government of Vladimir Putin.
“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” Biden said on Saturday at the Royal Castle in Warsaw. The White House and the State Dept. have been scrambling to explain away Biden’s remark.
But it is too late. READ MORE
Testimony by evacuated Mariupol residents and warnings of a false flag attack undermine the Ukrainian government’s claims about a Russian bombing of a local theater sheltering civilians.
Western media have reported that Russia’s military deliberately attacked the Donetsk Academic Regional Drama theater in Mariupol, Ukraine, claiming that it was filled with civilians and marked with signs reading “children” on its grounds.
The supposed bombing took place just as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed to US Congress for a no fly zone, fueling the chorus for direct military confrontation with Russia and apparently inspiring President Joseph Biden to brand Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, as a “war criminal.”
A closer look reveals that local residents in Mariupol had warned three days before the March 16 incident that the theater would be the site of a false flag attack launched by the openly neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, which controlled the building and the territory around it. READ MORE
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