Signs Of The Times RSS

Signs of the Times: The World for People who Think. Featuring independent, unbiased, alternative news and commentary on world events.
Sott.net
  1. Tbilisi is right to protect its political system from foreign influence, Irakly Kobakhidze has insisted Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze has vowed to resist pressure from political forces that seek to "Ukrainize" the country, insisting that his government will not allow that to happen. Kobakhidze lashed out at the United National Movement (UNM), linked to former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, for stirring public discontent over a law that requires NGOs and media outlets that receive foreign funding to declare their sources. Kobakhidze claimed that the UNM is trying to instigate mass protests similar to those that toppled the Ukrainian government in 2014.
  2. For several years now, Russia, China and other members of the expanding BRICS alliance have been formulating progressive trade and financial relations of the emerging multipolar world order. That order is based on mutual respect and partnership grounded in international law and the UN Charter. The BRICS concept is rightly the zeitgeist of our time. It is rallying more nations to its fold especially those of the so-called Global South which for decades have been subjected to the unilateralism of Western hegemony. The trouble is that for a new world order based on equality and fairness to succeed in practice, it needs to be secure from arbitrary military aggression and imperialist tyranny. In other words, a new security architecture is required to underpin the development of a multipolar world. Russian President Vladimir Putin has been advocating for a new indivisible international security system. This week saw the plan for a new security arrangement put into action. The Russian...
  3. Well, now we know how they are going to get us to eat ze bugs - and (they hope) take the drugs. They are going to use the excuse of "containing" the bird flu to kill the birds - chickens - and cattle, too. In this way, they'll have succeeded in reducing the "emissions" of carbon dioxide emanating from the animals we eat - without having to convince us to stop eating meat. There just won't be any to eat. Not for us, that is. The "elite" - as the agglutinators of power who like to use it to control others like to think of themselves - will have all they can eat. Just the same as they have and will continue to have private jets and 10,000 square-foot homes with thousands-of-gallons of liquid hydrocarbon fuels on hand to power their homes and keep their meat cool in the Viking 'fridges they've got that most of us can't afford - and cook their meat on gas ranges they've decided we're not going to be allowed to have. Evil can be ingenious. Or at least, devilishly clever. It's an...
  4. Oakland's embattled Mayor Sheng Thao has had her home raided by the FBI, local media have reported. The Democrat lawmaker's home on Maiden Lane was raided around 5:30 am PT Thursday, CBS San Francisco reports. It is unclear why the property was raided, but according to public records, it appears Thao rents the home. 'The FBI is conducting court authorized law enforcement activity on Maiden Lane. We are unable to provide additional information at this time,' the agency said on Thursday morning. A neighbor told ABC7 News that she woke up to authorities banging on her door around 6 am. According to a law enforcement source, this raid is just one of four locations in Oakland that will be searched by the FBI.
  5. Employees lash out at boss in brazen revolt following exposé of Winnett's 'poor journalistic ethics.' Newly named Washington Post editor Robert Winnett will not be taking over the newsroom amid leadership turmoil at the Jeff Bezos-owned news organization. The Post's CEO and publisher, Will Lewis, announced Winnett's decision to remain in England in a note to staff on Friday morning. 'It is with regret that I share with you that Robert Winnett has withdrawn from the position of Editor at The Washington Post,' the embattled publisher told staff, as reported by CNN. Winnett will stay as deputy editor of the Telegraph in London. The search for a new editor will begin immediately, Lewis told the staff.
  6. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is not a political independent under Nevada law and should be disqualified from Silver State ballots, two voters allege in a lawsuit filed in state court Thursday. Uwe Rockenfeller and Francisco Morales named Kennedy, his running mate Nicole Shanahan and Nevada Secretary of State Francisco Aguilar as defendants. They want the Kennedy-Shanahan ticket disqualified from the state ballot. After ending his Democratic primary challenge to President Biden, the complaint alleges, Kennedy "claims that he is an 'Independent' candidate for President of the United States while simultaneously seeking the nominations of at least six separate political parties in six other states."
  7. Recent calculations by the distinguished atmospheric scientists Richard Lindzen, William Happer and William van Wijngaarden suggest that if the entire world eliminated net carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 it would avert warming of an almost unmeasurable 0.07°C. Even assuming the climate modelled feedbacks and temperature opinions of the politicised Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the rise would be only 0.28°C. Year Zero would have been achieved along with the destruction of economic and social life for eight billion people on Planet Earth. "It would be hard to find a better example of a policy of all pain and no gain," note the scientists. In the U.K., the current General Election is almost certain to be won by a party that is committed to outright warfare on hydrocarbons. The Labour party will attempt to 'decarbonise' the electricity grid by the end of the decade without any realistic instant backup for unreliable wind and solar except oil and gas. Britain is sitting on...
  8. Russia and North Korea just clinched a mutual defense pact during President Putin's trip to Pyongyang, which followed his counterpart Kim Jong Un's visit to Vladivostok last September that was analyzed here. This agreement is a geopolitical game-changer for three fundamental reasons: - it raises the stakes in the US' dangerous game of nuclear chicken with Russia in Ukraine; - accelerates the US' "Pivot (back) to Asia"; and - could thus trap China and the US in an escalation spiral that moves the New Cold War out of Europe. To explain, the first outcome can be interpreted as one of Russia's promised asymmetrical responses to the West arming Ukraine. If Russia achieves a military breakthrough across the front lines that's exploited by some NATO members as the pretext for commencing a conventional intervention which provokes a Cuban-like brinkmanship crisis in Europe, then North Korea might provoke its own such crisis in Asia in order to remind the US about the principle of "Mutually...
  9. Ukraine's unrealistic demand is intended to make peace talks impossible, the Russian president has said. Ukraine's demand for the withdrawal of Russian troops is only designed to perpetuate the conflict, because that's the only way the current Kiev government can stay in power, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. Putin was speaking at a press conference in Hanoi following his meetings with the leadership of Vietnam on Thursday. Among other topics, he addressed the Ukraine conflict. Putin told reporters: "If negotiations are linked to the withdrawal of our troops, about which the Kiev regime dreams, then this will never happen." "Because the Kiev regime does not want to relinquish power, does not want to hold normal elections according to the Ukrainian constitution, they will forever drag out the ceasefire talks. This means that Kiev has an interest in our troops remaining there, because they don't want to hold elections." As for attempts to "beat back" Russian troops from...
  10. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is planning to install a permanent special envoy to Kyiv as a new envoy post. This has to do with "institutionalizing" some of "the bilateral support that has flowed to Ukraine", says US ambassador to Kyiv, Julianne Smith. At the same time, last week, Biden made it (again) abundantly clear that Ukraine is not to become a NATO member. One should keep in mind that back on 21 December 2022, during a joint press conference in Washington, when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the US, Biden had already been clear enough on the limits of Washington's willingness to be there for Ukraine. The American's replies must have been a cold shower to his Ukrainian counterpart: when asked about sending more powerful weapons to Kyiv, Biden said that doing so "would have a prospect of breaking up NATO", and "breaking up the EU and the rest of the world." Moreover, according to him, his Atlantic Alliance allies were "not looking to go to war...
  11. Hungary on Tuesday lifted its veto on Mark Rutte becoming the next head of NATO after the outgoing Dutch prime minister gave written guarantees that he would not force the country to take part in the military alliance's new plans to provide support to Ukraine. Rutte's assurances, contained in a letter to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, remove a major obstacle to him becoming the next NATO secretary-general — the organization's top civilian official. It could also allow NATO to put on a major show of unity and demonstrate solidarity with war-ravaged Ukraine when U.S. President Joe Biden and his counterparts meet in Washington on July 9-11. The summit is to mark NATO's 75th anniversary. At talks in Budapest last week, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who is due to step down in October, clinched a deal with Orbán to ensure that Hungary would not block NATO's plans for Ukraine.
  12. The US appears intent on continuing to fight Russia in Ukraine and hopes to win, but Hungary is acting to counter this destructive policy, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said. The vocal opponent of the Western approach to the Ukraine conflict expressed fresh criticism during a weekly interview on Kossuth Radio on Friday. Orban claimed: "It appears that the Western world, led by the Americans, wants to defeat Russia, with the Germans playing the role of extras." He described the strategy as "hopeless," adding that it is disastrous for the Ukrainians and Russians dying on the battlefield and is potentially escalatory. The Hungarian leader claimed, however, that "we have already slowed the train to war," citing the outcome of the recent European Parliament elections in which his party enjoyed success while some pro-Ukrainian groups suffered setbacks. The Hungarian government has secured assurances from both outgoing NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and his presumed successor,...
  13. The Kremlin said on Friday that a U.S. decision to ban sales of Kaspersky's software was a typical move by Washington to stifle foreign competition with American products. The Biden administration on Thursday said it would ban the sale of antivirus software made by Russia's Kaspersky Lab in the United States, citing what it said was the Kremlin's influence over the company which poses a significant security risk.
  14. Nigel Farage has been criticised for suggesting the West "provoked" Russia's invasion of Ukraine by expanding the European Union and Nato military alliance eastwards. The Reform UK leader told the BBC that "of course" the war was President Vladimir Putin's fault. But he added that the expansion of the EU and Nato gave him a "reason" to tell the Russian people "they're coming for us again". Former Conservative Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who is not standing in the election, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme Mr Farage was like a "pub bore we've all met at the end of the bar".
  15. A day after a female elephant trampled a mahout to death at an illegal elephant safari park at Kallar in Idukki district, the forest department on Friday ordered immediate closure of the park. Idukki ACF (Social Forestry) P K Vipindas has implemented the order and directed the owner to shift the elephant to Kottayam. Meanwhile, Forest Minister A K Saseendran directed the ACF (assistant conservator of forests) to probe the operations of illegal elephant safaris and take stringent action against them. As per the databook, A H Jalaludeen, a resident of Erumeli in Kottayam district, is the owner of the elephant. However, the custodian of the elephant is P K Raveendran, a resident of Kanjirappally. The elephant, Lakshmi, is 53 years old and was kept at Kerala Farm in Anaviratty village of Devikulam taluk for safari. The owner of the farm is P P Bijesh, a resident of Koyilandy in Kozhikode.
  16. Kuwait on Friday urged its citizens to leave Lebanon "as soon as possible," while Canada said it is preparing for the potential evacuation of 45,000 of its citizens from the country amid growing fears of a wider conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. On Friday, Kuwait's Foreign Ministry asked its nationals in Lebanon to depart "as soon as possible." The ministry also advised Kuwaitis not to travel to Lebanon "at the present time in view of the security situation taking place in the region." Meanwhile, Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly informed her Israeli counterpart, Yisrael Katz, that Canada is preparing for the potential evacuation of 45,000 of its citizens from Lebanon. Joly stated that Canada has already deployed military forces to the region to facilitate the evacuation process if a wider conflict were to erupt between Israel and Hezbollah. On June 17, Canada updated its Lebanon's travel advisory risk level to "avoid all travel."
  17. Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called on the international community on Monday to recognize an independent Palestinian state, emphasizing that this step is crucial for achieving peace. "The Kingdom renews its call to the international community to recognize the independent State of Palestine, on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. This will enable the brotherly Palestinian people to obtain their legitimate rights" and pave the way for "comprehensive, just, and lasting peace," state news agency SPA quoted the Crown Prince as saying. MBS stressed the importance of implementing recent UN Security Council resolutions, particularly those advocating for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. He urged the international community to take all necessary measures to protect lives in Gaza. The Crown Prince called on the international community to take all measures that would protect lives in Gaza.
  18. Video from the CIRA Satellite Library shows an aerial view of a roughly 200-mile-long dust storm as it blows across New Mexico. A destructive and epically proportioned dust storm, over 200-miles-long, barreled through New Mexico on Wednesday, kicking up clouds of debris visible from space. The extreme storm, which also extended into the north of Mexico, put 18 motorists in the hospital after its rolling opaque clouds caused multiple crashes on Interstate 25. The storm's massive wave of dust was captured in vivid color via a satellite operated jointly by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Colorado State's Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA). 'Less than a 1/4-mile visibility southeast of Deming,' the National Weather Service's El Paso office warned residents near the state's southern border as the storm raged on.
  19. A woman has died following a dog attack Friday night. At 6:01 p.m. Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office Deputies responded to the 22000 Block of Jesus Flores Road in rural Monte Alto in reference to an animal bite. Deputies arrived at the residence and found an 85-year-old woman lying on the ground at the rear of the house. The woman was bleeding from her neck and the left side of her head, a news release stated. Deputies, along with a family member, provided medical aid to the woman until EMS arrived. The woman was transported to the hospital where she died from her injuries.
  20. Of the 632 seats being contested on July 4, Savanta said that 175 seats were currently "too close to call.". British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak could become the country's first sitting prime minister to lose their seat at a general election, according to the findings of a shock new poll. The main opposition left-of-center Labour Party is on course to win a whopping 516 seats at the July 4 election, according to analysis published Wednesday by market research company Savanta, which was conducted in partnership with Electoral Calculus and the Telegraph. If correct, the upcoming vote would deliver Labour a supermajority of 382, comfortably more than former Prime Minister Tony Blair's historic 1997 victory.
  21. Monsoon rains and upstream river water from India have caused widespread flooding in northeastern Bangladesh, stranding more than 2 million people, and the situation could worsen, officials said on Friday. The U.N. children's agency UNICEF said trapped residents in the region, including more than 772,000 children, were in urgent need of assistance. "Children are the most vulnerable, facing heightened risks of drowning, malnutrition, deadly waterborne diseases, the trauma of displacement, and potential abuse in overpopulated shelters," said Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative to Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Meteorological Department forecast further heavy rainfall in the next few days that could exacerbate the flooding and cause landslides in hilly areas. At least 10 people, including eight Rohingya Muslims, were killed on Wednesday after heavy monsoon rains triggered landslides in refugee camps in southern Bangladesh.
  22. A former Catholic church diplomat and virulent critic of Pope Francis has said the Vatican is putting him on trial for denying the pontiff's legitimacy. Carlo Maria Viganò, 83, an ultra-conservative who was the Vatican's ambassador to the US from 2011 to 2016, said the powerful department of doctrine had summoned him on Thursday to hear the charges. In posts in several languages on X, Viganò said the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith had set out accusations "of having committed the crime of schism" - that is, splitting the Catholic church. He was also charged with "having denied the legitimacy of 'Pope Francis', of having broken communion 'with Him', and of having rejected the Second Vatican Council" in the 1960s, which set the church on a modernising path, Viganò wrote.
  23. A major power outage hit Montenegro, Bosnia, Albania and most of Croatia's coast on Friday, disrupting businesses, shutting down traffic lights and leaving people sweltering without air conditioning in the middle of a heatwave. Montenegro's energy minister said the shutdown was caused by a sudden increase in power consumption brought on by high temperatures, and by the heat itself overloading systems. Power distribution is linked across the Balkans for transfers and trading. "This was just waiting to happen in this heat," Gentiana, a 24-year-old student in Montenegro's capital Podgorica, told Reuters. Temperatures hit 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) across the southeastern European region. Comment: This may have been a heatwave - although considering the unreliable temperature data, even that's up for debate - however, note that there's no mention of temperature records being broken, so this heat doesn't appear to be particularly unusual.
  24. A 58-year-old man was killed in a suspected bear attack in Japan on Friday, according to Japanese media. Construction worker Yasuhiro Kobayashi was found dead in a forest in Shinanomachi, Nagano Prefecture in central Japan, according to local police. The man had large scratches on his face and back and police are investigating the possibility of a bear attack, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported. According to local police, Mr Kobayashi was found by a colleague who had been searching for him after he had gone to a work site the day before and not returned. Shinanomachi is a mountain-surrounded town known for its beautiful natural scenery.
  25. Three people were missing on Saturday after massive thunderstorms and rainfall in southeastern Switzerland caused a landslide, authorities have said. One woman was pulled out alive after being buried by the landslide in the Alpine valley of Misox in Graubunden. A rescue operation for the three others is ongoing. Elsewhere in Switzerland, the popular tourist destination of Zermatt in the southern canton of Valais near the famous Matterhorn mountain remains inaccessible. Heavy rains and melting snow have caused the Mattervispa River to overflow, cutting off the village. Dramatic videos showed the otherwise small river that flows through Zermatt turning into a muddy flash flood, partially submerging streets in the popular ski resort.
  26. Something had kicked off the night before and the guys on the corner were keen to offer advice. "You don't want to be hanging around here too long," one said, refusing to elaborate. They were standing near Crispe house, a tower block on east London's Gascoigne estate, undisputed territory of Hellbanianz. The gang, an Albanian street crew of drug dealers, is known locally for its violence and more widely for a social media output featuring Ferraris, wads of £50 notes and gold Rolex watches to help enhance its reputation and recruit "youngers". The Gascoigne estate, built in the 1960s and occupying land that slopes south of Barking town centre to the Thames, is its historical home turf. It was getting dark, another two men appeared and, when asked if they were Hellbanianz, one said: "You should go." The Observer was escorted off the estate and told not to return.
  27. The US has permitted Ukraine to strike targets on Russian territory using American-made weapons anywhere across the front line - not just in the Kharkov Region, Politico has reported. This doesn't represent a change to Washington's policy on the use of US-supplied weapons by Kiev, anonymous sources told the outlet in an article published on Thursday. In late May, media reported that the administration of President Joe Biden had quietly greenlighted Ukrainian attacks using American weapons inside Russian territory for "counterfire purposes in the Kharkov region." The ban on long-range strikes deep inside Russia remained unchanged, according to the reports. In an interview with ABC News earlier this month, Biden clarified that Ukraine could use US-made arms "only in proximity to the border [with Russia] when [Russian weapons] are being used on the other side of the border to attack specific targets in Ukraine." Washington is "not authorizing strikes 200 miles into Russia and we're...
  28. We received 71 reports about a fireball seen over Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas on Saturday, June 22nd 2024 around 03:32 UT. For this event, we received one video.
  29. The week before last, a panel of three federal judges at the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco did something unusual - it called out a government agency for lying and, in the process, opened up for litigation one of the crucial questions of the pandemic response: when is a 'vaccine' not a vaccine? What is so important about the decision is that it is the first time a court has even opened the door to deciding the question the efficacy of the 'vaccine' itself. In other words, what it means is that whether or not the Covid shot was an actual traditional vaccine - one that stopped transmission and kept people from getting the illness at hand - could be litigated in court for the first time ever. The lawsuit itself involves the dissembling - as usual - of the Los Angeles Unified School District and its on-again, off-again Covid shot mandate and its subsequent firing of hundreds of workers for refusing to get an experimental medical treatment.
  30. The depiction of a beloved 'Simpsons' character has been discovered inside a 3,500-year-old Egyptian mummy's sarcophagus. Archaeologists found the inner lid featured a drawing of a yellow-colored woman in a long, green garment with blue hair shaped in a rectangle - similar to the look of Marge Simpson. The photo of the ancient coffin was recently shared on Reddit where it generated excitement from people on Reddit who asked 'Marge?' and joked that 'Egypt predicted Simpsons.' While the imagery bears a striking resemblance to the cartoon character, experts believe it depicts the woman buried in the coffin as she traveled to the afterlife.
  31. Russia's intervention in Ukraine was triggered by the irresponsible and provocative rhetoric of US President Joe Biden and his administration about Kiev joining NATO, Donald Trump has said. Trump, who is seeking a rematch with Biden for the presidency in November, made the comments during a conversation on foreign policy with 'All-In' podcast co-host David Sacks on Thursday. "For 20 years, I heard that if Ukraine goes into NATO, it's a real problem for Russia. I've heard that for a long time. And I think that's really why this war started," Trump said. The Republican presidential candidate pointed out that there had been no talk about armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine when he was in the White House, but as soon as Biden replaced him, things began to deteriorate. "I thought that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin may be - well, look, he's a good negotiator, I thought he was going to be doing that for negotiation purposes," Trump said. "Then all of a sudden, they attacked,...
  32. A commercial 'artificial sun' has achieved its first plasma discharge, the developer says Privately-run Chinese fusion company, Energy Singularity, has built the world's first fully high-temperature superconducting tokamak, and used it to produce plasma, state media outlets have reported, citing the firm. The creation of the device, dubbed HH70 and located in Shanghai, is seen as a major step in the development of fusion technology to potentially generate clean energy. A tokamak is a doughnut-shaped confinement device able to contain the plasma so its temperature can be raised to replicate conditions similar to those on the Sun. Its goal is to create a safe and almost limitless supply of electricity. The devices are often referred to as "artificial suns." The technology uses extremely high temperatures produced by fusion reactions, in which hydrogen atoms are fused together to become helium, releasing vast quantities of energy. Tokamaks, which are large and expensive-to-build...
  33. In response to Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah's warning to Cyprus, the Cypriot government spokesperson firmly stated that no country would be allowed to use Cyprus for conducting military operations. Cypriot government spokesperson Konstantinos Lympiotis confirmed on Thursday that his country "is not involved" and "will not participate" in any wars, emphasizing that the Republic of Cyprus has excellent relations with Lebanon. Comment: Cyprus isn't involved? Except for 2022 when it hosted Israel's IDF who held a wargame in which they attacked Lebanon. And more recently Cyprus has been hosting the British and American militaries, who are supplying Israel amidst its Gaza genocide. In December it was reported: UK secretly sent 500 troops to Cyprus base supplying weapons to Israel The government spokesperson shared a statement on social media from Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides, emphasizing that "no country will be granted permission to conduct military operations...
  34. Reports from The Telegraph and authors James Rothwell and Roland Oliphant tell the harrowing tale of Russian Vladimir Putin personally probing NATO's defenses. According to "security chiefs" somewhere in London, Sweden, or the Baltic States, "Vladimir Putin is testing NATO borders for weak spots." Heaven forbids (the liberal order) Russian leaders from gathering intelligence on aggressive states. The following is the story's comic book (or RAND report) version. Allegations and Dramatic Imagery The Telegraph report is supported by former Ukrainian MP Aliona Hlivco, who is looking into her crystal ball. The Managing Director of the Henry Jackson Society, Aliona Hlivco, has reportedly seen Putin stabbing a fixed bayonet from a Kalashnikov across foggy borders into Baltic territory. President Putin's vicious thrusts into NATO territory are further evidenced by girlish screams from the other end of Putin's weapon. Meanwhile, the latest assessments suggest the NATO borders up North are...
  35. An explosion in central Montenegro's historical capital, Cetnje, on Thursday killed two people and seriously injured three others, police said. Police sealed off the area around the Cetinje town's sports hall. They launched an investigation to find the type and cause of the explosion. The state RTCG television said it was a bomb, and suggested the blast was linked to the Balkan nation's criminal gangs involved in drug smuggling. The report said, "some of the victims recently got out of prison." Montenegro is a small Adriatic Sea nation of about 620,000 people. It is a NATO member state and a candidate for European Union membership. The country has been told it must tackle rampant organized crime and corruption to join the EU.
  36. Excavations of the Ringheiligtum Pömmelte, nicknamed the "German Stonehenge", has revealed new insights into domestic life from prehistory. Ringheiligtum Pömmelte is a late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age henge from the late third millennium BC. The monument features seven concentric rings made of palisades, ditches, and raised banks, each containing a series of wooden posts. The site was discovered in 1991 through aerial photography near the present-day village of Pömmelte in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. From 2018 to 2022, archaeologists have excavated nearly 140 ancient dwellings dating from 2,800 BC to 2,200 BC. The older dwellings are linked to the Corded Ware and the Bell Beaker culture, while the more recent ones are associated with the Únětice Culture.
  37. The Israel Defense Forces' top spokesman said "Hamas is an idea" that can't be eliminated and that saying it could be was "throwing sand in the eye of the public." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may still be leading the country into its 258th day of war in Gaza, but on Thursday he stood increasingly alone — and at odds with his own military. Long criticized at home as well as abroad, Netanyahu's approach is now the subject of a deepening disagreement with his top brass, as well as his country's top ally, the U.S. Netanyahu dissolved his war Cabinet this week after former Defense Minister Benny Gantz, a political rival, stepped down, accusing Netanyahu of standing in the way of "real victory." Comment: Four politicians resigned recently, and, over recent months, various IDF officials have resigned.
  38. Complicity in genocide is not confined to the Israeli right. Members of the liberal organization that spearheaded the anti-Netanyahu protests last year are now blocking humanitarian aid to Gaza. The issue of Israelis physically blocking humanitarian aid to Gaza has been reported in the mainstream media over the past few months. In March, CNN's Clarissa Ward reported on Israeli right-wing activists seeking to block the crossings into Gaza where humanitarian aid was being transported in with their bodies. Ward pushed back on the demonstrators' claims that the rice bags were being filled with bullets by explaining that Gazans were dying of starvation, to no avail. On Friday, the Biden administration issued a selective sanctioning of the primary organization blocking the aid "Tzav 9" — meaning "Order 9," a name alluding to the Israel military reserve call-up order.
  39. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new feud with the Biden administration is hampering U.S.-Israeli diplomatic efforts to de-escalate tensions on the Lebanese border and avoid war with Hezbollah, U.S. officials say. Why it matters: Three Biden administration officials tell Axios they are concerned that Netanyahu's actions create "daylight" between the two allies and as a result are further eroding Israel's deterrence power in the region, especially in the eyes of Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah and the group's main backer Iran. "It is hard to fathom how a video like the one Netanyahu released on Tuesday helps with deterrence. There is nothing like telling Hezbollah that the U.S. is withholding weapons from Israel, which is false, to make them feel emboldened," a senior U.S. official said. Nasrallah said on Wednesday that his militia could still invade northern Israel if the conflict escalates. Israel Defense Forces chief of staff Herzi Halevi said in a visit to the...
  40. Moscow's move would mirror the West's arming of Kiev, the Russian president has said. Since the West claims it has the right to arm Ukraine with impunity, Russia reserves the same right and might send long-range precision weapons to the DPRK and other countries, President Vladimir Putin has said. Putin spoke with reporters in Hanoi following his meetings with the leadership of Vietnam on Thursday. One of the questions related to his previous suggestion that Moscow could send missiles to the adversaries of the West, in response to the US and its allies greenlighting Ukrainian strikes deep inside Russia. "We do not rule out supplying weapons to other countries, including the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Let the West think where they might end up." Western countries that have supplied long-range and other weapons to Ukraine have said they can't be held responsible for how Kiev uses them, and insist that it does not make them parties to the conflict, Putin elaborated, adding...
  41. Hezbollah is prepared for a full-scale conflict with Israel, the Shia militia's head Hassan Nasrallah has said. He also warned Cyprus that it could be targeted if it hosts Israeli forces. Nasrallah gave a televised speech on Wednesday, following a memorial service for Hajj Sami Taleb Abdullah, a senior Hezbollah commander who had been killed in an Israeli strike on southern Lebanon earlier this week. "The enemy knows it must expect us on land, in the air, and at sea, and if war is imposed, the resistance will fight without constraints, rules, or limits. There will be no place safe from our missiles and drones. The current confrontation is the 'greatest battle since 1948' the year Israel declared independence, and will change the face of the region and shape its future." The Shia militia that controls much of Lebanon has prodded Israeli troops in Galilee since October 7 last year, when West Jerusalem declared war on Hamas in Gaza. The intermittent rocket attacks on both sides of the...
  42. Since the results of the European elections started to trickle through, the continent's elites have been scrambling to minimise their impact. Faced with a predictable surge in support for Right-populist parties, their strategy has been relatively simple: to fast-track the usually lengthy process for the selection of the bloc's three top jobs — that of president of the European Commission, currently held by Ursula von der Leyen; of president of the European Council, held by Charles Michel; and of foreign policy chief, which is currently in the hands of Josep Borrell. Within hours, Operation Save Brussels had gone into overdrive, in an attempt to "lock in" the EU's institutional set-up for the next five years before the Right-populists make any more advances. It was in honour of this mission that EU leaders held an "informal" dinner in Brussels last night. Amid frenzied briefings and counter-briefings, the discussions largely centred on the presidency of the Commission — the most...
  43. Kiev has outlawed another political force amid questions about the legitimacy of the government. A Ukrainian court has banned the Nash Krai (Our Land) political party and ordered the seizure of its assets at the request of the Ministry of Justice. The move is the latest in a crackdown on the opposition under Vladimir Zelensky's administration. A panel of judges from the Eighth Administrative Court of Appeal issued the ruling on Wednesday, according to a statement, which read: "The court satisfied the claims of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine: the activities of the political party Nash Krai were banned; the property, funds and other assets of the party, its regional, city, district organizations, primary cells and other structural units were transferred to the state." The party was registered in August 2011 as the 'Bloc Party' and was renamed 'Nash Krai' in 2014. From 2015, the party positioned itself as a "group of local leaders and businessmen" who aimed to avoid political...
  44. Kiev is open to Moscow's participation in the next peace conference, Vladimir Zelensky's chief of staff Andrey Yermak has said. He announced the possibility after the failed conference in Switzerland. Yermak spoke reporters late on Tuesday and revealed that working groups are already preparing a follow-up meeting, following the Ukraine-centered event held over the weekend at a resort in Lucerne, Switzerland. According to Bloomberg, Yermak said: "All of these will be part of this joint plan, which will be supported by a number of countries at the next meeting. We think it will be possible to invite [a] representative of Russia." While Kiev has enjoyed the support of the US and the West at large, Zelensky has long sought approval from more countries for his "peace formula." The conference in Switzerland was a failure in that respect, with some of the participants refusing to sign the final communique and others withdrawing their signatures.
  45. "Almost every headline and what passes as 'news' in the United States, is a cry for help." — Karen Kwiatkowski Now that the gunplay and colorful flash-mobbery of Juneteenth has concluded, it's on to next week's big debate between the two major party candidates — if debate is even the right description for what is more like a joint press conference conducted by one candidate's PR firm. What does the reality-starved public think it will see? Probably anything but a fair fight. It's hard to imagine what possessed "Joe Biden" to decide this was a good idea for him (unless he wasn't the decider). Since we're in an era of archetypal psychodrama, the event looks more like a ritual sacrifice. His recent public performances have been, shall we say, less than reassuring in both utterance and physical poise. He comes off as Captain Queeg meets Mr. Magoo. So, you have to wonder if some ancient tropism-of-the-mind steers him to certain destruction, egged on by those of his own faction who will...
  46. I was recently watching a video by some of my favorite movie commentators in which they were lamenting the apparent death of the movie theater business. They cited a long list of recent blockbuster bombs with some confusion as to why so many films were failing. In particular, they had predicted the film 'Furiosa' (a feminist bait and switch movie designed to replace the more popular male Mad Max character) would do relatively well. Yet, the movie bit the dust in epic fashion. They were bewildered as to why this occurred. They posited numerous social and economic theories trying to explain why so many big budget bonanzas were losing money. They of course suggested that the covid event might have pushed people to adjust to streaming services as the better option. They noted that theaters can be more frustrating because of loud customers. They tried to apply some economic theories to the situation (these theories were overly simplistic and painful, but these guys aren't economists so...
  47. A new study has found that AI systems known as large language models (LLMs) can exhibit "Machiavellianism," or intentional and amoral manipulativeness, which can then lead to deceptive behavior. The study authored by German AI ethicist Thilo Hagendorff of the University of Stuttgart, and published in PNAS, notes that OpenAI's GPT-4 demonstrated deceptive behavior in 99.2% of simple test scenarios. Hagendorff qualified various "maladaptive" traits in 10 different LLMs, most of which are within the GPT family, according to Futurism. In another study published in Patterns found that Meta's LLM had no problem lying to get ahead of its human competitors.
  48. A U.S. tourist was killed by an elephant in the Zambian city of Livingstone Wednesday — in the second such attack in the country this year — local officials said. The officials said Friday that 64-year-old Juliana Gle Tourneau was killed when an elephant that was part of a herd the tourists were watching attacked their vehicle, threw Tourneau out and trampled her. She was part of a group that had stopped near the Maramba Cultural Bridge due to the traffic caused by the elephant herd near the bridge, they added. "Juliana Gle Tourneau, 64, of New Mexico, United States of America, died on Wednesday around 17.50 after being knocked from a parked vehicle which had stopped due to traffic caused by elephants around the Maramba Cultural Bridge," Southern Province Police Commissioner Auxensio Daka told the Zambian national broadcaster, ZNBC. It is the second such attack this year after another American tourist was killed in March this year during a game drive in a Zambian national park when...
  49. An Australian father has been hailed a hero for jumping into action after his little girl was attacked by a kangaroo. The horrific incident was captured on the family's CCTV at their New South Wales home earlier this week. The shocking clip appears to show the two-year-old playing in the grass when a huge kangaroo bounds over and launches itself at her. With the sheer force of the marsupial's powerful front legs, the little girl is launched backwards by the animal before her father comes racing over to help. "Our two-year-old was attacked by a kangaroo on Saturday in our yard," the toddler's mother said after the traumatic incident.
  50. A shocking incident featuring a monkey's terror was caught on camera in Rajasthan's Ajmer. The clip, which has now garnered significant traction on social media, shows two monkeys attacking a woman sitting on the porch of her house. The footage shows the animals approaching the woman, sitting on a chair, from behind and pulling her hair so hard that she loses balance. Vessels in her hand tumble to the floor after the animals' seemingly unprovoked attack. At one point, the clip shows her being lifted off the chair by the string pull of these monkeys. The video is suggestively from the Ramnagar colony in Ajmer. The video was shared online by Instagram page Beawar Live News.