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Yemen's Saudi-led Aden government and Houthis agree to 'de-escalate', resume flights and banking

yemen houthi
© AFP/Mohammed HuwaisProtesters brandish rifles during a rally in Yemen's Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa in solidarity with Palestinians on 19 July
The internationally recognised government of Yemen has signed an agreement with the Houthi movement to "de-escalate" tensions between the two sides, relaxing restrictions on the banking sector and resuming flights by the national airline.

According to a statement by the UN, the two sides informed the special envoy of the secretary-general for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, of the new agreement on Monday.

Among the points listed in the agreement were "cancelling all the recent decisions and procedures against banks by both sides and refraining in the future from any similar decisions or procedures", as well as "resuming Yemenia Airways' flights between Sanaa and Jordan and increasing the number of flights to three daily flights, and operating flights to Cairo and India daily or as needed."

Comment: Interestingly, this comes on the heels of a proposed partnership between Russia and Yemen, as well as the continuing pivot by the Saudis, from the West to the multinodal world: Russia calls for soonest de-escalation in Red Sea conflict, discusses partnership with Yemen

Al Arabiya
reports:
Saudi Arabia welcomes deal between Yemeni government, Houthis

A Saudi foreign ministry statement expressed "support for efforts aimed at achieving peace and security for Yemen," and said it hopes the latest deal "will contribute to reaching a comprehensive political solution" to the country's nearly decade-long conflict.

Grundberg had credited the Kingdom with "significant efforts" to broker the deal, cautioning however that it did not guarantee progress to end the war in the Arabian Peninsula's poorest country.

Tuesday's announcement came as Yemen reeled from a deadly strike on the Houthi-held harbor of Hodeida.
See also: Israel strikes Yemen port and fuel depot causing huge explosions, follows Houthi drone strike on Tel Aviv


Bad Guys

Georgia investigates assassination and coup plots

Bidzina Ivanishvili georgia
© EPAState intelligence agency claims 'former officials' also planned to assassinate governing party head Ivanishvili.

Georgia's security services claim that the plot includes a bid to assassinate former prime minister and founder of the ruling party Bidzina Ivanishvili.
Georgia's state intelligence agency has announced the opening of an investigation into a plot to "violently overthrow" the government.

In a statement posted on Facebook on Wednesday, the State Security Service of Georgia said it is "investigating criminal activities" aimed at creating unrest, including a plot to kill Bidzina Ivanishvili, the honorary chairman of the governing Georgian Dream party.

The statement accused "former high officials" of being behind the plot, with local media reports suggesting links to Ukraine. The announcement came amid heightened tension in Georgia over the introduction of a "foreign influence" law that opponents say illustrates the government is moving closer to Russia.

Comment: It seems reasonable to conclude that the vast majority of these assassination threats, attempts, and coup attempts, are the work of the Western establishment, but what is particularly alarming, and telling, is just how many have occurred in the past 6 months or so.

Although this perhaps reveals that we've entered an especially tumultuous period and they are, for whatever reason, feeling more desperate, and/or brazen, than ever before:


Airplane Paper

UK military problems 'much worse than thought' - defense secretary

British Defence Secretary John Healey (L) and Prime Minister Keir Starmer (R) in Washington DC on July 11, 2024.
© Stefan Rousseau - Pool/Getty ImagesBritish Defence Secretary John Healey (L) and Prime Minister Keir Starmer (R) in Washington DC on July 11, 2024.
John Healey has said the army faces "very serious challenges," according to national media

The British Army, Royal Navy, and Royal Air Force are all struggling with "hollowed out forces, procurement waste, [and] low morale," British Defense Secretary John Healey has warned.

In a grim assessment of the state of the UK military, Healey told the British Army's annual Land Warfare Conference in London on Monday that the nation's armed forces face "very serious challenges," according to Sky News.

Comment: A new Defense Secretary may have an interest in painting a dire picture when funds have to be requested and funnelled from tax payers into military expenses. He may use the opportunity to insinuate that the old government from the other party did not do the job as well as he intends to do it.

The new UK government that took office on July 5. does not change the foreign policy direction, it keeps doing the same to make sure tensions are high and stay that way. Already in 2021 there was: As an ex-British Army officer, I can see the UK's new mission to bring 'freedom' to Eastern Europe will end in disaster and in 2022: Leaked documents reveal British spies constructing secret terror army in Ukraine.

The developments in Ukraine this year, are not the same as in 2022 when far from the front a little sabotage could help consumers go green if not blue, and turn down the room temperature as in this multinational operation:
British navy involved in Nord Stream 2 'terrorist attack' - Russia
UK insurers refuse to pay out over Nord Stream because blasts were 'government-backed'
Independent investigator: Elements of UK government behind Nord Stream attacks

The fact-checkers will look into the statistics and find that since 2017 between zero and two British soldiers have died per year, that is pretty risk free, compared to other professions in the UK. Earlier in July there was Russian strike takes out British SAS sabotage group in Ukraine, claims retired Russian naval officer Sivkov
What was that about? The Government might if asked say that this is not true (believe it or not), or that they have no information, or answer with a counter question. Fortunately the MSM will hesitate to raise impertinent subjects, lest the media get labelled as untrustworthy and looses the patronage of sponsors, advertisers and confidential sources within the administration.

If British nationals in Ukraine are reported to cross harm's way, so are others: Iskander strike targets Western mercenaries and instructors in Ukraine though not always, as when NATO's foreign mercenaries carried out the false-flag Bucha massacre. And if British tax payers have to pay more, others do too:
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute: Defense spending in Europe back to Cold War levels


Bad Guys

Unelected technocrats are now the nation's chief executives

White House
President Biden has not been seen in public since announcing he would not seek re-election on Sunday. Biden's "resignation" was nothing more than a text-only post on Twitter/X — and we know that the president does not manage his own social media accounts. There has been no video of the president making an announcement, and the White House is apparently planning no press conference or official act of any kind. Biden has not been seen by anyone except his inner circle in days. (We can contrast this situation with Lyndon Johnson's televised address announcing his withdrawal from the 1968 presidential campaign.)

This is, in the words of Glenn Greenwald, "strange." Moreover, Biden's silence is inexplicable if Biden actually made the decision to withdraw from the race. After all, Greenwald, notes, if Biden is "well enough to decide, then he's well enough to speak." Yet, following one of the most important announcements of his political career, Biden has disappeared, and few things could better illustrate how irrelevant Biden now is to the matter of who is actually running the executive branch of the United States government. (We do have some audio of him speaking on a Monday phone call.)

Comment: See also:


Pirates

EU sets date of transfer of Russian money to Ukraine for arms purchases

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell
© AFP / Justin TallisEU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, Woodstock, UK, July 18, 2024.
The EU has revealed when it will begin sending Russian money to Ukraine. The bloc's top diplomat Josep Borrell has claimed that the first tranche of interest accruing on some €300 billion in frozen Russian assets, totaling some €1.4 billion, will be sent to Kiev in the first week of August to fund arms purchases.

The EU's top diplomat specified that the funds will be used to meet the key needs of Kiev's military, including air defense, artillery, "and also, and this is new, procurement for the Ukrainian defense industry."

"So, we are not going only to provide military support to Ukraine but from Ukraine itself. Which is certainly the most logical and efficient thing we can do," Borrell concluded.

The EU and G7 group of nations blocked some $280 billion (€260 billion) of sovereign funds belonging to the Central Bank of Russia days after the escalation of the Ukraine conflict in 2022. The bulk of the frozen funds are held in the EU, primarily in the Belgium-based depositary and clearing house Euroclear.

Earlier this year, EU authorities approved a scheme enabling the appropriation of interest accrued on the frozen funds to back Ukraine's recovery and military defense. Under the agreement, 90% of the money is expected to go into an EU-run fund for Ukrainian military aid, with the other 10% is to be allocated for supporting Kiev in other ways.

Comment: Once the transaction occurs there's no going back. See also:


Pirates

Ukraine to get first $1.5 billion of seized Russian cash - Euroclear

Euroclear
© Pavlo Gonchar / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty ImagesFILE PHOTO: Euroclear logo on a smartphone screen.
Brussels-based depositary and clearing house Euroclear has confirmed that it will confiscate interest generated by the frozen Russian funds that it holds and will transfer the money to Ukraine.

"In July 2024, Euroclear will make a first payment of €1.55 billion to the European Fund for Ukraine following the recent implementation of the EU regulation on the windfall contribution," Euroclear said in a statement on Friday.

It follows months of deliberations among EU and G7 nations about how to use billions of dollars belonging to Russia's central bank that were immobilized as part of Ukraine-related sanctions.

The announcement came as part of a report on the financial results for the first half of 2024, which revealed that frozen Russian assets had generated €3.4 billion ($3.7 billion) of the €4 billion ($4.36 billion) interest accrued by the clearing house during the six-month period.

Comment: They've been threatening to do it for a long time and now the time has come to, as the kids say, mess around and find out.


Bad Guys

Trump and JD Vance accuse Dems of leading 'coup' against Biden, call to 'invoke the 25th Amendment'

trump vance
© Fox News
Former President Donald Trump and his running mate, JD Vance, slammed the Democratic Party for leading a "coup" against President Biden — with the Ohio senator saying that if Biden isn't fit to run for president, he shouldn't be able to serve the rest of his term.

The GOP ticket commented on Biden's seemingly declining condition and the news that he would not be running for re-election in a clip that aired Monday morning on Fox News, telling "Primetime" host Jesse Watters that Biden shouldn't get to step down in a way that is only beneficial to his party.

When asked if Biden's dropping out of the election was a "coup against Joe Biden," Trump quietly replied with "Sort of," before Vance jumped in.

Comment: See also:


Bad Guys

Only Half Gone

Joe Biden
© Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP
"Life imitates art," Oscar Wilde was fond of saying. And so, all of a sudden on Sunday, the USA became an episode of Veep, after President "Joe Biden" had that fateful sit-down with God he'd hinted at a week or so ago:

God: Yeah, it's me again. What I told you 'bout dis 'lection bidness?

"JB": (cough cough) I gotta finish the job. (cough cough.)

God: Job, my ass. You ain't done nuttin' but eat ice cream cones, spend money dat don't exist, and sniff up every chile come near you.

"JB": No, you don't understand! I'm defending democracy.

God: Oh yeah? Since when my will subject to some pissant caucus? In my mansion dey's many doors, and this one is da exit, son. What I say, go. And when I say, 'go,' dat mean you git yo'self gone! I done wrote the letter and you signin' on da dotted line right now.

"JB": What if I won't?

God: I'ma have to smite yo' ass.

"JB": Well, since you put it that way. . . but, say, do you happen to also have that pardon document we talked about. . .?

And so it went in the study at Rehoboth Beach Sunday afternoon. And all of a sudden, Veep Kamala Harris is elevated to be the putative nominee of the Party of Chaos going into the August convention. Most of the other talked-about replacements instantly endorsed her — Gavin Newsom, Gretchen Whitmer, Pete Buttigieg, et al. — as a convocation of mullahs might bless a goat about to be sacrificed. Kamala issued a stirring war cry: "Together, we will fight. And together, we will win." Yawn. . . .

Comment: Unforeseen events, or in the case of the attempted assassination the foreseen, have a habit of upending the political chessboard. Which is, of course, the point. Expect to have the chessboard upended a few more times before November, and probably after as well.


Stock Down

Harris has lost 92% of her staff in three years - watchdog

Vice President Kamala Harris
© Loren Elliott / Getty ImagesA supporter holds a sign with a stylized photo of US Vice President Kamala Harris in San Francisco, California on July 22, 2024.
US Vice President Kamala Harris has a staggering staff turnover rate of 91.5%, transparency watchdog OpenTheBooks reported on Monday, citing disclosures from the Senate. The revelation came days after President Joe Biden ended his reelection campaign and endorsed Harris as his replacement.

OpenTheBooks, an NGO that monitors government spending, has analyzed the list of titles and names of the staffers at the Office of the Vice President, which it took from the semi-annual report of the Secretary of the Senate.

"As of March 31, 2024, only four of the initial 47 staffers from the first year are still employed - consistently and without interruption - by the vice president," the group said.

The turnover rate for Biden's staffers is 77%, as only 127 of his initial 560 White House employees have remained in their position since 2021, OpenTheBooks said.

Arrow Down

'Banning certain behaviors': Kamala Harris agreed to reduce red meat consumption during 2020 campaign

kamala harris
© AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
Vice President Kamala Harris, who was endorsed by President Joe Biden on Sunday to take his presumptive spot as the Democrats' 2024 nominee, said she supports changing the government's dietary guidelines to reduce the consumption of "red meat."

During a televised town hall before she dropped out of the 2020 election, Harris agreed with a voter who asked about eating less red meat "in light of the impact of the climate change."

A clip of the discussion has resurfaced online after being posted by RNC Research following Harris's step into the race on Sunday:

Comment: And in 2024, will likely say the same thing - Why are Establishment Elites so Obsessively Anti-meat?