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Ex-Pope Benedict XVI admits false statement during abuse probe testimony

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

An independent probe found that the former pope botched at least four cases of abuse while archbishop of Munich.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has admitted to providing false testimony during an investigation into sexual abuse in Germany's Catholic Church.

Former Pope Benedict XVI has apologized for providing false information during a probe into sexual abuse in his old Munich archdiocese, his secretary said in a statement on Monday that was posted to the Vatican News portal.

The statement, which was given to the German-language Catholic News Agency (KNA), said the false information was not given "with ill intent."

Comment: See also:


Satellite

NATO's 'Space Policy' outlines readiness to jointly respond to attacks in space

The International Space Station (ISS)
© NASA/Roscosmos
The International Space Station (ISS) photographed by Expedition 56 crew members from a Soyuz spacecraft after undocking, on Oct. 4, 2018.
NATO on Monday made public its official "overarching Space Policy" that outlines how it would protect its members from space attacks, citing threats from potential adversaries.

The U.S.-led alliance said its collective defense principles will be extended to outer space in response to developments made at last year's Brussels Summit.

"At the 2021 Brussels Summit, Allies agreed that attacks to, from, or within space present a clear challenge to the security of the Alliance, the impact of which could threaten national and Euro-Atlantic prosperity, security, and stability, and could be as harmful to modern societies as a conventional attack. Such attacks could lead to the invocation of Article 5. A decision as to when such attacks would lead to the invocation of Article 5 would be taken by the North Atlantic Council on a case-by-case basis," the document states.

Article 5 of NATO's founding treaty states that an attack on any one of the 30 allies will be considered an attack on them all. Until now, it has only applied to more traditional military attacks on land, sea, or in the air, and more recently in cyberspace.

Comment: See also: NATO's new secret plan for nuclear war & space battles with Russia risks spiraling Europe into a new arms race between East & West


Gold Coins

Duma Deputy Chair insists gold-backed stablecoins & crypto-mining be allowed in Russia 'to circumvent sanctions'

Putin with gold
First there was Tether; the controversial dollar-backed cryptocurrency that so many of the US establishment are fearmongering about. Then the Chinese launched a gold-backed, yuan-denominated oil futures contract. After that came Petro, the industry's first oil-backed crypto issued by the Venezuelan government. And now we might be about to see the first gold-backed cryptocurrency - by a central bank, no less.

As Putin advisor Sergey Glazyev has said in the past, "the ruble is the most gold-backed currency in the world," and judging by reports from the RIA Novosti news agency tonight, the days of a digital, gold-backed-Ruble could be getting closer.

But first, some background of just how Russia's dollar-gold-crypto thinking has evolved over the past few years...

In May 2018, Russia began to accelerate its de-dollarization strategy by dumping a record amount of US Treasuries from its reserves.

accelerate its de-dollarization

Light Saber

Is the plan to bankrupt Russia working?

ruble russia currency
© Getty Images / Bloomberg Creative Photos
The economic state of play is very different now to even just a few decades ago
Economic coercion is the West's favourite tool to influence Russian behaviour. But with oil prices rising, Russia's economy growing, and the West backing off from pledges to exclude Russia from SWIFT, this policy seems to have reached a dead-end.

In 2014, the Russian economy was struck by a double-whammy. First, the oil price collapsed. And second, Western states imposed a series of sanctions in response to events in Ukraine. The immediate impact on Russia's economy was dire, sending GDP plummeting.

Economists had problems determining which was more responsible for Russia's problems - the oil price or the sanctions - but most came down in favour of the former. Cheaper oil translated into a less valuable ruble, which increased the price of imports and created inflationary pressures. To this end, the Central Bank responded with higher interest rates, depressing demand and thereby GDP.

Comment: See also: And check out SOTT radio's: NewsReal: Ukraine Gambit - US Attempting to Destroy Russia




Sherlock

To what extent was the West behind Serbia's Rio Tinto protests?

rio tinto protests serbia

Protests against Rio Tinto in Serbia
It's fair to presume that multiple interest groups were behind the latest events and their portrayal: grassroots forces, prominent personalities, Western NGOs, the Serbian government itself, and perhaps competing 'green' oligarchic forces. The takeaway is that Serbia is still a laboratory for experimenting with socio-political trends.

Serbian President Vucic condemned Western NGOs for what he claimed were their role in organizing protests against Rio Tinto's lithium mining deal, even going as far as "helping to topple the government". The authorities canceled the deal last week after enormous grassroots pressure driven by the project's expected environmental consequences. It also came shortly after Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic was scandalously deported from Australia. He'd earlier posted on social media in support of the protests. It deserves mentioning too that Serbia's slated to hold national elections in April.

Comment: It's notable that Serbia is one of the few countries (along with Hungary) to buck the pressure of the West and has taken advantage of an "incredible" long term gas deal with Russia.

See also:


Clipboard

Fauci's popularity crumbling among young Americans - four out of five say he should resign

fauci hearing
© Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images
Anthony Fauci
Nearly half of Americans, and a majority of young people, say Dr. Anthony Fauci should "resign his position and role" in the United States' COVID-19 response.

A new poll from Trafalgar Group and Convention of States Action, provided exclusively to Morning Wire and released on Thursday, shows Fauci's flagging support among likely voters. The Trafalgar Group conducted a poll of 1,081 likely general election voters in the United States on January 12-14. The poll has a margin of error of 2.98%.

When asked "Do you believe Dr. Fauci should resign his position and role in leading the government's COVID-19 response to allow new leadership?" 46.3% of respondents said they believe Fauci should step aside. The other 53.7% of respondents said Fauci, who serves as chief White House medical adviser and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, should remain in charge.

The bulk of Fauci's support comes from Democrats, according to the poll. About 83% of Democratic respondents said Fauci should keep his position while about 18% of Democrats want the federal government's chief medical expert to resign.

Comment:


Eye 2

Democrats punt the other "Big Lie": Fuel doubts over the legitimacy of the coming elections

biden voting rights  mlk speech
© Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Biden wags his finger at those who believe voter ID is not racist
Napoleon Bonaparte once observed that "History is a set of lies agreed upon." The problem today is that there is little agreement on what the lies mean when lies attributed to one party are being used by the other party to achieve the same goal.

For months, President Biden, Democratic politicians, and some in the media have hammered away at "Trump's Big Lie" of the 2020 election. They insist that former President Trump began months before the election to plant a false narrative that changes in election laws were part of an effort to "steal" the election. However, in the last few weeks, Biden and others are pushing their own "Big Lie" that state election laws are now being changed to steal the 2022 and 2024 elections. What is most striking is how these claims are detached from the actual laws themselves — the power of this claim being based entirely upon its repetition rather than its foundation.

After the 2020 election, some of us expressed skepticism over the claims of widespread fraud but waited to see the evidence presented in court. That evidence never materialized and, while I predicted an effort to challenge the electoral votes two days after the election, I wrote that calls to challenge the certification of the election were unfounded factually and legally.

SOTT Logo Radio

NewsReal: Ukraine Gambit - US Attempting to Destroy Russia

ukraine russia war newsreal
© Sott.net
** This video is a reupload following technical difficulties during the livestream! **

In this week's NewsReal, Joe and Niall discuss the almighty tensions building between the US and Russia over Ukraine, explaining that the key to understanding 'why this, and why now?' lies in American paranoia about increasing Russian economic and ideological influence in Europe as a whole.

The Americans and the British have been pumping weapons and 'advisors' into Ukraine for the last seven years, apparently with a view to helping Kiev recapture' the breakaway Donbass republics and Crimea, thereby forcing a military response from Russia, and providing the 'justification' the Anglo-Americans seek to, effectively, ban Russia from global trade - with disastrous economic ramifications for Europe and beyond.

Will war break out in some form? It's possible, and it depends on just how far beyond the pale the US regime has become. The greater threat to us all, however, is the global economic FUBAR that will result from the US regime pulling what amounts to a 'financial Samson Option' that - it hopes - will 'reset' the world back to 1945, when the USA stood tall amid an economic wasteland...


Running Time: 01:01:53

Download: MP3 — 42.5 MB


Bad Guys

Switzerland latest country to suddenly drop vaccine passports, intends to keep 'other restrictions in place'

Alain Berset
© AFP / Fabrice Coffrini
Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset speaks during a press conference on Covid-19 restrictions in Bern. December 3, 2021.
Swiss health minister Alain Berset has signaled that the Alpine nation's controversial use of a Covid-19 certificate system could soon be over since the public health response to the pandemic appeared to be "on the right track."

The document - which indicates whether a person has been vaccinated, tested or recovered from the coronavirus and determines entry into public venues - has been in use since July 2021. But Berset suggested on Saturday that the time may have come to do away with the system.


Comment: Unlike other countries in Europe whose politicians were much more enthusiastic in locking down their citizens, Switzerland was initially a bit more lax in its enforcement - although not as defiant as Sweden - and it may be that their system of direct democracy helped somewhat stave off the Pathocrats somewhat: Switzerland likely to hold vote on compulsory vaccination after 125,000 citizens sign petition for constitutional ban on mandates


"The certificate period seems to be almost at an end," Berset told the Schweiz am Wochenende newspaper, adding that the country looks to be "on the right track." But he warned that the "virus has shown itself to be unpredictable on several occasions."

Comment: It's extremely telling that much of the locked down planet is suddenly dropping restrictions that just a few weeks ago were deemed to be critical to the preservation of life.

That said, the contrived coronavirus crisis has done its job because most countries intend to hold on to the 'emergency' laws that grant them unprecedented powers, and it seems the establishment feel their Pavlovian conditioning has been successful enough that they're now able to roll out their dystopian digital IDs. Tellingly, a similar move is being made in the US but using the IRS, whereby citizens must submit a picture for their new facial recognition system in order to file their taxes:


See also: And check out SOTT radio's: MindMatters: Interview with Rod Dreher: How to Survive the Coming Soft Totalitarianism





Gold Coins

Russia's gold & foreign currency reserves hit historic high

forex gold
© Sputnik / Pavel Lisitsyn
FILE PHOTO: The country now has the world's fourth-largest forex holdings
Russia's foreign exchange reserves surged by $7.7 billion last week, with its total holdings reaching a record $638.2 billion, according to the country's central bank.

From January 7 to 14, its international reserves grew by 1.2%, according to the latest data from the regulator. On January 7, their volume had amounted to $630.5 billion.

The surge was reported to be the result of planned purchases of foreign currencies and a positive market reassessment.

Comment: It's notable that the same countries that are banning the rather suspect cryptocurrencies are also loading up on gold (as well as mostly dumping US treasuries):