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Wed, 14 Apr 2021
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The Saker: Biden calls the "killer"

PutinBiden
© Mark Makela Sputnik/Alexey Druzhinin/KJN
Russian President Putin • US President Biden
The big news of the day is that Biden decided to call Putin. Here is how the Russians reported this:
At the initiative of the American side, a telephone conversation took place between President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and President of the United States of America Joseph Biden. The current state of Russian-American relations and some relevant aspects of the international agenda were discussed in detail. Joseph Biden confirmed his earlier invitation to the Russian President to take part in the Climate Summit, which will be held via videoconference on April 22-23. Both sides expressed their readiness to continue the dialogue on the most important areas of ensuring global security, which would meet the interests of not only Russia and the United States, but also the entire world community. Moreover, Joseph Biden expressed interest in normalizing the state of affairs on the bilateral track and establishing stable and predictable cooperation on such pressing issues as ensuring strategic stability and arms control, the Iranian nuclear program, the situation in Afghanistan, and global climate change. In this context, the US President proposed to consider the possibility of holding a personal summit meeting in the foreseeable future. During the exchange of views on the internal Ukrainian crisis, Vladimir Putin outlined approaches to a political settlement based on the Minsk Package of Measures. It was agreed to give instructions to the relevant departments to work out the issues raised during the telephone conversation.

Comment: See also:


Bad Guys

Biden delays withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan until September 11th

US afghanistan
© REUTERS/Omar Sobhani/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: U.S. troops patrol at an Afghan National Army (ANA) base in Logar province, Afghanistan August 7, 2018.
President Joe Biden plans to withdraw the remaining 2,500 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021, 20 years to the day after the al Qaeda attacks that triggered America's longest war, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.


Comment: By choosing this date the Biden administration appears to be more concerned with arousing highly charged emotions in Americans rather than leaving Afghanistan as soon as possible.

However, what with the US' subsequent war on Iraq, Libya, Syria, and its assistance to the Saudi's with their war on Yemen, it is blatantly clear by now that 9/11 merely served as the pretext for America's war on, and occupation of, the Middle East.


The disclosure of the plan came on the same day that the U.S. intelligence community released a gloomy outlook for Afghanistan, forecasting "low" chances of a peace deal this year and warning that its government would struggle to hold the Taliban insurgency at bay if the U.S.-led coalition withdraws support.

Comment: RT reports that NATO troops intend to leave as soon at the same time as the US - if it ever does, of course:
'Go in together, go out together' - German defense minister says
german soliders
© Michael Kappeler / Pool via Reuters
FILE PHOTO: German Bundeswehr soldiers in Masar-i-Scharif, Afghanistan.
Berlin has the second-largest military presence there after the US.

"We always said we go in together, we go out together," she told the broadcaster ARD in a morning interview. "I stand for an orderly withdrawal. And that's why I assume that we will decide this today."

The total strength of NATO's Resolute Support Mission is around 10,000.
Coincidentally, or not, the UN is 'sounding the alarm' over a spike 30% spike in civilian casualites
Almost 1,800 civilians, including many women and children, were killed or wounded in the fighting between the Afghan government and the Taliban since the start of 2021, the UN said, again calling on the sides to stop the violence.

In the first three months of the year, 573 civilians were killed and 1,210 injured in Afghanistan, which is a 29% increase compared to the same period in 2020, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a report on Wednesday.

A source of "particular concern" was that the number of killed or wounded women rose by 37%, while child casualties increased by 23%, according to the report.

The civilians became victims of "ground engagements; improvised explosive devices; and targeted killings," UNAMA said.
Afghanistan
© Reuters / Mohammad Ismail
FILE PHOTO: Afghan officials inspect a damaged minibus after a blast in Kabul.
Insurgent groups have caused 61% percent of the casualties among the population, with the most harm delivered by Taliban (43.5%). Afghan National Army and other pro-government units were reportedly responsible for killing and wounding 27 percent of civilians so far this year.

"Every possible opportunity for peace must be seized. If levels of violence are not immediately reduced, thousands of Afghan civilians will continue to be killed and injured by fellow Afghans in 2021," Deborah Lyons, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan, warned.


Note that the US' lengthy and costly stay in Afghanistan has resulted in the deaths of a great many civilians.


With no breakthrough in peace talks between the authorities in Kabul and the Taliban, deadly fighting has recently escalated in several Afghan regions.
Sputnik reports that, in response to the US unilateral decision to stay in the country for an extra 5 months, the Taliban have announced that they will not enter into any peace talks until all foreign forces are out of the country:
"Until all foreign forces completely withdraw from our homeland, the Islamic Emirate [of Afghanistan] will not participate in any conference that shall make decisions about Afghanistan," Dr. Muhammad Naeem Wardak, the spokesperson for the Taliban's political office in Doha, Qatar, said on Twitter early Wednesday morning.

taliban
© REUTERS / POOL
Biden's new date is symbolic: al-Qaeda's training grounds and headquarters for the attack were in the Afghan mountains, and the US occupation war in Afghanistan began just weeks later, when it invaded to overthrow the Taliban government that had sheltered the terrorist group. The war has waged ever since, with deaths totaling in the hundreds of thousands, nearly all of them Afghan.
Also on Tuesday, the United Nations announced an Afghan peace conference had been scheduled from April 24 to May in Istanbul, Turkey, at which delegations from the Taliban and the US-supported Afghan government in Kabul are expected to sit for their own peace talks, which have been ongoing for months. However, a spokesperson for the Taliban's political bureau told Sputnik on Tuesday the group's attendance was in doubt.
Last month, US and European officials revealed to the New York Times that there were at least 1,000 more troops in Afghanistan than previously reported, putting the total at the time at roughly 3,500 troops. In addition, there are roughly 7,000 troops from NATO allies and US partners in Afghanistan, which the Taliban has said would be considered legitimate targets for attack if the US hasn't totally left by its May 1 deadline.
Biden has previously spoken dismissively of the February 2020 peace deal, saying in an interview last month it was "not a very solidly negotiated deal" agreed to by then-US President Donald Trump.
"We're in consultation with our allies as well as the government, and that decision is in process now," he said about meeting the May 1 withdrawal date, which he admitted would be "tough" to meet. US military leaders have pushed back on the pace of the withdrawal, warning the Taliban could return to power or al-Qaeda could rebuild itself if a certain amount of US forces are not stationed in the Central Asian nation.
See also: And check out SOTT radio's:


Control Panel

World Economic Forum warns of cyber attack leading to systemic collapse of the global financial system

WEF Great Reset
A report published last year by the WEF-Carnegie Cyber Policy Initiative calls for the merging of Wall Street banks, their regulators and intelligence agencies as necessary to confront an allegedly imminent cyber attack that will collapse the existing financial system.

In November 2020, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace co-produced a report that warned that the global financial system was increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks. Advisors to the group that produced the report included representatives from the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the International Monetary Fund, Wall Street giants likes JP Morgan Chase and Silicon Valley behemoths like Amazon.

The ominous report was published just months after the World Economic Forum had conducted a simulation of that very event - a cyber attack that brings the global financial system to its knees - in partnership with Russia's largest bank, which is due to jumpstart that country's economic "digital transformation" with the launch of its own central bank-backed cryptocurrency.

More recently, last Tuesday, the largest information sharing organization of the financial industry, whose known members include Bank of America, Wells Fargo and CitiGroup, have again warned that nation-state hackers and cybercriminals were poised to work together to attack the global financial system in the short term. The CEO of this organization, known as the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), had previously advised the WEF-Carnegie report that had warned much the same.

Gold Seal

Sweden Says No To Gates Mad Global Warming Scheme

lava flow
For more than a decade Bill Gates has funneled millions of dollars into a scientifically mad scheme allegedly to study the possibility of "manmade global cooling." The project, led by a Harvard physicist, proposes to send satellites into the atmosphere in order to drop tons of chemicals in an attempt to block the sun. Now a strong resistance within Sweden has forced Gates & co. to abandon the planned Swedish satellite launch. This latest adventure in geoengineering by Gates shows what an unscientific enterprise the global warming charade is. As Gates no doubt well knows, in fact the Earth has slowly been cooling as we enter what some astrophysicists estimate could be several decades of global cooling caused by a Grand Solar Minimum cycle we entered in 2020.

On April 2 the Swedish Space Agency, announced that the program, the Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPEx), funded by Bill Gates, has "divided the scientific community" and will therefore not be carried out. SCoPEx was a scheme funded for several years by personal funds from Gates to test the feasibility of dimming the sun via manmade geoengineering.

The plan is to drop sulphate aerosolor calcium carbonate dust into the atmosphere from high altitude balloons in a madcap scheme to try blocking the sun and thereby "prevent " global warming. The Swedish agency decided to cancel the experiment because of a major opposition from not only the scientific and environmentalist community, but also indigenous Swedish Saame or Laplander people who are reindeer herdsmen and feared the particles could cause severe or unknown environmental pollution to their herds. Notably, the Saami Council warned that the Gates experiment "essentially attempts to mimic volcanic eruptions by continuously spewing the sky with sun-dimming particles."

Brick Wall

Gretchen Whitmer calls for stricter restrictions as coronavirus cases surge in US Midwest

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
© Ruth Fremson/The New York Times
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer during a campaign event for Democratic presidential nominee in Southfield, Mich., Oct. 16, 2020.
Even as vaccination drives are in full swing, the possibility of another wave of the deadly coronavirus is not far away in the US Midwest.

The rate of hospitalisations is alarmingly increasing in Michigan, and the Intensive Care Units (ICUs) are running out of space for coronavirus patients.

As per Johns Hopkins University data, nearly 7,226 cases have been reported on a daily basis in the past week.

Comment: Not everyone is falling for it. From Washington Examiner:
Athletic association defies Whitmer's request for two-week pause to youth sports

High school sports in Michigan will continue despite Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's request for a two-week pause as COVID-19 cases surge in the state.

"We're going to play two days of basketball and really make no changes for the spring," Michigan High School Athletic Association Executive Director Mark Uyl told the Detroit Free Press. "We followed the orders — every order — going back to July. Whenever the orders have allowed us to play, we've played."

While all high school athletes are required to be tested for the coronavirus each week, athletes in the conference have so far shown a positivity rate of less than 3%.

Uyl also highlighted the fact that spring sports, such as track, golf, tennis, lacrosse, girls soccer, baseball, and softball, are played outside and require less physical contact than sports played in autumn.

...

Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser, blamed youth sports for an uptick in coronavirus cases, and Director Rochelle Walensky of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said youth sports and afterschool activities should be "limited."

"We're finding out that it's the team sports where kids are getting together, obviously many without masks, that are driving it, rather than in-the-classroom spread," Fauci told Good Morning America on Tuesday. "When you go back and take a look and try and track where these clusters of cases are coming from in the school, it's just that."



Eye 2

The Elites' Plans Are Pure, Unalloyed Evil

death image
"Hell is empty and all the devils are here." William Shakespeare, The Tempest
Mike Yeadon is a soft-spoken microbiologist and a former Vice President of Allergy and Respiratory Research at Pfizer. He spent 32 years working for large pharmaceutical companies and is a leading expert on viral respiratory infections. He is also a man on a mission, and his mission is to inform as many people as possible about the elite powerbrokers that are using the pandemic as a smokescreen to conceal their real objectives. Here's Yeadon in a recent interview:
"If you wanted to depopulate a significant portion of the world, and to do it in a way that wouldn't require destruction of the environment with nuclear weapons, or poisoning everyone with anthrax or something, And you wanted plausible deniability, whilst you had a multi-year infectious disease crisis; I don't think you could come up with a better plan of work than what seems to be in from of me. I can't say that's what they're going to do, but I cannot think of a benign explanation for why they are doing it." ("Interview with Dr Mike Yeadon", The Delingpole Podcast; Minute 44: 25)
"Depopulation"? Who said anything about depopulation? Isn't it a bit of a stretch to go from a mass vaccination campaign to allegations of a conspiracy to "depopulate a significant portion of the world"?

Nuke

Iran starts enriching uranium to 60% purity in response to Israel's alleged attack of Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant

ran starts enriching uranium

Abbas Araghchi, Iran's deputy foreign minister, announced in Vienna on Tuesday that Iran has sent a letter to the IAEA informing the body that the Islamic Republic intends to start enriching uranium to up to 60% purity.
Araghchi broke the story as he visited Vienna on Tuesday for nuclear deal talks with P4 + 1 group, which is set to start on Thursday.

Addition of centrifuges at Natanz nuclear site.

Abbas Araghchi emphasized that another 1,000 centrifuges with 50% more capacity will be added to the existing machines in Natanz, in addition to replacing the damaged machines.

In a speech to the Assembly of Experts last year, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, stressed, "The Islamic Republic will not back down from its rational position on the nuclear issue, and according to the interests and needs of the country, it will go as far as 60% enrichment as needed."

Comment: Naturally, this news will provide the Israeli government, military and intelligence agencies with a new ready-made justification for attacking Iran.

Iran announced this highly contentious development to the UN:
Kazem Gharib Abadi, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations office in Vienna, said Monday that the attack on the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant would only result in the older uranium centrifuges being replaced with newer, more advanced ones.
"Enrichment in Natanz is not stopped," Abadi wrote on Twitter. "Iran will react including by planning to implement several technical measures which the [International Atomic Energy] Agency will be informed [of] this week. Replacement process of the damaged centrifuges, including with the same machines with more capacity, has immediately begun."
On Sunday, an explosion outside the Natanz plant temporarily shut off power to the facility, which produces enriched uranium for medical and power generation purposes. Tehran has denounced the incident as "nuclear terrorism" and blamed Israel, which in response has only reaffirmed its presumed right to attack Iran as "self-defense."
An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson earlier identified the damaged centrifuges as IR-1s, the oldest such devices in use in Iran. According to the JCPOA, Iran is only allowed to operate the slow IR-1s at Natanz and only above ground, where they are more vulnerable to attack. However, last month, the IAEA announced that Iran had begun using more advance IR-4 centrifuges at Natanz, which are four times more efficient than the IR-1s, and that they had been moved underground.
Natanz was previously attacked in July 2020 in an apparent sabotage incident that destroyed an above-ground centrifuge workshop.
It's unclear which type of centrifuge will replace the damage IR-1s. However, the day before the most recent attack was Iran's National Day of Nuclear Technology, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that 164 IR-6 centrifuges had been brought online at Natanz, with another 30 beginning the preparation process.
The attack has come amid negotiations in Vienna aimed at reviving the JCPOA, which the US left in 2018 amid unsubstantiated claims Iran was in violation of the deal. After the US reimposed economic sanctions on Iran and forced its allies to comply, Tehran began backing away from the terms of the deal, which imposed strict limits on its uranium production and a renunciation of the pursuit of nuclear weapons. After US President Joe Biden took office earlier this year, it was anticipated he would depart from the policy of his predecessor, former US President Donald Trump, and return to the JCPOA. However, the US has so far been hesitant to do so, insisting Iran make the first move.
Israel has also claimed Iran has a secret nuclear weapons program, but Tehran has rejected the claims, saying the Shiite-led government opposes nuclear weapons on a religious basis.



Russian Flag

Western insistence on Russia paying Ukraine rent to use old Soviet-era gas pipelines drives Moscow away from EU & towards China

gas pipes
© Sputnik / Stringer; (inset) Getty Images / MicroStockHub
Western powers have for a long time implied that Ukraine has an inherent right to have Russian gas transit through its territory, using old Soviet-built pipelines. But they seem to be overestimating Moscow's reliance on the EU.

The reality is that attempts to make it conditional that Russian gas exports to the rest of Europe must move through Ukrainian pipelines is increasingly disarmed by Moscow's growing strategic partnership with China.

European energy security

The International Energy Agency (IEA) defines energy security as "the uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price." Based on this definition of energy security, it would be reasonable to expect that the European Union eagerly supports Nord Stream 2 as it ensures uninterrupted supply of the cheapest available gas. Instead, the hostility towards the pipeline reveals that the rhetoric about energy security is dishonest.

Energy is also an instrument of geoeconomics. States attempt asymmetrical interdependence to obtain political power. Brussels is more equipped to dictate the terms of relations if Russia's dependence on the EU increases and the EU's reliance on Russia decreases. Asymmetrical interdependence is imperative for the Western-centric organisation of the pan-European space, to ensure that Russia follows the decision-making of institutions where it does not have a seat at the table.

Bad Guys

Next stop, the apocalypse? The bumbling Biden administration's claim to fame may be jumpstarting World War III

apocalypse
© Getty Images / Bulgac
Since Biden's inauspicious rise to power, the world has become littered with hotspots from Ukraine to China where a major conflict could erupt at any time. Is the US deep state desperate to make up for four warless years?

Coincidence or otherwise, the world feels like a much more dangerous place since Joe Biden formally entered the White House on January 20. Now that the 'Make America Great Again' bumper sticker has been removed from the US juggernaut, early indicators point to a global joyride riddled with dangerous standoffs and even full-blown hostilities that could spark the mother of all conflagrations. One of the most dangerous stops along this highway to possible oblivion is playing out right now on Russia's doorstep.

For the average consumer of Western media junk food, the simmering standoff between Ukraine and Russia has been reduced to snack-size bites, popularly sold to unsuspecting consumers as 'Russian aggression'. Toss away the greasy bag, however, and the more discerning shopper will discover that Moscow has in fact steadfastly supported the conditions for peace in Donbass, where a civil war has been raging for seven years between pro-Russian forces and Kiev. Meanwhile, it is Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who has abandoned the Minsk Protocol, the 2014 peace treaty, while signing a decree on March 24 that practically places Ukraine on a war footing with Russia.

And those aren't the only inconvenient truths the Western media would rather its audience not know about.

Eye 2

US helping Saudis in war on Yemen while also claiming to be 'revitalizing diplomacy to end conflict'

us war plane
© AFP 2021 / HO
The United States is working with Saudi Arabia to help the country defend itself while concurrently revitalizing diplomacy to end the conflict in Yemen, Defense Department spokesperson Jessica McNulty told Sputnik.

"The United States is continuing to work together with our Saudi partners to help the Kingdom defend itself from external threats, while at the same time revitalizing diplomacy to end the Yemen conflict," McNulty said on Tuesday.

McNulty emphasized that cross-border attacks against Saudi Arabia by Houthis in Yemen contravene international law and undermine all efforts to promote peace and stability in the region.

Comment: It seems the Saudis have had to resort to diplomacy after failing to achieve more sinister objectives in their war on the country: