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Fri, 30 Jul 2021
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Russia & China expanding yuan share in mutual trade, pushing out US dollar - Chinese Ambassador to Russia

yuan
© Reuters / Jason Lee
The share of the Chinese currency in trade between Russia and China has increased, as the countries boost efforts to move away from the US dollar in response to Washington's sanctions policies, according to a top Chinese diplomat.

The yuan's share in the countries' bilateral trade rose from 3.1% in 2014 to 17.5% in 2020, Chinese Ambassador to Russia Zhang Hanhui told news agency Interfax.

According to Zhang, Russia has been steadily following a policy of de-dollarization of foreign trade, expanding the use of Chinese currency for buying financial products denominated in the renminbi and using it as a reserve currency over recent years. He added that the yuan has been gaining recognition from the Russian government, enterprises, and investors.

Star of David

Another Israeli spy story: When will it end?

Protest Budapest
© Marton Monus/Reuters
Protest against the Hungarian government for using Pegasus spyware to monitor journalists, opposition leaders and activists in Budapest.
It is perhaps not necessary to point out how the mainstream media in the United States as well as in Europe and Oceania persist in ignoring or otherwise covering up stories that make the Israelis look bad. Recent accounts of the slaughter of children and mostly civilians in Gaza by Israeli planes, missiles and artillery consistently try to depict the conflict as warfare between two comparable opponents, ignoring the enormous disparity in the military force available to the two sides. Israel has a modern army, air force and navy while Hamas has nothing but some small arms as well as improvised rockets and incendiary balloons.

The reluctance to criticize Israeli behavior is largely attributable to the power of the Zionist lobbies in the respective countries but it is also at least in part due to the complicity of Western governments in conniving at the Jewish state's actions in its own region. The persistence in Israeli demands for war against Iran, preferable fought by the United States, was clear again this past week when the new government in Jerusalem declared that it would be increasing its military budget in anticipation of war with the Islamic Republic. Perhaps not surprisingly, the U.S. Congress also has several bills pending that would increase military assistance to Israel by a factor of three.

Comment: Israel is allowed to continue and expand its spy operation unabated. It defies logic - unless we consider its infiltration into the decision-making power structures within many governments. What we 'know' is merely the tip of the problem. And, that is its hedge.

See also:


Syringe

Biden orders plans for mandatory COVID vaccination for military personnel

Biden
© Sarahbeth Maney/The New York Times
US President Joe Biden remarks on COVID vaccination mandates
President Biden announced Thursday that he has instructed military officials to craft a plan for making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for service personnel.

"I think it's going to happen," Biden said of a military vaccine mandate during remarks at the White House.

He said it was only a question of when.

The news comes as Biden also announced that all federal employees will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or face weekly or twice weekly testing as well as mask mandates and distancing rules in the workplace.

"After months and months of cases going down, we're seeing a spike in COVID cases," Biden said in remarks at the White House. "Why? Because of this new form, this new variant called the delta variant."

The new rules for federal employees will affect more than 4 million Americans.

Briefcase

GOP senators request subpoenas for CDC and HHS for documents regarding school reopening coordination

Senators Johnson and Peters
© RealClearPolitics screenshot/Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP/KJN
Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) • Senator Gary Peters (D-MI)
A group of GOP Senators led by Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson sent a letter on Thursday to Democrat Sen. Gary Peters, the chairman of the Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, requesting that he initiate issuing subpoenas requesting information regarding school reopening guidance and coordination, plus unredacted copies of Dr. Anthony Fauci's emails.

The letter comes after the group sent two previous letters to the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health requesting the information.

The first letter was dated May 19, 2021, in which Sens. Rand Paul, James Lankford, and Josh Hawley requested all documents related to coordination between the CDC, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association regarding the drafting of federal school reopening guidance.

The senators alleged that the documents provided to them were only "a small subset of records that it had already made public through the Freedom of Information Act," stating that "these records contained the exact same FOIA markings as the public documents."

Comment: See also:


Padlock

Biden administration signals it is willing to return to lockdowns, school closures if recommended by CDC

Karine Jean-Pierre
© Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre
The Biden administration signaled during Thursday's White House press briefing that it is willing to return to lockdowns and school closures if the CDC and other experts recommend those strategies for stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Fox News reporter Peter Doocy said:
"President Biden says that we are not returning to lockdowns, shutdowns, and school closures, but he also once said that we didn't have to wear masks anymore once we were vaccinated. So why should Americans trust him now?"
Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded:
"Well, because we listen to the scientists, we listened to the expert[s]. This is a public health situation. This is not about politics at all. This is about saving lives. And this is what the president is all about. He wants to make sure that we are saving lives. If you look at ... the last six months, that's what he's done, every day. And you see that in the numbers. Now we're at a point where we have to double down and make it very, very clear to people that we can't, we can't let the pandemic win, we have to continue to fight."

Comment: Blinding...isn't it? No thought whatsoever.


Gold Bar

US Fed shows no sign of changing its loose monetary policy: Gold on course for best weekly gains in 2 months

gold bullion
© Reuters / Edgar Su
Gold prices are hovering around a two-week high as of Friday, showing the biggest weekly gains in over two months as the US Federal Reserve keeps key policy rates unchanged, engendering investors' optimism about commodity markets.

Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,829.10 per ounce at 09:17 GMT, before dropping back to $1,827.74 an ounce. On Thursday, the precious metal reached the highest price since July 15, at $1,832.40. Meanwhile, US gold futures eased 0.16% to $1,832.80.

Comment: Those countries with leadership that correctly perceive the outcome of the Fed policy have been preparing: Even state level officials are being prudent:

Texas gives Wall Street bankers gold finger, moves to extract its gold from FED


Bizarro Earth

Biden requests eviction moratorium extension, as gigantic aid fund sits undistributed and housing market starts to wobble

Bailiff eviction us
© Stephen Zenner/Getty Images, FILEStephen Zenner/Getty Images, FILE
Deputy Service Bailiff Michael Taylor signs a writ of eviction in the unincorporated community of Galloway, west of Columbus, Ohio, March 3, 2021.
The Biden administration on Thursday called on Congress to extend a federal freeze on evictions set to expire on Saturday, arguing its hands are tied by the Supreme Court.

The new statement comes as the country grapples with a COVID-19 surge fueled by the highly contagious delta variant.

The moratorium, essentially a nationwide ban on evictions, was put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last September. In June, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to allow the eviction ban to continue through the end of July but signaled in its ruling that it would block any further extensions unless there was "clear and specific congressional authorization."

Comment: RT reports:
What began in March as a limited ban on evicting tenants who received federal assistance soon snowballed into a total ban on evictions, with a realtors' group telling Biden back in January that 40 million Americans were already in arrears on rent, to the tune of $70 billion in missed payments.

Biden had already exhausted his own options by declaring a month-long extension of the benefits in June, at a time when 14% of American adult renters were behind on paying their landlords.

Many states have disbursed less than 5% of their share of the $45 billion Congress earmarked for such aid.

At least 3.6 million Americans were facing eviction within the next two months as of July 5, the US Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey showed. Eviction proceedings often take time to initiate, however, meaning many more may face a similar fate before the end of the year.

While federal Covid-19 assistance for those who kept their jobs - perhaps taking a pay cut or reducing to part-time - has topped out at only a few thousand dollars over the past 18 months, unemployment payments were for some time so lucrative that many gave up looking for work entirely, realizing they could make more money sitting at home collecting checks. These payments have doubtless saved millions more from potential eviction, but they're also starting to dry up as many states face worker shortages, meaning those jobless masses have to find work again.

Though the moratorium has failed to help some renters, it has succeeded in starving out the mom-and-pop landlords who couldn't afford to lose a year's worth of rent from their tenants, forcing them to sell their properties to their much larger institutional brethren, who increasingly control housing policy.

Only a third of these small landlords qualified for what little mortgage relief has been doled out, and none were spared the yearly expense of property taxes. But private equity firms such as Blackstone, with trillions of dollars in assets to absorb deadbeat tenants, have happily moved in to snap up entire neighborhoods, further driving up rents in a vicious cycle that invariably leaves the average American worse off.


Indeed, the private equity firms have apparently gotten greedy, buying up houses across the US for thousands of dollars more than they're worth. So much so, in fact, that, in an already hugely inflated market, home sales actually dropped unexpectedly for the month of June everywhere except the northeastern states.

This shocking halt to ever-increasing housing costs suggested to observers that the market might - at least temporarily - have bitten off more than it could chew. Biden may simply be trying to calm things down, but with Congress knee-deep in virtue-signaling hearings, it's unlikely it'll have time to actually stop what it's doing and save Americans' lives.
Meanwhile over in the UK housing market: UK house prices now 30% higher than pre-2008 crisis peak


X

And We Should Trust 'The Science' of the Pharma Industry?

Fauci
The forever-head of the US NIAID, Tony Fauci, has repeatedly demanded that the public "trust the science" as he shifts his own science opinion from one positon to another. What is never mentioned in mainstream media in the West or almost anywhere in the world is the scientific record of the major global vaccine making pharmaceutical giants. In short, it is abysmal and alarming in the extreme. That alone should prohibit governments from pushing radical untested experimental injections on their populations without extensive long-term animal and other testing to assure their safety.

This past April as the US vaccination program was in high gear, the Biden chief covid adviser, 80-year-old Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) since 1984, announced that the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had decided to order a "pause" on giving the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine in order to examine reports of blood clots. It turned out that there were six reported blood clot cases of some seven million who then had had the J&J covid jab. Fauci in his press remarks declared, "one of the things that's, I think, such a good thing about our system here, is that we're ruled by the science, not by any other consideration." There is good reason to question Fauci.

That was supposed to reassure people that the authorities were being ultra-careful with the experimental covid medications which, after all, never have been mass-tested on humans before and have only gotten "emergency use authorization," provisional FDA approval. The FDA quickly lifted the pause as J&J agreed to print that its vaccine could cause blood clots.

Yet at the same time, rival vaccine makers, Pfizer and Moderna, both using a hyper-experimental genetic treatment known as mRNA, were not being paused by "the science" despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of alarming vaccine-related severe reactions, including official data of several thousand deaths from both, had been recorded by CDC data base, VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System).

Vader

Blatant hypocrisy: US State Department lectures Cuba about human rights and living conditions

state dept
Today with the height of imperial arrogance and hubris, the US State Department issued a joint statement to further its plans to destroy Cuba and all the gains it has made in health, education and welfare. Lining up 20 spineless, neo liberal countries beholden to them and led by right wing governments including; Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Guatemala, Greece, Honduras, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Republic of Korea, and Ukraine to sign on to the statement that read in part,
"we condemn the mass arrests and detentions of protestors in Cuba and call on the government to respect the universal rights and freedoms of the Cuban people, including the free flow of information to all Cubans..... On July 11, tens of thousands of Cuban citizens participated in peaceful demonstrations across the country to protest deteriorating living conditions and to demand change. They exercised universal freedoms of expression and assembly, rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights..."

Eye 1

Pakistan mandates Covid-19 shots for public sector workers, vaccine passports for air travel, restaurants, and malls

pakistan mask
© REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
(FILE PHOTO)
The Pakistani government has said it will mandate vaccinations across a number of settings from August, including government offices, schools, restaurants, and shopping malls, despite less than 5% of citizens being inoculated.


Comment: If Pakistan's vaccine coercion has been anywhere near as extensive as India's, it's likely that the low figure, in large part, represents people's refusal of the jab, not a lack of availability: 200 villagers in India flee homes to avoid Covid vaccination - some jump into nearby river


On Thursday, Asad Umar, chief of the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), a military-run body in charge of the country's pandemic response, told a news conference that people in Pakistan will need to get vaccinated or be prepared for some tough restrictions on their daily lives.

Speaking alongside Health Minister Faisal Sultan, Umar announced that from August 1, all unvaccinated citizens will no longer be able to enter government offices, schools, restaurants, and shopping malls. Proof of vaccination will also be required for air travel, following a similar move outlined by the Saudi government.


Comment: Emulating the Saudi's should always give one pause for thought.