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Thu, 06 May 2021
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'Global reset' needed to fight pandemics, Germany's Health minister claims, as WHO & Merkel set up global policy hub in Berlin

© Reuters / John Macdougall
German Health Minister Jens Spahn in Berlin, Germany, April 29, 2021
A "global reset" is needed to fight future pandemics, Germany's Health Minister Jens Spahn told a World Health Organization (WHO) briefing on Wednesday as the UN agency announced the creation of a new research hub in Berlin.

Spahn highlighted the findings of a review into the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which will be officially announced at the WHO's World Health Assembly later this month.

The authors of the report will call for "nothing less than a global reset in pandemic preparedness" and say that the world needs to focus on the "next crisis," Spahn said.

Comment: The only crisis that our world is facing is one of encroaching totalitarianism that's using the relatively harmless coronavirus as cover.

Comment: See also:


Iran will leave Vienna at the end of the month if Biden doesn't lift all sanctions

Iranian delegation
© unknown
Iranian delegation to Vienna
Iranian and Western delegations returned to their capitals after the third Vienna round, with optimism emanating from the statements of the gathered officials. Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi issued positive information about the US lifting sanctions on energy, economic sectors, shipping, freedom of transportation, banks, and on many Iranian personalities. The negotiations have reached a stage where the elaboration of complex texts is on the table. Also, there were talks about the US releasing more than 90 billion dollars withheld from Iranian funds and another 20 billion frozen in Iraq, Korea and China from oil revenues. No details have been discussed so far about the interest on these funds held for many years due to US sanctions.

There was also talk about the possibility of exchanging Iranian prisoners held in America, who number 18, including 7 in critical health condition, and others of Iranian - Western double nationality holders (American and British) detained in Iran on charges of espionage. This is an old Iranian demand that Iran insists on ending everything in one single exchange.

No Entry

Facebook oversight board upholds Trump ban, calls for further 'reexamination' to determine final penalty

© Reuters/Erin Scott
Facebook Chair and CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook's Oversight Board ruled on Wednesday morning to uphold the suspension of former President Trump, after banning him from the platform in the wake of the January 6 riot at the Capitol.

However, the Board also called on Facebook to "reexamine" the indefinite nature of the ban, ordering the company to decide on an "appropriate penalty" within six months. The ruling leaves open the possibility that Facebook will restore Trump's account at some point in the future.

"If Facebook determines that Mr. Trump's accounts should be restored, Facebook should apply its rules to that decision," the ruling states.

The Board upheld Facebook's decision to temporarily ban Trump after the riots, saying two of the president's posts on January 6 violated company guidelines.
"The Board found that, in maintaining an unfounded narrative of electoral fraud and persistent calls to action, Mr. Trump created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible. At the time of Mr. Trump's posts, there was a clear, immediate risk of harm and his words of support for those involved in the riots legitimized their violent actions."

Comment: Facebook created facts to fit a chosen narrative that required its response.

See also:


Kamala Harris declares: 'Lack of climate adaptation and climate resilience' as 'root causes' of migrant surge; critics unconvinced

© Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
Vice President Kamala Harris
Vice President Kamala Harris again addressed the migrant surge at the US' southern border, this time citing a 'lack of climate adaptation' and 'resilience' as some root causes of the problem. Her critics weren't convinced.

Speaking at the Washington Conference on the Americas on Tuesday, Harris acknowledged the recent surge at the US-Mexico border, saying people are leaving their homes at "an alarming rate."
"We want to help people find hope at home. And so we are focused on addressing both the acute factors and the root causes of migration. And I believe this is an important distinction. We must focus on both. Catastrophes like hurricanes, the drought, and the extreme food insecurity are driving people to illegally cross the border."
Then she turned to the "root causes" which she named as
"corruption, violence, and poverty, as well as the lack of economic opportunity, the lack of climate adaptation and climate resilience, the lack of good governance."
Since being charged with heading the handling of the crisis at the border, Harris has faced criticism for her lack of physical trips and direct addresses on the matter. Conservatives were instantly skeptical of her effort to connect the current border crisis with climate change.

Comment: Washington is where the 'fault' 'lies'.

Star of David

Netanyahu again fails to form government, returns mandate to President Rivlin

© 124 News
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has failed to form a government coalition three times in the past two years. Now, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has three days to decide the fate of the mandate to form the government.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin announced on Tuesday that the period of 28 days to form a government coalition allotted to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expired at midnight, with the PM returning the mandate to the president shortly before the deadline passed.
"Shortly before midnight, Netanyahu informed Beit HaNasi [official residence of the president of Israel] that he was unable to form a government and returned the mandate to the president. Tomorrow morning, Wednesday 5 May/23 Iyyar, Beit HaNasi will contact the parties in the Knesset regarding the process of forming a government."
This is the third time Netanyahu has failed to form a government in two years.

Comment: If Netayahu had a plan up his sleeve, he would have used it by now.
Israel's president picks Yair Lapid to form new government
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has told Yair Lapid to form a new government as the nation has been locked in political limbo after having four Knesset elections in just two years.

According to the announcement, the Yesh Atid party leader has the best chance of forming a coalition.
"It is clear that Knesset member Yair Lapid has a chance to form a government that will earn the confidence of the Knesset, though the difficulties be many."
Lapid now has 28 days to form a Cabinet. If he fails to secure the backing of 61 of 120 lawmakers for a new coalition, the parliament will have to be dissolved again, pushing the country to yet another round of elections.

If Lapid manages to form the government, he could dethrone Netanyahu, who has been the country's prime minsiter since 2009.

Seen as Netanyahu's strongest rival, Yair Lapid has been chairing the biggest opposition faction in the Knesset since the present government was sworn in.


Corporate news outlets again 'confirm' the same false story, while many refuse to correct it

© Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images
Attorney Rudy Giuliani appeared before Michigan House Oversight Committee
Lansing Michigan • December 2, 2020
One of the primary plagues of corporate journalism, which I have documented more times than I can count, just reared its ugly head again to deceive millions of people with fake news. When one large news outlet publishes a false story based on whispers from anonymous security state agents with the CIA or FBI, other news outlets quickly purport that they have "independently confirmed" the false story, in order to bolster its credibility (oh, it must be true since other outlets have also confirmed it).

This is an obvious scam — they have not "independently confirmed" anything but rather merely acted as servants to the same lying security state agents who planted the original false storybut they do it over and over, creating the deceitful perception that a fake story has been "confirmed" by multiple outlets, thus bolstering its credibility in the public mind. It was the favored tactic for spreading debunked Russiagate frauds and is still used. One of the most vivid examples occurred in December, 2017, when CNN falsely reported what it hyped as "a major bombshell": that Donald Trump, Jr. had advance access to the WikiLeaks archive. Within an hour, NBC News' Ken Dilanian and CBS News both claimed they had "independently confirmed" this fairy tale. When it turned out that it was a complete lie, all based on a false date on an email to Trump Jr., these outlets embarrassingly corrected it hours later and then simply moved on as if it never happened, never explaining how multiple outlets could possibly have all "independently confirmed" the same blatant falsehood.

On Thursday night, The Washington Post, citing anonymous sources (of course), claimed that the FBI gave a "defensive briefing" to Rudy Giuliani in 2019, before he traveled to Ukraine, that he was being targeted by a Russian disinformation campaign to hurt Joe Biden's candidacy, yet he ignored the FBI's warnings and went anyway. The Post also claimed that the right-wing news outlet OANN was similarly briefed. The claim about Giuliani not only predictably ricocheted all over social media and cable news — where, as usual, it was uncritically treated as Truth — but it was shortly thereafter "independently confirmed" by both NBC News' de facto CIA spokesman Ken Dilanian along with The New York Times.


Bucking Biden's push for 'equity,' US states are outlawing critical race theory in schools and public agencies

equity protest
© Reuters/Caitlin Ochs
Protesters in Portland, Oregon march for reforms to justice system
President Joe Biden may have revoked his predecessor's ban on critical race theory and embraced its concept of "equity," but several US states have adopted laws against the doctrine, setting up a showdown with the White House.

On Tuesday, Arkansas passed legislation banning critical race theory (CRT) "indoctrination" in public agencies and prohibiting the state from promoting collective guilt, segregation, racial stereotyping or scapegoating.

Idaho was the first state to ban public schools from promoting CRT last month, followed by Oklahoma. Similar proposals are currently being considered by state lawmakers in Texas and Tennessee.

Comment: See also:


It doesn't matter if it isn't true: No matter how many times it's debunked, Western anti-Russian propaganda is immune to facts

Anti-Trump protest
Anti-Trump protest Times Square, New York, USA.
For most people, propaganda has simply come to mean deception and lies. However, throughout history, the dark arts of media manipulation have long been known to be a far more powerful tool than falsehoods and dishonesty alone.

The concept of propaganda was seen by its pioneers, New York-born Walter Lippmann and Austro-Hungarian press agent Edward Bernays, as something of an exact science. Lippman cautioned that democracies have an inclination to use it to manufacture the consent of the public, while Bernays dubbed the growing discipline 'public relations,' in order to avoid the negative connotations.

As the world has become more complex, people have relied more and more on stereotypes and simplifications to help them interpret and filter events around them. Propaganda manipulates this desire for simplicity - handing people easy answers rather than winning them over with rational arguments. Society then rallies around these stereotypes and squashes dissents with 'herd mentality', an irrational set of psychological behaviors where individuals are swept along with a group, overriding their own rational assessments.

Comment: More on the background and development of propaganda as a system of control:


State Department denies reports of prisoner swap with Iran

iran flag
© Getty Images
The State Department on Sunday denied reports of a prisoner swap deal between the United States and Iran.

"Reports that a prisoner swap deal has been reached are not true," State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement. "As we have said, we always raise the cases of Americans detained or missing in Iran. We will not stop until we are able to reunite them with their families."

Iran state television reported Sunday that Iran had agreed to free four American prisoners in exchange for four Iranians being held in the U.S. and the release of billions in frozen Iranian dollars, according to The Associated Press and Reuters.

White House chief of staff Ron Klain also denied the reports during an appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation."

Control Panel

Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and the dangers of programmable money explained

Dominic Frisby with Money, Markets & Other Matters talks about the war on cash and central bank digital currency, known as CBDC. He questions if CBDCs are "the final step into the brave new world - Orwellian great reset dystopia - we seem to be heading towards" or are they "the onramp to the Bitcoin motorway." He said the answer is "both."

Frisby points out the biggest issue with CBDCs is that digital money is "programmable," which means the issuer, such as the Federal Reserve or the Bank of England, can build specific rules into it. He said cash grants users freedom and power.

Programmable money, such as CBDCs, means the user has even less control over their money. Frisby said almost any kind of rule could be coded into CBDCs. He provides an example of China mulling over the idea of expiry dates for its digital money. This means those holding the programmable money have to spend the money by a specific time or it disappears from their account.

Comment: See also: