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EU official threatens Musk's Twitter with sanctions over 'wild west' free speech policy

Věra Jourová
© Euronews Next screenshot
European Commission’s Vice President for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová speaking about Musk's leadership of Twitter.
European Commissioner for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová warned that Twitter must follow European standards on speech or pay the price.

European politician Věra Jourová warned Elon Musk from the World Economic Forum in Davos that Twitter will face "sanctions" if it does not shut down some forms of speech.

Jourová, the European Commission's Vice President for Values and Transparency, told Euronews Next that Twitter may face penalties for enabling free speech in violation of European Union regulations. "The time of the Wild West is over," she said.

Comment: The interview reported on above:

Blue Planet

Russian warship armed with hypersonics to join drills with China, South Africa navies

frigate Gorshkov
© Dmitri Lovetsky/ AP
Russian frigate named 'Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov' moored in the Neva River during the Navy Day celebration in St Petersburg, Russia, last July

Comment: The propaganda media - using a Telegram channel as their 'source', and in defiance of all common sense - are hysterically spinning this story as: Putin's navy frigate armed with hypersonic missiles 'sailed towards US in the Atlantic in a show of strength' after passing Britain.

A Russian warship armed with hypersonic cruise weapons will take part in exercises with the Chinese and South African navies in February, according to Russia's state-owned TASS news agency.

The report on Monday was the first official mention of the participation by the Russian frigate Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov.

The frigate is armed with Zircon missiles, which fly at nine times the speed of sound and have a range of more than 1,000km (620 miles).

Comment: Note: The US is in a race to develop hypersonic weapons, and there are no signs it will achieve that goal anytime soon, Russia, on the other hand, as Putin has noted, has reached at least Mach 20: Moscow warns West of 'global tragedy' if its territory is threatened by Western weapons

Also check out SOTT radio's: NewsReal: Germany Sending Tanks to 'Save Ukraine' - WEF Meets to 'Save The Planet'


There's no hiding Biden's fright over classified document scandal

biden classified docs
© Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP
President Biden claimed he has "no regrets" over his handling of classified documents
Joe Biden is panicking.

An astonishing fifth trove of classified documents was discovered in the president's Delaware mansion Friday, not by his own lawyers this time, but during a more thorough, 13-hour search by the Department of Justice while he holed up in his beach house in Rehoboth, which ought to be next on the DOJ search list.

Biden's Attorney General Merrick Garland has had the audacity to appoint a special counsel to investigate Biden.

His long-term trusted factotum Ron Klain is bailing out.

And someone at the White House is throwing his trusted longtime executive assistant Kathy Chung under the bus. The Washington Post quoted an anonymous insider last week saying that Chung "has confided to associates that she is distressed that she might have inadvertently been involved in moving or storing classified material at the center, planting the seeds of the current uproar." The fact that the loyal Chung was personally poached by Hunter Biden in 2012 to work for his father in the VP's office apparently counts for nothing when it comes to offloading blame from the president.

Comment: Yeah, what about that Biden 'transparency'?


War between West, Russia no longer hybrid, but real, says Lavrov

© Russian Foreign Ministry/TASS
Russian FM Sergey Lavrov
What is going on in Ukraine is no longer a hybrid war, but a real war between the West and Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday at a press conference following talks with South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor.
"When we talk about what is going on in Ukraine, we are talking about the fact that this is no longer a hybrid war, but a real one the West has been preparing for a long time against Russia, trying to destroy everything Russian: from language to culture, which has been in Ukraine for centuries, and forbidding people to speak their native language.

"In Ukraine, this is all common practice. Both the former president [of Ukraine, Pyotr] Poroshenko and the current one [Vladimir] Zelensky, who were elected under the slogan of establishing peace, immediately after being elected turned into war presidents, Russophobe presidents."

Comment: Governments are elected to serve the people. Most do not.

Arrow Up

Why US-China trade is on track to break records despite all the politics

© Sebastien Bozon/AFP
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen • Chinese vice-premier Liu He • January, 2023
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met in Switzerland last week to manage differences and "prevent competition from becoming anything ever near conflict."

It was the highest-ranking contact between the two sides since their respective presidents met last November - and it couldn't be at a better time. Amid all the talk of decoupling, the importance of the US-China relationship looms large.

According to a recent Bloomberg report, trade between the US and China is on track to break records despite heavy talk from Washington politicians of decoupling from the Asian powerhouse. The report says this is "a signal of resilient links between the world's top economies amid the heated national security rhetoric in Washington."

Federal government data through November 2022 shows that imports and exports last year will add up to an all-time high, or at least come very close. We won't have the complete picture from the US side until February - but Beijing's full-year figures show a record trade balance of $760 billion.

Despite the administration of President Joe Biden's 'Buy American' plan and trade protectionist policies like the Inflation Reduction Act, all signs are pointing to increased trade with China. That is also despite the trade war initiated by his predecessor, former president Donald Trump, and several ongoing World Trade Organization (WTO) disputes.


Germany is rewriting history to blame Russia for its own bad decisions

© Kay Nietfeld/picture alliance/Getty Images
Federal Minister Economy and Climate Protection Robert Habeck
The German town of Brunsbuttel, near Hamburg, received a new floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on Friday, another step in the country's search to replace the gas supplies it now can't get from Russia.

Small protests in the vicinity of the port held by locals unhappy with the new facility belied the official fanfare. Meanwhile, wider criticism has been levelled against Berlin's efforts to boost gas imports by both land and sea, which climate activists believe to be very environmentally unfriendly.

German Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck, of the Green Party, said:
"The new terminal was necessary because half of the gas supply to Germany stopped, because [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has cut it off. Now the supply has been stopped completely and it will not come back to us."
Except that's not how it all went down.

Comment: Self-inflicted, revealing incompetence and bias, Germany should never have closed down its viable sources of energy including cheap Russian gas. It will now 'pay' for its mistakes.
Germany is a long way from fully substituting Russian pipeline gas supplies with liquefied natural gas (LNG), estimates by the country's Economy Ministry show.

According to a document published on the Bundestag website, Germany imported 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Russian natural gas in 2021. The document also shows that Germany's new Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FSRUs), which are currently being installed in a number of ports to allow the import of LNG, may reach a similar capacity no sooner than in 2026.

By 2030, those capacities are projected to increase to 76.5 bcm, or about 80% of total German gas consumption in 2021. However, the ministry notes that even once the terminals go online, the global LNG market may not have enough capacity to cover additional demand, which could push these dates further.

The ministry notes that the country's gas storage facilities are currently well-filled, and there is no immediate danger of gas shortages. However, it acknowledges that once the stores run dry later this year and the time comes to refill them for the next heating season, Germany may face shortages. According to calculations by the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, Germany faces a supply gap of around 30 bcm of gas this year, and the FRSUs are projected to produce less than half of this volume by the end of 2023.

Christian Leye, a Bundestag Left Party representative, told Bloomberg:
"The truth is, there won't be enough in the next three to four years of LNG production capacity in the world to meet the growing demand. So the unspoken strategy is that Germany will continue to pay crazy prices and other, less rich countries go empty-handed."
A problem is the cost of LNG imports, which is estimated to be four times more expensive than Russian pipeline deliveries. Germany may also face supply constraints if the Netherlands goes through with recently announced plans to shut down the Groningen gas field, the region's largest gas deposit.


Moscow's special op exposed Pentagon's biolab scheme in Ukraine, says key Russian MP

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS
Russian State Duma Deputy Speaker Irina Yarovaya
The Pentagon's clandestine biological project was laid bare primarily thanks to Russia's special military operation and the work of the commission, Irina Yarovaya, co-chair of the parliamentary panel - looking into the work of US biolabs in Ukraine and Deputy Speaker of the State Duma, said on Monday.

At a meeting of the commission, she said:
"The disclosure of the Pentagon's secret and very hazardous biological project in Ukraine became possible first of all due to the special military operation and our investigation. And we see that this has sparked enormous interest, including public interest in the United States itself.

"The task of the commission is to set forth all the evidence that has been investigated in a reasoned, consistent and systematic way, which fully confirms the unsound military-biological project run by the US in Ukraine as part of a larger, dangerous and aggressive plan for the military-biological colonization of the world."

Comment: See also:


Can you smell what the Year of the Rabbit is cooking?

Chinese City
© REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Liu He studied economics at Renmin University in China and got a Master's from Harvard. Since 2018, he's one of China's Vice Premiers - along with Han Zheng, Sun Chunlan, and Hu Chunhua. He's a Director of the Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission and heads the China Financial Stability and Development Committee. Anyone around the world who wants to know what will drive China's economy in the Year of the Rabbit must pay attention to Liu He.

Davos 2023 has come and gone: an extended exercise in Demented Dystopia with peaks of paroxysm. At least a measure of reality was offered by Liu He's address. A limited but competent analysis of what he said is infinitely more useful than torrents of barely disguised Sinophobic "research" vomited by U.S. Think Tankland.

Liu He pointed to some key numbers for the Chinese economy in 2022. Overall 3% growth may not be groundbreaking; but what matters is value-added for high-tech manufacturing and equipment manufacturing going up by 7.4% and 5.6% respectively. What this means is that Chinese industrial capacity continues to move up the value chain.

Trade, predictably, reigns supreme: the total value of imports and exports reached the equivalent of $6,215 trillion in 2022; that's an increase of 7.7% over 2021.

Liu He also made it clear that improving the wealth of Chinese citizens remains a key priority, as enounced in the 2022 Party Congress: the number of middle class Chinese, by 2035, should jump from the current 400 million to an astonishing 900 million.

Liu He pointedly explained that everything about Chinese reforms revolves around the notion of establishing "a socialist market economy". This translates as "let the market play a decisive role in resources allocation, let the government play a better role." That has absolutely nothing to do with Beijing privileging a planned economy. As Liu He detailed, "we will deepen SOE [State-Owned Enterprises] reform, support the private sector, and promote fair competition, anti-monopoly and entrepreneurship."

China is reaching the next level, economically: that translates as building, as fast as possible, an innovation-driven commercial base. Specific targets include finance, tech, and greater productivity in industry, as in applying more robotics.

On the fin-tech front, a resurgent Hong Kong is bound to play an extremely important role starting by 2024 - most of it in consequence of several Wealth Management Connect mechanisms.

Enter, or re-enter the key role of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area - one the key development nodes of 21st century China.

What is known as the Greater Bay Area's Wealth Management Connect is a set up that allows wealthy investors from the nine mainland cities that compose the area to invest in yuan-denominated financial products issued by banks in Hong Kong and Macao - and vice-versa. What this means in practice is opening up mainland China's financial markets even further.

So expect a new Hong Kong boom by 2025. All those dejected by the collective West's morass, start making plans.

No Entry

US defense industry unprepared for war with China

fighter jets china
© Xinhua
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, fighter jets of the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conduct a joint combat training exercises around the Taiwan Island on Aug. 7, 2022.
The U.S. defense industry is "not adequately prepared" for "a protracted conventional war" with an enemy such as China, according to a think tank study published Monday.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) ran a war games simulation that found that the U.S. would likely be depleted of some of its munitions, including long-range, precision-guided ones, in less than a week of war with China in the Taiwan Strait.

The U.S.'s use of weapons would exceed the Department of Defense's stockpile, which would make sustaining a long-term war conflict "difficult," especially as China is investing in munitions and other weapons systems five to six times faster than the U.S., according to the study.

The Russia-Ukraine war exposed the shortfalls of the U.S.'s defense industry, CSIS said, with the study finding that the nation's inventories of some weapons, including Javelin anti-armor systems and Stinger anti-aircraft systems, are running low as the U.S. committed to sending more of these systems to Ukraine. The U.S. committed to sending more than 8,500 Javelin systems and more than 1,600 Stinger systems to Ukraine, leaving its own inventory low, according to the report.


The most egregious mistake

American Demise
© REUTERS/Carlos Barria
It is the miscalculation of this era - one that may begin the collapse of dollar primacy, and therefore, global compliance with U.S. political demands, too. But its most grievous content is that it corners the U.S. into promoting dangerous Ukrainian escalation against Russia directly (i.e. Crimea).

Washington dares not - indeed cannot - yield on dollar primacy, the ultimate signifier for 'American decline'. And so the U.S. government is hostage to its financial hegemony in a way that is rarely fully understood.

The Biden Team cannot withdraw its fantastical narrative of Russia's imminent humiliation; they have bet the House on it. Yet it has become an existential issue for the U.S. precisely because of this egregious initial miscalculation that has been subsequently levered-up into a preposterous narrative of a floundering, at any moment 'collapsing' Russia.

What then is this 'Great Surprise' - the almost completely unforeseen event of recent geo-politics that has so shaken U.S. expectations, and which takes the world to the precipice?

It is, in a word, Resilience. The Resilience displayed by the Russian economy after the West had committed the entire weight of its financial resources to crushing Russia. The West bore down on Russia in every conceivable way - via financial, cultural and psychological war - and with real military war as the follow-through.

Yet, Russia has survived, and survived relatively handsomely. It is doing 'okay' - maybe better, even, than many Russia insiders were expecting. The 'Anglo' Intelligence services however, had assured EU leaders not to worry; it's 'slam dunk'; Putin cannot possibly survive. Rapid financial and political collapse, they promised, was certain under the tsunami of western sanctions.

Their analysis represents an Intelligence failure on a par with the non-existent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. But instead of critical re-examination, as events failed to provide confirmation, they doubled down. But two such failures are just 'too much' to bear.

So why does this 'failed expectation' constitute such a world-shaking moment for our era? It is because the West fears that its miscalculation might well lead to the collapse of its dollar hegemony. But the fear extends well beyond that too - (bad as 'that' would be from the U.S. perspective).