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Mon, 06 Dec 2021
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Kremlin lays out who it believes is behind 'hysteria' around possible Ukraine invasion

russian troops soldiers training exercise
© Sputnik / Konstantin Mihalchevskiy
Russian servicemen take part in an amphibious assault exercise along the coast held by army corps and naval infantry units of the Russian Black Sea Fleet at the Opuk training ground near Kerch, Crimea, Russia.
Suggestions that Russia is planning an attack on Ukraine are completely groundless, and the entire scenario is being whipped up by media outlets, with the backing of top political leaders in Kiev, the Kremlin claimed on Sunday.

Speaking to the press, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov slammed the accusation as simply "wrong."

"This hysteria, which is being stirred up now in the Anglo-Saxon media, in the Ukrainian media, and is supported by Ukrainian politicians led by the head of state [President Volodymyr Zelensky], is absolutely unacceptable," Peskov said.



Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's resignation leaves behind content controversy, sagging stock

jack dorsey twitter
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey said Monday he'd step down as CEO after a series of missteps — including the censoring of a bombshell story on Hunter Biden — and a share price that stubbornly lagged behind peers.

The long-bearded and nose-ringed Dorsey, who had been under pressure from hard-charging billionaire Paul Singer's hedge fund Elliott Management after doing double duty as CEO of Twitter and payments giant Square, said a hand-picked successor, Parag Agrawal, would succeed him.

Agrawal, who started at Twitter in 2011 as a software engineer and has served since 2017 as the company's chief technology officer, could more forcefully push the company toward arenas beyond its 280-character social posts. He has led Twitter's artificial intelligence and machine-learning efforts.


Bait-and-switch: India now to impose lockdowns over air pollution

air pollution india
© Amal KS/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
India Gate in New Delhi, India, amid smog seen on November 15, 2021.
Pollution levels in New Delhi, considered the world's most contaminated capital city, have gone off the charts in recent weeks.

Authorities in India plan to enforce a new lockdown to combat air pollution in New Delhi, the world's most polluted capital city.

Pollution levels in some parts of city have registered off the charts several times over the past fortnight. On Tuesday, the air quality index scored 437 out of a maximum 500 points.

Indian cities have long struggled with pollution, but levels spike each winter as fumes from farmers burning their crops mix with pollution from cars and industrial plants, the Associated Press reported.

Comment: Alternative journalists such as James Corbett and Catherine Austin Fitts have been warning for some time that this move was coming. Even the NY Post had an article about it not too long ago:
As a recent Nature journal piece notes, COVID-19 lockdowns have prepared people for "personal carbon allowances." Restrictions on individual freedoms "that were unthinkable only one year before" have us "more prepared to accept the tracking and limitations" to "achieve a safer climate," the piece notes.

And many self-professed defenders of our "democracy" have been clamoring for the Department of Health and Human Services to take unilateral action and treat climate as a "public health issue" or to declare a "climate emergency." The White House has given the issue a required identity-based twist, noting that global warming's risks "disproportionately affect poor and minority communities." (Which reminds me of P.J. O'Rourke's old joke about NPR coverage: "World To End — Poor and Minorities Hardest-Hit.")

Americans experienced the authoritarian reach of government during the pandemic. We see what normalizing those ideas can look like in Australia.


Afghanistan: The Taliban begin their 'war on drugs' - addiction treatment first priority

taliban fighter bridge kabul afghanistan
© AFP / Bulent Kilic
A Taliban fighter stands guard next to a bridge where hundreds of addicted people gather in Kabul, Afghanistan, on October 9, 2021.
RT has got a sneak peek into the Taliban's drugs war by talking to patients and doctors at a Kabul hospital. The group promised a 'narcotics-free' Afghanistan as it took power in mid-August and has since set some plans in motion.

Millions of Afghans are addicted to drugs. Up to 10% of the nation's population - roughly 3.5 million people, including 800,000 women and children - take drugs, according to Ahmed Zahir Sultani, the head of a Kabul hospital responsible for the rehabilitation of drug addicts.

Comment: The current Afghanistan government is trying to address the mess left by the U.S. occupation. When the first, far more militant version of the Taliban took power, they reduced the opium trade by nearly 90%. Of course the CIA and their NATO lackeys weren't taking kindly to having one of their major black funding sources cut off, so a new war was instigated to take it back. The Afghan people were the one to suffer. They deserve the world's help.


Who gains from Ethiopia Tigray war?

NATO tank
If you want to know who is likely to be at war, just look at who is given the Nobel Peace Prize by the Norwegian (NATO) Parliament. Obama got it just days into office before he escalated the war in Afghanistan. Henry Kissinger got it in the 1970'S. And two years ago the Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed got the prize for making "peace" with Eritrea. Within a year, the much-praised peace deal between Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea's dictator, President Isaias Afwerki, the two had united to wage war against the Ethiopian Tigray people in the province bordering Eritrea. The alliance of the two was clearly about eliminating the powerful formerly-ruling Tigray minority. Who now stands to gain in the growing debacle?

Today the reality is that Abiy Ahmed and his demoralized soldiers are in dire straits as the better-trained Tigray guerilla forces of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), approach Addis Ababa. There is good reason to believe that Biden's Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, is manipulating events behind the scenes and not for peaceful resolution.

Nominally, the war was launched by Abiy because the Tigray state disobeyed the new government's covid ban on scheduled elections. Clearly the Tigray, who ruled Ethiopia as a minority ethnic group for almost three decades until 2018 - when it was forced by popular protests to yield rule to Abiy - were at a severe disadvantage, as Abiy gave a green light to Eritrea's brutal dictator, Isaias, to invade the Ethiopian Tigray state from the north while Abiy's military attacked from the south. Isaias's soldiers carried out murder of thousands of Tigray civilians and carried out war crimes including rape and pillage in what has been called ethnic cleansing. The Eritrean forces, estimated at some 80,000 occupied a third of the region of Tigray. All communications were cut by the invaders.

Pumpkin 2

New book claims Hunter Biden was gifted $80,000 diamond in shady Chinese deal

protest hunter biden poster
© REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
The Biden family offered their services to a huge, Chinese government-linked energy consortium to expand its business around the world. How do we know? Because of hundreds of emails documenting the deal found on Hunter Biden's laptop, left in a Delaware repair shop in April 2019. In her new book, Laptop from Hell, New York Post columnist Miranda Devine tells the tale:

James Gilliar, a wiry, 56-year-old British ex-SAS officer, got to know Ye Jianming, the 40-year-old chairman of CEFC, when they were both working in the Czech Republic.

CEFC was a Chinese conglomerate, one of the largest energy companies in the world.

Ye's task was to spend $1.5 billion as quickly as possible to ensure the Czech Republic would become China's "Gateway to the European Union," a priority of President Xi Jinping.

To that end, Ye bought everything from a football team and a brewery to an airline, before being named "special economic adviser" to Czech President Milos Zeman.

Comment: Why aren't the lot of them in jail?

Mr. Potato

Snoozefest! 'Top' Democrats' 2024 presidential election list revealed if Biden doesn't run

sleepy biden
US Vice President Kamala Harris and former First Lady Michelle Obama would, by a wide margin, be the Democratic Party's top choices for presidential election 2024, if incumbent president Joe Biden does not run, a new poll shows.

According to the Hill-HarrisX poll revealed on Friday, Harris enjoys the support of 13% of Democrats asked while Obama, who insists that she does not have presidential ambitions despite her popularity among Democratic voters, received 10%.

Other candidates - 2020 campaign participants Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, serving Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and businessman Andrew Yang - got the backing of 5% or less.


Concerned DOJ tries to ban Bannon from disclosing Jan 6 docs

Steve Bannon
© REUTERS/Jim Bourg
Prosecutors are asking a judge to deny Steve Bannon's request to make evidence in his contempt of Congress trial public, accusing the adviser to former President Donald Trump of attempting to "try this case in the media."

Prosecutors asked earlier this month that a protective order be issued that would limit what Bannon and his lawyers can release from the 'discovery' process to the public or media. This would include grand jury transcripts that led to the actual indictment.

The material is essential for a defense to build their case for a trial, but Bannon's lawyers have made clear through their own request with the court that they believe the protective order is "burdensome and restrictive." Bannon's lawyers also argued prosecutors were asking for too much leeway in what they get to determine is too "sensitive" to release to the public.


Russia investigates complaint over Netflix LGBT content

netflix sign
© REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Russian officials are investigating a complaint against Netflix after the public commissioner for protecting families accused the company of violating a "gay propaganda" law, according to Reuters. The commissioner claimed that some Netflix content with LGBTQIA+ themes was rated suitable for those aged 16 and older. The country's laws do not allow the distribution of "propaganda on non-traditional sexual relations" among under 18s.

If the Interior Ministry ultimately deems that Netflix has broken the law, it faces a fine of up to a million rubles ($13,390). More significantly, the service could be temporarily suspended.


Shanghai Data Exchange: How China is set to surpass US in data trade & technological competition

© AFP 2021 / Johannes Eisele
The Shanghai Data Exchange (SDE) kicked off trading on 25 November, seeking to build nothing short of a new vast and well-regulated market for data. While the Western mainstream media appear to have largely overlooked the event, some American economists see it as a huge transformative development.

Last Thursday, the Shanghai Data Exchange offered 20 data products covering eight categories, such as finance, transportation, and communication, and including flight information from China Eastern Airlines, and various data from the nation's largest firms, including China Eastern Airlines and telecom operators China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom, according the SDE website.

About 100 data traders inked their first transactions during the SDE's first day online, while third-party law firms reached agreements with the exchange to ensure transaction safety. One of the first SDE transactions involved the Shanghai branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, which concluded a deal to instrumentalise data from the State Grid's Shanghai Municipal Electric Power Co to help improve its financial products, the South China Morning Post detailed.

Comment: See also: And check out SOTT radio's: NewsReal: Why You Should Question Media Reports About China 'Causing Covid' And 'Invading Taiwan'