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Fri, 23 Apr 2021
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Iran, Saudi Arabia reportedly in direct talks to mend frayed ties

saudi arabia
© AP Photo / Hassan Ammar
Riyadh broke off diplomatic relations with Tehran in 2016 after its diplomatic facilities were attacked by Iranians protesting against the execution of a famous Shiite cleric in Saudi Arabia.

Senior Saudi and Iranian officials are in direct talks to resuscitate relations between Riyadh and Tehran, the UK newspaper Financial Times (FT) has cited unnamed sources as saying.

According to FT, the talks are seen as "the first significant political discussions between the two nations" since the 2016 break-up of bilateral ties, and they come amid US President Joe Biden's efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Comment: See also:


Dollars

Follow the money - Has the Federal Reserve kept 2 sets of books for the last 50 years?

US Debt
© USA Herald
A new take on the closing of the gold window (at least new to video), and just in time for the 50th anniversary of that fated day...

This episode of Mafiacracy Now shows that the Federal Reserve opened itself up to a massive blast of transparency the very minute it started selling cash and reserves not backed by gold (or anything else of value that the Fed can't freely generate) back in 1971.

The video leverages a recent law review article from an international team of prestigious legal scholars (and a lone economist), which makes the highly compelling case that once the gold window closed, cash and reserves alike ceased to qualify as liabilities — undercutting every central bank balance sheet in the west.

And since those balance sheets have been absolutely larded with sovereign debt for the last year — actually, let's make that "alleged debt" since it has no legal validity in the first place, not when the underlying liabilities fail to qualify legally as liabilities — the public and private debt burdens are being overstated to the tune of roughly $25 trillion across the western world.

Whoops.

Star of David

Rep. Betty McCollum leads effort to block Israel from using US Aid to destroy Palestinian homes

demolition crew
© Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images
Palestinians react as Israeli authorities prepare to demolish a house in Hebron, March 2, 2021.
Since 2015, Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., has been the leading congressional critic of Israel's military detention of Palestinian children, introducing multiple pieces of legislation that would bar Israel from using U.S. military aid to arrest Palestinian youth.

By targeting Israel's detention of Palestinian children — just one aspect of Israel's military occupation, but one that involved a highly vulnerable population — McCollum was attempting to make her bills appeal to the widest swath of Democrats possible. For most others in her party, the check the U.S. wrote to Israel every year was not up for debate.

McCollum is now planning to introduce legislation on Thursday that would bar U.S. aid from subsidizing a wider array of Israeli occupation tactics, an indication of just how far the debate over U.S. aid to Israel has come in the past six years. McCollum told The Intercept:
"There is nothing out of the ordinary about conditioning aid. ... All taxpayer funds provided by Congress to foreign governments in the form of aid are subject to conditions in a myriad of generally applicable laws, yet the $3.8 billion provided to Israel by the State Department has no country-specific conditions despite Israel's systemic violations of Palestinian human rights. I don't want $1 of U.S. aid to Israel paying for the military detention and abuse of Palestinian children, the demolition of Palestinian homes, or the annexation of Palestinian land."
McCollum's bill is the result of years of work by Palestinian rights activists to cut or condition aid to Israel. These calls have been fueled by reports of U.S.-made weapons being used to kill Palestinian civilians, whether with Hellfire missiles fired by Israeli fighter jets on homes in Gaza or with U.S.-made rifles used to gun down Palestinian protesters. Human rights organizations have documented the Israeli military's repeated use of bulldozers produced by the Illinois-based Caterpillar company to demolish Palestinian homes.

X

Florida Governor DeSantis: Lockdowns were a 'huge mistake'

DeSantis
© The Epoch Times
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in Tallahassee
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a statewide stay-at-home order on April 1 last year, locking down the Sunshine State for 30 days amid global panic about the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus outbreak. Sitting in his office exactly one year later, he told The Epoch Times that the lockdowns were a "huge mistake," including in his own state.

"We wanted to mitigate the damage. Now, in hindsight, the 15 days to slow the spread and the 30 — it didn't work," DeSantis said. "We shouldn't have gone down that road."

Florida's lockdown order was notably less strict than some of the stay-at-home measures imposed in other states. Recreational activities like walking, biking, playing golf, and beachgoing were allowed, while what constituted an "essential business" was broadly defined.

"Our economy kept going. It was much different than what you saw in some of those lockdown states."

However, the governor now regrets issuing the order at all and is convinced that states that have carried on with lockdowns are perpetuating a destructive blunder.

After the initial 30-day lockdown in Florida lapsed, DeSantis commenced a phased reopening. He faced fierce criticism at each stage from establishment media, as well as segments of his own constituency beholden to the lockdown narrative.

The governor fully reopened Florida on Sept. 25, 2020. When cases began to rise as part of the winter surge, he didn't reimpose any restrictions. While lockdown proponents forecasted doom and gloom, DeSantis stood his ground.

Brick Wall

Former Italian minister Matteo Salvini to face trial over standoff with migrant rescue ship

Matteo Salvini

Matteo Salvini
A judge in Sicily has ordered the former Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini to stand trial for refusing to let a Spanish migrant rescue ship dock in an Italian port in 2019, keeping the people at sea for days.

Judge Lorenzo Iannelli set 15 September as the trial date during a court hearing in Palermo, LaPresse news agency reported.

Salvini, who attended the hearing, confirmed the outcome and said he was only doing his job and his duty by refusing entry to the Open Arms rescue ship and the 147 people it had rescued in the Mediterranean Sea.

Citing the Italian constitution, Salvini tweeted that defending the country was the "sacred duty" of every Italian. "I'm going on trial for this, for having defended my country?" he said. "I'll go with my head held high, also in your name."

Comment: A look back:


Eye 2

Maxine Waters caught ranting about the Derek Chauvin trial. How is this not inciting violence? How is it not jury intimidation?

maxine waters not happy

Maxine Waters
Watch this clip of Maxine Waters talking about the Derek Chauvin trial. How is this not inciting violence? How is it not jury intimidation?

Maxine Waters is a sitting U.S. congressperson standing in a city where rioters have assaulted police and burned buildings and businesses to the ground, and she's calling for MORE violence if the Derek Chauvin verdict doesn't come back the way she wants.


Incredible privilege this woman enjoys, to be able to talk like that with no repercussions.

And the fact that she says George Floyd was a case of first-degree, premeditated murder shows that she has no idea what she's talking about whatsoever.

Despicable!

Comment: The author is right. How DOES this crazy woman continually get a pass?


MIB

Barack Obama is stepping out of shadows to aid Biden's struggling presidency

Biden and Obama
Former* President Barack Obama is returning to the public limelight to give the Biden administration a much-needed booster.

The extremely disconnected and often absent current president, who is constantly stalked by vice president Kamala Harris, shies away from press conferences and avoids unscripted exchanges with reporters, will be getting Obama's star power to rescue a major Biden administration program.

On Sunday, Obama will be hitting the airwaves on NBC to plug an hour-long endorsement of the Biden vaccine rollout. It has taken a major hiccup with the "pause" of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was tied to at least six cases of a rare blood-clotting disorder out of 7 million doses.

"President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama will appear in an hour-long NBC special on Sunday aimed at promoting Covid-19 vaccinations as they hope to convince hesitant Americans to get shots," CNN reported.

Not only will Obama show up to fill the empty suit that is the current president, but he will be joined by a slew of celebrities who can't wait to throw their clout behind another Democratic Party program (as if their misleading complaints about the Georgia voter law isn't bad enough).

Comment: RT highlighted that Obama said exactly that with a clip from an interview with Stephen Colbert in December, 2020:


See also:


Cow Skull

Kerry lunges into India with anti-Belt and Road Initiative agenda bringing green suicide for all

Kerry in India
Despite the fact that a "Green BRI doppelganger" has been on the books since 2018, the plan was generally acknowledged to be an unworkable green boondoggle and fell out of interest for quite some time. Now it is being revived.

As the China-Russian-Iran alliance continues to gain new momentum spreading win-win cooperation and development across Asia, Africa and the World, the dying unipolar system run by detached militarists, financiers and technocrats is doubling down on its weird mix of 1) a "scorched earth" offensive threat to "dissuade" China and Russia from continuing on their current trajectory and 2) a "positive" green game on which nations are invited to tie their destinies as an alternative to China's BRI.

Everyone reading this should already be aware of the "scorched earth" Full Spectrum dominance policy targeting Russia and China.

However, what is less appreciated even among the most geopolitically savvy anti-imperialists today is what sort of "positive" green game is being deployed to subvert the $3 trillion Belt and Road Initiative which has already won over 136 participating nations and which geopolicians understand to be a mortal threat to their desired world order.

Comment: More on John Kerry - who can be counted on to help implement Washington's very worst and most destructive policies:


Pumpkin 2

Biden's Russia policy ludicrous, unbelievable, contradictory & unprecedented: First offers Putin summit & then imposes sanctions

Biden meets Putin
© REUTERS / Alexander Natruskin
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden during their meeting in Moscow March 10, 2011.
Just a month ago, US President Joe Biden indicated he believes his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin is a "killer." But on Tuesday, he spoke to the 'killer' by phone and proposed that the pair meet for a face-to-face summit.

A few weeks is clearly a long time in politics.

So too, it seems, is a couple of days.

For on Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declared that a summit between Biden and Putin would not go ahead in the near future. That does not mean that Moscow has definitively rejected a meeting at some point later, but it is clear that the Kremlin is not inclined to indulge Biden for now.

Peskov's statement followed news that the United States was about to unveil a new set of economic sanctions against Russia, including measures to prevent American financial institutions from buying Moscow's sovereign debt. The US also expelled ten Russian diplomats.

Comment: See also:


Magnify

Hong Kong billionaire and newspaper tycoon Jimmy Lai gets 12 months in prison for role in anti-Beijing protests

Jimmy Lai
© REUTERS/Lam Yik
Media mogul Jimmy Lai Chee-ying (FILE PHOTO)
A prominent businessman and media tycoon has been jailed for one year by Chinese authorities for organizing and taking part in the unauthorized demonstrations which swept across Hong Kong in 2019 and 2020.

On Friday, Jimmy Lai, a Hong Kong billionaire and media tycoon was sentenced to one year in prison. The 73-year-old was one of nine in court on Friday who received sentences for their roles in an anti-Beijing protest which took place on August 18, 2019. Three of the nine also faced charges relating to a demonstration on August 31.

The August 18 protest was one of the largest to rock the former British colony, with an estimated 1.7 million people marching in opposition to a bill which would allow suspects to be extradited to mainland China for trial.

Comment: Foreign meddling in Hong Kong is well documented: