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Mon, 29 Nov 2021
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Dozens of soldiers feared injured & killed in new Armenia-Azerbaijan fighting

soldier
© Reuters/Aziz Karimov
Several Azerbaijani soldiers have been wounded or killed in the latest round of skirmishes on the country's border with Armenia, Baku's Ministry of Defense has claimed amid fears clashes will undermine a Moscow-brokered ceasefire.

In a press release issued on Wednesday, Azerbaijani military chiefs announced that seven of their troops had died during combat operations on the shared frontier as a result of what it has described as "Armenian provocations." A further 10 servicemen were also reportedly injured in the fighting.

The Armenian side also announced it was dealing with an unknown number of casualties. The Ministry of Defense in Yerevan said on Wednesday that one of its servicemen had died, but revealed communication had been lost with a further two dozen, and that their fates are currently unknown.

Comment: Moscow has become the 'pressure valve' for these two adversaries:
Armenia has accused Azerbaijan of invading its territory and capturing a dozen servicemen and four positions along the border. Baku's forces are using tanks and artillery as well, MoD Yerevan claimed.

Azerbaijan said it was acting in self-defense, targeting Armenian anti-tank weapons that fired on its positions over the weekend.

Russia helped mediate an end to the fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh in November 2020, which saw Azerbaijan recapture most of the disputed territory held by the Armenians since a bloody conflict in the early 1990s. The mountainous region, populated mainly by ethnic Armenians, is located inside Azerbaijan's internationally recognized borders and has been a bone of contention between the two Transcaucasian countries since they declared independence from the Soviet Union.
See also:


Bizarro Earth

Davos billionaires want to save the planet... Why don't developing countries trust them?

World Economic forum
For the time being, the world's developing sector is generally not going to accept being sacrificed on the altar of a new Gaia cult managed by a priesthood of Davos billionaires.

A miracle appears to be happening, as the multibillionaires of the World Economic Forum (WEF) appear to have grown consciences.

As if by magic, it appears that these gold collar elites no longer yearn for profit and power as they once had. As COP26 closes up its 12 day annual ceremonies, leading WEF-connected figures like Prince Charles, Jeff Bezos, Mario Draghi, Mark Carney and Klaus Schwab have announced a new system of economics that is based on virtue over profit!

According to the COP26 website, "95 high profile companies from a range of sectors commit to being 'Nature Positive,' agreeing to work towards halting and reversing the decline of nature by 2030."

Prince Charles has boasted that he has coordinated 300 companies representing over $60 trillion to get on board with a global green transition, and after meeting with the Prince on November 2, Jeff Bezos announced his new $2 billion Earth Fund to protect nature's ecosystems with a focus on Africa. Even Prime Minister Mario Draghi has joined Mark Carney on this new green path, as both men have moved beyond their old Goldman Sachs money worshipping days and embraced a better destiny. At the Nov 1 G20 Summit, Draghi embraced Prince Charles' Green Markets Initiative and threw Italy's full support behind the de-carbonization initiative.

Rocket

Boris' solution for Europe freezing from gas shortage - Start hot war with Russia

Boris Johnson
As the saying attributed to Karl Marx goes: history repeats itself first as tragedy then as farce. Another axiom cited by Boris's hero Winston Churchill is: those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Europe should give up supplies of natural gas from Russia and instead defend Ukraine and Poland. That's the plucky advice of Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson who counts wartime leader Winston Churchill as one of his political heroes.

Addressing a City of London banquet this week, Johnson warned Germany, France, Italy and other European governments: "We hope that our friends [in Europe] may recognize that a choice is shortly coming between mainlining ever more Russian hydrocarbons in giant new pipelines and sticking up for Ukraine and championing the cause of peace and stability."

Note the pejorative use of the word "mainlining" which implies Europe's trade with Russia for gas is a sordid addiction, rather than a mutual commercial partnership.

Johnson also pointed to British troops being deployed to Poland helping that country construct barbed-wire barriers for halting the flow of refugees from Belarus as an example of "defending Europe".

Briefcase

US and China agree to relax visa restrictions on each others' journalists

china u.s. flags  china u.s. journalists
© Agence France-Presse
A deal has been reached to relax visa restrictions for US and Chinese foreign correspondents.
The United States and China have reached an agreement to relax visa restrictions on their respective foreign correspondents, the US State Department said on Tuesday, confirming reports by Chinese state media.

The agreement will see both sides agree to extend journalist visas from the current three months to a year. News of the pact came after US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke for three and a half hours on Monday evening about ways to "responsibly manage" competition between the two powers.

The agreement was first reported by Chinese state-run outlets, including the China Daily newspaper late on Tuesday. The deal was later confirmed by both the US State Department and Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.

Comment: Biden commented further on the conversation:
The US remains committed to the 'One-China policy' in the Taiwan Relations Act and opposes any attempts to alter the status quo in the region, President Biden said after a lengthy phone call with China's Xi Jinping.

"We are not going to change our policy at all," Biden told reporters on Tuesday at an event in New Hampshire. "We made very clear we support the Taiwan [Relations] Act and that's it."

Biden also denied the US was supporting Taiwan's aspirations for independence.

"I said that they have to decide... Taiwan, not us," he said. "We are not encouraging independence, we are encouraging that they do exactly what the Taiwan Act requires."

The 1979 law governs relations between the US and the island, which China considers part of its sovereign territory but which has been ruled by the exiled nationalists since 1949, after the Communists defeated them in the Chinese civil war.

Biden's comments follow a 3.5-hour call with Xi on Monday, reportedly dominated by the subject of Taiwan. The official White House readout of the call said the US "remains committed to the 'one-China' policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances."

Washington also "strongly opposes" any move to alter the status quo in the region or "undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," the statement added.

The White House had to "clarify" Biden's comments last month, when he told a CNN town hall the US had a "commitment" to defend Taipei under the TRA.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen told CNN a few days later she had "faith" the US would ride to her defense in case of an attack from the mainland, and confirmed that there was a small number of US troops on the island.

Meanwhile, Beijing has made it clear that China is prepared to use "decisive measures" to reintegrate the island if necessary. China will never change its position on Taiwan, its ambassador to the EU, Zhang Ming, said on Tuesday.

"If anything changes, it is that the Chinese people's resolve to realize complete reunification of our country grows even stronger," he told an online event hosted by a Brussels think tank.



Arrow Down

Slovakia to restrict the unvaccinated to tame COVID surge

Slovakia
© Roman Hanc/TASR via AP
People stand in line to test for COVID-19 in Michalovce, Slovakia, Monday, Oct. 25, 2021. Slovakia is planning to limit movement of the non-vaccinated people in an effort to tame the latest wave of coronavirus infections that has caused a "critical" situation in the country's hospitals. On Tuesday Nov. 16, Slovakia's Prime Minister Eduard Heger said his government will vote on Thursday on the latest proposals by an advisory group of its medical experts.
Slovakia is planning new restrictions on unvaccinated people in an effort to tame the latest surge of coronavirus infections that has caused a "critical" situation in the country's hospitals, the prime minister said Tuesday.

Prime Minister Eduard Heger said his government will vote Thursday on the latest proposals by an advisory group of medical experts that will be effective for three weeks. Among the proposed measures, people who have not been vaccinated will be banned from all non-essential stores, shopping malls, gyms, pools and hotels. They also won't be allowed to attend any mass public gatherings like sports events.

"The situation in hospitals is critical," Heger said, adding that some hospitals are already at their limit for COVID-19 patients in their intensive care units and have been transferring new patients to other facilities.

Dollar Gold

At $514 trillion, China overtakes US in terms of amassing the biggest net worth

national GDP balance sheet
Over the last two decades, global wealth tripled, with China leading the way and overtaking the US for the top spot globally.

In a new report, the research arm of consulting firm McKinsey & Co. examines the national balance sheets of ten countries which together account for more than 60 per cent of world income.

The world is now wealthier than it has ever been, says Jan Mischke, a partner at the McKinsey Global Institute in Zurich.

The study says global wealth rose from $156 trillion in 2000 to $514 trillion in 2020. A third of the increase was accounted for by China. Its wealth increased from $7 trillion in 2000, when it joined the World Trade Organization, to $120 trillion in 2015, speeding its economic ascent.

Attention

The road to fascism: Paved with vaccine mandates and corporate collusion

"Man is born free but everywhere is in chains." — Jean-Jacques Rousseau
March to Fascism
© A Government of Wolves.com
We are moving fast down the road to fascism.

This COVID-19 pandemic has shifted us into high gear.

The heavy-handed collusion between the Techno-Corporate State and the U.S. government over vaccine mandates is merely the latest manifestation of the extent to which fascist forces are working to overthrow our constitutional republic and nullify the rights of the individual.

In early November 2021, the Biden Administration drew its line in the sand for more than 100 million American workers: get vaccinated against COVID-19 (by Nov. 22 for federal workers, and Jan. 4 for federal contractors and companies with more than 100 employees) or else.

Or else what?

For many individuals with sincere objections to the vaccine, either based on their religious beliefs or some other medical or philosophical concern, non-compliance with workplace vaccine mandates will mean losing their jobs and the possibility of no unemployment benefits.

One survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management estimated that 28% of employed Americans wouldn't get a COVID vaccine even if it meant losing their jobs.

Although OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is requiring that employees be paid for the time it takes to get vaccinated and recover from any side effects, those who refuse to get vaccinated but keep their jobs will have to test negative for COVID weekly and could be made to shoulder the costs of those weekly tests. Healthcare workers are not being given an option for testing: it's the vaccine or nothing.

To give the government's arm-twisting some added strength, companies that violate the workplace mandate rules "can face fines of up to $13,653 per violation for serious violations and 10 times that for willful or repeated violations."

In other words, as Katrina Trinko writes for USA Today, "the government is turning employers — who are not paid by, nor work for, the government — into an army of vaccine enforcers."

Control Panel

Biden's banking nominee calls to eliminate all 'private bank accounts'

Saule Omarova
Saule Omarova, President Joe Biden's nominee for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), called during a March 2021 virtual conference to eliminate all private bank accounts and deposits.

Omarova spoke at the Law and Political Economy (LPE) Project's "Law & Political Economy: Democracy Beyond Neoliberalism" conference in March.

Omarova discussed one of her papers, "The People's Ledger How to Democratize Money and Finance the Economy," which would help "redesign" the financial system and make the economy "more equitable for everyone."

She said it would change the "private-public power balance" and democratize finance to a more systemic level.

During her explanation of her paper, she said that the Federal Reserve, the nation's central bank, can only use "indirect levers" to "induce private banks to increase their lending."

Her paper calls for eliminating all banks and transferring all bank deposits to "FedAccounts" at the Federal Reserve.

Satellite

Russia confirms testing anti-satellite missiles

Earth from Space
© dima zel
The Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed that it conducted a missile test that hit and destroyed an old, inoperable satellite one day after the US State Department accused Moscow of being "irresponsible" and "reckless."

According to the ministry, the test took place on Monday and hit a Soviet-era Celina-D type reconnaissance satellite, which has been in orbit since 1982. This information corresponds with assertions made by Western media that the target was Kosmos-1408, an Electronic and Signals Intelligence satellite.

Russia described the decision to conduct the test as a planned activity to strengthen its defense capabilities and a way to prevent "the possibility of sudden damage to the country's security in the space sphere and on the ground."

Following the statement, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu personally commented on the missile strike, noting the satellite had been hit with great precision. The announcement comes after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the missile strike:
"This test has so far generated over fifteen hundred pieces of trackable orbital debris and will likely generate hundreds of thousands of pieces of smaller orbital debris. The long-lived debris created by this dangerous and irresponsible test will now threaten satellites and other space objects that are vital to all nations' security, economic, and scientific interests for decades to come."

Network

Cyber attacks on the UK hit new record - with COVID vaccine research prime target

GCHQ
© Sky News
GCHQ
Britain's cyber security agency had to tackle a record 777 cyber incidents over the past year, with coronavirus vaccine research a prime target for attack. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of GCHQ, said a number of the incidents were linked to hostile states, including Russia and China.

This included a global hacking campaign, blamed on Russia's foreign intelligence service, which impacted the US government most significantly. The so-called SolarWinds breach is regarded as "one of the most serious cyber intrusions of recent times", the NCSC said in its annual review.

Another major incident, linked to a Chinese state-backed actor, involved an attack on Microsoft.

Sir Jeremy Fleming, the director of GCHQ, described them both in the review as "two of the most serious global cyber incidents we've seen in recent years".