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Thu, 22 Apr 2021
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In huge reversal, China now calls Bitcoin "investment alternative" after years of crackdowns

Bitcoin in China
With both India and Turkey cracking down on bitcoin, is China set to warm to the cryptocurrency that it has been waging a not so quiet capital control war with for the past four years? In a dramatic and material shift in Beijing's tone after a crackdown on cryptocurrency issuance and trading nearly four years ago, CNBC reported that China's central bank is now calling bitcoin an "investment alternative."

Industry insiders called the comments "progressive" and are watching closely for any regulatory changes made by the People's Bank of China.

"We regard Bitcoin and stablecoin as crypto assets ... These are investment alternatives," Li Bo, deputy governor of the PBOC, said on Sunday during a panel hosted by CNBC at the Boao Forum for Asia.

"They are not currency per se. And so the main role we see for crypto assets going forward, the main role is investment alternative" he added.

Whereas back in 2017, China was the world's largest buyers of bitcoin as local savers and speculators used crypto to bypass China's great capital firewall, Beijing promptly cracked down on this practice and not only banned so-called initial coin offerings but also shut down local cryptocurrency exchanges. The moves were prompted by concerns about financial stability. As a result, most of the recent activity has been driven by the US, not Asia... but that could soon change.

Cult

Who needs flying monkeys? Kamala's KHive trolls are boosted by bots while media lackeys defend harassment campaigns

kamala harris khive trolls harassment
© The Grayzone
While the media defends KHive's disturbing attacks on critics of Kamala Harris, new findings reveal a Democratic Party-linked bot farm amplified its leaders.

An April 8 LA Times profile of the "KHive" attempted to put a positive spin on Twitter's nest of Vice President Kamala Harris super fans, omitting the group's online abuses, offline harassment, and alarming origins. Describing the KHive as "the type of modern political army that politicians increasingly rely on for both support and defense," the LA Times painted its members as political realists united by a desire to defend one of the most powerful politicians in the country from unfair attacks.

It turns out that Harris' "modern political army" was manufactured with the aid of an even larger army of fake Twitter accounts. After the term "KHive" was formally branded by MSNBC pundits like Joy Reid, KHive leaders received a boost from a Democratic Party operative-controlled bot farm. One of the people most advanced by the botnet is the widely recognized founder of KHive, Bianca Delarosa.

Comment: Interesting to note that the woman at the center of the troll farm operation, Sally Albright, has managed to scrub all her images off the net. Sounds like professional backing.


MIB

The CIA Used To Infiltrate The Media. Now The CIA Is The Media

cia operation mockingbird

The CIA's Operation Mockingbird has succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of any Soviet propagandist
Back in the good old days, when things were more innocent and simple, the psychopathic Central Intelligence Agency had to covertly infiltrate the news media to manipulate the information Americans were consuming about their nation and the world. Nowadays, there is no meaningful separation between the news media and the CIA at all.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald just highlighted an interesting point about the reporting by The New York Times on the so-called "Bountygate" story the outlet broke in June of last year about the Russian government trying to pay Taliban-linked fighters to attack US soldiers in Afghanistan.

"One of the NYT reporters who originally broke the Russia bounty story (originally attributed to unnamed 'intelligence officials') say today that it was a CIA claim," Greenwald tweeted. "So media outlets - again - repeated CIA stories with no questioning: congrats to all."

Cross

Covid passports 'most dangerous policy proposal ever made' - UK's church leaders warn PM in open letter

vaccine covid
© PA Media
More than 1,200 church leaders have urged PM Boris Johnson not to introduce Covid vaccine certificates, saying they are an "unethical form of coercion".

In an open letter, the leaders - who include Anglican and Catholic ministers - warn passports could create a "surveillance state".

The government says it is reviewing whether to use vaccine certificates and "no decisions have been taken".

The UK equality watchdog says passports could create a "two-tier society".

Comment: Back in September, 700 church leaders announced that they would not comply with yet another lockdown, however the government imposed restrictions for another 5 months and the majority of the church complied, shutting their doors to the congregation over the most sacred of holidays, including Christmas and Easter.

Recently, some churches, from Canada to the UK and France, have attempted to remain open and have found themselves raided by police and their clergy arrested. And it would appear that the most resistant churches have been led by clergy from countries that have more direct experience with totalitarian regimes: Also check out SOTT radio's:


Syringe

Fauci blasted for criticizing vaccine hesitancy while backing tough Covid restrictions and deeming gun violence 'public health issue'

fauci stupid science mask
© Susan Walsh/Pool via REUTERS
White House advisor Anthony Fauci is being blasted by critics for attacking Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy while continuing to promote restrictions even for those inoculated, and weighing in on gun violence as a "public health issue."

Asked about recent polling showing nearly half of Republicans are still hesitant about receiving a Covid-19 vaccine, White House health advisor Fauci called the trend "frustrating" and "paradoxical."

"It's almost paradoxical that, on the one hand, they want to be relieved of the [public health] restrictions, but, on the other hand, they don't want to get vaccinated. It just almost doesn't make any sense," he told CNN on Sunday.

Comment: See also:


Yoda

Grayzone's Aaron Maté debunks OPCW's Syria lies and confronts US, UK on cover-up in UN presentation

Aaron Mate grayzone pushback real news

Aaron Mate
In remarks to the UN Security Council, Aaron Maté of The Grayzone debunks the OPCW's lies about its Syria cover-up scandal and challenges the US and UK on their role.

Speaking to the United Nations Security Council, Aaron Maté of The Grayzone takes apart the OPCW's excuses for refusing to address the organization's Syria cover-up scandal.

OPCW inspectors found no evidence to support allegations of a Syrian government chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma in April 2018. But their findings were suppressed, and the team was sidelined.

Comment: Some of Aaron Maté's excellent reporting on the OPCW:


Vader

Irish govt goes 'full Covid', deploys military to force int'l arrivals into 'quarantine centers' for 2 weeks


Comment: The kicker is that they make YOU pay for it...


ireland lockdown quarantine

Irish soldiers escort arrivals at Dublin Airport to their train-car. Er, coach...
Brussels has urged Ireland to consider easing tough restrictions that require many EU travelers to enter a minimum 10-day hotel quarantine.

The European Commission on Friday sent a letter to Ireland, voicing concern about a mandatory hotel quarantine regime for coronavirus for travelers from some member states.

Five EU countries — Austria, Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg — are on a list of countries from which travelers must pay almost 2,000 euros to quarantine for up to 14 days in secure hotels.

Spokesman Christian Wigand told journalists the issue raised "concerns" under principles of EU law when it came to proportionality and non-discrimination amid the pandemic.

"The commission believes that the objective pursued by Ireland, which is the protection of public health during the pandemic, could be achieved by less restrictive measures," Wigand said.

The letter asked for "clarifications on this matter and on the criteria used to determine the designated countries," Wigand said. He added that Ireland had 10 days to respond to the letter.

Comment: Geebus, this move is too extreme even for the European Commission.

Ireland's descent into totalitarianism has seen it march in lockstep with the other ardently fascist anglophone regimes - New Zealand, Canada and the UK. Uniquely, however, Ireland's is the harshest (and the longest) lockdown in the broader Western world.


Network

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.