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Jan. 6 committee to start contempt proceedings against Meadows

Mark Meadows
© Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images
The Jan. 6 select committee plans to move forward with contempt proceedings against former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for his refusal to comply with the panel's subpoena.

Why it matters: The committee has used the threat of contempt — and the associated financial and reputational costs — to try to ensure evasive witnesses sit for their depositions.

Driving the news: Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) told Meadows' attorney George Terwilliger in a letter sent Tuesday that the panel is "left with no choice but to advance contempt proceedings and recommend that the body in which Mr. Meadows once served refer him for criminal prosecution."
  • The letter came after Terwilliger told the panel earlier Tuesday that Meadows would "decline the opportunity to appear voluntarily" for a planned deposition after failing to appear for one last month.
  • Thompson also skewered Meadows for writing in a book some of the information the committee is seeking from him. "That he would sell his telling of the facts of that day while denying a congressional committee the opportunity to ask him about the attack on our Capitol marks an historic and aggressive defiance of Congress," he wrote in the letter.

Bullseye

'Criminal' for Russia to allow NATO move into Ukraine - Putin

Putin
© Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel
Russia has legitimate fears over the risk of American military hardware being stationed close to its borders, the country's president, Vladimir Putin, has said, insisting he still hopes talks with Washington can ease tensions.

Speaking alongside Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at a press conference in Sochi on Wednesday, Putin said that "it would be criminal inaction on our side to spinelessly watch all that's taking place" when it comes to the prospect of neighboring Ukraine joining NATO.

According to him, "Russia conducts peace-loving foreign policy, but we have a right to provide for our own safety," cautioning that the US-led military bloc's weapons could be deployed further and further eastwards if Kiev's long-standing hopes for membership were granted.

However, Putin added, negotiations held the day before with American President Joe Biden could still help to de-escalate tensions that have flared between Moscow and Washington in recent weeks. "The talks were very open, substantive, and constructive. I hope that the American side sees the results the same way. We have the possibility of continuing the dialogue, that's the most important thing," the Russian leader added.

Gold Bar

The billionaire balloon

billionaires
© axious Visuals
The super-rich are getting stupid rich: New data out today shows the share of global wealth held by the richest slice of humanity swelled by almost a full percentage point during the pandemic.

Driving the news: The top 0.01% of individuals now hold about 11% of the world's wealth, compared to just over 10% in 2020, according to the "World Inequality Report 2022," written by Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.

Why it matters: Governments around the world spent vast sums to battle the pandemic, fueling massive appreciation in stocks and real estate.

The increase in billionaires' share of wealth from 2020 to 2021 was the steepest on record, the report says.

Zoom out: The study found poverty increased sharply in countries with weak welfare coverage. But massive government support in the U.S. and Europe mitigated some impact on lower earners, Reuters notes.

Go deeper: Read the report ... 236-page PDF.

Comment: Instilling fear and total control among the masses might be devastating for the finances of the average person, but it clearly has been profitable for the super wealthy.

See also:


Eagle

Austria: The abyss of chaotic tyranny? "Parliaments only serve to ratify what the dictators decide"

Interior Minister, Karl Nehammer

The new face of tyranny in Austria: Interior Minister, Karl Nehammer
Austria's politics are in disarray, to say the least. They may be entering "dangerous waters".

On 9 October 2021 Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (35) resigned from his chancellor position, but said he would remain in politics as a member of Parliament. The media said he was involved in "financial scandals". His friend and party ally (the conservative ÖVP - Austrian Peoples Party), then Foreign Minister, Alexander Schallenberg, took over as chancellor. Yesterday, 2 December - just two months after taking office, he resigned, but said he would remain in the post until his party agrees on a new leader.

Just hours earlier, Schallenberg's predecessor and People's Party leader Kurz said he was leaving politics altogether and would officially step down as party chair on Friday, 3 December. He cited family reasons. Mr. Kurz's wife just had a baby, and he wanted enjoy being a dad. Schallenberg too, mentioned family reasons.

"Family reasons" are always good reasons to escape politically sensitive jobs. Nobody can or dares to ask personal questions. Mr. Kurz was also said to have already a lucrative private sector job lined up.

What could possibly be complementary reasons? Maybe conscience, ethics? Or Fear? Austria was the first country to announce the most severe and drastic covid measures, including compulsory "vaccination" - forcing the public to take the untested gene-therapy jab (or worse), as of 1 February 2022.

Fire

Israel launches rare airstrikes on Syrian port close to Russian airbase

Latakia port
Shortly after 1am local time Israeli warplanes mounted a large-scale missile strike on Syria's key port of Latakia, igniting large fires as shipping containers were engulfed.

International reports underscored that "It was a rare attack on the city's port, a vital facility where much of Syria's imports are brought into the war-torn country." Indeed it was the first such known attack on Latakia's main port throughout the conflict which began over a decade ago.

Syrian state TV said at least five explosions were heard, with circulating social media videos from the site showing high-reaching flames.

The Israeli government didn't comment in the immediate aftermath, but its media is calling the attack a "gamechanger" in terms of drastically shifting the rules of engagement towards civilian ports. Over the course of prior years, Damascus International Airport has been struck several times. Typically the Israelis claim to be acting against Iranian weapons shipments.

Regional Al-Mayadeen media described that "A military source said in a statement to SANA that at around 1.32 a.m. today, the Israeli enemy carried out an air attack with several missiles from the direction of the Mediterranean, southwest of Latakia, targeting the container yard in the commercial port of Latakia."

Bullseye

Pope Francis compares EU's attempt to discourage use of word 'Christmas' to secular dictatorships like Nazism

Pope Francis
© Vatican Media.
Pope Francis speaks during an in-flight press conference on the journey from Athens to Rome, Dec. 6, 2021.
Pope Francis said on Monday that a withdrawn document discouraging European Commission staff from using the word "Christmas" was an "anachronism."

The pope was asked to comment on the 32-page internal document, called "#UnionOfEquality. European Commission Guidelines for Inclusive Communication," during his in-flight press conference en route from Greece to Italy on Dec. 6.

He noted that a series of ideologies had attempted to pull up Europe's Christian roots.

"You refer to the European Union document on Christmas... this is an anachronism," he said.

Comment: Over the years, Pope Francis has been a bit hit and miss, but his comments above reveal that he has some idea of the nefarious agenda afoot on our planet, and he is willing to, sometimes, speak out against it:


Bad Guys

Whistleblower condemns UK Foreign Office over chaotic Kabul evacuation

afghanistan kabul evacuation
© Akhter Gulfam/EPA
Afghans struggle to reach foreign forces to show their credentials to flee the country outside Kabul airport on 26 August 2021.
Tens of thousands of Afghans were unable to access UK help following the fall of Kabul because of turmoil and confusion in the Foreign Office, according to a devastating account by a whistleblower.

A former diplomat has claimed bureaucratic chaos, ministerial intervention, lack of planning and a short-hours culture in the department led to "people being left to die at the hands of the Taliban".


Comment: Whilst it's likely that some Aghans who aided the US in its war on Afghanistan will have been killed, the Taliban did announce an amnesty, and since the departure of the Western forces, the mainstream media haven't reported a significant number of deaths at 'the hands of the Taliban'.


The evidence of Raphael Marshall was deemed so serious that an internal inquiry was launched when he presented his account to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) permanent secretary, Sir Phillip Barton, at the end of August.

Comment: It should actually come as no surprise that the evacuation was given such scant resources and little attention till the last minute, because when did the West ever care about the welfare of Afghans? And for more on the Kabul evacuation chaos, check out SOTT radio's: NewsReal: Kabul Chaos Biden's Bay of Pigs?




Sheriff

Putin announces military partnership between Russia and India

Modi Putin
© Getty Images Sonu Mehta
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at Hyderabad House, on December 6, 2021 in New Delhi, India.
Russia and India have plans to work together across a range of military matters, including joint exercises, President Vladimir Putin revealed on Monday.

His comments came during a meeting with Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, in New Delhi to discuss the long-term partnership of their nations in a number of spheres, including energy, space travel, Covid-19 vaccine production, and medicine. Putin opened the discussions by explaining that the countries were planning to "develop relations in the international arena, as well as directly in the military sphere."

"We are conducting joint military exercises, in both Indian territory and Russian territory," he said. "We thank you for your attention to this component of our work. And we plan to work more in this direction."

Comment: See also:


Display

First images released from crucial Putin & Biden summit

Putin Biden
© kremlin.ru
US President Joe Biden • Russian President Vladimir Putin • Video Summit
Talks have begun between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Joe Biden, with the pair expected to discuss a range of issues, including how to de-escalate a worsening standoff over Ukraine.

Speaking via a secure video link on Tuesday, Biden told Putin that "we didn't get to see one another at the G20 - I hope next time we meet we do it in person." The Russian president only spoke virtually at the October meeting of world leaders, the Kremlin then citing the worsening Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

Following the televised introductions, the pair are due to hold talks in private, with Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, saying the discussion will go on "for as long as it takes." A number of areas are understood to be on the agenda, including US fears that Russia is preparing an invasion of neighboring Ukraine, which Moscow has consistently denied.
Speaking in advance of the meeting, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said that
"contact is badly needed, we have multiplying problems. There is no progression on bilateral affairs, which are more and more spiraling into a phase of acute crisis."

Comment: Progress comes with a price not many are ready and willing to pay.
A video conference between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden has ended after just over two hours.

A White House readout of the call said Biden voiced "deep concerns" of the US over Russia's "escalation of forces surrounding Ukraine" and threatened "strong economic and other measures in the event of military escalation." Ransomware and "regional issues such as Iran" were also brought up.

Biden is expected to contact Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, as well as the leaders of UK, France, Germany and Italy after his conversation with Putin, according to the White House. His national security adviser Jake Sullivan is scheduled to brief reporters on the call later in the day.
Here's Trump's prediction of the Putin-Biden meeting:
Trump protested that the upcoming meeting between Biden and Putin would not be "a fair match for our country," claiming:
"This is not a match that should even be allowed. The New England Patriots playing your high school football team - that's what you have right now."
On being asked about Biden's scheduled virtual meeting with Putin on Tuesday, during which the two will reportedly discuss Ukraine, Trump tore into the Biden administration and praised his own record of dealing with world leaders.


"We never had any problem. Nobody was tougher on Russia than I was. And I liked Putin - got along with him very well," Trump said on Newsmax's Spicer & Co, before boasting of his administration's opposition to Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline across Europe.
"I got along with Putin, but I was tough with Putin - tougher than anybody ever. And tougher than anybody on China. I got along great with Kim Jong-un, I got along great with President Xi of China, and I got along well with Putin, but I was tough with all of them."



X

Oppose this evil, or all that was once great and good in this world will be gone

Hobbiton
© demilked
Hobbiton
Without any shadow of doubt, we have entered one of the darkest periods in history. Just last week, following the example of other Governments, Frau Merkel announced the segregation of 12 million Untermenshcen, describing it as an "act of national solidarity". Remarkable for many reasons, not least of which the language being eerily reminiscent of the Tag der Nationalen Solidarität (Day of National Solidarity), which was instituted by Frau Merkel's most infamous predecessor back in 1934. Meanwhile in Australia, along with the internment camps they have built there, the authorities in the Northern Territories are now subjecting the Aboriginal folk to the kind of treatment we had all been taught could never happen in a so-called democracy, but this has elicited not a peep from the kinds of people who've spent the last few years tearing down statues of people they claim did some of the things to indigenous people that are now being done to indigenous people. It is of course much easier to attack people who have been dead 200 years than find the courage you don't have to deal with the sins and evils of the day.