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Tue, 21 Mar 2023
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Saudi king invites Iranian president to Riyadh - official

© AP/Bandar Aljaloud
King Salman of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia's King Salman has invited Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to a meeting in Riyadh, Raisi's deputy chief of staff said on Sunday. Planning is also underway for a meeting between the two countries' foreign ministers, after a Chinese-mediated deal restored diplomatic relations following a seven-year rift.

Salman extended the invitation in a letter to Raisi, Deputy Chief of Staff Mohammad Jamshidi wrote on Twitter on Sunday. "Welcoming this invitation, the president emphasized Iran's readiness to strengthen cooperation," Jamshidi added. In a follow-up tweet in English, Jamshidi stated that Salman referred to Saudi Arabia and Iran as "brotherly countries" in his letter.

Saudi Arabia and Iran announced last week that they would restore diplomatic ties and commit to "non-interference" in each other's internal affairs, in a landmark deal brokered by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Preparations have been underway to reopen embassies in Riyadh and Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian told Tehran's state media on Sunday.


Operation Babylift and the hypocrisy of the International Criminal Court

Compare Putin's supposed abduction of Ukrainian children to an organized mass kidnapping of Vietnamese children.
Ops Babylift
© Substack
In the "collective West," hypocrisy rules the narrative, most recently in regard to the ICC and the "kidnapped" children of Ukraine.

In America, the scurrilous neocon and warmonger propagandist Max Boot weighed in on the meaningless and unenforcible decision to arrest President Putin. Boot's argument is delusional, but then neocons thrive on lies and delusions.

Propaganda, pure and simple. Boot is an accessory to mass murder, having advocated the invasion of Iraq, the slaughter of over a million Iraqis, and the engineered destruction of their country.


Ellen Brown: The Looming Quadrillion Dollar Derivatives Tsunami

Sillicon valley bank
On Friday, March 10, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) collapsed and was taken over by federal regulators. SVB was the 16th largest bank in the country and its bankruptcy was the second largest in U.S. history, following Washington Mutual in 2008. Despite its size, SVB was not a "systemically important financial institution" (SIFI) as defined in the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires insolvent SIFIs to "bail in" the money of their creditors to recapitalize themselves.

Technically, the cutoff for SIFIs is $250 billion in assets. However, the reason they are called "systemically important" is not their asset size but the fact that their failure could bring down the whole financial system. That designation comes chiefly from their exposure to derivatives, the global casino that is so highly interconnected that it is a "house of cards." Pull out one card and the whole house collapses. SVB held $27.7 billion in derivatives, no small sum, but it is only .05% of the $55,387 billion ($55.387 trillion) held by JPMorgan, the largest U.S. derivatives bank.

SVB could be the canary in the coal mine foreshadowing the fate of other over-extended banks, but its collapse is not the sort of "systemic risk" predicted to trigger "contagion." As reported by CNN:


Hunter Biden files countersuit against laptop repairman John Paul Mac Isaac, alleging privacy violations

john paul mac isaac
© Fox News Digital
John Paul Mac Isaac, owner of the Delaware computer repair shop Hunter Biden abandoned his laptop at in 2019.
The president's son claims that repair shop owner John Paul Mac Issac illicitly distributed his personal data.

Hunter Biden has filed a countersuit against John Paul Mac Isaac, the computer repair shop owner who turned a laptop belonging to the president's son over to authorities and members of the press.

The lawsuit claims that Isaac illicitly distributed Hunter Biden's personal data and accuses him of six counts of invasion of privacy.

Comment: See also:


China, Russia 'deploying space weapons to attack US satellites', Space Force chief claims following $3.7 billion budget increase

Chance Saltzman
© AP Photo/Alex Brandon
U.S. Space Force Gen. B. Chance Saltzman, Chief of Space Operations, speaks during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces to examine United States Space Force programs in review of the Fiscal Year 2024 Defense Authorization Request, Tuesday, March 14, 2023, in Washington.
China's military has deployed 347 satellites, including 35 launched in the past six months, to target U.S. forces in a future conflict, the commander of the Space Force told a Senate hearing on Tuesday.

Space Force Gen. B. Chance Saltzman said Russia is also testing and deploying orbital anti-satellite weapons, extensive cyber capabilities and land-based anti-satellite missiles, electronic jammers and lasers.

China's more advanced space warfare weapons pose "the most immediate threat" to attacks in space, while less-capable Russian space assets also pose "an acute threat" of attacks or disruptions on U.S. satellites.

Comment: Is this rhetoric part of the pivot from the West's war against Russia in Ukraine, to the obvious new front against China?

Comment: OK, so the chief's performance was, at least in part, to justify draining the taxpayer of even more US funny money?

Much of the above probably reveals more about what the US is up to - as well as its pathological paranoia - but it's also reasonable to suppose that Russia and China have been working diligently to counter any possible US offensive; that's in addition, and probably secondary, to them becoming world leaders in space innovation and exploration: See also: Watch Russian military put another top secret "inspection" satellite into orbit

Better Earth

Putin welcomes China's 'constructive role' in solving Ukraine crisis

putin xi jinping
© Sputnik/Sergey Bobylev/Pool via REUTERS
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with Chinese President Xi Jinping before an extended-format meeting of heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit (SCO) member states in Samarkand, Uzbekistan September 16, 2022.
Vladimir Putin has welcomed China's willingness to play a "constructive role" in solving in what he called the Ukraine "crisis", in an article released on the eve of a visit by his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

In what the Kremlin said was an article written for a Chinese newspaper on Sunday, the Russian president called Xi his "good old friend" and said Russia had high hopes for his visit, the Chinese leader's first to Russia since Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine last year.

Xi's visit comes just days after the international criminal court (ICC) in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Putin for overseeing the abduction of Ukrainian children. Neither China nor Russia are members of the court or recognise its jurisdiction.

Comment: And the ICC wasn't recognized by the US when it threatened to investigate its soldiers war crimes. Nor does it seem to have issued any other arrest warrants for the relentless and heinous criminality committed by the West and its allies - such as Israel - so why would anyone take anything it says seriously now?


South Africa to deploy military ahead of 'nationwide shutdown' by unions & protest organisations demanding President's resignation

President Cyril Ramaphosa

FILE PHOTO: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Among the reasons for Monday’s expected nationwide protest is a call for Ramaphosa’s resignation, but the president said that the only way that would happen was through a vote, not a government overthrow.
Among the reasons for Monday's expected nationwide protest is a call for Ramaphosa's resignation, but the president said that the only way that would happen was through a vote, not a government overthrow.

President Cyril Ramaphosa issued a stern warning to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and other organisations involved in the planned national shutdown that disorder and anarchy would not be tolerated.

The EFF is expected to lead a nationwide protest on Monday, with the South African federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) also joining.

Comment: On Monday 20th March, The Zimbabwe Mail reports:
Parliament Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondo have confirmed that they received a letter from the head of state that thousands of soldiers have been deployed across the country before the shutdown.

The government has taken a step of sending soldiers to various parts of the country to avoid any damage to infrastructure and other key installations.

Parliament said President Cyril Ramaphosa told the two presiding officers that more than 3 400 soldiers had been deployed from this weekend until April 17.

When riots happened in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng the government sent in soldiers.

The government is expected to spend over R166 million for the deployment of the army for the period set out by the president.

Ramaphosa's deployment of the army was to ensure that citizens were protected against any violence after threats were made, Vincent Magwenya, the president's spokesperson, said.

"The correspondence to the presiding officers, dated March 17, indicated that 3 474 members of the SANDF have been deployed, effective from March 17 to April 17. The employment is in line with section 201(2) of the Constitution and section 19 of the Defence Act. An amount of R166 562 058 is expected to be incurred for this deployment," said Parliament.

SOTT Logo Radio

NewsReal: Trump Under Arrest? Putin Wanted by ICC? Globalists Gunning For Nationalist Leaders

trump arrest newsreal
© Sott.net
Is Trump about to be arrested? He certainly thinks so, and has put out a call for people to protest in his defense. Curiously, last week Pakistan's 'Trump', Imran Khan, narrowly avoided arrest when his supporters took to the streets in their thousands to prevent police executing a warrant. And then there's the ICC's 'international arrest warrant' for Putin, wanted for 'war crimes against children'...

As the Battle for Bakhmut - and thus all Ukraine, it seems - reaches boiling point, the Russian military last week directly and openly clashed with the US. And... nothing! At least, no WW3.

All that came out of it was Washington 'shaming' Moscow for "environmentally-unsound flying."

Running Time: 01:28:03

Download: MP3 — 60.5 MB


Russia's Putin makes surprise trip to "occupied" (liberated) Mariupol

putin visit mariupol
© Associated Press
March 19, 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to local residents at their new flat during his visit to Mariupol in Russian-controlled Donetsk region, Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the occupied port city of Mariupol, his first trip to Ukrainian territory that Moscow illegally annexed in September and a show of defiance after the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest on war crimes charges.

Putin arrived in Mariupol late Saturday after visiting Crimea, southwest of Mariupol, to mark the ninth anniversary of the Black Sea peninsula´s annexation from Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Sunday. He was shown chatting with Mariupol residents and visiting an art school and a children´s center in Sevastopol, Crimea.

Mariupol became a worldwide symbol of resistance after outgunned and outmanned Ukrainian forces held out in a steel mill there for nearly three months before Moscow finally took control of it in May. Much of the city was pounded to rubble by Russian shelling.

Comment: Note that in less than a year, residents are being moved into new apartments. See above

Comment: RT's less hysterical take:
Putin's trip to Donbass was 'spontaneous'

The Russian president made an unplanned stop in Mariupol where he met with locals and checked on the restoration of the city

Russian President Vladimir Putin's surprise visit to the Donbass region was largely "spontaneous" and effectively turned into a full-fledged "working trip," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov revealed on Sunday.

The overnight trip was the first time Putin has visited Donbass since it broke away from Ukraine in 2014. it was eventually incorporated into Russia following referendums last year.

During Putin's stay in the city of Mariupol, he met locals and visited flats in a newly constructed residential building. The city was the scene of intense fighting early in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and ended up being heavily damaged in the process.

"Initially, the plan was only to visit this residential complex, and, of course, neither meeting the citizens, nor paying them a visit [in their homes] was planned. It was all entirely spontaneous," Peskov told reporters.

The visit turned into a "full-fledged working trip" for the president, Peskov continued, as Putin was briefed by Deputy PM Marat Khusnullin, who accompanied him during the visit, on the restoration process ongoing in the city. In particular, the Russian leader was told about "the development of the urban economy, roads, the restoration of destroyed buildings, how many people are working, how working conditions are provided, how building materials are delivered," the spokesman explained.

After his Mariupol visit, Putin proceeded to the city of Rostov-on-Don, where he met with Russia's top military brass at a command-and-control center in charge of the military operation in Ukraine.

The visit to the command post had not been planned in advance either, Peskov said, adding that the president's arrival was not an issue given that the facility operates around the clock.

"Neither the presidential administration, nor the Ministry of Defense planned it in advance," the spokesman stated. During the trip, Putin "heard reports" from a number of top military commanders, including from the chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and also gave his own "assessments of the situation," Peskov added.


Shotgun marriage: Swiss bank UBS 'is prepared to take over troubled rival Credit Suisse but only for knockdown price'

UBS Swiss bank Credit Suisse
© Associated Press
Swiss bank UBS is prepared to take over troubled rival Credit Suisse but only for a knockdown price, reports said March 19, 2023
Swiss bank UBS is prepared to take over its troubled rival Credit Suisse but only for a knockdown price, reports said today.

It comes amid urgent talks aimed at saving the embattled bank from a bloodbath when the markets reopen.

The two largest banks in the wealthy Alpine nation famed for its banking prominence have been in negotiations with the government throughout the weekend, with the central bank and financial regulators all involved.

The Financial Times, which was the first on Friday to report the prospect of Switzerland's biggest bank swallowing up Credit Suisse, said UBS had offered to buy it for up to $1billion.

The transaction would be worth 25 cents (0.23 Swiss francs) per Credit Suisse share, the FT said.