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NATO is creating another battlefield on European continent

© Liu RUi/GT
Europe split on warmongering NATO
As the Russia-Ukraine crisis drags on, NATO has become the pronoun of destabilizer of regional security.

The situation in the Balkans is now at an explosive point. KFOR, the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo, clashed with Serb protesters on Monday. The tension arose after ethnic Albanian mayors took office in northern Kosovo's Serb majority area after April elections that the Serbs boycotted.

Kosovo and Serbia have long-running tensions. Kosovo was originally an autonomous province of Serbia in the former Yugoslavia. With the support of the US and the West, Kosovo has been seeking to move further on the road of "independent statehood" and adopted a hardline attitude toward Serbia. NATO's involvement has further exacerbated the rift between Kosovo and Serbia, leading to military conflicts between the two sides and undermining the peace and unity of the Western Balkans.

Comment: Whatever the US touches, it's cursed.


Kenyan president backs Pan-African payment system

kenyan money
© narvikk/Getty Images
Counting Kenyan money
The nation's leader has proposed for the move as a step toward the de-dollarization of the continent...

Kenyan president William Ruto has called upon his African counterparts to move away from use of the US dollar in local payments. He made the remarks on Monday in Nairobi, while addressing the African Private Sector Dialogue on the African Continental Free Trade Area.
"We are all struggling to make payments for goods and services from one country to another because of differences in currencies. And in the middle of all these, we are all subjected to a dollar environment."
The president urged his counterparts on the continent to mobilize central and commercial banks to join the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS). Launched in January 2022, the PAPSS is a centralized payment and settlement network for intra-African trade in goods and services.


South Africa considers law change over Putin ICC arrest warrant

ICC campus
© Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images/Getty Images
ICC campus in Den Haag, Netherlands
Johannesburg is scheduled to host the summit of BRICS, of which Russia is a member...

South Africa is planning legislative changes to make its national law outrank that of the International Criminal Court (ICC), according to a deputy minister. The move comes after the court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"In June, we'll be submitting the law in parliament," Obed Bapela, a deputy minister in the South African presidency, told the BBC on Wednesday. The legislation would allow South Africa to "give itself exemptions of who to arrest and who not to arrest," Bapela said.

In mid-March, the ICC issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the presidential commissioner for children's rights. The court accused them of the "forcible transfer of population," referring to Moscow's efforts to evacuate children from combat zones amid the hostilities with Ukraine.

Russia responded by saying the ICC has no authority or legitimacy, as Moscow never ratified the 1998 Rome Statute that established the court.


The BBC isn't exposing disinformation, it's peddling it

'A state broadcaster telling the public that it has special insights into truth has a long and ugly pedigree.'
To much fanfare last week, the BBC rolled out its latest public service: BBC Verify. The British state broadcaster promised that a team of dedicated reporters would work on behalf of viewers to counter "the growing threat of disinformation".

On the plus side, the BBC claims it will subject its own journalism to more rigorous fact-checking and data analysis "in the pursuit of truth". But a far less neutral agenda appears to be concealed beneath this lofty aspiration.

Introducing the new service on the BBC Breakfast morning show, "disinformation and social media correspondent" Marianna Spring gave a flavour of what was in store. The BBC's own, all-too-visible failings appeared far from her thoughts.

Comment: See also:


No room to concede or compromise on Taiwan question, China lieutenant general says in response to US Sec of Defense speech

china taiwan soldier
© Xinhua
A PLA soldier looks around with a telescope on August 5, 2022, as the Navy of the PLA Eastern Theater Command continues drills the waters around the island of Taiwan.
The Taiwan question bears on China's core interest and there is no room to concede or compromise. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) remains fully prepared and ready to firmly defend China's sovereignty and territorial integrity at any time, Jing Jianfeng, the PLA's deputy chief of the joint staff department of the Central Military Commission, lieutenant general, said in responding to US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin's keynote speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue on Saturday during a press conference in Singapore.

Jing stressed three basic facts on the Taiwan questions. First, there is but one China in the world and Taiwan island is an inalienable part of China's territory. Second, the one-China principle represents the universal consensus of the international community. It is a universally recognized basic norm governing international relations. Third, it is the common aspiration and sacred responsibility of all Chinese people, including Taiwan compatriots, to realize national reunification.

Comment: China is making it increasingly clear that US provocations will not be tolerated: US releases footage of 'aggressive maneuver' by China during fighter jet intercept over South China Sea

Russian Flag

Ex-Biden aide Tara Reade flees to Russia over safety concerns following her allegation the President raped her 30 years ago

Tara Reader   Megyn Kelley

FILE PHOTO: Tara Reader interviewed by Megyn Kelley. Tara Reade said she faced persecution in her own country over her claim that she was raped by the US president 30 years ago.
Tara Reade, an ex-congressional aide to US President Joe Biden who accused him of sexual assault, has indicated that she intends to apply for a Russian passport. The ex-staffer-turned-journalist recently moved to Russia, claiming she no longer felt safe in the US.

Speaking on Tuesday at a press conference, Reade said that after being constantly persecuted in the US over her allegations, she hoped to "find safety" in Russia - a country she never regarded as an enemy - adding that she "appreciates my friends in Moscow... that have opened their arms" to welcome her.

"I'm going to make a request, and it is a large one. I'd like to apply for citizenship in Russia from the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin," the ex-aide stated, promising to be "a good citizen."

Comment: Russia has become the preferred safe haven for refugees from the increasingly dystopian US: 'My Country Does Terrible Things': MMA Fighter Jeff Monson On Why He Renounced US Citizenship

Eye 1

UK to keep secret how 'significant portion' of £4.8bn in lethal aid for Ukraine is being spent

ukraine soldier

A Ukrainian soldier with a British-supplied NLAW anti-tank missile system in Starychi, Ukraine.
The British government is refusing to reveal how a large part of the billions in weaponry it is sending to Ukraine is being spent. The policy raises particular concerns following revelations it is supplying depleted uranium ammunition to Ukraine.

"A significant proportion of our lethal aid [for Ukraine] is procured overseas and for both operational and commercial reasons, the detail of these contracts will not be published," the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has told parliament.

The announcement raises suspicion that Britain is sending more controversial weaponry to Ukraine that it does not want made public.


Sir Keir Starmer held secret talks with donor of climate activists days before revealing plan to ditch new oil licences

Keir Starmer
© PA
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer
SIR Keir Starmer held secret talks with Just Stop Oil's bankroller days before revealing his plan to bin new oil and gas licences.

Ecotricity founder Dale Vince, who has donated £1.5million to the Labour party, said he spoke with Labour's boss last week.

And Mr Vince repeated his support for the eco-protest group, which is causing mayhem on the streets, saying: "People have to stand up and do something."

He told the BBC he spoke to Sir Keir "on the phone", but they did not discuss Just Stop Oil.

Comment: It's probably no surprise that the establishment are angling to push sister Starmer into power. As for Just Stop Oil, they seem to be serving a number of agendas, including championing the deadly deindustrialisation 'green' agenda, as well as providing high profile activist campaigns that infuriate the general public, which the authorities then use as justification for their crackdown on the right to protest: UK gov't to tighten anti-protest restrictions, despite criticism from human rights groups

More on Just Stop Oil's 'green' donors:
A Big Oil heiress is a key funder of a sprawling global network of grassroots climate groups, including the U.K.-based Just Stop Oil, which staged a protest Friday vandalizing a famous painting.

Aileen Getty, the granddaughter of the Getty Oil founder, is the founding donor of the Climate Emergency Fund (CEF), a Los Angeles-based organization that finances several high-profile climate protest groups around the world. Getty, who is a prolific environmental philanthropist, wired $500,000 to CEF shortly after it was founded in 2019, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Boosted by Getty's initial and continued contributions, CEF has awarded millions of dollars to radical groups that have engaged in disruptive protests worldwide. Among CEF's grantees is the A22 Network, which is made up of Just Stop Oil, the U.S.-based Declare Emergency and groups in nine countries including Germany, France and Canada.


Heart - Black

Epstein emailed about dinners with Woody Allen, David Blaine, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and many politicians - after prison stint as sex offender

© Kelly Caminero / The Daily Beast / Getty
The rich and famous appeared to have few qualms about palling around with Jeffrey Epstein following the disgraced financier's 13-month prison stay for soliciting sex from an underage girl, with boldface names appearing on his schedule such as Chris Rock, David Blaine, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon, and the former CEO of one of Donald Trump's Atlantic City casinos.

That's according to a tranche of emails obtained by The Daily Beast, which reveal others who showed up on Epstein's dance card as having included music industry titan Tommy Mottola, Wendi Murdoch, Russian supermodel Irina Shayk, late comedian David Brenner, artist Jeff Koons, the president of Mongolia, and not one, but two former Norwegian prime ministers. Epstein also often indulged in his infamous "appointments," with longtime executive assistant Lesley Groff setting up multitudes of sessions with young women to service him.

The emails, which The Daily Beast received from authorities in the U.S. Virgin Islands via a Freedom of Information Act request, indicate Epstein's well-connected life proceeded seemingly unhindered by his status as a registered sex offender after his 2008 felony conviction in Florida.

Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to state charges of procuring a person under 18 for prostitution and felony solicitation of prostitution, and served more than a year of an 18-month sentence before being released. When he got out, a judge ordered him confined to his Palm Beach home, as part of his year-long probation. But the terms of both Epstein's incarceration and his house arrest were unusually lax, and he was allowed to travel between Florida, New York, and his private Caribbean island without undue restriction. When his probation ended in July 2010, Epstein was forced to register as a Level III sex offender - a threat to public safety at risk of reoffending - for the rest of his life.

Alarm Clock

Spanish PM Sánchez calls snap general election after disastrous local polls

Pedro Sánchez
© Javier Soriano/AFP via Getty Images
Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has announced new elections
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Monday said he would dissolve parliament and call for a snap election for July 23, a day after conservatives and the far right posted strong gains in regional and municipal polls.

Spain was due to hold general elections by the end of the year, but the Socialist leader announced his decision to move up the date following Sunday's local polls, which saw his party suffer heavy losses across the country.

In a televised statement from Moncloa Palace, the official residence of Spain's head of government, Sánchez took personal responsibility for his party's poor showing in the municipal elections, which concluded with nearly all of the country's largest cities in the hands of the centre-right Popular Party (PP), including longtime Socialist stronghold Seville.

"These results suggest Spaniards should clarify which political forces they want to take the lead," Sánchez said, adding that it was time to let the people "take the floor and define the country's political direction."