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Mon, 12 Apr 2021
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UK's Greensill lobbying scandal and former PM Cameron's involvement


David Cameron and Lex Greensill
David Cameron is accused of lobbying the government via messages to the chancellor over a funding scheme for a firm he advises.

David Cameron has been in the headlines recently over his alleged involvement in a lobbying scandal with a firm he advises and the Treasury.

Sky News has broken down what is going on, who the key players are, and why the former prime minister is under fire.

What did David Cameron do?

Comment: The coronavirus hysteria has proven to be just one more profitable opportunity for those in government and their friends: Profiteering & cronyism: UK gov spent £122 MILLION on dodgy contract for PPE hospital gowns that it never used


PolitiFact drops 'mostly false' rating on Biden's guns claim

Joe Biden
© National Shooting Sports Foundation
US President Biden's finger gun
And Joe Biden got off easy, as our colleague and pal Cam Edwards pointed out. But it says something that PolitiFact came closer to upholding standards with Joe Biden than they did with CBS News and 60 Minutes. The lesson here is that only the media can truly get away with creating false narratives:
As I wrote yesterday, almost everything Biden said in his speech introducing David Chipman as his nominee to run ATF was false, including the "AFT" that Biden called the agency — twice. PolitiFact focuses only on one of those falsehoods — the hoary "gun show loophole" that never existed in the first place. Democratic politicians have tried making the same claim for years if not decades, but it's a flat-out lie.

Comment: Biden's target is to disarm the public - through confiscation, prohibitive costs, new rules, illegal leverage and persuasive falsehoods. Will it be a hit or a miss?


'We need a black woman justice': Democrat pressure group urges liberal judge, critical of SCOTUS-packing idea, to resign

Justice Breyer
© Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer
An advocacy group linked to Democratic Party leadership is pressuring Justice Stephen Breyer to resign after he opposed the push to expand the US Supreme Court - so that his position can be urgently filled with a black woman.

Breyer "has been a distinguished justice, but now is risking the Senate falling into Republican hands before Democrats can confirm Biden's nominee," the group tweeted.

Comment: The advocacy group's demand is outrageous, short-sighted and destructive as presented. (But perhaps that's the point.) In a power-grabbing free-for-all, MSNBC had this:

Arrow Down

Trump rips McConnell in speech to Republicans

© Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images/www.slate.com/KJN
Senator Mitch McConnell • Former US President Donald Trump
Former President Trump reportedly tore into Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell during a gathering Saturday evening, condemning the Kentucky Republican for not doing more to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

According to The Washington Post, Trump referred to McConnell as a "dumb son of a bitch" during a speech to members of the Republican National Committee (RNC) at the former president's private Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and suggested Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) would have fought for Trump if they were in the same party. Trump told the assembled RNC members, according to the Post.:
"If that were Schumer instead of this dumb son of a bitch Mitch McConnell, they would never allow it to happen. They would have fought it. I hired his wife. Did he ever say thank you?"
Trump reportedly added, referring to his nomination of Elaine Chao, who served as Transportation secretary in the Trump administration and is married to McConnell.

The two top Republicans were publicly aligned throughout the four years of Trump's presidency, with McConnell opposing the former president's two impeachment trials. But their relationship soured in the weeks following the 2020 election as McConnell was reported to be urging senators not to oppose the certification of the results.

Arrow Up

In 5-4 vote, Supreme Court lifts California's COVID ban on group Bible study in homes

Supreme Court
© J. Scott Applewhite/AP
The Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill, Washington D.C.
The Supreme Court citing religious liberty, has lifted another of California's COVID restrictions, holding the state may not prevent people from gathering in homes for Bible study and prayer meetings. The court issued a 5-4 order near midnight Friday barring the enforcement of a state restriction that was due to expire on Thursday.

The court's conservatives slammed the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for what they called another "erroneous" decision in favor of the state.

"This is the fifth time the court has summarily rejected the 9th Circuit's analysis of California's COVID restrictions on religious exercise," they said in Tandon vs. Newsom. In the most significant of the rulings, the court in early February said churches in California may open for indoor worship services, so long as they enforced limits on how many people gathered together.

Repeatedly in these cases, judges in California and the justices in Washington have disagreed over how to compare, for example, people gathering in a restaurant or hair salon to people gathering for a worship service. The state has enforced stricter limits on indoor gatherings such as in theaters or churches where people sit together for an hour or more while allowing retail stores where people go in and out to remain open.

In the latest order, the conservative justices again noted that the state has opened public businesses while restricting religious gatherings. And they said the state regulators are violating the 1st Amendment's protection for the free exercise of religion "whenever they treat any comparable secular activity more favorably than religious exercise."

Star of David

IDF reportedly wants probe into leak of alleged Israeli attack on Iranian cargo ship

Iranian Ship Saviz
© Al Arabiya/Screenshot
Iranian ship 'Saviz' in the Red Sea, in 2018.
On Thursday, Iran vowed it would respond to a recent attack on a cargo ship in the Red Sea, once it uncovers the source of the assault, a statement that came after Israel reportedly claimed its forces attacked the vessel.

Officials from the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have called for a probe into the leak of an alleged sensitive operation that was recently conducted by the IDF against Iran, to foreign media, according to The Jerusalem Post.

The reported call comes a few days after The New York Times cited an unnamed source as saying that Israel notified the United States that its forces had attacked an Iranian cargo ship, the Saviz, in the Red Sea.

Comment: See also:

Bad Guys

Istanbul meeting has Erdogan and Zelensky confirm 'strategic partnership'

erdogan zelensky meeting ukraine turkey
© Agence France-Presse
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in Istanbul on April 10.
President Erdogan praised cooperation between the two countries, especially regarding the defence industry.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced following talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky that Ankara and Kiev have agreed to continue their "strategic partnership." Erdogan added that ensuring security and peace in the Black Sea region is Turkey's priority.

Comment: From RFL/RL:
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called for an end to what he described as "worrying" developments in eastern Ukraine's Donbas region after meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on April 10.

The meeting, which lasted more than three hours in Istanbul, was part of a previously scheduled visit but coincided with increased tensions between Kyiv and Moscow over the long-running conflict in eastern Ukraine.

During their meeting the presidents also discussed expanding defense cooperation between their countries. Zelenskiy said the stepped-up cooperation would apply especially to weaponry and the construction of fighter jets.

Zelenskiy said Kyiv and Ankara share the same view on threats in the Black Sea region and the response to those threats.

Zelenskiy, who visited troops in the Donbas region two days ago, said he had briefed Erdogan on the situation in detail.

Major movements of Russian armed forces toward or near Ukraine's borders and into Ukraine's Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula have been captured in photographs, video, and other data, fueling concerns that Moscow may be preparing to send forces into eastern Ukraine.

The Kremlin has rejected Western calls to pull back its troops, denying they are a threat while adding that military movements within Russia are an internal sovereign issue.

Washington has called Moscow's military buildup "destabilizing," and the White House has expressed concern about the recent troop movements.

Let it be remembered that Ukraine initiated the military buildup and has been shelling civilian areas in Donbass for months.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken consulted the German and French foreign ministers on April 9 about the need for Russia to cease its military buildup in the occupied Crimean Peninsula and near Ukraine's eastern borders.

Russia seized Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March 2014, sending in troops and staging a referendum denounced as illegitimate by at least 100 countries.

Since then, overwhelming evidence suggests Russia has continued to lend diplomatic and military aid to armed separatists fighting in the Donbas region.

The conflict has killed more than 13,000 people and displaced more than 1 million since April 2014.


Election 'fortified': Michigan elections forensics report says 66,194 unregistered ballots tallied

Michigan ballots
© AP/Mary Altaffer
Michigan constitutional attorney Matthew DePerno released his much anticipated Michigan Elections Forensics Report on Friday.

On election night, Antrim County, a traditionally "red" county flipped overwhelmingly to "blue." The flip raised major flags. The reported results featured a 3,260 vote margin for Joe Biden out of a total of 16,047 votes cast. The wide victory didn't make sense to most political observers.

Following the oddity, the Antrim County Board of Canvassers conducted a series of recounts. Strangely enough, each recount produced different results.

The first recount on November 5, showed Donald Trump defeated Joe Biden by 2,494 votes out of a new total of 18,059 votes cast. The second recount conducted on November 21, indicated that Donald Trump defeated Joe Biden by 3,788 votes out of a new total of 16,044 votes cast.

Comment: See also: 'If we did it': TIME magazine reveals the 'shadow campaign' that 'saved' the 2020 election


The United States rejoining the Iran nuclear deal is a good thing, right? Well, not necessarily

iran us flag
© Reuters
The Iranian and US flags
Biden's apparent policy reversal regarding the US returning to the JCPOA should result in diffusing tensions over Iran's nuclear program, but in fact all it does is reset the clock for the next round of US obstruction.

As the countdown closed in on the point of no return regarding any chance of salvaging the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, better known as the Iran nuclear agreement), the administration of President Joe Biden has signalled a dramatic policy change. Following a series of emergency meetings in Vienna, Austria, this week between the US and the remaining members of the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement, the Biden administration has indicated its desire to rejoin the agreement, and that it would end all the nuclear-related sanctions without any of the conditions it had previously stipulated must be met by Iran prior to them being removed.

Comment: See also:


Russian exile was 'strangled in London home by third party', week after poisoning of Skripals


Nikolai Glushkov was granted political asylum in the UK in 2010
A Russian exile was strangled in his own home by a third party, a coroner has ruled.

Businessman Nikolai Glushkov, who was critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was found dead in New Malden in south-west London in March 2018.

Comment: The BBC is trying to imply that Glushkov being a critic of Putin and his murder are in some way connected. However it's likely that numerous Russian criminals are critical of Putin because it is his policies that have put an end to the rampant criminality that were destroying the country. This is also one reason why the vast majority of Russians have repeatedly voted Putin back into power.

What's actually notable is how the UK has a habit of granting asylum to so many known criminals.

West London Coroner's Court heard there was evidence to suggest his death was made to look like a suicide and there had been "third-party involvement".

Senior coroner Chinyere Inyama ruled that Mr Glushkov was unlawfully killed.

Comment: For further insight into just may be going on, see: