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Thu, 08 Dec 2022
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Revealed: President Biden ordered Trudeau to dismantle Canadian Freedom Convoy

© Manuel Balce Ceneta/Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld/AP
US President Joe Biden • Canadian PM Justin Trudeau
Brian Deese, Biden's top economic advisor, told Freeland that if the blockades were not dismantled at the border, the United States would reportedly lose $2.9 billion in trade.

President Biden ordered Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to dismantle the Canadian Freedom Convoy over fears that the nationwide protests against vaccine mandates would start impacting trade in the United States, documents show.

Biden's request was made moments before Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act, which the Prime Minister defended the controversial decision while testifying in Ottawa Superior Court on Friday.


Macron denies being main target of campaign financing probe

© Christophe Petit Tesson POOL/AFP
French President Emmanuel Macron addresses the media
French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday denied being the main target of a judicial investigation into the government's use of management consultants and their role in recent election campaigns.

The French financial crime prosecutor's office revealed late Thursday that it had opened a probe which was thought to be focused on Macron and his 2017 and 2022 presidential campaigns.

Referring to himself, the 44-year-old head of state told reporters during a trip to the town of Dijon:
"I'm not scared of anything. I believe that your servant is not at the heart of the investigation. It's normal that the justice system does its work. It does it freely and will shine a light on this issue."
The prosecutor's statement did not name Macron or his election campaign, but said investigators were looking into allegations of favouritism and hidden campaign financing in relation to management consultancies.

The probe began after complaints following the publication of a Senate report in March which showed government spending on consultants had more than doubled during Macron's first term from 2017-22.

The favouritism allegation could relate to US-based consultancy firm McKinsey, which was the biggest beneficiary of these contracts and reportedly provided staff to Macron's 2017 campaign team for free.


Merkel explains why she wasn't surprised by Russia's offensive in Ukraine

© Global Look Press/dpa/Sven Hoppe
Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she was not surprised when the conflict between Russia and Ukraine broke out in late February. The retired leader was speaking to Der Spiegel in a lengthy interview published on Thursday.

"It did not come as a surprise," Merkel told the outlet. By then, "the Minsk Agreements were eroded," the former chancellor stated, referring to the 2014 ceasefire deal brokered by Germany and France, which were designed to give the eastern regions special status within Ukraine.

She also said her efforts to establish another dialogue platform for Russia and the EU in 2021 had come to nothing.

"I wanted, together with [French President] Emmanuel Macron, to create an independent European discussion format with Putin through the European Council," Merkel said, explaining that she faced opposition from other members of the EU's top body.

Comment: One last chance to influence her legacy?

Arrow Up

Operation Claw-Sword: Erdogan's big new game in Syria

Wily Sultan is caught between his electorate, which favors a Syria invasion, and his extremely nuanced relations with Russia.
There's another Special Military Operation on the market. No, it's not Russia "denazifying" and "demilitarizing" Ukraine - and, therefore, it's no wonder that this other operation is not ruffling feathers across the collective West.

Operation Claw-Sword was launched by Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as revenge - highly emotional and concerted - for Kurdish terrorist attacks against Turkish citizens. Some of the missiles that Ankara launched in this aerial campaign carried the names of Turkish victims.

The official Ankara spin is that the Turkish Armed Forces fully achieved their "air operation objectives" in the north of Syria and in Iraqi Kurdistan, and made those responsible for the terror attack against civilians in Istanbul's Istiklal pedestrian street pay in "multitudes."

And this is supposed to be just the first stage. For the third time in 2022, Sultan Erdogan is also promising a ground invasion of Kurdish-held territories in Syria.

However, according to diplomatic sources, that's not going to happen - even as scores of Turkish experts are adamant that the invasion is needed sooner rather than later.

The wily Sultan is caught between his electorate, which favors an invasion, and his extremely nuanced relations with Russia - which encompass a large geopolitical and geo-economic arc.

He well knows that Moscow can apply all manner of pressure levers to dissuade him. For instance, Russia at the last minute annulled the weekly dispatch of a joint Russo-Turkish patrol in Ain al Arab that was taking place on Mondays.

Ain al Arab is a highly strategic territory: the missing link, east of the Euphrates, capable of offering continuity between Idlib and Ras al Ayn, occupied by dodgy Turkish-aligned gangs near the Turkish border.

Erdogan knows he can't jeopardize his positioning as potential EU-Russia mediator while obtaining maximum profit from bypassing the anti-Russian embargo-sanctions combo.

The Sultan, juggling multiple serious dossiers, is deeply convinced that he's got what it takes to bring Russia and NATO to the negotiating table and, ultimately, end the war in Ukraine.

In parallel, he thinks he may stay on top of Turkey-Israel relations; a rapprochement with Damascus; the sensitive internal situation in Iran; Turkey-Azerbaijan relations; the non-stop metamorphoses across the Mediterranean; and the drive towards Eurasia integration.

He's hedging all his bets between NATO and Eurasia.


Mali kicks out French influence operations, Macron blames Russian 'disinformation'

mali ngo

FILE PHOTO: The Malian government's move comes in response to France's recent decision to halt development aid. Mali has banned Paris-backed NGOs after almost a decade of unsuccessful French attempts to gain a foothold
Mali declared a ban this week on the activities of non-governmental organizations within the country that receive funding from France. The move came in the wake of France's decision to withdraw development aid to the country as its final troops pull out of the Sahel region, marking the end of the eight-year Operation Barkhane.

What started as a counterterrorism operation in Mali had until recently begun to take the shape of a showcase for French President Emmanuel Macron's vision of an integrated European defense. Now that dream seems to be falling apart due to an overstayed welcome and less than stellar performance. Whose fault is that? Russia's, according to Macron.

Comment: NATO's proxy war in Ukraine and Russia's subsequent special operation in the country has not led to the isolation of Russia as the West would like to believe, instead, we've actually seen relations between multipolar nations strengthened, and a great many other countries of lesser influence, such as those in Africa, become emboldened:


'Outsider' backed coup is reason for conflict in Ukraine, Putin tells mothers of Russian troops

Odessa Massacre
© Sputnik / Alexandr Polishchuk
FILE PHOTO: Dmitro Yarosh's Right Sector, burned to death, shot, and otherwise killed at least some 45 anti-Maidan regime picketers inside the Trade Union Building. The Western-backed Maidan lit the fuse for almost a decade of turmoil, the president claims
The ongoing conflict in Ukraine would never have happened if there hadn't been a coup in Kiev in 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted on Friday. He was referring to the violent overthrow of the elected president Victor Yanukovich.

Speaking to mothers of Russian soldiers, Putin stressed that the Maidan resulted in direct foreign control over Ukrainian institutions, which Russia has no choice but to oppose.

At the turn of the century, Russians were told everything would be great if they accepted outside control, and started "playing on someone else's field," Putin said. It was those outsiders seeking to control Russia that have created the current situation, "including in the zone of the special military operation," he added.


Videos of Ukrainian soldiers executing Russian POWs appear authentic, Kiev needs to investigate war crime - UN

Volker Turk

Volker Turk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, speaks during a press conference at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, November 24, 2022
Videos showing Russian soldiers apparently executed by Ukrainian forces appear genuine, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk stated on Friday. He called on Kiev to fully investigate what Moscow has described as an outright execution.

The footage, consisting of two clips stitched into one video, surfaced on social media last week. It shows a dozen unarmed Russian servicemen surrendering to Ukrainian troops and lying down on the ground, a separate man apparently opening fire on the Ukrainians, and the first dozen soldiers lying dead in pools of blood.

Comment: It's not just Putin reporting that Kiev's Nazi-aligned military is executing its own: 'All the real skinheads went to Ukraine': An American Neo-Nazi outlines the crimes of his Ukrainian 'colleagues'

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Russia's former southern capital renounces its past: How Ukraine is destroying its heritage

Ukraine flag
© Jeff Michell/Getty Images
Ukraine is turning into a significantly more homogeneous and far less culturally diverse country

In recent years, Ukraine has become the battleground for a 'war of monuments' waged among various political forces. In 2014, the process reached a peak during the mass demolition of statues of Vladimir Lenin and other Soviet politicians. These events fundamentally changed the symbolism and policy of the country's historical memory, paving the way to a reality in which any public speech must now be accompanied by the words 'Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!'

This was the slogan of Stepan Bandera's World War Two nationalist movement, which collaborated with Adolf Hitler's Nazis and took part in the Holocaust.

Although Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky's team initially tried to 'reset' the historical memory policy, radical nationalism got the upper hand in this symbolic battle. Following the start of Russia's military operation, this year, the so-called 'decommunization' policy became openly known as 'de-Russification' - even with over half of the population officially recognized as Russian-speaking.


A light in the darkness

© Twitter/Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
The really stunning thing about Elon Musk's campaign to clean up the back-stage rats' nest at Twitter is that he's the lone authority figure in the land who dared to act against the degenerate political Left's impudent and remorseless cancellation of everything that held together America's consensual reality.

Think of it: all the college presidents and deans, all the corporate CEOs, all the judges, all the governors, mayors, and agency heads, all the news editors and network producers who did nothing and said nothing about the wholesale demolition of truths, values, and principles carried out by Woke-Jacobin maniacs under their watch. And what's more appalling: they all pretended not to notice each other's craven inaction and silence.

And now, Mr. Musk strikes a blow almost every day, and with amazing insouciance, as if his effort to re-ignite free speech is the most self-evidently natural thing anyone in-charge might seek to do. And let's face it: whatever Twitter started out as, however seemingly trivial this Internet app for social chit-chat was conceived to be, it evolved into an essential arena for public argument — especially as the old leaders in the American news business slouched into routinely retailing every sort of lie possible about public affairs that matter. (And as that happened, Twitter became for a number of years Mainstream Media's enabler and chief enforcer of programatized untruth.)


FTX partnership with Ukraine is latest chapter in shady Western aid saga

© Unknown
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried
The Ukrainian government mysteriously disappeared online records of its fundraising arrangement with the FTX crypto scam just days before the scandal erupted. The initiative claims to have raised $60 million for Ukraine, but where did the money go?

The demise of FTX, the fifth-biggest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume in 2022, and the second-largest by holdings, has sent a wave of chaos through global financial markets.

As the turbulence grows, the government of Ukraine is conducting an ongoing cleanup and whitewashing operation to rid any and all references to a high-level cryptocurrency fundraising arrangement it struck with FTX from the web. Eerily, it seems to have commenced just days before the scandal erupted.

Online records unearthed by The Grayzone claim tens of millions were raised by FTX for the Ukrainian government, and put to a variety of belligerent uses. But with the company now exposed as a Potemkin village lacking underlying assets, and major question marks hanging over whether its operations were from day one fraudulent top to bottom, where does that leave the supposedly successful donation scheme? Were those sums truly raised, and if so, to what purposes were they actually put?