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Thu, 30 Mar 2023
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Protests & strikes rage on in France, MPs 'threatened with guillotine' ahead of crucial vote

france protest oil worker

Oil workers on strike block the access to an oil depot in Fos-sur-Mer, southern France, Tuesday, March 21, 2023
The French government has survived two parliamentary no-confidence votes over President Emmanuel Macron's decision to push through a controversial pension reform bill without lawmakers' approval. The failed motions on Monday were followed by renewed violent unrest overnight.

The first no-confidence motion, tabled by a small group of opposition lawmakers, garnered significant support in the National Assembly, dominated by Macron's centrist alliance. The motion fell just nine votes short of the 287 required to pass. The second motion, put forward by the right-wing National Rally party, was backed by only 94 lawmakers.

Despite failing to pass the motions, some opposition lawmakers urged the government to resign anyway. "The government is already dead in the eyes of the French," left-wing MP Mathilde Panot said after the votes. "It doesn't have any legitimacy anymore."

Comment: She has a point; polls have shown that 52% of people support a 'social explosion' movement against the government, and a few percent more support rolling strikes to bring the country to a standstill.

Comment: It's not just in France protests and strikes against deteriorating living standards, and increasingly totalitarian governance, are occurring:

Red Flag

700 NYPD riot cops mobilized, steel barriers deployed ahead of potential Trump arrest

NYC barrier
The New York Police Department (NYPD) has mobilized 700 riot cops and deployed steel barricades around the Manhattan Criminal Court in anticipation of civil disorder, should the Manhattan District Attorney's office order the arrest of former President Donald Trump, following a potential grand jury indictment for allegedly paying a former porn star for her silence ahead of his 2016 presidential campaign.

As the NY Times gleefully reports, "He would be fingerprinted. He would be photographed. He could even be handcuffed. And if Donald J. Trump is indicted by a Manhattan grand jury in the days ahead for his role in a hush money payment to a porn star, the former president of the United States of America will be read the standard Miranda warning: He will be told that he has the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney."

Comment: Aside from the fact that the proceedings stem from a highly political desire to neutralize Trump's influence and demonize him further, one might wonder if there are "special events" planned outside the courthouse that are designed to further vilify and demonize Trump supporters...


Idaho hospital blames abortion politics for closing of labor and delivery department

idaho state capitol my body my choice
© Sarah A. Miller/Idaho Statesman via AP
A sign reading "My body, my Choice" hangs from a streetlight in front of the Idaho State Capitol on May 3, 2022.
Patients will now have to travel over 45 miles to the closest hospital with labor and delivery.

An Idaho hospital made the decision to axe its labor and delivery department, saying the "political climate" made it too difficult to keep it staffed.

"Highly respected, talented physicians are leaving. Recruiting replacements will be extraordinarily difficult," Bonner General Health, located in Sandpoint, Idaho, said in a social media post Friday. "The Idaho Legislature continues to introduce and pass bills that criminalize physicians for medical care nationally recognized as the standard of care. Consequences for Idaho Physicians providing the standard of care may include civil litigation and criminal prosecution, leading to jail time or fines."

Comment: See also:


Texas lawmakers unanimously pass bill that will allow fentanyl dealers to be charged with murder

fentanyl pills
Texas lawmakers have passed a bill to allow fentanyl dealers to be charged with murder.

The "Combating Fentanyl" bill introduced by Republican Sen. Joan Huffman, SB 645, passed unanimously.

The legislation would reclassify deaths due to fentanyl as poisonings and open up anyone who makes, sells, or delivers the drug to being charged with murder if someone overdoses.

Comment: See also:


Hungary won't bow to pressure on Ukraine - FM

Hungarian politician Peter Szijjart
© AFP / Daniel Mihailescu
FILE PHOTO: Peter Szijjarto arrives for a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Bucharest, Romania, November 30, 2022. Kiev can't join either bloc unless it respects Hungarian minority rights, Budapest insists.
The "war party" in Brussels wants to push Budapest into sending weapons, Peter Szijjarto has said.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said that his country won't be pushed into supplying arms to Ukraine. The diplomat accused the EU of a pressure campaign against Budapest. The bloc's ministers reportedly agreed to send $2 billion worth of ammunition to Kiev's forces.

"Another war party proposal is on the table: this time Brussels wants to send ammunition to Ukraine," Szijjarto wrote on his Facebook page on Monday. "The pressure is constantly increasing on us, but we are not allowing anyone to push us into war," he added.

Comment: See also:


Police failing to teach officers importance of free speech while spending thousands on pronoun training

UK police
Officers are spending far more time on diversity training than on the right to freedom of expression, a campaign group says.
Police forces are failing to train officers on the importance of free speech while teaching them obscure pronouns, according to a report from the Free Speech Union into the free speech crisis in British policing. The Times has the story.
The Free Speech Union (FSU) said there was a "free speech crisis" in British policing and that forces were not emphasising the importance of freedom of expression to officers.

Officers are undergoing tens of thousands of hours of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) training in which they are told that gender is "culturally determined" and about the use of pronouns including "fae" and "faer". At least one force still uses the "genderbread" diagram, which illustrates the notion that biological sex is irrelevant to an individual's innate sense of gender.

Comment: See also:


Another 2,000 suspected gang members land in El Salvador's mega-prison

el salvador prison
Gang members wait to be taken to their cells after 2,000 gang members were transferred to the Terrorism Confinement Center on March 15, 2023.
Another 2,000 suspected gang members were shipped to El Salvador's revered mega-prison, the country's president announced Wednesday as he unveiled more footage of the "impossible to escape" facility.

The new arrivals joined another 2,000 accused gangsters who landed in the new Center for the Confinement of Terrorism last month as El Salvador looks to win its battle against raging street gangs.

President Nayib Bukele blasted out new footage of the prison and its new prisoners being hustled off buses and into the facility as they're surrounded by heavily armed guards.

Comment: See also:


Putin's trip to Donbass was 'spontaneous' - Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets locals in the city of Mariupol.
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets locals in the city of Mariupol.
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.

Comment: See also:


Putin's staff told to ditch iPhones over security concerns - Kommersant

Apple state dept.

Officials in the Russian president's office were reportedly told to get rid of their Apple devices over cybersecurity concerns
Members of the Russian presidential administration whose jobs focus on domestic policy have been instructed to discard their iPhones by the end of March, the business daily Kommersant reported on Monday. The decision was made due to the risk of Western espionage, the outlet said.

Russian officials will have to "throw away or give to their kids" their devices running the iOS operating system, according to how one source summarized a discussion during a seminar in early March.

Kommersant sources say the final say on the matter and the deadline came directly from Deputy Chief of Staff Sergey Kirienko, who supervises several departments in the presidential office in charge of various aspects of domestic policy. The ban will also affect officials who liaise with regional governments on behalf of the administration, the newspaper reported.


One of Ukraine's largest oil depots destroyed in huge fire after troops shoot down Russian drones

Dnepropetrovsk oil depot
One of the largest oil depots in the central part of Ukraine burned out completely. We are talking about an oil storage facility in the city of Novomoskovsk, Dnepropetrovsk region.

The fire at this fuel and energy infrastructure facility broke out a couple of days ago due to an air strike on the oil depot. Drums were used drones "Geran", which, as the Ukrainian side initially reported, "were successfully shot down." However, the "downed" drones somehow managed to cause an incident that led to the burnout of thousands of tons of fuel and crude oil.

Comment: If that sounds unbelievable, lest we forget that Kiev recently shot down a Russian missile, that was headed to energy infrastructure, instead causing it to hit a civilian populated apartment block.

The fire was burned for two days.

Comment: Footage of the fire: