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Mon, 20 Sep 2021
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Winter is coming: European energy crisis 'could get very ugly' as EU delays Russian gas supplies

snow paris umbrella
© Reuters / Gonzalo Fuentes
Europe is bracing for a difficult winter, having turned to weather-dependent sources of energy like wind and solar power over fossil fuels while natural gas storages have run low.

"It could get very ugly unless we act quickly to try to fill every inch of storage. You can survive a week without electricity, but you can't survive without gas," Marco Alvera, CEO of Italian energy infrastructure company Snam SpA, told Bloomberg.

European gas prices broke historic records this month, edging close to an unprecedented $1,000 per 1,000 cubic meters. The price spike can be partly blamed on supply chains being unable to meet the rising energy demand in both the household and industry sectors as the global economy gets back on the rails after the global Covid-19 crisis. However, experts say major Western economies have become too dependent on renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power. And this doesn't seem to pay off, with the Wall Street Journal reporting last week that low winds in the North Sea were brewing chaos for energy networks.


Why is there a chip shortage?

microchip plant technician
© Getty Images
Computer chips plants are working flat out.
The tech industry is at a crunch point.

Today, millions of products - cars, washing machines, smartphones, and more - rely on computer chips, also known as semiconductors.

And right now, there just aren't enough of them to meet industry demand. As a result, many popular products are in short supply.

Comment: See also:

Black Cat

These dangers loom over the fragile US economy in the next 12 months

The U.S. and most of the world is at the threshold of what I would call a nexus point in history. There are establishment forces at play that seek to impose a permanent authoritarian presence within our nation in the name of Covid "safety." This includes lockdown mandates and restrictions on economic participation for the unvaccinated (including being unable to keep a job).

At the same time, only 53% of the public has been fully vaccinated against Covid. A significant number of the unvaccinated seem likely to dig in their heels and will refuse to comply.

We are at an impasse. With incessant fear mongering over the latest covid variants and the government obsession with 100% vaccination, the pro- and anti-vaccine groups are squaring off. It is a conflict between those who see their submission to the vaccination as a badge of personal responsibility and civic-mindedness versus those who see it as merely an excuse for authoritarianism. Unless pro-vax people choose to stand down and walk away from the fight, our economic future will grow increasingly unstable.

This is the foreboding backdrop of our economic tale, and it is important to keep in mind that the technocratic exploitation of the covid non-crisis as a push for supremacy is going to color EVERYTHING that happens in our financial system from now on. You cannot talk about our economic condition without including the effects of the pandemic theater.


Goldman warns of blackout risk for European industry this winter

industry waterfront
© Peter Boer/Bloomberg
Europe's soaring energy markets are exposing the risk of power blackouts this winter, especially if freezing weather worsens the region's already exceptionally low natural gas inventories, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

While higher gas prices can trigger supply and demand adjustments to offset the tight market, these are largely already priced in, Goldman analysts including Samantha Dart said in a note. As a result, a colder-than-average winter would mean Europe needing to compete with Asia for supplies of liquefied natural gas, driving prices even higher.

And there's a "non-negligible risk" that LNG directed to Europe won't be enough to prevent a depletion of gas inventories by the end of winter, especially if weather is cold in both Europe and Asia, the analysts said.


Long Covid very rare for children & teens, Delta variant just as harmless for young people as other strains - study

child covid test
© Ethan Miller/Getty Images
A boy undergoes a Covid test.
Long Covid symptoms rarely persist beyond 12 weeks in children and adolescents, unlike adults, new research suggests.

The review found existing studies on the condition in children and adolescents have major limitations.

Some do not show a difference in symptoms between those who have been infected with the virus and those who have not.

Comment: As was found in a study of adults, over 50% of those claiming to suffer Long Covid were thought to be just suffering symptoms of ill health more generally, and not from Long Covid: More than half of people with long Covid might NOT have 'long Covid' after all

It comes as research from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) in Australia found that after 10 months in circulation, the Delta variant had not caused more serious disease in children than previous variants and most cases remained asymptomatic or mild.

Comment: See also: And check out SOTT radio's: NewsReal: Covid-19/11

Mr. Potato

US South Com roasted online after USAF birthday tweet used RUSSIAN warplane images by mistake

USAF tweet  South Com
© Twitter / @Southcom
The official Twitter account of US Southern Command is facing mockery after it posted a picture featuring silhouettes of Russian Sukhoi fighter jets to mark the US Air Force's birthday.

The simple graphics, posted on the occasion of the 74th birthday of the USAF, featured three top-down views of warplanes. The silhouettes don't feature much detail, but their tail sections strongly implied that the aircraft are not from the fleet normally deployed by the American armed forces. Instead, they strongly resemble Sukhoi Su-27 twin-jet fighters.

The apparent gaffe was met with a strong reaction on social media that leaned heavily towards mockery.

Comment: This repeated bungling and bizarre behaviour seems to reflect the deterioration, incompetence, and corruption overwhelming US institutions: Also check out SOTT radio's: MindMatters: How Psychopaths Infect and Destroy Hierarchies of Competence

Bizarro Earth

Weekend of gun violence in Chicago: 7 killed, 41 injured including 3-year-old boy


Four people have died and 41 others have sustained injuries, including a 3-year-old boy, in shootings so far this weekend across Chicago, according to police.

The first fatal shooting happened early Saturday morning at approximately 12:14 a.m. in the 1900 block of South St. Louis when a 29-year-old man and a 34-year-old man were shot, according to police.

The 29-year-old man was shot in the eye and arm and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said. The 34-year-old man was shot in the head and pronounced dead at the scene.

Comment: This is the kind of violence one might expect to see in a country at war:


Afghanistan: Security barriers being removed, females attending university but some in government positions told to stay home for now

afghanistan women

Some exceptions were made in Afghanistan's capital including for toilet attendants for women. Women march to demand their rights under Taliban rule during a demonstration near the former Women's Affairs Ministry building in Kabul, Afghanistan (AP)
Female employees in the Kabul city government have been told to stay home, with work only allowed for those who cannot be replaced by men, the interim mayor of Afghanistan's capital said, detailing the latest restrictions on women by the new Taliban rulers.

The decision to prevent most female city workers from returning to their jobs is another sign that the Taliban, who overran Kabul last month, are enforcing their harsh interpretation of Islam despite initial promises by some that they would be tolerant and inclusive.

Comment: The interim government has been in power for but a brief perid, and, whilst the country has been declared as much safer than it was before, clearly more time needs to be given before one can consider their promises broken.

In their previous rule in the 1990s, the Taliban had barred girls and women from schools, jobs and public life.

Comment: And when the US ruled Afghanistan it resulted in the deaths of nearly half a million civilians.

Comment: The original title of this article was Female employees for Kabul city government told to stay at home, but clearly there's more to the story, and this is yet another Western outlet oblivious to the real struggles that Afghanistan is currently facing.

That said, Afghanistan has agreed to numerous desperately needed deals with China and Russia and should it fail to abide by its commitments, it's unlikely they will go ahead and the Taliban will have to answer to its people for depriving them of those opportunities. However, clearly more time is needed before any judgement can be made: Also check out SOTT radio's:


Russian parliamentary elections exit polls: Ruling party expected to win but Communist Party may slash majority - Evidence of vote tampering appears online

election russia
© Ramil Sitdikov / Sputnik
A woman votes in the general election in Moscow, September 19, 2021.
Russia's ruling party is expected to return to government after voting closed in the country's parliamentary elections but, with exit polls predicting gains for the opposition, it is unclear if it will retain its 'super-majority'.

As the final ballots were recorded in Kaliningrad, the country's westernmost region, a federal exit poll conducted by research agency INSOMAR found support in United Russia, which attracted more than half of votes in the 2016 election, may have waned. Sampling a total of 438,218 people across 1,455 polling stations, it estimates that the party of government has attracted around 45% of the vote, some 10% lower than last time round.

The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF), however, appears to be set to make substantial gains, with pollsters predicting it may have secured just over 21% of the vote - up from 13% in the previous election. This could mean that United Russia is able to form a government without depending on other parties for support, but that it may lose its so-called super majority that has allowed it to pass constitutional reforms unopposed.

Comment: Notably, just five days ago Russia exposed attempts by Western agencies to meddle in the election: Russia demands answers from US ambassador over 'election interference,' as Moscow says it has proof of 'serious' sabotage efforts

And other footage of alleged election tampering and meddling has come to light:

See also:


Biden admin ban drones to stop coverage of migrant crisis, Fox News hires helicopter to expose scenes of 11,000 migrants waiting for entry

haiti migrants
© AP Photo / Eric Gay
FILE PHOTO. Haitian migrants use a dam to cross to and from the United States from Mexico in Del Rio, Texas.
With a little help from state law enforcement, a Fox News correspondent overcame federal hurdles and took to the air over a migrant-sheltering Texas bridge, which had become a symbol of the border crisis for viewers.

The international bridge in Del Rio, Texas attracted national attention after drone footage showed thousands of people, most of them migrants from Haiti, flocking underneath it while they waited to be processed. Adding to the furore was a Thursday decision by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ground all drones in the area for two weeks, citing "special security reasons." Critics of the Biden administration took it as a blatant attempt to downplay the situation.

Whether true or not, taking spectacular images of migrant crowds from air remains quite possible in Del Rio, as a Fox News correspondent proved on Saturday. Bill Melugin and his crew were given a ride by the Texas Department of Public Safety. State authorities are among those accusing the federal government of mishandling the migration crisis.

Comment: More revealing footage:

See also: