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Thu, 08 Dec 2022
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Iran abolishes morality police, or did they?

President Ebrahim Raisi Iran
© AP Photo/Vahid Salemi
President Ebrahim Raisi
Iran's Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri announced on Saturday night that the hated Morality Police would be disbanded. The news was broadcast over state media outlets but was not confirmed by the Interior Ministry.

Recently, President Ebrahim Raisi said there would be no discussions of reform until the "riots" ended. That may still be true, as Montazeri pointed out that the Morality Police were not under the judiciary's authority and would continue "to monitor behavioral actions at the community level."

Iranians are skeptical.

Comment: RT reports:
The morality police was established in 2005 to control how people comply with Islamic rules regarding their clothes and behavior. It was sanctioned by the EU, US and the UK over the death of a 22-year-old woman named Mahsa Amini, who was arrested over allegedly wearing an "improper" hijab and died hours later.

More on that here.

Iran has seen weeks of violent protests that erupted in mid-September over the death of Amini. While the Iranian authorities claim that she died of a pre-existing medical condition, her family insists she was beaten to death while in custody.

According to figures released by Iran's Supreme National Security Council, the riots have claimed the lives of more than 200 people. Earlier this week, Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh, who serves with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps put the total death toll during the unrest at "more than 300 people."

Iranian officials have accused foreign players, especially the US and Israel, of inciting violence and trying to destabilize the country.


'Intentional vandalism' at substations caused power outages for 40K in North Carolina, police enforce curfew

© Jim R. Bounds/Bloomberg via Getty
This file images shows Progress Energy Inc. powerlines lead from a substation in Durham, North Carolina, on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2011. Duke Energy Corp. was nearing an agreement to buy Progress Energy Inc. to form the largest U.S. utility.
A North Carolina sheriff and power company official said "intentional vandalism" at substations has caused outages for about 40,000 customers expected to last longer than 24 hours.

Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields reported that the mass power outage across the county is being investigated "as a criminal occurrence," according to the sheriff's office's Facebook page.

Just after 7 p.m. on Saturday, several communities across Moore County began experiencing power outages. As utility companies began responding to the different substations, "evidence was discovered that indicated that intentional vandalism had occurred at multiple sites," the sheriff's office said.

Comment: KTVZ reports:
2 substations damaged by gunfire

Authorities have announced a mandatory curfew in a North Carolina county where around 40,000 customers lost power after two power substations were damaged by gunfire Saturday night.

The county will implement a mandatory curfew from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m., starting Sunday night, Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said at a news conference Sunday.

Municipality and county officials "have formed a plan for the night and the next few nights that we may be out of power. It's a very serious situation," Fields said. "So we've come to an agreement to best protect our citizens and to protect the businesses of our county, we're going to implement a curfew tonight."

Enforcing a curfew during a power outage seems to be a rather strange move, especially if unrest or looting is not common in the area. Although, it's notable Europe's preparations for energy blackouts include similar restrictions: Switzerland unveils raft of lockdown-style restrictions to conserve power when energy crisis bites, includes BAN on electric cars

A state of emergency went into effect at 4 p.m. Sunday as law enforcement, city and energy officials are investigating the incident and working to restore the two substations, authorities said. Law enforcement has also been providing security for the stations, according to the sheriff.

substation power
Fields said multiple rounds were fired at the two substations. "It was targeted, it wasn't random," he said.

No suspects have been identified in connection with the incident. Fields would not say if the criminal activity was domestic terrorism.

"The person, or persons, who did this knew exactly what they were doing," Fields said. "We don't have a clue why Moore County."

A trial run in the backwaters before testing it out in more populated areas?

Fields acknowledged a woman who posted on Facebook Sunday morning indicating she had been questioned by law enforcement in connection with the incident. Fields did not name the woman, but said she posted false information on social media claiming to have information behind the incident.

"We don't have anything," Fields said, when asked about a possible motive. "No motivation, no group has stepped up to acknowledge or accept they're the ones who [did] it."

A gate at one of the locations also appears to have been taken off its hinges, Mike Cameron of the Southern Pines Fire and Rescue Department told CNN on Sunday afternoon.

Cameron said the area is experiencing increased emergency calls due to the lack of power, adding that auto accidents have occurred because traffic lights are out. People who rely on oxygen have placed emergency calls, he said.

More than 37,000 customers were without power across the county Sunday evening, according to the Duke Energy outage map. According to poweroutage.us, about 38,000 customers had lost power in Moore County and neighboring Hoke County.

Moore County Manager Wayne Vest said a shelter, running on a generator, opened Sunday afternoon at the Moore County Sports Complex in conjunction with the Red Cross. Vest said additional trailers with bathroom and shower facilities are also being brought to the shelter.

Power restoration could take until Thursday, energy company says

The estimated cost of the substation damage is in the "millions," the sheriff said.

Restoration to the two substations could take until Thursday for some customers, Jeff Brooks, principal communications manager for Duke Energy, said at Sunday's news conference.

"We are going to be working around the clock, all hands-on deck, to get power back as quickly and safely as possible," Brooks said.

Duke Energy will continue to work with the Moore Sheriff's Office and county officials to support the investigation.

Brooks said there had been "intentional impact" on the substation damaging multiple pieces of equipment of the substations, causing power to go out. In this instance, rerouting power is not an option, he said.

"Equipment will have to be replaced," Brooks said. "We are looking at a pretty sophisticated repair with large equipment. This will be a multiday restoration for most customers, extending possibly to Thursday."

A local supermarket is distributing ice to impacted residents, according to a news release from grocery chain Harris Teeter.

The power outage has also led officials to cancel Monday classes for all schools in the county. "An announcement will be made tomorrow evening to inform parents and staff of the status of schools for Tuesday," Moore County Schools said in a tweet Sunday afternoon.

FBI has joined the investigation, congressman says

Several communities across the county began experiencing power outages just after 7 p.m. Saturday, the Moore County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post.

"As utility companies began responding to the different substations, evidence was discovered that indicated that intentional vandalism had occurred at multiple sites," the office said.

At least two substations were vandalized "with criminal intent," US Rep. Richard Hudson said Sunday morning in a release.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the FBI are responding, according to Hudson. He said the motive remains unknown.

Hudson, whose congressional district includes Moore County, said the Southern Pines Police Department has opened a community center for residents to charge devices.

CNN has reached out to Southern Pines police and the FBI.

During the Sunday news conference, Fields addressed rumors circulating on social media that the attack was an attempt to thwart a local drag show.

Fields said law enforcement is working every angle, but "have not been able to tie anything back to the drag show," which was scheduled for Saturday night in the nearby town of Southern Pines.

On its website, the Sunrise Theater advertised the "Downtown Divas!" drag show starting at 7 p.m. The power was cut shortly after that time, Fields said.

CNN has reached out to the Sunrise Theater as well as the Southern Pines Police Department. CNN has also reached out to Sandhills Pride, the organization behind Saturday's drag event.

"This was a terrible act," North Carolina State Senator Tom McInnis said during the news conference. "And it appears to be an intentional, willful and malicious act, and the perpetrator will be brought to justice and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

Crews were experiencing "multiple equipment failures" that are affecting substations in Moore County, Duke Energy spokesperson Brooks told CNN affiliate WRAL.

"We are also investigating signs of potential vandalism related to the outages," Brooks said.

Deputies and officers from other law enforcement agencies responded to the different sites to provide security, according to the sheriff's office.

Gov. Roy Cooper on Sunday tweeted that state law enforcement would join the investigation.

"I have spoken with Duke Energy and state law enforcement officials about the power outages in Moore County. They are investigating and working to return electricity to those impacted," Cooper said. "The state is providing support as needed."

Moore County is in central North Carolina, about 50 miles northwest of Fayetteville.
Taken together with the numerous food processing fires, as well as the gas, oil, and power plant explosions, it seems reasonable enough to suspect that there could be more to this than just the sabotage of a drag show or any kind of personal vendetta. And, if that is indeed the case, then one can expect to see an increase in similar incidents in the future:


Musk declares New York Times 'lobbying firm for far left' after reportedly ignoring 'Twitter Files' story

Elon Musk new york times
© AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato
Tesla CEO and Twitter owner Elon Musk slammed the New York Times on Saturday, calling it a "lobbying firm" for leftist politicians.
Twitter owner Elon Musk called The New York Times a "lobbying firm for far left politicians" on Saturday.

The world's richest man made his comments on Twitter Saturday in response to the claim that the news outlet featured no articles about the revelation of Musk's "Twitter Files" the morning after they dropped on Twitter.

On Friday evening, Substack journalist Matt Taibbi - with content apparently provided to him from Musk - revealed over Twitter a series of documents and emails revealing the internal communications of Twitter staff debating whether to censor the New York Post's Hunter Biden laptop story on their platform ahead of the 2020 presidential election, which they ultimately did.

Several emails exposed that Twitter staff engaged in emergency censorship of the story, even though high-level employees were clearly apprehensive of the move. One email revealed that then-Twitter Global Head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth acknowledged the shakiness of their reasons in squashing the story, but encouraged it anyway, citing the "lessons of 2016."

Comment: See also:


US military scientist who worked at Wuhan lab says COVID was man-made

Wuhan research lab
© AFP via Getty Images
A scientist who worked at a research lab in China has claimed that COVID was a man-made virus that leaked from the facility.
A scientist who worked at a controversial research lab in China has claimed that COVID was a man-made virus that leaked from the facility, according to a report.

Andrew Huff, who worked for a New York-based non-profit that studied viruses, said COVID leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China two-plus years ago and blamed authorities for the "biggest US intelligence failure since 9/11," Britain's The Sun reported Saturday.

The lab has been at the center of fierce debates about the origins of COVID, with both Chinese government officials and lab personnel denying that the virus leaked from the facility.

Huff, an epidemiologist, said in his new book, "The Truth About Wuhan," that the pandemic was the result of the US government's funding of coronaviruses in China.

Comment: See also:


Brussels auctioneers retract sales of colonial era human skulls from Congo following backlash


Auctioneers Vanderkindere have decided to cancel the planned auction of three 19th century human skulls that originated in Congo. The firm has now issued an apology, while there are growing calls for the sale of human remains to be banned by law.
The auction was planned to take place in Brussels using the international website of auctioneers Drouot. The skulls were to be auctioned between lots consisting of paintings, jewellery, fur coats, furniture and other antiques, but courted widespread criticism.

Auctioneers Vanderkindere have now apologised for the planned sale of the Congolese skulls that are linked to the Belgian colonisation of Central Africa.

"We in no way support the suffering and humiliation that people were subjected to during the colonial period" they said in a statement.

Light Saber

As Elon Musk fights censorship, states take aim at Anthony Fauci, Big Tech

© ZUMAPRESS.com/ Tony Williams
Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared cocky, deceitful and quick-witted during his deposition, according to participants.
While we await Elon Musk's promised release of the "Twitter Files," detailing the 2020 censorship of the New York Post, he has been busy fending off threats to destroy his new $44 billion acquisition unless he drops his commitment to free speech.

He tweeted a video Wednesday afternoon of Apple's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters, where he was strolling around the HQ pond in conversation with Apple CEO Tim Cook, whom he has accused of threatening to drop Twitter from the App Store.

A few hours later, Musk declared that he and Cook had "resolved the misunderstanding about Twitter potentially being removed from the App Store. Tim was clear that Apple never considered doing so."

Red Pill

What's missing from the Twitter files? The truth about the FBI

biden hunter joe twitter files taibbi
Matt Taibbi half-delivered on Elon Musk's promise to tell all about Twitter's censorship of The New York Post's Hunter Biden laptop story before the 2020 election.
Elon Musk half-delivered on his promise to tell all about Twitter's censorship of The New York Post's Hunter Biden laptop story before the 2020 election. What was missing were details of specific warnings we know the FBI made to Twitter about a Russian "hack and leak operation" involving Hunter during their weekly meetings with top executives of the social media giant in the days and weeks before The Post published its exclusive bombshell.

We know that FBI Supervisory Special Agent Elvis Chan testified Tuesday in a lawsuit against the Biden administration brought by Republican attorneys that he organized those weekly meetings with Twitter and Facebook in San Francisco for as many as seven Washington-based FBI agents in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.

Twitter's then-head of Site Integrity Yoel Roth has stated in a sworn declaration that he was told during those meetings to expect "hack-and-leak operations" by state actors involving Hunter Biden.



Germany 'sleepwalking' into new migration crisis - top MEP

© Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images
Ukrainian refugees arrive at Poland's Medyka border crossing
Germany is facing a new refugee influx fueled by the Ukraine conflict and the country is doing nothing to prepare for it, Manfred Weber, the president of the European People's Party (EPP), warned on Saturday.

Speaking to Welt am Sonntag newspaper, Weber, who is also the leader of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, claimed that Germany "is sleepwalking into a new migration crisis." To prove his point, he said that accommodation centers in Germany were already full, with municipal authorities in a number of other European countries under strain as well.

The politician stressed that due to the destruction of Ukrainian energy infrastructure by Russian strikes,
"we have to be ready for a large number of Ukrainians coming to the EU this winter - and many of them to Germany. I'm afraid we will experience a dramatic exodus this winter. Germany is not prepared for this situation. The federal government simply ignores the challenges."
It is possible that Germany will have to accommodate Ukrainians in gyms, as well as restricting school and business activities to handle the crisis, Weber noted.

Comment: If Germany is so unprepared, it has not been paying attention. Signs are everywhere.

Arrow Down

Real wages drop globally - UN

© Mustasinur Rahman Alvi/Eyepix G
Shop Labor
Real wages across the world dropped in 2022 for the first time since the global financial crash as the worsening cost-of-living crisis threatens to spark social unrest and deepen inequality, the United Nations labor agency warned earlier this week.

According to the latest report released by the International Labor Organization (ILO), monthly wages declined by 0.9% in real terms in the first half of the current year, marking the first negative wage growth since 2008. The report titled "The impact of inflation and Covid-19 on wages and purchasing power" notes that the crisis is reducing the purchasing power of the middle classes and hitting low-income households particularly hard.

Real wages across advanced G20 economies in the first half of 2022 are estimated to have declined by 2.2%, while those in emerging G20 countries grew by 0.8%, which is 2.6% less than in pre-Covid 2019.

Over the past several years, pandemic-related supply chain bottlenecks along with geopolitical uncertainty have significantly boosted food and energy costs, sending inflation in many countries to the highest levels in four decades.

Comment: This is only the tip of the Western financial disaster to come.


Twitter files reveal DNC requested censorship of James Woods

© Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images
James Woods
Internal Twitter emails released on Friday by Elon Musk via journalist Matt Taibbi revealed that Twitter censored a tweet about the Hunter Biden laptop story by actor James Woods at the behest of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The communications revealed that a political party was able to successfully suppress a private citizens' speech on Twitter for posting content that could be politically damaging for the Democrat presidential nominee at the time of a presidential election.

The email posted by Taibbi showed that a Twitter employee emailed a co-worker with suspension requests, writing: "An additional report from DNC." Listed were two tweets, including one by Woods.