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Tue, 21 Mar 2023
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Russian pilots to be awarded after US drone incident

fighter jet
© Sputnik/Vitaly Timkiv
SU-27 fighter jet
The pilots of the Russian jets that scrambled to identify an American drone that was conducting a reconnaissance mission over the Black Sea have been nominated for decoration, the Defense Ministry announced on Friday.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu "has put forward for state awards the pilots of the Su-27 aircraft who prevented the US MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle from violating" the restricted flight zone established by Moscow amid the Ukraine conflict, the ministry's statement read. It added that the borders of the area in question had been made known to all users of international airspace.

The ministry, however, did not provide any personal information about the pilots, nor did it reveal what awards they might receive.

On Tuesday, the Pentagon claimed that two Russian jets dumped fuel on a MQ-9 Reaper drone, with one later colliding with the aircraft and damaging its propeller, while accusing Moscow of "unsafe and unprofessional" actions.

The Russian Defense Ministry, however, dismissed this accusation, saying that the Su-27s never came in contact with the Reaper, nor did it fire a weapon. It explained that the US drone was flying with its transponders turned off, violated the restricted area, and crashed after "going into uncontrolled flight" as a result of "sharp maneuvers."

Comment: This was clearly a provocation by the US to see what Russia would do.

Light Saber

'Monetizing misery': YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat sued by Silicon Valley school board

tikTok logo
© CFOTO/Future Publishing via Getty Images
TikTok is among the most frequently downloaded social media apps worldwide, as well as in the United States — specifically among young users.
School board lawsuit alleges TikTok, YouTube and Snapchat cultivated a mental health crisis among kids

TikTok, YouTube and Snapchat are purposefully designed to be addictive platforms that have "carefully cultivated" a mental health crisis among U.S. students, a Silicon Valley school board alleged in a lawsuit.

The San Mateo County superintendent and school board also alleges in the lawsuit filed Monday that the tech companies were involved in activities such as negligence, racketeering, public nuisance and violation of unfair competition law. A Seattle school district filed a similar lawsuit against the same three companies in January.

"Powerful corporations who wield unmatched, highly concentrated technology in pursuit of profit are knowingly creating this unprecedented mental health crisis," the lawsuit states. "YouTube, Snap, TikTok and their related companies have carefully cultivated the crisis, which is a feature — not a bug — of their social media products."

Comment: One wonders why Meta was not included in the suit.


DeSantis, 18 GOP governors form alliance to combat Biden's ESG push: 'Direct threat to the American economy'

sarah huckabee desantis noem
© Al Drago | Cheney Orr | Ting Shen
Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem all signed the joint statement against Biden's ESG program.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., joined forces with 18 GOP governors to reject President Joe Biden's environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) "agenda," claiming the push is a "direct threat" to the economic freedom of American retirees.

Governors in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming formed the alliance Thursday in what they described as an effort to ensure American retirement funds are not used for "woke" investments.

"Yet again, President Biden put his political agenda above the wellbeing and individual freedoms of hardworking Americans," the Republican governors wrote. "We as freedom loving states can work together and leverage our state pension funds to force change in how major asset managers invest the money of hardworking Americans, ensuring corporations are focused on maximizing shareholder value, rather than the proliferation of woke ideology."


Eggs Fried

Dollar Tree ditches egg sales until 'later' this year due to soaring prices

© iStock
Dollar Tree Inc has stopped selling eggs in its Dollar Tree stores, a spokesperson for the U.S. retailer confirmed late Tuesday, as the staple food has skyrocketed in price by as much as 60% during the fall.

The chain, which is increasingly a go-to grocery destination for cash strapped shoppers, has roughly 8,000 Dollar Tree stores across the United States and Canada. Its spokesperson said it does not anticipate being able to bring eggs back into its stores for sale until later this fall.

Egg prices hit record highs of close to an average of $5 a dozen in January, according to economic data, due to a global outbreak of the avian flu. In consumer pricing data released by the government Tuesday, egg prices fell 6.7% in February.

Comment: Fearmongering to keep the dependence going:

'Please don't get a chicken': New Zealand egg shortage sparks scramble for poultry

Mr. Potato

Buffoonish virtue-signal: Newark officials signed diversity-inspired partnership with FAKE COUNTRY led by Indian cult leader

newark sister city fake country
© YouTube/TAPinto Newark
Newark officials partnered with the Hindu nation of the United States of Kailasa. But six days after signing the agreement, the nation appeared to be nonexistent.
"Jesus Newark, how can an entire city get catfished?" The Daily Show's Kal Penn said.

It's a textbook case of an overseas scam — except the victim was an American city.

Officials in Newark, New Jersey, were initially thrilled to partner with the Hindu nation of the United States of Kailasa.

The only problem? The country doesn't exist.

After hosting "delegates" from the made-up country at a formal ceremony in January, City Hall has admitted that the whole thing was a scam led by notorious Indian fugitive Swami Nithyananda.

Comment: The Post Millennial adds:
A City Hall spokesperson stated afterward, "Although this was a regrettable incident, the city of Newark remains committed to partnering with people from diverse cultures in order to enrich each other with connectivity, support, and mutual respect."

Since the news broke, officials have been slammed by everyone from citizens, to pundits, to late-night TV show hosts.

"Jesus Newark, how can an entire city get catfished?" The Daily Show's Kal Penn quipped. "Not a single person realized they'd never heard of this country before? Not on a globe, not at the Olympics? ... There must have been so many red flags, the biggest one being that anyone wanted to be sister cities with Newark!"

Fox News' Jesse Watters questioned why nobody had bothered to do any research on the alleged nation beforehand, adding that delegates from Kailasa had managed to dupe the United Nations as well, sneaking into a meeting in Geneva in February.

According to BBC, a UN official told the delegates that their submissions were "irrelevant" and "intangible" to the issues being discussed, and would ignore the statements made to two Geneva public meetings.


Thousands of pounds of uranium go missing in African nation: UN nuclear watchdog UPDATE

© Unknown
The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a confidential report this week that 2.5 tons of natural uranium have gone missing from a site in Libya that is not controlled by the government.

Reuters reported that the U.N. nuclear watchdog informed member states of the news this week, according to documents viewed by the publication.

A statement from IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said:
"The inspection was supposed to happen last year, but had to be postponed because of the security situation in the region. Investigators found that 10 drums containing approximately 2.5 tons of natural uranium in the form of UOC (uranium ore concentrate) previously declared by (Libya) ... as being stored at that location were not present at the location. The loss of knowledge about the present location of nuclear material may present a radiological risk, as well as nuclear security concerns."
Officials said that investigations were already underway to locate the missing nuclear materials. The name and location of the site were not revealed, although officials said that getting to it required "complex logistics."

Comment: UPDATE: 16 March 2023 Over 2 tons of 'missing uranium found in Libya:
More than 2 tons of missing radioactive uranium have been found near a warehouse in southern Libya after its disappearance sparked nuclear safety concerns, according to military officials.

Khaled Mahjoub, a spokesperson for the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), said in a statement Thursday that the 10 barrels had been recovered, though a video he shared showed workers counting 18 containers.

Some of the blue-painted drums in the video displayed what appeared to be batch numbers. However, the footage did not show the barrels being opened.

According to the IAEA, the facility is located in an area that is not under the control of the Government of National Unity in Tripoli and requires "complex logistics" to reach it.

Mahjoub said the site was a warehouse near the border with Chad that the IAEA last visited in 2020 and sealed with red wax. The barrels were discovered abandoned about 3 miles from the storage facility.

He speculated that a group of separatist fighters from Chad had raided the warehouse and stolen the barrels, hoping they might contain weapons or ammunition, but had subsequently ditched them.

The IAEA said it was aware of media reports that the uranium has been found and was working to verify them. The UN agency earlier warned that the missing uranium could pose a nuclear security threat.

Although natural uranium ore cannot immediately be used to make a nuclear bomb, a group armed with expertise and the needed equipment, including centrifuges, could refine each ton of the material to 12 pounds of weapons-grade uranium.


Manhunt launched for helicopter thief who crashed $7.5m aircraft in nighttime raid on private airbase in Sacramento

stolen chopper helicopter crash

A manhunt is underway for a thief who crashed a $7.5million helicopter after his attempts to start four others failed in a private Sacramento airbase.
A manhunt is underway for a thief who crashed a $7.5million helicopter after his attempts to start four others failed at a private Sacramento airbase.

The suspect broke into Sacramento Executive Airport in the early hours of Wednesday morning with the intention of stealing an aircraft.

He tried to start four different helicopters before he got into a fifth and managed to turn the engine on but he failed to get it airborne and crashed on the tarmac damaging multiple other choppers.

Stock Down

UK Budget 2023: Living standards to suffer biggest fall since records began

jeremy hunt
People will be hit with the biggest fall in living standards since records began following Jeremy Hunt's Budget, which handed a huge tax cut to the rich.

The independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) said on Wednesday household disposable income would fall by 5.7% over the two financial years 2022-23 and 2023-24.

While this is 1.4% less than forecast in November, the watchdog said it would still be the largest two-year fall since records began in 1956-57.


French protests: Violence erupts in Paris as police clash with protesters at Place de la Concorde

paris protests
© AP
Protesters are angry about President Emmanuel Macron's decision to force a bill through parliament to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 without a vote.

Police have clashed again with protesters angry at the French government's plans to raise the country's retirement age.

Protestors lit a fire and gathered in the Place de la Concorde, near the National Assembly building in Paris where they faced a line of riot police.

Images of tear gas being used by police to deal with the crowds was broadcast by Reuters TV, while other protesters were heard chanting "Macron, resign".

Comment: See also:


Fire engulfs security service building in major Russian city

fsb fire
An FSB border-guard service facility in Rostov-on-Don became engulfed in flames, reportedly killing one person.

A huge fire has broken out in the building of the Russian Federal Security Service's (FSB) border guard in the port city of Rostov-on-Don. Clouds of thick black smoke could be seen billowing from the city center on Thursday morning, as residents published video footage of the blaze on social media.

Rostov Region Governor Vasily Golubev has released a statement confirming that the fire started in the utility rooms of the FSB facility. He added that it is currently believed that the cause was a short-circuit in electrical wiring inside the building, the fire from which then spread to containers with fuel and lubricants, causing a series of explosions.

Comment: Whole lot of large scale fires in Russia in the news as of late...

See also: