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Tue, 21 Mar 2023
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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.

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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:


Time is running out to speak freely about free speech

censorship illustration
© Eric Drooker
Americans need to have an important discussion about free speech now — before the Censorship Complex makes it impossible to do so.

The Censorship Complex — whereby Big Tech censorship is induced by the government, media, and media-rating businesses — threatens the future of free speech in this country. To understand how and why, Americans need to talk about speech — and the government's motive to deceive the public.

To frame this discussion, consider these hypotheticals:
  • Two American soldiers training Ukraine soldiers in Poland cross into the war zone, ambushing and killing five Russian soldiers. Unbeknownst to the American soldiers, a Ukrainian soldier filmed the incident and provides the footage to an independent journalist who authors an article on Substack, providing a link to the video.
  • Russia uses its intelligence service and "bots" to flood social media with claims that the Ukrainians are misusing 90 percent of American tax dollars. In truth, "only" 40 percent of American tax dollars are being wasted or corruptly usurped — a fact that an independent journalist learns when a government source leaks a Department of Defense report detailing the misappropriation of the funds sent to Ukraine.
  • A third of Americans disagree with the continued funding of the war in Ukraine and organically prompt #NoMoreMoola to trend. After this organic hashtag trend begins, Russian operatives amplify the hashtag while the Russian-run state media outlet, Russia Today, reports on the hashtag trend.
  • Following the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank, the communist Chinese government uses social media to create the false narrative that 10 specifically named financial institutions are bordering on collapsing. In reality, only Bank A1 is financially troubled, but a bank run on any of the 10 banks would cause those banks to collapse too.

Oil Well

German regional leader wants Nord Stream repaired

Saxony Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer
© Steffen Füssel
Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer
Saxony premier Michael Kretschmer said the sabotaged gas pipelines would be needed if Germany and Russia resume trade

Germany should repair the Nord Stream gas pipelines while it is still possible, the state premier of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer, has argued. The politician suggested that the pipelines, which were blown up last September, could be needed again in the event that Germany and Russia normalize trade relations under new leadership in Moscow.

"In energy policy, it's all about keeping options open," Kretschmer told Germany's Focus magazine in an interview published on Sunday.

"When Putin is gone, the pipeline could also be an opportunity for a successor to restore economic relations with us," the official added, predicting that this could happen in around five years' time.

Comment: Kretschner is still under the illusion that Germany is an independent country. The U.S. will not allow its vassal to set one toe forward in Russia's direction, or in any direction that threatens to allow it to recovery its famed industrial capacity. In Germany at least, the NATO goal of "U.S. in, Russia out and Germany down" has been accomplished.


Pakistani police file terrorism charges against ex-PM Khan

burning policecar
© AP/W.K. Yousafzai
Man films burning police vehicle outside the court in Islamabad, Pakistan, March 18, 2023
Police in the Pakistani capital filed charges Sunday against former Prime Minister Imran Khan, 17 of his aides and scores of supporters, accusing them of terrorism and several other offenses after the ousted premier's followers clashed with security forces in Islamabad the previous day.

For hours on Saturday, Khan's followers clashed with police outside a court where the former prime minister was to appear in a graft case. Riot police wielded batons and fired tear gas while Khan's supporters threw fire bombs and hurled rocks at the officers.

More than 50 officers were injured and a police checkpoint, several cars and motorcycles were torched. Police said 59 of Khan's supporters were arrested during the violence.

Khan never actually appeared inside the court to face charges that he had sold state gifts received while in office and concealed assets.

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Uganda: Museveni calls gay people 'deviants' as anti-LGBT bill advances

Yoweri Museveni
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday described gay people as "deviants" and called for an investigation into homosexuality as lawmakers in the conservative East African nation prepare to vote on an anti-LGBT bill.

The bill, introduced earlier this month, proposes tough new penalties for same-sex relations in a country where homosexuality is already illegal, sparking criticism from human rights groups.

In a state of the nation address before lawmakers, Museveni, who has ruled Uganda since 1986, called gay people deviants as MPs urged him to comment on the new legislation.

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Oxfam's new 92-page inclusivity guide calls English 'the language of a colonising nation' and tells staff to avoid the words 'mother' 'headquarters' - and even 'youth', in move slammed by critics

oxfam inclusive language guide

The 92-page report warns against 'colonial' phrases such as 'headquarters', suggests 'local' may be offensive and says 'people' could be patriarchal.
Oxfam came under fire last night for issuing a bizarre 'inclusive' language guide to staff.

The 92-page report warns against 'colonial' phrases such as 'headquarters', suggests 'local' may be offensive and says 'people' could be patriarchal.

Workers were told 'parent' is often preferable to 'mother' or 'father', terms such as 'feminine hygiene' should be dropped, and 'people who become pregnant' should be used instead of 'expectant mothers'.

Comment: The only people offended by the 'language to avoid' listed above are the social justice warriors making up these rules to signal their own virtue. This is not meant to help the disadvantaged people Oxfam is supposed to be supporting. It's a barely veiled attempt to control the way people think.

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Shopping Bag

Polish inflation highest since mid-1990s

© Getty Images / Ingus Kruklitis / EyeEm
Soaring food and housing-related costs have piled pressure on cash-strapped families.

Annual inflation in Poland accelerated in February to the highest level since 1996, data released by the national statistics service GUS showed on Wednesday.

Consumer prices rose 18.4% year-on-year in February, up from the 16.6% recorded in the previous month.

Comment: More from RT:
The number of shoplifting crimes in Poland increased by almost a third in 2022, newspaper Rzeczpospolita reported on Thursday, citing police data.

Statistics showed that the number of thefts increased by as much as 31.1% on an annual basis, to over 32,000 cases. Out of 16 Polish regions, only Lublin reportedly did not record an increase in such crimes.

The rise in theft is "a clear signal of trouble on the market," the president of the Polish Trade and Distribution Organization Renata Juszkiewicz was quoted as saying. Soaring prices have been pushing people to commit such crimes, she suggested, adding that it is "a huge challenge" for stores while prompting further increases in operating costs.

The report indicated that food was stolen most of all, followed by luxury items such as expensive perfumes and spirits, as well as small electronics.

The Polish economy slowed in 2022 amid soaring inflation and a plunge in consumer spending brought on by the conflict in neighboring Ukraine and the impact of sanctions on Russia. Official statistics show that inflation accelerated in the beginning of 2023, with consumer prices jumping 17.2% in January from a year ago. Economists are forecasting that inflation will continue to rise, with Poland projected to have one of the EU's highest rates this year.

Eye 2

Minnesota elementary school teacher proud of confusing students about gender

kourtney ryan trans flag
A Minnesota elementary school teacher is under fire after a social media video surfaced featuring the instructor talking about the "goal" of confusing children about gender.

As reported by American Wire, Valentine Hills Elementary music teacher Kourtney Ryan, who is "presumably a woman," posted a video online recounting a shocking conversation Ryan had with young students and another teacher.

"The students asked the other teacher if I'm a boy or a girl, and the teacher was like, 'Does it matter?'" Ryan began.

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