"When the speech condemns a free press, you are hearing the words of a tyrant!" -- Thomas Jefferson

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If you did not catch it let me make it clear — Israel is now claiming that Iran targeted the Dimona nuclear facility. That is going to be Israel’s propaganda spin going forward to justify the reported attack.

Israel may just have committed suicide. The Netanyahu cabinet is betting that Iran is unable to launch a massive retaliatory missile strike and that its threat to respond if Israel attacks are just hollow talk. Israel is pushing the bullshit that “this is a limited strike.” That is not how Iran views this.

I have confirmed from a source with access that Israel launched attacks on Isfahan and Tabriz with drones. Iran was prepared. Its air defense systems, according to my source, activated and engaged the Israeli drones and shot them down. Looks like we are witnessing the start of a serious war in the Middle East. This is going to escalate.

Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, FUKUSHIMA/NUKE DISASTERS, IRAN, ISRAEL, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Authored by Richard Porter via RealClear Politics,

Jury selection is underway now complete in the case of The People of the State of New York vs. Donald J. Trump, which alleges that the defendant lied to his own check register, and lied to the general ledger of his own company, when the invoice given to him by his lawyer was paid and recorded by someone else, and that the misstatement he made to himself in his own records was done “with the intent to defraud and intent to commit another crime and aid and conceal the commission thereof.”

It is often noted that this is the first time that a former U.S. president is being tried for a crime, although Ulysses S. Grant may (or may not) have been cited for speeding in his carriage. The federal government chose not to prosecute Bill Clinton, who lied under oath during a sexual harassment lawsuit and then dissembled again about sex before a grand jury. Clinton lost his law license, settled the case on unfavorable terms, and was sanctioned by both federal and Arkansas state courts.

So, this is a first. And let’s be honest about who is doing what to whom and why.

The prosecutor elected in New York County of New York state indicted Trump, after Trump announced his 2024 run for president, for allegedly violating New York Penal Laws 175.05 and 175.10 seven years ago.

That local prosecutor, Alvin Bragg, is a member of the Democratic Party – and the voters who elected Bragg and from whom the jury will be chosen support the Democratic Party. In 2016, the people of New York County voted 87% for Hillary Clinton and 10% for Donald Trump, and in 2020, 87% for Joe Biden and 12% for Donald Trump. In other words, the jury pool is chosen from one of the most partisan jurisdictions in the country – a place where almost all the judges are Democrats as well.

So the Democratic prosecutor elected in the second most Democratic county in the United States will try the former Republican president and current putative Republican Party presidential nominee before a Democrat-appointed judge and a jury drawn from a pool 87% of whom voted against him (and who are being asked if they watch Fox News or listen to talk radio in the screening process)

Claire's Observations:  actually, what appears to be happening is a full, and consistent retreat from the American concept of "Innocent until proven guilty" and placing Trump under Code Napoleon law, which premises that an accused is "guilty until proven innocent."

When Cornwallis surrendered to the Americans at the Battle of Yorktown, some historians say  that he instructed the band to play "The World Turned Upside Down."

Ever since the assassination of JFK , my world, and my understanding of what this country was, and was capable of doing, to remain a hegemonic power, got turned upside down as well, and has never been the same since that moment.  And all the horrors of all those wars this country has generated toward that end, have stayed with me. 

 I think this part of what motivates me to witness, as a Christian pacifist activist, to urge people to find peaceful, moral ways, with which to resolve both national, and international, conflicts. 

However, some people don't want that, and are out for blood, literal or financial.  Remember that horrific, disheveled image of Trump's head,  courtesy of Kathy Griffith, right after Trump won the election?!?

The Demonocrats want that for real with this trial, and to shut him in prison for the rest of his life.

 

 

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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Kiev forces launched a drone at the training center of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) again, but the attack failed, the facility announced on April 18.

“The Ukrainian army has attacked the unique training center of Zaporizhzhia NPP again. The Ukrainian drone was neutralized over the roof of Building G of the Zaporizhzhia NPP’s training center, housing the world’s only full-scale reactor hall simulator. No one was injured as a result of the attack. There was no damage, either,” the facility said in a statement posted to its Telegram channel

The Zaporizhzhia NPP also warned that Kiev forces had been attacking the plant and the nearby city of Energodar for the last two weeks.

“They target both the NPP and its infrastructure facilities, thus creating a threat to nuclear safety. The Ukrainian attacks are a direct violation of the seven principles of nuclear safety and five principles of Zaporozhye NPP safety established by the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] at the UN Security Council,” the statement reads.

Tags: FUKUSHIMA/NUKE DISASTERS, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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The Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) destroyed three militant hideouts in hard-to-reach mountainous terrain in the central Syrian governorate of Homs known as al-Amor ridge, the deputy chief of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria announced on April 17

“The Russian Aerospace Forces destroyed three hideouts, used by militants who left the al-Tanf zone and took refuge in hard-to-access areas of the al-Amor ridge in the Homs Governorate,” Major General Yury Popov said in a daily briefing.

Video footage posted to social media on the same day showed airstrikes by the VKS against militants hideouts in central Syria. However, it is unclear if these were the same airstrikes announced by the Russian Reconciliation Center in the country.

Tags: RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, SYRIA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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At yesterday's House Oversight Committee hearing, Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY) defended the Biden family, blasted the Republican impeachment probe into President Biden, and attacked former President Trump and called the GOP the "Party of Putin," which led to a suspension of the hearing.

Tags: IMPEACHMENT, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, WHITE HOUSE
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At a House Oversight Committee hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Rep. James Comer (R-KY) spoke about the impeachment investigation into President Biden.

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Tags: IMPEACHMENT, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, WHITE HOUSE
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Itamar Ben Gvir, a notorious far-right Israeli minister, has called for the execution of Palestinian prisoners to ease overcrowding in the jails.

The minister said in a social media post on Thursday that applying the death penalty to Palestinian detainees was the “right” solution to tackle the problem of prison overcrowding.

"The death penalty is the right solution to the incarceration problem, until then - glad that the government approved the proposal I brought."

The remarks came after the Israeli authorities approved his proposal to build about 936 additional prison places to hold Palestinian prisoners.

Tags: ISRAEL, PALESTINE, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Nuclear sites in the Iranian province of Isfahan are absolutely safe, the Tasnim news agency reported.

The agency quoted sources as saying that no incidents were registered on the country’s nuclear facilities.

Therefore, Tasnim refuted foreign media reports about an incident at a nuclear site in Isfahan.

Earlier, ABC television channel reported citing a US official that Israel delivered a missile strike on a facility in Iran. Iranian media later refuted these reports. Iranian air defenses shot down three drones in the central Iranian province of Isfahan, the country’s state television said.

Tags: IRAN, ISRAEL, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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The operator of Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), has launched the fifth round of treated water release from the facility that is scheduled to run until May 7, Japanese news agency reported on Friday.

As part of the fifth round of water discharge, TEPCO plans to release 7,800 tonnes of treated water into the sea, while in the new fiscal year, a total of over 54,000 tonnes of water would be released, the report said.

The water's radioactivity levels meet the standards set by the Japanese government and international organizations, media reported.

The fourth round of water discharge ended on March 16.

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Tags: FUKUSHIMA/NUKE DISASTERS, JAPAN
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Israel carried out strikes on Iran, explosions were heard in the cities of Tehran, Isfahan, and Shiraz, as per local media reports.

Explosions were also reported in Syria and Iraq, the media outlets added.

A blast in Iran's Isfahan was heard near the airport and the 8th Army Air Force Base, Iran's Fars news agency said.

Iranian air defense forces have been repelling an air strike in the skies over the city of Isfahan, Mehr News Agency wrote, publishing a video of the incident. The Iranian authorities canceled flights over Tehran, Isfahan, and Shiraz temporarily.

Tags: IRAN, ISRAEL, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Drone footage has emerged of multiple Russian missiles striking Aviatorskoe, a Ukrainian armed forces airbase in Dnepropetrovsk Region.

The footage shows several MiG-29 fighters and transport aircraft at the airfield being caught in blasts from what appear to be cluster munitions, delivered by an Iskander-M missile. Nearby hangars and munitions depots were also struck. 

Another video shows a direct hit on the S-300 air defense system deployed near the base, which did not engage the incoming missiles. The footage was captured by observation drones.

Tags: RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Israel carried out a series of strikes on Iran in the early hours of Friday, multiple news outlets have reported. The news comes less than a week after the Islamic Republic fired a barrage of drones and missiles at Israel.

Iranian news agency Mehr reported that several explosions were heard around 4 am local time in the skies over the central city of Isfahan.

IRNA news agency said that air defenses have been activated in several parts of Iran, and that Israel also struck military airfields and a radar site in Syria and Iraq.

Hossein Dalirian, spokesman for Iran’s civilian space program, wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that several drones had been shot down over the city of Isfahan. Iranian TV later said that three drones had been destroyed over the city.

Tags: IRAN, ISRAEL, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Beijing soon to raise concerns about China’s support for Russia’s defense industrial base and its purchase of Iranian oil products. 

Blinken’s China trip was announced after Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink and National Security Council Senior Director for China and Taiwan Affairs Sarah Beran ended a three-day visit in Beijing on Tuesday. 

Last week, US officials briefed reporters on materials China was providing to Russia, including drone and missile technology, satellite imagery and machine tools, Reuters reported.

Tags: CHINA/TAIWAN, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WHITE HOUSE
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The US Navy faces shipbuilding delays and setbacks threatening multiple critical capabilities, challenges the service is apparently trying to hide from public view and scrutiny.

The US Navy broke with tradition by canceling ship briefings at its largest US trade show, the Sea-Air-Space Exposition held earlier this month in Washington DC, Politico reported.

The cancellation followed a damning internal report outlining the failure of the service and its industrial partners to make expected progress on two submarine programs, an aircraft carrier and a new class of frigates.

Tags: WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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House Speaker Mike Johnson, who said getting aid to Israel was his top priority when first named Speaker, added another $12 billion on top of the $14 billion in the Senate bill to militarize Ukraine and Taiwan further — living up to his reputation of being Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Evangelical in the House.

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Tags: ISRAEL, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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At least two mainstream Israeli publications have outlined how breathakingly screwed their own government is over Gaza and Iran. Right, so this is an interesting story, not only because it nails on just how breathtakingly ruined Israel is reputationally, militarily and internationally, but because this comes from an Israeli news source, the Israeli version of the Guardian, Haaretz, using Benjamin Netanyahu’s oft used ‘Total Victory’ phrase against him in an article headlined ‘Total Defeat.’ If Bibi was fed up with Haaretz before, with threats to shut them down, this story will have him climbing the walls, but there is so much to agree with in it. There really is no way out of this that will restore Israel’s standing on the world stage and any nations associating with them, defending them and expressing their loyalty towards them are only damaging their own reputations at the same time. You can take a stand for what is right and finally deal with this appalling administration, or you can go down with them in Total Defeat.

Tags: IRAN, ISRAEL, PALESTINE, TAXES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Moscow can not view Paris’ nuclear arsenal separately from the nukes possessed by Washington and London, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

Commenting on France’s decision to place its aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, directly under NATO control as part of a deployment in the Mediterranean on April 26 - May 10, the Russian diplomat said: "This move from France once again shows that, when discussing European security crises or global security and arms control issues, the French nuclear arsenal should be considered collectively with the US and British [arsenals]," a conclusion she said was prompted by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Tags: FRANCE, GREAT BRITAIN/ UK, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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Two hundred years ago, on April 17, 1824, the Russo-American Treaty was signed in St. Petersburg. The treaty, also known as the Convention of 1824, legitimized Russian presence on huge expanses of the North American continent and its surroundings.

In a series of moves bemoaned by many, Russia gradually ceded the rights to these lands in 1841-1867 to the United States (Fort Ross was sold in 1841, followed by Alaska in 1867).

Seen retrospectively, this “generosity” of Russian czars cannot be explained only by the ups and downs in the economic returns from “Russian America” as a commercial project. The desire to establish and preserve good relations with the United States, a powerful trend in Russia’s foreign policy even back in the 19th century, also played a role here.

The two centuries old Convention of 1824, however, was an important milestone, since it marked the high point of Russian presence in North America. At the time, Russian possessions there included Alaska (even now it is by far the largest state of the US in terms of territory), the Aleutian Islands, Alexander’s Archipelago. There were also settlements in what is now Northern California (Fort Ross) and on Hawaiian Islands (Fort Elizabeth).

Tags: HIDDEN HISTORY, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WHITE HOUSE
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British energy giant Shell should not be allowed to sell its onshore assets in Nigeria until it properly addresses the environmental damages its decades of oil spills have caused in the Niger Delta region, human rights advocate Isa Sanusi told RT in an interview on Tuesday.

Sanusi, the director of Amnesty International in the West African country, accused the Nigerian government of standing by and doing nothing while Shell destroyed thousands of livelihoods through oil pollution, a problem which has persisted for over half a century.

“What we’re talking about is the legacy of decades as far back as the 1960s and up to now, a legacy of devastation, destruction of livelihood, spills after spills of oil in... the ocean, and many other damages that have actually affected the entire life cycle of those people,” he told RT.

Tags: AFRICA, ECONOMY, ENERGY, EUROPE
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Still no official response from Israel or Iran

Neither Israel nor Iran have officially commented on the strike on Iranian soil this morning.

Political figures within Israel, including Israeli ministers, have, however, squabbled over responses to the attack.

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid hit back againt far-right National Security minister Itamar Ben Gvir's single-word response to the attack.

Ben Gvir simply said 'feeble' in respone to the news of the attack.

Tags: IRAN, ISRAEL, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Numbers

In our figures, we compare the BRICS-10 with the G7 and the world as a whole to give you a feel for the ratios. The parameters we use are population, GDP (adjusted for purchasing power), oil production, gas production and gold production.

We show the gross national product adjusted for purchasing power. If you use the US dollar as a measure of GDP, the economic power of a country is distorted: if you want to measure financial strength realistically, it makes a big difference whether, for example, a Big Mac in US dollars costs twice as much in one place as elsewhere. The so-called Big Mac Index is reason enough to use purchasing power-adjusted figures when comparing GDP figures. The reason why Western media use the unadjusted figures is pure marketing to disguise the devaluation of the US dollar and make it appear stronger than it is.

Charts

Graphical representation of the figures – Source: VoicefromRussia.

Interim result

All factors show that the BRICS 10 far outstrip the G7 and it seems incomprehensible that the West is simply suppressing this fact. A look beneath the surface reveals facts that reinforce the impression of the bare figures.

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, ECONOMY
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Israel has conducted strikes in Iran in retaliation for Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile assault earlier this week, defying US President Joe Biden's warning that more attacks could plunge the Middle East further into conflict

The city of Isfahan in central Iran was struck at 5am local time, with Israeli projectiles reported to have targeted an Air Force base near Isfahan which long has been home to Iran's fleet of American-made F-14 Tomcats - purchased before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

A base near the city hosts one of Iran's nuclear facilities, although US military sources reportedly said the target was not believed to be nuclear. 

Iran sought to downplay any significant damage to its military facilities and outright denied any nuclear plants were destroyed, claiming that 'so far, no large-scale strikes or explosions by any air threat have been reported.' 

Iranian state TV this morning released footage of an undisturbed Isfahan city scape to cast doubt on reports the city had been hit.

Tags: IRAN, ISRAEL, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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The far-right House Freedom Caucus has formed a crack team of conservative lawmakers to monitor the House floor lest Speaker Mike Johnson or other Republicans try to limit their power.

Naturally, the band of rabble-rousers that loves generating headlines for its members has called the group the Floor Action Response Team or FART. Because, why not?

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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Authored by Andrew Korybko via Substack,

This is credible enough of a reason to justify a conventional NATO intervention in defense of Israel without giving Ukraine grounds to claim that there are double standards at play.

Ukraine became jealous like never before after NATO members helped shoot down Iranian missiles en route to Israel earlier this month yet won’t lift a finger to help Ukraine shoot down Russian ones.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said that “the difficulty with what you suggest (about the UK shooting down Russian missiles) is if you want to avoid an escalation in terms of a wider European war, I think the one thing you do need to avoid is NATO troops directly engaging Russian troops.”

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby responded to a similar question by saying “Look: different conflicts, different airspace, different threat picture. And [President Joe Biden] has been clear from the beginning [of the Ukraine hostilities] that the US is not going to be involved in that conflict in a combat role.” Zelensky’s Chief of Staff Andrey Yermak didn’t buy their explanations, however, and demanded that the West start shooting down Russian missiles just like they shot down Iranian ones.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg tried allaying Ukraine’s jealousy by declaring that “if allies face a choice between meeting NATO capability targets and providing more aid to Ukraine, my message is clear: send more to Ukraine.”

Even though he’s telling members to prioritize Ukraine’s interests over their own national ones, Kiev isn’t expected to calm down since it still knows that NATO won’t come to its rescue in this respect like the bloc just did for Israel.

That’s where EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell’s nifty excuse comes in. As he explained, “Iran’s attacks flew over air bases of the armies of France, the US, the UK and Jordan. They have gone over their bases, which then acted in self-defense. There are no air bases of the UK, or the US, much less Jordan of course, on Ukrainian territory or in the territory Russian missiles fly over. Therefore, the same answer cannot be given because the circumstances are not the same.”

Claire's Observations:  Why, at this very moment, am I reminded of the line from Orwell's "Animal House" about "Some animals are more equal than others."?!?!?!?

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, IRAN, ISRAEL, LEBANON, MIDDLE EAST, NATO, PALESTINE, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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Torrential rains across the United Arab Emirates prompted flight cancellations, forced schools to shut and brought traffic to a standstill.

The floods came after one of the worst storms in decades. The government had seeded clouds in the preceding days, though meteorologists said it was unlikely that had a significant impact on the rainfall. The UAE has been carrying out seeding operations since 2002 to address water security issues, even though the lack of drainage in many areas can trigger flooding.

Tags: SCIENCE/ HEALTH/ CLIMATE/ NATURE
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