"All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak."

– Sun Tzu, The Art of War

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Powell and the FOMC are pining for rate cuts and to end Quantitative Tightening even though inflation is the most salient issue for businesses, according to the NFIB and ISM surveys. The Fed is still talking about several rate cuts this year and reducing the pace of Quantitative Tightening by half very soon despite missing its inflation target of 2% to the north for the past three years. And inflation is heading further away from that target. CPI rose 3.5% y/y in March vs. 3.2% in February.

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Russell Bonner Bentley, call sign "Texas", has passed away at the age of 64, his wife Lyudmila confirmed to Sputnik.

Bentley went missing in Donetsk on April 8, following a Ukrainian artillery attack on the city’s Petrovsky district. Four days later, the Donetsk People's Republic Ministry of Internal Affairs put him on a missing persons list.

Bentley, an American citizen and Texas native, joined the Donbass militia in 2014 and has defended the region's freedom against Ukrainian neo-Nazi forces since then, first as a soldier, then as a war correspondent.

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According to the report, three French organizations - the Association of Palestinians of France, the organization Justice and Rights Without Borders, and the March 30 Movement - filed the complaint. In the charges, they claim the soldier was involved in torture as part of a "genocidal military attack.”

According to the organizations, their complaint is based on a video allegedly filmed by the same French-Israeli citizen, which was shared on social media in February by a source close to him. The video shows Palestinian detainees, with one of them seen with his hands tied behind his back. "They tortured him to make him talk. Did you see his back?” the soldier is heard saying.

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has sounded the alarm, cautioning that certain hedge funds may have grown so large that they pose a systemic risk to the Treasury and repo markets, potentially affecting the broader financial system. According to the Global Financial Stability Report, leverage at hedge funds has surged to its highest level on record, as indicated by comprehensive data collected by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) through Form PF.

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Early on April 19, a missile attack attributed to the Russian military hit a key transportation hub of Kiev forces in the region of Dnepropetrovsk.

The strikes targeted a bus station as well as a locomotive depot in Dnipro city. The work of the local railroad was temporarily suspended as a result. According to Ukrainian railways, the infrastructure was damaged not only in the city, but also in other parts of the region. There were reports of casualties.

A local harbor on the Dnipro River was also hit. Several boats were destroyed or damaged there, according to photos posted to social networks.

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Recent comments from Fed officials offer little respite from the prevailing uncertainty. While Chair Powell acknowledges the lack of further progress on inflation, others hint at the possibility of rate hikes, albeit with caution. As the specter of inflation looms large, the Fed’s reluctance to ease monetary policy underscores the gravity of the situation.

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“Pentagon’s Advanced Research Projects has conducted a training air battle between an AI-operated X-62A robotic fighter jet and a human-piloted F-16.

During the initial simulations, the AI won.

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Authorities in Italy have carried out 22 arrests and seized assets totaling over 600 million euros ($638 million) as part of an inquiry into fraud linked to the European Union (EU) COVID-19 pandemic recovery fund.

Items confiscated during the raids included villas, Rolex watches, Cartier jewelry, gold, cryptocurrencies, and high-end vehicles such as Lamborghinis and Porsches. With police investigations into the Qatargate scandal is still ongoing, this latest embarrassment comes at a time when the European political bloc’s reputation for financial probity is already deeply damaged.

Three of the 22 arrests were made in Slovakia, two in Austria, with the remainder taking place in Italy. Simultaneous searches were also conducted in Romania. In carrying out the arrests, Italian law enforcement officials are said to have worked closely with staff from the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO). Notably, therefore, while the EPPO’s 2023 annual report revealed an overall total of 1,927 ongoing investigations involving 19.2 billion euros in suspected fraud, some believe this may simply be the tip of the iceberg.

In an additional new probe, the EPPO and authorities in Greece are also examining allegations of fraud related to the distribution of 2.5 billion euros in EU COVID-19 recovery funds to Greek companies. Here, the investigation focuses on suspicions that firms colluded to limit competition during public tender processes, potentially inflating fees. The allegations reflect growing concerns over a lack of transparency and fair competition in the EU’s distribution of recovery funds across its member states.

Ironically, it appears the alleged fraudsters may have found it easier to access the funds than most of the EU’s member states. According to reports, European governments have received less than a third of the bloc’s original 723 billion euro pandemic recovery pot and are pushing for the payouts to be speeded up. However, the European Court of Auditors, the EU’s auditing watchdog, believes that weak safeguards are increasing the scope for fraud. Even prior to the launching of the Italian and Greek investigations, the Court had openly warned of possible corruption in the spending of the funds.

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As Passover nears, rumors are spreading that Israelis will use the holiday to sacrifice a red heifer.

There have been nine red heifers that have been sacrificed since Moses, which Bill Cloud, the founder of Jacob’s Tent Fellowship, explains is the antidote for the golden calf.

“It is for ceremonial cleansing in order to approach God, so that’s important in relation to the rebuilding of the temple, because they don’t have a temple at this point,” Cloud explains.

This has become a point of contention for Hamas after the October 7 attack on Israel, as the group voiced its concern with the red heifer, claiming the Jews would start purifying Temple Mount.

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Afterward, Biden spoke about his uncle, whose body was never recovered after a plane crash in the Pacific Ocean. He said:

Ambrose Finnegan — we called him “Uncle Bosie” — he was shot down. He was Army Air Corps before there was an Air Force. He flew single-engine planes, reconnaissance flights over New Guinea. He had volunteered because someone couldn’t make it. He got shot down in an area where there were a lot of cannibals in New Guinea at the time.They never recovered his body. But the government went back, when I went down there, and they checked and found some parts of the plane and the like.

Biden's story, however, is mostly untrue.

The plane on which Biden's uncle was flying on May 14, 1944, wasn't shot down, nor was he the victim of cannibals. According to the Pentagon, both engines in the plane failed, which caused a crash landing into the ocean. Of the four people on the plane, only one survived; the other three were never recovered.

On Thursday, reporters asked Jean-Pierre if she had a "cannibal tab" in her press binder.

At first, she acted as if she didn't know what the press was asking about — she said, "There is no 'cannibal' tab. What are you talking about?" — before addressing the incident.

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At first sight you may wonder what do Ursula Von der Leyen and McKinsey and Pfizer have in common? The answer is: Corruption. Utmost corruption. Madame Von der Leyen, unelected President of the European Commission (EC) has several corruption scandals on her neck. 

It was recently revealed that Madame von der Leyen’s son, David, had a “summer intern” stint at McKinsey, the giant US-based management consulting firm. Though, records of David’s responsibilities with McKinsey are purposefully flimsy, it appears that his employment was much more than a “summer intern”. He had consulting teams under his responsibilities and worked for McKinsey for more than 3 years.

Is it coincidence that he left McKinsey in 2019, just before his mom was appointed – not elected – President of the European Commission (EC)?

We know there are no coincidences.

Was David perhaps paving the way for the future EC President’s – his mother – easy access to McKinsey’s higher management ranks?

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From World War I to the Present: Dollar denominated debt has been the driving force behind all US led wars.

Wall Street creditors are the main actors.

They were firmly behind Nazi Germany. They financed Operation Barbarossa and the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. 

Webmaster addition: See "ALL WARS ARE BANKERS' WARS!"

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Israel’s government has accelerated the construction of settlements across East Jerusalem, with more than 20 projects totalling thousands of housing units having been approved or advanced since the start of the war in Gaza six months ago, planning documents show.

Ministries and offices within the Israeli government are behind all the largest and most contentious of the projects, sometimes in association with rightwing nationalist groups with a history of trying to evict Palestinians from their homes in parts of the city.

The rapid approval or construction of settlements that are illegal under international law is likely to further damage Israel’s relationship with the Biden administration.

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Webmaster addition: Reposted at reader request.

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Scientists at the US Fish and Wildlife Service successfully cloned two black-footed ferrets that they hope to breed when they reach full maturity later this year.

The ferrets - named Antonia and Noreen - could be the much-needed solution to the species' survival that has dwindled to just 300 in the wild.

The cloning process is similar to the one used on Dolly the Sheep in 1996, required scientists to inject the DNA cells from a donor animal into an egg cell. 

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From the Irish famine with its terrible aftermath created by the imperialist British government in the 19th century that caused the death of between one and two million Irish and the forced emigration of more than a million more between 1846 and 1851 alone, to today’s savage Israeli genocide and forced starvation of Palestinians in Gaza, the stories of politically motivated famine are legion.

In their wake, as the historian Woodham-Smith wrote in 1962 of the Irish famine, it “left hatred behind.

Between Ireland and England the memory of what was done and endured has lain like a sword.”  This Irish bitterness toward the English was strong even in my own Irish-American childhood in the northern Bronx more than a century later.  Ethnic cleansing has a way of leaving a livid legacy of rage toward the perpetrators, especially in the Irish case when talk of of one’s ancestors’ perilous forced emigration on the Coffin Ships was ever broached.

Today’s Israeli government leaders must be historically ignorant or suicidal, for the Irish rage at the British led to the Easter Rebellion of 1916 and the eventual establishment of the Republic of Ireland, where today in Dublin, its capital, huge throngs march in support of the Palestinian people and their fight against Israel.

Do the Israeli leaders think that they can evade the lessons of history, lessons that oppressed people everywhere learned from the irrepressible Irish rebels? 

Webmaster addition: Now the war on American farmers takes on a whole new dimension!

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Officials investigating the initial find uncovered up to five more 55-gallon drums containing waste petroleum and chlorinated solvents that have been lying beneath the Town of Oyster Bay in Long Island for decades.

The drums were buried by Northrop Grumman when it operated an aerospace facility in the town from the 1950s to 1990s, and used what is now Bethpage Community Park as its dumping ground.

Residents have long raised concerns about a mysterious rise in cancer over the years and claim the discarded toxins are to blame - officials  fear the waste may have leaked into the soil and is on the way to public drinking supply.

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