"It is the beans, and not the counting of the beans, that prospers a nation." -- Michael Rivero

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Police in the Turkish city of Adana detained 11 suspects, five Israeli and two Syrian, on allegations of organ trafficking, the Daily Sabah reported on 5 May.

The Provincial Directorate of Security’s Anti-Smuggling and Border Gates Branch began investigating after examining the passports of seven individuals who arrived in Adana from Israel about a month ago by plane for the purpose of health tourism. The two Syrian nationals, ages 20 and 21, were found to have fake passports. 

Further investigation revealed that Syrian nationals had each agreed to sell one of their own kidneys to two of the Israeli nationals, ages 68 and 28, for kidney transplants in Adana.

During searches at the suspects’ residences, $65,000 and numerous fake passports were seized. 

Israel has long been at the center of what Bloomberg described in 2011 as a “sprawling global black market in organs  where brokers use deception, violence, and coercion to buy kidneys from impoverished people, mainly in underdeveloped countries, and then sell them to critically ill patients in more-affluent nations.”

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understood as an uncomplicated good, a tool for securing dignity for the vulnerable against abuses by the powerful – have increasingly come under assault. Perhaps never more so than in the current moment: we are constantly talking about human rights, but often in a highly sceptical way. When Liz Truss loudly proclaims “We’ve got to leave the ECHR, abolish the supreme court and abolish the Human Rights Act,” she’s not the fringe voice she might have been in the 1990s. She represents a dangerous current of opinion, as prevalent on parts of the radical left as on the populist right of politics. It seems to be gaining momentum.

As an idealistic youngster, I would have been shocked to know that in 2024 it would be necessary to return to the back-to-basics case, to justify the need for fundamental rights and freedoms. But in a world where facts are made fluid, what were once thought of as core values have become hard to distill and defend. In an atmosphere of intense polarisation, human rights are trashed along all parts of the political spectrum – either as a framework to protect markets, or as a form of undercover socialism. What stands out for me is that the most trenchant critics share a profound nationalism. Nationalists believe that universal human rights – the clue’s in the name – undermine the ability of states to agitate for their narrower interests.

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The Ukrainian Army has lost a further M1A1 Abrams tank in combat with Russian forces, as confirmed by newly released drone footage, with the vehicle abandoned by its crew shortly after taking a hit. The tank was neutralised with a single shot from a 2K25 Krasnopol precision-guided artillery rounds, which is fired from Russian 152mm guns and uses fin-stabilization, base bleed-assistance, semi-automatic laser-guidance for high precision. Deployed from self propelled guns such as the 2S3 Akatsiya and 2S19 Msta-S, the rounds were developed from the 1980s to facilitate engagements against targets such as enemy artillery guns and tanks, and have seen their capabilities improved considerably since entering service in 1986. Russian forces have neutralised Abrams tanks using a range of assets, with prior footage released on March 6 during a period of higher intensity combat showing one of the vehicles being destroyed by a Russian Army tank - a T-72B3 - which is a heavily upgraded Soviet built vehicle integrating the new 2A46M-5 125mm smoothbore gun and 21st century munition types and fire controls. 

Webmaster addition: That's $10 million each!

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone.

"It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

"The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.

"It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.

"It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.

"We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.

"We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

"This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road. the world has been taking.

"This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron." Dwight D. Eisenhower

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A fundamental aspect of American politics is that it is simultaneously domestic and international. Domestic events impact international ones, and vice versa. What happens within the U.S. also reaches global audiences. In that light, the civil and criminal trials in New York City in Judge Arthur Engoron’s and Juan Merchan’s courtrooms of former President Donald Trump have a world impact, as do the trials in Fulton County, Georgia, and by the Special Counsel for Trump Inquires, Jack Smith, in Washington, D.C., and Florida. While Trump’s trials have multifaceted domestic political effects which will play out to election day on November 5, 2024, these events also have myriad and adverse international implications.

While the current trial, which is based on charges brought by New York City prosecutor Alvin Bragg, is another seemingly wholly domestic event, it also has major international consequences for U.S. global interests, its allies and partners, and its enemy, the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Trump’s persecution clearly hurts him and his family, his voters and other supporters, the U.S. political system and political culture, and the U.S. as a constitutional republic. The unconstitutional gag order Judge Merchan has imposed on Trump and the requirement that Trump remain in the courtroom during the trial are powerful fetters on the presumptive Republican nominee for president. They are also a gross violation of his constitutional rights and those of the American people.

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s ill-fated 2024 presidential campaign was much criticized for being “too online.” But Democrats are no less prone to falling into that same trap. Now-Vice President Kamala Harris’s 2020 presidential campaign, which generated considerable initial buzz before it abruptly sputtered, was infamous for listening too much to left-wing TV hosts and social media blue checkmarks—not actual Democrat primary voters. Indeed, that a loud political minority—either within a party or across the broader electorate—can drown out a less vocal political majority is now a fixture of our politics, as helpfully explained by public choice theory.

President Joe Biden, now seeking a second term with the worst approval ratings for an incumbent since the 1950s, is once again committing the same mistake. The doddering dolt from Delaware has been on a monthslong crusade to mollycoddle Hamas, a U.S. State Department-recognized foreign terrorist organization that slaughtered dozens of American citizens last October and still holds many hostage today in Gaza. The senile octogenarian, a mere puppet of his addlebrained ventriloquists, is now all in for Hamas.

By acceding to his young and hyper-online campaign staffers who have imbibed the woke catechism and thus view Hamas jihadists as “oppressed” victims of Israeli “oppressors,” the president—or “Dr.” Jill Biden, or whoever else controls Uncle Joe—is setting himself up for failure. By making such a strong play for states like Michigan, Biden is strapping on a political suicide vest and positioning himself to be a shahid for radicals in Dearborn, Michigan, who will never be appeased and who will continue to protest “genocide Joe” through election day. Meanwhile, Democrats’ pampering of an Islamist death cult abroad and failure to crack down on supportive, fifth-column anarchists at home only alienate the vast majority of swing-state voters who are not virulently anti-Israel or antisemitic.

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srael ordered the local offices of Qatar's Al Jazeera satellite news network to close Sunday, escalating a long-running feud between the broadcaster and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hard-line government as Doha-mediated cease-fire negotiations with Hamas hang in the balance.

The extraordinary order, which includes confiscating broadcast equipment, preventing the broadcast of the channel’s reports and blocking its websites, is believed to be the first time Israel has ever shuttered a foreign news outlet operating in the country.

Al Jazeera went off Israel’s main cable and satellite providers in the hours after the order. However, its website and multiple online streaming links still operated Sunday.

The network has reported the Israeli-Hamas war nonstop since the militants' initial cross-border attack Oct. 7 and has maintained 24-hour coverage in the Gaza Strip amid Israel's grinding ground offensive that has killed and wounded members of its staff. While including on-the-ground reporting of the war's casualties, its Arabic arm often publishes verbatim video statements from Hamas and other regional militant groups.

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Animals have reportedly started eating the bodies of the dead in the street of Rafah, as Israel begins its evacuation of the city to prepare for an offensive against the last-remaining city in the Gaza Strip. 

Dogs have been seen dragging corpses from the graves of people buried in Gaza, according to Palestinian civilians who spoke to the BBC

Rehab Abu Daqqa, a refugee living in Gaza, told the broadcaster: ' This morning the dogs took out a body from one of the graves and were eating it. From night until dawn the dogs do not let us sleep… our children keep holding on to me because of how scared they are.'

The packs of dogs, a mix of formerly domesticated and already-wild, scavenge for whatever they can eat in the only city left standing in the enclave, which will soon be invaded by the IDF. 

The Israeli military this morning told Palestinians to evacuate eastern Rafah, amid an expected military offensive that aims to wipe out any remaining Hamas fighters in the region. 

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A black supporter of former President Donald Trump who encountered him at a Chick-fil-A in Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday, criticized President Joe Biden for what she called a disruption and oppression of the black community.

Conserve the Culture founder Michaelah Montgomery shared her criticism of Biden during an interview with “Fox and Friends” host Lawrence Jones.

According to her, many blacks find Trump “relatable” and believe he actually talks to them more than Biden despite the general idea pushed by mainstream media.

“The general consensus, or social media would have you thinking that if President Trump were to show up to the HBCU campuses, or walk around the AUC community, that like some angry mob would form or a riot would ensue and that he would not be welcome. And clearly, the sentiment in that room the other day was the complete opposite,” she stated.

Montgomery went on to say that Trump’s presence at the Chick-fil-A on Wednesday was met with warmth from people who showed up to welcome and support him.

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As campaign efforts ramp up in Georgia ahead of a busy election season, candidates will need to court not only native Georgians, but also registered voters who have moved into the state since 2020, with Democrats apparently having an edge over Republicans.

Georgia gained about 13,500 more likely Democratic voters than Republican voters since the last presidential election, according to an analysis by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution of voter registration data from L2, a political data vendor.

“I’m not surprised that they are disproportionately Democratic,” said Bernard Fraga, a political scientist at Emory University. He said the voters moving into Georgia mirror national trends of people leaving more Democratic-leaning states such as California and New York due to high costs of living.

Fraga said that since these voters were previously registered in another state before coming to Georgia, they are likely to vote in the upcoming election. “That might give Democrats a small advantage,” he said.

Webmaster addition: Yes, it's certain they will vote for the party that made their previous homes unlivable!

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Former President Donald Trump won a significant victory amid his current New York trial as Judge Juan Merchan ruled that the former president could attend the high school graduation of his son Barron. The win came as the former president was also fined by the judge over allegations that he violated the gag order surrounding the case.

Merchan said that the graduation date of May 17 would not be a problem for the trial. The former president’s legal team argued that he should be allowed to attend the graduation of his youngest son.

Trump said that his son was a “great student and he’s very proud of the fact he did so well and was looking forward for years to having his graduation with his mother and father there, and it looks like the judge isn’t going to allow me to escape this scam. It’s a scam trial.”

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Former Trump adviser Hope Hicks testified in the New York criminal case against former President Donald Trump, contradicting a major assertion of the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D). The statement appeared to undermine Bragg’s case against Trump stemming from the aftermath of an alleged brief relationship between him and former adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Bragg asked the former press secretary about why Trump would seek to have little publicity over the alleged brief relationship.

Hicks said that she believed Trump did not want “anyone in his family to be hurt or embarrassed about anything on the campaign. He wanted them to be proud of him.”

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This May 27 through June 1, 2024, global elitists and world leaders from across the West will gather in Geneva, Switzerland, for the WHO’s 77th World Health Assembly (WHA).

Attendees from all 194 WHO member countries are set to vote on major amendments to the International Health Regulations that would effectively strip all power away from sovereign countries and turn it over to the WHO’s global health board in the event of a pandemic.

If the ratifications are agreed to this month, the WHO will also be granted sole authority over what constitutes a pandemic.

As we have seen over the past years, just about anything qualifies as an ‘existential threat to public health,’ including, but not limited to, misinformation, parents protesting at school boards, free speech, and—of course—racism. The fact that the WHO is on the cusp of unrestricted authority to decide these measures should terrify every American.

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Last month, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called Gaza “a graveyard for tens of thousands of people and also a graveyard for many of the most important principles of humanitarian law".

The reality may be even worse. I fear it may become the graveyard of liberalism itself.

Three decades ago, liberalism was the lead chariot in the procession of the liberal democratic project. New democracies were emerging in Europe; the Soviet Union had crumbled, and Russia was in transition; the Berlin Wall had fallen; and South Africa's apartheid regime was collapsing. Even China exhibited signs of change. 

Liberal democracy appeared invincible, both in practice and in theory. There appeared to be no real competition as it stood out as a triumphant and principled form of governance.

Ask any well-versed liberal arts student and they will recite that liberalism is a political and philosophical ideology centred on the principles of individual liberty, equality and limited government.

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First, American politicians sought to equate anti-Zionism with antisemitism. Now, they want to redefine antisemitism itself. 

This week, the US House of Representatives voted to approve the Antisemitism Awareness Act, which can be characterised as the Israel lobby’s legislative agenda of codifying the criminalisation of anti-Israel sentiments by redefining antisemitism. 

It calls for the “consideration of a definition of antisemitism set forth by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance [IHRA] for the enforcement of Federal antidiscrimination laws concerning education programs or activities”. 

But why the IHRA definition, and why now?

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In a staggering revelation, the Japanese government itself has embarked on a massive $20 trillion carry trade, a risky financial maneuver that could spell disaster if it goes awry.

The situation is dire: the Japanese government, through a complex web of institutions including the Bank of Japan (BOJ) and state-owned banks, borrows yen at rock-bottom interest rates and invests in higher-yielding assets denominated in other currencies. It’s a high-stakes gamble that has the government trapped in a precarious position.

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The US recently threatened to impose sanctions on Netzah Yehuda, an Israeli army unit established around 25 years ago to integrate ultra-Orthodox men into the military. 

While the prospect of sanctions against this unit might appear to be a positive development, there are concerns that the move aims to improve the overall image of the army as a law-abiding force, as Washington continues to provide financial, military and intelligence support to Israel's war machine.

As the war on Gaza has continued for more than six months, Israeli soldiers have flooded the internet with photos and videos of themselves stealing from the homes of Palestinians, wearing the lingerie of dead or displaced women, riding stolen bicycles, and boasting of attacks on civilian infrastructure. Even the army’s top lawyer concluded they had crossed a “criminal threshold”.

Since the war began last October, Israeli forces have killed more than 34,500 Palestinians, 72 percent of whom were women and children. The army’s deliberate and systematic killing of Palestinian civilians, along with the weaponisation of food and water, has few precedents in the context of modern warfare. 

Even after the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to prevent acts of genocide, soldiers continued as if nothing had happened. Why? 

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Fifty years ago, I was one of the many thousands of students and others who joined in regular nationwide protests against the Vietnam War. I was arrested twice; the second time, in August 1972, we disrupted Richard Nixon’s renomination at the Republican Convention in Miami, and I was one of the more than a thousand demonstrators who spent several days afterwards locked up in the Dade County Stockade.

What is striking is that today’s mainstream media efforts to smear the pro-Palestine student protests are so eerily similar to how we were slandered back then. Here is the current strategy, evident on TV news and in more highbrow outlets like the New York Times and the Atlantic magazine.

  1. Top priority: Ignore the actual events that are prompting the demonstrations. Today, say little or nothing about Israel’s murderous and ongoing attack on Gaza.
  2. Ignore the substance of the student demands. Don’t mention “divestment.” (Never cite the call for nonviolent Boycott Divestment Sanctions.)
  3. Distort protester behavior; portray them as violent, in word and deed. The new twist now is to also smear them as antisemitic.
  4. And spend most of your time maligning the students’ character. Today, as back then, call them “privileged” or “naive,” or worse. Blame “outside agitators.”
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The defiant student protests erupting across American universities over U.S. support for Israel’s assault on Gaza represent something far beyond a cyclical wave of campus activism. These scenes symbolize a profound political crisis that has laid bare the fractures within the Democratic Party and its faltering grip on a disaffected younger generation. As the Biden administration persists in providing military aid and diplomatic imprimatur for Israel’s bombardment of the densely populated Palestinian territory, the human suffering in Gaza has become a tragic staging ground for global outrage. On the ivy-covered quads from Columbia to Stanford, a new frontline in moral resistance has formed, pitting an emboldened youth-led movement of conviction against authorities desperately seeking to preserve an indefensible status quo through escalating brutality and repression.

This academic examination will contextualize how the current student uprising over Gaza encapsulates both an ideological reckoning within the Democratic Party over issues of justice, human rights, and militarism abroad, as well as an existential threat to the party’s future electoral viability if it cannot regain trust among disillusioned youth voters. Drawing from empirical data, contemporary reporting, and expert analysis across the political spectrum, it will situate the present crisis within the rich tradition of historic student activism and the Democratic Party’s troubling legacy of fealty to the military-industrial complex. Ultimately, it will be argued that rather than an isolated incident, the 2023 Gaza protests epitomize the Democratic establishment’s inexorable drift away from its professed progressive foundations towards an abyss of moral compromise and detachment from its theoretical base.

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Former federal prosecutor Katie Cherkasky joined 'Fox & Friends First' to discuss why Hope Hicks' testimony was 'devastating' for the prosecution as the NY v. Trump trial is set to resume.

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A senior Iranian military commander has disclosed new details about Iran’s retaliatory strikes against Israeli-occupied territories last month, saying that 240 fighter jets from the US-led NATO military alliance were scrambled to shield the Israeli regime.

Major General Gholam-Ali Rashid, commander of the Khatam al-Anbiya Central Headquarters, made the remarks in an interview with the Persian newspaper Iran published on Sunday as he outlined new details about the recent anti-Israel operation.

In a multi-pronged attack, dubbed Operation True Promise, the Iranian armed forces launched dozens of drones and missiles at the occupied territories late on April 13 in response to the regime’s aggression on the Iranian diplomatic premises in the Syrian capital, Damascus, on April 1.

The Israeli airstrikes on Iran’s embassy compound in Damascus had killed two generals of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi and General Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi, as well as five of their accompanying officers.

Rashid said Iran’s Operation True Promise overcame the self-proclaimed and illusory deterrence of the Zionist regime, which believed its deterrence was guaranteed by relying on the United States and NATO.

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Moscow has accused the U.S. and other allies of Ukraine of preparing strikes on Crimea, warning that in such a scenario, there would be “retaliation.”

Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Friday that the Crimean bridge, which links Russia with the peninsula illegally annexed by Moscow since 2014, was “again under attack.”

Over the course of the war started by Vladimir Putin, there have been repeated strikes on the bridge, also known as the Kerch Bridge. The structure for Kyiv symbolizes Russian occupation but is also a key link to transport Moscow’s troops and equipment to the frontline and a strike on it could impact its war effort.

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Amid growing legal, social and political backlash, American businesses, industry groups and employment professionals are quietly scrubbing DEI from public view—though not necessarily abandoning its practice. As they rebrand programs and hot-button acronyms, they’re reassessing decades-old anti-discrimination strategies and rewriting policies that once emphasized race and gender to prioritize inclusion for all.

It’s a stark contrast to 2020, when the murder of George Floyd unleashed a racial justice movement that prompted companies to double down on policies aiming to increase opportunity for groups that have historically faced discrimination. Less than a year after the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in colleges and universities—a landmark ruling that found race-conscious admissions violated the right to equal treatment under the Constitution—a growing contingent of critics is arguing that DEI creates inequalities of its own. …

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