"People who are willing to lie, cheat, steal, and kill imagine it makes them superior human beings. But is doesn't. It just makes them ordinary humans willing to lie, cheat, steal, and kill." -- Michael Rivero

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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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 Tesla has recalled more than 3,000 Cybertrucks to fix an accelerator pedal pad that could come loose and get lodged in the interior trim. 

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Iran had never attacked Israel prior to that point and Syria last fought Israel in 1973, over 50 years ago.

Israel, however, has regularly been assassinating Iranian officials and scientists and it has been frequently bombing Syria since 2017, increasing the pace to weekly and sometimes even daily attacks over the past six months paralleling the Gaza fighting.

A particularly devastating attack took place on March 29th when the Israeli military launched massive strikes against a weapons storage depot in Syria’s northern province of Aleppo which killed at least 40 people, most of them Syrian soldiers. The air strikes produced a series of explosions that also killed six Lebanese Hezbollah fighters.

But three days later on April 1st a very damaging and unprovoked attack was directed against the Iranian Embassy’s Consulate General, which was located in an upscale neighborhood in Damascus, Syria’s capital. The building was completely destroyed by missiles fired from F-35 fighter planes that had crossed over the Syrian border from Israel, killing Iranian diplomats as well as Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi and Zahedi’s deputy, General Haji Rahimi, and also Brigadier General Hossein Amirollah, the chief of general staff for the al-Quds force in Syria and Lebanon. Syria subsequently confirmed that a total of 13 people were killed in the attack, including six Syrians and a Lebanese Hezbollah militiaman. Both Iran and Hezbollah vowed revenge.

Attacking a diplomatic mission is considered a major war crime according to the Vienna Convention, but there was no condemnation of the incident coming from the US and the usual suspects in Western Europe. Instead of doing what was right by pressuring Israel to stop attacking its neighbors and thereby possibly preventing a major war in the Middle East, President Joe Biden repeated his pledge that the United States would regard as “ironclad” its commitment to guarantee Israel’s security if Iran were to strike back. This guaranteed to Israel that any action taken by it would be supported by Washington.

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The Environmental Protection Agency has added two new forever chemicals to its danger list that are found in everyday products like cookware, furniture and cosmetics.

The agency has listed perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) as a hazardous substance under the 'Superfund' Act which requires industries to pay for clean-up efforts for toxins that end up in the water supply during production.

The compounds are part of a larger cluster of forever chemicals known as PFAS, which can accumulate and persist in the human body for long periods - and they have been linked to cancer and organ damage.

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A trade union and "professional body" that represents psychotherapists in the United Kingdom is on a mission to rid the profession of everyone who opposes transgender mutilation.

In an announcement, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) unveiled the group's first-ever "definitive position statement on transphobia" along with the publication of its first-ever "positive statement on transphobia." In short, CSP wants to ban all "transphobes" from the psychotherapy profession, which is discriminatory and very likely illegal.


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 Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets across Japan on Saturday, April 13, to protest the country's possible accession to the World Health Organization's (WHO) proposed Pandemic Treaty. 

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Up to half of excess deaths in American nursing homes were due to the impact of lockdowns and mitigation measures on frail residents rather than the virus, according to new analysis.

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“Given the evidence, I call on the Government once again to immediately suspend the use of all mRNA treatments in both humans and animals, pending the outcome of [the Covid Inquiry’s investigation into covid vaccines and theurapeutics],” Andrew Bridgen, Member of Parliament for North West Leicestershire, said during a debate in parliament yesterday.

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The primary aim of modern warfare is to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living, according to George Orwell’s ‘1984’.

For self-evident reasons, the fictional visions of Orwell resonate in current times. As Charles Hugh Smith noted, Orwell’s account of full-spectrum technological totalitarianism maps Big Tech’s mastery of Surveillance Capitalism and governments’ full-spectrum surveillance powering the fine-grained coercion of social credit scores and related tools.

While Smith was focusing on the machinations of Big Tech, we might add war to the reasons why current events resonate with Orwell’s vision.

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The latest draft of the Pandemic Treaty proposed by WHO’s Intergovernmental Negotiating Body is an admission of failure so significant that they are suggesting nations sign an incomplete document.

“They know that they cannot show us the details of what they really want to do. So, they are proposing an incomplete, watered-down agreement in the hopes that they will be able to make decisions in the future; in the hopes that we won’t be paying attention,” James Roguski has concluded.

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President Biden vowed Friday that former President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax cuts would lapse next year if he’s re-elected and “stay expired” — meaning higher taxes for middle class and low-income Americans — prompting a hasty walk-back by aides.

Biden, 81, lambasted Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which permanently lowered corporate taxes from 35% to 21% and temporarily lowered personal income tax rates through 2025, as a giveaway to the rich in a speech to electrical union members in Washington.

“[Trump] was proud, very proud of his $2 trillion tax cut when he was president that overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy and the biggest corporations and exploded, exploded the federal debt,” Biden said of his predecessor ahead of their expected November election rematch.

Image removed.

President Biden speaks at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Construction and Maintenance Conference in Washington, DC, on Friday, April 19, 2024. Jim Lo Scalzo/UPI/Shutterstock

“There is no exaggeration here: It’s going to expire and if I’m re-elected, it is going to stay expired,” the president added.

Biden’s apparently off-the-cuff remark did not reflect a change in policy, the administration insisted to The 

he president is simply reiterating what’s in his budget. He would let the Trump tax cuts for big corporations and the richest Americans — those making more than $400,000 — expire, and extend the tax cuts for those making less than $400K,” a White House official said.

“In fact, his budget would further cut taxes for the middle class and working families. He has said that repeatedly and in every budget. Trump and Republicans are responsible for the egregious and fiscally reckless cliff that is in the Trump Tax Cuts —they are the reason taxes will raise for the middle class after 2025.”

However, the Tax Foundation says that Americans would be hit by across-the board income tax hikes if the TCJA is allowed to lapse.

“Congress has less than two years to prevent tax hikes on the vast majority of Americans from taking place,” the foundation said in a blog post last month promoting a calculator tool that allows people to determine their own likely tax hike.

If the Trump tax cuts are allowed to expire, the Tax Foundation found, a single person making $30,000 per year would pay $253.75 more in taxes in 2026, while one making $75,000 per year will be billed more than $1,700 more than they paid in 2025.

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Back in November last year, the US military was in the process of deploying new medium-range missile systems to the increasingly contested Asia-Pacific region.

At the time, General Charles A. Flynn, a four-star commanding officer of the US Army Pacific (USARPAC), stated that the deployment was officially slated for 2024 and that their purpose was to “deter China from invading Taiwan”.

More importantly, Flynn revealed that the US Army would deploy a missile launcher that will be able to fire the land-based version of the medium-range “Tomahawk” missile. Still, he refused to disclose where exactly the systems would be deployed, leaving many analysts to speculate about the possible location. There was even speculation that such missiles would be stationed directly in Taiwan. However, it seems that the United States chose not to go that far (at least not yet), although the latest deployment isn’t much better in terms of strategic impact on China’s security.

Namely, the system in question, officially named “Typhon”, has been sent to the Philippines.

The US Army deployed the elements of its latest land-based medium-range missile system overseas for the first time to take part in a military exercise in the island country. Apart from the aforementioned subsonic “Tomahawk” cruise missiles, “Typhon” also carries the supersonic SM-6 multi-purpose missiles. The latter is used by the US Navy as part of its shipborne “Aegis”, a combined SAM (surface-to-air missile) and ABM (anti-ballistic missile) system that can also be used in a secondary anti-ship role. Precisely the SM-6 gives it such a capability, meaning that it can hit both airborne and surface targets. Because of such multirole capabilities, “Typhon” can use the missile for land attack missions. Various American military sources suggest that such systems will be “permanently based in China’s backyard”, a clear indicator that the US plans to escalate its aggression.

On April 15, US Army Pacific (USARPAC) announced the arrival of one battery (or at least a part of it) to the Philippines where it participated in the Salaknib 24 military exercise. This specific “Typhon” system was sent on April 7 and it belongs to Battery C, 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, which is part of the Long Range Fires Battalion assigned to the 1st Multi-Domain Task Force (MDTF) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State. Footage shows a single trailer-based containerized launcher towed by a HEMTT (Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck) being loaded on a USAF C-17A Globemaster III transport aircraft from the 62nd Airlift Wing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and then being unloaded in the Philippines. A “Typhon” battery consists of up to four launchers, a mobile command post and other auxiliary vehicles and equipment. The system also uses the Mk 70 Mod 1 launchers derived from the highly controversial Mk 41 VLS.

Namely, the Mk 41 vertical launch system (VLS) was one of the reasons why the INF Treaty fell apart, which recently led Russia to respond to the US escalation by testing its own previously banned intermediate-range missile.

The Mk 41 can fire a plethora of weapons, be it for SAM, ABM or any other system. It’s also part of the “Aegis” air and missile defenses, including its land-based “Aegis Ashore” variant. It can be argued that its most disturbing feature is that it can also fire purely offensive missiles such as the infamous “Tomahawk”. The problem is that there’s no viable way to know what sort of missile is in the VLS and the US has repeatedly refused to allow on-site inspections of its alleged “missile shield” in Eastern Europe. This effectively forced Russia to create countermeasures, particularly in the form of its unrivaled hypersonic missiles. China has a similar problem with such VLS, particularly now that the missiles have been deployed on land.

The US military openly describes the “Typhon” as a “strategic weapon system that would be used against higher-value targets like air defense assets and command and control nodes”. If based on Luzon, the largest and most important island in the Philippines, the system would have more than enough range to reach southern and southeastern China, including the island of Hainan which is crucial for extending control over the strategically important South China Sea. However, American military sources are complaining that too many countries have outright refused to allow the deployment of the “Typhon” on their territory. Still, this doesn’t seem to serve as a clear deterrent to the aggressive Pentagon planners, as they’re also deploying similar weapons with other service branches, including the US Marine Corps (USMC), which also has land-based “Tomahawk” launchers, albeit on a completely different platform, the 4×4 Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV).

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Recommendations for action against Israeli units were sent to Blinken in December, according to one person familiar with the memo. “They’ve been sitting in his briefcase since then,” another official said.

A State Department spokesperson told ProPublica the agency takes its commitment to uphold U.S. human rights laws seriously. “This process is one that demands a careful and full review,” the spokesperson said, “and the department undergoes a fact-specific investigation applying the same standards and procedures regardless of the country in question.”

The revelations about Blinken’s failure to act on the recommendations come at a delicate moment in U.S.-Israel relations. Six months into its war against Hamas, whose militants massacred 1,200 Israelis and kidnapped 240 more on Oct. 7, the Israeli military has killed more than 33,000 Palestinians, according to local authorities. Recently, President Joe Biden has signaled increased frustration with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the widespread civilian casualties.

Multiple State Department officials who have worked on Israeli relations said that Blinken’s inaction has undermined Biden’s public criticism, sending a message to the Israelis that the administration was not willing to take serious steps.

The recommendations came from a special committee of State Department officials known as the Israel Leahy Vetting Forum. The panel, made up of Middle East and human rights experts, is named for former Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the chief author of 1997 laws that requires the U.S. to cut off assistance to any foreign military or law enforcement units — from battalions of soldiers to police stations — that are credibly accused of flagrant human rights violations.

The Guardian reported this year that the State Department was reviewing several of the incidents but had not imposed sanctions because the U.S. government treats Israel with unusual deference. Officials told ProPublica that the panel ultimately recommended that the secretary of state take action.

Claire's Observations: These recommendations will be enforced,  when pigs discover they are aerodynamic!!!!!

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The New Arab Staff

Sheikh Jarrah is a key area of occupied East Jerusalem where settlers have sought to take over Palestinian property [Mustafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency/Getty-file photo (8 September 2023)]

Israeli courts have recently sided with Jewish settler groups in ruling to expel nearly three dozen Palestinians from homes in Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah.

The two neighbourhoods are key areas of occupied East Jerusalem where settlers have sought to take over Palestinian properties.

Israeli authorities and settlers have long wanted to strip Palestinian Muslim and Christian East Jerusalem of its ethnic and religious identity and turn it into a Jewish-Israeli area.

Noam Sohlberg, a Supreme Court judge, decided last week that 15 Palestinians must leave their Silwan home, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

The Israeli court claimed the home was the property of the settler organisation Ateret Cohanim, which obtained the interests of a trust that allegedly purchased the site before the creation of Israel in 1948.

Claire's Observations:  Judge Sohlberg, a word, sir;  if you are evicting people from their homes, where, please, are they supposed to go?!?  In this article, there appeared not a word to address that issue. Are they supposed to survive in tents somewhere?!? And where, please, is that place?!?  I am sure you have actually thought this issue through, right?!?    The refugee camps are being bombed and shot up, to insure that no one can live there anymore.

I am waiting, and listening for your response, sir.

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