"In 1960, the USSR accused the U.S. of running an aerial spying program over its territory. Our government denied it to the American people, only admitting it when confronted with the captured U-2 pilot Gary Powers. Americans were genuinely shocked that their government would lie to them. Today the lying has become so routine that people are no longer shocked. There can be no true democracy when government manipulates the people with spin, hype, propaganda, phony 'leaks,' and outright lies." -- Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

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Israel has destroyed nearly every building in Gaza along the Strip’s border with Israel to create a “buffer zone,” a plan that will result in Israel taking a significant chunk of Gaza’s territory.

A report from the United Nations Satellite Center found that Israel has destroyed or damaged 90% of the buildings in Gaza within 1 kilometer of the border as of February 29. It found that 3,033 buildings were completely demolished, 327 were seriously damaged, and 266 were moderately damaged.

According to Haaretz, the real number of demolished buildings is likely higher since Israeli forces are actually creating the buffer zone 1,200 meters within Gaza, 200 meters further inside the Strip than what the UN examined.

According to an analysis from Adi Ben Nun, a Hebrew University geography professor, Israel’s buffer zone will take 16% of Gaza’s territory. Besides demolishing any buildings that are in the way, Israeli forces are also destroying agricultural land.

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She must go. That’s the unanimous recommendation from a hearing panel investigating Douglas County Probate Judge Christina Peterson.

The first-time judge has also been the subject of several FOX 5 I-Team investigations since she took office in late 2020.

The three-member panel for the Judicial Qualifications Commission decided Peterson is guilty of "systemic incompetence" because she ignored courthouse rules, abused courthouse personnel, made inappropriate posts on social media and, in repeated cases, failed to do her job.

The extraordinary decision to remove Peterson follows four separate hearings starting in September 2023 where Peterson had a chance to testify and confront her accusers. She faced 30 counts of misconduct.

The one that troubled the panel the most involved Peterson's decision to jail a woman for simply trying to amend her marriage certificate to include the real name of her recently discovered father.

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BlackRock CEO Larry Fink suffered a meltdown during an earnings call over the company losing billions of dollars in contracts due to the international asset manager’s woke “environmental, social, and governance” (ESG) agenda.

A recording from the call has emerged online and revealed Fink imploded while raging over the Texas Board of Education canceling $8.5 billion in contracts with BlackRock.

As Slay News reported, Texas joined several states in blocking their funds from going to BlackRock due to the company’s ESG agenda.

During the call, Fink lost his cool as he complained about “lies” and “misinformation” regarding BlackRock’s agenda.

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April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

And so famously begins TS Eliot’s The Waste Land, one of the English language’s greatest poems and one of very many inspired, if that is the correct word, by the carnage of The Great War.

April, the cruellest month, is a month of anniversaries, of Belsen, of the Battle of Berlin and of the Armenian genocide to show, like Eliot’s opus shows, our cyclical lives never quite escape winter’s deathly clutches.

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The Iranian missiles and drones had not even approached Israeli airspace when Tehran declared the matter concluded. Iran’s retaliation for Israel’s April 1 bombing of an Iranian consular building in Damascus was choreographed to be heavy on symbolism and light on destruction. The point was not revenge but the restoration of Iranian deterrence and evasion of a broader war. But the choreography suffered from one major flaw: A broader war with Iran is exactly what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been seeking for more than two decades.

Early in the war between Israel and Hamas, the Biden administration worried that Israel was set to expand the war into Lebanon. According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. President Joe Biden successfully convinced Netanyahu to shelve plans for a preemptive strike against Hezbollah in Lebanon. But what neither Biden nor the Washington establishment fully appreciated was that Netanyahu has, since the late 1990s, sought to drag the United States into war with Iran.

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In August 1961, during a period when tensions between Washington and Moscow were at a high point, Admiral Konstantin I. Derevyanko penned a letter to Premier Krushchev. His purpose was to alert Krushchev to what the Admiral called the “nuclear romanticism” of the Soviet General Staff. The Admiral’s words still carry the force of logic and common sense and are still worthy of our attention today:

Which planet do these people [the Soviet General Staff] intend to live on in the future, and to which Earth do they plan to send their troops to conquer territories?... By this indiscriminately massive use of nuclear weapons on a small and narrow area like Western Europe, we would not only be accepting millions of radioactively contaminated civilians, but, because of the prevailing westerly winds, would also be radioactively contaminating millions of our own people for decades—our armed forces and the populations of the socialist countries, including our own country as far as the Urals.

According to an unnamed official of the U.S. Government, President Joe Biden has told Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the United States will not participate in a counterstrike against Iran. This is gratifying news. 

Webmaster addition:This is a complex issue. While it is an open secret that Israel has nuclear weapons, in the world of officialdom they do not exist, which allows the US to send Israel money, despite the bans imposed by the Symington Amendment to the Foreign Appropriations Act and the Glenn Act. Once Israel actually uses a nuclear weapon, the jig is up and Americans should right demand a refund of all  the billions of dollars given to Israel under false pretenses!

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According to a report conducted with World Bank participation, the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip account for 80 percent of all people worldwide who are facing famine and severe hunger. 14,000 children have been killed, and 17,000 children remain without adult accompaniment.

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Following Iran's retaliatory attack on Israel over the weekend, Republican lawmakers in the US quickly moved to consider for a vote more than a dozen bills targeting Iran and its allies with sanctions, travel bans, or condemning pro-Palestinian activists.

On Monday, Republican Congressman Steve Scalise released Congress' weekly docket of legislation to be considered for a vote.

Of the 18 bills to be considered, 15 of them were measures condemning or sanctioning Iran and Palestinian groups in Gaza, while the remaining three dealt with Iran's allies in the Syrian government and the Houthi movement in Yemen.

The new legislative schedule was a shift from what had been originally planned for this week, which Scalise said was in direct response to the retaliatory strikes by Iran on Saturday.

Webmaster addition: Here's your rifle...

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President Biden on Monday morning announced up to $6.4 billion in grants to Samsung for the South Korean company to expand chip production in the Austin area.

Why it matters: The massive Biden-led investment in chip production aims to reduce dependence on China and Taiwan, and gives the administration a permanent legacy across the U.S.

What they're saying: The preliminary agreement with the Commerce Department "will unleash over $40 billion in investment from Samsung, and cement central Texas's role as a state-of-the-art semiconductor ecosystem, creating at least 21,500 jobs and leveraging up to $40 million in CHIPS funding to train and develop the local workforce," the White House announcement said.

Webmaster addition: Why not invest that money in an American chip company?!?

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Palestinians in the occupied West Bank are living in fear as armed Israeli settlers attack them, their families and homes in vengeful acts of violence which could uproot hundreds of Palestinians from their lands, residents said.

The latest round of settler violence began shortly after a 14-year-old Israeli boy was found dead in the illegal settlement outpost of Malachei HaShalom, an area Palestinians are prohibited from entering.

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Israel’s finance ministry said on 15 April that the war on Gaza has led to Tel Aviv’s debt increasing twofold last year.

The ministry’s report stated that Israel amassed 160 billion shekels ($43 billion) in debt in 2023, 81 billion shekels ($22 billion) of which were since the start of the war in October. In comparison, Israel raised a total of 63 billion shekels ($17 billion) in debt in all of 2022.

The total debt in 2023 amounted to 62.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), up from 60.5 percent in 2022 due to war spending and its shrinking GDP. Israeli public debt is expected to increase to 67 percent in 2024.

The finance ministry said that Israel's public debt increased 8.7 percent last year to 1.1 trillion shekels ($300 billion), partly due to higher inflation and interest rates.

As debts pile up, Israel's GDP continues to spiral.

Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron said that the increasingly negative global sentiment towards Israel's war on Gaza may cast a further toll on its economy.

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An increasing number of Americans want President Biden to encourage Israel to stop military actions in Gaza; and Mr. Biden's handling of the situation is now down to its lowest levels yet.

In the poll, conducted before Iran's drone and missile attack on Israel, there wasn't much clamor among the U.S. public for U.S. military action against Iran, were Iran to strike Israel. More would instead have the U.S. support Israel's next actions.

Mr. Biden faces particular pressure within his own party regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict, where Democrats also express increasing sympathy with the Palestinian people, along with the Israelis; and Mr. Biden's handling has taken a particular hit among younger Americans as well. 

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Several citizens in Jordan, Egypt and other countries in the Middle East said apps such as Google Maps and Uber showed inaccurate locations amid Iran’s missile and drone attacks targeting Israel on Saturday, leading many to believe Tel Aviv was deliberately interfering with mobile navigation systems.

Many residents said their mobile phones were placing them in different countries altogether, prompting accusations of GPS jamming.

Many have accused Israel of purposefully manipulating the GPS system in a bid to thwart incoming Iranian strikes on the country, carried out in retaliation for a strike on Iran's consulate in Damascus, Syria, earlier this month, which was blamed on Israel.

Webmaster addition: Given that the Iranian missiles hit their intended targets, it appears they are using the Russian global positioning system, GLONASS.

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Jordanians expressed outrage over the weekend over their country's participation in stopping Iran's missile and drone attack on Israel on Sunday morning, as protests against Israel's war on Gaza continued in the Jordanian capital of Amman.

Jordan's airforce and the US military shot down Iranian drones and missiles heading towards Israel in the early hours of Sunday morning, preventing them from reaching Israeli soil. Remnants of Iranian cruise missiles fell across the country, with one largely intact fragment landing in a residential area of Amman.

Iran's attack on Sunday was in retaliation for Israel's 1 April strike on its consulate in Damascus, which killed several high-ranking military officials. Most of the missiles were struck down before impact, with a few striking a military base in southern Israel.

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Unpunished crime is so out of control in San Francisco that the city now wants to punish grocery stores who want to leave.

Under the 'Grocery Protection Act' introduced by city Board of Supervisors member Dean Preston (Democratic Socialist), stores that want to flee all the crime and other increased liabilities will have to provide the city with six months advanced notice, and make efforts to find a replacement supermarket for the location being vacated, Benzinga reports.

The move comes after While Foods shut down its flagship store in San Francisco after being open for just over a year, citing employee safety concerns.

The reports show how workers at the store were routinely threatened with weapons, while vagrants would throw food at staff, engage in fights, and even defecate on the floor. 

One incident saw a homeless man with a knife spray an employee with a fire extinguisher.


There were also cases of drug overdoses with one man dying in the bathroom after overdosing on fentanyl and methamphetamine. Thefts were also common with large quantities of alcohol stolen from the store.  -Daily Mail

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China has surged sales to Russia of machine tools, microelectronics and other technology that Moscow in turn is using to produce missiles, tanks, aircraft and other weaponry for use in its war against Ukraine, according to a U.S. assessment.

Two senior Biden administration officials, who discussed the sensitive findings Friday on the condition of anonymity, said that in 2023 about 90% of Russia’s microelectronics came from China, which Russia has used to make missiles, tanks and aircraft. Nearly 70% of Russia’s approximately $900 million in machine tool imports in the last quarter of 2023 came from China.

Chinese and Russian entities have also been working to jointly produce unmanned aerial vehicles inside Russia, and Chinese companies are likely providing Russia with nitrocellulose used in the manufacture of ammunition, the officials said. China-based companies Wuhan Global Sensor Technology Co., Wuhan Tongsheng Technology Co. Ltd. and Hikvision are providing optical components for use in Russian tanks and armored vehicles.

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USS Carney (DDG-64) and USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) shot down between four and six Iranian-launched ballistic missiles, a senior military official told reporters Sunday.

Both ships were in the Mediterranean. Carney most recently made a port visit to Palermo, Sicily, Italy, on April 10. Arleigh Burke is forward deployed to Rota, Spain.

A senior military official said that land- and sea-based aircraft were also involved in the U.S. response. USNI News understands that the aircraft did not come from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69). The aircraft carrier is in the Red Sea as part of the country’s Operation Prosperity Guardian, which aims to protect ships and commercial vessels from the Houthis.

U.S. Central and European commands shot down 80 one-way attack uncrewed aerial vehicles, in addition to the ballistic missiles, Central Command said in a release. Drones came from Iran and Yemen.

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Atlantic City Mayor in New Jersey, Marty Small, Sr., and his wife, La’Quetta Small, a school superintendent, have been charged with child abuse involving their teenage daughter.

The couple was charged on Monday with allegations of physical and emotional abuse that reportedly occurred over several months.

Marty Small, Sr., a 50-year-old Democrat, faces charges of second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, third-degree Terroristic Threats, third-degree Aggravated Assault, and disorderly persons Simple Assault.

His wife, La’Quetta Small, a 47-year-old public schools superintendent, is charged with second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child and three counts of disorderly persons Simple Assault.

The investigation, led by the Special Victims Unit of the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, brought to light a series of disturbing incidents between December 2023 and January 2024.

In one incident, Mayor Small is accused of hitting his daughter with a broom on her head multiple times to the point of unconsciousness.

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Activists in Switzerland have triggered a referendum on proposals that would end the country’s harsh economic sanctions on Russia and rule out any punitive restrictions on trade with China. 

A delegation for the “Neutrality Initiative” handed in a petition of 130,000 signatures to government officials in Bern on Thursday, making a national vote on a constitutional amendment proposed by the campaign group almost certain to go ahead in the next few months. 

Backed by the rightwing populist Swiss People’s party (SVP), Switzerland’s largest political movement, the campaign proposes four new clauses that would more precisely define what the Alpine country’s long-held neutrality means in practice. 

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Encounter was an intellectual and cultural magazine set up during the Cold War with secret funds from the US and British intelligence agencies.

The magazine’s purpose was to cultivate a compatible, non-communist left, while creating content that was generally supportive of Washington’s geopolitical interests.

Encounter’s intelligence links eventually became publicly known. In 1963, however, a British journalist almost blew the lid off its secret sources of funding. 

Recently declassified files show how the Foreign Office mobilised to kill the story.

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Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) has warned of a “much harsher response” against any further action by Israel in the aftermath of the Islamic Republic’s retaliatory operation into the occupied territories.

In a statement on Sunday, the SNSC said that Iran carried out the retaliatory attack, dubbed Operation True Promise, because Israel “crossed Iran’s red lines” by attacking its diplomatic premises in the Syrian capital Damascus on April 1.

It said the operation was in accordance with Article 2 of the UN Charter which urges all UN members to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.

“Should the Israeli regime plan to continue its wicked actions against Iran, by any means or methods or at any levels, it will get a response ten times harsher,” it warned.

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