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Biden continues paying off successful young voters: Sorry, I mean “forgiving student debt.” Biden this week paid off another $7.4 billion in student loans, making his total student loan cancellation something like $153 billion. 

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Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would fight planned US sanctions on an IDF unit accused of grave human rights violations in the West Bank with 'all [his] strength.'

Reports on Saturday claimed that the Biden administration was planning on imposing sanctions on Israel's Netzah Yehuda battalion, which has largely operated in the occupied West Bank and was accused in 2022 of allowing an elderly Palestinian-American man to die after he suffered 'extreme violence' at the soldiers' hands. 

The reports came a day after the US announced a series of sanctions linked to Israeli settlers in the West Bank, in the latest sign of growing frustration with Netanyahu and his cabinet, which relies on settler parties to stay in power. 

'If anyone thinks they can impose sanctions on a unit of the IDF - I will fight it with all my strength,' Netanyahu said in a statement.

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Former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker will be the first witness during the trial of former President Donald Trump in New York which resumes on Monday, according to the New York Times.

Pecker is a central figure in the case after he alerted Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen about Stormy Daniels and her plan to reveal her claims of an alleged affair with Trump in 2006. 

Pecker alerted Trump in October 2016 of Daniel's affair but she ultimately settled a $130,000 non-disclosure deal with Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen.  

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Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israeli military sites on April 13-14 signals a tectonic shift in the regional balance of power. While the media remains preoccupied with the number of outdated Iranian drones that were shot down during the onslaught, military analysts are far more focused on the way that Iran’s ballistic missiles cut through Israel’s vaunted air defense systems striking sites at the Nevatim and Negev Air Bases.

What the operation proved is that Israel’s “deterrents supremacy” is largely a fiction based on overly optimistic assumptions about the performance of their air defense capability. When put to the test, these systems failed to stop many of the larger and more destructive ballistic missiles from hitting their targets. This, in turn, revealed that Israel’s most heavily-defended and critically-important military sites remain overly-exposed to enemy attack.

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Israel, with the backing of the US, obviously does not care much about adhering to international law when targeting other countries. But when it has to face the consequences for its unjust deeds, it suddenly talks of abiding by international law.

In the recent case, when IRGC Navy troops stormed and seized control of MSC Aries, an Israeli-operated container ship in the Persian Gulf on Saturday, April 13, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz accused Iran of “violating the international law”. Did Israel follow the UN charter when striking against the Iranian Consulate? Did it not bomb schools, medical facilities, refugee shelters and kill tens of thousands of civilians in Gaza over the past six months in violation of all principles of international law?

Iran’s drone and missile strikes in Israel are justified, proportionate and measured. The Permanent Mission of Iran to the UN was right in saying that had the UN condemned Israel’s aggression and brought its perpetrators to justice, the need to punish the criminal regime might not have been necessary.

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The Akdeniz ship anchored in Istanbul's Tuzla, on Friday, 19 April 2024 (MEE/Yusuf Selman Inanc)
The Akdeniz ship anchored in Istanbul's Tuzla, on Friday, 19 April 2024 (MEE/Yusuf Selman Inanc)
By Yusuf Selman Inanc in Istanbul

A group of human rights organisations is set to send a flotilla of four ships to Gaza from Istanbul next week, in a challenge to Israel’s blockade on the Palestinian enclave, activists announced on Friday.

Members of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) spoke from a dockyard in Istanbul’s Tuzla, on board the Akdeniz ship, one of the four vessels that will embark on the journey. They expressed determination to reach Gaza despite Israel’s threats.

The press conference was attended by activists from various civil society organisations, including Ann Wright and Huwaida Arraf from the US Boat to Gaza, Wendy Goldsmith from the Canada Boat to Gaza, Torstein Dahle from FFC Norway, Zaher Birawi from International Committee for Breaking the Siege on Gaza, Zohar Chamberlain Regev from FFC, Carlos Trotta from Doctors Without Borders, Fauziah Mohd Hasan from Malaysia My Care, Medea Benjamin from the US group Code Pink, and Suzanne Adely from the US National Lawyers Guild.

This initiative evokes memories of the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010 when an attempt to break the Israeli siege on Gaza resulted in the deaths of ten people after the Israeli army raided the ship in international waters. The incident strained Turkish-Israeli diplomatic relations significantly.

This time, the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), the primary organiser of the coalition, has undertaken extensive preparations, including the acquisition of three ships

Claire's Observations;  One wonders just who the IDF and MOSSAD will mark for summary execution this time; remember, no judge, no jury; just assassination.  AND THIS WILL BE ACCOMPLISHED, COURTESY OF " THE ONLY DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST?!?  Forgive me while I vomit!!!!!!!

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The White House has joined a chorus of people across the political spectrum in slamming pro-Palestine protesters at Columbia University over anti-Semitic rhetoric at demonstrations on campus. 

The statement comes hours after a rabbi at Columbia University has cautioned Jewish students against returning to campus due to 'extreme antisemitism' amid a days-long protest in support of Palestine.

Now, the White House has had to issue a statement blasting the far-left demonstrators in the latest example of what critics believe is a virus of anti-Semitism on Ivy League campuses. 

'While every American has the right to peaceful protest, calls for violence and physical intimidation targeting Jewish students and the Jewish community are blatantly anti-Semitic, unconscionable, and dangerous – they have absolutely no place on any college campus, or anywhere in the United States of America,' said White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates. 

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Given the hawkish and neoconservative ideological bent of ISW’s leadership, one would not expect their stance on the war in Ukraine to change even in the light of new developments. Yet, its recent report “Denying Russia’s Only Strategy for Success” is a remarkable double down. Not only does it present the recent deterioration of Ukraine’s military prospects as a Kremlin disinformation campaign, it is also a manifesto for military escalation.

Instead of examining where the Western alliance has come up short, or any concession of Russia’s resilience and adaptation to the challenge of war, the ISW report is squarely focused on the apparent superpowers the Kremlin enjoys in the domain of “perception manipulation.” It claims the Kremlin “floods Western discourse with false and irrelevant narratives” to condition Western publics to “freely reason to a conclusion that Russia’s prevailing in Ukraine is inevitable.”

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Russian state media outlets have revealed that the production of gas turbine engines for the T-80 main battle tank has been resumed at the engineering plant Kaluzhsky Engine - known colloquially as Kaluga. The GTD-1250 multi-fuel gas turbine engine was confirmed to be in full scale production, with this representing the most advanced engine in the GTD-1000 family designed to power the latest T-80 variant the T-80BVM. The engine can run on diesel fuel, kerosene, gasoline, and various blends, which is a prized capability due to the risks of supplies of one or more fuel types becoming unavailable on the frontlines in wartime. The revelation closely coincided with Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu’s visit to the Omsktransmash Tank Plant, which produced T-80 tanks until the mid-1990s and is currently responsible for their refurbishment and modernisation. The facility has refurbished hundreds of T-80s from storage since the outbreak of full scale hostilities between Russian and Ukrainian forces in February 2022, with relatively few Soviet built T-80s having been in service at the time due to the class’ high operational costs compared to the cheaper T-72 and T-90. 

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The exercise marked “the first AI vs human within-visual-range engagement (a.k.a. ‘dogfight’), conducted with actual manned F-16 aircraft,” the DOD said in the program update.

At publication, the department had not provided information to DefenseScoop about whether the machine learning agents controlling the X-62A beat the human pilot in that encounter.

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by Jon Hoffman 

Once again, the Middle East is on the brink of full-scale war. The tit-for-tat exchanges between Israel and Iran are increasing the risk that the United States will get sucked into another Middle East war. As such, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s longstanding efforts to get Washington to attack Tehran—combined with new incentives amid Israel’s war in Gaza—are cause for major concern.

This past weekend, Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel in its first direct military assault against the country. This retaliatory attack by Iran was in direct response to Israel’s strike on an Iranian consulate building adjacent to Tehran’s embassy in Syria earlier this month. The strike killed Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, one of the highest-ranking commanders of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). This represents the highest level targeted assassination of an Iranian official since the drone strike that killed Major General Qassem Soleimani in 2020.

The attack marks a new precedent in the decades-long “shadow war” between Iran and Israel.

Israel has reportedly informed the United States and other states in the region that a response from Tel Aviv is inevitable. President Biden supposedly advised Netanyahu to “slow things down” after Iran’s recent attack. However, the administration’s passivity was summarized by the words of White House National Security Communications Spokesperson John Kirby: “I think we have to wait and see what the Israelis decide to do.”

A war between Israel and Iran—which would undoubtedly come with direct American involvement—would be catastrophic for U.S. interests and the Middle East. Washington needs to make clear that America’s chief interest is to avoid being dragged into another ruinous military campaign in the region.

Claire's Observations:  Netanyahu, due to his ever-impending, and ever-postponed corruption trial, is a primary "pusher" of  a regional war with US "boots on the ground": to prolong the process as indefinitely as is humanly possible.  He is not beyond fabricating a "false flag" to be blamed on Iran, and off we go.  

Today, as it is the first day of Passover, I would seriously doubt we will see such an event today; however, I do not at all think that the remainder of this religious observance is truly safe from such an event happening during this time.

Geopolitically, Netanyahu is a like a wounded animal, with so much domestic upset against him; and animals are most dangerous and unpredictable, when they are wounded.  He wants this war, and as immediately as he can create the conditions through which it can be realized.

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Personally I think the answer is obvious: bribery.

Americans have to face the ugly truth that bribery is playing a bigger role in US politics than ever – at least since the Railroad boom in the Gilded Age created famous opportunities for graft.

But back then businessmen were buying commercial privileges. Now we have billionaires buying foreign policy. (And immigration policy too, driven I believe in most cases by ethnic predilections rather than economics.)

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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has called upon the left-wing Labour Party to “reset” relations with the European Union if they win the next general election.

Tony Blair, who led the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007, urged current leader Sir Keir Starmer to seek closer trading and political ties with Brussels if he ascends to Downing Street, as all polling suggests.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, the former prime minister said that the UK is not participating enough with “the big political union on our own continent” adding that “it would be wise to reset it”.

Blair, a longtime opponent of Brexit and a supporter of the EU globalist project, added: “There are too many things that affect us that are going on in Europe. In any event, we’ve got a trade negotiation coming up in 2025.

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America’s borders extend across the Atlantic Ocean and deep into Eastern Europe, geographically challenged Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) asserted from the House floor Saturday before the House passed a $61 billion aid bill to Ukraine.

Connolly blasted Republicans advocating to address the southern border (the actual United States border) before considering foreign aid – a position long held by Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) before he suspiciously changed his mind after a February 28, 2024, White House visit.

“Some say, ‘Well, we have to deal with our border first,'” Connolly said from the House floor. “The Ukrainian Russian border is our border!”

Republicans, exasperated after months of fighting Ukraine aid only to be betrayed by their own Speaker, pointed out the ridiculousness of Connolly’s screed.

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Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and Democrats painted a surreal scene on the House floor Saturday as the House passed a $61 billion bill to further Ukraine’s war effort.

As the inevitable outcome neared, Democrats produced dozens of miniature Ukraine flags, waiving them and cheering “Ukraine!” jubilantly.

Johnson approached the chair as the vote closed to the loudest applause of the day – and perhaps this entire Congress – from Democrats.

“It is in violation of decorum to wave flags on the floor,” Johnson admonished Democrats, who cared little.

Webmaster addition: I found the display absolutely disgusting. If you are going to wave a flag on the floor, it should be this one!

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken intends to warn Chinese officials of consequences for exporting materials to Russia with potential military applications, when he travels to Beijing on Wednesday.

Blinken, who is scheduled to make stops in Beijing and Shanghai during a three-day trip to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), plans to meet with Foreign Minister Wang Yi. He will “reiterate deep concerns regarding the PRC’s support for Russia’s defense industrial base,” a US State Department spokesman told reporters.

At issue are China’s exports of machine tools, microelectronics, optics, and other products that could be used to make weapons amid the conflict in Ukraine. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen issued a similar warning when she visited China earlier this month.

Webmaster addition: The Chinese historically do not like being told what to do!

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Video has emerged from Odessa, Ukraine showing elements of the French Army entering that city.  This appears to be direct entry into the Ukraine conflict by a NATO-Member country.

It is likely being carried-out pursuant to a Bi-Lateral agreement between Ukraine and France, but that is not confirmed at this time.

Russia has repeatedly made clear that any troops from foreign countries that enter Ukraine will be legitimate targets for the Russian Army. 

On April 13, France sent Foreign Legion troops into Slavyansk, Ukraine.  Within 48 Hours, most of them were dead with many other injured from Russian strikes against Slavyansk.


Yesterday, Russia hit a hotel in the center of Dnipropetrovsk which was apparently full of NATO troops.  Images of the building that was struck show a direct hit with huge damage and fire.

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said at the opening of an trade fair in Hanover that the era of fossil fuel is coming to an end.

"It is clear to us all that the era of fossil energy sources is coming to an end," he said, according to a statement on the German government’s website.

The chancellor also said Germany will make every effort to produce 80% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.

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A written statement from a young woman alleges that in 2017, when she was 20, she attended a party in Florida where Gaetz was also present. The gathering featured alcohol and narcotics, including ecstasy and cocaine, sources familiar with the investigation told ABC News.

But that's not all:

In the sworn statement, which has not been previously reported, the woman said that in addition to Gaetz, the party was attended by the then-minor who was at the center of a yearslong Justice Department investigation into accusations that the Florida Congressman had sex with her when she was 17, according to sources.

According to the statement provided to the committee, sources said the woman who made the statement — who ABC News is not identifying — said she saw the then-minor naked at the party, which was also attended by adult men other than Gaetz, and that at the party there allegedly were bedrooms that were made available for sexual activities.

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by Roger D. Harris Posted on April 22, 2024

A minute after midnight on April 18, the US reimposed coercive economic measures designed to cripple Venezuela’s oil industry. Later that day, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a new sanctions bill on Nicaragua. Meanwhile, Cuba protested the US’s six-decade blockade as talks resumed between the two countries on migration.

Also on April 18,  Biden announced new sanctions on Iran. Globally, Washington has imposed sanctions on some forty countries. Because these unilateral coercive measures are a form of collective punishment, they are considered illegal under international law.

Even the US Congressional Research Service recognizes sanctions have “failed” to achieve their regime-change goals. Yet the empire’s perverse response is to do more of the same rather than reverse course. “Once they are imposed, they become politically impossible to lift without getting something in return,” observed The New York Times. 

Times runs cover for US sanctions on Venezuela

The empire’s “newspaper of record” bewailed that Uncle Sam had “no choice” but to reign more misery on the people of Venezuela even though sanctions do not achieve their purported purpose.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, according to the Times, had “promised to take steps toward holding free elections… with the lifting of some American sanctions as an incentive. But the ink was hardly dry before his government upheld a ban on running for office that had been placed on María Corina Machado.”

In fact, the Barbados agreement, negotiated last October, said nothing about Ms. Machado, who had been proscribed from holding public office for fifteen years back in 2015 for financial and treasonous misconduct. There was little chance that the notorious politico would have her conviction reversed by Venezuela’s supreme court which, as in the US, is an independent branch of government not under the dictates of the president.

The US knew this when the agreement was signed, but has subsequently used it as an excuse to delegitimize the upcoming Venezuelan presidential election. Why? One reason may be that the US Intelligence Community’s Annual Threat Assessment anticipates that Maduro will win the contest on July 28th

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“So, you voted yes on the foreign aid package,” CNN anchor Dana Bash begin, addressing Gonzales. “Do you have confidence that at this point, given that it is still possible that Marjorie Taylor Greene will push to vacate, to kick [Mike Johnson] out of the speaker's chair, that he can survive?”

“Look, the House is a rough and rowdy place, but Mike Johnson is gonna be just fine,” Gonzales said, before continuing:

“I served 20 years in the military. It's my absolute honor to be in Congress, but I serve with some real scumbags! Matt Gaetz, he paid minors to have sex with him at drug parties. Bob Good endorsed my opponent, a known neo-Nazi. These people used to walk around with white hoods at night. Now they're walking around with white hoods in the daytime. Look, it didn't surprise me that some of these folks voted against aid to Israel, but I was encouraged to see by a nearly 10-to-1 mark that Republicans supported our allies on the battlefield.”

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With the Kennedy clan circling the wagons for President Joe Biden, you might think this is the end for Robert Kennedy's bid for president. It is not!

The Kennedy influence died with Ted Kennedy. Since the senator's passing, it has not been pretty for the Kennedys' politically. The most notable is former Congressman Joe Kennedy, III. He decided to give up his congressional seat to run against Senator Ed Markey in the Democrat Primary. No one likes Markey, so it seemed to be the right move. At the beginning of the race, polling numbers showed Kennedy with a 20-point lead against the incumbent. That's right, 20 points.

When Markey cozied up to AOC and Elizabeth Warren, Kennedy tried to go even further to the left abandoning all common sense and the Kennedy brand. He finished off the campaign with a terrible performance where he whined about social media attacks. Joe 3.0 lost to Markey 55-45. It was a total embarrassment for the Kennedys to lose to a do-nothing like Markey.

Not to worry. Joe 3.0 has landed on his feet. He was named the United States Special Envoy to Northern Ireland for Economic Affairs. Guess who appointed him? Answer:  President Joe Biden.

See the linkage?! It is in the Kennedy clan's best interest to ditch Robert for Joe Biden.  Endorsements have perks!

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Billionaire venture capitalist Marc Andreessen slammed the ongoing issues at Alphabet Inc.'s Google after a group of leftist employees staged sit-ins and protests over the company's $1.2 billion contract with Israel amid the ongoing war with Hamas.

The pro-Hamas activists even occupied the office of the Google Cloud CEO.

Andreessen has also backed Elon Musk‘s concerns about the potential dangers of AI, which ironically is what the activists at Google say they are concerned about – Israel's military use of AI.

“The company is literally overrun by employee mobs, Chinese spies are walking AI chip designs out the door, and they turn the Founding Fathers and the Nazis black,” Andreessen said in a recent online post, reported by Benzinga, referring to Google.

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In December, a U.S. judge found that four Americans could sue the CIA for violating their privacy rights under the U.S. Constitution.

CIA Director William Burns claimed that a lawsuit involving alleged spying on Americans, who visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, must be dismissed or there could be “serious” and “exceptionally grave” damage to the “national security of the United States.”

In a declaration [PDF] that invokes the “state secrets privilege,” Burns also maintained that the CIA could not provide any explanation in open court for why the agency believes damage could occur if the lawsuit proceeds. 

“[T]he complete factual bases for my privilege assertions cannot be set forth on the public record without confirming or denying whether CIA has information related to this matter and therefore risking the very harm to the U.S. national security that I seek to protect,” Burns added. 

Claire's Observations:  This is precisely the same codswallop these people trot out continually, when  statements about what they have done, could prove most embarrassing.  One simply has to wonder just what the cover-up Burns is that Burns is so desperately trying to hide!!!!!

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NATO doesn’t plan to send combat units to Ukraine although some of NATO allies have military advisers there, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.

"There are no plans for any NATO combat presence in Ukraine, but of course several NATO allies have men and women in uniform at their embassies giving advice," he said in an interview with MSNBC.

"I think we need to distinguish between people in uniform that may be present or are present and combat presence and the presence of combat forces. And we have no plans of presence of that kind. What we do in Ukraine is that we help them to defend themselves." He said, adding that NATO’s support "is not charity, it is an investment in our own security."

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