Monthly News Items Part One – 29 / 31 January 2021
Updated 3 February 2021
It’s time to stand up against the scourge of anti-Semitism
Both Christians and Jews, on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond, are set to come under increasing pressure……we have been marking the annual Holocaust Memorial Day – an opportunity for Christians, especially, to show their love and appreciation for those who gave us the glorious gospel, and our most precious Jesus.……BLM is clearly opposed to Western civilization generally, and is rabidly anti-Semitic to boot. Their charter rejects Israel’s right to exist and its members have specifically targeted synagogues and Jewish businesses
The Northern Arena: Proactivity in Order to Weaken the Iranian-Shiite Axis - Iranian entrenchment in Syria · Collapse of Lebanon, with ongoing Hezbollah military buildup, including precision missile project · Potential escalation to a “northern war,” despite deterrence and the desire to avoid it…The consolidation of the Iranian-Shiite “war machine” in the northern arena is the most severe conventional threat to Israel’s security...Iran is therefore carefully weighing its steps – at least until the ramifications of the end of the Trump era and Biden’s entry into the White House are clear.
Panel Discussion on Syria: Back to the Future speech given by Ms. Jennifer Cafarella on 20 January 2020. Ms. Jennifer Cafarella is the National Security Fellow at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) - A major question concerns the nature of the reconstruction of the Syrian military: will it be rebuilt according to Russian interests, almost in a Cold war vein, whereby Moscow has a monopoly over the enterprise, or will it follow more Iranian interests toward an attempted permanent geographic presence (along the lines of Iraq). Iran clearly has strong interests in the Syrian state, and Russia will find it difficult to oust Iran entirely from the area, even should it want to. There is also a question of the future of the Turkey-controlled areas, and the resurgence of jihadi groups that are filling the vacuum.
The aforementioned article and Ms Cafarella’s comments plays into the Ezekiel 38/39 War, the invasion is prophesied as coming from Northern Israel, which are the major alliances of Russia, Iran, Turkey; these three nations are currently in alliance through defence, oil and infrastructure and are positioned in the North of Israel as part of the Syrian War, it also includes Libya, Sudan and regional allies. Iran is also forming alliance elsewhere: Zarif: Iran seeking to form six-party union in the Caucasus region - Upon his arrival in Moscow on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran is seeking to form a six-party bloc in the Caucasus region that would include Iran, Russia, Turkey, the Republic of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia.
What if a Muslim army was established against Israel? This is an article in 2017 by government Turkish newspaper stating that “If the member states of the OIC unite militarily, they will form the world’s largest and most comprehensive army…..One of the decisions that could emerge from the OIC summit is to establish a “Jerusalem Duty Group” in which a few countries protect the city. In this regard, military steps are expected to be taken. The establishment of a possible Muslim army would ensure that Israel is militarily surrounded.” At the same conference, Extraordinary Islamic Summit Conference, the OIC leaders published documents including the Declaration On “Freedom For Al Quds”- While we reaffirm that we recognize the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, we invite the whole world to recognize East Jerusalem as the occupied capital of the State of Palestine…..
There are 57 members of the OIC, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. These include Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Morocco, Jordan, Turkey, Oman, Yemen, Palestine, Afghanistan, and former USSR countries that are now aligned with Russia: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan including many Muslim / Islamic representatives from the African, Asia and European continents. Russia and Thailand are given Observer status.
Many of these OIC members have normalised or are looking to normalise relations with Israel - supposedly because of “Iran”. Yet, Iran has not been banned but Syria was expelled in 2011 and Egypt from May 1979 - March 1984 after signing a peace treaty with Israel. Neither has Turkey. The Administrative centre (Headquarters) is in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - the Saudis are the ones pushing “normalisation” policy across the Muslim world especially the Sunnis nations, see here and here. And now these countries are being equipped with the same advanced weapons that was given by the Americans to the Israelis, which Israel has used successfully and have modernised. These events, news and signs are troubling, and if you express these views in Israel or even publicly in the Christian platforms, especially the American evangelicals, you are dismissed as anti-Trump or anti Netanyahu. Don’t get me wrong, I neither support the leftist politics of Israel or America, as I think both are detrimental to Israel’s safety and independence.
What if things escalated? What if communications were knocked out? What if cyberwar was just the start? A note about this special six-part series….Over the past several years, relations between the US and China have moldered...turning the race for innovations in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and cyberweapons into what could become a zero-sum game. Hypernationalist politics aren’t liable to go away either.
“There is a chance to face a real setback in global development, which is fraught with a fight of all against all and attempts to resolve looming controversies through a search for internal and external enemies,” Mr Putin said in a video conference speech to attendees. “The situation might develop unpredictably and uncontrollably. It definitely will if nothing is done to prevent this. “Of course, I hope that such a hot global conflict is impossible in principle now. I really do hope so. It would mean the end to our civilisation.” The theme of global destruction and a potential third world war has become a common one in Mr Putin’s foreign policy speeches in recent years. His Davos speech did not include references to new weapons being developed by Russia, such as a hypersonic nuclear missile and a long-range nuclear-armed torpedo, which he often boasts of when speaking to a domestic audience.
Quantum computing will eventually alter and overturn the war-fighting playing field.
Surprise: One of the largest revolutions that will remake our planet in the near future is a technology you may not have heard of. And if you have heard of it, chances are you did not remotely understand how it works or the enormity of its significance.
A digital leap forward—disrupting industry, education, labour markets, and the balance of power between nations—risks widening the gap between the technological “haves” and “have-nots”..Investing in high-profile “risk champions” who can bring together different stakeholders to spur innovation in risk analysis, financing and response capabilities, and improve relationships between scientific experts and political leaders.
Individuals differ more and more in their digital autonomy and opportunities to earn a livelihood in the digital markets of tomorrow. This widening digital gap can further weaken societal cohesion, already fraying in many countries, and undermine prospects for an inclusive recovery.
Wealthy 'progressives' are shaping political life through a dense web of interconnected NGOs.
...I was stubbornly insisting on behaving like some old-fashioned grandmother, cackling things like, ‘In my day, we used to go around with a tin can collecting for Amnesty International at Christmas! We met in the basement of a pub and everyone paid for their own beer!’….it revealed the influence exerted by a wealthy few over civil society. To illustrate this, I am going to show how just a tiny fraction of a small slice of one funding network starts,…
Although there may not be tanks on the streets and a dictator inciting crowds from his bully pulpit, the end result has been pretty much the same. ……Jonah Goldberg argued in his 2008 book, Liberal Fascism, that even before World War II “fascism was widely viewed as a progressive social movement with many liberal and left-wing adherents in Europe and the United States.” Many years earlier, the late political theorist Hannah Arendt described the Nazi Party (which stands for, lest we forget, the ‘National SOCIALIST German Workers’ Party’) as nothing more than “the breakdown of all German and European traditions, the good as well as the bad…basing itself on the intoxication of destruction as an actual experience.” That sounds like a pretty accurate description of the cancel culture mentality that has now gripped the ‘progressive’ left with an almost demonic possession.
We can have democracy, or we can have a surveillance society, but we cannot have both. Two decades ago, the American government left democracy’s front door open to California’s fledgling internet companies, a cozy fire lit in welcome. In the years that followed, a surveillance society flourished in those rooms, a social vision born in the distinct but reciprocal needs of public intelligence agencies and private internet companies, both spellbound by a dream of total information awareness. Twenty years later, the fire has jumped the screen, and on Jan. 6, it threatened to burn down democracy’s house.
While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, persecution of Christians by extremists is growing. The report posits that such persecution is not random but rather systematic, and takes place irrespective of language, ethnicity, or location.
Every day, 12 churches or Christian buildings are attacked. Every day, 12 Christians are unjustly arrested or imprisoned and another five or abducted. These are the findings of Open Doors' 2021 World Watch List, a report which identifies the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian. Whether by violent attacks from non-state actors or government regulations, Christians face severe impediments to the free practice of their faith in many places around the world. As threats to religious freedom mount, it is important to know the challenges believers face around the world.
If you cherish faith, family and freedom, you might want to keep a low profile for a while. The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021 has been unveiled in Congress, and it is essentially the Patriot Act on steroids.
As far as “patriotism,” I think a lot of Christians have put too much emphasis on this subject. It certainly is important to love your country and pray for it, but I see so many Christians putting their faith more in Trump, or what our nation could or should be, rather than in Christ and Christ alone. It seems so many Christians today are fighting for a home that isn’t their own.
The most common defamation thrown at experts and commentators who have criticised blanket lockdowns is that they are ‘Covid sceptics’ or ‘Covid deniers’. Even though the vast majority of these alleged death-spreaders fully acknowledge the existence of Covid-19 and its virulence, especially among older and more vulnerable groups of people, still they are diabolised as ‘Covid deniers’. This deeply dishonest brand is designed to push these people beyond the pale; to lump them in with deniers of the Holocaust or deniers of the reality of gravity; to depict their political questions as the evil squeals of disease-doubters.
122 church leaders have withdrawn their pursuit of a judicial review after restrictions on public worship were lifted in England and Wales following sustained political, legal and media pressure…Disturbing stories broke in the media following the implementation of the regulations, including a legal online church service wrongly being shut down by police and the pastor of the church being prosecuted on his doorstep. Scottish church leaders urge government to reopen churches - A group of church leaders in Scotland has sent a pre-action letter to the Scottish government calling on measures, which have seen churches closed during the current lockdown, to be urgently reversed.
Christian prison chaplain and former detective, Pastor Paul Song, has been suspended for 10 years from all prisons for telling a Sunday newspaper about Islamic extremism dominating HMP Brixton. Pastor Song, 50, is set to have a permission hearing for judicial review at the High Court tomorrow, Tuesday 12 January. Pastor Paul Song spoke to the Mail on Sunday in September 2018 after news broke about his experiences at the hands of radical Islam in the London prison.
Political campaigns can lead people, even Christians, to a level of passion and activism parallel only to evangelism, which should be passionate because of its important mission of leading people to Jesus and His salvation. Christians can be carried by such campaigns from the left or right... it was horrifying to see prophets in 2020 prophesying something that God never told them and never sent them to tell. They were carried by political delusions, and predictably their prophecies never were fulfilled.
The greatest trick of authoritarians is to convince their subjects to rejoice in their own subjugation. Over the past week we have seen self-proclaimed ‘leftists’ cheering on multi-billion dollar corporations as they ratchet up their policies on censorship and their determination to control the parameters of acceptable thought and speech. The strength of feeling against Donald Trump – entirely understandable, of course – has meant that his permanent ban from all major social-media platforms is being treated as a victory for progressive values...Through these platforms, politicians are able to gauge the public mood and respond accordingly. To take one example out of thousands, the way in which Critical Race Theory has successfully transformed from being a niche and widely contested academic pursuit to forming the basis of mainstream educational and managerial practice has been largely due to the influence of social media.
Newspeak In The 21st Century: How To Become A Model Citizen In The New Era Of Domestic Warfare With President Biden’s inauguration many feel that they can finally breathe a deep sigh of relief. At last sanity has been restored and we can all go back to our predictable lives knowing that the future can only get better during these next four years. Well…not quite. There still remains the problem that everybody may not be on board with the progressive changes that Biden’s Administration plans to push through. This, of course, is wholly unacceptable. Disagreement has become an extremely sensitive issue lately; it was once thought that debate was an essential component to a strong and healthy democracy, however, we are now told that it is extremely dangerous, in fact, it may soon be categorised as a form of domestic terrorism. The Disuniting of America Is Now Inevitable Under Joe Biden and the Radical Left
To restate the technique more clearly: By shaping society’s imagination of the future, and embedding existential/nihilistic outcomes within his plotlines, Wells realized that the entire zeitgeist of humanity could be affected on a profound level than simple conscious reason would permit...H.G Wells, Russell and other early social engineers of this new priesthood organized themselves in several interconnected think tanks known as 1) the Fabian Society of Sidney and Beatrice Webb which operated through the London School of Economics, 2) the Round Table Movement begun by the fortunes left to posterity by the racist diamond magnate Cecil Rhodes which also gave rise to the Rhodes Trust, and Rhodes Scholarship programs established to indoctrinate young talent in the halls of Oxford, and finally 3) the Co-Efficients Club of London. As noted by Georgetown Professor Carol Quigley, in his 1981 The Anglo-American Establishment, membership in all three organizations was virtually interchangeable.
It is rare that I find engrossing and factual analysis of history without reference to conspiracy theories but these articles are both revealing and concerning:
Confessions of a Deprogrammed Trump Supporter - Words we took for granted like “patriot”, “nationalism”, or “vote fraud” are very racist and using them is a sure fire sign that you might be a domestic terrorist. At any rate, using them should be enough to get someone banned from social media.
Counter-gang von Hayek Revives Mandeville’s Hellfire Club in the 20th Century - The core lesson explored by Plato throughout all of his dialogues is that we are a species of both reason and passion who live in a discoverable universe where both freedom and law co-exist.
Keynes’ Sleight of Hand: From Fabian Eugenicist to World Government High Priest - Under the Keynesian takeover of Bretton Woods Trans-Atlantic nations became increasingly dominated by bloated bureaucratic systems while plans for genuine development were undermined, Matthew Ehret writes.
With the rise of the “Critical Race Theory” movement in government policies and which is causing divisions is now escalating currently in every facet of social, economic and pollical environment, I recommend you watch timely produced video about Thomas Sowell: Common Sense in a Senseless World - Full Video - Thomas Sowell: Common Sense in a Senseless World traces Sowell's journey from humble beginnings to the Hoover Institution, becoming one of this era's greatest economists, political philosophers, and prolific authors.
If you want to understand the present moment, especially how similar Wokeness seems to Mao’s Cultural Revolution, you have to understand the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci. Gramsci wrote a series of essays and books while imprisoned by the Italian fascists in the 1920s and 1930s that are referred to as his Prison Notebooks. These are the birthplace of Cultural Marxism, which James Lindsay argues has evolved into “Identity Marxism” since. Once you understand Gramsci, you can easily understand what is going on with our society at present and understand more clearly than ever why it must be resisted.
The Black Lives Matter movement has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel peace prize for the way its call for systemic change has spread around the world. In his nomination papers, the Norwegian MP Petter Eide said the movement had forced countries outside the US to grapple with racism within their own societies. MEDIA BLACKOUT: Antifa Riot at Portland ICE Facility Overnight, Throw Mortar Explosives at Federal Police Officers (VIDEO)
The bill would allow children to spy on their parents for government agencies to break the law if their actions would prevent or detect crime – and even permits those over the age of 16 to be recruited to inform on their parents if they are suspected of terror or criminal involvement. It allows 22 state agencies, including the intepalelligence service, the military and the police, to use children as undercover agents, though there must be a senior executive overseeing the operation. The measures are likely to be used in operations against “county lines” drug gangs, as well as investigating suspected terror plots. Last year, the high court ruled police recruitment of children was lawful. As well as police, MI5, MI6 and the National Crime Agency, they include the Gambling Commission, county and district councils, the Environment Agency and the Food Standards Agency...This is straight out George Orwell's novel 1984. This is what totalitarian communists do in East Germany, China, Russia and North Korea. This isn't just about reporting suspicious behaviour or committing crime but it will be used against "sins" relating to the environmental, Covid, diet, LGBTQ, and so on. Watch Sky News Australia with Rowan Dean and British journalist, Brendan O’Neill, discussing it. https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6225898762001
It is presented by Alex Thomson, a former GCHQ Intelligence Officer specializing in Eastern bloc, who also happens to be a Christian and Brian Gerrish, a warfare officer in the Royal Navy in the Cold War period. The analysis provides a brief background but details how this agenda is affecting us all today.This episode, and more to follow, is summary of communists, particularly Lenin and Marx, ideologies that have been adopted and known to us as continued the New World Order and the Great Reset agenda or the "brotherhood of man". Communism never died in 1989, rather it is following a mandate set out by Lenin that takes us to the present state of the world and also the future. The 'national revolutionary subversion process' entitled "National Destabilisation Plan of KGB / GRU based on Soviet Defector Intelligence", are details revealed by the Soviet defector Yuriy Bezmenov (a.k.a. Tomas Schuman), using his own knowledge of KGB strategy and details conveyed to John Barron, [the author of KGB: The Secret Work of Soviet Secret Agents (1974) and KGB Today: the Hidden Hand (1983). Alex Thomson reviews the writings of former economic adviser to Margaret Thatcher, Christopher Story. He warned Thatcher and Reagan about Gorbachev, who has never denounced Lenin but promotes him in the corridors of power and at his US foundation; receiving US taxpayers funds. Mr Story was contacted by Anatoliy Golitsyn, a Russian defector, who was never pardoned by Romania or Russia even though many have been. In 1984, Golitsyn published the book New Lies For Old, wherein he warned about a long-term deception strategy of seeming retreat from hard-line Communism designed to lull the West into a false sense of security, and finally economically cripple and diplomatically isolate the United States. The Psychological Attack on the UK, Part 2
DR BRUCE SCOTT - We are in unprecedented times. Not because of the deadliest virus known to mankind, but because we have never been attacked with such ferocious psychological methods.
I came across a YouTube video of a 1985 interview of Yuri Bezmenov, a KGB agent who defected to the West in 1970.The interview is about the Soviet Union’s strategy to subvert the United States. It is eye-opening and I wish to share a quote here first:“Marxism-Leninism ideology is being pumped into the soft heads of at least three generations of American students, without being challenged or counter-balanced by the basic values of Americanism and American patriotism … The demoralization process in the United States is basically completed already … Most of it is done by Americans to Americans thanks to lack of moral standards.As I mentioned before, exposure to true information does not matter anymore. A person who was demoralized is unable to assess true information. The facts tell nothing to him. Even if I shower him with information, with authentic proof, with documents, with pictures. Even if I take him by force to the Soviet Union and show him concentration camp he will refuse to believe it until he is going to receive a kick in his fat bottom. When the military boot crashes him, then he will understand, but not before that. That’s the tragic of the situation of demoralization.”.....https://mobile.twitter.com/elleprovocateur/status/1353557866834255879 - April 9, 2020: World Economic Forum website: "we are conducting arguably the largest #psychological experiment ever"January 2021: Injecting humans w/ #mRNA technology - we are conducting arguably the largest #human biology #experiment ever.Time: mRNA technology gave us the first Covid-19 vaccine. It could also upend the drug industry/ The World Economic Forum: Lockdown is the world's biggest psychological experiment - and we will pay the price
It would have been hard to imagine this scenario a year ago. But the (first) year of Covid has warped things to such an extent that the only people more enthusiastic about government policy than the government are its alleged opponents. In November, Conservative backbencher Desmond Swayne gave an interview to Save Our Rights UK, an anti-lockdown (and sometimes anti-vaccination) group. He said that official figures about Covid ‘appear to have been manipulated’ and that the virus poses a ‘manageable’ risk to the NHS….This has sent lockdown supporters into meltdown. ….Swayne argued that his comments about the ‘manipulation’ of data were referring to graphs that Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance produced in their press conference before the November lockdown….It wasn’t just Swayne who took issue with the graphs — they were even rebuked by the UK Statistics Authority. The government later withdrew the projection, citing an error in the data.
I will be taking a break from posting news items for three months. It is becoming increasingly time consuming and oftentimes it means having to keep tract of the latest events across a wide array of news platforms, so that I can source material. I used to look at these events clinically but this has not been the case for the last few months. It is overwhelming and at times depressing to see the events taking place.
As Christians we are to expected to be live in this world that is void of “peace” and which is “not our home” and we are therefore instructed not to “conform to the things of this world”. I intend, for the next few weeks, to take it easy and devote more time to other things.
According to Statistics Norway, 54, 592 children received care measures from child welfare services in Norway in 2019 alone. That represents nearly 3% of the children in Norway. Nearly 20% of those involved Norwegian-born children to immigrant parents. These statistics represent real families and real-life trauma for everyone involved. In the fall of 2015, the five children of Ruth and Marius Bodnariu became part of these statistics when they were separated from their parents, their friends and school, and from each other into 3 different households, hours apart from each other. In fact, in many ways, the Bodnarius have become the very symbol of Norway’s staggering child welfare statistics.
Take for example Jolyon Maugham QC. He is not pleased with the High Court judgment and has been campaigning to support the Tavistock’s appeal. On Twitter he implicitly compared the lawyers and gender-critics who brought the judicial review against the Tavistock to Nazis persecuting Jews. Indeed, he specifically complained about ‘the Christian Right’ and put ‘gender-critical “feminists”’ in inverted commas to indicate that to him they were not ‘real’ feminists. This sort of untruthful terribilising of conscientious truth-tellers is at the heart of ‘cancel culture’. It is calling evil good and good evil. The truth is that this trend for demonising conscientious truth-tellers has left radical progressives with little ability to discern.
A New York-based literacy agency fired one of their literary agents upon learning the agent joined social media Twitter alternatives Parler and Gab. The fired agent, Colleen Oefelein, confirmed Monday that she was fired from her job at The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency, and said it was due to the fact she identifies as a Christian conservative.
More disturbing might be Big Tech’s aiding of law enforcement’s violations of the rights of individuals at home and contributions to the military’s violation of human rights abroad. Despite its reputation for independence, it has recently been revealed that Big Tech’s relationship with the American national security establishment may be stronger than was previously thought... Big Tech has had a long-standing relationship with the U.S. government and military…. Nowadays, Big Tech companies have loads of contracts with the military and law enforcement. Tech Inquiry, a non-profit organization promoting tech accountability, has reported that DoD, ICE, FBI, DEA, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons have thousands of contracts with Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Dell, IBM, and Hewlett Packard. Microsoft is by far the contract champion, with 5,000. Amazon and Google trail with 350 and 250, respectively.
In Wednesday comments to Reuters, Gates said that there are "millions of messages out there" targeting he and Fauci, and suggested that "social media companies" might be able to censor discussion on the topic……."Nobody would have predicted that I and Dr. Fauci would be so prominent in really kind of evil theories about – did we create the pandemic, are we trying to profit from it? – and on and on," said Gates, adding "We're going to have to get educated about this over the next year and understand, how does it change people's behavior?" "How should we have minimized this, either working with the social media companies or explaining what we were up to in a better way?"
Farmland is one of the best places to stick that money, and one of the world’s richest men, Bill Gates, has been investing an awful lot of money into American farmland. In fact, the Land Report recently noted that Gates (and his wife, Melinda) are the biggest private owners of farmland in the country. Forbes notes, in its reporting on the topic, that Gates has some agriculture-related projects going, but investing in farmland is becoming more and more common for the wealthy, and is not usually related to philanthropy at all. In fact, farmland is one of the most stable investment bets out there, one with a limited supply and consistent returns. From another Forbes article: “From 1992 to 2016 farmland yielded an impressive 12% return vs. real estate (NCREIF) at 8.7%, and the Russell Stocks Index 3000 at 8.8%.” Gates Foundation Seeks to Dominate Africa’s Food Systems - The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded another $10 million last week to the controversial Cornell Alliance for Science, a communications campaign housed at Cornell that trains fellows in Africa and elsewhere to promote and defend genetically engineered foods, crops and agrichemicals. The new grant brings BMGF grants to the group to $22 million. The PR investment comes at a time when the Gates Foundation is under fire for spending billions of dollars on agricultural development schemes in Africa that critics say are entrenching farming methods that benefit corporations over people. Bill Gates Is About To Change The Way America Farms
FOURTEEN million, £20 million, £24 million – the eye-watering sum in damages being awarded to the administrators wrongly prosecuted for fraud over the Rangers bankruptcy, seems to grow larger by the day. It is reliably reported that the two men, Paul Clark and David Whitehouse, have already banked £10m apiece. That’s £10m! Each. When various legal fees are included the bill is now bumping against £24m and could rise still further. But that is not all. The Lord Advocate himself, James Wolffe QC, will shortly make a public apology to the two men for having pursued a “malicious prosecution” against them “without probable cause”….. There are disturbing parallels between the pursuit of Clark and Whitehouse and the reckless behaviour of the Scottish Government in pursuing the former First Minister, Alex Salmond, through the courts.
One of its own MPs has told Sky News that high-ranking members of the party shared dozens of messages about the former first minister in a social media group chat, calling themselves the "Vietnam" group. In text exchanges before last year's criminal trial of Mr Salmond, which resulted in his acquittal, it's claimed they discussed the reluctance of an alleged victim to give evidence and efforts they could take to give her encouragement….SNP's Scottish government spent £55,000 'preparing' civil servants for Alex Salmond inquiry hearings – where they were accused of 'suffering collective memory loss'
Among Yousaf’s amendments is the creation of a free speech clause on the issue of transgenderism. This will help protect people who criticise radical gender ideology from facing criminal investigation. The amendment states: “Behaviour or material is not to be taken to be threatening or abusive solely on the basis that it involves or includes discussion or criticism of matters relating to transgender identity.” The rule will define ‘transgender identity’ as applying to those who live as if a member of the opposite sex, those who say they are neither male nor female, and those who cross-dress.
Scottish teachers are reporting non-trans affirming parents to social services. The Sunday Times reports that north of the border, schools have been reporting parents to local authorities if they are unsupportive of their child’s desire to ‘swap gender’. Dozens of referrals have been made following guidance that the Scottish Government distanced itself from in 2019. The Christian Institute called the policy ‘outrageous…..The Scottish Government distanced itself from the guidance in 2019 after The Christian Institute issued a legal letter expressing “significant concerns” over the “misleading” material. ‘Supporting Transgender Young People: Guidance For Schools in Scotland’ says teachers should not tell parents if their child changes gender in school unless the child, who could be as young as four years old, gives permission, and that if parents are “struggling” with their child’s transgender identity, staff can consider raising this with the local authority.
Former DUP minister Nelson McCausland shared the testimony of Becket Cook, a former Hollywood set designer who lived a homosexual lifestyle until he encountered Jesus. Critics accused Mr McCausland of promoting “conversion therapy practices”, although nowhere in Cook’s interview with The Gospel Coalition does he mention having undergone any such therapy – even saying attempting to force someone to change their sexuality should not happen.
NatWest has been criticised for its submission to the Women and Equalities Committee’s consultation on making it much easier to change legal sex. The bank said it supported the notion of people being able to ‘self-declare’ their gender “with no requirement for additional evidence” – a stance it says it has already taken with its own staff and customers. It said the law should be changed to remove the requirement for someone to have lived in their chosen gender for at least two years, and the need – if married – for their spouse to consent. But critics say the majority publicly-owned company is acting outside of its role and should not be taking a stance.
It's been one of the fiercest debates of the last year -- erupting in boxing rings, Olympic committees, even high school tracks. Should biological boys be allowed to compete against girls in the name of inclusion?
LGBT organizations, infuriated by the four-year pause in the rainbow blitzkrieg transforming American institutions, is going to come after Christians with a vengeance and at the top of the hit list are Christian institutions that do not meet the demands of the LGBTQ orthodoxy.
The film, 'Identity – Understanding Sexual and Gender Identities', is being offered on the corporation's website as part of its relationships and sex education package….The programme, which features children asking adults about sexuality and gender on behalf of their peers, suggests the different identities include 'bi-gender', 'gender-queer' and 'pansexual'….A majority of school-age children are currently being forced to resort to online learning because the lockdown has shut access to the classrooms for all but key workers….The BBC said last night that more than 50 teachers participated in consultation exercises which helped to inform the series, and that it was 'clearly stated' on the BBC Teach website that 'due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter, we strongly advise teacher viewing before watching with pupils'. This Is Not Normal - The Booming Transgender Accessories Industry Shows Us Why - We used to say: Be who you are -- be comfortable in your body! Now we design entire clothing lines to help children conceal their bodies and present as a different gender.
Lockdown Learning: BBC puts school materials on TV, iPlayer and online (BBC Propaganda In Action)
UK Column 27 January 2021 at mark 55:24 . In this segment the presents show a letter written by a parent after viewing the new Lockdown learning provided by the BBC and it investigates
Small-Town Iowa Public Schools Teach Preschoolers Transgenderism And Judging People By Skin Color Next week, the Ames, Iowa public school district is sponsoring a “Black Lives Matter week of action” that includes teaching transgenderism to children as young as four years old, Young America’s Foundation reports. On the school district’s webpage about this “week of action” slated for Feb. 1-5, it reprints the “Black Lives Matter at School Guiding Principles,” which include the following: “6. Queer Affirming…
Facebook bans Christian prof. from platform for speaking against Biden’s transgender military policy A Christian university professor has been suspended from Facebook for voicing disagreement with President Joe Biden’s executive order allowing trans-identifying individuals to serve in the U.S. military.
Baylor (Christian University) newspaper apologizes after calling professor’s criticism of Biden’s LGBT order ‘transphobic’ The student newspaper at a prominent Christian university has apologized for calling a professor’s comments “transphobic” after she criticized President Joe Biden’s executive order allowing biological males who identify as females to compete in women’s sports.
Five weeks ago, when I raised questions about the results of Pfizer’s and Moderna’s covid-19 vaccine trials, all that was in the public domain were the study protocols and a few press releases. Today, two journal publications and around 400 pages of summary data are available in the form of multiple reports presented by and to the FDA prior to the agency’s emergency authorization of each company’s mRNA vaccine. While some of the additional details are reassuring, some are not. Here I outline new concerns about the trustworthiness and meaningfulness of the reported efficacy results.
Official government guidance has been released in the United Kingdom to assist healthcare professionals in administering the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine BNT162b2. While the UK government goes to war against supposed misinformation, the official narrative is clearly based on very little to no supporting data from incomplete clinical trials. This article examines the document “Reg 174 Information for UK Healthcare Professionals” and narratives being pushed in the mainstream media that directly contradict that document.
I understand that there was a pandemic of sorts at the beginning of the year, and there was an element of the unknown, for which some action had to be taken. I am mindful of the loss and grief of those who have lost someone due to this virus, but all the evidence I have seen says that there is no longer a risk to the general public and that the figures have been grossly inflated and misrepresented. Some of our more vulnerable and elderly people need to be protected, but no more so than any other year during flu season, and there is absolutely no justification for wholesale lockdown and arbitrary regulations to strangle the life out of the economy, which will inevitably lead to a “cure” that is immeasurably worse than the disease. The police service will end up dealing with fall-out from lockdowns for decades to come — mental health, suicides, increased crime of all types, drug and alcohol addictions, domestic abuse, public unrest and so on… Senior officers and chief constables across the country are simply following the government diktats without question, or at least so it seems.
A surge of student suicides across Las Vegas has pushed the Clark County School District to reopen schools as soon as possible, according to NYTimes. By December, eighteen students in the district had taken their own lives; an early-warning mental health system embedded within computers and tablets issued to students for remote learning received 3,100 alerts since schools shuttered their doors last March…..Efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 across the country have led to drastic changes in the way children and teens learn and socialize.
Second PCR memo in two months casts even more doubt on the “gold standard” of Covid diagnosis. The World Health Organisation has released a memorandum which potentially completely undermines all the “pandemic” case numbers from all over the world. On the 13th of January, they put out this memo, stating that a single positive PCR test should not be used for diagnosing Sars-Cov-2 infection.
Several European countries have imposed fresh restrictions or tightened the COVID-19 preventive measures after the New Year. This has sparked violent protests in Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain. And the BBC, the Mail and other mainstream media are reporting that demonstration is due to lack of vaccines!!
The most important, meaningful phase of CV-19 vaccine trials has barely begun, let alone been completed COVID 19 vaccine trials appear to have caused some confusion. Hopefully, this article might help clear things up a bit. People genuinely appear to believe that the COVID 19 vaccines have undergone clinical trials and have been proven to be both safe and effective. That belief is simply wrong. The main point is this. If you decide to have Pfizer and BioNTech’s experimental mRNA-based BNT162b2 (BNT) vaccine, or any other claimed COVID 19 vaccine for that matter, you are a test subject in a drug trial.
A woman was arrested in her home after she posted a video of herself wandering around an apparently empty Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. The video appears to conflict with the impression left by the mainstream media: that hospitals are full with COVID-19 patients and can’t cope….. According to this NHS official spreadsheet January 2021 COVID Publication (XLSX, 12.8MB) (download here), the number of people admitted to hospital with COVID-19 daily in England was about 300 at the start of November. It reached about 1,000 in early January . Flu jab 2020: Who’s eligible for a free vaccine? - The average number of estimated deaths in England for the past five annual flu seasons is more than 11,000 - but there have been big variations each winter. There were more than 22,000 estimated deaths in the 2017-18 season, but just short of 4,000 deaths in 2018-19. Flu is killing more people than Covid19, and has been for months - Latest ONS figures show the “pandemic” fatalities have slowed to a trickle, and lockdown has nothing to do with it. A report from the UK’s Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows that since at least June 19th, more people in the UK have been dying of influenza than Covid19.
A Lincolnshire MP has called for more people to be reliant on themselves over fears that “every successive lockdown is less and less effective”. Sir Edward Leigh, Gainsborough MP, told the House of Commons on Wednesday that the government could not “just rely” on lockdowns. Mr Leigh said: “Many of us who will vote for the government tonight […] are worried that with every successive lockdown they are less and less effective because whilst every death is tragic, young people will have noticed reports that out of a population of 10s of millions, only 400 have actually died who are healthy between 16 and 60. (my emphasis)
ONE Somerset MP voted against the latest Covid-19 lockdown measures in parliament on Wednesday (January 6) - as he could not vote again "to compromise lives and destroy livelihoods". "Each day we’ve been hearing of rising rates of infection, the new – more transmissible – strains of Covid, increased numbers of infected patients in hospital and ever-increasing warnings from SAGE of the NHS being overwhelmed, cases rising exponentially and predictions of appalling death rates. Given all that, I fully appreciate that my vote against the current lockdown may seem unexpected…. "But I have concerns in several areas.. "Everyone who attends hospital is now tested – itself, of course, a terrifically important step. Those who test positive are reported statistically as hospital Covid patients, whether they were asymptomatic or not; whether they attended hospital for a broken ankle or regular cancer treatment. Naturally, when we then hear of hospitals managing thousands of Covid patients, such reporting will concern us all and lead the Government to seek to act. Every death, for whatever reason, is tragic and shocking. Even to write about it - and especially to do so in terms of data and numbers - belittles and minimises the personal loss which we all feel. It is important to see, I think though, that excess deaths over the past year have not been statistically higher than the average for previous years. And the ONS reveals that, in terms of deaths per 100,000 of population, since 1993 ten previous years have had higher rates than 2020. But I also understand that, given the infection rates and the new strains, it is the predictions of future mortality which concerns the Government. They do not know what may come.”
NHS England has ordered a rapid acceleration of care home vaccinations in response to rising Covid outbreaks in which deaths of residents have risen to levels not seen since May. GPs have been instructed to complete all care home vaccinations by the end of this week “wherever possible” or by 24 January at the latest. The government’s original target was the end of the month. The urgent move came as new figures showed 1,200 care residents died from Covid in England in the first week of January. Weekly death tolls in Scotland and Wales have also been rising. The NHS will triple the bonus paid to doctors for every jab carried out before next Monday to £30. Doses administered next week will attract £20. One senior GP told the Guardian outbreaks were threatening to slow down delivery of the jab and that vaccination had become “a race against the virus”.
Norway said Covid-19 vaccines may be too risky for the very old and terminally ill, the most cautious statement yet from a European health authority as countries assess the real-world side effects of the first shots to gain approval. Norwegian officials said 23 people had died in the country a short time after receiving their first dose of the vaccine. Of those deaths, 13 have been autopsied, with the results suggesting that common side effects may have contributed to severe reactions in frail, elderly people, according to the Norwegian Medicines Agency.
In a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Pfizer and the press, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm warns of an “almost certain immunological prognotication that if viral antigens are present in the tissues of subjects who undergo vaccination, the antigen specific immune response triggered by the vaccine will target those tissues and cause tissue inflammation and damage.” Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D., is a physician-scientist and advocate for ethics, patient safety and women’s health. He specializes in cardiothoracic surgery and has taught and practiced medicine for nearly two decades.
In an extraordinary recent presentation exposing “the serious and life-threatening disinformation campaign” being waged against the American people and the world, Dr. Simone Gold of the American Frontline Doctors (AFLD) laid out the facts on the Wuhan Virus, safe highly-effective treatments, and particularly what she calls “experimental biological agents,” otherwise referred to as the COVID-19 vaccines.
Twenty four elderly residents have died after an outbreak of Covid-19 at a Hampshire care home, while a second care home tragedy in the Midlands has left nine dead. The residents at Pemberley House care home, Basingstoke, died in the last few weeks following the virus outbreak earlier this month, in what is one of the worst known outbreaks in a care home in England. In a similar tragedy, nine elderly residents have died at Seagrave House care home in Corby, Northamptonshire, and it is feared dozens more are fighting infections. Pemberley House Care Home deaths 'not related to vaccine' - As reported by The Gazette, at least 22 residents of Pemberley House Care Home have died in the last three weeks after contracting Covid. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHPRA) said their surveillance does not suggest that the Covid-19 vaccines have contributed to the deaths.
Residents have told of their shock after ten ambulance crews and paramedics wearing what looked like hazmat suits responded to an outbreak of Covid-19 at a nearby care home. The incident happened on Saturday night (January 9) at Trengrouse care home in Helston. The ambulance service arrived at around 8.30pm and remained at the care home for a number of hours. Onlookers said it was "like something out of a movie" with paramedics wearing hazmat suits to treat patients. These have since been identified as top level personal protective equipment (PPE).
James (he gives his last name in the video) is a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), and he recorded this video as a whistleblower……James reports that in 2020 very few residents in the nursing home where he works got sick with COVID, and none of them died during the entire year of 2020. However, shortly after administering the Pfizer experimental mRNA injections, 14 died within two weeks, and he reports that many others are near death…..and he admits that he has nothing to gain from going public, and that he will probably lose his job for doing so. But he makes it very clear that these were patients he knew and cared for (he is also a “lay pastor”), and that after being injected with the mRNA shot, residents who used to walk on their own can no longer walk. Residents who used to carry on an intelligent conversation with him could no longer talk.
Haaretz.com Excerpts: Over 12,400 Israeli residents have tested positive for COVID-19 after being vaccinated, among them 69 people who had already gotten the second dose, which began to be administered early last week, the Health Ministry reported…..According to the ministry’s data, 5,348 people were found infected up to a week after getting the vaccine, of the 100,000 people who were vaccinated and then tested a week later – an infection rate of 5.4 percent of those vaccinated during that time. Another 5,585 people tested positive for the virus between the eighth and 14th day after getting the first vaccine – 8.3 percent of the 67,000 people who were vaccinated and tested during that post-vaccination period.
Gibraltar recorded another 13 Covid-related deaths over a “devastating” weekend that drove the death toll to 43 since the start of the pandemic. During the past week alone, 27 people have passed away either as a direct result of the virus or while infected with it. I have been contacted by residents in Gibraltar stating that 53 people have died in 10 days immediately following the roll out of injections of the Pfizer mRNA COVID injections, and calling it a “massacre.” Local media reports confirm the deaths, but blame them on COVID, and not the COVID injections. However, prior to the roll out of the injections, it is reported that only 16 people in total died “from COVID” since the beginning of the “pandemic” about a year ago…… The first batch of the experimental Pfizer mRNA COVID injections were delivered by the military on January 9th, according to the UK Defense Journal
Louisiana Woman Convulses Uncontrollably after Being Injected with the Experimental Pfizer COVID Shot – “I can’t stand to see my mom this way it makes me want to cry knowing I can’t do anything to help her.” Brant Griner of Lake Charles, Louisiana has posted a video of his mother on his Facebook account convulsing uncontrollably after receiving the experimental Pfizer COVID shot. This is what the Pfizer covid19 vaccine has done to my Mom. Everyone please pray for her. She was admitted to the hospital. And be cautious about taking the vaccine. I’m sure it is good for some people but you need to think about is this vaccine worth taking? It’s not for me. Please share this post we need help finding answers. Update 1-12-21 Mom Is getting even worse today and still don’t have any answers from doctors as to how to fix this. Please pray for her I can’t stand to see my mom this way it makes me want to cry knowing I can’t do anything to help her. Please don’t take the covid19 vaccine. I’m adding a 3rd video that she just sent me.
Blair’s globalist institute issued a report urging the UK government to “place the creation of a global Covid-19 travel pass as a key item” on the G7 agenda. In an interview with the Telegraph, the Iraq war architect himself stated that vaccine passports are “inevitable” and that British government needs to “take the initiative” using its “fortuitous” G7 presidency, and implement a “critical first step” toward global adoption of the scheme. Blair argued that without a global standard on vaccine passports, there could be two problems. “One is that everyone just does their own thing, which is much more chaotic and difficult to manage. Or secondly, there’s a set of rules in place that you may not be that happy with,” Blair said. What a horrible prospect, sovereign nations ‘doing their own thing’! Blair added that an international vaccine passport scheme is essential to “re-connect” the globe. Immunity Passports – number of countries, airlines and businesses are implementing these passports. United Airlines CEO wants to make Covid vaccines mandatory for the company’s employees
Silicon Valley’s most influential companies, alongside healthcare companies, US intelligence contractors and the Commons Project Foundation, recently launched the Vaccination Credential Initiative. The initiative’s ambitions reach far beyond vaccines and will have major implications for civil liberties…..The host of the VCI website and one the initiative’s key backers is the Commons Project Foundation. That foundation, in partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF), runs the Common Trust Network, which has three goals that are analogous to those of VCI. As listed on the WEF website, the network’s goals are….
After 440,000 Americans are Dead – Facebook and American Journal of Medicine Admit Their Stand on HCQ was Wrong The liberal mainstream media can’t hide this truth from the American public forever. The latest international testing of hydroxychloroquine treatment of coronavirus shows countries that had early use of the drug had a 79% lower mortality rate than countries that banned the use of the safe malaria drug.
Beijing Uses Anal Swabs To Detect COVID-19 Strains Just as the WHO acknowledges (in time for the start of the Biden Administration) that the high-cycle PCR tests routinely lead to far higher numbers of false positives than the world had expected, Li Tongzeng, a doctor at Beijing’s You’an Hospital, and a proponent of anal swab tests, claims that “the coronavirus survives longer in the anus or excrement than those taken from upper body tracts.”
Google transforming its nationwide properties into vaccination sites while driving users to get injected with experimental shots To help ensure that more Americans are vaccinated for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) at warp speed, tech giant Google is converting its properties into mass vaccination sites.
Economy / Banking / Technology
China is looking to catch up when it comes to autonomous vehicles with a new law and an interesting test site run by Huawei…China has drafted new laws which would allow the testing of autonomous vehicles on highways for the first time, bringing in line with countries such as the UK, US, and Germany which already allow self-driving cars to be tested on public roads. The South China Morning Post reports that The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s (MIIT) new draft regulations allow for “road testing and example application of smart connected vehicles”, with highways permitted as a test site.
There seems to be a plethora of articles that cover mobility trends and predictions for 2021, and I imagine that you have already read several of those. So here are my predictions for 2021 as I consider innovations that are here for the longer term, beyond the pandemic, and the issues associated with those innovations, such as how equity can be achieved with technology-enabled mobility. Let’s do a quick re-cap of my 2020 predictions ( as well as the revisions made as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic) see and see whether or not they were realised.
This leads us to the social implications of homoploutia: First, having a growing number of the rich who are rich in terms of both property and skills (human capital) may enable them to create an upper class that has little in common with the rest of the population. This upper class would be able, as the evidence shows, to invest heavily in children’s education, which in turn allows them to command high wages. This reduces social mobility. Second, from an ethical point of view, high taxation of a homoploutic upper class becomes more difficult: the rich are not mere passive coupon-clipping rentiers of the classical capitalism, but hard, and often excessively hard, working wage-earners.
World Economic Forum: After the rise of the West and Asia, we need a better form of capitalism
The economic model it applied, became known as “socialism with Chinese characteristics” inside the country, but may be better labelled “state capitalism”: a majority of the economy is in private hands, but the government retains a decisive role, setting the long-term direction, and intervening in critical sectors and at critical moments.
As we have continued to document, Central Bank "responses" to the Covid pandemic have done little for lower and middle class Americans and continue to disproportionately enrich the already wealthy. Further evidence of how the Fed's flawed policies work, in action, came from the Institute for Policy studies and Americans For Tax Fairness, who yesterday issued a press release noting that 10 months into the Covid crisis, America's billionaires have seen their wealth rise 40%, or $1.1 trillion….. “Billionaires are reaping unseemly windfalls of wealth during the pandemic,” said Chuck Collins of the Institute for Policy Studies. “They benefit from having their competitors shut down or controlling technologies and services we are all dependent on in this unprecedented time. We should tax these windfall gains to pay for recovery.“
Indian farming “reforms” will benefit a handful of billionaires at the cost of small farms and ordinary laborers
In the above short video on the empirediaries.com YouTube channel, a protesting farmer camped near Delhi says that during lockdown and times of crisis farmers are treated like “gods”, but when they ask for their rights, they are smeared and labelled as “terrorists”.
He, along with thousands of other farmers, are mobilising against three important pieces of farm legislation that were recently forced through parliament. To all intents and purposes, these laws sound a neoliberal death knell for most of India’s cultivators and its small farms, the backbone of the nation’s food production.
... as we laid out in Going Against The Wall Street Crowd Has Been The Most Profitable Strategy.
What is the point of all this? Simple: for all its tremendous success, r/WallStreetBets has not discovered anything that was not known long ago. It did however succeed in creating what has become the world's biggest daytrading army which, most importantly, is well organized and works as a collective "hive mind." And, at 6 million users strong, or up a record 2 million users in the past 24 hours...
Most market experts were left scratching their heads when shares of GameStop an electronic retailer that has struggled over the past years and is shutting stores - skyrocketed by nearly 2,000% since the beginning of the year. The rise in share price came as a surprise as the company has struggled to make profits in the recent years. The GameStop share was trading at $350 on Wednesday, compared to less than $18 a share earlier this month. A tweet from Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday also boosted the stock price. How did all this happen in such short span? Well, a group of users came together on the online forum Reddit and pushed the price of the stock, beating Wall Street hedge funds, pretty much in their own game. Interestingly, GameStop is not the only stock to have benefited from this phenomenon, several other small groups like such as Nokia, BlackBerry and AMC have also soared in the past few days.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sent out a Civil Investigative Demand to 13 entities, including Robinhood and Citadel, regarding the “suspension of stock trading and investing” requiring higher margin reserves for trading certain companies and suspending chat platform activity. Other names which were also issued CIDs include Discord, Robinhood Markets, Robinhood Securities, Interactive Brokers, TD Ameritrade, TD Bank, E-Trade, WeBull Financial, Public Holdings, M1 Holdings, Citadel Financial, and Apex Clearing. “Wall Street corporations cannot limit public access to the free market, nor should they censor discussion surrounding it, particularly for their own benefit. This apparent coordination between hedge funds, trading platforms, and web servers to shut down threats to their market dominance is shockingly unprecedented and wrong. It stinks of corruption,” said Attorney General Paxton.
The group has no formal affiliation with the stock trading app of the name same that froze stock purchases for GameStop yesterday, prompting widespread complaints from its users. The group’s 23-year-old founder Alan Tran told Reuters that the social media giant removed the page citing “adult sexual exploitation,” but provided no further reasoning for the ban. According to Tran, who also heads up his own investment group, HaiKhuu Trading, bots may have flagged the page because of the use of the term “gain porn,” which is a phrase relating to stock purchases and has no actual sexual connotation. Earlier this month, the group was also listed as a “dangerous organization,” but this label was subsequently removed by Facebook and the page was restored.
Google has deleted at least 100,000 negative reviews from Robinhood's app on the Google Play app store after furious users flooded the app with bad reviews that caused it to drop to a one-star rating. Robinhood users became livid on Thursday morning when the stock-trading app prevented them from buying GameStop stock and other stocks promoted by WallStreetBets Reddit community.In response, users review-bombed the app with nearly 300,000 reviews on the Google Play store, lowering its rating to one out of five stars.
One such user, a Redditor who goes by the name Space-Peanut, has a very personal reason for tossing their match onto the pyre. Read below (emphasis ours):
This is for you, Dad. I remember when the housing collapse sent a torpedo through my family. My father's concrete company collapsed almost overnight. My father lost his home. My uncle lost his home. I remember my brother helping my father count pocket change on our kitchen table. That was all the money he had left in the world. While this was happening in my home, I saw hedge funders literally drinking champagne as they looked down on the Occupy Wall Street protestors. I will never forget that. My Father never recovered from that blow. He fell deeper and deeper into alcoholism and exists now as a shell of his former self, waiting for death. This is all the money I have and I'd rather lose it all than give them what they need to destroy me. Taking money from me won't hurt me, because i don't value it at all. I'll burn it all down just to spite them.
In the last few months we have seen number of businesses closing down because of the pandemnic. Wall Street Hedge Funds billionaires, like Bill Ackman, have been demanding for complete lockdown while at the same betting against these business and making a killing Back in March 2020, he warned that 'Hell is coming': Billionaire Bill Ackman sent sharemarket spiralling - Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman warned on Wednesday that millions of Americans would die, industries would collapse, and the US economy would tumble into a deep recession unless there’s a 30-day nationwide shutdown to slow the spread of coronavirus. Billionaire investor Bill Ackman scored a record 70% return in 2020 as his pandemic bets paid off - Ackman largely offset the pandemic's impact on Pershing by spending $27 million on credit-default swaps that soared in value to $2.6 billion. Pershing's bosses sold the hedge in March and plowed most of the proceeds into existing holdings that were trading at bargain prices. In 2017, Bill Ackman was sued for Insider Trading: Pershing Square, Valeant to pay $290 million to end insider trading suit - Activist investor Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Holdings Ltd. and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. agreed to pay US$290 million to settle investor claims that they engaged in insider trading in the unsuccessful 2014 takeover bid for botox-maker Allergan Inc. Hedge funds net USD1 billion from short selling FTSE 100 stocks, as Covid and Brexit propel volatility - Short sellers generated GBP828 million (USD1.067 billion) from FTSE 100 bets last month, and made profits on 75 out of the 100 companies that comprise the UK’s blue-chip index, according to new data from London-based equities analytics and research provider Ortex Analytics. Stock market speculators attempting to cash in on turmoil at British companies raising money from investors to survive coronavirus pandemic - Stock market speculators are attempting to cash in on turmoil at the British companies raising money from investors to survive the coronavirus pandemic. Short-sellers have swooped on Premier Inn owner Whitbread, Aston Martin and events firm Hyve, which have raised £1.5billion through rights issues. They are the only UK firms to raise funds through rights issues, where existing investors are offered the chance to buy new shares, usually at a discount.
The mainstream and social media, big tech and government bodies have turn against the individuals fighting back against the billionaire hedge funds likening them to Trump’s populist gangs and decrying that they are ruining “capitalism” which is all a lie and shows how ordinary people are being side-lined in favour of the wealthy and powerful. A perfect example is the news that Yellen received $800G from hedge fund in Gamestop controversy; WH doesn't commit to recusal - Newly-confirmed Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen received around $810,000 in speaking fees from the hedge fund that bailed out one of the primary losers in the recent Gamestop frenzy. Yellen's financial disclosure shows her making $337,500 for multiple days in Oct. of 2020 from Citadel. She similarly banked $292,500 in October of 2019 and $180,000 in December of that year.
What nobody mentions is that many of these businesses were forced to spend thousands of pounds to rearrange their premises to cater for safe distance, PPE equipment, and so on only to be told to lockdown indefinitely, as such many are now closed for good and others are facing bankruptcy.
UL Column covered the Gamestop story and how these billionaires are manipulating the market while politicians and their cronies benefit.
Wetherspoon has unveiled plans to expand by buying up property after prices plunged due to the pandemic, while a new venture fronted by the former boss of Greene King is looking to purchase small pubs and bars….. Nearly three-quarters of the pubs promised a £1,000 grant by the prime minister to help them survive the loss of Christmas sales in England are still waiting for the money, the British Beer & Pubs Association (BBPA) said. The grants, which local councils have been asked to distribute, were intended to help “wet-led” pubs, which do not serve food and instead rely on alcohol sales, leaving them particularly exposed to Covid-19 restrictions. Venues that did not serve food were unable to open over the traditionally lucrative Christmas period. Greene King to cut up to 800 jobs and shut 79 pubs and restaurants - Greene King, one of Britain’s biggest pub operators, with more than 1,700 pubs and 38,000 staff, said about a third of the outlets will close permanently, with the rest “mothballed” until they can reopen. One has to ask the question why close these pubs and restaurants, causing unemployment and then buy new ones with the Weatherspoon’s boss. Prospering in the pandemic: the top 100 companies - In a dismal year for most companies, a minority have shone: pharmaceutical groups boosted by their hunt for a Covid-19 vaccine; technology giants buoyed by the trend for working from home; and retailers offering lockdown necessities online.
An investigation into the use of multiple wholesale CBDCs for cross-border payments and a DLT prototype for the distribution of tokenised green bonds to retail investors are among the projects on the agenda this year for the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub.….Benoît Cœuré, head, BIS Innovation Hub, says: "This work programme shows our commitment to exploring in the most practical ways how best to harness technological change for the benefit of central banks and create public goods to support the global financial system." (my emphasis) BIS Innovation Hub sets out annual work programme and launches Innovation Network - Among the newly launched projects will be:
a proof of concept solution for a regulatory reporting platform employing data analytics and data visualisation to provide supervisors with deeper and more timely insights to address risks;
a proof of concept platform using multiple wholesale CBDCs to explore the feasibility of faster and cheaper cross-border payments;
a technological research project and associated prototype(s) for tiered retail CBDC distribution architectures; and
a distributed ledger technology prototype for distribution of tokenised green bonds to retail investors.
Remarks by Mr Agustín Carstens, General Manager of the BIS, at the Hoover Institution policy seminar, Basel, 27 January 2021.
A technological revolution is changing our economy and even money itself. In addition to improvements to existing payment systems, new digital currencies have been unleashed. Yet societies face two forks in the road in designing digital money. First, should digital currencies rely on a central authority or a decentralised governance system? Second, should access be based on verification of identity, or purely on cryptography? The answer is that if digital currencies are needed, central banks should be the issuers and they should grant access based on identification. Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) can combine novel digital technologies with the tried and trusted foundation of central banks. Developing CBDCs comes with a host of technological, legal and economic issues that warrant careful examination before issuance. Central banks – the guardians of stability – will proceed carefully, methodically and in line with their mandates. The BIS is supporting this international discussion, ensuring that central banks can continue learning from one another and can cooperate on key design issues.
Central banks representing one-fifth of the world’s population are likely to issue their own digital currencies in the next three years, a survey by central bank umbrella group the Bank for International Settlements shows. The push comes as physical cash use falls globally and authorities look to fend off the threat to their money-printing powers from bitcoin and efforts linked to Big Tech such as the Facebook-backed Diem, formerly Libra. At the same time, central banks who have taken interest rates negative are looking at whether digital cash could be used to help implement the radical policy. Wednesday’s BIS survey of 65 central banks showed 86% were exploring the benefits and drawbacks of digital currencies, with some testing possible designs…The Bahamas became the first country to launch a general purpose CBDC, known as the Sand Dollar, in October.
A number of bigger countries have also been testing the waters, with China the most advanced.
ROME, Jan 29 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank is exploring ways to launch a digital version of its euro currency, ECB policymaker Ignazio Visco said on Friday, using existing systems alongside new technology. A digital euro - The European Central Bank (ECB) posted a tweet on Jan. 23 in which ECB President Christine Lagarde calls a properly-implemented digital euro “of service for all citizens”. “A digital euro, if it were to be introduced, would be of service to all citizens. But we are not there yet – more work is needed to address the issues it raises.”
The Banque de France (BDF) has successfully completed a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) transaction, using the SETL blockchain that powers the IZNES fund platform. London-based settlement and payments infrastructure provider SETL explains the CBDC tokens were used to subscribe to a fund on the platform and represented what is suggested to be the world’s first successful live settlement of a fund using CBDC tokens.
The president of Brazil’s central bank has announced Brazilians could expect to see a central bank digital currency (CDBC) before 2023. As a result, Brazil could be ready for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in 2022, CoinTelegraph cited news outlet Correio Braziliense. The president of Banco Central stated that the country’s central bank had already undertaken measures to modernise the Brazilian financial system. These include the country’s PIX instant payment system and open banking. The central bank plans to enable peer-to-peer and business-to-business transactions in 10 seconds or less using a mobile phone, internet banking or ATMs beginning in November 2020. An open banking system allows for the exchange of user information between banks.
The coronavirus pandemic challenged the status quo and completely changed normal life as we knew it. However, with these challenges have come new opportunities to adapt and participate differently in the world. One of the first trends was that cash is no longer accepted. The transition to cashless transactions, which at first seemed minor, made my customer experience seamless. Going wallet-free made me wonder why I ever carried cash at all!
If we had been heading leisurely towards a cashless society for some years now, the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated us rapidly towards this brave new world where cash is no longer thrown into a collection basket at Mass, charities operate digital donation boxes and even the flower sellers on Grafton Street take contactless payments. In this world, “cash” is no longer king. While the focus on digital payments first arose due to fears that the virus was being transmitted via notes and coins, the preference for cards over cash has remained, even as these fears have been disproven….. Increasingly, shops and hospitality outlets across the country are not just expressing a preference for cards, they’re giving up on cash completely. Oliver Bonas, a UK lifestyle brand, told its customers at the end of 2020 that all its stores, including its outlet on Dublin’s Exchequer Street, are now “completely cashless”, while coffee chain Bear Market now runs a number of cashless outlets, including those at Decathlon in Ballymun and the IFSC, and Swedish furniture giant Ikea is also only accepting card payments (when it’s open). In many respects, the rush to digital is not surprising.
Cash has a cost; it has to be printed, stored, secured, counted. And for the consumer, digital payments are quick, easy to track, and in the current environment at least, don’t come with a social shame.
Middle East Peace and Regional News
Israel’s March 23 elections are being presented as a simple referendum on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The media and Netanyahu’s opponents would have us believe that there is no ideological struggle. It’s all just a question of whether you love or hate Bibi. But this is untrue. The coming elections are primarily about ideology. To understand why this is the case, we need to look no further than President Joe Biden’s appointments.
Significant progress was made over the weekend in an effort to bring together the Religious Zionist Party of MK Bezalel Smotrich and the Bayit Yehudi Party of Deputy Jerusalem Mayor Hagit Moshe to run together on one slate, according to sources in the parties. Neither party has crossed the 3.25% electoral threshold in any poll….. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to see mergers to the Right of Likud in order to prevent votes in the camp from being wasted. One undecided issue is whether the far-right Otzma Yehudit Party will be part of the merger. Both Smotrich and Moshe expressed concern over the weekend that such a bond would paint them as extreme, but such statements are viewed as an attempt to lower the asking price of Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben-Gvir. Lapid says he’s had no contact with Gantz, Ashkenazi since stormy split - Days before final deadline for parties to merge before March election, Yesh Atid leader signals an alliance with his partners-turned-rivals is not in the offing.
Jonathan Hessen and Amir Tsarfati join forces in a new and exciting program to discuss Middle East current events through a biblical lens. Amir and Jonathan discuss the political instability in Jerusalem and other regional developments in light of God’s biblical calendar and plans for Israel and the Middle East.
The rift between Israeli and American Jews is palpable almost everywhere you turn today. The most glaring disparity surrounds how they view President Donald Trump. The vast majority of Israelis adore Trump. The vast majority of American Jews despise him. But Trump isn’t the only thing or even the main thing that separates them. The main issue that separates Israelis from American Jews is the issue of exile. Israelis by and large hold to the traditional Jewish view that all Jewish communities outside of Israel are exile – or diaspora – communities. American Jews, by and large, believe that the exile exists in all Jewish communities outside Israel except in America. This disagreement is existential. It goes to the heart of what it means to be a Jew. The divide between Israeli and American Jews is more apparent today than it was in the past but it has been around since the dawn of modern Zionism. But if one date marks the point it became an irreversible rift it was November 20, 1985, the day Jonathan Pollard was arrested outside Israel’s embassy in Washington, DC. From the day of his arrest, Pollard became both the symbol and to a degree, the cause of the divide. That divide was unmistakable on Wednesday morning when the news broke that in the middle of the previous night, Pollard and his wife Esther had landed in Israel.
Israelis celebrated the Pollards’ arrival. Many wept watching the footage of Pollard kiss the ground on the tarmac.
This is part of a larger regional outpouring of commemoration on International Holocaust Memorial Day. Bahrain is taking a lead in combating antisemitism and also commemorating the Holocaust. The Kingdom, which has a small Jewish community and has played a key role in pushing tolerance, coexistence and peace with Israel, is at the forefront of these recent efforts.
The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre hosted a webinar on Sunday with experts from the Emirates Agency of Kosher Certification, the largest kosher certifier in the Gulf region, to discuss food and hospitality and kosher travel. This is important because the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf are seeing a major increase in Israeli and Jewish tourism with great potential for the year ahead as demand for kosher options grows.
The Biden administration has put a temporary hold on several major foreign arms sales initiated by former US president Donald Trump, including the deal to provide 50 F-35 advanced fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates, which was fast-tracked by Washington after Abu Dhabi agreed to normalize relations with Israel. In addition to the massive $23 billion transfer of stealth F-35 fighters to the United Arab Emirates, another deal being paused is the planned major sale of munitions to Saudi Arabia. Both sales were harshly criticized by Democrats in Congress.
In an interview with the New York Times last month, President-elect Joe Biden restated his intention to return to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Israel opposes this plan because the 2015 deal ensures Iran will become a nuclear armed state. Media reports over the past few weeks have detailed some of Israel’s plans to convince the incoming administration to reconsider its position. Among other things, the government intends to use the documents from Iran’s nuclear archive Mossad agents spirited out of Tehran in 2018 to show Biden and his advisors that the 2015 deal was based on the incorrect assumption that Iran’s nuclear program was defensive and civilian. The archive proves incontrovertibly that Iran’s nuclear program was conceived and has always been about making nuclear bombs, not medical isotopes. And the purpose of a nuclear arsenal is not to defend against its enemies, but to obliterate them.
The foreign-policy establishment’s support for UNRWA and toleration of a corrupt Fatah are part of the reason why Palestinian political culture remains broken and unable to make peace. The Palestinian refugee hoax
Jordan’s King Abdullah II exhorts Israel to vaccinate Palestinians Jordan’s King Abdullah II stated on Thursday that Israel not providing vaccines to Palestinians in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip was counterproductive for the Jewish state, AFP reported. “The Israelis have had a very successful rollout of the vaccine, however the Palestinians have not,” Abdullah told the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland….Israel, that has already administered 4.6 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine since the start of the pandemic, has been criticized for not directly providing vaccines to the Palestinians living under PA auspices, a move that would appear to violate the principle of PA self-governance set up under the 1993 and 1995 Oslo Accords. The PA itself has made contradictory statements blasting Israel for not providing vaccines while at the same time insisting that it plans to purchase the vaccines on its own. It has signed contracts for vaccines, including from Russia, but none have arrived. PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki told the UNSC on Tuesday that “the occupying power has not provided any vaccine to the Palestinian people under occupation to this day, insisting that it is under no obligation to do so.” Democrats, American Jews and Politically Correct Bigotry - Many observers watch Israel’s breakneck vaccination drive with admiration. But several powerful anti-Semites are using Israel’s unmatched efforts to protect its population from the pandemic as a basis for spreading a new blood libel against the Jewish state. Israel, its haters insist, is engaging in “vaccine apartheid.” Israel is “racist” for vaccinating its citizens—both Jewish and non-Jewish—before it vaccinates the Palestinians, who are governed by the Palestinian Authority.
Ever since Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree for parliamentary and presidential elections to be held for the first time in over 15 years, major news organizations have ignored the fact that Ramallah long ago imposed crippling sanctions on the Gaza Strip, which have been to the serious detriment of its 1.8 million residents. Instead, the precarious conditions in the Palestinian coastal enclave continue to be reflexively attributed to the joint Israeli-Egyptian blockade. The Abbas-induced forced welfare cuts and slashing of funding for electricity — among other punitive measures — in Gaza have gone largely unreported by the vast majority of international media outlets……But Abbas has basically been given a free pass, even as nearly two million Palestinians have been paying the price for the political rivalry between his ruling Fatah faction in the West Bank and the Hamas Islamist terrorist group in Gaza. This blood feud dates back to 2006-2007, when Abbas was ousted from the enclave in an internecine war. In response, the Palestinian Authority began ratcheting up economic pressure on Hamas by making life more difficult for Gazans; including, for example, by banning banks in the West Bank from transferring money to residents in the Strip. Indeed, human rights groups have documented arrests due to such “illegal” activity.
It has been around 15 years since the last legislative elections in the Palestinian Authority took place, which led to a Hamas victory. That victory turned into a bloody coup d’état in the Gaza Strip. Even though Hamas won the elections, it took control of the Strip through violence, which left the coastal enclave under Hamas control and the PA controlling the West Bank……He has promised elections several times in the past, since his mandate was supposed to have expired in 2009. Yet these repeated attempts for elections have failed multiple times, sometimes due to violent rivalry between Fatah and Hamas.
The Biden administration is tapping for a top intelligence post a Palestinian-American who spent years at the forefront of efforts to boycott Israel and danced in front of a banner calling Israel an apartheid state. The selection of Maher Bitar to be the senior director for intelligence programs at the National Security Council is already generating concerns that he will use the post to diminish intelligence sharing between the United States and Israel. Bitar spent years leading anti-Israel organizations that promote the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which wages economic warfare on Israel. In college, he was a leader in Students for Justice in Palestine, a pro-BDS campus group known for bullying Jewish students. A 2006 yearbook picture from Georgetown University, where Bitar attended school, shows him posing before a sign that reads "Divest from Israel Apartheid."
Growing concern in Israel over appointment of Malley as US rep. to Iran The Jewish anti-Israel co-head of the radical left-wing group Code Pink, Ariel Gold, supports the appointment of Robert Malley as the next US special representative to Iran. As does columnist Peter Beinart, who no longer believes in a Jewish state; Iranian nuclear deal cheerleader and echo chamber creator Ben Rhodes; and Sen. Bernie Sanders, Democrat from Vermont.
Iran has often used the nuclear program to distract from its real desire: Regional hegemony
The discussions are expected to be wide-ranging. According to the report, they will likely include Iran stopping uranium enrichment, ending production of advanced centrifuges and stopping support for various terrorist proxies and militias. The proxies include Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, as well as Iran’s threatening posture in Syria and Iraq. There are other concerns as well. Iran social media implies its drones could target Trump - The strange story of the drone threat to Trump begins on social media, and so far, largely ends there.
Two Yemeni families who lost dozens of relatives to U.S. drone strikes and a botched special operations forces raid during the Obama and Trump administrations filed a petition this week against the United States government, accusing it of “unlawful” killing. Agence France-Presse reports the international legal advocacy organization Reprieve filed the petition Monday through the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, on behalf of the Al-Ameri and Al-Taisy families. The petition states that “seven attacks at issue have resulted in the unlawful killing of at least 48 people, including 17 children, and in the serious injury of at least seven others, as well as the destruction of their personal property and livelihoods.”
Trump's friendliness to the murderous regime was indefensible. Joe Biden should quickly change our course…. President Donald Trump exulted “I saved his ass,” as if protecting a murderer from punishment was worth celebrating. MbS naturally hoped for four more years. The Saudi Connection: Inside the 9/11 Case That Divided the F.B.I. - (Saudi Arabia does not extradite its citizens.) “I have never been privy to discussions about not charging someone for 9/11 because we need to ...
23 Jan 2020
Syrian Troops Spotted Amassing near Israel’s Mt Hermon border Syrian media reported seeing Syrian Army Troops on the Lebanese side of the Hermon Mount on Monday night. The area has become very active lately. On Friday, four Syrian family members were killed by falling debris from the Syrian air-defense system reacting to an alleged Israeli airstrike. The IDF is preparing for a massive war drill, slated for this upcoming summer. The drill is expected to last a month and will simulate a full-scale war …
Iranian-American facing espionage charges in Iran An Iranian-American is facing espionage charges in Iran after being arrested as he tried to leave the country, judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said on Tuesday. “The defendant had been free on bail … and was arrested as he tried to leave the country,” Esmaili told a news conference streamed live on a government website.
Newly installed US President Joe Biden has still to call Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 11 days into Biden’s term of office. While it could represent the US administration’s priorities in attempting to get a handle on the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, the president has found the time to call the leaders of Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, NATO, Russia and Japan, according to the Jerusalem Post.
A terrorist organization called Jaish-ul-Hind has taken responsibility for the attack on Israel’s embassy in New Delhi, according to Indian media. An explosion occurred near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi, Israel’s Foreign Ministry confirmed Friday. Indian police said that the explosion was caused by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Evidence Suggests Iranian Link to Blast Near Israeli Embassy in New Delhi
A massive Iranian missile drill showcasing long range missiles, drones and other weapons is taking place this weekend and serves as a message to Gulf countries, the US and Israel. It comes a year after Iran launched ballistic missiles at US forces in Iraq and follows Tehran’s sending of missile technology to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen in recent years….. Reports say some of these drones have a 2,000 km. range, meaning they can reach Israel. The missiles also have a long enough range to possibly target Israel, depending on where they are fired from. They can also target US ships and Gulf states. The “Secret” Iran-China 25 Year Deal: Documents And Sources- Since early July 2020 there has been increased interest in a China-Iran agreement that could be part of a wider 25-year strategic deal. This has become a controversy within Iranian media…. The narrative presented by the regime is that this has been in the works for a while. Zarif traveled to China in August 2019 and discussed a “25-year roadmap for Iran–China strategic relations.”
On January 20, 2016, just six months after agreement was reached on the Iranian nuclear deal, a deal that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had long blasted and worked so hard to prevent, then-chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot addressed the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) annual conference. “Without a doubt the nuclear deal between Iran and the West is a historic turning point,” he said. “It is a big change in terms of the direction that Iran was headed, and in the way that we saw things.” While the deal had many risks, Eisenkot said, it also presented “many opportunities.” “In the 15-year time frame that we are looking toward, we are still keeping Iran high on our priority lists because we need to monitor its nuclear program. But this is a real change. This is a strategic turning point.” Those who had heard Netanyahu’s passionate address against the deal in Congress just 10 months earlier, and who had listened for years as the prime minister described Iran and its nuclear program as an existential threat, could only scratch their heads in wonder at Eisenkot’s comments. These words stood in stark contrast with what Netanyahu said in Congress…JPost's troubling opinion piece (by Yaakov Katz, The Jerusalem Post's editor-in-chief. He previously served for close to a decade as the paper's military reporter and defense analyst) is a pro JCPOA and is taking aim Kochavi: Why Kochavi picked a fight with Biden and why it's not good for Israel - Israel’s focus now should be on getting a seat at the table and ensuring that the White House takes Israel’s security needs and concerns into account when negotiating a new deal with Iran.
You don't have to be a nuclear scientist to realize that Kochavi’s “briefing” was in complete harmony with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s worldview and policies. IDF chief: I’ve ordered preparation of plans to thwart Iran’s nuke program - IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi says he has directed the military to prepare operational plans for the possibility that it will need to strike Iran to block its nuclear program.
First of a two-part interview with Matan Vilnai, whose last official position was as Israel’s Ambassador to China, after having served as a Member of Knesset and Cabinet Minister under Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon. He is most known for his distinguished military career as a bold and creative commando and airborne officer, beginning as a paratrooper squad leader and concluding 35 years later as Major General and IDF Deputy Chief of Staff. General, Minister and Ambassador Vilnai brings his unique perspective to Watchmen Talk, our TV7 News series of conversation with top security experts and practitioners.
A Turkish social media site that usually posts about armed conflict attacked Jews as “overrepresented in Biden cabinet,” part of a rising crescendo of antisemitism and anti-Biden media coverage in Turkey. Turkey’s ruling AKP Party and its president Recep Tayyip Erdogan were close to Trump, and Turkish pro-government media cultivated ties with America’s far-right, including the Proud Boys, often pushing conspiracy theories about Antifa and the US “deep state.”
Turkey seeks to cement Iran alliance Turkey hosted Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Ankara on Friday in a sign of Turkey’s growing relations that seek to work closely with Tehran against US interests in the Middle East. The meeting illustrated that Turkey’s recent push for Azerbaijan to fight Armenians in the Caucasus now will end with Ankara, Moscow and Tehran cooperating in the Caucasus region to carve it up into spheres of influence…
Over the last four years Turkey was allowed, often with approval from the Trump administration, to attack protesters in Washington, invade Afrin in Syria, threaten NATO partners, host Hamas, recruit poverty-stricken Syrians as mercenaries, encourage a war against Armenians and even threaten US troops in Syria. Now Turkey’s key allies in Washington are leaving office, including envoys and friends in the State Department that empowered Ankara’s authoritarianism and aggression.
Under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the AKP, Turkey seeks to be the dominant regional force, projecting power over neighbouring countries and across seas...This study is the first attempt to systematically trace the roots, development, structure, and deployment of Erdoğan’s “unofficial” military frameworks. It also is the first foreign policy/national security study to be published jointly by an Israeli and an Emirati think tank. The authors hope it will be the first of many such joint research initiatives.
Gantz and McKenzie were joined by Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, who briefed the U.S. commander on Israel’s defense policy. Earlier this week, Kochavi warned the Biden administration not to rejoin or renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal….The visit by McKenzie is the first since it was announced that Israel was being transferred to CENTCOM from the Pentagon’s European Command. The decision, which was made in the last days of the Trump administration, places Israel with other Middle East countries, such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, among others.
For many years Israel and Turkey were included in European Command, because Israel was largely rejected by most countries in the region and it was difficult for the US to host Israeli generals and their counterparts, while Turkey is a member of NATO...There is a potential issue on the horizon. If Israel is in CENTCOM and Israel is accused of airstrikes in Syria or Iraq it will also reflect more on CENTCOM than on EUCOM in Europe. The plausible deniability for Israel’s alleged strikes in Syria or Iraq in the past has worked in CENTCOM’s favor.