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Current News and Analysis

BBC’s Climate Check – March

By Paul Homewood | Not A Lot Of People Know That | March 29, 2020

The BBC’s latest monthly climate check, the video that takes a few random weather events and pretends they are caused by global warming, or as the presenter Ben Rich says “your update on the changing climate”.

He starts by claiming the NH winter was one of extremes, with some places warmer and others colder than average. However he presents no evidence that any of this is unusual, never mind unprecedented.

Unsurprisingly he then goes on to mention the wettest February on record in Britain. But forgets to tell viewers that in England it was only the 24th wettest of any month since 1862. Or that rainfall used to be much more extreme in the past.

Rich then goes on to ludicrously claim that some parts were so wet the Met Office had to introduce a new deeper shade or purple for NW England.

Just because the Met Office employs such a PR trick does not mean that these amounts of rainfall had not occurred before.

Winds were so strong, he states, that wind power set new records. Nothing to do then with the continuing expansion of capacity, enabled by massive subsidies!

Confusingly, Rich then proceeds to tell us that all of this weather, including the coldest winter in Alaska for 21 years, mild weather in Russia and a dry month in California, has been caused by the position of the jet stream, and not climate change after all!

As the chart of California winter rainfall illustrates, there is no such thing as “normal” where the jet stream is concerned, and wild variations from very wet to very dry happen most years.

But that does not stop him from finishing off by warning that a new report links extreme weather with climate change, and that time is running out to reduce emissions.

Sadly he has been totally unable to present any evidence whatsoever for this claim in any of his three monthly propaganda videos to date.

Israeli occupation authorities extend administrative detention of Palestinian journalist

Palestine Information Center – March 29, 2020

RAMALLAH – Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) on Sunday decided to extend the administrative detention of Palestinian journalist Bushra al-Tawil, 26, for four months.

According to Prisoners Media Office, al-Tawil, a resident of Ramallah in the West Bank, was arrested by the IOA in December 2019 and has been held captive ever since without charge or trial.

Al-Tawil is one of over 40 Palestinian women and girls held in Israeli jails.

Israeli Navy Shoots, Injures Palestinian Fisherman off Gaza Coast

By Ali Salam | IMEMC | March 29, 2020

One Palestinian fisherman was wounded by Israeli forces on Sunday, while fishing off the coast of the northern besieged Gaza Strip, according to local sources.

Sources told Quds News Network (QNN) that the fisherman was in his boat fishing, when Israeli soldiers opened fire at him, wounding him with a rubber-coated metal round. The man was transferred to the Shifa’ hospital where his condition was described as moderate. … Full article

Turkish forces, allied militants cut off drinking water to Syria’s Hasakah, environs

Press TV – March 29, 2020

Turkish forces and allied Takfiri militants have once again cut off drinking water supply to people in Syria’s northeastern city of Hasakah and surrounding areas, only a few days after the Damascus government complained to the United Nations and the Security Council over the issue.

Director General of Hasakah Water Company, Mahmoud al-Ukla, told Syria’s official news agency SANA in a statement on Sunday that the Turkish troops and their allies stopped the pumping of water from the Allouk water station at 10 p.m. local time (1900 GMT) last night, and have refused to reverse their decision.

He emphasized that the measure has deprived up to a million people in the Hasakah region of the essential resource.

Ukla then described the cut in water supply to the Hasakah region as a blatant violation of human rights, an appalling crime against the population of Hasakah, and an act in a way that increases the sufferings of the locals. … continue

Turkey deploys US-made air defense System to Syria’s Idlib: Report

Press TV – March 29, 2020

Turkey has reportedly deployed a US-made air defense system to Idlib as Ankara beefs up its military presence in the militant-held Syrian region despite a ceasefire reached earlier this month to halt an escalation.

Citing military news sites, Turkey’s Zaman al-Wasl reported that a Turkish army convoy had deployed the American MIM-23 HAWK medium-range surface-to-air system to Idlib.

The development comes a few weeks after photos of the Turkish military sending anti-aircraft missiles to the region first surfaced via social media. … Full article

Beyond Chutzpah: US Charges Venezuela with Nacro-Terrorism

By Roger D. Harris | Dissident Voice | March 29, 2020

According to the parable, the ungrateful son takes out a life insurance policy on his parents, murders them to collect, and is caught and found guilty. At his sentencing, the judge asks if he has anything to say on his behalf. The son replies: “Have mercy upon me because I am an orphan.” That’s chutzpah.

US Attorney General Barr’s indictments on March 26 against the government of Venezuela for narco-terrorism go beyond chutzpah. For starters, William P. Barr was chief counsel for the CIA airline Southern Air Transport implicated in the 1980s for running illicit drugs and related narco-terrorism during Iran-Contra.

The US charges of drug trafficking against Venezuela are the height of hypocrisy. The world’s leading source of heroin is US-occupied Afghanistan; the US is the world’s largest cocaine market. … continue

A Russian firewall for Venezuela against US sanctions

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | March 29, 2020

The optics of the Russian oil leviathan Rosneft’s decision to sell its subsidiary Rosneft Trading SA and sell all its assets in Venezuela after the US Treasury sanctioned its trading arm two weeks ago as part of Washington’s regime change project to oust president Nicolás Maduro, may not look good to the uninformed outside observer.

It may appear, prima facie, that Russia is ditching Maduro and succumbing to US president Donald Trump’s latest act of weaponisation of sanctions against the Venezuelan government. At least, that was how the BBC Radio’s morning bulletin today projected the development.

But as one digs deeper, it emerges, on the contrary, that the Kremlin is having the last laugh. What Russia is doing is, funnily enough, borrowing from the US diplomatic toolbox — the equivalent of what the US does constantly in its war on terrorism, that is, whenever a terrorist group that Washington sponsors gets exposed on the battlefield, it gets promptly rebranded and reappears as a new avatar, and life moves on.

So, what is happening needs to be understood as follows: Rosneft is disengaging from its trading arm Rosneft Trading SA, the Geneva-based trading subsidiary, in a deliberate ploy to create a firewall against potential US sanctions in future. … continue

Occupying US forces withdraw from K1 Air Base in northern Iraq, hand it over to Iraqi army

Press TV – March 29, 2020

Occupying US forces in Iraq have pulled out from a strategic air base in northern oil-rich province of Kirkuk and handed it over to the Arab country’s security forces.

The US-led military coalition said in a statement that the K1 Air Base, which lies 15 kilometers (9 miles) northwest of Kirkuk, has been submitted to Iraqi forces on Sunday.

“Given the successes achieved by the Iraqi security forces in the campaign against Daesh, the coalition is redeploying its forces to other positions in Iraq. Such movements had been planned a long time ago with the Iraqi government,” the statement added.

The US-led alliance further alleged that the transfer of the US forces has nothing to do with the recent missile attacks against US-occupied bases in Iraq… Full article

France, Czechs, & Other US Allies Exit Iraq Over COVID-19 Fears

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 03/27/2020

The United States has shown itself willing to both keep up its ‘maximum pressure’ campaign on Iran and its proxies while riding roughshod over Iraqi sovereignty by remaining in the country even as Baghdad leaders and the broader population demand a final exit.

But in another sign Europe is ready to divorce itself from US aims in the region, France has abruptly withdrawn its forces from the country after being there for five years. Interestingly the prime reason given was troop safety concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, but we imagine European leaders likely now see an opportunity to make a swift and easy exit without provoking the ire of their US counterparts.

International correspondents say this includes French withdrawal from six bases, with a small contingent of about 100 troops remaining in the country. The Czech Ministry of Defense also announced the exit of its forces Wednesday, which followed a large contingent of British forces leaving last week, also on fears of coronavirus exposure during the mission. … continue

Black Swan author Taleb urges UK to let Branson’s airline go bust

RT | March 29, 2020

Famed author and statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb has trained his sights on billionaire Richard Branson, urging the UK government to let the airline owned by the “tax refugee” to go bankrupt.

Branson has had a torrid fortnight, drawing the ire of politicians of all stripes for putting all Virgin Atlantic staff on unpaid leave because the carrier has been walloped by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The tycoon has led the calls for a state-sponsored bailout of the aviation sector, but plans to use the funds to cover fixed costs, rather than pay its staff.

Taleb wrote The Black Swan, which is widely touted as one of the most influential books of the century. His writings give his words extra weight in the current global situation as they focus on the extraordinary impact of rare events.

The risk analyst has given short shrift to the suggestion of bailouts for airlines, saying that the industry was hugely influential in preventing governments from calling a halt to flights from China as the outbreak spread in the Asian country. … continue

Russia Concerned by Proximity of US Bioweapon Labs Amid Outbreak – Source

Sputnik – 29.03.2020

MOSCOW – Russia is concerned by how close Pentagon-funded biological warfare labs are to its borders at the same time as it battles the coronavirus, a Foreign Ministry source told reporters on Sunday.

The official slammed US authorities for blaming China for the COVID-19 pandemic and manipulating its data on the virus, and in turn, accused the United States of spinning the global health crisis into political attacks.

“We do have questions for the US. It would be nice to hear its justification for placing so many labs near Russia and China, instead of its playing propaganda games with the coronavirus”, the official said.

He admitted that Russia had no credible information on a US role in the emergence of the deadly virus, which was first reported in China last December, but said globalisation made transmission of viral diseases “a matter of hours”.

“Thus, the accusatory tone of remarks directed against China from Washington is outright baffling”, the official said, adding that the source of the virus was yet to be discovered.

China hit back at the United States this month, after getting a grip on the epidemic, saying that US military personnel might have introduced the new coronavirus to Wuhan during the 2019 Military World Games in October.

Coronavirus: the Reactionaries from USA

By Viktor Mikhin – New Eastern Outlook – 29.03.2020

Coronavirus is spreading to more and more countries and leaving an increasing number of deaths in its wake. It is about time experts and the common men asked legitimate questions: “Where did this deadly virus come from, in what laboratories was it created, and who is behind the pandemic?”. We will try to answer them as objectively as possible.

The first country where the novel coronavirus was detected and that actively began to stop its spread was China. When residents of the city of Wuhan began to get infected and die, the Chinese authorities warned the global community about the danger and started its full-on battle against the virus.

Many nations in the world immediately offered to help China and quickly began working on the cure for COVID-19.

But what did the current U.S. administration do in the wake of the outbreak? … continue

From layoffs to COVID DANCE-OFFs, richest US universities drag their heels on virus response

RT | March 28, 2020

With their school closed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, students at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts got in touch with college officials to ask for their tuition back. Given that a year’s tuition at the art school costs upwards of $60,000, they were anxious to get the money returned.

Dean Allyson Green emailed the students back last week, denying their request. Attached to the email was a bizarre video of Green performing a lip-sync dance to REM’s classic ‘Losing My Religion,’ along with a line encouraging students to “dance along” with her.

The students were furious. “This was not an accident, this was her sort of way of trying to reach out to the student body,” one told NBC News. “What are you doing?” another student blogged. “This video is supremely, supremely stupid.” … continue

Israeli Forces Demolish Emergency Coronavirus Clinic for Palestinians

Palestine Chronicle | March 28, 2020

Israeli forces on Thursday entered a Palestinian village in the northern Jordan Valley to confiscate materials designated to build a clinic to deal with the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Officials from the Israeli Civil Administration came to the village of Khirbet Ibziq with a military escort, bulldozer and two trucks equipped with cranes on Thursday morning to demolish community clinic and emergency housing, according to Israeli human rights monitor Btselem.

The group reported that Israeli officials seized poles and sheeting designated to form eight tents, two for a field clinic, two for a mosque, and four for emergency housing for people evacuated from their homes.

A power generator, as well as supplies of sand, cement and cinder blocks to be used for the floor of the tents, were also confiscated.

Btselem said the villagers were building a first-aid community initiative to deal with the Covid-19 crisis which has paralyzed large parts of the southern West Bank. There are 91 confirmed cases so far in the Palestinian territories, with one death reported on Wednesday.

The Jordan Valley covers an area of about 1.6 million dunams (1,600 km2) and constitutes around 30 percent of the total occupied West Bank. According to a previous government report, the Valley includes about 280,000 dunams of arable land, 50,000 of which are still used by Palestinians and 27,000 by illegal Jewish settlers.

The majority of the Jordan Valley is under full Israeli military control, despite being within the West Bank. Meanwhile, at least 44 percent of the total land in the Jordan Valley has been appropriated by Israeli forces for military purposes and training exercises.

300 Palestinian-owned Olive Trees Cut by Illegal Settlers near Bethlehem

By Ali Salam | IMEMC | March 28, 2020

Israeli settlers, on Saturday, cut down 300 olive trees on Palestinian owned land in the southern occupied West Bank, according to a local official.

Hasan Breijieh, a member of the Anti-Wall, Anti-Settlements Commission, told Palestinian WAFA News Agency that the illegal colonial settlers cut the trees in an area close to an illegal settlement, between the Palestinian cities of Bethlehem and Hebron.

Breijieh said the settlers are taking full advantage of the lockdown imposed to stop the spread of on the Bethlehem governorate to cut trees in Palestinian lands.

In related news, illegal Israeli settlers damaged 40 grapevines and 10 olive trees belonging to Hisham Mohammad Sbeih, on Wednesday, in al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem city.

Yemen’s Painful Status Quo under the Aggression Is Unimaginable

By Sondoss Al Asaad | American Herald Tribune | March 28, 2020

… Recent reports of the US destroying Yemen’s air defense systems under the reign of former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2004 proves that the US was preparing for the Saudi Coalition’s military campaign against the sovereignty of Yemen well before Yemen’s Houthi took over the capital of Sanaa.

American Activist Ronda Lynn comments, ”while this strategy was likely used by the US government to prevent the people of Yemen from fighting back against the expansionist ambitions of the US for the Greater Israel project, it did not work,” saying she believes ”when the Yemeni people gain access to the knowledge that the US had planned this war, well in advance, that it will only help to unite the people of Yemen. This information also disputes the propaganda and lies used by government leaders to justify the war against Yemen, revealing the truth to people around the globe.”

She goes on to say that the Saudi Coalition, including the US, justified the attack on Yemen based on the propaganda of the ”Houthis being an Iranian proxy that caused the civil war in Yemen, a foreign government that threatens the sovereignty of the Yemeni people.” … Read full article

Coronavirus hastens an Arab rapprochement

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | March 28, 2020

A phone call by the UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Friday signifies in many ways a major development in regional politics. … continue

Amazon’s Alexa now offering to diagnose coronavirus

By Helen Buyniski | RT | March 28, 2020

Amazon’s Alexa AI assistant can now evaluate coronavirus symptoms and recommend testing for US users – testing it profits from and hopes to roll out nationwide. Will it report ‘dry coughs’ to the proper authorities, too?

‘Doctor’ Alexa is making house calls, Amazon has revealed, boasting its voice assistant now allows users to check their “risk level” for coronavirus in a blog post on Thursday. Users concerned they might have the virus can confide in Alexa, who will inquire about symptoms, travel history, and other routes of possible exposure before making recommendations based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.

This innovation would be less unsettling if Amazon didn’t have a massive financial interest in keeping the coronavirus panic and pandemic going as long as possible. Government-mandated shutdowns of “nonessential businesses” have triggered soaring demand for its e-commerce services as brick-and-mortar shops are forced to close their doors, and customers are far less likely to venture out even to the supermarket if their virtual assistant is telling them they might have coronavirus. … continue

Coronavirus: A New 9/11?

By Dr Piers Robinson | OffGuardian | March 28, 2020

The ongoing and unfolding reactions to the Corona Virus look set to have wide-ranging and long-lasting effect on politics, society and economics. The drive to close down all activities is extraordinary as are the measures being promoted to isolate people from each other.

The deep-rooted fear of contagious disease, hardwired into the collective consciousness by historical events such as the ‘Black/Bubonic Plague’ and maintained through popular culture (e.g. the Hollywood movies Outbreak and Contagion ), means that people are without question highly susceptible to accepting extreme emergency measures whether or not such measures are rational or justified. The New York Times called for America to be put on a war footing in order to deal with Corona whilst former Army General Stanley McChrystal has been invoking his 9/11 experience in order to prescribe lessons for today’s leaders.

At the same time, political actors are fully aware that these conditions of fear and panic provide a critical opportunity that can be exploited in order to pursue political, economic and societal objectives. It is very likely, however, that the dangers posed by the potential exploitation of Corona for broader political, economic and societal objectives latter far outweigh the immediate threat to life and health from the virus. A lesson from recent history is instructive here. … continue

‘Not a Sexy Drug’: Coronavirus Patients in New York Getting Vitamin C Treatments

21st Century Wire | March 25, 2020

Doctors in New York state’s largest health system, Northwell Heath, are treating some of their ‘seriously sick’ coronavirus patients with an intravenous regimen of the powerful antioxidant vitamin C – something big pharmaceutical companies don’t want to hear about right now.

Dr. Andrew G. Weber, a pulmonologist and critical-care specialist told the New York Post :

“The patients who received vitamin C did significantly better than those who did not get vitamin C,” he said.

“It helps a tremendous amount, but it is not highlighted because it’s not a sexy drug.”

A spokesperson for Northwell Health confirmed for the Post that vitamin C treatments for coronavirus patients are “widely used” across the system.

The Shanghai, China government officially recommends vitamin C treatment for COVID-19.

Over 45 Countries Ask Cuba for Interferon to Treat Covid-19

teleSUR | March 27, 2020

Outlet Granma reported that over 45 nations have requested Cuba for Interferon Alpha 2b Human Recombinant supplies given that this drug is effective in treating Covid-19 patients.

Interferon is produced by the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), a Cuban institution that enjoys prestige in the international scientific community.

Created in the 1980s, this drug has been used in cases of acute respiratory conditions and viral infections such as hepatitis B and C, shingles, and HIV/AIDS.

For this reason, Interferon works well to counteract Covid-19, which is the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus.

“Interferon continues to be a drug that is used to combat viral infection and it can be effective, as is happening in China… it serves to control and later disappear the virus,” the Interferon creator, Luis Herrera, a Cuban physician, said.

This medicine has been successfully used to treat outbreaks of dengue fever type 2 and hemorrhagic conjunctivitis in Latin America.

Since 2003 it has also been produced by the Cuban-Chinese company Changchun Heber Biological Technology.

Interferon won the 2012 National Technology Innovation Award and the 2013 National Health Award. It is currently the most requested drug to limit the Covid-19 effects.​​​​​​​

Why France is hiding a cheap and tested virus cure

The French government is arguably helping Big Pharma profit from the Covid-19 pandemic

By Pepe Escobar | Asia Times | March 28, 2020

What’s going on in the fifth largest economy in the world arguably points to a major collusion scandal in which the French government is helping Big Pharma to profit from the expansion of Covid-19. Informed French citizens are absolutely furious about it.

My initial question to a serious, unimpeachable Paris source, jurist Valerie Bugault, was about the liaisons dangereuses between Macronism and Big Pharma and especially about the mysterious “disappearance” – more likely outright theft – of all the stocks of chloroquine in possession of the French government. … continue

US orders embassy personnel to leave Iraq

MEMO | March 27, 2020

The State Department has ordered some US government employees at diplomatic facilities in Iraq to leave the country, the Embassy in Baghdad said on Thursday. The move came hours after two rockets hit the so-called Green Zone where most diplomatic buildings and compounds are located.

“Designated” employees were ordered to leave the US Embassy and the diplomatic support centre in the Iraqi capital, as well as the US Consulate General in the northern city of Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. The alert was sent to all US citizens in the country. Security concerns and restricted travel options resulting from the global coronavirus pandemic were cited as the reasons for the pullout.

A second message issued minutes later said that diplomatic officials were working to find options for US citizens to leave “on the next available commercial flight opportunity”. The plans may be hit by global travel disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Yemen’s Al-Houthi offers to exchange Saudi pilots for Hamas prisoners

MEMO | March 27, 2020

The leader of Yemen’s Houthi movement, Sayyid Abdulmalik Al-Houthi, has made an offer to release Saudi captives in exchange for members of the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, being held in Saudi Arabia.

“We are fully prepared to release one of the captured pilots along with four Saudi officers and soldiers,” Al-Houthi said in a televised speech on Al-Masirah. “This will be in exchange for the release of those from Hamas arrested in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

Last September, Saudi detained 81-year-old Dr Muhammad Saleh Al-Khodari, a prominent member of Hamas who has served as the movement’s officially-acknowledged representative in the Kingdom for 20 years. He was also the head of Hamas’s General Shura (Consultative) Council. … continue

Gaza families suffer under 13+ years of Israeli imposed ‘quarantine’

By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | March 27, 2020

While many Americans are inconvenienced, or in some cases suffering under coronavirus quarantining orders and isolation, the people of Gaza have suffered far longer under an Israeli-imposed quarantine that has caused malnutrition and growth stunting in children, deep poverty, and misery… and now, the virus has hit Gaza…

A Norwegian doctor writes:

Remember, this is not caused by drought or natural disasters, but a deliberate, man-made lack of food and water, imposed, planned, and executed in the most detailed way by the Israeli government. They even calculate how many calories to let in to Gaza to avoid outright starvation but to ‘just’ cause malnutrition since that goes under the radar of human rights abuses….

Read article

Palestinian injured in settler attack in al-Khalil

Palestine Information Center – March 27, 2020

AL-KHALIL – A group of Israeli settlers on Friday assaulted Palestinian citizens in al-Khalil injuring one of them.

Local sources said that Israeli settlers accompanied by police dogs chased and attacked Palestinian shepherds near Yatta town in al-Khalil province.

A Palestinian youth identified as Husein al-Harini suffered wounds in his arm and abdomen and was transferred to a local hospital for treatment.

Israeli occupation forces demolish Palestinian farm as settler attacks continue

MEMO | March 27, 2020

Israeli occupation forces demolished a farm building and water well yesterday in Deir Ballut to the west of Salfit, Wafa news agency has reported.

The Governor of Salfit, Abdallah Kmeil, said that Israelis entered Wadi Sarida with a bulldozer which tore down the building and well belonging to Aziz Yusef Abdullah. Kmeil suggested that the Israelis are taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis and the resultant lockdown across the occupied West Bank to accelerate the annexation of Palestinian land.

Before the State of Israel was established in Palestine in 1948, villagers in Deir Ballut owned around 10,000 acres of land. In 1967, 20 per cent of this was confiscated by Israel. Since then, like so many other villages in Palestine, Deir Ballut has been subjected to almost continual land theft for illegal settlements, bypass roads and military installations. … Full article

Three Palestinian Homes Demolished by Israeli Forces near Jericho

By Ali Salam | IMEMC | March 27, 2020

Israeli forces, on Thursday, demolished three Palestinian-owned homes in the village of al-Diyouk, west of the occupied West Bank city of Jericho, under the pretext they were built without permits, local sources said.

The sources told Palestinian WAFA News Agency that Israeli soldiers and police accompanied bulldozers as they invaded the village in the early morning, and proceeded to demolish the three houses, each 120-square-meters in area, owned by Palestinian citizens from occupied Jerusalem and from the West Bank city of Hebron. … Full article

Recognizing and Resisting the Hasbara Pandemic

By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich | American Herald Tribune | March 27, 2020

Steady media reports on the rising number of the novel Coronavirus infections and its human toll have contributed to a global psychology of fear where entire populations are succumbing their free will to those in positions of authority, elected and otherwise. But while we try to keep ourselves safe during this pandemic, a deadlier and more destructive virus creeping in the shadows for years is also reaching its peak. The virus is called hasbara or better understood as propaganda.

Lest you think it is not contagious or deadly, think Iraq. The Iraq war alone cost the American taxpayers trillions of Dollars but the Iraqi population bore the brunt of the pain and suffering from America’s sanctioned terror attack and invasion with over one million souls lost and counting. Just like COVID-19 which may be dismissed as a cold, the hasbara virus may be taken for the truth – and therein lies the threat. As we surrender our will to the officials so that we can survive this pandemic, the spinners have upped their hasbara in order to coax us into embracing their terrorism, their wars, and their genocide.

Abandon your will, if you must, but not your common sense. As someone who has studied propaganda for fifteen years, I have never seen it so prevalent and so dangerous at a time when we are distracted by a viral disease. Having allowed the hasbara virus to spread and go undetected for such a long time, we’ve lost all ability to recognize it. The spinners know this and are taking full advantage of it. Let me give you two examples from the last 24 hours alone. … continue

Russian ships are in the Channel! Don’t let coronavirus pandemic stop establishment Russophobia

By Neil Clark | RT | March 26, 2020

Even during the Covid-19 crisis the Russian scare card is being played in the UK. While flights from virus hotspots continue to land unchecked, the British media is fussing about Russian ships’ ‘high activity’ in the Channel.

As if we Brits didn’t have enough to worry about. We’re in lockdown over coronavirus but now we also have to fear the evil Putin taking advantage of the situation and launching a full-scale naval invasion of the country. Well, that’s what you might be thinking if you’ve been watching today’s news.

Sky News Breaking informed its audience that Royal Navy ships have been shadowing seven Russian warships following “unusually high levels of activity” in the Channel and North Sea.

This raises fears, we’re told, that Putin may be seeking to exploit our current situation. “This really underlines concerns by senior officials about how this coronavirus pandemic across the world is a huge distraction for governments and could potentially be exploited by adversaries,” explained Sky’s foreign affairs editor Deborah Haynes. … continue

The Deep State’s Demolition of Democracy

By James Bovard | FFF | March 26, 2020

“Thank God for the Deep State,” declared former acting CIA chief John McLaughlin while appearing on a panel at the National Press Club last October. In 2018, the New York Times asserted that Trump’s use of the term “Deep State” and similar rhetoric “fanned fears that he is eroding public trust in institutions, undermining the idea of objective truth and sowing widespread suspicions about the government and news media.”

But barely a year later, the Deep State had gone from a figment of paranoid right-wingers’ imagination to the great hope for the salvation of American democracy. Much of the media is now conferring the same exulted status on the Deep State that was previously bestowed on Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Almost immediately after its existence was no longer denied, the Deep State became the incarnation of virtue in Washington. … continue

The Truth About the United States’ “Continuity of Government” Plans & The Coronavirus Perfect Storm

By Whitney Webb | The Last American Vagabond | March 23, 2020

Though often discussed in relation to nuclear war or a similarly chaotic scenario, “Continuity of Government” plans can be triggered even by popular, nonviolent opposition to an unpopular war abroad. It exists solely to keep the current system in place, regardless of the cost. … Read article

Corporate Socialism: The Government is Bailing Out Investors & Managers Not You

By Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Mark Spitznagel | Medium | March 26, 2020

The U.S. government is enacting measures to save the airlines, Boeing, and similarly affected corporations. While we clearly insist that these companies must be saved, there may be ethical, economic, and structural problems associated with the details of the execution. As a matter of fact, if you study the history of bailouts, there will be. … continue

US State Dept accuses China of putting conditions on Covid-19 aid, cites media when pressed on proof

RT | March 27, 2020

The US State Department has accused Beijing of attaching “strings” to aid given to countries battling Covid-19, but was unable to name specifics, only citing press reports, while also invoking a Chinese “coverup.”

Senior State Department official James Richardson – who runs the Office of Foreign Assistance Resources – levied the charges to reporters during a briefing on Thursday night. Calling on China to provide “no-strings-attached” assistance, Richardson suggested Beijing had placed conditions on its coronavirus aid. When asked to elaborate, however, the official punted, confessing he had no specific evidence and was merely relaying what he read in the media.

“On the strings attached, I mean, I’m not the intelligence folks, so I don’t know what exactly has been proven,” Richardson said. “I read the same articles that you do… And so I think – I don’t have any hard proof besides the articles that I’ve seen, but that certainly rings true.” … continue

Who’s behind the COVID-19 global pandemic

By Kevin Barrett | Press TV | March 27, 2020

The question of whether the chickens are coming home to roost was famously posed by Malcolm X. And that was shortly after the JFK assassination. Malcolm X was suggesting that the same forces that the US had deployed to attempt to assassinate Fidel Castro, among others, may have bounced back in a case of blowback and killed President Kennedy.

And of course, we know that there’s a certain amount of truth to that. Today we know that the same CIA assassination squads that were unsuccessfully attempting to kill Castro were in fact involved in killing President Kennedy. So Malcolm X’s words were quite precient. Now does that apply to today’s coronavirus situation in which the United States is now about to become the global epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic according to the World Health Organization?

I think it does, because there is considerable circumstantial evidence that this COVID-19 pandemic was a biological weapon that was deployed against China and Iran and has bounced back against its creators. The experts in biological warfare all say that traditionally, strategists have been skeptical about biological warfare precisely because it has that tendency to bounce back and to create blowback.

Viruses mutate, even if you create an ethnic specific kind of virus, which may have been the case here. The United States has been caught red-handed nefariously collecting genetic material from the Chinese, from Russians and from Iranians. But the problem is that genetic specific weapons mutate. The virus is constantly seeking to find a better way to infect a broader group of people.

So it will typically go after people that may not have been the original targets, and that may be what happened here. The Chinese government is saying this. The Chinese government has all but officially accused the United States of deploying a biological weapon. … continue