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The UGLY truth about the Covid-19 lockdowns – Nick Hudson, co-founder of PANDA

March 30, 2021

PANDA (Pandemics – data and analysis) has been outspoken with regards to the policy-makers’ reaction to Covid-19, lockdowns and other approaches to the virus. Its viewpoints have ruffled feathers over the past year, with many in the establishment openly hostile towards the group of actuaries, accountants, economists and other professionals who participate in the global think tank. Nick Hudson, co-founder of PANDA, spoke at the inaugural BizNews Investment Conference in March 2021. Here’s his keynote address.

April 5, 2021 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | | Leave a comment

Oxford Researcher Who Helped Push US to Depixelate Israel in Satellite Snaps Died From Cancer at 34

By Ilya Tsukanov – Sputnik – 05.04.2021

For over two decades, US legislation stopped American companies from creating and publishing high-resolution satellite images of Israel. In July 2020, lawmakers updated the obscure amendment regulating the “pixelated Israel,” paving the way for detailed snaps of everything from Tel Aviv’s nuclear reactor to the country’s activity in the West Bank.

Michael Fradley and Andrea Zerbini, a pair of Oxford University archeologists specialising in the Middle East, were responsible for spearheading the campaign to amend an obscure US law to unblur satellite imagery of Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Company, Dr. Fradley said that he and Zerbini stumbled upon an obscure law, known as the Kyl-Bingaman Amendment, which was passed thanks to Israeli lobbying as part of the National Defence Authorisation Act of 1997, in the mid-2010s after being frustrated by the lack of high-quality satellite images of the region.

“We were archeologists. We didn’t really know anything about space law,” Fradley recalled, adding that beginning in 2017, he and his colleague got to work trying to find a legal way to get around the restrictions.

Eventually, the pair of academics discovered that Airbus, the Western European multinational aerospace giant, has been producing high-resolution sub-2 metre per pixel images of Israel and Palestinian lands since at least 2012, with the European company not subject to the US law.

The academics proceeded to press the United States to change its laws, pointing to a reform mechanism within the Kyl-Bingaman Amendment which allows for restrictions to be reduced if companies outside the US were selling their own satellite imagery at resolutions higher than those set by the law.

After obtaining the clearer images from Airbus, Fradley and Zerbini published a paper in 2018 in Space Policy, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, in which they urged US authorities to pay attention to advances in commercial satellite technology outside the US and update policy accordingly.

In their paper, Fradley and Zerbini stressed that the regulations required an “urgent review,” and recommended that “US imagery should meet what has become the international standard of 0.5m.” The archeologists argued that the restrictions “hampered scientific research” and that their removal would “open up access to modern satellite imagery, as well as historical images captured by spy satellite… [and] allow researchers to record longer-term landscape change.” Other prospective benefits presumably included surveying and monitoring, keeping tabs on heritage sites, climate assessments and more.

In July 2020, someone in the US government finally listened and the Kyl-Bigaman Amendment was updated – its exception for Israel and the Palestinian territories modified to a limit of 0.4 meters per pixel, and a further requirement to drop it to 0.3 meters after Airbus launched its new generation of imaging satellites.

The Israeli military criticised the US decision profusely, with Amnon Harari, head of space programmes at Israel’s Defence Ministry, complaining to local media at the time that the Israeli side was never consulted about the change, and stressing that the military “would always prefer to be photographed at the lowest resolution possible.”

Bittersweet Victory

Recalling the moment when he learned that the rules would be changing, Fradley told ABC that it was “really a happy moment,” but also one “tinged with real sadness.” Dr. Zerbini, his research partner, died of a rare form of liver cancer in 2019 at the age of just 34 after become ill in late 2018.

“He was the only other person who really kind of understood the nuances and how much we put into it,” Fradley said. “We were immensely proud of the work that we had done.”

Unexpected Consequences

In addition to finally opening Israel and the Palestinian territories to be studied by archeologists, Fradley and Zerbini’s footwork allowed for investigators to make major new discoveries related to Israel’s suspected nuclear weapons programme (Israel formally neither confirms nor denies that it possesses nukes).

In February, an independent group of arms-control and non-proliferation experts used commercially available high-resolution images of Israel’s Dimona nuclear power plant snapped by SpaceWill, a Chinese company, to show that “significant construction” activities were taking place at the site. Days later, additional, clearer images provided by Planet Labs, a California-based private Earth imaging company, confirmed the construction.

The Planet Labs’ satellite snaps would not have been made available had it not been for Fradley and Zerbini’s work.

Nor would satellite imagery-based studies of Israeli activities in the West Bank or the occupied Golan Heights, such as the bulldozing of structures, settlement growth, and military emplacements.

April 5, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | 1 Comment

Israeli circles cautiously monitor developments in Jordan as reports indicate Tel Aviv, Riyadh involvement in failed coup

Al-Manar | April 5, 2021

The Israeli circles continued monitoring the dangerous developments in Jordan without giving public statements for fear of exacerbating the cold ties with the Jordanian leadership.

Zionist reports indicated that the Israeli intelligence was directly involved in the recent incidents in Amman, adding that the ties between the arrested officials and the Saudi crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, hint at KSA involvement in the coup as well.

The Jordanian intelligence intercepted a phone call between an Israeli Mossad officer and the wife of former crown prince Hamzah bin Al-Hussein who was offered a private jet to leave Jordan into a foreign country, according to the reports.

State media reported citing Jordan’s armed forces on Saturday that former Jordanian crown prince, also a half-brother of King Abdullah II, was told to halt actions undermining national security.

Hasan bin Zaid, a member of Jordan’s royal family and envoy to Saudi Arabia, and King Abdullah’s long-time confidant Basem Ibrahim Awadallah were arrested on Saturday, the state news agency Petra reported, citing a security source.

The Israeli media expressed concerns about the possibility of a considerable shift in Jordan’s strategic policy, citing the cold relation between KIng Abdullah II and the Zionist PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

April 5, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Wars for Israel | , | Leave a comment

Russian senator slams Europe’s silence on Donbass attack as green light to Kiev

Press TV – April 5, 2021 

Deputy speaker of Russia’s upper house Federation Council has slammed European silence over a recent attack by Ukrainian forces on a Russian-speaking eastern area as a green light for a renewed military operation in the pro-independence region.

Kiev will interpret Europe’s silent position “as carte blanche for a military operation in Donbass and restoring territorial integrity by force,” said Konstantin Kosachev on Sunday, reacting to a joint statement by German and French foreign ministers on the Donbass attack, Russia’s official TASS news agency reported.

Top French diplomat Jean-Yves Le Drian and his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, have expressed concerns over the deteriorating situation on the contact line in Donbass but then voiced support for Kiev’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The joint statement issued on Sunday further said the two countries were carefully monitoring the situation, particularly Russian troop movements in the region, while urging restraint and abrupt defusing of tensions.

The Russian senator, however, reminded the two European diplomats that a child was killed by a Ukrainian drone strike on Saturday in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).

“Yesterday, for the first time since July 2020 a Ukrainian shelling of the DPR was conducted and a six-year-old child died, but there is no word about this” in the European statement, Kosachev said. Instead, he noted, the West accused Russia of troop movements.

“Russia says there must be no force, but only a direct dialogue between the conflicting states. The statement of the two ministers does not include this, and in this sense, it has no added value and only adds fuel to the flame of the conflict,” he added.

The development came as Moscow on Sunday urged the European Union to demand an explanation from Kiev following the drone attack on Donbass, amid an escalation of armed clashes between the pro-Russian forces and Ukrainian troops in the restive region.

Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin also called on the Parliamentary Assemblies of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE PA) to demand an explanation from Kiev about the incident.

Also on Sunday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky enforced sanctions against Russian humanitarian cooperation agency, Volga Dnepr Co as well as 77 more companies.

Reacting to the news, Volodin said, “We will discuss with the Russian foreign ministry’s and the agency’s senior officials measures that are to be taken in this situation in order not to leave our compatriots and Ukrainian nationals who want to preserve relations with Russia without support.”

Ukraine’s sanctions are an “example of defiance of international law and common sense,” Volodin wrote on his Telegram channel, adding, “Ukraine is seeking to mock its patrons as much as it can. Sanctions against a state institution – Rossotrudnichestvo, with its mission of developing international humanitarian cooperation – constitute an unprecedented case.”

Meanwhile, the EU vowed its “unwavering” support for the Western-backed Ukrainian government on Sunday, with its foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, voicing major worries about what he called Russian troop movements.

“Following with severe concern the Russian military activity surrounding Ukraine,” Borrell wrote online after a phone call with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. “Unwavering EU support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Borrell said he would hold further talks on the issue with Kiev’s top diplomat and foreign ministers from the EU’s 27 nations at a meeting later this month.

Other Western leaders, including US President Joe Biden, have also stated that they are standing by Ukraine, which has blamed Russia for amassing thousands of troops on its northern and eastern borders.

While Moscow has not denied the troop movements amid the increasing military activities near its borders by the US-led NATO alliance, it has insisted that the move was “not threatening anyone.”

Donbass has been the scene of a conflict between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian forces since 2014. It has so far claimed more than 13,000 lives, according to the UN.

The armed confrontations began when a wave of protests in Ukraine overthrew a democratically-elected pro-Russia government and replaced it with a pro-West administration. The majority in those areas refused to endorse the new administration.

That new government then began a crackdown on the mainly ethnic Russians in the east, who in turn took up arms and turned the two regions of Donetsk and Lugansk — collectively known as the Donbass — into self-proclaimed republics.

April 5, 2021 Posted by | War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Why is the Biden Regime Pushing Ukraine to Attack Russia?

By Ron Paul | April 5, 2021

On March 24th, Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky signed what was essentially a declaration of war on Russia. In the document, titled Presidential Decree No. 117/2021, the US-backed Ukrainian leader declared that it is the official policy of Ukraine to take back Crimea from Russia.

The declaration that Ukraine would take back Crimea from Russia also followed, and was perhaps instigated by, President Biden’s inflammatory and foolish statement that “Crimea is Ukraine.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was a chief architect of the US-backed coup against Ukraine in 2014, continued egging on the Ukrainians, promising full US support for the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine. Many Americans wonder why they are not even half as concerned about the territorial integrity of the United States!

Not to be outdone, at the beginning of this month US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin – who previously served on the board of missile-maker Raytheon – called his counterpart in Ukraine and promised “unwavering US support for Ukraine’s sovereignty.” As the US considers Crimea to be Ukrainian territory, this is clearly a clear green light for Kiev to take military action.

Washington is also sending in weapons. Some 300 tons of new weapons have arrived in the past weeks and more is on the way.

As could be expected, Moscow has responded to Zelensky’s decree and to the increasingly bellicose rhetoric in Kiev and Washington by re-positioning troops and other military assets closer to its border with Ukraine. Does anyone doubt that if the US were in the same situation – for example, if China installed a hostile and aggressive government in Mexico – the Pentagon might move troops in a similar manner?

But according to the media branch of the US military-industrial-Congressional-media complex, Russian troop movements are not a response to clear threats from a neighbor, but instead are just more “Russian aggression.”

The unhinged US “experts” behind the 2014 coup against the elected Ukrainian president are back in power and they are determined to finish the job – even if it means World War III! The explicit US backing of Ukraine’s military ambitions in the region are a blank check to Kiev.

But it is a check that Kiev would be wise to avoid cashing. Back in 1956 the US government pumped endless propaganda into Hungary promising military backing for an uprising against its Soviet occupiers. When the Hungarians, believing Washington’s lies, did rise up they found themselves all alone and facing Soviet retaliation.

Despite the cruel US propaganda, at least Eisenhower was wise enough to realize that no one would benefit from a nuclear war over Budapest.

Why is it any of our business whether Crimea is part of Ukraine or part of Russia? Why is it any of our business if the Russian-speaking population of eastern Ukraine prefer being aligned with Russia?

Why, for that matter, are unproven allegations of Russian meddling in our elections a violation of the “rules-based international order” but an actual US-backed coup against an elected Ukrainian government is not?

We are seeing foreign policy made by Raytheon and the other US military contractors, through cut-outs in government like Austin and others. Feckless US foreign policy “experts” believe their own propaganda about Russia and are on the verge of taking us to war over it.

It seems as if Americans are sleepwalking through this dangerous minefield. Let us hope they soon wake up before we’re all blown up.

Copyright © 2021 by RonPaul Institute.

April 5, 2021 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Reports of Russian troops ‘massing’ near Ukraine miss the mark: Russia-Ukraine war is possible, but only if Ukraine strikes first

By Paul Robinson | RT | April 5, 2021

As tensions escalate in eastern Ukraine, the real danger is not a Russian invasion, but that the Ukrainian government will misinterpret American signals of support as a green light for an assault on the rebel republics in Donbass.

Russia is about to invade Ukraine. So you’d think, if you believed recent headlines. “Tensions skyrocket as Russia masses forces near eastern Ukraine,” says the Kyiv Post. “Russian troops and tanks mass on Ukraine border,” declares the Sun. Russia is “flooding Crimea with trains full of tanks,” claims the Daily Mail. And so on.

Since spring 2014, the Ukrainian army has been fighting rebel forces in Donbass in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian government has long accused Russia of supporting, arming, and bankrolling the rebels, but it is now saying that Moscow may go even further. According to the Kiev news agency, UNIAN, “Russia may try to go for an incursion and deploy its troops deeper into the territory of Ukraine … Ukraine’s military intelligence agency, GUR MO, has reported.”

Indeed, UNIAN cites GUR MO as saying:

“The Russian Federation is completing preparations for a set of measures, aimed at pushing our country for a military response to the invaders’ hostile action … expanding Russia’s military presence on the territory of the so-called ‘DPR’ and ‘LPR’ [Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics] by introducing regular units of the Russian armed forces, justifying the move by the need to protect Russian citizens.”

Meanwhile the business journal reports:

“In Belarus and Ukraine, the West is perceived to be waging a hybrid war against Moscow. From Putin’s point of view, the only option now is to actively counter-attack. Military analysts are still arguing about what Moscow’s options are in the coming days. The majority expect a so-called localized escalation, dramatic and devastating, leading to the deployment of Russian ‘peacekeepers’.”

The identity of this “majority” of experts is not revealed, possibly because it doesn’t exist. But the basic scenario portrayed by the media is clear: Russia is preparing to attack Ukraine, using some sort of provocation to make it seem as if the attack is justified in order to defend the people of Donbass against the Ukrainian army.

The logic here is somewhat similar to that often used when discussing the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia. For it is often claimed that Russia “provoked” the Georgians into attacking South Ossetia, so as to launch a long-planned invasion of its own. The truth was rather different. An independent commission created by the European Union found Georgia to be primarily responsible for starting the 2008 war. Nevertheless, the Georgian example raises the spectre that the Ukrainian army, and its Western amplifiers, may be preparing the informational terrain to justify an attack on the rebel forces in Donbass by making it appear as if it is acting in self-defence to forestall an imminent Russian assault.

It is true that the Russian army has been holding military exercises close to the Ukrainian border in recent weeks. The scale of these, however, is far below that required for an invasion of Ukraine. Rather than a preparation for invasion, it would appear more likely that Russian activity is designed to deter a Ukrainian attack on Donbass.

The war in Donbass has flared off and on since a notional ceasefire was agreed in February 2015. Since the start of this year, the ceasefire has largely broken down. The Special Monitoring Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is reporting scores of violations every day. Meanwhile, uncorroborated pictures of a buildup of Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine have appeared on social media, fuelling speculation of an imminent Ukrainian offensive in Donbass.

The fear is that Ukraine may try to repeat Azerbaijan’s recent success in recovering lost territories by means of war against Armenia. Ukraine has invested heavily in its army since 2015. It is now better equipped and trained than when it suffered defeat at Debaltsevo in 2015. It might think that it can recapture Donbass by military means.

This is not impossible, but a military offensive in Donbass would face many difficulties, not least the urban nature of the terrain. Ukrainian armour would be extremely vulnerable to hand-held anti-tank weapons, and Ukrainian troops would probably have to rely on heavy use of artillery. This would result in enormous destruction. The head of Ukraine’s army, General Khomchak, noted this last week and “warned against huge civilian casualties.”

In the face of such casualties, there is a high probability that Russia would intervene, especially now that large numbers of the inhabitants of Donbass have acquired Russian passports. The result would be an all-out war between Russia and Ukraine.

There can be no doubt that Russia would win such a war, probably very quickly. Therefore, if the West really wishes to help Ukraine, it should be using all its diplomatic power to ensure that the Ukrainian government does not seek to resolve its problems by military means. Unfortunately, the signals coming from Washington are rather to the contrary. In a phone call on April 1 with Ukrainian Minister of Defense Andrii Taran, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III “reaffirmed unwavering US support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.”

Austin’s statement falls short of endorsing a military offensive, but language such as “unwavering support” could easily be misinterpreted as providing a green light. In 2008, the US did not encourage Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to attack South Ossetia, but he seems to have misperceived US support for Georgian membership of NATO as evidence that America would back him if he did. The danger now is that the Ukrainian government might make the same mistake of thinking that the West will support it no matter what. It is important that the West disabuses Ukraine of this notion.

General Khomchak’s words about mass civilian casualties suggest an awareness in Ukraine that military action would be fraught with terrible risk. We must hope that this awareness provides the restraint needed to prevent a war that would do immense harm to all involved.

Paul Robinson is a professor at the University of Ottawa. He writes about Russian and Soviet history, military history, and military ethics, and is author of the Irrussianality blog.

April 5, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment