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TONY FAUCI: AMERICA’S GASLIGHTING EXPERT

The Highwire with Del Bigtree | May 19, 2022

Fauci gives viewers a teachable moment in gaslighting as he attempts to tell Americans that they didn’t experience any lockdowns over the last two years.

“SCARY POPPINS” RESIGNS

May 20, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | | 1 Comment

Ukraine eyes law to deprive people of citizenship

Samizdat | May 20, 2022

Ukrainian lawmakers have introduced a bill that seeks to deprive conscripts of citizenship if they left the country during martial law.

In a bill registered in the Verkhovna Rada – Ukraine’s parliament – on Tuesday, lawmakers proposed several amendments to legislation defining the legal regime under martial law intended to “strengthen the economy and defensive capabilities of the country.”

One of the proposals suggests that anyone liable for military service may be deprived of Ukrainian citizenship if they left the country and failed to return within 30 days.

The measure would apply to those who left and did not return without a valid reason, such as a ban on leaving the host country, natural disasters, accidents, business trips, official work abroad, hospitalization or other circumstances preventing the individual from returning back home.

The bill also states that the measures would extend to individuals who have left for the Russian Federation amid the ongoing military conflict between Moscow and Kiev and those who have submitted a written refusal to mobilize.

On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree on the extension of martial law and the terms of general mobilization in the country by 90 days, which is now awaiting approval by the Supreme Council of Ukraine.

Under Ukraine’s martial law, men between the ages of 18 and 60 are prohibited from leaving the country and all citizens liable for military service are required to participate in the general mobilization of all reserve forces.

Ukraine imposed martial law on February 24, after Russia attacked the neighboring state following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

May 20, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Militarism | , | Leave a comment

It’s Time That U.S. Taxpayers Defund The Davos Sponsor – World Economic Forum

The WEF soaked up $60 million In taxpayer funding over the last eight years

By Adam Andrzejewski | OpenTheBooks | May 19, 2022

Davos. It’s a “playground” for the world’s billionaire business elite. Every year, like swans, the rich, pretty, and powerful people descend upon a picturesque ski town in Switzerland to mix with world leaders. They discuss shaping our future into a utopian global society.

For the first time since 2019, the 2022 Davos meeting will be in person beginning Sunday, May 22.

The host organization, World Economic Forum (WEF), founded by German economist Klaus Schwab, says it provides a platform for high-powered leaders to “shape global, regional and industry agendas.” It’s all pretty gauche, with heady thoughts about the world order. Much of this runs contrary to American values.

Attendees cough up $28,000 just for a ticket, with a coveted all-access badge fetching more like $50,000 – and that’s before attendees spend tens or hundreds of thousands on private air travel, ski chalets, and entertainment. Then, the event devolves into brazen networking among tycoons and public officials.

You probably didn’t even realize it, but you – the American taxpayer – helped fund the sponsoring organization with tens of millions of dollars in federal grants.

Since 2013, WEF received nearly $60 million from U.S. taxpayers. Our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com found that under the Trump Administration, the WEF received $33 million, which outpaced the $26 million in second-term Obama-era funding.

Why are American taxpayers funding this organization?

Our national debt exceeds $30 trillion and there are cascading world crises. Obviously, the U.S. should not subsidize an organization whose member companies are already fabulously wealthy – and whose largest annual conference functions as a magnet for the super-rich. (As of January 2017 the WEF membership and partnership fees ranged from $65,000 to $650,000 annually.)

“The real magic [of Davos] happens behind closed doors,” Business Insider writes. “The rich and powerful use the event as a chance to network and hash out their differences out of the public eye.”

Hypocrisy takes center stage: the WEF criticizes CEOs making much more than their employees, while Davos gathers the world’s super rich. Schwab himself has come under scrutiny for using WEF funds and business contracts to enhance his own personal wealth.

It sure doesn’t make it sound like America’s strategic or financial interests are being prioritized. It gets worse when you consider the themes of Davos-hosted discussions.

In January 2021, the Davos conference became a vehicle for promoting the “Great Reset,” a concept Schwab developed in his book about Covid-19 with French economist Thierry Malleret. It’s described as a guide to understand how the virus “disrupted our social and economic systems, and what changes will be needed to create a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable world going further.”

The authors look at what “the root causes of these crises were, and why they lead to a need for a Great Reset” of our global social, economic and political systems.

Schwab advocated seizing the pandemic to “reset and reshape the world,” as climate change, inequality and poverty gained greater urgency during the crisis.

If you guessed that would involve bigger governments, more taxes and spending, and more surveillance of citizens, you’d be correct.

One book reviewer summarized Schwab’s point: “Governments’ poor track record isn’t because of incompetence or corruption, but because it is simply not powerful enough.”

Schwab’s thesis, according to the review: “society is at a crossroads, facing a post-pandemic future that either returns to an uncertain and precarious (but familiar) pre-pandemic state or moves on” to being “‘more inclusive, more equitable, and more respectful of Mother Nature.’”

Losing individual liberty, and giving government more power and tax money isn’t what most Americans consider an appealing way to make the world a better place.

So, how did WEF soak up nearly $60 million in U.S. taxpayer funding since 2013?

It was mostly through the State Department’s USAID; taxpayers paid $16 million to support the WEF Grow Africa program, which facilitated trade partnerships between agricultural businesses and African governments. Another $43 million went to WEF’s Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation program, to “boost competitiveness and business conditions, which are key drivers of inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction” in developing countries.

While we can debate the worthiness of those efforts, funding from the world’s greatest superpower only boosts the WEF’s credibility. In Davos, these Klaus-ocrats socialize with heads of state, diplomats and journalists. For example, the Great Reset discussions included IMF Director Kristalina Georgieva; Charles, Prince of Wales; and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, among others. Presidents Trump and Obama both have attended meetings.

The 2022 meeting will “offer world leaders an opportunity to take stock of the state of the world and shape partnerships and policies for the crucial period ahead.”

One can only hope the discussions are as ineffective as critics suggest. America must stop subsidizing the hosts of this lavish globalist soiree.

After all, this organization wants to press the reset button on our way of life.

Adam Andrzejewski is the CEO and founder of OpenTheBooks.com – the largest private database of U.S. public-sector expenditures.

May 20, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Economics | , | 6 Comments

VAERS Data Show New Deaths, Injuries After COVID Vaccines, As CDC Signs Off on 3rd Shot for Kids 5-11

By Megan Redshaw | The Defender | May 20, 2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today released new data showing a total of 1,268,008 reports of adverse events following COVID-19 vaccines were submitted between Dec. 14, 2020, and May 13, 2022, to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).

VAERS is the primary government-funded system for reporting adverse vaccine reactions in the U.S.

The data included a total of 28,141 reports of deaths — an increase of 173 over the previous week — and 230,364 serious injuries, including deaths, during the same time period — up 1,887 compared with the previous week. There were 6,859 additional total adverse events reported to VAERS over the previous week.

Excluding “foreign reports” to VAERS, 817,538 adverse events, including 12,961 deaths and 82,544 serious injuries, were reported in the U.S. between Dec. 14, 2020, and May 13, 2022.

Foreign reports are reports foreign subsidiaries send to U.S. vaccine manufacturers. Under U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, if a manufacturer is notified of a foreign case report that describes an event that is both serious and does not appear on the product’s labeling, the manufacturer is required to submit the report to VAERS.

Of the 12,961 U.S. deaths reported as of May 13, 16% occurred within 24 hours of vaccination, 20% occurred within 48 hours of vaccination and 59% occurred in people who experienced an onset of symptoms within 48 hours of being vaccinated.

In the U.S., 581 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered as of May 13, including 343 million doses of Pfizer, 219 million doses of Moderna and 19 million doses of Johnson & Johnson (J&J).

Every Friday, VAERS publishes vaccine injury reports received as of a specified date. Reports submitted to VAERS require further investigation before a causal relationship can be confirmed.

Historically, VAERS has been shown to report only 1% of actual vaccine adverse events.

U.S. VAERS data from Dec. 14, 2020, to May 13, 2022, for 5- to 11-year-olds show:

U.S. VAERS data from Dec. 14, 2020, to May 13, 2022, for 12- to 17-year-olds show:

U.S. VAERS data from Dec. 14, 2020, to May 13, 2022, for all age groups combined, show:

Children’s Health Defense (CHD) asks anyone who has experienced an adverse reaction, to any vaccine, to file a report following these three steps.

May 20, 2022 Posted by | War Crimes | | 1 Comment

Pfizer Document Dump Shows Doctor With Ties to Gates Foundation Deleted Trial Participant’s Vaccine Injury

By Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D. | The Defender | May 18, 2022

An 80,000-page cache of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine documents released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sheds light on Pfizer’s extensive vaccine trials in Argentina, including the unusually large size of the trials and the story of a trial participant whose vaccine reaction was “disappeared.”

The case of Augusto Roux in Argentina suggests that in at least one instance, a trial participant whose symptoms were determined to be connected to the COVID-19 vaccine was later listed, in official records, as having experienced adverse events that were not related to the vaccination.

Vaccine trials in Argentina also appear to have glossed over adverse events suffered by other trial participants, and the potential connection between the adverse events and the vaccine.

The FDA on May 2 released the latest cache of documents, which pertain to the Emergency Use Authorization of Pfizer’s vaccine, as part of a court-ordered disclosure schedule stemming from an expedited Freedom of Information Act request filed in August 2021.

As previously reported by The Defender, the documents included Case Report Forms from Pfizer COVID vaccine trials in the U.S., and the “third interim report” from BioNTech’s trials conducted in Germany, both of which listed adverse events sustained by participants in the U.S. and German trials.

Many of these adverse events were indicated as being “unrelated” to the vaccines — even in instances where the patients were healthy or otherwise had no prior medical history related to the injuries they sustained.

Story of ‘disappeared patient’ goes public

Several bloggers and online investigators called into question various aspects of the Argentine vaccine trials, pointing out the number of participants in the Argentine trials dwarfed that of other, typically smaller trials at other locations in different countries.

They also pointed out the large number of participants appeared to have been recruited to the trial in a remarkably short time, and questioned the connections between one of the key figures of the Argentine trial to vaccine manufacturers, Big Pharma and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The large number of trial participants in Argentina may be related to the fact that the trial appears to have been held simultaneously in 26 hospitals.

The large number of participants is revealed in another of the documents released this month, where on page 2,245, the list of randomized participants at trial site 1231 begins, while on page 4,329, the list of participants at trial site 4444 begins.

Site 1231 refers to the main trial site location and 4444 (page 24) most likely refers to the disparate hospitals participating in the trial outside the main location.

Commenting on the revelation, blogger David Healy wrote:

“About 5,800 volunteers were enrolled, half getting the active vaccine. This is almost 4 times more than the next largest centre in this trial.

“Amazingly 467 doctors were almost instantly signed up and trained as assistant investigators in the study.”

In all, 4,501 patients participated in the Argentine trials, representing 10% of all Pfizer trial participants worldwide.

Complete information about adverse events during this extensive trial in Argentina does not appear to have been released as of this writing.

However, Roux’s experience has since become public.

Roux, often referred to as the “disappeared” patient, volunteered for the trial (volunteer number 12312982) and received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Aug. 21, 2020.

According to Healy, Roux “felt pain and swelling in his arm right after the injection. Later that day he had nausea, difficulty swallowing, and felt hungover.”

After a series of symptoms, Roux — during a clinical trial visit on Aug. 23, 2020 — was classified as experiencing a “toxicity grade 1 adverse effect.”

He nevertheless received his second dose on Sept. 9, 2020.

According to Healy:

“On the way home by taxi, he started feeling unwell. At 19:30, he was short of breath, had a burning pain in his chest and was extremely fatigued. He lay on his bed and fell asleep. He woke up at 21:00 with nausea and fever (38-39 C) and was unable to get out of bed due to the fatigue.

“Over the next two days, he reports a high fever (41 C) and feeling delirious.

“On September 11, he was able to get out of bed and go to the bathroom when he observed his urine to be dark (like Coca-Cola). He felt as if his heart expanded, had a sudden lack of breath and fell unconscious on the floor for approximately 3 hours.

“Once he recovered, he felt tired, was uncomfortable, had a high heart rate on minor movement, was dizzy when changing posture. He had a chest pain which radiated to his left arm and back.”

On Sept. 12, 2020, Roux was admitted to the Hospital Alemán, where he stayed for two days. It was initially believed he had COVID-19, but he tested negative for the virus. His symptoms also were found to not correspond with viral pneumonia.

After a series of X-rays, CT scans and urine tests, Roux was discharged Sept. 14, 2020, after being diagnosed with an adverse reaction — specifically, an unequivocal pericardial effusion — to the coronavirus vaccine (high probability), according to his discharge summary.

Doctor who altered Roux’s record had ties to Gates, NIH, Big Pharma

However, on Sept. 17, Dr. Fernando Polack, Pfizer’s lead investigator for the Argentine trials according to a Pfizer document released in December 2021, reported in Roux’s record that his “hospitalization was not related to the vaccine.”

Even after Roux’s discharge, his health difficulties continued. As reported by Healy:

“On November 13 [2020], he had negative IgG and IgM SARS COV-2 (QML technique), which is unusual post vaccine.

“On February 24, 2021, a liver scan showed a minor degree of abnormality. In March 2021 and February 2022, his liver enzymes remained abnormal.”

Ultimately, Roux lost 14 kilograms (30.8 pounds) in a period of three to four months, and continued to suffer from fever and bouts of breathlessness for several months afterward.

Polack, who reported Roux’s hospitalization as unrelated to the vaccination, is known for his close ties with various vaccine manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

For instance, he is listed as the lead author in a Dec. 31, 2020, New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) article on the purported efficacy of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

According to Healy, Polack also appears to be the founder of iTRIALS, a trial site management company, and another organization located at the same physical headquarters, the Fundación INFANT.

Healy wrote:

“When COVID struck Argentina, [Polack] and his Fundación became involved in a trial of immune plasma, taken from patients who had recovered from COVID, given to patients who had recently acquired the disease.

“In May 2020 he speculated that this would make COVID like an ordinary cold, and the Gates Foundation would offer financial support. He used high-profile press conferences to disseminate his exciting message.”

The conclusion of the study published in the NEJM following the plasma study reads:

“Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Fundación INFANT Pandemic Fund; Dirección de Sangre y Medicina Transfusional del Ministerio de Salud number, PAEPCC19, Plataforma de Registro Informatizado de Investigaciones en Salud number, 1421, and ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04479163.”

According to Healy, “[a] subsequent systematic review and meta-analysis failed to confirm these findings, noting ‘very serious imprecision concerns.’”

Healy pointed out that Polack, in his NEJM disclosure statement, did not indicate any conflict of interest or financial interest in the COVID-19 vaccine trials in Argentina, but:

“Polack reported grants from Novavax and personal fees from Janssen, Bavarian Nordic A/S, Pfizer, Sanofi, Regeneron, Merck, Medimmune, Vir Bio[technology], Ark Bio, Daiichi Sankyo outside the submitted work.

“At least eight of these companies are engaged in RSV vaccine research in babies and pregnant women. Fernando has mentioned a combined RSV, flu and COVID vaccine.”

And, in relation to Polack’s relationship with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Healy reported:

“[Polack] also doesn’t mention his extensive financial involvement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This organization supports industry vaccine trials including Covid and RSV. Fernando is heavily involved through his Gates-sponsored Fundación INFANT in Buenos Aires in RSV trials and research.

“Gates sunk $82,553,834 into Novavax’s RSV vaccine ResVax which was shown to be ineffective in clinical trials in pregnant women.”

Polack’s own bio from a 2017 medical conference states “[h]is work is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Institutes of Health [NIH], the Thrasher Research Fund, the Optimus Foundation and other international organizations.”

That same year, Polack testified at an FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) meeting, where he “acknowledged having financial interests in or professional relationships with some of the affected firms identified for this meeting, namely Janssen [producer of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine], Novavax, and Bavarian Nordic.”

According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, Polack “also happens to be a consultant for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC),” and “a current adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.”

Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D., is an independent journalist and researcher based in Athens, Greece.

May 20, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

World Bank to receive $450 million to start pandemic preparedness fund

The Counter Signal | May 17, 2022

Joe Biden announced that the US would give the World Bank $450 million to start a pandemic preparedness fund, which will be run in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO).

“We’re increasing our support for [a] new pandemic preparedness and global health security fund that will be established at the World Bank this summer with $450 million in seed funding,” Joe Biden announced at the second Global COVID Summit.

Vice President Kamala Harris also said that the US would work to “shape new international norms” on pandemic-related issues.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom confirmed this and continued, reminding others in attendance that the WHO is still drafting its pandemic treaty.

“At the World Health Assembly this month, WHO will present a plan to strengthen the global architecture for health emergency preparedness response and resilience,” said Tedros Adhanom. “This includes the creation of a financial intermediary fund to support equitable access to life-saving tools in the face of future epidemics and pandemics.”

During the COVID Summit, other world leaders confirmed that they’re in favour of strengthening the WHO after reiterating that “the pandemic is not over” — even though it clearly is.

PM Justin Trudeau also announced that he would waste $732 million in Canadian taxpayers’ money on the Access to COVID-19 Tools-Accelerator (ACT-A).

“We must continue to work together and support the international response to end this pandemic everywhere and for everyone,” Trudeau began.

“Today, I am announcing new and meaningful funding for the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), bringing Canada’s total contribution to more than $2 billion since the start of the pandemic. Canada is contributing to the international pandemic response and will continue to work with partners to ensure that that we strengthen our collective ability to prevent, prepare and respond to disease outbreaks going forward.”

May 20, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , | 6 Comments

WHO pandemic treaty: A fresh push for vaccine passports, global surveillance, and more

By Tom Parker | Reclaim The Net | May 20, 2022

Members of the World Health Organization (WHO) are days away from voting on an international pandemic treaty and amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) which would give the unelected WHO greater control of national emergency healthcare decisions and new powers to push vaccine passports, global surveillance, and “global coordinated actions” that address “misinformation” whenever it declares a “health emergency.”

From May 22 to May 28, representatives of the WHO’s 194 member states (which represent 98% of all the countries in the world) will attend a World Health Assembly meeting in Geneva and vote on this treaty and the proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR). If passed, both the treaty and amendments to the IHR will be legally binding under international law.

The international pandemic treaty

The World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of the WHO, established an intergovernmental negotiating body (INB) to draft and negotiate a “global accord on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response” in December 2021. The WHA aims to have this treaty adopted under Article 19 of the WHO Constitution which gives the WHA the power to impose legally binding conventions or agreements on WHO member states if two-thirds of the WHA vote in favor of them.

While the WHO framed this as an international pandemic treaty, the latest draft of the treaty has since evolved to cover all “health emergencies.” Unlike the term “pandemic,” which is limited in scope and refers to the worldwide spread of infectious disease, the WHO’s definition of a “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC) is much broader and applies to all types of disease, regardless of whether they’re infectious:

“A PHEIC is defined in the IHR (2005) as, ‘an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response.’”

The draft treaty places the “WHO at the centre” and solidifies the WHO as “the directing and coordinating authority on international health” and gives it sweeping, legally binding powers to force member states to adopt many of the censorship and surveillance tools that were imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of the key areas of the draft treaty include:

International vaccine passports and contact tracing: Member states will be required to “support the development of standards for producing a digital version of the International Certificate of Vaccination and Prophylaxis” (the WHO’s official vaccine passport). The WHO will also “develop norms and standards” for “digital technology applications relevant to international travel” such as contact tracing apps and digital health forms.

Global surveillance: The WHO will conduct “coordinated global surveillance of public health threats” and member states will be required to build out their surveillance systems and work with “the WHO’s global systems for surveillance.” Non-state actors (which could include Big Tech companies) will also be required to work with governments, the WHO, and other international partners to leverage their “considerable data” to “create the strongest possible early warning and response systems.”

Addressing “misinformation,” “disinformation,” and “too much information:” The draft treaty pushes “national and global coordinated actions to address the misinformation, disinformation, and stigmatization, that undermine public health.” Member states will also be required to strengthen their approaches to “infodemic management” (a term coined by the WHO that refers to “too much information including false or misleading information in digital and physical environments during a disease outbreak.”) Additionally, non-state actors will be required to actors to work with governments to fight disinformation.

Funding: WHO members are set to collectively pay the WHO over $950 million in dues for 2022-2023 and already paid over $270 million in voluntary contributions for 2020-2021. And this draft treaty proposes that G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US) also pay $11 billion for the “Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A).” Additionally, it intends to create an”International Pandemic Financing Facility” that will extract long-term (10-15 year) contributions of $5-10 billion per year.

We obtained a copy of the draft treaty for you here.

If this draft treaty is approved at the May 22 to May 28 WHA meeting, the INB will hold a second meeting on August 1 to discuss progress on the draft. A progress report will then be delivered at the 76th WHA meeting in May 2023. The final treaty will then be presented for adoption at the 77th WHA meeting in May 2024.

Proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005)

On January 18, the Biden administration quietly sent the WHO its extensive proposed amendments to the IHR. The details of these proposed amendments were only made public on April 12, almost three months after they were sent.

Under the current IHR, 196 countries are legally required under international law to build the capability to detect and report potential public health emergencies worldwide and respond promptly to a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) whenever it’s declared by the WHO.

These proposed amendments from the Biden administration give the WHO and its Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, sweeping new powers to declare public health emergencies, even over the objection of member states, and implement global surveillance measures that require the mass collection of genetic sequence data.

Some of the key amendments that are being pushed by the Biden administration include:

Increased WHO powers to declare “potential” emergencies: Currently, the WHO can only declare a PHEIC when there’s an actual “public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease.” These proposed amendments allow it to declare a PHEIC when there’s a “potential or actual” PHEIC. This means there doesn’t have to be evidence of the international spread of disease, just the potential for it.

Increased WHO powers to declare health emergencies: Currently, the WHO has to follow the PHEIC criteria when declaring a public health emergency and health emergencies can only be declared by the Director-General. But under these proposed amendments, the WHO Director-General can issue an “intermediate public health alert” to any country in response to events that don’t meet the criteria of a PHEIC and a WHO “regional director” can declare a “public health emergency of regional concern” (PHERC).

Global surveillance and data sharing: The Biden administration’s proposed amendments empower the WHO to develop new “early warning criteria” for monitoring “national, regional, or global risk posed by an event of unknown causes or sources.” Additionally, these proposed amendments expand the scope of data sharing under the IHR and require members to hand over genetic sequence data to the WHO whenever they have an event that “may constitute a public health emergency of international concern.”

We obtained a copy of the proposed amendments to the IHR for you here.

If these amendments are approved at the May 22 to May 28 WHA meeting, nations have six months to reject them. After six months, they’ll enter into force and any rejection or reservation “shall have no effect.”

The WHO’s history of supporting surveillance and acting as an arbiter of truth

Not only could this treaty and the proposed amendments to the IHR empower the unelected WHO to push surveillance, vaccine passports, and global programs that target what it deems to be misinformation but this international health agency already gave the world a taste of how it exercises these powers during the COVID-19 pandemic. As COVID-19 spread, the WHO rigorously supported surveillance tech and was increasingly used as an arbiter of truth on Big Tech platforms, even though it got many things wrong.

YouTubeFacebookWikipedia, and others have partnered with the WHO to tackle misinformation or display labels with information from the WHO. YouTube even goes as far as removing videos that go against the WHO and has censored over 800,000 videos under this policy.

Despite having significant influence over how these platforms determine which posts to brand as misinformation, the WHO has got many things about COVID wrong and amplified misleading statements. For example, in an infamous January 14, 2020 tweet, the WHO stated that “preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission” of the coronavirus.

The WHO has also praised China’s response to COVID which relies heavily on digital censorship and surveillance. Only recently did the WHO break this trend and criticize China’s zero-COVID policy. And when it did, these digital censorship systems were unsurprisingly used to censor the WHO’s statements on Chinese social platforms.

Another thing that the WHO heavily supported throughout the COVID-19 pandemic was vaccine passports. It pushed for them in December 2020 and it’s still pushing for the adoption of global vaccine passports this year.

The WHO’s undemocratic global governance system

The way the WHO gains its powers gives citizens almost no recourse. Instead of the response to national emergencies in democratic nations being the sole purview of elected officials who can vote on proposed measures that apply to their citizens and be held accountable at the ballot box by those citizens, WHO members vote on legally binding international treaties and agreements on their behalf via the WHA. If two-thirds of the WHA vote to adopt a treaty or agreement, it becomes legally binding under international law.

This global governance system has the support of both parties in most democratic countries. For example, during the 2022 Australian federal election campaign, both of the leading candidates expressed full support for the WHO’s expanded powers.

And the WHO Director-General has used the COVID-19 pandemic to push countries to further embrace the WHO’s global governance system by blasting countries that made their own decisions and claiming that their “‘me-first’ approaches… stymie the global solidarity needed to deal with a global threat.”

Countries that support the WHO’s expanded powers

Many countries have expressed support for the international pandemic treaty or the proposed amendments to the IHR.

The US supports both its proposed IHR amendments and the international pandemic treaty.

The treaty also has the support of the UKCanadaAustraliaNew Zealand, and the European Council (EC) (which represents 27 European Union (EU) member states). According to the EC, 110 countries supported the decision to launch negotiations on the treaty. If these 110 countries vote in favor of the treaty, it would give the WHA close to the two-thirds of the majority it needs to pass the treaty.

Opposition to the WHO’s expanded powers

While there’s significant member state support for these expanded WHO powers, local politicians, citizens, and rights groups are opposing this power grab.

In the US, Congresswoman Mary Miller (R-IL)Congressman Byron Donalds (R-FL), and Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), have opposed the Biden administration’s proposed amendments to the IHR.

Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.), and Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) have also opposed the Biden administration’s support of the international pandemic treaty.

In Australia, Senator Malcolm Roberts (One Nation), Senator Alex Antic (Liberal Party), and Senator Gerard Rennick have opposed the international pandemic treaty.

Several UK Members of Parliament (MPs), including the Conservative MPs Craig Mackinlay and Steve Baker, have also called for the government to provide clarity on the treaty.

 

UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid responded to Baker’s calls by stating that the UK government supports the treaty but “would not sign up to any instrument that compromises the UK’s sovereignty,” including “any instrument which compromises the UK’s ability to take domestic decisions on national restrictions or other measures.”

UK Government and Parliament petition urging the government to not sign any WHO pandemic treaty unless it’s approved via public referendum has received over 130,000 signatures which means Parliament will now consider it for a debate. The petition has also trended on the homepage of the UK Government and Parliament petition’s website.

Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Christine Anderson has opposed the treaty, branding it an “abolition of democracy by the global elites.”

Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) MP Leslyn Lewis has also pushed back against the treaty and launched a “Stop The Treaty” petition which calls for Canada to decline the treaty.

And rights group World Council for Health has launched a #StopTheWho Campaign which opposes both the treaty and proposed IHR amendments.

But for now, the fate of this WHO power grab rests on the outcome of the May 22 to May 28 WHA meeting.

May 20, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | 2 Comments

Is Monkeypox Hype a Paid Media Campaign?

One Case in the US Gets Enormous Media Attention

By Igor Chudov | May 18, 2022

I love reading news and I know that I tend to be too alarmist. Thus, the recent monkeypox talk, that is all over the liberal press and Twitter, piqued my interest.

Is there a new terrible pandemic coming? Will it kill 10% of our population? Do we need to trust science, as always, and urgently inject ourselves with a recently developed “monkeypox vaccine”, that is definitely safe and effective? Should we forget Covid vaccination lies and abuses, endless illness among the boosted, etc, and again look at “health authorities” as our saviors, swallowing every word?

Or, perhaps, this is just noise and the media trying to distract us from something? Is someone paying off the media to sell us a new concern and new “treatments”?

Let’s look.

Monkeypox is Not Endemic to Humans and is Not New

Read this excellent article written before 2022, about monkeypox. Monkeypox is a virus with some genetic similarities to smallpox, that has somewhat similar presentation to smallpox through pus filled pustules.

It is not easy for humans to get infected with monkeypox. It is an animal disease, present among African rodents and other animals, that usually requires close human-animal contact to establish transmission. Thus, it is usually confined to rural Africa where people contact wild animals or butcher bushmeat.

Transmission of monkeypox is usually by direct contact with infected animals or possibly by eating poorly cooked meat from an infected rodent or monkey. Cutaneous or mucosal lesions on the infected animals are a likely source of transmission to humans, especially when the human skin is broken due to bites, scratches, or other trauma — are a likely source for virus infection. Human-to-human transfer, probably by infected respiratory droplets, is possible but is not often documented. One study suggested that only about 8%-15% of infections occurred through human-to-human transmission among close family members.

There were numerous outbreaks of monkeypox in the past, all receiving scant attention from the press.

How bad is the current monkeypox outbreak in the US? Only one person in the US was diagnosed with monkeypox as of May 18, 2022. (Read this again) Despite that, dozens of news articles in the corporate press were devoted to monkeypox and this one case.

Monkeypox is Still not Easily Transmissible

Provoking the ire of the LGBTQIA community, UKHSA reported that most of the several UK cases of monkeypox occur among men who have sex with men. While we should equally care about all citizens regardless of their sexual proclivities, the fact that monkeypox is confined to a specific sexual community suggests that there is something in that community that enables the (extremely limited) spread of monkeypox, but at the same time, it proves that monkeypox is still not airborne and does not spread between randomly chosen persons.

What could facilitate the spread of monkeypox among gay men? I do not know. As most past monkeypox outbreaks were associated with rodents, we first need to see if these men shared or used any rodents or had them as pets or some such.

Past Outbreaks of Monkeypox were Not Hyped Up

In 2003, 71 persons in the US were infected with monkeypox. That incident was also rodent driven, had very limited human-to-human transmission, and fizzled out as soon as it was identified and the rodents were taken care of.

This incident deservedly received very little coverage, mostly in the local press, and was forgotten as soon as it ended.

So what?

Despite literally zero indication that monkeypox deserves as much media attention as it receives, it could somehow become the next global plague just because anything is possible. Despite knowing that anything is possible, I see nothing concrete in this monkeypox talk other than a concerted media attempt at bringing attention to a topic that almost nobody should care about.

I was one of the numerous other people who realized that Covid-19 will be a global disaster in January 2020. I bought food, toilet paper etc, and had all money in cash (other than Berkshire Hathaway I never sell). I majorly shifted money into stocks on April 24, 2020, because I thought that we will get through Covid. To add something, I sold stocks too early in late 2020 due to overpricing concerns, and I do not normally trade to time markets. I am not and never was a market timer who would trade more than once a year or so. It was just a one-time deal due to the unusual Covid pandemic that I started following closely. This is just to say that I am trying to be realistic and have money on the line.

As of this day, May 18, 2022, I believe that monkeypox will not be the global disaster of the future. If I may predict what will, it is VAIDS and Chronic Covid and numerous economic dislocations and geopolitical problems, and endless war. (I do not try to predict bioterrorism such as Sars-Cov-2 because it is unpredictable). The bottom line is, bad times lie ahead, but monkeypox will remain a historical footnote.

To clarify, despite likely seeing bad times ahead, humanity will heal, thrive, and continue on, perhaps experiencing a population reduction that will not end the human race.

Why the Hype?

What is the reason “monkeypox awareness” is now promoted? I have no idea and I am willing to just wait until we find out. It could be:

  • Self fed media hysterics
  • Bill Gates promoting more vaccines
  • Paving a way for smallpox outbreaks
  • A way to distract us from boosted people dying from Covid
  • There is a possibility that Covid vaccination made gay people uniquely susceptible to monkeypox. If that is the case, it will be covered up, but will eventually come out.

My article is not attempting to prove a conspiracy theory about why exactly monkeypox is so elevated in the news coverage. I just want to point out that it does not deserve to be in the news so much.

What do you think? Who benefits from this monkeypox business?

May 20, 2022 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | 3 Comments

Governments worried about Covid misinformation should start with their own lies and distortions: Indiana AG

The Daily Sceptic | May 20, 2022

Governments concerned about Covid misinformation should start with their own lies and distortions, Indiana’s Attorney General has told the U.S. Government. In a submission to the U.S. Surgeon General, who had requested information on the impact of online health misinformation during the pandemic in the United States, Todd Rokita joined with leading scientists Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and Dr. Martin Kulldorff to set out nine examples of disinformation propagated by the CDC and other health organisations that have “shattered the public’s trust in science and public health and will take decades to repair”. Read their full submission below.

May 2nd 2022

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General

Action: Request for Information (RFI)

Subject: Impact of Health Misinformation in the Digital Information Environment in the United States Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic

Response: COVID-19 Misinformation from Official Sources During the Pandemic

Submitting parties: Todd Rokita, Indiana Attorney General; Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine; and Dr. Kulldorff, Senior Research Fellow at the Brownstone Institute and former Professor at Harvard University School of Medicine.

The Office of the Surgeon General requested information on the prevalence of health misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of such misinformation on the U.S. public health system in order to be better prepared to respond to a future public health crisis.

We agree that misinformation has been a major problem during the pandemic. The spread of inaccurate scientific information has made it difficult for the public to make the right decisions to protect themselves, their families, and their communities from COVID-19 and the collateral public health damage arising from the pandemic countermeasures. As such, the disinformation has led to great harm in the lives and livelihoods of Americans. We submit the following examples of disinformation from the CDC and other health organisations that have shattered the public’s trust in science and public health and will take decades to repair.

#1 Overcounting COVID-19: The official CDC numbers for COVID-19 deaths and hospitalisations are inaccurate. The official tallies include many people who have died with rather than from COVID-19. CDC has not distinguished deaths where COVID-19 was the primary cause of death, where COVID-19 was a contributing cause of death, or where the death was entirely unrelated to COVID-19, but they incidentally tested positive.

There are three reasons for this problem. (i) The counting of COVID-19 cases and deaths is unlike the way that public health counts the incidence and mortality caused by other diseases; physicians have been advised to fill out death certificates to privilege COVID-19 as a proximal cause, even when the medical facts suggest otherwise. (ii) The population-wide testing to identify asymptomatic individuals infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus is unprecedented in human history. (iii) Although it would have been easy, CDC has not conducted random national surveys of medical charts to determine what proportion of reported COVID-19 deaths were truly due to COVID-19. Ex-post audits of death certificates and medical records in Santa Clara County and Alameda County, California, for instance, found that in around 25% of death certificates in which COVID-19 was labelled as the primary cause of death, other causes of death were more likely. The peer-reviewed literature confirms that COVID-19 is overcounted in other developed countries. Ex post audits of death certificates should be conducted to establish an accurate death count from COVID-19.

#2 Questioning Natural Immunity: There has been consistent questioning and denying of natural immunity after COVID-19 recovery. Using seriously flawed studies, CDC falsely claimed that natural immunity is worse than vaccine acquired immunity. In October 2020, the CDC director published a “memorandum” in the Lancetquestioning natural immunity. Most critically, by mandating vaccination for people who have recovered from COVID-19, the Government, corporations, and universities de facto deny natural immunity.

For scientists, this has been the most surprising disinformation. We have known about natural immunity since the Athenian Plague in 430 BC; other coronaviruses generate natural immunity; and throughout the pandemic, we knew that the COVID-19 recovered have good natural immunity if and when they get exposed the next time. That is, six months after the start of the pandemic, we had epidemiological evidence that natural immunity lasts at least six months; a year into the pandemic, we knew that natural immunity lasted at least one year, and so on.

#3 COVID-19 Vaccines Prevent Transmission: The CDC director and other health officials falsely claimed that the COVID-19 vaccine prevents the transmission of COVID-19 to others. This was also the rationale for vaccine mandates and passports – to prevent the spread of the virus to others. At the time, we did not know, and it turned out to be wrong. When the COVID-19 vaccines were approved for emergency use, the manufacturers presented randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that showed that the vaccines reduced symptomatic disease. The trials were not designed to determine whether they could also limit transmission or prevent death, even though they could have been designed to do so. As it turned out, vaccinated individuals spread the disease to others. While it was unfortunate that the RCTs were not designed to answer the disease transmission question, it is irresponsible for public health officials to claim that they did when the RCTs did not even attempt to answer that question.

#4 School Closures Were Effective and Costless: In the United States, most schools were closed for in-person teaching for some time, and many schools were closed for over a year. This decision was based on false claims that it would protect children, teachers and the community at large. Already in the early summer of 2020, we knew this was false. Sweden was the only major Western country to keep schools open throughout spring 2020 without masks, social distancing, or testing. Among these 1.8 million children ages one to 15, there were zero COVID-19 deaths, only a few hospitalisations, and teachers did not have a higher COVID-19 risk than the average of other professions.

Moreover, while older people living with a working-age adult had a higher COVID-19 risk, there was no evidence that also living with a child increased that risk further. In a July 2020 New England Journal of Medicine article evaluating school closures, they did not mention the Swedish data and evidence, which is like evaluating a new drug without including data from the placebo comparison group. Despite clear evidence on the safety of keeping schools open, misinformation led to many schools being closed for over one year.  

#5 Everyone is equally at risk of hospitalisation and death from COVID-19 infection: Though public health messaging has blunted this fact, there is more than a thousand-fold difference in the risk of hospitalisation and death for the old relative to the young. Though the risk of death is high for the old and some other vulnerable populations with severe chronic illness, the risk posed to children from COVID-19 infection is on par with the risk posed by a bad influenza season. Surveys indicate, however, that both old and young overestimate the risk of death from COVID-19 infection. This misperception about risk is harmful because it leads to demand for policies – such as school closures and lockdowns – that were themselves harmful.

#6 There was no reasonable policy alternative to lockdowns: Even from the beginning of the pandemic, the sharp age-gradient in the risk of severe disease on COVID-19 infection has provided an alternative to the lockdown-focused policies that many U.S. states adopted – focused protection of the aged and otherwise vulnerable. In October 2020, along with Prof. Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University, we wrote the Great Barrington Declaration – a public petition that proposed heightened measures to protect the vulnerable and a return to near-normal life for the less vulnerable (including the opening of schools). Tens of thousands of doctors and scientists signed the Declaration in opposition to lockdowns. In the Declaration itself and in supporting documents, we offered many concrete policy suggestions for better protecting the vulnerable, including reduced staff rotations in nursing homes, free home delivery of groceries and other essentials offered to older people living in the community, paid sabbatical leave or alternative work arrangements for older workers, and many other policy options. We also invited the public health community to join in thinking creatively about other ideas to protect the vulnerable. As subsequent research has confirmed, it was clear even at the time that lockdowns could not protect the vulnerable (nearly 80% of COVID-19 deaths have occurred among the elderly in the U.S.). Meanwhile, countries like Sweden, which did not implement lockdowns, have had near-zero overall excess death over the last two years of the pandemic. Lockdowns are an aberration– a sharp deviation from traditional public health management of respiratory epidemics – and a catastrophic failure of public health policy.

#7 Mask mandates are effective in reducing the spread of viral infectious diseases: Contrary to assertions by some public health officials, mask mandates have not been effective in protecting most populations against COVID-19 risk. The SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads by aerosolisation. Unlike larger viral droplets, which are pulled by gravity to the ground shortly after emission, aerosols are tiny particles that can persist in the air for extended periods. Aerosols escape through gaps of poorly fitted masks, greatly reducing their ability to stop disease spread. Cloth masks, in particular, cannot stop aerosols, and even well-fitted N95 masks have diminished capacity to stop viral transmission when they become moist from breathing. It is thus unsurprising that the highest quality evidence available – randomised trials – conducted both before and during the pandemic find that masks are ineffective at stopping the spread of respiratory viruses in most settings when worn by untrained people.

#8 Mass testing of asymptomatic individuals and contact tracing of positive cases is effective in reducing disease spread: Mass testing of asymptomatic individuals with contact tracing and quarantining of people who test positive has failed to substantively slow the progress of the epidemic and has imposed great costs on people who were quarantined even though they posed no risk of infecting others. Three facts are crucial to understanding why this policy has failed. First, even close contacts of someone who tests positive for the SARS-Cov-2 virus are unlikely to pass the disease on. In a large meta-analysis of household contacts of asymptomatic positive cases, only 3% of people living in the same home got sick. Second, the PCR test that has been used to identify asymptomatic infections often returns a positive result for people who have dead viral fragments, are not infectious, and pose no risk of infecting others. And third, the contact tracing system becomes overwhelmed whenever cases start to rise, leading to long delays in contacting new cases. At precisely the moment when contact tracing might be needed, it cannot do its job. At the same time, quarantining people is costly – for workers without adequate sick leave, absenteeism due to contact tracing means pay cuts, lost opportunities and perhaps even an inability to feed families. For children, it means more skipped lessons and missed opportunities for academic and social growth at school, with long-run negative consequences for their future prospects. In the U.K., an official government review determined that its 37 billion pound investment in contact tracing was a waste of resources. The same is undoubtedly true in the United States.

#9 The eradication of COVID-19 is a feasible goal: Throughout the pandemic, from “two weeks to flatten the curve” and onwards, the suppression of the spread of COVID-19 has been an explicit policy goal. Implicitly, public health leaders have made the suppression of COVID-19 spread to near-zero levels the endpoint of the pandemic. However, SARS-CoV-2 has none of the characteristics of a disease that can be eradicated. First, we have no technology to reduce the spread of the disease or meaningfully alter disease dynamics. Lockdowns and social restrictions fail because only people who can afford to work from home without losing their job can comply over long periods. While we have vaccines that can help prevent hospitalisation or death resulting from COVID-19 infection, the vaccines wane in efficacy against COVID-19 infection and cannot stop transmission. Second, there are many animal hosts for SARS-CoV-2 and evidence of transmission between mammals and humans. One USDA study in late 2021 found that nearly 80% of white-tailed deer in the U.S. had evidence of COVID-19 antibodies. Dogs, cats, bats, mink and many other mammals can get COVID-19. So even if the disease were eradicated among humans, zoonotic transmission would guarantee that it would come back. Finally, eradication takes a global commitment from every country – an impossible goal since COVID-19 eradication is far from the most pressing public health problem for many developing countries.

May 20, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

Why is a New War Coming to Afghanistan?

By Salman Rafi Sheikh – New Eastern Outlook – May 19, 2022

Afghanistan, every now and then, is hit by a bomb attack. Most of the recent attacks have been claimed by the Islamic State in Khorasan (terrorist organization, banned in Russia)). Its ability to orchestrate highly sophisticated attacks shows that the group, contrary to the claims the US military officials made during the US occupation of Afghanistan, has not lost its strength at all. But, to the surprise of many, the IS-K, while a potent threat to the Taliban and the wider region of South and Central Asia, a new armed resistance is emerging against the Taliban, this time led by local Afghans rather than transnational jihadis. Afghanistan’s National Resistance Front (NRF) being led by Ahmad Massoud and Amrullah Saleh, Afghanistan’s former vice president, has officially launched an offensive against the Taliban. Scores of other armed groups, too, have announced their formations and declared their intentions, on their Facebook pages and otherwise, to resist the Taliban on their own or in alliance with the NRF.

According to claims made by the NRF’s Ali Nazary, head of NRF’s foreign relations, a fully-fledged offensive has been launched in the Panjshir valley, in at least three districts. The NRF has a presence across Afghanistan’s many provinces. As Ali Nazary told the Associated Press of France in an interview, the NRF will launch operations in all the provinces to drive out what it calls illegal occupants (i.e., the Taliban) of power in Kabul.

To be sure, the NRF is not the only group. An ex-general in the Afghan army, Sami Sadat, recently vowed to “continue to fight.” In an interview given to the BBC, Sadat said he would “do anything and everything in our powers to make sure Afghanistan is freed from the Taliban and a democratic system is re-established.”

Most of the media projection – especially in the West – about the emerging resistance against the Taliban is tied to the failure of the Taliban to develop a politically and ethnically inclusive system. Many important political groups have been excluded and the Taliban high command has captured power, with most of the key ministries being led by key Taliban commanders, including the Haqqanis. On top of this is the Taliban’s gradual return to implementing an orthodox interpretation of Islam to regulate politics and society at large.

While all of these issues do point to certain political problems, the emerging resistance has some geopolitical underpinnings too. Consider this: Sadat, who was until recently was nowhere to be seen, emerged out of thin air and suddenly became so important as to attract the BBC for an interview. The fact that the BBC interviewed him and published his views shows (1) how new anti-Taliban personalities are being dug up by the West, and (2) how they are being given international projection.

While the criticism the Taliban are facing has a valid foundation, it is also true that Afghanistan’s new war is being planned somewhere else. As some reports have shown, US envoys have been holding meetings with the NRF in Tajikistan, where the latter is based.

Media reports in the west are already predicting a ‘new fighting season’ in Afghanistan. While Sadat was interviewed by the BBC, Britain’s state broadcaster, a news report carried by the Voice of America (VoA), America’s state-owned broadcaster, too, showed how anti-Taliban resistance is already coming of age.

According to the report, apart from the NRF, there is an ‘Afghanistan Freedom Front.’ According to VoA, it is being led by General Yasin Zia, a former defense minister and chief of general staff. Another group is ‘Afghanistan Islamic National and Liberation Movement’ is being led by Abdul Mateen Sulaimankhail, a former Afghan Army special forces commander.

Why is the west giving state-level projections to these groups? This sudden projection comes against the backdrop of Russia’s and China’s growing ties with the Taliban, and an ever-increasing possibility of both Moscow and Beijing extending legitimacy to the Taliban rule by recognising it. This comes against the backdrop of an emerging understanding between the Taliban and China and Russia that the former will make sure not to allow anti-China and anti-Russian groups to spread into their territories. In exchange, Beijing and Moscow will help the Taliban.

In his latest visit to Kabul, China’s Wangi Yi told Taliban officials that “China respects the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, respects the independent choices made by the Afghan people and respects the religious beliefs and national customs of Afghanistan.” In the same meeting, Wang was assured that the Taliban will improve the “security environment” of Afghanistanin in ways to make it safe for China/region.

For China, therefore, Afghanistan is turning into a hospitable country, offering an increasing possibility of extending the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to Afghanistan as well. Indeed, Wang Yi hinted during the same visit that China is considering it seriously.

Improving security and the political environment is something that Russia also believes is developing in Afghanistan. In a statement released on April 29, 2022, the Russian Foreign Minister said that “since the Taliban’s accession to power, the military-political situation in Afghanistan has become relatively stable,” which means that Russia thinks the Taliban might be able to rule Afghanistan effectively.

It is against this geopolitical backdrop that we must understand the emergence of anti-Taliban resistance. A challenge from within Afghanistan, led by Afghans themselves, against Kabul would challenge the Russian and Chinese claims, and indeed the Taliban’s own claim, that Afghanistan is stabilising. A large-scale insurgency, or a civil war, in Afghanistan will, yet again, force China to withdraw its CPEC extension plans, as well as forcing Russia to rethink the possibility of extending its cooperation. On the other hand, it will also allow the West to withdraw whatever support it has been providing to the Taliban in favour of supporting these resistance groups.

In short, therefore, there is as much, or even more, geopolitics tied to the emerging resistance as domestic politics i.e., the Taliban’s decision to exclude regional elites and the latter’s decision to resist their exclusion.

Salman Rafi Sheikh is a research-analyst of International Relations and Pakistan’s foreign and domestic affairs.

May 20, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | Leave a comment

House passes antisemitism resolution calling for surveillance and censorship of online content

By Christina Maas | Reclaim The Net | May 20, 2022

The House of Representatives has voted to pass a resolution that calls for increased surveillance and censorship of online speech, to help reduce antisemitism.

The resolution goes beyond condemning antisemitism; it goes into the realm of calling on social media platforms to do more to stop it.

We obtained a copy of the resolution for you here.

The resolution calls on social media platforms to “institute stronger and more significant efforts to measure and address online antisemitism” and, like most resolutions of this kind, pays lip-service to the idea of “protecting free speech concerns,” without providing details on how this is possible.

The resolution also calls for the house to work “in tandem with the cross-party Inter-parliamentary Task Force to Combat Online Anti-semitism to help craft thoughtful global initiatives designed to address online antisemitism.”

The resolution names platforms specifically, saying there has been an uptick in “antisemitic language, conspiracy theories, and hatred has increased on multiple social media platforms—from Facebook and Instagram to Twitter and TikTok.”

Rep. Thomas Massie, a Republican, was the only member of the House that recognized the implications of government once again trying to insert themselves into moderation on online platforms and voted against the bill on free speech grounds.

Massie made clear that his vote against the bill was not due to hating anyone “based on his or her ethnicity or religion” but on First Amendment grounds, that is designed to prevent the government from regulating speech. While the resolution is not a law that would force this speech regulation on platforms, the sentiment of the government pressure on platforms is evident.

“I don’t hate anyone based on his or her ethnicity or religion. Legitimate government exists, in part, to punish those who commit unprovoked violence against others, but government can’t legislate thought,” Massie wrote on Twitter.

“This bill promoted internet censorship and violations of the 1st amendment.”

The author of the resolution, Democrat Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, blamed the racially-motivated shooting in Buffalo, New York, on social media for amplifying “radicalizing content and conspiracy theories.” She argued that Section 230, which protects platforms from liability from content posted by users, should be removed.

“It’s past time to pass sane gun safety laws, but we also need to revisit Section 230 to remove social media company immunity if they amplify radicalizing content and conspiracy theories that promote violence like we saw in Buffalo,” she wrote on Twitter.

May 20, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 2 Comments

Israeli forces use Palestinian girl as a human shield in Jenin

Defense for Children International Palestine | May 19, 2022

Ramallah — Israeli soldiers used a 16-year-old Palestinian girl as a human shield in front of an Israeli military vehicle while deployed in the northern occupied West Bank city of Jenin last week.

Israeli soldiers forced Ahed Mohammad Rida Mereb, 16, to stand in front of an Israeli military vehicle on May 13 around 8 a.m. in the Al Hadaf neighborhood of Jenin as Palestinian gunmen shot heavily toward the Israeli forces’ position, according to information collected by Defense for Children International – Palestine. Israeli forces ordered Ahed to stand outside the military vehicle for around two hours while they sat inside.

“International law is explicit and absolutely prohibits the use of children as human shields by armed forces or armed groups,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at Defense for Children International – Palestine. “Israeli forces intentionally putting a child in grave danger in order to shield themselves constitutes a war crime.”

Israeli forces besieged Ahed’s home around 6 a.m. on May 13 in order to arrest her 20-year-old brother, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Israeli forces ordered Ahed, her parents, and her two younger brothers out of the house and to move to a yard across the street. Israeli forces exchanged fire with Ahed’s older brother, who remained in the house. Around 8 a.m., Palestinian gunmen shot heavily toward an Israeli military vehicle, which is when Israeli forces ordered Ahed to stand outside the military vehicle.

“Bullets were being fired at the military vehicle from all directions,” Ahed told DCIP. “I was trembling and crying and shouting to the soldiers to remove me because the bullets were passing over my head, but one of them ordered me in Arabic through a small window in the military vehicle, ‘Stay where you are and don’t move. You’re a terrorist. Stand in your place until you say goodbye to your brother.’”

Ahed tried to tilt her head to the side to dodge the bullets, but one of the Israeli soldiers ordered her to stand up straight, according to information collected by DCIP. Ahed stood in front of the Israeli military vehicle for about two hours before running to a nearby tree and collapsing on the ground, according to documentation collected by DCIP.

Around two hours later, Israeli forces evacuated Ahed’s two-story house, where she lived with her parents, three brothers, grandparents, two uncles and their wives, and their eight children ranging in age from one to 11 years old, according to information collected by DCIP. After the family evacuated, Israeli forces bombed the house with rocket-propelled grenades, which caused the house to catch on fire. Israeli forces also shot live ammunition at the house, according to documentation collected by DCIP.

Israeli forces withdrew from Ahed’s neighborhood around 11 a.m. She learned that Israeli forces arrested her older brother and that neighborhood residents posted on social media that she was being used as a human shield by Israeli forces, which led the Palestinian gunmen to stop shooting at the Israeli military vehicle.

Ahed was transferred by private vehicle to Jenin Hospital and was treated for intense mental stress and a severe lack of oxygen, according to documentation collected by DCIP.

The use of civilians as human shields, wherein civilians are forced to directly assist military operations or used to shield armed forces or armed groups or objects from attack, is prohibited under international law. The practice is also prohibited under Israeli law based on a 2005 ruling by the Israeli High Court of Justice.

Since 2000, DCIP has documented at least 26 cases involving Palestinian children being used as human shields by the Israeli army. All except one case have occurred after the Israeli High Court of Justice ruling. Only one of those cases led to the conviction of two soldiers for “inappropriate behavior” and “overstepping authority.” Both were demoted in rank and given three-month suspended sentences.

May 20, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | 6 Comments