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NEJM: Global Warming Causes Stillbirths, Birth Defects, Infant Heart problems

Finally you can laugh a bit

By Igor Chudov | June 28, 2022

Okay, enough birth rate sadness, let’s lighten up a bit. We have a long road ahead of us, we cannot be sad all the time, so it is time to smile.

We have some climate change news.

Remember that a couple of days ago, I asked, why is the birth rate in Germany dropping? What is going on with a 23% drop in live births in Taiwan? Why are births dropping 10% in Switzerland this year? Why is the UKHSA vaccine surveillance report not reporting live births since February, for which it showed a 10% year-to-year drop in live births, and nothing since?

Fortunately, science has an answer for us. These baby problems have a known cause. It is climate change. Here’s an amazing article. It came out just in time for the birth rate scandal, which is obviously just a coincidence.

This article refers to a study, published in New England Journal of Medicine, a prestigious bellwether of medical science and a guide to all doctors worldwide.

The article explains that global warming may cause many problems in developing and unborn children. “All children are at risk”, says the study. Some of these problems are very familiar to us, and I am glad that scientists finally could attribute them to global warming.

Let me list them, coming verbatim from the NEJM article:

The article, further, admonishes physicians to be aware of the new medical consensus:

Protection of children’s health requires that health professionals understand the multiple harms to children from climate change

So if parents ask a doctor, why are their children having heart problems, neurological issues, etc, the doctor would be able to cite the NEJM article and explain how those problems are caused by climate change.

One of the two coauthors of this global warming article, Kari Nadeau, is a well-published scientist who also published an interesting study explaining why vaccine-induced immunity is better than natural immunity. That study was, purely coincidentally, financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It also contradicts everything that we know from practical experience, of course. What else did you expect?


Financing of such authors by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, obviously, is nothing to worry about. I also wonder, how can Kari Nadeau be equally good at writing on matters of immune imprinting and immunology, as well as on totally unrelated matters of climate change? I am not sure.

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment

The Long Arm of the Covid Saga

By Gabrielle Bauer | Brownstone Institute | June 28, 2022

With the emergency phase of the pandemic behind us, the Covid alarmists don’t have much material left to work with—but doomsaying abhors a vacuum.

Enter long Covid, the perfect object of fear because it can never be disproved. You can hold it responsible for any symptom you develop after the acute phase of the illness, whether weeks or years down the road. Tired? Long Covid. Forgot where you put your keys? Long Covid. Breathless after climbing a flight of stairs? Long Covid, no doubt. It’s an unfalsifiable diagnosis, a fearmonger’s wet dream.

If I sound flippant, it’s because the past two and a half years have left me just a tiny bit wary of the human propensity for panic. As we’ve all discovered, a panicked populace will accept—or rather, demand—any and all restrictions on basic rights and freedoms. If we allow long Covid to become the new panic button, these restrictions could stretch into an indefinite future.

For the record, I’m not suggesting that long Covid doesn’t exist. I don’t wish to dismiss the suffering of affected people. My beef isn’t with individuals, it’s with public health messaging that keeps pumping fear into an exhausted and confused populace that has lost the capacity for rational risk assessment. I’m suggesting that we put long Covid in perspective so it doesn’t become the next pretext for putting our lives on hold.

Media Magnification

We certainly can’t count on a balanced perspective from legacy media and the experts they enlist: fear generates clicks, retweets, and ad revenue. “There’s no one who is too young and healthy to not go on and get post-acute COVID syndrome,” says New York rehabilitation therapist David Putrino in Parade magazine, doing his part to ensure everyone stays scared.

In a New York Times article titled “This is really scary: kids’ struggle with long Covid,” National Institutes of Health researcher Avindra Nath warns of the impact of long Covid on children’s development. “They’re in their formative years,” he says. “Once you start falling behind, it’s very hard because the kids lose their own self-confidence too. It’s a downward spiral.”

One can’t help contrast this solicitude with the lack of media concern about the effect of school closures and long masking on child development. Just saying.

Long Covid alarmists also compete for airspace in the Twitterverse, with professional fearmonger Eric Feigl-Ding predictably leading the charge. From his May 20 tweet: “Let this sink in. A billion people could suffer long Covid in the next 3 years.” True to form, he can’t resist inserting some chest-beating into his scare story. “The burden of long Covid will likely be much higher than anyone imagined. And yet very few care enough to mitigate transmission. And that makes me sad.”

It’s not just health professionals who spit out such tweets. Software developer Megan Ruthven exhorts us to reactivate the stop-the-spread program of 2020, this time to “prevent hospital collapse due to long Covid.” For exactly how long? According to a dude called Xabier Oxale, as long as it takes. “Let’s look at Long Covid, and then, only then, you can assure that a strain is less severe. For that, you need months, even years. As they don’t know, cautionary principle must prevail. Covid Zero!” That’s right, folks. Covid Zero is back.

Then there’s Charlos, who decries the government’s inaction in the face of long Covid, which he dubs “the greatest mass disabling event in human history.” The ampersand-loving Mx. Charis Hill, meanwhile, points the guilt screws right at you and me. “You may be personally willing to risk an infection & Long Covid & the loss in financial stability that will cause. But what if you get Covid, give it to your spouse/child/parent/sibling, & they become permanently disabled? Because of you?”

If these Tweets don’t strike terror in your heart, you have only to read the June 7 blog post by the People’s Pharmacy. “Long Covid is common and scary!” reads the headline, followed by “long Covid is nasty!” in the subhead. Further along in the article, we learn that the “brain and body both react to Covid!” Not one to give up on exclamation marks, the author warns us again that “the body is also impacted!”

It’s time to slow the spin, I say. Let’s start with some numbers.

All over the map

Studies on the prevalence of long Covid have yielded wildly discrepant results, which alone should cast doubt on the scariest numbers. Some researchers estimate that fewer than 10% of Covid infections progress to long Covid, while others peg the rate at more than half. In children and adolescents, the reported prevalence swings even more widely—between 4% and 66%, according to a review of 14 studies. To make things still more confusing, long Covid symptoms can also occur after influenza, though with less frequency.

So what and whom are we to believe? When in doubt, it never hurts to look at large, well-controlled studies, which by design carry the greatest statistical weight. A UK analysis of over 50,000 subjects, both with and without a history of Covid infection, suggests that long Covid may not live up to its cataclysmic media portrayal. In its report on the study, the UK’s Office of National Statistics states that 5% of previously infected subjects reported at least one common long Covid symptom 12 to 16 weeks later. The twist: “[The] prevalence was 3.4% in a control group of participants without a positive test for COVID-19, demonstrating the relative commonness of these symptoms in the population at any given time.”

There it is, straight from the ONS: at any point in time, more than 3% of random people on the street experience the nonspecific symptoms that characterize long Covid, such as fatigue, headaches, and poor concentration. A similar picture emerged from a controlled Danish study of pediatric long Covid, involving over 44,000 subjects and published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

A substantial minority of previously infected children reported long Covid symptoms—but so did their non-infected counterparts, at a lower rate deemed “statistically significant but not clinically relevant.” While this doesn’t disprove the existence of long Covid, it does invite skepticism about the sky-high prevalence figures reported in some studies.

Symptoms attributed to long Covid are also all over the map, from hallucinations and hair loss to menstrual changes and penile shrinkageAllergic reactions, peeling skin, joint pain… the list goes on. But here’s the thing: we can’t conclusively pin any of these symptoms on long Covid. As a McGill University report on long Covid symptoms concedes, “Noticing something after getting sick with a virus does not automatically imply that it was caused by the virus.” In a nutshell, long Covid remains a slippery eel, adept at eluding our grasp.

What we don’t know

There’s something else we don’t know, and it’s the hottest of hot potatoes: whether situational or psychological factors could explain some long Covid symptoms. Relax, people. I’m not suggesting it’s all in the head. All I’m saying is that a symptom can spring from more than one source, and experts agree.

A Johns Hopkins expert report on the origin of long Covid symptoms allows that mental health problems can arise from “unresolved pain or fatigue, or from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after treatment in the intensive care unit.”

Along similar lines, a Globe and Mail article notes the challenge of untangling “which [post-Covid symptoms] can be attributed to long COVID and which are the result of hospitalization, since a lengthy stay can itself cause a host of physical and mental health problems.”

I repeat: I am not negating the existence of long Covid. I am not denying it can cause pain and suffering. I support research and public investment into the phenomenon. I’m simply saying that we need to drop the sky-is-falling pronouncements and replace them with more balanced and hopeful messaging.

Above all, we need to avoid turning long Covid into the new Scary Thing, the monster in the closet that leads a frightened public to demand longer and harsher restrictions on living. No level of protection is worth going through that exercise again.

Gabrielle divides her time between writing books, articles, and clinical materials for health professionals. She has received six national awards for her health journalism.

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | Leave a comment

Experts Urge Caution as American Academy of Pediatrics Calls for Mental Health Screenings for Newborns to 21-Year-Olds

By Martha Rosenberg | The Defender | June 27, 2022

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) this month added recommendations for preventive pediatric healthcare to its 2022 Periodicity Schedule, also known as Bright Futures — including the recommendation to “screen for depression and suicide risk” annually in children starting at birth and up to 21 years.

With experts warning of a mental health crisis among children and adolescents, the AAP’s recommendation, at least on the surface, may seem sound and reasonable.

But depression screening can be dangerous, some experts say.

Dr. Allen Frances, professor and chairman emeritus of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University School of Medicine, in 2016 told The Wall Street Journal that depression screening risks medicalization of the “normal” and that “teens may be haunted for life by carelessly applied labels.”

Dr. Edmund Levin, who specializes in adolescent psychiatry, wrote in Adolescent Psychiatry, “Over-diagnosis needs to be considered as a contributor to the trend of increasing percentages of youth being diagnosed and medicated for a variety of mental health conditions, including depression.”

And according to 2019 research in the journal Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, overmedication is often seen in children in foster care, children from distressed families and those in the juvenile justice system or residential treatment programs.

Psychiatric medications for children have their place on the continuum of treatment options, but could the AAP’s new recommendation result in many more children being prescribed lucrative and dangerous psychiatric drugs — some of which can cause suicide, especially in children, according to their own labels?

The AAP describes itself as “an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.”

Yet a quick look at its top donors reveals companies whose products may sometimes conflict with the “health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.”

These include Ronald McDonald House Charities, the biotech giant Sanofi Genzyme, baby powder maker Johnson & Johnson (among the AAP’s “top 10 donors”) and the drugmakers AbbottMerck and Novavax.

The AAP is hardly the only well-respected medical association to play both sides of the street — taking drugmaker money while giving “trusted” medical advice.

Nor is it the only association to establish detailed recommendations and screenings for patients — screenings that often directly enrich drugmakers.

For example, “TeenScreen,” a program at Columbia University in New York City that ran from 2003 until 2012, offered free psychiatric services to screen children for suicidal tendencies and emotional problems.

Directed by Leslie McGuire, formerly a leader at the drug industry-funded National Alliance on Mental Illness, TeenScreen “routed [children] into ‘mental health’ treatment,’” wrote the Idaho Observer.

“Many of these would be ‘treated’ with psychiatric drugs, ignoring the fact that many of these very same drugs carry Black Box warning labels, mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because they are known to cause violence and suicide.”

According to the Alliance for Human Research Protection, TeenScreen, which folded in 2012, was a “highly controversial, aggressive, medically dubious mental health screening protocol developed with federal funding…”

AAP not new to marketing problematic drugs

In 2015, Fox News reported the AAP helped Merck market its asthma drug Singulair (montelukast) to children.

“Merck teamed up with kid-friendly groups like Scholastic Press and [gave] money to the American Academy of Pediatrics to train doctors on ‘diagnosing’ and prescribing ‘proper medication’ for asthma,” wrote Fox reporter Tisha Thompson.

The marketing partnerships presented two problems — the obvious conflicts of interest inherent in trusted organizations promoting the sale of prescription drugs for private companies, and the promotion of what turned out to be a drug with a very concerning safety profile.

On Sept. 27, 2019, the FDA held a joint meeting of the Pediatric and Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committees to address growing reports of neuropsychiatric events caused by montelukast in pediatric patients.

The meeting included a lot of talk about black-box warnings.

Testifying at the hearings were parents whose children had experienced severe harm and even killed themselves on the asthma drug.

The parents, who came from groups like the Montelukast Side Effects Support and Discussion Group and Parents United for Pharmaceutical Safety and Accountability, asserted that a black-box warning, not yet added to the montelukast label, would prevent future tragedies.

At the time, the montelukast label warned only against “neuropsychiatric events.”

The parents were successful. On March 4, 2020, the FDA decided to add a “boxed warning” to montelukast due to “an elevated concern regarding the risk of neuropsychiatric events, including suicidal thoughts and actions.”

In a statement provided to Fox News about the conflict of interest, the AAP wrote:

“The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Comprehensive Asthma Program is an independent program promoting the evidence-based guidelines for asthma care from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The incidence of asthma in children — especially minority children living in poverty — is steadily increasing.

“The goal of this program is to improve the care of children with asthma by helping pediatricians adopt the NHLBI guidelines in their practices, within the context of a medical home, thereby reducing the rates of emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths in children with uncontrolled asthma.”

An educational grant to provide funding came from the Merck Childhood Asthma Network Inc., a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization headed by Dr. Floyd Malveaux that is separate from Merck & Co.

The AAP told Fox News:

“The grant provided $651,530 from 2008 through 2011. While the sponsor provided funding for the Comprehensive Asthma Program through an educational grant, the content was determined solely by the AAP, using guidelines from the NHLBI. It is not a conflict of interest. By accepting external grants like this, the AAP is able to disseminate its educational messages to mass audiences.”

Three years after the Singulair scandal, Knight Science Journalism Fellow and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today reporter John Fauber reported on another suspicious AAP partnership — the AAP endorsed guidelines that recommended particular acne drugs when 13 members on a 15-member panel were “paid consultants or speakers for companies that make the drugs.”

According to Fauber, the co-chairs of the acne guidelines panel that the AAP relied on — Diane Thiboutot, professor of dermatology at Penn State-Hershey, and Lawrence Eichenfield, pediatric dermatologist at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine — had worked as consultants or speakers for Galderma, the manufacturer of a recommended acne drug.

Martha Rosenberg is a nationally recognized medical reporter. Her work appears in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), Consumer Reports, Public Citizen, Center for Health Journalism at USC Annenberg, Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University and other top outlets.

© 2022 Children’s Health Defense, Inc. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Children’s Health Defense, Inc. Want to learn more from Children’s Health Defense? Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. Your donation will help to support us in our efforts.

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

California bill 2273 would require websites and apps to verify visitors’ ID

By Didi Rankovic | Reclaim The Net | June 28, 2022

California’s bill CA AB 2273, designed to enact the Age-Appropriate Design Code (AADC) is just one among the bills raising concerns in terms of how they might negatively affect the web going forward.

Like their counterparts in the EU, legislators in California, according to their critics, present online child safety as their only goal – and a stated desire to improve this is hard to argue with, even when arguments are valid – such as that the proposed bills may in fact do nothing to better protect children, while eroding the rights of every internet user.

Among other things, AB 2273 aims to require sites and apps to authenticate the age of all their users before allowing access. Attempts to introduce mandatory age authentication have also cropped up in other jurisdictions before, but have proven controversial, technically difficult to implement, with a high potential to compromise user data collected in this way, and intrusive to people’s privacy.

In California, the situation doesn’t look much different as critics of this bill say that authentication will require site operators and businesses to deal with personal data collection from every user, and worry about using and storing it securely.

We obtained a copy of the bill for you here.

In addition, some kind of government-issued ID – or surrendering biometric data such as that collected through facial recognition – is necessary to prove one’s age in the first place; and this is where forcing sites and services to require this information would effectively mean the end of anonymity online.

As ever, this is a threat that is disproportionately felt by vulnerable categories of internet users such as various dissidents, contrarians, minorities, as well as whistleblowers and activists. And, the right to remain anonymous online also ties in with First Amendment protections in the US.

Anonymity is under threat considering that age authentication would be imposed on all internet users, and it also means that the way people use the internet today would change for good from the user experience point of view, with “age authentication walls” raised by websites. On top of that, the verification would have to be persistent (or require users to repeat the process each time they access a site or service), further aggravating privacy and data security concerns.

2022 is the year of US (midterm) elections, so focusing on this type of “feelgood” legislation, such as making children safe, is a way politicians are expected to pander to their constituencies, regardless of all the “unintended consequences” or even the low likelihood that the scheme could be efficiently implemented, purely from the technical point of view.

In other words, these proposals are not properly thought through or debated, and aren’t even based on particularly successful attempts to square the same circle elsewhere in the world. The AADC is said to be inspired by UK’s Children’s Code, aka, Age Appropriate Design Code, which is a set of standards.

With the California proposal, the scope of issues covered by the bill is of particular concern to its critics. Privacy and safety of children are only one direct component, with others reaching as far as content moderation and consumer protection in general.

This raises fears among those critical of the bill that broad regulation of the internet could be introduced thanks to a seemingly innocuous act, in effect giving California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) new powers that would allow it to start acting as the state’s overall internet regulator.

And the CPPA is seen as an agency that is neither interested nor competent enough to strike the right balance between a number of sensitive issues that would be covered by the new law, while at the same time getting the chance to usher in more censorship.

US federal legislation that deals with the same issue, Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA) kicks in when online services are aware that their users are younger than 13; with the CPPA, these services are expected to assess when it is “reasonable to expect” a child – under 18- might be accessing them.

The plan is currently for the act to become law and be enforced to enact the AADC starting July 1, 2024, but the current wording of the draft leaves it unclear who exactly, and how it would be enforced.

Critics warn that among those considered in California this year, AB 2273 is a bill of particular concern, given the possible consequences.

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | Leave a comment

The Justice Department Pressured USA Today to Stop Publishing Me

By Jim Bovard | The Libertarian Institute | June 28, 2022

In 2015, Justice Department press chief Brian Fallon bitterly complained to USA Today editors about my articles walloping Attorney General Eric Holder, including ”Eric Holder’s Lawless Legacy,” [Feb. 3, 2015] and “Eric Holder’s Police Shooting Record? Dismal,” [Aug. 20, 2014]. Fallon (who later became presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s press secretary) protested to USA Today commentary editor David Mastio and another USA Today editor, Brian Gallagher, about my “consistently nasty words about Mr. Holder” and said that Bovard “has never had a kind thing to say about Holder.” (Actually, I praised Holder’s curtailing prosecutions of minor drug possession in a 2013 USA Today column that recounted my experiences working with a convict road gang.)

Fallon caterwauled that I had “authored pieces in various places criticizing [Holder] on civil liberties, relations with law enforcement, civil asset forfeiture and media subpoenas. In the past, Bovard even has articulated a conspiracy theory involving Mr. Holder and the incident at Waco in the 1990s.” (Waco was only “the incident… in the 1990s”? No wonder Fallon loathed me.) Fallon groused, “I don’t understand why USA Today would provide a platform on repeated occasions for his Holder bashing.”

Mastio never flinched. He replied, “As an opinion section, much of what we publish is written by writers with agendas… Just as our door is open to writers who want to say nasty things about the attorney general, our door is wide open to the attorney general when he wants to write about the top issues of the day.”  Mastio also declared, “The guarantor of balance in the opinion section is that we are open to a wide variety of views.”

I acquired Fallon’s messages and Mastio’s responses via a 2019 Freedom of Information Act request, reposted in full PDF form here.

Mastio recently resigned from USA Today and wrote about the changes he saw on its editorial policy last week in the New York Post.

In the years following that pressure from the Justice Department press office, Mastio and USA Today published some of the hard-hitting articles I submitted to them on federal law enforcement outrages, including:

End Federal Agents’ License to Kill” (November 9, 2015)

Comey firing justly knocks FBI off its pedestal” (May 11, 2017)

After the FBI’s Pulse nightclub failure, why should we trust James Comey anymore?” (April 3, 2018)

“Inspector general’s report on FBI and Clinton’s emails shows secrecy threatens democracy” (June 15, 2018)

Don’t count on the FBI to clear up the Kavanaugh-Ford mess. Its record is flawed” (October 2, 2018)

You may have seen him on a prayer candle, but James Comey is no saint” (August 30, 2019).

Inspector General report on FBI’s FISA abuse tells us one thing: We need radical reform.” (December 10, 2019)

Under four presidents, the Feds neglected duty to collect statistics on police killings” (June 11, 2020)

I don’t know how many other publications have been pressured by politicians or federal agencies to not publish or to muzzle my work. Unfortunately, I am unlikely to hear such details when the federal elbows succeed. I know some of the backstory of how the Washington Post caved in 1994 on an article on drug education turning kids into narcs; the Post added six paragraphs to my article and ended up libeling an innocent Georgia couple as drug dealers. The Post paid an undisclosed libel settlement and hushed up the incident. In 1999, Reader’s Digest took a dive after the Clinton White House pressured them not to publish my investigation of AmeriCorps. (My editors at the American Spectator weren’t intimidated, snapping up the piece and running it as a cover story.) There were other articles that were accepted by high-profile publications but then killed, sometimes for bizarre arcane reasons that almost certainly came from insiders at the agency I was whacking.

I don’t know if those cases were the tip of the iceberg of media kowtowing or a few exceptional cases of editorial nerves failing. In prior times, when I filed Freedom of Information Act requests seeking to learn of G-men covertly targeting my work, the responses came back so empty that I sometimes burst out laughing. The FBI said they had nothing on me in their files—even though FBI chief Louis Freeh wrote letters to two newspapers in 1995 condemning my articles on Ruby Ridge. When I filed a request for mentions of my name in the records of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (which I often hammered in the 1990s), the official response notified me that they had nothing in their files on “Kevin Bovard.” Ya, well, I wasn’t asking about my cousin.

Jim Bovard is the author of Public Policy Hooligan (2012), Attention Deficit Democracy (2006), Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty (1994), and 7 other books.

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Reporter who exposed Kiev’s lies about mass rapes branded state enemy

Samizdat | June 28, 2022

Ukrainian journalist Sonya Lukashova ended up on the notorious Mirotvorets (‘Peacemaker’) website after penning an article claiming that a vast majority of Russian military rape allegations produced by the country’s now former human rights chief, Lyudmila Denisova, were false. The Mirotvorets, widely believed to be run by Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU), lists individuals deemed to be “enemies of Ukraine.”

The bombshell expose was published by the Ukrainskaya Pravda (Ukrainian Truth) newspaper on Monday. According to the piece, citing various official sources, a vast majority of allegations of “sexual atrocities,” purportedly committed by Russian troops amid the ongoing conflict, were false. The allegations have been spread by human rights chief Denisova, who got ousted in late May after a no-confidence vote over her failure to organize humanitarian corridors and prisoner exchanges as well as “inexplicably focusing” on spreading unverified and unsubstantiated claims.

According to the report, Ukrainian law enforcement officials tried to investigate Denisova’s claims but found no evidence to back them up. After interrogating Denisova several times, officials discovered she had been getting all her explosive revelations from her daughter, Alexandra Kvitko, “over tea.” The latter ran a ‘psychological hotline’ for victims of wartime violence,  established in collaboration between Denisova’s office and UNICEF.

The hotline lacked transparency, and while Kvitko reportedly told investigators it received over 1,000 calls in only a month and a half, with some 450 of them detailing the rape of minors, the hotline’s logs suggested it got only 92 calls. The exact nature of the calls remained unclear as well, since Kvitko failed to provide investigators with any details on the alleged victims, according to the report.

Multiple Ukrainian public figures condemned the expose, insisting that reporting on the activities of the disgraced human rights chief and her daughter helps Russia. Political commentator and prominent supporter of ex-president Petro Poroshenko, Taras Berezovets, for instance, bluntly accused the reporter of producing prime material for “Russian propaganda.”

“The author of the Denisova investigation, Sonya Lukashova, who accused the former human rights chief of creating numerous fakes about the rape of Ukrainian children, ended up on the Mirotvorets database. Lukashova’s material has been very heavily cited by Russian propaganda,” Berezovets said in a social media post.

The Mirotvorets listing for Lukashova states that the reporter’s activities are somehow “incompatible with journalist ethics.” The journalist stands accused of actively participating “in special information operations of the Russian aggression against Ukraine,” as well as of “manipulating publicly significant information.” The report published by the newspaper amounts to “concealing evidence of crimes” allegedly perpetrated by the Russian military, according to Mirotvorets.

The Mirotvorets website was created in 2014 as a public database of “pro-Russian terrorists, separatists, mercenaries, war criminals, and murderers.” The website provides links to social media accounts and personal information, such as home addresses, phones, and emails. Over the years, numerous high-profile public figures and politicians have ended up on the Mirotvorets list over actions deemed to be “anti-Ukrainian.” Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban and former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger are among the latest additions to the database.

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment

Ukraine confirms Russian missile hit plant adjacent to burned down shopping mall

Samizdat – June 28, 2022

The Russian military on Monday targeted the Kredmash vehicle plant in the Ukrainian city of Kremenchug, the chairman of the factory’s supervisory board, Nikolay Danileyko, has confirmed. The plant is located right next to the shopping mall that was destroyed in a blaze after the missile strike, with 18 people reported killed and over 50 injured.

The factory was a civilian facility and had not produced military vehicles or parts for them since 1989, Danileyko told local media. The plant’s workers were not injured in the attack, he added.

Footage from the scene aired by local media shows a large crater in the middle of one of the factory’s hangars. The strike inflicted heavy damage on the building, blowing away parts of its roofing and walls and rupturing underground piping.

While Kiev was quick to accuse Moscow of deliberately attacking the shopping mall itself, the Russian military maintained it had targeted a stockpile of Western-supplied weaponry on the premises of the Kredmash plant. Secondary detonations of the destroyed weapons sparked a fire that spread to the shopping mall, the Russian military said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed the shopping mall was tightly packed, with “more than a thousand civilians” visiting it at the time of the strike. Footage from the scene taken moments after the strike, however, showed that the parking lot by the mall was almost empty, with several armed individuals in military uniform roaming the premises.

The mayor of Kremenchug pinned the blame for the civilian casualties on the venue’s operators, accusing them of ignoring a warning of an imminent air attack.

“Ukraine is at war, so ignoring an air raid alert is a crime, which the tragedy in Amstor [mall] demonstrated once again,” the mayor, Vitaly Maletsky, wrote on social media.

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 3 Comments

Turkey reaches NATO deal with Finland and Sweden

Samizdat | June 28, 2022

Turkey will support inviting Finland and Sweden into NATO at the alliance’s upcoming summit in Spain, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto announced on Tuesday after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson.

The three countries signed a memorandum of understanding at the meeting, organized with the support of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

“The concrete steps for our accession to NATO will be agreed among NATO allies over the next two days, but that decision is now imminent,” said Niinisto. “I am pleased that this stage on Finland’s journey towards NATO membership has been completed.”

According to Turkey, Finland and Sweden pledged to “condemn terrorism in all its forms” and end their support for organizations Ankara has designated as terrorist – including the Kurdish groups PKK and YPG, as well as the movement led by the exiled cleric Fetullah Gulen, which the Turkish government refers to as “FETO.”

“Turkey got what it wanted,” Erdogan said in a statement after the deal was announced.

Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, Stoltenberg said that Finland and Sweden will become observers in NATO at the upcoming summit. He added that the memorandum includes provisions on fighting terrorism and arms exports, including adopting stricter national legislation.

Finland and Sweden imposed an arms embargo against Turkey in 2019, over Ankara’s intervention in Syria. Turkey also reportedly demanded that Stockholm and Helsinki shut down the offices and ban the publications belonging to FETO, freeze the assets related to groups it has designated as terrorists, and even ban them from demonstrating in public.

Ankara’s opposition threatened to derail NATO’s plan to invite Sweden and Finland at the summit in Madrid which began on Tuesday. The two traditionally neutral Scandinavian countries declared their desire to join the US-led alliance in April, citing the current conflict in Ukraine.

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , | 1 Comment

Kremlin: Russia’s offensive to end as soon as Ukraine forces lay down weapons

Press TV – June 28, 2022

The Kremlin says Russia will halt its months-long military offensive in neighboring Ukraine as soon as Ukrainian forces surrender.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday that hostilities in Ukraine could end “before the end of today” if Kiev orders the nationalists to lay down their weapons and Moscow’s demands are met.

“The Ukrainian side can end all this before the end of today; an order is necessary for the nationalist units to lay down their weapons, an order is necessary for the Ukrainian military to lay down their weapons; and they must fulfill all Russia’s demands. Then everything will be over before the day ends,” Peskov said.

“Everything else are just speculations of the Ukrainian head of state,” he added. “We are guided by the statements of our President Vladimir Putin that the special military operation is going according to plan and achieving its goals.”

Asked whether the Russian side had any approximate timeframe for the end of the offensive in Ukraine, the Kremlin spokesman responded in the negative.

Peskov made the comment while reacting to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s remark that he would like to end the hostilities before the end of the year.

Zelensky urged world powers on Monday to do their utmost to help end Russia’s offensive before the cold season, also saying that the time was not ripe for holding talks with Russia as Kiev was seeking to consolidate its positions.

In a statement on Monday, the Group of Seven (G7) countries expressed full support for Ukraine in the conflict with Russia, pledging to further tighten sanctions on Moscow.

Addressing G7 leaders at their summit in the Bavarian Alps via video link, the Ukrainian president called for arms supplies and air defenses to gain the upper hand in the conflict.

Since the start of Russia’s military strikes on February 24, the US and its Western allies have been imposing sanctions against Moscow. More than four months after the Kremlin launched its offensive against Ukraine, Russian troops have taken control of nearly the entire Donbass region, focusing their military attention on northeastern Ukraine.

In a separate development on Tuesday, G7 leaders in a statement denounced Russia’s offensive as “illegal and unjustifiable.”

“We, the leaders of the Group of Seven … were joined by the leaders of Argentina, India, Indonesia, Senegal and South Africa, as well as Ukraine,” they said in their draft final statement. “We re-emphasize our condemnation of Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable war of aggression against Ukraine.”

The G7 leaders also agreed to explore imposing a ban on transporting Russian oil that had been sold above a certain price, ramping up pressure on Moscow over the soaring global inflation and energy shortages fueled by the country’s offensive in Ukraine.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said an oil price cap would ratchet up the existing Western pressure on Russia, stressing that the sanctions would stay until Moscow accepted failure in Ukraine.

“There is only one way out: for Putin to accept that his plans in Ukraine will not succeed,” Scholz told a closing news conference at the three-day G7 summit, adding that the aim of the ban was to tie financial services, insurance, and the shipping of oil cargoes to a price ceiling. “We invite all like-minded countries to consider joining us in our actions.”

The International Energy Agency announced in its June monthly report that the revenues from Russian oil export had soared in May even as volumes had fallen.

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that Russian gas giant Gazprom could seek to change the terms of its delivery contracts if Western governments implemented a price cap on Russian gas.

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , | 1 Comment

Israel Reportedly Seeks US Go-Ahead to Provide Arab Gulf States With Laser Weaponry

Bennett expressed hope that the system would come online by 2023

Samizdat – 28.06.2022

Last week, Israel’s defense minister announced that Tel Aviv was working on a ‘Middle East Air Defense Alliance’ with Arab governments, but provided no details. On Sunday, US media reported that Washington brokered a secret meeting in the spring of top Israeli and Arab military officials to discuss regional air defense coordination against Iran.

Israeli officials are planning to ask US President Joe Biden for his formal blessing to provide an Iron Beam laser-based air defense system to Gulf Arab states including the United Arab Emirates and possibly Saudi Arabia, Israel’s Channel 12 has reported.

The unsourced Hebrew-language report, cited by the Times of Israel, indicated the delivery of the system to the Gulf countries would assist with the US-led push to ramp up air defense cooperation between Tel Aviv and a loose regional coalition including Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The Jewish State does not have formal diplomatic relations with the latter two country, and Riyadh has repeatedly stated that it would not establish formal ties with Israel until the Palestinian question and the creation of a Palestinian state was settled.

On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing US and Middle Eastern sources, that the Pentagon had organized a hush-hush meeting in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in March to discuss ways to improve air defense cooperation against Iranian ballistic missiles and drones. The meeting was said to have been chaired by then-US Central Command chief Frank McKenzie, and attended by top military commanders from Israel and the Arab countries who were invited.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who announced the formation of a regional anti-Iranian air defense alliance last week, appeared to signal the veracity of WSJ’s reporting on Monday, saying Israel was “building” a “wide partnership with additional countries in the region to ensure a secure, stable and prosperous Middle East,” and that “among other things, this also includes aerial defense.”

“We will strengthen this, as a stable Middle East is an international, regional and Israeli interest of the highest order,” Gantz said.

Iran’s military also appeared to issue an indirect response to WSJ’s report, with Armed Forces Chief of Staff Mohammad Bagheri warning Monday that Tehran “will not tolerate” the threats posed by Israel and its cooperation with CENTCOM, and “will definitely react to them.”

Israel has long touted the purported advanced capabilities of its so-called ‘Iron Beam’ laser-based air defense system, a prototype of which was unveiled last year. Earlier this month, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the “game-changer” weapon would shift the balance in Israel’s favor, with the estimated $2 in electricity required per burst to intercept enemy rockets just a drop in the bucket compared to the tens of thousands of dollars a rocket might cost. Bennett expressed hope that the system would come online by 2023.

Last week, Breaking Defense reported that Israel would ask Biden for more money for Iron Beam’s development, on top of the $3.3 billion in annual US subsidies already received by the Israeli military and defense establishment. The outlet’s sources indicated that Israel will likely ask the US president to shell out about $300 million in additional cash.

“The relations between the US and Israel are solid. The issues that will be on the table during the visit are of utmost importance to both the US and Israel. I’m confident that the talks will be fruitful to both sides,” a senior defense source told the outlet.

During his trip to the Middle East next month, Biden is expected to tour an Israeli airbase and get a firsthand look at the prototype laser weapons being developed by Israeli defense giants Rafael and Elbit Systems.

Lasers for use against aircraft, missiles, drones, ships, and ground equipment have been on the drawing board of weapons developers since the Cold War, with engineers spending decades mulling over the prospects of replacing conventional missile and shell projectiles with the futuristic beam pulse. But energy-directed weapons have long faced what have previously been deemed unsolvable issues, such as the immense amounts of power required to operate them, as well as interaction between combat lasers and natural phenomena such as rain, fog, smog or dust, all of which dissipates their strength.

Last month, US weapons maker Raytheon reported that its own laser weapon, fitted aboard an Army Stryker vehicle, had successfully downed incoming mortar rounds in testing.

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why G7’s Program for Developing Countries is Still No Match for China’s Belt & Road

Samizdat – 28.06.2022

The G7 on 26 June re-launched its previous Build Back Better World program to provide infrastructure funds to poor and developing nations under a new name, the Global Investment and Infrastructure Partnership. The project aims to compete with China’s Belt and Road Initiative kicked off by Beijing in 2013.

The Build Back Better World (B3W) program was pompously announced by the club of seven developed nations to counter China’s Belt and Road at the G7 Summit in Cornwall in July 2021. However, little had been heard of the G7’s endeavor since then. In June 2022, the Group of Seven decided to breathe new life into the project.

“So far, America has failed to build momentum on its plan to Build Back a Better World,” says Francesco Sisci, a Beijing-based China expert, author, and columnist. “However, with this new G7 plan, which includes other countries, this momentum could start to be built. It is a question mark. Nobody is sure until things are realized. But you cannot just underestimate and dismiss this plan, because there is a large commitment of many countries with a large economy and this plan could make big sense.”

The G7’s grand design envisages laying a secure sub-sea telecommunications cable that will connect Singapore to France through Egypt and the Horn of Africa; creating a COVID-19 vaccine plant in Senegal; expanding solar projects in Angola, including solar mini-grids and home power grids; and establishing an innovative modular nuclear reactor plant in Romania, among other issues.

The US president pledged to mobilize $200 billion in investments in global infrastructure projects over the next five years. The overall investment, including G7 member states and private capital, is expected to reach $600 billion.

“With two competing plans – size matters, at the end of the day,” says Sisci. “That is, China may be able to immediately finalize a lot of money in a short time in a number of projects. The G7 countries could be slower, but eventually they could build up momentum and they could channel much more money much more effectively, perhaps, in a much larger number of projects which could stifle Chinese projects.”

Sisci suggests that the club of developed capitalist countries “may end up being more effective in many ways [than China], a smaller non-capitalist country.”

“China, but also Russia, by far, don’t have the size, the gravitas to oppose even a divided G7, which is coming together because of this opposition to China or Russia-driven projects,” he notes.

G7 Economic & Geopolitical Hurdles

However, some other observers express skepticism over the ability of the US and G7 to implement the project given record-high inflation and cost of living crisis currently engulfing the states. The US, British and European central banks are struggling to tame skyrocketing inflation by raising interest rates to reduce demand, which is prompting recession fears.

“Washington claims they are going to be sending over $200 billion. But where’s the money coming from and how is it going to be really used?” asks Thomas W. Pauken II, the author of “US vs China: From Trade War to Reciprocal Deal,” a consultant on Asia-Pacific affairs and a geopolitical commentator.

He notes that previously the US Senate voted Biden’s landmark Build Back Better initiative down, and for good reason, as Republican congressmen feared that the Democratic administration’s spending spree would fan inflation and increase an already bloated national debt.

Pauken also expresses bewilderment over the G7’s apparent readiness to embark on the bold international project at a time when the group is involved in the Ukraine crisis with the UK trying to keep the military conflict dragging on. “I mean, it’s laughable that they have to think about [competing with] China at this time when they’re on the brink of a major war in Europe,” the commentator remarks.

Meanwhile, the G7’s Global Investment and Infrastructure Partnership cannot be regarded so far as a viable alternative to the Beijing-led Belt and Road Initiative that has been implemented for slightly less than a decade, according to Pauken.

“First of all, [the G7] actually need[s] to make these projects work,” says the geopolitical commentator. “Other than that solar plant in Angola, I don’t see any of these initiatives really working.”

In particular, China invested almost $59.5 billion in its comprehensive infrastructure project in 2021 alone. When it comes to crucial elements of the project, the West appears to be lagging behind. While the G7 is still considering building a subsea cable linking Europe and Southeast Asia, China kicked off its Digital Silk Road (DSR) almost seven years ago. The DSR’s backbone is the Pakistan and East Africa Connecting Europe (PEACE), a 9,300 mile long subsea cable network meant to tie Asia, Africa, and Europe together. The network is designed to transmit over 16Tbps per fibre pair with its Mediterranean section going from Egypt to France having already been laid.

Are Emerging Economies Interested in the G7 Agenda?

There is yet another problem as to how to make these Western projects attractive for Global South nations, the Asia Pacific expert continues. In particular, the G7 has been pushing ahead with a climate change agenda and the plan to cut carbon emissions, which is not relevant for the majority of third-world states which are still reliant on cheaper and more reliable fossil fuels and coal plants, he notes.

“You also have to deal with auditing issues as well as the so-called climate change consultants who go on the ground and on site,” he says. “You have to prove that those infrastructure projects are not causing much of a carbon footprint. But most of the major infrastructure does require a big carbon footprint, especially in the emerging markets, because they don’t have the same equipment or they don’t have the same standards or labor laws as they would have in Western Europe or the US.”

Many emerging economies, including African countries, are beginning to have a growing frustration with the US and Europe, according to Pauken. The reality is that Africans and many of the emerging markets want to focus on economic stuff, he notes. However, when the US officials come in, they’re talking about climate change or gender equity, and this is not as interesting to developing nations, the commentator emphasizes.

“[Developing nations] want help on improving their agricultural production levels and boosting their energy capacity, which the Russians and the Chinese have been doing,” Pauken notes.

Given all of the above, it is unlikely that the G7’s Global Investment and Infrastructure Partnership initiative is going to actually happen, argues the geopolitical commentator.

“They’re rebranding a failed policy, thinking it might work by using new names and new mergers. Last time it was separate between the EU and separate between the US and they somehow think that if you combine the two failed projects into one, that this will somehow succeed. That’s not going to work in the real world,” Pauken concludes.

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Nuclear Power | , , , | Leave a comment

Zionist Regime Unable to Defend Itself: IRGC Chief

Al-Manar | June 28, 2022

The commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps cautioned Islamic countries’ governments to avoid relying upon the Zionist regime, which is unable to even protect itself.

In a meeting with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of Pakistan General Nadeem Raza in Tehran, Major General Hossein Salami slammed the Zionist regime as the enemy of the Islamic world and humanity.

The IRGC commander also warned regional rulers of the bitter consequences of normalization of ties with the “child murdering Zionists”, saying the US, the main supporter of the Israeli regime, is basically the enemy of Islam.

“The question is that while the Zionist regime cannot even defend itself and is a regime absolutely without any policy, how would certain Islamic countries rely on it to ensure their security or safeguard their economy? There is no logic behind it,” Major General Salami added.

He further pointed to the awful results of the presence of American forces in the Islamic world, including the great seditions, long civil wars, destruction of houses, displacement of people, insecurity, poverty and underdevelopment.

“When we look at Afghanistan, we notice the harmful and irreparable effects of American interference,” the general added, noting that the neighboring countries, including Pakistan, suffer from the consequences of destructive US interference in Afghanistan.

He also highlighted the integrated security of Iran and Pakistan, stressing the need for closer cooperation between Tehran and Islamabad in all fields, especially in protecting the security of the common border and fighting against terrorism.

For his part, the Pakistani general pointed to the commonalities between the Pakistani and Iranian nations, decried divisions within the Muslim world as a result of the US and Western plots, and noted that Americans withdrew from Afghanistan after twenty years without managing to establish security in that country.

General Nadeem Raza also emphasized the necessity of intelligence and operational cooperation with Iran in protecting the security of the joint border.

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | 1 Comment