Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. – John 8.44

“I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.” Rev 3.9

“I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” Rev. 2.9

"But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come." Matthew 3:7

"I and my Father are one,[31] Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. JOHN 10:30-31

For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you suffered the same things from your own compatriots as they did from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out; they displease God and oppose everyone by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. Thus they have constantly been filling up the measure of their sins; but God’s wrath has overtaken them at last. - Thessalonians 2:14-16

GOD cursed the Satanic Jews out of Jerusalem for life. Jesus arrived and focused on Jerusalem because it was the most unholy, evil, place on earth... still is today.

The Nomadic Turks (ashkeNAZIS) have been behind all the Evil in the world since Cain's children... using their News Networks to create the News, and set the stage, to blame their opponents, for everything evil they do, across the globe.



Jewish Communist Dictum:- "Accuse the enemy of those crimes you are guilty of"

1.PROBLEM 2.REACTION 3.SOLUTION.

The Elite Jews create the illness, then sell the Cure. They create Chaos & Terrorism, then sell the solution... for more control and power.

Islam and Christianity have become servants of the Jews. Acting as physical and spiritual cattle for the Jews to harvest in building their Global Satanic Kingdom.

If I converted to Buddhism, does that make me Chinese? If I converted to Hinduism, does that make me Indian? When Khazarians (Turks) converted to Judaism in 740 BC and stole the true Semite Israelite Aegean identity, did that make the counterfeit Jews Hebrew? Well, the Jew World Order seems to think so. They crucified Jesus Christ for exposing them.

The invention of the Muslim Terrorist by our Jewish Governments... to keep us in fear, and to justify raping the World, and slaughtering billions of innocent families in every country for power and control...for their 2 horned God Lucifer... which the Jews named him "Morning Star."

Every Religion Church and Mosque has been infiltrated by the Jews. How do you know? ... if your Church has not discussed the below phrases by Christ... then it has been compromised.

Who Wants Some Ukraine?

November 25, 2021

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dmitryorlov-680x496_c.jpg

by Dmitry Orlov, posted with permission of the author

On Tuesday, 23 November, Russia’s most senior military general, Valery Gerasimov, had a “deconfliction” phone conference with US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, in which the two discussed “pressing issues of international security.

US, Russia army chiefs talk recent skirmish in Syria

” Actual details of what they discussed are not available; what is available is Western media speculation, which in recent days has included false reports of Russian troops massing on the Ukrainian border and supposedly getting ready to invade. What Western media has studiously ignored is an actual massing of Ukrainian troops on the borders of the Donbass region—the industrialized temporarily Ukrainian region that has been de facto independent since the Kiev putsch of 2014.

Following that putsch, and the refusal of the Donbass (along with Crimea) to recognize the new US State Department-installed Ukrainian government, the Ukrainians made attempt to recapture the Donbass by force. This attempt failed, and Kiev managed to avoid all-out defeat by signing the Minsk agreements of February 2015, but has clearly had no intention of ever fulfilling them. Instead, ever since then, Ukrainian forces have been shelling the no man’s land between Ukrainian-held territory (which is mostly open prairie) and Donbass (which is urbanized and thickly settled), killing small numbers of civilians and local militia members and causing considerable property damage. Although Western press has continuously reported on “Russian forces” in the Donbass, they are yet to present any evidence of it. And although Western press likes to describe the Donbass using the hackneyed epithet “war-torn” it is actually more prosperous and stable than the rest of the Ukraine, integrated into the Russian economy and essentially functioning as a Russian region.

Turning down Western media noise, a Russian military effort to capture the Donbass, never mind the rest of the Ukraine, is exceedingly unlikely. Russia already has everything it wants. Unlike Crimea which in its 2014 referendum produced a 97% vote for integration of the region into the Russian Federation with an 83% voter turnout, in a similar referendum in the Donbass (held against Moscow’s wishes) only 27.5% of the 74.87% who turned out voted in favor of joining the Russian Federation. Based on this result, Moscow chose to soft-pedal the Donbass situation, providing humanitarian aid and diplomatic support, granting Russian citizenship to those who want it and gradually integrating the region socially and economically. In other Ukrainian regions, were similar referendums to be held there, the level of support for joining Russia would in all likelihood have been even lower, and now, seven years later, would be lower still. From this, a conclusion can be drawn: other than Crimea (which was part of an independent Ukraine for just 23 years), none of the Ukraine was or is a candidate for inclusion within the Russian Federation. The Russians living there will receive some amount of Russian support and are, of course, welcome to move to Russia, but that is really it.

Having ruled out that which is exceedingly unlikely, let us turn to that which is quite likely; and that is a provocation in the Donbass staged by the authorities in Kiev and by their State Department, Pentagon and CIA handlers, designed to deflect the blame from the truly disastrous economic situation that is unfolding there in the hopes of being able to maintain political control of the situation. In blundering into the Ukraine and converting it into a sort of anti-Russian bulwark, the US gained a brazenly corrupt and unruly dependency. Unable to stop its inexorable slide into failed-statedom and political and social disintegration, the US is faced with the prospect of another Afghanistan-style rout, with desperate left-behinds running after US transport planes hastily taking off from Kiev’s Borispol Airport, after which point even the mental laggards who run the European Union will be forced to admit that American security guarantees are an utter joke and will start getting ready to walk into the Kremlin on their knees to kiss the gem-encrusted felt slipper.

Given this unwelcome scenario, the US is quite eager to control the optics and to make it look like it is all Russia’s fault. Since merely jumping up and down and screaming “The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!” is no longer doing the trick, they are looking for something—anything!—that will make the Russians show up and put up even a tiny bit of a fight so that CNN and MSNBC can broadcast staged photos of a bloodied baby blanket and US Congress can then harrumph-harrumph about “Russian aggression” and impose sanctions on Russian baby blanket manufacturers. That “anything” is called a provocation, and what better place to stage it than the Donbass, which is an existing bleeding sore they’ve been picking away at for seven years now. Of course, they will do this in great trepidation of an escalation they would be unable to control, hence the hasty “deconfliction” conference with General Gerasimov: “Look, we go pew-pew, then you go pew-pew, then we declare hostilities over and toast each other with vodka and caviar; OK?”

Given that a provocation of some sort appears to be very likely, it is worth pondering what it would look like and what the outcome of it might be.

First, here is some background. The Ukraine (which is Russian for “borderland”) has always been less a country than a heterogeneous, endlessly disputed territory, tossed back and forth between Russia, Turkey, Poland, Austria, Germany and even, very briefly, Sweden. It mostly borders Russia (Crimea, Krasnodar, Rostov, Voronezh, Belgorod, Кursk and Bryansk regions). It also borders Belarus (short for “White Russia”) which is a whole lot like Russia. It has smaller borders with Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova and the unrecognized, Russian-defended Transnistria. It also borders Donetsk and Lugansk regions, collectively known as the Donbass, which is short for “Donetsk Coal Basin,” and which was formerly part of the Ukraine but de facto independent for the last 7 years and economically integrated with Russia.

Of these, the Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova were quite recently part of the USSR while the rest were part of the Warsaw Pact allied with the USSR. For most of them, those were the good days; for reasons incomprehensible to rapacious Western imperialists, Russia lavished a great deal of attention and investment on its ethnically heterogeneous periphery, not only building a great deal of social and industrial infrastructure and enterprises there but also staffing it all with relocated Russians. This, most Russians now realize, was a poor choice. This lesson is continuously reinforced by observing just how poorly the former Soviet republics have performed since they gained their independence. The Ukraine is a case in point, losing as much as a third of its population (exact numbers are impossible to ascertain) and steadily degenerating from a prosperous, highly developed region to the poorest one in all of Europe.

The Ukraine aspires to NATO and EU membership, but this prospect appears exceedingly unlikely since it is much more of a liability than an asset: destitute, bankrupt, politically unstable and not in control of its own government or its own territory—a failed state, essentially. Plus, the EU and NATO are themselves perhaps not too long for this world, the EU having recently lost the United Kingdom and NATO having just fabulously failed in Afghanistan, and not really capable of accepting new members. Sensing their own weakness, and projecting onto Russia their own instincts to engulf and devour all that they can, they automatically assume that Russia will exploit this weakness and reconquer the Ukraine and perhaps some other parts of Eastern Europe as well. But this is all it is—a projection, because the contemporary Russian project is something else entirely. Russia does periodically move its troops around its own territory, thereby keeping the West in a constant state of nervous agitation bordering on outright panic, but from the Russian perspective that is just a pleasant side-effect of regularly scheduled training exercises. There was a recent hysterical outburst in Western press over Russian tanks massed on the Belorussian border, for instance. Russia is always “about to invade,” on Tuesdays especially, but somehow never gets around to it.

That is not because Russia lacks the means or the opportunity; but it does entirely lack the motive. Does it need more land? Certainly not! Does it need a restive, alienated population that will then demand to be fed, hospitalized as needed and kept safe and warm all the while resisting assimilation? Not at all! Does it need the reputational losses from unprovoked aggression? Again, no. Quite the opposite, Russia is most eager to draw the line somewhere—a notional Great Wall of Russia, with the stable, economically liberal and socially conservative Orthodox/Moslem/Buddhist Russian World on one side and an alien, increasingly bankrupt, culturally degenerate, sexually deviant and permanently hostile Europe on the other. This will give Russia the peace and stability it needs to continue developing. The problem is that, because of the messy way in which the USSR broke up, many Russians were left stranded on the wrong side of previously insignificant borders, and this Great Wall has to remain porous, allowing Russians to filter back in.

A point can be made that Russia’s romance with Western Europe was always destined to end in tears. Russia’s cooperative, egalitarian instincts have been developed and perfected over many centuries within the Eurasian context of a relatively small population controlling a vast but difficult land with almost infinite but rather diffuse resources. In this context, cooperation rather than competition are keys to survival. These instincts have been wasted on little Eastern European fiefdoms that have spent an eternity squabbling over their tiny plots of land. Their history has conditioned them to only understand and respect subservience and domination, causing them to see Russian largesse as a weakness to be exploited. When the USSR suddenly vanished, they swiftly switched allegiance, forgetting their Russian, learning English and eagerly welcoming American and Western European financial swindlers and thieves to come and pick them clean. And now that they’ve been picked clean and Americans are leaving, they would perhaps be happy for Russia to “reoccupy” them and resume feeding them (if it were not for their wounded pride), but Russia will have none of it.

Within this overall context, each Eastern European country has its own unique fate. Most of them—specifically, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Moldova—are simply too small and inconsequential to matter and have been left to wither away slowly, being of little interest to the West or to Russia. Belarus stands out in that it quickly joined a union state with Russia, but this has not saved it from some fateful dalliances with the West which almost ended in disaster in the summer of 2020 when a foreign-instigated astroturf insurgency threatened to overthrow the elected government and install a Western stooge by the name of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, nicknamed the cutlet fairy. Since then, Minsk and Moscow turbocharged their integration process, producing the odd situation where the Belorussians feel free to poke their fingers in the eyes of Western leaders while hiding behind Russia’s broad back.

And then there is the Ukraine. It is the second-largest country in Europe by area—second only to Russia—and strategically located to be rather consequential. Ever since its independence, which it was awarded against the wishes of the majority of its population when the USSR was dissolved by a tiny group of conspirators, it has been ruled by a succession of swindlers and thieves who have continuously looted and robbed it until now it is a mere shadow of its former self, broken and destitute. This has made it an easy mark for Western geopolitical engineers who sought to fashion into a sort of anti-Russia, with the idea of preventing Russia from becoming an empire based on some flawed reasoning by the rabidly Russophobic Pole Zbigniew Brzeziński. Grand plans hatched by fools tend to misfire grandly, and this one is no exception. Instead of somehow containing Russia, it gave Russia everything it could ever want:

1. The fantastic level of Ukrainian political dysfunction that resulted from endless Western political meddling reduced the Ukraine from one of Russia’s major regional competitors to а major regional basket case and supplier of qualified Russian-speaking labor. The Ukraine once had strategically important industries that were essential for Russia’s military and civilian production, including large marine diesels, helicopter engines, rocket engines, aircraft building, shipbuilding and much else. All of these industries have now been relocated to Russia, often together with all of the blueprints and the technical expertise, and produce great value for both domestic consumption and export.

2. The 2014 putsch allowed Russia to return Crimea by undoing two mistakes—by Khrushchev, who gave it to the Ukraine in 1954, and by Gorbachev, who failed to get it back in 1991. It also allowed Russia to partially undo an older mistake—by Lenin, who gave the Donbass to the Ukraine in 1920. While the Donbass is strategically not too consequential, the return of Crimea provided numerous benefits. Coupled with the western enclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic and new Russian hypersonic rockets, Crimea has allowed Russia to keep all of NATO’s European territory within its sphere of military dominance, providing an effective treatment for Europe’s congenital defect which causes it to periodically march on Moscow. Western sanctions imposed in response to Russian annexation of Crimea allowed Russia to claw back all of the disadvantages it incurred by joining the World Trade Organization, including bringing back agriculture and key manufacturing sectors, to find new, friendlier trading partners around the world, and to find ways to thrive within conditions of limited autarky. Crimea has also provided a very useful litmus test for political participation: automatically excluding anyone who would claim that Crimea is Ukrainian made it possible to effectively purge the ranks of all internal enemies and foreign agents. There are numerous other benefits as well, too many to mention.

3. The civil war in the Donbass, which is ongoing, gave Russia the opportunity to force through the Minsk agreements, whose implementation is mandated by the UN Security Council Resolution 2202 (2015), and which require the Ukraine to federalize, granting a high level of autonomy to its regions. This, in the Ukrainian context, equates with the end of the Ukrainian unitary state. Beyond that point, the Ukraine becomes a set of disparate, disconnected, foreign-dominated fiefdoms, each with its own pathetic little oligarchy, with Kiev retained as a purely symbolic capital and an ancient Kievan Russia museum and tourist attraction. The government in Kiev has resisted the implementation of the Minsk agreements, realizing full well that this would spell its end, but this is merely a postponement. The civil war also simplified any future anti-Nazi mop-up operation and war crimes tribunal. Whereas before various Ukrainian nationalists and krypto-Nazis might have been difficult to identify, it has forced them to not only stand up and be counted but also to commit crimes for which there is no statue of limitations, making it easy to permanently take them out of circulation when the time comes to clean the place up.

This, then, is the background to the current situation, bringing us to the present, in which the US seems to be cooking up something in a big hurry. First, the US sends the message that Kiev must fulfill the terms of the Minsk agreements. Second, the US claims that Russia is massing troops on the Ukrainian border, getting ready to invade. The Ukrainian military denies this fact. The US repeats their claim and also sends some more weapons to the Ukraine. As the Ukrainian military is still unsure what’s going on, they are summoned and told exactly what to think. And so, there is going to be a provocation. But Russia is certainly not interested in any sort of attack or invasion, so what do you suppose is going to happen? A reasonable battle plan is for the Ukraine to attack first, to preempt the Russian invasion and to take up defensive positions within the Donbass territory. That’s a brilliant plan, if I say so myself!

The most the Ukrainian military can do is launch an attack on the Donbass. Attacking Crimea across the isthmus would be stupid and pathetic; attacking Crimea from the water would be stupid and absolutely hilarious to watch. And so Donbass it has to be, again. It won’t take long for the Russians to respond using unidentified long-range precision artillery and demolish the Ukrainians’ supply lines, trapping them in cauldrons where they will run out of ammunition, food and fuel and gradually bleed out. This is what transpired before, in 2015, leading Kiev to sign on to the Minsk agreements, because their other choice was to lose their entire army. Except now there will not be another set of Minsk agreements, no terms of surrender, no cease fires and no safe corridors for withdrawal. There will just be death. To the Russians, these people are terrorists, and terrorists get to meet God before the rest of us.

And that, perhaps, may be the entire point. The US wants to close out the entire sorry Ukrainian saga, cut its losses, pull an Afghanistan and leave in a hurry, because it has a long list of countries it has to pull out of before the fuel and the money run out, and it badly needs to pick up the pace. Okinawa is on that list; Guam; Puerto Rico; Alaska. California. Texas. The Ukraine has been refusing to even start fulfilling the Minsk agreements, which start with military deescalation along the line of contact. What seems to be the problem? Perhaps, as the US has finally figured out, it has to do with the fact that the Ukraine has a military; if it no longer had any military of any sort at all, there would be nothing to deescalate and the problem would not exist. And so that may be the clever plan for the Ukraine: suicide by Russia. As an added bonus, there will be Russia to blame because, no doubt at all, it will have all been Russia’s fault. Sanctions against Russian baby blanket manufacturers are being drafted as we speak. American TV viewers will watch it, and they will like it. They will think, “Bad Russkies! America strong!”

“But what about the Ukraine?” you might be tempted to ask. Well, the correct answer to that question seems to be, “Nobody cares.” Seriously, looking at recent Ukrainian history, that seems to be the only answer that makes sense. The Americans certainly never cared, the Russians once cared but care less and less with each passing day, and the Ukrainians themselves don’t care either and have been making that point by voting with their feet. The European Union and NATO may care a great deal about having a large failed state in the middle of Europe, and they should, because that is probably just the beginning, but a very good start.

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New COVID-19 Cases Reported in Shanghai, 20 Major Hospitals Shut Down

A COVID-19 outbreak has reoccurred in Shanghai in recent days, with multiple confirmed local cases. From Nov. 25 to Nov. 26, more than 20 hospitals were shut down in city, and many local hospitals also suspending emergency services.

Three of the four newly confirmed local cases in China reported on Nov. 25 were in Shanghai, and one was reported in Dalian City of Liaoning Province.

The three patients in Shanghai had all visited Suzhou in the nearby Jiangsu Province. Both Hangzhou City in Zhejiang Province and Xuzhou City in Jiangsu Province have also reported new cases, all of who had dinner with the confirmed patients in Shanghai.

Shanghai has tightened its pandemic control measures. On Nov. 26, more than 30 percent of flights at Shanghai Pudong Airport and the nearby Xuzhou Guanyin Airport were cancelled.

In addition, the Shanghai City Bus and Shanghai Long-Distance Passenger Terminal also suspended many long-distance services to Jiangsu Province and Zhejiang Province, while inter-provincial travel businesses have been told to stop their services.

Mainland Chinese media reported that from Nov. 25 to Nov. 26, nine major hospitals in Shanghai announced they had received a notice from their managing governmental departments to assist in the investigation of the COVID-19 outbreak and to immediately suspend outpatient and emergency medical services. They are Ruijin Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Zhongshan Hospital Affiliated to Fudan University, Minhang District Central Hospital, Tongji Hospital, Hongqiao District of Huashan Hospital, Putuo District People’s Hospital, and Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Xinhua Hospital, and Shanghai Dermatology Hospital.

The sudden shutdown of Shanghai’s major hospitals after only three new cases were confirmed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials has caused suspicion.

Netizens are asking why so many hospitals are closed. One posts read, “Where did the patient 1 in Shanghai go from Nov. 15 to Nov. 19? Why has it been covered up during this period?” Another post reads, “Nine hospitals are closed and patients who need emergency treatment have nowhere to go. The Shanghai medical system is nearly half paralyzed. There is no explanation.” Others ask, “Then why do so many hospitals need to be shut down? The questions that the people really care about have not been answered!”

By the evening of Nov. 26, the CCP’s official media, the “People’s Daily,” reported that more than 20 hospitals had been shut down in Shanghai.

Responding to growing questions and speculation from the community, Lu Taohong, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, stated that the three confirmed cases were neither medical staff nor hospital-related business personnel. He said that one of them is a financial officer of a pharmaceutical company and has no direct business contact with the hospitals. He also said that the three COVID-19 patients were on a trip in Suzhou mainly to attend a lecture on ancient architecture. But among the dozen people who attended the dinner after the lecture, one was a doctor working in a hospital.

The statement from the authorities has not convinced netizens about the situation in Shanghai’s hospitals or how the outbreak started, with one person accusing the CCP of continuing to cover up what was happening with the outbreak. “Their story is getting more and more unbelievable,” they said.

Another netizen said of the situation in the CCP’s China, “You can’t believe what the so-called experts say at all. They never tell the truth.”

Alex Wu

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Alex Wu is a U.S.-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on Chinese society, Chinese culture, human rights, and international relations.

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Possible motives for a provocation against Russia

NOVEMBER 25, 2021

A lot of commentators have pointed out that the West really does not want a full scale war with Russia because this would, at best, be a suicidal proposition.  True.

But there are some specific interests in the West which very much want to raise tensions as high as possible.  Today I will list just a few: (partial list)

The US energy sector

The energy sector is deeply concerned about Biden’s “green” rhetoric, combined with the fact that OPEC+ countries are not obeying US demands about prices.  Also, US shale gas is expensive.  Should a war happen between Russia and the Ukraine, it would also certainly completely derail Russian energy exports to the EU which, in turn, would create a very high demand for US energy in Europe (and worldwide).  This is an old US goal in Europe, to force the EU to purchase US energy even though Russian can provide it for a much better price

NATO

That one is simple: NATO has no raison d’être, but now NATO leaders can claim to be the only thing standing between the good, freedom loving EU countries and Putin’s hordes.

“Biden” option one

Biden’s ratings are almost as bad as Zelenskii’s.  If an anti-Russian provocation is executed and Russia has to openly intervene in the Ukraine, Biden can become a “wartime President” and he can wave the flag which will hopefully distract from his immense internal problems and make him look more “presidential” (which in US parlance means “more willing to use force”).

“Biden” option two

Say no provocation takes place and with time, all this hysteria eventually fizzles out.  Then Biden can claim that “he showed the Russkies who is boss” and “America’s” resolve “deterred and contained the Putin”, etc.  That would be like a mouse claiming that it deterred a sleeping bear from attacking it.  The proof?  Well, the evil bear did not attack, did it?  So what more proof do you need?

“Biden” option three

As I have mentioned in the past, there are signs that the US has farmed out the Ukraine to the Europeans, which in turn means that should a shooting war happen, and its outcome is not in doubt, “Biden” can say “we tried to help the Ukraine as much as we could, more than anybody else, but they cannot expect us to go to war with Russia to support them”.  In other words, letting “Ze” lose a war against Russia is a very elegant way to get rid of “Ze” and to blame the current full-spectrum chaos in the Ukraine on him, while deflecting any criticisms of the USA.

UK+EU politicians

UK and EU politicians have been faithfully parroting all the anti-Russian propaganda and now they are stuck in their own ideological corner: they hate Russia, but they need Russian energy.  This dilemma could be “solved” by a short but nasty war which would powerfully re-polarize the EU against Russia and, therefore, fully and totally place the EU in the iron grip of the USA.

US MIC

That one is obvious: the bigger and scarier the Russian boogeyman is, the more the peace-loving USA can be spend on “defense”.  And remember that the goal of US “Congresspersons” (love that newspeak!) is not to contribute to a sane US foreign policy, but to get re-elected.  That, in turns, means that keeping the US MIC up and running, a real financial bonanza for a country otherwise is terrible economic shape, is one of the best way to get reelected while projecting the image of a “patriotic” elected official.  Ted Cruz anybody?

The US deep state

The US deep state has always hated Russia and has always fanned the flames of hysterical russophobia.  The Neocons play a major role here, but they are far from being the only ones, it is quite clear that, besides the White House, the deep state also runs the Department of State, the CIA and the Pentagon.

The 3B+PU

It is now clear that the 3B+PU attempted to overthrow Lukashenko, and that they failed.  How to better conceal the magnitude of this failure from the general public than to have a short and ugly war against Russia, especially since the 3B+PU fully understand that Russia will never attack them first.  Here I have to make a special mention of Poland which currently feels like a giant, standing as they do, on the shoulders of the USA.  For them, it is a win-win situation: if Russia is defeated, they get to proclaim themselves the best soldiers in the history of the universe, if Russia wins, then they can declare themselves the most victimized nation on earth.  Either way, both option are a salvific manna from the heavens for Polish nationalists (who otherwise are in trouble with the EU).

‘Ze’

Zelenskii’s ratings are even worse than Biden’s.  Most of his former allies have turned against him and unless something very dramatic happens, his political future is pretty much zero, he will be lucky if he manages to escape the Ukraine on time, that is before somebody decides to take direct action against him (lots of different interests in the Ukraine are now openly and deeply hostile to ‘Ze’).

The British military/security establishment

The Brits have imperial phantom pains and they feel relatively safe, being far away from the Russian-Ukrainian line of contact.  They also feel that it is quite unthinkable to imagine that Russia would dare to actually strike at a British ship/aircraft or, even less so, at a location in the UK.  That latter belief is quite mistaken, by the way, because the Russians also realize that should they, say, sink a UK ship, or even hit a military facility in the UK, the latter would have two basic options:  1) do nothing by themselves and ask Uncle Shmuel for protection 2) counter-strike against Russia themselves, which would only expose themselves to more Russian counter-strikes.  If this sounds like a losing strategy to you, it is because it is.  But for the country of Litvenenko, Skripal, Bellingcat, and “highly likely” reality is never an impediment to action.  Besides, it really appears that the UK is run by a mentally deranged Prime Minister surrounded by petty bureaucrats and a senile Queen.

The folks nostalgic for the good old days of the white, western, empire

That’s folks like Josep Borrell and all those who wanted a unipolar world, run by the West, of course, where no country could dare defy the rule of the Single World Hegemon (don’t matter which country, as long as it is a western one).  These folks are the ones who need to get whacked, hard, by the Russian military every century or so.

In truth, there are many more groups in the West who want some kind of war, some want it quick and small, others want it bigger, while others want to stop the escalation just short of actual war.

As always, what happens next will be the result of of the sums of the many vectors influencing that outcome: each party will pull towards its interests as much as possible, and the sum vector of all of these unofficial foreign policies will result in what many of us will call “US foreign policy”, in spite of the fact that as such, no such policy exists (other than a sum of these different vectors).

Lastly, is the Putin-Biden being canceled?

Yesterday Psaki said that she was not aware of any preparations made for a summit between Biden and Putin.  Also, a quick look at the calendar makes me wonder: between the upcoming Summit for Democracy, Dec 9th-10th, and the period between the western holiday season (Dec 24th – 1 Jan) the time available to organize such a summit is shrinking quickly.  Following the initial announcement, the rhetoric in both Russia and the USA about such a summit has become much more vague as if both sides now appear to have second thoughts about this.

And if that summit is planned for sometime in January, then this just leaves more time for the Ukronazis to come up with any provocation they like.  If that happens, then any summit would the scrapped sine die anyway.

We can still hope that this summit will take place, and that would be an effective way for “Biden” to show to “himself” and his enemies (the other factions of the US power structure) that he, “Biden”, is still in control.  A bad peace is always preferable to a good war.  But with so many western interests vested into such a war, I am not very optimistic.

Andrei

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Bryan Adams Symptomatic With Second Infection of COVID-19

Canadian musician Bryan Adams has announced he is symptomatic after testing positive with COVID-19 for a second time.

In a post on Instagram on Saturday, the singer said, “I was symptomatic even though I had been vaccinated but I’m on the mend now.”

The news comes after he was given an “anti-thrombosis” shot on Friday. “It’s precautionary until I test negative [for COVID-19],” he shared on Instagram.

Adams arrived in Milan on Nov, 25. He later announced he tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, for the second time in a month.

Adams is also a photographer. He came to Italy ahead of promotional events for tyre manufacturer Pirelli’s 2022 Calendar, which he shot photographs for.

On Friday, Adams issued a message to Pirelli, saying the company had been “incredibly supportive,” adding “this is the culmination of two years work together.”

“Our calendar comes out next week!” he said.

On Saturday, Adams took the opportunity to promote the calendar.

“Even if I’m stuck in my room here in Milan, I’m keen to meet all of you on November 29th, from 9pm CET on www.pirelli.com for the online presentation of the Pirelli Calendar 2022 ‘On The Road’ which I photographed between Los Angeles, Capri and Canada last summer,” he said on Instagram. “I’m eager to share the pictures and portraits of the amazing artists I had the opportunity to work with.”

Normally, the unveiling of the Pirelli calendar is a gala event attended by those who appear and other VIPS, but this year was already a scaled-back affair because of the pandemic, with a tight guest list for an evening cocktail.

Adams was expected to appear at in-person press events promoting the calendar Sunday and Monday, but that is now uncertain.

Adams was initially engaged to shoot the 2021 version that was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adams previously tested positive for the disease in October and had to pull out of a performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. At the time, his rep said Adams was “fully vaccinated and has no symptoms at all.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Mimi Nguyen Ly

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Mimi Nguyen Ly is a world news reporter based in Australia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in optometry and vision science. Contact her at mimi.nl@epochtimes.com.

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Very telling admission from EU High Representative Josep Borrell

Posted on by uprootedpalestinians

November 24, 2021

The EU High Representative Josep Borrell has just made a very telling admission, check out this video

The EU High Representative Josep Borrell and the former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright took part in the ‘UNited for’ conference “An opportunity for global change”, held on 17 November 2021.

Here is the interesting quote (at about timestamp 29:00, stress added): “And we western people, US and EU, we have been ruling the world because we were the standard setterswe were fixing the standardswe are the masters of how technology was working. And from steel-mills to trains, railways to everything warfare, we were the standard settingIf we are no longer the standard setting, we will not rule the 21st century.

Ahhh, finally!!!  You heard it from a top level and very official representative of the West: the current tensions are about maintaining the western hegemony over the world.   Back to the (1930s) future… QED.

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Omicron Variant Detected in Australia

Genomic testing has confirmed two overseas travellers who arrived in Sydney, Australia, from southern Africa have been infected with the new Omicron COVID-19 variant.

Both passengers arrived on Saturday night and are in isolation in the Special Health Accommodation. Both are fully vaccinated.

The two passengers were among 14 people from southern Africa who arrived on Qatar Airways QR908, Doha to Sydney, with the remaining 12 undertaking 14 days of hotel quarantine.

The confirmation follows a warning by the state NSW premier that the pandemic is not over after the two confirmed cases tested positive on arrival.

Some 29 people who had been in one of the nine southern African countries subject to elevated restrictions touched down in Sydney across two flights on Saturday evening.

They have all been sent to hotel quarantine.

All passengers on the Qatar Airways flight are now classified as close contacts and must isolate for 14 days, even if they haven’t been in southern Africa.

Premier Dominic Perrottet says it’s a reminder that the pandemic is not over, and described his approach as precautionary.

However, he cautioned that it must be expected that the variant will spread throughout the world.

“We need to learn to live alongside the virus. We need to learn to live alongside the variants of the virus,” he said.

Although he’s ordered all international arrivals to quarantine at home for 72 hours, Perrottet insisted the NSW international and state borders would remain open.

“We can’t be a hermit kingdom on the other side of the world,” he said.

“There’s only so much governments can do. The best thing we can do as a people is to get vaccinated, get a booster shot, and that will keep you and your family safe.”

The three-day quarantine order is on top of a federal government requirement for travellers to enter quarantine for two weeks if they’ve been in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini, Malawi or the Seychelles within the past 14 days.

There are no plans to adjust the state’s reopening roadmap, Perrottet said, so restrictions will still ease for the unvaccinated on Dec. 15.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said not much is known about the new strain, though it may be more transmissible than Delta.

In particular, the effectiveness of current vaccines against Omicron is still being established, he said.

Hazzard said it only took the Delta variant three weeks to reach 53 nations.

Anyone already in NSW who has been in the nine southern African countries within the previous 14 days must immediately be tested, isolate for 14 days and contact NSW Health.

Meanwhile, the state added 185 new infections to its caseload on Sunday.

For the fourth consecutive day, no new deaths were reported.

NSW hospitals continue to treat 165 patients, nine fewer than the previous day. Twenty-four are in intensive care units, 21 of whom are unvaccinated, and nine are ventilated.

Testers processed more than 54,000 results in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday.

NSW is 94.5 per cent single-dosed for everyone 16 and over, while 92.4 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Of 12- to 15-year-olds, 81.3 per cent have received one jab and 76.5 per cent both.

By Nick Gibbs and Hannah Ryan

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Watch top news stories today | November 28th – Morning edition

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Iran runners-up at 2021 Asian Beach Volleyball C’ships

TEHRAN – Iran lost to Australia in the 2021 Asian Sr Beach Volleyball Championships final on Saturday.

Australia’s Christopher McHugh/Paul Burnett reigned supreme with a remarkable unbeaten record at the 2021 Asian Sr Beach Volleyball Championships at Bang Tao Beach in Phuket, Thailand after beating IRI’s Bahman Salemi/Abolhassan Khakizadeh 21-16, 21-13 in the men’s gold-medal match.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics bronze medalists Qataris Cherif Younousse/Ahmed Tijan seized the bronze after beating Kazakhs Dmitriy Yakovlev/Sergey Bogatu 2-0 (21-15, 21-15) in the third-place playoff.

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Testing the waters: Russia explores reconfiguring Gulf security

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Russia hopes to blow new life into a proposal for a multilateral security architecture in the Gulf, with the tacit approval of the Biden administration.

If successful, the initiative would help stabilise the region, cement regional efforts to reduce tensions, and potentially prevent war-wracked Yemen from emerging as an Afghanistan on the southern border of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf of Aden and at the mouth of the Red Sea.

For now, Vitaly Naumkin, a prominent scholar, academic advisor of the foreign and justice ministries, and head of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences, is testing the waters, according to Newsweek, which first reported the move.

Last week, he invited former officials, scholars, and journalists from feuding Middle Eastern nations to a closed-door meeting in Moscow to discuss the region’s multiple disputes and conflicts and ways of preventing them from spinning out of control.

Mr. Naumkin, who is believed to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, co-authored the plan first put forward in 2004. The Russian foreign ministry published a fine-tuned version in 2019.

Russia appears to have timed the revival of its proposal to begin creating a framework to deal with Houthi rebels, seemingly gaining the upper hand against Saudi Arabia in Yemen’s seven-year-long devastating war.

The Iranian-backed rebels appear to be closer to capturing the oil and gas-rich province of Marib after two years of some of the bloodiest fighting in the war. The conquest would pave the way for a Houthi takeover of neighbouring Shabwa, another energy-rich region. It would put the rebels in control of all northern Yemen.

The military advances would significantly enhance the Houthi negotiating position in talks to end the war. They also raise the spectre of splitting Yemen into the north controlled by the Houthis and the south dependent on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

“The battle for Marib could be a final stand for the possibility of a unified Yemen,” said Yemeni writer and human rights activist Nabil Hetari.

A self-declared independent North Yemen would potentially resemble an Afghanistan sitting on one of the world’s critical chokepoints for the flow of oil and gas. North Yemen would be governed by a nationalist Islamist group that presides over one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, struggles to win international recognition, restore public services, and stabilise a war-ravaged economy while an Al-Qaeda franchise operates in the south.

The Russian initiative also appears geared to take advantage of efforts by Middle Eastern rivals Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Turkey, and Iran to reduce regional tensions, get a grip on their differences, and ensure that they do not spin out of control.

Russia seems to be exploiting what some describe as paused and others as stalled talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran mediated by Iraq. Iraqi officials insisted that the talks are on hold until a new Iraqi government has been formed following last month’s elections. The discussions focused at least partially on forging agreement on ways to end the Yemen war.

Mr. Naumkin suggested that the Russian initiative offers an opportunity to carve the Middle East out as a region of cooperation as well as competition with the United States in contrast to southeastern Europe and Ukraine, where US-Russian tension is on the rise.

In the Middle East, Russia and the United States “have one common threat, the threat of war. Neither the United States nor Russia is interested in having this war,” Mr. Naumkin told Newsweek.

A State Department spokesperson would not rule out cooperation. “We remain prepared to cooperate with Russia in areas in which the two sides have common interests while opposing Russian policies that go against US interests,” the spokesperson said.

The Russian proposal calls for integrating the US defense umbrella in the Gulf into a collective security structure that would include Russia, China, Europe, and India alongside the United States. The structure would include, not exclude Iran, and would have to extend to Israel and Turkey.

UAE efforts to return Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to the Arab, if not the international fold, although not driven by the Russian initiative, would facilitate it if all other things were equal.

Inspired by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the proposal suggests that the new architecture would be launched at an international conference on security and cooperation in the Gulf.

Russia sees the architecture as enabling the creation of a “counter-terrorism coalition (of) all stakeholders” that would be the motor for resolving conflicts across the region and promoting mutual security guarantees.

The plan would further involve the removal of the “permanent deployment of troops of extra-regional states in the territories of states of the Gulf,” a reference to US, British, and French forces and bases in various Gulf states and elsewhere in the Middle East.

It calls for a “universal and comprehensive” security system that would take into account “the interests of all regional and other parties involved, in all spheres of security, including its military, economic and energy dimensions.”

In Mr. Naumkin’s reading, Middle Eastern rivals “are fed up with what’s going on” and “afraid of possible war.” Negotiations are their only remaining option.

That seems to drive men like UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, his Saudi counterpart Mohammed bin Salman, Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Iranian leader Ebrahim Raisi to reach out to one another in a recent flurry of activity.

“These are talks between autocrats keen to protect their own grip on power and boost their economies: not peace in our time, only within our borders,” cautioned The Economist.

A podcast version of this story is available on  Soundcloud, ItunesSpotifyStitcherTuneInSpreakerPocket CastsTumblr, Podbean, Audecibel, Patreon, and Castbox.

Dr. James M. Dorsey is an award-winning journalist and scholar and a Senior Fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Middle East Institute.

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COVID Variant Spreads to More Countries as World on Alert

LONDON—The new potentially more contagious Omicron variant of the coronavirus popped up in more European countries on Saturday, just days after being identified in South Africa, leaving governments around the world scrambling to stop the spread.

The UK on Saturday tightened its rules on mask-wearing and on testing of international arrivals after finding two cases. New cases were confirmed Saturday in Germany and Italy, with Belgium, Israel, and Hong Kong also reporting that the variant has been found in travelers.

In the United States, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious diseases expert, said he would not be surprised if the Omicron variant was already in the United States, too.

“We have not detected it yet, but when you have a virus that is showing this degree of transmissibility … it almost invariably is ultimately going to go essentially all over,” Fauci said on NBC television.

Because of fears that the new variant has the potential to be more resistant to the protection offered by vaccines, there are growing concerns around the world that the pandemic and associated lockdown restrictions will persist for far longer than hoped.

Nearly two years since the start of the pandemic that has claimed more than 5 million lives around the world, countries are on high alert. Many have already imposed travel restrictions on flights from southern Africa as they seek to buy time to assess whether the Omicron variant is more transmissible than the current dominant Delta variant.

In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was necessary to take “targeted and precautionary measures” after two people tested positive for the new variant in England.

“Right now this is the responsible course of action to slow down the seeding and the spread of this new variant and to maximize our defenses,” he told a news conference.

Among the measures announced, Johnson said anyone arriving in England must take a PCR test for COVID-19 on the second day after their arrival and self-isolate until they provide a negative test. And if someone tests positive for the Omicron variant, then he said their close contacts will have to self-isolate for 10 days regardless of their vaccination status—currently close contacts are exempt from quarantine rules if they are fully vaccinated.

He also said mask-wearing in shops and on public transport will be required and said the independent group of scientists that advises the British government on the rollout of coronavirus vaccines has been asked to accelerate the vaccination program. This could involve widening the booster program to younger age groups, reducing the time period between a second dose and a booster, and allowing older children to get a second dose.

“From today we’re going to boost the booster campaign,” he said.

Britain’s Department of Health said the two cases found in the UK were linked and involved travel from southern Africa. One of the two new cases was in the southeastern English town of Brentwood, while the other was in the central city of Nottingham. The two confirmed cases are self-isolating with their households while contact tracing and targeted testing takes place.

The British government also added four more countries—Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia—onto the country’s travel red list from Sunday. Six others—Botswana, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe—were added Friday. That means anyone permitted to arrive from those destinations will have to quarantine.

Many countries have slapped restrictions on various southern African countries over the past couple of days, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, the European Union, Iran, Japan, New Zealand, Thailand, and the United States, in response to warnings over the transmissibility of the new variant. This goes against the advice of the World Health Organization, which has warned against any overreaction before the variant was thoroughly studied.

Despite the banning of flights, there are mounting concerns that the variant has already been widely seeded around the world.

Italy and Germany were the latest to report confirmed cases of the Omicron variant.

An Italian who had traveled to Mozambique on business landed in Rome on Nov. 11 and returned to his home near Naples. He and five family members, including two school-age children, have since tested positive, the Italian news agency LaPresse said. All are isolating in the Naples suburb of Caserta in good condition with light symptoms.

The variant was confirmed by Sacco hospital in Milan, and Italy’s National Health Institute said the man had received two doses of the vaccine. Italy’s health ministry is urging all regions to increase its tracing of the virus and sequencing to detect cases of the new variant first identified in South Africa.

In Germany, the Max von Pettenkofer Institute, a Munich-based microbiology center, said the Omicron variant was confirmed in two travelers who arrived on a flight from South Africa on Nov. 24. The head of the institute, Oliver Keppler, said that genome sequencing has yet to be completed, but it is “proven without doubt that it is this variant,” German news agency dpa reported.

The Dutch public health institute said the Omicron variant was “probably found in a number of the tested persons” who were isolated after arriving Friday in Amsterdam on two flights from South Africa. The institute said in a statement that further sequencing analysis is underway to determine for sure that it is the new variant. The results were expected Sunday. A total of 61 people were tested.

Israel said it detected the new strain in a traveler who had returned from Malawi and was tracing 800 travelers who returned recently from southern African countries. And Australia said early Sunday its scientists were working to determine whether two people who tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving from southern Africa are infected with the Omicron variant.

The variant’s swift spread among young people in South Africa has alarmed health professionals even though there was no immediate indication whether the variant causes more severe disease.

A number of pharmaceutical firms, including AstraZeneca, Moderna, Novavax, and Pfizer, said they have plans in place to adapt their vaccines in light of the emergence of Omicron. Pfizer and its partner BioNTech said they expect to be able to tweak their vaccine in around 100 days.

Professor Andrew Pollard, the director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, which developed the AstraZeneca vaccine, expressed cautious optimism that existing vaccines could be effective at preventing serious disease from the Omicron variant, noting that most of the mutations appear to be in similar regions as those in other variants.

“At least from a speculative point of view, we have some optimism that the vaccine should still work against a new variant for serious disease, but really we need to wait several weeks to have that confirmed,” he told BBC radio.

Some experts said the variant’s emergence illustrated how rich countries’ hoarding of vaccines threatens to prolong the pandemic.

Fewer than 6 percent of people in Africa have been fully immunized against COVID-19, and millions of health workers and vulnerable populations have yet to receive a single dose.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke Saturday with his South African counterpart, Naledi Pandor, and they stressed the importance of working together to help African nations vaccinate their populations, the State Department said in a statement. It said Blinken praised South Africa’s scientists for quickly identifying the Omicron variant and the government for its transparency in sharing this information, “which should serve as a model for the world.”

By Pan Pylas

The Associated Press

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2 Omicron COVID-19 Cases Reported in Germany

BERLIN—Two cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant have been detected in the southern German state of Bavaria and a suspected case found in the west of the country, health officials said on Saturday.

The two people with the variant entered Germany at Munich airport on Nov. 24, before South Africa was designated a virus-variant area, and were now isolating, said Bavaria’s health ministry, without saying explicitly that they had come from South Africa.

The two had come forward for further investigations after they heard about the new variant, which has caused global concern and prompted a wave of travel curbs.

The Bavarian ministry said anyone who had been in South Africa in the last 14 days should immediately reduce contacts, take a PCR test and contact their local health authority.

“Bavaria has responded early and quickly to the very new variant,” a ministry spokesperson said. “Everything must be done to stop it spreading.”

Of passengers arriving from Cape Town on Friday, 50 are in quarantine in Bavaria. Two foreign passengers tested positive for coronavirus and being investigated for the Omicron variant, the Bavarian ministry said.

Earlier, officials in the western state of Hesse, home to Frankfurt airport which is one of Europe’s busiest airports, said a suspected case of the Omicron variant had been found in a passenger arriving from South Africa.

The person arrived in Germany on Sunday and was fully vaccinated, Der Spiegel reported, citing the social affairs ministry in Hesse. No one was immediately available at the ministry to comment.

The city of Frankfurt’s health authority said it expected the results of a full sequencing on Monday. A routine check in the last week after a positive coronavirus test had thrown up the case which showed indications of the new variant, it said.

The authority has since introduced coronavirus tests for all travellers from South Africa and Namibia on arrival at Frankfurt airport. None have so far been positive.

Germany is classifying South Africa as a virus-variant area from Sunday. This stops short of a ban on flights but means airlines can fly only Germans to Germany from South Africa and even those who are vaccinated must spend 14 days in quarantine.

Germany’s Surging Coronavirus

The new variant has emerged as Germany, like many other European countries, is grappling with a surge in coronavirus cases.

Health Minister Jens Spahn warned the situation was worse than ever. “We must reduce all contact, we are in a situation that is more serious than we have had before,” he said at a townhall with a group of experts on Saturday.

Many Germans expect tighter restrictions as intensive care units, especially in eastern and southern Germany, reach their limits.

Immunologist Leif Erik Sander of the Charite hospital in Berlin said current vaccines would probably offer at least some protection against the Omicron variant.

“I’m optimistic we won’t have to start from scratch,” he told the townhall, adding more research was needed.

However, only 68.3 percent of the population of about 83 million is fully vaccinated, far behind the rates in southern European countries such as Portugal and Spain. Some 10 percent of the population has received a booster shot, said Spahn.

Germany recorded 67,125 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases said. More than 100,000 people have died with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

By Madeline Chambers

Reuters

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Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Occupied Palestine (18– 24 November 2021)

November 25, 2021

Israeli Human Rights Violations

18 – 24 November 2021

IOF excessive use of force:

5 Palestinians shot and wounded, including 2 children and a journalist, in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

1 IOF shooting reported against fishing boats in Western Khan Younis, and two incursions into eastern Gaza

In 113 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 73 civilians arrested, including 7 children and 3 women

Demolitions in occupied East Jerusalem: Two residential buildings demolished, and 2 agricultural barracks

A house and cemetery razed in Hebron; paved street razed in Nablus

Settles attack Palestinians’ vehicles and puncture tires in Nablus and Jerusalem

IOF established 36 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 5 Palestinians on said checkpoints

Summary                                                                                        

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse, and attacks on civilians, turning the West Bank into isolated blocks of land. Israeli settlers continued their attacks, including shooting and wounding Palestinian civilians; meanwhile, IOF continued its razing and demolishing of Palestinian properties, mainly in Hebron and Jerusalem.

The Israeli settlement expansion works continued on Palestinian lands and properties. Meanwhile, the Gaza Strip enters its 15th year under closure, exacerbating the humanitarian hardships across the territory.

IOF shooting and violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

IOF shot and wounded 5 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, in excessive use of force in the West Bank: 3, including a child, were wounded in two separate incidents of IOF attacks on protestors in Qalqilya. Two others were wounded, including a journalist, in Ramallah.

In the Gaza Strip, PCHR documented 1 IOF shooting at fishing boats off Khan Younis coast.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 113 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 73 Palestinians were arrested, including 7 children and 3 women.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted 2 limited incursions into (eastern) central and southern Gaza Strip.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 6 incidents:

  • Occupied East Jerusalem: 2 agricultural barracks demolished in al- Sawahera; two residential buildings demolished in Sur Baher.
  • Hebron: a house and cemetery razed in Yatta.
  • Salfit: construction vehicle confiscated in Deir Ballout.
  • Nablus: a street razed near Asira ash-Shamaliya, northwestern Nablus.

Settler-attacks: 

  • Occupied Jerusalem: several tires punctured in Sheikh Jarrah.
  • Nablus: two vehicles assaulted with rocks.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The Israeli occupation authorities continued its collective punishment measures against the Gaza Strip as the 15-year Israeli closure imposed on the territory deepened the population’s humanitarian and living crises, as unemployment has skyrocketed at 45%, i.e. 217,000 able workers are unemployed, 63% of whom are youth.

More than half of the Gaza Strip population suffer in poverty, as the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics data shows that 53% of the Gaza Strip population is poor; meanwhile, more than 62.2% is classified as food insecure, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Additionally, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the 2000 Second Intifada -still closed to this date- and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest, especially at al-Karama border crossing, alongside the Palestinian-Jordanian border.

Shooting and other Violations of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity

  • At approximately 17:00 on Thursday, 18 November 2021, a group of Palestinians gathered at the entrance to Al-Arroub refugee camp in northern Hebron, where IOF established a military watchtower. The Palestinians threw stones at the military watchtower. Afterwards, IOF deployed in the area, stationed near residential houses and fired sound bombs and teargas canisters at stone-throwers. As a result, many of them suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Also, IOF chased the stone-throwers on the camp’s streets, closed with a metal detector gate the main entrance the camp and prevented residents from moving through their vehicles. Clashes continued until 22:00.
  • At approximately 19:30, IOF moved into al-Dahra neighborhood in Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They deployed in the neighborhood’s streets, established several military checkpoints, searched Palestinians passerby, and checked their IDs. During which, dozens of young men gathered near Israeli military vehicles and threw stones and fireworks at them. IOF immediately attacked protestors and fired heavy rubber bullets and teargas canisters at them. They also demanded military backups and a skunk carrying vehicle, which flooded shops and residential houses with wastewater. Clashes between the protestors and IOF continued for several hours and erupted in many areas such as the western entrance to the village, and around al-Arba’in Mosque in the center of the village. As a result, dozens of protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Also, IOF arrested Qusai Abu Irmilah (14) after severely beating him up.
  • At approximately 22:30, IOF moved into Bir Ayoub neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They closed the main entrance to the neighborhood and established a military checkpoint to search Palestinians’ vehicles, causing a traffic jam. Afterwards, dozens of young men gathered near IOF vehicles and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at them. IOF immediately assaulted the protestors, fired heavy live and rubber bullets and teargas canisters at them and chased them on the neighborhood’s streets amidst a heavy firing of teargas canisters. As a result, dozens of protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 12:30 on Friday, 19 November 2021, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Kafr Qaddum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men. IOF chased the protestors, who gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, a 17-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his hand and a 34-year-old man was hit with a teargas canister, causing burns throughout his body.
  • Around the same time, IOF stationed at the southern entrance to Jaljulia village in Qalqilya, suppressed a protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men. IOF chased the protestors, who gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, a 17-year-old male, from Qalqilya, was shot with a live bullet in his lower limbs.
  • At approximately 14:00, a group of Palestinians gathered in Bab al-Zawiya area in Hebron where IOF maintain a military checkpoint on the entrance of the closed Shuhadaa St. The protestors set tires on fire and threw stones on the military checkpoint. IOF soldiers deployed on rooftops in the area and fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the protestors. Two military vehicles came from al-Shalalah Street to the clashes area. IOF chased the protestors towards Bir Humus area and fired rubber bullets at them. As a result, shop owners were forced to close. The clashes continued until 20:00, and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 03:30 on Sunday dawn, 21 November 2021, an Israeli infantry force moved into ‘Ein Monjed neighborhood in central Ramallah and fired sound bombs and teargas canisters between residential houses and buildings. As a result, several civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Afterwards, many young men gathered in the area and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF deployed between houses and set tires on fire. IOF chased the stone-throwers and fired rubber bullets at them. Clashes continued until 04:45. During their withdrawal, IOF fired a rubber bullet at a journalist namely Maher Shaher Haroun (20), wounding him in his knee. Maher received treatment on the spot.

Maher Haroun said to PCHR’s fieldworker that: “I am a photojournalist and a reporter at Palestine Times Network, and I am studying media at Birzeit University. At approximately 04:45, while I was covering incidents occurred on the main street of ‘Ein Monjed neighborhood, IOF, during their withdrawal from the neighborhood, directly fired a rubber bullet around my knee, despite wearing the PRESS-marked vest and presenting away from clashes area. When I felt that I was injured, I tried to sit on the ground, because I couldn’t walk. It turned out later that I was hit with a rubber bullet below my knee, and I sustained minor wounds. I received treatment on the spot.”

  • At approximately 16:00, a group of Palestinians gathered in Bab al-Zawiya area in Hebron where IOF maintain a military checkpoint on the entrance of the closed Shuhadaa St. The protestors set tires on fire and threw stones on the military checkpoint. IOF soldiers deployed at the checkpoint entrance and fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the protestors. As a result, they suffocated due to teargas inhalation. IOF chased the protestors towards Wad al-Tuffah Street. The clashes continued until 19:00, and no arrests were reported. The shop owners were forced to close due to the clashes.
  • At approximately 02:00 on Monday, 22 November 2021, special Israeli force raided several houses belonging to Ghaith family in al-Westa neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. Among the stormed houses was ‘Adnan Tawfiq Ghaith (46)’s house. IOF searched the houses and damaged its contents. They also fired sound bombs inside houses and severely beat their inhabitants. As a result, 4 of them sustained bruises, and were taken by Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) staff to the hospital for treatment. Before their withdrawal, IOF arrested Waleed ‘Adel Ghith (25), Hamza Nidal Ghaith (31), Rabee’ Nidal Ghaith (29) and ‘Abdullah al-Zaghal (23), taking them to investigation centers. According to a statement issued by Jerusalem governorate, special Israeli forces raided Ghaith family’s houses in al-Westa neighborhood in Silwan and severely beat their residents, including ‘Adnan Ghaith, Jerusalem governor. The statement clarified that IOF raided ‘Adnan Ghaith’s house and assaulted him along with his sons and his cousins. They also damaged the house contents. As a result, ‘Adana sustained wounds in his hand. It should be noted that since taking office as Governor of Jerusalem, Geith has been arrested several times and his movement has been restricted as well.
  • At approximately 03:05 on Wednesday dawn, 24 November 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They deployed between residential houses and raided and searched them. While storming Mohammed Sami Abu Sabri’s house, IOF detained the family members in one room and then the officer ordered Mohammed’s brother namely Belal (30) to phone him and tell him to surrender himself. They also threatened him to arrest all the family members if he would not surrender. After that, IOF deployed in the house and searched it. Before their withdrawal, they arrested Mohammed’s mother namely Nabila Hamdi Abu Sabri (50), his brother Belal (30), and then leave. Also, IOF arrested Thaier Zuhair Samad’ah (32), a former prisoner, after searching his house. During IOF’s withdrawal from the camp, a group of Palestinians gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF, who chased the protestors and fired heavy live and rubber bullets. As a result, three civilians, from Bir Nabala village, west of occupied East Jerusalem, were injured after targeting their vehicle while they were passing through the main Street heading to their workplace. Among thouse wounded: a 23-year-old male, who was shot with a rubber bullet in his shoulder, while the others suffocated due to teargas inhalation.  All of them were taken to Palestine Medical Complex for treatment.
  • At approximately 22:30, Israeli gunboats stationed off Khan Yunis shore, south of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area, opened heavy fire around them and fired flare bombs in the sky, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.

Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 18 November 2021:

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF arrested Eisa Saysin al-’Arouj (22), after raiding and searching his house in Harmala village, east of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF arrested Mos’ab Khaled Tafish (30), after raiding and searching his house in Za’tara village, southeast of Bethlehem.
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested Ali Abdul Ghaffar Dofish (37), after raiding and searching his house in Hebron.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF arrested Mos’ab Taha al-’Arouj (25), after raiding and searching his house on al-Saf street in Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF arrested Wael Subhy al-Izzah (42), the administrative manager of al-Maslamani Hospital in Bayt Sahur, after raiding and searching his house in al-Dawha village, west of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Bayt Kahil village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Nimir Mohammed ‘Asafra’s (40) house, but no arrests were reported.
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested Zaki Taysir Za’loul (17) and Mohammed Ibrahim Sayatin (21), after raiding and searching their houses in Husan village, west of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 04:30, IOF arrested Mahmoud Eisa al-A’raj (21), after raiding and searching his house in al-Walaja village, west of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF arrested (4) civilians, including 2 siblings, after raiding and searching their houses in Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin governorate. The arrestees are: Mohammed Ghassan Qabha (24), Ahmed (27) and Belal Khaled Abu Baker (24), and Abdul Jabbar Nfei’at (26).
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF arrested Ahmed Adnan Khaliliyah (33), from Jaba’ village, south of Jenin governorate, while passing through a temporary military checkpoint established at Ramallah-Nablus road.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested Amjad Ali Deiriyah (25) and Munir Nasim Deiriyah (23), from Bayt Fajar village, south of Bethlehem, after referring to “Gush Etzion” detention center, south of the city.
  • At approximately 17:30, IOF arrested Mohammed Hosny ‘Asrawi (22), from Anabta village, east of Tulkarm, while passing through ‘Inab military checkpoint, east of the village.
  • At approximately 19:40, IOF arrested Mo’ath Younis Shawahnah (22), after raiding and searching his house in Kafr Thulth village, in Qalqilyah.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Jaba’, Sanur, Mirka, Nazlat Zayd and Bir al-Basha villages in Jenin governorate; and Qarawat Bani Hassan, west of Salfit. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 19 November 2021:

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF arrested Mousa Mohammed Abu Libda (27), after raiding and searching his house in Qalqilya.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Hosny ‘Asrawi (23), after raiding and searching his house in Ilar village, north of Tulkarm.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF arrested Suhaib Mahmoud Abu Lifa (28), after raiding and searching his house in Tulkarm.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF arrested Suhaib Hani Shweiky (21), after raiding and searching his house in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in al-Hashmiyah village in Jenin governorate; Hebron and Nuba villages. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 20 November 2021

  • At approximately 16:45, IOF stationed at the annexation wall established at Dayr Balut village, west of Salfit, arrested Mohammed Saleh Izz al-Dein (23), from Hizma village; and Ibrahim Mohammed Mustafa (22), from Dayr Balut, west of Salfit.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Jamal Alian (36) and Mohammed Zakaria Alian (20), after raiding and searching their houses in al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem.

Sunday, 21 November 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF severely beaten and arrested (4) siblings after raiding and accurately searching their house in al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. The arrestees are: Khader Rabah Abu al-Humus (33), and his brothers, Belal (28), Sultan (26), and Mohammed (19).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF arrested Abdullah Sami Dweik (18) and Dia’ Mousa al-Tamim (20), after raiding and searching their houses in al-Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah.
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested the former prisoner, Mohammed Hussain al-Salameen (24), after raiding and searching his house in al-Shurfa neighborhood in al-Bireh village, north of Ramallah.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF arrested Sultan al-Halissi (43), after raiding and searching his house in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 09:10, IOF killed a Palestinian citizen after conducting a shooting attack that resulting in killing an Israeli settler and three others, including 2 Israeli police officers, near Chain Gate, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s Gates in the occupied East Jerusalem. After a while, IOF closed all gates of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City and the Aqsa Mosque, established checkpoint and imposed movement restrictions for an hour.

Meanwhile, IOF stormed and searched al-Rashidiya School, where Fadi Mahmoud Abu Shukheidem (42), who carried out the attack, was working in as an Islamic Education teacher, then they arrested the school guard, Abdul Kareem Abu Kharoub, who was released after several hours of investigation. Furthermore, IOF surrounded, stormed and searched Abu Shukheidem building in Shu’afat refugee camp, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF severely assaulted Fadi’s family, damaged the house contents, then they arrested his daughter, Aya (20); his son, Abdullah (8); his brother, Shadi; and his nephew, Basel; and summonsed his mother, Samira al-Sweity (69). Several hours later, clashes occurred between dozens of young men and the Israeli soldiers inside the refugee camp, after the camp’s residents closed the main street and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed inside the military checkpoint.

In the evening, a protest launched from Abu Ubaidah Bin al-Jarrah Mosque and headed to Abu Shukheidem building.  IOF heavily fired teargas canisters at houses and shops in the camp. As a result, dozens of residents suffocated due to teargas inhalation.

  • At approximately 11:00, IOF arrested Majda Ibrahim al-Hanini (47), while present in the Aqsa Mosque yards in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF handed Mohammed Wael al-Hawash (21) a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services Moscovia Detention Center in West Jerusalem, after raiding and searching his house in Shu’afat refugee camp, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF arrested Ali Mahmoud al-Tawil (17), after raiding and searching his house in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF arrested Hussain Ahmed Atiya (17), after raiding and searching his house in al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF arrested Nabil Nader Shriteh (19), after raiding and searching his house in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

Monday, 22 November 2021:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF arrested Abdullah Islam Khudair (20), a student at al-Najah National University in Nablus, after raiding and searching his house in al-Dahiya neighborhood, east of Nablus.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF arrested Murad Ahmed Soboh (37), after raiding and searching his house in Wad Far’a area, south of Tubas.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF arrested (5) civilians after raiding and searching their houses in Qalandia refugee camp, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. The arrestees are: Mohammed al-Khateeb, Ibrahim Afana, Yousef Kisba, Kamal Abu Osba’ and Ashraf al-Zitawi.
  • At approximately 06:30, IOF reinforced with 6 military vehicles (4 bulldozers and 2 military tanks), moved 50-100 meters to the west of the border fence from Kissufim to the south of the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah. They levelled and combed lands adjacent to the border fence. After several hours, the Israeli military vehicles moved to the north, to al-Maghazi area, and deployed again inside of the border fence.
  • At approximately 08:30, IOF IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved 100-meter to the east of al-Qarara village, east of Khan Yunis. They levelled and combed lands adjacent to the border fence with Israel, before they deployed again inside the border fence.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF arrested Obada Nidal Dandis (25) and Mahmoud Nader Dandis (23), after raiding and searching their houses in Ras al-Amud neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested Rasha Tareq al-Issawy (36), after raiding and searching her house in al-Isawiya village, east of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF arrested Hasan Mohammed Asal (41), while passing through Shu’afat military camp’s checkpoint, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 19:40, IOF arrested Ra’ed Majed al-Sanam (20), after raiding and searching his house in Qalqilya.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Halhul, Yatta, Imreish and Bayt Amra villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 23 November 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF arrested Ibrahim Ahmed Hmeidan (24) and Jehad Abdul Fattah Hmeidan (51), after raiding and searching their houses in Biddu village, northwest of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF arrested Ali Mohammed Rashayida (52), after raiding and searching his house in al-Rashayidah village, east of Bethlehem.
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested Osama Ahmed Salatnah (23), after raiding and searching his house in Jaba’ village, south of Jenin governorate.
  • At approximately 03:05, IOF handed Abdul Rahman al-Tawil (23) a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Bet El” settlement, north of al-Bireh, after raiding and searching his house in Balou’ neighborhood, north of Ramallah governorate.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF severely beaten and arrested Wissam Mohammed Sidr (28), while present near King Faisal Gate, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s Gates in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF severely beaten and arrested Sufian Omar al-’Ajlouni (23) and Mohammed Mahmoud Sa’eed (21), while present near Bab Huta Gate, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s Gates, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 18:30, IOF arrested Adam Mustafa al-Safadi (15) and Mohammed Ibrahim al-Wahsh (15), after raiding and searching their houses in Beit Ssfafa village, south of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Beitunia and Birzeit villages in Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 24 November 2021:

  • At approximately 06:00, IOF arrested Anas Mahmoud al-Qanbar (21), after raiding and searching his house in Jabel Mukaber village, southeast of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF arrested Najeh Dawoud Bakirat (64), deputy director general of Jerusalem endowments, while present near Bab al-Asbat (Lions’ Gate), one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Gates.
  • At approximately 12:00, IOF handed Khadija Mohammed Khweis (44) and Hanadi Mohammed al-Halawani (41), summonses to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services, while present in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

Land razing, Demolitions, and Notices:

  • On Sunday morning, 21 November 2021, IOF demolished 2 agricultural barracks near as-Sawahira village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

As-Sawahira local council stated that IOF and the Civil Administration crews moved into as-Sawahira and demolished a 44-sqm agricultural barrack belonging to Mohammed Shqeirat and another one of 50 sqms belonging to ‘Abeidat family in the area.

  • At approximately 06:30 on Tuesday, 23 November 2021, the Israeli occupation authorities’ bulldozers demolished 2 residential buildings belonging to Mohammed and Amjad Rabay’ah in Wadi al-Hummus neighborhood in Sourbaher village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction near the security fence in the neighborhood.

Mohammed Raba’ah said that he and his brother Amjad built two buildings on a plot of land 4 years ago, costing them more than 4 million shekels. He added that his 260-sqm building is of 2 floors and houses 4 apartments, and he was supposed to settle in with wife after getting married in 4 months.  Meanwhile, his brother, Amjad’s, building is 150 sqms and of 2 floors with 2 apartments, where he lives with his family of 10, including their mother.  Rabay’ah said that  around 5 months ago the Israeli police raided his house and handed him a paper to refer to the police station in Beit El as they handed him a decision to demolish the 2 buildings under the pretext of building near the “security wall” in the neighborhood.

Rabay’ah added that he hired a lawyer to follow the case and take the necessary procedures, but due to the outbreak of coronavirus, no decision was taken in this case.  He said that he attempted many times to obtain a license or make a settlement to demolish one floor, but the occupation authorities refused.  He pointed out that the Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem held 2 hearings relevant to the 2 buildings and issued a demolition decision without informing him as he and his family were surprised with the decision. Around a week ago, the Israeli police ordered him and his brother to self-demolish the buildings and gave them until Wednesday, 24 November 2021, to do so.

Rabay’ah said that he and his brother refused, as they cannot accept the idea of losing what he has earned for 18 years in minutes.  He  added the moment the Israeli bulldozers moved into the area to demolish the family houses was the hardest time he experienced in his entire life, especially that IOF demolished the houses on the furniture and contents as well as levelling a land planted with trees, which separate between the 2 buildings.

It is noteworthy that the Wadi al-Hummus neighborhood extends from Sourbaher village with an area of around 3,000 dunums, and now IOF bans its residents from building on about half of its area, under the pretext of its closeness to the wall that separates the neighborhood from several villages in Bethlehem.

  • At approximately 09:00, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle and an excavator moved into Ma’in area, east of Yatta. IOF deployed between the houses and banned their movement while the excavator started demolishing a 2-storey house of 200 sqms belonging to ‘Ali Isma’il al-Hamamdah.  The family was supposed to move in after finishing it.

Al-Hamamdah received on 04 March 2021 a notice to demolish the house according to Military Order (1797) issued in 2018, which gives 96 hours to demolish a building starting from the day the military order is handed, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.  It should be noted that IOF refuses the legal appeals filed by Palestinians on these notices.  Meanwhile, around 2 months ago, Hamamdah received a notice of Assault on antiquities.

  • At approximately 10:00, IOF confiscated a bulldozer while working al-Marj area in Deir Ballout, west of Salfit, under the pretext of its presence in Area C.

Khaled Abu al-Kheir, the bulldozer’s owner, said that IOF arrived at the area and confiscated the bulldozer while plowing a plot of land belonging to Nayef Qar’oush under the pretext that the land is within Area C, where work is banned.  IOF took the bulldozer away and ordered them not to be here again.

  • At approximately 11:00, IOF levelled the paved road to Khelet al-Dalyah in Asira ash-Shamaliya village, northwest of Nablus. The 500-meter road was used to reach the agricultural lands, northeast of the village. It should be noted that the road rehabilitation was funded by the Agricultural Relief in cooperation with the Asira ash-Shamaliya Municipality and Power Company
  • Meanwhile, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration and an excavator moved into Ad-Deirat village, southeast of Yatta, south of Hebron. The excavator levelled a cemetery that was established near the village under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area C, noting that the Israeli authorities notified on 08 June 2021 to demolish the cemetery. Also, IOF seized 2 excavators belonging to one of the village residents and confiscated them while working there.

Setters’ Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and their Property:

  • On Friday dawn, 19 November 2021, a group of settlers punctured tires of Palestinian vehicles in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

‘Aref Hammad, Head of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, said that the vehicles belonging to the families of al-Ghazzawi, Shreiteh, al-Bashiti and Naser al-Deen in addition to a vehicle belonging to a Palestinian from outside the neighborhood. Hammad said that the Israeli police arrived at the neighborhood and opened an investigation into the incident.  They get off the fingerprints from the vehicle, but the police investigations are not serious as the settlers’ attacks on the neighborhood residents happen under the full protection of the Israeli police.

  • At approximately 18:00 on Sunday, 21November 2021, a group of settlers, from “Esh Kodesh” settlement outpost that was established on the lands of Qaryut and Jalud villages, southeast of Nablus, threw stones at a “Kia” car belonging to Hani Mahmoud Samarah. The car was traveling on Qaryut-Jalud Road when the settlers broke the windshield and severely damaged the car front before the driver could flee towards Qaryut village.
  • At approximately 01:00 on Monday, 22November 2021, a group of settlers from “Yitzhar” settlement established in eastern Urif village, southeast of Nablus, attacked the eastern outskirts of the village and broke the windows of a vehicle with stones. The car belongs to Samir Mohammad Samir Sawalmah and was parked in front of a house.

Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods:

The Gaza Strip:

The Israeli occupation authorities continued its collective punishment measures against the Gaza Strip as the 15-year Israeli closure imposed on the territory deepened the population’s humanitarian and living crises, as unemployment has skyrocketed at 45%, i.e. 217,000 able workers are unemployed, 63% of whom are youth.

More than half of the Gaza Strip population suffer in poverty, as the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics data shows that 53% of the Gaza Strip population is poor; meanwhile, more than 62.2% is classified as food insecure, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

As for commercial crossings, although the occupation authorities allowed the entry of construction  materials outside of the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM), it continues to maintain restrictions on the import of thousands of goods into the Gaza Strip, including construction materials necessary for the reconstruction of what was destroyed by the latest Israeli offensive, and the equipment and materials needed to repair the massive damage caused to the water and sanitation facilities and electricity networks by the offensive.

Moreover, IOF continued to impose tightened restrictions on the entry of 62 types classified as “dual-use items”[1] that include hundreds of major goods and essential materials, which are essential for the population. The ban on the entry exacerbates the Gaza Strip’s crises across various sectors, including infrastructure, economic, health, and education.

Also, IOF impose restrictions on the sailing area that fishermen are allowed to access, but still continues to chase and open fire on fishing boats sailing within those parameters. As such, fishermen are denied access to areas rich with fish.

At Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing, the Israeli occupation authorities decreased the number of persons allowed travel via the crossing of the already-limited groups that were allowed passage after a thorough security check. Even though the Israeli occupation authorities declared they will allow patients’ travel, they refused to respond to dozens of permit requests applied by the Health Ministry’s Coordination and Liaison Department on behalf of patients with serious diseases, whose treatment is not available at the Gaza hospitals, and referred abroad for treatment in the hospitals in Israel, the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and abroad.

The West Bank:

In addition to 108 permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of 36 temporary checkpoints that restrict the movement of goods and individuals, where IOF searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs, and arrested 5 of them. IOF reinforced its restrictions on civilians’ freedom of movement at its permanent checkpoints in the West Bank and shut some checkpoints for several hours on multiple occasions.

Here follows PCHR documentation of restrictions on the freedom of movement and IOF-established temporary checkpoints across the West Bank this week:

Jerusalem:

  • On Thursday, 18 November 2021, IOF closed the entrance to Bir Ayoub neighborhood in Silwan village and established several checkpoints in al-Dahra area, around al-Arba’in Mosque and at the western entrance to Isawiya village.
  • On Sunday, 21 November 2021, IOF closed al-Aqsa Mosque gates and all Jerusalem’s wall gates. They also established military checkpoints. Later, all gates were re-opened.
  • On Wednesday, 24 November 2021, IOF tightened their measures at a military checkpoint established at the entrance to Shu’fat refugee camp and obstructed vehicles’ movement.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 18 November 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village.
  • On Friday, 19 November 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Fajjar and Marah Rabah villages, and in ‘Aqabet Hassnah area.
  • On Saturday, 20 November 2021, IOF established a checkpoint in ‘Aqabet Hassnah area.
  • On Sunday, 21 November 2021, IOF closed a military checkpoint (300) and al-Container checkpoint in front of vehicles’ movement, causing a traffic jam. The two checkpoints were re-opened again.
  • On Monday, 22 November 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Nahalin village and in ‘Aqabet Hassnah area.
  • On Tuesday, 23 November 2021, IOF closed al-Container military checkpoint in front of vehicles’ movement and re-opened it later. Also, they established a checkpoint at the entrance to Ash-Shawawra village.
  • On Wednesday, 24 November 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Ash-Shawawra village, and at the northern and western entrances to Tuqu village.

Ramallah and Al-Bireh:

  • On Thursday, 18 November 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Nabi Salih and Beitin villages.
  • On Friday, 19 November 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Silwad village, northeast of the city.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 18 November 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to the city.
  • On Friday, 19 November 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to the city.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 18 November 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar, Idhna, Karma and Khasa villages, and at the northern entrance to the city.
  • On Friday, 19 November 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp, at the eastern entrance to Dura city and at the southern entrance to Hebron.
  • On Saturday, 20 November 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints on Wad Abu al-Samen Road in southern Hebron, at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp and at the entrance to ad-Dhahiriya village.
  • On Sunday, 21 November 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar and as-Samu villages and at the entrance to Al-Arroub refugee camp.
  • On Monday, 22 November 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Khasa village and at the southern entrance to Halhul city.

Salfit:

  • On Thursday, 18 November 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Salfit, and at the entrances to Deir Ballut and Kifl Haris villages, west of the city.

[1] Israeli authorities claim that these items, although used for civilian purposes, could be used to develop the combat capabilities of the Palestinian armed groups.

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Hezbollah Will Continue Accumulating Weapons, Training Troops to Face Any Israeli War: Sheikh Qassem

Posted on by martyrashrakat

November 27, 2021

Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem stressed on Saturday that the Resistance Party will continue accumulating weapons, training troops and augmenting military power to face any Israeli war.

Addressing the Arab Forum for Supporting the Palestinian Prisoners in the Israeli jails, Sheikh Qassem reiterated Hezbollah stance which backs the prisoners and condemns all the Zionist measures against them.

Sheikh Qassem indicated that supporting the Palestinian cause is the duty of all the liberals across the world, adding that the fall of the Israeli occupation is just a matter of time.

Sheikh Qassem also noted that some Lebanese parties reject the resistance weaponry in order to identify themselves with the Arab regimes normalizing ties with the Zionist entity.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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US Says ‘All Options’ on the Table Over Russian Troop Buildup Near Ukraine

WASHINGTON—All options are on the table in how to respond to Russia’s “large and unusual” troop buildup near Ukraine’s border, and the NATO alliance will decide on the next move following consultations next week, the State Department’s top U.S. diplomat for European affairs said on Friday.

“As you can appreciate, all options are on the table and there’s a toolkit that includes a whole range of options,” Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried told reporters in a telephone briefing.

U.S. President Joe Biden said he was concerned about the situation in Ukraine, repeated Washington’s support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and added that he will “in all probability” speak with his Ukrainian and Russian counterparts Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Vladimir Putin.

The comments came as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is heading to Latvia and Sweden next week to attend meetings of NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Donfried said Moscow’s “large and unusual” troop buildup would top the agenda at the NATO summit.

“It’s now for the alliance to decide what are the next moves that NATO wants to take,” Donfried said. “Next week, we will talk about our assessment of what’s happening on Russia’s border with Ukraine and we will begin that conversation of what are the options that are on the table and what it is that NATO as an alliance would like to do together,” she said.

U.S., NATO, and Ukrainian officials have raised the alarm in recent weeks over what they say are unusual Russian troop movements closer to Ukraine, suggesting that Moscow may be poised to launch an attack on its neighbor, accusations Russia has rejected as fear-mongering.

Asked if Blinken was going to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov while in Stockholm, Donfried said she had no such announcements to make but added: “Stay tuned.”

On Friday, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Ukraine’s head of presidential administration Andriy Yermak in a call spoke about their concerns over Russian military activities near Ukraine’s border.

The two discussed Russia’s “harsh rhetoric” toward Ukraine and agreed all sides should pursue diplomatic efforts to ease tensions, National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne​​ said in a statement. “Mr. Sullivan underscored the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Horne said.

The head of Ukraine’s military intelligence told the Military Times outlet this weekend that Russia had more than 92,000 troops massed around Ukraine’s borders and was preparing for an attack by the end of January or beginning of February.

Moscow has dismissed such suggestions as inflammatory and said it was not threatening anyone and defended its right to deploy its troops as it wished.

Donfried was asked what the United States saw specifically different in Russia’s troop buildup this time, but she did not elaborate aside from saying it was “large and unusual.”

Russia’s intentions remain unclear, and East-West tensions are running high with Ukraine, Russia, and NATO all conducting military drills and Moscow accusing Washington of rehearsing a nuclear attack on Russia earlier this month.

Asked if recent escalation has prompted Washington to consider more seriously deploying permanent troops in NATO’s eastern flank, Donfried did not elaborate on the specific point but said NATO foreign ministers next week would be discussing the wider strategy for the alliance’s posturing in the 21st century.

At the OSCE meeting in Stockholm, Donfried said, Blinken will also raise Russia’s occupation of Ukrainian and Georgian territories, the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the crisis in Belarus.

By Humeyra Pamuk and Simon Lewis

Reuters

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Israel to Shut Borders to All Foreigners, Use Phone-Tracking Tech Over Omicron COVID-19 Variant

Israel on Saturday unveiled new plans to ban all foreigners into the country, a world-first in efforts to curb the spread of the newly detected COVID-19 variant called Omicron.

The nation has also revealed plans to use counter-terrorism phone-tracking technology to surveil the new variant’s spread.

The travel ban to all foreigners would last 14 days, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement.

The new measures, which still require government approval, come after Israel announced a smaller-scale travel ban on Friday for foreigners coming from most African countries.

Officials hope that within the 14-day period, more information about how effective COVID-19 vaccines are against the new CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus strain may emerge.

Omicron was first detected in southern Africa and has been dubbed a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization. It has since also been detected in Belgium, Hong Kong, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

“Our working hypotheses are that the variant is already in nearly every country … and that the vaccine is effective, although we don’t yet know to what degree,” Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked told N12’s “Meet the Press.”

Israel will also require all its citizens—including those who have been COVID-19 vaccinated—to quarantine, Bennett said. The measure will be in effect the midnight between Sunday and Monday.

bennett israel
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks in Jerusalem, Israel, on June 13, 2021. (Amir Levy/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, the Israel Security Agency’s phone-tracking technology will be used to monitor carriers of the Omicron variant in efforts to curb transmission, Bennett said.

The technology was used occasionally since March 2020 and matched virus-positive people’s phone locations with other nearby mobile phones to deduce with whom they had come into contact.

Israel’s Supreme Court this year limited the scope of its use after civil rights groups mounted challenges over privacy concerns.

Israel has confirmed one Omicron case in traveler returning from Malawi, country in southeastern Africa. The Israeli Health ministry did not say whether the person had been vaccinated.

There are another seven suspected Israeli cases, three of whom were fully vaccinated, and another three who had not recently traveled abroad, the country’s health ministry said on Saturday.

Israel is currently tracing some 800 travelers who returned recently from southern African countries.

Many countries have imposed restrictions on a slew of southern African countries upon news of the new variant and its potentially higher transmissibility. Countries include Australia, Brazil, Canada, the European Union, Iran, Japan, Thailand and the United States.

South Africa’s health minister has called such measures “unjustified,” while the chair of the South African Medical Association, Dr. Angelique Coetzee, who has been treating COVID-19 cases in Pretoria, South Africa, has told various media outlets that, so far, her patients’ symptoms have been “mild.”

“It may be it’s highly transmissible, but so far the cases we are seeing are extremely mild,” she told The Guardian. “Maybe two weeks from now, I will have a different opinion, but this is what we are seeing.

“So are we seriously worried? No. We are concerned and we watch what’s happening, but for now we’re saying, ‘OK: there’s a whole hype out there. [We’re] not sure why.’”

Reuters contributed to this report.

Mimi Nguyen Ly

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Mimi Nguyen Ly is a world news reporter based in Australia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in optometry and vision science. Contact her at mimi.nl@epochtimes.com.

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Japanese Stealth Aircraft Carriers?

F 35B landing on JS Izumo
F-35B landing on JS Izumo

Although unfamiliar with the details, most people recognize the purpose of stealth technology is to make aircraft effectively immune to radar detection at normal combat ranges. The question is, would it be possible, employing the same technology, to make stealth aircraft carriers? The answer, even with Japan’s undoubted technical prowess, is a decided no, at least not for the foreseeable future.

If this is true, the question of Japanese stealth aircraft carriers would appear to be an oxymoron. But in Japan (as in many countries involving questions of war and peace), what you see (and hear) is definitely not what you get. For example, if you were to ask the average Japanese on the street about the particulars of Japan’s two aircraft carriers, you are likely to get an incredulous look, followed by, “What are you talking about? Japan doesn’t have any aircraft carriers!” At least technically speaking, that is true, for at present the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (Navy) has no category of ships bearing the title “aircraft carrier.”

Is it possible that Japan plans to build aircraft carriers in the future? Perhaps, but this misses the point that Japan already has not one but two aircraft carriers by the names of Japanese Ship (JS) Izumo and Kaga. Don’t the Japanese people know this?

The answer to this question begins in 1947 when Japan adopted, at American insistence if not provision, its first postwar constitution, including Article Nine that states: “Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.”

In light of Article Nine, how could Japan possess two aircraft carriers or, for that matter, any military at all? The quick answer is, “by stealth.” The stealth began in August 1950 when, still under Allied Occupation, Japan was directed to create its first postwar military organization. However, although led by officers of the former Imperial Army, it was not called an “army” but rather a “National Police Reserve” (Keisatsu-yobitai) consisting of 75,000 men equipped with light infantry weapons. In mid-1952, with the Occupation at an end, the National Police Reserve was expanded to 110,000 men and renamed the National Safety Forces (Hoan-tai).

It was not until July 1954 that the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, Maritime Self-Dense Force, and Air Self-Defense Force were established. These names ensured that Japan would have nothing unconstitutional named an “Army,” “Navy” or “Air Force.”  This particular act of stealth was made possible thanks to the Japanese government’s creative interpretation of Article Nine to mean that, despite it clearly stated provisions, the nation possessed the inherent right to self-defense. All of this was done with the encouragement, if not pressure, of the United States with whom Japan had established the US-Japan Security Treaty (Anpō-jōyaku) in 1951 as a condition for ending the Occupation.

But why had the US, which had pressured Japan to adopt Article Nine in the first place, changed into such a strong supporter, if not advocate, of Japanese rearmament? In a word, it was the resumption of America and Japan’s anti-communist crusade. I use the word “resumption” because Japan and the US had first fought communism side by side from 1918 to 1920 when the two countries were part of an Allied military effort to aid anti-communist White Russian forces in Siberia. Japan was so dedicated to this struggle that it continued to support White Russian troops until 1922, two years after the US and other Allied nations had withdrawn.

In the intervening years, the continued existence of the Soviet Union, coupled with the postwar success of communist forces in China and North Korea, not to mention the Korean War, meant that Japan, or at least its conservative leaders, were quite prepared, despite their defeat in WWII, to resume an even more urgent anticommunist struggle led by the US. In addition, within Japan leftwing forces had grown stronger, posing an increasing threat to Japan’s capitalist system in the postwar era.

There was only one obstacle to Japan’s rearmament – the Japanese people, for they remained traumatized by war and were now largely pacifist. Any amendments made to the postwar constitution required the consent of a majority of Japanese voters, an unlikely prospect as far as Article Nine was concerned. Hence, there was only one way to accomplish an ongoing military buildup – by stealth.

As but one example, in 1956, the Japanese government acted to allay the public’s fear of being dragged into a nuclear war as an ally of the US, by promulgating its “three non-nuclear principles” (hikaku sangensoku). These principles forbid the nation to possess or manufacture nuclear weapons or even allow them to be introduced into its territory. Nevertheless, I know from personal experience that, behind the scenes, the Japanese government had given permission to the US to break the third one of these principles from the beginning, i.e. to allow the US to introduce nuclear weapons into its territory.

In 1980 I was stationed on board the USS Knox, a destroyer homeported in Yokosuka, Japan. I say “stationed,” but I was actually employed as a civilian college instructor to provide Japanese language and Asian history courses for sailors assigned to the Knox. The US Navy, in its wisdom, assigned me to room with the Knox’s nuclear weapons officer. Why nuclear weapons? Because the Knox was armed with anti-submarine ASROC missiles to which W44 nuclear depth charges could be attached.

Not only was there a steel door on the Knox with a large radiation mark on it, but an armed Marine stood guard in front of the door twenty four hours a day, in port or at sea. In addition, I personally saw the operation manual for these tactical nukes on the officer’s desk in our shared room as well as receipts for the weapons when they were loaded on board the ship in Guam, a US territory. The late, former US ambassador to Japan, Edwin Reischauer, later admitted that the introduction of nuclear weapons had been secretly agreed to by the Japanese government.

In a continuing series of incremental steps, either little known or unknown to the Japanese public, Japan has come to possess the fifth most powerful military in the world, ranking behind the US, Russia, China and India. However, it still lacks one major component, the ability to conduct sustained offensive military operations beyond its shores. Japan’s two new aircraft carriers, JS Izumo and Kaga, represent a major step toward providing this ability. Once again, however, in the absence of a revision to Article Nine, the existence of the two carriers must remain virtually unknown to the Japanese public.

It is therefore neither surprising nor accidental that on October 3, 2021 a US Marine F-35B fighter, capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings, was the first fighter plane to land on a Japanese ship of any kind since WWII. Not accidental, that is, because the Marine fighter’s landing is but another step in the longstanding integration of the two countries’ militaries. To the Japanese public, however, the ship on which it landed, i.e. JS Izumo, remains a “helicopter destroyer,” originally sold to the Japanese people as equipped with helicopters to provide disaster relief as well as locate enemy submarines in Japanese waters.

Nevertheless, as noted in the August 18, 2021 English language edition of the Mainichi newspaper: “The [F-35B] fighters’ introduction is being sped up for deployment on Izumo-class helicopter destroyers, which are being converted into de-facto aircraft carriers.” In fact, 42 of these aircraft are already on order with additional purchases expected. All this, without any change in the ship’s classification, at least for the Japanese public’s consumption.

It should now be clear to the reader that this article should have been entitled: “Japanese Aircraft Carriers By Stealth.” In fact, a good argument can be made that the entire postwar Japanese military should bear this title. But there still remains one major barrier to today’s Japanese military engaging in offensive military operations abroad, no doubt this time in partnership with the US military. That barrier is, of course, Article Nine of the Japanese Constitution, and the Japanese public’s willingness to maintain it in the face of the ongoing, relentless pressure by conservatives to revise it to their liking. Will they succeed at last?

Stay tuned. . .

  In 1980 Brian Victoria was employed by Chapman College to provide instruction to sailors stationed on-board ships of the US Seventh Fleet, homeported in Yokosuka, Japan.

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Turkey’s Expansion into Central Asia Intensifies

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Under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, claiming the role of a new regional superpower, Turkey has been increasingly active in recent decades pursuing an independent foreign policy with an attempt to position itself as the key state of the so-called “Afrasia,” that is, as a link between Africa, Asia, and Europe. Recently the Turkish president has been actively trying to build the alliance of Turkic, or, if Hungary were to be included, Turanian states, which, in particular, was demonstrated by the Eighth Summit of the Organization of Turkic States (Turkic Council) held in Istanbul on November 12. In this context, it is noteworthy that at the summit, there was a clear call for the UN and the Organization of Turkic States to sign a document on cooperation, thus clearly confirming the claims of this organization, which is being strengthened by Ankara, to grow into a kind of “Turkic UN” in the near future. And a certain step in this direction has already been taken at the last summit in renaming the Turkic Council into the Organization of Turkic States.

At the same time, the current Turkish leadership, who pays lip service to Kemal Ataturk’s legacy, blatantly neglects to condemn Pan-Turkism as incompatible with their own idea of Turkey.

Actively pursuing a neo-Ottomanist foreign policy, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan earnestly believes that Ankara should play a primary role in foreign policy in the Middle East and Central Asia, especially given the fact that many countries in the region were once part of the Ottoman Empire.

Central Asia is one of the most significant regions for Turkey, as it is geographically surrounded by states with a predominantly non-Turkic population. Without Central Asia, Turkey objectively cannot satisfy its own ambitions as a state aspiring to lead all Turkic countries. All this resulted in Ankara intensifying its work with the idea of Turkic unity in the recent period. However, its interests in the Middle East remain a priority.

In terms of Ankara’s policy of “unification with the states of Central Asia,” throughout August, celebrations were held of the 30th anniversary of independence of the Turkic world states: Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan, although Turkmenistan remains neutral and is not a member of the Turkic Council, even though its president attended the summit of the CIS on November 12 in Ankara. The festivities were initiated by the International Organization of Turkic Culture, TÜRKSOY, headquartered in Ankara. Events were also held in Hungary (it became an observer in the Turkic Council) and Romania.

Worthy of note is the fact that the events held within the framework of the Turkic Council actively pursued the distancing from the Soviet past. Hence, the policy on the rejection of common memory with Moscow was active.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, and Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban, whose country is an observer, were invited by Turkish leader Erdoğan to the meeting of the Turkic Council in Istanbul on November 12. Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov also attended the summit on behalf of his country, which participated for the first time as an observer.

The Turkic Council summit participants discussed the issues of expanding cooperation and announced plans to supplement the cultural and humanitarian cooperation with projects of the Turkic Council in economy, trade, transport, and energy, as well as the establishment of the Turkic Investment Fund. Earlier, the members of the Turkic Council agreed to create a common visa-free space by 2040, and by 2026-28 they are planning to form a common Turkic market of goods, investments, labor, and services. At the same time, among the provisions of cultural and humanitarian cooperation voiced by Ankara, the formation of a common alphabet attracts attention. And, given that Turkey uses the Latin alphabet, while some Turkic countries, notably Kyrgyzstan, use the Cyrillic alphabet, the vector of the proposed innovations is clear – to deepen the separation of Central Asian countries from Moscow in this direction.

As both the recent Turkic Council summit and Turkey’s recent policy in the Central Asian region demonstrate, official Ankara is playing its pan-Turkic game. And this game of official Ankara has recently become increasingly fierce against the backdrop of intensified various problems in Turkey. It is no secret that Turkey is experiencing several economic problems these days. The Turkish lira plunged to a record low after the country’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate by 100 basis points, from 16% to 15%, and the lira has depreciated by nearly 30% against the dollar since the beginning of the year, becoming the weakest emerging market currency. All this has not added to the popularity of the Turkish president, whose rating is declining day by day.

Under these circumstances, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan began to emphasize the foreign plans , including the promotion of the Turkic Council, hoping that successes in the international arena could curb the decline in confidence in the country’s leader.

And here it is quite remarkable that the day after the adoption of the “Turkic World Vision 2040” declaration at the 8th Summit of the Turkic Council in Istanbul, a map of the “Turkic world” appeared in Turkey, with President Erdoğan and the leader of the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party (better known as the “Grey Wolves”) Devlet Bahçeli photographed holding it. The huge Turkic world stretches from the Arctic Ocean to Bulgaria, including Central Asia and a third of Russia, with almost twenty regions of the Russian Federation. “Grey Wolves” is a right-wing nationalist party with little support in Turkey. But could it be that what they declare is a reflection of Erdoğan’s true thoughts?

By the way, it bewilders: why are the territories of Central Asian countries shaded the same color as Turkey itself on the map? Doesn’t this mean that Ankara already considers the region Turkey’s territory, with the existing borders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan completely discarded?

Undoubtedly, this map and the gift to Erdoğan from the “Grey Wolves” clearly indicate Ankara’s desire to subjugate large territories belonging to other states.  And one shouldn’t consider the mentioned “gift” accidental because the press service and the protocol of any head of state (and especially in Turkey!) always pay close attention to the choice of photos with the head of the country worth publishing and those that are not.

What Turkey wants is quite apparent. But it is up to Central Asians to decide what they want and whether to agree to further submission to Erdoğan. In any event, they should have a say in this.

Vladimir Odintsov, political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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Do You Need a Financial Adviser Before the End of the Year? Here’s How to Know for Sure

Have you reflected on what went well and what didn’t go so well with your finances this year? Do you need to get a financial adviser’s help?

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Suspect that you might need a financial adviser or financial planner? Deciding whether to add a financial adviser to your “team” might depend on a variety of reasons, both personal and practical. The end of the year might be the right time to search for your newest team member.

In a CNBC and Acorns Invest In You Savings Survey, the majority of Americans polled reported that they manage their own finances, with no help from a professional or online service. The survey showed that 75 percent of Americans manage their own money—only 17 percent manage their money with a financial adviser’s help. In terms of age groups, a total of 31 percent of Americans aged 65 and older use a financial adviser, compared to just 4 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 and only 7 percent of Americans between 25 and 34.

Let’s walk through what financial advisers do, the reasons to get a financial adviser’s help before the end of the year, and what type of financial adviser might make sense for you.

What Can a Financial Adviser Do to Help at Year End?

Working with a financial adviser at the end of the year can be a good time to assess what worked and what didn’t this year. Were you often short of money to pay bills each month? Do you have increasing debt pressure? Did you identify specific goals over the past year to ensure your family’s future stability?

A financial adviser can help you quantify those goals. For example, let’s say you had a baby this year and want to start saving for college. A financial adviser can help you calculate how much you need to save per month to reach your college savings goals.

Whatever major life decision you have on the horizon, a financial adviser can help you put a plan in place. Your financial adviser will look at a number of factors, from your salary to your time horizon, to help you make smart money choices.

Reasons to Get a Financial Adviser Before the End of the Year

Your finances can become increasingly complicated from year to year. You may want to consider getting a jump on the next year for the following reasons.

Reason 1: You’re New to Making Financial Decisions

Do you understand the basics of investing? Working with an adviser can lay the groundwork to set you up for future success. You may only need to hire someone temporarily, while you get used to making decisions about your future. You might not need a financial adviser forever—you just might want one to get you going in the right direction.

Reason 2: You Experienced a Major Life Event

This year, did you get married, have a child, get divorced, or experience the death of a spouse? Each of these life transitions requires careful financial planning. You may need more than just basic financial advice; you may need someone to help you decide on your best course of financial action. For example, your spouse may have died and left you a lot of money through a life insurance policy. A financial adviser can help you determine a balanced asset allocation in various investments so you can take care of all of your needs, whether you save for retirement, plan for college, budget for short-term needs, and more.

Reason 3: You Receive or Plan to Give a Large Sum of Money

During the holidays, families often give generously to their loved ones. You might receive an unexpected large sum of money, which might deserve a financial adviser’s review due to tax considerations.

You might also plan to give your family members a large sum of money during the holidays. A financial adviser can walk you through gift and estate tax exemptions. You want to know the total amount that you can give over the annual exclusion amounts, either during your lifetime or at death, before having to pay any federal gift or estate tax. You may want to work out a comprehensive plan to give during many holidays to come.

Financial advisers can also help you plan your estate for when you die, an important consideration if you’re married or have children. A financial planner can help you, in conjunction with a lawyer, to figure out what happens to your money and possessions in the event of your death.

Reason 4: You Need Year-End Help with Debt Management

The end of the year can be a great time to reflect on how well you’re handling your debt obligations. If you’re facing a complicated debt situation, such as overwhelming credit card debt or medical bills, a financial adviser can help you clear the hurdles. You might also want to consider talking through your personal debt situation with a financial adviser at your company. These sessions are often free. Check with the human resources office at your company for more information on when you can sign up for a time for workplace financial planning.

Reason 5: You Will Get a Raise or Job Promotion at the End of the Year

If you get a promotion or a raise through your job, you might want to talk to a financial adviser about how to handle a large jump in your salary. A financial adviser can help you determine how to responsibly handle your increase in salary and help you make a plan to continue to grow your wealth.

What Type of Financial Adviser Should Help with Year-End Planning?

What kind of adviser do you need? You can get an adviser with a wide variety of certifications. Here are three types of financial adviser certifications you can consider:

  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP): CFP professionals meet rigorous education, training, and ethical standards and can advise you on a wide range of investment and tax advice. CFPs must complete at least 1,000 hours of work before they become certified.
  • Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC): ChFCs don’t need to achieve the same level of testing as a CFP, but they must meet rigorous standards and have three years of experience in the field before becoming certified.
  • Certified Public Account (CPA): CPAs help individuals and companies with financial planning, investments, and taxes. They must complete specific educational and work requirements and pass an exam to become certified.

You always want to make sure that your financial adviser is a fiduciary. Fiduciaries are required by law to put your financial interests first over their own financial gain. Some financial advisers have a fee-only structure and will earn money by selling certain financial products to their customers. If you want to avoid this, check to make sure your adviser is a listed fiduciary. Visit napfa.org to check the database of fiduciaries.

In addition, you want to know how financial advisers get paid for their work. Many advisers charge an hourly fee and you should also expect a financial adviser to charge an annual fee, such as 1 percent to 2 percent of your investments.

Need Great Advice Before the End of the Year?

You may wonder how to find the right adviser. Ask around your family, friends, and colleagues. They may already be working with a fantastic fiduciary financial adviser right in your town.

Set up appointments or phone calls with a couple of potential advisers before you make your final decision. You want to make sure your adviser jives with your personality and understands your financial goals.

Getting your finances in order right now can put you in a great position before your new year’s resolutions kick in.

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“Despite 74 years of Independence, the sewer worker is still a slave and caught in the shackles of Casteism”

sewer workers

New Delhi, November 27th: A “Roundtable with Sewer Workers” was organized on 27th November, Saturday, 2021 in New Delhi from 2:00 pm- 5:00 pm in which sewer workers from Delhi came together along with Worker Unions and Government bodies. The workshop was attended by more than 100 sewer workers.

The Dalit Adivasi Shakti Adhikar Manch (DASAM) has worked on the social, economic, and working conditions of the sewer workers in Delhi, especially among workers working under a contractual system.

Mr. Ashok Kumar (National Coordinator, DASAM) spoke about the exploitative contractual system and informed that DASAM has submitted a presentation in front of MLA’s of Delhi, for contractual sewer workers and urged them to raise their issues in the Parliament. He added that they’ve conducted a survey on the socio-economic working conditions of contractual sewer workers where they’ve found that the contractual workers receive no work permits or id cards, which further adds to the problem and especially in the case of accident or death, there is a struggle to prove that the worker died while engaged in sewer work.

Adding to it, Ms. Ena Zafar (National Coordinator, DASAM) elaborated that during DASAM’s course of work, they’ve witnessed that although outlawed, Sewer Workers face untouchability. Even when the worker asks for water from some household, he is outright denied or asked to ‘take away the bottle with him.

The discussion was open to sewer workers. Their names are not being disclosed as they fear that they will be removed from their jobs. They highlighted several key points:

∙ We’ve been working in the sewer for more than 10 years hoping that maybe someday, we will be provided with a permanent job.

∙ We earn less than the minimum wage provided by the govt. and do not receive any benefits from the government. If someone in our family gets sick, we have nowhere to go for treatment. ESI, PF are basic facilities which we are deprived of.

∙ The contractor hires workers for only 4 months every six months despite getting a contract for six months. We have to do odd jobs to sustain ourselves.

∙ After one contract ends, we have to worry if we will be hired again or not.

∙ We are scared to even raise our voice against any injustice either by the contractor or the neighborhood we work in. A constant threat of losing our job looms on our heads.

∙ Injuries while opening the sewer is so common that we do not even count it as an injury and after such injuries, we are left on our own to treat it.

∙ Also, when there is a delay from the authorities’ side to provide us with our uniforms, we have to pay the price for not being in uniform and our salary is deducted as a penalty.

∙ DESPITE 74 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE, THE SEWER WORKER IS STILL A SLAVE AND CAUGHT IN THE SHACKLES OF CASTEISM.

After hearing from the sewer workers, the panelist shared their suggestions with the attendees. The panelists included:

∙ Mr. Sanjay Gehlot (Chairman, Delhi Commission for Safai Karmchari)
∙ Mr. Virender Goudh (President, Municipal Workers Lal Jhanda Union. CITU)
∙ Mr. Ved Prakash Bidla (President, Delhi Jal Board Sewer Department Mazdoor Sangathan)
∙ Mr. Beerpal Parcha (Member, Delhi Jal Board Sewer Department Mazdoor Sangathan)
∙ Mr. Krishan Gopal (Secretary Delhi, Municipal Workers Lal Jhanda Union)
∙ Ms. Shashi Raj (Deputy Convenor, Delhi Democratic Alliance)

Mr. Virender spoke about the struggles the workers and unions have to face while getting approval for minimum wage. The benefits of the minimum wage which was announced previously have not reached the worker and other directions for minimum wage have been released. The workers continue to receive money below the minimum wages as whatever amount is added, is taken over by the contractors announced. He asked ‘why is sewer work, which falls in the category of daily work, outsourced?’ He also spoke about the unfair labor code which deprives the worker of joining any union thereby opening avenues to never-ending exploitations.

Ms. Shashi said that despite the slight engagement of people from different sections of society, the majority of the workers belong from the Dalit community which has been historically oppressed and is still being oppressed. The workers are crying for a basic facility for risking their lives which goes deaf on the ears of authority. Why? As everyone knows, who is working in the sewer!

After hearing everyone, Mr. Sanjay Gehlot shared his journey that how he started working as a Safai Karmchari, never neglected his education and is now the Chairperson of Delhi Commission for Safai Karamcharis and said that he is willing to work for the upliftment of the community as he understands the struggles and pain of the people who are employed in this. He insisted on the unity of the workers and suggested that the workers all over India should unite and get their demands accepted. He added that his blood boils when he hears the word ‘contractual system’ as he knows how exploitative it is to the workers. He is ready to challenge the system and has been making continuous efforts to make all the workers permanent who are employed in the contractual system. He ended by reading the Preamble of the Indian Constitution and said that it guarantees all the rights that we’ve been struggling for, so there is no need to worry, We are on the right path. We should not be afraid of anything or anyone.

Organized by Dalit Adivasi Shakti Adhikar Manch (DASAM) in collaboration with Delhi Jal Board Sewer Department Mazdoor Sangathan, Jal Mal Kaamgaar Sangharsh Morcha, DJB Employees Welfare Association (Regd.), Sewerage and Allied Workers Forum, National Domestic Workers Union, Municipal Works Lal Jhanda Union (Regd.) CITU, National Alliance of People’s Movement (NAPM), Institute for Democracy and Sustainability (IDS), National Campaign for Dignity and Rights of Sewerage and Allied Workers, Magadh Foundation, Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre (PMARC), National Movement for Land, Labor & Justice (NMLLJ), All DJB employees welfare Association.

For more information, contact: dashaktimanch@gmail.com

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Public Sector and The Pandemic: Why Government Interventions Are Essential

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In an interview of Joseph Stiglitz that appeared in Investopedia on 23 April 2020 he said “Covid 19 reminds us that when we have a crisis we turn to collective action and to government.” What became very crucial in countering the pandemic are the collective actions in which civil societies were forced to keep aloof from its internal decay like racism and disparity and the preparedness of government. Any country which was vulnerable to social contradictions and least government interventions were subjected to a greater number of Covid cases and deaths due to covid. In the same interview Stiglitz also predicts that states in USA are about to hit by a revenue shock that is surely greater than in 2008.  This can also be applied to other countries as corona has hit the global economy. Similar to the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) it is the governments which can play crucial rule in creating a better world, which means public sector should lead. Talking about public sector is no more a leftist dynamic. A wide range of economists and organization with no leftist leaning has finally admitted the indispensable role of public sector. Here we mean no negation of private sector and enterprises but will be stressing on importance of public sector. The current socio-economic crisis can be compared to GFC 2008 in many ways. Except one or two almost all countries were facing economic problems before the crisis. Even before pandemic the economies of countries including India were facing slowdown. Both GFC 2008 and Covid19 were a very strong blow to economies. Banks collapsed; employments were destructed, people were pushed to severe poverty and difficulties and social mobility ceased. The high task power commission appointed by U.N under the leadership of Stiglitz demanded certain changes in the existing policies. The reading of GFC 2008 is essential during these times. Especially for India a country which was facing slowdown even before pandemic. The problems caused by demonetisation still echoes in our economy. The additional destruction caused by pandemic on the economy can resonate in coming days.

GFC 2008 And Pandemic: A Comparison

The economic slowdown caused by the virus is more devastating than the crisis that happened in 2008. But there are certain similarities between both historical incidents. The institutions that failed in 2008 and in 2020 are almost the same. This proves that we never learned anything from the past. The solutions for both the crisis also draws similarity.

“The crisis is in part of a result of excessive deregulation of financial markets. Restoring the global economy to health will require restoring to the state the appropriate role of regulator of financial market. In addition, the externalities associated with both the global economic crisis and the global climate crisis can be addressed only by restoring government to its appropriate role in providing collective action at the national and global levels.” (Excerpts from Stiglitz Report)

The above-mentioned sentences still remain a reality. Even before 2020 the financial markets remained deregulated as many countries were governed by right wing governments. The historical role of government in intervention remained forgotten. (Stiglitz Report). The economic crisis caused by corona can be solved only through strong government interventions. The audacity of state to make interventions are necessary to avoid economic crisis in the long term. The adverse effect of GFC 2008 has contributed in worsening the current crisis too. What we fail to understand is that all economic crisis has a long-lasting devastating effect. It is not after the immediate dawn we feel the problems but maybe after months or years.

What are the ways to overcome the pandemic and the crisis?

1.Strong public sector hospitals and institutions

  1. Strong government intervention in banking sector
  2. Enhanced Social Security Programmes
  3. Progressive Reforms
  4. Poverty Alleviation Programme
  5. Universal Free Vaccine
  6. Reducing Inequality

Except from the vaccine all the other solutions resonated during GFC 2008. The problems of the masses remain the same, what changes is the level of intensity.

Strong public sector hospitals and institutions

Why should we strengthen public sector hospitals and institutions? The IMF economists Victor Gaspar,Paulo Medas, and John Ralyea have the answer. “The pandemic has highlighted the role of the public sector in saving lives and livelihoods. State-owned enterprises are part of that effort. They can be public utilities that provide essential services. Or public banks that provide loans to small businesses.” (IMF Blog) IMF Fiscal monitors are also urging the government to function to their maximum. IMF, an organization which demanded shortening government intervention in its past is now advocating for increased government interventions. This reminds us of Kenneth Rogoff ‘s words “The next great battle between socialism and capitalism will be waged over human health.” Even if you negate socialism based on your views you can still remain a Neo Keynesian. The school of Neo Keynesians are almost against market fundamentalism and advocates free health care.

Health care is a basic right in many countries. But in many other countries it is a luxury good. The debate on universal health care is still an ongoing dialect. Different schools of economics have engaged in debate over the past few decades. In the wake of globalizations world expected the Marxian economists to advocate for universal health care but it was Keynesians who came forward for this along with the Left. Kenneth J Arrows, an American economist who was awarded with Nobel Prize has written a paper about medical care in 1963 and it became a focal point of discussion in later decades. In his paper he clarified that health care is a sector where unpredictable phenomenon happens. So, the demand and supply without interventions tend to fail here. Joseph Stiglitz in his book Price of Inequality also focus on making health care free in USA.

As Antonio Gutteres the current Secretary of UN said “Covid – 19 pandemic is a public health emergency – but it is far more.”

During the outbreak of the pandemic different countries had different plans on countering the virus. Spain nationalized all the private hospitals in order to increase medical infrastructure. The same method was followed by Zambia. But the countries which were reluctant to change their neo liberal healthcare policies had harsh experiences. America, Brazil, India were the countries which faced severe problems during the first and second wave. The private sector as such is one component of the failure of either emergency or pandemic planning in many states, and yet another damning verdict on the health systems gaps left in place by the global health security agenda and the policies that have rolled back public health. The pandemic has sharply reminded us once again how health policies and increasing privately-focused health systems fail to meet both national needs and those of the most marginalized and vulnerable. Neoliberalism has seen market-provided healthcare burgeon, and the pandemic has only further exposed what has transpired in health services provision as being inequitable, unstable, and deeply ill-suited to meeting population health needs.

The private medical sector has failed to deliver the necessary service during the pandemic especially in Low Middle Income Countries (LMIC). It is clear that COVID has created an acute liquidity crisis in the private sector internationally, with the impact most felt by smaller and medium-size practices, clinics and hospitals. Industry bodies have been warning of these private providers facing acute liquidity problems since March 2020, and the financial crisis has forced small- to medium-size clinics and hospitals to close or furlough staff. (Owain David Williams) In India where the government has no business in doing business the public health infrastructure exists as a very thin layer. India spends only 1.25% of its GDP on medical field which even lesser than under developed countries. As per the studies of Lancet 78% of hospitals in urban area and 71% in rural area are under private sector. NSS Data also prove that the greater percentage of masses in both rural and urban area depend on private sector. Most of the private hospitals are reaching the constrain while the whole medical sector is failing in India. Many ASEAN countries responded early and proactively by unilaterally, even aggressively, passing legislation, or simply decreeing limitations on private providers. Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia all secured COVID treatment by private providers and fixed government subsidized rates. Indian states have moved through their own trajectories of responses to the service and pricing crisis, with even pro-market ruling BJP administrations becoming increasingly aggressive toward private providers. Despite multiple states capping prices for treatment of patients, and despite sequestration of beds and capacities by legal means and emergency powers, the situation has been anarchic, with tensions and real divisions emerging between state governments and private providers. Firms are still routinely breaching price caps and gouging, turning away COVID patients and hoarding beds, with reports of unseemly black markets for beds emerging. The case of Kerala was different from the rest. With its strong public health infrastructure and welfare schemes the state succeeded in resisting the virus. The state has a strong Public Distribution System. While other states failed to take off the ration subsidies due to their tarnished PDS state of Kerala was successful in ensuring that there is no food shortage. While chronic hunger and poverty is still persisting in the country Kerala is performing better in such social and human development indicators. Government hospitals at decentralized levels was one of the key factors which helped Kerala in withstanding the pandemic.

The public health sector in India needs drastic changes in order to move smoothly to a post pandemic era. Abhijit Banerjee, Nobel laureate in economic has said health care is one of the factors which squeezes out the income of people. Covid and post covid issues which the marginalized, low-income people face can only be eradicated with a sound public sector policy.

Even when USA and UK followed universal vaccination policy India abided to a liberal vaccine policy from which the government deviated after strong slashes from the apex court. The liberal vaccine policy was one of the blunders in the vaccination history of India. India has a history of vaccinating 127 million children on one day. In 1998 India set a record of 134 million vaccination in one day under the leadership of Indrajith Gupta the then Home Minister during the United Front government.  This was the potential of Indian public infrastructure. From such a strong setup the country was degraded into a liberal vaccine policy which failed to accelerate vaccination and also cause vaccine shortage. The gap between first jab and the second was increased up to 80+ days due to shortage of vaccine. The policy was altered to an extent after the supreme court made an intervention. “From 1978, we had one of the finest distribution policies in the world – the universal immunisation programme. Even for the 45+ people, the previous policy has prevailed. Now we are seeing a change in the policy. But for the 45+ even today the central government will procure and the state government will only administer the vaccine.” Jaydeep Gupta the amicus curiae said this in the court just before urging the government to restore the original policy of universal vaccination. The liberal policy was proved to be a failure by central minister Piyush Goyal. He gave a statement that private sector is lagging in vaccination drive. (Source; The Hindu) He also said that the private sector failed to pick the 25% of vaccine allotted for them. This is how economic crisis weaken private sector and this is why strong public sector should spearhead.  At the global level despite the universal vaccine policies and research funding by certain governments, serious problems exist in vaccination. There is no equity in distributing the vaccines. According to Randy Alonso a journalist in People’s World Magazine, the high-income countries which comprises of 16% of world population currently hold 60% of vaccines that have been purchased so far.

Social security and inequalities.

“Social protection is not only an investment of social justice but also major tool of economic stabilization. Well designed social protection systems make the economy more resilient to shocks by increasing the size of automatic stabilizers.” (Stiglitz Report)

Social security is a program with social and economic impact. Increased supply of public good would free part of income that is saved for precautionary purposes and make it available for spending, including investment in both physical infrastructure and human resources. In other words, social spending could crowd in private investment and raise the economy’s current and future growth rates while decreasing its volatility. Abhijit V Banerjee is of the opinion that cash should be distributed at the bottom level of the society i,e to workers and labourers. Former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan was of the opinion that India needed to spend about Rs 65,000 crore to take care of the vulnerable sections such as migrant workers to tide over the pandemic. But such advices were rejected by the government. The government in Kerala focused on spending more on ensuring welfare of the people in the lower strata. Apart from depending on PDS the government took a step forward. As per the studies conducted by Anders Kjelsrud and Rohini Swaminathan which appeared in the book “ Poverty and Income Distribution in India” the transfers through public schooling are more progressive than those through the PDS. Poorer households are larger and have a higher ratio of school aged children. The government of Kerala distributed goods through schools.

Governments of various countries were asked to create a strong social security program in the backdrop of GFC 2008. But it was neglected. But the current catastrophe has forced governments to issue stimulus packages for the needy.

End of ideology: the need to kill zombie ideas

“Talking to Zombies” is the latest book written by Paul Krugman a famous economist. Even before him social scientists like Slavoj Zizek and Noam Chomsky warned the world about how ideologies can pause a hurdle in shaping the pandemic and post pandemic economies. The ideology of market fundamentalism is the greatest blockade of change. Even so-called progressive capitalism is opposed by market fundamentalism. The market fundamentalist myths were debunked by Stiglitz in his book “The Price of Inequality”.

Myth: Free market gives equal opportunity to all

Reality: Decline of opportunity happens when corporate welfare rules prevail. The statistics have exposed the fact that poor kids who succeed academically are less likely to graduate from college than rich people.

Myth: When the taxes are lowered one would actually raise more money because savings and work increase

Reality: Tax revenues fall, deficit increase

Myth: Investing in public sector and goods leads to lack of

productivity

Reality: Under investing in public good leads to lack of economic mobility.

The former Vice President of USA Mike Pence just after 5 days of Spain nationalizing all the private hospitals tweeted that “We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.” Mike Pence meant that the government was not ready to alter its policy even if the things get worse. But in order to increase the overall immunity even America switched their gear. The interaction between state and people should be more powerful to counter the virus at every stage. It is time we dispose the old Regan quote “Government is the problem.”.

Public bank was established in California through legislation in the month of July 2020. The aim was to help with a more equitable economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis. One can draw very much similarities between the 2008 global crisis and the current pandemic.

Paul Krugman in his latest book is making a successful counter against conservative market fundamentalist arguments on health care, social security and inequality. The statement of Mike Pence depicts the danger of market fundamentalism. Even while making cultural menace of “socialist scare” the trickle-down theory believers failed to hide how their government made interventions in not only markets but also in companies. When it comes to the matter of public finance during the pandemic, countries are recapitalizing the public banks and also saving the private companies from the shock. The government of USA brought the corporate bonds of Boeing while the aviation industry was falling down. When it comes to India LIC backed the government and prevented the fall. States like Kerala with ample public health institutions won applause at global level while states like U.P and Gujarat trailed a lot behind.

Why and how the government

Whenever the country is in trouble it is the public sector which comes to the rescue. It is because the aim of public sector is service rather than profit. The government or the state is the largest power apparatus in the world. It has the capacity to withstand man made crisis. Viral Acharya, former deputy governor of RBI in his interview which was taken by Maneka Desai pointed out that there was a increase in the number of people who moved their savings and transactions to public banks from private banks during GFC 2008. This shows the capability of public sector. According to bank analyst Bryan Johnson after GFC world saw the transfer of risk from the private sector banks to the public sector. Economist Gerard Minack agrees the banks will be safe, because the Government won’t let them fail. Government cannot stand aloof from the market. Leading economists are urging for federal aid packages to states. Quoting Stiglitz again “the first priority is to provide more funding for the public sector, especially for those parts of it that are designed to protect against the multitude of risks that a complex society faces and to fund the advances in science and higher quality of education on which our future prosperity depends.”

The Great Reset Report, Global Risk Report published by World Economic Forum is also highlighting the need for a strong government and public sector. One must think what forces IMF, WEF, World Bank to critically think about trickle-down theory and look forward for government. These organizations were once the vocals of diminishing government but now they are deeply thinking on government and inequalities. While other countries are expanding their public spending India is following market fundamentalism. Even after witnessing that privatization of railway was a bad idea in Britain, India is following the same path. The current epidemic the Indian public bank face is the increased NPAs (Non-Performing Assets).

Indian government is interfering in favour of a few and non-interfering in disinterest of the majority. In a contradictory position the NDA government favours slimming the governance while making interventions for the few. India is a large economy consisting of MSMEs. Preventing the collapse of this informal sector is crucial to save the economy. A special MSME economic relief package should be announced. Public sector infrastructure should be developed. One of the analyses of IMF is very relevant. The State-Owned Enterprises of many countries are the leading companies in the world. Reforms which can facilitate a conversion of SEOs into dominant market players should also be implemented by India. India just spends 1.6% of its GDP on health. The rate of spending on government is decreasing in various spheres including health. Rapid disinvesting is shrinking the public sector which can adversely affect the country in future. India should learn from the banking lessons of USA which lead to a bubble burst. Instead of abusive lending and risky loans banks should focus on lending to MSMEs and curb excessive risk-taking investments.

Alan Paul Varghese is a final year undergraduate student of Zakir Hussain Delhi College under Delhi University and fellow of Smithu Kothari Fellowship awarded by Centre For Financial Accountability

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Clean-Up Begins in Solomon Islands After Rioting

MELBOURNE—Soldiers and police from Australia and Papua New Guinea were helping to restore calm in the Solomon Islands as clean-up operations started, after several days of rioting left three dead and led to dozens of arrests, local media reported.

The Solomon Star newspaper said Australian soldiers and police and troops from Papua New Guinea had helped to restore normalcy in the country’s capital Honiara, halting the looting, rioting, and burning of buildings and shops, amid protests calling for the prime minister’s resignation.

Overnight, clean up operations began in earnest in areas that were particularly hard hit, including the Chinatown district of the capital, Honiara, the newspaper said. Footage obtained by Reuters showed heavy machinery moving rubble from burned out shops.

Three charred bodies were discovered in a store on Friday in the Chinatown district, an area targeted by protesters still resentful the government in 2019 ended diplomatic ties with Taiwan to establish formal links with China.

More Australian Federal Police would arrive in the South Pacific nation on Sunday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told a televised news conference.

“Although things are very unstable at this point … plans, we know, are being made, to ensure there can be calm,” he said.

Some 50 officers from the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary arrived in Honiara on Friday, a day after Australia sent its own forces to the capital, both in response to requests from the Solomon Islands government for help.

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How to Increase User Empathy and Build Better Products

Live your customer’s experience to ensure you’re putting out valuable products that continue to deliver

Epoch Times Photo
By Lisa Dziuba

User empathy helps put the customer at the very center of everything a business does, creating better products, memorable brands, and companies that last.

Empathy is the ability to step into users’ shoes, see a company product through their eyes, and share their feelings. It’s about living through the customer’s experience during the onboarding and day-to-day usage of the product and understanding what it feels like to be a customer of your business.

Sympathy vs. Empathy

There is a difference between being sympathetic and empathetic. When you are sympathetic, you intellectually acknowledge the customer’s feelings but keep yourself detached from them. For example, you understand that the registration process for your product is long and requires filling in a lot of information. You acknowledge some people might be frustrated by it. Empathy, on the other hand, allows you to share the cognitive experience a person has during this long and probably annoying registration process.

Frameworks to Incorporate Empathy

User empathy is the best tool to read customers’ minds and hearts. You can embrace empathy by empowering internal initiatives, which motivate a team to listen to users and observe how they behave. Let’s discuss some of them.

User Research

Research is the first step in creating the company offering. It can involve product, marketing, and design teams. During the research, teams create hypotheses and validate them. Validation methods include surveys, interviews, testing with a product concept, observations, analyzing existing quantitative and qualitative data, and absorbing feedback.

The research will result in a better understanding of users’ needs and pain points. It will provide the team with customer insights and a sense of purpose when it comes to building the product and improving the lives of users.

User Personas

Personas help your business keep different types of customers in mind. A user-experience persona answers the question, “Why is the user doing something?” It drives design and product decisions. At the same time, a marketing (buyer) persona answers the question, “Who is the user?” It defines the user demographic, media consumption, and targeting characteristics. The process of creating personas can be an empathy exercise in thinking from the user’s perspective.

It’s important to have both personas created, distributed, and used as a North Star for product and marketing decisions. Visible personas ensure that all the stakeholders—researchers, designers, product managers, engineers, marketing and sales teams—are on the same page and know the customer.

Building Empathy Maps

Empathy maps are a visual tool used by design teams that put users first (human-centered design approach). An empathy map has four quadrants, which account for what the customer says, thinks, does, and feels. When filling in this map, the team takes time to understand users and empathize with them.

Usually, team members explore empathy maps at the beginning of the design process, after the research has been conducted. After filling in the empathy map, the team experiences customers’ struggles firsthand, causing them to form a stronger connection with users.

Customer Journey Mapping

Customer journey mapping is another design tool that allows teams to gain empathy by understanding a user’s behavior during all stages of their journey. The maps can be retrospective (showing the current user behavior) or prospective (showing the expected user behavior). This type of mapping reveals how users experience the product, which jobs they can get done with it, and which pain points they experience.

User Stories

Many businesses fall into the trap of creating products no one needs. If a product team lacks empathy and is driven by its own vision and biased beliefs, the chances of creating a useless product are quite high. User stories put the focus on the user’s needs. It’s a feature used by product managers or engineers to describe how a product feature brings value to the customer.

A user story is a statement written with a formula: “As [a user], I want [to make this action] so that [I can achieve this goal].” Formulating all features in user stories puts the user in the center of the development. It focuses the engineering team on why they are building something and for whom.

A Day in Customer Support

The support team members are the ones who meet customers every day. They reply to requests, help solve issues, and create a customer experience and loyalty. This team is the essence of genuine customer care, active listening, and empathy.

Having a practice of working in support at least one day a quarter can give any team member a huge boost of user empathy. While a big corporation might have a standardized practice of involving team members with customer support, startups should also make an effort to give team members that valuable experience.

Using Your Own Product

What if your team could feel what it’s like to log into your product, go through onboarding, and use those new features you released last month?

This experience can reveal the product flaws, main features benefits, and how your offering fits into the workflow. Not all products are possible to use internally. But if your company is a user of your own solution, then this option is essential for you.

User empathy is important for everyone in the organization—from product managers to leadership. It is a foundation for customer-centric culture. Ideally, it should be incorporated in all departments and all processes while being tracked as one of the company’s goals.

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Empowering People in the Business of Changing the World | Entrepreneur® is dedicated to fueling the world’s visionary leaders compelled to make a difference through their innovative ideas, businesses, and points of view.

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How to Properly Detoxify Heavy Metals (Chris Shade PhD)

Warning: Heavy metals wreak havoc inside the human body

In this video, you’ll quickly understand the “3 keys” to properly detoxify heavy metals from the body.  But, I strongly suggest you watch this video 2 or 3 times (I’m not kidding) to get the most out of it.  There is a very clear way to properly remove heavy metals from the body.  But, most people don’t take the time to learn – so, be patient with yourself as you get through this information.

Today, I feature Dr. Chris Shade, an expert in detoxification.  In this video, Dr. Shade explains his “push – catch” method for eliminating toxic metals from the body.

READ AT THE LINK

https://www.naturalhealth365.com/videos/heavy-metals-detoxify

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Charles Hurt: Happy Thanksgiving from Bidenland, Where the Highs Aren’t Possible Without the Lows

TIGHTSQUEEZE, Virginia — As the great philosopher-poet Bret Michaels taught us, every rose has its thorn.

Every night has its dawn.

Every Cowboy sings his sad, sad song.

The highs in life are not possible without the lows. Love is not possible without the sting of pain. And joy is impossible without hardship.

So, this year, let’s all give thanks for the presidency of Joe Biden.

It has been nearly a half-century since we last saw gas lines and families worried over whether they could afford to heat their homes or put food on the table for Thanksgiving.

Every few times in a century, it is important for Americans to have a crash course in economics — lest we forget to appreciate how truly lucky we are to live in America, this land of bounty and endless opportunity.

We are sure due for another class in stagflation.

Not since the great Georgia peanut economist Jimmy Carter was in the White House have we talked this much about inflation. New polling shows a staggering 77% of Americans agree that inflation is upon us and threatening to ruin their Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The other 23% are in college.

Perhaps most troubling for President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris — his insurance policy against the 25th Amendment — is that 57% blame Mr. Biden for this sudden economic malaise.

Speaking of Jimmy Carter, now is also a good time to give thanks that it was Jimmy Carter who faced off against the blood-thirsty bunny rabbits and not Joe Biden. Can you imagine? President Biden would have surely been slain by those furry villains.

Gas prices. Inflation. Sweaters indoors. It’s high time we remind ourselves how much we appreciate the simpler things in life.

It is true that history repeats itself, especially for morons who refuse to learn it. But history always repeats itself with little alterations, personal signatures by the morons who force us to repeat it. The bigger the moron, the bigger the alteration.

So while Joe Biden blundered into a crash course in stagflation, he asked himself: “How can I really put my imprint on this? How can I distinguish this economic morass from the one Jimmy Carter gave us?”

It’s a tough question. How do you top ferocious bunny rabbits, gas lines, sweaters indoors, and hopeless American hostages in Iran?

Well, Joe Biden didn’t spend 50 years in Washington to learn absolutely nothing.

“How about I crash the supply chain!” he exclaimed to a potted plant on the patio outside the Oval Office just before Secret Service stepped in and wrestled the plant to the ground.

Sitting at home preparing for his next Sunday school lecture, Jimmy Carter kicked himself. “Why didn’t I think of that!”

Of course, nobody has more to be thankful for than Joe Biden himself. Somehow he managed to stumble into the only profession on the planet in the only town in the world where it is apparently impossible to be fired from.

I mean, seriously. Is there any other job on earth where somebody can be this bad for this long and still have a paying job?

Also, Mr. Biden can give thanks for the communist nation of China. Without China, the world would not have had the pandemic that got him elected president.

Also, he can give thanks for his son, who is very industrious when it comes to the communist government of China. Also, that son shares his banking account with his father. If that’s not family values, I don’t know what is!

Most of all, Mr. Biden can give thanks for the media, which is still hilariously covering for the old coot.

They are in full lecture mode about how all this inflation and high gas prices are not Joe Biden’s fault. Anyway, they say, suck it up.

This Thanksgiving, skip the turkey! Take up a collection to charge your family for dinner! Not only will you raise a little coin, but you might also dissuade some from coming to dinner in the first place!

These people really are rotten monsters.

But there is another thing that we can all give thanks for alongside Joe Biden.

Standing there in the wings, right beside him, with her little ceremonial office in the White House, is a stunning reminder that as bad as Joe Biden is, it really could be so much worse.

Kamala Harris.

Just last week, Mr. Biden went to the doctor. His doctor put Mr. Biden under the gas for a colonoscopy, according to the White House. And for 83 terrifying minutes, Ms. Harris was acting president — a period that will be known for the rest of history as “the colonoscopy presidency.”

So, America, count your blessings. It really could be so much worse. And please, Dear God, keep the bunnies and potted plants away from the Oval Office!

• Charles Hurt is the opinion editor at the Washington Times.

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Austria plans mandatory jabbing by February

Neil Oliver discusses Austria’s decision to go into another lockdown.

READ AT THE LINK

https://truthwatchnz.is/covid-19-experimental-injection/austria-plans-mandatory-jabbing-by-february

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WHO Skips ‘Xi’ in Greek Alphabet for Naming Coronavirus Variants ‘to Avoid Stigma’

When naming the latest coronavirus variant, the World Health Organization (WHO) skipped the fourteenth letter of the Greek alphabet that just-so-happens to have the same spelling of a certain tyrannical world leader’s name.

On Friday, news broke that scientists and world leaders have grown increasingly concerned about the “Omicron” variant, prompting New York to call a state of emergency and the U.K. to restrict travel from several African countries. Given that the variant names jumped from “Mu” all the way to “Omicron,” skipping “Nu” and “Xi” respectively, people on Twitter speculated that the WHO tinkered with the order so as not to offend Chinese communist dictator Xi Jinping.

The dictator’s name is pronounced “Chi” while the Greek letter Xi is pronounced Ksi.

According to WHO spokeswoman Dr. Margaret Harris, the organization skipped the letter Nu so that people would not confuse the variant with the word “new” and skipped the letter Xi to avoid stigmatizing people who may have that surname. The statement said:

It went from mu to mmicron – jumping both nu and Xi. Nu the reasoning was people would get confused thinking it was the New variant rather than a name and Xi because it’s a common surname and we have agreed naming rules that avoid using place names, people’s names, animal, etc., to avoid stigma.

The World Health Organization’s excuse to avoid common surnames does not wash when considering that the name “Mu” is actually a common Chinese surname.

My China Roots noted:

Mu is a common last name found among Overseas Chinese communities around the world. In fact, ‘Mu’ is the transliteration of several different Chinese surnames. Its meaning varies depending on how it is spelled in Chinese, and which dialect it is pronounced in.

The WHO has been placating China since the beginning of the pandemic by either failing to hold them accountable for unleashing the virus on the world or outright covering for the Communist country. As Der Spiegel reported in May of last year, German intelligence strongly believed that Xi Jinping personally asked the head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, to delay key warnings about the Chinese coronavirus.

Xi’s conversation with the WHO allegedly took place in January 2020; Tedros did not declare a pandemic until March 11 of that year.

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10 US Air Force Bombers Trained to Use NUKES Against Russia This Month

https://sputniknews.com/20211123/shoigu-10-us-air-force-strategic-bombers-trained-to-use-nukes-against-russia-this-month-1090960580.html

Comment: This has been long planned by the Freemasons (Secret Societies) that control our gov’t which is now resembling a Crime Syndicate.

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Pinkerton: Carter 2.0 — Biden Blames Others for His Own Energy Failures

Joe Biden is the gift that keeps on giving. The gift, that is, of parallels with fellow Democrat Jimmy Carter.

Most Americans have no memories of the actual Carter presidency, from 1977 to 1981, but this Baby Boomer sure does.  As for you youngins, you can can look him up, and you’ll see too: He was terrible in office. So terrible, in fact, that when he ran for re-election in 1980, he was thunderously defeated, losing to Ronald Reagan by almost ten points in the popular vote and by 489 to 49 in the electoral college.  

Yes, Carter was that bad.  

So it might seem strange that Biden seems to have chosen Carter as a role model. He is replicating, for instance, Carter’s policies on regulatory contraction and, at the same time, price inflation. Yes, it’s a strange emulation, and yet here we are in the early 2020s, replaying the late 1970s. 

Here at Breitbart News, we’ve made something of a specialty of comparing the 46th president to the 39th president—just type in “Joe Biden Jimmy Carter” in the search box and you’ll get dozens of pieces, including seven by yours truly.

And now, here’s an eighth article from me, inspired by this November 17 headline in The New York Times: “As Gas Prices Surge, Biden Asks F.T.C. to Investigate ‘Illegal Conduct’” As the Times reported:

President Biden asked the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday to consider whether “illegal conduct” by large oil and gas companies is pushing up gasoline prices for American consumers, the latest effort by the administration to target concentration in the energy industry in a bid to bring down prices at the pump.

That’s a loaded phrase, “illegal conduct.” So now Biden is applying the same sort of demagogic judge-in-advance tactic that he applied to his own federal border patrol agents in Texas, or to Kyle Rittenhouse in Wisconsin.  He’s telling telling Federal Trade Commission (FTC) chair Lina Khan that he sees “mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil and gas companies.”  In the world of the FTC, these are potential crimes that Biden is alleging. 

President Jimmy Carter and Sen. Joe Biden greet Biden supporters at a $1,000-a-couple fund raising reception in Wilmington, Delaware, on Feb. 20, 1978. Biden was the first U.S. senator to endorse Carter’s presidential candidacy in 1976. (AP Photo)

There’s no doubt that gasoline prices have risen sharply in the last year by more than a dollar a gallon.  And yet there’s also no doubt that the Biden administration is the chief culprit. How? By constricting supply. That might not be a legal crime, but it’s certainly a financial crime against the American consumer.

As The Wall Street Journal observed on October 21, “For nine months President Biden has been pursuing policies to squeeze oil-and-gas producers to limit production and eventually go out of business.” The Journal continued:

His first day in office, Mr. Biden revoked the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which was supposed to carry oil from Canada and the Bakken Shale to refineries on the Gulf Coast.  A week later he issued an order placing a moratorium on new oil-and-gas leases on federal lands and waters.

As the article details, there’s much more, from additional shutdowns of pipelines to more moratoriums on drilling to new and burdensome regulations on production. And we should add that Biden has nominated one Saule Omarova, a hard-left academic—who boasts, no kidding, a degree from Moscow State University in Russia, where, in the days of the Soviet Union, she wrote an admiring thesis on Karl Marx—to be the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency. From that position overseeing banks, Omarova would have the power to restrict and perhaps choke off financing for energy companies. And Omarova looks forward to using that dead-hand power, saying recently, “We want them to go bankrupt if we want to tackle climate change.”

C-SPAN

In the meantime, Omarova’s political sponsor, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), is happy to herself reinforce Biden’s demagoguery; appearing on MSNBC, she said of high gas prices, “This isn’t about inflation. This is about price gouging for these guys & we need to call them out.”  We can quickly see: Whether or not Biden persuades the FTC to “do something” about gas prices, Warren-type Democrats will make heir own effort on Capitol Hill, and perhaps also in the states. Such activism won’t produce more energy, of course, and yet it might produce some good left-wing headlines.

Still, given all this neo-Bolshevik green zealotry, it’s easy to see why the supply of energy is not meeting the demand for energy—especially as Biden pumps ever more money into the economy, through inflationary fiscal and monetary polices. It’s simple: Less supply + more demand = higher prices.  

Biden should know how this process—both recessionary and inflationary at the same time—works out for Americans. After all, he was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972, and thus had a ringside seat in Washington, D.C., during the Carter presidency. In its first few years, that administration, too, simultaneously constricted energy supply and expanded monetary demand. The result, of course, was stagflation—the worst of stagnation and of inflation. 

But perhaps Biden doesn’t remember this history anymore. So let’s recollect it for him. 

Flashback to Carter 1.0

Jimmy Carter came into office on January 20, 1977 convinced that American energy producers—including, but not limited to, the big oil companies—were the problem. Specifically, the new president was convinced that producers were wrongfully withholding supply, thereby undermining support for his grand governmental energy plan.  

It was a strange for Carter to think that bureaucrats were the solution, since it was an American entrepreneur, Edwin Drake, who had launched the oil industry when he struck black gold in Titusville, Pennsylvania, back in 1859. Indeed, entrepreneurs, and later tycoons, had made America the planet’s leading oil producer throughout the 19th and most of the 20th century.

In fact, U.S. oil production only started to falter in 1971, when President Richard Nixon imposed price controls on oil as part of an overall strategy of combatting inflation with regulation and red tape—an effort that was not a success. 

The predictable result of those price controls was that U.S. energy production, which had been rising for more than twelve decades, began to decline.

In this Dec. 23, 1973, photo, cars line up in two directions at a gas station in New York City. Of all the bad memories seared into the American consciousness from the early 1970s, the never-ending lines at the gas pump has to top the list. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)

This was the situation that Jimmy Carter inherited when he took office in 1977. Puzzled over the decline—the basic laws of supply and demand did not compute in his brain—Carter blamed the oil companies for not producing more energy. He further grudged them for not supporting his grandiose legislation, which called for everything from government-sponsored synthetic fuels and solar power to federal mandates on the energy efficiency of automobiles and even home appliances. 

Carter’s dogged view was that Washington, D.C., was better at making energy decisions than actual energy producers in, say, Houston or Tulsa—and if the industry didn’t agree, well, then it should be investigated, even demagogued. (Never mind that, as Breitbart News’ John Carney has documented, the ratio of prices at the pump to prices further up the supply chain has not changed–which is to say, there’s been no sudden gouging.)

Yet every opportunistic politician needs someone other than himself to blame, and Biden, a survivor these past five decades, is nothing if not an opportunist, and so now he’s attacking the energy companies. And here’s where Carter neatly anticipated, by almost exactly 44 years, Biden’s just-sent letter to the FTC. In a White House press conference on October 13, 1977, Carter accused oil companies of “the biggest rip-off in history.” He raged on at Exxon and others for a while longer, leaving The New York Times to report that Carter’s venom against the oil companies was also linked to his anger at fellow Democrats in Congress, who were not jumping to pass his energy bill: 

Although he has spoken strongly before about the oil lobby’s role in the legislative process, Mr. Carter’s language today was the roughest he has used in the 38 weeks of his Presidency. It signaled the beginning of a White House offensive aimed at salvaging some of the energy proposals the Senate has either blocked or eviscerated in the last few weeks after the House largely adopted the Administration program.

Hmm. A Democratic president having trouble getting his too-ambitious legislation through a Democratic Congress—does any of that echo down to the president day? 

A copy of the final page of President Jimmy Carter’s message to Congress in Washington, on April 26, 1979, asking for passage of a windfall tax on profits by oil companies. (AP Photo/Barry Thumma)

Stepping back, we can see that Carter and Biden have had something in common: a faith that their government-centric policies are best. And with that faith comes a curt dismissal of others’ ideas about energy, whether they come from Democrats (such as Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia in Carter’s day, or Sen. Joe Manchin, who now holds Byrd’s seat) or from Republicans. 

The result of such presidential myopia is predictable. Like Mr. Magoo, the near-blind cartoon character, Mr. Carter, then, and Mr. Biden, now, stumble around unaware, until finally tumbling into a trap. That trap, of course, is less energy supply, combined with higher energy prices. Which is exactly what we suffered from in the Carter era and what we are suffering from again now in Biden times.

Given his mindset, there’s little chance that Biden will notice when lifelines are thrown in his direction.  Interestingly, one of those lifelines is coming from the very energy companies that Biden wishes to see investigated, and perhaps prosecuted.

On November 16, Vicki Hollub, CEO of Occidental Petroleum, volunteered that her company could produce more energy, if it were allowed. Speaking to CNBC, Hollub wondered aloud why Biden was asking the Arab-dominated OPEC oil cartel to produce more so that we could import more, while at the same time, he was restricting America’s ability to produce more.  As Hollub put it, “If I were gonna make a call, it wouldn’t be long distance, it would be a local call.”  She added, “And I think that we could do it more cheaply in the United States.”

The White House

For reasons having to do with classic-demagogic Democratic politics, combined with the newer green hostility to carbon fuels, Biden doesn’t want to get too close to American oil companies—not even if they can help him. That’s his loss, although, of course, it’s our loss too for as long as he’s president. (And so some survival-minded Democrats in Congress are now distancing themselves from him on the energy issue; one such is Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, who puts the blame on Biden, not Big Oil: “There’s a variety of contributing impacts, but certainly the buck stops with the President.”)

Interestingly, Biden is now tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) as a way of bringing more oil to the market. (Yes, this appears to be a repudiation of the greens’ favored strategy of raising prices to shrink consumption, but that’s a tale of Biden’s last-ditch desperation that can be told another time.)  The SPR is an idea from the 70s; it was first filled, in fact, during the Carter administration.

And while tapping the SPR is not necessarily a bad idea, we can step back and see: Biden, like Carter before him, would rather play shell-games with limited reserves, already pumped and in storage, than do anything that would genuinely increase long-term supply–namely, more energy exploration and production. The real SPR is not some stash of oil controlled by bureaucrats, but rather, the reserves of energy all across the United States waiting to be drilled and mined. And yet it’s that overall energy capacity that Biden, as with Carter before him, has worked so hard to cripple.

This is a point made well by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA); we need less bureaucratic fiddling and more actual producing:

The best way to lower gas prices is to continually invest in the U.S. energy industry so we don’t have to import energy from other countries when there is a supply shortage. Americans need long-term solutions to skyrocketing gas prices, not a band-aid fix.

Thus it’s highly unlikely that Biden will heed the words of North Dakota’s Republican Gov. Doug Burgum, who is also calling for more U.S. production:

We urge President Biden to work with North Dakota and other oil-producing states to continue to grow our domestic oil supply now, rather than taking it from future generations or buying it from foreign sources.

And across the partisan aisle, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was similarly caustic in his commentary on Biden’s SPR maneuverings.

Perhaps Biden is so enamored with Carter that he has buried the memory of what happened to his like-minded predecessor after just four years in office: He lost in a landslide to Reagan.  We might further recall that the new 40th president, in one of his first acts of office, abolished those counter-productive energy price controls, thus freeing up supply and ushering in the great economic boom of the 1980s.   

Or maybe Biden has simply forgotten this history.  So now it’s up to us to remember it. 

Source

” … we found no statistically significant difference in transmission potential between vaccinated persons and persons who were not fully vaccinated.”

12 nov 2021,

Phillip P. Salvatore, Christine C. Lee, Sadia Sleweon, David W. McCormick, Lavinia Nicolae, Kristen Knipe, Thomas Dixon, Robert Banta, Isaac Ogle, Cristen Young, Charles Dusseau, Shawn Salmonson, Charles Ogden, Eric Godwin, TeCora Ballom, Tara Ross, Nhien Tran Wynn, Ebenezer David, Theresa K. Bessey, Gimin Kim, Suganthi Suppiah, Azaibi Tamin, Jennifer L. Harcourt, Mili Sheth, Luis Lowe, Hannah Browne, Jacqueline E. Tate, Hannah L. Kirking, Liesl M. Hagan doi:

https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.11.12.21265796

This article is a preprint and has not been peer-reviewed [what does this mean?]. It reports new medical research that has yet to be evaluated and so should not be used to guide clinical practice.

Abstract

Background The extent to which vaccinated persons who become infected with SARS-CoV-2 contribute to transmission is unclear. During a SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant outbreak among incarcerated persons with high vaccination rates in a federal prison, we assessed markers of viral shedding in vaccinated and unvaccinated persons.

Methods Consenting incarcerated persons with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection provided mid-turbinate nasal specimens daily for 10 consecutive days and reported symptom data via questionnaire. Real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), viral whole genome sequencing, and viral culture was performed on these nasal specimens. Duration of RT-PCR positivity and viral culture positivity was assessed using survival analysis.

Results A total of 978 specimens were provided by 95 participants, of whom 78 (82%) were fully vaccinated and 17 (18%) were not fully vaccinated. No significant differences were detected in duration of RT-PCR positivity among fully vaccinated participants (median: 13 days) versus those not fully vaccinated (median: 13 days; p=0.50), or in duration of culture positivity (medians: 5 days and 5 days; p=0.29). Among fully vaccinated participants, overall duration of culture positivity was shorter among Moderna vaccine recipients versus Pfizer (p=0.048) or Janssen (p=0.003) vaccine recipients.

Conclusions As this field continues to develop, clinicians and public health practitioners should consider vaccinated persons who become infected with SARS-CoV-2 to be no less infectious than unvaccinated persons. These findings are critically important, especially in congregate settings where viral transmission can lead to large outbreaks.

Competing Interest Statement

The authors have declared no competing interest.

Funding Statement

This study was funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Author Declarations

I confirm all relevant ethical guidelines have been followed, and any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained.

Yes

The details of the IRB/oversight body that provided approval or exemption for the research described are given below:

This activity was reviewed and approved by the Research Review Board of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons. This activity was reviewed by CDC and was conducted consistent with applicable federal law and CDC policy. See e.g., 45 C.F.R. part 46.102(l)(2), 21 C.F.R. part 56; 42 U.S.C. 241(d); 5 U.S.C. 552a; 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. All necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived.

I confirm that all necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived, and that any patient/participant/sample identifiers included were not known to anyone (e.g., hospital staff, patients or participants themselves) outside the research group so cannot be used to identify individuals.

Yes

I understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as ClinicalTrials.gov. I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance).

Yes

I have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines and uploaded the relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material as supplementary files, if applicable.

Yes

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.11.12.21265796v1

_______________________________

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Holohoaxers Don’t Need Evidence – They Have Stories!

There is no debating the Holocaust, say the jewish supremacists. What they really mean is that they have no good evidence for their claims, so they rely on jewish stories.

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