Reader’s Links for May 15, 2022

Each day at just after midnight Eastern, a post like this one is created for contributors and readers of this site to upload news links and video links on the issues that concern this site. Most notably, Islam and its effects on Classical Civilization, and various forms of leftism from Soviet era communism, to postmodernism and all the flavours of galloping statism and totalitarianism such as Nazism and Fascism which are increasingly snuffing out the classical liberalism which created our near, miraculous civilization the West has been building since the time of Socrates.

This document was written around the time this site was created, for those who wish to understand what this site is about. And while our understanding of the world and events has grown since then, the basic ideas remain sound and true to the purpose.

So please post all links, thoughts and ideas that you feel will benefit the readers of this site to the comments under this post each day. And thank you all for your contributions.

This is the new Samizdat. We must use it while we can.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

37 Replies to “Reader’s Links for May 15, 2022”

  1. “Knock knock.”
    “Who’s there?”
    “The State.”
    “The State who?”
    “The State who says your home is under occupied.”

    And this was all in my own head. Yes, they came and knocked on the door of my mind. It was a man and a women, neatly dressed, with official-looking laminated name tags on their chests. I looked behind and saw a large room. Cluttered with photographs, it’s odd what one remembers. Old girlfriends, flashes of moments–I read somewhere that these flashes are the sum total of our lives.

    Cluttered, dusty and fairly chaotic, the woman muttered something beneath her breath about my house being a reflection of my mental state.

    “My mental state is perfectly fine,” I said, catching her off guard. She didn’t know I had heard her.
    “Of course you would say that,” she blurted. “It’s your mind so you don’t know any better. We’re from the Department of Mental Housing. We have a report from an anonymous complaint that says your mind is under occupied.”
    “What does this mean? That I’m stupid or vapid? Because that’s what it sounds like.”
    “No, Sir,” the man said. “It means you will have to take on tenants. You are the only occupant here, if our records are correct. Under regulation four-fifty-one, paragraph seven, line “D”, all minds must maintain a minimum of two-point five occupants per head.”
    “When did this rule take effect?”
    “September 21st, 2030,” the man replied.
    “Well, that’s ridiculous. I suggest you both leave immediately.” I began to close the door.
    “Not possible,” he replied.
    “Oh? Who says? There’s no room here for any more.”
    “You have plenty of room, Sir,” said the woman. “In fact you’re lucky we don’t fine you as a mental Kulak. How have you managed to hide so much mental space for so long?”
    “I keep my door locked and curtains drawn. Now get lost.”
    “No Sir.” The man placed his foot in my door as I began to close it.
    “How many in your head?” I asked the woman.
    “I have an Eritrean family of seven.”
    “And I have three Ukrainians,” said the man proudly, straightening his posture as he said it. I could almost see the blue and yellow flag waving in his eyes. Ten-years on and that war was still going. “We are serving the greater good, and so must you.”

    Suddenly there was a noise behind me in the room. I turned, and, much to my surprise two old men came through a door from the far side. “Who is this?” said the one old man with a long grey beard.
    “It’s people from Mental Housing,” I said.
    “Get rid of them. You’re up to code.” The old man came to the door. “This is my son and that’s his uncle. That makes three, now please leave.”
    “Is this true?” the man asked.
    “Of course. Your records are mistaken,” I answered.
    “Very well, then. But we will be back to check on you.”

    I closed the door. Lucky for me I had been listening to “uncle” Orwell’s 1984, and “papa” Solzenitzen’s gulag stories on audio books. I had been thinking about them alot..

    • Eritreans, but no parrots…
      “Eritrea” – the sound, not the place or people – somewhere between “emesis” and “diarrhea”.

      Gotta opt for the birds, Johnny. Think of your fan base. I often identify as a bird; Sassy has Significant Others of the bird persuation.

      The to-be-continued end is tentatively optimistic. That’s a good mix. Win one round, then the next. On guard.

      • Agreed, something about that word. Pretty and ugly at once.

        I’m nuts for birds. My mother gave me a budgie named Freddie, once. I learned then how smart birds are. One day he got out of the house. I was panicked. Looked up and there he was on the peak of the roof. I extended my arm and called his name. He flew all the way back to my shoulder. Before that moment I did not know how emotionally attached birds could become.

    • If you don’t embed, I get a series of ads.
      Wasting MY time for something even YOU couldn’t be bothered with. Wasn’t worth a few seconds to paste on a title – or embed, if possible.

      I’m no longer following a link without a title or at least a one-sentence description.

      • My phone doesn’t allow me to embed from YT. Apologies. But my point is there seems to be emerging–or I’m just noticing–a “peripheral” arm of msm putting up more and more trial balloons. Putin dying of cancer and under coup attack? Really?…

  2. Maybe it’s only because I recently turned Amish, but I’ve noticed alot more Amish hate on the internet lately. Is it because most of us are not on-line and so we won’t defend ourselves? Anyway, in response to some calling us “uncool” I decided to pimp my ride:

  3. NIH director confirms agency hid early COVID genes at request of Chinese scientists

    + 2 min 04 VIDEO

    National Institutes of Health acting director Lawrence Tabak confirmed to lawmakers Wednesday that US health officials concealed early genomic sequences of COVID-19 at the request of Chinese scientists — but insisted the data remains on file.

    Tabak told a House Appropriations subcommittee that the NIH “eliminated from public view” the data from the pandemic epicenter in Wuhan, China, before adding that researchers can still access it via an archaic “tape drive.”

    Vanity Fair recently reported that the information was hidden in response to a request from Chinese scientists, despite potentially resolving whether the virus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology or passed naturally from animals to humans.

    Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) asked Tabek to explain why US officials would comply with such a request.

    “There’s no question that the communication that we had about the sequence archive — Sequence Read Archive — could have been improved. I freely admit that,” Tabek said. “If I may, the archive never deleted the sequence, it just did not make it available for interrogation.”

    “So wait, you have the information still?” Beutler followed up.

    “We have the information … Anybody who submits to the Sequence Read Archive is allowed to ask for it to be removed,” Tabak explained. “And that investigator did do that. But we never erase it.”

    “So you don’t have the information anymore?” Beutler asked.

    “We do. We never erase the information. We keep it,” Tabak clarified.

    “So they were able to withdraw public viewing of it?” the congresswoman followed up.

    “That’s correct,” he said.

    “OK, so researchers can apply to the NIH and get the information from you?” Beutler asked.

    “In the way that it was originally eliminated from public view, it was withdrawn, and that’s the most difficult for people to access,” Tabak replied. “The error that was made, and we found this out after a review of all of our processes, was it should have been suppressed. The distinction being that if it’s withdrawn, it is kept archivally on a tape drive — old technology, but that’s how it’s done. But when it is withdrawn, it can still be accessed by accession number, and so researchers are able to access that information.”

    “So the information is still there?” Beutler summed up.

    “That’s correct. The information was never lost,” Tabak repeated.

    In a March 31 article, Vanity Fair reported that evolutionary biologist Jesse Bloom discovered last year that early COVID-19 sequences had disappeared from a federally run data repository.

    When Bloom raised the issue, he was reportedly ganged up on by a group of researchers assembled by then-NIH Director Francis Collins and infectious disease institute head Dr. Anthony Fauci.

    Bloom shared a draft academic paper with Collins and Fauci, who allegedly objected on a June 2021 Zoom video conference to Bloom’s description of Chinese scientists “surreptitiously” removing the sequences. Fauci said the word was “loaded” and implied a coverup, the report said.

    Evolutionary biologist Kristian Andersen, who was selected to participate on the call by Collins, allegedly told Bloom that the Wuhan team had a right to claw back early pandemic information and that it was unethical for Bloom to question it.

    Andersen allegedly went so far as to offer to delete Bloom’s article from a “preprint” server “in a way that would leave no record that this had been done.”

    China’s government has refused to cooperate with an international investigation of the origins of the pandemic. The COVID-19 virus has killed about 1 million Americans since March 2020 and caused massive social, economic and educational disruptions.

    The US intelligence community said in an August report that it’s possible the virus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, calling the theory one of two “plausible” explanations along with natural transmission from animals.

    President Biden rarely speaks publicly about wanting China to be transparent about the origins of the pandemic. Former President Donald Trump, by contrast, has demanded that China pay $10 trillion in reparations.

    The Biden administration is considering undoing some of Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods “separately” from US pressure for coronavirus transparency, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told The Post on Monday.

    Documents published in September by The Intercept revealed that US health officials indirectly funded so-called “gain of function” research at the Wuhan lab — including the modification three bat coronaviruses distinct from COVID-19 and the discovery that they became much more infectious among “humanized” mice when human-type receptors were added to them.

    • the telegraph – A WHO pandemic pact would leave the world at China’s mercy

      Lessons have still not been learned, so why should we trust the WHO in a future pandemic?

      On 22 May, the World Health Organisation meets for the World Health Assembly, an annual summit to which all the world’s countries are invited – except Taiwan, which is excluded at China’s behest. On the agenda is a “pandemic accord” that would greatly expand the WHO’s powers to intervene in a country in the event of a future outbreak.

      The European Union, true to form, pushed for a legally binding pandemic “treaty” instead, but that won’t happen for two reasons: the American Senate would need a two-thirds majority to ratify it; and the Chinese government would not allow even its pet international agency to tell it what to do. But the accord would still have substantial force of international law behind it, to make governments impose domestic lockdowns, for example – despite the WHO’s own figures showing little correlation between lockdown severity and death rates.

      Though some of the measures make sense, such as more sharing of vaccines with other countries, the plan skates around WHO’s errors during the Covid pandemic. It ignored Taiwan’s early alarm call, praised the Chinese government for its transparency at a time when it was denying human-to-human transmission and punishing whistleblowers, delayed declaring a health emergency, flip-flopped on masks and lockdowns and mounted a farcical Potemkin investigation into the origin of the virus. Added to its poor performance in the 2014 ebola outbreak, when for months WHO resisted calls from doctors and NGOs to declare an emergency to avoid offending member governments, this track record does not inspire confidence.

      According to the meeting’s agenda, the accord would be part of six “action tracks” focused on: healthcare systems; zoonotic outbreaks; endemic tropical diseases; food safety; antimicrobial resistance; and protecting the environment.

      What is missing from that list? Something WHO itself and the US and other governments insist might well have been the cause of the Covid pandemic, namely a laboratory experiment gone wrong or a virus-hunting researcher infected while sampling bats in the field.

      Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO director general, said in July last year that it was premature to rule out a lab leak, a view echoed by the G7 summit in Cornwall. Since then if anything the evidence has grown stronger. A book published this month, Preventable by Professor Devi Sridhar, argues that a lab leak is “as likely an explanation as natural spillover and should be pursued until evidence emerges to the contrary”.

      A former software developer by the name of William Gates has written a book called “How to prevent the next pandemic”. Its main message, according to one uncharitable reviewer, is that we can prevent the next pandemic by “doing all of the things that did not stop the last pandemic event, only more, faster and harder”. But even Mr Gates does allow that “regardless of how COVID started, even the remote possibility of lab-related pathogen releases should inspire governments and scientists to redouble their efforts on lab safety, creating global standards”.

      Over the years laboratory accidents have resulted in deaths of researchers and others from smallpox, anthrax, SARS and other pathogens. In one case, a global epidemic of flu resulted from a mistake with an experimental vaccine in China in 1977. In recent years there was a dramatic increase in the number of coronaviruses taken from bat caves into labs for experiments, most of them in a city called Wuhan. The experiments tested how easily the viruses could be induced to infect human cells. Some scientists compared this to searching for a gas leak with a lighted match.

      This pandemic began a long way from where the infected bats live but very close to the world’s leading laboratory for collecting and manipulating SARS-like coronaviruses. That, plus the continuing failure to find an animal infected with the virus in food markets or elsewhere, added to some peculiar features of the virus’s genome, has led many to conclude that a proper investigation of the Wuhan Institute of Virology is warranted. But the institute has refused all requests to open up its 22,000-item database for international inspection even though doing so could go a long way to reassuring the world.

      So you might think the World Health Assembly might have put lab safety and transparency of research on the agenda next week at the very least. But nowhere are these even mentioned. Presumably China would object. In February the WHO held the third “Covid-19 Global research and innovation forum”. In the titles of the 49 sessions, the word “origin” did not appear once. Though it has set up a committee, the WHO seems to be paying no more than lip service to its own commitment to investigating the possibility of a lab leak. Like some western scientists, it may be hoping the question of the origin of this dreadful pandemic remains unsolved lest the answer ruffle diplomatic feathers.

      Here’s what a pandemic accord should include, in my view: a commitment by all national governments to share the genomic data of all viruses collected in the wild and to share details of all experiments being done on potential pandemic pathogens (yes, including in biowarfare labs). Something similar happens with nuclear research and with airline accidents, so it can be done. If China’s government refuses to sign, then let’s gradually shame it into doing so. But it looks like we will have to do this outside the WHO.

  4. EXPRESS UK : British fighters trapped in Mariupol steelworks in last stand

    BRITISH fighters are among the hundreds of soldiers trapped in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol as they continue to mount a desperate last stand against Russian forces.

    […]But they were sent to the south and reinforced the Azov regiment.”

    […]“I was with a couple of Canadians and did not hear from them again until March, when I received a text saying they had ended up in a steel factory in Mariupol.

    […]“Last month I had a few more texts and from what they said the conditions were terrible, but very well organised. They had food and water – but their biggest concern was ammunition.”

    […] all resistance fighters at the Azovstal steel factory had been warned to “keep a round for themselves because no-one wants to be captured”.


    bloomberg – EU Drafts Plan for Buying Russian Gas Without Breaking Sanctions

    EU executive updates guidance on Putin’s rubles-for-gas demand
    European companies seek ways to continue imports from Gazprom

    The European Union is set to offer its gas importers a solution to avoid a breach of sanctions when buying fuel from Russia and still effectively satisfy President Vladimir Putin’s demands over payment in rubles.

    In new guidance on gas payments, the European Commission plans to say that companies should make a clear statement that they consider their obligations fulfilled once they pay in euros or dollars, in line with existing contracts, according to people familiar with the matter. The EU’s executive arm told the governments that the guidance does not prevent companies from opening an account at Gazprombank and will allow them to purchase gas in accordance with EU sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the people added.

    European companies have been scrambling for weeks to figure out how they can meet Moscow’s demand and keep the crucial gas flowing without violating sanctions on Russia’s central bank. Putin said on March 31 that if payments aren’t made in rubles, gas exports would be halted. Europe depends heavily on the Russian fuel to heat homes and power industry.

    Initially, the EU had assessed that the payment mechanism demanded by Putin handed Moscow total control of the process, breached contracts and — crucially — violated the bloc’s sanctions.

    On Friday, the commission told member states in a closed-door meeting that the updated guidance will clarify that companies can open an account in euros or dollars at Gazprombank as ordered by the Kremlin, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the meeting was private.

    But the EU’s executive arm stopped short of saying whether also having an account in rubles — a step included in the Russian decree — was in line with EU regulations. Previously, officials had indicated, though never in writing, that opening such an account would breach sanctions. The updated guidance, as presented to member states, fails to address this specific point, the people said.

    Another key point in the guidance is that once European companies make a payment in euros or dollars and declare their obligation complete, no further action should be required of them from the Russian side in regard to the payment.

    The clock is ticking because many firms have payment deadlines falling due later this month — and if they don’t pay, gas flows could be cut off. Poland and Bulgaria already saw their supplies cut after failing to comply with Russia’s requests.


    The US will help Finland and Sweden if they are attacked before joining NATO

    Washington will be able to provide support to Finland and Sweden if they need it before joining NATO. This was announced on Sunday, May 15, by the press secretary of the US Department of Defense, John Kirby, in an interview with the BBC.

    However, Kirby noted that he did not want to discuss hypothetical possibilities, since there were no reasons for them. However, he added that Finland and Sweden have modern military forces that the US is comfortable cooperating with.

    “If during the period of their application and the process of joining NATO they need any additional [???????] opportunities or support, then we in the United States are confident that we have the level of relations with both countries that will allow them to provide it,” the Pentagon spokesman said.

    Kirby also acknowledged that the statements that are made on the issue of accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO, including by the Russian Federation, cause concern. The official noted that all of them will be seriously studied, but it is not for Moscow to decide who becomes NATO allies.

    The discussion on the entry of Finland and Sweden into the alliance intensified in April. The core members of NATO supported this idea. Earlier, the deputy secretary general of the alliance, Mircea Geoana, stated that the issue of membership of Sweden and Finland in NATO is likely to be resolved positivelyif the relevant applications from these countries still arrive.

    BBC – Pentagon Press Secretary apologises for emotional reaction in Ukraine press conference

    Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby says his emotional reaction during a press conference on Ukraine was because the ”depravity” of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin “came home” to him.

    He said he “wanted to apologise” that he “could not keep [his] composure” when asked a question about the psychology of Putin.

    • Sweden & Finland Provide NATO with “Historic Moment to Seize”

      Alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg has said the bloc will look at providing security guarantees for Finland and Sweden during the interim period of their applications to ioin NATO.

      He also urged member states to keep sending aid to Kiev, while saying that Stockholm and Helsinki’s U-turn on staying neutral is a “historic opportunity we have to seize.”

    • global news – Finland confirms it will apply for NATO membership, marking historic policy shift

      Finland’s president, Sauli Niinistö, confirmed on Sunday that his country would apply for membership to the NATO military alliance, a historic policy shift prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

      Moscow, which shares a 1,300 km (800 mile) border with Finland, has said it would be a mistake for Helsinki to join the 30-strong transatlantic alliance and that it would harm bilateral ties.

      Sweden is also expected to follow suit as public support for membership has grown amid security concerns.

      Niinistö called Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday to tell him of Finland’s plans to join the alliance. Putin said such a move would hurt Russian-Finnish relations.

      The Finnish president expressed readiness to hold talks with his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan after Ankara raised objections to the Nordic countries joining NATO.

      As a NATO member, Turkey could veto their applications.

    • city news – Joly says Putin has only himself to blame for NATO’s likely expansion

      Canada is showing its support for the expansion of NATO near Russia’s borders.

      But NATO allies are not united.

      Caryn Ceolin with why Turkey has reservations about Finland and Sweden joining the military alliance.

    • Henry Kissinger: ‘We are now living in a totally new era’

      The FT’s US national editor, Edward Luce, talks to former US secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, about Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the spectre of nuclear war.

    • Moscow To Strengthen Its Troops On Border With Finland Should NATO Deploy Offensive Arms

      Moscow will strengthen its military presence on the Russian-Finnish border in the event of Helsinki joining NATO and the alliance deploying striking weapons on its territory, Viktor Bondarev, the chair of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security, said Sunday.

      “We will strengthen the border, increase the presence of the Russian troops on the border if offensive, striking weapons of NATO are deployed in Finland, in our immediate vicinity,” Bondarev said on Telegram.

      Finland announced the official decision to join NATO earlier on Sunday. The decision will be discussed in the Finnish parliament on Monday, and the voting is expected to be held on Tuesday.

      The decision was followed by Sweden, which is expected to officially apply for NATO membership together with Finland.


      Assistant to the head of Chechnya announced the death of 7 mercenaries from the United States in Rubezhnoye

      On the territory of the Krasitel plant in the city of Rubizhnoye, 7 mercenaries from the United States were killed, Apty Alaudinov, assistant to the head of Chechnya for the power unit, told RIA Novosti.

      Earlier it was reported that a native of Washington, Joseph Ward Clark, who was considered a representative of the American special services, was liquidated in the Donbass.

      The passport of US citizen Joseph Ward Clark is with us. He essentially opposed us at the Krasitel plant, tried to resist. Probably, this unit was considered special forces. As I understand it, there were seven Americans. They were recorded by us and all departed to another world, leaving behind Javelin, Documents and their weapons, – said Alaudinov.

      Earlier, representatives of the People’s Militia of the LPR reported that Ukrainian servicemen, during the retreat, mined the Zarya chemical plant located in the city of Rubizhnoye. The department noted that the electronic warfare units managed to block the signal that was supposed to produce an explosion. There were about 49 tons of explosives in the warehouse of the enterprise.

      • Comment from a Russian:
        “finland making some guy in a bunker deep beneath the ural mountains get up from his chair & add two thumbtacks to a map”

      • Russian comment:

        “I genuinely do not understand how anyone came up with the idea that fighters who are completely surrounded and who have refused evacuation without weapons into their own territory multiple times must be “rescued”. Soldiers escape encirclement by victory, surrender or death.

        “Like, people are seriously demanding that the Red Cross, the Pope or the UN must “save” the Azov fighters. What is even the thought process here…”

    • RUMOUR –

      Unconfirmed : SURRENDERED: in Azovstal US General Eric Olson – British Lieutenant Colonel John Bailey and 4 NATO military instructors.

      There is news of Canadian -French – Turkish officers still hiding inside tunnels

      reuters – Turkey has offered sea evacuation for wounded Ukrainian fighters, Erdogan adviser says

      NATO member Turkey has proposed carrying out a sea evacuation of wounded fighters holed up in a steel works in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said on Saturday.

      Ibrahim Kalin told Reuters in an interview that he had personally discussed the proposal with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev two weeks ago and that it remains “on the table” although Moscow has not agreed to it.

      Under the plan, people evacuated from the vast Azovstal steel plant would be taken by land to the port of Berdyansk, which like Mariupol is on the Sea of Azov, and a Turkish vessel would take them across the Black Sea to Istanbul, he said.

      “If it can be done that way, we are happy to do it. We are ready. In fact our ship is ready to go and bring the injured soldiers and other civilians to Turkey,” said Kalin, who is also Erdogan’s top foreign policy adviser.

      Ukraine and Russia did not immediately comment on the possibility of an evacuation by sea.

      After weeks of Russian siege and bombardment, Mariupol is in Russian hands, but hundreds of Ukrainian fighters are holding out under heavy fire at the steel works.

      A number of civilians who were sheltering in the plant were evacuated this month with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations. Turkey’s proposal included evacuating the civilians who were still there.


      Zelensky has said complex talks are under way to evacuate a large number of wounded soldiers from the steel works in return for the release of Russian prisoners of war.

      Russia, which initially said the fighters should surrender, has said little publicly about the talks.

      Kalin said the Russian position “changes day to day”.

      “They look at the security situation on the ground and other dynamics, their negotiations, their own internal coordination,” he said. “So sometimes it is hard to get a firm response (or) commitment from either side.”

      Turkey neighbours Russia and Ukraine, has good ties with both and has tried to facilitate peace talks. It objected to Russia’s invasion and has supplied Kiev with armed drones though it also opposes Western sanctions on Moscow. read more

      Kalin said the naval evacuation from Berdyansk was one of a number of proposals to reach a ceasefire and carry out an evacuation.

      “It may happen, yes. I believe it may happen,” he said.

      “The boat is still in Istanbul. It is ready to sail but we are waiting for final clearance from Russian and Ukrainian side for it to go to Berdyansk and bring those injured soldiers to Turkey.”

    • global news – Joly says Canada ready to help ship Ukrainian grain as G7 warn of global crisis

      […]German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who hosted a meeting of top G-7 diplomats, said the war had become a “global crisis.”

      “Up to 50 million people, particularly in the countries of Africa and the Middle East, will die in the next few months,” she warned, unless ways are found to release Ukrainian grain, which accounts for a sizeable share of the worldwide supply.

      […]In statements released at the end of the three-day meeting on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast, the G-7 pledged to provide further humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable.

      “Russia’s war of aggression has generated one of the most severe food and energy crises in recent history which now threatens those most vulnerable across the globe,” the group said.

      […]Canada’s foreign minister, Melanie Joly, said her country, another major agricultural exporter, stands ready to send ships to European ports so Ukrainian grain can be brought to those in need.

      “We need to make sure that these cereals are sent to the world,” she told reporters. “If not, millions of people will be facing famine.”

      […]The meeting in Weissenhaus, northeast of Hamburg, was billed as an opportunity for officials to discuss the broader implications of the war for geopolitics, energy and food security, and ongoing international efforts to tackle climate change and the pandemic.

      […]Many of the foreign ministers were due to attend an informal meeting of NATO diplomats in Berlin on Saturday and Sunday.

      […]Blinken, who was unable to attend the G-7 meeting after recovering from a COVID-19 infection, was expected at the NATO gathering.


      Canada will strongly support an application by Finland to join NATO!!! Mélanie Joly from Canada

      … Finland and Canada share common progressive values

    • VOA – Blinken Meets with NATO Allies in Berlin on Ukraine Support

      U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Sunday with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Berlin, where the two men discussed plans to work together to ensure Ukrainian food exports reach consumers in Africa and Asia.

      The two are attending a NATO foreign ministers’ meeting, called to discuss the situation in the ground on Ukraine and to coordinate efforts to provide Ukraine with the humanitarian assistance and the weapons it needs to defend itself against Russia.

      Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24 has caused food prices to rise and raised the threat of famine in many parts of the world. Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven countries meeting in Germany Saturday called on the Russian government to end its blockade of Ukrainian Black Sea ports to free up exports of critically needed Ukrainian grain, fertilizer and other agricultural products.

      Blinken and the NATO foreign ministers also plan to discuss Finland’s leaders’ decision to apply to join NATO without delay. The United States has said it would support both Finland and Sweden’s applications to join the transatlantic security alliance.

      Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto in a phone call initiated by Finland Saturday that any attempt by Helsinki to join NATO would harm bilateral relations. Finland’s leaders cite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a threat to their country’s security, since the Finland and Russia share a 1,340-kilometer border.

      Turkey’s President Recep Tayiip Erdogan has also expressed concerns about Finland and Sweden joining the alliance. Senior U.S. officials says they are working to clarify Turkey’s position.

      reuters – Blinken says he talked to Turkey’s foreign minister, is confident on consensus on Sweden, Finland

      U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he had spoken to his Turkish counterpart on Ankara’s concerns regarding Sweden and Finland’s entry into NATO and that after Sunday’s meeting of foreign ministers he was confident a consensus could be reached.

      “I don’t want to characterise the specific conversation that we had either with the foreign minister or within the NATO sessions themselves, but I can say this much: I heard almost across the board, very strong support (for Sweden, Finland) joining the alliance,” he told reporters after a NATO foreign ministers meeting in Berlin.

      “If that’s what they choose to do, I’m very confident that we will reach consensus on that.”
      Kuleba, Blinken discuss further aid to Ukraine

      Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in a tweet on Sunday that he met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Berlin, and discussed the provision of more weapons and other aid to Ukraine.

      “More weapons and other aid is on the way to Ukraine. We agreed to work closely together to ensure that Ukrainian food exports reach consumers in Africa and Asia,” Kuleba said.

      Blinken gives update as he attends NATO summit in Germany

  5. Some of you technically inclined may take a look at World Integrated Trade Systems – – Covid-19 test kits (300215) exports by country 2018.

  6. “This pandemic treaty is the greatest power grab any of us has seen in our lifetime, says Neil Oliver” – GBNews – May 14, 2022

  7. BBC News Brazil We want free and fair elections in Brazil, says US Under Secretary of State

    Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) is once again skeptical of the election process, while US Under-Secretary of State Victoria Nuland has suggested that the military should oversee the counting of votes for the 2022 presidential election. In Brazil, “what should happen is free and fair elections, using institutional structures that have served you (Brazilians) well in the past”.

    Nuland, who is in charge of political affairs in American diplomacy under the command of Antony Blinken, was in Brazil a few weeks ago with a senior American delegation. Diplomats of the two countries discussed cooperation in defense and agriculture, among other issues.

    On this occasion, the Americans once again expressed their “confidence in Brazilian democracy”. However, according to Nuland, the government and opposition warned of the risk of Russian interference in this year’s elections.

    Bolsonaro, a candidate for re-election and second place in the polls, made a series of comments without providing any evidence, claiming that electronic voting machines were weak, and attacked the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE), which conducted the process.

    Last week, the Reuters news agency reported that in July 2021, CIA director of the American intelligence agency William Burns would have warned Bolsonaro’s direct advisers to the president, who at the time was already raising doubts about the smoothness of the United States. In the electoral process, it should stop questioning the integrity of the country’s elections.

    Both Bolsonaro and General Augusto Heleno, head of the Office of Institutional Security (GSI), will be present at the meeting, denying that this happened.

    When asked what the US would do in the event of a coup attempt in the country, Nuland said, “We want free and fair elections in countries around the world and especially in democracies. We evaluate the legitimacy of those who claim to have been elected accordingly. If the election were free and fair and internal and external observers agree. We want to see free and fair elections in Brazil for the Brazilian people”.

    By citing outside observers, Nuland implicitly touches on another sensitive point in the current political debate in Brazil. After the TSE sent dozens of invitations to foreign institutions to follow the elections, in October Itamaraty complained about the invitation to the European Union and TSE was forced to step back. Bolsonaro also launched public criticism of the presence of observers who have been watching the Brazilian elections since at least 1994.

    Brazil and the United States are undergoing a “re-adjustment” in their relations after the Brazilian president’s visit to Moscow in February, days before Russian leader Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of neighboring Ukraine, caused unease among Americans. There is expectation among Brazilian diplomats that Bolsonaro and Biden will speak face-to-face for the first time in Los Angeles (USA) during the Americas Summit in June.

    • Biden’s concern about Bolsonaro elections in Brazil will have the opposite effect

      Officials and former US diplomats have signaled the Joe Biden administration’s concern over President Jair Bolsonaro’s frequent attempts to delegitimize elections in Brazil. These warnings, however well-intentioned they may seem, have little or nothing to do with Brazilians’ confidence in the process or in warding off the risk of contesting the result by Bolsonaro and the military he says he has on his side.

      Recently, information came to light, revealed by the Reuters news agency, that William Burns, director of the CIA, the American spy agency, met in July last year with ministers Augusto Heleno, from the Institutional Security Office ( GSI), and Luiz Eduardo Ramos, from the General Secretariat of the Presidency. At the time, Burns reportedly told Bolsonaro’s two generals and trusted men that the Brazilian president should stop casting doubt on the voting system.

      Both Bolsonaro and Minister Heleno deny that the issue of elections in Brazil has entered the conversations with the representative of the American government.

      The US government has neither confirmed nor denied the content of Burns’ meeting in Brasília. Instead, he reaffirmed confidence in the Brazilian electoral system:

      “It is important that Brazilians, as they eagerly await the elections, have confidence in their electoral system and that Brazil is in a position to demonstrate to the world, through two elections, the enduring strength of Brazilian democracy,” said Ned Price, spokesman. voice of the Department of State, the American equivalent of our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, when questioned at a press conference about the news of the CIA director’s meeting with Brazilian ministers, in 2021.

      Price added that the Biden administration has “trust in Brazilian democratic institutions” and that Brazil “has a strong record of free and fair elections, with transparency and high levels of voter turnout.”

      In good diplomatic English, by stating the exact opposite of what Bolsonaro has been saying in his lives and in his pre-campaign speeches — in which the president systematically casts doubt on the fairness of the vote-counting process or the reliability of the polls — Price sends the message that the United States is aware of the risk of an institutional breakdown in the Brazil through a possible attempt to disrupt the electoral process or contest the outcome of the vote.

      Last week, it was the turn of Victoria Nuland, Undersecretary of State, to reinforce the message of concern about the elections in Brazil. In an interview with BBC News Brasil, Nuland said that “what needs to happen are free and fair elections, using the institutional structures that have served you (Brazilians) well in the past”.

      And more: “We have confidence in their electoral system. Brazilians also need to have confidence,” said Nuland. Note the simple and direct message from the Biden administration to Bolsonaro contained in these words. Between the lines (or in parentheses), Nuland is saying that (unlike Bolsonaro) the US government trusts the Brazilian electoral system. And that the essential thing is that Brazilians have the same trust (which, therefore, cannot be destroyed or undermined).

      And there’s more. As revealed by journalist Thomas Traumann of LookAmerican diplomats distributed copies of an article published on April 29 in the newspaper The globeby Scott Hamilton, former American consul in Rio de Janeiro, who harshly criticizes Bolsonaro’s attacks on the voting system and who advocates that Biden make it clear to the Brazilian president that not accepting the result of the polls will bring serious retaliation on the part of from United States.

      The fact that the article was distributed by active American diplomats may indicate an official endorsement of the measures defended by Hamilton.

      All this behind-the-scenes movement, with public statements calculated to demonstrate the Biden administration’s concern with Bolsonaro’s attacks on the voting system or with a possible strategy to disrupt and not accept the result of the elections in Brazil, could have the opposite effect of what was expected. — that is, to dissuade Bolsonaro from continuing to delegitimize the electoral process or from attempting an institutional rupture.

      Joe Biden is seen by supporters of the president as a leftist, progressive and abortionist who shouldn’t even be occupying the US presidential chair, because they believe the Trumpian version that the 2020 US elections were rigged.

      On the Lula left, Biden’s pressure on Bolsonaro is even celebrated, but not without a certain irony and without the old anti-American rancidity of the Tupiniquim left.

      Given the long history of US interference in domestic political issues in Latin American countries, it is not easy even for the left to swallow with gusto the hunches of current US diplomacy regarding the elections in Brazil.

      It is better to let Brazilians take care of their own problems.

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