Reader’s Links for June 10th, 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

58 Replies to “Reader’s Links for June 10th, 2022”

  1. Benjamin Franklin said “ Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the FREENESS of speech”.

    Marco Mendincino, the Public Safety Minister, should be made to step down. He is the man who insisted the police wanted the Emergency Act. The police have said they did NOT ask for the Emergency Act. He now says he was misinformed. The man is either a liar or a fool, methinks he is both.

    People in Canada who should be made to resign: Help save Canada
    Justine Trudeau
    Chrystia Freeland
    Marco Mendincino
    Omar Alghabra

    • Remember when Freeland was grinning and smirking while talking about freezing Canadian’s bank accounts, did she know the Emergency Act was nothing more than more government control and it was based on nothing? She is just another World Economic Forum clown and should be made to step down. Every politician is working for “the little people”, not Klaus Schwab.

      FIRE FREELAND

  2. U.S. DepartmentofDefense

    JUNE 9 2022 – IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Fact Sheet on WMD Threat Reduction Efforts with Ukraine, Russia and Other Former Soviet Union Countries

    The History and Accomplishments of U.S. Collaboration With the International Community to Reduce Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Threats inUkraine, Russia, and Other Countries of the Former Soviet Union

    Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States, along with allies, partners, and international organizations, has led cooperative efforts to reduce legacy threats from nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons left in the Soviet Union’s successor states, including Russia.
    These cooperative threat reduction efforts have helped advance global peace and security, and have supported the global consensus that the world is safer when we work together to increase transparency and reduce the risks from weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs.

    The U.S. Congress created the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program through the passage of the Soviet Threat Reduction Act of 1991. The CTR Program provided U.S. funding and expertise to: 1) consolidate and secure WMD and WMD-related material in a limited number of secure sites; 2) inventory and account for these weapons and materials; 3) provide safe handling and safe disposition of these weapons and materials as called for by arms control agreements; and 4) offer assistance in finding gainful employment for thousands of former Soviet scientists with expert knowledge of WMD, WMD-related materials, or their delivery systems

    The United States has provided this assistance with transparency and in cooperation with our partners, which included Russia prior to 2014, toward mutually-decided objectives, and has been reported on a regular basis.

    In addition to the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction work, the Departments of Energy and State have supported nuclear, chemical, and biological threat reduction efforts, often with technical assistance from other U.S. departments and agencies. This work has occurred in collaboration with other countries, such as Canada, the European Union, Japan, Norway, the Republic of Korea, and others; multilateral organizations, and the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC); and the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU).

    Thirty years later, amidst its war of aggression against Ukraine, Russia seeks, with support from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), to undermine that work by spreading disinformation and sowing mistrust in the people and institutions all over the world that contribute to WMD threat reduction.

    This Fact Sheet provides an overview of the history of threat reduction and nonproliferation programs supported by the United States, in cooperation with countries of the former Soviet Union, including the Governments of Russia and Ukraine.

    Achievements of this cooperation across the former Soviet Union include:

    Destroying 2,531 missiles, decommissioning more than 1,300 WMD delivery systems (silos, mobile launchers, submarines, and strategic bombers), upgrading security at 24 nuclear weapon storage sites, and securely moving over 600 shipments of nuclear warheads from less secure storage to more secure storage or destruction (almost all of this work in Russia).

    Ukraine’s voluntary and verifiable renunciation of nuclear weapons, with the transfer of Soviet missiles, nuclear weapons, and weapons-usable nuclear materials to Russia or destruction of such missiles, weapons, and materials, and accession to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation (NPT) as a non-nuclear-weapon State Party in December 1994.

    Joint efforts by the United States and partners working with Russia to destroy Russia’s declared chemical weapons stockpile under international verification by the Technical Secretariat of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and ensuring that Soviet scientists with weapons-related knowledge could have sustainable civilian employment—in particular, supporting scientists to remove incentives to seek or accept of terrorist or other state actor employment and financing.

    Engagement of thousands of former Russian biological weapons scientists to conduct peaceful biological research projects for public health purposes, with the Russian government’s full approval. (These types of projects were very similar to biological research projects Russia is now criticizing in other former Soviet countries.)

    Securing Russia’s active approval of and collaboration, as a full member of the ISTC Governing Board until 2014, in peaceful biological research projects worth millions of dollars to advance public health with Georgia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and other former Soviet Union countries. (The Russian government repeatedly approved, and often collaborated in, the very projects it is now criticizing.)

    Ukraine

    Ukraine has no nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons programs. On March 11 and 18, 2022, United Nations (UN) High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu similarly stated that the UN is not aware of any biological weapons programs in Ukraine. Those comments were reiterated on May 13, 2022, by the UN Deputy High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.

    Today, the collaborations in Ukraine remain peaceful efforts to improve nuclear and radiological safety and security, disease surveillance, chemical safety and security, and readiness to respond to epidemics and pandemics such as COVID-19.

    Many of these collaborations are multilateral and involve the G7-led Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Health Organization (WHO), the OPCW, and other UN specialized agencies.

    Ukraine has become a leader in transparency and in promoting nonproliferation and global health security norms. For example, in December 2021, Ukraine completed a voluntary, external, WHO-led evaluation of its capacity to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to public health emergencies.

    Ukraine Has No Nuclear Weapons Program

    During the Cold War, the Soviet military stationed a sizable number of nuclear weapons in Ukraine , believed to be around 1,800 nuclear warheads as well as strategic bombers and nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). There were also several locations in Ukraine where Soviet tactical nuclear weapons were stored. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia retained control of these weapons under the aegis of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

    Ukraine assumed obligations under the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) in 1992 as a successor state to the Soviet Union, and in 1994 joined the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as a non-nuclear-weapon State Party, renouncing the Soviet legacy nuclear weapons that had been deployed or stored in Ukraine.

    The transfer of all nuclear weapons from Ukraine to the Russian Federation was completed by 1996, in return for reactor fuel for peaceful uses and security assurances from Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom as set forth in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum. All ICBMs were dismantled or removed from Ukraine, and all nuclear missile silos in Ukraine were destroyed.

    As a Non-Nuclear Weapon State Party to the NPT, Ukraine has upheld its obligation not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or to seek or receive assistance in their manufacture. Ukraine also has met its NPT obligation to accept IAEA safeguards on all nuclear material in the country, and in addition has in force an Additional Protocol to its NPT-required safeguards agreement to enable the IAEA to provide credible assurances to the international community that all nuclear material in Ukraine remains in peaceful activities. The IAEA has repeatedly stated that it has found no indication that would give rise to a proliferation concern in Ukraine.

    In a further demonstration of Ukraine’s dedication to nuclear nonproliferation, at the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit hosted by the United States, Ukraine voluntarily pledged to remove its highly enriched uranium (HEU).

    Through the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) efforts, 234 kg of Ukraine’s HEU was repatriated to Russia, the original exporter of this material. The material was then down-blended to low enriched uranium (LEU). In exchange for eliminating this HEU inventory, NNSA provided LEU fuel for the research reactor at the Kyiv Institute for Nuclear Research and supported the development and construction of the Neutron Source Facility at the Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology, with both facilities being used for peaceful purposes.
    The very small quantity of HEU that remains in Ukraine is intended for specific scientific purposes, such as nuclear forensics, and is well below the amount needed to produce a nuclear device. Ukraine does not possess uranium enrichment or spent fuel reprocessing capabilities, nor does it possess substantial quantities of separated plutonium.

    Ukraine has consistently stated that it has no intention of acquiring nuclear weapons and has consistently supported other key elements of international nonproliferation regimes, such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Zangger Committee, the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Australia Group, and the Missile Technology Control Regime. Further, Ukraine has signed and ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

    Ukraine Has No Biological Weapons Program

    At the time of its dissolution in 1991, the Soviet Union, despite being a State Party to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), had a large and sophisticated biological weapons program, consisting of dozens of research, development, and production facilities, with tens of thousands of employees, spread across many of its successor states.

    In violation of the BWC, this Soviet weapons complex developed a broad range of biological pathogens for use as weapons against plants, animals, and humans, including the weaponization of anthrax, plague, and smallpox.

    In contrast, no other European state nor the United States possessed any biological weapon development programs, in compliance with their obligations under the BWC. When the Soviet Union dissolved, it left some newly independent states, like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, with legacy biological weapons program facilities, equipment, and materials that were vulnerable to theft, misuse, and unsafe handling and storage. The U.S. Departments of Defense and State funded programs to help transition such former Soviet weapons facilities into peaceful public health facilities.

    The United States, through international collaboration, has also worked to address other biological threats throughout the former Soviet Union. Subject matter experts in biology, biodefense, public health, and related fields were engaged from across the U.S. government. These efforts advanced disease surveillance and enhanced peaceful biological research cooperation between former Soviet Union scientists and the global scientific community, consistent with international norms for safety, security, nonproliferation, and transparency.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The United States has also worked collaboratively to improve Ukraine’s biological safety, security, and disease surveillance for both human and animal health, PROVIDING SUPPORT TO 46 PEACEFUL UKRAINIAN LABORATORIES, health facilities, and disease diagnostic sites over the last two decades. The collaborative programs have focused on improving public health and agricultural safety measures at the nexus of nonproliferation.

    This work, often conducted in partnership with outside organizations, such as the WHO and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), has resulted in safer and more effective disease surveillance and detection. Ukrainian scientists have acted consistent with international best practices and norms in publishing research results, partnering with international colleagues and multilateral organizations, and widely distributing their research and public health findings.
    Ukraine owns and operates its public health laboratories and associated infrastructure, and the United States is proud to collaborate, cooperate, and provide assistance in support of this infrastructure. These facilities operate just like other state or local public health and research laboratories around the world. Furthermore, all equipment and training provided by the United States is subject to U.S. export control processes, audits, and acquisition laws and regulations, which ensures transparency and compliance with domestic and international laws.

    This assistance has directly and measurably improved Ukraine’s preparedness and response efforts to detect and report outbreaks, including COVID-19 response, and has helped protect its food supply in addition to many other benefits that accrued from this partnership.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Ukraine Has No Chemical Weapons Program

    Ukraine has been a respected member of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) since ratifying the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in 1998.
    Ukraine has consistently demonstrated its commitment to uphold the international norm against the use of chemical weapons, including through its participation at the OPCW and its implementation of its obligations under the CWC.

    Ukraine regularly plays an active role at the OPCW Conference of the States Parties and was most recently a member of the OPCW Executive Council from 2018 to 2020. Ukraine previously held a number of leadership roles at the OPCW, to include chairing the Executive Council from 2012 to 2014.

    The United States has been clear since ratifying the CWC in 1997 that it will never under any circumstances develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile or retain chemical weapons, or transfer, direct or indirectly, chemical weapons to anyone; use chemical weapons; engage in any military preparations to use chemical weapons; or assist encourage or induce, in any way, anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a state party under the CWC.

    The United States is committed to the destruction of all chemical weapons around the world and has provided substantial aid and support to numerous countries in the destruction of their chemical weapons, including Russia and Syria.

    https://www.defense.gov/News/Releases/Release/Article/3057517/fact-sheet-on-wmd-threat-reduction-efforts-with-ukraine-russia-and-other-former/

    • Zelensky Addresses Oxford University

      Oxford University Ukrainian Society, in collaboration with the Oxford Union, and with the support of The Oxford University International Relations Society, will join eight universities across the UK in hosting a live address from Ukraine’s wartime leader

    • Judge and Aiden Aslin both speak after Death Penalty verdict for 3 Mercenaries

      First words from Aiden Aslin and the Judge who sentenced him to the death penalty.

      The Judge makes it clear that Aslin and the other 2 mercenaries all admitted their crimes. Aslin says he thought that his co-operation with the authorities would have given him a better sentence.
      Video evidence shows Aslin in February boldly talking about coming to Ukraine to fight for the Ukraine military.

      To make matters worse, Aslin has also been a mercenary in other wars, and the Judge made it clear that he goes to other countries to take lives for money.

    • Defeat Russia and you will save your countrymen! | US fighter in Ukraine joins Breakfast

      Brennan Phillips, a US healthcare provider in Ukraine who trained imprisoned Brit Aiden Aslin, tells Breakfast what the British government must do to ensure his release.

    • sky news UK – British men facing death penalty should be entitled to ‘combat immunity’

      A human rights lawyer has said the two British men sentenced to death by a Russian proxy court are entitled to “combat immunity”.

      Wayne Jordash said the court “no doubt answers directly to Putin” and their detainment is part of a possible prisoner swap plan.

      He said we are living in “unprecedented times” and legally there isn’t a lot which can be done.

    • REBEL NEWS – ‘UNDER ATTACK’: U of Calgary report claims Canadian social media flooded with ‘pro-Russian’ disinfo

    • France wants Ukraine to win the war

      France wants Ukraine to win the war started by Moscow’s invasion, a presidential advisor said Friday, June 10, after President Emmanuel Macron sparked controversy by suggesting Russia should not be humiliated.

      “As the president has said, we want a victory for Ukraine. We want the territorial integrity of Ukraine to be restored. We want this conflict, this war that Russia is waging against Ukraine to end as soon as possible,” a presidential advisor, who asked not to be named, told reporters.

      Mr. Macron will travel to Ukraine’s neighbours Moldova and Romania next week but said no date had been set for a visit by Mr. Macron to Kyiv, the advisor added.

      Ready to help Odesa

      France is ready to assist in an operation to allow safe access to Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odesa, an advisor to French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday.

      “We are at the disposal of the parties to put in place an operation which would allow access in complete safety to the port of Odessa, in other words for boats to pass through despite the fact that the sea is mined,” said the advisor, who asked not to be named.

      The port has been subject to a de facto blockade by Russia, and grain is waiting to be exported amid mounting fears of global food shortages, especially in developing countries.

      https://www.lemonde.fr/en/international/article/2022/06/10/france-wants-ukraine-to-win-the-war_5986351_4.html

      =================================
      arab news – Macron suggests to Putin UN resolution to end Odessa blockade

      BRUSSELS: French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that he and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had urged Vladimir Putin to end Russia’s blockade of the Ukrainian port of Odessa under the terms of a UN resolution.

      “I proposed, in the discussion we had with Olaf Scholz last Saturday, to President Putin that we take the initiative for a resolution at the United Nations to give a very clear framework to this operation,” he declared after a European summit in Brussels.

      Macron and Scholz called Putin on Saturday, and neither has since referred to a proposed UN resolution, although diplomatic efforts are underway to lift the Russian threat to Odessa, the last major Black Sea port in Ukrainian hands.

      Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has effectively taken its huge grain harvest off the world market, sending world food prices soaring and threatening to exacerbate humanitarian emergencies in Africa and the Middle East.

      The port’s Ukrainian defenders have laid mines, and the Russian fleet is preventing cargo traffic from arriving in Ukraine.

      Under Macron’s proposal, a UN resolution would set up a framework in which the port could be de-mined and grain shipments resume.

      Macron paid tribute to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’s role in searching for a solution and said Russia had been in “promising” talks with its Black Sea neighbor Turkey.

      That has led to hopes the situation could be resolved in the “coming days, coming weeks,” he said.

      “The decision does not depend on us, but it does indeed depend on an agreement from Russia — and guarantees provided by Russia — so that, faced with the de-mining which is essential — security guarantees are provided to the Ukrainians to prevent them from being attacked,” he added.

      https://www.arabnews.com/node/2093751/world

      ===================================
      reuters – France in no mood to make concessions to Russia, presidency says

      PARIS, June 10 (Reuters) – France is unwilling to make concessions to Russia and wants Ukraine to win the war against Moscow’s invading forces with its territorial integrity restored, a French presidential official said on Friday, as Paris seeks to assuage concerns over its stance in the conflict.

      President Emmanuel Macron has been criticised by Ukraine and eastern European allies after published interviews on Saturday quoting him as saying it was vital not to “humiliate” Russia so that when the fighting ends there could be a diplomatic solution. read more

      “As the president has said, we want a Ukrainian victory. We want Ukraine’s territorial integrity to be restored,” the official told reporters when asked about Macron’s humiliation comments.

      Macron has spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin regularly since the Feb. 24 invasion as part of efforts to achieve a ceasefire and begin a credible negotiation between Kiev and Moscow, although he has had no tangible success to show for it.

      “There is no spirit of concession towards Putin or Russia in what the president says, When he speaks to him directly, it is not compromise, but to say how we see things.”

      The official defended Macron’s position repeating that there would have to be a negotiated solution to the war and arguing that the president’s comments were not always fully considered. Paris, he said, was a key backer of sanctions and provided strong military support to Ukraine.

      Some eastern and Baltic partners in Europe see Macron keeping a dialogue open with Putin as undermining efforts to push Putin to the negotiating table.

      Amid the malaise, Macron will travel to Romania and Moldova on June 14-15 to show Paris’ support for two of the countries most exposed to events in Ukraine.

      France has about 500 soldiers on the ground and deployed a surface-to air- missile system as part of a NATO battle group it heads up in Romania. The official said Macron would visit his troops to underscore Paris’ commitment to the alliance.

      Macron has not been to Kiev to offer symbolic political support as other EU leaders have and Ukraine has wanted him to. The presidential official did not rule out a Macron visit.

      https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/french-president-macron-visit-romania-moldova-next-week-amid-ukraine-crisis-2022-06-10/

      ===========================================

      patrick lancaster – Pro Russia & Pro Ukraine People Living together In The Warzone

      • de facto blockade by Russia
        Repeat that enough, you’ll forget about Uke’s ruthless mining of this critical global trade node.

        Commercial vessels need insurance. Who pays for it? Ships are still stuck in Mariupol, have been for months.

    • REBEL NEWS – U.S. Department of Defense reveals exact number of U.S.-funded biolabs in Ukraine

      The United States accused both the Russian and Chinese governments of spreading disinformation about the subject.

      The U.S. Department of Defense released a fact sheet divulging its support for biological research facilities in Ukraine, revealing on Thursday the exact number of biological facilities it has supported in the country in the document.

      When details about America’s participation in biological research facilities in Ukraine first surfaced during a Senate hearing with Under Secretary of Defense Victoria Nuland, as detailed by Rebel News, the legacy media was quick to downplay America’s involvement in biological research in the region, accusing anyone speaking about it online of being a conspiracy theorist.

      The United States accused both the Russian and Chinese governments of spreading disinformation about the subject.

      The disclosure from the Department of Defense is the first time that the agency has revealed the exact number of such facilities the United States government has supported in Ukraine.

      The document titled “Fact Sheet on WMD Threat Reduction Efforts” states that the U.S. “worked collaboratively to improve Ukraine’s biological safety, security, and disease surveillance for both human and animal health,” by providing support to “46 peaceful Ukrainian laboratories, health facilities, and disease diagnostic sites over the last two decades.”

      “The collaborative programs have focused on improving public health and agricultural safety measures at the nexus of nonproliferation,” the Department of Defense stated in the release.

      According to Russian state media, the Russian military said only three laboratories in Ukraine had the required safety levels to conduct the kind of research they were participating in. Citing Ukrainian government reports, General Igor Kirillov, Russia’s head of its nuclear, biological, and chemical protection forces stated that a Ukrainian facility struggled with a series of problems due to its lack of safety protocols.

      The Kremlin has accused the United States government of spending more than $224 million on biological research in Ukraine between the years 2005 and 2022, per Russian state media agency TASS. The Russian government has also accused Western pharmaceutical companies, non-profit groups, and the Democrats of being involved in the scheme.

      The Department of Defense claims “Joint efforts by the United States and partners working with Russia to destroy Russia’s declared chemical weapons stockpile under international verification by the Technical Secretariat of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and ensuring that Soviet scientists with weapons-related knowledge could have sustainable civilian employment—in particular, supporting scientists to remove incentives to seek or accept of terrorist or other state actor employment and financing.”

      “Today, the collaborations in Ukraine remain peaceful efforts to improve nuclear and radiological safety and security, disease surveillance, chemical safety and security, and readiness to respond to epidemics and pandemics such as COVID-19,” the Department of Defense insists.

      https://www.rebelnews.com/u_s_department_of_defense_reveals_exact_number_of_biological_facilities_in_ukraine_supported_by_u_s

    • the guardian -Ukraine’s high casualty rate could bring war to tipping point

      Analysis: Kyiv’s fighting strength is stretched, yet Russia could now benefit from a pause in fighting

      Any way you count it, the figures are stark: Ukrainian casualties are running at a rate of somewhere between 6oo and 1,000 a day. One presidential adviser, Oleksiy Arestovych, told the Guardian this week it was 150 killed and 800 wounded daily; another, Mykhaylo Podolyak, told the BBC that 100 to 200 Ukrainian troops a day were being killed.

      It represents an extraordinary loss of human life and capacity for the defenders, embroiled in a defence of the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk that this week turned into a losing battle. Yet the city was also arguably a place that Ukraine could have retreated from to the more defensible Lysychansk, across the Siverski Donets River, the sort of defensive situation that Ukraine has fared far better in.

      The sheer number – more than 20,000 casualties a month – raises questions about what state Ukraine’s army will be in if the war drags on into the autumn. The same is true for the Russians too, of course. But the invaders already control large chunks of Ukraine, and they can pause the fighting with the territorial upper hand.

      Consider the figures in context. Ukraine’s army was 125,000 strong, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and there were 102,000 national and border guards in addition. Analysts’ crude estimates suggest that since the start of the war the total could have doubled to an impressive 500,000.

      Kyiv’s forces are far from a point of collapse. But several months of high casualties will erode its fighting strength significantly, even allowing for some of the wounded to recover. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s forces are already being pushed back in a Donbas artillery bombardment so intense it is likely to have a shell-shock impact on many of those who survive it. Morale is certainly an issue for the Russians, but there are now reports of desertions from the Ukrainian side too.

      So pressing is the situation that foreigners with combat experience who pass the tests to join the international legion could be on the frontline in less than a month after crossing the Ukrainian border. But again, the high level of casualties now being openly discussed may act as a deterrent to recruits in the future.

      Western officials prefer not to discuss the impact of the war on the defenders, instead highlighting the problems for the Russians in their briefings. This week, one of those officials said their estimate was that the invaders had lost “15,000 to 20,000 dead”, out of an invasion force that was 150,000 or more. Yet despite this, Moscow’s army has still not lost its offensive capability.

      But they chose not to provide similar estimates for Ukraine, which can create a lopsided impression that the Russians are faring worse. In fact, with an artillery overmatch of 10 or 15 to one, according to the Ukrainians, it may well be that the invaders’ casualty rate is far lower at the moment, because they are able to deal death from a greater distance to defenders who cannot see them.

      Ammunition is certainly running short on the Ukrainian side, again by their own admission. Vadym Skibitsky, the deputy head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, has said Ukraine is using 5,000 to 6,000 artillery rounds a day, and has “almost used up” its stockpile of Soviet 152mm standard shells. It is now relying on Nato-standard 155mm howitzers; it is unclear how many of these it has.

      Commanders have told the Guardian that Ukraine struggles for some basic equipment such as encrypted radios (where mobile phones work, it is not uncommon to rely on the secure Signal app instead) or advanced sights and optics of the types commonly used by western militaries.

      Ukraine is not short on bravery and determination. Western support is still in place, as shown by the UK announcement to supply a handful of – perhaps three – multiple rocket launchers this week, even if Kyiv said almost immediately it wanted many times more. But it is Russia’s forces that have found a way to advance in the Donbas, raising the question of whether the three-month war is at another turning point.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/10/ukraine-casualty-rate-russia-war-tipping-point

    • NBC – Thousands Of Ukrainian Civilians Trapped In Sievierodonetsk As Russian Bombardment Continues

      … experts say the war could rage on for years.

      Former spokesperson for the U.S. Mission to the U.N., Hagar Chemali, joins News NOW to explain the latest in the Sievierodonetsk region and how a stalemate in the region could impact the conflict.

    • European natural gas prices soar by almost 40% after fire at key US export terminal

      UK natural gas prices surged 33% on Thursday after an explosion closed a Texas export terminal.

      The Freeport LNG terminal will be closed for at least three weeks after Wednesday’s fire.

      Natural gas prices surged across Europe on Thursday after a fire broke out at a key US export hub, putting further pressure on already tight global supply.

      The Freeport liquefied natural gas export facility in Quintana, Texas will remain closed for at least three weeks after Wednesday’s explosion, a company spokesperson said. The terminal accounts for nearly a fifth of all US overseas gas shipments, according to Bloomberg. The US supplies almost half of Europe’s LNG.

      UK natural gas futures surged around 33% to 172 pence per therm after the outage, while benchmark Dutch gas prices rose just under 12% to 88 euros per megawatt hour. Meanwhile, US Henry Hub gas futures fell just under 5% to $8.27 per MMBtu, as the outage would lead to a rise in domestic supply.

      European gas benchmarks surged to all-time highs after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and continue to be highly volatile. UK and Dutch prices are up 143% and 200%, respectively over the past year.

      Surging commodity prices have plunged Europe into a cost-of-living crisis, as fuel and utility bills have spiraled. UK consumer prices rose 7.8% in April, while eurozone inflation hit an all-time high of 8.1% in May.

      “The impact on US gas prices has been bearish, given that this will weigh on LNG exports and leave more gas in the domestic market,” ING strategists said. “This should prove supportive for European hub prices as well as spot Asian LNG prices, given that the LNG market is already tight, with Europe increasingly turning to LNG as it tries to reduce its dependency on Russian gas.”

      The EU relies on Russia for 40% of its domestic natural gas needs, with almost all of this total arriving in the region via pipeline. There are very few LNG ports in Europe, meaning that it will take some years to reduce this reliance.

      No injuries or risks to the surrounding community arose from the explosion, according to Freeport LNG.

      https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/commodities/natural-gas-prices-lng-europe-texas-freeport-terminal-fire-2022-6

    • NEWSWEEK – ‘They’re Jamming Everything’: Putin’s Electronic Warfare Turns Tide of War

      As Russian forces push for territorial gains in eastern Ukraine, they’re turning to a military capability they’ve largely forgone during the war but is expected to give them an edge: electronic warfare.

      After earlier failing to topple Ukraine’s government, Russia’s military has focused its offensive on the country’s eastern Donbas region, which is home to a large population of Russian speakers. New reporting shows Russian forces are increasingly intercepting the Ukrainian military’s communications while jamming navigation and guidance systems.

      “They are jamming everything their systems can reach,” an official with the Aerorozvidka, a Ukrainian agency that develops unmanned aerial vehicles and other military capabilities, told the Associated Press in a report published Friday. “We can’t say they dominate, but they hinder us greatly.”

      Russia has jammed GPS receivers on drones used by Ukrainian forces used to locate and fire artillery at enemy targets, according to the report.

      Christian Brose, a former aide to Senator John McCain and author of The Kill Chain, recalled a story from a Ukrainian officer who said Russians killed a commander after tricking him into returning a wireless call from his mother, according to the report.

      After failing to take Ukraine’s capital city of Kiev early in the conflict, Russia’s redeployed forces in the eastern Donbas region appear to be making territorial gains and be poised to drive Ukrainian forces from Severodonetsk.

      Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko told Newsweek last month that a victory in the region is central to the propaganda campaign of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

      A Congressional Research Service report published in April says that “the Russian military appeared not to use many of the systems and capabilities it had amassed prior to the invasion.”

      “We have not seen what we believe the full scope of their electronic warfare capabilities brought to bear,” a senior Pentagon official said during a March briefing.

      U.S. allies earlier sounded alarms about Russia’s electronic warfare capabilities. A report from an Estonian think tank concluded that Russia’s technology will “pose a serious challenge to the proper planning and execution of NATO’s defence of the Baltic states.”

      Another report by Janes defense think tank found that Ukraine has developed its electronic warfare systems following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

      As Russia has launched its offensive in Donbas, the think tank reported in April that the Russian military was increasing its use of electronic warfare, along with more unmanned aerial vehicles and heightened coordination of artillery with maneuver units.

      Russia may have held back on its use of electronic warfare out of concerns that poorly trained technicians may not use it correctly, reported the Associated Press. 🙂 🙂 🙂

      “What we’re learning now is that the Russians eventually turned it off because it was interfering with their own communications so much,” retired Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, a former U.S. Army commander for Europe, told the Associated Press.

      Newsweek has reached out to the Russian government for comment.

      https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/they-re-jamming-everything-putin-s-electronic-warfare-turns-tide-of-war/ar-AAY3XeV
      ===================================================
      In Severodonetsk, the SBU colonel Serguei Samochenko , while fleeing, forgot copies of secret orders and a flash drive with his video wearing a thong in his office apartment.

      But only one fact is a little unclear. Serguei Nikolaevich Samochenko wears thongs and stockings over socks under an officer’s uniform.

  3. zero hedge – World Health Organization Finally Admits COVID Lab-Leak Theory Is A Possibility

    For two years, governmental and global medical institutions like the CDC and WHO along with conmen like Anthony Fauci have been referring to the argument that Covid-19 leaked from the virology lab in Wuhan, China (the only Level 4 lab in Asia) as a “conspiracy theory.”

    Now, suddenly, the WHO is willing to give the theory a serious look and admits there are several important pieces still missing from the origin puzzle.

    more :

    https://www.zerohedge.com/medical/world-health-organization-finally-admits-covid-lab-leak-theory-possibility

    =====================

    Associated Press – WHO: COVID origins unclear but lab leak theory needs study

    GENEVA (AP) — Over two years after the coronavirus was first detected in China, and after at least 6.3 million deaths have been counted worldwide from the pandemic, the World Health Organization is recommending in its strongest terms yet that a deeper probe is required into whether a lab accident may be to blame.

    That stance marks a sharp reversal of the U.N. health agency’s initial assessment of the pandemic’s origins, and comes after many critics accused WHO of being too quick to dismiss or underplay a lab-leak theory that put Chinese officials on the defensive.

    WHO concluded last year that it was “extremely unlikely” COVID-19 might have spilled into humans in the city of Wuhan from a lab. Many scientists suspect the coronavirus jumped into people from bats, possibly via another animal.

    Yet in a report released Thursday, WHO’s expert group said “key pieces of data” to explain how the pandemic began were still missing. The scientists said the group would “remain open to any and all scientific evidence that becomes available in the future to allow for comprehensive testing of all reasonable hypotheses.”

    Identifying a disease’s source in animals typically takes years. It took more than a decade for scientists to pinpoint the species of bats that were the natural reservoir for SARS, a relative of COVID-19.

    WHO’s expert group also noted that since lab accidents in the past have triggered some outbreaks, the highly politicized theory could not be discounted.

    Jean-Claude Manuguerra, a co-chair of the 27-member international advisory group, acknowledged that some scientists might be “allergic” to the idea of investigating the lab leak theory, but said they needed to be “open-minded” enough to examine it.

    The report could revive accusations that WHO initially was too accepting of Chinese government explanations early in the outbreak, which ultimately killed millions of people, sickened millions more, forced dozens of countries into lockdown and upended the world economy.

    Investigations by The Associated Press found that some top WHO insiders were frustrated by China during the initial outbreak even as WHO heaped praise on Chinese President Xi Jinping. They were also upset over how China sought to clamp down on research into the origins of COVID-19.

    Former U.S. President Donald Trump speculated repeatedly — WITHOUT EVIDENCE — that COVID-19 was started in a Chinese lab. He also accused WHO of “ colluding” with China to cover up the initial outbreak, citing the U.N. health agency’s continued public praise of the country despite China’s refusal to share crucial data.

    WHO’s expert group said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sent two letters to senior Chinese government officials in February requesting information, including details about the earliest human cases of COVID-19 in the city of Wuhan. It’s unclear whether the Chinese responded.

    The experts said no studies were provided to WHO that assessed the possibility of COVID-19 resulting from a laboratory leak.

    Jamie Metzl, who sits on an unrelated WHO advisory group, has suggested that the Group of Seven industrialized nations set up their own COVID origins probe, saying WHO lacks the political authority, expertise and independence to conduct such a critical evaluation.

    Metzl welcomed WHO’s call for a further investigation into the lab leak possibility but said it was insufficient.

    “Tragically, the Chinese government is still refusing to share essential raw data and will not allow the necessary, full audit of the Wuhan labs,” he said. “Gaining access to this information is critical to both understanding how this pandemic began and preventing future pandemics.”

    In Washington, a Republican-led subcommittee in the House of Representatives on the COVID-19 pandemic tweeted: “Americans were smeared as ‘conspiracy theorists’ for asking whether #COVID19 came from a lab leak. Now, the WHO is asking the same questions.”

    “WE NEED ANSWERS,” added the committee, which is headed by Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

    WHO’s expert scientists said numerous avenues of research were needed, including studies evaluating the role of wild animals, and environmental studies in places where the virus might have first spread, like the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan.

    In March 2021, WHO released a report about COVID-19’s origins following a highly choreographed visit by international scientists to China. The report concluded that the disease most likely jumped into humans from bats and that there was no evidence to suggest there was a connection to a laboratory.

    Yet after considerable criticism, including from some scientists on WHO’s team, the agency’s director acknowledged that it was “ premature ” to rule out a lab leak.

    In its new report, WHO said the experts were given access to data that included unpublished blood samples from more than 40,000 people in Wuhan in 2019. The samples were tested for COVID-19 antibodies. None were found, suggesting the virus was not spreading widely before it was first identified in late December that year.

    WHO’s experts called for numerous studies to be done, including testing wild animals to find which species might host COVID-19. They also said the “cold chain” supply theory should be probed. China has previously advanced the idea that traces of COVID-19 on frozen packaging was causing outbreaks rather than any domestic source, a theory widely panned by outside scientists.

    To investigate whether COVID-19 might have been the result of a lab accident, WHO’s experts said interviews should be conducted “with the staff in the laboratories tasked with managing and implementing biosafety and biosecurity.”

    China has called the suggestion that COVID-19 began in a laboratory “ baseless ” and countered that the virus originated in American facilities, which were also known to be researching coronaviruses in animals. The Chinese government has said it supports the search for the pandemic’s origins, but that other countries should be the focus.

    In a footnote to the report, WHO’s group noted that three of its own experts — scientists from China, Brazil and Russia — disagreed with the call to investigate the possibility of COVID-19 being sparked by a lab accident.

    Scientists connected to WHO lamented in August 2021 that the search for the pandemic’s origins had stalled and that the window of opportunity was “closing fast.” They warned that collecting data that was now at least two years old was increasingly difficult.

    https://www.wivb.com/news/world/who-covid-origins-unclear-but-lab-leak-theory-needs-study/
    ===========================================
    sky news australia – ‘The longer it takes, the harder it becomes’: WHO calls for transparency from China

    The World Health Organisation has called for “full collaboration” and “transparency” from countries including China in order for the Scientific Advisory Group of Novel Pathogens to advise the WHO on how coronavirus could have originated.

  4. US biotechnology may have helped to create COVID-19

    Investigations into COVID-19’s origins should no longer be secretive ventures led by the intelligence community

    By Neil Harrison and Jeffrey Sachs

    When US President Joe Biden asked the US intelligence community to determine the origin of COVID-19, its conclusion was remarkably understated, but nonetheless shocking. In a one-page summary, the intelligence community made clear that it could not rule out the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) emerged from a laboratory.

    However, even more shocking is an additional point on which the intelligence community remained mum: If the virus did result from laboratory research and experimentation, it was almost certainly created with US biotechnology and know-how that had been made available to researchers in China.

    To learn the complete truth about the origins of COVID-19, we need a full, independent investigation not only into the outbreak in Wuhan, China, but also into the relevant US scientific research, international outreach and technology licensing in the lead-up to the pandemic.

    We recently called for such an investigation in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Some might dismiss our reasons for doing so as a “conspiracy theory,” but let us be crystal clear: If the virus did emerge from a laboratory, it almost surely did so accidentally in the normal course of research, possibly going undetected via asymptomatic infection.

    It is of course also still possible that the virus had a natural origin. The bottom line is that nobody knows. That is why it is so important to investigate all the relevant information contained in databases available in the US.

    Since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, the US government has pointed an accusatory finger at China, but while it is true that the first observed COVID-19 cases were in Wuhan, the full story of the outbreak could involve the US’ role in researching coronaviruses and in sharing its biotechnology with others around the world, including China.

    US scientists who work with SARS-like coronaviruses regularly create and test dangerous novel variants with the aim of developing drugs and vaccines against them.

    Such “gain of function” research has been conducted for decades, but it has always been controversial, owing to concerns that it could result in an accidental outbreak, or that the techniques and technologies for creating new viruses could end up in the wrong hands.

    It is reasonable to ask whether SARS-CoV-2 owes its remarkable infectivity to this broader research effort. Unfortunately, US authorities have sought to suppress this very question. Early in the epidemic, a small group of virologists queried by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) told the NIH leadership that SARS-CoV-2 might have arisen from laboratory research, saying that the virus has unusual features that virologists in the US have been using in experiments for years — often with support from the NIH.

    We know what NIH officials were told and when, because we have publicly available information released by the NIH in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. We know that on Feb. 1, 2020, the NIH held a conference call with a group of top virologists to discuss the possible origin of the virus. On that call, several of the researchers pointed out that laboratory manipulation of the virus was not only possible, but according to some, even likely.

    At that point, the NIH should have called for an urgent independent investigation. Instead, the NIH has sought to dismiss and discredit this line of inquiry.

    Within days of the Feb. 1 call, a group of virologists, including some who were on it, prepared the first draft of a paper on the “Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2.” The final draft was published a month later, in March 2020. Despite the initial observations on Feb. 1 that the virus showed signs of possible laboratory manipulation, the March paper concluded that there was overwhelming evidence that it had emerged from nature.

    The authors claimed that the virus could not possibly have come from a laboratory because “the genetic data irrefutably show that SARS-CoV-2 is not derived from any previously used virus backbone.” Yet the single footnote (No. 20) backing up that key claim refers to a paper from 2014, which means that the authors’ supposedly “irrefutable evidence” was at least five years out of date.

    Owing to their refusal to support an independent investigation of the lab-leak hypothesis, the NIH and other US federal government agencies have been subjected to a wave of FOIA requests from a range of organizations, including US Right to Know and The Intercept. These FOIA disclosures, as well as Internet searches and “whistle-blower” leaks, have revealed some startling information.

    For example, consider a March 2018 grant proposal submitted to the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) by EcoHealth Alliance and researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the University of North Carolina (UNC). On page 11, the applicants explain in detail how they intend to alter the genetic code of bat coronaviruses to insert precisely the feature that is the most unusual part of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

    Although DARPA did not approve this grant, the work might have proceeded anyway. We just do not know, but thanks to another FOIA request, we do know that this group carried out similar gain-of-function experiments on another coronavirus, the one that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome.

    In yet other cases, FOIA disclosures have been heavily redacted, including a remarkable effort to obscure 290 pages of documents going back to February 2020, including the Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Research drafted that April by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Such extensive redactions deeply undermine public trust in science, and have only served to invite additional urgent questions from researchers and independent investigators.

    Here are 10 things that we do know:

    First, the SARS-CoV-2 genome is distinguished by a particular 12-nucleotide sequence (the genetic code) that serves to increase its infectivity. The specific amino acid sequence directed by this insertion has been much discussed and is known as a furin cleavage site (FCS).

    Second, the FCS has been a target of cutting-edge research since 2006, following the original 2003-2004 SARS outbreak. Scientists have long understood that the FCS holds the key to these viruses’ infectivity and pathophysiology.

    Third, SARS-CoV-2 is the only virus in the family of SARS-like viruses (sarbecoviruses) known to have an FCS. Interestingly, the specific form of the FCS that is present in SARS-CoV-2 (eight amino acids encoded by 24 nucleotides) is shared with a human sodium channel that has been studied in US labs.

    Fourth, the FCS was already so well known as a driver of transmissibility and virulence that a group of US scientists submitted a proposal to the US government in 2018 to study the effect of inserting an FCS into SARS-like viruses found in bats. Although the dangers of this kind of work have been highlighted for some time, these bat viruses were somehow considered to be in a lower-risk category. This exempted them from NIH gain-of-function guidelines, thereby enabling NIH-funded experiments to be carried out at the inadequate BSL-2 safety level.

    Fifth, the NIH was a strong supporter of such gain-of-function research, much of which was performed using US-developed biotechnology and executed within an NIH-funded three-way partnership between the EcoHealth Alliance, the Wuhan Institute of Virology and UNC.

    Sixth, in 2018, a leading US scientist pursuing this research argued that laboratory manipulation was vital for drug and vaccine discovery, but that increased regulation could stymie progress. Many within the virology community continue to resist sensible calls for enhanced regulation of the most high-risk virus manipulation, including the establishment of a national regulatory body independent of the NIH.

    Seventh, the virus was very likely circulating a lot earlier than the standard narrative that dates awareness of the outbreak to late December 2019. We still do not know when parts of the US government became aware of the outbreak, but some scientists were aware of the outbreak as of the middle of December.

    Eighth, the NIH knew as early as Feb. 1, 2020, that the virus could have emerged as a consequence of NIH-funded laboratory research, but it did not disclose that fundamental fact to the public or to the US Congress.

    Ninth, extensive sampling by Chinese authorities of animals in Wuhan wet markets and in the wild has found not a single wild animal harboring the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Despite this, there is no indication that the NIH has requested the laboratory records of US agencies, academic centers and biotech companies involved in researching and manipulating SARS-like coronaviruses.

    Tenth, the intelligence community has not explained why at least some of the US intelligence agencies do believe that a laboratory release was either the most likely or at least a possible origin of the virus.

    Given the questions that remain unanswered, we are calling on the US government to conduct a bipartisan investigation. We might never understand the origin of SARS-CoV-2 without opening the books of the relevant federal agencies (including the NIH and the US Department of Defense), the laboratories they support, academic institutions that store and archive viral sequence data, and biotechnology companies.

    A key objective of the investigation would be to shed light on a basic question: Did US researchers undertake research or help their Chinese counterparts to undertake research to insert an FCS into a SARS-like virus, thereby playing a possible role in the creation of novel pathogens such as the one that led to the current pandemic?

    Investigations into COVID-19’s origins should no longer be secretive ventures led by the intelligence community. The process must be transparent, with all relevant information being released publicly for use by independent scientific researchers.

    It seems clear to us that there has been a concerted effort to suppress information regarding the earliest events in the outbreak, and to hinder the search for additional evidence that is clearly available within the US. We suggest that a panel of independent researchers in relevant disciplines be created and granted access to all pertinent data to advise the US Congress and the public.

    There is a good chance that we can learn more about the origins of this virus without waiting on China or any other country, simply by looking in the US. We believe such an inquiry is long overdue.

    https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2022/06/08/2003779535

    ================================
    PNAS – A call for an independent inquiry into the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus

    https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2202769119

    ==================================

    NTI – JUNE 10 2022 – Investigating High Consequence Biological Events of Unknown Origin

    NTI and the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Nonproliferation (VCDNP) hosted an event to explore the possibility of establishing a new “Joint Assessment Mechanism” to strengthen UN-system capabilities to investigate high-consequence biological events of unknown origin.

    Ongoing uncertainty surrounding the source of COVID-19 has highlighted critical gaps in the global biosecurity architecture, including the ability to rapidly discern the source of emerging pandemics.

    The current conflict in Ukraine has drawn additional attention to these issues, with both disinformation alleging bioweapons development in Ukraine and concerns that Russia may itself use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine as part of a false flag operation.

    To meet this need, it will be important to bolster the capabilities of the United Nations system to investigate pandemic origins-whether naturally emerging, accidental or deliberate. As a critical part of this work, the international community will need to fill gaps in capabilities to assess the source of biological events of unknown origin, which falls at the “seam” between existing mechanisms.

    The aim is to develop a 21st century mechanism, which would take advantage of new tools, methods and technologies, such as bioinformatics, data science, and AI, to build a capability suited to today’s risk environment.

    • MARCH 2021 – UNESCO – Jeffrey Sachs on universal COVID-19 vaccine coverage

      Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned economics professor, bestselling author, innovative educator, and global leader in sustainable development.

      • I know Jeffrey Sachs. He’s a Fauci: a pint-size, swaggering tough-guy. Midwife and consigliere for the entire Russian mafia.

        He was the architect for the USSR’s transition to Russian “market economy”. Hah!

        He applied his macroeconomic skills to the comprehensive LOOTING of the patrimony of the Russian people. He worked with Gorbachev and Yeltsin to ensure that the Comintern would survive as Oligarchs.

        “Shock therapy” economics, such a clever phrase! Wholesale privatization, absurd asset valorization, currency fiddling. He facilitated ruinous capital flight, gave the very worst murderers and thieves a facade of legitimacy.

    • AUGUST 30 2021 – DEUTSCHE PRAVDA – Where did the coronavirus come from?

      Where did the virus behind COVID-19 come from? It’s a question that’s dogged researchers since the early days of the pandemic.

      Most maintain it jumped from bats to humans in a Chinese market.

      Some claim it could have other origins – in particular, a breakout from a lab working with viruses.

      Getting answers hasn’t been easy.

      China has been guarded. And scientists warn that the window to finding COVID’s true origin is closing fast.

      The debate that has turned highly-political, at times threatening to overshadow management of the pandemic itself.

      Solving the puzzle is still critical.

      Determining the origin of Sars-Cov-2 could help outbreaks of new diseases, and stop future pandemics before they start.

      A new US-intelligence report also fails to settle on an origin theory.

      But it does give a small peek into the ongoing debate.

      An unclassified summary of that report says outright that it’s unlikely the virus was developed as a biological weapon, or that Chinese officials even knew about the virus.

      Most intelligence agencies in the US still think it was a transmission that occurred outside of the lab.

      But the report doesn’t dismiss the lab-accident theory, saying one agency concluded that account was more probable, while two other agencies said they couldn’t reject the idea.

      The report said more evidence is needed, in particular early clinical samples of the virus.

      That appears unlikely to happen, and it means the debate over origin will continue.

  5. OBAMA

    twitter @disclosetv

    NOW –

    Obama: “We have to take steps to detoxify our discourse, particularly the scourge of ‘disinformation, conspiracy theories, and hate’ online.”

    + 17 sec video –

    https://twitter.com/disclosetv/status/1535274255201574913

    ==================
    TRUDEAU

    twitter – @C_L_Anderson

    I am sure the current PM would not want this to go viral, have a listen.

    + 15 sec video

    https://twitter.com/C_L_Anderson/status/1534261090988613633

    =============================
    TRUDEAU

    twitter @ryangerritsen

    This man describes Canada as so we are the most racist Country on the planet.

    Our climate is racist, our viruses are racist, the lockdowns were racist, not getting vaccinated is racist, the convoy was racist.

    All meant to keep us divided. He needs to go

    https://twitter.com/ryangerritsen/status/1521468573918670851

    =+========================
    twitter @WallStreetSilv

    Trudeau’s Justice Minister David Lametti has just announced that people don’t have an “absolute right to own private property” in Canada.

    Canada is sliding down the slippery slope into authoritarian confiscation of property, bank accounts and more.

    Sound ON

    + 25 sec video

    https://twitter.com/WallStreetSilv/status/1534684419000307719

    ==================================

    reuters – Obama speaks at the Copenhagen Democracy Summit

    Copenhagen Democracy Summit town hall event ‘Democratic Organizing in the Digital Age.’

    • Syria Halts Flights As Latest Israeli Airstrikes Hit Damascus International Airport

      “Syria on Friday halted flights to and from Damascus International Airport, the transport ministry said, after Israeli airstrikes damaged a runway, according to sources,”

      […]This week, and following a prior Israeli strike on Syria, the Russia joined Syria’s air force in a rare joint patrol and exercise:

      The ministry said two Russian SU-35 fighter jets and six Syrian MiG-23 and MiG-29 aircraft simulated facing “hostile” warplanes and drones. Syrian pilots dealt with them with cover and support from the Russian warplanes, it said.

      “All illusive targets were monitored and completely destroyed while aerial targets were hit at night for the first time,” the Syrian Defense Ministry said in a statement. It also released a video of the warplanes that it said took part in the drill.

      While Russia has in the past years of war provided Damascus with S-300 missile systems, it has typically not engaged Israel – but has in the last month stepped up warnings against Israeli overreaching in its purported ‘anti-Iranian’ operations over Syria.

      + comments on the page

      https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/syria-halts-flights-latest-israeli-airstrikes-hit-damascus-international-airport

    • zero hedge – USA – New Legislation Will Join Missile Defense Of Israel & Gulf States Against Iran

      Lawmakers with the bipartisan Abraham Accords Caucus have introduced a bill in the House and Senate that will require the Pentagon to coordinate missile defense upgrades for Israel and several newfound Arab allies, pointing to potential “attacks from Iran.”

      Unveiled on Thursday, the Deterring Enemy Forces and Enabling National Defenses (DEFEND) Act would instruct the secretary of defense to “develop an acquisition approach” to improve anti-air weapons for a number of Middle Eastern states, among them Israel, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt and the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council.

      […]Kicked off with a US-brokered normalization deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates in 2020, the Accords have since been joined by Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco and Sudan, each agreeing to establish diplomatic and economic ties with Tel Aviv after decades of enmity.

      Though the new bill is largely concerned with Iran, some countries slated to receive increased US military assistance have been accused of backing jihadist militant groups in the past, chief among them Saudi Arabia. Few of the 10 states named in the law could qualify as democracies, moreover, putting it at odds with President Joe Biden’s frequent lip service to the importance of ‘democratic values.’

      https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/new-us-bill-will-join-missile-defense-israel-gulf-states-against-iran

  6. zero hedge – Twitter Quietly Removes Warning Added To A CDC Study On Child Vaccines

    […]Phil Kerpen, president of American Commitment, posted about the recent blunder on Twitter, saying that the network had “slapped a warning on the **Journal of the American Medical Association** for the wrongthink crime of publishing data showing rapid waning of COVID vaccines in children.” Kerpen had posted the study back in May to his account.

    The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is a peer-reviewed medical journal that published the CDC study on May 13, 2022.

    When clicking on the link provided on Kerpen’s post on June 8, a message appeared, stating “Warning: this link may be unsafe.”

    https://www.zerohedge.com/covid-19/twitter-quietly-removes-warning-added-cdc-study-child-vaccines

  7. £175m UK hajj travel industry at risk of collapse

    The UK’s hajj travel industry is at risk of collapse after Saudi Arabia announced an overhaul of the pilgrimage entry system this week.

    The new portal cuts out UK-based agents who organise the trip for around 25,000 British Muslims each year, threatening to wipe out the £175m industry.

      • ... but I like it ... they created a big Epimethean mess ... it is only GREED... the Saudis simply don't want to share the money with the "Western Hajj agencies ".... and at the end all these agencies will collapse (not only in the UK) ...

        now.... the pilgrims need thee-visa to enter the Kingdom and the only way to get it is by buying a "Hajj package deal" ... the website already crashed .... the Saudis didn't even think they need really BIG servers... and most probably their system is not even 100% secure....

        let's hope that in the coming years the Iranians ( or eventually some others ) hack the whole thing (.... even just for fun .... just imagine the ****** )....

        It seems that for Africa and Asia it is still the old system, pilgrims there are poorer and don't necessarily have computers ... agencies are essential ... for now ....

    • .... they should livestream from Mecca and have people walk around the TV...

      =================================

      Hajj 2022 will begin in the evening of Thursday, July 7 and ends in the evening of Tuesday, July 12

      and then

      Eid al-Adha 2022 will begin in the evening of Saturday, July 9 and ends in the evening of Wednesday, July 13
      =================================

      Saudi Arabia Approves Ten COVID-19 Vaccines for Hajj 2022 Pilgrims

      The Kingdom of Saudia Arabia Ministry of Health announced yesterday the list of the ten approved COVID-19 vaccines and the number of doses required for the pilgrims during Hajj season 2022.

      Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) vaccine, two doses.
      Moderna (SpikeVax) vaccine, two doses.
      Oxford-AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria), two doses,
      Janssen, one dose,
      CovoVax, two doses,
      Nuvaxovid (Novavax), two doses,
      Sinopharm, two doses,
      Sinovac, two doses,
      Covaxin, two doses,
      Sputnik V, two doses.

      https://www.vaxbeforetravel.com/2022/06/05/saudi-arabia-approves-ten-covid-19-vaccines-hajj-2022-pilgrims
      ================================
      middle east eye - Saudi Arabia: Hajj packages for UK pilgrims won't be 'Atol' protected

      British pilgrims booking via Saudi Arabia will not be eligible for UK consumer protection if things go wrong, says Riyadh

      [...]Saudi Arabia said pilgrims travelling from Australia, North America and Europe will no longer be able to book their Hajj journey through travel agents.

      Western pilgrims have been told to register their interest via a Saudi government portal where they will be randomly selected to attend Hajj by an "automated lottery," or online draw.

      Successful candidates will then be directed to three separate packages, which will include flights and accommodation. No confirmation has been made by Saudi Arabia on the price range of these packages or when the results of the draw will be announced.

      [...]

      https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/saudi-arabia-uk-hajj-packages-not-atol-protected

      =========================================
      ======================================
      SAUDI GOVERNMENT PORTAL - Your lifetime experience is only clicks away!

      Platinum package
      Experience a high level of luxurious services during your stay in Makkah, Madinah, and the Holy Mashaer.

      Starting from USD 9,768

      ========================

      Golden package
      Enjoy a wide range of high-quality services from the beginning till the end of your journey.

      Starting from USD 6,296

      ========================

      Silver package
      We got you covered with all the basics for a comfortable, convenient Hajj journey.

      Starting from USD 5,986

      =======================

      Draw selection from June 13th to 14th

      After submission, an official draw will be carried out, where the eligible candidates will be picked to perform Hajj 1443-2022

      =======================
      Make the payment on June 15th

      Once you are selected, you will be contacted to complete your payment through Motawif's portal

      ========================

      https://www.motawif.com.sa/home/en-eu

      • Hajj 2022 application for USA, Europe and Australia starts; Register here

        Pilgrims residing in USA, Europe and Australia, and registering and applying through this online service will be issued Hajj visa electronically

        Hajj 2022 Application: The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, Saudi Arabia has started receiving through its official website motawif.com.sa online applications from pilgrims residing in USA, Europe and Australia who wish to perform Hajj in 2022 (1443 H).

        Direct link to Hajj Application 2022
        1. Click here to go to the official website: motawif.com.sa.
        2. Register yourself using the Online Registration Form given on the right side of the home page.
        3. Please note that all fields in the form are mandatory.
        4. Properly select your country of residence and click on Submit button.

        Hajj Visa

        Pilgrims residing in different states of America, Australia and European countries including UK, Germany and other countries who seek Hajj Visa should apply online using the above portal, officially launched by Saudi Hajj and Umrah Ministry.

        Pilgrims registering and applying through this online service will be issued Hajj visa electronically.

        Hajj Draw 2022
        The pilgrims should also note that registering through Motawif portal does not guarantee the issuance of visa and confirmation for Hajj. For, only limited number of pilgrims will get Hajj visa, and they will be selected based on draw of lots held electronically.
        “After submission, a draw will be carried out electronically to select candidates to perform Hajj 1443-2022”, the ministry said regarding draw selection.

        As earlier announced by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, only 1 million Muslims from around the world – 850,000 foreigners and 150,000 domestic, will perform Hajj this year – less than half the number that used to during pre-pandemic days.

        Among the 850,000 Muslims who will perform Hajj this year, Australia has been allotted a quota of 2,090, USA a quota of 9,504, United Kingdom (UK) 12, 348, Germany 4,125 and France a quota of 9,268 based on the population of Muslims in the respective countries.

        Hajj 2022 Packages

        Aspiring pilgrims should also explore the details of Hajj packages given on the Motawif website before proceeding their application and registration online. The Hajj packages are flexible and fit a person’s needs.

        “Our tailor-made packages perfectly fit your preferences, needs and budget”, the ministry said adding that it is exclusively selling Hajj packages directly to pilgrims from Europe, Americas and Australia.

        Pilgrims who apply using Motawif portal will be contacted and asked to make payment before issuance of visa if they are selected in electronic draw.

        “Once you have been selected, you will be contacted to choose your package and complete your payment through the Motawif portal. Once your payment has been accepted, you will be issued an e-visa by the authorities”, the ministry said.

        https://ummid.com/news/2022/june/07.06.2022/hajj-2022-application-for-usa-uk-europe-and-australia-starts-register-here.html

    • Saudi website CRASHES as Hajj ‘lottery’ for western pilgrims opens

      Random draw for Muslim pilgrimage will close on 13 June, as price range of packages revealed

      […]Amid the technical difficulties, Haramain tweeted: “The Motawif website is currently experiencing technical difficulties due to the enormous amount of visitors.”

      ================================

      https://twitter.com/HaramainInfo/status/1535288238407299072

      ================================

      […]Motawif added that it was facing high traffic from the “overwhelming number of applicants and visitors” and that its tech team was “looking into addressing this challenge ASAP”.

      […]The decision to change the process of travelling to Hajj for Muslims around the world has confused worshippers and travel agents alike, particularly given that the pilgrimage begins in less than one month.

      […]The new portal has also raised data protection concerns. Muslims who had registered on the Motawif website for Hajj updates have complained of receiving spam emails from an unknown skincare company.

      https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/saudi-arabia-hajj-website-crashes-lottery-western-pilgrims-opens

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      Hajj pilgrimage 2022: First batch of devotees leaves from Srinagar

  8. global news – Berlin deadly crash witness says “confused” driver apologized

    An eyewitness to the deadly car crash in Berlin which left one person dead and 14 injured said on Thursday the driver apologized immediately after the attack, telling police “I did not want that.”

    “Quite a lot points to a paranoid schizophrenia,” senior public prosecutor Sebastian Buechner told reporters, indicating medication and statements from doctors were discovered as part of the investigation.

    Berlin public prosecutors meanwhile said the assault by a 29-year-old German man of Armenian descent most likely did not have a “terrorist background.”

    German tourist Markus Leppmeier assisted a lone policeman who showed up at the site moments later and helped the officer make the arrest and direct traffic as chaos ensued on the busy shopping street. “He was confused,” said Leppmeier of the attacker, adding “in my eyes he was not an assailant, he was a confused person. The policeman then handcuffed him.”

  9. ctv – Ottawa convoy protest towing cost city almost $400K

    A total of 110 vehicles were towed during the protest, with towing costs estimated at $389,500.

    Staff say the majority of the vehicles were picked up from the tow yards, and $79,600 of the costs recovered.

  10. Every time I go out and speak with people the news is devastating. Today a neighbour 62 years old, dropped dead. She was triple vaccinated. her daughter said there was nothing wrong with her mother until….

    Another lady’s husband, who has always been healthy, is in the hospital with cancer of the spine. She said he got rally sick and she took him to the hospital. He is triple vaccinated. She told me she is not allowed to visit him, because of all these anti vaxers! I told her I was not vaccinated. End of conservation. I was at the store to buy a bottle of wine, bought four.

    Another man said his 20 year old niece has Bells Palsy.

    Small communities news travels fast.

  11. DAILY MAIL – ‘This is pretty serious’: Justin Bieber reveals he’s been struck by facial paralysis from Ramsay Hunt syndrome in shock video to fans after being forced to cancel tour dates

    The 28-year-old pop star took to his Instagram on Friday to share a three-minute video explaining the diagnosis

    Ramsay Hunt syndrome is a complication of shingles that can lead to temporary facial paralysis

    The hearing loss and facial paralysis associated with the complication is temporary, however, can become permanent

    Justin’s right eye was unable to blink and the right side of his face did not move in the video

    On Tuesday, the artist had announced he was postponing the ‘next few shows’ of his seven-leg, 130-date Justice World Tour due ‘non-Covid related illness’

    This has not been an easy year for the Bieber family as Justin’s wife Hailey was hospitalized in March for a small blood clot in her brain which gave her stroke-like symptoms

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-10905347/Justin-Bieber-reveals-suffered-facial-paralysis-Ramsay-Hunt-syndrome.html

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  12. channel 4 UK – MPs criticise government plans to burn £4bn of unusable PPE

    The figures are eye watering – £4 billion of unusable personal protective equipment to be burnt and £11 billion of public money arguably squandered by the Treasury through a failure of policy.

    Both an inquiry on PPE from the Public Accounts Committee and a report from an economic think-tank levelled the same charge today – a government not showing sufficient care with taxpayers’ money, which is a charge ministers dispute.

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