Reader’s Links for April 16th, 2023

Here is a link to the VladTepesBlog social media Mastodon Pod. Please feel free to check it out and sign up for an account if you are sufficiently annoyed with Twitter and Facebook to try something new.

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

68 Replies to “Reader’s Links for April 16th, 2023”

  1. I have posted interviews from this great professor before. His analysis is that we now endure the process (as Bezmenov called it) of “normalization”, meaning the Left has successfully executed their revolution, and we now have a state of perpetual “cleaning up”, so to speak. He describes the use of Repressive Tolerance clearly, and also begins with a nuanced look at how our current flavour of tyranny resembles the Maoist model. He touches on CBDCs as the final “closing of the circle”, and says that the only way to oppose this is to create a parallel society wherein products and services can be exchanged between like-minded people. Relatively short, succinct, and worthwhile!
    29 min:

    Which subsequently brought this little ditty to mind:

    • Some people where I live think they should move farther North to escape the madness.
      The Amish way of life is looking better and better.

      I will always love Elvis

      Thank you Johnny for both

  2. Teens Riot in Chicago Days After Democrats Choose City for 2024 Convention (Video)
    By Kristinn Taylor Apr. 16, 2023 1:29 am182 Comments

    Life comes at you fast. Just days after the Democrats announced their 2024 convention would be held in Chicago, several hundred local teens held a riot, shooting fellow teens, jumping on cars and basically doing everything to confirm Walmart’s decision this month to close half of their money losing Chicago stores.

    Obama confidant Valerie Jarrett cheered the news last week:

    The riot reportedly started with about 200 kids fighting in the street at Millennium Park

  3. Missouri attorney general Andrew Bailey (R.) on Thursday issued an emergency rule that establishes extensive safeguards on providing transgender medical interventions to both adults and children.

    The emergency rule, citing dozens of scientific studies and reports, concluded that because gender transition interventions are “experimental” and pose “significant side effects,” state law requires “substantial guardrails” around such procedures. Those guardrails, the rule states, include ensuring patients have undergone at least 15 hourly psychiatric assessment sessions over the course of 18 months, informing patients explicitly that the “use of puberty blocker drugs or cross-sex hormones” to treat gender dysphoria “is experimental and is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration,” and requiring those who receive such treatments to get medical follow-ups for 15 years.

  4. Through years and years of incompetence, nepotissm and outright corruption, the Electricity Supply in South Africa is tethering on the brink of utter collapse.
    We somehow learned to “live” with this since 2005/6 when it all started to come home to roost.
    Needless to say, nothing was really done to adress the situation, except to install almost every couple of years a brand new set of politically correct and utterly inempt CEO’s that plundered the coffers even more, only to be “fired” with a golden, platinum and diamond encrusted Handshake.
    Also they don’t even need to do Audits any longer.
    R184 billion Eskom debt relief – call for public comment
    And in the meanwhile our Electricity prices have gone out of proportion.

    And now we’re being told that we shouldn’t open any taps while there’s load-shedding going on, because of the pumps not working.
    That means the Waterworks have no back-up any longer and that you have to train yourself like a dog and go only to the toilette when there’s electricity.
    That means that from 16.00 h – 20.30h today I shouldn’t use the loo, or go piddle into the bushes in the garden.
    For the rest I start better digging a deep hole for an old-fashioned outhouse.
    Welcome to this “Brave New Marxist/Globalist World”

    • That’s criminal. Killing bees that they haven’t tested for mites.

      Is this a continuation of the weird decline of bee populations all over? Has the decline been intentionally engineered by the same people who are promoting bug eating?

    • sky news australia – April 13 2023 – How the woke left is trying to destroy the farming industry

      ( 20 min )

      The World Economic Forum is leading a war against farmers around the world.

      Farmers are being blamed for high emissions as woke countries fight to meet climate targets.

      The Netherlands has fought back, with a new party representing farmers winning big at recent elections.

  5. Illinois Supreme Court Denies Motion for Recusal in Gun Ban Challenge for Judges Who Received $1M Each From Anti-Gun IL Gov. Pritzker
    By Margaret Flavin Apr. 16, 2023 8:50 am42 Comments

    Illinois judges Elizabeth Rochford and Mary O’Brien were elected to he Illinois Supreme Court in November 2022. Each of them received $1 million in campaign donations from Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

    The Gateway Pundit reported on Pritzker’s remarks in 2022, “I will stand firm with Illinoisans and Americans: we must – and we will – end this plague of gun violence.”

    The Illinois Supreme Court has denied a motion to disqualify Rochford and O’Brien from hearing a challenge to a new Illinois gun ban over allegations of conflicts of interest and both judges have refused to recuse themselves.

  6. UN Wants to Decriminalize Sex Between Minors and Adults
    By Anthony Scott Apr. 16, 2023 8:30 am242 Comments

    The United Nations discreetly issued a report in March encouraging members of the UN to decriminalize sex between minors and adults.

    The report is titled “The 8 March Principles for a Human Rights-Based
    to Criminal Law Proscribing Conduct Associated with Sex Reproduction, Drug Use, HIV, Homelessness and Poverty.”

    On page 22 of the report, the UN states, “With respect to the enforcement of criminal law, any prescribed minimum age of consent to sex must be applied in a non-discriminatory manner. Enforcement may not be linked to the sex/gender of participants or age of consent to marriage.”

    The report continues, “Moreover, sexual conduct involving persons below the domestically prescribed minimum age of consent to sex may be consensual in fact, if not in law.”.

    Per Live Action:

    A new report from the United Nations has called for all forms of drug use and sexual activity to be decriminalized globally.

    Written by the International Committee of Jurists (ICJ), UNAIDS and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the report was released on International Women’s Day, with the goal of guiding “the application of international human rights law to criminal law.” Called the “8 March principles,” the report calls for offenses related to “sex, drug use, HIV, sexual and reproductive health, homelessness and poverty” to be decriminalized.

    The United Nations experts say that criminalizing offenses related to these issues constitute an attack on human rights.

    “Criminal law is among the harshest of tools at the disposal of the State to exert control over individuals… as such, it ought to be a measure of last resort however, globally, there has been a growing trend towards overcriminalization,” Ian Seiderman, Law and Policy Director at ICJ, said in the press release. “We must acknowledge that these laws not only violate human rights, but the fundamental principles of criminal law themselves.”

    The report also calls for all sex work to be decriminalized.

    The United Nations new report is troubling considering they have been plagued with sexual abuse scandals.

    In 2017, The Gateway Pundit reported UN Peace Keepers in Haiti were accused of exchanging sex with children for cookies and snacks.


  7. Corrupt Clinton Judge Allows President Trump’s Attorneys to Depose “Whackjob” E. Jean Carroll in Fantasy Rape Case But Only for an Hour in Length
    By Joe Hoft Apr. 16, 2023 7:30 am57 Comments

    The corrupt Clinton Judge in the “whackjob” E. Jean Carroll “rape” case against President Trump bends and allows the Trump lawyers to depose Carroll. This whole case is an outrage and never should have moved forward showing the incredible corruption in the New York judicial system.

    This corrupt judge who also runs the FTX case for the Deep State allowed this woman to move forward with a civil case against President Trump where she accused the President of raping her decades ago in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the 1990s in New York.

    If you talk to any woman who has been to this store and stores like it you quickly understand that no one is left unnoticed in this store. The idea that any woman would be raped in the store is lunacy. But Clinton Judge Kaplan allowed this BS case to move forward.

  8. Income Based Electric Rate System Proposed by California Energy Companies
    ‘A fixed cost system could only encourage people to use more electricity’

    By Evan Symon,

    Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric filed a proposal on Thursday that would install a fixed-rate electric bill system for those under the three largest power companies in the state.

    As part of AB 205, which was signed by Governor Gavin Newsom in June of last year, the proposal would cover both the simplified electric bill system under the bill, as well as the fixed rates wanted due to the wild wings in utility prices that California experiences. With the power system expected to be volatile in the coming years due to the shift from fossil fuel-based energy to green energy, continuing questions over the extension of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, an expected increase of electrical usage due to exploding popularity of electric cars and the end of gas-powered car sales in 2035, and possible disruptions to the system due to natural disasters such as wildfires, many legislators pushed for a fixed-price system to stop the hiking of costs during high-demand times and to not overtly punish those having high AC usage during summer months.

    According to the proposal, those in Edison areas will pay $15 a month if their household earns under $28,000 a year, $20 a month for those making $28,000 to $69,000 a year, $51 a month for those making $69,000-$180,000 a year, and $85 a month for those making above

  9. Determined to Flee China, Thousands Take a Long, Dangerous Route to the Southern U.S. Border
    In search of economic opportunity or political freedom, Chinese contend with smugglers, bandits and treacherous jungle on trek through Latin America

    a crowded speedboat making a night crossing in rough waters off Colombia in January, Daniel Huang, a former Shanghai fitness trainer, began to regret his decision to try to enter the U.S. via Latin America.

    He was soaked through by the crashing waves and he feared the boat would tip over. On his cellphone, he said he typed up a farewell note to his father to send if it seemed he wouldn’t make it to the shore on the Panamanian side, where he would start an arduous jungle trek.

  10. Montreal – La Presse – Un psychologue réprimandé pour ses écrits « indignes et inappropriés »

    Un psychologue s’est vu imposer 7500 $ d’amende et une radiation temporaire pour des propos « immodérés, indignes et inappropriés » à l’endroit du chroniqueur Patrick Lagacé et pour avoir « fomenté la peur et l’incertitude » au sujet de la pandémie dans des articles qu’il signait avec son titre professionnel.

    […] pour des propos tenus « à l’endroit des autorités gouvernementales et de la Santé publique en situation de pandémie »

    […]« La crise actuelle que nous vivons n’est pas une crise sanitaire mondiale, mais une crise politique, une illustration patente de la faillite de nos institutions gouvernementales et médiatiques. Les membres de ces institutions ont du sang sur les mains, car ils ont provoqué, par leur incompétence, voire leur mauvaise foi, l’effondrement des systèmes humains », écrivait ainsi le psychologue dans un article publié sur le site Vigile Québec le 8 mai 2020.

    […]À noter que Vincent Mathieu accompagnait toujours sa signature de son titre professionnel dans ces écrits litigieux où il comparait, notamment, les mesures sanitaires aux mesures adoptées par le régime nazi en Allemagne.

    […]« La confiance du public envers les professionnels œuvrant dans le domaine de la santé mentale a certainement été ébranlée par les écrits de l’intimé », a d’ailleurs jugé le conseil de discipline de l’Ordre des psychologues en lui imposant deux amendes totalisant 7500 $ qu’il devra payer d’ici un an.

    Il s’est également vu imposer une radiation de deux mois.


    Comments on the pandemic and Patrick Lagacé | Psychologist reprimanded for his ‘unworthy and inappropriate’ writings

    A psychologist was fined $7,500 and suspended for “immoderate, disgraceful and inappropriate” remarks about columnist Patrick Lagacé and for “fomenting fear and uncertainty” about the pandemic in articles he signed with his professional title.

    […]for remarks made “towards government authorities and public health in a pandemic situation”

    “The current crisis we are experiencing is not a global health crisis, but a political crisis, a clear illustration of the failure of our governmental and media institutions. The members of these institutions have blood on their hands, because they have caused, through their incompetence, even their bad faith, the collapse of human systems, “wrote the psychologist in an article published on the Vigile Quebec site on May 8. 2020.

    […]Note that Vincent Mathieu always accompanied his signature with his professional title in these disputed writings where he compared, in particular, the health measures to the measures adopted by the Nazi regime in Germany.

    “The public’s confidence in professionals working in the field of mental health has certainly been shaken by the respondent’s writings”, moreover judged the Disciplinary Council of the Order of Psychologists by imposing two fines totaling $7,500 which he will have to pay within a year.

    He was also given a two-month ban.

  11. PERFECT: FOX News Host Rachel Campos-Duffy Calls Out Feinstein, Fetterman, Biden and Lindsey Graham for Not Voting or Having a Clue What They’re Voting On
    By Joe Hoft Apr. 16, 2023 11:10 am

    Rachel Campos-Duffy says it all on FOX and Friends this Sunday morning about the many politicians in the US Government who are unable to do their jobs.

    The discussion this morning on FOX and Friends Weekend started with a discussion of California Democrat Senator Diane Feinstein. Feinstein, who is 89-years-old has been out for medical reasons for some time. This is preventing the Dems from pushing through radical Biden judges onto the bench. Even Democrats are calling for Feinstein to resign.

    When discussing this topic this morning on FOX and Friends Weekend, host Rachel Campos-Duffy made some obvious observations.

    Campos-Duffy asked what about PA Senator Fetterman who has been out for months as well. She shared:

    There certainly is, but it also then brings up what about Fetterman, who’s also missed a lot? And even on the Republican side. What about congressmen who are perfectly healthy, but their staffers do everything for them?

    Like Lindsey Graham, who didn’t even know he had co-signed on to the Restrict Act, So, those are all kinds of issues not just about people’s health, but how the whole system runs. Is it really run by the representatives, or are their staffs doing it?

    I’m imagining Dianne Feinstein’s case, it’s a staff and Fetterman’s case and maybe Lindsey Graham’s case because how do you not know you didn’t sign on to the Restrict Act?

    Campos-Duffy wasn’t done. She dropped the bomb on the biggest out-to-lunch politician in office in American history – Joe Biden. He’s lost all the time.

    See the discussion below.

    • The power brokers that find the Dem Party and their armed militias ANTIFA, BLM and other activist groups want all elected officials to be puppets of the power brokers and the Bureaucrats. This is why we have two zombie politicians and a lot more who let their staffs make all of the decisions and write all of the laws.

      Some of the politicians stay in DC long enough to seize some power for themselves but most are content to remain puppets. This was one of the evils the Founding Fathers feared and tried to avoid by making all Federal Employees patronage positions. We need to take the power back from the power brokers and the bureaucrats.

  12. UPDATE: Mass Shooting at Sweet 16 Birthday Party In Dadeville, Alabama Leaves at Least Four Dead, 20 More Injured
    By Cullen Linebarger Apr. 16, 2023 10:50 am

    Early this morning, The Gateway Pundit reported on a mass shooting in Dadeville, Alabama at a reported Sweet 16 birthday party.

    The party was being held at a downtown dance studio, Mahogany Masterpiece, which opened last October. Officials have not reported if the shooter (shooters?) has been caught or is dead.

    On Twitter early Sunday morning, The Alexander City Outlook posted, “The crime scene is on N. Broadnax Street in front of PNC Bank and Mahogany’s Masterpiece. Police from Dadeville, Tallapoosa County, Jacksons Gap, Auburn, Opelika, Lee County are all there. No confirmation of anything from officials. Dadeville Police…”

    (Richard: The left is creating mass chaos by destroying the moral values and social norms that stand in the way of mass violence. They think they can use the violent chaos to destroy the US Constitution and then come in as the strong man that will restore order and safety. We will have to help by giving up all of our rights and weapons.

    What they are really doing is creating the violent storm that is returning the majority of the people to the philosophy of individual responsibility, self defense and punish the criminals.

    Part of the individual responsibility and self defense will be a return to the idea of local self armed militias to protect the towns, neighborhoods and states. The individual states had State Militias until after WWII when the left convinced the States to let the Federal Government turn the State Militias into another branch of the Regular Army. This move made it much harder for the States to organize and oppose the Federal Government.

  13. 7 Killed, Including Child, at Central Mexico Swimming Resort
    By Margaret Flavin Apr. 16, 2023 10:30 am79 Comments

    On Saturday, at least seven people, including a 7-year-old child, were killed at La Palma resort in Cortazar, Mexico near Guanajuato.

    Gunmen stormed the resort’s pool area and opened fire.

    The New York Post reports:

    Alarming video footage taken soon after the assault showed stunned adults and children walking dead bodies piled up near the pool.

    The suspects began opening fire indiscriminately 4:30 p.m., before destroying the resort spa store and taking the security cameras that captured the horrifying mass murder, officials said.

    Mexican officials were using a helicopter to search for the attackers after the fled the scene on Saturday.

    It was not immediately clear who was behind the shooting, though in recent years rival drug cartels have gotten into skirmishes in the state

    Authorities have not shared a possible motive for the attack.

    Videos shared on social media also showed devastated vacationers wearing bathing suits while hugging their children.

    “Heavily armed sicarios arrived and this is what happened,” said an unidentified man, using a word for hired assassins as he filmed at the resort in a video shared on the internet.

    After the attack, (the attackers) fled, but not before causing damage to the resort store and taking the security cameras and the monitor,” Cortazar’s security department said in a statement.

  14. 2 boys shot, several people arrested as another ‘large group’ overwhelms Chicago police in the Loop
    April 16, 2023 5:02 AM CWBChicago
    CHICAGO — Two teenagers were shot Saturday night as hundreds of people descended on the Loop, jumping on vehicles, getting into fights, and overwhelming Chicago police resources for the third consecutive night.

    The victims, boys ages 16 and 17, were standing in the crowd on Washington Street near Michigan Avenue when someone fired shots at 9:05 p.m., according to a CPD statement. The younger boy was shot in the arm, and the other boy was shot in the left leg. Chicago Fire Department ambulances transported them to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in fair condition, CPD said

  15. reuters – Ukraine minister: G7 support crucial for longer war with Russia

    A new international economic support package of $115 billion gives Ukraine more confidence that it can prevail in battling Russia’s invasion, amid growing recognition that the war could continue for longer than expected, Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko said on Saturday.

    Marchenko said Group of Seven (G7) finance ministers assured him during this week’s International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in Washington that they will support Ukraine for as long as needed, a shift from last year, when there was more pressure for Ukraine to agree to end the war.

    He said the fresh pledge of economic support – unlocked by a new four-year, $15.6 billion IMF loan – was “tremendously” important for Ukraine, now in a second year of war after Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24, 2022.

    “It helps us tremendously because it provides certainty that the IMF, together with G7 nations and supporters of Ukraine, will step in with money to cover our needs for four years,” he said. “Compared with the last spring meetings, I’m feeling more confident that we can prevail in this war.”

    “Financial support is very necessary, as well as military support,” he said, acknowledging growing acceptance that the military conflict could drag on.

    “We should be ready that this war will last longer than we expected,” he said, noting that G7 partners were no longer pushing Ukraine to accept an end to war – as they had last year – but were now signaling their support for a longer conflict.

    Marchenko underscored Ukraine’s appreciation for U.S. economic and military support – some $50 billion since the start of the war – and said he was confident the U.S. Congress would maintain bipartisan support for Ukraine, despite calls by some Republicans to scale back funding.

    He also underscored the urgency to begin some reconstruction, including energy infrastructure, roads, schools and housing, and that Ukraine needed to expand its capacity to absorb funding. He said one key step would be development of war insurance, something already underway with the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), to reassure global companies to participate in rebuilding the country – an undertaking estimated to cost at least $411 billion.

    On over $20 billion of debt owed to overseas bondholders, the minister said that he is not yet in talks on whether to extend a two-year debt moratorium agreed in August.

    “It is necessary to protect the reliability of the markets for future reconstruction,” he said. “We will have time to find a solution.”

    Marchenko said there was also growing openness among donor countries to explore using Russia’s frozen assets to pay for Ukraine’s reconstruction than even six months ago.

    “Our partners are thinking about the possibility of using Russian assets as a necessary tool to support Ukraine. They don’t want to wait until the war ends, they want to find a solution faster,” he said.

    Marchenko said U.S. Treasury officials had told him the United States had a low amount of Russian assets, but the issue was of greater concern in Japan, Switzerland and EU countries. He said G7 officials had told him they were broadly supportive of finding a way to utilize Russian assets, but still needed to find a legal solution to “a very complicated question.”

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Saturday cautioned in an interview with CNN there were legal constraints on using frozen Russian assets to pay for damage to Ukraine.

    Marchenko also said there were intense discussions about financial stability during the week’s meetings after the collapse of two U.S. banks and one Swiss bank last month, but he saw no signs of spillover on the Ukrainian banking sector.


    DAILY MAIL – Brits who took in Ukrainian refugees demand tougher background checks after falling victim to fraud and theft

    EXCLUSIVE: Brits who took in Ukranians want tougher background checks

    A number of Brits who opened their homes to Ukrainian refugees are calling for tougher background checks after allegedly falling victim to fraud and theft at the hands of their guests.

    Hosts fear a small minority are ‘taking advantage’ of the British welfare system by claiming Universal Credit and other benefits despite many being wealthy in their own right – with claims they are splashing out on shopping trips to Harrods, Botox injections and Apple products while being under no obligation to contribute to household bills.

    Just under 170,000 Ukrainians have been taken in by British families through the Homes for Ukraine scheme since Vladimir Putin launched his illegal war on their country last February.

    Ukrainians arriving to Britain as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme are eligible to live and work here – and claim benefits – from day one.

    When applying for state help, they must themselves declare any property they own in Ukraine, although it is unlikely to be taken account.

    They will receive some level of support from Universal Credit if their declared savings are under £16,000, and full support if they are less than £6,000. They will also continue to be eligible for childcare and housing support if they go on to get a job, providing their savings remain under £16,000.

    Those who have reached the retirement age can also claim around £200 per week in pension credit, although those with more than £10,000 in declared savings will see their entitlement reduced.

    But some British hosts believe a number of Ukrainians are not declaring how much money they truly have.

    In a private Facebook group for fed-up hosts, accessed by MailOnline, one Briton uploaded a picture of two Apple AirPod cases and an Apple bag, writing: ‘This is what I found in the rubbish bag they left behind. No words. £189 each.’ She claimed her guests had been claiming Universal Credit.

    Another fumed: ‘This week’s purchases from our ”poor” Ukraine guest… Harrods bear and baby bits (for friend’s baby when she returns to Ukraine next month)… and some Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses costing £200+… an essential item for visiting a war torn country I guess.’

    Meanwhile multiple Ukrainian-run beauty companies, some set up within the last few months, are posting on sponsor pages offering Botox and permanent make-up treatments – which can cost up to hundreds of pounds per visit.

    It comes amid concerns that some Ukrainians are continuing to receive benefits from EU countries after returning home or even after moving to Britain.

    Poland recently discovered many had arrived into the country purely to sign up for handouts before immediately going back, forcing the government to bring in tougher measures.

    According to Polish newspaper Obserwator Gospodarczy, new rules brought in last year mean Ukrainians must now appear in person to claim their benefits and will stop receiving them if they leave the country for more than 30 days.

    From January this year, they will also have to reimburse half of their maintenance benefits to the state and be fully self-sufficient by June.

    The government said since tougher rules were brought in, including spot checks on their reported addresses, more than 80,000 Ukrainians have been suspended from the benefits programme.

    Britain appears to be taking note after the Department for Levelling Up last week issued official guidance for hosts to report their guests – and vice versa – for visa, benefit and immigration fraud as well as any other type of criminal activity.

    It comes after a major report in January found the passport details of genuine hosts had been used on multiple visa applications.

    Emma Nishigaki, 53, told MailOnline today that she discovered her passport had been used for up to 22 visa applications without her knowledge.

    The maths tutor claimed she had been liaising with what she thought was a Ukrainian woman named Tatiana, who she agreed to sponsor before being quickly blocked after sharing her passport details and address – which are required by Ukrainians applying for the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

    Ms Nishigaki runs the hundreds-strong Facebook group for fed-up British hosts who have had negative experiences and who she says are scared to speak out over fears they will be branded xenophobic.

    The mother said there are no doubt Ukrainians who genuinely need help, particularly from the east of the country where the fighting is the strongest.

    But she believes the most poor, destitute and in danger Ukrainians struggle to get out of the country – while many of those who do are ‘opportunist’ migrants from wealthier areas in the west – like Kyiv – who have long wanted to make the move to Britain.

    According to Statista, as of March, the UK was the fifth most chosen country for Ukrainian refugees, after Russia, Poland, Germany and Czechia.

    It comes as dozens of Ukrainians looking for British sponsors on social media have already found safe haven in other EU countries, but say they want to move to the UK because it has been their ‘dream’ to live there.

    He said he wanted to leave his wheelchair-bound relative in Poland before coming to Britain ‘to find a job and make financial help to my parents.’ Ukraine allows people with disabled relatives to accompany them out of the country.

    Meanwhile tour travel companies in Britain are this month offering coach trips back to Ukraine so they can ‘enjoy their Easter holidays at home’.

    Milos-Tur is offering such trips for just £55 (60Eur), with coaches departing for Ukraine weekly, offering passengers champagne and croissants.

    The most recent trip left last Sunday, according to a post on the company’s Facebook profile, which read: ‘Come home with us for the Easter holidays!’

    MailOnline has contacted the company for comment.

    Ms Nishigaki told MailOnline: ‘One mother and daughter I had were lovely but filthy rich and claiming every benefit going, including free school uniforms, bikes, laptops, universal credit… they returned to Odessa when the father bought a house there with cash.

    ‘Make no mistake, I do not object to Ukrainians coming to Britain to escape the war, but I do object to them living off the state when they don’t need to.’

    Ms Nishigaki added: ‘The UK government’s biggest mistake was not carrying out tougher financial background checks.

    ‘Look at the migrants coming on boats… while I don’t agree with how they are coming here, they have to go through so many hoops to be able to stay and get benefits, but Ukrainians get an immediate free ride with practically no questions asked.’

    It comes after a UK report in January entitled On the frontline: London councils’ responses to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, found Ukrainians were paying large sums of money to scammers promising visas and accommodation, with one family handing over a staggering £55,000.

    It also found the Home Office had often granted visas before sponsors had been properly checked, causing ‘significant safeguarding concerns.’

    In multiple instances, councils discovered sponsor information was faked, with kebab shops or other businesses used as addresses – but the applications had already been approved and the refugee had already arrived in the country.

    Ms Nishigaki, who has hosted multiple guests in her seven-bedroom home in Wychavon in the West Midlands, said: ‘My first guest Yulia is fabulous and still with me and can stay as long as she wants… but others haven’t been so lucky and thefts and benefit fraud are more common that people might think.’

    MailOnline has unearthed multiple social media posts offering to provide faked documents to Ukrainians arriving in Britain, including driving licences and phony DVLA exam certificates.

    ‘My first guest asked me who he could buy a driving licence from,’ Ms Nishigaki continued, ‘when I insisted he had to take a test and go through the DVLA, he complained that in Ukraine ”if you want something you just pay for it”.

    ‘He also did not want to work even though I found him a job paying £24,000, while he and his wife were claiming benefits as individual single people.’

    Another post on a Facebook group called Scotland For Ukraine pictured dozens of boxes of what appeared to be illegally imported cigarettes from the war-torn country, with a caption in Ukrainian urging interested buyers to message the seller directly.

    Meanwhile one Ukrainian website brazenly offers to create fake diplomas and qualifications that can be used abroad, boasting: ‘With our help, you could live and work in Europe and the USA!’

    It comes as a number of hosts told MailOnline today that they feel they have been ‘well and truly had’ after housing Ukrainian families – including one couple who called in police after their guest allegedly stole thousands of pounds worth of goods and fled the country. They did not want to share their story over fears of reprisals.

    The fed-up homeowners have banded together to form an online community to vent their frustrations with the Homes for Ukraine programme – while collecting evidence of potential fraudsters who continue to operate across social media platform.

    Steph Logue, 56, from Whittington, West Midlands, took in a mother and her child, who was said to possibly have autism but in fact was severely autistic.

    She claimed that four months after they arrived, the woman’s husband asked if he could join them without going through the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

    Ms Logue added: ‘Of course we said no, and surely he’d be missed as he told he was going to fight for his country.

    ‘It was at this point he had to admit he wasn’t fighting and had been living a normal, safe life, away from any conflict. We approached our guest and confronted her with this and she said she didn’t know anything about him saying he was going to fight.

    ‘Things got very fractious after this confrontation and a week later she told us she wanted to go home, saying it was safe there now.’

    It comes after MailOnline last year revealed how a Ukrainian guest allegedly tried to rape his male host, before he was removed by police and placed elsewhere.

    It was also revealed how a British host was reported for modern day slavery after asking her guest to help out more with the dishes. The investigation was dropped.

    The Department of Levelling Up did not provide a comment to MailOnline.

    A government spokesperson said: ‘There is no evidence to suggest that a significant number of Ukrainian refugees are defrauding the welfare system, but where instances of misspend do occur, we are focused on identifying cases and ensuring funds are returned to the public purse.

    ‘We are committed to supporting Ukrainian refugees who have fled their homes following Russia’s barbaric invasion, giving those affected day one access to income-based benefits such as Universal Credit and disability and carer benefits, as long as they meet wider eligibility requirements.’

    • The bodies of 160 NATO officers remain in a bunker in Ukraine

      The bodies of 160 NATO officers were left in a bunker in Lviv Region in Ukraine after a Russian Kinnzhal missile attack. This was reported by war correspondent Viktor Baranets.

      -According to the author, the bunker belonged to a reserve command post of the former Precarpathian military district. It was located about 100 meters underground. Representatives of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry, General Staff of the Armed Forces, and NATO officers were at the headquarters.

      -The Russian servicemen decided to attack the bunker with a supersonic Kinnzhal missile after receiving information about preparations for a counterattack.

      -The KINJAL cannot be shot down by air defense systems. The missile’s explosion killed more than 200 officers, with only 40 bodies recovered so far.


      CNN – Zakaria asks Yellen if sanctions on Russia are actually working. Hear her response

    • Christine Lagarde says U.S. default on debt “not possible” ahead of approaching deadline

      Christine Lagarde, the head of the European Central Bank, tells “Face the Nation” that she “cannot believe” the U.S. “would let such a major, major disaster happen of the United States defaulting on its debt.”

      • conservative tree house – Sunday Talks, EU Central Bank Lagarde Very Pleased with Compliant Citizens, the Proles, Accepting Economic Malaise as the New Normal

        Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank, appears on Face the Nation to describe the current status of EU success in shrinking the economy to achieve parity with the shrinking of energy development.

        Ms. Lagarde is very happy with their ‘management of the transition’ so far, and sees slow economic growth combined with a citizenry happily accepting the lower standard of living, the new normal.

        As Lagarde outlines, the lowered economic activity is helping the central banks support the objectives of the government officials and corporations who are giving the instructions.
        Overall, she is optimistic the common man and woman will continue accepting less ability to achieve personal economic and financial success, as the bankers and politicians continue managing the western transition. Things are going swimmingly.

        + TRANSCRIPT

        ( 9 min 33 )

    • APRIL 16 2023 – WaPo – Russians boasted that just 1% of fake social profiles are caught, leak shows

      The estimate is contained in a document that is part of a trove of top-secret material leaked in a Discord chatroom

      SAN FRANCISCO — The Russian government has become far more successful at manipulating social media and search engine rankings than previously known, boosting lies about Ukraine’s military and the side effects of vaccines with hundreds of thousands of fake online accounts, according to documents recently leaked on the chat app Discord.

      The Russian operators of those accounts boast that they are detected by social networks only about 1 percent of the time, one document says.

      That claim, described here for the first time, drew alarm from former government officials and experts inside and outside social media companies contacted for this article.

      “Google and Meta and others are trying to stop this, and Russia is trying to get better. The figure that you are citing suggests that Russia is winning,” said Thomas Rid, a disinformation scholar and professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. He added that the 1 percent claim was likely exaggerated or misleading.

      The undated analysis of Russia’s effectiveness at boosting propaganda on Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, Telegram and other social media platforms cites activity in late 2022 and was apparently presented to U.S. military leaders in recent months. It is part of a trove of documents circulated in a Discord chatroom and obtained by The Washington Post. Air National Guard technician Jack Teixeira was charged Friday with taking and transmitting the classified papers, charges for which he faces 15 years in prison.

      The revelations about Russia’s improved misinformation abilities come as Twitter owner Elon Musk and some Republicans in Congress have accused the federal government of colluding with the tech companies to suppress right-wing and independent views by painting too many accounts as Russian attempts at foreign influence. A board set up to coordinate U.S. government policy on disinformation was disbanded last year after questions were raised about its purpose and a coordinated campaign aimed at the person who had been selected to lead it.

      Twitter employees also say they worry that Musk’s cutbacks have hurt the platform’s ability to fight influence operations.

      Propaganda campaigns and hate speech have increased since Musk took over the site in October, according to employees and outside researchers. Russian misinformation promoters even bought Musk’s new blue-check verifications.

      Many of the 10 current and former intelligence and tech safety specialists interviewed for this article cautioned that the Russian agency whose claims helped form the basis for the leaked document may have exaggerated its success rate.

      But even if Russia’s fake accounts escaped detection only 90 percent of the time instead of 99 percent, that would indicate Russia has become far more proficient at disseminating its views to unknowing consumers than in 2016, when it combined bot accounts with human propagandists and hacking to try to influence the course of the U.S. presidential election, the experts said.

      “If I were the U.S. government, I would be taking this seriously but calmly,” said Ciaran Martin, former head of the United Kingdom’s cyberdefense agency. “I would be talking to the major platforms and saying, ‘Let’s have a look at this together to see what credence to give these claims.’”

      “Don’t automatically equate activity with impact,” Martin said.

      The Defense Department declined to comment. TikTok, Twitter and Telegram, all named in the document as targets of Russian information operations, did not respond to a request for comment.

      In a statement, YouTube owner Google said, “We have a strong track record detecting and taking action against botnets. We are constantly monitoring and updating our safeguards.”

      With the average internet user spending more than two hours daily on social media, the internet has become perhaps the leading venue for conversations on current events, culture and politics, raising the importance of influencing what is seen and said online. But little is known about how a specific piece of content gets shown to users. The big tech companies are secretive about the algorithms that drive their sites, while marketing companies and governments use influencers and automated tools to push messages of all kinds.

      The possible presence of disguised propaganda has evoked widespread concern in recent months about TikTok, whose Chinese ownership has prompted proposed bans in Congress, and Twitter, whose former trust and safety chief Yoel Roth told Congress in February that the site still harbored thousands or hundreds of thousands of Russian bots.

      The document offers a rare candid assessment by U.S. intelligence of Russian disinformation operations. The document indicates it was prepared by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Cyber Command and Europe Command, the organization that directs American military activities in Europe. It refers to signals intelligence, which includes eavesdropping, but does not cite sources for its conclusions.

      It focuses on Russia’s Main Scientific Research Computing Center, also referred to as GlavNIVTs. The center performs work directly for the Russian presidential administration. It said the Russian network for running its disinformation campaign is known as Fabrika.

      The center was working in late 2022 to improve the Fabrika network further, the analysis says, concluding that “The efforts will likely enhance Moscow’s ability to control its domestic information environment and promote pro-Russian narratives abroad.”

      The analysis said Fabrika was succeeding even though Western sanctions against Russia and Russia’s own censorship of social media platforms inside the country had added difficulties.

      “Bots view, ‘like,’ subscribe and repost content and manipulate view counts to move content up in search results and recommendation lists,” the summary says. It adds that in other cases, Fabrika sends content directly to ordinary and unsuspecting users after gleaning their details such as email addresses and phone numbers from databases.

      The intelligence document says the Russian influence campaigns’ goals included demoralizing Ukrainians and exploiting divisions among Western allies.

      After Russia’s 2016 efforts to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, social media companies stepped up their attempts to verify users, including through phone numbers. Russia responded, in at least one case, by buying SIM cards in bulk, which worked until companies spotted the pattern, employees said. The Russians have now turned to front companies that can acquire less detectable phone numbers, the document says.

      A separate top-secret document from the same Discord trove summarized six specific influence campaigns that were operational or planned for later this year by a new Russian organization, the Center for Special Operations in Cyberspace. The new group is mainly targeting Ukraine’s regional allies, that document said.

      Those campaigns included one designed to spread the idea that U.S. officials were hiding vaccine side effects, intended to stoke divisions in the West.

      Another campaign claimed that Ukraine’s Azov Brigade was acting punitively in the country’s eastern Donbas region.

      Others, aimed at specific countries in the region, push the idea that Latvia, Lithuania and Poland want to send Ukrainian refugees back to fight; that Ukraine’s security service is recruiting U.N. employees to spy; and that Ukraine is using influence operations against Europe with help from NATO.

      A final campaign is intended to reveal the identities of Ukraine’s information warriors — the people on the opposite side of a deepening propaganda war.

    • the guardian – Viktor Orbán’s political allies in Hungary in sights of US sanctions

      Congress group drafts legislation targeting officials and government supporters, mainly affiliated to Fidesz party

      A bipartisan group in Congress is drafting US sanctions that would target leading Hungarian political figures tied to the Orbán government, as the relationship between the two countries continues to spiral downwards.

      The sanctions bill would name former officials and government supporters, mostly affiliated with the Fidesz party of the prime minister, Viktor Orbán.

      The legislation has been in preparation since last year and is expected to go before Congress as soon as next month where it is likely to draw broad support, according to officials familiar with the drafting process.

      The sanctions bill, first reported by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, is being drafted at a time of steadily worsening relations between Washington and Budapest.

      Orbán was a close political ally of Donald Trump, and Fidesz maintains strong links with hardline US conservatives. This week, leaked Pentagon documents, based on intelligence, reported that the Hungarian prime minister had described the US as one of his party’s top three adversaries.

      On Thursday, Hungary announced that it plans to leave the Russia-controlled International Investment Bank (IIB), a day after the US imposed sanctions on the Budapest-based institution widely referred to as Moscow’s “Trojan horse” inside Europe.

      The treasury department had also announced punitive measures against the former IIB board chair, Nikolay Kosov, and two senior management officials, Georgy Potapov and Imre Laszlóczki.

      Announcing its decision to withdraw its representatives from the bank, Hungary expressed frustration at the US pressure.

      “We accept and understand that we represent different positions, but we don’t understand why pressuring other states to change theirs is necessary,” the foreign minister, Péter Szijjártó, said at a press conference. “Hungary is a state, therefore it should be treated as one, instead of a colony.”

      A day earlier, the US ambassador, David Pressman, said that, unlike other Nato allies, the Hungarian government had ignored US warnings about the bank’s activities. “Hungary has dismissed the concerns of the United States government regarding the risks its continued presence poses to the alliance,” Pressman said. “We have concerns about the continued eagerness of Hungarian leaders to expand and deepen ties with the Russian Federation.”

      Pressman has emerged as a lightning rod for tension in the relationship, and is frequently derided in pro-government media. “Mr Pressman is one of the least classy ambassadors ever to set foot on Hungarian soil representing his own country,” the parliamentary speaker László Kövér said on pro-government Hír TV last week. “He talks nonsense, and he does it aggressively.”

      In March, Pressman went to Washington to consult the secretary of state, Antony Blinken, and senior White House officials. The US embassy said they discussed “recent developments” in the relationship with Hungary, “including uniquely anti-American rhetoric from senior Hungarian officials and pervasive anti-American rhetoric in the media controlled by the government of Hungary”.

  16. APRIL 16 2023 – WaPo – Covid is still a leading cause of death as the virus recedes

    But many Americans dispute the data and the risks — much as they have throughout the pandemic

    Millions of Americans gathered MASKLESS in homes and houses of worship this month for Passover, Easter and Ramadan— the latest evidence that coronavirus has retreated from public view as the pandemic winds down.

    But retreat is not the same thing as eradication: Federal health officials say that covid remains one of the leading causes of death in the United States, tied to about 250 deaths daily, on average, mostly among the old and immunocompromised.

    Few Americans are treating it as a leading killer, however — in part because they are not hearing about those numbers, don’t trust them or don’t see them as relevant to their own lives.

    “We’re not presenting the data in a way that resonates with the American people,” said Deborah Birx, who served as the first White House coronavirus coordinator under President Donald Trump, citing research that finds elevated risks of health complications and death in the months after a covid infection.

    The actual toll exacted by the virus remains a subject of sharp debate. Since the earliest days of the pandemic, skeptics have argued that physicians and families had incentives to overcount virus deaths, and pointed to errors by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in how it has reported a wide array of covid data. Those arguments were bolstered earlier this year by a Washington Post op-ed by Leana Wen that argued the nation’s recent covid toll is inflated by including people dying with covid, as well as from covid — for instance, gunshot victims who also test positive for the virus — a conclusion echoed by critics of the pandemic response, and amplified on conservative networks.

    “There’s so much corruption here, and it’s all driven by those numbers being artificially elevated,” Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Tex.), a physician who formerly worked in the White House and now serves on the House panel probing the coronavirus response, said on Newsmax in January.

    Not surprising AT ALL that Covid numbers were being inflated. Democrats needed Covid to achieve their political goals, and people like Fauci needed Covid to GET RICH! This will be investigated AGGRESSIVELY by House Republicans. We will uncover EVERYTHING!
    — Ronny Jackson (@RonnyJacksonTX) January 17, 2023

    Health experts and federal officials reject such criticisms, saying they are confident in the CDC’s data — figures that are drawn from medical examiners and coroners completing death certificates and concluding that covid was the primary or contributing cause of death.

    “If anything, [the death toll] could even be an undercount,” said Debra Houry, the CDC’s chief medical officer. For instance, Houry described a scenario where an elderly patient sickened by covid suffered a traumatic fall. “Maybe covid [testing] wasn’t done on the autopsy, so that’s something that’s going to be missed.”

    Front-line physicians said that severe cases of covid have plummeted from the virus’s peak in 2021, when the CDC said more than 3,000 people daily died of covid, but that infections remain a threat to vulnerable populations — and occasionally to otherwise healthy people.

    “There are still people who are getting wicked sick,” said Libby Hohmann, an infectious-disease physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. She cited two covid patients she’d recently seen in the intensive care unit — “both vaccinated and near death,” with one immunocompromised patient in their 60s dealing with infection from another pathogen, too, and a second patient in their 30s who was previously healthy, but suddenly fighting heart failure.

    “For most of us, it’s kind of a yawn now, but … you see these people, covid pushes them over the cliff,” she said.

    Shira Doron, chief infection control officer for the Tufts Medicine Health System, said she had broader concerns about how covid data is compiled, citing local and regional differences in how death certificates are filled out, and how health officials are tracking the long-term effects of covid infections in ways that they don’t with other threats, such as flu viruses. “If you think about causes of death in this country, we certainly don’t have any other infectious disease where we are counting it that way,” she said.

    But Doron noted that her colleagues reviewed about 85 recent deaths at Tufts that occurred after a covid diagnosis, and found “100 percent accuracy” in those death certificates that listed covid as a cause. Moreover, “there were quite a few patients who our experts felt had died of covid-19, and it didn’t make it onto the death certificate,” Doron added, saying that many of those overlooked patients had suffered “long, slow declines” after covid infections.

    Doron cautioned against extrapolating nationwide from that data — but “at one hospital, in one city, in one state, we found that death certificates had underestimated covid-19.”

    Outside researchers also have pointed to a nationwide pattern of excess deaths, or the number of deaths exceeding what would have been predicted for that time period, which has surpassed the number of deaths attributed to covid.

    “The non-covid death rate has not returned to pre-pandemic levels,” said Andrew Stokes, a Boston University researcher who is part of a team investigating the rise in excess deaths. “We believe that there’s an invisible or hidden burden of covid that has persisted essentially into the present, and those deaths are going unrecorded.”

    Elisa Krcilek, vice president of Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetery in Mesa, Ariz., said her team had seen a “new normal” of funerals, with higher call volumes than pre-pandemic but lower than at the 2021 peak of covid infections and deaths. She also estimated that covid may have played a role in about 20 percent of recent funerals, but often as a secondary cause, whereas earlier in the pandemic, about 80 percent of funerals were for people who died of covid, with the virus cited as a primary cause.

    “People that have died [directly from] covid right now are few and far between,” she said.

    Americans have struggled throughout the pandemic to understand the risks of covid. In one Axios/Ipsos poll conducted last August, 35 percent of adults said they believed that more Americans were dying from traffic accidents than from covid, compared with 11 percent who thought covid was the bigger killer. A little over half of respondents said they didn’t know which posed the biggest risk of death.

    About 3,850 people died in traffic accidents in August 2022, according to federal data — about one-quarter of those estimated to have died of covid that month. The CDC says that 3,918 people died from covid in the last week of August alone.

    Some advocates have accused the Biden administration of failing to highlight the ongoing covid death toll, saying that the White House has been too eager to turn the page.

    “The decision to tolerate preventable deaths in disproportionately vulnerable groups, in exchange for the convenience of more able-bodied, younger, wealthy, and white individuals, is unethical and demonstrates a reckless disregard for the lives of communities disproportionately impacted by COVID,” the People’s CDC, a coalition of public health experts, wrote in a report last week.

    White House officials say they have been focused on boosting access to vaccines and treatments, particularly in settings such as nursing homes, and launching an effort to develop more effective therapies.

    The virus “is not disrupting our lives in a substantial way,” said Ashish Jha, the White House coronavirus coordinator, whose team is set to wind down next month. “[But] is there still more work to do to prevent serious illness and death? The answer to that is yes.”

    Others charge that the covid death toll has been inflated all along, skewed by inducements that were intended to better measure the toll of the pandemic and offer support for affected families. For instance, FEMA has offered up to $9,000 in assistance for the funerals of those whose death certificates show covid as a cause of death. The program is slated to end next month when the public health emergency is lifted.

    “If your government is telling you, if you have a positive covid test, you can get $9,000 [in funeral assistance] … families are going to say, ‘Make sure it’s on there,’ ” said Leslie Bienen, a veterinarian who studies zoonotic disease transmission and has questioned the accuracy of covid data. “I think we’d be naive to think that doesn’t influence anything.”

    Stokes countered with examples of coroners in rural and conservative communities who said they had been asked by families to leave off covid as a cause of death. He also said that families seeking to add covid to a death certificate to qualify for FEMA assistance would need to go through a multistep process to get the document amended.

    Others note that the CDC has revised its death data over time, often a function of state recalculations, and health officials have acknowledged other problems in local and national covid data. For instance, Doron played a role last year in changing how Massachusetts tracks covid hospitalizations, effectively halving the number of reported patients, by counting only severe cases.

    Wen, the physician who wrote the Washington Post op-ed that argued covid deaths were overcounted, said she was calling for “uniform standards so that we can put this question to rest once and for all.”

    “I think that this entire conversation around covid has become so polarized and frankly unscientific when what I’m calling for here is an acknowledgment that we need better standardized methodologies,” Wen added.

    Houry, the CDC’s chief medical officer, defended the agency’s process to compile its data, saying that states did not have a consistent reporting process.

    “We’re really trying to put out data in a timely fashion. And we understand there’s going to be limitations to it, and that it’s provisional,” she said. “But because of that, the data does change.”

    MARCH 23 2023 – National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention

    Mayor Bob Kelly COVID Vaccination PSA

    • Boston University School of Public Health – A Conversation with Rochelle Walensky

      4:32 What have learned from the pandemic

      10:18 Trust in science

      38:18 COVID deaths

    • PBS – CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky discusses how the agency is addressing COVID shortfalls

      … many people believe the pandemic is over.

      This as the CDC reports nearly 2,300 deaths tied to COVID in the last week and an average of more than 3,000 people hospitalized each day.

    • What to know about new Arcturus COVID variant

      The World Health Organization is closely monitoring a new COVID subvariant.

  17. ‘Reign’: New Israeli Spyware Targeting Journalists All Over the World

    Real journalism is under attack all over the world. Corporate hacks pushing fake news, censure, economic boycott, deplatforming – there are numerous ways to disrupt the work of the truth tellers of this world.

    One of them, of course, is spying on journalists, trying to get some leverage over them, or otherwise finding some kompromat to destroy them.

    A report by a Canadian Watchdog has now surfaced that reveals that a new generation of Israeli-made spyware – resembling the notorious Pegasus program – was used to target journalists in several countries.

    The spyware and the related exploit – or hacking – software was created by QuaDream Ltd, owned by a former Israeli military official.

    The Guardian reports:

    “Security experts have warned about the emergence of previously unknown spyware with hacking capabilities comparable to NSO Group’s Pegasus that has already been used by clients to target journalists, political opposition figures and an employee of an NGO.

    Researchers at the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School said the spyware, which is made by an Israeli company called QuaDream, infected some victims’ phones by sending an iCloud calendar invitation to mobile users from operators of the spyware, who are likely to be government clients. Victims were not notified of the calendar invitations because they were sent for events logged in the past, making them invisible to the targets of the hacking. Such attacks are known as “zero-click” because users of the mobile phone do not have to click on any malicious link or take any action in order to be infected.”

    While cyberweapons giant NSO Group has faced growing scrutiny, the threat posed by similar and highly sophisticated hacking tools continues to proliferate.

    This new hacking tool is marketed under the name ‘Reign’, and the hacking attacks that have been discovered up until now occurred between 2019 and 2021.

    A phone infected with Reign, “can record conversations that happen in the proximity of the phone by controlling the phone’s recorder, read messages on encrypted apps, listen to phone conversations, and track a user’s location, according to Citizen Lab. Researchers found Reign can also be used to generate two-factor authentication codes on an iPhone to infiltrate a user’s iCloud account, allowing the spyware operator to exfiltrate data directly from the user’s iCloud.”

    Apple responded: “State-sponsored attacks like those described in Citizen Lab’s report cost millions to develop, have a short shelf life, and are used to target specific individuals ‘because of who they are or what they do’. The vast majority of iPhone users will never be the victims of highly targeted cyberattacks and we will work tirelessly to protect the small number of users who are.”

    Citizen Lab report identified ‘Reign’ systems operated from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Ghana, Israel, Mexico, Romania, Singapore, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Uzbekistan.

    In their long and very technical report, The Citizen Lab explained the new business model for the Israeli cyber weapons firms.

    “QuaDream’s obscurity reflects an effort to avoid media scrutiny that was successful, for a time. Yet once QuaDream infections become discoverable through technical methods, a predictable cast of victims emerged: civil society and journalists. This pattern is a repetition of the abuses found with more notorious players, like NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware, Cytrox’s Predator spyware, and before them Hacking Team and FinFisher.

    QuaDream has been in business for several years, has developed sophisticated spyware products, and appears to have dealings with numerous government clients around the world. The firm has common roots with NSO Group, as well as other companies in the Israeli commercial spyware industry, and the Israeli government’s own intelligence agencies.”

  18. Sen. Johnson Discusses ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Biden Family Grifting
    By Margaret Flavin Apr. 16, 2023 3:30 pm22 Comments

    Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) joined Fox News to discuss the revealing Biden family bank records and the media ignoring his 2020 report on the grifting family.

    The Gateway Pundit reported on the media’s constant coverups to protect the Biden family. After 18 months The New York Times and Washington Post finally admitted the Hunter Biden laptop was authentic and not Russian propaganda as they originally reported.

    Johnson has come under fire for his efforts to expose the truth to the American people. In an interview with on the Dan Bongino Show in 2021, Johnson said he was “set up” by FBI-Stasi agents to stop him from talking about Hunter Biden and his filthy perverted lifestyle.

    In his interview with Fox News, Johnson discusses the shocking extent of the revelations on the Biden crime family.

    SEN. JOHNSON: Let’s face it, Senator Grassley and I pretty well laid out the case against the grifting Biden family back in September of 2020 before the election. Our report was completely ignored by the media, just as they ignored the Hunter Biden laptop because their advocates for the left themselves. And so what we’re finding out now is just new pieces of evidence of the grifts that the Biden family have been involved with. The bank records that basically confirm what the Treasury records showed from Sen. Grassley’s and my report.

    I think what recently reported on Fox is the trying to get into the sovereign wealth funds of like Ireland and some of these other countries. You know, our report shows something like a dozen different countries that Hunter Biden, was again peddling the family name, trying to sell influence. But I think, the trying to tap into sovereign wealth funds I think is pretty revealing.

    Why would governments who own those sovereign wealth funds, why would they want to pay into the Biden family coffers and the Biden family grift? Well, it’s to gain influence. It’s, you know, who knows exactly how it might benefit them. But the level of compromise of this president, I think, is just jaw-dropping. And maybe even more jaw-dropping is how the media, except for a few outlets like Fox News, is completely ignoring it. I guess they’re okay with it.

    When asked any of the grift can be directly tied to Joe Biden, Johnson replied:

    SEN. JOHNSON: Yes. Unfortunately, Sen. Grassley and I ran out of time, that was toward the tail end of that Congress and then we lost the majority so didn’t have the chairmanship any more. But now the House does, so certainly I’m encouraging James Comer and the House Committees to subpoena the other bank records.

    The Gateway Pundit reported on Rep. Comer (R-KY) blasting the Biden Crime Family saying in an interview, “They’ve been influence peddling for a decade. And Hunter Biden has committed serious crimes. As you mentioned, 150 suspicious activity reports. Those are the most severe bank violations. This is when the bank notifies the federal government that we’re pretty confident that our client has committed a crime. He’s had multiple banks file 150 suspicious activity reports saying we believe each instance was another act of a crime. Yet the FBI did nothing about it…We’re investigating Hunter Biden because we believe he’s a national security threat. And we fear that he’s compromised Joe Biden. So, a lot of the bad policies, the energy policy, the foreign policy that Joe Biden has enacted that put America last. We believe he’s compromised because of his family’s shady business dealings with our adversaries…”

  19. RINO Rep. Nancy Mace Trashes Republicans For Passing Pro-Life Laws After the Overturning of Roe v. Wade (VIDEO)
    By Cassandra MacDonald Apr. 16, 2023 3:00 pm155 Comments

    RINO Rep. Nancy Mace is once again lecturing Republicans for daring to pass pro-life legislation after the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
    Mace claimed that Republicans were going too far to protect the lives of the unborn.

    “Even though I’m pro-life, I represent a pro-choice district, and I saw the tide change after Roe was overturned. We went [from being] mildly pro-choice to … [a] vast majority of voters being pro-choice after Roe v. Wade. It changed the entire electoral environment in ’22,” Mace said during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.”

  20. Elon Musk Proposes Harsh Penalty for Adults Who Sterilize Innocent Children – Catturd and Other Conservatives Cheer Musk
    By Cullen Linebarger Apr. 16, 2023 4:40 pm78 Comments

    Twitter CEO Elon Musk is no fan of adults who mutilate innocent children.

    After a libertarian commenter shared an op-ed from left-wing MSNBC trashing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over his policies protecting minors, Musk shared his unfiltered thoughts on what should happen to adults who force children to undergo gender reassignment surgeries or use puberty blockers.

    He proposed a particularly harsh penalty for these groomers.

    Any parent or doctor who sterilizes a child before they are a consenting adult should go to prison for life,” Musk tweeted.

  21. Let’s be blunt — legal weed is turning New York workers into zombies
    By Steve Cuozzo

    April 16, 2023 | 8:00am

    Not just because decriminalized marijuana led to proliferating mayhem in the five boroughs

    The Big Apple is now the Big Blunt.

    Not just because decriminalized marijuana led to proliferating mayhem in the five boroughs

    Not just because stinky smoke hangs everywhere, seeping into subway cars and even Broadway theaters — the acrid odor I detected in the crowded men’s room of the Majestic Theatre a few weeks ago was not from “The Phantom of the Opera” smoke machine.

    It’s also because of a forbidden-to-utter truth, in an age where raising the minimum wage ever higher has become mantra — namely, a license to get high has turned service employees into zombies

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