Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Putin warns against crossing Russia’s ‘red lines,’ talks up military advancement
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned against provoking his country in his annual State of the Union speech Wednesday, promising a swift retaliation against anyone who crossed Russian’s “red lines.“
Moscow will respond “harshly,” “quickly” and “asymmetrically” to foreign provocations, Putin told an audience of Russia’s top officials and lawmakers, adding that he “hoped” no foreign actor would cross Russia’s “red lines,” according to a Reuters translation.
Putin also touted the country’s planned investment in expanded military education, hypersonic weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles. But Russia wants peace and arms control agreements, he stressed simultaneously.
The 68-year-old leader also condemned what he described as the constant tendency of international actors to blame Russia for wrongdoing, saying it had become like a sport.
The speech came against the backdrop of deteriorating tensions with the U.S. and EU, and follows the recent imposition of sanctions on Russia from the Joe Biden administration over alleged cyberattacks, human rights violations and activity in Ukraine.
A Geopolitical and Economic Crisis is on the Horizon
Rumors Of War Abound
These Are Dangerous Times
Russian fleet to secure sanctions-busting, Syria-bound Iranian oil shipments
Iranian vessels carrying oil and wheat supplies to Syrian ports will henceforth be escorted through the Mediterranean after exiting the Suez Canal, Iranian and Russian sources reveal.
A recent trilateral meeting took place between Russia, Iranian and Syrian officials to find ways of breaking the US and European blockade against Syria. They launched “a joint mission to improve multilateral coordination to secure the delivery of oil to Syria.”
The decision did not cite Israel although, according to a report last month from US sources, Israel had in two years attacked 12 Iranian tankers on their way through the Mediterranean to Syrian ports. Nonetheless, although the Russian mission openly referred only to the US and European i.e., NATO blockade, Israel will certainly heed the deterrent effect implied by the Russian naval mission and make sure to avoid tangling with Russian warships securing Iran’s shipments to Syria.
Farmers Warn Megadrought In Western US Threatens Devastating Crop Failures In 2021
Throughout U.S. history, there have always been droughts in the western half of the country from time to time, but what we are dealing with now is truly alarming. Scientists tell us that a multi-year “megadrought” has developed in the southwestern portion of the country, and this is the worst year of that “megadrought” so far by a wide margin. If conditions do not radically improve soon, we are going to have a major agricultural disaster on our hands. Some farmers have already decided not to plant crops at all this year, but many others have decided to plant anyway knowing that if enough rain doesn’t come their crops will certainly fail.
As I have discussed previously, the epicenter of this “megadrought” is the Four Corners region in the Southwest, but this drought is so immense it is even causing immense nightmares for farmers as far away as North Dakota.
The period of January to March 2021 was the driest in 126 years for North Dakota. Farmers are starting to make difficult decisions on planting and culling as the governor of the state a statewide drought disaster on April 8. Soil moistures across the state, particularly in western portions of North Dakota, are lacking sufficient moisture to sustain normal crop development growth. The first eight days of April 2021 offered little help as hot, summer-like temperatures, winds, and low humidity across the state accelerated drying conditions.
In a previous article I discussed the dramatic rise in prices that we have been witnessing lately, and now drought fears are pushing futures prices for spring wheat quite a bit higher…