Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Tensions In Ukraine: Threat Level To 'Potential Imminent Crisis' As War Approaches Rapidly

US Army Raises Europe Threat Level To 'Potential Imminent Crisis' On Ukraine-Russia Fears


The recent rise in tensions between the US and Russia over continued simmering conflict in Ukraine seemed to correspond with the Biden administration entering the White House. Many pundits have commented that on a foreign policy front things are eerily feeling like a throwback to the Obama years of 2014 or 2015, whether its the Ukraine and Crimea crises, or Syria returning to headlines again (including Biden's ordered airstrikes on the country in February), or the growing Russia-NATO standoff. 

This past weekend we were among the very few to take notice of the Pentagon's latest large military equipment delivery to Ukraine's army via the port of Odessa, following Biden earlier pledging that "Crimea is Ukraine" and that he'd work to thwart Russian aims in the region. 

And now this week the US European Command (EUCOM) has issued a notification of a raised 'threat level' in Europe. The designation has been officially raised to one of "potential imminent crisis" this week. It comes just as The New York Times and others are reporting a serious escalation in fighting in Eastern Ukraine, which has signaled the collapse of yet another cease-fire.

The raised threat level centers on Ukraine's commander-in-chief of national armed forces alleging that Russia has amassed more troops on its border this week, and further that "pro-Moscow separatists were systematically violating a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine," according to Reuters.

Kiev's parliament followed by announcing a sharp "escalation" in the east - a contested region which has seen 14,000 deaths going back to 2014.

The NY Times had linked the raised alert status by EUCOM specifically to Ukraine, writing "the U.S. military’s European Command raised its watch level from possible crisis to potential imminent crisis — the highest level — in response to the deployment of the additional Russian troops."

The report also described the infusion of new Russian military equipment to the Kremlin-backed rebels, something which the latest follow-up statement by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov downplayedcharging that it is the Ukrainian side now taking "provocative actions that would lead to war".

The Times report cited a US official who estimated that some 4,000 additional Russian troops remained behind along the Ukraine border region following the end of recent military drills, something which one retired Army general said could just be "posturing" designed to test the Biden administration

Meanwhile Washington has apparently put Moscow 'on notice' over a potential Ukraine escalation...

The usual military exercises that take place this time of year, or larger than usual troop build-up?

However, as the NYT noted, "Four Ukrainian soldiers were killed and another seriously wounded in a battle against Russian-backed separatists in the Donetsk Region" on Tuesday, suggesting a severe flare-up on the horizon which could once again draw in external Western forces, especially as Biden has lately vowed to get "tough" on Putin's Russia.

The U.S. European Command (EUCOM) raised its threat levels in Europe to a “potential imminent crisis” this week as fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces has escalated in recent days and additional Russian troops are deploying to the region. The Russian troop movements could serve as an early test of President Joe Biden’s commitment to Ukraine.

According to the New York Times, Gen. Tod D. Wolters, the head of U.S. European Command declared a “potential imminent crisis,” which is the highest potential watch level. The command raised the watch level after four Ukrainian troops were killed in recent fighting in the Donetsk region. EUCOM also raised the warning after Russian troops deployed to the border region between Russia and Ukraine for an apparent set of military drills but failed to leave after the drills concluded on March 23

One official who spoke with the New York Times estimated around 4,000 additional Russian troops remained in the Ukraine border region after the most recent military drills ended.

Police Chief Brags That Covid Patrols Aren't Necessary Because Of So Many Snitches

UK Police Chief Brags That COVID Patrols Aren’t Necessary Because There Are So Many Snitches

A police chief in the UK says his force doesn’t need to carry out COVID patrols because they are getting flooded with so many calls from the public reporting other people for visiting the beach.

Overnight stays in locations other than a person’s primary address are not permitted until April 12, but a recent mini-heat wave prompted crowds of beachgoers to enjoy some rare March sunshine, as well as others who made trips to visit second homes.

This didn’t go down well in Dorset, where locals took the opportunity to grass people up to the authorities for allegedly violating lockdown rules.

In fact, the snitches were so enthusiastic that according to James Vaughan, the chief constable of Dorset Police, they’re now basically acting as an auxiliary arm of the cops.

“We are still getting around 400 reports a week from the public, so we will respond to reports,” said Vaughan. “We won’t need to be doing hotspot patrols [around holiday parks] because people are very quick to pick the phone up and tell us.”

“So if people try and come down and stay in their second homes before April 12, then we are going to hear about it,” he added.

Vaughan acknowledged that it’s not even illegal for people to visit their second homes, but suggested police may investigate it anyway.

He then encouraged locals to keep reporting others, telling the Telegraph, “It is how policing works in Dorset. We rely on the public to give us information and intelligence.”

As we have repeatedly highlighted, the coronavirus pandemic has turned Brits into a nation of authoritarian snitches, with a new poll showing a clear majority of citizens want a ‘vaccine passport’ to be made mandatory to visit the pub, use public transport or get a haircut.

A majority of respondents to another poll even said that they would miss “some” or “many” aspects of the lockdown.

The Coming Mark

Mark Of The Beast In Our Faces

Susan Duclos 

[Just to be clear - the actual "Mark' Can't occur until the Tribulation and the AC has to be in place...However this is a large step in that direction] 

Revelation 13:17 - "And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."

We were warned back in 2020 that while Big Brother wouldn't physically force the COVID vaccine on the population, the fact that airlines, sports events and other places were groups gather, would require proof of 'vaccination' before allowing entry, was a huge red flag over where this was all going.

In February the European Union decided to have "digital verification passports" in order to travel, and again, Revelation 13:17, shown above, blared like flashing neon light to those that knew this day was coming.

Greece, Spain and Italy, Germany, and Israel are just some nations that will require the "mark" aka proof of vaccination in order to do a variety of things.

It is now March 2021, and there is a battle raging throughout America over the much-talked about "vaccine passport," which would allow Americans "access to certain activities, buildings or events," as reported by The Hill:

Requiring vaccine passports could allow industries that have been closed off for much of the past year to reopen while minimizing the risks of spreading the virus. And proponents say virtual passes would speed up the verification process.

In New York, which last week became the first state to formally launch a virtual pass, the voluntary information is being touted as helping the state boost businesses that faced some of the toughest restrictions during the pandemic.

It is noteworthy that the excused being used as well as the threat of forcing businesses to stay closed is that reopening with a "vaccine passport" would risk a rise in cases of COVID, yet Texas has reopened totally, schools in session and their infection rate has not risen because of the reopening, without the Mark of the beast aka the "vaccine" passport.

The COVID cases in Texas have actually declined. That decline has the so-called scientists that predicted a new "surge" in cases if Texas reopened, scratching their heads bewilderment.

Back to the battle raging between those that favor the Mark of the Beast aka Democrats and those battling against the vaccination passports aka Republicans.

States run by liberals are planning so form of vaccine passport, while states run by conservatives are setting governmental functions to prevent their constituents from being forced to obtain a vaccine passport.

A comment on that piece over at The Hill stated :"This is a giant step to the mark of the beast. You must take the mark to buy or sell. We are now fulfilling prophecy marking signs of the end of time. The Bible has said this will happen, and now we see it in real time."

Conservatives by and large have made it clear that this will not just be used sparingly during the pandemic, but that everyday purchases from stores, grocers, and other retailers would soon require the "Mark" (passport) in order to do any business at all.

Even RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) such as Justin Amash, are pushing back against the media propaganda regarding these passports, stating "Let’s get the terms clear: A ‘vaccine passport’ is not ‘what we already do.’ It’s not proof of vaccination for internat’l travel or schooling. It’s proof of vaccination for everyday living—groceries, restaurants, movies. It’s disingenuous to conflate the former with the latter.

Conservative firebrand congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has made it very clear that this no less than "Biden's Mark of the beast" the Bible warned of.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Strikes Down Mask Mandate

Wisconsin Supreme Court Strikes Down Statewide Mask Mandate

The Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the governor’s statewide mask mandate in a 4-3 ruling on

 Wednesday, liberating citizens of the state from mandatory mask-wearing.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court took objection to Democrat Governor Tony Evers’ legal standing

 to demand that every man and woman in the state wear a mask.

The question in this case is not whether the governor acted wisely; it is whether he acted lawfully.

 We conclude he did not,” wrote Justice Brian Hagedorn in his ruling. Evers had issued an entirely

 new statewide mask mandate after Republican state legislators repealed it in February, claiming 

he has the authority to issue as many mandatory mask mandates as he wants.

The state Supreme Court also struck down a statewide stay-at-home order last May, showing

 itself willing to challenge draconian and arbitrary coronavirus restrictions.

Localities and counties still have the power to institute mask mandates after the ruling, although the 

decision opens up a path for conservative-leaning counties to allow citizens to make their own health and

 safety decisions. Wisconsin’s vaccine eligibility will be expanded to anyone 16 or older on Monday, 

providing a scientifically sound means to avert transmission of the virus.

As Democrat governors and mayors refuse to relent on the highly questionable practice of wearing masks, they may stand to face more robust legal challenges from court systems unwilling to accept a facade of total emergency powers in the name of the coronavirus pandemic.

'Covid Shield' Is Proposed As China-Level Surveillance Tool

COVID ‘Shield’ Proposes China-Level Surveillance Way Worse Than COVID Vaccine ‘Passport

“We need a SWAT team approach for hotspots. The goal should be to isolate confirmed positives in hours, not days.”

That is a harrowing line from a University of Illinois proposal to the Biden administration for an app that would integrate medical data, geolocation and motion-tracking to ban potentially contaminated citizens from accessing certain public locations and private businesses.

The China-type mobile app would use a color-coding system to label Americans who are exposed or may have been exposed to COVID and restrict them from access, documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon show.

“A PowerPoint produced by the school suggests scaling up the university’s intrusive contact tracing system for use across the United States,” Aaron Sibarium reported. “Its file name, ‘2020-12-14 Shield Biden Covid Team,’ indicates that it was presented to the Biden team in December, amid an ongoing search for solutions to a seemingly insoluble problem: how to stop the virus without stopping the economy? The presentation proffered an answer.”

“The school’s system uses a mobile app that records test results and Bluetooth data to determine who has been exposed to the virus—and ‘links building access’ on campus to that information,” the report continued. “Local businesses have also embraced it, making entry conditional on a ‘safe status’ reading from the app.”

As reported at BeckerNews earlier, even the slightly less privacy invasive COVID vaccine “passport” has remarkable similarities to the Chinese color-coding system, which records a user’s “health status” as green, yellow, or red. The Biden “Shield” would use yellow, orange and red instead — a superficial difference.

In March 2020, the New York Times reported on China’s state surveillance system.

“As China encourages people to return to work despite the coronavirus outbreak, it has begun a bold mass experiment in using data to regulate citizens’ lives — by requiring them to use software on their smartphones that dictates whether they should be quarantined or allowed into subways, malls and other public spaces,” the Times reported.

“But a New York Times analysis of the software’s code found that the system does more than decide in real time whether someone poses a contagion risk,” the report continued. “It also appears to share information with the police, setting a template for new forms of automated social control that could persist long after the epidemic subsides.”

China released the mobile app in February 2020 that “tracks people and alerts them if they have been in ‘close contact with someone infected’ with the new coronavirus,” CNBC reported.

“The ‘close contact detector’ was released Saturday night, according to China’s state news agency Xinhua,” the report continued. “Users scan a QR code on popular Chinese apps like WeChat and QQ, and submit their name, phone number and government-issued ID number to request information about whether they have been in close contact with anyone infected by the virus.”

“Once users enter their name and ID number, the app will tell them whether they were in close contact with someone infected,” the report said, adding that “each registered phone number can run the search for three different ID numbers.”

On Sunday, the Washington Post broke the news that the Biden administration is planning to use similar technology to track if Americans have gotten a COVID-19 vaccine.

Now Covid 'Tracking Apps' Are Being Developed

COVID Tracking Apps Have Eerie Echoes of Chinese Surveillance System


President Joe Biden's COVID team appears to have entertained an electronic test-and-trace program pioneered by the University of Illinois that would have let businesses deny service to patrons based on their health data, a PowerPoint presentation obtained by the Washington Free Beacon shows. The program has eerie echoes of China's surveillance system, which uses data from citizens' phones to impose quarantines.

A PowerPoint produced by the school suggests scaling up the university's intrusive contact tracing system for use across the United States. Its file name, "2020-12-14 Shield Biden Covid Team," indicates that it was presented to the Biden team in December, amid an ongoing search for solutions to a seemingly insoluble problem: how to stop the virus without stopping the economy? The presentation proffered an answer.

The school's system uses a mobile app that records test results and Bluetooth data to determine who has been exposed to the virus—and "links building access" on campus to that information. Local businesses have also embraced it, making entry conditional on a "safe status" reading from the app.

The system resembles the one being used in China, where a mandatory app gives each user a "health status"—green, yellow, or red—that dictates access to public spaces. The University of Illinois app likewise divides users into three categories: "yellow" if they've recently tested negative, "orange" if they've potentially been exposed, and "red" if they've recently tested positive. Only students with a yellow status may enter buildings.

The proposal would amount to a more extreme version of the "vaccine passports" being rolled out by airlines and some U.S. cities, which are already causing controversy. Those passports, such as New York's "Excelsior" app, indicate whether an individual has tested negative or been vaccinated, but not whether they've been exposed to the virus based on tracking data. They collect less information and use a less granular classification scheme than the University of Illinois app, meaning they pose relatively fewer risks to civil liberties.

It's unclear how such a scheme would play with liberal activists. While it represents the sort of ambitious, nationwide COVID response Biden has said he wants, it also threatens to exclude far more Americans from public life than measures like voter ID laws, which progressives have decried as the "new Jim Crow."

Only 11 percent of Americans do not have a government-issued ID, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, whereas 19 percent don't own a smartphone. Widespread adoption of the app could ice nearly a fifth of the United States out of the economy, never mind the polling booth.

Stacey Abrams's Fair Fight, whose founder has called voter ID laws a way to "scare people out of voting," did not respond to a request for comment.

Digital contact tracing has proven an effective substitute for lockdowns in many countries, allowing them to remain open without uncontrollable spread. Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and South Korea all mandated the use of mobile contact tracing apps and were largely spared the tradeoffs Western countries ended up making.

24 World leaders Call For Commitment To Globalism

24 World Leaders Call For More Globalism In Wake Of Pandemic

Twenty four world leaders have signed a letter calling for more globalism to combat future pandemics, citing the the coronavirus outbreak as an opportunity to consign nationalism to the dustbin of history.

UK prime minister Boris Johnson, German chancellor Angela Merkel, and French president Emmanuel Macron are the leading figures behind the pledge, with 21 other heads of state signing the letter.

It states that “nobody is safe until everyone is safe,” and that a “global community” must be further implemented in order to combat ‘inevitable’ future pandemics.

“At a time when Covid-19 has exploited our weaknesses and divisions, we must seize this opportunity and come together as a global community for peaceful cooperation that extends beyond this crisis,” the letter states.

“Building our capacities and systems to do this will take time and require a sustained political, financial and societal commitmentover many years,” it adds.

The letter compares the situation to the aftermath of the Second World War, and urges an end to “isolationism and nationalism”.

The pledge calls for a strengthening of the World Health Organisation’s infrastructure, despite the global health body’s documented failures in regards to the pandemic, and continued charges that it has facilitated the communist Chinese government’s lies and deceptions.

WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also signed the letter, having repeatedly slammed nations including Britain and the US for putting their own populations first when it comes to recovery.

The letter specifically calls for a global treaty on pandemics to be signed to establish international ‘rules and norms’ for vaccine production and distribution, as well as coordination on ‘alert systems, data-sharing and research’.

Presumably any global treaty would also address restrictions to be put in place under future pandemics, although that is not made clear in the letter.

Below is the full Letter signed by 24 world leaders (emphasis ours):

The Covid-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge to the global community since the 1940s. At that time, following the devastation of two world wars, political leaders came together to forge the multilateral system. The aims were clear: to bring countries together, to dispel the temptations of isolationism and nationalism, and to address the challenges that could only be achieved together in the spirit of solidarity and cooperation: namely, peace, prosperity, health and security.

Today, we hold the same hope that as we fight to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic together, we can build a more robust international health architecture that will protect future generations. There will be other pandemics and other major health emergencies. No single government or multilateral agency can address this threat alone. The question is not if, but when. Together, we must be better prepared to predict, prevent, detect, assess and effectively respond to pandemics in a highly coordinated fashion. The Covid-19 pandemic has been a stark and painful reminder that nobody is safe until everyone is safe.

We are, therefore, committed to ensuring universal and equitable access to safe, efficacious and affordable vaccines, medicines and diagnostics for this and future pandemics. Immunisation is a global public good and we will need to be able to develop, manufacture and deploy vaccines as quickly as possible.

To that end, we believe that nations should work together towards a new international treaty for pandemic preparedness and response. Such a renewed collective commitment would be a milestone in stepping up pandemic preparedness at the highest political level. It would be rooted in the constitution of the World Health Organisation, drawing in other relevant organisations key to this endeavour, in support of the principle of health for all. Existing global health instruments, especially the International Health Regulations, would underpin such a treaty, ensuring a firm and tested foundation on which we can build and improve.

The main goal of this treaty would be to foster an all-of-government and all-of-society approach, strengthening national, regional and global capacities and resilience to future pandemics. This includes greatly enhancing international cooperation...

To achieve this, we will work with heads of state and governments globally and all stakeholders, including civil society and the private sector. We are convinced that it is our responsibility, as leaders of nations and international institutions, to ensure that the world learns the lessons of the Covid-19 pandemic

At a time when Covid-19 has exploited our weaknesses and divisions, we must seize this opportunity and come together as a global community for peaceful cooperation that extends beyond this crisis. Building our capacities and systems to do this will take time and require a sustained political, financial and societal commitment over many years.

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Emmanuel Macron, president of France; Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany; Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organisation and 21 other world leaders.

Health ministers of nations are set to meet in May at the World Health Assembly, and could discuss a global treaty there.

Is War Is Approaching In Ukraine?

Biden's Ukrainian "Putin Push" May Lead To World War III

Russian state sources are alleging that Washington under the Biden Deep State administration is ramping up military aid to Ukraine. This comes after the media observed the Ocean Glory, a US cargo ship, began delivering 350 tonnes of military equipment, including tactical vehicles, at Ukraine's Odessa port. 

Adding Ukraine to NATO and the EU is a long-held dream of neocons like Victoria Nuland and neoliberals like Biden. This is also important to those supporting the World Economic Forum's desire to expand the EU and encircle Russia. 

Interestingly, this delivery of military equipment occurred near the  time Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, was signing Decree No. 117/2021. The decree activates the Ukraine Army to recapture and re-unify with Ukraine, the autonomous region of Crimea, and the city of Sevastopol. The military has been instructed to use "hybrid warfare" to re-conquer these former parts of Ukraine. 

In short, this means Ukraine declared war on Russia, certainly something it would never consider without major backing. This indicates, Zelensky has continued to subordinate his government's policies to the US- and NATO-led war drive against Russia. 

Upping tensions in the area is the fact that the Kerch Strait Bridge, also known as the Crimean Bridge, is now a target and will certainly see Russian moves to protect it. 

U.S. State Dept Refers To Israel's West Bank, Gaza And E Jerusalem As 'Occupied' Territories

In return to pre-Trump norm, State Dep’t report refers to ‘occupied’ territories

In a partial return to a pre-Trump-era norm, the US State Department’s annual report on human rights violations around the world published on Tuesday referred to the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as territories “occupied” by Israel.

However, the Biden administration did not go as far as to title the specific chapter in the 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices “Israel and the Occupied Territories,” as had been the custom for decades until the Trump administration, led by former US ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who pushed to have it altered to say “Israel” followed by a list of the disputed territories.

In the 2017 report, the chapter was titled “Israel, Golan Heights, the West Bank and Gaza. After then-US president Donald Trump recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, the 2018 and 2019 reports dropped that territory from the section title.

The 2020 report — the first during the Biden administration — uses the same chapter label from the previous two years, “Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.”

In addition to changing the chapter title, the Trump-led State Department dropped almost every mention of occupation from the bodies of the 2017, 2018 and 2019 annual reports. The 2016 report was published in the early months of the Republican president’s administration, while the more moderate Rex Tillerson was secretary of state and before Friedman began his stint as ambassador.

The 2020 chapter states that it “covers the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem territories that Israel occupied during the June 1967 war.”

However, it also clarifies that “language in this report is not meant to convey a position on any final status issues to be negotiated between the parties to the conflict, including the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the borders between Israel and any future Palestinian state.”

Palestinian Ambassador to the UK Husam Zomlot praised the labeling shift, but said that it would not be enough on its own.

“Good that we are back on the same page regarding the status of occupied territory. The real question is: What is the Biden administration going to do about it? It’s too late for talk, we need action to hold Israel accountable and to end the occupation,” Zomlot, who used to serve as the head of the PLO’s Mission in Washington,” told The Times of Israel.

Israel rejects the claim that it occupies the West Bank, saying the territories it has ruled since 1967 are “disputed.” While it maintains a blockade over the Gaza Strip, which it says is designed to prevent the smuggling of weapons to the enclave-ruling Hamas terror group, Israel notes that it pulled its military and citizens out of that territory.

Israel annexed East Jerusalem after the 1967 Six Day War and the Golan Heights in 1981. The US has never recognized the former move, but Trump did become the first president to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017 before recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights in 2019.

Land Of The Free V

FBI Raids Home of Young Female Christian Volunteer at 4 AM in Texas — For Walking Through US Capitol in January with Her Boyfriend

We received this information last week.
And now the story is making national news.

Young female Christian volunteer Elizabeth Rose Williams was arrested last Tuesday by the FBI.
As of this writing, her family has not heard from her.

Elizabeth was scooped up by FBI agents in an early morning raid at her home in Ingram, Texas.

The FBI waited until 4-6 AM to raid this Christian woman’s home.

Elizabeth’s friend told The Gateway Pundit, “She is the sweetest girl. I can’t believe this happened.”

Elizabeth was planning a Freedom Fest outing on Saturday March 27th in the Ingram City Park.

The outing includes face-painting and fireworks and games.

The Daily Beast reported on Elizabeth’s arrest with her boyfriend.
They walked through the US Capitol.

A Texas lifestyle coach and essential oils guru has been charged after storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 with her QAnon-obsessed boyfriend who documented “patriots [going] to war” on his social media.

Elizabeth Rose Williams, a Kerrville, Texas resident, and her boyfriend, Bradley Stuart Bennett, were arrested last week for violent entry and disorderly conduct and knowingly entering a restricted building. In a newly unsealed criminal complaint, prosecutors allege the pair were seen on video wandering around the Crypt and the Senate Chamber gallery as thousands of MAGA rioters stormed the Capitol.

“Storming the Capitol. Pray for us all,” Bennett wrote in a Facebook post provided to federal authorities by a tipster.

According to social media posts and her personal website, Williams is a lifestyle coach, a natural health enthusiast, “all American,” and a musician passionate about “living every day with purpose.” Her site says she started a “home-based business” at 18, and received “the equivalent of a degree from The School of Hard Knocks—if there even is such an accreditation.”

'Unusual Peak' In Russian Bombers And Fighter Jets Over N Atlantic, North Sea, Black Sea And Baltic Sea

NATO warplanes scrambled amid ‘unusual peak’ in Russian air activity

Alliance warplanes were scrambled on March 29 “to shadow Russian bombers and fighters during an unusual peak of flights over the North Atlantic, North Sea, Black Sea and Baltic Sea,” NATO said in a statement on March 30.

“In all, NATO aircraft intercepted six different groups of Russian military aircraft near Alliance airspace in less than six hours,” the statement said.

Norwegian F-16 jets intercepted two Tu-95 Bear bombers, which continued to fly south over the North Sea, prompting Britain and Belgium to scramble Typhoon and F-16 fighters.

The same day, the Norwegian warplanes intercepted two Russian Tu-160 bombers over international waters

Above the Black Sea, Turkish, Romanian, and Bulgarian fighter jets were scrambled after alliance radars detected three Russian military aircraft near NATO airspace, tracking them until they left the area.

“Separately, Italian fighter aircraft intercepted a Russian Il 38 maritime patrol aircraft which was escorted by fighter jets over the Baltic Sea flying into and out of [the Russian exclave of] Kaliningrad,” the statement said.

EU, WHO And 23 Additional Countries ('Global Community') Back Treaty To Prepare For Next Pandemic

World leaders back treaty to prepare for next pandemic
DW newsletter

Leaders from 23 countries, the World Health Organization and the EU called for a new international treaty to better prepare for future pandemics in an op-ed published on Tuesday.

The signatories of the op-ed — published in major newspapers worldwide — were global leaders from five continents and included Germany's Angela Merkel, Britain's Boris Johnson, France's Emmanuel Macron, South Korea's Moon Jae-in and South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa.

"We believe that nations should work together towards a new international treaty for pandemic preparedness and response," the op-ed said.

"Such a renewed collective commitment would be a milestone in stepping up pandemic preparednessat the highest political level."

Better cooperation next time

The idea was first floated by President of the European Council Charles Michel at a G20 summit in November last year.

The need for international cooperation was made clear by the COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged global health services and economies.

It is hoped that a treaty would ensure universal and equal access to vaccines, medicines and diagnostics for future pandemics.

"There will be other pandemics and other major health emergencies. No single government or multilateral agency can address this threat alone," the op-ed said.

Need to overcome international divisions

Leaders from the US, China, Russia and Japan were conspicuous by their absence among the signatories.

It is expected that any successful international treaty will be the result of a long period of political wrangling.

The coronavirus pandemic has seen governments and national leaders trade accusations over each others' handling of the outbreak.

At the same time, rich countries have been criticized for hoarding vaccines at the expense of a global equitable distribution.

The sentiment was not lost on the signatories which included leaders from the EU and the UK who have been involved in a row over access to AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses.

"At a time when COVID-19 has exploited our weaknesses and divisions, we must seize this opportunity and come together as a global community for peaceful cooperation that extends beyond this crisis," the op-ed pleaded.

Tony Blair's Interesting Power Grab: Now Leading The Push For Vaccine Passports

Why won’t Tony Blair leave us alone?

The ex-PM’s Messiah complex knows no bounds.

Since leaving office, Tony Blair has started to resemble one of those ambulance-chasing, no-win no-fee lawyers. Trouble in the Middle East? Brexit negotiations on the rocks? Struck down by the plague? Blair will be there in a flash.

It’s been a strange journey for him after he left No10. Just as dogs return to their vomit, as the Bible reliably informs us, Blair’s first mission was to revisit the mess he made in the Middle East. The instigator of numerous military misadventures went as a ‘peace envoy’, no less. He spent much of this time advising dictators for shedloads of cash.

But after the Brexit vote, it became clear that most of his unfinished business was in Britain. He became a prominent Brexit-wrecker. Not only was he never off the television – demanding a reversal of the largest democratic vote in British history – but he also tried to influence things behind the scenes. 

At one point he was holding secret talks with French president Emmanuel Macron, telling him to stand his ground in the UK-EU negotiations in order to prevent a so-called Hard Brexit (aka actually leaving the EU in the spirit of the Leave vote). Perhaps it was the dictators who were really advising Mr Blair?

But while his contempt for democracy was what shone through in that populist period, it is his contempt for liberty that has come to the fore during the pandemic.
Blair’s latest wheeze is that he wants Britain to lead the global push for so-called vaccine passports. His think tank, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, has been invited to meetings with Michael Gove, the minister leading the government’s review into ‘Covid status certificates’.

These sound an awful lot like one of Blair’s earlier failed schemes – ID cards – but worse. 

Gove himself was a fierce opponent of Blair’s ID-cards push. He presciently warned that: ‘Once powers are yielded to the state at moments of crisis or emergency, it’s very rarely the case that the state hands them back.’ Just a few months ago, Gove appeared to rule out the prospect of vaccine passports in unequivocal terms. Has a whisper in his ear from Blair changed his mind?

One thing we can be sure of is that if vaccine passports become a reality, Blair will claim credit. Blair was among the first public figures to call for vaccine passports. But he was also among the first to suggest a 12-week gap between the first and second Covid jab. In December, he won plaudits after he demanded a change in policy to maximise the number of people with at least partial immunity.

When it comes to vaccine passports, despite its frequent denials to the contrary, the government has been exploring the idea for some time – and had already handed out grants to potential developers before Gove’s meeting with the Tony Blair Institute.

But that more complicated story doesn’t fit with the ex-PM’s view of himself as a humanitarian superhero. Back in 2001, long before the coronavirus pandemic, Blair announced his mission on a Mirror front page. ‘I WILL CURE THE WORLD’, he declared. ‘From Afghanistan to Rwanda, Israel to Northern Ireland, the Congo to global warming, the starving, the wretched, the dispossessed, the ignorant, those living in want and squalor… WE CAN SORT IT ALL OUT.’ Despite achieving none of these things, and mainly leaving a trail of destruction in his wake, Blair is always on the hunt for a new humanitarian cause to place himself at the centre of. Now he wants to be seen as the man who conquered Covid.