Thursday, March 31, 2022
Israel planning to increase security in Jerusalem for start of Muslim holiday on Friday
Tensions in Israel are high following a series of deadly terrorist attacks, including Tuesday night's shooting attack in the central city of Bnei Brak that left five people dead.
Security has increased in Israeli cities and in the West Bank with Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordering the deployment of 1,000 troops to reinforce police.
A total of 3,000 police will be stationed at flash points in Jerusalem for the start of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan when hundreds of thousands of worshippers are expected to ascend to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound on the Temple Mount for prayers.
Operation Breakwater: Israel launches mission to counter terror
Avi Melamed, the CEO and founder of Inside the Middle East - Intelligence Perspectives, spoke to i24NEWS on the recent terror attacks across the country and the operation launched by Israel to counter them.
Following a series of fatal attacks around Israel, the military launched an overnight mission known as “Operation Breakwater” in the West Bank - arresting 31 people on suspicion of terrorism.
For the full story, click here.
PM Bennett, public security minister approve emergency police funding
Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Public Security Minister Omer Barlev greenlit around $57 million in emergency funding for the country's police as the nation confronts a new terror wave.
"Strong police equals a strong State of Israel," the premier said in a statement, according to The Times of Israel.
"We are working with all tools and in all areas to restore security, and a sense of security to the citizens of Israel."
Civilian firearm applications in Israel soar 2,500 percent amid terror wave
Civilian applications for firearms licenses grew by 2,500 percent since the recent series of terror attacks in Israel according to Channel 12.
Statistics from Israel's Public Security Ministry indicate over 1,500 people applied for the permit on Wednesday alone, a marked increase from the 60 applications usually received.
Putin: Existing Contracts On Russian Gas Will Be Frozen If Not Paid In Rubles - Western Politicians Creating Crisis State
"We are offering contractors from these countries a clear and transparent scheme. To buy Russian natural gas, they must open ruble accounts in Russian banks. It is from these accounts that payments will be made for gas which has been supplied as of tomorrow, 1 April," Putin said, speaking at a meeting on aviation industry matters on Thursday.
"No one sells anything for nothing, and we too will not engage in charity. That is, existing contracts [not paid for in rubles] will be stopped," he said. "If such payments [in rubles] are not made, we will consider this a default on obligations by buyers - with all the ensuing consequences," Putin added.
With Russian gas used in France for everything from industrial production to car fuel, Macron is now in a race against time. Will the French people re-elect him in April before or after they realize how badly Macron’s failure to stand up to America has effectively sanctioned French citizens? Earlier this week, Macron announced a proposal for “food vouchers to help the most modest households and the middle class families to cope with the additional costs” due to sanctions and war-related inflation of food and gas costs.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Thursday that their countries won’t buy Russian gas with rubles, insisting that gas contracts in euro “must be observed.” Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Berlin that payments in the EU's joint currency would be converted to rubles upon arrival in Russia.
Speaking at a press conference in Berlin, Habeck said that the bloc would not be “blackmailed” by Russia into using rubles to buy gas. Putin has demanded that, as of Friday, “unfriendly” countries – those who “illegally” sanctioned Russia’s central bank in response to the conflict in Ukraine – will have to pay for Russian gas in Moscow's currency or have their supply cut off.
However, Habeck told reporters that existing gas contracts between European nations and Russia, which were negotiated in euro, “must be observed.” Habeck reiterated an earlier statement from the Group of Seven major economies, which read, “We will under no circumstances accept paying for gas deliveries in a currency other than the contractually agreed currency.”
Russia says Europe will not get free gas if countries refuse to pay in rubles. “We are not going to supply gas for free, this is clear,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday. When asked whether gas would be turned off for non-payers, Peskov replied: “No payment, no gas.” He added, however, that Russia is yet to make a final decision on how to respond should European countries refuse to pay in the Russian currency.
Europe depends heavily on Russian gas for heating and power generation. Russian gas accounts for some 40% of Europe’s total consumption. The EU’s gas imports from Russia this year stood between €200 million and €800 million a day.
The European Commission has said it plans to cut EU dependency on Russian gas by two-thirds this year and end its reliance on Russian supplies “well before 2030.” However, economists say it’s not easy to replace the 1,550 terawatt-hours of Russian gas delivered to the EU in 2021. Europe cannot replace the supply shortfall quickly; it will need to curb demand. Meanwhile, increased liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports in an already tight global LNG market would place immense upside pressure on prices. This would be a major hit to the European economy, which is already suffering from sky-high energy prices. A prolonged halt in supply of Russian gas would come at a cost for the EU and might even result in some countries that are more exposed to Russian gas fluctuations, like Italy and Germany, having to take emergency measures. German chancellor Olaf Scholz has warned that a ban on Russian energy imports would trigger an economic recession across Europe.
There is a risk of a global energy crisis. Russia is the largest natural gas exporter in the world and the second-largest exporter of crude oil behind Saudi Arabia, according to the International Energy Agency. Replacing Russian gas will not be easy. Europe will have to buy gas on the open market, which means if they buy from countries like Qatar or the US they will have to pay more. It also means that the gas they buy will not go somewhere else. The result will be higher gas prices everywhere as countries outbid each other for limited supplies.
Russia supplies around four million barrels of oil per day to the European Union. Unlike gas, the supply of which to a greater extent is still regulated by long-term contracts, the price of oil is volatile and is determined by supply and demand. If Europe still decides to abandon Russian oil, then crude prices could soar to $200 per barrel, or even higher, analysts warn.
The World Government Summit 2022 will be held exceptionally in tandem with the closing of Expo 2020 Dubai, the largest event of its kind that brings the world together, under the theme ‘Shaping Future Governments’. The very first order of business on the agenda was preparing for the New World Order.
The Austrian government has declared a stage-one alert regarding the supply of natural gas, shortly after Germany did the same on Wednesday. Vienna made the move fearing shortages should Russia insist on payments in rubles, rather than the sanctioned dollars or euros.
The stage-one alert means there are “concrete and reliable indications that the gas supply could deteriorate,” Austria’s Climate Ministry announced, adding that it will be “monitoring” the situation. The country’s reserve tanks currently stand at 13%, which is about average for the season, local media reported.
“Everything will be done to ensure the gas supply for Austria’s households and businesses,” Chancellor Karl Nehammer said on Wednesday. If disruptions happen, businesses will be encouraged to seek out alternatives, while gas rationing won’t happen until stage three, the government said.
Vienna’s declaration comes hours after Berlin declared the identical stage-one emergency, fearing a possible disruption of natural gas supplies as the clock ticked closer to Russia’s deadline for “unfriendly countries” to start paying in rubles.
Germany and the rest of the EU were designated unfriendly by Moscow over their embargo on trade in euros, imposed due to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine that began last month. If Russia is unable to receive payments for the natural gas shipments in euros or dollars – the US has likewise sanctioned its currency – then it will be rubles or nothing, Moscow said.
When EU leaders complained about how this would be breach of contract, Russia responded that their sanctions amounted to as much. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov made it clear on Tuesday that Russia had no intention of supplying gas to Europe for free.
Germany’s top industrial unions have warned that delivery interruptions could result in “the rapid collapse of the industrial production chains in Europe – with worldwide consequences.”
If you’ve been paying attention since the beginning of 2020, you knew a food crisis was coming. The media and ruling elites are just now beginning to warn that they are causing a “food crisis”, the worst of which has not been seen since WWII.
Of course, they are failing to blame the immense inflation on the fiat currency creation, and instead are resorting to blaming the conflict between Russia and Ukraine for the problem. The U.N. food chief warned Tuesday the war in Ukraine has created “a catastrophe on top of a catastrophe” and will have a global impact “beyond anything we’ve seen since World War II” because many of the Ukrainian farmers who produce a significant amount of the world’s wheat are now fighting Russians, according to a report by Time Magazine.
David Beasley, executive director of the U.N. World Food Program, told the U.N. Security Council that already high food prices are skyrocketing. The war in Ukraine is turning “the breadbasket of the world to breadlines” for millions of its people, while devastating countries like Egypt which normally gets 85% of its grain from Ukraine, and Lebanon which got 81% in 2020, Beasley said.
Ukraine and Russia produce 30% of the world’s wheat supply, 20% of its corn, and 75%-80% of the sunflower seed oil. The World Food Program buys 50% of its grain from Ukraine, he said.
Russia is blaming the West’s sanctions for the food crisis. Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, retorted that the Russian military is “posing no threat to the freedom of civilian navigation.” He said that Russia has set up an 80 nautical-mile-long humanitarian corridor to allow foreign vessels to leave Ukrainian ports and that it is organizing humanitarian corridors every day within Ukraine to Russia and the West. “The real reasons why the global food market is facing serious turbulence are by no means in the actions of Russia, (but) rather in the unbridled sanctions hysteria that the West has unleashed against Russia without considering the population of the so-called Global South nor of its own citizens,” Nebenzia said.
Regardless, neither of these is fully to blame, both only added fuel to an already burning fire. Food was getting scarce and prices were climbing noticeably a year ago, and much earlier than that for some in certain areas of the world.
Continue to prepare until you cannot prepare anymore. Get what you need because it sure looks like there will be a time in the near future, when you cannot anymore.
While the U.S. media is a-Biden the call for a regime change in Russia, I observe there already was a regime change in the world. The winners of the cold war -- NATO and the USA -- find themselves 30 years later no longer relevant.Red China, India and all those other developing nations have developed their own economies. They are acting in their own best interests.
Sure, 141 nations voted to have the UN put a mark on Putin's permanent record for invading Ukraine. But Red China, India, Iran and a host of African nations refrained from voting. Not their monkey. Not their circus.
They do not fear retaliation by the West because frankly, they no longer need the West.
Biden and the rest of the doddering old fools and girly men running these countries do not realize how unimportant they are. Their call for economic sanctions against Russia was the biggest and hardest faceplant of the century.
At best, Biden's economic sanctions inconvenience Putin. He has had to scramble to find alternatives. But this has drawn him closer to Red China and Iran.
But he has the upper hand because he has something Europe wants: energy.
The West turned his rubles into rubble? Fine says Putin. Now he's demanding payment in rubles.
AP reported, "German Economy Minister Robert Habeck on Monday said the Group of Seven (G7) major economies dismissed Russian President Vladimir Putin's demand to pay for gas in rubles."
Well, they do not get to make that decision, do they? It is Russia's oil and natural gas and if you want it, you pay what he wants in whatever currency he wants.
TASS reported, "Moscow is handling the details of its gas delivery plans to unfriendly countries for payment in rubles, but it won’t engage in charity if Europe refuses to pay in the Russian currency, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday."
The story also said, "The Kremlin spokesman remained tight-lipped on what measures Russia might take if Europe refused to pay for gas in rubles, noting that these 'issues should be sorted out as they develop."
He also said, "But we will definitely not supply gas for free, that’s for sure. It is hardly possible and reasonable to engage in charity in our situation."
Not a charity.
To be sure, Russia needs a cash flow and all.
But Putin has them over a barrel because they depended on him to keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Biden said the U.S. will supply Europe with LNG in a few years.
Where will the USA get the LNG? From the LNG Fairy? Biden shut down U.S. production of oil and gas.