Sunday, April 30, 2023

Swarms of quakes shake Salton Sea region in Southern California, seismologists say

Swarms of quakes shake Salton Sea region in Southern California, seismologists say

Two swarms of earthquakes reaching up to 4.5 magnitude rattled the Salton Sea region of Southern California, the U.S. Geological Survey reports.

The first swarm began at 12:08 p.m. Saturday, April 29, in Heber near the U.S.-Mexico border, about 60 miles south of the Salton Sea, the USGS reported. It included nearly 50 tremors reaching up to 3.7-magnitude, felt by about 60 people.

The quakes continued overnight, with one hitting at 5:12 a.m. Sunday, April 30.

A second swarm began at 12:09 a.m. Sunday, April 30, near Niland on the southern shore of the Salton Sea, consisting of more than 25 tremors with one of the latest hitting at 5:28 a.m.

The largest, a 4.5-magnitude quake, was felt by about 30 people, according to the USGS. Other quakes in the swarm reached up to 4.1 magnitude.

3.2-magnitude quake hit near Ocotillo Wells 30 miles west of the Salton Sea at 10:55 p.m. Saturday, April 29, followed by smaller aftershocks, the USGS reported.

The Salton Sea is a shallow, landlocked body of highly saline water about 180 miles southeast of Los Angeles. It is about 45 miles long and 20 miles wide.

Ukraine Launches Massive Attacks In The Donbass Residential Region This Weekend

Ukraine launched massive attacks in the Donbass region this weeken (video)

Ukraine launched massive attacks in the Donbass region this weekend. The mainstream media doesn't seem to care. Meanwhile Ukraine has changed its goals from "survival" to "victory." What does victory mean? More money and weapons from the west. President Putin says that if Ukraine wants to escalate on the battlefield, Russia is ready. Peace talks now.

UN warns about “high risk of biological hazard” after warring party in Sudan captures biolab storing vaccines for measles, cholera

Report says U.S. supported 'extremely dangerous' biolab in another country

A biolab that contains multiple disease pathogens offering a serious threat to populations has been seized by soldiers involved in what more or less is a civil war in Sudan, according to the World Health Organization.

A Business Insider report explained WHO official Nima Saeed Abid confirmed lab technicians could not access the National Public Health Laboratory after it was taken over by militants.

Citing the presence of "polio isolates," "measles isolates" and "cholera isolates," he warned that the situation is "extremely dangerous."

Now a report at reveals the lab was funded in part by U.S. government cash, much like the "gain-of-function" work done at the Wuhan, China, lab from which COVID-19 apparently escaped.

The report explained the nation's "Public Health Laboratory" got funding and personnel support from the Department of Defense, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Anthony Fauci’s National Institutes of Health agency.

Fauci is Joe Biden's former COVID adviser. He also headed the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, and has been harshly criticized for repeatedly changing his advice regarding COVID. Many blame him in large part for the economic catastrophe created for American businesses by the many shutdown orders during the pandemic that killed millions around the world.

The report said a pamphlet from the CDC about its operations in south Sudan, from 2022, "reveals the extent of the government agency’s involvement in the country."

It explains, "In May 2018, CDC supported establishment of the first viral load monitoring facility at South Sudan’s National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL)."

The documentation about the American financial involvement there continues, "Since 2006, CDC has partnered with the Global Fund to support South Sudan’s NPHL by strengthening laboratory infrastructure, staffing, and technical capacity. With technical support from CDC, the Ministry of Health developed and released consolidated national HIV treatment guidelines and five laboratory manuals and standard operating procedures for NPHL staff and HIV/AIDS program staff."

The report further explained that a 2022 research paper, "Viral load scale-up in South Sudan: Strategic implementation of tools to monitor HIV treatment success among people living with HIV," charged that financial support from the CDC through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief was being used.

"The … grants all come from the NIAID during Fauci’s tenure and totals over 20 million dollars," the report said.

Despite an agreed-upon truce, fighting between Sudan’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of Sudan are ongoing. And the latest news is that a national health facility that stores measles and cholera pathogens for vaccine production has been taken over by one of the warring parties.

Reuters reported that the United Nations’ (UN) World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the situation to have a “high risk of biological hazard” following the laboratory seizure, which occurred after more foreigners and locals fled the volatile capital city of Khartoum.

The WHO did not provide any details as to which side of the fight captured the biolab, which also contains a major blood bank for Sudan. All we know is that there has been a mass exodus from Africa’s third largest country, exacerbating fears that any civilians who choose to remain will be in danger once the three-day truce comes to an end on Thursday.

The situation is getting so bad that Yassir Arman, a leading figure in a civilian political coalition called the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) issued a public plea for humanitarian groups and the international community to do whatever it takes to help restore water and electricity in Sudan, as well as to get much-needed generators to local hospitals.

“There are bodies scattered in streets and sick people who cannot find medicine, no water nor electricity,” Arman said. “People should be allowed to bury their dead during the ceasefire.”

It is expected, according to the UN, that hundreds of thousands of people will end up fleeing Sudan into neighboring countries, potentially creating problems there as well.

Many of these people say they feel abandoned with nowhere else to go as they await what could become even more conflict and bloodshed in the days to come.

“Why is the world abandoning us at a time of war?” complained 27-year-old Sumaya Yassin, who further accused foreign powers of being selfish.

Khartoum, meanwhile, has become a ghost town with very few people still waiting there to see what happens.

“There is nothing left in stores, no water, no food,” one person said. “People have started to go out armed, with axes, with sticks … The situation has become very dangerous, including in areas not under bombardment.”

At the lab that was taken over, the WHO’s Nima Saeed Abid said that technicians from the National Public Health Laboratory were thrown out, which has left the facility in a precarious position.

“And there is high risk of biological hazards because in that lab we have already isolates, we have measles isolates as well as cholera isolates,” Abid warned.

The 7 Pillars Of A Global CBDC System

The 7 Pillars Of A Global CBDC System


In doing so we can watch how the process is unfolding with open eyes, and not be led astray into uninformed opinions. There is a global financial revolution occurring and we would do well to recognise it as it unfolds.

This article is a deep dive into CBDCs as they stand in Spring 2023, but also a launching off pad for deeper and more detailed researches on the topic.

On March the 10th of 2023 the United States Federal Reserve announced the new stage of its FedNow instant payments system. They intend to launch the system in July following a period of certification from April. 

Although originally announced in 2019, this latest decree has caused a real stir in alternative media and crypto space, with many critics expressing a growing concerns about an emergent banking system, one based on CBDCs – Central Bank Digital Currencies. 

In this article we will journey through the landscape of modern currency innovations to investigate how far along the road to a CBDC system we are and what it might look like. We will also evaluate the claims by both central bank proponents and opponents. Along the way I will attempt to define as many of the terms in use to make clear what is often an obscure subject for the regular citizen.

We might as well start with a broad definition of a CBDC. A Central Bank Digital Currency is a digital central bank liability. A central bank is a nominally private institution. It is usually not directly a facet of the government – though still a national institution – and it controls a nation's currency. The decisions it makes can fundamentally change the lives of many millions, and transform the political economy literally overnight. They decide how much and when to print a currency as well as the rate at which the currency inflates or deflates by setting interest rates. The central bank for America is known as the Federal Reserve Bank, and it was inculcated on Jekyll island in 1910 by a shady group of financial elites. That however is a story for another time.

What these central banks now propose in 2023 is a digital system, entirely based on computer networks, of liabilities and transfers. Liabilities by the way are simply debts or contracts – ‘I promise to pay the bearer of this note X or Y’. Originally these central bank liabilities were redeemable into real world assets like gold or silver, but steadily through the 20th century they found that they could slip out of this shackle. When Nixon decided to ‘temporarily pause’ the ability to convert dollars to gold in 1971, it signalled the end of the era of asset backed liabilities into the pure fiat system of today. A digital liability, a CBDC, would be a step further on this path; not backed by land, metal or any asset but simply backed by the word of an institution – ‘It is worth a Dollar because we say so’.

Moreover, a CBDC will shift control of the money supply away from the quasi-decentralised system we currently have, where money supply and ledgers are spread among region and national retail banks, and place the entire game into the hands of the central banks. This also raises serious questions about how governments and central bankers are going to keep Quantitative Easing (QE) and deficit spending thethered to reality (something they are struggling to do with the current fiat system).

Now we focus on the Federal Reserve initially as it is the biggest central bank in the world. Its currency, the US dollar was the global reserve currency – the money by which international trade was settled and the currency which for the last few decades oil was priced in. This was, as French ex-President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing dubbed it, America’s ‘exorbitant privilege’. Even as a multitude of factors have latently come to challenge the dollar’s hegemonic status, the Federal Reserve is still a prime mover in the central bank community.

IMF publishes multi-year plan to implement CBDCs; it may spell the end of our financial freedom and autonomy

IMF publishes multi-year plan to implement CBDCs; it may spell the end of our financial freedom and autonomy

On 10 April, the International Monetary Fund (“IMF”) published the ‘IMF Approach to Central Bank Digital Currency Capacity Development’.  It outlines the IMF’s multi-year strategy for aiding central bank digital currency (“CBDC”) rollouts, including the development of a living ‘CBDC Handbook’ for monetary authorities to follow.

As it develops, and includes more details, chapters 8–11 will be of particular interest to us as they relate to the centralised control over our lives using CBDCs that we, the consumers, are most concerned about.

Chapter 8, for example, “will identify design choices, such as operating model, limits in holding, programmability, interest-bearing, and degree of centralisation.” And Chapter 11 “will consider the trade-off between data use and privacy protection,” including “what data are generated by CBDC transactions and which institutions might have access to it.”

Last week, IMF Deputy Director Monetary and Capital Markets Department, Dong He, briefly mentioned at a seminar on CBDCs the programmability of CBDCs.  “It can be used as a fiscal tool; it can be used for the Internet of Things.”  But he doesn’t go into any detail as to what “programmability” means or what effects it has on consumers. 

Watch He’s presentation at the ‘Asia Pacific Regional Seminar on Central Bank Digital Currency’ from timestamp 12:54 in the video HERE.

Alexander Lee of the US Federal Reserve wrote in June 2021, the term “programmable money” remains ill-defined. Lee differentiates between “programmable money” and “programmability.”  

He defines “programmability” as the “mechanism for specifying the automated behaviour of a digital form of money through a computer program.”  And he identifies two components of “programmable money”: a digital form of money and programmability.  However, Lee warns, “It is not clear whether these components alone are sufficient for a definition, given that various combinations of similar technology for payments automation have existed for decades.”

There have been many claims, for example in a report by the Deutsche Bundesbank, that adding programmability to a CBDC could bring a plethora of economic benefits.  However, The FinReg Blognoted, many of the claimed benefits either already exist or could be developed within existing systems.

The SEACEN Centre described programmable money as money with constraints. “It seems to be based on the notion that since money is already digital and exists as records on computers at commercial and/or at central banks, then it is programmable.” You can have programmable central bank money, programmable commercial bank money, programmable e-money (sometimes called stablecoins) and programmable any type of money.

Covid-19 and the ensuing unprecedented economic stimulus seem to have created a mini force towards programmable money. As noted above, programmable money is money with constraints. An analogy is food stamps, where recipients are given coupons, the equivalent of money, which can be spent only on food ‒ not on alcohol, betting on horses, lottery tickets or anything else. In modern guise, these “food stamps” are digitised tokens transacted on a blockchain platform with smart contracts.

Finextra identified the risks of CBDCs and highlighted the risks of connecting CBDCs to digital identities:

CBDC pose a combination of risks to consumers – financial, economic and human rights that are potentially severe if a CBDC is designed badly or with bad intent.

Human Rights Risks

If designed inappropriately, CBDCs have the potential to be used as tools of surveillance and control by governments. 

Every transaction is recordable and any authority with access to the CBDC ledger could see all transactions. 

They could also control individuals through the ledger – such as putting expiry dates on their CBDC, limiting how much they can hold, varying interest rates and prices depending on who they are, preventing purchases and automatically deducting fines.

The combination of digital identity and CBDC is also a big risk. Access and addressability are needed for digital payments but these are different to digital identity. In a world of programmable money, digital identity can go beyond just enabling access to your funds. Use of those funds can be made conditional on attributes of your digital identity. If those funds are in CBDC, then the central bank and by implication, the government can control directly how you spend and receive money.

Be wary of anyone advocating for digital identity to be connected to CBDC – while digital identity is needed to find fraudsters, money launderers and other criminals, there is no monetary reason to combine CBDC with digital identity.

Yet, connecting CBDCs to digital identities seems to be exactly what Central Bankers are proposing.

Connecting CBDCs to Digital IDs

On 27 September, France’s central bank — the Banque de France — held an international roundtable in which central bankers from the US and the EU confirmed that digital dollars and euros, should they go forward, would not be anonymous.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said that concerning an American CBDC rollout one of the characteristics is that “[the CBDC] is identity verified, so it would not be anonymous. It would not be an anonymous bearer instrument.”

Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, said: “In terms of anonymity, there would not be complete anonymity as there is with bank notes.”

In other words, CBDCs would require some form of digital identity scheme.  And what is the purpose of a digital identity?  The World Economic Forum has clearly stated how they envision it:

This digital identity determines what products, services and information we can access – or, conversely, what is closed off to us.

Identity in a Digital World: A new chapter in the social contract, Insight Report, World Economic Forum, September 2018, pg.5

The following is extracted from the article ‘IMF is creating a ‘CBDC Handbook’ for central bank, govt rollouts’ published by The Sociable.

digital identity encompasses everything that makes you unique in the digital realm, and it is a system that can consolidate all of your most personal intimate data, including which websites you visit, your online purchases, health records, financial accounts and who you’re friends with on social media.

It can be used to determine what products, services, and information are available to you, and it can certainly be used by public and private entities to deny you that access.

Ultimately, a CBDC linked with digital ID could allow governments and corporations to put permissions on what you can buy with your own money, including expiration dates on when you can spend it.

It is a system ripe for total surveillance and control over many aspects of society, and it paves the way for an authoritarian system of social credit that incentives, coerces, and otherwise manipulates citizen behaviour.


The Propaganda Machine

Reverse Engineering the Propaganda Machine

Story at-a-glance

  • We fight against a truly unprecedented disinformation campaign, where the liars are claiming that everyone else is giving out misinformation, basically turning truth on its head

  • While propaganda takes many forms, mainstream media play a crucial role. The good news is that people are starting to catch on, and trust in mainstream media has dropped to an all-time low

  • By the early 1900s — literally a century ago — journalists like Upton Sinclair and George Seldes were discussing the corruption of the media, how they were owned by big business with a profit agenda, and how they were not dealing squarely with investigative reporters

  • For propaganda to be effective, there needs to be central coordination of narratives, and that’s where public relations agencies come in. Few appreciate the power that these companies have. Two-thirds to 80% of the content broadcast and published by corporate media comes from public relations firms, so most of the so-called “news” is actually brainwashing propaganda

  • Other common PR tools include “public protests,” which are actually made up of people hired by the PR company, and media will of course be sent there to cover it, and front groups, which are paid by industry to promote a particular view that benefits that industry

In this interview, Michelle Stiles reviews some of the basic tools of propaganda, which is the topic of her book, “One Idea to Rule Them All: Reverse Engineering American Propaganda.” It’s a pertinent and apt topic in light of what’s been going on over the last few years, as we attempt to understand how we’ve been manipulated and brainwashed.

If you can understand that, then you can prevent it from happening again in the future, and you can help other people to break free from the indoctrination as well. Stiles includes the following quote from George Orwell in the book:

“In the age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

That’s really our battle today, as we fight against a truly unprecedented disinformation campaign, where the liars are claiming that everyone else is giving out misinformation, basically turning truth on its head.

Most of you are aware that I was given top billing on the Center for Countering Digital Hate’s (CCDH) “disinformation dozen” list, which is a true testament to the credibility I’ve built over the past 25 years. They see me as a real threat to their propaganda machine, and it’s no small honor to be recognized as someone who’s telling the truth in this age of misinformation.

Legacy Media Was Never Deserving of Our Trust

While propaganda takes many forms, mainstream media play a crucial role. Many people my age would agree that we used to believe the media were a trusted source of information. But no more. Investigative journalism within mainstream media doesn’t exist anymore. They’re all just talking heads, reading from scripts, which is why they all sound the same, even reiterating the same sentences verbatim.

The good news is that people are starting to catch on, and trust in mainstream media has dropped to an all-time low. In her book, Stiles presents the historical view of media, and how it’s changed over time. By the early 1900s — literally a century ago — journalists like Upton Sinclair and George Seldes were discussing the corruption of the media, how they were owned by big business with a profit agenda, and how they were not dealing squarely with investigative reporters.

“They were trying to tell as many people as they could, but they couldn’t get it out there,” Stiles says. “And then, journalists, they were created through the schools. We had to have a degree to get into it. So now you’re sort of captive. You can’t really blow the whistle without blowing up your career. So that impacts it because nobody can tell the truth. And if you do come out, it’s a long road to getting your own reputation set up and your own income.

I’m just hoping that people, when they take that perspective, can go, ‘Wait a minute, why would we ever have trusted them?’ It’s a sacred trust, as Lippmann says. ‘The power to determine what’s important and what is not important is a power that is so great that no one has seen it since the Pope lost his hold on the secular mind.’

Stiles’ Journey

Stiles’ first foray into propaganda came in the wake of 9/11. Initially, she didn’t believe that 9/11 was a false flag operation. “I actually said to somebody, ‘Nobody credible believes that, so stop.’” But later, she ended up watching a video made by Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, and it turned out to be a life-altering decision.

“I remember I really couldn’t sleep that night,” she says. “It was about having those trusts torn down, and it’s really a betrayal, in a large sense.

Tools of the Propaganda Trade

For propaganda to be effective, there needs to be central coordination of narratives, and that’s where public relations agencies come in. I think hardly anyone really appreciates the power that these companies have.

For example, in the 1950s, the tobacco industry hired the PR company Hills+Knowlton (H+K). It devised the tobacco industry’s now-infamous playbook, which worked for almost 50 years. Classic propaganda strategies included confusing people about the facts, discrediting the opposition and sowing doubt.

H+K was also responsible for creating the Kuwaiti witness during the Iraq war. During a hearing, H+K presented an anonymous girl who testified that Iraqi soldiers were taking babies out of incubators in the hospital and throwing them onto the freezing floor. Eventually, it was revealed that she was the daughter of a Kuwaiti ambassador and the entire story was made up. It was a PR stunt designed to create outrage and support for the war effort in Iraq, and it worked.

Today, two-thirds to 80% of the content broadcast and published by corporate media comes from public relations firms, the top four being the Publicis Groupe, WPP (which recently acquired H+K), Omnicom and Interpublic.

In other words, most so-called mainstream media “news” is actually brainwashing propaganda. And, remarkably, when you add the 2022 revenues of these top four ad holding companies together, it’s still below $60 billion, which is a rather modest price to control international policy and up to 80% of the global mainstream media landscape.

How PR Companies Are Used in Politics

One of the most classic stories Stiles could find while researching her book was that of Edward Bernays discussing the use of PR in politics. Bernays, widely considered the father of public relations and propaganda, rose to prominence in the 1920s.

Facts and reason were “out,” he said. Instead, if a politician wanted to advocate for lowering the tariff on wool, for example, he was to hire a PR company to create the necessary circumstances to make lowering tariffs the solution to an apparent problem. Stiles tells the story:

“The PR guy is going to talk to prominent businessmen and get them to agree to wear cotton suits to their important events as a protest. They’re going to boycott wool. Somewhere else in the community, or in the nation at large, they’re going to get some middle-class people to protest, so they don’t seem linked together in the public’s mind.

And then somewhere else, social workers will do some surveys and interview the poor, and they’ll run a report on the plight of the poor and the suffering that entails from the high cost of wool, like they can’t buy wool blankets and they’re freezing to death.

So, you have these events being placed into the public consciousness, and that’s when the politicians are going to step in and help solve the problem. So, he’s teaching young PR professionals and he says, ‘You’re going to have to look and find out, intimately, what news feels like because you’re going to create it.’

Propaganda packaged as news is devastating to a democracy. They’re seeding the consciousness with the problems — and again, the news is highlighting those … You might think, well, what does it matter if a politician advocates for lower taxes?

But let’s say that powerful interests have overseas stakes in wool that they want to dump cheaply onto the United States, or they want to take out their competitors in the United States with cheap wool.

Now you have something really nefarious. You have powerful interests, big government, corporations, and the news manipulating to consolidate power, wealth and resources … and they’ve used this playbook over and over for the last 100 years.”

Things Are Often Not What They Seem

Another common PR tool is public protests. Many events presented as spontaneous public uprisings aren’t that at all. They’re made up by people hired by the PR agency to protest, and the media will of course be sent there to cover it.

Some of these events can be pathetically small, consisting of just a few dozen protesters, yet they’ll get massive media coverage. In contrast, real, legitimate public protests can have hundreds of thousands of people present and get virtually no media coverage at all. That’s one way to start telling them apart.

Of course, video has become one of the greatest tools of the propaganda trade. As noted by stiles, “seeing is believing.” It’s easily to manipulate how an event comes across on video, so we need to recognize the potential dangers of a visual experience. Since most newsworthy events don’t happen in our immediate vicinity, we rarely can verify the veracity of what we see on video.

RFK Jr. Says His Father and Uncle Were Fighting Against Military Industrial Complex Before Their Deaths

RFK Jr. Says His Father and Uncle Were Fighting Against Military Industrial Complex Before Their Deaths

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was recently interviewed by Piers Morgan and in the interview, he had a lot of interesting things to say about his father the late Robert  F. Kennedy, and his uncle President John F. Kennedy.

The topic of his uncle and father got brought up when Morgan asked Kennedy what impact did it have on him to lose both his uncle and father at such a young age.

Kennedy responded  “I think it had impact on the world. I think my father and uncle were fighting against the emergence of the military industrial complex.”

He continued “their deaths really marked a fork in the road for our country and the rest of the world where we started down this road  towards corporatism which I call the corrupt merger of state and corporate power.

Kennedy followed up his comment and stated the spear tip is what  “President Eisenhower warned us about four days before my uncle took office and that’s the rise of the military industrial complex which has turned America into a warfare state abroad and a surveillance state at home.”

The interview between RFK Jr. and Piers Morgan was cut short however when Kennedy started to talk about the dangers of vaccines.



Russia Won’t Play By ‘Rules’ Invented By Anyone – Putin

Russia won’t play by ‘rules’ invented by anyone – Putin

The country’s “former partners” have been “manically” destroying international law and communication channels, the Russian president has said Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks a meeting of Russia’s Council of Legislators in St. Petersburg on April 28, 2023. © Sputnik / Alexey Danichev

Moscow will not abide by the “so-called rules” invented and imposed by “certain countries,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday, as he delivered a speech at a meeting of Russia’s Council of Legislators in St. Petersburg.

Russia is currently enduring “economic aggression” from the collective West, Putin stated, urging the legislators, as well as other branches of the country’s authority, to work proactively rather than try to “wait out” this difficult period. The ultimate goal is creating a “basis for the long-term, independent, and successful development of our country,” he emphasized.

The international diplomacy system has eroded greatly as of late, with “certain countries” imposing their own “rules” instead, Putin noted. “Our partners, or, one might say, already former partners, in some countries are maniacally destroying the legal framework and channels of communication, trying to impose their views and so-called rules on everyone. What are the rules? … Nobody saw them,” he stated.

They’re writing something under the covers and they themselves are doing something with that under the covers. We are not going to crawl under the covers with them. But we’re not going to follow their rules either.

At the same time, Russia does not want to go into “self-isolation” and remains ready to cooperate fairly with “friendly countries,” Putin explained. “We will expand pragmatic, equal, mutually beneficial, exclusively partnership relations with friendly countries in Eurasia, Africa, and Latin America.”

He noted that Russia has “many like-minded people” in the countries of the collective West, including the US. “Yet, the elites behave differently. But you and I know that the elites of these countries do not always pursue a policy aimed at the best interests of their own people. This will come around to haunt them,” he warned.

Hamas newspaper: Israel will pay a heavy price in next military conflict

Hamas newspaper: Israel will pay a heavy price in next military conflict
Dalit Halevi

Arab analyst Ahmad Abu Zouhari has written that the balance of power between Israel and the "opposition axis" has changed, and Israel will pay a very heavy price in the next military conflict.

In an article in Hamas' official newspaper, Falastin, Abu Zouhari writes that Israel is currently in a fearful situation in several respects: diplomatic, security, and military, all relating to the increase in military threats and concerns that the next conflict may include multiple parallel attacks conducted from Gaza, Judea and Samaria, Lebanon, and Syria, similar to what took place during Ramadan in 2021.

According to him, faced with this situation, which may bring about a collapse of the internal front and extremely heavy damages, Israel may act to thwart the threat or reduce its influence, by reaching a quick conclusion.

Abu Zouhari suggested that Israel may attempt to do this by, among other means, initiating the first strike, eliminating senior officials, massive aerial strikes, destruction of infrastructure, and intentionally harming civilians.

Abu Zouhari emphasized that Israel will pay a very heavy price for any mistakes it makes while dealing with the "resistance organizations," since the equation of the relationship between the sides has changed since Operation Guardian of the Walls in 2021.

De-Dollarization Kicks Into High Gear

De-Dollarization Kicks Into High Gear
Pepe Escobar 

It is now established that the US dollar’s status as a global reserve currency is eroding. When corporate western media begins to attack the multipolar world’s de-dollarization narrative in earnest, you know the panic in Washington has fully set in.

The numbers: the dollar share of global reserves was 73 percent in 2001, 55 percent in 2021, and 47 percent in 2022. The key takeaway is that last year, the dollar share slid 10 times faster than the average in the past two decades.

Now it is no longer far-fetched to project a global dollar share of only 30 percent by the end of 2024, coinciding with the next US presidential election.

The defining moment – the actual trigger leading to the Fall of the Hegemon – was in February 2022, when over $300 billion in Russian foreign reserves were “frozen” by the collective west, and every other country on the planet began fearing for their own dollar stores abroad. There was some comic relief in this absurd move, though: the EU “can’t find” most of it.

Now cue to some current essential developments on the trading front.

Over 70 percent of trade deals between Russia and China now use either the ruble or the yuan, according to Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov.

Russia and India are trading oil in rupees. Less than four weeks ago, Banco Bocom BBM became the first Latin American bank to sign up as a direct participant of the Cross-Border Interbank Payment System (CIPS), which is the Chinese alternative to the western-led financial messaging system, SWIFT.

The deal between Russia and Bangladesh for the construction of the Rooppur nuclear plant will also bypass the US dollar. The first $300 million payment will be in yuan, but Russia will try to switch the next ones to rubles.

Russia and Bolivia’s bilateral trade now accepts settlements in Boliviano. That’s extremely pertinent, considering Rosatom’s drive to be a crucial part of the development of lithium deposits in Bolivia.

Notably, many of those trades involve BRICS countries – and beyond. At least 19 nations have already requested to join BRICS+, the extended version of the 21st century’s major multipolar institution, whose founding members are Brazil, Russia, India, and China, then South Africa. The foreign ministers of the original five will start discussing the modalities of accession for new members in an upcoming June summit in Capetown.

BRICS, as it stands, is already more relevant to the global economy than the G7. The latest IMF figures reveal that the existing five BRICS nations will contribute 32.1 percent to global growth, compared to the G7’s 29.9 percent.

With Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, Indonesia, and Mexico as possible new members, it is clear that key Global South players are starting to focus on the quintessential multilateral institution capable of smashing Western hegemony.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) are working in total sync as Moscow’s partnership with Riyadh in OPEC+ metastasizes into BRICS+, in parallel to the deepening Russia-Iran strategic partnership.

MbS has willfully steered Saudi Arabia toward Eurasia’s new power trio Russia-Iran-China (RIC), away from the US. The new game in West Asia is the incoming BRIICSS – featuring, remarkably, both Iran and Saudi Arabia, whose historic reconciliation was brokered by yet another BRICS heavyweight, China.

Importantly, the evolving Iran-Saudi rapprochement also implies a much closer relationship between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as a whole and the Russia-China strategic partnership.

This will translate into complementary roles – in terms of trade connectivity and payment systems – for the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC), linking Russia-Iran-India, and the China-Central-Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor, a key plank of Beijing’s ambitious, multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Today, only Brazil, with its President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva caged by the Americans and an erratic foreign policy, runs the risk of being relegated by the BRICS to the status of a secondary player.

The de-dollarization train has been propelled to high-speed status by the accumulated effects of Covid-linked supply chain chaos and collective western sanctions on Russia.

The essential point is this: The BRICS have the commodities, and the G7 controls finance. The latter can’t grow commodities, but the former can create currencies – especially when their value is linked to tangibles like gold, oil, minerals, and other natural resources.

Arguably the key swing factor is that pricing for oil and gold is already shifting to Russia, China, and West Asia.

In consequence, demand for dollar-denominated bonds is slowly but surely collapsing. Trillions of US dollars will inevitably start to go back home – shattering the dollar’s purchasing power and its exchange rate.

The fall of a weaponized currency will end up smashing the whole logic behind the US’ global network of 800+ military bases and their operating budgets.

Since mid-March, in Moscow, during the Economic Forum of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CSI) – one of the key inter-government organizations in Eurasia formed after the fall of the USSR – further integration is being actively discussed between the CSI, the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the BRICS.

Eurasian organizations coordinating the counterpunch to the current western-led system, which tramples on international law, was not by accident one of the key themes of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s speech at the UN earlier this week. It is also no accident that four member-states of the CIS – Russia and three Central Asian “stans” – founded the SCO along with China in June 2001.

The Davos/Great Reset globalist combo, for all practical purposes, declared war on oil immediately after the start of Russia’s Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine. They threatened OPEC+ to isolate Russia – or else, but failed humiliatingly. OPEC+, effectively run by Moscow-Riyadh, now rules the global oil market.

Western elites are in a panic. Especially after Lula’s bombshell on Chinese soil during his visit with Xi Jinping, when he called on the whole Global South to replace the US dollar with their own currencies in international trade.

Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank (ECB), recently told the New York-based Council of Foreign Relations – the heart of the US establishment matrix – that “geopolitical tensions between the US and China could raise inflation by 5 percent and threaten the dominance of the dollar and euro.”

The monolithic spin across western mainstream media is that BRICS economies trading normally with Russia “creates new problems for the rest of the world.” That’s utter nonsense: it only creates problems for the dollar and the euro.

The collective west is reaching Desperation Row – now timed with the astonishing announcement of a Biden-Harris US presidential ticket running again in 2024. This means that the US administration’s neo-con handlers will double down on their plan to unleash an industrial war against both Russia and China by 2025.

The petroyuan cometh

And that brings us back to de-dollarization and what will replace the hegemonic reserve currency of the world. Today, the GCC represents more than 25 percent of global oil exports (Saudi Arabia stands at 17 percent). More than 25 percent of China’s oil imports come from Riyadh. And China, predictably, is the GCC’s top trading partner.

The Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange went into business in March 2018. Any oil producer, from anywhere, can sell in Shanghai in yuan today. This means that the balance of power in the oil markets is already shifting from the US dollar to the yuan.

The catch is that most oil producers prefer not to keep large stashes of yuan; after all, everyone is still used to the petrodollar. Cue to Beijing linking crude futures in Shanghai to converting yuan into gold. And all that without touching China’s massive gold reserves.

This simple process happens via gold exchanges set up in Shanghai and Hong Kong. And not by accident, it lies at the heart of a new currency to bypass the dollar being discussed by the EAEU.

Dumping the dollar already has a mechanism: making full use of the Shanghai Energy Exchange’s future oil contracts in yuan. That’s the preferred path for the end of the petrodollar.

US global power projection is fundamentally based on controlling the global currency. Economic control underlies the Pentagon’s ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’ doctrine. Yet now, even military projection is in shambles, with Russia maintaining an unreachable advance on hypersonic missiles and Russia-China-Iran able to deploy an array of carrier-killers.

The Hegemon – clinging to a toxic cocktail of neoliberalism, sanction dementia, and widespread threats – is bleeding from within. De-dollarization is an inevitable response to system collapse. In a Sun Tzu 2.0 environment, it is no wonder the Russia-China strategic partnership exhibits no intention of interrupting the enemy when he is so busy defeating himself.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

US Arms Warplanes In Mid-East With Bunker Buster Bombs vs Iran, Syria

US arms warplanes in Mid-East with bunker buster bombs vs Iran, Syria

The US military has put 250-pound precision-guided Bunker Busting Bombs for the first time in the Middle East on its warplanes, the WST reports. The disclosure comes a day after CENTCOM head Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla toured Israeli bases on Friday, April 28.  Pentagon officials disclosed that the GBU-39/B bunker busters would be placed on the A-10-Thunderbolt assault planes deployed in the region earlier this month, as a deterrent to Iran. US warplanes are now equipped to strike the Iran-backed Shiite militias in Syria and Iraq that are constantly attacking US forces.

Each A-10 warplane can carry 16 GBU bombs. The US Middle East Air Force chief Gen. Alexis Grynkewich said: “The A-10s are highly effective at some of the things we need to do.” In fact, these warplanes are relatively slow and outdated although their targeting capacity is effective and precise.

According to the general, the new A-10 squadron represents a 50pc increase in the number of attack aircraft in the region. The upgrade will give the Warthogs more firepower than F-15 jet fighters. Washington has, moreover, also deployed to the Gulf the USS Florida nuclear submarine which carries150 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

A Torrent Of Layoffs – Here Are 16 Large Companies That Have Just Announced Mass Terminations

A torrent of layoffs – Here are 16 large companies that have just announced mass terminations

The biggest companies in the United States are giving the axe to hundreds of thousands of workers, but this should not come as a shock to any of us.  Officials at the Federal Reserve were warned over and over again that they were going to create an extremely harsh economic environment if they aggressively raised interest rates, and that is exactly what has transpired.  We haven’t seen a tsunami of layoffs like this since 2008 and 2009, and the outlook for the months ahead is extremely bleak.

(Article republished from

Many of us warned the Fed that it would be mind-numbingly stupid to push interest rates much higher just as we were entering a major economic downturn, but of course the Fed didn’t want to listen.

We were told that they are the “experts” and that they knew precisely what they were doing.

And now a nightmare scenario is playing out right in front of our eyes.

The following are 16 large companies that have just announced mass terminations…

#1 Tyson: “Tyson Foods Inc (TSN.N) will eliminate about 10% of corporate jobs and 15% of senior leadership roles, Chief Executive Donnie King told employees on Wednesday.”

#2 Lyft: “Ride-hailing app Lyft will lay off 1,072 employees, roughly 26% of its corporate workforce, and won’t hire for an additional 250 positions, the company said in an SEC filing Thursday.”

#3 Deloitte: “Deloitte will cut around 1,200 jobs or 1.5% of its U.S. workforce, the Financial Times reported on Friday, citing internal employee communications.”

#4 Gap: “Gap will lay off about 1,800 employees, more than three times as many as the 500 layoffs it announced in September, as part of a broad effort to cut costs and streamline operations, the company said Thursday.”

#5 Ernst & Young: “Ernst & Young said Monday that it would eliminate roughly 3,000 jobs from its US workforce as it pivots to address shifts in demand and “overcapacity” in sections of its business.”

#6 3M: “The manufacturing behemoth behind some consumer brands, including Post-It Notes and Scotch Tape, said it would lay off 6,000 staff around the world. Those cuts are in addition to the 2,500 manufacturing roles 3M eliminated in January.”

#7 CDW: “CDW’s bombshell announcement this week that it expects first fiscal quarter results below expectations and the apparent layoff of hundreds of its employees is a sign that moderated technology demand since the height of the pandemic is more than just a one-quarter strain for hardware, software and services businesses.”

#8 David’s Bridal: “One of the largest sellers of wedding gowns in the United States, David’s Bridal is laying off thousands of workers nationwide, according to a notice filed to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor.”

#9 DropBox: “Shares of Dropbox are trading about 5% higher today after the company said it plans to slash its global workforce by approximately 16%.”

#10 Red Hat: “Following parent company IBM announcing thousands of layoffs in 2023, Red Hat CEO Matt Hicks told employees Monday that approximately 4 percent of its global workforce will be laid off.”

#11 Opendoor: “Opendoor Technologies on Tuesday said it was cutting roughly 560 jobs, or 22% of the workforce at the online U.S. real estate firm, citing a declining housing market.”

#12 First Republic: “First Republic plans to reduce its workforce between 20% and 25% this quarter following “unprecedented” deposit outflows in the wake of Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse last month, the company said in a regulatory filing on Monday.”

#13 Walmart: “Walmart is laying off more than 2,000 workers at five US warehouses that fulfill website orders in a move that came weeks after America’s largest private employer warned it’s in for a tough year ahead.”

#14 Facebook: “A layoff notice filed with the state this week shows Facebook’s parent company Meta plans to let go 343 employees across three Manhattan offices.”

#15 Amazon: “Amazon has officially started up its most recent round of employee reductions. The company is kicking off its previously announced layoffs of ~9,000 staff by axing workers in its Amazon Web Services (AWS) and human resources sectors.”

#16 Disney: “Disney is laying off several thousand workers across the company this week in the second and largest wave of cuts as part of the media giant’s previously announced plan to slash its workforce by 7,000 employees.”

Sadly, these are not isolated examples.

According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, during the first three months of this year job cuts in the United States were 396 percent higher than they were during the same period a year ago…

Companies announced nearly 90,000 layoffs in March, a sharp step up from the previous month and a giant acceleration from a year ago, outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported Thursday.

Planned layoffs totaled 89,703 for the period, an increase of 15% from February. Year to date, job cuts have soared to 270,416, an increase of 396% from the same period a year ago.

The damage was especially bad in tech, which has announced 102,391 cuts so far in 2023. That’s a staggering increase of 38,487% from a year ago and good for 38% of all staff reductions. Tech already has cut 5% more than for all of 2022, according to the report, and is on pace to eclipse 2001, the worst year ever amid the dot-com bust.

Please take a moment to digest those numbers, because they are absolutely staggering.

This isn’t just some sort of a minor shift in the employment market.

This is a collapse.

But according to the “official numbers” that the Biden administration gives us, everything is still fine.

And they are going to keep telling you that everything is fine until it is too late.

For years, our leaders were able to temporarily prop up our failing system by flooding it with unprecedented amounts of fresh money.

But now a day of reckoning has arrived.

They can’t keep printing more money because they are terrified of more inflation, but our economy is going to crumble without artificial assistance.

Those that are running things have run out of good options, but most Americans still have faith that they will be able to find a way to pilot us out of this mess.