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Student who won Orwell youth prize for story about biased algorithm has A Level results downgraded

The Evening Standard

Jess Johnson, 18, an A-Level student who faced losing out on a GBP 16,000 scholarship when she received the A-level results dictated by the algorithm
Jess Johnson, 18, an A-Level student who faced losing out on a GBP 16,000 scholarship when she received the A-level results dictated by the algorithm ( PA )

A teenager who won an award for her dystopian short story about an algorithm that punishes poorer students was rejected from her first choice university following the A-levels results fiasco.

Jess Johnson, 18, needed an A in English to earn a place at St Andrews studying her favourite subject, along with a £16,000 scholarship, but she was downgradedby the government’s algorithm from her predicted A to a B.

Jess won the Orwell Youth Prize in 2019 for her short story A Band Apart. In the story, set in 2029, teenagers are held back from their preferred career choice due to their background.

However, with the government’s U-turn on predicted grades, Jess is now hopeful that she can get a place.

“I’ve been so stressed and anxious these past few days, waiting to hear back from universities,” Ms Johnson told The Guardian.

“We got told you can go wherever you want in life if you work hard enough, but we’ve seen this year that no matter how hard you worked, you got given a grade based on where you live.”

Among her extra-curricular work was a short story, A Band Apart.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson changed his mind on the algorithm following a backlash (PA)

“I wrote about the inequality in the education system,” she said.

“I wrote about the myth of meritocracy and it was about an algorithm that split people into bands based on the class that they were from.

“I feel like that is quite ironic, I’ve literally fallen into my own story.”

Jess, who attended Ashton Sixth Form College in Greater Manchester, said: “I blame the Government, primarily, Gavin Williamson, and Ofqual – they’ve had a lot of time to figure something out that they knew was going to be fair and they didn’t, and they haven’t done it in time.”

She added: “I feel like I’ve had my efforts taken away from me because of the place I live and the college I attend.”


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Vietnam war (explained)

South Vietnam, May 1969

Near a village, Languilli tries to chat up a local lady while his mates joke around in the deuce and a 1/2. Platoon Sergeant SFC Worcester gets him on the truck. Sgt. Frantz arrives in a jeep, the truck drives off. Frantz recounts his R&R leave with a “roundeye” nurse. Worcester teases the new guys on wearing flak jackets, he also mentions the A Shau Valley. Near another bustling village, the men disembark. Worcester tells Frantz he is getting the new guys while he has to break in a new lieutenant.

The men dig trenches in the sun and mud. The new guys are happy and joke around. Languilli makes an off-color comment about Beletsky’s wife and the two scuffle, then shake hands. Worcester and Frantz visit a brothel and enjoy a hot tub with two prostitutes. Worcester is a little tense as the four discuss the war, Frantz is cool and relaxed.

Lt. Eden has the five new troops fill out forms. Doc tours the village with two fellow African-Americans, they greet Frantz cheerfully. Rumor has it they are going back into the A Shau Valley to engage the NVA at their hilltop outposts near the Lao border. McDaniel is a short timer and would like a rear echelon posting. Doc teaches the five new guys how to brush their teeth and reams out Beletsky for being too casual.

The squad relaxes in the morning at the trenches. Worcester hints they will be going back to A Shau. Frantz tries to teach the new guys about the enemy Han, the North Vietnamese Army, and not to underestimate Mr. Nathanial Victor. Later the troop play in the water. A civie RV trailer is towed into camp, Languilli and Galvan joke with the driver.

At lunchtime, the men chat and talk about being back home. McDaniel is optimistic about returning home, Motown is pessimistic and tells a story of him going back to Detroit on emergency leave. Beletsky tries to join in the conversation but is shot down by Doc.

Languilli and Galvan plan on how to have sex with the locals. Duffy meditates when incoming rounds from enemy artillery make the men scramble for cover. As the artillery rounds shake the ground, a girl cries for her dead mother. When the enemy artillery fire ceases, Frantz calls for ceasefire. Doc cries out for a dead soldier, a new guy.

That evening, the men are at Mama San’s brothel lining up for their turns, drinking, dancing and playing cards. Doc is drunk and starts a fight with Languilli. The Italian is upset everyone calls him “alphabet”. Worcester confirms they are going back to the A Shau Valley at dawn to engage the North Vietnamese Army.

The next morning, a squadron of Huey helicopters comes to pick up the Airborne troops. They fly toward a mountainous valley. The men are tense and quiet. They jump off at the LZ and the helos fly away. It is May 10, 1969. (Day 1 of the the Battle for Hamburger Hill)

The platoon walks warily through a jungle. Firing breaks out and they hit the ground. The sergeants get them moving forward. McDaniel is killed but the enemy withdraws. Washburn is put on point. At break the men relax, reading magazines and letters, playing cards. Frantz is sad because one man was killed. Doc is angry and Motown calms him down with “It don’t mean nothin, not a thing”. Lt. Eden and the sergeants discuss their orders, they are moving out tomorrow at 0800 hours to drive the enemy off Hill 937 where they have congregated.

May 11 (Day 2). SFC Worcester keeps them moving as an observation helo cruises overhead. Enemy mortar rounds start to fall around them. American artillery pounds the hill in response. Later, a sudden rainstorm hits as the men are packing body bags. At night the new guys chat and have hot chocolate, Frantz joins them. They listen to Radio Hanoi, telling them to quit fighting. The battle continues in the distance.

A few days later, Frantz wakes them up as another platoon returns. Up the hill there is furious small arms combat. It is May 15. They fight hand-to-hand with the enemy NVA troops. Jets come in and bombard the top of the hill with a mixture of bombs and napalm. The NVA soldiers take cover in their bunkers. The platoon overruns an enemy bunker and keeps crawling up the hill. U.S. Army Hueys fly overhead and accidentally shoot down at their own troops. Lt. Eden frantically tries to radio in to stop them. More deaths. Again the jets napalm the hilltop as the platoon falls back down the hill to take a break.

Lt. Eden tries to arrange for more supply of food and water. Motown lets Beletsky use his cassette player to listen to a heartfelt audio letter from his wife Claire. Beletsky gets upset as the batteries run down and makes a racist comment and scuffles with Motown.

May 16. The fighting continues as the unit assaults Hill 937 yet again. Doc resets a dislocated shoulder and keeps the man moving. At lunch break, the men once again chat and read letters. Bienstock gets a ‘Dear John’ from his girl that she is breaking up with him on the advice of her friends who feel it is amoral to date a military serviceman.

May 17. The unit keeps moving up and facing constant gunfire. Coming back down the hill after a hard day’s work they are met by a news film crew taunting them about their failed assaults on Hill 937. Frantz angrily tells them off saying that they are going to take the hill. As the squad relaxes, they discuss black and white issues back home. Doc and Beletsky finally reach an accord. Frantz reveals a bit about himself.

May 18. The squad crawls up the hill for another assault in the pouring rain, which is now a blasted, muddy wasteland. Gaigan dies, Doc is in tears and is shot in the abdomen. The Americans struggle on the slippery slope and fall backwards in a mudslide. Later, Doc is drugged up and ready for medevac, feeling no pain, happy he’s going home.

Lt. Eden reports the CO “Black Jack” wants them to keep maneuvering aggressively, the squad is quiet and somber. SFC Worcester laments on the feelings of the people back home. He recounts when he was wounded and sent back home the previous year, he encountered some college hippies’ negativism; “Don’t mean nothing”. Worcester tells them how after he returned to his hometown, he encountered anger from people everywhere, including his own wife whom was shamelessly cheating on him because U.S. Army troops are known as “baby killers” or just “killers” by the hostile American public having been completely consumed by the anti-war movement. His alienation caused him to re-enlist for another tour of duty.

May 20. Once more the squad goes into the front lines for an all-out assault on the hill. During the fighting, the men are close enough to see the faces of the NVA soldiers returning fire. Lt. Eden is twitted by his CO to fight not talk, he then loses an arm as a mortar round lands close by. Worcester gives him a shot of morphine. The Americans charge up the hill to take out the bunkers. SFC Worcester walks in from the smoke, in a stupor and covered in blood, he dies in Frantz’ arms. In a crater, Motown is found dead. Beletsky tries to buck up a stunned Frantz. Still they move up the steep hill. Bienstock is riddled with bullets. Near the ridge line, Languilli is bayoneted by an enemy soldier and dies. Again, Frantz is stunned. The NVA soldier who kills Languilli is killed by Frantz. Beletsky rallies the platoon to keep moving. Crawling to the top, blasting the few surviving NVA solders where they are, Frantz rests and is joined by Beletsky and Washburn… the only other survivors of the squad whom have made it through. The battle is won as other American soldiers walk up and a Huey flies over the killing fields. The North Vietnamese soldiers have withdrawn. Someone posts a sign “Welcome to Hamburger Hill”. Beletsky ignores the radio call from the CO, “Red 6” requesting a sitrep.

Beletsky ignores the radio call from the CO, “Red 6″ requesting a sitrep. A disclaimer in the final shot says that 70 American soldiers were killed or later died of wounds and 372 were wounded during the 11-day battle for Hamburger Hill. 1st Platoon suffered 70% casualties during the nine assaults on the hill. Around 500 to 600 NVA soldiers were also killed during the battle. Hill …


movie opens with a still photo of 3rd Squad, 1st Platoon:

Rifleman Pvt. Vincent Languilli (Anthony Barree)

Rifleman Pvt. Ray Motown (Michael Patrick Boatman)

Rifleman/Machine gunner Pvt. David Washburn (Don Cheadle)

Radioman Pvt. Harry Murphy (Michael Dolan)

3rd Squad XO Pvt. Elliott McDaniel (Don James)

3rd Squad Leader SSgt. Adam Frantz (Dylan McDermott)

Rifleman Pvt. Paul Galvan (M.A. Nickles)

Machine gunner Pvt. Michael Duffy (Harry O’Reilly)

Rifleman/Machine gunner Pvt. Frank Gaigan (Daniel O’Shea)

Rifleman/Grenade launcher Pvt. Joseph Beletsky (Tim Quill)

Rifleman/Machine gunner Pvt. Martin Bienstock (Jimmy Swerdlow)

Medical Specialist Abraham ‘Doc’ Johnson (Courtney B. Vance)

Platoon Sgt FC Dennis Worcester (Steven Weber)

Platoon leader Lt. Terry Eden (Tegan West)

All of them from the 101st Airborne Division

A pan of the Vietnam War monument in DC segues to an American army squad in combat in Vietnam. A soldier is blown in the air, Sergeants Frantz and Worcester arrange an air evac. The wounded man dies in the helo as Doc tries to keep him conscious. A plane drops a load of white phosphorous.

The squad relaxes in the morning at the trenches. Worcester hints they will be going back to A Shau. Frantz tries to teach the new guys about the enemy Han, the North Vietnamese Army, and not to underestimate Mr. Nathanial Victor. Later the troop play in the water. A civie RV trailer is towed into camp, Languilli and Galvan joke with the driver.

At lunchtime, the men chat and talk about being back home. McDaniel is optimistic about returning home, Motown is pessimistic and tells a story of him going back to Detroit on emergency leave. Beletsky tries to join in the conversation but is shot down by Doc.

Languilli and Galvan plan on how to have sex with the locals. Duffy meditates when incoming rounds from enemy artillery make the men scramble for cover. As the artillery rounds shake the ground, a girl cries for her dead mother. When the enemy artillery fire ceases, Frantz calls for ceasefire. Doc cries out for a dead soldier, a new guy.

The next morning, a squadron of Huey helicopters comes to pick up the Airborne troops. They fly toward a mountainous valley. The men are tense and quiet. They jump off at the LZ and the helos fly away. It is May 10, 1969. (Day 1 of the the Battle for Hamburger Hill)

The platoon walks warily through a jungle. Firing breaks out and they hit the ground. The sergeants get them moving forward. McDaniel is killed but the enemy withdraws. Washburn is put on point. At break the men relax, reading magazines and letters, playing cards. Frantz is sad because one man was killed. Doc is angry and Motown calms him down with “It don’t mean nothin, not a thing”. Lt. Eden and the sergeants discuss their orders, they are moving out tomorrow at 0800 hours to drive the enemy off Hill 937 where they have congregated.

May 11 (Day 2). SFC Worcester keeps them moving as an observation helo cruises overhead. Enemy mortar rounds start to fall around them. American artillery pounds the hill in response. Later, a sudden rainstorm hits as the men are packing body bags. At night the new guys chat and have hot chocolate, Frantz joins them. They listen to Radio Hanoi, telling them to quit fighting. The battle continues in the distance.

A few days later, Frantz wakes them up as another platoon returns. Up the hill there is furious small arms combat. It is May 15. They fight hand-to-hand with the enemy NVA troops. Jets come in and bombard the top of the hill with a mixture of bombs and napalm. The NVA soldiers take cover in their bunkers. The platoon overruns an enemy bunker and keeps crawling up the hill. U.S. Army Hueys fly overhead and accidentally shoot down at their own troops. Lt. Eden frantically tries to radio in to stop them. More deaths. Again the jets napalm the hilltop as the platoon falls back down the hill to take a break.

Lt. Eden tries to arrange for more supply of food and water. Motown lets Beletsky use his cassette player to listen to a heartfelt audio letter from his wife Claire. Beletsky gets upset as the batteries run down and makes a racist comment and scuffles with Motown.

May 16. The fighting continues as the unit assaults Hill 937 yet again. Doc resets a dislocated shoulder and keeps the man moving. At lunch break, the men once again chat and read letters. Bienstock gets a ‘Dear John’ from his girl that she is breaking up with him on the advice of her friends who feel it is amoral to date a military serviceman.

May 17. The unit keeps moving up and facing constant gunfire. Coming back down the hill after a hard day’s work they are met by a news film crew taunting them about their failed assaults on Hill 937. Frantz angrily tells them off saying that they are going to take the hill. As the squad relaxes, they discuss black and white issues back home. Doc and Beletsky finally reach an accord. Frantz reveals a bit about himself.

May 18. The squad crawls up the hill for another assault in the pouring rain, which is now a blasted, muddy wasteland. Gaigan dies, Doc is in tears and is shot in the abdomen. The Americans struggle on the slippery slope and fall backwards in a mudslide. Later, Doc is drugged up and ready for medevac, feeling no pain, happy he’s going home.

Lt. Eden reports the CO “Black Jack” wants them to keep maneuvering aggressively, the squad is quiet and somber. SFC Worcester laments on the feelings of the people back home. He recounts when he was wounded and sent back home the previous year, he encountered some college hippies’ negativism; “Don’t mean nothing”. Worcester tells them how after he returned to his hometown, he encountered anger from people everywhere, including his own wife whom was shamelessly cheating on him because U.S. Army troops are known as “baby killers” or just “killers” by the hostile American public having been completely consumed by the anti-war movement. His alienation caused him to re-enlist for another tour of duty.

Beletsky ignores the radio call from the CO, “Red 6” requesting a sitrep.

A disclaimer in the final shot says that 70 American soldiers were killed or later died of wounds and 372 were wounded during the 11-day battle for Hamburger Hill. 1st Platoon suffered 70% casualties during the nine assaults on the hill. Around 500 to 600 NVA soldiers were also killed during the battle. Hill 937 was nicknamed ‘Hamburger Hill’ because enemy gunfire from the NVA defending the hill was so intense that it turned the attacking soldiers into hamburger meat. In June 1969, three weeks after winning the battle, the American soldiers departed from the A Shau Valley… allowing the North Vietnamese to return to re-occupy the hill, which marked the end of U.S. offensives into enemy territory and the start of the pullout from Vietnam.


Who benefited?


FrenchNews   /   Lebanon   /   Interviews   /   Viewpoint

Who benefited from Beirut explosions?

Tuesday, 11 August 2020 5:19 PM  [ Last Update: Tuesday, 11 August 2020 6:21 PM ] The aftermath of the August 4 explosions at the port of Lebanon’s capital Beirut. (Getty Images)

By Mark Dankof

There’s an article in the UNZ review that basically underscores my own thinking on this whole question of who is behind what happened in Beirut. The article is entitled The US, Israel, and Beirutshima.

Basically, when we start asking ourselves who benefited by the explosion that took place in Beirut, it’s very clear that it is Israel who benefits by this. And it is the United States, who in the short term benefits by this.

And when I say that I go back to the points made in this article, one is it’s clear that Israel has been trying to denude Lebanon for a very long period of time, and to destroy the very significant opposition that Hezbollah poses for Israel both in Lebanon, and in Israel’s desire to expand its own borders north, as well as the whole issue of these of the Shia Crescent between Iran and the current Alawite regime in Syria, and Hezbollah. Israel has wanted a strike at that.

And it seems that when we start looking at this whole thing geopolitically, this article that I made reference to at the UNZ review also points out the strikes at China, and China’s attempts to create what has been an incredibly successful attempt up to now at a New Silk Road trade route, which would even expand Chinese presence and Chinese effectiveness in their trade routes in the eastern Mediterranean. The United States would benefit by an interruption of that.

So we start looking at the circumstances of who benefited. It’s a situation very similar to 9/11. Once we get past the question of who did it. In terms of the immediate plot itself, we start getting into who benefited and Bibi Netanyahu put his finger on the pulse of the whole thing when he actually admitted at the time that the 9/11 attacks in New York, were “a very good thing for Israel.”

I would argue that the attack on Beirut, and I believe that this was an attack that this was, in fact, something that it is quote-unquote “very good for Israel” and very good for the pro-Israel faction in the United States which controls our government, and which is also aiming these activities at reducing a Chinese trade influence in the region.

So that’s my take on what is likely behind this. I think in the case of the Hariri assassination trial that we get into the whole question of who benefited from that assassination. I think we’re right back to the same thing so I was, I was saying about who benefited from an explosion in a Beirut. I do not believe that Hezbollah was behind the death of Hariri. I think the Zionists had every reason to want Hariri out of the way.

And it just goes even more deeply into all of their machinations in Lebanon, for many, many years including what happened in the Sabra Shatila refugee camps in 1982, and the whole issue of their fight with Hezbollah in the 2006 timeframe in Lebanon, where things did not go well for Israel in that battle. So what looks like a delay in the Hariri trial outcome based upon what happened last week and Beirut would only seem to benefit one faction in terms of keeping that whole Hariri issue on the back burner and keeping it out of public purview and public eyesight once again.

The other angle on this thing which bears greater examination is the whole issue of how this ammonium nitrate got to that warehouse to begin with, and how it was stored there, how it could possibly have been stored there for six or seven years. And in that regard, we have a vessel that was basically traveling from Georgia to Mozambique under a Moldovan flag that had a Russian captain, or a Russian ship owner, directing its passageway into what proved to be a diversion to the port of Beirut. This bears further examination in terms of that ship, in terms of the Russian who owned that ship and the company that owned that ship at that time. And the whole issue of the passageway the route that was taken, that’s had that vessel starting out from Georgia in fact, heading toward Mozambique, only to be suddenly diverted to Beirut, that the length of time that these materials were stored in that port, and who was it that then to basically control that warehouse.

These are all a part of the ongoing mystery, although I once again will say what was said in this article that I refer to that has been published by the UNZ review. I don’t think Hezbollah was stupid enough to have a facility storage facility like that in the port of Beirut where it would be absolutely vulnerable to sabotage.

 And of course, the story in the mainstream media is that Hezbollah may have had something to do with the storage of that ammonium nitrate. They’re in that facility that warehouse facility for six years. I think their leadership is smarter than that they’ve proven that up to now, and with all of the opportunities that they would have had to have hidden this place far more remote and distant locations in Lebanon than right out there in that Beirut port. I think there’s an awful lot to that aspect of the story that remains to be answered as well.

Is there a connection to Hariri assassination trial?    

Absolutely there could be a connection and I’ll give you just a couple of classic examples of how this works in American government. Clearly all of the things that disappeared in the wake of the official investigation of President John F. Kennedy’s death in this country in 1963 would be proof positive of the fact that corrupt governments work in that fashion. After all the president’s brain itself was somehow mysteriously removed from the National Archives, then you have a more recent situation, of course, involving the supposed suicide of Vince Foster the chief legal officer for President Bill Clinton at that time.

And in that particular case Foster’s supposed suicide, which a lot of questions relating to that whole issue whether or not he actually killed himself or was murdered with the body being transported to Fort Marcy Park, but then there was also a sanitizing of Foster’s office that took place before any investigators were allowed to come there where you had Maggie Williams, the chief of staff to Mrs. Hillary Clinton, who basically sealed off Foster’s office where it is known that a lot of documents and other potentially incriminating material was removed before any federal investigators were allowed access to that part of the building so that this sort of thing goes on all the time sadly enough.

And it seems to me when we start talking about this whole question of the Prime Minister of Lebanon, and all these other things related to the Hariri assassination, and a series of other machinations that may involve the current type of government in that country documents have a way of disappearing in circumstances like this, especially with the amount of public pressure that is now on the Prime Minister of Lebanon in the wake of what has happened down in this tragedy at Beirut.US, Israel main beneficiaries of Lebanon explosion: Analyst‘In terms of the political fallout, clearly, this is going to undermine the current government of Lebanon greatly.’

Mark Dankof, a former US Senate candidate, is a broadcaster and pastor in San Antonio, Texas. He recorded this article for the Press TV website. 

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unparalleled shock for energy markets

 coronavirus crisis has “cast a long shadow” over crude demand, the IEA said in its latest oil market report, as it lowered its forecasts for the first time in several months. Due to ongoing weakness in the aviation and travel sectors, the agency sees global crude demand for 2020 at 91.1M barrels per day, down 140K bpd from a previous projection and reflecting a fall of 8.1M bpd Y/Y.

The agency also revised down its 2021 global oil demand estimate by 240K barrels per day to 97.1M bpd. The report comes shortly after oil majors from BP (NYSE:BP) to Shell (RDS.ARDS.B) reported historic losses in Q2 as lockdown measures led to an unparalleled shock for energy markets.






7 August 2020 — Asia Times


Pepe Escobar

The narrative that the Beirut explosion was an exclusive consequence of negligence and corruption by the current Lebanese government is now set in stone, at least in the Atlanticist sphere.

And yet, digging deeper, we find that negligence and corruption may have been fully exploited, via sabotage, to engineer it.

Lebanon is prime John Le Carré territory. A multinational den of spies of all shades – House of Saud agents, Zionist operatives, “moderate rebel” weaponizers, Hezbollah intellectuals, debauched Arab “royalty,” self-glorified smugglers – in a context of full spectrum economic disaster afflicting a member of the Axis of Resistance, a perennial target of Israel alongside Syria and Iran.

As if this were not volcanic enough, into the tragedy stepped President Trump to muddy the – already contaminated – Eastern Mediterranean waters. Briefed by “our great generals,” Trump on Tuesday said: “According to them – they would know better than I would – but they seem to think it was an attack.”

Trump added, “it was a bomb of some kind.”

Was this incandescent remark letting the cat out of the bag by revealing classified information? Or was the President launching another non sequitur?

Trump eventually walked his comments back after the Pentagon declined to confirm his claim about what the “generals” had said and his defense secretary, Mark Esper, supported the accident explanation for the blast.

It’s yet another graphic illustration of the war engulfing the Beltway. Trump: attack. Pentagon: accident. “I don’t think anybody can say right now,” Trump said on Wednesday. “I’ve heard it both ways.”

Still, it’s worth noting a report by Iran’s Mehr News Agency that four US Navy reconnaissance planes were spotted near Beirut at the time of the blasts. Is US intel aware of what really happened all along the spectrum of possibilities?


Security at Beirut’s port – the nation’s prime economic hub – would have to be considered a top priority. But to adapt a line from Roman Polanski’s Chinatown: “Forget it, Jake. It’s Beirut.”

Those by now iconic 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate arrived in Beirut in September 2013 on board the Rhosus, a ship under Moldovan flag sailing from Batumi in Georgia to Mozambique. Rhosus ended up being impounded by Beirut’s Port State Control.

Subsequently the ship was de facto abandoned by its owner, shady businessman Igor Grechushkin, born in Russia and a resident of Cyprus, who suspiciously “lost interest” in his relatively precious cargo, not even trying to sell it, dumping style, to pay off his debts.

Grechushkin never paid his crew, who barely survived for several months before being repatriated on humanitarian grounds. The Cypriot government confirmed there was no request to Interpol from Lebanon to arrest him. The whole op feels like a cover – with the real recipients of the ammonium nitrate possibly being “moderate rebels” in Syria who use it to make IEDs and equip suicide trucks, such as the one that demolished the Al Kindi hospital in Aleppo.

The 2,750 tons – packed in 1-ton bags labeled “Nitroprill HD” – were transferred to the Hangar 12 warehouse by the quayside. What followed was an astonishing case of serial negligence.

From 2014 to 2017 letters from customs officials – a series of them – as well as proposed options to get rid of the dangerous cargo, exporting it or otherwise selling it, were simply ignored. Every time they tried to get a legal decision to dispose of the cargo, they got no answer from the Lebanese judiciary.

When Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab now proclaims, “Those responsible will pay the price,” context is absolutely essential.

Neither the prime minister nor the president nor any of the cabinet ministers knew that the ammonium nitrate was stored in Hangar 12, former Iranian diplomat Amir Mousavi, the director of the Center for Strategic Studies and International Relations in Tehran, confirms. We’re talking about a massive IED, placed mid-city.

The bureaucracy at Beirut’s port and the mafias who are actually in charge are closely linked to, among others, the al-Mostaqbal faction, which is led by former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, himself fully backed by the House of Saud.

The immensely corrupt Hariri was removed from power in October 2019 amid serious protests. His cronies “disappeared” at least $20 billion from Lebanon’s treasury – which seriously aggravated the nation’s currency crisis.

No wonder the current government – where we have Prime Minister Diab backed by Hezbollah – had not been informed about the ammonium nitrate.

Ammonium nitrate is quite stable, making it one of the safest explosives used in mining. Fire normally won’t set it off. It becomes highly explosive only if contaminated – for instance by oil – or heated to a point where it undergoes chemical changes that produce a sort of impermeable cocoon around it in which oxygen can build up to a dangerous level where an ignition can cause an explosion.

Why, after sleeping in Hangar 12 for seven years, did this pile suddenly feel an itch to explode?

So far, the prime straight to the point explanation, by Middle East expert Elijah Magnier, points to the tragedy being “sparked” – literally – by a clueless blacksmith with a blowtorch operating quite close to the unsecured ammonium nitrate. Unsecured due, once again, to negligence and corruption – or as part of an intentional “mistake” anticipating the possibility of a future blast.

This scenario, though, does not explain the initial “fireworks” explosion. And certainly does not explain what no one – at least in the West – is talking about: the deliberate fires set to an Iranian market in Ajam in the UAE, and also to a series of food/agricultural warehouses in Najaf, Iraq, immediately after the Beirut tragedy.


Lebanon – boasting assets and real estate worth trillions of dollars – is a juicy peach for global finance vultures. To grab these assets at rock bottom prices, in the middle of the New Great Depression, is simply irresistible. In parallel, the IMF vulture would embark on full shakedown mode and finally “forgive” some of Beirut’s debts as long as a harsh variation of “structural adjustment” is imposed.

Who profits, in this case, are the geopolitical and geoeconomic interests of US, Saudi Arabia and France. It’s no accident that President Macron, a dutiful Rothschild servant, arrived in Beirut Thursday to pledge Paris neocolonial “support” and all but impose, like a Viceroy, a comprehensive set of “reforms”. A Monty Python-infused dialogue, complete with heavy French accent, might have followed along these lines: “We want to buy your port.” “It’s not for sale.” “Oh, what a pity, an accident just happened.”

Already a month ago the IMF was “warning” that “implosion” in Lebanon was “accelerating.” Prime Minister Diab had to accept the proverbial “offer you can’t refuse” and thus “unlock billions of dollars in donor funds.” Or else. The non-stop run on the Lebanese currency, for over a year now, was just a – relatively polite – warning.

This is happening amid a massive global asset grab characterized in the larger context by American GDP down by almost 40%, arrays of bankruptcies, a handful of billionaires amassing unbelievable profits and too-big-to-fail megabanks duly bailed out with a tsunami of free money.

Dag Detter, a Swedish financier, and Nasser Saidi, a former Lebanese minister and central bank vice governor, suggest that the nation’s assets be placed in a national wealth fund. Juicy assets include Electricité du Liban (EDL), water utilities, airports, the MEA airline , telecom company OGERO, the Casino du Liban.

EDL, for instance, is responsible for 30% of Beirut’s budget deficit.

That’s not nearly enough for the IMF and Western mega banks. They want to gobble up the whole thing, plus a lot of real estate.

“The economic value of public real estate can be worth at least as much as GDP and often several times the value of the operational part of any portfolio,” say Detter and Saidi.


Once again, Israel is the proverbial elephant in a room now widely depicted by Western corporate media as “Lebanon’s Chernobyl.”

A scenario like the Beirut catastrophe has been linked to Israeli plans since February 2016.

Israel did admit that Hangar 12 was not a Hezbollah weapons storage unit. Yet, crucially, on the same day of the Beirut blast, and following a series of suspicious explosions in Iran and high tension in the Syria-Israeli border, Prime Minister Netanyahu tweeted , in the present tense: “We hit a cell and now we hit the dispatchers. We will do what is necessary in order to defend ourselves. I suggest to all of them, including Hezbollah, to consider this.”

That ties in with the intent, openly proclaimed late last week, to bomb Lebanese infrastructure if Hezbollah harms Israeli Defense Forces soldiers or Israeli civilians.

headline – “Beirut Blast Shockwaves Will Be Felt by Hezbollah for a Long Time” – confirms that the only thing that matters for Tel Aviv is to profit from the tragedy to demonize Hezbollah, and by association, Iran. That ties in with the US Congress “Countering Hezbollah in Lebanon’s Military Act of 2019” {S.1886}, which all but orders Beirut to expel Hezbollah from Lebanon.

And yet Israel has been strangely subdued.

Muddying the waters even more, Saudi intel – which has access to Mossad, and demonizes Hezbollah way more than Israel – steps in. All the intel ops I talked to refuse to go on the record, considering the extreme sensitivity of the subject.

Still, it must be stressed that a Saudi intel source whose stock in trade is frequent information exchanges with the Mossad, asserts that the original target was Hezbollah missiles stored in Beirut’s port. His story is that Prime Minister Netanyahu was about to take credit for the strike – following up on his tweet. But then the Mossad realized the op had turned horribly wrong and metastasized into a major catastrophe.

The problem starts with the fact this was not a Hezbollah weapons depot – as even Israel admitted. When weapons depots are blown up, there’s a primary explosion followed by several smaller explosions, something that could last for days. That’s not what happened in Beirut. The initial explosion was followed by a massive second blast – almost certainly a major chemical explosion – and then there was silence.

Thierry Meyssan, very close to Syrian intel, advances the possibility that the “attack” was carried out with an unknown weapon, a missile -– and not a nuclear bomb – tested in Syria in January 2020. (The test is shown in an attached video.) Neither Syria nor Iran ever made a reference to this unknown weapon, and I got no confirmation about its existence.

Assuming Beirut port was hit by an “unknown weapon,” President Trump may have told the truth: It was an “attack”. And that would explain why Netanyahu, contemplating the devastation in Beirut, decided that Israel would need to maintain a very low profile.


The Beirut explosion at first sight might be seen as a deadly blow against the Belt and Road Initiative, considering that China regards the connectivity between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon as the cornerstone of the Southwest Asia Belt and Road corridor.

Yet that may backfire – badly. China and Iran are already positioning themselves as the go-to investors post-blast, in sharp contrast with the IMF hit men, and as advised by Hezbollah Secretary-General Nasrallah only a few weeks ago.

Syria and Iran are in the forefront of providing aid to Lebanon. Tehran is sending an emergency hospital, food packages, medicine and medical equipment. Syria opened its borders with Lebanon, dispatched medical teams and is receiving patients from Beirut’s hospitals.

It’s always important to keep in mind that the “attack” (Trump) on Beirut’s port destroyed Lebanon’s main grain silo, apart from engineering the total destruction of the port – the nation’s key trade lifeline.

That would fit into a strategy of starving Lebanon. On the same day Lebanon became to a great extent dependent on Syria for food – as it now carries only a month’s supply of wheat – the US attacked silos in Syria.

Syria is a huge exporter of organic wheat. And that’s why the US routinely targets Syrian silos and burns its crops – attempting also to starve Syria and force Damascus, already under harsh sanctions, to spend badly needed funds to buy food.

In stark contrast to the interests of the US/France/Saudi axis, Plan A for Lebanon would be to progressively drop out of the US-France stranglehold and head straight into Belt and Road as well as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Go East, the Eurasian way. The port and even a great deal of the devastated city, in the medium term, can be quickly and professionally rebuilt by Chinese investment. The Chinese are specialists in port construction and management.

This avowedly optimistic scenario would imply a purge of the hyper-wealthy, corrupt weapons/drugs/real estate scoundrels of Lebanon’s plutocracy – which in any case scurry away to their tony Paris apartments at the first sign of trouble.

Couple that with Hezbollah’s very successful social welfare system – which I saw for myself at work last year – having a shot at winning the confidence of the impoverished middle classes and thus becoming the core of the reconstruction.

It will be a Sisyphean struggle. But compare this situation with the Empire of Chaos – which needs chaos everywhere, especially across Eurasia, to cover for the coming, Mad Max chaos inside the US.

General Wesley Clark’s notorious 7 countries in 5 years once again come to mind – and Lebanon remains one of those 7 countries. The Lebanese lira may have collapsed; most Lebanese may be completely broke; and now Beirut is semi-devastated. That may be the straw breaking the camel’s back – releasing the camel to the freedom of finally retracing its steps back to Asia along the New Silk Roads.The original source of this article is Asia TimesCopyright © Pepe Escobar, Asia Times, 2020



Beirut Blast Wrap-upIn “Lebanon”

The Assassination of Rafiq Harari: How the bomb was plantedIn “Lebanon”

VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 28 December 2013In “VTJP Palestine/Israel”Posted in: William Bowles – Essays|Tagged: ammonium nitrateBEIRUT


 Video: Dr. Judy Mikovits and the Real Plague Infecting HumanityMasks Aren’t Helpful in Beating COVID-19: Europe’s Top Health Officials 


  1. STUARTBRAMHALL REPLYReblogged this on The Most Revolutionary Act and commented:
    Ammonium nitrate is quite stable, making it one of the safest explosives used in mining. Fire normally won’t set it off. It becomes highly explosive only if contaminated – for instance by oil – or heated to a point where it undergoes chemical changes that produce a sort of impermeable cocoon around it in which oxygen can build up to a dangerous level where an ignition can cause an explosion. Why, after sleeping in Hangar 12 for seven years, did this pile suddenly feel an itch to explode?Like


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Air India flight skids off runway and breaks up


Air India plane crash lands in southern India, several passengers injured

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – An Air India plane carrying 191 passengers crashed in the southern city of Calicut on Friday and several passengers were injured, an airline spokesman and television channels said.

The plane was coming in from Dubai and it overshot the runway as it landed. “Several passengers are injured,” an Air India spokesman said.

The fuselage has split into two, local television networks said.

14 dead, 123 injured after Air India Express flight skids off runway in Kerala with 191 people on board, amd splits into two

7 Aug, 2020 15:31 / Updated 6 minutes ago © Karipur Airport official© Karipur Airport official

Follow RT onAn Air India Express passenger flight en route from Dubai with 191 people on board has overshot the runway during landing at Kerala’s Kozhikode airport. Police confirmed 14 deaths with another 123 injured.

Malappuram police superintendent Abdul Kareem confirmed the numbers to the ANI news agency. Fifteen people are said to be “seriously” injured.

Officials also confirmed that both the pilot and co-pilot perished in the crash landing.

Media reports said the plane overshot the runway, fell into a valley and broke up.

Images and video circulating on social media show the aircraft broken into two pieces with rescue operations underway.

Reporting by Mumbai and Delhi bureau; Writing by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Euan RochaOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


Poor Beirut – the grain silo now resembles Stalingrad 42 and the blast a 3.5 magnitude earthquake (sudden shock) and heard as far away as Cyprus!

(cover picture is Stalingrad in 1942)


Watch “Nine While Nine” on YouTube

Andrew Eldritch is an English singer, songwriter and musician. He is the frontman and only remaining original member of the Sisters of Mercy, a band that emerged from the British post-punk scene, transformed into a gothic rock band, and, in later years, flirted with hard rock.


Beruit yesterday experienced massive doomsday explosion

chris batchelor


RT@RT_com·BREAKING: Massive explosion rocks #Beirut, cause unknown MORE: https://on.rt.com/anjs31711.1K9.2KRT@RT_com·DEVELOPING: Explosion in #Beirut from another angle. The cause of the blast is unknown, but video footage captured the devastation wreaked on the city. MORE: https://on.rt.com/anjs

631.8K1.5KRT@RT_com·That boom at 00:27! #BeirutExplosion MORE: https://on.rt.com/anjs

409011.2KShow this thread

More Tweets

Borzou Daragahi @borzou·Stunning video shows explosions just minutes ago at Beirut port

10K281.8K387.9KShow this threadAsumsi@asumsico·Sebuah ledakan besar baru saja terjadi di Beriut, Lebanon. Sampai saat ini, sumber ledakan masih belum diketahui. Foto: AJ+1664.5K14.6KShow this threadShanaz Safira@shanazcou·Udah pernah sharing cara tau apakah suatu akun ig itu penipu. Tapi di twitter belum. Jadi ku coba sharing dimari. Barusan ku cek ig akun ini, tanda-tandanya sesuai.Quote Tweet


veru upsetting

etna@etnafst · Aug 3Dapet sponsored post ini di Instagram. Hmm.. mencurigakan ya ini lelang pegadaian dll. Cek profil, cek nomer hp. Tadaaaa~~


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Hillingdon Hospital, in west London, and the Accident and Emergency department has been placed on formal “divert” to other hospitals

Hospital serving Boris Johnson’s constituency has closed to emergency admissions due to a coronavirus outbreak.

Seventy staff members are isolated after the outbreak at Hillingdon Hospital, in west London, and the Accident and Emergency department has been placed on formal “divert” to other hospitals.

The hospital is the second to close its doors to patients following a major outbreak .

In May, Weston General Hospital in Somerset closed to new admissions for almost three weeks after more than 100 staff became infected. 

The outbreaks come amid increasing concern that the spread of coronavirus within hospitals has slowed efforts to ease Britain’s lockdown, with cases “leaking” into communities. 

Modelling by Public Health England suggests that up to nine in 10 nurses and doctors who caught Covid-19 during the peak of the pandemic picked it up in hospital. It also suggests one in five patients who got the virus became infected on wards.

Scientists have warned that a lack of physical distancing between staff – not just on wards, but also in canteens, offices, and corridors – could be fuelling the spread of disease. 

A spokesman for Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “An outbreak of Covid-19 was declared on Friday July 3, 2020. As of Tuesday July 7, 70 members of staff are now isolating, a number of whom have tested positive for Covid-19.

“As a result, the Trust has taken the precautionary decision to close Hillingdon Hospital to emergency ambulances and emergency admissions. The Trust is managing the outbreak in line with Public Health England guidance.”

The hospital serves the Prime Minister’s Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency, and Mr Johnson sent a video message to staff at the hospital to mark International Nurses’ Day in May.

He thanked them for their care when he had been “idiotic enough to get a shard of coffee pot in my foot”.


Wasp stings – what a pain !


Using sound judgment to be more self-reliant. / Home Remedies / 15 Home Remedies for Bug Bites and Stings – For Mosquito Bites & More


JULY 22, 2016 BY LAURIE NEVERMAN 67 Comments

It’s that time of year again! Along with fun in the sun, one often ends up dealing with insect bites and stings from mosquitoes, bees, wasps, spiders and all things creepy crawly.

Just this past weekend, I accidentally grabbed a yellowjacket while moving plant trays around in my cold frame. I never even saw the critter, as it was hiding under the lip of a plant tray, but within a fraction of a second I had pounding, stabbing pain shooting through my fingertip.

Close-up of bug bite

I scooted over to the garden to grab some plant medicine, and went inside to lick my wounds and share the “fun” with the folks on the Common Sense Home Facebook page.


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So many people chimed in with their own home remedies for bug bites and stings that I decided to put together a post to share them all, plus some tips of my own.

Contents [Hide]


Note: Most of the time I simply use the remedies that are applied directly to the bite/sting, but taking oral diphenhydramine in addition to topical treatment may be helpful for severe reactions.

Susan B. says, “First, you have a lot of nerves and some pretty good blood pressure dedicated to your fingers. Try elevating your hand with your hand wrapped around an ice pack (just icing the finger probably won’t help and may actually make it feel worse… ice pack in hand works better).

I am allergic. I ALWAYS take Benadryl (diphenhydramine) if stung by anything. But even if you aren’t, it will reduce the histamine reaction caused by the sting and it will help with the pain and swelling.”


Common Plantain and narrowleaf plantain are excellent for soothing bites and stings of all sorts. Simply find a leaf, chew it up (or otherwise mash it to release the juices), and apply it to the affected area.

Alternatively, you can infuse the leaves in oil and use the oil for treating larger areas, or make it into a salve for portability.

I used fresh plantain leaf on my yellowjacket sting, and I’ve used the infused oil on my backside when it got covered in mosquito bites. I keep a small container of the salve in my purse.

Tina Jo uses sage to treat bug bites in a similar manner.

One thing I’ve used that works well for me is sage. The method is just like the one for plantain. Get a leaf, chew or mash it up, and apply. Dried sage works as well, crushed up, though it will have to be remoisturized in some fashion.

For myself (and my family), I just spit on it enough to make a paste. Mixing it with water works too, but, personally, I think saliva works better.


Collage of home remedies for bug bites and stings

Laurie G. says, “Lavender EO is the best! No pain, no itch. After owning a lavender/herb farm, yellow jacket stings happened frequently! Put one drop on bee/mosquito or any other bite or burn.” 

Modern Essentials:  A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils also suggests the use of basilclovetea tree and lemon essential oils as topical treatments for insect bites and stings, and as deterrents to bug bites when diffused in a carrier oil and applied to the skin.


Bobby L. says, “Plain old unscented ammonia. It’s the best sting reliever in the world!”  Patricia W. agrees. “Get some ammonia on it ASAP. It will negate the venom. Even Windex with ammonia will do in a pinch.”

#5 – SUGAR

Rhiannon M. shared, “My daughter was stung on her foot while we were camping. Another camper brought her a damp paper towel with a mushed up sugar cube on it and that took the sting away as soon as it was applied.

After holding it on for about 10 minutes she could take it off and there was no sting. A few weeks later I was stung and tried the same thing, worked like a charm.”


Missi Z. recommends, “Put a copper penny on it. Worked for me, and I’m allergic.”


Lisa G. says, “Make a paste of baking soda and water. It will draw out the poison and take away the pain.”

Jo S. remembers, “I got stung by one in elementary school. It was “hat day” so of course the little bugger got up under my hat. Never cried so hard in my life, it hurt like hell! I do hear that baking soda will ease the pain.”


Hilary S. commented,  “Activated charcoal works wonders!”  CharcoalRemedies.com has a whole page of testimonials from people who have successfully used charcoal to treat stings from hornets, yellowjackets and honey bees, such as this one:

“My oldest daughter got into a wasps nest and had over 35 stings on her legs, by the time I got her home (5 to 10 minute trip) her legs had swelled and welts had formed all over her legs, she couldn’t walk.

We slathered her down with a charcoal paste out in the sun and let it dry, and then rinsed it and slathered her down again, after the second time when we rinsed her legs off there was no swelling and no welts could be seen.”- Marianne, 6/06


Pamela S. agreed that getting stung on your fingers was a bad idea, and getting stung other places didn’t feel any better.

“Another tip…while bending over weeding or pruning always keep an eye on your rear end…OUCH! If by chance you have meat tenderizer…make a paste with a little water and apply and hold on. It neutralizes the venom.”

Close-up of bug bite


Gardenhappy Gardenhappyacres suggests, “Onion poultice – the pain gone the minute it touches the sting area!”

To make an onion poultice, chop your onion finely and cook with a little water until tender (not brown). Wrap warm onion in cheesecloth, medical wrap or flour sack towel and apply to affected area.

Roxanna says that she use just plain, chopped onion for stings, especially yellowjacket stings. “People are stunned at how well this instantly reduces swelling! (: “


Liz M. shares her favorite remedy for sting:  “Pulverize Epsom salts and honey together to make a thick paste. Rub it on and leave it. When it wears off, repeat as needed until the swelling goes down.”


John S.mentions, “We always used tobacco dip to pull out the sting. ”  The folks on the Georgia Outdoor News Forum concur, citing the use of tobacco juice and wet tobacco on bites and stings to take away the itch and burn.


Starla on MyHomeRemedies.com recommends mixing a crushed aspirin with enough water to form a paste and applying it to the sting or bite to reduce pain and swelling.

Duncan with feet in mud

#14 – MUD

Lin from Yellow Springs, Ohio recommends mud on Earth Clinic: “Mud has cured my family’s external bee stings for over 35 years. Wherever you are, there is mud, all you need is a little water. Just make a paste and slap it on.

I’ve used it for a one year old baby whose piercing screams stopped within seconds, for a panicked customer in a store to our dog’s paw just yesterday. The mud does it all, draws out the stinger and the poison – fast.

Leave on from 2-20 min. Rinse off, then wash with soap and water. Relax and have a glass of water.”


From Auntie Maime on the Common Sense Home Facebook page: “Many, many moons ago, when I was a girl, we had an apple tree that we were able to share with an Amish family. While helping them pick, I was stung by a couple of yellow jackets.

The young mother saw and told me to quickly get a potato, cut it, and hold it on the stings. It worked! Takes the pain out and holds down the swelling. Used it ever since if tobacco and baking soda were not handy. Used it just a month ago for a wasp sting.”

Links to purchase items in the post:

With all these options, you should be able to come up with a quick fix for bites and strings wherever you are.

Which remedy do you prefer, and are there ones that I have missed? Let me know, and don’t forget to Pin, Share or otherwise pass along this post. Thank you!

P.S. – With the combination of plantain, ice and Benedryl, the worst of the pain subsided in a matter of minutes, and the next day I couldn’t even tell where I’d been stung.


For fire ant bites, Ike recommends, “household bleach, immediately, or as soon as possible. Use a q-tip to apply it to the bite. The fire ant bite contains formic acid, and bleach is an anti acid.”

Sheila likes living clay. She notes,”My favorite all around fix for bites and stings is “living” clay, sprinkled on as powder or mixed with water into a paste. Taken internally and/or used externally, it’s amazing how well it works.

It’s a wonder product that has replaced most other options for me, my family and pets… I try it first & rarely need go to anything more. Try it.”

(They carry Living Clay Detox Clay Powder 16 oz. All Natural Calcium Bentonite Clay on Amazon.com.)

Linda noted on Facebook, “A hot compress applied several times stops the sting. Some people heat up a spoon and apply to bite.

Two of us got bit by a hornet. I applied hot cloth and other person used an ice pack. Mine stopped swelling and stinging within minutes and I am allergic.”

You may also enjoy:

Originally published June 2013, updated 2016.


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  1. Esther Bishop saysJune 4, 2013 at 3:11 pmI would like to subscribe to this website. Thanks.. Here’s a remedy for bee or wasp stings. Wash area with rubbing achocol Then tape a copper penny to the area and let it stay there for about 3 hours. It will take the swelling and redness away from the affected area.REPLY
  2. Nancy Burke saysJune 5, 2013 at 9:51 amI love these tips. Tks. So much natural is my thing,,,,,,,,REPLY
  3. sheila saysJune 5, 2013 at 11:15 amall of these work for better or worse, try what’s easy ready & calls to you. My favorite all around fix for hundreds of uses as well as bites and stings is “living” clay, sprinkled on as powder or mixed with water into a paste. Taken internally &/or used externally it’s amazing how well it works. A wonder product that has replaced most other options for me & my family & pets…I try it first & rarely need go to anything more.Try it.REPLY
  4. Roxanna Lloyd saysJune 5, 2013 at 5:16 pmI been using just plain ,chopped onion, for years for stings. No cooking required! Especially awesome for yellowjacket stings.. People r stunned at how well this instantly reduces swelling! (:REPLY
  5. Lisa Brooks saysJune 5, 2013 at 6:00 pmWhen you get bit a mosquito, put honey on it and cover with a bandaid, before you start scratching it. It will not start itching, and in about 8 hours you can take the bandaid off and can’t even tell you got bit.REPLY
  6. Kathryn saysJune 6, 2013 at 9:10 amThese are great remedies. There is another option, tho it won’t fall under the category of “natural.”There is a great product out there used by massage therapist called “BioFreeze.” I used to use it when i first began working with people, but then learned about parabens and propylene glycol. At that time BioFreeze contained these things. So i stopped using it, but had learned how wonderful it is for the itching and inflammation of bites and stings, especially mosquito bites..BioFreeze has reformulated so it no longer contains the bad stuff. I got a sting on my neck yesterday, and applied the BioFreeze twice. Can’t find it at all today, and i generally have severe reactions to stings. I don’t sell the stuff, btw.I’m all for natural remedies, that is all we use at home. But yesterday i didn’t have any natural remedies available and i’m so thankful this stuff works!REPLY
  7. Judy @Savoring Today saysJune 11, 2013 at 3:14 pmHi Laurie, thanks for stopping by and commenting at Savoring Today. I’m sharing your bug bite remedy on FB today too!REPLY
  8. Holly saysJune 12, 2013 at 12:04 pmI just love this site, I tell people about it all the time, if I wanted to make a spray that would work to use before going outside I would like to do the essential oils, how would I do a spray made of Hmm!! my favorites, Lavender, tea tree oil, citronella, how would I figure out what amounts to use in a small spray bottle, I assume I would mix them with water??? or is there something else to mix with? could someone please help me in this, I am kind of new to using the oils, but discovered tea tree oil accidentally in a magazine and swear by it, since I started using it in my laundry no one in my house gets sick any more. if someone could help me with the mixture it would be greatly appreciated, we have discovered that my oldest son is quite allergic to mosquitoes. 🙂REPLY
    • CommonSenseIdea saysJune 12, 2013 at 10:37 pmTo apply the EOs to the skin, I’d dilute them in a carrier oil like olive or fractionated coconut oil. There are more ideas in the post https://commonsensehome.com/natural-mosquito-repellents/.REPLY
    • Betty saysMay 25, 2015 at 8:32 amPeppermint oil is good for keeping bugs off of a person to begin with. They don’t like the smell. I use it as a bug spray around the windows and base boards. You can mixed the peppermint with vinegar for the spray. A roll on bottle of peppermint is good to have when you are going to be working outside. Rolaids they say is good for stings but I put lavender oil on my sting and the burning went away right away. I don’t know what stung me, as I just laid my hand on the hand rail and it got me. My daughter used peroxide and a spray but it still was burning and my other daughter, who is into oil, told me to use lavender oil and it stopped the pain.REPLY
  9. Tina Jo saysJune 13, 2013 at 7:34 pmOne thing I’ve used that works well for me is sage. The method is just like the one for plantain. Get a leaf, chew or mash it up, and apply. Dried sage works as well, crushed up, though it will have to be remoisturized in some fashion. For myself (and my family), I just spit on it enough to make a paste. Mixing it with water works too, but, personally, I think saliva works better.Great article!REPLY
  10. Gayle saysJune 14, 2013 at 7:03 pmMany of the folk or homemade remedies work.. prefer not using MUD… in fact advise against it….
    I think all probably work, my favorite as school nurse was meat tenderizer, fairly fresh… I got new bottles each semester… Use it at home and it works on most bites.. Spider however may need attn other than just getting rid of pain.. antihistamines… don’t scratch…..REPLY
    • Wendy Campbell saysSeptember 19, 2016 at 5:56 pmWhat if u can’t use antihistamines. I got stung by scorpio 3times same one he liked me. Didn’t know what to do this was almost 2wks ago still itchin, does it mean there’s still venom still in there was put on Prednisone didn’t help.REPLY
      • Laurie Neverman saysSeptember 19, 2016 at 8:45 pmhttps://myhealth.alberta.ca/ recommends”Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:You have signs of infection, such as:Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness around the bite or sting.
        Red streaks leading from the area.
        Pus draining from the area.
        A fever.You get a blister or sore at the bite or sting area, or the area turns purple.If it’s just itching, that could simply mean that it’s taking time to heal. Try any of the topical remedies, including ice. Plantain is generally very good for pain and itching.Please see a trained healthcare provider if pain is severe or intended.REPLY
  11. Tina Jo saysJune 16, 2013 at 6:33 pmAfter a night out with some friends, my son, age 8, got eaten alive by the mosquitoes. (Poor kid is too sweet like his mama) Unfortunately, my sage isn’t big enough to harvest just yet (see previous comment), but I had some Bentonite clay in my cupboard. I whipped up a little paste with some water and a couple drops of lavender EO and no more itching. At least that’s what he tells me.REPLY
  12. Heidi saysAugust 13, 2013 at 11:04 pmI have used mud on my bee stings and my kids bee stings for years! If only more people knew about it. It seems no one does and it works soooo fast! You forget you ever got stung almost instantly. My kids stop crying within moments. I’ve seen my friends’s kids not be able to go to school because their foot was so swollen from a bee sting. Mud is the fastest cure!!!!REPLY
  13. Jessica saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 2:23 amYou need Bentonite in this list!
    My 6 year old was recently bit by a Brown Recluse.
    I mixed a tiny bit of water with a little Bentonite powder; turned it into a paste, dabbed it on the bite itself and covered it up. Left it alone for about 5 hours. It was much better, especially by morning. I had to use warm water for the gauze to come off. This Bentonite made the bite OOZ! Which is perfect! That’s what we wanted. The redness and swelling went dowm, the bite itself looked better. I was so relieved.
    But the next day my son was knocked over by a BEEFY weimaranar (almost the size of a great dane) he screamed in agony. He calmed down, we ate dinner (this was a birthday party) but then he started quietly crying that it hurt really bad. It was horrible just taking off the medical tape that was around it! But then it was frightening to see the bite so pissed off! I held off on the ER visit, even though everyone was saying over and over and over “You need to take him!” I was very concerned but I know what the outcomes would be for an ER visit (I won’t go there)
    So we all went home, and I immediately attended to his knee, in peace. I was prepared to take him into the ER if it was to get ANY worse or if he was to start running a fever. But, I just kept changing the gauze every 4 to 5 hours maybe.
    Before Id cover it back up; Id put him in the bath tub with warm water and baby soap. Sometimes we’d take the gauze off in the water so the clay would soften up and release the gauze from the wound. After the bath, we’d let it air for about 45-60minutes. During this break, Id dab Peroxide on it, let it dry, and then spray the Bactine on it every 15 minutes while we watched a movie or something that got us sitting still. The progress wasn’t as fast as the first day of Bentonite (before the dog tackled him). But we kept this all up, and after contemplating it for a few days; today I decided to apply the ‘triple antibiotic cream’ but only around the bite, not on it. That seemed to have helped. The pain was subsiding, and he was beginning to get rowdy again. So his step dad actually got the bright idea for him to be his ‘partner’ in a video game. Brilliant! We do not allow a whole lot of TV or video games here. So my son was very interested and willing to help him kill the monsters. HA worked like a charm. Its hard keeping kids cooped up and calm, even when they have something painful. But tonight, we stayed up later again cleaning it, airing it out. And its looking GREAT 🙂 Hopefully he doesn’t fall on it again. I heard brown recluse bites can take 3 weeks to heal. Its been about a week now since he got bit. I found the spider under his bed. He is dead now, was definitely an adult. That same night I killed two baby ones. Doing so much research on them, found out people kill them all the time in their houses and don’t even know their dangerous, just not aggressive. They hold their title while living with us.REPLY
    • Jessica saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 2:43 amBentonite is some sort of lava ash for Wyoming I believe…? It’s great for insect bites, acne, and your digestive system, and it’s an antiseptic… ? I do know it’s not hard to get, only on weekends! When all the natural, health, vitamin stores are closed, I happen to meet a stranger who had a pack. Would love to try it for poison ivy! Since there is barely anything that help it. This could very likely cure it! It may not be a home remedy, but it’s definitely a must have. And have you heard of LIMU juice!? I’ve just been introduced to it; still don’t know everything about it. But it’s probably not as easy as Kombucha.REPLY
      • CommonSenseIdea saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 9:49 amI’ve not heard of LIMU juice before. Is it fermented?REPLY
      • Betty saysMay 25, 2015 at 8:45 amFels-Naptha soap will kill poison ivy. Just wet down the soap. (I usually cut a small chunk from the bar and keep it in a plastic bag.) Wet the small piece down with warm water and rub on the rash, and let dry. I think I get it if I look at it but this always helps me. I always try to keep a bar in the house for this but sometimes forget to restock after making my laundry soap. Before you get the poison, if you have been working in it, wash as soon as you get done and then you might not even get it.REPLY
        • Carol saysMay 31, 2015 at 3:36 amFels naptha is toxic. I used to use it too, for poison oak, but then discovered that it contains napthalene, a toxic ingredient, as well as other ingredients that are not good for you. When there are other, non toxic and even healthy remedies, I just can’t use things that have harmful ingredients!REPLY
          • Laurie Neverman saysMay 31, 2015 at 12:46 pmFels naptha does not contain napthelene, or even naptha- http://www.livestrong.com/article/176905-information-on-fels-naptha-soap/“Naphtha is the name for a petroleum derived solvent, and includes such solvents as gasoline and kerosene. Originally Fels-Naptha contained benzene, another name for naphtha, which dissolves oil and so is very useful for oily stains. This ingredient is what made Fels-Naptha such a success, making it possible for homemakers to get their laundry cleaner with less effort. However, Fels-Naptha no longer contains benzene.”It does contain titanium dioxide, which is also used in natural sunblocks. Titanium dioxide can contaminate waterways. The other surfactants in the soap can cause skin irritation with prolonged exposure.
          • Carol L saysJuly 24, 2016 at 3:10 pmI have been to the EWG website, and you are correct: it no longer contains naptha, but it does have MANY toxic ingredients go here for a complete list:http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/441-FelsNapthaHeavyDutyLaundryBarSoap
    • CommonSenseIdea saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 9:54 amThank you so much for sharing your experience and I’m so glad that you were able to heal the bite. Looks like I need to learn more about bentonite!REPLY
      • Jessica saysSeptember 18, 2013 at 2:05 amI think it may be fermented. But I could be wrong, I have yet to learn more about it. I will be in contact with this lady (that drinks a bottle a day) then hope to use what I learn, then to pass around what we do and know. I love to learn and share, but really just want to help, even if its just one person, but the bigger the awareness the better.. There is always someone out there with the same problem looking for a solution. Did you know hedge apples make an excellent spider repellent? Happen to be able to get some from a neighbors tree. Be gone brown recluses!REPLY
        • CommonSenseIdea saysSeptember 18, 2013 at 11:14 amI’ve heard of the hedge apple/spider repellent use, but don’t have access to any here. Have you tried it, or just heard about it?REPLY
          • Jessica saysSeptember 18, 2013 at 2:43 pmOkay, I just remembered there was a HUGE spider outside on our patio. I got really close to him yesterday a few time just to check him out. So I figured this could be the test. So I just carried the hedge apple out there with me thinking I would have to place it down by him and watch but I got not even 2 feet away and he BOLTED!!! That was the creepiest thing! I’ve NEVER seen a spider react like that, wow. Gotta be the best spider relent ever, has no smell to it, unless you cook it, so I’ve heard.and that Bentonite does work very well. I just rubbed the last application off with Neosporin. It takes a while to rub off. It becomes hard to get off the wound, only to re-apply lol. Now I was thinking, that, if the Bentonite was recommended being mixed with Goldenseal (I did not get Goldenseal, I don’t even know what it is) maybe the Bentonite clay wouldn’t be so tough to remove from the wound. =[ Just a thought.
          • CommonSenseIdea saysSeptember 18, 2013 at 10:37 pmPicturing bolting spider. 🙂Maybe one could soak off the clay?
        • Betty saysMay 25, 2015 at 8:48 amI put some hedge apples in the corners of my rooms and tiny spiders made their web over and around them so I haven’t used them since. Is there something you have to do to them first?REPLY
    • angie saysMay 25, 2014 at 6:09 amBrown Recluse bites are very dangerous. I have the scar from one and my friend almost lost their finger from one (and spent 2 wks in hospital). We now have a remedy for them. Black walnut hull powder.. It is used internally for parasite removal but a ND told us to use it as a paste to remove poison from spider bites. We mixed it with natures sunshine black salve to make a paste but anything that makes it into a paste will work.. It has to be changed every couple of hours or it will stick and pull a scab off. keep covered because it stains… The brown recluse bite with black walnut paste immediately on it
      does not ooze and swell and one bite that wasn’t doctored right away and had red streaks already up the leg reduced the red streaks (poison) and the swelling..heals in a weak….we now keep frontiers black walnut hull powder in a mason jar for all spider bites and tick bites.We keep plain white aspirin (DOLLAR STORE type , not coated) bottles in all our vehicles and the sheds on our farm for bee/ wasp stings. Used as a paste made with spit or water, it stops the swelling immediately and leaves no mark. we used it on diabetic who stuck their hand in a nest in a door wreath and was stung at least 30 times all over the hand and arm. We rubbed a thin paste all over the hand and arm and by the time she got to emergency room all bite places and swellings were gone (except one in between the fingers which we missed with the paste)..we also keep “jewelweed” (wild impatien that grows in wetlands and creek banks) in our freezer in ice cube trays. when the leaves/stems are crushed and smeared on ant bites, mosquito bites or poison ivy/oak, it neutralizes the poison and no whelps or rash will occur. it only works on these poisons tho.. we tried on other insect bites and it has no effect. we covered a foot bit by dozens of fire ants and no bites were visible an hour later. Jewelweed can be identified by it delicate tiny orange flowers in fall. prior to flowering the leaves if placed under water “glitter” like a jewel on the back side (silvery) Usually grows where elderberry does in the south.Hope this helps someone…REPLY
  14. Cherilyn Royall saysFebruary 8, 2014 at 1:50 amI am in Mauritius for a few months, as soon as I arrived I was stung by Yellow fly if anyone has heard of this, it is twice the size of a wasp, which I hasten to add I am allergic to, I have to carry an EPIPEN …….I go unconscious……..I screamed out loud the pain was so intense, friends came running with an onion, they laid it on the bite, the pain which was horrific, by doing this the pain subsided straight away, and went within seconds, I could not believe it, this pain I endured went right into my bone on my wrist, so if this can help anybody I thoroughly would RECCOMEND this. just amazing.REPLY
  15. jan saysMarch 11, 2014 at 7:26 amI use Vicks vapor rub on all insect bites and on my feet with socks after a long time standing at work, softens them nicely too!!!!REPLY
  16. Robyn Rollins saysMarch 11, 2014 at 11:00 amI can’t print anything off of my tablet is the a way for you to send this to me?REPLY
  17. Lyn Smith saysMarch 29, 2014 at 9:23 pmGreat list! I have tried many of these remedies and they work. So glad to have more remedies to add to my arsenal as spring and summer are near. One more I’d like to add is hot water. Run “as hot as you can stand” water over the bite. The heat breaks down the poison and then the body has nothing to react to. I have personally used this on wasp and scorpion stings. It took about 5 minutes of hot water running over it and they disappeared! You never know what you may come in contact with or what you’ll have on hand. It’s nice to have options, thanks again!REPLY
  18. Shannon saysJune 29, 2014 at 8:45 amI find that apple cider vinegar provides almost instantaneous relief.REPLY
  19. Cheryl Williams saysJuly 11, 2014 at 11:24 amI don’t understand why Tea Tree Oil is not mentioned! I use it immediately for anything from wasp stings to mosquito bites and it works IMMEDIATELY! Since it is antiviral, antibiotic, antifungal, …and what ever it would be termed to be considered “anti-venomous” (at least the bug venoms), Tea Tree Oil should be at the TOP of the list! Some how it neutralizes the venom from the insect and even though it may take more than one application depending on how much venom has been released, there is NO doubt it works! I don’t go for anything else because it works every time and very well… usually the incident is even forgotten within minutes.REPLY
  20. John Board saysJuly 17, 2014 at 6:19 pmI was at my brother’s Apiary in Northern Ontario and his wife showed me a pamphlet on urine therapy as we were chatting about an Indian Prime minister who drank a bit every day for good health. I got stung by a mosquito and it was itchy and hurt. I went into the bathroom and put a few drops of urine on a wad of toilet paper and dabbed the bite. In minutes the pain and itch disappeared and I thought what a simple thing to do and remember when camping or away from handy remedies.REPLY
  21. Jesse Smith saysAugust 20, 2014 at 3:14 pmI have Red Bugs all over my arms, chest and back. I have run the gambit on trying everything to get rid of these creatures I mean everything! nothing seems to work, the only thing I haven’t tried yet is gasoline and an ice pick, believe me I have consided it. I have never experienced anything like this in my life. Poison Ivy you can’t hold a candle to Red Bugs. Anyone got a cure?REPLY
    • Laurie Neverman saysAugust 20, 2014 at 9:57 pmThankfully I’ve never experienced them. Boys’ Life recommends:Chigger wounds are a complex mixture of mechanical damage to the skin (the drilling), enzymatic disruption of the skin (the digestion), and your body’s own attempt to get rid of the parasite. Consequently, the most important thing to do is to prevent chigger infestation. Avoid camping in warm, moist temperate climates of high mammal density, including livestock pastures, natural parks and preserves.If the area is infested, get out of there quickly and wash your skin vigorously with soap and water. Itching is best alleviated through the use of topical corticosteroids (either over-the-counter hydrocortisone 1% ointment or prescription strength from your physician) and anti-histamines like Benadryl. Watch out for severe rashes that can become secondarily infected with bacteria; in these cases, consult a doctor immediately.REPLY
  22. Craig saysNovember 9, 2014 at 11:11 amHi
    Do you a book on these natural cures.REPLY
  23. Joyce saysMay 30, 2015 at 8:33 pmI found your article is interesting until you said to take benedryl. I also am allergic but i am also allergic to benedryl ! I think that you should have said that if possible take benedryl. or something of the like so that people would not think that that is the only thing that works. I use Pau D’Arco for spider bites, Tea Tree oil for others it even works great for bug bites or stings on a joint. for itching i use Redmond clay it also works great. joyceREPLY
  24. Vaniece saysJuly 9, 2015 at 12:20 amI have made a paste with olive oil and cloves, Its numbs the sting and draws the poison out, leave on 10-20 minutes. Also witch hazel works well, I always keep some in a spray bottle, cleans the sting or bite, stops the stinging and stops the itching. These can be use with any insect sting or bite.REPLY
  25. Sushma saysMay 27, 2016 at 10:06 pmWonderful tips….thanks for sharing….!
    Recently a street pup bit my grown up daughter ,24yrs old. She had gone out to feed it as it was trying to eat up its own right paw as that leg seemed to b paralysed….another pup came there to have share food of that injured pup. My girl turned back to shoo away that pup so that this one could eat..but this one bit her only… She washed the wound squeezing blood out n applied ACV n then again washed n applied dettol…I took her to doc ,who gave turns n asked to buy anti rabies vaccine n get injection.. this happened early morning at 4am….by 5-6pm I sent that pup to an local NGO..in the morning they informed me it died…. Now they are saying symptoms are of Rabies…n dog was rabid… vaccine was given to her with in 7 hrs b of bite…I m terrified….REPLY
  26. Ike saysJuly 23, 2016 at 9:25 pmfire ants… household bleach, immediately, or as soon as possible. On a q-tip applied to the bite. the bite is formic acid, bleach is an anti acid.REPLY
  27. Carol L saysJuly 24, 2016 at 2:54 pmThis isn’t specific for insect bites, but as it IMMEDIATELY cleared up a poison oak rash(on my face!) in just a few hours, (I’m highly allergic) I felt it is useful enough to repeat here.
    I made a paste out of bentonite clay, Act. Charcoal, oatmeal powder, turmeric, a few drops of Tea tree EO, a few drops of frankincense EO, and ACV & water, smeared it on and left it for 30 minutes. (let it dry) I then washed it off, and although it looked better, repeated the process twice more. This was a miracle and a total success for getting rid of the rash and itch! (Just FYI, it will turn GREEN! ….funny!)
    I just made sure all the ingredients were powder, added in the E.O.’s and liquid ingredients, just enough to make a paste to apply.
    I have written up the recipe for keeping and will try it on ANYthing that has a rash or itch to it. I am AMAZED by this simple remedy.REPLY


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Sirte in headlines again this small documentary shows how this bland urban area shattered and forlorn like any other area in Syria,Iraq,Yemen since jihadis took over from communists as being our new Enemy in 1990


Turkish troops arrive in Azerbaijan

Turkish troops arrive in Azerbaijan for joint exercises in message to Armenia

By News Desk -2020-07-280

BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:30 P.M.) – The Turkish forces arrived in Azerbaijan on Tuesday to participate in joint military exercises between the two countries, after days of escalation between the Armenian and Azerbaijani armies in the Karabakh region.

A ceremony was held to receive the Turkish soldiers at the Umit Bridge at the Sidirik border crossing of the Republic of Nakhchivan, after the Turkish force arrived in Baku with a Turkish Air Force plane.

The ceremony included the playing of the Turkish and Azerbaijani national anthems, after which Turkish soldiers were stationed in the military units in the capital, Baku and Nakhchivan.

On July 29, the Turkish and Azerbaijani armed forces will begin comprehensive military exercises in Azerbaijan, which will last for 13 days.

The exercises will include tests of warplane readiness between the two countries, and include the regions of Baku, the capital, Nakhchivan, Kanjeh, Kordimir, and Yulakh.

Also during the maneuvers, the readiness of the forces will be tested on the implementation of military command orders, and the firing from armored vehicles, artillery and mortars “at hypothetical enemy targets”

Simultaneously, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu said that Armenia had taken advantage of the coronavirus outbreak to launch its latest attacks against Azerbaijani lands.

The Turkish minister, on Tuesday, during a participation in an event on the environment through video conferencing technology, explained that health systems and economies are in a difficult situation due to the coronavirus epidemic, and that racist tendencies and discrimination have increased.

“We can also benefit from the period of fighting the epidemic for dialogue and peace. The conflict in Afghanistan is an example of this, as we renew our call to all parties to stop hostilities and focus on fighting the epidemic.”ALSO READ  Yemeni groups call for Turkish military intervention

He added: “And at a time when everyone is waiting for the clashes to stop during the epidemic period, and to benefit from them for dialogue and peace, Armenia will act in a manner that contradicts this and by using the epidemic period through its recent attacks on Azerbaijani lands.”

Cavusoglu had previously warned Armenia against attacking the Azeri forces, vowing to help the latter if they request support

The Turkish minister proudly pointed out that “Armenia, through its attacks, wants to deflect attention from the lands it occupies, and seeks to form new conflict areas, and does not accept any solution.”

He stressed that “his country will provide the necessary support to Azerbaijan, and will stand by its side with all capabilities in order to preserve the territorial integrity of its lands.”

where to now Libya or Azerbeijan??

‘Sex? Yes please…’ say sexy Brits

Now this didn’t happen burning a bra in some wild corner of scandanavia,this happened on London’s Oxford street, a man outraged by 30 years of anti-worker,corporate laws burnt his underpants and the rest of his city clobber and strode defiantly wearing his mask covering his manhood.

‘Why should women have all the fun!’ he cried striding towards centre point shocking commuters and early morning shoppers alike

‘I think it’s disgusting’ said Mrs Rendell-Brown from Whitechapel ‘ e’s no gentleman walking down the street like that’

‘Should be locked up’ a largish Nigerian lady screamed,’I never expected this in England’ she remonstrated (after fainting)

‘Wild’ said Susan Smith commuting from Stevenage.

Shoppers on London’s Oxford Street were stunned to spot a man walking by wearing nothing but a mask, which he had positioned as an undergarment. The stunt came on the same day face coverings became mandatory in shops in England.

‘Get yerself some underpants!!’ a taxi driver yelled driving by

whereas Deliveroo boys saw him as a plonker with a conker (just seeking attention)

The near-naked man strolled nonchalantly down the thoroughfare while onlookers snapped pictures and videos on their phones to record the unexpected sight. His motives for choosing to forgo clothing and sport only a mask to maintain his modesty are currently unknown, but local media have speculated it could be a protest against the new face coverings mandate.

RTA man wearing a surgical mask as G-string walks past people with protective face masks in London, July 24, 2020. ©  REUTERS / Simon Dawson

Met police and the Mayor pleaded for calm

As of Friday, face coverings are now compulsory in shops in England, though some exemptions are permitted for certain medical conditions and for kids aged under 11.

Questions have already been raised about who is expected to police the wearing of masks, with some of the UK’s big supermarket chains saying they have no intention of challenging customers on the issue.

Police are asking customers not to confront fellow shoppers on the issue, and are instead urging stores to refuse entry to people not wearing facemasks.

“I would urge retail outlets to play their part in making the rules crystal clear – if you are not wearing a face covering then you are not coming in,” said John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales.

a craze is starting from the crazees!

This motion picture is protected under the copyright laws of the United States and other countries throughout the world. Country of first publication: United States of America. Any unauthorized exhibition, distribution, or copying of this film or any part thereof (including soundtrack) may result in civil liability and criminal prosecution. The story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this production are fictitious. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred. No person or entity associated with this film received payment or anything of value, or entered into any agreement, in connection with the depiction of tobacco products. No animals were harmed in the making of this motion picture


UK announces ‘most comprehensive flu program in history,’ aims to vaccinate 30mn

try that nutty nutty way

beds are burning

whats thos song about? anyone

Midnight Oil (known informally as “The Oils”) are an Australian rock band composed of Peter Garrett (vocals, harmonica), Rob Hirst (drums), Jim Moginie (guitar, keyboard), Martin Rotsey (guitar) and Bones Hillman (bass guitar). The group was formed in Sydney in 1972 by Hirst, Moginie and original bassist Andrew James as Farm: they enlisted Garrett the following year, changed their name in 1976, and hired Rotsey a year later. Peter Gifford

Peter Robert Garrett AM (born 16 April 1953 ) is an Australian musician, environmentalist, activist and former politician.
Garrett is the lead singer of the Australian rock band Midnight Oil. He served as President of the Australian Conservation Foundation for ten years and, in 2003, was appointed a Member of the Order of Australiafor his contribution to the environment …

LOVE songs are not the first thing that come to my mind when you think Peter Garrett. As the frontman of Midnight Oil, he sang about the rich getting richer, politicians making the wrong decisions, the planet paying the price, reconciliation and suburban decay. When he became Peter Garrett MP, he sang little and talked a lot.


In the coming battle for Sirte (quaddafis old town) there are mainly desert plains & no cover (thus one doesnt get a good feel about the approaching clash and its deadly outcome)

sirte midway between Misrata & Benghazi

So what you thinking about this much heralded covid vaccine?Will you fall for it,will you be a pussy and take it?

The Oxford vaccine is one of the trials closest to approval for public use, thanks to the team's prior work on Mers (Credit: Dr Sean Elias)

By Richard Fisher22nd July 2020The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University has shown tantalising results so far. Richard Fisher describes what it’s like to be one of the volunteers in the clinical trials.I

I’m sitting in a hospital reception, and my breath is fogging my glasses. Minutes ago, I had been running through humid streets, late for my appointment. As doctors and nurses stroll past on their way to work, I’m aware that I don’t look particularly well.

The last time I was at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south London, it was for the birth of my daughter. It feels very different today. I can smell the bleach used to clean the floors through my face mask, and the adjacent seat is taped off, warning nobody to sit down next to me.

Two hospital staff-members in scrubs and masks approach, one of them holding a sign that reads “vaccine trial” like a taxi driver waiting at an airport arrivals gate.

The sign is for me. I follow them in a slow procession, two metres behind, as the pair share gossip from the wards.

I’m at St George’s for an initial screening as a volunteer in the Oxford University trial to test the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine. In the coming weeks, I will learn what it is like to be a participant in one of the world’s most promising efforts to tackle to the coronavirus pandemic. Of all the vaccine trials ongoing around the world, the Oxford effort is ahead of most of the pack.

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A few weeks later, on 20 July, the researchers would announce extremely promising initial results, based on the first 1,077 people, suggesting that the vaccine is both safe and triggers an immune response. “There is still much work to be done…but these early results hold promise,” Sarah Gilbert of the University of Oxford said in a statement. The next step involves expanding the trial at a higher dose to thousands more people, volunteering at sites across the UK, as well as Brazil and South Africa. This phase of the clinical trials, to test efficacy on a much bigger scale, is what I have signed up for.


My journey here started one late night in late May, when I stumbled on a tweet from an Oxford University philosopher about a vaccine study that I was aware had been moving fast. He’d volunteered. So, as my wife slept next to me, I also filled out the form on the group’s website, and forgot about it.

A few weeks later, I am in a neurology ward repurposed for the Oxford trial, watching one of the lead scientists, Matthew Snape, on a large projector screen explaining what to expect as a volunteer in their trial – what we can and can’t do, how the science behind the vaccine works, and what side-effects to watch out for.  A scientist at the Oxford Vaccine Group's facility at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford (Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire)

A scientist at the Oxford Vaccine Group’s facility at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford (Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire)

There will be 10,000 of us, Snape explains, and we will be randomly sorted into two groups. One group will receive a vaccine that won’t offer any protection against the coronavirus and the other half will get the test vaccine – ChAdOx1 nCoV-19.

This vaccine is built upon a weakened version of a common cold virus that typically infects chimpanzees. It’s a technique that the group had already been developing before the pandemic, to tackle Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) and Ebola. And it’s why they were able to move so fast in response to Covid-19. In the early months of 2020, when the world was stumbling towards the grim realisation that this pandemic wasn’t going away, the Oxford group was scrambling to refocus their work on the crisis.

Snape explains what they did on the video I’m watching. First, they took the chimp cold virus and genetically altered it so it is impossible to grow in humans (phew). Next they added genes that make proteins from the Covid-19 virus, called spike glycoprotein. If the body learns to recognise and develop an immune response to this spike glycoprotein, the hope is that it will help stop the Covid-19 virus from entering human cells.

Half the volunteers will get this vaccine, Snape explains. The second group will be given an existing licensed vaccine called MenACWY (either Nimenrix or Menveo), which is used to protect against the causes of meningitis or sepsis. This vaccine is a “control” for comparison, and was chosen instead of an inert placebo so that the control group experience the effects (and side-effects) of a real vaccine, preventing them from working out which group they are in. Since 2015, MenACWY has been given routinely to teenagers in the UK, and also as a travel vaccine to high-risk parts of the world, such as sub-Saharan Africa. Saudi Arabia requires proof of MenACWY vaccination for participants in the annual Hajj.

I couldn’t help but smile knowing that some participants would be asked to submit faecal samples

After the video, I am quizzed in-depth about my medical history, and whether I have had any symptoms of the coronavirus. A sample of my blood is taken for analysis, and I have to agree consent for various study procedures: I agree to allow photos of the injection site; I will not donate blood; if I am a woman of child-bearing potential I agree to use effective contraception, and so on. One caught my attention: “I agree that the samples collected will be considered a gift to Oxford University.” I couldn’t help but smile knowing that some participants, in a different cohort of the same trial, would be asked to submit faecal samples.

I return home, feeling more informed, but also slightly more apprehensive than before. Like any clinical trial, it’s necessary to ensure participants are fully aware of potential side-effects, from the mild (nausea, headaches and so on) to the rare and severe (Guillain-Barre syndrome, which causes severe weakness and can be fatal). While I know that the risks are small, I can’t deny it’s somewhat daunting to hear them all in one go.

At the screening, volunteers even had to be briefed on “theoretical concerns” that the vaccine could make the effects of coronavirus worse. Some studies on animals that received experimental vaccines to protect against Sars (a related virus) have shown worsened lung inflammation when they were infected with Sars. One report had found similar lung inflammation in vaccinated mice infected with Mers. The effect had thankfully not been seen in animal studies for the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine, however.

Most of all, I felt reassured to hear that thousands of people had already received the Oxford vaccine without severe side-effects – which was confirmed by the group’s study in the Lancet journal on 20 July. (And just to be absolutely clear, none of these potential reactions should bolster the unfounded claims of anti-vax campaigners).

Vaccine day

A week later, on 3 July, I am back in the windowless room at St George’s where I had my screening appointment. It’s supposed to be vaccination day, but now I’m worried I’m about to be kicked out of the trial.

The doctor, Eva Galiza, has left the room, and she hasn’t returned for more than 10 minutes. Moments earlier, she had explained that it’s the last day of the Oxford trial at St George’s Hospital, and they were close to running out of samples.The next stage of the Oxford trial includes volunteers in Brazil, where the coronavirus is currently more prevalent (Credit: Getty Images)

The next stage of the Oxford trial includes volunteers in Brazil, where the coronavirus is currently more prevalent (Credit: Getty Images)

We go through my medical history again, take more blood, but Galiza – a paediatric vaccine researcher recruited to the trial team – has no idea if I can participate until she arrives at the pharmacy. I am intrigued to learn at this point that she is as in the dark as me about what will happen next. To ensure the trial results are fully robust, both the participants and the doctors injecting the vaccine do not know whether it is the experimental one or the control vaccine for meningitis/sepsis in the syringe.

While she is gone, I am left alone with my thoughts. They inevitably stray to the world outside. In England, where I live, it’s the day before many of the lockdown rules are eased and many businesses can finally open again, from pubs to hairdressers. The social distancing guidance for England is also changing from two metres to one metre plus. These looming changes have prompted both excitement and nervous trepidation.

My mind wanders to think of friends and family in other parts of the world, each experiencing the pandemic at different stages – some celebrating a virus-free country, others on an upwards curve towards a grim death-toll. For much of the previous year, I had lived in Massachusetts. On the day of my appointment, the news reports were grim for the people I knew back in the US – the country had experienced more than 40,000 daily cases on four separate days within a week, and the country was on a chilling trajectory.

I’d also heard the latest numbers from Brazil on my drive over – a friend and his wife had recently returned there – that day, the country was nearing 1.5 million infections. Brazil’s widespread outbreak is part of the reason the Oxford vaccine trial is now expanding to test volunteers in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and a site in northern Brazil. They’re doing the same in South Africa.

For the greater good, some of the 10,000 volunteers in my stage of the trial will need to encounter this killer

The sad truth is that a volunteer like me in the UK is less likely to tell the scientists if their vaccine shows efficacy, because for now at least, I am less likely to catch the virus than somebody where the pandemic is spreading through the community. For the greater good, some of the 10,000 volunteers in my stage of the trial will need to encounter this killer.

When Galiza returns she is holding a vial. I can’t see her face behind her mask, but her eyes are smiling. After weeks of waiting, a sharp scratch on my arm and a few seconds of injection, there’s a vaccine entering my bloodstream. And it’s 50:50 about which one it is. I won’t know until the trial is over.

Swabs and waiting

The next stage is the long haul. The participants have been divided into groups, each with a different schedule of symptom reporting, testing and blood samples. For me, the next step comes seven days after the vaccine, and I’ve not especially been looking forward to it.

I have to rub my tonsils with a cotton bud swab for 10 seconds, without touching my teeth or tongue (not easy, it’s like the board game Operation), then stick the same stick up my nose as far as it will go. I’d read that if the nasal swab is done properly, it’ll feel like “tickling your brain”. It’s not quite that bad, but it’s not comfortable.Some of the first South African vaccine trial volunteers, where the Oxford effort is also testing for efficacy (Credit: EPA)

Some of the first South African vaccine trial volunteers, where the Oxford effort is also testing for efficacy (Credit: EPA)

I then place the swab into a sealed bag and security-sealed box that says “Biological Substance Category B”, and post it into a special Priority Postbox that the Royal Mail has introduced all over the UK, ready for home tests. A few days later, I get a text on my phone telling me my coronavirus test result is negative.

When taking the swabs, I also fill out a questionnaire that quizzes me about my behaviour in the previous week. “Have I been on public transport?” “How many people outside my household did I spend more than five hours with?”

I will repeat this routine once a week for at least four months, as well as returning to the hospital regularly for blood tests over the next year.

It’s this necessary but long-term process that some people – many of them politicians – fail to understand about the coronavirus vaccine trials. You can’t throw money at the problem and hope results happen faster. While the Oxford vaccine trial has already shown promising safety results, and the tantalising possibility of a protective immune response, it was only in 1,000 people. To roll out a vaccine to millions (or the whole world), you need a level of confidence that can only come with patience and more data.

Public health officials will remember well the times that vaccine rollouts went wrong. In 1976, fears of a swine flu outbreak led the US government to accelerate vaccine development and inoculate tens of millions of Americans. The feared pandemic never arrived, but by some estimates, around 30 people died due to adverse vaccine reactions. Such mistakes may well have dented trust in public health advice and fuelled anti-vax fears too, which is the last thing you need in a pandemic.

The looming decisions for the medicine approval bodies around the world will come with heavy responsibilities. As Sir John Bell, professor of medicine at Oxford University, told the BBC Today programme on 21 July, we don’t have the luxury of waiting for the definitive evidence that we’d normally have from a clinical trial. “The toughest job of anybody is the regulator, who has to make the call on whether it is safe and effective to roll out to the public. I would not want that job,” he said. “It’s a really hard call. If they say yes, there will suddenly be a queue of three-and-a-half billion people asking for a vaccine.”Once a week, I swab my tonsils and nose before posting the sample in a Royal Mail "priority postbox" (Credit: Richard Fisher)

Once a week, I swab my tonsils and nose before posting the sample in a Royal Mail “priority postbox” (Credit: Richard Fisher)

Another reality is that the initially approved vaccines may also not be the “sterilising” panacea that many imagine, totally preventing the disease. In other words, they may not completely clear the virus, but instead mitigate its effects. People could still carry the virus even if they don’t suffer symptoms, for example, spreading it to the unvaccinated. That protection would still be of huge value, but whatever happens, we need to be prepared for the long-haul. This virus might always be with us.

As for me, knowing there’s a 50:50 chance I received a dose of a promising vaccine provides a small comfort, but it certainly won’t change my behaviour or my choices. Nor should it – the researchers were clear about that. Until I know for sure that we have a vaccine that works – protecting my wife, daughter, friends, family and strangers I pass on the street – I will continue to follow social distancing guidance.

Mainly, I’m pleased to have the opportunity to play a very small part – along with 10,000 other people – in a trial that the whole world is watching. The pace at which the Oxford group has responded to this crisis, and the hard work and organisation of the people involved, is seriously impressive. Before the pandemic, many of these doctors and researchers were working in relatively obscure corners of vaccine development or paediatrics, pursuing their work through scientific curiosity or an individual sense of purpose. They never expected to carry the hopes and expectations of billions of people on their shoulders.

The Oxford vaccine trial may not turn out to be the success that many wish for. It may not meet the safety and efficacy threshold that takes us out of these difficult times. But that’s how science works – it’s long-term, collective and filled with wrong turns – and right now I’ve never been more glad that we have it.

As an award-winning science site, BBC Future is committed to bringing you evidence-based analysis and myth-busting stories around the new coronavirus. You can read more of our Covid-19 coverage here.

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If you liked this story, sign up for the weekly bbc.com features newsletter, called “The Essential List”. A handpicked selection of stories from BBC FutureCultureWorklife, and Travel, delivered to your inbox every Friday.Share using EmailShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedinSHARETASTE OF TOMORROW | HEALTHThe surprising reason why pregnant women get cravingsShare using EmailShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Linkedin

Pregnant woman with coffee (Credit: Gety Images)

By Veronique Greenwood15th July 2020What’s behind pregnancy cravings? Probably not what you’re thinking.W

We’ve all heard the stories about the pregnant woman who only wants ice cream and pickles, who sends her husband out at 1am for fried chicken, who needs, in a deep, primal way, five bars of a very specific brand of chocolate. Perhaps we’ve even experienced an intense craving of this kind ourselves.

It’s often speculated that pregnancy cravings are fulfilling some nutritional need of the woman or the fetus, and there’s something alluring about the idea that they reflect an underlying biological reality. After all, it’s a confusing part of a sometimes difficult process. Gestating a human among one’s viscera is already lengthy, tiring, and uncomfortable, and if there’s a reason for the burning need to eat tacos, so much the better.

However, if you take a look at scientific research on the subject, an intriguing, rather more complex narrative emerges. Pregnancy cravings as a concept are not necessarily experienced in all cultures, researchers have found. And in those non-English-speaking cultures where women do sometimes report cravings, it’s for wildly different things than reported by women in the US and UK, for example. For instance, in Japan, when cravings are reported, the most commonly craved food was rice.

Going farther, studies to see whether commonly craved foods provide specific nutrients helpful for pregnancy have not found that they are good sources at all. In fact, women who report cravings tend to gain more weight than is generally considered healthy during a pregnancy, which can lead to a higher rate of complications.

That doesn’t mean that women who do have cravings are making it all up, just that these cravings may be driven by something other than biochemical need. Looking at why people crave foods generally can put some of this information into focus, suggests Julia Hormes, a professor of psychology at State University of New York, Albany, who has studied cravings in many different settings. For instance, about 50% of women in the US report craving chocolate in the week before their period, says Hormes. Scientists have explored whether this craving is for some nutrient in chocolate important to menstruation, or whether it reflects shifting hormones.Cravings may be psychological - or even cultural (Credit: Getty Images)

Cravings may be psychological – or even cultural (Credit: Getty Images)

In one experiment, a psychologist asked women to open a box they’d been given and eat what was inside the next time they had that craving. Some boxes contained milk chocolate, which has all the nutrients usually found in chocolate along with a melt-in-your-mouth texture, some white chocolate, which doesn’t contain cocoa solids (which give milk and dark chocolate their brown colours) but that does have the nice texture, and some cocoa pills, with the cocoa-solid nutrients but none of the chocolate-eating experience.

The white chocolate was actually the most successful at sating cravings, so it couldn’t be that there was some useful nutrient or active ingredient in cocoa solids driving the desire. Other studies tracking chocolate cravings have found no connection to hormone levels. In fact, women in menopause continue to report chocolate cravings, Hormes said; they just chalk it up to some other cause. (Read more: Why you shouldn’t trust your food cravings)

What this all points to is a cultural or psychological source for cravings. Strong desire for a buttery cookie, or a chocolate bar, or fries, may start out as a simple thought and then grow little by little into an obsession that’s hard to resist. At the same time, in the United States, and to varying extents other places, the thought of highly palatable foods – a term researchers use to refer to everything from ice cream to cake to gooey macaroni cheese – comes with a strong sense of guilt.

If you’ve already been restraining yourself for quite some time it makes it very difficult to control yourself once you do have it

“There’s a certain ambivalence,” says Hormes, “It’s inherently pleasurable, but I also live in a culture that tells me I shouldn’t have this chocolate. I really want it, but I shouldn’t have it – we think that is the piece of culture that really encourages that elaborative process.”

In particular, if you’ve already been restraining yourself for quite some time – if you have it set up in your mind that you aren’t ever allowed to have such a food – it makes it very difficult to control yourself once you do have it. So after having a piece of cake, instead of being satisfied and moving on, you eat three more. Additionally, women may restrict certain foods when they are pregnant, either aiming for a healthier diet or following doctors’ recommendations regarding sushi, deli meat, and other foods.Eating a few squares of rich chocolate regularly might kill the cravings to gorge on a whole bar (Credit: Getty Images)

Eating a few squares of rich chocolate regularly might kill the cravings to gorge on a whole bar (Credit: Getty Images)

All this together leads to a situation, at least in some parts of the world, where cravings are more likely to arise and to be difficult to reign in, perhaps leading to excess weight gain. 

Pregnancy may also be seen as a time when caving can’t be judged as harshly. “This culture also seems to identity certain times and excuses where it’s more okay for women to eat things they are supposed to stay away from,” says Hormes. “PMS and pregnancy are socially sanctioned occasions when women can give in.”

Hormes says if you’re craving chocolate, get some really quality stuff, have a couple squares every day, and move on with your life

Interrupting the ruminations that lead to a serious craving can help stop escalation from the thought of a food to a binge, says Hormes. One way is to use distractions – there have been studies using visual distractions and also scents – and another is to draw on mindfulness and meditation to acknowledge the desire and let it pass. She also recommends, if you’re craving chocolate, get some really quality stuff, have a couple squares every day, and move on with your life, a procedure that may help remove some of its totemic significance.

When it comes to pregnancy cravings, there may be an additional cultural factor: pregnancy is demanding, and it can be hard to go through it without help. One study of rural Tanzanian women who reported desires for meat, fish, grains, fruits and vegetables noted that providing the desired food was a sign of social support by the husband and his family.

Indeed, 1am fried chicken requires commitment from the person sent to bring back the goodies, so it’s a reassurance that this person is there for the craver. While buffalo wings are intensely pleasurable on their own, the fact that someone you love brought them to you has value beyond the calorific.

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911-the aftermath and impact upon America

What impact did 9/11 have on the world?

Our panel assesses the decade of international upheaval that followed the al-Qaida attacks on the US

Simon JenkinsJonathan PowellMohammed HanifPJ CrowleyOrzala Ashraf NematGeorge GallowayAditya ChakraborttyInayat Bunglawala and Carne Ross

Mon 5 Sep 2011 12.48 BSTFirst published on Mon 5 Sep 2011 12.48 BST


A man stands in the rubble of the World Trade Centre following the al-Qaida attacks

‘The response to 9/11 was as Bin Laden must have dreamed’

Simon Jenkins

No single figure since the second world war has made so profound an impact on world events as Osama bin Laden. Had the world responded to his 9/11 attack on America with moderation he would probably have disappeared, expelled from Afghanistan or killed by his Tajik enemies. Even the Taliban were known to have been shocked by 9/11, when almost the entire Muslim world came out in sympathy with America (including the PLO in Palestine).

It was a brief moment of American moral supremacy. Yet by launching armed aggression, first against Afghanistan and then against Iraq, America wholly squandered this gain. The aggression led to a tide of anti-Americanism and surge of support for fanatical Islamism across the Muslim world. The wars cost tens of thousands of lives and caused mass destruction. The billions of dollars expended on them was financed largely from borrowing, which in turn has destabilised the world economy.

All this was out of all proportion to the attacks on 9/11. Indeed the response to 9/11 was as Bin Laden must have dreamed. He saw widespread hostility towards the west and its aggressive behaviour in the Muslim world. Civil liberties were curbed and governments reverted to cold war paranoia. America was again the great Satan. The peace dividend so eagerly awaited at the end of the 20th century evaporated as the security industry exploited counter-terrorism and seized every chance of profit and risk aversion. Bin Laden became a role model for fanatics everywhere. The decade since 9/11 must rank among the most inept and counterproductive eras in the story of modern statesmanship.

‘9/11 may have been the high water mark for al-Qaida’

Jonathan Powell
 Jonathan Powell Photograph: Guardian

9/11 changed America fundamentally, far more so than outsiders realised at the time. For Americans it genuinely was a new Pearl Harbour, an attack on the homeland that made them feel vulnerable for the first time in 60 years. It turned an administration with quasi-isolationist tendencies into one committed to robust intervention overseas.

The outcome was a new focus on combating global terrorism, particularly al-Qaida. Huge new resources were thrown into the battle. Paradoxically, looking back, 9/11 may have been the high water mark for al-Qaida rather than the beginning of a new terrorist threat. The group has since been unable to mount so spectacular an attack again. The Arab spring has now rendered it almost irrelevant. In retrospect, perhaps the west put too much effort into the physical battle against international terrorism and not enough into addressing the grievances the extremists were able to exploit, particularly the failure to advance peace in the Middle East.

The destruction of the twin towers graphically illustrated the dark side of globalisation. Terrorists used the tools of a modern global society, the internet, open borders and hi-tech aeroplanes, to attack the west at home. Fortunately, they failed to provoke our societies into closing their borders and hunkering down at home and instead we reacted with a greater willingness to engage internationally. The attack gave birth to an unprecedented universal coalition of revulsion. That consensus fragmented over Iraq. Divisions over Afghanistan, Libya and Syria show that it has not yet been rebuilt. I hope one day it can be recaptured without a repeat of the appalling tragedy that first brought it into being.

• Jonathan Powell was chief of staff to Tony Blair 1997-2’Pakistanis realise that the trauma is far from over’

“Why do you attack innocent children,” a failed suicide bomber in Pakistan was asked in an interview last year. “Who says children are innocent?” he replied. American drones hovering over Pakistan’s northern areas are programmed to work with the same logic: guilty until proven dead.

When United States decided to outsource part of its “war of terror” to Pakistan’s military establishment, it effectively sealed the fate of democracy in the country for a decade. When George W Bush embraced General Pervez Musharraf he was doing exactly what his predecessors had done when they propped up another military dictator, General Zia-ul-Haq, to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. We all know how that turned out. Taliban fighters are mujahideen’s orphaned children, and they believe that American innocence is nothing but a well-rehearsed pose. Even the Taliban’s victims concur.

In the days after 9/11 some Pakistanis had hoped that the American bombs would fall on Saudi Arabia from where the attackers came. But those bombs fell on Pakistan. And when they didn’t fall from the sky, they blew up in mosques and bazaars.

Pakistanis are too poor to go and seek treatment for post traumatic stress disorder. They also realise that the trauma is far from over. When army generals and their cheerleaders talk about Afghanistan’s end game people see a series of random slaughters across their land. There is no dearth of western academic sneering at bewildered Pakistanis and telling them that they brought it upon themselves. Try saying that to survivors of the 9/11 attacks.

• Mohammed Hanif is a novelist and special correspondent for BBC Urdu

‘Building up a global immune system to fight this disease will take more than a decade’

PJ Crowley
 PJ Crowley

The good news 10 years after 9/11 is that the world has and is changing, but in ways that contradict the narrative Osama bin Laden advanced before his death.

Al-Qaida has been a non-factor in the Arab spring. The inspiring protest movements in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria and elsewhere are uninterested in taking their region or their religion back in time, as Bin Laden advocated. As they push autocratic leaders to the side, they seek a political state close to democracy, certainly not a Caliphate.

The protesters, connected to the internet and the modern world, don’t define themselves as being separate. They see the gap in political, economic and social development that exists with the rest of the world and want better. They want opportunity, within a religious framework that is not yet fully defined, but open to debate, not closed by dogma.

Over the past decade, international co-operation and co-ordinated action have reduced, if not eliminated the threat. Networks that engage in or support violent extremism are under pressure, but they remain dangerous. From Yemen and Somalia to Pakistan and the Maghreb, these groups could take advantage of chaos or disillusionment if the ongoing Arab transition fails to deliver real results.

If there is a lesson to be learned from 9/11, it is persistence. It is politically tempting after Bin Laden’s demise to declare victory, but the job is not done. Building up a global immune system to fight this disease will take more than a decade. It will take a generation.

• PJ Crowley is the Omar Bradley chair at Dickinson College, Penn State University law school and the Army War College

‘The war has done great harm to our people for all sorts of reasons’


The twin towers collapsed oceans and miles away from Afghanistan – at that time a country that looked like a graveyard, whose people were still suffering from war, discrimination and humiliation. In 2001, a small battery-run radio was the only means of communication in most of the country. Many Afghans felt that the US attack may mark the beginning of the end of the horror we were experiencing. Many felt good may come from what the United States had experienced, not because they are sadistic, or take pleasure in the death of others, but simply because they thought that the world powers will only understand our suffering if they experience it themselves.

It took the US only one month to react militarily, attacking the “source” of where the 9/11 attacks were planned. Hundreds and thousands of Afghan once again had to flee their homes, as they feared being hit by US bombs. As terrorists and all who collaborated with them were targeted, the fear of B52 war planes persuaded many warlord commanders to shave or shorten their beards and dress like democrats in black suits – but as we have subsequently seen, many of them remained the same on the inside.

First bombs and then political settlements followed the events. In Bonn, Germany, most of the active Afghan actors gathered to agree on power sharing and the only two groups who felt unrepresented there later became the ones who cause most of the troubles.

Ten years on, it would be unrealistic to ignore the tremendous level of progress that Afghanistan has made thanks partly to the international community and partly to the determination of Afghans themselves, who chose to work rebuilding and recreating Afghanistan again. From paved roads to girls going to school, to historical record-breaking media development, there have been positive developments.

However, the war – never the choice of the Afghan people – has done great harm to our people for all sorts of different local, national, regional and international reasons. Widespread corruption, the massive arming of militias, the fuelling of war by neighbouring countries, the civilian losses and night raids and deterioration of security have all undermined our children’s education, out women’s ability to work, our ability to provide basic social services to the neediest part of population. Overwhelming dependency on foreign aid is still a challenge for Afghan people who would like to make their country stand on its own feet and live life peacefully.

• Orzala Ashraf Nemat is an independent human rights and civil society activist/researcher from Afghanistan

George Galloway: ‘Now scarcely anyone believes the state whatever it says’

George Galloway MP
 George Galloway MP Photograph: Guardian

Within an hour of the second plane striking the twin towers in New York I was filing a piece for the Guardian. What I wrote was widely criticised at the time by kneejerk, laptop warriors because, while placing the blame for the atrocity squarely on the Bin Laden-inspired Salafists (who turned out indeed to be the culprits), I argued that the planes didn’t come out of a clear blue sky but emerged from the swamp of hatred the west had sown over many years. I drew attention to our double standards and the injustice we had perpetrated and facilitated throughout the Muslim world. I identified – in the article, and in a speech a few days later when the House was recalled – our role in the Palestinian catastrophe and the propping up of the dictators who ruled almost all of the Muslim world as being the twin reasons that some enraged Muslims were being drawn to Bin Laden.

In my speeches in the House after 9/11 I argued that if we handled this atrocity the wrong way we would produce 10,000 new Bin Ladens, which we surely did. I argued that for as long as Muslim blood and freedoms were regarded more cheaply and more dispensable than the west’s own wellbeing we would face a deepening confrontation with the near 2 billion-strong Muslim world. And we have.

I underestimated the extent to which our own people would rise up against the failure of western policy towards the east, and also the damage that this and the subsequent militarised mendacity would do to the whole credibility of governance in countries such as our own and the United States.

Now scarcely anyone believes the state whatever it says, on terrorism, war, freedom of information, climate change, even when the governments are telling the truth. It is the final vindication of the great Claud Cockburn’s famous dictum “believe nothing until it has been officially denied”.

• George Galloway is the vice president of the Stop The War coalition

‘9/11 has marked countries and political cultures neither faraway nor impoverished’

It’s tempting to think that the aftermath of September 11 was felt largely Out There: in Washington, say, or Kabul. Tempting, but wrong – because 9/11 has marked countries and political cultures neither faraway nor impoverished. Places like Norway. Or Britain.

Hours before he began his killing spree this summer Anders Behring Breivik posted a 1,500-page manifesto. He claimed to be waging war on “Islamic imperialism” and his supposed “martydom operation” was against an Islamic civilisation rolling across western soil.

Breivik and other neo-Nazis used to assert racial superiority; now they claim an existential threat from Islamic culture. For proof they point to Osama or to home-grown terrorists.

This is the argument pushed by the English Defence League, who so impressed the Norwegian gunman. As academic Matt Goodwin points out, the EDL bases its arguments not around the BNP staple of white supremacy but “the more socially acceptable issue of culture”. They don’t hate Muslims for their colour, but their beliefs – although on a dark night in Luton after a fascist march you’d struggle to discern the difference.

This view was lent legitimacy by George W Bush and (especially) Tony Blair, who framed the argument after 9/11 as a clash of values. Nowadays, former ministers to Silvio Berlusconi justify Breivik’s ideas as “in defence of western civilisation”. And in this year’s Munich speech, David Cameron attacked “Islamist extremism” and “state multiculturalism” before laying down the most blandly toxic of lines: “Let us engage groups that share our aspirations.” But who exactly does the prime minister consider “us”, and how do “our aspirations” differ from theirs?

‘The turmoil of the past 10 years emphasises the need to be vigilant about the power exercised by our governments’

The 9/11 attacks represented a patent attempt by al-Qaida to goad the United States into open warfare. All the better, after all, to convince young Muslims across the world that America was really at war with Islam and that they should heed al-Qaida’s call to come to the defence of their faith.

Osama bin Laden must have been thrilled by the wars launched against Afghanistan and Iraq, and the opportunities this presented to them. He and his recruiters were now able to point out how the world’s most vocal proponents of freedom, dignity and human rights were actually behaving towards Muslims in Guantánamo Bay, through extraordinary rendition, the copious use of waterboarding, and routine torture in Abu Ghraib and elsewhere.

What the turmoil of the past 10 years have served to emphasise is the need to be vigilant about the power exercised by our governments, and to work to ensure that the human rights of all people – Muslim or otherwise – are properly safeguarded.

• Inayat Bunglawala is the founder and chair of Muslims4UK

Events since 9/11 have demonstrated a fundamental tension of the 21st century, but one that is barely admitted – and certainly not by governments. It is that between states and statelessness or, to put it another way, between states and borderless or globalised phenomena.

Al-Qaida transcended borders. It has succeeded in starting a global movement, with almost no structure, few funds and virtually no hierarchy. Groups and individuals have affiliated to it in almost all regions, and including the US and UK. There are no membership requirements, save shared belief and a willingness to kill.

Apart from this last quality, al-Qaida represents a new form of political organisation in the 21st century: stateless, self-organised, dynamic not fixed or institutionalised. Al-Qaida is a particularly nasty variant, but this kind of organisation, or rather movement, will eventually become the norm.

In response, states have tried to pretend that we still live in a world where states matter most of all, and organise the world. The US/UK invaded states – Afghanistan, then Iraq. Neither invasion has quelled terrorism. They may have exacerbated it, if the head of MI5 is to be believed.

After the horror of 9/11, it was clear that governments faced their own desperate requirement: to reassert their own usefulness and necessity, having so abjectly failed in their primary duty of protection. They launched vastly expensive wars, in money and lives.

And they have failed. We now confront a war without end, with our privacy and sense of safety permanently compromised. Governments think this is just fine: their necessity is endlessly reaffirmed; their self-given rights to invade our lives and minds reinforced. A vast new security industry has been born, with mercenary armies and secret, sometimes lawless and typically unaccountable bureaucracies. This industry has an intrinsic interest in the perpetuation of the danger.

The lesson of the last 10 years is that stateless phenomena need to be fought by stateless means. We need new movements to take on terrorism, with ideas, with argument, with engagement by a force far more powerful than any army. That force is our own compassion, wisdom and collaboration. It is us.

• Carne Ross is a former British diplomat who now runs Independent Diplomat

We’re determined to provide journalism that helps each of us better understand the world, and take actions that challenge, unite, and inspire change – in times of crisis and beyond. Our work would not be possible without our readers, who now support our work from 180 countries around the world.

But news organisations are facing an existential threat. With advertising revenues plummeting, the Guardian risks losing a major source of its funding. More than ever before, we’re reliant on financial support from readers to fill the gap. Your support keeps us independent, open, and means we can maintain our high quality reporting – investigating, disentangling and interrogating.


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  • HerrEMott2627In the UK 9/11, or more correctly Tony Blair’s response to 9/11, has, as George Galloway points out, reduced public trust in their Government.The US’s Patriot Act and it’s paranoid Transport Security Agency have served to make air travel a pain in the neck for all and sundry and all but impossible for thousands who share a name with someone on a no-fly list. Share Facebook TwitterReport
  • MrGreyhame3637It allowed the US and Western Europe to declare war on ‘terror’, which like the war on drugs has given the governments grounds to impinge on the rights of their civilians. Share Facebook TwitterReport

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Azerbaijani protesters break into parliament demanding war!

Pro-war Azerbaijani protesters break into parliament

The crowd was estimated at 30,000, and what started as a demonstration in support of the country’s military turned into an anti-government protest.

Jul 15, 2020Baku protestsTens of thousands gathered in Baku to express support for the country’s military as clashes continued with Armenia. (photo: Facebook, Ali Hajizade)

Tens of thousands of Azerbaijanis demanding war with Armenia protested in Baku, challenging the government to take a harder approach to the conflict and breaking into the country’s parliament building.

The unprecedented protest came following three days of fighting on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border and the deaths of at least 11 Azerbaijani soldiers, including Major General Polad Hashimov. The outpouring of rage, partly directed against the government, illustrates how difficult it will be for the authorities to control the patriotic fervor that has arisen as a result of the clashes, the worst violence between the two sides in years.

The protest appeared to be spontaneous and unorganized. It grew out of a funeral on the evening of July 14 for one of the fallen soldiers in the Akhmedli district of Baku. Mourners then began marching toward the center of the city, gathering others as they walked, local independent media reported.

The protesters chanted slogans “Karabakh is ours,” “End the quarantine and start the war,” “Commander-in-Chief, give us weapons,” “Karabakh or death,” “Najmaddin resign,” “We will not leave until Karabakh is liberated.” Najmaddin Sadigov is the chief of staff of Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces.

“We have put up with enough,” one protester shouted, according to live streams of the event. “We don’t need money or jobs, let us go and fight!”

The protest wended its way toward the center, passing the war memorial space knowns as the Alley of Martyrs, though police prevented them from entering the memorial. All along, even late into the night, they gathered more and more people from different parts of the city. The independent newspaper Azadliq reported that police prevented about 3,000 from Baku’s Khirdalan district from reaching the center to join the main protests. Zaur Shiriyev, a Baku-based analyst for the International Crisis Group, estimated the crowd at perhaps 30,000.

Eventually they reached the parliament building, some breaking in and causing minor damage.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=eurasianet&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=true&id=1283187938348630023&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Feurasianet.org%2Fpro-war-azerbaijani-protesters-break-into-parliament&siteScreenName=eurasianet&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

After the parliament break-in, police used tear gas and truncheons in attempts to disperse the protesters, who fought back, tipping over police cars. Other marchers tried to convince police to join them. “When Armenians rose up, their police were on their side, but you came to beat us,” one shouted. “They are worse than Armenians,” shouted another.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=eurasianet&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=true&id=1283189556142125056&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Feurasianet.org%2Fpro-war-azerbaijani-protesters-break-into-parliament&siteScreenName=eurasianet&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

Nevertheless, police treated the protesters much more delicately than they do with unauthorized demonstrations organized by the political opposition, which are typically harshly shut down. Some police officers were seen chatting amiably with the protesters.

The protest was not covered by local state-friendly media and as of the time this piece was posted there was only scant commentary from government officials.

Some interpreted the parliament break-in, and some other earlier episodes, as provocations meant to discredit the protesters. “A group entered the Milli Majlis, the police used force, and instead of witnessing the unity between the Azerbaijani people and the state, Armenians saw an entirely different thing,” wrote activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev on his Facebook page.

Eventually, as dawn approached, the protesters dispersed.

Later in the morning of July 15 the parliament press office issued a statement complaining that breaking into the parliament was the result of “some provocateurs aiming at destruction” and that it was “disrespectful to the holy spirit of the martyrs.”

In the protests, seven police officers were injured, two cars were ruined and 14 more were damaged, according to a joint statement from the prosecutor general’s office and the Interior Ministry. An investigation has been launched on charges of “mass rioting and resistance or use of force against a government representative,” the statement said.

There also were smaller rallies in support of the military in other cities around Azerbaijan, usually connected to the burials of fallen soldiers. In Sumgayit, the hometown of Major General Hashimov, thousands gathered. Independent journalist Khadija Ismayilova reported, citing unnamed sources, that Hashimov’s body had been brought from there to Baku and that the details of his funeral were not revealed even to his friends.

In the day before the protest, social media was dominated by discussion of Hashimov’s death, with many expressing indignation that such a high-ranking official could be killed in battle and complaining that it was the result of poor leadership.

The protest “was authentic, organized without the government’s intervention, and was on a scale much greater than we saw during the April escalation [the previous most serious clash between the two sides, in 2016],” Shiriyev told Eurasianet. “The death of the major general and other high-ranking officers was a turning point. Before, Azerbaijanis were looking at the events on the border as a ‘normal’ thing. But this changed people’s minds.”

The protest is both a “double-edged sword and a cold shower” for the government, Shiriyev added.

“It’s the first time in decades that we have seen a genuinely grassroots expression, on such a large scale, of the frustration about developments on the front line, with the protesters demanding more action from the government. The government will certainly use the protests in its conversations with the main international players to advocate for more pressure on Armenia,” he said.

“On the other hand, now the question is: how do you satisfy them [the protesters]? Revenge? More death on the international border or starting a military campaign on the line of contact? It’s hard to say if the protests will continue but many in the government may now press for changing either domestic policies or its approach to the conflict-related issues affecting the lives of the people living along the border or the line of contact,” he said.

One possible way forward: following a cessation of the current hostilities, greater government investment in and concern for civilians living in border areas. That would be appreciated by a broad swath of the Azerbaijani public, Shiriyev said.


One must understand the average English is pre~programmed and when weather turns hot their minds turn to bar be cue

PANICKED sunseekers were evacuated from Bournemouth beach after a huge blaze broke out as a group tried to cook inside a beach hut.

The huge blaze engulfed a heath-covered cliff face as hundreds of stunned sunbathers were told to leave the shoreline.

Bournemouth beach was evacuated after three beach huts caught on fire
Bournemouth beach was evacuated after three beach huts caught on fire
Dramatic pictures showed beach huts on fire - with the flames spreading to the steep trees behind
Dramatic pictures showed beach huts on fire – with the flames spreading to the steep trees behindCredit: UK News in Pictures
One burnt out beach hut could be seen at the scene afterwards
One burnt out beach hut could be seen at the scene afterwards Credit: Bournemouth News
Sunseekers watched on in horror as the inferno ripped up a steep hill
Sunseekers watched on in horror as the inferno ripped up a steep hillCredit: Twitter/missberkova
Residents were advised to keep doors and windows closed
Residents were advised to keep doors and windows closed
Flames climbed over the top of the cliff
Flames climbed over the top of the cliff

A team of 40 firefighters battled to control the flames which burnt down three beach huts on the promenade and covered 100 square metres of cliff face.

Huge plumes of black smoke billowed across the beach as horrified beach-goers watched on as firefighters climbed up the cliff with hoses.

The blaze is believed to have started when one group tried to cook on a gas stove inside a luxury beach hut.

Huts on the seafront in Bournemouth can cost as much as £100,000.

Police rushed to the scene and closed off the roads leading up to the beach as desperate attempts were made to bring the blaze under control.

Fire officer Andy Cole said: “We believe the fire started accidentally in one of the beach huts due to a cooking accident.

“It spread to another beach hut and because the cliff face is so close to the beach huts went up the hill.”


Witness Jonty Hughes, 22, from Bournemouth, said: “I was about 60ft from it when the fire first started – just inside one beach hut.

“A guy came running out shouting for people to get back as there was a small gas canister down the side of his beach hut.

“He kept shouting for people to get out of the way and when it did reach the gas there were loads of pops, which sounded almost like aerosols.

“The wind pushed the flames up the cliff face and the fire just rose all the way up from there. It was unbelievable.”

The devastating fire destroyed three beach huts on the promenade
The devastating fire destroyed three beach huts on the promenade Credit: Hyde News & Pictures Ltd
A team of 40 firefighters battled to control the flames which burnt down three beach huts 
A team of 40 firefighters battled to control the flames which burnt down three beach huts Credit: Hyde News & Pictures Ltd
Multiple crews from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service attended the scene
Multiple crews from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service attended the sceneCredit: Hyde News & Pictures Ltd
Huge plumes of black smoke billowed across the beach
Huge plumes of black smoke billowed across the beachCredit: Hyde News & Pictures Ltd
The huge blaze engulfed a heath-covered cliff face as hundreds of sunbathers were evacuated from the sands
The huge blaze engulfed a heath-covered cliff face as hundreds of sunbathers were evacuated from the sands
Huge plumes of black smoke billowed across the beach as stunned bathers watched on
Huge plumes of black smoke billowed across the beach as stunned bathers watched onCredit: PA:Press Association

Tracey Steadman, a district nurse visiting from Derbyshire, said: “I didn’t hear a bang or anything like that. I just turned around and saw a huge plume of smoke.

“There were flames erupting from one hut and people were forced to leave their possessions on the beach to get away safely.

“There was no time to pack up things like wind-breaks, people just had to abandon them on the sand.

“I saw a few of the other huts catch fire and the wind blew the flames onto the hill which went up so quickly.

“Thankfully we were about 160ft away but the fire was absolutely huge.

“The police arrived within minutes but unfortunately the fire brigade were slightly behind them so by the time they got there, the hill was already in flames.

“Firefighters had to climb onto the hill to try and put it out and after that there was just a huge amount of smoke.”

A beach hut owner, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “The speed of the fire was terrifying.

“It went from 0 to 60 in a few minutes and nothing could be done.

“People were shouting to get away for fear of gas canisters exploding.”

South Western Ambulance Service said there were no reports of any injuries.

The fire was put out by about 5.30pm.

Dorset Police said: “Please avoid the area of the West Cliff lift on Bournemouth’s West Cliff following a beach hut fire, which has spread to nearby beach huts and is moving up the cliff.

“A cordon is in place for the safety of members of the public. We are assisting with the cordon.”

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “We currently dealing with a fire on West Undercliff in Bournemouth, affecting three beach huts and approximately 100 sqm of heath on the cliff face.

“We were called to the scene at 3.51pm and have fire crews in attendance from Redhill Park, Springbourne, Westbourne and Christchurch, together with the aerial appliance from Westbourne. Additional crews are en route.

“The fire is causing significant smoke across the promenade and across West Hill Road.

“People are asked to stay away from the area, and to keep doors and windows closed as a precaution.”



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It comes just weeks after thousands of Brits ignored pleas to stay away by travelling to Bournemouth beach during the heatwave.

Bournemouth council declared a major incident after emergency services were “completely overstretched” when huge numbers of visitors crowded on to the beach.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that beaches could be closed if people continued to flout social distancing rules.

Roads were gridlocked, hindering emergency vehicles, and more than 40 tonnes of rubbish were removed from the coastal hotspot in just one day.

Sunbathers fled the scene following a huge blaze near Bournemouth beach
Sunbathers fled the scene following a huge blaze near Bournemouth beach
Stunned locals looked on in horror as the smoke billowed above the busy beach
Stunned locals looked on in horror as the smoke billowed above the busy beachCredit: Twitter/OxygenMktg
On June 25, a major incident was declared after thousands of Brits flocked to Bournemouth beach
On June 25, a major incident was declared after thousands of Brits flocked to Bournemouth beach

Armenian and Azerbaijani forces have killed at least 16 people in the worst outbreak for years

Armenia-Azerbaijan border fighting escalates; 16 killed

Three days of fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces have killed at least 16 people in the worst outbreak of hostilities between the neighboring countries in years

ByAVET DEMOURIAN Associated Press17 July 2020, 19:444 min read

Armenian soldiers take their position on the front line in Tavush region, Armenia, Tuesday, July 14, 2020. Skirmishes on the volatile Armenia-Azerbaijan border escalated Tuesday, marking the most serious outbreak of hostilities between the neighbors since the fighting in 2016. (Armenian Defense Ministry Press Service/PanPhoto via AP) Armenian soldiers take their position on the front line in Tavush region, Armenia, Tuesday, July 14, 2020. Skirmishes on the volatile Armenia-Azerbaijan border escalated Tuesday, marking the most serious outbreak of hostilities between the neighbors since the fighting in 2016. (Armenian Defense Ministry Press Service/PanPhoto via AP) undefined The Associated Press

YEREVAN, Armenia — Armenia and Azerbaijan forces fought Tuesday with heavy artillery and drones, leaving at least 16 people killed on both sides, including an Azerbaijani general, in the worst outbreak of hostilities in years.

Skirmishes on the volatile border between the two South Caucasus nations began Sunday. Azerbaijan said it has lost 11 servicemen and one civilian in three days of fighting, and Armenia said four of its troops were killed Tuesday.

The two neighbors in the South Caucasus have been locked in conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, a region of Azerbaijan that has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a war there ended in 1994. International efforts to settle the conflict have stalled.

Armenian and Azerbaijani forces have frequently engaged in clashes. The current skirmishes appear to mark the most serious spike in hostilities since 2016 when scores were killed in four days of fighting.

The latest incident began Sunday when Armenian and Azerbaijani troops exchanged fire in the northern section of their border. Officials in both countries blamed each other for starting the fighting and said that sporadic shelling has continued.

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said two senior officers, Maj. Gen. Polad Hashimov and Col. Ilgar Mirzayev, were killed in fighting Tuesday along with five other servicemen.

Armenian officials claimed that Azerbaijani drones launched an attack on the Tavush province town of Berd, targeting civilian infrastructure. Defense Ministry spokeswoman Shushan Stepanyan said that one of Azerbaijani drones was downed.

Stepanyan also charged that the Azerbaijani military used civilians as shields, placing artillery close to the village of Dondar Gushchu in the Tovuz district about 10 kilometers (six miles) from the border.

“The Azerbaijani side has surrounded its own population with artillery batteries, making them a target, and then complained that the Armenian forces fired in that direction,” she said on Facebook where she posted images of the Azerbaijani artillery around the village.

The Azerbaijani military denied losing a drone and in turn claimed that its forces shot down an Armenian drone and destroyed an Armenian artillery system along with its crew.

As hostilities continued, Armenia also accused Azerbaijan of launching cyberattacks on Armenian government websites.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Monday accused Azerbaijan of provoking the clashes and warned that it would “bear responsibility for the unpredictable consequences.” Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev denounced what he described as “another provocation of Armenia” and vowed to protect Azerbaijan’s national territory.

Turkey, which has close ethnic and cultural ties with Azerbaijan, has voiced strong support to Baku in the conflict.

The United States and Russia, which co-chair the Minsk group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe that has tried to negotiate a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, have condemned the violence and called for restraint.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had separate calls with his counterparts in Armenia and Azerbaijan on Monday to call for an immediate ceasefire.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Tuesday that Moscow was “deeply worried” about the fighting and stands ready to play mediator.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also expressed worry. His spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, said in a statement that the U.N. chief “urges an immediate end to the fighting and calls on all involved to take immediate steps to deescalate the situation and refrain from provocative rhetoric.”


This story was first published on July 14, 2020. It was updated on July 15, 2020 to correct the transliterated name of the province where Armenia accused Azerbaijan’s military of launching a drone attack. It is Tavush province, not Tuvush. It was updated again on July 17, 2020 to correct the first name of Azerbaijan’s president. He is Ilham Aliyev, not Ilhan Aliyev.


Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow, and Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations, contributed to this report.


Cheerleader groomed by Maxwell claims she regularly molested her

Ghislaine Rape Accuser: They Did It 20-30 Times, Then Just Dumped Me, Naked

Ghislaine Rape Accuser: They Did It 20-30 Times, Then Just Dumped Me, Naked

If you even needed a reminder of the multitudinous evils Ghislaine Maxwell is accused of — and not just that she happened to be the “gal pal” of Jeffrey Epstein, the most notorious child sex abuser in recent history — you need only to look at the accusation leveled by a woman simply known as Jane Doe.

Doe is one of the women who filed suit against Epstein’s estate last year. In an interview with Fox News, she detailed a pattern of misconduct by Maxwell that involved more than just grooming.

“She did rape me. I would say it’s more than 20 or 30 times,” Doe said in the interview. “She is just as evil as Jeffrey Epstein … She is a rapist.”

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“She is an evil person. I don’t believe that Jeffrey Epstein could have obtained the magnitude of victims that he had had it not been for her,” she added. “She destroyed what was supposed to be the best years of my life, being a teenager and being a cheerleader.”

Doe told Fox the abuse began in Florida in 1991, when she was only 14. It ended when she was 16 — but not before she was forced to have an abortion because Epstein had impregnated her. She also said she was brutally beaten and raped by both Epstein and Maxwell because they feared she’d told her grandparents, who were raising her.

TRENDING: 50 Years Ago a Pro-Cop Hollywood Legend Sent This Astounding Letter to the US Senate

According to Doe, the abuse began where so many stories surrounding the financier have: She was recruited by a friend into Epstein’s orbit.

The girl says she was given a pager and Maxwell would go on shopping trips with her, buying her luxury goods.

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This went in the same, enraging direction; the woman says was sexually assaulted. But not just by Epstein, she says. She was also penetrated with sex toys and fingers by Maxwell.

“When this started, she told me that Epstein was getting upset because I kept bleeding, and that she was helping so that it wouldn’t hurt so much because it should be satisfying,” Doe said.Do you think Ghislaine Maxwell be convicted?Yes No  Completing this poll entitles you to The Western Journal news updates free of charge. You may opt out at anytime. You also agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

She said that Maxwell was often in the room with Epstein instructing her in how to pleasure the financier.

“It was her more or less, coaching,” Doe said. “Do it this way and do it that way, because once you become a model, this is what they’re going to expect from you.”

This was decidedly similar to the story of one of the three minor victims described in the indictment against Maxwell unsealed on Thursday — although it appears not to be Jane Doe’s story, since the abuse in that case began three years later than Doe alleges.

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“Maxwell met Minor Victim-1 when Minor Victim-1 was approximately 14 years old. Maxwell subsequently interacted with Minor Victim-1 on multiple occasions at Epstein’s residences, knowing that Minor Victim-1 was under the age of 18 at the time,” the indictment read.

“During these interactions, which took place between approximately 1994 and 1997, Maxwell groomed Minor Victim-1 to engage in sexual acts with Epstein through multiple means. First, Maxwell and Epstein attempted to befriend Minor Victim-1, taking her to the movies and on shopping trips. Maxwell also asked Minor Victim-1 about school, her classes, her family, and other aspects of her life.

RELATED: Bill Clinton Denied Going to Epstein’s Island, Now a Witness Says Otherwise

“Maxwell then sought to normalize inappropriate and abusive conduct by, among other things, undressing in front of Minor Victim-1 and being present when Minor Victim-1 undressed in front of Epstein.

“Within the first year after Maxwell and Epstein met Minor Victim-1, Epstein began sexually abusing Minor Victim-1. Maxwell was present for and involved in some of this abuse.  In particular, Maxwell involved Minor Victim-1 in group sexualized massages of Epstein. During those group sexualized massages, Maxwell and/or Minor Victim-1 would engage in sex acts with Epstein.”

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You’ll Never Think About Solar Panels Again After Seeing This (Watch)By Revcontent

Jane Doe’s story manages to get even darker, however. After she had the abortion at 16, Epstein and Maxwell allegedly suspected she had told her grandparents. So, they sexually assaulted her one last time, gang-raping her and sending her home with a driver who had a gun.

“Ghislaine was a part of it,” Doe told Fox. “I was drugged.”

“I was dumped off in my grandparents yard naked, and was told that I wouldn’t come back alive the next time.”

“I had never been with anyone except for him [Epstein],” she added. “The fact that I had to kill my child really affected me and my family.”

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Doe has said she’s “absolutely” willing to take the stand if and when Maxwell gets to trial.

“I would definitely take the stand and testify because I believe she deserves to be where she is today and she deserves to stay there for the rest of her life,” Doe said. “I hope by me coming forward, it encourages other victims.”

Of course, this is also a matter of “if.” Jeffrey Epstein died in what has been ruled a suicide in his Manhattan jail cell and Maxwell could always follow down the same path if law enforcement makes the same mistake twice. Epstein’s associate in a Ponzi scheme told the U.K. Sun that he thought jail would break the 58-year-old Maxwell.

“If they keep her in prison, she’ll crack in two seconds. She’s not able to take that sort of cruel punishment, prison is too tough and hard, she’ll have to be in solitary confinement, and she’ll snap,” Steven Hoffenberg, who served 18 years in prison after a 1995 bust, told the newspaper. (Epstein, of course, escaped punishment.)

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“I know the confinement and I know how hard it is for people to adjust, it’s too painful, very psychologically painful, and she’ll never be able to take it.”

Hoffenberg said it in the context of Maxwell cooperating with federal officials and making a case against high-profile individuals who may have been provided with groomed, underage girls by Maxwell and Epstein.

“She’s going to cooperate and be very important,” he said. “[Prince] Andrew may be very concerned, and there’s a lot of people very worried, a lot of powerful people been named [in the scandal], and she knows everything.”

That’s likely not going to change whether or not she ends up in prison, however — not if Maxwell confesses to sexually assaulting young girls. Thus, she might look for an out, either of the suicidal variety or another, more earthly form of escape.

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“She obviously has serious connections, multiple passports,” Jane Doe said of Maxwell in the Fox interview. “I just feel like if for any reason she could have her way out of jail she would be gone and nobody would find her.”

That’s why she supports prosecutors in their decision to ask the judge to deny Maxwell bail.

“As a result of her disturbing and callous conduct, Maxwell now faces the very real prospect of serving many years in prison,” prosecutors argued in a memo. “The strength of the Government’s evidence and the substantial prison term the defendant would face upon conviction all create a strong incentive for the defendant to flee. That risk is only amplified by the defendant’s extensive international ties, her citizenship in two foreign countries, her wealth, and her lack of meaningful ties to the United States.”

Could this be the thread that causes the entire Epstein case to unravel? One has reason to hope — but then, one had reason to hope when Epstein was arrested, too. We know how that turned out.

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Prosecutors can’t make the same mistakes this time — if not just for the sake of the truth, then for the sake of the victims.

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.Submit a Correction

C. Douglas GoldenContributor, CommentarySummary More Info Recent Posts ContactC. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he’s written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal for four years. @CillianZealFacebookTags: Jeffrey Epsteinsexual abusesexual assaultINTERESTING FOR YOU

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Emiratis seeking to boost their very own space program

Hello from The National in Abu Dhabi.

Here are your morning updates: CORONAVIRUS LATEST – The UAE recorded 716 new infections after more than 71,000 additional tests were carried out. More than half of those living in Abu Dhabi surveyed by the government remain upbeat about their economic prospects in the wake of the pandemic. 

People not wearing masks should be refused service in enclosed public spaces, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, as his government moves to make the wearing of them compulsory.

 England took a major step towards returning to normal life as many restaurants, pubs and hairdressers reopened after more than three months of closure.

 LIVE BLOGFollow our live blog for the latest coronavirus news from the region and beyond.

LATEST GLOBAL NUMBERSTotal deaths: 528,354
Total cases: 11,185,627
Total recoveries: 6,029,860 **

Numbers correct as of midnight GMT.

Britain said its commitment to the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal is being jeopardised by Iran’s repeated violations of the agreement. 

 Dubai has outlined its plans for a commercial drone network, including miniature helipads and an air traffic control system.  

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 In opinion, John Rakolta Jr, the US ambassador to the UAE, writes the US stands with the UAE to address some of the greatest challenges of our time, now and in the years to come. 

Mustafa Alrawi

** And the matter of the remaining non recovered 4,500,000 wwide?


‘Probe Andrew’s links to Ghislaine Maxwell’, says Rochdale detective

‘Probe Prince Andrew’s links to Ghislaine Maxwell’, says Rochdale grooming ring detective

EXCLUSIVE: Maggie Oliver demands a fresh inquiry into Prince Andrew’s friendship with billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and his ex Ghislaine Maxwell

ByRussell MyersGeraldine McKelvie

  • 22:43, 4 JUL 2020
Former Greater Manchester Police D.C. Maggie Oliver speaks exclusively to the Sunday Mirror (Image: Philip Coburn/Daily Mirror)

Get our daily royal round-up direct to your inboxSign upWhen you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. OurPrivacy Noticeexplains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.

The detective who helped expose one of Britain’s worst paedophile scandals today demands a police investigation into Prince Andrew’s links with Ghislaine Maxwell.

Rochdale whistleblower Maggie Oliver says the Prince should be quizzed after the arrest of his friend Maxwell in America this week on child sex trafficking charges. Maxwell denies all charges.

The ex-detective constable’s demand came as legal experts claimed Scotland Yard had no grounds to suddenly drop a 2016 probe involving Jeffrey Epstein alleged sex slave Virginia Giuffre.

Giuffre claimed she was trafficked to the UK by financier Epstein and his ex-lover Maxwell, where they allegedly forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew at the age of 17 in 2001.

Prince Andrew and paedophile pal Jeffrey Epstein go for a stroll together through New York’s Central Park (Image: Sun Syndication)

The Prince has always strenuously denied any wrongdoing.

And in an infamous interview with Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis he claimed he had no recollection of Ms Giuffre, now 36 – even though he has been photographed with her.

But Maggie – who quit Greater Manchester Police to expose the force’s poor handling of the Rochdale child sex abuse probe – said: “I absolutely think he should be questioned.

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“I don’t believe for a single moment this was investigated fully and that the police could do nothing about it.

Ghislaine Maxwell has been arrested by the FBI (Image: Reuters)

“Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but the fact he [Prince Andrew] hasn’t been interviewed under caution suggests to me special treatment.

“I’ve listened to Virginia’s interviews and I don’t believe she wasn’t credible and didn’t have evidence to back up what she is saying. The establishment protects the establishment. At the very least, it’s coincidental.

“At the worst, it’s corruption at the highest level. When the authorities chose not to even investigate
these crimes, the message that goes out to victims is they don’t matter.

“In many respects, this is worse than the abuse itself.”

The Metropolitan Police dropped their probe into Ms Giuffre’s claims on the grounds most of her complaint related to allegations of abuse in other countries.

But legal experts say there was then a UK law in place that made it a criminal offence for a person to procure a girl under 21 for unlawful sexual intercourse in any part of the world.

And although the Sexual Offences Act of 1956 has now largely been replaced with more modern laws on trafficking and sex abuse, it would still apply to cases dating back to when it was in force.

The Met dropped the case only three years before Epstein, 66, took his own life in a New York prison cell while awaiting sex trafficking charges, meaning many victims were denied justice.

Top human rights lawyer Harriet Wistrich, director of the Centre for Women’s Justice, said: “The public interest stakes are very high in looking into this. It’s a very serious allegation and there is no reason why the police shouldn’t investigate it.

“If a crime is committed in your jurisdiction and the complainer wants you to investigate it, the fact that other allegations related to other jurisdictions is not a reason not to do so.” Her views were echoed by Olivia Coffey, specialist child abuse solicitor with national law firm Bolt Burdon Kemp.

She said: “The Metropolitan Police appear to be simply leaving the criminal investigations up to the authorities in the US – rather than investigating what allegedly happened here and ultimately holding anyone who committed criminal offences to account.

“Trafficking is an international issue that spans jurisdictions and you would therefore expect investigations to take place in the UK as well as the US and anywhere else where crimes were allegedly carried out.

“Following Epstein’s death it will be more important than ever that Maxwell’s role is thoroughly investigated – here and in the US.


“You’d hope Prince Andrew would fully cooperate and provide the police with as much information as he can.” It is understood the complaint to the Metropolitan Police in 2016 did not include any criminal allegations against Prince Andrew.

A source close to the Prince last night maintained he had agreed to cooperate fully with US authorities.

The insider said: “The Duke of York’s team are completely bewildered as to why the US authorities maintain they still need to speak to him.

“There have been several offers to cooperate with them throughout the year, to which there has been no response. The view is this is complete theatre on their part. Andrew has said he is innocent of any wrongdoing and nothing has changed.”

Metropolitan Police Commander Alex Murray said the force had no plans to investigate the claims from 2016 in light of this week’s developments. He said: “Our position remains unchanged.”

Both the CPS and a spokesperson for the Duke declined to comment

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Motorway becomes runway in Taiwans war games

Taiwan military conducts live-fire drills ‘to annihilate enemy on shore’

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen and the pilots of AIDC T-5 Brave Eagle, Taiwan’s first locally manufactured advanced jet trainer, in Taichung, Taiwan, June 22, 2020. © Reuters / Ann Wang

Follow RT on

Taiwan’s armed forces carried out live-fire drills on its west coast on Thursday. The maneuvers came ahead of the main annual exercises, which will take place later this month.

The drills, in a coastal area facing the sensitive Taiwan Strait, simulated fending off an attempted landing by enemy forces, according to the Defense Ministry. Taiwan’s most modern fighter jet, the F-16V, plus Apache attack helicopters, tanks, and artillery, which fired live rounds, were involved.

The drills were aimed at improving the military’s effectiveness at “enemy annihilation on the shore” and to “prevail along the coastline” to stop an enemy invasion, the military said.

In recent months, Taiwan has complained of repeated Chinese air force patrols near the island. President Tsai Ing-wen has made boosting the country’s defenses a priority since she first won office in 2016


Maxwell Arrested In New Hampshire

Epstein Confidante Maxwell Arrested In New Hampshire


In a surprising move, Ghislaine Maxwell, the British heiress and confidante to the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, has been arrested in New Hampshire. Maxwell’s arrest could have a ripple effect on both criminal and civil matters ranging from the still uncertain status of Prince Andrew to a number of defamation lawsuits. One of Maxwell’s principal accuser was Virginia Roberts Giuffre who has filed lawsuits against Maxwell as well as figures like Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz.

Frankly, as a criminal defense lawyer, I am surprised that Maxwell risked returning to the United States. She was believed to be living in Paris. It was well-known that the Justice Department was pursuing the case, including demands to interview Prince Andrew.

Her arrest may be unnerving for figures like Prince Andrew. She would be the ultimate cooperating witness if she decided to cooperate on broader criminal inquiries. Giuffre and others have alleged that she was the primary procurer of young girls for Epstein to abuse.

Such prosecutions are not easy given the passage of time. However, the government clearly has live witnesses like Giuffre who might have a significant impact on a jury. The government would have to show more than her mere presence at these homes or parties.

One interesting twist will be the infamous deal cut. I was a vocal critic of that deal with Epstein. Despite a strong case for prosecution, Epstein’s lawyers, including Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr, were able to secure a ridiculous deal with prosecutors. He was accused of abusing abused more than forty minor girls (with many between the ages of 13 and 17). Epstein pleaded guilty to a Florida state charge of felony solicitation of underage girls in 2008 and served a 13-month jail sentence. Epstein was facing a 53-page indictment that could have resulted in life in prison in jail. However, he got the 13 month deal. Moreover, to my lasting surprise, the Senate approved the man who cut that disgraceful deal, former Miami U.S. attorney Alexander Acosta, as labor secretary. He later resigned.

That deal does not mention Maxwell but it expressly stated that federal prosecutors “will not institute any criminal charges against any potential co-conspirators of Epstein, including but not limited to Sarah Kellen, Adriana Ross, Lesley Groff, or Nadia Marcinkova.” Any criminal charge linked to the Epstein case against Maxwell would seem to be a charge against a “potential co-conspirator of Epstein.”

That deal however was not lawfully executed by Acosta who did a great disservice not only to justice but more importantly these victims. Judge Kenneth A. Marra of Federal District Court in West Palm Beach found, as many of us have long argued, that the deal cut by Acosta violated federal law and allowed the infamous financier to get a disgracefully low sentence. Here is the opinion.

Thus, the improper role played by the Justice Department in the case may actually help it now with any prosecution of Maxwell.


Philip Wood, IBM engineer was on board MH370 (please read on)


The Epoch Times


A South Korean P3 Orion taxies on the run way after it returned from the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Perth, Australia, Sunday, March 30, 2014.  (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

A South Korean P3 Orion taxies on the run way after it returned from the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Perth, Australia, Sunday, March 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)MOREASIA & PACIFIC

Diego Garcia: Philip Wood, IBM Engineer on Flight MH370, Posts Photo From U.S. ‘Prison’? [UPDATED]

BY ZACHARY STIEBERMarch 30, 2014 Updated: April 3, 2014FacebookTweetLinkedInEmail Shares Comments

One of the newest conspiracy theories about missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is that the passengers are being held at Diego Garcia, a U.S. base near the Maldives.

UPDATE: In an update to his original post, Jim Stone finally revealed the source of the photo–4Chan.

4Chan is extremely unreliable and has been used to perpetuate many hoaxes, and this may be one of them.

——-Original story below

The theory itself isn’t that new but claimed new evidence is–that would be a black photo allegedly taken by Philip Wood, an American IBM engineer on the flight.

Widespread searches for the flight, which went missing around three weeks ago, have turned up basically nothing.

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Some people believe that the plane was flown to Diego Garcia, citing in part fuel projections and radar data.MOST READ

Diego Garcia: Philip Wood, IBM Engineer on Flight MH370, Posts Photo From U.S. ‘Prison’? [UPDATED]

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Now a conspiracy theory website jimstonefreelance.com claims that the story of Wood posting a photo from a “prison” in Diego Garcia is “confirmed 100 percent true.”

The origin of the photo, which looks like a picture taken in a completely black room, is unclear.

But Stone says that the Exif data from the picture matches the coordinates of Diego Garcia, saying “this is not a hoax.” RELATED

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The person who posted the photo online claimed to be blindfolded when he sent the message, Stone said.

Stone said that the photo was posted with the following text: “I have been held hostage by unknown military personal after my flight was hijacked (blindfolded). I work for IBM and I have managed to hide my cellphone in my ass during the hijack. I have been separated from the rest of the passengers and I am in a cell. My name is Philip Wood. I think I have been drugged as well and cannot think clearly.”

“The man claimed to be blindfolded when he sent the message,” Stone said. “When the American military blindfolds someone, it is accomplished by putting a bag over the head that is locked so you can’t get it off. This left the engineers hands free. This would have made it possible for him to pull his iPhone 5 (a fact confirmed by the Exif data) out of his butt as stated, and use the voice command ability of the Iphone to just talk to it to log in and post the message. This explains why he sent a black photo, he could not see what he was sending, he just knew he snapped a photo and sent whatever got taken.”

Epoch Times Photo

The location of Diego Garcia.

Epoch Times Photo

The photo allegedly posted by Philip Wood.

Stone added regarding the coordinates: “When the coordinates are added to the fact that the photo’s exif data does not match the Google coordinates or any other coordinates for Diego Garcia that are posted online, but is still within the boundaries of Diego Garcia, it proves that no one just pulled those coordinates off the web. It helps confirm that this was not just a hoax because the coordinates are exact to wherever on Diego Garcia the Iphone was when it took the photo.”

Stone, who cross-posted his blog post on the conspiracy website Before It’s News, doesn’t include a clear point of origin for the photo or the information such as the Exif data.

A link in the post that allegedly points to the origin of the photo doesn’t work properly.

See an AP update on the search below

WELLINGTON, New Zealand—Sometimes the object spotted in the water is a snarled fishing line. Or a buoy. Or something that might once have been the lid to an ice box. Not once—not yet at least—has it been a clue.

Anticipation has repeatedly turned into frustration in the search for signs of Flight 370 as objects spotted from planes in a new search area west of Australia have turned out to be garbage. It’s a time-wasting distraction for air and sea crews searching for debris from the Malaysia Airlines flight that vanished March 8.

It also points to wider problems in the world’s oceans.

“The ocean is like a plastic soup, bulked up with the croutons of these larger items,” said Los Angeles captain Charles Moore, an environmental advocate credited with bringing attention to an ocean gyre between Hawaii and California known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which by some accounts is about the size of Texas.

The world’s oceans have four more of these flotsam-collecting vortexes, Moore said, and the searchers, in an area about 1,850 kilometers (1,150 miles) west of Perth, have stumbled onto the eastern edge of a gyre in the Indian Ocean.

“It’s like a toilet bowl that swirls but doesn’t flush,” said Moore.

The garbage patches are nothing like a typical city dump. In fact, most of the trash can’t even be seen: It’s composed of tiny bits of plastic bobbing just below the surface.

The larger items also tend to be plastic and are often fishing-related, Moore said. Though, he added, he has come across light bulbs, a toilet seat, and, bobbing off the California coast, a refrigerator, complete with defrosted orange juice.

Seattle oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer has been studying the phenomena of ocean debris for years. He said there are smaller collections of garbage within the gyres.

“If you go into a house you’ll find dust bunnies,” he said. “The ocean has a mass of dust bunnies, each moving about 10 miles a day.”

Ebbesmeyer said he’s fascinated by what happens to the trash that spews from the hundreds of shipping containers lost overboard from cargo ships each year. He said there’s one that keeps belching out Lego pieces onto the beaches of Cornwall, England. Another spilled 2,000 computer monitors. Another released thousands of pairs of Nike sneakers.

Sometimes, he said, the containers themselves can become hazards as they float around for months, buoyed by plastic objects inside or the air trapped behind watertight doors.

Trash also gets into the ocean after being washed down rivers or swept up in tsunamis, Ebbesmeyer said.

Scientists are particularly worried about small and seemingly ubiquitous pieces of plastic that can be from shopping bags, plastic water bottles, or other household items. Waves break the items up into smaller pieces.

Denise Hardesty, a research scientist for Australian science agency CSIRO, said the studies she’s been involved with conservatively estimate there are between 5,000 and 7,000 small pieces of plastic per square kilometer in the waters around Australia.

She said two-thirds of the seabirds she’s performed necropsies upon have ingested at least some plastic, and one particular bird had swallowed 175 pieces. Another bird, she said, had swallowed an entire glow stick longer than a finger. Such sticks are used by fishermen to attract fish underwater.

“It takes 400 or 500 years for lots of types of plastics to completely break down,” Hardesty said. “It just goes into smaller and smaller bits. You even find plastics in plankton — that’s how small it gets.”

Hardesty said while she finds plenty of plastic in the ocean, she doesn’t typically spot many larger objects. She said she does find trash like cans, bottles and candy wrappers floating near urban centers, but most of it tends to get washed ashore.

American sailor James Burwick said he’s twice crossed the Indian Ocean from Africa to Australia. He said the sea was too wild to see much trash but he did feel bumps against the bottom of his boat, and an old fishing net once got caught around his vessel.

Wing Cmdr. Andy Scott, of New Zealand’s defense force, said the crew in a P-3 Orion scouring the ocean for Flight 370 on Saturday spotted about 70 objects in four hours.

Three were deemed worthy of further investigation, he said, but none turned out to be from the missing plane. One was probably a fishing line, he said, another was the suspected ice box lid, and a third was some unidentified brown and orange material.

A cluster of orange-colored items spotted on Sunday from an Australian search plane and thought to be a promising lead also turned out to be fishing equipment.

“From my experience, it can be quite a roller coaster,” he said. “You sight these search objects, and think you’ve made a breakthrough, and then you have to get back to your routine.”

Scott said that over time, small pieces of debris can tangle together to make something larger. Such rafts will eventually attract sea life, he said, which can stir up the water and make it appear to be more important than it is.

“A lot of the stuff we are seeing,” he said, “is basically rubbish.”Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieberTOP NEWS

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“It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan,” Zhao suggested, calling for the CDC – and the US in general – to “be transparent” and share what they know

Exclusive: US Army Brought COVID-19 to China with Fake ‘Military Games’ Team (March 12 story)

By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor -June 22, 2020

VT’s overall poor relationship with the Trump presidency has moved up a notch.  The report Trump is referencing went, not unnoticed, but rather totally censored in the Western press, as has so much else until VT sought out the facts and published them.

Now, for the second time, Trump has made sad and silly denials, this one filled with hyperbole and grandiose behavior, typical of a spectrum sociopath.

March 12, 2020: In October 2019, the US brought 172 (really 369) military athletes to Wuhan for the World Military Games.  Despite having the largest military in the world, tenfold, the US came in 35th behind nations like Iran, Finland and Slovenia. No video or photos exist of the US team, no records were kept, a huge team but a pitiful performance for the best military in the world.

The US team did so badly that they were called “Soy Sauce Soldiers” by the Chinese.  In fact, many never participated in any event and stayed near the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, where the disease is said to have originated only days after the US left the area.

The US team went home on October 28, 2019, and within 2 weeks, the first human contact cases of COVID 19 were seen in Wuhan.  The Chinese have not been able to find “patient zero” and believe he was a member of the US team.

They also have sources that say the US had misrepresented influenza that Trump claims have killed thousands, influenza carried to China by the US team, influenza that was really COVID 19, a disease developed in a military bio-warfare facility in the state of Washington, now “ground zero” in the US for COVID 19.

The Chinese claim, something censored in the US, that the inattentive attitude and disproportionately below average results of American athletes in the game indicates they might have been in for other purposes and they might actually be bio-warfare operatives, and that their place of residence during their stay in Wuhan was also close to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, where the first known cluster of cases occurred.[28][29]

RT/Moscow: The US army might have brought the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to China’s Wuhan, the city where the virus was first detected in the country, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Thursday.

“When did patient zero begin in the US?  How many people are infected?  What are the names of the hospitals? It might be the US army that brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! The US owes us an explanation!” Zhao tweeted.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lijian Zhao has demanded US authorities reveal what they’re hiding about the origins of Covid-19, going as far as to suggest the coronavirus may have been brought to China by the US military.

Pointing to a video of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Robert Redfield apparently admitting the US had several deaths from Covid-19 before they were able to test for it, Zhao called on the American watchdog to come clean in a tweet posted on Thursday

“It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan,” Zhao suggested, calling for the CDC – and the US in general – to “be transparent” and share what they know about where and when “Patient Zero” was first diagnosed.

Aug 2019: US army biohazard labs shut down for failing safety checks.

The lab is in Washington State where they have highest incidence of COVID-19.

Oct 2019: Military World Games in Wuhan.

Dec 2019: First COVID-19 case in Wuhan. https://t.co/VPfdutbSoj— Twain (@twainus) March 12, 2020

In the video, Redfield acknowledged that some cases of coronavirus were misclassified as influenza as the medics did not have an accurate test for the new epidemic at the time. He did not elaborate on when these misdiagnosed cases first appeared – saying only that “some cases have been diagnosed that way.”https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-2&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1237985967195095041&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.veteranstoday.com%2F2020%2F06%2F22%2Fchina-us-brought-covid19-to-china-during-army-games-hid-disease-in-us-as-influenza%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

In the absence of any patients’ details or chronology of deaths, speculation has swirled. Zhao’s “theory” in particular focused on the military delegation that traveled to Wuhan in October for the Military World Games, weeks before the city confirmed the outbreak in December. The delegation was part of the 300-member group of American athletes taking part in the multi-sport event held every four years.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-3&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1238111145740898304&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.veteranstoday.com%2F2020%2F06%2F22%2Fchina-us-brought-covid19-to-china-during-army-games-hid-disease-in-us-as-influenza%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

Zhao is not the only high-profile political figure to voice suspicions about the timing of the Games and the introduction of the coronavirus in Wuhan. Former Malaysian PM Matthias Chang offered similar speculation back in January, zeroing in on the event as the launch point for what he deemed a biological war waged by the US against China.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-4&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1232904495702503426&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.veteranstoday.com%2F2020%2F06%2F22%2Fchina-us-brought-covid19-to-china-during-army-games-hid-disease-in-us-as-influenza%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that what is now the Covid-19 pandemic was first reported as a coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. The search for the deadly disease’s origin has been ongoing, with conflicting versions blaming the Wuhan food market and bats – a local delicacy – sold there in particular, while others opined humans might have gotten the virus from pangolins, an endangered scaly mammal.

Less orthodox theories suggest malicious intent, with the head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards sensationally claiming last week that Covid-19 could possibly be “a product of a biological attack by America which initially spread to China and then to Iran and the rest of the world.”

So far, the problem with all of those theories, blaming both animals and humans, is that no direct causal proof has been established, while the identity of China’s “patient zero” also remains unclear. And it’s not China alone: in Washington state – which seemingly identified and successfully isolated its first infected traveler, with dozens of contacts identified and monitored – the virus somehow began spreading anyway. Even Steve Wozniak, Apple’s co-founder, at one point claimed he and his wife may have been the US’ patient zero after developing a bad cough on return from China. It has since emerged his wife’s diagnosis was “a sinus infection,” however.

Why does the plague in Wuhan depend on the PLA?

2020-01-30 17:01:10 Source: school coffee house   Author: fish off the deep

Views: 37708 Comments: 24 (view)

From October 18 to October 27, 2019, the World Military Games was held in Wuhan, and the United States sent 369 soy sauce soldiers to participate.

Why is it soy sauce soldiers?

Because in the 10-day game, the performance of the American soy sauce soldiers was so disappointing that even Bahrain was unnecessarily disappointed, the gold medal was even missing, and the overall score was left far behind by North Korea, which once gave Mexico a chance. The urge to counterattack the continental United States.

However, the poor performance in the game did not affect the mood of the soy sauce soldiers playing in Wuhan.

They teamed up in groups of two, and played around the streets of Wuhan, leaving many romantic accidents.

It should be pointed out that the location of the US guest house of the Military Games is not far from South China Seafood City.

At the end of the military games, just when people were wondering, how could these gangsters who ca n’t wait to build muscles on their faces suddenly get fired up? Did the American soldiers ’food only be grappled? Or did they forget to eat it during the game? Snickers?

*   Host nation (China)

1 China (CHN)*1336442239
2 Russia (RUS)515357161
3 Brazil (BRA)21313688
4 France (FRA)13202457
5 Poland (POL)11153460
6 Germany (GER)10152045
7 North Korea (PRK)981532
8 Bahrain (BHR)91717
9 Uzbekistan (UZB)87520
10 Ukraine (UKR)5131533
11 Italy (ITA)4121228
12 Kazakhstan (KAZ)43512
13 Belarus (BLR)42814
14 Iran (IRI)42511
15 Switzerland (SUI)41813
16 South Korea (KOR)3101124
17 Norway (NOR)2428
 Slovenia (SLO)2428
19 Egypt (EGY)2259
20 Kenya (KEN)2125
 Morocco (MAR)2125
22 Turkey (TUR)2035
23 Romania (ROU)1438
24 Mongolia (MGL)1359
25 Hungary (HUN)1315
26 Czech Republic (CZE)1258
27 India (IND)1124
28 Belgium (BEL)1113
29 Latvia (LAT)1102
30 Lithuania (LTU)1012
31 Bulgaria (BUL)1001
 Namibia (NAM)1001
 Tunisia (TUN)1001
34 Finland (FIN)0426
35 United States (USA)0358
36 Austria (AUT)0314
37 Algeria (ALG)0257
38 Azerbaijan (AZE)0246
39 Dominican Republic (DOM)0235
40 Slovakia (SVK)0213
41 Qatar (QAT)0202
42 Thailand (THA)0156
43 Canada (CAN)0123
 Sri Lanka (SRI)0123
 Sweden (SWE)0123
46 Oman (OMA)0112
 Syria (SYR)0112
 Vietnam (VIE)0112
49 Denmark (DEN)0101
 Ecuador (ECU)0101
 Estonia (EST)0101
 Saudi Arabia (KSA)0101
 Tanzania (TAN)0101
54 Serbia (SRB)0033
55 Venezuela (VEN)0022
56 Albania (ALB)0011
 Armenia (ARM)0011
 Barbados (BAR)0011
 Greece (GRE)0011
 Indonesia (INA)0011
 Ireland (IRL)0011
 Kuwait (KUW)0011
 Luxembourg (LUX)0011
 Pakistan (PAK)0011
 Rwanda (RWA)0011
 Spain (ESP)0011
Totals (66 nations)3163163891021


Note: Para Athletics, Para Archery, Gymnastics, Tennis and 3 Senior Triathlon events not counted in the medal table.

BIOGRAPHYGordon Duff, Senior EditorSenior Editor , VTGordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. He is a disabled veteran and has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades. Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world’s largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues.

Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than “several” countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.

Gordon’s Archives – 2008-2014



Rather alarming backdrop story (which even in half-true by this Tokyo based correspondent) twists the head off the Fukushima story


※Weekly geo-political news and analysis

« Subject: RE: Ben, I have to admit…this poster calls BS on parts of your report and I have to agree with him | Main | 日本政治金融経済週刊ニュース 2015 12 09 »






(CJA 1967, S.9: MC Rules 1981, 7 70.)

Magistrates’ Court Act 1980 S.102

Name: Benjamin Fulford, also known as 古歩道ベンジャミン

Date of birth: March 19, 1961

Address: 3-6-9 Kichijoji Higashi Machi, Musashino-Shi, Tokyo 180-0002 Japan

This statement is being made at the request of Mr. Michael Shrimpton, who is making an appeal against a conviction for making an untrue bomb hoax to the UK authorities.

I have been a professional journalist for 30 years, working as Tokyo based correspondent for such companies as Knight Ridder Newspapers, the Nikkei Newspaper, The South China Morning Post and as Asia Pacific Bureau Chief for Forbes Magazine. Currently I am editor and publisher of Weekly Geopolitical News and Analysis. I have also published 70 non-fiction books written in Japanese. As a professional journalist I am well acquainted with libel laws and the need for fact checking. As such, the statement below is true to the best of my knowledge and belief.

Some articles of mine have appeared on the respected Veterans Today.com website, whose Editor-in-Chief is Gordon Duff. Mr Duff is well-connected, to my knowledge. I am aware, for example, that he recently travelled, under tight security, to Damascus, capital of the Syrian Arab Republic, for informal peace talks with President Assad.

Mr. Shrimpton has also been a commentator on Veterans Today.com and I have read his columns with interest. From my own knowledge I can say that Mr. Shrimpton is well-known in the Intelligence Community. I am aware that he holds himself out to be a specialist in the ‘black’ or covert German intelligence agency, the Deutscher Verteidigungs Dienst or DVD.  

I have published books (in Japanese) and articles claiming that the tsunami and nuclear disaster that occurred in Fukushima, Japan on March 11, 2011, sometimes known as “3/11” was the result of a deliberate attack. My sources for this assertion and what I am about to write include Japanese military intelligence, former Prime Minister Naoto Kan (whom I have known personally for many years), members of the crew that smuggled the nuclear weapons used in the attack on Fukushima into Japan, members of both the French and British branches of the Rothschild family, senior CIA agents and a member of the team that actually drilled the nuclear weapons into the seabed before the 3/11 attack.

I had no contact at all with Mr. Shrimpton before he was arrested. Mr Shrimpton and I have never met.  

The first thing the court needs to know with respect about Fukushima is that the attack was planned many years before it happened. The Japanese business magazine Zaikai Tembo, citing a CIA report, wrote in February of 2007 that the US had decided that Japan was getting too much of its energy from nuclear power and that if that trend continued, Japan would no longer be dependent on US controlled oil and thus would no longer have to obey the US. The conclusion of the report was that the best way to ensure Japan remained a colony would be to destroy the Tokyo Electric Power company, the people who run the Fukushima plant.

The Zaikai Tembo report is in the public domain. It is not readily to hand, but in an endeavour to assist the court I shall try to obtain a copy and annex it to a further short statement, along with copies of any other documents to which I refer, although I have been careful not to refer to documents which are not in the public domain. No discourtesy to the court is intended by my not annexing documents at this time. The reporting of terrorist attacks in Paris, France on Friday November 13 and the aftermath has meant that this is a particularly busy time for me.    

Former Senator John Davison ‘Jay’ Rockefeller (D-WV), great-grandson of John D. Rockefeller, whose family controls (through foundations) General Electric, the manufacturers of the plant, was deeply involved in the Fukushima operation. As a preliminary to destroying Japan’s nuclear power generation capability, Westinghouse and General Electric sold their nuclear power plant manufacturing businesses to Toshiba and Hitachi. This was insider trading at the highest level.   It is in the public domain that Senator Rockefeller is or has been associated with the Trilateral Commission, which Mr Shrimpton identifies in his text Spyhunter: A Secret History of German Intelligence (Totnes: June Press, 2014) as a DVD front organisation.

The ongoing attempt in recent years by an Asian/Western secret society to wrest control of global finance from Western oligarch families is a bigger back-ground to the Fukushima sub-plot. The ‘black’ or covert world is, almost by definition, opaque. I should explain that what Mr Shrimpton may identify as the DVD may operate in different parts of the world through fronts and secret societies. Intelligence agencies have long favoured the use of secret societies.

For example, Democratic Party of Japan Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa was asked at a G7 meeting in 2009 to hand over $100 billion to what I refer to as ‘the Cabal’, in order to finance an attempt to start a carbon tax scheme. He answered that he would raise the money by selling $100 billion worth of US Treasury bonds. He was going to say this at the press conference that followed the G7 meeting, so he was drugged to prevent him from doing so. Later, when he returned to Japan, he was murdered by CIA death squads, although I note what Mr. Shrimpton says about the Frankfurt-based COREA Group, Allen Welsh Dulles and DVD penetration of the CIA.

Getting back to Fukushima, the refusal of the Japanese Democratic Party and authorities to hand over any real hard currency to the Western Oligarch families resulted in their decision to go ahead with the Fukushima operation as a way of intimidating the Japanese once again into surrender and obedience.

One key source of mine, who has variously gone by the names of Richard Sorge, Alexander Romanov, etc., was part of a multi-agency Western ring involved in smuggling drugs into Japan. I have confirmed through a long term acquaintance by the name of Steve McClure, a supposed music journalist, that ‘Richard Sorge’ was his long term supplier of drugs. ‘Sorge’, whose real name is, according to his identity papers, Sasha Zaric, says he was a member of the Australian secret service. He also claims to have been recruited into an organization known as the Illuminati by former Chess champion Bobby Fischer. The Illuminati claim to be a secret society established by the Greek Mathematician Pythagoras but having roots that go back to Atlantis. The organisation is real but shrouded in secrecy and self-propagated mythology.  

In any case, ‘Sorge’ told me that he was summoned to Pattaya, Thailand, by a member of the British Special Air Service, a South African going by the name of Spencer and told to bring 70 kilograms of “Thai stick” marijuana, heavily laced with mind destroying chemicals, into Japan and approach me. He was told to tell me to introduce the Yakuza, or Japanese mafia, to him or else I would be killed. The Yakuza told me it was a trap and to keep away from it, which I did. ‘Sorge’ also told me that when he was in Thailand, he was shown a 500 kiloton nuclear warhead that he was told was stolen from the Russian submarine the Kursk (K-141) which sank in 2000. He claims that four such warheads were removed from the Kursk and that the Kursk was sabotaged for this purpose. This warhead was smuggled into Japan together with the drugs via a yacht from the Philippines.

The man overseeing the smuggling operation was a former Hong Kong deputy police commissioner by the name of Stephens, according to ‘Sorge’ and Spencer. This is the same Stevens, ‘Sorge’ says, who was later killed in Libya. The man in overall operational control of this operation against Japan was General Richard Myers, according to CIA and other sources.

Based on subsequent interviews with members of Pentagon military intelligence (the Defense Intelligence Agency, or DIA) and MI5, the route taken by the missile to Japan has been identified. It was part of the batch of four nuclear missiles stolen from the Kursk by Nazi-era underground forces, which Mr. Shrimpton identifies as the DVD, who took them to their submarine base in the Atlantic Island of Sao Tome, according to MI5. From there, it was taken to another submarine base in New Guinea, according to Pentagon Military intelligence.

From there it was taken to the Philippines Yacht Club where Stevens’ crew then took it by yacht to a remote island on the Okinawan archipelago. From there it was transported by fishing boat to the port of Kyushu. From Kyushu, the warhead was taken by van to a property owned by former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone in Hi No De Cho, in Western Tokyo. From there it was taken to the North Korean Citizen’s organization headquarters near the Yasukuni shrine, according to ‘Sorge’.

‘Sorge’ risked his life and has survived multiple murder attempts because he attempted to warn the Japanese authorities about the impending nuclear terror attack. He told them the warhead was at Nakasone’s property and he told me as well. The Japanese authorities ignored our warnings. Later we again told them the warhead was located at the North Korean headquarters in Japan. He also went to the Australian embassy in Tokyo, Japan and provided them with similar warnings. As a result of this, he had all his Australian identity papers confiscated and is now, apparently, stateless.

For his efforts, ‘Sorge’ was arrested by plain clothes police who ignored his warnings about impending nuclear terror and instead asked him to testify falsely that I was a drug dealer. He was also forcibly confined to the Inagidai mental hospital in Musashino, Tokyo where he was heavily drugged. This writer helped obtain his release by pressuring the Japanese authorities and threatening to take legal action against them for their illegal incarceration of ‘Sorge’ or Zaric. He remains undocumented and unable to leave Japan.

I do not have the slightest reason to suppose that ‘Sorge’ suffers from any form of mental illness. I should explain to the court that bad faith allegations of insanity are a standard intelligence tactic, refined in the USSR in the 1930s by the NKVD under the leadership or influence of the notorious Soviet spymasters Nikolai Yezhov and Lavrentiy Beria. When intelligence is presented which contains an uncomfortable truth for the state it is sometimes easier for the state to discredit the source by locking him or her up than to deal with the intelligence on its merits. This is sometimes known as political psychiatry.

A South African/British agent by the name of Michael Meiring, who had both legs blown off in the Philippines by a bomb he said was set by George Herbert Walker Bush Senior also began contacting me prior to these events, starting around 2006. He came to me under the name of Dr. Michael Van de Meer and he showed me a bullet proof attaché case, 7 passports and an Uzi machine-gun. Dr. Van de Meer told me that Tony Blair had bragged I would be arrested on drug charges. The reason for this contact was, in part I believe, because I held a press conference at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Japan where I presented evidence that the September 11, 2001 terror attacks were the work of a rogue faction inside the Israeli and US governments.

In any case, Japanese authorities failed to react to our warnings and the warhead was loaded onto the deep sea drilling ship Chikyu Maru. Local news reports place the Chikyu Maru drilling into the seabed off-shore from Sendai in the months before the March 11, 2011 tsunami and nuclear terror attack against Japan. Takamasa Kawase, of Japanese military intelligence, also told me about the Chikyu Maru drilling.

Furthermore, multiple witnesses have come forth to testify that the Prime Minister Naoto Kan was seen inside the Japan Freemason headquarters building near Tokyo tower on the day before the 3/11 attack. He was being shown a map of Japan missing the Tohoku region where the tsunami hit.

The Israeli company Magna BSP was in charge of security at the Fukushima nuclear plant at the time. A Miyagi prefectural government official says employees of this company loaded plutonium into the plant against his will in the months before 3/11.

Furthermore, on March 10th, 2011 Kurt Campbell then Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs for the United States State Department requested a meeting with Ichiro Ozawa, a senior member of the then ruling Democratic Party of Japan, according to DPJ officials. At the meeting Campbell told Ozawa the world was “entering biblical end times,” and that as a result natural disasters were coming. Campbell offered Ozawa the rights to xeolite (a substance used in cleaning up radio-active waste) for Fukushima prefecture if he would abandon his plans to remove his political faction from the ruling party and cause Prime Minister Kan to lose power. Ozawa accepted the offer, according to several sources, including the above mentioned DPJ officials.

On the evening of March 10th, 2011, I was summoned by the daughter of Masaru Takumi, the former number two boss of the Yamaguchi Gumi, Japan’s largest crime syndicate, to meet a person she described to me as a Japanese style chiropractor (seitaishi). This so-called chiropractor identified himself to me as a Japanese professional assassin. He had somehow gained access to my private medical records and other knowledge about me that was not part of the public domain. He also wrapped me with a cloth that he said contained “traditional medicine” and told me to keep it on for 24 hours. As soon as I left the meeting, I immediately removed it because I had the distinct unpleasant sensation that it contained a poison. In any case, Takumi’s daughter asked for my mobile phone because she wanted to set the alarm for 11 AM on March 11, 2011, the day of the tsunami. She now works for the Kroll detective agency in Tokyo, Japan. The very act of writing this information has put her life in danger and I would like to warn explicitly that any attempt to murder her in order to silence her will be met with serious repercussions.

Immediately after the tsunami and nuclear terror attack began, Prime Minister Naoto Kan was asked by officials from Tokyo Electric Power and others to order the evacuation of 40 million people from the Kanto plain, Kan said during a press conference at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Japan.

He also received a phone call from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the day after the attack demanding that he sign over ownership of all Japanese government holdings of US government bonds to cabal oligarchs, which he did, according to Japanese military intelligence.

Following the attacks, a member of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) who was involved in breaking up the nuclear warhead from the Kursk into several smaller nuclear devices and drilling them into the seabed, presumably for drill-bit diameter compliance, showed up at the Tachikawa Christian church, run by Pastor Paolo Izumi, asking for protection. He said that 14 of his colleagues, who were involved in the drilling operation not understanding the purpose of what they were doing, had been murdered in order to silence them and that he feared for his life. The man was sheltered by the church and is now in the witness protection program.

After the 3/11 attack, this writer went to South Korea at the invitation of Dr. Van de Meer. While in Korea he was told the Rothschild family had planned the attack because they wanted to force 40 million Japanese refugees to take shelter in North and South Korea. The Rothschild family intended to move the base of their Asian operations from Tokyo to a planned new special economic zone in Korea, he said. He knew in advance of the 3/11 attack and looked deeply ashamed when he admitted he did not warn me about it.

Following the 3/11 attack, un-marked planes were spotted dumping radio-active industrial waste containing caesium, according to a Japanese gangster whose gang was sub-contracting for the CIA and Mossad around Fukushima.

The massive propaganda fear campaign following the 3/11 attack can be traced, in my opinion, to Mossad, and rogue factions in the Pentagon and the CIA.

In addition to the people named above, some of the individuals involved in this mass murder and fear propaganda campaign include Kenneth Curtis, the head of CIA Japan, Michael Green, the head of Mossad Japan and Richard Armitage, former Deputy Secretary of State.

According to my sources, other people involved in this mass murder campaign included George Bush Sr. and Jr., Michael Chertoff, James Baker, Paul Wolfowitz, Senator J. Rockefeller, Michael Hayden, Guy de Rothschild, Evelyn de Rothschild, Peter Hans Kolvenbach, former Pope Benedict, and others yet to be named.

The most convincing evidence in the public domain that 3/11 was a nuclear attack on Japan is probably seismic. I have seen the seismic records and hope to annex them to my follow-up statement. From them the court will be able see that the main event, triggering the deadly tsunami, is preceded by a smaller release of energy, consistent in my opinion with a nuclear detonation or detonations.

I went public with what I knew about 3/11 and hope to produce a sample of my writings in my next statement. I have no reason to believe that Mr Shrimpton was unaware of them. To my knowledge a man named Neil Jones in Folkestone, England was, and I now understand that he was in contact with Mr. Shrimpton. Mr. Jones and I have been in contact, although again we have never met.

Here is a copy of the first correspondence I had with Mr. Jones:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: neil jones <neiljones01@hotmail.com>
Date: 2012/4/19
Subject: Threat to London
To: benjaminoffice88@gmail.com

Dear Benjamin,

Aplogies for repeating this message but the original has found it’s
way onto the comments part of your typepad blog in the section titled
‘RE: March 31st deadline.  As my comments to you were not intended for
publication  it would be great favour if that particular message from
me could be removed.  I would be very happy to post another if so
required. Many thanks.

The real aim of both these mesages is to assure you that the threat
posed by the Kursk Granit warhead in London is being taken seriously.

Hopefully you gave the warning in part to help prevent the slaughter
of innocent people in London.  To this end any information you have
about the planned attack would be passed to the relevant authorities.
  It would be incomprehensible for you to be involved in such a plan
and so you must have some information which convinced you of the
credibilty of the threat.  Such information would be useful and in
particular more about the present location of the weapon, the date it
was planted, whether it will be moved for the attack, and the location
and timing of the attack.  Anything which convinced you that the
threat was real would be more than useful.

As you may realise, like Drake, it is my belief that civilians should
not be exposed to this kind of action.  It is understood that your
Illuminati connections have a problem with the Royal family, Queen
Elizabeth in particular, but this does not seem to justify the mass
slaughter of innocents.  This would directly contradict the good work
you are doing on energy, food, water and quality of life for the
planet and it’s occupants.

Thanks for your attention
Best regards
Neil Jones

In or about March 2012 I was informed by my source code-named ‘Richard Sorge’ that one of the nuclear devices stolen from the Kursk had been smuggled into East London and that the intended target was the Olympic Games. Again I went public with this intelligence. Again, I hope to produce a sample of my writings on the nuclear threat to the London Olympics as an annex to my next statement.  

I have no doubt that Neil Jones saw my comments. From what I know of the case Mr. Shrimpton appears to have passed to the British Ministry of Defence substantially the same information supplied by ‘Richard Sorge’ to me. I do not doubt that ‘Sorge’ (the code-name was very obviously taken from the famous World War II Soviet double-agent in Tokyo, although I note that in Mr. Shrimpton’s published opinion the original Richard Sorge was a treble-agent of the German Abwehr intelligence organisation headed by Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, the man he says founded the DVD) has sources in Russia, including inside Russian Military Intelligence (the GRU), as well as sources in British and Australian intelligence agencies.

I am also aware that the intelligence provided to me by ‘Richard Sorge’ has now been verified, amongst others by Veterans Today Editor-in-Chief Gordon Duff. I do not doubt that the United States recovered a total of two ex-Kursk warheads, which had been in East London. So far as I am aware, that is the position of Japanese Intelligence and, in private at least, is the position of the Japanese Government.  

I did agree to give evidence for the defence at Mr. Shrimpton’s trial in London in November 2014. He and I had hoped that I could do that via video-link from Tokyo. When that application was refused he put me in contact with a person in the United States, on the Eastern Seaboard, in possession of a large bank of frequent flyer miles on Delta Airlines.

That person arranged a confirmed seat for me, in my Japanese name, which appears in Hiragana script at the head of my statement, in Upper Class, on a Delta Airlines partner airline, Virgin Atlantic Airways, on their flight VA901 from Tokyo’s Narita Airport to London Heathrow Airport on Monday November 17 2014. Flight VA901 was scheduled to depart Narita at 1225 hours Japan Standard Time (JST).

My ticket was arranged over that weekend, i.e. the weekend of November 15 and November 16 2014. On Sunday morning November 16 I had to withdraw under pressure from the Japanese Finance Ministry, who arranged a tax audit overnight.

I have no reason to doubt that official pressure was applied to me to prevent me from flying to London to give evidence. I would have told the jury about 3/11 and what is written above, among other things.

In Mr. Shrimpton’s defense, I would also like to state that a simple internet search would have revealed that the WorldWide Web was full of articles about a nuclear terror threat to the London Olympics appearing long before Mr. Shrimpton made his warnings to the authorities. That alone should have been enough evidence to exonerate him.

I am prepared to attend Court and expand upon the above matters that I say are true and accurate to the best of my knowledge and belief.



Witnessed by ……………………………………….

Name of Witness ……………………………………

Address of Witness………………………………….

Occupation of Witness ……………………………….

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We are now in ‘pre fascist’ period

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Fintan O’Toole: Trial runs for fascism are in full flow

Babies in cages were no ‘mistake’ by Trump but test-marketing for barbarism

Tue, Jun 26, 2018, 05:00Fintan O’Toolehttps://platform.twitter.com/widgets/follow_button.c4b33f07650267db9f8a72eaac551cac.en.html#dnt=false&id=twitter-widget-0&lang=en&screen_name=fotoole&show_count=false&show_screen_name=false&size=m&time=1593553670912182

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.392.0_en.html#goog_1538453540Play Video

Coverage of the detention centre scandal in Texas is falling along partisan lines in the US media with Fox News being sympathetic and CNN outraged. Video: CNN, MSNBC, Fox NewsPlay00:0006:14Mute

To grasp what is going on in the world right now, we need to reflect on two things. One is that we are in a phase of trial runs. The other is that what is being trialled is fascism – a word that should be used carefully but not shirked when it is so clearly on the horizon. Forget “post-fascist” – what we are living with is pre-fascism.

It is easy to dismiss Donald Trump as an ignoramus, not least because he is. But he has an acute understanding of one thing: test marketing. He created himself in the gossip pages of the New York tabloids, where celebrity is manufactured by planting outrageous stories that you can later confirm or deny depending on how they go down. And he recreated himself in reality TV where the storylines can be adjusted according to the ratings. Put something out there, pull it back, adjust, go again.

Fascism doesn’t arise suddenly in an existing democracy. It is not easy to get people to give up their ideas of freedom and civility. You have to do trial runs that, if they are done well, serve two purposes. They get people used to something they may initially recoil from; and they allow you to refine and calibrate. This is what is happening now and we would be fools not to see it.

One of the basic tools of fascism is the rigging of elections – we’ve seen that trialled in the election of Trump, in the Brexit referendum and (less successfully) in the French presidential elections. Another is the generation of tribal identities, the division of society into mutually exclusive polarities. Fascism does not need a majority – it typically comes to power with about 40 per cent support and then uses control and intimidation to consolidate that power. So it doesn’t matter if most people hate you, as long as your 40 per cent is fanatically committed. That’s been tested out too. And fascism of course needs a propaganda machine so effective that it creates for its followers a universe of “alternative facts” impervious to unwanted realities. Again, the testing for this is very far advanced.https://e81a7809d5fa50d5043655f6da51e0c7.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Moral boundaries

But when you’ve done all this, there is a crucial next step, usually the trickiest of all. You have to undermine moral boundaries, inure people to the acceptance of acts of extreme cruelty. Like hounds, people have to be blooded. They have to be given the taste for savagery. Fascism does this by building up the sense of threat from a despised out-group. This allows the members of that group to be dehumanised. Once that has been achieved, you can gradually up the ante, working through the stages from breaking windows to extermination.

People have to be given the taste for savagery. Fascism does this by building up the sense of threat from a despised out-group

It is this next step that is being test-marketed now. It is being done in Italy by the far-right leader and minister for the interior Matteo Salvini. How would it go down if we turn away boatloads of refugees? Let’s do a screening of the rough-cut of registering all the Roma and see what buttons the audience will press. And it has been trialled by Trump: let’s see how my fans feel about crying babies in cages. I wonder how it will go down with Rupert Murdoch.  

Children and workers at a tent encampment recently built in Tornillo, Texas: the blooding process has begun within the democratic world. Photograph: Joe Raedle
Children and workers at a tent encampment recently built in Tornillo, Texas: the blooding process has begun within the democratic world. Photograph: Joe Raedle

To see, as most commentary has done, the deliberate traumatisation of migrant children as a “mistake” by Trump is culpable naivety. It is a trial run – and the trial has been a huge success. Trump’s claim last week that immigrants “infest” the US is a test-marketing of whether his fans are ready for the next step-up in language, which is of course “vermin”. And the generation of images of toddlers being dragged from their parents is a test of whether those words can be turned into sounds and pictures. It was always an experiment – it ended (but only in part) because the results were in.

‘Devious’ infants

And the results are quite satisfactory. There is good news on two fronts. First, Rupert Murdoch is happy with it – his Fox News mouthpieces outdid themselves in barbaric crassness: making animal noises at the mention of a Down syndrome child, describing crying children as actors. They went the whole swinish hog: even the brown babies are liars. Those sobs of anguish are typical of the manipulative behaviour of the strangers coming to infest us – should we not fear a race whose very infants can be so devious? Second, the hardcore fans loved it: 58 per cent of Republicans are in favour of this brutality. Trump’s overall approval ratings are up to 42.5 per cent.

Fox News mouthpieces outdid themselves in barbaric crassness: making animal noises at the mention of a Down syndrome child, describing crying children as actors

This is greatly encouraging for the pre-fascist agenda. The blooding process has begun within the democratic world. The muscles that the propaganda machines need for defending the indefensible are being toned up. Millions and millions of Europeans and Americans are learning to think the unthinkable. So what if those people drown in the sea? So what if those toddlers are scarred for life? They have already, in their minds, crossed the boundaries of morality. They are, like Macbeth, “yet but young in deed”. But the tests will be refined, the results analysed, the methods perfected, the messages sharpened. And then the deeds can follow. 




Generational divide within Green Party cannot be glossed over

Five years since McMahon report and 7,700 still in direct provision

Covid-19 shows kindness can be enough to get us through

Fintan O’Toole: The new Government will be far more radical than it intends to be


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American administrators risk sparking a giant war with PRC

Stumbling Towards Catastrophe: The New Cold War With China

 by Dave Decamp

With tensions between the US and China at an all-time high, experts warn the two powers are closer to a military confrontation than ever before. A war with China should be unthinkable in Washington since the conflict could be catastrophic to the entire world as the threat of it erupting into a full-blown nuclear war is very real. But with a deteriorating trade relationship, tension over the Covid-19 pandemic, increased US Navy activity in the Pacific, new sanctions aimed at Chinese officials, and hostile rhetoric coming from the Trump administration, the unthinkable is becoming more and more likely.


Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced new sanctions on Friday aimed at “current and former” Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials, accusing them of violating Hong Kong’s autonomy. Hong Kong has served as a stage for recent US meddling, with Washington openly supporting the protests that rocked the city since March 2019. The Trump administration accused Beijing of violating Hong Kong’s autonomy with a new national security law made for the city, a bill designed to quell protests.

Some Chinese officials justified passing the law by pointing to the foreign interference in the demonstrations – that interference included Congress hosting protest leaders and passing legislation to confront Beijing over the former British colony. China’s concern with foreign interference is clearly outlined in the national security bill, which includes “collusion with foreign and external forces” on a list of criminal offenses the bill aims to combat.

The Senate just passed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which would sanction “foreign individuals and entities that materially contribute to China’s failure to preserve Hong Kong’s autonomy.” The new legislation is the Senate’s response to the Hong Kong national security law. Congress is also keen on confronting China militarily, with lawmakers working out a plan to give the Pentagon funds to increase its footprint in the region, a plan dubbed the “Indo-Pacific Deterrence Initiative.” Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has repeatedly identified China as the Pentagon’s number one priority.

President Trump signed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act into law on June 17th, a bill that will enable even more sanctions against Chinese officials over China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang province. The Trump administration published a document last week that listed 20 Chinese companies and accused them of being arms of China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Although nothing in the document substantiated the claim, it opens the possibility of Washington taking actions against the companies listed, like sanctions, which have become a staple of the administration.

The telecommunications company Huawei was included in the list of companies allegedly run by the PLA. Huawei, a major player in 5G technologies, has been banned from the US. The Trump administration is working hard to prevent other countries from doing business with Huawei and continues to pressure its allies into not accepting the company’s 5G technology. The common accusation against Huawei is that its equipment could be used to spy on other countries, an accusation that rings hollow coming from the US, a country that can track cell phones all over the world, as revealed by the leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

China's Top Diplomat Told Pompeo to Stop Interfering in China's ...

These latest economic provocations came after the US and China signed the Phase One trade deal in January. According to The Wall Street Journal, when Mike Pompeo met with China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi (Pictured) in Hawaii on June 18th, Yang warned Washington’s recent meddling in Beijing’s affairs could jeopardize the trade deal. Yang listed Hong Kong and Taiwan as areas where the US meddles and expressed “strong dissatisfaction” with President Trump’s signing of the Uyghur Human Rights Act.

The increase in tensions between the US and China is due in large part to the Covid-19 pandemic. Top officials in the White House, including the president, have accused Beijing of a cover-up in the early days of the outbreak. In an interview with Fox News last week, White House trade advisor Peter Navarro was asked if the phase one trade deal was over. Navarro responded, “it’s over,” his reasoning being the fact that the Chinese officials who signed the agreement in Washington on January 15th did not mention the pandemic. Navarro claims the White House first heard of the pandemic after the Chinese diplomats’ plane took off, although Covid-19 was already in the news days before.

Navarro quickly recanted his statement on the trade deal and said he was taken “wildly out of context” in the interview. “I was simply speaking to the lack of trust we now have of the Chinese Communist Party after they lied about the origins of the China virus and foisted a pandemic upon the world,” Navarro said. President Trump took to Twitter to ensure that the trade deal is still “fully intact.”

American Dharma review: Steve Bannon in his own, delusional words ...

In the early days of the Trump administration, Navarro and former White House strategist Steve Bannon (Pictured) fought hard to push President Trump to put tariffs on Chinese goods, a battle they won. Bannon, a self-described ultra-hawk when it comes to China, has been crusading against the CCP since he left the White House. In a recent interview with Asia Times, when asked if Washington should pursue regime change in Beijing, Bannon said, “I don’t think Asia can be free, until we’ve had regime change in Beijing. And I am an absolute advocate of that.”

Bannon denied rumors that he was joining the Trump campaign for 2020 but ensured many of his friends and colleagues will be on the president’s team. “One hundred and twenty percent of my time right now is spent on taking down the Chinese Communist Party, with the Committee on the Present Danger,” Bannon said. The Committee on Present Danger: China (CPD) is an incredibly hawkish think-tank started by Bannon and neoconservative Frank Gaffney in 2019.

On June 5th, the CPD published an essay titled “To the Americans Who Are on Their Knees,” which Gaffney and CPD chair Brian Kennedy called “the single most important call in a generation aimed at enabling our countrymen and women to recognize and respond appropriately to a present danger.” The essay addresses the protests that erupted across the US in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. The author claims the American left leading the movement is the “catspaw” of foreign powers. “First, the police will be defunded; second, the Revolution will defund the US military; third, the Chinese and Russians will bomb and invade the country,” the essay reads.

This tirade could be dismissed as the ramblings of a crazed hawk, but a link to the essay remains in prominence on the CPD’s front page, and the think-tank’s message gets through to the White House. The group recently sent a letter to President Trump, praising him for releasing the list of 20 companies that are allegedly run by the PLA and gave the president advice on possible steps forward.

Some of the tamer rhetoric coming from the CPD and right-wing populists like Bannon resonates with many Americans. There are real concerns regarding US reliance on Chinese manufacturing, something that was exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic when the US faced shortages of personal protective equipment. The loss of American jobs to China is another talking point that gets through to people on the right and the left. There is a consensus among both groups that corporations sold out the American people when they exported manufacturing to China.

Despite the rhetoric, the fact that the US and China are each other’s largest trading partners has its benefits. This fact is enough to discourage officials on both sides from turning this Cold War into a hot one. But as trade relations sour, and President Trump openly considers completely “decoupling” from China, the risk of a shooting war is much higher.

The prophetic Justin Raimondo put it best in a March 2008 column titled, “Why They Hate China.” Justin wrote:

“If goods don’t cross borders, then armies soon will – a historical truism noted by many before me, and with good reason. Let it be a warning to all those anti-free trade, antiwar types of the Right as well as the Left – you’ll soon be jumping on the War Party’s bandwagon when it comes China’s turn to play the role of global bogeyman. The way things are going, that day may come soon enough.”

Justin’s words are something to reflect on while the US and China are careening towards war and people on the left and the right continue to demonize Beijing. While there are real concerns to be had with China’s human rights abuses, US intervention will undoubtedly make the situation worse. And hawks like Steve Bannon disguise their neocon hopes of regime-change in a country of 1.4 billion people as populist rhetoric to fool Americans into consenting to this new Cold War. Washington has a history of stumbling into catastrophe in East Asia. From Manila to Pyongyang, US adventurism in the region has left millions dead in its wake, a war with China will kill millions more — a potential catastrophe that must be avoided.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.


(Article from The Ron Paul Institute)


Beautiful Statues daubed red in Manhatten’s Washington Square Park


George Washington statues vandalized with red paint at New York’s Washington Square Park

Tuesday, 30 June 2020 12:11 AM  

 Vandalized George Washington statue at Washington Square Park.

Two statues of George Washington at the base of the Washington Square Arch at New York’s Washington Square Park were vandalized with red paint early Monday (June 29).

(Source: Reuters)


‘Intelligence work could be a bit mundane’

MoreThe Careers Blog

Undercover in MI6: what’s it like to work as a spy?

While it can be lonely, you aren’t always in danger and a lot of the work is mundane – former intelligence officer, Harry Ferguson, on a career in the secret service

Matthew Jenkin

Wed 22 Oct 2014 07.00 BSTFirst published on Wed 22 Oct 2014 07.00 BST


James Bond sat with a gun in a car in Skyfall

Harry Ferguson is a former MI6 intelligence officer and was an undercover agent for the National Investigation Service (NIS). In 2005, he starred with Mike Baker of the CIA in the BBC2 series Spy and wrote the book accompanying the series: Spy – A Handbook. As well as a frequent commentator on espionage, Ferguson is currently helping to promote the hit US TV series The Blacklist, starring James Spader as a master criminal turned FBI informer.

I was recruited by the secret service during the cold war. It was very much like a [John] le Carré novel. I was in my final year at Oxford University when my tutor came to me one day and said: “What are you thinking of doing with your career?” I told him I was thinking of the police or the army. He stood there and replied: “Have you ever thought of working for your country?” I had no idea what he was talking about, but I just said: “Yeah, sure.” After that I got an envelope in my pigeonhole from an anonymous government department inviting me up to London for an interview.Advertisement

I knew the job wasn’t going to be James Bond but I was curious to know more. I knew very little really. I didn’t even know the difference between MI5 or MI6. It just hadn’t come across my radar at all. But one interview followed on to the next and I was sent on a training course. I thought even if I move on from this, it’s got to be a once in a lifetime opportunity and it will be interesting to find out what the job is really about.

I was recruited in that old fashioned way, but of course these days the service has a website and a recruitment team which goes round universities and run open evenings at various places. The net is now thrown much wider, though you can still get the tap on the shoulder at university.

Get down and get dirty !

There is no “spy type” that secret service recruiters look for. They look for independent, self-driven people, who do not fit into a particular pigeonhole. You would be laughing if you could look around a room, point and say: “That’s the type, that’s the person.” The idea is that you get as many reasonably intelligent and varied men and women into the job as possible.

I am not entirely sure what they liked about me, but I have always had a good memory for small details. I can forget people’s names two minutes after being introduced to them, but I retain a lot of seemingly unimportant details which can be terribly important when dealing with a mass of paperwork on your desk or when you are out in the field trying to remember what your brief was.

The job of a spy can be very lonely. The buzz is taking part in a world that nobody else knows about – often you are aware of things happening behind world events that other people don’t know and possibly will never know. When I joined a long time ago, we were encouraged not even to tell your partner. That is the old service though. All that has changed since the 1990s. The trouble is that even though the rules have been slightly relaxed now – certain members of your family are allowed to know – you can never discuss details of operations or what’s happening with particular agents.

Knowing someone else was imprisoned, tortured or killed because you didn’t do your job properly is a terrible burden. When you start off as a young recruit, you think, ‘Fine, that suits me.’ But it is emotionally crushing for officers in the secret services and you can never really share that guilt with anybody. You always carry that around with you. That does grind people down over time. But you have to balance that out with the buzz of working in the secret world.

Despite perceptions, working for the secret service is not a very dangerous job. In the US it is slightly different because they see themselves as semi-military and put themselves in danger in a way that British officers don’t. Normally what happens in the services is that the risks are run by the agents – the people you, as an officer, recruit. For example, if I wanted to find out about Iranian nuclear production tomorrow I couldn’t wander into a facility in that country, no matter how good my cover was. But I can recruit a scientist who is already there. Of course, if the operation goes tits up, the person who is going to suffer is the agent, not me.

A good operational officer has a number of different cover stories. Let’s assume that you are based in your home capital. You could get called out anywhere and your target could be anyone. So a good operational officer will have six or seven, possibly more, covers and there are specialist departments within those intelligence services whose job it is to maintain those covers. In my day, however, you could simply print a passport, hop on a plane and arrive. Now advances in technology mean maintaining people’s covers has become a specialist area and it is a much more sophisticated operation.

A lot of being a spy is terribly mundane. The trouble with any operation is that there is a great deal of preparation and research that has to go into it. Even as an operational officer with a lot of support behind you, there is a lot of waiting for stuff to happen and trying to find out the most basic level of information. Now and again, the work of the secret service really counts and they are the moments you look for. In between that, there is a lot of mundane routine work, setting up agents, pottering round and going to meetings that don’t come to anything. You have to find the resilience to get through those periods.

Shall we have a cup of coffee, If you don’t like Cluedo?

Joining the secret service is not just necessarily a young man’s game. There is an increasing tendency to recruit people who are older, not just to take them fresh out of university. More and more now, the secret service looks at people who have established themselves in other careers and are looking for a change. This is for a number of reasons – it improves your value judgment and it helps your cover because you have obviously done something before. If you go to the secret service website, which is the starting point for anybody thinking of joining, you will see they ask for proven experience in another field. Once your life is stable and you have done other things you are going to make a much better agent and operational officer.

Series one of US crime thriller The Blacklist is available on Blu-ray and DVD now.

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Caribic dream



York is a German electronica music duo, founded in 1997 by musicians and brothers Torsten and Jörg Stenzel. Producing ambient, downtempo, chillout, house and trance, their productions are known for catchy guitar hooks, atmospheric soundscapes and delicate dance textures. 

WikipediaOrigin: Bad Homburg, Germany (1997)Members: Torsten StenzelJörg StenzelGenres: DowntempoChill-out musicTrance musicHouse musicRecord labels: Armada MusicBlack Hole Recordings

Honor phones are Huawei phones!


Kai (bio)

Kai Tracid has played a central role in the German “Dance Charts” since 1997. He had several #1 hits, was nominated for the “Viva Comet” (in 1998), and started to work more and more with Frank Farian, who has been a successful producer for a long time… 

Back in 1995, the self-made musician and student of Electro-mechanical Engineering is hanging out in front of his computer, making random sounds and noises. All of a sudden he comes up with a formula which would later make him one of the most sought-after producers/DJs: By combining acid tunes from the underground with ethereal trance: “Yeah, that’s my kind of Tracid Track Sound – it’s a kind of trance that’s perfect for partying.” Kai continues: ” Even though I still can’t sing to this date, I am convinced that I have a feeling for emotional sections in my music.” And there is more that distinguishes Kai from his colleagues: “To me, deep and intelligent vocals are really important.” And this is indeed very rarely to be found in trance music. 

Kai Tracid has played a central role in the German “Dance Charts” since 1997. He had several #1 hits, was nominated for the “Viva Comet” (in 1998), and started to work more and more with Frank Farian, who has been a successful producer for a long time. A career that first started out at home with cheap equipment evolved into a first-range, hi-tech studio located near Frankfurt am Main. 

Whereas it was mainly European people that listened to Kai Tracid’s dance hits throughout the last couple of years, there has been an increasing number of people asking for gigs further away from Germany: “Recently, I have been playing some 150 shows a year, and the majority of these are outside of Germany.” Furthermore, the thirty-two-year-old has sold more than one million records that carry his heavy-weight mix of acid trance (that’s why he calls himself tra-cid). Australia, England, USA, Japan, Italy, Russia, Argentina, Turkey, and Brasil – the world seems listen to this guy, even though he does not only play the big arenas (with 35,000 people) but also loves to deejay at small clubs. 

Strangely enough, the athletic and handsome musician is rumored to be kind of shy. He doesn’t like people who pose too much. Being a non-smoker and staying drug free, he doesn’t even drink beer, dress weird or walk around with strange haircuts. “Whereas some of my colleagues had this, there has never been this kind of media-hype around my person. One reason for this might be the fact that I always remained the way I was before all this got started. It’s just me being who I am, you know?” he explains, and adds, “I have my very own type of style.” 

Two years ago, Kai made a statement concerning the success of Paul van Dyk: “That guy made it. At one point, I want to be where he’s at right now.” And now – he has actually made it: “Yeah, now I am there – but I went my own way.” 

His own way – that’s what is important to Kai. Kai Tracid has is own view, his own grasp upon the world, and he won’t follow no rules. “I just can’t. That’s why I did not join the German army either.” He is an obsessed paintball player – not only for the reason that it’s fun, but for the fact that people accept it and shake their heads at the same time. According to Kai, “there are icons in this scene. People who are just good. Next, there are people who are just very popular. And then – as a last category – there I am: Me, being the one who produces dope tracks.” 

And his success gives proof of this: There are some 50 artists on his label (which is called “Tracid Traxx”), and they are all constantly to be found in the dance charts. Kai has released some 100 of his own productions. People want to see more of him, they want him to deejay all over the planet, and they will also be able to watch him present his skills in the upcoming US-production “Hey DJ!”, a feature film that will be in cinemas later this year. So, what more do you want? What are his plans for the future? 

“I want to keep on doing the things that I enjoy: I want to produce my own music.”

Tuesday added new defendants to the case against Saudi officials charged over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, state media reported, in a trial that Ankara says is needed to reveal the full truth behind the killing.

Reuters . Tue, November 24, 2020, 1:01 PM GMT+1
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – A Turkish court on Tuesday added new defendants to the case against Saudi officials charged over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, state media reported, in a trial that Ankara says is needed to reveal the full truth behind the killing.

Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, 2018. Turkish officials believe his body was dismem