8:53 [The Saker] (E)
At this time of writing, it is too early to declare the danger over, but at least three out of five Iranian tankers have made it safely to Venezuela (confirmation from TeleSur and PressTV). Furthermore, while we should never say “never”, it appears exceedingly unlikely that the US would let three tankers pass only to then try to impede the arrival of the other two. So it ain’t over until its over, but as of right now things look way better than last week.
16:55 [Asia Times] (E)
It would be counter-productive for BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization members India and China to come to blows on account of some extremely remote – albeit strategically important – snowy mountain passes. But when one looks at the 3,488-kilometer-long Line of Actual Control, which India defines as “unresolved,” that can never be totally ruled out.
16:52 [New Eastern Outlook] (E)
If it wasn’t so tragic, it would be laughable: the political brigands in North America and Europe are fuming, spitting and rolling their eyes upwards towards the ceiling. They are pointing fingers in all directions, shouting incoherently “China!”, “Russia!”, “Venezuela and Cuba!”, “Iran!”; “You, You, YOU!”. China and Russia are quietly building a new world, which includes brand new infrastructure, factories and entire neighborhoods for the people. Hospitals are being constructed, and so are universities, parks, concert halls and public transportation networks. Both countries are doing all this quickly and noiselessly, and with great determination. And despite sanctions and embargos, they never shout back at the salivating, angry mouths of the Western gurus of brainwashing.
9:35 [Voltairenet] (E)
President Vladimir Putin has appointed Russia’s ambassador to Damascus Alexander Efimov as his special representative for the development of relations with Syria. This symbolic gesture aims, most importantly, to dispel rumors of an alleged discord between the Russian and Syrian presidents.
9:27 [World Socialist Web Site] (E)
Amid an escalating propaganda barrage by the corporate media and political establishment against China, accusing it of trying to “bully” Australia over trade issues, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a blunt threat on Sunday. The US would “simply disconnect” Australia from its telecommunications, military and intelligence networks if any Australian government made an agreement with China deemed to endanger US “national security,” he declared.
21:39 [Tass] (E)
Accusations hurled at Russia for alleged military crimes in Syria are part of information warfare, Russia’s UN envoy, Vasily Nebenzya said in an interview with the Kommersant daily. "There are many things we are accused of. Not only as concerns Syria. Regretfully, this is part of a war. A media war," the diplomat stressed. As for accusations against Russia’s armed forces from the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Syria, Nebenzya said that the Russian foreign and defense ministries had repeatedly refuted them. "First of all, often the evidential base of these accusations is unidentified sources. In fact, these sources are familiar — experts in fakes from the White Helmets organization and others like them," he explained.
8:42 [Medium.com] (E)
Do you consent to a slow-motion third world war where an oligarch-led alliance of powerful nations works tirelessly to absorb new nations into its imperial blob by any means necessary? Do you consent to a world where weapons of armageddon are brandished about by imbeciles with inadequacy issues? Do you consent to a world ruled by people who are so sociopathic that they are willing to inflict endless mass military slaughter and risk a nuclear holocaust just to have more control over the world population
21:42 [Asia Times] (E)
The key takeaways of the Two Sessions of the 13th National People’s Congress in Beijing are already in the public domain. In a nutshell: no GDP target for 2020; a budget deficit of at least 3.6% of GDP; one trillion yuan in special treasury bonds; corporate fees/taxes cut by 2.5 trillion yuan; a defense budget rise of a modest 6.6%; and governments at all levels committed to “tighten their belts.
21:25 [RT] (E)
“All our words”, the American-Lebanese poet-philosopher Kahlil Gibran observed, “are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind.” If words are judged by their intellectual weight and adherence to integrity, the statements issued by the Trump administration in relation to its standing as a “participating nation” in the context of the agreement (known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA,) is more famine than feast. Words have meaning, a reality that escapes those who formulate what passes for Iran policy in the US State Department today.
22:58 [South Front] (E)
On May 20th, US President Donald Trump signed a decree to extend the National Emergency with Respect to the Stabilization of Iraq. This is a continuation of an executive order issued by former US President George W. Bush back on May 22nd, 2003. It establishes a national emergency pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by obstacles to the orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in the country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq.
22:43 [Stationgossip] (E)
On Sunday, Iran complained to the United Nations and summoned the Swiss ambassador in Tehran, who represents U.S. interests in the Islamic Republic, over possible measures Washington could take against an Iranian fuel shipment to Venezuela. A senior official Trump`s administration told Reuters on Thursday the United States was considering measures it could take in response to Iran`s shipment of fuel to crisis-stricken Venezuela. The oil sectors of Iran and Venezuela, members of OPEC, are both under U.S. sanctions.
10:06 [Asia Times] (E)
Chinese General Qiao Liang argues, `If we have to dance with the wolves, we should not dance to the rhythm of the United States`
9:59 [New Eastern Outlook] (E)
How could the Great Patriotic War in which the Soviet people (including many members of my own family) lost at least 25 million lives, have anything in common with the latest outbreak of the novel coronavirus? You think this is an absolutely insane question? However, before you dismiss it, think twice. There are similarities how they are being portrayed. There is a dangerous, even deadly pattern. The storylines of both monumental events have been shamelessly kidnapped, and perverted by Western propaganda!
11:08 [Strategic Culture Foundation] (E)
First, the bottom line: If you don’t solve the biology, the economy won’t recover. That is where we are now. A sealed-off, ‘exceptionalist’ mindset has brought about – surprise; surprise – an exceptionalist outcome. We have both a deluge of avoidable deaths, and clearly, a staggering amount of possibly avoidable economic damage (albeit some of which was destined to occur soon, anyway).
10:38 [Press TV] (E)
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has threatened that Washington will "exact consequences" if the International Criminal Court (ICC) moves ahead with a potential war crimes investigation into Israel.
18:22 [Tass] (E)
Russian President Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have expressed willingness to improve dialogue on bilateral issues and global challenges, the Kremlin press service commented after the leaders had a phone call. "Both sides expressed readiness to boost dialogue and cooperation on issues on the Russian-British agenda as well as on resolving current global challenges," the Kremlin statement reads. The Kremlin informed that Putin and Johnson "exchanged congratulations on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazism — the greatest event of the 20th century and an example of unprecedented cooperation of the anti-Hitler coalition states."
16:25 [CGTN] (E)
China and Russia are in agreement about the potential danger that the U.S. biological laboratories in the former USSR might pose for the broader region. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang seconded his Russian counterpart`s earlier statement about how these facilities might be developing dangerous pathogens, adding that "The United States has created many laboratories in the territory of the former Soviet Union, which evokes serious public worries in the neighboring countries concerned." It`s imperative that the U.S. is fully transparent about what it`s testing in those laboratories given what`s at stake for the world.
10:15 [The Unz Review] (E)
As regular readers of Unz.com will already know, my particular perception is that the American “special relationship” with the Jewish state has been a disaster for the United States and for the entire Middle East region, to include even Israel itself. Israel has used the uncritical U.S. support it has enjoyed since the time of Lyndon Johnson to pursue unwise policies vis-à-vis its neighbors that have drawn Washington into conflicts that would have been avoided. It has meanwhile exploited the power of its formidable domestic lobby to bleed the U.S. Treasury of well over $100 billion in direct grants plus three times that much in terms of largely hidden trade and co-production arrangements approved by a subservient Congress and endorsed by a controlled media.
14:22 [Strategic Culture Foundation] (E)
U.S. professor of history at John Hopkins University, Mike Vlahos, in a series of short interviews with John Batchelor, tells us how Coronavirus has become a fiery pivot, pushing different leaders in the U.S. to take existential stands on how to deal with this virus. With various separate American states insisting to pursue directly polarised paths: Mandated ‘sheltering’ (the U.S. term for distancing) versus economic opening; States versus the Federal government; Blue versus Red; Dems versus GOP; ‘authoritarianism’ versus Laissez Faire and traditional American liberties – and now, internal state, Blue-Red conflicts (i.e. Ventura County versus California’s Governor, on the burning issue of open or closed beaches); and even, counties versus states.
9:57 [Tass] (E)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab have acknowledged that the bilateral relations between Russia and the UK are currently in unsatisfactory condition in a phone call on Wednesday and expressed intention to resolve issues pragmatically, the Russian foreign ministry said in a comment on Wednesday. The call took place at London’s initiative.
9:37 [Strategic Culture Foundation] (E)
The memory of those who gave their lives in the historic defeat of Nazi fascism could not be more insulted than this: U.S. President Donald Trump this week hailed the 75th anniversary marking the fall of the Third Reich, while at the same time embarking on a reckless war path with China.
9:03 [Indian Punchline] (E)
The drawdown of US military presence in the Middle East, especially from Saudi Arabia, may not be an automatic open sesame — to borrow the magical phrase in the story of “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”— leading to the hidden treasure of regional peace and stability, but it does open up a tantalising vista that is seamless in its possibilities. Speculations are galore about the Pentagon announcement Thursday that the US military will withdraw two Patriot batteries, which have been deployed to protect Saudi oil facilities, along with two jet fighter squadrons.
9:17 [Asia Times] (E)
For all practical purposes, the hysterical demonization of China across the Beltway has now overtaken the previous hysterics, the demonization of Russia. What Beijing used to define as a “period of strategic opportunity” is over. There were rumblings in intel circles that the CCP leadership believed this strategic window of opportunity would last unimpeded until the key date, 2049 – when “national rejuvenation” should have been fully accomplished. Forget it. Now the whole game is about hybrid warfare 2.0 deployed by the US to contain the emerging superpower, whatever it takes. And that implies that a plethora of Chinese plans are now being turbo-charged.
16:16 [RT] (E)
Millions of Americans and Britons losing their livelihoods under Covid-19 lockdowns can rejoice that their navies are open for business, staging a show of force on Russia’s doorstep for the first time since the Cold War. Three guided missile destroyers and a Royal Navy frigate sailed into the Barents Sea on Monday, to “assert freedom of navigation and demonstrate seamless integration among allies,” according to the US 6th Fleet. The announcement was accompanied by hashtags such as #openforbusiness, #Powerforpeace and #strongertogether.
17:30 [Independent] (E)
“Go to China!”, a woman in Denver, Colorado, shouts at two hospital workers standing in front of her car to prevent her from taking part in a protest against the coronavirus lockdown. Her cry is a sign that President Trump is having some success in demonising China: he says that that he has a “high degree of confidence” that the deadly virus emanated from a laboratory in Wuhan, though he cannot reveal the source of his information.
17:21 [Indian Punchline] (E)
Iran has delivered a devastating blow to the ego of the Trump administration, puncturing it beyond repair, by its announcement Sunday that mosques will start reopening in low-risk areas of the country from May 5. President Hassan Rouhani said mosques would reopen in 132 regions designated as white under a colour-coded system after being consistently free of the new coronavirus. “Friday prayers will also resume in those areas and the mosques that respect the health protocols,” Rouhani added. The US had to settle for a “virtual” Easter mass, but observant Muslims in Iran will pray during Ramadan in their mosques.
18:30 [Indian Punchline] (E)
Richard Lugar Public Health Centre in Georgia, which Russia alleges to be a Pentagon laboratory for biological weapon development. Beijing has called on the US to respond to Russian concerns. The Russian-Chinese entente emerged as one of the most significant templates of international politics in the recent period since the hugely consequential developments in Ukraine in 2014 that led to western sanctions against Moscow, which in turn galvanised the latter’s ‘pivot to Asia’.
12:38 [Fort Russ] (E)
As countries have openly begun to utilize their military structures in fighting the coronavirus in programs intended to guard against biological warfare, Chinese authorities have come out in support the official position of Russia and considers it dangerous that there is a continued existence of U.S biological laboratories in the territory of individual states. These are countries which were formerly republics of the Soviet Union, but came under the influence of NATO and the Deep State.
12:35 [Fort Russ] (E)
During a phone talk with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, on April 2nd, Trump said that if the Saudis do not begin to reduce oil production, it will not be able to prevent US lawmakers from passing a law on the withdrawal of US troops from the kingdom, Reuters reported citing sources.
9:32 [Press TV] (E)
Iran’s ambassador to the UN says US officials` calls for an extension of an arms embargo on Tehran lack legal standing in international law, noting that the request will be “certainly” turned down at the Security Council.
9:30 [Press TV] (E)
Chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda has reiterated her position affirming the statehood of Palestine, and granting the court’s jurisdiction to probe Israeli war crimes against Palestinians.
0:09 [The White House] (E)
April 25, 2020 - April 25, 2020, marks the 75th Anniversary of the historic meeting between American and Soviet troops, who shook hands on the damaged bridge over the Elbe River. This event heralded the decisive defeat of the Nazi regime. The meeting on the Elbe represented a culmination of tremendous efforts by the many countries and peoples that joined forces under the framework of the United Nations Declaration of 1942. This common struggle required enormous sacrifice by millions of soldiers, sailors, and citizens in multiple theaters of war. We also recognize the contributions from millions of men and women on the home front, who forged vast quantities of war materials for use around the world. Workers and manufacturers played a crucial role in supplying the allied forces with the tools necessary for victory. The “Spirit of the Elbe” is an example of how our countries can put aside differences, build trust, and cooperate in pursuit of a greater cause.
12:13 [Strategic Culture Foundation] (E)
In the European imagination, the harbingers of contagion (whether plague or cholera), were conjured as shadowy, cloaked, and hooded forms, presenting a vaguely human silhouette, yet within the stygian recess of their black hood, no face was discernible – only a long, grey, birds’ beak jutting out. These ‘doctors of the plague’ inspired the shivers. Cities were portrayed deserted, immobilised by an extensive, lofty, sinister power. Behind those walls, people were dying. Silence. Still today, the beaked-bird masks of the plague doctors are to be found in Venice.
10:46 [Indian Punchline] (E)
In business transactions and international diplomacy alike, there could be constant variables and dependent variables. Constant variable is where the value cannot be changed once it has been assigned a value. But it becomes a dependent variable if it is susceptible or open to the effect of an associated factor or phenomenon. Then, there is also a third independent variable, which is a factor or phenomenon whose value is given or set already that can cause or influence a dependent variable.
10:34 [IFIMES] (E)
China held the Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in March this year: COVID-19 was deemed not to be a security issue. By the end of March, confirmed deaths with the virus had grown past 40,000 globally and the U.N.’s Secretary General, António Guterres, stated that the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 were a multiplier of instability, unrest and conflict in an attempt to engage the Security Council. The Presidency of the Security Council passed to the Dominican Republic this month and the Caribbean country has the opportunity to spur the Security Council into action.
23:46 [Indian Punchline] (E)
Unusual for a Saturday evening, the White House and the Kremlin upgraded their websites simultaneously to feature a joint statement by the two presidents on “Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Meeting on the Elbe” (here and here). It is both a symbolic and strategic gesture.
22:28 [WikiLeaks] (E)
Today WikiLeaks releases more internal documents from the OPCW regarding the investigation into the alleged chemical attack in Douma in April 2018. One of the documents is an e-mail exchange dated 27 and 28 February between members of the fact finding mission (FFM) deployed to Douma and the senior officials of the OPCW. It includes an e-mail from Sebastien Braha, Chief of Cabinet at the OPCW, where he instructs that an engineering report from Ian Henderson should be removed from the secure registry of the organisation
13:56 [Moon of Alabama] (E)
BERLIN — As images of America’s overwhelmed hospital wards and snaking jobless lines have flickered across the world, people on the European side of the Atlantic are looking at the richest and most powerful nation in the world with disbelief. “When people see these pictures of New York City they say, ‘How can this happen? How is this possible?’” said Henrik Enderlein, president of the Berlin-based Hertie School, a university focused on public policy. “We are all stunned. Look at the jobless lines. Twenty-two million,” he added.
10:19 [Indian Punchline] (E)
A tweet by the US President Donald Trump on April 22 said, “I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea.” The AP report on it added, “The White House had no immediate comment. The U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet referred questions about the tweet to the Pentagon, and the Pentagon referred questions to the White House.” Trump is talking the language of war while indulging in politics by other means. Like his ban on immigration, Trump is resorting to distractions to turn attention away from his incompetence in tackling the Covid-19 crisis.
9:02 [Mint Press News] (E)
After weeks of dismissing it as a liberal “hoax” designed to unseat the president, brushing the virus off as no big deal and under control, the Trump administration is clearly floundering in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite weeks of warning where it could have taken precautionary steps, the United States currently has four times the confirmed cases and twice the deaths of any other country. At the same time, the countries it is currently placing under economic siege, totaling around a quarter of the world’s population, are faring far better and leading the global fight against the coronavirus.
10:13 [Indian Punchline] (E)
In an unusual move last weekend, China’s envoy to Moscow, Zhang Hanhui highlighted that the whole story about Covid-19 is only unfolding and there are surprises in store for the world community. It is inconceivable that Ambassador Zhang spoke without the knowledge of Beijing. Significantly, the Chinese envoy chose the Russian state news agency Tass for making some startling disclosures.
10:55 [Strategic Culture Foundation] (E)
Some have queried how it could be that President Putin would co-operate with President Trump to have OPEC+ push oil prices higher – when those higher prices precisely would only help sustain U.S. oil production. In effect, President Putin was being asked to underwrite a subsidy to the U.S. economy – at the expense of Russia’s own oil and gas sales – since U.S. shale production simply is not economic at these prices. In other words, Russia seemed to be shooting itself in the foot.
8:45 [Truth tp Power] (E)
Frankly, I have never considered USN carrier strike groups as a “Cold War capable” element of the US Navy. Yes, in theory, there was the notion of forward deploying these carriers to “bring the war to the Soviets” (on the Kola Peninsula) before they could flush their subs and aircraft through the GUIK gap and into the Atlantic. In theory, it should have been a 600 ship navy too, but that never happened. In reality, of course, US strike groups were the ultimate “colony disciplining” instrument which Uncle Shmuel would park off the coast of a country disobedient to the demands and systematic plundering of the USA. Since most countries in the 20th century could not sink a US carrier or prevail over the comparatively advanced aircraft deployed on them, this was, all in all, a very safe game to play for the USA.
9:52 [Global Research] (E)
Following the news regarding coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) we’d be led to believe humanity faces an unprecedented crisis – and judging by the socioeconomic damage being done – it is not that difficult to believe some sort of unprecedented crisis is indeed unfolding. Yet the sense of urgency imposed upon the general public – prompting lockdowns around the globe and unprecedented measures being put in place – all centered around fighting a supposedly dangerous pathogen and avoiding overburdening global healthcare infrastructure – is entirely artificial.
15:10 [China Daily] (E)
For decades, the United States has been antagonistic to the most important international organization in the world: the United Nations. It is because the UN has periodically rebelled and refused to take direct diktats from Washington. Although greatly influenced by the West, the UN has always insisted on a certain degree of independence, for which it has been criticized, bullied and even directly "punished" by several US administrations. Western countries, especially the US, have sporadically cut or frozen their contributions to the UN, intimidated member states, and bought the votes of many small countries to serve the interests of the West.
8:24 [Tass] (E)
"The President has directed us to think more broadly than New START and include both China and Russia in our next steps," the US Department of State spokesperson said....Another US Department of State spokesperson said that Washington earlier sent an official invitation to Beijing to engage in a strategic dialogue on security issues, while the latest round of consultations with Russia on the matter took place in January. "The United States held the most recent meeting of the Strategic Security Dialogue in January 2020 with Russia. We proposed one to China, which has not yet accepted," the spokesperson said.
13:42 [Strategic Culture Foundation] (E)
Pepe Escobar - The absolutely key issue is how the West was caught completely unprepared for the spread of Covid-19 – even after being provided a head start of two months by China, and having the time to study different successful strategies applied across Asia.
17:06 [Tass] (E)
Presidents of Russia and the United States Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump discussed the novel coronavirus pandemic combating and the situation on the global oil market in a telephone conversation, the Kremlin’s press service says on Monday. "The two heads of state expressed serious concern over the rapid global spread of the coronavirus infection and informed each other about measures taken in their countries to handle this threat," the Kremlin said. "They discussed options for closer cooperation between the two countries in this sphere," the press service added. The leaders discussed also the current status of the world’s oil market. "An arrangement was made on Russian-US consultations in this regard through energy department heads," the Kremlin said. "Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump agreed to continue personal contacts," the press service noted.
18:47 [China Daily] (E)
United States President Donald Trump`s recent labeling of the novel coronavirus pneumonia pandemic as originating from a "Chinese virus" has triggered widespread backlash from the international community. Officials and commentators worldwide used words like "racist" and "xenophobic" to describe the term and said it is part of Washington`s attempt to shift blame to China for its delayed, inefficient response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Instead of terms such as "COVID-19" or "coronavirus", the US top leader used the term in both his Wednesday and Thursday news conferences at the White House as well as in some recent tweets, and he publicly rejected reporters` questions about whether the term was racist.
22:59 [Global Research] (E)
After the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) found a reasonable basis to believe that U.S. military and CIA leaders committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, Team Trump threatened to ban ICC judges and prosecutors from the U.S. and warned it would impose economic sanctions on the Court if it launched an investigation.
22:13 [PressTV] (E)
Syria`s Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar al-Jaafari says the Damascus government and the Syrian nation will not allow Turkey to split and annex any part of the Arab country’s embattled northwestern province of Idlib.
15:55 [RT] (E)
The UN-mandated report which accuses Russia of alleged war crimes in Syria heavily relies on anonymous sources and lacks evidence but smacks of deliberate disinformation intended to halt the eradication of terrorism in Idlib.
15:37 [Tass] (E)
President of the United States Donald Trump is ready to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as with the leaders of China, Britain and France to discuss the issue of arms control, Reuters reported on Saturday citing a high-ranking official in the US administration. "The United States will use this opportunity to bring both Russia and China into the international arms control framework and head off a costly arms race," the news agency quoted its unnamed source as saying.
15:36 [Tass] (E)
The Syrian army has a full right to respond to terrorist attacks on its territory, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said. "In response to the ongoing violations of the ceasefire regime within the zone of Idlib, the Syrian army certainly has the right to respond and suppress terrorists," Nebenzya said speaking at the UN Security Council session on the situation in the Syrian province of Idlib. "We cannot forbid the Syrian army to fulfill requirements, stipulated by the UN Security Council resolutions on the unconditional fight against terrorism in all of its forms, particularly on its territory - the territory of sovereign Syria," Nebenzya added.
14:38 [Stalker Zone] (E)
This year’s Munich Security Conference was attended by leading politicians from 40 countries. Everyone tried to solve their problems. The Americans fought for freedom and democracy around the world, targeting China and Russia. They tried to persuade the world not to work with Chinese suppliers of 5G systems, and, within the framework of the Three Seas Initiative, tried to rid Europe of cheap (but authoritarian) Russian energy, replacing them with expensive (but democratic) American ones. The Europeans, before discussing who they should be energy-dependent on (on cheap authoritarianism or expensive democracy), wanted to know whether the Americans would protect them if something happened.
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