From The Alpha and the Omega - Chapter Eight
by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved
"GLOBALISM - ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT VERSUS NATIONALISM IN 2021"

    This file is attached to http://www.mazzaroth.com/ChapterEight/2014-2017.htm from “Astronomical Events To Appear Between 2014 Through 2017 A.D.” - Chapter Eight by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved.

GLOBALISM - ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT VERSUS NATIONALISM IN 2021


1/5/2021 WHO’s Tedros “Very Disappointed” China Has Not Authorised Entry Of Coronavirus Experts
    ZURICH (Reuters) – The head of the World Health Organization is “very disappointed” that China has still not authorised the entry of a team of international experts to examine the origins of the coronavirus.
    “Today, we learned that Chinese officials have not yet finalised the necessary permissions for the team’s arrival in China,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference in Geneva.
    “I have been in contact with senior Chinese officials and I have once again made it clear the mission is a priority for the WHO,” he told reporters.
(Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Alison Williams)
[SO IT TOOK THIS LONG TEDROS FOR YOU TO REALIZE THAT CHINA TOOK YOU FOR A SUCKER.].

1/5/2021 China Doubles Down On COVID Narrative As WHO Investigation Looms by David Stanway
FILE PHOTO: Visitors attend an exhibition on the fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at Wuhan Parlor Convention Center that previously
served as a makeshift hospital for COVID-19 patients in Wuhan, Hubei province, China December 31, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/File Photo
    SHANGHAI (Reuters) – As a team from the World Health Organization (WHO) prepares to visit China to investigate the origins of COVID-19, Beijing has stepped up efforts not only to prevent new outbreaks, but also shape the narrative about when and where the pandemic began.
    China has dismissed criticism of its early handling of the coronavirus, first identified in the city of Wuhan at the end of 2019, and foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday that the country would welcome the WHO team.
    But amid simmering geopolitical tensions, experts said the investigators were unlikely to be allowed to scrutinise some of the more sensitive aspects of the outbreak, with Beijing desperate to avoid blame for a virus that has killed more than 1.8 million people worldwide.
    “Even before this investigation, top officials from both sides have been very polarised in their opinions on the origins of the outbreak,” said Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations, a U.S. think tank.
    “They will have to be politically savvy and draw conclusions that are acceptable to all the major parties,” he added.
    While other countries continue to struggle with infection surges, China has aggressively doused flare-ups.    After a new cluster of cases last week, the city of Shenyang sealed off entire communities and required all non-essential workers to stay home.
    On Saturday, senior diplomat Wang Yi praised the anti-pandemic efforts, saying China not only curbed domestic infections, but also “took the lead in building a global anti-epidemic defence” by providing aid to more than 150 countries.
    But mindful of the criticism China has faced worldwide, Wang also became the highest-ranking official to question the consensus about COVID-19’s origins, saying “more and more studies” show that it emerged in multiple regions.
    China is also the only country to claim COVID-19 can be transmitted via cold chain imports, with the country blaming new outbreaks in Beijing and Dalian on contaminated shipments – even though the WHO has downplayed those risks.
TRANSPARENCY
    China has been accused of a cover-up that delayed its initial response, allowing the virus to spread further.
    The topic remains sensitive, with only a handful of studies into the origins of COVID-19 made available to the public.
    But there have also been signs China is willing to share information that contradicts the official picture.
    Last week, a study by China’s Center for Disease Control showed that blood samples from 4.43% of Wuhan’s population contained COVID-19 antibodies, indicating that the city’s infection rates were far higher than originally acknowledged.
    But scientists said China must also share any findings suggesting COVID-19 was circulating domestically long before it was officially identified in December 2019.
    An Italian study showed that COVID-19 might have been in Europe several months before China’s first official case.    Chinese state media used the paper to support theories that COVID-19 originated overseas and entered China via contaminated frozen food or foreign athletes competing at the World Military Games in Wuhan in October 2019.
    Raina MacIntyre, head of the Kirby Institute’s Biosecurity Research Program in Australia, said the investigation needed to draw “a comprehensive global picture of the epidemiological clues,” including any evidence COVID-19 was present outside of China before December 2019.
    However, political issues mean they are unlikely to be given much leeway to investigate one hypothesis, that the outbreak was caused by a leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, said MacIntyre.
    “I think it is unlikely all viruses in the lab at the time will be made available to the team,” she said.    “So I do not think we will ever know the truth.”

1/8/2021 Iran Leader Bans Import Of U.S., UK COVID-19 Vaccines, Demands Sanctions End by Parisa Hafezi
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a televised speech, in Tehran, Iran January 8, 2021. Official Khamenei Website/Handout via REUTERS
    DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran’s Supreme Leader on Friday banned the government from importing COVID-19 vaccines from the United States and Britain, labelling the Western powers “untrustworthy,” as the infection spreads in the Middle East’s hardest-hit country.
    In a live televised speech, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei raised the prospect of the two Western countries, long-time adversaries of the Islamic Republic, possibly seeking to spread the infection to other countries.
    He added however that Iran could obtain vaccines “from other reliable places.”    He gave no details, but China and Russia are both allies of Iran.
    “Imports of U.S. and British vaccines into the country are forbidden … They’re completely untrustworthy.    It’s not unlikely they would want to contaminate other nations,” said Khamenei, the country’s highest authority.
    “Given our experience with France’s HIV-tainted blood supplies, French vaccines aren’t trustworthy either,” Khamenei said, referring to the country’s contaminated blood scandal of the 1980s and 1990s.
    Khamenei repeated the accusations in a tweet that was removed by Twitter along with a message saying it violated the platform’s rules against misinformation.
    Iran launched human trials of its first domestic COVID-19 vaccine candidate late last month, saying it could help Iran defeat the pandemic despite U.S. sanctions that affect its ability to import vaccines.
    Tensions between Washington and Tehran have risen since 2018, when President Donald Trump abandoned a 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions to pressure Iran into negotiating stricter curbs on its nuclear program, ballistic missile development and support for regional proxy forces.
    In retaliation for U.S. sanctions, which were lifted under the nuclear deal, Tehran has gradually violated the accord.    U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office on Jan. 20, has pledged to rejoin the agreement if Tehran also returns to full compliance.
    Khamenei said Tehran was in no rush for the United States to re-enter the deal, but that sanctions on the Islamic Republic must be lifted immediately.
    Iran’s utmost authority, Khamenei ruled out any talks over Tehran’s missile programme and Iran’s involvement in the Middle East, as demanded by the United States and some other major powers.
    “Contrary to the U.S., Iran’s involvement in the region creates stability and is aimed at preventing instability … Iran’s involvement in the region is definite and will continue.”
    Shortly before Khamenei’s speech, Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards unveiled an underground missile base at an undisclosed Gulf location.
    The West sees Iran’s missiles both as a conventional military threat to regional stability and a possible delivery mechanism for nuclear weapons should Tehran develop them.
    But Iran, which has one of the biggest missile programmes in the Middle East, regards the programme as an important deterrent and retaliatory force against the United States and other adversaries – primarily Gulf Arabs – in the region in the event of war.
(Reporting by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Toby Chopra, Timothy Heritage, William Maclean and Sonya Hepinstall)
[DON'T BE A FOOL BIDEN IF YOU DO NOT GET IN WRITING AND SIGNED AND APPROVED BY CONGRESS AND HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS THEY WILL CONTINUE DOING WHAT THEY WANT AND WILL KILL ALL AMERICANS AND ISRAEL AND YOU WILL BE WATCHING IT OCCUR AS YOUR ADMINISTRATION IS FOOLED EASY AS IT HAS OCCURRED IN THE PAST BY IRAN, CHINA AND RUSSIA BUT THEN WE KNOW YOU LIKE THEM TO DO THAT TO YOU AS LONG AS THEY GIVE YOU MONEY.].

1/8/2021 WHO Tells Rich Countries: Stop Cutting The Vaccines Queue by Emma Farge and Matthias Blamont
FILE PHOTO: World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
attends a news conference in Geneva Switzerland July 3, 2020. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The head of the World Health Organization said on Friday there is a “clear problem” that low-and- middle-income countries are not yet receiving supplies of COVID-19 vaccines and urged countries to stop striking bilateral deals with manufacturers.
    “Rich countries have the majority of the supply,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in strongly-worded comments on vaccine nationalism at a Geneva news briefing.
    “No country is exceptional and should cut the queue and vaccinate all their population while some remain with no supply of the vaccine,” he added.
    He asked countries and manufacturers to stop making bilateral deals and called on those who have ordered excess doses to immediately hand them over to the COVAX vaccine-sharing facility.
    While Tedros did not name countries, the European Union said it reached a deal with Pfizer and BioNTech for 300 million additional doses of their COVID-19 vaccine in a move that would give the EU nearly half of the firms’ global output for 2021.
    The scramble for shots has accelerated as governments also struggle to tame more infectious variants identified in Britain and South Africa, which are threatening to overwhelm healthcare systems.
‘SPREADING AT ALARMING RATE’
    Emergencies chief Mike Ryan echoed comments from Tedros, stressing the need to give doses to vulnerable groups and frontline healthcare workers first, no matter where they live.
    “Are we going to allow those people who are vulnerable and those people who are most at risk to get sick and die from this virus?” he asked.
    WHO officials also urged vaccine manufacturers to provide it with data in real-time in order to expedite the rollout.
    Earlier this week, the WHO said the COVAX facility had raised $6 billion of the $7 billion that it has sought in 2021 to help finance deliveries to 92 developing nations with limited or no means to buy vaccines on their own.
    Until now, wealthier nations including Britain, European Union members, the United States, Switzerland and Israel have been at the front of the queue for vaccine deliveries from companies including Pfizer and partner BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca.
    Nearly 88 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and around 1.9 million have died since it first emerged in China in December 2019, according to a Reuters tally.
    Cases have been surging in many countries in recent weeks with not enough vaccines distributed yet to slow transmission, WHO officials said.
    “The virus is spreading at alarming rates in some countries,” Tedros said.    “The problem is that not complying a bit becomes a habit.    Not complying gives the virus opportunities to spread.”
(Reporting by Emma Farge and Matthias Blamont; Editing by Nick Macfie and Alex Richardson)

1/8/2021 Power Struggle Leaves U.N. Rights Body Without Leader by Emma Farge
FILE PHOTO: Overview of the session of the Human Rights Council during the speech of U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights
Michelle Bachelet at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, February 27, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – Russia and China have opposed a candidate from Fiji seen as a staunch human rights defender to lead the top U.N. rights body, diplomats and observers say, creating a deadlock just as Washington may seek to rejoin the forum it quit in 2018.
    The Human Rights Council presidency rotates annually between regions and is usually agreed by consensus, with any contests typically resolved quickly and cordially, diplomats say.
    The impasse means the council, the only intergovernmental global body to promote and protect human rights worldwide, is set to resume work in Geneva next week with no leader for the first time in its 15-year history.
    While its decisions are not legally binding, they carry political weight and can authorise probes into violations.
    The infighting points to a high-stakes game where powers are seeking to pre-emptively counter future influence of the United States, which could rejoin the body under President-elect Joe Biden, Marc Limon of the Universal Rights Group think-tank said.
    “Neither China nor Russia want a human rights-friendly country to hold the presidency in a year where the U.S. will probably re-engage with the council,” he said.
    Russia, China and Saudi Arabia — sometimes acting through proxies — have opposed the selection of Fiji’s ambassador, Nazhat Shameem Khan, or thrown their weight behind other last-minute candidates, observers and two diplomats said.
    “It’s understood that Saudi Arabia, China and Russia were all supportive of a Bahraini candidacy and opposed to a Fijian candidacy,” said Phil Lynch, director of the International Service for Human Rights, citing Fiji’s record, with Khan backing probes into abuses in Belarus and Yemen last year.
    The NGO is accredited to the council and takes part in debates.
    A Chinese diplomat said on Friday he would be “happy to see any of these candidates as president.”
    The diplomatic missions for Fiji, Russia and Saudi Arabia did not respond to requests for comment.
    Khan has not stepped aside and alternative candidates from Bahrain and Uzbekistan put forward since December have also faced opposition, diplomats said.
    “This mess potentially strengthens those voices that argue HRC is anti-democratic, dysfunctional etc, and U.S. should not re-engage (or insist on big reforms as price for doing so),” said the International Crisis Group’s Richard Gowan.
    A review that could prompt reforms of the forum is pending.
    Currently, members have to be elected onto the 47-member council to vote in it – but that may be one of the subjects considered in any reform.     China and Russia both return to the council this year.
    The council president has limited powers although some say the role has become increasingly political.
    The president does however appoint independent experts, such as the one who led an inquiry into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
    Attempts by Oman, last year’s Asia-Pacific group coordinator, to resolve the matter via secret ballot hit Qatari opposition, creating a deadlock one diplomat called “a mess.”
    One way to resolve the impasse might be a vote at the council next week, diplomats say.
(Reporting by Emma Farge; Editing by Stephanie Nebehay and Alison Williams)

1/11/2021 World Health Organization To Probe Origins Of COVID-19 In China by OAN Newsroom
A photo taken in the late hours of May 29, 2020 shows a sign of the World Health Organization (WHO) at their
headquarters in Geneva amid the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
    Experts from the World Health Organization are set to visit China to investigate the origins of COVID-19.    On Monday, China announced that WHO experts will arrive on Thursday to conduct a field visit and probe origins of the virus.
    The visit comes amid international concerns over China’s lack of transparency over the initial COVID-19 outbreak in 2019.    Chinese experts will be present throughout the investigation alongside the WHO.
    “After negotiation between the two parties, the Chinese government agreed that the World Health Organization’s international team of experts will come to China on January 14 to communicate with Chinese scientists and medical experts about scientific cooperation on the origins of the new coronavirus,” Zhao Lijian, spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.
    It is still unclear whether the WHO scientists will be able to visit Wuhan, where cases of coronavirus were first reported.

1/12/2021 UN Secretary General To Seek Second Term In Office by OAN Newsroom
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the media during a joint press conference with German Foreign
Minister Heiko Maas after a meeting in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, pool)
    United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres is reportedly seeking to serve a second term at the international body’s top spot.    On Monday, he confirmed he would seek another five-year term, which would start at the beginning of 2022.
    Guterres, a former prime minister of Portugal, has served as UN chief since 2017 and has shown interest in running again for several months.    He said there are still a lot of issues the international community needs to tackle, including global climate and poverty trends.     “In our interconnected world, we need a networked multilateralism, so that global and regional organizations communicate and work together towards common goals,” Guterres stated.    “And we need an inclusive multilateralism based on the equal representation of women and taking in young people, civil society, business and technology, cities and regions, science and academia.”
    In the meantime, the president of the UN General Assembly and Security Council must send an official letter to member states.    This will formally kick-start the selection process.

1/15/2021 Fiji Wins Presidency Of U.N. Rights Body After Vote Unblocks Leadership Impasse by Emma Farge
FILE PHOTO: Overview of the session of the Human Rights Council during the speech of U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet
at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, February 27, 2020. Picture taken with a fisheye lens. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – Fiji, the favourite of Western nations, won the presidency of the U.N. Human Rights Council on Friday, beating Bahrain and Uzbekistan in a secret ballot that resolved a tense deadlock over the selection.
    The vote was called after an impasse that meant the Council, the only intergovernmental global body to promote and protect human rights worldwide, began meetings this week leaderless for the first time in its 15-year history.
    The presidency rotates geographically with each region typically making a selection by consensus but members of the Asia Pacific group could not agree, forcing the first-ever secret ballot in the Council.
    Fiji’s Nazahat Shameen Khan, a British-educated former High Court judge, won with 29 votes versus 14 for Bahrain and 4 for Uzbekistan, Vice-President Ali Ibn Abi Talib Abdelrahman Mahmoud told a nearly-empty U.N. chamber where delegates voted one-by-one due to COVID-19 measures.
    The deadlock over the presidency came at the start of a year that is widely expected to see the United States rejoin after quitting the forum in 2018, and with a review of the Council’s activities expected to begin.
    Observers and diplomats saw Fiji’s rivals as being backed by Russia, China and Saudi Arabia although a Chinese diplomat said he would be happy for any candidate to win.    Officials from Russia and Saudi Arabia did not respond to requests for comment.
    China’s ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, Chen Xu, congratulated Fiji in a tweet on Friday and pledged support.
    The 47-member Council does not make legally binding decisions but it can authorise probes into alleged rights violations by mandating international fact-finding missions.
    Marc Limon of the Universal Rights Group think-tank, welcomed Khan’s selection.
    “It is important for the Council to have a country like Fiji that has a positive record on human rights and a good story to tell,” he said, alluding to the collapse of the former U.N. rights body after Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya led it.
    A diplomat said he expected debates to be more intense this year, given that Russia and China return to the Council after periods off it.
    “I expect a lot of heated debates and the potential for acrimony,” he said, saying China’s actions in Hong Kong and Xinjiang could be flashpoints.
(Reporting by Emma Farge; Editing by Frances Kerry)

[THE FOLLOWING IS ONE OF BIDEN’S POLICY TO DESTROY THE U.S.A..}.
1/15/2021 Factbox: U.S. President-Elect Biden Pledged To Change Immigration. Here’s How by Mimi Dwyer
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris looks on during a televised speech on the
current economic and health crises at The Queen Theatre in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., January 14, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File photo
    (Reuters) – U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has promised a quick and dramatic reversal of the restrictive immigration policies put in place by his predecessor President Donald Trump.    While Biden pledged to undo many of Trump’s policies starting the first day he takes office on Jan. 20, the layers of reforms will take much longer to implement.
IMMIGRATION REFORM AND ‘DREAMERS’
    Biden, a Democrat, said in a June tweet he will send a bill to Congress “on day one” that laid out “a clear roadmap to citizenship” for some 11 million people living in the United States unlawfully.
    Biden has said he would create permanent protection for young migrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, known as “Dreamers.”    Started by former President Barack Obama when Biden was vice president, the program currently provides deportation protection and other benefits to approximately 645,000 people.
    Trump’s Republican administration tried to end DACA but was stymied in federal court.    The program still faces a legal challenge in a Texas court.
    Vice president-elect Kamala Harris said in an interview with Univision on Jan. 12 that the administration planned to shorten citizenship wait times and allow DACA holders, as well as recipients of Temporary Protected Status (TPS), to “automatically get green cards,” but did not explicitly say when or how these changes would happen.
    Trump moved to phase out TPS, which grants deportation protection and allows work permits to people from countries hit by natural disasters or armed conflict. Earlier in his campaign, Biden promised to “immediately” grant TPS to Venezuelans already in the United States.
    For years lawmakers have failed to pass a major immigration bill.    Democrats may stand a better chance of passing legislation after a run-off election in Georgia handed them control of both houses of Congress.
RESTORING ASYLUM AND REFUGEES
    Trump blasted what he called “loopholes” in the asylum system and implemented overlapping polices to make it more difficult to seek refuge in the United States.
    One Trump program called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) forced tens of thousands of asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration court.    Biden said during the campaign he would end the program on day one.    His transition team, however, has said dismantling MPP and restoring other asylum protections will take time.
    Under rules put in place by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control during the coronavirus pandemic, most migrants arriving at the border are now immediately expelled.    Biden’s team has not pledged to reverse that policy right away.
    Migrant caravans have been on the move in Central America, with some aiming to arrive at the southwest border after Biden’s inauguration.    Advocates worry that the pandemic will make it difficult for border officials and migrant shelters to handle large numbers of people.
    Biden has also said he would raise the cap for refugees resettled in the United States from abroad to 125,000 from the historic low-level of 15,000 set by Trump this year.
FAMILY REUNIFICATION
    Biden’s transition team promised to immediately create a federal task force to reunify children separated from their parents under one of the Trump administration’s most controversial policies.
    Thousands of children were separated from their parents when Trump implemented a “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting all border crossers, including families, for illegal entry.    Though Trump officially reversed the policy in June 2018 amid international outcry, some children have continued to be separated for other reasons.    Advocates are still searching for the parents of more than 600 separated children.
TRAVEL AND VISA BANS
    One of Trump’s first actions after taking office in 2017 was banning travel from several Muslim-majority countries.    Following legal challenges, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a revised version of the ban in 2018.    It has since been expanded to 13 nations.
    Biden has promised to immediately rescind the bans, which were issued by executive actions and could be easily undone, according to policy experts.
    During the coronavirus pandemic Trump issued proclamations blocking the entry of many temporary foreign workers and applicants for green cards.    While Biden has criticized the restrictions, he has not yet said whether he would immediately reverse them.
BORDER WALL
    Biden pledged to immediately halt construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, which Trump touted as a major accomplishment during a Texas visit just days before leaving office.
    It is not entirely clear what Biden’s administration will do with contracts for wall construction that have already been awarded but have yet to be completed, or with private land seized by the government in places where building has stopped.
(This story corrects paragraph 17 to clarify the measures blocked green card applicants).
(Reporting by Mimi Dwyer in Los Angeles; additional reporting by Ted Hesson in Washington; Editing by Mica Rosenberg, Aurora Ellis and Jonathan Oatis)

1/15/2021 Joe Biden Proposes $1.9T Pandemic Relief Package by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden spoke to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs on November 1, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
    Joe Biden unveiled his plan to “transform the U.S. economy” with a pandemic relief package of $1.9 trillion in borrowed money.    Conservatives and economists have warned this “transformation” could result in dramatic loss of economic opportunity and quality of life for Americans.
    The “American Rescue Plan,” proposed by Joe Biden on Thursday, includes $350 billion for state and local government aid, $170 billion for academic institutions, $50 billion for COVID-19 testing and $20 billion toward a national vaccine program.    The massive spending bill also allocates enhanced unemployment benefit payments of $400 per week through the end of September as well as a minimum wage increase.
    “It is time to raise the minimum wage so hard-working people earn at least $15 an hour minimum,” Biden stated.    “No one should work as millions are doing today, 40 hours a week at a job and still live below the poverty line.    They are entitled to at least $15 minimum wage per hour.”
    While Biden claimed a minimum wage hike would help those in poverty, economic experts argued that increasing the minimum wage, especially during a time with extremely high unemployment rates, could make it harder for low income Americans to find jobs.    As a result, putting further strains on state budgets that fund unemployment benefits.
    A study by the Congressional Budget Office found that a $15 wage increase would “add to the numbers of people in poverty” by taking many out of work and forcing employers to pay more.    A Purdue university study suggested a $15 minimum wage, specifically in the restaurant industry, could lead to higher product prices.
    Despite the huge cost and massive fiscal impact, the plan does not focus on creating jobs or setting aside money for building American infrastructure.
    In a recent interview, economist Paul Tudor Jones warned that under a Democrat controlled presidency, asset values will eventually decrease, even if a massive stimulus package appears to help things in the first quarter of 2021.
    Under President Trump, economic recovery in the last six months has outperformed the expectations of most economists.    This was accomplished through reopening businesses, making adjustments to operations and encouraging of employees to work from home.
    In a public address, the President warned about dangers of the Joe Biden economic agenda.    He said it would cause social security to collapse, coverage for pre-existing conditions would be taken away and Medicare would be given away to illegal immigrants.
    “The radical left gained power. They will collapse our economy and send our nation into a depression,” President Trump stated.    “Biden will raise your taxes $4 trillion, massively increase your regulations, close down your factories, send your jobs overseas.”
    While Biden’s recovery bill offers minimum wage increases and stimulus checks, it appears to have omitted the core request of millions of Americans, to regain the economic freedom they lost to Democrat imposed lockdowns.

1/15/2021 EU Welcomes Biden Proposal For U.S. Stimulus
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters, where Brexit
talks are taking place, in Brussels, Belgium, December 24, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission welcomed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package proposed by President-elect Joe Biden to help the U.S. economy deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, but said its full impact would not become clear until Congress debates it.
    Biden outlined the package on Thursday, saying bold investment was needed to jump-start the economy and accelerate the distribution of vaccines.
    “This package is timely as the coronavirus pandemic has been intensifying in recent months in the United States and around the world,” a spokesman for the EU’s executive Commission said.
    “We will continue to monitor developments closely as the package is considered by the United States Congress, so it is premature to draw detailed conclusions on the likely impact on the U.S. economy.”
    The chairman of euro zone finance ministers, Paschal Donohoe, said the U.S. package was in many ways similar to what the European Union had decided earlier and showed the scale of the challenge that countries were facing.
    “The new $1.9 trillion Biden stimulus plan emphasises once again the scale of the challenge posed by COVID-19.    The plan is wide-ranging and in many senses similar to Europe’s actions, both in terms of income support and health measures: there is a clear need for supportive fiscal and monetary policy,” Donohoe said.
(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Giles Elgood)

1/15/2021 EU Trade Official Wants Swift Engagement With Biden On Aircraft, Digital Taxes, WTO by David Lawder
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters, where Brexit
talks are taking place, in Brussels, Belgium, December 24, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The European Union is looking to engage quickly with the Biden administration to resolve major trade irritants, including disputes over digital taxes and commercial aircraft subsides, EU Director General for Trade Sabine Weyand said on Friday.
    Weyand told an online forum that the EU is planning to present a World Trade Organization reform proposal in February and is now willing to consider reforms to restrain the judicial authority of the WTO’s dispute settlement body.
    The United States has for years complained that WTO Appellate Body makes unjustified new trade rules in its decisions and has blocked the appointment of new judges to stop this, rendering the body inoperable.
    The Trump administration, which leaves office next Wednesday, had threatened to impose tariffs on French cosmetics, handbags and other goods in retaliation for France’s digital services tax that it said discriminated against U.S. tech firms.
    Washington said last week it would put those tariffs on hold as the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office looked into similar digital taxes planned by Austria, Britain, Italy, Spain, Turkey and India.
    Weyand told the event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington that she saw the decision to not collect tariffs on French goods as a positive sign.
    “We are working on an EU proposal and we have timed it so that it coincides with the OECD process and I think there is a possibility to discuss it,” Weyand said.
    The OECD has been overseeing an effort by countries to come up with a global solution to digital taxation, but the talks bogged down last year.
    Any solution would be non-discriminatory and in full-compliance with WTO rules, Weyand added.
    “What we had said to the previous administration was that if you have concerns about WTO compatibility, then to take it to the WTO. What we cannot accept is that the U.S. takes the law into its own hands.”
    Weyand said the EU was surprised by USTR’s Dec. 31 move to boost tariffs on French and German aircraft parts and wines in the Boeing-Airbus subsidy dispute, but the bloc had decided to hold off on retaliation for now.
    She said the EU’s ambition is to reach a negotiated settlement within six months to the WTO subsidy dispute that began in 2004.
    “We’ve been holding our fire because we said, ‘okay it’s three weeks to the new administration.’    So let’s engage rapidly in this, but our objective here is to come to a situation where both sides hopefully would agree to suspend the tariffs,” and create space for negotiations.
(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

1/21/2021 Biden Halts U.S. Withdrawal From The World Health Organization by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 file photo, President Joe Biden speaks during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
The Biden administration is taking quick steps to keep the United States in the World Health Organization. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, file)
    Joe Biden has unilaterally stopped the U.S. withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO) following President Trump’s decision to step away from the bloc due to Chinese Communist influence.    Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday effectively blocking the U.S. from exiting the pact.
    President Trump took steps to remove the U.S. from the organization amid reports the head of the WHO helped China cover up initial COVID-19 infection reports, which could have stopped the pandemic.    The Trump administration’s move would have stopped federal funds from going to the global alliance.
    “So we have 325 million people.    China has 1.5 billion people, right?” President Trump hypothetically asked.    “We paid $500 million a year.    They paid $39 million yearly.”    He went on to point out that China had officials who were practically running the organization.
    Meanwhile, the WHO appeared all too eager to welcome the Biden administration as many Americans are left concerned about the fiscal impact of rejoining the organization.

1/21/2021 WTO Finds For South Korea Over U.S. Trade Measures, In Challenge For Biden
FILE PHOTO: The World Trade Organization (WTO) logo is pictured in front of their headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, October 28, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Trade Organization recommended on Thursday that the United States revise a series of duties imposed in the pre-Trump era on South Korea, presenting new U.S. President Joe Biden with a dilemma.
    A day after Biden’s inauguration, his new administration faces a test of its multilateral credentials, with a choice between complying with the WTO ruling or lodging an appeal to put the case into a legal void.
    The United States has up to 60 days to appeal.    If it does so, the case would enter a legal limbo because the Trump administration paralysed the WTO’s Appellate Body by blocking appointments and leaving it with too few adjudicators to rule.
    The duties were imposed on four grades of steel in 2016 and on large power transformers in 2012 under the administration of Donald Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, whose vice president Biden was.
    A three-person WTO panel found that the U.S. Department of Commerce failed to take into account all the information available when it calculated the level of dumping or subsidies.
    The Commerce Department had not specified in detail the information requested, did not take into account some of the information submitted and rejected other information provided after a certain date, the panel found.
    The tariffs on transformer makers Hyosung Heavy Industries Corp and Hyundai Electric & Energy Systems Co and steelmakers from Hyundai Steel and POSCO were therefore inconsistent with WTO rules, the panel said.
    The European Union also joined the case, saying steel producers in Italy, the Netherlands and Britain, then an EU member, had also suffered from this U.S. practice.
    South Korea did though fail to convince the panel that U.S. authorities had an “unwritten measure” of using the most adverse facts available in order to maximise duties, where an exporter had failed fully to cooperate.
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Gareth Jones and Jonathan Oatis)

1/28/2021 WHO Says Team In Wuhan To Visit Labs, Markets And Hospitals by Gabriel Crossley
Peter Ben Embarek and Marion Koopmans, members of the World Health Organisation (WHO) team tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) pandemic, sit on a bus as they leave their quarantine hotel in Wuhan, Hubei province, China January 28, 2021. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
    WUHAN, China (Reuters) – A World Health Organization-led team investigating the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic will meet Chinese scientists on Friday and plans to visit labs, markets and hospitals in Wuhan, the WHO said.
    The team left its quarantine hotel in Wuhan on Thursday to begin field work, two weeks after arriving in the Chinese city where the virus emerged in late 2019.
    The mission has been plagued by delays, concern over access and bickering between China and the United States, which has accused China of hiding the extent of the initial outbreak and criticised the terms of the visit, under which Chinese experts conducted the first phase of research.
    “The team plans to visit hospitals, laboratories and markets.    Field visits will include the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Huanan market, Wuhan CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) laboratory,” the WHO said in a tweet.
    The team of independent experts, due to remain for two more weeks in China, will also speak with some of the first COVID-19 patients in Wuhan, it said.
    “All hypotheses are on the table as the team follows the science in their work,” it said, adding: “They should receive the support, access and the data they need.”
    Thea Fischer, a Danish team member, said visiting the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, where the virus was initially believed to have spread, would provide insight into whether it was the epicenter of the outbreak or just an amplifier of the virus.
    “It is now that the actual field work can begin, and it is my expectation that for this part of the mission we will have unhindered access to the requested destinations and individuals,” Fischer told Reuters by phone from Wuhan.
    “But it is important to remember that the success of this mission and origin-tracing is 100% depending on access to the relevant sources.    No matter how competent we are, how hard we work and how many stones we try to turn, this can only be possible with the support from China,” she said.
RELIEF
    After leaving their quarantine hotel without speaking to journalists, team members boarded a bus to a lakeside hotel, where part the building and grounds were cordoned off.
    Several team members described long work days during their quarantine, and relief at being able to leave their rooms.
    “Slightly sad to say goodbye to my ‘gym’ & my ‘office’ where I’ve been holed up for last 2 wks!!,” team member Peter Daszak said on Twitter, along with photos of exercise equipment and a desk in his hotel room.
    The team members’ luggage, loaded onto the bus by workers in protective suits, included yoga mats and what appeared to be a guitar case.
    Hours before the WHO annnounced their planned visits, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted: “Thanks, Chinese Health Minister Ma Xiaowei, for a frank discussion on the #COVID19 virus origins mission.”
    The WHO has sought to manage expectations.
    “There are no guarantees of answers,” WHO emergencies chief Mike Ryan told reporters this month.
    China’s foreign ministry said the team would participate in seminars, visits and field trips.
    The origin of COVID-19 has been highly politicised.
    The investigating team had been set to arrive in Wuhan earlier in January, and China’s delay of their visit drew rare public criticism from the head of the WHO, which former U.S. President Donald Trump accused of being “China-centric” early in the outbreak.
    China has pushed the idea that the virus existed abroad before it was discovered in Wuhan, with state media citing the presence of the virus on imported frozen food packaging and scientific papers saying it had been circulating in Europe in 2019.
    China’s foreign ministry has also hinted that the sudden closure of a U.S. army laboratory at Fort Detrick in Maryland in July 2019 was linked to the pandemic.
(Reporting by Gabriel Crossley and Martin Quin Pollard in Wuhan; Additional reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard in Copenhagen, Yew Lun Tian in Beijing and Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; Writing by Tony Munroe; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore, Raju Gopalakrishnan, Alex Richardson and Giles Elgood)

1/28/2021 U.N. Chief Guterres Hopes For ‘Reset’ In U.S.-China Relations by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivers a speech at the lower house
of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, December 18, 2020. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday he hopes there will be a “reset” in U.S.-China relations, acknowledging that while the countries had “different views” on human rights, they should work together on climate action.
    Beijing has been pushing for greater global influence in a challenge to traditional U.S. leadership.    Tension between the two superpowers hit a boiling point at the United Nations last year, under former U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, over the coronavirus pandemic.
    “I hope we will see a reset in relations between the United States and China,” Guterres told reporters.    “It is clear that in human rights, there are two completely different views, and it is clear that in human rights there is no scope for an agreement or a common vision.”
    “There is an area where I believe there is a growing convergence of interests, and my appeal is for that area to be pursued by the two sides, together with the whole of the international community, and that area is climate action,” he said.
    New U.S. President Joe Biden’s nominee for ambassador to the United Nations accused China on Wednesday of trying to “drive an authoritarian agenda” at the 193-member world body.
    When asked for a response, Guterres said: “In relation to the United Nations I can guarantee that we are very strongly committed to make sure that the U.N. is a beacon of all the values are related to … security, development, human rights.”
    Guterres also said he was “particularly worried” about the power of social media companies and that a regulatory framework should be created so decisions such as banning Trump from Twitter can be done “in line with law.”
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols, Editing by Franklin Paul and Grant McCool)

1/28/2021 China Sharpens Language, Warns Taiwan That Independence ‘Means War’ by Tony Munroe and Yew Lun Tian
A Taiwan flag is seen during a Navy drill ahead of the Lunar New Year in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, January 27, 2021. REUTERS/Ann Wang
    BEIJING (Reuters) – China toughened its language towards Taiwan on Thursday, warning after recent stepped up military activities near the island that “independence means war” and that its armed forces were acting in response to provocation and foreign interference.
    Taiwan, claimed by China as its own territory, reported multiple Chinese fighter jets and bombers entering its southwestern air defence identification zone last weekend, prompting Washington to urge Beijing to stop pressuring Taiwan.
    China believes that Taiwan’s democratically-elected government is moving the island towards a declaration of formal independence, though Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has repeatedly said it is already an independent country called the Republic of China, its formal name.
    Asked at a monthly news briefing about the air force’s recent activities, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said Taiwan is an inseparable part of China.
    “The military activities carried out by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in the Taiwan Strait are necessary actions to address the current security situation in the Taiwan Strait and to safeguard national sovereignty and security,” he said.
    “They are a solemn response to external interference and provocations by ‘Taiwan independence’ forces,” he added.
    Wu said a “handful” of people in Taiwan were seeking the island’s independence.
    “We warn those ‘Taiwan independence’ elements: those who play with fire will burn themselves, and ‘Taiwan independence’ means war,” he added.
    While China has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control, it is unusual for Beijing to make such overt, verbal threats of conflict.
    Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said China should think carefully and not underestimate the island’s determination to defend its sovereignty and uphold freedom and democracy.
    Taiwan’s Defence Ministry reported six Chinese air force aircraft, including four J-10 fighter jets, flew into its air defence zone on Thursday, close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands at the top end of the South China Sea.
    The weekend Chinese incursions coincided with a U.S. carrier battle group entering the disputed South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas.”
    China routinely describes Taiwan as its most important and sensitive issue in relations with the United States, which under the former Trump administration ramped up support for the island in terms of arms sales and senior officials visiting Taipei.
    President Joe Biden’s government, in office for a week, has reaffirmed its commitment to Taiwan as being “rock solid,” potentially auguring further strains with Beijing.
    Taiwan has denounced China’s threats and efforts at intimidation, and Tsai has vowed to defend the island’s freedom and not be coerced.
(Reporting by Tony Munroe and Yew Lun Tian, writing and additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Taipei; Editing by Himani Sarkar, William Maclean)

2/21/2021 WHO Team In Wuhan Hold “Good Discussions” With Chinese Counterparts by Reuters Staff
The convoy carrying the World Health Organization (WHO) team tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic arrives
at the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in Wuhan, China February 1, 2021. REUTERS/Thomas Peter REFILE-QUALITY REPEAT
    WUHAN, China (Reuters) – A World Health Organization-led team investigating the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday visited the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in China’s central region of Hubei, where the outbreak emerged in late 2019.
    The group of independent experts spent about 4-1/2 hours on its longest site visit since completing two weeks of quarantine on Thursday, and did not speak to waiting journalists.
    The WHO, which has sought to manage expectations for the mission, has said its members would be limited to visits organised by their Chinese hosts and have no contact with community members, because of health curbs.
    The group has so far also visited hospitals where early cases were detected, markets, and an exhibition on the battle with the outbreak in the provincial capital of Wuhan.
    No full itinerary for the group’s field work has been announced, and journalists covering the tightly controlled visit have been kept at a distance from team members.
    Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow with the Council of Foreign Relations in Washington, said two weeks in the field was not much time for the experts.
    “I don’t think they have the time to get any conclusive results.    It is more like communication and information exchange,” Huang told Reuters by phone from Washington.
    “It depends how diligent they are in digging new information but also about how cooperative and accommodating the Chinese side will be.”     Beijing has sought to cast doubt on the notion that the coronavirus originated in China, pointing to imported frozen food as a conduit.
    That hypothesis figured again on Sunday in the Global Times tabloid run by the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily.
    On Sunday, the experts visited the Huanan seafood market linked to initial infections, and the Baishazhou wholesale food market, where a loudspeaker repeatedly announced that the sale of imported cold chain products was banned at the market.
[NO ONE IS EXPECTING THAT THE WHO WILL FIND ANYTHING TO PROVE ANYTHING BECAUSE THEY HAVE COVERED IT ALL UP AND THE WHO INDEPENDENT EXPERTS WERE NOT LISTED SO GO THERE AND ALSO THEY HAD A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL OF FOREIGN RELATIONS (CFR) WITHOUT A NAME SO WE WILL NOT HEAR FROM THEM ANYTIME SOON AND ALL WE WILL GET IS A STATEMENT OF NOTHING OCCURRED, GO FIGURE SINCE THEY WERE LATE FOR A YEAR TO INVESTIGATE THE TRUTH THAT TRUMP TOLD YOU AND IT WAS KNOWN BY HIS ADMINISTRATION].

2/2/2021 U.N. Fears For Myanmar Rohingya After Coup, Security Council Due To Meet Tuesday by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: The United Nations logo is seen at the 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit at
U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 23, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United Nations fears the coup in Myanmar will worsen the plight of some 600,000 Rohingya Muslims still in the country, a U.N. spokesman said on Monday as the Security Council planned to meet on the latest developments on Tuesday.
    Myanmar’s military seized power on Monday in a coup against the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, who was detained along with other political leaders of in early morning raids.
    A 2017 military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine State sent more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing into Bangladesh, where they are still stranded in refugee camps.    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Western states accused the Myanmar military of ethnic cleansing, which it denied.
    “There are about 600,000 Rohingya those that remain in Rakhine State, including 120,000 people who are effectively confined to camps, they cannot move freely and have extremely limited access to basic health and education services,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.     “So our fear is that the events may make the situation worse for them,” he said.
    The 15-member U.N. Security Council plans to discuss Myanmar in a closed meeting on Tuesday, diplomats said.
    “We want to address the long-term threats to peace and security, of course working closely with Myanmar’s Asia and ASEAN neighbors,” Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Barbara Woodward, president of the council for February, told reporters.
    China, backed by Russia, shielded Myanmar from any significant council action after the 2017 military crackdown.    China and Russia are council veto powers along with France, Britain and the United States.
    China’s U.N. mission told Reuters on Monday it hoped to find out more about the latest developments in Myanmar from the Security Council briefing on Tuesday.
    “It’s also our hope that any move of the Council would be conducive to the stability of Myanmar rather than making the situation more complicated,” a spokesperson for the Chinese U.N. mission said.
    Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the government was in touch with “all sides” about the meeting and the international community’s actions should contribute to “a peaceful resolution.”
    The Myanmar army said it had detained Suu Kyi and others in response to “election fraud,” handing power to military chief Min Aung Hlaing and imposing a state of emergency for one year.
    The United Nations called for the release of all those detained, Dujarric said. He said Guterre’s special envoy on Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, “remains actively engaged” and is likely to brief the Security Council.
    The United Nations has long had a presence in Myanmar.    Security Council envoys traveled there in April 2018 and met separately with Suu Kyi and Min Aung Hlaing following the crackdown on the Rohingya.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Additional reporting by Yew Lun Tian in Beijing; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Angus MacSwan and Lincoln Feast.)

2/3/2021 WHO Team Probing COVID-19 Visits Wuhan Lab, Meets ‘Bat Woman’ by Martin Quin Pollard and Thomas Peter
Peter Daszak and Thea Fischer, members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19), sit in a car arriving at Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, Hubei province, China February 3, 2021. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
    WUHAN, China (Reuters) -A team of investigators led by the World Health Organization visited a virus research laboratory in China’s central city of Wuhan and met with a prominent virologist there in its search for clues to the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    The experts spent about 3-1/2 hours at the heavily-guarded Wuhan Institute of Virology, which has been at the centre of some conspiracy theories that claim a laboratory leak caused the city’s first coronavirus outbreak at the end of 2019.
    “Extremely important meeting today with staff at WIV including Dr Shi Zhengli.    Frank, open discussion.    Key questions asked & answered,” team member Peter Daszak said on Twitter.
    Shi, a well-known virus hunter who has long focused on bat coronaviruses – earning her the nickname “Bat Woman” – was among the first last year to isolate the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
    Most scientists, including Shi, reject the hypothesis of a lab leak.    However, some experts speculate that a virus captured from the wild could have figured in lab experiments to test the risks of a human spillover and then escaped via an infected staff member.
    “Very interesting. Many questions,” Thea Fischer, a Danish member of the team, called from her car as it sped away from the lab following Wednesday’s visit, in response to a question whether the team had found anything.
    Some scientists have called for China to release details of all coronavirus samples studied at the lab, to see which most closely resembles SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the respiratory disease.
    The WHO, which has sought to manage expectations for the Wuhan mission, has said its members would be limited to visits organised by their Chinese hosts and have no contact with community members, because of health restrictions.
    While the novel coronavirus that sparked the pandemic was first identified in Wuhan, Beijing has sought to cast doubt on the notion that it originated in China, pointing to imported frozen food as a possible conduit.
    The team will spend two weeks conducting field work after having completed two weeks in hotel quarantine after arrival in Wuhan.
(Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps)
(Reporting by Thomas Peter and Martin Quin in Wuhan; Writing by David Stanway and Tony Munroe; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Pravin Char)

2/4/2021 Biden Says U.S. Ready To Work With China When It Is In America’s Interest
FILE PHOTO: Chinese and U.S. flags flutter outside the building of an American company in Beijing, China, January 21, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden on Thursday called China’s America’s most serious competitor, but said the United States is ready to work with China when it is in its interests to do so.
    “We will … take on directly the challenges posed (to) our prosperity, security and democratic values by our most serious competitor, China,” Biden said in a speech during his first visit to the State Department.
    “We will confront China’s economic abuses, counter its aggressive course of action to push back China’s attack on human rights, intellectual property and global governance,” he said.    “But we’re ready to work with Beijing, when it’s in America’s interest to do so.”
(Reporting by Alexandra Alper, Humeyra Pamuk and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Leslie Adler)
[I AM GLAD THAT THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION CAN WRITE COMEDY AS YOU READ ABOVE THE WORD WORK IS FUNNY SINCE IN THE PAST IT WAS TAKE WHAT YOU WANT.]

2/5/2021 Senate Votes To Keep U.S. Embassy In Jerusalem Permanently by OAN Newsroom
A sign on a bridge leading to the US Embassy compound ahead the official opening in Jerusalem, Sunday, May 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
    The Senate overwhelmingly passed an amendment to keep the U.S. Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem permanently.    The measure was passed with near unanimous support late Thursday with 97 senators voting in favor.
    While President Trump was first to implement the decades old proposition to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, congressional approval shields the measure from reversal by future administrations.
    While Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) voted against the move, GOP lawmakers argued this law should not be controversial.
    “It’s been our position in the United States for 25 years, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and we should have our embassy in Jerusalem,” stated Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.).    “This is not controversial; in 1995 the same amendment was 93 to 5, in 2017 it was 90 to 0.”
    Hagerty added, the measure contributes to the recognition of Jerusalem as the “eternal and indivisible” capital of Israel, which is paving the way for peace across the region.
[AS TO THE ABOVE ARTICLE THE ONE THING THAT GOD DID DO IS HAD DONALD TRUMP DO WHAT HIS PROPHECY SAYS IN REVELATION 12:1-14 IS THAT A GREAT EAGLE WITH TWO WINGS HELPED THE WOMAN WITH 12 STARS TO BE SAFE FROM THE FOLLOWING:
    Basically great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: being with child and a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.    And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent until now as what you read below
.].

[WELL NOW THAT THEY THINK TRUMP IS GONE AND BEIJING BIDEN IS IN CONTROL OF THE U.S. THE I.C.C. WHICH IS AN EXTENSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS WHICH IS THE GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT CAN NOW INTERVENE TO PUSH THEIR CONCEPT OF THE ABRAHAM ACCORD SO I CAN SEE THIS AS THE INTERVENTION OF THE NEAR FUTURE AS TO THE PROPHECY OF THE BIBLE.].
2/5/2021 International Criminal Court Says It Has Jurisdiction In Palestinian Territories by Toby Sterling and Stephanie van den Berg
FILE PHOTO: Public Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda attends the trial for Malian Islamist militant Al-Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag
Mohamed Ag Mahmoud at the ICC (International Criminal Court) in the Hague, the Netherlands July 8,2019. REUTERS/Eva Plevier/Pool
    THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Judges at the International Criminal Court on Friday found the court has jurisdiction over war crimes committed in the Palestinian territories, paving the way for a possible criminal investigation, despite Israeli objections.
    The decision prompted swift reactions from both Israel, which is not a member of the court and rejects its jurisdiction, and the Palestinian Authority, which welcomed the ruling.
    ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said her office was studying the decision and would decide what to do next “guided strictly by its independent and impartial mandate” to prosecute grave war crimes and atrocities when countries are unable or unwilling to do so themselves.
    The ICC judges said their decision was based on the fact that Palestine has been granted membership to the tribunal’s founding treaty, and had referred the situation to the court.    The judges said the jurisdiction decision does not imply any attempt to determine Palestinian statehood, which is uncertain, or national borders.
    “The Court’s territorial jurisdiction in the Situation in Palestine … extends to the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, namely Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem,” they said.
    Bensouda had found in December 2019 that “war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.”
    She named both the Israeli Defense Forces and armed Palestinian groups such as Hamas as possible perpetrators.
    She said then that she saw no reason not to open an investigation, but asked judges to first rule on whether the situation fell under the court’s jurisdiction.
    In a reaction, Human Rights Watch called the decision “pivotal” and said it “finally offers victims of serious crimes some real hope for justice after a half century of impunity,” said Balkees Jarrah, associate international justice director.
    “It’s high time that Israeli and Palestinian perpetrators of the gravest abuses – whether war crimes committed during hostilities or the expansion of unlawful settlements – face justice.”
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted, saying “the court is ignoring the real war crimes and instead is pursuing Israel, a country with a strong democratic regime, that sanctifies the rule of law, and is not a member of the tribunal.”
    He added Israel would “protect all of our citizens and soldiers” from prosecution.
    “The court in its decision impairs the right of democratic countries to defend themselves,” Netanyahu said.
    The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it was a “historic day for the principle of accountability.”
    Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas official, described the decision as “an important development that contributes in protecting the Palestinian people.”
    “We urge the international court to launch an investigation into Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people,” said Abu Zuhri, who is currently outside Gaza.
    The United States has “serious concerns” about the ICC’s effort to assert jurisdiction over Israeli personnel in the Palestinian territories, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said.    He added the U.S. government shares “the goals of the ICC in promoting accountability for the worst crimes known to humanity.”
    The Trump administration had vehemently opposed the ICC.
    Jamil Dakwar, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Human Rights Program, said U.S. President Joe Biden should do nothing to undermine the ICC’s independence.
    “It’s important to remember that the ICC investigation would also target Palestinian perpetrators of war crimes in the context of hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups, especially in the Gaza Strip,” Dakwar said on Twitter.
(Reporting by Toby Sterling, Anthony Deutsch, Stephanie van den Berg, Ari Rabinovitch, Stephen Farrell, Nidal al-Mughrabi, Arshad Mohammed, Humeyra Pamuk and Simon Lewis; Editing by Aurora Ellis and Daniel Wallis)

2/5/2021 White House Unites Around Simple Message: Spend Now To Save The Economy by Trevor Hunnicutt and Jonnelle Marte
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden, flanked by Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA),
holds a meetinga meeting with House Democratic leaders and chairs of House committees working on coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
aid legislation, in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 5, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After lackluster jobs data showed the U.S. labor market recovery is stalling, President Joe Biden and his economic team on Friday hammered home the same message in meetings, interviews and television appearances: It’s time to put more money into the economy.
    Meeting with top Democrats from the U.S. House of Representatives at the White House, Biden said the United States would not return to full employment at the current pace of job creation for 10 years, underscoring the need for lawmakers to act on his $1.9 trillion pandemic-related aid proposal.
    “Our economy is still in trouble,” Biden told reporters after the meeting.    “Some in Congress think we did enough – others think we can do little or nothing – that’s not what I see.”
    Biden’s stimulus proposal, which would come on top of about $4 trillion in aid passed by Congress last year, has met resistance mostly from Republican lawmakers who have expressed concerns about the swelling national debt.
    But the Democratic president pushed back on Friday, saying what Republicans have proposed instead would not deliver enough help to the economy.
    “It’s people’s lives.    Real-life people are hurting and we can fix it,” Biden said earlier.    “When we help them we are also helping our competitive capacity,” he said.
    Biden also urged lawmakers to avoid a stimulus package that was too small to meet the urgent needs of the American people, millions of whom remain without jobs nearly a year after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    The Democratic-controlled House passed a budget outline on Friday that will allow Biden’s relief package to go through Congress without Republican support in the coming weeks.    The Senate, which is evenly split between the two parties, approved it in a pre-dawn vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.
COSTS OF INACTION
    Biden’s top economic advisers also pushed for more government aid on Friday, stressing the need to reach women, low-wage workers and minorities who are disproportionately affected by job losses.    The U.S. economy is still about 10 million jobs short of where it was before the pandemic.
    “The idea that we should pare back now, out of a future fear that maybe we might possibly do too much, just doesn’t seem consistent with the economic evidence we have in front of us,” Heather Boushey, a member of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, said in an interview with Reuters.    “The cost of inaction far outweighs the costs of perhaps doing a little bit too much.”
    U.S. employment growth rebounded less than expected in January, with only 49,000 positions added, and job losses in December were worse than initially thought.
    Jared Bernstein, who is also a member of the Council of Economic Advisers, said in a news briefing at the White House that the price tag for Biden’s rescue plan was not too big.
    “Today’s (employment) report is yet another reminder that our economy is still climbing out of a hole deeper than that of the Great Recession and needs additional relief,”     Bernstein said after noting that the pandemic has led to a rise in long-term unemployment and that women and people of color were disproportionately affected by job losses.
    With pandemic-related unemployment benefits set to expire on March 14, further action by Congress is needed soon, he said.
    Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Harris spoke during a virtual even with the Black Chambers of Commerce about the importance of sending aid to Black workers and minority-owned businesses disproportionately affected by the crisis.
    “We’ve seen early data that suggest Black workers will be the last rehired when the economy opens back up,” Yellen said, adding that small businesses need guidance and technical assistance, as well as grant money.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt and Jonnelle Marte; Editing by Paul Simao and Cynthia Osterman)
[I SUGGEST YOU SAVE MONEY IF IT WILL HAVE ANY VALUE IN THE FUTURE OR BUY TO STOCK UP TO SURVIVE WHAT IS COMING TO THE COUNTRY SOONER THAN YOU THINK AND IF YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND TRY TO REMEMBER WHAT LIFE WAS LIKE DURING THE 8 YEARS OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OR HAD YOU FORGOTTEN DURING THE GOOD YEARS THAT TRUMP WAS GIVING US BEFORE THE CHINA VIRUS HIT AND I HOPE THIS MESSAGE WILL BE HERE WHEN THIS HAPPENS IF THEY DO NOT CANCEL ME.    THEIR PRESENT MESSAGE SOUNDS LIKE THE GENERAL IN A VIETNAM WAR WHO SAID "WE HAD TO DESTROY THE VILLAGE TO SAVE IT."].

2/5/2021 U.S. Faces Risk Of Bankruptcies, Unemployment If Fiscal Support Not Maintained: IMF by Andrea Shalal
FILE PHOTO: IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva speaks at the Global Women's Forum in Dubai,
United Arab Emirates, February 16, 2020. REUTERS/Christopher Pike/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the International Monetary Fund on Friday warned that the United States faced a possible “dangerous wave” of bankruptcies and unemployment if it did not maintain fiscal support until the coronavirus heath crisis ended.
    IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told reporters the United States, the world’s biggest economy, had scope to take further action and doing so would provide positive spillover effects for the global economy.
    Asked if she supported President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief plan, Georgieva said the IMF supported the plan’s focus on vaccinations, health care, support for the unemployed and aid to state and local governments.
    Despite the economy’s nascent recovery, Georgieva said risks remained, especially if support was not maintained long enough.
    “There is still that danger that if support is not sustained until we have a durable exit from the health crisis, there could be a dangerous wave of bankruptcies and unemployment,” she said.
    In 2020, she said U.S. bankruptcies were lower than average in normal years due to fiscal support and it was important to continue to calibrate that support in 2021 while preparing carefully for the moment when some businesses did not survive "We want to see careful, well-calibrated policy action.    We are keen for policy support to be there,” she said, adding, “Great care is necessary so we don’t find ourselves in a difficult situation.”
    Georgieva acknowledged concerns raised by former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers about a possible overheating of the U.S. economy, but said she was confident that new Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen would keep a careful eye on those risks.
    “Indeed we have to be watchful of risks, but we have the best possible Secretary of the Treasury for this potential risk," she said, “And I’m confident that there will be a lot of attention being paid on anticipating and, if necessary, taking appropriate action to address these risks.”
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by David Gregorio)

2/5/2021 U.S. Throws Support Behind Okonjo-Iweala To Lead The WTO
FILE PHOTO: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala poses outside a Nigerian diplomatic residence in Chambesy, near Geneva, Switzerland, September 29, 2020. REUTERS/Emma Farge/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Friday threw its support behind Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to head the World Trade Organization after a South Korean rival withdrew.
    The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative made the announcement on behalf of President Joe Biden’s administration. Okonjo-Iweala had faced opposition from former President Donald Trump’s administration.
(Reporting by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

2/8/2021 Biden Administration Moves To Rejoin U.N. Human Rights Council
FILE PHOTO: Overview of the United Nations Human Rights Council is seen in Geneva, Switzerland June 6, 2017. Picture taken with a fisheye lens. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration will reengage with the United Nations Human Rights Council, three years after former President Donald Trump withdrew over what his administration called bias against Israel and a lack of reform.
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken will announce on Monday that the United States will return to the Geneva-based council as an observer, a senior State Department official said on Sunday.
    “We intend to do so knowing that the most effective way to reform and improve the Council is to engage with it in a principled fashion,” the official said.
    “We know that the Council has the potential to be an important forum for those fighting tyranny and injustice around the world.    By being present at the table, we seek to reform it and ensure it can live up to that potential,” the official said.
    The plan was first reported by the Associated Press.
    Trump, a Republican whose “America First” agenda contributed to his decisions to withdraw from multiple international organizations and agreements, quit the Human Rights Council in 2018 – halfway through its three year term – over what it called chronic bias against Israel and a lack of reform.
    The 193-member U.N. General Assembly is due to elect new members to the council later this year.    Members are elected for three years and cannot serve more than two consecutive terms.    Candidates are elected by secret ballot in geographical groups to ensure even representation.
    The next session of the 47-member Geneva-based council is due to start later this month.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; writing by Patricia Zengerle; editing by Diane Craft)
[YES HE IS JOINING US BACK INTO THE GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT WHICH WAS STOPPED BY TRUMP TO MAKE AMERICA FIRST AND GREAT AGAIN SO NOW WE WILL BE AMERICA LAST AND WILL RETURN TO NOT SO GREAT DURING THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION SO DO NOT BE BLINDED BY THE LIE.].

2/8/2021 Israeli Lawmakers Call ICC ‘Anti-Semitic’, A ‘Sham’ After Ruling Regarding War Crimes Investigation by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Tuesday Aug. 28, 2018 file photo, Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.
The ICC says its jurisdiction extends to territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war, appearing to clear the way
for its chief prosecutor to open a war crimes probe into Israeli military actions. (Bas Czerwinski/Pool file via AP, File)
    Israeli officials are planning on putting pressure on the International Criminal Court (ICC) over a recent ruling handed down in the Hague. Over the weekend, a number of political leaders condemned the court with some referring to it as a “sham.”     Their comments followed a ruling Friday, where the International Court claimed they have jurisdiction over Israel-held territories and can thus launch an investigation into allegations of war crimes against Palestinians.
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decried the ruling and called it an attack on his residents.
    “When the ICC investigates Israel for fake war crimes, this is pure anti-Semitism,” he stated.    “The court established to prevent atrocities like the Nazi Holocaust against the Jewish people is now targeting the one state of the Jewish people.”
    Despite the ruling, the ICC has yet to state whether they will launch an investigation.
FILE – In this July 16, 2014 file photo, Palestinian relatives of four boys from the same extended
Bakr family, grieve during their funeral in Gaza City. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra, File)

2/8/2021 Biden Won’t Lift Iran Sanctions Until They Stop Uranium Enrichment, Still Wants To Rejoin Deal by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, file photo, President Joe Biden speaks in the State
Dining Room of the White House, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
    Joe Biden said the U.S. will not lift Trump-era sanctions on Iran until it stops enriching uranium.    He confirmed that in an interview with CBS on Sunday.
    Back in 2018, President Trump pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Deal and imposed strict economic sanctions on the regime.    He argued the Ayatollah regime was not following through on the deal to discontinue its nuclear weapons program and a better agreement needed to be reached.
    Despite this, the Biden administration has signaled it wants to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal. Meanwhile, Iranian leadership has claimed it’s     “America’s responsibility” to lift sanctions before Iran will resume compliance with the nuclear agreement.    Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif made those remarks during a Sunday interview.
    Although Iran acknowledges it broke some of the agreement’s terms following U.S. withdrawal under President Trump, it maintains the U.S. is responsible for the deal’s failure. In an echo of previous ultimatums issued by other top Iranian officials, Zarif took a hard-line stance by asserting it’s the U.S. who must make concessions to reestablish the agreement.
    “We do not buy the horse twice, you put yourselves in our shoes,” stated the foreign minister.    “You agreed to a deal, you agreed to give and take, you agreed to sacrifice certain demands that you had because you agreed not to deal with certain issues.”
    The controversy comes amid growing pressure on Biden to declare whether he will seek to rejoin the deal despite reports indicating Iran continues to enrich material that could be used in production of nuclear weapons.    Critics of the deal have said its terms did not do enough to prevent Iran from developing nuclear capabilities and sanctions should be renewed.
FILE – In this Dec. 16, 2020 file photo, by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in a meeting with
the family of Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad in early 2020. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)
    Amid the emerging stalemate over the nuclear deal, Iran’s supreme leader issued an ultimatum to the Biden administration.    Ayatollah Ali Khamenei took to Twitter on Sunday to condemn the U.S. for not lifting sanctions on Iran in order to resume denuclearization talks.
    Khamenei claimed the enactment of sanctions on Iran under President Trump signals the decline of American power, adding “the post U.S.-era has started.”    In an interview Sunday, he echoed remarks by other top Iranian officials while noting a return to the agreement’s terms would only come following concessions from the U.S.
    “They did not fulfill their JCPOA agreements at all, they temporarily removed some, not all, of the sanctions for a very short period of time in the beginning,” stated Khamenei.    “Then they went back and they even increased the sanctions…they increased the number of sanctions by two to three times.”
    Iranian state media has described this as the country’s “last word” on the deal, signaling an unwillingness to negotiate on the regime’s part.    Although Iran maintains it’s not pursuing the manufacture of nuclear weapons, reports indicate the country has significantly ramped up its uranium enrichment program.

2/9/2021 ‘Merciless’ Russia May Face New Sanctions, EU Says by Robin Emmott
FILE PHOTO: Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a video conference during the World Economic Forum (WEF)
of the Davos Agenda, in Moscow, Russia January 27, 2021. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s top diplomat warned Moscow on Tuesday it could face new sanctions over the jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, describing the government of President Vladimir Putin as “merciless”, authoritarian and afraid of democracy.
    Josep Borrell said his visit last Friday to Moscow had cemented his view that Russia wanted to break away from Europe and divide the West, in a speech marking the EU’s harshest criticism of Moscow since Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.
    “The Russian government is going down a worrisome authoritarian route,” said Borrell, who pleaded for Navalny’s release in Moscow and sought in vain to visit him in prison.
    “There seems to be almost no room for the development of democratic alternatives … they are merciless in stifling any such attempts,” he told the European Parliament, saying that he believed the Kremlin saw democracy as an “existential threat
    Borrell’s remarks suggested a hardening of EU attitudes to Russia, a big energy provider to Europe, after years of seeking better ties despite Western sanctions imposed in 2014.
    “Russia seeks to divide us,” Borrell said.
    Navalny was arrested in January after returning to Russia for the first time since being poisoned last August in Siberia with what many Western countries said was a nerve agent.
    Navalny blamed Putin for the attack but the Kremlin has dismissed the accusations and questioned whether the opposition politician was really poisoned.    His arrest and imprisonment has caused big protests in Russia.
    During Borrell’s talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, which Borrell described as heated, Moscow expelled three EU diplomats from Germany, Poland and Sweden, provoking tit-for-tat expulsions by Berlin, Warsaw and Stockholm.
    Borrell said he only learned about the expulsions from Russia via social media during his visit, which included a news conference in which Lavrov chided the EU as “an unreliable partner.”
    Many EU lawmakers said the Kremlin wanted to try to humiliate Borrell on Friday in Moscow to send a message that the West should stay out of Russian domestic affairs.    At least 81 deputies have called for Borrell’s resignation.
    Borrell said targeted sanctions were now an option for Russia, but it was up to EU states to decide.    “Yes, this includes sanctions,” Borrell said of next policy steps.
SANCTION TARGETS
    Two allies of Navalny have urged Western envoys to impose sanctions on senior Russian business and political figures, judges and security chiefs, Western diplomats said on Tuesday.
    The appeal for sanctions by Vladimir Ashurkov and Leonid Volkov during a video call on Monday was denounced by Moscow on Tuesday as treachery.
    Ashurkov and Volkov joined the video call with European Union states and envoys from Britain, the United States, Canada and Ukraine to propose names of senior figures in business, political and security circles who could face sanctions, according to two Western diplomats who were on the call.
    The two Western diplomats declined to disclose names, but said Volkov and Ashurkov told the call that sanctions should target the assets and freedom to travel of those affected.    The aim would be to weaken those who have amassed fortunes and influence while ordinary Russians struggle to make ends meet.
    RIA news agency quoted Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying Navalny’s allies had received instructions on how to disrupt Russian politics during Monday’s video call.    She described members of Navalny’s Anti-corruption Foundation as “agents of influence” acting on behalf of the NATO military alliance.
(Additional reporting by Anton Kolodyazhnyy in Moscow; editing by Timothy Heritage)

2/10/2021 WHO’s Wuhan Probe Ends, U.S.-China Bickering Over COVID Continues by Gabriel Crossley
Peter Ben Embarek, and other members of the World Health Organisation (WHO) team tasked with investigating the origins of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19), arrive at the Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China February 10, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song
    BEIJING (Reuters) – China called on the United States on Wednesday to invite the World Health Organization to investigate origins of the COVID-19 outbreak there, as sparring over the pandemic continued after the WHO wrapped up its field work in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
    Hours after the WHO team revealed preliminary findings at a Wuhan news conference on Tuesday, Washington said it wants to scrutinize data used by the team, which concluded that the virus causing COVID-19 did not originate in a laboratory in Wuhan, and that bats remain a likely source.
    “We wish that the U.S. side can, like China, uphold an open and transparent attitude, and be able to invite WHO experts to the U.S. to conduct origin tracing research and inspection,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular daily briefing, repeating a call it has been making recently.
    The origins of the coronavirus pandemic, which first emerged in Wuhan in late 2019, are highly politicized, with China pushing the idea that the virus has roots outside its borders.
    White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday that the Biden administration had not been involved in the “planning and implementation” of the WHO investigation and wants to take an independent review of its findings and underlying data.
    “The U.S. independently examining the WHO’s data?    It’s the WHO who should examine the U.S. data,” said Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Global Times, a tabloid run by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, on social media platform Weibo.
    “Did we all mishear, or is this spokesperson really so shameless?
    Peter Ben Embarek, who heads the WHO-led team that spent four weeks in China – two of them in quarantine – said that the investigation had not dramatically changed its picture of the outbreak, although the virus could have crossed borders before arriving in Wuhan.
    In addition to ruling out a lab leak, he said that frozen food could possibly be a means of transmitting the virus, which would support a thesis backed by Beijing, which has blamed some case clusters on imported food packaging.
    The WHO’s conclusion “completely refutes the conspiracy theory raised by some anti-China hawks, like former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, who has been accusing the Wuhan Institute of Virology of leaking the virus,” the Global Times wrote.
    Pompeo had said there was “a significant amount of evidence” that the new coronavirus emerged from a Chinese laboratory.
    Chinese officials have stressed in recent months that the virus could have emerged in multiple regions outside China.
(Reporting by Gabriel Crossley; Editing by Tony Munroe and Raju Gopalakrishnan)
[WELL IT DID NOT TAKE LONG FOR THE WHO TO CLAIM THAT CHINA DID NOT RELEASE THE CORONAVIRUS ON THE WORLD AS THEY DID NOT SPEND A WEEK TO SEARCH AND FIND EVIDENCE BUT THEN NO ONE IS GOING TO RAT ON THEM SINCE THEY WOULD END UP IN A CAMP NEVER TO BE SEEN AGAIN SO THE CORRUPTION CONTINUES AND BEIJING BIDEN IS NOT GOING TO ANYTHING ABOUT IT EITHER BUT THERE WERE PEOPLE WHO ESCAPED FROM CHINA AND BROUGHT THE TRUTH TO AMERICA BUT THE PRESS WILL NOT AIR IT WAKE UP AMERICA FROM THIS NIGHTMARE DREAM THAT THE DEMOCRATS HAVE CREATED.].

2/12/2021 France, Germany, UK Condemn Iran’s Production Of Uranium Metal
FILE PHOTO: An Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
headquarters in Vienna, Austria September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo
    PARIS (Reuters) – France, Germany and Britain on Friday condemned Iran’s decision to produce uranium metal, which they said was in breach of commitments made by Tehran to the international community.
    The U.N. nuclear watchdog said this week that Iran had followed through on its stated plan to make uranium metal, which Tehran said would be used to make fuel for a research reactor but which can also be used in nuclear weapons.
    The move is the latest breach by Iran of a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.    Tehran began incremental violations of the pact, also known by the acronym JCPoA, after the United States withdrew from the deal in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions on Iran.
    “We strongly urge Iran to halt these activities without delay and not to take any new non-compliant steps on its nuclear programme.    In escalating its non-compliance, Iran is undermining the opportunity for renewed diplomacy to fully realise the objectives of the JCPoA,” said the three European states, which are also referred to as the E3.
    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed the E3 statement, saying Iran’s position on breaching the pact was in line with paragraph 36 of the deal governing actions one side could take if it believe the other was not meeting obligations.
    “Have our E3 partners ever read para 36 of JCPOA & Iran’s many letters on that basis?,” Zarif said on Twitter.
    “By what logic is the onus on IRAN to stop its remedial measures undertaken a full year after the US withdrew from—and continues to violate—the JCPOA?    What have E3 done to fulfill their duties?,” he said.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; additional reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Jon Boyle and Edmund Blair)

2/11/2021 Study Finds Errors In CDC COVID-19 Fatality Reports by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 2: A model of COVID-19 was shown ahead of testimony from Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes
of Health (NIH), during a U.S. Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the plan to research, manufacture and distribute a
coronavirus vaccine, known as Operation Warp Speed, July 2, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)
    One of the pledges the CDC outlined on their website is to “base all public health decisions on the highest quality scientific data that is derived openly and objectively.”    However, a report by the Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge and the Public Health Policy Initiative argued that when it mattered the most, the CDC prioritized politics over policy.
    The IPAK and the PHPI compiled a study which looked into how the CDC reported coronavirus cases and how they determined who died from the virus and who didn’t.    The groups outlined their main concern in the abstract, that the number of deaths highlighted during the election by the CDC itself do not match the number the CDC attributed to just the coronavirus.
    The report went on to show the CDC adjusted its guidelines for recording causes of death on March 24.    The study claimed the adjustment allowed for a “capricious alteration to data collection,” which “compromised the accuracy, quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of their published data, leading to a significant increase in COVID-19 fatalities.”
    This increase was used to great effect during the election and provided Democrats with ample ammunition to use against their Republican opponents.    It allowed for Democrat governors to impose draconian restrictions on their constituents, bringing entire state economies to a grinding halt.
    “A number of days ago, there were six Bay Area counties that lead with Stay at Home Orders,” Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) previously stated.    “Now, as I speak, some 21.3 million Californians reside in a community, in a city and or county that have similar orders.”
    However, the foundation of the argument Democrats used to keep people indoors was built on shaky ground.
    The CDC claimed it abided by the World Health Organization’s guidelines when reporting causes of deaths, namely by using the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, which created two diagnostic classifications for coronavirus related deaths.    One was used for cases where a lab confirmed the virus was the direct cause of death, the other was used when COVID-19 was one of several comorbidities, any number of which could have led to a patient’s death.
    “They were actually gunshot wounds,” a coroner stated.    “The people had tested earlier in the month for COVID and because they did have COVID, our state health department is listing them as COVID deaths.”
    The study found that if the CDC had abided by the guidelines for reporting causes of deaths that they had been using for nearly two decades, the total COVID-19 fatalities would have been approximately 92 percent lower than what was reported.
    According to the calculations by the IPAK and the PHPI, by today’s numbers, that would take the 468,000 reported deaths down to just under 35,000.
[AS I HAVE SHOWN YOU FOR YEARS TO NOT TRUST THE CDC OR W.H.O. AS SEEN ABOVE LETS YOU SEE IT IS VALID TO CONSIDER].

[AS YOU WILL SEE IN THE NEXT 3 ARTICLES THE 7 HEADS WITH ONE WHO HAD 10 HORNS ON THE BEAST THAT CAME UP OUT OF THE SEA IS BUILDING ITSELF UP AGAIN].
2/12/2021 G7 Finance Chiefs Discuss How To Steer Economies Out Of Crisis by William Schomberg and David Milliken
FILE PHOTO: British finance minister Rishi Sunak speaks at the House of Commons in London, January 11, 2021.
UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – Finance chiefs from rich countries discussed ways to steer the global economy out of its worst slump since the Great Depression and agreed on the need to solve a tax dispute that has become a test case for U.S. re-engagement under new president Joe Biden.
    Britain, which is chairing the Group of Seven industrialised nations this year, said it had also called for more support for the most vulnerable countries during the coronavirus pandemic.
    “Ministers and central bank governors exchanged views on how best to shape and respond to the phases of the global recovery from COVID-19, including supporting workers and businesses in dealing with the pandemic while ensuring sustainability in the long term,” the British finance ministry said.
    Italian Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri said the G7 had committed to continuing coordinated action to support the economy.    “The withdrawal of policy support is premature,” he wrote on Twitter.
    U.S. President Biden has proposed a further $1.9 trillion in spending and tax cuts on top of $4 trillion of coronavirus relief measures enacted by his predecessor Donald Trump.
    British finance minister Rishi Sunak is expected to say next month that he will extend his economic rescue programmes and that fixing public finances will have to be addressed later.
    Britain said G7 officials agreed that making progress on reaching “an international solution to the tax challenges of the digital economy” was a key priority.
    Countries have been trying to revive attempts at a global approach to taxing giant digital firms, many of them American such as Amazon and Google, after progress was blocked by Trump’s administration.
    Britain called on G7 countries to agree a joint approach to taxing internet giants by mid-2021, a deadline agreed by the wider Group of 20 nations.
    Sunak stressed “the moral, health and economic case” for global vaccine distribution and said international financial institutions had to help vulnerable countries respond to the pandemic.
    The G7 had been expected to back a new allocation of the International Monetary Fund’s own currency, known as special drawing rights, to help low-income countries hit by the coronavirus crisis.
    Officials from the United States, the IMF’s biggest shareholder, had signalled they were open to a new issuance of $500 billion, sources said on Thursday – another shift in position by the Biden administration.
    Sunak called on private creditors to give debt help to the poorest countries and said climate change and nature preservation would be priorities for Britain’s G7 presidency.
    World Bank President David Malpass said the G7 had a “good discussion” of inequality, COVID-19 vaccinations, climate change, economic vulnerabilities and debt reduction for poor countries.
(Additional reporting by David Lawder in Washington and Crispian Balmer in Rome; Editing by Catherine Evans)

2/12/2021 Yellen Urges G7 To “Go Big” On Stimulus, Says U.S. Committed To Multilateralism
FILE PHOTO: Former Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen speaks during a panel discussion at the American Economic Association/Allied
Social Science Association (ASSA) 2019 meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Christopher Aluka Berry/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Friday urged G7 finance leaders to “go big” with additional fiscal stimulus and told them that the Biden administration was committed to multilateral engagement and tackling climate change.
    The Treasury said in a statement that Yellen emphasized the need to provide more fiscal support to promote a robust and lasting recovery, telling her G7 counterparts: “the time to go big is now.”
(Reporting by David Lawder, Editing by Franklin Paul)

2/12/2021 U.S., With Trump Gone, Seeks To Build Bridges On Global Economy by William Schomberg
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to a news conference at the end of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, August 26, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
    LONDON (Reuters) – Global finance chiefs meet on Friday for the first time since Joe Biden replaced Donald Trump as U.S. president, vowing to rebuild bridges with allies to steer the world economy out of its deepest slump since the Great Depression.     U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, a familiar face to global policymakers from her days in charge of the Federal Reserve, will join her counterparts from the Group of Seven (G7) rich nations for the online discussions.
    Britain’s finance minister, Rishi Sunak, who will co-chair the talks, wants the meeting to send a fresh signal that trillions of dollars of stimulus from G7 members will not be scaled back while COVID-19 vaccinations are still ramping up.
    Biden has proposed a further $1.9 trillion in spending and tax cuts on top of Trump’s $4 trillion.    Sunak is expected to say next month that he will extend his economic rescue programmes and fixing public finances will have to wait.
    The meeting will try to revive attempts for a global approach to taxing giant digital firms, many of them American such as Amazon and Google, a test case for Washington’s return to engagement with the rest of the world.
    The G7 was also likely to help low-income countries raise funds to fight the pandemic by backing a new allocation of the International Monetary Fund’s own currency.
    The United States, the IMF’s dominant shareholder, is open to a new issuance of $500 billion in what would be another shift from the Trump administration’s stance, sources said.
    As well as the United States and Britain, the G7 includes Japan, France, Germany, Italy and Canada whose finance ministers and central bank governors will be joined by the head of the European Central Bank and the IMF.
    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to host the first in-person summit of G7 leaders in nearly two years in June in a seaside village in Cornwall, southwestern England, which will focus on rebuilding from the pandemic and climate change.
    Trump threw the G7 into chaos in 2018 when he said he was backing out of a joint communique after a leaders’ summit because of a trade dispute with Canada.
    Britain wants to make climate change and biodiversity loss a top priority of it G7 presidency ahead of the COP26 conference it is due to host in November.
(Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

2/14/2021 Sullivan: U.S. Has ‘Deep Concerns’ Over WHO Findings Of COVID-19 Origins In China Without Sufficient Data by OAN Newsroom
Peter Ben Embarek (C) talks with Liang Wannian (L) and Marion Koopmans (R) after a press conference to wrap up a visit by an international team of experts
from the World Health Organization (WHO) in the city of Wuhan, in China’s Hubei province on February 9, 2021. (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)
    The Biden administration called out the World Health Organization for its cozy relationship with China.    Saturday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said he has “deep concerns” over the WHO’s investigation into China’s role as ground zero for the coronavirus pandemic.
    The organization’s initial findings were made without data from the early phase of the outbreak.
    “Of course, this information is all in Chinese and needs to be translated etcetera, etcetera,” microbiologist and infectious disease expert Professor Dominic Dwyer said.    “But whether there are any other reasons why the data isn’t available, I don’t know.    One would only speculate.”
    Last week, WHO investigators left China empty-handed as they were denied access to data on 174 cases that were allegedly close to the pandemic’s origins.    Instead, Chinese researchers gave their own studies based on medical data months before the Wuhan outbreak hit.
WHO team member Peter Ben Embarek (L) waves as group members Marion Koopmans and Peter Daszak leave their hotel
after the World Health Organization (WHO) team wrapped up its investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Wuhan
in China’s central Hubei province on February 10, 2021. (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)
    Allegedly, the WHO team was neither allowed to look at this data nor to conduct their own investigations.    The lack of transparency from China raised the hairs of global leaders, including the U.S., who called for China to release the data.
    “None of the data has given the answer on its own,” Dwyer added.    “So then when you have got limited bits of information, how do you put those together to work out the origin?    So there were differences of opinion about the significance of the data and so on, and that’s natural.”
    Sullivan stressed the Biden administration reversed President Trump’s decision to pull out of the WHO out of respect for the organization.    He added protecting the WHO’s credibility is a top priority as the world looks to it for advice on how to combat COVID-19.
    However, Sullivan noted re-engaging with the WHO means they must live up to higher standards.
[AS USUAL THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION GAVE CHINA ANOTHER PASS FOR THEIR PART OF THE CRIMES OF RELEASING AND SENDING CORONAVIRUS TO 190 COUNTRIES FOR MILLIONS OF DEATHS AND THEY CONTINUE TO LET THEM COVER IT UP JUST LIKE THE DEMOCRATS ARE LETTING THE SWING STATES TO COVER UP THEIR VOTING LAW VIOLATIONS AND IF THIS IS NOT A SIGN OF THE END TIMES WHAT ELSE COULD IT BE.].

2/15/2021 China disputes US virus claims by ASSOCIATED PRESS
    BEIJING – China fired back at the U.S. on Sunday over allegations from the White House that Beijing withheld some information about the coronavirus outbreak from World Health Organization investigators.
    In a statement Saturday, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Washington had “deep concerns about the way in which the early findings of the COVID-19 investigation were communicated and questions about the process used to reach them.”
    “It is imperative that this report be independent, with expert findings free from intervention or alteration by the Chinese government,” he said.
    “To better understand this pandemic and prepare for the next one, China must make available its data from the earliest days of the outbreak,” Sullivan’s statement said.
    China responded with a statement that said the U.S. had already “gravely damaged international cooperation on COVID-19” and was now “pointing fingers at other countries who have been faithfully supporting the WHO and at the WHO itself.”
    While it welcomes President Joe Biden’s decision to reverse the Trump administration’s move to leave the WHO, China hopes the U.S. will “hold itself to the highest standards, take a serious, earnest, transparent and responsible attitude, shoulder its rightful responsibility,” the statement said.

2/15/2021 Lavrov Blames EU For Demise Of Its Russia Ties
Finland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto attends a news conference following a meeting with Russia's Foreign Minister
Sergei Lavrov in Saint Petersburg, Russia February 15, 2021. Russian Foreign Ministry/Handout via REUTERS
    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday blamed the European Union for its deteriorating relations with Russia and accused the bloc of systematically destroying mechanisms for cooperation.
    Ties between Russia and the West, already at post-Cold War lows, have come under renewed pressure over the fate of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, whose jailing and treatment by Moscow have raised the prospect of further sanctions on Russia.
    Last week Lavrov said Moscow would be ready to sever ties with the European Union if the bloc hit it with painful economic sanctions, a statement that Germany described as disconcerting and incomprehensible.
    At talks with Finland’s foreign minister on Monday, Lavrov laid the blame for the bad state of ties on Brussels.
    “Relations have been consistently torn apart by the European Union,” Lavrov was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency.    “The carcass of these relations was consciously destroyed at the initiative of Brussels.”
    Pressure for sanctions has grown since Russia infuriated European countries this month by expelling German, Polish and Swedish diplomats without informing the EU’s foreign policy chief, who was in Moscow for a visit at the time.
    Lavrov on Monday said: “The EU has consistently destroyed all mechanisms without exception.”
    However, he said, this did not mean Russia would pull back from its relations with individual member states.
    “Don’t confuse Europe with the European Union.    When it comes to Europe, we are not going anywhere,” Lavrov said.    “We have many friends in Europe.”
(Reporting by Polina Ivanova and Tom Balmforth; Editing by Peter Graff)

2/15/2021 WHO Grants Emergency Approval To AstraZeneca Vaccine by OAN Newsroom
TOPSHOT – The World Health Organization (WHO) sign is shown at their headquarters in Geneva
amid the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
    The World Health Organization has granted emergency approval to AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine.    WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced on Monday the vaccine will be distributed globally through the COVAX program, aimed at stopping the pandemic.
    He added the emergency approval has given the organization more reason to believe the pandemic will be brought under control worldwide.    He also pointed out COVID-19 cases are falling globally.
    “The number of reported cases of COVID-19 globally has now declined for the fifth consecutive week,” Ghebreyesus stated.    “Last week saw the lowest number of reported weekly cases since October.    So far this year, the number of weekly reported cases has fallen by almost half.”
    The director general said the organization now has all the pieces in place for rapid vaccine distribution, but added they still need to ramp up production.

2/17/2021 EU Executive Expected To Increase Pressure On Hungary Over NGO Law, Sources Say
FILE PHOTO: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban arrives to attend a face-to-face EU summit amid the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) lockdown in Brussels, Belgium December 10, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman/Pool/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission is expected to announce more legal proceedings against Hungary on Thursday for failing to change a law requiring civil organisations to disclose foreign donors, three officials said.
    The European Union’s top court ruled last year that the law “introduced discriminatory and unjustified restrictions with regard to both the organisations … and the persons granting them such support” in breach of fundamental EU rights, including on protection of personal data and freedom of association.
    The Commission, the EU’s executive, is now preparing to launch further legal proceedings against Hungary because it has failed since the ruling to change the 2017 law, the three officials said on condition of anonymity.
    A decision by the Commission to trigger an “infringement procedure,” which is used against member states seen to be violating the bloc’s laws, was pending final approval on Wednesday, they said.
    The Hungarian government and Hungary’s EU mission did not immediately reply to requests for comment.
    Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has rejected EU criticism of the law, and of other legislation which the Commission says undercuts democratic standards.
    If the decision is taken to launch an infringement procedure, Hungary will be sent a “letter of formal notice” and will have two months to respond.
    If Hungary does not comply within this period, the Commission can demand that the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) fine Budapest.
    The EU has long accused Orban of failing to meet democratic standards on the freedom of courts, media, non-governmental organisations and academics, and of violating the law with his stance on migration.
    Orban dismissed the criticism in an interview with Reuters last September, saying he was a “freedom fighter.”
(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska and Jan Strupczewski, Editing by Timothy Heritage)
2/17/2021 U.S., China Face U.N. Cooperation Test Over UK Push For Vaccine Ceasefires by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivers a speech at the lower house
of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, December 18, 2020. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Britain on Wednesday proposed that the U.N. Security Council call for ceasefires to allow for COVID-19 vaccinations, a move that will be a key test of cooperation at the United Nations between China and new U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration.
    Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urged a “swift adoption” by the 15-member council of a draft resolution calling for vaccination ceasefires, warning that 160 million people are at risk of missing out due to instability and conflict.
    “Local ceasefires are going to be essential to enable lifesaving vaccinations to take place,” Raab said.
    The U.N. Security Council took more than three months to back a call by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for a global pandemic ceasefire last year due to bickering between China and former U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration.
    “We need to resist the prejudice, respect science and reject disinformation and attempts to politicize the pandemic.    In this regard, members of the Security Council must lead by example,” China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the council on Wednesday.
    He made no mention of the British initiative and instead pushed warring parties to implement ceasefires called for by the Security Council in the resolution adopted in July, while Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia signaled that another resolution is not needed.
    Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Barbara Woodward hopes the council can adopt a new resolution in “the coming weeks.”
‘WILDLY UNEVEN, UNFAIR’
    Long-simmering tensions between China and the Trump administration hit the boiling point over the pandemic, spotlighting Beijing’s bid for greater multilateral influence in a challenge to Washington’s traditional leadership at the United Nations.
    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington would pay by the end of the month more than $200 million it owes to the World Health Organization (WHO).    Biden rescinded a Trump decision to withdraw from the Geneva-based body this year.
    Blinken said an ongoing WHO inquiry into the pandemic origins must be independent, based on science and facts and free from interference.    The White House has raised concerns that China, where the virus first emerged in 2019, could alter the report.
    “To better understand this pandemic and prepare for the next one all countries must make available all data from the earliest days of any outbreak,” Blinken said, without mentioning China.
    The Trump administration accused Beijing of a lack of transparency that it says worsened the COVID-19 outbreak.    China denied those assertions.
Secretary-General Guterres appealed for a global immunization plan, urging the Group of 20 rich and big emerging powers to take the lead.
    “We must ensure that everybody, everywhere, can be vaccinated as soon as possible.    Yet progress on vaccinations has been wildly uneven and unfair,” Guterres told the council.
    “Just 10 countries have administered 75% of all COVID-19 vaccines.    Meanwhile, more than 130 countries have not received a single dose.    Those affected by conflict and insecurity are at particular risk of being left behind.”
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Alex Richardson and Jonathan Oatis)

2/17/2021 Germany Warns Against Swift Withdrawal From Afghanistan by Sabine Siebold
FILE PHOTO: The outgoing leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer takes her face mask off ahead of the second day of the
party's 33rd congress held online amidst the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Berlin, Germany January 16, 2021. Odd Andersen/Pool via REUTERS
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Peace talks for Afghanistan have not made sufficient progress to allow a withdrawal of foreign troops, German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said on Wednesday ahead of a virtual meeting with her NATO counterparts.
    The Afghan government and Taliban militants began peace talks in Doha last September, but negotiations have largely stalled.
    NATO defense ministers will discuss on Thursday whether the Taliban is making good on a separate 2020 peace deal with the United States, which called for militants to curb attacks and for foreign troops to withdraw by May 1.
    Washington is currently reviewing this deal.
    “This (lack of progress in peace talks) means we will have to prepare for a changing security situation and a rising threat to both international troops and our own soldiers,” Kramp-Karrenbauer said in a statement.
    Germany has contributed some 1,100 soldiers to NATO’s mission, which numbers 9,600 personnel in total, training and assisting Afghan forces.    The mission also includes some 2,500 U.S. military personnel.
    Many fear that progress during two decades of foreign intervention in Afghanistan could quickly unravel in the event of NATO’s forces withdrawing, threatening gains in areas from women’s rights to democracy.
    In her statement, Kramp-Karrenbauer echoed comments by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who said on Monday the Taliban must do more to meet the terms of the 2020 peace agreement with the United States.
    Attacks in Afghanistan, including a bomb that killed the deputy governor of the capital Kabul in December, have prompted members of the U.S. Congress and international rights groups to call for a delay to the pullout agreed under former President Donald Trump.
(Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Editing by Madeline Chambers and Gareth Jones)
[WELL IT DID NOT TAKE LONG FOR THE GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT TO REVERSE TRUMP’S NO MORE USELESS WARS CONCEPT SO NOW THEY WILL MOVE ALL TO RETURN TO THE PREVIOUS STATUS.].
2/17/2021 Merkel Tells Rouhani Iran Should Return To Nuclear Deal
FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel sits following her speech on the government's response to the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) pandemic, at the country's parliament, the Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany, February 11, 2021. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Iran should send positive signals to increase the chances of a return to the 2015 nuclear deal and defuse a standoff with western powers, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told President Hassan Rouhani in a phone call on Wednesday.
    Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said the German leader told Rouhani she was concerned that Iran was continuing to breach its commitments under the deal, which U.S. President Joe Biden wants to restore should Iran halt nuclear activities.
(Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Madeline Chambers)

2/17/2021 Iran Plans Extra Advanced Machines At Underground Enrichment Plant: IAEA
FILE PHOTO: Iranian soldiers stand guard on an anti-aircraft machine gun inside the Natanz uranium
enrichment facility, 322km (200 miles) south of Iran's capital Tehran March 9, 2006. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi
    VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran has informed the U.N. nuclear watchdog it plans to install more of its advanced IR-2m centrifuges at an underground uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, a report by the agency on Wednesday said, which would deepen a breach of Iran’s nuclear deal.
    “Iran indicated it plans to install two additional cascades of 174 IR-2m centrifuges at FEP to enrich … up to 5% U-235.    This will bring the total number of cascades of IR-2m centrifuges either planned, being installed, or operating in FEP to six,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report to member states obtained by Reuters.
    An IAEA report on Feb. 1 said Iran had brought a second cascade, or cluster, of IR-2m centrifuges online at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) and was installing two more.    Iran’s deal with major powers says it can only enrich at the FEP with far less efficient, first-generation IR-1 centrifuges.
(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

2/17/2021 Iran’s Khamenei Demands ‘Action’ From Biden To Revive Nuclear Deal by Parisa Hafezi
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wears a mask during a virtual speech, in Tehran, Iran
February 17, 2021. Official Khamenei Website/Handout via REUTERS
    DUBAI (Reuters) – Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei demanded “action, not words” from the United States if it wants to revive Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, challenging new President Joe Biden to take the first step toward a thaw.
    Iran has set a deadline of next week for Biden to begin reversing sanctions imposed by his predecessor Donald Trump, or it will take its biggest step yet to breach the deal – banning short-notice inspections by the U.N. nuclear watchdog.
    “We have heard many nice words and promises which in practice have been broken and opposite actions have been taken,” Khamenei said in a televised speech.    “Words and promises are no good. This time (we want) only action from the other side, and we will also act.”
    Biden aims to restore the pact under which Iran agreed to curbs on its disputed uranium enrichment programme in return for the lifting of sanctions, a major achievement of the Obama administration that Trump scrapped in 2018, calling the deal one sided in Iran’s favour and reimposing a wide range of sanctions.
    Iran and the United States are at odds over who should make the first step to revive the accord. Iran says the United States must first lift Trump’s sanctions while Washington says Tehran must first return to compliance with the deal, which it began violating after Trump launched his “maximum-pressure” campaign.
    Highlighting the urgency of a diplomatic solution to the standoff, German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a rare phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in which she urged Tehran to take steps ensuring its return to full compliance.
    “It is now time for positive signals that create trust and increase the chances of a diplomatic solution,” Merkel told Rouhani, according to a statement by the chancellor’s spokesman.
    Iran has accelerated its breaches of the deal’s restrictions in recent months, culminating in an announcement that it will end snap inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency on Feb. 23.
    Such inspections, which can range anywhere beyond Iran’s declared nuclear sites, are mandated under the IAEA’s “Additional Protocol” that Iran agreed to honour under the deal.    It signed up to the Protocol in 2003 but has not ratified it.
MORE ADVANCED CENTRIFUGES ON TAP
    An IAEA report on Wednesday said Iran had informed the IAEA of plans to install more of its advanced IR-2m centrifuges at its main underground enrichment plant at Natanz, in a further move apparently meant to pile pressure on Washington.
    The IAEA reported on Feb. 1 that Iran had brought a second cascade, or cluster, of IR-2m machines online at Natanz, and was installing two more.    The 2015 deal says Iran can only enrich with far less efficient, first-generation IR-1 centrifuges.
    Iran recently began enriching uranium to 20% fissile purity at another site, Fordow, well above its previous level of 4.5% and the deal’s 3.67% limit, though still well before the 90% that is weapons grade. Iran had enriched to 20% before the deal.
    Refining uranium to high levels of fissile purity is a potential pathway to nuclear bombs, though Iran has long said it its enrichment programme is for peaceful energy purposes only.
    European parties to the deal, which have called on Tehran not to halt snap inspections, will discuss the issue with the United States on Thursday, the French Foreign Ministry said.
    Rouhani played down the importance of the snap inspections, saying that ending them would not be a “significant step,” as Iran would still comply with obligations under a so-called Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA.
    “We will end the implementation of the Additional Protocol on Feb. 23 and what will be implemented will be based on the safeguards,” Rouhani said at a televised cabinet meeting.    “The Additional Protocol is a step beyond safeguards.”
    Iran’s envoy to the IAEA said on Wednesday that the agency’s director general, Rafael Grossi, would visit Tehran on Saturday to discuss the country’s plan to scale back cooperation with inspectors next week.
(Additional reporting by Joseph Nasr in Berlin with additional reporting by Francois Murphy in Vienna; Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
[WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION TO SAY NO TO IRAN WHO IS A COUNTRY THAT WOULD DESTROY YOU IF THEY COULD.].

2/17/2021 U.S. To Pay World Health Organization More Than $200 Million By End Of Month
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a visit by U.S. President Joe Biden
to the State Department in Washington, U.S., February 4, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photo
[SO PAY UP DEMOCRATS IF YOU WANT TO KEEP GETTING FALSE INFORMATION THAT IS CONTROLLED BY CHINA NOW WHO IS STILL HIDING THEIR RELEASE OF A PANDEMIC ON THE WORLD.].

2/18/2021 Brussels Condemns Slovenian Premier’s Criticism Of Reporter
FILE PHOTO: Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa arrives on the second day of a European Union leaders
summit in Brussels, Belgium October 2, 2020. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission on Thursday condemned Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa’s criticism of a reporter who wrote a piece suggesting that media freedom was under pressure in his country, a member of the European Union.
    In a tweet, Jansa accused Politico reporter Lili Bayer of lying in her story entitled “Inside Slovenia’s war on the media,” in which she quoted journalists and watchdogs as saying Jansa was creating a climate of fear in the media.
    “Well, @liliebayer was instructed not to tell the truth, so she quoted mainly ‘unknown’ sources from the extreme left and purposely neglected sources with names and integrity,” Jansa tweeted, in English.
    Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans responded with a tweet of his own: “Vilifying, threatening or attacking journalists is a direct attack on free media.    That is why journalists like @liliebayer deserve our support.”
    Senior members of the European Parliament also defended Bayer, including former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt, who accused Jansa of bullying.
    Jansa responded with a tweet reading: “And, @guyverhofstadt, we answered all her questions – and @POLITICOEurope ignored all our answers.    Who is bullying who?
    Slovenia takes over the rotating six-month EU presidency in July and will be in charge of setting the agenda of EU inter-government meetings and representing the 27-nation bloc in some international forums.
    The Commission has already clashed with nationalist governments in Hungary and Poland over curbs on media independence, and has promised specific recommendations on the safety of journalists later this year.
(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

2/20/2021 Munich Security Conference: Critics Say Biden’s Speech Distances U.S. From ‘America First’ Policies by OAN Newsroom
Seen through a translucent “On Air” sign, Joe Biden speaks during the virtual Munich Security Conference in the
East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on February 19, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
    The Biden administration vowed to end ‘America First’ policies put in place by President Trump.    Joe Biden spoke to G7 leaders at the virtual Munich Security Conference on Friday and outlined his foreign policy goals, which seemingly favored the globalist agenda.
    Throughout his speech, Biden reinforced the alliance between the U.S. and Europe.    He said the United States will “work in lockstep with allies and partners.”
    “The transatlantic alliance is back and we are not looking backward,” Biden said.    “We are looking forward together.    It comes down to this: The transatlantic alliance is a strong foundation, the strong foundation on which our collective security and our shared prosperity are built.”
    While discussing China, Biden gave a mixed message by saying he welcomed the competition. He later added the U.S. and its allies must fight against China’s abuses within the global economic system. Biden stated:
    “Competition with China is going to be stiff.    That’s what I expect and that’s what I welcome because I believe in the global system. Europe and the United States, together with our allies in the Indo-Pacific, worked so hard to build over the last 70 years.    We have to push back against the Chinese government’s economic abuses and coercion that undercut the foundations of the international economic system.”
    He also claimed the U.S. and its European allies must come together to protect the “free exchange of ideas in open democratic societies.”
    Richard Grenell, a former intelligence official under the Trump administration, took to Twitter to comment on Biden’s speech.    He claimed “Biden’s America will not be first.”
    The Trump administration was known for prioritizing the U.S., which often involved ending partnerships the administration considered harmful to the nation.
[WELL THE BUILD BACK BITTER PROGRAM IS ACTING AS USUAL BY ATTEMPTING TO GET RID OF ALL "AMERICA FIRST" PROGRAMS AND REPLACE THEM WITH ALL "AMERICA LAST" PROGRAMS.].

2/26/2021 U.N. Rights Chief Decries Arrests In China, Abuses In Xinjiang by Stephanie Nebehay
FILE PHOTO: U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet speaks during a news conference at the
European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, December 9, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA (Reuters) – United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Friday that China is restricting basic civil and political freedoms in the name of national security and COVID-19 measures, adding to a wave of criticism of the country’s rights record.
    “Activists, lawyers and human rights defenders – as well as some foreign nationals – face arbitrary criminal charges, detention or unfair trials,” Bachelet told the Human Rights Council.
    More than 600 people in Hong Kong are being investigated for taking part in protests, some under the new national security law imposed by mainland China on the former British colony, she said.
    Hong Kong Secretary of Justice Teresa Cheng told the Geneva forum that since the law was adopted, civil unrest had subsided and residents can enjoy their lawful freedoms.
    Referring to China’s Xinjiang region, Bachelet said that given reports about arbitrary detention, ill-treatment, sexual violence and forced labour, there was a need for a thorough and independent assessment of the situation.
    She said she hoped to clinch agreement with Chinese officials about a visit to the country.    Louise Arbour was the last U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit China, in September 2005.
    Activists and U.N. experts have said that at least one million Muslim Uighurs are detained in camps in the western region of Xinjiang.    China denies abuses and says its camps provide vocational training and are needed to fight extremism.
    China hit back on Wednesday at growing criticism by Western powers of its treatment of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet and of citizens in Hong Kong.
    Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said that torture, forced labour and sterilisations are taking place on an “industrial scale” in Xinjiang.    France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian denounced “an institutionalised system of surveillance and repression on a large scale.”
    The Biden administration has endorsed a determination by the Trump administration in its final days that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang and has said the United States must be prepared to impose costs on China.
    Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said on Monday that “there has never been so-called genocide, forced labour, or religious oppression in Xinjiang.”
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by John Revill, William Maclean and Frances Kerry)

2/26/2021 U.N. Human Rights Boss Urges Saudi Arabia To Allow Free Speech, Assembly
FILE PHOTO: U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet attends a news conference at the
European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, December 9, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA (Reuters) – United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet, in rare public comments on Saudi Arabia, said on Friday that people were unlawfully held in the kingdom and urged it to uphold freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly.
    Bachelet, addressing the U.N. Human Rights Council where Saudi Arabia has observer status, welcomed the release earlier this month of women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul, adding: “although I regret that others continued to be unjustly detained.”
    Hathloul campaigned for women’s right to drive and to end Saudi Arabia’s guardianship system that requires women to obtain permission of a male relative for certain decisions and travel.    She spent nearly three years behind bars in a case that drew international condemnation, and remains forbidden to leave Saudi Arabia for five years.
    Bachelet did not refer to the expected release by the Biden administration of a sensitive U.S. intelligence report on the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
    The European Union, in a speech by Portugal’s ambassador Rui Macieira, voiced concern at Saudi Arabia’s use of anti-terrorist and security bodies to try civilians and activists subjected to prolonged detention, including solitary confinement.
    “Noting reforms to the penal system and a significant decrease in the use of capital punishment, the EU calls for further attention to the rights of migrant workers, to women’s rights and to the freedom of expression and of religion or belief,” he said.
    Bachelet welcomed plans announced by Saudi authorities to adopt new legislation on family law and personal status.
    “I urge the authorities to also establish legislative frameworks to uphold the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association for everyone in the Kingdom,” she said.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by John Revill and Peter Graff)

3/2/2021 EU Top Court Says Polish Judges Have Right To Appeal Nominations
FILE PHOTO: General view of Supreme Court in Warsaw, Poland September 13, 2018. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo
    WARSAW (Reuters) – Judges applying to join Poland’s Supreme Court should have the right to challenge the opinions of a body reviewing candidates, the European Union’s top court said, drawing a swift rebuke from Warsaw, which said the EU court was overstepping its mandate.
    Poland is in a long-running row with the EU over reforms the bloc says hurt court independence by increasing political control over judges.    The nationalist Law and     Justice (PiS) says the reforms are necessary to make courts more efficient.
    Tuesday’s verdict by the Court of Justice of the European Union touches on a public body — the National Council of the Judiciary — that critics say has become a tool to politicise the courts.    The Council evaluates judicial appointments.
    The European court said successive amendments to a law on the Council which in effect remove judicial review of its decisions could infringe EU law.    It added the final decision on whether it does breach EU law rested with a Polish court.
    “Where an infringement has been proved, the principle of the primacy of EU law requires the national court to disapply such amendments,” the court said.
    The Court of Justice has in recent years brought several cases against Poland over its overhaul of the judiciary.    Among the changes made by PiS since taking power in 2015 are amendments to the way Council members are elected.
    Critics said this has led to the Council being politicised.
    The court said that EU law prohibits amendments that could lead to judges not being seen to be independent or impartial.
    However, it added: “It is ultimately for the referring court to rule on whether that is the case here,” it said.
    Poland’s Justice minister Zbigniew Ziobro, an architect of the government’s judiciary reforms, said the European court’s decision was unacceptable.
    “The Polish Constitution is the law of the highest rank, not European law as the CJEU would like to see it,” he said.
    “This judgement goes beyond the European treaties and, in this sense, also violates them.    The role of the court is not to create a political process, but its role is to apply the law, and in this respect this court has openly stepped out of its role.”
(Reporting by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk; Editing by William Maclean)

3/2/2021 France, Allies To Push On With Protest At IAEA Over Iran’s Activities: Foreign Minister by John Irish
FILE PHOTO: French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian, wearing a protective face mask, attends the questions to the government session
at the National Assembly in Paris amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in France, January 26, 2021. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
    PARIS (Reuters) – France and its Western allies plan to lodge a protest with the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog to criticise Iran’s decision to curb cooperation with the agency, the French foreign minister said on Tuesday.
    Iran said last month it was scaling back cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, ending extra inspection and monitoring measures introduced by the 2015 nuclear deal, including the power given to the IAEA to carry out snap inspections at facilities not declared by Iran.
    “The nuclear tensions will lead us in the coming days to put forward a protest in the framework of the IAEA Board of Governors to regret this decision,” Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told a parliamentary hearing.
    Britain, France and Germany – all parties to the deal with Iran – on Monday circulated a draft resolution backed by the United States for the Vienna meeting voicing “serious concern” at Iran’s reduced cooperation and urging Iran to reverse its steps.
    Iran has bristled at the prospect of such criticism, threatening to cancel a deal struck a week ago with the IAEA to temporarily continue many of the monitoring measures it had decided to end – a black-box-type arrangement valid for up to three months and aimed at creating a window for diplomacy.
    A vote on the resolution is due by the end of the week.
    The IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors is holding a quarterly meeting this week against the backdrop of faltering efforts to revive Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers now that U.S. President Joe Biden is in office.
    Diplomacy, however, is making limited progress.    Iran said on Sunday it would not take up a European Union proposal to hold a meeting with other parties to the deal and the United States.
    “The situation is complicated,” Le Drian said.    “The problem is to know who goes first and nobody wants to be trapped.    The fact that the Iranians suspended the Additional Protocol is not good news,” he said, referring to Iran’s move last month to curb IAEA inspections.
(Reporting by John Irish; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Angus MacSwan)

3/2/2021 France’s Macron Tells Iran ‘Clear Gestures’ Needed To Revive Nuclear Deal
ILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, January 27, 2021. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
    PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron told Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that Tehran must make clear and immediate gestures to allow dialogue to resume on the 2015 nuclear deal, the Elysee palace said on Tuesday.
    “Having reminded (Rouhani) of the efforts made by France with its partners in the last years to reach a negotiated solution, the (French) head of state stressed it was important that Iran made clear and immediate gestures so that dialogue can resume with all parties to the Vienna deal,” Macron’s office said.
    In 2019, Macron pushed to bring Washington and Tehran back to the negotiating table and to set parameters for wider future talks.        Last month he offered himself as an “honest broker.”    https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN2A42Q6
    Expressing his deep concerns regarding Iran’s decisions to violate the accord, Macron said it was vital Tehran returned into compliance and fully cooperate with the U.N. atomic watchdog.
    Iran has recently accelerated its violations of the 2015 deal in an apparent bid to raise pressure on U.S. President Joe Biden, as each side insists the other must move first.
    Several Iranian media outlets said Rouhani had made it clear to Macron that the only way to revive the deal would be for the U.S. to lift sanctions and repeated that Tehran’s decision to reduce its obligations was due to the U.S. withdrawal in 2018.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon and Dubai Newsroom; writing by John Irish; Editing by Chris Reese and Grant McCool)

3/2/2021 Israel Moving To Protect Hundreds Of Personnel Against ICC Probe by Dan Williams
Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz speaks to military personnel during a tour of the
Gaza border area, in southern Israel March 2, 2021. REUTERS/Dan Williams
    KEREM SHALOM, Israel (Reuters) – Israel estimates that hundreds of its citizens might be subject to war crimes probes by the International Criminal Court, whose jurisdiction it rejects, and is working on how to protect them, the Defence Minister said on Tuesday.
    Including himself among Israelis who could be threatened with arrest, Benny Gantz told Reuters: “I was never afraid to go across enemy lines, I will continue to stand wherever I have to.”
    The Hague-based tribunal ruled last month that it has jurisdiction over the occupied West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.    The ruling could lead to criminal investigations of Israel and of Palestinian militant groups including Hamas.
    Israel is not a member of the court and rejects its jurisdiction, a position backed by its close ally the United States.    Palestinians have welcomed the ruling as a chance for justice for victims of Israeli attacks.
    In an interview on Israel’s fortified border with Gaza, Gantz, who also holds Israel’s justice portfolio, called the ruling a “negative development” and added: “We have our own teams working in different (places) to try (and) influence (the ICC).”
    Gantz was the military’s chief of staff during a 2014 war between Israel and militants in Hamas-controlled Gaza.    The ICC has pointed to that conflict as a potential issue to be probed.
    Asked by Reuters how many Israelis, including himself, might expect to be subject to arrest should the probe lead to criminal investigations, Gantz said: “I guess several hundred, but we will take care of everybody.”
    Gantz called that “an estimate,” declining to say if Israel had drawn up a list of officials.    Israel will provide legal assistance to any implicated Israelis and will give them legal warnings regarding travel if necessary, Gantz said.
    Asked if he himself might change his travel plans in light of the ICC probe, Gantz said: “So far, no.”
(Writing by Rami Ayyub; editing by Jeffrey Heller and Philippa Fletcher)

3/2/2021 Biden Admin. & Washington Establishment Conducting Unpopular Missile Strikes In The Middle East by OAN Newsroom
This satellite image provided Maxar Technologies shows buildings that were destroyed by a U.S. air strike in Syria. The United States launched airstrikes in Syria on Thursday,
Feb. 25, 2021 targeting facilities near the Iraqi border used by Iranian-backed militia groups. The Pentagon said the strikes were retaliation for a rocket attack in
Iraq earlier this month that killed one civilian contractor and wounded a U.S. service member and other coalition troops. (Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies via AP)
    With just a month into office, Joe Biden has continued to bring back controversial Obama-era policies.    The latest example: the Biden administration’s decision to bomb Iranian assets in Syria.
    The administration claims this action was taken in response to Iranian-backed militias in Iraq.    The White House green-lit a missile strike on February 15, which resulted in a civilian contractor being killed and a U.S. service member being wounded.
    While the American people deserve to know with certainty that their government knows who they are attacking with a guided missile strike, Biden’s secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin, cannot confirm that they even bombed the correct target.
    “And we’re confident that that target was being used by the same Shia militias that conducted the strikes,” he stated.
    The defense secretary and former board member for missile developing company Raytheon said he’s only “confident” in the airstrike they just carried out.    However, this is probably something you may want to know with absolute certainty.
    While American’s across the political spectrum are upset with the Biden administration over their choice to restart bombing campaigns in the Middle East, those in favor of the airstrike include the Biden administration, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
    Likewise, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been silent on the matter as has Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). On the other hand, critics of the strike have included Donald Trump Jr.
    Mike Pompeo has also weighed in on the airstrike, stating in an interview that he just hopes what they hit was actually a threat to the United States.
    However, many on both sides of the aisle have also joined together in demanding further transparency from the Biden administration and the new defense secretary.

3/4/2021 Western Powers Scrap Plan For IAEA Rebuke Of Iran To Make Space For Talks by Francois Murphy and John Irish
FILE PHOTO: A view of the Natanz uranium enrichment plant 250 km (155 miles) south of the
Iranian capital Tehran, March 30, 2005. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/File Photo
    VIENNA/PARIS (Reuters) – Britain, France and Germany have scrapped a U.S.-backed plan for the U.N. nuclear watchdog to criticise Iran for reducing cooperation with its inspectors, in a bid to avoid escalation and make room for diplomacy, diplomats said on Thursday.
    Tehran and Washington have emerged from U.S. President Donald Trump’s attempts to wreck Iran’s nuclear deal locked in a standoff over who should move first to save it.    Tehran has added to its breaches of the deal’s atomic restrictions in protest at U.S. sanctions re-imposed when Trump pulled out of the deal in 2018.
    The European powers, all parties to the 2015 deal, have been lobbying for the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 35-nation Board of Governors to adopt a resolution at its quarterly meeting this week expressing concern at Iran’s latest breaches, including ending the basis for snap IAEA inspections.
    The resolution also called on Iran to answer the IAEA’s questions on the origin of uranium particles recently found at several undeclared and apparently old sites     Just as time for a resolution was running out, the IAEA announced a new diplomatic push to get answers from Iran.
    “We are trying to sit down around the table and see if we can resolve this once and for all,” IAEA chief Rafael Grossi told a news conference called at short notice, outlining a process that will start next month.
    “We are going to be starting this process of focused analysis of the situation with a technical meeting which will take place in Iran at the beginning of April which I hope will be followed by other technical or political meetings.”
    That push prompted the so-called E3 to drop their planned resolution, even though there is no sign as yet of Iran relenting on its breaches of the deal.
    A French diplomatic source told reporters the resolution was put on hold because the E3 believed they had won concessions allowing Grossi to work on the outstanding issues and because it would have harmed the prospects of a meeting between Iran, the United States and other parties to the deal.
    “If we had gone through with the vote (on a resolution) it would have made it more difficult to quickly start this meeting,” the source told reporters.
    Iran had bristled at the prospect of the resolution, threatening to end a recent agreement with the IAEA that limits the impact of its latest breaches, enabling monitoring of its facilities to continue almost as before for up to three months.
    “Cooler heads are prevailing,” said one diplomat from a country on the board that had been sceptical about a resolution.
TALKING PAST EACH OTHER
    Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the move kept diplomatic efforts alive.
    “Today’s development can preserve the path of diplomacy that was created by Iran and the IAEA and pave the way for returning to full compliance by all parties to the JCPOA,” Iranian state media quoted him as saying, referring to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal.
    While Grossi said he hoped to report progress to the next IAEA board meeting in June, the French source said the resolution could be revived even before then if there were problems between the IAEA and Iran.
    Grossi said he was seeking to end a process of “talking past each other” with Iran that has failed to yield credible answers.
    U.S. intelligence agencies and the IAEA believe Iran had a nuclear weapons programme that it halted in 2003.    Iran denies ever having had one.
    “Either you continue with this merry-go-round that can last a long time or you try something else,” Grossi said.    “I felt that we needed to try to discuss this in a different way.”
(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi in Dubai; Editing by Gareth Jones and Hugh Lawson)

3/4/2021 Americans Favor Confronting China On Human Rights Despite Risk To Economic Ties, Survey Finds
FILE PHOTO: Chinese and U.S. flags flutter outside the building of an American company in Beijing, China January 21, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – American attitudes toward China have soured significantly in the past three years, with 70% of those surveyed for a report published on Thursday saying Washington should stand up to Beijing over its human rights record even if it damages economic ties.
    Nearly 9 in 10 respondents to a Pew Research Center survey of more than 2,500 Americans conducted in February said they saw China, the world’s second largest economy, as a competitor or enemy rather than a partner, the U.S.-based center said.
    “Americans want more focus on human rights – even at the expense of economic ties – in bilateral relations with China,” the report said.
    President Joe Biden’s administration, which took office in January, has singled out China as the “biggest geopolitical test” of this century, and endorsed a determination by the previous Trump administration that Beijing has committed genocide against minority Muslims.
    It has also criticized China’s crackdown on Hong Kong’s democracy movement and signaled it will maintain the Trump administration’s pressure on Beijing, albeit in coordination with allies.
    The Pew survey suggested a slim majority of Americas, 53%, had confidence in Biden to effectively deal with China, lower than that for other global issues, such as terrorism, climate change, the use of military force, and managing trade.
    Across the board, negative views in the United States toward China have grown sharply since 2018, with 67% of respondents holding “very cold” or “cold” views toward China compared to 46% three years ago. Just 11% of the Americans surveyed held warm sentiments toward the country.
    Perceptions that China-sponsored cyberattacks and Beijing’s rights record were “very serious” problems jumped 7% since 2020 to 65% and 50%, respectively, the report said.
    Majorities also saw U.S. job losses to China and the country’s growing military power as very serious problems, up 6% since last year to 53% and 52%.
    U.S.-China ties plummeted to their lowest point in decades in former President Donald Trump’s final year in office, as Washington targeted Beijing over trade, the coronavirus outbreak, espionage, human rights, and Chinese territorial claims in the strategic South China Sea.
    Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress have found common cause in confronting Beijing, with lawmakers proposing a barrage of China-related legislation.
    A majority of Americans surveyed, 54%, said China had handled the coronavirus outbreak poorly.    But even more – 58% – said their own country had also done a bad job.
(Reporting by Michael Martina and David Brunnstrom)

3/4/2021 Clash Over Myanmar Representation At U.N. Averted For Now by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: Myanmar's ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun addresses the Human Rights Council at the
United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – A clash over who represents Myanmar at the United Nations in New York after a Feb. 1 military coup was averted – for now – after the junta’s replacement quit and the Myanmar U.N. mission confirmed that Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun remained in the job.
    Kyaw Moe Tun was fired by the junta on Saturday, a day after he urged countries at the 193-member U.N. General Assembly to use “any means necessary” to reverse the coup that ousted the nation’s elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
    On Sunday, the Myanmar U.N. mission said Kyaw Moe Tun’s deputy, Tin Maung Naing, would become the acting U.N. envoy.    On Monday, Kyaw Moe Tun formally staked his claim to remain the country’s legitimate representative – a job he has held since October – in a letter to the United Nations.
    The rival claims raised the prospect of the 193-member U.N. General Assembly having to address the issue.
    On Wednesday, the Myanmar U.N. mission told the United Nations on Wednesday that Tin Maung Naing had resigned and Kyaw Moe Tun remained the country’s ambassador.    It said the note it sent on Sunday “shall be ignored.”
    Myanmar’s representation at the United Nations could become an issue again if the junta tries to appoint a new ambassador.
    Police in Myanmar broke up demonstrations in several places with tear gas and gunfire on Thursday as protesters took to the streets again, undeterred by the rising death toll in a crackdown on coup opponents.
    The U.N. Security Council is due to discuss Myanmar on Friday in a closed meeting, diplomats said.    The 15-member council has voiced concern over the state of emergency, but stopped short of condemning the coup last month due to opposition from Russia and China.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Howard Goller)

3/4/2021 Iran Gives Positive Signals On Informal Nuclear Talks, Time Short: Sources by John Irish
FILE PHOTO: An Iranian soldier stands guard inside the Natanz uranium enrichment facility,
322km (200 miles) south of Iran's capital Tehran March 9, 2006.REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi
    PARIS (Reuters) – Iran has given encouraging signs in recent days about opening informal talks with world powers and the United States, two European sources said on Thursday after European powers scrapped plans to criticise Tehran at the U.N. nuclear watchdog.
    Iran has so far refused to take part in a meeting brokered by the European Union between world powers and the United States on reviving its 2015 nuclear deal.
    “Things are moving in the right direction and we have had positive signals this week and especially in last few days,” a French diplomatic source said.    “We are seeing movements that we weren’t seeing last weekend,” he said.
    The source added the objective was to get everyone around the table before the start of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, on March 20, when Iran slows down administratively.
    He added that the window would also narrow from mid-April when Iran’s presidential election campaign kicks in.
    “We are putting all our efforts so that this (meeting) can take place in the days or coming weeks,” the source said.
    French President Emmanuel Macron and his foreign minister both spoke separately with their Iranian counterparts earlier this week.
    A second European source also said there had been positive signals from the Iranian side.
    An Iranian official declined to comment.
    An EU official said that this was the objective and the channels remained open with contacts almost daily.
    “It’s good that the Iranians are still talking,” the official said.
    The French source added that another positive indication was that Iran had reportedly suspended its production of uranium metal, one of its latest violations of the nuclear accord, although that had not been verified by the IAEA.
    Britain, France and Germany decided to pause the submission of a resolution critical of Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency on Thursday to not harm the prospects for diplomacy and after what they said were concessions gained from Iran to deal with outstanding nuclear.
(Additional reporting by Robin Emmott in Brussels and Andreas Rinke in Berlin; Editing by Alex Richardson and GV De Clercq)

3/4/2021 Netanyahu Calls ICC War-Crimes Decision ‘Outrageous’, Vows To Fight It Everywhere
FILE PHOTO: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a visit to Leumit Health Care Services vaccination facility in
Jerusalem where he meets the 4,000,000 person who had been vaccinated in Israel, February 16, 2021. Alex Kolomoisky/Pool via REUTERS
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned as “outrageous” on Thursday a decision by the International Criminal Court prosecutor to formally investigate alleged war crimes in the Palestinian territories.
    “I am going to fight this in every place,” he told Fox News.
(Reporting by Lisa Lambert)

3/4/2021 EU Lawmakers Stall Vote To Ratify EU-UK Trade Deal In Protest by Philip Blenkinsop
FILE PHOTO: The building of the European Parliament, designed by Architecture-Studio architects,
is seen in Strasbourg, France, May 22, 2019. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Parliament abandoned its plan on Thursday to set a date for voting on the EU-UK trade deal, in protest at what the European Union sees as Britain’s unlawful changes to Northern Irish Brexit arrangements.
    EU parliament group chiefs had been expected to fix a March 24 date for the vote.    But they opted not to do so after the British government unilaterally extended a grace period for checks on food imports to Northern Ireland, a move Brussels said violated the terms of Britain’s divorce deal.
    The European Parliament still has until the end of April to ratify the trade and cooperation agreement.
    If it does not do so and provisional application of the agreement is not extended, then the trade deal would cease to apply, leaving Britain and the European Union to trade on WTO terms with tariffs and quotas.
    “We are ready to use this hard weapon,” Bernd Lange, the chair of the parliament’s trade committee, told Reuters.    “This is the last resort.    What we really want is a de-escalation of the situation.”
    The deadline was previously extended from the end of February at the EU’s request to allow for the translation of the agreement into all 24 EU languages.
    The European Commission said on Wednesday it would respond with the legal means established by the Brexit divorce deal and the trade agreement to what it said was Britain’s second threat to breach international law.
    Britain acknowledged last September that it would break international law by breaching parts of the Withdrawal Agreement treaty it signed in January 2020, when it formally left the EU. However, it dropped certain contentious clauses in December, two weeks before the two sides struck a trade deal.
    A formal letter of notice to London would be the first of a series of steps Brussels could take, eventually leading to a challenge at the European Court of Justice. It sent such a letter in the previous dispute in October.
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Alex Richardson and Hugh Lawson)

3/5/2021 Iran’s Zarif To Offer ‘Constructive’ Plan Amid Hopes Of Informal Nuclear Talks
FILE PHOTO: Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at the presidential palace
in Baabda, Lebanon August 14, 2020. Dalati Nohra/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo
    DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran will soon present a “constructive” plan of action, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday, after European sources said Tehran gave positive signs about opening informal talks about its nuclear programme.     “As Iran’s FM (foreign minister) & chief nuclear negotiator, I will shortly present our constructive concrete plan of action – through proper diplomatic channels,” Zarif said on Twitter.
    A French diplomatic source and another European source said on Thursday that Iran had given encouraging signs in recent days about opening the informal talks after European powers scrapped plans to criticise Tehran at the U.N. nuclear watchdog.
    Iran has so far refused to take part in a meeting brokered by the European Union between world powers and the United States on reviving its 2015 nuclear deal.
    Iran’s nuclear policy is decided by the country’s top authority, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and not the president or the government.
    Tehran and Washington have emerged from former U.S. President Donald Trump’s attempts to wreck Iran’s nuclear deal locked in a standoff over who should move first to save it.    Trump pulled out of the deal in 2018.
    Britain, France and Germany decided to pause the submission of a resolution critical of Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency on Thursday to not harm the prospects for diplomacy after what they said were concessions gained from Iran to deal with outstanding nuclear.
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Nick Macfie)

3/6/2021 Dems Use Slim Majority To Push $1.9T Bill Through Senate by OAN Newsroom
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Top Senate Democrats steered the upper chamber to the left as they used their slim majority to pass Joe Biden’s massive coronavirus relief bill.    On Saturday, the Senate voted 50-to-49 to pass the nearly $2 trillion package.    Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) missed the vote for personal reasons.
    This came after senators toughed it out in Washington D.C. by hashing out differences in more than 24 hours of deliberations, delays and backdoor deals.
    “It’s been a long day, a long night, a long year, but a new day has come and we tell the American people: Help is on the way,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) stated.    “When Democrats assumed the majority in this chamber, we promised to pass legislation to rescue our people from the depths of the pandemic and bring our economy and our country roaring back.    In a few moments, we are going to deliver on that promise.”
    Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) almost knocked Democrats’ momentum off its tracks over issues he had with extending unemployment benefits.    Manchin even signaled support for Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-Ohio) proposal to extend benefits through mid-July instead of mid-September.    However, Joe Biden allegedly used the power of the high office to twist Manchin’s arm and keep him in-line with the Democrat Party.
    “Voters gave Senate Democrats the slimmest possible majority,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stated.    “Voters picked a president who promised unity and bipartisanship.    Democrats’ response is to ram through what they call ‘the most progressive domestic legislation in a generation’ on a razor-thin majority.”
    Republicans in the upper chamber decried Democrats’ efforts to push through what some have branded a “liberal wish list.”    Many in the GOP criticized proposals that aim to bail out struggling blue states and fund programs unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic.    Additionally, they condemned leaders in the Democrat Party for apparently not including Republicans in negotiations on what should be in the package.
    “We could have worked together to speed up victory, but our [Democrat] colleagues made a decision their top priority was not pandemic relief, it was their Washington wishlist,” McConnell noted.    “So, Mr. President, colleagues, I strongly recommend a no vote.”
    In the meantime, the bill is expected to head back down to the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives Tuesday to vote on the amended bill.    However, some Democrats fear more progressive members won’t support the bill after senators stripped the proposal to hike the federal minimum wage.
    If the bill is passed without any hiccups, it will be sent to the White House for final approval.

3/6/2021 17M Americans Ineligible For Stimulus Payments, Reduced Payment Amount And Narrowed Cutoff Leaves Critics Fuming by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 06: President Joe Biden speaks from the State Dining Room following the passage of the American Rescue
Plan in the U.S. Senate at the White House on March 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
    After the COVID relief package passed in the upper chamber, critics pointed out how many Americans will actually miss out on getting a stimulus check.
    The complaints started early on after Joe Biden campaigned for Senate candidates in Georgia.    He promised that if they were elected, $2,000 in stimulus payments would go out to citizens right away.
    “Their election will put an end to the block in Washington on that $2,000 stimulus check,” Biden claimed at the time.    “That money that will go out the door immediately.”
    Following the election, the number quickly dropped from $2,000 to $1,400 in addition to the $600 already passed.    This didn’t sit well with many people, including members of the so-called “Squad,” as Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) called Biden out for the change.    She pointed out: $2,000 means $2,000, not $1,400.
    The number changed even further after Democrats moved to make the stimulus more “targeted” by modifying the income requirements.    The amount initially started phasing out at $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for couples, but ultimately landed on $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for couples.
    Anyone making more than that would get essentially nothing, which marks around 17 million Americans who will not benefit from the stimulus.
    House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth admitted there will be people who could use the direct payment but won’t get it.    However, he said this is acceptable because 250 million people will receive payment.    Yarmuth argued the benefit will ultimately come in the form of money allotted to state and local governments.
    “They can use that money in a variety of ways,” Yarmuth stated.    “They can set up assistance operations and plans for people in need.    The fact is that you can’t use, as many people have said, a scalpel to do national legislation.    You have to make broad decisions and come up with answers and this is one of the things that we have to do.”
    Critics argued the figures were mostly based on income amounts before the pandemic, so they don’t take into account individuals who may have had their incomes severely reduced or lost jobs during the economic downturn.    Opponents further argued $80,000 is sometimes not a large amount, particularly for single parents living in large cities where yearly costs can exceed $100,000 or more.
    Supporters of the original $2,000 payments also pointed out that if the $1,400 is “finishing the job” of the original $600 payments, the new payment should go to everyone who was eligible for the initial payment.
[WHAT THE DEMOCRATS WILL DO WITH THE STUFF IN THE 1.9 TRILLION BILL WILL COME BACK TO HAUNT ALL OF US WHEN THEY ACTIVATE THE ANTICHRISTIAN INFORMATION THAT IT APPROVED AND THEY JUST BOUGHT THE SOUL OF AMERICA WITH IT JUST LIKE JUDAS DID TO JESUS OF NAZERATH SO IT IS TIME TO PRAY TO THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB TO SAVE YOUR SOUL IN THE COMING DAYS THROUGH 2022 AS THE RISE OF THE GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT WILL BE TAKING OVER AS THE BIBLE PREDICTS.].

3/18/2021 WHO Allows China To Bar U.S. Scientists From COVID Probe, Gives China More Control Over Int’l Panel; Australia Leads Own Probe Saying WHO Is Biased by OAN Newsroom
This photograph taken on March 5, 2021 shows the sign of the World Health Organization (WHO)
at their headquarters in Geneva amid the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
    The World Health Organization has authorized China to effectively bar American scientists from the probe into the origins of COVID-19. According to the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, the WHO has allowed Chinese officials to determine which American scientists can join the international probe into COVID’s origins.
    The WHO said none of the scientists recommended by the HHS were approved to join the probe so far.    Meanwhile, Australia has been leading its own investigation.
    “50 percent of the members of this panel were put there by the Chinese government,” Flinders University Prof. Nikolai Petrovsky said.    “And given we know that some of the international members of the panel are quite parochial and supportive of China, I think we can assume that China, in fact, were confident that they had the majority of panel members on their side, which meant the panel only trumped findings that were agreed to by the Chinese government.    And again that’s not an independent panel.”

    China has also accused American and Australian scientists of “misinformation” on every occasion they have questioned Beijing’s narrative about COVID-19.

3/19/2021 U.S., Chinese Diplomats Clash In First High-Level Meeting Of Biden Administration by Humeyra Pamuk, Michael Martina and David Brunnstrom
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (2nd R), joined by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan (R), speaks while facing Yang Jiechi (2nd L),
director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office, and Wang Yi (L), China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister, at the opening
session of US-China talks at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska, U.S. March 18, 2021. Frederic J. Brown/Pool via REUTERS
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – The first high-level U.S.-China meeting of the Biden administration got off to a fiery start on Thursday, with both sides leveling sharp rebukes of the others’ policies in a rare public display that underscored the level of bilateral tension.
    The run-up to the talks in Anchorage, Alaska, which followed visits by U.S. officials to allies Japan and South Korea, was marked by a flurry of moves by Washington that showed it was taking a tough stance, and by blunt talk from Beijing.
    “We will … discuss our deep concerns with actions by China, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyber attacks on the United States, economic coercion of our allies,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told his Chinese counterparts in a highly unusual extended back-and-forth in front of cameras.
    “Each of these actions threaten the rules-based order that maintains global stability,” he said.
    The Biden administration has made clear that it is looking for a change in behavior from China, which has expressed hope to reset relations between the world’s two largest economies that worsened drastically under former President Donald Trump.
    China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi responded with a 15-minute speech in Chinese while the U.S. side awaited translation, lashing out over what he said was the United States’ struggling democracy, poor treatment of minorities, and criticizing its foreign and trade policies.
    “The United States uses its military force and financial hegemony to carry out long-arm jurisdiction and suppress other countries,” said Yang.
    “It abuses so-called notions of national security to obstruct normal trade exchanges, and incite some countries to attack China,” he added.
‘GRANDSTANDING’ AND PROTOCOL BREACHES
    Throughout Yang’s monologue, U.S. National Security Adviser Sullivan and other officials in the delegation passed notes to each other.    At the end, Blinken held journalists in the room so he could respond.
    What is typically a few minutes of opening remarks in front of journalists for such high-level meetings lasted more than an hour, and the two delegations tussled about when media would be ushered out of the room.
    Afterwards, the United States accused China of “grandstanding” while Chinese state media blamed U.S. officials for speaking too long and being “inhospitable.”
    Both sides accused the other of violating diplomatic protocol by speaking too long in opening remarks.
    “The Chinese delegation … seems to have arrived intent on grandstanding, focused on public theatrics and dramatics over substance,” the official told reporters at the Anchorage hotel where the meeting was taking place.
    “Exaggerated diplomatic presentations often are aimed at a domestic audience,” the official added.
    Many netizens on China’s social media said Chinese officials were doing a good job in Alaska, and that the U.S. side lacked sincerity.
    Some even characterized the talks as a “Hongmen Banquet,” referring to an event that took place 2,000 years ago where a rebel leader invited another to a feast with the intention of murdering him.
    Still, the two sides reconvened for another meeting on Thursday evening, and a senior Biden administration official said that the first session was “substantive, serious, and direct,” running well beyond the two hours originally allotted.
    “We used the session, just as we had planned, to outline our interests and priorities, and we heard the same from our Chinese counterparts,” the official said in the pool report, adding that a third session of talks was scheduled for Friday morning.
    While much of Biden’s China policy is still being formulated, including how to handle the tariffs on Chinese goods implemented under Trump, his administration has so far placed a stronger emphasis on democratic values and allegations of human rights abuses by China.
    China firmly opposes U.S. interference in what it regards as its internal affairs, issues such as Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
    Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said it was expecting the United States to brief them about the talks.
TERMS OF DISAGREEMENT
    Washington says Blinken’s Asia tour before the meeting with Chinese officials, as well as U.S. outreach to Europe, India and other partners, shows how the United States has strengthened its hand to confront China since Biden took office in January.
    But the two sides appeared primed to agree on very little at the talks.
    Even the status of the meeting became a sticking point, with China insisting it is a “strategic dialogue,” harkening back to bilateral mechanisms of years past.    The U.S. side rejected that, calling it a one-off session.
    On the eve of the talks, the United States issued a flurry of actions directed at China, including a move to begin revoking Chinese telecoms licenses, subpoenas to multiple Chinese information technology companies over national security concerns, and updated sanctions on China over a rollback of democracy in Hong Kong.
    Adding to tensions, China on Friday tried a Canadian citizen on espionage charges, in a case embroiled in a wider diplomatic spat between Washington and Beijing.
    At the talks on Thursday, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi questioned Blinken about whether the sanctions were announced ahead of the meeting on purpose.
    Washington has said it is willing to work with China when it is in U.S. interests, citing climate policy and the coronavirus pandemic as examples.    Blinken said Washington hoped to see China use its influence with North Korea to persuade it to give up its nuclear weapons.
    Bonnie Glaser, an Asia expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said tough statements from both sides in the run-up to the meeting had created a risk that it would devolve into an exchange of accusations and demands.
    “Neither side benefits from this meeting being judged a total failure,” Glaser said.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk in Anchorage and Michael Martina, David Brunnstrom and Simon Lewis in Washington, and Yew Lun Tian in Beijing and Ben Blanchard in Taipei; Editing by Mary Milliken, Grant McCool, Tony Munroe, Michael Perry and Kim Coghill)

3/19/2021 U.S.-China High-Level Talks To Wrap Up After Acrimonious Opening by Humeyra Pamuk
FILE PHOTO: The U.S. delegation led by Secretary of State Antony Blinken (C) and flanked by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan (R), face their Chinese
counterparts at the opening session of U.S.-China talks at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska on March 18, 2021. Frederic J. Brown/Pool via REUTERS
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – Senior U.S. and Chinese officials are set to conclude their talks in Alaska on Friday after a dramatic opening round laid bare the depth of tensions between the world’s two largest economies at the outset of the Biden administration.
    The United States accused China of “grandstanding” for its domestic audience, and both sides suggested the other had broken diplomatic protocol.
    The rebukes played out in front of cameras, but a senior U.S. administration official told reporters that as soon as media had left the room, the two sides “immediately got down to business” and held substantive, serious, and direct talks.
    Blinken and Yang, joined by White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi, have a final session scheduled in Anchorage at around 9 a.m. (1700 GMT).
    While much of President Joe Biden’s China policy is still being formulated, including how to handle the tariffs on Chinese goods implemented by his predecessor Donald Trump, his administration has so far placed a stronger emphasis on democratic values and allegations of human rights abuses by China.
    “I am very proud of the secretary of state,” Biden told reporters at the White House on Friday morning when asked about the previous day’s meeting.
    In recent weeks, top Republicans have given a nod to efforts by Biden, a Democrat, to revitalize relations with U.S. allies in order to confront China, a shift from Trump’s go-it-alone ‘America First’ strategy.
    Biden has partially staked his approach on China to rebuilding American domestic competitiveness, and several top Republicans, whose cooperation will be crucial to the success of those plans, backed his administration in the face of the heated exchanges from the first day of talks.
    “I have many policy disagreements with the Biden Administration, but every single American should unite against Beijing’s tyrants,” Republican Senator Ben Sasse said in a statement.
    China’s social media carried comments saying Chinese officials were doing a good job in Alaska, and that the U.S. side lacked sincerity.
    “My sense is that the administration is testing the question of whether it is possible to get real results from these dialogues,” said Zack Cooper, who researches China at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.
    Dean Cheng at the conservative Heritage Foundation said China’s global influence had grown to the point where it felt it could openly deride the U.S. system.
    “That is a vision from the Chinese perspective of, ‘you need me, I don’t need you,” Cheng said.
    China on Friday put a Canadian citizen on trial https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN2BB00S on spying charges, in a case embroiled in a wider diplomatic spat between Washington and Beijing.
    The Chinese military also banned Tesla cars from entering its housing complexes, citing security concerns over the cameras installed on the vehicles, according to two people who saw notices of the directive.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk in Anchorage and Michael Martina and David Brunnstrom in Washington; Editing by Mary Milliken and Grant McCool)

3/19/2021 Taiwan Says China Bolstering Ability To Attack, Blockade Island by Yimou Lee and Ben Blanchard
FILE PHOTO: AH-64 Apache helicopters fly to location during the live-fire, anti-landing Han Kuang military
exercise, which simulates an enemy invasion, in Taichung, Taiwan July 16, 2020. REUTERS/Ann Wang
    TAIPEI (Reuters) – China is bolstering its ability to attack and blockade Taiwan, deploying long-range missiles to prevent foreign forces helping in the event of war and using psychological warfare to undermine faith in Taiwan’s military, the island’s defence ministry said.
    The ministry, in its once-every-four-years defence review, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, warned China was deploying “grey zone” warfare tactics to subdue the Chinese-claimed island, seeking to wear Taiwan down with repeated drills and activities near its airspace and waters.
    “China has continued to modernise its military and increase its capability in a war with Taiwan,” it said.
    China’s Defence Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.
    China views democratic Taiwan as its own territory, and has ramped up military activities in recent months, seeking to assert its sovereignty and express displeasure at Washington’s support for the island.
    The review offered sobering details about the threat Taiwan faces from the world’s largest armed forces.
    It said China was building copies of Taiwanese facilities so it could train to attack them and was conducting landing drills to simulate invading Taiwan.
    China has the ability to partially shut down Taiwan’s key ports and sea routes and cut off sea transport to the island, while its deployment of long-distance missiles is aimed at stopping foreign forces from assisting Taiwan, it said.
    China’s “hostility and threats against us have increased, elevating the risks of an accident and conflict and destroying stability and peace across the Taiwan Strait,” the report said.
    Chinese aircraft, including drones, are flying repeatedly in Taiwan’s air defence identification zone, seeking to wear out Taiwan’s air force, it added.
    China is also spreading “fake news” in Taiwan to try and “damage people’s faith in the country,” the report said.
    Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said earlier this month that China would resolutely deter any separatist activity seeking Taiwan’s independence.
    Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen says Taiwan is already an independent country called the Republic of China, its formal name, and that she will defend its democracy and sovereignty.
    Tsai is overseeing a military modernization programme, including building submarines, upgrading Taiwan’s air force, and developing long-range missiles of its own.
    But its armed forces are dwarfed by China’s which is adding stealth jets, aircraft carriers and other advanced equipment.
    Taiwan is a key source of tension between Beijing and Washington, the island’s main arms supplier and international backer, and was raised in high-level Sino-U.S. talks in Alaska on Thursday.
    U.S. President Joe Biden’s government, which took office on Jan. 20, has moved to reassure Taiwan that its commitment to them is “rock solid,” especially after China stepped up its military activity near the island shortly after Biden’s inauguration.
(Reporting by Yimou Lee and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Susan Fenton)

3/19/2021 Turkey’s Erdogan Says Biden Comments On Putin ‘Unacceptable’
FILE PHOTO: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a joint news conference following talks with
Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia March 5, 2020. Pavel Golovkin/Pool via REUTERS/
    ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that Joe Biden’s comments about Russia’s Vladimir Putin, in which he said he thought he was a killer, were “unacceptable” and unfitting of a U.S. president.
    In a TV interview broadcast on Wednesday, Biden said “I do” when asked if he believed Putin was a killer, prompting U.S.-Russia ties to sink to a new low.    Putin later responded that “he who said it, did it.”
    “Mr. Biden’s statements about Mr. Putin are not fitting of a president, and a president coming out and using such remarks against the president of a country like Russia is truly unacceptable, not something that can be stomached,” Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul.
    “In my opinion, Mr. Putin has done what is necessary by giving a very, very smart and elegant answer,” he added.
    Ties between Ankara and Washington, NATO allies, have been strained over a host of issues in recent years including Turkey’s record on human rights and freedoms, its acquisition of Russian defence systems and policy differences in Syria.
    The United States, which along with other western allies has accused Ankara of straying from NATO and the western bloc, last year imposed sanctions on Turkey over the Russian defences.    Turkey called that a “grave mistake.”
    Erdogan, who had a close relationship with former President Donald Trump, has yet to speak to Biden since he took office in January.
    Turkey and Russia have developed strong strategic relations in recent years despite backing opposing sides in conflicts in Syria and Libya.    Erdogan has frequently met with and held calls with Putin, whom he calls a friend.
(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Frances Kerry)

3/19/2021 Analysis: Move To Ban Kurdish Party Shows Erdogan’s March To Nationalism by Daren Butler
FILE PHOTO: Supporters of Selahattin Demirtas, a jailed former co-leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), wave party flags as they
gather for a press statement outside the Istanbul Justice Palace, the Caglayan Courthouse, in Istanbul, Turkey February 3, 2021. REUTERS/Murad Sezer/
    ISTANBUL (Reuters) – In the early days of peace talks with Kurdish militants in 2013, Turkey’s then-Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan spoke out against ethnic divisions and declared, “we are a government that has trampled on every kind of nationalism.”
    Eight years on, long after the talks collapsed in a surge of violence, analysts say Erdogan, now president, is dependent on his nationalist allies in parliament led by Devlet Bahceli.
    This has limited his political options, fuelled autocratic moves and alienated Kurds across the country, they say.
    Erdogan’s long pivot from boosting Kurdish rights to a hard pact with nationalist Turks was reinforced this week when a top prosecutor moved to ban the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) over militant ties, after months of calls to do so from Bahceli’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
    Cengiz Candar, who wrote a report examining how to end the decades-old insurgency before the peace process, said the timing of the HDP charges, just before an MHP congress, showed Bahceli’s heavier hand in decision-making.
    “It illustrates that Turkish autocracy is getting much more repressive against the Kurds and… even more nationalistic,” the veteran political commentator told Reuters.    “Either Erdogan is their (MHP’s) hostage, or acts in unison with them.”
    “The tunnel into which the government has pushed Turkey is getting even darker.    We don’t see light at the end.”
    Echoing that view, HDP co-leaders Pervin Buldan and Mithat Sancar said in a statement the AKP had “presented a gift to the MHP congress through the judiciary, and the prosecutors have acted upon political instructions.”
    The government says Turkey’s judiciary is independent.
    Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted AK Party (AKP), in power since 2002, itself narrowly survived a closure case in 2008.    He has spoken out in past years against shutting parties, including the ban on another pro-Kurdish party in 2009.
    But since the ceasefire with Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants ended in 2015, Erdogan has taken a harder line.    Thousands of HDP members have been arrested in a crackdown and many of its lawmakers and mayors unseated and jailed.
    Erdogan’s communications director Fahrettin Altun said the HDP had “organic ties” to the PKK.    The HDP, Turkey’s third-largest party, denies PKK links.
    More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict the PKK launched in 1984.    It is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
CHANGED POLITICAL CLIMATE
    In Erdogan’s early years as leader, inspired by hopes of taking Turkey into the EU, he expanded political and cultural rights for Kurds, who make up some 20% of the country’s 84 million population.
    Erdogan has defended his alliance with the MHP, saying it showed personal and political differences could be overcome in the national interest.
    But polls show support has slipped for the AKP and MHP as the government battles the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.    Elections are not scheduled until 2023.
    Gonul Tol, director of the Middle East Institute’s Turkey programme, said Erdogan had sought to divide the opposition by pursuing a policy of criminalising the HDP since 2015.
    The move to shut it down “upped the ante,” she said, after the government was criticised for a failed mission to rescue 13 Turkish captives, soldiers and police in Iraq last month.    Ankara says they were executed by PKK militants there.
    “Erdogan and his nationalist ally will continue to use the Kurdish card to keep their base together,” Tol said.
    “They are hoping to keep the Kurdish voter at home in the next elections by shutting down the HDP, but it might very well backfire (and) mobilize Kurdish voters to support the opposition.”
    Galip Dalay, a fellow at the Bosch Academy, said the timing of the closure case will not play well politically for the AKP.
    “(It) will make the prospect of Erdogan finding new partners more difficult amongst opposition political actors,” he said.
    Dalay said the president’s options appeared limited to his nationalist alliance, which is shedding support, or returning to a parliamentary system that was replaced by a presidential one in 2018, when the AKP and MHP agreed their alliance.
    “This move burns further bridges between the governing AK Party and the Kurds, and contributes to the Kurds’ sense of political alienation,” he said.
(Additional reporting by Jonathan Spicer and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Jonathan Spicer and Gareth Jones)

3/19/2021 G7 Agrees To Back Expansion Of IMF Financial Firepower by David Milliken and Andrea Shalal
FILE PHOTO: A boy walks in front of a graffiti promoting the fight against the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) in the Mathare slums of Nairobi, Kenya, May 22, 2020. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
    LONDON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The world’s seven largest advanced economies have agreed to support the first expansion of the International Monetary Fund’s reserves since 2009, a step meant to help developing countries cope with the coronavirus pandemic, Britain said on Friday.
    Britain – which is chairing the Group of Seven (G7) this year – said G7 finance ministers had agreed to support a “new and sizeable” increase in the volume of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), an internal currency used by the IMF.
    “Today’s milestone agreement among the G7 paves the way for crucial and concerted action to support the world’s low-income countries, ensuring that no country is left behind in the global economic recovery from coronavirus,” British finance minister Rishi Sunak said.
    The news was welcomed by IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva who said the G7 finance ministers’ meeting was “productive.”
    Last year the IMF said it wanted the allocation of SDRs to rise to the equivalent of $500 billion from the $293 billion agreed at the time of the last expansion in 2009, just after the global financial crisis.
    That expansion was opposed by then-U.S. President Donald Trump. Last month U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she would like an expansion but wanted greater transparency about how the SDRs would be used and traded.
    Sources in the United States familiar with the G7 talks said an increase of around $650 billion had been under discussion.
    Even if Yellen wins consensus for an SDR allocation that falls below the threshold requiring approval by the U.S. Congress – about $679 billion based on today’s exchange rates – the U.S. domestic politics are tricky.
    Congressional Republicans have already complained the move would fail to target the countries in most need of the funds but would provide free cash reserves to China, Iran and other countries seen as adversaries by the Trump administration.
    Senior Republican lawmaker French Hill said in a recent letter to Yellen that more SDRs “would deliver unconditional liquidity to some of the most brutal dictatorships in the world.”
    Any expansion of SDRs will also need to be agreed with countries outside the G7, including China, before the IMF’s spring meeting in April.
    Credit ratings agency Fitch said an increase in SDRs to $500 billion would be equivalent to 0.5% of global annual economic output and represent 3.5% of global financial reserves.
    “It will help countries to deal with immediate external financing pressures, but is insufficient to alleviate broader debt service challenges,” Fitch wrote in a note to clients.
    Britain’s finance ministry said extra SDRs would help poorer countries “pay for crucial needs such as vaccines and food imports, and improve the buffers of emerging markets and low-income countries.”
    Anti-poverty groups welcomed the move but said more needed to be done for richer nations to share their unused SDRs with poorer ones.
(Additional reporting by David Lawder in WASHINGTON; Editing by Andy Bruce and Mark Heinrich)

3/24/2021 Engage Russia But Remain “Clear-Eyed” While Doing So, Blinken Tells NATO
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken gives a press briefing at the end of a NATO Foreign Ministers' meeting
at the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 24, 2021. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via Reuters
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The West must engage with Russia to promote mutual interests but remain “very clear-eyed," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday, at the Biden administration’s first cabinet-level meeting with the NATO alliance scorned by Donald Trump.
    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on Russia to resume dialogue through a council that has not met for two years, arguing that even a difficult relationship needed to be managed to reduce risks.
    Blinken, the first top U.S. official to visit NATO since Biden took office in January, charmed allies with a conciliatory tone, after four years when Trump portrayed the Western military alliance as outdated, and castigated members for spending too little on defence.
    Blinken called for a firm, shared position on Russia.
    “Ultimately, I think what we can hope is to have a relationship with Russia that is at least predictable and stable,” he told a press conference in Brussels.
    “Even as we work with Russia to advance our interests and advance alliance interests, we will also work to hold Russia to account for its reckless and adversary actions.”
    Stoltenberg lobbied for a revival of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) that was created in 2002 to facilitate consultation between the Western military alliance and Moscow.    With relations strained, the council last met in July 2019.
    “Dialogue is important. Especially when times are difficult as they are now, then it is important to sit down and discuss also difficult issues,” Stoltenberg told journalists after foreign ministers of the alliance met in Brussels.
    “Even without any improvement in the relationship between NATO allies and Russia, I believe that at least we have to manage a difficult relationship – on transparency, risk reduction and also addressing arms control,” he said, adding it was up to Moscow to accept an invitation by NATO.
    NATO’s Russia policy follows a two-track approach of deterrence and dialogue, though the alliance suspended all practical cooperation with Moscow in April 2014 following Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
    The NRC was revived in 2016 and met regularly until 2019.    But ties between Russia and the West are at post-Cold War lows, strained by issues ranging from Ukraine to allegations of hacking U.S. elections and the conflict in Syria.
    On Tuesday, Blinken had described what he said were Russian attempts to destabilise the West and China’s military rise as threats that required NATO to come together.
(Reporting by Sabine)

3/24/2021 U.S., EU To Cooperate On China Dialogue, Russia Challenge: Statement
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell hold
a joint news conference in Brussels, Belgium, March 24, 2021. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Europe have agreed to relaunch a bilateral dialogue on China and work together to address Russia’s “challenging behavior,” according to a statement Wednesday from U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and the EU high representative for foreign affairs, Josep Borrell.
    “They acknowledged a shared understanding that relations with China are multifaceted, comprising elements of cooperation, competition, and systemic rivalry,” the statement said.    Among other issues the two ministers discussed during their meeting in Brussels were cooperation on climate action, coronavirus vaccines, Iran and Turkey.
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Eric Beech; Editing by Leslie Adler)

3/24/2021 U.S. Says Hopes WHO Report On Virus Origins Is ‘Based On Science’ by Stephanie Nebehay
FILE PHOTO: Peter Ben Embarek, and other members of the World Health Organisation (WHO) team tasked with investigating the origins of
the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), arrive at the Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China February 10, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The United States expects the World Health Organization (WHO) investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus pandemic to require further study, perhaps including a return visit to China, a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday.
    Marc Cassayre, charge d’affaires at the U.S. mission to the U.N. in Geneva, also voiced hope that the WHO-led mission to the central city of Wuhan in Jan.-Feb. had access to the raw data and to the people required to make an independent assessment.
    The lengthy report by the team – composed of international experts and their Chinese counterparts – is expected to be issued this week, the WHO says.
    “We are hopeful that it will be based on science and be a real step forward for the world understanding the origins of the virus so we can better prepare for future pandemics,” Cassayre told a news briefing.
    U.S. officials expected further work would be needed to identify the source of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, he said.    “That would probably require, as we would presume, further studies of the team, maybe travel to China or further discussions.”
    The probe was plagued by delays, concern over access and bickering between Beijing and Washington, which under former U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration accused China of hiding the extent of the initial outbreak.
    Some team members have said China was reluctant to share vital data that could show the virus was circulating months earlier than first recognised in late 2019.
    Ben Embarek, a WHO official leading the mission, said at a press briefing marking the end of the visit that the virus probably originated in bats, although it was not certain how it reached humans.    He also effectively ruled out a lab leak.
    WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus later said that “all hypotheses remain open” and pledged full transparency.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Hugh)

3/24/2024 U.S. Won’t Force NATO Allies Into ‘Us Or Them’ Choice On China by Robin Emmott
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken bumps elbows with Netherland's Foreign Minister Stef Blok as they take part in
a North Atlantic Council (NAC) at foreign ministers level, at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium March 23, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman/Pool
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The United States will not force any NATO ally to choose sides between Washington and Beijing, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday, although he warned that the West needed to show authoritarian states that democracy was superior.
    European allies France and Germany are looking for a strategic balance in relations with Beijing and Washington that ensures the European Union is not so closely allied with one of the world’s two big powers that it alienates the other.
    “The United States won’t force allies into an ‘us-or-them’ choice with China,” Blinken, on his maiden voyage to Europe as Washington’s top diplomat, said at the NATO headquarters in Brussels.
    The European Union, led by France, wants independence from the United States, its ally and protector for over seven decades.    Spain and the Netherlands urged the bloc to keep its economy open while seeking “strategic autonomy
    “Countries can work with China where possible,” Blinken said.    He noted that climate change was an area where cooperation was necessary with a country of 1.34 billion people that already emits a quarter of the world’s carbon dioxide, more than the United States, but is also an investor in renewable energy.
    In his first trip to the EU headquarters, Blinken also urged the bloc to help stand up for liberal values and human rights, in a stark shift from four years under former U.S. President Donald Trump, who shunned the EU and promoted Britain’s departure from the club of 27 states.
    “There is a fundamental debate under way about … whether democracy or autocracy offers the best path forward.    I think it is up to us to come together and show the world that democracy can deliver for our people,” Blinken said.
    As the United States and China vie for supremacy in areas from electric cars to biomedicine, Blinken also accused Beijing of undermining the international trading order that the United States and its allies built after World War Two.
    “They are actively working to undercut the rules of the international system and the values we and our allies share,” Blinken said of China, standing by the 30 flags of the NATO alliance.    “If we work together to make real our positive vision for the international order … we’re confident that we can outcompete China on any playing field,” he said.
    China’s military ambitions were also growing, he said.
SANCTIONS
    China denies any wrongdoing and says it respects global rules upheld by international institutions such as the World Trade Organisation and the International Monetary Fund.
    Prior to the speech, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Twitter: “The US, UK and Canada together account for only 5.7% of the world’s population.    Even if EU is added, that will be about 11%.    They cannot represent the international community.”
    Blinken, speaking to reporters, said in reference to gross domestic product: “When we are actually working with our European partners, Asian partners and others, we might be 40, 50 or 60% of world GDP.    That’s a lot harder for Beijing to ignore.”
    The United States, the EU, Britain and Canada imposed sanctions on Chinese officials on Monday accusing them of rights abuses in Xinjiang, in the first such coordinated Western action against Beijing under new President Joe Biden.    Beijing hit back with broader punitive measures against the EU.
    China’s decision to sanction European lawmakers, diplomats and institutes on Monday in response to Western sanctions appeared to galvanise opposition to Beijing at NATO and the EU, with several EU governments summoning Chinese envoys this week.
    Italy said in a statement after meeting with the Chinese ambassador to Rome that the sanctions were “unacceptable.”
(Additional reporting by Sabine Siebold in Berlin and Crispian Balmer in Rome; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Macfie)

[WELL IT DID NOT TAKE LONG BEFORE THE GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT WHO HAS GAINED CONTROL OF THE UNITED STATES AGAIN WHICH IS THE SAME THAT TOOK OVER DURING THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION FOR 8 YEARS AND USED THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY TO DO SURVEILLANCE ON OUR SOCIETY AND THE DEEP STATE AND SWAMP ARE ALSO BACK TO ENCOURAGE IT SO AS YOU CAN SEE IN THE BELOW ARTICLE IT IS HELL BENT TO FIND ANYONE WHO WILL GO AGAINST THIS NEW TAKEOVER AND WILL TRY TO SQUASH IT SO BE PREPARED IF YOU GO AGAINST IT BECAUSE IT WILL BE MORE DANGEROUS NOW KNOWING THAT IT COULD OCCUR AGAIN THAT THEY COULD LOSE IT AGAIN IN 2022 AND 2024 AND IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION IS ALREADY IMPLEMENTING CHANGES TO IMPLEMENT PROTECTIONS FOR THAT END.].
3/25/2021 Report: Intelligence Community Shift From External To Internal ‘Threats’ Has Critics Worried by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON – MARCH 09: The seal of the F.B.I. hung in the Flag Room at the bureau’s headquaters
March 9, 2007 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Critics are sounding the alarm over the U.S. Intelligence Community’s increasing involvement in domestic politics.
    In mid-March, a declassified report produced by the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, claimed “domestic violence extremism poses a heightened threat in 2021.”
    According to the Intelligence Community, domestic extremists “motivated by a range of ideologies” pose an elevated threat to the homeland.    The attorney general, FBI, CIA and other agencies also contributed to the report.
The seal of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is shown at CIA Headquarters in
Langley, Virginia, April 13, 2016. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
    The report listed “domestic violent extremists” as those who resist the government in the belief that it is purposely exceeding its constitutional authority, or who oppose federal and state laws, particularly those related to firearms ownership.
    It also identified extremists as those who oppose governing institutions which are perceived as harmful to society.    Anyone believed to be an extremist could be subjected to surveillance, monitoring and other restrictions.
    Critics, however, pointed out that while the government should investigate and prevent violence, it’s important to recognize the limits the Intel Community has to involve itself in domestic law enforcement and domestic political activity.
    Analysts said the Intelligence Community’s involvement in citizens’ domestic activity is “one of the most dangerous breaches of civil liberties the U.S. government can perpetrate.”
    Intelligence overreach into the life of a private citizen was highlighted in 2016, when the FBI launched surveillance against former Trump aide Carter Page.
    At the same time, the CIA investigated the so-called “Russia-gate” affair, with an apparent intent to alter the outcome of the election.     President Trump in 2017 tweeted the Intelligence Community was building a case against him.    This was referenced by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who said opposing the Intelligence Community would be a mistake.
NEW YORK, NY – MAY 15: U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) spoke at a press conference outside
New York Penn Station on May 15, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
    “You take on the Intelligence Community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer said.    “So, even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”
    In 2018, the House Intelligence Committee raised questions about the surveillance against Page, saying the agency was biased against President Trump.    Then, in 2020, the Justice Department Inspector General found the FBI disregarded its own procedures when it targeted Page.
    In light of the report, Republicans in the House and Senate, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), called on the IG to testify.
WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 19: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) is shown on Capitol Hill November 19, 2019
in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jacquelyn Martin – Pool/Getty Images)
    “They had a random sample, and every single one they looked at had significant errors,” Jordan said.    “This management advisory letter that they sent out to the     Justice Department is basically like pulling the fire alarm with this whole FISA process, and I think what it really underscores is, why won’t Jerry Nadler, why won’t Chairwoman Maloney over on the Oversight Committee, why won’t they bring in Mr. Horowitz for an investigation.”
    Recently, the Biden administration and top Democrats have been pushing to have war on terror law applied for domestic purposes, with Homeland Security shifting from outside threats to so-called “domestic extremists.”
    Critics have likened the shifting focus from external to internal threats to the Soviet KGB-style of state security.
    Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2020 said he could see working with Joe Biden and his administration, since they shared common ground in Soviet ideologies.
[IF YOU HAVE READ MY FISA - UNDER SURVEILLANCE FILES THAT I HAVE RELEASED FOR ALL THE WORLD COULD SEE SINCE 2017 WHAT THEY WERE DOING TO US AND I BELIEVED THAT THOSE WHO HAVE COMMITTED CRIMES WOULD HAVE BEEN PUNISHED BY NOW BUT THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN BECAUSE AT PRESENT EVERYTHING THAT THEY CAN DO WILL HAPPEN TO COVER IT UP AND USE THEIR POWER TO ATTACK THOSE WHO CONTINUE TO PROMOTE IT SO REMEMBER THAT I SAID THIS WHEN IT HAPPENS TO YOU AND IF MY WEBSITE GETS SHUT DOWN THEN YOU KNOW IT HAS HAPPENED TO ME OR I AM DEAD.].

3/26/2021 Men Forced To Rape Family Members In Ethiopia’s Tigray, U.N. Says by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: The United Nations logo is seen on a window in an empty hallway at United Nations headquarters during the 75th annual U.N. General Assembly
high-level debate, which is being held mostly virtually due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in New York, U.S., September 21, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar
    NEW YORK (Reuters) -More than 500 rape cases have been reported to five clinics in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, the United Nations said on Thursday, warning that the actual numbers were likely to be much higher due to stigma and a lack of health services.
    “Women say they have been raped by armed actors, they also told stories of gang rape, rape in front of family members and men being forced to rape their own family members under the threat of violence,” Wafaa Said, deputy U.N. aid coordinator in Ethiopia, said in a briefing to U.N. member states in New York.
    She said at least 516 rape cases had been reported by five medical facilities in Mekelle, Adigrat, Wukro, Shire and Axum.
    “Given the fact that most health facilities are not functioning and also the stigma associated with rape, it is projected that actual numbers are much higher,” she added.
    A dozen top U.N. officials called on Monday for a stop to indiscriminate and targeted attacks against civilians in Tigray, particularly calling out reports of rape and “other horrific forms of sexual violence.”
    Fighting in Tigray broke out in November between government troops and the region’s former ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.    Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has also said troops from neighboring Eritrea were in the region.
    The Ethiopian government takes the allegations of sexual violence “very seriously” and has deployed a fact-finding mission, Ethiopia’s U.N. ambassador, Taye Atskeselassie Amde, told Reuters.
    “Ethiopia has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual crimes and anyone found responsible for the despicable acts will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.
    Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh Mohammed and Eritrea’s information minister, Yemane Gebremeskel, did not respond to calls and messages requesting comment on the U.N. remarks on Thursday.
    The violence in Tigray has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands from their homes in the mountainous region of about 5 million.
    “Most of the internally displaced people left with nothing more than the clothes they were wearing.    They are generally traumatized and tell stories of the difficult journey they took in search of safety.    Some reported walking for two weeks and some as far as 500 km,” Said said on Thursday.
    “Of the people who traveled with them, some were reportedly killed, particularly youngsters, people were reportedly beaten, women were subject to rape, some were pregnant and delivered on the way losing their babies,” she said.
    The United Nations has raised concerns about atrocities, while U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has described acts carried out as ethnic cleansing. Ethiopia rejected Blinken’s allegation.
    This week, Abiy acknowledged for the first time that atrocities such as rape had been committed and said any soldiers committing crimes would be punished.
    Dozens of witnesses in Tigray have told Reuters that Eritrean soldiers routinely killed civilians, gang-raped and tortured women and looted households and crops.     Eritrea has not responded to queries on reports of atrocities.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Additional reporting by Addis Ababa newsroom; Editing by David Gregorio and Peter Cooney)

3/29/2021 WHO Team Did Not Investigate China’s Cover-Up Of COVID-19 Data by OAN Newsroom
Peter Daszak (R), Vladimir G. Dedkov ( L) and other members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the origins of the Covid-19 coronavirus, leave the Hubei Center
for animal disease control and prevention in Wuhan, China’s central Hubei province on February 2, 2021. (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)
    The long-awaited WHO report on the origins of COVID-19 failed to probe the Chinese authorities who possibly covered up information related to the early stages of the pandemic.    In a leaked copy of the report, which was expected to be released Tuesday, it stated the origins of the outbreak were “inconclusive.”
    It also characterized the theory that said the virus emerged from a lab in Wuhan as “extremely unlikely” — a conclusion that was met with criticism over a potential conflict of interest.    The only American researcher on the team, EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak, admitted they did not investigate China’s lack of transparency.
    “But weren’t the Chinese engaged in a cover-up?” questioned ’60 Minutes’ Correspondent Lesley Stahl during an interview.    “They destroyed evidence?    They punished scientists who were trying to give evidence on this very question of the origin?
    “Well, that wasn’t our task, to find out if China had covered up the origin issue,” claimed Peter Daszak.
    Meanwhile, some scientists have questioned Daszak’s involvement in the probe.    They pointed to his involvement in the decision to approve NIH grants, totaling $598,000 dollars to the Wuhan Institute of Virology between 2014 and 2020.

3/30/2021 WSJ: Biden Must Drop Illusions About China, Iran by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a virtual meeting with UN Secretary-General
Antonio Guterres from the State Department in Washington, on Monday, March 29, 2021. (Leah Millis/Pool via AP)
    U.S. foreign policy experts are worried a new multi-billion dollar deal between Iran and China could advance anti-American sentiment.
    On Monday, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board said, “the world is becoming more dangerous despite Joe Biden’s hopes.”    Biden has claimed he favors a “rule-based global order,” which the journal said requires the support of all U.S. allies.
    Last week, however, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the administration has no plans to round up an international policy to bring wayward nations in line.    He asserted that the U.S. won’t force its allies in an “us or them” choice with China.
    “There is no question that Beijing’s course of behavior threatens our collective security and prosperity, and that it is actively working to undercut the rules of the international system and the values we and our allies share,” he stated.    “But that doesn’t mean that countries can’t work with China where possible…for example, on challenges like climate change and health security.”
    The $400 billion “strategic partnership” the two countries signed over the weekend will allow China to gain a foothold in the Middle East and an ongoing supply of cheap Iranian oil.

3/31/2021 U.S., Other Nations Question Validity Of WHO Report On Origins Of Coronavirus In China by OAN Newsroom
TOPSHOT – A photo taken in the late hours of May 29, 2020 shows a sign of the World Health Organization (WHO)
at their headquarters in Geneva. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
    A joint report by the World Health Organization and the Chinese government largely dismissed the theory that the novel coronavirus somehow originated in a Wuhan lab.
    The long awaited results of the investigation by 17 WHO scientists and 17 Chinese experts was released on Tuesday.    The report claimed the virus “most likely” reached humans from bats, either directly or indirectly through other small animals. It said while it presents a comprehensive review of the available data, it has “not yet found the source of the virus.”
    The report shot down a long-held theory that the virus somehow leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.    On Wednesday, Chinese researchers said the report had been delayed to guarantee its quality.
    The report has come under fire by experts and several governments in the world, who accused the Chinese government of being less than transparent when it came to granting access to much needed data.
    Reports last week suggested the WHO has an agreement with the Chinese government to grant the communist nation “veto power over communications concerning COVID.”    Details of the report were also revealed two weeks ago by Chinese state media, after the government received the report in advance.
    Reports detailed the communist government’s efforts in controlling the investigators’ visit to Wuhan.
    At the beginning of the year, U.S. government intelligence supported the lab leak theory, after several researchers at the Wuhan Institute fell ill in the fall of 2019.    The lead WHO researcher himself said while the lab leak was unlikely, it wasn’t off the table.
    “We felt that that was the least likely or most unlikely scenario, it’s still possible, it’s still on the table, it really depends on what sort of evidence we have to take that further,” WHO researcher Dominic Dwyer said.    “So we haven’t dismissed it. It’s really just a matter of getting the evidence to show that such a leak might happen.    These things, fortunately, are pretty rare.”
    In light of the report, the U.S. and 13 other nations issued a statement on Tuesday, voicing their concerns about the report.    These included nations such as Britain, Canada, Israel, Japan and South Korea.
    The statement said scientific missions should be able to do their work under conditions that produce independent and objective recommendations and findings.
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier this week noted his concerns over the methodology and process that went into writing the report, as well as the fact that Beijing apparently helped write it.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke at the State Department in Washington, Tuesday, March 30, 2021. (Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP)
    Even the Biden White House came down on the findings in the report Tuesday, saying the world deserves greater transparency.
    “It lacks crucial data, information, it lacks access, it lacks transparency.    It certainly, we don’t believe that, in our review to date, that it meets the moment, it meets the impact that this pandemic has had on the global community,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated.    “That’s why we also have called for additional forward looking steps.”
    An opinion piece in the Washington Post this week called the report “fatally flawed,” saying the investigation only puts the WHO further at odds with the U.S. government.
    The WHO Director-General on Tuesday said the idea that the virus leaked from a lab should be followed up on, after initially saying investigators faced an uphill battle with the Chinese government during their four week mission.

4/2/2021 Biden Admin. Lifts Trump-Era Sanctions On ICC Officials by OAN Newsroom
US President Joe Biden, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, holds his first cabinet meeting
in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on April 1, 2021. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
    On Friday, Joe Biden announced the decision to lift sanctions on officials from the International Court of Justice.    The move removed sanctions on ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and took a top deputy’s name off the Specially Designated Nationals list.
Gambian war crimes lawyer Fatou Bensouda takes the oath during a swearing-in ceremony as the International Criminal Court’s
new chief prosecutor in The Hague, on June 15, 2012. (Photo by BAS CZERWINSKI/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)
    Visa restrictions on certain ICC personnel were also rescinded.    The sanctions were put in place by the Trump administration over the ICC’s probe into U.S. Armed Forces in Afghanistan as well as Israeli troops in the Palestinian Authority.
    Critics have said the sanctions were justified as the U.S. has never ratified the treaty creating the court, which therefore has no jurisdiction to investigate U.S. nationals.
[THIS IS THE COURT THAT TRUMP STOPPED SO NOW THIS ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT AGENCY WHO WILL TRY TO INTERFERE IN THE DEAL OF CENTURY TO CHANGE THE ISRAELI AND PALESTINIAN ISSUE AND ALL SHOULD BE AWARE OF ITS INFLUENCE IN THE COMING OF THE DANIEL 9:27 AND SATAN IS LAUGHING AS HE HAS A U.S. PRESIDENT IMPLEMENTING HIS DEMANDS WHO IS HELL BENT TO CHANGE EVERYTHING WITHOUT FORESIGHT OF HIS ACTIONS AND HIS COHORTS.].

4/3/2021 U.S. To Negotiate Nuclear Deal With Iran In Vienna by OAN Newsroom
BUSHEHR, IRAN – AUGUST 21: This handout image supplied by the IIPA (Iran International Photo Agency) shows a view of the reactor building at the
Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant as the first fuel is loaded, on August 21, 2010 in Bushehr, southern Iran. (Photo by IIPA via Getty Images)
    The Biden administration and Iranian officials said they will begin negotiations with intermediaries next week to try to get both countries in compliance with an agreement that will limit Iran’s nuclear program.
    State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the negotiations are scheduled for Tuesday in Vienna.
Us State Department spokesman Ned Price spoke during a news conference at the State Department
in Washington, DC on February 16, 2021. (Photo by ANDREW HARNIK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
    “It’s a positive step, especially if it moves the ball forward on that mutual return to compliance, we’ve talked about for a number of weeks now,” Price stated.
    However, Price said the administration does not anticipate an immediate agreement since tough discussions lie ahead.
    One of the major obstacles in coming to an arrangement is Iran’s demand that the U.S. lift sanctions first, which has threatened to be a foreign policy setback for Biden.
    The impending talks are coming after the European Union helped negotiate a virtual meeting of top officials from Britain, China, Russia and Iran, all countries that remained in the agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
    “This is just the first step.    It’s going to be a difficult path because of how much time has gone by and how much mutual distrust there is,” U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley said.    “But our goal is to discuss indirectly with our European and other partners, who will in turn discuss with Iran to see whether we could define those steps that both sides are going to have to take if we’re serious about coming back into compliance with the deal.”
    GOP lawmakers have pushed the Biden administration to increase talks to encompass other complaints against Iran.    These include it’s crucial support to armed groups in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and Syria, as well as it’s detention of American citizens.    The administration pledged to push Iran on those matters, however representatives from the State Department declined to say when they will address those conflicts.

4/5/2021 Iran Rejects U.S. Talks, Pushes Biden To Lift Sanctions by OAN Newsroom
    As U.S. officials head to Vienna to engage in talks with Iran, it appears one topic is already off limits.
    In a statement Sunday, Deputy Iranian Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said there will be no direct or indirect talks with the U.S. on the country’s nuclear program throughout the week.    The Iranian diplomat reiterated Joe Biden has to lift all sanctions on Iran and pay compensation before any talks could begin.
    “We are negotiating with the Joint Commission, meaning the 4+1 countries, we will relay to them our demand and condition for returning to the nuclear deal,” Araghchi stated.    “Our demand is that America must first resume complying with its entire commitments.”
    Last Friday, both countries agreed to send delegates to Vienna to discuss possible solutions to mutual tensions with U.S. officials saying they believed the focus of the discussion would be the JCPOA and Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
This combined photo released by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, shows Iranian diplomats attending a virtual talk on nuclear deal
with representatives of world powers, in Tehran, Iran, Friday, April 2, 2021. (Iranian Foreign Ministry via AP)
    “This is just the first step…its going to be a difficult path because of how much time has gone by and how much mutual distrust there is, but our goal is to discuss indirectly with our European and other partners who will discuss with Iran to see whether we could define those steps that both sides are gonna have to take,” explained Robert Malley, U.S. Special Envoy for Iran.    “If were serious about coming back into compliance with the deal.”
    However, Iran’s pull-back appears to demand a full U.S. capitulation and has reignited claims of the nation meddled in the 2020 election to get Democrats in office so that Trump-era sanctions, which have crippled their economy, could be lifted.
    The talks are scheduled to begin Tuesday.

4/6/2021 Ukraine Calls For Path Into NATO After Russia Masses Troops by Pavel Polityuk and Vladimir Soldatkin
FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks during a joint news conference with European
Council President Charles Michel in Kyiv, Ukraine March 3, 2021. Sergey Dolzhenko/Pool via REUTERS
    KYIV (Reuters) -President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called on NATO on Tuesday to lay out a path for Ukraine to join the Western military alliance, after days in which     Russia has massed troops near the conflict-hit Donbass region.
    Zelenskiy’s comments drew an immediate rebuke from Moscow, which said Kyiv’s approach to NATO could further inflame the situation in Donbass, where violence has increased in recent days.
    The Pentagon, perhaps due to the sensitivities, flatly declined a request to comment on Zelenskiy’s request at a news briefing.
    Russian-backed separatists have fought since 2014 against Ukrainian forces in the Donbass, a conflict that Kyiv says has killed 14,000 people.
Kyiv reported two more soldiers killed on Tuesday and, in a separate statement, Zelenskiy said 24 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed since the start of the year.
    “NATO is the only way to end the war in Donbass,” Zelenskiy told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a phone call, according to a statement from Zelenskiy’s office.    A Membership Action Plan laying out Ukraine’s entry path into the alliance “will be a real signal for Russia,” he said.
    He also called for NATO members to strengthen their military presence in the Black Sea region.
    Stoltenberg in a tweet expressed “serious concern about Russia’s military activities in and around Ukraine & ongoing ceasefire violations.”
    Ukraine has launched a diplomatic offensive to shore up support from Western countries and NATO in its standoff with Russia over Donbass, sounding the alarm since late March over the build-up of Russian troops.    Russia says the troop movements are defensive and that NATO involvement would inflame the situation.
    The standoff has also pushed Ukrainian sovereign bonds to their lowest level since November.
KREMLIN SAYS RHETORIC COULD INFLAME
    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said those living in eastern Ukraine would not accept NATO membership, and that rhetoric could further destabilise the Donbass region.
    “So far we’re not seeing an intention by the Ukrainian side to somehow calm down and move away from belligerent topics,” he said.
    Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking during a visit to India, said Russia was worried by statements coming out of Kyiv, and was in touch with European countries about them.
    The Donbass conflict erupted in the months after Russian forces seized Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014.    Ukraine and Western countries says Donbass separatists have been armed, led, funded and aided by Russians, including active Russian troops.    Moscow has denied interfering. While a ceasefire halted full-scale warfare in 2015, sporadic deadly fighting never ceased.
    Ukraine also said on Tuesday it wanted to move ongoing peace talks away from the Belarusian capital Minsk, saying Belarus was too much under the influence of Russia.
    “We don’t know where (the talks) could be relocated.    This is the subject of discussion,” Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Oleksiy Reznikov told Reuters.
(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk and Natalia Zinets)

4/6/2021 White House Says Ukraine Has Long Aspired To Join NATO
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a briefing at the White House
in Washington, U.S., April 6, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday that Ukraine has long aspired to join NATO as a member and that the Biden administration has been discussing that aspiration with the country.
    “We are strong supporters of them, we are engaged with them… but that is a decision for NATO to make,” Psaki said.
    President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called on NATO on Tuesday to lay out a path for Ukraine to join the alliance, after Russia has massed troops near the conflict-hit Donbass region.

4/6/2021 World Powers, Iran, U.S. Launch Indirect Talks To Revive Nuclear Deal by Francois Murphy, Parisa Hafezi and John Irish
European External Action Service (EEAS) Deputy Secretary General Enrique Mora and Iranian Deputy at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Abbas Araghchi
wait for the start of a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission in Vienna, Austria April 6, 2021. EU Delegation in Vienna/Handout via REUTERS
    VIENNA (Reuters) -European intermediaries began shuttling between Iranian and U.S. officials in Vienna on Tuesday as they sought to bring both countries back into full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal that Washington abandoned three years ago.
    Iran has steadily overstepped the accord’s limits on its nuclear programme in response to the United States’ withdrawal from the accord under then-President Donald Trump in 2018 and its reimposition of sanctions that have crippled the Islamic Republic’s economy.
    While Tehran has repeatedly rebuffed “direct and indirect negotiations” with its old foe, Washington said on Monday it expected the discussions to be difficult.    Neither side expected any early breakthrough.
    Even without face-to-face talks, however, the presence of both Iran and the United States in the same location marks a step forward.
    “We are confident that we are on the right track, and if America’s will, seriousness and honesty is proven, it could be a good sign for a better future for this agreement,” Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei told reporters.
    The remaining parties to the deal briefly met at a Viennese hotel for preparatory talks in the Austrian capital, where the pact was originally reached in 2015.
    Russia’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mikhail Ulyanov, said after the meeting that the parties had tasked two expert-level groups on sanctions-lifting and nuclear issues to identify concrete measures to move forward.
    The experts were set to begin technical work later on Tuesday with the aim of marrying lists of sanctions that the United States could lift with nuclear obligations Iran should meet.
    “The restoration of #JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or nuclear deal) will not happen immediately.    It will take some time. How long?    Nobody knows.    The most important thing after today’s meeting of the Joint Commission is that practical work towards achieving this goal has started,” Ulyanov tweeted.
INTERMEDIARIES
    Officials from Britain, France and Germany will act as intermediaries between Iran and the United States, shuttling between both delegations.    Russia and China, also part of the accord, are present as well.
    The U.S. delegation, headed by special envoy Rob Malley and sanctions expert Richard Nephew, are based in a nearby hotel.
    “This is going to involve discussions about identifying the steps that the U.S. has to take and identifying the steps that Iran is going to have to take,” Malley told NPR radio on Tuesday morning.
    President Joe Biden’s administration wants to revive the accord but says this requires negotiations.    Tehran has dismissed any direct engagement for now in talks with Washington.
    Under the 2015 accord, U.S. and other economic sanctions on Tehran were removed in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme to make it harder to develop a nuclear weapon.    Tehran has long denied it is enriching uranium for any other purpose than civilian nuclear energy.
CHALLENGES
    Highlighting the difficulties of getting a breakthrough, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Iran’s envoy to the United Nations and a former nuclear negotiator, put the onus on Washington.
    “The US has so far failed to honor @POTUS campaign promise to rejoin the JCPOA. So this opportunity shouldn’t be wasted,” he said on Twitter.    “If US lifts all sanctions, Iran will then cease all remedial measures.”
    Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, has opposed any gradual easing of sanctions.
    Diplomats said the talks could continue for several days to resolve some of the less contentious issues before resuming in several rounds over the coming weeks.
    The objective is some form of an accord ahead of June’s Iranian presidential election, an EU official said, although Iranian and U.S. officials have said there is no rush.
    The Biden administration has also said it wants to build a “longer and stronger agreement” that would deal with other issues, including Iran’s long-term nuclear programme, its development of ballistic missiles, and its support for proxy forces across the Middle East.
    “But we’re much better off talking about all of that if we could at least put the current nuclear issue to the side and not have to worry every day about what the latest Iranian announcement will be,” Malley told NPR.
    Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, dismissed that option on Twitter.
    “Regardless of whether Europe has the will or ability to persuade #USA to lift all sanctions at once & Washington’s return to its commitments, there will be no possibility for Iran entering talks in the new fields, more than JCPOA, under any circumstances.”
(Writing by Parisa Hafezi and John Irish Editing by Giles Elgood and Mark Heinrich)

4/6/2021 WHO Does Not Back Vaccination Passports For Now – Spokeswoman by Reuters Staff
FILE PHOTO: Passengers check-in at airline counters at the Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla International
Airport in Guadalajara, Mexico December 9, 2020. REUTERS/Fernando Carranza/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization does not back requiring vaccination passports for travel due to uncertainty over whether inoculation prevents transmission of the virus, as well as equity concerns, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday.
    “We as WHO are saying at this stage we would not like to see the vaccination passport as a requirement for entry or exit because we are not certain at this stage that the vaccine prevents transmission,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said.
    “There are all those other questions, apart from the question of discrimination against the people who are not able to have the vaccine for one reason or another,” she told a U.N. news briefing.
    The WHO now expects to review China’s COVID-19 vaccines Sinopharm and Sinovac for possible emergency use listing around the end of April, Harris said.
    “It’s not coming as quickly as we had hoped because we need more data,” she said, declining to provide more information, citing confidentiality.
    WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus appealed last month to countries with excess vaccine supplies to donate 10 million doses urgently to the COVAX facility which it runs with the GAVI vaccine alliance.    Export restrictions by India left the vaccine-sharing programme short of supplies of AstraZeneca’s vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India.
    Harris said she had no update on any countries stepping forward, adding: “We are very much looking for more vaccine.”

4/7/2021 U.S. Could Lift Iran Sanctions, Begin Nuclear Deal Discussions by OAN Newsroom
US State Department spokesman Ned Price speaks during a press briefing at the
State Department in Washington, DC. (Photo by CAROLYN KASTER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
    New talks between Iran and the Biden administration could result in the lifting of sanctions.    On Wednesday, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said the U.S. was open to direct negotiations with Iran as well as open to diplomacy.
    The two countries have been speaking indirectly about future relations.
    President Trump withdrew the U.S. from Iran’s Nuclear Deal back in 2018.    He claimed the country refused to take the deal seriously.    However, Price said the Biden administration was willing to bet on Iran’s compliance in exchange for sanctions relief.
    “We are prepared to take the steps necessary to return to compliance with the JCPOA, including by lifting sanctions that are inconsistent with the JCPOA,” Price stated.
    Price gave little detail about how the U.S. would get Iran to comply.    Indirect talks with Iran were expected to continue.

4/8/2021 Scientists Call For New Probe Into COVID-19 Origins – With Or Without China
FILE PHOTO: Peter Ben Embarek, a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) team tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19), attends the WHO-China joint study news conference at a hotel in Wuhan, Hubei province, China February 9, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo
    SHANGHAI (Reuters) -A joint China-World Health Organization (WHO) study into COVID-19 has provided no credible answers about how the pandemic began, and more rigorous investigations are required – with or without Beijing’s involvement, a group of international scientists and researchers said on Wednesday.
    The joint study, released last week, said the likeliest transmission route for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, involved bats and other wildlife.    It all but ruled out the possibility it had leaked from a laboratory.
    In an open letter, 24 scientists and researchers from Europe, the United States, Australia and Japan said the study was tainted by politics.
    “Their starting point was, let’s have as much compromise as is required to get some minimal cooperation from China,” said Jamie Metzl, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank, who led the drafting process for the letter.
    The study’s conclusions were based on unpublished Chinese research, while critical records and biological samples “remain inaccessible,” the letter said.
    Claims by WHO Director General Tedros Adhanon Ghebreyesus that China has withheld data have been rejected by Liang Wannian, China’s senior COVID-19 expert. Liang also appeared to rule out any further joint investigations in China.
    Metzl said the world might have to “revert to Plan B” and conduct further investigations without China’s involvement.
    China has rejected allegations that SARS-CoV-2 leaked from a research laboratory in Wuhan, the city where COVID-19 was first identified.
    The joint China-WHO study said the lab leak theory was “extremely unlikely,” saying there was “no record” that any laboratory had kept SARS-CoV-2-related viruses.    Tedros said more research was required to “reach more robust conclusions.”
    But Metzl said China should disclose information that would allow the lab-leak hypothesis to be disproved.
    “China has databases of what viruses were being held… there are lab notes of the work that was being done,” he said.
    Responding to the letter on Thursday, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said its “purpose was self-evident” and that countries like the United States, not China, were guilty of politicising the inquiry into COVID-19’s origins.
    “They insist on politicising the issue of traceability, damaging and disrupting China’s cooperation with the WHO, discrediting China and publicly challenging the independence and scientific conclusions of scientists,” he said.
(Reporting by David Stanway, Editing by Timothy Heritage and Bernadette Baum)

4/8/2021 Palestinian Refugees Welcome U.S. Decision To Restart Aid by Stephen Farrell
FILE PHOTO: A worker pushes a cart as people wait to receive food supplies at an aid distribution center run by
United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), at Beach refugee camp in Gaza City April 7, 2021. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
    JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Palestinian refugees on Thursday welcomed the U.S. announcement that it will renew humanitarian aid, marking a break with the Trump era.
    President Joe Biden’s administration said on Wednesday that it will provide $235 million to the Palestinians and restart funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which assists 5.7 million registered Palestinian refugees.
    It was the clearest sign yet of Biden’s apparent intent to repair ties with the Palestinians, who boycotted the Trump White House for most of his tenure, accusing him of pro-Israel bias.
    “We are happy,” said Ahmed Odeh in Bethlehem’s Deheisheh refugee camp in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.    “The former American administration tried to stop these funds to the Palestinian people.”
    “Any funding for the refugee camps and the refugees is out of good will and is good for us … people are not working or making money, especially during the pandemic,” said Subhi Allian, 71, outside an UNRWA clinic in Far’a refugee camp near Tubas.
    Most UNRWA-registered refugees are descendants of 700,000 Palestinians who were driven out of their homes or fled fighting in the 1948 war that led to Israel’s creation.
    Many want the right to return to their families’ former lands in pre-1948 Palestine, lands which now lie in Israel.    Israel rejects any such right as a demographic threat to its Jewish majority.
    In a Twitter video late on Wednesday, Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States and the United Nations, voiced “disappointment and objection” about the renewal of funding to the refugee agency without reforming it.
    UNRWA schools regularly use materials that incite against Israel and the twisted definition used by the agency to determine who is a refugee only perpetuates the conflict,” he said.    “It should not exist in its current form.”
    The Biden plan will provide $150 million to UNRWA and agency officials hope it will lead to more donations from the United States and others.
    However, UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini told Reuters that the agency would “still struggle” amid reduced donations from elsewhere and cuts to their overseas development budgets by Australia and Britain.
    Two priorities were COVID-19 and Lebanon, where last week he found residents of the country’s largest Palestinian refugee camp to be more desperate than he had ever known them.
    “When I was in Ein al-Hilweh people were saying … that either ‘we die from COVID or we die from hunger’ or the last choice would be to try to cross the sea to go to Cyprus,” he told Reuters.
    “Basically, they say the situation today is between three different types of death for the people.    That’s how desperate and stressful the situation is.”
(Reporting by Stephen Farrell; Additional reporting by Mohammed Abu Ganeyeh in Bethlehem and Raneen Sawafta in Tubas; Editing by Giles Elgood)
[HERE WE GO AGAIN AS THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION OR GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT ENTITIES WHO ARE REVERSING TRUMPS POLICY WHO STOPPED IT BECAUSE IT WAS NOT BEING USED TO HELP PALESTINIANS IT WAS THE PLO WHO WAS GETTING THE MONEY TO PROMOTE PALESTINIANS TO BE USED TO FIGHT AGAINST ISRAEL AND YOU WILL SEE THAT INCREASE VERY SOON AS THE ANTICHRIST AND ANTI-ISRAEL FACTIONS ARE NOW GAINING CONTROL OF THE ENTIRE WORLD AND EXPANDING FAST TO IMPLEMENT THEIR AGENDA.].

4/8/2021 Italy’s Draghi Accuses ‘Dictator’ Erdogan, Draws Turkey’s Condemnation
FILE PHOTO: Italy's Prime Minister, Mario Draghi speaks during a joint press conference with Italy’s Economy Minister and Italy's Minister
for Labour and Social Policy following a Cabinet meeting in Rome, Italy, March 19, 2021. Alberto Pizzoli/Pool via REUTERS
    ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Thursday accused Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan of humiliating European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen this week and said it is important to be frank with “dictators,” drawing condemnation from Ankara.
    Von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel met Erdogan in Ankara on Tuesday.    The Commission chief was clearly taken aback when the two men sat on the only two chairs prepared, relegating her to an adjacent sofa.
    “I absolutely do not agree with Erdogan’s behavior towards President von der Leyen.    … I think it was not appropriate behavior and I was very sorry for the humiliation von der Leyen had to suffer,” Draghi told reporters.
    “With these, let’s call them what they are – dictators – with whom one nonetheless has to coordinate, one has to be frank when expressing different visions and opinions,” he added.
    The Italian ambassador to Ankara was summoned to the foreign ministry over Draghi’s comments, Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu news agency reported, and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu slammed the remarks.
    “We strongly condemn the appointed Italian Prime Minister Draghi’s unacceptable, populist discourse and his ugly and unrestrained comments about our elected president,” Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter.
    Earlier on Thursday, Cavusoglu said that the seating at the meeting was arranged in line with the bloc’s demands and international protocol and that Turkey was being subject to “unjust accusations.”
(Reporting by Angelo Amante, Gavin Jones and Daren Butler in Istanbul; Editing by Crispian Balmer and Will Dunham)

4/9/2021 Parties To Iran Nuclear Talks See Progress Despite Clash On Sanctions by Francois Murphy and John Irish
FILE PHOTO: The Iranian flag waves in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
headquarters in Vienna, Austria, March 1, 2021. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Photo/File Photo
    VIENNA/PARIS (Reuters) -Talks to bring Iran and the United States fully back into the 2015 nuclear deal are making progress, delegates said on Friday, but Iranian officials indicated disagrement with Washington over which sanctions it must lift.
    The talks, in which European Union officials are shuttling between the remaining parties to the deal and the United States, aim to restore the bargain at the core of the deal – restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of U.S. and other international sanctions.     The United States was the first to renege on that bargain under President Donald Trump, who vehemently opposed the deal and sought to wreck it.    He pulled out, reimposed the sanctions that were lifted, and brought in many more. Iran responded by breaching many of the nuclear restrictions.
    “All Trump sanctions were anti-JCPOA & must be removed—w/o distinction between arbitrary designations,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Twitter, referring to the deal by its full name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
    The United States says it is prepared to lift “sanctions that are inconsistent with the JCPOA.”    While it has declined to elaborate, that appears to exclude sanctions formally unrelated to nuclear issues covered by the deal.
    Whether the statements are opening gambits or more firm positions remains to be seen.    European officials said Iran was bargaining hard at the outset.
    The remaining parties to the accord – Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia – met again in Vienna on Friday after talks formally began on Tuesday and they agreed to keep going, Russian and Chinese envoys said.
    “The #JCPOA participants took stock of the work done by experts over the last three days and noted with satisfaction the initial progress made,” Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s envoy to the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said on Twitter after the meeting formally known as the Joint Commission.
    “The Commission will reconvene next week in order to maintain the positive momentum.”
    The deal’s remaining parties have formed two expert-level working groups whose job is to draw up lists of sanctions that the United States will lift and of nuclear restrictions Iran will implement.    Their work continues between Joint Commission meetings.
    “All parties have narrowed down their differences and we do see the momentum for gradually evolving consensus,” Wang Qun, China’s ambassador to the IAEA, told reporters after the meeting, adding that work would continue next week.
‘IRAN IS THE PACE CAR’
    Iran’s foreign ministry said in a statement diplomats would meet again on Wednesday in Vienna.    Talks are expected to drag on for weeks.
    “Given the technical complexity of the nuclear aspects and legal intricacies of sanctions lifting, it would be very optimistic to think a few weeks,” a senior European diplomatic source said.br>     Some diplomats hope agreement can be reached before Iran’s June 18 presidential election or else talks risk being pushed back until later in the year.
    “Iran is the pace car for progress.    If Tehran decides to push forward swiftly before the June presidential elections, the U.S. will almost certainly be receptive,” Henry Rome, an analyst with the Eurasia Group research firm said in a note.
    “That would require Iran to compromise on its sanctions and sequencing demands. If Tehran is unsatisfied with the US position, or if Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is wary about the political consequences of a diplomatic breakthrough in the midst of a presidential campaign, Tehran will tap the brakes.”     Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last say on all state matters, has opposed any gradual easing of sanctions.
(Additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi and Dubai newsroom, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

4/10/2021 Iran Reveals New Centrifuge, Can Enrich Uranium 50 Times Quicker by OAN Newsroom
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 25: President of Iran Hassan Rouhani addresses the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters on
September 25, 2019 in New York City. World leaders from across the globe are gathered at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly,
amid crises ranging from climate change to possible conflict between Iran and the United States. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    Iran unveiled a new nuclear centrifuge it said would allow the nation to enrich uranium much faster than older equipment.    According to Iranian state television Saturday, the new centrifuge will be able to enrich uranium 50 times faster than the nation’s first centrifuges.
    Iran has begun enriching uranium at up to 20 percent purity, which is nearing weapons-grade levels.    This week, the State Department said the U.S. would be open to negotiations with Iran.
    “Once again, I stress that all our nuclear activities are peaceful and for non-military purposes,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stated.    “And just as the Supreme Leader of Iran has emphasized multiple times, based on Islamic ethics and deep understanding, pursuing a destructive weapon that can be a large threat to a large community is not something Iran is doing.”
    Iran is seeking to have U.S. sanctions lifted, while the Biden administration is looking for the country to return to the terms of the 2015 Nuclear Deal.

4/11/2021 Secy. Of State Vows To Defend Taiwan Against Chinese Invasion by OAN Newsroom
Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivered remarks on March 3, 2021. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
    Joe Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken is vowing military support for Taiwan in case of a Chinese aggression against the island nation.
    “What we’ve seen, and what is of real concern to us, is increasingly aggressive actions by the government in Beijing directed at Taiwan, raising tensions in the Straits,” Blinken stated.
    Blinken said the U.S. would provide assistance to Taiwan to increase its ability to defend itself against a possible Chinese incursion.    However, he didn’t say if the U.S. would confront China directly if such an incursion were to happen.
    “We have a commitment to Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act, a bipartisan commitment that’s existed for many, many years to make sure that Taiwan has the ability to defend itself and to make sure that we’re sustaining peace and security in the western Pacific,” Blinken stated.    “We stand behind those commitments and all I can tell you is, it would be a serious mistake for anyone to try to change the existing status quo by force.”
    Critics noted back in 2014 the Obama administration failed to defend Ukraine, despite having similar commitments under the Budapest Memorandum.
    Taiwanese officials said they’re preparing to repel a Chinese invasion by all means they have.

4/12/2021 Iran: Site’s blackout is ‘nuclear terrorism’ by Jon Gambrell, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Iran on Sunday described a blackout at its underground Natanz atomic facility an act of “nuclear terrorism,” raising regional tensions as world powers and Tehran continue to negotiate over its tattered nuclear deal.
    While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, suspicion fell immediately on Israel, where its media nearly uniformly reported a devastating cyberattack orchestrated by the country caused the blackout.
    If Israel was responsible, it further heightens tensions between the two nations, already engaged in a shadow conflict across the wider Middle East.    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met Sunday with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, has vowed to do everything in his power to stop the nuclear deal.
    Details remained few about what happened early Sunday morning at the facility, which initially was described as a blackout caused by the electrical grid feeding its above-ground workshops and underground enrichment halls.
    Ali Akbar Salehi, the American-educated head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, who once served as the country’s foreign minister, offered what appeared to be the harshest comments of his long career, which included the assassination of nuclear scientists a decade ago.    Iran blames Israel for those killings as well.
    He pledged to “seriously improve” his nation’s nuclear technology while working to lift international sanctions.
    Salehi’s comments to state TV did not explain what happened at the facility, but his words suggested a serious disruption.
    “While condemning this desperate move, the Islamic Republic of Iran emphasizes the need for a confrontation by the international bodies and the (International Atomic Energy Agency) against this nuclear terrorism,” Salehi said.
    The IAEA, the United Nations’ body that monitors Tehran’s atomic program, earlier said it was aware of media reports about the incident at Natanz and had spoken with Iranian officials about it.    The agency did not elaborate.
    However, Natanz has been targeted by sabotage in the past.    The Stuxnet computer virus, discovered in 2010 and widely believed to be a joint U.S.Israeli creation, once disrupted and destroyed Iranian centrifuges at Natanz amid an earlier period of Western fears about Tehran’s program.
    Natanz suffered a mysterious explosion at its advanced centrifuge assembly plant in July that authorities later described as sabotage.    Iran now is rebuilding that facility deep inside a nearby mountain.
    Iran also blamed Israel for the November killing of a scientist who began the country’s military nuclear program decades earlier.
    Multiple Israeli media outlets reported Sunday that an Israeli cyberattack caused the blackout in Natanz. Public broadcaster Kan said the Mossad was behind the attack.    Channel 12 TV cited “experts” as estimating the attack shut down entire sections of the facility.
    While the reports offered no sourcing for their information, Israeli media maintains a close relationship with the country’s military and intelligence agencies.
Centrifuge machines in the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, which lost power Sunday,
in central Iran. ATOMIC ENERGY ORGANIZATION OF IRAN VIA AP, FILE

4/11/2021 Secy. Of State: China Failures Allowed Pandemic To Get Worse by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – JANUARY 19: Antony Blinken spoke during his confirmation hearing to be Secretary
of State on January 19, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Edelman-Pool/Getty Images)
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken put the blame on China for the early spread of the coronavirus.
    During an interview on Sunday, Blinken said China knows it didn’t do what it needed to do in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak.    This included, in real-time, giving access to international experts, sharing information and providing transparency.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – MARCH 10: Secretary of State Antony Blinken testified before the House Committee
on Foreign Affairs on March 10, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Ken Cedeno-Pool/Getty Images)
    Blinken went on to say this failure allowed the outbreak to get out of hand, and there needs to be a guarantee to get to the bottom of what really happened.
    “Well, I think we have to, because we need to do that precisely so we fully understand what happened in order to have the best shot possible in preventing it from happening again,” Blinken stated.    “That’s why we need to get to the bottom of this.”
    He added there also needs to be a global commitment to transparency, which China should play a part of. He has previously voiced concerns about the report issued by China and the World Health Organization into the origins of the pandemic.
[ITS GETTING CLOSE TO BE LIKE THE MOVIE “PLANET OF THE APES” SO NOW AFTER MONTHS OF IGNORING THE TRUTH THAT CHINA RELEASED THIS CORONAVIRUS ON THE WORLD AND THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION, CDC, AND WHO THE KNUCKLEDRAGGERS DENIED THAT IT CAME OUT OF CHINA ALL OF A SUDDEN CHANGED THEIR TUNE I GUESS BECAUSE AMERICANS ARE NOT STUPID NEANDERTHAL’S LIKE THEY THINK THEY ARE.].

4/12/2021 EU Sanctions Elite Iran Commander, Seven Others, Over 2019 Protests by Robin Emmott
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters
in Brussels, Belgium, March 24, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) -The European Union has imposed sanctions on eight Iranian militia commanders and police chiefs, including the head of the elite Revolutionary Guards, over a deadly crackdown in November 2019, the bloc said in its Official Journal on Monday.
    The travel bans and asset freezes are the first EU sanctions on Iran for human rights abuses since 2013, as the bloc had shied away from angering Tehran in the hope of safeguarding a nuclear accord Tehran signed with world powers in 2015.
    Their preparation was first reported by Reuters last month.
    The bloc, which also hit three Iranian prisons with asset freezes, blacklisted Hossein Salami, head of the Revolutionary Guards, the most powerful and heavily armed security force in the Islamic Republic.
    “Hossein Salami took part in the sessions that resulted in the orders to use lethal force to suppress the November 2019 protests.    Hossein Salami therefore bears responsibility for serious human rights violations in Iran,” the EU said.
    The three prisons sanctioned included two in the Tehran area where the EU said those detained after the 2019 protests were deliberately wounded with boiling water and denied medical treatment.
    About 1,500 people were killed during less than two weeks of unrest that started on Nov. 15, 2019, according to a toll provided to Reuters by three Iranian interior ministry officials at the time.    The United Nations said the total was at least 304.
    Iran has called the toll given by sources “fake news.”
    Iran has repeatedly rejected accusations by the West of human rights abuses.
    On March 9, the U.N. special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Javaid Rehman, presented a report saying Tehran used lethal force during the protests and chided it for failing to conduct a proper investigation or failing to hold anyone accountable.
    Other individuals targeted with EU sanctions, which take effect on Monday, include members of Iran’s hardline Basij militia, who are under the command of the Revolutionary Guards, and its head Gholamreza Soleimani.
    The eight Iranians were added to an EU sanctions list for human rights abuses in Iran that was first launched in 2011 and which now numbers 89 people and four entities.    It includes a ban on exports of equipment that could be used for repression.
    Diplomats said the sanctions were not linked to efforts to revive the nuclear deal, which the United States pulled out of but now seeks to re-join.    That deal made it harder for Iran to amass the fissile material needed for a nuclear bomb – a goal it has long denied – in return for sanctions relief.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott, editing by Marine Strauss and Giles Elgood)

4/13/2021 White House: Biden To Withdraw 2.5K U.S. Troops From Afghanistan By Sept. 11 by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Jan. 31, 2020, file photo Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, center, top U.S. commander for the Middle East, makes an unannounced visit
in Kabul, Afghanistan. Without coming right out and saying it, President Joe Biden seems ready to let lapse a May 1 deadline for completing a
withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Orderly withdrawals take time, and Biden is running out of it. (AP Photos/Lolita Baldor, File)
    Joe Biden has planned to withdraw all remaining U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11. Defense officials told news outlets Tuesday that he plans to remove the last 2,500 military personnel from the region.
    The administration will, however, miss President Trump’s deadline to withdraw troops by May 1, which is the 10-year anniversary of the death of Osama Bin Laden.    The new withdrawal date would come on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, which preceded America’s longest running war.
    Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken are expected to brief U.S. NATO allies on the withdrawal during their visit to Brussels this week.
    “My administration strongly supports the diplomatic process that’s underway and to bring an end to this war that is closing out 20 years,” Biden stated.    “We remain committed to ensuring that Afghanistan never again provides a base for terrorist attacks against the United States and our partners and our interest.”
    Biden is expected to make a formal announcement on the troop withdrawal on Wednesday.

4/14/2021 US to exit Afghan war by Sept. 11 by Lolita C. Baldor, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden will withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America that were coordinated from that country, several U.S. officials said Tuesday.
    The decision defies a May 1 deadline for full withdrawal under a peace agreement the Trump administration reached with the Taliban last year, but leaves no room for additional extensions.    A senior administration official called the September date an absolute deadline that won’t be affected by security conditions in the country.
    While Biden’s decision keeps U.S. troops in Afghanistan four months longer than initially planned, it sets a firm end to two decades of war that killed more than 2,200 U.S. troops, wounded 20,000, and cost as much as $1 trillion.    The conflict largely crippled al-Qaida and led to the death of Osama bin Laden, the architect of the Sept. 11 attacks.
    But an American withdrawal also risks many of the gains made in democracy, women’s rights and governance, while ensuring that the Taliban, who provided al-Qaida’s safe haven, remain strong and in control of large swaths of the country.
    Biden hinted for weeks that he would let the May deadline lapse, and as the days went by it became clear that an orderly withdrawal of the roughly 2,500 remaining troops would be difficult and was unlikely.

4/14/2021 Official: Iran to enrich uranium to 60% purity - Blackout at power plant roils diplomatic efforts by Jon Gambrell, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Iran will begin enriching uranium up to 60% purity after an attack on its Natanz nuclear facility, a negotiator said Tuesday, pushing its program to higher levels than ever before though still remaining short of weapons-grade.
    The announcement marks a significant escalation after the sabotage that damaged centrifuges, suspected of having been carried out by Israel – and could inspire a further response from Israel amid a long-running shadow war between the nations.
    Earlier, Iran’s foreign minister had warned that the weekend assault at Natanz could hurt ongoing negotiations over its tattered atomic deal with world powers. Those talks are aimed at finding a way for the United States to reenter the agreement, the goal of which is to limit Iran’s uranium enrichment in exchange for relief on sanctions.
    Nuclear negotiator Abbas Araghchi, in Vienna to begin informal talks Tuesday night, made a point to make his announcement in English.
    “We believe this round of negotiations is the time for the U.S. to present a list, and I hope that I can go back to Tehran with the list of sanctions which should be lifted,” Araghchi told Iranian state television’s English-language arm Press TV.
    He said authorities would add another 1,000 centrifuges to Natanz as well.
    “The damaged centrifuges in Natanz ... would be replaced with more advanced centrifuges and more capable centrifuges,” he said.    “We insist on what we have asked.    All sanctions should be lifted, we verify, and then we go back to full compliance if we are satisfied with the verification process.”
    Iran had been enriching up to 20%, and even that is a short technical step to weapons-grade levels of 90%.
    Meanwhile on Tuesday, Israeli broadcaster Channel 12 reported an Israeliowned ship had been attacked in the Gulf of Oman off the coast of the United Arab     Emirates near the port city of Fujairah.    The broadcaster said Israeli security officials believed it was an Iranian attack, but did not elaborate.    Iranian state media had been reporting a similar incident for hours.    U.S. military officials declined to immediately comment, and Emirati officials did not acknowledge any incident there.
    Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful, though the West and the International Atomic Energy Agency say Tehran had an organized military nuclear program up until the end of 2003.    However, the nuclear deal prevents it from having enough of a uranium stockpile to be able to pursue a nuclear weapon.
    The talks in Vienna are aimed at reviving America’s role in that agreement, which former President Donald Trump abandoned, and lifting the sanctions he imposed.
    The Vienna-based IAEA told The Associated Press that Director General Rafael Grossi reported to member states on Tuesday that Iran had informed the agency it planned to begin enriching uranium up to 60% purity at its Natanz facility.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, center right, and Russian counterpart
Sergey Lavrovsign sign agreements. IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY VIA AP

4/14/2021 Blinken Meets With NATO Chief Over Afghanistan Withdrawal by OAN Newsroom
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, right, and United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken address a media conference
at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, April 14, 2021. United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Brussels on
Wednesday for talks with European and NATO allies about Afghanistan, Ukraine and other matters. (Johanna Geron, Pool via AP)
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Brussels to try convincing NATO’s ally countries to withdrawal from Afghanistan.
    During his visit Wednesday, Blinken met with NATO Secretary General Jen Stoltenberg to discuss the alliance members’ future in the region.    He said neither the U.S. nor NATO has plans to desert the region despite the impending withdrawal.
    There are roughly 7,000 NATO troops stationed in Afghanistan and Blinken made it clear what path the administration hopes the group will take.    Meanwhile, none of the alliance members are expected to go against Joe Biden’s plans.

4/14/2021 Republicans Unveil Bill To Block Federal Funding Of Vaccine Passports by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale listens during a roundtable discussion with veterans and other community members on
Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at Fort Harrison in Helena, Mont. (Thom Bridge/Independent Record via AP)
    Rep. Matt Rosendale (R) is moving to block state and local governments from implementing vaccine passports.    The Montana lawmaker and 24 other Republicans introduced a bill Tuesday that would prevent the use of federal funds to pay for such systems.
    Earlier this month, the Biden administration said it was not considering plans to mandate vaccine passports, but GOP lawmakers want to ensure that federal money does not go to jurisdictions that propose the idea.
    Rosendale said the idea of vaccine passports is terrifying, adding that individuals should make their own health care decisions.
[AS YOU CAN SEE THEY ARE TRYING TO FIND A WAY TO FORCE AMERICANS TO HAVE SOME DEVICE TO MAKE ALL OF US TO HAVE A GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT IDENTIFICATION.].

4/15/2021 Exclusive: EU Agrees To Sanction Two Companies Close To Myanmar Military, Diplomats Say by Robin Emmott and John Irish
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters
in Brussels, Belgium, March 24, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    BRUSSELS/PARIS (Reuters) – The European Union has agreed to impose sanctions on another 10 individuals linked to the Feb. 1 coup in Myanmar and to target two businesses run by the armed forces for the first time in protest at the military takeover, two diplomats said.
    The measures, which the diplomats said could take effect next week, would target two companies that generate revenue for the Myanmar Armed Forces.    Reuters first reported preparations for the measures on March 8.
    While the EU has an arms embargo on Myanmar and targeted 11 senior military officials last month, the decision to target two companies is the most significant response so far for the bloc since the coup that ousted an elected government led by Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
    “A list will be adopted.    It’s been agreed with 10 individuals and two entities.    There was a discussion on which entities to add linked to the junta and two were agreed,” one European diplomat said.
    A second European diplomat confirmed the agreement among the EU’s 27 ambassadors.
    EU diplomats told Reuters in March that parts of the military’s conglomerates, Myanma Economic Holdings Limited (MEHL) (editors: correct) and Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC), would be targeted, barring EU investors and banks from doing business with them. Human rights groups have also called for them to be sanctioned.
    More details were not immediately available.    The EU declined to comment, and no one at Myanmar’s mission to the EU in Brussels could be reached for reaction.
    The sanctions are expected to be imposed and the names of those targeted made public next week.
    The new round of measures follow similar moves by Britain and the United States.    The EU sanctioned Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the armed forces commander-in-chief, and 10 others on March 22.
    EU foreign ministers will discuss their strategy on Monday in a regular meeting.
    French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on April that a new round of sanctions, including on companies, were coming.
MILITARY’S FINANCIAL SUPPORT
    The conglomerates are spread throughout the economy from mining and manufacturing to food and beverages to hotels, telecoms and banking.    They rank among the country’s biggest taxpayers and sought partnerships with foreign companies as Myanmar opened up during the democratic liberalization.
    A United Nations fact-finding mission in 2019 recommended sanctions against the two companies and their subsidiaries, saying they gave the army extra sources of revenue that could finance human rights violations.
    Like several Western powers, the EU has condemned the coup and called for the restoration of civilian rule.
    The coup has plunged Myanmar into crisis after 10 years of tentative steps toward democracy, with, in addition to the daily protests, strikes by workers in many sectors that have brought the economy to a standstill.
    An activist group, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, says the security forces have killed 715 protesters since the overthrow of Suu Kyi’s government.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

4/16/2021 Russia Announces Expulsion Of 10 U.S. Diplomats by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this file photo taken on Friday, Dec. 30, 2016, The U.S. Embassy with its national flag, seen behind
a monument to the Workers of 1905 Revolution in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)
    Russia said it will be asking 10 U.S. diplomats to leave the country, in response to sanctions leveled against it by the Biden administration.
    The Kremlin made the announcement on Friday, saying it suggested the U.S. ambassador head home.
    Moscow is also reportedly seeking to add eight U.S. officials to its sanction list, as well as restricting U.S. non-government organizations from interfering in its politics.
    Experts had warned sanctions by Russia would likely target U.S. diplomats to mirror the sanctions imposed by the U.S.
    “The chosen format of sanctions will not lead to serious and long-term consequences for the Russian economy and Russian finances,” Dmitri Trenin, director at the Carnegie Research Center stated.    “But also everything that happens in the economic relations between Russia and the United States, Russia and the West in general, leads to the increasing economic independence of Russia from the West.”
    The Kremlin added while Russia could take more “painful measures,” it’s not acting on it.
    This came in retaliation for the Biden administration announcing it was expelling 10 Russian diplomats from the country.
[HERE WE GO AGAIN A REPEAT OF RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA WHILE CHINA IS STEALING EVERYTHING IN THE U.S.A. AS YOU NOW KNOW THAT THE OBAMA-BIDEN PRESENCE IS BACK TO MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES.].

4/16/2021 Iran Nuclear Talks To Last Several Days Then Pause: EU Official
FILE PHOTO: The Iranian flag waves in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters, before the beginning of a
board of governors meeting, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Vienna, Austria, March 1, 2021. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner
    BRUSSELS/VIENNA (Reuters) – Talks on rescuing Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal will carry on for several days before breaking so that Iranian and U.S. officials can return home for consultations, a European Union official said on Friday.
    The EU is chairing meetings in Vienna of the remaining parties to the deal – Iran, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain.    A delegation from the United States, which pulled out of the accord under President Donald Trump, is based in a nearby hotel as Iran has refused to hold direct talks.
    A second round of talks, which involve discussions in various formats as well as formal meetings of all the remaining parties, started on Thursday.    The aim is a U.S. return to the deal, lifting sanctions that were reimposed after its pullout, and undoing Iranian breaches of its nuclear restrictions.
    Talks will continue “for a few days and then I think the two most relevant delegations will go back home to receive more precise instructions and then, I don’t know when, we will resume,” the EU official told reporters in a phone briefing.
    The talks have been overshadowed by an explosion at Iran’s main uranium-enrichment facility at Natanz, which Tehran has blamed on Israel, and Iran’s decision to enrich uranium to 60% purity, a big step towards weapons-grade, which it said it started doing on Friday.
    “We have this (Iranian) decision to go for 60% enrichment.    Obviously this is not making the negotiation easier,” the official said, calling what happened at Natanz “deliberate sabotage.”    It is not clear how long the talks will last in total, he added.
    Israel – widely believed to be the only Middle Eastern country with a nuclear arsenal – has not formally commented on the Natanz incident.    Several Israeli media outlets have quoted intelligence sources as saying the country’s Mossad spy service carried out the operation.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott in Brussels and Francois Murphy in Vienna; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

4/16/2021 Iran Nuclear Chief Says 60% Enrichment Has Started At Natanz Site
FILE PHOTO: Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Ali-Akbar Salehi wears a mask as he speaks during a meeting with International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi, in Tehran, Iran August 25, 2020. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS
    (Reuters) - Iran has begun 60% uranium enrichment at its Natanz plant, the country’s nuclear chief said on Friday, days after an explosion at the site that Tehran blamed on Israel.
    We are producing about nine grams of 60% enriched uranium an hour,” Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, told state television.
    “But we have to work on arrangements… to drop it to 5 grams per hour.    But then we will simultaneously produce 20% (uranium),” Salehi said.
    Earlier, parliament speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf said Iranian scientists had successfully started enriching 60 percent uranium at 12:40 a.m. local time (2010 GMT).
    “The will of the Iranian nation makes miracles that thwart any conspiracy,” Qalibaf said on Twitter.
    In Vienna, a spokesman for the United Nations nuclear watchdog IAEA declined to comment on the Iranian statements about 60% enrichment.
    Iran has said its decision to increase enrichment to its highest level ever was in response to sabotage at its nuclear site at Natanz on Sunday by Israel.
    Iran and global powers are meeting in Vienna to try to rescue a 2015 nuclear deal abandoned by Washington three years ago, in an effort potentially complicated by Tehran’s decision to ramp up uranium enrichment.
    The 2015 agreement sought to make it harder for Iran to develop an atomic bomb – something it denies ever trying to do – in return for lifting sanctions.
    Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator at nuclear talks in Vienna, said on Tuesday that Iran would activate 1,000 advanced centrifuge machines at Natanz.
    An Iranian official told Reuters that “60% enrichment will be in small quantity” only.
    Multiple Israeli media outlets have quoted unnamed intelligence sources as saying the country’s Mossad spy service carried out the sabotage operation at the Natanz complex.    Israel – widely believed to be the only Middle Eastern country with a nuclear arsenal – has not formally commented on the incident.
(dubai.newsroom@thomsonreuters.com, additional reporting by Francois Murphy in Vienna; Editing by William Maclean and Angus MacSwan)

4/19/2021 Biden Signs Memo Banning Federal Use Of ‘Wuhan Virus’ To Refer To COVID-19 by OAN Newsroom
TOPSHOT – Joe Biden sat in the Oval Office as he signed a series of orders at the
White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
    In the fight against COVID-19, Joe Biden seems to be prioritizing hollow symbolic gestures over policies with a measurable impact on the welfare and health of American citizens.
    Biden signed a memo banning federal agencies from referring to the coronavirus by terms related to its geographic origin, such as China or Wuhan virus.
    While no direct mention of President Trump is made, the memo does specifically blame “the actions of political leaders” for “furthering xenophobic sentiments” against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders.    This is a clear allusion to Biden’s previous attempts to shift focus away from the Trump administration’s achievements in fighting the pandemic towards concerns over political correctness.
    “Labelling COVID-19 a foreign virus does not displace accountability for the misjudgments that have been made thus far by the Trump administration.    Let me be crystal clear.    The coronavirus does not have a political affiliation,” Biden stated.    “It will not discriminate based on national origin, race, gender, or zip code.”
    Among the sparse number of specific measures dictated by the memo is instructing federal agencies to review the use of these terms in existing policy directives or government publications.    This, despite a recent review by CBS News finding “no specific reference to China virus” in any COVID-19 related executive orders issued by President Trump.
    Critics pointed out the memo seems to be politically motivated, targeting specific terms employed by President Trump without making any mention of hate crimes against other communities, some of which may have been the victim of hatred stoked by Democrat politicians and left-wing activists.
    The year following the election marked a watershed moment in evolving American attitudes towards Russians.    According to Gallup in 2016, only 39 percent of Americans viewed Russia as a “critical threat” to the U.S.
    By 2019, that number had escalated to 52 percent.
    This shift was clearly demarcated by political ideology.    In 2016, Gallup found no measurable difference between Democrats and Republicans in their attitudes to Russia.    Whereas three years later, 46 percent of Democrats reported believing it to be America’s greatest enemy, compared to only 14 percent of Republicans.
    Moreover, the move may be a gift to Chinese attempts at redefining international discourse about the pandemic.
    Xi Jinping’s regime has consistently sought to distract attention away from the origins of the virus.    Both by the spread of unfounded conspiracy theories claiming it originated outside of China, or even that it was deliberately introduced to Wuhan by the U.S. military, and by directly silencing would-be whistleblowers within the medical profession.
    It also blocked the flow of information out of Wuhan during the early stages of the pandemic.    This delayed international efforts to combat the outbreak at a crucial time when it could have been contained from spreading across the world, as evidenced by recently surfaced recordings of phone calls by World Health Organization officials.
    “We have informally and formally been requesting more epidemiological information,” WHO representative to China Dr. Gauden Galea stated.    “Specifically, what was the date of onset of the last case and even that one line of information would have been, already been helpful.    But all we are getting in return for that question is, there’s a new update that’s going to come out, they’re working on this.    It may be, but then when asked for specifics, we could get nothing.”
    According to the Hong Kong based South China Morning Post, which is owned by the Alibaba Group, this act by Biden is playing right into Beijing’s hand.
[LOOKS LIKE JOE BIDEN IS TRYING TO HIDE THE TRUTH OF WHERE THE VIRUS CAME FROM AND IT WILL NOT WORK JOE SINCE THE WHOLE WORLD ALREADY KNOWS IT CAME FROM CHINA SO QUIT TELLING THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY TELL YOU TO DO ACT LIKE A PRESIDENT THAT CARES ABOUT AMERICAN PEOPLE INSTEAD OF EVERY ILLEGAL ALIEN AND COVER THE ASSES OF CHINA FOR WHAT EVER REASON THEY ARE HOLDING OVER YOUR COMPROMISED HEAD.].

4/19/2021 WHO Panel Against Requiring Vaccination Proof For Travel – Statement
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting
on update on the coronavirus outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization’s Emergency Committee recommended on Monday that proof of vaccination not be required as a condition of international travel, maintaining its stance on the issue under growing debate.
    The independent experts, in a statement issued after meeting last Thursday, cited limited evidence on whether vaccination against COVID-19 reduces people’s ability to transmit the virus and “the persistent inequity in global vaccine distribution.”
    States should recognise that requiring proof of vaccination deepens inequities and promotes unequal freedom of movement, the panel said.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Emma Farge)

4/19/2021 New Direction Needed: EU Launches Website For Citizens To Discuss Its Future by Jan Strupczewski
Portuguese secretary of state Ana Paula Zacarias, EU Parliament's Guy Verhofstadt and European Commissioner for Democracy and Demography Dubravka Suica
attend the opening of the Conference on the Future of Europe, in Brussels, Belgium April 19, 2021. Francois Walschaerts/Pool via REUTERS
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union launched on Monday a website for citizens to debate the future of the 27-nation bloc as the exit of Britain, climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of nationalism force the EU to reflect on how it wants to develop.
    The website, available for contributions in the EU’s 24 official languages, is part of what EU institutions call the Conference on the Future of Europe — a forum for debate to help identify issues the EU needs to address in the changing global context.
    “The conclusions of the conference could be the backbone for reforms in the Union in the future,” one of the leaders of the initiative, member of European Parliament and former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt told a news conference.
    “A new direction is needed.    This conference can give an answer to that,” he said.    Conclusions from the discussions are to be presented in the second quarter of 2022.
    The website prompts debates on subjects including climate change, the environment, health, the economy, social justice and jobs, the role of the EU in the world, values and rights, the rule of law, security, digital transformation, democracy and migration.    Citizens can also launch their own topics.
    “We want to come closer to citizens, to listen to them,” Commission Vice President for Democracy and Demography Dubravka Suica said. “We want to hear from everyone.”
    After starting in 1951 as an organisation of six countries to jointly regulate their industrial production, or what was then called the European Coal and Steel Community, the EU has since expanded to 28 countries in 2013 and shrunk back to 27 last year with the exit of Britain.
    In the past 70 years, the challenges the bloc faces have changed as well. Rather than coordinate coal and steel output, or tackling the problems of post World War II Europe, the 27 countries now coordinate cuts in CO2 emissions to prevent climate change or the joint procurement of vaccines against the COVID-19 pandemic.
    The website is the first EU attempt to listen to its citizens directly at a trans-national level, building on the experience of such exercises at country level, notably in France.
    While some EU institutions and officials believe that it is not realistic to expect that the debate will produce changes in the EU treaties — the primary law of the Union — the option has not been explicitly excluded.
(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

4/20/2021 Iran Sees Vienna Talks Moving Forward, Warns Against Excessive Demands
FILE PHOTO: Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Abbas Araqchi, attends a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission
in Vienna, Austria, September 1, 2020. European Commission EbS - EEAS/Handout via REUTERS
    DUBAI (Reuters) -Iran’s chief negotiator said on Tuesday talks to save the 2015 nuclear accord were moving forward despite difficulties but warned Tehran would stop the negotiations if faced with “unreasonable demands” or time wasting.
    Iran and world powers have made headway in the Vienna talks though much more work is needed, a senior European Union official said, with meetings to resume next week after consultations in their respective capitals.
    Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi “assessed the current trend of the talks as going forward, despite the existing difficulties and challenges,” Iranian state media reported.
    “The Iranian delegation will stop the talks whenever the process of negotiations leads to unreasonable demands, waste of time and irrational bargaining,” Araqchi was quoted as saying.
    “It is too early to judge the outcome or to say whether we are optimistic or pessimistic, but we think we are on the right track,” Araqchi told state television.
    Hardline-led Iranian news agencies quoted an unnamed source as saying the United States was only planning to issue temporary waivers instead of permanently lifting sanctions, which Washington re-imposed on Tehran after withdrawing from the nuclear accord in 2018.
    “America’s intention is not to lift the sanctions completely and to be satisfied with temporary waivers on some sanctions in order to simply return to the nuclear accord so that it can use the possibility of the snapback mechanism against Iran,” the Fars news agency quoted the source as saying.
    Under the 2015 deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear work in return for relief from U.S. and other sanctions.    The accord includes the option of a snapback of U.N. sanctions if Iran breaches the deal, requiring Tehran to suspend all nuclear enrichment-related activities, including research development.
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom;Editing by Alison Williams and Cynthia Osterman)

4/20/2021 ASEAN Calls Summit On Myanmar As EU Widens Sanctions
FILE PHOTO: Protesters defend themselves from the troops in Kale, Sagaing region, Myanmar
March 28, 2021 in this picture taken March 28, 2021 obtained by REUTERS.
    (Reuters) -Southeast Asian countries will discuss the crisis in Myanmar at a summit in Jakarta on Saturday, but some are choosing to send ministers rather than heads of government.
    The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been trying to guide Myanmar, a member, out of the bloody turmoil triggered by the military overthrow of Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government on Feb. 1.
    But the group’s principles of consensus and non-interference have restricted its ability to overcome members’ divergent views on how to respond to the army’s killing of hundreds of civilians.
    Domestic media said at least six villagers had been killed on Tuesday by the junta’s security forces.
    After ASEAN’s secretariat announced the summit, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said he would be represented by his deputy, Don Pramudwinai, who is also foreign minister.
    “Some other countries will also send their foreign ministers,” Prayuth, a former army chief who led a coup in Thailand in 2014, told reporters.
    A Thai government official said on Saturday that Myanmar junta chief Min Aung Hlaing would go to Jakarta, although the Myanmar government has not commented.
    However, in previous periods of military rule, Myanmar has usually been represented at regional meetings by a prime minister or foreign minister.
Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore have all tried to put pressure on the junta.
    Thailand, Myanmar’s neighbour, has said it is “gravely concerned” about escalating bloodshed, but close military ties and fears of a flood of refugees mean it is unlikely to go further.
    Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said his prime minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, would attend the meeting.
    “We hope that with the coming discussions in Jakarta, Myanmar will agree to accept representatives from the ASEAN chair Brunei or the ASEAN secretariat in Jakarta to observe and help Myanmar return to normalcy,” he told reporters.
LITTLE WILLINGNESS
    According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) activist group, 738 people have been killed by Myanmar security forces since the coup.
    At least six villagers were killed by soldiers on Tuesday in Yinmarpin in the northerly Sagaing region, the Monywa Gazette said.
    Myanmar’s military has shown little willingness to engage with its neighbours and no sign of wanting to talk to members of the government it ousted, accusing some of them of treason, which is punishable by death.
    Pro-democracy politicians including ousted members of parliament from Suu Kyi’s party on Friday announced the formation of a National Unity Government (NUG).
    It nominally includes Suu Kyi, who has been in detention since the coup, as well as leaders of the pro-democracy protests and ethnic minorities.
    The NUG says it is the legitimate authority and has requested international recognition and an invitation to the ASEAN meeting in place of the junta leader.
    Former U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon urged his successor to engage directly with Myanmar’s military to prevent violence, and said Southeast Asian countries should not dismiss the turmoil as an internal issue for Myanmar.
    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ special envoy on Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, has communicated with the military since the coup, but the junta has not allowed her to visit.
    In its firmest response yet, the European Union on Monday said it would impose travel bans and asset freezes on nine members of the junta’s State Administration Council, formed the day after the coup, as well as Information Minister U Chit Naing.
    The decision follows similar measures by the United States.    Min Aung Hlaing and Myint Swe, who has been acting president since the coup, were blacklisted by the EU last month.
(Reporting by Reuters Staff; Writing by Ed Davies and Raju Gopalakrishnan; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

4/20/2021 WHO Panel Against Requiring Vaccination Proof For Travel – Statement
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting
on update on the coronavirus outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization’s Emergency Committee recommended on Monday that proof of vaccination not be required as a condition of international travel, maintaining its stance on the issue under growing debate.
    The independent experts, in a statement issued after meeting last Thursday, cited limited evidence on whether vaccination against COVID-19 reduces people’s ability to transmit the virus and “the persistent inequity in global vaccine distribution.”
    States should recognise that requiring proof of vaccination deepens inequities and promotes unequal freedom of movement, the panel said.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Emma Farge)

4/21/2021 State Dept. Officials Describe Iran Nuclear Talks As ‘Positive’ by OAN Newsroom
State Department Spokesman Ned Price speaks to reporters during a news briefing at the
State Department, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Washington. (Kevin Lamarque/Pool via AP)
    The Biden administration said negotiations with Iran have been “positive” even as the Islamic Republic inches ever closer to acquiring a nuclear weapon.     This was the assessment shared with reporters by State Department spokesman Ned Price during a Tuesday press briefing.
    Yet, even as the Biden State Department was declaring its confidence in the progress of talks, Iranian officials stated they would consider walking away from negotiations altogether. They warned this would be the case unless the U.S. agreed to unilaterally remove the entirety of Trump-era sanctions on the Islamic Republic.br>     “We think that if the United States decides to distance from (Donald) Trump’s failed legacy and to live up to its commitments, the consultations will advance easily,” stated Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
    My note: I put this image above here since they have found away to keep it from being copied on the above image, so what else are they hiding.
    Many critics of the plan suggest returning to the accords could weaken America’s position in the Middle East and allow Iran to get closer to achieving nuclear weapons.

4/21/2021 How A WHO Push For Global Vaccines Needled Europe by Francesco Guarascio and John Chalmers
FILE PHOTO: A man displays a vial AstraZeneca's COVISHIELD vaccine as the country receives its first batch of
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines under COVAX scheme, in Accra, Ghana February 24, 2021. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Last April, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen added Europe to a global effort to ensure equitable access to a vaccine, which she said would be deployed “to every single corner of the world.”
    But despite pledging billions of dollars for the scheme set up by the World Health Organization (WHO) and publicly endorsing it, European Union officials and member states repeatedly made choices that undermined the campaign, internal documents seen by Reuters and interviews with EU officials and diplomats show.
    A year after its launch, Europe and the rest of the world have yet to donate a single dose through the vaccine scheme, which is part of an unprecedented effort to distribute vaccines, tests and drugs to fight the pandemic.    Diplomats say Europe’s ambivalence stemmed partly from short supplies and a slack start to the global campaign, but also from concerns that the EU’s efforts would go unnoticed in a vaccine diplomacy war where highly publicised promises from China and Russia were winning ground, even in its own backyard.
    The programme, co-led by international agencies and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), is a bulk-buying platform to share doses worldwide.    But with the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump having turned its back on the WHO, the plan, called COVAX, was slow to win support and focused on using funds from rich countries to buy doses for less-developed ones.
    Von der Leyen presented Europe’s support for the COVAX campaign as a gesture of international unity.    EU officials privately cast the bloc’s vaccine aims in a less altruistic light.
    “It’s also about visibility,” that is, public relations, Ilze Juhansone, Secretary-General of the EU Commission and the Commission’s top civil servant, told ambassadors at a meeting in Brussels in February, according to a diplomatic note seen by Reuters.    Juhansone declined to comment.
    A senior diplomat said many of those at that meeting felt Europe, which is by far the largest exporter of vaccines in the West, had goals that would be better served by plastering “more blue flags with yellow stars” on vaccine parcels and sending them out itself, rather than through COVAX.
    Brussels, which is coordinating vaccine deals with its members, has reserved a huge surplus – 2.6 billion doses for a population of 450 million so far.    It has promised nearly 2.5 billion euros ($3 billion) in support to COVAX.    That made the EU the biggest funder until the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden pledged $4 billion this year to the plan, which aims to distribute 2 billion doses by the end of the year.
    But supplies for Europe’s own population are behind schedule, and despite giving funds, the EU and its 27 governments have also hampered COVAX in several ways.    Like other rich countries, EU nations decided not to buy their own vaccines through COVAX, and competed with it to buy shots when supplies were tight.    All except Germany offered the overall programme less cash than requested.
    More than this, Europe promoted a parallel vaccine donation system that it would run itself, to raise the EU’s profile.
    “There is huge frustration because there is a feeling that right now the race is on but we’re not really out of the starting blocks,” a senior diplomat told Reuters.
    “We’re spending money on COVAX and the return in terms of political visibility is nil.”
    Russia says it wants to supply vaccines to countries directly.    China has pledged support to COVAX.    But both Moscow and Beijing have separate deals to deliver more than 1 billion doses to Africa, Latin America, and to EU partners such as Turkey, Egypt, Morocco and Balkan states that are candidates to join the bloc.
    Most doses will take time to be delivered, but Russia and China have already exported about twice COVAX’s deliveries of around 40 million doses.
    COVAX was also hit in March by export restrictions on vaccines from India, which slowed supplies from its main provider of shots.
    WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has repeatedly urged rich countries to set aside nationalistic impulses and share vaccines, calling the current situation “a shocking imbalance.”    Non-EU member Britain, for instance, has already injected about as many shots as COVAX has delivered to more than 100 countries.
    COVAX officials told Reuters they received sufficient funds by the end of last year, but these came later than expected.
    A spokeswoman for GAVI, the vaccine alliance that runs the scheme and speaks for COVAX on such issues, said EU support had been “unequivocal” and it expects doses to be donated soon.    The WHO added that von der Leyen’s personal support had been “invaluable.”
    An EU Commission spokesman told Reuters COVAX had been very successful in structuring global collaboration and securing millions of doses.    He called the programme “our best vehicle to deliver on international vaccines solidarity” and the EU’s “key channel for sharing vaccines.”
WAITING FOR COVAX
    Part of COVAX’s difficulty is structural. Soon after it was set up, the wealthiest countries were sealing advance orders with drug companies to secure doses as they became available.    The vaccination scheme has always relied on rich states for cash, which they have been slow to give.
    COVAX aimed to be a platform for countries to buy vaccines, which would give it bargaining power and allow it to dispense doses among those most in need worldwide.    Recognising supplies would be tight, its initial aim was to distribute doses for at least 20% of each country’s populations to cover the people most at risk.
    At an internal meeting last July, an EU Commission official told ambassadors that member states should not buy their shots through COVAX as they would come too slowly, diplomatic notes show.    The Commission later set the target to vaccinate 70% of adults in the EU by the end of September.
    COVAX changed some of its terms the next month to try to convince wealthy nations to join in, but no EU nations signed up to use the platform for their vaccination drives.    The EU gave COVAX financial guarantees to pay for vaccines, but also made it harder for COVAX to do this, by arranging to buy far more doses than the bloc needed.
    In November, the EU pledged more money to COVAX, but only after it had signed contracts with vaccine makers for nearly 1.5 billion doses – more than half Brussels’ estimate then of global production capacity for this year, internal documents show.
    Even though Europe had reserved such a large share, the Commission told diplomats in a meeting that month that COVAX was too slow in procuring doses.
    That was when the Commission raised the possibility of setting up a mechanism of its own to send shots to poor countries outside the EU.
TEAM EUROPE
    Within a month, France started to flesh out that plan. Shots would be sent directly from manufacturers – possibly before deliveries started through COVAX – and labelled as “Team Europe” donations, a draft plan said.
    The move, revealed at the time by Reuters, caused an outcry among officials at COVAX.
    One told Reuters in April the plan was driven by France’s desire to get shots to Africa, where France formerly had colonies, and smacked of colonialism.    French diplomats said they never showed a preference for any country, and Africa was most in need.
    EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said in mid-January the EU’s own plan would go ahead – because COVAX was not yet fully operational.    Countries to focus on would include the Western Balkans, the EU’s southern and eastern neighbours and Africa.
    The next month, having reserved more than 2 billion doses but with actual deliveries hit by production problems, the EU doubled COVAX funding to 1 billion euros.    Russia and China had already delivered millions of doses across the world.    COVAX had yet to deliver any. And France’s President Emmanuel Macron was publicly losing patience.
    Europe and the United States should quickly send enough vaccines to Africa to inoculate the continent’s healthcare workers or risk losing influence to Russia and China, Macron said in a speech at a security conference, without specifying how these donations should be made.
    Unless rich countries speeded up deliveries, “our friends in Africa will, under justified pressure from their people, buy doses from the Chinese and the Russians,” Macron told the conference.    “And the strength of the West will be a concept, and not a reality.”
    Despite Macron’s urgency, France’s cash support for the overall WHO programme – to cover tests and treatments as well as vaccines – was limited.
    The WHO asked countries for contributions in proportion to their economic power.    France has committed $190 million — about 13% of the $1.2 billion requested, a WHO document dated March 26 shows.
    Other EU countries are also far below expected contributions; some have given zero.    But Germany has helped offset this by publicly pledging $2.6 billion, well above the $2 billion requested.
    French diplomats said the country’s contributions are expected to increase soon.
OUT OF THIS GAME
    On Feb. 24, COVAX shipped its first vaccines.    The EU softened its criticisms.
    At a meeting on March 9, at the height of the European Union’s own problems in procuring shots for its own citizens, a Commission official told diplomats COVAX was the main tool for donating vaccines to other countries.
    But the official said Europe still needed its own mechanism, because COVAX had money, but only a tiny portion of the shots it needed.    And the EU scheme would have “the advantage of giving us visibility,” the official said.
    At that same meeting, EU ambassadors were shown data compiled by the EU’s foreign affairs service which those present said revealed how far the bloc’s vaccine diplomacy was lagging behind its competitors.
    They learned that Russia had orders for 645 million doses of its Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine with dozens of countries, and that China was shipping millions of doses to EU neighbours, the data showed.
    “We are completely out of this game,” one of the diplomats who was there told Reuters.
    Reuters could not confirm the data exactly. But figures assembled by the United Nations agency UNICEF, which works with COVAX on vaccine deliveries, show Russia has deals to deliver nearly 600 million doses, including to EU states.    China has deals to sell about 800 million doses, including agreements with European countries such as Serbia, Ukraine and Albania.
    Later that month the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, made the point candidly: “The EU is the major driver behind COVAX,” he wrote in a blog on March 26.    “But we do not get the recognition that the countries using bilateral vaccine diplomacy do.”
    On Tuesday, the EU Commission said the EU would share over half a million doses with Balkan countries from May through the EU scheme.    That was two weeks after COVAX had delivered its first shots to the region.
($1 = 0.8282 euros)

4/22/2021 Iran Cuts Number Of Centrifuges Enriching Uranium To 60% Purity, IAEA Report Says by Francois Murphy
FILE PHOTO: An Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
headquarters in Vienna, Austria, September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo
    VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran has reduced the number of centrifuges enriching uranium to up to 60% purity at an above-ground plant at Natanz to one cluster from two, a report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog seen by Reuters indicated on Thursday.
    Iran announced the shift to 60%, a big step towards weapons-grade from the 20% it had previously achieved, in response to an explosion and power cut at Natanz last week that Tehran has blamed on Israel.
    Iran’s move complicated the current indirect talks with the United States on rescuing its nuclear deal with major powers.    Washington pulled out and reimposed sanctions on Iran in 2018 under President Donald Trump; Iran responded as of 2019 by breaching the deal’s restrictions on its nuclear activities.
    “On 21 April 2021, the Agency verified that Iran had changed the mode by which it was producing UF6 enriched up to 60% U-235 at PFEP,” the report said, referring to the above-ground Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant at Natanz and to uranium hexafluoride, the form in which uranium is fed into centrifuges for enrichment.
    Iran was now using one cascade, or cluster, of IR-6 centrifuges to enrich to up to 60% and feeding the tails, or depleted uranium, from that process into a cascade of IR-4 machines to enrich to up to 20%, the report said.    The IR-4 cascade was previously being used to enrich to up to 60%.
    The International Atomic Energy Agency report did not say why Iran had made the change or say how many centrifuges are in each cascade.    A previous report in February said there were 119 centrifuges in the IR-4 cascade and 133 in the IR-6 one.
    The deal lets Iran produce enriched uranium but only at an underground plant at Natanz and only with first-generation IR-1 machines, which are far less efficient.    It also caps the purity to which Iran can enrich uranium at 3.67%.
(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Chris Reese, Marguerita Choy and Barbara Lewis)

4/28/2021 GOP Lawmakers Request IG Probe Into Kerry-Iran Ties by OAN Newsroom
Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
    A group of House Republicans demanded a federal investigation into Climate Envoy John Kerry over his ties to Iran.    On Wednesday, Reps. Andy Barr (R-Ky.), Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) and Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) sent a letter to acting State Department Inspector General Diana Shaw.
    The representatives requested a probe into reports that said Kerry was giving out Israeli military secrets to Iran and taking other actions to undermine President Trump.
    Letter to acting State Department Inspector General Diana Shaw
Letter to acting State Department Inspector General Diana Shaw     In the letter, the lawmakers ask what role Kerry had in creating the Iran Nuclear Deal under President Obama.
    The lawmakers also want the Inspector General to determine if Kerry’s actions resulted in Iranian attacks on Israel and if he caused any deaths among U.S. allies.

4/30/2021 EU Aims To Cut Foreign Reliance On Chips, Pharma Materials – Document by Foo Yun Chee
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters in
Brussels, Belgium, March 24, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union aims to cut its dependency on Chinese and other foreign suppliers in six strategic areas including raw materials, pharmaceutical ingredients and semiconductors, under an industrial action plan to be announced next week.
    A draft seen by Reuters outlined the urgency of the task ahead, citing Europe’s reliance on China for about half of 137 products used in sensitive ecosystems, mainly raw materials and pharmaceuticals and other products key to the bloc’s green and digital goals.
    The updated industrial strategy plan, devised after the COVID-19 pandemic led to bottlenecks in supply chains, will be presented by EU digital chief Margrethe Vestager and EU industry chief Thierry Breton on May 5.
    The European Commission will conduct an in-depth review of the six areas, which also include batteries, hydrogen and cloud and edge technologies, before deciding on the appropriate measures, the draft document said.
    Such measures could include “diversifying supply and demand relying on different trading partners whenever possible, but also stockpiling and acting autonomously whenever necessary,” the 19-page document said.
    Another strategy set out in the paper to reduce import dependency could see EU countries pool resources for Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEIs) in next-generation cloud, hydrogen, low-carbon industry, pharmaceuticals and a second IPCEI on cutting-edge semi-conductors.
    An IPCEI allows EU governments to pump in funding under easier state aid rules and for companies to work together on the entire range of the project, from design to production and downstream applications.
    Europe also needs to take the lead in setting standards for batteries, hydrogen, offshore wind, safe chemicals, cybersecurity and space data to ensure the competitiveness and resilience of EU industries, the paper said.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Catherine Evans)

5/3/2021 Blinken Says China Acting ‘More Aggressively Abroad’: ’60 Minutes’ Interview by David Shepardson
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken participates in a virtual bilateral meeting with Kenya's President
Uhuru Kenyatta during a videoconference at the State Department in Washington, U.S., April 27, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis/Pool
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview that aired on Sunday that China had recently acted “more aggressively abroad” and was behaving “increasingly in adversarial ways.”
    Asked by CBS News’ “60 Minutes” if Washington was heading toward a military confrontation with Beijing, Blinken said: “It’s profoundly against the interests of both China and the United States to, to get to that point, or even to head in that direction.”
    He added: “What we’ve witnessed over the last several years is China acting more repressively at home and more aggressively abroad.    That is a fact.”
    Asked about the reported theft of hundreds of billions of dollars or more in U.S. trade secrets and intellectual property by China, Blinken said the Biden administration had “real concerns” about the IP issue.
    He said it sounded like the actions “of someone who’s trying to compete unfairly and increasingly in adversarial ways.    But we’re much more effective and stronger when we’re bringing like-minded and similarly aggrieved countries together to say to Beijing: ‘This can’t stand and it won’t stand.'”
    The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond on Sunday to a request for comment on Blinken’s interview.
    On Friday, President Joe Biden’s administration said China had fallen short on its commitments to protect American intellectual property in the “Phase 1” U.S.-China trade deal signed last year.
    The commitments were part of the sweeping deal between former President Donald Trump’s administration and Beijing, which included regulatory changes on agricultural biotechnology and commitments to purchase some $200 billion in U.S. exports over two years.
    Blinken arrived in London on Sunday for a G7 foreign ministers meeting where China is one of the issues on the agenda.
    In the interview, Blinken said the United States was not aiming to “contain China” but to “uphold this rules-based order – that China is posing a challenge to.    Anyone who poses a challenge to that order, we’re going to stand up and – and defend it.”
    Biden has identified competition with China as his administration’s greatest foreign policy challenge.    In his first speech to Congress last Wednesday, he pledged to maintain a strong U.S. military presence in the Indo-Pacific and to boost U.S. technological development.
    Blinken said he speaks to Biden “pretty close to daily.”
    Last month, Blinken said the United States was concerned about China’s aggressive actions against Taiwan and warned it would be a “serious mistake” for anyone to try to change the status quo in the western Pacific by force.
    The United States has a long-standing commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act to ensure that self-governing Taiwan has the ability to defend itself and to sustain peace and security in the western Pacific, Blinken said.
    Taiwan has complained over the past few months of repeated missions by China’s air force near the island, which China claims as its own.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Peter Cooney)

5/3/2021 Britain Hosts First G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting Since Start Of Pandemic
Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (L) and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken pose for a photo ahead of their
bilateral meeting in London, Britain May 3, 2021 during the G7 foreign ministers meeting. Ben Stansall/Pool via REUTERS
    LONDON (Reuters) – Foreign ministers of the G7 rich countries gather in London on Monday for their first in-person meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with British host Dominic Raab opening with talks with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
    The week is billed by Britain, which holds the group’s rotating presidency, as a chance to reassert the West’s influence and address issues such as the coronavirus recovery, climate change and how to deal with China and Russia.
    The ministers will lay groundwork for U.S. President Joe Biden’s first scheduled trip abroad since taking office: a G7 summit in Britain next month meant to revive cooperation with traditional allies after years of friction under Donald Trump.
    In addition to the G7 members Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, Britain has also invited ministers from Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea this week. Meetings will kick off with dinner on Monday evening.
    Before that, Raab and Blinken will meet to discuss shared goals.    Britain is keen to capitalise on Biden’s willingness to re-engage with global efforts to fight climate change, and to restore a nuclear deal with Iran repudiated by Trump.
    Raab said on Sunday the G7 would look at a proposal to build a rapid response mechanism to counter Russian disinformation, and, in a reference to China, spoke of the need to stand up for open markets and democracy.
    “On all of these areas we want to be absolutely firm, and standing shoulder to shoulder not just with Americans, as important as they are, but also with our wider allies – that’s why the G7 is so important,” Raab said.
    Raab and Blinken are also expected to discuss ongoing trade talks with the United States as Britain seeks a so-far elusive deal, touted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as one of the biggest opportunities opened by quitting the European Union.
(Reporting by William James; Editing by Peter Graff)

5/3/2021 Secy. Of State: Our Purpose Is Not To Hold China Back by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a joint press conference with Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, not pictured,
at Downing Street in London, Monday, May 3, 2021, during the G7 foreign ministers meeting. (Ben Stansall/Pool Photo via AP)
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken said America “does not have the luxury of not dealing with China.”    During an interview on Sunday, he highlighted the threat China poses while calling it the “one country in the world that has the capacity to undermine or challenge international order.”
    This comes after former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned the Biden administration is unprepared for a confrontation with Beijing.    Blinken noted the country has become increasingly hostile over the last few years, but said the White House’s goal is not necessarily policing China.
    “Our purpose is not to contain China, to hold it back, to keep it down,” stated the official.    "It is to uphold this rules-based order that China is posing a challenge to.”
    Blinken went on to say it’s “profoundly against the interests” of China and the U.S. to engage in a military conflict.
[WELL BLINKEN WHY DON'T YOU TELL JOE BIDEN TO QUIT KISSING CHINA'S ASS.].

5/3/2021 WHO Chief Tedros Plans To Seek Re-Election – Stat News
FILE PHOTO: World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends
a news conference in Geneva Switzerland July 3, 2020. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS
    (Reuters) -Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, plans to run for a second five-year term as the head of the agency, Stat News reported https://www.statnews.com/2021/05/03/tedros-second-term on Monday, citing a person familiar with the matter.
    Tedros, as he is widely known, has been the public face of the WHO’s efforts to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic ever since the new SARS-CoV-2 virus emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.
    In 2017, Ethiopia’s Tedros became the first African to head the Geneva-based United Nations agency and made universal health care coverage his priority.
    A spokesman for WHO said it could not comment on potential nominees. WHO’s 194 member states may propose candidates until September, whose names are sent in sealed envelopes to the Governing Board chair – ahead of the election next year.
    It is unclear at this point whether others will emerge to challenge Tedros for the five-year term, the Stat report said.
    Diplomats told Reuters Tedros’ support among African nations would be key to any re-election, while doubting he could count on support from his home country which nominated him last time.
    They noted that Ethiopia’s military accused him in November of supporting and trying to procure arms and diplomatic backing for Tigray state’s dominant political party, which is fighting federal forces. Tedros has denied taking sides in the conflict in Ethiopia.
    Tedros, whose global profile has risen dramatically during the pandemic, flew to Beijing in January 2020 for talks with President Xi Jinping to ensure its cooperation and sharing of information, just before declaring a worldwide health emergency.
    The Trump administration accused Tedros and the WHO of being “China-centric” – allegations they rejected – and halted U.S. contributions while starting the process of leaving the agency.    The Biden administration announced immediately after taking office in January that it would remain a member and fulfil its financial obligations while working on reforms.
    Tedros distanced himself from the findings of a WHO-led mission this year, written jointly with Chinese scientists, that investigated the origins of the virus.    The report issued on March 30 said the virus had probably been transmitted from bats to humans through another animal, and that a lab leak was “extremely unlikely” as a cause.
    Tedros said that data had been withheld from the team and that the lab issue required further investigation.
(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru and Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

5/5/2021 U.S. Among First Foreign Countries To Join EU Defence Project, Diplomats Say by Gabriela Baczynska
FILE PHOTO: Picture showing the room during a meeting of European Union defence ministers
at the EU Council in Brussels, Belgium May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Vidal/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union will allow the United States, Norway and Canada to join a project to overcome delays in moving troops across Europe, diplomats said on Wednesday, which NATO sees as vital in the event of a conflict with Russia.
    While NATO has spearheaded efforts to reduce conflicting regulations across 27 EU countries for transfers of U.S. troops, the EU has a budget to back the reconstruction of bridges too weak for tanks and has more power over changing bloc-wide rules.
    The decision, to be formally taken by EU defense ministers on Thursday, means NATO members Norway, Canada and the United States also become the first foreign countries to collaborate in the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) pact, which aims to deepen defense ties.
    The pact was agreed by EU leaders in December 2017 after Britain’s decision to leave the Union and Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
    The bloc has since earmarked 1.7 billion euros ($2 billion) from its joint budget until 2028 to improve so-called military mobility in support of NATO, and the Dutch-led project brings together 25 EU states – all but Malta and Denmark.    The NATO alliance has 30 allies, many of whom are also EU members.
    Military mobility aims at improving the exchange of information between EU countries and cutting red tape at borders, including harmonizing customs rules to allow for swift deployments and easier transport of military equipment, diplomats said.
    While there have been no specific talks with Britain, which along with France used to be among the EU’s biggest military powers, more foreign countries can seek to join, they added.
    “It is also very important for transatlantic cooperation, good cooperation between EU members and NATO allies,” said one of the diplomats, who spoke under condition of anonymity.
    Plans for an EU defence pact gained momentum as the former U.S. president, Donald Trump, lambasted European NATO allies for not spending enough on their own security.    That prompted the bloc to call for “strategic autonomy.”
    U.S. and NATO security guarantees remain the cornerstone of national security for many EU countries, however, especially for those on the eastern flank of the bloc worried about Russia.
    While the EU’s flagship defence pact aims to help the bloc fund, develop and deploy armed forces together, it would not amount to joint military force. ($1 = 0.8337 euros)
(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Robin Emmott and Alex Richardson)

5/7/2021 Exclusive: China Urges U.N. States Not To Attend Xinjiang Event Next Week by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: Security guards stand at the gates of what is officially known as a vocational skills education center
in Huocheng County in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China September 3, 2018.REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – China has urged United Nations member states not to attend an event planned next week by Germany, the United States and Britain on the repression of Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in Xinjiang, according to a note seen by Reuters on Friday.
    “It is a politically-motivated event,” China’s U.N. mission wrote in the note, dated Thursday.    “We request your mission NOT to participate in this anti-China event.”
    China charged that the organizers of the event, which also include several other European states along with Australia and Canada, use “human rights issues as a political tool to interfere in China’s internal affairs like Xinjiang, to create division and turbulence and disrupt China’s development.”
    “They are obsessed with provoking confrontation with China,” the note said, adding that “the provocative event can only lead to more confrontation.”
    The Chinese mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
    The ambassadors of the United States, Germany and Britain are due to address the virtual U.N. event on Wednesday, along with Human Rights Watch Executive Director Ken Roth and Amnesty International Secretary General Agnes Callamard.
    The aim of the event is to “discuss how the U.N. system, member states and civil society can support and advocate for the human rights of members of ethnic Turkic communities in Xinjiang,” according to an invitation.
    Western states and rights groups have accused authorities in Xinjiang of detaining and torturing Uyghurs in camps, which the United States has described as genocide.    In January, Washington banned the import of cotton and tomato products from Xinjiang over allegations of forced labor.
    Beijing denies the accusations and describes the camps as vocational training centers to combat religious extremism.
    “Beijing has been trying for years to bully governments into silence but that strategy has failed miserably, as more and states step forward to voice horror and revulsion at China’s crimes against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims,” Human Rights Watch U.N. director Louis Charbonneau said on Friday.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

5/7/2021 WTO Vaccine Waiver Could Take Months To Negotiate, Faces Opposition: Experts by David Lawder
FILE PHOTO: Vials labelled "Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
vaccine" are seen in this illustration picture taken May 2, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations on a waiver of intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines could take months – provided they can overcome significant opposition from some member countries, trade experts say.
    The talks also are likely to focus on a waiver that is significantly narrower in scope and shorter in duration than the one initially proposed by India and South Africa last October.
    Prior to U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision on Wednesday to back talks for a vaccine waiver, the two countries confirmed their intention to draft a new proposal after seven months of opposition.
    WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala welcomed Biden’s move on Thursday and urged talks on the new plan to start as soon as possible.    “The world is watching and people are dying,” she added.     “At a minimum, it’s going to be a month or two,” Clete Willems, a former Trump White House trade official who previously worked at the U.S. trade mission to the WTO in Geneva, said of any possible agreement.
    “Right now, there is no proposal on the table that would waive the TRIPS agreement simply for vaccines,” he said, referring to the WTO’s agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights that governs the transfer of property like movie rights or vaccine-manufacturing specifics.
    A more realistic goal may be completion of the agreement in time for the WTO’s next ministerial conference, scheduled for Nov. 30 through Dec. 3, said Willems, now a trade partner at the Akin Gump law firm in Washington.
    That would give vaccine producers more time to boost global supplies which could help contain the virus and ease pressure for the waiver.
    The initial IP waiver proposal https://docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/SS/directdoc.aspx?filename=q:/IP/C/W669.pdf&Open=True by India and South Africa last October included vaccines, treatments, diagnostic kits, ventilators, protective gear and other products needed to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
HAGGLING OVER WORDS
    U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai said on Wednesday that she will pursue “text-based negotiations” on the WTO waiver, the standard but tedious process for trade deal talks.    Negotiators trade texts with their preferred wording, then try to find common ground, sometimes leaving blank spaces for thorny differences to be settled by politicians.
    All 164 WTO member countries must reach consent on such decisions, with any one member able to block them.
    “Those negotiations will take time given the consensus-based nature of the institution and the complexity of the issues involved,” Tai said in a statement that tamped down expectations for a quick deal.
    While Biden’s backing adds political impetus to get a deal done, Germany, home to Pfizer’s vaccine partner BioNTech SE, on Thursday rejected the waiver proposal.
    A German government spokeswoman said that manufacturing capacity was the main constraint on supplies, not intellectual property.
    European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said only that she was willing to discuss Biden’s plans.
    U.S. companies, which strive to influence the USTR’s trade negotiations, are already mobilizing to try to ensure the WTO talks lead to a waiver that is as narrowly targeted as possible.
    “This is a mitigation effort.    We’re aiming to make it less bad than it otherwise would be,” one industry source said.
    Some Republican lawmakers are pushing the argument that the decision will hand American technology to China.
    “What this decision will do, if it goes forward, is benefit countries like China that are aggressively trying to obtain U.S. technology to bolster their own domestic champions,” Republican Senator Mike Crapo said in a statement.
    On the plus side, a successful waiver negotiation would “improve the atmospherics” at the WTO, which has been marked by failure to reach agreement on substantive new trade policy since its inception in 1995, said Harry Broadman, a former Clinton administration trade official who helped negotiate the trade body’s creation.
    “It’s good that the WTO hopefully can actually think about a consensus,” Broadman said, adding that he sees slim prospects that a vaccine deal could revive prospects for broader WTO negotiations.
(Reporting by David Lawder; additional reporting by Andrea Shalal in Washington, Andreas Rinke in Berlin and Phil Blenkinsop in Brussels; Editing by Heather Timmons, Raju Gopalakrishnan and Bill Berkrot)

5/7/2021 U.S., Russia, China Poke Each Other At U.N. Security Council by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken holds a joint news conference with his British counterpart at Downing Street following their
bilateral meeting in London, Britain May 3, 2021 during the G7 foreign ministers meeting. Chris J Ratcliffe/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken took a veiled swipe at Russia and China on Friday during a U.N. Security Council meeting chaired by his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, warning that the actions of some big powers portrays impunity to others.
    The meeting on multilateralism, convened by China as council president for May, comes amid a U.N. battle for influence between the world’s two biggest economies as President Joe Biden seeks to reassert traditional U.S. leadership – reversing former President Donald Trump’s favored unilateral approach – in the face of a more assertive Beijing.
    Blinken stressed the need for countries to uphold international commitments, focus on human rights and respect for the principle of sovereign equality.
    “When U.N. member states – particularly permanent members of the Security Council – flout these rules and block attempts to hold accountable those who violate international law, it sends the message that others can break those rules with impunity,” he said.
    Russia, China, the United States, France and Britain are the permanent, veto-wielding powers of the 15-member council.
    The United States has accused China of genocide by repressing Uighur Muslims in detention centers in its Xinjiang region.    China denies accusations of abuse and says it is trying to stamp out extremism.
    “Asserting domestic jurisdiction doesn’t give any state a blank check to enslave, torture, disappear, ethnically cleanse their people, or violate their human rights in any other way,” Blinken said.
    While Blinken did not name Russia or China, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov bluntly criticized a U.S. plan to hold a summit on global democracy as “creating a new special interests club on an openly ideologized basis” that “could further exacerbate international tension and draw dividing lines in a world which needs a unifying agenda now more than ever.”
    Moscow and Washington have long differed over a range of issues, but ties have slumped further after Biden said he believed President Vladimir Putin was “a killer.”    Washington has also imposed sanctions over accusations Moscow interfered in the 2020 U.S. election, cyber hacking and “bullying” Ukraine.
    China and Russia were both critical of unilateral sanctions with Wang describing them as “illegitimate.”
    Blinken, Wang and Lavrov did agree the world needed to work together to address climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Alistair Bell)

5/10/2021 Romanian President Says More NATO Presence Needed In Eastern Europe
FILE PHOTO: Romania's President Klaus Iohannis arrives to attend a face-to-face EU summit amid the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown in Brussels, Belgium December 10, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman/Pool
    BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Eastern European NATO states would like a bigger presence of allied military forces on the bloc’s eastern flank, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said on Monday after a virtual summit of those states that was also joined by U.S. President Joe Biden.
    “NATO must continue to strengthen its defence and deterrence posture especially on the Eastern flank, from … the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea,” Iohannis said after the summit.
    “This is why I have argued, including in discussions with President Biden, for an increase of allied military presence in Romania and … the south of the Eastern flank.”
    The summit of the Bucharest Nine, a group of European countries on the eastern edge of NATO was jointly hosted by Iohannis and Poland’s President Andrzej Duda.
(Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

5/10/2021 EU Prepares New Round Of Belarus Sanctions From June, Diplomats Say by Robin Emmott
FILE PHOTO: Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko attends the Roundtable Summit Phase One Sessions of Belt and Road Forum
at the International Conference Center in Yanqi Lake on May 15, 2017 in Beijing, China. REUTERS/Lintao Zhang/Pool
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is readying a fourth round of sanctions against senior Belarus officials in response to last year’s contested presidential election and could target as many as 50 people from June, four diplomats said.
    Along with the United States, Britain and Canada, the EU has already imposed asset freezes and travel bans on almost 90 officials, including President Alexander Lukashenko, following an August election which opponents and the West say was rigged.
    Despite a months-long crackdown on pro-democracy protesters by Lukashenko, the EU’s response has been narrower than during a previous period of sanctions between 2004 and 2015, when more than 200 people were blacklisted.
    The crisis has pushed 66-year-old Lukashenko back towards traditional ally Russia, which along with Ukraine and NATO member states Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, borders Belarus.
    Some Western diplomats say Moscow regards Belarus as a buffer zone against NATO and has propped up Lukashenko with loans and an offer of military support.
    Poland and Lithuania, where opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya fled to after the election she says she won, have led the push for more sanctions amid frustration that the measures imposed so far have had little effect.
    EU foreign ministers discussed Belarus on Monday and diplomats said many more of the bloc’s 27 members now supported further sanctions, but that Brussels needed to gather sufficient evidence to provide legally solid listings.
    “We are working on the next sanctions package, which I hope will be adopted in the coming weeks,” said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who chaired the meeting.
    The EU has sought to promote democracy and develop a market economy in Belarus, but, along with the United States, alleges that Lukashenko has remained in power by holding fraudulent elections, jailing opponents and muzzling the media.
    Lukashenko, who along with Russia says the West is meddling in Belarus’ internal affairs, has sought to deflect the condemnation by imposing countersanctions on the EU and banning some EU officials from entering the country.
    “The fourth package (of sanctions) is likely to come in groups (of individuals), but it will be a sizeable package,” one EU diplomat told Reuters.
    More details were not immediately available.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott in Brussels, additional reporting by Sabine Siebold in Berlin, editing by Alexander Smith)
[WITH THE EU AFTER HIM LUKASHENKO WENT TO CHINA TO GET HELP FROM THE BELT AND ROAD.].

5/10/2021 EU’s Borrell Says Iran Nuclear Talks Moving To Crucial Stage
FILE PHOTO: European High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell speaks during a meeting via video conference
with EU foreign ministers at the European Council in Brussels, Belgium April 19, 2021. Francois Walschaerts/Pool via REUTERS
(Refiles to correct spelling of Borrell in headline)
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Negotiations in Vienna between world powers and Iran are moving into a crucial stage and the next few weeks will be critical to saving their 2015 nuclear deal, the European Union’s top diplomat said on Monday.
    U.S. officials returned to Vienna last week for a fourth round of indirect talks with Iran on how to resume compliance with the deal, which former U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018, prompting Iran to begin violating its limits on uranium enrichment about a year later.
    “I am optimistic, there is a window of opportunity that will stay open for a couple of weeks, (until) end of the month,” EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell, who is chairing the talks, told a news conference in Brussels.
    “But a lot of work is needed, time is limited and I hope that the negotiations will enter into a phase of nonstop (talks) in Vienna,” he said following a meeting of EU foreign ministers.
    The crux of the 2015 agreement was that Iran committed to rein in its uranium enrichment program to make it harder to obtain the fissile material for a nuclear weapon, in return for relief from U.S., EU and U.N. sanctions.
    Tehran denies having nuclear weapons ambitions.
    German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas described the negotiations as tough and laborious, but added that all participants were conducting them in a constructive atmosphere.
    “However, time is running out. We aim for the full restoration of the Iran nuclear deal as this is the only way to guarantee that Iran will not be able to come into possession of nuclear weapons,” Maas said in Brussels.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott and Sabine Siebold; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
[ITS KIND OF LIKE THE FOX SAYING IT WILL NOT ATTACK THE CHICKENS IN THE HEN HOUSE BUT THEN DOES IT ANYWAY.].

5/10/2021 Taiwan Fights To Attend WHO Meeting, But China Says No
FILE PHOTO: Chinese and Taiwanese national flags are displayed alongside military airplanes
in this illustration taken April 9, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
    TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan will fight to the end for an invitation to a World Health Organization (WHO) meeting this month, its foreign ministry said on Monday, but China said there was no room for compromise over the island that Beijing claims as its own.
    The rich-nation Group of Seven (G7) has called for Chinese-claimed but democratically-ruled Taiwan to attend the WHO’s decision-making body, the World Health Assembly, which meets from May 24.
    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated that on Sunday and Taiwan says it is urgent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said they had yet to receive an invite.
    “But the Foreign Ministry will continue to work together with the Ministry of Health and Welfare to fight to the last minute and do everything possible for our right to participate in the meeting,” she said in a statement.
    Taiwan is locked out of most global organisations such as the WHO due to the objections of China, which considers the island one of its provinces not a country.
    While the WHO cooperates with Taiwan’s technical experts on COVID-19, it is up to member states whether to invite Taiwan to observe the WHO meeting, the WHO’s principal legal officer Steve Solomon said at a news briefing on Monday.
    Such an invite would need a vote, and China can easily corral enough friendly countries to block it, according to diplomats.
    Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying condemned the United States for its “political manipulation” of the issue, and said Taiwan had to accept it was part of China if it wanted access to global bodies, something the government will not do.
    “I want to emphasise once again that the Taiwan issue concerns China’s core interests. China has no room for compromise,” Hua told reporters.
    The WHO did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
    Taiwan says it is nonsense for China to claim it has the right to speak for it on the international stage when Beijing has no say in how it is governed.
    The WHO says it has cooperated with Taiwan during the pandemic and that the island has received help needed.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by David Kirton in Beijing and Emma Farge in Geneva; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

5/10/2021 Pandemic Plateauing With Deaths And Cases Declining – WHO
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting on update
on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, April 6, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization said on Monday the world was seeing a plateauing in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, with declines in most regions including the Americas and Europe, the two worst-affected regions.
    “But it’s an unacceptably high plateau, with more than 5.4 million reported COVID-19 cases and almost 90,000 deaths last week,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, Emma Farge, Silke Koltowitz; Editing by Alison Williams)

5/11/2021 Iran Has Enriched Uranium To Up To 63% Purity, IAEA Says by Francois Murphy
FILE PHOTO: An Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
headquarters in Vienna, Austria, September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo
    VIENNA (Reuters) - “Fluctuations” at Iran’s Natanz plant pushed the purity to which it enriched uranium to 63%, higher than the announced 60% that complicated talks to revive its nuclear deal with world powers, a report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Tuesday.
    Iran made the shift to 60%, a big step towards nuclear weapons-grade from the 20% previously achieved, last month in response to an explosion and power cut at Natanz that Tehran has blamed on Israel and appears to have damaged its enrichment output at a larger, underground facility there.
    Iran’s move rattled the current indirect talks with the United States to agree conditions for both sides to return fully to the 2015 nuclear deal, which was undermined when Washington abandoned it in 2018, prompting Tehran to violate its terms.
    The deal says Iran cannot enrich beyond 3.67% fissile purity, far from the 90% of weapons-grade.    Iran has long denied any intention to develop nuclear weapons.
    “According to Iran, fluctuations of the enrichment levels… were experienced,” the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in the confidential report to its member states, seen by Reuters.
    “The agency’s analysis of the ES (environmental samples) taken on 22 April 2021 shows an enrichment level of up to 63% U-235, which is consistent with the fluctuations of the enrichment levels (described by Iran),” it added, without saying why the fluctuations had occurred.
    A previous IAEA report last month said Iran was using one cascade, or cluster, of advanced IR-6 centrifuge machines to enrich to up to 60% and feeding the tails, or depleted uranium, from that process into a cascade of IR-4 machines to enrich to up to 20%.
    Tuesday’s report said the Islamic Republic was now feeding the tails from the IR-4 cascade into a cascade of 27 IR-5 and 30 IR-6s centrifuges to refine uranium to up to 5%.
(Reporting by Francois Murphy; editing by Mark Heinrich)

5/11/2021 In Iran Talks, France Sees Progress On Nuclear Aspects, But Time Short
FILE PHOTO: The Iranian flag waves in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
headquarters in Vienna, Austria, March 1, 2021. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner
    PARIS (Reuters) -France said on Tuesday that there had been some progress in negotiations related to Iran’s compliance on nuclear issues, but warned that there remained a lot still to do within a short time frame if efforts to revive a 2015 accord were to succeed.
    Talks resumed in Vienna on May 7 with the remaining parties to the deal – Iran, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany – meeting in the basement of a luxury hotel, and the United States based in another hotel across the street.
    Iran has refused to hold direct meetings with the United States on how to resume compliance with the deal, which former President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018, prompting Iran to begin violating its terms about a year later.
    “The discussions that resumed on May 7 in Vienna have led to some initial progress on the nuclear issue,” France’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll told reporters without elaborating.
    “Nevertheless, major disagreements remain on some key points that must be ironed out in order to reach an agreement providing for the return of Iran and the United States and their full implementation of the JCPoA. There is still a lot to do, within very tight deadlines.”
    The crux of the agreement was that Iran committed to rein in its nuclear programme to make it harder to obtain the fissile material for a nuclear weapon in return for relief from U.S., EU and U.N. sanctions.
    Officials have said they hope to reach a deal by May 21, when an agreement between Tehran and the U.N. nuclear watchdog on continued monitoring of some Iranian nuclear activities is due to expire.
    Diplomats have said they believe there had been sufficient progress in the Vienna talks that an extension of the monitoring accord between Tehran and the U.N. agency was likely even if the modalities would still need to be worked out.
    “If an agreement on Iran’s resumption of its commitments is not reached before the expiration of the bilateral technical arrangement between Iran and the Agency, they will have to agree on its extension,” Von der Muhll said.
(Reporting by John Irish;Editing by GV De Clercq, William Maclean)

5/11/2021 EU Confident Of COVID-19 Travel Certificate For Summer by Robin Emmott and Sabine Siebold
FILE PHOTO: People receive COVID-19 vaccine in the Central Mosque in Ehrenfeld suburb, amid the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Cologne, Germany, May 8, 2021. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) -The European Commission expects to finish work soon on a COVID-19 certificate that could allow citizens to travel more easily this summer in the 27-nation bloc, the EU executive said on Tuesday after a meeting with European affairs ministers.
    The pass would allow those vaccinated, recovered from COVID-19 or with negative test results to cross borders in a union where restrictions on movement have weighed heavily on the travel and tourism industry for more than a year.
    “This is a priority for our citizens and therefore I believe we will deliver (on the certificate) before summer,” Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic said after the meeting in Brussels.    He said he expected a full roll-out by the summer.
    A two week pilot project to test the technology a few countries at a time began on Monday, the EU Commission said.
    But EU governments, the European Parliament and the Commission must agree on the design of the certificate. They must also decide whether faster, but less accurate, COVID-19 antigen tests can be included.
    Sefcovic called on all sides to work together to complete the legislative, as well as the technical, work as quickly as possible, noting the complexity of the job.
    “For the certificate to work, it has to be on smartphones, it has to be interoperable, possible to check it.    So it is quite the task to do it at the pan-European level,” Sefcovic said.
    The European Parliament says no one will be obliged to use the EU certificate and it must not be considered a vaccine passport.
    Sefcovic said the Commission was working closely to inform the United States, the World Health Organization and others about its progress to allow the certificate to be used on a wider scale.
    As the vaccination campaign in the EU is gaining speed with 200 million jabs delivered and COVID-19 infections rates falling, Europe is starting to reopen cities and beaches, raising hopes for the summer holiday season.
    German Europe Minister Michael Roth called for a swift agreement.
    “This is not only important for countries depending on tourism but for all of us: It is … a clear signal for freedom of movement and for mobility in the European Union,” Roth said in Brussels.
(Reporting by Sabine Siebold in Berlin and Robin Emmott in Brussels; Editing by Alison Williams)
[THE EUROPEAN UNION AS PART OF THE GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT ENTITY IS THE GROUP THAT WANTS TO CREATE MORE CONTROL OF WHO CAN OR CANNOT TRAVEL UNLESS THEY HAVE IMPLEMENTED A CERTIFIED CONTROL OF IT.].

5/11/2021 U.S. Puts Brake On U.N. Statement Over Middle East Tensions by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: The United Nations logo is seen on a window in an empty hallway at United Nations headquarters during the 75th annual U.N. General Assembly high-level debate,
which is being held mostly virtually due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in New York, U.S., September 21, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar
    NEW YORK (Reuters) -The United States is delaying United Nations Security Council efforts to issue a public statement on escalating tensions between Israel and the Palestinians because it could be harmful to behind-the-scenes efforts to end the violence, according to diplomats and a source familiar with the U.S. strategy.
    Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said Washington is “actively engaged in diplomacy behind the scenes with all parties to achieve a ceasefire” and was concerned that a council statement might be counterproductive at the moment.
    The Security Council is instead going to meet privately on Wednesday to discuss the latest violence, diplomats said.
    The Security Council first discussed on Monday clashes in East Jerusalem around al-Aqsa mosque.    The holy city has been tense during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, with the threat of a court ruling evicting Palestinians from homes claimed by Jewish settlers adding to the friction.
    Before a further upsurge of violence, the 15-member Security Council began discussions on a draft statement that would express concern about the clashes and the potential evictions, call on Israel to cease Jewish settlement activities, demolitions and evictions, and urge general restraint.
    Such statements have to be agreed by consensus.    But diplomats said the United States, a close ally of Israel, told council counterparts that the body should not issue a statement at the moment.
    The U.S. mission to the United Nations said: “The United States is engaging constructively to ensure any action by the Security Council is helpful in de-escalating tensions.”
    State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that Washington wanted to see steps to help de-escalate the violence, whether the steps came from Israel, the Palestinian Authority or the Security Council.     “The United Nations is working with all relevant parties to de-escalate the situation urgently,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday.    He said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is saddened by “the increasingly large numbers of casualties, including children.”
    “Israeli security forces must exercise maximum restraint and calibrate their use of force.    The indiscriminate launching of rockets and mortars towards Israeli population centers is unacceptable,” Dujarric told reporters.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Additional reporting by Simon Lewis; Editing by Howard Goller)
[THIS IS THE CONCEPT OF THE RISE OF THE ENTITY WHO WILL BE THE ONE TO IMPLEMENT THE ABRAHAM ACCORD AND TRUMP PEACE PLAN WHICH IRAN IS CAUSING THAT WITH ITS INFLUENCE AGAIN WITH INCITING THE HEZBOLLAH IN LEBANON TO IGNITE PALESTINIAN ROCKETS INTO ISRAEL.]

5/13/2021 Richard Grenell: Susan Rice Has Assumed Role As Shadow President by OAN Newsroom
Susan Rice, the Biden Administration’s choice to lead the White House Domestic Policy Council,
speaks during an event at The Queen theater. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    In an interview on Wednesday, former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell outlined the current White House’s approach to foreign policy and his concerns about the damage it may cause on a global level.
    He suggested Joe Biden is creating his own headaches by trying to pander to the far-left domestically and said that former National Security Adviser Susan Rice has assumed the role of a “shadow president.”
    Biden placed Rice in charge of the White House Domestic Policy Council, but Grenell exposed this displacement when he stated in an interview that Rice’s expertise is in foreign policy not domestic policy.     “Biden is too weak to stop the progressive left from taking over…Kamala Harris does not understand what’s going on…we have a shadow president in Susan Rice and no one is paying attention,” he asserted.
    Grenell fears because of Rice’s background, all foreign policy will likely be treated as domestic policy and pointed to this as the reason for the administration’s attempts to reach out to the Iranian regime.
    The former DNI said there is no way Biden can take charge over the progressive left. He believes the way the White House is running things, foreign policy will be dictated by the political needs of the American left.
[THIS IS NOTHING NEW SHE IS A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AS WELL AS GEORGE SOROS AND MANY OTHERS WHO ARE CONTROLLING THIS COUNTRY AND ARE PART OF THE GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT AND SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN VICE PRESIDENT BUT OBAMA WANTED SOMEONE IN THE WHITE HOUSE WHICH WAS CAMALA TO KEEP HIS FOOT IN THE DOOR AND OF COURSE JOE BIDEN IS JUST THE PUPPET WITH THEIR HAND UP HIS ASS TELLING HIM WHAT TO SAY AND DEMAND SO IF YOU DID NOT REALIZE WHY THIS ELECTION WAS RIGGED ITS BECAUSE IT WAS TAKEN OVER ILLEGALLY TO CHANGE THIS COUNTRY TO AN ANTICHRISTIAN SOCIALISM AND ALL WE CAN DO FOR NOW IS PRAY TO GOD TO HELP AND PROTECT US.]

5/18/2021 EU Set To Call For Israel-Palestinian Peace Talks With U.S., Russia by Robin Emmott and Sabine Siebold
View of the screen during a video conference of EU foreign ministers to discuss recent developments in the Middle East, in particular the
ongoing violent confrontation in Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories, in Brussels, Belgium May 18, 2021. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS
    BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Reuters) -European Union foreign ministers are set on Tuesday to call for a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, offer more humanitarian aid and try to relaunch peace talks, Malta’s foreign minister said.
    EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell began an emergency call with member states’ foreign ministers after criticism of the West’s response to violence that flared last week, including from Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.
    “I think I’m not being too optimistic (to say) that at a minimum, what will probably come out (of the EU meeting) is the call for a ceasefire, an offer of humanitarian aid, and then seeing how to restart the political process,” Bartolo told Reuters via video link after the ministers’ call began.
    After a ceasefire, the EU would “work with the United States, work with Russia to try and deal with the situation,” he said.
    The EU is a member of the Middle East quartet of mediators, along with Russia, the United Nations and the United States.
    Washington has long played a dominant role in Middle East peacemaking and U.S. President Joe Biden supported a ceasefire during a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday.
    Germany has called for a ceasefire and pledged 40 million euros ($48.86 million) in humanitarian aid for civilians in Gaza.
    “An end to the violence is the first priority,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a video statement streamed on social media.
    The EU is Israel’s biggest trade partner and a big aid donor to the Palestinians but member states are divided over policy and the bloc has been reluctant to use such leverage or discuss possible economic sanctions on Israel’s government.
    At least eight smaller EU states, led by Luxembourg and including Belgium, Ireland, Malta and Finland, are vocal defenders of the Palestinians.
    Others, including Hungary, the Czech Republic, Austria, Greece, Cyprus and Poland, are more ready to defend Israel’s interests.    Austria flew an Israeli flag over the federal chancellery in Vienna on Friday.
    Germany, which still carries the burden of guilt over the Nazi crimes of World War Two, is unwilling to discuss coercive measures against Israel.
    “The European Union should have, right now, a leading role (in diffusing the crisis).    It doesn’t have that role, either because of differences in approach by member states or because there is no strategic approach from Brussels,” Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides told Cyprus’s Alpha TV.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott in Brussels and Sabine Siebold in Berlin, additional reporting by John Chalmers in Brussels and Michele Kambas in Nicosia, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

5/19/2021 EU Envoy Optimistic On Iran Nuclear Talks, European Powers Prudent by Francois Murphy and John Irish
Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Enrique Mora, speaks to the
media outside a hotel, during a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission, in Vienna, Austria, May 19, 2021. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
    VIENNA/PARIS (Reuters) – The EU official leading talks to revive Iran’s nuclear deal said on Wednesday he was confident a deal would be reached as the negotiations adjourned, although European diplomats said success was not guaranteed with very difficult issues remaining.
    The talks resumed in Vienna on May 7 with the remaining parties to the deal – Iran, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany – meeting in the basement of a luxury hotel, and the United States based in another hotel across the street.
    Iran has refused to hold direct talks with the United States on how to resume compliance with the 2015 deal, which former President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018, prompting Tehran to begin violating its terms about a year later.
    “I am quite sure that there will be a final agreement … I think we are on the right track and we will get an agreement,” Enrique Mora, who is coordinating indirect talks between Iran and the United States, told reporters at the end of a fourth round of negotiations.
    Russia’s envoy, Mikhail Ulyanov, echoed those comments, saying on Twitter he hoped a final round expected to begin next week would be the last one.
    The crux of the original agreement was that Iran committed to rein in its nuclear programme to make it harder to obtain the fissile material for a nuclear weapon in return for relief from U.S., EU and U.N. sanctions.
    Senior diplomats from Britain, France and Germany (a grouping known as the E3) offered a note of caution, saying that while there was some tangible progress with the contours of a final deal emerging, success was not guaranteed.
    “There are still some very difficult issues ahead.    We do not underestimate the challenges that lay before us,” they said in a statement.
    Mora said there was a common understanding on what was needed for a U.S. to return to the deal, lifting of related sanctions and the resumption of nuclear commitments by Iran.
    “It can be said now that the framework and structure of the agreement has been defined and many clauses of the agreement are being negotiated,” Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Abbas Araqchi, told Iranian state TV.
    Officials have said they want to move ahead before Iran’s presidential election in mid-June, fearing the campaign could poison talks.
    They have also had a soft deadline of May 21, when an agreement between Tehran and the IAEA, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, on continued monitoring of some Iranian nuclear activities is due to expire.
    The E3 diplomats said it was critical that Iran allow the IAEA to continue its necessary monitoring and verification work and urged Tehran and the agency to find a way forward.
    “IAEA access will of course be essential to our efforts to restore the JCPoA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), as a deal cannot be implemented without it,” they said.
(Additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Gareth Jones and Giles Elgood)

5/20/2021 Candidates To Succeed Merkel Clash On Nord Stream 2 Pipeline by Paul Carrel
FILE PHOTO: A road sign directs traffic towards the Nord Stream 2 gas line landfall facility
entrance in Lubmin, Germany, September 10, 2020. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The conservative and Greens candidates to succeed German Chancellor Angela Merkel after September’s federal election clashed on Thursday on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia, and on whether Germany should host U.S nuclear weapons.
    In their first debate, focused on foreign and security policy, Armin Laschet, from Merkel’s conservative alliance, welcomed a decision by the U.S. administration this week to waive sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and its chief executive.
    Gazprom and its Western partners are racing to finish the pipeline to send natural gas under the Baltic Sea.    The project, now about 95% complete, would bypass Ukraine, depriving it of lucrative transit fees and potentially undermining its struggle with Russia.
    “I stand by the project and consider it important,” Laschet said in the debate hosted by broadcaster WDR.
    “This decision on how we organize our energy supply we make ourselves, by the way, and so it is a good signal that the policy of President Trump has ended,” he said, referring to the U.S. waiver on sanctions.
    “Germany always has Ukraine’s security in mind,” he added.
    But Annalena Baerbock, the environmentalist Greens’ candidate, said the pipeline issue was “about war and peace,” arguing that Nord Stream 2 risks undermining Ukraine’s security. In recent months, Russia, in what it called a defensive exercise, massed troops on its western border with Ukraine and in Crimea.
    Baerbock made the running for much of the debate, but Laschet and Olaf Scholz, the Social Democrats’ (SPD) chancellor candidate, called her out when she said “this German government is completely against all other Europeans with this (pipeline) project.”
    In the most heated exchange in the hour-long debate, Laschet retorted: “That’s not true Ms. Baerbock, and you know it.”
    The project pits Germany, the EU’s biggest economy, against central and eastern European nations, some of them EU members, who say it would increase the bloc’s dependence on Russian gas.
    Baerbock’s differences with Laschet and Scholz are significant because opinion polls show a coalition is as good as certain to follow after the election, with the Greens likely to join forces with either Laschet’s conservative camp or Scholz’s SPD.
(Additional reporting by Madeline Chambers; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

5/20/2021 Exclusive: G7 Playing A ‘Dangerous Game’ By Pushing Moscow Towards China – Russian Envoy by Guy Faulconbridge
Ambassador of Russia to the United Kingdom Andrei Kelin speaks during an interview with Reuters, inside the
residence of the Russian Ambassador, in London, Britain, May 20, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
    LONDON (Reuters) – The Group of Seven is playing a “dangerous game” by making aggressive and baseless criticism of the Kremlin because it pushes Russia closer to China, Russia’s ambassador to London Andrei Kelin told Reuters on Thursday.
    G7 foreign ministers this month scolded both China and Russia, casting the Kremlin as malicious and Beijing as a bully, but beyond words there were few concrete steps aside from expressing support for Taiwan and Ukraine.
    The G7, in a 12,400-word communique, said Russia was a destabilising influence on the world because of its 2014 annexation of Crimea, its build up on Ukraine’s border and its meddling in the internal affairs of other countries.
    Kelin said the G7’s critique was biased, confrontational, lacked substance and was stoking anti-Western feelings among Russians, while its aggressive attitude towards Russia and China was pushing the two powers together.
    “This is a dangerous game,” Kelin, 64, told Reuters.    “Russia and China have enormous potential in different fields – in the economy, in technology, in military capacities, in politics – this potential is spread around the world.”
    “We are not allies with China, however pushing Russia and China, it closes our ranks with China – in that sense we are more and more united against challenges that are being presented from the West.”
    Russia, the world’s largest country by territory, denies it meddles beyond its borders and says the West is gripped by anti-Russian hysteria.
    China, the world’s second largest economy, says the West is a bully and that its leaders have a post-imperial mindset that makes them feel they can act like global policemen.
    G7 leaders gather for a summit in St Ives, in the southern English region of Cornwall, on June 11-13.    How to deal with President Vladimir Putin’s Russia is expected to be on the agenda.
    Kelin, a career diplomat who speaks fluent English, French and Dutch, said Russia would proceed according to its own geopolitical interests and that if there were issues that needed to be discussed then dialogue was the best way.
    “But the G7 prefers megaphone diplomacy,” Kelin said.    “This is a club that expresses certain opinions on different subjects but it has no grounds to judge other countries about the state of democracy.”
    Asked about G7 criticism of the state of human rights in Russia, Kelin said the United States and Britain should pay more attention to the state of their own democracy after the attacks on the U.S. Capitol and race issues in Britain.
    “Look at yourself in this situation – but they don’t want to look at themselves,” Kelin said.    “No one gives them the right to judge others – especially on the state of democracy.”
    Russia was brought into what became the Group of Eight in 1997 under former President Boris Yeltsin but its membership was suspended in 2014 after the annexation of Crimea.
    “We see discussions on this subject: let’s invite Russia, let’s not invite Russia.    It is strange for us as we are not eager to become once again a part of this club,” Kelin said.    “In our view it has lost its authority.”
    “It is divisive – it has a tendency to split the world into friends and aliens: they want to talk about coalitions of friends targetted against the others. This doesn’t bring solutions – it brings more problems to the world,” Kelin said.
    Russia, he said, was more interested in other forums such as the G20, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the BRICs organisation.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Kate Holton, William Maclean)

5/20/2021 Germany, U.S. Want Closer Ties After Nord Stream 2 Sanctions Waiver – Merkel
FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at
the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany May 12, 2021. Michael Sohn/Pool via REUTERS
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany and the United States are in talks to intensify their economic ties after the Biden administration waived sanctions on the company behind Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.
    “President Biden has now moved toward us a bit on the Nord Stream 2 conflict, where we have different views but where we will now talk further about what are the necessary commonalities in relation to Russia,” Merkel said in an interview with public broadcaster WDR.
    “We are in talks with each other in many areas … we are also in bilateral talks, for example, especially with regard to intensifying our economic cooperation,” she added.
    The Biden administration waived sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and its chief executive earlier this week as the U.S. seeks to rebuild ties with Germany, after relations deteriorated under Republican former President Donald Trump.
    Gazprom and its Western partners are racing to finish the pipeline to send natural gas under the Baltic Sea.    The project, now about 95% complete, would bypass Ukraine, depriving it of lucrative transit fees and potentially undermining its struggle with Russia.
(Reporting by Paul Carrel and Joseph Nasr)

5/20/2021 Kremlin Coy On Putin-Biden Summit After ‘Positive’ Diplomatic Talks
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Harpa Concert Hall,
on the sidelines of the Arctic Council Ministerial summit, in Reykjavik, Iceland, May 19, 2021. Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERS
    MOSCOW (Reuters) -The Kremlin said on Thursday that President Vladimir Putin had yet to decide on whether a summit with his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden would go ahead, but hailed talks between the two countries’ top diplomats as a positive signal.
    Ties between Moscow and Washington are at a post-Cold War low after Biden in March said he thought Putin was a “killer,” prompting Moscow to recall its ambassador to Washington.
    Despite his remark, Biden has said he would like to talk with Putin during a trip to Europe next month.
    Russia has said it is weighing up the proposal.
    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s talks in Iceland on Wednesday were their first in-person meeting.
    They said they had serious differences in how they viewed world affairs, but could still find ways to work together.
    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the talks would help Moscow decide on the summit option. “Without a doubt, this is a positive signal,” he told reporters.
    “The very fact that the conversation … took place is positive.    But it’s obvious this process will not be simple.    Many problems have built up.    But at least the talks in Reykjavik between the foreign minister and the secretary of state will help inform the analysis underway in Moscow about (the desirability) of a meeting between the two presidents.”
(Reporting by Dmitry Antonov; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Andrew Osborn and Andrew Cawthorne)

5/20/2021 Russia Calls For Military Meetings Between Arctic States As Tensions Rise
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (C) arrives for the Arctic Council Ministerial meeting at the
Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, Iceland May 20, 2021. Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERS
    COPENHAGEN (Reuters) -Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday urged Arctic states to resume high-level military meetings amid growing tension in the region and expressed concern about the deployment of foreign troops in Norway near the Russian border.
    As a warming climate is opening up the Arctic for shipping, fishing, drilling and mining, Russia has beefed up its military presence there and the United States is carrying out more naval exercises.
    “It is important to extend the positive relations that we have within the Arctic Council to encompass the military sphere as well,” Lavrov said in a speech at an Arctic Council meeting in Reykjavik.
    Military matters are not covered by the Arctic Council, which was created in 1996 to establish peaceful dialogue between Arctic states and indigenous people on issues such as environmental protection and sustainable development.
    On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused Russia of unlawful maritime claims in the Arctic.
    Annual meetings between armed forces chiefs from Arctic states were halted in 2014 following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.    Russia has not participated in another forum, the Arctic Security Forces Roundtable, since 2014.
    Lavrov proposed starting with a meeting of military experts from the general staffs of the eight Arctic countries.
    Russia takes over the chairmanship of the Arctic Council this year.
    Lavrov also voiced concern over NATO-member Norway, which shares a short border with Russia and last month allowed the United States to build facilities at three Norwegian airfields and a naval base.
    “We are concerned about what is going on close to our border with Norway,” Lavrov said.
    Relations between Norway and Russia gradually improved in the post-Cold War era before suffering a setback when Moscow annexed Crimea.    That led to a military build-up on both sides of the border and more frequent military manoeuvres.
(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen, Tom Balmforth and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber, Editing by William Maclean and Giles Elgood)

5/20/2021 U.N. Bodies Set Up ‘One Health’ Panel To Advise On Animal Disease Risks
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting on update
on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, April 6, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    SHANGHAI (Reuters) – The World Health Organization and three other international bodies have formed a team of experts to help develop a global plan to prevent the spread of diseases from animals to humans, the WHO said on Thursday.
    The One Health High-Level Expert Panel was an initiative launched by France and Germany late last year, and held its inaugural meeting this week.
    It will advise the WHO, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Organization for Animal Health and the United Nations Environment Programme on developing “risk assessment and surveillance frameworks” and establish “good practices to prevent and prepare for zoonotic outbreaks.”
    The panel will also consider potential transmission risks in food production and distribution, urbanisation and the construction of infrastructure, international travel and trade and activities that lead to biodiversity loss and climate change, the WHO said in a press release.
    The panel will publish its first recommendations later this year.
    The global COVID-19 pandemic is widely believed to have originated in wildlife trading networks in China and southeast Asia.    The closest known genetic match of the coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 has been found in bats.
    A joint study into the origins of COVID-19 by China and WHO all but ruled out the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 was leaked from a laboratory known to be studying bat coronaviruses, saying the most probable route of transmission was an as yet unidentified intermediary species.
    China, where the COVID-19 outbreak began late in 2019, has already banned most types of wildlife trade and consumption and is also setting up ecological “security barriers” to keep humans out of animal habitats.
    The WHO says three quarters of all emerging infectious diseases originate in animals.
(Reporting by David Stanway; editing by Carmel Crimmins)

5/20/2021 Trust In EU Governments Falls Amid Pandemic, Steady In EU As A Bloc by Robin Emmott
FILE PHOTO: A large European Union flag lies at the centre of Schuman square, outside the European Commission
headquarters, on the eve of Europe Day, in Brussels, Belgium, May 8, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union citizens’ support for their national governments has fallen sharply since the COVID-19 pandemic began, although the supranational bloc itself has maintained trust, a survey by an EU agency published on Thursday showed.
    The survey by Eurofound, the EU agency for improving living and working conditions, showed that citizens in 26 of the 27 EU countries had less faith in their national governments than when COVID-19 lockdowns began in March last year.    The exception was Denmark, where sentiment was steady.
    The study also found that trust in the bloc itself was generally higher than for national governments even after sharp criticism of the executive European Commission over delays to COVID-19 vaccine procurement and delivery.
    Eurofound said the survey was based on three rounds of polling based on an overall sample of 138,629 people.
    After improving last summer when the bloc approved its multi-billion-euro recovery plan, trust in the EU as an organisation fell slightly in February and March from a year earlier.
    Most recently, people in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Greece and Poland registered much lower support for their governments than a year ago.
    Austria, whose government was initially praised for its handling of the pandemic but then faced criticism over its vaccine purchases, saw one of the biggest falls in support over the past year, the survey found.
    Denmark and Finland were the countries with the highest trust in the national government.
    The study confirmed a historical trend that Europeans trust the EU as a organisation more than their national governments.
    Citizens in France, Hungary, Malta, Portugal, Romania and Spain said they trusted the EU more now than at the start of the pandemic, although support fell in Germany, the EU’s most powerful member.
    Fourteen months after the first COVID-19 cases were recorded in the EU, Eurofound warned that rising inequality and fatigue could lead to instability if more is not done to help Europeans.
    “Failing to prevent the rise of economic and social inequalities among citizens and member states risks … triggering political discontent against the European social contract that binds all of us together,” the survey said.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Catherine Evans)

5/21/2021 CCP-Linked Professor Admits COVID-19 Was Biological War Against U.S. by OAN Newsroom
In this picture taken on December 18, 2019, a Fudan University sign is seen on the campus
in Shanghai. (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP) (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)
    A top Chinese scholar has reportedly admitted that the coronavirus outbreak was an act of biological warfare against the U.S. In a recent video, Professor Ping Chen of China’s Fudan University said in 2020 Beijing won in both a trade war and a biological war against the U.S.
    This comes after bioweapons expert Lawrence Sellin discovered China released COVID-19 intentionally to gain economic advantage of the U.S. and remove President     Donald Trump from office.    Professor Ping’s video further confirmed China’s biological warfare program served a political purpose of derailing President Trump’s “America First” agenda.
    A new House Intelligence report found overwhelming circumstantial evidence that COVID-19 came from a lab in Wuhan.    The report cited evidence obtained by U.S. Intelligence agencies over the past year, noting that the coronavirus outbreak was likely a result of an accidental leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.    It added, there’s no credible evidence that the virus jumped from animals to humans by itself without any outside influence.
    Meanwhile, Australian Intelligence suspects China may have released the virus intentionally in order to take advantage of the global economy.    The House Intelligence report concluded by urging the U.S. government to release all evidence of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s cooperation with the Wuhan lab on the research.
TOPSHOT – An aerial view shows the P4 laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei
province on April 17, 2020. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP) (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)
    This comes as Mainland China has been caught spreading COVID-19 misinformation, yet again.    Most of this was channeled by its state propaganda media.    According to a new report by the International Federation of Journalists( IFJ), Beijing was exaggerating COVID-19 fears and drumming up its response to it.
    As a result, 56 percent of IFJ members said media coverage in their country became more positive of China amid the initial outbreak.    The IFJ is based in Brussels and its members include 54 journalist unions in more than 50 countries.    Amongst them, there has been a collective agreement that China has successfully manipulated COVID narratives to increase its political influence worldwide.

5/21/2021 ‘Failure For Humanity’: Rich World Aims To End Vaccine Inequities by Crispian Balmer and Francesco Guarascio
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen attend a news conference at a virtual
G20 summit on the global health crisis, at Villa Pamphilj in Rome, Italy, May 21, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli/Pool
    ROME (Reuters) -Rich nation leaders and big drugmakers promised on Friday to do more to bridge the startling divide in fighting COVID-19, with an increased flow of badly-needed vaccines to poorer regions.
    Lavishly-funded mass inoculation campaigns are helping many wealthy countries slash infections, but few shots have reached less developed nations where the virus still rages sometimes uncontrollably, drawing accusations of “vaccine apartheid”
    To date, some 1.53 billion doses have been administered globally, but only around 1% of them in Africa, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
    “We should hang our heads in shame,” said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, one of numerous world leaders to address a special Group of 20 summit on the pandemic, hosted by Italy and the European Union’s executive Commission.
    “We are in a global war against a pandemic.    When you are in a war and you are all allies, you must use all your weapons without hiding behind profit at the expense of lives,” he added.
    In their concluding Rome Declaration, the leaders called for voluntary licensing and technology transfers to boost vaccine production.    But there was no consensus on a contested push by the United States and other nations for pharmaceutical companies to waive valuable patents.
    However, Pfizer and BioNTech pledged to make available 1 billion cut-price doses this year to poorer nations.    Another 1 billion vaccines would be provided next year, Pfizer boss Albert Bourla said.
    Johnson & Johnson promised 200 million doses of its vaccine to COVAX, a vaccine-sharing programme co-led by the WHO.
    In addition, the EU promised 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to build vaccination manufacturing hubs in Africa.
    “As we prepare for the next pandemic, our priority must be to ensure that we all overcome the current one together.    We must vaccinate the world, and do it fast,” Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said.
    China’s President Xi Jinping pledged $3 billion in aid over the next three years to help developing countries recover and proposed setting up an international forum to promote fair distribution of vaccines.
    U.S. President Joe Biden let his vice president, Kamala Harris, speak on his behalf.    His administration has backed calls from many developing countries for the patent waiver, in the hope this would boost production and allow more equitable distribution.
    The suggestion has been snubbed by some European nations, who have instead called for the removal of U.S. trade barriers that they consider the main bottleneck.
‘SHARE DOLLARS AND DOSES’
    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said existing global agreements already allowed countries to force companies to share their licences in an emergency.
    She added that the EU will make a proposal to facilitate the use of those clauses and added that Europe would donate at least 100 million doses to poorer nations by the end of the year, including 30 million each from France and Germany.
    Among a flurry of proposals, the International Monetary Fund suggested a $50 billion plan to end the pandemic by vaccinating at least 40% of all people by the end of 2021 and at least 60% by the first half of 2022.
    U.S. philanthropist Bill Gates said more than 80% of the first billion shots went to wealthy countries, versus 0.2% for low-income nations.    “If we do not close this immense gap, more people will die needlessly.    There are two immediate actions countries can take: share dollars and doses,” he said.
    In their declaration, the world leaders noted the importance of the so-called ACT-Accelerator, a tool of the WHO to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, drugs and tests.
    However, dashing initial expectations, the declaration did not include a clear commitment to fully fund the programme, which is still $19 billion short.
    The COVAX program, which is dedicated to equitable global vaccine distribution, was also mentioned as a way of providing donated doses to countries.
    “The rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines is a triumph of science, but their inequitable distribution is a failure for humanity,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus told the virtual meeting.
($1 = 0.8188 euros)
(Reporting by Crispian Balmer in Rome and Francesco Guarascio in Brussels;Additional reporting by Emma Farge in Geneva;Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

5/24/2021 Ryanair Plane Diverted To Belarus ‘Had To Land There’ – Aviation Experts
FILE PHOTO: A pedestrian walks past the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) headquarters
building in Montreal, Quebec, Canada June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi
    (Reuters) – The captain of the Ryanair plane intercepted by a Belarusian warplane and forced to land in Minsk after what turned out to be a false bomb threat had little choice but to comply, aviation experts and pilots said.
    The scrambling of a warplane by Belarus to arrest a journalist, Roman Protasevich, has provoked outrage among Western leaders and prompted several airlines to divert flights away from Belarusian airspace.
    “If the interceptor directed the Ryanair flight to Minsk, then they had to land there,” said John Cox, a former US Airways pilot who is now an aviation-safety consultant.
    “Pilots are trained for this, and there are internationally-agreed signals between the interceptor and the airliner,” he said, adding that pilots carry drawings or descriptions of the intercept signals with them on every flight.
    In the event of a bomb threat aboard, pilots would adhere to instructions on where to land and assume that the intercepting aircraft was there to help.
    “You don’t question the intention (of an interception) because the assumption is that they’re there on your behalf,” said one pilot at a European airline.
    “It’s their airspace and you don’t start a discussion with a MiG-29,” said another pilot, referring to the military fighter jet which Belarus scrambled to intercept Ryanair’s plane.
    While airlines are required to provide passenger manifests for international travel, pilots are not usually informed of who is on board, aviation experts said.
    The incident has strained a decades-old system of cooperation amid a flare-up of East-West tensions, with the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) saying Belarus’ action may have contravened the Chicago Convention, a core aviation treaty.
    “We strongly condemn any interference or requirement for landing of civil aviation operations that is inconsistent with the rules of international law,” the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday and called for an investigation.
    But the practicalities of organising such a probe are unclear as aviation, though highly regulated nationally and supported by globally harmonised rules to keep skies safe, lacks a global policeman to avoid constant disputes over sovereignty.
    Meanwhile, lawyers said any probe or legal claim would also have to plough through a tangle of jurisdictions typical of liberalised air travel: a Polish-registered jet flown by an Irish group between EU nations Greece and Lithuania, over non-EU Belarus.
(Reporting by Josesphine Mason, Alexander Cornwell, Tracy Rucisnki, David Shepardson; additional reporting by Conor Humphries; writing by Clara-Laeila Laudette and Tracy Rucinski; editing by Grant McCool)

5/24/2021 Taiwan’s Bid To Take Part In WHO Annual Assembly Fails
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO)
in Geneva, Switzerland, April 6, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA (Reuters) – Taiwan’s bid to take part in the annual ministerial assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) formally ended on Monday, despite support from a handful of countries including allies of the United States.
    The decision not to include Taiwan on the agenda, taken by WHO’s general committee, was announced by Bhutan’s Health Minister Dasho Dechen Wangmo, who serves as president of the week-long assembly.
    Minutes earlier in the debate, Chen Xu, China’s ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, called on countries supporting Taiwan’s participation in the WHO ministerial assembly to “stop politicising the issue” and to uphold the ‘One China’ principle.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

5/24/2021 Deputy U.S Treasury Chief Sees G7 Support For 15%-Plus Global Minimum Tax by David Lawder
FILE PHOTO: Economist Adewale "Wally" Adeyemo listens to questions during his Senate Finance Committee nomination hearing to be Deputy Secretary
of the Treasury in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, in Washington, D.C., U.S., February 23, 2021. Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS
(In 9th paragraph, adds dropped word “the” in quote)
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said he anticipates strong support from the G7 industrial democracies for the Biden Administration’s proposed 15%-plus global minimum corporate tax, which in turn should help solidify support in the U.S. Congress for domestic corporate tax legislation.
    “My sense is that you’re going to see a lot of unified support amongst the G7 moving forward,” Adeyemo told Reuters on Monday after supportive comments about the Treasury’s proposal from France, Germany, Italy and Japan.
    That support may be voiced at an in-person meeting of G7 finance ministers in London on June 4-5, Adeyemo said.
    The reaction from G7 chair Britain has been more guarded.
    The Treasury last week floated a global minimum rate of 15% or higher, well below the Biden administration’s 21% minimum rate for U.S. companies’ overseas income and its 28% proposed domestic corporate tax rate.
    In 2017, the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress cut the rate to 21% in 2017 and instituted a minimum tax rate on overseas income from intangible sources of 10.5%.
    The U.S. global minimum tax proposal is expected to be a key topic of discussion at a preliminary virtual G7 finance leaders meeting on Friday.
    Adeyemo, who is involved in the OECD tax talks, said he expects a broad international commitment of 15% or more to help build support in Congress for a U.S. corporate tax increase by narrowing the gap between U.S. and overseas rates.    Once a higher U.S. minimum is in place, that will provide incentives for other countries to move toward the U.S. rate, he added.
    “If we can get the world to say that they’re willing to do at least 15%, it gives us the ability to come back to the international conversation once we’ve finished to the domestic piece.”
    Negotiators in the OECD tax talks have been aiming for an agreement in principal this summer.    By the time of a G20 finance leaders meeting in Venice, Italy in July, there should be a good sense of unity around a global minimum tax structure, Adeyemo said.    He added that there would be a lot of technical details to work out, so a final agreement may have to wait until G20 leaders meet in Rome at the end of October.
(Reporting by David Lawder;Editing by Dan Burns and David Gregorio)

5/25/2021 Iran Agrees To 1 Month Extension Of Nuclear Site by OAN Newsroom
Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Rafael Mariano Grossi from Argentina, addresses the media during a news conference behind plexiglass shields regarding
the agency’s monitoring of Irans’s nuclear energy program at the International Center in Vienna, Austria, Monday, May 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Florian Schroetter)
    Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) havem agreed to extend surveillance at Tehran’s nuclear sites.    IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi told reporters in Austria Monday that the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog agency would keep its monitoring devices in place until June 24.
    “One thing that we had agreed on back in February was that at the expiration of the technical understanding, the information would be erased,” stated the IAEA chief.    “And this is not going to happen, so this is an important aspect.”
    The temporary three month agreement that expired Saturday was an attempt to encourage Iran’s cooperation with inspectors.    Tehran’s compliance began to falter in     February as they violated terms of the failed 2015 nuclear deal to pressure the U.S. into lifting sanctions.
    “I want to stress, this is not ideal,” Grossi stated.    “This is like an emergency device that we came up with in order for us to continue having these monitoring activities.”
    The extension buys more time for negotiations between the U.S. and Iran to salvage an Obama-era nuclear deal, which aimed to limit Tehran’s enrichment of uranium.    President Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018 after calling it “horribly one-sided.”
    At the time, President Trump said that at the point when the U.S. had maximum leverage, the Obama administration gave billions of dollars to the Iranian terror regime.
    “The agreement was so poorly negotiated that even if Iran fully complies, the regime could still be on the verge of a nuclear breakout in just a short period of time,” stated the 45th President.    “The deal’s inspection provisions lack adequate mechanisms to prevent, detect and punish cheating.”
FILE – This Jan. 15, 2011 file photo shows Arak heavy water nuclear facilities, near the central city of Arak,
150 miles (250 kilometers) southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/ISNA, Hamid Foroutan, File)
    According to experts, there are as many as two dozen facilities active in Iran’s covert nuclear weapons program.    Inspectors have only visited three of these sites and found traces of processed uranium.

5/25/2021 Iran Official Upbeat Over Nuclear Talks, Top Delegate Cautious
Iranian flag flies in front of the UN office building, housing IAEA headquarters, amid the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Vienna, Austria, May 24, 2021. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner
    DUBAi (Reuters) – Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei said on Tuesday he was optimistic over Tehran reaching an agreement soon at talks with world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal, although Iran’s top negotiator cautioned that serious issues remained.
    Iran and global powers have held several rounds ofnegotiations since April in Vienna, working on steps that Tehranand Washington must take on sanctions and nuclear activitiesto return to full compliance with the nuclear pact.
    “General agreements have been reached on major disputes.    On the lifting of sanctions, the remaining cases are very minor, and given the negotiation process, we are optimistic about resolving the remaining minor and practical cases,” Rabiei told a news confrence streamed on a state-run website.
    Iran’s top negotiator, Abbas Araqchi struck a more cautious stance in comments to state TV.
    “There are still serious and important issues that need to be resolved,” he said.    “Today we will start the negotiations again and we hope that during the few days of talks, God willing, we will be able to reach the final solutions.”
    On his way to the talks, U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley said on Twitter: “The latest round of talks was constructive and saw meaningful progress.    But much work still needs to be done.”
    Washington withdrew from the deal in 2018, prompting Iran tosteadily overstep the accord’s limits on its nuclear programmedesigned to make it harder to develop an atomic bomb – anambition Tehran denies.
    Last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said sanctions on oil, shipping, petrochemicals, insurance and the central bank had been dealt with in the talks, though European diplomats said success was not guaranteed and very difficult issues remained.
    U.S. sanctions are likely to be a major issue in campaigning for Iran’s presidential election on June 18.
    State TV reported on Tuesday that Iran’s election watchdog had approved the candidacy of hardline judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi in the election.    Hardliners say Washington cannot be trusted to respect any nuclear accord.
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Gareth Jones)

5/25/2021 Senior Chinese Diplomat Accuses EU Of Politicising Trade
FILE PHOTO: An attendant walks past EU and China flags ahead of the EU-China High-level Economic
Dialogue at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China June 25, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
    BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi said on Tuesday that attempts by some in the EU to politicise trade issues are “not acceptable and will lead nowhere,” and that Beijing had been shocked when Brussels placed sanctions on Chinese officials.
    Wang, who is also foreign minister, made the remarks less than a week after the EU halted ratification of an investment pact with China until Beijing lifts its own sanctions on EU politicians.
    China’s retaliatory sanctions came after Brussels in March blacklisted Chinese officials over alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang, which Beijing denies.
    The investment pact was not a “one-sided favour” and stoking political confrontation and economic decoupling does not serve the EU’s interests, Wang said at a talk hosted by the Munich Security Conference.
    China remains ready to expand cooperation with Europe, based on mutual respect, he added.
    “It has never come to our mind that the EU will put sanctions on us,” Wang said, questioning how a strategic partner could take such action.
    The sanctions reminded Chinese people “of the days when they were bullied by European imperialists,” Wang said.
    “And as the Chinese government, we have our sovereignty to uphold.    We have our national dignity to uphold … We have to push back falsehoods and disinformation,” he added, explaining why China hit back.
    “China is a trustworthy partner of all countries, not a systemic rival locked in confrontation,” Wang said.
(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom; writing by Tom Daly; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Giles Elgood)

5/27/2021 AP: Biden Won’t Rejoin Open Skies Treaty With Russia, NATO Allies by OAN Newsroom
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) attends a video conference meeting as Joe Biden is seen on screen, as part of the virtual US-hosted
Leaders Summit on Climate, in his residence in Moscow, on April 22, 2020. (Photo by ALEXEY DRUZHININ/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)
    The Biden administration has confirmed it will not rejoin the Open Skies Treaty with Russia and top NATO allies, which had once allowed surveillance flights over military facilities in both countries.    Joe Biden’s officials told reporters on Thursday that they have no plans to rejoin that accord ahead of the Biden-Putin summit.
    This comes despite NATO allies Canada, Britain and France, among others continuing mutual arms-control flights with Russia.    One official reportedly said that since Biden had taken office, Russia had demonstrated a complete absence of progress in taking steps to return to compliance regarding the treaty.
    America’s withdrawal from Open Skies means the U.S. military will no longer be able to inspect Russia’s nuclear objects, allowing for ongoing nuclear build up by Moscow.    The announcement comes amid ongoing calls to investigate payments from Moscow to Joe and Hunter Biden.
    Biden has partially lifted sanctions on Russia ahead of the June 16 meeting, stirring concerns of his ties to the Kremlin.    The Biden administration has continued to say how it is seeking a stable and predictable relationship with Moscow.    However, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been called out on allegations that the     Russians interfered in the 2020 presidential election and that Kremlin was behind the SolarWinds hacking campaign that targeted at least nine U.S. agencies.

5/27/2021 U.N. Launches Investigation Into Whether Israel, Hamas Committed Crimes by Stephanie Nebehay
FILE PHOTO: U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet attends a news conference at the European
headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, December 9, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA (Reuters) -The United Nations Human Rights Council agreed on Thursday to launch an international investigation into alleged crimes committed during the 11-day conflict between Israel and the Islamist group Hamas in Gaza.
    The independent investigation will have a broad mandate to look into all alleged violations, not just in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, but also in Israel during hostilities that were halted by a ceasefire on May 21.
    Michelle Bachelet, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, earlier told the council that deadly Israeli strikes on Gaza might constitute war crimes and that     Hamas had violated international humanitarian law by firing rockets into Israel.
    Israel rejected the resolution adopted by the Geneva forum and said it would not cooperate.
    “Today’s shameful decision is yet another example of the UN Human Rights Council’s blatant anti-Israel obsession,” Israeli Prime Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement accusing the forum of whitewashing “a genocidal terrorist organisation.”
    Israel’s foreign ministry said its forces acted “in accordance with international law, in defending our citizens from Hamas’ indiscriminate rocket fire.”
    A spokesman for Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, called the group’s actions “legitimate resistance” and called for “immediate steps to punish” Israel.
    Israel’s main ally, the United States, said it deeply regretted the decision in the forum, where it has observer status and no vote.
    “The action today instead threatens to imperil the progress that has been made,” said a statement released by the U.S. mission to the U.N. in Geneva.
    By a vote of 24 states in favour, and nine against, with 14 abstentions, the 47-member council adopted a resolution brought by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Palestinian delegation to the United Nations.
    European countries were split, with Austria, Britain and Germany voting against. France and the Netherlands abstained.
BACHELET ADDRESSES COUNCIL
    Bachelet told the council her office had verified the deaths of 270 Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including 68 children, during this month’s violence.    Most were killed in Gaza.
    Hamas rockets killed 10 Israelis and residents, she said.    Israeli authorities put the number of those killed by Palestinian attacks in Israel at 13.
    “Regrettably, the self-professed global champions of human rights continue to shield the occupier from global accountability, and literally provide arms and ammunitions for its widely reported war crimes and crimes of apartheid against the Palestinian people,” said Pakistan’s ambassador to the OIC, Khalil Hashmi, who was speaking on behalf of the OIC.
    The conflict flared after Hamas demanded Israeli security forces leave the al-Aqsa mosque compound in East Jerusalem following confrontations there with Palestinians, and later launched rockets towards Israel.
    The compound sits atop the Old City plateau known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif, or The Noble Sanctuary, and to Jews as Temple Mount.    It is the most sensitive site in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
    Bachelet said “indiscriminate” strikes from rockets launched by Hamas constituted “a clear violation of international humanitarian law.”
    She said Israel’s strikes in Gaza caused widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure and fatalities.
    “Despite Israel’s claims that many of these buildings were hosting armed groups or being used for military purposes, we have not seen evidence in this regard,” Bachelet said.
    “If found to be indiscriminate and disproportionate, such attacks might constitute war crimes,” she added.
(Reporting and writing by Stephanie Nebehay; additional reporting by Dan Williams and Jonathan Saul in Jerusalem and Nidal Al-Mughrabi in Ramallah; Editing by Peter Graff, Edmund Blair and Timothy Heritage)

5/27/2021 UN Rights Council Votes For Probe Into ‘Crimes’ Committed In Gaza Conflict
People sit near the rubble of their houses which were destroyed by Israeli air strikes during
the Israel-Hamas fighting in Gaza Strip May 23, 2021. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah.
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations Human Rights Council agreed on Thursday to launch an international investigation into crimes committed during the 11-day conflict between Israel and the Islamist group Hamas in Gaza.
    By a vote of 24 states in favour, 9 against, with 14 abstentions, the 47-member forum adopted a resolution brought by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Palestinian delegation to the United Nations.
    “The draft resolution … is therefore adopted,” Nazhat Shameem Khan, Fiji’s ambassador who serves as current president of the Geneva forum, said after an all-day special session.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Edmund Blair)

5/27/2021 U.S. Regrets U.N. Move To Launch Gaza Probe
FILE PHOTO: A Palestinian man lights a fire amid the rubble of his house which was destroyed
by Israeli air strikes during the Israel-Hamas fighting, in Gaza Strip, May 23, 2021. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah.
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The United States said on Thursday that it deeply regretted a decision by the U.N. Human Rights Council to launch an international investigation into crimes that may have been committed in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
    “The action today instead threatens to imperil the progress that has been made,” said the statement issued by the U.S. mission to the U.N. in Geneva.
    The United States, which has observer status and no vote at the Geneva forum, did not speak in the all-day special session which adopted a resolution brought by the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation and the Palestinian delegation to the U.N.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay)

5/27/2021 U.N. Appeals For $95 Million To Help Palestinians For Three Months by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: Lynn Hastings, the Head of the humanitarian operations in the Occupied Palestinian
Territory, visits Gaza City May 22, 2021. REUTERS/Nidal al-Mughrabi
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United Nations appealed on Thursday for $95 million to help Palestinians over the next three months in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, after 11 days of the worst fighting between Palestinian militants and Israel in years.
    Lynn Hastings, U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for the Palestinian territories, said the United Nations was currently looking at immediate aid needs and would then assess the longer term damage and how much might be needed for reconstruction.
    She said the appeal launched on Thursday was to address “very immediate needs,” such as food, health, medicine, medical supplies, quick repairs to infrastructure and cash assistance.    On top of the appeal, the United Nations has also already released $22.5 million from other funds to help meet needs.
    Separately, Qatar has said it will provide $500 million to help rebuild Gaza, while the United States pledged an additional $75 million in development and economic aid to the Palestinians in 2021, $5.5 million in immediate disaster relief for Gaza and $32 million to the U.N. Palestinian aid agency based there.
    Palestinian officials put reconstruction costs at tens of millions of dollars in Gaza, where medical officials said 248 people were killed during the 11 days of fighting.    Medics said rocket fire and a guided missile attack killed 13 people in Israel during the hostilities.
    A truce began on Friday.    The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas rules Gaza and is listed by Washington as a terrorist organisation.    Israel has blockaded Gaza since 2007, saying this prevents Hamas bringing in arms.
    “Maintaining predictable access for goods and staff to enter and exit Gaza is going to be critical to ensure a way forward in Gaza,” Hastings told reporters on Thursday.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

5/27/2021 Biden Calling To Intensify Probe Into COVID-19 Origins After Shutting Down State Dept. Probe by OAN Newsroom
In this May 13, 2021 file photo, President Joe Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Joe Biden asked U.S. Intelligence agencies to intensify their investigation into the origins of COVID-19.    In a statement Wednesday, he noted researchers are still considering two key theories regarding the initial outbreak of the virus.
    The theories include whether the virus came from human contact with an infected animal or it leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China.    The Biden administration admitted China has not been transparent with international probes into the matter.
    “You know, China wasn’t transparent enough,” Biden stated.    “We have been saying that for a very long time, that China needed to provide more access to the lab, cooperate more fully with the scientific investigators, and we don’t think that they have met that standard.”
    This flip-flop came after Biden quietly shut down a State Department effort to investigate the Wuhan lab leak theory, allegedly questioning the legitimacy of their findings.    However, insiders said the State Department’s investigation was an honest effort to look into whether China’s biological weapons program played a role in the virus’ initial outbreak.
    As to whether the Biden administration thinks China should be condemned and held responsible for its handling of the virus, there are still no definitive answers.    The White House said it will be working alongside the World Health Organization (WHO) to come to a conclusion on the matter.
Security personnel gather near the entrance of the Wuhan Institute of Virology during a visit by the World Health Organization team. (Photo | AP)
    Last year, the WHO conducted an investigation into the Wuhan laboratory near where the virus was first detected.    They determined it was “extremely unlikely” the virus leaked from a lab.    That probe was widely condemned by U.S. lawmakers for being overly shallow and too conciliatory to the Chinese Communist Party.
    Meanwhile, many scientists have argued that knowing where the coronavirus came from is essential to preparing the world for another potential pandemic in the future.

5/28/2021 Putin Offers Belarus Leader Support Against West In Ryanair Plane Standoff by Tom Balmforth and Maria Tsvetkova
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko
in Sochi, Russia May 28, 2021. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS
    MOSCOW (Reuters) -Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday offered his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko support in his standoff with the West over his handling of the grounding of a passenger jet and the arrest of a dissident blogger.
    The West has accused Belarus of piracy after Belarusian air traffic control on Sunday informed the Ryanair pilot of a hoax bomb threat and Minsk scrambled a MiG-29 fighter plane to escort the jetliner down, and then arrested Roman Protasevich, a blogger and critic of Lukashenko, along with his girlfriend.
    Both are now languishing in jail.    Accused of orchestrating mass riots, Protasevich could be jailed for up to 15 years.
    But Putin, a close ally of Lukashenko, gave his support to Lukashenko, warmly welcoming him for talks in the southern Russian city of Sochi and agreeing with     Lukashenko that the West’s reaction to the incident was “an outburst of emotion.”
    “At one time they forced the Bolivian president’s plane to land and took him out of the plane and nothing, silence,” said Putin, referring to a 2013 incident in which Evo Morales’ plane was forced to land in Austria at a time when the United States was trying to intercept whistleblower Edward Snowden.
    The talks in the Black Sea city of Sochi were organised before the plane incident, but come after many European nations have imposed flight bans on Belarusian aviation and the EU is weighing further sanctions.
    Lukashenko told Putin he would show him some confidential documents about the Ryanair incident that would help the Russian leader understand what really happened.
    “There is always someone who causes problems for us.    You know about them, I’ll inform you,” Lukashenko told Putin.
    “I brought some documents so that you understand what is happening.”
    Looking relaxed and smiling, Putin had earlier suggested the two men take a sea dip, something Lukashenko agreed to.
    Russia, a close ally which sees the ex-Soviet republic of 9.5 million as a strategically important buffer to its west, had offered verbal support to Minsk before the Putin meeting, while dismissing speculation it was itself complicit in the incident.
    Moscow says Belarus has shown a readiness for transparency in the row and has described the West’s reaction to the plane incident as “shocking,” with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accusing it of “demonising” the authorities in Minsk.
    Russia and Belarus, which are formally part of a “union state,” have been in talks for years to further integrate their nations, a process that has long spurred fears among Belarus’s beleaguered opposition that Lukashenko might trade off chunks of sovereignty in return for political backing from the Kremlin.
    Putin told Lukashenko the two men were continuing to build the union state, but were doing so steadily, without haste, and in a low key way.
    In power since 1994, Lukashenko with Russia’s help faced down the biggest protests of his rule last summer over election rigging, allegations that he denied.    The protests lost momentum amid a violent crackdown, but his critics plan to stage new ones.
(editing by Andrew Osborn)

5/28/2021 Kremlin Says It Regrets U.S. Decision To Not Rejoin Open Skies Pact
FILE PHOTO: National flags of Russia and the U.S. fly at Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow, Russia April 11, 2017. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
    MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Kremlin said on Friday it regretted Washington’s decision not to rejoin the Open Skies arms control pact, which allows unarmed surveillance flights over member countries.
    The original U.S. decision to quit the pact was taken by the administration of U.S. president Donald Trump last year, but Moscow had hoped that Joe Biden would reverse it.
    But on Thursday the United States informed Russia it would not rejoin the pact, accusing Russia of violating it, something Moscow denied.
    Speaking to reporters on a conference call, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the pact would lose much of its utility without the participation of Russia and the United States.
    Russia in January announced its own plans to leave the pact, and the government submitted legislation to parliament this month to formalise its departure.
(Reporting by Dmitry Antonov; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

5/28/2021 Russia Says U.S. Decision Not To Rejoin Open Skies Arms Pact Is ‘Political Mistake’
FILE PHOTO: Russian and U.S. state flags fly near a factory in Vsevolozhsk, Leningrad Region
Russia March 27, 2019. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov/File Photo/File Photo
    MOSCOW (Reuters) -Russia said on Friday a U.S. decision not to rejoin the Open Skies arms control pact, which allows unarmed surveillance flights over member states, is a “political mistake” ahead of a summit between the countries’ presidents.
    The original U.S. decision to quit the pact was taken last year by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, but Moscow had hoped his successor Joe Biden would reverse it.
    On Thursday, however, the Biden administration informed Moscow that it would not re-enter the pact, accusing Russia of violating it, something Moscow denied.
    Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, said on Friday that Washington’s move was a missed opportunity to bolster security in Europe.
    “The U.S. has made another political mistake, inflicting a new blow to the European security system,” TASS quoted him as saying.    “We gave them a good chance, which they did not take. They continue circulating fabrications about Russia’s violations of this agreement, which is completely absurd.”
    Separately, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow regretted the U.S. decision, saying the Open Skies accord would lose much of its utility without the participation of Russia and the United States.
    Russian President Vladimir Putin and Biden are due to hold a summit in Geneva next month and Ryabkov was cited as saying that the U.S. refusal to rejoin Open Skies did not create an atmosphere conducive to arms control discussions at the summit.
    In January, Russia announced its own plans to leave the pact, and the government submitted legislation to parliament this month to formalise its departure.
    At that time, a Kremlin spokesman said one reason was that the United States was still able to receive information acquired via the treaty from its NATO allies.
    U.S. officials have said Russia has violated the pact’s terms by restricting U.S. overflights of Russia’s neighbour Georgia and the Russian enclave in Kaliningrad on the Baltic coast. Russia denies committing any violations.
    The treaty, which was signed in 1992 and took effect in 2002, allows countries to conduct short-notice, unarmed surveillance flights over the entire territory of other parties and collect information on one another’s military forces.
    Its objective is to increase transparency and build confidence among countries.
(Reporting by Maxim Rodionov, Alexander Marrow and Dmitry Antonov; writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; editing by Andrew Osborn and Mark Heinrich)

5/28/2021 Polish Ultra-Conservatives Launch University To Mould New Elites
FILE PHOTO: Supporters of Law and Justice party walk with a portrait of late Pope John Paul II
during a pro-government demonstration in Warsaw, Poland December 13, 2015. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
    WARSAW (Reuters) – An ultra-conservative Polish think tank on Friday inaugurated a university intended to mould future leaders who espouse the conservative Christian values that the nationalist government champions, and push back against Western liberalism.
    The project reflects a wider backlash in central Europe against what many ruling politicians and right-wing commentators view as a tide of discrimination against conservative ideas and research.
    Although independent of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, the think tank, Ordo Iuris, has gained prominence in recent years, and seen several of its former members reach senior positions in the Polish government and judiciary.
    It offers legal aid to parents who oppose discussion of gay and lesbian rights in schools, and to local authorities that say they oppose “LGBT ideology” in order to preserve Poland’s traditional Roman Catholic culture.
    Ordo Iuris officials said their Collegium Intermarium, would mirror the Central European University (CEU), founded and funded by liberal-minded Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros, in seeking to become a springboard for future leaders in the region
.
    “This is our undertaking: Integrating central Europe based on our cultural values and on our interests,” said Tymoteusz Zych, vice-president of Ordo Iuris and dean of the new university.
    The CEU was forced out of Hungary by the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has accused Soros of trying to destroy European civilisation with his efforts to support immigrants. Soros says his support for refugees is a humanitarian mission.
    “The new university aspires to the noble goal of creating an academic community that dedicates itself to protecting Christian conservative principles,” said Gergely Gulyas, Orban’s chief of staff, said on Friday.
    “It aims to become a bulwark against human rights fundamentalism and political correctness that have become rampant in today’s Europe.”
    Poland’s education minister has proposed a law that would exempt academic teachers from disciplinary measures for expressing religious or philosophical views.
(Reporting by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

5/28/2021 UK PM Told Hungary’s Orban Of Significant Human Rights Concerns
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban
at Downing Street in London, Britain May 28, 2021. Leon Neal/Pool via REUTERS
    LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Viktor Orban he had significant concerns about human rights in Hungary, including gender equality, LGBT rights and media freedom in a meeting between the two leaders in London on Friday.
    “The Prime Minister raised his significant concerns about human rights in Hungary, including gender equality, LGBT rights and media freedom,” a spokeswoman for Johnson’s office said.
    “The leaders also discussed a number of foreign policy issues including Russia, Belarus and China.    The Prime Minister encouraged Hungary to use their influence to promote democracy and stability.”
(Reporting by Kate Holton; editin by William James)
[ONLY POLAND AND HUNGARY ARE THE EU COUNTRIES WHO ARE FIGHTING AGAINST GENDER EQUALITY AND LGBT RIGHTS AND ASSUMED UNDER THE WORD DEMOCRACY WHICH SHOWS YOU THE REST OF THE EU NATIONS HAVE BOUGHT INTO THE GLOBLIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT TO BE FORCED EVENTUALLY ON THE WHOLE WORLD WHICH IS THE TERM ANTICHRIST OR BETTER A WOLF IN SHEEPS CLOTHING AND ALSO WHAT THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION IS ATTEMPTING TO DO TO THE U.S..].

5/28/2021 China Invites Four European Foreign Ministers To Visit In Diplomatic Push
FILE PHOTO: An attendant walks past EU and China flags ahead of the EU-China High-level Economic
Dialogue at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China June 25, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
    BEIJING (Reuters) – The foreign ministers of Ireland, Poland, Hungary and Serbia will visit China from Saturday, the Chinese foreign ministry said, in a sign of a push to strengthen ties with Europe after an investment treaty was frozen.
    The European Parliament this month halted ratification of the investment pact with China until Beijing lifts sanctions on EU politicians, deepening a dispute in Sino-European relations and denying EU companies greater access to China.
    Beijing’s sanctions were a response to Western sanctions against Chinese officials accused of the mass detentions of Muslim Uyghurs in northwestern China.
    The four ministers will visit China from May 29 to 31 at the invitation of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a regular news conference in Beijing on Friday.
During the visit Wang will separately meet the four ministers and discuss bilateral and China-Europe relations, said Zhao.    China hopes the visit can help deepen cooperation and “promote the post-epidemic economic recovery,” he said.
    EU members Poland and Hungary, as well as Serbia, which is not in the bloc, belong to the China-led “17+1” grouping of Central and Eastern European countries.    The grouping recently lost a member when Lithuania pulled out.
    Lithuania’s parliament in May described China’s treatment of its Uyghur minority as genocide, and the country also said it would open a trade representative office this year in Taiwan, which China considers its own territory, prompting anger in Beijing.
    None of the ministers invited to China are from countries whose parliaments have branded its treatment of the Uyghurs as genocide, a label Beijing strongly rejects.
    Serbia and Hungary have also both approved and administered Chinese vaccines against COVID-19.
(Reporting by Gabriel Crossley; Editing by Gareth Jones)

5/28/2021 Battleship Diplomacy: Britain’s New Aircraft Carrier Joins NATO, Has Message For China by Bart Biesemans
F-35B Lightning II aircrafts are seen on the deck of the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier offshore
Portugal, May 27, 2021. Picture taken through the window. REUTERS/Bart Biesemans
    CASCAIS, Portugal (Reuters) – The maiden voyage of a new British aircraft carrier will seek to show allies that post-Brexit Britain is ready to defend Western interests and eager to see China respect international rules, the vessel’s commander said.
    HMS Queen Elizabeth took part in NATO exercises in the Mediterranean this week, ahead of the eight-month voyage that will cross through the South China Sea in a signal to Beijing that sea lanes must remain open.
    The carrier is “a hugely powerful statement,” Commodore Steve Moorhouse, the ship’s commanding officer and captain told Reuters on deck off the Portuguese coast as F-35B fighter jets took off around him.
    “It shows that we are a global navy and wanting to be back out there,” he said.    “The aim for us is that this deployment will be part of a more persistent presence for the United Kingdom in that region,” he added, referring to the Indo-Pacific that includes India and Australia.
    Britain was the main battlefield ally of the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan and, alongside France, the principal military power in the European Union.    But its 2016 vote to leave the EU had raised questions about its global role.
    Partly in response to those concerns, London announced its biggest military spending increase since the Cold War late last year and has been touting the clout of the carrier, built at a cost of more than 3 billion pounds ($4.26 billion).
    HMS Queen Elizabeth will exercise with naval vessels from the United States, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea, along the route, Moorhouse said on Thursday.
THREATS AND CHALLENGES
    Britain, like China, now has two aircraft carriers, both countries dwarfed by the United States’ 11.    The new 65,000-tonne vessel carries eight British F-35Bs and 10 U.S. F-35s as well as 250 U.S. marines as part of its 1,700-strong crew.
    It will lead two destroyers, two frigates, a submarine and two support ships on its journey of 26,000 nautical miles, joined by a U.S. destroyer and a frigate from the Dutch navy.
    Asked about British efforts to step up influence in the Indo-Pacific region to counter China’s rising power – a strategy also followed by the European Union and supported by NATO – Moorhouse said: “We want to uphold international norms … our presence out there is absolutely key.”
    China claims 90% of the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, but Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also lay claim to parts of it.
    The United States has long opposed China’s expansive territorial claims there, sending warships regularly through the waterway to demonstrate freedom of navigation.    About $3 trillion worth of trade passes through it each year.
    In the Mediterranean, the British carrier group is part of NATO’s biggest drills of the year, Steadfast Defender, that includes a maritime live exercise with around 5,000 forces and 18 ships.
    “It sends a message of NATO’s resolve,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said onboard the aircraft carrier.
    “We face global threats and challenges, including the shifting balance of power with the rise of China,” he said, adding that although China had the world’s biggest navy, it was not considered an adversary by NATO.
($1 = 0.7045 pounds)
(Writing by Robin Emmott; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

5/30/2021 Expert: We Must Discover Origins Of COVID-19 To Prevent COVID-26, COVID-32 by OAN Newsroom
Dr. Peter Hotez of Baylor College of Medicine (Courtesy: Baylor College of Medicine)
    A prominent expert on rare infectious diseases has stressed that the origins of COVID-19 must be discovered in order to prevent similar outbreaks in the future.    Dr. Peter Hotez of Baylor College of Medicine said the U.S. must insist on sending a team of investigators to Wuhan in order to collect evidence on bat-virus experiments there.    He warned that without full access to the lab itself, the origins may never be uncovered.     “There’s going to be COVID-26 and COVID-32 unless we fully understand the origins of COVID-19.    This is absolutely critical,” said Hotez.
Workers are seen next to a cage with mice (R) inside the P4 laboratory in Wuhan, capital of
China’s Hubei province. (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)
    He added that China must face serious consequences if it continues to resist such a probe.    The professor went on to say if the Chinese government were telling the truth about COVID-19, it would be in its best interest to host an international probe into its origins.

6/1/2021 Ball In Moscow’s Court To Improve Ties With NATO, Says Germany
FILE PHOTO: German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas gives a news conference in Berlin, Germany May 28, 2021 after Germany recognised for the first time that it
had committed genocide in Namibia during its colonial occupation and agreed to fund projects worth over a billion euros. Tobias Schwarz/Pool via REUTERS
    BERLIN (Reuters) -NATO is ready for dialogue with Russia, but the ball is in Moscow’s court, Germany said on Tuesday, two weeks before leaders of the military alliance are due to meet in Brussels with ties between Moscow and the West at post-cold war lows.
    “Our message remains clear: We are prepared for dialogue, and we have made proposals, but the key to a better relationship lies clearly with Moscow,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters before a video call with his NATO counterparts.
    He was echoing remarks by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who on Monday underscored the alliance would continue to seek dialogue with Moscow, while also exercising troops for defensive purposes.
    “We are there to prevent conflict and war. But the best way of doing that is to send a clear message to any potential adversary that if one ally is attacked, the whole alliance will be there,” Stoltenberg said.
    His comments were a reaction to Russia saying it would deploy around 20 new military formations and units close to NATO’s borders by the end of the year, which Moscow justified by calling out increased military activity on its western flank.
    Stoltenberg, however, said NATO had stepped up its exercises and ramped up its readiness in response to Russia’s interference in Ukraine and an increased Russian military presence in the Baltic Sea, Kaliningrad and the Black Sea.
    “This is one of the main reasons why NATO over the last years has increased the readiness of our forces and also why we have deployed battle groups to the eastern part of the alliance,” Stoltenberg said.
    NATO’s Russia policy follows a two-track approach of deterrence and dialogue, though the alliance suspended all practical cooperation with Moscow in April 2014 following Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
(Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Editing by Nick Macfie)

6/1/2021 Iran Says Nuclear Talks Not At Impasse, But Difficult Issues Remain
FILE PHOTO: The Iranian flag waves in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters, before the beginning of a board
of governors meeting, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Vienna, Austria, March 1, 2021. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Photo
    DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran believes that barriers to the revival of its 2015 nuclear accord with world powers are complicated but not insurmountable, a spokesman said on Tuesday, denying that negotiations had stalled.
    The Islamic Republic and six powers have been negotiating in Vienna since April to work out steps for Tehran and Washington to take, respectively, on nuclear activities and sanctions, for the pact to resume.
    Two Western diplomats and an Iranian official said the talks would likely pause on Thursday for consultations in respective capitals, though it remained unclear if they would resume before Iran’s June 18 presidential election, in which a prominent hardliner is tipped to replace the pragmatist incumbent.
    “There is no impasse in the Vienna talks,” Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei told a news conference streamed live by a state-run website.
    “Negotiations have reached a stage where a few key issues need to be decided, and these issues require the proper attention, perfectionism and time.”
    Since former U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal three years ago and reimposed sanctions on Iran, Tehran has embarked on counter-measures, including rebuilding stockpiles of enriched uranium, a potential pathway to nuclear bombs.
    “It is natural that due to the complexities created by the Trump administration’s numerous sanctions and Iran’s measures…, many details need to be considered, but none of these obstacles are insurmountable,” Rabiei added.
    On Monday, Iran’s nuclear negotiator expressed doubt that the current round of talks would be the final one.
    U.S. President Joe Biden has said Washington will return to the pact if Tehran first resumes compliance with its strict limits on uranium enrichment.
    Separately, France, one of the signatories to the deal, voiced concern after a report from the U.N. nuclear watchdog which showed on Monday that Iran had failed to explain traces of uranium found at several undeclared sites.
    French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll, asked whether Paris wanted to resurrect a resolution criticising Iran at the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency (IAEA) for not clarifying the uranium issue, said: “We strongly call on Iran to provide such responses as quickly as possible.”
    Three months ago Britain, France and Germany scrapped a U.S.-backed plan for the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors to criticise Iran for failing to fully explain the origin of the particles.    The three backed off when IAEA chief Rafael Grossi announced fresh talks with Iran.
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom, John Irish in Paris, Francois Murphy in Vienna and Parisa Hafezi in Dubai; Editing by Alison Williams and Mark Heinrich)

[SO AS YOU CAN SEE BELOW THE WHO KNEW WHERE CORONAVIRUS CAME FROM AND THEY ARE JUST NOW DOING A RE-CHECK BUT IF THEY CHECKED IN THE FIRST PLACE THEY WOULD EASIALY CAME STRAIGHT FROM CHINA AND TO ITALY WHICH IS THE SAME INTEL TRUMP HAD THAT THE LEFT REFUSED TO PROMOTE AND YOU ONLY NOW UNDERSTAND WHY TRUMP GOT RID OF THE WHO AND THE STUPID BIDEN IS REINSTATING THEM BECAUSE HE MAY IRRITATE HIS CHINA BUDDIES WHICH TO ME IS A REASON FOR IMPEACHMENT TO ALL OF BIDEN’S CORRUPTION.].
6/1/2021 WHO Re-Checks Research On When Coronavirus First Surfaced In Italy by Emilio Parodi
FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a mask walks in the Duomo square as Lombardy tightens restrictions due to a surge in the number of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in the region, in Milan, Italy, March 5, 2021. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo/File Photo
    MILAN (Reuters) – Samples from a study suggesting the coronavirus was circulating outside China by October 2019 have been re-tested at the World Health Organization’s (WTO) request, two scientists who led the Italian research said.
    There is growing international pressure to learn more about the origins of the pandemic that has killed more than 3 million people worldwide and U.S. President Joe Biden last week ordered his aides to find answers.
    The WHO reacted to Biden’s announcement that intelligence agencies were pursuing rival theories, including the possibility of a laboratory accident in China, by saying the search was being “poisoned by politics.”
    COVID-19 was first identified in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, while Italy’s first patient was detected on Feb. 21 last year in a small town near Milan.
    However, a study published last year suggested antibodies to either the virus or a variant were detected in Italy in 2019.
    That prompted Chinese state media to suggest the virus might not have originated in China, although the Italian researchers stressed the findings raised questions about when the virus first emerged rather than where.
    “The WHO asked us if we could share the biological material and if we could re-run the tests in an independent laboratory.    We accepted,” Giovanni Apolone, scientific director of one of the lead institutions, the Milan Cancer Institute (INT), said.
    The WHO’s request has not previously been reported.
    “WHO is in contact with the researchers that had published the original paper.    A collaboration with partner laboratories has been set up for further testing,” a WHO spokesman said.
    The spokesman said the WHO was aware that the researchers are planning to publish a follow-up report “in the near future.”
    He said the UN agency has contacted all researchers who have published or provided information on samples collected in 2019 that were reported to have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, but does not yet have the final interpretation of the results.
    The Italian researchers’ findings, published by the INT’s scientific magazine Tumori Journal, showed neutralising antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in blood taken from healthy volunteers in Italy in October 2019 during a lung cancer screening trial.
    Most of the volunteers were from Lombardy, the northern region around Milan, which was the first and hardest hit by the virus in Italy.
    “None of the studies published so far have ever questioned the geographical origin,” Apolone told Reuters.
    “The growing doubt is that the virus, probably less powerful compared to later months, was circulating in China long before the reported cases,” Apolone added.
DUTCH TEST
    The WHO chose the laboratory of the Erasmus University in Rotterdam for the re-test, Emanuele Montomoli, co-author of the original study and professor of Public Health at the Molecular Medicine Department in the University of Siena, said.
    The Erasmus University did not reply to requests for comment.
    Italian researchers sent the team in Rotterdam 30 biological samples from October-December 2019 that they had found positive, 30 samples from the same period they had tested negative and 30 samples from as far back as 2018, negative.
    “We sent them blind, that means our colleagues did not know which samples were positive and which negative,” Apolone said.
    “They rechecked our samples with commercial tests, which are much less sensitive than the ones we devised and validated,” Montomoli said.
    Despite the differences in the two detection methods, both Italian scientists said they were satisfied with the results, delivered to them in late February, adding that they could not comment further until the team of Italian and Dutch scientists have published their findings.
    “We did not say in our study that we could establish without a doubt that the coronavirus, later sequenced in Wuhan, was already circulating in Italy in October,” Montomoli said.
    “We only found the response to the virus, namely the antibodies.    So we can say that this coronavirus or a very similar one, perhaps a less transmissible variant, was circulating here in October,” he added.
(Reporting by Emilio Parodi; Editing by Keith Weir and Alexander Smith)

6/3/2021 Top EU Court Dismisses Hungary’s Complaint Over Democracy Probe by Gabriela Baczynska
FILE PHOTO: Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks to the media after meeting with Britain's
Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Downing Street in London, Britain May 28, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The top European Union court dismissed on Thursday Hungary’s challenge against the opening in 2018 of a disciplinary procedure against Budapest for undermining democracy in the formerly communist country.
    Budapest had challenged on procedural grounds a European Parliament vote three years ago stating that Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s policies were posing “a clear risk of a serious breach by Hungary of the values on which the Union is founded.”
    EU lawmakers’ decision could lead to a maximum, if unlikely, sanction of suspending Budapest’s voting rights in the 27-nation bloc.    Hungary sought to annul it.
    But the Court of Justice of the European Union dismissed Hungary’s case that the parliament had counted abstaining votes incorrectly, the latest in years of tussles between Orban and the bloc on democratic values.
    In a statement following the ruling, Hungary’s Justice Minister Judit Varga said the European Parliament vote contradicted the bloc’s laws and the chamber’s own rule of procedure in counting abstentions in an “irregular way.”
    In power since 2010, Orban has adopted increasingly restrictive laws on migrants and gays, as well as putting media, academics and NGOs under tighter state control.
    Hungary has also been under scrutiny for its public procurement laws the bloc’s executive says do not facilitate competition, which rights groups say opens the way to misappropriation of public funds.
    Orban denies breaking any laws and casts himself as a defender of traditional and Catholic family values.
    He most recently threatened to block a massive EU stimulus meant to help economies climb out of record recession triggered by the COVID pandemic unless provisions to halt the flow of money over rule of law violations were watered down.
    National EU ministers are expected to debate the latest on the rule of law in Hungary – and its other nationalist, eurosceptic ally Poland – in June.
    While some EU countries want to pile pressure on Orban, others worry that would risk alienating Budapest and straining the bloc’s damaged cohesion further. Deadlocked, the EU has all but failed to convince Hungary to change tack.
(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

6/4/2021 Western Powers Avoid Resolution Against Iran At IAEA Board – Diplomats by Francois Murphy and John Irish
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi addresses the media at the IAEA headquarters,
amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Vienna, Austria May 24, 2021. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner
    VIENNA/PARIS (Reuters) – Britain, France, Germany and the United States will not push for a resolution against Iran at next week’s meeting of the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s board despite Tehran’s failure to explain uranium traces found at three sites, diplomats said on Friday.
    A resolution could have prompted an escalation between Tehran and the West that would have jeopardised talks on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal taking place in Vienna, where the atomic watchdog is also based.
    At the last quarterly meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 35-nation Board of Governors, the three European powers, with U.S. backing, prepared a draft resolution criticising Iran but did not formally submit it as IAEA chief Rafael Grossi announced new talks.
    Those talks – aimed at breathing new life into efforts to get Iran to explain the origin of the traces, which are believed to be linked to activities long predating the deal – failed to produce new explanations, the IAEA reported on Monday.    That raised the question of whether the resolution would be revived.
    “The May 31 report can’t be ignored just because the JCPOA talks are ongoing, but a resolution is not likely now,” one diplomat said, referring to the 2015 deal by its official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
    Five other diplomats said there would not be a resolution but simply statements by countries on the board.
    “There need to be strong statements,” said one diplomat from a country that backed a resolution at the last board meeting.    “They (Iran) have obligations and they need to fulfil them.”
    It remains unclear whether a resolution would have had the necessary support to be adopted by the board, the IAEA’s main decision-making body that meets more than once a year.
    Indirect talks between Iran and the United States on both countries returning to full compliance with the deal will resume next week, with an election on June 18 likely to usher in a more hard-line Iranian president.
    “No progress has been made in the dialogue between Iran and the agency with respect to providing substantiated answers to the IAEA’s questions,” a French foreign ministry spokeswoman said, expressing “great concern” at the IAEA’s report on Monday.
    “We strongly urge Iran to provide such answers as swiftly as possible,” she added.
(Writing by Francois Murphy; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

6/7/2021 Calls For Dr. Fauci To Step Down Intensify From GOP by OAN Newsroom
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a
Senate Appropriations Subcommittee looking into the budget estimates for National Institute of Health (NIH) and
the state of medical research, Wednesday, May 26, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Sarah Silbiger/Pool via AP)
    Calls for Dr. Anthony Fauci’s removal have intensified in response to the controversy surrounding his recently surfaced emails.    This came after Judicial Watch revealed hundreds of documents showing a Wuhan lab received funding from the Department of Health and Human Services.
    According to reports, the Wuhan Institute of Virology was given more than $826,000 for bat coronavirus research between 2014 and 2019.    This funding came from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is headed by Dr. Fauci.    While the project was described as modest, emails between Dr. Fauci and NIH officials described it as a “large multi-country study.”
    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) weighed in on the matter by asserting that Dr. Fauci has been systematically lying about COVID-19. During an interview Sunday, the Texas senator said Dr. Fauci’s emails show he was not telling Americans what he knew about COVID-19, but has been pushing a political narrative to spread fear instead.
    Dr. Fauci, however, claimed criticizing him is “anti-science.”    He called the attacks misrepresented, but GOP lawmakers said answers are needed.
    Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) also joined a chorus of GOP voices calling for Dr. Fauci to step down.    In an interview Saturday, the House minority leader criticized the flip-flopping of the left when it comes to the Wuhan lab theory.    He also asserted that Dr. Fauci needs to go.
    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) added, the emails paint a “disturbing picture of Dr. Fauci from the very beginning.”    Meanwhile, the White House has ruled out firing Dr. Fauci under “any circumstances.”

6/7/2021 Kamala Harris Visits Guatemala, Country’s President Blames Biden Admin. For Border Crisis by OAN Newsroom
Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei meets with Vice President Kamala Harris, Monday,
June 7, 2021, at the National Palace in Guatemala City. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    Kamala Harris did not receive a warm welcome in Guatemala after the country’s president blamed the Biden administration for the border crisis.
    Harris met with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei on Monday, who said he and Harris are not on the same side of the coin on the migration issue.    He added, the White House needs to send a more clear message to prevent people from leaving his country.
    Harris was also greeted by protesters chanting “Trump won” and “go home” as she arrived in Guatemala.    Large signs near the Central American country’s palace also read “mind your own business.”
    “I am against her stepping over the sovereignty of the Guatemalan…most of all to bring an anti-corruption agenda, where they protect good but corrupt people, where she has met with convicts in the United States,” stated Jorge Lemus, former captain of infantry for the Guatemalan Army.    “What fight against corruption is she talking about?    It’s the U.S. Embassy that protects Hellen Mack and its 400 NGO’S who invade properties.”
    This comes as the Biden administration has vowed to provide more than $300 million in humanitarian aid for the region.

6/7/2021 President Trump Says Dr. Anthony Fauci Is In The Pocket Of China by OAN Newsroom
U.S. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One before departing Harlingen, Texas. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
    President Donald Trump slammed both Dr. Anthony Fauci and China for their roles in the Coronavirus pandemic.    In an interview on Monday, he stated that Fauci’s released emails suggest that the doctor was in the pocket of China.
    “You look at his emails.    They are really horrible.    He was in the pocket it would seem,” he expressed.    “…We’re all smart people, he was in the pocket of China.    The way he pandered to them and the way he dealt with them.”
    The 45th President argued the Chinese Communist Party has committed the biggest attack on the world and should pay at least $10 trillion in reparations.    He demanded China pay the reparations through 100 percent tariffs on their goods.
    “I happen to think it was gross incompetence that this happened, but regardless it was their fault,” he asserted.    “It came from China.    It came from the lab.”
    This comes amid mounting calls for Fauci to either resign or be removed.
[I AM GLAD TO KNOW NOW THAT TRUMP KNOWS THAT THE CDC WHO BLAMED THE MEASLE AND MUMP OUTBREAK ON ISRAEL AND IT WAS REALLY ALL THE ILLEGAL ALIENS NOT VACCINATED WHO CAME IN FROM OUR SOUTHER BORDERS AND SPREADED TO OUR YOUTH WHICH ANY IDIOT SHOULD HAVE FIGURED THAT OUT, AND NOW TRUMP WHO GOT RID OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION WHO WAS IN CAHOOTS WITH CHINA BUT COULD NOT SEE THAT FAUCI ANOTHER CDC ISSUE WAS CORRUPT ALSO].

6/8/2021 ‘We Will Be Annoying’: Thousands Of UK Police Poised For G7 Protests by Michael Holden
A G7 logo is seen on an information sign near the Carbis Bay hotel resort, where an in-person G7 summit of global leaders is due
to take place in June, St Ives, Cornwall, southwest Britain May 24, 2021. Picture taken May 24, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville
    CARBIS BAY, England (Reuters) – Thousands of police have been drafted in from across Britain to beef up security for what organisers promise will be disruptive and “annoying” protests when G7 leaders gather for a summit this week.
    The first in-person meeting of the leaders of major developed economies for nearly two years will take place in Cornwall on the tip of southwestern England, with the focus on the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.
    Police have closed off roads and coastal paths to Carbis Bay, the small seaside resort which is hosting the event, erecting steel fences and putting other restrictions in place.
    An extra 5,000 officers have been drafted in to help the operation with about 6,500 officers and staff involved altogether, Devon and Cornwall Police said.
    “Everything that we do will be proportionate and will be legitimate,” Assistant Chief Constable Glen Mayhew, who is in charge of policing the summit, said.    “We know that the eyes of the world’s media will be on us over the next seven days.”
    While the threat of terrorism remains – Britain is on its third highest alert level of “substantial,” meaning an attack is considered likely – the most overt issue will be dealing with a swathe of protests, some of which will endeavour to cause major disruption to highlight their causes.
    “Our rights weren’t won through quiet, polite protest.    Our rights were won through being noisy, disruptive and annoying,” said the Kill The Bill group, one of about 20 activist organisations to have joined a “Resist G7 Coalition” (RG7).
    “We will be loud.    We will be disruptive. We will be annoying,” said the group, which is campaigning against a proposed law that would give police extra powers to curb protests.
    Police say they support the right to peaceful protests and have allocated four sites for protesters to gather.    But RG7 – whose number also includes climate change groups, anti-war activists and anarchists – has said it will boycott these.
    “RG7 does not talk or liaise with the cops.    Cops will not be welcome into any of our spaces,” it said on its website.
    Extinction Rebellion, which caused traffic chaos in central London with 11 days of protests in 2019, has said it expects some 1,000 protesters to make their way to St Ives, the town next to Carbis Bay, for the summit.
    “We have done our best to plan our actions to be peaceful, creative, artistic and COVID safe,” it wrote in an open letter to locals last week.    “We sincerely apologise in advance for any additional disruption that we cause.”
    Police have indicated they will be taking a tough line, saying sustained disruption could not be allowed and any public order or criminal offences would be dealt with “robustly.”
    “Assuming that a protest has the intention of causing major disruption, then we would look to clear blocked roads as soon as practicable,” police said on their website.
(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Nick Macfie)

6/8/2021 Days Before G7, PM Johnson’s Lawmakers Attack ‘UnBritish’ Aid Cuts
FILE PHOTO: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves as G7 foreign ministers meet at
Lancaster House in London, Britain, May 5, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool
    LONDON (Reuters) – Lawmakers from the governing Conservative Party railed against Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cut to foreign aid spending on Tuesday, a show of defiance just days before their leader hopes to show off “global Britain” at a summit.
    The criticism is embarrassing for Johnson, coming as he prepares to host the leaders of the world’s seven largest advanced economies when he hopes to “reinvigorate the international community” on climate change and COVID-19.
    His critics say by breaking its commitment to spend 0.7% of gross national income on international development, the government is punishing the poorest during a global pandemic, a stance which could weaken its position in those talks.
    But they have so far failed to force the government to change its policy, but several said they still hoped to bring a vote on the cuts in parliament.
    “I want to argue … that what the government is doing is unethical, possibly illegal and certain breaks our promise,” said Andrew Mitchell, the Conservative lawmaker leading the call for funding to be reinstated.
    “He (Johnson) goes into the summit in the teeth of a global pandemic when Britain is cutting its support to the poorest.    No other country represented in the G7 is doing such a thing,” he told parliament.
    Late last year, finance minister Rishi Sunak said the government would spend 0.5% in 2021 to prioritise “our limited resources on jobs and public service” to help Britain weather the coronavirus pandemic.
    Mitchell accused Johnson of pandering to lawmakers who represent the so-called “red wall” voting districts in northern England, which after traditionally backing the opposition Labour Party supported the Conservatives at the 2019 election.
    But the government repeated its argument that it had acted legally and would restore the funding as soon as it can.
    One Conservative lawmaker supportive of the government said many voters believed that “charity starts at home.”
(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper. Editing by Andrew MacAskill)

6/8/2021 U.N. Security Council Backs Guterres For Second Term by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends a news conference following talks with
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Russia May 12, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
    NEW YORK (Reuters) -The United Nations Security Council backed Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday for a second term, recommending that the 193-member General Assembly appoint him for another five years from Jan. 1, 2022.
    Estonia’s U.N. Ambassador Sven Jürgenson, council president for June, said the General Assembly was likely to meet to make the appointment on June 18.
    “I am very grateful to the members of the council for the trust they have placed in me,” Guterres said in a statement.    “I would be deeply humbled if the General Assembly were to entrust me with the responsibilities of a second mandate.”
    Guterres succeeded Ban Ki-moon in January 2017, just weeks before U.S. President Donald Trump took office.    Much of Guterres’ first term was focused on placating Trump, who questioned the value of the United Nations and multilateralism.
    The United States is the largest U.N. financial contributor, responsible for 22 percent of the regular budget and around a quarter of the peacekeeping budget.    New U.S. President Joe Biden has already started restoring funding cuts made by Trump to some U.N. agencies and re-engaged with the world body.
    A handful of people sought to challenge Guterres, but the 72-year-old former prime minister of Portugal was formally unopposed.    A person was only considered a candidate once nominated by a member state.    Portugal put forward Guterres for a second term, but no one else had the backing of a member state.
    Guterres was prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002 and then head of the U.N. refugee agency from 2005 to 2015.    As secretary-general, he has been a cheerleader for climate action, COVID-19 vaccines for all and digital cooperation.
    When he took the reins as U.N. chief, the world body was struggling to end wars and deal with humanitarian crises in Syria and Yemen.    Those conflicts are still unresolved, and Guterres is also now faced with new emergencies in Myanmar and Ethiopia’s Tigray.
    New York-based Human Rights Watch urged Guterres to take a more public stand during his second term, noting that his “recent willingness” to denounce abuses in Myanmar and Belarus should be expanded to include “powerful and protected” governments deserving condemnation.
    “Guterres’s first term was defined by public silence regarding human rights abuses by China, Russia, and the United States and their allies,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols, Editing by Franklin Paul and Jonathan Oatis)

6/8/2021 World Bank Opposes Vaccine Intellectual Property Waiver As WTO Talks Resume by David Lawder
FILE PHOTO: World Bank President David Malpass attends the "1+6" Roundtable meeting at the
Diaoyutai state guesthouse in Beijing, China November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Florence Lo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - World Bank President David Malpass said on Tuesday the bank does not support waiving intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines at the World Trade Organization out of concern that it would hamper innovation in the pharmaceuticals sector.
    His comments on the subject, made during a call with reporters on World Bank economic forecasts, came as WTO negotiations over the proposed waiver resumed in Geneva.
    Asked whether he backs a WTO vaccine IP waiver, which India, South Africa and other emerging market countries argue is needed to expand vaccine access, Malpass said: “We don’t support that, for the reason that it would run the risk of reducing the innovation and the R&D in that sector.”
    The comment puts Malpass, a Trump administration nominee, at odds with the Biden administration, which is supporting text-based WTO negotiations for vaccine intellectual property rights, led by U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai.
    Major vaccine makers and the pharmaceutical industries have opposed the waiver from the WTO’s agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), arguing that it would stifle innovation and do little to effectively increase vaccine supplies constrained by trade barriers, shortages of components and a lack of manufacturing capabilities.
    Malpass on Tuesday reiterated his calls for wealthy countries to quickly donate their excess vaccine doses to the developing world as quickly as possible.
    The World Bank said its global growth forecasts, raised to 5.6% for 2021 and 4.3% for 2022, could be higher if vaccinations can be accelerated in developing countries.
    In Geneva, negotiations were proceeding on Tuesday and Wednesday over revised waiver proposals from India and South Africa that remained far broader than the narrow vaccine-only waiver favored by USTR Tai.
    “It seems to be they are still far apart.    Their positions have not fundamentally changed,” a Geneva-based trade official told Reuters.
(Reporting by David Lawder in Washington with additional reporting by Emma Farge in GenevaEditing by Mark Heinrich)

6/8/2021 Oxford Study Reports No Bats Or Pangolins Were Sold In The Wuhan Wet Market by OAN Newsroom
A man walking at the Wuhan Baishazhou Market in Wuhan in China’s central
Hubei province. (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)
    A new study by Oxford University has discovered there were no bats or pangolins sold in the Wuhan wet market.    In fact, the study reported no bats or pangolins were found anywhere around Wuhan at the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak.
    Through their investigations, the scientists are believed to have effectively debunked the natural origin argument.    China and Dr. Anthony Fauci have long claimed COVID-19 jumped from a bat to a pangolin, which was then sold at the wet market, leading to the spread among humans.    However, recent studies have shown the virus likely originated in a lab.
    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) laid out evidence describing thousands of animals that have been tested in the wet market, with none of them infected with COVID-19.
    “When you take COVID-19 and you try to infect bats, which is where most coronaviruses come from, what do you discover?    You discover that COVID-19 is actually not very well infected in bats,” he explained.    “The bats don’t catch it very easily.    It seems as if COVID-19 is most adapted for humans.”
    The Oxford study also reported that Chinese people rarely consume bats and the nearest natural habitat of bats is 1,500 miles away from Wuhan.

6/9/2021 EU Commission Sues Poland Over Public Procurement Rules
FILE PHOTO: European Union and Poland's flags flutter at the Orlen refinery in Mazeikiai, Lithuania April 5, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission announced on Wednesday it was suing Poland in the EU’s top court for failure to fully apply EU public procurement rules.
    The Commission said Polish laws exempted two categories of contracts from the application of the public procurement rules: contracts for the production and distribution of certain public documents and contracts for the provision of bank resolution services.
    “While the EU public procurement directives allow for certain exemptions for contracts to be awarded without a competitive call for tenders, the Commission considers that these do not apply to the broad categories of contracts exempted by the Polish law,” the Commission said.
    “The Commission considers that the Polish exemptions for the production and distribution of public documents and bank resolution services infringe EU law,” it said.
(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski)

6/9/2021 EU Commission Sues Czechia, Poland Over EU Citizens’ Electoral Rights
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters
in Brussels, Belgium, March 24, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission took Poland and the Czechia to court on Wednesday over their laws that ban citizens from other EU countries from joining a political party and standing in local or European elections in the two EU members.
    “As a result of this restriction, citizens from other EU Member States residing in Czechia or Poland cannot fully exercise their right to stand as candidates in local elections and in elections to the European Parliament under the same conditions as nationals of those States,” the Commission said.
    “The Commission maintains that the restrictions hindering non-Czech and non-Polish EU citizens in Czechia and Poland respectively to join a political party are contrary to EU law as they breach … the principle of non-discrimination on grounds of nationality,” the EU executive arm said.
(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski)

6/99/2021 EU Commission Starts Legal Action Against Belgium Over Privacy Watchdog
FILE PHOTO: The Belgian flag is seen outside Brussels Royal Palace during negotiations
to form a government, in Brussels Belgium September 21, 2020. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission on Wednesday launched the first step of legal action against Belgium for failing to ensure the independence of its privacy watchdog in breach of EU privacy rules.
    “Some of its members cannot be regarded as free from external influence because they either report to a management committee depending on the Belgian government,” the EU executive said, referring the Belgian data protection authority.
    It said the agency’s members also take part in governmental projects on COVID-19 contact tracing or they are members of the Information Security Committee.
    Belgium has two months to detail measures taken to ensure the agency’s independence.    The Commission’s letter is the first stage in a process that can ultimately lead to it asking the EU’s Court of Justice to impose penalties.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee and Marine Strauss)

6/10/2021 EU Joins Calls For New Probe Into Origins Of COVID-19 by OAN Newsroom
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a joint news conference with
European Council President Charles Michel ahead of the G7 summit. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, Pool)
    The EU is joining the latest calls by the U.S. and Australia for an investigation into the origins of COVID-19.    On Friday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that it’s necessary for the World Health Organization to launch an independent and impartial probe.
    She argued that in order to draw the right lessons and develop the right tools so that a pandemic of this nature never happens again, the origins of COVID-19 must be uncovered.    Head of the European Council, Charles Michel supported von der Leyen’s call for an investigation and said, “the world has the right to know exactly what happened in order to be able to learn the lessons.”
    Von der Leyen stressed investigators need complete access to the Wuhan lab and other locations in China to determine where the virus came from.    She made the comments just ahead of the G7 summit that is taking place in the U.K. this weekend.    G7 leaders are expected to uphold calls for a new probe, adding pressure on China.

6/10/2021 Joe Biden Meets With U.K. Prime Minister Johnson Ahead Of G-7 Summit
    Joe Biden, left, poses for a photo with Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, right,
during their meeting ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall, Britain. (Toby Melville/Pool Photo via AP)
    Joe Biden arrived in the U.K. on Thursday to meet with Prime Minister Boris Johnson ahead of the G7 summit.    Biden held his first face-to-face meeting with Johnson since taking office.
    The two reportedly discussed various issues, including the U.S donation of 500 million Coronavirus vaccine doses to other countries.    Biden has claimed other G-7 nations will soon be announcing similar vaccine commitments.
    Biden and Johnson are also expected to announce a renewal of the Atlantic Charter, which was a statement signed in 1941 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill.    The updated agreement is an effort to strengthen trade, travel and tech relations between the two nations.
    “It’s a great pleasure Mr. President to welcome you to Cornwall,” Johnson expressed.    “Fantastic to see you know, in what I think is your first big overseas trip since you’ve been President.”
    Biden will also meet with NATO allies in Brussels before his highly anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva.

6/11/2021 Iran Nuclear Deal Talks To Resume On Saturday: Iranian Official
FILE PHOTO: Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Abbas Araqchi, attends a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission
in Vienna, Austria, September 1, 2020. European Commission EbS - EEAS/Handout via REUTERS
    DUBAI (Reuters) – Talks between Iran and world powers on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal will resume in Vienna on Saturday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Friday.
    “The participants are expected to continue consultations on the possible return of the United States to the nuclear accord and ensuring the full and effective implementation of this agreement,” Araqchi, Iran’s top negotiator at the talks, said on his channel on the Telegram messaging app.
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

6/11/2021 Iran Regains U.N. Vote After U.S. Enables U.N. Payment by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: A gas flare on an oil production platform is seen alongside an Iranian
flag in the Gulf July 25, 2005. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/File Photo
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Iran regained its vote in the U.N. General Assembly on Friday after the United States enabled Tehran to use funds frozen in South Korea to pay some $16 million it owed to the world body.
    Iran lost its vote in the 193-member General Assembly in January because it was more than two years in arrears.    It owed a total of more than $65 million, but paid the minimum amount needed to regain its vote.
    “Iran has paid the minimum amount due,” U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said on Friday, confirming Iran could vote again.
    Iran says $20 billion of its oil revenue has been frozen in countries like South Korea, Iraq and China since 2018 under sanctions imposed by then-U.S. President Donald Trump.
    “Illegal U.S. sanctions have not just deprived our people of medicine; they have also prevented Iran from paying our dues in arrears to the U.N.,” Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi posted on Twitter.    “After more than 6 months of working on it, the U.N. today announced it has received the funds.”
    Iran was able to vote in the General Assembly on Friday to elect five new members of the U.N. Security Council.
    Iran’s Foreign Ministry said that it had proposed to the United Nations that it could use funds frozen in South Korea to pay its dues.    It said the world body followed up with the U.S. Treasury Department to get the appropriate approvals.
    “The permit was recently issued and the process of withdrawing the membership fee from Iran’s account in the Korean banks and transferring it to the U.N. account in Seoul has been paved, and this payment will be made soon,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said last week.
    When asked about the issue last week, the U.S. Treasury Department said it “does not comment on specific licenses.”
    The U.N. payment comes as U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration and Iranian officials are expected to begin their sixth round of indirect talks in Vienna this weekend about how both sides might resume compliance with a 2015 nuclear deal.
    Under the deal with key world powers, Iran limited its nuclear program to make it harder to obtain fissile material for atomic weapons in return for relief from U.S., European Union and U.N. sanctions.
    However, Trump abandoned the deal in 2018, arguing it gave Tehran too much sanctions relief for too few nuclear restrictions, and reimposed sanctions that slashed Iran’s oil exports.    Iran then retaliated about a year later by violating the limits on its nuclear program.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; additional reporting by Daphne Psaledakis; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

6/11/2021 Biden And Johnson Watch On In Blimp Form As Protesters Demand G7 Action by Michael Holden
Oxfam activists with 'Big Heads' caricatures of U.S. President Joe Biden and France's President
Emmanuel Macron pretend to fight over a COVID-19 vaccine with other G7 leaders, during a protest at a beach near
Falmouth, on the sidelines of G7 summit, in Cornwall, Britain, June 11, 2021. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
    FALMOUTH, England (Reuters) -Blimps of Joe Biden and Boris Johnson floated off the Cornish coast on Friday as hundreds of protesters targeted the G7 summit in southwest England to demand action on the climate, poverty and COVID-19.
    As leaders of some of the world’s richest nations gather in picturesque Cornwall, so have dozens of campaign groups that want to court publicity for their causes and send a message to the Western political elite.
    Several hundred climate activists – some dressed as blackbirds as a symbol of warning and others banging drums – gathered in St Ives, just a stone’s throw from the heavily guarded G7 summit venue at Carbis Bay, and marched along the beach.
    “Carbis Bay is where the most powerful leaders in the world are,” said Jenny Shackleford, 59, who with along with her husband Murray, 55, was dressed as a blackbird.    She had walked for 6 days to get to St Ives.
    “We are terrified what will happen if they don’t take action,” she said.    Her husband said that G7 leaders had to do more than simply make grand promises that people have heard over and over again.
    Behind police cordons and layers of security, the leaders from the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, and Canada gathered for a three-day summit that they hope will show the West can still act decisively on major global issues.
    There is, though, some scepticism from many protesters.
    “We want the real Boris Johnson, Joe Biden and other G7 leaders gathering in Cornwall to be like these blimps and join the wave of hope,” said Jamie Drummond from the Crack the Crises group which organised the blimp protest.
    “That means they should stop hoarding and start sharing – sharing the money, doses and the tech to vaccinate the world; and deliver an historic green recovery deal.”
    Police have mounted a major security operation for the summit, with thousands of officers drafted in from across Britain.    Some of those planning demonstrations have said they intended their protests to be noisy, disruptive and annoying.
    On Friday officers said they had arrested seven people after stopping two cars in which they found paint, smoke grenades and megaphones.
    “We continue to support the facilitation of safe and legal protest, but criminal activity and public disorder will not be tolerated,” the police said in a statement.
    However, those organising some of the protests accuse the authorities of oppressive tactics.
    “When talking about how local people feel about protesters, it’s really important to remember that lots of protesters are local,” Resist G7, an ad-hoc collection of about 20 activist organisations, said on Twitter.
    “It’s the G7 that’s disrupted us not the other way round.”
(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Mike Collett-White and Raissa Kasolowsky)

6/11/2021 G7 Vaccine Pledge Is Just A Drop In The Ocean, Campaigners Say by Kate Holton and Elizabeth Piper
FILE PHOTO: A migrant holds her baby as she receives a shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
in the Mavrovouni camp for refugees and migrants on the island of Lesbos, Greece, June 3, 2021. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
    CARBIS BAY, England (Reuters) – A Group of Seven plan to donate 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to poorer countries lacks ambition, is far too slow and shows Western leaders are not yet up to the job of tackling the worst public health crisis in a century, campaigners said on Friday.
    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he expected G7 leaders to agree the donations as part of a plan to inoculate the world’s nearly 8 billion people against the coronavirus by the end of next year.
    After U.S. President Joe Biden vowed to supercharge the fight against the virus with a donation of 500 million Pfizer shots, Johnson said Britain would give at least 100 million vaccines within a year.
    Canada is expected to commit to sharing up to 100 million doses.    Other pledges may follow.
    But health and anti-poverty campaigners said that, while donations were a step in the right direction, Western leaders had failed to grasp the exceptional efforts needed to beat the virus. Help with distribution was also necessary, they said.
    Former British prime minister Gordon Brown, who has been pushing for richer countries to share more of the cost of vaccinating developing countries, said the G7 pledges were more akin to “passing round the begging bowl” than a real solution.
    “It’s a catastrophic failure if we can’t go away in the next week or two … with a plan that actually rids the world of COVID now we’ve got a vaccine,” he told Reuters.
    Alex Harris at Wellcome, a London-based science and health charitable foundation, said the pledges did not go far enough.
    “What the world needs is vaccines now, not later this year.    At this historic moment, the G7 must show the political leadership our crisis demands,” said Harris.    “We urge G7 leaders to raise their ambition.”
    The race to end a pandemic that has killed around 3.9 million people and sown social and economic destruction will feature prominently at the three-day summit which began on Friday in the English seaside resort of Carbis Bay.
    British foreign minister Dominic Raab warned that other countries were using vaccines as diplomatic tools to secure influence.    Britain and the United States said their donations would come with no strings attached.
    COVID-19 has ripped through the global economy, with infections reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.
‘FAILURE’
    As most people need two vaccine doses, and possibly booster shots to tackle emerging variants, campaigners said world leaders needed to go much further, and much faster.
    “If the best G7 leaders can manage is to donate 1 billion vaccine doses then this summit will have been a failure,” Oxfam’s health policy manager Anna Marriott said, adding that the world would need 11 billion doses to end the pandemic.
    Vaccination efforts so far are heavily correlated with wealth: the United States, Europe, Israel and Bahrain are far ahead of other countries.    A total of 2.2 billion people have been vaccinated according to Johns Hopkins University data.
    Oxfam also called on G7 leaders to support a waiver on the intellectual property behind the vaccines.
    French President Emmanuel Macron has said intellectual property rights should not hinder access to vaccines during a pandemic, appearing to back Biden on the subject.
VACCINE OWNERSHIP?
    But the pharmaceutical industry has opposed it, saying it would stifle innovation and do little to increase supplies.    Britain, which backed Oxford-AstraZeneca’s not-for-profit shot, has said a patent waiver is not necessary.
    Of the 100 million British shots, 80 million will go to the COVAX programme led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the rest will be shared bilaterally with countries in need.
    Johnson echoed Biden in calling on his fellow leaders to make similar pledges and for pharmaceutical companies to adopt the not-for-profit model during the pandemic.    The U.S. Pfizer donations will be supplied at cost.
    Mass vaccination against the novel coronavirus is seen as crucial to restoring economic growth and preventing the virus from further mutation that could evade vaccines.
    The British doses will be drawn from the stock it has already procured for its domestic programme, and will come from suppliers Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen, Moderna and others.
(Additional reporting by Alistair Smout in London and David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge, Alex Richardson and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

6/11/2021 G7 Eyes Allocating $100 Billion From IMF Funds To COVID-Ravaged Nations - US
FILE PHOTO: A G7 logo is seen on an information sign near the Carbis Bay hotel resort, where an in-person G7 summit of global leaders
is due to take place in June, St Ives, Cornwall, southwest Britain May 24, 2021. Picture taken May 24, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville
    CARBIS BAY, England (Reuters) -The United States and other Group of Seven nations are considering reallocating $100 billion from the International Monetary Fund’s warchest to help countries struggling most to cope with the COVID-19 crisis, the White House said.
    The issue will be on the table when G7 leaders discuss how to help steer the world’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic at a three-day summit in Cornwall, southwestern England, which begins on Friday.
    “The United States and our G7 partners are actively considering a global effort to multiply the impact of the proposed Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocation to the countries most in need,” the U.S. president’s office said.
    “At potentially up to $100 billion in size, the proposed effort would further support health needs – including vaccinations – and help enable greener, more robust economic recoveries in vulnerable countries, and promote a more balanced, sustained, and inclusive global recovery.”
    The U.S. has targeted the SDR allocation to be distributed around the “late (northern) summer” and on Friday said: “We strongly support the effort to recycle SDRs to further support health needs.”
    SDRs are the IMF’s reserve asset, and are exchangeable for dollars, euros, sterling, yen and Chinese yuan or renminbi.
    French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday called on the other G7 nations to find an agreement on reallocating $100 billion in SDRs to African states.
    World finance chiefs agreed in April to boost SDRs by $650 billion and extend a debt-servicing freeze to help developing countries deal with the pandemic, although only $34 billion was to be allocated to Africa.
(Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Kate Holton and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

6/11/2021 Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, UAE Elected To U.N. Security Council
FILE PHOTO: The Security Council chamber is seen from behind the council president's chair at the
United Nations headquarters in New York City, September 18, 2015 REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.N. General Assembly elected Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, and the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations Security Council on Friday for a two-year term starting on Jan. 1, 2022.
    All five countries ran unopposed for a spot on the 15-member body, which is charged with maintaining international peace and security.    They will replace Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam.
    To ensure geographical representation, seats are allocated to regional groups.    But even if candidates are running unopposed in their group, they still need to win the support of more than two-thirds of the U.N. General Assembly.
    Ghana received 185 votes, Gabon 183 votes, UAE 179 votes, Albania 175 votes and Brazil 181 votes.
    The Security Council is the only U.N. body that can make legally binding decisions like imposing sanctions and authorizing use of force.    It has five permanent veto-wielding members – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Alistair Bell)

6/12/2021 Putin Says Relations With U.S. At Lowest Point In Years
FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic
Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, June 4, 2021. Sputnik/Vladimir Smirnov/Kremlin via REUTERS
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Russian President Vladimir Putin, in an interview with NBC News ahead of his meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden next week, said U.S.-Russia relations are at their lowest point in years.
    Putin and Biden will meet in Geneva on Wednesday.    The White House has said Biden will bring up ransomware attacks emanating from Russia, Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine, the jailing of dissidents and other issues that have irritated the relationship.
    “We have a bilateral relationship that has deteriorated to its lowest point in recent years,” Putin said, according to an NBC translation of excerpts of an interview broadcast on Friday.
    Putin praised former President Donald Trump as “an extraordinary individual, talented individual,” and said Biden, as a career politician, was “radically different” from Trump.
    Asked about Biden calling him a killer in an interview in March, Putin said he had heard dozens of such accusations.    “This is not something I worry about in the least,” Putin said.
    Biden, at the start of an eight-day visit to Europe this week, said: “We’re not seeking conflict with Russia.”
    “We want a stable and predictable relationship … but I’ve been clear: The United States will respond in a robust and meaningful way if the Russian government engages in harmful activities.”
    Putin was asked about several Russian dissidents whose deaths have been blamed on Moscow, including ex-KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko who was poisoned in 2006.    Putin dismissed the question as “verbal indigestion
.“    He said some of those responsible for the deaths are in prison.
    On the issue of recent ransomware attacks that the United States has traced to Russia, Putin denied any knowledge of the hackings and called on Biden to reach an agreement with him on cyberspace, NBC News said.
    Putin also dismissed a report in the Washington Post this week that Russia was preparing to supply Iran with an advanced satellite that would enable it to track potential military targets across the Middle East.
    “It’s just fake news.    At the very least, I don’t know anything about this kind of thing,” Putin said, according to NBC News.    “It’s just nonsense garbage.”
(Reporting by Eric Beech and Mohammad Zargham; Additional reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Cynthia Osterman)

6/12/2021 President Vladimir Putin: Russia-U.S. Relations At ‘Lowest Point In Recent Years’ by OAN Newsroom
Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia. (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
    Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his country’s relationship with the U.S. has deteriorated under the Biden administration’s leadership.    During an interview on Friday, Putin described the relationship to be at its lowest point in recent years.
    Putin went on to compare Joe Biden to President Trump by saying the two are vastly different politicians.    He referred to Trump as an “extraordinary, talented individual” and described him as polarizing.    The Russian President said this was because Trump didn’t stem from a traditional political background and wasn’t a career politician like Biden.
    “President Biden, of course, is radically different from Trump because President Biden is a career man. He has spent virtually his entire adulthood in politics,” he explained.    “Just think of the number of years he spent in the Senate, a different kind of person.”
Joe Biden, left, shakes hands with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russiain in 2011. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)
    Biden has expressed his goals for rebuilding a relationship with Russia that is secure and predictable.    Although Biden hopes to avoid any conflict with the Russian President, he assures the U.S. will be stern with the Russian government for any detrimental activity.
    While Biden and Putin are expected to meet on Wednesday, critics are skeptical the encounter will lead to a major breakthrough for the two nations.

6/12/2021 G7 Reaches Consensus On China Dumping, Human Rights Abuses - U.S. Official
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, U.S. President Joe Biden, France's President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa and South Korea's
President Moon Jae-in attend a working session during G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Britain, June 12, 2021. Leon Neal/Pool via REUTERS
    CARBIS BAY, England (Reuters) – G7 leaders have reached consensus on the need for a shared approach to China selling exports at unfairly low prices and to human rights abuses, a senior official in the U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration said on Saturday.
    The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the leaders of the Group of Seven world’s largest advanced economies had also agreed on the need to coordinate on supply chain resilience to ensure democracies are supporting each other.
    “I would say there was unanimity in terms of a willingness to call out human rights abuses and violations of fundamental freedoms that invoke our shared values,” the official said.
    “There was commitment to take action in response to what we’re seeing.”    The official said the G7 had moved far from three years ago when the final communique made no mention of China.
    Under the legal structure of the World Trade Organization, the designation of China as a “non-market economy” allows its trading partners, including the United States, to use a special framework to determine whether China’s exports are being sold at unfairly low prices and, if that is found to be the case, to apply additional anti-dumping duties.
(Reporting by Steve Holland, writing by Elizabeth Piper; editing by William James)

6/12/2021 G7 To Counter China’s Belt And Road With Infrastructure Project – Senior US Official by Steve Holland
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, European Council President Charles Michel, U.S. President Joe Biden,
Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi,
French President Emmanuel Macron, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and German Chancellor Angela Merkel
pose for a group photo at the G7 summit, in Carbis Bay, Britain, June 11, 2021. Patrick Semansky/Pool via REUTERS
    CARBIS BAY, England (Reuters) – The Group of Seven rich nations will announce on Saturday a new global infrastructure plan as a response to China’s belt and road intiative, a senior official in U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration said.
    The official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, said the United States would also push the other G7 leaders for “concrete action on forced labour” in China, and to include criticism of Beijing in their final communique     “This is not just about confronting or taking on China,” the official said.    “But until now we haven’t offered a positive alternative that reflects our values, our standards and our way of doing business.”
    China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure scheme launched in 2013 by President Xi Jinping involving development and investment initiatives that would stretch from Asia to Europe and beyond.
    More than 100 countries have signed agreements with China to cooperate in BRI projects like railways, ports, highways and other infrastructure.
    According to a Refinitiv database, as of mid-last year, more than 2,600 projects at a cost of $3.7 trillion were linked to the initiative, although the Chinese foreign ministry said last June that about 20% of projects had been seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    In March, Biden said he had suggested to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is hosting the three-day G7 leaders’ summit in southwest England, that democratic countries should develop their own rival scheme.
    The U.S. official said until now, the West had failed to offer a positive alternative to the “lack of transparency, poor environmental and labour standards, and coercive approach” of the Chinese government that had left many countries worse off.
    “So tomorrow we’ll be announcing ‘build back better for the world,’ an ambitious new global infrastructure initiative with our G7 partners that won’t just be an alternative to the B and I (Belt and Road),” the official said.
    In talks, Biden will also press the other leaders to make clear that they believe forced labour practices were an affront to human dignity and “i>an egregious example of China’s unfair economic competition” to show that they were serious about defending human rights.
    “We’re pushing on being specific on areas like Xinjiang where forced labour is taking place and where we have to express our values as a G7,” the official said of the final communique to be issued at the end of the summit on Sunday.
    There were no specifics on how the global infrastructure scheme would be funded.    The plan would involve raising hundreds of billions in public and private money to help close a $40 trillion infrastructure gap in needy countries by 2035, the official said     The aim was to work with Congress to supplement existing development financing “with the hope that together with G7 partners, the private sector and other stakeholders we soon be collectively catalyzing hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure investment for low and middle income countries that need it
(Reporting by Steve Holland and Michael Holden; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

[AS YOU CAN SEE BELOW THAT DONALD TRUMP IN 2016 INTERFERED WITH THE GOALS TO IMPLEMENT SOME EVENTS FROM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISSAC AND JACOB BEFORE THE FINAL DAYS AND THAT IS WHY THEY FEROCIOUSLY ATTACKED HIM FOR 4 YEARS AND IMPLEMENTED THEIR TAKEOVER IN 2020 TO GET THE GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT BACK ON TRACK AS IT IS RAMPING UP FOR A TOTAL PUSH TO ACHIEVE ITS GOAL OF WORLD DOMINANCE AS HAS BEEN PROPHESIED AND BY THE END OF THE 72 YEARS IN 2022 BE PREPARED FOR THE NEW WORLD ORDER TO TAKE OVER ALL.].
6/12/2021 Anything You Can Do: G7 Rivals China With Grand Infrastructure Plan by Steve Holland and Guy Faulconbridge
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council
President Charles Michel during the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Britain, June 12, 2021. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/Pool
    CARBIS BAY, England (Reuters) -The Group of Seven richest democracies sought on Saturday to counter China’s growing influence by offering developing nations an infrastructure plan that could rival President Xi Jinping’s multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road initiative.
    The G7, whose leaders are meeting in southwestern England, has been searching for a coherent response to the growing assertiveness of Xi after China’s surging economic and military rise over the past 40 years.
    U.S. President Joe Biden and other G7 leaders hope their plan, known as the Build Back Better World (B3W) initiative, will provide a transparent infrastructure partnership to help narrow the $40 trillion needed by developing nations by 2035, the White House said.
    “This is not just about confronting or taking on China,” a senior official in Biden’s administration said.    “But until now we haven’t offered a positive alternative that reflects our values, our standards and our way of doing business.”
    The United States later said there was a G7 consensus on the need for a shared approach to China on trade and human rights.     The G7 and its allies will use the B3W initiative to mobilise private-sector capital in areas such as climate, health and health security, digital technology, and gender equity and equality, the White House added.
    It was not immediately clear how exactly the plan would work or how much capital it would ultimately allocate.
    China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) scheme, which Xi launched in 2013, involves development and investment initiatives that would stretch from Asia to Europe and beyond.
    More than 100 countries have signed agreements with China to cooperate in BRI projects like railways, ports, highways and other infrastructure.
    Critics say Xi’s plan to create a modern version of the ancient Silk Road trade route to link China with Asia, Europe and beyond is a vehicle for the expansion of Communist China.    Beijing says such doubts betray the “imperial hangover” of many Western powers that humiliated China for centuries.
CHINA’S RISE
    Leaders of the G7 – the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, Italy, France and Japan – want to use their gathering in the seaside resort of Carbis Bay to show the world that the richest democracies can offer an alternative to China’s growing clout.
    The re-emergence of China as a leading global power is considered to be one of the most significant geopolitical events of recent times, alongside the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union that ended the Cold War.
    China in 1979 had an economy that was smaller than Italy’s, but after opening to foreign investment and introducing market reforms, it has become the world’s second-largest economy and is a global leader in a range of new technologies.
    The U.S. official said until now, the West had failed to offer a positive alternative to the “lack of transparency, poor environmental and labour standards, and coercive approach” of the Chinese government that had left many countries worse off.
    According to a Refinitiv database, as of mid-last year, more than 2,600 projects at a cost of $3.7 trillion were linked to the BRI, although the Chinese foreign ministry said last June that about 20% of projects had been seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.     As part of the G7 plan, the United States will work with the U.S. Congress to supplement existing development financing and to “collectively catalyze hundreds of billions of dollars of infrastructure investment,” the White House said.
CRITICISM OVER CAMPS
    Biden made “forceful comments” to G7 leaders about the need to make a strong statement on Washington and rights group say is the use of forced labour in China, but there was a “spectrum of how far different countries are willing to go” in their criticism in a final communique from the three-day summit, another U.S. official said.
    The U.S. official later said the G7 had reached consensus on the need for a shared approach on “non-market economic practices” and on human rights abuses, and to coordinate on supply-chain resilience.
    The United States has pushed for specific language in the communique about alleged forced labour in the China’s Xinjiang region, officials said.
    U.N. experts and rights groups estimate over a million people, mainly Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities, have been detained in recent years in a vast system of camps in Xinjiang.
    China denies all accusations of forced labour or abuse.    It initially denied the camps existed, but has since said they are vocational centres and are designed to combat extremism. In late 2019, China said all people in the camps had “graduated.”
    The Chinese foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Steve Holland and Guy Faulconbridge; Additional reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Frances Kerry and Pravin Char)

6/12/2021 America Is Back With Biden, France’s Macron Says by Michel Rose and Steve Holland
U.S. President Joe Biden and France's President Emmanuel Macron shake hands as they attend a bilateral
meeting during the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Britain, June 12, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
    CARBIS BAY, England (Reuters) - The United States is back as a cooperative leader of the free world under President Joe Biden, France’s Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday, illustrating the relief felt by many key U.S. allies that the tumult of Donald Trump’s presidency is over.
    Macron’s remark echoes that of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson who hailed Biden on Thursday as “a big breath of fresh air
    Neither Macron nor Johnson drew an explicit parallel between Biden and Trump, though both praised Biden’s distinctly cooperative tone and officials said there was relief after Trump at times shocked and bewildered many European allies.
    Biden, asked by a reporter if America was back, turned to Macron and gestured with his Ray Ban Aviator sunglasses towards the French president that he should answer that question.
    “Yes definitely,” Macron said.    “It’s great to have a U.S. president who’s part of the club and very willing to cooperate.”
    “What you demonstrate is that leadership is partnership,” Macron told Biden as they sat on an outdoor terrace with a sweeping view of the turquoise sea behind them.
    Biden agreed.
    “The United States, I’ve said before, we’re back,” Biden said.    “Things are going, I think, well, and we’re, as we say back in the States, we’re on the same page.”
    Biden added that the United States felt very strongly about the cohesion of the NATO military alliance and expressed support for the European Union – the target of much criticism from Trump during his 2017-2021 presidency.
    “I for one think that the European Union is an incredibly strong and vibrant entity, that has a lot to do with the ability of Western Europe not only to handle its economic issues but provide the backbone and support for NATO,” Biden said.
(Reporting by Michel Rose and Steve Holland; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton)
[I THINK YOU MEANT AMERICA IS GOING BACKWARDS NOW TO THE METHODS OF THE PRIOR CORRUPTION OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION.].

6/12/2021 ‘Whatever It Takes’, UK’s Johnson Warns EU Over Post-Brexit Trade by Michel Rose and Elizabeth Piper
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council
President Charles Michel during the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Britain, June 12, 2021. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/Pool
    CARBIS BAY, England (Reuters) -Britain will do “whatever it takes” to protect its territorial integrity in a trade dispute with the European Union, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday, threatening emergency measures if no solution was found.
    The threat by Johnson seemed to break a temporary truce in a war of words over part of the Brexit deal that covers border issues with Northern Ireland, the focus for tensions since Britain completed its exit from the EU late last year.
    Despite U.S. President Joe Biden encouraging them to find a compromise, Johnson used a G7 summit to indicate no softening in his position on what is called the Northern Ireland protocol that covers border issues with the British province.
    “I think we can sort it out but … it is up to our EU friends and partners to understand that we will do whatever it takes,” Johnson told Sky News.
    “I think if the protocol continues to be applied in this way, then we will obviously not hesitate to invoke Article 16,” he added, referring to a safeguard clause that allows either side to take measures if they believe the agreement is leading to economic, societal or environment difficulties.
    “I’ve talked to some of our friends here today, who do seem to misunderstand that the UK is a single country, a single territory.    I just need to get that into their heads.”
    His comments came after he met French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and top EU officials Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel at a Group of Seven summit in southwestern England.
    The EU told the British government once again that it must implement the Brexit deal in full and introduce checks on certain goods moving from Britain to Northern Ireland. Britain repeated its call for urgent and innovative solutions to ease the friction.
NO NARROWING OF POSITIONS
    The province has an open border with EU member Ireland so the Northern Ireland protocol was agreed as a way to preserve the bloc’s single market after Britain left.
    The protocol essentially kept the province in the EU’s customs union and adhering to many of the single market rules, creating a regulatory border in the Irish Sea between the British province and the rest of the United Kingdom.
    Since Britain exited the bloc’s orbit, Johnson has unilaterally delayed the implementation of some provisions of the protocol, including checks on chilled meats such as sausages moving from the mainland to Northern Ireland, saying it was causing disruption to some supplies to the province.
    “Both sides must implement what we agreed on,” von der Leyen, European Commission president, said after meeting Johnson alongside Michel, the European Council president.
    “There is complete EU unity on this,” she said, adding that the deal had been agreed, signed and ratified by both Johnson’s government and the bloc.
    Germany’s Merkel said the two sides could find pragmatic solutions on technical questions, while the EU protected its single market.
    Earlier this week, talks between the two sets of negotiators ended in an exchange of threats over the so-called “sausage wars.”    An EU official said at the G7 that there was a need for the rhetoric to be toned down.
    The head of the World Trade Organization said she hoped the tensions would not escalate into a trade war.
    The United States has also expressed grave concern the dispute could undermine the 1998 Good Friday peace deal.
    That agreement largely brought an end to the “Troubles” – three decades of conflict between Irish Catholic nationalist militants and pro-British Protestant “loyalist” paramilitaries in which 3,600 people were killed.
    Though Brexit was not part of the formal agenda for the G7 summit in the English seaside resort of Carbis Bay, it has more than once threatened to cloud the meeting.
    France’s Macron offered to reset relations with Britain as long as Johnson stood by the Brexit deal – a characterisation of the meeting that was rejected by the British team.
    Brexit has also strained the situation in Northern Ireland, where the pro-British “unionist” community say they are now split off from the rest of the United Kingdom and the Brexit deal breaches the 1998 peace deal.    But the open border between the province and Ireland was a key principle of the Good Friday deal.
(Additional reporting by William JamesWriting by Guy Faulconbridge and Elizabeth PiperEditing by Toby Chopra and Frances Kerry)

6/13/2021 G7 Chides China On Rights, Demands COVID Origins Investigation by Guy Faulconbridge and Steve Holland
FILE PHOTO: The Chinese national flag is seen in Beijing, China April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
    CARBIS BAY, England (Reuters) -Group of Seven leaders on Sunday scolded China over human rights in its Xinjiang region, called for Hong Kong to keep a high degree of autonomy and demanded a full and thorough investigation of the origins of the coronavirus in China.
    After discussing how to come up with a unified position on China, leaders issued a highly critical final communique that delved into what are for China some of the most sensitive issues, including also Taiwan.
    The re-emergence of China as a leading global power is considered to be one of the most significant geopolitical events of recent times, alongside the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union that ended the Cold War.
    China’s rise has also unnerved the United States: President Joe Biden casts China as the main strategic competitor and has vowed to confront China’s “economic abuses” and push back against human rights violations.
    “We will promote our values, including by calling on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially in relation to Xinjiang and those rights, freedoms and high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration,” the G7 said.
    The G7 also called for a transparent, expert-led Phase 2 COVID-19 Origins study including in China, to be convened by the World Health Organization (WHO).    Reuters earlier reported the finalised version of the draft communique.
    “We haven’t had access to the laboratories,” Biden told reporters.
    Biden said it was not yet certain whether or not “a bat interfacing with animals and the environment… caused this COVID-19, or whether it was an experiment gone awry in a laboratory.”
    Before the G7 criticism emerged, China pointedly cautioned G7 leaders that the days when “small” groups of countries decided the fate of the world were long gone.
    The G7 also underscored “the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues.”
    “We remain seriously concerned about the situation in the East and South China Seas and strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo and increase tensions,” they said.
FORCED LABOUR
    Biden said democracies were in a global contest with “autocratic governments,” and that the G7 had to deliver viable alternatives.
    “We’re in a contest, not with China per se, … with autocrats, autocratic governments around the world, as to whether or not democracies can compete with them in a rapidly changing 21st century,” Biden told reporters.
    “As I’ve told (Chinese President) Xi Jinping myself, I’m not looking for conflict.    Where we cooperate, we’ll cooperate; where we disagree I’m going to state this frankly, and we are going to respond to actions that are inconsistent.”
    The G7 – comprising the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada – said it was concerned about forced labour in global supply chains including in the agricultural, solar, and garment sectors.
    Beijing has repeatedly hit back against what it perceives as attempts by Western powers to contain China.    It says many major powers are still gripped by an outdated imperial mindset after years of humiliating China.
    U.N. experts and rights groups estimate that more than a million people, mainly Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities, have been detained in recent years in a vast system of camps in Xinjiang in northwest China.
    China denies all accusations of forced labour or abuse.    It initially denied the camps existed, but has since said they are vocational centres and are designed to combat extremism.    In late 2019, China said all people in the camps had “graduated.”
(Additional reporting by Kate Holton, Elizabeth Piper, William James, Michel Rose and Michael Holden; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky, Andrew Heavens and Gareth Jones)

6/13/2021 White House Says NATO Will Launch ‘Ambitious’ Security Initiatives by David Shepardson
Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander De Croo welcomes U.S. President Joe Biden as he arrives ahead of a
NATO summit, at Brussels Military Airport in Melsbroek, Belgium June 13, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman/Pool
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The White House said on Sunday ahead of Monday’s NATO summit that alliance leaders would launch an “ambitious” set of initiatives to ensure it continues providing security through 2030 and beyond.
    It said the 30 member countries would agree to revise NATO’s “Strategic Concept” to guide its “approach to the evolving strategic environment, which includes Russia’s aggressive policies and actions; challenges posed by the People’s Republic of China to our collective security, prosperity, and values; and transnational threats such as terrorism, cyber threats, and climate change.”
    The White House statement said the new Strategic Concept would be prepared for adoption at the 2022 NATO Summit.
    “Allied leaders will launch an ambitious set of initiatives to ensure NATO continues to provide security to our citizens through 2030 and beyond,” the statement added.
    Reuters reported earlier that NATO’s Strategic Concept was expected to include China’s military rise as a challenge for the first time.
    President Joe Biden arrived in Brussels on Sunday for the summit.
    NATO leaders will endorse a new Cyber Defense Policy boosting coordination to ensure the alliance “is resilient against the increasingly frequent and severe threats … including disruptive ransomware attacks against critical infrastructure.”
    The White House added that alliance members would rely on “trustworthy providers for next generation telecommunication networks.”
    NATO leaders will also affirm steps to ensure the alliance’s “technological edge” and agree to a “Climate Security Action Plan," the White House said, including reducing greenhouse gases from military activities and installations.
    Russia, climate change, Afghanistan and new technologies are among topics planned for discussion during the day-long summit, which will culminate in a special leaders’ session in the North Atlantic Council chamber.
    In a twist of fate, the NATO summit will agree on reforms to the alliance, known as NATO 2030, which were set in motion after then-President Donald Trump questioned its relevance.
    NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg will set out nine areas where NATO could modernize over the medium term, including more joint allied funding of military operations.    France has already expressed concern about the proposal, however, fearing it will take money away from national military priorities.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Peter Cooney)

6/13/2021 Canada’s Trudeau Says He Discussed Border With Biden, But No Deal
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attend a session during
the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Britain, June 11, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Pool/File Photo
    (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Sunday he has spoken with U.S. President Joe Biden about how to lift pandemic-related border restrictions between the two countries but made clear no breakthrough has been achieved.
    U.S. and Canadian business leaders have voiced increasing concern about the ban on non-essential travel in light of COVID-19 that was first imposed in March 2020 and renewed on a monthly basis since then.    The border measures do not affect trade flows.
    The border restrictions have choked off tourism between the two countries.    Canadian businesses, especially airlines and those that depend on tourism, have been lobbying the Liberal government to relax the restrictions.
    Canada last week took a cautious first step, saying it was prepared to relax quarantine protocols for fully vaccinated citizens returning home starting in early July.
    Trudeau, speaking after a Group of Seven summit in Britain, said he had talked to Biden “about coordinating measures at our borders as both our countries move ahead with mass vaccination.”    Canada is resisting calls for the border measures to be relaxed, citing the need for more people to be vaccinated.
    The United States is ahead of Canada in terms of vaccination totals.
    “We will continue to work closely together on moving forward in the right way but each of us always will put at the forefront the interests and the safety of our own citizens,” Trudeau told a televised news conference when asked the Biden conversation.
    “Many countries, like Canada, continue to say that now is not the time to travel,” Trudeau added, though he said it is important to get back to normalcy as quickly as possible.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Will Dunham)

6/13/2021 White House Says G7 Rally Around Need To ‘Counter And Compete’ With China by Steve Holland and Kate Abnett
U.S. President Joe Biden walks with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan as he arrives for the final session
of the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Britain, June 13, 2021. Doug Mills/Pool via REUTERS
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) -White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday G7 leaders rallied around the need to “counter and compete” with China on challenges ranging from safeguarding democracy to the technology race.
    On China, the G7 meeting was “a significant move forward from where the G7 has ever been before and reflects a growing convergence that wasn’t there a few years ago,” Sullivan said aboard Air Force One on its way to Brussels.
    “There is a broad view that China represents a significant challenge to the world’s democracies,” Sullivan said, adding that leaders agreed the need for a common agenda in addressing China, including elements where they would “stand up and counter and compete.”
    “Words like counter and compete were words coming out of the mouths of every leader in the room, not just Joe Biden,” he said.
    The Group of Seven rich nations pledged on Sunday to tackle China’s growing influence, singling out China in their communique over human rights in Xinjiang and demanding freedoms and a high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong.
    Asked to comment on China’s remarks about the G7 summit that days were over when “a small group of countries” decided the fate of the world, Sullivan said:
    “That is sad.    If their claim is that all of the other world’s largest economies count as small countries, then they have a massive problem of perspective.”
    G7 leaders also sought to counter China’s growing influence by offering developing countries an infrastructure plan that could rival Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative by supporting projects such as railways in Africa and wind farms in Asia.
    Beijing has repeatedly hit back against what it perceives as attempts by Western powers to contain China.    It says many major powers are still gripped by an outdated imperial mindset after years of humiliating China.
(Reporting by Kate Abnett, Gabriela Baczynska, Steve Holland, Editing by William Maclean, Andrew Heavens and Jane Merriman)

6/13/2021 Biden Suggests ‘Autocrat’ Putin’s Russia Might Be Weaker Than It Seems by Steve Holland
U.S. President Joe Biden arrives for a news conference at the end of the G7 summit,
at Cornwall Airport Newquay, Britain, June 13, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
    NEWQUAY, England, (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden said on Sunday that “autocrat” Vladimir Putin was right to say that relations were at their lowest point in years though he suggested that Russia might be weaker than it seemed and that Moscow had overreached in the Middle East.
    Biden used the G7 summit in the English seaside resort of Carbis Bay to argue that the world’s richest democracies now faced an existential contest with “autocrats” that would define the 21st Century.
    After attending a NATO summit on Monday, Biden will meet Putin on June 16 in Geneva for a meeting that promises to be a combative encounter after disputes over spying, hacking, election meddling, Ukraine, Belarus and human rights.
    Biden, who called the former KGB spy a killer in March, cast Russia as engaging in unacceptable behaviour on a range of fronts but also pointed to Russia’s own “dilemmas” – its post-Soviet economic collapse, what he called overreach in Syria and problems with COVID-19.
    Asked why Putin, who has served as Russia’s paramount leader since Boris Yeltsin resigned in 1999, had not changed despite years of Western sanctions, Biden quipped: “He’s Vladimir Putin.”
    “Autocrats have enormous power and they don’t have to answer to a public and the fact is that it may very well be if I respond in kind, as I will, that it doesn’t dissuade him – he wants to keep going,” Biden said of Putin.
    The two former Cold War foes have had a turbulent relationship for years though relations soured after Putin sought to rebuild some of the clout lost in the chaotic 1991 Soviet collapse and began meddling far beyond Russia’s borders.
    U.S. and other Western leaders now see Putin and Xi Jinping’s China as their main strategic threats, though the Kremlin dismisses as fiction almost all allegations against Russia and says the West is gripped by anti-Russian hysteria.
    The West casts Russia as a dictatorial kleptocracy governed by a mercurial elite that has involved itself in irresponsible escapades such as the 2014 annexation of Crimea, attempts to meddle in U.S. and European elections, and a series of high-profile espionage and assassination attempts abroad.
    Russia says Putin is democratically elected.
RUSSIAN “DILEMMAS
    Biden, though, depicted Russia – whose economy is 13 times smaller than the United States – as weaker than it might be perceived.
    “Russia has its own dilemmas, dealing with its economy, dealing with COVID and dealing with not only the United States and Europe writ large, and in the Middle East,” he said.
    “Russia has engaged in activities which we believe are contrary to international norms, but they have also bitten off some real problems, that they’re going to have trouble chewing on,” Biden said.
    Biden cited Syria as a case in point and an area in which the two powers could work together to find “an accommodation.”
    Asked about a Russian statement that Moscow would be ready to hand over cyber criminals to the United States if Washington followed suit, Biden said that was a good sign and “i>progress.”
    Biden said Putin was right that relations were at a low.
    “He’s right it’s a low point,” Biden said.
    Biden said he had told Putin before being elected he would look at whether the Russian leader had been involved in trying to interfere with the U.S. election.
    “I checked it out, so I had access to all the intelligence, he was engaged in those activities,” he said.
(Writing by Michael Holden and Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by William James and Andrew Heavens)

6/13/2021 Biden: Democratic Nations In A Race To Compete With Autocratic Governments
U.S. President Joe Biden holds a news conference at the end of the G7 summit,
at Cornwall Airport Newquay, Britain, June 13, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
    NEWQUAY, England (Reuters) – Western democracies are in a race to compete with autocratic governments, U.S. President Joe Biden said on Sunday.
    “We’re in a contest, not with China per se, … with autocrats, autocratic governments around the world, as to whether or not democracies can compete with them in a rapidly changing 21st century,” Biden told a news conference at the conclusion of a Group of Seven leaders’ summit in Britain.
    On China specifically, Biden said: “I think you’re gonna see just straightforward dealing with China."
    “As I’ve told Xi Jinping myself, I’m not looking for conflict.    Where we cooperate, we’ll cooperate; where we disagree I’m going to state this frankly, and we are going to respond to actions that are inconsistent.”
(Reporting by Steve Holland and Guy Faulconbridge, writing by William James; Editing by Kate Holton and Elizabeth Piper)
[SO IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT IS AS STATED ABOVE BY BIDEN READ BELOW:
    Autocracy - a system of government in which supreme power over a state is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control.
    au·to·crat·ic relating to a ruler who has absolute power, "the constitutional reforms threatened his autocratic power" taking no account of other people's wishes or opinions; domineering, "an autocratic management style."
    The problem above is that Joe Biden does not realize he is part of an Autocratic Democratic party now connected to the One World Government that Obama sold us out to
].

6/13/2021 G7 Demand Action From Russia On Cybercrimes And Chemical Weapon Use
Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, U.S. President Joe Biden,
France's President Emmanuel Macron, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga attend
a plenary session during G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Britain, June 13, 2021. REUTERS/Phil Noble/Pool
    CARBIS BAY, England (Reuters) – The Group of Seven (G7) wealthy nations on Sunday demanded Russia take action against those conducting cyber attacks and using ransomware from within its borders.
    The rebuke came in a communique issued after a three-day summit of G7 leaders in Britain that also called on Moscow to “stop its destabilising behaviour and malign activities” and conduct an investigation into the use of chemical weapons on Russian soil.
    The communique said Russia must “hold to account those within its borders who conduct ransomware attacks, abuse virtual currency to launder ransoms, and other cybercrimes.”
    The issue is in the spotlight after a cyber attack on Colonial Pipeline, the largest fuel pipeline in the United States, and another that disrupted the North American and Australian operations of meatpacker JBS USA.
    Britain has previously said Russia is a leading proponent of cyber attacks.
    The G7 statement called for wider action against ransomware attacks, describing the practice of encrypting victims’ data and demanding payment for its return as an “escalating shared threat
    “We call on all states to urgently identify and disrupt ransomware criminal networks operating from within their borders, and hold those networks accountable for their actions,” it said.
    The call for an investigation into chemical weapon use comes after Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was treated in Germany for what German doctors said was poisoning with a military-grade nerve agent.    He accused Putin of ordering the poisoning, which the Kremlin denies.
    “We call on Russia to urgently investigate and credibly explain the use of a chemical weapon on its soil,” the G7 document said.
(Reporting by William James; editing by Michael Holden)

6/13/2021 Germany’s Laschet Vows To Raise Military Spending If Elected
FILE PHOTO: Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader and party's top candidate for parliamentary elections Armin Laschet reacts during a news conference after a
party leadership meeting, the day after regional elections in Saxony-Anhalt, in Berlin, Germany June 7, 2021. Tobias Schwarz/Pool via REUTERS
    FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany must increase military spending and take on a greater share of military burdens within NATO, the conservative candidate to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor said in a newspaper interview on Sunday.
    Heads of state within the 30-nation North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will meet in Brussels on Monday and discuss the path to follow against challenges such as China, Russia and cyber threats.
    Laschet, backed by Merkel’s conservatives to run for chancellor at the Sept. 26 election, said he would ensure that Germany, Europe’s largest economy, meets the alliance’s spending target of 2% of gross domestic product.
    “When we have agreed something internationally, we should stick to it,” he told Welt am Sonntag (WamS).
    He said the Bundeswehr, the federal armed forces, should take on more responsibility in Africa, around the Mediterranean and in Mali.
    “We can always talk about us taking a higher share of the burdens,” he said referring to Mali, where the Bundeswehr participates in a European Union training mission and in a United Nations peacekeeping mission.
    French president Emmanuel Macron on Thursday said that France’s operation battling Islamist militants in the Sahel region, of which Mali is a part, would come to an end with troops now operating as part of broader international efforts in the region.
    A German poll on Sunday showed the conservative party block of Christian Democrats and their Bavarian sister party CSU, at 27%, well ahead of the Greens at 20%.
    Separately, the Green Party at a party conference that ended on Sunday softened up a previously categoric stance against the use of armed drones by the Bundeswehr after a tight vote of 347 versus 343 on the motion.
    But the Greens reject the two percent NATO target as they deem it costly and arbitrary.
(Reporting by Vera Eckert in Frankfurt and Holger Hansen in Berlin, editing by William Maclean)

6/14/2021 Exclusive: NATO Approaches Qatar To Seek Training Base For Afghan Forces After Withdrawal by Rupam Jain, Alexander Cornwell and Sabine Siebold
FILE PHOTO: NATO soldiers inspect near the site of an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail/File Photo
    DUBAI/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Security officials under NATO command have approached Qatar to secure a base that can be used to train Afghan special forces as part of a strategic commitment after foreign forces withdraw from Afghanistan, three senior Western officials said.
    After two decades of war, forces from 36 countries involved in NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan are set to pull out of the country in coordination with a U.S. troop withdrawal by Sept. 11.
    “We are holding talks to earmark a base in Qatar to create an exclusive training ground for senior members of the Afghan forces,” said a senior Western security official in Kabul.
    The official, whose country is part of the U.S.-led NATO alliance in Afghanistan, requested anonymity as he was not authorised to speak with journalists.
    An integral part of Resolute Support has been to train and equip Afghan security forces fighting the Islamist Taliban, which was ousted from power in 2001 and has since waged an insurgency.
    “We have made an offer but it is for authorities in Qatar to decide if they are comfortable with NATO using their territory as a training ground,” said a second security source based in Washington DC.
    A third source, a diplomat based in Kabul, said bringing “Afghan special force members to Qatar for about four to six weeks of rigorous training” was under discussion.
    Qatar’s government and NATO’s communications office did not respond to questions about the proposal to use the Gulf state as a base for training Afghan forces.    The Afghan government also did not repond to a request for comment.
UPSURGE IN FIGHTING
    Around 7,000 non-U.S. forces, mainly from NATO countries but also from Australia, New Zealand and Georgia, outnumber the 2,500 U.S. troops left in Afghanistan.
    The final exit of foreign forces comes amid a surge in fighting between Taliban fighters and Afghan forces in several provinces.
    Fears the Taliban could over-run Afghanistan’s battered security forces, which have relied heavily on NATO support, intelligence, and logistics – particularly U.S. air support – have been heightened in recent weeks as the militants have launched major offensives, seizing districts and overrunning military bases.
    Earlier this month, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance was “looking into how we can provide out-of-country training for the Afghan Security Forces, especially the Special Operations Forces.”
    Qatar, an energy-rich Gulf state has been home to the Taliban’s political office since 2013.    In recent years, this has been the only known venue where authorised representatives of the hardline insurgent group have held talks with U.S. officials, representatives of NATO, international rights groups and Afghan government officials.
    Two sources said the United States, Britain and Turkey were among the NATO countries ready to send a force to train Afghans in Qatar.
    A Taliban spokesperson said the group was not aware about NATO’s plan to train Afghan forces in Qatar.
    “In the case of Afghan soldiers who receive military training abroad… If peace is established then maybe the well-trained should be hired to serve Afghanistan but if they come and fight against us and their nation, then of course they will not be trusted by us,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesperson.
(Additional reporting by Orooj Hakimi in Kabul, Charlotte Greenfield in Islamabad, Robin Emmott in Brussels; Editing by Alex Richardson)

[OF COURSE THE FAKE NEWS ONLY SHOWED WHAT THEY WANTED AMERICANS AND THE WORLD TO HEAR AND SEE AND I CAN GUARANTEE THAT HE HAD MISHAPS AND STUPID EVENTS AND JOE BLURPS WHICH THEY DID NOT SHOW FOR ALL THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES.].
6/14/2021 Republicans Criticize Biden For Poor Performance At G7 by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference after attending the G-7 summit, Sunday, June 13, 2021, at Cornwall Airport in Newquay, England.
Biden is en route to Windsor, England, to meet with Queen Elizabeth II, and then on to Brussels to attend the NATO summit. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    Republicans are knocking Joe Biden for failing to defend U.S. national interests at the G7 summit.    It began with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who said in an interview Sunday, Biden’s claims that “America is back” is bringing back the Obama days when America was weak.    He then criticized Biden for shutting down the Keystone XL Pipeline while allowing Russia to finish construction of Nord Stream 2. Pompeo stressed.    Biden must focus on what matters most to America not other countries.
    The G7 unveiled a plan to crackdown on the use of coal, oil and cars as part of the so-called “Great Reset.”    In a statement after the G7 summit Sunday, the nations said reaching zero carbon emissions is their key economic goal.    G7 leaders embraced the far-left talking points, touting what they called the “Green Industrial Revolutio.”     “We need to have some bigger commitments on climate finance, on phasing out coal, on low-carbon vehicles of all kind, including EVs (electric vehicles),” stated U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson.    “Including making commitments on protecting nature and biodiversity, which is integral to our struggle against climate change.”
    As a result, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) lambasted Joe Biden for being “passive” with world leaders.    During an interview Sunday, the Republican lawmaker criticized Biden for failing to condemn China over its role in allegedly creating and spreading COVID-19.    The governor added, Biden’s energy agenda is hurting middle America.
    “I think that President Biden is someone that’s much more passive on the world stage, not nearly as assertive as somebody like Donald Trump was,” he stated.    “I think is energy level is obviously much lower…I think our adversaries are watching that.”
    DeSantis stressed that Biden’s performance at the G7 summit played well into the hands of European elites, all at the expense of American households.

6/16/2021 Biden Holding ‘Cheat Cards’ At Meeting With Putin by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference after meeting with Russian President
Vladimir Putin, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Geneva, Switzerland. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    Joe Biden is caught, once again, using “cheat cards.”    He was seen using those notes with his highly anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.    Biden and Putin met face-to-face Wednesday morning in Geneva as Russian-American tensions remain high.
    At one point, Biden is seen consulting a set of cards in his hand with written notes.    He appeared to hold them in a way so as to hide them from the Russian president’s line of sight.
    It remains unclear as to what the content of these notes were.    After the meeting, the leaders held separate press conferences at different locations.
    Meanwhile, House Democrats have changed course in their efforts to obtain records on President Trump’s 2018 meeting with Putin.    House Foreign Affairs chairman Gregory Meeks (D.N.Y.) claimed the biden administration is “looking forward, not back.”
    However, the timing is questionable given the high-stakes meeting between Biden and Russian president.    Previously, Democrat lawmakers were considering a subpoena against Trump’s interpreter to force testimony about the Helsinki meeting.
    At the time, President Trump told reporters his private discussions were none of their business.

6/17/2021 European Union Establishes COVID-19 Vaccine Passport by OAN Newsroom
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen shows a phone, as she gives a press statement on the new COVID-19
digital travel certificate at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels. (Johanna Geron/Pool Photo via AP)
    A dozen European Union members have established a digital vaccine passport to allow travel within member nations.    Reports on Wednesday detailed the so-called EU Digital COVID Certificate, which was officially signed into regulation on Monday.
    The free mobile app uses a QR code to prove if a traveler has received a COVID-19 vaccine, has recently tested negative or has already contracted the virus and recovered.    The passport also allows travelers moving within the EU to avoid restrictions such as quarantines.
    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen claimed the mobile app will revive the spirit of European citizens by reinstating their freedom to travel.
    “This certificate is a symbol of an open and digital Europe,” she explained.    “…It will give Europeans back the freedoms they value and cherish so much.”
    The remaining EU nations, as well as four other countries, are expected to begin using the app by July 1.    An EU spokesperson said the passport will be available to U.S. citizens as well.
[MORE INFORMATION ABOUT FUTURE POSSIBLE PUSH FOR A MARK OF THE BEAST TO MOVE AROUND THE WORLD.].

6/18/2021 U.N. Chief Guterres Appointed For Second Term by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends a news conference following talks with
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Russia May 12, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo
    NEW YORK (Reuters) -United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was appointed for a second-five year-term on Friday by the 193-member U.N. General Assembly.
    “I will give it my all to ensure the blossoming of trust between and among nations large and small, to build bridges, and to engage relentlessly in confidence building,” Guterres told the General Assembly after taking the oath of office.
    The 15-member Security Council earlier this month recommended the General Assembly re-appoint Guterres.    His second term starts on beginning on Jan. 1, 2022.
    Guterres succeeded Ban Ki-moon in January 2017, just weeks before Donald Trump became U.S. president.    Much of Guterres’ first term was focused on placating Trump, who questioned the value of the United Nations and multilateralism.
    The United States is the largest U.N. financial contributor, responsible for 22% of the regular budget and around a quarter of the peacekeeping budget.    President Joe Biden, who took office in January, has started restoring funding cuts made by Trump to U.N. agencies and re-engaged with the world body.
    U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the United Nations faced historic challenges, but she hoped that with Guterres at the helm “the next five years will see more peace, more security, and more prosperity than the last.”
    “It will require hard work, political will, and accountability from all U.N. member states,” she said in a statement, adding every member states should have “an impassioned commitment” to human rights.
    Guterres, 72, was prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002 and head of the U.N. refugee agency from 2005 to 2015.    As secretary-general, he has been a cheerleader for climate action, COVID-19 vaccines for all and digital cooperation.
    When he took the reins as U.N. chief, the world body was struggling to end wars and deal with humanitarian crises in Syria and Yemen.    Those conflicts are still unresolved, and Guterres is also now faced with emergencies in Myanmar and the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
(Reporting by Michelle NicholsEditing by Frances Kerry)

6/19/2021 National Security Adviser: We Have To Continue To Pressure China On Origins Of COVID-19 by OAN Newsroom
National security adviser Jake Sullivan in Geneva, Switzerland. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has expressed hope for the Intelligence review of the COVID-19 outbreak to provide some clarity.    In an interview on Friday, Sullivan noted the Intelligence Community has been tasked by Joe Biden to review all intelligence regarding the outbreak that has been collected.
    The community had 90 days to complete this task, which was ordered last month.    Sullivan urged partner nations to continue public pressures on China to provide the initial outbreak data.    China has so far refused to release any regarding information.
    Sullivan went on to say, “that’s why it was so important that at the G7 the world’s democracies came together to insist on a phase-two investigation in China of the origins of COVID-19.”
    The Biden administration has admitted no explanation has been ruled out regarding the origins of the virus.    Recent reports say a handful of employees at the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill in November 2019 shortly before the first reported cases.
[THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION AND THE G7 PHASE TWO INVESTIGATION ARE NOT GOING TO DO ANYTHING TO CHINA BECAUSE THEY WILL HAVE TO DEPEND ON CHINA FOR PRODUCTS TO KEEP PRODUCTS COMING TO THEM SINCE THEY ARE WORLD LAST AND AMERICA LAST NOT LIKE TRUMP DID WHICH MADE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN (MAGA) AND THEN AMERICA FIRST WHICH GOES AGAINST THE POLICIES OF A GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT.].

6/21/2021 Fmr. Rep. Ron Paul: Putin’s Calmness Toward Biden In Stunning Contrast To Past Remarks by OAN Newsroom
Former Texas Rep. Ron Paul. (AP/Carolyn Kaster)
    Former Texas Rep. Ron Paul (R) suggested Vladimir Putin has changed his tune toward Joe Biden.    Speaking recently on the Liberty Report, Paul stated Putin’s calmness during the summit was surprising in consideration to his harsh treatment of Biden in the past.
    This comes after the Russian president hesitated to acknowledge Biden as the U.S. president amid stacks of evidence for 2020 election fraud.    However, Paul mentioned Putin is now seemingly praising Biden.
    “He had a different tone and I don’t know whether that was part of the strategy or what because it did not look confrontational,” he explained.    “That doesn’t mean everybody was pleased.”
    Paul went on to say while diplomacy with Russia is a good thing, many are pointing out a stronger confrontation regarding concerns in the Ukraine will be needed.
[BIDEN IS COMPROMISED EVEN AS A PRESIDENT IN THAT CHINA, UKRAINE AND RUSSIA ALL WERE GIVING HIM MONEY THROUGH OTHER SOURCES FROM DEALS HE MADE DURING HIS VICE PRESIDENCY IN THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AND NOW THEY ARE THREATENING HIM TO SUCCEED THEIR REQUESTS OR THEY WILL BRING TO LIGHT HIS CORRUPTION WHICH WOULD CAUSE HIS OVERTHROW AND I HOPE THEY DO SO WE CAN DO THAT BUT THEN HE BROUGHT IN THE FORMER GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT WHO ARE REALLY RUNNING THE COUNTRY AND THEY HAVE NO CONCEPT OF RELEASING THAT POWER OR LOSE IT AGAIN SO THE ONLY WAY IS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO STANDUP AND TAKE AMERICA BACK BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE IF IT IS TRUE THAT WE ARE IN THE FINAL DAYS WHEN THE ANTICHRIST HAVE TAKEN US OVER AND AMERICA WILL JUST FADE TO AS A COUNTRY THAT WAS GREAT LIKE MANY NATIONS WERE IN HISTORY AND WE COULD BE THE BABYLON THAT GOD WILL ATTACK AS PROPHESIED IN JEREMIAH, ETC..].

6/23/2021 Blinken Says Nordstream 2 Is Russian Project That Undermines Ukraine
FILE PHOTO: A road sign directs traffic towards the Nord Stream 2 gas line landfall facility
entrance in Lubmin, Germany, September 10, 2020. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke//File Photo
    BERLIN (Reuters) -U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday described the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline as a Russian geopolitical project that undermines the security of Ukraine, adding the United States wants to ensure Russia does not use energy as a coercive tool against any European state.
    Speaking at a joint press conference in Berlin after meeting German counterpart Heiko Maas, Blinken said Washington was determined to see if it can make something positive out of a difficult situation and strengthen Europe’s energy security.
    “Our goal remains to ensure that Russia cannot use energy as a coercive tool as a weapon against Ukraine, or anyone else in Europe,” Blinken said.
    Washington is against the Nordstream 2 pipeline which would double Russian gas exports across the Baltic Sea.
    The project, now about 95% complete, would help Russia curtail gas exports via Ukraine, depriving Kyiv of lucrative transit fees.
    Germany, a key NATO ally with which Democratic President Joe Biden has sought to repair relations frayed during the administration of former Republican President Donald Trump, wants to complete the $11 billion pipeline.
    But Blinken waived those sanctions, saying that this was in the U.S. national interest.
    Maas said Berlin wanted a solution that is acceptable for both sides.    “We know the expectations in Washington.    It is extremely important for us to achieve results that Washington can also support.”
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Joseph Nasr; writing by Paul Carrel; editing by David Goodman and Jason Neely)

6/25/2021 First COVID-19 Case Could Have Emerged In China In Oct 2019 – Study by David Stanway
FILE PHOTO: Workers in PPE spray the ground with diinfectant in Baishazhou market during a visit of World Health Organization (WHO) team tasked
with investigating the origins of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, January 31, 2021. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
    SHANGHAI (Reuters) -The virus that causes COVID-19 could have started spreading in China as early as October 2019, two months before the first case was identified in the central city of Wuhan, a new study showed on Friday.
    Researchers from Britain’s University of Kent used methods from conservation science to estimate that SARS-CoV-2 first appeared from early October to mid-November 2019, according to a paper published in the PLOS Pathogens journal.
    The most likely date for the virus’s emergence was Nov. 17, 2019, and it had probably already spread globally by January 2020, they estimated.
    China’s first official COVID-19 case was in December 2019 and was linked to Wuhan’s Huanan seafood market.
    However, some early cases had no known connection with Huanan, implying that SARS-CoV-2 was already circulating before it reached the market.
    A joint study published by China and the World Health Organization at the end of March acknowledged there could have been sporadic human infections before the Wuhan outbreak.
    In a paper released in preprint form this week, Jesse Bloom of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle recovered deleted sequencing data from early COVID-19 cases in China.
    The data showed that samples taken from the Huanan market were “not representative” of SARS-CoV-2 as a whole, and were a variant of a progenitor sequence circulating earlier, which spread to other parts of China.
    The U.S. National Institutes of Health confirmed to Reuters that the samples used in the study were submitted to the Sequence Read Archive (SRA) in March 2020 and later deleted at the request of Chinese investigators, who said they would be updated and submitted to another archive.
    Critics said the deletion was further evidence that China was trying to cover up the origins of COVID-19.
    “Why would scientists ask international databases to delete key data that informs us about how COVID-19 began in Wuhan?” said Alina Chan, a researcher with Harvard’s Broad Institute, writing on Twitter.
    Another study by Australian scientists, published on Thursday in the Scientific Reports journal, used genomic data to show SARS-CoV-2 binds to human receptors far more easily than other species, suggesting it was already adapted to humans when it first emerged.
    It said it was possible there was another unidentified animal with even stronger affinity that served as an intermediary species, but the hypothesis that it leaked from the lab could not be ruled out.
    “While it is clear early viruses had a high propensity for human receptors, that doesn’t mean they were ‘man-made’,” said Dominic Dwyer, infectious disease expert at Australia’s Westmead Hospital who was part of the WHO team investigating COVID-19 in Wuhan this year.
    “Such conclusions remain speculative,” he said.
    Serum samples still needed to be tested to make a stronger case about COVID-19’s origins, said Stuart Turville, associate professor at the Kirby Institute, an Australian medical research organisation who was responding to the University of Kent study.
    “Unfortunately with the current pressure of the lab leak hypothesis and the sensitivities in doing this follow-up research in China, it may be some time till we see reports like that,” he said.
(Reporting by David Stanway; Additional reporting by Kanishka Singh and Vishal Vivek in Bengaluru;Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Kim Coghill)

6/25/2021 IAEA Wants ‘Immediate Response’ From Iran On Extending Monitoring Deal by Francois Murphy
FILE PHOTO: The logo of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is seen at the IAEA headquarters,
amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Vienna, Austria May 24, 2021. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner
    VIENNA (Reuters) -Iran has not responded to the U.N. atomic watchdog on extending their monitoring agreement that expired overnight, the agency said on Friday, calling for an “immediate” answer on the issue that threatens to derail wider talks on the Iran nuclear deal.
    The agreement continues the International Atomic Energy Agency’s collection of data on some of Tehran’s activities, cushioning the blow of Iran’s decision in February to reduce cooperation with the agency.
    “An immediate response from Iran is needed in this regard,” the IAEA said in a statement summarising a report by its chief Rafael Grossi to its 35-nation Board of Governors that was also seen by Reuters.
    The agreement stipulates the IAEA cannot access the data collected until a later date, provided the agreement holds.    Grossi wrote to Iran last week “to understand Iran’s position regarding the possible continued collection, recording and retention of data,” the report said.
    As of Friday, Iran had not replied or indicated whether it intends to maintain the current arrangement, it said.
    “The Director General stresses the vital importance of continuing the Agency’s necessary verification and monitoring activities in Iran, including the uninterrupted collection and storage of data by its monitoring and surveillance equipment,” it added.
    John Irish and Humeyra PamukIran and the United States have been holding indirect talks on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers that imposed restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear programme in exchange for a lifting of international sanctions.
(Reporting by Francois Murphy;Editing by Alison Williams and Frances Kerry)

6/25/2021 IAEA Demands Answer From Iran On Monitoring Deal As Nuclear Talks Crisis Looms by Francois Murphy, John Irish and Humeyra Pamuk
FILE PHOTO: The logo of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is seen at their headquarters during a board of governors
meeting, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Vienna, Austria, June 7, 2021. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
    VIENNA/PARIS (Reuters) -Iran has not responded to the U.N. nuclear watchdog on extending a monitoring agreement that expired overnight, the agency said on Friday, hours after Washington warned that not prolonging it would harm efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
    The agreement continues the International Atomic Energy Agency’s collection of data on some of Tehran’s activities, cushioning the blow of Iran’s decision in February to reduce cooperation with the agency.
    “An immediate response from Iran is needed in this regard,” the IAEA said in a statement summarising a report by its chief Rafael Grossi to its 35-nation Board of Governors that was also seen by Reuters.
    Grossi wrote to Iran last week “to understand Iran’s position regarding the possible continued collection, recording and retention of data”, the report said.    As of Friday, Iran had not replied or indicated whether it intends to maintain the current arrangement, it said.
    Before Grossi updated the board, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said any failure by Tehran to extend the monitoring agreement would be a “serious concern” for broader negotiations.
    Iran and the United States have been holding indirect talks on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers that imposed restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear activities in exchange for lifting international sanctions.
    The Vienna talks, which began in April, are now in a pause that had been expected to last until early July, but failure to extend the monitoring accord could throw those negotiations into disarray.
    “Regarding the IAEA, this remains a serious concern,” Blinken told a news conference in Paris alongside his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian.    “The concern has been communicated to Iran and needs to be resolved.”
    The United States abandoned the deal under then-President Donald Trump in 2018 and Iran responded by violating many of its restrictions.    President Joe Biden’s administration wants to revive the accord, but Tehran and Washington have yet to agree which side should take what steps, and when.
SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES WITH IRAN
    One of Iran’s moves to reduce compliance was its February decision to end the deal’s extra IAEA monitoring of some nuclear activities.    The temporary agreement continued that monitoring and a one-month extension ended overnight.
    Officials on all sides have said there are major issues still to be resolved before the nuclear deal can be revived.
    “We still have significant differences with Iran,” Blinken said, adding that he hoped a resumption of talks in the coming days could resolve them.
    “We are only going to reach an agreement with Iran if it honours its obligations under the JCPoA and we are just not there yet,” he said, referring to the nuclear deal by an abbreviation.
    Le Drian echoed that.
    “We’re waiting for Iranian authorities to take the final difficult decisions to allow for the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal,” he said.
(Additional reporting by Francois Murphy in ViennaEditing by Richard Lough, Toby Chopra, Peter Graff and Frances Kerry)

6/25/2021 France, Germany Drop Plans For Russia Summit After EU Outcry by Marine Strauss, Robin Emmott and Sabine Siebold
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, second right, talks to Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, second left,
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, left, Romanian President Klaus Werner Iohannis, center, and Slovenia's Prime Minister
Janez Jansa, right, during an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Belgium, June 24, 2021. Olivier Matthys/Pool via REUTERS
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders failed to agree on a proposal by France and Germany to hold a summit soon with Russian President Vladimir Putin after Poland and Baltic countries said it would send the wrong message as East-West ties deteriorate.
    After U.S. President Joe Biden met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on June 16, French President Emmanuel Macron said the first EU summit with Putin since January 2014 would be “a dialogue to defend our interests.”    He insisted the EU could not only be reactive in its diplomacy with Russia.
    But after late night talks at their meeting in Brussels, the 27 EU leaders failed to reach an agreement, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said early on Friday.
    “It was a very comprehensive discussion, and not an easy one,” she told reporters.    “There was no agreement today on an immediate leaders’ meeting,” she said.
    EU summits with Russia ended after Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in March 2014 and the West imposed sanctions.
    While Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said he supported the Franco-German proposal, many other leaders were opposed.
    “It was a common position of many leaders” not to change the stance on Russia, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said after the meeting broke up.    He earlier said the idea was like “trying to engage the bear to keep a pot of honey safe.”
    Latvia’s Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins said the EU risked rewarding Russia with a summit even though diplomacy has failed to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine with Russian-backed separatists.
    Instead, EU leaders fell back to a familiar position of warning of more sanctions on Moscow if it continued what the EU says is a Russian policy of disinformation, cyber and covert attacks and interference to try to divide the bloc.
    Russia denies any wrongdoing.
    In a summit statement, leaders called on the European Commission and the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell “to present options for additional restrictive measures, including economic sanctions” against Russia.
    The EU has sanctions on the Russian energy, financial and arms sectors and individual sanctions on Russians accused of human rights abuses and for using banned chemical weapons.
    Diplomats say further sanctions could target Russian money laundering or powerful oligarchs suspected of serious corruption abroad, as non-EU member Britain did for the first time in April.
SEARCH FOR DIALOGUE
    Macron had tried in September 2019 to seek less frosty ties with Putin, without success, and Germany’s outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel met Putin in Moscow in January 2020.    Putin held a phone call with European Council President Charles Michel, who chairs EU summits, on June 7 this year.
    France and Germany want to be able to work with Russia on combating climate change and to find ways to stabilise relations.    Merkel said even without a summit: “Formats will be explored … under which dialogues can be started.”
    Many EU countries are concerned that the Kremlin does not take the bloc seriously, after Borrell was publicly humiliated in February by the Kremlin.    Russia expelled EU diplomats during Borrell’s visit to Moscow without warning.
    Lithuania’s Nauseda said: “We should be extremely cautious, this is not like the relationship of Russia with the United States.”
    While France is a nuclear power, the EU relies on NATO for its territorial defence and takes decisions among 27 states, making it easier for the Kremlin to exploit divisions.
    The Kremlin earlier welcomed the idea of a summit, saying both Brussels and Moscow needed dialogue, although Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he wanted more details.
    On opposing sides in standoffs in Ukraine and Belarus, and at odds over human rights, the EU and Russia accuse each other of threatening security and stability from the Baltics to the Black Sea.
    The EU on Thursday imposed economic sanctions on Belarus, an ally of Russia that the Kremlin sees as a buffer state between Russia and NATO.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott, Gabriela Baczynska, Francesco Guarascio and Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels, additional reporting by Thomas Escritt and Caroline Copley in Berlin and Ekaterina Golubkova in Moscow; editing by Angus MacSwan, Philippa Fletcher, William Maclean and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

6/26/2021 Iran Says Nuclear Deal Salvageable But Will Not Negotiate Forever
FILE PHOTO: An Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
headquarters in Vienna, Austria, September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
    DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran said on Saturday it believes a reinstatement of its 2015 nuclear deal with major world powers is possible but warned that Tehran “will not negotiate forever.”
    “Out of a steadfast commitment to salvage a deal that the US tried to torpedo, Iran has been the most active party in Vienna, proposing most drafts,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Twitter, referring to talks aimed at reviving the nuclear deal.
    Iran and the United States have been holding indirect talks on reviving the 2015 agreement between Tehran and six powers that imposed restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear activities in exchange for lifting international sanctions.
    Then U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the agreement in 2018, but President Joe Biden has been seeking to revive it.    Officials on all sides have said there are major issues to resolve before the deal can be reinstated.
    “Still believe a deal is possible, if the US decides to abandon Trump’s failed legacy.    Iran will not negotiate forever,” Khatibzadeh tweeted.
    The U.N. nuclear watchdog on Friday demanded an immediate reply from Iran on whether it would extend a monitoring agreement that expired overnight.    An Iranian envoy responded that Tehran was under no obligation to provide an answer.
    The Vienna talks, which began in April, are now in a pause that had been expected to last until early July, but failure to extend the monitoring accord could throw those negotiations into disarray.
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Frances Kerry)

[TRUMPS VISIT TO THE BORDER IS SCARING THE DEMS AS THE FINALLY MADE KAMALA GO TO THE BORDER BUT SHE ONLY FLEW INTO EL PASO WHICH IS ALMOST 1,000 MILES AWAY FROM THE BORDER AND IS A DEMOCRAT CONTROLLED CITY BECAUSE IF SHE WENT ANYWHERE ELSE SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN BOOED OUT OF TOWN AND THIS TURNED OUT TO BE A FAKE NEWS CO-OP AND DID NOTHING FOR THE BORDER CRISIS WAKE UP AMERICA AND DEMAND CHANGE TO THE FAKE POLICIES FROM THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION.] 6/26/2021 Drop Politics To Fix Immigration, Harris Says At U.S.-Mexico Border by Nandita Bose
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris greets Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX) as she boards Air Force Two to
travel to El Paso, Texas from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S., June 25, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
    EL PASO, Texas (Reuters) -Vice President Kamala Harris visited a border patrol facility near the U.S.-Mexico border on Friday and urged a focus on children and practical solutions to migration, in a trip meant to blunt Republican criticism of White House immigration policies.
    The visit – her first since becoming vice president five months ago – came amid a rise in migrants caught crossing the border, which has sparked outrage from Republicans who favor the stricter immigration policies implemented by former President Donald Trump.
    President Joe Biden, a Democrat, tasked Harris with spearheading his administration’s handling of the broader issue of people fleeing Central American countries for the United States. She visited Guatemala and Mexico earlier this month.
    “This issue cannot be reduced to a political issue.    We’re talking about children, we’re talking about families, we’re talking about suffering.    And our approach has to be thoughtful and effective,” Harris said at the conclusion of her short trip.
    U.S. authorities have made more than 1 million arrests of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border so far in fiscal year 2021, according to preliminary figures shared with Reuters.
    Republicans have criticized Biden for rolling back restrictive Trump-era immigration policies even as arrests of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border have reached 20-year highs in recent months.    They have also criticized Harris for not visiting the border sooner.
    Harris was accompanied in El Paso by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Dick Durbin and Democratic Representative from Texas Veronica Escobar, who called the El Paso area the new “Ellis Island,” a reference to the famed area in New     York Harbor that processed millions of immigrants as they entered the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
    Immigration, and particularly the arrival of asylum seekers at the U.S. southern border, has been a hot-button issue for decades.    Multiple attempts to reform U.S. laws and create a pathway to citizenship for the millions of immigrants living in the country illegally have failed in Congress.
    Democrats and activists have pressed Biden to further scale back enforcement and ensure humane treatment of migrant children and families arriving at the border.
    During the trip, Harris also met with advocates who urged her administration to end a Trump-era policy that allows U.S. authorities to rapidly expel migrants to Mexico or their home countries, according to one of the participants, Fernando Garcia, the executive director at the El Paso-based Border Network for Human Rights.
    Harris, who visited the border as a senator and attorney general from California, was assailed by Republicans when she visited Mexico and Guatemala as part of her efforts to reduce migration from the region into the United States.
TRUMP VISIT LOOMS
    Harris’s trip on Friday appeared to have been hastily put together days before a planned border visit by Trump.
    A White House official said Harris’s schedule was not dictated by Trump’s moves. “I can assure you we don’t take our cues from the former president,” the official said.
    “I said back in March I was going to come to the border, so this is not a new plan,” Harris told reporters after landing in Texas.    “Coming to the border … is about looking at the effects of what we have seen happening in Central America.”
    Republicans criticized Harris for choosing El Paso rather than the area they point to as a hot spot for increased border crossings.
    While it’s certainly positive that she is taking this step, I am disappointed that she is not going to the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) – the very epicenter of this crisis,” acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf under Trump said in a statement.
    Theresa Cardinal Brown, managing director of immigration and cross-border policy for the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington-based think tank, said many Republicans have embraced Trump’s hardline immigration policies as they gear up for U.S. congressional elections in 2022, thinking it will win them voters
.
    “They believe that is something that can win them seats in 2022, so of course they’re going to play it up,” she said.    “They’re going to try to make it an issue.”
(Reporting by Nandita Bose, Ted Hesson and Jeff Mason, Editing by Heather Timmons and Alistair Bell)

6/27/2021 Iran Says Nuclear Site Images Won’t Be Given To IAEA As Deal Has Expired by Parisa Hafezi
FILE PHOTO: An Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
headquarters in Vienna, Austria, September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
    DUBAI (Reuters) -The speaker of Iran’s parliament said on Sunday Tehran will never hand over images from inside of some Iranian nuclear sites to the U.N. nuclear watchdog as a monitoring agreement with the agency had expired, Iranian state media reported.
    “The agreement has expired … any of the information recorded will never be given to the International Atomic Energy Agency and the data and images will remain in the possession of Iran,” said Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf.
    The announcement could further complicate talks between Iran and six major powers on reviving a 2015 nuclear deal.    Three years ago then U.S.     President Donald Trump withdrew from the pact and reimposed crippling sanctions on Tehran; Iran reacted by violating many of the deal’s restrictions on its nuclear programme.
    The IAEA and Tehran struck the three-month monitoring agreement in February to cushion the blow of Iran reducing its cooperation with the agency, and it allowed monitoring of some activities that would otherwise have been axed to continue.
    Under that agreement, which on May 24 was extended by a month, data continues to be collected in a black-box-type arrangement, with the IAEA only able to access it at a later date.
    On Friday, the IAEA demanded an immediate reply from Iran on whether it would extend the monitoring agreement, prompting an Iranian envoy to respond that Tehran was under no obligation to provide an answer.
    Iran said on Wednesday the country’s Supreme National Security Council would decide whether to renew the monitoring agreement only after it expires.
    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday that any failure by Tehran to extend the monitoring agreement would be a “serious concern” for broader negotiations.
    Parties involved in the talks on reviving the deal, which began in April in Vienna, have said there are major issues still to be resolved before the nuclear deal can be reinstated.
(Writing by Parisa HafeziEditing by Toby Chopra and Frances Kerry)

6/27/2021 Iran Refuses To Share Data From Nuclear Sites With IAEA by OAN Newsroom
The flag of Iran is seen in front of the building of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Headquarters. (Michael Gruber/Getty Images)
    Iran’s Ayatollah regime has refused to provide the images of its nuclear sites to the International Atomic Energy Agency.    On Sunday, Iranian officials announced they will no longer be sharing data about their nuclear program with the IAEA because a temporary monitoring agreement has expired.
    “The agreement has expired…any of the information recorded will never be given to the International Atomic Energy Agency and the data and image will remain in the possession of Iran,” said Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf.
This handout picture provided by the Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency (ICANA) on May 31, 2020, shows Iranian Parliament
speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf (C) chairing a parliament session in the capital Tehran. (ICANA NEWS AGENCY/AFP via Getty Images)
    This comes as Iran is pressuring Joe Biden to restore the failed 2015 nuclear deal and lift economic sanctions.    Tehran said it would resume the sharing of its nuclear data only after the 2015 deal was restored.
    However, experts have said even if the deal is restored, Iran may continue to violate United Nations resolutions.
    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (D) said a failure of extension would be a “serious concern” for future negotiations.    International inspectors have since reached out to Iran, asking to extend the temporary monitoring accord, but so far have not received a response.

6/29/2021 U.N. Expert Backs Probe Into Iran’s 1988 Killings, Raisi’s Role by Stephanie Nebehay
FILE PHOTO: Presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi speaks during a campaign rally
in Tehran, Iran June 15, 2021. Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS
    GENEVA (Reuters) -The U.N. investigator on human rights in Iran has called for an independent inquiry into allegations of state-ordered executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988 and the role played by President-elect Ebrahim Raisi as Tehran deputy prosecutor.
    Javaid Rehman, in an interview with Reuters on Monday, said that over the years his office has gathered testimonies and evidence.    It was ready to share them if the United Nations Human Rights Council or other body sets up an impartial investigation.
    He said he was concerned at reports that some “mass graves” are being destroyed as part of a continuing cover-up.
    “I think it is time and it’s very important now that Mr. Raisi is the president (-elect) that we start investigating what happened in 1988 and the role of individuals,” Rehman said from London, where he teaches Islamic law and international law.
    A probe was in the interest of Iran and could bring closure to families, he said, adding: “Otherwise we will have very serious concerns about this president and the role, the reported role, he has played historically in those executions.”
    Raisi’s office could not be reached for comment.    The office of the spokesman of the Iranian judiciary was not immediately available to comment.    Iran’s missions to the United Nations in both New York and in Geneva did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
    Raisi, a hardline judge, is under U.S. sanctions over a past that includes what the United States and activists say was his involvement as one of four judges who oversaw the 1988 killings.    Amnesty International has put the number executed at some 5,000, saying in a 2018 report that “the real number could be higher
    Raisi, when asked about allegations that he was involved in the killings, told reporters: “If a judge, a prosecutor has defended the security of the people, he should be praised … I am proud to have defended human rights in every position I have held so far.”
    Rehman said: “We have made communications to the Islamic Republic of Iran because we have concerns that there is again a policy to actually destroy the graves or there may be some activity to destroy evidence of mass graves.”
    “I will campaign for justice to be done,” he added.
ARRESTS, INTIMIDATION
    Raisi succeeds Hassan Rouhani on Aug. 3, having secured victory this month in an election marked by voter apathy over economic hardships and political restrictions.
    Rehman denounced what he called “deliberate and manipulative strategies adopted to exclude moderate candidates and to ensure the success of a particular candidate.”
    “There were arrests, journalists were stopped from asking specific questions about the background of the presidential candidate Mr Raisi and there was intimidation towards any issues that were raised about his previous role and background.”
    Iran has never acknowledged that mass executions took place under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the revolutionary leader who died in 1989.
    “The scale of executions that we hear imply that it was a part of a policy that was being pursued…It was not just one person,” Rehman said.
    He said there had also been “no proper investigation” into the killing of protesters in Nov. 2019, the bloodiest political unrest since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
    “Even by conservative estimates we can say that more than 300 people were killed arbitrarily, extrajudicially, and nobody has been held accountable and no compensation,” he said.
    “There is a widespread and systemic impunity in the country for gross violations of human rights, both historically in the past as well as in the present.”
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Peter Graff and Jon Boyle)

6/29/2021 Stung By Pandemic, G20 Foreign Ministers Urge Greater Cooperation by Crispian Balmer and Humeyra Pamuk
Italy's Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio sits down to begin a G20 foreign ministers
meeting in Matera, Italy June 29, 2021. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS
    MATERA, Italy (Reuters) – G20 foreign ministers called on Tuesday for multilateral cures for global crises like the COVID-19 pandemic and climate emergency at their first face-to-face meeting in two years.
    The one-day gathering in the heat-soaked southern city of Matera focused on how to improve cooperation and revive the world’s economy following the pandemic and how to boost sustainable development in Africa.
    “The pandemic has highlighted the need for an international response to emergencies that transcend national boundaries,” Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio told his counterparts from the Group of 20 major economies.
    The G20 members account for more than 80% of world gross domestic product, 75% of global trade and 60% of the population of the planet. Those in Matera included the top diplomats of the United States, Japan, Britain, France, Germany and India.
    However, the foreign ministers of China, Brazil and Australia opted to follow the discussions by video link, while Russia and South Korea sent deputy ministers.
    German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he regretted the absence of direct counterparts from Beijing and Moscow.    “When you get together, you also have to talk to each other.    We need dialogue with Russia and China,” he said during a break.
    Heading into the meeting, Maas said he would raise his unhappiness at the way he thought China and Russia had offered COVID vaccines to boost their standing with certain countries.
    “(This) is not about achieving short-term geostrategic advantages,” he said.
    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated the need to deliver many more vaccines to poorer countries, which have so far received far fewer doses than wealthy nations.
    “To bring the pandemic to an end, we must get more vaccines to more places,” he said, adding that the G20 would help low-income countries address “significant debt vulnerabilities" that had been exacerbated by the coronavirus.
MULTILATERALISM FIRST
    Blinken was due to fly back to Washington later on Tuesday, ending a tour of Germany, France and Italy, during which he has underlined the desire of President Joe Biden’s administration to embrace international cooperation, in contrast to previous President Donald Trump, who touted an “America First” message.
    “We need to cooperate, and we need to do it effectively.    Multilateralism is what makes that possible,” Blinken said in his remarks to the conference, surrounded by plexiglass sheeting to prevent any possible infection from fellow delegates.
    Italy, which is home to the U.N. food and agriculture agencies, pushed the importance of global food security and nutrition during the meeting and announced it would hold an additional 2-day summit dedicated to Africa in October.
    “I believe that the G20 has a duty to support Africa in getting out of this difficult period and into a phase of sustained and sustainable growth,” Di Maio told reporters.
    Given the broad range of countries in the G20, getting agreement can be difficult, but hosts Italy said there was gathering consensus on a few core issues.
    “Beyond the differences and divisions of some countries at the G20 table, we all agree that on climate change we have to cooperate.    And even where there are differences, we must try with all our might to tackle climate disruption together and make our societies sustainable,” Di Maio said.
(Additional reporting by Andreas Rinke in Berlin, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

6/30/2021 East-West Rift Over Values As Slovenia Assumes EU’s Presidency by Sabine Siebold
FILE PHOTO: The European and Slovenian flags flutter ahead of the start of Slovenia's EU
presidency in Medvode, Slovenia June 30, 2021. REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic/File Photo
    LJUBLJANA (Reuters) – Amid high tension between east and west over democratic values, the European Union’s presidency passes on Thursday to Slovenia, led by a nationalist who has a history of crossing swords with the EU executive in debates over democracy.
    Prime Minister Janez Jansa, an admirer of former U.S. President Donald Trump and a blunt tweeter, clashed with Brussels over media freedoms in the run-up to the tiny former Yugoslav republic’s six-month stint leading the 27-nation bloc.
    Jansa, 62, is also close to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose disagreements with western Europe came to an ill-tempered head at a summit last week over a law that bans schools from using materials seen as promoting homosexuality
.
    Slovenia’s priorities for its Presidency of the Council of the EU include bolstering Europe’s post-pandemic recovery, and its resilience, strategic autonomy and rule of law.
    But its turn at the helm from July 1 – setting the agenda of inter-government meetings and representing the EU in some international forums – may also put a spotlight on the growing rift within the bloc over its common values.
    In western capitals, the increasingly assertive coalition of eastern leaders is being watched with concern.
    At last week’s summit, where Jansa and Poland’s prime minister were reportedly the only leaders to back Orban on Hungary’s anti-LGBT law, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke of a fundamental “East-West divide.”
    “This is not a ‘Viktor Orban problem’ … This is a problem that goes deeper,” he said.
    Jansa told reporters at the summit the LGBT debate was “a sincere exchange of views that, at times, got very heated” but calmed down once the facts were clarified.    He said he did not think it would cause any unnecessary new divisions.
    “Slovenia and many other countries do not want to be part of any new divisions in Europe.    There were enough of those.    We have joined the EU to become united, not divided,” he said.
‘HUNGARY 2.0’
    Some academics believe an “Eastern European Union” is emerging based on positions that contradict fundamental EU values such as the rule of law, human rights, media freedom and LGBT rights.
    “I think that the whole attitude of this alignment is very anti-European.    It shows signs of an establishment of some sort of a new Iron Curtain,” said Marko Milosavljevic, a professor of journalism and media policy at the university of Ljubljana.
    Jansa, who has also backed Poland in its battle with the EU’s ruling commission over Warsaw’s reforms of the judiciary, said the commission could sort out any problems that arose with any law in a member state.
    “In the end, we always get a legally-binding decision that we must comply with,” he said at last week’s summit.
    Georg Riekeles, associate director of the European Policy Centre think tank, noted the latest report of the NGO Freedom House ranks Slovenia above     Italy, Spain, France and Germany in terms of political rights and civil liberties.
    Its presidency will nevertheless focus minds on these issues, Riekeles said.
    “This is something that the Slovenian presidency and Prime Minister Jansa have to take seriously,” he said.    “In the context of the presidency, there is no avoiding of scrutiny on the issue of effective democratic rights, the respect of the rule of law.”
    The EU executive, the European Commission, recently accused Poland, Hungary and Slovenia of undermining media freedoms, accusing Jansa of smearing a journalist who had reported on efforts to overhaul his country’s national press agency.
Jansa rejected accusations that he had bullied the reporter.
(Editing by John Chalmers and Philippa Fletcher)

6/30/2021 U.N. Chief Urges U.S. To Remove Iran Sanctions As Agreed In 2015 by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres addresses the media as he arrives on the first day of
the European Union summit at The European Council Building in Brussels, Belgium June 24, 2021. John Thys/Pool via REUTERS
    NEW YORK (Reuters) -U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appealed to U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration to lift or waive all sanctions on Iran as agreed under a 2015 deal aimed at stopping Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon.
    In a report to the U.N. Security Council, Guterres also urged the United States to “extend the waivers with regard to the trade in oil with the Islamic Republic of Iran, and fully renew waivers for nuclear non-proliferation projects.”
    The 15-member council discussed on Wednesday the secretary-general’s biannual report on the implementation of a 2015 resolution that enshrines the nuclear deal between Iran, the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China.
    Former U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the pact in 2018 and reimposed harsh sanctions, prompting Tehran to start violating some of the nuclear limits in 2019.    In his report, Guterres described Iran’s violations as “worrying steps” and appealed to Tehran to return to full compliance.
    Guterres’ appeal to Washington and Tehran comes amid talks to revive the deal – known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – under which Iran accepted curbs on its nuclear program in return for a lifting of many foreign sanctions against it.
    “The last few rounds of discussions in Vienna have helped to crystallize the choices that need to be made by Iran and by the United States in order achieve a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA,” deputy U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Jeffrey DeLaurentis, told the Security Council on Wednesday.
    A date for the next round of talks in Vienna has yet to be agreed upon, but Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said: “We’re already seeing the profile of a future agreement, there’s a general understanding of how to move forward to the goals set before us.”
    Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi said it was “those who broke their promises” who must make hard decisions, calling for “assurances that all sanctions are removed verifiably and the U.S. will not once again withdraw.”
    China’s deputy U.N. Ambassador Geng Shuang called on the United States to respond to Iran’s request for a guarantee that it would not again quit the deal.
    The European Union is coordinating the Vienna talks and EU Ambassador to the United Nations, Olof Skoog, warned: “It is clear that time is not on our side and that what might be possible still today may prove impossible in the near future. We have a limited diplomatic window ahead of us that we should not miss.”
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Alistair Bell)

7/2/2021 130 Countries Throw Support Behind Biden Global Minimum Tax Plan by OAN Newsroom
Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen testifies during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing to examine the FY 2022 budget
request for the Department of the Treasury, Wednesday, June 23, 2021, on Capitol Hill, in Washington. (Shawn Thew/Pool via AP)
    It appears 130 countries have issued a statement in support of a global minimum tax, in turn, giving backing to a key Biden administration agenda item.
    According to reports Thursday, the nations back a plan that was initially discussed during the G7 summit in June.    It calls for a global minimum tax rate of 15 percent for corporations headquartered in their countries.
    The plan was highly supported by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen prior to the summit.    However, critics have said the plan favors foreign headquartered companies and workers over American ones.
    "That global minimum tax would end the race to the bottom in corporate taxation and ensure fairness for the middle class,” Yellen stated.    “And working people in the U.S. and around the world.”
    The nations are expected to finalize the plan at the G20 summit later this month.

7/3/2021 U.S. House Panel Passes Amendment To Stop Sanctions Waiver On Nord Stream 2 by Timothy Gardner
FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project is seen on a pipe at the Chelyabinsk pipe
rolling plant in Chelyabinsk, Russia, February 26, 2020. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Biden administration could face pressure to block Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline after a House of Representatives panel this week passed an amendment seeking to repeal the U.S. State Department’s ability to waive sanctions on the project.
    “These sanctions are mandatory not discretionary,” said Representative Marcy Kaptur, a Democrat and a sponsor of the amendment to a foreign aid bill.    The House panel passed it unanimously.
    The amendment seeks to repeal sanctions waivers in fiscal year 2022.    But the pipeline is 95% finished and the bill has a long way to go before becoming law, needing to pass the full House, the Senate, and be signed by President Joe Biden.
    In May, the State Department sent to Congress a report that concluded that Nord Stream 2 AG and its CEO, Matthias Warnig, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, engaged in sanctionable activity.    But Secretary of State Antony Blinken immediately waived those sanctions, saying it was in the U.S. national interest.
    President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has opposed the $11 billion project that would take Russian gas from the Arctic to Germany, saying it is a bad deal for Europe.    But Biden also wants to improve ties with Germany, an ally he needs to help deal with broader issues including climate change, the economic recovery and relations with Iran and China.    The United States is an exporter of natural gas to Europe in the form of LNG, but Russian gas is cheaper.
    Washington fears Russia could use Nord Stream 2 as leverage to weaken European Union states by increasing their dependency on Moscow.    The project, now about 95% complete, would bypass Ukraine, depriving it of lucrative transit fees and potentially undermining its struggle against Russian aggression.
    A State Department spokesperson said the Biden administration will continue to “examine entities engaged in potentially sanctionable behavior” and work closely with Congress on the issue.
(This story deletes reference to bill needing to pass a second House panel)
(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by David Gregorio and Alistair Bell)

7/5/2021 Factbox-Slow Progress In Balkan Countries’ Bids To Join EU
FILE PHOTO: A large European Union flag lies at the centre of Schuman square, outside the European Commission headquarters, on the eve of Europe
Day, commemorating the declaration made by Robert Schuman in 1950, in Brussels, Belgium, May 8, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo/File Photo
    (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosts a summit with six Balkan countries on Monday to forge closer cooperation as they make slow progress in their goal of joining the European Union.
    Here are some facts about the six Balkan aspirants:
ALBANIA
    The EU agreed in March 2020 that Albania, a member of NATO, could start membership negotiations.    But Albania has not yet received a date for the start of formal talks because the EU has linked its progress with that of North Macedonia, which is locked in a dispute with Bulgaria.
NORTH MACEDONIA
    North Macedonia, like Albania, won EU governments’ approval to start negotiations in March 2020.    It overcame a decades-long dispute with neighbouring Greece over its name, agreeing to be called the Republic of North Macedonia.    But Bulgaria, which is in the EU, has blocked the start of formal membership talks over a linguistic dispute that Sofia sees as a matter of national identity.    No EU country has been able to defuse the issue.
BOSNIA
    Bosnia, which was at war from 1992 to 1995, is still overseen by EU-led peacekeepers.    It submitted an EU membership application in 2016, approval of which is pending.    That means it is not yet a candidate country although it is seen as a potential one.
KOSOVO
    Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008, wants to join the EU but is a long way from doing so.    It must mend relations with Serbia through EU-mediated talks that are being revived by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.    Five EU countries do not recognise Kosovo’s independence: Slovakia, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Romania.
MONTENEGRO
    Montenegro, which joined NATO in 2017, is already in negotiations to join the EU and is seen by the European Commission, the EU executive, as likely to join the bloc later this decade, along with Serbia.
SERBIA
    Serbia, the largest non-EU Balkan country with about 7 million people, is already holding membership negotiations.    It is seen as the lynchpin in the region and the EU hopes Belgrade’s influence in the Balkans could help others reform.    In February 2018, the European Commission said Serbia could join the EU by 2025, though it called it a very ambitious goal.
(Writing by Robin Emmott in Brussels, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

7/6/2021 Yellen To Press G20 For Minimum Tax Rate Above 15%, U.S. Treasury Officials Say
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen answers questions during the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing to examine
the FY22 budget request for the Treasury Department on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S., June 23, 2021. Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will press G20 counterparts this week for a global minimum tax rate above the 15% floor agreed by 130 countries last week, but a rate decision is not expected until future phases of OECD negotiations, U.S. Treasury officials said on Tuesday.
    The officials also said they plan to make clear that a new digital levy expected to be proposed by the European Commission in the coming weeks to fund recovery from COVID-19 is inconsistent with European Union commitments to the OECD framework agreement signed on July 1.
    The agreement, which includes all G20 countries, requires elimination of digital services taxes in favor of a new reallocation of some taxing rights on large, high-profit multinational firms to market countries from those housing headquarters and intellectual property. It could take until after 2023 to implement it.
    European Commission executive vice president Margrethe Vestager told Reuters that the levy would be paid largely by European companies to repay 750 billion euros ($886 billion) in borrowing for a post-pandemic recovery fund.
    The Treasury official did not say what response the United States would take if the EU proceeds, adding that any new unilateral digital levies should not be implemented until final rules on international taxing rights are worked out.
    The U.S. Trade Representative’s office is maintaining active threats of retaliatory tariffs against several countries with digital services taxes that are suspended through November to allow for an agreement to be finalized.
    After a video call between Yellen and Vestager on Tuesday, the European Commission issued a statement saying the two had a “good and constructive first exchange” on digital taxes and international tax negotiations.
    The officials said that the Biden administration will need the support of Congress for implementing portions of the agreements on a digital tax.    They added that Yellen is working with the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee to include provisions in budget reconciliation legislation to implement the international tax agreements.
    Democrats in Congress have said they plan to pursue such legislation, expected to include new social program investments and tax increases on U.S. corporations and wealthy Americans, without Republican votes if necessary.
(Reporting by David Lawder and Andrea Shalal, Editing by Franklin Paul and Barbara Lewis)
[Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 38 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade. One of those One World Governments or Globalist and Socialist trying to build better policies for better lives, to shape policies that foster prosperity, equality, opportunity and well-being for all..].
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7/6/2021 9 Key OECD Members Reject Biden’s ‘Global Tax’ Plan by OAN Newsroom
Ireland Finance minister Paschal Donohoe poses for a photo after an interview in Dublin. (AP Photo/David Keyton)
    Joe Biden’s proposal to impose a global tax on the corporate sectors ran into a pushback by a number of foreign countries.    At least nine members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have rejected Biden’s proposal to impose a 15 percent global tax.
    U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced 130 of the 139 nations reached an agreement of the global minimum tax.    The remaining nine nations including Hungary, Ireland and Peru have rejected the proposal.    These foreign countries have maintained low corporate tax rates and argued their economies greatly benefit from hosting the headquarters of global corporations, especially in the technology sector.
    Without unanimous support by the OECD, Biden’s proposal will be dubbed as dead on arrival.    Ireland argued the proposed global tax was too high for the nation’s economy to benefit from, but agreed to remain open to future negotiations.    The country currently has a 12.5 percent corporate tax rate.
    “We do have really significant reservations regarding a global minimum of active tax raise,” explained Ireland Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. “…Only certain countries and certain sized economies can benefit from that raise.”
    Some economists say a global tax would not be applicable to Chinese tech giants who enjoy unfair support by the Chinese government in violation of World Trade Organization rules.

7/12/2021 Europe’s Climate Masterplan Aims To Slash Emissions Within A Decade by Kate Abnett
FILE PHOTO: General view of electricity pylons and power lines leading from the Uniper coal power
plant in Hanau, Germany, early morning November 23, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is set to take the lead in climate policy action among the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters this week, with a raft of ambitious plans designed to cut emissions drastically over the next decade.
    The policies, if approved, would put the bloc – the world’s third-largest economy – on track to meet its 2030 goal of reducing planet-warming emissions by 55% from 1990 levels.
    The “Fit for 55” package being released on Wednesday will face months of negotiations between the 27 EU countries and the European Parliament.
    Other major economies including China and the United States – the world’s top two emitters – have committed to achieving net zero emissions, which scientists say the world must reach by 2050 to avoid catastrophic climate change.
    But the EU is the first to overhaul its legislation to drive greener choices within this decade among the bloc’s 25 million businesses and nearly half a billion people.
    “Everybody has a target. But translating it into policies that lead to real emission reductions, that’s the most difficult part,” said Jos Delbeke, a former senior policymaker who developed some of the EU’s flagship climate policies.
    By 2019, the EU had cut its emissions by 24% from 1990 levels.
ECONOMY-WIDE
    The European Commission will propose 12 policies targeting energy, industry, transport and the heating of buildings.
    Emissions in Europe’s electricity sector are falling fast, but other sectors have been stuck.
    Emissions from cars, planes and ships, which make up a quarter of the EU total, are rising. Buildings produce a third of the bloc’s emissions and, like Europe’s factories, many homes use heat produced from fossil fuels.
    The draft measures aim to encourage companies and consumers to choose greener options over polluting ones.
    For example, a leaked draft of one proposal would tax polluting jet fuel for the first time and give low-carbon aviation fuels a 10-year tax holiday.    A revamp of the EU carbon market is also expected to hike CO2 costs for industry, power plants and airlines, and force ships to pay for their pollution.
    The list of proposals is long. Tougher EU CO2 standards for cars could effectively ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars in 2035.    EU countries will face more ambitious targets for expanding renewable energy.
    Brussels will also announce the details of its world-first carbon border tariff, targeting imports of goods produced abroad with high emissions such as steel and cement. That has unnerved EU trading partners, including Russia and China.
CLIMATE POLICIES COME HOME
    The political road ahead will likely be rough, as EU countries and the European Parliament negotiate the proposals.
    Already, the plans have exposed familiar rifts between richer western and Nordic EU states where electric vehicle sales are soaring, and poorer eastern countries that are worried about the social cost of weaning their economies off coal.
    EU member capitals are particularly worried about the Commission’s plan to launch a carbon market for transport and home heating, potentially raising household fuel bills.
    The Commission has promised a social fund to shield low-income households from the costs, and is urging countries to use the EU’s 800-billion-euro COVID-19 recovery fund to help people insulate their homes and create jobs in clean technologies such as hydrogen.
    By making climate policies more visible to EU citizens than ever before, “Fit for 55” is set to test public support for ambitious climate action.
    “There’s no hiding that this package comes in the middle of a massive socio-economic crisis,” said Manon Dufour of independent climate change think-tank E3G.    The EU “has to be even more careful about the social impacts.”
    Policymakers are also braced for a storm of industry lobbying.    Europe’s steel and cement sectors are already fighting plans to end free CO2 permits and some of the sectors due to be covered by the carbon border tariff say they do not want to be included.
    Past attempts to tighten CO2 standards for carmakers have faced fierce industry opposition.    But with European giants like Volkswagen already committed to ending combustion-engine car sales in Europe in the 2030s, some governments say now is the time to bring laggards into line.
    “The Commission needs to basically wake up and smell the coffee – that now is the time to actually cement that into legislation,” an EU diplomat said regarding the potential proposal to ban sales of new combustion engine cars by 2035.
FIRST-MOVER (DIS)ADVANTAGES
    With its world-first package, the EU also aims to burnish its global climate leadership position.    It is unclear if that will be enough, however, to elicit similarly ambitious action from other major economies at the U.N. climate conference in November in Glasgow, Scotland.
    “The challenge is that other big players – China and the U.S. specifically – will need to be on board,” said Tom Rivett-Carnac, the U.N.’s chief political strategist in the run-up to the 2015 Paris Agreement.    “Whether the EU can achieve this diplomatically remains to be seen.”
    Brussels says it is time to take Europe’s climate policies global.    Much of the diplomatic lift required will be on the carbon border tariff, which the EU says will put its firms on more equal footing with competitors in countries with weaker carbon policies.
    The proposals would also push EU industry to invest in expensive green technologies.    Moving early could give European firms a competitive edge in global markets for new products like low-carbon steel produced from green hydrogen, but producing those products will cost manufacturers more.
    “At the end of this transformation, our economy will look a lot better, and we can get the climate crisis under control,” Frans Timmermans, the EU Commissioner in charge of climate policy, told CNN last week.    “And that’s the whole point.”
(Reporting by Kate Abnett; editing by John Chalmers, Katy Daigle and Jason Neely)

7/12/2021 IMF Economist: Biden’s Policies To Turn U.S. Into Latin American-Style Economy by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden delivers remarks on infrastructure spending at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, Ill. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    A rising number of economist have warned Joe Biden’s policies could turn the U.S. into a Latin American type of economy.    On Monday, Former International Monetary Fund Deputy Director Desmond Lachman said Biden’s inflation, money printing and high government spending posed a problem for the U.S. economy.
    Lachman said Biden’s policies could push the U.S. budget deficit up to 15 percent per year.    He warned this was not a sustainable level of deficit spending, which may bankrupt the U.S.
    Lachman went on to point out such policies lead to devaluation of the national currency and fuel poverty, as seen in many Latin American countries.
    “What we’ve already got in the pipeline is going to cause inflation,” he asserted.    “Now if you can add infrastructure plan and the families plan, and it’s not going to be properly financed with real taxes that restrain spending, then you’re just going to be adding to the inflationary pressures.”
    Lachman added the federal reserve would have to raise interest rates and halt money printing to curb inflation.    However, he said this wouldn’t help solve budget problems.
    “What I think has gone wrong in this country is that there’s no real constituency for anything vaguely approaching a responsible budget policy,” he expressed.    “This is how we see that budget deficit keeps rising and the debt keeps rising.”
    Lachman went on to warn Biden’s policies will eventually result in bubbles bursting in the housing and stock markets, which could bring on a new recession in the nation.

7/13/2021 Polish Ruling On Primacy Of EU Law May Worsen Row With Brussels by Alan Charlish
FILE PHOTO: General view of Supreme Court in Warsaw, Poland, September 13, 2018. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
    WARSAW (Reuters) – A top Polish court will rule on Tuesday on whether the country’s constitution or European Union treaties take precedence, the first of two rulings this week that could bring Warsaw’s conflict with Brussels over the rule of law to a head.
    Warsaw aims to hit back at what it says is unjustified interference in its internal affairs by the European Commission, but critics say that questioning the primacy of EU law undermines the functioning of the bloc and jeopardises Poland’s continued membership.
    Poland is embroiled in a long-running dispute with the EU over judicial reforms which critics say undermine the independence of the judiciary, but which ruling nationalists Law and Justice (PiS) party say are needed to make courts function more effectively and remove a residue of communist influence.
    Poland says the reforms are an internal matter.
    “We have seen in recent years that EU bodies such as the European Commission or the Court of Justice of the European Union acted in violation of the treaties when they decided to interfere in the Polish judicial system,” said Deputy Justice Minister Sebastian Kaleta.
CROSSING THE RUBICON
    Poland said in March that Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki would ask the Constitutional Tribunal to rule on whether the country’s constitution or EU treaties are more important.    The Tribunal will rule on this on Tuesday.
    As part of proceedings initiated by Brussels against Poland, the Court of Justice of the EU told Warsaw last year to suspend a panel created to discipline judges.
    The panel – the Supreme Court’s disciplinary chamber – asked the Constitutional Tribunal whether such a suspension was constitutional. The tribunal will also rule on this on Wednesday.
    The European Commission has asked Poland not to question the primacy of EU law, expressing concern that it is contesting the bloc’s fundamental principles, and some observers have warned of potentially serious consequences if it does so.
    “In my view if they (PiS) do cross the rubicon… not only infringement actions are on the table,” said Laurent Pech, Professor of European Law at Middlesex University, London.
    “I would say that it is going to make it very easy to activate the rule of law conditionality mechanism, so that should also result most likely in a suspension of EU funding.”
    Government critics say the Constitutional Tribunal itself has become politicised as a result of PiS’s reforms, an accusation the government denies.
    The tribunal’s head, Julia Przylebska, was described by PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski as a “close friend.”
    The European Court of Human Rights ruled in May that a Polish company had been denied its right to a proper hearing in the Constitutional Tribunal due to the illegal appointment of a judge.
(Reporting by Alan Charlish, additional reporting by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk; Editing by Michael Perry)

7/16/2021 World Leaders Dial In As New Zealand Hosts Special APEC Meeting On Pandemic by Praveen Menon
FILE PHOTO: Leaders attend the retreat session of the APEC Summit in Port Moresby,
Papua New Guinea November 18, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo
    WELLINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping and other world leaders meet virtually on Friday for the Asia-Pacific trade group APEC, seeking collective actions to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts.
    New Zealand, the revolving Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation host, said this week it will chair the extraordinary meeting ahead of a formal gathering in November, the first time such an additional meeting has been held.
    The meeting highlights growing concerns around COVID-19 which is raging in the region as countries including Indonesia, Thailand and Australia face new waves of infections.
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stressed the importance of the 21-economy group working together to navigate a way out of the pandemic in a call with Biden ahead of the meeting.
    But tensions among APEC members – mostly notably between the West and China over the origins of the coronavirus, trade, Xinjiang and South China Sea – could yet upend the agenda.
    A senior Biden administration official said the president will use the forum to demonstrate his commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.
    “As one of the first opportunities he has to engage with many of these leaders, he will make clear that the U.S. has an enduring commitment to the region.    He will put forward a vision for the region that is based on our values,” said the official.
    Biden will also discuss how the region can work together to fuel the global economic recovery.
    The meeting will include an ‘interactive’ Q&A session where leaders can ask questions or make comments, a format that is unusual for APEC leaders, where events are usually scripted.
    “We expect a dynamic and interactive discussion among leaders.    That is the intention of such a meeting,” said a regional diplomat.    “We hope through this leaders’ meeting there will be a more concrete programme for mitigating the pandemic.”
    The grouping includes the world’s three largest economies and impoverished nations such as Papua New Guinea, as well as members at vastly different points in the COVID-19 cycle, providing further challenges for building consensus.
    That consensus model of APEC has been tested in recent years, with the group unable to agree on a communique at their 2018 meeting in Papua New Guinea, driven by differences between the United States led by former President Donald Trump, and China.
    The 2019 APEC meeting in Chile was cancelled due to protests while the one in Malaysia last year was side-tracked as officials hastily organised a virtual meeting as the pandemic locked down the world.
    In June, APEC trade ministers agreed to review trade barriers and expedite the cross-border transit of COVID-19 vaccines and related goods, but stopped short of a broad commitment to remove tariffs which New Zealand was pushing for.
    There have been over 50 million cases of COVID-19 within APEC’s borders, with over one million deaths.    APEC-wide GDP contracted by 1.9% in 2020.
(Additional Reporting by Jeff Mason in Washington, Tom Allard in Jakarta, Yew Lun Tian in Beijing, Ben Blanchard in Taipei, Panu Wongcha-Um in Bangkok; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

7/17/2021 World Leaders Pledge To Redouble Pandemic Fight At Special APEC Meeting by Praveen Menon
FILE PHOTO: Leaders attend the retreat session of the APEC Summit in Port Moresby,
Papua New Guinea November 18, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo
    WELLINGTON (Reuters) -Leaders of the Asia-Pacific trade group APEC, including U.S. President Joe Biden, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and China’s Xi Jinping, pledged on Friday to work to expand sharing and manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines to fight the global pandemic.
    The leaders, struggling to tame outbreaks exacerbated by the Delta variant of coronavirus, said they would encourage the voluntary transfer of vaccine production technologies “on mutually agreed terms” as the region prepared for future health shocks.
    “The pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on our region’s people and economies,” the leaders said in a joint statement issued after a virtual meeting chaired by New Zealand.
    “We will only overcome this health emergency by accelerating equitable access to safe, effective, quality-assured, and affordable COVID-19 vaccines,” they said.
    The APEC leaders met virtually to discuss collective actions to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts.
    New Zealand, the revolving Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation host, said this week it would chair the extraordinary meeting ahead of a formal gathering in November, the first time such an additional meeting has been held.
    “Our discussions moved us beyond vaccine nationalism. Now we are focusing on all aspects of contributing to the global vaccination effort — making vaccines, sharing vaccines and using vaccines,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said after the meeting.    She said the leaders agreed this will not be the world’s last pandemic and that preparedness was critical.
    The meeting highlights growing concerns around COVID-19, which is raging in the region as countries including Indonesia, Thailand and Australia face new waves of infections.
U.S.-CHINA TENSIONS
    The White House said Biden emphasized the importance of multilateral cooperation and his commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.
    “President Biden also discussed the importance of investing in better global health security and preparedness so that we are ready the next time we face a pandemic,” it said in a statement.
    Putin told the group that global barriers to vaccine production and deliveries needed to be removed, and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga expressed his determination to hold a safe and secure Olympics.
    Despite their show of resolve, there are tensions among APEC members, most notably between the West and China – over issues ranging from the origins of the coronavirus to trade, Xinjiang, Hong Kong and the South China Sea.
    Just as the meeting concluded, Washington announced sanctions on seven Chinese individuals over Beijing’s crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong, its latest effort to hold Beijing accountable for what it calls an erosion of rule of law in the former British colony.
    The United States and China have a troubled relationship and they have had little high-level, face-to-face contact under the Biden administration since a March meeting between senior officials in Alaska, where the Chinese side expressed anger at U.S. sanctions announced just ahead of the talks.
    White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said China’s Xi delivered pre-recorded video remarks at the meeting and was not in attendance.    The Chinese embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.
    The APEC grouping includes the world’s three largest economies and impoverished nations such as Papua New Guinea, as well as members at vastly different points in the COVID-19 cycle, providing further challenges for building consensus.
    That consensus model of APEC has been tested in recent years, with the group unable to agree on a communique at their 2018 meeting in Papua New Guinea, driven by differences between China and the then U.S. president, Donald Trump.
    The 2019 APEC meeting in Chile was cancelled due to protests while the one in Malaysia last year was side-tracked as officials hastily organised a virtual meeting as the pandemic locked down the world.
    In June, APEC trade ministers agreed to review trade barriers and expedite the cross-border transit of COVID-19 vaccines and related goods, but stopped short of a broad commitment to remove tariffs which New Zealand was pushing for.
    There have been over 50 million cases of COVID-19 within APEC’s borders, with over 1 million deaths.    APEC-wide GDP contracted by 1.9% in 2020.
(Additional reporting by Jeff Mason and David Brunnstrom in Washington, Tom Allard in Jakarta, Yew Lun Tian in Beijing, Ben Blanchard in Taipei, Panu Wongcha-Um in Bangkok and Swati Pandey in Sydney; Writing by Jeff Mason and Praveen Menon; Editing by Lincoln Feast, Jon Boyle, Daniel Wallis and Marguerita Choy)

7/18/2021 Turkey Condemns EU Court Ruling On Headscarf Ban As Violation Of Freedoms
FILE PHOTO: The towers of the Court of Justice of the European Union are seen in Luxembourg,
January 26, 2017. Picture taken January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo
    ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey on Sunday slammed a ruling by a top European Union court allowing the banning of headscarves under certain conditions as a “clear violation of religious freedoms,” adding the move would exacerbate prejudices against Muslim women in Europe.
    The Luxembourg-based EU Court of Justice (CJEU) ruled on Thursday that companies in the bloc can ban employees from wearing a headscarf under certain conditions, if they need to do so to project an image of neutrality to customers.
    The Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement the ruling was a sign of rising Islamophobia at a time when it said Muslim women in Europe are being subjected to increasing discrimination for their religious beliefs.
    “The CJEU decision, at a time when the Islamophobia, racism and hatred that have taken Europe hostage are rising, disregards religious freedom and creates a basis and legal cover for discrimination,” the ministry said.
    On Saturday, the Turkish presidency’s communication director Fahrettin Altun condemned the move, saying “this wrong decision is an attempt to grant legitimacy to racism.”
    The issue of the hijab, the traditional headscarf worn around the head and shoulders, has been divisive across Europe for years, underlining sharp differences over integrating Muslims.
    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted AK Party, which came to power in 2002 blending a pro-Western, democratic market approach, has been criticised by Western allies in recent years for increasing authoritarianism and religious intolerance.    The United States, Greece, Russia and church leaders expressed concern last year over his government’s move to convert Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia into a mosque last year.
    Ankara has repeatedly accused European nations of not doing enough to prevent discrimination against Muslims, saying it will start publishing an annual report on what it calls examples of Islamophobia around the world.
    In response to whether headscarf bans at work represented a violation of the freedom of religion, the CJEU said such bans were possible if justified by an employer’s need to present a neutral image.
    Ties between Ankara and the bloc have been strained over a host of issues, namely over a dispute between EU member Greece and Turkey over maritime jurisdiction and energy rights in the eastern Mediterranean.
(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Frances Kerry)

7/20/2021 EU Wants Reforms Before Approving Hungary’s Recovery Plan
FILE PHOTO: A large European Union flag lies at the centre of Schuman Square outside European Commission
headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, May 8, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo
    BUDAPEST (Reuters) – The European Commission won’t approve Hungary’s recovery plan until it carries out judicial reform and guarantees that corruption cases are investigated, justice commissioner Didier Reynders said in an interview published on Tuesday.
    There are systemic problems with the rule of law in Hungary, and the European Commission is ready to use all tools to protect democracy, including the suspension of EU funds, Reynders said on the hvg.hu news site.
    In a report published on Tuesday, the European Commission listed serious concerns about the rule of law in Poland and Hungary.
    The commission said both were undermining media pluralism and court independence.    They are the only two countries in the 27-member bloc under formal EU investigation for jeopardising the rule of law.
    Reynders said he would ask Hungary and Poland again to join the planned European Public Prosecutor’s Office, which they have so far not done, because “without that we cannot be sure that there is sufficient protection against fraud and corruption.”
    He said all avenues for dialogue have been exhausted with Poland and Hungary, and this was why the commission wants to move against them.
    Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga said on Facebook that the commission was “blackmailing” Hungary because of its child protection laws, which will not allow “LGBTQ-activists and any sexual propaganda into Hungarian kindergartens and schools.”
    The Commission says the measures discriminate against LGBT people.
    The commission’s report is “full of untrue claims that were dictated to Brussels by Soros organizations because Hungary will not give in to European liberal opinion hegemony,” the governing Fidesz party said in a statement, referring to billionaire U.S. philanthropist and financier George Soros, who has long been vilified by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
(Reporting by Anita Komuves; Editing by Nick Macfie)

7/21/2021 U.S., Germany To Vow Action On Russia In Nord Stream 2 Deal - Sources by Andrea Shalal and Simon Lewis
FILE PHOTO: A road sign directs traffic towards the Nord Stream 2 gas line landfall facility
entrance in Lubmin, Germany, September 10, 2020. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Germany will take action against Russia if it uses the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to harm Ukraine or other Eastern European countries, according to two sources familiar with a bilateral agreement expected on Wednesday.
    The agreement, hammered out in recent months by senior U.S. and German officials and first reported by Reuters on Tuesday, will resolve a long-standing dispute over the $11 billion pipeline, now 98% complete, being built under the Baltic Sea to carry gas from Russia’s Arctic region to Germany.
    U.S. officials insist they continue to oppose the pipeline, but said the U.S.-German agreement would mitigate the possibility of Russia using energy as a weapon against Ukraine and other countries in the region.
    The United States worries that Russia could cut off energy supplies to Ukraine or other countries as a form of aggression, and also fears that Ukraine will miss out on transit fees for gas now carried on an existing land-based pipeline.
    The agreement will avert, for now, the resumption of congressionally mandated sanctions against Nord Stream 2 AG and its chief executive.    President Joe Biden waived those sanctions in May to allow time for both sides to negotiate a way forward.
    But the Biden administration reserves the right to use sanctions on a case-by-case basis, in line with U.S. law, one of the sources said.
    Germany also agreed to contribute to a new $1 billion fund to help Ukraine transition to cleaner sources of energy and improve its energy security, said one of the sources.
    Details about the funding were not immediately available, but the money is likely to come from private sources, backed with government guarantees, one of the sources said.
    Bloomberg News reported earlier that Germany would provide an initial investment of $175 million.
    Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel failed to reach an agreement on the pipeline when they met last week, but said they agreed Moscow must not be allowed to use energy as a weapon against its neighbors.
    At the time, Merkel said Germany had a number of instruments at its disposal, including the possibility of imposing sanctions through the European Union, to respond to Russia, if needed.
‘GEOPOLITICAL PROJECT’
    Officials from both countries have continued working out the details in recent days, and senior State Department official Derek Chollet visited Ukraine on Tuesday to discuss the deal.
    State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Tuesday that Washington still viewed the pipeline as a bad deal for Germany and Europe but decided that sanctions were unlikely to halt the project and focused instead on addressing Russia’s potential use of energy as a weapon.
    “We continue to oppose the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.    We view it as a Kremlin geopolitical project that is intended to expand Russia’s influence over Europe’s energy resources and to circumvent Ukraine.”
    Price declined to address the reported agreement, but said Germany had “put forward useful proposals” and they had made progress on the shared goal of ensuring that “Russia cannot weaponize energy flows.”
    Biden faces pressure from Congress to block the pipeline.
    “Regardless of the foreign policy outcome the administration thinks it has achieved, there are still mandatory sanctions the administration has not imposed,” Senator James Risch, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement, referring to existing U.S. law.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Simon Lewis; Additional reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Peter Cooney)
[THE ACTIONS BY JOE BIDEN TO DO WHAT OCCURRED ABOVE IS TO PUSH WHAT THE GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT WANTED TO HAPPEN AND OF COURSE ALSO TO REVERSE ANYTHING THAT DONALD TRUMP DID AND IT WILL HURT AMERICA'S ECONOMY IN THE NEAR FUTURE.].

7/22/2021 China Rejects WHO Plan For Study Of COVID-19 Origin by Gabriel Crossley
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting on
update on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, April 6, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    BEIJING (Reuters) – China rejected on Thursday a World Health Organization (WHO) plan for a second phase of an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus, which includes the hypothesis it could have escaped from a Chinese laboratory, a top health official said.
    The WHO this month proposed a second phase of studies into the origins of the coronavirus in China, including audits of laboratories and markets in the city of Wuhan, calling for transparency from authorities.
    “We will not accept such an origins-tracing plan as it, in some aspects, disregards common sense and defies science,” Zeng Yixin, vice minister of the National Health Commission (NHC), told reporters.
    Zeng said he was taken aback when he first read the WHO plan because it lists the hypothesis that a Chinese violation of laboratory protocols had caused the virus to leak during research.
    The head of the WHO said earlier in July that investigations into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic in China were being hampered by the lack of raw data on the first days of spread there.
    Zeng reiterated China’s position that some data could not be completely shared due to privacy concerns.
    “We hope the WHO would seriously review the considerations and suggestions made by Chinese experts and truly treat the origin tracing of the COVID-19 virus as a scientific matter, and get rid of political interference,” Zeng said.
    China opposed politicising the study, he said.
    The origin of the virus remains contested among experts.
    The first known cases emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019. The virus was believed to have jumped to humans from animals being sold for food at a city market.
    In May, U.S. President Joe Biden ordered aides to find answers to questions over the origin saying that U.S. intelligence agencies were pursuing rival theories potentially including the possibility of a laboratory accident in China.
    Zeng, along with other officials and Chinese experts at the news conference, urged the WHO to expand origin-tracing efforts beyond China to other countries.
    “We believe a lab leak is extremely unlikely and it is not necessary to invest more energy and efforts in this regard,” said Liang Wannian, the Chinese team leader on the WHO joint expert team.    More animal studies should be conducted, in particular in countries with bat populations, he said.
    However, Liang said the lab leak hypothesis could not be entirely discounted but suggested that if evidence warranted, other countries could look into the possibility it leaked from their labs.
    One key part of the lab leak theory has centred on the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s (WIV) decision to take offline its gene sequence and sample databases in 2019.
    When asked about this decision, Yuan Zhiming, professor at WIV and the director of its National Biosafety Laboratory, told reporters that at present the databases were only shared internally due to cyber attack concerns.
(Reporting by Gabriel Crossley and Stella Qiu; Editing by Shri Navaratnam, Robert Birsel and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

7/22/2021 Biden Says He Couldn’t Do Anything To Stop Nord Stream 2 by OAN Newsroom
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Joe Biden hold a joint news conference in the East Room
of the White House on July 15, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Joe Biden claimed he could not do anything to stop the Russian-German pipeline Nord Stream 2 from being completed.    This comes as Republicans said Biden did a major geopolitical favor for Vladimir Putin by lifting U.S. sanctions on pipeline operators.
    However, Biden said German Chancellor Angela Merkel would prevent Russia from using Nord Stream 2 to exert political pressure on Ukraine.
    Meanwhile, Russia and Germany have already completed the first line of Nord Stream 2 and the pipeline is set to reach its full capacity later this year.
Biden is also set to meet with the Ukrainian president next month at the White House. The visit was announced on Wednesday by Press Secretary Jen Psaki, but she claimed the timing of the announcement was unrelated to the pipeline agreement.
[SO A RUSSIAN COMMUNIST LEADER YOU FEARED SO MUCH THAT YOU WOULD DESTROY THE COUNTRY BY STOPPING OIL IN THE U.S.A. AND GIVE IT TO RUSSIA TO MAKE MONEY SELLING IT TO EU NATIONS AS IT SOUNDS LIKE CORRUPTION TO ME AND A POOR POLICY AS HE THINKS AMERICA LAST.].

7/25/2021 Rep. Ronny Jackson: Joe Biden Needs Cognitive Test by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Ronny Jackson in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Texas Republican Rep. Ronny Jackson has expressed concern over Joe Biden’s cognitive abilities.    In an interview on Thursday, the former White House doctor said he was fearful of U.S. national security with Biden at the helm.
    He predicted Biden would either be made to resign or the Democrats would use the 25th Amendment against him soon.    This came as a response to Biden’s town hall in Cincinnati, where some statements were less than intelligible.
    “The question is, whether or not we should be in a position where, you uh, um, are, why can’t the, the, the experts say we know that this virus is in fact,” he stuttered.    “It’s going to be, or excuse me we know why all the drugs.”
    In June, Jackson led more than a dozen other GOP representatives in sending a letter to the White House, which urged Biden to take a cognitive abilities test. He said Americans deserved complete transparency on the intellectual health of a U.S. president.
    Jackson has reminded everyone that President Donald Trump was more than willing to take a cognitive test and received a perfect score when doing so.
[ANYONE WITH COMMON SENSE CAN TELL JOE IS HAVING PROBLEMS AND IT DOES NOT MATTER ANYWAY SINCE RON KLAIN AND SUSAN RICE AND GEORGE SOROS HAVE BEEN MAKING ALL THE CALLS WITH THE FORMER OBAMA OFFICE PEOPLE ARE RUNNING THE SHOW SO IF YOU DID NOT KNOW YOU VOTED FOR THE GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERMENT TO TAKE OVER THE U.S.A. FOR 4 YEARS AND THEY ARE ALREADY PUSHING THAT AGENDA TO TAKE AWAY YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS AND IF THEY THINK JANUARY 6 WAS AN INSURRECTION PELOSI WILL DEFINITELY BE AMUSED WHEN THE REAL AMERICANS WAKE UP AND TAKE THEM OUT.].

7/29/2021 IMF Sees “Critical Role” As World Transitions To Digital Money
FILE PHOTO: International Monetary Fund logo is seen outside its headquarters during the
IMF/World Bank spring meetings in Washington, U.S., April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The b>International Monetary Fund must ramp up its resources as it seeks to “monitor, advise on, and help manage this far-reaching and complex transition” to digital money, according to an IMF paper published on Thursday.
    Digital money can make payments more accessible, faster and cheaper, the paper said.    But to make that happen, policymakers must step up to key challenges: digital cash must be trustworthy, must protect domestic economic and financial stability, and the stability of the international monetary system should remain.
    “The Fund has a critical role to play to help its members harness the benefits and manage the risks of digital money,” the paper said.
    Importantly, digital money “must be regulated, designed, and provided so countries maintain control over monetary policy, financial conditions, capital account openness, and foreign exchange regimes.”
    The paper makes the distinction between central bank digital currencies, stablecoins and e-Money, on which it focuses, and cryptoassets including bitcoin.    “While different types of digital money are considered, this paper does not take a stand on which form may predominate.”
    The paper, dated March, discussed by the IMF board in April and published on Thursday, offers a vision for the evolution of the Fund and how it seeks to partner with other organizations like central banks, regulators and the World Bank.
    “The Fund too must step up,” the paper said.
    “The Fund must rapidly strengthen, widen, and deepen its well-established work on digital money, while coordinating and collaborating closely with other institutions within the confines of its mandate.    The Fund must also rapidly ramp up its resources devoted to these topics.”
    In a separate blog post earlier this week, the director of the IMF’s monetary and capital markets department and the director of its legal department said any attempt to use cryptoassets as national currencies would be risky.
    Advantages “including the potential for cheaper and more inclusive financial services, should not be overlooked,” they said.
    “Governments, however, need to step up to provide these services, and leverage new digital forms of money while preserving stability, efficiency, equality, and environmental sustainability.    Attempting to make cryptoassets a national currency is an inadvisable shortcut.”
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Catherine Evans)

8/1/2021 After Months Of Failed Talks, ASEAN Under Pressure To Appoint Envoy by Tom Allard, Panu Wongcha-um and Ain Bandial
FILE PHOTO: Soldiers stand next to military vehicles as people gather to protest against
the military coup, in Yangon, Myanmar, February 15, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer
    (Reuters) – Foreign ministers from members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are under pressure to appoint a special envoy to Myanmar this week after months of negotiations have failed to find a consensus candidate.
    Six months after the military toppled Myanmar’s democratically elected government, ASEAN foreign ministers meet on Monday, when diplomats say they aim to finalise a special envoy tasked with ending violence and promoting dialogue between the junta and its opponents.
    The United Nations, China and the United States, among others, have identified the Southeast Asian bloc, whose 10 members include Myanmar, as best placed to lead diplomatic efforts to restore stability in Myanmar.
    The Southeast Asian nation has been racked by a deadly crackdown on protests, economic collapse and a refugee exodus since the coup.    A surge in coronavirus infections has overwhelmed Myanmar’s health system, worsening the humanitarian crisis in the past month.
    The search for a special envoy began in April, when ASEAN leaders produced a “five-point consensus” to tackle the turmoil in Myanmar.
    The U.N and U.S. have both urged ASEAN to expedite appointment of the special envoy in recent weeks.
    The second minister for foreign affairs of Brunei, Erywan Yusof, said on Friday night he hoped a final decision would be made on Monday.    Brunei is chair of ASEAN this year.
    “Without the envoy leading the way, it is very difficult” to address the situation in Myanmar, he said.
    ASEAN – whose members include democracies, one-party communist states and authoritarian governments – has been deeply divided on the envoy, and discussed appointing more than one to break the deadlock.
    Four regional diplomatic sources said Erywan was favoured to become envoy and be assisted by “advisers.”    . But a meeting of senior ASEAN officials on Thursday failed to reach agreement, they said.
    As well as the nine other ASEAN members, Myanmar’s military regime will have to approve the appointment, they said.
    “Myanmar is ready to work on ASEAN cooperation within the ASEAN framework including the dialogue with the ASEAN special envoy in Myanmar,” the leader of the country’s ruling military, Min Aung Hlaing, told a news conference on Sunday.
    A spokesman for Myanmar’s National Unity Government which opposes the military junta, Sasa, said the envoy must “put the people of Myanmar front and centre.”
    “Anything that can help alleviate the people’s suffering is welcome,” he said.
    Erywan publicly confirmed he was one of four candidates. Diplomats said the others were Thailand’s deputy foreign minister Weerasak Footrakul, former Indonesian foreign minister Hassan Wirajuda and veteran Malaysian diplomat Razali Ismail.
    ASEAN will also announce a proposal to provide aid to Myanmar, including support to combat the pandemic, diplomats said.
(Reporting by Tom Allard in Jakarta, Panu Wonngcha-un in Bangkok and Ain Bandial in Bandar Seri Begawan; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

8/1/2021 UN Compound Attacked In Afghanistan by OAN Newsroom
Security personnel stands guard outside United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) office
compound in Guzara district of Herat province on July 31, 2021. (HOSHANG HASHIMI/AFP via Getty Images)
    A United Nations compound in western Afghanistan was attacked by so-called anti-government extremists, leaving one person dead.    The attack on Friday was reported to have taken place amid the fighting between the government and the Taliban in the region.
    UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said attacking the UN and its personnel could constitute as a war crime.    White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan released a statement saying the UN is operating as a civilian peace keeping force.    He went on to call for an end to all violence in Afghanistan.
    “We reiterate our call for an immediate reduction in violence in Afghanistan, and for all regional actors to encourage the parties to return to negotiations without delay so that the Afghan people can achieve a durable and just political settlement that brings the peace and security they deserve,” said Sullivan.
    In the meantime, the U.S. has completed more than 95 percent of the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.    However, reports said the U.S. will continue to support Afghan forces with combat aircraft.

8/6/2021 G7 Says Iran Behind Tanker Attack, Threatening Peace And Stability
FILE PHOTO: A satellite image shows the damaged Mercer Street Tanker moored off the coast of Fujairah,
United Arab Emirates, August 4, 2021. Satellite image copyright 2021 Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS
    LONDON (Reuters) -Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven wealthy economies said Iran was threatening international peace and security and that all available evidence showed it was behind an attack on the Mercer Street tanker last week.
    “All available evidence clearly points to Iran.    There is no justification for this attack,” said the statement, issued by current G7 chair, Britain.
    The vessel was a Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned petroleum product tanker managed by Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime.
    Tehran has denied any involvement in the suspected drone attack in which two crew members – a Briton and a Romanian – were killed.
    In a separate statement, the U.S. military said explosives experts from the Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier – which deployed to assist the Mercer Street – concluded the drone was produced in Iran.
    It said the explosives experts were able to recover several pieces of a drone, including a part of the wing and internal components which it said were nearly identical to previously-collected samples of Iranian attack drones.
    The U.S. military also suggested the attack may have been launched from the Iranian coast, saying the distance to the locations of the attacks “was within the range of documented Iranian one-way attack” drones.
    “Some of the material was transferred to U.S. Fifth Fleet headquarters in Manama, Bahrain and subsequently to a U.S. national laboratory for further testing and verification,” Central Command, which oversees U.S. forces in the region, said in the statement.
    Despite Tehran’s denials, Britain, the United States and others have criticised Iran for the attack.
    “Iran’s behaviour, alongside its support to proxy forces and non-state armed actors, threatens international peace and security,” the G7 statement said.
    “We call on Iran to stop all activities inconsistent with relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and call on all parties to play a constructive role in fostering regional stability and peace.”
    Britain raised the issue at a closed-door meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Friday.    No action is expected to be taken by the 15-member body.
    “Iran was responsible for this attack.    We know it was deliberate and targeted.    There is no justification for what happened – a state sanctioned attack on a civilian vessel, passing peacefully through international waters,” Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Barbara Woodward told reporters after the meeting.
    Iran’s deputy U.N. Ambassador Zahra Ershadi rejected the accusations that Tehran was behind the attack and warned against any retaliation: “Iran will not hesitate to defend itself and secure its national interests.”
(Reporting by William James in London and Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali in Washington; Editing by Paul Sandle, Dan Grebler and Angus MacSwan)

8/10/2021 “Free Media”: Poles Protest Against Changes To Broadcasting Law by Alicja Ptak and Pawel Florkiewicz
FILE PHOTO: Private television TVN logo is see on satellite antenna at their headquarters
in Warsaw, Poland February 10, 2021. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo
    WARSAW (Reuters) – Thousands of people across Poland protested in defence of media freedoms on Tuesday, objecting to draft legislation that critics say could shut down a U.S.-owned broadcaster critical of the government.
    Parliament is scheduled to vote on the legislation on Wednesday.
    The vote to tighten rules on foreign ownership of Polish media threatens to sour relations with Washington and deepen concern in the European Union over democratic standards in the bloc’s east.    Issues such as judicial independence and LGBT rights have already brought Poland and Hungary into conflict with Brussels.
    In Warsaw, one of around 80 towns and cities where protests were organised, people brandished placards with slogans such as “Free Media, Free People, Free Poland.”
    “If it happened (that TVN24 lost its licence) … it’s the end – there is no democracy, no freedom of speech,” said 66-year-old designer Iwona Leliwa-Kopystynska.
    TVN24 footage showed protesters on the roof of the Culture Ministry in Warsaw with banners reading “Free Media” and “Poland Free of Facism.”
    The amendment to the Broadcasting Act would strengthen a ban on non-European firms controlling Polish broadcasters.
    “Would we like Polish media … to be acquired without any regulations by anyone from around the world without any obstacles?”    Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki asked reporters earlier.
    While Morawiecki’s Law and Justice (PiS) party says it wants to stop countries such as Russia or China taking control of Polish broadcasters, critics say it aims to gag TVN24, Poland’s most popular news channel, whose licence expires on Sept. 26.
FOREIGN INFLUENCE
    TVN24’s parent, TVN, is owned by the U.S.-based media group Discovery Inc. via a firm registered in the Netherlands, to get around a ban on non-European firms owning more than 49% of Polish media companies.
    TVN has called the bill, which would close that loophole, an attempt to limit media freedom.
    PiS has long argued that foreign media groups distort public debate in Poland in a way that harms Polish interests.
    But the bill risks upsetting an important ally.
    TVN, estimated to be worth over $1 billion, is the biggest American investment in Poland.    U.S. State Department Counselor Derek Chollet has said future American investments could be jeopardised if TVN24’s licence is not renewed.
    Critics say the government is adopting tactics tried and tested by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a close ideological ally of PiS.
    Hungarian public broadcasters have largely become mouthpieces for the government, while several other media outlets have been shut or taken over by government-friendly interests.
    Critics say that since PiS came to power, Poland’s public broadcaster, TVP, has become an outlet for government propaganda.
(Reporting by Alicja Ptak and Pawel Florkiewicz in Warsaw, additional reporting by Krisztina Than in Budapest, writing by Alan Charlish; Editing by Kevin Liffey)
[THE GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT NOW KNOWS THE U.S. IS COMPROMISED BY THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION AND IT IS CONTINUING TO SHUT DOWN POLAND AND HUNGARY FROM ANY PATH TO COMMUNICATE WITH THEIR POPULATION WITH INFLUENCE FROM RUSSIA AND CHINA IS NOW INVOLVED.].

8/10/2021 Britain Imposes Sanctions On Belarus, Lukashenko Retorts: ‘Choke On Them’ by William James and Elizabeth Piper
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko attends a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin
in Saint Petersburg, Russia July 13, 2021. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolskyi/Kremlin via REUTERS
    LONDON (Reuters) - Britain imposed sanctions on Belarus’s potash and petroleum product exports on Monday in an attempt to put pressure on President Alexander Lukashenko, who swiftly retorted that London should “choke on” the new measures.
    So far Western sanctions have done little to persuade Lukashenko, in power in the former Soviet republic since 1994, to change course from a crackdown on his political opponents.
    The British sanctions, which prohibited the purchase of transferable securities and money-market instruments issued by the Belarusian state and its state-owned banks, are the latest sanctions imposed by the West over Lukashenko’s crackdown.
    The package also includes measures to prevent Belarusian air carriers from overflying or landing in the United Kingdom and a prohibition on the provision of technical assistance to Lukashenko’s fleet of luxury aircraft.
    State-owned Belaruskali is the world’s top potash producer and accounts for a fifth of global potash trade.
    “These sanctions demonstrate that the UK will not accept Lukashenko’s actions since the fraudulent election,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.    “The Lukashenko regime continues to crush democracy and violate human rights in Belarus.”
    “The products of Lukashenko’s state-owned industries will not be sold in the UK, and our aerospace companies will not touch his fleet of luxury aircraft.”
    Asked about the sanctions, Lukashenko said Britain should choke on the sanctions.
    “You are America’s lapdogs,” he said of Britain.
    Monday marked the first anniversary of an election which opponents said was rigged to let Lukashenko win.    Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in the biggest challenge to his rule since he became president in 1994.
    He says he won the election fairly and responded with a crackdown on opponents in which many have been arrested or gone into exile abroad.
    “These measures represent a significant additional step in bringing pressure to bear on the Lukashenko regime,” Britain’s foreign ministry said.
    “They are carefully targeted to build pressure on Lukashenko, state institutions and those around him to change behaviour, while minimising, as far as possible, any unintended consequences on the wider population in Belarus.”
    Britain said the United States was also announcing new measures on Monday.    But EU sanctions designed to punish Lukashenko for the crackdown will leave him largely unscathed and able to continue financing the economy and his security forces, rating agencies and analysts say.
    Belaruskali also looks to face no major threat from the EU sanctions, analysts said.
    Meanwhile Polish authorities reported that a record number of migrants have crossed the Polish border with Belarus since Friday.
    Poland and Lithuania, which have seen a surge in illegal migration in recent weeks, have accused Lukashenko of using migrants to put pressure on the EU to reverse sanctions on the country.
    Warsaw also believes it is way of hitting back at Poland for giving refuge to Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, a Belarusian athlete who refused to return home from the Tokyo Olympics.
    The Polish Border Guard said on Monday it had detained 349 illegal migrants crossing the Belarus border since Friday, most of them probably from Iraq and Afghanistan.
(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper and William James in London and Olzhas Auyezov and Maria Vasilyeva in Moscow; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Angus MacSwan)
[OUR WIMPY GLOBALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT AND ITS FLUNKY'S DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH THE TALIBAN AND THEY ALL HAVE FORGOTTEN THAT DURING THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION THE TALIBAN HAD RESPECT FOR HIM BECAUSE HE SHOWED THEM WITH HIS ACTIONS WHAT THE U.N. MILITARY COULD DO TO THEM IF THEY TOOK HIM ON AND THEY BACKED OFF UNTIL THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION RAN FROM IRAQ LIKE LITTLE BABIES AND NOW THEY ARE THE WOKE MILITARY AND ARE IN SHOCK AT WHAT THE TALIBAN ARE DOING.].

8/12/2021 Polish PM Rejects U.S. Criticism Of Media And Property Restitution Bills
FILE PHOTO: Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki addresses the media as he arrives on the first day of the
European Union summit at The European Council Building in Brussels, Belgium June 24, 2021. John Thys/Pool via REUTERS
    WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland’s prime minister on Thursday rejected criticism of bills on media ownership and property restitution passed by parliament, after the United States, one of Warsaw’s most important allies, denounced the legislation.
    In a tumultuous sitting of parliament on Wednesday, Polish lawmakers passed a bill that would strengthen a ban on firms from outside the European Economic Area controlling Polish broadcasters.
    The opposition says the bill aims to gag the news channel TVN24, which is owned by U.S.-based media group Discovery Inc and is critical of Poland’s right-wing nationalist government.
    Late on Thursday Discovery said it has notified the Polish government that it will take legal action under the bilateral investment treaty between the United States and Poland, branding Poland’s failure to renew the TVN24 broadcasting license and yesterday’s vote as “discriminatory.”
    “The legislation is the latest assault on independent media and freedom of the press, and takes direct aim at Discovery’s TVN,” the company said in a statement.
    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington was “deeply troubled” by the passage of the bill, which he said targeted the most-watched independent news station in Poland and one of the largest U.S. investments in the country.
    Vera Jourova, European Commission Vice President for Values and Transparency, said the bill sent a “negative signal.”
    “We need a #MediaFreedomAct in the whole EU to uphold media freedom and support the rule of law,” she tweeted.
    Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki denied the bill was aimed at TVN.
    “We do not have any intentions regarding a specific TV channel.    It is just about tightening the regulations, so that there is no situation in which companies from outside the European Union would buy media in Poland,” he told a news conference.
    The bills must clear both houses of parliament and be signed by President Andrzej Duda to become law. Duda is close to the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) and is not expected to veto the legislation.
PROPERTY RESTITUTION
    Morawiecki later on Thursday also defended parliament’s decision not to exempt NATO member countries from the ban.
    “A military alliance is one thing, a common legislation and a common economic area is another,” he said.
    The United States is a founding member of the North Atlantic alliance.
    Blinken had also called on Poland not to proceed with legislation that is expected to make it harder for Jews to recover property seized by Nazi German occupiers during the Holocaust and kept by postwar Communist rulers.
    Morawiecki said the law would implement a 2015 ruling by Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal that a deadline must be set after which faulty administrative decisions can no longer be challenged.
    “This has nothing to do with the fears expressed by our American friends about us,” he said.
    A European Commission spokesperson said the EU executive would continue following all issues in Poland, including the restitution bill, and would “take any action necessary within the powers conferred to it by the treaties”
(Reporting by Alan Charlish and Pawel Florkiewicz in Warsaw; Additional reporting Sabine Siebold in Berlin, Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru and Alicja Ptak in Warsaw; Editing by Mark Heinrich, Gareth Jones and Chizu Nomiyama)
[GOOD JOB POLAND GIVE THEM THE HELL THE WAY THEY ARE DOING IN THE UNITED STATES NOW.].

8/12/2021 EU Foreign Policy Chief Urges Afghan Government To Work With Taliban by Foo Yun Chee
FILE PHOTO: European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell speaks at the presidential
palace in Baabda, Lebanon June 19, 2021. Dalati Nohra/Handout via REUTERS
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The Afghan government should engage with the Taliban to reach an inclusive settlement, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Thursday as the militant group made rapid gains amid spiralling violence and worries of a refugee crisis.
    “We encourage the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to settle political differences, increase representation of all stakeholders and engage with the Taliban from a united perspective,” Borrell said in a statement.
    He said a peaceful and inclusive settlement and respect for the fundamental rights of all Afghans, including women, youth and minorities, were key to the European Union’s continued support for Afghanistan.
    The Taliban, since beginning a broad offensive in May, have made swift and violent advances that are further loosening the Afghan government’s hold on the country.
    Borrell called on the Taliban to immediately resume substantive, regular and structured talks, an immediate halt to the violence and a comprehensive, permanent ceasefire.
    “These continued attacks are causing unacceptable suffering to Afghan citizens and are increasing the number of internally displaced and those leaving Afghanistan in search of safety,” he said.
    Borrell warned that the Taliban would face non-recognition, isolation, lack of international support and the prospect of continued conflict and instability in Afghanistan if they take power by force and re-establish an Islamic Emirate.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Peter Cooney)

8/12/2021 U.N. Warns Any Fighting In Kabul Would Be ‘Catastrophic’ For Civilians by Michelle Nichols
Internally displaced families from northern provinces, who fled from their homes due the fighting between Taliban
and Afghan security forces, take shelter in a public park in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 10, 2021.REUTERS/Stringer
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United Nations said on Thursday it is particularly concerned about a shift in fighting in Afghanistan to urban areas, warning that if a Taliban offensive reaches the capital Kabul it would have a “catastrophic impact on civilians.”
    The Taliban claimed control over the third largest city, Herat, on Thursday and appeared close to capturing Kandahar, the second largest city and the spiritual home of the Taliban, which now control about two-thirds of Afghanistan.
    “It is clear that urban fighting in the city of the size of Kabul would have catastrophic impact on civilians and we very much hope that this does not happen,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.
    Dujarric also said any investigation into civilian deaths would have to be impartial and independent from the warring parties.    The United Nations said more than 1,000 civilians had been killed in the past month.    In a statement on Wednesday the Taliban denied killing civilians and suggested a U.N. team, accompanied by them, conduct an inquiry.
    The Islamist militants proposed that a team made up of the United Nations, Red Cross and other international aid groups accompany Taliban representatives “to conduct an impartial and independent investigation into the latest events.”
    The Taliban has stepped up its campaign to defeat the U.S.-backed government since April as foreign forces complete their withdrawal after 20 years.
    In the first six months of 2021, the United Nations said 5,183 civilians had been killed or injured, blaming the Taliban for 39% – 699 deaths and 1,345 wounded – and Afghan government forces for 23% – 378 deaths and 828 wounded.
    Peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban negotiators started last year in the Qatari capital of Doha, but have not made any substantive progress.
    “We are continuing to believe that there is a political solution that can be had.    This doesn’t mean that we are also blind to what is going on in the on the ground,” Dujarric said.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; editing by Grant McCool)

8/12/2021 WHO Calls On Governments To Cooperate To Accelerate Studies Into Origins Of COVID-19
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting
on update on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, April 6, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    (Reuters) – The World Health Organization has called for all governments to cooperate to accelerate studies into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and “to depoliticize the situation.”
    “WHO reiterates that the search for the origins of SARS-CoV-2 is not and should not be an exercise in attributing blame, finger-pointing or political point-scoring,” it said in a statement on Thursday.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Chris Reese)
[FIRST FIRE TEDROS SO CHINA DOES NOT HAVE ANY CONTROL OF YOUR ACTIONS AND MAKE CHINA COP THAT THEY DID CREATE THE COVID-19 IN THE WUHAN LAB AND LET IT SPREAD TO THE WORLD SENDING PEOPLE TO ITALY WITH IT WHERE IT WENT AROUND THE WORLD.].

8/12/2021 Biden Begs OPEC, Russia To Boost Oil Output After Hurting U.S. Oil Sector by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – JANUARY 27: Joe Biden speaks about climate change issues in the State Dining Room
of the White House on January 27, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images)
    Joe Biden has asked the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia to increase oil production after decimating the U.S. energy industry and sparking massive inflation.    On Wednesday, Biden addressed OPEC and asked its members to boost output by more than 400,000 barrels per day in order to lower fuel prices in the U.S. and help combat runaway inflation.
    His administration also launched a probe into the U.S. energy industry over allegations of price gouging amid short supply.
    Earlier this year, Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline and banned drilling on federal lands.    As a result, U.S. gas prices surged 42 percent and overall energy costs rose 24 percent.    This ultimately lifted the costs of logistics, food and consumer goods.
    Experts said Biden’s latest action greatly benefits other countries, including Russia, which is now able to boost oil exports and rake in tens of billions of dollars in additional cash revenue.
[SO DO YOU THINK THE IDIOT IN THE WH FINALLY REALIZES HIS POLICIES ARE CORRUPT AND THIS WILL MAKE THE PRICE OF GASOLINE GO UP AND IS SELLING AMERICA WITH HIS POLICIES.    SO YESTERDAY I BOUGHT 4 NEW 5-GALLON GAS CONTAINERS AND FILLED THEM WITH $2.85 A GALLON GASOLINE AND PUT THEM IN MY GARAGE WITH ANOTHER 5 GALLON CONTAINER SO WHEN GAS GOES TO $4 A GALLON I WILL NOT WONDER WHO SCREWED UP THIS COUNTRY JUST LIKE OBAMA DID WHEN IT WAS $3.98 A GALLON BEFORE HE DECLARED A WAR AND KILLED GADDAFFI AND I WONDER IF BIDEN OR OBAMA WILL DO IT AGAIN AGAINST THE TALIBAN.].

8/15/2021 Britain Says Taliban Should Not Be Recognised As Afghan Government
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures before boarding the vessel Alba in Fraserburgh Harbour, which will
transport him to the Moray Offshore Windfarm East during his visit to Scotland, Britain August 5, 2021. Jane Barlow/Pool via REUTERS
    LONDON (Reuters) – Nobody should bilaterally recognise the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday, adding it was clear that there would be a new administration in the country very shortly.
    “We don’t want anybody bilaterally recognising the Taliban,” Johnson said in an interview clip, urging the West to work together on Afghanistan through mechanisms such as the United Nations and NATO.
    “We want a united position amongst all the like-minded as far as we can get one so that we do whatever we can to prevent Afghanistan lapsing back into being a breeding ground for terror.”
    Taliban insurgents entered Kabul on Sunday, President Ashraf Ghani left the country and the U.S. Embassy said the capital’s airport, where diplomats, officials and other Afghans had fled, had come under fire.
    “The (UK) ambassador is working round the clock, has been there at the airport to help process the applications,” said Johnson.
    Asked whether he would have expected the country to fall to the Taliban so quickly, he replied:
    “I think it’s fair to say that the U.S. decision to pull out has accelerated things.”
    Separately, Russia said earlier on Sunday that it does not yet recognise the Taliban insurgents as Afghanistan’s new lawful authority, RIA state news agency reported.
(Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Alison Williams and Susan Fenton)
[TOO LATE NOW.    WHERE IS NATO?    AND WHO ARE THEY GOING CALL TO STOP THEM MAYBE: TRUMP'S TALIBANBUSTERS IF THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION WILL GET OUT OF THE WAY, OH YEAH THEY ALREADY HAVE GOT OUT OF THE WAY LEAVING JOE WITH NO NOTES OF WHAT TO SAY.]

8/15/2021 U.N. Chief Urges Taliban Restraint, Is Concerned About Women, Girls by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres addresses the media as he arrives on the first day of the
European Union summit at The European Council Building in Brussels, Belgium June 24, 2021. John Thys/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday urged the Taliban and all other parties to exercise the utmost restraint in order to protect lives and expressed particular concern about the future of women and girls in Afghanistan.
    Taliban insurgents entered Kabul https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/talibans-rapid-advance-across-afghanistan-2021-08-10 and President Ashraf Ghani left Afghanistan on Sunday, bringing the Islamist militants close to taking over the country two decades after they were overthrown by a U.S.-led invasion.
    “There continue to be reports of serious human rights abuses and violations in the communities most affected by the fighting,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement, adding that Guterres “is particularly concerned about the future of women and girls, whose hard-won rights must be protected.”
    “All abuses must stop. He calls on the Taliban and all other parties to ensure … the rights and freedoms of all people are respected and protected,” Dujarric said.
    Under Taliban rule between 1996 and 2001, women could not work, girls were not allowed to attend school and women had to cover their faces and be accompanied by a male relative if they wanted to venture out of their homes.
    Guterres will brief the U.N. Security Council on Monday on Afghanistan.    In an Aug. 3 statement, agreed by consensus, the 15 council members “declared that they do not support the restoration of the Islamic Emirate” (Taliban rule).
    Afghanistan’s U.N. ambassador, Ghulam Isaczai, appointed last month, told Reuters on Sunday: “The message I sent to the council today is to do everything to prevent further violence and ensure an orderly transition to a transitional government.”
    Guterres warned on Friday that Afghanistan was “spinning out of control” https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/un-says-evaluating-afghanistan-security-hourly-no-staff-evacuation-2021-08-13 and called on the Taliban to halt their offensive.
    The United Nations has about 3,000 national staff and about 300 international staff on the ground in Afghanistan.    On Friday, Dujarric said some staff had been relocated to Kabul but that none had been evacuated from the country.
    “The United Nations remains determined to contribute to a peaceful settlement, promote the human rights of all Afghans, notably women and girls, and provide life-saving humanitarian assistance and critical support to civilians in need,” Dujarric said on Sunday.
    He said the need for assistance is “surging while the operating environment becomes more restricted due to the escalation of the conflict.” Guterres called on all parties to ensure unimpeded humanitarian aid access.
    In April, the Taliban stepped up a campaign to defeat the U.S.-backed government as foreign forces withdrew after 20 years of war.    U.S.-backed Afghan forces toppled the Taliban from power in late 2001 for refusing to hand over al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Peter Cooney)

8/16/2021 OPEC Rejects Biden’s Plea To Boost Oil Output by OAN Newsroom
Participants attend the opening session of the 15th International
Energy Forum in Algiers. (RYAD KRAMDI/AFP via Getty Images)
    The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia rejected a plea by Joe Biden to increase oil production by maintaining their comfortability with current prices.    OPEC officials told reporters on Monday, there was “no need” to put out more oil to the market at this point.
    OPEC+ added the latest decision to boost product by 400,000 barrels per day would remain intact, despite Biden’s call for a bigger increase.    Last week, Biden begged both OPEC and Russia to help reduce energy prices and inflation by boosting oil output.
    However, OPEC+ said International Energy Agency data did not support Biden’s calls for more oil.
    “As the OPEC+ group has said in many of their meetings, they’re meeting on a monthly basis so they have the opportunity to continue, to halt, or to even reverse the cuts as required by the market,” Oil Market Division Head Troil Bosoni of IEA explained.    “So for now, we think that the market is looking relatively well balanced for the remainder of this year.”
    OPEC and Russia reportedly planned to keep oil prices around $70.00 per barrel and possibly reduce output if global demand fell again.
[BIDEN’S PEOPLE ARE SO STUPID BECAUSE THE ARABS WENT TO NUCLEAR POWER TO STOP SUCKING OIL OUT OF THE GROUND IN FEAR OF EARTHQUAKES AND TRUMP WAS PROVIDING THEM WITH OIL THAT YOU GOT RID OF OUR XL PIPELINE WE WERE SENDING TO THEM AND OTHERS, 3 STRIKES AND YOU ARE OUT.].

8/16/2021 IAEA Reports Iranian Progress On Uranium Metal Despite Western Objections
FILE PHOTO: The Iranian flag waves in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters,
amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Vienna, Austria May 23, 2021. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
    VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran has made progress in its work on enriched uranium metal, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said in a report to member states on Monday seen by Reuters, despite Western warnings that such work threatens talks on reviving the Iran nuclear deal.
    “On 14 August 2021, the Agency verified … that Iran had used 257 g of uranium enriched up to 20% U-235 in the form of UF4 (uranium tetrafluoride) to produce 200 g of uranium metal enriched up to 20% U-235,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said, adding that this was step three in a four-step plan by Iran.    The fourth includes producing a reactor fuel plate.
    Iran’s work on enriched uranium metal has angered Europe’s three top powers and the United States because that technology, and knowledge of how to produce it, can be used to make the core of a nuclear bomb.    Iran insists its aims are entirely peaceful and it is developing a new type of reactor fuel.
(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Alison Williams)

8/18/2021 U.K. Prime Minister Johnson To Host G7 Meeting On Afghan Security by OAN Newsroom
ROTHERHAM, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 13: Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a speech at the Convention of the
North at the Magna Centre on September 13, 2019 in Rotherham, England. The Convention brings together the North’s
political, business, community and academic leaders, along with young people’s groups, to make a unified case
for tangible investment in the Northern Powerhouse. (Photo by Christopher Furlong – WPA Pool /Getty Images)
    The world’s largest industrialized nations are set to hold a meeting to address the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.    According to the White House Tuesday, leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) will hold a teleconference hosted by U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
    The G7 is expected to agree on a “common strategy and approach” to Afghanistan under the impending Taliban rule.    The meeting was scheduled after Johnson said the U.K. would not recognize a Taliban government.
    However, the European Union and Germany are considering talks with the terrorist group despite opposition by British diplomats.
    “We’re using our G7 presidency to make very clear to the Taliban that we will hold them to account for their commitment and never to allow Afghanistan be used as a based for terror,” stated U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.    “To hold a more inclusive government and to protect the most essential human rights, including respecting the rights of women.”
    The G7 meeting is slated to take place next week.

8/18/2021 IMF Blocks Afghanistan’s Access To SDR Reserves Over Lack Of Clarity On Government by David Lawder
FILE PHOTO: International Monetary Fund logo is seen outside its headquarters during
the IMF/World Bank spring meetings in Washington, U.S., April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday it suspended Afghanistan’s access to IMF resources, including some $455 million in new monetary reserves, due to a lack of clarity over the country’s government after the Taliban seized control of Kabul.
    The IMF’s announcement came amid pressure from the U.S. Treasury, which holds a controlling share in the Fund, to ensure that Afghanistan’s share of a Special Drawing Rights reserves allocation scheduled for Monday not fall into Taliban hands.
    “There is currently a lack of clarity within the international community regarding recognition of a government in Afghanistan, as a consequence of which the country cannot access SDRs or other IMF resources,” an IMF spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
    “As is always the case, the IMF is guided by the views of the international community,” the spokesperson added.
    The Fund has traditionally relied on its membership to decide whether to engage with governments that take power in coups or disputed elections.
    In 2019, the IMF suspended Venezuela’s SDR access after more than 50 member countries representing a majority of the Fund’s shareholding refused to recognize President Nicolas Maduro’s government following his disputed re-election.    The IMF also suspended dealings with Myanmar after the military seized power in a February coup.
    The IMF is due on Monday to complete a $650 billion allocation of SDRs – the fund’s unit of exchange based on dollars, euros, yen, sterling and yuan – to its 190 member countries in proportion to their shareholdings in the Fund.
    The increase in reserves is aimed at bolstering the balance sheets of poorer countries that have been severely strained by the coronavirus pandemic.    Afghanistan, based on its 0.07% quota shareholding, stands to receive about $455 million.
    A U.S. Treasury official said earlier on Wednesday that the department was taking steps to prevent the Taliban from accessing the country’s SDR reserves.
    The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, did not provide details on the specific actions being taken by the Treasury, which follow a letter https://hill.house.gov/uploadedfiles/20210817ltrtosecyellenresdrstoafghanistan.pdf from Republican lawmakers urging Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to “intervene” at the IMF to ensure that no IMF Special Drawing Rights are made available to the Taliban.
    Even if Afghanistan were to regain access to the SDRs, it would be unlikely the Taliban could spend those resources because that would require another country to be willing to exchange the SDRs for underlying currencies, a transaction that would likely be blocked by long-standing U.S. financial sanctions against the Taliban.
    Afghan and U.S. officials have said most of the Afghan central bank’s nearly $10 billion in assets are held outside Afghanistan, likely putting them beyond the insurgents’ reach.    A Biden administration official said previously that any Afghan central bank assets held in the United States would not be made available to the Taliban.
(Reporting by David Lawder and Tim Ahmann; Editing by Peter Cooney)

8/19/2021 Italy Pushes For Extraordinary G20 Summit On Afghanistan - Media
FILE PHOTO: Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi departs on the second day of an EU summit at
the European Council building in Brussels, Belgium June 25, 2021. John Thys/Pool via REUTERS
    ROME (Reuters) -Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi is working to organise a summit of the Group of 20 major economies on the situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover at the weekend, newspapers La Repubblica and Il Messaggero said on Thursday.
    Italy holds the rotating G20 presidency this year and a possible meeting is expected to be held before October’s scheduled summit in Rome, La Repubblica said.
    Draghi is expected to discuss the matter with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, the two dailies added.
    A spokesperson for the prime minister’s office was not immediately available for comment.
    An online meeting of leaders of the G7 grouping has already been scheduled for next week to discuss a common strategy and approach on the situation in Afghanistan.
(Reporting by Giulia Segreti;Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

8/19/2021 EU’s Borrell Brands Afghanistan Events ‘A Catastrophe And A Nightmare’
FILE PHOTO: European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell speaks at the presidential
palace in Baabda, Lebanon June 19, 2021. Dalati Nohra/Handout via REUTERS
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s foreign policy chief branded developments in Afghanistan “a catastrophe and a nightmare” on Thursday, and said there had been a failure of intelligence to anticipate the Taliban’s return to power there.
    Josep Borrell told the European Parliament that a first group of 106 members of the EU staff in Afghanistan had been airlifted from the country and had arrived in Madrid, Spain.
(Reporting by John Chalmers)

8/19/2021 Afghanistan’s Fate Means West Is Now Perceived As Weak, UK Minister Says
FILE PHOTO: British Defense Minister Ben Wallace addresses a news conference in Nairobi, Kenya January 25, 2021. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
    LONDON (Reuters) - The fate of Afghanistan after a 20-year war led by the United States means that the West’s resolve is now perceived as weak by major adversaries such as Russia, British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said on Thursday.
    The war in Afghanistan has cost several hundred thousand lives and trillions of dollars but the Taliban are now back in power, and the West’s leading powers are scrambling to evacuate their diplomats and Afghan staff from Kabul airport.
    “What I’m uncomfortable with is that we have a world order now, where resolve is perceived by our adversaries as weak, the West’s resolve,” Wallace told BBC TV.
    “That is something we should all worry about: if the West is seen not to have resolve and it fractures, then our adversaries like Russia find that encouraging,” Wallace told LBC radio.
    Britain fears the Taliban’s return and the vacuum left by the West’s chaotic withdrawal will allow militants from al Qaeda to gain a foothold in Afghanistan, just 20 years after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
    “Around the world, Islamists will see what they will view as a victory and that will inspire other terrorists,” Wallace said.
(Reporting by Sarah Young and Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Kate Holton and Michael Holden)

8/19/2021 IMF Blocks Afghanistan’s Access To SDR Reserves Over Lack Of Clarity On Government by David Lawder
FILE PHOTO: International Monetary Fund logo is seen outside its headquarters during
the IMF/World Bank spring meetings in Washington, U.S., April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday it suspended Afghanistan’s access to IMF resources, including around $440 million in new monetary reserves, due to a lack of clarity over the country’s government after the Taliban seized control of Kabul.
    The IMF’s announcement came amid pressure from the U.S. Treasury, which holds a controlling share in the Fund, to ensure that Afghanistan’s share of a Special Drawing Rights reserves allocation scheduled for Monday not fall into Taliban hands.
    “There is currently a lack of clarity within the international community regarding recognition of a government in Afghanistan, as a consequence of which the country cannot access SDRs or other IMF resources,” an IMF spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
    “As is always the case, the IMF is guided by the views of the international community,” the spokesperson added.
    The Fund has traditionally relied on its membership to decide whether to engage with governments that take power in coups or disputed elections.
    In 2019, the IMF suspended Venezuela’s SDR access after more than 50 member countries representing a majority of the Fund’s shareholding refused to recognize President Nicolas Maduro’s government following his disputed re-election.    The IMF also suspended dealings with Myanmar after the military seized power in a February coup.
    The IMF is due on Monday to complete a $650 billion allocation of SDRs – the fund’s unit of exchange based on dollars, euros, yen, sterling and yuan – to its 190 member countries in proportion to their shareholdings in the Fund.
    The increase in reserves is aimed at bolstering the balance sheets of poorer countries that have been severely strained by the coronavirus pandemic.
    The IMF will allocate 310 million SDRs on Afghanistan’s behalf, an IMF spokesperson said.    That is valued at about $440 million based on Wednesday’s SDR exchange rate https://www.imf.org/external/np/fin/data/rms_sdrv.aspx.
    A U.S. Treasury official said earlier on Wednesday that the department was taking steps to prevent the Taliban from accessing the country’s SDR reserves.
    The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, did not provide details on the specific actions being taken by the Treasury, which follow a letter https://hill.house.gov/uploadedfiles/20210817ltrtosecyellenresdrstoafghanistan.pdf from Republican lawmakers urging Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to “intervene” at the IMF to ensure that no IMF Special Drawing Rights are made available to the Taliban.
    Even if Afghanistan were to regain access to the SDRs, it would be unlikely the Taliban could spend those resources because that would require another country to be willing to exchange the SDRs for underlying currencies, a transaction that would likely be blocked by long-standing U.S. financial sanctions against the Taliban.
    Afghan and U.S. officials have said most of the Afghan central bank’s nearly $10 billion in assets are held outside Afghanistan, likely putting them beyond the insurgents’ reach.    A Biden administration official said previously that any Afghan central bank assets held in the United States would not be made available to the Taliban.
    White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday it was too soon to determine whether the United States would recognize the Taliban as the legitimate governing power in Afghanistan, citing a “chaotic situation in Kabul.”
(Reporting by David Lawder and Tim Ahmann; Editing by Peter Cooney and Cynthia Osterman)

8/19/2021 No Need For COVID Booster Jabs For Now – WHO
FILE PHOTO: A man who had previously been inoculated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) with Sinovac's Coronavac vaccine, gets
a third dose of a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, in the Hospital de Clinicas, in Montevideo, Uruguay August 16, 2021. REUTERS/Mariana Greif
    GENEVA (Reuters) - Current data does not indicate that COVID-19 booster shots are needed, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday, adding that the most vulnerable people worldwide should be fully vaccinated before high-income countries deploy a top-up.
    The comments came just before the U.S. government said it planned to make the booster shots widely available to all Americans starting on Sept. 20 as infections from the Delta variant of the coronavirus rise.
    WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan, asked about the need for boosters to increase protection against the disease, told a Geneva news conference: “We believe clearly that the data today does not indicate that boosters are needed.”
    Further research was needed, she added
.
    WHO senior adviser Bruce Aylward, referring to booster shots being administered in high-income countries, told reporters: “There is enough vaccine around the world, but it is not going to the right places in the right order.”
    Two doses should be given to the most vulnerable worldwide before boosters are administered to those fully-vaccinated, he said, adding: “We are a long, long way from that.”
(Reporting by Michael Shields, Stephanie Nebehay and Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Alison Williams)
[I HAVE IGNORED WHAT THE CDC SAYS AND THE BIDEN ADMIN HAS PEOPLE HAVE NO ACCESS UNLESS YOU ARE NOT VACCINATED AND AMUSED NOW THAT THE WHO IS SAYING NO NEED FOR IT AND I HAVE NEVER DONE EITHER SINCE I DO NOT TRUST EITHER.].

8/20/2021 NATO Pledges To Speed Evacuations From Afghanistan As Criticism Mounts
People who were evacuated from Kabul, Afghanistan walk towards a tent to undergo coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
testing after arriving in Doberlug-Kirchhain, Germany, August 20, 2021. REUTERS/Matthias Rietschel
    KABUL (Reuters) - More than 18,000 people have been flown out of Kabul since the Taliban took over Afghanistan’s capital, a NATO official said on Friday, pledging to redouble evacuation efforts as criticism of the West’s handling of the crisis mounted.
    Thousands of people, desperate to flee the country, were still thronging the airport, the official who declined to be identified told Reuters, even though the Taliban have urged people without legal travel documents to go home.
    The speed with which the Taliban conquered Afghanistan as U.S. and other foreign troops were completing their withdrawal surprised even their own leaders and has left power vacuums in many places.
    The Taliban urged unity ahead of Friday prayers, the first since they seized power, calling on imams to persuade people not to leave Afghanistan amid the chaos at the airport, protests and reports of violence.
    A witness told Reuters several people were killed in the eastern city of Asadabad on Thursday when Taliban militants fired on a crowd demonstrating their allegiance to the vanquished Afghan republic, as the Taliban set about establishing an emirate, governed by strict Islamic laws.
    There were similar shows of defiance in two other cities – Jalalabad and Khost – in the east, as Afghans used celebrations of the nation’s 1919 independence from British control to vent their anger with the Taliban takeover.
    Another witness reported gunshots near a rally in Kabul, but they appeared to be Taliban firing into the air.
    A Taliban spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
    Kabul has been largely calm, except in and around the airport https://tmsnrt.rs/3stVpcj where 12 people have been killed since Sunday, NATO and Taliban officials said.
    White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in an interview with NBC News that the United States was “laser-focused” on “the potential for a terrorist attack” by a group such as Islamic State during the evacuation.
BLAME
    Criticism of NATO and other Western powers has mounted as images of the chaos and desperation are shared around the world.
    In one scene captured on social media https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/small-afghan-girl-is-lifted-crowd-capturing-desperation-flee-kabul-2021-08-19, a small girl was hoisted over the airport’s perimeter wall and handed to a U.S. soldier.
    U.S. President Joe Biden is set to speak about the evacuation efforts at 1 p.m. (1700 GMT) on Friday, having faced a torrent of criticism for his handling of the troop withdrawal, negotiated by the previous U.S. administration.
    Media in Britain reported its spy chiefs may face a grilling over intelligence failings.    Several British officials remained on holiday as the Afghan debacle erupted, and Foreign Minister Dominic Raab has been heavily criticised for his initial response to the unfolding crisis.
    The governments of Germany and Australia have also faced calls to do more and speed up the evacuation of citizens and vulnerable Afghans.
    On Thursday, G7 foreign ministers called for a united https://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-conflict-g7/g7-calls-for-international-shared-mission-to-limit-afghan-crisis-idUSKBN2FK1UN international response to prevent the crisis from worsening, in comments echoed by countries including Russia. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-conflict-russia-italy/russias-putin-italys-draghi-and-frances-macron-discuss-afghanistan-idUSKBN2FK1PH
    China https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/senior-chinese-diplomat-says-afghanistan-should-not-be-geopolitical-battleground-2021-08-19 said the world should support, not pressure, Afghanistan.
    A Taliban spokesman told Chinese state media that China has played a constructive role in promoting peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and was welcome to contribute to its rebuilding.
FEAR OF REPRISALS
    Since seizing Kabul on Sunday, the Taliban have presented a more moderate face, saying they want peace https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/taliban-show-conciliatory-face-first-kabul-news-conference-2021-08-17, will not take revenge against old enemies and will respect the rights of women https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/times-have-changed-some-afghan-women-defiant-taliban-return-2021-08-17 within the framework of Islamic law.
    As the Taliban work to set up a government, including talks with a former president, Hamid Karzai, they’re discovering new problems including hundreds of government officials who have not been paid for two months, a Taliban official said.
    “It’s too early to say how this problem will be solved but it’s an immediate challenge,” the official said.
    A Norwegian intelligence group said in a report the Taliban had begun rounding up Afghans on a blacklist https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/taliban-are-rounding-up-afghans-blacklist-private-intel-report-2021-08-19 of people linked to the previous administration or U.S.-led forces that supported it.    Complaints by some Afghan journalists https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/actions-or-words-afghan-journalists-question-talibans-free-press-pledge-2021-08-19 have cast doubt on assurances that independent media would be allowed.
    Amnesty International said https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2021/08/afghanistan-taliban-responsible-for-brutal-massacre-of-hazara-men-new-investigation an investigation found the Taliban had murdered nine ethnic Hazara men after taking control of Ghazni province last month, raising fears that the Taliban, whose members are Sunni Muslims will target Hazaras, who mostly belong to the Shi’ite minority.
    A Taliban spokesman was not immediately available for comment on the reports.
    A U.S. lawmaker said the Taliban were using files from Afghanistan’s intelligence agency to identify Afghans who worked for the United States.
    “They are methodically ramping up efforts to round those folks up,” said Representative Jason Crow, who has been leading efforts in the U.S. Congress to accelerate the evacuation of American-affiliated Afghans.
(Reporting by Kabul and Washington newsrooms; Writing by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

8/20/2021 G7 Calls For International Shared Mission To Limit Afghan Crisis
Civilians prepare to board a plane during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport,
Kabul, Afghanistan August 18, 2021. U.S. Marine Corps/Staff Sgt. Victor Mancilla/Handout via REUTERS
    LONDON (Reuters) -G7 foreign ministers urged the international community on Thursday to unite in its response to the crisis in Afghanistan to prevent it from escalating, British foreign minister Dominic Raab said in a statement.
    Taliban militants seized control over the weekend in an upheaval that sent thousands of civilians and Afghan military allies fleeing for safety.    Many fear a return to the austere interpretation of Islamic law imposed during the previous Taliban rule that ended 20 years ago.
    “The G7 Ministers call on the international community to come together with a shared mission to prevent the crisis in Afghanistan escalating,” said Raab’s statement after a meeting of G7 foreign ministers.
    Britain currently holds the rotating leadership of the G7, which also includes the United States, Italy, France, Germany, Japan and Canada.
    “The crisis in Afghanistan requires an international response including intensive engagement on the critical questions facing Afghanistan and the region: with the Afghans most affected, parties to the conflict, the UN Security Council, the G20, international donors, and with Afghanistan’s regional neighbours,” the statement said.
    The UK said on Wednesday it would double its humanitarian and development aid to Afghanistan to 286 million pounds ($390 million) this year.
    Karen Pierce, UK ambassador to the United States, said Britain wanted to use a meeting of G7 leaders next week to work out “how to preserve the gains we’ve made and how to stop it becoming a breeding ground for terror.”
    Pierce told broadcaster NPR’s “All Things Considered” program that Britain and the United States had been in almost daily contact with the Biden administration since NATO agreed on the decision to withdraw forces from Afghanistan.
    She said Britain hoped to coordinate with partners and allies on any acceptance of a new Afghan government “so that we’re all working on the same basis, so that we all understand the priority we want to give to countering terrorism, to human rights, to regional stability and to humanitarian issues.”
    Separately, Raab said late on Thursday that the UK and Turkey were working together in Afghanistan to ensure evacuations continue safely.    He thanked Turkey for its commitment to safeguarding the Kabul airport alongside British troops.
    Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Raab in a call that the world should guide and support Afghanistan as it moves to a new government instead of putting more pressure on it.
($1 = 0.7334 pounds)
(Reporting by William James and Kanishka Singh; Editing by Elizabeth Piper, Peter Cooney and Lincoln Feast.)

8/31/2021 Polish Court To Rule On Primacy Of EU Law Amid Deepening Row With Brussels by Alan Charlish
FILE PHOTO: European Union and Polish flags flutter in Mazeikiai, Lithuania
April 5, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo
    WARSAW (Reuters) -Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal is set to rule on Tuesday on whether the country’s constitution or European Union treaties take precedence, a judgment that could further strain Warsaw’s already troubled relationship with the bloc.
    The catalyst for the ruling has been a long-running dispute with the EU over changes to the court system in Poland, with Brussels angered by what it sees as attempts to undermine the independence of the judiciary.    Warsaw accuses Brussels of unjustified meddling in its internal affairs.
    The primacy of European laws over national ones is a key tenet of EU integration.    Opposition politicians in Poland say Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s challenge to this tenet not only jeopardises the country’s long-term future in a union that has helped drive its economic growth, but also the stability of the bloc itself.
    “If at some point Poland stops implementing the rulings of the European Court of Justice, the whole EU system falls apart,” an EU official told Reuters.
    The Polish government argues the EU treaties do not give Brussels the right to interfere with the judicial systems of member states and that Poland is being treated unfairly as other European countries organise courts in a similar way.br>     “The constitution is the highest law in our country,” Cabinet Minister Michal Wojcik said in a statement to Reuters.    “If it were otherwise, it would mean that we are not a sovereign state.    We did not agree to this in the EU treaties.”
POLEXIT?
    While some lawyers use the term “Polexit” to describe what they say are Warsaw’s efforts to remove itself from the EU’s legal framework, Poland is unlikely to leave the bloc for the foreseeable future.
    There is no legal way to throw countries out of the EU and surveys show an overwhelming majority of Poles support membership.
    But some government critics say Poland risks an eventual loss of EU funding.
    The government has been accused of politicising key bodies in the judicial system, including the Constitutional Tribunal itself.    Poland’s ruling nationalists, the Law and Justice party (PiS), counter that the reforms were needed to remove communist-era influence, asserting that many judges regarded themselves as above the law.
    The EU’s top court also ruled last month that a Polish disciplinary chamber for judges was illegal, a day after the Constitutional Tribunal in Warsaw ruled that Poland should ignore a previous demand to stop the chamber operating.
    Following a threat of possible financial penalties from the European Commission, Poland said it would disband the chamber, but failed to detail how it would replace it.    Brussels has yet to comment on Warsaw’s response other than to say that it is analysing it.
(Reporting by Alan Charlish; Additional reporting by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk in Warsaw and Gabriela Baczynska in Brussels; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Gareth Jones)
[ITS SAD THAT POLAND IS BEING ATTACKED BY THE FACTIONS OF THE EU AND NOW THE SAME THING IS HAPPENING IN THE U.S. BY THE DEMOCRAT PARTY AND TO ME THIS IS WHAT WE CALL THE GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT WHICH IS ATTACKING EVERY NATION AND GEORGE SOROS IS IN THE MIDDLE OF ALL OF THIS SO BE AWARE.].

9/1/2021 Questioning Primacy Of EU Law Holding Up Recovery Money For Poland - Gentiloni by Jan Strupczewski
FILE PHOTO: European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni attends a news conference on the
economic forecast for spring 2021 in Brussels, Belgium, May 12, 2021. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/Pool
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Poland’s challenge to the primacy of European Union law over national law is holding up the release of 57 billion euros in EU recovery funds to Warsaw, European Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said on Wednesday.
    Poland, like all other countries of the 27-nation group, is to receive large grants and cheap loans from the EU to rebuild its economy greener and more adapted to the digital age after the economic deep slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
    But each country is to get its share of the money only once the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm and the guardian of EU laws, approves its national spending plan that has to comply with criteria set out in EU law.
    The Commission has already given the green light to 18 national plans, but has withheld approval for Poland and Hungary because it is concerned that the two countries undermine the independence of courts and media freedom.
    To make matters worse, the Polish government has recently asked the Polish constitutional tribunal to rule that EU law does not stand above national law — a claim that undermines the basis of the EU’s legal order.
    Gentiloni, speaking to the economic and budget committee of the European Parliament, said that latest move by the Polish government was now an additional factor holding up the Commission’s approval for disbursements to Warsaw.
    If approved, Poland could get 23 billion euros in EU grants and 34 billion euros in cheap loans, while Hungary can expect 7.2 billion euros in grants.
    “The fact is that we are not yet there, that the discussion is continuing,” Gentiloni said.
    “We know that this is about the requirements of the regulation and about the country specific recommendations and also the discussion, as the Polish authorities know very well, includes also the issue of the primacy of EU law and the possible consequences of this issue on the Polish recovery and resilience plan,” he said.
    European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, also present at the parliamentary hearing, said the money would not be released until the Commission was satisfied Poland and Hungary complied with the EU requirements.
    “We are seeking additional clarifications from Poland and Hungary concerning compliance, making sure that all conditions of the regulation are being met.    We need to receive those assurances before we are able to conclude positively on this.”
    Ten EU countries are already getting EU cash — Italy, Spain, France, Greece, Germany, Portugal, Belgium, Lithuania, Denmark, and Luxembourg have received in total almost 49 billion euros in pre-financing for projects listed in their national plans that got the Commission’s OK.
    Some of them, like Spain, France, Greece, or Denmark could even get next tranches of cash in the coming months if they show the Commission they have reach agreed milestones and targets in their reforms and planned projects, Dombrovskis said.
    Bulgaria and the Netherlands have not yet submitted their national plans to the Commission because of elections and continuing difficulties in forming a government.
(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Alistair Bell)
[THE EU IS PART OF THE GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT IS AT IT AGAIN TO MAKE ALL TO OPERATE UNDER THEIR CONTROL AS THE DEMOCRAT PART IN THE U.S IS TRYING TO DO THE SAME THING BUT ARE SCREWING UP ON EVERYTHING THEY DO AND WE AMERICANS OUR PRAYING TO AND THAT THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB WILL PROVIDE THE EAGLE WITH TWO WINGS SOME PROTECTION FROM THEM IN THE NEAR FUTURE.].

9/1/2021 EU Says It Will Not Rush Into Recognising The Taliban
FILE PHOTO: Taliban forces patrol near the entrance gate of Hamid Karzai International Airport,
a day after U.S troops withdrawal, in Kabul, Afghanistan August 31, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union will need to engage with the Taliban but it will not rush into formally recognising the Islamist militant group as the new rulers of Afghanistan, a senior European Union official said on Wednesday.
    Gunnar Wiegand, the European Commission’s managing director for Asia and the Pacific, also said the EU executive plans to secure funding of 300 million euros both this year and next to pave the way for resettlement of around 30,000 Afghans.
    Wiegand said official relations with the Taliban would only come about if the group meets specific conditions, including respect for human rights and unfettered access for aid workers.
    “There is no doubt among (EU) member states and in the G7 context: we need to engage with the Taliban, we need to communicate with the Taliban, we need to influence the Taliban, we need to make use of the leverages which we have,” he said.
    “i>But we will not rush into recognising this new formation, nor into establishing official relations,” he told members of the European Parliament in Brussels.
    Wiegand said it was unclear whether the Taliban will be able to govern effectively, but for the EU a key condition for official relations will be establishment of an inclusive and representative transitional government.
    Two weeks after seizing control of the capital, Kabul, the Taliban has yet to name an administration or reveal how they intend to govern.
    Wiegand said other conditions for recognising the Taliban will be allowing free passage to Afghans wishing to leave the country; refraining from retaliation against those affiliated to foreign powers or the former government; and preventing Afghanistan from becoming a haven for terrorists.
    There are concerns Afghanistan will see a repeat of the migration crisis that overwhelmed Europe in 2015-16.
    Wiegand said a European Commission plan to secure 300 million euros in 2021 and 2022 should “underpin resettlement and humanitarian admissions” to resettle of about 30,000 people.    He gave no details about where the funds would be raised or spent.
    He called for an assessment of what went wrong with the West’s 20-year engagement with Afghanistan, referring to the chaotic evacuation of civilians and foreign forces after the Taliban’s sweep into Kabul.
    “We have to make an assessment of the reasons why such a meltdown was possible,” Wiegand said.    “We have to learn lessons for similar situations, and this will be an assessment which is starting now.”
(Reporting by John Chalmers; Editing by David Gregorio)

9/4/2021 Afghanistan A Wake-Up Call For Europe On Defence, Leadership – France
FILE PHOTO: French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire attends a news conference after a meeting with
business federations at the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris, France, August 30, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier
    CERNOBBIO, Italy (Reuters) – The challenges to security emerging from the upheaval in Afghanistan should be a wake-up call for the European Union, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Saturday, urging the EU to be more ambitious on defence and on global leadership.
    “Europe has to become No. 3 super-power besides China and the United States.    Let’s open our eyes, we are facing threats and we cannot rely anymore on the protection of the United States,” Le Maire told reporters during an annual business conference in Cernobbio on Lake Como.
    “Afghanistan is a wake-up call,” he said, adding Europe also faced security threats in the Middle East and in Africa.
    The French minister said Paris had decided to invest 1.7 billion euros ($2.02 billion) more in defence this year and would like to see other European countries to do the same.
    The minister also called other EU member states to invest and to deepen their single market to achieve technological independence from big overseas companies and third countries.
    “EU member states have to build the single market for finance and also they need to reach a political agreement on the banking union, in order to have more funds for new technologies,” Le Maire said.
    He added that France will work toward these goals when it takes the rotating presidency of the EU Council, in the first half of 2022.
    “You cannot be sovereign on the political point of view if you depend from foreigners for semiconductors, electric batteries, satellites…” he said, echoing similar comments from Italy’s Innovation Minister Vittorio Colao, who was also in Cernobbio.
    Europe should invest to win the leadership in sectors including hydrogen, the digital cloud, artificial intelligence, semiconductors, space exploration, satellites and bio-technologies, Le Maire said.
($1 = 0.8416 euros)
(Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Frances Kerry)
[THIS IS REALLY FUNNY TO HEAR THE EUORPEAN CONSIDERING EUROPE FIRST JUST AS DONALD TRUMP DID AMERICA FIRST BECAUSE THEY ARE SEEING THE EAST IS BEGINNING TO CONTROL THEM MORE AND AS OF AMERICA JOE IS DESTROYING US ALSO BY KILLING AMERICA FIRST SO DO WE KNOW NOW WHO IS ARE ENEMY.].

9/4/2021 France To Push For Deal On Tax Reform Details At Next G20 Meeting – Minister
FILE PHOTO: French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire attends a news conference after a meeting with business federations about when crisis
support measures should be wound down, at the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris, France, August 30, 2021.
REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier
    CERNOBBIO, Italy (Reuters) – France will do its best to reach a deal at next G20 meeting on the technical parameters for a global tax reform, which aims to change the way large companies are taxed, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Saturday.
    Asked whether he was confident that the new U.S. administration could win U.S. Congress approval on the global tax reform in the short term, Le Marie said that U.S. Treasury head Janet Yellen had showed optimism on the issue.
(Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

9/6/2021 Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline To Start Operating In Days – Russia’s Lavrov
FILE PHOTO: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a joint news conference with Armenian Foreign Minister
Ararat Mirzoyan following their meeting in Moscow, Russia August 31, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/Pool
    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will start operating in the next few days, Interfax news agency reported.
    The $11-billion Nord Stream 2 project is expected to double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream pipeline across the Baltic Sea and allow Russia to bypass Ukraine when piping gas to Europe.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Timothy Heritage)

9/6/2021 NATO Chief: China Must Join International Nuclear Arms Control Accords by OAN Newsroom
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Mainland China must join international agreements on nuclear non-proliferation.    Stoltenberg explained on Monday, China’s nuclear program has been left unchecked by the United Nations for decades and added this must change.
    This comes years after President Trump said he would not renew any nuclear agreements with Russia unless they included China.    Stoltenberg went on to highlight the recent advances in Beijing’s nuclear program.
    “China is building a large number of missile silos, which can significantly increase its nuclear capability,” he explained.    “All of this is happening without any limitation or constraint and with a complete lack of transparency.”
    The NATO chief also noted China’s foreign policies posed a risk of proliferation of nuclear arms in other countries, such as Iran and North Korea.

9/7/2021 IAEA Pressures Iran Over Foot Dragging As Nuclear Talks Hang In Balance by Francois Murphy
FILE PHOTO: The Iranian flag waves in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters,
amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Vienna, Austria May 23, 2021. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
    VIENNA (Reuters) -The U.N. atomic watchdog on Tuesday criticised Iran for stonewalling an investigation into past activities and jeopardising important monitoring work in Iran, possibly complicating efforts to resume talks on the Iran nuclear deal.
    The International Atomic Energy Agency said in two reports to member states reviewed by Reuters that there had been no progress on two main issues – explaining uranium traces found last year and earlier at several old, undeclared sites and getting urgent access to some monitoring equipment so that it can continue to keep track of parts of Iran’s nuclear programme.
    While the investigation into the uranium traces has been going on for more than a year, diplomats say the IAEA urgently needs access to the equipment to swap out memory cards so there are no gaps in its observation of activities like the production of parts for centrifuges, machines that enrich uranium.
    Without such monitoring and so-called continuity of knowledge, Iran could produce and hide unknown quantities of this equipment that can be used to make weapons or fuel for power plants.
    “The Agency’s confidence that it can maintain continuity of knowledge is declining over time and has now significantly further declined,” one of the two reports said, adding that while the agency needs to access the equipment every three months, it had not had access since May 25.
    “This confidence will continue to decline unless the situation is immediately rectified by Iran,” the report said.
    A senior diplomat added that the agency’s confidence that the equipment is still working properly declines rapidly after three months, and while the memory cards should keep working for slightly longer, inspectors will need access soon.
    Former U.S President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the 2015 deal, under which Iran agreed to restrictions on its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of sanctions.    Tehran responded to the U.S. withdrawal and reimposition of sanctions by violating many of those restrictions.
    Indirect talks between the United States and Iran on both countries returning to compliance have stopped while Iran’s new, hardline President Ebrahim Raisi has taken office. France and Germany have called on Iran to return soon https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/iran-says-nuclear-talks-progressing-some-issues-need-more-discussion-2021-06-20 and Raisi has said Tehran is prepared to but not under Western “pressure.”
‘WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY’
    Tuesday’s criticism by the IAEA means the United States and its European allies must now decide whether to push for a resolution at next week’s meeting of the 35-nation IAEA Board of Governors pressuring Iran to make concessions to the IAEA.
    A resolution could also make resuming the talks on the 2015 accord harder, since Tehran has previously bristled at such moves.
    “The Director General is increasingly concerned that even after some two years the safeguards issues outlined above in relation to the four locations in Iran not declared to the Agency remain unresolved,” the second of the reports said.
    It said Iran must resolve outstanding issues relating to the sites, which include questions about a fourth location the IAEA has not inspected, “without further delay.”
    While the talks have stalled, Iran has accelerated its breaches of the deal, including enriching uranium https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/iran-accelerates-enrichment-uranium-near-weapons-grade-iaea-says-2021-08-17 to up to 60% purity, the IAEA has said, and is working on enriched uranium metal, which can be used to make nuclear weapons.    Iran insists its aims are peaceful but Western powers have condemned the moves.
    The enrichment acceleration had yet to show in the quarterly data on its stockpile.    The first report said it had an estimated 10 kg of uranium enriched to that level, a modest increase of 7.6 kg from three months earlier.
(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Peter Graff and Grant McCool)

9/8/2021 Iran Warns West Of IAEA Move As U.S Says Time Running Out To Save Nuclear Deal by Humeyra Pamuk
FILE PHOTO: Ebrahim Raisi, who assumed office as Iran's president in August, speaks during a news
conference in Tehran, Iran, June 21, 2021. Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS
    RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (Reuters) – Iran’s president on Wednesday warned Western states against rebuking Tehran at the U.N. atomic watchdog after its latest reports criticised his country, while the top U.S. diplomat said time was running out to revive a nuclear deal with world powers.
    The International Atomic Energy Agency said in reports to member states reviewed by Reuters on Tuesday that there had been no progress on two central issues: explaining uranium traces found at several old, undeclared sites and getting urgent access to some monitoring equipment so that the IAEA can continue to keep track of parts of Iran’s nuclear programme.
    “In the event of a counterproductive approach at the IAEA, it would not make sense to expect Iran to react constructively.    Counterproductive measures are naturally disruptive to the negotiation path also,” President Ebrahim Raisi said in a phone call with European Council President Charles Michel, according to Iranian state media.
    Tuesday’s criticism by the IAEA means the United States and its European allies must now decide whether to push for a resolution at next week’s meeting of the 35-nation IAEA Board of Governors pressuring Iran to yield.
    In 2018 then-President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the 2015 deal, under which Iran agreed to restrictions on its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of sanctions.
    The Islamic Republic responded to the Trump administration’s withdrawal and reimposition of sanctions by violating many of those restrictions.
TIME RUNNING SHORT
    Indirect talks between U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration and Iran on how both countries could return to compliance with the deal have not resumed since Raisi, an anti-Western hardliner, took office on Aug. 5.    France and Germany have called on Iran to return soon https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/iran-says-nuclear-talks-progressing-some-issues-need-more-discussion-2021-06-20 and Raisi has said Tehran is prepared to but not under Western “pressure.”
    A resolution could make resuming talks on the deal harder, since Tehran usually bristles at such moves.
    Speaking in Germany, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said time was running out for Iran to return to that accord.
    “I’m not going to put a date on it but we are getting closer to the point at which a strict return to compliance with the JCPOA (nuclear deal) does not reproduce the benefits that agreement achieved.”
    Western diplomats have said that a decision on how to respond to the IAEA reports has yet to be reached.
    “We find ourselves at a moment of discussing with all our partners in the agreement how to react to this,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said alongside Blinken.
    Senior diplomats from France, Britain and Germany will meet on Friday in Paris with the U.S. envoy on Iran to discuss the matter.
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom and John Irish in Paris, Writing by John Irish; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Gareth Jones)

9/8/2021 Pro-China Social Media Campaign Expands To New Countries, Blames U.S. For COVID by Joseph Menn
FILE PHOTO: China's President Xi Jinping is shown on a screen through digitally decorated glass during
the World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, November 23, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song
(Changes reference from COVID-10 to COVID-19.)
    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A misinformation campaign on social media in support of Chinese government interests has expanded to new languages and platforms, and it even tried to get people to show up to protests in the United States, researchers said on Wednesday.
    Experts at security company FireEye and Alphabet’s Google said the operation was identified in 2019 as running hundreds of accounts in English and Chinese aimed at discrediting the Hong Kong democracy movement.    The effort has broadened its mission and spread from Twitter, Facebook and Google to thousands of handles on dozens of sites around the world.
    This expansion suggests Chinese interests have made a deeper commitment to the sort of international propaganda techniques Russia has used for several years, experts said.
    Some of the new accounts are on networks used predominantly in countries that have not previously been significant Chinese propaganda targets, such as Argentina.    Other networks have users around the world but with a large proportion in Russia or Germany.
    False information about COVID-19 has been a major focus. For example, accounts on social networking sites vKontakte, LiveJournal and elsewhere in Russian, German, Spanish and other languages have asserted that the novel coronavirus emerged in the United States before China and that it was developed by the U.S. military.
    Multiple Russian-language LiveJournal accounts used identical wording: “U.S. Ft. Detrick was the source of COVID-19,” referring to the U.S. Army’s Fort Detrick installation in Maryland.
    In addition to promoting false information on the virus, researchers said priorities for the group include criticizing fugitive Chinese propagandist Guo Wengui and his ally, former Donald Trump strategist Steve Bannon, and exploiting concerns about anti-Asian racism.
    “We have observed extensive promotion of Russian, German, Spanish, Korean, and Japanese-language content on U.S. and non-U.S.-based platforms, in addition to the typical English and Chinese-language activity that has been widely reported on,” FireEye said in a report published Wednesday.    Many of the accounts link to each other or use the same photos, helping the researchers see connections among them.
    Many of the posts echo claims in state-controlled Chinese media, and they are consistent with other government propaganda efforts.    The researchers do not have proof of involvement by a specific arm or ally of Beijing.    The Chinese embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.
    So far, the accounts on the main U.S. platforms and major networks elsewhere such as Russia-based vKontakte have gained little interaction with authentic users, the researchers said.
    “A lot of it is tweeting into the void,” said John Hultquist, vice president of intelligence analysis at FireEye.
    Some of the posts urged protesters to demonstrate against racism in the United States.    In addition, they called on protesters to rally in April outside what the accounts said was the New York home of wealthy expatriate Guo, but there was little evidence that people showed up.
    The coordinated fake accounts took that in stride, instead distributing doctored photos of a different protest in a different place.
    “It’s almost like they are being paid by volume,” instead of engagement, said Shane Huntley, director of the threat analysis group at Google.
    Alphabet’s YouTube has been removing about a thousand channels a month tied to the campaign, though most promote Chinese entertainment more than political views or misinformation.
    The production quality is improving, with higher-resolution video and better subtitles, suggesting an investment for the long haul.
    Though the accounts have not been successful at blending in and attracting native followers, Hultquist said he was concerned that the dedication of resources would lead to improved technique and more convincing misinformation spreading.
    “They’ve clearly got a wide mandate that’s global.    Someone is giving them pretty broad orders,” Hultquist said.
(Reporting by Joseph Menn; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

9/8/2021 FireEye: China Mobilized 2020 U.S. Rioters Online by OAN Newsroom
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – OCTOBER 08: (L-R) General (Ret.) Keith Alexander, FireEye COO Kevin Mandia, Lookout Founder
and Executive Chairman John Hering and The New York Times Columnist and Moderator Andrew Ross Sorkin speak
onstage during “Cyber-Security/Cyber-Insecurity” at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit at Yerba Buena Center for
the Arts on October 8, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)
    Cybersecurity firm FireEye found the Chinese Communist Party led a concerted effort to incite violent riots in the U.S.
    In a new report, FireEye found China orchestrated an influence campaign across social media platforms in order to mobilize U.S. protesters in 2020.
    Chinese-backed accounts promoted the narratives of systemic racism, coronavirus fears and anti-Trump sentiments.    In addition, some COVID misinformation in Russian and German language posts were found to be written by nonnative speakers of those languages.
    The accounts were found to be interconnected in the sense they posted similar content, and in many cases identical messaging.    It was also reported the accounts engaged in coordinated sharing across 30 social media platforms and over 40 other websites and online forums.
    The FireEye report suggested China drove division between the U.S., Europe and Russia.    Additionally, it sought to motivate real world activity in those countries.
[WELL CHINA ALREADY HAS JOE BIDEN IN THEIR POCKET SINCE THE BIG GUY AND HIS SON COULD BE EXPOSED AT ANYTIME FOR TAKING MONEY FOR YEARS AND PROBABLY EVEN NOW THROUGH HUNTER'S ART WORK BY THEM BUT THEY WILL NOT DO THAT AS LONG HE KEEPS DOING THEIR INTERESTS SO WHATS NEW ABOUT CHINA DOING THE FIREEYE ISSUE TO INFLUENCE THEIR INTERESTS TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD AND BY THE WAY DO YOU WONDER THAT THE AFGHANISTAN PULL OUT BY BIDEN MAY HAVE BEEN PLANNED ALL ALONG WHICH IS IN CHINA'S INTEREST TO OPEN THAT AREA TO ASSIST IN THE BELT AND ROAD PROJECT AS SEEN BELOW A PROGRAM TO EXPAND PAST THE EUPHRATES RIVER AND TO THE ARAB-INDIAN OCEANS.].

[IF YOU DID NOT KNOW THAT THE POPE IS AN REPRESENTATIVE OF THE GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT THIS ARTICLE SHOULD CLARIFY THAT FOR YOU WHO IS DENOUNCING RESURGENCE OF NATIONALIST AND POPULIST MOVEMENTS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION AND YOU SHOULD REALIZE THAT THERE ARE NOW TWO TYPES OF CATHOLIC CHURCHES THE ONE THAT HAS BOUGHT INTO THE WAY OF THE WORLD AND ANOTHER ONE WHO FOLLOWS THE WAY OF THE BIBLE AS SPOKEN BY JESUS CHRIST AND THE GOD OF ABRHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB AND THE 11 DISCIPLES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT AND REVELATION.].
9/9/2021 Brief Pope Stop In Hungary Underlines Differences With PM Orban by Philip Pullella
FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis holds the weekly general audience at the Paul VI
Audience Hall at the Vatican, August 11, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - An unusually brief stay in Hungary on Sunday at the start of Pope Francis’ first foreign trip in months will underline his differences with nationalist and anti-immigrant Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
    Francis, 84, will spend only seven hours in the Hungarian capital Budapest to close an international Roman Catholic meeting before moving on to Slovakia, where he will stay much longer, visiting four cities before leaving on Wednesday.
    The Vatican’s schedule says Francis is due to meet Orban.    But the extreme brevity of his stay in Budapest has prompted diplomats and Catholic media to suggest that the pope, making his first trip since surgery in July, is giving priority to Slovakia and in effect snubbing Hungary.
    Francis has often denounced what he sees as a resurgence of nationalist and populist movements, called for European unity, and criticised countries that try to solve the migration crisis with unilateral or isolationist actions.
    By contrast, Orban told the Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia last week that the only solution to migration was for the European Union to “give all rights back to the nation state.”
    The pope has called for migrants to be welcomed and integrated to tackle what he has called Europe’s “demographic winter.”    Orban said in Slovenia that today’s migrants “are all Muslims” and that only “the traditional Christian family policy can help us out of that demographic crisis.”
    The pope’s decision to spend more time in Slovakia than Hungary must also be read in the context of his fierce criticism of nationalist-populist leaders such as Hungary’s prime minister,” the British Catholic newspaper The Tablet said.
    Speaking to reporters on the plane returning from Iraq in March, Francis said his stop in Budapest was “not a visit to a country but for a Mass.” About 75,000 people are expected.
    The U.S. conservative National Catholic Register newspaper reported that Hungarian officials, including some bishops, had failed to convince the pope to stay longer in Hungary and perhaps make a full state visit.
    The Register said some regarded the decision as “a gigantic slap in the face” of Orban.
    Francis is also due to meet Hungarian President Janos Ader before saying the Mass to conclude a Church congress that began last Sunday.
LOOK HIM IN THE EYES
    Asked by Spanish Radio network COPE last week what he would say to Orban about closing borders, Francis said: “When I am in front of a person, I look him in the eyes and let things come out.”
    The pope is leaving Rome unusually early on Sunday – at 6 a.m. – so that he can say the Mass in Budapest and reach Slovakia in the afternoon, without spending the night in Hungary.
    When a reporter asked at a briefing on Thursday why the pope appeared to be “running away from Hungary,” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said the stop there was a “spiritual pilgrimage” that should be seen in a religious context.
    Orban’s office said in an email to Reuters on Thursday that the pope’s stop for a religious event was “an enormous honour” and that comparisons with the Slovakia leg would be “misleading.”
    The trip will be the first test of the pope’s strength since surgery in which 33 cm (13 inches) of his intestine were removed because of a narrowing of the colon.
    In Slovakia he will meet the president, prime minister and parliamentarians.    Slovakia is against uncontrolled immigration but its leaders have been much less strident in their opposition than Hungarian leaders.
    The pope will also meet Slovakia’s Jewish community.    About 105,000 Slovak Jews were killed in the Holocaust and today the community numbers around 3,000.
    In Kosice, he will meet with the Roma population in the dilapidated Lunik IX district, one of the largest concentrations in the country.    Slovakia has a Roma population about 440,000, many in settlements on outskirts of towns.
    Francis will say two open-air Masses in Slovakia – which is about 65% Catholic – including one service in the lengthy Byzantine rite.
(Additional reporting by Krisztina Than and Gergely Szakacs in Budapest, Robert Muller in Kosice and Jason Hovit in PragueEditing by Timothy Heritage/Mark Heinrich)

9/9/2021 Romania’s Ruling Liberals Delay No-Confidence Vote
FILE PHOTO: Romanian Prime Minister-designate Florin Citu attends a news conference
in Bucharest, Romania, February 26, 2020. Inquam Photos/George Calin via REUTERS
    BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romania’s ruling Liberal Party put off a no-confidence vote against its government on Thursday, prolonging a political crisis that threatens economic recovery and efforts to curb a rise in COVID-19 cases.
    The junior USR-Plus partner in Romania’s centrist coalition government withdrew its support for Liberal Prime Minister Florin Citu earlier this month in a row over a regional development fund, and filed a no-confidence motion with backing from ultra-nationalist opposition party AUR.
    Liberal lawmakers have delayed setting a deadline for the vote by failing to provide the legal quorum for meetings, and ultimately challenged the motion on technical grounds at the Constitutional Court.
    On Thursday, Liberal lawmakers supported by opposition Social Democrats decided to postpone the vote until after a court ruling.
    The fracture of the Liberal-led coalition, which includes ethnic Hungarian group UDMR, could endanger efforts to reduce the European Union state’s large twin deficits, crucial to keeping its investment-grade rating.
    On Wednesday, Fitch Ratings said it would wait for Romania’s current political crisis to subside before deciding whether to maintain or strip it of its rating.
    The opposition Social Democrats backed the Liberals’ postponement of the vote even after declaring they would vote to topple the government.    The Constitutional Court said it will set a date for its ruling after Sept. 15.
    Analysts have said Citu is trying to delay the no-confidence motion until an internal Liberal Party election on Sept. 25 which he is expected to win, strengthening his position.
    Regardless of the current motion, Citu must still bring a new cabinet line-up to parliament for approval within 45 days, after USR Plus ministers resigned on Tuesday.
    A minority government of Liberals and ethnic Hungarians would rely on backing from Social Democrat lawmakers, which would make them vulnerable to concessions.
    Romania reported over 2,000 new coronavirus cases for the third consecutive day, its highest daily tally since spring.
(Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

9/9/2021 Hungary Condemns EU Move To Fine Poland Over Judicial Reform
FILE PHOTO: Hungary's Justice Minister Judit Varga gives a joint press conference
during a General Affairs Council in Luxembourg, June 22, 2021. John Thys/Pool via REUTERS
    BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary labelled European Union authorities as arrogant after they moved to impose financial penalties against Poland in a dispute over judicial reforms.
    The European Commission said on Tuesday it had asked the EU’s top court to fine Poland over the activities of a judges’ disciplinary chamber, stepping up a long-running dispute over the rule of law.
    Hungary’s Justice Minister Judit Varga said the action was unacceptable.    “The (Hungarian) government has decided … to pass a resolution expressing its support for Poland, and condemn the malicious attacks by Brussels,” she said on her Facebook page late on Wednesday.
    Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who met Polish President Andrzej Duda in Budapest on Thursday, assured Duda of Hungary’s “solidarity and full support” in the context of Brussels’ “attack” on Poland, the PM’s press chief told news agency MTI.
    Orban said that Brussels is “abusing its power” and called the fine “outrageous and completely unacceptable.”    He said that the procedure against Poland is a threat to EU unity and Hungary will weigh the possibility of acting on the side of Poland in European court proceedings.
    Warsaw said three weeks ago that the chamber would be dismantled as part of wider judiciary reforms in coming months.
    But the executive Commission said it was taking action now as the chamber was already being used to pressure judges or exert political control over judicial decisions, thereby undercutting EU law.
    Varga said ignoring the Polish promise was a “scandalous and arrogant” step by a Commission that was “meddling in the judiciary and law-making process of a sovereign member state in an unprecedented manner.”
    Hungary and Poland have been allies for years, both locked in a series of conflicts with Brussels over core issues including the rule of law and press freedoms and LGBT rights.    They say they are protecting their traditional societies from Western liberalism.
(Reporting by Krisztina ThanEditing by Raissa Kasolowsky, John Stonestreet, William Maclean)

9/11/2021 ‘Ms Nord Stream 2?’: Germany’s Merkel Makes Difficult Last Visit To Poland
FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel holds a roll of paper that will go inside a time capsule during the 750th city
anniversary celebrations in Burgergarten, in Templin, Germany September 10, 2021. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse/File Photo
    WARSAW (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Poland on Saturday, part of a goodbye tour of Europe for the continent’s longest serving leader, risks being overshadowed by tensions over a gas pipeline and questions over her legacy in central Europe.
    Having grown up in East Germany near the Polish border, Merkel, 67, was seen by some observers as a chancellor who could relate to the post-communist states of central Europe.
    However, on her farewell visit to the capital of emerging Europe’s largest economy, her determination to complete the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Russia has soured relations.
    The pipeline pits Germany, the EU’s biggest economy, against central and eastern European nations, some of them EU members, who say it will increase the bloc’s dependence on Russian gas.
    Russia, the cornerstone of the Soviet Union that once dominated central and eastern Europe, is still viewed in much of the region with suspicion.
    “Generally she was seen as someone who understood central and eastern Europe,” said Michal Baranowski, head of the German Marshall Fund’s Warsaw office, adding Polish-German relations were at a “tricky moment.”
    “I think she’s leaving as Ms Nord Stream 2, from the Polish perspective.”
    Relations have been tense under Poland’s ruling nationalists, the PiS.
    Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz told Polish public radio on Friday he expected Nord Stream 2 would feature in Merkel’s talks with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, alongside the Polish COVID-19 National Recovery Plan, which has not been approved by Brussels due to concerns over Warsaw’s commitment to the rule of law.
CONFLICT
    Poland and Hungary are embroiled in a long-running row with Brussels over issues including judicial independence, press freedoms and LGBT rights, a conflict that recently intensified with Brussels taking legal action against Warsaw and Budapest.
    “She (Merkel) is worried that the divergences about the judicial question will grow between Eastern Europe and the rest,” said a German government source.
    Analysts say that under Merkel’s rule, Germany sought consensus and dialogue with central and eastern European states, pushing Brussels to the fore and avoiding direct conflict.
    However, some diplomats say Merkel could have done more against democratic backsliding.
    “Merkel doesn’t like revolution. She doesn’t like to rock the boat and she probably thought that she could contain it, and clearly that didn’t work,” said Sophie in’t Veld, a Dutch Liberal member of the European Parliament.
    But with anti-German sentiment still strong among many PiS voters, some analysts say Merkel may also have been wary of stirring up old animosities in a country that suffered greatly during World War Two.
    PiS politicians have repeatedly called for war reparations from Germany.
    With Armin Laschet, the conservatives’ candidate to succeed Merkel, struggling in polls, policymakers across Europe are starting to contemplate what a government led by Finance Minister Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats would mean.
    “It is very important that the next German government backs a more decided EU response to stop further backsliding in Poland, Hungary and other countries,” said Daniela Schwarzer, executive director for Europe and Eurasia at the Open Society Foundation.
(Reporting by Alan Charlish, Justyna Pawlak, Anna Koper and Alicja Ptak in Warsaw, Andreas Rinke in Berlin, John Chalmers in Brussels, John Irish in Paris; Editing by Mark Potter)
[IF YOU HAVE NOT BELIEVED ME THAT THERE IS A GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT AS YOU CAN SEE ABOVE WHY MERKEL IS HERE SEEN IN THE FOLOWING:
    Open Society Foundations, formerly the Open Society Institute, is a grantmaking network founded by business magnate George Soros, which financially supports civil society groups around the world, with a stated aim of advancing justice, education, public health and independent media, but we know what they are really doing which is an attack on anyone who is going against their policy and it is the same that is atacking the United States at present who are in the Democrat party who are bought and sold to it with a diferent name such as Equity, attack 2nd Amendment, want of as much abortions that they can get, and a president that thinks he is Julius Caesar by bypassing the Legislature to violate our rights, etc., etc.].

9/11/2021 IMF To Launch Virtual Mission To Belarus To Gather Data On Economy
FILE PHOTO: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko attends a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin
in Saint Petersburg, Russia July 13, 2021. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolskyi/Kremlin via REUTERS/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund on Friday said it would begin a virtual mission to Belarus, amid concerns raised about the global lender’s disbursement of new emergency reserves to the government of president Alexander Lukashenko.
    The staff mission is part of the IMF’s economic surveillance and monitoring mandate and aims to gather more information about the economic developments in Belarus and its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, an IMF spokesperson said.
    The mission will begin Monday, said a source familiar with the plans who was not authorized to speak publicly.
    It comes days after the leaders of Russia and Belarus agreed to set up a unified oil and gas market and to deepen economic integration https://www.reuters.com/world/russia-belarus-agree-closer-energy-economic-integration-2021-09-09 in the face of what they regard as unjustified Western sanctions on both their economies.
    Western governments have imposed sanctions to escalate pressure on Lukashenko, who is accused of rigging elections in August 2020 and cracking down on opposition to prolong his now 27 years in power.    Lukashenko has denied rigging the vote.
    Russia is also under Western sanctions for its treatment of Ukraine.
    The IMF last month said it was keeping a close watch https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/imf-keeping-close-watch-belarus-after-calls-limit-reserve-funds-country-2021-08-13 on Belarus but proceeded to give Lukashenko’s hardline government access to nearly $1 billion in new Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), the IMF’s own reserve currency, as part of a broader $650 billion allocation to all IMF members.
    Some U.S. lawmakers had urged the IMF to restrict the government’s access to the funds.
    The mission, which will conduct interviews online, will lay the groundwork for a comprehensive ‘Article IV’ economic surveillance mission in December.    Such reviews are carried out on a regular basis by the global lender.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

9/11/2021 IAEA Will Have No Access To Surveillance Camera Footage In Iran – State-Run TV
FILE PHOTO: The Iranian flag waves in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters,
amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Vienna, Austria May 23, 2021. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
    DUBAI (Reuters) – The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will have no access to footage captured by surveillance cameras at Iranian nuclear sites, Iran’s state-run Press TV channel said on Twitter on Saturday.
    The channel added that an “informed source rejects reports suggesting that Iran may reconsider (its) decision on IAEA access restrictions.”
    The report, yet to be confirmed by the Iranian government, comes as the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog chief, Rafael Grossi, prepared to fly to Tehran for talks that could ease a standoff between Iran and the West.
    The IAEA informed member states this week that there had been no progress on two key issues: explaining uranium traces found at several old, undeclared sites and getting urgent access to monitoring equipment so that the agency can continue to keep track of parts of Iran’s nuclear programme.
(Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

[AS YOU WILL SEE IN THE NEXT 3 ARTICLES THAT THE EUROPEAN UNION IS SENDING THE POPE TO THE COUNTRIES WHO WILL NOT CONCEDE TO THEIR GLOBALISM TO GET RID OF THEIR NATIONALISM WHICH IS THE SAME THING THE DEMOCRATS ARE TRYING TO DO IN THE U.S.A. SO WAKE UP CHRISTIANS, JEWS, AND SOME CATHOLICS WHO DO NOT KNOW THAT ABORTION IS KILLING A HUMAN WITH A HEARTBEAT AND NEED TO DECIDE WHICH CATHOLIC CHURCH YOU SHOULD FOLLOW WHICH IS NOT A HARD DECISION TO MAKE.].
9/12/2021 Pope Francis Arrives In Hungary For Lightning Visit
Pope Francis arrives to board the plane for his visit to Hungary and Slovakia, at
Fiumicino Airport near Rome, Italy, September 12, 2021. REUTERS/Alberto Lingria
    BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Pope Francis arrived in Hungary early on Sunday, starting an unusually short stay that will underline differences https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/brief-pope-stop-hungary-underlines-differences-with-pm-orban-2021-09-09 with nationalist and anti-immigrant Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
    Francis, 84, will spend only seven hours in the capital Budapest to close an international Roman Catholic meeting before moving on to Slovakia, where he will stay much longer, visiting four cities before leaving on Wednesday.
    The Vatican’s schedule says Francis is due to meet Orban and President Janos Ader as well as bishops and representatives of some Jewish communities before saying Mass to conclude a Church congress that began last Sunday.
    The extreme brevity of his stay in Budapest has prompted diplomats and Catholic media to suggest that the pope, making his first trip since surgery in July, is giving priority to Slovakia, in effect snubbing Hungary.
    Francis has often denounced what he sees as a resurgence of nationalist and populist movements, called for European unity, and criticised countries that try to solve the migration crisis with unilateral or isolationist actions.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella and Gergely Szakacs; Editing by William Mallard)

9/12/2021 Pope Urges Hungary To Be More Open To Needy Outsiders by Philip Pullella and Gergely Szakacs
Pope Francis greets people as he arrives in Heroes' Square in Budapest, Hungary, September 12, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Pope Francis said on Sunday that Hungary could preserve its Christian roots while opening up to the needy, an apparent response to nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s stand that Muslim immigration could destroy its heritage.
    Francis was in Hungary for an unusually short stay that underlined differences with the anti-immigrant Orban, his political opposite.
    Closing a Church congress with a Mass for tens of thousands of people in central Budapest, Francis used the imagery of a cross to show that something as deeply rooted as religious belief did not exclude a welcoming attitude.
    “The cross, planted in the ground, not only invites us to be well-rooted, it also raises and extends its arms towards everyone,” he said in his remarks after the Mass.
    “The cross urges us to keep our roots firm, but without defensiveness; to draw from the wellsprings, opening ourselves to the thirst of the men and women of our time,” he said at the end of the open-air Mass, which Orban attended with his wife.
    “My wish is that you be like that: grounded and open, rooted and considerate,” the pope said.
    Francis has often denounced what he sees as a resurgence of nationalist and populist movements, and has called for European unity, and criticised countries that try to solve the migration crisis with unilateral or isolationist actions.
    Orban, by contrast, told the Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia last week the only solution to migration was for the European Union to “give all rights back to the nation state.”
    The pope has called for migrants to be welcomed and integrated to tackle what he has called Europe’s “demographic winter.”    Orban said in Slovenia that today’s migrants “are all Muslims” and that only “the traditional Christian family policy can help us out of that demographic crisis.”
    Francis, 84, who spent only about seven hours in Budapest, met Orban and President Janos Ader at the start of his visit.
    The Vatican said the meeting which was also attended by the Vatican’s top two diplomats and a Hungarian cardinal, lasted about 40 minutes and was cordial.
    I asked Pope Francis not to let Christian Hungary perish,” Orban said on Facebook.    Hungarian news agency MTI said Orban gave Francis a facsimile of a letter that 13th century King Bela IV sent to Pope Innocent IV asking for help in fighting the Tartars.
    Later on Sunday Francis arrived in Slovakia, where he will stay much longer, visiting four cities before returning to Rome on Wednesday.
    The brevity of his Budapest stay has prompted diplomats and Catholic media to suggest the pope is giving priority to Slovakia, in effect snubbing Hungary.
    The Vatican has called the Budapest visit a “spiritual pilgrimage.”    Orban’s office has said comparisons with the Slovakia leg would be “misleading.”
    The trip is the pope’s first since undergoing major surgery in July.    Francis told reporters on the plane taking him to Budapest that he was “feeling fine
(Reporting by Philip Pullella. Editing by Jane Merriman)
[THE POPE'S SPIRUTUAL PILGRIMAGE SEEMS TO BE IN COUNTRIES WHO ARE NOT COMPLYING TO THE EU POLICIES.].

9/12/2021 In Hungary, Pope Says Anti-Semitism ‘Fuse’ Must Not Be Allowed To Burn by Gergely Szakacs
Pope Francis leads a mass in Heroes' Square, in Budapest, Hungary, September 12, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Pope Francis called on Sunday for vigilance against a rise in anti-Semitism, saying during a brief trip to Hungary this was a “fuse that must not be allowed to burn.”
    The pope arrived in Hungary early on Sunday for an unusually short visit underlining differences with his political opposite, nationalist and anti-immigrant Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
    More than half a million Hungarian Jews were killed in the Holocaust, which destroyed a once-vibrant culture across the country.
    Today, there are about 75,000 to 100,000 Jews in Hungary, the largest number in central Europe, according to the World Jewish Congress, with most of them in Budapest.
    “I think of the threat of anti-Semitism still lurking in Europe and elsewhere,” the pope said in an ecumenical meeting in Budapest with leaders of other Christian religions and Jews.
    “This is a fuse that must not be allowed to burn.    And the best way to defuse it is to work together, positively, and to promote fraternity,” he said.
    A survey by the think tank Median commissioned by Mazsihisz, the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities, found that one in five Hungarians were strongly anti-Semitic, while another 16% were what the survey called moderately anti-Semitic.
    The survey, published in July and taken during 2019-2020, said there were fewer anti-Semitic acts such as vandalism and physical assault in Hungary compared with other European countries.
    In his speech, the pope evoked the image of Budapest’s famous Chain Bridge over the Danube River, linking the two halves of the Hungarian capital, Buda and Pest.
    “Whenever we were tempted to absorb the other, we were tearing down instead of building up.    Or when we tried to ghettoize others instead of including them,” the pope said.    “We must be vigilant and pray that it never happens again.”
    He said Christian leaders should commit to what he called an education in fraternity to stand up against outbursts of hatred.
    Orban, in power since 2010, had raised concerns in Hungary’s Jewish community when several years ago he used an image of U.S. financier George Soros, who is Jewish, in an anti-immigration billboard campaign.
    In May, Orban told reporters that anti-Semitism accusations against him were “ridiculous,” adding that Hungary was a “more than fair and correct country in that respect.”
    Orban has also said Jews should feel safe under his government and that Hungary would show “zero tolerance.” for anti-Semitism.
(Reporting by Gergely Szakacs. Editing by Philip Pullella and Jane Merriman)

9/12/2021 IAEA Chief In Iran For Talks Before Showdown With West
FILE PHOTO: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi attends a news conference during
a board of governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria, June 7, 2021. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
    DUBAI (Reuters) – U.N. nuclear watchdog chief Rafael Grossi is set for talks in Iran on Sunday that may ease a standoff between Tehran and the West just as it threatens to escalate and scupper negotiations on reviving the Iran nuclear deal.
    Grossi arrived in Tehran overnight, Iranian state media said, ahead of next week’s meeting of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency.    The IAEA and Iran’s envoy to the agency said he would meet the new head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Mohammad Eslami.
    Grossi is expected to hold a news conference at Vienna airport around 8:30 p.m. (1830 GMT) after returning later on Sunday, the IAEA said.
    The IAEA informed member states this week that there had been no progress on two central issues: explaining uranium traces found at several old, undeclared sites and getting urgent access to some monitoring equipment so the agency can continue to keep track of parts of Iran’s nuclear programme as provided for by the 2015 deal.
    Separate, indirect talks between the United States and Iran on both returning to compliance with the deal have been halted since June.    Washington and its European allies have been urging hardline President Ebrahim Raisi’s administration, which took office in August, to return to the talks.
    Under the 2015 deal between Iran and major powers, Tehran agreed to restrictions on its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.
    President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the deal in 2018, re-introducing painful economic sanctions.    Iran responded as of 2019 by breaching many of the deal’s core restrictions, like enriching uranium to a higher purity, closer to that suitable for use in nuclear weapons.
    Western powers must decide whether to push for a resolution criticising Iran and raising pressure on it for stonewalling the IAEA at next week’s meeting of the agency’s 35-nation Board of Governors.    A resolution could jeopardise the resumption of talks on the deal as Tehran bristles at such moves.
    Countries on the IAEA Board of Governors will be watching Grossi’s visit to see whether Iran yields either on granting access to the monitoring equipment to service it or offers the prospect of answers on the uranium particles found at the undeclared former sites.
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

9/13/2021 Iran Escapes Rebuke At IAEA Despite No ‘Promise’ On Open Questions by Francois Murphy
Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Kazem Gharibabadi waits for the beginning of a
board of governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria September 13, 2021. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
    VIENNA (Reuters) – Western powers on Monday scrapped plans for a resolution criticising Iran at the U.N. atomic watchdog after Tehran agreed to prolong monitoring of some nuclear activities, even though the watchdog said Iran made no “promise” on another key issue.
    The decision by the United States, France, Britain and Germany not to push for a resolution at this week’s meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 35-nation Board of Governors avoids an escalation with Iran that could have killed hopes of resuming wider talks on reviving the Iran nuclear deal.
    During a last-minute visit to Tehran this weekend by IAEA chief Rafael Grossi, Iran agreed to grant his agency overdue access to its equipment in Iran that monitors some sensitive areas of its nuclear programme.    Inspectors will swap out memory cards more than two weeks after they were due to be replaced.
    Grossi said on Sunday that the agreement solved “the most urgent issue” between the IAEA and Iran.    He made clear on Monday, however, that on another source of concern – Iran’s failure to explain uranium traces found at several old but undeclared sites – he had obtained no firm commitments.
    “I did not receive any promise,” Grossi told a news conference when asked about the uranium traces, the first of which were found more than two years ago at a site in Tehran that Iran has described as a carpet-cleaning facility.
    “What I said there … is that I need to have a clear conversation with the new government about this.”
    A joint statement by the IAEA and Iran on Sunday said Grossi would meet Iran’s nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami in Vienna next week and then Grossi would “visit Tehran in the near future to hold high level consultations with the (Iranian) government.”
    Grossi declined to say more specifically whom he would meet in Tehran or when.
    The aim of the weekend agreement was to buy time for wider diplomatic efforts aimed at bringing the United States and Iran fully back into the 2015 nuclear deal, which imposed restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities in return for the lifting of international sanctions against Tehran.
PRESSURE
    Then-President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal in 2018, re-imposing punishing economic sanctions on Iran.    Tehran responded as of a year later by breaching many of the deal’s restrictions and later enriching uranium to purity levels much closer to weapons-grade.
    Indirect talks between Iran and the United States stopped in June, days after hardliner Ebrahim Raisi was elected president of Iran.    Western powers have called on Iran to return to negotiations, saying time is running out, while Raisi has said Iran is willing to, but without Western “pressure.”
    “Iran played its cards well,” one Vienna-based diplomat said of the weekend agreement.    “The promise to continue high-level discussions on the outstanding issues managed to deflate the pressure for a resolution, even if what Grossi brought back from Tehran was pitifully little.”
(Editing by Catherine Evans)

9/14/2021 IAEA Calls Iran’s Treatment Of Watchdog’s Inspectors ‘Unacceptable’ by Francois Murphy
FILE PHOTO: A cleaning staff works before a news conference attended by IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi
during an IAEA Board of Governors meeting in Vienna, Austria, September 13, 2021. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
    VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog on Tuesday described as “unacceptable” incidents in Iran involving its inspectors, in which diplomats say security staff subjected female inspectors to inappropriate searches that the United States is calling harassment.
    In a first case this year at the Natanz nuclear site, a female inspector was subjected to an unnecessarily intrusive search by security staff, diplomats who follow the International Atomic Energy Agency have said.
    Details of the episode in June remain unclear as does the number of repeat incidents since at Natanz, where an explosion and power cut that Iran has blamed on Israel damaged machines in its main, underground uranium-enrichment plant in April.
    “In recent months, there have been some incidents related to security checks of Agency inspectors at one Iranian facility,” the IAEA said in a statement issued in response to a Wall Street Journal report on the episodes.
    The IAEA, which treats details of inspections as confidential, did not specify the inspectors’ gender or say what happened.
    “The Agency immediately and firmly raised this issue with Iran to explain in very clear and unequivocal terms that such security-related incidents involving Agency staff are unacceptable and must not happen again,” the IAEA said.
    “Iran has provided explanations related to reinforced security procedures following events at one of their facilities.    As a result of this exchange between the Agency and Iran there have been no further incidents.”
    Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA, Kazem Gharibabadi, said https://twitter.com/Gharibabadi/status/1437813023192780800?s=20 on Twitter: “Security measures at the nuclear facilities in Iran are, reasonably, tightened.    The IAEA inspectors have gradually come up with the new rules and regulations.”
    It is not the first time there have been tensions between the IAEA and Iran over access to Natanz and the treatment of female inspectors.
    In 2019, Iran for the first time briefly held https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-inspector-exclusive-idUSKBN1XG1XM and confiscated the travel papers of a female inspector.    Tehran later said it had been concerned she might be carrying “suspicious material.”
    After the apparent attack in April, Iran also restricted inspectors’ access to the main, underground enrichment plant there, citing security concerns – a standoff that lasted until July.
    “IAEA inspectors continue to experience inappropriate harassment from Iranian security officials at nuclear facilities,” the United States said in a position paper to other countries on the IAEA Board of Governors meeting this week.
    That paper, seen by Reuters, added: “Harassment of IAEA inspectors is absolutely unacceptable.”
(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Paul Simao)

9/14/2021 UN Pledges $1.2B For Humanitarian Aid For Afghanistan by OAN Newsroom
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres talks to media at a press conference, during the High-Level
Ministerial Event on the Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan, at the European headquarters of the
United Nation, in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)
    Global leaders are coming together to fill the reservoir of humanitarian funds for the people of Afghanistan.    On Monday, the United Nations held a donor conference in Geneva, Switzerland, where donors reportedly pledged more than $1.2 billion.
    UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres initially fought for just over $600 million to provide food services, shelter and health care to 11 million Afghans.
    “The people of Afghanistan need a lifeline,” he stated.    “After decades of war, suffering and insecurity, they face perhaps their most perilous hour.    Now is the time for the international community to stand with them and let us be clear, this conference is not simply about what we will give to the people of Afghanistan.    It is about what we owe.”
    Gutteres warned the situation in Afghanistan was dire amid the country’s political and economic collapse after the U.S. pulled out troops.
    During the final phase of Joe Biden’s withdrawal, Taliban forces swiftly took over while re-imposing their suppressive policies towards women and pro-western allies.    Many UN delegates feared millions of Afghans would go hungry and lose reproductive health services.
    “Today, one in three Afghans do not know where their next meal will come from,” Gutteres continued.    “The poverty rate is spiraling and basic public services are close to collapse. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes and at the same time, Afghanistan faces a severe drought…many people could run out of food by the end of this month.”
    In the meantime, Gutteres said the Taliban has committed to allowing aid workers to operate freely to provide humanitarian assistance.    However, some officials within the UN, including U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, stressed words are not enough.
    “This is a moment for the international community to unite,” she asserted.    “Let us commit today to meeting this urgent appeal for financial support, commit to standing by humanitarian workers as they do their own important work and to stepping up humanitarian action in Afghanistan so that we can save the lives of Afghans in need.”     Thomas-Greenfield said the U.S. is contributing $64 million to the new humanitarian efforts.


9/16/2021 ‘A Fantasy’ To Think U.N. Can Fix Afghanistan, Guterres Says by Michelle Nichols and Mary Milliken
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres poses for a photo during an interview with Reuters at the
United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., September 15, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday said any suggestion the world body can solve Afghanistan’s problems is “a fantasy” and that its capacity to mediate for a more inclusive Taliban government is limited.
    Asked in an interview with Reuters a month after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan from a Western-backed government whether he felt pressure to repair the country’s plight, Guterres said: “I think there is an expectation that is unfounded” of U.N. influence as the main international organization still on the ground there.
    The world has watched a number of countries send thousands of soldiers to Afghanistan and spend vast sums of money for 20 years since a U.S.-led invasion ousted the Taliban for harboring al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
    The United States spent $1 trillion, only to see the Afghan government and military it supported collapse ahead of a full withdrawal of U.S. and other foreign forces in August.
    “To think – given that they have failed with all these resources to fix the problems of Afghanistan – that we can now, without those forces and money, solve the problems they couldn’t solve for decades is a fantasy,” Guterres said ahead of next week’s annual U.N. gathering of world leaders in New York.
    The United Nations will be doing everything it can for a country that Guterres said is on “the verge of a dramatic humanitarian disaster” and has decided to engage the Taliban in order to help Afghanistan’s roughly 36 million people.
    Even before the Taliban’s seizure of the capital Kabul, half the country’s population depended on aid.    That looks set to increase due to drought and shortages and the World Food Programme has warned 14 million people were on the brink of starvation.
    Guterres said he supports efforts to convince the Taliban to form a more inclusive government than when it ruled 20 years ago.    The United Nations has little capacity to mediate, he said, and should focus on its “position of an international organization that is there to support the Afghan people.”
    “You cannot expect miracles,” he said, stressing that the United Nations could engage with the Taliban, but that the Islamist movement would never accept a U.N. role in helping form a new Afghan government.
    Humanitarian aid, Guterres said, should be used as an instrument to help convince the Taliban to respect fundamental rights, including those of women and girls.
    Governments pledged more than $1.1 billion in aid this week for Afghanistan and refugee programs in neighboring countries.    Guterres also appealed for countries to make sure the Afghan economy is “not completely strangled.”
    World reaction to the government of Taliban veterans and hardliners announced last week has been cool, and there has been no sign of international recognition or moves to unblock more than $9 billion in foreign reserves held outside Afghanistan.
    “There must be ways to inject some cash in the Afghan economy, for the economy not to collapse and for the people not to be in a dramatic situation, forcing probably millions to flee,” said Guterres, who will begin his second five-year term as U.N. chief on Jan. 1, 2022.
    He said the United Nations will work with its partners to ensure that aid is distributed based on humanitarian principles and “that everybody should be treated equally without any kind of distinction based on gender, on ethnicity or any other consideration.”
    Guterres emphasized that it is too early to know if the Taliban will respect rights and govern responsibly.
    He called the situation in Afghanistan “unpredictable,” adding: “Nobody knows what will happen, but it’s important to engage.”
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols and Mary Milliken; Additional reporting by Daniel Fastenberg; editing by Grant McCool)

9/18/2021 Poland’s Kaczynski Says Primacy Of EU Law Undermines Sovereignty
FILE PHOTO: Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, attends a vote during parliamentary
elections at a polling station in Warsaw, Poland, October 13, 2019. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo
    WARSAW (Reuters) – The European Union’s insistence on the primacy of EU law over national legislation undermines Poland’s sovereignty, ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said in a letter quoted by state news agency PAP.
    The European Commission, the guardian of EU treaties, asked Warsaw in June to withdraw a motion filed with Poland’s constitutional court seeking a ruling on whether the country’s constitution or EU treaties were more important.
    “This is an unbelievable demand that undermines the foundations of our sovereignty, our constitutional order, the right of the Republic of Poland to success,” Kaczynski said in a letter read out at a conference for readers of the right-wing newspaper Gazeta Polska, PAP reported.
    Kaczynski, the leader of the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party and a deputy prime minister, said the Commission’s request was part of the opposition’s fight to overthrow the democratically elected government” and a “tool to impose a new, revolutionary order in Europe
    The primacy of EU laws over national ones is a key tenet of European integration.
    Opposition politicians say Poland’s challenge to the primacy of EU law not only jeopardises the country’s future in the EU, but the stability of the bloc itself.
    Poland’s constitutional court proceedings on the matter, originally set for July, were adjourned until September 22.
    EU Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said earlier in September that Poland’s legal challenge was the reason 57 billion euros in EU recovery funds to Warsaw had been held up.
    Most of the bloc’s 27 countries have already won European Commission approval for their national spending plans, unlocking access to tens of billions of euros from the bloc in COVID-19 recovery funds.
(Reporting by Alicja Ptak; Editing by Christina Fincher)
[POLAND KEEP FIGHTING FOR YOUR RIGHTS TO MAKE DECISIONS FOR WHAT IS RELEVEANT OF YOUR SOVEREIGNTY EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO GET OUT OF THE EU LIKE BRITAIN DID AND I AM ALSO BEING ATTACKED FOR THIS WEBSITE AND WISH THAT THE AMERICANS IN MY COUNTRY WOULD WAKE UP AND DO THE SAME BEFORE THIS GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT ENVELOPS THE KING OF THE WEST DUE TO THE OBAMA-BIDEN ADMINISTRTION AND THE KING OF THE NORTH MAY ALSO IN TIME.].

[IF THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE DOES NOT WANT TO MAKE YOU VOMMIT ALL OVER THIS PAGE THEN YOU ARE NOT A HUMAN BEING AS YOU CAN SEE THAT THE LEADER OF OUR CONGRESS HAS NOW SHOWN HER TRUE COLORS AS SHE IS JUST ANOTHER DEMOCRAT WHO HAS SHOWN THEIR DISDAIN TO BE AN AMERICAN AS THEY ARE DOING EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO DISS CAPITALISM AND THIS SURELY SHOWS THAT MY PUSH TO EPOSE THE GLOBLIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT WHOM THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION BROUGHT INTO OUR GOVERNMENT IN 2009 AND BEGAN A HIDDEN CHANGE OF OUR POLICIES AND CONTROL OF OUR INSTITUTION FOR HIS 8 YEARS AND THE SAME INFILTRATION ATTACKED DONALD TRUMP FOR HIS 4 YEAR TERM FOR TRYING TO GET RID OF IT AND NOW WE HAVE A PUPPET OF A PRESIDENT CONTINUING THE SAME ENTITY FOR HIS TERM AND AS YOU CAN SEE IN THE ARTICLE BELOW AND IF THAT DOES NOT TELL YOU THE TRUTH AND YOU WILL STAND BY AND LET THEM DO THAT TO THIS COUNTRY THEN YOU DESERVE THE ONCOMING FATE OF WHAT I AM SAYING THIS IS THE ANTI-CHRISTIAN FATE THAT REVELATION CLAIMS WILL OCCUR - WAKE UP AMERICA AND FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS TO RETURN TO A NATION THAT THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB WOULD PROTECT AS WE ARE ALREADY DEEP INTO THE PROPHECY OF THE BIBLE BOOK OF REVELATION EVEN NOW AND IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE ME THEN READ MY ENTIRE CHAPTER EIGHT AT WWW.MAZZAROTH.COM.].
9/18/2021 Pelosi: Capitalism Hasn’t Served U.S. As Well As It Should by OAN Newsroom
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 16: U.S. Ambassador to the U.K. Philip Reeker (L) speaks with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (C) and her husband Paul Pelosi
following a meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Downing Street on September 16, 2021 in London, England. (Getty Images)
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said capitalism isn’t serving the U.S. as it should. On Friday at the Chatham House in London, the Democrat explained how the U.S. economy hasn’t benefited from capitalism. She insisted the U.S. can’t have a system that benefits some by depending on the exploitation of workers and the environment.     “In America, capitalism is our system, it is our economic system, but it has not served our economy as well as it should,” said Pelosi.    “And so, what we want to do is not walk away from it, but improve it and make sure it serves us.”
    Pelosi further explained the U.S. must improve the system with a strong middle-class rather than departing from it.
    This comes on the heels of Joe Biden’s push for a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill.    Meanwhile, Biden has continued to push the bill, planning to fund the legislation through tax increases on corporations and the wealthy.
[So this is scary: What makes a strong middle class?    The middle class includes: professionals, managers, and senior civil servants.    The chief defining characteristic of membership in the middle-class is control of significant human capital while still being under the dominion of the elite upper class, who control much of the financial and legal capital in the world.]

9/18/2021 Analysis: French Break-Up A Blow To Biden’s China-Focused Alliance Rebuilding by Humeyra Pamuk and David Brunnstrom
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on a National Security Initiative virtually
with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, inside the
East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 15, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – European capitals celebrated a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in June, as President Joe Biden’s top diplomat cracked jokes in French in Paris, posed for selfies with French youth and spoke at length about revitalizing the transatlantic relationship.
    It was a breath of fresh air after four years of former President Donald Trump’s brash “America First” administration, during which U.S. ties with Europe lurched from one crisis to another amid policy decisions that often blindsided European countries.
    But less than three months after Blinken’s repair tour, Washington finds itself in an unprecedented diplomatic crisis with France over a trilateral deal with Britain to supply Australia with nuclear-powered submarines that sank a $40 billion contract for French-designed vessels.
    France reacted with fury, saying the new deal had been hatched behind its back and resorting to language almost unheard of in public pronouncements between allies, calling it “brutal” and a “stab in the back
    On Friday it went further, taking the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to Washington and Australia and accusing the Biden administration of acting like Trump in pushing Paris aside.
    Analysts say the crisis is more than commercial, and one of trust, and even if U.S. officials hope it will blow over quickly, it has the potential to do lasting damage to the alliance with France and Europe and throws into doubt the united front     Washington has been seeking to forge against China’s growing power.
    French diplomats said they first learned of the deal when news leaked in Australian media hours before the official announcement on     Wednesday, although Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison insisted he had made clear to French President Emmanuel Macron in June that he might scrap the agreement with France.
    Either way, from the French perspective, the U.S. move flies in the face of what Biden’s administration has pledged since the end of the Trump era: a return to multilateralism and close cooperation with partners and allies, with Europe an important element of that.
    “This makes Europeans realize that maybe some of Trump’s policies, beyond the scandals and the tweets, were not an aberration but signaled a deeper shift away from Europe,” said Benjamin Haddad, director of the Atlantic Council’s Europe Center.
    “At a time when the Biden administration wants to rally Europeans in a common transatlantic front to push back against Chinese assertiveness, why not bring in the key EU actor in the region?
    Some see further clumsy policy-making by Biden’s administration hard on the heels of his chaotic end to America’s two decade-long intervention in Afghanistan, about which European nations complained they had not been properly consulted.
    “Just like Afghanistan, this new ‘America First’ opus is poorly conceived and even more poorly executed,” a French diplomat said.
ATTEMPTS TO SOOTH FRENCH ANGER
    Blinken has attempted to sooth French anger, calling France a vital and long-standing ally in the Indo-Pacific and beyond, and the White House and State Department quickly issued placatory statements after Paris recalled its ambassadors.
    The State Department said Washington hopes to continue discussions on the issue at a senior level in coming days, including during next week’s United Nations General Assembly.
    David Bell, a history professor at Princeton University, said precedent indicated the crisis would blow over, eventually.
    The French were clearly “very annoyed” and showed that in a “fairly dramatic” way, he said, while recalling previous moments of high tension, including France’s withdrawal from NATO command in the 1960s and refusal in 2003 to join the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
    But diplomatic relations have not been suspended, and at some point the ambassadors will be sent back, Bell forecast, noting that Macron’s gesture comes ahead of a potentially tight re-election race next year.
    “Macron is trying to reawaken that Gaullist tradition of French independence” in foreign policy, he said.
WEAKENING INDO-PACIFIC FRONT
    While the NATO allies might well find ways to recover from what some see as the worst diplomatic crisis in their history, experts warn of serious harm to Biden’s broader China strategy.
    The trilateral submarine deal should strengthen the hand of the United States and its allies in the face of growing Chinese power, but the damage caused by the alienation of France could outweigh this.
    “China must be laughing all the way to the bank,” said Francois Heisbourg, senior advisor for Europe at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.    “They have the prospect of removing Europe’s potential presence alongside the U.S. in the Indo-Pacific area.”
    Though stronger U.S.-Australia ties would concern the Chinese government, France, the EU’s leading military power, has taken a strong stance in urging a tough line on China when other EU countries such as Germany have seemed more concerned about not upsetting commercial ties with Beijing.
    “There is a downside for China, but the upside I think is greater – the notion that Europe is essentially going to stay in the wings and not play an active role in the Indo-Pacific as a whole,” Heisbourg said.
    He said France might narrow its focus to concentrate on its specific Indo-Pacific interests, rather than working to push back against China more broadly.
    A day after the submarine deal was announced, the European Union unveiled its formal strategy to boost its presence in the Indo-Pacific and counter China.    But with France deflated, there is increased risk this effort will either be stillborn or the transatlantic strategy towards China will become further disjointed, Heisbourg said.
    “We must survive on our own, as others do,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said, speaking of the “strategic autonomy” that France and Macron have championed.
    Even so, other analysts believe the compelling need to counter Beijing will help Western countries bridge their differences.
    “The increasing level of global anxiety about China is the tide that lifts all boats here,” said Greg Poling of Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies.
    “I’m pretty confident that there’s going to be a rough few month ahead, but Paris is going to get over it because its strategic interests dictate that it has to get over it.”
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and David Brunnstrom; Additional reportng by Steve Holland, Heather Timmons and Mike Stone; Editing by Mary Milliken and Daniel Wallis)

9/20/2021 Biden Speech At U.N. To Stress U.S. Focus On ‘Intensive Diplomacy,’ Official Says by Trevor Hunnicutt, Steve Holland and Jeff Mason
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the economy during a speech in the
East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 16, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden will use his speech at the United Nations on Tuesday to stress that ending the military engagement in Afghanistan will open a new chapter of “intensive diplomacy,” a senior administration official said.
    Biden was to leave the White House on Monday afternoon to travel to New York to kick off a week that will be dominated by foreign policy, amid questions about his handling of the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan and a submarine deal with Australia that has angered France.
    Biden is to meet U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres late on Monday afternoon, give his first speech as president to the U.N. General Assembly at mid-morning on Tuesday, meet Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison afterward in New York, then return to Washington to meet British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
    The senior official told reporters that Biden wants to speak on the phone with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss Macron’s anger at a deal reached between the United States, Australia and Britain last week in which Washington will supply advanced technology to Australia for nuclear-powered submarines.
    The deal is aimed at helping Australia counter the rising influence of China in the Indo-Pacific region, but it undermined a French deal to supply Australia with a dozen diesel-powered submarines.    France has complained it felt stabbed in the back by the agreement.
    Biden understands the French position but does not agree with it, the official said.    U.S. officials say Australia had sought the U.S. technology.
    The speech gives Biden his biggest opportunity to date to talk about the direction of U.S. foreign policy following criticism at home and abroad that the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in August was chaotic and poorly planned, leaving behind some U.S. citizens and Afghan allies who could face reprisals from the Taliban now in power.
    The official said the pullout allows the United States to focus on other priorities.
    “The president will essentially drive home the message that ending the war in Afghanistan closed a chapter focused on war and opens a chapter focused on … purposeful, effective, intensive American diplomacy,” the official said.
    Biden’s meetings and remarks would be aimed at sending the message that this is an era of “vigorous competition with great powers, but not a new Cold War,” the official said.
    Biden will also up the U.S. commitments on climate change and COVID-19 vaccine donations, the official said, without providing specifics.
    “President Biden will communicate tomorrow that he does not believe in the notion of a new Cold War with the world divided into blocs.    He believes in vigorous, intensive, principled competition that does not tip over into conflict,” the official said.    Biden stressed the same message in a Sept. 9 call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the official said.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt, Steve Holland and Jeff Mason; editing by Grant McCool)
[UH OH, BIDDEN JUST SAID HE DOES NOT WANT A NEW COLD WAR AND CONFLICT WITH CHINA SO THE WAYS THINGS HAVE BEEN GOING LATELY WHAT EVER JOE SAYS TURNS OUT TO BE JUST THE OPPOSITE.]

9/21/2021 WHO’s Tedros Wins German Backing For Second Term
FILE PHOTO: World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference organized
by Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus,
at the WHO headquarters in Geneva Switzerland July 3, 2020. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    BERLIN (Reuters) – German Health Minister Jens Spahn backed a second term for World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and called on other countries to support the former Ethiopian health minister ahead of a deadline this week.
    “We invite partner countries to join us nominating DG (Director General) Tedros,” Spahn told Reuters.    The support is significant as Germany is a major financial backer of the WHO.
    Last week, sources https://www.reuters.com/world/whos-tedros-seen-running-unopposed-top-job-despite-ethiopia-snub-sources-2021-09-17 told Reuters that Tedros looks set to run unopposed for a second term at the helm of the WHO as it tries to guide the world through its biggest health crisis in a century, even though he lacks the support of Ethiopia due to friction over the Tigray conflict.
    He has steered the agency through several Ebola outbreaks as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, surviving savage criticism from the Trump administration for allegedly being “China-centric.”
    Those criticisms were echoed in a Wall Street Journal editorial on Tuesday arguing against a second term.
    “The White House is committing diplomatic malpractice by not working with allies and partners to back a credible alternative,” the newspaper wrote.
    The WHO had no immediate comment on the issue.
    While Tedros has not publicly acknowledged his plans to run again for a second five-year term, saying he was focusing on fighting the pandemic, four sources said he is the only known candidate.
(Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Emma Thomasson and Keith Weir; Editing by Kirsti Knolle and Alison Williams)
[THAT MEANS CHINA STILL HAS TOO MUCH INFLUENCE OVER THE WHO AND HAS TEDROS IS BOUGHT AND PAID FOR HIS INFLUENCE FOR THEM AND MOST LIKELY WILL NOT LET TAIWAN JOIN THE WHO, AND WE WILL HAVE TO WAIT TO SEE IF TRUMP GETS RE-ELECTED AND WILL START A U.S. VERSION OF A WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION AND GET THE BEST DIRECTOR AND DOCTORS IN THE WORLD TO FUNCTION IT WHO ARE NOT CONTROLLED BY ANY ONE WORLD GLOBAL SOCIALIST ENTITY.].

9/21/2021 U.N. Chief Grades World On Vaccine Rollout: ‘F In Ethics’ by Michelle Nichols
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the 76th Session of the U.N.
General Assembly in New York City, U.S., September 21, 2021. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/Pool
(Correct typo in first paragraph)
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reprimanded the world on Tuesday for the inequitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, describing it as an “obscenity” and giving the globe an “F in Ethics.”
    Addressing the annual U.N. gathering of world leaders in New York, Guterres said images from some parts of the world of expired and unused vaccines in the garbage told “the tale of our times” – with the majority of the wealthier world immunised while more than 90% of Africa has not even received one dose.
    “This is a moral indictment of the state of our world.    It is an obscenity.    We passed the science test. But we are getting an F in Ethics,” Guterres told the U.N. General Assembly.
    World leaders https://www.reuters.com/world/china/world-leaders-return-un-with-focus-pandemic-climate-2021-09-19 returned to New York this year after a virtual event last year during the pandemic.    As the coronavirus is still raging, about a third of the 193 U.N. states are again sending videos, but presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers for the remainder have traveled to the United States.
    Out of 5.7 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines administered around the world, only 2% have been in Africa.
    Guterres is pushing for a global plan to vaccinate 70% of the world by the first half of next year.
    The secretary-general, who begins a second five-year term at the helm of the world body on Jan. 1, also warned of rising tensions between the world’s superpowers – China and the United States.
    “I fear our world is creeping towards two different sets of economic, trade, financial and technology rules, two divergent approaches in the development of artificial intelligence – and ultimately two different military and geo-political strategies,” he said.
    “This is a recipe for trouble.    It would be far less predictable than the Cold War,” Guterres said.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

9/21/2021 At U.N., Biden Promises ‘Relentless Diplomacy,’ Defense Of Democracy by Trevor Hunnicutt and Steve Holland
U.S. President Joe Biden meets with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the 76th Session
of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, U.S., September 20, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden mapped out a new era of vigorous competition without a new Cold War despite China’s ascendance during his first United Nations address on Tuesday, promising military restraint and a robust fight against climate change.
    The United States will help resolve crises from Iran to the Korean Peninsula to Ethiopia, Biden told the annual U.N. General Assembly gathering.
    The world faces a “decisive decade,” Biden said, one in which leaders must work together to combat a raging coronavirus pandemic, global climate change and cyber threats.    He said the United States will double its financial commitment on climate aid and spend $10 billion to fight hunger.
    Biden did not ever say the words “China” or “Beijing” but sprinkled implicit references to America’s increasingly powerful authoritarian competitor throughout his speech, as the two nations butt heads in the Indo-Pacific and on trade and human rights issues.
    He said the United States will compete vigorously, both economically and to push democratic systems and rule of law.
    “We’ll stand up for our allies and our friends and oppose attempts by stronger countries to dominate weaker ones, whether through changes to territory by force, economic coercion, technical exploitation or disinformation.    But we’re not seeking – I’ll say it again – we are not seeking a new Cold War or a world divided into rigid blocs,” Biden said.
    Biden came to the United Nations facing criticism at home and abroad for a chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan that left some Americans and Afghan allies still in that country and struggling to get out.
‘A NEW ERA’
    His vow for allied unity is being tested by a three-way agreement among the United States, Australia and Britain that undermined a French submarine deal and left France feeling stabbed in the back.
    “We’ve ended 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan and as we close this era of relentless war, we’re opening a new era of relentless diplomacy,” Biden said.
    Biden vowed to defend vital U.S. national interests, but said that “the mission must be clear and achievable,” and the American military “must not be used as the answer to every problem we see around the world.”
    Biden, a Democrat, hoped to present a compelling case that the United States remains a reliable ally to its partners around the world after four years of “America First” policies pursued by his Republican predecessor Donald Trump.
    Overcoming global challenges “will hinge on our ability to recognize our common humanity,” Biden said.
    Biden added that he remains committed to peacefully resolving a dispute with Iran over its nuclear program.    He vowed to defend U.S. ally Israel but said a two-state solution with the Palestinians is still needed but a distant goal.
    He said the United States wants “sustained diplomacy” to resolve the crisis surrounding North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.    North Korea has rejected U.S. overtures to engage in talks.
    Discussing oppression of racial, ethnic and religious minorities, Biden singled out China’s Xinjiang region where rights groups estimate that one million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities have been interned in camps.
    In response to Biden’s reference to Xinjiang, China’s mission to the United Nations, told Reuters: “It’s completely groundless.    We totally reject.    The U.S. should pay more attention to its own human rights problems.”
    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who begins a second five-year term at the helm of the world body on Jan. 1, warned earlier of the dangers of the growing gap between China and the United States, the world’s largest economies.
    I fear our world is creeping towards two different sets of economic, trade, financial and technology rules, two divergent approaches in the development of artificial intelligence – and ultimately two different military and geopolitical strategies,” Guterres said.
    “This is a recipe for trouble.    It would be far less predictable than the Cold War,” Guterres said.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt and Michelle Nichols at the United Nations and Steve Holland in Washington; Editing by Heather Timmons, Will Dunham and Grant McCool)
[I WONDER IF ANY OF THE OTHER COUNTRIES ACTUALLY TAKE HIM SERIOUS SINCE HE HAS STRUCK OUT ON ANY ACTIONS/POLICIES HE HAS TRIED IN THE U.S.A. SINCE ELECTED HAS FAILED MISERABLY AND HE CONTINUES TO PURSUE MORE OF HIS MISERY ON THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA EVEN NOW AND THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ANY OF THEIR MISSIONS ARE CLEAR OR ACHIEVED AS EXPECTED EVEN NOW HE CUT ISRAEL'S PROTECTION FUNDING FROM MISSILE ATTACKS WHICH SHOWS HIS TRUE COLORS AS ANTI-ISRAEL IN HIS OBSESSION TO REVERSE ANY POLICY FROM DONALD TRUMP.].

9/21/2021 Biden Delivers Remarks At U.N. General Assembly by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden delivers remarks to the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly,
Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Joe Biden said the U.S. would not seek a new Cold War with China.    In his address to the United Nations today, Biden said the U.S. was ready to work with any nation that steps up and pursues a peaceful resolution to shared challenges.
    Biden also emphasized the need for global cooperation to defeat the coronavirus pandemic as well as prepare for future threats to public health.    He said this was a decisive decade for our world and an “inflection point in history.”
    Biden asserted the U.S. would continue being a leader on the world stage.
    “The United State will compete and will compete vigorously, and lead with our values and strength,” he asserted.    “We’ll stand up for our allies and our friends, and oppose attempts by stronger countries to dominate weaker ones, whether through changes to territory by force, economic coercion, technological exploitation or disinformation.”
    Biden went on to say the U.S. would continue to renew and defend democracy no matter how challenging it is.

9/22/2021 At U.N., Biden Promises ‘Relentless Diplomacy,’ Not Cold War by Trevor Hunnicutt and Steve Holland
U.S. President Joe Biden meets with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the 76th Session
of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, U.S., September 20, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden mapped out a new era of vigorous competition without a new Cold War despite China’s ascendance during his first United Nations address on Tuesday, promising military restraint and a robust fight against climate change.
    The United States will help resolve crises from Iran to the Korean Peninsula to Ethiopia, Biden told the annual U.N. General Assembly gathering.
    The world faces a “decisive decade,” Biden said, one in which leaders must work together to combat a raging coronavirus pandemic, global climate change and cyber threats.    He said the United States will double its financial commitment on climate aid and spend $10 billion to reduce hunger globally.
    Biden did not utter the words “China” or “Beijing” but sprinkled implicit references to America’s increasingly powerful authoritarian competitor throughout his speech, as the two nations butt heads in the Indo-Pacific and on trade and human rights issues.
    He said the United States will compete vigorously, both economically and to push democratic systems and rule of law.
    “We’ll stand up for our allies and our friends and oppose attempts by stronger countries to dominate weaker ones, whether through changes to territory by force, economic coercion, technical exploitation or disinformation.    But we’re not seeking – I’ll say it again – we are not seeking a new Cold War or a world divided into rigid blocs,” Biden said.
    Chinese President Xi Jinping, who told the U.N. Tuesday that China would not build new coal-fired power projects abroad, used his video address to obliquely criticize the U.S. as well.
    “Recent developments in the global situation show once again that military intervention from the outside and so-called democratic transformation entail nothing but harm,” Xi said.
    Biden came to the United Nations facing criticism at home and abroad for a chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan that left some Americans and Afghan allies still in that country and struggling to get out.
U.S. MILITARY ‘NOT THE ANSWER’
    Biden’s emphasis on allied unity is being tested by a three-way agreement among the United States, Australia and Britain that undermined a French submarine deal and left France feeling stabbed in the back.
    Biden met Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in New York and was to meet British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the White House later in the day.    His staff has been trying to arrange a phone call between Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron to try to cool tempers over the submarine deal.
    “We’ve ended 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan and as we close this era of relentless war, we’re opening a new era of relentless diplomacy,” Biden said.
    The United States would defend its national interests, Biden said, but “the mission must be clear and achievable,” and the American military “must not be used as the answer to every problem we see around the world.”
    Biden, a Democrat, hoped to present a compelling case that the United States remains a reliable ally to its partners around the world after four years of “America First” policies pursued by his Republican predecessor Donald Trump.
    Republicans pounced on Biden with sharp criticism.
    “President Biden’s speech today does not match his actions. His failed leadership led to the chaotic and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan that abandoned our partners, angered our NATO allies and emboldened our adversaries,” said U.S.     Representative Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican.
    Biden said that he remains committed to peacefully resolving a dispute with Iran over its nuclear program.    He vowed to defend U.S. ally Israel but said a two-state solution with the Palestinians is still needed but a distant goal.
    He said the United States wants “sustained diplomacy” to resolve the crisis surrounding North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.    North Korea has rejected U.S. overtures to engage in talks.
    Discussing oppression of racial, ethnic and religious minorities, Biden singled out China’s Xinjiang region where rights groups estimate that one million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities have been interned in camps.
    In response to Biden’s reference to Xinjiang, China’s mission to the United Nations, told Reuters: “It’s completely groundless.    We totally reject.    The U.S. should pay more attention to its own human rights problems.”
    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who begins a second five-year term at the helm of the world body on Jan. 1, warned earlier of the dangers of the growing gap between China and the United States, the world’s largest economies.
    “I fear our world is creeping towards two different sets of economic, trade, financial and technology rules, two divergent approaches in the development of artificial intelligence – and ultimately two different military and geopolitical strategies,” Guterres said.
    “This is a recipe for trouble.    It would be far less predictable than the Cold War,” Guterres said.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt and Michelle Nichols at the United Nations and Steve Holland in Washington; Editing by Heather Timmons, Will Dunham and Grant McCool)

[WELL AS YOU CAN SEE BELOW ABBAS IS GETTING DESPERATE TRYING TO KEEP THE OUTDATED TWO-STATE ISSUE AND TRYING TO DISS THE ONE STATE WHICH THE ABRAHAM ACCORD PUSHED BY TRUMP IS IN FAVOR BY MANY OF THE ARAB NATIONS TO BRING BACK ECONOMINCAL PROGRESS AND PEACE TO THE MIDDLE EAST BUT NOW THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION IS TRYING TO INTERFERE WITH THIS SINCE THEY ARE HELL-BENT TO STOP ANYTHING THAT TRUMP INFLUENCED AND AS YOU KNOW JOE BIDEN’S POLICIES LATELY HAVE BEEN A DOWNER OF EVERYTHING HE DOES AND THEY SPEND MOST OF THEIR TIME TRYING TO HIDE THEIR FAILURES AND IT COULD BE AN ISSUE TO INVOLVE HIM OR HIS MINIONS UNLESS HE ACTUALLY ACHIEVES THAT IT COULD LEAD INTO THE CONCEPT OF THE "HE" MENTIONED IN DANIEL 9:27.].
    Daniel 9:27 KJV "And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."
9/24/2021 Abbas Tells U.N. Israeli Actions Could Lead To ‘One State’ by Ali Sawafta and Rami Ayyub
Mahmoud Abbas, President, State of Palestine delivers a speech remotely at the UN General Assembly 76th session General Debate in UN General Assembly Hall
at the United Nations Headquarters on Friday, September 24, 2021 in New York City. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI Pool via REUTERS
    RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel on Friday of destroying the two-state solution with actions he said could lead Palestinians to demand equal rights within one binational state comprising Israel, the occupied West Bank and Gaza.
    Addressing the U.N. General Assembly via video link from the West Bank, Abbas, 85, urged the international community to act to save the two-state formula that for decades has been the bedrock of diplomacy for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
    Abbas said Israel was “destroying the prospect of a political settlement based on the two-state solution” through its settlements on West Bank land it captured in the 1967 Middle East war.
    Most countries view the settlements as illegal; a position Israel disputes.
    “If the Israeli occupation authorities continue to entrench the reality of one apartheid state as is happening today, our Palestinian people and the entire world will not tolerate such a situation,” Abbas said.    Israel rejects accusations of apartheid.     “Circumstances on the ground will inevitably impose equal and full political rights for all on the land of historical Palestine, within one state.    In all cases, Israel has to choose,” Abbas said from Ramallah, the seat of his Palestinian Authority, which has limited self-rule in the West Bank.
    There was no immediate Israeli comment on Abbas’ remarks.
    Critics say internal Palestinian divisions have also contributed to the deadlock in U.S.-sponsored peace talks, which collapsed in 2014.
    Under interim peace accords with Israel, Abbas’ PA was meant to exercise control in Gaza as well.    But his Islamist rivals Hamas seized the coastal enclave in 2007 and years of on-and-off talks have failed to break their impasse.
    Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, a far-rightist who sits atop a cross-partisan coalition, opposes Palestinian statehood.    His government has vowed to avoid sensitive choices towards the Palestinians and instead focus on economic issues.
    In his U.N. address, Abbas threatened to rescind the Palestinians’ recognition of Israel if it does not withdraw from the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem within a year.
    “If this is not achieved, why maintain recognition of Israel based on the 1967 borders? Why maintain this recognition?” Abbas said.
    While some Palestinians and Israelis support the idea of a single binational state, most have very different ideas of what that entity would look like and how it would be governed.
    Most analysts contend a single state would not be viable, for religious, political and demographic reasons.    Israeli governments have viewed a one-state concept as undermining the essence of an independent Jewish state.
    U.S. President Joe Biden reiterated his support for the two-state solution during his own U.N. address on Tuesday, saying it would ensure “Israel’s future as a Jewish, democratic state living in peace alongside a viable and democratic Palestinian state.”
(Reporting by Ali Sawafta and Rami Ayyub, Additional reporting by Zainah El-Haroun; Editing by Rami Ayyub and Nick Macfie)

9/26/2021 Fmr. Intel Official Bashes President Trump’s Possible 2024 Run, Claims Trump Spreads ‘Disinformation’ by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks at a rally on September 25, 2021 in Perry, Georgia. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
    The Deep State has appeared to still be firmly opposed to President Trump amid the speculation of his possible run for presidency in 2024.    In an ABC interview on Sunday, former senior DHS official Brian Murphy accused the 45th president of “spreading disinformation” and “posing an alleged threat to democracy.”
    Murphy failed to provide examples of said disinformation.    He went on to detail his recent efforts to stifle political debate in the U.S.
    “I have the opportunity to go work for a company called Logically.    That’s my next step in life.    I am very appreciative of it, where we are going to go combat disinformation at scale across the globe.    We’re not the thought police, but disinformation is a deliberative campaign to put out false information,” he stated.    “It’s on social media, it’s not rarely understood by a lot of people.    I think it’s conflated with a lot of political talk.”
    Murphy also appeared to emphasize the need to discourage Americans from questioning the ulterior motives of their government.
[WHAT WOULD YOU EXPECT A BRAIN-WASHED DEEP STATER TO SAY A THREAT FOR DEMOCRACY BUT TRUMP IS FIGHTING FOR THE REPUBLIC OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION WHICH IS BEING ATTACKED BY LEFTIST DEEP STATE GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT ENTITIES TO TAKE OVER EVERYTHING WITH THEIR ULTERIOR MOTIVES AND TAKE AWAY OUR SOVEREIGNTY AS THE U.S.A. AND ALSO THE DEMOCRACY THAT HE IS CLAIMING TO PROTECT.].

9/27/2021 U.S. Top Security Adviser, Yemen Envoy Head To Saudi, UAE
U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan gives a statement about the situation in Afghanistan during
a news briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., August 23, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis
    (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan will travel to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates along with the U.S. special envoy to Yemen, the White House National Security Council said on Monday.
    Brett McGurk, the NSC’s Middle East and North Africa Coordinator, will also join Sullivan and Tim Lenderking, the council spokeswoman Emily Horne said in a statement, adding that Sullivan will meet “with senior leaders on a range of regional and global challenges.”
    Sullivan will depart on Monday and hold discussions with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman about Yemen, according to the Associated Press, which first reported the trip.    He is also expected to meet deputy defence minister Khalid bin Salman, a brother to the crown prince, it said, cited unnamed sources.
    The United Nations has described the situation in war-torn Yemen as the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.    Seven years of fighting have also plunged the nation into an economic crisis, triggering food shortages.
    The United States and Saudi Arabia, which leads a military coalition fighting Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group in Yemen’s conflict, have pledged millions more dollars in additional aid, as have other countries. https://reut.rs/2WewHkn
    Biden has taken a tougher stance with Saudi Arabia than his predecessor Donald Trump, criticizing the kingdom over its human rights record while releasing a U.S. intelligence report earlier this year implicating the Saudi crown prince in the 2018 killing of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.    The prince denies any involvement.
    Earlier this month, the FBI released a newly declassified document about its investigation of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and allegations of Saudi government support for the hijackers, following an executive order by Biden.    The Kingdom has long said it had no role in the attacks.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey in Washington and Kanishka Singh in BengaluruEditing by Raissa Kasolowsky, William Maclean, William Maclean)
[Just of a reminder: Jake Sullivan, is another top advisor in Clinton’s campaign, who played a role in forming the Trump-Russia collusion narrative so they sent him to try to make the Saudi's admit a crime when he cannot cop to his either and what is scarier is that he may try to screw up the Abraham Accord so Joe can take credit for it.].

10/4/2021 OSCE Calls On Bosnia’s Rival Leaders To Reform Election Law
FILE PHOTO: An information board is pictured as people queue to cast their ballots during the local election
at a polling centre in a school in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina December 20, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
    SARAJEVO (Reuters) – Europe’s main security and rights watchdog urged Bosnia’s rival ethnic leaders on Monday to end political deadlock and carry out electoral reform designed to shore up the shaky post-war democracy.
    Bosnia is scheduled to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in October 2022 but needs to pass amendments to the election law by the end of 2021 since no changes can be made in an election year.
    The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which has supervised voting in Bosnia since its 1992-1995 war, has recommended a number of changes to improve the transparency of the electoral process, but ethnically based authorities have yet to make them.
    “Unfortunately, the political crisis currently seems to have brought this work to a standstill.    I really hope…that this will only be temporary and work will continue to have a real electoral reform in line with (OSCE) recommendations,” Ann Linde, the current OSCE chairwoman, told a news conference.
    Decision-making in Bosnia’s central government has been blocked by Bosnian Serbs objecting to a law that criminalises the denial of genocide and war crimes, which was decreed in July by then-international peace overseer Valentin Inzko.
    Despite the formation of an inter-agency working group to discuss electoral changes, the key talks are being held between Bosniak and Croat political leaders, who cannot agree on the way a Croat presidency member should be chosen.
    Under the 1995 Dayton peace agreement which set out the post-war constitution, only members of so-called constituent nations – Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks – can run for Bosnia’s three-person, inter-ethnic presidency.
    But Croat nationalists who share Bosnia’s autonomous Federation with Bosniaks, who outnumber them, now want to change the rules so that only Croats can vote for the Croat presidency member. But that requires a constitutional amendment.
    Linde, who is Sweden’s foreign minister, urged the leaders to find a way out of the impasse: “This is key to restoring peoples’ confidence in elections and the functionality of this country.”
(Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; editing by Mark Heinrich)
[What Is the OSCE an international Organisation? With 57 participating States in North America, Europe and Asia, the OSCE – the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe – is the world's largest regional security organization.The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is the world's largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization.    Its mandate includes issues such as arms control, promotion of human rights, freedom of the press, and fair elections.
WHAT WE DO - OSCE Areas of Focus - Arms control Border management Combating human trafficking Countering terrorism Conflict prevention and resolution Cyber/ICT Security Democratization Economic activities Education Elections Environmental activities Gender equality Good governance Human rights Media freedom and development Migration Minority rights Policing Reform and co-operation in the security sector Roma and Sinti Rule of law Tolerance and non-discrimination Youth
.].

10/4/2021 EU Leaders To Restate Membership Guarantee For Balkans At Summit, Officials Say by Robin Emmott
FILE PHOTO: A large European Union flag lies at the centre of Schuman Square outside
European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, May 8, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) -European Union leaders will be able to restate their guarantee of future membership to six Balkan countries on Wednesday at a summit in Slovenia, after EU ambassadors overcame divisions, two EU officials said.
    After weeks of disagreement over the wording of a summit declaration for Wednesday’s gathering of EU and Balkan leaders, envoys from the EU’s 27 states reached a deal to “reconfirm … their unequivocal support for a European perspective,” the official said.
    Reuters reported on Sept. 28 that the impasse over the declaration was seen as a reflection of the lack of enthusiasm in EU capitals for bringing Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania and North Macedonia into the bloc. [nL8N2QU1R3]
    A second EU official said that while there was now agreement on a summit declaration, the EU’s strategy of enlarging its community south-eastward faced obstacles, even if officially the door is open to those who meet the membership criteria.
    “I can’t say everything is fine,” the official said, noting reluctance among some member states to see further enlargement of the bloc.    “There are of course many issues but you also can’t say the door is closed.”
    EU states have declined to disclose their positions on the summit declaration negotiations, although Slovenia, which holds the EU presidency, sought to include a commitment that the bloc take in the six Balkan states by 2030, according to a draft seen by Reuters.
    The second EU official said that had not been successful.
    Wealthy northern countries fear a repeat of the rushed accession of Romania and Bulgaria in 2007 and the poorly managed migration of eastern European workers to Britain that turned many Britons against the EU.
    Bulgaria is against North Macedonia joining because of a language dispute, meaning even with the summit declaration’s approval, diplomats do not expect any progress soon.
(Additional reporting John Chalmers; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

10/5/2021 Macron To Meet Biden At G20, Hopes To Move On After AUKUS Dispute by Robin Emmott and Ivana Sekularac
FILE PHOTO: An attendant walks past EU and China flags ahead of the EU-China High-level Economic
Dialogue at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China June 25, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo
    BRDO, Slovenia (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday he hoped to close a rift with U.S. counterpart Joe Biden when the pair meet in Rome at the end of October, saying he wanted the long-time allies to work together once again “in good faith.”
    Reconciliation at the Group of 20 summit on Oct. 30-31 would follow a Biden-Macron phone call last month and potentially end a transatlantic row triggered last month by the United States’ negotiation in secret of a military pact, known as AUKUS, with Australia and Britain to counter China, excluding France.
    “We need to look with lucidity at the decisions taken by our allies.    There were choices that were made and I can’t say that France and Europe were taken into account, but we have a history that is bigger (than this),” Macron said as he arrived at a summit of EU leaders in Slovenia.
    “We will catch up during the G20. I think it is the right occasion to see how we can re-engage,” Macron said of his planned meeting with Biden.
    “It is about facts and what to do together,” he told reporters at the Brdo estate outside the Slovenian capital Ljubljana.
    Australia’s decision under AUKUS to cancel a lucrative submarine contract with France in September and opt for U.S.-designed, nuclear-propelled vessels incensed Paris.    Macron said the episode was a sign that the EU needed to do more on its own, particularly in crises on the 27-nation bloc’s borders.
    The EU has also set out its own strategy to increase its presence in the Indo-Pacific and counter China’s rising power.
    “We must look at the way Europe should address challenges in its neighbourhood, the crises that exist, its own security and to continue to work in good faith with historic partners and allies,” Macron said, in reference to the United States.
    How the EU should deal with China and with the United States was front and centre of the summit dinner.
    “We have all observed what happened in Afghanistan, what happened in the Indo-Pacific, what happened with China,” European Council President Charles Michel, who is chairing the summit, said, referring to U.S. strategy that undermined EU priorities.    He said the EU needed to show “collective intelligence” to shape Europe’s response.
CALL TO ARMS
    Many in Europe now see the abrupt U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, during which allies felt ignored when they pleaded for more time, as a warning that Washington under Biden is putting its own foreign policy interests first.
    But the EU also wants to be a useful ally to Washington.
    “The United States has recognised the importance of a stronger and more capable European defence,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday before leaving for Slovenia. “Crises in the European neighbourhood are a call for us to react.”
    Macron and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met for about 40 minutes in Paris earlier in the day and discussed a French push for more security cooperation among European nations, a U.S. official said.
    Blinken told Macron that Washington was “certainly supportive of European defence and security initiatives” that can increase capabilities but do not undermine the NATO alliance, the senior State Department official said.
    The EU leaders will be joined on Wednesday by the six Balkan countries hoping one day to join the bloc.
    As the world’s largest trading bloc, the EU wields power in setting rules that can shape policy far beyond its borders, but it has repeatedly failed to coordinate a common foreign and military policy, weakening its influence.
    It is particularly torn over China, the bloc’s second largest trading partner but which Brussels views as a competitor as Beijing seeks to erode the West’s technological edge.
    The EU, along with the United States, Britain and Canada, imposed sanctions on Chinese officials on March 22 over human rights abuses, which Beijing denies.    Beijing immediately hit the EU with sanctions on European Parliament lawmakers, freezing approval of a recently agreed EU-China investment deal.
(Additional reporting by Ivana Sekularac, Jan Strupczewski and John Chalmers in Brussels, Michel Rose and Richard Lough in Paris; Editing by Jan Harvey, Giles Elgood and Mark Heinrich)

10/7/2021 Polish Court Says Some EU Law Unconstitutional, Deepening Dispute by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk
FILE PHOTO: European Union and Polish flags flutter in Mazeikiai, Lithuania April 5, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins
    WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland’s highest court ruled on Thursday that parts of EU treaties are incompatible with the Polish constitution, challenging a key tenet of European integration in a sharp escalation of a dispute between Brussels and Warsaw.     The European Commission responded by saying the ruling raised serious concerns about the primacy of EU law, setting it on a collision course with Poland’s nationalist rulers after years of legal and political wrangling.
    “The Commission will not hesitate to make use of its powers under the Treaties to safeguard the uniform application and integrity of Union law,” the EU’s executive added in a statement.
    Poland’s Law and Justice (PiS) party government is embroiled in a series of highly charged rows with the EU on issues ranging from the independence of courts and media freedoms to LGBT rights.
    Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal took on the case after Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki asked it whether EU institutions could stop Poland from reorganising its judiciary.
    On Thursday, Judge Bartlomiej Sochanski said: “The EU Treaty is subordinate to the constitution in the Polish legal system … and, like any part of the Polish legal system, it must comply with the constitution.”
    Brussels accuses the PiS government of undermining judicial independence during sweeping reforms the party says aim to make the courts more efficient and rid them of the last vestiges of Communist-era influence.
    “In Poland the highest legal act is the constitution and all European regulations that are in force in Poland … must comply with the constitution,” PiS party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said after the verdict was announced.
    “This also applies to the judiciary and the European Union has nothing to say here,” he told reporters.
POLAND’S PLACE IN EU AT STAKE?
    Critics say that by challenging the supremacy of EU law, the PiS government not only jeopardises Poland’s long-term future in the 27-nation bloc but also the stability of the EU itself.
    PiS denies this and says it has no plans for a “Polexit.”    It also denies having any influence over court decisions.
    In its ruling, the Constitutional Tribunal said it has a right not only to check the constitutionality of EU law but also the rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).
    It said that if the CJEU did not stop questioning the tribunal’s decisions and the status of its judges, it did not “exclude exercising its rights and examining the compliance of CJEU rulings with the constitution, including (the possibility) of removing them from the Polish legal system.”
    The European Commission’s statement said the ruling “raises serious concerns in relation to the primacy of EU law and the authority of the Court of Justice of the European Union.”
    “We will analyse the ruling of Polish Constitutional Tribunal in detail and we will decide on the next steps,” it added.
    The Tribunal started hearing the case in July but had adjourned it four times before Thursday’s sitting.
    Some critics say the delays may have been aimed at putting pressure on Brussels to accept Warsaw’s National Recovery Plan, an aid programme aimed at helping EU economies shake off the impact of the coronavirus pandemic but whose funding is linked to compliance with EU rule of law and democracy standards.
(Reporting by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk, Alan Charlish, Pawel Florkiewicz, Justyna Pawlak and Anna Koper in Warsaw; Jan Strupczewski in Brussels; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Andrew Heavens)

10/11/2021 EU ‘Will Start Collapsing’ Unless It Takes On Polish Challenge – Official by Gabriela Baczynska
FILE PHOTO: European Commissioner for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova attends a weekly college Meeting
of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, September 29, 2021. Stephanie Lecocq/Pool via REUTERS
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union “will start collapsing” unless it challenges a ruling by Poland’s top court that national legislation trumps European laws, a senior official with the bloc said on Monday.
    Poland’s constitutional tribunal ruled against the central tenet of European integration last week, sharply escalating a row over fundamental values between eurosceptics ruling in Warsaw and most of the other 27 EU countries.
    More than 100,000 people protested in Poland on Sunday in support of the EU, sounding the alarm about what they fear is a prospect of their country following Britain and leaving the bloc in a “Polexit.”
    “If we don’t uphold the principle in the EU that equal rules are respected the same everywhere in Europe, the whole Europe will start collapsing,” said Vera Jourova, EU Commissioner from Poland’s neighbour, the Czech Republic.
    “That is why we will have to react to this new chapter which the Polish constitutional court started to draw,” said Jourova, in charge of values and transparency at the executive European Commission.
    One way or another, the tribunal ruling is likely to cost Warsaw.
    It follows prolonged and divisive disputes in which Poland stands accused by many Western countries, international rights watchdogs and advocates of curtailing the independence of media and courts, as well as infringing on the rights of women, migrants and LGBT people since the Law and Justice (PiS) party won power in 2015.
    The commission, the guardian of EU treaties, is already withholding its approval for Poland’s recovery plan necessary to let Warsaw to tap into billions of euros available on top of other handouts from the bloc and meant to help revive economic growth mauled by the coronavirus pandemic.
    Apart from blocking the disbursement of COVID recovery funds to Poland, the commission might press ahead with a new and yet-to-be-tested enforcement tool to suspend funding for states deemed violating key values enshrined in European laws.
    Other countries in the bloc could revive a stalled probe into the undercutting of democratic rights in Poland, which could go all the way to suspending Warsaw’s vote in the bloc. But that is unlikely.
    The Brussels-based commission could also launch a new legal case against Warsaw for violating EU laws.    It could culminate in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) slapping penalties on the Polish government.
POLEXIT
    Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Monday dismissed the idea of “Polexit.”
    “This is a harmful myth which the opposition substitutes for its lack of ideas on the proper position of Poland in Europe,” he said.
    EU Industry Commissioner from France Thierry Breton said he did not believe “for one second” there would be a Polexit
    EU membership support remains overwhelmingly high in Poland, the largest ex-communist country in the bloc and a top beneficiary of financial aid from the union meant to help poorer members catch up in development with the wealthier ones.
    Ratings agency Moody’s estimates Poland has received net EU funding worth 2% of its national GDP per year on average since joining the bloc in 2004 and that the figure earmarked for 2021-27 amounted to about 3.2%.
    “The dispute is credit negative. Poland is a substantial net beneficiary of EU funding, which has been a key driver of growth and convergence with EU income levels,” said Steffen Dyck, Vice President, Senior Credit Officer at Moody’s.
    Poland would thus hurt its economic potential and forfeit support for its debt situation, it added.    Poland could get 23 billion euros in free grants and 34 billion euros in cheap loans under the recovery funding available for EU countries.
    The EU Commission also said on Monday it would send a payment request to Poland for penalties due over a lignite mine in Turow, next to the Czech border, which Prague says damages the environment on its side of the frontier.
    In a rare development in the EU, Warsaw ignored a May ruling by the ECJ ordering it to stop activities at the mine, leading the Luxembourg-based tribunal on Sept. 20 to slap daily fines of 500,000 euros on Poland until it complies and ceases mining.
(Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten in Paris, Robert Muller in Prague, Jan Strupczewski and Gabriela Baczynska in Brussels, Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk in Warsaw; Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Nick Macfie)

10/11/2021 Vaccine Mandate Protests Go Global by OAN Newsroom
People gather in Piazza del Popolo square during a protest, in Rome, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. Thousands of demonstrators
protested Saturday in Rome against the COVID-19 health pass that Italian workers, both the public and private sectors,
must display to access their workplaces from Oct. 15 under a government decree. (Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse via AP)
    Police crashed with protesters in Rome after an anti-forced vaccination protest descended into violence.    Italy has planned to introduce its “Green Pass” in a week, which prompted thousands of Italians to take to the streets to protest the government on Saturday.
    The Green Pass would be among the strictest vaccine requirements in the world.    Italians who do not have proof of vaccination, previous infection or a negative test will not be allowed to enter work to make a living.
    The crowd of protesters became frenzied when police tried to stop them from marching down the street.    Water cannons were fired at citizens and numerous others were arrested.
    Italy was not alone in citizens being irate at their government for forcing vaccinations.    Neighboring Slovenia saw thousands of people descend on the capital from all across the country to protest restrictions and mandates.
    While not as strict as Italy, all Slovenians have been forced to either prove a vaccine or negative test at personal expense to attend work at state run firms.    The protest coincided with a European Union summit taking place in the Capital, which prompted police to stop 30 buses from entering the city with protesters from other parts of the country.
    Helicopters were closely monitoring the event, but police still launched tear gas and water canons at citizens as they tried to march through the city.    Protesters demanded an end to “corona fascism” in their country, which has the lowest vaccination rate across Europe at 48 percent.
Demonstrators are sprayed by a police water cannon during a protest against
vaccination and coronavirus measures in Ljubljana, Slovenia. (AP Photo)
    Europe is not exclusive with protests against mandates. In New York City, the most populated in the United States, protests against the city’s pass have been incessant for weeks.
    The protests have drawn thousands of people in attendance and the most recent was no different. New Yorkers have been calling on the government for the freedom to choose whether to receive the vaccine or not.
    In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) has pushed through the most extensive mandate for vaccines in the U.S. He has required people show proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, bars and theaters.    There are no exemptions for those with natural immunity or those with religious objections to taking the jab.
    On top of the city mandate, a statewide mandate by Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.) has forced all health care and nursing home workers to take the shot or be fired.    This has exacerbated an already existing shortage of workers in the field, which has prompted Hochul to call the National Guard to fill their roles.
    The protests taking place all across the world have the general goal for each to be freedom for citizens to make medical decisions for themselves without being cast out from making a living.

10/12/2021 Humanitarian Crisis In Focus As Italy Hosts G20 Afghan Summit by Crispian Balmer
FILE PHOTO: Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi arrives for the virtual G20 summit on the
global health crisis, at Villa Pamphilj in Rome, Italy, May 21, 2021. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
    ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi will host a special summit of the Group of 20 major economies on Tuesday to discuss Afghanistan, as worries grow about a looming humanitarian disaster following the Taliban’s return to power.
    Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan on Aug. 15, the country – already struggling with drought and severe poverty after decades of war – has seen its economy all but collapse, raising the spectre of an exodus of refugees.
    The video conference, which is due to start at 1 p.m. (1100 GMT), will focus on aid needs, concerns over security and ways of guaranteeing safe passage abroad for thousands of Western-allied Afghans still in the country.
    “Providing humanitarian support is urgent for the most vulnerable groups, especially women and children, with winter arriving,” said an official with knowledge of the G20 agenda.
    The U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres is due to join the summit, underlining the central role given to the United Nations in tackling the crisis – in part because many countries don’t want to establish direct relations with the Taliban.
    Italy, which holds the rotating presidency of the G20, has worked hard to set up the meeting in the face of highly divergent views within the disparate group on how to deal with Afghanistan after the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Kabul.
    “The main problem is that Western countries want to put their finger on the way the Taliban run the country, how they treat women for example, while China and Russia on the other hand have a non-interference foreign policy,” said a diplomatic source close to the matter.
    China has publicly demanded that economic sanctions on Afghanistan be lifted and that billions of dollars in Afghan international assets be unfrozen and handed back to Kabul.    It was not clear if this would even be discussed on Tuesday.
    While U.S. President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Europe’s G20 leaders were expected to take part in the meeting, Chinese media reported that President Xi Jinping would not participate. It was also not clear if Russian President Vladimir Putin would dial in.
    Afghanistan’s neighbours Pakistan and Iran have not been invited to the virtual call, but Qatar, which has played a key role as an interlocutor between the Taliban and the West, will join the discussions, a diplomatic source said.
    The virtual summit comes just days after senior U.S. and Taliban officials met in Qatar for their first face-to-face meeting since the hardline group retook power.
    Tuesday’s meeting comes less than three weeks before the formal G20 leaders summit in Rome on Oct. 30-31, which is due to focus on climate change, the global economic recovery, tackling malnutrition and the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Reporting by Crispian Balmer and Francesca Landini; Editing by Catherine Evans)

10/12/2021 IMF Lowers 2021 Global Growth Outlook by OAN Newsroom
IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath speaks during an interview with AFP at the International Monetary Fund
headquarters in Washington D.C. on October 12, 2021. (Photo by PEDRO UGARTE/AFP via Getty Images)
    The International Monetary Fund slightly lowered its global growth outlook.    The IMF reduced its World Economic Outlook global growth forecast for 2021 from six percent to 5.9 percent this week.
    The organization cited concerns over global inflation and ongoing supply chain issues, especially in low income nations, due to the uncertain future course of the pandemic.    Ongoing chip shortages reportedly contributed to the downgrade as the technology sector has continued to reel from the pandemic-caused scarcity.
    “Pandemic outbreaks in critical links of global supply chains have resulted in longer than expected supply disruptions, feeding inflation in many countries,” explained Gita Gopinath, IMF chief economist.    “Overall, risks to economic prospects have increased and policy trade-offs have become more complex.”
    The IMF expects inflation to return to pre-pandemic levels if supply chain disruptions are adequately addressed.

10/13/2021 Russia Can Help Europe, Not Using Gas As A Weapon Says Putin by Vladimir Soldatkin, Kate Abnett and Shivani Singh
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a plenary session of the Russian Energy Week International
Forum in Moscow, Russia October 13, 2021. Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Pool via REUTERS
    MOSCOW/BRUSSELS/BEIJING (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday Russia was not using gas as a weapon and was ready to help ease Europe’s energy crunch as the EU called an emergency summit to tackle skyrocketing prices.
    Energy demand has surged as economies have rebounded from the pandemic, driving up prices of oil, gas and coal, stoking inflationary pressures and undermining efforts to cut the use of polluting fossil fuels in the fight against global warming.
    China, the world’s second biggest economy and its biggest greenhouse gas emitter, has boosted coal output and imports, as domestic coal prices have hit record levels and power stations have struggled to keep the lights on https://www.reuters.com/world/china/china-coal-prices-hit-record-high-floods-add-supply-woes-2021-10-13 in homes and factories.
    The energy crunch has amplified Wednesday’s call by the International Energy Agency (IEA) for tripling investment https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/world-must-triple-clean-energy-investment-by-2030-curb-climate-change-iea-2021-10-13 in renewables to steady markets and fight climate change.
    Europe’s gas squeeze https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/gas-reserves-subsidies-tax-cuts-eus-tools-combat-energy-price-spike-2021-10-13 has shone a spotlight on Russia, which accounts for a third of the region’s supplies, prompting European politicians to blame Moscow for not pumping enough.
    Putin told an energy conference https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/kremlin-says-russian-gas-supplies-europe-are-maximum-levels-2021-10-13 in Moscow that the gas market was not balanced or predictable, particularly in Europe, but said Russia was meeting its contractual obligations to supply clients and was ready to boost supplies if asked.
    He dismissed accusations that Russia was using energy as a weapon: “This is just politically motivated chatter, which has no basis whatsoever.”
    The European Union has not asked Russia to increase supplies of gas to the bloc, a European Commission official told Reuters.
    Russia and Europe have been embroiled in a dispute over a new pipeline, Nord Stream 2, to supply Russian gas to Germany.    The pipeline is built but awaits approval to start pumping, amid opposition from the United States and some Europeans nations that fear it will make Europe even more reliant on Russia.
    Some European politicians say Moscow is using the fuel crisis as leverage, a charge it has repeatedly denied.
DE-GAS EUROPE
    The European Commission outlined measures on Wednesday that the 27-nation EU would take to combat the energy crisis, including exploring a voluntary option for countries to jointly buy gas.
    Ministers from EU countries hold an extraordinary meeting on Oct. 26 to discuss the price spike.
    “The only way to fully decouple gas from electricity is no longer to use it to generate power,” EU energy policy chief Kadri Simson said.    “This is the EU’s long-term goal, to replace fossil fuels with renewables.”
    The Paris-based IEA said the world had to invest $4 trillion by 2030 in clean energy and infrastructure – triple current levels – to achieve net zero emissions and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050, the target of the 2015 Paris climate accord.
    “The world is not investing enough to meet its future energy needs,” it said in a report, published before the United Nations COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland, which starts on Oct. 31.
WINTER SPIKE?
    As renewables have failed to fill gaps amid surging demand, oil and gas prices have roared higher.
    The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries trimmed its world oil demand forecast https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/opec-trims-2021-demand-forecast-says-gas-price-surge-could-help-2021-10-13 for 2021 but said surging gas prices could mean customers switch to oil.
    Benchmark crude was trading close to last week’s more than three-year high above $84 a barrel.
    Putin said that oil prices could reach $100 a barrel.    “This is quite possible,” he said.    “We and our partners at OPEC+ are doing our utmost to stabilise the market.”
    The benchmark European gas price is up more than 350% this year, trading above $31 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) on Wednesday, although down from last week’s spike above $52.
    “Current prices are above fundamentally justified levels, should remain volatile and could still reach $100/mmBtu or above this season if the weather gets very cold,” Citi bank said as it also raised its forecast for European and Asian benchmark gas prices for the fourth quarter by about $3.
    The United States was also likely to feel the pain, according to the Energy Information Administration, which warned on Wednesday that it would cost more to heat U.S. homes this winter.
    The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG), which monitors security of supply, said a cold winter in Europe would require an increase of gas imports by about 5% to 10% compared to previous maximum levels.
    “We’re reaching out to trade partners to discuss if it’s possible to increase their deliveries in the market,” EU energy commissioner Kadri Simson said.
    The Commission expects prices to remain high until April 2022.
    In China, the most-active January Zhengzhou thermal coal futures touched a record high of 1,640 yuan ($254.54) per tonne on Wednesday, up more than 190% so far this year.
    Local governments in top Chinese coal producing areas Shanxi and Inner Mongolia ordered about 200 mines to boost output, but rain flooded 60 mines in Shanxi. China’s coal imports surged 76% in September.
    Seeking to ease the power crunch, Beijing said it would allow power plants to charge commercial customers market-based prices, breaking with a policy that had allowed industry to lock in fixed-price electricity deals with suppliers.
($1 = 6.4430 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Kate Abnett in Brussels; Vladimir Soldatkin, Oksana Kobzeva and Alexander Marrow in Moscow; Muyu Xu and Shivani Singh in Beijing; Jessica Jaganathan in Singapore, Noah Browning in London; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle, Carmel Crimmins and Alex Richardson)

10/13/2021 Putin Sees Potential To Work With Biden On Energy, Security And More
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a plenary session of the Russian Energy Week
International Forum in Moscow, Russia October 13, 2021. Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Pool via REUTERS
    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday he saw potential to work with the United States on a host of issues from arms control to energy and that he had established a solid working relationship with President Joe Biden.
    Addressing an energy conference attended by top executives of Exxon Mobil and other oil majors, Putin was largely silent on the many disputes that have driven relations to post-Cold War lows, choosing instead to focus on the potential to mend fences.
    He said Russia was ready for constructive talks on arms control, and the two sides also had “objective mutual interests” in fighting terrorism and money laundering, combating tax havens and stabilising energy markets.
    “These… will definitely lead one way or another to our relations being repaired, and the U.S. political establishment will stop speculating on U.S.-Russian relations to the detriment of its own interests and those of its companies,” Putin added, referring to U.S. sanctions which he said had caused Exxon Mobil to abandon lucrative contracts in Russia.
    He said relations with Biden and his administration were stable and constructive.
    Biden this week sent a top Russia expert, Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, to Moscow for talks that failed to make significant progress in a row over the size and functioning of the two countries’ embassies in each other’s capitals.
    Nuland said on Wednesday she had had productive talks with Kremlin officials and that the United States was committed to having a “stable, predictable relationship” with Russia
.
    Ties are badly strained over a host of other issues, including cyber-attacks launched from Russia against U.S. businesses and the jailing of Alexei Navalny, Putin’s most prominent domestic opponent.
    Biden and Putin held a summit in June in Geneva, when the U.S. president said Washington would find out in the next six months to a year whether it was possible to establish a worthwhile strategic dialogue with Moscow.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Alexander Marrow; additional reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; writing by Mark Trevelyan; Editing by Gareth Jones)
[IT IS OBVIOUS THAT JOE BIDEN IS WORKING WITH RUSSIA AND CHINA AND EU TO PROMOTE HIS COMBINE TO THE GOALS OF THE GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT, DEEP STATE AND SWAMPERS WHICH IS IN FULL FORCE NOW IN THE WORLD FOR A FULL UNIFICATION AND HE USED A PERSON INVOLVED IN THE FAKE RUSSIA, RUSSIA COLLUSION OF 2016 TO DO THIS].

10/13/2021 Russia’s Putin Touts ‘Stable, Working’ Ties With Biden by OAN Newsroom
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking at the plenary session of the Russian Energy Week
in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. (Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
    President Vladimir Putin is praising Joe Biden for maintaining constructive ties between Washington and Moscow.
    Speaking at an economic forum in Moscow on Wednesday, Putin said he’s had “stable and working” contacts with Biden.    He added he’s currently holding talks with U.S. diplomats to extend communication with Biden.    Earlier in the year, Biden dropped sanctions on Russian-German pipeline Nord Stream 2.
    Putin also said he’s open to working with Biden on arms control and terrorism.
    “In my opinion, President Biden and I have rather stable working relations.    The U.S. under secretary of state is currently in Moscow.    We discuss.    She is holding talks with her Russian counterparts to discuss the issues of our further contacts with President Biden,” stated Putin.    “So, we have quite constructive relations with the current U.S. administration.”
    Putin also warned his international partners against spreading, what he calls, “politically motivated gossip” and called for better relations overall.
[I HAVE BEEN WRITING ABOUT THE FISA-UNDERSURVEILLANACE FILE SINCE 2017 WHICH IS POLITICALLY MOTIVATED REAL NEWS COVERED UP BY THE GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT AND ALL THE DEEP STATE ETC. seen at www.mazzaroth.com/ChapterEight/Globalism.htm titled "Globalism Versus Nationalism That Is The Issue.".].

10/13/2021 U.S. Will Move Forward With Reopening Its Palestinian Mission In Jerusalem - Blinken by Humeyra Pamuk, Matt Spetalnick and Daphne Psaledakis
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, accompanied by Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (not pictured)
and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyanin (not pictured), speaks at a joint news
conference at the State Department in Washington, U.S., October 13, 2021. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday the Biden administration intends to press ahead with its plan to reopen the Jerusalem consulate that traditionally engaged with Palestinians, despite Israeli opposition to such a move.
    Blinken reiterated a pledge he originally made months ago on re-establishing the consulate, which had long been a base for diplomatic outreach to the Palestinians before it was closed by President Joe Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, in 2018.
    But Blinken, speaking at a Washington news conference with visiting Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and United Arab Emirates Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, stopped short of setting a date for reopening the consulate, which would strain relations with Israel’s new ideologically diverse government.
    “We’ll be moving forward with the process of opening a consulate as part of deepening of those ties with the Palestinians,” Blinken said at the State Department.
    The Biden administration has sought to repair relations with the Palestinians that were badly damaged under Trump.
    The consulate was subsumed into the U.S. Embassy that was moved to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv in 2018 by Trump – a reversal of longtime U.S. policy hailed by Israel and condemned by Palestinians.
    The Biden administration says it will reopen the consulate while leaving the embassy in place.
    Israel regards all of Jerusalem as its capital.    Palestinians want East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in a 1967 war along with the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as capital of the state they seek.
    Blinken spoke in response to a reporter’s question after a trilateral meeting that marked the latest sign of the Biden administration’s embrace of the so-called Abraham Accords, which were widely seen as a diplomatic success for Trump.
    The UAE was the first of four Arab states that moved late last year to normalize relations with Israel after decades of enmity.    Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco soon followed suit.
    Palestinian officials said they felt betrayed by their Arab brethren for reaching deals with Israel without first demanding progress toward the creation of a Palestinian state.
    Some critics said Trump had promoted Arab rapprochement with Israel while ignoring Palestinian aspirations for statehood.
ABRAHAM ACCORDS
    Biden administration officials have said the Abraham Accords are no substitute for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians, a principle of U.S. policy that the Democratic president has returned to after Trump moved away from it.
    But U.S. officials have said the conditions are not right to press for a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which collapsed in 2014.    Washington has been reluctant to take any action that could weaken an Israeli government it considers more cooperative than the one led by Benjamin Netanyahu, which was unseated in June.
    Reopening the consulate, however, would ignite tensions between Washington and its close Middle East ally.
    Israel has said it would oppose the move, asserting its sovereignty over Jerusalem and arguing that far-right Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government would be destabilized by the reintroduction of a diplomatic foothold for the Palestinians in the city.
    Blinken expressed hope that normalization between Israel and Arab states would be a “force for progress” between Israelis and Palestinians, reaffirmed support for a two-state solution and said both sides “equally deserve to live safely and securely.”
    Bin Zayed echoed Lapid in praising the ties their countries have forged and said he would visit Israel soon.    But he also insisted that there could only be peace in the region if the Israelis and Palestinians are on “talking terms.”
    In a nod to the Palestinians, Lapid said they, like all people, were “entitled to a decent way of life” and Israel’s goal was to work with the Palestinian Authority on that issue.    But he offered no specifics.
    Lapid, a centrist, reached a power-sharing deal with Bennett that ended Netanyahu’s 12-year run as prime minister.    Under the coalition deal, Lapid will replace Bennett as prime minister in 2023.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Maayan Lubell, Daphne Psaledakis, Matt Spetalnick, Simon Lewis, Dan Williams, Lilian Wagdy; writing by Matt Spetalnick; editing by Mark Heinrich and Jonathan Oatis)
[THIS MOVE BY BIDEN OR HIS CONTROLLERS THE DEEP STATE WHO ARE CONSIDERING WHAT IS PUTTING THEM IN THE CATEGORY OF WHAT IS MENTIONED AS THE “HE” IN DANIEL 9:27 OR IT COULD BE ENDING UP TO THE EU TO DO IT OR THE GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT OR THE UNITED NATIONS [A CONGREGATION OF COUNTRIES AND CITIES] MORE LIKELY SINCE THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB, WOULD STATE THE SAME ENTITIES WHO LIKE NIMROD A MIGHTY HUNTER BROUGHT THEIR KINGDOM OF BABYLON, URUK, AKKAD AND KALNEH, AND IN SHINAR STARTED CITIES AND BUILT A TOWER TO REACH TO THE HEAVEN FOR PEOPLE TO GO UP IN IF THE WORLD FLOODS AGAIN BUT GOD GAVE PEOPLE VARIOUS LANGUAGES TO CONFUSE THEIR URGE TO BUILD CITIES INSTEAD OF LAND FARMS AND HOMES NOT CITIES BUT WHEN WILL THE ENTITY THAT WILL STEP FORWARD AND SIT IN THE THRONE OF GOD IN THE TEMPLE OF GOD AND CLAIM HE IS GOD OF ALL AND WILL BE THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION.].

10/13/2021 UAE Foreign Minister Says He Will Visit Israel Soon
FILE PHOTO: UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan speaks during
a news conference in Berlin, Germany, October 6, 2020. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/Pool
    (Reuters) – The foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates, Abdullah Bin Zayed, said on Wednesday that he would visit Israel soon, adding that his country was impressed with the growing bilateral relationship.
    Bin Zayed also said during a joint news conference with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid in Washington D.C. that there could be no talk of peace in the Middle East if Israel and the Palestinians were not “on talking terms.”
    He stressed that a more successful UAE-Israeli relationship would encourage both Israelis and Palestinians to see “that this path works, that this path is worth not only investing in but also taking the risk
    Last year, Israel and the UAE agreed to normalize relations in a major shift in Middle East politics from the Palestinian issue to the fight against Iran.
    On the conflict in Yemen, the UAE wants a resolution “but what’s dragging us in the situation is the lack of will and commitment on the Houthis’ side,” Bin Zayed said, referring to the Iran-aligned movement that ousted the internationally recognized government from the capital Sanaa in 2014 and now holds most of northern Yemen and main urban centers.
    “We are all working very hard among friends to ensure Yemenis have a better life.    But at the same time, we have to keep in mind that we don’t end up with a situation where we have another Hezbollah threatening the border of Saudi     Arabia,” he said, referring to the powerful Shi’ite group aligned to Iran in Lebanon.
(Reporting by Lilian Wagdy; Editing by Gareth Jones and Giles Elgood)
[GIVE IT UP BLINKEN YOU ARE TRYING TO STOP THE ABRAHAM ACCORD AND THESE NATIONS WILL ATTACK THE HOUTHIS IN YEMEN WHO ARE BACKED BY IRAN NOW THAT YOU ARE GIVING IRAN MONEY SO THEY CAN BUY WEAPONS AND MISSLES SO HAMAS MISSLES ATTACK INTO ISRAEL AND JOE SEEMS TO THINK HE CAN STOP TRUMPS DEAL OF THE CENTURY BUT HE IS GOING AGAINST SOMEONE WHO HAS MORE AUTHORITY THAN YOU WILL HAVE AND YOUR ONLY WAY AROUND THAT IS FOR YOU TO ATTACK ISRAEL YOURSELF AND I THINK THAT YOU ARE THAT STUPID TO DO THAT JUST LIKE YOUR FORMER OBAMA ATTACKED LIBYA AND KILLED GADDAFI WHO WAS ONE OF THE RELATIVES TO THE 12 TRIBES OF ISHAMAEL AND HIS ACTION CAUSED THE ARAB SPRING THE BEGINNING OF ISIS WHO KILLED THE PEOPLE IN THE CONSULATE AND TRUMP HAD TO CLEAN UP HIS MESS BY STOPPING ISIS WHICH YOU JUST RELEASE INTENTUAL AGAIN IN YOUR FAILURE IN AFGHANISTAN WHICH WAS NOT AN ACCIDENT IT WAS INTENDED.].

10/14/2021 Biden Administration: We’re Committed To WTO by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai attends a keynote address and conversation hosted by the
Graduate Institute’s Geneva Trade Platform about the World Trade Organizations important role
in the global economy on October 14, 2021 in Geneva. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
    The Biden administration said it’s committed to the World Trade Organization, but reaffirms previous U.S. criticisms of its dispute settlement system.
    On Thursday, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said Washington wants the WTO to succeed and is willing to come to an agreement on multiple disputes regarding trade and health proposals. The organization’s top dispute settlement panel has been stagnant since December 2019 after then-President Donald Trump blocked the appointment of new judges to the body.
    Trump argued the panel’s rules work against America’s interests and said the U.S. would block any new actions until new rules were drafted. On Thursday, Tai largely enforced that stance.     “Every trade minister that I have heard from has expressed the view that the WTO needs reform.    The organization has rightfully been accused of existing in a bubble, isolated from reality and slow to recognize global development.    That must change,” stressed Tai.
    Tai’s comments come ahead of a major meeting next month with the WTO, hoping to make reforms and broker its first multilateral trade deal since 2013.
[SO NOW THE BIDEN AMINISTRATION THINKS THEY CAN JUST ORDER CHANGES TO THE BEAST THAT CAME UP OUT OF THE SEA OF RESTLES NATIONS WITH 7 HEADS THE G-7 AND TEN HORNS THE 10 REGIONALS OF THE WTO AND HAD ONE OF ITS HEAD SLAIN AND WHICH CAME BACK TO LIFE AND IT IS NOW CONTROLLING THE U.S..].

10/15/2021 Biden Admin. Says Its Committed To WTO, Reaffirms Trump’s Stance Body Needs Major Reforms by OAN Newsroom
US Trade Representative Katherine Tai speaks during a discussion, at the Geneva Graduate Institute on the role of the World Trade
Organization (WTO) in the global economy, in Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
    “Let me begin by affirming the United States continued commitment to the WTO.    The Biden-Harris administration believes that trade and the WTO can be a force for good that encourages a race to the top and addresses global challenges as they arise.” — Katherine Tai, U.S. Trade Rep.
    The Biden administration said it’s committed to the World Trade Organization, but reaffirmed previous U.S. criticisms of its dispute settlement system.    U.S. Trade Rep. Katherine Tai said Washington wants the WTO to succeed and is willing to come to an agreement on multiple disputes regarding trade and health proposals.
    “We all recognize the importance of the WTO and we all wanted to succeed,” she stated. “We understand the value of a forum where we can propose ideas to improve multilateral trade rules.”
    The organization’s top dispute settlement panel has been stagnant since December 2019 after then-President Donald Trump blocked the appointment of new judges to the body.    Trump argued the panel’s rules work against America’s interests and said the U.S. will block any new actions until new rules are drafted.
    “It is also essential to bring vitality back to the WTO’s negotiating functions,” the Trade Rep. continued.    “A key stumbling block is doubt that negotiations lead to rules that benefit or apply to everyone."
    Additionally, Tai largely enforced that same ‘America First’ agenda.
    “Every trade minister that I have heard from has expressed the view that the WTO needs reform,” she stated.    “The organization has rightfully been accused of existing in a bubble, isolated from reality, and slow to recognize global development.    That must change.”
    Tai’s comments come ahead of a major meeting next month with the WTO hoping to make reforms and broker its first multi-lateral trade deal since 2013.
[WELL BIDEN WANTS TO NOW GET INVOLVED IN THE WTO AFTER HE HAS TRIED TO REVISE 7 THINGS THAT TRUMP DID WHICH HE HAS MISERABLY FAILED IN ALL OF THEM AND HIS RATINGS WENT FROM 54% TO 32% SO NOW HE IS HELL BENT TO GO AGAINST GOD AGAIN SO REMEMBER I SAID THIS WHEN HE SCREWS THIS ONE UP TO AND IF YOU READ THE ABOVE ARTICLE YOU CAN SEE WHAT HE WILL SCREW UP ON AND DO NOT FORGET THAT THE WTO IS BEAST THAT CAME OUT OF THE SEA (RESTLESS NATIONS) WITH 7 HEADS (THE G-7) AND TEN HORNS ON ONE HEAD (WHICH IS THE TEN REGIONS OF THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION).].

10/18/2021 Russia Shuts Mission To NATO In Spy Row Retaliation
FILE PHOTO: Banners displaying the NATO logo are placed at the entrance of the new NATO headquarters
during the move to the new building, in Brussels, Belgium April 19, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Monday it would halt the activities of its diplomatic mission to NATO after the Western military alliance expelled eight Russians saying they were spies.
    Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also said staff at NATO’s military mission in Moscow would be stripped of their accreditation from Nov. 1, and the alliance’s information office in the Russian capital would be shuttered.
    “If NATO members have any urgent matters, they can contact our ambassador in Belgium on these questions,” Lavrov told a news conference.
    NATO said on Oct. 6 it had expelled https://www.reuters.com/world/nato-says-expelled-eight-members-russian-mission-alliance-2021-10-06 eight members of Russia’s mission to the alliance who it said were “undeclared Russian intelligence officers.”
    Moscow said at the time that the expulsions undermined hopes that relations with the U.S.-led alliance could normalise.
    “NATO is not interested in equitable dialogue and joint work,” Lavrov said on Monday, announcing the closure of the Russian mission.    “If that’s the case, then we don’t see the need to keep pretending that changes in the foreseeable future are possible.”
    NATO said on Monday it had taken note of Russia’s decision.
    “We regret these steps.    NATO’s policy towards Russia remains consistent,” NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said.    “We have strengthened our deterrence and defence in response to Russia’s aggressive actions, while at the same time we remain open to dialogue, including through the NATO-Russia Council.”
    The dispute marks the latest deterioration in East-West ties that are already at post-Cold War lows.
    German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Russia no longer seemed willing to talk to the West.
    “It’s more than just regrettable, this decision taken in Moscow,” he said.    “It will seriously damage the relationship.”
    Russia accuses NATO of provocative activity close to its borders, and staged major exercises of its own in September.
    The alliance says it is determined to reinforce the security of member states close to Russia following Moscow’s annexation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and its backing for separatists in eastern Ukraine.
(Reporting by Angelina Kazakova, Andrey Ostroukh, Philip Blenkinsop and Sabine Siebold; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber, Mark Trevelyan, Philippa Fletcher and Giles Elgood)

10/18/2021 Former Defense Secretary: Biden Has ‘Gotten A Lot Wrong’ On Foreign Policy, National Security by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates listens to a reporter’s question
during a news briefing at the Pentagon. (Charles Dharapak/AP Photo)
    According to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Joe Biden has “gotten a lot wrong through the years.”    In an interview Sunday, the former official affirmed he still believes Biden has been wrong on nearly every foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.
    Gates specifically took aim at the Democrat over his handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal while calling it a “big mistake.”    He also suggested it would be very naïve to assume things were not going to go downhill after the U.S. pulled out it’s forces.
    “He (Biden) opposed every one of Ronald Reagan’s military programs to contest the Soviet Union,” explained the former defense secretary.    “He opposed the first Gulf War.    That list goes on.    Now I will say that in the Obama administration, he and I obviously had significant differences over Afghanistan.    But he and I did agree in our opposition to the intervention in Libya and, frankly, on issues relating to Russia and China.”
    Gates also said carrying out counterterrorism in Afghanistan without a presence in the country will be very difficult.

10/19/2021 Four G20 Leaders Not Expected At Rome Summit -Diplomats by Crispian Balmer
FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a plenary session of the Russian
Energy Week International Forum in Moscow, Russia October 13, 2021. Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool via REUTERS
    ROME (Reuters) – At least four leaders from the Group of 20 wealthy nations look set to miss this month’s summit in Rome that hosts Italy had hoped would be an in-person event, diplomats and officials said.
    Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday that he would definitely not attend the Oct. 30-31 meeting, the third leader to formally pull out after Japan’s new prime minister Fumio Kishida and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
    Putin and Kishida have said they will follow proceedings via video link, while a spokesman for Obrador said he would send Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard in his place.
    Other countries have yet to make official announcements, but a diplomatic source in Rome said Chinese President Xi Jinping was unlikely to come.    There was also uncertainty over whether Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro would show up.
    By contrast, U.S. President Joe Biden has confirmed he will come, with the leaders of Argentina, Australia, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, South Korea, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the European Union also all expected.
    Kishida is staying home because Japan is holding a general election on Oct. 31, while Obrador has rarely travelled abroad since taking charge of Mexico in 2018.    He skipped the last in-person G20 summit held in Japan in 2019 before COVID-19 hit.
    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by the RIA news agency as saying Putin’s decision was driven by the continued COVID-19 pandemic, with Russia registering record deaths and new cases in recent days.
    Putin briefly self-isolated last month after dozens of people in his entourage were diagnosed with the virus. Last week, after coughing repeatedly at a government meeting, Putin said he had caught a cold.
    An Italian diplomat said COVID-19 also appeared to be the main concern for Xi, with China imposing strict and lengthy quarantine on anyone arriving in the country from abroad.
    Xi has not left China since January 2020, when the gravity of the disease first became apparent.    He has followed some international events by video link but did not dial into a G20 meeting on Afghanistan organised by Italy earlier this month.
    It was not clear if he would take part in the G20 summit virtually if he does not come in person, officials said.
    This year’s Rome summit is seen as particularly important because it comes just before the United Nations COP26 climate change conference to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, where the position of G20 nations will be critical.
    In a speech earlier this month, the COP26 President Alok Sharma said G20 countries, which account for 80% of global emissions, had to step up ahead of the Glasgow meeting.
    “The response of the G20 will quite simply be make, or break,” he said in a speech in Paris.
(Additional reporting by Leika Kihara in Tokyo, Frank Jake Daniel in Mexico City, Brad Haynes in San Paolo, Kumar Manoj in New Dehli and Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

10/21/2021 Leaders Tackle Poland For Challenging Core Of European Integration by Gabriela Baczynska, Philip Blenkinsop and John Chalmers
FILE PHOTO: Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki delivers a speech during a debate on Poland's challenge to the supremacy
of EU laws at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France October 19, 2021. Ronald Wittek/Pool via REUTERS
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders will tackle their Polish counterpart on Thursday over a court ruling that questioned the primacy of European laws in a sharp escalation of battles that risk precipitating a new crisis for the bloc.
    The French president and the Dutch premier are particularly keen to prevent their governments’ cash contributions to the EU from benefitting socially conservative politicians undercutting human rights fixed in the laws of western liberal democracies.
    “EU states that violate the rule of law should not receive EU funds,” the head of the European Union parliament,     David Sassoli, said before national leaders of the bloc’s 27 member countries convened in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.
    “The European Union is a community built on the principles of democracy and the rule of law.    If these are under threat in a member state, the EU must act to protect them.”
    Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is set to defend the Oct. 7 ruling by Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal stating that elements of EU law were incompatible with the country’s constitution.
    “It’s a major problem and a challenge for the European project,” a French official said of the Polish ruling.
    Morawiecki has already came under fire from EU lawmakers this week and the head of the Commission said the challenge to the unity of the European legal order would not go unanswered.
    This, as well as other policies introduced by his ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party are set to cost Poland money.
“NOT TENABLE”
    With the ruling, the PiS raised the stakes in years of increasingly bitter feuds with the EU over democratic principles from the freedom of courts and media to the rights of women, migrants and LGBT people.
    A senior EU diplomat said such policies were “not tenable in the European Union.”
    The Commission has for now barred Warsaw from tapping into 57 billion euros ($66 billion) of emergency funds to help its economy emerge from the COVID pandemic.    Warsaw also risks losing other EU handouts, as well as penalties from the bloc’s top court.
    Sweden, Finland and Luxembourg are also among those determined to bring Warsaw into line and have stepped up their criticism since PiS came to power in 2015.
    The immediate consequences to Poland – with some 38 million people, the biggest ex-communist EU country – are financial.
    But for the EU, the latest twist in feuds with the eurosceptic PiS also comes at a sensitive time as it grapples with the fallout from Brexit.
    The bloc – without Britain – last year achieved a major leap in integration in agreeing joint debt guarantees to raise 750 billion euros for COVID economic recovery, overcoming stiff resistance from wealthy states like the Netherlands.
    While most EU states share a currency, more fiscal coordination can only hold if the rich ones donating more than they recuperate from the bloc are sure their taxes do not end up financing politicians flouting their core liberal values.
    Morawiecki has dismissed the idea of leaving the EU in a “Polexit.”    Support for membership remains very high in Poland, which has benefitted enormously from funding coming from the bloc it joined in 2004.
    Speaking on Wednesday, a senior Polish diplomat struck a conciliatory tone, saying the Polish tribunal did not challenge EU laws but particular interpretations of some of them.
    Warsaw – backed by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban – wants to return powers to national capitals and has lashed out at what it says are excessive powers held by the Commission.
    While many have grown increasingly frustrated at failed attempts to convince Warsaw to change tack, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has long warned against isolating Poland.
    Her sway, however, is weakened as she visits Brussels for her last scheduled summit before she is due to hand over to a new German chancellor after 16 years.
    Beyond putting pressure on Poland, the leaders will also lock horns over how to respond to a sharp spike in energy prices, discuss migration, their fraught relationship with Belarus and the COVID-19 pandemic.
($1 = 0.8584 euros)
(Additional reporting by Michel Rose, Andreas Rinke, Sabine Siebold; writing by Gabriela Baczynska; editing by Richard Pullin)

10/21/2021 NATO To Agree Master Plan To Deter Growing Russian Threat, Diplomats Say by Robin Emmott
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a news conference ahead of a meeting of NATO
defence ministers at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium October 20, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO defence ministers are set to agree a new master plan on Thursday to defend against any potential Russian attack on multiple fronts, reasserting a bid to deter Moscow despite the alliance’s new focus on China, diplomats and officials said.
    The strategy, which is confidential, goes beyond existing regional defence plans and aims to prepare for any simultaneous attack in the Baltic and Black Sea regions, possibly including nuclear weapons, hacking of computer networks or from space.
    Officials and diplomats say no such attack is imminent.    Russia denies any war-like intentions and says it is NATO that risks destabilising Europe with such preparations.
    But U.S. officials, NATO diplomats and former officials say the “Concept for Deterrence and Defence in the Euro-Atlantic Area” – and its strategic implementation plan – is needed as Russia develops advanced weapon systems and deploys troops and equipment closer to allied borders.
    “If you have that kind of major conflict, it will require activity across the entire area of operations,” said a senior U.S. government official.    “Various things could happen at the same time, and that really requires holistic planning.”
    In May, Russia amassed some 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine, the highest number since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014, according to Western officials.    In September, Russia used new combat robots in large military drills with its ex-Soviet ally Belarus that have alarmed Baltic allies.
    With Russia upgrading or replacing Soviet military space systems to potentially attack satellites in orbit, developing artificial intelligence-based technologies to disrupt allied command systems, Moscow is also developing “super weapons.”
    Unveiled in 2018, they include nuclear-capable hypersonic cruise missiles that could evade early-warning systems.
    Retired U.S. General Ben Hodges, who commanded U.S. army forces in Europe from 2014 until 2017, told Reuters he hoped the strategic plan would lead to more coherence in NATO’s collective defence, meaning more resources for the Black Sea region.
    “To me, this is the more likely flashpoint than the Baltics,” Hodges said, noting fewer big allies such as Britain and France with a strong presence in the Black Sea, and Turkey more focused on conflict in Syria.
    Jamie Shea, a former senior NATO official now at the Friends of Europe think-tank in Brussels, said the plan might also help to cement a focus on Russia at a time when the United States, Britain and France are developing Indo-Pacific strategies.
    The allies are seeking to boost their presence in the Indo-Pacific and counter China’s rising military power, deploying more ships to keep open sea routes.
    “The assumption up until now, has been that Russia is a nuisance, but it’s not an imminent threat.    But the Russians are doing some worrying things, they’re practicing with robotics and hypersonic cruise missiles could be very disruptive indeed,” Shea said.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Alison Williams)

10/21/2021 EU Leaders Lambast Poland Over Its Challenge To Union by Jan Strupczewski, Bart H. Meijer and Gabriela Baczynska
FILE PHOTO: Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki delivers a speech during a debate on Poland's challenge to the supremacy
of EU laws at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France October 19, 2021. Ronald Wittek/Pool via REUTERS
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European leaders lined up to chastise Warsaw on Thursday for challenging the EU’s legal foundations, but Poland’s premier said he would not bow to “blackmail” as he joined a summit of the bloc’s 27 nations.
    Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said he was ready to resolve disputes with Brussels, though many are worried that a stubbborn ideological rift between eastern and western Europe poses an existential threat to the EU itself.
    “A few days ago, the legal bedrock of our Union was challenged,” European Parliament President David Sassoli said in a letter as the leaders gathered in Brussels for their summit.
    “This was not for the first time, of course, nor will it be the last. But never before has the Union been called into question so radically,” the leader of the EU assembly said.
    Long-running tensions between Poland’s ruling nationalists and the bloc’s liberal majority have spiked since Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled this month that elements of EU law were incompatible with the country’s charter, challenging a central tenet of EU integration.
    The dispute not only risks precipitating a new fundamental crisis for the bloc, which is still grappling with the aftermath of Brexit.    It could deprive Poland of generous EU handouts.
‘CLUBS HAVE RULES’
    “Some European institutions assume the right to decide on matters that have not been assigned to them,” Morawiecki said as he went into the talks, which come two days after the executive European Commission threatened to take action against Warsaw.
    “We will not act under the pressure of blackmail … but we will of course talk about how to resolve the current disputes in dialogue.”
    His wealthier Western counterparts are particularly keen to prevent their governments’ cash contributions to the EU benefiting socially conservative politicians who they see as undercutting human rights fixed in European laws.
    “If you want to have the advantages of being in a club … then you need to respect the rules,” Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo said.    “You can’t be a member of a club and say ‘The rules don’t apply to me’.”
    Leaders of countries from Ireland to France urged Warsaw to come back in line. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, referring to Poland’s judicial overhaul that puts its courts under more government control, said it was difficult to see how new EU funding could be channeled to the eastern European country, adding: “We have to be tough.”
    Morawiecki’s Law and Justice (PiS) party has raised the stakes in years of increasingly bitter feuds with the EU over a range of democratic principles, from the freedom of courts and media to the rights of women, migrants and LGBT people.
    The Commission has for now barred Warsaw from tapping into 57 billion euros ($66 billion) of emergency funds to help its economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
    The top EU court may also slap more fines on Poland, the largest ex-communist EU country of 38 million people.
    For the bloc, the latest twist in feuds with the eurosceptic PiS also comes at a sensitive time.    The EU last year made a leap towards closer integration by agreeing on joint borrowing to raise 750 billion euros for post-pandemic economic recovery, overcoming stiff resistance from wealthy northern states.
NO ‘POLEXIT’
    Morawiecki has dismissed the idea of “Polexit” – leaving the bloc – and popular support for membership remains very high in Poland, which has benefited enormously from EU funding since it joined in 2004.
    But Warsaw, backed by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, wants to return powers to national capitals and has lashed out at what it says are excessive powers of the European Commission.
    “Poland is one of the best European countries.    There is no need for any sanctions, it’s ridiculous,” Orban said.
    While many have grown increasingly frustrated at failed attempts to convince Warsaw to change tack, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned against isolating Poland.
    “We have to find ways of coming back together,” she said, adding that bringing multiple cases against Poland to the Court of Justice of the European Union was no solution.
    Her sway, however, is weakened as the veteran of more than 100 summits during her 16 years in power visits Brussels for what may be her last gathering of EU leaders before she hands over to a new German chancellor.
($1 = 0.8584 euros)
(Reporting by Marine Strauss, Bart H. Meijer, John Chalmers, Gabriela Baczynska, Philip Blenkinsop, Jan Strupczewski, Michel Rose, Andreas Rinke, Sabine Siebold, Johnny CottonWriting by John Chalmers; Editing by Andrew Heavens)
[AS YOU CAN SEE IN THE ABOVE ARTICLES THAT ONE OF THE FACTIONS OF THE GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WOLRD GOVERNMENT ENTITIES IS BEING ATTACKED AND IT IS RAISING ITS MANY HEADS TO PUSH FOR A CHANGE OF THE PROBLEM OR DESPERATION.].

10/22/2021 EU Leaders Lambast Poland Over Its Challenge To Union by Jan Strupczewski, Sabine Siebold and Marine Strauss
FILE PHOTO: Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki delivers a speech during a debate on Poland's challenge to the
supremacy of EU laws at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France October 19, 2021. Ronald Wittek/Pool via REUTERS
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) -European leaders lined up to chastise Warsaw on Thursday for challenging the EU’s legal foundations, but Poland’s premier said he would not bow to “blackmail” as he joined a summit of the bloc’s 27 nations.
    Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said he was ready to resolve disputes with Brussels, though many are worried that a stubborn ideological rift between eastern and western Europe poses an existential threat to the EU itself.
    “A few days ago, the legal bedrock of our Union was challenged,” European Parliament President David Sassoli said in a letter as the leaders gathered in Brussels for their summit.
    “This was not for the first time, of course, nor will it be the last.    But never before has the Union been called into question so radically,” the leader of the EU assembly said.
    Long-running tensions between Poland’s ruling nationalists and the bloc’s liberal majority have spiked since Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled this month that elements of EU law were incompatible with the country’s charter, challenging a central tenet of EU integration.
    The dispute not only risks precipitating a new fundamental crisis for the bloc, which is still grappling with the aftermath of Brexit.    It could deprive Poland of generous EU handouts.
‘CLUBS HAVE RULES’
    “Some European institutions assume the right to decide on matters that have not been assigned to them,” Morawiecki said as he went into the talks, which come two days after the executive European Commission threatened to take action against Warsaw.
    “We will not act under the pressure of blackmail … but we will of course talk about how to resolve the current disputes in dialogue.”
    His wealthier Western counterparts are particularly keen to prevent their governments’ cash contributions to the EU benefiting socially conservative politicians who they see as undercutting human rights fixed in European laws.
    “If you want to have the advantages of being in a club … then you need to respect the rules,” Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo said.    “You can’t be a member of a club and say ‘The rules don’t apply to me’.”
    Leaders of countries from Ireland to France urged Warsaw to come back in line. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, referring to Poland’s judicial overhaul that puts its courts under more government control, said it was difficult to see how new EU funding could be channelled to the eastern European country, adding: “We have to be tough.”
    An EU official said Rutte stood firm when the matter was discussed at the summit, but most leaders said decisions on how to deal with Poland should be left to the European Commission.
    Morawiecki’s Law and Justice (PiS) party has raised the stakes in years of increasingly bitter feuds with the EU over a range of democratic principles, from the freedom of courts and media to the rights of women, migrants and LGBT people.
    The Commission has for now barred Warsaw from tapping into the 36 billion euros of grants and loans it requested from EU funds to help its economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
    The top EU court may also slap more fines on Poland, the largest ex-communist EU country of 38 million people.
    For the bloc, the latest twist in feuds with the eurosceptic PiS also comes at a sensitive time.    The EU last year made a leap towards closer integration by agreeing on joint borrowing to raise 750 billion euros for post-pandemic economic recovery, overcoming stiff resistance from wealthy northern states.
NO ‘POLEXIT’
    Morawiecki has dismissed the idea of “Polexit” – leaving the bloc – and popular support for membership remains at 88% in Poland, which has benefited enormously from EU funding since it joined in 2004.
    But Warsaw, backed by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, wants to return powers to national capitals and has lashed out at what it says are excessive powers of the European Commission.
    “Poland is one of the best European countries.    There is no need for any sanctions, it’s ridiculous,” Orban said.
    While many have grown increasingly frustrated at failed attempts to convince Warsaw to change tack, outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned against isolating Poland.
    “We have to find ways of coming back together,” she said, adding that bringing multiple cases against Poland to the Court of Justice of the European Union was no solution.
    Her sway, however, is weakened as the veteran of more than 100 summits during her 16 years in power visits Brussels for what may be her last gathering of EU leaders before she hands over to a new German chancellor.
($1 = 0.8584 euros)
(Reporting by Marine Strauss, Bart H. Meijer, John Chalmers, Gabriela Baczynska, Philip Blenkinsop, Jan Strupczewski, Michel Rose, Andreas Rinke, Sabine Siebold, Johnny CottonWriting by John Chalmers; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Grant McCool)

10/23/2021 Hungary’s Orban Accuses Brussels, Washington Of Meddling As 2022 Election Race Heats Up by Krisztina Than
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivers a speech during the celebrations of the 65th anniversary
of the Hungarian Uprising of 1956, in Budapest, Hungary, October 23, 2021. REUTERS/Marton Monus
    BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who faces a close election race next year, accused Brussels and Washington of trying to meddle in Hungarian politics and called on his supporters to defend the achievements of his nationalist government’s decade in power.
    For the first time since he came to power in 2010, Orban will face a united front of opposition parties including the Socialists, liberals and the formerly far-right, now centre-right, Jobbik in 2022 parliamentary elections.
    The six-party alliance is led by Peter Marki-Zay, a 49-year-old Catholic conservative, father of seven and small-town mayor who seems to embody the traditional values Orban publicly champions and is seen as a tough challenger.
    Orban told tens of thousands of supporters in central Budapest that Washington and billionaire George Soros were trying to get their people, the Hungarian leftist opposition, elected using their money, media and networks.
    But what matters is not what they in Brussels, in Washington and in the media which is directed from abroad, want.    It will be Hungarians deciding about their own fate,” Orban said on Saturday.
    “Our strength is in our unity … we believe in the same values: family, nation, and a strong and independent Hungary.”

    At a separate opposition rally Marki-Zay said that if elected, his government would draft a new constitution, clamp down on corruption, introduce the euro and guarantee freedom of the media.
    “This regime has become morally untenable … the momentum we have now should take us to April 2022,” he said.
    Opinion polls show Orban’s Fidesz party and the opposition alliance running neck-and-neck, with about a quarter of voters undecided.
    Saturday’s anniversary of the 1956 uprising against Soviet rule has offered Orban a symbolic platform for his agenda as his Fidesz party scales up its pre-election campaign.
    He has showered the electorate with handouts, including a $2 billion income-tax rebate for families, and stepped up his strong anti-immigration rhetoric.
    Orban’s government, with its main ally Poland, has clashed with Brussels over media freedoms, rule of law issues and LGBT rights – while stating that Hungary’s interest is to remain a member of a strong European Union.
    “Brussels speaks to us and treats us, along with the Poles, as if we were an enemy … well, it is time for them in Brussels to understand that even the communists could not defeat us,” Orban told cheering suppporters, who were waving the national flag and held banners with slogans such as “Brussels equals dictatorship.”
(Reporting by Kris