Signs Of The Times RSS

Signs of the Times: The World for People who Think. Featuring independent, unbiased, alternative news and commentary on world events.
  1. A mysterious black O-shaped cloud spotted over a city in Pakistan has prompted a torrent of unusual theories from residents and netizens alike, with some suggesting the odd sight is a harbinger of an alien invasion. Seen floating over Lahore on Tuesday, the "evil cloud" - as some have taken to calling it - left onlookers perplexed, many of whom took to social media to try to get to the bottom of what they had just witnessed.
  2. Hillary Clinton defended her past association with disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein in an interview released Tuesday, suggesting she would not have taken the thousands in donations to her 2016 campaign if she had "known what we know now." "How could we have known? He raised money for me, for the Obamas, for Democrats in general," Clinton told The Hollywood Reporter when asked if she had any regrets about her association with Weinstein. "And that at the time was something that everybody thought made sense. And of course, if all of us had known what we know now, it would have affected our behavior." Weinstein donated the maximum amount possible for an individual contributor to Clinton in both the 2016 Democratic primary and the general election, which Clinton said in 2017 that she would donate to charity after allegations of sexual misconduct broke against the Hollywood producer. FEC records show that Weinstein has raised over $2.3 million for Democratic causes in his...
  3. Plenty of snow is usually a good thing for the Larch Hills cross-country ski trails, but January's snowfall and the accompanying downed trees has been a challenge for those who maintain the area. "It's been really difficult," said Larch Hills Nordic Society president Ed Bouma. "I would say we've probably removed between 700 and 800 trees so far, and they're still coming down." Bouma says it won't be until the summer when trees downed on some of the trails that aren't trackset can be removed. Volunteers with the necessary experience have been assisting with the tree removal - a job that is not without risk. For example, while two people were cutting up two trees near one another on Larch Hills Road, another tree fell between them.
  4. Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard filed a defamation lawsuit Wednesday against former First Lady Hillary Clinton. A press report released from Gabbard's campaign announced the lawsuit Wednesday. Gabbard's lawyers previously demanded Clinton retract her comments, where she claimed Gabbard was the Russian's favorite candidate. "Tulsi Gabbard, a United States Congresswoman, Army National Guard Major, and 2020 presidential candidate, today filed a defamation lawsuit against Hillary Rodham Clinton," according to the press release.
  5. Even after the formation of a new government in Lebanon, heated demonstrations in the streets of Beirut show no signs of slowing down, with protesters continuing to trade blows with security forces in on-and-off clashes. The ongoing unrest comes as a new government was announced on Tuesday, following the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri and amid the worst economic crisis Lebanon has faced in decades. An agreement reached between Hezbollah and its allies in parliament made Hassan Diab the new prime minister, and created a fresh cabinet consisting of 20 members.
  6. Russia's new prime minister, Mikhail Mishustin, has announced his first cabinet. It doesn't amount to a radical overhaul, but there are new, and younger, appointees and some well-known ministers have been replaced. Sergey Lavrov and Sergey Shoigu held on to their "big beast" positions, which suggests foreign and defense policy won't change much. The cabinet retained 12 people from the outgoing one and replaced nine positions, bringing down the average age of ministers down to 50 years. Here are the new faces of Mishustin's cabinet. First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov (replaces Anton Siluanov) A Muscovite and son of a prominent Soviet economist, the 60-year-old Belousov might have remained a theorist with his degree in economic cybernetics, if not for his 2005 report in which he made several prophetic predictions, including the 2008 financial crisis. He joined the Ministry of Economic Development in 2006 and became its head six years later, before being appointed as an aide...
  7. President Donald Trump said the United States was watching developments between India and Pakistan over Kashmir "very closely" and was prepared to help if necessary, but did not say how. Speaking ahead of talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, Trump said trade and borders were both critical points for discussion, while Khan said that for him Afghanistan was the top priority. "Trade is going to be of very, very paramount importance... and we're working together on some borders, and we're talking about Kashmir in relation to what is going on with Pakistan and India. And if we can help we certainly will be helping," he said.
  8. A MYSTERIOUS object was seen flying across Southampton before "bursting into flames" and plummeting to the ground. Residents watched in shock as an unidentified object with a twisted vapour trail began to pass over the city, before it caught fire and suddenly began to fall to the ground. This happened at around 4.45pm on Saturday January 18, and the object was seen to be travelling towards the Weston Shore, but was believed to be around "20 to 30 miles away".
  9. A couple were left stunned as they watched a fireball crashing to earth in East Anglia. It was spotted across Norfolk and Suffolk on Sunday, January 19 with sightings in Haddiscoe, Norwich, Blakeney, East Rudham and Wells. Matthew and Claire Ling were travelling near Ipswich when they spotted it at 5.12pm.
  10. We all showed up naked, slimy and clueless in a world of inexplicable sensory input we couldn't make head or tail out of. We were then taught what's what by people who showed up under the exact same circumstances a blink of an eye earlier. The amniotic fluid is barely washed from our tiny naked bodies before we find ourselves in a marriage and a day job, staring down at a small pair of eyes looking up to us for guidance. This is not a good environment for developing mental sovereignty, the ownership and authorship of your own cognitive relationship with life.
  11. A newly-discovered part of our immune system could be harnessed to treat all cancers, say scientists. The Cardiff University team discovered a method of killing prostate, breast, lung and other cancers in lab tests. The findings, published in Nature Immunology, have not been tested in patients, but the researchers say they have "enormous potential". Experts said that although the work was still at an early stage, it was very exciting.
  12. A small child was attacked by a mountain lion at a Southern California park on Monday, causing authorities to evacuate the scene while they raced to capture the wild cat. A 3-year-old boy was rushed to the hospital after the animal grabbed him by the neck as he and his family walked through Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park in Trabuco Canyon, about an hour south of Los Angeles, officials said. The child was transported to a local hospital and was listed in stable condition, according to the Orange County Fire Authority. The attack happened at around 4:15 p.m. local time. The Department of Fish and Wildlife gave local law enforcement the approval to euthanize the lion due to the public safety threat, the agency said.
  13. The chemicals in sunscreens help shield people from the sun's rays, but they are also absorbed into the body at levels that raise some safety questions, a new study confirms. The study, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is a follow-up to a 2019 investigation. Both reached the same conclusion: The active ingredients in popular sunscreens can be absorbed into the blood at levels that exceed the FDA threshold where they can be presumed safe. However, both the agency and skin cancer experts were quick to stress that there is no proof that sunscreen ingredients cause any harm. And people should keep using the products to prevent sunburn and curb the risk of skin cancer, they said. Comment: Note that this is the exact opposite of the precautionary principle. The burden of proof is on the manufacturers to prove the chemicals are harmless before releasing them onto an unsuspecting public, not to encourage their use until they're proven dangerous (whenever they get around to...
  14. Nationalism is dead. Its stinking corpse is laying in front of Palazzo Montecitorio, home to the Italian Parliament (its increasingly peripheral power centre). People start to notice it, people start to smell its awful stench. What is left of the brief Italian nationalist experience has finally shown its true, cowardly face, bowing to the international globalist elite and rejecting its truly revolutionary potential. This is the story of how Italian nationalism has been co-opted by the establishment to serve its wicked agenda. Liliana Segre and her security detail
  15. Continued heavy rain over the last 2 weeks has caused death and damage in regions of Madagascar, including the capital, Antananarivo. More severe weather has been forecast, with warnings issued for heavy rain, strong winds and rough seas. The country's disaster agency BNGRC reported severe damage in Antananarivo after heavy rain on 08 January, 2020. According to BNGRC, 4 people died and over 40 houses were damaged or destroyed, leaving 136 people displaced and almost 400 affected. During the same period, media reported that 2 people had been swept away by flood waters in Andapa in the northern Sava Region. Around 60 people were rescued from the flooding.
  16. Pamphlets and booklets proselytizing an animal-free diet for climate mitigation are being distributed to schools at an alarming rate. Keep reading to learn how important it is to speak with your children about agricultural production, livestock, and how there is a responsible and environmentally beneficial way to consume animal products. A child attending an Oregon public school was recently given a booklet called Fight Climate Change With Diet Change. The content of the booklet was completely against consuming animal products, lacking any information about how livestock can be used to build topsoil and sequester carbon. It even went on to say that not only is going vegan better for the planet, it is also better for human health. The booklets are funded and distributed by the Factory Farm Awareness Coalition and an activist group called Vegan Outreach. Established in 1993, Vegan Outreach is known for distributing their literature on college campuses. To a person with no background...
  17. Over 200 people were evacuated after a storm caused flooding in Tucumán province in northwest of Argentina. According to Télam news agency, the storm and heavy rain from 15 to 16 January 2020 caused flooding in the municipalities of Famaillá, La Reducción, La Madrid, Los Ralos and Yerba Buena. The worst affected area was Famaillá, where around 100 people evacuated their homes. Local media, quoting figures from Argentina's National Meteorological Service (SMN), said that 132mm of rain fell in 24 hours in Famaillá. 🛑ARGENTINA: Graves Inundaciones en la Provincia de Tucumán pic.twitter.com/u8HsPUpZ7l — Tiempo de Noticia ® (@TdnNoticia) January 16, 2020
  18. A Washington state man has been diagnosed with the mysterious virus that broke out last month in China, becoming the first confirmed case in the United States of an illness that has killed at least six people and sickened hundreds more, according to U.S. officials. The man, in his 30s, is in stable condition at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Wash. Officials said they are monitoring him there out of an abundance of caution, not because he is seriously ill. The man returned to the United States last week, before federal health officials began screening travelers from the central Chinese city of Wuhan at Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York's John F. Kennedy international airports, the first such effort since the 2014 Ebola outbreak. Washington state health officials said the man, a resident of Snohomish County, Wash., returned Wednesday from a trip to the region where he was visiting relatives in Wuhan, where the outbreak began. Shortly after arriving at Seattle's...
  19. A California man "intentionally rammed" his vehicle into a car carrying six teenage boys, killing three and injuring the others, before driving off, authorities said. The deadly crash occurred Sunday night around 10:30 p.m. local time on a roadway in the Temescal Valley, some 60 miles southeast of Los Angeles. The hit caused the teens' Toyota Prius to slam into a tree off the road, and first responders had to free three of the boys who were trapped in the wrecked vehicle, according to the California Highway Patrol. One of the teens died at the scene, while the other five were transported to local hospitals with injuries ranging from moderate to serious. Two of them were later pronounced dead, according to the California Highway Patrol. Their names and exact ages were not immediately released.
  20. A Phoenix woman has been arrested on suspicion of killing her three children, who were found dead inside the family's home after firefighters got a call about a drowning, authorities said Tuesday. The 22-year-old mother, Rachel Henry, "has admitted to harming her three children," which led to their deaths, police Sgt. Mercedes Fortune told reporters outside the home on a block with several weathered wooden houses and an old mobile home in a once rural area of southern Phoenix. A relative who lives at the house called police late Monday, and officers found a 7-month-old girl, 2-year-old girl and 3-year-old boy in a living room with no obvious trauma.
  21. Russia's Defense Ministry has marked the 319th anniversary of the creation of one of its most technologically advanced military branches by showcasing military engineers storming an enemy hideout in an impressive drill. A video published by the Defense Ministry on social media shows a Russian military engineers' strike team clad in state-of-the-art combined armor protective suits storming a simulated militants' mine workshop under the cover of armored personnel carriers. The soldiers' multilayer composite armor consisting of metallic, plastic and ceramic plates covering the whole body allows them to survive even if an explosive device is detonated right next to the strike team.
  22. President Vladimir Putin has approved a new Russian government after the surprise resignation of the previous cabinet last week. While there was a significant reshuffle, the defense, foreign and finance ministers kept their posts. "The new government is a well-balanced one, although it went through a major reshuffle," Putin said during a meeting with the new cabinet. Both Sergey Lavrov and Sergey Shoigu are political heavyweights and among the most trusted political figures in Russia, trailing only behind President Putin himself when it comes to popularity with the public. Anton Siluanov has been Russia's finance minister since 2011. A career diplomat with decades of experience in international relations, Lavrov served as Russia's envoy to the UN for ten years before taking the helm at the Foreign Ministry in 2004.
  23. A French publisher has apologised after a history textbook that appeared in bookshops in recent weeks suggested the 11 September 2001 attacks were probably "orchestrated by the CIA". Comment: Where's the lie? The debunked conspiracy theory was apparently highlighted on social media initially by a group of schoolteachers. The book History of the 20th Century in Flash Cards is aimed at undergraduate students.
  24. The American Meteor Society (AMS) has received 121 reports about a meteor fireball seen over Cyprus (Ammochostos, Famagusta, Λάρνακα, Larnaca, Larnaka, Lefkoşa kazası, Limasol, Limassol, Nicosia, North District and Paphos) on Tuesday, January 21st 2020 around 20:08 UT. Two videos were uploaded to the AMS website:
  25. If you regularly watch TV, you've probably seen a cartoon bear pitching you toilet paper, a gecko with a British accent selling you auto insurance and a bunny in sunglasses promoting batteries. This has always struck me as a bit odd. Sure, it makes sense to use cartoon characters to sell products to kids - a phenomenon that's been well-documented. But why are advertisers using the same techniques on adults? To me, it's just one symptom of a broader trend of infantilization in Western culture. It began before the advent of smartphones and social media. But, as I argue in my book "The Terminal Self," our everyday interactions with these computer technologies have accelerated and normalized our culture's infantile tendencies.
  26. President Trump's defense counsel has filed their legal brief on impeachment. It lays out a clear argument explaining why the Senate constitutionally cannot even consider the two flimsy articles of impeachment. The Senate, which has the sole power to try all impeachments, must acquit President Trump and outright dismiss this attempt to undermine the Constitution. Here are the four legal problems the president's brief reveals that House Democrats have: 1. The Substance Problem — The Articles don't identify any impeachable offense or even any crime Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution clearly and intentionally limits impeachment to instances of "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." The two articles of impeachment do not allege any conduct that fits within that constitutional definition, or even any crime whatsoever. "Abuse of power" and "obstruction of Congress" are vague allegations and a newly invented theory from the Democrats — not an allegation...
  27. What better way to spice up a snoozy meeting of world elite at a posh Swiss resort than a story of Russian spies? And if details show it's old with nothing to it, that hasn't stopped conspiracy-mongers and attention hungry media. "And then the plumber pulled out a diplomatic passport," blares (in German) the headline in Sunday's Tages Anzeiger. The Zurich-based daily offered a lurid story of two Russians with diplomatic documents that Swiss authorities hassled way back in August, and ultimately released because, well, they hadn't done anything to warrant prosecution. At least one of them "pretended to be a plumber," the paper proclaims, scandalized, to the delight of Russia conspiracy theorists everywhere - such as the Guardian's Luke Harding or Eliot 'Bellingcat' Higgins.
  28. House intel committee head Adam Schiff clashed with President Donald Trump's attorneys as the Senate impeachment trial began, attempting to spin his party's lackluster articles of impeachment as dire crimes and getting cut down. Even while insisting the evidence presented during the House hearings was "more than enough" for the Senate to convict Trump, Schiff maintained that failing to include all the witnesses, documents, and other material the Democrats had tried (and failed) to shoehorn into those hearings "only rewards the president's obstruction." Trump's "refusal to obey subpoenas" was allowing him to "hide all evidence harmful to his position," Schiff insisted, claiming that "the innocent do not act this way." Americans want a fair trial.
  29. After major protests hit multiple cities across Iran in November following a drastic government slash in gasoline subsidies which quickly turned anti-regime, broad internet outages were reported — some lasting as long as a week or more nationwide — following Tehran authorities ordering the blockage of external access. And during smaller January protests over downed Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, more widespread internet outages were reported recently, likely as Iranian security services fear protest "crackdown" videos would fuel outrage in western media, and after months ago Mike Pompeo expressly urged Iranians in the streets to send the State Department damning videos that would implicate Tehran's leaders and police. But now Washington appears to have initiated the "Syria option" inside Iran: covertly fueling and driving "popular protests" to eventually create conditions for large-scale confrontation on the ground geared toward regime change.
  30. Two-time presidential also-ran Hillary Clinton hasn't dropped her grudge against erstwhile opponent and current Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders, and her comments on his 'likability' have triggered a backlash from all sides. Clinton excoriated her former competitor as unlikeable and ineffective, telling the Hollywood Reporter that "nobody wants to work with [Sanders]" in the Senate in an interview published Tuesday ahead of a four-part documentary due to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. While the former secretary of state has long blamed Sanders, as well as Russia, former FBI director James Comey, WikiLeaks, actress Susan Sarandon, and dozens of other entities, for her 2016 election loss, Tuesday's attack comes on the heels of several polls placing Sanders at the front of the 2020 primary pack in key demographics.
  31. Israel's prime minister and other officials have repeatedly likened the Islamic Republic of Iran to Nazi Germany in recent years, and successfully lobbied President Trump to pull the US out of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, which Tel Aviv has dubbed as 'appeasement'. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the world to remember the Nazis' brutal genocide of millions of European Jews, comparing the event with Iran's nuclear programme. "Iran is openly declaring every day that it wants to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth - and, by the way, Israel today has a population of more than six million Jews," Netanyahu said, speaking to the US-based Christian broadcaster Trinity Broadcasting Network in an interview expected to air later Tuesday. The Israeli prime minister recalled that during the Holocaust, "a third of the Jewish people went up in flames; there was nothing we could do. Now, after the Holocaust, the State of Israel has been established - and the attempts to...
  32. Direct flights are to resume between Kosovo and Belgrade for the first time since the start of the Kosovo War more than two decades ago in what is being hailed as an important diplomatic step. Eurowings, the no-frills subsidiary of German flag-carrier Lufthansa, will fly between the Kosovan and Serb capitals following a deal brokered by US diplomats. Serbia and Kosovo have remained uneasy neighbours ever since their 1998-99 war that claimed more than 10,000 lives and left over one million people homeless.
  33. North Korea on Tuesday said that as the United States had ignored its year-end deadline for nuclear talks, it no longer felt bound by commitments, which included a halt to its nuclear testing and the firing of inter-continental ballistic missiles. "We found no reason to be unilaterally bound any longer by the commitment that the other party fails to honor", Ju Yong Chol, a counsellor at North Korea's mission to the United Nations in Geneva, told the UN-backed Conference on Disarmament, Reuters reported. Speaking as the envoy from the People's Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK), he accused the United States of applying "the most brutal and inhuman sanctions", adding: "If the US persists in such hostile policy towards the DPRK there will never be the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula". "If the United States tries to enforce unilateral demands and persists in imposing sanctions, North Korea may be compelled to seek a new path," Ju added.
  34. President Donald Trump did "absolutely nothing wrong," is the victim of a partisan plot to take him down and should be swiftly acquitted in a Senate trial, his legal team argued in a brief Monday. The 110-page trial memo, prepared for submission to the Senate a day before the president's impeachment trial is set to begin in earnest, counters House Democrats' argument that Trump abused the power of his office for personal gain by working to pressure Ukraine to announce politically advantageous investigations and then, once he was caught, sought to obstruct Congress' investigation. The two articles, which the House adopted in December, set a dangerous precedent, Trump's attorneys said in the memo, which the White House made public Monday.
  35. A member of Iran's parliament has called for placing a bounty on US President Donald Trump's head in response to a drone strike that killed Tehran's senior military commander, Qassem Soleimani. The statement was made by Ahmad Hamzeh, a lawmaker from the southern Kerman Province, whose namesake capital is Soleimani's hometown. "On behalf of the people of Kerman Province, we will pay a 3 million dollar award in cash to whoever kills Trump," Hamzeh said in a speech to fellow lawmakers on Tuesday, as quoted by Iranian news outlets.
  36. For the best part of a decade two women have parlayed supposed gamer sexism and death threat allegations into wealth, fame, and a reputation at odds with their actions. Will Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn ever be held to account? Sarkeesian was an online pioneer of a certain type of feminist game criticism that appeared to dismiss most games as a form of digitalized misogyny and hated playing all of them, while Quinn was a game developer with a thin track record but a flair for drawing attention on the internet, when Gamergate struck. An avalanche triggered in August 2014 by a single account of Quinn's supposedly unscrupulous personal behaviour, Gamergate was the moment that a prevalent but culturally marginalized hobby came of age as something that truly mattered.
  37. Two inmates were killed Monday night at an understaffed Mississippi prison that has been shaken by other deadly violence in recent weeks. The state Department of Corrections confirmed the deaths Tuesday but did not immediately release the names of the latest inmates killed at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. A chaplain was trying to reach the inmates' families to notify them of the deaths, and the department said it is investigating the deaths. "At this moment, it appears to be an isolated incident — not a continuation of the recent retaliatory killings," the department said Tuesday on Twitter. Department spokeswoman Grace Simmons Fisher verified to The Associated Press that the information is accurate.
  38. Since the U.S. killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis earlier this month, the official narrative has held that their deaths were necessary to prevent a vague, yet allegedly imminent, threat of violence towards Americans, though President Trump has since claimed whether or not Soleimani or his Iraqi allies posed an imminent threat "doesn't really matter." While the situation between Iran, Iraq and the U.S. appears to have de-escalated substantially, at least for now, it is worth revisiting the lead-up to the recent U.S.-Iraq/Iran tensions up to the Trump-mandated killing of Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in order to understand one of the most overlooked yet relevant drivers behind Trump's current policy with respect to Iraq: preventing China from expanding its foothold in the Middle East. Indeed, it has been alleged that even the timing of Soleimani's assassination was directly related to his diplomatic role in Iraq and his push...
  39. Advanced genetic genealogy testing helped authorities solve three Georgia rape cases from 1999, a prosecutor said Tuesday. The three rapes happened between June and October 1999 within a three-mile radius of each other, Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes said in a press release. In each case, a woman awoke in the wee hours of the morning in her own bed to find an unknown man standing over her. Each woman reported her assault immediately and underwent testing to collect and preserve semen left by the rapist. Rape kit testing done by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation at the time indicated that the the DNA profile from the three kits was identical, but repeated checks never matched to any known offender in a national DNA database. The district attorney's office began looking into the case again in late 2018 and determined that advanced DNA testing might be appropriate. The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, which funds the Georgia Sexual Assault Kit Initiative,...
  40. Russia's top prosecutor, Yury Chaika, who as one of the most powerful law enforcement figures in the country oversaw a raft of politically charged criminal investigations, will leave his position after nearly 14 years in office. The Kremlin said on January 20 that President Vladimir Putin had nominated Igor Krasnov, who has served as deputy chairman of the Investigative Committee, to replace Chaika as prosecutor-general. Russia's upper house of parliament must formally vote on Krasnov's nomination, though an affirmative vote is all but guaranteed. Krasnov is little-known outside of Russian law enforcement circles. However, the Investigative Committee, which has been run by Putin ally Aleksandr Bastrykin since it was created in 2007, is considered a rival law enforcement agency that has clashed in the past with the Prosecutor-General's Office. Chaika, 68, was serving as justice minister in June 2006 when he was named to the position of prosecutor-general, taking over for Vladimir...
  41. President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned the international community against heeding the advice of environmental activists — dismissing them as fearmongering "prophets of doom" who will cripple global economies and strip away individual liberties in what he described as a misguided mission to save the planet. Trump, in his opening address at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, said: "This is not a time for pessimism. This is a time for optimism. Fear and doubt is not a good thought process because this is a time for tremendous hope and joy and optimism and action. "But to embrace the possibilities of tomorrow, we must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse. They are the heirs of yesterday's foolish fortune tellers. And I have them, and you have them, and we all have them. And they want to see us do badly, but we don't let that happen." The president's repudiation of climate change activists before the assembly of...
  42. By threatening to leave the landmark Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Iran wants to renew pressure on Europe rather than get a nuclear weapon, because that would invite US raids and alienate Russia and China, analysts told RT. On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned that the country will leave the NPT if European states file a complaint with the UN Security Council over Iran not following the 2015 nuclear deal. Under the NPT, states that don't have nuclear weapons can't get them in the future. "Iran's warning is real. But it doesn't mean that Iran is going to get nuclear weapons," Hamidreza Azizi, an assistant professor of regional studies at the Tehran-based Shahid Beheshti University, told RT. "Based on the logic that has prevailed in the Iranian domestic discourse, it's a move to show Iran's ability to act independently, and to take steps in continuing our nuclear program independently." Britain, France and Germany formally lodged a dispute procedure...
  43. Russian President Vladimir Putin has submitted a package of proposed constitutional amendments to parliament, after announcing last week a surprise overhaul of the country's political system. Putin had suggested numerous revisions to the constitution during his state-of-the-nation address on January 15, prompting speculation that the shakeup could help keep the 67-year-old former KGB officer in power beyond the end of his fourth presidential term in 2024. The proposed amendments include giving parliament the power to name the prime minister and limit the president to only two terms in total -- instead of two successive terms, according to the bill posted on the website of the Kremlin-controlled lower house, the State Duma, on January 20. It also proposes transferring some powers from the presidency to state bodies such as the State Council, which would be transformed from an advisory body to an organ that would shape domestic and foreign policy, as well as social and economic...
  44. The Ukrainian prosecutor who Joe Biden pushed to oust had six cases against Burisma but they fizzled out after he left, a new documentary shows challenging the narrative by the former vice president that the media failed to check. When Joe Biden lobbied Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to replace Viktor Shokin with Yuriy Lutsenko in 2015, his entourage claimed that Shokin had failed to thoroughly investigate corruption, and by pushing for his replacement "saint" Biden even acted against his family's interests. But the second episode of the documentary series 'UkraineGate: Inconvenient facts' produced by French investigative journalist Olivier Berruyer, founder of popular anti-corruption and economics blog Les Crises, shows information that undermines this narrative.
  45. Comment: Or else what, old man? Joe Biden's presidential campaign has issued a warning to the media cautioning journalists against spreading what he called "debunked" theories about his controversial role in having a Ukrainian prosecutor removed from office. In the memo first reported by NBC News, Biden's campaign accuses President Donald Trump of "spreading a malicious and conclusively debunked conspiracy theory" that the former VP engaged in wrongdoing when he pressured Ukraine to fire former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. Biden has previously bragged about his role in having Shokin fired, even admitting on camera that he presented an ultimatum to Ukrainian authorities, threatening to withhold a billion-dollar loan guarantee unless the prosecutor was given the boot. It emerged later that Biden's own son Hunter sat on the board of the Burisma energy company which Shokin had been investigating for corruption. The memo, described as "unusual" by NBC News, demands that "any media...
  46. The top Russia expert on President Donald Trump's National Security Council has left his post after about three months, according to three people familiar with the matter. Andrew Peek, the NSC's senior director for European and Russian affairs, was escorted from the White House grounds on Friday, two of the people said, asking not to be identified because they weren't authorized to discuss personnel matters. A spokesman for the NSC declined to comment, citing the same reason. Peek also declined to comment. Axios reported earlier Saturday that Peek was placed on administrative leave pending a security-related investigation. Peek is the third departure from the position in less than a year. The NSC has been marked by turbulence and turnover over Trump's three years in office, as the president has repeatedly sought national security advisers more in-line with his own ideology.
  47. The BRICS group of emerging economies, which is comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, is open to welcoming new member countries, according to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. Russia is focused on activities on the BRICS+ platform, which "makes it possible for interested countries to find ways to cooperate with the group's members," said Ryabkov, adding: "This is why it is possible to talk about the expansion of BRICS as a goal for the future." According to Ryabkov, the Russian Sherpa in the five-nation trade bloc, "BRICS' existence is important in terms of creating new positive elements in the economic, social and scientific development of our countries, as well as for other areas of development." The group of five countries represents more than 40 percent of the world's population. In line with efforts to boost trade, members are working on the integration of payment systems, increasing payments in national currencies, as well as the...
  48. Central banks have been buying massive amounts of gold over the last 50 years, purchasing a historic high of 374.1 tons in 2019. The unprecedented shift has been seen by many as a move away from the US dollar. The interesting thing, according to Egon von Greyerz of GoldSwitzerland.com, is that not every country is buying gold. He told RT's Keiser Report that mainly Eastern central banks have been piling up the shiny metal. "We are talking about Russia and China, Turkey, Poland, and Hungary." Russia and China are the ones that are "really seeing what's happening," he says. "They know that the dollar is going to collapse." According to Greyerz, China, which didn't reveal its true position of gold holdings, "might... have 20,000 tons that they have gathered over a long period of time." "Russia and China see that the dollar days are counted, and I agree with that totally. At some point it [dollar collapse] should happen this year and I think it will. We are going to see the dollar...
  49. Tensions in the region have escalated recently following the killing of Iran's top military commander Qasem Soleimani in the US targeted attack on the Baghdadi International Airport on 3 January. Three rockets have fallen in the Green Zone near the US embassy in Baghdad, an Iraqi security source reported. "Three missiles landed in the area close to the US embassy in the 'green zone' in Baghdad, air raid sirens are heard from the embassy", the source said.
  50. Whoever replaces outgoing BBC Director General Tony Hall, be sure that establishment interests will be in safe hands. But multiple scandals the broadcaster has been involved in damaged it quite possibly beyond repair. The next director general of the BBC will be formally appointed by Sir David Clementi, educated at Winchester, Oxford and Harvard, a former deputy governor of the Bank of England, chair of insurance giant Prudential, a former director of Rio Tinto Zinc, chair of Virgin Money and CEO of Kleinwort Benson. His grandfather was the governor of Hong Kong. Be sure then that the interests of the establishment are in safe hands. But in truth, the new DG will be picked by another public-school Eton-and-Oxford blue-blood, Boris Johnson.