The talisman animal of the Lunar Year of the Rabbit is based on an ancient Chinese myth, shared by the much of the rest of Asia, of a beautiful young princess named Chang’e exiled for her indiscretion, perhaps for talking with a stranger, from the Emperor’s court to spend her remaining life on the Moon. On that barren rock, her loneliness was relieved by a white rabbit named Yu Tu (Jade rabbit, jade being most precious substance to the Emperor). The rabbit consoled her and romped around cheerfully to ease the loneliness of exile. During the spring festival, the Japanese folk tales have it that on the full moon a shadowy rabbit can be clearly seen swinging a wooden mallet to pound glutinous rice into mochi, a gooey soft cake for the forlorn princess to enjoy. The story has no ending since both the princess and the rabbit are presumably still up there, despite the extreme efforts of the Chinese space program’s rover named Yu Tu to explore its surface and craters even on the dark side of the Moon, perhaps in search of physical evidence proving the Chinese were the first to inhabit the Moon and therefore making China its rightful owner.
All states supplying Kiev with weapons are responsible for this, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday in comments on EU discussions on the possibility of supplying German tanks to Ukraine.
"This whole legal balancing act that we see now, and the exchange of statements between European capital cities… European capitals, including Warsaw, are now threatening Berlin with international exclusion and much more. All this suggests that anxiety among the members of the alliance is increasing all the time, keeps growing. But here, of course, all the countries that are directly or indirectly involved in pumping weapons and in raising the technological sophistication of Ukraine, they are all responsible for this in one way or another," the Kremlin spokesman said.
"The main thing, however, is that the Ukrainian people will have to pay for all these actions, for all this pseudo-support," the spokesman stressed.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Sunday that Germany is coordinating with allies on the supply of tanks to Ukraine. On Friday, defense ministers from some 50 countries met at Ramstein Air Base in Germany to discuss further assistance to Kiev. Germany’s defense chief Boris Pistorius told the Phoenix TV channel that no decision on Leopard 2 supplies to Kiev had been made. He also said that there was no unified coalition interested in supplying Leopard tanks to Ukraine. However, he did not rule out that such a decision could be made in the next few days.
Wagner PMC founder Yevgeny Prigozhin has called the United States a criminal syndicate and warned that he has many very upsetting "secrets and witnesses" for Washington.
"I have many secrets that are so upsetting to America. I have witnesses who remember how the CIA trained Osama bin Laden, who brought bags of money and weapons for the Islamic State (terrorist group, banned in Russia - TASS) in Syria and other countries. They coached cutthroats and terrorists around the world so that there would be trouble everywhere - in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. Only the earthly paradise called the United States should be calm," said Prigozhin as quoted by his press service on his Telegram channel on Monday.
He warns that the task of the United States is to "split Russia into small pieces, and then do away with China and other rivals" in order to remain the largest and most powerful country in the world.
The Wagner Group scares the US because it is willing to oppose American atrocities around the world, the private military company’s founder Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed on Monday, answering a question from RT.
Washington said last week that it would designate the Russian PMC as an international criminal organization, accusing it of “widespread atrocities and human rights abuses.”
“Unlike American paramilitary structures,” Prigozhin said in a written response to RT, “Wagner PMC only goes after the enemies of peace, and does not commit crimes. Of course, if you’re doing a reversal of concepts, you can make anyone look bad.”
The US is the only country to use nuclear weapons in history, and “organized wars and revolutions” in “Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Mozambique, Central Africa and so on,” Prigozhin noted, adding that in some of those countries Wagner came in and “stopped the wars with an iron fist.”
Calling the US “a powerful criminal syndicate subsisting on the money of the entire world,” Prigozhin said Wagner was “more like the vice police” in relation.
Days after he warned NATO of the likelihood of nuclear war if Russia is defeated in Ukraine, former Russian president and current deputy chairman of the security council Dmitry Medvedev on Monday said the world stands on the brink of World War III due to US and Western aggression against Russia.
"The world has come close to the threat of World War III due to impending US aggression against the Russian Federation," Medvedev said in comments first reported by Sky News Arabia. He also emphasized he sees the conflict at a point of no return. "There are no conditions for negotiations between Russia and Ukraine now, either de facto or de jure," Medvedev said.
On the same day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov voiced something similar, saying the confrontation with NATO can no longer be seen as merely a "hybrid war" or proxy war, but is instead fast approaching a real one. He said this in a joint press conference with his South African counterpart, Naledi Pandor
Lavrov explained that this "almost real" - as he put it according to state media, was something the West "has been preparing for a long time against Russia."
He further charged that Ukraine's leadership has created "presidents of war" and "Russophobic leaders" - particularly in reference to Present Zelensky and before him Petro Poroshenko.
The idea to store munitions on the territories of Ukrainian nuclear power plants could only have been thought up in the United States, since the Ukrainian side cannot but see the hazards of such actions, Renat Karchaa, an adviser to the head of Russia’s Rosenergoatom nuclear power engineering company, said on Monday.
He doubted that such an idea could have come from Ukrainian nuclear sector specialists because "such games can lead to a really awful disaster." "Such plans are hatched far from Ukraine. These plans can only originate from the United States because they won’t be affected should anything happen. Only those who don’t care at all about the consequences can take such monstrous steps," he said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel.
The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service said earlier on Monday that Ukrainian troops are storing munitions coming from Western countries, including HIMARS rockets, on the territories of nuclear power plants hoping that Russia, realizing the danger of a nuclear catastrophe, would never target these facilities and if a stray Ukrainian air defense rocket incidentally falls there and causes a blast, it can be blamed on Russia.
The West has long aimed to destroy everything Russian, the FM has said
The current situation in Ukraine shows that the conflict between Russia and the West can no longer be defined as a “hybrid war” but is instead approaching being a real one, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.
Speaking at a press conference following a meeting with his South African counterpart, Naledi Pandor, Lavrov also noted that this “almost real” war was something that the West “has been preparing for a long time against Russia.” The minister claimed that Western powers are seeking to destroy everything Russian, from the language to the culture that had existed in Ukraine for centuries, and even forbid people from speaking their native language.
Lavrov went on to point out that such practices have become commonplace throughout Ukraine and that the country’s last two presidents, Pyotr Poroshenko and current leader Vladimir Zelensky, have both turned into “presidents of war” and “Russophobic leaders” after gaining power, despite running their presidential campaigns under the promise of establishing peace.
The minister also recalled that Ukraine has adopted laws that prohibit using the Russian language in education, media, and even in everyday life. “And this is all supported by the West,” Lavrov said, adding that this support extends to neo-Nazi marches with swastikas and symbols of banned Nazi divisions being held across the country.
A North Carolina cosmetic surgeon who posts photos of patients on whom she has performed radical surgeries to remove their breasts or genitalia reportedly posted a photo of a 15-year-old girl who had her breasts removed.
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) intends to investigate donations to the Penn Biden Center as well as who is purchasing Hunter Biden’s artwork as part of a probe into the Biden family’s financial ties.
Ukraine is now being run by specialists from the US Central Intelligence Agency and British MI-6, Ukraine’s former Prime Minister (2010-2014) Nikolai Azarov said on Monday.
"Ukraine is now very seriously governed not by [President Vladimir] Zelensky, not by [Ukrainian defense ministry’s intelligence directorate chief Kirill] Budanov, not by [commander in chief of the Ukrainian armed forces Valery] Zaluzhny, but by special groups of highly-qualified specialists in military science and intelligence who represent first of all the Central Intelligence Agency and MI-6. They steer practically all steps allegedly taken by Zelensky and Zaluzhny," he said in an interview with the Solovyov Live television channel.
The Ukrainian authorities are fulfilling ready-made plans "under supervision from Western specialists," he added.
Saudi-led coalition shelling in Saada’s Shadaa district reportedly killed two civilians and injured four on 22 January, an Al-Mayadeen correspondent said.
The news was also reported by Yemen’s Al-Masirah TV, affiliated with the Ansarallah resistance movement and the National Salvation Government (NSG) based in Sanaa.
According to Al-Masirah, these latest Saudi truce violations have sent the death toll from coalition shelling in Saada this month up to seven, with 91 injured so far.
However, the Saudi-led coalition has denied these reports. Saudi general and coalition spokesman, Turki al-Maliki, said in a statement that “allegations of the Houthi militia that there is border shelling on the directorates (Monabbih) and (Shadaa), and that there are civilian casualties, are baseless.”
Turkey has held talks with the United Kingdom over the possible sale of a large package of weapons, including fighter jets, transport planes, engines and frigates, three separate sources familiar with the discussions told Middle East Eye.
Turkish defence minister Hulusi Akar visited London on Sunday, meeting his British counterpart, Ben Wallace.
The sources said that during their meeting Akar and Wallace explored the possibility of Ankara purchasing Eurofighter jets, C-130J transport planes and Type 23 frigates, as well as engines for Turkey’s outdated M60 battle tanks. The estimated value of such a deal is well over $10bn, according to the sources.
“We are evaluating our options on these platforms but we aren’t in the final stages of negotiations,” said one of the Turkish sources, who spoke to MEE on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorised to speak to the media.
Commenting on the talks, a UK Ministry of Defence spokesperson told Middle East Eye: “The Defence Secretary met with his Turkish counterpart to discuss strengthening defence ties between the two countries. They spoke on a range of topics including procurement, with progress made in a number of areas.”
Human Rights Watch charged on Monday that new Israeli rules for foreigners entering the West Bank risked turning the occupied territory into "another Gaza," cutting residents off from the outside world.
The regulations, which have faced waves of condemnation from the European Union and United States, have also been clouded by uncertainty.
Israeli said the rules, which came into force in October, are aimed at clarifying the procedures surrounding West Bank entry and are being implemented on a two-year trial basis.
They were also revised last year amid widespread criticism.
Despite those revisions, HRW said the measures "threaten to further isolate Palestinians from loved ones and global civil society."
Israeli forces detained 16 Palestinians from various parts of the occupied West Bank on Monday morning, the official news agency WAFA reported.
According to official Palestinian sources, the isreali occupation forces rounded up Palestinians and ransacked their family houses in several West Bank refugee camps, including Jazalone, Nur Shamas, and Dheisheh.
In the Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, Isreali forces detained a 13-year-old Palestinian minor.
Other arrest campaigns were carried out in Hebron (Al-Khalil), Nablus, Janin, and the Jordan Valley.
Israeli forces frequently raid Palestinian houses almost on a daily basis across the West Bank on the pretext of searching for “wanted” Palestinians, triggering clashes with residents.
How could we have allowed things to deteriorate this badly? For a moment, I want you to imagine that you have just arrived in a major city in a foreign country. Unfortunately, instead of the shiny new buildings and beautiful homes that you expect to see, there is trash, filth and the sound of police sirens everywhere that you go. After walking a few blocks, you stumble upon one of the dozens of open air drug markets that are freely operating in that particular city. Many addicts are lying on the ground wherever they suddenly passed out, others with visible gaping wounds are staggering around like zombies, and you even spot one enterprising addict that has decided to take a dump right in the middle of the street. Of course there are used needles scattered everywhere, and you try not to step on them. You decide that it is time to leave, but it is already too late, because protesters behind you and in front of you have started to clash with the police. Moments later a police car is set on fire, and you can smell tear gas in the air. Thankfully, you are able to scramble to safety, and eventually you find your way back to your hotel room and lock the door. When you turn on the news to see what they are saying about the chaos in the streets, you are amazed to discover that it is being reported that the protests were “mostly peaceful” and that everything is just fine.
Sadly, what I have just detailed is not a description of a major city in a foreign land.
Rather, it is a description of what daily life is now like in many of the largest cities here in the United States.
All across the world Citizens are suffering for Ukraine. Most of them were never asked whether they wanted to sacrifice their quality of life in this way. It was merely something imposed from above – a dictate that The People “must” defend Ukraine. Surely, we all have compassion…but at what cost…and when does it ever end?The British People are among those who have suffered the most and have a fair right to know why.
Facts In Review – A Snapshot of Merry Old England Today
Currently in the United Kingdom there are a rash of strikes by workers for higher pay. These include Health Care Workers, Education Workers and Rail Unions…totaling more than 500,000 public sector employees.
Matters have reached such a crisis that this week Parliament debated a bill to outlaw strikes at all. The Resolution Foundation, a UK Think Tank, estimates income will fall by 2,000 UKP next year. Average inflation is over 10 percent this year in the country. Recently the World Bank cut its outlook for the year and warned of a Global Recession to come.
Moreover, Downing Street has announced a “slimming down” of home heating assistance, when costs have doubled this year for some. That will likely cause energy bills to increase nearly a third next year.
According to The Guardian newspaper 700,000 in England and Wales lack central heating. Many others are using firewood as “the only affordable fuel” in this season. It is estimated 1.4 million in Britain are in danger of a not being able to pay mortgages due to rapidly rising interest rates.
Incidentally, the amount of households in the nation renting has doubled since 2001…the exact opposite direction in which a healthy society should be trending in ownership.
See more at https://english.pravda.ru/opinion/155486-ukraine_burglary/
“Rather than teaching these kids about math, English, and science…, these kids are being used and abused to help these people achieve some kind of sick agenda that they have,”
Chiaradio sent a complaint to the state’s attorney general. Still, he also confronted the school board directly with images of the pornographic materials contained within the books with which he takes issue. He stated that the district stepped in and attempted to block the images from being seen at the event. This is something that Chiaradio believes proves his point. If the district doesn’t want the materials to be seen, then one has to wonder why these materials are permitted in the high school library.
When Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) this weekend endorsed bolstering Social Security by ending a payroll tax exemption for the rich, he was backing a proposal pioneered by progressive lawmakers more than two decades ago.
The question now is whether President Joe Biden — who has pushed Social Security cuts in the past and whose new chief of staff touted such cuts — will seize the opportunity to shore up the system’s revenue, or instead try to strike a deal with Republicans to slash the program.
During a Sunday CNN interview, Manchin was asked about Republicans’ potential push to cut Social Security. He responded that the “easiest and quickest thing we can do is raise the cap” that stops charging Social Security taxes on income over $160,000 per year.
A Florida Democratic lawmaker in favor of teaching a controversial AP African American Studies in high schools blasted the state on Monday, arguing that students shouldn’t be shielded from BLM or “black queerness.”