Anarchy in Ecuador; Hundreds Arrested in Frantic Fight to Stop Cartel
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Nearly 900 people have been arrested in Ecuador since Tuesday in a national security operation to stop an outburst of gang violence, Ecuador’s presidency said.

The presidency says 94 of the 859 people detained are members of what they call “terrorist” groups.

Ecuador has been rocked by blasts, police kidnappings and prison disturbances in a wave of violence beginning with the prison escape of one of Ecuador’s most powerful drug lords last weekend.

Ecuador’s President Daniel Noboa on Tuesday declared the country to be in a state of “internal armed conflict,” ordering security forces to “neutralize” several criminal gangs accused of spreading extreme violence.

Noboa also designated 22 criminal gangs to be “terrorist” organizations in the presidential decree.

In a further measure, the Ecuadorian government announced on Thursday that foreigners who want to enter the country from Colombia or Peru will have to provide a criminal record certificate in a measure designed to “prevent and control the entry of individuals who constitute a threat or risk to public safety.”

Noboa has claimed that 90% of the foreign prisoners in Ecuador are Colombians, Peruvians, and Venezuelans.

The violence was triggered by the escape of high-profile gang leader Adolfo “Fito” Macías from a prison in Guayaquil on Sunday.

Following Fito’s escape and the declaration, Ecuador’s prison agency reported incidents in at least six prisons in different provinces on Sunday.

Criminal groups then embarked on a wave of violent attacks in a show of strength designed to discourage efforts to crack down on their activities.

Ecuador, home to the Galapagos islands and a tourist-friendly dollar economy, was once known as an “island of peace,” nestled between two of the world’s largest cocaine producers, Peru and Colombia.

But the country’s deep ports have made it a key transit point for cocaine making its way to consumers in the United States and Europe.

Read 6 Comments
  • fedup says:

    ‘Ecuador, home to the Galapagos islands and a tourist-friendly dollar economy, was once known as an “island of peace,’
    goes with the globalist climate change plan to do away with travel, keep you in your spot and surveilled continuously
    Let the cartels and Chinese take control

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    Haiti Gang Prison Attack Triggers Massive Jailbreak, at Least a Dozen Dead



    Armed gangs in Haiti’s capital released roughly 4,000 inmates from the country’s largest prison after a days-long gun battle with police on Sunday.

    The vast majority of the 4,000 men held in the Port-au-Prince jail successfully escaped, according to reports from local media. Many of the inmates were gang members charged in connection with the 2021 assassination of Hatian President Jovenel Moise.

    Armed gangs launched their attack against the prison earlier this weekend when Prime Minister Ariel Henry left the country on a visit to Kenya, seeking assistance in the fight against domestic gangs.

    Gang leader Jimmy Cherizier, a former police officer, called on various armed groups to overthrow Henry’s regime. Gangs attacked both the National Penitentiary and the country’s main container port.

    “All of us, the armed groups in the provincial towns and the armed groups in the capital, are united,” Cherizier said.

    Henry had vowed to step down from his position by the end of February, but he argued the gang violence needed to be overcome before free and fair elections could be held.

    Haiti has not held an election since 2016.

    Henry succeeded in negotiating an agreement in Kenya on Friday.

    Kenya had agreed in October to lead a U.N.-authorized international police force to Haiti, but the Kenyan High Court in January ruled the plan unconstitutional, in part because of a lack of reciprocal agreements between the two countries.

    Last week’s agreement ensures that Kenya will send 1,000 police officers to the troubled Caribbean nation to help combat ongoing gang violence.

    Kenyan President William Ruto said in a statement that he and Henry witnessed the signing of the reciprocal agreements between the two countries on Friday.

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    Speaker Johnson Releases Over 5,000 Additional Hours of Jan. 6 Footage



    House Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) and House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) announced Friday the release of 5,000 hours of CCTV footage of the Jan. 6, 2021, protests. This release coincides with Blaze Media investigative journalist Steve Baker’s FBI-compelled surrender in Dallas over his Jan. 6 reporting.

    According to the Republican congressmen, this release is but a trickle compared to the coming flood, as far more footage will be released in the coming weeks and months. Additionally, at the direction of Johnson, faces will not be blurred in the footage in the interest of “getting this work completed as responsibly and efficiently as possible.”

    Already, the footage Loudermilk made available to Steve Baker has served to greatly undermine the Jan. 6 narrative advanced by Democratic lawmakers and their allies in the media.

    Weeks after uncovering various damning irregularities in the story told by and about U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, Baker confirmed in January — on the basis of Jan. 6 footage — that the so-called passerby who discovered the pipe bomb at the DNC happened to be a United States Capitol Police plainclothes officer.

    In his continued deep dive, Baker also found troubling indications that something was off about the pipe bomb investigation from the outset.

    On the basis of closed-circuit TV video footage made available to him by Loudermilk, Baker noted how three cameras controlled by the U.S. Capitol Police and customarily pointed at the DNC office building were strangely turned away from the scene just after the discovery of the alleged explosive device. Despite the cameras’ averted gazes, Baker nevertheless highlighted curious details about various law enforcement agencies’ responses to the discovery of the pipe bombs as well as about the investigation that followed.

    The release of additional vantages on the Jan. 6 protests and the incidents in the surrounding area may serve to lend additional insights into what actually took place on that fateful day.

    Videos have been uploaded and now appear on the House Subcommittee on Oversight’s Rumble page. Subsequent releases will similarly be reviewed to ensure that footage does not contain sensitive security information.

    “House Republicans again commend Chairman Loudermilk and the entire Committee on House Administration for their ongoing commitment to ensuring that there is full transparency surrounding the events of January 6,” Johnson said in a statement obtained by Blaze News.

    Last year, Johnson indicated he would release 44,000 hours of footage from the Jan. 6 protests, noting that doing so would “provide millions of Americans, criminal defendants, public interest organizations, and the media an ability to see for themselves what happened that day, rather than having to rely upon the interpretation of a small group of government officials.”

    In his statement Friday, Johnson stressed that the “ongoing work is especially necessary considering the deeply flawed prior investigation conducted by the partisan January 6 select committee, which instead of delivering transparency, has contributed to defendants, public interest groups, and the media having to rely upon the interpretation of a small group of government officials.”

    “My subcommittee’s investigation has always been about providing the American people with full transparency and complete accountability about what really happened on January 6, 2021,” said Rep. Loudermilk. “As such, we have been working tirelessly to make public all U.S. Capitol Police CCTV footage from that day.”

    Loudermilk lauded Johnson for his continued support of the subcommittee’s efforts and for his “resolute commitment to full transparency for the American people.”

    “Today’s decision will significantly expedite CCTV footage releases, all of which will be made available to the American public within the next few months, without blurring or editing,” added the Georgia congressman.

    Watch the videos here.

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    Laken Riley’s Mother Speaks Out for First Time Since Her Daughter’s Murder



    Laken Riley’s mother, Allyson Phillips, on Saturday shared a public message for the first time since her daughter’s Feb. 22 murder, calling it an “avoidable tragedy” in a Facebook post.

    Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student at Augusta University, was killed while jogging on trails around the University of Georgia campus. Jose Antonio Ibarra, a 26-year-old Venezuelan national who was living illegally in the United States, has been charged in her murder, which police described as a “crime of opportunity.”

    “As I sat down to write this message, I really just have no words,” Phillips wrote on Facebook. “My family has faced the most devastating, unimaginable loss that anyone could ever be force [sic] to endure. I would like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for being with me and my family during this heartbreaking time. I encourage everyone to have a personal relationship with Jesus. I give Him all the glory for getting us through this.”

    She added that “[i]t would be really easy to lose our faith in mankind because of this senseless and avoidable tragedy,” but said her family has received an overwhelming “amount of love, support and help” during what she described as a “horrific nightmare.”

    “I can’t begin to tell you all how much we appreciate all of the text, calls, flowers, meals, groceries, bows, pictures, personal gifts, memorials, gift cards and donations to Laken’s foundation,” she said. “We are beyond grateful for everyone who has stepped up to be here for us through this difficult time. The outpouring of love has been so enormous – that I felt this was the best way to thank you all in a timely manner. I hope that each and every one of you know how much we love you and appreciate all you have done.”

    Phillips asked the public to “continue to pray” for her family as they “put one foot in front of the other moving forward.” She also changed her profile picture to a photo of a black and red heart – UGA’s colors – featuring Laken’s name, along with the hashtag #sayhername.

    Phillips laid her daughter to rest on a rainy Friday afternoon in Woodstock, Georgia.

    “When the world loses someone like Laken, whose light consistently shined so bright, it seems that much darker in their absence,” Woodstock City Church lead pastor Samer Massad said in a Friday statement to Fox News. “Laken was special. She was a gift to anyone who knew her. Smart, kind, compassionate, and thoughtful don’t even begin to scratch the surface. She was a loving daughter, sister, and friend. She had a gift for making anyone she was around feel comfortable and seen. But the most special thing about Laken was her faith in Jesus.”

    Jose Ibarra and his brother, Diego Ibarra, lived together in an apartment complex in Athens located about a five-minute walk from the approximate scene near Lake Herrick on UGA’s campus where Riley was killed.

    Jose entered the United States through the U.S.-Mexico border in 2022 and was freed on border parole. He initially lived in New York City before moving to the Georgia college town.

    He is charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, hindering a 911 call and concealing the death of another.

    Diego Ibarra was fired from a dishwashing job at UGA after presenting fake green card documents, the school previously told Fox News Digital.

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    Hunter Biden’s Chinese Legal “Client” Claims First Son Earned $1 Million for No Work — And Now Threatens to Sue if Not Paid Back



    Hunter Biden was paid $1 million by Chinese firm CEFC to act as attorney for their employee, Dr Patrick Ho, but now Ho is threatening to sue the first son within seven days unless he gets the money back — because he claims Hunter did no legal work for him.

    Ho sent a legal letter to Hunter last week requesting that their attorney-client agreement be terminated immediately and threatening legal action unless he receives a detailed list of services provided by Hunter and reimbursement for the unused funds, as laid out in the 2017 contract.

    Ho’s letter, sent by Hong Kong law firm Huen & Partners to Hunter’s attorney Abbe Lowell in Washington, DC, set a deadline of seven days for the repayment of any remaining funds.

    “Patrick says he paid him, and that Hunter never did anything for him,” a friend of Ho’s told The Post, “and that according to the contract the money should be reimbursed.”

    The $1 million legal retainer was wired from CEFC in China to CEFC’s Hong Kong HSBC account, and then, on November 2, 2017, to the American bank account of Hudson West III (HWIII) the firm Hunter co-owned with CEFC, and then to Hunter’s private firm, Owasco, according to his California tax indictment.

    Ho was arrested in New York on November 18, 2017, as he got off a plane from Hong Kong.

    The former Hong Kong Home Affairs secretary was convicted in 2019 for paying bribes to the presidents of Chad and Uganda. He was sentenced to three years’ jail before being deported to Hong Kong.

    According to Ho, Hunter, 54, pocketed the $1 million but did no legal work for him, other than call another attorney, Edward Kim, and turn up half an hour late for a meeting with Ho and Kim at the Manhattan Correctional Center the morning after Ho’s arrest.

    Hunter didn’t visit Ho, 74, even once in jail, Ho has told friends bitterly.

    Hunter’s name does not appear as an attorney on record for the Patrick Ho case in the Southern District of New York.

    Under oath, Hunter told Delaware district judge Maryellen Noreika, during his failed plea hearing of July 26, 2023, that he received the million dollar payment as “payment for legal fees for Patrick Ho,” through “my own law firm”.

    Noreika wanted more detail: “Who is that payment received from, was that the law firm?”

    Hunter: “Received from Patrick Ho, Your Honor.”

    Noreika: “Mr. Ho himself?”

    Hunter: “Yes.”

    Noreika: “Were you doing legal work for him and apart from the law firm?”

    Hunter: “Yes, Your Honor. Well –.”

    Sniffing danger, Hunter’s lawyer Chris Clark stepped in at this point: “That wasn’t through Boise Schiller, Your Honor, Mr. Biden was engaged as an attorney.”

    Noreika: “Right. So that’s why I asked. You were doing work for him –.”

    Hunter: “My own law firm, not as counsel.”

    Noreika: “So you had your own law firm as well?”

    Hunter: “I think Owasco PT acted as a — acted as a law firm entity, yeah.”

    Noreika: “Okay.”

    Hunter: “I believe that’s the case, but I don’t know that for a fact.”

    Ho, who has been keeping a close eye on Hunter’s travails from Hong Kong, according to his friend, was “baffled” by Hunter’s responses to Noreika. He was stuck with a massive legal bill for Kim’s representation, which he had to pay out of his own pocket.

    A copy of the attorney engagement agreement that Hunter signed on September 18, 2017, was on his abandoned laptop, and also was obtained by IRS investigator Joe Ziegler from an electronic email search warrant to Google.

    Ziegler testified to the House Ways and Means Committee last year that, “The evidence … indicates that this $1 million payment was not for legal fees and was misrepresented by the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office in the statement of facts, and that its ultimate purpose was still under investigation by DOJ.”

    Ho’s letter was sent days after the president’s brother Jim Biden testified to the impeachment inquiry about telling the FBI that CEFC chairman Ye Jianming was a “protege” of China’s President Xi Jinping, a statement that was not welcomed in Beijing, according to Ho’s friend, who said Xi and Ye have “no relations.”

    Ye was arrested in China in February 2018 under the direct orders of President Xi, according to Chinese news agency Caixin. He has not been heard from since.

    Hong Kong has been a Special Administrative Region of China since 1997 and is subject to increasing control from Beijing.

    CEFC paid Hunter a total of $7.2 million between March 2017 and March 2018. Chairman Ye also gave Hunter a 3.16-carat diamond in February 2017, along with a grading report that listed it as a “round brilliant” of Grade F with prime “VS2” clarity and “excellent” cut, putting its estimated value at $80,000, which also was the price claimed by the divorce attorney for Hunter’s ex-wife Kathleen. Photographs of the stunning stone and grading report appear on Hunter’s laptop.

    Hunter testified to the impeachment inquiry last week that he gave the diamond to his uncle, Jim Biden. Jim testified that he “threw it in the trash.” Jim also testified that there was another diamond or diamond “ring” given to Hunter in 2015 or 2016 on behalf of CEFC by a fellow father of a student at exclusive Sidwell Friends school in Washington.

    The Ho-Hunter attorney engagement agreement stipulated: “Attorney will perform the legal services called for under this agreement, keep Client informed of progress and developments, and respond promptly to Client’s inquiries and communications.”

    Legal services included: “conferences, court sessions, depositions preparation and participation; correspondence and legal documents review and preparation; legal research; and telephone conversations . . .

    “If at the conclusion of this agreement, the total amount of Attorney fees and costs is less than that of the retainer sum, the remaining amount will be reimbursed to the client.”

    Ho’s letter was emailed by CEFC’s Mervyn Yan to Hunter, Jim Biden and Jim’s wife Sara on October 10, 2017, Ziegler testified. Jim testified that he “didn’t know” if Hunter was representing Ho.

    Ho headed up CEFC’s nonprofit arm, a think tank also called CEFC, which was granted “special consultative status” by the United Nations.

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    Report: Nasrallah’s Grandson Killed by Israeli Strike in Lebanon



    The grandson of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, Abbas Ahmed Halil, was one of the three Hezbollah terrorists killed on Saturday by an IDF strike in Neqoura in south Lebanon, according to a report by the Syrian radio channel Voice of the Capital on Sunday.

    This is yet to be confirmed by official sources, but the report cites the same attack in which the IDF announced that three Hezbollah operatives were killed in a vehicle in southern Lebanon after it was attacked by an Israeli drone strike.

    The Hezbollah-affiliated newspaper Al-Manar also airstrike in the village of Kila in southern Lebanon and artillery strikes in the villages of Aitaroun and Belida, which are close to the border with Israel.

    Israel-Hezbollah aggression has been continuous since October

    Israeli strikes since October have killed more than 200 Hezbollah fighters and some 50 civilians in Lebanon, while attacks from Lebanon into Israel have killed a dozen Israeli soldiers and five civilians.

    Tens of thousands of Israelis and Lebanese have fled villages on both sides of the frontier.

    Hezbollah signaled this week that it would halt its attacks if Israel’s Gaza offensive stops, but it is also ready to keep on fighting if the Gaza war continues.

    On Friday, Hezbollah announced the deaths of four members killed in Lebanon.

    Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati told Reuters on Thursday a halt to fighting in Gaza as early as next week would trigger indirect talks to end hostilities at the border.

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    Leaked Audio Obtained by Russia Reveals Germany Considered Giving Ukraine Missiles to Destroy Crimean Bridge



    BERLIN—Germany’s air force commander gathered his top officers for a secret meeting last month to discuss the possible delivery of his country’s most powerful guided missiles to Ukraine.

    The long-range weapons could be used to destroy the Kerch Bridge, which links Russia to the occupied Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, the German officers said.

    What they didn’t know: Russian spies recorded their conversation, which revealed classified details about Western involvement in Ukraine. A 38-minute audio tape of the discussion was posted online late Friday by the head of Russian state-run broadcaster RT.

    Senior German officials confirmed the authenticity of the recording to The Wall Street Journal and said the meeting took place on the commercial platform WebEx, an online conferencing tool, which isn’t encrypted to the armed forces’ standard for confidential communication. One officer dialed in with his cellphone from a Singapore hotel room.

    The meeting focused on how Germany might organize delivery and operation of Taurus long-range cruise missiles should they be sent to Ukraine. German leader Olaf Scholz has declined to send the Taurus despite pleas from Kyiv and pressure within his own government.

    Also in the recording were officials saying that Britain, France and the U.S. keep troops in Ukraine to help operate sophisticated Western weapons systems, something those countries have denied.

    The leak delivered a propaganda win for the Kremlin, sparked a furor in Germany and could strain relationships with Germany’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies.

    It was also the latest in a string of incidents highlighting German vulnerability to Russian spying. A senior officer in Germany’s BND foreign intelligence service was recently arrested on allegations that he was spying for Moscow.

    Officials familiar with the German investigation of the audiotape leak said that WebEx is widely used by the military and other sensitive departments in the German government. “This should be a wake-up call,” one senior official said.

    Last week, Scholz said Taurus missiles can’t be given to Kyiv because they would require German troops to help operate them. Officers in the leaked call, however, discussed how Ukrainians could be trained to use the system on their own.

    Scholz has long been under international and domestic pressure to deliver the weapon. Britain at one point offered to take over and deliver the system in order to help the chancellor maintain his policy that Germany must not directly be drawn into military operations.

    The leak now makes it less likely that Germany will deliver the weapon, politicians and analysts said.

    Following the leaks, Russian officials attacked Germany for discussing detailed attacks on Russian targets and threatened with retaliation should Berlin become part of the war effort.

    The leak was very serious and would be investigated “very meticulously, very intensively and very quickly,” Scholz told reporters during a visit to the Vatican on Saturday.

    On Sunday, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said he had launched an investigation into what he called a hybrid attack by Russia aimed at spreading disinformation. WebEx was suitable for communications below a certain confidentiality level, he said, and the investigation would establish whether the officers breached that protocol.

    Pistorius said that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s propaganda machine was using the leak to falsely claim that Germany was getting directly involved in the war.

    “This is designed to divide us and undermine our determination… we mustn’t play into Putin’s hands,” he said.

    In the recording, Germany’s air force chief, Gen. Ingo Gerhartz, tasked top aides with preparing a presentation for the defense minister on how Germany could deliver the Taurus to Ukraine—and how Kyiv could use it to destroy targets including ammunition depots and the Kerch Bridge.

    Ukraine operates similar Western missiles—the British Storm Shadow and France’s SCALP. Kyiv has used them to hit the bridge before but failed to do lasting damage. Experts say the more powerful and further-reaching Taurus, a German-Swedish air-launched missile, could knock down the bridge.

    German officers in the recording indicated that they had analyzed in great detail how to attack that key piece of infrastructure, and said it would take 10 to 20 Taurus missiles to evade Russian air defenses and destroy the bridge.

    “There is no real reason to say we can’t do this; it only depends on the political red lines,” Gen. Gerhartz is heard saying.

    Germany has a stockpile of around 600 Taurus missiles, of which some 500 are believed to be operational. Gen. Gerhartz is heard saying that Germany could afford to supply 100 missiles to Ukraine, delivered in two tranches.

    He added that Britain and France were putting pressure on Germany to deliver cruise missiles because they themselves had depleted their stockpiles.

    On the leaked call, Gen. Gerhartz said there was no point giving more than 100 missiles to Ukraine because the weapon can’t make any significant impact on the battlefield since Ukraine is running short of troops to gain or even hold territory.

    Destroying the bridge linking Russia to Crimea would be strategically and politically important but Ukraine would likely be unable to follow up with a ground offensive, he said.

    “This will not change the course of the war, we must be clear about that,” Gen. Gerhartz is heard saying.

    Taurus missiles fly low to evade radar and use GPS, satellite imaging as well as artificial intelligence-enabled infrared cameras to observe the terrain and navigate to a target without contact with an operator.

    According to the leaked conversation, Ukraine would need six hours to launch a missile after receiving intelligence on a new target if its personnel were properly trained and had access to all needed data.

    Germany’s air force has modeled the terrain around the battlefield for the weapon system and could easily help Ukrainian troops evade aerial defenses around key targets including the Kerch Bridge, officers said in the conversation.

    That topographical data is described as “for German eyes only” and sharing it could breach the limits imposed by the German government on its involvement in the conflict, one officer is heard saying.

    Training Ukrainian operators would take between two weeks and four months depending on the level of precision and the complexity of the task they would be facing, officers taking part in the recorded conversation said.

    Gen. Gerhartz, the only NATO air chief who personally pilots jet fighters, can be heard saying that the chancellor insisted that any delivered missile should be operated without any participation of Berlin’s armed forces.

    One participating general is heard saying the missiles could relatively easily be fitted onto Ukraine’s Su-24 jets, which are already equipped to deploy Storm Shadow missiles. They could also easily be fitted onto F-16s that Ukraine is expected to receive from NATO this year.

    U.S. military personnel in Ukraine could aid local troops in handling the Taurus, Gen. Gerhartz is heard saying. “Many people with American accents run around in civilian clothes” in Ukraine, he is heard saying.

    A spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Moscow had demanded immediate answers from Berlin.

    “Our historic adversaries, the Germans, have once again turned into our archenemies,” Russia’s former President and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, now vice-chair of the Russian Security Council, posted on social media.

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    J.R. Majewski Suspends Campaign Following Controversial Remarks



    Republican congressional candidate J.R. Majewski suspended his campaign for Ohio’s 9th Congressional District over the weekend following recent controversial remarks that he had made about the Special Olympics.

    Majewski, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump in his prior congressional bid in 2022, said that Trump did not ask him to drop out of the race.

    “It has been the honor of my lifetime to receive so much support from my America First neighbors, powering me to a strong lead in this Republican primary,” he said in a statement on Saturday.

    “While I know I would win, and have a great shot in the general election now that my record has been cleared, it is inevitable that the Deep State will do whatever it takes to fight against me. Even going as far as attacking my family and once again accusing me of stolen valor.”

    “Earlier this week, I reaffirmed my dedication to fighting for those who feel as if their voices are being ignored by the DC Elite,” he added.

    “Well, the best way to do that is to dedicate all of my energy to the one man who I know will crush the Deep State. That man is President Donald J. Trump.”

    During an appearance on a right-wing podcast last month, Majewski said: “Shout out to all the Democrats living in mom’s basement that like to talk s*** on the internet. You know, no matter how hard you try, arguing on the internet, it’s like being in the Special Olympics. No matter how good you perform, you still have … you’re still f***ing retarded at the end of the day.”

    “Yeah, that’s gonna get clipped and ran against me in the general election,” Majewski immediately conceded after making the remarks.

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    Haley Walks Back Pledge to Support Trump if He’s the GOP Nominee



    Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley didn’t commit Sunday to endorsing former President Donald Trump in the 2024 race if she were to drop out.

    Haley, who has vowed to stay in the race at least through Super Tuesday, had previously signed the Republican National Committee’s loyalty pledge saying she would back whoever wins the GOP nomination.

    The pledge was one of the requirements from the RNC for candidates to become eligible to participate in a series of GOP debates before primary season began.

    Trump, the GOP frontrunner in the race, notably abstained from signing the pledge and did not participate with his fellow candidates in any of the debates.

    “I truly am not thinking about any of that,” said Haley of a future endorsement on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in an interview that aired Sunday.

    “If you talk about an endorsement, you are talking about a loss,” she said. “I don’t think like that. When you’re in a race you don’t think about losing.

    You think about continuing to go forward. What I can tell you is I don’t think Donald Trump or Joe Biden should be president.”

    “Meet the Press” moderator Kristen Welker then brought up the pledge Haley signed, and asked if the former South Carolina governor still felt bound by it to support the GOP nominee.

    Haley said that at the time of the debate, candidates had to say yes and sign the pledge to get on the stage. That RNC “is now not the same RNC.”
    “I think I’ll make what decision I wanna make, but that’s not something I’m thinking about,” Haley added.

    Last June, Haley slammed Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — a GOP presidential candidate at the time — for not committing to support the Republican nominee, saying it was “absolutely irresponsible.”

    The RNC has been in the thick of a leadership shake-up, with its chairwoman Ronna McDaniel set to step down on March 8.

    McDaniel resigned after a pressure campaign from Trump, who recently issued a trio of endorsements for his allies.

    Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump and his campaign senior adviser Chris LaCivita, are among the three people the former president endorsed for leadership roles in the RNC.

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    Arizona Rancher Says He Has Found 17 Dead Bodies, Rape Trees, Migrants Crawling on His Property



    A fourth-generation Arizona rancher who owns 1,600 acres of land that spans 10.5 miles along the southern border said he has found 17 dead bodies, rape trees, and illegal aliens crawling on his property.

    John Ladd, 68, has been outspoken about Biden’s border crisis over the years.

    He described what it’s like to live on the border under the Biden Regime which openly favors the illegal invaders and punishes American citizens.

    “That’s a rape tree,” Ladd told The Daily Mail, pointing to a tree on his property covered with women’s underwear, which cartel smugglers use as ‘trophies.’

    “Almost all the women who come across get raped by their guides, who then throw their underwear in the trees,” he added.

    Ladd carries a firearm at all times to protect his property and cattle. His family has kept up the ranch for 127 years.

    “I’m in favor of having American citizens and private property owners have more control over their destiny. That’s the bottom line,” Ladd said.

    Ladd told the Daily Mail of the invaders: “They’re military-age males in camouflage, Balaclavas and a cell phone. They don’t want to get caught.”


    The Daily Mail reported:

    John Ladd’s phone is an archive of life on a ranch beside the Arizona border with Mexico.

    Ladd, 68, has been a rancher all of his life. In the past 30 years he has learned about such savage displays, as well as the patterns of migrants who cross the border and the cartels who control turf on the other side.

    His 16,000 acres lie in the busiest part of the entire border. Border Patrol agents in the Tucson sector recorded 250,000 apprehensions in just the first four months of the fiscal year — almost a 200 percent increase on last year.

    His family has kept cattle here for four generations or 127 years.

    These days he keeps count of the dead bodies he has found on his land — 17 in total (not counting those found on the 60ft strip of federal land at the border). They are migrants who succumbed to the desert heat in summer or the cold in winter or whose hearts gave out or the victims of violence.

    One Arizona rancher who decided to defend his wife and property from illegal invaders was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault.

    George Alan Kelly, 74, was arrested for killing Gabriel Cuen-Butimea, on his Arizona ranch in Kino Springs just outside of Nogales, Mexico on January 30, 2023.

    According to reports, Gabriel Cuen-Butimea has a history of illegally crossing into the United States and multiple deportations.

    According to the defense lawyers, Mr. Kelly fired warning shots after he saw a group of men dressed in camouflaged clothing point an AK-47 right at him.

    George Alan Kelly was careful to shoot above their heads, the lawyers said.

    The rancher later discovered the deceased illegal alien, who is likely a cartel smuggler, when he went to go check on his horse.

    Kelly was initially charged with first-degree murder, but a judge recently downgraded his charge to second-degree murder during an evidentiary hearing in court.

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    FBI Launches Probe After Alaska Fishermen Discover Possible Debris of Chinese Spy Craft



    The FBI is investigating possible debris from a Chinese spy craft that flew over Alaska early last year after a fisherman reported the curious finding on Friday.

    An Alaskan fishing vessel recovered the debris days ago and is expected to return to the coast sometime this weekend and turn it over to the FBI for examination, according to ABC News.

    “The FBI is aware of debris found off the coast of Alaska by a commercial fishing vessel. We will work with our partners to assist with the logistics of the debris recovery,” the FBI said in a statement on Friday.

    FBI sources emphasized to the outlet that it has yet to determine whether the craft if of foreign origin, but the recovered material is being taken to the FBI lab in Quantico, as was material recovered from a confirmed Chinese spy balloon last year.

    President Biden’s administration was met with a firestorm last year after U.S. intelligence tracked a Chinese balloon as it entered U.S. airspace over Alaska and then crossed the entire continental U.S. before being shot down just off the coast of South Carolina.

    U.S. intelligence admitted at the time that the balloon was not an isolated incident, and the debris recovered in Alaska this week may be of the same origin.

    The U.S. intercepted another high-altitude balloon over Utah in late February, but officials said they determined it was a hobbyist balloon and it eventually left U.S. airspace.

    “The balloon was intercepted by NORAD fighters over Utah, who determined it was not maneuverable and did not present a threat to national security. NORAD will continue to track and monitor the balloon,” NORAD said. “The FAA also determined the balloon posed no hazard to flight safety. NORAD remains in close coordination with the FAA to ensure flight safety.”

    China initially claimed that last year’s balloons were merely weather balloons that blew off course and sailed into U.S. airspace. U.S. authorities deemed that to be untrue, noting surveillance equipment found on the craft.

    Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


    Trump Wins Missouri, Idaho Caucuses, Sweeps Michigan GOP Convention



    Former President Donald Trump continued his march toward the GOP nomination on Saturday, winning caucuses in Idaho and Missouri and sweeping the delegate haul at a party convention in Michigan.

    Trump earned every delegate at stake on Saturday, bringing his count to 244 compared to 24 for former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. A candidate needs to secure 1,215 delegates to clinch the Republican nomination.

    The next event on the Republican calendar is Sunday in the District of Columbia. Two days later is Super Tuesday, when 16 states will hold primaries on what will be the largest day of voting of the year outside of the November election. Trump is on track to lock up the nomination days later.

    The steep odds facing Haley were on display in Columbia, Missouri, where Republicans gathered at a church to caucus.

    Seth Christensen stood on stage and called on them to vote for Haley. He wasn’t well received.

    Another caucusgoer shouted out from the audience: “Are you a Republican?”

    An organizer quieted the crowd and Christensen finished his speech. Haley went on to win just 37 of the 263 Republicans in attendance in Boone County.

    Here’s a look at Saturday’s contests:


    Michigan Republicans at their convention in Grand Rapids began allocating 39 of the state’s 55 GOP presidential delegates. Trump won all 39 delegates allocated.

    But a significant portion of the party’s grassroots force was skipping the gathering because of the lingering effects of a monthslong dispute over the party’s leadership.

    Trump handily won Michigan’s primary this past Tuesday with 68% of the vote compared with Haley’s 27%.

    Michigan Republicans were forced to split their delegate allocation into two parts after Democrats, who control the state government, moved Michigan into the early primary states, violating the national Republican Party’s rules.


    Voters lined up outside a church in Columbia, home to the University of Missouri, before the doors opened for the caucuses. Once they got inside, they heard appeals from supporters of the candidates.

    “Every 100 days, we’re spending $1 trillion, with money going all over the world. Illegals are running across the border,” Tom Mendenall, an elector for Trump in 2016 and 2020, said to the crowd. He later added: “You know where Donald Trump stands on a lot of these issues.”

    Christensen, a 31-year-old from Columbia who came to the caucus with his wife and three children age 7, 5, and 2, then urged Republicans to go in a new direction.

    “I don’t need to hear about Mr. Trump’s dalliances with people of unsavory character, nor do my children,” Christensen said to the room. “And if we put that man in the office, that’s what we’re going to hear about all the time. And I’m through with it.”

    Supporters quickly moved to one side of the room or the other, depending on whether they favored Trump or Haley. There was little discussion between caucusgoers after they chose a side.

    This year was the first test of the new system, which is almost entirely run by volunteers on the Republican side.

    The caucuses were organized after GOP Gov. Mike Parson signed a 2022 law that, among other things, canceled the planned March 12 presidential primary.

    Lawmakers failed to reinstate the primary despite calls to do so by both state Republican and Democratic party leaders. Democrats will hold a party-run primary on March 23.

    Trump prevailed twice under Missouri’s old presidential primary system.


    Last year, Idaho lawmakers passed cost-cutting legislation that was intended to move all the state’s primaries to the same date in May. But the bill inadvertently eliminated the presidential primaries entirely.

    The Republican-led Legislature considered holding a special session to reinstate the presidential primaries but failed to agree on a proposal in time, leaving both parties with presidential caucuses as the only option.

    “I think there’s been a lot of confusion because most people don’t realize that our Legislature actually voted in a flawed bill,” said Jessie Bryant, who volunteered at a caucus site near downtown Boise. “So the caucus is really just the best-case scenario to actually get an opportunity to vote for a presidential candidate and nominate them for the GOP.”

    One of those voters was John Graves, a fire protection engineer from Boise. He said the caucus was fast and easy, not much different from Idaho’s usual Republican primary. He anticipated the win would go to Trump.

    “It’s a very conservative state, so I would think that Trump will probably carry it quite easily,” Graves said. “And I like that.”

    The Democratic caucuses aren’t until May 23.

    The last GOP caucuses in Idaho were in 2012, when about 40,000 of the state’s nearly 200,000 registered Republican voters showed up to select their preferred candidate.

    This post was updated.

    Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝


    Disturbing Video Shows Teens Sucking, Licking Each Other’s Toes at School-Sanctioned Event



    An Oklahoma high school is under investigation after a viral video of students sucking and licking one another’s toes at a school-sanctioned fundraiser exploded this week.

    The disturbing footage shows at least four kids from Deer Creek High School lying on their stomachs on what appears to be a gymnasium floor furiously lapping up peanut butter off their peers’ bare feet.

    “He is devouring those!” one student can be heard saying, as others cheer in the background and an MC moderates the bizarre competition.

    The video racked up nearly 50 million views on social media in just 24 hours — and led to a formal investigation by the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

    “This is disgusting. We are cleaning up this filth in Oklahoma schools. Our agency is investigating,” state Superintendent Ryan Walters said on X.

    The video was filmed Thursday at the Clash of Classes assembly, which was part of the high school’s week-long fundraiser for a local coffee shop that employs people with special needs, according to the Deer Creek School District.

    Students from 9th through 12th grade volunteered to participate in a plethora of class competitions that their peers paid to attend — including the toe-sucking tournament.

    Administrators initially applauded its students for their involvement in its Wonderful Week of Fundraising, which raised $152,830.38 — but later apologized to its student body and parents.

    “There is a video circulating on social media of one of the activities that involves students only during this assembly that has, unfortunately, gained national attention,” the district Saturday said in a letter shared with The Post.


    “We want to stress to our community that much of the information accompanying this video is inaccurate. However, through this specific game we failed to uphold the dignity of our students and the proud image of our community. We have a responsibility to protect our Antlers and showcase them in a positive light. In regards to this one particular activity, we fell short and for that we greatly apologize.”

    “Thank you for standing with us and helping us to weather this storm and move forward together. “

    Despite several students eagerly participating in the games, the peanut butter toe-licking left others feeling unsettled.

    “It was surprising,” an anonymous student told Fox 25, which originally obtained the footage.

    “I didn’t think they were going to do all that. I was just shocked. I didn’t really have like a feeling. I was kind of disgusted, and then kind of glad I wasn’t over there.”

    One parent described the competition as “excessive,” while another accused the school of not thinking things through.

    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz called the activity “child abuse” on X, to which Walters replied: “Completely agree. We are stopping this in Oklahoma.”

    Walters’ office could not immediately share the status of the investigation.

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    Trump Endorses Boebert: “Trusted America First Fighter”



    Former President Trump offered his endorsement to Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), calling the controversial congresswoman a “trusted America First Fighter.”

    Trump said Boebert is a “proven conservative” and a leader who delivers for her constituents in Colorado.

    “She has led the fight to Impeach Joe Biden, Stop Illegal Immigration, Defend the Second Amendment, Protect our Wonderful Ranchers and Farmers, Support our Military and Veterans, Secure our Natural Resources to Pursue Energy Dominance, and Stand Up to the Radical Democrats who want to Destroy our Beautiful Country,” Trump wrote in a post on TruthSocial on Saturday when announcing his endorsement.

    “Congresswoman Lauren Boebert is a trusted America First Fighter, and has my Complete and Total Endorsement for Colorado’s 4th Congressional District!”

    Boebert, who was first elected to Congress in 2020, announced in December she would be switching districts, abandoning her 3rd congressional district and running for reelection this year in the 4th, the district currently represented by Rep. Ken Buck (R) who decided he will retire from his post at the lower chamber.

    She defended her decision to switch districts, saying she and her family needed a “fresh start.”

    Boebert’s new district is solidly Republican and could give her a better chance at reelection if she secures the GOP nomination. But a straw poll from late January that came out following the first debate among GOP candidates in the 4th District shows that Boebert might have a tough time clinching the nomination.

    Boebert came fifth with 12 votes, behind Logan County Commissioner Jerry Sonnenberg with 22 votes, former Colorado House Minority Leader Mike Lynch with 20 votes, Douglas County filmmaker Deborah Flora with 18 votes and state House Minority Whip Richard Holtorf with 17 votes.

    The poll included candidates who attended the debate.

    Boebert expressed gratitude for Trump’s endorsement.

    “It’s my honor to have the endorsement of the greatest President our country has ever known – Donald J. Trump,” Boebert wrote Saturday on X, formerly known as Twitter. “It will be such a privilege to work alongside him in 2024 to deliver results for Colorado & get the entire country back on track!”

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    WATCH: Climate Protester Gets Thrown to Ground After Confronting Manchin



    A far-Left protester was thrown to the ground after he confronted Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) during an event on Friday and called the senator a “sick f***.”

    The incident happened at a Harvard Institute of Politics event Friday morning just minutes after multiple leftists interrupted a talk that Manchin was giving at the Harvard Kennedy School because of his support for natural gas pipelines.

    “Joe Manchin, you sold our futures and you’ve gotten rich doing it,” the protester claimed.

    “You sick f***. How dare you.”

    Manchin immediately got up in the protester’s face, at which point one of his aides got between the two men. The aide then literally threw the protester out of the room.

    The protester was apparently from a group called Climate Defiance, which posted on X: “We just called Joe Manchin a sick f***. We humiliated him in front of a herd of Harvard elites. He squared up. We held firm. Barbaric murderer, hideous fiend, he torches humanity and laughs.”

    Manchin then addressed the other protesters and offered to sit down and talk with them, but they refused and declared they were not going anywhere.


    A Kennedy School spokesperson confirmed that the Harvard University Police Department was investigating the incident.

    “A Harvard University police officer ordered the protesters to leave the Kennedy School campus, and the protesters complied,” the spokesperson said.

    Go deeper ( < 1 min. read ) ➝


    Chinese Migrant Turned US Congressional Candidate Issues Stark Border Warning



    Lily Tang Williams grew up killing rats for food as she nearly starved in Mao Zedong’s communist China.

    And now in the US, she is now running for Congress in New Hampshire as a Republican to prevent America from becoming like the country she worked to escape.

    After growing up and getting her law degree in Shanghai, Williams immigrated to the US in 1988, thus beginning what she describes as a ’20-year wake-up process’ to politics.

    ‘I left China for freedom, but I was really indoctrinated. I did not know China’s real history,’ she told in an interview. ‘For the first 20 years or so I wasn’t really political. But my husband helped me learn a lot about the US – from foreign language to culture, traditions and history.’

    ‘He said “you know those 50 or 60 million people starving to death were not due to natural disasters.” We were fed by the Communist Party that natural disasters caused a mass famine,’ she said, referring to the tens of millions of people died as a result of food rationing and the communist takeover of food production in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

    Williams is looking to oust Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster and will face off against four other Republicans in a primary in September.

    Williams’ own experience under Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, designed to root out any remnants of capitalism in China, left her in shock when people tried to tell her she was ‘oppressed’ as a minority in the US.

    ‘I didn’t even have food coupons, I was starving. I had to try to catch rats in my grandma’s neighborhood. Pretty soon everybody had to catch rats,’ she said. ‘Now in the US they’re trying to tell us “oh you’re oppressed. The white people are demons.” We can’t indoctrinate our kids with that.’

    Now, Williams says she is on a target list by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and they’ve threatened her on social media.

    ‘I had a trip back to China for the Chinese New Year in 2019 but I canceled it. I didn’t want to get disappeared.’

    Williams said she ‘truly woke up’ to politics in 2008, around the time of the financial crash when the government bailed out big banks, but she gave up on the Republican Party for a while and became a libertarian.

    ‘They used taxpayer money to bail out the banks, to say capitalism failed therefore federal government they have to come here and pick and choose because they let one big bank fight bankruptcy then other banks got bailed out.’

    ‘I was very upset with that. I was upset with the Patriot Act – government infringing on citizens’ privacy without due process in the name of national security, that’s what I heard in China before.’

    She said she became worried about the expansion of the federal government in education with Common Core and No Child Left Behind and pulled her kids out of public school for charter school.

    ‘Parents, lots of them, are still not waking up to what is going on in schools,’ Williams said.

    ‘I call this the Western ‘Cultural Revolution’ – it’s happening in the West to try to destroy the traditional values social norms, habits and different beliefs,’ she went on, ‘in the name of social justice and anti-racism.’

    She said she didn’t want schools to go down the path of Chinese education.

    ‘Parents’ rights don’t exist in China even today, because they truly believe kids belong to the government. They can do whatever to your kids you have no say. Except you have to feed them, you have to house them, you become baby machines. You give government your babies but you cannot make decisions.’

    She also railed against the massive influx of migration the U.S. is seeing, with a recent wave of Chinese migrants coming in through the southern border – and warned of what she worried would become a degradation of American culture.

    ‘Cities use taxpayers money roll the red carpet out when they can’t even house our own homeless population. Our own veterans have no way of making a decent living and no home and you give free hotels, food, travel to people from other countries.’

    Williams said her brother and sister-in-law waited 13 years in China to come to the U.S. legally and are still waiting to become American citizens.

    ‘Biden says he doesn’t have the power – are you kidding me? He had the power to undo all of Trump’s policies on day one in the White House!’

    Williams claimed she and her Chinese friends call President Biden and Democrats ‘CCP secretaries in the U.S.’

    ‘It’s scary stuff, are we going to become collectivist, like a communist country? Individual rights don’t exist, individual privacy doesn’t exist.’

    ‘Most of those people they want to flee China because in the last three years it has become very harsh and inhumane,’ she said. ‘In 2012, under Xi Jinping, you notice a shift in China. He is the new Mao, doing Cultural Revolution 2.0.’

    She went on: ‘But I’m also very worried is so well organized, correlated, with some sleeper cells … I just feel like we have a really dark force on us. This is a global push for illegal mass migration.’

    Williams warned Americans not to underestimate China’s use of ‘soft power’ to infiltrate the U.S. and achieve global dominance.

    ‘I always try to remind people there’s no true private company in China. No, every company that comes to the United States, they’re state enterprises,’ she said.

    ‘So when West is a drunk on climate change ideology and the mandates, who benefits? China benefits. We are giving them more money to build their military, soft power, silk road initiative all over Europe, all over world.’

    ‘China controls our debt. If you cannot pay your interest on your loans to China, they’re gonna take over our ports, they’re gonna take over our cities,’ she went on. ‘They are stationed in Cuba now. They supply our [electric vehicles], compete with American companies because the West, places like California, are trying to ban gas by 2035.’

    Williams said she thinks many Americans don’t grasp’ China wants to be the number one dominant power in the globe by 2049. Economically, diplomatically, militarily, also technologically.’

    ‘They use the Silk Road Onitiative to form alliances with other countries. So they are behind Cuba, North Korea, Russia, Hamas, all those non friendly countries? Yeah, socialist countries in the world. And we are letting them come into our country. More power. More money, more supplies and sell more product,’ she went on.

    ‘And we are not switching our Chinese policy fast enough.’

    Go deeper ( 4 min. read ) ➝


    US National Debt Rising $1 Trillion Every 100 Days



    The debt load of the U.S. is growing at a quicker clip in recent months, increasing about $1 trillion nearly every 100 days.

    The nation’s debt permanently crossed over to $34 trillion on Jan. 4, after briefly crossing the mark on Dec. 29, according to data from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. It reached $33 trillion on Sept. 15, 2023, and $32 trillion on June 15, 2023, hitting this accelerated pace. Before that, the $1 trillion move higher from $31 trillion took about eight months.

    U.S. debt, which is the amount of money the federal government borrows to cover operating expenses, now stands at nearly $34.4 billion, as of Wednesday. Bank of America investment strategist Michael Hartnett believes the 100-day pattern will remain intact with the move from $34 trillion to $35 trillion.

    “Little wonder ‘debt debasement’ trades closing in on all-time highs, i.e. gold $2077/oz, bitcoin $67734,” he wrote in a note Thursday.

    Spot gold is currently hovering around $2,084 an ounce, while bitcoin was recently around $61,443.

    The cryptocurrency in February closed out its best month since 2020, briefly trading above $64,000 on Wednesday before pulling back. Inflows into crypto funds are on course for a “blowout year,” with an annualized inflow of $44.7 billion so far this year, Hartnett noted.

    Moody’s Investors Service lowered its ratings outlook on the U.S. government to negative from stable in November due to the rising risks of the country’s fiscal strength.

    “In the context of higher interest rates, without effective fiscal policy measures to reduce government spending or increase revenues,” the agency said.

    “Moody’s expects that the US’ fiscal deficits will remain very large, significantly weakening debt affordability.”

    Go deeper ( < 1 min. read ) ➝


    US Says Israel Agrees to Cease-Fire. Hamas Now Must Decide.



    Israel has essentially endorsed a framework of a proposed Gaza cease-fire and hostage release deal, and it is now up to Hamas to agree to it, a senior U.S. administration official said Saturday, a day before talks to reach an agreement were to resume in Egypt.

    International mediators have been working for weeks to broker a deal to pause the fighting before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins around March 10. A deal would likely allow aid to reach hundreds of thousands of desperate Palestinians in northern Gaza who aid officials worry are under threat of famine.

    The Israelis “have more or less accepted” the proposal, which includes the six-week cease-fire as well as the release by Hamas of hostages considered vulnerable, which includes the sick, the wounded, the elderly and women, said the official.

    “Right now, the ball is in the court of Hamas and we are continuing to push this as hard as we possibly can,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the White House to brief reporters.

    Officials from Israel and from Hamas did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    A senior Egyptian official said mediators Egypt and Qatar are expected to receive a response from Hamas during the Cairo talks scheduled to start Sunday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not publicly authorized to discuss the talks.

    There is increasing criticism over the hundreds of thousands struggling to survive in northern Gaza, which has borne the brunt of the conflict that began when the Hamas militant group attacked southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and seizing around 250 hostages.

    U.S. military planes began the first airdrops of thousands of meals into Gaza, and the militaries of Jordan and Egypt said they also conducted airdrops. Aid groups say airdrops should be only a last resort and instead urge the opening of other crossings into Gaza and the removal of obstacles at the few that are open.

    The European Union’s diplomatic service said many of the hundreds of Palestinians killed or wounded in the chaos surrounding an aid convoy on Thursday were hit by Israeli army fire and urged an international investigation. It said responsibility for the crisis lay with “restrictions imposed by the Israeli army and obstructions by violent extremist(s) to the supply of humanitarian aid.”

    Gaza’s Health Ministry raised the death toll from Thursday’s violence to 118 after two more bodies were recovered Saturday. It said the wounded remained at 760.

    Israel’s chief military spokesperson, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, said Israel organized Thursday’s convoy, “and claims that we attacked the convoy intentionally and that we harmed people intentionally are baseless.”

    Residents in northern Gaza say they are searching rubble and garbage for anything to feed their children, who barely eat one meal a day. Many families have begun mixing animal and bird food with grain to bake bread.

    At least 10 children have starved to death, according to hospital records in Gaza, the World Health Organization said.

    Gaza’s Health Ministry said the Palestinian death toll from the war has climbed to 30,320. The ministry doesn’t differentiate between civilians and combatants in its figures, but says women and children make up around two-thirds of those killed.

    In the southernmost city of Rafah, where more than half of Gaza’s people now seek refuge, an Israeli airstrike struck tents outside the Emirati hospital, killing 11 people and wounding about 50, including health workers, the Health Ministry said. Israel’s military said it was targeting Islamic Jihad militants.

    Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


    Houthi Missiles Sink British-Registered Cargo Ship in Red Sea



    A British-registered freighter has sunk in the Red Sea after the crew were forced to abandon ship following an attack by Yemeni Houti rebels.

    The Cargo ship Rubymar, which was abandoned in the southern Red Sea after being targeted by Yemen’s Houthis on February 18, has sunk, a statement by the internationally recognised Yemeni government said on Saturday.

    The attack occurred in the Bab al-Mandab Strait, 35 nautical miles south of Al Mukha, Yemen, on Sunday night, the UK’s Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said, against a vessel that was later identified as the Rubymar.

    The crew of the British-registered cargo ship, which comes in at 171.6m long and 27m wide, was forced to ‘abandon the vessel’ following the attack, though the UKMTO said yesterday that all crew are safe and ‘authorities are investigating.’

    The first vessel is the first to be fully destroyed as part of their campaign over Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

    The Rubymar had been drifting northward after being attacked.

    Yemen’s internationally recognised government, as well as a regional military official, confirmed the ship sank. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as the information had not been cleared for publication.

    Yemen’s exiled government, which has been backed by a Saudi-led coalition since 2015, said the Rubymar sank late Friday as stormy weather took hold over the Red Sea. The vessel had been abandoned for 12 days after the attack, though plans had been floated to try and tow the ship to a safe port.

    The Iran-backed Houthis, who had claimed the ship sank almost instantly after the attack, did not immediately acknowledge the ship’s sinking.

    Already, many ships have turned away from the route. The sinking could see further detours and higher insurance rates put on vessels plying the waterway – potentially driving up global inflation and affecting aid shipments to the region.

    Earlier US forces struck and destroyed a Huthi surface-to-air missile in Yemen on Friday after deciding it posed an ‘imminent threat’ to American aircraft, the US Central Command in the Middle East announced.

    The Iran-backed Huthis, who control much of war-torn Yemen, have been attacking shipping in the Red Sea since November in a campaign they say is in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas war.

    The United States is spearheading a naval coalition to protect vessels in the vital waterway, and has also conducted air strikes in Huthi territory, both on its own and alongside Britain.

    On Friday afternoon, US ‘forces conducted a self-defense strike against one Iranian-backed Houthi surface-to-air missile that was prepared to launch,’ CENTCOM said in a statement, adding it had ‘determined (the missile) presented an imminent threat to U.S. aircraft in the region.’

    It went on to say that the Huthis on Friday night launched an anti-ship missile into the Red Sea, but ‘There was no impact or damage to any vessels.’

    Last weekend, US and British forces carried out strikes against 18 Huthi targets across eight locations in Yemen, including weapons storage facilities, attack drones, air defense systems, radars and a helicopter, according to a joint statement.

    One person was killed and eight wounded in the attacks, the Huthis’ official news agency said on Sunday.

    Since November, the rebels have repeatedly targeted ships in the Red Sea and surrounding waters over the Israel-Hamas war. Those vessels have included at least one with cargo bound for Iran, the Houthis’ main benefactor, and an aid ship later bound for Houthi-controlled territory.

    Despite over a month of U.S.-led airstrikes, Houthi rebels remain capable of launching significant attacks. That includes the attack on the Rubymar and the downing of an American drone worth tens of millions of dollars. The Houthis insist their attacks will continue until Israel stops its combat operations in the Gaza Strip, which have enraged the wider Arab world and seen the Houthis gain international recognition.

    However, In recent days, there has been a slowdown in attacks. The reason for that remains clear

    The British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations centre, which watches over Mideast waterways, separately acknowledged the Rubymar’s sinking.

    Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak, the prime minister of Yemen’s internationally recognized government, called the ship’s sinking ‘an unprecedented environmental disaster.’

    ‘It’s a new disaster for our country and our people,’ he wrote on X, formerly Twitter. ‘Every day, we pay for the Houthi militia’s adventures, which were not stopped at plunging Yemen into the coup disaster and war.’

    The Houthis have held Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, since 2014, expelling the government. Its fought a Saudi-led coalition since 2015 in a stalemated war.

    Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝


    NYT Poll: Trump Beating Biden by 5 Points



    Former President Trump leads President Biden by five points in a hypothetical rematch, according to a new poll from The New York Times and Siena College.

    Among registered voters, 48 percent said they would vote for the former president if the 2024 presidential election “were held today” and the candidates were him and Biden. Forty-three percent said they would vote for Biden in response to the same question.

    The poll also found 65 percent of registered voters said the country is on the “[w]rong track,” versus 24 percent saying it is on the “[r]ight track.”

    Biden was found to be leading the former president by four points in a Virginia poll released Friday, but the poll also saw low favorability ratings for both candidates. The Old Dominion is a notable swing state, electing a Republican governor in 2021, but voting for Democrats in the last four presidential elections.

    The Times and Siena College poll also asked registered voters who they voted for in the last presidential election, with 44 percent saying they voted for Biden and 34 saying they voted for Trump. Eighteen percent said they didn’t vote in the 2020 election.

    Both presidents won their respective recent primaries in Michigan, but Biden faced some trouble, with over 100,000 Michiganders casting a protest vote against the president for an “uncommitted” ballot option.

    The “uncommitted” campaign in the Wolverine State meant voters showed support for the Democratic party, but not the candidates listed on the ballot, and served as a protest against Biden’s actions with regard to the Israel-Hamas war.

    The Times and Siena College poll was conducted between Feb. 25 and 28 and featured 980 registered voters from across the nation, with 823 who completed the full survey.

    The margin of error for registered voters is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points and plus or minus 4 percentage points for registered voters who completed the full survey.

    Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


    Elon Musk: X Misgendering Rules Should Not Apply Outside of Brazil




    X’s newly implemented misgendering policy is a result of a Brazilian court ruling, which prohibits misgendering or making fun of someone based on their gender identity. Elon Musk has clarified to say that the rule should not apply outside of Brazil.

    Original post:

    Elon Musk’s platform X/Twitter has reinstated woke rules against “misgendering” and “deadnaming” transgender people after dropping the rules to great fanfare last year.

    Ars Technica reports that X/Twitter recently updated its abuse and harassment policy page to include a new section explaining its rules against intentionally using the wrong pronouns for a person or referring to them by a name they no longer use — called “deadnaming” by woke LGBT radicals. The new “Use of Prior Names and Pronouns” section states that X/Twitter will “reduce the visibility of posts” that incorrectly gender a person or use their old name rather than their new one adopted during transition.

    This move comes after X/Twitter dropped its longstanding prohibition on deadnaming and misgendering of transgender users back in April 2023. At the time, GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis criticized the change as “the latest example of just how unsafe the company is for users and advertisers alike” under the ownership of Elon Musk, who has a history of liking and sharing anti-trans content.

    Under the updated policy, X/Twitter will take action when it hears directly from the target of the misgendering or deadnaming, “given the complexity of determining whether such a violation has occurred.” GLAAD senior director Jenni Olson told Ars this unfairly places the burden on targets to report their own abuse. However, she acknowledged that explicit policies against deadnaming and misgendering are preferable to vague ones that leave violators unsure if they’re breaking rules.

    Chay Raichik of Libs of TikTok questioned the change and asked X/Twitter owner Elon Musk to comment on the situation, to which Musk said the policy only applies to “repeated, targeted harassment of a particular person.”

    Musk responded to Raichik posting a screenshot of the platform’s “Use of Prior Names and Pronouns” policy by writing, “This is just about repeated, targeted harassment of a particular person.”

    When posts are flagged for misgendering or deadnaming, X/Twitter will reduce their visibility by removing them from search results, home timelines, trends, and notifications. They will also be downranked in reply sections and only viewable on authors’ profiles. Furthermore, they won’t display ads — a move likely aimed at preventing another advertiser pullout like the one X suffered last year over hate speech controversies.

    Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝

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