Bolton Changes Tune: Now Refuses To Answer ‘Russian Bounties’ Questions After Stoking The ‘Scandal’

Bolton Changes Tune: Now Refuses To Answer ‘Russian Bounties’ Questions After Stoking The ‘Scandal’ Tyler Durden Sun, 07/05/2020 – 14:59

By middle of last week we observed of the Russian bounties to kill American troops in Afghanistan story that “at this point this non-story looks to be dead by the weekend as it’s already unraveled.”

Indeed by Thursday and Friday, as more Congressional leaders received closed door intelligence briefings on the allegations which originated with an anonymously sourced NY Times report claiming Trump supposedly ignored the Russian op to target Americans, the very Democrat and Republican lawmakers previously hyping it as a ‘major scandal’ went conspicuously silent

Recall too that John Bolton, busy with a media blitz promoting his book, emerged to strongly suggest he had personal knowledge that Trump was briefed on the matter. The former national security adviser called the Trump denial of being briefed “remarkable”. Well, look who is now appearing to sing a different tune. A week ago Bolton was all too wiling to voluntarily say Trump had “likely” been briefed and that was a big scandal. The whole story was indeed dead by the weekend:

Other reports said Bolton has been telling people he had personally briefed the president:

Former national security adviser John Bolton told colleagues that he personally briefed President Donald Trump about intelligence that Russia offered Afghan militants bounties to kill American troops, U.S. officials told the Associated Press.

Bolton briefed Trump on the matter in March of 2019, according to the report, a year earlier than previously reported by The New York Times. The information was also included in at least one presidential Daily Brief, according to the AP, CNN and The Times. The AP earlier reported that it was also included in a second presidential Daily Brief earlier this year and that current national security adviser Robert O’Brien discussed the matter with Trump.

His Sunday refusal to even address the question – again after he was all too willing to speak to the issue a week ago when it was driving headlines – speaks volumes. 

Via The Daily Mail

Now that even The Washington Post awkwardly walked back the substance of much of its reporting on the ‘Russian bounties’ story, Bolton has conveniently gone silent

Another attempt to revive the Russiagate narrative bites the dust, but in record time.

* * *

Days ago The Hill TV convincingly demolished the whole concocted narrative: 

“One of the most transparent Washington hit jobs I’ve ever seen.”

ZeroHedge News

80% Of NYC Restaurants Couldn’t Afford June Rent

80% Of NYC Restaurants Couldn’t Afford June Rent Tyler Durden Sun, 07/05/2020 – 14:30

The majority of restaurant owners around the city did not pay their entire rent in June, with 36% skipping out on it altogether, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to make it harder for eateries to survive, a new survey found according to Commercial Observer.

The nonprofit New York City Hospitality Alliance surveyed 509 restaurateurs around the city and found four out of five didn’t pay the full June rent. Of those, 90% said they paid half or less last month.

“Rent is putting enormous financial pressure on restaurants, bars and clubs after four near-fatal months of economic disaster in which many have already shuttered for good,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance

“Pre-pandemic, it was incredibly difficult to run a successful restaurant,” added Rigie. “These conditions, the longer that it goes on, is going to make it more and more challenging for small businesses to ever recover. The vast majority of small businesses will not be able to pay back months of missed rent.”

As the report further notes, the survey also found that landlords have been unwilling to give restaurants a break: 60% of restaurant owners said their landlords refused to give them deferments during the pandemic, while only 10% were able to renegotiate their leases. In total 73% of landlords — also under economic stress — refused to waive rent payments for their restaurants, bars and clubs in June, the poll found.

“Our small businesses urgently need support on rent, so government officials, landlords and banks need to work together to find a solution. Whether it’s direct rent subsidies, deferring rent and extending payment schedules to the back end of lease agreements, and other creative ideas, we are in the midst of a rent crisis and need action now,” Rigie said adding that restaurant owners are “hanging on by a thread and they’re exhausting their personal savings in the hope of one day getting their business up and running again.”

Even with the challenges and debts piling up, owners said most aren’t looking to close up shop.

“The idea of walking away right now is not something that most folks want to do,” said Karl Franz Williams, the owner of Harlem’s 67 Orange Street cocktail bar who was able to get a rent break from his landlord. “They want to figure out how to make it through. [Owning a restaurant is] not something most of us are doing just for the fun of it.”

Emergency restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus forced restaurants and bars to switch to take-out and delivery models since late-March. Owners dealt with a significant drop in revenue and were forced to lay off thousands of workers.

The city began to ease restrictions in June as the number of cases dropped and last week restaurants and bars were allowed to start outdoor service. While that has helped, Rigie said that most of the extra funds generated from outdoors sales immediately went to rent and other expenses.

And as the number of people infected with coronavirus began spiking in other states around the country, Gov. Andrew Cuomo indefinitely postponed the return of indoor dining around the city this week, which was scheduled to start on July 6. Rigie said the move could cause more restaurants to permanently shutter.

Willimas said the return of indoor dining likely won’t be the shot in the arm for restaurants most people think it will be. He owns an eatery in New Haven, Ct., The Anchor Spa, which has been allowed to start indoor dining but the spot is still doing 30 percent of its pre-COVID-19 sales.

“We’re not back yet, we’re still struggling and indoor dining is not the end-all,” he said. “There’s still a lot of trepidation of being inside a small space.”

Plus, landlords and other debtors will think it’s business as usual once indoor dining returns and will come to collect debts, Williams said. And re-opening indoor seating too soon could be the death knell for many businesses if a second-wave hits.

“The only thing worse than delaying restaurants opening indoors is to have them re-open and then shut down shortly thereafter because of a spike of COVID cases,” Rigie said. “While there’s an urgency to start opening and generating revenue, there’s a great fear that it can result in a spike of coronavirus and that would further devastate the industry and make it more unlikely that these businesses will ever recover.”

What would be a bigger help than returning indoor dining for owners would be for the government to step in with either rent subsidies, deferrals or other methods to keep restaurants alive, Rigie said.

“We need all levels of government, the banks, the landlords and the commercial tenants to come together and figure out how to deal with this situation,” he said. “We just can’t keep ignoring it.”

“We’re eager to work with lawmakers and industry leaders on any tangible plans that provide immediate relief to struggling restaurants and nightlife venues across the city before it’s too late.”

Another form of relief would be to extend take-out and delivery alcohol sales along with the cap of third-party delivery fees implemented during the pandemic until months after the epidemic finally wanes, Williams said.

“Everything is uncertain right now, we don’t know if there’s going to be another wave,” he said. “That’s why I really hope that our elected officials will make some of the things that they’ve given us more permanent. Running your business in a total state of insecurity, where you don’t know what’s going to happen, is not a way to run your business.”


ZeroHedge News

Did Maxwell ‘Kill Herself’ By Getting Arrested?

Did Maxwell ‘Kill Herself’ By Getting Arrested? Tyler Durden Sun, 07/05/2020 – 14:00

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, ‘n Guns blog,

Ghislaine Maxwell was caught in New Hampshire. Jeffrey Epstein’s partner-in-crime is now in U.S. custody in the darkest of all places, the Southern District of New York (SDNY).

The first thing on everyone’s mind should be, “Which faction actually has her and how long will she survive?”

I can’t answer those questions but it doesn’t hurt to run out a few scenarios, all of which, at this point, are pure speculation. When Epstein was arrested the same questions hung in the air.

Was this the Deep State getting a hold of him to shut him up? Was this Donald Trump trying to tie up a ‘loose end?’ Or was Trump and new Attorney General William Barr putting operational tempo on their opponents forcing Epstein into a potentially explosive situation?

The raid on Epstein’s home was conducted under the auspice of an indictment filed in the SDNY, a place “where the worst crimes in the world…go unpunished,” as I noted recently in a piece about Trump and Barr going after U.S. Attorney there Geoffrey Berman.

Trump and Barr took another shot at getting someone less controlled by the Deep State in charge of the SDNY and it looks like, for now, that they missed the mark.

With Berman gone, but in such a way as to allow his hand-picked assistant, Audrey Strauss, to take over, rather than anyone picked by Barr and Trump, this arrest seems way out of place.

Now, Strauss, a woman who prosecuted legendary mobster and one of Trump’s mentors, Roy Cohn, has to be considered suspect. Because the furor over Berman’s removal died down immediately after she was put in place.

And she’s in charge of the fate of the most important person in the world at the moment, Ghislaine Maxwell. Because Maxwell knows everything. If Epstein was the CEO of their international blackmail operation, Maxwell was the COO, in charge of the day-to-day operations.

Strauss’s indictment dog and pony show announcing Maxwell’s arrest focused on all the salacious bits pertaining to the indictment which only covers the period from 1995 to 1997.

It neatly avoided any of the real implications of Maxwell’s apprehension, the systematic entrapment and blackmailing of major political and economic figures the world over.

L’affair Epstein is the big one with the potential to uncover decades of endemic corruption that is truly global in nature. So, while we all joke about the Clinton body count, the truth is that there were plenty of people who wanted him dead.

And those same people today want Ghislaine Maxwell dead.

The problem, of course, with analyzing this situation is that all theories about who those people might be are entirely reasonable.

Logic dictates that Trump is not one of those people, despite the pictures and the old society page quotes from Trump linking him to Epstein. And we know this simply because after Epstein died in prison he disappeared from the news cycle.

If there was any real truth to Trump’s deeper involvement with Epstein that information would have already come out and Trump would no longer be president.

The man who led the raid on Epstein’s home was Geoffrey Berman.

The man slow-rolling the investigation into Epstein? Berman.

The guy William Barr fired for not actively pursuing DoJ priorities pertaining to Epstein and Joe Biden while pursuing frivolous complaints about Donald Trump? Berman.

The guy who refused to resign to force Trump to fire him and block a recess appointment to his job at the SDNY? Berman.

And the histrionics surrounding Barr’s removing Berman died down the minute his hand-picked (plucked from retirement) assistant was given the job.

Forgive me for not feeling comfortable with Maxwell’s future relationship with oxygen.

If anything, what’s happening here is that Trump and Barr keep pushing the tempo against the people who are trying to remove him from office by any means necessary.

Maxwell’s arrest could be a dare to them to kill her too to protect themselves, again. It’s also, in my opinion, a signal that Trump isn’t going down without a fight and that he may be at the point where he’s willing to burn the entire rotten edifice down on his way out the door.

Because at this point it should be clear to everyone that if Trump loses this November he and his family will be hounded into oblivion. Anything he’s accomplished as president, some of which is very good, in trying to reform and remake the judiciary and federal agencies, will be undone within days of his leaving office.

Trump has nothing left to lose at this point. So, why not pull the trigger on arresting Maxwell, forcing the SDNY’s hand and try to force out into the open the evidence Berman sat on in relation to Epstein?

With each and every move Trump makes, there is a series of firewalls and roadblocks erected to thwart any real movement on the endemic corruption.

And the frustrating part is not being able to truly parse who has the upper hand in all of this. At a minimum, ending the Epstein/Maxwell blackmail operation is a good thing.

Exposing even some of their dealings to scrutiny and forcing some conversation about them is also an unmitigated good thing. Whether this can all be turned on its head to burn Donald Trump is, frankly, irrelevant.

Because at this point there is now a large enough group of people reporting on the various parts of this story that it won’t simply go gently into that good night.

The most troubling thing about this story is that Maxwell was found in New Hampshire, removing herself from French protection.

Patrick Henningsen at 21st Century Wire traces down some of the threads linking Maxwell to Prince Andrew who refuses to cooperate with the FBI.

The answer to that question may very well have something to do with her friend Prince Andrew, who has been in a six-month standoff with the FBI who have wanted to interview him over his relations with Epstein and to answer to victims’ accusations of under-age sexual abuse. Could Maxwell have been summoned by the powers that be in order to provide a buffer against any further overtures by authorities towards the British Royal Family?

And why would she do this? Because, one she’s the daughter of Robert Maxwell, a British media tycoon with close ties and connections to British intelligence. And two, she considers Prince Andrew a close friend who, according to a November report from The Telegraph would corroborate Andrew’s denial he ever had sex with an underage girl.

Tracing another British connection, given that Chief Cabinet Secretary and National Security Director Sir Mark Sedwill was fired by Boris Johnson just before the Brexit extension deadline passed this week, could this be a counter to Sedwill’s removal given his deep ties to British Intelligence and his staunch opposition to Brexit?

If so, then Maxwell giving herself up serves a few of Trump’s purposes. Remember, that I believe the meeting between Trump and Queen Elizabeth last year, which was fought virulently by the Remain crowd at the time, created a new alliance between Trump, Johnson and the Queen to rescue the U.K. from the hands of globalists like Sedwill, Theresa May and Tony Blair.

So, this attempt by Berman and Strauss to make the Epstein case all about Prince Andrew’s involvement is to destroy what’s left of the British royal family and undermine the U.K. government at a time when the odds of a No-Deal Brexit are rising significantly.

This would track, then, with the time line of Barr firing Berman to protect the crown while Trump has been on the warpath against Germany and the EU is deep into its next stage of evolution, ramming debt mutualization and fiscal integration consolidated under the ECB and the European Commission.

It’s murky, convoluted and probably wrong, but since Maxwell/Epstein’s operations were designed from the ground up to procure this exact type of leverage it has to be considered.

Ultimately, the crimes here are monstrous. Getting to the truth of them is only scratching the surface of this story, which goes much deeper.

Maxwell’s life story is one that forces more people to come face to face with the kind of corruption that we hate to admit to ourselves about our governments and leadership.

But we must admit these crimes or ourselves be complicit in them. The saddest part of this whole thing is the lengths our media will go to as paid white washers of the truth in order to continue enjoying their proximity to power.

We’ll find out soon why Maxwell effectively turned herself in and to whom. But I doubt someone of her capabilities and connections did so to willingly put her head in the hangman’s noose.

*  *  *

Join my Patreon if you like exploring how deep the rabbit hole goes. Install the Brave Browser to help break Big Tech’s whitewashing of our history.

ZeroHedge News

Narco Jet Allegedly Shot Down By Mexican Federal Police  

Narco Jet Allegedly Shot Down By Mexican Federal Police   Tyler Durden Sun, 07/05/2020 – 13:45

A private jet allegedly packed with drugs was intercepted by the Mexican Federal Police near the Felipe Carrillo Puerto Municipality in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. 

La Jornada, one of Mexico City’s leading daily newspapers, reports the jet landed on a highway in flames after being attacked by a Mexican Federal Police “gunnery helicopter.” 

A gunnery helicopter from the armed forces opened fire this morning against a small plane, which had to make an emergency landing on the Chunhuhub-José María Morelos highway section, in the central-western region of Quintana Roo, the head of the Secretariat of Public Security (SSP) of the state, Alberto Capella Ibarra.

The official said on his Twitter account that “the registration of the aircraft is apparently XB-RCM and could be related to illegal activities. Federal authorities attending to the investigation. “

Initial reports indicate that around 7:30 am this Sunday an Army helicopter that was flying over the area opened fire on the aircraft.

The plane began to emit smoke and later landed on the highway and caught fire, according to unofficial reports.

Witnesses who broadcast videos on Twitter report that the aircraft landed smoothly and was set on fire by its crew, who fled the scene.

Other versions indicate that, upon landing, the crew of the ship unloaded a shipment of drugs they had on board and placed it inside a van in which they fled, which they abandoned kilometers later. 

Capella asked motorists to avoid the affected stretch of highway.

Federal authorities had come to the area to carry out the corresponding investigation. – La Jornada

A bunch of video of the private jet burning on the highway has surfaced on social media in the last hour. 

“#almomento a Private Jet allegedly linked to organAn alleged attack from the air would have shot down a small plane at kilometer 61, on the Chunhuhub road section, municipality of José María Morelos. #QuintanaRoo . The aircraft could have been used to transport drugsized crime landed in an emergency on the section of the Morelos highway #QuintanaRoo supposedly after a confrontation he had to land and the aircraft was completely consumed,” tweeted LectorMx.

Mexican military on the scene. 

*Story is still developing… 

ZeroHedge News

Dr. Fauci Is No Nostradamus: How COVID-19 Ran Amok Under His Watch

Dr. Fauci Is No Nostradamus: How COVID-19 Ran Amok Under His Watch Tyler Durden Sat, 07/04/2020 – 18:10

Authored by James Grundvig via,

Michel de Nostradamus was born in Saint-Remy, South of France, in 1503. Beyond the gifts he would one day explore in astrology, he pursued an education to become a physician. After his first year at the University of Avignon, an outbreak of the plague swept through France, forcing the University to close.

Undaunted, Nostradamus opened an apothecary before attending the University of Montpellier in pursuit of a doctorate. But a second plague struck disrupting his plan; the plague also killed his first wife and two children. During the outbreak, he joined city doctors to fight against and contain the plague. They succeeded.

Nostradamus remarried, engendered six children, and wrote an almanac. Well received, he developed his ability as a seer, with a mix of astrology and biblical end-times visions, to become the world’s most famous prognosticator of the last one thousand years. He captured his dark revelations in The Prophecies, writing a collection of 942 quatrains.

Knowing more about his life, pursuits, interests, and experiences—a survivor of two plagues, fighting on the frontline of one outbreak—many will now see Nostradamus in a new light. It’s no wonder that his visions leaned toward doom and gloom.

By contrast, Dr. Anthony Fauci, born on Christmas Eve in 1940 in Brooklyn, New York, has lived a vastly different life. Yet, there are parallels between the two men. Both pursued a career as a physician. Both experienced two plagues during their lifetimes. In Fauci’s case, he was thrust into the epicenter of the 1980s AIDS/HIV epidemic when he became director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease (NIAID). In spring 2020, he roamed center stage of the COVID19 pandemic, featured as one of the “experts” on the White House Task Force.

The big delta between Dr. Fauci and Nostradamus boils down to the ability to predict the future. Beyond Nostradamus’ uncanny ability to predict the first two World Wars, two of the three “antichrists” in Napoleon and Hitler, the assassinations of U.S. presidents, and the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers centuries before the events happened, Fauci predicted a pandemic in 2017, a measly three years before it took place.

Dr. Fauci shared his foresight with medical peers at a Georgetown forum when he stated, “There will be a surprise outbreak during Trump’s first term.”

Fauci’s prediction wasn’t conjured from the alignment of the stars and planets, or a passage lifted out of the Bible. No. He didn’t develop any such gift. Instead, he arrived at his foresight by steering the financing of zoonotic viruses “gain-of-function” research. In 2018, he joined the World Health Organization’s (WHO) new unit, Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB) to be hands-on with pandemic planning, a full year after his “prophecy.” He likely advised or took part in the development of the World Bank’s first-ever “pandemic bond” the same year. Moreover, Fauci also helped the GPMB write its first annual report that pronounced the drills, simulation, and release of at least one “lethal respiratory pathogen.”

Stacking the Deck on Coronavirus Prediction

Unlike Nostradamus, it appears Fauci helped initiate the release of the novel coronavirus, unleashing pandemic paranoia and now, fanning new fears about the coming “second wave,” while insisting that only a COVID vaccine will allow society to “return to normal.” He did everything he could to kick the inexpensive hydroxychloroquine to the curb while promoting the ultra-expensive Remdesivir as a temporary fix until a vaccine becomes available. Fauci further spent a lot of political capital contradicting President Trump—and himself—nearly every day over several weeks.

And the NIAID director still presents himself as the lone go-to source for trusted information on the virus. Right.

Dr. Fauci’s recent Congressional testimony on the coronavirus was a master class in how to provide politicians and mainstream media with fodder they wanted to hear. He deftly avoided giving any firm answers on titers, how long they might last, “neutralizing antibodies,” and other sleights of the tongue.

Fauci be unfamiliar with SARS-CoV-2?

How is that possible? For a half-century, his career focused on infectious diseases and the pursuit of vaccines to prevent them. More specifically, why doesn’t Fauci know more – a lot more – about this particular outbreak?

  • He predicted it.

  • He funded research into Bat-SARs viruses.

  • He was involved in the 2003 SARS outbreak. Ditto the MERS epidemic in the Middle-East in 2012.

  • He sat at the decision-making table on how to “plan and prepare” for coronavirus. He was there for the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

  • And in 2016, he famously shilled the Zika threat in a nauseating roadshow with then CDC Director Tom Frieden, of #MeToo fame, that ran from March to the November Sunday before the presidential election. That evening, 60 Minutes featured Fauci and Frieden pitching the fear of a Zika pandemic. At the same time, the CDC director showed the CBS journalists a tour of a pandemic preparedness warehouse in case the “big one” hit.

We’re six months into this pandemic and we have only witnessed gross incompetence by the CDC, corruption with coronavirus data and testing, and a deliberate effort to ban all natural remedies that would boost people’s immune systems, such as exercise, high dose vitamin C, oxygen therapies such as HBOT and ozone, vitamin D and sunshine and more. Isn’t that what the CDC, Fauci and Bill Gates have been trying to sell with vaccines?

Never doubt that Dr. Fauci comes as a politically machined scientist who protects U.S. health agencies over the well-being of the American people and even over the office of the president. Be not deceived: There is no one more informed about coronavirus and epidemics than Dr. Anthony Fauci. He even states as much with a smug know-it-all smirk.

The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board

The GPMB board of directors is a Who’s Who of international socialist politicians and leaders. The former prime minister of Norway, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland of Agenda 21 fame, is co-chair alongside many players responsible for the current global catastrophe.

Three of the six GPMB board members include Dr. Anthony Fauci; Dr. Chris Elias, president of the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and Dr. George Fu Gao, the director-general at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Gao is a member of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Given just those three board members, many questions arise:

  • Should the United States be sharing virus intelligence with the CCP while in the middle of a new economic cold war?

  • Should we be collaborating with a communist-led country that has trampled human rights, has broken its 50-year treaty with Hong Kong three decades early, and has updated its 1999 “Unrestricted Warfare” doctrine, in which riots, pandemics, and economic warfare are fair game?

  • Has the U.S. offshored its national security policymaking regarding biothreats and foreign powers to organizations such as the Gates Foundation?

  • What is a director of any U.S. health agency sitting on a global pandemic planning board at the World Health Organization?

  • Why is Dr. Fauci allowed to share state, perhaps classified, information with an executive at the Gates Foundation and the director of the Chinese CDC?

Two other sticky issues are known facts: Fauci was part of the leadership council to the Gates Foundation, from 2003–2010 and he provided funding to the Wuhan Lab for “gain-of-function” research and development last decade.

What we don’t know is what did Fauci know, and when.

Since board members at a company, non-profit, NGO, or government agency would be aware of the contents  of their entity’s annual report, it’s safe to say that Dr. Fauci knew about the UN’s deliberate release of a “lethal respiratory pathogen.”

The next question becomes: Did the WHO-GPMB already participate in the live virus release? If so, would Dr. Fauci be exposed to liability? And was he involved in the planning stages of a pathogen release leading to COVID19?

Three salient facts are clear about Fauci and the WHO’s involvement with COVID19:

  1. Dr. Anthony Fauci sat on the board of GPMB.

  2. He was knowledgeable of the contents of its first annual report, “A World at Risk.”

  3. The UN-WHO planned to release a live pathogen for a drill and participated in Event 201 simulation exercise, along with China’s Dr. Gao, Rear Admiral Stephen Redd of the CDC, among other international preparedness experts.

A full probe into the COVID-19 outbreak must be ordered immediately by the Trump Administration. It must include an in-depth look into the WHO’s GPMB. It must interview Dr. Elias from the Gates Foundation. It must learn what information Dr. Fauci shared or gave to the CCP beyond grant money for virus research. The investigation must also determine whether the UN and WHO’s new pandemic spearpoint in the GPMB plans to release another virus—for a second outbreak—this fall as its annual report states on pages 10 and 39.

When these answers and more information into the planning of this pandemic can be ascertained, we will know whether Anthony Fauci is a Nostradamus junior or a science fraud, and much worse.

ZeroHedge News

New Bubonic Plague Cases Send Mongolian Region Along Russian Border On Lockdown

New Bubonic Plague Cases Send Mongolian Region Along Russian Border On Lockdown Tyler Durden Sat, 07/04/2020 – 17:35

Russia still has the third highest number of COVID-19 infections in the world, behind the US and Brazil, but it’s not the only deadly outbreak it has to worry about. 

In nearby Mongolia in a region near the Russian border the rare, ancient bubonic plague, or known in history as the ‘Black Death’, has surfaced once again, causing Mongolia to place ares of the Western region of Khovd province along the border on lockdown.

Two cases have been confirmed after lab test results. Two brothers, 27 and 16-years old, are currently at separate hospitals in the western province of Dorj Narangerel after they ate marmot meat.

Via Siberian Times

The older brother is said to be a “very severe condition” and had “multiple organ failure” according to the Mongolian ministry of health. He is being treated for “marmot plague and secondary lung disease”.

The bubonic plague can kill in 24-hours and includes the fast onset of fever and the painful rapid swelling of lymph nodes under the arms, in the neck, or in the groin. The bacteria can also infect the lungs in a rarer form of it.

The brothers are believed to have caught the disease while skinning and cleaning the marmot. Typically its spread through fleas which live off of infected rodents. Health authorities in the region have long warned of the dangers of eating marmot due the potential of catching the plague. From time to time individuals in the region have caught the plague by eating raw marmot meat.

Fearing a potential outbreak of the disease which in the 14th century wiped out one-third the population of Europe, Mongolian health authorities have begun aggressive contact tracing. China’s Xinhua news reports that at least 146 people have been isolated at local hospitals after having contact with the infected brothers. The health ministry further said it’s identified 504 second-contact individuals. 

The quarantined areas of the province are reportedly not allowing vehicles or residents from outside. It’s commonly estimated that rare but renewed bouts of the bubonic plague infect about 2,000 people a year globally.

But this is not the only “new” health scare the region has to worry about. As we reported earlier, roughly half a million Chinese living in Hebei Province (not Hubei, Hebei), a province in northern China that surrounds Beijing (which operates as an independent ‘national city’) are under lockdown on fears of a new strain of flu that has “the potential to become a pandemic”.

It emerged recently in China’s already-dwindling pig population, but scientists say it can infect humans, which would make it similar to the H1N1 virus that spread across Asia and made it all the way to North America in a short-lived pandemic.

WHO investigators are en route, and likely to take this threat much more seriously after the failures and deep neglect related to the coronavirus, or let’s hope so at least.

ZeroHedge News

The Strategies Of Dementia Politics

The Strategies Of Dementia Politics Tyler Durden Sat, 07/04/2020 – 17:00

Authored by Victor Davis Hanson via National Review,

Stoke chaos, obstruct economic recovery, and hide Biden in the basement till Election Day…

Joe Biden is tragically suffering a mental eclipse and sliding away at a geometric rate. Understandably, his handlers have kept him out of sight. He stays off the campaign trail on the pretext of the virus and his age-related susceptibility to COVID-19 morbidity.

I say “pretext” without apology. Quarantine should not have otherwise stopped Biden over the past three months from doing daily interviews, speeches, and meetings. But each occasion, however scripted, rehearsed, and canned, would only have offered further daily proof that Biden is cognitively unable to be president or indeed to hold any office.

Often Biden cannot finish a sentence. Names are vague eddies in his mind’s river of forgetfulness. He is in a far more dire mental state than a physically failing FDR was in his 1944 campaign for a fourth term.

The earlier career of a healthy Biden illustrates that he was not especially sharp even when in control of most of his faculties. We recall the former sane/nutty Biden of Neal Kinnock plagiarism, his “put y’all in chains” demagoguery, the studied racism of Biden’s riffs about a “clean” and well-spoken Obama, and the sane/insane Corn Pop stories. All are the trademark of a once fool Joe Biden, who was at least alert when compared with his current catalepsy. If Donald Trump can be ungrammatical, Biden is agrammatical — he simply streams together half-thoughts without syntax and then abandons the sentence entirely.

If Trump repeats vocabulary, Biden increasingly searches for words, any noun, whatever its irrelevance to the point he is making. Biden seems to suffer dyscognitive seizures, in which for moments he has no idea what he is doing or saying or where he is — a tragic, nearly epileptic condition. In scary episodes, the pale, scaly, and frozen visage of Biden appears almost reptilian, like a lizard freezing and remaining stationary as it struggles to process signals of perceived danger.

Inserting memorized answers into rehearsed questions, as if the entire con was spontaneous, only reveals how his once episodic dementia has become chronic as he loses his prompt and place. It was understandable that his handlers saw opportunity in secluding Biden during Trump’s tweeting, alongside the contagion, the lockdown, the recession, and the rioting that in voters’ minds had equated fear of chaos with the culpability of the current commander in chief.

But there were always problems with placing Biden in suspended animation in his basement, even as he seemingly surged ahead of Trump in the early-summer polls.

One, seclusion, quiet, and the absence of intellectual stimuli often only enhance dementia, while travel, conversation, and new imagery and experiences tend to unclog for a bit the congested neuron pathways. The more Biden “rests up,” the more he seems to be non compos mentis in his rare staged interviews. His brain is like a flabby muscle, and restful disuse does not make it firmer.

Two, in theory there should be a shelf life to a virtual presidential candidate. True, Biden has climbed in the polls, as the public never sees or hears him — in the manner that an unpopular lame-duck Obama disappeared to the golf courses and retreats in 2016 and yielded the media spotlight to the dog and cat fighting between Trump and Clinton. Obama then discovered that the more he retreated from the public eye, the more the public liked the old idea, rather than the current reality, of him.

So too the ghost model was supposed to work for Biden.

He is a cardboard candidate, but at least he’s not on the front lines of commentary on statue toppling and the contagion, and so he can be blamed for neither.

But by avoiding the campaign trail, Biden is only postponing the inevitable. He is compressing the campaign into an ever-shorter late-summer and autumn cycle. If he really agrees to three debates (he may not agree to any at all), and if he performs as he usually now acts and speaks, then he may end up reminding the American people in the eleventh hour of the campaign that they have a choice between a controversial president and a presidential candidate who simply cannot fulfill the office of presidency. And if Biden is a no-show, Trump will probably debate an empty, Clint Eastwood–prop mute chair.

Why, then, is Biden the nominee at all — other than that he leads in the delegate count and surged after Democrat back-roomers panicked when Bloomberg imploded and Bernie surged? As a result, politicos forced or enticed all the other primary candidates to vacate and unite around someone nominally not a socialist.

Is one consolation that Biden’s dementia offers a credible defense that he has “no recollection” that he was in on Obama’s efforts to surveil an oppositional campaign and abort a presidential transition?

While all Democrats know that the cat must be belled, no one wishes to step forward to do it and remove Biden — and indeed no one knows how to steal a nomination from an enfeebled winner and hand it off to an undeserving but cogent alternative. Take out Biden in August, and who knows what sort of candidate stampede might follow in today’s insane landscape?

So what are these strategies of dementia other than putting Biden on ice while redefining the election as Trump versus the media’s version of the virus, lockdown, and economic stagnation?

Pity is one pretext. The progressive media have put Biden’s blank stares and word searching off limits. We are not supposed to remember that Trump was hounded by progressive M.D.s, to the point that he took — and aced — the Montreal Cognitive Assessment Test, an examination that no one in his right mind would suggest Biden now take, given that the results would be no surprise.

Dementia is also about the only valid reason one can legitimately say “I don’t remember.” So ask Joe Biden about those early January 2017 strategy sessions in which Obama, Biden, and their henchmen plotted the surveillance of the Trump campaign and the destruction of Michael Flynn — and he can honestly say, “What administration?” Ask Biden about his illiberal past statements, his associations with neo-Confederate senators, or his plagiarism, and without guile he can retort, “What? What plagiarism? What senators?” Burisma? Hunter Biden’s Chinese lucre? He will look dumbfounded and turn to an aide to ask, “What is Burisma and who is Hunter?”

Democrats also knew that they would lose with an Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, or Bernie Sanders as their masthead. The primaries, even heavily loaded to the left-wing base, taught them that well enough. The hard-left agenda of winter 2020 went nowhere, and it will go less than nowhere in the fall after months of televised arson, looting, and gratuitous violence.

In contrast, even a cardboard-cutout version of Biden offers them the veneer of the “moderation.” A Bill Clinton–style Biden phantom, if elected, can allow a passageway for a leftist surrogate into the presidency, the same way that Harry Truman, a centrist, was put on the ticket in 1944 to save the country from Vice President Henry Wallace’s Communism.

Translated, that means the Democratic donor class accepts that they cannot win while siding with the mobs on the street and their appeasers and apologists — and yet the latter leftists are needed to provide the missing 5 to 7 points for victory. With a wink and nod, the vice-presidential candidate will be seen as assuming the presidency and giving to the Left what they could not achieve through a presidential election — while old Joe Biden from Scranton stares at the TV screen a bit longer to prove he’s not a raving socialist.

Also expect the Democrats to push the following strategies harder and harder, as they square the circle of a demented candidate who nonetheless could prove enormously useful — if he can just get elected.

  • Expect more calls to cancel the debates as corrupt, fluff, reality-TV pizzazz and utterly unnecessary. Anticipate that the virus lockdown will be prolonged nearly until Election Day and will de facto lead Democrats to call for a Zoom campaign: Biden talking to the camera with a teleprompted script behind the screen.

  • Election Day voting, we will be told, is merely an ossified construct. The key to our new electoral process is not Neanderthal driving into a COVID-infested polling booth, but rather voter-harvested mail-in ballots.

  • Expect the vote in November to be declared in advance warped, stolen, and invalid — and then declared valid and fair if Biden wins.

  • Expect blue states to remain economically mired in quarantines, in hopes of aborting a recovery. Democratic leaders will never really crack down on what heretofore have been blue-state rioting and looting; the chronic chaos and recession will be kept alive and geared to the November election.

Are there problems with such Biden basement strategies? Lots.

A hard-left candidate for vice president will have to do the campaign messaging as a public auxiliary of, and in line with, Joe Biden. She will privately reassure her base that it’s all a moderate con, assuming that leftist voters are sophisticated and cynical enough to be willing to be lied to now for the sake of gaining power shortly.

It will also be problematic to assure the country that Joe Biden is 110 percent fit to be president in November but then to leak to the public by February 2021 that he’s crazy and it’s past time for his radical vice president, regrettably, to move him out.

Using Biden as an empty vessel also assumes that he is at least a vessel. But what if Biden, say, on October 25, 2020, has one of his blank-outs? Or what if he announces once again, but this time at his final rare press conference: “I am going to beat [be] Joe Biden!” What then? Do they call Christopher Steele out of retirement to do a hasty file on Joe Biden, the delusional nut, and use Yahoo or Mother Jones again to leak the dirt in order to switch the order of the Democratic ticket?

Given the current racial hysteria, how do Democratic handlers muzzle the not always latently bigoted Biden? Often dementia is a cruel pathway to the truth, freed from normal self-censorship, politeness, and social awareness. Meaning: What if Biden has more “you ain’t black” moments, or Corn Pop storytelling, or he mimics a black accent to riff about chains, “clean” blacks, and such? And in the present climate, will people be forgiving when he brags that his home state of Delaware was once a “slave state”? One or two such outbursts could shrink his share of the black vote to 80 percent, which would lead to losses in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Florida.

In the chaos of July, Biden’s handlers have been acclaimed geniuses for anesthetizing him. But in the different season of October, he may finally be forced out from his lockdown, in the wild manner that soon-to-be looters and arsonists at last emerged from quarantine in June — pent-up, angry, incoherent, and self-destructive.

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US Moves To Seize Iran Petroleum On New Tanker Group Bound For Venezuela

US Moves To Seize Iran Petroleum On New Tanker Group Bound For Venezuela Tyler Durden Sat, 07/04/2020 – 16:25


US prosecutors will seek to put an end to Iran’s oil deliveries to Venezuela, as they have filed a new suit to seize the contents on these tankers.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. prosecutors are targeting the oil from four Iranian tankers, along with the payments between Tehran and Caracas.

Iranian oil tankers off the port of Bandar Abbas, via AFP.

The U.S. prosecutors allege that these payments made between Caracas and Tehran will help fund the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), who Washington has designated as a terrorist organization.

“[These payments] support the IRGC’s full range of nefarious activities, including the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, support for terrorism, and a variety of human rights abuses, at home and abroad”, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Zia Faruqui claims in the filing.

The prosecutors claims that Iranian businessman, Mahmoud Madanipour, who is allegedly behind these shipments, is affiliated with the IRGC and has been using his firms based in the United Arab Emirates to organize the sale of Iranian crude while evading the unilateral American sanctions, according to the newspaper.

Madanipour purportedly falsified the oil’s origin in papers and used mid-sea, ship-to-ship transfers to fool authorities and has allegedly been working on expanding his operations beyond Venezuela, finding buyers in China and Malaysia too.

The prosecutors claim to have obtained the businessman’s communications in which he discussed ways of transferring the money without triggering the US sanctions, with potential buyers suggesting an array of countries where it could allegedly be done – Oman, UAE, Turkey, Italy, and Germany, the WSJ says.

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Taibbi: “On America’s Birthday, Celebrate The Corporate-Sponsored Revolution”

Taibbi: “On America’s Birthday, Celebrate The Corporate-Sponsored Revolution” Tyler Durden Sat, 07/04/2020 – 15:50

By Matt Taibbi, via SubStack

It’s the Fourth of July, and revolution is in the air. Only in America would it look like this: an elite-sponsored Maoist revolt, couched as a Black liberation movement whose canonical texts are a corporate consultant’s white guilt self-help manual, and a New York Times series rewriting history to explain an election they called wrong.

Much of America has watched in quizzical silence in recent weeks as crowds declared war on an increasingly incoherent succession of historical symbols. Maybe you nodded as Confederate general Albert Pike was toppled or even when Christopher Columbus was beheaded, but it got a little weird when George Washington was emblazoned with “Fuck Cops” and set on fire, or when they went after Ulysses S. Grant, abolitionist Colonel Hans Christian Heg, “Forward,” (a seven-foot-tall female figure meant to symbolize progress), the Portland, Oregon “Elk statue,” or my personal favorite, the former slave Miguel de Cervantes, whose cheerful creations Don Quixote and Sancho Panza were apparently mistaken for reals and had their eyes lashed red in San Francisco.

Was a What the Fuck? too much to ask? It was! In the space of a few weeks the level of discourse in the news media dropped so low, the fear of being shamed as a deviationist so high, that most of the weirder incidents went uncovered. Leading press organs engaged in real-time Soviet-style airbrushing. Here’s how the Washington Post described a movement that targeted Spanish missionary Junipero Serra, Abraham Lincoln (a “single-handed symbol of white supremacy,” according to UW-Madison students), an apple cider press sculptureabolitionist Mathias Baldwin, and the first all-Black volunteer regiment in the Civil War, among others:

Across the country, protesters have toppled statues of figures from America’s sordid past — including Confederate generals — as part of demonstrations against racism and police violence.

The New York Times, once the dictionary definition of “unprovocative,” suddenly reads like Pol Pot’s Sayings of Angkar. Heading into the Fourth of July weekend, the morning read for upscale white Manhattanites was denouncing Mount Rushmore, urging Black America to arm itself, and re-positioning America alongside more deserving historical parallels in a feature about caste systems:

Throughout human history, three caste systems have stood out. The lingering, millenniums-long caste system of India. The tragically accelerated, chilling and officially vanquished caste system of Nazi Germany. And the shape-shifting, unspoken, race-based caste pyramid in the United States.

It’s tragic that this even needs saying, but the sudden reinvention in the press of modern America as a Nazi apartheid state is as phony as the thousands of patriotic campaigns that occupied the news media previously. We’re witnessing an obscene malfunction of the elite messaging system.

The people who run this country have run out of workable myths with which to distract the public, and in a moment of extreme crisis have chosen to stoke civil war and defame the rest of us – black and white – rather than admit to a generation of corruption, betrayal, and mismanagement.

I saw the first hints of this crackup in the panicked conversations of campaign reporters four summers ago. Colleagues in news media had always reveled in the power to police the boundaries of national politics. Former ABC reporter Mark Halperin* (henceforth canceled people will be marked here with asterisks, for shorthand purposes) used to cheerfully refer to a handful of pollsters, pundits, and pols he called the “Gang of 500. who “set the political agenda for the country.”

People like Halperin wrote glowing self-referential “exposes” every four years about the power of their bullshit. If they told Americans a presidential race would be decided by angsty “soccer moms” (because Bill Clinton was talking up “zero tolerance” for school truancy and a return to school uniforms), then it was so. If eight years later the deciders were “security moms,” because what mattered then was not schools or prescription drugs but “what are you doing to protect my kids from terrorists?”, then that was so.

If they said voters cared most of all to know which multimillionaire candidate was a better potential beer-drinking companion – because “a person is smart, people are dumb,” as one pundit put it – then that was to be taken seriously also.

Unfortunately, voters had other problems. By 2016 Americans had lived for a generation under an economic model dominated by huge transnational companies that sold weapons into holocausts of urban violence, rejoiced in addiction to opiates or carcinogens as a revenue model, bled virtually all the savings of the American middle class (targeting minorities especially) through a succession of speculative bubble schemes, and relentlessly lobbied to be exempted from taxes, environmental laws, criminal penalties, and even their own business errors, through bailouts approved by the “politicians” they sponsored in both parties.

The concessions to civilization employers had once under great pressure agreed to provide – pensions, medical insurance, sick leave, the forty-hour work week – vanished as the manufacturing economy was exported in a snap to unfree labor zones like China and Indonesia. Both parties supported the deals American business made with monster states. Just this week U.S. customs seized 13 tons of human hair farmed from the heads of Uighur political prisoners in Chinese labor camps: we gave that country Most Favored Nation Trading status eons ago.

I watched for election cycle after election cycle as politicians and press lackeys alike promised lives would improve with middle-class tax cuts, “service for college” grants, federal retraining programs and an endless succession of proposals to “cut red tape” and “run America like a business.”

Through the election of Barack Obama maybe there was patience for this, but within a few years after the crash of 2008 people stopped believing. When protest movements popped up on both the left and right – ordinary people mad about everything from crushing consumer and student debt to unpunished financial fraud to pointless war to surveillance to bailouts to stolen pensions to, yes, police brutality – the first reaction of donor-fattened pols was to blow off the warning signs. They controlled both parties, what was the worst that could happen?

When the election of Trump made a solid first attempt at answering that question, establishment figures howled in self-pity and outrage. Who but deplorable racists could hate us this much? Those were the first gusts hinting at the current hurricane of stupidity.

About those “deplorables”: the populist fury that drove the Trump campaign was obviously not rooted in concern over police brutality, and just as obviously Trump was using gross racial rhetoric to drum up support. I wrote about this repeatedly covering him in 2015-2016.

But he did stress other themes. In hunger to suck up discontent of every stripe, candidate Trump complained about everything from the anti-trust exemption for insurance companies (“the lines” around states prevented competition, he said half-coherently) to the “obsolete” mission of NATO, to “nation building” abroad (he pledged instead to “build the roads, highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, and the railways of tomorrow” at home), to NAFTA to the Fed to, yes, Most Favored Nation trading status for China.

In Trump crowds one frequently heard people talking about being willing to “try anything” as long as it didn’t come from a “politician,” a term which by 2016 had become synonymous with “paid liar.” Of course Trump was a liar, too, but at least he was his own liar, which in a testament to the level of pessimism gripping the country by 2016 was an important distinction to some.

Trump proved almost completely insincere with respect to all of these policy complaints. But it was amazing to watch the speed with which it became consensus that Trump’s entire platform had been only a promise to restore the power of white identity. It became taboo even to say something as tame as, “Trump sold fake solutions to real problems.” Even that was too near the truth.

Papers like the New York Times did post-mortems citing research that concluded things like “how trade affected personal finances had little bearing on political preferences,” while “unemployment or the density of manufacturing jobs in one’s area” were similarly irrelevant. The same pundits who chanted “It’s the economy, stupid,” throughout the nineties reversed tune.

* * *

The best explanation for these sudden reversals in rhetoric is that Trump broke the brains of America’s educated classes. Like Russian aristocrats who spent the last days of the Tsarist empire flocking to fortune-tellers and mystics, upscale blue-staters have lost themselves lately in quasi-religious tracts like White Fragility, and are lining up to flog themselves for personal and historical sins.

In desperation to help the country atone for their idea of why Trump happened, they’ve engaged in a sort of moon landing of anti-intellectual endeavors, committing a generation of minds to finding a solution to the one thing no thinking person ever considered a problem, i.e. the Enlightenment ideas that led to the American Revolution.

The same pols and pundits who not long ago were waving the flag for wars and insisting that American-style democracy was so perfectly realized that it made sense to bring it to all the peoples of the world, by force if needed (think Friedman’s hypothesis of a borderless utopia of forced wealth creation called the Golden Straitjacket), have now reversed course to tell us our entire history needs to be wiped clean.

Everything is a lie now. CNN even put “Independence” in quotes when describing the holiday today (i.e. “Reexamining ‘Independence’ Day”). This will end with Wolf Blitzer, dressed in a daskiki, pulling the switch to dynamite the Statue of Liberty.

Continued reading at Taibbi’s substack

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Spate Of ‘Random’ Explosions At Iranian Facilities Are Targeted Sabotage: Intel Sources

Spate Of ‘Random’ Explosions At Iranian Facilities Are Targeted Sabotage: Intel Sources Tyler Durden Sat, 07/04/2020 – 15:20

Iran has made no secret in the last months of desiring to blow past Iranian enrichment caps set in place by the 2015 JCPOA. Top officials previously boasted of doing just that, so it’s no mystery.

What is a mystery, however, is the latest increased number of “random” explosions and fires at remote Iranian countryside areas known for being weapons and nuclear development sites.

Image issued by Atomic Energy Organization of Iran showing aftermath of a fire at a nuclear development facility early Thursday.

For example last week a massive explosion was observed lighting up the midnight sky outside Tehran, caught on film by local residents, which Iran’s military dismissed as a gas leak explosion incident. But it was later revealed to have occurred at a ballistic missile development facility.

And just days ago, another reported “accident” occurred at Natanz nuclear complex. But that particular ‘mystery’ blast caused Iranian officials to lash out in anger Thursday, saying “hostile countries” like the US and Israel are near the point of crossing “red lines”. Crucially, Iran also said there were no radioactive leaks as a result of the incident.

Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization ultimately denied that nuclear material was even present in the building.

Last week a similarly mysterious blast took out large parts of an Iranian military site outside of Tehran:

Adding to the suspense of what could be behind these latest ‘accidental blasts’ an anonymous Middle Eastern intelligence official asserted that the Natanz facility was targeted with a bomb planted there.

“The blast was caused by an explosive device planted inside the facility,” the official told The New York Times. The official added that the bombing “destroyed much of the aboveground parts of the facility where new centrifuges… are balanced before they are put into operation.”

Reports out of Iran’s state media also suggest a possible cyber-attack, to which Tehran military officials say “they’ll respond” if the attack did indeed originate from Iran’s enemies.

Interestingly, the NY Times went so far as to raise the question (even if in the form of doubts) of whether US-Israeli black ops targeting Iran, which go back to the start of Bush’s so-called ‘war on terror’, could explain the rise in deeply suspicious and unexplained blasts and fires

The timing was suspicious: A series of unexplained fires have broken out in recent days at other facilities related to the nuclear program. Still, experts noted that if the explosion was deliberately set, it showed none of the stealth and secrecy surrounding the complex cyberattacks by the United States and Israel that were first ordered by President George W. Bush toward the end of his term, and then extended by President Barack Obama.

The Persian language service of the BBC reported that several members of its staff received an email from a previously unknown group, which referred to itself as the Homeland Cheetahs, before news of the fire became public. The group claimed responsibility and said it was composed of dissidents in Iran’s military and security apparatus. They said the attack would target aboveground sections of the targeted facilities so that the Iranian government could not cover up the damage.

The US State Department, meanwhile, has said it is “monitoring reports of a fire at an Iranian nuclear facility.” It added: “This incident serves as another reminder of how the Iranian regime continues to prioritize its misguided nuclear program to the detriment of the Iranian people’s needs.”

Is either Israeli or US intelligence behind this? Tel Aviv has for months vowed it would stop at nothing to prevent the Islamic Republic from achieving nuclear weapons capabilities.

Such a possible sabotage campaign would indeed be a natural first step, as an ‘alternative’ to preemptive strike or an all-out war scenario (also reported to be “on the table” in Netanyahu and defense ministry national security discussions). 

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