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  • #31
    Originally posted by Foreign_Policy_Association
    10 May 2022
    Russian Influence and Austria's Far Right Before the 2022 Invasion of Ukraine

    In the years preceding Vladimir Putin's decision to stage a full invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Russia cultivated political influence in many European countries, including Austria. In this interview, recorded in 2021, Siegfried Beer, founder of the Austrian Center for Intelligence, Propaganda and Security Studies (ACIPSS), shared his insights on Russian influence in Austria and the Czech Republic, saying, "Right now, we have a situation that our far right parties feel a close connection with the Putin movement in Russia, and they even have, you know, cooperation they have, they have treaties, as it were contracts, in which they sort of support each other across across national interests and goals. So it's sometimes confusing. In the first one of the methods that the Russian propaganda state propaganda uses is trying to create influence among the political elites of a country."

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Reuters
      27 June 2022
      Credit Suisse found guilty in cocaine cash case

      Credit Suisse was convicted by Switzerland's Federal Criminal Court of failing to prevent money-laundering in the country's first criminal trial of one of its major banks.
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      • #33
        Directly below is a small snippet excerpted from the full report available at the following link (edit: and now also attached at the bottom of this post).

        https://emptaskforce.us/wp-content/u...mpTHREAT22.pdf

        Originally posted by US_EMP_Task_Force

        IRAN: EMP THREAT The Islamic Republic of Iran’s Military Doctrine, Plans, and Capabilities for Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack

        Dr . Peter Vincent Pry Executive Director EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security April 30 , 2022

        KEY JUDGMENTS

        Washington’s bipartisan consensus is that Iran does not yet have nuclear weapons or missiles capable of threatening the United States with nuclear attack. But some Israeli analysts and some highly credible U.S. experts disagree with the “consensus view.”

        Several senior Reagan and Clinton Administration national security officials warned in 2015 and again in 2021: “Regardless of intelligence uncertainties and unknowns about Iran’s nuclear weapons and missile programs, we know enough now to make a prudent judgment that Iran should be regarded by national security decision makers as a nuclear missile state capable of posing an existential threat to the United States and its allies…The fact of Iran’s…proximity to nuclear weapons necessitates that Iran be regarded as a nuclear missile state—right now… Iran probably has nuclear warheads for the Shahab-III medium-range missile, which they tested for making EMP attacks”

        Iran has hundreds of medium-range and short-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs and SRBMs), more by far than any other nation in the Middle East. If armed with a nuclear warhead, any of these could be fused for high-altitude burst to make an EMP attack.

        Iran has not demonstrated a military intercontinental missile equipped with a reentry vehicle capable of penetrating the atmosphere, accurate enough to strike a city. Yet a High-altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP) attack does not require a reentry vehicle or accuracy.

        If North Korea, Iran’s strategic partner, gives the IRGC a Super-EMP nuclear weapon, they would not have to wait for a “true ICBM” but could use a satellite to blackout North America and terminate the “Great Satan.”

        Iran’s intentions to exploit HEMP offensively may be reflected in their efforts to protect at least some of their critical infrastructures from HEMP attack. An official Iranian military textbook endorses nuclear HEMP attack against the United States, as well as deception measures to conceal nuclear weapons in violation of international agreements.

        Iran has demonstrated sophisticated cruise missiles and drones, using over 20 to make highly precise and coordinated attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil processing facilities on September 14, 2019. Such delivery vehicles could easily be armed with Non-Nuclear EMP (NNEMP) warheads.

        NNEMP might be able to achieve results similar to a nuclear HEMP attack in blacking-out power grids, though the NNEMP attack would probably take hours instead of seconds.

        If Iran acquires or develops nuclear HEMP attack capabilities, Iran's targets or that of its terrorist proxies will most likely be the populations of America and Israel.

        The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has access to all of Iran’s weapons and is so fanatical that a scenario cannot be ruled out where the IRGC acts independently of the political government of Iran and its spiritual leaders.


        Originally posted by BBC_News

        Biden: US prepared to use force to stop Iran getting nuclear arms

        by Raffi Berg and Tom Bateman
        BBC News, London & Jerusalem

        President Joe Biden has pledged that the US is "prepared to use all elements of its national power" to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

        Mr Biden made the declaration with Israel's Prime Minister Yair Lapid on the second day of his visit there.

        Israel considers the Iranian nuclear programme to be its greatest threat, though Iran insists it is peaceful.

        The president will hold talks with Palestinian officials on Friday before a controversial visit to Saudi Arabia.

        Mr Biden outlined a series of strategic commitments underpinning the US relationship with Israel - its closest regional ally - in a document known as the Jerusalem US-Israel Strategic Partnership Joint Declaration.

        He also pledged that the US would "work together with our other partners to confront Iran's aggression and destabilising activities", including Iran's use of "terrorist organisations such as Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad".

        The US and Israel have long accused Iran of state-sponsored terrorism in the Middle East and further afield. Iran provides funding, training and weapons to Lebanon's powerful Hezbollah movement, and the Palestinian groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.

        Iran denies that it sponsors terrorism and says the organisations it backs are resistance groups fighting Israeli and US aggression.

        Iran is embroiled in a crisis with the US and other Western countries over its nuclear programme. It has breached limits imposed under a 2015 international agreement that began to unravel after Mr Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, abandoned it in 2018 and reinstated crippling economic sanctions.

        Tehran says its nuclear programme has always been entirely peaceful, but Western powers and the global nuclear watchdog say they are not convinced.

        While the US and Israel have repeatedly said they would never allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, the two allies differ on how.

        Mr Biden wants to revive the 2015 deal with tougher terms - although months-long talks aimed at getting the agreement back on track have stalled.

        Israel wants Iran's nuclear programme stopped altogether and has said it reserves the right to use force if it has to.

        In an interview with Israel's Channel 12 TV on Wednesday, Mr Biden also said the US would be prepared to use force against Iran "if that was the last resort".

        The president's trip has brimmed with adjectives about the unshakeable, iron-clad or bone deep bonds between Israel and the US. But in reality some Israelis are jittery about the impact of America's polarised politics on its long-term support.

        In the interview, Mr Biden was asked about voices in the Democratic Party who describe Israel as an apartheid state and call for an end to unconditional American military aid. He said those views were "few and wrong", adding that there was no possibility of his party walking away from Israel.

        On Friday, Mr Biden will hold talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank.

        The Palestinians want the US to do more to re-start peace talks with Israel and to reopen the US consulate in Jerusalem, which served as a de facto embassy to the Palestinians before it was shut by the Trump administration in 2019.

        However, Mr Lapid is not expected to make diplomatic overtures towards the Palestinians ahead of the Israeli general election in November, and the Biden administration has said it is not yet ready reverse the US consulate's closure.

        The main focus of Mr Biden's Middle East tour though will be his visit to Saudi Arabia, under the spotlight due to tensions with the US over human rights.

        Mr Biden has faced criticism over his planned meeting on Saturday with the kingdom's de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was accused by US intelligence agencies of approving the murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey in 2018. The prince denied the allegations, and Saudi prosecutors blamed "rogue" Saudi agents.

        When he was campaigning for the presidency in 2019, Mr Biden vowed to make Saudi Arabia "the pariah that they are" for killing Khashoggi, who lived in the US and wrote a column for the Washington Post.

        He has defended his visit, saying his "aim was to reorient - but not rupture - relations" with Riyadh.

        Mr Biden will become the first US president to fly directly to Saudi Arabia from Israel, which is seen as a small but significant sign of Riyadh's growing acceptance of Israel after decades of boycott in solidarity with the Palestinians.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by JRT; 21 Jul 22,, 20:19.
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        • #34
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          In an interview with Israel's Channel 12 TV on Wednesday, Mr Biden also said the US would be prepared to use force against Iran "if that was the last resort".
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          Last edited by JRT; 21 Jul 22,, 21:17.
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          • #35
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            Originally posted by PBS_NewsHour

            Biden says U.S. will not ‘wait forever’ for Iran on nuclear deal

            by Aamer Madhani, Josh Boak, Chris Megerian
            14 July 2022

            JERUSALEM (AP) — President Joe Biden said Thursday that the United States is "not going to wait forever" for Iran to rejoin a dormant nuclear deal, a day after saying he'd be willing to use force against Tehran as a last resort, if necessary.

            At a news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid following private talks about Iran's rapidly progressing nuclear program, Biden said the U.S. had laid out for the Iranian leadership a path to return to the nuclear deal and was still waiting for a response.

            "When that will come, I'm not certain," Biden said. "But we're not going to wait forever."

            Even as he suggested that his patience with Iran was running low, Biden held out hope that Iran can be persuaded to rejoin the agreement. "I continue to believe that diplomacy is the best way to achieve this outcome," he said.

            Biden's desire for a diplomatic solution contrasted with Lapid, who said Iran must face a real threat of force in order to give up on its nuclear ambition.

            "The Iranian regime must know that if they continue to deceive the world they will pay a heavy price," Lapid said at the news conference. "The only way to stop them is to put a credible military threat on the table."

            Lapid suggested that he and Biden were in agreement, despite his tougher rhetoric toward Iran.

            "I don't think there's a light between us," he said. "We cannot allow Iran to become nuclear."

            Resurrecting the Iran nuclear deal brokered by Barack Obama's administration and abandoned by Donald Trump in 2018 was a key priority for Biden as he entered office. But administration officials have become increasingly pessimistic about the chances of getting Tehran back into compliance.

            Israeli officials have sought to use Biden's first visit to the Middle East as president to underscore that Iran's nuclear program has progressed too far and encourage the Biden administration to scuttle efforts to revive a 2015 agreement with Iran to limit its development.

            Israel opposed the original nuclear deal, reached under Obama in 2015, because its limitations on Iran's nuclear enrichment would expire and the agreement didn't address Iran's ballistic missile program or military activities in the region.

            Instead of the U.S. reentering the deal, which Trump withdrew from in 2018, Israel would prefer strict sanctions in hopes of leading to a more sweeping accord.

            The U.S. president, who is set to travel to Saudi Arabia on Friday, said he also stressed to Lapid the importance of Israel becoming "totally integrated" in the region.

            Their one-on-one talks marked the centerpiece of a 48-hour visit by Biden aimed at strengthening already tight relations between the U.S and Israel. The leaders issued a joint declaration emphasizing military cooperation and a commitment to preventing Iran, which Israel considers an enemy, from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

            In the joint statement, the United States said it is ready to use "all elements of its national power" to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb.

            Biden, in an interview with Israel's Channel 12 that aired Wednesday, offered strong assurances of his determination to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power, saying he'd be willing to use force as a "last resort" if necessary.

            Iran announced last week that it has enriched uranium to 60% purity, a technical step away from weapons-grade quality.

            The joint declaration could hold important symbolic importance for Biden's upcoming meeting with Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia as he seeks to strengthen a regionwide alliance against Iran.

            "I talked about how important it was ... for Israel to be totally integrated in the region," Biden said after his one-on-one meeting with Lapid on Thursday.

            The president heads to Saudi Arabia after calling the kingdom a "pariah" nation as a candidate and releasing a U.S. intelligence finding last year that showed the kingdom's defacto leader, Mohammed bin Salman, like approved the killing of of Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S.-based writer.

            Biden declined to commit to mentioning Khashoggi's murder when he meets with the crown prince..

            "I always bring up human rights," Biden said at the news conference. "But my position on Khashoggi has been so clear. If anyone doesn't understand it, in Saudi Arabia or anywhere else, then they haven't been around for a while." He did not reiterate his position.

            Thursday's appearances with the Israeli prime minister could also provide a boost to Lapid, who is serving in an interim capacity until elections in November, Israel's fifth in less than four years. Lapid's main opponent is former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the joint appearance with Biden could help burnish his credentials as a statesman and leader.

            Biden and Lapid also participated in a virtual summit with India and the United Arab Emirates, a collection of countries called the I2U2.
            The United Arab Emirates announced it will help finance a $2 billion project supporting agriculture in India.

            Biden didn't mention Israel's upcoming election during the public portion of Thursday's meeting with Lapid, but told reporters "we had a good beginning of a long, God willing, relationship."

            Biden is expected to meet only briefly with former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom who he's had a rocky relationship.

            Much like Lapid, Biden also faces a political threat from his predecessor. Trump, an ally of Netanyahu who still enjoys strong support from Republican voters despite his attempt to overturn the last election, may run for another term.

            Asked in the Channel 12 interview if he expected a rematch, Biden replied, "I'm not predicting, but I would not be disappointed."

            Given the U.S.'s status as Israel's closest and most important ally, Biden is at the center of the country's attention during his visit.

            He is set to receive Israel's top civilian honor, the presidential medal of honor, from President Isaac Herzog on Thursday.

            Biden also planned to meet with U.S. athletes participating in the Maccabiah Games. Also known as the "Jewish Olympics," it's the country's largest sporting event and held every four years for Israeli and Jewish athletes from all over world.

            Megerian reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Josef Federman in Jerusalem and Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to this report.
            Last edited by JRT; 22 Jul 22,, 19:46.
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            • #36
              Originally posted by CNN
              09 October 2022
              Have protests in Iran passed a ‘point of no return’?
              (6 min, 4 sec)

              Roya Hakakian, an Iranian American writer, joins CNN’s Fareed Zakaria to discuss the political climate in Iran in light of ongoing protests in the country.
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              • #37
                Originally posted by MSNBC
                09 October 2022
                Putin Now Facing Criticism From Inner Circle Over Ukraine Conflict
                (1 min, 32 sec)

                Russian leader Vladimir Putin is not only dealing with pressure from the international community over his war in Ukraine, members of his own inner circle are now criticizing his decisions. Former Ambassador William Taylor explains Putin’s difficult position and how it might spell trouble in the future.
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                • #38
                  Originally posted by euronews
                  09 October 2022
                  Far-right Spanish party Vox hosts rally with international leaders
                  (1 min, 35 sec)

                  Former US President Donald Trump threw his weight behind Spain’s far-right party Vox, in a video shown at a rally in Madrid that also featured messages by the leading stars of Europe's populist right.
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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by BBC_News
                    26 October 2022
                    China (PRC) accused of illegal "police stations" in the Netherlands
                    (7 min, 58 sec)

                    The Chinese government has been accused of establishing at least two undeclared "police stations" in the Netherlands.

                    Dutch media found evidence that the "overseas service stations", which promise to provide diplomatic services, are being used to try to silence Chinese dissidents in Europe.

                    A spokeswoman for the Dutch foreign ministry said the existence of the unofficial police outposts was illegal.

                    The Chinese foreign ministry has rejected the Dutch allegations.
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                    Last edited by JRT; 26 Oct 22,, 15:29.
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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Bloomberg_Markets_and_Finance
                      26 October 2022
                      CCP power reshuffle reducing roles for party elders
                      (1 min, 52 sec)

                      There are signs Chinese President Xi Jinping is consolodating power and limiting the participation of past leaders when the government makes major decisions. Stephen Engle reports on Bloomberg Television.
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                      • #41
                        Here we learn that politicians are liars.
                        News to anyone?



                        Last edited by JRT; 31 Oct 22,, 22:08.
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                        • #42
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                          • #43
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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by NATO_News
                              10 January 2023
                              Signing ceremony of Joint Declaration on EU-NATO Cooperation
                              (01 min, 23 sec)

                              Signing ceremony of the Joint Declaration on EU-NATO Cooperation by the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission, and the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Tuesday 10 January 2023.
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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by euronews
                                06 February 2023
                                Patriarch Kirill worked for the KGB in the 1970s, Swiss media reports
                                (0 min, 36 sec)

                                Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, a close supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, worked for the Russian intelligence service in Switzerland in the 1970s, according to two Swiss newspapers, citing declassified archives.
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