Navy ships are getting fewer steaming hours because of growing maintenance delays and costs, a troubling trend that comes as at time when the U.S. is struggling to keep pace with China’s growing fleet.
Operating and support costs grew by about $2.5 billion across 10 ship classes while the number of propulsion hours in which ships were operating or training dipped during a 10-year period that ended in 2021, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office.
The Navy saw increased maintenance delays, breakdowns and cannibalization of parts — moving them from one ship to keep another one going — during the period.
The analysis shows “persistent sustainment challenges that have worsened,” compounded by maintenance delays and deferred maintenance noted in previous reports by the GAO, a congressional agency that audits federal programs.
“Over time this situation has resulted in worsening ship conditions and increased costs to repair and sustain ships,” the GAO said.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s enthusiasm for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia illustrates the worst of U.S. foreign policy. As secretary of state under President Donald Trump, Pompeo acted as if he were a mob consigliere for the KSA’s Mohammed “Slice‘n’Dice” bin Salman. Even the CIA blamed MbS for the murder and dismemberment of U.S. resident and dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018. Yet Pompeo continued to visit Riyadh, defending the Saudi royals from criticism of their selfish criminality and ostentatious brutality.
Currently on the road promoting his memoirs, Pompeo, an avowed Christian and human rights advocate, dismissed Khashoggi’s murder. Observed Pompeo of the murder victim: the latter was a journalist “to the extent that I, and many other public figures are journalists. We sometimes get our writing published, but we also do other things.” Khashoggi didn’t deserve to die, allowed Pompeo, but the murder was no biggie in his view. After all, Pompeo argued, the crown prince “will prove to be one of the most important leaders of his time, a truly historic figure on the world stage.” No doubt, MbS has triggered a dramatic social transformation of the Kingdom, which the royals long ruled like the Taliban with cash. Indeed, in the space of just a few years, superficially, Saudi Arabia seems almost like a normal country.
In a new and dangerous development, Zionist groups are moving more aggressively than in the past to ban criticism of Israel on campuses by deeming it antisemitic. One tactic deployed by such groups is to create assessment reports claiming dubiously that Jewish students feel uncomfortable about anti-Zionist activities on campus and that those activities should in turn be prohibited.
In this context, Zionist groups are asking for the application of identity-based protections (echoing existing protections for race, ethnicity, and gender identity) to Zionist political belief. This would enable them to claim that challenging that political belief constitutes “discrimination” — a position that runs contrary to established legal and constitutional interpretations of discrimination. To adopt any such recommendations would not only violate the free speech rights of students and faculty but would also render Jewish concerns unjustifiably exceptional by placing them above those of other racialized and/or marginalized social groups.
San Francisco State University (SFSU), a public university with a long history of attempting to silence Palestinian speech and scholarship, recently released such an assessment report to the public. The SFSU Campus Climate Assessment Report epitomizes the use of flawed methodology to assess the “Jewish Campus Climate” in order to produce “data” to confirm its preconceived assumptions that antisemitism is alive and well on campus and that Jewish students are ever more vulnerable to it. SFSU commissioned two virulent Zionist groups, Hillel International and the Academic Engagement Network (AEN), to conduct the assessment survey, the results of which were published in a memo in October 2022.
Russia and Iran plan to establish a joint drone manufacturing facility inside Russia, according to a weekend Wall Street Journal report, which comes following US and European efforts to target Iranian-made drones going to Russia with sanctions.
The Iranian kamikaze drones which have for many months now been pummeling Ukraine's energy infrastructure, such as the Shahed-136 drones, cost as little as $20,000 to make. According the WSJ a plant established on Russian soil to ramp up Iranian-designed drone production would result in an additional 6,000 of them rolling of the line, for deployment by Russian forces in Ukraine.
The Palestinian Health Ministry on Saturday accused Israel of denying cancer patients the right to medical treatment abroad, Anadolu news agency reported.
“Israel deprives 40 percent of cancer patients in Gaza of their right to medical treatment abroad,” Khaled Thabet, head of the ministry’s oncology department, told Anadolu.
“Cancer patients in Gaza face multiple challenges that make their health conditions even worse,” he said, citing Israeli restrictions that “prevent the entry of necessary medicines” to patients.
The ministry official added that hospitals in the Palestinian territory “face a huge shortage of radiotherapy services.”
A handful of top European Union officials gathered in Kiev with Ukraine's leadership on Friday under the sound of air raid sirens for a risky summit at a moment Ukraine is pushing to be fast-tracked for entry into the bloc. Though far from the front line fighting in the east and south, the capital has seen sporadic airstrikes over the past months, but none have been recorded thus far Friday while the summit is being held.
Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via Rueters
"There will be no let up in our resolve. We will also support you every step of the way on your journey to the EU," EU chairman Charles Michel wrote on Twitter Friday, with a photo of him in the capital's iconic central square. But Zelensky does has a specific timeline in mind, which he voiced Thursday after initial talks with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
"I believe that Ukraine deserves to start negotiations on EU membership this year," Zelensky told reporters. "Only together a strong Ukraine and a strong European Union can protect the life we value." EU Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell was also at the summit.
After Ukraine's candidacy was approved by the EU last June, huge hurdles remain which will without doubt make the process slower that Kiev desires, given any country seeking membership must meet key conditions in areas like corruption, an independent judiciary, media, and rule of law issues.
For this reason, European Commission President von der Leyen acknowledged "no rigid timelines" it is being guided by. "There are no rigid timelines, but there are goals that you [Ukraine] have to reach," she told Zelensky.
The Russian ambassador to the Central African Republic (CAR) has said that 1,890 “Russian instructors” were present in the country, a focus of operations for the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group mercenary outfit.
“Today, there are 1,890 Russian instructors in the C.A.R,” Russian state-owned news agency RIA quoted ambassador Alexander Bikantov as saying in an interview on Friday. The government is interested in increasing their number. Relatively recently, Bangui sent the relevant application to the UN Security Council.”
Low-flying helicopters, loud explosions, and simulated gunfire apparently gave some San Diego residents quite the shock as the Army conducted a training exercise across town on Thursday evening.
Army personnel were conducting “coordinated, essential training” in “designated locations” across the military town as part of an exercise scheduled to run from Jan. 24 through Feb. 4, according to a training advisory posted by Naval Base Coronado on Wednesday.
That training, officially carried out by U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), saw rotary-wing aircraft flit across the skies above several San Diego communities over the course of the evening.
An undisclosed number of V-22 Ospreys across three services will halt operations until a component tied to the engine is replaced, a defense official said Saturday, as part of an ongoing effort to address a hard clutch engagement issue that first alarmed the Air Force in summer 2022.
At issue is the input quill assembly, which attaches the Osprey’s engine to its prop-rotor gear box. The V-22 Joint Program Office on Saturday announced a time limit for these parts’ use, after a recent data analytics effort showed a clear connection between the age of the input quill assemblies and the aircraft’s likelihood of experiencing a hard clutch engagement.
The Defense Department is not disclosing the flight hour limit at which the input quill assembly must be replaced, nor how many of about 400 total aircraft across all the services will require this immediate maintenance work.
Still, a defense official, who spoke to a small group of reporters on condition of not being named, said Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force Special Operations Command squadrons will continue training and operations with aircraft that have not met that time threshold as the others are replaced.
A group of Republican congressman have called for Al Jazeera’s Capitol Hill media credentials to be suspended until the organisation registers as a foreign agent.
A letter signed by Congressmen Jack Bergman, Alex Mooney and Michael Waltz was sent to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and leaders of the House Administration Committee on Tuesday, asking for Al Jazeera’s credentials to be suspended.
"We are writing to request the immediate suspension of press credentials for the Al Jazeera Media Network (AJMN), and for that suspension to remain in place until the State of Qatar and its propaganda arm agree to adhere to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA),” the letter stated.
The government of Peru on Sunday expanded and prolonged a state of emergency to deal with a two-month-old revolt against President Dina Boluarte that has claimed 48 lives in clashes between protesters and security forces.
Seven southern Peruvian regions -- Madre de Dios, Cusco, Puno, Apurimac, Arequipa, Moquegua and Tacna -- will fall under the measure, which will remain in place for 60 days, according to a notice in the government gazette.
On January 13, the government had extended by 30 days a state of emergency for Lima, El Callao, Cusco and Puno.
With the new extension not covering the capital Lima, nor El Callao -- which hosts the country's main airport and maritime terminals -- the state of emergency there will expire in mid-February.
The measure authorizes the military to back up police actions to restore public order. It also suspends constitutional rights such as freedom of movement and assembly.
According to congressionally passed statutes, research of active laws, and extra details obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the Department of Defense owns, implements, and oversees the COVID-19 vaccine program as a “Countermeasure” to foreign attack. While the public was bombarded with an orchestrated fear campaign, the U.S. Government managed the Covid response as a national security threat.
The Three-Legged Stool
The undercover operation was orchestrated utilizing three critical legal maneuvers:
1. Emergency Use Authorization EUA.
2. Prep Act,
3. Other Transactions Authority
President Trump declared a Public Health Emergency (PHE) on March 13, 2020, under the Stafford Act, putting the National Security Council in charge of the Covid policy.Covid-19 vaccines are “medical countermeasures” – a grey area of products that are not regulated as vaccines or medicines.
“They put the National Security Council in charge and treated it as an act of war,” said Latypova.
According to Operation Warp Speed/ASPR reports, the DoD ordered, oversaw, and tightly managed the development, manufacture, and distribution of Covid countermeasures, mainly utilizing the DoD’s previously established network of military contractors and consortia.
Behind Washington’s desperate appeal for tanks and other lethal weaponry for Ukraine, looms the nagging prospect that Russia’s winter offensive may have already begun in the south where heavy fighting has broken out along the Line of Contact in the Zaporizhia region. While the information from the front remains sketchy, some analysts think that Russia is planning to send its troops and armored units northward in order to block vital supply-lines and trap Ukrainian forces in the east.
A Russian blitz northward would likely be synchronized with the movement of a second large grouping pushing south along the Oskil River. These two dagger-like thrusts would be accompanied by multiple missile strikes aimed at strategic bridges and railway-lines crossing the Dnieper River. If the Russians were able to succeed in such an operation, the bulk of Ukraine’s army would be effectively encircled in the east while Moscow would have regained control over most of its traditional territories. The offensive might not end the war, but it would end Ukraine’s existence as a viable, contiguous state. This is an excerpt from an article at Aljazeera:
Moscow’s forces are pushing towards two towns in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhia region, where fighting intensified this week after several months of a stagnant front… Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-installed official in the region, said offensive actions were concentrated around two towns: Orikhiv, around 50km (30 miles) south of Ukrainian-controlled regional capital Zaporizhzhia, and Hulyaipole, further east….
The Russian army later claimed for a second day in a row that it had taken “more advantageous lines and positions” after “offensive operations” in the Zaporizhia region…. In its daily report on Sunday,the Ukrainian army said “more than 15 settlements were affected by artillery fire” in Zaporizhia…. He also said this week that fighting has “sharply increased” in the southern region.” (“Russia advances towards two towns in Ukraine’s Zaporizhia region”, AlJazeera)
On December 15, about three weeks after her third Pfizer booster shot, Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendira Debyavati collapsed with heart issues and went into a coma.
“The 44-year old eldest daughter of the King in Thailand, and likely heir to the throne, had reported to be in excellent health prior to the vaccination and collapse while training her dogs.
The media seemed to generally lose interest after a January 9 update in which it was reported the princess remained in a coma and, according to the palace, has now been diagnosed with “severe heart arrhythmia resulting from inflammation following a mycoplasma infection.
One authority recently suggested that Thailand was preparing to declare its contracts for Pfizer vaccine “null and void” and go after the vaccine maker for damages.
Propagandists in the media have launched into overdrive to try to discredit such news, and to claim “no evidence” of a vaccine tie to the sudden illness of the princess (without mentioning that there is no evidence exonerating the vaccine, either).
Google and other Big Tech companies, as well as their “fact-checkers” have repeatedly disseminated disinformation and censored accurate information on Covid and vaccines on behalf of vaccine industry interests.” (Sheryl Attikson)
The corporate media and their Antifa footsoldiers bandy about the term “fascism” quite freely. Somehow, through magnificent logic-pretzel contortions, they claim that resistance to government mandates to inject yourself with experimental drugs is not resistance to fascism, but fascism itself.
Truly, they have a wondrous capacity to invert reality.
But, for all the revisionism, fascism as a governing ideology actually means something very specific.
Progenitor of the ideology, Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, infamously defined fascism – or, alternatively, corporatism — as the “merger of corporate and state power.”
Let’s examine true 21st-century techno-fascism, and how it works in the real world:
The total 2022 US government budget was $6.272 trillion (25.1% of GDP).
A full quarter of the nation’s economic activity is allocated to projects carried out theoretically in the public interest, funded by the public treasury.
Amid the revelations of boxes of classified documents found to be in President Biden’s possession from days when he was a vice president and a senator is a new group of documents that are at the University of Delaware. And, the transfer of the boxes of documents, which began in 2010 and had dubious aspects, did not happen until 2012. Now as the strange aspect are coming to light, some are calling for transparency as to the documents, what they contain, and the specifics of the timeline during the transfer of the boxes.
As Biz Pac Review reports:
The story begins in 2010, when a business associate of Biden’s crack-smoking son, Hunter, was inexplicably assigned the task of transferring the documents from Biden’s VP office to the University of Delaware. The moving of the documents was reportedly performed by Eric Schwerin, who was Hunter’s Rosemont Seneca business partner. The 1,850 boxes of documents were moved to the University of Delaware after Biden decided to donate them. While most of the documents were reportedly from his tenure as a Delaware senator, some of the documents were also from the 2009 Obama-Biden presidential transition, as exclusively reported on Thursday by the Daily Mail.
The Telegraph has published a ‘Letter to the Editor’ in which a reader from Canada outlines that a family member had to wait a year for a psychiatric appointment but that it’s possible to make an appointment for euthanasia in two weeks.
The letter, published last week, draws attention to the ease with which one could end their own life through assisted suicide compared to the difficulty of receiving genuine medical care. Its author, Susan Postill, from Toronto, Canada, said:
“Here in Canada, a member of my family was recently told there would be a one-year wait to see a psychiatrist, despite a serious psychiatric history. During the same time frame, a woman I know of was able to make a euthanasia appointment within two weeks.”
“Britain is right to be cautious on this matter”, she added.
Between 2014 and 2019, US tax dollars were funneled to the Wuhan Institute of Virology via EcoHealth Alliance. Given that US scientists have far more virology expertise than the Chinese, this begs an obvious question: what type of research were US tax dollars paying for in Wuhan, China? Dr. Fauci’s surprising statement in an interview might provide the short answer to this question: “You don’t want to go to Hoboken, NJ or Fairfax, VA to be studying the bat-human interface that might lead to an outbreak, so you go to China.”
Given what we’ve endured for the past three years, Fauci’s “so you go to China” comment suggests that he hadn’t considered the global implications of a highly transmissible coronavirus leaking from a Chinese lab plagued by serious safety issues.
Unwilling to admit that he, EcoHealth Alliance, and their Chinese collaborators, are suspects in one of the largest crimes against humanity, Fauci instead opted to conspire with his boss, Francis Collins, to declare “lab leak” a “destructive conspiracy” that must be “put down.” Sadly, it’s clear that from the beginning, these two distinguished scientists made up their minds about virus origin without evidence from both sides of the debate.
Even worse, renowned scientists that rely on Fauci for their research funding, fearful of sanctions being placed on their life’s work, rallied around the “anti-lab leak” stance. One of the premier scientific journals, Science, whose political bias has become very apparent, attempted to provide legitimacy to Fauci’s position by publishing a paper by authors that claimed “dispositive evidence” that SARS-CoV-2 emerged from an animal at the Wuhan market. This paper allegedly “crushed” the lab-leak hypothesis, despite leaving much room for debate.
Information suggesting that Chinese spy balloons traveled over the continental United States during the Trump administration was "discovered after" former President Donald Trump left office, a senior administration official told Fox News.
A defense official on Saturday said Chinese spy balloons briefly traveled over the United States at least three times during the Trump administration.