Biden Declares National Emergency At Ukraine-Russia Border

The Biden administration declared a national emergency on Thursday, slapping sanctions on more than three dozen people in Russia and expelling 10 diplomats, in an about-face after the US reversed course of two warships heading to the Black Sea.

President Biden signed an executive order detailing Russia’s actions in the SolarWinds cyber-intrusion and its interference in the election, accusing the Kremlin of working to “undermine the conduct of free and fair democratic elections and democratic institutions in the United States and its allies and partners,” according to a statement from the White House.

Russia also engaged in “malicious cyber-enabled activities against the United States and its allies and partners,” the statement said.

The combined actions “constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.” (Read more from “Biden Declares National Emergency At Ukraine-Russia Border — But Calls Back U.S. Warships” HERE)

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Iran Responds to Alleged Sabotage, To Begin Enriching Uranium At Highest Ever Level Of 60%, Moving Closer to Weapons-Grade Capabilities

According to an Iranian negotiator on Tuesday, Iran will begin enriching uranium to 60% purity, which greatly exceeds its current level of 20%, placing one of the world’s biggest state sponsors of terrorism within reach of the 90% enrichment required for weapons-grade capabilities.

The announcement is an apparent response to an alleged attack on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility by Israel, with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stating, “The Zionists want to take revenge because of our progress in the way to lift sanctions… We will not fall into their trap…We will not allow this act of sabotage to affect the nuclear talks. … But we will take our revenge against the Zionists.”

“The announcement marks a significant escalation after the sabotage, suspected of having been carried out by Israel. It could result in further action by Israel, whose Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed never to allow Tehran to obtain a nuclear weapon, and further raise tensions across the Mideast,” reported CBS News.

“We believe that this round of negotiations is the time for the U.S. to present a list. I hope that I can go back to Tehran with the list of sanctions that will be lifted,” nuclear negotiator Abbas Araghchi said in Vienna, where the talks have been taking place. “Otherwise, I don’t believe we can continue like this. Otherwise, I believe this would be a waste of time.” (Read more from “Iran Responds to Alleged Sabotage, To Begin Enriching Uranium At Highest Ever Level Of 60%, Moving Closer to Weapons-Grade Capabilities” HERE)

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China and Russia Optimistic Over Iran Talks as Biden Envoy Sulks on Sidelines

The governments of China and Russia, which appear to be taking the lead in talks between Iran and the remaining partners in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, expressed optimism after talks concluded on Friday for the week that progress had occurred.

The conversations over the agreement formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) began this week in Vienna, Austria. Representatives from China, Russia, and Iran — as well as the United Kingdom, France, and Germany — met to discuss, they claimed, a way to repair what remains of the agreement after years of violations by Tehran and President Donald Trump withdrawing the United States from it in 2018. Notably absent from the invitation list was the United States, which had no formal representation in this week’s talks.

The administration of President Joe Biden claimed it would engage in “indirect” talks with Iran and sent its special envoy on the matter, Robert Malley, to Vienna. Iranian officials clarified Tuesday, however, that “no negotiations will take place between the representatives of Iran and the United States” and no talks of any kind, direct or otherwise, would take place this week.

Malley is staying in a separate hotel in Vienna from where the Iran deal talks are occurring and appears to have met only with officials not privy to the negotiations, including representatives of the Austrian government and the International Atomic Energy Organization (IAEA).

With no input from Washington, Iran has used the talks to vocally and repeatedly insist that it will not begin to discuss returning to compliance on the JCPOA with the United States unless the Biden administration immediately lifts all sanctions on Iran, not just those regarding the nuclear weapons issue. This would presumably include the accurate branding of Iran as a State Sponsor of Terrorism due to its international support of Hezbollah, a Shiite jihadist organization, and its involvement in deadly attacks on civilians such as the 1994 bombing of Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA) in Buenos Aires. (Read more from “China and Russia Optimistic Over Iran Talks as Biden Envoy Sulks on Sidelines” HERE)

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Prince Philip Passes Away at 99; Trump Honors Prince For Embodying ‘Dignity and Grace’

By NBC News. Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband and the longest-serving consort of any British monarch, has died at age 99.

A statement posted on the royal family’s website Friday morning said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

His death was met with a flood of tributes from across Britain and the world. In accordance with tradition, a framed notice containing the news was also placed on the railings outside Buckingham Palace. (Read more from “Prince Philip Passes Away at 99” HERE)

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Trump Honors Prince Philip For Embodying ‘Dignity and Grace’

By New York Post. Former President Donald Trump on Friday hailed Prince Philip for embodying “dignity and grace,” saying his “exceptional example of service, constancy, and patriotism will be his greatest legacy.”

Trump and former first lady Melania Trump sent their deepest condolences to Queen Elizabeth II and the rest of the royal family following the Duke of Edinburgh’s passing at age 99.

“Prince Philip defined British dignity and grace. He personified the quiet reserve, stern fortitude, and unbending integrity of the United Kingdom,” Trump said in a statement. . .

“Aboard battleships in the Mediterranean, he saw combat at sea. He then participated in the pivotal Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943,” Trump said. “Like so many of his generation, in Britain’s darkest hour, he put his life on the line for God, country, and the values of freedom and self-government that forever unite America and the United Kingdom.” (Read more from “Trump Honors Prince Philip For Embodying ‘Dignity and Grace’” HERE)

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Health Police Loudly Shouted Out Of Restaurant In Yet Another Fearless COVID Revolt

In the second case from this past weekend, video shows health authorities being booted out of a building courtesy of loud shouting from people objecting to their presence.

The latest confrontation took place at the Corduroy restaurant in Vancouver, British Columbia, which allegedly was at odds with the current COVID-19 safety guidelines banning indoor dining in the Canadian province.

The video depicts two health inspectors speaking with the restaurant’s owner, Rebecca Matthews. No one inside the eatery appeared to be wearing face masks, except for the government officials. . .

[Click HERE to watch the video.]

“You see the signs on the door there,” [Matthews] continued. “You understand what you’re doing here? You’re trespassing on my private property.”

The health inspector didn’t agree he was trespassing, and that’s when the crowd at the restaurant began chanting in unison, “Get out! Get out!” (Read more from “Health Police Loudly Shouted Out Of Restaurant In Yet Another Fearless COVID Revolt” HERE)

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Man Dies After Police Force Him To Do Squats After Violating COVID Rules

A Philippines man allegedly died when he was forced to do 300 squats as punishment for breaking COVID-19 curfew rules, according to a new report.

Darren Manaog Peñaredondo, 28, was out after 6 p.m. April 1 buying drinking water in his city of General Trias, Cavite, when he was nabbed by village guards, Rappler reported. The Cavite province currently has a strict curfew in place from 6 p.m to 5 a.m., per Inquirer.net. . .

Peñaredondo, along with another curfew violator, were brought to a shopping plaza and forced to perform “pumping” exercises, similar to squats, his partner Reichelyn Balce told Rappler. . .

After completing the grueling activity, Peñaredondo reportedly returned home, with help from the other curfew violator, around 8 a.m. the following morning. Bacle said her partner was in obvious pain and struggled to walk the entire time he was home. . .

Peñaredondo suffered a seizure later in the evening and despite being briefly revived, he passed away around 10 p.m., per the Guardian. (Read more from “Man Dies After Police Force Him To Do Squats After Violating COVID Rules” HERE)

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Kim Jong-un Says North Korea Is In Its ‘Worst-Ever Situation’

Kim Jong-un appeared to state North Korea is currently enduring the worst period of its history in a speech to members of his ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) on Wednesday.

Kim did not elaborate on what he was referring to when he said North Korea was in its “worst-ever” situation and, other than urging party leaders to address unspecified “shortcomings,” spoke much more optimistically than in other recent public statements, most notably in a tearful apology speech to the Korean people in October. The context of his remark was urging local Workers’ Party leaders to improve “people’s living standards,” suggesting that the situation which he lamented as historically poor was the nation’s economic one.

North Korea is currently under a strict sanctions regime imposed by the U.N. Security Council in 2017, following the nation’s latest illegal nuclear weapons test. Then-President Donald Trump convinced the Council — which includes North Korea’s closest ally, China — to impose the sanctions despite China and other members having veto power. While reports indicate China has regularly violated the sanctions, North Korea’s Chinese coronavirus lockdown appears to have kept much of China’s trade with the country on the other side of the border in 2020.

The speech followed Pyongyang announcing Tuesday that it would not participate in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, citing the Chinese coronavirus pandemic and a desire to protect its athletes from infection. North Korea currently claims to have documented zero cases of coronavirus in the country despite bordering some of the most severely affected states in the world, including China, where the pandemic originated. (Read more from “Kim Jong-un Says North Korea Is In Its ‘Worst-Ever Situation’” HERE)

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U.S. Military: Chinese Attack On Taiwan Is Imminent

The U.S. military is concerned that an attack on Taiwan by Chinese forces is imminent, which could trigger a significant increase in tensions between the two countries.

Military officials are suspecting that China’s government is accelerating a timetable for attacking and possibly seizing control of the island following years of building tensions and disputes over sovereignty, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.

“We have indications that the risks are actually going up,” Admiral Philip Davidson told a Senate panel in March.

As a result of the heightened tensions, the USS John S. McCain arrived in the Taiwan strait Wednesday, according to Reuters, as China attempted to continue agitating Taiwan with fighter jet flyovers. . .

The concerns about the potential action come after a tense meeting between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Chinese counterparts, in which China accused America of “slaughtering” black Americans and having no right to comment on the treatment of Uyghurs.

(Read more from “U.S. Military: Chinese Attack On Taiwan Is Imminent” HERE)

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Many Chinese Communist Officials Are Avoiding COVID Vaccines; Some Areas At Less Than 10% Compliance

As the Chinese regime races to inoculate tens of millions through coercive policies and a propaganda blitz, some local officials are quietly dodging the shots themselves.

Amid Beijing’s aggressive vaccine push, dozens of officials from parts of Liaoning, a province in northeastern China, have cited various health reasons not to take the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine, internal documents obtained by The Epoch Times reveal.

In a town called Xintai, located in the center of the province, only three out of 66 officials have gotten vaccinated, with another two on the registration list—showing a dismal willingness rate of less than 10 percent.

Fifty government officers and those with the local judicial office and law enforcement gave reasons such as underlying illness, allergy, pregnancy, recent surgery, or a cold, according to a chart that summarizes the region’s vaccination efforts.

Allergy stood out as the top reason, cited 22 times. Twenty people also cited high blood pressure while five mentioned diabetes—even though both are chronic diseases that would mark them as highly vulnerable to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. (Read more from “Many Chinese Communist Officials Are Avoiding COVID Vaccines; Some Areas At Less Than 10% Compliance” HERE)

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Satellite Images Show Russia Building Massive Military Arsenal In Arctic

Russia is amassing a formidable array of military weapons in the Arctic – including the Poseidon 2M39, a stealth torpedo that has been dubbed the “super-weapon,” according to new satellite images.

The nuclear-powered torpedo is intended to sneak past coastal defenses, like those in the US, and deliver a whopping warhead of multiple megatons, CNN reported.

Christopher Ford, who served as assistant secretary of state for International Security and Non-Proliferation until January, has said that the Poseidon is designed to “inundate US coastal cities with radioactive tsunamis.”

Russian officials said the torpedo is intended to deliver a warhead of several megatons – whose radioactive waves would leave wide stretches of a targeted coastline uninhabitable for decades, according to the network.

And now, satellite photos taken by space tech company Maxar for CNN have revealed a build-up of Russian military bases and hardware — along with underground storage sites – on the Arctic coastline.

(Read more from “Satellite Images Show Russia Building Massive Military Arsenal In Arctic” HERE)

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