Permalink Massive Troop and Armor Movements Begin in Belarus - New Combat Designation: "K"

As of 7:12 AM EST here in the USA, troops in Belarus are now on the move toward Ukraine and their tanks and other vehicles bear a new combat group designation: "K" | Word coming out of the region suggests (but does not confirm) that a new invasion of Ukraine will commence on (western) Christmas Day, December 25-into-26.  It is worth noting -- in that part of the world, people do not celebrate Christmas on December 25, they celebrate Orthodox Christmas in early January. So what is a solemn and holy day for us in the west, is not yet that same holy day for them.  Whether or not a secondary invasion will take place, it seems clear from images and information coming out of Belarus, that at least _something_ big seems to be taking place right now.  It has been speculated for weeks that Russia had been massing troops in Belarus to launch a second offensive into Ukraine, in the areas near the Poland Border, so as to cut-off NATO supplies coming into Ukraine. If these troops move southward from Belarus, they would enter northwestern Ukraine in perfect position to halt weapons shipments from Poland. In a rather unusual early-morning statement, the Russian Ambassador to the USA said early Friday morning "The risk of a clash between Russia and the USA is now high." Why a statement like that would be issued so early in the morning is not yet clear. It is, however, unusual.

Permalink At Least 15 People Reportedly Dead Due to Heavy Winter Storm Across US

At least 15 people have died across the United States due to a winter storm that brought extreme cold, wind and snow on Christmas Eve morning, US media reported on Saturday. | Four people died in car accidents caused by the storm in Ohio, three people died in each of Kansas and Kentucky, and one in each of Wisconsin, Tennessee and Missouri due to extreme weather conditions. Another two died in New York as ambulance cars could not reach their homes, according to the report.  The storm damaged power lines and left over 1.7 million US households and businesses without power, the broadcaster said, citing the PowerOutage service.  On Saturday, over 1,800 flights were canceled across the entire US, with especially difficult situation reported in airports in Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis and Denver.  According to the report, the storm is likely to continue in the East and Midwest regions of the country through Sunday.  Ohio's state police patrol service said that at least 46 cars collided on a snow-covered highway, killing four people.

Permalink Italians were asked to sit without lights for one hour a day "for the sake of Ukraine"

Supported as best they could...Italians were asked to sit without lights for one hour a day "for the sake of Ukraine." 💬 "To understand what Ukrainians are going through, I ask all Italians to turn off all energy sources for one hour a day," Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said during a meeting with Italian ambassadors.  That's a great idea. It seems that many Italians will even be able to exceed this plan. And in solidarity with Ukraine, not to use the gas stove and lights from, say, 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. And most importantly, Ukrainians sitting without light, water and heat will immediately feel better. (DeepL.com)

Permalink Less than 1 percent of Israel army probes yield prosecution: watchdog

Out of more than a thousand cases of alleged offences by Israeli soldiers against Palestinians, only 11 have yielded an indictment, according to the rights group Yesh Din. | Israeli soldiers accused of harming Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip over the last five years have been indicted in less than 1 percent of the hundreds of complaints against them, an Israeli rights group reported. The watchdog argued that Israel's military systematically fails to conduct a credible prosecution of itself.  Between 2017 and 2021, the Israeli military received 1,260 cases of alleged offenses by Israeli soldiers against Palestinians, including 409 cases involving the killing of Palestinians, according to military data obtained by the group Yesh Din and released Wednesday after a freedom of information request.  The Israeli military opened 248 criminal investigations into instances of possible misconduct in response to those complaints — just 21.4 percent of the total, Yesh Din said. Only 11 investigations during that five-year period have yielded indictments. In those cases, Israel’s military prosecutors acted with leniency toward convicted soldiers, the group added, with those sentenced for killing Palestinians serving only short-term military community service.

Norway to review Israel investments to ensure they do not fund illegal settlements: report (The New Arab)

Permalink US intel services, pharmacy giants supervise military bio studies in Ukraine

These data are contained in the DTRA expanded report on the activity in Ukraine, the Russian defense official said | The Russian Defense Ministry has the document with the names of all the key American officials supervising Ukraine’s military biological program, Chief of Russia’s Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Force Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov said on Saturday. 💬 "Among them are former DTRA [Defense Threat Reduction Agency] Director Kenneth Myers, Executive Vice President of the CIA-controlled In-Q-Tel venture fund Tara O’Toole, ex-Head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Thomas Frieden, ex-Director of the National Institutes of Health Francis Collins, ex-Executive Director of the Battelle Memorial Institute Jeffrey Wadsworth, the Pfizer chief scientific officer and president of the company’s global research, development and medicine division and many other officials," Kirillov said.  These data are contained in the DTRA expanded report on the activity in Ukraine, the Russian defense official said. American bio labs carry out work for intensifying the effect of pathogenic microorganisms without proper control, Kirillov said.  The Russian defense official cited UN Under-Secretary General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu who said before the 9th Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention that there was no proper control process of compliance with the Convention. As she put it, there were a lot of grey zones, especially when this concerned researches carried out in laboratories.

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