🇺🇦 The Biden Administration announced a new $400 million package of weapons for Ukraine on Friday.
🏗️ The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. is concerned about Chinese spy tools in cargo cranes.
🚨 Walmart will close all stores in Portland, Oregon as well as stores in Arkansas, Florida, Washington, D.C., Wisconsin, New Mexico and Illinois. The CEO previously warned of this because of increased crime rates in certain cities.
🥤 Those low calorie sweetners are causing strokes in new research out this morning.
💳 Discover Card will track customer purchases at gun stores starting in April.
🇸🇾 A top U.S. General made a rare trip to Syria this weekend and decided that the illegal military precense in the region is still a good idea. Shocker.
🇦🇪 Dubai is planning to build a new tower that will be four times the height of the Empire State Building. The project was delayed due to Covid but is expected to open in 2025.
*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 5:00pm AM.
A new round of Twitter files, released Friday, shows how the U.S. government worked with organizations to censor Twitter accounts. This comes from journalist Matt Taibbi.
An email from the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab wrote to Twitter with a list of users that it suspected were “engaging in inauthentic behavior…and Hindu nationalism more broadly.” Only many on the list had nothing to do with that. Many were “ordinary Americans, many with no connection to India and no clue about Indian politics.” They also handed over thousands of accounts that they suspected were “state-backed” Chinese accounts and 499 others that they thought were “foreign idisinformation” with links to Iran.
This research council is funded bu the Global Engagement Center, which is funded by the U.S. goverment. Taibbi points out that the “GEC could have avoided controversy by focusing on exposing/answering ‘disinformation’ with research and a more public approach…. Instead, it funded a secret list of subcontractors and helped pioneer an insidious – and idiotic – new form of blacklisting.”
Twitter did in fact deactivate some of these accounts but in some instances, Twitter pushed back. The government seemingly did this to Facebook too but we have no idea how Facebook reacted because Facebook has been suspiciously quiet about the Twitter Files.
More concerning is how the media picked up reports from these sources. As Taibbi points out, “‘Disinformation studies' has mostly become a con, where non-experts mesmerize reporters with what one former GEC staffer calls “hairball” charts, usually measuring something idiotic – like who follows two Chinese diplomats, or shares an Iranian “FREE PALESTINE” meme.”
Massive protests raged over the weekend in Europe with traffic jams full of tractors protesting government climate laws.
Over 2,700 tractors took to the streets in Brussels to bring the city to a standstill. The farmers behind the wheels are protesting planned cuts to nitrogen emissions which they say are an “economic and social catastrophe.”
The Flanders government is trying to reach an emissions agreement with farmers but has been unable. These protests are similar to those that have been raging through the Netherlands for months. There, farmers have refused to cooperate with nitrogen emissions cuts and continue to protest the rules.
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Did you know that the U.S. has been in a national emergency due to conflict between Ukraine and Russia since 2014? President Biden just signed an executive order to extend that national emergency for an indeterminate amount of time. Wait, what?
The order was put in place by then-President Barack Obama when Russia annexed Crimea. At the time, the White House declared that this presented an “extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States constituted by the actions and policies of persons that undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of its assets.”
The national emergency gives the White House the power to “deal with” threats to Ukraine’s democratic process. Hmm. Deal with? Meaning expanding the power of government to track people?
41%. That is how much higher Canada’s federal deficit will be in 2023-2024, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s prediction.
7.2%. That is how much China will ramp up its defense spending this year to $224 billion. It is still less than half of the budget from the U.S., which was over $816 billion in 2023.
Baby Bondage Story Hour
A group of drag performers has canceled its upcoming tours for babies after some backlash. That’s right, babies!
Caba Baba Rave is a “baby cabaret rave experience" with scantily clad burlesque, bondage and BDSM acts. It's like Music Together but not at all like Music Together. It came out this week that these events exist and in fact sell out around the U.K. and caused some understandable concern. The images are shocking so fair warning before you click.
The group emailed people who had tickets to figure shows saying that they were going to cancel upcoming shows because they were victims of “trolling” and “unfair media attention.”
Okay, so what would be fair media attention then? How else could one interpret these events? How do you justify bondage for babies?
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This newsletter is written and researched by Natali Morris.
Please feel free to reach Natali at [email protected]
for any editorial feedback.