Ben Tóth’s talking point outline will have you locked and loaded for every discussion. With videoclips.

I’ve already printed out my copy. Watch the show he co-hosted this week with China Writers’ Group member Billy Bob (,

Blowback: Exposing Imperial Decline



BIDEN PASSES AID – It’s a good day for world peace! Ukraine is practically out of men, the frontline collapsing. So Plan B:

WHO’S A GOOD DOG? – Europe is in a competition for who is the best vassal of the United States. Macron is Macron though.

THREATENING CHINA? – We can already tell Blinken’s visit will end poorly for the US side. EU dutifully undermines Germany.

UNIVERSITY PROTESTS – Huge crackdowns, probably coming to Europe next. And not only for so-called ‘antisemitism’.

THANKS, LET’S GO! – When you give Israel a blank cheque, Israel acts with impunity, no matter the consequences.



– USC: Mystery death of Texan who fought for Moscow sparks outrage in Russia – Russel Bentley ( WSJ )


– USC: Trump advisers discuss penalties for nations that move away from dollar – undermining currency’s ‘respect’ ( Bloomberg )

– USC: Trump allies draw plans to blunt the Fed’s independence – President to be consulted on interest-rates ( WSJ Exclusive )

– USC: High borrowing costs have some democrats urging Biden to pressure the Fed – lower the rates ( NYT )

– USC: US economy grew at 1.6 percent annual rate in first quarter 2024, a sharp slowdown ( WaPo )

– USC: With inflation this high, nobody knows what the dollar is worth – Jeff Sommer ( NYT Opinion )

– USC: US fertility rate falls to record low – fewer babies born than any year since 1979 ( WSJ )

– USC: US Economy slows and inflation jumps, damping soft-handing hopes ( Bloomberg )

– USC: One in five milk samples nationwide shows genetic traces of Bird Flu ( NYT )


– USC: Boeing’s financial woes continue, while families of crash victims urge US to prosecute the company ( AP )

– USC: Boeing posts a $355 million loss as the plane maker tries to dig out from under its latest crisis ( AP )

– USC: Former Boeing manager says workers mishandled parts to meet deadlines – Merle Meyers ( NYT )

– USC: Boeing makes emergency landing after wheel explodes in Johannesburg ( Telegraph UK )

– USC: Boeing burns through $4 billion of cash and scales back 737 MAX production ( WSJ )

– USC: Airbus wins reprieve from Canadian sanctions on Russian titanium ( Reuters )

– USC: Boeing reports first revenue drop in 7 quarters as deliveries decline ( Reuters )

– USC: Boeing’s credit rating on cusp of junk after Moody’s downgrade ( Bloomberg )

– USC: Airbus Lifts A350 Rate, highlighting edge over Boeing ( Bloomberg )


– USC: Tesla steers back towards cheaper cars – Musk to appease market after 40% stock slide ( FT UK )

– USC: Elon Musk needs cheaper Teslas to pay for everything else he wants – ambitions tamed ( WSJ )

– USC: Tesla jumps as Musk‘s promise of ‘more affordable’ cars eases growth fears ( Reuters )


– USC: If Apple loses against China, so will the West – steep fall, while Chinese rivals rising fast ( Spectator UK )

– USC: Apple loses top spot in China market with shipments down 6.6% in Q1, data shows ( Reuters )


– USC: US ban on worker noncompete agreements faces lawsuit from major business group – Chamber of Commerce ( Reuters )

– USC: Business groups race to block FTC’s ban on noncompete agreements – Federal Trade Commission ( WSJ )


– USC: Can Biden revive the fortunes of American workers? ‘Most pro-labor president’ since Truman – Krugman ( NYT Opinion )

– USC: We have a radical democracy. Will Trump voters destroy it? – might reject freedom – Robert Kagan ( WaPo Opinion )

– USC: MAGA is obsessed with Viktor Orbán. Liberals should be too – wants to ‘occupy’ the EU ( Bloomberg Opinion )

– USC: Biden to highlight chips investments during New York trip – federal grants to Micron technologies ( WaPo )

– USC: Biden’s gains against Trump vanish on deep economic pessimism, poll shows ( Bloomberg )


– EUK: How a second Trump presidency could tear Europe apart – EU hoped day would never come ( Politico EU Opinion )

PERIPHERY – South America

– LAT: Mexico should diversify trade ties, top candidates’ aides agree – you guessed it, away from China‘ ( Bloomberg )

– LAT: Venezuela broke its HPV vaccine promises, and there’s barely any sex ed. Experts say it’s a problem ( AP )

– LAT: With public universities under threat, massive protests against austerity shake Argentina ( AP )

– LAT: Haiti‘s Prime Minister reigns – Ariel Henry – signed resignation letter in Los Angeles ( AP )



‘Tonight, a bipartisan majority in the Senate joined the House to answer history’s call at this critical inflection point

‘It’s a good day for America, it’s a good day for Europe and it’s a good day for world peace

‘Had we failed to step up, lord only knows what would happen to the cohesion in NATO.’

Joe Biden, US President


‘Had we failed, America would have paid a price economically, politically, militarily.’ 

‘OK, we got it done. Now go win the fight.’ 

Chuck Schumer, US Senate majority leader 


‘I think the demonization of Ukraine began by Tucker Carlson’

‘He ended up where he should have been all along, which is interviewing Vladimir Putin’

Mitch McConnell, US Senate majority leader 


‘If we don’t help Ukraine now, this war will spread, and Americans who are not involved will be involved
Lindsey Graham, US Senator


‘Military supplies from the US and its allies have been burned, are being burned and will be burned by the RuAF’

‘America has chosen the path of war and agonizing delays of the inevitable collapse of the Zelensky regime’

‘The Americans will get stuck in a bloody swamp in Ukraine’

Anatoly Antonov, Russian Ambassador to US


‘In response to the confiscation of Russian assets, Russia has the right to seize all Western assets in Russia, worth more than $288 billion!’

Vyacheslav Volodyn, Russian Duma Speaker


‘We will increase the intensity of attacks on logistics centers and storage bases for Western weapons’

‘Russia had dispelled the myth of the superiority of Western weapons and had gained the initiative’

Sergei Shoigu, Russian Defense Minister


‘Kiev has stooped to making a deal with the West, exchanging weapons for the lives of Ukrainians

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarussian President


‘Ukraine has turned into a graveyard for Western weapons that the United States and NATO once boasted about’

Kim Jong Un, General Secretary WPK

THE LEAD UP – Archives

┝ US Army / Eucom gen. Chris Cavoli testified to congress that Ukraine would lack ammunition in weeks ( April 10 )

┝ CIA Director Burns testified to congress that Ukraine could lose war in 2024 without aid ( April 18 )

┝ US House of Representatives passed $95b aid bill on Hitler’s birthday ( April 20 )

┝ US Senate promptly and ‘overwhelmingly’ passes the bill 79 to 18 ( April 23 )

 US President Biden signs bill into law, commits to send assistance ‘in next few hours’ ( April 24 )

 US prepares new $1 billion weapons package to Ukraine – items listed, no numbers  ( April 24 )

 US DOS Vedant Patel confirms long-range ATACMS have been sent to Ukraine in March ( April 24 )


– 404: Ukraine uses long-range missiles secretly provided by US to hit Russian-held areas, officials say ( The Hill )

– 404: Ukraine uses US-provided long-range ATACMS missiles against Russian forces for the first time ( AP )

– 404: Ukraine thanks US on long-awaited aid package, says it will make up for lost time – Elensky ( Reuters )

– 404: Elensky thanks senators, Americans and Biden for approval of Ukraine aid ( Ukro Pravda )

– 404: US is ‘beacon of democracy’ – Elensky says as huge aid package passed Senate ( Sky UK )


– USC: The US secretly slipped ATACMS to Ukraine with more to come, putting high-value Russian targets in danger ( Insider )

– USC: US preparing $1b weapons package for Ukraine – officials say – defense firms gain more contracts ( Reuters exclusive )

– USC: Ukraine could use new weapons to hit Russian targets in Crimea – ‘pressure Russia‘  ‘senior Pentagon official’ ( NYT )

– USC: US expected to provide $6b to fund long-term weapons contracts for Ukraine, officials say – incl. Patriot missiles ( AP )

– USC: Eighty percent of UkraineIsrael bill will be spent in US or by US military – 60% will never leave our shores ( WaPo )

– USC: ‘A good day for World Peace – Biden signs aid bill for Ukraine and Israel – centerpiece of his foreign policy ( NYT )

– USC: Aid to Ukraine seemed dead – then secretive talks revived it – BidenSullivanBurns ‘piled’ on Johnson ( WaPo )

– USC: These politicians voted against their states’ best interests on Ukraine aid – Marc A. Thiessen ( WaPo Opinion )

– USC: Joe Biden says $95bn aid bill for allies will make world safer – while ATACMS were secretly sent ( Times UK )

– USC: The US quietly shipped long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine – as part of a package in March ( Reuters )

– USC: A Ukraine-born congresswoman voted no on aid. Her hometown feels betrayed – Victoria Spartz ( WaPo )

– USC: The US secretly shipped a new long-range missile system to Ukraine last week – senior US official ( NYT )

– USC: So, 112 ignoble, infantile Republicans voted to endanger civilization – George F. Will ( WaPo Opinion )

– USC: Long-range ATACMS secretly handed to Ukraine loom over Crimea Bridge ( Newsweek )

– USC: Now go win the fight – US Senate passes Ukraine aid after months of delay ( Euractiv )


– EUK: Ukraine to increase long-range strikes in Russia – UK defense chief – Admiral Sir Tony Radakin ( FT UK )


– 404: Inside a besieged Ukrainian city where soldiers await US arms – Chasov Yar, bombs/drones wipe out everything ( WSJ )

– 404: US aid alone insufficient to win the war – FM Kuleba – need united front of Ukraine and all partners ( NVo Ukraine )

– 404: EU still lags behind US in terms of military aid to Ukraine, study shows – Kiel Institute Germany ( Ukro Pravda )

– 404: Ukraine foreign minister says west must boost defense as ‘era of peace is over’ ( NVo Ukraine )


– USC: Aid to Ukraine is on the way. Here’s how it might help – a ‘lifeline’ – officials skeptical about speed and consistency ( NYT )

– USC: Biden signs foreign aid bill, clearing way for more military gear for Ukraine – help hold linesnot retake territory ( WSJ )

– USC: Biden admin isn’t fully convinced Ukraine can win, even with new aid – few believe can be fully restored ( Politico US )

– USC: US aid will help Ukraine avoid defeat in its war with Russia. Winning is another matter – ‘massively outgunned‘ ( AP )

– USC: The goal of 100K artillery shells per month is back in sight, Army says – currently 30,000 ( Defense One )

– USC: Pentagon canceled Northrop’s classified satellite program due to budgetary concerns ( Defense One )

– USC: Russia asset seizure law spurs Yellen praise, dollar angst – bear ‘seizure risk premium’ ( Bloomberg )

– USC: Ukraine is finally getting more US aid – It won’t win the war – but it can save them from defeat ( Vox )


– EUK: Ukraine has only six months left – like before Russia began badly finished well – Richard Kemp ( Telegraph UK Opinion )

– EUK: West about to make major error in its economic war against Putin – assets – Jeremy Warner ( Telegraph UK Opinion )

– EUK: NATO chief Stoltenberg says it’s not too late for Ukraine to prevail‘ against Russia – if more weapons ( France 24 )

– EUK: Pentagon rushes $1bn in weapons to Kiev after Biden signs aid bill – move fast as troops falter on front ( FT UK )

– EUK: America’s $61bn aid package buys Ukraine time – It must use it wisely – no clear plan submitted ( Economist UK )

– EUK: Uncle Sam finally coughs up weapons – but is it too late to save Ukraine from Putin? – not enough ( Politico EU )

– EUK: Ukraine aid package could help Kiev slow Russia’s advance – under pressure to make it count ( BBC UK )


– RUC: Russian military will increase the intensity of attacks on logistics in Ukraine – Shigu meeting Military Collegiate ( Ria RU )

– RUC: All Ukrainian presidents are thieves – Lukashenko – once prosperous country ruined by leaders, oligarchs ( RT RU )

– RUC: Russia maintains position on ‘buffer zone’ in Ukraine vs threats – increases as weapons range – Peskov ( Tass RU )

– RUC: US effectively dooms Ukraine by its new decisions – Anatoly Antonov – US aid won’t save Elensky ( Tass RU )

– RUC: Transfer of US ATACMS missiles to Ukraine cannot be justified – Ambassador Anatoly Antonov ( Tass RU )

– RUC: Ukraine turns into testing ground for future world order, says Belarus president – Lukashenko ( Tass RU )

– RUC: Over 3,100 foreign mercenaries fight for Ukraine, most of them from US ( Tass RU )


– ASO: Battlefield in Ukraine became ‘graveyard’ of weapons bragged about by USNATO – North Korea ( Sputnik RU )



‘The US is committed to supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes’

‘There is bipartisan support for what Ukraine is doing – pushing Russia out of its territory’

‘Now we look to Europe to continue to provide their assistance so that this partnership can continue

Julianne Smith, US Ambassador to NATO


‘There are no plans to expand the NATO sharing arrangements’

‘No plans to deploy any more nuclear weapons in any additional NATO countries’

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO General Secretary


‘The United States can always be relied on to do the right thing, once they have exhausted all other options’

‘We live in a more dangerous world, where we face an axis of authoritarian states

‘2.5% defense spending must now become the new baseline for the entire alliance’

Grant Shapps, British Defense Secretary


‘There is nothing more ethical than defending our way of life from those who threaten it’

Calls from US counterparts for greater EU defense spending are entirely reasonable’

‘The plan will serve to show our enemies that we are resolute and determined’

‘It will make Britain by far the largest defense power in Europe’

Rishi Sunak, British Prime Minister


‘Europe cannot defend itself when confronted by a power like Russia that has no inhibitions, no limits

‘Our Europe today is mortal. It can die and that depends solely on our choices’

‘Our ability to ensure our security is at stake, Russia mustn’t be allowed to win

‘The two world powers have decided not to respect the rules of global trade’ ( US-China )

‘Let’s do the same, we are in competition!’

— — — — — — — — — — — — — —

‘The era when Europe bought energy and fertilizers from Russia, had production in China and delegated its security to the United States of America is over’

Emanuel Macron, French President


‘Fortunately, we are where we belong: in the company of democracy, among friends, at home’

‘We are resisting again. Like a rock. Let us win again’

Radosław Sikorski, Polish Foreign Minister


‘What was adequate to the 2014 situation, certainly does not suffice today in the face of Russian aggression’

‘2.5% of GDP is the right direction. We have to fortify ourselves so that no one will dare to attack us’

Andrzej Duda, Polish President


‘Finland and Sweden have an important role to play in promoting peace

‘It sounds paradoxical but that is why we want a strong military and why we joined NATO

‘Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO provides an uninterrupted shield from the Baltic to the Black Sea’

Alexander Stubb, Finnish Prime Minister


‘Defence Industry delivers long-term returns for pensions funds and retail investors

British Treasury statement

THE LEAD UP – Archives

┝ British FS David Cameron met Trump at Mar-a-lago to discuss the ‘future of NATO ( April 8 )

┝ Polish PR Duda met him at Trump at T-tower to discuss his proposal to boost NATO spending to 3% ( April 18 )

┝ British PM Sunak traveled to WarsawPoland to announce £500m Military aid package to Ukraine ( April 22 )

 Polish PR Duda announces in Washington DC, that his country is ‘ready to host US nuclear weapons’ ( April 22 )

┝ British PM Sunak then traveled to BerlinGermany to announce Defense spending boost ( April 23 )

 Polish PR Duda travels to Edmonton, Canada to continue lobbying for NATO spending ( April 25 )


– 404: West must boost defense as era of peace in Europe is over, says Ukrainian FM Kuleba ( Guardian UK Exclusive )


– USC: Keep helping Ukraine, US tells Europe after own aid pledge – US ambassador to NATO, Julianne Smith ( Politico US )

– USC: US nudges Germany on long-range missiles for Ukraine – US officials say ( AFP, DefensePost,  Barron’s / WSJ )

– USC: US hopes sending ATACMS to Ukraine will encourage Germany to send Taurus missiles ( AFP > Ukro Pravda )

– USC: Trump 2.0: How US allies are preparing for a second term – treating reelection as a certainty ( Reuters )

 Saudi Crown Prince MBS called Trump, while Orbán, Duda and Cameron met him in person

        ┝ German officials met Republican governors worried about Trump tariffs on German cars

        ┝ Japan prepares Trump whisperer envoy – Sunao Takao – who used to golf with him

        ┕ Rudd is busy making laws in Canberra to Trump-proof AUKUS submarine deal


– EUK: Sunak announces ‘turning point’ in European security – UK set to increase defense spending to 2.5% by 2030 ( Gov UK )

– EUK: Britain has just cemented its role as Europe’s leader in the battle against tyrants – Ben Wallace ( Telegraph UK Opinion )

– EUK: Spend more on NATO to fight PutinSunak tells EU leaders after his £75bn defense boost – in Berlin ( Independent UK )

– EUK: Defence spending increase to put Britain ‘on a war footing – Sunak pledge 2.5% GDP for defense by 2030 ( Times UK )

– EUK: Germany and UK tied by long-standing friendship – Sunak references Euro 2024 football tournament ( Telegraph UK )

– EUK: Allied nations should match UK’s defense spending target – Shapps to argue at NATO-75 Event in DC ( Guardian UK )

– EUK: ‘UK remains steadfast in support of Ukraine’s defense’ – Sunak tells Elensky – in phone call before Poland ( Sky UK )

– EUK: Britain sends a message to TrumpNATO is worth investing in – UK hike designed to keep US on side ( Politico EU )

– EUK: Sunak says investments in weapons companies ‘ethical’ – Sunak calls on City to invest in defense ( Independent UK )

– EUK: British army helicopters fly to Finland in ‘largest NATO exercise since Cold War’ – Apaches, £40m each  ( LBC UK )

– EUK: Sunak funding plans to ramp up defense spending – ‘clear idea to reduce civil service headcount‘ ( Telegraph UK )

– EUK: Britain is getting ready for war. Time to cram our ships with American weapons ( Telegraph UK Opinion )

– EUK: I spent my Navy career wishing Britain would just buy American  ‘off the shelf’ ( Telegraph UK Opinion )

– EUK: Rishi Sunak announces £500m military aid package to Ukraine – largest since the war began ( Sky UK )

– EUK: UK puts its defense industry on war footing‘ and gives Ukraine $620 million in new military aid ( AP )

– EUK: Europe must spend more on defense to keep US committed to NATO, says Sunak ( Telegraph UK )

– EUK: Labour claims Sunak’s defense spending boost is not ‘fully-funded’ – press release ( Telegraph UK )


– EUK: Polish opposition party calls for country to host nuclear weapons – ‘high time we joined ESSA nuclear sharing’ ( Tass RU )

– EUK: Russia would lose a war with NATOPoland warns – ‘It is not the West who should fear a clash’ – Sikorski ( Politico EU )

– EUK: Russia will inevitably lose if it attacks any NATO state – Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski ( Ukro Pravda )

– EUK: Poland’s Duda insists on NATO allies to spend 3% of GDP on defense – in Edmonton, Canada – ( Euronews )

– EUK: PolandCzech Republic warn of Russian interference ahead of European elections ( LE Monde FR )


– EUK: As BidenSunak pledge more cruise missiles for UkraineGermany’s Scholz adamant on Taurus refusal ( Politico EU )

– EUK: Russia’s weapon stockpiling hints at larger military plans – Pistorius – weapons go to warehouses ( NVo Ukraine )

– EUK: Moscow pressured Nicaragua to file genocide case against Germany – ‘Western intel sources say’ ( Politico EU )

– EUK: Germany rejects calls to supply Ukraine with Taurus missiles – calls on others to supply Patriots ( Telegraph UK )

– EUK: German leader says Europe must keep increasing aid to Ukraine after US approves new military help ( AP )

– EUK: Germany urges US to send Kiev another Patriot missile system – ‘pressing, prodding’ allies ( Bloomberg )

– EUK: US long-range missiles to Ukraine reignites German debate – CDU says it’s time ( DW DE )


– EUK: Sweden’s plan for worst-case scenario: War spreading in Europe – upgrading civ-defense, energy infra-str. ( Bloomberg )

– EUK: Spain will supply a batch of Patriot missiles to Ukraine – €1m each – launchers ‘ruled out‘ – has 3 batteries ( El País ES )

– EUK: EU‘s proposed sanctions on Russia to target oil tankers, ships moving North Korean equipment ( Reuters Exclusive )

– EUK: History catches up with Europe’s last Lenin museum – Finland closes ‘most hated’ m. visited by 18k/yr ( Times UK )

– EUK: NATO puts on a show of force in the shadow of Russia’s war – ‘preview of opening of a Great power conflict ( NYT )

– EUK: Crumbling Nazi parade grounds to get €85m repair – Nuremberg‘s Zeppelin Field will be fully restored ( Times UK )

– EUK: Finland’s Stubb says best way to avoid war is to ‘talk less and prepare more’ – also think less – Ben ( Euractiv )

– EUK: MEPs call to seize Russia’s hundreds of billions in frozen assets – Polish and Lithuanian idiots ( Euronews )

– EUK: Greece, Spain will refuse to send Ukraine air defense systems – critical to defense capacity ( Politico EU )

– EUK: European Commission disburses additional €1.5 billion in bridge financing to Ukraine ( EU Commission )


– EUK: NATO starts deploying troops as Russia races to win – ‘ward off disaster’ more ‘advisors’ – Stephen Bryen ( Asia Times )

– EUK: Should Europe send troops to Ukraine? – Macron broke taboo – second mobilization will be the last ( Kyiv Post Opinion )

– EUK: Europe – but not NATO – should send troops to Ukraine – Kiev needs more boots on the ground ( Foreign Affairs )

– EUK: Could Europe send troops to Ukraine? – learn valuable lessons – escalation risk is exaggerated ( Spectator UK )


– RUC: Moscow slams NATO drills near Russian borders as inflammatory – increase risk of incidents – Zakharova ( Tass RU )

– RUC: US nuclear weapons in Poland would be priority military target – Deputy FM Sergey Ryabkov ( RT RU )

– RUC: Russian court orders seizure of $440m from JPMorgan – following lawsuit by VTB Bank ( FT UK )


– EUK: Macron struggles to deliver his vision for a stronger Europe – robust defense spending, support for Ukraine ( Bloomberg )

– EUK: Europe needs to be stronger, not a US ‘vassal’ – Macron – expand defense, industry, compete w. superpowers ( WaPo )

– EUK: Mortal’ Europe needs to scale up defense – Macron speech – not sufficiently armeddepend less on US ( France 24 )

– EUK: Europe needs to be stronger, not a US ‘vassal’ says France‘s Macron – ‘the rules of the game have changed’ ( WSJ )

– EUK: France wants to use Greece’s air defense system for the Olympics, report says – talks since november ( Politico EU )

– EUK: Macron at Sorbonne: Energy key to French President’s ‘new European paradigm’ – including nuclear ( Euractiv )

– EUK: France proposes new EU sanctions to fight Russian ‘disinformation‘ – backed by NedPolBaltics ( Bloomberg )

– EUK: Macron Is gauging support for a plan to install Draghi in the top EU job – and oust von der Leyen ( Bloomberg )

– EUK: Macron criticizes Rwanda-style asylum schemes days after UK passes bill – ‘betrayal’ of values ( Guardian UK )

– EUK: French president outlined his vision for Europe as an assertive global power amid war in Ukraine ( WaPo )

– EUK: Macron aims to cement French influence in EU, lift party fortunes with landmark speech ( Reuters )

– EUK: ‘Europe could die – warns Macron as he hits out at relying on self-interested US ( Telegraph UK )


– EUK: Habeck‘s secret nuclear plant files : Officials manipulated documents to enforce nuclear phase-out ( Berliner Zeitung DE )

– EUK: Europeans less hard-working than Americans – Norway to invest in US – ‘weaker regulation, more risk-taking’ ( FT UK )

– EUK: EU turned to Russian gas again – Middle East tensions, costs around Africa – 7 billion m3 first 3 months ( Yeni Şafak TR )

– EUK: Europe’s policymakers get ready to lower rates, regardless of the Fed – ‘trying to get out of the shadow of the US‘ ( NYT )

– EUK: UK ‘helping Russia pay for its war on Ukraine’ – loophole in refined oil imports – £2.2bn from CN, IN, TR ( Guardian UK )

– EUK: European commercial real estate deal making slumps to 13-year low – seventh successive quarter of decline ( FT UK )

– EUK: Have Germans forgotten their famous work ethic? – ‘women and older people‘  must work more‘ ( Bloomberg Opinion )

– EUK: How the German Greens deceived the nuclear phase-out – manipulation to end the life of Nuclear power ( Cicero DE )

– EUK: German unemployment seen rising to highest level in almost a decade – 28 million, highest since 2015 ( Reuters )

– EUK: Britons wake up to smell the Brexit Bacon – cross-border checks make food more expensive ( Bloomberg )

– EUK: England is worst in the world for under-age drinking – also at record levels – WHO study ( Times UK )

– EUK: Asylum seekers spooked by Rwanda bill are pouring into Ireland, says deputy PM ( Telegraph UK )

– EUK: French towns impose curfews to counter youth violence – Nice and Béziers ( Times UK )

– EUK: Migrant deportations loom after parliament passes UKRwanda plan ( Euractiv )



‘When I see what Russia has achieved in building up its defense industrial base in two years of the war and what the West has achieved, I think something is wrong on the part of the West’

‘Negotiations to obtain Patriots were complicated because countries who operate them bargain for backfill and compensation’

Dymitro Kuleba


– 404: Ukraine moves to cut off consular services for military-age men abroad – shortage of soldiers especially infantry ( WaPo )

– 404: Operation ‘Passport’ – Elensky tries to lure Ukrainian men abroad home – FM stopped consular services ( Izvestia RU )

– 404: Ukraine to deny consular services to military-age men living abroad – 18 May – acute shortage of troops ( Euronews )

– 404: Everyone can do it! – Ukraine launches army recruitment drive – job sites, billboards, social media sites  ( Sky UK )

– 404: Ukraine launches military charm offensive as conscription flags – candidates can choose roles, units! ( Reuters )

– 404: Ukraine bans men of fighting age from applying for new passports abroad – only in Ukraine ( Independent UK )


– EUK: Poland and Lithuania to help Ukraine repatriate men of fighting age – needs hundreds of thousands more ( FT UK )

– EUK: Ukrainians with terminated passports will be allowed to stay in GermanyBerlin Senate says ( Kyiv ‘Independent’ )

– EUK: Lithuania considers helping Ukraine get military-age men back – Defense Minister Kasčiūnas ( Ukro Pravda )

– EUK: ‘Like North Korea’ – Ukrainian men in Poland express anger at consular service suspension ( Balkan Insight )

– EUK: Poland ready to help Ukraine to get military-age men back, Defense Minister Kamysz says ( Reuters )

– EUK: Poland ready to help Kiev to bring military-age men back to Ukraine ( NVo Ukraine )


– 404: Inside a besieged Ukrainian city where soldiers await US arms – Chasov Yar, bombs/drones wipe out everything ( WSJ )

– 404: Russia at least doubled number of drones across front in Ukraine past 3 months – significant troop losses‘ ( Ukro Pravda )

– 404: Ukraine pulls US-provided Abrams tanks from the front lines over Russian drone threats – US military officers ( AP )

– 404: Russian advance blamed on Ukrainian troops ‘rotation blunder – defense gap leads to 5km gain ( FT UK )


– 404: Ukraine strikes two more fuel depots in Russiadefying US warnings – 26,000 m3 of fuel lost in Smolensk ( Politico EU )

– 404: Could Ukraine‘s strikes on Russian oil derail Biden‘s reelection? – ‘costs at the pump rising for months’ ( Newsweek )

– 404: Ukraine hits multiple Russian refineries overnight despite US warnings – Smolensk ( Newsweek )


– 404: Prosecutors request arrest of agriculture minister over alleged illegal acquisition of state-owned land ( Kyiv Independent )

– 404: Ukraine court orders agriculture minister to be taken into custody – Mykola Solsky over $7m state land ( Reuters )

– 404: Ukraine‘s agriculture minister named as suspect in corruption case ( Sky UK )


– 404: Italy says to sign deal to rebuild Ukraine‘s Odessa and its cathedral – FM Antonio Tajani – sign deal May 15 ( Reuters )

– 404: Swiss parliamentary committee backs $5.5 bn aid plan for Ukraine – still faces parliamentary hurdles ( Reuters )

– 404: Elensky calls for global action to recover Zaporozhye nuclear plant from Russian control ( NVo Ukraine )

– 404: Ukrainian intel sharing specifics on Kremlin plans to disrupt Swiss Peace Summit – Elensky ( Kyiv Post )

– 404: Ukraine participates in NATO cybersecurity exercise in Estonia ( NVo Ukraine )


– USC: Russia‘s air defense problem – ‘predominantly ad hoc measures‘ – Mattias Eken from Rand ( Newsweek )


– EUK: European Parliament adopts resolution condemning Georgia‘s foreign agents law ( Kyiv Independent )

– EUK: Armenian border residents protest as Yerevan, Baku agree on delimitation ( RFE / CIA )

– EUK: Almost 100 detained at anti-government protest in Armenia, media say ( Reuters )


– EUK: Moldova clamps down after Russian moves – seized over $1 million from political party ( Newsweek )

– EUK: Gagauzia governor accused of using Russian funds for political gain in Moldova ( NVo Ukraine )

– EUK: Moldova brings criminal case against pro-Russian Gagauzia leader to court ( Reuters )



‘We’re prepared to take steps when against firms that severely undermine security in both Ukraine and Europe’

‘We’ve demonstrated our willingness to do so regarding firms from a number of countries, not just China’

Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State


‘If the United states seeks to contain China’s hi-tech development and deprive China of its legitimate right to development, China is not going to sit back and watch’

Xi Jinping, President of PRC


‘NATO bears indisputable responsibility for this crisis ( Ukraine ). The alliance should give thought to its role, stop shifting the blame and effectively take practical action for the political settlement of the crisis’

Wang Wenbin, Chinese FM spokesman


‘It seems like Blinken is here to issue an ultimatum. We will not give in to him and will not compromise on our core issues’

Li Haidong, Global Times


‘The bill was crafted in secret, rushed through the House and ultimately passed as part of a larger, must-pass bill because Americans will find it objectionable’

Alex Hurek, TikTok spokesman


‘I think that Beijing understands this perfectly well and will not even pretend being ready to reach any agreements with the Americans to the detriment of Russia’s interests’

Sergey Ryabkov, Russian Deputy Foreign Ministers

THE LEAD UP – Archives

┝ EU launched probes into ‘state support’ of Chinese wind and solar manufacturing companies  ( April 9 )

┝ US-led G7 issued ‘strong concern’ in Capri, over China trade helping reconstruct Russia‘s war machine ( April 19 )

 US State department releases 2023 ‘human rights abuse’ report talking about Xingyiang uyghurs ( April 22 )

┝ US President Biden signs bill into law, which includes aid to Taiwan & TikTok ban or sell act ( April 24 )

┝ US Sec. of State Blinken lands in Shanghai, met by local party leader and ambassador Nicholas Burns ( April 24 )

┕ EU launched probe into Chinese ‘state support’ in procuring ( domestic ) medical devices ( April 24 )


– USC: Blinken tours China to promote some ties, while US severs others – tariffs on steel, solar, microchips, TikTok ( NYT )

– USC: Blinken goes to China with potential trouble on horizon – Dems and Reps vying to appear tougher on China‘ ( NYT )

– USC: Blinken to warn China against helping Russia develop its military industry – Russia, TaiwanSC Sea ( El País ES )

– USC: US takes aim at Chinese banks aiding Russia war effort – drafting sanctions – ‘threatening to cut off’ banks ( WSJ )

– USC: In China, Blinken urges fair treatment of US companies – ‘level playing field‘, cease non-market actices ( Reuters )

– USC: US takes aim at Chinese banks aiding Russia war effort – dual-use trade helped Moscow war machine ( WSJ )

– USC: Blinken says genocide in Xinjiang is ongoing in report ahead of China visit – ‘report’ by State Dept. ( Reuters )


– RUC: NATO bears direct responsibility for Ukraine crisis – Chinese Foreign Ministry ( Tass RU )


– RUC: China won’t make concessions regarding sovereignty in foreign trade – RUCN, and ‘overproduction’ ( Global Times CN )

– RUC: China condemns US ‘overcapacity’ claim just before Blinken visit – malicious intent to curb development ( Bloomberg )

– RUC: China slashes US hypocrisy on Ukraine ahead of Blinken’s visit, urging US to end blame shifting ( Global Times CN )

– RUC: US sanction threats against Chinese banks over Russia trade ties risk ‘gargantuan’ financial instability ( SCMP CN )

– RUC: China shows off ballistic missile as Antony Blinken begins visit – PLA Navy rare video of ICBM launch ( Times UK )

– RUC: US business concerned about tensions – US urged to show sincerity in discourse with Beijing ( Global Times CN )

– RUC: Choose between stability and downward spiral’ China’s foreign minister tells Blinken during Beijing trip ( CNN )

– RUC: Humanitarian disaster facilitated by US deepens division within American society ( Global Times CN Opinion )

– RUC: Xi warns Blinken: Stop being two-faced – America is ‘saying one thing and doing another‘ ( Politico EU )

– RUC: US releases human rights report as ‘bargaining chip’ to play tough with China ( Global Times CN )

– RUC: ‘Negative’ factors building in USChina ties, foreign minister Wang Yi tells Blinken ( Reuters )


– USC: China harbors Russian cargo ship tied to North KoreaRussia arms transfers – satellite images ( Reuters Exclusive )

– USC: China developing space weapons at ‘breathtaking’ pace – ‘clear intent’ to project power – US military ( Telegraph UK )

– USC: Xi’s armada is winning the battle for energy ( resources ) in the South China Sea – ‘others need them’ ( Bloomberg )

– USC: China’s spy satellites pose threat to Taiwan, warn – US space chiefs – could target allied warships ( Telegraph UK )

– USC: US wants allies to cut chip-related China exports amid Huawei alarm – JapanS. KoreaNetherlands ( FT UK )

– USC: Solar companies seek new US tariffs on SouthEast Asian imports – China threatening US investments ( NYT )

– USC: China’s new stealth bomber ‘nowhere near as good’ as US’s, intel official says – never seen ( Defense One )

– USC: States take on China in the name of national security – local politicians impatient with Washington ( WSJ )

– USC: US commander warns China is fast becoming more aggressive in region – Aquilino ( Bloomberg )


– EUK: US accuses China of backing Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine – picking a side – NATO amb. Julianne Smith ( Politico EU )

– EUK: German spy catchers raise game against China and Russia – tip of the iceberg hundreds more ‘up to mischief’ ( FT UK )

– EUK: China is the enemy of the world and has nobody to blame but itself – diplomatic errors and saber-rattling ( Telegraph UK )

– EUK: EU must stand ‘firm’ with Taiwan to ease tensions with China – ‘appeasement encourages Beijing – envoy ( Euronews )

– EUK: Days ahead of Xi’s visit, EU investigations add to pressure on strained China relations – into ‘unfair’ practices ( WSJ )

– EUK: EU launches probe into China‘s public procurement of medical devices – favors domestic companies ( Euronews )

– EUK: EU to China: Open your public markets or we’ll close ours – domestic medical device procurement ( Politico EU )

– EUK: Espionage arrests hint at dark side of ChinaEurope competition – German reset already strained ( Bloomberg )

– EUK: Foreign states targeting sensitive research at UK universities, MI5 warns – ‘particularly China ( Guardian UK )

– EUK: German spy agency warns companies against being too ‘naive’ on China – or ‘over-reliant’ in trade ( Reuters )

– EUK: MI5 to vet academics for Chinese spy links – secret review finds national security is at risk ( Times UK )

– EUK: EU pulls its gun on China – accelerating crackdown on ‘unfair support for companies ( Politico EU )


– RUC: Travel by bike, bring your own cup: China imposes a frugal life on public servants – looking to cut waste – terrible! ( WSJ )

– RUC: Chinese business lobby hits back at EU ‘dawn raid’ on security equipment supplier – ‘foreign subsidies probe’ ( FT UK )

– RUC: Xi Jinping heads to Belgrade around anniversary of NATO embassy bombing – in May ( Bloomberg )

– RUC: Xiaomi locks in over 75,000 orders for SU7 car, targets over 10,000 deliveries in June ( Reuters )

– RUC: Huawei’s new phone runs latest version of made-in-China chip – Pura 70, 7nm ( Bloomberg )


– USC: What is TikTok Worth? Guesses range from $20b to over $100b – depends on algorithm, intl. business inclusion ( WSJ )

– USC: ‘Thunder Run’ – behind lawmakers’ secretive push to pass the TikTok bill – tiny group around Steve Scalise ( NYT )

– USC: There is no TikTok in China, but there Is Doyin – ‘real cash cow’ 80% / $54b ByteDance revenue ( NYT )

– USC: Banning TikTok would hit China’s tech ambitions and deepen the global digital divide ( CNN )


– RUC: ByteDance prefers TikTok shutdown in US if legal options fail – sources say ( Reuters Exclusive )

– RUC: TikTok CEO expects to defeat US ban: ‘We aren’t going anywhere’ ( Reuters )

– RUC: TikTok vows legal battle as the US presses for app’s sale or ban ( Bloomberg )

– RUC: ByteDance does not intend to sell TikTok ( Taobao SG )


– RUC: Blinken’s visit to China meant to shatter RUCN ties – Deputy FM Sergey Ryabkov – sanctions regime futile ( Tass RU )

– RUC: Blinken came to China with trying to dissuade cooperation with Russia – threatening to cut off banks ( Vedomosti RU )

– RUC: Russia forecasts lower price for its gas to China versus Europe – about 28% below, as exports grow ( Bloomberg )

– RUC: US-oriented structures try to reformat security system in AsiaPacific region – Sergei Shoigu ( Tass RU )

– RUC: Russia‘s April oil and gas revenue to double, Reuters calculations show – compared to 2023 ( Reuters )

– RUC: Russian foreign minister met with Bolivian counterpart in Moscow – wants to join BRICS ( Tass RU )

– RUC: Putin says he plans to visit China in May – talk to his friend Xi Jinping, gift a book ( Tass RU )

PERIPHERY – The Pacific

– ASO: Kim Jong Un tests new rockets to strike Seoul and perhaps sell to Putin – show for Russia SK says ( Bloomberg )

– ASO: Japan feels inflation heat from Fed’s ‘higher for longer’ shift – JapanSKUS ‘serious concerns’ about Yen ( FT UK )

– ASO: Indonesia election: Prabowo formally declared president-elect after court rejects legal challenges ( Guardian UK )

– ASO: We must say no – Seoul defense chief on KoreanUSFK involvement in hypothetical Taiwan crisis ( Hani KR )

– ASO: North Korea stokes arms concerns by sending rare delegation to Iran – highest-level since 2019 ( Bloomberg )

– ASO: China’s EV supply chain dominance risks collapse’ of US subsidies, warns South Korea – graphite ( FT UK )

– ASO: North Korea sends a economic delegation to Iran in a growing effort to break its diplomatic isolation ( AP )

– ASO: China should have confidence to talk to us, Taiwan‘s president-elect says – Lai Ching-te ( Reuters )

– ASO: Taiwan will tear down all remaining statues of Chiang Kai-shek in public spaces ( SCMP CN )

– ASO: Taiwan pledges to remove 760 statues of Chinese dictator Chiang Kai-shek ( Guardian UK )



‘With the threats we face across the region, Israel’s strategic relationship with the US is a pillar of our national security’

Yair Lapid, Israeli Opposition leader


‘Thank you Pres. Biden and the US for standing with Israel. This is a clear message to Iran and our common enemies’

Yoav Gallant, Israeli Minister of Defense


‘Together we stand united in the face of those who threaten our shared values’

Isaac Herzog, Israeli President


‘Antisemitic mobs have taken over leading universities in the United States’

‘This is reminiscent of what happened in German universities in the 1930s’

‘It’s unconscionable. It has to be stopped. It has to be condemned and condemned unequivocally’

Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister


– ISR: After $15 billion in military aid, Israel calls alliance with US ‘Ironclad’– FM Israel Katz – readies to invade Rafah ( NYT )  

– ISR: Israel steps up cross-border strikes on Hezbollah in Lebanon – about 40 sites hit, full-on conflict feared ( Bloomberg )

– ISR: Israel says it is poised to move on Rafah – prepared 40,000 tents – a spokesman – no timeline mentioned ( Reuters )

– ISR: Israel prepares to begin gradual Rafah offensive – Egypt helps put up tent camps, expecting refugees ( WSJ )

– ISR: Signs suggest that invasion of Rafah is all but inevitable – vital to dismantling Hamas but 1m people ( NYT )

– ISR: Israel says it’s increasing operations in Lebanon, preparing for Rafah offensive – Yoav Gallant ( WaPo )

– ISR: Netanyahu labels US student protests ‘horrific’ ‘antisemitic and calls for them to end ( Guardian UK )

– ISR: Israel intensifies strikes on Rafah ahead of threatened invasion – six killed in airstrike ( Reuters )


– PAL: ‘We’re aware of the location’ – Aid groups in Gaza coordinated with IDF,still came under fire – visual investigation ( NYT )

– PAL: Hamas releases video of wounded AmericanIsraeli Hostage – family gave permission to release ( WSJ )

– PAL: Gaza authorities say more bodies were discovered in mass grave – two or three had been dug ( NYT )

– PAL: Israeli American hostage appears to be alive in new Hamas video – Hersh Goldberg-Polin ( WaPo )

– PAL: Hamas official: 30 Israeli generals, high-ranking officers in custody ( IRNA IR )

– PAL: Hamas holds dozens of high-ranking Israeli officers in Gaza: Report ( Cradle )


– UN: Famine threat looms as highest number of aid trucks enter Gaza since start of war, UNRWA chief says ( WaPo )

– UN: Bodies in Gaza mass graves had hands tied, say UN officials – Nasser and Shifa hospitals ( Times UK )

– UN: UN calls for investigation into mass graves uncovered at two Gaza hospitals raided by Israel ( AP )

– UN: Mass graves in Gaza show victims’ hands were tied, says UN rights office ( UN News )


– WEA: Erdoğan set for landmark US visit in May with busy agenda – economics, Gaza, NATO, defense ( Daily Sabah TR )

– WEA: Greek vessel Hydra intercepts two drones launched by Yemen‘s Houthis – Defense Ministry ( Guardian UK )

– WEA: Iranian president in Sri Lanka to launch hydropower megaproject – slap to western ‘tech monopoly’ ( Cradle )

– WEA: A blast near a ship off Yemen may mark a new attack by Houthi rebels after a recent lull ( AP )

– WEA: Yemeni forces strike USIsraeli vessels in fresh pro-Palestinian operations ( PressTV IR )

– WEA: Iran to EU: ‘Be responsible, sanction Israel‘ – Foreign Minister Abdollahian ( PressTV IR )


– EUK: British Royal Navy ship shoots down ballistic missile in combat for first time – HMS Diamond in Red Sea ( Telegraph UK )


– USC: Another ex-State Department official alleges Israeli military gets special treatment on abuses – Charles O. Blaha ( AP )

– USC: Blinken denies US human rights ‘double standard’ for Israel – ‘democracies resp. for policing themselves’ ( Bloomberg )

– USC: White House says it wants ‘answers’ from Israel after mass graves found near hospitals in Gaza ( Guardian UK )

– USC: US offers $10m reward for Iran-linked cyber terrorists – hacked US State Department, Treasury ( Times UK )

– USC: US holds off on sanctioning Israeli military units accused of human rights violations in West Bank ( ABC )

– USC: Biden refuses to sanction Israeli units behind ‘gross’ war crimes – the Netzah Yehuda battalion ( Cradle )

– USC: Blinken denies US double standard over alleged Israeli rights abuses – the answer is no‘ ( Reuters )

– USC: US and 17 other nations call on Hamas to release hostages – oh puh-leeeease – Ben ( NYT )


– EUK: Germany to resume funding of aid operations in Gaza – after no evidence of UNRWA terror links ( Guardian UK )

– EUK: EU sanctions extremist Israeli settlers over violence in the West Bank – a ‘handful‘ of them anyway ( Euronews )

– EUK: EU foreign policy chief compares Gaza destruction with German cities in WWII – Borrell ( Euronews )


– USC: Biden condemns ‘antisemitic protests’ and ‘those who don’t understand what’s going on with the Palestinians ( CBS )

– USC: Rare visit by House speaker Johnson to campus escalates tension at Columbia – go back to Louisiana, Mike!’ ( WaPo )

– USC: Protesters are demanding colleges divest from Israel. Not happening – questionable precedent, fiduciary risk ( NYT )

– USC: Columbia University’s Gaza encampment’ becomes center of US stand-off – ‘anti-Israel slogans’ spread ( FT UK )

– USC: Dozens of GOP senators demand Biden protect Jewish students from ‘Pro-Hamas, antisemitic mobs’ ( NYP )

– USC: College protesters make divestment from Israel a rallying cry – forcing collages to take action on issue ( NYT )  

– USC: Conflict between university protesters and police spreads beyond Columbia – to University of Texas ( WaPo )

– USC: Arrests and standoffs multiply as student anti war rallies spread – detained reaching more than 500 ( WaPo )

– USC: Protesters arrested amid crackdown on pro-Palestine student rallies across US campuses ( Guardian UK )

– USC  University of Southern California ( USC ) cancels main commencement, citing safety measures ( Reuters )

– USC: Columbia University protests: students face ‘gut-wrenching’ abuse – antisemitic rhetoric ( Times UK )


– RUC: RussiaAfrica united by common vision on global issues – Mikhail Bogdanov – envoy to West Asia Africa ( Tass RU )

– AFR: Ouagadougou vs. the BBC – Burkina Faso’s Russian-allied military junta’ targets Western media outlets ( Politico EU )

– AFR: US to withdraw troops from Chad, dealing another blow to Africa policy – years of cooperation, now with Russia ( NYT )

– AFR: US approval in Africa falls as China and Russia gain ground on continent – Gallup survey shows ( Sputnik RU )

– AFR: Expansion of ties with Africa, among Iran’s main agendas – President Raisi meeting Burkinabé PM ( IRNA IR )

– AFR: Why the Biden strategy in Africa is failing – Niger drone base gone – used to fight ‘ISIS’ in Sahel ( Politico US )

– AFR: Somalia detains US-trained commandos over theft of rations – several members of elite commando ( Reuters )

– AFR: US troops to leave Chad, as another African state reassesses ties – increasingly looking to Russia ( WaPo )


APPENDIX : Videoclips

– Blinken arrives, met by Burns :

– McConnell demonization Tucker :

– Texas mass protests arrests :

– Columbia University ‘arrest’ :

– Blinken threatens after meeting XI :


USC = United States + Canada

RUC = Russia + China

EUK = Europe + United Kingdom | 404 = Ukraine

WEA = West Asia, formerly Middle East | ISR = Israel | PAL = Palestine

ASO = Australia + Oceania

AFR = Africa

LAT = Latin America

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