By Harold W. Reid, The Chicago Times

June 17, 2022

WASHINGTON – The Food and Drug Administration approved COVID-19 vaccinations for infants allowing for vaccinations to begin next week.

The FDA approved the use of shots from Moderna and Pfizer for nearly 18 million juveniles under the age of 5.  However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s independent advisers have begun debating the two-dose Moderna and the three-dose Pfizer vaccines on Friday and will make its ruling on Saturday

The Biden administration has been readying the vaccine program for infants throughout the nation by preordering millions of doses.  The FDA’s emergency use authorization allows manufacturers to ship across the nation.  Moderna and Pfizer have admitted that their vaccinations do show side effects of fever and fatigue.

Currently, Pfizer’s vaccine for juveniles is one-tenth of the adult dose.  Three shots are needed with the first two given three weeks apart and the last dose two months later.

Moderna’s vaccine requires two shots and are each a quarter of the adult dose.  The Moderna dose is given about four weeks apart for juveniles under the age of 6.

Iran Preparing For Rocket Launch

By Peter Lawrence, The Chicago Times

June 15, 2022

BAGDAD – Satellite images indicate that Iran is readying for a space launch Tuesday.

Maxar Technologies released images of a launch pad at the notorious Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran’s Semnan province.  Images showed a rocket being attached to a launch tower.

Iranian state-controlled media, the IRNA news agency, reported in May that Iran would attempt to launch satellites by the end of the Persian calendar in March 2023.  Iran has been known to be working on a new solid-fueled rocket named the Zuljanah.  Zuljanah refers to the camel of Husayn ibn Ali and was an important mythical character connected with the Battle of Karbala (680 A.D.)

U.S. Army Maj. Rob Lodewick said the “American military will continue to closely monitor Iran’s pursuit of viable space launch technology and how it may relate to advancements in its overall ballistic missile program.  Iranian aggression, to include the demonstrated threat posed by its various missile programs, continues to be a top concern for our forces in the region.”

“Iran has consistently chosen to escalate tensions. It is Iran that has consistently chosen to take provocative actions,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

Iran has launched several short-lived satellites into orbit over the past decade.  In 2013, Iran launched a defenseless monkey into space.  Iranian launch attempts where set back when a fire in February 2019 at Imam Khomeini Spaceport killed three researchers.

In more disturbing developments, Iran’s terrorist paramilitary Revolutionary Guard continues its own secret space program by launching a satellite into orbit. The terrorist Revolutionary Guard launched another satellite in March.

Boeing “Taxi” Capsule Lands Back On Earth

by Clara Thompson, The Chicago Times

May 26, 2022

CAPE CANAVERAL – Boeing’s Starliner capsule returned from the International Space Station on Wednesday.

Boeing completed it final test flight of the Starliner capsule which will hopefully be released for use by NASA to shuttle astronauts to the ISS.  The capsule parachuted into the New Mexico desert with a test dummy after leaving the orbiting lab.

According to Boeing, there were some thruster and cooling system problems, but the flight was deemed success by Houston control.

“It’s great to have this incredible test flight behind us.” said Steve Stich, director of NASA’s commercial crew program.

It is hoped that NASA astronauts will ride the Starliner to the space station by year’s end.  The creation of the Starliner, as well as Elon Musk’s SpaceX capsule system, has been a dream come true for NASA which has been dependent on Russian space shuttles since the demise of the Space Shuttle or Space Transportation System.

Western Allies To Sanction Putin On A Personal Level

By The Chicago Times Staff

February 25, 2022

BRUSSELS – The United States, Great Britain, the European Union announced Friday they will sanction President Vladimir Putin and his foreign minister for their roles in the Ukrainian invasion.

According to the Biden administration, the U.S. government will levy individual sanction of Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov.  In conjunction with the U.S. sanctions, the European Union and Great Britain announced plans to freeze Putin’s assets located within their jurisdiction.

Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S., Oksana Markarova, told reporters that the individual sanction imposed on Putin and Lavrov was the right decision.  Markarova added “It was President Putin’s decision to attack Ukraine.”

In response to Western sanctions, Putin has banned British flights within Russian airspace.  Putin has also ordered a restriction on Meta-Facebook operations in the country since several Russian backed media sources had their accounts restricted on Facebook.

U.S. Advises Families Of Ukraine Embassy Staff To Leave

By Harold W. Reid, The Chicago Times

January 23, 2022

WASHINGTON – The US Department of State has advised family members of US Embassy staff in Ukraine to leave the county as the threat of a Russian invasion increases.  The State Department has also advised that non-essential embassy staff and private US citizens to leave Ukraine.

According to intelligence reports, Russia has amassed over 100,000 troops along the Ukraine border.  Russian intent has been a concern for NATO ever since Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014.  Russia has denied plans to invade Ukraine.

The US Embassy in Kiev released a statement warning that “military action by Russia could come at any time and the United States government will not be in a position to evacuate American citizens in such a contingency.”

NATO is also bolstering its defenses in the Baltic Sea region.  The Royal Danish Navy has dispatched a frigate and F-16 fighters to Lithuania.  Spain has also sent fighter jets to Bulgaria and three Spanish Navy warships to the Black Sea to join NATO naval forces.  In addition, the Netherlands plans to send two F-35 fighter aircraft to Bulgaria.

According to the Pentagon, the Biden administration has been given range of options to support NATO forces in Eastern Europe and the Baltics.  With the endorsement of the US, NATO members Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania plan to send US made anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine.

Kazakhstan Arrests Ex-Intelligence Boss On Treason

By H. Haverstock, The Chicago Times

January 8, 2022

NUR-SULTAN – The former intelligence chief of Kazakhstan, Karim Massimov, has been arrested and charged with treason in efforts to quell a growing tide of protests.

The National Security Committee made the announcement that Massimov, who was fired by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, was arrested for his suspected role in violent protests that erupted throughout Kazakhstan.

According to reports, thousands of people have been arrested and dozens killed in the violence, along with the torching of government buildings.  Tokayev brutally issued a “shoot-to-kill” order to government troops to act against what he claims are terrorists.

The arrest of Massimov looks to be an attempt to show that those responsible are being held accountable, though some experts suspect it could be for political reasons.  Massimov was also a two-time former prime minister with close ties to former president Nursulstan Nazarbayev who left office in 2019.

According to government officials, the violent protests were ignited by the increase in fuel prices under the Tokayev regime, which is backed by Russia.

After a brutal crackdown, security shock troops have reclaimed control of Kazakhstan’s main city Almaty, the former capital, on Friday.  The mayor of Almaty still advises citizens to remain at home as the shock troops conduct a clean-up operation.

According to reports from the interior ministry, nearly 4,400 people have been arrested, internet access has been shut down, and there are reports of Russian troops in Kazakhstan’s major cities to help snuff out the violence.  Russia and Kazakhstan are part of the Collective Security Treaty Organization which stipulates mutual military support in times of war and crisis.

The Biden administration has questioned the need for inviting Russian troops into Kazakhstan and fears that the occupation might be permanent.