By H. Haverstock, The Chicago Times

February 22, 2022

BRUSSELS — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg believes there is strong evidence that Russian forces are planning a full-scale attack on Ukraine.

Stoltenberg said in a statement “Every indication is that Russia is still planning a full-scale attack on Ukraine.”

Stoltenberg’s remarks come just one day after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognize the independence of two Russian-backed breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine, and then declared Russian forces were performing a peacekeeping mission in the Donbas region.

According to NATO, there is strong evidence that Russian forces had already invaded Ukraine on Putin’s orders.  Intelligence reports have estimated that 150,000 troops have gathered along Ukraine’s border in Russia, Belarus, occupied Crimea, and Donbas.

“Moscow has now moved from covert attempts to destabilize Ukraine to overt military action.  Many units are deployed forward in combat formations.  They’ve broken out of their field camps and are ready to strike.” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement.

Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States will target financial institutions linked to the Kremlin and continue to assist Ukraine in defending itself by providing military equipment and financial support, according to NATO.  However, since Ukraine is not a NATO member, the NATO alliance will not deploy forces to Ukraine.

Islamic State Attacks Are On The Rise In Syria And Iraq

By Peter Lawrence, The Chicago Times

January 30, 2022

BEIRUT – After a recent jail break in Syria and an attack on an army barracks in Iraq, the Islamic State is in the mind of many in who lived under their tyranny as attacks increase.

The two attacks were some of the most daring since US coalition forces defeated ISIS in 2019.  Citizens in both Syria and Iraq believe the recent ISIS attacks represent weakness in the current governments to prevent further attacks and may even be a sign of coming economic collapse, ethnic tensions, and the possible return of the ISIS caliphate.

As ISIS lost most of its territory in 2019, its members went underground and waged a low-level insurgency involving bombings, assassinations, and guerilla tactics.  A January 20 prison break in Syria was one of the first large scale ISIS operations to date in which militants stormed the prison to breakout ISIS members that rioted in coordination with the attack.

The jail break operation is also being used by ISIS as a recruiting tool to increase membership and promote the re-establishment of the evil caliphate. According to the Iraqi military, it is currently impossible for ISIS to take control of territory as seen in 2014.

According to intelligence reports, the remnant of ISIS are not collecting taxes or recruiting member, but are rather focusing on terror, assassinations, and kidnappings.

Russia Claims It Will Not Start War With Ukraine

By The Chicago Times Staff

January 28, 2022

MOSCOW – The Russian Foreign Minister declared that Moscow will not be the one to start a war over Ukraine.

The Biden administration has warned the Ukraine government that a Russian invasion is possible by February.  However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has been put on record saying “There won’t be a war as far as it depends on the Russian Federation, we don’t want a war. But we won’t let our interests be rudely trampled on and ignored.”

Russia has demanded that Ukraine be permanently barred from joining NATO and act as a buffer state between the NATO nations and the Russian Federation.  In an effort to force through these demands by threat of war, Moscow has strategically placed over 100,000 troops along the Ukraine-Russian border.

NATO has formally rejected Russian demands yet has left a diplomatic window open that can begin the de-escalation process.  However, Moscow has cemented its stance that Ukraine must never become a NATO member and has not taken “invasion” off the table.  Though the Russian troop placement is still being labelled a “military exercise”, it is a clear message that Russia will not permit an expansion of the NATO alliance.

The United States and western allies have promised that a Russian invasion will result in punitive sanctions against Russian officials and Russian industry.  Russian officials have said that the implementation of sanctions would amount to severing diplomatic ties.

European Union Responds To Red China Over Lithuanian Dispute

By H. Haverstock, The Chicago Times

January 27, 2022

BRUSSELS – On Thursday, the European Union, took further action in its dispute with communist China’s economic bullying of member state Lithuania to the World Trade Organization.  The EU accuses Beijing of undermining the 27-nation bloc’s single market.

Valdis Dombrovskis, EU Trade Commissioner, reported to the WTO that the European Union is due more respect from Beijing, which is coercing EU member states by blocking imports based on political grounds.

“Our relationship requires mutual respect,” Dombrovskis told the World Trade Organization.

Communist China’s bullying of Lithuania started when Lithuania decided to call the Taiwanese diplomatic office in Vilnius as “Taiwan” rather than communist China’s approved term of “Taipei”, which Red China has bullied other nations into using. Communist China considers Taiwan part of its territory with no right to diplomatic recognition or the right to maintain a free and democratic government.

In a typical response, Beijing expelled the Lithuanian ambassador and withdrew its own ambassador in Vilnius.  Communist China, according to the EU, has ordered that imports and exports be held at ports.

“Let me be clear these measures are a threat to the integrity of the EU single market so it affects the entire EU trade and EU supply chains, and they have a negative effect on EU industry,” Dombrovskis said.

Dombrovkis also stressed that not reacting to Beijing’s action could spread throughout the whole bloc of 450 million people.

“China is putting pressure on international companies to abandon the use of Lithuanian components in their production. Otherwise, they may face import restrictions.  The EU is determined to act as one and act fast against measures in breach of WTO rules.” said Dombrovskis.

Lithuania’s Foreign Minister said in a statement “This step is a clear message to China that the EU will not tolerate politically motivated actions of economic coercion.”

The European Commission, which manages trade activities for EU members, has collected evidence of communist China’s economic bullying.  They have proof that Red China has refused to clear Lithuanian goods through customs, has rejected import applications from Lithuania, and has pressured European companies not to use components or products connected to Lithuania.  It should be noted that Lithuania has a population of 2.8 million while, communist China has 1.4 billion people.

Hong Kong: Government Orders 2,000 Animals Slaughtered After Hamster Tests Positive For COVID-19

By Douglas F. Roberts, The Chicago Times

January 18, 2022

HONG KONG – Authorities in Hong Kong announced Tuesday that 2,000 small animals will be slaughtered after several tested positive for the COVID-19 at a pet store.

Authorities also banned the sale of hamsters and the import of small mammals.  The ban is in response to a pet shop employee that tested positive for COVID on Monday in conjunction with infected hamsters imported from the Netherlands.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has yet to see animals as spreading COVID to humans on a large scale.  However, Hong Kong officials are not taking any chances and believe the order is an appropriate response.

There are many indications that coronavirus was initially transmitted from animal to human yet there is no evidence that animals can cause mass transmission of the virus.  According to Hong Kong authorities, customers who purchased pets from the store after January 7 will be tracked down and placed in mandatory quarantine.  In addition, these customers must hand over their pets to the government to be exterminated.

North Korea Launches Hypersonic Nuclear Missile In Test

By Douglas F. Roberts, The Chicago Times

January 11, 2022

PYONGYANG – Communist North Korea announced today the test flight of a hypersonic missile.

According to the Korean Central News Agency, Tuesday’s launch of a hypersonic glide vehicle was successful and demonstrated perfect glide jump flight and corkscrew maneuvering before plummeting into a targeted area in the Sea of Japan.

Intelligence reports indicated that this was the second missile launch detected from communist North Korea in a week.  The launch is another push by communist leader Kim Jong Un to expand North Korea’s offensive nuclear capabilities.  Communist North Korea continues to spend billions on weapons while large portions of the population are reported to be starving.  Many experts believe the launch is an attempt to show the west that communist North Korea is a nuclear power player that can bully its way out of economic sanctions.

Hypersonic weapons fly faster than Mach 5 and could pose a threat to missile defense systems because of their speed and maneuverability.  Many experts believe the small communist nation needs more long-range testing to produce a viable hypersonic weapon to threaten democratic nations.  However, communist North Korea could acquire technology from other communist nations.

The U.S. State Department condemned the latest launch, which violates multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions.  The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command believes that the latest launch does not pose an immediate threat to the United States or its allies.