Washington’s ‘credibility at stake’ – Polish FM

America’s promise to do whatever it takes to help Ukraine must be followed up with action, Radoslaw Sikorski has said

The US will lose credibility if Congress fails to approve US President Joe Biden’s request for additional military funding for Ukraine, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has said.

Though the Senate passed a $95 billion bill with aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan earlier this month, opposition from House Republicans stalled the legislation, as they seek to tie their demand for tighter border controls to stem the flow of illegal immigration to renewed aid for Ukraine.

House Speaker Mike Johnson refused to put the bill to a floor vote, saying it could be weeks or even months before Congress sends it to Biden’s desk.

In an interview with CNN’s ‘Fareed Zakaria GPS’ on Sunday, Sikorsky said Ukraine is currently in “defense mode” and is facing defeat on the battlefield because of the lack of ammunition.

“They are outgunned. Around Avdeevka, outgunned in artillery eight to one,” he added, blaming the situation on the front line on House Republicans, who would not pass the supplemental funding bill that includes more than $60 billion in aid for Ukraine.

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Zelensky admitted Ukraine will ‘lose war’ without US aid – Senate leader

Asked what his message to House Speaker Mike Johnson would be, Sikorski responded, “I would say… it is the fate of Ukraine, it is the tortured people of Ukraine that beg you, but it is also the credibility of your country that is at stake.”

He went on to recall Biden’s visit to Kiev last year, saying the president “planted the standard of the United States” by pledging “to do whatever it takes for however long it takes” to help Ukraine prevail, adding that the words need to be backed up by action.

For months, Biden has struggled to have additional military funding for Kiev passed in Congress, arguing that Ukraine will lose the conflict without US assistance.

Earlier this month he blamed the fall of Avdeevka, a key Donbass stronghold for Kiev, on “congressional inaction,” claiming that Ukrainian forces were forced to withdraw due to dwindling supplies of ammunition.

Moscow has condemned the Western arms shipments to Ukraine, arguing that they will only prolong the conflict.

The drug industry’s aggressive reputation began with Pfizer in the 1950s and 1960s

Dr. Vernon Coleman’s track record of spotting health dangers is second to none. Since the 1970s, when his first two groundbreaking books (‘The Medicine Men’ and ‘Paper Doctors’) were published, Dr. Coleman has been gaining friends among patients and enemies among doctors and drug companies.

In ‘The Medicine Men’, Dr. Coleman drew attention to the dangerously close relationship between the medical establishment and the pharmaceutical industry.

The following article is taken from `The Medicine Men’ by Vernon Coleman, first published in 1975 but now available again.

During the postwar years, millions of pounds were spent on developing new and more effective antibiotics. In 1955 Beecham began to study penicillin and started to look for a penicillin which could be given orally and which would have a wider range of activity than the penicillins already available. Their research proved more fruitful than they could have hoped for. In 1957 Beecham scientists isolated the nucleus of the penicillin molecule and they had at their fingertips a whole new range of drugs. In 1959 they made their first semi-synthetic penicillin.

One of the American companies which had helped with the production of penicillin during the war was Pfizer, a chemical company which also discovered the extremely useful antibiotic oxytetracycline.

At the time of this discovery, Pfizer did not themselves market drugs but as a result of this success they decided to do so; they spent an estimated half a million dollars in two months on promoting their new drug. In two years, in the early 1950s, they spent seven-and-a-half million dollars on advertising, using telegrams, telephone calls to doctors, direct mail shots and hospital displays. It was the first time a company had used ordinary commercial methods to sell a drug to doctors. By 1951 Pfizer had three hundred representatives, or “detail men,” and their brand had a quarter of the broad spectrum antibiotic market, which showed that their techniques had paid off.

Read more: The drug industry’s aggressive reputation began with Pfizer in the 1950s and 1960s

Google Isn’t Just Trying to Rewrite History. It’s at the Centre of a Worldwide Web of Censorship

So, Google has been caught manipulating AI images to ensure they fit with its ideological worldview. The backlash was quick, expected and fully justified. There is only one word to describe Gemini AI and that’s ‘racist’. There are those that will bleat it was just a bug and there is nothing untoward about the AI’s creators, but this is false. AIs always embody the spirit of their creators.

Based in California and worth more than the entire Chinese stock market combined, Google is the size of Canada’s economy. This is the company the world trusts with 91% of all search enquiries, our latest news, video content, weather reports, maps, email and music selection, among other things. Globally, over 70% of us use its software to run our phones and businesses spent over $230 billion advertising products and services using its platforms in 2023. It’s fair to say that everyone uses a Google product in one way or another.

This is significant because not only does Google hold colossal amounts of your data, it’s also the gatekeeper of the information you receive. Even more worryingly, it’s now manipulating the past.

Those who control the present, control the past and those who control the past control the future.

— George Orwell, 1984

Read more: Google Isn’t Just Trying to Rewrite History. It’s at the Centre of a Worldwide Web of Censorship

Labour Council Banks Millions in Fines After Introducing Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

Lambeth council has doubled the number of fines issued to motorists, amounting to £50 million, following the introduction of seven controversial low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs). The Telegraph has the story.

Lambeth council handed out a record 392,341 penalty charge notices (PCNs) to drivers and motorcyclists who entered roads closed to motor traffic since the Government roll-out of LTNs in 2020.

If all those fines were paid at the full £130 rate, it would mean the South London council would have made more than £50 million in just four years.

The data, released following a Freedom of Information request to the Labour-run authority, show that between 2015 and 2018, before LTNs were introduced, there were no fines issued for vehicles entering roads closed to motorised traffic, known as Code 52M contraventions.

But with the roll-out of LTNs, the council has now issued a staggering 392,349 Code 52M fines from 2019 boosting the income from motorists.

Read more: Labour Council Banks Millions in Fines After Introducing Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

Face Biometrics Growing Role in Trust Raises Stakes for Fakes

Face biometrics are powering identity checks for employment, air travel, and enterprise access control in some of the most-read stories of the past week on Biometric Update. The latter is through a partnership between Idemia and Microsoft. The threat that generative AI poses, for fraud in general and spoof attacks on face biometric systems in particular, is also reflected in the week’s top headlines. A guest post from Regula highlights how businesses can respond to deepfake crime. And a new tool from OpenAI could be put to nefarious uses, though whether it will and how effectively remain to be seen.

New guidelines have been issued by the UK Home Office for employers carrying out Right to Work checks to clarify the situations in which they are protected from liability by using a certified digital identity service provider (IDSP). Meanwhile, the value of biometrics for background checks was highlighted in a study published by researchers from a pair of American universities.

Read more: Face Biometrics Growing Role in Trust Raises Stakes for Fakes