“Afghanistan is a very cold country because it’s very mountainous. One of their severe [cold periods is] happening right now,” Reza* of Global Catalytic Ministries says.
“Many people are starving. People are even selling their children for food.”
Approximately 80-percent of Afghanistan’s former national budget came from the United States and other foreign donors. In August, the economy subsequently collapsed following the disastrous U.S. troop withdrawal and Taliban takeover.
As a landlocked nation, Afghanistan relies on imports for food and more, and the West isn’t likely to lift sanctions or banking restrictions anytime soon. According to the World Food Program, nearly 23 million Afghans face acute hunger; more than 8.5 million are “on the brink of starvation.”
From an underground leader: “They’re just waiting to see when they will die because it’s hopeless. These things (food) really bring hope again to their hearts and makes them see that yes, God cares for them.” (Photo, caption courtesy of Global Catalytic Ministries)
The United Nations just made its biggest appeal ever for a single country, seeking $5 billion in aid for Afghanistan. But international donors remain skeptical, fearing their assistance will empower the Taliban – not help the people.
Furthermore, “not a lot (of relief work) is [being] done because the Taliban will not allow organizations to come and help it,” Reza says.
Activating hope in Afghanistan
One of the few groups with access to Afghanistan, Global Catalytic Ministries does all it can to keep people alive. “We brought money inside of the country to buy food for people; to buy coal [and] wood because it’s so cold,” Reza says.
“Not everywhere in Afghanistan has natural gas and electricity, so many people use coal and wood to keep their houses warm. We’ve been able to pass out many pounds of it [and] so much food.”
GCM helps believers survive today so they can plan for tomorrow.Afghanistan replaced North Korea on Open Doors’ World Watch List as the world’s worst persecutor of Christians in 2021. However, Reza believes the Lord is about to do something awe-inspiring in Afghanistan.
“One of the focuses we have for 2022 is to rebuild and restore the Church because two-thirds of the believers left the country,” Reza says.
“What has happened with the Taliban taking over the country is a Gideon moment. The believers are dwindling to maybe a few hundred. But through a few hundred, the Lord is going to take over the nation.”
#AceNewsReport – Jan.20: The last time inflation was higher was in March 1992, when it was 7.1%…………And with gas and electricity costs set to increase further soon, analysts warned it could reach that level again: Households have seen their energy bills kept in check by the government’s price cap, which limits the amount suppliers can charge, but this is set to be revised on 1 April: As a result, fuel bills could increase by another 50% in the next few months, the energy industry has warned.
Separate official figures issued on Tuesday showed that average pay rises are failing to keep up with the rise in the cost of living.
Regular pay, excluding bonuses and adjusted for inflation, fell 1% in November compared with the same month in the previous year.
Paul Johnson, director at the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank, said people on low incomes would be particularly hard hit by the squeeze on living standards.
“Everyone, particularly those on modest incomes, has had a long period of wages not really growing any faster than prices over the last decade, so another increase at this point is going to be particularly painful,” he told the BBC.
Stress for young people
Inflation at this level is a new phenomenon for many young people, who were not even born when prices were last rising this fast.
One worker, 24-year-old Alfie Kearns from Liverpool, told the BBC he believed inflation was making it harder to save money so that he can move out of his family home.
“Energy bills and gas and everything has been going up,” he said. “A big thing for me right now is I want to move out, I want my own home and that’s the next step for me and it’s just impossible in the current climate.”
However, there is little sign of a respite for him and others like him, say analysts.
Paul Dales of Capital Economics said inflation was now expected to hit 7% by April.
“That would be higher than the peak of 6% that the Bank of England was forecasting when it raised rates in December,” he added.
“And although inflation will fall back thereafter, we think it will stay above 4% for all of this year and won’t drop to the 2% target until April 2023.”
As a result, he said, the Bank of England’s rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee was likely to raise interest rates faster than most people expected, with the next increase to 0.5% expected in February.
Already-high prices for gas, electricity, food and used cars are set to climb further in the coming months, said BBC economics editor Faisal Islam.
Meanwhile, the Retail Price Index, an inflation measure which is still widely used by government and some businesses, including for wage bargaining, is already at 7.5%.
The concern is not only that the predicted peak of inflation is getting higher, but that it will prove “stickier” than expected, he added.
Kate Greig helps run the Kent Food Hub in Ashford
Businesses, who face soaring wholesale prices, now face the dilemma of whether to pass on those costs to squeezed consumers.
One businesswoman, Kate Greig, helps run Kent Food Hubs, a co-operative that helps traders and producers in the county to sell direct to customers.
She said her suppliers are seeing increases in their material costs, as well as things such as energy bills.
“Food is more expensive, fuel is more expensive,” she told the BBC. “For my traders, raw materials are more expensive, whether that’s the lentils to make a meal or the cardboard they use to package it.”
Commenting on the crisis, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “I understand the pressures people are facing with the cost of living, and we will continue to listen to people’s concerns as we have done throughout the pandemic.”
He said the government was providing support worth about £12bn this financial year and next to help families cope.
Shadow Treasury secretary Pat McFadden said: “These figures show that the cost-of-living crisis is only going to get worse in the coming months.
“Working families are already feeling the crunch. But the triple whammy of an imminent rise in the energy price cap, real wages falling and Tory tax rises coming down the tracks are going to make this crisis even worse.”
#AceNewsReport – Nov.14: In the last four weeks, grocery price inflation in the country reached 2.1%, its highest rate since August 2020, when retailers were forced to cut promotions to keep merchandise on the shelves…..
BBC Business Report: Food price rises highest since August 2020, says Kantar ………Food prices are rising at their fastest pace since August 2020, figures from data firm Kantar suggest, as supply chain disruption continues.
Grocery inflation rose to 2.1% in October – the highest rate since last year, when retailers were cutting promotions amid the Covid pandemic.
Last week, the Bank of England confounded market expectations by holding interest rates.
But with overall inflation heading for about 5%, a rate rise is expected soon.
Supply chains have been under pressure from factors including the pandemic and a shortage of lorry drivers.
Retail and hospitality groups warned MPs on Tuesday that gaps on shelves and inflationary pressures would continue for the months ahead.
Kantar said that the fastest rising food prices included savoury snacks, canned colas and crisps.
However, prices fell for products such as fresh bacon, vegetables and cat and dog treats.
“Grocery prices are rising and this month inflation hit its highest rate since August 2020, when retailers were still cutting promotions to maintain stock on the shelves,” said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar.
“As prices increase in certain categories, we can expect shoppers to continue to visit several supermarkets and shop around to find the best deals.”
Official figures showed overall UK inflation dipped slightly in September, with the rate falling to 3.1% in the year to September, down from 3.2% in October.
However, Shore Capital research analyst Clive Black said that some people were “struggling to believe” the inflation numbers from the Office for National Statistics.
He said the figures were “increasingly treated not with scepticism but incredulity as prices from fuel, energy, food, and building materials rise, offset by what?”
Fuel and oil prices have risen rapidly as economies start to pick up after being battered by the coronavirus pandemic, and as the Opec oil producers’ cartel gradually increases output.
Shortages and bottlenecks in goods including building materials and computer chips have also pushed up prices.
Prices of crisps, cola and snacks are among those rising fastest
Businesses are having difficulties recruiting workers to drive lorries, pick and process food and to staff bars, hotels and restaurants.
However, the Bank of England’s deputy governor Ben Broadbent stated the pandemic is having a greater impact on labour shortages than Brexit currently.
Mr Broadbent stressed that it’s not just a case of losing migrants as workers – but also their spending power in the economy, as many EU workers were younger and economically active.
He added the pandemic has led to a fall in the active workforce that is “not unique” to the UK, shown by the retirement of HGV drivers and younger restaurant staff choosing to go into education.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive officer of UK Hospitality, warned that prices charged by hospitality businesses such as restaurants, bars and hotels were set to rise after Christmas.
Speaking to the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee on Tuesday, she said that many Christmas events offered by her members had been pre-booked, which made it harder to push through price increases to cover higher costs.
“You’re going to see a really intense squeeze on margins in the run-up to Christmas,” she said, but then prices were likely to rise in the new year.
“Some of our businesses are anticipating three price increases to consumers going through before we get to April.”
Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, told MPs it “will be Christmas as we know it” in shops, but the range of products will be reduced, as is already the case in lots of food categories.
Frozen poultry sales are 27% higher compared with last year, with people spending an additional £6.1m in the past four weeks.
In addition, 1.6 million households bought their Christmas pudding in October as well, which is 400,000 more than last year, Kantar said.
Customers are getting used to seeing gaps on shelves, and menu items missing in restaurants, and we’re already shopping differently as a result.
Gone are the days of the Christmas Eve mega-shop where you pile everything you need into an impossible to push trolley. Now we’re buying early, freezing more, and throwing in a few extra bits when they are available, just in case.
It’s almost impossible for businesses to predict what those holes will be from one week to the next, as worker shortages in the supply chain continue to cause problems.
That means we’ll not only be shopping around to try and save money as prices rise, but we’ll also have to try different stores at different moments just to get everything on the list.
Kantar analysts say the fastest-growing prices are currently seen in savory snacks, canned colas, and crisps. Prices of fresh bacon, vegetables, and pet food are declining.
As prices grow amid supply chain disruptions and truck driver shortages, Kantar notes that Britons tend to visit several supermarkets in search of the best deals.
“Already, households visit an average of 3.3 supermarkets per month in order to find the best value for money,” researchers state.They also note that ‘take-home’ grocery sales in the country fell by 1.9% year-on-year from August to October. Still, the sales were 7.3% higher than in pre-pandemic 2019.
The report also notes that Britons’ “shopping habits are beginning to settle at a new baseline,” explaining that, in general, consumers tend to visit the supermarket less often, but buy more during these visits.
“Households visited the supermarket 15.7 times in the past month on average. That’s a slight increase from the 15.3 trips we saw at this time in 2020, but consumers are still making 40 million fewer trips per month than they were in 2019,” analysts say, adding that “at this rate of change, it would take three years to get back to our old shopping patterns.”
However, as the winter festive season is nearing, Kantar reports that Britons have already started to stock up on holiday goods, with frozen poultry sales up 27% year-on-year and 4.7 million households already buying mince pies.
#AceNewsReport – Sept.06: Global UK pork exports were worth over £421 million to our economy in 2020, reaching 75 export markets worldwide. According to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, access to the Mexican market alone is estimated to be worth £50 million to UK pork producers over the first five years of trade…
#AceDailyNews reports that Mexican market is now open for British pork for the first time, which means a potential boost of £50m over the first five years of trade: British exporters can now tap into this brand-new market, which boasts high demand for high quality pork meat….
This is another success for UK food and drink exports, following successes in gaining access for UK beef to the USA, UK poultry, beef and lamb to Japan, and pork to Taiwan.
Defra Secretary of State George Eustice said:
It is great to see another market open its doors to high quality, high welfare UK produce.
Access to the Mexican market, with its substantial demand for high-quality pork, will be a welcome boost for our pig farmers and producers.
This is a significant development, which will reinforce our global reputation for quality food and drink.
As a world leader in animal welfare, UK pork is globally recognised for its provenance, quality and traceability. Through the GREAT Britain & Northern Ireland campaign, the UK government aims to raise the international profile and reputation of food and drink from across the UK and help more food and drink companies export their produce abroad.
Today’s development follows over four years of negotiations and inspections. The Mexican National Department for Health, Safety and Agricultural and Food Quality (SENASICA) inspected numerous premises throughout the UK during a visit which occurred in February 2020, which led to a decision to approve four processing facilities and four associated cold stores in England and Wales.
UK Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Richard Irvine, said:
The UK is proud of our high standards of food safety and the quality of food we are able to produce.
Gaining access for the export of British pork to Mexico represents yet another success for British Industry and continues to enhance our global reputation for excellence.
These inspections were led by Defra and the UK Export Certification Partnership (UKECP) and hosted by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), with support from UK national and devolved government departments and agencies, including DIT Mexico.
The UK and Mexico have committed to begin negotiating a new and ambitious free trade agreement this year, which will go much further than the existing deal. These negotiations will complement our accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific partnership (CPTPP), an increasingly influential trade network of 11 dynamic economies spanning from the Indo-Pacific region to the Americas.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said:
This is a huge win for our farmers and food producers and I look forward to seeing high-quality British pork being enjoyed in Mexico very soon.
British businesses can look forward to the benefits of a new and ambitious trade agreement with Mexico which we will be negotiating this year, and wins like these are an important step towards our accession to CPTPP that will see our global trade hit new heights.
AHDB International Market Development Director Dr Phil Hadley said:
Today’s announcement is a fantastic boost for the UK’s pork industry and offers another potential export market for our red meat during a challenging year.
Pork from the UK is trusted and favoured worldwide due to its exceptional quality, high welfare and food safety standards. This new approval will offer a wealth of opportunities for our exporters and is a testament to the hard work of industry and government to open new markets as we look to the future.
Pork will join a broad range of livestock genetics that the UK already successfully exports to Mexico. Access for bovine embryos was secured in 2020, joining bovine semen, a market worth over £130,000 annually over the last five years. Consequently, our high-quality cattle breeds are helping to develop Mexican herds. In addition, we have a well-established ovine genetics export market from the UK, with award-winning rams and ewes being bred in Mexico.
Jonathan Knott, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Latin America and the Caribbean, said:
I‘m delighted that British pork can finally enter the Mexican market, after four years of intense negotiations with the Mexican authorities.
Once again Mexican consumers can enjoy these quality British products – and UK pork exporters have access to this important and growing market. Another success in our campaign to reduce barriers to trade between our countries.
#AceHealthReport – July.23: Regulations will be laid in Parliament that will require medium and large businesses, including those with 50 or more employees, to phase out their offering of multibuy promotions such as “buy one get one free” or “3 for 2” offers on HFSS products.
#AceHealthDesk reports on Promotions of unhealthy foods that followed a consultation with industry, the government will restrict unhealthy food promotions in stores from October 2022….including ‘ buy-one-get-one-free or 3 for 2 on HFSS products….
Restrictions will apply to medium and large retailers
Measures form a key part of the government’s strategy to tackle obesity and get the nation fit and healthy
Less healthy promotions will also no longer be featured in key locations, such as checkouts, store entrances, aisle ends and their online equivalents. Free refills of sugary soft drinks will also be prohibited in the eating-out sector.
Today’s announcement follows consultation with industry and the government has considered industry’s feedback and has made the decision to extend the implementation date of this policy – from April 2022 to October 2022 – to allow businesses enough time to prepare for these restrictions.
The government will continue to work with businesses, trade associations and local authorities to ensure they are supported in implementing the new requirements ahead of them coming into force. This will include sharing draft guidance with industry and local authorities to provide further clarity on how these restrictions will need to be implemented in practice.
As part of the regulations, the government will provide local authorities with the option of issuing civil penalties for non-compliance with the promotions restrictions.
These measures will support people in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and improve the nation’s health. Over 25 years, these measures are estimated to accrue combined health benefits of approximately £60 million, according to the value that society places on changes in the quality and length of people’s lives as a result of fewer cases of obesity. They will make supermarkets and other retailers places where the healthier choice is the easy choice for everyone and support people to lead healthier lives.
Public Health Minister Jo Churchill, said:
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the impact that an unhealthy weight can have on people’s health. We know families want the healthy choice to be the easy choice, and restricting promotions on unhealthy foods will help them achieve this.
We want to support everyone to eat healthier foods more regularly and this starts with helping supermarkets and manufacturers promote healthier food choices lower or free from HFSS, to support families to make healthier choices.
These restrictions will come into force from October 2022. I look forward to working together with everyone to ensure that for families a healthy option is the easy option when shopping.
Obesity is one of the biggest health crises the country faces as almost two-thirds (63%) of adults in England are overweight or living with obesity and 1 in 3 children leave primary school overweight or obese. Obesity-related illnesses cost the NHS £6 billion a year.
Further action as part of the government’s obesity strategy to get the nation fit and healthy will see the introduction of mandatory calorie labelling in restaurants, cafes and takeaways from April 2022 and restrictions for the advertising of HFSS products being shown on TV before 9pm and online coming into force at the end of 2022.
There is a two-stage process to define what products are captured by the promotions restrictions. This two-step process ensures the restrictions apply to the products of most concern to childhood obesity whilst allowing the healthiest products within categories to be excluded. First the products will only be subject to the restrictions if they are in a narrowed set of categories listed in regulations. If a product falls into one of these categories, then the second stage is to apply the 2004/05 Nutrient profiling Model (NPM). If a food products scores 4 or above or a drink product scores 1 or above it will be considered as HFSS and not able to be promoted.
The government’s Impact Assessment for the promotions policy can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/restricting-promotions-of-food-and-drink-that-is-high-in-fat-sugar-and-salt
#AceNewsReport – June.18: Alex Padovano believed the food she bought for Penelope was the very best: But a short time after learning her kitten had contracted a bone marrow condition, Ms Padovano said Penelope had to be put down:
Fold Hill and the Food Standards Agency said there is a possible link between the products and a bone marrow condition called pancytopenia: Sainsbury’s and Pets at Home have recalled a type of dry cat food over a potential link to the fatal disease.
By Tom Espiner Business reporter, BBC News
Cat owners are being advised to return food made on behalf of retailers by the manufacturer, Fold Hill, as a precaution.
Ms Padovano, 26, said she had fed Penelope Ava pet food, which is sold by Pets at Home, since she brought the kitten home at just three months old.
However, she was forced to take the kitten to a vet a fortnight ago.
Alex PadovanoPenelope was eight months old when she died
“She was doing really well on the Sunday,” said Ms Padovano. “But on the Monday she took a turn for the worse. She was bleeding out of her ears and mouth.”
The vet did a blood transfusion but the treatment, costing more than £3,500, was not enough to save Penelope.
Ms Padovano says she does not know if the food she fed her kitten contributed but if a link is proven that would be “horrific and horrendous”.
The disease causes a cat’s blood cell count to fall rapidly, leading to serious illness and sometimes death.
“Typically, we may see one case of this per year, but we have seen now 10 cats with severe pancytopenia in the last four weeks,” said Dr Barbara Glanemann, senior lecturer in small animal medicine at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC).
“Given the rarity of this condition, the clustering of these cases is concerning.”
The college is aware of between 40 and 50 affected cats around the country. She said that some animals had become unwell at the same time and from the same household.
A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “We are supporting an investigation into a possible safety issue affecting cats.
“We are not willing to take any risks where the safety of our products is concerned and so we are voluntarily recalling these products and asking customers not to use them and to return the packs to their nearest Sainsbury’s store for a full refund.”
A Pets at Home spokesman said that it was aware of the rise in pancytopenia cases identified by the RVC.
“The health and wellbeing of pets is our top priority, which is why we are supporting the manufacturer’s product recall of Ava and Applaws dry cat food ranges,” the spokesperson said.
“This is a precautionary measure while further investigations are carried out and we are working closely with the Food Standards Agency, RVC and wider industry to determine the cause.”
The agreement promotes the sustainable management and long-term viability of cod, haddock, plaice, whiting, herring, and saithe stocks in the North Sea. The catch levels agreed for 2021 are worth over £184 million to the UK fishing industry.
This is the first time the UK has participated in the talks as an independent coastal State. Throughout negotiations the UK has pressed for catch limits – known as total allowable catches – to be set sustainably to ensure the long-term future of the fisheries industry.
Fisheries Minister Victoria Prentis said:
Today we successfully concluded the first trilateral fisheries negotiations between the UK, EU and Norway.
As an independent coastal state we are committed to managing our fisheries sustainably, to the benefit of the fishing industry across the UK and our marine environment, now and in the years to come.
UK Government Minister for Scotland David Duguid said:
For the first time in decades we have concluded our first trilateral negotiations with the EU and Norway as an independent coastal state.
The outcome represents an increase in the total allowable catch of certain key stocks for Scotland – such as Haddock and Whiting.
Agreements have also been made which safeguard the long-term viability of some other key stocks such as cod.
We remain committed to supporting the industry and being a champion for our coastal communities on the world stage.
Of the stocks jointly-managed with the EU and Norway, five out of six have been set in line with or lower than the catch level advised by ICES, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. This results in catch reductions for North Sea cod (-10%), plaice (-2%), saithe (-25%) and herring (-7.4%) compared with 2020, but increases in haddock (+20%) and whiting (+19%).
The agreed catch limit for haddock is well within the sustainable limits advised by the scientific body ICES. This will encourage the recovery of other key stocks in the North Sea mixed fishery.
North Sea cod will be subject to a slightly smaller reduction than the -16.5% recommended by ICES. The three parties supported this approach as it would allow the stock to recover at a similar pace to that set out in the scientific advice. Furthermore, the catch limit is accompanied by the UK’s ongoing cod avoidance plan which applies to all vessels in UK waters. The plan establishes measures to support the long-term recovery of the stock in UK waters, these include ‘real-time closures’ to protect high abundances of cod and selective fishing gear.
The UK Government has worked closely throughout the negotiations with the Scottish Government and other administrations to reach this consensus.
This trilateral agreement marks the conclusion of the first in a series of annual fisheries negotiations. Bilateral negotiations are underway with the EU, Faroes Islands and Norway to confirm access arrangements and quota exchanges, where applicable.
#AceNewsReport – Dec.11: On Tuesday Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced details and results from an operation at a super-spreader event on Saturday, December 5, 2020, in Palmdale: The operation was done with extensive coordination and meticulous planning from various bureaus and units, including the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station, Human Trafficking Force, Operation Safe Streets Bureau, Aero Bureau, three patrol squads of the Mobile Field Force Personnel, and the Los Angeles County Fire Department
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department obtained information that a massive underground party would occur at a vacant house in Palmdale. Previous incidents revealed parties like these often involve drugs, prostitution, underage drinking, and violence: During the well-executed operation on the 6300 blocks of West Avenue M8, 158 individuals were arrested; 116 of them were adults, and 35 were juveniles: Six firearms were confiscated: Most importantly, a girl that was categorized as a Commercially Sexually Exploited Child was rescued: The event was not only a violation of the Governor’s health order, but it was also criminal in nature:
Sheriff Villanueva asked local and state politicians to reconsider allowing the restaurant industry to re-open and instead target super-spreader events, which account for most COVID-19 transmissions: ” We will continue to apply common sense to our enforcement actions and weigh the letter of the law with the spirit of the law. It is my firm belief that this approach is a more efficient and effective means to manage the spread of this potentially deadly virus,” said Sheriff Villanueva:
#AceNewsReport – Nov.05: The United States has seized 27 domain names that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) unlawfully used to further a global covert influence campaign: As described in the seizure documents, all 27 domains were being used in violation of U.S. sanctions targeting both the Government of Iran and the IRGC. Four of the domains purported to be genuine news outlets but were actually controlled by the IRGC and targeted audiences in the United States, to covertly influence United States policy and public opinion, in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The remainder targeted audiences in other parts of the world: This seizure warrant follows an earlier seizure of 92 domains used by the IRGC for similar purposes:
“ Today’s 27 seizures are another important step against Iran’s worldwide disinformation campaign,” said U.S. Attorney Anderson. “This work will continue. We cannot allow Iran’s attachment to fake news to overtake our commitment to the rule of law.”
“ Within the last month we have announced seizures of Iran’s weapons, fuel, and covert influence infrastructure,” said John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security. “As long as Iran’s leaders are trying to destabilize the world through the state-sponsorship of terrorism and the taking of hostages, we will continue to enforce U.S. sanctions and take other legal steps to counter them.”
“ The FBI is aggressively investigating any evidence of foreign influence and the unlawful spread of disinformation by hostile nations. Today, we seized 27 additional domains that Iran’s IRGC was illegally using in attempt to manipulate public opinion in other countries, including the United States,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Craig D. Fair. “Thanks to our ongoing collaboration with Google, Facebook, and Twitter, the FBI was able to disrupt this Iranian propaganda campaign and we will continue to pursue any attempts by foreign actors to spread disinformation in our country.”
The seizure warrant, issued on Nov. 3, 2020, describes how the 27 seized domain names were being operated in violation of federal law: Control of the domains by the IRGC violated the International Emergency and Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR), which prohibit U.S. persons from providing services to the Government of Iran without a license. Further, the United States has found that the IRGC has provided material support to a number of terrorist groups, including Hizballah, Hamas, and the Taliban. As such, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) added the IRGC to its list of Specially Designated Nationals, imposing additional licensing requirements. As described in the seizure documents, the 27 domains were registered with U.S.-based domain registrars and used top-level domains owned by U.S.-based registries. Neither the IRGC nor the Government of Iran obtained a license from OFAC prior to using the domain names and obtaining services from the U.S. providers:
” In addition, four of the 27 domain names, “rpfront.com,” “ahtribune.com,” “awdnews.com,” and “criticalstudies.org,” were also seized pursuant to FARA. FARA establishes a registration, reporting, and disclosure regime for agents of foreign principals (including foreign governments and their agencies) so that the U.S. government and the people of the United States are informed of the source of information and the identity of persons attempting to influence U.S. public opinion, policy, and law ”
FARA requires, among other things, that persons subject to its requirements submit periodic registration statements containing truthful information about their activities and the income earned from them: Disclosure of the required information allows the federal government and the American people to evaluate the statements and activities of such persons in light of their function as foreign agents. Here, the four domains purported to be independent news outlets, but they were actually operated by or on behalf of the IRGC to target the United States with pro-Iranian propaganda in an attempt to covertly influence the American people to change United States policy concerning Iran and the Middle East:
These domains targeted a United States audience without proper registration pursuant to FARA and without notifying the American public with a conspicuous label that the content of the domains was being published on behalf of foreign principals, the IRGC and the Government of Iran:
#AceNewsReport – Nov.04: Trump Campaign Sues Michigan To Halt Counting Ballots The following is a statement below: As votes in Michigan continue to be counted, the presidential race in the state remains extremely tight as we always knew it would be. President Trump’s campaign has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law. We have filed suit today in the Michigan Court of Claims to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted. We also demand to review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access. President Trump is committed to ensuring that all legal votes are counted in Michigan and everywhere else.”
President Donald Trump’s campaign says it has filed a lawsuit trying to halt the vote count in battleground Michigan.
The latest counts gives Trump’s Democratic challenger Joe Biden a small lead, but the race is still too early to call.
Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien says in a statement Wednesday that the campaign “has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law.”
He says a suit was filed Wednesday in the Michigan Court of Claims “to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted.”
Michigan is a critical battleground state that helped deliver Trump the presidency four years ago, along with Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Neither Wisconsin or Pennsylvania has been called yet.
#AceNewsReport – Nov.02: Stephen Shipps, 67, of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Shipps was arrested last Thursday: From 1989 to 2019, Shipps was employed by the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance as a violin professor. Shipps was also the director of the Strings Preparatory Program, which offered instruction to young musicians ranging from elementary school through high school-age. Shipps retired from the University of Michigan in February 2019: In addition, Shipps served on the faculties of Indiana University, the North Carolina School of the Arts, the University of Nebraska – Omaha, and the Banff Centre in Canada. He also taught students at summer music programs in the Czech Republic, Germany, and the United Kingdom:
The indictment alleges that in February and March of 2002, as well as in June and July of 2002, Shipps knowingly transported a young girl, who was under 18 years old, across state lines, and Shipps intended to engage in sexual activity with her: I’m very proud of the work that ICE HSI did to bring this person to justice who appears to have preyed on multiple victims by exploiting his position as their professor. He breached their trust: These are the types of cases that ICE gets involved with to protect the public and children in our communities,” said ICE Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director Tony H. Pham: ” Thanks to the bravery of Shipps’ alleged victims and painstaking investigative work by HSI, this disgraced professor is being held accountable for coercing vulnerable young women into sex, in some cases in the distant past,” said Vance Callender, HSI special agent in charge of Michigan and Ohio. “This case underscores our commitment to pursue sexual predators and bring some measure of justice to the victims.”
“ We are committed to the safety and well-being of the most vulnerable members of our society – our children,” stated United States Attorney Matthew Schneider: ” For over 20 years, Stephen Shipps had close interactions with many young girls who were gifted musicians. Shipps met with these young girls both inside and outside of the State of Michigan. Our determination and commitment to seeking justice for victims has no time limit.” ……………………If convicted of both counts, Shipps faces a statutory maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison:
#AceNewsReport – Oct.28: U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Cox Announces: Jeremy OKieth Kyle, also known as Corey Webster, also known as Rick, also known as Derrick Willis, also known as Eric Sanders, also known as Brad Smith, also known as Jason, also known as J, pleaded guilty on Feb. 19, 2020, to three counts of coercion and enticement and was sentenced to 840 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Jeremy D. Kernodle today:
According to information presented in court, between 2013 and 2018, Kyle, a convicted sex offender, committed numerous offenses against eighteen minor female victims and four adult female victims: He used a variety of false personas and promises of love and money to convince the victims to meet him and engage in sexual encounters. He acquired images and videos of the victims engaged in sexually explicit conduct and threatened to distribute those images and videos in order to coerce more sexual encounters”
“What this man did is a tragedy: These young victims were treated in ways no person should ever be treated,” said U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Cox. “This case also serves as a warning to parents: exploitation and abuse can be one click away in today’s social media and technological environment. Parents should take strong precautions to protect children from victimization.”
“Predators are targeting children of all ages online by using threats and manipulative tactics: The FBI will continue working with our partners to hold these online predators accountable for their dangerous behavior,” said FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno. “We encourage potential victims and their parents to contact the FBI or local law enforcement if they are targeted online.”
Anyone who had contact, in person or on social media, with an individual who identified himself as Jeremy OKieth Kyle, Corey Webster, Rick, Derrick Willis, Eric Sanders, Brad Smith, Jason, or J, is urged to contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 1-800-804-3547. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will take the necessary steps to protect the individuals’ identities and confidential information.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.28: On Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 10:15 am, a UPS employee was delivering packages of prescription medicine at the Bizmart Pharmacy, located at 9504 Long Point, in Houston, Texas. As the delivery driver was dropping off two packages, he noticed an unknown male approaching his open truck. The complainant stated that something didn’t feel right about the male walking towards him, so he set the packages down at the front door of the pharmacy and began walking back towards his truck, at which time two additional males appeared and pinned him against his truck and held him there while the other suspect grabbed the packages at the door. During the robbery, one of the suspect stated that they had a gun and threatened the complainant if he resisted. The suspects then ran back to a blue Nissan Rogue and a dark colored Dodge Charger and fled the scene:
Houston police looking for crooks who robbed 2 different delivery drivers a few hours apart at the same pharmacy.
One driver set the packages by the door and began walking back towards his truck when the suspects pinned him against his truck and stole the packages. pic.twitter.com/RgJ3rdQ6wy
The same suspects are believed to be responsible for another robbery a few hours later at the same location: In that robbery, a FedEx employee was delivering a package to the pharmacy when two unknown males ran up to him and forcibly grabbed the package that he was delivering. The suspects then ran back to the Dodge Charger and fled the scene. Houston PD #1359636-20
Suspect description: Black male, 20 to 25 years old, thin build, black jacket, black pants and wore sandals. Suspect #2: Black male, 20 to 25 years old, thin build, gray hoodie, blue jeans and black shoes. Suspect #3: Black male, orange 20 to 25 years old, heavy set, orange hoodie, blue jeans and white and black shoes: Breaking911 https://ift.tt/35DkE0F
Crime Stoppers may pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the charging and/or arrest of the suspect in this case. Information may be reported by calling 713-222-TIPS (8477) or submitted online at https://ift.tt/MULYJo
#AceNewsReport – Oct.23: On Thursday afternoon, around 2:30, Merced Police Officers responded to a report of gunshot heard in the 1600 block of East 26th Street: Officers responded to the scene and located the crime scene at a home on East 26th Street: Officers also received a report of a 5-year-old gunshot victim dropped off at Mercy Hospital according to Breaking911
The man who dropped off the victim was seen leaving the hospital. Officers attempted to stop the subject, but the driver refused to stop and engaged in a high-speed pursuit: The driver finally stopped and was taken into custody and was identified as Rodney Matthews:
Detectives believe the 5 year old victim was accidentally shot by another child-aged family member: Rodney Matthews was arrested and booked on charges of child endangerment which resulted in the death of a child, felony reckless driving while evading officers, and a prohibited person in possession of firearms and ammunition:
Merced Police Detectives and the Crime Scene Response Team responded to the crime scene and are investigating:
#AceNewsReport – Oct.20: Erick Acosta, 32, of Bayonne, has been charged in relation to the death of Crystal Ojeda who was found dead in her apartment on Lord Avenue in Bayonne last Friday, October 9, 2020. He is charged with murder, a crime of the first degree; Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purposes, a crime of the third degree; and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, a crime of the fourth degree; and Tampering With Evidence), a crime of the fourth degree: Acosta, who has used multiple aliases including Alexander Ojeda, Luis Cubi, and Jonathan Ortiz, may be in the Monmouth or Ocean County area. Anyone who sees Acosta should not approach him, but should immediately contact police:
On October 9, 2020, shortly before 1 p.m., members of the Bayonne Police Department responded to 30 Lord Avenue to do a welfare check of a resident. Upon arrival, responding police officers found an unresponsive female victim with visible trauma:
The victim, later identified as Crystal Ojeda, age 40, of Bayonne, was pronounced dead at approximately 1:55 p.m: The Regional Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the head and body and the manner of death to be homicide. The two were believed to be in a relationship, but a spokeswoman with the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office declined to elaborate further:
The Seattle Police Department (SPD): The suspect can be seen in the video using a burning piece of lumber to attack an officer in his patrol car. The suspect then runs away as the officer opens fire. Detectives later booked the 37-year-old suspect, who was not struck by gunfire, into King County Jail. The officer, Caleb Pomazon, has been with the Seattle Police Department for one year and is currently on paid administrative leave per department policy. Around 1:30 PM, an officer was in their patrol vehicle in an alley between Dexter Avenue and John Street looking for a man who was reportedly brandishing a flaming piece of lumber:
The officer found the man, who threw the flaming lumber—believed to be a 2×2—into the patrol vehicle while the officer was still inside: Additional responding officers chased the man into a parking garage where they deployed a taser and took him into custody. One officer is believed to have discharged a firearm during the incident. The suspect was not struck. Additionally, as officers were arresting the man, the flames from the burning lumber engulfed the entire patrol vehicle. One officer was transported to Harborview Medical Center with non-life-threatening burns.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.19: Homicide Unit detectives are investigating Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. apparent drug-related shooting that fatally wounded three men outside the 2724 Old Elm Hill Pike residence of one of the victims, Gennaro Daniele:
Responding officers found Daniele, 29, and Jesus Torrero, 27, wounded in the parking lot: They were transported to Vanderbilt Medical Center where they died. According to witnesses, a gunman fired at Daniele and Torrero from behind the building during an apparent exchange of gunfire. The gunman fled in a newer model burgundy Chevrolet sedan bearing dealer tags: A short time later, a car matching that description, occupied by three young black men, attempted to drop off a gunshot victim, later identified as Quencharios Edmonds, 28, at Summit Medical Center: They sped away after being approached by hospital staff: Edmonds was later located deceased from multiple gunshot wounds inside his SUV parked on Enon Springs Road in Smyrna: A surveillance photo of the burgundy Chevrolet sedan is attached:
‘ During the execution of a search warrant at 2724 Old Elm Hill Pike, detectives recovered seven pounds of marijuana, 500 ecstasy pills, a pistol, and $42,836 cash ‘
Anyone who sees the Chevrolet sedan or has information about the shooting is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463: Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and qualify for a cash reward:
#AceBreakingNews – RUSSIA:Dec.10 – In a couple of years Russia will be able to substitute 100 percent of “unnecessary” food imports, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said during his live TV interview Wednesday.
“We are able to fully replace needless imports in the mid-term,” said Medvedev.
Medvedev said the shift won’t be immediate, but the good thing is that shelves in the stores throughout Russia have already become full of domestically made produce.
“We are serious people and we’ve never said that we’d get all Russian agricultural items the next day after introducing response measures [to Western sanctions – Ed.],” he said adding that the goal of filling shelves with domestic production is gradually being achieved.
His comment comes at a time when the Russian economy is struggling to withstand oil prices that have plunged more than 40 percent from a peak of $115 per barrel in the summer.
The Russian currency has gone into free fall, touching new lows every day. The ruble was trading at 54.3 against the US dollar and at 67.3 against the euro at 1200 MSK Wednesday on the Moscow Exchange.