Several masked men broke into vault complex in Tel Aviv on Thursday night, abducted the security guard and robbed dozens of safes

Several masked men broke into a vault complex in Tel Aviv on Thursday night, abducted the security guard and stole cash and valuables from dozens of safes.

According to reports in Israeli media on Friday, the robbers tied the security guard and threatened to harm him if he tried to resist and interfere with their plan.

Police do not know at this stage the exact value of what has been stolen and a special investigation team has been set up to investigate.

The incident occurred on Thursday at around 6:00 p.m., the reports said. A group of masked men arrived at a compound belonging to the Ruthenium company and which includes hundreds of safes containing money and property worth millions of shekels.

It is believed the robbers knew the compound and its security plans well, which made it easier for them to carry out the robbery.

They apparently took the security guard to the basement, where they warned him, “Do not mess with us, we did not come to hurt you. Be quiet and you will stay alive. If you are not quiet – we will hurt you.”

While one of the robbers was watching the security guard, the other robbers smashed and broke into dozens of safes of their choice, emptying them. They then fled the scene with property, cash and valuables.

Police have collected the security cameras around the compound but there are currently no suspects, and a manhunt is underway in an attempt to track down the robbers.

Source: Arutz Sheva

IDF cancels weapons permits for soldiers

The IDF General Staff Operations Department has issued an urgent warning to all IDF units, including “immediate instructions to IDF units regarding the security of firearms in soldier’s homes in light of warnings that soldiers may be targeted for burglary” and that “criminal elements intend to break into homes throughout Israel to steal firearms.”

In the document, which reached Israel National News – Arutz Sheva, various instructions are given as to how to secure firearms, as well as instructions for commanders to “examine the necessity” for soldiers to leave their base with weapons.

The Torat Halehima organization reports that dozens of combat soldiers have complained to the organization that their officers have canceled all permits to leave base with their firearms, despite the recent spate of terrorist activity in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem, and other areas in the country.

“Every soldier must be able to protect both civilians and the state outside their base. That is what we are trained to do from our first day in uniform. If need be, we must also be ready to defend ourselves as well – people do target soldiers if they see one in uniform,” said Yotam, a soldier in training in the IDF’s ground forces.

His friend David added: “As a combat soldier who is currently in advanced training, it is obvious to me that every soldier on leave needs their gun with them. That is the whole purpose of a soldier – to protect Israel’s civilians. We can’t do that without weapons.”

Eitan, another combat soldier who lives in Jerusalem, noted: “I went through combat training, marksmanship, and hand-to-hand instruction. I live in Jerusalem, where there are daily Arab riots, and am not allowed to take my weapon home with me. This is disgraceful.”

Torat Halehima has presented this problem to a number of IDF officers over the course of the week, noting the ethical discrepancy between the IDF’s decision to cancel weapons permits and the thefts carried out, according to the organization, “mainly by Bedouins and Arabs, with the intent of arming the Arabs’ fifth column.”

“In the face of an Arab enemy rearing its head throughout Israel, weapons are not the problem but the solution. The Israeli government, IDF, and the Israel Police display a worrying degree of inaction in this regard, allowing an uninhibited flow of arms to Arab cities,” the organization commented.

“It is for precisely that reason that soldiers must be allowed to take their weapons home on leave, and to protect themselves and those around them.”

The IDF did not issue comment.

Source: Arutz Sheva

Five key takeaways from latest Putin-Biden call

Thursday’s 50-minute call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden touched on security issues that are expected to be discussed at length next month in a series of high-level diplomatic meetings.

Here are the key points the two leaders discussed:

Biden signals that compromise with Russia over Ukraine is possible

The US President reportedly indicated that Washington was not planning to deploy “offensive strike weapons in Ukraine,” the Kremlin said after the call.

Top Putin aide Yury Ushakov said obtaining a verbal pledge had been “one of the key points” for Moscow, as far as the proposals Russia had made to the West about its security were concerned. The White House appeared to pour cold water on the claim of any promise having been made, however, stating that Biden had made “no declaration as to intentions” during the conversation.

Biden reveals what US will do if Russia ‘invades Ukraine’

Biden “made clear” that the US and its allies would “respond decisively” if Russia moved to invade Ukraine, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, following the call. If Russia chose to “proceed with a further invasion of Ukraine,” it would face “serious” consequences, including “economic costs,” “adjustments and augmentations of [NATO’s] force posture in Allied countries,” and “additional assistance to Ukraine,” an unnamed senior US official warned. The US and its partners have accused the Kremlin of fomenting tensions at the border with its neighbor, citing an alleged Russian military build-up. Moscow has consistently denied speculation that it is planning an invasion.

Putin outlines Russia’s response to potential US sanctions

Responding to a threat of wide-ranging penalties should there be moves against Ukraine, Putin noted that the imposition of further punitive measures would deal a deadly blow to US-Russia relations. “Unprecedented sanctions” targeting Russia’s economy, and financial and military industry, if imposed, would lead to a “complete breakdown” of bilateral ties, Ushakov said, and such a scenario would be “a colossal mistake.”

Format for Russia’s new-year talks with West revealed

The call was designed to set what the White House called the “tone and tenor” for a series of diplomatic meetings scheduled to take place in the first half of January.

The exchanges will be conducted in three formats: a Russia-US meeting to be held on January 9 and 10 in Geneva, followed by another in Brussels between Russia and NATO on January 12, and a final encounter on January 13 at the level of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Putin sets out end-goal of talks with US and NATO

In his call with Biden, Putin had also laid out the security guarantees Moscow has requested of the US and NATO, the Kremlin stated.

The Russian president had stressed that, while the mere fact of their negotiating was important, he expected concrete results from their meetings.

Moscow’s ultimate goal was to obtain the necessary guarantees regarding its security, Putin told Biden, according to Ushakov. The US president appeared to take the demand “quite seriously,” the adviser said.

Source: RT

The divine revelation to humanity in complete darkness

Parshat Va’eira focuses on the Creator’s revelation to humanity, which ultimately came about through the plagues brought against Egypt. The word Va’eira itself is taken from a statement the Creator made to Moshe and means “I appeared,” emphasizing how He’s perceived by the world.

The parsha begins with the Creator elaborating on His response to Moshe at the end of Parshat Sh’mot, when Moshe expressed concern that his initial efforts to convince Pharaoh to free the children of Israel not only failed but even led to increased hardships for the Hebrew slaves.

In Sh’mot 6, verse 2, we see Elokim – a name connoting the Divine attribute of judgement that’s often translated into English as “God” – introduce Himself to Moshe as the Shem Havaya, the Name spelled Yud-Kei-Vav-Kei, which we generally substitute by saying HaShem. It’s a Name that’s generally used when expressing the Creator’s attribute of Divine mercy.

This was already an answer to Moshe’s concern, highlighting how Creation is designed in such a way that often necessitates initial severity in order for mercy to be properly realized. The message to Moshe here was that the recent intensification of Israel’s oppression was actually necessary for accelerating Hebrew liberation.

In verse 3, HaShem further told Moshe that “Va’eira – I appeared – to Avraham, to Yitzḥak and to Yaakov as El Shadai, but with My Name HaShem I did not make Myself known to them.”

The patriarchs certainly knew the Name HaShem but didn’t “know” it the sense of actually experiencing it, because the prophecy they received from the Creator remained only a promise in their lifetimes. Truly experiencing HaShem requires the fulfillment of prophetic promise.

After this dialogue, the Torah’s narrative is suddenly interrupted with a detailed presentation of Moshe and Aharon’s genealogy. While Parshat Sh’mot expresses the suppression of individual identity under Egypt by for the most part not providing personal names, Parshat Va’eira offers many names, indicating that self-awareness was increasing as the process of the Exodus began.

Sh’mot 6, verses 14 and 15 begin the genealogical record with the tribes of Reuven and Shimon to show that the tribe of Levi’s value is greatest when appraised within the context of the broader nation of Israel. One reason for these verses being placed here specifically might be that by establishing Moshe’s place within the nation, they show us that his identification and connection with his people was growing stronger. In our last episode, we saw how Moshe’s disappointment with Israel led to a plan to start a new Hebrew nation in Midian that would replace the Israeli slaves in advancing the mission of Avraham.

So long as Moshe wasn’t able to recognize his own place within the tribes of Israel, he couldn’t lead the people out of Egypt. From this perspective, the purpose of the Torah detailing Moshe’s lineage here should be understood as informing us that this lineage was now becoming more central to Moshe’s own self-identification.

The Torah portion of Va’eira serves to essentially teach us the difference between the Creator’s appearance to Israel’s patriarchs and His appearance to the world at large through Egypt’s collapse. But appreciating what this means requires us to understand the Egyptian ideology and how its oppressive shadow had conditioned humanity to reject any notions of ethical or moral progress.

Ancient Egyptian philosophy understood life as fixed and recurrent cycles of materialism determined by the immutable laws of nature that all human endeavors must serve.

Egypt’s gods were the sun, the Nile and the animals. The sun created the cycle of the year. The Nile provided water and was the source of life. The animals represented the basic fundamental life forces. This perspective formed the very basis of ancient Egyptian civilization.

The real destructive impact of this idolatrous worldview was that it related to human beings as nothing more than products of nature.

Trapped in the matrix of natural law, man was seen as having no choice but to go with the inexorable flow of reality. Although acknowledging that human beings possessed the ability to make decisions, the Egyptian worldview claimed that these decision weren’t actually any different than those of an animal.

Human psychology – our desires, motivations and weaknesses – was understood as a product of nature.

Negative emotions like anger, jealousy, lust and the will to dominate others were understood to be natural features of existence, prompting man to live no different from the animal predators that devour their weaker competitors. The world was understood to reach a natural ecology of forces in conflict, balanced between the strong and the weak. Between the masters and the slaves.

This suffocating ideological paradigm imprisoned the human spirit in an absolute bondage to the fetters of nature, with no possibility of breaking free and transcending its restrictive boundaries.

Ancient Egypt is referred to as the “house of bondage” not only because of its large slave population. Egypt was a “house of bondage” through and through. All were mentally enslaved to the fixed laws of nature that determined everyone’s fate.

We learn in the PesaḥHaggadah that “had the Kadosh Barukh Hu not taken Israel out of Egypt, we and our children and our children’s children would still be enslaved to Pharaoh.”

While we can assume that over the course of thousands of years, other geopolitical factors might have led to Israel’s freedom, this is actually not the point our sages are making here.

Had HaShem not taken us out then, we would have remained slaves in our essence. Human civilization would have remained stagnant, sunk in the mire of Egypt’s slave mentality. Even had Egypt’s dominance on the world stage later declined, the Egyptian ideology would have continued to dominate the thinking of man.

According to Rav Kook, Israel’s Exodus marked “the springtime of the entire world” because out of the darkness of Egypt burst forth the Light of HaShem. Through the collapse of Egypt and Israel’s national birth, humanity would discover that it’s actually possible to establish a strong and prosperous civilization founded on eternal values of morality, justice and Divine good.

Through Israel’s Exodus from Egypt, the world saw that there was Divine value to history, a Guiding Hand ruling over the forces of the universe, and that it was in our power to rise up and transcend our baser instincts and passions.

This revelation, which would bring about a revolution in human thinking, required a series of ten educational plagues divided into three groups.

These plagues were also designed to help Israel realize our true identity and accept our role as the nation uniquely created to bring the universal awareness of HaShem to humankind.

The fact that there were ten plagues and not merely one fatal plague shows us that the objective wasn’t merely to free the Hebrew slaves but also to reeducate both Israel and humanity. The ten plagues served as a very deliberate step-by-step educational process.

The Midrash teaches that one of the objectives of these plagues was to liberate Israel from our worship of Egyptian gods. The Hebrew slaves of that generation were deeply entrenched in Egyptian culture. In fact, Israel’s connection with Egypt was so strong at that point that liberation couldn’t be achieved with simply one fatal blow. All ten plagues were necessary for their gradual yet cumulative effect. For Israel to fully break with Egypt, we needed to first be convinced of the failure of the Egyptian system.

The first three plagues – blood, frogs and lice – were aimed at destabilizing the Egyptian kingdom and undermining the authority of its magicians, who at this point were functioning as Pharaoh’s spiritual representatives.

These plagues were therefore executed through Aharon wielding the staff, which was familiar to the Egyptian people within the framework of how they understood magic. Aharon appeared to function as Moshe’s representative.

These first three plagues were also designed in such a way that the Egyptian magicians would be able to duplicate the first two but not the third and would ultimately admit defeat. Humiliating the magicians was an important first step in dismantling the Egyptian ideology. And by starting with relatively mild plagues that could be duplicated by Egyptian magic, the Creator was essentially baiting the magicians into a competition that they ultimately couldn’t win.

The first three plagues were also for the purpose of responding to Pharaoh’s statement in Sh’mot 5, verse 2, that he didn’t know HaShem. These plagues served as an introduction and were kept relatively mild in order to allow the Egyptians to maintain their free will. Because the Egyptians had deified nature and most specifically the Nile river, which was seen as the kingdom’s primary life source, the plagues began at the Nile in order to challenge the very foundations of the Egyptian ideology.

The magicians were able to duplicate the plagues of blood and frogs but not lice. In Sh’mot 8, verse 15, we see that they admitted to Pharaoh that the plague was the “finger of Elokim” and that they couldn’t reproduce it through their magic. But Pharaoh’s heart was strong and he didn’t heed their words. The fact that the Egyptian monarch was no longer paying attention to the advice of his magicians was in and of itself a blow to the kingdom’s ideology and value system.

The second set of plagues – wild beasts, pestilence and boils – had two major educational objectives. The first was to teach Egypt – and through them all of humanity – that HaShem was not only the Creator of the world but also intimately involved in every level of its events.

The second objective was to clearly set Israel apart from Egypt. Manitou teaches that until this point, the Hebrew slaves had grown accustomed to seeing themselves as part of Egyptian society. Now they and the Egyptians and ultimately the rest of humanity would need to recognize that Israel was not merely an ethnic minority within Egypt but actually a completely separate nation. This distinction needed to be acknowledged by both Israel and the Egyptians.

In Sh’mot 8, verse 19, we see HaShem state that “I will make a distinction between My people and your people.”

When it comes to the fifth plague, the epidemic that killed most of Egypt’s livestock, we see in Sh’mot 9, verse 4 that “HaShem will distinguish between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, and not a thing that belongs to the children of Israel will die.” And verse 6 confirms that this is exactly what took place.

Since Israel was at this point scattered throughout Egypt and not only in Goshen, the distinction of the plagues effecting Egyptians but not Hebrews had to occur throughout the country, which obviously made a bigger impression than the epidemic merely not spreading to Goshen.

Manitou also teaches that the primary purpose of the plagues was neither to punish Egypt nor to liberate Israel from enslavement, but rather to reeducate Egypt and ultimately all of humanity. Once this reeducation took place, the world would become more capable of understanding and accepting the Divine message Israel would share from Jerusalem once we could establish our own civilization in our own land.

A theme we see throughout the period of the plagues, which we are taught to have lasted for roughly a year, is the stubbornness of Egypt’s ruler in the face of his kingdom being torn apart.

Sh’mot 8, verse 28 tells us that Pharaoh had made his heart stubborn. Then chapter 9, verse 7 states that his heart remained stubborn. And then verse 12 tells us that HaShem strengthened Pharaoh’s heart.

During the earlier plagues, Pharaoh had had enough self-control to suppress his fears and emotions in order to remain strong in the face of the plagues. But once his strength began to wane, HaShem infused him with an inner strength that allowed him to resist not only the pressures of the plagues but also the pleas of his advisors and the suffering of the Egyptian people.

This should be seen as similar to how HaShem often grants inner strength to Israel during wars or other difficult situations. The strengthening of Pharaoh’s heart didn’t deprive him of his freedom of choice but actually allowed him to overcome his own fears and emotions in order to act freely according to his own will and his own rational understanding of Egypt’s national interests.

While the first set of plagues was meant to introduce HaShem and begin the destruction of the Egyptian ideology and the second set was meant to demonstrate HaShem’s involvement in every sphere of reality and separate between Israel and the Egyptian population, the third set of plagues was meant to show that HaShem is all powerful. Not simply that He is more powerful than the forces the Egyptians were accustomed to worshiping but that He is all powerful and that all other forces are completely subordinate to Him.

In order that the Egyptian ideology be shattered, it was necessary for the Egyptians to directly experience HaShem’s power and be offered a choice between obeying Pharaoh or Moshe.

Sh’mot 9, verse 14 states that “‘For this time I shall send all My plagues against your heart and upon your servants, and your people, so that you shall know that there is none like Me in all the world.’”

The plague of hail is described here as “all My plagues” because it began the collapse of the idolatrous Egyptian worldview. This reinforces the notion that the plagues were primarily about the world’s reeducation through Egypt.

Sh’mot 9, verses 20 and 21 show us that “Whoever among the servants of Pharaoh feared the word of HaShem chased his servants and his livestock into the houses. And whoever did not take the word of HaShem to heart – he left his servants and livestock in the field.”

Each time Moshe had confronted Pharaoh before a plague, he would repeat HaShem’s demand that Israel be set free to serve Him. This was largely for the benefit of Pharaoh’s ministers, who would then repeat the demand to the public.

The plague of hail was the first time the people of Egypt were granted an opportunity to spare themselves. Those who made the choice to heed Moshe’s warning were also making a conscious decision to acknowledge HaShem and side with Israel. These individuals were able to gain protection from the plague through abandoning their faith in false gods, rejecting the Egyptian ideology and recognizing HaShem’s all-encompassing sovereignty.

The plague of hail therefore led to a split in Egyptian society as a growing sector began to openly show support for Moshe and for his struggle for Israel’s freedom.

The plague of hail was also unique in that it showed fire and ice cooperating at HaShem’s command, demonstrating His absolute control over nature. Sh’mot 9, verse 24 shows us that fire and water were actually united within the hailstones, directly violating the laws of nature that Egyptian civilization had until then understood as immutable.This led to many Egyptians being in awe of HaShem and embracing Moshe’s teachings. Many of these people, despite having no real connection to the patriarchs or affinity for the promised land, would later join Israel in departing the land of Egypt and would become known in our people’s history as the erev rav.

Source: Rabbi Yehuda HaKohen – Aeutz Sheva

WhatsApp’s New Privacy Policy after huge fine

Maybe you recall pop-ups warning you, in early 2021, to update WhatsApp.

While that didn’t cut off users completely, the app degraded over time, unless you accepted it – but this time around, their update of your terms and conditions with them is automatic.

Now, there’s a fresh debate over privacy issues, which we’re experts on – this time it’s scandalous.

€225m WhatsApp Fine

How serious is the breach?

Pretty serious. Back in May, they made changes to their privacy policy. This gained a fair bit of public backlash. Many of their users migrated to a different messaging app, instead of accepting their updated terms and conditions.

Six months later – WhatsApp’s been handed a world-record €225m fine after regulators reprimanded them for an poorly transparent privacy policy. WhatsApp intends to appeal the fine, but still issued a new privacy policy, to make amends.

To date, it’s the largest fine ever issued by the Irish DPC, who is the EU’s leading privacy regulator for Meta, due to Dublin being the headquarters for Meta’s European operations.

The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) in Brussels determined – which was settling a dispute between some of the EU privacy watchdogs, responsible for interpreting the law – that WhatsApp was not compliant with the GDPR. Its detailed ruling was laid out in July and recommended a fine.

WhatsApp’s record 225 million fine was enacted by the Irish DPC. A WhatsApp spokesperson said, “As ordered by the Irish DPC, we have reorganised and added more detail to our Privacy Policy for people in the European Region.”

Further adding, “We disagree with the decision and are appealing because we believe we already provided the required information to all our users.”

They’ve reaffirmed their commitment to end-to-end encryption, saying that nonone can eavesdrop on user communications, not even WhatsApp.

Do I need to do anything this time around?

Nope. They’ve learned their lesson from the outcry last time, so you’ll find it goes mostly unnoticed with users. There won’t be any alerts requesting users to update the privacy policy, or to accept any new terms and conditions. The real question?: is WhatsApp safe for privacy?

PrivacyAustralia’s Take

Is WhatApp safe?

Nope: victims have been exposed to identity theft and fraud before in the past, through the app.

For instance, a security flaw enabled the secret installation of spyware on smartphones. Discovered in May 2018, sitting on target devices, this gave attackers access to highly sensitive data.

While a second vulnerability was discovered by cyber security company Check Point Research, which could allow hackers to remotely change someone’s reply in messaging conversation.

This led to a warning from a second cyber security firm Sophos to WhatsApp users. Simply your phone number is enough for hackers to seize total control not only of your WhatsApp account, but also your smartphone.

Is WhatApp private?

This is another concern WhatsApp users have. There is some privacy, for instance, WhatsApp users basic end-to-end encryption, which works to make it harder for third-parties to intercept transmitted sender-to-receiver information.

But there are huge privacy gaps that could expose your PII data. For instance, WhatsApp backups on iCloud and Google Drive are unencrypted. Thereby, your WhatsApp messages can be read before sending and after receiver receipt.

Indeed, WhatsApp chats can be viewed by anyone who does a basic Google search, to access your group’s:

  • Names of all members.
  • Phone numbers.
  • Chat information.

This happens even if groups are set to private. Add to this that WhatsApp is owned by non-private social media giant, Facebook, doesn’t bode well for your information.

(We haven’t even mentioned safety issues regarding video calling and sending photos which can be easily exploited by hackers.)

Is Telegram private and safe?

Telegram managed to add 25 million new users to their subscriber list in only a few days, thanks to the WhatsApp exodus in January 2021 – reaching the 500 million mark.

Its Secret Chat feature provides end-to-end encryption, which is its own form of zero-knowledge: messages sent by users are only accessible to them on the devices.

Technically, messages sent using this should be secured even against cyber attackers and the Telegram app itself. Most users are aware that their messages are by default secured. You need to turn the Secret Chat feature on.

But, even if this feature is enabled, some researchers are sceptical of the encryption protocols used by Telegram – because Telegram’s MTProto-encryption protocol may contain flaws. One study concluded that it’s not ideal compared to other available standards.

Is Signal private and safe?

If we had to recommend a most private messaging app that is widely available, secure and free – it would be Signal, who use the motto for their brand, “Hello to privacy.”

Signal is both the name of the encryption protocol and app. The Signal protocol has been around since 2010, developed by privacy activist Moxie Marlinspike.

It’s also fully open source, with full audits for security gaps. And is widely seen as the most secure e2ee messaging protocol ever created. Which is why derivatives of it are used by the other big messaging services, including Skype, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp.
A few years ago, the 82nd Airborne Division’s Task Force Devil was asked by military leadership to download the app on government phones for a mission in Iran, as it’s encrypted and free to use.


Zero-knowledge is an abstract method in communication and transaction systems and relates to WhatsApp’s new privacy policy

In this model, transactions happen between authorized parties without giving a third party access. Only the permitted user is able to know or see protected data, such as messages, passwords, and addresses – not even the intermediary host

Zero-knowledge can be considered a subset of applied cryptography, which seeks to secure communicated data. A facet of this is the ‘zero-trust’ principle, which is a key to cybersecurity: users are given as much privilege to information as is required for authorised data access.

A few tips to lower chances of being leaked:

  • Verify the identity of any new contact you talk to. Apps like Signal let you scan in your contact’s QR code (each user has a unique code).
  • Use something able to filter traffic, such as a DNS filter or VPN.
  • Lock your mobile device and hide lock messages, to avoid sneak peaks when in public.


It’s in dispute whether acceptable standards of zero knowledge, for private messaging apps, weren’t held up – and if this caused WhatsApp’s new privacy policy.

Should I keep using WhatsApp?

Not if you value the privacy and security of your messages. (Or even smartphone!) This enormous fine is one too many flags suggesting that advocates of privacy and security – for their personal devices and data – should probably avoid using WhatsApp. And that’s not to mention Facebook’s past record, who owns WhatsApp.

Source: Will Ellis – Privacy Australia

Putin didn’t order annexation threat against Ukraine – Kadyrov

The head of the Chechen Republic has denied he was told to deliver an explosive statement in which he declared he would have invaded Ukraine a long time ago, if ordered to do so, and that Moscow should annex the country.

Speaking on Wednesday in a live broadcast on Instagram, Ramzan Kadyrov rejected claims made by a number of analysts that his remarks had been dictated [by] Putin. On the contrary, he said, he had limited exchanges with the leadership of the country.

“I am not even part of the inner circle of the president and prime minister,” Kadyrov insisted. “Yes, I have connections … [but] no one has ever told me to make a statement about Ukraine or other states.”

He went on, explaining that he had spoken out because he believed “the fate and security of [Russia] is now in an extremely difficult situation.”

Kadyrov registered his concern that the West was edging ever closer to the country’s borders, cautioning that “problems may arise at any time.”

“If we surrender our positions, they may start dictating conditions to us, just like other countries. Therefore, as a citizen who is worried about the republic, the state, and its people, I have expressed my opinion,” the Chechen leader said.

Kadyrov’s explanation comes shortly after he said Ukraine should be annexed by Moscow if its president, Volodymyr Zelensky, did not drop his anti-Russian stance.

The regional chief claimed he would have been ready to guide an offensive to “annex Ukraine to the Chechen Republic” if instructed to do so.

“If I had been entrusted with it, I would have solved it long ago,” Kadyrov said.

Tensions on the shared border between Russia and Ukraine have been running high in recent weeks, with Western officials and media outlets alleging Russian forces have been building up near the demarcation line ahead of launching a full-scale invasion. The Kremlin has repeatedly rejected these claims, however, arguing that they are groundless.

Moscow has instead accused members of NATO of shuttling an alarming amount of weaponry in the direction of Russia’s borders and Western states of encouraging Kiev to engage in anti-Russian provocations.

Source: RT

România a emis un document unic în lume: adeverința de mers cu capra

Grupul de facebook ”Țăranii Dobrogeni” a făcut public ultimul răcnet în materie de birocrație românească: Adeverința de mers cu capra.

Pe adeverință se află datele celor care vor merge cu capra și se confirmă că sunt oameni de omenie care nu fac probleme.

”Eliberăm prezenta spre a le servi la a merge cu capra în perioada 23 decembrie 2021 -2 ianuarie 2022”, se mai arată în documentul semnat de primarul și de secretarul general al primăriei din localitatea Coțofănești, județul Bacău.

Grupul transmite ironic și ”Felicitări primăriei Coțofănești pt că se implică în promovarea datinilor străbune”, aceasta fiind localitatea unde s-a inventat acest document aparte.

Comentariile cititorilor sunt pe măsura anomaliei.

”A uitat să treacă capra, rasă, vârstă, sex, etc.”

”De ce ar avea nevoie cineva de așa ceva?!? Suntem români, liberi și creștin-ortodocși prin tradiție și definiție; neavând nevoie de hârțoage, botnițe, vaccinuri sau certificate ci doar de Binecuvântarea Domnului!”, scrie ironic un alt cititor al grupului.


Diaspora Minister warns the Israel’s ties with Jews abroad is reaching ‘breaking point’ over travel bans barring non-citizens from visiting

Israel’s relationship with Diaspora Jews has come under massive strain due to the Jewish state’s sweeping bans on air travel, the country’s Diaspora Minister warned.

Speaking with Israel Hayom in an interview published Wednesday morning, Minister Nachman Shai (Labor) urged the government to ease restrictions on air travel, which he said have brought Israeli-Diaspora relations to a “breaking point”.

“We’re approaching a breaking point in Israel-Diaspora relations,” Shai said.

“We have the means to protect the health of Israel’s citizens, even without closing the country’s borders to entry and exit for the world’s Jews.”

“The time has come to take into account the extensive damage that is liable to be caused to our ties to Diaspora Jewry.”

Since the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020, Israel has tightly restricted air travel into the country by non-citizens.

Aside from brief, limited pilot programs allowing some vaccinated tourists in organized tour groups to enter the country, and a bureaucratic waiver for entry bans to some travelers with close relatives who hold Israeli citizenship, few non-citizens have been able to gain entry to Israel over the past two years.

Birthright – Taglit Israel briefly relaunched its tour program for young Diaspora Jews, only to nix the relaunch several months later, cancelling 42 trips planned for the summer of 2021.

On Tuesday, Israel’s Coronavirus Cabinet voted to ease limits on travel abroad for Israeli citizens, dropping dozens of countries from the ‘red list’, while still banning travel to the United States.

Source: David Rosenberg – Arutz Sheva

How the Taliban’s tightening the noose on women’s rights

Since their rise to power in August, Afghanistan’s new rulers have considerably limited women’s rights, stopping short, however, of reviving some of the more draconian rules they enforced in the past.

While, back in the 1990s, the Taliban gained notoriety for stripping women of almost all their freedoms, the group now claims it has changed tack and will respect women’s rights, as long as these are compatible with Islam’s sharia law, that is. However, as evidenced by a slew of new regulations put in place since mid-August, it is predominantly Afghan women who are finding themselves forced into a more conservative mold, in more ways than one.

Long-distance travel

Effective from Sunday, December 26, Afghan women are not allowed to travel for more than 72 kilometers (45 miles) without a male relative. The Taliban’s Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice banned drivers from giving rides to women traveling solo. Human Rights Watch has called out the decree as preventing women from being “able to flee if they are facing violence in the home.”

TV appearance

Earlier in November, the Taliban banned women from appearing in TV dramas and soap operas. That makes most foreign content off-limits for Afghan channels.


Sport is another big no-no for women in Afghanistan these days, the reason being that female athletes may inadvertently expose their face or body parts while participating in such activities, which is, by the Taliban’s standards, unacceptable. The group’s rise to power saw an exodus of women who did not want to put up with the new rules, and they fled to countries where they could continue their sporting careers. But it is not only women who have left Afghanistan – a good many male athletes have done so, too.

Deprioritization of women’s affairs

The women’s affairs ministry, established under the Western-backed government, was shut down in September, with its office now housing the Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

Education and work

Even though there has been no explicit ban against girls attending school, most of them are effectively barred from secondary education. The Taliban claims the measure is “temporary” and will be in place until the new authorities make sure all schools are “safe” for girls. The same is true for most workplaces.


Under the Taliban, politics and public offices are for men only. A Taliban spokesperson is cited in the media as saying that a “woman can’t be a minister, it is like you put something on her neck that she can’t carry. It is not necessary for women to be in the cabinet – they should give birth.”


Needless to say, a hijab is mandatory for Afghan women venturing outside the home. However, this is an apparently milder version of the Taliban’s guidelines from the 1990s, when a burqa with a tiny slot for the eyes was the only option.


On a somewhat brighter note, the Taliban issued a decree in early December that banned forced marriages and stated that women should not be seen as “property.” The document said that “no one can force women to marry by coercion or pressure,” while widows are now allowed to remarry 17 weeks after their husband’s death, and granted freedom in choosing their next spouse. That marks a break with long-standing tradition under which widows were supposed to marry their late husband’s brothers or relatives. However, there is no mention of a minimum age for marriage in the decree.


Not all women who remain in the Taliban-ruled country are taking the new restrictions lying down. There have been numerous women’s protests since the group’s rise to power, despite bans against such activity. In some cases, the demonstrators have been arrested or beaten.

In fact, the latest protest of this kind took place in Kabul on Tuesday, with Taliban militants firing shots to disperse several dozen women who had gathered to protest for their rights.

Another group of female activists in Panjshir province have recorded a video where they demanded an “end to genocide,” as can be seen in the video. Earlier this month, the UN issued an alert over what it described as “immediate and dramatic reversals on women’s rights and fundamental freedom” under Taliban rule.

Source: RT

Hospitals told to prepare for 340 serious cases of children with COVID-19

Israeli hospitals have been told to prepare for a scenario in which a further 340 children are hospitalized in serious condition with coronavirus, Israel Hayom reported.

The hospitals have been requested to prepare for a scenario in which they are forced to add hundreds of beds, including another 40 in pediatric ICUs, for children who are in serious condition due to coronavirus infection, within a matter of days.

In such a scenario, five hospitals – Hadassah Ein Kerem, Hadassah Mount Scopus, Ichilov, Rambam, and Sheba – would open additional pediatric wards with 45 beds each, intended for the hospitalization of children seriously ill with coronavirus.

Schneider Children’s Medical Center would add 60 beds – two wards – while Be’er Sheva’s Soroka and the French Hospital in Nazareth would add 30 beds each. In addition, hospitals would add 40 beds in the coronavirus PICU.

Treatment of pediatric patients suffering from severe COVID-19 will be concentrated in these seven hospitals, Israel Hayom added.

There are currently just nine children hospitalized with coronavirus in Israel’s hospitals, with just one in serious condition.

According to Israel Hayom, Israel’s Health Ministry stressed that children should not be treated in a similar manner to adults, and therefore hospitals should prepare to open wards intended for children only, staffed by medical personnel who are proficient in treating children.

The Ministry also ordered the hospitals to prepare for the possibility of allowing parents to remain with young coronavirus patients.

Source: Arutz Sheva

Fake news claims Macron’s wife was born a man

Adisinformation campaign has in recent days targeted the wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, falsely claiming she was born a man, adding to fears over internet fake news less than four months ahead of presidential elections.

Brigitte Macron, 68, intends to file a legal complaint to sue over the disinformation.

“She has decided to start procedures, it’s in process,” her lawyer Jean Ennochi told Agence France-Presse (AFP), without giving further details.

The false claim had gained momentum on social media over the last days, mixing strong opposition to the centrist Macron with extreme-right ideology and transphobia.

Fake news of a transphobic nature targeting prominent political figures has been very rare in France until now but is not a new phenomenon globally.

Women targeted in the past have included former United States first lady Michelle Obama, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

But the eruption of attacks against Brigitte Macron comes as her husband, who celebrated his 44th birthday on Tuesday, prepares to fight what is expected to be a tense battle to seek reelection in April.

Macron’s relationship with his wife, who is 24 years his senior, has always attracted fierce media interest in France and in other countries. They first met when she led a drama class while he was still a teenage schoolboy.

This is not the first time that the Macron couple has been targeted by rumors targeting gender or sexual orientation. During the 2017 campaign when he won office, Emmanuel Macron had to deny claims about his alleged homosexuality.

  • For several months, messages have multiplied on social networks claiming that Brigitte Macron, born as Brigitte Trogneux, is a transgender woman whose first name at birth was Jean-Michel.

The false claims allege that a vast plot has been engineered to hide this change in civil status and, taking the conspiracy theory a step further, saying accusations of pedophilia have been covered up.

Slow start to viral trend

This fake news first circulated in a very low-key way.

The first such claim appears to have been made on Facebook in March by a user calling themselves “Natacha Rey.” The page of this “journalist” is swarming with conspiratorial theories and diatribes against the so-called “health dictatorship.”

  • The user’s postings are a mix of family photos and purported civil status documents.

They were seized on by another Facebook user to make up the conspiracy theory that Brigitte Macron is a “satanist paedo-criminal transgender,” a term echoing the QAnon conspiracy movement, which originated in the U.S. and claimed the world is ruled in secret by a pedophile elite.

The spreading of the claims began in mid-October with the publication of an article on the supposed “mystery of Brigitte Macron” in “Facts and Documents,” a review founded in 1996 by the shadowy ultra-right writer, Emmanuel Ratier, who died in 2015.

“Natacha Rey” claims to be the origin of the so-called investigation.

  • Almost two weeks after its publication, the hashtag #JeanMichelTrogneux appeared for the first time on Twitter on Nov. 1 before being spread by a relatively little-followed account, “Le Journal de la Macronie,” which is staunchly opposed to the president, according to the InVid We Verify data analysis tool developed for AFP.

For nearly a month, the hashtag was not greatly visible but experienced a spectacular rise in popularity from the beginning of December. On Dec. 6, it generated only 35 tweets but produced more than 13,000 three weeks later.

According to InVid’s latest count, the hashtag has so far generated 68,300 retweets and over 174,000 likes. The interpretation of these figures is not unambiguous as the count includes both those who use the hashtag to promote their cause and those who highlight the trend to denounce it.

As with many conspiracy theories, its main promoters come from a diverse movement ranging from COVID-19 skeptics to French ultra-nationalists.

  • According to InVid, the Twitter account that posted the most messages on this fake news is thus run by a supporter of “Frexit” – France’s withdrawal from the EU – while the most retweeted user runs an online media denouncing “propaganda” over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Source: AFP via DAILY SABAH – DEC 22, 2021 – 4:27 PM GMT+3

What Putin Really Told Biden

So Russian President Vladimir Putin, by himself, and United States President Joe Biden, surrounded by aides, finally had their secret video link conference for two hours and two minutes – with translators placed in different rooms.

That was their first serious exchange since they met in person in Geneva last June – the first Russia-US summit since 2018. For global public opinion, led to believe a “war” in Ukraine was all but imminent, what’s left is essentially a torrent of spin.

So let’s start with a simple exercise focusing on the key issue of the video link – Ukraine – contrasting the White House and Kremlin versions of what transpired.

The White House: Biden made it “clear” to Putin that the US and allies will respond with “decisive economic and other measures” to a military escalation in Ukraine. At the same time, Biden called on Putin to de-escalate around Ukraine and “return to diplomacy.”

Kremlin: Putin offered Biden to nullify all restrictions on the functioning of diplomatic missions. He remarked that cooperation between Russia and the US is still in an “unsatisfactory” state.

He urged the US not to shift “responsibility on the shoulders of Russia” for the escalation of the situation around Ukraine.

The White House: The US will expand military aid to Ukraine if Russia takes steps against it.

Kremlin: Putin told Biden that Russia is interested in obtaining legally fixed guarantees excluding NATO’s eastward expansion and the deployment of offensive strike systems in Russia’s neighboring countries.

The White House: Biden did not give Putin any commitments that Ukraine will remain outside NATO.

Minsk or bust

Now for what really matters: the red line.

What Putin diplomatically told Team Biden, sitting at their table, is that Russia’s red line – no Ukraine in NATO – is unmovable. The same applies to Ukraine turned into a hub of the Pentagon’s empire of bases and hosting NATO weaponry.

Washington may deny it ad infinitum, but Ukraine is part of Russia’s sphere of influence. If nothing is done to force Kiev to abide by the Minsk Agreement, Russia will “neutralize” the threat on its own terms.

The root cause of all this drama, absent from any NATO narrative, is straightforward: Kiev simply refuses to respect the February 2015 Minsk Agreement.

According to the deal, Kiev should grant autonomy to Donbass via a constitutional amendment, referred to as “special status”; issue a general amnesty; and start a dialogue with the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Over the years, Kiev fulfilled less than zero of these commitments – while the NATO media machine kept spinning that Russia was violating Minsk. Russia is not even mentioned (italics mine) in the agreement.

Moscow always respected the Minsk Agreement, which establishes Donbass as an integral, autonomous part of Ukraine. Russia has made it very clear, over and over again, it has no interest whatsoever in promoting regime change in Kiev.

Before the video link, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov remarked: “Putin will listen to Biden’s proposals on Ukraine ‘with great interest.’” Even the White House did not propose for Kiev to obey the Minsk Agreement. So regardless of what Biden may have said, Putin, pragmatically, will adopt a “wait and see” approach, and then act accordingly.

In the run-up to the video link, maximum hype revolved on Washington seeking to stop Nord Stream 2 if Russia “invades” Ukraine.

What never transpires out of the “invasion” narrative, repeated ad nauseam across NATO, is that hawks overseeing an immensely polarized US, corroded from the inside, desperately need a war in what military analyst Andrei Martyanov calls “country 404,” a play on the error message when an online page or link doesn’t exist.

The crux of the matter is that European vassals must not have access to Russian energy: only American LNG.

And that’s what led the most extreme Russophobes in Washington to start threatening sanctions on Putin’s inner circle, Russian energy producers and even disconnecting Russia from SWIFT. All that was supposed to prevent Russia from “invading” Country 404.

US Secretary of State Tony Blinken – present at the video link – said a few days ago in Riga, Latvia, that “if Russia invades Ukraine,” NATO will respond “with a range of high impact economic measures.” As for NATO, it’s far from aggressive: just a “defensive” organization.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in early December at the OCSE Ministerial Council meeting in Stockholm, was already warning that “strategic stability” in Europe was “rapidly eroding.”

Lavrov said: “NATO refuses to consider our proposals on de-escalation of tensions and prevention of dangerous incidents … On the contrary, the alliance’s military infrastructure is moving closer to Russia’s borders … The nightmarish scenario of military confrontation is returning.”

So no wonder the heart of the matter for Moscow is NATO encroachment.

The “invasion” narrative is crass fake news sold as fact. Even the CIA’s William Burns admitted that US intel had no intel to “conclude” that Russia will dutifully answer the War Inc prayers and finally “invade” Ukraine.

Still, that did not prevent a German sensationalist rag from presenting the full contours of the Russian blitzkrieg, when the actual story is the US and NATO attempting to push “country 404” to commit suicide by attacking the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

That legally binding guarantee

It’s idle to expect the video link to produce practical results. As NATO remains mired in concentric crises, the current level of high tension between NATO and Russia is a gift from heaven in terms of maintaining the convenient narrative of an external Slavic evil. It’s also an extra bonus for the military-industrial-intelligence-media think tank complex.

The tension will continue to simmer without becoming incandescent only if NATO does not expand in any shape or form inside Ukraine. Diplomats in Brussels routinely comment that Kiev will never be accepted as a NATO member. But if things can get worse, they will: Kiev will become one of those NATO special partners, a desperately poor, hungry for territory, rogue actor.

Putin demanding from the US – which runs NATO – a written, legally binding guarantee that the alliance will not advance further eastward towards Russian borders is the game-changer here.

Team Biden cannot possibly deliver: they would be eaten alive by the War Inc establishment. Putin studied his history and knows that Daddy Bush’s “promise” to Gorbachev on NATO expansion was just a lie. He knows those who run NATO will never commit themselves in writing.

So that allows Putin a full range of options to defend Russian national security. “Invasion” is a joke; Ukraine, rotting from the inside, consumed by fear, loathing and poverty, will remain in limbo, while Donetsk and Lugansk will be progressively interconnected with the Russian Federation.

There will be no NATO war on Russia – as Martyanov himself has extensively demonstrated NATO wouldn’t last five minutes against Russian hypersonic weapons. And Moscow will be focused on what really matters geoeconomically and geopolitically: solidifying the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and the Greater Eurasia Partnership.

Source: Pepe Escobar – Asia Times

Iran explains blast heard near major nuclear facility

A loud explosion northeast of Natanz nuclear power plant was reported by multiple Iranian outlets late on Saturday.

The blast, said to be accompanied by a flash of light, was heard near the town of Badrud, some 20 kilometers away from the facility.

Speaking to Fars news agency, the governor of Natanz acknowledged the incident, stating that its exact details were not known yet and promising to release them as soon as the situation becomes clearer.

Unconfirmed reports in the Iranian media have suggested the blast sound was caused by destruction of an unidentified drone by an anti-aircraft missile.

Shortly after the reports of the blast emerged, the Iranian military claimed it was a surprise test of local air defense systems, according to PressTV.

An anti-aircraft missile was fired some 20 kilometers away from the nuclear facility to test defense readiness, the outlet added, citing Natanz’s air-defense chief.

“An hour ago, one of the missile systems in Natanz was tested to assess its readiness, and there is nothing to worry about,” the commander stated, as quoted by IRNA.

Source: RT

South African province at centre of Omicron COVID variant sees more children in hospital

South Africa’s most populous province has seen a rise in hospitalisations of children with COVID-19 since the new Omicron variant was identified.

However, all are “mild” cases and expected to recover, an official in the Gauteng Department of Health said.

Sky News quoted public health specialist Dr. Ntsakisi Maluleke on Saturday as saying that 113 of the 1,511 people tested positive for the virus in the province’s hospitals were under nine years of age – a proportion of seven percent.

“We are comforted by clinicians’ reports that the children have mild disease”, Maluleke said.

He stressed that doctors did not yet know which variants the patients had, and that the admissions were largely precautionary.

“They would rather have a child under care for a day or two than having a child at home and complicating”, Maluleke said, “but we really need to wait for the evidence”.

Maluleke also said many coronavirus patients in the province were experiencing “non-specific” flu-like symptoms typical of the Omicron variant, including a scratchy irritated, throat but no loss of sense taste or smell.

“The public needs to be less fearful but vigilant”, she insisted.

The small but gold-rich central highland province of Gauteng includes Pretoria, the seat of the executive government, South Africa’s financial centre, and biggest city Johannesburg and its busiest airport, O.R. Tambo.

With 12 to 15 million inhabitants, it is home to up to a quarter of the country’s population.

On Friday, Maluleke told South African media that the positivity rate for COVID-19 – the percentage of those tested showing infection – in Gauteng had jumped from 19 percent at the start of the week to 34 percent by Friday.

That was far higher than the 24.3 percent positivity rate for the whole country, according to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) the same day – although fewer than 20 million tests have been carried out since the start of the pandemic.

In the UK, by contrast, less than five percent of the roughly one million tests every day gives a positive result.

An overwhelming 8,280 of the 11,535 new cases in the country on Thursday – 72 percent – were found in Gauteng.

The Omicron variant is known to spread faster and has almost completely displaced the earlier Beta and Delta variants in the province where its outbreak is centred.

Dr. Michelle Groome, head of the NICD’s Public Health Surveillance and Response division, said Gauteng would enter its “fourth wave” of the pandemic on Friday.

He added that that the “reproduction rate” of the virus was above the critical level of one – meaning an exponentially-increasing number of cases – in all provinces, although growth was lowest in the Northern Cape.

“There is evidence that it is more transmissible and that there is some immune escape”, he said, but reassured South Africans: “It’s not necessarily related to severity”.

“We cannot make any calls on severity just because it is more transmissible. It’s early days”, Groome said. “We need to have more information in the next two to three weeks. All we need to do is prepare”.

South African Medical Association chairwoman Angelique Coetzee, who found some of the first cases of the Omicron variant, said last week that it caused “extremely mild” symptoms and no patient had yet been hospitalised with it.

On Friday, the World Health Organisation said that no deaths from the new “variant of concern” had been recorded, despite it spreading to at least 38 countries, including most of Western Europe, India, Australia, Brazil, the US, Canada, and Mexico.


Promotion de l’Hydroxychloroquine : l’Ordre des médecins adresse un «blâme» au professeur Raoult

Le professeur Didier Raoult, directeur de l’IHU de Marseille, a été sanctionné ce 3 décembre d’un «blâme» par la chambre disciplinaire de l’Ordre des médecins de Nouvelle-Aquitaine, chargée d’analyser deux plaintes déposées contre lui par ses pairs fin 2020.

L’instance a publié cette sanction, la deuxième en importance après le simple avertissement, sans l’assortir des motivations de cette décision contre l’infectiologue marseillais de 69 ans. Il était reproché au professeur Raoult plusieurs infractions au code de déontologie médicale dans sa promotion de l’Hydroxychloroquine comme traitement contre le COVID-19.

Pour Fabrice Di Vizio, l’avocat de Didier Raoult, il s’agit en fait d’«une belle victoire pour la défense» et «pour la paix sociale», a-t-il tweeté.

«Aujourd’hui Didier Raoult a reçu une tape sur les doigts, on est loin du Didier Raoult dangereux, assassin et toutes ces autres conneries racontées depuis un an» a-t-il ajouté.

«On s’attendait» à cette décision car «il était difficile de prononcer une interdiction étant donné que le professeur Raoult n’exerce plus», a expliqué à l’AFP Philippe Carlini, avocat de l’Ordre des médecins, qui n’aura les motivations de la chambre qu’en «début de semaine prochaine». Le Conseil de l’ordre des Bouches-du-Rhône doit se réunir le 6 décembre pour analyser cette sanction.

Interrogé par l’AFP, un porte-parole de l’Institut hospitalo-universitaire Méditerranée Infection (IHU), dirigé par le docteur Raoult, n’a pas fait de commentaire.

A l’automne 2020, le Conseil départemental de l’ordre des médecins (CNOM) des Bouches-du-Rhône avait engagé des poursuites contre Didier Raoult. Il s’apparente à du «charlatanisme» d’avoir pris des «risques inconsidérés» en soignant des patients avec ce traitement «non éprouvé par la science» et d’avoir «manqué à son devoir de confraternité» envers d’autres médecins, avait détaillé alors le rapporteur de la chambre disciplinaire.

Petite victoire pour le professeur Raoult: le Dr Guillaume Gorincour, que l’infectiologue poursuivait pour «non-confraternité», a été de son côté sanctionné d’un «avertissement» par la chambre disciplinaire de Nouvelle-Aquitaine, composée de huit médecins et présidée par un magistrat administratif.

«On s’expose à cela quand on est sur Twitter», a commenté Philippe Carlini, estimant que cette plainte était surtout «un contre-feu allumé par le professeur Raoult».

Pour Didier Raoult, «on fait le procès de la réussite»

Pour Philippe Carlini, avocat de l’Ordre des médecins des Bouches-du-Rhône, ces poursuites ont été entreprises pour soutenir les «médecins libéraux héroïques» bousculés par «des patients angoissés» réclamant, «sans rien y connaître», un traitement à l’Hydroxychloroquine, en se fondant uniquement «sur la parole d’un éminent scientifique marseillais émise sans aucune prudence» sur les plateaux de télévisions et les réseaux sociaux.

«On fait le procès de la réussite», s’était pour sa part défendu l’infectiologue marseillais il y a quelques semaines. «Ce sont les médecins qui se plaignent de nous, pas les patients», avait également rétorqué Didier Raoult, assurant avoir reçu «plus de 600 000 patients» au sein de l’IHU durant la crise sanitaire, «sans aucune plainte». Pour Fabrice Di Vizio, le sujet de l’Hydroxychloroquine est un «faux débat». Selon lui, son client est jugé «comme un criminel», essentiellement pour ses prises de positions critiques sur la gestion de la crise sanitaire par les autorités, avait-il soutenu au début de la procédure. L’avocat avait alors affirmé que le dossier ne comportait aucun propos précis ou daté prouvant le dénigrement du professeur marseillais envers la profession.

Depuis le début de la pandémie, la défense de l’usage de l’hydroxychloroquine contre le Covid par le professeur Raoult a suscité des polémiques dans le monde scientifique. En septembre 2020 par exemple, la Société de pathologie infectieuse de langue française avait dénoncé la promotion de ce traitement «sans qu’aucune donnée acquise de la science ne soit clairement établie à ce sujet, et en infraction avec les recommandations des autorités de santé», selon elle.

D’autres procédures contre le professeur Raoult

En plus de cette procédure, le professeur Raoult est visé, avec l’IHU qu’il a créé en 2011, par plusieurs autres enquêtes sur les conditions dans lesquelles l’institut a conduit ses études autour du COVID-19.

Ces investigations ont été ouvertes cette année par l’université Aix-Marseille, par les hôpitaux de Marseille (AP-HM) et par l’agence nationale du médicament (ANSM), après un article de L’Express sur de «possibles manquements à la réglementation des essais cliniques».

L’IHU et son directeur sont également accusés, dans un article de Mediapart, d’avoir mené «une expérimentation sauvage contre la tuberculose». L’ANSM a annoncé «diligenter une inspection» au sein de l’IHU, l’AP-HM a lancé une enquête, tandis que le parquet de Marseille a demandé une «évaluation» des suites judiciaires à donner.

Originaux: RT – FR