Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
by Bernard (bernard) on Fri Oct 1st, 2021 at 05:29:02 PM EST
Like the EC, CHINA tightens political control of [domestic] internet giants
The party says anti-monopoly antitrust enforcement will be a priority through 2025. It says competition will help create jobs and raise living standards.
Products from China wouldn't function in the United States or Europe, and vice versa. Innovation and efficiency would suffer.
< wipes tears >
Alibaba said it will invest $28 billion to develop operating system software, processor chips and network technology. The company has pledged $1 billion to nurture 100,000 developers and tech startups over the next three years. Last year, Tencent promised to invest $70 billion in digital infrastructure. Meituan, an e-commerce, delivery and service platform, raised $10 billion to develop self-driving vehicles and robots.
A law that takes effect Nov. 1 establishes security standards, prohibits companies from disclosing information without customer permission and tells them to limit how much they collect. Unlike data protection laws in Western countries, the Chinese rules say nothing about limiting government or ruling party access to personal information.
Beijing is also using the crackdown to narrow China's politically sensitive wealth gap by pushing tech giants to share their wealth with employees and consumers.
Google seeks to overturn $5.1 bln EU fine
archived Eric Li in The Coming War Against China (Pilger, 2016)
by Cat on Mon Oct 4th, 2021 at 04:00:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
chum in the water
Banasevic is far from being the first high-profile name to jump ship this year. His move follows the departure of two other top competition officials with long experience in fighting Silicon Valley giants -- Cecilio Madero Villarejo and Carles Esteva Mosso -- who also are joining law firms that act for the very same companies. Madero was the chief of antitrust within the Commission's competition department when Vestager launched her crusade against Google.
by Cat on Tue Oct 5th, 2021 at 12:24:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Facebook asks court to dismiss FTC antitrust complaint
"The FTC's fictional market ignores the competitive reality: Facebook competes vigorously with TikTok, iMessage, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube, and countless others to help people share, connect, communicate or simply be entertained," Facebook said in a statement. "The FTC cannot credibly claim Facebook has monopoly power because no such power exists."
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg had ruled in June that the FTC's original lawsuit was "legally insufficient" and didn't provide enough evidence to prove Facebook was a monopoly. He dismissed the states' separate complaint outright.
You get what you pay for.

archived Essays in competition policy, "Identifying antitrust markets"

by Cat on Tue Oct 5th, 2021 at 03:32:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"involuntary public figure" has entered the shadow docket.
archived no relation

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Oct 13th, 2021 at 07:19:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heard v Depp v Heard

Judge won't send Johnny Depp's defamation suit Amber Heard's $100M counter claim to Virginia Supreme Court

In a ruling from the bench, Judge Penney Azcarate refused to allow lawyers for actress Amber Heard, Depp's ex-wife, to petition the Virginia Supreme Court to weigh in on legal issues at the core of her last attempt to dismiss the Depp's case.

Essentially, [Heard's] attorneys wanted the state's high court to tackle whether [USA] case law supports their contention that the court should embrace findings from a United Kingdom [libel laundry] that Depp, 58, abused his ex-wife on a dozen occasions. This would have ended the [Depp's] Virginia case, which is based upon Depp's charge that Heard, 35, defamed him by describing herself as a domestic abuse survivor.
Filed in March 2019, Depp contends that an op-ed written by Heard and published in the Washington Post defamed him....Depp lost his "Pirates of the Caribbean" part four days after publication of the editorial.
Depp's attorney, Ben Chew ... pointed out that in August, Azcarate handed down a 10-page opinion rejecting [Heard's] argument that the case should be dismissed because of the U.K. ruling.
In her opinion, Azcarate noted, "[Depp's] defamation claim [against The Sun] in the U.K. was based on completely different statements than the present case." In her ruling today, Azcarate ticked through each legal standard required to send [Heard's appeal] to the Virginia Supreme Court and concluded that the case didn't qualify.

Warren and Brandeis, "The Right to Privacy". 1890
by Cat on Thu Oct 14th, 2021 at 08:06:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Taliban-style security welcomed by some, feared by others
Before the Taliban takeover in August, people had to pay bribes simply to settle a utility bill. Rampant fraud in the military was one reason it collapsed so quickly in the face of the advancing Taliban. Despite the overt graft, the U.S. and Europe poured billions of dollars into the government with little oversight.
Taliban raid suspected IS hideout after bombing in capital
by Cat on Mon Oct 4th, 2021 at 10:45:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
APsplainin the uncontested rulers of Afghanistan's Opium War, War on Drugs, stains, stigma, imprisonment, withdrawal, mental health, poverty
The heavy-handed methods are welcomed by some health workers, who have had no choice but to adapt to Taliban rule. "We are not in a democracy anymore, this is a dictatorship. And the use of force is the only way to treat these people," said Dr. Fazalrabi Mayar, working in a treatment facility. He was referring specifically to Afghans addicted to heroin and meth.
By midnight, they were taken to the Avicenna Medical Hospital for Drug Treatment, on the edges of Kabul. Once a military base, Camp Phoenix, established by the U.S. army in 2003, it was made into a drug treatment center in 2016. Now it's Kabul's largest, capable of accommodating 1,000 people.

The men are stripped and bathed. Their heads are shaved. Here, a 45-day treatment program begins, said Dr. Wahedullah Koshan, the head psychiatrist.
They will undergo withdrawal with only some medical care to alleviate discomfort and pain. Koshan conceded the hospital lacks the alternative opioids, buprenorphine and methadone, typically used to treat heroin addiction. His staff have not been paid since July, but he said the Health Ministry promised salaries would be forthcoming.

The Taliban have broader aims. "This is just the beginning, later we will go after the farmers, and we will punish them according to (Islamic) Sharia law," said lead patrol officer Qari Ghafoor.

by Cat on Sat Oct 9th, 2021 at 04:49:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
fwee (ui)(uy)ghurs
"I've been drinking alcohol, I'm a little drunk, but that's no problem. We can drink as we want now!" he shouted. "We can do what we want! Things are great now!"

At a nearby store, I notice liquor bottles lining the shelves. In another town, my colleague and I encounter a drunk Uyghur man, passed out by a trash bin in broad daylight. Though many Uyghurs in big cities like Urumqi have long indulged in drinking, such sights were once unimaginable in the pious rural areas of southern Xinjiang.
In bookstores, Uyghur language tomes are relegated to sections labeled "ethnic minority language books". The government boasts that nearly a thousand Uyghur titles are published a year, but none are by Perhat Tursun, a lyrical modernist author, or Yalqun Rozi, a textbook editor and firebrand commentator. They, like most prominent Uyghur intellectuals, have been imprisoned.

On the shelves instead: Xi Jinping thought, biographies of Mao, lectures on socialist values, and Mandarin-Uyghur dictionaries. Many Uyghurs still struggle with Mandarin, from young men to elderly grandmothers. In recent years, the government has made Mandarin the mandatory standard in schools.

fwee Ireland
by Cat on Sun Oct 10th, 2021 at 01:20:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Der Schmiegal's visit to Palestine, "women and minorities" edition
"where should we go?"

by Cat on Mon Oct 11th, 2021 at 05:43:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Global gas wars: the fun has just begun!
"On the other side of Belarus lies the Ukraine, where things are even more fun. Back in spring of 2019 the Ukraine declined Russia's gracious offer to sell it gas $240-260 per thousand cubes (a quarter of the current spot price) and instead opted to buy it on the spot market."
US trade group calls for restrictions on LNG exports, 17 Sep 2021
by Cat on Mon Oct 4th, 2021 at 11:38:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Horrific torture videos show widespread rape and brutalisation of inmates inside Putin's jails: 'Torture conveyer belt' sees rapists deployed to 'break' male prisoners, 2021
The sick scheme was exposed in a leak of 40Gb of video footage which was smuggled out of the archives of Russia's FSIN prison service by an anonymous Belarussian man who claims he was tasked with archiving the videos while in jail.

Now freed, the man handed a smuggled copy of the material to campaigners at Gulagu.net who have published parts of it online - while calling for reforms. MailOnline has reviewed a section of the material, but has decided not to publish most of it because of the highly distressing nature of the footage.

21st Century Eugenics: Reproductive Injustice at the Border (2020)
100 years later ...
Rikers Island isn't in the wrong place -- it just has the wrong management!
by Cat on Wed Oct 6th, 2021 at 09:21:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Singapore shows the world what 'endemic' COVID might look like
Experts say that Singapore's climbing cases, more than half of which are in vaccinated individuals, may signal that COVID-19 is becoming an endemic disease in the city-state, meaning COVID-19 circulates in a population like its four coronaviruses cousins but doesn't upend lives due to widespread immunity. As long as deaths remain low, Singapore can set an example for how other countries, especially those that have maintained zero tolerance for COVID-19, can emerge from the pandemic.
Singapore's data shows that 52% of infections in the last month have been among the vaccinated while 48% have been unvaccinated.

Singapore has used COVID-19 vaccines from U.S. makers Pfizer and Moderna for its national campaign, while some private clinics have also distributed doses from China's Sinovac for individuals that prefer the Chinese jab.

< wipes tears >
by Cat on Thu Oct 7th, 2021 at 02:03:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WHO starts shipping COVID-19 medical supplies to N. Korea
a possible sign that the North is easing one of the world's strictest pandemic border closures to receive outside help. WHO said in a weekly monitoring report that it has started the shipment of essential COVID-19 medical supplies through the Chinese port of Dalian for "strategic stockpiling and further dispatch" to North Korea.
wut sanctions
The latest WHO report came weeks after Kim during a ruling party meeting ordered officials to wage a tougher anti-virus campaign in "our style" after he turned down some foreign COVID-19 vaccines offered via COVAX.

UNICEF, which procures and delivers vaccines on behalf of the COVAX distribution program, said last month that North Korea proposed its allotment of about 3 million Sinovac shots be sent to severely affected countries instead. < wipes tears > Some ["]analysts["] say the North is angling to receive more effective jabs amid questions about the Sinovac vaccine's effectiveness.

Australia's borders to stay closed until mid-2022, 21 May 2021
by Cat on Fri Oct 8th, 2021 at 01:55:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DISCOP Kigali will take place from Sunday 12 to Tuesday 14 December 2021 at the Kigali Convention Center.
Global and regional distributors will be joining Africa's most buzzed-about creators for three days of pre-organized meetings with broadcasters, pay-tv services, mobile and streaming platforms, and major production houses servicing Sub-Saharan Africa.

The compact market will showcase finished content, adaptation rights, and projects in development. We will also help independents share their content and ideas, and get connected to representation, financing, distribution, and global buyers seeking local programming that can be rolled out worldwide.
As part of government measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the following is mandatory upon entry into Rwanda: CLICK HERE.

The only accepted test is a SARS-CoV 2 Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) performed within 72 hours prior to departure (meaning travelers must be tested and get results within 3 days of their first flight). Other tests, such as Rapid Diagnostics Tests (RDTs), are not accepted.
by Cat on Sun Oct 10th, 2021 at 06:01:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Politico | Tensions grow between Moderna, White House over vaccine production, Defense Production acts
The Biden administration has urged Moderna for months to increase its production domestically, in an attempt to help deliver on the president's pledge to make the U.S. "an arsenal of vaccines" for the world ... despite the company's agreement to supply 500 million doses to low- and middle-income countries, including 34 million doses this year, through the international vaccine aid program known as the COVAX Facility.
If Moderna agreed to sell the Biden administration doses for poorer countries it would likely be asked to do so at cost, one source said, putting pressure on its bottom line.
The Biden administration's strained talks with Moderna stand in stark contrast to its relationship with Pfizer and[?!] BioNTech. The partners turned down government aid to develop their Covid-19 shot but have worked with the administration to increase global vaccination. In September, the two companies [?!] signed a deal with the federal government to deliver 1 billion doses of their vaccine for international donation by the end of September 2022 [BWAH!].
APsplainin | Moderna has no plans to share its Covid-19 vaccine recipe
[Chairman] Noubar Afeyan also reiterated a pledge Moderna made a year ago not to enforce patent infringement on anyone else making a coronavirus vaccine during the pandemic.
"Within the next six to nine months, the most reliable way to make high-quality vaccines and in an efficient way is going to be if we make them," Afeyan said. Asked about appeals from the World Health Organization and others, he contended that such pleas assumed "that we couldn't get enough capacity, but in fact we know we can."
Moderna is working with multiple governments "to help them secure supplies for the express purpose of supplying to low-income countries,'' the executive said. "There is more supply in the EU and the U.S. government than they will be able to use," said Afeyan, who is also a co-founder of Moderna.
archived Covid Vaccines: The "LEAKED" Pfizer Contract, EU proposes alternative to IP waiver
by Cat on Tue Oct 12th, 2021 at 04:03:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
in light of the recent ICC decision not to resume investigation of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM war crimes, UN ends Yemen war crimes probe in defeat for Western states [?!]
Members narrowly voted to reject a resolution led by the Netherlands to give the independent investigators another two years to monitor atrocities in Yemen's conflict. It marked the first time in the council's 15-year history that a resolution was defeated.
US, France, Britain may be complicit in Yemen war crimes, UN report says
The United States, Britain and France may be complicit in war crimes in Yemen by arming and providing intelligence and logistics support to a Saudi-led coalition that starves civilians as a war tactic, the United Nations said on Tuesday (3 September).
Rights activists said this week that Saudi Arabia lobbied heavily against the Western Dutch resolution. The kingdom is not a voting member of the UN Human Rights Council and its delegation did not respond to Reuters' requests for comment.
Statement by Group of Experts on Yemen on HRC rejection of resolution to renew their mandate
During the debate, Bahraini ambassador Yusuf Abdulkarim Bucheeri said that the international group of investigators had "contributed to spreading misinformation about the situation on the ground" in Yemen.
GEE on Yemen Roll Call, 7 Oct 2021
In the vote called by Saudi ally Bahrain, 21 countries voted against the Dutch resolution including China, Cuba, Pakistan, Russia, Venezuela and Uzbekistan. Eighteen including Britain, France and Germany voted [for] it.
How did US vote? It didn't.
US envoy on Yemen returns as UN drops ["]abuse["] probe
The US envoy on Yemen on Friday started a fresh peace bid that includes a stop in Saudi Arabia, which succeeded in scuttling a UN-backed probe into abuses in the conflict.

Tim "Iraqi Freedom" Lenderking, tasked by President Joe Biden with working to end a war that has brought a humanitarian catastrophe, arrived in Jordan and will also visit Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates[,] and Oman, the State Department said.
The United States said it had "strongly supported the renewal of the mandate because we believe there must be accountability for human rights violations and abuses in Yemen.

"This failure to renew the GEE's mandate blocks critical, independent reporting on human rights abuses in Yemen," a State Department spokesperson said.

by Cat on Fri Oct 8th, 2021 at 08:39:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or British lead prosecutor Karim Ahmad Khan wants his salary paid out end of the month ...

But the United States is not a party to the ICC, and imposed sanctions against the office of the prosecutor for investigating the role of U.S. forces. Shifting the focus of the probe could help mend the court's relationship with Washington.

A lawyer who represents Afghan victims of suspected U.S. torture in the ICC investigation said the narrowing of its focus was "deeply flawed".

"Allowing powerful states to get away (with) multi-year, multi-continent torture against so many, feeds impunity for all," she said on Twitter.

Judges will now review the request.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 8th, 2021 at 10:54:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Doubt this will go anywhere

China, Russia urge U.S. to clarify its military biological activities

In a joint statement released Thursday by the two nations' foreign ministers, China and Russia expressed grave worry about U.S. military biological activities.

According to the statement, U.S. military biological activities pose a severe threat to the national security of the Russian Federation and China and are detrimental to the security of relevant regions.

The two sides urged the U.S. to behave in an open, transparent, and responsible manner by informing properly on its military biological activities conducted overseas and on its national territory, according to the statement.

But amusing, none the less

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Oct 11th, 2021 at 06:32:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]

France still being this mad about the submarines is one of my favorite subplots.

by generic on Tue Oct 19th, 2021 at 08:11:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China Urges Hui to Tap Wealth; Firms to Repay; Evergrande Update

China has urged companies to make payments on their offshore bonds, and asked China Evergrande Group's billionaire founder Hui Ka Yan to tap his personal wealth to help solve the company's deepening debt crisis.

I like Bloomberg's "asked"....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Oct 27th, 2021 at 10:22:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
[Xinjiang] mummies didn't migrate during the Bronze Age, genetic analysis finds
Until now, researchers had proposed three migration routes: either they were ["]western Eurasians["] moving south from Siberia, or they were ["]Central Asian["] farmers moving east, or else they had to be a mobile pastoral community moving west along the mountains.

Genetic analysis published in the journal Nature on Thursday reveals the Tarim people were a genetically isolated population of ancient ["]North Eurasians["] with roots dating back to the Holocene.

archived scientific orientalism
The identity of the earliest inhabitants of Xinjiang, in the heart of ["]Inner Asia["], and the languages that they spoke have long been debated and remain contentious1. Here we present genomic data from 5 individuals dating to around 3000-2800 BC from the Dzungarian Basin and 13 individuals dating to around 2100-1700 BC from the Tarim Basin, representing the earliest yet discovered human remains from North and South Xinjiang, respectively. We find that the Early Bronze Age Dzungarian individuals exhibit a predominantly Afanasievo ancestry with an additional local contribution, and the Early-Middle Bronze Age Tarim individuals contain only a local ancestry. ...
archived Herodotus rising
by Cat on Wed Oct 27th, 2021 at 11:09:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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