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In story: April 2021

Re: April 2021 RISK ON
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Faucisplainin AstraZeneca shot is good if safety issues can be overcome, U.S. official Fauci says
"I think that the AstraZeneca vaccine from a standpoint of efficacy is a good vaccine, and if the safety issue gets straightened out in the European Union ... the efficacy of that vaccine is really quite good," he told BBC radio on Tuesday.
[...]
The AstraZeneca vaccine is being investigated by European regulators over concerns about rare cases of blood clots. It has not yet been approved in the United States. ... Officials in Britain, where the vaccine was first approved, have advised that those aged under 30 should be offered an alternative.


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In story: HHS Closes WarpSpeed AZ Manufacturing Plant

FDA Pauses J&J Vaccination Blood Clots
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In story: April 2021

Re: April 2021 RISK ON
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REUTERSplainin U.S. calls for pause on Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine
The move from the U.S. regulators comes less than a week after Europe's drugs regulator said it was reviewing rare blood clots in four people in the United States who received the shot.
US supply chain discipline Merck (NC), Catalent (MD)

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In story: April 2021

Re: April 2021 RISK ON
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APsplainin US recommends 'pause' for J&J vaccine over clot reports
U.S. federal distribution channels, including mass vaccination sites, will pause the use of the J&J shot, and states and other providers are expected to follow.
archived The ["]AstraZeneca["] Factory in Baltimore, EMA clears ["]Leiden vaccine["] for use

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In story: April 2021

Re: April 2021
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Fortunately, the list of weapons is long and harrowing.

by Cat on
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In story: Rebuilding US Alliance with EU - Human Rights

Reagonomics and Trickle Down Economy
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I think it all comes back to one central theme: income inequality. Capitalism is sort of this gangster construct that leverages a species' selfishness and creates all sorts of prosperity from that selfishness. But the key to successful capitalism has always been a middle class.

At the turn of the millennium, America was the only superpower, and we had the most prosperous middle class in the world. In the past 20 years, the key feature of China's rise into a superpower has been adding several hundred million people to its middle class. But for the past 50 years in America, we have decided to transfer wealth from the middle class to the shareholder class.

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In story: Rebuilding US Alliance with EU - Human Rights

Is There A Session for Violent Males?
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In story: March 2021

Twins, Timberwolves in Minnesota
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"Our private sector must stop taking cues from the Outrage-Industrial Complex."

🤣 😄 but ... but corporations are people too as per decision by a Repugs packed Supreme Court 🤣 🌙

Businesses Aren't Listening to Mitch McConnell's Advice to 'Stay Out of Politics' | NY Mag |

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Over 100 top corporate leaders convened in a "first-of-its-kind" virtual meeting to plan a concerted response to the Republican-backed voting rights restrictions that have swept the nation. 

The move comes amid a fissure between the GOP and Corporate America following the latter's denunciation of HB 202, a sweeping anti-voting bill passed by the Georgia state legislature late last month. When the MLB pulled its All-Star game from Atlanta in protest of the newly-minted law, many GOP Senators accused corporate America of falling into the hands of the "radical leftists."

Last month, when 100 major corporations signaled their opposition to HB 202, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., whose PAC received some $475 million from corporate donors last year alone, told Corporate America to "stay out of politics."

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In story: Rebuilding US Alliance with EU - Human Rights

Re: Stats 400,000 Deaths Yearly in America
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Many in U.S., Western Europe Say Their Political System Needs Major Reform | Pew Research |

FALSE!

Of course, there are important differences across these countries' political systems. But the four nations also share some important democratic principles, and all have recently experienced political upheaval in different ways, as rising populist leaders and movements and emerging new forces across the ideological spectrum have challenged traditional parties and leaders.

Not the same morals and democratic principles, not even close. American citizens are living in a violent society in fear. I lived there and grew up in a rural setting ... that was in the 1960s. It has gotten so much worse after Reaganomics and limiting care and health benefits.

True, a land of opportunity ... but at a high cost for the many. Slavery by other means.

by Oui on
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In story: Rebuilding US Alliance with EU - Human Rights

Stats 400,000 Deaths Yearly in America
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Every year Americans die at a high rate when compared to citizens of a social-democratic Europe. God Bless America ... the religion of wealth ... for the few as the vast majority can dream of riches and health.

Study reveals alarming trend in US death rates since 2000 | The Guardian |

    Despite spending far more than other wealthy countries on healthcare, the United States has relatively higher mortality rates and lower life expectancy - attributed to a plethora of factors including obesity, opioid overdoses, gun violence, suicides, smoking, road accidents and infant deaths.
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In story: Rebuilding US Alliance with EU - Human Rights

Re: Human Rights Daily Violations USA
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A Trial Pause for a Breather

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In story: Rebuilding US Alliance with EU - Human Rights

Re: Human Rights Daily Violations USA
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The Gadget Excuse to Kill Young Blacks

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In story: Rebuilding US Alliance with EU - Human Rights

Re: Human Rights Daily Violations USA
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To Be Black or Asian in America

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In story: Assassins for Hire In UAE and Saudi Arabia

Re: Peace ... Heroism, Hope and Diplomacy
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Israel hand in hand ... found their destiny with Bushites and Trumpism ... terror, war, invasion, detentions, bombing and assassinations. Behavior outside of Universal and International Law and treaties. End of time for Jews and Evangelists dictating course of history ... the Sunni regimes of the Gulf joining the brew.

Pariah states in Middle East unrest

Corruption trial PM Netanyahu where the "Bezeq-Walla Affair"  crosses Obama's JCPOA Iran nuclear deal | JPost |

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In story: Assassins for Hire In UAE and Saudi Arabia

Peace ... Heroism, Hope and Diplomacy
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Choices Made for Permanent War

Undermining all efforts for peace by new settlements on the West Bank thwarting a Palestinian State and Nuclear free Middle East. Eternity is forever ... sowing seeds of hate.

Today's Middle East where corruption and evil triumphs.

by Oui on
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In story: April 2021

Re: April 2021
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If you were to make a list of Hollywood personalities who might help your political cause, Charlie Sheen would be quite a ways down it.
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In story: Rebuilding US Alliance with EU - Human Rights

Re: Rebuilding US Alliance with EU - Human Rights
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CNN - Ukrainian Trains With Heavy Weapons Going East Are 'Russian Aggression'

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In story: April 2021

Re: April 2021 superstitious people
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archived Happy Vanuatu Day, grey areas

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In story: Assassins for Hire In UAE and Saudi Arabia

Re: Pegasus-NSO Group-BlackCube-UAE-Saudi Arabia
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Abu Dhabi: Mohamed bin Zayed appoints ATRC's Secretary General  (27 May 2020)

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, has issued Decision No. 13 for 2020 to appoint His Excellency Faisal Abdulaziz Al Bannai as the Secretary General of the Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC).

Linked to Faisal Abdulaziz Al Bannai ...

HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein is a woman of many facets. She is a devoted wife and mother, a former Olympic athlete, a humanitarian, a UN Messenger of Peace, a former member of the International Olympic Committee, former President of the International Equestrian Federation and the first Jordanian woman to hold a license to drive heavy trucks.

 
Princess Haya and Sheikh Mohammed, pictured at Epsom Derby in 2016, are regular race-goers

She is the daughter of HM the Late King Hussein Bin Talal of Jordan (1935-1999) and HM the Late Queen Alia Al Hussein (1948-1977); and the wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai.

A devout Muslim no doubt! May I presume there is no love lost between the Tyrannic ruler of Dubai and the brother-in-law of sorts King Abdullah II of Jordan. Haya is the full sister of King Abdullah II.

Princess Haya Bint al-Hussein: The Dubai royal 'hiding in London'

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In story: Assassins for Hire In UAE and Saudi Arabia

Re: Pegasus-NSO Group-BlackCube-UAE-Saudi Arabia
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UAE-based intelligence firm said recruiting IDF veterans from elite cyber unit | Times of Israel - Oct. 18, 2019 |

DarkMatter was founded in 2015 by telecom entrepreneur Faisal al-Bannai, and currently employs around 650 people in several countries including Cyprus, Singapore, China, Finland and Canada.

In the interview, al-Bannai acknowledged that DarkMatter was recruiting Western intelligence analysts, mainly from the NSA and CIA, for their experience.

While he made no mention of recruiting Israelis, al-Bannai said during the interview that the "only country in the region that's strong in cybersecurity is Israel... other than that, it's blank."

In 2017, the New York Times reported that the private Israeli cybersecurity firm NSO Group mysteriously lost the services of numerous employees, all of them Unit 8200 graduates.

The report said that a private investigator hired by NSO discovered that the former employees had moved to Cyprus and were working at a research and development facility owned by DarkMatter. Sources also told the Times that Israeli programmers ran DarkMatter's Singapore office.

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In story: Assassins for Hire In UAE and Saudi Arabia

Pegasus-NSO Group-BlackCube-UAE-Saudi Arabia
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Black Cube and Oligarchs in the Shadows | Tikun Olam - Nov. 2017 |

Citizens Lab: 36 journalists from the Al Jazeera Media Network were hacked using advanced spyware from Israel, and it is believed that the attacks were probably linked to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

by Oui on
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When I was a student I spent a summer working in Wildwood NJ and Virginia Beach. I was often asked where I came from and when I said Ireland I would get a blank stare followed by Iowa? Idaho? Finally, Ireland in Europe registered.

But I'm not sure if I care much about whether the EU is taken seriously in Washington. They tend to mirror Stalin's response when told that the Pope might not approve some proposed course of action. "The Pope? How many divisions has he?" was his no doubt apocryphal reply.

But I'm quite happy for the EU to be under-estimated provided it delivers the goods when it matters. You could call it the cute Kerryman strategy - pretend to be a complete gobdaw while you are buying and selling your opponent behind his back.

I would not like the EU to acquire the accoutrements of superpower status: Large army, militarised police and political culture, authoritarian attitudes and imperialist mind-sets.  If that is the price of being taken seriously by Putin, Erdogan or Washington, then it's not worth it.

What the EU DOES need to start doing, however, is to deliver more tangible benefits for its citizens. Maintaining the peace in Europe is never to be taken for granted, but it is not enough to develop a European identity, demos or civic space or to justify continued membership amongst more nationalistically minded citizens.

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: April 2021

Re: April 2021
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He stole (according to the Russian prosecutor) 123 million USD from Aeroflot in the 90ies. No matter the exakt sum, there may be more then one person with motive here.
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In story: April 2021

Re: April 2021
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The Irish Times view on EU-Turkey tensions: a revealing snub
Ankara insists it was a straightforward error, but many others, knowing Erdogan's obsession with status and macho one-upmanship and the quasi-monarchical trappings with which he surrounds himself, struggle to believe that. Erdogan, whose circle is male-dominated, was aware that at the meeting he would be scolded over Turkey's withdrawal from a landmark treaty on violence against women.

The fallout neatly captured the EU's larger divisions on Turkey, which have stymied efforts to present a united front in dealing with the increasingly authoritarian Erdogan. While von der Leyen had no doubt she was deliberately slighted, Michel let Erdogan off the hook by blaming the incident on a "strict interpretation" of protocol rules. Michel said he carried on the meeting to avoid causing a scene. To critics, that merely showed how Erdogan intimidates the EU.

by Bernard on
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Women's groups launch petition calling for Charles Michel to resign  - Brussels Time
European women's associations have written to the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, asking him to step down following "Sofagate," the label given to an incident on Tuesday in which European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was subjected to a protocol snub in Ankara.

A petition launched by the associations obtained over 2,500 signatures in less than two days in Belgium, France, Italy and even outside the European Union.

The petition was started by the Millenia Foundation, an international public utility foundation for women's empowerment and equality, following Tuesday's incident, in which Michel and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sat in the only two armchairs provided when the Turkish leader received his EU visitors, leaving the Commission President standing.

by Bernard on
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I don't know how important seating arrangements are, but viewing the EU from the US suggests that it is a long way from being taken seriously on this side of the pond.

I would bet that if you asked 100 Americans about the EU you would get a blank stare from 99 of them. We "know about" Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, Spain, and maybe a couple of other European countries, but I know zero people who could identify Slovenia, for example, on a map--even though it is the home country of the ex-FLOTUS. And most of what we "know" comes from watching glorious WW2 movies on TV.

As for the EU, a few people might say something about the Common Market, but that is about it.

If the EU wants to be taken seriously, it needs to take that huge step from being a confederacy to a federation, with all the accoutrements, as mentioned above.

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News and Views

 April 2021

by Bernard - Apr 4, 57 comments

Your take on this month's news

 March 2021

by Bernard - Mar 1, 168 comments

Your take on this month's news

 March-April Open Thread

by Bernard - Mar 14, 13 comments

Waiting for spring... and for vaccines.

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