Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

December 2023

by Oui Fri Dec 1st, 2023 at 10:50:28 PM EST

Your take on today's news media

If you would like to join the discussion, then to add a link or comment to a topic or section, please click on "Reply to this" in one of the following sections:

  •   EUROPE - the public affairs of the European continent and the EU.
  •   ECONOMY & FINANCE - with a focus on the economic crisis.
  •   WORLD - geopolitics, the affairs of nations and supranational entities.
  •   JOE BIDEN'S USA - the United States and Joe's clean sheet
  •   LIVING OFF THE PLANET - what we extract from the planet and the effect we have: environment, energy, agriculture, food...
  •   LIVING ON THE PLANET - how humans live together: society, culture, history, science and technology, information...
  •   ON THIS DATE - an occasional item about what happened on this date in history.
  •   PEOPLE AND KLATSCH - stories about people and of course also for gossipy items. But it's also there for open discussion at any time.

If you click on "Post a Comment", this will put the link or your comment out of context at the bottom of the page. Please use "Reply to This" to avoid doing that.

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Dec 1st, 2023 at 10:53:46 PM EST
Axel | https:/www.politico.eu/article/brazil-anger-eu-carbon-tax-infiltrates-cop28-luiz-ignazio-lula-da-si lva-china-india-south-africa, 5 Dec COP28 CBAM
In the first iteration of a draft negotiating text published Tuesday, some countries are pushing for language that would see the nearly 200 countries represented at this year's talks criticize measures such as the EU's carbon border tax—essentially a levy on carbon-intensive products coming into the bloc.
The development reflects the rising tensions between the EU and its trade partners, coming just as EU trade talks with Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay ground to a halt this week. China earlier this year also escalated a fight against the EU at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the tax, questioning whether the measure complies with global trade rules.
Brazil's lead negotiator André Corrêa do Lago told reporters again that "some countries decided to adopt some trade measures that we believe don't help developing countries to increase their efforts toward fighting climate change."  He cited several United Nations agreements that Brazil sees as supporting its case. The BASIC
Party groupings
Each Party to the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol is represented at sessions of the Convention bodies by a national delegation consisting of one or more officials empowered to represent and negotiate on behalf of their government.
Several other groups also work together in the climate change process, including countries from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a group of countries of Central Asia, Caucasus, Albania and Moldova (CACAM), the Cartagena Dialogue, the Independent Alliance of Latin America and the Caribbean (AILAC), the BASIC Group (Brazil, South Africa, China, India), the Like Minded Group, the Coalition for Rainforest Nations, and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA in Spanish).
submission also warns that such measures go against the Paris Agreement principles of "​​equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities," meaning that developed countries responsible for the bulk of emissions in the atmosphere should do more to tackle climate change than developing nations. Corrêa do Lago also hit back at suggestions that Brazil should take its concerns to the WTO instead.

"Why are we dealing with that here and not at the WTO?" he asked. "It's very interesting. The same countries that say, 'Oh, you shouldn't be discussing this at COP, go to the WTO please,' say at the WTO that 'Oh, you should be discussing this at the COP."

archive EU values-led foreign policy, CBAM $80B per year by 2040, EU chasing Mercosur deal
by Cat on Tue Dec 5th, 2023 at 09:44:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Axel | Michel to cut China trip short as Orbán issues fresh threat over Ukraine's EU bid, 5 Dec
according to an EU official, as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán threatens to derail an end-of-year EU leaders' summit.
The Hungarian leader has adamantly opposed opening accession negotiations with Kyiv, after the European Commission approved the start of membership talks in November, and has threatened to veto a planned €50 billion in aid for Ukraine.

Michel will now return early from the Chinese capital after a first day of meetings Thursday—partly because he does not have a secure phone line in Beijing to speak to EU leaders without China listening in, the official said. French President Emmanuel Macron has also invited Orbán to meet him in Paris at the end of this week to seek to strike a compromise, another official told POLITICO.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on December 6, 2023
AFP: The China-EU Summit will be held in Beijing this week. Yesterday, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said that the EU will not tolerate over time an imbalance in the trade relationship between the EU and China. She added that "We have tools to protect our market, but we prefer to have negotiated solutions." What is China's response to this? Is China concerned over the possibility of a trade war with the EU in the future?
Wang Wenbin: First of all, let me say that China has never deliberately sought trade surplus. On the contrary, we have consistently advanced high-level opening up and invited all countries to share China's mega market with a population of over 1.4 billion by hosting the China International Import Expo [CIIE] and the China International Supply Chain Expo....
archive CIIE, Xi meets Scholz via video link, Ursula 'Foresight', EU-China Strike Investment Deal 2020, EU-China summit 2019
The Paper: According to reports, on December 5, an EU official said that President of the European Council Charles Michel does not have a secure phone line in Beijing to talk to EU leaders without China eavesdropping. Do you have any comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: It should have been clear to EU officials that it is not China who has conducted eavesdropping and espionage on leaders of EU countries and institutions.
archive Where are Charles Michel and Josep Borrell? in Ruble and Yuan
by Cat on Wed Dec 6th, 2023 at 07:07:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Jet-setting. VDL's vanishing values-based de-risking trade legacy

Klaus F. Zimmermann | chinadailyRe-visiting EU-China de-risking, 7 Dec

...China is pursuing the ratification of the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment [CAI], a proposed deal between China and the EU. The agreement, already endorsed in principle by EU leaders in December 2020, still awaits ratification by the European Parliament.
Opponents of the CAI raise the spectre of interference in market mechanisms and a departure from established rules governing market economies. This apprehension is rooted in the fear that such deviations could undermine globalization efforts and erode the integrity of market mechanisms. Furthermore, there are valid concerns that the agreement may inadvertently exacerbate existing trade imbalances, posing challenges to the EU's efforts to foster equitable economic relationships....
by Cat on Thu Dec 7th, 2023 at 11:20:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LEAK: EU Commission queries member states, defence industry on draft industrial strategy, 29 Nov
"one-stop-shop" CLIMATE CRISIS structural adjustment
The three non-papers and questionnaires include around 50 questions on ideas to shape the future European Defence Industry Strategy (EDIS), to "invest better together" and make the industry more flexible, to be answered by 29 December.
The consultation comes after the Commission was criticised for not conducting impact assessments before presenting its Act in Support of Ammunition Production (ASAP), ammunition plan for Ukraine, and the Joint Procurement Act (EDIRPA). After an attempt to propose a strategy earlier this autumn, a US-style Defence Production Act, Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton postponed it to next year and announced consultations with stakeholders. The Council [of the European Union?] rejected regulatory proposals to ramp up production in the spring and called for a new text, including on production capacity mapping.
EPF, EDCC, EDIP, EDF, DJPTF: dont-say-state-aid
The EU also asked whether "an EU equivalent of the US FMS-scheme be considered" for member states and third countries < wipes tears > including Ukraine, as Politico reported. The US foreign military sales programme approves and facilitates all US companies' sales to foreign governments.
With China on its mind, the Commission calls on "a Europeanisation of supply chains" and asks how to "design and implement an effective security of supply regime within the internal market, in particular when a crisis occurs"—the topic of the fourth paper.

The papers already mentioned ideas such as extending the ammunition ramp-up fund model to other products, coordination in defence planning across the bloc, increased standardisation especially of ammunition, and revising the EDF. But they do not touch on the competitiveness of large and small companies within the EU or on a potential division of labour among EU member states. Establishing such a scheme could enable the development of a European champion and might push some smaller companies to disappear as a result of competition.

Remarks by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III at the Ukraine Defense Industrial Base Conference, 6 Dec
archived We are the keepers of global and shared values
by Cat on Thu Dec 7th, 2023 at 04:29:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]

NY Post, 13 Dec: "Artificial intelligence" agent ChatGPT duplicates moar tabloid "media operator" eNTitiEs, Axel Springer.

European Media Freedom Act crisis response story developing ...

by Cat on Thu Dec 14th, 2023 at 12:43:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
consilium.europa.eu | Council and Parliament strike deal on new rules to safeguard media freedom, media pluralism and editorial independence in the EU, 15 Dec
The Council has reached a provisional agreement with the European Parliament on a new law to safeguard media freedom, media pluralism and editorial independence in the EU. The European media freedom act (EMFA) will establish a common framework for media services in the EU's internal market and introduce measures aimed at protecting journalists and media providers from political interference, while also making it easier for them to operate across the EU's internal borders. The new rules will guarantee the right of citizens to access free and plural information and define the responsibility of member states to provide the appropriate conditions and framework to protect it.
by Cat on Fri Dec 15th, 2023 at 04:48:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
msn newvoiceofUKRAINE | EU weighs suspending Hungary's voting rights for blocking EUR 50 billion aid to Ukraine - FT, 18 Dec
EU officials are considering suspending Hungary's voting rights after it blocked EUR 50 billion ($54.7 billion) in aid to Ukraine, Financial Times reported, citing unnamed European officials on Dec. 18.
EU strives to make Orbán realise 'full costs' of isolation after Ukraine veto
...The Hungarian leader also pointed out that he still has 75 opportunities to block Ukraine's access[] process, since every stage requires the unanimous approval of EU members. Further complicating matters, Hungary assumes the bloc's six-month rotating presidency in July, another potential source of leverage....
The officials point to Article 7 of the Treaty on the European Union, under which a member state can be deprived of its voting rights in the event of a violation of the rule of law. Another state can block the decision, but "a change of government in Poland means Hungary no longer has a guaranteed protector," adds FT.

"Still, multiple countries are nervous about using what is essentially the EU's biggest weapon against a member state."

archive power to the councils, 'pragmatic' federalism, "It's democracy" - euractiv e pluribus

enlargement, tragedy, farce
Why the ["]Middle Corridor["] Is a Double-Edged Sword, 14 Dec

Beyond the technical difficulties of the [World Bank (27.11.23)] Middle Corridor, beyond the fact that it cannot really supplement the old Northern Corridor, even if Europe and its partners are wildly successful in the development of the project, Europe risks being a victim of its own success < wipes tears >. In ideal circumstances, the completion of the Middle Corridor would facilitate the geoeconomic ambitions of rivals like China, Russia, Iran, and Azerbaijan. In doing so, however, it would also serve as a target for attack by regimes like Armenia and Ukraine, which Europe has offered its support. At best, Europe tacitly is advancing the ambitions of regimes that do not share its interests, and at worst, the Middle Corridor is incongruous with the security policy of most European countries.
archive EEAS We are the keepers of global and shared values
by Cat on Mon Dec 18th, 2023 at 03:25:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]

ChatGPt | Bauernpräsident droht mit Protesten, wie sie ,,das Land noch nicht erlebt hat", 18 Dec
Bauernpräsident Joachim Rukwied hat die von der Ampel-Koalition geplante Streichung von Steuervergünstigungen für die Landwirtschaft scharf kritisiert. ,,Wir nehmen das nicht hin", sagte er am Montag bei einer Kundgebung in Berlin. Dies sei ,,eine Kampfansage" an die Bauern, und diese nehme man an. Wenn die Bundesregierung die unzumutbaren Vorschläge nicht ,,ersatzlos" zurücknehme, würden Landwirte mit weiteren Protesten dafür sorgen, dass es ,,einen sehr heißen Januar" geben werde. ,,Dann werden wir ab 8. Januar überall präsent sein in einer Art und Weise, wie es das Land noch nicht erlebt hat."
Traktoren rollen durch Berlin
Bei der Polizei waren etwa 3000 Menschen zu der Kundgebung angemeldet. Zu dem Protest waren hunderte Landwirte mit Traktoren nach Berlin gefahren. Bereits am Morgen sammelten sich erste Fahrzeuge auf der Straße des 17. Juni nahe dem Brandenburger Tor, wie die Verkehrsinformationszentrale mitteilte.
archive I see dual-use! said the blind man
by Cat on Mon Dec 18th, 2023 at 08:06:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
register | Artificial intelligence is not a manufacturer liability, 21 Dec
the risk of relying on AI computer programming models is enough that Google, Microsoft, and Anthropic have offered to indemnify [sic] customers from copyright claims (which are numerous and largely unresolved). That's not something you do unless there's a chance of liability.

Authorities are still trying to figure out how AI computer programming liability should be assessed. Consider how the European Commission framed the issue as it works toward formulating a workable legal framework for artificial intelligence computer programming:

"Current liability rules, in particular national rules based on fault, are not adapted to handle compensation claims for harm caused by AI computer programming-enabled products/services," the Commission said [PDF] last year. "Under such rules, victims need to prove a wrongful action/omission of a person ["eNTiTy"] that caused the damage. The specific characteristics of AI computer programming, including autonomy [sic] and opacity (the so-called 'black box' effect), make it difficult or prohibitively expensive to identify the liable person ["eNTiTy"] and prove the requirements for a successful liability claim [of product defect]."

Don't get too excited about seeing AI firm execs behind bars: The involvement of AI computer programming industry leaders ["eNTiTiEs"] in this process suggests any rules that emerge will be about as effective as other regulatory frameworks that have been defanged by lobbyists.

Trust us, says EU, our AI computer programming Act will make AI computer programming trustworthy by banning the nasty ones, 11 Dec
by Cat on Mon Dec 25th, 2023 at 01:39:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
euractiv | Member states deal heavy blow to platform work deal, 22 Dec eNtItiES
...The platform work directive seeks to ensure workers of digital platforms such as Deliveroo and Uber have the correct contractual status based on their treatment and working conditions. The legislation also sets new ambitious provisions on algorithmic management in the workplace.

The directive faced significant backlash and stalemates ever since it was first introduced in December 2021. The Council of the EU and the European Parliament could never quite see eye to eye, especially on the architecture and functioning of a new legal mechanism known as the legal presumption of employment.

Under this new system, self-employed platform workers could be reclassified as full-time employees based on their working relationship with digital platforms. However, how the presumption is triggered, who can trigger it and the modalities of the presumption's rebuttal have been the source of heavy disagreements—and it is ultimately what led to the demise of the provisional agreement in Coreper....

archive September 2022 "political union", November 2021 labor
by Cat on Tue Dec 26th, 2023 at 11:07:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
consilium.europa.eu/en | EU leaders agreed to start accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova
"At the EU summit in Brussels, leaders decided to open accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova. They also agreed to start negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina once the necessary conditions are met and granted Georgia candidate status."
inside stories
consilium.europa.eu | European Council, 14-15 December 2023
"On the first day, EU leaders adopted conclusions on Ukraine and enlargement. They decided to open accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova, and to grant candidate status to Georgia. They also decided to open accession negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina once it has met the necessary membership criteria."
• European Council conclusions on Ukraine, enlargement and reforms
• Multiannual financial framework 2021-2027 negotiating box
• Press statement by the President of the European Council Charles Michel
• Main results, 14 December
Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine
"EU leaders reiterated their resolute condemnation of Russia's war and their unwavering solidarity with Ukraine and its people."

around €85 billion
in overall assistance to Ukraine from the EU and member states
[background information]
• Military and defence needs ...
• Reconstruction of Ukraine ...
• Sanctions against Russia ...
• Accountability of perpetrators ...
• Belarus, Iran and North Korea
• Global food security
• Enlargement and reforms
-- Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia
-- Western Balkans
-- Internal reforms
• Mid-term review of EU long-term budget

Agenda highlights, 15 December

by Cat on Fri Dec 15th, 2023 at 05:05:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bankova's fluctuations. Why the statement of the Rada about the refusal of elections during the war does not mean that they will not be held, 15 Dec
...if it becomes clear that Zaluzhny is not going to the polls, Bankova's concept may change dramatically again. Since the president has no other serious competitors, but there is still a desire to get a mandate for 5 years in the elections during martial law in order to be more free in the future in the options for ending the war.

In the name of Jean Monnet

We have reported that the majority of parliamentary factions and depgroups have called for the rejection of elections in Ukraine (both presidential and parliamentary) until the end of the war. According to this declaration, they should be held no earlier than six months after the lifting of martial law.

As it turned out later, such a proposal was opposed only in the parliamentary group " Restoration of Ukraine "(VU). We'll come back to that later.
The declaration is part of a document entitled "Conclusions adopted during the Ninth Jean Monnet Dialogue" [10-12 Nov]. The event was held on November 10-12 in the village of Turya Apiary, Transcarpathian region.

It was attended by a part of the leadership of the Parliament, leaders or representatives of the majority of factions and groups of the Rada. The European structures were represented by a delegation headed by former President of the European Parliament Pet Cox.

In fact, the EP is the initiator and mediator of these intra-parliamentary roundtables, named after the ideologist of European integration "Jean Monnet Dialogue"....

by Cat on Fri Dec 15th, 2023 at 06:53:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Axel | EU puts list of Chinese firms with Russia links on Xi's table, 7 Dec sum it
European Council chief Charles Michel warned Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Thursday to immediately deal with "a list of companies" involved in supplying Russia with dual-use goods, indicating that EU countries will soon discuss whether to sanction these entities.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who is responsible for drawing up the upcoming package of sanctions, said she told Xi "to prevent any attempts by Russia to undermine the impact of sanctions."
President Xi Jinping Meets European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (07.12.23)
Wang Yi was present at the meeting.
The Chinese readout by state media Xinhua didn't say how Xi responded to those concerns, though he did say the two sides should "increase understanding and properly handle differences through constructive dialogue."
peoplesdaily | 'De-risking' only a lose-lose option for EU (06.12.23)
...From a formal perspective, the EU's "de-risking" policy largely appears to blindly follow the diplomatic route of the United States, which doesn't align with European interests. Despite the US and Europe' different positions on China, there is a gradual convergence in rhetoric, and both sides are leveraging their dominant international mechanisms globally to collaboratively advance the "de-risking" process against China. This implies that Europe is compelled to sacrifice its own interests in China to serve the strategic objectives of the US. Undoubtedly, this compromises the strategic autonomy emphasized by the EU, proving detrimental to the development of friendly EU-China relations and the realization of each country's individual interests in the international community....
A subsequent session with Premier Li Qiang saw more tough rhetoric against the EU's increasingly assertive agenda toward China < wipes tears >.

"China is opposed to violations of the basic principles of market economy, the politicization and securitization of economic and trade issues," Li said, adding that Beijing "hopes that Europe would be cautious in rolling out restrictive trade policies and using trade remedies."

archive "China's assertive behaviour poses a challenge to our interests, our values, our security"
Von der Leyen, asked about the EU's probe into state subsidies behind made-in-China electric vehicles, would only say the issue came up during the summit.
On the question of the EU's trade deficit against China—which has doubled to nearly €400 billion between 2020 and 2022—von der Leyen described the situation as "critically imbalanced." There were "intense" discussions with Xi, she said, and "we agreed that we have now a list of different elements where we want to deep dive in together in the high level dialogue."
Global Times editorial | Positive aspects of China-EU ties often intentionally underestimated, 8 Dec
...Whenever European leaders visit China or participate in high-level China-EU communication, some European public opinions and political elites tend to compile a list of issues to pressure China. Frankly, this approach is quite off-putting to the Chinese people. Europeans should focus on managing their own affairs well; they neither have the authority nor the qualifications to meddle in China's matters. This time, Michel and Von der Leyen received a list that included topics such as the Taiwan question, human rights issue, and even the South China Sea issue.

However, these issues were not highlighted in the EU side's official briefings before the meeting nor on the social media accounts of Michel and Von der Leyen. They were not mentioned at all. It was only in the post-meeting press releases that these issues were briefly mentioned at the end, which seemed more like a routine disclosure to address European public opinion. We have taken note of this detail and interpret it as the European side recognizing the genuine sentiments of the Chinese people and demonstrating a sense of propriety....

by Cat on Thu Dec 7th, 2023 at 11:57:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Working on same topic .... you were quicker on the draw ... "Tombstone Territory"

Ursula von der Leyen's vanishing trade legacy | Politico |

The EU chief aimed high on trade at the start of her term, but setbacks to South American and Australian deals have brought her back to earth.

  • EU leaders also came away empty-handed after flying to remote Newfoundland for a recent summit in Canada, where the deliverables went no further than reaffirming their existing partnership.

  • And a critical minerals deal with the United States to unlock access to tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act fell apart on the eve of a high-level summit in October.

  • Meanwhile, a steel dispute dating back to the Donald Trump presidency continues to fester ...
  • Meanwhile ...

    EU's trade deficit with China is almost €400 billion

    The 24th EU-China summit took place in Beijing, China. This was the first in-person EU-China summit since 2019.

    President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, accompanied by High Representative Josep Borrell, represented the EU. They met Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang at two separate sessions.

    From 'de-risking' to 'healthy interdependence': Europe needs to change its thinking toward China | Global Times |

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Fri Dec 8th, 2023 at 12:07:40 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Morawiecki sunk by no-confidence vote, 456-190
    Donald The Tusk is the shoe-in, unopposed PM.
    (until further notice)
    by Cat on Mon Dec 11th, 2023 at 04:32:30 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    voa reuters | Polish Border Crossing With Ukraine Again Blocked After Temporary Lifting, 11 Dec 07:32 AM local
    ...Monday evening, a police spokesperson in the border area said a truck had stopped diagonally across the road leading to the Yahodyn-Dorohusk crossing due to an apparent breakdown, blocking traffic in both directions. She said a tow truck was on its way to remove the vehicle....
    (crime scene)
    (morning traffic)
    reuters | About 100 lorries pass through unblocked Ukraine-Poland crossing, Kyiv says, 12 Dec 09:27 UTC
    Broadcaster Polsat News reported on Monday that the local Polish mayor had taken action to lift the blockade at the Yahodyn-Dorohusk crossing because he feared the blockage would hurt local jobs.

    "About 100 vehicles have already passed through and we are working on opening other crossings," [Ukrainian deputy infrastructure minister Serhiy] Derkach told Ukrainian television. He said that an attempt by protesters to block the road again on Monday had not stopped traffic, with the lorries using an alternative route on what is one of the largest border crossings.

    garda | Dorohusk-Yahodyn border: Truck drivers resume protest at border crossings as of Dec. 12 /update 3, 15:27 UTC
    ...The Medyka-Shehyni, Korczowa-Krakowiec, and Hrebenne-Rava-Ruska crossings remain blocked by demonstrating Polish truckers. Protesters have vowed to continue their action until at least Jan. 3; the purpose of the protests is to demand that authorities stop allowing Ukrainian truck drivers to access the EU without permits.

    Increased security is likely near active protest locations. Alternative means of transport and border crossings will likely experience increased demand and traffic. Temporary goods shortages remain possible. Clashes are possible in areas that are subject to related protest activity.

    by Cat on Wed Dec 13th, 2023 at 12:53:42 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    rmf24.pl | Carriers will start a new protest action on the road to Dorohusk, 17 Dec
    "The protest action may last until March 8, " Pavel Ozigala, one of the leaders of the protesters, confirmed to RMF FM. Ukrainian drivers are upset about the whole situation. They offer to let them out of prison, and then not let them in.

    There are also Polish drivers on the same side of the border. In addition, they are kicked out of the electronic queue system. There they also stand for several days. The cancellation of this electronic queue is one of the requirements of Polish carriers.
    Today, the queue to cross the road is 70 kilometers long. It goes back to the village of Peski in Svidnitsky povet. Waiting time before registration is approx. 100 hours. In turn, the railway to the intersection with Ukraine in Grebenna is 30 km and costs about 500 trucks. The waiting time before registration is 125 hours.

    by Cat on Tue Dec 19th, 2023 at 01:57:31 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ChatGPT | Polish truckers halt blockade at Ukraine border crossing, 24 Dec
    In a statement, the Ukrainian authorities said that "truck traffic has been restored" after "Polish farmers finished the blockade of the Medyka-Shehyni border crossing point" along the highway that links the city of Lviv in Western Ukraine to Poland's Kraków. "Registration and entry of trucks to Ukraine is going ahead normally. Border guards are working together with customs officers to ensure that as many trucks as possible cross the border."

    Polish truckers and farmers have been staging protests at four border crossings with the neighboring Eastern European country since November.
    Poland celebrates Christmas on December 24 with the festival of Wigilia, and it is unclear whether demonstrations will be resumed at Medyka-Shehyni after the holidays.
    "The level of exports from Ukraine fell by 40 percent in November due to the blockade," Danylo Hetmantsev, head of the finance, tax, and customs policy committee in the Ukrainian parliament, said earlier this month. "Every penny we collect now goes to the army, as we currently do not finance [?] anything except the army through taxes [?]. So that is the money not received by the army."

    CNN | von Clausewitz: Ukraine's path to victory runs through the streets of Moscow, 22 Dec
    Editor's Note: Matthew Schmidt has taught strategic planning [sic] at the US Army's School of Advanced Military Studies and is the director of the International Affairs program at the University of New Haven.
    Forgive this professorial moment, but it's worth it to understand that Clausewitz's basic framing of the nature of war has a deep effect on how military officers across the Western world think about when military force does and doesn't work. To get a sense of how these officers make sense of what's at stake in Ukraine today, and the ways it might play out in the key year of 2024, it's critical to know something about Dead Carl's take on war and politics.

    To Clausewitz, a 19th century Prussian general and philosopher of early modern [sic] warfare, military force was the only way to defend against a foe intent on Putin's kind of aim: imposition of political control on a target country. In this wrestling match of lethal force between two sides, professional skill and technology were required—but so were courage and determination. The critical components of victory, as Clausewitz saw them, were political will to prosecute the fight, even through losses; the will of the men (and, today, women) fighting; and the will of the population to support, or at least acquiesce to, the effort. This trinity of the political, the military, and the population was the great insight of Clausewitz's work. Professional military education emphasizes that these variables constitute the true nature of all war, whether in ancient Rome or the bloodlands of Ukraine.
    War is the realm of chaos and chance. But it also opens up the possibility of a better future in exchange for the sacrifices of so many. Dead Carl teaches us that it's the politics in Washington, Brussels, and Kyiv that will secure or squander it.

    by Cat on Sun Dec 24th, 2023 at 05:38:14 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    euronews | Russia's three wars have made peace with Putin impossible, 22 Dec
    • "with Ukraine"
    • "for revival of the Empire"
    • "with the West"
    This is exactly what Adolf Hitler would have done if, at the end of the war, the anti-Hitler coalition had agreed to a peace agreement with him. He could no longer help but fight; a stable peace meant the end of his power. It is the same for Putin.

    He does not need peace, but only a truce. And peace on Earth, as in 1945, can only be achieved if the regime of Vladimir Putin is destroyed. Therefore, the supply of Western weapons and financial assistance to Ukraine is not charity, but self-defence.

    The Putin system is an existential threat to European civilization. If Russia wins in Ukraine, it will not stop, just as Hitler did not stop when he captured the Sudetenland.

    Putin will go further and won't rest until he destroys the Western world.

    Leonid Gozman, Ph.D. is a Russian liberal politician, psychologist, and political scientist, and a professor at Lomonosov Moscow State University in Moscow until 2020. Now in exile, Gozman was declared a "foreign agent" in 2022, then arrested and spent a month in prison for opposing the war in Ukraine.

    by Cat on Sun Dec 24th, 2023 at 06:40:13 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Why a Democratic Russia Should Join NATO | Carnegie Endowment - July 2006 |

    By Leonid Guzman, Michael McFaul - US Ambassador to Russia 2012-14

    For the last two decades, Soviet and the Russian leaders worked with Western leaders to integrate the former Soviet empire, and above all else Russia, into the western community of states. Disputes over NATO expansion, the wars in Chechnya, or the bombing campaign against Serbia periodically slowed the process of integration. Nonetheless, leaders in both Russia and the West never let the long-term economic, security, and even ideological benefits of integration be jeopardized by these intermittent disagreements.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 24th, 2023 at 08:44:33 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    consilium.europa.eu | EU-China summit, 7 December 2023, event summary
    • Remarks by President Charles Michel during his meeting with President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping
    • Remarks by President Charles Michel at the press conference following the EU-China summit in Beijing
    ec.europa.eu | President von der Leyen calls for a rebalanced trade relation with China in "Summit of choices"
    • Statement by President von der Leyen at the press conference with President Michel
    • Statement by President von der Leyen at the meeting with President Xi Jinping
    consilium.europa.eu | EU-China summit - 7 December 2023, A/V memorabilia
    by Cat on Mon Dec 11th, 2023 at 09:25:51 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    President Xi Jinping Meets European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

    On December 7, President Xi Jinping met with President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen who were in China for the 24th China-EU Summit at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.

    Xi urges enhanced political mutual trust, dialogue, cooperation with EU

    President Xi noted that since the end of last year, the China-EU relationship has shown a good momentum of consolidation and growth, and the China-EU high-level dialogues in the strategic, economic and trade, green, and digital fields have produced rich outcomes. This serves the interests of both sides and meets the expectations of our peoples. China and the EU are two major forces advancing multipolarity, two major markets in support of globalization, and two major civilizations championing diversity. Amid the increasingly turbulent international situation, the China-EU relationship has strategic significance and implications for global peace, stability and prosperity. It is incumbent on both sides to provide greater stability for the world and stronger impetus for development.

    President Xi stressed that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. The two sides need to take stock of history, navigate the trend of the world, and uphold the apt description of our relationship as a comprehensive strategic partnership. The two sides need to consolidate the political foundation, view each other from a strategic perspective, fully leverage the guiding role of the China-EU Summit and the five high-level dialogues, strengthen strategic communication, and increase understanding and properly handle differences through constructive dialogue. The two sides need to develop a right perception of each other, promote mutual understanding and trust, honor commitments, do the right thing and be wholehearted in developing China-EU relations. We should not view each other as rivals just because our systems are different, reduce cooperation because  competition exists, or engage in confrontation because there are disagreements.

    There is a high degree of complementarity between the Chinese and EU economies. The two sides should do more to increase the breadth and depth of cooperation and tighten the bond of shared interests. The Chinese economy enjoys a good momentum of steady growth. As China pursues high-quality development and high-standard opening up, it sees the EU as a key partner for economic and trade cooperation, a preferred partner for scientific and technological cooperation, and a trustworthy partner for industrial and supply chain cooperation. China is ready to work with the EU for mutual benefit and common development. The two sides should leverage their complementary strengths in terms of market, capital and technology to upgrade traditional industries and foster emerging ones, explore new modes of cooperation, foster new areas of growth, and jointly improve industrial and supply chains. The two sides should also bolster people-to-people exchanges and facilitate personnel interflows.

    President Xi underscored that Chinese modernization and European integration are strategic choices that China and Europe have made respectively with the future in mind. The two sides should respect and support each other, and leverage the complementarity of their development strategies for common progress. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an inclusive platform that has brought real benefits to over 150 countries and their peoples. As the saying goes, when you give roses to others, the fragrance lingers on your hand. China will continue to promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, including by creating synergy between the BRI with the EU's Global Gateway to help developing countries grow faster.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Dec 11th, 2023 at 11:17:04 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Dec 11th, 2023 at 11:17:45 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Dec 11th, 2023 at 11:18:22 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    "when you give roses to others..."

    Tell that to Axel.

    by Cat on Tue Dec 12th, 2023 at 08:04:43 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Cat on Tue Dec 26th, 2023 at 10:47:27 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    strana. "The war will be long, and the grain goes to the EU." Russian pranksters Vovan and Lexus got through to the German government

    Axel | Ukrainian leaders head to the US as Kyiv prepares for winter fighting

    Defense Minister Rustem Umerov and Alexander Kamyshin, minister of strategic industries. After meeting with lawmakers on Tuesday, they'll spend Wednesday and Thursday huddling with their counterparts from the White House, Pentagon, Commerce and State departments as well as key NATO members and executives from the largest defense firms.

    Initially envisioned as a way for the Ukrainians to forge new contacts and commitments with the U.S. defense industry to bolster Kyiv's ability to build its own weapons, the meetings have taken on a deeper importance as the Biden administration pressures Congress to pass a $60 106 billion aid package, and as questions swirl over next steps in the war.

    lemonde | Zelensk* abruptly cancels planned video meeting with US Senators
    Zelensk* was to appear during a classified briefing, a day before the Senate takes the first procedural vote on an emergency [$106B] aid package that includes more than $60 billion for Kyiv.
    "Zelensk* by the way could not make it—something happened at the last minute—to our briefing," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said. Underlining their urgent need to keep funds and arms flowing, top Ukrainian officials were making the rounds in the US capital in person.
    msn AFP | Zelensk* cancels videolink appeal to US senate
    Texas Republican John Cornyn said in a speech on the Senate floor the proposal had "zero chance of becoming law."

    "Our security cannot come second to that of other countries around the world, our allies, even those like Ukraine and Israel," he said. Even if the two sides manage to hammer out a deal in the Senate, it will be a much tougher sell for the Republican-led House, where conservatives have been more skeptical about funding Ukraine, and just as keen to leverage the issue to secure border reforms.

    House Speaker Mike Johnson confirmed publicly for the first time in a letter to the White House Tuesday that his party will not pass Ukraine aid unless Congress enacts "transformative change to our nation's border security laws."

    Andriy Yermak, a top aide to Zelensky, thanked Americans for their support so far in an appearance in Washington hours before the president's scheduled address—but added that more aid was needed to secure victory.

    ukrinform | State Department sure Congress will vote for aid to Ukraine
    U.S. State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller has said he is sure that there is overwhelming support in Congress for further assistance to Ukraine, and this issue will be decided during the vote. He said this at a press briefing in Washington on Tuesday, December 5, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.

    "I don't think there's any question about the executive branch's support for Ukraine. We don't think there's any question about the legislative branch's support for Ukraine. If you put funding in an up or down vote in front of both houses of Congress, it is our belief that it would pass," Miller said.

    by Cat on Tue Dec 5th, 2023 at 10:43:24 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Italian PM's diplomatic adviser steps down over prank phone call fiasco | Al Jazeera - 4 Nov. 2023 |

    In a call in September, supposedly with a high-level official from the African Union, Meloni made stark comments about several topics, saying that Italy was not receiving adequate support to crack down on migration and that there was international "fatigue" over the war in Ukraine.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Dec 6th, 2023 at 12:02:43 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    foxnews | Following Kakhovka dam collapse in Ukraine US combat vets organization saving residents amid flooding, 11 June
    Project Dynamo, a combat-veteran-led international rescue organization, has been in Ukraine since Russia invaded in February 2022 and primarily works in the occupied areas.

    "The bulk of our operations have been in the south, we've done a lot of things in the east also, but about 80% or more of our operations have been in Russian-occupied Ukraine, in the southern provinces, in the southern oblasts," co-founder Bryan Stern told Fox News Digital.Stern's team has already completed dozens of operations close to the Kakhovka dam and is working on setting up more maritime operations in Kherson.....

    cgtn |Inside Kherson - a shattered city battling flood damage, landmines and bullets, 29 Aug
    ...In the distance, Ukrainian artillery rumbles as outgoing fire tries to dislodge Russian positions on the left bank of the now much drier Dnipro river....Oleksandr Prokudin, head of the Kherson Regional Military Administration says: "This region has three main problems; the Russians who are destroying our city from the opposite bank of the river as they constantly shelling. Secondly, de-mining. The area is densely littered with mines. Thirdly, the reconstruction and a return to normal human life for the people of Kherson."
    dnyuz | Zelensk* vows retaliation for family killed near Kherson, 14 Aug
    ..."Every occupier destroyed, every piece of Russian equipment burned, fire instead of their headquarters and warehouses, the very eloquent smoke on Kerch bridge and more—all this proves that we will not leave any of Russia's crimes unanswered," he said in his video address on Sunday....
    aljazeera | Ukraine probes Kherson defences, advances in east and south17 Aug
    Ukrainian forces launched a new effort to land troops on the left bank [RU-controlled] of the Dnipro river in the 77th week of the war, where flooding after the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in June had made counter-offensive action impossible....
    tabloid USAToday | ["]Russian-affiliated["] soldiers charged with war crimes for allegedly torturing U.S. citizen in Ukraine: DOJ, 6 Dec life without ICJ or ICC
    The charges are the first ever brought under a U.S. war crimes law, the department said. The defendants are charged with three war crimes—unlawful confinement, torture, and inhuman treatment—and one count of conspiracy to commit war crimes. If convicted, the defendants each face a maximum sentence of life in prison. None of the men are in custody.
    Attorney General Merrick Garland said the indictments were the first use of a 1996 U.S. war crimes statute "for heinous crimes against an American citizen."
    FBI Director Christopher Wray said the charges reflected international cooperation in investigating the crimes and demonstrated the government would hold war criminals accountable.
    Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of homeland security, said agents with his department—as well as the FBI—investigated the case for more than a year. In  August 2022 [?], agents [?] traveled to interview the victim, relatives of the victim, and members of his community, to confirm the Russian occupation in the area ["Mylove in southern Ukraine", right bank KHERSON oblast], Mayorkas said. "The evidence gathered by our agents speaks to the brutality, criminality, and depravity of Russia's invasion," Mayorkas said.
    "These charges reflect that the defendants' alleged actions are not only grave breaches of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, but also violations of U.S. law," said Jessica Aber, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

    by Cat on Wed Dec 6th, 2023 at 08:28:52 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Poland at War, book review
    Elite British special forces were operating on the ground in Ukraine weeks after Russia invaded last year. That is the allegation contained in a new book, Poland at War, by Polish journalist Zbigniew Parafianowicz.

    The author is Ukraine correspondent for a daily newspaper in Warsaw and had access to political insiders and senior officials. He quotes an unnamed Polish government minister who claims to have run into British commandos in mid-March 2022 as he was travelling between Kyiv and the city of Zhytomyr.

    The minister said: "It was a time when the Russians were still standing in Bucha, and the route was a grey zone. It was possible to run into Russians. We passed the last checkpoint. The Ukrainians told us that we continue at our own risk.

    "Well, and who did we meet next? Ukrainian soldiers and... British special forces. Uniformed. With weapons. They moved with the Ukrainians in trucks and off-road vehicles with artillery radars. They were tracking targets. They were learning about this war. Such radar tracks where mortar or rocket shells fall and are fired."
    Stay behind

    In Poland at War, Parafianowicz states that President Zelensky's bodyguards were trained by Britain's Special Air Service (SAS). He also quotes the unnamed Polish minister as saying: "On the first day of the war, we realised that there were Polish commandos—from the Lubliniec Military Commando Unit—in Brovary near Kyiv.

    "They, together with the Americans and the British, had been building special forces for the Ukrainians since 2014, that is, since the annexation of Crimea and the war against separatism in the Donbass."

    Their presence caused concern that NATO soldiers could be caught up in the invasion, prompting various officials to request their withdrawal. However, a high ranking Polish officer said: "They, instead of returning to Poland on the first day of the war, went in the opposite direction. Among others, to Kharkiv, but also to cities in the Donbass, which the Ukrainians controlled. They cooperated with the British."

    archived MARSOC to Mozart Group, NO. in Ukrainians Are NATO Mercenaries, duly discharged to all-volunteer contract tours, Proxy Wars and Mercenaries or Unlawful Combatants in Germany Goes To War, Zelesk* raises a professional army, Vive la République.
    by Cat on Wed Dec 6th, 2023 at 10:47:12 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    schmiegel | Selenskyj's fear of the Ukrainian Eisenhower SIMILE SUICIDE ALERT

    Will he or won't he?

    This popularity makes, apparently, for jealousy in the president's office. Saluschny [Zaluzhny] is assumed to have political ambitions. "Many see him as a Ukrainian Eisenhower," says [political analyst Volodymr] Fresenko. The popular U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower went from the end of the Second World War into politics and became president. According to Fesenko, Selenskyj's [Zelensk*s] opponents were interested in playing the president and his top general against each other, "because he is the only one who has the potential to defeat Selenskyj."

    It sounded like a warning to Saluschny, when Selenskyj warned the military in an interview with the British tabloid The Sun: "When one wages war and have in mind that one morning one will play politics, then one acts in words on the frontline like a politician and not a soldier. And I think that is a huge mistake."

    by Cat on Fri Dec 8th, 2023 at 04:41:56 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Fri Dec 8th, 2023 at 05:37:10 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    just in case there's a break in the 2-man slate of POU candidates in an election that Rada will never permit, Alexey Arestovich, hindsight philosopher prince

    by Cat on Fri Dec 8th, 2023 at 07:01:04 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    irishtimes | Ministers set to approve large cuts to benefits for Ukrainian refugees
    ...The plan proposes to cut the entitlement of Ukrainians to the €220 per week jobseekers' allowance, and reduce it to €38.80 per week, the amount currently paid to asylum seekers from other countries....
    strana | Ireland is going to reduce payments to Ukrainian refugees by more than five times
    This is reported by the local edition of the Irish Examiner. The reason is excessively high costs.
    "We need to take measures that will slow the influx of refugees," Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said. We also reported that the reason why Ireland can no longer voluntarily accept refugees has become known. An agreement is being considered under which Ireland will pay other EU countries to help them cope with asylum seekers, rather than giving shelter to even more people in Ireland itself.
    by Cat on Tue Dec 12th, 2023 at 03:54:23 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Guardian ICYMI. BBC broadcasts news from the future
    msn BBC | Ukraine in 'mortal danger' without aid - adjusted ifw-kiel.de data visualization
    ...In an exclusive interview to be broadcast on Sunday, Olena Zelenska* told the BBC the slowdown in aid represented a "mortal danger" for her country. She said: "We really need the help. In simple words, we cannot get tired of this situation, because if we do, we die. And if the world gets tired, they will simply let us die."

    The first lady continued: "It hurts us greatly to see the signs that the passionate willingness to help may fade. It is a matter of life for us. Therefore, it hurts to see that."
    The UK has also been urging politicians in Washington DC to agree a deal for Ukraine. UK Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron said on a visit to Washington this week that the US was the "lynchpin" of the Western coalition backing Ukraine's fight against Russia. He urged the US not to give Mr Putin a "Christmas present" by blocking the billions of dollars of financial support required to continue the war against Russian forces.
    See the full interview on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg at 9am on 10 December on BBC One.

    * alias Olena Zelenskyy alias Elena Zelenskiy alias Elena Zelenskaya

    archive Kiel Ukraine Support Tracker

    by Cat on Sat Dec 9th, 2023 at 07:09:40 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    World military expenditure reaches new record high as European spending surges | SIPRI -
    24 April 2023 |

    Ukraine's military spending reached $44 billion in 2022. At 640 per cent, this was the highest single-year increase in a country's military expenditure ever recorded in SIPRI data. As a result of the increase and the war-related damage to Ukraine's economy, the military burden (military spending as a share of GDP) shot up to 34 per cent of GDP in 2022, from 3.2 per cent in 2021.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Sat Dec 9th, 2023 at 09:10:24 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    scmp | Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensk* heads to Argentina, hoping to win Global South's support
    travelling to Argentina on Saturday to attend the inauguration of new Argentine President Milei, his first trip to Latin America....
    (L) President-elect Javier Milei, 2 Dec; (R) FM-elect Diana Mondino, 26 July, when asked, "How do you think you can contain and avoid some sort of social explosion that might come hand in hand, potentially, with the short-term pain? How are you thinking about managing that risk?"
    First of all, what is present situation? You already have 150 percent inflation. You already have riots. You already have some provinces for you or children don't go to school that does not have classes ever. You already have cohoi where people cannot go through one place to the other in the last three or four weeks, so we already have a lot of social strife. Real salaries—you have under 10 million people that are registered at the legal level of institution or whatever it is, so six or seven million people in the private sector of three and a half, almost four million people in the public sector, or another 35 million people are even children or retired or people that are employed, informal sector, under-employed, whatever you consider. So, how much worse can that be if we take away the deficit? Why would you think that would be worse? You take away inflation! If you, if we, put the utility rates at the right level, why would you think that's worse, because that depends on what kind of structure you have in your utility bill. Right now, half of it, 40 of it is taxes. If you take away those taxes, well, you can significantly increase, one, is that the total climate change for energy is getting for that service that they're providing. What do you think it would be so much worse than 150 percent inflation, if we manage to bring down the central bank interest rate? It will manage to have a little bit of credit. Why do you think it will be any worse?
    by Cat on Sun Dec 10th, 2023 at 02:37:52 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    vioceof europe | The U.S. offers IMF support to Argentina and expresses interest in developing lithium deposits in the country, 10.12.23
    ...Juan Gonzalez, an adviser to U.S. President Joe Biden and the Western Hemisphere senior director at the National Security Council, characterized the talks, held a day before Milei's inauguration, as "very positive." The discussions primarily centered on addressing Argentina's economic challenges, marked by inflation approaching 150%, over 40% of the population living in poverty, a derailing $44 billion IMF program, depleted central bank reserves, and an impending recession....
    en.elpais | Milei, at his inauguration: A $20 billion cut to the public sector and more poverty in the short term (11.12.23) The speech first went back to a supposed golden age of Argentina, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the South American country was the "breadbasket of the world." Then Milei quickly returned to the ticking time bomb he allegedly received from his predecessor Alberto Fernández, of the leftist Peronist movement that governed Argentina for decades. "No government has received a worse inheritance than what we are receiving," he warned. Unlike the optimistic picture that Mauricio Macri painted when he became president in 2015, Milei reiterated again and again that the country he is receiving is in a desolate condition.
    by Cat on Mon Dec 11th, 2023 at 01:55:01 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    contra lx clase políticx

    < wipes tears >

    (sez Lxs Nuevx-libertales)


    by Cat on Mon Dec 11th, 2023 at 04:26:19 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    August IMF circle

    Argentina to Devalue Peso by 18% to 350 Per Dollar, Official Says, 14 Aug
    "stinging defeat in a crucial primary election on Sunday"
    Argentina hikes rates, devalues peso by more than 20% after primary, 18 Aug
    "in its third big hike in five months."
    ---12 Dec "over 50" club

    AP | Argentina sharply devalues its currency and cuts subsidies as part of shock economic measures
    "Economy Minister Luis Caputo said in a televised message the Argentine peso will be devalued by 50% to 800 to the U.S. dollar from 400 pesos to the dollar."

    WSJ | Argentina Sharply Devalues Its Peso Currency to Tame Inflation, 12 Dec
    "Caputo, who was a top economic official in the center-right administration of former President Mauricio Macri, said that the painful spending cuts are essential if Argentina is to avoid hyperinflation."

    reuters | Argentina devalues peso, cuts spending to treat fiscal deficit 'addiction'
    "Argentina will weaken its peso over 50% to 800 per dollar, cut energy subsidies, and cancel tenders of public works, new Economy Minister Luis Caputo said on Tuesday, economic shock therapy aimed at fixing the country's worst crisis in decades."
    ----13 Dec "shock doctrine" club

    bloomberg | Argentina's Milei Devalues Peso by 54% in First Batch of Shock Measures

    The IMF praised the new government's "bold initial actions" shortly after Caputo's announcement. "Their decisive implementation will help stabilize the economy and set the basis for more sustainable and private-sector led growth," spokesperson Julie Kozack said in a statement.
    businessday.ng | Argentina follows Nigeria's footstep, devalues currency by 54%. 13 Dec
    Unfortunately, Nigeria's similar move to collapse multiple exchange windows led to the naira plummeting by over 70 percent since the announcement, resulting in an underwhelming outcome.
    archive seeking alpha, three worst emerging-market performers, parity watch a/o 01.07.23
    by Cat on Thu Dec 14th, 2023 at 02:04:18 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Noticias Urbanas kitchen table talk
    by Cat on Mon Dec 18th, 2023 at 01:46:33 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    This is the team that will accompany Diana Mondino in her management at the head of the Foreign Ministry. The chancellor will revalue the role of the Argentine diplomatic corps and representations abroad in Argentina's reintegration into the world.

    Full Court Press on BRICS ...

    Ambassadors in India, Hugo Javier Gobbi, and Russia, Eduardo Antonio Zuain, have also been recalled, along with a veteran of the foreign service.  

    "We are also dismissing as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the European Union, First-Class Plenipotentiary Minister Atilio Berardi Hueda," reads the circular, accessed by Perfil.

    Mondino's work is just beginning, and so far names to head the Argentine Embassies in the United States, Brazil, India, Israel, the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the G20 have been confirmed.

    The choice for the United States is businessman Gerardo Werthein; veteran Peronist politician.

    IMF Country Report - 25 August 2023

    Argentina: Fifth and Sixth Reviews Under the Extended Arrangement Under the Extended Fund Facility, Request for Rephasing of Access, Waivers of Non-observance of Performance Criteria, Modification of Performance Criteria and Financing Assurances Review-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Argentina

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Dec 18th, 2023 at 04:31:13 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Milei 10 DEC 2023 to Macri: DE COMMUNISTS WUT DUNNIT
    The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed today the fifth and six reviews of the extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for Argentina. The Board's decision enables an immediate disbursement of around US$7.5 billion (SDR 5.5 billion), bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to about USD 36 billion1. The next review is scheduled for November 2023.

    In completing the combined reviews, the Executive Board assessed that key program targets were missed through end-June 2023 on account of the historic drought [?!] along with policy slippages, requiring the approval of waivers of non[-]observance.
    Argentina's 30-month EFF arrangement, with access of SDR 31.914 billion (equivalent to around US$44 billion, or about 1000 percent of quota), was approved on March 25, 2022 (see Press Release No. 22/89).

    imf.org | Ukraine: 2023 Article IV Consultation, Second Review Under the Extended Arrangement Under the Extended Fund Facility, and Requests for Modification of Performance Criteria and a Waiver of Non[-]observance of Performance Criterion-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Ukraine, 11 Dec

    Ukraine's 48-month EFF arrangement, with access of SDR 11.6 billion (equivalent to US$15.6 billion, or about 577 percent of quota), was approved on March 31, 2023, and forms part of a US$122 billion support package for Ukraine. The authorities' IMF supported program aims to anchor policies that sustain fiscal, external, price and financial stability at a time of exceptionally high war-related uncertainty, support the economic recovery, as well as enhance governance and strengthen institutions to promote long term growth in the context of reconstruction and Ukraine's path to EU accession.

    imf.org | Gulf Cooperation Council: Economic Prospects and Policy Challenges for the GCC Countries,  14 Dec World Bank wealth management services package

    The GCC region's non-hydrocarbon growth momentum remains strong, driven by higher domestic demand, increased gross capital inflows, and reform implementation. Oil production—which depends on OPEC+ decisions—will be subdued in the near term. Inflation is contained and current account surpluses are high. Fiscal balances remain healthy, supported by fiscal reforms and < wipes tears > high oil prices. The primary non-oil < wipes tears> deficits are expected to decrease to 24 percent of GDP by 2028, with higher non-oil revenue reflecting sustained fiscal and structural reforms and contained expenditures. High global uncertainty is weighing [nope] on the outlook.
    aftershock | Launch of a project for 3 thousand tons of green hydrogen, 500 thousand tons of ammonia fertilizers per year, 11 Dec
    ...The structure of the CNG market has changed significantly over the past 20 years. Previously, according to EY [Ernst & Young], Latin America was the leader, and now 70% of compressed gas vehicles are in Asia, primarily in China. The proportion of CNG-powered vehicles varies from country to country. So, in Uzbekistan, 99% of vehicles use compressed gas, there is a developed network of CNG filling stations, in Iran CNG cars make up 30% of the fleet, and in India 1.5%....
    A comprehensive package of policies should be implemented to respond to near-term shocks and uncertainty and to firmly address medium- and long-term challenges:
    OPEC (1960 FTA): AE, AO, CG, DZ, GA, GQ, IR, IQ, KW, LY, NG, SA, VZ; PLUS OM*, SD*, BN*, RU*, MX*, AZ*, KZ*, MY*, BH*, EC*, ID*, QA*, BR*
    GCC (FTA 1981): AE, BH, KW, OM, QA, SA
    BRICS (2009 FTA): AE, BR, CN, EG, ET, IN, IR, RU, SA, ZA; DZ*, BO*, ID*, BD*, CM*, ML*, SN*, TH*, UZ*, FJ*, KZ*, TN*, TR*
    BULLETIN 6.12.23: AF? CU? EC? MN? NI? NG? PK? LK? SD? UY? VZ?
    by Cat on Mon Dec 18th, 2023 at 07:32:11 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    reuters | Ukraine Western creditors sign debt suspension agreement through March 2027 -finance ministry, 21 Dec
    Ukraine and a group of its Western creditors signed an agreement on Thursday to extend through March 2027 a debt payment suspension first agreed in September 2022, the Ukrainian finance ministry said.

    "I am grateful to our partners from the G7 countries for understanding Ukraine's needs in the time of war," Ukraine's Minister of Finance Sergii Marchenko said in a statement.

    "This voluntary debt payment suspension is part of the $122 billion international support package provided by the partners of Ukraine."

    archive 2-year freeze, underwriter of last resort, $2.7B tranche, junk bond UPDATE
    by Cat on Sun Dec 24th, 2023 at 05:18:40 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Lula declines last-minute meeting request from Zelensk*
    The circumstances surrounding the meeting were considered unusual, as Zelensk* made a brief stop for refueling at Brasília's airbase on Saturday night. Zelensk* did not specify the agenda for the proposed meeting with Lula but it is presumed to involve discussions on the situation in the Ukraine war. Lula, who had no official commitments on Saturday night, also did not attend Milei's inauguration, sending the Foreign Minister, Mauro Vieira, in his place.
    by Cat on Mon Dec 11th, 2023 at 05:25:05 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The Onion Can Now Reveal, 11 Dec
    "The security advisors of several countries are to take part in the meeting on January 14, as the Jeddah Knight Ministry informed the Keystone-SDA news agency on Monday in response to an inquiry. The topic is the so-called Ukrainian peace formula with a ten-point plan for an end to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine."
    by Cat on Tue Dec 12th, 2023 at 03:31:09 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Cat on Tue Dec 12th, 2023 at 06:37:18 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Ukraine House US defense contractors' CEO klatsch | BAE Systems, Day & Zimmermann, Boeing, Sierra Nevada Corporation, Northrop Grumman, RTX, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, D&M, AeroVironment
    president.gov.ua | President of Ukraine met with leaders of both parties in the U.S. Senate and senators, agenda summary
    summaries and live reporting by Anthony Zurcher at the White House, Bernd Debusmann Jr on Capitol Hill, and Jessica Parker in Kyiv
    BBC | Republicans talk tough on aid despite Zelensk* visit, "sick clique" A/V minute-clip album
    reporters' pool updates by Adrienne Vogt and Aditi Sangal
    CNN | Zelensk* visits Washington in push for more Ukraine aid

    C-SPAN | President Biden and Ukrainian President Zelensk* News Conference
    Location: Indian Treaty [!] Room, Eisenhower [!] Executive Office Building, Washington, D.C.
    Will Air: 4:15pm EST | C-SPAN.org

    by Cat on Tue Dec 12th, 2023 at 06:25:13 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    FT | EU explores emergency Ukraine funding outside bloc's shared budget, 12 Dec
    Olha Stefanishyna, Ukraine's deputy prime minister, said on Monday that Ukraine had received no assurances that the €50bn would be provided in one form or another, and that any alternative would challenge the country's stability.

    "In the case of no decision on the €50bn, there could be an interim solution," she told reporters, but it would leave Ukraine on "the edge of survival with zero predictability for the whole year". An inability to agree the support package and to open membership talks would be seen by Kyiv as "a failure of the whole EU", she added.

    archive  $61.4 billion, VDL London Conference, agro-export is a matter of SURVIVAL

    politico | Zelensk* in Lilliput: Someone Shrunk Ukraine's War Coalition, 12 Dec

    ...In conversations with several senior Ukrainian officials, I hear that they realize they have to change the narrative about Ukraine in the West. They're a little defensive about the internal political tensions, rejecting < wipes tears > a suggestion that Zelensk* consider a government of national [minority?] unity, as Israel did [?!] after the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks. They sound more realistic and ambitious about their military planning for next year, convinced that stronger air power and better weapons can yield progress to put Russia on a defensive.
    archive Big Israel
    "America loves a winner," Yermak told me over breakfast the other day. "We are very close to a victory. It's illogical to be so close and stop it now." Without the aid that the Senate blocked last week, he says, Ukraine could lose....
    archive Stopgap bill is currently en route to the White House
    by Cat on Tue Dec 12th, 2023 at 09:04:23 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ... the stunning counterstrike from Kharkiv, ..

    The Winter Campaign | 4 Dec. 2022 |


    The answer is two-fold. Firstly, we must understand that Kherson City lies on the left bank of the Dnieper River. It was Russia's only foothold on that side of the river. Using American-made HIMARS Missile Systems, the Ukrainians destroyed all bridges connecting the Russian-controlled right bank to the city on the left bank. This wreaked havoc on Russia's ability to supply forces on the left side and forced the use of makeshift pontoon bridges.

    Secondly, Russian High Command feared the Ukrainians would destroy the Nova Kakhovka Dam situated upriver from Kherson City. The ensuing wave would have completely flooded Kherson City and cut already strained supply lines, leaving over 30,000 Russian soldiers stranded at the mercy of the Ukrainian Army. With these reasons in mind, Surovikin ordered the withdrawal.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 12th, 2023 at 10:32:05 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    "Kherson City lies on the left right bank"

    Aug 2022
    Zelenskiy target

    Sep 2022
    annexed Kherson oblast

    Nov 2022
    Kherson City-Antonivskyy Bridge

    June 2023
    Novaya Kakhovka on the left
    left (east) bank of the Dnipro retreat

    elevation of Kherson oblast

    by Cat on Wed Dec 27th, 2023 at 01:36:25 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    APsplainin: Russia covered up and undercounted true human cost of floodings after dam explosion, AP [Open AI] investigation finds, 28 Dec
    Over six months since the catastrophic explosion that destroyed the Kakhovka Dam in the southern Kherson region, an AP investigation has found Russian occupation authorities vastly and deliberately undercounted the dead in one of the most devastating chapters of the 22-month war. Russian authorities took control of the issuance of death certificates, immediately removing bodies not claimed by family, and preventing local health workers and volunteers from dealing with the dead, threatening them when they defied orders.
    The AP spoke to three health workers who kept records of the dead in Oleshky, one volunteer who buried bodies and said she was later threatened by Russian police, and two Ukrainian informants passing intelligence from the area to the Ukrainian security service. According to their accounts, mass graves were dug, and unidentified bodies were taken away and never seen again.

    Nearly a dozen interviews were conducted with other residents, rescue volunteers and recent escapees from the area. The AP also gained access to a closed Telegram chat group of 3,000 Oleshky residents who posted about bodies lying on the streets, bodies collected by police and the many missing. Most spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity or, like Svitlana, on condition only their first names be used, fearing reprisal from Russia on family members still in occupied territory.

    Together, these accounts reveal a calculated attempt by Russian authorities to cover up the true cost of the dam collapse, which the AP has found was likely caused by Moscow [18.06.23].

    ...Two officials said Russian troops were stationed in a crucial area inside the Kakhovka Dam where the Ukrainians say the explosion that destroyed it was centered. Images taken from above and shared with the AP also appear to show an explosives-laden car atop the structure. It's not clear the car ever exploded and any such bomb would not have been powerful enough to bring down the dam, but Ukrainian officials say the photos show the Russians' intent to rig it, and that they had the access and control to do so....
    Residents of Oleshky fear their enduring traumas risk being forgotten as the war grinds on, and their beloved once idyllic home is gradually depopulated.
    More Ukrainian children from Ukraine's Russia-held regions arrive in Belarus despite GLOBAL OUTRAGE, 28 Dec
    ...Speaking at the event marking the arrival of a new group of Ukrainian children ahead of the New Year holiday, President Alexander Lukashenko vowed to "embrace these children, bring them to our home, keep them warm and make their childhood happier."

    Belarusian officials did not say how many Ukrainian children were brought into the country....

    archive U R DOIN' IT RONG, More Than 100,000 children, secret arrest warrants
    by Cat on Thu Dec 28th, 2023 at 11:10:55 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Fri Dec 29th, 2023 at 08:23:39 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Svitlana Serdyukova [Світлана Сердюкова], the exiled head physician of the medical facility, Oleshkivska District Multidisciplinary Hospital left her hometown August 23, 2022.

    Пів року в окупації: лікарка з Херсонщини приїхала до Чернівців і розповіла про пережите | 14 Sept. 2022 |

    When Svitlana Serdyukova raced through the "gray" zone, she was not afraid. In the column, she moved at the same speed as the other cars, without stopping, because the track was being shelled. A 10-year-old son is in the back seat. It was for his sake that after six months of living in the occupied city of Oleshki in the Kherson region, the woman dared to leave for the territory controlled by Ukraine. And now she had no right to fail.

    Svitlana has now taken up residence in Western Ukraine ...

    KNP "Sadgora Primary Care Center" in Chernivtsi, Ukraine

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Fri Dec 29th, 2023 at 09:23:28 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    yahoo! Kyiv Independent | Tusk: Poland will 'demand full mobilization' of West to help Ukraine
    ...Poland has been roundly supportive of Ukraine across the political spectrum, including from PiS, though tensions have risen in recent months following diplomatic spats relating to trade issues. Tusk's election signaled an end to eight years of PiS rule, in which Poland has been criticized for drifting towards an illiberal democracy and increasingly saw tensions rise with the EU....
    voiceofeurop | Ukraine initiates the transportation of initial trucks [?] to Poland via rail amid a border blockade, 10 Dec trans. dry cargo container transfer to Polish trailer rigs
    ...Ukrainian state railways reported on the Telegram messaging app, "The truck consignment arrived in Poland by rail. The Ukrainian and Polish parties have agreed on all issues related to transport, customs, and border procedures."

    The statement mentioned that the trucks would proceed to their final destination by road, and regular rail shipments using modernized platforms were planned [?!]. Ukrainian authorities disclosed that approximately 3,500 lorries were stranded on the Polish side of the border as of Sunday morning, with no resolution reached with the protesters to end the blockade....

    archive Ukraine Plan n+1

    btw, Joe's and Volody's press gaggle started 45 min late. Today's "Year of Invincibility" topic is Ukraine's achievements in battle—my rough synopsis until WH transcript turns up.

    Only two pre-selected questions per president permitted. Each president regaled a defense of liberty, for example, recapturing 50% of occupied territory and forcing Russia out of the Black Sea so that Grain from Ukraine can once again feed the whole world, and fighting raping, pillaging aggressor trrsts—like Hamas—so NATO doesn't have to. Yes, Sssullivan is going to Israel this week. Yes, Congress has not approved Biden's FYE 2023 "supplementary budget" request (or 2nd session of 118th congress which convenes 8 Jan, one wk before stopgap expiration). Yes, Biden doesn't know if there are any hostages in Hamas tunnels of terror that, as rumor has it, IDF intends to flood. And, yes, a question promoting Zelensk*'s Global Peace Summit (of hope for Ukranians) next January entered the room.
    by Cat on Tue Dec 12th, 2023 at 11:01:57 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Cat on Wed Dec 13th, 2023 at 05:03:36 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    lemonde | Europe faces increasing financial pressure after ECB pulls out of bond market, 23 Apr
    ft | EU readies €20bn plan B to fund Ukraine, 26 Dec 2023
    After EU leaders failed to agree a proposed €50bn four-year package for Ukraine earlier this month, officials have searched for alternatives to save Kyiv from a looming budget crisis if the bloc's differences cannot be resolved.
    This scheme would involve participating member states issuing LOL! guarantees [ie. proceeds of sovereign bond sales] to the EU budget, enabling the European Commission to borrow up to €20bn on capital markets for Kyiv next year, people briefed on the talks said. The precise terms are still under discussion and the final amount would be set according to Ukraine's needs, they added.
    DW | EU recovery fund unmasked (21.07.23)
    The historic part is the separate €750 billion post-pandemic recovery fund.
    The arrangement is similar to the structure used in 2020 when the commission provided up to €100bn [LOLnope] in cheap financing to EU countries for short-term work-support schemes during the COVID pandemic. Crucially, the option would not require guarantees from all the EU's 27 member states, as long as the main participants included countries with top credit ratings. That would allow the EU to sidestep Hungary's veto because it would not require unanimous backing.
    ukrinform | Ukraine has Plan B in case of delay in assistance from partners - First Vice PM
    ...Ukraine has received clear signals from partners that funding will eventually be provided, while alternative options are also being worked out. The Ukraine Facility worth EUR 50 billion, proposed by the EU, includes EUR 8 billion as part of an investment instrument to cover risks in priority sectors, which would allow attracting more than EUR 30 billion to the country. She noted that in the short-term perspective of the first months of 2024, the Government has an alternative plan for what needs to be done if funding is delayed. At the same time, in the long term, there is a risk of delay in social payments as the government prioritizes security and defense spending....
    strana | Ukraine has a plan B in case of delay in receiving funds from foreign partners - First Deputy Prime Minister Yulia Sviridenko
    by Cat on Wed Dec 27th, 2023 at 09:17:10 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Cat on Sun Dec 10th, 2023 at 08:59:32 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    strana | During his visit to the United States, Volodymyr Zelensky met with the Minister of Defense and the head of the US Chiefs of Staff, 11 Dec casting couch
    This was announced by Volodymyr Zelensky in his Telegram channel.

    "We discussed challenges to global security, developments on the frontline, and further Ukrainian-American defense cooperation," the President said in a statement.

    by Cat on Tue Dec 12th, 2023 at 03:44:41 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Cat on Tue Dec 12th, 2023 at 04:23:36 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Cat on Tue Dec 12th, 2023 at 06:11:04 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The Russian language was deprived of its rights indefinitely. How the Rada rewrote the law on national minorities, organizational hygiene
    The Verkhovna Rada has significantly expanded the rights of national minorities belonging to the peoples living in the European Union, allowing them, among other things, to receive full school education in their native language [?]. At the same time, even hints of possible easing in Ukraine for the Russian language in the future were removed from the final version of the legislative act.

    The law, which is included in the list of recommendations of the European Commission [09.11.23], was promptly signed by President Volodymyr Zelensk*, which means that it will enter into force in the near future.

    The EC suggests following the recommendations of the [COE.int] Venice Commission [VC] of June and October 2023.

    Recall that the June conclusion of the VC stated that Ukraine should allow national minorities, among other things:

    • conduct your own events without translation into Ukrainian;
    • facilitate the publication of books in the languages of national minorities and their retail sale;
    • "clarify the question" of translating official name labels and general information into a minority language;
    • adopt a methodology for using the languages of national minorities in government bodies.

    In the same context, Venetsianka called for the revision of other laws related to language. In particular, concerning "restrictions on the freedom to use the minority language and differentiated treatment of minority languages" and the right of access to media in minority languages through the abolition of language quotas in the law "On Media".

    < wink, wink> < wipes tears >
    The law, but not the one
    The Ukrainian Parliament, by 317 votes of deputies, approved draft Law No. 10288-1 "On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine regarding the consideration of the expert assessment of the Council of Europe and its bodies regarding the rights of national minorities (Communities) in certain areas" as a basis and as a whole.

    This is an alternative to the main government bill, which Strana wrote about in detail.

    ...The point of the law on national minorities concerning advertising has been seriously re-written. Now the legislation states that in places where national minorities live, Ukrainian-language advertisements can be duplicated in their languages. If this is a text ad (and this wording may include store signs, discount ads, and menus), then the duplication "cannot be larger in volume and font size than the text made in the state language."...
    At the same time, it states that the requirement to have at least 50% of the assortment in Ukrainian (according to current legislation) does not apply only to stores that sell books in Crimean Tatar [!] and minority languages, the languages of which are among the official languages of the EU. One more clarification: the current condition for book publishers to produce at least 50% of their printed materials in Ukrainian during the year does not apply to Crimean Tatar and the languages of national minorities belonging to the European Union, if the books were published at the expense of state or local budgets.
    archive coe.int | Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
    Why supporters of Ukrainization were against it
    The remark about products belonging to EU languages appeared in the text for a reason, as well as the fact that special books were deleted from it. This is a consequence of criticism of these norms by supporters of Ukrainization, who saw them as a loophole for possible relaxation for the Russian language.

    Recall: the draft law of the Cabinet of Ministers stated that within 5 years after the end of the war, the Russian language will not fall under the law on national minorities at all, and after this period it could receive some rights. Not in the educational sphere: no progress was expected there. However, after the end of the five-year moratorium, television broadcasting (for companies that broadcast in the language of a national minority, regardless of the territorial category-national TV or regional) could appear in Russian (as the language of a national minority), provided that the quota of 30% in the state language of the total duration of programs or their parts is met.

    kommersant.ru | Kazan announced "language guarantees", 23 Nov [IRONY ALERT]
    Tatarstan intends to defend the right of regions to name residential complexes and infrastructure facilities in their national languages. The State Council of the Republic believes that the ban on such names implies amendments to the federal law on the state language of the Russian Federation introduced in the State Duma, which are aimed at combating Anglicisms [!]. Deputies of the republic decided to make a proposal to supplement the document "with the possibility of using the state languages of the republics and languages of the peoples of the Russian Federation in the areas designated by the draft law", "so that the fight against foreign borrowing... does not affect the right of peoples to preserve their native language, guaranteed by the Constitution of the Russian Federation"....
    by Cat on Mon Dec 11th, 2023 at 12:37:01 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ukrinform | Biggest Israel (19.12.23)
    "Probably, we need to think about multiple citizenship, I don't know whether we need to think about it now. There is a corresponding law. And as for the EU countries, historically we will be there in the near future. Therefore, I do not see anything wrong with such proposals today. I spoke about multiple citizenship even before the full-scale war started. It was in our program. I really think it's normal. And I believe that there are really 60 million Ukrainians. And not everyone has to live in Ukraine. They have a history, they have their families, some were born in Canada, the United States, but they should be given the opportunity to support Ukraine, to feel that they are Ukrainians, to help them open businesses here, pay taxes, etc.. All of this is definitely a plus for Ukraine," Zelensk* said.
    by Cat on Wed Dec 20th, 2023 at 06:41:47 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Umerov said that Ukrainians abroad will be called up to the Armed Forces of Ukraine under the threat of sanctions.
    The Ministry of Defense denied information about the American citizenship of Umerov's children. But they live in the USA
    The Ministry of Defense denied information about plans to draft Ukrainians abroad into the army
    Kiev wants runaways to return from abroad and fight - defense minister
    BILD: Ukrainian refugees will go to the front!
    Ukraine-Flüchtlinge zurück und an die Front!
    Umjerov, himself a Crimean Tatar and defense minister since September, announced in the BILD interview: All Ukrainian men of military age between 25 and 60 should receive an invitation to report to the recruiting centers of the Ukrainian armed forces. Umjerow's motto: "We want justice for everyone, because it's about our own country. We'll send them an invitation."

    What's more: in the first interview that the minister gave to a European media outside Ukraine, he also threatened sanctions for those who did not comply with the request. However, it is not yet clear what sanctions these will be: "We are still discussing what should happen if they do not come voluntarily."

    ukrinform | Bill on mobilization to be registered in parliament in coming days - Umerov, 24 Dec
    "We are preparing the matrix of responsibility, or a matrix of mobilization, which should be clear to society," he said.
    Don't you think that in the 10th year of the Russian-Ukrainian war, it will be difficult to change the attitude of citizens to the duty to serve the Motherland?
    Don't you think that in the 10th year of the Russian-Ukrainian war, it will be difficult to change the attitude of citizens to the duty to serve the Motherland?
    When you say that it is necessary to notify in a civilized manner about the need to report to the territorial picking center, do you assume the possibility of using, for example, the "Diya" application for this purpose, so as not to hand out summonses in the gym?
    We are working on databases. This is an email notification. In other words, we analyzed different databases, about nine of them, from different ministries. Then we look at how these databases are taken into account. Because people don't quite understand who is obligated, who is a serviceman, who is a veteran....
    strana | Draft law of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on mobilization contradicts the Constitution - Ombudsman Dmitry Lubinets
    archive "state in a smartphone"
    by Cat on Wed Dec 27th, 2023 at 10:07:59 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    BBC segment: You know, here in Ukraine we somehow get used to it. I guess, when I hear an alarm, my first thought if it is in—Deni, my child is at school, for example—my first thought is whether they came down with a twister. The second thought is how long will the air alarm will the air alarm last? Will we have time to carry out out all the planned affairs? It stops everyone [who] has work. Air alarms are not the only fear of a rocket coming. Air alarms, when all this stops, it affects the economy.
    president.gov.ua | Olena Zelenska in an interview with BBC: We cannot get tired, otherwise we will die, 11 Dec
    by Cat on Tue Dec 12th, 2023 at 06:07:45 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Perhaps just a legend, but from my youth a bit of oral history as the Vikings rampaged our coastline and ransacked villages on a murderous spree. A local missionary was brutally martyred.

    Getting into a tough battle and suffering loss of too many men, the Vikings send into battle ... their women were tough, cunning and merciless.

    The Most Legendary Female Viking Warriors That Ever Lived

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 12th, 2023 at 06:45:01 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Cat on Tue Dec 12th, 2023 at 08:19:37 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    During November 29-December 9, 2023, the Kiev International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted its own all-Ukrainian public opinion poll "Omnibus". () Based on a random sample of mobile phone numbers (with random generation of phone numbers and subsequent statistical weighting), 1031 respondents living in all regions of Ukraine (except the Autonomous Republic of Crimea) were interviewed. The survey was conducted with adults (aged 18 years and older) citizens of Ukraine who at the time of the survey lived on the territory of Ukraine (within the limits controlled by the Ukrainian authorities until February 24, 2022). The sample did not include residents of territories that were temporarily not controlled by the Ukrainian authorities before February 24, 2022 (the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the city of Sevastopol, certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions), and the survey was not conducted with citizens abroad.

    Formally, under normal circumstances, the statistical error of such a sample (with a probability of 0.95 and taking into account the design effect of 1.1) did not exceed 3.4% for indicators close to 50%, 3.0% for indicators close to 25%, 2.1% for indicators close to 10%, and 1.5% for indicators close to k [coefficient] up to 5%.
    Graph 3 shows the dynamics of trust in the authorities (the President, the Verkhovna Rada, the Government), the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine, and the National Police. Figure 4 shows the credibility of justice institutions, such as prosecutors and courts. Finally, Graph 5 shows the trust of the Church, the Ukrainian media, and volunteers.

    Compared to December 2022, criticism of the authorities is growing. In particular, the share of those who trust the Verkhovna Rada has decreased from 35% to 15%, while the share of those who do not trust it has increased from 34% to 61%. Confidence in the government decreased from 52% to 26%, and distrust-increased from 19% to 44%. Although there is also a downward trend in the case of the President, he retains overwhelming confidence among the Ukrainian public. So, now 62% trust the President, and 18% do not trust him.

    by Cat on Tue Dec 19th, 2023 at 01:45:31 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The anti-Zelensky coalition.
    Who is attacking the president inside and outside of Ukraine and what can it lead to?

    Czechia, Ireland, Switzerland, and Norway
    Austria, Croatia, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Malta
    Poland, Estonia

    by Cat on Mon Dec 25th, 2023 at 02:55:07 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    OSCE Ministerial Council in Skopje: concessions to Russia in the name of preserving the institution | 8 Dec. 2023 |

    For Lavrov, this was the first opportunity to address the OSCE Ministerial Council he had had since Russia launched its full-scale war against Ukraine in February 2022. Last year, when Poland held the rotational chairmanship and hosted the annual ministerial meeting in Łódź, it denied visas to those members of the Russian delegation (including Lavrov) who had been sanctioned by the EU.

    North Macedonia, under the influence of the US and key Western European states, decided differently, and allowed Lavrov to enter the EU and appear at the meeting of the Ministerial Council; this was presumably in return for Russia's assent to Malta's chairmanship in the organisation in 2024, and to an extension of the terms of office of the four officials mentioned above (decisions in the OSCE require unanimity). Most Western states deem it necessary - even at the cost of concessions to Russia - to preserve the OSCE as the only existing multilateral platform which could permit possible future dialogue with Moscow.

    In order to accommodate the Russian delegation, the North Macedonian government lifted the ban on flights from Russia for three days - although even then the plane carrying the Russian delegation was forced to take a circuitous route over Turkey and Greece, as Bulgaria denied it access to its airspace.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Dec 25th, 2023 at 08:02:33 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    "under the influence"
    by Cat on Wed Dec 27th, 2023 at 10:14:14 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ukrinform | Survey: 94 percent of Ukrainians trust their Army
    This is evidenced by a recent study co-run by the Razumkov Center and Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, whose results were presented at Ukrinform on Thursday. [...] The research was run by the Razumkov Center sociological service jointly with the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation on December 8-15. A total of 2019 respondents over the age of 18 have been surveyed. The sampling error is within 2.3%.
    strana | Over the past year, the number of Ukrainians who believe that events in Ukraine are developing in the right direction has fallen - Foundation for Democratic Initiatives
    by Cat on Wed Dec 27th, 2023 at 08:59:11 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ukrinform | 305 ships pass through Black Sea humanitarian corridor - U.S. Ambassador, 20 Dec
    This was reported by U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink on social network X, Ukrinform saw.

    "Over 10 million tons of grain and other cargo carried by 305 ships has now made it safely through the Black Sea Humanitarian Corridor. Russia's aggression cannot stop Ukraine from feeding the world," the U.S. ambassador wrote.

    ukrinform | Bodnar: Ukraine, together with partners, continues Grain from Ukraine, 21 Dec
    ...Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to Türkiye [!] Vasyl Bodnar spoke about the initiative during the loading of 25,000 tons of Ukrainian grain in the port of Samsun for shipment to Nigeria, Ukrinform reports.

    "The World Food Program, together with 30 other countries and organizations, has supported this initiative (Grain from Ukraine) and is helping us to implement it. During the recent international summit Grain from Ukraine, President Zelensk* said that USD 100 million had been raised for this purpose. In total, we have already supplied more than 170,000 tons of wheat to countries in need, including Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Yemen. Now we plan to deliver another 60 ships to other countries in need, mainly in Africa," Vasyl Bodnar said....

    ukrinform | Ukraine harvests 78.7M tons of new crops, 26 Dec
    ...Harvesting is completed in all regions, the ministry said. According to the ministry, sugar beet was harvested on 248,600 hectares, with 11.86 million tons of sweet roots harvested and a yield of 477 c/ha. As reported, in early December, the ministry raised its forecast for gross production of grains and oilseeds in Ukraine in 2023 to 81.3 million tons....
    archive Aug alternative to grain agreement, Sep First cargo ship leaves Ukraine, RU-TR meet the press, BSI Slava Ukraini!
    by Cat on Wed Dec 27th, 2023 at 09:46:12 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Fri Dec 1st, 2023 at 10:54:09 PM EST
    strategic autonomy

    Russia Takes Control of Iraq's Biggest Oil Discovery for 20 Years

    ...This is in line with Moscow and Beijing's objective of keeping the West out of energy deals in Iraq to keep Baghdad closer to the NEW! Iran-Saudi AXIS! and to "end Western hegemony in the Middle East that will become the decisive chapter in the West's final demise," as exclusively related to OilPrice.com. The approval last week by Iraq's Oil Ministry for Inpex—the major oil company of key U.S. ally Japan—to sell its 40 percent stake in the Block 10 region that contains the huge Eridu discovery leaves the way clear for Lukoil to take total control of the entire oil-rich area.
    A key part of both deals is that China has first refusal on all oil, gas, and petrochemicals projects that come up in Iraq for the duration of the deal, and that it is given at least a 30 percent discount on all oil, gas, and petrochemicals it buys. Another key part of the Iraq-China Framework Agreement is that Beijing is allowed to build factories across the country, with a corollary build-out of supportive infrastructure. This includes—importantly for its 'Belt and Road Initiative'—railway links, all overseen by its own management staff from Chinese companies on the ground in Iraq. The railway infrastructure in Iraq will be completed out after the network in Iran has been finished, and this began in earnest in late 2020 with the contract to electrify the main 900-kilometre railway connecting Tehran to the north-eastern city of Mashhad....
    archive War Powers, Iraq KRG sign deal to restart oil exports, Twenty years of war in Iraq, dollar shortage, OFAC Frozen Iraqi Assets 2003-present
    by Cat on Tue Dec 5th, 2023 at 05:38:37 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    aljazeera | Putin begins tour of Middle East, 12 Feb 2007
    Iran, KSA, Qatar, Jordan

    foreignpolicy | Putin's whirlwind ["]Middle East["] tour, 26 June 2012
    Tel Aviv, West Bank

    NYT | Whirlwind Putin Tour Highlights Moscow's New Reach in Mideast, 11 Dec 2017
    Syria, Egypt, Türkiye

    December 2022 price cap mania

    November 2023 price cap mania

    aljazeera | Putin to visit Saudi Arabia, UAE with Israel-Hamas war on agenda, 5 Dec 2023

    and host Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Moscow the following day. The talks will focus on bilateral relations and the Israel-Hamas war, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

    Peskov said that discussions on oil market cooperation will be on the agenda of talks, as Moscow cooperates with all three countries through OPEC+, which is comprised of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies led by Russia.

    guardian | Putin to make RARE TRIP abroad to discuss Israel-Hamas war with UAE and Saudi Arabia
    by Cat on Tue Dec 5th, 2023 at 09:08:32 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    indiatimes | India asks US to release $26M frozen over suspected Russia diamond link, 30 Aug

    India has the world's largest diamond processing capacity and exported polished diamonds worth more than $22 billion last fiscal year that ended on March 31. The industry, based mainly in the western state of Gujarat, buys rough diamonds from suppliers in countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Belgium, and Russia.
    helmer | Russia and the African states defeat US-EU-Israeli plan, 6 Dec illustrated
    Meeting together last month in Zimbabwe in what is called the Kimberley Process (KP), the 57-member states  refused to agree to the US and European Union (EU) attempt to exclude Russia, producer of half the diamonds in global trade. To camouflage the outcome of the fight, the KP delegates decided not to issue a communiqué. Without that, the rules of the meeting nullified all points of agreement which the Kimberley Process states had accepted during their two-day sessions.
    euractiv | Hawkish member state propose retaliatory ban on imports of diamonds (26.09.22)
    This dramatic collapse of the Kimberley Process happened in Harare on November 10. The disagreement and deadlock came over a letter from the Kiev regime, backed by the US, the EU, Japan, and Canada (the G7 member states) to impose a full ban on the trade in Russian diamonds.
    thehindu | India studying U.S. sanctions on Russian diamond major Alrosa (09.04.23)
    The Ukrainian attempt was backed by intense pressure from the US State Department and by Jewish diamantaires in New York for the international diamond trade to accept the US Diamond Protocol, a scheme of registration, inspection, auditing, and certification enforced by US intelligence and Treasury agents, to prevent any Russian-mined diamond from entering the international diamond jewellery market.
    reuters | Russia's Alrosa suspends diamond supply for September-October, India's trade body says (20.09.23)
    Instead, what has happened is that the global diamond industry has been cracked in half by the sanctions war. The defeat of the so-called "western bloc" in Zimbabwe is big news in Africa and India. It has not been reported in the New York and London financial press....
    kimberleyprocess | Participants
    "The KP has 59 participants, representing 85 countries, with the European Union and its 27 Member States counting as a single participant, represented by the European Commission."

    archive Amb. Olson On Assignment, Zelensk* telethon UPDATE in Biden's Blitzkrieg, Dec 6th 2021 in Macron Rebooting Alliances

    by Cat on Sat Dec 9th, 2023 at 08:31:12 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Cat on Sun Dec 10th, 2023 at 05:26:16 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Historic American exceptionalism replaced by AmericaFirst!

    For EU adapted version the Wall of the Garden to keep out Barbarians from the Jungle. On a path of identity or nationalism.

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 10th, 2023 at 07:23:16 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    "covered nations"

    mid.ru | Declaration by the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran on the Ways and Means to Counter, Mitigate and Redress the Adverse Impacts of Unilateral Coercive Measures, 5 Dec

    Recalling the Declaration of the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran on the Promotion of International Law signed on 16 June 2020 at Moscow,

    Declare the following guidelines on the ways and means to counter, mitigate and redress the adverse impacts of unilateral coercive measures:

    1. Recourse of any State to unilateral coercive measures is unlawful, contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and international law and will entail international responsibility.
    2. Unilateral coercive measures, including those of extraterritorial nature, implemented by the third State, group or association of States in violation of the Charter of the United Nations and international law should not be recognized and implemented.
    3. States are strongly urged to refrain from adopting, promulgating and applying the unilateral coercive measures that impede the full achievement of economic and social development, particularly in developing countries.

    kremlin.ru | Russian-Iranian talks, 7 Dec PR

    scmp | China and Iran vow to work together for peace amid Israel-Gaza war
    ...During Liu's meeting with Zolghadr, he said China would cooperate with Iran under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and BRICS, two blocs that are largely led by Beijing....

    isw | Senior Iranian officials met with the International Liaison Department head of the Chinese Communist Party, Liu Jianchao

    spa.gov.sa | Saudi-Russian Relations: Alignment of Visions and Mutual Interests, 6 Dec

    The political relationship between the two countries traces its roots to 1926 when the Soviet Union became the first nation worldwide to recognize the establishment of the Kingdom....
    spa.gov.sa | Joint Statement at the Conclusion of the Visit of the Russian Federation President to the Kingdom, 7 Dec
    The two sides discussed developments in the situation in Palestine...
    Regarding the crisis in Ukraine...
    Regarding Yemen...
    Regarding Syria...
    Regarding Sudan....
    archive Joint Trilateral Statement in China Trade and Relations, Joint Statement in Ruble and Yuan
    by Cat on Tue Dec 12th, 2023 at 02:15:25 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    16 Dec
    sweden.postsen | Pioneering cancer treatment dependent on Russian nuclear weapons factory, Rosatom Elektrokhimpribor (EKP)
    ...In June this year, more than a year after Russia's attack on Ukraine, the research center signed a cooperation agreement with the Dutch company Terthera, which imports the isotopes from Russia. The collaboration was presented with a headline about how the Netherlands and Belgium stand side by side in the fight against cancer. Nowhere, however, was the origin of the crucial isotopes mentioned....
    helsingin sanomat | Bite: "We are accustomed to a standard of living that we don't deserve"
    THE FINNS PARTY'S president, the minister of finance Riikka Bite to defend austerity of its line, when he spoke of the true finns party council meeting on Saturday. Bite stressed that the economic policy in the difficult and tough decisions must be made, even if they would please voters....
    18 Dec
    reuters | EU adopts 12th package of sanctions against Russia
    ...As previously reported by Reuters, in an effort to prevent Russia from maintaining its military hardware, the EU is introducing a "No Russia clause" that requires that EU exporters to contractually prohibit re-exportation to, or for use in, Russia of a list of "sensitive goods and technology."
    The package also introduces a new import ban on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) with a one-year transition period as well as a list of metal products, including "pig iron and spiegeleisen, copper and aluminium wires, foil, tubes and pipes for a total value of 2.2 billion euro ($2.40 billion) per year."...
    consilium.europa.eu | EU adopts 12th package of economic and individual sanctions
    With this 12th package, we are putting forward a robust set of new listings and economic measures which will further weaken Russia's war machine. Our message is clear, as I already stated when I chaired the informal Foreign Affairs Council in Kyiv: we remain steadfast in our commitment to Ukraine and will continue to support its fight for freedom and sovereignty.

    —Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

    Diamonds ...
    No Russia Clause ... re-exportation by third country
    Import-export controls and restrictions ... dual use goods and technologies
    Enforcement and anti-circumvention measures ... third countries ERP and CAD software
    Enforcement of oil price cap ... sale of tankers to any third country
    Iron and steel ...
    Individual listings
    In addition to economic sanctions, the Council decided to list a significant amount of additional individuals and ENtITiEs.

    archive June 2023 price cap mania Pkgs 1-11

    eur-lex.europa.eu | REGULATION (EU) 2023/2875, 152 pp
    G7 Leaders' Statement, 6 Dec, 14 pp
    "...We remain committed to upholding the rule of law, which protects all nations, especially the vulnerable, as well as global security and human dignity in all parts of the world...." < eyebrow >

    by Cat on Tue Dec 19th, 2023 at 01:26:14 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Importance of the PALLAS-reactor in medical isotopes production

    The Netherlands occupies a special position in Europe by supplying 70 per cent of European and 35 per cent of the world's demand for medical isotopes.

    Reactor shut down will cause global medical isotope shortage | RIVM - 30 July 2019 |

    Netherlands grants permit to new nuclear reactor for medical isotope | NL News - 15 Feb. 2023 |

    Doctors expect that by 2040 they will need five times as many isotopes as they do now.

    Earlier this year ...

    Life-Saving Radiopharmaceuticals Focus of IAEA International Symposium

    Production facilities in Canada, US, Iran and Russia ... just a handful of others

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 19th, 2023 at 03:26:01 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Opinion piece published in The Guardian ...

    2023 has shown us the misery big-power politics creates. Here's how we can do things differently | By Margus Tsahkna - FM Estonia |

    Our rules-based world is the triumph of peace over war. At least, that's how the story has been told for the past eight decades. The promise of "never again" has been the raison d'etre for global institutions such as the United Nations and the international criminal court (ICC), which all like to trace their history to the moment when nations emerged from the ruins of the second world war and forged a lasting peace. Rising freedom and prosperity was understood to be the byproduct.

    Yet increasing numbers of people around the world no longer believe in that story. Its promise has been broken with the return of full-scale aggression by Russia, along with deteriorating violence and instability around the world. We are witnessing the horrors that this system was supposed to have long ago eliminated.

    With backing of NATO and Europe, did Zelenskyy expected a walk in the park?

    Estonia Celebrates Annual Waffen SS Division Heroes | by Oui @BooMan - 26 July 2014 |

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Dec 20th, 2023 at 09:08:18 AM EST
    [ Parent ]

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Dec 20th, 2023 at 09:14:08 AM EST
    [ Parent ]

    Baltic State wearing big pants with NATO stationed on its soil.

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Dec 20th, 2023 at 09:16:17 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    jta | US, Ukraine alone oppose Russian UN vote condemning honors to Nazis, 8 Nov 2019
    Last year, Stefanie Amadeo, deputy US representative to the economic and social council, told CBS News: "We condemn without reservation all forms of religious and ethnic intolerance or hatred at home and around the world. However, due to this resolution's overly narrow scope < wipes tears > and politicized nature, and because it calls for unacceptable limits on the fundamental freedom of expression, the United States cannot support it," she continued.

    The resolution's full title is: "Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."

    19 Dec 2023
    General Assembly Takes Up Second, Third Committee Reports, Adopting 99 Resolutions, Three Decisions on Broad Range of Items
    Eradicating Rural Poverty, Combating Glorification of Nazism among Texts Passed
    In a related vein, the Assembly also took up the resolution on "Unilateral economic measures as a means of political and economic coercion against developing countries", adopting it by a recorded vote of 128 in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Lithuania, New Zealand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States), with 43 abstentions.
    Addressing the Middle East, the Assembly took up the report "Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources" (document A/78/467), adopting the eponymous resolution by a recorded vote of 158 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 13 abstentions.
    In an echo of last year's annual spirited debate, the Assembly adopted a text on combating the glorification of Nazism (document A/78/478), as amended and as a whole by a recorded vote of 118 in favour to 49 against, with 14 abstentions. By its terms, the Assembly expressed alarm at the spread in many parts of the world of various extremist political parties, ideologies and groups of a racist or xenophobic character, including neo-Nazis and skinhead groups, and firmly condemned incidents that glorify and promote Nazism.
    In other notable action, the Assembly adopted a resolution on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination (document A/78/479) by a recorded vote of 172 in favour to 4 against (Israel, Micronesia, Nauru, and the United States), with 10 abstentions (Cameroon, Guatemala, Kiribati, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, South Sudan, Togo, Tonga, and Tuvalu), by which it stressed the urgency of ending the Israeli occupation and achieving a lasting peace settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.
    by Cat on Wed Dec 20th, 2023 at 04:29:52 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    US, Germany and Ukraine oppose UN anti-Nazism resolution, 20 Dec NATO action plan
    ...Moscow has proposed the resolution every year for nearly two decades, urging the UN to combat the "glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to the escalation of contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."

    In a vote on Tuesday, dozens of UN member states expressed opposition to the proposal, including the US, UK, Canada, France, Spain, Germany, Italy and Japan, as well as Ukraine, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, and a handful of others.

    The final vote on Tuesday afternoon was 118 in favor, 49 opposed and 14 abstaining, according to media reports. The UN has yet to publish the full details of the session....

    by Cat on Wed Dec 20th, 2023 at 06:30:41 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ft OpEd | Wally Adeyemo: The US is ready to impose sanctions on foreign financial institutions when others don't, 21 Dec tools
    The writer is deputy secretary of the US Treasury
    Today, the president will issue an executive order authorising the use of sanctions targeting foreign financial institutions that help Russia's military industrial complex. This fulfil[l]s a longstanding promise: as long as Russia's invasion continues, we will level sanctions and export controls that undermine the Kremlin's efforts to stockpile goods and technologies. We will not hesitate to use the new tools provided to take decisive and surgical action against institutions that facilitate the supply of Russia's war machine. This announcement makes clear that those financing and facilitating the transactions of goods that end up on the battlefield will face severe consequences.
    With the new order, we are ready and able to move when others don't. Financial institutions that continue to process transactions to Russia have a clear choice to make—stop all transactions from customers selling critical goods, or ensure these goods are not benefiting Russia's war machine. [OR ELSE], you risk losing access to the US financial system.
    by Cat on Fri Dec 22nd, 2023 at 06:50:55 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    International Debt Report 2023, 214 pp illustrated

    The International Debt Report (IDR), formerly International Debt Statistics (IDS), is a long[-]standing annual publication of the World Bank featuring external debt statistics and analysis for the 122 low- and middle-income countries that report to the World Bank Debt Reporting System (DRS).

    Now in its fiftieth year [!!], IDR supports policymakers and analysts by monitoring aggregate and country-specific trends in external debt in low- and middle-income countries. It provides a comprehensive picture of external borrowing and sources of lending by type of borrower and creditor.

    All low- and middle-income countries (USD billion, unless otherwise indicated), Summary External Debt [pdf p 69]
    3,448 Public and publicly guaranteed debt
    2,123 Private creditors
    2,760 Private non-guaranteed debt*

    Public and publicly guaranteed debt, by creditor* and creditor type in 2022, (%)
    59 Private bondholders
    28 Multilateral
    13 Bilateral, of which
      5 Other
      4 China
      3 Japan
      1 France
    * WB euphemism perhaps for commercial equity share of state assets in lieu of bond

    archive WTF Happened in 1971?, Lagarde made waves" in Merkel for President?

    by Cat on Sat Dec 16th, 2023 at 09:04:55 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Cat on Wed Dec 27th, 2023 at 12:03:11 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Fri Dec 1st, 2023 at 10:54:42 PM EST
    Euro-Med: Israel commits brutal massacres on the bloodiest day

    The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor condemned Israel's escalation of its bloody attacks in the Gaza Strip, including committing mass murder massacres by targeting entire residential squares, the victims of which exceeded a thousand people, including dead, wounded and missing.

    The Euro-Med Monitor said in a statement on Saturday: The attacks witnessed in the Gaza Strip constitute the bloodiest day since Israel began its war of genocide on October 7, and raise fears of a more brutal approach to impose political and field desires at the expense of civilians' blood and property.

    The Observatory documented a series of air attacks with intense fire belts launched by Israel on the areas of Shuja'iya, Jabalia, and Beit Lahia, targeting buildings and inhabited residential squares without warning, destroying them over the heads of their residents, and burying dozens under the rubble.

    See my recent diaries ...

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 3rd, 2023 at 10:23:39 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Venezuela: Guaido Under Investigation over Essequibo Bargaining Revelations | 9 Sept. 2019 |

    Guaido envoy Vanessa Neumann was caught on tape offering to relinquish Venezuela's historic claim in exchange for backing  from London

    Self-declared "Interim President" Juan Guaido and two of his top advisors are being accused of treason and have had a criminal investigation opened against them.

    Authorities have accused Guaido, his UK envoy, Vanessa Neumann, and his international office coordinator, Manuel Avendaño, of surrendering Venezuela's claim to the disputed Essequibo region in exchange for political support from the UK government.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 3rd, 2023 at 07:41:34 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 3rd, 2023 at 07:42:14 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 3rd, 2023 at 07:43:11 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on December 6, 2023
    AFP: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that 95 percent of voters in a referendum last week approved of the nation's territorial claim on a huge chunk of neighboring Guyana. China is a firm ally for Venezuela and at the same time maintains friendly relations with Guyana. So does China support President Nicolas Maduro's claim? Is China worried that Venezuela may invade Guyana?
    Wang Wenbin: Venezuela and Guyana are both China's good friends. China always respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries. China always supports the two countries in properly settling the issue of demarcation of their boundary through friendly consultation. This is in the interests of the people of both countries and conducive to the stability, cooperation and development of Latin America and the Caribbean....
    telesur | Venezuela Rejects Statements by the President of Guyana, 6 Dec
    "The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela condemns the recent statements made by President Irfaan Ali, who, in a reckless manner, has given the green light to the presence of the United States Southern Command in the territory of the Guayana Esequiba region, over which Guyana maintains a de facto occupa- tion and a territorial dispute with Venezuela.

    This dispute is meant to be re- solved through the 1966 Geneva Agreement, the only valid legal instrument between the parties...."

    by Cat on Wed Dec 6th, 2023 at 06:34:03 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    0.4°C inventory Abbreviations and Acronyms. Don't leave your non-party stakeholders without it.
    by Cat on Tue Dec 5th, 2023 at 05:05:36 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    F24 | Guinea-Bissau president calls deadly violence involving National Guard an 'attempted coup', 2 Dec CFA Zone:WAEMU
    Since gaining independence from Portugal in 1974, the small West African nation has seen a series of coups and coup attempts. [Pres. Umaro Sissoco] Embalo, who was elected to a five-year term in December 2019, survived a failed overthrow in February 2022.

    A military official, speaking anonymously due to the sensitive nature of the situation, said six soldiers were injured in the fighting and evacuated to neighbouring Senegal.

    Calm had returned by noon on Friday to the small nation with a history of instability, following the announcement that the army had captured Colonel Victor Tchongo, commander of the National Guard.

    On Saturday the security presence in Bissau was reduced, but soldiers were still visible around certain strategic buildings such as the presidential palace, the judicial police headquarters and some ministries.

    archive EU Mission 2023, ECOWAS Decolonization, Resources and Military Intervention

    by Cat on Tue Dec 5th, 2023 at 05:58:37 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Taking lead in destruction of Sahel terror network working for Western alliance, U.S. and France.

    Nigerian military drone attack kills 85 civilians in error

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 5th, 2023 at 06:29:13 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    F24 | Niger ends security agreements with EU, turns to Russia for defence cooperation, 4 Dec
    In a memo, Niger's foreign affairs ministry said the government has decided to "withdraw the privileges and immunities granted" under the EU Military Partnership Mission in Niger that was launched in February and consequently "has no legal obligation" related to that partnership. It also dismissed the EU Civilian Capacity-Building Mission established in 2012 to strengthen Niger's internal security sector, effectively revoking its approval for the missions.
    archive Declaration of the Second Russia-Africa Summit
    In a rare visit on Sunday, a Russian delegation led by Russia's Deputy Minister of Defence Lounous-Bek Evkourov met with Niger's junta leader, Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani, and Minister of State for National Defense Salifou Mody. The two sides held more meetings on Monday to discuss military and defense issues.
    archive CSDP:EUMPM miscalculation in Decolonization, Resources and Military Intervention
    by Cat on Wed Dec 6th, 2023 at 02:15:22 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Joint Communiqué by Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Republic of Chad on G5-Sahel, 5 Dec
    Since the announcement, in May 2022, of the decision of the sisterly Republic of Mali to withdraw from the bodies of our organization, we have spared no effort to overcome the crisis caused by this situation and give substance to an exemplary cooperation framework. On 1 December 2023, the sisterly Republics of Burkina Faso and Niger decided to withdraw their countries from all bodies of the G-S Sahel, including the Joint Force.
    To this end, the Governments of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, the country holding the Presidency in Office of the G5-Sahel, and the Republic of Chad, member of this organization, while reaffirming their attachment to the ideals of African regional integration and the objectives of the G-5 Sahel which, despite the difficulties and the various contingencies, will have served as a relevant mechanism and an effective instrument of cooperation between the armed and security forces of the sub-region, will implement all the necessary measures in accordance with the provisions of the Convention on the Creation of the G-5 Sahel, particularly in its article 20.

    However, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and the Republic of Chad intend to continue their efforts, with all the countries of the Sahel, to meet the challenges facing the region.

    G5-Sahel is dead. Long live the Sahel.
    by Cat on Thu Dec 7th, 2023 at 05:17:22 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Axel | US is scrambling to avoid another foreign policy crisis—this time in Congo, 1 Dec
    A top U.S. intelligence official presented a detailed proposal to the leaders of [Democratic Republic of] Congo and Rwanda last week for a pact to reduce fighting in eastern Congo—and promised to help enforce the deal.
    whitehouse.gov | Readout of Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines's Travel to Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda (21.11.23)
    The Biden administration previously said that Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines flew to the region last week to "secure commitments" from Congolese [Tshisekedi] and Rwandan [Kagama] leaders to deescalate [sic] fighting and that they "plan to take specific steps to reduce current tensions." But the administration did not disclose the extent to which the U.S. was designing and overseeing the plan.
    Mining Review. United States looks to invest in Lobito Atlantic Railway Corridor, May 2023
    "U.S. efforts to counter China on the continent."
    This month, Secretary of Stalking Antony Blinken reached out to leaders of both countries, asking them to deescalate [sic] and engage in diplomatic talks to end the fighting. But the meeting between Haines and the leaders of Congo and Rwanda is a higher-level [?!] engagement with more specific asks.
    "The Chinese have cornered the market on Congolese minerals and have for a number of years. And we have in office right now in Congo, a government which has at least shown itself amenable to revisiting those contracts," said Cameron Hudson, a former [CIA] intelligence analyst [in Africa] . "A glaring piece of this that I think undermines all of this is that there's a proxy war [Kagame > M23 > DRC ] going on in the eastern part of the country."
    EU Green Deal, US Inflation Reduction supply chain security
    Beijing is Kinshasa's largest trading partner, having gobbled up key mining rights beginning in the 2000s. Its control over the market has put it far ahead of the U.S. race to secure critical components needed for electric vehicle batteries. In an effort to find a way into that market, the U.S. in September signed a memorandum of understanding with Congo and Zambia to help stand up a supply chain for the batteries. The administration also committed to help develop a new rail line that will connect southern Congo and northwestern Zambia via the Lobito Port in Angola. The pathway is critical for the export of minerals key to EV battery production.
    Regional Programme of Action for Economic Development and Regional Integration 2006
    Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Development of the Lobito Corridor and the Zambia-Lobito Rail Line, Oct 2022
    USA Investment in Lobito Corridor Rail Line is a Positive Game Changer, May 2023
    Joint Statement from the U.S. and the E.U. on Support for the Lobito Corridor and the U.S.-EU Launch of a Greenfield Rail Line Feasibility Study, Sep 2023
    by Cat on Sun Dec 10th, 2023 at 04:55:53 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    state.gov | Visa Restriction Policy for Undermining Democracy in Zimbabwe, 4 Dec US-Africa summit diaspora engagement
    pursuant to Section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, for individuals believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Zimbabwe. Such acts may include manipulating or rigging the electoral process; disenfranchising voters or preventing individuals from exercising their right to vote; excluding members of the political opposition from electoral processes; restricting the ability of civil society organizations (CSOs) to operate and engage in democratic, governance, or human rights related activities; or intimidation of voters, election observers, or CSOs through threats or acts of physical violence.
    archive Zimbabwe 2023 Election observers in Decolonization, Resources and Military Intervention, $13.5 Billion Debt in Reinventing Collapse, AP collection of cautionary tales, Mnangagwa Commonwealth hurdles, Mon Jul 23rd 2012

    thezimbabwemail | US places sanctions on Uganda and Zimbabwe over gay issues, 5 Dec

    ...Uganda's anti-LGBTQ law, considered one of the harshest in the world, was enacted in May and carries the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality," an offence that includes transmitting HIV through gay sex.

    In June, the U.S. State Department imposed visa restrictions on Ugandan officials after the passage of the law. The State Department also previously put visa restrictions on Ugandan officials following the country's 2021 elections, which it called "flawed."...

    bloomberg | US Slaps Sanctions Against Officials From Three African Nations, 5 Dec
    ...Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe, accusing them of undermining democracy, peace and security in their respective countries.
    In Sudan, where two rival generals have fought a months-long civil war punctuated by widespread accounts of human-rights abuses against civilians, the State Department approved sanctions against Taha Osman Ahmed al-Hussein, a former State Minister under the now-ousted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, for his role in sending weapons to the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group....
    archive Why is Ukraine operating in Sudan?, G7 diplomats evacuate, Sudan-Israel norms in How Zionism Became Fascism In Israel

    state.gov | 2022 Investment Climate Statements: Sudan
    Openness To and Restrictions Upon Foreign Investment

    by Cat on Tue Dec 5th, 2023 at 06:48:45 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    "pre-industrial average (1850-1900)"

    There is no bottom to European American innocence.

    by Cat on Thu Dec 14th, 2023 at 04:35:25 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Fri Dec 1st, 2023 at 10:55:03 PM EST
    by Cat on Mon Dec 4th, 2023 at 08:56:17 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ae.thenationalnews.com.uk | Nato's Stoltenberg warns Cop28 is vital work to stop conflict, 1 Dec
    Mr Stoltenberg said the two days of the meeting in Dubai had already produced outcomes that would "reconcile the need for economic growth with the environment". While the war in Ukraine has dominated his last years at the Nato helm, the former Norwegian prime minister reflected on how important global warming has been in shaping the security landscape on his watch.
    COP28 UAE Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action (01.12.23)
    ...transitioning 160 million hectares to regenerative agriculture by 2030, accompanied by USD 2.2 billion in future investment, and engaging 3.6 million farmers world-wide....

    Secretary Antony J. Blinken At the UN Climate Conference, COP 28, Leaders Event: Transforming Food Systems in the Face of Climate Change (01.12.23)
    ...the Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils—or "VACS"—which we launched with the African Union and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization just a few months ago in February...

    "Global warming is a crisis multiplier," he told The National. "It increases competition for scarce resources. "It drives migratory flows and it also actually undermines our capability to combat climate change because resources that we should have used to combat climate change are spent on our protecting our security with our military forces."
    COP28 UAE Climate and Health Declaration (02.12.23)
    ...The Declaration was developed with the support of a number of `country champions' including Brazil, Malawi, the UK, the US, the Netherlands, Kenya, Fiji, India, Egypt, Sierra Leone, and Germany. This joint action comes as annual deaths from polluted air hit almost 9 million and as 189 million people are exposed to extreme weather-related events each year....
    At the Cop28 summit, Mr Stoltenberg said the $30bn announced for a fund  to [finance] green technologies and a first-day announcement on a disasters fund to compensate developing countries for loss and damage were concrete weapons in the fight against climate change.

    Axel | Kamala Harris at climate summit: World must 'fight' those stalling action, 2 Dec

    "Continued progress will not be possible without a fight," she told the gathering, which has drawn more than 100,000 people to this Gulf oil metropolis. "Around the world, there are those who seek to slow or stop our progress. Leaders who deny climate science, delay climate action, and spread misinformation. Corporations that greenwash their climate inaction and lobby for billions of dollars in fossil fuel subsidies."
    She used her conference platform to push that image [" climate change threats"], announcing several new U.S. climate initiatives, including a record-setting $3 billion pledge for the so-called Green Climate Fund [?], which aims to help countries adapt to climate change and reduce emissions. The commitment echoes an identical pledge Barack Obama made in 2014—of which only $1 billion was delivered. The U.S. Treasury Department later specified that the updated commitment was "subject to the availability of funds."
    archive fund manager, actionism, Transitional Committee
    by Cat on Tue Dec 5th, 2023 at 08:00:16 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    jta.org | House passes resolution equating antisemitism with anti-Zionism, despite many abstentions
    ...Nadler and his Jewish colleagues, Jamie Raskin of Maryland, and Dan Goldman of New York, this week introduced a separate resolution condemning antisemitism, tying it to the Biden administration's antisemitism strategy, which the resolution approved on Tuesday does not mention. The trio also were behind a letter in October supporting the Biden administration for its backing for Israel in its war with Hamas Palestinians; all 24 Jewish Democrats signed onto that letter, but some have since broken away, calling on Biden to press for a ceasefire....
    CNN | House passes resolution condemning antisemitism, 5 Dec zionists and women
    ...Separately, two House Democrats are planning on introducing a resolution this week condemning Hamas' use of sexual violence and rape against Israeli women. Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida has begun drafting the resolution, a Democratic lawmaker familiar with the plans told CNN. A source familiar with Frankel's thinking told CNN combating rape as a weapon of war is a long-standing priority for the congresswoman and the resolution was not drafted as a response to any comments made by other members....
    H.Res.894 - Strongly condemning and denouncing the drastic rise of antisemitism in the United States and around the world, 5 Dec
    Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
    (1) strongly condemns and denounces all instances of antisemitism occurring in the United States and globally;
    (2) reaffirms and reiterates its strong support for the Jewish community at home and abroad;
    (3) calls on elected officials and world leaders to condemn and fight all forms of domestic and global antisemitism;
    (4) clearly and firmly states that anti-Zionism is antisemitism; and
    (5) rejects all forms of terror, hate, discrimination, and harassment of members of the Jewish community.
    stefanik.house.gov | House Passes Stefanik, Owens' Resolution Condemning Antisemitism and Support for Terrorist Organizations on American College Campuses, 2 Nov
    "Joe Biden and the Far Left might not be able to call out this violent antisemitic language for what it is, but make no mistake, House Republicans condemn the propagandizing of terror on American soil."
    by Cat on Thu Dec 7th, 2023 at 04:58:59 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Infrastructure Investment and Jobs UPDATE!

    rollcall | EV tax credit rules would clarify restrictions on foreign-made batteries, 4 Dec
    "substantially transformed" door is CLOSED! < wipes tears >

    Automakers, who must adhere to escalating annual benchmarks for battery components sourced from the United States or friendly nations if they want their vehicles to qualify [for tax credits], have wondered how strict the requirements will be for tiny amounts of tough-to-track [critical] minerals that may originate with a foreign eNTitY of concern.
    treasury.gov | Treasury Releases Proposed Guidance to Continue U.S. Manufacturing Boom in Batteries and Clean Vehicles, Strengthen Energy Security (01.12.23)
    ...FEOC-compliance for critical minerals would be determined by reviewing all phases of applicable critical mineral extraction, processing, and recycling. For example, a mineral extracted by an eNTitY that is not a FEOC but processed by an entity that is a FEOC would not be compliant. Compliant battery components would have to be tracked to FEOC-compliant battery cells, and cells could not be manufactured or assembled by a FEOC.

    Critical minerals generally also must be traced. However, given that there is commingling [!] in the critical mineral supply chains and suppliers may not be able to physically track certain specific masses of minerals to specific battery cells or batteries, the [Notice of Proposed Rulemaking] NPRM asks for comments on a temporary transition rule, under which critical minerals and associated constituent materials may be allocated to a particular set of battery cells. The battery cells would then have to be physically tracked to batteries and new clean vehicles using a serial number or other identification system.

    The NPRM also asks for comment on a proposed additional transition rule as the automotive industry develops the ability to trace certain low-value materials with precision. The NPRM proposes a temporary transition rule through 2026 that would give the industry time to develop tracing standards for these low-value materials....

    Treasury is proposing a "temporary transition rule" for the co-mmingling of these small amounts that would identify tax credit-eligible batteries by serial number or other identification system that will allow them to be tracked as they're installed in certain vehicles. Another temporary transition rule proposed by Treasury would exempt certain "low value" materials from the foreign eNTitY of concern provisions until [sic] 2026, giving the industry extra time to develop systems to trace those materials. The department has not yet determined, however, which materials would be considered "low value."
    DOE's proposed rule issued Friday answers some questions about which kinds of, as well as how many, associations with "foreign eNTitY of concern" [FEOC] would disqualify a company's vehicles.
    federalregister.gov | Interpretation of Foreign ENTity of Concern (04.12.23)
    by providing interpretations of the of the following key terms: "government of a foreign country;" "foreign entity;" "subject to the jurisdiction;" and "owned by, controlled by, or subject to the direction of."
    The proposal would bar tax credits for vehicles with batteries produced by eNTitIes incorporated in, headquartered in or performing relevant battery production activities in a covered nation.
    The "covered nations" are the People's Republic of China (PRC), the Russian Federation, the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea, and the Islamic Republic of Iran (10 U.S.C. 4872(d)(2)).
    III. If an eNTitY is "subject to the jurisdiction" of a government of a foreign country that is a covered nation, the entity is a FEOC.
    For example, any production occurring in China, whether through a Chinese-incorporated firm or not, would be subject to the country's jurisdiction and therefore considered an "eNTitY of concern." It would also bar eNTitY in which a government of the four ["covered"] nations [CN, IR, KP, RU] holds a 25 percent or more voting interest, board seat, or equity interest. That includes ownership by dominant political parties, like the Chinese Communist Party, and sub-national governments and senior officials.
    Department of Energy Releases Proposed Interpretive Guidance on Foreign Entity of Concern for Public Comment, 1 Dec misplaced precision

    archive Take the electric vehicles sector in Reactionary Visions and eNtiTiES, April 2023 transmission action UPDATE, von der Leyen and Biden, concessions for Europe, EU's list of Critical Raw Materials in Energy as a Weapon of War, post-FIT "green" technology PROBE, OFAC cap no longer applies  

    by Cat on Wed Dec 6th, 2023 at 01:37:12 AM EST
    [ Parent ]

    T - 337 days

    The Don Cheeto (R)

    is not immune from civil lawsuits blaming him for the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, an appeals court ruled Friday.
    • Nikki Two-Tones (R)
    • Perry WUT? (R)
    • not that Scott, the other one (R)
    • Asa (R)
    dont-say-de-Santis (R)
    and California's Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, who is not running for president, faced each other Thursday night in a debate moderated by Fox News' Sean Hannity.
    Dakato Doug Tech (R)
    dropped his bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination on Monday after repeatedly polling in the single digits and failing to qualify for the third and fourth GOP debates.
    • Texass Hurd (R)
    • Vivek WHO? (R)
    • Pilgrim Pence (J)
    • Christie Kreme Do'nuts (R)
    • Marianne (D)
    • RFK, Jr (I)
    • Rt Rev Dr Cornel West (I)
    • Phil The Builder (D)
    • the-other-Jill (G)

    archived Nov 2023

    by Cat on Mon Dec 4th, 2023 at 09:36:10 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Christie Kreme Do'nuts (R)
    to clear a path for either Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis or former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, as Republicans look for a viable alternative to former President Trump.
    Biden 'not sure' he'd run in 2024 if Trump wasn't in the race
    When asked asked by reporters to clarify his remarks if Trump was not running, he said, "I expect so but look, he is running, and I have to run."
    Newsom cements place as star for Democrats
    as he steps further into the national spotlight, fending off concerns about the president's age

    by Cat on Wed Dec 6th, 2023 at 04:28:45 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    • Nikki Two-Tones (R)
    • dont-say-de-Santis (R)
    • Vivek WHO? (R)
    • Christie Kreme Do'nuts (R)
    meet in Alabama for their fourth cage match
    by Cat on Thu Dec 7th, 2023 at 01:12:22 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Vivek WHO? (R) wasting all of his "debate" minutes ridiculing Nikki Two-Tones (R) so infuriates unemployed Camp Obama 2008 "surrogate" that he spills all his "inter-sectionality" cards.

    by Cat on Sat Dec 9th, 2023 at 01:31:50 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The mystery of the missing binder: How a collection of raw Russian intelligence disappeared under Trump, 15 Dec 2023
    The binder contained raw intelligence the US and its NATO allies collected on Russians and Russian agents, including sources and methods that informed the US government's assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to help Trump win the 2016 election, sources tell CNN.

    The intelligence was so sensitive that lawmakers and congressional aides [?!] with top secret security clearances were able to review the material only at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, where their work scrutinizing it was itself kept in a locked safe.

    aide of aide
    Cassidy Hutchinson, one of Meadows' top aides, testified to Congress and wrote in her memoir that she believes Meadows took home an unredacted version of the binder. She said it had been kept in Meadows' safe and that she saw him leave with it from the White House.

    "I am almost positive it went home with Mr. Meadows," Hutchinson told the January 6 committee in closed-door testimony, according to transcripts released last year.

    by Cat on Fri Dec 15th, 2023 at 06:31:09 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Nikki Two-Tones (R)
    fails to mention slavery as cause of Civil War
    • Texass Hurd (R)
    said Thursday he thought the former South Carolina governor would survive the controversy around her remarks about the Civil War
    Nikki Two-Tones (R)
    told a crowd of voters that if she is elected next year, she would issue a presidential pardon to former President Donald Trump

    by Cat on Fri Dec 29th, 2023 at 03:28:51 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Cat on Thu Dec 7th, 2023 at 01:07:07 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception , 5 Dec
    We believe we're a hopeful, optimistic nation, driven by a simple proposition: that everybody deserves a fair shot, damn it. Everybody. (Applause.)

    And that's not egotism. But we Americans—we believe this country we live in is special. We're the only country in the history of the world that's based on an idea, not built on race, ethnicity, religion, geography.

    We're the only country built on one idea, the idea that we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created eq—we've never fully lived up to it, but we've never abandoned it. We've never abandoned it. (Applause.)

    Remarks by President Biden Urging Congress to Pass His National Security Supplemental Stone, Including Funding to Support Ukraine, 6 Dec
    I just did a meeting with the G7, which was one of the issues we discussed—all of the European leaders.  We are prepared to stay with us—stay with Ukraine, and our European friends are as well.

    Who in the United States are prepared to walk away from that?  I tell you, I'm not prepared to walk away, and I don't think the American people are either.

    If Putin takes Ukraine, he won't stop there. It's important to see the long run here. He's going to keep going.  He's made that pretty clear. If Putin attacks a NATO ally—if he keeps going and then he attacks a NATO ally—well, we've committed as a NATO member that we'd defend every inch of NATO territory. Then we'll have something that we don't seek and that we don't have today: American troops fighting Russian troops—American troops fighting Russian troops if he moves into other parts of NATO.

    Make no mistake: Today's vote is going to be long remembered. And history is going to judge harshly those who turn their back on freedom's cause.  

    We can't let Putin win. I'll say it again: We can't let Putin win. It's in our overwhelming national interest and international interest of all our friends.

    thehill | GOP giving Putin 'the greatest gift', 6 Dec
    ..."Petty partisan, angry politics can't get in the way of our responsibility as a leading nation in the world," Biden said. "And literally, the entire world is watching," he added. "Think if we don't support Ukraine, what's the rest of the world going to do? What's Japan going to do, which is supporting Ukraine now—what's going to happen in terms of the G7? What's going to happen in terms of our NATO allies?" Biden asked, adding that ending support would embolden "other would be aggressors."...
    by Cat on Thu Dec 7th, 2023 at 05:11:13 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    politico | Targeting costly meds, Biden admin asserts authority to seize certain drug patents, 6 Dec
    The determination, which was described by three people familiar with the matter, represents the culmination of a nearly nine-month review of the government's so-called march-in rights.
    thehill | Biden administration threatens seizure of US-funded drug patents if prices too high, 7 Dec
    The issue of high-priced, taxpayer-funded drugs has frequently been brought up, most recently when it came to the cost of COVID-19 vaccines. Throughout this year, lawmakers such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) grumbled over the price hikes of coronavirus vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer, arguing the investment of taxpayer funds into these medicines was meant to promote public health and not corporate profits.
    PhRMA is one of several plaintiffs currently suing to stop Medicare price negotiation established through the Inflation Reduction Act, a measure that administration officials said this framework is building on.
    cnbc | Biden administration asserts power to seize drug patents in move to slash high prices
    For the first time, officials can now factor in a medication's price in deciding to break a patent. It is unclear whether and how federal agencies will use march-in rights under the new framework....It also comes as President Joe Biden makes lowering U.S. drug prices a key pillar of his health-care agenda and re-election platform for 2024.
    hhs.gov | HHS and DOC Announce Plan to Review March-In Authority, 21 Mar 2023
    Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Commerce (DOC) announced efforts to pursue a whole-of-government [!] approach to review its march-in authority as laid out in the Bayh-Dole Act, which promotes commercialization of research results, maximizes the potential for federally-funded technologies to become products, and serves the broader interest of the American public. The Interagency Working Group for Bayh-Dole will develop a framework for implementation of the march-in provision that clearly articulates guiding criteria and processes for making determinations where different factors, including price, may be a consideration in agencies' assessments.

    "The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to increasing access to health care and lowering costs. And march-in authority is a powerful tool designed to ensure that the benefits of the American taxpayer's investment in research and development are reasonably accessible to the public," said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.

    federalregister.gov | Request for Information Regarding the Draft Interagency Guidance Framework for Considering the Exercise of March-In Rights, 12 Aug 2023 Commerce Department and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
    Introduction to March-In Rights & Framework
    Under the University and Small Business Patent Procedures Act of 1980, more commonly known as the "Bayh-Dole Act" or "[Birch] Bayh-[Bob] Dole," the government allows recipients of federal research funding to retain rights to inventions conceived or first actually reduced to practice under a federal funding agreement ("subject inventions"). The government, however, retains certain rights and imposes certain obligations on the contractor, including the authority to "march-in." March-in allows the agency to require the contractor, or an exclusive licensee to grant a license to the subject invention in any field of use to a responsible applicant or applicants. If they refuse, then the agency may itself grant a license. However, the agency can only exercise march-in rights in four specific circumstances, the criteria of which are specified in the statute (35 U.S.C. 203):
    uspto.gov | Technology Transfer
    • Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980
    • The Bayh Dole Act
    • Federal Technology Transfer Act (FTTA) of 1986
    • National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995

    csis.org |The Bayh-Dole Act in the Context of International Competition

    by Cat on Fri Dec 8th, 2023 at 10:28:59 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ynet | Hostage families have tense meeting with War Cabinet, say Netanyahu 'detached' from their concerns (07.11.23)
    Another former hostage who returned with her children, but whose husband remains in Hamas captivity, said: "We felt as though no one was doing anything for us. The reality is that I was in a hideout that was bombed and we became wounded refugees. This doesn't even include the helicopter that fired at us on our way to Gaza. You claim there is intelligence, but the reality is that we were being bombed. My husband was separated from us three days before we returned to Israel and was taken to the tunnels. And you're talking about flooding the tunnels with seawater? You are bombing tunnel routes exactly where they are located. My daughters ask me where their father is, and I have to tell them that the bad guys still don't want to release him."
    Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and NSC Coordinator for Strategic Kirby-Content, December 7, 2023
    ...The—the—we've got a few more weeks here, and then we're out of Schlitz when it comes to helping Ukraine with this kind of security assistance that we've been able to provide. And that's just—that should be unacceptable to everybody....
    You're out of beer.
    by Cat on Fri Dec 8th, 2023 at 11:09:15 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    House sends annual [NDAA] bill to Biden's desk
    The House on Thursday passed the annual defense authorization [NDAA] bill, sending the $886 billion Pentagon policy and funding package to President Biden's desk. The vote was 310-118, with 45 Democrats and 73 Republicans opposing the measure. The House passed the legislation under a suspension of the rules, which means it needed [lolno] a two-thirds majority.

    The final version of National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), agreed to between the House and Senate, overcame opposition from hard-line conservatives who objected to its exclusion of a number of amendments passed by the House over the summer to weed out what they call "woke" Pentagon policies.

    rollcall  Senate passes NDAA, sending bill to House
    Senators adopted the conference report by a 87-13 tally. The vote came after the legislation cleared a couple of final hurdles, including a Democratic hold on the 3,000-page NDAA conference report [!] and a protest of the bill's four-month extension of a controversial surveillance authority [Sec. 702 FISA veil]. But ultimately, the compromise plan secured strong bipartisan support on the floor in a passage vote that came a week after the language was first released.
    thehill | OpEd | America cannot retreat—the world is a safer place when we lead
    When America retreats from fighting violence and terrorism, our enemies are all too eager to take our place.
    archive Praetorian Guard preppers 1 Oct, The Bat Man "deadbeat nation" 14 July, AUMF 1 Mar
    by Cat on Thu Dec 14th, 2023 at 05:03:13 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Congress approves bill barring any president from unilaterally withdrawing from NATO, 14 Dec NDAA
    The measure, spearheaded by Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), was included in the annual National Defense Authorization Act, which passed out of the House on Thursday and is expected to be signed by President Biden.

    The provision underscores Congress's commitment to the NATO alliance that was a target of former President Trump's ire during his term in office. The alliance has taken on revitalized importance under Biden, especially since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

    by Cat on Fri Dec 15th, 2023 at 11:33:10 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Secretary of Stalking Antony J. Blinken holds End of Year press availability in the press briefing room at the Department of Stalking (cue @ 00:46:59)

    rollcall | As US positions with China, we must prioritize technological advantages over diplomatic wins (19.12.23)
    As such, the Biden administration and Congress should advance an affirmative technology agenda that uncompromisingly advances U.S. national interests, with a focus on empowering U.S. companies to compete against heavily subsidized Chinese companies, particularly as the CCP aggressively invests in catching up to the United States on AI. With China stealing hundreds of billions of dollars worth of intellectual property from American innovators each year, the CCP has materially injured our technological advantage in an effort to propel theirs forward. In an era where technological supremacy often translates to geopolitical dominance, we cannot afford to cede any more ground.

    Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. was the 19th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Frances F. Townsend is a former White House counterterrorism and homeland security adviser. Michael J. Morell is a former deputy director and acting director of the CIA. All serve as National Security Advisory Board members for the American Edge Project.

    by Cat on Wed Dec 20th, 2023 at 09:32:41 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    state.gov | Secretary Antony J. Blinken at a Press Availability (20.12.23)
    BLINKEN: When President Biden took office, he promised to deliver for the American people by reinvesting in America's greatest sources of strength. And since day one, that's exactly what we've done.

    We've done it here at home by making historic investments in our competitiveness, in our military, in our infrastructure, in our technology, in our manufacturing base. We've also done it around the world, revitalizing and re-energizing our unmatched network of alliances and partnerships.

    In 2023, we continued to show that this strategy is working. In a year of profound tests, the world looked to the United States to lead and that's just what we did. It was also a year when our friends and partners took significant—at times even unprecedented—steps to share with us the responsibility of leadership.

    As we head into 2024, we will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with those who share our vision for a free, open, prosperous, and secure world, because that's what delivering for the American people demands.

    First, we will continue to rally countries around the world to support Ukraine's freedom and independence and to ensure that Russia's aggression remains a strategic failure. Putin has already failed to achieve his principal objective in Ukraine: erasing it from the map, subsuming it into Russia.

    by Cat on Fri Dec 22nd, 2023 at 02:16:01 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Lavrov: 10 days ago, a secret meeting was held on Zelensk*'s "formula for peace", 28 Dec
    According to him, it was attended by Western countries and some states of the [so-called] Global South.

    "Ten days ago, another such meeting was held, the G7 plus—leading developing countries—where not all the countries of the majority of the world participated. Some refused the invitation, but it was held in complete secrecy, nothing was reported about it anywhere, no leaks were allowed," Mr. Lavrov told "RIA Novosti"and "Russia 24".

    The "Formula for Peace", presented by Vladimir Zelensk* in early 2023, involves the complete withdrawal of Russian troops, the restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine within the borders of 1991, the release of all prisoners, as well as ensuring nuclear, food and environmental security

    "for the region and the world" (13.09.22), "for the whole world." (15.11.22)
    The minister noted that close allies and like-minded people of Russia who participated in the meeting "did not promise anyone to keep any secrets from us on the issue that is related to the Russian Federation."

    According to the Russian Foreign Minister, the parties agreed to hold a meeting in January and a summit in February, where the "formula for peace" will be approved [BY WHOM?]. In addition, Sergey Lavrov noted in an interview that US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin called the Russian Federation an enemy. The Foreign Minister noted that Moscow is ready for any development of events and that [] "repeatedly tried to conquer, subdue [the Russian Federation]."
    The minister also commented on the publication of Politico [27.12.23] that US President Joe Biden is gradually changing the strategy of assistance to Kiev.

    For two years, Biden and Zelensk* have been focused on driving Russia from Ukraine. Now, Washington is discussing a move to a more defensive posture.
    Over the past year—with U.S. military support flagging fast on Capitol Hill and Zelensk*'s once-vaunted counter-offensive failing since it was launched in June—Biden has shifted from promising the U.S. would back Ukraine for "as long as it takes," to saying the U.S. will provide support "as long as we can" and contending that Ukraine has won "an enormous victory already. Putin has failed."
    The publication noted that he [Genocide Joe] began to say that Ukraine "has already won a huge victory." Sergey Lavrov saw this as a sign of fraud.
    archive 8 March 2022, June 2023 price cap mania invitational, work groups: World POWs Jeddah Hotel Outreach, 5-6 Aug, peace summit: autumn, this year, [OCTOBER GENOCIDE], January 14

    Rassmussen and Yermak, Kyiv Security Compact International Guarantees for Ukraine: Recommendations, 13 Sep 2022
    2022 National Defense Review, 27 Oct 2022
    Zelensk*, 10-point Peace Formula, G20 Summit 15 Nov 2022
    US House Armed Services Committee, "US Military Posture and National Security Challenges in Europe", 3-4 May 2023

    by Cat on Thu Dec 28th, 2023 at 06:48:42 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ChatGPT Newsqueek | Lindsey Graham Says US Should Hit Iran Base: 'Blow It Off the Map', 28 Dec
    The South Carolina Republican said he told Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin not to show "weakness" and make clear what the U.S. red lines for a retaliatory attack are.

    "Without Iran there are no Houthis," Graham told Fox News on Wednesday. "The Houthis are completely backed by Iran. I have been saying for six months now...hit Iran. They have oil fields out in the open, they have the Revolutionary Guard headquarters you can see from space. Blow it off the map."

    He continued: "If you really want to protect American soldiers, make it real to the ayatollah that if you attack a solider through a proxy, we're coming after you."
    Austin said "necessary and proportionate" attacks approved by President Joe Biden had been made against Kataib Hezbollah, which is supported by Iran in Iraq.

    "In response to multiple attacks against coalition forces in Iraq and Syria, U.S. military forces conducted airstrikes against multiple facilities used by Kataib Hezbollah and affiliated groups in Iraq," CENTCOM said Monday in a statement. "Earlier in the day, Iranian-sponsored Kataib Hezbollah terrorists and affiliated groups attacked coalition forces at Erbil, Iraq, resulting in several injuries."
    Avi Melamed, a former Israeli intelligence official and regional analyst, told Newsweek this month that the Iranian regime's aggression "is bolstered by its assumption that the U.S. will not use the full force of its military power to counter Iran and its proxies."[...]

    NY Yella Cake | The Times Sues OpenAI and Microsoft Over Use of Copyrighted Work, 27 Dec
    Microsoft has previously acknowledged potential copyright concerns over its A.I. computer programming products. In September, the company announced that if customers using its A.I. tools computer programming were hit with copyright complaints, it would indemnify them [?!] and cover the associated legal costs.
    Besides seeking to protect intellectual property, the lawsuit by The Times [not this one] casts ChatGPT and other A.I. systems computer programming as potential competitors in the news business. When chatbots [computer programs] are asked about current events or other newsworthy topics, they can generate answers that rely on journalism by The Times. The newspaper [eNTiTY] expresses concern that readers ["customers"] will be satisfied with a response from a chatbot and decline to visit The Times's website, thus reducing web traffic that can be translated into advertising and subscription revenue.

    The complaint cites several examples when a chatbot provided users ["customers"] with near-verbatim excerpts from Times articles that would otherwise require a paid subscription to view. It asserts that OpenAI and Microsoft placed particular emphasis on the use of Times journalism in training their A.I. computer programs because of the perceived < wipes tears > reliability and accuracy of the material.

    Media organizations have spent the past year examining the legal, financial and journalistic implications of the boom in generative A.I. computer programming Some news outlets have already reached agreements for the use of their journalism: The Associated Press struck a licensing deal in July with OpenAI, and Axel Springer, the German publisher [eNTiTY] that owns Politico[, Bild, Welt,] and Business Insider, did likewise this month. Terms for those agreements were not disclosed.
    The Times is exploring how to use the nascent technology itself < wipes tears >. The newspaper [eNTiTY] recently hired an editorial director of < wipes tears > artificial intelligence initiatives to establish protocols for the newsroom's use of A.I. computer programming and examine ways to integrate the technology into the company's journalism.

    by Cat on Thu Dec 28th, 2023 at 10:47:45 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Purpose: Consistent with Section 936 of Public Law 115-232, also known and referred to in this issuance as the "John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019", as amended and codified as a note in Section 134 of Title 10, United States Code (U.S.C.), this issuance:
    • Establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides procedures for civilian harm mitigation and response (CHMR).
    • Helps implement U.S. Government (USG) policy prescribed in Executive Order 13732 [01.16.16].
    • Helps implement the August 25, 2022 DoD Civilian Harm Mitigation and Response Action Plan(CHMR-AP).
    • Will be implemented through the phased approach established by the CHMR-AP.
    This issuance applies:
    a. To OSD, the Military Departments, the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) and the Joint Staff, the Combatant Commands (CCMDs), the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Defense, the Defense Agencies, the DoD Field Activities, and all other organizational entities within the DoD (referred to collectively in this issuance as the "DoD Components").
    b. With respect to all military operations (see Glossary) involving the use of force pursuant to standing or other rules of engagement that can result in civilian harm, but excluding:
    (1) Detention operations.
    (2) Activities subject to DoD Directive (DoDD) 5210.56 that are conducted outside the context of the conduct of hostilities.

    by Cat on Tue Dec 26th, 2023 at 11:48:50 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Official United States Kangaroo Court at Time of War

    Unusual high cost of maintenance ...

  • Burial of unclaimed remains of inmates at the United States Disciplinary Barracks Cemetery Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
  • Reading through some unusual tidbits .😂 🇺🇸

    Five German POWs were court-martialed for Wilhelm Kunze's murder. The case was prosecuted by Leon Jaworski, later the special prosecutor in the Watergate scandal. The trial took place at Camp Gruber near Muskogee. All five defendants were found guilty of premeditated murder, sentenced to death, and subsequently executed by hanging at the United States Disciplinary Barracks, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, on July 10, 1945. Although the death sentences were confirmed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in October 1944, the executions were delayed until after the end of the war in Europe due to the fear of reprisals against Allied prisoners held by Germany. Afterwards, the bodies of the executed men were buried in Fort Leavenworth Military Prison Cemetery

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Dec 27th, 2023 at 08:42:01 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    thehill | Manchin calls upcoming hydrogen tax credit guidance 'horrible', 15 Dec
    .. A group of 11 Democratic senators, including Manchin, penned a letter to Biden administration officials pushing for looser requirements on the tax credits last month.
    It comes after a group of 8 senators wrote their own letter pushing for strict climate rules last month.
    • ATTN: Granholm, 23 Mar
    • ATTN: Yellen, Zindler, 16 Oct
    • ATTN: Yellen, Granholm, Podesta, 9 Nov

    bloomberg | Pentagon Warns Ukraine Military Aid Fund to Run Out Dec. 30

    ...Although the letter presses members of Congress to reach a deal on Ukraine funding, it also means House Republicans who broke for Christmas break without acting on the funding have some time to hammer one out when they come back after Jan. 1.
    A four-page formal reprogramming request sent with the letters provides some details on the equipment the Pentagon intends to replenish, from high-profile weapons to mundane supplies...
    • ATTN: Rogers
    by Cat on Mon Dec 18th, 2023 at 08:40:07 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Cat on Tue Dec 19th, 2023 at 02:20:29 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    Festivus Report 2023 highlighting a whopping $900,000,000,000 of "state aid"
    by Cat on Sun Dec 24th, 2023 at 03:39:52 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    WSJ poll: Nikki Haley in 17 point lead over Incumbent Joe Biden 🫡

    Haley leads Biden in hypothetical matchup, new Wall Street Journal poll finds | ABC News |

    Trump still leads the widdled-down Republican primary field, in a hypothetical matchup between Biden and Haley, voters support Haley by 17 percentage points, 51% to 34%.

    Recent FiveThirtyEight polling data has Haley trailing DeSantis by nearly less than one percentage point, 12.6% to 11.6%.

    Adding wind to the Haley campaign's sails is the full endorsement from the Koch brothers' political operation, infusing her campaign with organizers and canvassers in the early primary states.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 10th, 2023 at 02:07:33 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    A nice review of the Koch brothers (Charles Koch) and funding Climate Change ... coal oligarchs of the Appalachian Mountain tops.

    Cranky Uncle vs Climate Change

    In the United States, since November 2016, election after election has made clear that Democratic voters will crawl over broken glass to get to the polls to defeat Trump and #Cult45-enabling Republicans. Massive turnout and voters waiting up to seven hours to vote in many Super Tuesday primary states is the latest tangible sign of that.

    One of the reasons for this is that Donald Trump is the epitome, a real-life version of the stereotype of the rather lunatic, self-centered, loud, and arrogantly ignorant Cranky Uncle to be put in a corner by himself at family events in hopes that his rantings and rudeness don't blow the event.

    When it comes to climate and GMU, many are well aware of the Koch Brothers uber-funding of George Mason and the fostering of climate-science denialism and confusion within portions of the University. (A tip of the hat to UnKoch My Campus and Transparent GMU (T-GMU) for their efforts to expose and fight this.) 

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 10th, 2023 at 04:03:54 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The Economist-YouGov poll smoke!
    Dec 2-5, 2023 (n=1500 U.S. adult citizens); N=279M (2020 total U.S. pop ≥ 18 years)
    38. Ceasefire in the Future
    The ceasefire agreement ended on Friday, and Israel resumed military operations in Gaza. Would you support or oppose Israel and Hamas agreeing to a ceasefire in the future? [p 82]
    39C. Level of Discrimination -- Muslim people
    How much discrimination do the following people face in America today? [p 83]
    comment: Census.gov's NEW! data mart of topical demographic forecasts and methodology notes is a hot, steaming mess of misplaced precision masked by p-val "credibility intervals" and "pyramid" data visualizations by state, MSA, or census tract. Pat The Gamer is looking for "Quick Facts"— an absolute head-count to start—instead of a SPSS-Python Package plus 17,520 hrs self-study STATS! Manual™ download from Google Play Apple Store. After all that the most ignorant, litigious nation on planet endured in the last decennial, this whole-of-government demonstration of total information awareness and "transparency" concedes abject failure to concomitant "zero inflation".
    archive News from the future, these data are experimental, "fully synthetic" data
    by Cat on Sun Dec 10th, 2023 at 04:14:21 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    China 🇨🇳 is well known for its Great Leap Forward

    ... well not really, until introducing principles of capitalism ... Marx died a long time ago and Albania was more dogmatic Communist than any other nation ... can `t wait to enter the European Union and benefit ... perhaps 🤔 a delay in real news as the Albanese make up a major part of boat "refugees" crossing the Channel into Dover [sorry guys, we left the EU some time ago --- bon voyager, hope you speak French as you will be granted a flight to Rwanda, courtesy of Rishi Sunak 😂

  • Fact Sheet | High Speed Rail Development Worldwide | EESI |
  • The Rise of China in the Solar Industry: A Global Revolution
  • The American Invention Dominated by China: Solar Panels | WSJ U.S. vs. China

  • Publication status report for the global wind industry

  • 'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 10th, 2023 at 05:39:38 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    EXCLUSIVE Boris could RETURN as Prime Minister in astonishing plan being hatched by disgruntled Conservative MPs - and 'dream ticket' leadership tie-up with Nigel Farage is even being considered!
    It comes as Rishi Sunak faces a crunch vote on Tuesday on his flagship Rwanda migrants plan, with whips using threats and blandishments to try to quell a revolt - allegedly even offering peerages to potential rebels if they tow the line....
    the BBC treatment
    UK paid Rwanda an extra £100m for asylum deal
    The revelation came hours after Rishi Sunak vowed to "finish the job" of reviving the plan after the resignation of his immigration minister this week.
    and the Granuiad treatment!
    No 10 says Suella Braverman, not Rishi Sunak, signed off on extra £100m payment to Rwanda
    I did not have sex with that woman
    by Cat on Mon Dec 11th, 2023 at 03:29:53 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    China's Xi goes full Stalin with purge
    The signals emanating from Beijing are unmistakable, even as China's security services have ramped up repression to totalitarian levels, making it almost impossible to know what is really happening inside the country.
    by Cat on Mon Dec 11th, 2023 at 03:32:52 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Surrogacy fathering a US citizen 🇺🇸

    China's foreign ministry website describes Qin as "married with a son".

    When Qin was appointed state councillor, she posted a photo of the baby raising his hand, adding a caption: "A victorious conclusion."

    ... Fu posted her final public comments on social media on April 10 after she boarded a Gulfstream G650 private jet in Los Angeles bound for Beijing, according to her Weibo post and flight records.

    When the plane refuelled in Anchorage, Alaska, she posted on Weibo in Chinese about her last trip on the same private jet.


    "After a year, I'm boarding the plane again, also departing from Los Angeles, but this time with my son Er-Kin. This time, the destination is 'onwards'."

    MI6?? Boris would have known 🇬🇧

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Dec 11th, 2023 at 05:34:00 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Smith (R-NJ), Norcorss (D-NJ) introduce resolution in support of international adoption, 7 Dec
    "Ukraine had every reason to suspend adoptions in March 2021, under the horror of an unprovoked invasion," Smith continued. "Last May, Ukraine recognized that it was able to maintain safeguards against abduction, sale, or trafficking of children and decided to resume domestic adoptions. I urge them to resume international adoptions as well."

    "The uncertainty of Russia's unprovoked invasion in 2022 led Ukraine to suspend adoptions by foreign nationals out of concern for the safety of their children," said Rep. Norcross. "As the war continues, it is in the best interest of Ukrainian children to resume adoptions with American citizens.  That's why I am joining together with colleagues on both sides of the aisle in urging Ukraine to resume adoptions by American citizens who stand ready with open arms to provide a healthy, safe, and stable environments for these children who deserve better."

    by Cat on Mon Dec 11th, 2023 at 05:44:20 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    USCIRF Deeply Concerned by India's Transnational Repression Against Religious Minorities, 15 Dec
    The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is alarmed by India's increased transnational targeting of religious minorities and those advocating on their behalf. Recent efforts by the Indian government to silence activists, journalists, and lawyers abroad pose a serious threat to religious freedom. Due to India's systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of freedom of religion or belief, USCIRF implores the U.S. Department of State to designate India a Country of Particular Concern < wipes tears > (CPC).

    "The Indian government's alleged involvement in the killing of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada and the plot to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in the United States are deeply troubling, and represent a severe escalation of India's efforts to silence religious minorities and human rights defenders both within its country and abroad," said USCIRF Commissioner Stephen Schneck. "We call on the Biden administration to acknowledge the Indian government's perpetration of particularly severe religious freedom violations and designate it as a country of particular concern (CPC)."

    sucker Wed Sep 27th 2023, 'Voice of the Global South' and "emergency meeting" in Modi G20 One Earth, One Family, One Future, Tue Jun 20th 2023, Raisina Dialogue, Sat Feb 25th 2023


    [CAPTION: Happy Days: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L), US President Joe Biden (C) and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (R) at 48th summit of G7, Bavarian Alps, Germany, June 26-28, 2023]

    It is easy at once to exaggerate or underestimate the sensational case of the aborted assassination attempt on Sikh separatist leader and US citizen, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in New York and its ramifications.
    How will India counter such unsubstantiated allegations and venomous insinuations? Contrary to the common myth, ostrich does not bury its head in the sand when it senses danger or is simply afraid, but will simply flop to the ground and remain still, attempting to blend in with the terrain. That seems to be what India is doing. Will that help? Eagles are ferocious predators.

    by Cat on Sat Dec 16th, 2023 at 07:24:41 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Sat Dec 16th, 2023 at 08:06:14 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Cat on Mon Dec 18th, 2023 at 07:51:03 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    msn WION | 'No place for Islam in Europe, compatibility problem,' says Italy's Giorgia Meloni, 17 Dec
    "I believe that there is a problem of compatibility between Islamic culture and the values ​​and rights of our civilisation," she said at a party event. The Brothers of Italy party leader added, "The Islamic cultural centres in Italy are financed by Saudi Arabia where Sharia is in force. In Europe, there is a very Islamisation [?!] process distant from the < wipes tears > values ​​of our civilisation."
    Separately, Rishi Sunak said that he would push for global reforms to the asylum system and warned that the threat of a growing number of refugees could "overwhelm" parts of Europe. He warned that some "enemies" were deliberately "driving people to our shores to try and destabilise our societies".

    "If we do not tackle this problem, the numbers will only grow. It will overwhelm our countries and our capacity to help those who actually need our help the most," Rishi Sunak said, adding, "If that requires us to update our laws and lead an international conversation to amend the post-war frameworks around asylum, then we must do that."

    Filip Dewinter | Inch'Allah? The Islamization of Europe (2012)
    ...Mr. Dewinter points out that until modern times, Islam was at almost constant war with Christendom. In 1453, Constantinople fell to the Muslims, and Hagia Sophia, the very symbol of Eastern Christianity, became a mosque. During the second great press into Europe, Islam pushed all the way to Vienna before it was stopped in 1683....
    This is not the first time Meloni has made a controversial reference to Islam. In September 2019, Meloni wrote a foreword to the 'First Report on Europe's Islamisation' [2019], which was presented by the Farefuturo Foundation think-tank, where she wrote: "Because we fear the 'prophecy'  < wipes tears > of [INCELS WIKI] Houellebecq, if Europe, and Italy which concerns us closely, do not decide to have policies and tools to preserve itself, may inevitably turn into reality."
    ynet | Islamization of Europe a good thing', 2012
    Rabbi Baruch Efrati believes Jews should 'rejoice at the fact that Europe is paying for what it did to us for hundreds of years by losing its identity.' He praises Islam for promoting modesty, respect for God ...
    by Cat on Mon Dec 18th, 2023 at 09:33:26 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ft | Narendra Modi responds to assassination claims, 20 Dec
    ...Modi said: "There is strong bipartisan support for the strengthening of this relationship, which is a clear indicator of a mature and stable partnership.

    "Security and counter-terrorism co-operation has been a key component of our partnership," he added. "I don't think it is appropriate to link a few incidents with diplomatic relations between the two countries." ...

    by Cat on Wed Dec 20th, 2023 at 06:27:18 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    A direct ban applies to non-industrial natural and synthetic diamonds as well as diamond jewellery, as of 1 January 2024. Furthermore, an indirect import ban of Russian diamonds when processed (i.e. cut and/or polished) in third countries, including jewellery incorporating diamonds originating in Russia, will be phased in progressively as of 1 March 2024 and be completed by 1 September 2024.
    reuters | India urges G7 to delay ban on Russian diamonds as rules lack clarity, 20 Dec lol
    "The timeline to start restrictions on indirect imports from Russia in three-four months is impractical, as the rules on how the origin for a gem will be traced are not clear," one of the sources said. India has also expressed its reservations over G7's new "traceability-based verification and certification" system, which may require sharing of data about Indian businesses, the first source said.
    India mostly processes smaller Russian diamonds, and that's why the country expects minimal trade disruption, a government official said earlier this month. Still, the proposed ban would impact the diamond supply chain, industry officials say.
    ibid Helmer, 12th package
    by Cat on Wed Dec 20th, 2023 at 10:02:04 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Dec 20th, 2023 at 10:21:07 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    U.S., Venezuela swap prisoners: Maduro ally for 10 Americans, plus fugitive contractor 'Fat Leonard' | LA Times |

    "Reuniting wrongfully detained Americans with their loved ones has been a priority for my administration since day one," US President Joe Biden said in a statement. "As is the return to the United States of fugitives from justice."

    Qatar facilitated talks between the Biden administration and Maduro in the hope of brokering an agreement under which Venezuela's president would agree to hold free and fair elections and release political prisoners in return for US sanctions relief. 

    The Qataris served as a go-between as requested by both sides "to explore areas where the relations can be improved", according to a person briefed on the talks, who described them as "productive".

    The move comes amid a broader effort by Washington to reset relations with Venezuela, after efforts backed by the previous Trump administration to topple Maduro failed. The US relaxed sanctions on Caracas in October after Maduro's government agreed to hold fair elections next year.


    Among the Americans behind bars in Venezuela are two former Green Berets, Luke Denman and Airan Berry, who were involved in an attempt to oust Maduro in 2019.

    Venezuela says 2 U.S. 'mercenaries' among those nabbed after failed raid | CBC - 5 May 2020 |

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Dec 20th, 2023 at 10:21:54 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Running in-line with George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Donald Trump: one term presidents ...

    How Unpopular is Joe Biden?
    Approval 39% - Disapprove 56%.

    Yep ... Joe got a tough competitor in alleged felon Trump. 😡

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Thu Dec 21st, 2023 at 11:03:05 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Fri Dec 1st, 2023 at 10:55:29 PM EST
    RT | China launches world's first fourth-generation nuclear power plant, 6 Dec
    "A high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) at the Shidao Bay NPP, commonly known as Shidaowan, successfully completed the 168-hour non-stop test and has officially been put into operation, according to the statement."

    usnews | China Starts up World's First Fourth-Generation Nuclear Reactor

    Xinhua news agency also said the 200 megawatt (MW) high-temperature, gas-cooled reactor (HTGCR) plant developed jointly by state-run utility Huaneng, Tsinghua University and China National Nuclear Corporation, uses a modular design.
    The project, located in Shandong Province and with China owning fully independent intellectual property rights [IPR], is jointly developed by China Huaneng Group, Tsinghua University, and China National Nuclear Corporation.
    With "safety" as a key characteristic, the reactor can maintain a safe state and steer away from a meltdown or leak of radioactive materials. This capability is maintained even in the event of a complete loss of cooling capacity, without any intervention actions, [chief designer Zhang Zuoyi] added.

    More than 500 companies majoring in design and development, engineering construction, equipment manufacturing, production and operation participated in the project. The localization rate of the equipment of the nuclear power plant reached more than 90 percent, said Zhang Yanxu, a person in charge of the project.

    NuScale Power, previously expected to be the first U.S. company licensed to build a small modular reactor, said this month it was terminating a planned 462MW project in Utah because of rising costs.
    archive Grossi Green Nuclear Power Community, NNSA small thorium reactor, SMRs Across Europe, World POWs COP27 cockroach alert
    China has a goal to produce 10% of electricity from nuclear by 2035 and 18% by 2060, but as of September this year had not met its 2020 target to install 58 gigawatts of nuclear capacity.
    Iwatsuki, et al., "Overview of high temperature gas-cooled reactor (2021)
    Chinese National Energy Administration
    oecd-nea.org | High-temperature Gas-cooled Reactors and Industrial Heat Applications
    ieae.org | Gas cooled reactor, member states' project interest
    OPEX and Technical Working Group on Gas Cooled Reactors (TWG-GCR) publications
    by Cat on Wed Dec 6th, 2023 at 11:33:52 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    scmp | Small modular nuclear reactors: how China and the US are poles apart in energy ambitions
    It is in sharp contrast to the United States, where, also at the start of last month, a planned project to build a novel six-reactor, 462 MW SMR by 2030 was terminated.

    Oregon-based NuScale Power has the only SMR design certified for use in the US. For its first project, the company was working with a group of Utah utilities at the Idaho National Laboratory, with the aim of generating enough electricity to power more than 300,000 homes. But it cancelled the project over a lack of user subscriptions and rising costs.

    "It is too soon to tell if the NuScale project failure is just a temporary setback or a sign of a broader trend in the US," said Jacopo Buongiorno, professor of nuclear science and engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT]. "There are half a dozen other SMR projects in the making."
    China has 21 nuclear reactors under construction, which will be able to generate 21.61 GW of electricity. That is more than 2½ times more nuclear reactors under construction than any other nation, according to the IAEA.
    Meanwhile, China has established a robust system for cultivating a stable pool of skilled personnel, with a significant demand for professionals in the nuclear power industry and related subjects in higher education, Zhao added. "China is the de facto world leader in nuclear technology at the moment," Buongiorno said.

    In 2017, Bill Gates' nuclear firm TerraPower and the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) signed an agreement to develop fourth-generation nuclear technology, though the plan was stranded amid US restrictions on technology deals with China.
    The US is likely to need 200 GW of new nuclear generation by 2050 to meet national decarbonisation targets, according to its Department of Energy (DOE). That is almost double its existing capacity.

    2 years after US killed the rail gun, China brings weapon back to life with technological leap
    by Cat on Sun Dec 10th, 2023 at 03:31:07 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Sacramento DA accuses city of allowing homeless to pollute waterways (05.12.23)
    Volunteers have removed over 400,000 pounds of trash over the past five years from the homeless camps near Steelhead Creek. "It is not a choice for 95% of people experiencing homelessness to be outside," said Bob Erlenbusch, executive director of the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness. Homeless advocates said that instead of pointing fingers in a political stunt, we should be working to find solutions. The attorney for Sacramento's Homeless Union said he would add these latest district attorney accusations to his complaint with the State Bar. If wrong doing is found, DA Thien Ho could face a [either] private [or] public censure, suspension, or be disbarred.
    archive economic system of the rich exploiting the poor
    by Cat on Thu Dec 7th, 2023 at 05:26:41 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    no Chinese wind turbine has been installed on European soil
    euractiv | 26 countries sign `European Wind Charter' to shield EU industry
    "26 countries have committed to implement the actions set out in the EU's excellent Wind Power Package," he added on Tuesday (19 December), after the declaration was signed.
    The undersigning Member States will submit their individual pledges on the wind energy deployment volumes covering at least the period 2024-2026 alongside this Wind Charter.
    EU equipment
    European wind turbine manufacturers are not in a great place. Siemens Energy almost went bust earlier this year, and other big players are frequently posting losses. Chinese manufacturers, by contrast, are getting stronger every year and look poised to dominate the global market. And even though no Chinese wind turbine has been installed on European soil, fear of this barrier being breached is sparking protectionist instincts among EU member states.
    Beyond that, the objective is to "promote the production of high-quality wind turbines with high environmental, innovation, cybersecurity, and labour standards"
    EU transmission
    by making changes to national auction systems for wind power capacity. Traditionally, wind power ["]developers["] bid on certain lots of power supply contracts and compete on the price of electricity they can offer, with the cheapest bid usually winning the day.
    no Chinese wind turbine has been installed on European soil
    Increasingly, these auctions tend to favour ["]developers["] who acquire cheaper China-made turbines < eyebrow > a move that has prompted insistent lobbying from the wind industry to change the system.
    EU equipment
    [G]iven that [EU manufactured] wind turbines are frequently connected to the web whilst being equipped with hundreds of sensors and cameras...Chinese firm Huawei is currently being locked out from bids to construct European [telecom] networks.
    archived struggles of the European wind supply chain, comparative advantage of nations and anti-subsidy investigation in Reactionary Visions and eNtiTiES
    by Cat on Tue Dec 19th, 2023 at 08:04:02 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Caretaker PM Rutte wants to take a leading role in NATO logistics and war planning. Prepare to go to war ... continue on this path, it will be a brief event.

    Additional reading right-wing think-tank Clingendael ...

     China's strategic relevance to the port of Rotterdam | Oct. 2023 |

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Dec 20th, 2023 at 07:46:17 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Jan 2023 Revealed: France's massive 'Made in Europe' strategy
    euractiv | COP28 commitments will require improvements to the solar supply chain, 20 Dec NDC
    According to a new report by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, a Liberal think tank, the current global over[-]dependence for solar components on China, which did not sign the [2030] renewables tripling pledge, attaches significant risk to many of these 130 countries' ability to meet the tripling target. No more is this more so than in Europe, they say. A diversification of solar supplies is badly needed, however the report also concludes that such a diversification would come with its own set of risks.
    March 2023 We cannot change the geology in Europe
    "Whilst a deviation of supply chains for renewable power sources may decrease political coercion risks, China's dominance in the production of renewable energy technologies...creates a densely integrated power lever that continues to keep Europe under pressure even if it successfully de-risks in single key technologies." Despite the risk, the report's authors say that re-globalising supply chains for solar PV is the best course of action for the European Union.
    August 2023 No New Energy Contract Consumers
    "Not only does Europe depend on imports that it can no longer rely on China to provide exclusively, but because its geographical positioning creates specific vulnerabilities, namely < wipes tears > critical trade routes like the Suez Canal and the Strait of Hormuz, which expose it to potential disruptions of its international trade routes in general, not only for specific tech components," they conclude.
    Oct 2023 EU 'united' against economic blackmail
    The Friedrich Naumann Foundation estimates that approximately 70% of solar installations were dependent on modules imported from China, with EU domestic production able to satisfy at most 22.7% of planned installations. The situation has spurred growth, but hurt European component manufacturers.
    World's first carbon border tariff is launched in Europe
    will generate billions of euros in taxes for Brussels' general budget.
    the report says there are ways to de-risk Europe's supply chain without causing a collapse in European solar, and it lays out three core principles to do so: de-risking new solar installations, scaling up EU solar production, and diversifying the global supply chain. And where should those alternative supply chains come from? Some could come from EU production, however, "countries in Latin America and Southeast Asia < wipes tears > are better placed than Europe to compete with the PRC's economies of scale and low energy costs."
    unfccc.int | Outcome of the first global stocktake, 12 Dec
    by Cat on Wed Dec 20th, 2023 at 11:11:07 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Global Europe in dire need of de-risking the great number of right-wing think tanks. 😂

    The EU kind of a cat chasing its tail.

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Thu Dec 21st, 2023 at 08:31:04 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Quote Investigator: "Americans Right-wing think tanks Will Always Do the Right Thing—After Exhausting All the Alternatives."

    Dear Quote Investigator: While watching < wipes tears > a cable news channel I heard a commentator present a quotation that he credited to Winston Churchill. When I searched the web I found many different versions:...
    by Cat on Thu Dec 21st, 2023 at 01:28:38 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    euractiv | Brussels takes heat pump 'action plan' off the agenda, 21 Dec
    By 2030, Brussels is aiming to have a minimum of 30 million units installed across the EU, a move aimed at decarbonising the sector and reducing the EU's dependence on Russian gas imports. However, several barriers are making this target harder to achieve, according to a broad coalition of industry, NGO and think-tanks.

    To begin with, many EU countries have yet to restrict the sale of traditional fossil-based heaters. ... Secondly, fossil gas is still often cheaper than electricity, effectively abolishing the efficiency advantage of heat pumps. [3] Skilled installers are in short supply and electricity grids are not always prepared to handle the extra load.

    4. Chinese non-market, predatory heat pump production risk undercutting EU power price embago
    To accelerate the roll-out of heat pumps—and boost domestic manufacturing along the way—the European Commission launched a public consultation in April [!] to inform its upcoming action plan, which was expected to be published before the end of the year. But the plan has since been withdrawn from the Commission's agenda, according to EHPA [European Heat Pump Association].
    "over-achiever to laggard" illustration
    by Cat on Tue Dec 26th, 2023 at 11:26:08 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    As predicted ... EU's new green giant

    Can we send a request to Gazprom's Gerhard Schröder to patch-up Nord Stream?

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 26th, 2023 at 11:38:39 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Romania Wins Water Dispute, 20 Dec
    Reporter Kirill Averyanov gives us the scoop on a 20-year territorial dispute between the two nations, which was finally resolved, just this past week, in favor of Romania. The issue involves Romanian tariffs, ecological concerns, and Ukraine's access to the Black Sea.

    We start with a man who has a wonderful old Russian name: Ruslan Strelets. Ruslan serves as Ukraine's Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources. Twas he who communicated the great news in his social media: "Ukraine has just ended a 20-year-old dispute with Romania, regarding the latter's demands concerning the construction of the Danube-Black Sea canal."

    archive cheapest alternative artery, solidarity lane, Dredging Danube Delta?
    by Cat on Sun Dec 24th, 2023 at 12:12:08 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    thehill | Biden administration auctions off 1.7M acres for Gulf drilling in last offshore oil lease sale until 2025, 20 Dec CHEAP!
    Companies will pay a total of more than $380 million for the rights to drill on 311 tracts in the Gulf. Twenty-six companies submitted bids.
    The recent sale was mandated by the Inflation Reduction Act—Democrats' climate, tax and health care bill.
    After environmentalists and the Biden administration agreed to certain restrictions for the sale and leases that aimed to protect the Rice's whale, Chevron, the American Petroleum Institute and the state of Louisiana filed a lawsuit.
    by Cat on Wed Dec 20th, 2023 at 09:18:00 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    westkueste100.de | Joint venture decision: WESTKÜSTE100 electrolyser will not be built, 16 Nov
    • H2 Westküste GmbH, the joint venture founded within WESTKÜSTE100, announced that there will be no positive investment decision for the planned electrolysis.
    • Decision comes following close assessment of projected profitability and associated risks.
    • Findings of the work undertaken by H2 Westküste GmbH since 2020, will nonetheless prove valuable to the development of Schleswig-Holstein's hydrogen economy.
    fuelcellsworks | Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein Bost Hydrogen Parnership for a Greener Future (12.04.23)
    For a successful energy transition, a hydrogen pipline from Ellund, near the German-Danish border, to Heiau, southe of the Elbe is crucial. The federal government must ensure this project's completion by 2028 to supply hydrogen to the northern German industry early on. Additionally, the federal government is being called upon to eliminate regulatory barriers [!} to Germany's renewable energy economy and to provide a long-term, sustainable financing structure for the nation's hydrogen infrastructure.
    Roland  Kühl, Managing Director of Raffinerie Heide, stressed ...
    Jörg Kubitza, Managing Director of Ørsted in Germany, commented ...
    Antoine Aslanides, Managing Director of Hynamics Germany, added ...
    reuters | Germany's updated hydrogen strategy sees heavy reliance on imported fuel in future (26.07.23)
    Germany will need to import around 50% to 70% of its hydrogen demand, forecast at 95 to 130 TWh in 2030, the strategy showed. The strategy underscores the importance of diversifying future hydrogen sources but the government is working on a separate strategy for hydrogen imports whose exact date is not clear, a spokesperson for the economy ministry said. "Instead of relying on domestic potential for the production of green hydrogen, the federal government's strategy is primarily aimed at imports by ship," Simone Peter, the head of Germany's renewable energy association, said.[...] Germany has already signed several hydrogen cooperation agreements with countries such as Canada, Norway, United Arab Emirates, and Australia.
    ndr.de | Grüner Wasserstoff: Raffinerie Heide bricht Vorreiter-Projekt ab, 17 Nov

    hydrogencouncil McKinsey | Hydrogen Insights 2023 December Update, 21 pp

    Executive summary
    1. Hydrogen will play a crucial role in decarbonizing hard-to-abate sectors, enable the at-scale transport of energy to resource-constrained regions, and enable a clean and resilient energy system. ...
    2. The project pipeline is growing, with over 1,1400 projects announced across all regions (up from about 1,040 in the previous publication), equaling USD 570 billion investments (previously USD 435 billion 2) and 45 million tons per annum of clean hydrogen3 supply announced through 2030 (previously 38 Mt p.a.)...
    3. The regulatory landscape over all is evolving. For instancee, support is materializing via production tax credits (PTC( and financial support for hydrogen hubs in the US [!], renewable hydrogen mandates in the Renewable Energy Directive (RED III) in Europe, or contracts for difference (CfD) in Japan....
    4. The clean hydrogen industry is facing headwinds. Costs and cost expectations have risen substantially, particulary for renewable hydrogen. The estimated levelizing cost of producing renewable hydrogen (COH) is about 4.5 5o 6.5 USD per kilogram if bult today, 4 up by 20% 50 65%....
    5. The headwinds have caused a slower development of the global [?!] hydrogen industry than had been previously expected....
    2. An increase in total direct investment reflects refined estimates of capital expenditures required (primarily for renewable hydrogen supply) resulting in the previously estimated USD 320 billion increasing to USD 435 billion.
    3. See clean hydrogen definition in 'Hydrogen for Net-Zero' report on page 52.
    4. Example from the US Gulf Coast
    by Cat on Thu Dec 28th, 2023 at 09:05:19 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    atomic-energy.ru |
    The US has opened a new centrifuge plant for uranium enrichment for the first time since 1954
    (20.10.23)Centrus began construction of a demonstration cascade of 16 centrifuges in 2019 under a contract with the U.S. Department of Energy, and last year received an additional $ 150 million in equity financing to complete the cascade, complete the final stages of regulation, start operating the cascade, and produce up to 20 kg of HALEU by the end of this year. In June, Centrus announced that it had successfully completed an operational readiness review with the NRC and received regulatory approval to store uranium at the Piketon plant, the last major obstacle to the start of production.
    reuters | U.S., Centrus Energy in pact to make next-generation nuclear fuel, 11 Nov
    The Department of Energy said late on Thursday that it and Centrus Energy's American Centrifuge Operating, LLC will share the $150 million cost 50-50 to demonstrate production of a fuel called high assay low enriched uranium, or HALEU. The contract will enable production at the company's plant in Ohio of 20 kilograms of HALEU, enriched up to 19.75% by the end of 2023, the DOE said. Output is expected to continue in 2024 at 900 kilograms a year, depending on congressional appropriations, with additional options to produce more material under the contract in the future, it said.
    HALEU is expected to be used in reactors in the works by companies including X-energy and TerraPower, that President Joe Biden's administration sees as a critical in cutting carbon emissions to fight climate change.
    msn reuters | US House passes bill banning uranium imports from Russia, 12 Dec
    "The risks of continuing this dependence on Russia for our nuclear fuels are simply too great," said Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers [OR-R] before the vote. "It's weakening America's nuclear fuel infrastructure, which has declined significantly because of reliance on these cheap fuels."
    U.S. nuclear power plants imported about 12% [?] of their uranium from Russia in 2022, compared to 27% from Canada and 25% from Kazakhstan, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The United States was the source of about 5% of uranium used domestically that year, the EIA said.
    US / Lightbridge And Centrus Considering Pilot Fuel Fabrication Plant At Piketon, Ohio, 13 Dec
    The partnership aims to create high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) based fuels that have the potential to power both existing and new reactors. The announcement has come amidst moves in the US to approve legislation that would bar the importation of low-enriched Russian uranium. Russia provides almost a quarter [?] of the enriched uranium used to fuel the US's commercial reactor fleet.
    msn  wzaminer | Cruz blocks bill banning Russian uranium imports, 14 Dec
    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is retaliating against the House Energy and Commerce Committee for stripping provisions he favored from the annual defense bill, and he's vowing to block every unanimous consent effort to pass bills from the committee.

    A bipartisan group of senators—Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), John Barrasso (R-WY), and James Risch (R-ID)—tried to unanimously pass a measure Thursday banning uranium imports from Russia, but the effort was blocked by the Texas Republican, who blamed the leadership of the House Energy and Commerce Committee for taking out bipartisan provisions in the lower chamber's version of the National Defense Authorization Act [NDAA].

    by Cat on Fri Dec 15th, 2023 at 07:38:44 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Fri Dec 1st, 2023 at 10:55:53 PM EST
    to deescalate has entered the deconfliction room in defaricom.
    by Cat on Sun Dec 3rd, 2023 at 10:03:21 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    icc-cpi.int | ICC Prosecutor, Karim A. A. Khan KC, concludes first visit to Israel and State of Palestine by an ICC Prosecutor: "We must show that the law is there, on the front lines, and that it is capable of protecting all".
    As I have stated previously [30.10.23], Israel has trained lawyers who advise commanders and a robust system intended to ensure compliance with international humanitarian war law.
    ...There are no children of a lesser God. There are no children of a lesser God. When the Holy Quran states that to kill one innocent is as if one is killing all of humanity, it doesn't mention Muslim or non-Muslim. Rather, it says to kill one innocent is to kill all humanity, to save one innocent—not an innocent of this religion or that religion, an innocent of this nationality or that nationality—but to save one innocent, is to save all humanity. And you all know the Holy Quran and you know that verse specifically recalls that this was the message given to Prophet Moses, peace be upon him. So it's a common ground in the teachings of the Jewish faith and the Muslim faith. But, unfortunately, we too often pay lip service to these fundamental precepts that actually echo in the law that has been created these millennia later....
    Credible allegations of crimes during the current conflict should be the subject of timely, independent examination and investigation. On this visit, I again stressed that the clear legal principles of distinction, precaution and proportionality must be complied with so that the protection of the law is rendered meaningful for those who need it. I emphasised that not only must the letter of the law be complied with, but also the spirit upheld. International humanitarian law and the provisions of the Rome Statute are there to protect the most vulnerable.
    Deuteronomy for Dummies or Torah for Tools? You all be the judge of who all is most innocent.
    by Cat on Mon Dec 4th, 2023 at 01:45:56 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Next time in the Newsroom, should I add a section "Dying On The Planet" ⁉️ 😡

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Dec 4th, 2023 at 03:09:12 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Cat on Wed Dec 6th, 2023 at 03:42:36 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    NY Yella Cake. Israel, Expanding Offensive, Tells More Gazans to Evacuate (04.12.23)
    The new orders, coming three days after the collapse of a weeklong truce, sowed confusion and fear among Gaza residents, some of whom have already been displaced at least once before. Late Sunday night, a military spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, said Israel "continues and expands its ground operations against Hamas strongholds all across the Gaza Strip," but did not elaborate. Military officials declined to comment on whether Admiral Hagari's comments meant an Israeli ground invasion of the south had begun.
    MSM Reuters. X marks the spots!(04.12.23)
    Israel's military posted a map on social media platform X on Monday morning with around a quarter of the city of Khan Younis marked off in yellow as territory that must be evacuated at once. Three arrows pointed south and west, telling people to head towards the Mediterranean coast and towards Rafah, near the Egyptian border. Israel says its evacuation orders are aimed at protecting civilians from harm, and called on international organisations to help encourage Gazans to move to the areas labelled safe on Israeli maps.
    by Cat on Wed Dec 6th, 2023 at 04:11:43 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Chapter XV -- The Secretariat, Art. 99
    "The Secretary-General may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security."
    The Secretary-General letter to the President of Security Council invoking Article 99 of the United Nations Charter
    Dear Mr. President [Jose Javier de la Gasca Lopez Dominguez, ECUADOR],
    6 December 2023
    I am writing under Article 99 of the United Nations Charter to bring to the attention of the Security Council a matter which, in my opinion, may aggravate existing threats to the maintenance of international peace and security.

    More than eight weeks of hostilities in Gaza and Israel have created appalling human suffering, physical destruction and collective trauma across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
    The international community has a responsibility to use all its influence to prevent further escalation and end this crisis. I urge the members of the Security Council to press to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. I reiterate my appeal for a humanitarian ceasefire to be declared. This is urgent. The civilian population must be spared from greater harm. With a humanitarian ceasefire, the means of survival can be restored, and humanitarian assistance can be delivered in a safe and timely manner across the Gaza Strip.

    Please accept, Mr. President, the assurances of my highest consideration.

    Antonio Guterres ⭐🥷💀

    msn axios | UNSC to discuss Gaza humanitarian ceasefire after Guterres invokes RARE rule
    Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad ⭐ Erdan attacked Guterres, calling his letter "a new moral low." Erdan accused the UN secretary-general of only using Article 99 to put pressure on Israel.

    State of play: Shortly after Guterres circulated his letter, the United Arab Emirates and Russia announced they were calling for an emergency Security Council meeting on [8 Dec] Friday at 10am ET.
    • The UAE later circulated a draft resolution to the other members of the Security Council that cites Guterres' letter and demands "an immediate humanitarian ceasefire."
    • The draft resolution also calls on all parties in the war to comply with their obligations under international law.
    • The U.S., which has veto power on the Security Council, has repeatedly called on Israel to avoid civilian casualties and pressed the Israeli government to allow more aid into Gaza. But it has so far not called for a full ceasefire, saying Israel has a right to defend itself following the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack that killed at least 1,200 people in Israel.

    by Cat on Thu Dec 7th, 2023 at 12:40:11 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    BLUMENTHAL: I want to be careful with this, because a lot of this reporting is coming from sources that want Netanyahou out, that are trying to make him take the fall for a failure that extended well beyond him and his little political network and reached deep into the military intelligence apparatus. So you look at the New York Times reports and who's leading them. It's a guy named Ronen Bergman. He's an Israeli reporter, and he wrote a book called Rise Up and Kill which is a history of Israel's assassination policy. You look at who look at who blurbed that book. It's a lot of, many or the security chiefs, the former MOSSAD, Shin Bet chiefs who are leading the campaign against Netanyahou. They're his sources. So I think, what actually happened was, that the Palestinian counter-intelligence and Hamas' political leadership led by Sinwar who spent much of his life—maybe most of his life—in an Israeli prison tricked the Israelis and tricked Netanyahou into believing that they had no plans to attack, that they just wanted an economic peace. And they managed to pull-off a major intelligence coup...
    New York Yella Cake | Israel Knew Hamas's Attack Plan More Than a Year Ago, 30 Nov
    "The approximately 40-page document, which the Israeli authorities code-named 'Jericho Wall,' outlined, point by point, exactly the kind of devastating invasion that led to the deaths of about 1,200 people."
    archive wapoo DISCORD leaks
    by Cat on Thu Dec 7th, 2023 at 06:03:06 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Position Paper of the People's Republic of China on Resolving the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict (30.11.23)
    Pursuant to the Charter of the United Nations, the Security Council shoulders primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and should thus play an active and constructive role on the question of Palestine. In this connection, China offers the following proposals:

    1. Implementing a comprehensive ceasefire and ending the fighting. Parties to the conflict should truly implement the relevant UNGA and UNSC resolutions and immediately realize a durable and sustained humanitarian truce. Building on UNSC Resolution 2712, the Security Council, in response to the calls of the international community, should explicitly demand a comprehensive ceasefire and end of the fighting, work for deescalation of the conflict, and cool down the situation as soon as possible....

    archive What's China's stance?, Nov 11th 2023, Security Council 9489th meeting, Nov 30th 2023
    by Cat on Thu Dec 7th, 2023 at 06:32:38 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Thank you, US for proving UNGA conviction:
    1. peaceful political resolution of conflict between Israel and Palestine is impossible;
    2. Hamas cannot be condemned for "crime of aggression" against premeditated genocide of Palestinian people; and
    3. The United States government remains "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today"

    Robert A. Wood (United States) said
    his delegation engaged in good faith on the text.  Unfortunately, nearly all of his country's recommendations were ignored and the rushed negotiation process resulted in an unbalanced resolution divorced from reality on the ground.  Furthermore, he questioned why the draft's authors declined to include language condemning Hamas' terrorist attack on Israel on 7 October.  He also expressed disappointment that the authors declined to add language reaffirming that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) must be permitted to access and provide medical treatment to the hostages still held by Hamas terrorists. This text also failed to acknowledge Israel's right to self-defence, in accordance with international law.  "The resolution retains a call for an unconditional ceasefire -- this is not only unrealistic but dangerous; it will simply leave Hamas in place, able to regroup and repeat what it did on 7 October," he added.  "As long as Hamas clings to its ideology of destruction, any ceasefire is at best temporary," he asserted.
    Ambassador Zhang Jun (China) said
    ...It needs to be pointed out that condoning the continuation of fighting while claiming to care about the lives and safety of the people in Gaza and the humanitarian needs there is self-contradictory. Condoning the continuation of fighting while advocating prevention of spillover of the conflict is self-deceiving. Condoning the continuation of fighting while making every mention of the protection of women and girls and human rights is extremely hypocritical. All this shows once again what double standard is. 

    Although the draft resolution has been vetoed, the international community's strong call for ceasefire and ending the fighting, the protection of civilians, and the prevention of greater humanitarian disasters will not subside, and the steps of the Security Council in upholding justice and fulfilling its duties will not stop.....

    embarrassed rules-based order arbiter said

    by Cat on Sat Dec 9th, 2023 at 02:44:10 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Cat on Wed Dec 13th, 2023 at 04:01:29 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Need to accentuate the countries by name:

    ❌ Vote against

    1. Austria
    2. Czechia
    3. Guatemala
    4. Israel
    5. Liberia
    6. Micronesia
    7. Nauru
    8. Papua New Guinea
    9. Paraguay
    10. United States of America

    🔘 Abstentions by continent:

    11 EUROPE
    *United Kingdom

    *) Western states not defending human rights and International Law.. Quite disappointing. Do have a strong voice/support in the NATO proxy wars this century.

    12 WORLD
    Cabo Verde
    Equatorial Africa
    Marshall Islands
    South Sudan

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Dec 13th, 2023 at 08:59:01 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ✅ 25 NATO-QUAD member states voting for a humanitarian ceasefire

    Australia *
    India *
    Japan *
    New Zealand
    North Macedonia
    Sweden ? vote 🇹🇷

    3/4 of QUAD member states voted FOR ✅

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Dec 13th, 2023 at 09:16:54 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Turkish Parliament commission OKs Sweden's NATO bid, 26 Dec
    The protocol will now be forwarded to the General Assembly of the Turkish Parliament for approval. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will then ratify the legislation.
    Türkiye and Hungary remain the only NATO members left to ratify Sweden's bid 19 months after it applied for membership.

    In November, the Turkish Parliament's foreign affairs committee failed to reach an agreement on a text for a full floor vote and will meet again on Tuesday afternoon.

    by Cat on Tue Dec 26th, 2023 at 07:20:47 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Netanyahu left a government meeting for a 50-minute conversation with Putin, 10 Dec
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left a cabinet meeting and spoke for 50 minutes with Russian President Vladimir Putin. This was reported to The Times of Israel by a representative of Netanyahu. The Russian side has not yet reported on the negotiations [?]. ... Israel took the visit of a Hamas representative to Moscow in October of this year very hard. A representative of the militants discussed the release of hostages with Russian citizenship at the Russian Foreign Ministry. After that, the Russian ambassador to Israel was summoned to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, demanding an " unequivocal and clear condemnation" of Hamas by Moscow.

    by Cat on Sun Dec 10th, 2023 at 04:20:51 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    7 Dec
    reuters | US has not given Israel firm deadline to end Gaza operation -White House aide
    "We have not given a firm deadline to Israel, not really our role. This is their conflict. That said, we do have influence, even if we don't have ultimate control over what happens on the ground in Gaza," [NSA Jon] Finer told the Aspen Security Forum in Washington.
    timesofisrael | Dec. 7: Biden official says US hasn't given Israel deadline for end of Gaza military op
    US Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer says there "there are many legitimate military targets that remain" in south Gaza, including much of Hamas's leadership.


    politico | Will Israel defy Washington and target Hezbollah?

    According to three officials in Tel Aviv who spoke to POLITICO on condition of anonymity, the administration of United States President Joe Biden has now given Israel until the end of the year to wrap up its war on Hamas -- a deadline that was underlined by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on a visit to Israel this week
    jpost | Biden gives Israel until end of year to finish Gaza war - POLITICO
    timesofisrael | US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will visit Israel at the end of the week


    whitehouse | Press Gaggle by Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates and NSC Coordinator For Strategic Communications John Kirby En Route Philadelphia, PA, 11 Dec

    Q  —and so, the UAE and other nations are really pushing for another ceasefire in -- in the war right now.  Can you kind of tell us a little bit about what the U.S. is doing at this point to communicate to Israel what you're interested in as far as seeing another temporary pause?
    KIRBY:  Well, so, big dif—you know, a difference between a ceasefire and humanitarian pause. We still don't support a general ceasefire here. That leaves Hamas in control of Gaza. But we absolutely do support additional humanitarian pauses.
    Q Kirby, just one more. Can you confirm that Jake Sullivan is traveling to Israel this week to meet with officials there?
    KIRBY: I don't have anything on Jake's calendar to —to speak to today. But—but, you know, if—if and when we get to a point where we can talk about it, we will.
    by Cat on Tue Dec 12th, 2023 at 12:01:00 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Position Paper of the People's Republic of China on Resolving the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict (30.11.23)
    Pursuant to the Charter of the United Nations, the Security Council shoulders primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and should thus play an active and constructive role on the question of Palestine. In this connection, China offers the following proposals:

    1. Implementing a comprehensive ceasefire and ending the fighting. Parties to the conflict should truly implement the relevant UNGA and UNSC resolutions and immediately realize a durable and sustained humanitarian truce. Building on UNSC Resolution 2712, the Security Council, in response to the calls of the international community, should explicitly demand a comprehensive ceasefire and end of the fighting, work for deescalation of the conflict, and cool down the situation as soon as possible....

    archive What's China's stance?, Nov 11th 2023, Security Council 9489th meeting, Nov 30th 2023
    by Cat on Thu Dec 7th, 2023 at 06:32:39 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Recording opens outside the chamber with unidentified FR-accented envoy (Nicolas de Rivière?) offering a procedural note presumably to press cameras: in consideration of Charter Art. 27 procedural rule of veto power, the 15 members are advised to negotiate resolution text that might foreclose objection by any one of the 5 permanent members. Note: The president invited one UN non-member, EU delegate, to participate in the briefing; US Dep. Amb. Robert A. Wood substituted for L. Greenfield-Thomas; and de Rivière reiterated that the council has yet to "condemn" Hamas "terror acts of October 7"—implying at least one condition of cooperation for cease-fire by one or more permanent UNSC members aiding Israel's de facto genocide of residents in Palestinian "enclaves".

    run time 04:46:12, EN simultaneous translation VO
    including members' statements, a 40 min. "humanitarian de-confliction mechanism" press briefing with Sec-Gen spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric, and 01:44:00 of unrelated UNGA presentations on (JP) humanitarian aid and (PH) disaster relief projects.

    Active "consultation of the whole", however, adjourned after 02:37:13 hours without a draft submission or vote.

    12:40 PM. The meeting has adjourned. The UN chief [Guterres] began this latest meeting on the crisis with a stark warning that "the conditions for the effective delivery of humanitarian aid no longer exist."
    He said "the eyes of the world--and the eyes of history--are watching", demanding that the international community "do everything possible" to end the ordeal of the people of Gaza.

    Security Council members, meanwhile, continue negotiations on a new draft resolution on the crisis, and are currently scheduled to reconvene at 5:30 PM New York time.

    by Cat on Fri Dec 8th, 2023 at 09:09:04 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    strana | The United States vetoed a draft resolution on an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip at the UN Security Council, 8 Dec
    13 of the 15 members of the Security Council voted in favor of the resolution: China, Russia, France (permanent members of the Security Council), Albania, Brazil, Ecuador, Ghana, Gabon, United Arab Emirates, Malta, Mozambique, Switzerland, and Japan.

    The United Kingdom abstained, the United States voted against and used a veto.

    The project was co-sponsored by 97 UN member states.

    US vetoes resolution on Gaza which called for `immediate humanitarian ceasefire', 8 Dec
    4:30 PM The Security Council meeting has adjourned.

    Here are the key points:
    • The resolution which failed to pass took note of the Secretary-General's invocation of Article 99, expressed grave concern over the "catastrophic situation" in Gaza, and emphasized that both Palestinian and Israeli civilians must be protected.
    • It demanded an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, and the immediate and unconditional release of hostages as well as humanitarian access.
    It did not condemn the terror attacks perpetrated by Hamas on 7 October.
    • For summaries of this and other UN meetings, visit our colleagues at the UN Meetings Coverage in English and French

    by Cat on Sat Dec 9th, 2023 at 12:07:53 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    China says 'enough is enough' as UN officials see devastation of Gaza first-hand
    A dozen UN Security Council envoys attended the trip organised by the United Arab Emirates to visit Rafah, just days after Antonio Guterres, its secretary general, warned that thousands of people in the besieged Palestinian enclave were "simply starving".
    After flying to the town of Al-Arish, they were briefed by the UN Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) on conditions in Gaza before heading towards Rafah, 30 miles away.

    Zhang Jun, China's representative to the United Nations, asked by reporters if he had a message to countries that opposed a ceasefire in Gaza, said simply: "Enough is enough."

    That view was backed up by Jose De La Gasca, Ecuador's UN representative, who said after the UNRWA briefing: "The reality is even worse than what words can speak. We need to see...we will witness what is happening and what can we do in order to address the situation."

    by Cat on Mon Dec 11th, 2023 at 11:01:02 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    * orthodox, (IL) Heredi, (US) Lubavitch/Hassidic/Chassidic, or so-called (RU colliq.) Torah Jews
    by Cat on Fri Dec 8th, 2023 at 09:25:56 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    IDF accidentally shoots and kills three Israelis held ["]hostage["] in Gaza, 15 Dec
    "During combat in Shejaiya, the IDF mistakenly identified three Israeli hostages as a threat. As a result, the troops fired toward them and they were killed," IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said in a news briefing on Friday.
    Hagari said the incident occurred "in an area where our troops have confronted many terrorists over the past few days, even today, and engaged in heavy fighting." He said Israeli soldiers had recently faced attacks in which fighters "tried to mislead our forces and fire-trap them," as well as "suicide terrorists" who did not carry weapons.
    sky.com | ["]Hostages["] were holding white cloth on stick when Israeli forces shot them dead, IDF says, 16 Dec
    ..."They're all without shirts and they have a stick with a white cloth on it. The soldier feels threatened and opens fire. He declares that they're terrorists, they [forces] open fire, two are killed immediately," the military official stated....

    jpost | Haredim, not Arabs or Iran, are the biggest threat to Israel - opinion, 5 July 2021
    Isarel Shahak, Jewish History,  Jewish Religion (1994)

    by Cat on Sat Dec 16th, 2023 at 07:50:19 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    IDF Intentional Killing 3 Hostages

    IDF forces shot 3 hostages waving a white flag of surrender, under rules of law it is not 'accidental' but intent to kill ... this is plain murder. They could have been Palestinians and the incident would not have grabbed headlines in the USA Corrupt Media

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Sat Dec 16th, 2023 at 08:09:51 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    alleged criminal aggression committed by the USA
    1941-1945 -genocide of the civilian population of Germany (Dresden, Hamburg, Koln)
    1945 -genocide of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
    1945-1991 -covert and military aggression against the USSR
    1946 -special military operation in Yugoslavia
    1946-1949 -special military operationChina
    1947-1948 -special military operation in Viet Nam, genocide
    1947-1949 -special military operation in Greece
    1948-1953 -special military operation in the Philippines
    1948 -military aid for coup in Peru
    1948 -military id for coup in Nicaragua
    1948 -military aid for coup in Costa Rica
    1949-1953 -attempted overthrow of government in Albania
    1950 - special military operation in Turkey, Puerto Rico
    1950-1953 -invasion and occupation of Korea
    1951 -military aid to KMT rebels
    1953 -1964 -special operations forces in British Guyana
    1953 -overthrow of Mossadegh
    1953 -Forced deportation of the Innuites (Greenland)
    1954 -Operation PBSUCCESS in Guatemala
    1954 -Operation Ajax in Iran
    1956 -military intervention in Tibetan rebellion
    1957-1958 -attempt to overthrow the government in Indonesia
    1958 -occupation of Lebanon
    1958 -special military operation in Indonesia
    1958 -naval intervention in Kinmen and Mazu islands, S China Sea
    1959 -military intervention in Laos
    1959 -special military operation in Haiti
    1960 -special military operation in Ecuador
    1960 -invasion of Guatemala
    1960 -military aid for coup in El Salvador
    1960-1965 -special military operation in Congo
    1961-1964 -military coup in Brazil
    1961 -special military operation in Cuba
    1962 -blockade of Cuba, code-name Caribbean Crisis
    1962 -special military operation in Guatemala
    1963-1966 -military coup in the Dominican Republic
    1964 -special military operation in Panama
    1964 -coup in Brazil
    1964-1974 -military intervention in Greece
    1964-1974 -military operation in northeastern Laos
    1964-1975 -military intervention in Viet Nam civil war
    1965 -military coup in Indonesia, genocide
    1965 -military attack of Cambodia
    1966 -military intervention in Guatemala
    1967 -military intervention in Greece
    1968 -military intervention in Laos
    1971 -military coup in Bolivia
    1972 -invasion of Nicaragua
    1973 -military aid of coup in Chile
    1973 -military aid of terrorists in Uruguay
    1974 -military aid in Zaire
    1974 -military aid against Portugal
    1974 -coup attempt in Cyprus
    1975 -occupation of Western Sahara
    1975 -intervention in the internal affairs of Australia
    1975 -attack on Cambodia
    1975-1989 - military aid of genocide in East Timor
    1979 -support for the ogre Bokasa
    1979 -military aid the rebels of Yemen
    1980-1992 - military aid of genocide in El Salvador
    1980-1990 - military aid to Iraq
    1980 -military aid to the Khmer Rouge
    1980 -Operation Gladio in Italy
    1980 -special military operation in South Korea
    1980 -Operation Eagle Claw in Iran
    1981 -attempted coup in Zambia
    1981 -special military operation in Libya
    1982 -special military operation in Suriname
    1982-1983 - military intervention in Lebanon
    1982 -military aid for genocide in Guatemala
    1983 -military aid for Iran in the Iran-Iraq war
    1983 -military intervention in Lebanese Civil War
    1983 -invasion of Grenada
    1983 -special military operation in Angola
    1984 -air raid on two Iranian planes
    1984 -special military operation in Nicaragua
    1985 -military aid for genocide in Chad
    1986 -military intervention in Libya
    1986-1987 -maritime raid on an Iranian industry
    1986 -Operation El Dorado Canyon, Libya
    1987-1988 -military aid for Iraqs war against Iran,
    1988 -military aid for terrorists in Turkey
    1988 -sea-air raid USS Vincennes (CG-49) on Iran Air passenger plane
    1988 -invasion of Honduras
    1988 -air raid on an Iranian passenger plane
    1989 -military intervention in Panama
    1989 -air raid on two Libyan planes
    1989 -special military operation in the Philippines
    1989 -special military operation in the Virgin Islands
    1990 -special military operation in Guatemala
    1990 -naval blockade of Iraq
    1991 -special military operation Iraq
    1991 -special military operation Kuwait
    1992-1994 - occupation of Somalia
    1992 -special military operation in Angola
    1993-1995 -special military operation in Bosnia
    1994-1996 -special military operation Iraq
    1994 -military aid for genocide in Rwanda
    1995 -special military operation in Croatia
    1998 -special military operation in Sudan
    1998 -special military operation Iraq
    1999 -special military operation Yugoslavia
    2001 -invasion and occupation of Afghanistan
    2002 -special military operation in South Ossetia
    2003 -special military operation in Liberia
    2003 -special military operation in Syria
    2003 -invasion and occupation of Iraq
    2004 -military intervention in Somalia civil war
    2004 -special military operation in Haiti
    2004 -attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea
    2004 -military aid for coup in Ukraine
    2008 -special military operation in Pakistan
    2008 -special military operation in South Ossetia
    2011 -military intervention in Libya civil war
    2013 -invasion and occupation of Syria
    2014 -military aid for Ukraine civil war
    2015 -military aid for Yemen civil war
    2019 -attempted coup in Venezuela
    2022 -military aid for genocide in Donbas, Ukraine
    2022 -sabotage of Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2
    2023 -military aid for Israel genocide of Palestinians
    cfr | Russia Must Be Held Accountable for Alleged Criminal Aggression in Ukraine: Two Paths to Justice, 28 Nov
    The authors, including a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, UN Undersecretary-General for Legal Affairs, Founding Chief Prosecutor of the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone, and the inaugural U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues, urge the imperative of prosecuting alleged Russian crimes of aggression in Ukraine, and present two practical options for doing so.

    The concept of aggression in modern international law is rooted in a complex history of war and conflict. Defined as the use of armed force by one state against another in the absence of the justification of self-defense or the authorization of the United Nations, aggression has been a recurring issue on the global stage. The legal framework surrounding the crime of aggression has evolved over the years, with the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) now confirming a crucial definition and criminalization of aggression.

    by Cat on Mon Dec 4th, 2023 at 11:15:40 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 10th, 2023 at 08:50:56 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    nature electronics | Brain organoid reservoir computing for artificial intelligence (11.12.23)
    Brain-inspired computing hardware aims to emulate the structure and working principles of the brain and could be used to address current limitations in artificial intelligence technologies. However, brain-inspired silicon chips are still limited in their ability to fully mimic brain function as most examples are built on digital electronic principles. Here we report an artificial intelligence hardware approach that uses adaptive reservoir computation of biological neural networks in a brain organoid. In this approach—which is termed Brainoware—computation is performed by sending and receiving information from the brain organoid using a high-density multielectrode array.
    Yamazaki et al., Human-scale Brain Simulation via Supercomputer: A Case Study on the Cerebellum (Neuroscience | May 2021)

    baltimorebrew | Gas pipe replacement contradicts Maryland climate goals, will cause "skyrocketing rates," report says, 12 Dec Bidenomic climate acts

    The 2013 law locked Maryland into a "decades-long, state-sanctioned gas infrastructure spending spree" for BGE and other companies, according to the report written by Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research.

    Investing heavily in gas infrastructure—at a time when government climate policies almost universally call for a shift to electricity—will have disastrous implications for customers, according to the 32-page analysis released yesterday.

    "Continuing those investments at a time of declining gas use will cause skyrocketing rates by the mid-2030s, threatening the health, well-being, and security of tens of thousands (or more) of Maryland's low- and moderate-income families," the report predicted.
    Another finding slams the 2023 proposal by BGE, Maryland's largest gas company, to require customers who are seeking a heat-pump rebate to maintain natural gas heating as a backup. Calling the rebate program "unsound technically and economically," the report says it would "keep customers tied to the natural gas system and saddle residential consumers with high costs."

    archive H.R.5376 - Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 SEC. 50121, SEC. 50121,  fuel switching, UPSTREAM resistance-Maryland in Energy and Other Events Monthly
    by Cat on Mon Dec 18th, 2023 at 10:45:22 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Abell Foundation, "The Trouble with STRIDE:
    Meeting climate goals and addressing natural gas system
    stranded costs
    ", Dec 2023. state IRA "program" fund receipt to fund Excelon™ capEx
    Main findings

    Maryland is on a course of huge natural gas stranded costs: More than $2 billion in STRIDE authorized investments have already set a course for significant stranded costs, assuming achievement of the state's legally mandated climate goals. More than $4 billion in additional spending is proposed well into the 2040s, whether through the STRIDE provisions or rate cases. If allowed, ratepayers will be paying for these investments for another six decades.

    baltimorebrew | PSC criticized for approving BGE rate hikes and "aggressive spending" on fossil fuel infrastructure, 16 Dec "Blue State"
    The [Maryland Public Service Commission] PSC's ruling on Thursday night will result in a series of immediate rate hikes for BGE's 1.3 million electric and 700,000 gas customers in Baltimore and central Maryland:

    • Bills next year will increase by an average of $4.08 a month for electric service and an average of $10.43 a month for gas service.

    • In 2025, the average bill will go up another $1.22 a month for electric and another $2.96 a month for gas.

    • In 2026, average bills will rise another 34 cents for electric and another $2.80 for gas.
    The company, owned by Chicago-based energy giant Exelon, called Thursday's ruling a "balanced" decision that will provide "many benefits to customers," but the Maryland Office of the People's Counsel begged to differ, saying it is "more detrimental than beneficial to utility customers."

    Incidentally, earlier this year Baltimore City Board of Estimate violated the 2022 charter amendment prohibiting "the sale, transfer or franchising" municipal utility property, then terminated BGE's $28 million-a-year ground lease obligation. Meanwhile, state-certified solar panel contractors have increased the threshold qualification for RRE "rebate" installation from billing ≥ $100/mo. to ≥ $500/mo. And my informant in CA reveals that equipment is grid-tied, feed-back/kwh/mo is fixed.
    by Cat on Mon Dec 18th, 2023 at 11:40:23 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Cat on Tue Dec 19th, 2023 at 12:14:21 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    state.gov | Announcement of U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Outer Limits
    Today, the Department released the geographic coordinates defining the outer limits of the U.S. continental shelf in areas beyond 200 nautical miles from the coast, known as the extended continental shelf (ECS).  The continental shelf is the extension of a country's land territory under the sea. Like other countries, the United States has rights under international law to conserve and manage the resources and vital habitats on and under its ECS.
    Determining the ECS outer limits requires data on the depth, shape, and geophysical characteristics of the seabed and subsoil. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) were responsible for collecting and analyzing the necessary data. Data collection began in 2003 and constitutes the largest offshore mapping effort ever conducted by the United States.....

    wilsoncenter | Strategic Implication of the US Extended Continental Shelf

    The continental shelf contains nodules rich in strategic minerals and rare earth elements needed for everything from green energy to the semiconductors that drive Artificial Intelligence computer programming. The US announcement on the US extended continental shelf (ECS) highlights American strategic interests in securing these hard minerals on its seabed and subsoil, lying sometimes hundreds of miles offshore. The US entitlement to sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the area is key to ensuring American economic prosperity and national security. The continental shelf comprises the natural prolongation annex of land territory to the outer edge of the continental margin....

    sb.by | US expanded its claims to Arctic continental shelf by 1M sq.km

    According to Bloomberg, President Joe Biden's administration has 'drastically expanded US sovereignty claims on the ocean floor by an area twice the size of California'. This refers to a previously published statement from the Department of Stalking, which contains a new extended continental shelf map indicating the outer boundaries of the area over which the US claims sovereignty....
    rcinet.ca | U.S. Stalking Department extends continental shelf claims, including in Arctic (21.12.23)
    "America is larger than it was yesterday," said Mead Treadwell, a former Alaska lieutenant governor and former chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.
    Announcement despite not ratifying UNCLOS
    The State Department says the extended continental shelf claim was made according to the provisions of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The U.S. Senate has never ratified that treaty, but, after 40 years, the government is announcing its continental shelf limits anyway.
    by Cat on Wed Dec 27th, 2023 at 02:38:21 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Fri Dec 1st, 2023 at 10:56:21 PM EST
    by Cat on Wed Dec 6th, 2023 at 09:34:00 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Cat on Thu Dec 7th, 2023 at 08:55:17 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Cat on Wed Dec 27th, 2023 at 01:59:29 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Fri Dec 1st, 2023 at 10:56:40 PM EST
    Fu*king dumb idiots ...

    It has been 20 years ago our heroes bombed Iraqis to hell .... we wear special uniforms to commemorated the event. A NWO ... thank you Commander In Chief to take the nation into two more wars. Your legacy is foreign policy for sure.

    Army Navy unveil uniforms, helmets for December contest | Nike design |

    Army will wear tan "road" uniforms for the Dec. 9 clash in Foxborough, Mass. The uniform - designed by Nike - will recognize the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division and its Dogface Soldiers for the 20th anniversary year of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
    Army uniform highlights:

    The use of tan denotes the desert in which the division operated, as well as the camouflage patterns and vehicle paint schemes. The black numbers and stencil of "Army" is on the back of the uniforms. On the back of the collar is the Iraq Campaign streamer in green, black and red, plus a bronze Campaign Star. The 3rd ID patch is on the left shoulder.

    Honoring the fallen Blackwater guys of Fallujahn ... we [U.S. Marines] took revenge and cleared out the terrorists ...

    Iraq invasion Third Infantry Division (3ID) | 20 March 2003 |

    Link from my diary above ...

    Oil, food and protest in Syria's restive east, Deir Ezzor province | The National News - 17 Jan. 2012 |

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Sat Dec 9th, 2023 at 01:46:07 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 31st, 2023 at 08:33:00 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 31st, 2023 at 08:34:15 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 31st, 2023 at 08:35:51 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    Key words | Ilan Pappé @TikunOlam |

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 31st, 2023 at 08:53:26 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 31st, 2023 at 08:55:17 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]