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EU VDL State of the Union -- Managing Decay

by Oui Wed Sep 13th, 2023 at 07:06:38 PM EST

Live: 2023 State of Union address by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen | DW News |

The World seen through the eyes of someone living in the Ivory Tower ... so far outside reality it is in danger of being disinformation or pure propaganda. Reality is a Europe divided and forever losing its foundation principles.

Von der Leyen says now 'Europe's moment to answer call of history'

Von der Leyen wrapped up her annual address to the EU parliament, by addressing the continent's youth.

"It is the moment to show them that we can build a continent where you can be who you are, who you love, who you want, aim as high as you want. A continent reconciled with nature and leading the way on new technologies. A continent that is united in freedom and peace," she said.

"Once again this is Europe's moment to answer the call of history."

The speech, which lasted in the region of an hour, did not touch on arguably the most anticipated question [??? wtf] -- whether von der Leyen hopes to continue in her role after the European Parliament elections of 2024. 

Applause machine in Strasbourg ... or was it Brussels?

Empty Suit Bowing to the Right and Progressive Left

France 24's Europe editor, delivers his verdict on the speech from Strasbourg

The political analysis from France24 editors could never inspire me ...

Cat beat me to publication …

Reactionary Visions and eNtiTiES

When I stood in front of you in 2019 with my programme for a green, digital, and geopolitical Europe I know that some had doubts. And that was before the world turned upside down with a global pandemic and a brutal war on European soil.

But look at where Europe is today

We have seen the birth of a geopolitical Union—supporting Ukraine, standing up to Russia's aggression, responding to an assertive China, and investing in partnerships.


Long live Europe.

Please define “birth of a geopolitical Union” … the EU has become Pentagon Command’s mercenaries as NATO took over EU’s civilian role on security in Europe.

EU Management by VDL: Controlling Decay

Europe, lulled to sleep, is threatened from all sides: 'The EU has forgotten to think about its geopolitical basis'

In her State of the Union address, Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, will undoubtedly have nice words to say about Europe's geopolitical ambitions in Strasbourg. But it is management of decline, says Mathieu Segers, professor of European history in Maastricht. Controlling decay.

Peter GiesenSeptember 12, 2023, 4:01 PM

Who is Mathieu Segers?

Envisioning Europe: The Europe of European Integration and its Vicissitudes; Past, Present and Future | Dec. 12, 2018 |

Why not finally a European state?  | Progressive Post - 21 Sept. 2022 |

European Citizens Call for Peace!

State of the EU address - it's that time of year again. But what do Europeans think?

A call for peace will not be supported in her State of the Union speech today ... Ursula Von der Leyen on the lap of Joe.


Joe Says ....

SUPER MAGA ... join the destroy China's economy scheme ...

EU will launch anti-subsidy inquiry into China-made electric cars, von der Leyen says | EuroNews |

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has announced an anti-subsidy inquiry into low-cost electric cars coming from China.

The electric vehicles sector is a "crucial industry for the clean economy, with a huge potential for Europe. But global markets are now flooded with cheaper Chinese electric cars. And their price is kept artificially low by huge state subsidies," von der Leyen said during her State of the Union speech in Strasbourg.

"This is distorting our market. And as we do not accept this from the inside, we do not accept this from the outside. So I can announce today that the Commission is launching an anti-subsidy investigation into electric vehicles coming from China" she went on, prompting applause from some members of the European Parliament.
"Europe is open to competition but not to a race to the bottom. We must defend ourselves against unfair practices."

EU probe of Chinese EVs is deemed 'biased,' a protectionist move | Global Times |

Efforts to restrict products solely based on country of origin counter to EU's WTO commitments

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Wednesday that the EU is launching a probe into Chinese EVs, claiming the prices of imported Chinese vehicles are being kept "artificially low by huge state subsidies."

The EU move comes as China is poised to overtake Japan to become the world's top vehicle exporter for the first time this year, fueled by strong demand for new energy vehicles (NEVs).

Chinese observers said the move came as "no surprise" as the Western media has touched on this issue for some time, which reflected EU's "biased mindset" toward Chinese-manufactured products. The act could endanger China-EU cooperation in green technologies, they noted.

The strong performance of Chinese EV makers presents a challenge for European automakers, which are slowly transitioning toward electrification, observers noted.

    According to info from @ACEA_auto, many EU members subsidize their #ElectricVehicles industries. In what position is @EU_Commission to launch anti-subsidy investigation into electric vehicles from #China? This is nothing but sheer protectionism.

German electric car exports rise more than 65 percent in 2022 | March 23, 2023 |

German exports of electric cars rose more than 65 percent last year to some 500,000 units valued at 24.2 billion euros, statistical office (Destatis) reports. While foreign trade of electric vehicles is growing in significance, combustion-engine automobiles still accounted for the majority of German car exports and imports in 2022. At 1.5 million units, the exports of combustion-engine cars remained unchanged from 2021 levels. The United Kingdom was Germany's biggest e-car export market, with 14 percent in volume terms, followed by the United States with 13.1 percent. Germany also recorded a 22.2 percent increase in e-car imports, with 358,000 vehicles valued at 10.5 billion euros.

Some 833,500 e-cars were registered in Germany last year, according to car industry association (VDA). However, the total number of electric cars on German roads is only slightly above 1 million, as many newly registered - and heavily subsidised - cars were sold abroad at a profit. The roll-out of e-car charging infrastructure has also made progress in 2022, with the number of public charging points growing 35 percent to more than 80,500, energy industry association BDEW recently reported.

Clean vehicle tax credit: The new industrial policy and its impact | Stanford U. |

Key Takeaways

  • The Clean Vehicle Tax Credit in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is a prime example of the U.S.'s return to industrial policy.
  • IRA's stricter requirements slashed the number of EV models eligible for the credit, while allowing renewed access for some high-volume Tesla and GM EVs.
  • Leasing is a gap in the friendshoring requirements of the consumer EV tax credit and enables high-income households and buyers of expensive EVs to benefit from the commercial EV tax credit.
  • EV leasing has lifted off disproportionately, showing many EVs are getting the credit without meeting the stricter requirements.
  • The EV tax credits are only one of many levers the Biden administration is pulling to promote electric vehicles.

Mandatory Solar PV "friendshoring"

The Real Reasons Why Europe Is Concerned by the US Inflation Reduction Act | Institut Montaigne - Dec. 2022 |

Most of Brussels was on holiday on 16 August 2022 when the Biden administration signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into law. A mammoth package of 280 pages, the IRA aims to drastically reduce US carbon emissions and strengthen its social security system, while also cutting the public deficit, fighting inflation and boosting energy production and manufacturing. Not everyone in the US likes it: the bill narrowly made it through Congress, with 220 voting in favor and 207 against.

The EU's view of the IRA is also mixed. On the one hand, this is the first serious attempt by a US administration to combat climate change (the IRA plans to reduce carbon emissions by 42% by 2030 (compared with 2005 levels)). Although experts believe the US will need to pass more legislation to meet this target, the IRA is an important first step in US climate action - and undoubtedly a good move for the planet.

But it's the IRA's whopping subsidies package that is proving problematic. To cut down emissions, the US administration is hoping to boost its green technology industry. Through the IRA, it is pouring $369 billion worth of tax breaks and subsidies into energy production and manufacturing, in particular for electric vehicles, solar panels and batteries that are mainly produced in the US. That's almost half of the total of the NextGenerationEU, the mass investment plan the EU adopted in 2020 to relaunch the EU's economy after Covid-19. The EU is not alone: the UK, Japan and South Korea have all expressed similar concerns.

Reaching net-zero while safeguarding competitiveness and social cohesion in Germany | OECD - July 28, 2023 |

Meeting Germany's ambitious objective of reducing emissions by 65% in 2030 (compared to 1990 levels)will require higher carbon prices.

The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit offers a Net Zero Tracker to list countries in the "Net Zero Emissions Race". So far only two countries, Bhutan and Suriname, have achieved negative carbon dioxide emissions status while still few other countries have made legally binding agreements, and proposals, or have only discussed action plans to take. The countries with legally binding agreements so far are Sweden, the UK, France, Denmark, New Zealand, and Hungary.

Trade agreement EU with China led by Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel - Dec. 2020

Merkel pushes EU-China investment deal over the finish line despite criticism | Dec. 29, 2020 |

The European Commission said the agreement was a success story because it not only increases market access for European investors in China and tackles forced technology transfer, non-transparent subsidies and state-owned enterprises, but also commits China to "make continued and sustained efforts" to ratify international conventions on banning forced labor.

However, some EU countries like Belgium and the Netherlands have raised concerns about the EU's ability to address human rights issues under the agreement. Others like Poland are questioning why the EU is rushing ahead to seal the deal with China without waiting for the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, whose transition team has already voiced concerns about the deal.

The Rise and Demise of the EU-China Investment Agreement: Takeaways for the Future of German Debate on China | CSIS |

East-West Schism: Destruction Process Inside Europe | by Oui Sun Dec 29th, 2019 |

I had not been aware of this manifesto by the European Parliament ... putting the final nail in revisionism of the events leading up to Nazi Germany invading and conquering most of continental Europe and the Second World War. It were the Communists and the Soviet Union that need to undergo a modern Nuremburg Trial for war crimes during Stalin's reign.

I'm aware of a long campaign to propagandize the evils of Russia and white-wash the role played by the Allied Nations. Russia and Putin weren't invited to commemorate the soldiers who fell on D-Day in Normandy as other leaders were proud to be seen as victors in the defeat of Nazi Germany. There has been a revival in commemorating the end of that Great War. Instead, Europe should be celebrating the fact that we have lived in an age without a major outbreak of hostilities. We should be thankful to the founding of the EEC of six nations and the expansion of the European Union on the principles of Four Freedoms.

US makes major concessions to Iran in swap deal to get citizens back | TASS |

The US has agreed to swap prisoners with Iran on a "five-to-five" basis and has also authorized banks to transfer Iranian assets to the tune of $6 bln from South Korea to Qatar for humanitarian use by the Iranians.

Tehran has slowed down its uranium enrichment process while the US is refraining from using any anti-Iranian rhetoric at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Russian link ...

Washington frees Iranian billions for prisoner swap with regime

The White House made serious concessions for the return of its citizens

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Sep 13th, 2023 at 09:26:57 PM EST
Fact check ...

Tehran slams West-sponsored statement critical of Iran-IAEA cooperation | PressTV - 13 Sept. 2023 |

Tehran has rejected a Western-sponsored anti-Iran statement issued during the IAEA's Board of Governors meeting on Wednesday, saying it is politically motivated.

The statement accused Iran of non-compliance with its safeguards commitments. The document, signed by 62 IAEA member states, called upon Iran to take steps to address outstanding safeguards issues and provide the IAEA with information concerning its new nuclear facilities.

Nasser Kan'ani, the spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said Iran and the IAEA have made "considerable progress" in boosting cooperation based on a joint statement issued in March.

He said this course has led to the settlement of several issues, and talks are ongoing on the settlement of other issues, which he said are of political origins.

The spokesman stressed that Iran is committed to cooperation with the agency under the safeguards agreement with the IAEA.

"It's a regret that England, Germany, France and the US, which have certain motivations and positions against Iran, have made Iran-IAEA technical cooperation a subject of their political moves," he said, adding that the Western states did this in the name of defending the agency and the safeguards, but they aimed to distort the reality of Iran's sincere cooperation with the agency.

"Of course this measure is not new and also not surprising. In the previous Board of Governors meeting, they had a similar show in the form of verbal attacks and accusations against Iran," he said.

EU Statement at IAEA Board of Governors on the NPT Safeguards Agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran, as delivered on 13 Sept. 2023

Opening statement ...

IAEA Director General's Introductory Statement to the Board of Governors

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Sep 13th, 2023 at 09:28:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UK, France and Germany refuse to lift sanctions on Iran under nuclear deal | The Guardian |

The UK, France and Germany will not lift sanctions on Iran in line with the timetable set out in the 2015 nuclear deal, the governments have announced in a move that will infuriate Tehran and put the continued viability of the deal at even greater risk.

Under the terms of the original deal, some UN sanctions were due to be lifted on 18 October 2023 as part of a sunset clause that would allow Iran to import and export ballistic missiles, including missiles and drones with a range of 300km (186 miles) or more.

In a letter to the EU external affairs chief, Josep Borrell, the three European signatories to the deal, known as E3, said on Thursday that Iran was in such a serious breach of the deal, in terms of levels of stored enriched uranium and allowing UN inspectors access to its nuclear programme, that sanctions relating to its ballistic missile programme had to remain in force.

The E3 said their refusal to lift the sanctions in line with the original sunset clause did not violate the deal because the agreement contained mechanisms in case of any dispute about whether one side was in breach of the agreement.

The EU said it had registered a dispute about Iranian non-compliance in 2020, but Iran had not responded at all, let alone within the agreed deadline of 30 days.

Borrell said he had received the letter, and added: "The foreign ministers state that Iran is in non-compliance since 2019 and consider that this has not been resolved through the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] dispute resolution mechanism. They express their intention not to take the steps regarding the lifting of further sanctions on JCPOA transition day on 18 October 2023."

The UK said it and its partners remained committed to preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, but Iran's stockpile of highly enriched uranium was at a level "beyond all credible civilian justification".

The UN sanctions that were due to be lifted on 18 October were on individuals and entities involved in Iran's missile, nuclear and other weapons programmes. They will now be incorporated into domestic legislation in the UK, France and Germany.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Sep 14th, 2023 at 10:16:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UK to bring UN sanctions on Iran into UK law

  • UK, France and Germany (E3) to transfer UN sanctions on Iran into domestic regimes and maintain existing EU/UK sanctions beyond October deadline included in nuclear deal.
  • E3 taking `legitimate and proportionate' action in response to Iranian regime breaching commitments under the nuclear deal and advancing its nuclear programme beyond all credible civilian justification.
  • UK and partners remain committed to preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
  • The UK has today committed to bringing UN sanctions on Iran due to lift in October into UK law.

    Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), a range of UN, EU and UK sanctions were due to be lifted on October 18th. These include sanctions on individuals and entities involved in Iran's missile, nuclear, and other weapons programs.

    In response to continued Iranian non-compliance with their JCPoA commitments and ongoing nuclear escalation, the E3 have confirmed today that the UN sanctions will be transferred into domestic sanctions regimes and the EU and UK sanctions will be maintained.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Thu Sep 14th, 2023 at 10:17:39 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The Iran Deal's October Sunsets: Sanctions Without Snapback

    Facing the imminent expiration of UN sanctions but unwilling to trigger "snapback," the EU and Britain should unilaterally extend some of their own restrictions on Tehran.

    The United States and Iran have held multiple rounds of indirect talks this year and taken various steps to lower tensions and keep the prospect of an eventual nuclear agreement alive. Yet Tehran has also continued to engage in destabilizing behavior, from providing weapons to Russia for use against Ukraine and cracking down on civilians at home to seizing commercial vessels in the Persian Gulf and continuing to produce high-enriched uranium. Such actions underscore doubts about Iran's commitment to de-escalation.

    On October 18, a series of deadlines will place the tensions in Western policy toward Iran in sharp relief. Although Washington and Tehran no longer adhere to the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal, some of its elements have continued on autopilot, including the scheduled expiration of some measures in less than three months. With full sanctions "snapback" likely off the table, the European Union and Britain should take other steps to ensure Iran does not benefit from unjustified sanctions relief.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Thu Sep 14th, 2023 at 10:18:58 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    From Cat's post Re: Reactionary Visions and eNtiTiES

    ..."We don't want to see Chinese electric vehicles benefiting from our climate policies," [EPP-CSU leader Manfred] Weber told MEPs after von der Leyen's annual address. "We have to activate our trade defense instruments to avoid another solar panel attack [sic] ..."

    Green Party Bobo Annalena Baerbock ...

    VW is cutting jobs at its German EV factory because demand is plunging | Fortune - 2 hrs ago |

    German Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock visits the Volkswagen booth at the 2023 IAA Mobility car show. (Photo credit: Leon Kuegeler--Photothek via Getty Images)

    Volkswagen is having a tough time selling enough mostly made-in-Germany electric cars to challenge Tesla Inc.'s global dominance. Lackluster economic growth as well as higher energy, living and borrowing costs in Europe have weighed on demand for its ID fleet of EVs.

    The company hired around 2,700 temporary workers at the Zwickau facility near the Czech border to meet expected surging EV demand. But orders from corporate clients -- which account for around 70% of the IDs built at the plant -- have been plummeting since a federal subsidy for battery-powered company vehicles expired this month, one of the people said.

    A spokesperson for Volkswagen declined to comment.

    At the same time, Volkswagen is following Tesla, BMW AG and others in exporting an EV from lower-cost China to Europe. Its Cupra brand has announced plans to produce the Tavascan SUV at a factory in Anhui. Built on the same hardware and software platforms as the ID series, the model is due to hit the European market in 2024.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Thu Sep 14th, 2023 at 01:51:05 PM EST
    Lack of subsidy as government ends grants for "normal" buy of futuristic EV's

    Just some weeks ago ...

    Canada and Volkswagen together committed more than C$20 billion ($14.8 billion) for a battery gigafactory in St. Thomas, Ontario, the biggest single investment ever in the country's electric-vehicle supply chain | Reuters - April 2023 |

    Volkswagen Subsidy to Cost Canada C$2.4 Billion More Than Forecast | June 14, 2023 |

    Volkswagen's Canadian Subsidy Won't Be Taxable, Minister Says

    Canada and German carmaker Volkswagen in April together committed more than C$20 billion for the planned Ontario plant, the biggest single investment in the country's EV supply chain.

    This included up to C$13.2 billion in manufacturing tax credits through 2032 and a C$700 million federal grant.

    In a review of the deal, Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) Yves Giroux said the tax credits would end up costing a bit less than estimated, but Ottawa would need to make about C$2.8 billion in tax adjustments to ensure Volkswagen gets the support it was promised.

    Today's announcement ... those pesky Chinese vehicles and uneven playfield  ...

    EV battery subsidies to take 20 years to break even, not five as government claimed: PBO

    Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne defended the subsidies when they were announced, insisting they would pay off in just five years.

    "Talk to any banker. He would say if you get your money in five years for a plant that's going to be there for 100 years, that's a pretty good deal for Canadians," he said when the Volkswagen deal was announced.

    Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux looked at the numbers and said it will actually take much longer for the governments to get a return on their investments.

    "The break-even timeline for the $28.2 billion in production subsidies announced for Stellantis-LGES and Volkswagen is estimated to be twenty years, significantly longer than the government's estimate of a payback within five years."

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Thu Sep 14th, 2023 at 01:53:52 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Germany predicted to be the only major European economy to contract this year as recession lingers | CNBC |

    Germany is set for a prolonged recession this year -- the only major European economy to experience an economic contraction during 2023, according to fresh forecasts by the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU.

    Europe's largest economy is predicted to post a 0.4% fall in economic activity this year -- that's 0.6 percentage point lower than an estimate made in May, according to the commission, which published new forecasts Monday. The institution also cut its growth expectations for Germany in 2024, from 1.4% to 1.1%.

    The German economy has struggled in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine [Fact check: Biden's Blitzkrieg preparing Europe for war with Russia], with Berlin having to, very quickly, end years of energy dependency on the Kremlin [switch to expensive American LNG, dirty fracked fossil fuel]. The International Monetary Fund IFO says in July September that Germany would likely contract by 0.4% this year.

    Top economists have dubbed the traditional economic powerhouse as the "sick man of Europe." The concept was coined back in 1998 when Germany faced economic challenges. But it's now being resurfaced as Berlin registers deep declines in output.

    Data released in early September showed manufacturing activity in the country fell at its strongest pace since June 2009, excluding the Covid-19 pandemic period.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Thu Sep 14th, 2023 at 02:17:19 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Thu Sep 14th, 2023 at 02:20:56 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    DW | The Black Sea's ROLE in Russia's war on Ukraine, 13 Sep Montreux Convention
    The Black Sea was once a geopolitical afterthought in Europe. But that has changed since Russia launched its war against Ukraine. Now, many interests are colliding on the inland sea between Europe and Asia.
    < wipes tears >
    archive EU triggers CRISIS FUND to bail out farmers hit by Ukraine grain
    As a gateway to the rest of the world, the Black Sea has immense strategic and economic importance for both Russia and Ukraine. But other countries with coasts on the Black Sea—particularly the NATO members Turkey, Bulgaria, and Romania—also have interests there.
    5 Sep blockade busting Slava Ukraini! UPDATE
    archive Mon Dec 7th 2015, Tue Mar 1st 2022, the 1936 accord, July 2022 "power to the councils"

    yahoo! Kyiv Independent | UK planes ["]guard["] Ukrainian grain ships in Black Sea, 8 Sep

    ..."We will use our intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance to monitor Russian activity in the Black Sea," the press release said. "As part of these surveillance operations, RAF aircraft are conducting flights over the area to deter Russia from carrying out illegal strikes against civilian vessels transporting grain."

    On July 19, Russia said it would consider all ships sailing to Ukrainian ports to be military targets. Attacks on Ukrainian ports have increased again in recent days, with repeated missile strikes targeting ["]grain infrastructure["] in Odesa Oblast's Izmail district.

    reuters | Ukraine increases farm exports by rail and truck as Black Sea ports are blocked (13.09.23)..."The most active crossing points in September were those between Ukraine and Poland," it said in a report. Brokers said the grain exports by rail via the Ukrainian-Polish border had also increased by 14% over the past week. "Romanian border crossings are used for 114.8 wagons of grain per day, up +28.8 wagons per day, or +33.49%, over the last week," it said. Spike Brokers said traffic through Hungarian and Slovak borders had also increased....
    The U.K. government also said it would soon announce plans for a < wipes tears > world food summit in November, as part of its "efforts to help vulnerable people and economies deal with the impact of Putin's actions." The Downing Street announcement comes as British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak travels to the G20 summit in India....
    forbes | Why Ukraine's Strike On Sevastopol Naval Infrastructure Is A Big Deal. US, UK do. not. do international law? nope
    ...Russia's inability to defend these vital pieces of critical military infrastructure is a stunning military failure, suggesting Russia's air defenses are either inadequate, broken or both.

    But the strike also highlights Russia's desperation. After several strikes across Crimea and Sevastopol, Russia knew the docks were likely targets, but, regardless of the threat, Russia continued to use them to maintain key Black Sea naval units....

    F24 | Poland threatens to extend Ukrainian grain import ban after [ban] date expires, 14 Sep
    by Cat on Thu Sep 14th, 2023 at 05:14:25 PM EST
    Ukraine sues EU neighbours over food imports ban | BBC News |

    In a statement on Monday, Ukraine's Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko said that "it is crucially important for us to prove that individual member states cannot ban imports of Ukrainian goods.

    "That is why we are filing lawsuits against them [Slovakia, Poland and Hungary] to the WTO."

    Ms Svyrydenko added that Ukrainian exporters had "already suffered and are continuing to suffer significant losses" because of the unilateral bans.

    Poland said it would keep its ban regardless.

    "We maintain our position, we think it is correct, it results from an economic analysis and powers derived from EU and international law," said government spokesman Piotr Mueller.

    "A complaint before the WTO doesn't impress us."

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Sep 18th, 2023 at 08:56:59 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I'm still trying to understand why the geniuses in Ukraine seek satisfaction from the WTO. I mean, yanno, all things considered in the quest to perfect the EU application, wouldn't a savviest demonstration of shared European values be to play out an infringement complaint < cough > supervised by vdL?

    I gave away way too much time skimming PAP.pl stories, Bugarian and Hungarian popular press, and Slovakia's state-owned "position". I can't find reference to the state aid ("hush money" or "compensation") that the "club of five" collected the last spring; but I suspect, what Ukraine really want is a bigger cut of that and EC uhh mandate to shift additional logistic and port costs to the club. For as long as it takes to vanquish RUSSIA's Black Sea Blockade. Of green corridors and solidarity paths.

    A new game in de-risking partners, rivals, and competitors is afoot!
    Trudeau says intelligence shows India was behind slaying of Sikh leader in Surrey, B.C.

    by Cat on Tue Sep 19th, 2023 at 12:36:33 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Poland's foreign policy seeks Russia's strategic defeat Andrzej Duda says | June 19, 2023 |

    The Polish president  Andrzej Duda has said that Polish foreign policy's aim is to lead to Russia's strategic defeat in its war against Ukraine as it is also a matter of Poland's security.

    Taking to the Polish ambassadors attending the annual meeting organised by the Foreign Ministry, Andrzej Duda said that their narrative is at one with Poland's narrative outside the country.

    ,,Awareness of this fact is extremely important at the present time... the moment of our history, when... the fate of the Polish state, its position, security and importance is at stake in the coming decades, and perhaps centuries," he said.

    In Andrzej Duda's opinion, this is the time when the foreign service requires full commitment and activity as Poland's voice must be heard very clearly.

    He said that the issue of Russian aggression is the number one topic for Polish foreign policy, because it is also a matter of Poland's security.

    Damn ... EU membership should have been conditional to abide by its founding principles as NATO took over lapse in EU Unity and lack of foreign policy and building its own security force. NATO Commander General Philip M. Breedlove be damned ... EU lost its sovereignty.



    to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and

    to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and

    to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and

    to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,


    to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and

    to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and

    to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and

    to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples,


    Accordingly, our respective Governments, through representatives assembled in the city of San Francisco, who have exhibited their full powers found to be in good and due form, have agreed to the present Charter of the United Nations and do hereby establish an international organization to be known as the United Nations.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Tue Sep 19th, 2023 at 09:58:29 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    German FM Annalena Baerbock: We're not just defending Ukraine, but democracy worldwide.

    Fox News Interview - video

    Fox News: "What is the end game here ... how does this conflict end?"

    AB: "With liberty and peace in Ukraine."

    📝 "Ukraine must win," she said, adding: "if Putin were to win this war, what sign would that be for other dictators in the world like Xi ... the Chinese president."

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Fri Sep 15th, 2023 at 06:15:00 PM EST
    'China hardliner' is not a commendatory term: Global Times editorial

    German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock paid a visit to China from 14 to 16 April. This is the first official visit to China by Baerbock, who is widely seen as a hardliner on China. She first went to Tianjin to visit German companies, then took the high-speed train to Beijing with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang.

    The outside world is highly interested in how this visit will affect the document and what stance Germany will take in dealing with China. Third, French President Emmanuel Macron has repeatedly stated after his visit to China that Europe must strengthen its strategic autonomy and should not become a "vassal."

    These remarks have caused shock in Europe and the US, and in fact opened up a major foreign policy debate among European political elites.

    In this context, some voices of American and Western public opinion, especially the former, very much hope that Baerbock will show toughness during her visit to China so as to "offset" the "negative impact" of Macron's visit.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Fri Sep 15th, 2023 at 06:17:22 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Baerbock hypes 'China threat' again, revealing bias of pro-US politicians | Aug. 23, 2023 |

    As China-Australia relations are witnessing a thaw, Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has once again hyped up the cliché of "China threat" in a virtual address to an Australian think tank. What is her intention? Baerbock told the Lowy Institute on Tuesday that China was challenging the "very fundamentals of how we live together in this world," and she praised Australia for serving as a "role model" for resisting Chinese "economic coercion."

    In addition to being a representative figure of the German Greens, Baerbock is also a pro-American politician who holds hostile views on China. Baerbock's remarks in Australia actually expressed both her personal opinion and the US' attitude. However, this time, Baerbock went beyond the relationship between China and Germany, but put the Australian issue in the context of the ideological confrontation between the West and China.

    It is not surprising that Baerbock has proposed a tough stance on China, which aligns with her consistent position of viewing China as a threat and emphasizing the differences in ideology and social systems between China and Western countries. At the same time, the German foreign minister seemingly tries to speak boldly in defending Australia by discrediting China, using the so-called "economic coercion" narrative, which was originally a rhetorical trap hyped by the US

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Fri Sep 15th, 2023 at 06:32:50 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    State of EU: Ursula von der Leyen--the accidental president | Social Europe |

    After all the rhetoric about listening to citizens, the 49 citizens' recommendations coming from the conference in May last year, as approved by the European Parliament and transmitted to the Council of the EU, have however still not been debated by the member states--despite this being required by the treaty. And this is not the only promise which could contribute to a coherent vision for the union that is falling apart at the end of this five-year term.

    Green Deal

    In July 2019, during her inaugural speech to the parliament, von der Leyen promised to launch a Green Deal in the first hundred days of her term. With no hint of this in her domestic political trajectory, von der Leyen's position on climate change was dictated more by the political circumstances surrounding her nomination than her record. It was meant to gain the support of the European Parliament, where following the parliamentary elections her centre-right European People's Party and the Renew Europe liberals were well short of a majority.

    This compromise with the left and green blocs in the parliament could have given Europe a new vision around the green transition, strengthening the union's political legitimacy. As the 2024 elections loom, however, such a vision seems to have vanished, due to the reservations not only of von der Leyen's EPP but also of liberal figures--from the French president, Emmanuel Macron, to the German finance minister, Christian Lindner--who have repeatedly called for a pause.

    The hesitations of the EPP and the liberals about the pace of the ecological transition threaten its full adoption and make its future in the next political cycle uncertain. Von der Leyen will need the support of her party for a nomination (this time as Spitzenkandidat), yet the EPP now stands as one of the main opponents to implementation of the green agenda. That support will also be needed to match her promise to reform the ethical rules of the union after the Qatargate scandal, including establishing a new ethics body.

    Crisis management

    [same as Boris Johnson and Mark Rutte: patch it over, neglect and no timely action, lack of social vision]

    Von der Leyen can claim successes. Yet her term has been marked by crises, from the pandemic to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, [gross failure in diplomacy, on America's leash] with its many knock-on effects in energy, food and security. Her presidency has been distinguished by continuous crisis management, to the point of turning the state of exception into the norm. Besides constantly reacting to events, she has often delegated the solution of an impending task to member states' leaders within the European Council--leading to an increasingly evident and damaging rivalry with its president, Charles Michel

    In this context and reading between the lines of her speech, a fundamental question arises: will European citizens content themselves with institutions that just seek to muddle through? In an evolving political union, the shock of the invasion plus the shared pandemic ordeal should have generated some consensus on the need to regain control of the direction of history.

    The time has come to stop improvising and show instead not only Europe's ability to react to external shocks but also its capacity to build, plan and project. To get out of the current geopolitical impasse and growing internal mistrust, a union that brings together 27 member states--rapidly considering the integration of others in the east and the Balkans--must piece together its many elements into a coherent whole.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Sat Sep 16th, 2023 at 10:06:24 AM EST

    Brussels my love?

    This week we were joined by Malin Björk, Swedish MEP from the Left, Frances Fitzgerald, Irish MEP from the European People's Party (EPP), and Pedro Marques, Portuguese MEP from the Socialists & Democrats (S&D).

    Panelists reacted to the big news of the week in Strasbourg which was the one-hour State of the Union speech delivered by Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday.

    With European Parliament elections coming up next summer, Ursula von der Leyen tried to be upbeat and claimed that 90% of the work that she promised to do was done.

    But for Malin Björk, her speech lacked empathy towards people suffering from the cost of living crisis.

    "She stayed in this kind of European EU bubble and it's more about what she didn't say or so you know, she didn't address the fact that people are, you know, in working poverty," said Bjork.

    MEPs had mixed reactions to her performance.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Sat Sep 16th, 2023 at 10:07:32 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The Netherlands plays an important role as a hub for the global energy trade | IEA - 2021 |

    The primary focus of Dutch energy policy is transitioning to a low carbon energy system. The 2019 Climate Act sets legally binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) emissions by 49% by 2030 and by 95% by 2050 (compared to 1990 levels) and for 100% of electricity to come from renewables by 2050.

    Why does Europe sabotage its climate goals by subsidising the fossil sector by more than €137 billion per year?

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Sun Sep 17th, 2023 at 07:00:16 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The Netherlands's Effort to Phase Out and Rationalise its Fossil-Fuel Subsidies | OECD |

    This report is the principal outcome of this peer review process, reflecting the IEA and OECD review team's in-person discussions with officials from the Netherlands, but also deliberations among the review team and consultations with stakeholders. After summarising the key aspects of the Netherland's energy landscape, the report analyses in detail the subsidies and other measures that the Netherlands and the review team have identified in the course of the review process.

    As part of its budgetary planning process, the government of the Netherlands conducts periodic policy evaluations of its tax expenditures and subsidy programmes. This review complements the government's efforts to cast light on the state of fossil-fuel subsidies and their relevance for the broader energy, climate and fiscal policies in the country. In support of this review the government of the Netherlands produced a self-report (NSR) identifying 13 individual fossil-fuel subsidy measures in the form of tax exemptions or reductions, benefitting both the production and consumption of fossil fuels. Together, they amount to at least EUR 4.48 billion of revenue forgone for the government.

    While no subsidies were put forth for reform in the NSR, the government views this review process as part of its commitment to better align its policies with its climate and energy-transition objectives and to "green" its tax system. This report will be used to inform the government's response to questions from Parliament concerning fossil-fuel subsidies and the potential need for reforms.

    In this peer review, the Netherlands chose to maintain a broad definition of fossil-fuel subsidies that extends beyond a narrow definition of "subsidies" whereby government budgetary transfers are used to directly affect prices. The scope of the review accounts for both direct budgetary transfer and tax measures that result in government revenue forgone. Tax-related measures are the main mechanism through which the government of the Netherlands delivers support to fossil fuels. Several exemptions and reductions are granted to energy-intensive industries and other energy-consumer groups. Although the burden sharing between households and companies has changed recently, energy taxes in the Netherlands are still very degressive, translating into a heavier tax burden on households and other small-scale energy consumers.The review team notes that the inclusion of the degressive energy tax structure in the NSR is an important step towards assessing the efficiency of this policy design and identifying avenues for reform.

    The review team notes also the centrality of the EU Energy Tax Directive (ETD) - a framework legislation that harmonises energy taxes in the EU to ensure the well-functioning of the Single Market - in deciding the scope of fossil-fuel subsides in the Netherlands.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Sun Sep 17th, 2023 at 07:01:54 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    NL Times headline: "Half of Ukrainian refugees in Netherlands have paid work" (27.09.23)
    Half of the approximately 68,000 Ukrainian refugees who fled to the Netherlands since Russia invaded their home country had paid work on May 1 Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reported on Wednesday. They mainly worked for employment agencies or in the trade, transport, and hospitality sector....

    After Shock headline: "Dutch municipalities want to cut funding for many Ukrainian refugees" (03.10.23 98,920)

    As you might have guessed, not all municipalities were happy with this honorary duty. And those who experienced a sense of joy before, eventually began to suspect something. And as a result, the following came out: The Security Council (the council of mayors who head the 25 security regions of the Netherlands) wants to reduce financial support for Ukrainian refugees.
    by Cat on Wed Oct 4th, 2023 at 03:03:55 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Rutte IV quit because of asylum seekers needing a bed to stay ... is against VVD party policy for two decades or more ... Rita Verdonk - Geert Wilders - Ayaan Hirsi Ali - young talented Mark Rutte ... won battle for leadership v Rita Verdonk ... immigration crisis of 2015 ... Syrian war refugees while Dutch F-16 pilots and planes were dropping bombs over Syria and Iraq ...

    Rutte Looks for Exit from Dutch Politics | July 6, 2023 |

    Influx real asylum seekers had been steady at 35,000 annually ... EU migration is the big number ... and attracting foreign students at the universities ... don't tell ... the electorate of extreme right (25-33% of voters) may wise up ... if that is at all possible 😂

    In 2022, 403,108 persons immigrated to the Netherlands. This was 150,580 more than the figure for 2021 | CBS National Statustics |

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Oct 4th, 2023 at 05:06:59 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Even more subsidies for fossil fuels than previously assumed, up to €46 billion annually | NL Times |

    Even more subsidies and tax breaks are flowing into the fossil sector than previously assumed. According to a calculation by the Ministry of Economy and Climate, these amount to 39.7 to 46.4 billion euros annually. This is stated in the documents that will be released on Budget Day, September 19.

    Insiders confirm corresponding reports from NOS. This is only a sum of all the benefits of the use of fossil energy and raw materials. It does not include, however, the cost to consumers. The report also states that a large part of the benefits (about 17 billion) is specified in international treaties or European Union directives.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Sun Sep 17th, 2023 at 07:03:23 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    TRT World @trtworld

    Turkish President Erdogan on relations with EU:

    • EU is trying to severe its ties with Türkiye
    • We are keeping a close eye on these developments
    • Türkiye could part ways with EU if necessary

    Sweden failed to fulfil duties under NATO bid: Erdogan

    Erdogan on Sweden's bid to join NATO:

    • Sweden needs to fulfil its commitments
    • What matters is implementing legislation
    • If terrorists [PKK/YPG] are allowed to participate in demonstrations under police protection, this shows Sweden's failure to fulfil duties under NATO bid

    Guterres will meet Turkish, Ukrainian, and Russian leaders next week at the annual UNGA meeting | Anadolu Agency |

    [version authored by Jake the Snake]

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Sat Sep 16th, 2023 at 07:37:17 PM EST
    US Treasury Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) UPDATES

    Recent Actions a/o 14 Sep sample
    Russia-related Designations, Designations Updates, and Designations Removals; Issuance of Russia-related General Licenses  (Eurasia and Asia Minor eNTitIES)

    Sanctions Lists a/o 15 Sep sample
    Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons List (SDN) Human Readable Lists database

    Sanctions Programs subsets
    Russia-related Sanctions
    Iran Sanctions
    North Korea Sanctions
    Cuba Sanctions
    Counter Narcotics Sanctions
    Cyber-related Sanctions
    Venezuela-related Sanctions
    Complete List of Sanctions Programs and Country Information

    archive Wed Feb 23rd 2022

    by Cat on Sun Sep 17th, 2023 at 03:38:23 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Iran's president to visit New York to attend 78th UNGA session | PressTV - today |

    Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi will set off for New York tomorrow to participate in the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

    Heading a political delegation, Raeisi will leave Tehran early on Monday.

    During his three-day visit to New York, the Iranian chief executive is expected to deliver a speech at the annual General Assembly meeting and hold meetings with heads of states as well as Iranians residing there.

    He will also expound on the Islamic Republic's positions and answer questions from political, social, religious, and media groups and elites.

    Iran elected as vice president of United Nations General Assembly

    The General Assembly also unanimously appointed Iran's candidate as the rapporteur of the Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Committee of the General Assembly and a member of the board of the committee.

    Other countries elected as Vice Presidents of the 78th UN General Assembly are Congo, Gambia, Morocco, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia (Africa), Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan (Asia-Pacific), Estonia (Eastern Europe), Bolivia and Suriname (Latin America), as well as Iceland and the Netherlands (Western Europe and others).

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Sep 18th, 2023 at 12:41:26 PM EST
    Five Iranians held in US prisons to be released Monday: Rights official

    Five Iranians held in US prisons for years will be released on Monday and two of them will arrive in Tehran via the Qatari capital, secretary general of Iran's High Council for Human Rights Kazem Gharibabadi says.

    "After a successful team effort, five innocent Iranian compatriots in American prisons will be free today and two of them will enter Tehran via Doha," Gharibabadi wrote on his X account on Monday.

    "The High Council for Human Rights, alongside the government and the judiciary, will remain determined to uphold the rights of Iranians abroad," he added.

    Earlier in the day, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan'ani said that two of the detainees will return to Iran while one of them will join his family in a third country and two others will stay in the US.

    The five Iranian prisoners were identified as Mehrdad Moein Ansari, Kambiz Attar Kashani, Reza Sarhangpour Kofrani, Amin Hassanzadeh, and Kaveh Lotfollah Afrasiabi.

    They had been held in American jails illegally and under the pretext of violating US sanctions. Their release came under a prisoner exchange agreement with the US.

    Officially announced on August 10, the deal will also see the release of five Americans from Iran's prisons.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Sep 18th, 2023 at 12:42:15 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    U.S. Illegal sanctions on Iran after Trump backing out of JCPOA Treaty approved by the UNSC in 2015 under president Obama.

    Iran to access assets frozen in South Korea as of Monday: FM spox

    Iran's frozen funds in South Korea, worth nearly $6 billion, will be fully accessible to the Iranian government as of Monday, says Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan'ani.

    See my recent and earlier posts on prisoner swap ...

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Sep 18th, 2023 at 12:42:50 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    5 detained Americans freed from Iran, US official confirms | ABC News |

    The U.S. has received confirmation that five American citizens freed as part of a deal between the U.S. and Iran are now on a plane headed out of the country to Doha, Qatar, a senior Biden administration official said Monday.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Sep 18th, 2023 at 01:30:21 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    VDL: EU Commission backs 10-year extension of controversial glyphosate | DW News |

    It remains the world's bestselling weedkiller, despite potentially causing cancer in humans. The EU approval of the chemical glyphosate is set to end, but the European Commission wants to extend it.

    Even the horrifying Russian invasion in Ukraine has been taken as an opportunity by FNSEA, the French big farm lobby, as an excuse to call for the EU Farm to Fork Strategy to be reconsidered

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Sep 20th, 2023 at 08:42:06 PM EST
    Laudation by President von der Leyen for Japanese Prime Minister Kishida at the 2023 Atlantic Council Awards (20.09.23)
    You have grown up with the stories of survivors. And you wanted us to listen to the same stories, to face the past and learn something about the future. It was a sobering start to the G7 and one that I will not forget, especially at a time when Russia threatens to use nuclear weapons once again. It is heinous, it is dangerous—and in the shadow of Hiroshima, it is unforgivable. No one is better poised than Japan to warn us of the extreme danger of this recklessness....
    archive no apologies
    by Cat on Sat Sep 23rd, 2023 at 06:35:58 PM EST
    by Cat on Mon Sep 25th, 2023 at 06:16:11 AM EST
    Trudeau looks just fine next to Duda, VDL, Rutte, Baerbock and leaders Five Eyes nations. What's the fuss all about after almost 600 days of slaughter ... it must all be worth it. Fight for Peace ☮️, not war. Fight for Joe and a Unipolar world ... cut throat capitalism.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Sep 25th, 2023 at 07:11:25 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    EU ministers agree to watered-down Euro 7 emissions rules | Reuters |

    Spain presented a compromise text that would keep Euro 6 test conditions and emissions limits for cars.

    European Union ministers agreed on Monday to water down a European Commission proposal on Euro 7 vehicle emissions after automakers and eight countries including France and Italy said the changes could divert investment from electric vehicles.

    The EU countries agreed not to change the existing Euro 6 test conditions and emissions limits for cars and vans, although they will be lower for buses and heavy vehicles. They also accepted new particle emissions limits for brakes and tires.

    The Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission must now negotiate a final agreement on the new regulations.

    Following the lead taken by Sunak and Trudeau .... Pacific Islands and Global South ... the EU cares ... NOT ‼️

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Sep 25th, 2023 at 05:23:40 PM EST
    UK home secretary calls UN refugee convention rules 'absurd, unsustainable' | Anatoly Agency |

    In her speech at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, Suella Braverman argued that UN's 1951 Refugee Convention is extending protection to nearly 800 million individuals, some of whom she believes should not be qualified for international refugee protection.

    She contended that the interpretation of the convention's key terms had evolved over time, leading to an expansive definition of refugees.

    Braverman in sync with EU's worst right wing populist politicians like PM Meloni, Dutch PM Rutte with EC leader VDL.

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Tue Sep 26th, 2023 at 09:00:30 PM EST
    UN refugee agency rejects Suella Braverman asylum comments | BBC News |

    Home Secretary Suella Braverman is facing criticism after she said the international asylum system was no longer fit for purpose.

    In a speech earlier, Mrs Braverman said fearing discrimination for being gay or a woman should not be enough to qualify for refugee protection.

    But the United Nations' refugee agency (UNHCR) rejected her calls for the rules to be "tightened".

    It said the 1951 Refugee Convention "remains a life-saving instrument".

    The convention forms the basis of the UNHCR's work and provides an agreed definition of a refugee and minimum standards for their treatment.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Tue Sep 26th, 2023 at 09:03:04 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    UK's Suella Braverman says LGBTQ+ persecution not enough for asylum claims | Politico |

    Braverman's comments have already sparked a backlash from refugee support groups.

    Sonya Sceats, chief executive of the NGO Freedom from Torture, said: "LGBTQI+ people are tortured in many countries for who they are and who they love, and their pain is no less than other survivors we treat in our therapy rooms. They deserve precisely the same protection too. For a liberal democracy like Britain to try to weaken protection for this community is shameful." 

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Tue Sep 26th, 2023 at 09:03:48 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I think there's Democratic support for major border security reform. But we have to attach it to Ukraine. To those who say we need to fix our border, you're right. To those who say we need to help Ukraine, you're right. To those who say we need to do the border, not Ukraine, you're wrong. The vast majority of Senate Republicans would support a combination of border security Ukraine funding and disaster aid.
    The key to Ukraine funding is to deal with a broken border. 107,000 Americans have died from fentanyl poisoning from fentanyl coming across the southern border. We haven't lost one soldier in Ukraine. So America is being invaded from a broken southern border. To my Democratic colleagues, you need to take border security seriously.
    Yeah well here's what I'll say about President Trump. He did not pull the plug on Afghanistan, even though he wanted to. The biggest mistake we made since the war on terror is withdrawing from Afghanistan, to President Trump and anybody else. If we pull the plug on Ukraine, that's 10 times worse than Afghanistan. There goes Taiwan. To stop funding Ukraine is a death sentence for Taiwan. Putin will keep going. You missed all of World War II if you don't know how this movie ends. To the Republicans who say, Ukraine doesn't matter to us, you're wrong. Respectfully, you're wrong. The war gets bigger, not smaller. There goes Taiwan. If Ukraine can beat Russia, China's less likely to invade Taiwan and Putin gets stopped.
    Transcript: Sen. Lindsey Graham on "Face the Nation," Oct. 1, 2023
    by Cat on Mon Oct 2nd, 2023 at 09:41:51 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Draconian war narrative UK-USA and propaganda ... Operation Mockingbird 2.0

    Europe: Anti-Putin coalition assembles in Granada | DW News |

    Two summits in the Spanish city Granada, held back-to-back. First, on Thursday, 47 European states -- all of them except Russia and Belarus -- will gather as the European Political Community (EPC), a forum inaugurated last year in Prague as an alliance against Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

    Then, on Friday, comes an informal meeting of the 27 EU member states, themselves confronted with a mountain of problems -- first and foremost migration management.

    Political 'speed dating'

    No formal decisions will be taken at either summit this week. The European Political Community in particular, set up by French President Emmanuel Macron, is a relaxed gathering with no clear structure.

      Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama has warned that the EPC could not become another waiting room for EU candidate, and stressed that accession talks needed to continue regardless. Negotiations are currently underway with Albania, Serbia, Montenegro and North Macedonia, while Bosnia-Herzegovina is a candidate for accession talks. Kosovo and Georgia are only potential candidates.

    There is no off-ramp after the disastrous year of 2021 failing to stop Joe Biden from taking the EU into a war against Russia. Decades in the making. No courage, no leadership just lemmings.

    Last Throes of European Economic Clout EEC | 19 Feb. 2023 |

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Thu Oct 5th, 2023 at 10:08:11 AM EST
    Global: 'Predator Files' investigation reveals catastrophic failure to regulate surveillance trade | Amnesty Int'l |

    A new investigation into the global surveillance crisis by the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) media network, with technical assistance from Amnesty International's Security Lab, today begins to reveal the shocking truth about how far the industry's tentacles have spread and how ineffective EU regulation has been in controlling it. 

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Thu Oct 5th, 2023 at 09:13:52 PM EST

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