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

April 2024

by Oui Mon Apr 1st, 2024 at 08:40:59 AM EST

Your take on today's news media

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by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 1st, 2024 at 08:41:45 AM EST
Quite a contentious claim

The EU has also accommodated far more diverse peoples, with far more horrific recent histories, within a relatively harmonious overall democratic structure. It is time to take the blinkers off and see what good politics can enable.

The European Union is falling apart, failing in its founding principles and taking part in a proxy war of the American Empire. Leading expansion into Ukraine, Georgia and now Armenia? Not bringing people together ... more authoritarianism to keep up appearances. Reform the EU before further expansion.

Watch the democratic Vote for the European Parliament this year: 6-9 June ...

Top down or bottom up? Diversity is not a formula for harmony ... with rising nationalism [fascism] that era has gone and passed.

EU Election Projection 2024

No value to this poll as we have seen recently in national elections ... expect a titanic shift to the right. With BreXit one arm of the Union was cut off. Ukraine is not an equivalent partner. Bring peace, not war.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 1st, 2024 at 09:35:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
georgiatoday | "Yes to Europe! No to Russian law!" rally underway near Parliament (15.04.24)
The rally at the Parliament - "No Russian Law" has been ongoing since the morning, in parallel with the discussion of the draft law "On transparency of foreign influence".

euronews | Mass brawl breaks out in Georgian parliament over controversial media law (15.04.24)
The legislation under debate will compel media and non-commercial organisations to register as being under foreign influence if they receive more than 20% of their budget from abroad.

ChatGPT | AI chatbots spread falsehoods about the EU election, report finds, 11 Apr
by Cat on Mon Apr 15th, 2024 at 11:35:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
lemonde | Poland, Czech Republic warn of Russian interference ahead of European elections (30.03.24)
"Money from Moscow has been used to pay some political actors who spread Russian propaganda," said BIS, the Czech intelligence service, before adding that those with "strong pro-Russian views," including European politicians, were given a platform.
archive voiceofeurope results

Violent clashes break out in Georgia amid controversial 'foreign agents' law debate, 16 Apr capitol riot

"Second night of massive protest in Tbilisi against the Russian Law," Georgia's President Salome Zourabichvili said in a post on social media on Tuesday.
archive Mme. Cheeto "expressed support for the demonstrators and vowed to veto the legislation."
"Insistence of the authorities to push through this law against the will of the population and despite partners protest is a direct provocation*mdash;a Russian strategy of destabilization," said Zourabichvili, who has vowed to repeal the law if it crosses her desk. The Georgian Dream party, which has been pushing for the law, has the parliamentary majority which could override a presidential veto.
archive EU 'foreign agents' law spooks NGOs
Videos shared on activist Telegram channels and news agencies showed riot police trying to clear demonstrators from the area around the parliament. In the videos, police could be seen grabbing protesters by the clothes and firing what appeared to be water cannons. At least one employee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was injured during Tuesday's clashes, the ministry said in a statement.

If protesters "continue their illegal actions," the Ministry of Internal Affairs will "administer special measures defined by law," it warned. "Each illegal action will be followed by appropriate legal response from the police," it added.

by Cat on Wed Apr 17th, 2024 at 01:49:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Big, bold and unchecked: Russian influence operation thrives on Facebook, 17 Apr doppelgänger "according to an investigation shared exclusively with POLITICO"
archive OpenAI to pay Politico, Business Insider publisher
by Cat on Wed Apr 17th, 2024 at 03:16:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
georgiatoday | 14 Senators to Georgian PM: If foreign agents bill becomes law, we'll be forced to encourage change in US policy towards Georgia(28.04.24)
Voice of America reports that "the unprecedented note of concern sent by 14 Senators to Irakli Kobakhidze is the most severe among other statements of the Senate" led by Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Senator James Risch.
eur-lex.europa.eu | Requirements in the internal market on transparency of interest representation carried out on behalf of third countries and amending Directive (EU) 2019/1937
"Enacting this legislation could send a powerful message to the Georgian people that their government no longer reflects their wishes, is actively undermining its EU membership agenda, and refuses to uphold the Constitution. As a result, this legislation will tarnish Georgia's closest partners, the United States and the European Union, as malicious actors. Such a change will lead to a change in America's policy towards Georgia and reflect the new state of Georgia's politics," said the letter sent to Prime Minister Kobakhidze.
by Cat on Sat Apr 27th, 2024 at 08:26:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU election debate exposes weakness of lead candidate system, 30 Apr user engagement
"The debate showed the current weaknesses of The System," noted Luise Quaritsch, an expert on European politics at the Jacques Delors Centre think tank, pointing to the relatively obscure debate participants and a narrow [sic] public audience.

"There were around 2,500 live viewers on YouTube, neither the media nor the candidates nor the parties massively advertised the debate, so there is still a lack of interest and public attention", Quaritsch told Euractiv, adding that some of the candidates also were "not properly prepared."

While the number of viewers rose to 15,000 during the night, it is still a relatively low figure for an election with some 350 million eligible voters.

system failure
EU leaders introduced the idea that voter choices would matter in selecting the chief of the EU executive [European Commission] ahead of the 2014 election. But the principle took a significant hit after the heads of state and government picked Ursula von der Leyen for the top job in 2019 despite her not being in the running [or a "transnational" ballot].
european-union.europa.eu | What does your vote decide?
European elections are held every five years to elect your representatives in the European Parliament, the world's only directly elected transnational assembly.
How are EU leaders appointed?

Following the elections, the European Parliament votes to approve the new President of the European Commission, as well as the entire College of Commissioners. The new European Commission is then appointed by the European Council.

by Cat on Wed May 1st, 2024 at 03:38:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Wed May 1st, 2024 at 03:46:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]

T -42. Macron Gauging Support for a Plan to Install Draghi in the Top EU Job
When von der Leyen became the surprise president in 2019 following an agreement between Macron and then German Chancellor Angela Merkel, she vowed to transform the institution into a "geopolitical commission." But she may have sunk her own chances, a separate official said, by over-politicizing her role.
"The commission presidency is there to defend the general interest, so it must not be over-politicized," Macron said in Brussels last month. "Which, it has to be said, was not at all the case with this outgoing commission." A spokesperson from Macron's office declined to comment.

There's broad consensus that a decision won't be made until after the June 9 European election, when EU leaders will hash out who will fill the top posts, including for the European Council, the parliament and the foreign policy service. That process is a complicated, back-room negotiation, which weighs geographical balance and, more importantly, which political parties are entitled [!] to the most consequential [sic] roles.

Save the date: "Macron will give a broad policy speech at the Sorbonne on Thursday", 25 April
Regardless of Macron's maneuvering, von der Leyen is still the clear favorite [FKA spitzenkandidat] since she's the lead candidate for the center-right European People's Party [EPP], which is expected to handily win the most votes in June. Traditionally, that means an EPP candidate would get the commission role.
EU leaders are scheduled to meet on June 17 to discuss the reshuffle, just a week after the election. Even if von der Leyen is picked by the leaders at the summit, where no consensus is required [?], she would still face a difficult confirmation vote at the parliament, which must agree by absolute majority. In 2019, von der Leyen was elected president by only nine votes. And given the expected increase in support for the hard-right [EPP] parties, her margins will be even tighter this year.
ChatGPT | Who could take on von der Leyen for Commission president?, 25 Apr

archive EPP: March ELECTION 2024, G7 ECON & FIN value chain, sweeping treaty reform 2023, power to the councils 2022, "pragmatic federalism", December 2021 grandpa energy

by Cat on Thu Apr 25th, 2024 at 02:07:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anyone but Ursula ...ask Frans Timmermans ... was also on non-speaking terms with VDL ...

Atlantic Council set out to honor VDL with  Distinguished Leadership Awards (DLA), for exemplary individuals during a time of great global discord ... no matter her contribution to said failures.

Ursula Von der Leyen traveled to the Negev desert to receive honorary degree ...

She will forgive and forget your country's outrages and crimes and wish you a happy birthday in return, apparently, for an honorary degree.

That quid pro quo was on blatant and telling display last week when von der Leyen took to social media to congratulate Israel on its 75th birthday.

What shut the door for VDL is skipping the Q&A session of EU parliament to be on time to deliver a speech at her beloved Hudson Institute ... horribilis. Just go sway ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Apr 25th, 2024 at 03:06:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
lemonde | In EU speech, Macron says Europe is 'mortal' and 'can die' (25.04.24)
The French president also called for a "revision" of EU trade policy to defend European interests, accusing both China and the United States of no longer respecting the rules of global commerce. "It cannot work if we are the only ones in the world to respect the rules of trade—as they were written up 15 years ago [2008?]—if the Chinese and the Americans no longer respect them by subsidizing critical sectors." Macron only made a brief explicit reference to the June European elections at the end of his almost two-hour [?!] speech, even though, with this speech, he is clearly seeking to wade into the campaign. "The response is not in timidity but in boldness" including at the June 9 European elections, he said. "The choice is not to do what we have always done but to adopt new paradigms."
reuters | 'Europe could die': Macron urges stronger defences, economic reforms
"Europe 'must show that it is never a vassal of the United States and that it also knows how to talk to all the other regions of the world', he said."
archive Yer gonna need a bigger psycho-therapist
by Cat on Thu Apr 25th, 2024 at 07:46:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
globalsecurity rferl | China In Eurasia Briefing: Previewing Xi's Big Europe Trip, 24 Apr
...The trip will be rich in symbolism and comes at a crucial time with Russia advancing on the battlefield in Ukraine, escalating trade tensions between Beijing and Brussels, and potential fallout from November's U.S. election.
China and  Serbia commemorate the date when the United States of America and NATO countries destroyed the China embassy, 7 May 1999
Against this backdrop, Xi will be looking to repair some of the damage done to the relationship with Europe since his last trip to the continent. In particular, he'll be aiming to unwind some of the European Union's moves toward de-risking, which Beijing sees as an unwelcome alignment between Brussels and Washington....
ChatGPT: EU pulls its gun on China, 26 Apr
Another thing on the agenda will be China's participation at the upcoming peace summit in Switzerland about the war in Ukraine set for mid-June. ...The dates of the tour have not been publicly announced, but various European officials have pointed toward May 7 as a starting day, a date that has also been reported by Serbian media as when Xi could visit Belgrade....
< wipes tears >
bloomberg | Chinese President Xi to Visit Hungary on May 8-10, Minister Says, 25 Apr
...Prime Minister Viktor Orban is seeking to expand economic ties with China, including by broadening Hungary's participation in the Belt and Road Initiative to include further rail modernization projects as well as the financing of a new crude pipeline connecting it with Serbia....
< checks watch >
ChatGPT euronews | Chinense president to visit France, Serbia and Hungary in May, 26 Apr
...One reason for the visit is Italy's decision to withdraw—after some hesitation—from China's grandiose New Silk Road programme, which Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni will finalise in Beijing in July....
by Cat on Sat Apr 27th, 2024 at 07:15:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
5-10 May 2024
at the invitation of President Emmanuel Macron of the Republic of France, President Aleksandar Vucic of the Republic of Serbia and President Tamas Sulyok and Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying announced on Monday, a trip that experts believe is expected to shape the future of relations between China and Europe.
bloomberg | Xi Is on a Mission to Drive a Wedge Between Europe and the US
Xi's visit to Europe comes after US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Communist Party leaders in Beijing this month that Chinese overcapacity was a problem for the world—a message echoed days later [lolno] by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Exemplifying how both blocs are coalescing around a joined-up China policy, they seek to "de-risk" from the world's second-largest economy.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian's Regular Press Conference on April 30, 2024
The "China overcapacity" accusation may look like an economic discussion, but the truth is, the accusation is built on false logic and ignores more than 200 years of the basic concept of comparative advantage in Western economics. All countries produce and export products of their comparative advantage and this is the nature of international trade. If a country should be accused of overcapacity and asked to cut capacity whenever it produces more than its domestic demand, then what would countries trade with? If exporting 12 percent of Chinese-made EVs is called overcapacity, then what about Germany, Japan and the US who export 80, 50 and 25 percent respectively of their automobiles? Wouldn't that be considered more serious overcapacity? Let's not forget that according to the statistics of the International Energy Agency, to realize carbon neutrality, the world will need 45 million NEVs by 2030, 4.5 times that of the demand of 2022. When the global capacity is still far below the market demand, how could there be "overcapacity"?
aaaand Ricardo spun in his crypt
by Cat on Wed May 1st, 2024 at 07:07:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
euronews | Italy's Giorgia Meloni throws her hat in the ring for EU elections (28.04.24)
Live from the Fratelli d'Italia programmatic conference in Pescara, the Italian prime minister announced her candidacy in the European elections next June. Giorgia Meloni is officially a candidate in the European elections next June. From the stage of the programmatic conference of her party, Brothers of Italy, in Pescara, the Prime Minister announced that she will run.
This article misrepresents Meloni's  electoral ambition @ 02:12:28 - 03:26:09.
synopsis: The next general election in Italy is 2027, barring a snap. Italian local elections will be held 8-9 June 2024 during EP elections. Meloni did not announce her candidacy for any EP seat. And the venue is too far removed from EP and College lobbies ("debate about who should be the president of the Commission before the vote is objectively surreal") to pad Selmyr's favor bank. However, Italy is hosting this summer's G7 bully pulpit. So with typical populist, nationalist, or patriotic pride (without mentioning names beginning with Mo) she positions Fratelli d'Italia's domestic achievements near the center of European political tradition; in fact, "center-right" lol. She emphasizes, "The European People's Party is finished" and the "Italian model" best represents Charles De Gaulle's imperative designs for the ECC. In her words, "'there can be no other Europe than that of national states.' Everything, the rest, is myth, speeches, superstructures. Today like yesterday, a Europe of strong nations that decide to get together in foreign politics and international defense of the external borders can really live up to building a strong Europe." Meloni is not a eurosceptic; to the contrary, she urges further integration of "L'Italia Cambia L'Europa" in the EP and Commission in order to "bring honesty into the institutions" in both Italy and the EU—class conflict (epitomized by peculiar comparisons of communists with -socialists, subsidarity with competition, immigration with exploitation, Albanians with Africans, family with feminism, Moscow with Brussels). Accordingly, euronews' report skims Meloni's voluminous litany of financial "scams" in Italy fostered by 'gods, bureaucrats, locked in a glass palace' in Brussels. In conclusion, Meloni rejects "federalism," quibbles over tactics, and prepares partisans to pack parliaments—high and low—with "Made in Italy" auteurs. She rehearsed the Brothers' stump speech.
by Cat on Mon Apr 29th, 2024 at 08:11:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ECC s/b of course EEC

in re: candidacy
Meloni did not articulate any interest in European Council presidency. This slight is consistent with her aspiration, leading Italy's uhh renaissance until end of term 2027. Her purported devotion to direct democracy animates the conservative dialect that she speaks to party deputies. Besides, the Council president is appointed by European Council members. The Council rejected Charles Michel's resignation earlier this year and persuaded him to extend his term into July 2024, after EP elections. It's not obvious to me, who most likely will occupy the office when the new (or incumbent) Commission president distributes College portfolios. Meloni is an unlikely Council nominee for president in any case. I can't imagine, hostility toward far-right-authoritarian-antisemitic wings of the EPP subsiding so long as fear of EC infringement enthralls the states' MPs.

by Cat on Tue Apr 30th, 2024 at 12:19:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Call me Ursula, 29 Apr #ProudGrandma
"People know her as Commission president," said URSULA2024 spox Alexander Winterstein. "What people may know less about is who she actually is as a person ... Who is Ursula von der Leyen?"

Statements on the campaign website are signed with von der Leyen's handwritten autograph and on the website, she states that "as a mother of seven, I want my children's children to grow in a safe, prosperous Europe."

Will this new image of von der Leyen be on display during Monday's Maastricht debate, the first debate between the lead candidates for the presidency of the European Commission?

aaand Mutti wept
by Cat on Wed May 1st, 2024 at 07:30:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
polsatnews.pl | Donald Tusk is pleased with the results of the survey. "I think we won", 21 Apr municipal rounds and exit polls
Earlier on Sunday, Tusk wrote on the Internet: "either a strong, secure Poland in a united Europe, or a lonely and mired in chaos country subjected to Russian provocations and sabotage." In his opinion, "this will be the subject of the European elections."

"We can't afford low attendance. This is the lesson of today's elections," he said.

ChatGPT | Poland's leader says his country is ready to host NATO members' nuclear weapons to counter Russia, 22 Apr
President Andrzej Duda made the comments in an interview published Monday in the Fakt tabloid....Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who shares Duda's views on national security, later told journalists that Poland's security and military potential are his priorities, but he needs to discuss this suggestion with Duda urgently.
European Parliament elections., 24 Apr
The Civic Coalition has nominated all the candidates who will compete for the euromandals. There was no shortage of big names on the lists-there were three ministers of the current government on the" units".
In Poland, voting will take place on Sunday, June 9. Poles will choose 53 politicians to represent the country in the European Parliament.
by Cat on Fri Apr 26th, 2024 at 12:30:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
sputnik | Turkiye Supports Rutte as NATO Chief - Reports, 29 Apr
Turkiye has expressed support for outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Rutte's bid to head NATO, Dutch broadcaster NOS reported on Monday, citing sources in the military alliance.
Turkije is om: Rutte mag van Ankara NAVO-chef worden
Het Turkse staatspersbureau Anadolu zegt dat Turkse functionarissen aan andere NAVO-landen hebben laten weten dat Turkije Rutte steunt. Ook persbureau Reuters heeft dit van Turkse bronnen gehoord. Eerder spraken bronnen binnen de NAVO al over de toezegging. De Roemeense president Klaus Iohannis heeft zichzelf opgeworpen als alternatief voor Rutte, maar krijgt weinig bijval.
dailysabah |Türkiye to back Mark Rutte as next NATO chief
"NATO's southern wing needs Türkiye and its leadership," Rutte told a joint news conference with Erdoğan after their meeting. "Türkiye is a geopolitical actor with significant influence in the region. They're working to help end the war in Gaza. They're also making effort regarding the horrible war in Ukraine," Rutte had remarked.
Rutte came to Istanbul last week for a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, one of the last holdouts. Only Turkiye, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania have not endorsed Rutte, who needs the support of all 32 member states to succeed Jens Stoltenberg....
by Cat on Mon Apr 29th, 2024 at 06:09:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Maastricht Debate 2024 (29.04.24)
The 2024 Maastricht Debate was the political moment of the spring for European voters. We put the candidates in line to lead Europe onstage to answer your questions—so you can decide how you want your MEP to cast a ballot for EC president. Candidates answered questions from our expert moderators on the themes chosen by European youth via a survey conducted by Maastricht University.
Spitzencandidaten. All the registered European Political Parties were invited to send a Spitzenkandidat. The following eight parties attended the debate.

Walter Baier, Bas Eickhout, Valeriu Ghilețchi, Ursula von der Leyen, Maylis Roßberg, Nicolas Schmit, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, Anders Vistisen

I detect a pattern.
by Cat on Tue Apr 30th, 2024 at 07:33:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"The standing order is based on the method used for U.S. primary debate, which means the party < wipes tears > scoring highest in the polls right now are at the center fanning out to the edges in either direction."
by Cat on Tue Apr 30th, 2024 at 07:43:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Socialists clash with EPP as von der Leyen leaves door open to cooperation with hard right

The Party of European Socialists lead candidate Nicolas Schmit is fuming over Commission President and centre-right EPP party lead candidate Ursula von der Leyen, who left the door open to collaboration with the far right in the European Parliament after the elections.

The two clashed at the Maastricht Debate, co-organised by Politico Europe and Studio Europe Maastricht, one of two debates between parties' Spitzenkandidaten, with the next one scheduled for 23 May in the European Parliament, organised by the European Broadcasting Union.

Von der Leyen left the door open to collaborating with hard-right European Conservatives and Reformists group (ECR), the political family of Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

"It depends very much on how the competition of the Parliament is and who is in what group," von der Leyen said, adding, "It's the Parliament who makes majorities," when directly asked by the Greens' Bas Eickhout.

Europe Elects June 2024 - Latest Poll Data

Highly inaccurate as major shifts will only be tabulated on the voting days

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 30th, 2024 at 09:21:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"manufactured adulation"
The Greens are polling far worse than in 2019 and face losing the power to shape legislation if von der Leyen works with far right parties—a prospect she didn't deny during the debate. The motivation of young voters is also shifting. They are backing the far right [EPP] in increasing numbers. And the multiple crises facing Europe have also diluted the focus of a generation that five years ago was unified around a "climate change".  

"There's been lots of things happening since then. So people have kind of forgotten about it, mostly because of COVID, inflation, cost of living," said Maastricht University student RobertKeogh. "It's depressing."

by Cat on Wed May 1st, 2024 at 07:48:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Zelensk*'s entanglement in American politics started with Trump. (21.12.22)
...In 2019, a few months after he was elected, Mr. Zelensk* became something of a household name in the United States when a phone conversation he had with President Donald J. Trump helped trigger Mr. Trump's first impeachment....

Zelensky invites China's Xi Jinping to Ukraine (29.03.23)

Zelensk* suggested in his AP interview that Putin's recent threat to place tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus was intended to divert attention from the lack of guarantees he received from Beijing.

"What does it mean? It means [Xi's] visit was not good for Russia," said Zelensk*.

Zelensk* invites Trump to Ukraine and says former president 'can't bring peace' because of Putin (5.11.23)

Zelensk* invites Trump to Ukraine (19.1.24)

Chat GPT | Zelensk* warns Russia has penetrated US politics, invites Trump to Ukraine,
9 Apr pause concept

The Ukrainian leader expressed concern that irrational thinking and delusional fantasies of peacemaking might lead other Western allies into making damaging political and diplomatic mistakes. Zelensk* repeatedly took aim at German politicians, including voices within Chancellor Olaf Scholz's Social Democratic Party, for withholding TAURUS missiles from Ukraine and dreaming of a "frozen" war that would bring an end to hostilities without clipping Russia's war[-]making capacity for the future.

"A frozen conflict is like a pause, like in a film," he said. "Only it's not a film, it's reality. It's just a pause, but it's a pause for Putin."
For several months now, Zelensk* has extended a public invitation to Trump to come to Ukraine and make good on his boast that he could help end the war. In the interview, Zelensk* revealed that his courtship of Trump had been even more determined in private.

"We conveyed the messages and the context through the appropriate people," he said. "We said that we would like Donald Trump to come to Ukraine, see everything with his own eyes and draw his own conclusions. In any case, I am ready to meet him and discuss the issue."

by Cat on Sat Apr 13th, 2024 at 01:24:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Vilnius, Three Seas Summit telethon
• Volodymyr Zelenskyy: It Is Critically Important That Each Partner Deliver on Its Promises Regarding the Supply of Weapons and Ammunition
• Leaders of Ukraine and Hungary Discussed Preparations for the Global Peace Summit
(Swiss President Viola Amherd added, "We will not sign a peace plan at this conference. We think there will be a second conference, but we want to start the process with this one.")
• We Are in Dire Need of Increased Support From Our Partners, Primarily in Air Defense—Volodymyr Zelenskyy During a Meeting With the President of Poland
• Cooperation in the Defense Sector and Export Corridor: The President of Ukraine Met with the President of Romania
• The Presidents of Ukraine and the Czech Republic Discussed Defense Assistance
• The President of Ukraine Met with the President of Lithuania in Vilnius
• Ukraine and Latvia Signed a Security Agreement

This Year Should Be the Time to Take Steps to Make Our Victory Over Russian Terror Real—the President at the Three Seas Summit

... The Alliance should not be afraid of its own existence and its own rules. Ukraine believes it is historically correct that the Baltic Sea region has finally received a historic chance for reliable security after Finland and Sweden joined NATO. The Black Sea region needs the same security. As a democratic nation committed to our shared values, Ukraine deserves to be invited to join NATO. We are grateful to every state for bilateral security agreements that support us in the time before we join NATO. Today we have signed the ninth such agreement with Latvia. And I urge all the leaders of the Three Seas Initiative to sign such agreements with Ukraine. And we have to work on strategic tasks. Putin wants to destroy Ukraine and the freedom of all nations in our region, and he sees no alternatives. Similarly, we should not look for alternatives to our security—Ukraine needs an invitation to join NATO. Only you can make it realistic this year. Without our Ukrainian strength, the strength of the whole Europe will not be complete, and together, gradually integrating, we can really protect each other from Russian revanchism....
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba demands more Patriot air defenses
"Do you sincerely believe that the whole U.S. Army does not have one spare battery of Patriots that is not on combat duty and that cannot be given to Ukraine? I don't."
by Cat on Sat Apr 13th, 2024 at 02:01:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
dailysabah | Romania's government faces backlash over election moves, 13 Apr
Three Seas procedural drama
The political turmoil in Romania deepens as mounting criticism targets the incumbent SOCIALIST government led by Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu, accusing them of flouting the nation's constitution. The discontent among both citizens and observers has surged, particularly in the wake of recent government maneuvers, such as the alteration of election schedules within the electoral calendar.

One of the most contentious issues fueling the outcry is the proposed simultaneous merger of local and European elections. Critics argue that this move would not only disregard established electoral norms but also precipitate administrative chaos. Originally slated for September, the local elections have now been rescheduled for June, resulting in a parallel system of mayors and city councilors. This, opponents caution, could lead to ruling officials concurrently serving as elected representatives for nearly three months, further complicating the governance framework.

"far-right" opposition to "center right" Group of Twelve
"The government's actions herald a regression to the communist era, where elections were mere formalities, and the people's voice was stifled." Furthermore, they contend, "The government's actions erode public confidence and imperil the democratic fabric of the nation."
by Cat on Sun Apr 14th, 2024 at 07:31:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
defence24.pl | Hostomel remember only me (interview), 7 Apr
How did you get to Ukraine and in which block?
It was a little easier for me than for others. Back in 2021, we left the unit for a training mission to the Yavoriv training ground in Ukraine. And I worked with these people there, established contacts. When the war started, they were going to leave for Kiev. And the fact that I knew their company commanders, the battalion headquarters, the battalion commander—I agreed that I would go with them.
That is, it was a linear unit, it was not some kind of volunteer battalion?
This is a special forces battalion. (214. Separate special battalion of the OPFOR, a unit formed in 2016 from participants of the anti-terrorist operation-ed.).
by Cat on Sat Apr 13th, 2024 at 02:22:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
euractiv | Most Poles against army involvement in Russia-Ukraine war, 10 Apr zł10.00
"New research by Statistics Poland (CBOS) found that 74.8% of Poles oppose the army of Poland or any other NATO country getting involved in the conflict" BUT "nearly 40% of Poles would like NATO to take a tougher stance on Russia for its aggression towards Ukraine."
by Cat on Mon Apr 15th, 2024 at 02:45:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
aftershock | The President of Poland said that foreign companies own most of the agro-industrial complex of Ukraine, 19 Apr
In February 2023, the Oakland Institute published a detailed report titled "War and Theft: Seizing Ukraine's Agricultural Land", which described how foreign firms secretly took over a large part of Ukrainian agricultural land using a liberal law in collusion with local oligarchs. At the time, their findings caused uproar around the world, but after more than half a year, they stopped attracting public attention after western publications such as USAToday [!] were misled by a false "fact check".
Few people could have guessed that it was Polish President Andrzej Duda [PiS] who would breathe new life into them during his interview with the Lithuanian National Radio and Television.
LTR.lt | Poland would defend Lithuania, I cannot imagine any other way - interview with President Duda
He was explaining Poland's problem with Ukrainian agricultural imports when he dropped the next sensational bombshell:
I would like to pay special attention to industrial agriculture, which is not really managed by Ukrainians, but is managed by large companies from Western Europe, from the United States. If we look at the owners of most of the land today, they are not Ukrainian companies. This is a paradoxical situation, and it is not surprising that farmers are protecting themselves because they have invested in their farms in Poland [ ... ] and the cheap agricultural products coming from Ukraine are catastrophically destructive for them.
Duda represents a government that many consider one of the most pro-American and anti-Russian Polish governments in history, so he cannot be accused of "promoting Kremlin propaganda."
archive Tusk, oaklandinstitute Kiehl waw.pl, Ukraine Sold to Foreign Investors, Pearl Clutching in Merkel's Explosive Interview Die Zeit
by Cat on Sat Apr 20th, 2024 at 12:39:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukraine agriculture minister detained in multimillion-dollar corruption inquiry | The Guardian |

Mykola Solskyi accused of illegally seizing land worth more than $7m when he was head of major farming firm and an MP

Ukraine's agriculture minister, Mykola Solskyi, has been detained after being named as a formal suspect in a multimillion-dollar corruption inquiry.

Solskyi offered his resignation this week and promised to cooperate with the investigation.

Prosecutors said they had charged a dozen other people in the case, including civil servants.

Solskyi, who owned a number of farming businesses, was elected to Ukraine's parliament in 2019 and was appointed agriculture minister in March 2022.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Apr 27th, 2024 at 05:59:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Analyzing NABU's case against Agriculture Minister Solskyi

Mykola Solskyi, a lawyer by education, was one of "The incumbent minister was exposed for embezzling state land worth UAH 291 million ($7.3 million) and attempting to appropriate another UAH 190 million ($3.8 million)," the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) reported via Telegram on April 23. the first individuals to join Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's team. Given his high office and good knowledge of the current government's behind-the-scenes activity may turn Solskyi into a valuable informant if he enters into a deal with the prosecution.

Zelenskyy's first Chief-of-Staff Andriy Bohdan invited Solskyi to the Servant of the People party before the 2019 parliamentary elections, NV Business sources said. He had headed the parliamentary Committee on Agrarian and Land Policy for three years before he was given the current ministerial portfolio in March 2022. The minister managed to overcome the toxic association with Bohdan by pushing through the establishment of a land market Ukraine. The law entered into force on July 1, 2021, and became Zelenskyy's key political achievement.

So, why has this case surfaced right now? Solskyi was put on the "blacklist" of government officials who are expected to be dismissed from ministerial positions, NV Business sources say.

"His name has been mentioned several times among those who are expected to be dismissed," we were told.

In addition to Solskyi, Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov, Reintegration Minister Iryna Vereshchuk, Justice Minister Denis Malyuska, and Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin may lose their positions. We speculate that given his looming dismissal, NABU decided to press charges against Solskyi at this time.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Apr 27th, 2024 at 06:02:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
rfi.fr | The European Parliament will not agree on funding for the EU Council until Ukraine receives new Patriots
writes the publication European Truth, calling the deputies present at the meeting.

"A long-time MEP, former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt from the Renew faction proposed removing the approval of the European Council budget from the agenda until the member states can find the seven Patriot systems that Ukraine now urgently needs. Verhofstadt recalled the words of the head of European diplomacy that European countries have hundreds of Patriot systems, when Ukraine needs seven, " the article says.

EU Parliament delays approval of Council 2022 budget audit to press for military aid to Ukraine : "Verhofstadt's move is widely seen as parliamentary theatrics, since the legislature has no power to force the Council to provide weapons."

euactiv Below the radar

Case in point: The announcement that two dozen German soldiers arrived in Vilnius on Monday, with a further 150 due to join them later this year, barely made headlines outside Lithuania...."This is the first time that we have permanently stationed such a unit outside of Germany," German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said in Berlin at a farewell ceremony for the vanguard of Germany's Lithuanian brigade, according to German news agency dpa. Pistorius called it "an important day for the German army".
US intelligence finding shows China surging equipment sales to Russia to help war effort in Ukraine
["Two senior Biden administration"] officials discussed the findings as Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to travel to China this month for talks.
ChatGPT CNN | China is giving Russia significant support to expand weapons manufacturing as Ukraine war continues, US officials say
Just this week Gen. Chris Cavoli, the commander of US European Command, told lawmakers that Russia has been "quite successful" at reconstituting its military since it invaded Ukraine more than 2 years ago, and its capacity has largely "grown back" to what it was before the invasion. US officials are now making clear that China is largely responsible for that rapid build-up.
Blinken is scheduled to travel next week to the Group of 7 foreign ministers meeting in Capri, Italy, where he's expected to raise concerns about China's growing indirect support for Russia as Moscow revamps its military and looks to consolidate recent gains in Ukraine.
dni.gov | Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community (05.02.24)
An ambitious but anxious China, a confrontational Russia, some regional powers, such as Iran, and more capable non-state actors are challenging longstanding rules of the international system as well as U.S. primacy within it.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning's Regular Press Conference on April 12, 2024
At the invitation of Premier Li Qiang of the State Council, Federal Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz will pay an official visit to China from April 14 to 16. At the invitation of Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Central African Republic Sylvie Baïpo-Témon will pay an official visit to China from April 14 to 16.
GT | Scholz to visit China in spite of 'de-risk' voices
by Cat on Sat Apr 13th, 2024 at 04:06:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Between the US and a hard place, Germany's Scholz 're-engages' with China, 12 Apr yawn
In blunt language, German officials on Friday said Beijing's support and exports to Russia were enabling Moscow to wage a war of aggression in Ukraine and causing a "growing loss of reputation for China" in Europe and beyond.
730th time is the charm
In an interview with the taz newspaper, Scholz said he would press China to be a mediator to end the war in Ukraine.

"It is about China not supporting Russia in waging a brutal war against its neighbour Ukraine," he said. "China can also make it clear that this senseless imperialist war must end."

by Cat on Sun Apr 14th, 2024 at 04:07:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
one BoJo poison pill and a rubbished position paper too late, seven bilateral security guarantees on a Jeddah Hotel revolving bed and a Zelensk* amnesty scenario short

strana | How Beijing can change the course of the war in Ukraine with NATO + 1 ticket

Its outlines have been revealed literally in the last week.
by Cat on Mon Apr 15th, 2024 at 02:12:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Face of a Nation

  • Make America Great Again 2017-2021
  • AmericaFirst! 2021 to present

China and the CPC treasure its sovereignty and longs for its goal to reunite with Formosa by 2050.

The EU has lost its bearings and has been usurped by NATO to become a client state.

Scholz's China visit bears certain resemblances to the Merkel era, underscoring efforts to elevate bilateral relations to the previous course: observers | Global Times |

The schedule is richer than the previous visit in November 2022, which shows that the Scholz government looks to maintain and enrich pragmatic cooperation with China. There are discussions on certain similarities between Scholz's trip and the previous China visits paid by former German chancellor Angela Merkel, especially in terms of the level of engagement with Chinese localities," Cui Hongjian, a professor with the Academy of Regional and Global Governance with Beijing Foreign Studies University, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Cui said that this is a very positive signal since China-Germany relations reached a new height in the Merkel era, and it could indicate that Scholz is looking to stabilize and elevate bilateral relations to the previous course, despite a profound shift in the overall environment.

Xi Jinping: As two major countries with great influence, China and Germany should work together in times of change and instability and contribute more to global peace and development | 4 Nov 2022 |

5000 years of bloodshed compared to 1000 years 🩸

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 15th, 2024 at 06:52:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Französische Postkarte: Olaf Scholz is greeted by Zhang Guozhi, Vice Mayor of Chongqing City, alongside Wu Ken, China's Ambassador to Germany at Chongqing Airport in China on April 14.

chinadaily | German Chancellor Olaf Scholz begins three-day China visit, 14 Apr

On Sunday morning, he visited Bosch Hydrogen [!] Powertrain Systems (Chongqing) Co Ltd. The company, a joint venture between German engineering and technology company Bosch and Chongqing-based premium commercial vehicle manufacturer Qingling Motors, was set up in 2021 to develop, assemble and sell fuel cell systems in China.
GT | China, Germany expected to strengthen green cooperation; 'De-risking' means missing out on opportunities in China, 15 Apr
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday arrived in Shanghai, an important city that has a large amount of accumulated German investment, and  where he said that Europe is open [!] to Chinese cars....
US media smears China for Western failure to defeat Russia, June Peace Conference RSVP
by Cat on Mon Apr 15th, 2024 at 05:26:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
cppcc.gov.cn | Xi meets German chancellor, calls for achieving mutual success, 17 Apr non-market mechanism photo ops
Xi noted that the industrial and supply chains of China and Germany are deeply intertwined, and that the markets of the two countries are highly interdependent. Mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Germany is not a "risk," but the guarantee for a stable bilateral relationship and an opportunity for the future.

There is huge potential to be tapped for pursuing win-win cooperation in both traditional sectors such as machinery and automobile, and new areas such as green transition, digitization and artificial intelligence, Xi said. It is important for the two sides to promote the win-win features of their relations and enable each other to succeed, Xi said, adding that China's export of electric vehicles, lithium batteries, and photovoltaic products has not only enriched global supply and eased global inflationary pressure, but also made important contribution to the global response to climate change and the green and low-carbon transition.

eruonews | Scholz's visit to China: Balancing distance and diplomacy, 19 Apr non-market mechanisms
It appears that Germany, despite hesitancy on the competition front, is still keen to maintain trade operations with China. During his visit, Scholz notably pushed for more market access on behalf of German companies in the Asian nation. Critics have suggested that the move diverges from Brussels' more hostile stance, arguing that Germany is prioritising short-term financial gain over long-term security.

by Cat on Fri Apr 19th, 2024 at 04:07:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DPRK manufactured Iran shahed PRC optical-target drone story developing ...
by Cat on Sun Apr 14th, 2024 at 03:55:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
alarabiya | Zelensk* condemns Iranian attack, urges support for Ukraine similar to Little Israel's aid, 15 Apr

Try to act surprised.

by Cat on Mon Apr 15th, 2024 at 03:16:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NY Yella Cake | Ukraine's Parliament Passes a Politically Fraught Mobilization Bill, 11 Apr
...The law passed by legislators on Thursday addresses the issue of mobilization more broadly, and includes provisions that lawmakers said were aimed at making the conscription process more transparent and equitable. The full text [English translation?] of the law was not immediately available. But perhaps as important as what was included in the legislation is what was cut out—particularly a timeline for when conscripted soldiers will be demobilized.
as.cornell.edu | Ukraine's mobilization bill sign of 'desperation' and 'rationalization' (11.04.24)
The British military intelligence agency said in a statement on Wednesday that the Kremlin was seeking to recruit 400,000 people in 2024 to sustain its forces in Ukraine. Russia's annual springtime conscription drive is expected to bring another 150,000 soldiers between the ages of 18 [FALSE] to 30 to its ranks who are less likely to serve in combat roles, the British agency said....
reuters | What does the Ukrainian mobilisation bill entail?, 11 Apr
The bill would oblige Ukrainian men between 18 and 60 years of age to update their personal data with the military authorities, allowing draft offices to see more easily who can be called up in any given region....
strana | The military told how they relate to the abolition of demobilization in the law adopted by the Rada (14.04.24)
The bill would ban people from driving vehicles if they do not abide by the mobilisation rules....
NY Yella Cake | In Ukraine's West, Draft Dodgers Run, and Swim, to Avoid the War (15.04.24)
Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania
The bill does not set any time limit for wartime military service, meaning that soldiers who have been fighting since the February 2022 beginning of the full-scale invasion still have no sense of when they will be demobilised....

Martial law prohibits men of military age from going abroad and there is no procedure for calling up Ukrainian men who are abroad....

yahoo! | Official advises Ukrainians to take Russian passports in occupied territories until liberation (30.04.23)
Ukrainian human rights commissioner Dmytro Lubinets

government.nl | Rights of third-country nationals from Ukraine after temporary protection ends (24.03.24)

eu.eot.su | Crowds of Ukrainians rush to get international passports due to mobilization law (14.04.24)
Warsaw, Prague

The bill proposes offering financial perks for people who volunteer to fight in the army and sign an army contract....
pravda.com.ua| Zelensk* on changes to law on mobilisation: It will help military leadership (11.04.24)
The president stressed that "any person who breached mobilisation regulations, was of conscription age, and engaged in draft evasion or other infractions against the relevant law was already violating existing legislation ... There are some changes to certain regulations that will help the military leadership. Vacations, improved rotations, etc," Zelensk* said.
The bill would abolish mandatory conscription for Ukrainian men aged 18 or older, and replace it with basic military training for all men starting from September 2025. One new provision in the bill would allow people who have been convicted and given a suspended sentence to serve in the army....
vOLdeMoRT | Zelensk* to sign new mobilization bill this month - senior MP, 14 Apr
"the deputy speaker of parliament, Aleksandr Kornyenko, has said speaking on national TV on Sunday..."
archive March 2024 Slava Big Israel!, January 2024 Slava Big Israel!, 24 December 2023 Slava Big Israel!, 30 October 2023 Slava "Big Israel", volunteer value chain 18-60, head-count August 2023 Slava Ukraini!, PUTIN! 2022, June 2022 FIFTH WAVE victory
by Cat on Mon Apr 15th, 2024 at 08:14:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
polsatnews.pl | An important change for Ukrainians of military age in Poland. Consulates have stopped serving them, 24 Apr
They will not issue subpoenas to them, they will not spend time and resources on this," [Ukraine Deputy Fedir Venislavsky] explained. The politician confirmed that it is currently not possible to transfer subpoenas abroad, since this is done by the military, who cannot legally operate outside the country.
reuters | Poland ready to help Ukraine to get military-age men back, 24 Apr
The Ukrainian government announced rules on Wednesday under which passports for military-age men can be issued only inside the country instead of foreign diplomatic missions.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba suspended consular services for males aged 18 to 60 until May 18 [Zelensk* constitutional term limit]
As a result, men aged between 18 and 60 living abroad will be unable to renew expiring passports or obtain new ones.
"Any support is possible," [Defence Minister Wladyslaw] Kosiniak-Kamysz said about how Poland would respond if Kyiv asked for help in bringing home those who may lose their right to stay in Poland once their passports expire.
strana | "Help in returning". What did the Polish minister really say about the deportation of conscripted Ukrainians, 25 Apr
Polish Defense Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysh's alleged statement that Ukrainians with expired passports will be deported is being widely disseminated online. The Financial Times also published it today.
by Cat on Fri Apr 26th, 2024 at 12:02:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New weapons ... second wind ... all cards on an offensive by Ukraine with long range missiles ... crawling closer to a final solution ... all Zelenskyy now needs is manpower ... such a shame men and women are in short supply.

NATO itching to join the melee for a definite shot at Moscow .... Russia was right all along, expansion of the defense pact formed an existential threat to the Russian Federation. Countdown to the last big bang.

Before Hillary and her minions lost to the ME coalition of Trump Inc. ... Ukraine gambled ... and lost.

US mercenaries have made a home in Abu Dhabi, the wealthiest part of the Emirates. Abu Dhabi joined the neoconservatives of the Republican party to defeat Hillary in 2016. Under the radar, or just a narrative the media doesn't write about because US and UK intelligence are pointing fingers at Putin and Russia.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Apr 26th, 2024 at 07:50:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
TASS | The Supreme Court of Ukraine has opened proceedings on the claim of non-appointment of presidential elections by the Rada, 27 Apr Big Israel
The claim was filed by a resident of Chernihiv. The statement submitted by him claims that in accordance with the legislation of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada is obliged to call presidential elections in connection with the approaching expiration of Zelensk*'s five-year term of office. The plaintiff demands that the court oblige the Parliament to call presidential elections. As part of the proceedings, the Ukrainian Parliament has been given 15 days to provide an explanation for its decision not to call an election.

Ukraine is actively discussing the legitimacy of the government in the absence of parliamentary and presidential elections, which cannot be held during martial law. Ukraine's presidential election was scheduled to take place in March. In particular, Rada deputy Alexander Dubinsky stated that Zelensk*'s powers under the constitution expire on the night of May 21, 2024, that is, exactly five years after the inauguration, and there is no legitimate way to extend them. In turn, the country's former ambassador to the UK Vadim Prystaiko admitted that Kiev's Western partners are also concerned that Zelensk*'s presidential term should soon end.

strana | Ukraine has submitted to the Council of Europe a written application for partial withdrawal from compliance with the European Convention, 28 Apr LIST
...This is reported on the Council [of Europe]'s website.
Revised Notification about the derogation measures from Ukraine obligations under the Convention (Article 15)
The statement says that during martial law, human rights provided for in a number of articles of the Constitution may be restricted. Including the right to free elections.
The document further lists the measures applied in Ukraine, which during martial law can be considered a derogation from the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. ...
archive Zelensk*'s desperate bid, new conditions, how NOT to organize voting, WSF fake Democracy, May 2022 pirate guidelines, UKRAINE* CAMPAIGN 2019

How the Union Pulled Off a Presidential Election During the Civil War, temporarily

by Cat on Sun Apr 28th, 2024 at 04:14:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Mon Apr 29th, 2024 at 08:36:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
strana | Drones, missiles, and Patriot air defense systems. The United States will produce six billion dollars worth of weapons for Ukraine. List, 26 Apr
And according to them [Politico?], Ukraine will receive weapons within a few years, when these orders are fulfilled.
source: defense.gov | Biden Administration Announces Historic New Security Assistance Package for Ukraine, 26 Apr $1B PDA + $6B USAI shopping lists
Unlike Presidential Drawdown Authority [PDA], which DoD has continued to leverage to deliver equipment to Ukraine from DoD stocks at a historic pace, including through the $1 billion package announced on April 24, USAI is an authority under which the United States procures capabilities from U.S. industry or partners. This announcement represents the beginning of a contracting process to acquire additional priority capabilities for Ukraine.

• RIM-7 and AIM-9M missiles for air defense;
• Stinger anti-aircraft missiles;
• Small arms and additional rounds of small arms ammunition, including .50 caliber rounds to counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS);
• Additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS);
• 155mm artillery rounds, including High Explosive and Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions rounds;
• 105mm artillery rounds;  
• 60mm mortar rounds;
• Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles;
• Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs);
• High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs);
• Logistics support vehicles;
• Tactical vehicles to tow and haul equipment;
• Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles;
• Javelin and AT-4 anti-armor systems;
• Precision aerial munitions;
• Airfield support equipment;
•  Anti-armor mines;
• Claymore anti-personnel munitions;
• Demolitions munitions for obstacle clearing; and
• Night vision devices; and
• Spare parts, field equipment, training munitions, maintenance, and other ancillary equipment.

euronews | US announces Patriot missiles for Ukraine as part of aid package, 26 Apr
...Zelensk* said at least seven Patriot systems are needed to protect Ukrainian cities.

"We urgently need Patriot systems and missiles for them," he said. "This is what can and should save lives right now."...

source: Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Air Force General Charles Q. Brown Jr., Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Hold A News Conference Following Virtual Meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, 26 Apr
...In terms of Patriots and what will they be able to do going forward, it's left to be seen, but I can tell you that we continue to work on this, and in a very earnest manner. All of the countries that have Patriots certainly value that capability, but I think going forward, we'll be able to hopefully work with a number of countries to put together additional Patriot capability, and you may have noticed that in the last several days, I've been talking one-on-one with some of my European counterparts actually discussing this issue and other issues. But again, we're going to continue to work at this until we have the right kinds of capability....
bottom line
defense.gov | Statement by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on the House Passage of the National Security Supplemental, 20 Apr
This legislation is also an important investment in America's future. By providing approximately $50 billion that will flow directly into our defense industrial base, this bill will create good American jobs in more than 30 states even as it reinforces U.S. long-term security.
by Cat on Sat Apr 27th, 2024 at 01:05:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yahoo! ukrainska pravda | 161 Ukrainian children abducted by Russia found in Germany, 17 Apr deflation
Source: National Police of Ukraine [META]; Ukrinform

Quote: "Thanks to our cooperation with German law enforcement agencies in documenting the Russian war crimes, specifically the deportation and forced displacement of Ukrainian children, the location of 161 Ukrainian children in Germany who were being sought as forcibly displaced to temporarily occupied territories or deported to Russia and Belarus has been established."

["]Details["]: He also noted that Kyiv is counting on its partners' assistance in bringing Russian war criminals to justice both in Ukrainian and foreign courts, and the military-political leadership in the International Criminal Court and special tribunals.

archive crowd sourced OMFG
by Cat on Wed Apr 17th, 2024 at 05:50:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Россия и Украина впервые провели очные переговоры по детям | 24 April 2024 |

"As a result of the negotiations, a list of 29 children was fixed who should be reunited with relatives in Ukraine, and 19 children who should be reunited with families in Russia," Maria Lvova-Belova said.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Apr 24th, 2024 at 10:42:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The airport came under the attack of the US-made MGM-140 ATACMS tactical ballistic missiles. The first explosion sounded at about 3:40 a.m. Moscow time and the attack lasted about an hour.

The were reportedly launched in two waves from the Ukrainian-controlled areas in the Kherson region. According to some sources close to the Russian military, in total, 12 ATACMS were used in the attack. The first wave of strikes reportedly involved seven missiles, apparently with cluster warheads, and at least five more missiles were launched in the second wave. There were no reports about the interception of any missiles. The Russian military is yet to officially comment on the attack.

by Cat on Thu Apr 18th, 2024 at 12:05:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 1st, 2024 at 08:42:08 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 7th, 2024 at 06:14:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brexit import charges may mean rise in food prices, say trade groups | The Guardian |

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the fees of up to £145, which come into force on 30 April, will pay for border inspections and improve biosecurity by preventing the import of plant and animal diseases into the UK. The charges apply to imports entering the UK and transits entering and leaving.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 7th, 2024 at 06:15:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
thetimes.co.uk | Revealed: UK targets four countries for Rwanda deal, 15 Apr pay to play refoulement
Leaked documents show the Foreign Office has shortlisted more countries to which to deport migrants, as the < wipes tears > Safety of Rwanda Bill is set to receive royal assent

Britain has entered talks to replicate the Rwanda migrant deportation scheme with Armenia, Ivory Coast, Costa Rica, and Botswana, according to leaked documents that reveal the government's extensive search for another third-country deal.

Several South American countries including Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Brazil, and Colombia have also been approached but were viewed as less likely to be interested in what the government describes as a "third-country asylum processing deal".

A list of African countries including Cape Verde, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo, Angola, and Sierra Leone were put on a reserve list that would be approached if other targets failed.

Other African countries including Morocco, Tunisia, Namibia, and The Gambia "explicitly declined" to enter technical discussions.

< wipes tears >
"classic Russian technique"
UK could deport asylum seekers to ex-Soviet republic
ironically, not Ukraine
by Cat on Mon Apr 15th, 2024 at 11:59:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
aftershock.news folks were laughing at this story, published in scmp.com a month ago: "Where was gunpowder invented? In China! So who is to blame for the shortage of gunpowder? China!"

ChatGPT | China is a threat to Europe's gunpowder supply, defense boss warns, 18 Apr

In an interview with POLITICO, Saab CEO Micael Johansson called on governments to cut environmental rules to make it easier for companies to diversify their supply chains for critical < wipes tears > military components.
dual-use: sulfur, potassium nitrate (fertilizer), CO2 (charcoal), possibly nitrocellulose (gun "cotton" or wood pulp)
Beijing plays a key role in supplying EU countries with the raw materials they need for their defense industries, even though China is also providing vital support to Vladimir Putin's war machine in Ukraine.
googlish: maaseuduntulevaisuus.fi | 40 000 truck cargo block went underground and disappeared - trade journal: the Suspicion of the cooked pulp and scorched heat (06.04.24)
While lead times and prices for some components have improved, Johansson told POLITICO that the European defense industry still faced "bottlenecks", especially on "powder and nitrocellulose to create powder".

"The risk of China sort of disconnecting the deliveries of nitrocellulose to do powder in Europe ... would be detrimental."

archive EP dual-use items, Dr. Adrian Zenz, December 2022 transition action plans, bottlenecks in Reactionary Visions and eNtiTiES
by Cat on Sat Apr 20th, 2024 at 12:05:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Christine Lagarde says US plan to raise debt against Russian assets carries legal risk, 17 Apr
"I have seen four different schemes or proposals to circumvent what many other jurists or lawyers—including in some administrations in this country—regard as a very serious legal obstacle that can be construed as a violation of the legal international order." She added that work was "ongoing" on the proposals. "Moving from freezing the assets, to confiscating them, to disposing of them is something that needs to be looked at very carefully," Lagarde said, warning it could entail "breaking the international order < wipes tears > that you want to protect; that you would want Russia to respect".
archive exit plan
by Cat on Thu Apr 18th, 2024 at 08:06:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kyiv School of Economics hosted a meeting with Daleep Singh, Deputy National Security Advisor, 11 Apr
On Wednesday, 10 April, Kyiv School of Economics hosted a meeting with Daleep Singh, United States Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics. In this capacity, he coordinates the administration's policymaking process for a range of issues at the intersection of economic policy and national security.
neighbourhood-enlargement.ec.europa.eu | Multi-agency Donor Coordination Platform for Ukraine meets in Kyiv, confirms unwavering support to Ukraine's recovery and reconstruction (11.04.24)
This ninth meeting, brought together Ukraine, the G7 countries as well as the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden, as well as observers from Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Spain, Belgium, Finland, and Switzerland. It was co-chaired by European Commission Director-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations Gert Jan Koopman, Minister of Finance of Ukraine Sergii Marchenko, and the US Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics Daleep Singh...Since February 2024, it expanded to four additional members, namely the Republic of Korea, The Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. Furthermore, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Spain, Belgium, and Finland, as well as Switzerland are observers. International Financial Institutions [IFIO] and Organisations, namely the European Investment Bank [EIB], the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development [EBRD], the International Monetary Fund [IMF], the World Bank [WB], the Council of Europe Development Bank [CEDB], the International Finance Corporation [IFC] and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD] also participate in the ["]platform["].
ua.usembassy.gov | Why We Can Still Imagine a Positive Vision for Ukraine's Future , 10 Apr
From Imagination to Realization

Let's talk about how we realize this future—specifically, how we catalyze a virtuous cycle of investment, innovation, growth, reform, democracy, and Western integration.

The first step is to UNLOCK THE VALUE of Russian sovereign assets frozen within our jurisdictions for the benefit of Ukraine. International law is clear on this point. Russia must pay for the damage it has caused in Ukraine. And it is not for Russia to decide if or when that happens.

FT |  Examining the wrinkles of the Russian assets set-off plan (12.04.24)
As a matter of law, the legal gap between freezing and seizing assets is big enough to have stopped the Biden administration and the other G7 nations that hold frozen Russian assets from making that transfer. And in that legal logjam we have been stuck for the past two years....
Every G7 leader has agreed that Russian sovereign assets in our jurisdictions will remain immobilized until Russia pays for the damage its war has caused. We welcome the EU's recent decision to ensure that revenues from Russia's immobilized sovereign assets are used for Ukraine's benefit. We are working closely with our G7 partners to explore how we can maximize the impact of these revenues—both current and future—for the benefit of Ukraine today, not only for the direct financial benefit it would provide, but also for the signal it will send to Putin: we will not fatigue, and you will not outlast us.
...The answer, BDS [Lee Buchheit, Hugo Dixon, and Daleep Singh]  argue, lies in finding a technique that merges the right of set-off with Ukraine's legal claim [to reparations from] Russia. The BDS proposal is that the G7 nations make a joint loan to Ukraine for, say, $300bn—roughly the value of the frozen assets. Ukraine backs the borrowing by using its [claim] to reparations from Russia as collateral.

When Ukraine obtains a judgment against Russia, perhaps by a tribunal set up by the G7 and Ukraine, Russia won't pay (and will question the validity of the tribunal). A properly structured loan could relieve Ukraine from its debt [to the G7] by allowing it to assign its reparation [claime] to its [G7] creditors. At that point, the creditors, including the US, will possess both frozen ["immobilised"] Russian assets and a claim against Russia. Voila, set off....

Second, Ukraine and its public and private creditors must work together to agree on debt restructuring.
...The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act [FSIA] sets out the rules for protecting foreign states' property from judicial process. Foreign central bank deposits in US bank accounts enjoy protection: A court cannot touch that money as long as it belongs to the central bank and is used for normal banking purposes. There are, however, ways of moving money out of a bank account without going through the courts. Set-off allows a bank automatically to collect money that an account owner owes it. At least one US court has allowed a domestic bank to collect a debt owed to it by a foreign state by setting it off against money it held on behalf of that state's central bank....

< wipes tears >

ChatGPT | Londongrad forever? Why the UK may never seize Russian assets


FT | Slash tax on profits from Russia's frozen assets, US urges allies, 20 Apr
"Maximise every euro from immobilised reserves to aid Ukraine, says Biden adviser Daleep Singh"

by Cat on Sat Apr 20th, 2024 at 09:30:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]


BANGA! BANGA! Even after House acts, U.S. faces protracted battle over paying for Ukraine
At the annual spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington this past week, U.S. officials pushed reluctant Europeans to use some of the $280 billion in Russian central bank reserves that the allies froze in the war's opening hours.
Schedule: Opening Press Conference speaker, Ajay Banga, Presiden, World Bank Group ...
At the IMF and World Bank meetings, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen met with her European counterparts in hopes of hammering out a compromise.
European finance ministers also fear that confiscating the Russian central bank assets could trigger a flight of global capital from the continent, according to Eswar Prasad, a Cornell University professor who served as chief of the financial studies division at the IMF.
Even if European reluctance can be overcome, the details of utilizing Russian funds are vexing. The Belgian prime minister [d/b/a D. Cameron d/b/a J. Borrell d/b/a Rasmussen & Yermak] last month floated the idea of raising money for Ukraine by issuing bonds that would pay investors interest with profits from the Russian assets.
archive "a transaction that is taxed at a rate of 25% in Belgium" (13.03.24)
The United States has pushed the idea of having the G-7 nations join to arrange a syndicated loan, which would be backed by Ukraine's reparation claims against Russia. Each proposal involves complex legal and financial questions.
"You should not take the passage of this bill as evidence that the U.S. obligations to Ukraine are over. Ukraine has no certainty even for 2025," said Hlib Vyshlinsky, executive director of the Center for Economic Strategy, a Ukrainian think tank. "It will need further support to prevail in this war."
Kyiv Security Compact (13.09.22): "A legal framework should be developed which will allow authorities to seize the property of the aggressor, its sovereign funds and reserves, and the assets of its citizens and entities on the sanctions list. The funds raised should be directed to repair the war damage inflicted on Ukraine. ...Provide financial aid and direct investments, including ...non-repayable grants...non-repayable financial assistance"
by Cat on Sun Apr 21st, 2024 at 04:28:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wsj | U.S. Takes Aim at Chinese Banks Aiding Russia War Effort, 23 Apr
The U.S. is drafting sanctions that threaten to cut some Chinese banks off from the global financial system, arming Washington's top envoy with diplomatic leverage [sic] that officials hope will stop Beijing's commercial support of Russia's military production, according to people familiar with the matter.
But as Secretary of State Antony Blinken heads to Beijing on Tuesday, the question is whether even the threat of the U.S. using one of its most potent tools of financial coercion can put a dent in complex and burgeoning trade between Beijing and Moscow that has allowed the Kremlin to rebuild a military badly < wipes tears> mauled by more than two years of fighting in Ukraine.
archive Sun Tzu said: in Munich Security Conference 2023, another level of escaltion in Last Throes of European Economic Clout, A War of Lasting Attrition in Joe's Fuck the EU, Stoltenberg Talking Ammo in One Year In Review,
Ukraine's 'Invisible Crisis'
The West now worries Russia could win against Ukraine in a war of attrition, particularly if allies don't cannot mobilize their own industries to match Russian production.
archive EU raises bar for punishing countries
U.S. officials say targeting banks with sanctions is an escalatory option in case the diplomatic overtures fail to persuade Beijing to curb its exports. U.S. officials have ramped up pressure coercion on Beijing in recent weeks in private meetings and calls, warning that Washington is ready to take action against Chinese financial institutions handling trade in such dual-use goods.
"Payment chains are slowly being rebuilt," [Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center fellow Alexandra] Prokopenko said. "Both Russians and Chinese are constantly adapting to the new conditions."
archive messaging systems in Ruble and Yuan
Trade in some of the most critical dual-use goods for Russia's military surged after Xi's meeting with Putin in March last year, according to a recent analysis published [22.04.24] by the Center for Strategic and International Studies [CSIS], a Washington-based think tank.
Back in Stock? The State of Russia's Defense Industry after Two Years of the War (62 pp)
Part I: The State of Russian Weapons Systems in 2023
Part II: Russia's Evolving Import Diversification Efforts
Part III: Existing Russian Military Industrial Drawbacks
Part IV: Russia's Strategy in Ukraine in 2024
Conclusion and Recommendations
"A recent report by the Yermak-McFaul [!] International Working Group on Russian Sanctions outlines other measures feasible in the short term to reduce Russia's oil revenues, including strengthening enforcement, and implementing an initial downward ratchet in the price caps as well as completing the EU embargo [sic] on Russian hydrocarbons."
CSIS said the number of shipments of key dual-use goods, including helicopter parts, navigational equipment, and the machines used to craft precision parts for weapons and aircraft jumped from just a few thousand a month to nearly 30,000 a month.
archive January 2023 price cap mania never accepts failure
by Cat on Thu Apr 25th, 2024 at 03:39:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wsj | World War II history haunts attempts to seize "immobilized" Russian assets, 28 Apr blame Berlin
Within the G-7, a complicated compromise may be starting to emerge. The U.S. has proposed that the group front-load [sic] 10 years of profits—essentially interest payments on matured assets [sic]—from the frozen funds. That money would act as collateral for a bond issued by a special-purpose vehicle [encore!] set up by the G-7 to raise money for Ukraine. G-7 countries would guarantee [Ukraine'] debt [to G-7 "investors"].
< wipes tears >
Europeans have their own plan to use the interest [sic] generated by frozen Russian assets [sic] to pay for weapons and reconstruction for Ukraine. That is likely to go ahead soon, although EU officials say Europe could join the U.S. plan in 2025. Discussions are still at an early stage.
Initially, U.S. officials also worried that confiscating [sic] Russian assets could backfire against Washington and allies such as Israel [?!]. The U.S. has since argued that only directly affected countries, such as Ukraine's main backers [sic], whose security is threatened and who are paying for < wipes tears > some of Kyiv's defense, would be < wipes tears > entitled to confiscate ["seized"?] assets.

Bart Szewczyk [PhD], an associate [hahaha] at U.S. law firm Covington who previously advised the European Commission and worked at the ICJ, said that Berlin's concerns about setting a precedent for reparations cases were unwarranted. "The logic behind countermeasures [sic] clearly applies only to current and ongoing violations of international law, rather than those that occurred 80 years ago," he said.

alrighty then. Isn't about time to hint, if not disclose, Fortune 500 eNTiTiEs associated with equities, bonds, SPACs, and PIPES freezing in Russia's Euroclear accounts? Repatriation has a WARTIME ring to it.
by Cat on Sun Apr 28th, 2024 at 05:16:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 1st, 2024 at 08:42:26 AM EST
Pushing the envelop ... "because of International Law" applied outside Borrell's Garden of course.

The United States, Israel and Russia all failed to ratify the Rome Statute. Both the US and Israel have threatened prosecutors and envoys to the ICC in The Hague.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 2nd, 2024 at 09:53:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Special tribunals always carry a specific name to honor the initiators: "The Rutte - Von der Leyen Tribunal on Ukraine"

The Netherlands, Ukraine, and the European Commission will co-host the international conference 'Restoring Justice for Ukraine' in The Hague.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 2nd, 2024 at 10:23:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Conference On Alleged Russian War Crimes In Ukraine Opens In The Hague

Western officials will gather in The Hague on April 2 to discuss efforts to prosecute alleged Russian war crimes committed by its forces during its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The international conference, Restoring Justice for Ukraine, is being organized by The Netherlands, Ukraine, and the European Commission, the top executive body of the EU.

Foreign and justice ministers, along with officials from the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the EU judicial authority Eurojust are expected to discuss the fight against impunity as well as compensation for victims.

A bit lopsided, isn't it? What happened with decades of war crimes by Western partners and today specifically Israel and the Gaza massacre of civilians, documented for the world to see. War crimes from the year 2014 - critical year for Ukraine and Syria too - yet to see bold action from the US and NATO partners. Triple Hypocrisy history will not forgive, nor forget.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 2nd, 2024 at 10:29:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Iraqi Survivors of Abu Ghraib "Enhanced Interrogation" to Get Day in Court

On June 30th, 2008, four years after images of torture at Abu Ghraib [te]rrified people all over the world, a group of victims filed suit against CACI, the Virginia-based private security company [PMC] hired by the U.S. government to conduct interrogations at the prison. On April 15, 2024 after nearly sixteen years and twenty plus dismissal attempts by CACI, the case will go to trial.

The only case of its kind still alive, Al Shimari v. CACI is an exceedingly rare opportunity for ["]accountability["] for the egregious harms suffered by Iraqis after the U.S. invasion in 2003. In fact, this is the first lawsuit where victims of U.S. post-9/11 Operations Iraqi Freedom, Mass Appeal, Desert Fox, Desert Badger, Desert Storm, Viking Hammer, Southern Focus, and Enduring Freedom torture will get their day in court. The trial will be in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

As it happens, the trial—projected to last two weeks —will coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Abu Ghraib ["]scandal["] and the world learned the horrifying treatment Iraqi detainees were subjected to in the U.S.-run detention center. The plaintiffs—Suhail Najim Abdullah Al Shimari, Asa'ad Hamza Hanfoosh Zuba'e, and Salah Hasan Nusaif Al-Ejaili—endured the infamous tactics sexual violence and their aftermath.

by Cat on Sat Apr 13th, 2024 at 08:05:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hankyoreh | Koreans resoundingly rebuke president in mid-term legislative elections, 11 Apr
The Democratic Party and other opposition parties prevailed, crushing Yoon's conservative People Power Party (PPP). With the opposition retaining a firm grip on the National Assembly, Yoon is likely to lose a lot of steam for governance in the second half of his presidency....That gives the Democratic Party and its satellite party a combined total of 175 seats, and the PPP and its satellite party 108 seats. The minor Green Justice Party won no seats at all.
17 Apr recap: "the worst showing of any ruling party since the country enacted its constitution in 1948"
Lawmakers at the national level serve four-year terms in Korea, meaning the 22nd National Assembly will be in place until Yoon leaves office.
ChatGPT | South Korea Has a Warning About Donald Trump's Trial, 17 Apr
"left-leaning" Quincy Institute simile suicide interview
KIM: Park Geun-hye's impeachment and conviction was seen as a democratic win at the time—but now it seems like we're stuck in a loop of non-stop prosecution of the opposition party. What have the political implications been like since her sentencing?PARK: What happened afterward is pretty unique and pretty wild. What it did was it
< wipes tears > legalized politics. Not legalized as in going from illegal to legal, but legalized as in politics became sort of < wipes tears > lawfare. It became more about, Did you break the law? Did you not? Can you prove this in court? Can you not?
And the people who are the most powerful in this lawfare are the prosecutors legislators. What ended up happening is that the Prosecutor General—Yoon Suk Yeol—the most powerful prosecutor of them all, became the president on the strength of that. He became a political star first by prosecuting Park Geun-hye.
archive an appropriate punishment (07.04.18)
On a very ground level, I have been feeling—just because I do a lot of work and business in Korea—you can sense it from government officials [politicians?]that they're freaking terrified to do anything outside of the manual [law?], and everything they do is extremely defensive. Korean government used to be a very, very efficient thing [eNTitY ?!] relative to other governments.
4 yrs ago,  4 yrs ago, 8 yrs ago, 10 yrs ago, 12 yrs ago, 14 yrs ago, etc
Now it's still more efficient than other governments, but you can feel that the gears are slowing down a little and a lot of it is the fact that even minor officials are completely terrified of doing something that is outside of the manual and potentially prosecuted for some reason or another.
The other thing that happened is that Yoon Suk Yeol is also afraid of the same thing happening to him.
After judgment day from voters, Yoon shrugs off calls for change (17.04.24)
So the other side of the coin is that you end up having an administration that never compromises and never admits any fault. And I think you really see that in the aftermath of the Itaweon disasters, which was this really unbelievably awful thing. And what happens is nobody apologizes, nobody resigns.
Yonhap | Presidential office denies Moon aides under consideration for PM, 17 Apr
Park [Young-sun] served as minister under the former liberal president, while Yang [Jung-chul] is known as one of Moon's closest confidants.

The reports come as Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, presidential chief of staff Lee Kwan-sup and most senior presidential secretaries have submitted their resignations to take responsibility for the ruling party's crushing defeat in last week's parliamentary elections...

by Cat on Wed Apr 17th, 2024 at 12:58:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
F24 | India's mammoth election data points
April 19: Voting begins

April 26: Phase Two

May 7: Phase Three

May 13: Phase Four

May 20: Phase Five

May 25: Phase Six

June 1: Phase Seven

June 4: Votes counted nationwide, results announced

reuters | India's Lok Sabha election 2024: the main political parties and candidates
archive INDIA CAMPAIGN 2019, V-Day
by Cat on Wed Apr 17th, 2024 at 06:45:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How many days between June 4 election result and G7 declaring the results a SHAM?
by Cat on Fri Apr 19th, 2024 at 03:04:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Once a fringe Indian ideology, Hindu nationalism is now mainstream, thanks to Modi's decade in power, 19 Apr
...Modi became increasingly authoritarian, [Modi expert Christophe] Jaffrelot described, consolidating power over police and courts and bypassing the media to connect directly with voters......
by Cat on Fri Apr 19th, 2024 at 03:33:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"high-level" schedule conflict
4 June India election results
10 June Ukraine Peace Formula Summit
13-15 June G7 Summit
Why is the West desperate to have India at a Ukraine summit that Russia has rejected?, 23 Apr draft RSVP regrets
The organizers of the Swiss-based [global National Security Advisors' Meeting] want New Delhi to be represented at the highest level to corner Moscow....
non-starter v.
The West is finding it difficult to remove itself from the coils of a policy in which it is trapped. Ukraine is being treated as the last frontier of Europe facing a 'non-European' Russia....
Switzerland and Ukraine are active in gathering support for the proposed peace conference, especially from Global South countries. Four closed-door meetings to prepare for this conference have already been held, but without Russia's participation....
G7 preferred plenipotentiary
To promote the peace summit, both the Swiss and Ukrainian foreign ministers have visited India to press for its participation in the belief that this will encourage other Global South countries to attend. As for the agenda, India is told that it can pick up those points in Zelensk*'s ten-point [world "investment"] proposal to which it has no objections, and that could be the basis of its participation....
At best, [Modi] could attend the G7 summit for a day and hurry back home. In any case, due to the manner in which the so-called peace summit is being organized, and considering reports of an increasing number of Western military personnel being sent to Ukraine in 'non-combat' positions, along with more arms supplies, India may not deem it appropriate for Modi to be present, and could instead decide—rightly so—on representation at a lower political level.
archive secret meeting, greetings, THIRD PEACE FORMULA SUMMIT, Sullivan's baby
by Cat on Wed Apr 24th, 2024 at 02:31:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT reuters | US ties renewal of easing of Venezuela oil sanctions to progress on elections, 17 Apr
...The U.S. has been concerned about Venezuela's electoral process and what it sees as Maduro's failure to meet his main promises for the July 28 presidential elections.

"Absent progress by Maduro and his representatives in terms of implementing the road map's provisions, the United States will not renew the license when it expires on April 18, 2024," the spokesperson said....

telesur | Venezuela National Popular Consultation, 21 Apr videos
...Carried out through over 15,000 voting centers, this democratic process allowed residents to decide on 4,500 development projects that the Venezuelan government will finance and the communities will execute...
ChatGPT reuters | Venezuela to accelerate cryptocurrency as oil sanctions return, 22 Apr
by Cat on Mon Apr 22nd, 2024 at 09:29:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
news from a future GE—no later than 23 Nov 2025

channelnewsasia | Lawrence Wong to take over as Singapore Prime Minister from Lee Hsien Loong on May 15 (15.04.24)
In a Facebook post, Mr Lee noted that a leadership transition is a significant moment in any country. "Lawrence and the 4G team have worked hard to gain the people's trust, notably during the pandemic," he wrote.

"Through the Forward Singapore exercise [June 2022], they have worked with many Singaporeans to refresh our social compact and develop the national agenda for a new generation."

....Individual responsibility should go hand in hand with "a greater sense of collective responsibility"—from providing more support for families and seniors to helping Singaporeans bounce back from setbacks with a better social support system. "Ultimately, we aim to build a stronger sense of solidarity and identity as Singaporeans....
Mr Lee asked Singaporeans to give Mr Wong and his team their full support.
Mr Wong, 51, was named two years ago as the leader of the ruling People's Action Party's (PAP) fourth-generation (4G) team, effectively putting him in line to become the next Prime Minister. This was after Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who had previously been named as 4G leader, stepped aside in April 2021, citing his age and the lack of a proper "runway" for the top job. Mr Heng is 63 this year. Mr Lee, 72, had previously indicated his intention to step down before his 70th birthday in February 2022, but that plan was scuppered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
FT | Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to step down after 20 years, 15 Apr
"The succession marks an important moment in Singapore's modern history, as just the third time the leadership baton has been passed since independence in 1965."

archive Li Keqiang question (68), Hu Jintao (80), translations, Eric Li

by Cat on Thu Apr 25th, 2024 at 05:33:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DPA |SINGAPORE'S EXISTENTIAL THREATS that the NEW Prime Minister, Lawrence WONG is inheriting from PM Lee, 17 Apr A/V 00:15:41
...The first thing he needs to prioritize under his leadership, the first thing, the number one thing, is diplomacy. There's some major issue with our management of geopolitics. Over the ten past years we have basically offended China, we have unilaterlly, in a way among the sotheast Asian states, decided to sanction Russia ...and the geopolitics has been changing to Russia's advantage ... So now Singapore has wasted huge opportunities to take advantage of the conflict in Ukraine, to go deep into investment in Russia..
economist | Lawrence Wong will be only the fourth PM in Singapore's history, 18 Apr
...Indeed many younger Singaporeans, less respectful of hierarchy, want more fairness in terms of who shares in growth: they think that a country sitting on such gargantuan financial reserves should more generously support welfare. They also want politics to be more participatory rather than heavily directed from the top. At stake for Mr Wong, when he goes to the country, is not his (and the 4G's) formal mandate but rather < wipes tears > moral legitimacy....
archive WORLD POWs perfidious albatross

ASEAN (1967 FTA): BN, KH, ID, LA, MY, MM, PH, SG, TH, VN, TL
APEC (1989 FTA): CN, CN-hk, CN-tw, RU, ID, SG, VN, TH, PH, MX, PE, CL, BN, PG, MY, KR; US, AU, JP, NZ, CA
CP-TPP (2018 FTA): AU, BN, CA, CL (2022), JP, MY (2022), MX, NZ, PE (2021), SG, VN, UK (2023), CN*, CN-tw*, EC*, UY*, TH*, CR*, PH*, KR*

by Cat on Thu Apr 25th, 2024 at 06:18:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
F24 | Burkina Faso expels three French diplomats accused of 'subversive activities', 18 Apr guest workers
"There were no legitimate grounds for the Burkinabe authorities' decision. We can only deplore it," French foreign ministry spokesman Christophe Lemoine said

On December 1, four French officials were arrested, charged and imprisoned in Ouagadougou, according to a French source.

The Burkinabe authorities said they were intelligence agents but the French source said they were < wipes tears > IT support staff. The four are now under house arrest, according to Burkina security sources.

by Cat on Fri Apr 19th, 2024 at 03:09:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
auswaertiges-amt.de | G7 Foreign Ministers' Meeting Communiqué (Capri, April 19, 2024) - Addressing Global Challenges, Fostering Partnerships
We will continue to deepen the partnership with African countries and regional organizations, including the African union (AU). We welcome the AU participation in the G20 as a permanent member and reiterate our support for the G20 Compact with Africa. The G7-Africa partnership is guided by the objectives of the AU Agenda 2063, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Paris Agreement.

The consequences of the Russian aggression and its weaponization of food supplies and energy resources have affected notably many vulnerable countries, particularly in Africa. In this perspective, Russia's war is proving not just a war against Ukraine but against the world's poorest and most vulnerable.
We are concerned about the activities of the Kremlin-backed Wagner Group and other emerging Russia-backed forces, which are producing a destabilizing impact, notably in North Africa, Central Africa, and the Sahel. We call for accountability of all those responsible for human rights abuses.

  1. Libya ...
  2. Sahel ...
  3. Horn of Africa ...
  4. Somalia ...
  5. Ethiopia ...
  6. Sudan ...
  7. Democratic Republic of the Congo
archive Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want
by Cat on Fri Apr 19th, 2024 at 04:30:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Apr 19th, 2024 at 07:40:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"spheres of influence"
by Cat on Sat Apr 20th, 2024 at 12:12:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
euronews | US Amb. Gordon Gray (ret'd.): Tunisia can still be a catalyst for global democratic reform , 9 Apr "Arab Spring" reverie
...Democracy in Tunisia though has been in decline under President Kais Saied. His de facto dissolution of parliament in July 2021, abandonment of the constitution, and targeting of opposition leaders, media, and activists are clear signs that Tunisia is no longer a democracy.

However, as Tunisia goes for elections this year, the Biden administration should clearly express—in both its public statements and its private diplomatic exchanges—the expectation that the 2024 Tunisian presidential ballot will be conducted as transparently as it was in 2019 and 2014....

Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) splinters, excluding Morocco, Mauritania, and CSIS

googlish: At the invitation of the President of the Republic #Kais_Saeed, His Excellency President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, President of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, and His Excellency President Mohamed Younes Menfi, President of the Presidential Council of the State of Libya will visit Tunisia to participate in the first consultative meeting between the leaders of the three sister countries. #TnPR

thenationalnews | Tunisia, Algeria and Libya hold talks in Tunis, 22 Apr frayed ties

by Cat on Mon Apr 22nd, 2024 at 08:54:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
telesur | Argentines March Against Milei's Budget Cuts to Universities (24.04.24)
Ongoing budget cuts affect 57 university institutions, over 250,000 teachers and administrative staff, and involve 2.5 million students. As a result of an economic crisis being exacerbated by unstoppable inflation, the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) recently declared a "budgetary emergency" and warned that it can only function for a few months.
mercopress | Argentina applies for NATO global partnership, 18 Apr
...Thus, Argentina would "join a group of countries already accessing the benefits of participating in this world alliance, such as Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, etc."

In January 1998, the United States named Argentina a major extra-NATO ally to secure military and economic cooperation privileges between the two countries. NATO's only Latin American "global partner" is Colombia, admitted in 2017. Other such allies are Australia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, New Zealand, and Pakistan....

nato.int | Argentina takes first step toward NATO partnership, 18 Apr
archive February 2024 Argentina Econ & Fin, inauguration 2023

reference a/o 24 Apr
blue dollar (USD:ARSB 1:1025 or 1030
casa rosa dollar USD:ARS, 1:872.75

by Cat on Wed Apr 24th, 2024 at 03:51:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Bidenecómicas! Javier Milei Fuels Wild Rally That Makes Peso No. 1 in World
...The peso has, in fact, not only stopped PLUNGING day after day but in one key foreign-exchange market—there are many of them here, a byproduct of the country's web of byzantine rules—it's actually rallying sharply. The [blue dollar, "parallel"] peso has SOARED 25% against the dollar over the past three months in the market, known as the blue-chip swap, that is used by many investors and companies. That's more than the gains posted by any of the 148 currencies that Bloomberg tracks against the dollar.

It's a SHOCKING statistic in a country where the currency is seemingly in a never-ending state of freefall. (The smallest annual decline in the past decade was 15%.) And it underscores the lengths that Milei has gone to to rein in bloated government spending, choke off demand for everything in the economy, including [blue y rosa] dollars, and tame *flation that's skyrocketed to an annual pace of almost 300%....

reuters | Argentina's government (and a bot) say inflation [rate] is easing. Shoppers aren't so sure, 12 Apr illustrated
archive three worst emerging-market performers Aug 2023
by Cat on Sun Apr 28th, 2024 at 02:04:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FT | Ariel Henry resigns as Haiti's PM as transitional council takes power, 25 Apr
Henry presented his resignation in a letter signed in Los Angeles, dated April 24, and released on Thursday by his office on the same day a council tasked with choosing a new prime minister and Cabinet for Haiti was due to be sworn in.
The nine-member council, of which seven have voting powers, is also expected to help set the agenda of a new Cabinet. It will also appoint a provisional electoral commission, a requirement before elections can take place, and establish a national security council. The council's non-renewable mandate expires Feb. 7, 2026, at which date a new president is scheduled to be sworn in.
by Cat on Fri Apr 26th, 2024 at 12:35:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
icj | The Court to deliver its Order on Tuesday 30 April 2024, 26 Apr Nicaragua v. Germany
It is recalled that, on 1 March 2024, Nicaragua filed an Application instituting proceedings against Germany concerning alleged violations by Germany of its obligations deriving from the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols, "intransgressible principles of international humanitarian law" and other norms of general international law in relation to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly the Gaza Strip (see press release 2024/19). The Application also contained a Request for the indication of provisional measures. Public hearings on the request were held on 8 and 9 April 2024 (see press release 2024/28 for the requests made by the Parties)
palestinechronicle | 'Immediate Measures' - Israeli Officials Attempt to Counter Possible ICC Arrest Warrants, 25 Apr
...The NSC-approved measures included phone calls between Netanyahu and his international counterparts, putting pressure on the US administration and involving the Israeli Ambassador to Washington, Michael Herzog, in these efforts....
archive auswaertiges-amt.de in ICC Arrest Warrants Israeli Leaders Expected, sonstige Rüstungsgüter in Gaza Genocide Breeds Losers Only
icj, VERBATIM RECORD | UN WebTV, 8 Apr 2024
icj, VERBATIM RECORD | UN WebTV, 9 April 2024

comment: The ICJ has moved quickly to schedule hearings of South Africa and Nicaragua—contentious cases between states. Having delved into both tribunal's public documentation on jurisdiction, my understanding is that ICJ advisory opinions (findings of law) necessarily precede ICC trial (findings of fact). I'd like to believe that, although ICJ has not issued a final judgment of either case, the ICC prosecutor possesses advance notice of the court's opinion in the first instance, South Africa; hence, premature agitation for and against ICC arrest of Israeli authorities. I'm inclined to expect ICJ judgment by calendar year end, on or about 5 November would be ideal so that trial drags either POTUS-elect through the bowels of hell for FOUR MORE YEARS.

by Cat on Sat Apr 27th, 2024 at 04:53:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ICJ | Unanimous Order of 30 April 2024, measuring (b), (c), (e)
16. The Court notes that Germany, as it has stated, is bound by the Arms Trade Treaty of 2 April 2013 and by the European Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP of 8 December 2008 (as amended by Council Decision (CFSP) 2019/1560, published on 17 September 2019), which defines common rules governing the control of exports of military technology and equipment.
17. The Court further notes that, as Germany has also stated [...] only four licences for "war weapons" have been granted.
18. The Court in addition notes that, as stated by Germany, there has been a significant decrease since November 2023 in the value of material for which the licences were granted ...
23. The Court recalls that, pursuant to common Article 1 of the Geneva Conventions, all States parties are under an obligation "to respect and to ensure respect" for the Conventions "in all circumstances". It follows from that provision that every State party to these Conventions, "whether or not it is a party to a specific conflict, is under an obligation to ensure that the requirements of the instruments in question are complied with" [Advisory Opinion 2004]. Such an obligation "does not derive only from the Conventions themselves, but from the general principles of humanitarian law to which the Conventions merely give specific expression" [Advisory Opinion 1986]. With regard to the Genocide Convention, the Court has had the opportunity to observe that the obligation to prevent the commission of the crime of genocide, pursuant to Article I, requires States parties that are aware, or that should normally have been aware, of the serious risk that acts of genocide would have been committed, to employ all means reasonably available to them to prevent genocide so far as possible (Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide [Advisory Opinion 2007]. Further, States parties are bound by the Genocide Convention not to commit any other acts enumerated in Article III (ibid.[2007], p. 114, para. 168).
The following acts shall be punishable:
(a) Genocide;
(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
(d) Attempt to commit genocide;
(e) Complicity in genocide.
25. The Court reaffirms that the decision given in the  present proceedings in no way prejudges the question of the jurisdiction of the Court to deal with the merits of the case or any questions relating to the admissibility of the Application or to the merits themselves. It leaves unaffected the right of the Governments of Nicaragua and Germany to submit arguments in respect of those questions.
archive ICJ Notice Obligations Arms Ban to Armed. Conflict in Is the ICC Anti-Semitic
by Cat on Wed May 1st, 2024 at 04:51:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
news.az | New shock for France in Africa, 26 Apr
The decision to review defense agreements and possibly close the French military base, Camp de Gaulle, in Libreville, has been a turning point in relations between France and Gabon. Information from the radio station RFI indicates that such proposals were discussed as part of a National Dialogue concluding in Gabon on April 30. Currently, this base serves as home to 380 French military personnel and plays a significant role in "securing the region." However, the potential closure of the French military base in Gabon is not the only aspect of the National Dialogue.
Gabon's National Dialogue: Final Reports Presented to All Participants (27.04.24)
The outlined review of defense agreements and the potential closure of the French military base in Gabon reflect deep changes in the geopolitical dynamics of the region. These changes indicate Gabon's search for new strategies and partnerships in the modern world, as well as its aspirations for greater autonomy in making decisions about its future.
rfi | Chad is 'not a slave who wants to change masters', says president, 20 Apr interview
RFI/France 24: Chad's presidential election is scheduled for 6 May and some observers say the outcome is already a foregone conclusion. Members of the opposition are calling it a sham, claiming that you control all the electoral institutions. Will Chad hold a real election?
Mahamat Idriss Deby: We've come a long way with the whole political class and also a large part of the ex-politico-military [former rebels]. And all the institutions created by the new constitution are independent.

The most important is the Agence nationale de gestion des élections, ANGE... Today, ANGE is independent. So I think that those who say that this is a sham or that the election has already been decided, well, I understand: that's what politics is all about, it's fair game. But I have confidence in the election agency, which will play its role fully and independently.

by Cat on Sun Apr 28th, 2024 at 09:56:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 1st, 2024 at 08:42:47 AM EST
America Sends Massive Munitions Into Gaza War

Biden quietly signs off on more bombs, warplanes for Israel | WaPo - AA News |

Transfers include 1,800 MK84 2,000-pound bombs, 500 MK82 500-pound bombs, 25 F-35A fighter jets

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 1st, 2024 at 12:42:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 1st, 2024 at 12:42:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 1st, 2024 at 12:51:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 1st, 2024 at 12:56:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 1st, 2024 at 12:57:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
reuters | Turkey imposes export restrictions on Israel until Gaza ceasefire, 9 Apr
It said the measures would apply to the export of products from 54 different categories, including iron, marble, steel, cement, aluminium, brick, fertilizer, construction equipment and products, aviation fuel, and more.

"This decision will remain in place until Israel, under its obligations emanating from international law, urgently declares a ceasefire in Gaza and allows the unhindered flow of sufficient humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip," it said.

Shortly after the Israel-Hamas war started, Turkey and Israel pulled back their ambassadors. Tuesday's move is the first significant measure taken by Ankara against Israel since the start of the conflict. President Tayyip Erdogan has faced growing criticism over his government's commercial ties to Israel.

hurriyetdailynews | US troops head to region as fears grow of Gaza war's spread (13.04.24)
Israel's retaliatory offensive has killed at least 33,634 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry there.
Police detained dozens of protestors demanding an end to the trade with Israel in Istanbul on Saturday. Authorities suspended two police officers involved in the incident, as the government works to restore popular support after a thumping opposition win in March 31 local elections.
timesofisrael | Opening trade war, Turkey imposes restrictions on Israel until Gaza ceasefire, 9 Apr
Responding to the developments, Israel's Foreign Minister Israel Katz ordered the Economic Division of his ministry "to prepare an extensive list of products that Israel will prevent Turkey [?!] from exporting to Israel," his office said in a statement.

"Turkey is unilaterally violating the trade agreements with Israel, and Israel will take all necessary measures against it," the statement said. In addition, Israel will "appeal to pro-Israel countries and organizations in the US to stop investments in Turkey and prevent the import of products from Turkey."

Israel will 'pay' for Gaza atrocities, Erdoğan tells Abbas (12.04.24)
"The president has underlined that all means, including the U.N. Security Council resolution, must be deployed for a cease-fire. Israel needs to be fought with full solidarity,"  Communications Director Fahrettin Altun told Turkish state broadcaster TRT Haber. Separately, the communications director condemned an Israeli airstrike targeting a TRT crew in Gaza, saying the international community "must not stay silent in the face of such attacks "which embolden Israel."
The Turkish leader also repeatedly attacked Israel on the campaign trail ahead of local elections held on March 31. His party nevertheless suffered a significant defeat, losing control of many cities, especially to the Islam-based Yeniden Refah (New Welfare) Party. The party, which won seats in the Turkish parliament last year after allying with Erdogan's AKP, fielded its own candidates in the March elections, with its leader Fatih Erbakan attacking Erdogan for maintaining Turkish trade with Israel despite the war in Gaza.
ynetnews | Ankara's ban on trade with Israel harms Turkey, putting actual implementation in doubt, 11 Apr
Prof. Elise Brezis, head of the Azrieli Center for Economic Policy at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, explained the extent of the importance of Turkish exports to Israel. She told The Media Line that Turkish exports to Israel were $6.8 billion in 2022 and $4.6 Billion in 2023, while total imports [from] Israel are $110 billion.
Dr. Lucrezia Leon Savasta, a Middle East and Eurasian expert, told The Media Line that she doubts a comprehensive ban will be implemented immediately. Instead, she sees Turkey's public announcement as a political move to pressure Israel and get more countries to join.
trtworld | Türkiye reaches a record-high share in global exports in 2023 (11.04.24)
Türkiye's exports in 2023 hit a record high of $255.8 billion, ticking up 0.6 percent from the previous year.

"Except for July, our trade gap shrank annually in the last seven months of 2023," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan explained. Adding that Türkiye aims to boost its goods and services exports in 2024 to over $375 billion, the country has "more than enough power to achieve this target," he said.

"Let's just focus on the fact that, very smartly, did not say that they would stop the import of goods from Israel," she said, noting that in 2022 [!], Israel was among the top 5 countries from where Turkey was importing refined petroleum.
trtworld | Türkiye debunks "false" claims of providing fuel to Israeli military (09.04.24)
The Combating Disinformation Centre of Türkiye confirms that the fuel in question is jet fuel purchased for Israeli passenger aircraft at airports in Turkish territory and has no connection with Israeli military aircraft.
That is why she says a total ban is not sustainable for the Turkish government. "The country is facing a sort of internal fragmentation. See the last elections, and how Erdogan lost major cities, and when the economy comes to be touched negatively, general discontent grows. It can be dangerous for the central government," she asserted. In addition, she notes that Turkey is very "money-oriented," and its decision-making is usually very well economically calculated. "It is difficult to think that they will make a decision that might harm their economic status. The elites would not allow this to happen," she asserted.

by Cat on Sat Apr 13th, 2024 at 10:28:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IRGC launches 'extensive' retaliatory missile, drone strikes on occupied territories , 13 Apr
The Corps announced launching the strikes in a statement on Saturday night.

"In response to the Zionist regime's numerous crimes, including the attack on the consular section of Iran's Embassy in Damascus and the martyrdom of a number of our country's commanders and military advisors in Syria, the IRGC's Aerospace Division launched tens of missiles and drones against certain targets inside the occupied territories," the statement read.

axios | Iran launched drone attack on Israel, U.S. and Israeli officials say

It's unclear what the targets are.

Iran launched attack drones from its territory towards Israeli territory, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said in a statement. Hagari said the IDF is implementing a defense plan together with U.S. Central Command and other partners in the region to intercept the drones before they reach Israel.

Meanwhile... 'Dozens' of rockets fired at Israel from Lebanon (12.04.24)
Hezbollah fighters targeted "enemy artillery positions... with dozens of Katyusha rockets" the group said in a statement, adding it was "in response to the enemy's attacks on... southern villages and civilian homes." The Israeli army said "approximately 40 launches were identified crossing from Lebanese territory, some of which were intercepted."
A senior Israeli official says the Iranian attack includes "hundreds of attack drones."

U.S. National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson in a statement said the White House is in "constant communication with Israeli officials as well as other partners and allies."

"This attack is likely to unfold over a number of hours. President Biden has been clear: our support for Israel's security is ironclad," the statement said.

presstv.ir | Iran launches retaliatory strikes against Israel following some IDF reports

The strikes were launched on Saturday night, with some reports saying that the Islamic Republic launched a number of attack drones towards the occupied territories.

Iran has not officially acknowledged retaliatory strikes yet.

Reuters news agency reported that the Islamic Republic has not yet launched missiles in its retaliatory military action against the occupying regime, adding that there is likelihood of it targeting the occupied city of Haifa and the occupied territories' coastline with "ballistic missiles" in the coming hours.

Israel's Channel 12 confirmed that the regime had been attacked, claiming that Iran launched tens of drones towards the occupied territories.

i24news.tv | IDF confirms Iran launched drone attack toward Israel | LIVE UPDATES
IDF twitter loops. No damage reports.

by Cat on Sat Apr 13th, 2024 at 10:34:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
2024 General Election: Trump vs. Biden

Battleground States: Arizona | Nevada | Wisconsin | Michigan | Pennsylvania | North Carolina | Georgia

This Day In History: April 7, 2024: Biden +1.1 | April 7, 2020: Biden +6.1 | April 7, 2016: Clinton +10.5

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 7th, 2024 at 03:55:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Doomsday Eclipse

Trump posts bizarre solar eclipse ad - with his head blocking out the sun, plunging US into darkness | The Independent |

During the August 2017 total solar eclipse, the then-president went viral when he ignored all eclipse safety recommendations by gazing directly at the sun with his naked eyes

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 8th, 2024 at 10:23:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Invisible hand. From overcapacity to TikTok, transitory sanctions during Janet Yellen's holiday in China

treasury.gov | Remarks by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen at a Press Conference in Beijing, the People's Republic of China (08.04.24)
The [US] American businesses that I spoke to in Guangzhou underscored the significant benefits of a healthy economic relationship. At the same time, I expressed concern to senior Chinese officials that there are features of the Chinese economy that have growing negative spillovers on the U.S. and The Globe™. I am particularly worried about how China's enduring macroeconomic imbalances—namely its weak household consumption and business overinvestment, aggravated by large-scale government support ["non-market mechanisms"] in specific industrial sectors—will lead to significant risk to workers and businesses in the United States and the rest of The World™. China has long had excess savings, but investment in the real estate sector and government-funded infrastructure had absorbed much of it. Now, we are seeing an increase in business investment in a number of "new" industries targeted by the PRC's industrial [inflation reduction] policy. That includes electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries, [semiconductor fabs, 5G-6G computing, critical minerals, blockchain comms, spy balloons, NPPs, astrophysics, hypersonic materiel,] and solar [panels].

China is now simply too large for the rest of the world to absorb this enormous ["value pricing"] capacity. Actions taken by the PRC today can shift world prices. And when The Global Market™ is flooded by artificially [sic] cheap Chinese products, the viability [sic] of American and other foreign firms is put into question.

NEW! "spillover": United States and United Kingdom Take Action to Reduce Russian Revenue from Metals (12.04.24)
Treasury also issued a complementary determination under Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 that prohibits the exportation, re[-]exportation, sale, or supply to any person located in the Russian Federation of (1) warranting services for the metals produced on or after April 13, 2024 on a global metal exchange and (2) services to acquire the metals produced on or after April 13, 2024 as part of the physical settlement of a derivative contract [!].
We've seen this story before. Over a decade ago [2008?], massive PRC government support led to below-[G7]-cost Chinese steel that flooded The Global Market™ and decimated industries across The World™ and in the United States. I've made clear that President Biden and I will not accept that reality again. I know that these serious concerns are shared by our allies and partners, from ["inflation rich"] advanced economies to ["resouce rich"] emerging markets.
wiki.alquds AKA externality (timeless)
IMF inna PANDEMIC (May 2021)
reuters G20 (09.04.24)
by Cat on Sat Apr 13th, 2024 at 04:00:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
rollcall | 'MIRV' strategy, 16 Apr "mix of items"
Johnson told Republicans Tuesday morning that combining the bills into one package would force the Senate to consider everything the House passes, Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., said.

"So you can't cherry-pick it, and say, `Yee-haw, there goes Ukraine,' and the rest of them get the usual sentence of death from the Senate leadership," Amodei, a senior appropriator, said.  

The process of merging separate bills into one package after each measure has passed the House separately is known in procedural parlance as a "MIRV" rule. Normally, that's an acronym for multiple independently targetable re[-]entry vehicle, or a ballistic missile that carries multiple warheads.

The effect is similar on the Senate; after House passage of each bill, the rule, if adopted, provides that they all be attached to the same underlying vehicle before being transmitted to the Senate. House leaders have employed this tool at least 14 times since the mid-1990s, such as one notable attempt in 2000 to attach a small-business tax cut measure to legislation that would increase the minimum wage....

rollcall | Foreign aid supplemental unveiled in House; Biden supports , 17 Apr
Appropriators released three separate bills for Ukraine, Israel, Indo-Pacific allies, and the domestic submarine industrial [TikTok ?] base totaling $95.3 billion.
"Johnson, R-La., in a text message Wednesday morning to GOP conference members, said a fourth bill would be posted later in the day. It would include measures to seize frozen Russian assets, force the divestiture of the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok, and impose sanctions on Russia, China and Iran, among other things."
The contents are similar to the Senate-passed version, with $60.8 billion for the Ukraine war effort, and nearly $26.4 billion [!] in military aid to Israel and humanitarian assistance for Gaza. A third bill, totaling $8.1 billion, would provide nearly $4 billion in security assistance to Taiwan and other regional allies along with money to replenish depleted U.S. stocks, $3.3 billion for submarine infrastructure and more. But there's a key difference: roughly $9.5 billion in economic aid to Ukraine would be structured as a loan, with repayment terms set by the president.
"in a new twist, Johnson also said he would move an additional bill, handled under a separate rule, to toughen security measures at the southern U.S. border. He said the bill would contain the 'core components' of HR 2, which passed the House last year over solid Democratic opposition."
The repayment requirement could be waived on an installment plan, with up to 50 percent of the loans forgiven shortly after the November elections, and the remainder starting in 2026. But Congress would get a shot to override any presidential waiver with a resolution of disapproval that's subject to expedited procedures, with debate limited to 10 hours in the Senate and no amendments.
strana | On credit and not in a package. Johnson explained what format of aid the US Congress will vote for, 17 Apr Trump, Graham Cracker approval
by Cat on Wed Apr 17th, 2024 at 08:12:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Senate Commerce chair backs amended bill that could ban TikTok, 18 Apr
"I'm very happy that Speaker Johnson and House leaders incorporated my recommendation to extend the ByteDance divestment [sic] period from six months to a year. As I've said, extending the divestment period is necessary to ensure there is enough time for a new buyer to get a deal done. I support this updated legislation," Maria "Palantir" Cantwell said in a statement Wednesday evening.
< wipes tears>
Democrats' investments in their multiracial [Census tracts] are already paying off, 18 Apr
We know voters of color are critical for Democrats' path to taking back the House—and we are taking nothing for granted.
Through the Inflation Reduction Act, we capped the price of insulin for Medicare recipients at $35. Data has shown how much this positively impacts communities of color, as Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native [?] adults have higher rates of diabetes in the United States than white Americans.
archive Civil Rights Act of 1866
And that's not all.
Democrats stand against this tide of dysfunction, and we are committed to ensuring that voters of color understand this goes far beyond Republicans' lip service. Our historic investment in reaching these voters through persuasion and mobilization is a multifaceted, dynamic program.
archive social assets in Dadaab Refugee Camp
These efforts will cover the earliest investment by the DCCC in voter protection and education, leading to the hiring of pivotal staff who will work to understand nuances within key districts across the congressional map to develop customized strategies to combat the aggressive and discriminatory voter suppression tactics that target communities of color.
ASPIRE (Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders Rising & Empowering) PAC (Political Action Committee) "beat out a right-wing Republican"
Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y) is chair of ASPIRE PAC. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) is chair of the Congressional Black Caucus PAC. Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), is chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus BOLD PAC.
thehill | Google fires employees who protested Israel contract, 18 Apr "white knight"
by Cat on Thu Apr 18th, 2024 at 04:11:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US House procedural melodrama scheduled for Saturday's date night is already heating up UKRAINE's legit and illegit "social networks".

Besides Genocide Joe jawboning conditions for milking the cow, Margery Taylor Green and former UWC ELECTION 2024 champion Victoria Spartz have caught strana's attention.
< wipes tears >
Wut a waste of thespian talent. Why, they oughta be on the Big Screen!

by Cat on Thu Apr 18th, 2024 at 06:46:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
rollcall | [MIRV] for emergency aid bill adopted with Democratic support, 19 Apr
...The 316-94 vote for the rule signaled solid support for the four separate bills that make up the aid package, which also includes measures to increase sanctions on adversaries and force the divestiture of the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok, among other things...
by Cat on Fri Apr 19th, 2024 at 11:21:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian's Regular Press Conference on April 19, 2024
Anadolu Agency: The US vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution demanding Palestine's full membership at the UN. Twelve member states including China voted in favor but the resolution couldn't be passed because of US veto. What's China's comment about the US veto and the outcome of the vote? 

Lin Jian: China's Permanent Representative to the United Nations has fully stated our position in his explanation of vote. An independent State of Palestine has been a long-cherished dream for generations of Palestinians. Full UN membership for Palestine is a crucial step in this historic process. Palestine first submitted a membership application as early as 2011. It was US opposition then that the Council's action was put on hold. Thirteen years later, It was again US veto that denied Palestine full UN membership and shattered the decades-long dream of the Palestinian people. History and people of the world will not forget this unconscionable act. 
China Daily: We noted that recently the US has kept hyping up the issue of China's "overcapacity". Do you have any further comment on the issue of "overcapacity"?

Lin Jian: Blaming China for "overcapacity" is not new. Years ago, the US accused China of "overcapacity" for exporting many high-quality, low-cost products. Now it is sticking the label of "overcapacity" to China's export of new energy products. The US exports 80 percent of its chips, especially advanced chips and is a large exporter of pork and agricultural products. Is that "overcapacity" according to US logic? In fact, the ratio of export to production for Chinese new energy vehicle is far lower than that of Germany, Japan and the ROK. This is certainly not "dumping extra products into the global market". "overcapacity" may look like an economic issue, but truth is, the US is using it to hit Chinese industries and give the US itself an unfair advantage in market competition. It's another example of US economic coercion and bullying.

archive products from China have relieved European countries of financial burdens in Reactionary Visions and eNtiTiES
by Cat on Fri Apr 19th, 2024 at 10:29:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
rollcall | House passes $95.3B aid package for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, 20 Apr
The $95.3 billion supplemental spending measure passed under an unusual procedure in which lawmakers voted on four separate bills that were then put together into one vehicle, replacing the text of a similar Senate-passed bill that came over from that chamber two months ago.
$60.8 billion for Ukraine [ROLL CALL 311-112]
$26.4 billion "to Israel and humanitarian aid [$9.2B] to Gaza" [ROLL CALL 366-58]
$8.1 billion "to help Taiwan and other Indo-Pacific allies" [ROLL CALL 385-34]
Lastly, the House voted 360-58 to pass a "sidecar" package consisting of some measures related to the foreign aid bills, such as authorizing the seizure of about $5 billion in frozen Russian assets for distribution to Ukraine and toughening sanctions on Russia, Iran and China.
H.R.8038, 21st Century Peace through Strength Act [ROLL CALL 360-58]
That measure would also force the divestiture [sic] of Chinese-owned TikTok or the social media app would be banned in the U.S., and ban data brokers from selling Americans' personal information to countries such as China, Russia, Iran and North Korea or organizations controlled by those governments.
cnn | House passes REPO act that includes hostile TikTok take-over, 19 Apr
Here's what the bill would do:
• Place sanctions on ports and refineries that receive and process Iranian oil.
• Place sanctions on anyone involved in activity covered under the UN missile embargo on Iran that lapsed last year or in the supply or sale of Iran's missiles and drones.
• Further restrict the export of goods and technology of US origin to Iran.
• Empower the executive branch to seize and transfer frozen Russian assets held in the US to Ukraine.
• Give TikTok's Chinese parent, ByteDance, nine months to sell the social media company or it would be banned from US app stores.
< wipes tears >
thehill | Strategic intimacy: US seeks face-to-face rivalry with China, 20 Apr
...Secretary of Stalking Antony Blinken's trip to Beijing this coming week will spotlight how this strategy is holding firm almost five months later, despite unresolved issues and global conflicts threatening to break the relationship apart at any moment.

"We believe that intense competition requires intense diplomacy on a range of issues, and in-depth, face-to-face diplomacy is particularly important to managing tensions," a senior administration official told reporters in a call Friday, previewing Blinken's trip.

"The Secretary will make clear that the United States intends to responsibly manage our competition with the PRC [People's Republic of China]." ...

archive my REPO Act, January 2024 price cap mania, exit plan
by Cat on Sat Apr 20th, 2024 at 08:13:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
whitehouse.gov | Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, 24 Apr
SULLIVAN: ...Germany recently announced the donation of another Patriot system to Ukraine.
Q Thank you, Jake.  How big of an impact will these long-range ATACMS have on the battlefields in Ukraine?  And will more long-range ATACMS be sent to Ukraine as part of this $60 billion aid package?
SULLIVAN: So, we've—as I said in my opening comments, we've already sent some. We will send more now that we have additional both authority and money. I'm not going to get into specific numbers for operational reasons.
whitehouse.gov | Press Gaggle by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby-content En Route Syracuse, New York, 25 Apr
Q On U—on Ukraine, John, can you say: Is the U.S. considering sending another Patriot battery to Ukraine?
KIRBY: When we send additional items and we can speak to it, we'll certainly let you know. You all saw what is in this first package. These are critical capabilities for them. But clearly, air defense is going to remain something that's a high priority for—for the Ukrainians. And as we can contribute to that air defense across a range of different capabilities—long, medium, and short range—we'll do that.
26 Apr lede concerns: "Chinese interference in U.S. elections"...
MITCHELL @03:39: They say they need air defenses desperately. They want Patriots. The prime minister was here sitting right there last week telling me that. I've checked with our officials in the military, and they say, there's a shortage of Patriots. Germany has sent more Patriots to Ukraine than the US has. Can we get them more?
SULLIVAN: Well, first of all, if yout think about the roled the US plays, it's not just what we send. It's what we work with other countries to send. Secretary Austin runs a monthly meeting ot the defense ministers of 50 countries, almost like a quarterback calling the plays to get air defense interceptors [missiles] into Ukraine. We got some from Germany. We got some from other countries. We got some from the United States, and we are doing a lot of the supplying of the actual missiles that go into that battery—those batteries that get fired. The US Patriot systems right now are deployed around the world, including the Middle East, to protect US troops. If we we can UNLOCK further American Patriot batteries, we would send them. In the meantime, what we're going to do is work with European partners to get them to provide air defense capability to Ukraine. We will do everything we can to protect its skies from the missiles that are raining down on the cities of Ukraine, whether they be Russian missiles or North Korean missiles.
by Cat on Sat Apr 27th, 2024 at 02:48:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
euronews | Tesla looks to win back customers with worldwide cuts in EV prices, 22 Apr "overcapacity"
Tesla is to cut the price of some of its cars in an effort to combat declining sales and growing competition. Prices will be reduced in Germany—Tesla's biggest European market—and elsewhere in Europe as well as the Middle East and Africa, the company has revealed. In Germany, the cost of the Model 3 rear wheel drive will fall from  €42,990 to €40,990 [$45,770-$43,641].
< wipes tears >
The news comes after the world's largest EV maker [not TSLA] cut around a third off the price of its "Full Self Driving" system—which is not a self-drive [FKA "autonomous vehicle"] which means drivers must remain alert and be ready to intervene—to $8,000 (€7,505) from $12,000 (€11,258).
Tesla also took $2,000 off the prices of three of its five models in the United States, the Model Y, a small SUV which is Tesla's most popular model and the top-selling electric vehicle in the US, and also of the Models X and S, its older and more expensive models.
The company has been struggling with falling sales and an increasing biennial price war cuts in the market for EVs, especially against Chinese competitors [in China]. There are reports that CEO Elon Musk's personal reputation $56B value pricing also plays a role in how the company is perceived.
bloomberg | How Three High-Tech Countries Became Laggards in Electric Vehicles, 4 Apr
by Cat on Mon Apr 22nd, 2024 at 05:11:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bloomberg units of measurement
One of Japan's biggest obstacles to catching up is its subpar infrastructure. The country has just 30,000 charging connectors, or about one per 4,000 EVs, according to data from Enechange Ltd., a Tokyo-based infrastructure provider. That's less than a sixth of the density in the US or Europe, which has led to the some of the worst charger anxiety in the world, according to data compiled by BloombergNEF.
by Cat on Mon Apr 22nd, 2024 at 05:18:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Answer: Apply Bidenomics + Abenomics co-efficient
by Cat on Tue Apr 23rd, 2024 at 05:13:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
state.gov | Secretary Blinken's Travel to Saudi Arabia, 27 Apr stalker alert
Secretary Antony Blinken will travel to Saudi Arabia April 29-30 to meet with regional partners. The Secretary will discuss ongoing efforts to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza that secures the release of hostages and how it is Hamas that is standing between the Palestinian people and a ceasefire.
GCC (FTA 1981): AE, BH, KW, OM, QA, SA
The Secretary will participate in a Ministerial meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] to advance coordination on regional security.  At the World Economic Forum's [WEF] special meeting on Global Collaboration, Growth, and Energy for Development, the Secretary will coordinate with our partners to ensure continued progress on climate change mitigation and the global energy transition.
archive 26 Apr Egypt replaces Qatar in Qatar to Halt Role Mediator in Gaza War

thehill | Blinken to travel to Saudi Arabia to discuss cease-fire efforts, 27 Apr

...Apart from discussions about a cease-fire in Gaza, Blinken will talk about the increased delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza and the "importance" of it being "sustained."...
Ramadan 2024 government cheese and MREs, AMZN of "marine corridors", EU Amalthea Initiative, Strike On WCK Aid Workers in No Daylight Between Biden and Netanyahu, ose Andres, WCK Bodies Moved to Egypt in Germany in the Dock @ICJ

defense.gov | U.S. Begins Construction on Temporary Pier to Deliver Humanitarian Aid to Gaza, 25 Apr

Construction of the pier is expected to be completed in early May. Once completed, it will initially facilitate the delivery of an estimated 90 truckloads of international aid into Gaza and scale to up to 150 truckloads once fully operational. The beginning of construction marks a significant milestone following President Joe Biden's call for the military to conduct the emergency operation during his State of the Union Address last month.

Soldiers from the Army's 7th Transportation Brigade at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, and sailors from Naval Beach Group 1 at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, California, were tapped to deploy the Defense Department's Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore capability, or JLOTS.

by Cat on Sun Apr 28th, 2024 at 01:04:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Semi-private, clandestine operation. Photoshop enhanced Maxar Technology satellite depiction
dw | JLOTS Watch, 4 May
Emergency aid pier is almost ready
Floating several miles off the coast of Gaza, it will be guarded by around 1,000 armed [?!] US soldiers. They are just one component of a complex logistics chain that will cost at least $320 million (€297 million). The pier will be just the first landing point for the aid freighters coming through this new sea route ["maritime corridor"] from Cyprus around 200 nautical miles away.
archive forecasted high seas
by Cat on Sat May 4th, 2024 at 07:48:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thehill | US [nearly] completes building humanitarian pier off Gaza coast (07.05.24)
"As of today, the U.S. military has completed the off-shore construction of the Trident pier section, or the causeway, which is the component that will eventually be anchored to the Gaza shore," deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters.
"Today there are still forecasted high winds and high sea swells, which are causing unsafe conditions for the JLOTS components to be moved, so the pier sections and military vessels involved in its construction are still positioned at the Port of Ashdod" in Israel, she said.
Despite the pier not being in position, Singh said that the U.S. is loading aid onto the ship MV Sagamore, currently in Cyprus but meant to be the first vessel to transport the assistance from there to the pier.
defense.gov | DOD Continues Work on Temporary Pier for Gaza, 6 May illustrated
...Delivering the capability involves the complex choreography of logistics support and landing crafts that carry the equipment used to construct the approximately 1,800-foot causeway comprising modular sections linked together, which is known as a Trident pier....
by Cat on Tue May 7th, 2024 at 09:26:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
defense.gov | DOD Uses Unfavorable Sea Conditions to Gain Efficiencies on Gaza Aid Mission, 9 May
...In the meantime, the MV Sagamore—a commercial cargo ship—has been loaded with humanitarian aid in Cyprus and has made its way to Ashdod. Instead of waiting for the piers to be deployed, humanitarian aid on the Sagamore will be moved to the Benavidez so that the Sagamore can go back to Cyprus to get more aid supplies...
by Cat on Sat May 11th, 2024 at 01:21:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sun May 5th, 2024 at 04:15:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
rollcall | xpiring foreign income deduction gains bipartisan support, 30 Apr blame Javier Trump
Reps. Michelle Steel, R-Calif., and Joseph D. Morelle, D-N.Y., plan to introduce legislation that would leave in place a more generous deduction aimed at encouraging companies to keep intellectual property such as patents and trademarks in the U.S., rather than abroad. A draft of the measure was shared with CQ Roll Call ahead of the formal introduction.

The provision has caught the interest of some heavy hitters in the private sector, including aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co.; defense contractor RTX Corp., formerly known as Raytheon Technologies; biotech company Genentech Inc.; and Google Client Services LLC.

Absent congressional action, the deduction for foreign-derived intangible income—known as FDII, pronounced "fih-dee" in tax circles—would shrink at the end of 2025, but not fully expire. President Joe Biden proposed eliminating the deduction, which effectively lowers the tax rate for foreign-derived income, as part of his fiscal 2025 budget proposal.

rollcall | China committee* eyes biotech, weapons supply chain, 30 Apr HUAC
* US House Select Committee on Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party (a/k/a "China House") est'd 2022

DICTION CORNER foreign-derived intangible income
proceeds (money) from the sales of products related to intellectual property (IP)
Journal of Accountancy, "Understanding the FDII deduction" (01.02.19)

In the spirit of increasing the U.S. tax system's competitiveness, Congress added Sec. 250 to the Internal Revenue Code and with it the FDII deduction, which provides an incentive to domestic corporations in the form of a lower tax rate on income derived from tangible and intangible products and services in foreign markets. As a result, a corporation can claim a 37.5% deduction, which results in a permanent tax benefit and 13.125% effective tax rate, as compared with a 21% corporate rate, for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017, and before Jan. 1, 2026, after which the deduction is reduced to 21.875%, resulting in an effective tax rate of 16.406%.

The FDII deduction is available to domestic enTITIes across a broad range of industries that are taxed as C corporations. This includes U.S.-based companies and non-U.S. companies doing business in the United States.

by Cat on Wed May 1st, 2024 at 11:44:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]

ChatGPT. Supreme Court skeptical of feds' use of obstruction statute in Jan. 6 prosecutions

T -202

• The Don Cheeto (R)
• Nikki Two-Tones (R)
• Perry WUT? (R)
• not that Scott, the other one (R)
• Asa (R)
• dont-say-de-Santis (R)
•Dakato Doug Tech (R)
• Texass Hurd (R)
• Vivek WHO? (R)
• Pilgrim Pence (J)
• Christie Kreme Do'nuts (R)
Marianne (D)
• RFK, Jr (I)
• Rt Rev Dr Cornel West (JFP)
• Phil The Builder (D)
• the-other-Jill (G)
• Joe face-palm (D)
Literally Anybody Else (N/A)

Stormy! Voir Dire Watch

archived March 2024

(Agent Smith d/b/a) Fischer v. United States, 15 Apr oral argument audio| transcript

by Cat on Wed Apr 17th, 2024 at 04:04:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
House panel approves ChatGPT use for some staffers, 17 Apr learning to code
The House Administration Committee has approved the use of ChatGPT, the popular artificial intelligence (AI) powered computer programmed chatbot application, for some of its staffers, the panel revealed in a new report. The committee approved the use of ChatGPT Plus [01.02.23], a paid subscription plan for the chatbot, for "a cross-section of CHA committee staff" and held an initial training on the tool, according to the report on AI strategy and implementation in the House.
archive RollCall "Fireside" Chat software products (06.08.22)
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who leads the chamber's bipartisan working group on AI, held several AI insight forums to inform potential legislation late last year, and the House announced a bipartisan task force on AI in February. However, Congress still has yet to pass legislation.
by Cat on Wed Apr 17th, 2024 at 04:58:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Fri Apr 19th, 2024 at 07:55:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Newsqueak Motive Manifesto, digital edition, implicating Peter Thiel among others

by Cat on Sat Apr 20th, 2024 at 01:52:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Live video of man who set himself on fire outside court proves challenging for news organizations, 19 Apr
The incident tested how quickly the networks could react, and how they decided what would be too disturbing for their viewers to see.

With narration from Laura Coates, CNN had the most extensive view of the scene. Coates, who at first incorrectly said it was a shooting situation, then narrated as the man was visible onscreen, enveloped in flames.

"You can smell burning flesh," Coates, an anchor and CNN's chief legal analyst, said as she stood at the scene with reporter Evan Perez.

The camera switched back and forth between Coates and what was happening in the park. Five minutes after the incident started, CNN posted the onscreen message "Warning: Graphic Content."

archive Aaron in Bushnell: US Commandos Participating In Gaza

Postmodernism and Consumer Society

by Cat on Sat Apr 20th, 2024 at 02:08:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Whistleblower"John Kiriakou informs that he has learned, "self-immolation" is not a form of suicide, "at least in the traditional sense of the word".
by Cat on Sat Apr 27th, 2024 at 03:11:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT usatody | Boomers fear chaos of 1968 convention in Chicago, 27 Apr 2024
"Scenes of chaos could undercut the president on one of the core themes of his successful 2020 run—a return to normalcy and end of Viet Nam—while instead projecting a sense of disorder and ineffectiveness on the world stage"
by Cat on Sun Apr 28th, 2024 at 06:00:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Beyond Viet Nam"

The US presidential primary process, explained
"After the 1968 fiasco, the Democratic National Committee created a commission charged with proposing reforms to the DNC nominating process."

Calls to Reform Democratic Nomination Process Have Roots in 1968 Convention
"'A lot of things we take for granted today are the result of the changes that were made that year," USC Prof. Geoffrey Cowan tells TIME. 'The system that, let's say, Donald Trump and maybe some others call 'rigged'—it was really rigged before then.'"

by Cat on Sun Apr 28th, 2024 at 06:29:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Apr 20th, 2024 at 02:24:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Knight of Labor. Small town in rural Ohio is now the only place in America producing enriched uranium

whitehouse.gov | Remarks by President Biden at the IBEW Construction and Maintenance Conference (19.04.24)
...You know, since the 1930s—and I have to admit to you, in my early days in the Senate, I didn't realize this law said it would—the law that established the rights of a union to organize back in the `30s—well, that law said—a little piece in it no one paid much attention to.

The law said that when the federal government spends taxpayers' dollars, it has to—it has to buy American products with it and it has to use American labor. But that was honored in a—in the exception. The vast majority of the presidents didn't do it, and the last guy didn't even know it.  (Laughter.)  A lot of things he doesn't know.  (Applause.)
Through my American Rescue Plan, I also enacted the Butch Lewis Act, the most pro-labor union worker law for retirees in 50 years. (Applause.) All we're doing is protecting pensions for thousands of IBEW workers and others. The idea made—they made it hard for you to get it done is just—it blows my mind. But we made it happen, while my predecessor never lifted a finger to do hel-—any help.  A matter of fact, he lifted a finger—he put a thumb on it.
Today, I can announce that the IBEW plant in southern Ohio has already produced the first 200 pounds of that powerful enriched uranium—the first ever—first ever made in America. And it's on track to produce nearly a ton by the end of the year, enough to power 100,000 homes in this country.
We're giving tax breaks that are five-times greater to projects that are prevailing—providing a prevailing wage. If you don't provide a prevailing wage, you don't get the tax break. And we use registered apprenticeships to train their workers....

archive pit 'panic' 2024, Rosatom 2023, HALEU 2023, uranium 2022, NLRB 2022, IBEW 2020, NLRB 2019, IBEW 2017, PBGA 2013, PBGC 2006 in Is Europe prepared in the event of a collapse of the U.S., Davis-Bacon
pensionrights.org, "What the Butch Lewis Act Will and Will Not Do" (27.01.21)
eia, Domestic Uranium Production Report, 20 Feb 2024
U.S. production of uranium concentrate (U3O8) in the fourth quarter of 2023 totaled 12,653 pounds U3O8. This quarter's total uranium production occurred at four facilities, three in Wyoming (Nichols Ranch ISR Project, Lost Creek Project, and Smith Ranch-Highland Operation) and one in Nebraska (Crowe Butte Operation).
by Cat on Sat Apr 20th, 2024 at 05:49:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Don Cheeto (R)
Trump's good day in the Supreme Court came even as the justices appeared likely to reject his most extreme position: blanket ["absolute"] presidential immunity from prosecution for anything potentially falling inside the "outer perimeter" of his duties.

Trump v. US
audio | transcript (193 pp)

by Cat on Thu Apr 25th, 2024 at 10:31:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
• The Don Cheeto (R)
said in a March 11 interview on CNBC, "I would not allow countries to go off the dollar because when we lose that standard, that will be like losing a revolutionary war. That will be a hit to our country."
• Genocide Joe (D)
concluded that too many Americans didn't know what "Bidenomics" meant and because inflation has proven stubbornly high, the slogan became synonymous with an economy that, despite several strong metrics, many Americans fear is headed in the wrong direction.
by Cat on Sat Apr 27th, 2024 at 02:27:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Genocide Joe (D)
will continue to use TikTok to reach out to voters—despite the president enacting a law Wednesday that could see the social media app banned in a matter of months. That timeline could also be pushed back by legal challenges, which TikTok has already threatened in response to the new law. Hours after Biden signed the bill, his 2024 campaign posted a new video on its TikTok page that featured Biden ridiculing former President Donald Trump for thinking "windmills cause cancer." The "bidenhq" account has more than 300,000 followers and has posted more than 100 videos since it launched in February.
TikTok Inc., et sal. v. Trump (2020)
State of Indiana v. TikTok Inc. and ByteDance LTD (2023)
TikTok, et al. v. Knudsen (2023)
by Cat on Sat Apr 27th, 2024 at 03:24:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
threatened to challenge a potential TikTok ban Friday, as efforts to block the video app in the U.S. came closer to reality earlier this week. "I'm going to file a lawsuit challenging the TikTok ban on Constitutional grounds," Kennedy wrote on social media platform X.
by Cat on Sat Apr 27th, 2024 at 03:36:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the-other-Jill (G)
and at least 80 protesters were arrested at Washington University in St. Louis during a pro-Palestinian demonstration Saturday. It is unclear if Stein will face any charges.
by Cat on Sun Apr 28th, 2024 at 05:27:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NY Yella Cake | The Best Red Carpet Looks at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner (27.04.24)
It hasn't been the "nerd prom" for a while. Once a popular target of jokes about bad fashion (and not just from the evening's featured comedian host), the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner has morphed in recent years into a less campy, more staid prelude to the Met Gala, which takes place days later. It's only fitting, really, given the subtext of journalists being jailed around the world.
by Cat on Sun Apr 28th, 2024 at 05:42:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 1st, 2024 at 08:43:14 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 9th, 2024 at 09:49:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NASA researchers get [NASA] permission to apply for China's moon samples (01.12.23)
"NASA has certified its intent to Congress to allow NASA-funded researchers to apply to the China National Space Administration for access to lunar samples returned to Earth on the Chang'e-5 mission and made available recently to the international scientific community for research purposes," the email read. The move opens the rare possibility of cooperation between China and NASA-funded entities and researchers. It also comes despite NASA Administrator Bill Nelson's strong rhetoric towards China and his stated support for maintaining ongoing restrictions on collaboration.
OFAC "overcapacity" warning
The mission collected 1,731 grams of material from a geologically young area of Oceanus Procellarum, using a scoop and a drill. The country said it would make samples available internationally, after first allowing Chinese researchers and institutions access. The samples have generated a range of science papers relating to the history and evolution of the moon, its composition and more. CNSA announced that internationally-led groups could apply for samples in August this year, more than 2.5 years after Chang'e-5 landed.

"The Chang'e 5 samples originate from regions of the Moon not yet sampled by NASA and are expected to provide valuable new scientific insight on the geological history of the Moon, which could provide new understanding of the Earth-Moon system and potentially inform NASA's future lunar exploration plans," the NASA email read.

NASA CNSA opens door to cooperation with China on Moon rock research (07.12.23)
The [US] ban on bilateral cooperation is spelled out in a provision first added to NASA's annual appropriations bill by former Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA) in 2011. The so-called Wolf amendment has been included in the agency's funding bill every year since. Wolf had two objectives in crafting the amendment: stopping leaks of space-related technology and expertise to China < wipes tears > and pushing the country to improve its human rights  record.
Application portal
The CNSA application portal opened on Nov. 6, and does not close until Dec 22. NASA researchers only gained approval to submit applications on Nov. 29, NASA spokesperson Roxana Bardan, told Space.com.
But, "The Wolf amendment has neither discouraged Chinese space ambitions nor altered China's behavior on human rights," Makena Young, an aerospace security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies [CSIS], a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, wrote in a 2019 review of the impact of the amendment. The restrictions "only serve to stifle mutually beneficial cooperation for science and exploration," she added, calling for the amendment to be revised.
NASA delays astronaut moon landing to 2026 amid spacecraft 'challenges' (09.01.24)
"NASA administrator Bill Nelson told reporters in a news conference."

The moon is getting its own time zone, White House memo reveals, 4 Apr primates

according to a memo sent to NASA by the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).
NASA will, in coordination with the Departments of Commerce, Defense, State, and Transportation, provide a finalized strategy to the Executive Office of the President to implement lunar timing standardization no later than December 31, 2026. NASA will also include consideration of Coordinated Lunar Time (LTC), as described in this memorandum, as part of its annual Moon-to-Mars Architecture Concept Review cycle no later than December 31, 2024.
Lunar time will run differently from time zones on Earth. Because there's less gravity on the moon, time there moves faster than on our planet—running ahead by 58.7 microseconds every day. This seemingly small difference is enough to throw off the precise maneuvers of lunar spacecraft and satellites.
China to hear pitches from NASA scientist, other researchers, to study Chang'e 5 lunar samples, 10 Apr elevator cage match
China's space agency has invited 10 scientists from the US, Europe, and Asia to pitch their plans in person to study lunar samples brought back to Earth by China's Chang'e 5 moon mission. ... Each applicant will have 15 minutes to make a presentation and take questions from the review committee, [China National Space Administration] CNSA said on its website on Tuesday, adding that online participation was also acceptable.

by Cat on Sat Apr 13th, 2024 at 01:57:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Preview plates. Available in Chinese and English

China publishes world's first high-definition lunar geologic atlas, 21 Apr

Since 2012, Ouyang Ziyuan and Liu Jianzhong have led a team of scientists and cartographers from relevant research institutions in compiling this atlas. With a comprehensive and systematic understanding of the origin and evolution of the moon, the team compiled the atlas based on scientific exploration data gained from China's Chang'e lunar exploration program and other research results from both Chinese and international missions, Liu said.
"The world has witnessed significant progress in the field of lunar exploration and scientific research over the past decades, which has greatly improved our understanding of the moon. However, the lunar geologic maps published during the Apollo era have not been changed for about half a century, and are still being used for lunar geological research. With the improvements of lunar geologic studies, those old maps can no longer meet the needs of future scientific research and lunar exploration," said Liu Jianzhong, a senior researcher from the Institute of Geochemistry, CAS.
This atlas set has been integrated into the digital lunar cloud platform [database] built by Chinese scientists, and will serve lunar scientific research, science education, as well as landing site selection, lunar resource exploration and path planning for China's future lunar exploration projects, Liu said.

He mentioned that China's upcoming Chang'e-6 mission [May 2024] is expected to collect samples in the Apollo Basin within the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the moon, which means materials ejected from ancient terrain may be collected in the process. "Our map can provide a macroscopic geologic background to improve the purpose and efficiency of the sample research," Liu explained.

The compilation of this map was an immense task, which required the organization and cooperation of many well-informed researchers over many years to be able to achieve a consistent and complete result, commented Gregory Michael, a senior scientist from the Free University of Berlin in Germany.

ancient history
smithsonianmag | The 17th-Century Astronomer Who Made the First Atlas of the Moon (27.12.18)
science fiction
The Wandering Earth (2019), The Wandering Earth II (2023)
by Cat on Mon Apr 22nd, 2024 at 01:01:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
scientificamerican | Geoengineering Test Quietly Launches Salt Crystals into Atmosphere, 4 Apr
CLIMATEWIRE | The nation's first outdoor test to limit global warming by increasing cloud cover launched Tuesday from the deck of a decommissioned aircraft carrier in the San Francisco Bay.

The experiment, which organizers didn't widely announce to avoid public backlash, marks the acceleration of a contentious field of research known as solar radiation modification. The concept involves shooting substances such as aerosols into the sky to reflect sunlight away from the Earth....

by Cat on Mon Apr 15th, 2024 at 09:08:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
euractiv | New packaging rules set to become law despite Commission objections (18.93.24)
For households, the most visible change brought by the new law will be the harmonisation of deposit return schemes for plastic bottles and cans. Countries like Italy and Spain, which currently do not have deposit return schemes, will have to adopt them by 2029 to achieve the 90% target for returns of plastic bottles and drink cans. From 2030, fruit and vegetables may no longer be wrapped in single-use plastic, nor may luggage be plastic-wrapped at airports. Plastic sauce cachets will also be banned, while their paper counterparts will be permitted.

Planet vs. Plastics initiative. From single-use ban by 2030 to maxumun recycle 2040.
by Cat on Mon Apr 22nd, 2024 at 07:58:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
bloomberg | Saudis Scale Back Ambition for $1.5 Trillion Desert Project Neom, 5 Apr
By 2030, the government at one point hoped to have 1.5 million residents living in The Line, a sprawling, futuristic city it plans to contain within a pair of mirror-clad skyscrapers. Now, officials expect the development will house fewer than 300,000 residents by that time, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Officials have long said The Line would be built in stages and they expect it to ultimately cover a 170-kilometer stretch of desert along the coast. With the latest pullback, though, officials expect to have just 2.4 kilometers of the project completed by 2030, the person familiar with the matter said, who asked not to be named discussing non-public information.
Along with The Line, Neom's plans include an industrial city, ports, and tourism developments. It's also set to host the Asian Winter Games in 2029 at a mountain resort called Trojena.

To be sure, work is continuing on other parts of the broader Neom project and officials have maintained their overall objectives for The Line, people familiar with the matter said. For instance, another development within Neom that is turning an island in the Red Sea into a luxury tourist destination known as Sindalah is due to open this year.

The pullback on The Line comes as the kingdom's sovereign wealth fund has yet to approve Neom's budget for 2024, the people familiar with the matter said. It shows that the financial realities of the trillions of dollars of investment are starting to cause concern at the highest levels of the Saudi government as it tries to fulfill its ambitious Vision 2030 program, the overarching initiative tasked with diversifying the kingdom's economy.

Guardian | End of the Line? Saudi Arabia 'forced to scale back' plans for desert megacity, 10 Apr
Not everyone, however, has been convinced by the prince's glossy prospectus. Writing in the New York Times in 2021 at the time Neom released a video describing the prospects of living between the city's silvered walls, the US journalist and author Robert Worth said: "To watch the crown prince's promotional video is to be immersed in a distinctively Saudi form of arrogance, blending religious triumphalism, and royal grandiosity."

And hubris, too, apparently.

archive NEOM
by Cat on Sat Apr 20th, 2024 at 04:25:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Underproducers! Luxury priced automakers launch NEV models at 18th annual Beijing auto show
China's largest auto show, or 2024 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, which kicked off in Beijing on Thursday, has regained global attention. Global players such as Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz are signaling their entry into NEVs on a large scale, highlighting their confidence in the Chinese market.
1. Collective Efforts from Participating Automakers Make Global Brands Shine Side by Side
117 global premieres (including 30 global premieres by multinational companies) and 41 concept cars will be showcased. There will be 278 NEV models on the stage...
2. Significant Trends of Internationalization and Intelligence of Component Enterprises
centralized exhibition of automotive components, electronics and systems, and new energy and intelligent connected vehicles. Auto China 2024 has attracted nearly 500 well-known domestic and foreign component enterprises and tech companies from 13 countries and regions...
A total of 44 models from the Volkswagen Group's brands are on display at the ongoing show, 11 of which are making their debuts, according to information that Volkswagen Group shared with the Global Times. Among the total, there are 18 NEV models.
Toyota Exhibiting at Beijing Motor Show 2024
Mercedes-Benz brought 21 new models to the show, including the world's first pure electric G-Class off-road vehicle. Maybach's first mass-produced pure electric model, the Maybach EQS pure electric sport utility vehicle, hit the Chinese market at the show.
Kia underlines credentials as a leading 'EV brand' at 2024 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition
Volkswagen Group said that it is focusing on its local development capacities and its partnerships with local tech companies and manufacturers such as Horizon Robotics, Thundersoft and XPENG.

"We are accelerating our electric offensive with additional products for new segments. In this way, we are taking advantage of opportunities in the rapidly growing e-market," Ralf Brandstätter, board member for the China region and CEO of Volkswagen Group China, told the Global Times.

GT | Shanghai Party chief meets Blinken, 25 Apr OFAC overcapacity Tour
In Shanghai, Blinken reportedly raised "concerns over China's trade policies and non-market economic practices." He described Chinese policies as "unfair" and demanded "a level playing field for US workers and firms operating in China." ...[China Foreign Affairs University prof] Li noted, "If Blinken is here to issue an ultimatum to China, we will not give in to him and will not compromise on our core issues."
by Cat on Thu Apr 25th, 2024 at 09:56:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
< wipes tears >

GT | Why is there no 'overcapacity' at Beijing Auto Show?, 28 Apr

...Many people noticed that there were obviously more foreigners at this auto show, and the attitude of foreign car manufacturers has also changed significantly. BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi all brought luxury exhibitor lineups and models. Executives from multinational car companies not only came to promote their own products, but also carefully studied the technology and design of Chinese new-energy vehicles. A considerable number of overseas dealers, suppliers, media and even car owners came to the exhibition. A video of South Koreans observing Chinese new-energy vehicles went viral on the internet. Chinese society has a very open attitude toward this. Openness has always been the motto of the Beijing Auto Show....
Elvis has left the building
by Cat on Sat Apr 27th, 2024 at 06:27:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 1st, 2024 at 08:43:32 AM EST

On top of that, she had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which made working in an open-plan office with a strict 9-5 policy incredibly hard. Gardner, 42, works best in isolation, early in the morning and in the evening, and she didn't feel her workplace was prepared to accommodate that.

... form of early retirement ... wish her good luck with her choice.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 2nd, 2024 at 09:16:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Radio program Suhoor Stories

Sevval makes radio during Ramadan: "This month is an opportunity to get closer to myself"

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 2nd, 2024 at 09:35:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 9th, 2024 at 09:46:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 9th, 2024 at 09:48:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thehill | 'Forever chemicals' are known for lingering in the body. Menstruation helps expel them, 21 Apr
This story is part of a series, "Fighting 'Forever Chemicals': Women face pervasive PFAS risks."
A January 2022 Toxicology review published by [NIH group leader Suzanne] Fenton's research team notes that "menstruation appears to be a crucial route of elimination for many PFAS" and potentially explains up to 30 percent of the discrepancy between male and female PFAS blood levels.

"Since 90-99 percent of PFAS in the blood are bound to serum albumin, menstrual bleeding may prove an important elimination pathway for these persistent substances," the authors stated.
The vast majority of Americans have at least some PFAS in their bloodstream. A widely cited study published in 2015 from the Centers for Disease Control [CDC] and Prevention found that 97 percent of Americans have these substances in their blood.
Nonetheless, Fenton stressed that "because some PFAS accumulate in tissues, this route is unlikely to rid the body of PFAS."
"Similarly, if you regularly donate blood you can get rid of some of your body burden of the environmental chemicals like the PFAS," she added.

by Cat on Mon Apr 22nd, 2024 at 04:32:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
iltempo.it | Roma caput Islam: nella Capitale 53 moschee "abusive" ma solo una è ufficiale, 19 Apr
Al momento il censimento dei dipartimenti di sicurezza, sotto la guida del ministro dell'Interno Matteo Piantedosi, hanno certificato l'esistenza di 53 moschee abusive, rispetto alle 30 censite dieci anni fa dall'Antiterrorismo, che in un dossier aveva rivelato come fossero almeno un centinaio le realtà di preghiera illegali da portare alla luce. L'intensificazione dei controlli e le indagini sempre più stringenti, grazie alle relazioni investigative degli 007, hanno portato ora a raddoppiare il numero dei centri culturali censiti, puntando i riflettori sulla galassia, rimasta per anni nell'ombra, di imam integralisti e predicatori di odio, disposti a tutto pur di portare avanti quella missione contro l'Occidente infedele, tentando di inculcare nelle menti dei più giovani e delle seconde generazioni la dottrina fondamentalista del martirio al grido di Allah akbar.

Bacini di illegalità che non possono più essere tollerati, di fronte agli attentati cruenti, scatenati nel cuore dell'Europa da jihadisti arrivati sui barconi a Lampedusa, o all'ultima tragica strage compiuta dall'Isis alla Crocus City Hall di Mosca, il 22 marzo scorso. L'allerta delle nostre forze dell'ordine è massima, come dimostra l'arresto del super terrorista del Tagikistan Ilkhomi Sayrakhmonzoda, fermato dai poliziotti della Digos non appena sbarcato a Fiumicino, lo scorso 8 aprile. E sono diverse le operazioni che hanno portato in manette islamici impegnati nel proselitismo, oltre ai servizi informativi che hanno permesso di sventare attentati nel nostro Paese. Perché gli approfondimenti dell'Antiterrorismo sono proiettati a 360 gradi e includono lo scandaglio a raggi X del dark web, le intercettazioni e perfino il controllo dei testi nelle moschee abusive.

by Cat on Sat Apr 20th, 2024 at 08:38:22 PM EST
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Governor DeSantis Signs Legislation Further Enhancing Florida's Education Standards on the Evils of Communism, 17 Apr
Today, on the 63rd anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion, Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 1264, which strengthens Florida's education standards that require teaching on the dangers and evils of Communism.

"The truth will set us free," said Governor Ron DeSantis. "We will not allow our students to live in ignorance, nor be indoctrinated by Communist apologists in schools. To the contrary, we will ensure students in Florida are taught the truth about the evils and dangers of Communism."

"It is vitally important that every student learns about the dangers of Communism," said Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. "I know firsthand the evils that Communism brings, and I am proud to stand by Governor DeSantis as he signs this legislation to ensure Florida remains the bastion of freedom."

by Cat on Sat Apr 20th, 2024 at 08:48:57 PM EST
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F24 | French PM backs boarding schools to tackle youth 'addiction to violence', 23 Apr
"There's a violence problem among young people. Tackling the issue is one of my government's biggest priorities," [France PM Gabriel] Attal told a group of teenagers in uniform tracksuits as he visited the school.

When he asked the group whether they were happy to be there for the Easter holidays, which started on April 20 in the Nice region, most replied in the negative.

"My parents didn't convince me to go, they forced me," said one male student aged 14. Another boy seemed not to know who Attal was, asking the 35-year-old premier: "Are you the mayor or the prime minister?"

archive Who is Gabriel Attal?, "real, tangible dangers"
"Me, I am the prime minister and the mayor, he is there," answered Attal, France's youngest ever prime minister, gesturing to Nice mayor Christian Estrosi. A third boy asked Attal what his job was and if he was rich, then what he thought of the French president.

"Macron's mean," the boy said looking at his feet, in comments caught on camera and broadcast on the BFMTV television channel.

archive anomie
"The idea here is not to punish, but to prevent," he added. "The idea is to help you."
Activities will include workshops on the values of the French Republic, learning the national anthem, and a trip to a nearby internment camp used by the Nazi-allied Vichy Regime during World War II. Attal has called for greater use of boarding schools to prevent youths from falling into delinquency.
"We have around 50,000 empty boarding places in France today, which is crazy when you think about it, even though we know that there are many parents who are overwhelmed and who could see an advantage in it," he told reporters on Monday.
Au revoir, les enfants
Attal said measures would include expanding compulsory school attendance to all the days of the week from 8am to 6pm for children of college age. He said parents needed to take more responsibility, warning that particularly disruptive children would have sanctions marked on their final grades.
archive metaphor of "the Third Place"
by Cat on Tue Apr 23rd, 2024 at 02:46:43 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 1st, 2024 at 08:43:48 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 9th, 2024 at 08:02:08 PM EST
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by Cat on Tue Apr 23rd, 2024 at 09:27:27 PM EST
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inauthentic Chinese-Russian or Russian-Chinese persona? You be the judge.

by Cat on Tue Apr 23rd, 2024 at 09:18:37 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 1st, 2024 at 08:44:04 AM EST
Unhoused residents build home on side of Southern California freeway
by Cat on Thu Apr 18th, 2024 at 03:07:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ritz* giving away 24-karat gold bar of butter worth $100,000

* Mondelēz International, Inc. brand name cracker

by Cat on Tue Apr 23rd, 2024 at 03:34:02 PM EST
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The 10 Thirstiest* Members of Congress

* signifies casual sexual availability among US persons of the millennial and Z generations

by Cat on Fri Apr 26th, 2024 at 03:31:54 PM EST
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20 days in hospital including acute physical rehab, courtesy of Medicaid insurance benefits and an unexpected MS relapse (paralysis); possessed by a favorable, if idiosyncratic, attitude adjustment toward institutional knowledge, MIC protocols, organizational behavior, and "luck".

That is the B'more PD and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) who circumvented damage to the exterior fortifications of the Chateau Hobo to collect me. The irony. It was this  team work that also determined which receiving ER, ergo admitting hospital and University of Maryland medical system. Take note, Johns Hopkins straddling the twin towers of International Repute and Monopoly.

And, dare I say, vindicated. Evidently, in the 27 years since my diagnosis, the smörgåsbord of hypothetical "disease-modifying drugs" fail the test of efficacy over time more often than not. At this stage in my case, I've no reasons to expect beneficial alternatives to behavioral modification, eg. physical medicine and metabolic nutrition, or NPI. To wit, statistically significant deviation in treatment endpoints (number of new or active lesions) attributable either to, say, interferon "infusions," diroximel fumarate treatment (HA), or placebo (H0). In my case, HA proved false, confirmed by head-to-tail MRI Y0 and Y2. I shudder imagining the range of adverse Rx reactions and secondary conditions I might have acquired were I a more credulous subject of neurological arts and silver bullets.

Where in the world is Cat now?
Back on my feet, so to speak, with fresh understanding that the mysteries of life are

until further notice.

Medical advice disclaimer

by Cat on Fri Apr 12th, 2024 at 04:54:52 PM EST
You were badly missed ... left no note 😉 ....  glad you are back ... none of the problems have been solved, likely all gotten worse ... the young whippersnapper generation of highly educated managers have no backbone, lack vision and creative thinking outside the box ... . no problem solvers 🆘 peace is not in their vocabulary.

Key words | Gaza genocide | Israel escalation | Iranian consulate Damascus | retaliation imminent | Zelenskyy sad | Kharkiv defense | peace ☮️ not on the horizon 🌈 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Apr 13th, 2024 at 08:27:33 PM EST
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o, I lurked by phone 💓 and gathered that you covered all bases. 👍🏼
by Cat on Mon Apr 15th, 2024 at 12:28:45 PM EST
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