Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Oct 4th, 2020 at 08:59:18 AM EST
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: Major cities hit as heavy fighting continues - BBC
Azerbaijan's second-largest city, Ganja, has been shelled by Armenian forces, as heavy clashes continue over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The enclave is officially part of Azerbaijan but run by ethnic Armenians.

The self-proclaimed authorities there say they hit Ganja's military airport after Azerbaijani forces shelled the region's capital, Stepanakert.

Azerbaijan says no Ganja military sites were hit. More than 220 people have died since clashes began a week ago.

Armenia and Azerbaijan went to war over Nagorno-Karabakh in 1988-94, eventually declaring a ceasefire. However, they have never reached a settlement over the dispute.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Oct 4th, 2020 at 12:19:06 PM EST
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trailing Pompeo's dismissal and a détente with China on establishments of de Holy See ...
"FRATELLI TUTTI", 4 Oct 2020
archived Eric Li, The Coming War on China (2016)
In China there are a lot of problems, but at the moment, the Chinese, the party state, has proven an extraordinary ability to change. I mean, I make the joke: In America you can change political parties, but you can't change the policies; in China you cannot change the party, but you can change policies. So in the sixty-five or sixty-six years China's been run by one single party. Yet the political changes that have taken place in China, in this past sixty-six years have been wider and broader and greater probably than any other major country in modern memory. China is a market economy, and it's a vibrant market economy, but it is not a capitalist country. Here's why: There's no way a group of billionaires  can control the Politburo as billionaires control American policy-making. So in China you have a vibrant market economy, but capital does not rise above political authority. Capital does not have enshrined rights. In America capital, the interests of capital and capital itself, has risen above the American nation. The political authority cannot check the power of capital. And that's why America is a capitalist country, but China is not.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Oct 4th, 2020 at 04:06:05 PM EST
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Japan's Suga, under fire, defends rejection of scholars for science panel
"'The constitution of Japan has a specific article just for academic freedom, which is ... a direct result of wartime control of academia and science by the militarists,' said Sophia University professor Koichi Nakano."
archived Fri Aug 28th, 2020
by Cat on Mon Oct 5th, 2020 at 02:07:33 PM EST
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UK court overturns Venezuela judgment in $1 billion gold tug-of-war
The Court of Appeal granted the Nicolas Maduro-backed Banco Central de Venezuela's (BCV) appeal and set aside July's High Court judgement [...] Monday's decision means the case now goes back to the High Court for it to determine more definitively which of the two rival leaders is in charge.
US-Eng. law: Appellate ct remands, or reverses with instructions, inferior ct decision; BCV gold remains in BoE custody pending "reasoned" judgment, STT.
by Cat on Mon Oct 5th, 2020 at 03:27:19 PM EST
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by Cat on Mon Oct 5th, 2020 at 03:46:53 PM EST
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Can Venezuela now send a battleship to England to collect it, or are only the French allowed to do such things?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Oct 5th, 2020 at 05:51:51 PM EST
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You mean like the attack on Mers-el-Kébir?
by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Oct 5th, 2020 at 06:05:23 PM EST
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I was actually thinking of Pompidou and New York.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Oct 5th, 2020 at 06:20:46 PM EST
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NG, KR to vie for WTO leadership
"Former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and South Korean trade minister Yoo Myung-hee are the final candidates"
archived Fri Sep 18th, 2020
by Cat on Thu Oct 8th, 2020 at 07:08:53 PM EST
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So much for the Fox.

by Bernard (bernard) on Thu Oct 8th, 2020 at 08:26:58 PM EST
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"She wants the WTO to help poorer countries access COVID-19 drugs and vaccines." hmm, That's a counter-intuitive function. Did she wander into the wrong room?
by Cat on Mon Oct 26th, 2020 at 10:28:38 PM EST
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by Cat on Thu Oct 29th, 2020 at 05:04:50 PM EST
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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 9th, 2020 at 11:18:15 AM EST
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I was holding out for a shared Greta/BLM prize!
Robbed i tells ya!
by Number 6 on Mon Oct 19th, 2020 at 11:25:22 AM EST
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Story in Gray Zone ...

Fake news hoax exposed: NY Times podcast star lied about joining ISIS

The real Abu Huzayfah al-Kanadi has been identified as a 25-year-old man living in Toronto named Shehroze Chaudhry. He was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on September 25, and faces up to five years in prison under Canada's terrorism hoax laws.

Callimachi has earned fame by marketing herself as a journalistic expert on ISIS and violent Islamist extremism.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Oct 12th, 2020 at 01:53:43 PM EST
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by generic on Wed Oct 14th, 2020 at 12:45:39 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 16th, 2020 at 07:13:47 PM EST
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Labour dominant in New Zealand ...  

Election 2020: 'Back to work,' says Ardern

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 17th, 2020 at 10:42:44 AM EST
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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 17th, 2020 at 10:54:52 AM EST
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A Green Socialist Revolution - Ardern

A Consensus Builder In South Pacific

Jacinda Ardern considers coalition despite New Zealand election landslide | The Guardian |

Ardern's party won the highest percentage of the vote in more than five decades, claiming 64 seats in parliament, with her handling of the Covid-19 crisis regarded as decisive in her win.

Ardern said new talent coming into the Labour caucus included GPs, a midwife and an infectious disease expert, which would inform her decision on who would take over the crucial health portfolio.

Green party co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson have confirmed they spoke to Ardern. The party won 10 seats in parliament - two more than the previous election - and is hoping to be invited to join her government - pushing it further to the left.

70 maps that explain America

America has become a gerontocracy. We must change that

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Oct 18th, 2020 at 07:44:22 PM EST
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Jami-Lee Ross

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Oct 19th, 2020 at 08:31:40 AM EST
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Labour got a huge boost for not mishandling COVID (not that hard given NZ's unique geographical isolation) and got 49% of the popular vote, and 64 out of 120 membres of Parliament.

National had an annus horribilus with several scandals and three leaders in quick succession, and collapsed to a level I can confidently say without looking it up, is their lowest since the party was formed nearly a century ago : 27% and 35 seats.

The ACT party, NZ's hard right, went from 1 to 10 MPs (on 8% of the vote). A natural reaction to National's hopelessness, but a danger for the future. Socially conservative, not overtly racist but extreme neolibs.

The Greens were very junior coalition partners in the outgoing government, and I feared they might get eliminated by the 5% threshold; but it seems that some voters of the left realised that Labour was heading for a landslide and voted to keep them in the game : 7.5% and 10 MPs, up two. This is the first time a minor party has survived coalition without being punished, and bodes well for the future. Also, smart young queer Chloe Swarbrick won my electorate of central Auckland (a crucial insurance policy agains the 5% electoral threshold for the party), and the world is a better place for it.

New Zealand First, not so much a centrist party as a wild-card party, has been wiped out. As its charismatic leader, who has been deputy Prime Minister with both left and right, is 75 and in poor health, this looks like the end, and good riddance.

Ardern is not commiting to a new coalition with the Greens; she's got the numbers to govern alone, and they would be foolish to accept whatever very poor offer she might eventually make. They need to be in opposition. Ardern's actual record is actually pretty poor, and not discernably progressive; her program for the next three years is not going to be any better.

A good wrap-up

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Oct 18th, 2020 at 05:17:03 PM EST
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[Footnote] The National party only exists since 1936, but indeed, this is their worst-ever result. The nearest comparison is 1935, when the coalition government of the liberal and conservative parties (which united to become National) were swept aside by the first Labour landslide, 46% to 33%.

My own political consciousness starts in 1972 with a big Labour win; that government was progressive but short-lived. I participated in the biggish win of 1984, but that ended very badly indeed, as the rudderless Labour government was hijacked by the free-market loonies who subsequently formed the ACT party. Hence my low expectations for the next few years.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Oct 18th, 2020 at 05:54:59 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Oct 18th, 2020 at 08:18:42 PM EST
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Green vote on proposed Labour deal expected this afternoon:
Green Party delegates will vote on whether to accept a proposed deal with Labour at 4pm today.

Several rounds of talks on potential areas of cooperation between the two parties concluded on Thursday.

Neither side has said what exactly was on the table, but RNZ understands Greens co-leader James Shaw has been offered the climate-change portfolio.

Waiting for the details to leak.

by IdiotSavant on Sat Oct 31st, 2020 at 02:25:06 AM EST
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NZ Election 2020 live updates: Green Party delegates accept deal with Labour

Delegates have voted to accept a deal with Labour which will give it two ministerial portfolios outside of cabinet.

See my earlier expression of hope and trust in PM Jacinda Ardern on this thread. 😊 🌿

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 31st, 2020 at 08:28:33 AM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Mon Oct 19th, 2020 at 05:41:57 PM EST
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How is it a comeback when it won the last elections?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Oct 19th, 2020 at 06:04:19 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Mon Oct 19th, 2020 at 08:48:31 PM EST
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cartesian death, birth, union
by Cat on Mon Oct 19th, 2020 at 06:42:40 PM EST
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Chechen Freedom fighters, the Second Generation

Abdullakh Anzorov, Paty's killer 'was in contact with jihadist in Syria | The Guardian |

Le Parisien newspaper reported that Anzorov had contact with an as yet unidentified Russian-speaking jihadist in Syria who was located through an IP address that had been traced back to Idlib, a jihadist holdout in north-western Syria (Idlib).

FranceInfoTV said the killer, who arrived in France aged six with his Chechen parents and had been granted asylum and a residence permit until 2030.

A Western alliance making war against the Soviets Russians at their frontier ... a set policy of NATO.

Omar the Chechen: The notorious, red-bearded IS commander | MEE |

A fierce, battle-hardened warlord with roots in Georgia and a thick red beard, Omar al-Shishani is one of the most notorious faces of the Islamic State group.

Shishani comes from the Pankisi Gorge region that is populated mainly by ethnic Chechens.

He fought as a Chechen rebel against Russian forces before joining the Georgian military in 2006, and fought Russian forces again in Georgia in 2008.

He resurfaced in northern Syria in 2012 as the leader of a battalion of foreign fighters, said Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, research fellow at the Middle East Forum, a US think-tank.

Boston bombers: retribution for US wars

Dutch fund Syrian Jihadist spokesperson because these terror groups were allied with the West to remove Bashir Assad as president of Syria.

Dutch Gov't Admits Support for Salafist Jihadists in Syria

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Oct 22nd, 2020 at 04:18:51 PM EST
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Goldman Sachs Charged in Foreign Bribery Case and Agrees to Pay Over $2.9 Billion
According to Goldman's admissions and court documents, between approximately 2009 and 2014, Goldman conspired with others to violate the FCPA by engaging in a scheme to pay more than $1.6 billion in bribes, directly and indirectly, to foreign officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi in order to obtain and retain business for Goldman from 1MDB, a Malaysian state-owned and state-controlled fund created to pursue investment and development projects for the economic benefit of Malaysia and its people.
archived Sun Dec 9th, 2018
by Cat on Fri Oct 23rd, 2020 at 04:18:35 PM EST
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Libya's rival forces sign permanent ceasefire at UN-sponsored talks | The Guardian |

Rival forces in Libya have agreed a permanent nationwide ceasefire including the departure of all foreign fighters and mercenaries from the country for a minimum of three months.

"The parties have signed a complete countrywide permanent agreement with immediate effect. The parties agreed to the departure of all mercenaries and foreign fighters from Libyan territory, air, land and seas for three months." Military trainers will also leave.

The main frontline is between Sirte on the coast and Al Jufrah in central Libya.

The ceasefire includes the full opening of land and air routes, efforts to curb hate speech, an exchange of prisoners and plans to reconstruct the Petroleum Facilities Guard, an oil company and militia body linked to the eastern warlord General Khalifa Haftar that is seen as a threat to the stable flow of oil from Libya.

The surprisingly high level of progress in Geneva means the focus now shifts to whether the external actors will end the supply of arms to the warring factions, and agree to withdraw their troops.

Turkey has sent as many as 4,000 Syrian mercenaries [Jihadists from Idlib] to support the UN-recognised government in Tripoli headed by the prime minister, Fayez al-Sarraj. Mercenaries from the Wagner Group, a Russian paramilitary organisation, have supported general Haftar, and a steady flow of weaponry has been sent by the United Arab Emirates in blatant breach of the UN arms embargo.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 23rd, 2020 at 07:33:07 PM EST
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Israel to maintain Azeri edge in Karabakh war | Asia Times |

Arms, oil and Iran - Israel's role in Nagorno-Karabakh | Mondoweiss |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 24th, 2020 at 07:48:54 PM EST
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Turkey and Qatar's brotherhood of the boycotted | The National |

Turkish contractors in the Middle East have lost an estimated $3 billion in the past year, the head of the Turkish Contractors Union noted last week. Fashion retailers Mango and Zara are looking to move production out of Turkey because Saudis and other Gulf citizens are refusing to buy clothes made there.

When Turkey faced a sharp economic downturn in 2018, Qatar fast-tracked a $3bn currency swap and $15bn in investment. Trade between the two leapt 85 per cent that year. More recently, Turkey has expanded its military footprint, opening a new base outside Doha last year that hosts 5,000 Turkish troops.

"The Turkish military presence in the Arab Gulf is an emergency," the UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, said last week.

Sheikh Tamim says he views Erdogan as a father

In Libya, where Turkey and Qatar back the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, Mr Erdogan last week questioned the credibility of the latest ceasefire, suggesting that the civil war there is set to continue for some time. Sudan's allies in the Gulf have sought to counter any Turkish influence there for years, and the recent decision of the transitional military council in Khartoum to normalise relations with Israel suggests that those efforts are proving successful.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Oct 26th, 2020 at 07:06:50 AM EST
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Chileans Are About to Vote on Rewriting Their Whole Constitution. Will It Turn a 'Social Explosion' Into a New Plan for the Country? | TIME |

* Updated result (22:58)
With 90% of the votes counted, Apruebo has 78.24% while Rechazo has 21.76%.

* President Maduro reacts to preliminary results (22:30)
The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, reacted to the preliminary results on the referendum. "The great avenues are now open to build a better society. Long live Chile! Long live Allende!"

Celebrations as Chile votes by huge majority to scrap Pinochet-era constitution  | The Guardian |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Oct 26th, 2020 at 07:42:09 AM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Wed Oct 28th, 2020 at 05:18:55 PM EST
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A new constitution will not automatically resolve the many problems that prompted the recent crisis. But it should make the political process more legitimate in the eyes of many Chileans, force political elites to be more inclusive and accountable, as well as enabling politicians legislators to negotiate and implement necessary reforms of civil codes.
by Cat on Wed Oct 28th, 2020 at 05:52:27 PM EST
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Occasional Series