Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Sep 1st, 2021 at 06:54:00 PM EST
Mozambique: 'Hidden debt' trial EXPOSES depth of corruption
Between 2013 and 2014, three Mozambican state-owned companies, ProIndicus, Ematum and Mam, took out €1.76 billion ($2.08 billion) in loans. The colossal amount of money came from Credit Suisse and the Russian bank VTB, among others [World Food Program (WFP)!]. These funds were allegedly meant to finance maritime surveillance, fishing and shipyard projects.
The trial of, among others, Ndambi Guebuza, son of former President Armando Guebuza, and Gregorio Leao, former head of the security services, on charges of blackmail, embezzlement and money laundering is being aired live on television.
Fighting Mozambique's graft
Many Mozambicans believe that the judicial proceedings show that the authorities are finally getting serious about fighting corruption.
archive Thu Nov 9th, 2017 "tuna bonds"
by Cat on Sat Sep 4th, 2021 at 01:09:18 PM EST
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plea deal
It removes one of several major disputes between the US and China.

The details of the deal are expected to be presented to a federal court on Friday. If prosecutors drop fraud charges against Meng,she would be freed immediately.

It would Meng to leave Canada, where she has been detained since 2018, and return to China without facing US jail time, her lawyer said.

What are the charges against Meng?

Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei Technologies founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada in 2018 on a US-issued warrant while en route to Mexico City in a move that angered Beijing.

by Cat on Fri Sep 24th, 2021 at 06:57:44 PM EST
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RT is broadcasting LAVROV presser LIVE.
uh oh.
He dropped the J-bomb.
by Cat on Sat Sep 25th, 2021 at 05:28:19 PM EST
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running time 01:26:40
by Cat on Sat Sep 25th, 2021 at 05:36:13 PM EST
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by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Sep 26th, 2021 at 06:54:10 PM EST
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by Cat on Mon Sep 27th, 2021 at 12:04:12 AM EST
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by Cat on Sat Sep 25th, 2021 at 01:30:04 AM EST
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Thereby proving the point of all of those who were calling these two men "hostages".
by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Sep 25th, 2021 at 07:57:48 AM EST
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1 Wanzhou = 2 Canadians
by Cat on Sat Sep 25th, 2021 at 02:21:07 PM EST
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by generic on Sat Sep 25th, 2021 at 02:23:46 PM EST
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Canadians, Chinese executive return home in PRISONER SWAP, trade war, cold war, proxy war a/k/a "feud", "rangling"
"Clearly, the Chinese were so eager to get Meng back that they jettisoned all pretensions that the two Michaels had been arrested for good reasons. They must acknowledge that their reputation has been severely tarnished," Saint-Jacques said. "There is grumbling in the Communist party of China, people saying, 'In which direction are we going, Xi Jinping? We are creating too many enemies. Why are we enemies with countries like Canada and Australia?'"
archived OK BOOMER
by Cat on Sat Sep 25th, 2021 at 11:13:39 PM EST
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by Cat on Sat Sep 25th, 2021 at 11:21:06 PM EST
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hosted by The Guardian
by Cat on Sat Sep 4th, 2021 at 05:31:51 PM EST
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Outgoing Japanese PM backs vaccine minister Tara Kono as successor - report
Suga announced on Friday that he will not run for leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic party this month, meaning that whoever wins the leadership race will become prime minister.
[Taro] Kono, 58, is popular among young voters after building support through Twitter, where he has 2.3 million followers - a rarity in Japanese politics, which is dominated by older men less adept with social media.
archived suganomics
by Cat on Sat Sep 4th, 2021 at 05:38:54 PM EST
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Who will be Japan's next prime minister?, 28 Sep
[Taro]Kono, who has previously served as defense and foreign minister and has established a reputation as a blunt-speaking politician who gets things done, had the support of about 45% of the general public in a poll conducted over the weekend and, more importantly, more than 47% of party members with a vote.

Support of party members

In contrast, former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida had 22% of rank-and-file party members on his side, while 16% were backing Sanae Takaichi -- an ardent nationalist who revels in the reputation of Japan's "Iron Lady" -- and a mere 3% were supporting Seiko Noda, the party's acting secretary general.


["high-handed" Fumio] Kishida wins Japan party vote, to become new PM, 29 Sep

Kishida is under pressure to change the party's high-handed reputation, worsened by Suga, who angered the public over his handling of the pandemic and insistence on holding the Summer Olympics in Tokyo despite surging infections.
Liberal Democratic Party
by Cat on Wed Sep 29th, 2021 at 01:34:29 PM EST
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Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 - Updates on Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 - Updates on, 29 Sep
  1. Vaccine policy
  2. Games-time closed-loop management
  3. Spectators/Ticketing:"Tickets will be sold exclusively to spectators residing in China's mainland, who meet the requirements of the COVID-19 countermeasures."
  4. Accredited guest policy
  5. Travel
  6. Accommodation
  7. Testing: "All domestic and international Games participants and workforce in the closed-loop management system will be subject to daily testing."
by Cat on Thu Sep 30th, 2021 at 06:15:10 PM EST
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USAToday No foreign spectators at 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, but Chinese residents allowed to attend
Among the most notable differences: Unlike in Tokyo, where athletes mostly competed behind closed doors, Beijing 2022 organizers have indicated that some Chinese fans will be permitted to attend their Games, as long as they follow to-be-determined protocols.
< wipes tears >
Statement on Overseas Spectators for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, Mar 2021
"Japanese parties not to allow entry into Japan for overseas spectators for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020"
Tokyo Olympics to allow local fans -- but with strict limits, June 2021
"a maximum of 10,000 fans, all of whom must be Japanese residents -- for each Olympic venue, regardless of whether it is indoors or outdoors"

archived Boycott China Winter Olympics 2022, Olympic Village community spread

by Cat on Thu Sep 30th, 2021 at 07:08:22 PM EST
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APsplainin Kashidenomics
Kishida says he wants to promote a "new capitalism" that would be more equitable, with fairer distribution of national wealth -- the only way to get frugal Japanese families to spend more.

"Unless the fruits of growth are properly distributed, a `virtuous cycle of growth and distribution' cannot be realized," he told reporters after he overwhelmingly was elected leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Wednesday. "I would like to take economic measures to raise the incomes of many of you."

Rand Paul socialism story developing ...
by Cat on Thu Sep 30th, 2021 at 05:16:18 PM EST
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Guinean opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo: Coup is 'a patriotic act'
Why do you accept this military takeover?

Obviously, it is against my beliefs. But we are facing a situation where Alpha Conde has seized power by violating the constitution, by violating his oath, by trampling on all the rules and principles of democracy and the rule of law.

We have tried everything else. We called on the international community, but it did not or could not change its position. Peaceful demonstrations on the streets were brutally suppressed. Innocent Guineans were killed simply for exercising their constitutional right to march in public places. They killed nearly 40 people in N'zerekore and buried them in the night. All of these people, all of these citizens, were denied justice, compassion, and reparation.

Nothing we tried worked. We tried to take legal action against this, but without success. The judiciary is not independent; it does not dispense justice. Alpha Conde was always right; the opposition was always wrong. Hundreds of thousands of people have been arrested, tried and convicted even though they were innocent. All resistance has been unsuccessful.

by Cat on Wed Sep 8th, 2021 at 12:00:34 AM EST
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APgibbering, Guinea junta freezes state assets as regional officials come
The move comes as a delegation of West African officials from the regional economic bloc known as ECOWAS arrives Friday in Guinea's capital, Conakry, to meet with the military officers who toppled President Alpha Condé.

The mediators from Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, and Burkina Faso along with ECOWAS commission president Jean-Claude Kassi Brou are expected to press the JUNTA to immediately return Guinea to constitutional rule.

The JUNTA announced the temporary freezing of withdrawals on bank accounts related to public administrative and commercial establishments in all ministry departments and the presidency. The freeze also applies to "the programs and projects of presidential initiatives," and "outgoing members of the government as well as senior civil servants, administrators and financial authorities of the state."
by Cat on Fri Sep 10th, 2021 at 09:44:44 PM EST
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wish we'd thought of that.
by Cat on Fri Sep 10th, 2021 at 09:46:08 PM EST
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by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Sep 11th, 2021 at 01:17:03 PM EST
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Moscow Bothered by 'Uncontrolled, Unrestricted Expansion' of US Military Biolab Network Near Russia
[chairman of the Russian Investigative Committee, Alexander] Fedorov is the latest Russian official to express his apprehensions over the US' widespread deployment of military biolabs in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus. In April, the Russian Security Council's secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, told a Russian newspaper that Moscow was aware of the creation of new US military biolabs near Russia and China, and warned that Russian officials had reason to believe that biological weapons were being developed there.
The United States has pushed the creation of biolabs via its so-called 'Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction', as well as bilateral 'Joint Biological Commitments and Joint Threat Reduction' programmes with individual nations. Washington has long insisted that these programmes, which started being implemented after the end of the Cold War, are designed only to reduce biological weapons proliferation and production.
Last year, Ukrainian opposition politician Viktor Medvedchuk revealed to parliament that as many as 15 US-sponsored biological laboratories were operating on Ukrainian territory, with some of them said to be engaged in the storage of pathogens hazardous to humans and animals.
Inside America's secretive biolabs, 2015
"Even the federal government doesn't know where they all are, the Government Accountability Office has warned for years."
Ultra-Secure Lab in Gabon Equipped for Ebola Studies, 2018

GAO, "CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL DEFENSE, Designated Entity Needed to Identify, Align, and Manage DOD's Infrastructure, 2015
GAO, "BIOLOGICAL SELECT AGENTS AND TOXINS, Actions Needed to Improve Management of DOD's Biosafety and Biosecurity Program ", 2018
Health.mil, The Global Emerging Infections Surveillance (GEIS) partner network

* also known as permanent US federal records

by Cat on Wed Sep 8th, 2021 at 05:14:42 PM EST
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Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Sep 12th, 2021 at 06:16:49 PM EST
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DW | PR How Afghan [some] women are resisting Taliban rule
"Their values are not our values," Basira Taheri from Herat city told DW. "The Taliban fighters have lived all their lives in some remote places, far away from civilization, and have only learned to fight. They can hardly read or write. Many of them have no idea of life in a city. Afghan society has changed over the past 20 years. We will not allow the Taliban to take away our rights," she said.
HANKOREH | OpEd Burqa didn't come back just because of Taliban
The urban-rural gap grew even wider after the US' invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. The US spent hundreds of billions of dollars on development aid, but all that money went to the big cities and surrounding areas under American control.But for people living in war-torn rural areas, the slogans and reforms proclaimed by the Soviets and the Americans actually became the objects of hatred.

Over the past 43 years, the most important thing for women in rural areas was finding a way for their families to survive strafing runs by Soviet Mi-24D helicopter gunships; sexual assault, kidnapping, sex trafficking, and toll-collecting by local warlords; and drone attacks by the US military.
Here are some of the contradictory reports coming out of Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. Just 100 of 700 female journalists are still working in Kabul. Women are being hired for sub-cabinet positions in the government and are allowed to be educated in universities divided by gender. Women protesters are being dispersed, but Taliban members who dispersed the protesters are being arrested. Some say the Taliban are just as oppressive as ever, while others argue that they've changed. What's clear is that such debates have little meaning for the 70% of Afghan women who inhabit the feudal society of the countryside.

Afghan Women Rally in Kunduz to Show Support for Taliban's Interim Government - Video
by Cat on Mon Sep 13th, 2021 at 09:59:36 PM EST
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Thousands protest against Taliban in Kandahar over evictions
according to a former government official and local television footage, after residents were asked to vacate a ["]residential army colony["].
The affected area is predominantly occupied by the families of retired army generals and other members of the Afghan security forces. The families, some of whom had lived in the district for almost 30 years, had been given three days to vacate, the official, who had spoken to some of those affected, said.
although there were no confirmed reports of violence on Tuesday[,] Taliban leaders have vowed to investigate any instances of abuse, but have ordered demonstrators to seek permission before holding protests.
by Cat on Tue Sep 14th, 2021 at 06:13:33 PM EST
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More signs of Taliban restricting women's rights
According to the AP news agency, staff of the World Bank's Women's Economic Empowerment and Rural Development Program, which was run out of the [Women's Affairs] ministry, were escorted off the grounds on Saturday.

Chorus of concerns

The United Nation's children's fund (UNICEF) said it was "deeply worried" for the future of girls' schooling in Afghanistan.

"It is critical that all girls, including older girls, are able to resume their education without any further delays. For that, we need female teachers to resume teaching," UNICEF said in a statement.

UNESCO's Director General Audrey Azoulay on Saturday added her voice to growing fears over the Taliban's limitations on girls' education.

"Should this ban be maintained, it would constitute an important violation of the fundamental right to education for girls and women," Azoulay said in a statement upon her arrival in New York for the opening of the UN General Assembly.

The Afghan Women's Network chief Mahbouba Seraj said she was astounded by the flurry of orders released by the Taliban-run government restricting women and girls.

"It is becoming really, really troublesome. ... Is this the stage where the girls are going to be forgotten?" Seraj said. "I know they don't believe in giving explanations, but explanations are very important."

Bad for business: World Bank China rigging scandal rattles investors
by Cat on Sun Sep 19th, 2021 at 02:14:16 PM EST
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Operation Soccer Balls
transiting Portugal
by Cat on Thu Sep 23rd, 2021 at 12:32:18 AM EST
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Taliban official: Strict punishment, executions will return
"Everyone criticized us for the punishments in the stadium, but we have never said anything about their laws and their punishments," Turabi told The Associated Press, speaking in Kabul. "No one will tell us what our laws should be. We will follow Islam and we will make our laws on the Quran."
Executions of convicted murderers were usually by a single shot to the head, carried out by the victim's family, who had the option of accepting "blood money" and allowing the culprit to live. For convicted thieves, the punishment was amputation of a hand. For those convicted of highway robbery, a hand and a foot were amputated.

Trials and convictions were rarely public and the judiciary was weighted in favor of Islamic clerics, whose knowledge of the law was limited to religious injunctions.

Turabi said that this time, judges -- including women -- would adjudicate cases, but the foundation of Afghanistan's laws will be the Quran. He said the same punishments would be revived.
"We are changed from the past," he said.

He said now the Taliban would allow television, mobile phones, photos and video "because this is the necessity of the people, and we are serious about it." He suggested that the Taliban saw the media as a way to spread their message. "Now we know instead of reaching just hundreds, we can reach millions," he said. He added that if punishments are made public, then people may be allowed to video or take photos to spread the deterrent effect.

Oklahoma set to resume capital punishment with 7 execution dates scheduled
by Cat on Fri Sep 24th, 2021 at 03:40:32 PM EST
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Taliban hang dead body in Afghan city's main square
Wazir Ahmad Seddiqi, who runs a pharmacy on the side of the square, told The Associated Press that four bodies were brought to the main square and three bodies were moved to other parts of the city for public display.

Seddiqi said the Taliban announced in the square that the four were caught taking part in a kidnapping and were killed by police.

Ziaulhaq Jalali, a Taliban appointed district police chief in Herat, said later that Taliban members rescued a father and son who had been abducted by four kidnappers after an exchange of gunfire. He said a Taliban fighter and a civilian were wounded by the kidnappers but "the four (kidnappers) were killed in crossfire."

US Supreme Court stays prisoner execution over spiritual adviser
by Cat on Sat Sep 25th, 2021 at 04:27:57 PM EST
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Why SDRs Belong to States, Not Central Banks
As they noted, SDRs represent an international reserve asset that was created by the 🤬IMF in 1969 to help facilitate balance of payment settlements. Even so, SDRs themselves do not constitute debt or loans, but potential claims on the freely usable hard currencies of other 🤬IMF members. Historically, these claims have been used on occasions to pay back 🤬IMF loan programs. This implies the assets are, and always have been, closely connected to fiscal budgets.
Banxico, recently published a statement asserting that it, rather than the government, should maintain control over the $12 billion worth of SDRs the state has received in the latest 🤬IMF issuance. Mexico's president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, disagrees. He believes the SDRs should go to the government's budget.

It is López Obrador who is right. And it is important for the international community to understand why, on a legal basis.

According to Articles XV and XVII of the 🤬IMF Articles of Agreement, the SDRs belong to "members." Members are the nations' governments, not their central banks.

by Cat on Tue Sep 14th, 2021 at 04:46:26 PM EST
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Third and final day of parliamentary election --in-person, by mail, and innerboob
by Cat on Sun Sep 19th, 2021 at 01:20:12 PM EST
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AP | head of Russia's Communist Party, the country's second-largest political party, is alleging widespread violations in the election
Communist Party chief Gennady Zyuganov said Saturday -- the second of three days of voting in the election -- that police and the national elections commission must respond to reports of "a number of absolutely egregious facts" including ballot-stuffing in several regions.
Central Elections Commission head Ella Pamfilova said later Saturday that more than 6,200 ballots have been annulled in five regions for procedural violations and ballot-stuffing.
some projections suggest the party could lose its current two-thirds majority, which is enough to change the constitution. The Communists are expected to pick up the biggest share of any seats lost by United Russia.
RU translation of Gina's "tactical vote" PR to social media "platforms"
The Communists are seen as potentially benefiting from the "Smart Voting" program promoted by Navalny and his team, which aims to weaken United Russia by advising voters on which candidates are in the strongest position to defeat United Russia's candidates.
In St. Petersburg, voter Pavel Ivanov said he had access to Smart Voting and followed its advice to vote for a small party that "does not meet my preferences to the full extent but (will) present a certain opposition to the ruling party."

Zyuganov said the party has tallied at least 44 incidents of voting violations and the Communists have applied for permits to hold protests next week after the voting ends Sunday.

by Cat on Sun Sep 19th, 2021 at 01:32:46 PM EST
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Right NOW: RT reporting Communist Party gaining 2x ballots of United Party.

< wipes tears >


by Cat on Sun Sep 19th, 2021 at 07:14:56 PM EST
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According to the exit polls (>400000 people) United Russia will get 45.4%, Communist Party of Russian Federation 21%, Liberal Democrats 8.7% and Just Russia 7.9%

After counting 18.5% of the votes, United Russia has 42.5%, Communists 23.24%, Liberal Democrats 8.83%, Just Russia 7.09% and a newcomer New People seems to passing the 5% treshold with 6.22%.

For comparison, in 2016 election United Russia got 54.2%, Communist Party 13.3%, Liberal Democrats 13.1% and Just Russia 6.22%.

So far it looks like United Russia has bled votes to the left (Communists and Just Russia) while Liberal Democrats have lost votes to New People.

by pelgus on Sun Sep 19th, 2021 at 08:09:27 PM EST
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primary poll today to elect Election Committee members who will select 40/90 city legislators in December 2021 and chief executive March 2022.
by Cat on Sun Sep 19th, 2021 at 01:43:17 PM EST
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General election begins Monday, 20 Sep 2021, because UK governor governor agreed with Trudeau to dissolve parliament in August
by Cat on Sun Sep 19th, 2021 at 01:55:46 PM EST
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Canadian election recap: Trudeau says he has 'clear mandate' after minority win : OUCH!
Trudeau's Liberal government is projected to hold a minority of seats in the House of Commons, meaning he will need another party's support to govern.
he will end up where he started after an unexpectedly tight election race characterized by a lackluster campaign and voter anger at an election DURING A PANDEMIC.
"It's a Groundhog Day election," said Gerald Baier, a professor of political science at University of British Columbia. "It seems that ambivalence has stayed (from the 2019 election)."
by Cat on Tue Sep 21st, 2021 at 06:21:04 PM EST
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Hush, Hush (Venezuela is Winning!)
So, the game-changing news that there are peace talks being held in México City between the Venezuelan government and opposition parties is ignored.  México is acting as host and facilitator with the kingdoms of Norway and Netherlands, and the Russian Federation as mediators. This seminal event has been scarcely reported by the North American media or commented on by politicians. Not a peep. Perhaps it is because neither the USA nor Canada have been permitted to be part of these negotiations, although certainly the USA has tried, and failed, to worm itself in.
The significance of this MOU is that

    + The extremist opposition parties at long last recognize the Venezuelan State, political institutions, and the legitimacy of President Nicolás Maduro. Previously, they had refused any dialogue alleging that Nicolás Maduro was not a legitimate president and demanding his resignation or new elections (which would have been against the Constitution) before they would even sit down to talk.

    + It spells the end of the US attempt to create a bogus alternative government with the fantasy that Juan Guaidó was any sort of president.

    + It indicates the end of the vicious Canadian absurdity of the Lima Group created solely to overthrow the Venezuelan government. Shockingly, at present, during an election campaign, not one Canadian media or party leader has reported the utter failure of this Liberal Party strategy of aggression towards Venezuela.

by Cat on Sun Sep 19th, 2021 at 02:41:53 PM EST
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by Cat on Mon Sep 27th, 2021 at 07:20:51 PM EST
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BOOKMARK Libyan opposition fights for recognition both at home and abroad, 29 Mar 2011

UPDATE Unity government loses disputed no-confidence vote, 21 Sep 2021

The lower chamber of the Libyan parliament withdrew their support for the unity government that was approved earlier in the year to lead the war-ravaged country through elections. Abdallah Abaihig, a spokesperson for the legislature, said 89 out of 113 attending lawmakers voted against the Cabinet.

The government, led by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, will now take on a caretaker role, according to Abaihig. However, a parliamentary source told the AFP that the vote was invalid because only 113 deputies attended the session in the eastern city of Tobruk.

According to the source, parliamentary rules require a minimum turnout of 120 members of the 200-seat house for a no-confidence vote.

GADHAFI Miss me yet?
by Cat on Wed Sep 22nd, 2021 at 03:55:03 AM EST
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receives new batch of 3 mln doses of China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine
To date, Cambodia has received a total of 32.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from friendly countries and the World Health Organization (WHO)'s COVAX Facility, of which 29.8 million doses, or 91.4 percent, are from China, she said.

The Southeast Asian nation launched a COVID-19 vaccination drive in February. As of Sept. 23, the kingdom has administered at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccines to 12.8 million people, or 80 percent of its 16-million population, the MoH said. Of them, 10.7 million, or 67 percent, have been fully vaccinated with both required shots, and 855,045 people, or 5.34 percent, have received a booster dose, it added.
Cambodia on Friday reported a daily record of 822 new COVID-19 cases, lifting the national total caseload to 107,441, the MoH said, adding that 21 more fatalities have been registered, taking the overall death toll to 2,197.

by Cat on Fri Sep 24th, 2021 at 10:20:35 PM EST
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Iceland elects Europe's first female-majority parliament
After all votes were counted Sunday, female candidates held 33 seats in Iceland's 63-seat parliament, the Althing. ... According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Rwanda leads the world with women making up 61% of its Chamber of Deputies, with Cuba, Nicaragua and Mexico narrowly over the 50% mark. Worldwide, the organization says just over a quarter of legislators are women. The milestone for women comes despite a poor outcome for parties on the left, where female candidates are more often front-runners.
Opinion polls had suggested a victory for left-leaning parties in the unpredictable election, which saw 10 parties competing for seats. But the center-right Independence Party took the largest share of votes, winning 16 seats, seven of them held by women.
Grapevine | Ruling Coalition Expands Seats, Coalition Talks Begin
this was largely due to the performance of the Progressive Party, as the Left-Greens lost some of their seats during the previous term and subsequent elections, while the Independence Party held steady.

Left-Greens: 8 seats, down from 11
Independence Party: Retains 16 seats.
Progressive Party: 13 seats, up from 8.
Social Democrats: 6 seats, down from 7.
Pirate Party: Retains 6 seats.
Reform Party: 5 seats, up from 4.
People's Party: 6 seats, up from 4
Centre Party: 3 seats, down from 7
Voter turn-out was 80.1% this year, barely less than during the 2017 elections, when turn-out was at 81.2%

by Cat on Mon Sep 27th, 2021 at 12:40:25 AM EST
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Occasional Series