Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
mintpress | How Elon Musk is aiding the US Empire's regime change operation in Iran, 17 Jan
The process of smuggling Starlinks into Iran has been far from easy - or cheap. Each terminal has cost more than $1000 to purchase and transport, as couriers have charged high premiums on the risky cargo. Nevertheless, some sources have suggested as many as 800 have made it over the border unscathed.
archived sanctions relief, U.S. Treasury Issues Iran General License D-2 Sep
Musk's Iran operation bears a striking resemblance to his actions earlier this year in Ukraine - another current top priority of the United States....It soon transpired, however, that Musk's donation might not have been as generous as first thought. USAID - an American government agency that has frequently functioned as a regime-change organization - had quietly paid SpaceX top dollar to send what amounted to virtually their entire inventory of Starlinks to Ukraine.
archived receiving-party charges OCT
SpaceX has also won contracts with the Air Force to deliver its command satellite into orbit, with the Space Development Agency to send tracking devices into space, and with the National Reconnaissance Office to launch its spy satellites. These satellites are used by all of the "big five" surveillance agencies, including the CIA and the NSA.
archived Remote Operations Center Nov
According to the Twitter Trending Archive, on September 18 alone, there were 1.6 million tweets from American users using the Farsi-language Amini hashtag (#مهسا_امینی). This total was beaten two days later when over 2 million tweets were sent using that hashtag, making it by far the most used in the United States that month.

In Israel, however, the astroturfing was turned up to 11. In just four days between September 21 and September 24, accounts based in Israel sent over 43 million tweets about the protests - quite an achievement, given that only around 634,000 Israelis have a Twitter account - an average of 68 tweets per account.

UPDATE Elon Musk says around 100 Starlinks now active in Iran DEC
While it remains to be seen what impact sending hundreds of Starlinks into Iran will have, the intention of those involved is clear. Equally plain-to-see is that big tech is not a liberatory force in modern society but is a critical weapon in the U.S.' regime change arsenal. And while Musk continues to present himself as a renegade outsider, he has a very long history of working closely with the security state. This Iran operation is merely the latest example.
Graffiti on British Embassy wall in Tehran, 1 Feb 2023, A/V (EN, Farsi) run time 00:02:48
by Cat on Fri Feb 3rd, 2023 at 01:06:23 AM EST
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Musk did not indicate who is paying for the Starlinks, nor whether the users have to pay the 100 euros a month subscription fee... Iranian internet activists with a VPN probably find the Starlink idea hilarious.

But thank you, Cat, for informing us that the anti-regime protests, and their hundreds of deaths, are due to imperialist astroturfing. I had formed the apparently erroneous opinion that Iranian women had legitimate motives and actual agency.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 3rd, 2023 at 10:30:44 AM EST
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I believe to have skipped the 1953 Coup d'Etat and overthrow by MI6/CIA of president Mohammed Mossaddeq.

Time to get a subscription of the Daily Pentagon Briefings ... you'll need a propaganda filter though.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 3rd, 2023 at 12:04:04 PM EST
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by Cat on Fri Feb 3rd, 2023 at 01:35:54 PM EST
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More Misdirection from the Terrible Twins.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 02:14:08 PM EST
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Reuters | Without giving evidence, Russia says it probes Ukraine use of chemical weapons, 6 Feb
....near the eastern Ukrainian towns of Soledar and Bakhmut.

Ukraine's Armed Forces said they had never used chemical weapons anywhere at any time and accused Moscow of engaging in disinformation and of itself using banned weapons....

US State | Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on Chemical Weapons in Syria [?!], 7 Feb
...Let us also not overlook the questions raised by the [OPCW Investigation and Identification Team] IIT's findings regarding the role of Russian forces in Douma at the time of the attack. The report highlights that Russian forces were co-located at the base from which Assad's helicopters launched their deadly chemical attack and that they controlled the airspace over Douma along with the Syrian air force.

The United States and others have also long pointed out the extremely troubling role of the Russian forces in the aftermath of the attack, when Syrian and Russian military police denied and delayed OPCW inspectors' access to the site. In an effort to set up their own staged investigations, they also attempted to sanitize the site and remove incriminating evidence of CW use. We continue to have serious CWC compliance questions regarding Russia's assistance to the Assad regime in regard to the regime's use of chemical weapons in Douma....

Ukrinform | Astronaut Scott Kelly calls on Musk to give Ukraine back full access to Starlink, 13 Feb
American astronaut and United24 ambassador Scott Kelly called on SpaceX founder Elon Musk to return full access to Starlink satellite internet functionality to Ukraine, to which Musk replied that the company "will not enable escalation of conflict that may lead to WW3."
As Ukrinform reported, last week, SpaceX took measures to prevent the Ukrainian military from using the Starlink satellite internet to control drones [9 Feb] in the region amid the ongoing war with Russia.

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov stated that there are no issues reported with the Starlink terminals' operation in Ukraine as they provide critical infrastructure and "Invincibility Points" with stable Internet, and allow Ukrainians to stay in touch with their families.

by Cat on Mon Feb 13th, 2023 at 03:01:43 PM EST
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Kenya labor court rules that Facebook can be sued, 6 Feb
Meta tried to have the case dropped, arguing that Kenyan courts do not have jurisdiction over their operations, but the labor court judge dismissed that in a ruling on Monday.

A former Facebook moderator in Kenya, Daniel Motaung, is suing the company claiming poor working conditions.
Meta is facing a separate court case in which two Ethiopians say hate speech was allowed and even promoted on Facebook amid heated rhetoric over their country's deadly Tigray conflict.

by Cat on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 06:37:36 PM EST
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transition action plans
00:00:33 Human Hair Mats
00:09:17 Flip-Flop Art Kenya
00:17:19 Coconut Briquettes
00:25:11 Sugarcane Plates
00:35:52 Glass Sand
00:43:39 Fruit Pulp Firewood
00:51:55 Skateboard Bowls
00:59:18 Fishskin Leather
01:06:38 Milk Carton Bricks
01:14:52 Coffee Grounds Eyeglasses
01:25:34 Steel Recycling
01:30:52 PVC Pipes Laundry Basket
01:41:44 Elephant Dung Paper
01:52:49 Plastic From Seaweed
02:01:12 Tofu Into Gas
02:09:32 Roof Waste
02:20:19 Water Hyacinth
02:25:40 Acid Mine Drainage
by Cat on Wed Feb 8th, 2023 at 01:44:35 PM EST
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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on Ukraine, 17 Feb
...While we deplore the failure of the Minsk Agreement, no one can deny that the signing of the agreement represents the right direction of solving disputes and differences through dialogue and negotiation, and is in line with the fundamental spirit of the UN Charter. Diplomatic efforts made to reach the agreement still merit our recognition today. 

The lesson here is this. The vitality of an agreement depends on how well it is implemented. If it cannot be translated into concrete actions actively and in good faith, even the best agreement would end up being just a piece of paper. On the other hand, if all provisions in the Minsk Agreement could be effectively implemented, the Ukraine crisis might not have developed to what it is today. 

The Ukraine crisis is, in essence, the culmination of security conflicts in Europe closely related to NATO's constant eastern expansion since the Cold War. Pursuing absolute security and political exclusion and containment by force against a specific party is the very crux of the reason why Europe is in the security plight.
Madam President, 

Strict compliance with international treaties and the implementation of legal obligations in good faith are the basic requirements of the rule of law. This is what practicing true multilateralism is about. Regrettably, when it comes to negotiated agreements that failed to be implemented, the Minsk Agreement is not the only case. The Paris Agreement on climate change faces major setbacks because of the withdrawal of one key party. The JCPOA has yet to be revived....

Feb 2023 UNSC president: Malta (Vanessa Frazier)
RT | West forced to soften anti-Russian UN resolution
The [RF Deputy Permanent UN Rep. Dmitry Polyansky] stated in a Telegram message that the resolution will likely be proposed to the UN for a vote next week on the anniversary of the start of Russia's military operation in Ukraine [24 Feb]. Officially, the draft resolution is meant to address the "principles underlying a comprehensive, just and sustainable peace in Ukraine."
"Their main problem is that we are not isolated. And pushing through anti-Russian texts is becoming increasingly difficult," he noted, adding that the West is having great difficulties in trying to "remove all the 'sharp corners' and to `round off' everything as much as possible" in the text of the resolution.

Polyansky also stated that in order to garner the most support[,] "not scare anyone away[,]" and to guarantee that their efforts are not in vain the West has also essentially "muzzled the Ukrainians" so that they don't ruin the resolution.

"And now they just sadly watch how the text of the draft becomes more and more vague," said the diplomat, adding that despite the West's efforts, there are still many countries that are unwilling to support the resolution.

news.un | Ukraine needs `implementable' peace, Security Council hears, meeting on anniversary of Minsk accord, 17 Feb
...Mr. Jenča reminded the Security Council on Friday that the UN has played no formal role in any mechanism related to the peace process in Ukraine, over the last eight years.

It was not invited to be a participant in the various negotiations in Minsk, or to the 2014 and 2015 agreements themselves, and it was not involved in the implementation efforts led by the OSCE's Trilateral Contact Group - made up of representatives of three parties. However, the UN has consistently supported its implementation, including through the Security Council's unanimously adoption of resolution 2202 (2015) on 17 February 2015....

by Cat on Sat Feb 18th, 2023 at 08:13:35 PM EST
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.. at long last sanity in presentation Zhang Jun ... totally correct about UN Charter ... not just about borders and sovereignty. China considers the international rule about sovereignty sacred ... wants no interference in internal affairs.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 18th, 2023 at 08:27:57 PM EST
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usnews reuters | Senior Israeli Diplomat Ejected From AU Summit as Row Escalates, 18 Feb
..."Israel looks harshly upon the incident in which the deputy director for Africa, Ambassador Sharon Bar-Li, was removed from the African Union hall despite her status as an accredited observer with entrance badges," the foreign ministry said.

Ebba Kalondo, the spokesperson for the African Union's commission chairman, said the diplomat had been removed because she was not the duly accredited Israeli ambassador to Ethiopia, the official who was expected....But Israel blamed the incident on South Africa and Algeria, two key nations in the 55-country bloc, saying they were holding the AU hostage and were driven by "hate".
South Africa rejected the claim, saying Israel's application for observer status at the AU has not been decided upon by the bloc.

"Until the AU takes a decision on whether to grant Israel observer status, you cannot have the country sitting and observing," Clayson Monyela, head of public diplomacy in South Africa's department of international relations, told Reuters.

timesofisrael | Israeli observer delegation kicked out of African Union summit in Addis Ababa
...According to the Walla news site, which first reported the incident, security guards came up to the Israeli delegation during the opening ceremony and demanded they leave. Video showed the Israelis, led by Foreign Ministry Deputy Director General for Africa Sharon Bar-Li, leaving after several minutes of discussion.

"It is sad to see that the African Union has been taken hostage by a small number of extremist countries such as Algeria and South Africa, driven by hatred and controlled by Iran [?!]," [Israel foreign ministry spokesperson Lior] Hayat said. "We call on the African countries to stand against these actions that harm the organization of the African Union itself and the entire continent," he said.
The issue of Israel's observer status has caused deep discord in the 55-member bloc. At last year's summit, a debate on the issue was suspended in a bid to avoid a vote that would create an unprecedented rift in the Union....

au.int | Opening of the 46th Ordinary Session of the Union, 18-19 Feb
by Cat on Sun Feb 19th, 2023 at 01:06:37 AM EST
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