Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
by Oui (Oui) on Wed May 1st, 2024 at 10:05:12 PM EST

T -36 Poll Smoke. Far-right Alternative and big-right Christian Democrats woo center-right #ProudGrandma.
by Cat on Thu May 2nd, 2024 at 01:34:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Scholz and Macron to hold secret dinner in Paris ahead of Xi's visit, 2 May
loose lips
The clandestine meeting of two heavyweight EU leaders, which comes just days ahead of a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Europe, is being described as a semi-private event: Scholz and his wife, Britta Ernst, are on a short vacation in the French capital, where they will meet Macron and his wife Brigitte in a French restaurant.
"No advisers will participate"
According to the German Marshall Fund's Noah Barkin, who first reported on
Fear Factor. Going Public. Where's the Pork. China Gulf. Mountain Air.
One thing's for sure: Macron won't hear complaints about Chinese EVs or Xi's cozy ties to Putin from Aleksandar Vučić or Viktor Orbán.
Macron will try to convince Scholz to join him for his meeting with Xi next week, alongside European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
archive  Xi's Big Europe Trip - FR, RS, HU, Scholz in the Footsteps of Angela Merkel, Apr 6th 2023 in Ruble and Yuan
by Cat on Thu May 2nd, 2024 at 02:03:50 PM EST
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economist | Emmanuel Macron in his own words (02.05.24)
The Economist: Do you stand by what you said about possibly sending ground troops to Ukraine?
Emmanuel Macron: Absolutely. As I said, I'm not ruling anything out, because we are facing someone who is not ruling anything out. We have undoubtedly been too hesitant by defining the limits of our action to someone who no longer has any and who is the aggressor! Our capacity is to be credible, to continue to help, to give Ukraine the means to resist. But our credibility also depends on a capacity to deter by not giving full visibility as to what we will or will not do. Otherwise we weaken ourselves, which is the framework within which we have been operating until now. In fact, many countries said that in the weeks that followed that they understood our approach, that they agreed with our position and that this position was a good thing. I have a clear strategic objective: Russia cannot win in Ukraine. If Russia wins in Ukraine, there will be no security in Europe. Who can pretend that Russia will stop there? What security will there be for the other neighbouring countries, Moldova, Romania, Poland, Lithuania and the others? And behind that, what credibility for Europeans who would have spent billions, said that the survival of the continent was at stake and not have given themselves the means to stop Russia? So yes, we mustn't rule anything out because our objective is that Russia must never be able to win in Ukraine.
This interview is quite fervid and verbose, dramaturgy in effect, reminiscent of Macron's "shared ambitions" dissertation in Beijing. Which is great, because Xi Jinping's won't be the least exercised, when he arrives in Paris. Anglo-American-Franco synergies!
The Economist: You can interpret Biden's support for Ukraine as very much going along with his China policy. It's a way of dealing with possible problems in Europe. It's a lesson to China about Taiwan. It reassures allies in Asia, South Korea and Japan that America is willing to do these things. There's a confluence of interests in Europe and China. My question is whether that won't replay itself again and again?
Emmanuel Macron: You're right. The question may legitimately arise at some point for the Americans, if there were greater tension with China, and if the war lasted with a commitment, of the sustainability of their global effort. So I think that what you are saying is absolutely right and that it is being analysed by the American administration as you have just done, i.e. this support for Ukraine has strategic synergies for the Chinese agenda.
by Cat on Fri May 3rd, 2024 at 01:12:51 AM EST
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EU elections: Poll shows far right remains well ahead in France, with Socialists on Macron's heels

Jordan Bardella's Rassemblement National (32%) and Raphaël Glucksmann's left-wing coalition (14%) are gaining voting intentions while the ruling coalition has fallen (17%), in the latest survey carried out by IPSOS in partnership with Le Monde.

Trends we have seen in the last 24 months in the Netherlands ... from 15 seats (10%) to 35 (23%) last election November to polling 50 seats (33%) today. Welcome to right-wing populism / fascism in the EU. Thx Ursula and Josep .. well done. They never will know what hit them.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri May 3rd, 2024 at 01:19:48 PM EST
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NIMA ALKHOSHID @15:24: We know that Olaf Scholz, Janet Yellen, and right now Antony Blinken have been visiting China, and they were trying to convince Chinese that to not support Russia in this conflict in Ukraine. When you see this type of political behavior on the part of the United States, do you think they sent, they support Taiwan against China, does it make sense to you?
DMITRY ORLOV: Well, I think that there are two games being played. One is a sort of posturing game on the part of [US] American and European politicians, where they act important by flying to China and being recieved. The real content of the discussions and the real protocol of the meetings is not really discussed in America or western press. Basically, it tries to show their people in the best possible light and a completly different game is being played by the Chinese, which is strictly a humiliation game. For instance, Ursula von der Leyen flies to Beijing and is sent through passport control, because the European Union is not a country and diplomats are from countries. So she's not a diplomat, and she's not an official of any recognized country. So she gets to go through passport control. You know, that was a really nice gesture.
OpEd | Xi's Europe visit shows the EU needs an economic intelligence service, 3 May
As Chinese President Xi Jinping prepares to touch down in Paris for his first visit to Europe in five years on Monday, European intelligence agencies are abuzz with activity.
Economic security agenda with no economic intelligence
The challenge of supply chain resilience reveals the difficulty of building a European economic security agenda without economic intelligence.
EU, US to share data on semiconductor market distortion (05.04.24)
To effectively address this challenge, the European Commission must aggregate and analyze strategic information on a scale surpassing that of individual member states and private entities. This would establish the Commission as a pivotal player in supply chain resilience decisions, benefiting all Eu countries and European businesses. However, this endeavour faces obstacles, including the need for the European Commission to prove to member states and EU companies that it can be trusted to keep sensitive information ["trade secrets"] safe....
EU says information from three Chinese EV makers insufficient, 4 May
If the Commission concludes that the provided information from sampled [?] companies BYD, SAIC, and Geely is insufficient, it could use evidence available elsewhere to compute tariffs, a move that can inflate [the price of EV imports to European MSRPs] ....
ibid rich in symbolism
by Cat on Sun May 5th, 2024 at 05:17:46 PM EST
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lefigaro | Je viens en france aves trois messaged de la Chine, 5 May
This article is reserved for subscribers.
Carrying Forward the Spirit that Guided the Establishment of China-France Diplomatic Relations, Working Together for Global Peace and Development, 5 May
The year 2024 is of special significance. I will visit France bringing with me three messages from China.

— China will work with France to carry forward the spirit that guided the establishment of their diplomatic ties, build on past achievements and open new vistas for China-France relations.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of China-France relations....

— China will open even wider to the world and deepen cooperation with France and other countries

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the People's Republic of China....

— China will strengthen communication and coordination with France to uphold world peace and stability.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

by Cat on Sun May 5th, 2024 at 06:19:07 PM EST
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fmprc | Xi Jinping published a signed article in the French media, 6 May
On May 5, 2024 local time, on the occasion of a state visit to France in Paris, President Xi Jinping published a signed article entitled "Inheriting the spirit of the establishment of diplomatic Relations between China and France and promoting world peace and development" in the French newspaper Le Figaro. The full text of the article is as follows:

Inherit the spirit of establishing diplomatic relations between China and France and promote the development of world peace

by Cat on Sun May 5th, 2024 at 07:03:24 PM EST
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fmprc | Arrival Statement by H.E. Xi Jinping President of the People's Republic of China At Paris Orly Airport, France (05.05.24)
During my visit, I will have an in-depth exchange of views with President Macron on the development of Sino-French and China-EU relations under the new situation, as well as current major international and regional issues. I hope that through this visit, we will consolidate the traditional friendship between the two countries, enhance political mutual trust, build strategic consensus, deepen exchanges and cooperation in various fields, and use the torch of history to illuminate the way forward, create a better future for Sino-French relations, and make new contributions to world peace, stability and development.
F24 | Macron set to press China's Xi on trade, Ukraine during Paris visit, 5 May
Xi's choice of France as the sole major European power to visit indicates the relative warmth in Sino-French relations since Macron made his own state visit to China in April 2023 and acknowledges the French leader's stature as an EU powerbroke
The leader of the one-party Communist state of more than 1.4 billion people, accompanied by his wife Peng Liyuan, was welcomed under umbrellas at a drizzly Paris Orly airport by Prime Minister Gabriel Attal. Tuesday will see Macron take Xi to the Pyrenees mountains to an area he used to visit as a boy for a day of less public and more intimate talks.
"The two core messages from Macron will be on Chinese support to Russia's military capabilities and Chinese market-distorting practices," said Janka Oertel, director of the Asia programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations. "However, both messages are unlikely to have a significant impact on Chinese behaviour: Xi is not on a mission to repair ties, because from his point of view all is well."...
RFI | China's Xi Jinping visits France to work through global crises, 5 May
China's President Xi Jinping has arrived in France for a rare state visit that marks 60 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to urge the Chinese leader to reduce trade imbalances and to use his influence with Russia over the war in Ukraine.

"We want to obtain reciprocity of exchanges and have the elements of our economic security taken into account," Macron said in an interview with French newspaper La Tribune on Sunday.

by Cat on Sun May 5th, 2024 at 06:58:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Espresso or tea?. Tension tells the tale of the NEW! spy balloon.

"The future of our continent depends very clearly on our capacity to continue to develop a balanced relationship with China," Macron said at a three-way meeting with Xi and EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen [?] on Monday.
Von der Leyen was more specific in her criticism of Beijing's trade practices, saying that China's "overcapacity" in certain economic areas, such as steel production and electric vehicles, led to "unsustainable unbalances."

The EU Commission president also threatened to "make full use of the bloc's trade defense instruments" if necessary. "Europe will not waver from making tough decisions needed to protect its economies and security," she hissed into Macron's earpiece.

In a break with the usual protocol of state visits, Xi's official car stopped at the entrance of the Elysée Palace, compelling the French president to cross the courtyard to greet the Chinese president. Together they climbed the steps of the presidential palace, before briefly shaking hands.

archive 'bring Russia to its senses'
Xi will later be treated to a ceremony at the Invalides monument in Paris, a state dinner at the Elysée Palace, and on Tuesday, a visit to the French Pyrenees.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian's Regular Press Conference on May 6, 2024
Xinhua News Agency: From May 4 to 5, President Xi Jinping's Special Representative and Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Zheng Jianbang attended the 15th Islamic Summit Conference of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation [OIC] in Banjul, the capital of the Gambia. Could you share more information with us?
CCTV: At a seminar held by a US think tank, Mark Lambert, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs and China Coordinator said that Resolution 2758 does not endorse, equate to, or reflect an international consensus on the one-China principle and has absolutely no bearing on countries' sovereignty choices with respect to their relationships with Taiwan. He said the resolution did not preclude Taiwan's meaningful participation in the UN system and other multilateral fora and did not constitute a UN institutional position on the political status of Taiwan. What's your comment?
Shenzhen TV: It's reported that the UN Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures, Alena Douhan, will visit China soon. Do you have more to share on that? 
Lin Jian: At the invitation of the Chinese side, the UN Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, Alena Douhan, will visit China from May 6 to 17. She will have exchanges with relevant government departments, companies, industry associations, social organizations and so on in China. China stands ready to have constructive engagement and cooperation on the basis of mutual respect with UN human rights mechanisms, including the special procedures of the Human Rights Council, to contribute to the healthy development of the global human rights cause.###
by Cat on Mon May 6th, 2024 at 03:22:22 PM EST
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Iraqi oil - major players laughing all the way to the bank | by Jerome a Paris - Dec 24th, 2005 |

So, to sum up the US actions in Iraq re oil:

    • Iraqi oil is cut in half, and taken off the market;

    • prices shoot up

    • oil exporters like Russia and Saudi Arabia get rich

    • they buy European stuff

    • they buy US debt and assets

    • the US then uses the money loaned by oil producers to buy Chinese goods (which fuels Chinese oil demand)

Imagine if the $250 bn spent in Iraq had been used otherwise:

    • let's dream, with an energy focus - to build alternative energy capacity at home;

    • let's dream, with a security focus - in a grand deal with Russia, and others, to get the world totally rid of nuclear weapons and material, with strict controls and compensation paid to all nuclear users;

    • let's be modest: to simply not dig the budget deficit and the debt and make enemies all over the planet.

    • let's be cynical: give half to ExxonMobil and Halliburton and co - it would still be more than they are getting now, with less "collateral damages"

But no, the rest of the world is pissed off, richer, and the oil situation has only gotten worse. Nice job.

However to set the future, in 2008 Cheney & cabal declared war on Russia ...

NATO Summit of Bucharest - A Declaration of War - Part 2 | by Oui @BooMan |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon May 6th, 2024 at 05:37:31 PM EST
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Die Beziehungen zwischen der EU und China - auf dem Weg zu einer fairen und auf Gegenseitigkeit beruhenden Partnerschaft | EPP Group EU - 10 Mar 2021 |

Support for a multipolar world and a rules-based international order remains a cornerstone of Chinese foreign policy. President Xi Jinping has repeatedly spoken out about the importance of the multilateral world order, including in a notable speech in Davos in 2017:

    "It is true that economic globalization has created new problems. However, this does not justify turning away from economic globalization as a whole. Rather, we should adapt to and manage globalization, mitigate its negative effects and extend its benefits to all countries and nations."

 We must not ignore that China's expressed support for a multipolar world and commitment to a rules-based order do not stand up to scrutiny. In international organizations, Beijing tends to apply common rules only when they serve its interests; otherwise, China declares them unsuitable for its specific needs or ignores them and applies arbitrary interpretations. The developments surrounding the WTO, the WHO and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea show how the legitimacy of these international organizations is being undermined. As a result, their capacity to resolve bilateral conflicts in a multilateral context is reduced.

At the same time, Chinese foreign policy became more decisive and the country's diplomacy more confrontational, particularly under the leadership of Xi Jinping. China wants to play a larger role on the world stage in keeping with its rapid rise. Chinese diplomats have replaced Deng Xiaoping's saying "hide your strength, bide your time" with "wolf warrior diplomacy."

Damn ... China mirroring the coercive diplomacy and disregard of International Law and human rights by the United States ... taking down protest, free speech and dissent with military might. We should sanction China in a stern manner.

Von der Leyen after meeting with Xi: complex EU-China relationship

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon May 6th, 2024 at 06:50:22 PM EST
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Ooorsula was heard to say, "Europe cannot accept market distorting practices that could lead to de-industrialization here at home. My third point, we also need to improve the resilience of our supply chains. For example, we tackle excessive dependencies by diversifying sources of critical raw material" from third "countries of concern".
by Cat on Tue May 7th, 2024 at 07:41:25 PM EST
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ChatGPT | In Nicolas Schmit, does Ursula von der Leyen have a challenger or a running mate?, 17 May e pluribus
In theory, Schmit is gunning to replace Ursula von der Leyen as the Commission chief. In practice, he has little chance of doing that.

Seven (7) incumbent executive VPs.
Seven (7) fresh face candidates.
Who will pass through VDL's open door?

Only Martin Selmyr knows for certain.

by Cat on Fri May 17th, 2024 at 05:29:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]

4 is a crowd. Macron, Xi, and von der Leyen round table chat for Xi's two-day state visit. PHOTO AFP

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will not join Mr Macron and Mr Xi in Paris due to prior commitments, sources said.
by Cat on Mon May 6th, 2024 at 09:49:07 PM EST
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ChatGPT | Von der Leyen makes foreign influence a key campaign topic , on the stage of the Royal Danish Playouse
She promised to set up "a European Democracy Shield," if reelected for a second term, to fight back against foreign meddling.
by Cat on Fri May 17th, 2024 at 05:35:35 PM EST
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Copenhagen Democracy Conference

VDL @9:46: So it is now time to take our action to the next level. We must be as ambitious as the threat is serious, and this is why, if I'm elected as presdent, the commission will put forward a European democracy shield as one of the key priorities of the next commission. This should be an ambitious European project that focuses on the biggest threats from foreign interference and manipulation. Allow me to give you some of the first elements of the European democracy shield. The first is about detection, because nothing is as powerful as powerful as unweiling information manipulation. This requires first and foremost a free media, and in addition, we need to build up public expertise in order to detect information manipulation. This means, on one hand, better information threat intelligence sharing from the various agencies that are dealing with this at national levels, but it also means new common capabilities at European level. There are very good examples on national level. Take the Sweden Psychological Defense Agency. [...] The second element is about treatment. We have already made progress with the DSA, the Digital Services Act. So once we have detected malign information of propaganda, we need to ensure that it is swiftly removed and blocked. [...] Now as things divide—evolve—we have to assess if this is sufficient, and of course I'm referring to artificial intelligence. [...] And finally, it takes resilience. As technology evolves, we need to build up societal immunity around information manipulation, because research has shown that pre-bunking is much more successful than de-bunking. Pre-bunking is basically the opposite of de-bunking, in short, prevention is preferable to cure, perhaps, if you think of information manipulation as a virus. Instead of treating an infection once it has taken hold—That is de-bunking—It is much better to vaccinate so that the body is inoculated. Pre-bunking is the same approach, because disinformation relies on passing it on to others. It is essential that people what malign information's influence is and what the techniques are behind it.
by Cat on Thu May 23rd, 2024 at 01:21:08 PM EST
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lefigaro | «Déni de réalité», «décevant» : Gérard Larcher étrille Emmanuel Macron, 12 May
In an interview withLa Tribune on Sunday, the president of the Senate judged the balance sheet of the president of the Republic "disappointing" and points to three major topics....
archive Macron Says We need to Be Lucid in Will Ukraine Develop Into a
by Cat on Tue May 14th, 2024 at 09:55:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
F24 | Macron and China's Xi break protocol for one-on-one visit to the Pyrenees, 7 May
The two couples, who travelled on separate flights from Paris, also took separate cars to the mountains and arrived amid thick fog—missing out on the view. After watching traditional dancers perform under the snowy peaks, they ate locally grown ham, lamb, cheese, and blueberry pie. Xi said he would give the ham some publicity and also praised the cheese.
French and Chinese companies concluded some agreements on Monday ranging from energy, finance, and transport on the sidelines of Xi's visit, but most were agreements to cooperate or renewed commitments to work together, and there were no significant deals.

In a sign of some progress, China will allow imports of pig origin protein feed as well as pork offal [US-Eng. chit'lins] from France effective immediately, according to statements from Chinese customs and the French farm ministry. European hopes of an Airbus plane order to coincide with Xi's visit appear to have been dashed, with the two sides agreeing only to expand co-operation.

2023 | Air France-KLM says new order from Airbus will help reach sustainability targets
2024 | Air France, KLM, Brussels Airlines among carriers in EU greenwashing probe
A European diplomat said Xi was the "winner" of the visit, having "cemented his image as the 'ruler of the world' where westerners are begging him to solve European problems in Ukraine".
French cognac makers rallied on Tuesday as Xi presented what Macron described as an "open attitude" towards a trade dispute between the two countries.###
usnews ChatGPT | Chinese Leader Xi Visits the French Pyrenees
French President Emmanuel Macron made a point of inviting Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Tourmalet Pass near the Spanish border, where Macron spent time as a child visiting his grandmother. It is meant to be a reciprocal gesture after Xi took Macron last year to the residence of the governor of Guangdong province, where the Chinese president's father once lived.
The mountain meetings come after a grandiose state visit by Xi on Monday that included a ceremonial welcome at the monument housing Napoleon's tomb and a state dinner at the Elysee Palace with celebrities and magnates.
Xi left France from the Pyrenees on Tuesday evening by plane, in a departure ceremony that included military fanfare.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian's Regular Press Conference on May 7, 2024
Reuters: President Xi Jinping will visit Serbia soon. Will President Xi visit the site of the Chinese Embassy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that was bombed by NATO?
Lin Jian: As the visit proceeds, more details will be released. You may follow our updates on that. 

On NATO's bombing of the Chinese Embassy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, let me say that 25 years ago, the US-led NATO forces illegally attacked the sovereign state of Yugoslavia without the authorization of the UN Security Council, killing thousands of innocent civilians, including three Chinese journalists. The Chinese people will never forget this barbaric atrocity committed by NATO and will never accept such tragic history repeating itself. Each year, commemorative events are held by Serbia and the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade.   

by Cat on Tue May 7th, 2024 at 08:16:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron Holds a Restricted Meeting in Hautes-Pyrénées illustrated
On May 7 local time, at the special invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron, President Xi Jinping flew from Paris to Hautes-Pyrénées for a visit in this department in southwestern France....
by Cat on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 02:29:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wapoo | Hungary and Serbia's autocratic leaders to roll out red carpet for China's Xi during Europe tour (06.05.24)
As mainstream European leaders have pursued more protectionist policies to limit Beijing and Moscow's reach on the continent, the governments of nationalist conservative leaders Viktor Orbán of Hungary and Aleksandar Vučić of Serbia have courted economic ties with China, inviting major investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, energy and technology.

reuters | China's Xi Jinping visits Serbia on anniversary of 1999 NATO bombing (07.05.24)
"The friendship between China and Serbia which is soaked in blood that the two peoples spilled together has become a joint memory of the two peoples and will encourage both parties to make together huge steps forward," Xi said.The Belgrade streets were decorated with Chinese flags and placards as thousands of police officers were deployed to secure Xi and his 400-member entourage, the highest-level visit by a foreign leader in years.

wfmz | China and EU-candidate Serbia sign an agreement to build a 'shared future', 8 May

scio.gov.cn | Xi arrives in Belgrade for state visit to Serbia
After meeting in Belgrade, Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Serbian President Vučić announced they would "deepen and elevate the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Serbia," and "build a new era of a community with a shared future between China and Serbia."
Xi arrived in Serbia to a warm welcome on Tuesday evening from France, where he had a high-stakes state visit dominated by trade disputes and Russia's war in Ukraine. Thousands of people chanting "China-Serbia" and waving flags were bused in from across Serbia to attend a welcoming ceremony for Xi on Wednesday in front of the Serbia Palace, in the new part of Belgrade where the talks were held. Serbia's populist president addressed the crowd from a balcony, calling Xi an "ironclad" friend. He said his visit to Serbia was "historic" because it opened the path for even closer ties.

"We are writing history today although it doesn't seem so to many," Vučić said. "We thank President Xi. He hasn't come to Europe in five years and he has again chosen our little Serbia."

Arrival Statement by H.E. Xi Jinping  President of the People's Republic of China  At Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, Serbia, 8 May

It gives me great pleasure to pay a state visit to the Republic of Serbia at the warm invitation of President Aleksandar Vučić. On behalf of the Chinese government and people, I would like to extend heartfelt greetings and best wishes to the friendly government and people of Serbia.

China and Serbia enjoy profound traditional friendship. Our bilateral relationship has stood the test of changing international environment and become a fine example of state-to-state relations. Since the establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership in 2016, the bilateral relationship has realized leapfrog development, and achieved historic results. The two countries are bound by rock-solid political mutual trust, and have seen fruitful results in high quality Belt and Road cooperation.

by Cat on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 03:35:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Final Report to the Prosecutor by the Committee Established to Review the NATO Bombing Campaign Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia | ICTY The Hague |

China demanded the United Sates make further investigations be made into the U.S. bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, which occurred last year at the height of during NATO's air war against Yugoslavia.

Beijing says the U.S. explanation of the bombing - that targeters mistook the embassy for a Yugoslav military target located nearby - is "very difficult to believe".

Beijing's dismissive response came despite repeated U.S. apologies and the C.I.A.'s punishment of seven officials, including the firing of one employee blamed for incorrectly targeting the embassy.

Beijing is insisting that ties between Beijing and Washington can not fully recover until they get an explanation they find satisfactory.    

On May 7th last year, NATO's bombing of the Serbian capital Belgrade reached a new intensity.

But as Belgrade rocked with explosions, a U.S. B-2 bomber unleashed its laser-guided bombs upon a target whose destruction shocked the world.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 05:02:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]

25 Years Later: How a US Stealth Bomber Strike on China's Belgrade Embassy Shook the World

The strike symbolized the height of the unipolar moment of the post-Cold War era - and forced potential U.S. adversaries to shore up their defenses.

At NATO's Combined Air Operations Centre in Vincenza, Italy, an American colonel was widely cited by Western media outlets near the end of the year for admitting to the intentional strike, stating: "That was great targeting ... we put two JDAMs down into the attaché's office and took out the exact room we wanted ... they won't be using that place for rebro [re-broadcasting radio transmissions] any more."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 05:03:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 05:04:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Greetings rich with symbolism in Presstv, Euronews, and NEWS WIRES

fmprc |Embarking on a Golden Voyage in China-Hungary Relations, 8 May

In May when the fragrance of flowers and grass on the Great Hungarian Plain fills the air, I will pay a state visit to Hungary at the invitation of President Tamás Sulyok and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. This will be my second time to come to this land of beauty and abundance in a span of 15 years.

Over the past 15 years, I have met with visiting Hungarian leaders on many occasions. We have forged a deep friendship. I very much look forward to returning to your country to renew our friendship and work with my friends on a new blueprint for China-Hungary relations and cooperation in the new era....

F24 | China's clean car manufacturers find a European foothold in Hungary, 9 May
jobs saved or created
Years of under-investment in electric vehicle technologies and supply chains have left European carmakers struggling to keep up with their Chinese competitors. But even as the EU debates putting up trade barriers against electric vehicles imported from China, Chinese automakers are investing hundreds of millions in setting up their very own European factories in Viktor Orban's Hungary.
In the city of Debrecen in the south of Hungary, a lithium-ion battery plant worth €7.3 billion is being built over a 221-hectare stretch of former farmland in the Southern Industrial Park special economic zone.
Chinese EV manufacturer BYD announced late last year that it was building its first European plant in the southern city of Szeged—a €500-million investment that will sprawl across some 300 hectares. BYD, whose European managing director announced Thursday is considering building a second European factory in 2025, is the first major Chinese carmaker to have set up a European production base. The company has said it wants to be the leading EV manufacturer in Europe by 2030.
These policies only intensified following the 2010 election of Viktor Orban's right-wing Fidesz party in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. The spread of economic turmoil across the EU also served as a stark reminder of the risks of relying solely on western European capital to fund Hungary's development. Soon after his election, Orban began to promote what he called his "Eastern Opening" policy, building on his predecessors' outreach to Asia to bring in multinational corporations from Japan, South Korea and, now, China.
dw | China's Xi meets Orban in Hungary, 9 May
Hungarian President Tamas Sulyok received Chinese President Xi Jinping in Budapest on Thursday with a ceremonial welcome before agreeing on a "comprehensive strategic partnership." Hungary's prime minister, Viktor Orban, was at the ceremony , where Xi and Sulyok walked down a red carpet and listened to the Chinese and Hungarian national anthems. Orban said that the two countries had always been friends and that Chinese companies were securing tens of thousands of jobs in Hungary.
wapoo | Hungary and China sign strategic cooperation agreement during visit by Chinese President Xi, 9 May dont-say-inflation-reduction-act
In a video obtained by the AP, the [Hungarian] lawmaker, Márton Tompos, said that the men, all wearing red baseball caps, confronted him to make sure that no flags or symbols referencing China-claimed Tibet or Taiwan would be hung on the route of Xi's motorcade.
NEWS WIRES (09.05.24)
...On the streets of Budapest, Hungarians were divided over the visit.

"Money does not smell, as they say, so other countries would welcome the kind of investment that is going to happen here, even in Western Europe I assume," said 52-year-old security manager Laszlo Toth. But Tibor Hendre, head of the Tibet Support Association, said he was worried that Hungary was "getting into... a debt trap, from which we cannot really escape".

Software engineer Dezso Bereknyei, 46, said that "financial benefits" appeared to be driving the cooperation, and were "coming before environmental protection".

"They told me that they were volunteers for the Chinese embassy here, and they said they wanted to make sure that there weren't Tibetan or Taiwanese flags, because that wouldn't be nice," Tompos said. The men wouldn't let his colleague proceed "until he showed them that it was an EU flag," he added.###

Other minor conflicts broke out during the day between Tibetan protesters and some of the red-capped Chinese nationals, who attempted to prevent activists from displaying Tibetan flags by obscuring them with their own Chinese national flags. One activist, Tenzin Yangzom, a campaign coordinator for the International Tibet Network, criticized Hungary's government for "allowing the Chinese police to be operating on Hungarian streets."

"This is not China, is it? This is Hungary, it's a free country, you have freedom of speech," she said.

ChatGPT | Xi Jinping uses cold hard cash to keep Viktor Orbán close, 9 May €16B
In an open letter to Hungary that in places reads more like a love note than an official government missive, Chinese President Xi Jinping reflected on a friendship "as mellow and rich as Tokaji wine."

As sweet as Hungary's wine is, its partnership with China is far more profitable, both politically and economically—and it's setting up Hungary to be a dominant player in the continent's shift to electric vehicles.
Hungary is seeing a deluge of investments along the EV production chain. CATL, the world's largest battery manufacturer, invested more than €7 billion in a 100-gigawatt battery plant in Debrecen.

"The greenfield project in Hungary will be a giant leap in CATL's global expansion," said company founder Robin Zeng in announcing the deal.
"The people living in Debrecen are very, very unhappy with this, and they are protesting a lot," [China Observers in Central and Eastern Europe researche Ágnes] Szunomár said. The deal gives CATL land previously used for agriculture, and "they believe that it is going to be harmful for the environment. The manufacturing process itself is polluting the waters, polluting the air, and taking away lots of opportunities for those people."

So far, that resistance has done little to quench Orbán's enthusiasm for Chinese money.

Tenzin Yangzom
International Tibet Network
by Cat on Fri May 10th, 2024 at 03:38:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
budapesttimes.hu | Szjjarto: Hungary-China summit yields 'results worthy of historic visit', 10 May
Szjjarto said talks between the Chinese president and Prime Minister Victor Orban had been "extremely". He said the two sides expanded an earlier list of joint projects under the Belt and Road initiative aimed at developing East-West connections, and would start preparations of a HUngarian-Chinese project to build a railway ring around Budapest. The ring, he said, was needed to make transport between large Chinese investments in the eastern parts of Hungary and western markets more efficient and sustainable.

"Similarly, we will start preparations for an express rail link aimed at providing fast and civilised access from central Budapest to the airport," he said. He also noted that seven large cities in China were no accessible from Budapest by way of a daily 19 direct flights. Preparations for the development of a nationwide network of charging points for electric cars will also get under way, the minister said.
Also cooperation will be extended to nuclear energy, he said. "We have now agreed with the Chinese government on drafting a cooperation agreement covering the length and breadth of the nuclear industry to ensure both countries' access to cheapest, safest, most efficient way of producing electricity," Szijjarto said.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian's Regular Press Conference on May 10, 2024
Xinhua News Agency: Can you brief us on President Xi Jinping's visit to Hungary?
Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Ltd (CATL)
Biyadi (BYD)
by Cat on Fri May 10th, 2024 at 04:08:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Joe's price tag response ...

Quid pro Quo

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue May 14th, 2024 at 11:25:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Southern liberals on edge

...The confirmation this week that three Ciudadanos MEPs, Adrián Vázquez Lázara, Eva Poptcheva, and Susana Solís, jumped ship and joined right-wing Partido Popular's EU election lists has certified the death of the liberals in Spain, favouring the right-wing. The death of Ciudadanos, currently the second biggest delegation in the European Parliament's liberal Renew Europe group, is a tragedy for the liberals' presence in Europe's south. Aside from Spain, Croatia, Malta, and Greece do not even have politically relevant factions.....
French far-right party unveils long list of EU election candidates
...Bardella is counting on two types of running mate for the European elections: players from civil society and outgoing MEPs. The list features the retention of 10 of the 23 outgoing MEPs—only eight of whom are actually in eligible positions, including Le Pen's close associates Philippe Olivier (11th position) and Catherine Griset (14th position)....
OpEd | Imagine there's no enlargement
...2004 was the year of the EU enlargement with Poland, Hungary, Czechia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, and Cyprus. But in the same year, NATO also saw its biggest expansion, with Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia joining together on 29 March 2004. (Czechia, Hungary, and Poland had already joined in 1999.)

The two processes are largely related.

Without EU and NATO membership, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, the three former Soviet republics, would have been taken over by puppet governments, which would have then requested reunification with Russia. < wipes tears > A "de-Nazification" would have followed, masses of populations would have been moved, essentially amounting to ethnic cleansing, and nothing could have been done to stop it....

archive "Washington Treaty" in My Critical Elements v Your Chips
by Cat on Thu May 2nd, 2024 at 04:31:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
euractiv | Slovaks believe EU institutions main foreign interference risk in European Parliament elections, 10 May FARA fright
The survey commissioned by the Central European Digital Media Observatory (CEDMO) and also carried out in Czechia, Hungary, and Poland shows that 39% of Slovaks believe the European institutions are the most significant risk, ahead of < wipes tears > the United States (38%) and Russia (36%). By comparison, in each of the other three countries surveyed, Russia is seen as the most likely meddler (Hungary 54%, Czech Republic 44%, Poland 63%).
"representative sample in the V4 countries" 28 Mar-3 Apr 2024
n = 1006 CZ, 1006 SK, 1002 HU, 1087 PL adults
If the survey's turnout levels reflect reality in June, the 39% of Slovaks who said they would "definitely" go to the polls would already represent a significant increase in turnout compared to 2019, when less than 23% of voters cast their vote.

by Cat on Fri May 10th, 2024 at 10:18:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
indiatvnews | Moment after Slovak PM Robert Fico shot in assassination attempt, 15 May
lovakia's populist Prime Minister Robert Fico was wounded in a shooting Wednesday afternoon and taken to hospital. Reports on TA3, a Slovakian TV station, said that Fico, 59, was hit in the stomach after four shots were fired outside the House of Culture in the town of Handlova, some 150 kilometres northeast of the capital, where the leader was meeting with supporters. A suspect has been detained, it said. Police sealed off the scene. ...
tabloid Sun.ie | GUNNED DOWN Slovakia Prime Minister SHOT: Pro-Putin leader Robert Fico hit in stomach in assassination attempt

archive Slovakia it accused of enabling Russia, NATO chief hold-outs, Draft Dodgers Run...to Slovakia, Fico Leaders' Conference, EU Leaders Silent On Fico Victory in UA Laboratory NATO, EU27 ELECTION 2023

by Cat on Wed May 15th, 2024 at 02:34:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Barbarians at the gate: Von der Leyen makes foreign influence a key campaign topic, 14 May
Less than a month before the European election, von der Leyen used a speech in Denmark Tuesday to call for more forceful action to counter foreign meddling—including online disinformation —and to protect European democracy. The German center-right [EPP] politician is now set to discuss the issue with other commissioners during their weekly college meeting Wednesday, according to two Commission officials. ...
georgiatoday.ge | Parliament adopts the Law "On Transparency of Foreign Influence"
The draft law "On the transparency of foreign influence" has been approved. The parliament passed the draft in the third reading with 84 votes. 30 deputies voted against. With this, the process of parliamentary consideration of the draft law has ended. The project will be submitted to the President for signature. President plans to veto,  however, "Georgian Dream" has enough mandates in the parliament to overcome the veto....
foreign influence in Georgia

strana | "If democracy is undermined." The US State Department called the condition for the introduction of sanctions against the Georgian authorities, 14 May
Jim O'Brien, no relation to Chris, Patricia, or Trump COVID Trade War consigliere, Robert

..."If the law on foreign agents moves forward without coordination with EU norms
euractiv | EU foreign agents law risks breaking bloc's own law, civic groups warn (28.11.23)

eur-lex.europa.eu | Requirements in the internal market on transparency of interest representation carried out on behalf of third countries and amending Directive (12.12.23)
The main aim of this proposal, which complements existing measures at Union level, would be to introduce common transparency and accountability standards in the internal market for interest representation activities carried out on behalf of third countries.
The proposal does not cover eNtITiEs which receive financial support from other Member States, or from third country entities for purposes unrelated to < wipes tears > interest representation

This approach differs radically from those observed in certain other jurisdictions (characterised as 'foreign agent' laws) 10. Such laws often include measures that unduly restrict civic space by stigmatising, intimidating, and curtailing the activities of certain civil society organisations (CSOs), journalists or human rights defenders. The label of 'foreign agent' under such laws frequently seeks to undermine both the financial stability and credibility of the organisations targeted.
10 The Union consistently condemns any undue limitation on fundamental freedoms and restrictions on civic and political space in violation of international human rights law, including so-called 'foreign agent laws'. See, for example, "Russia: Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the Law on Foreign Agents", "Georgia: Statement by the High Representative on the adoption of the Georgian 'foreign influence law," and "EU in BiH on recent developments in the RS".

and there is a disruption of democracy, violence against peaceful protesters, restrictions will follow from the United States. These will include financial and travel restrictions on those responsible and their families, " O'Brien said....
georgiatoday.ge | PM: We explained to Mr. O'Brien all the details related to this "transparency of foreign influence" law

archive SIDEBAR Georgia ELECTION 2024 interference, May 18th 2020 in Sacrificing Lives to Save Capital, Mar 11th 2020 in Europe and America Next

by Cat on Wed May 15th, 2024 at 12:18:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Fri May 17th, 2024 at 11:05:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | US could sanction Georgia politicians to `defend democracy' , 20 May
As part of an effort at "protecting and securing democracy," the draft law would mandate sanctions against government officials and others who "have material responsibility for undermining or injuring democracy, human rights, or security in Georgia." It would introduce visa bans for politicians and the families of politicians who are responsible for the passage of "the recent Russia-style foreign agent legislation" targeting NGOs and media outlets that receive more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad.
Zelesnk*s last "democratically elected" day in office? No!
yahoo! nv.ua | U.S. plans sanctions on Georgian officials over 'Foreign agents' law
"The Georgian government's decision to pass this legislation represents a step in the wrong direction," stated NATO spokesperson Farah Dakhlallah.

Dakhlallah also emphasized the importance of democratic freedoms, urging Georgia to "change course and to respect the right to peaceful protest."

< wipes tears>
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze stated on April 18 that the bill aims to prevent the "Ukrainization" of the country. In response, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry countered that the real threat to Georgia is Russification, not "mystical Ukrainization," and emphasized that derogatory references to Ukraine damage Ukrainian-Georgian relations.
by Cat on Mon May 20th, 2024 at 02:36:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
euronews | OpEd | 'The new Ursula': How von der Leyen learned to stop worrying and love Meloni, 20 May
Von der Leyen found a new friend in Meloni, and she cannot hide her excitement. And why would she? Political survival seems to be her sole mantra, regardless of the cost. They also have a lot in common.

Von der Leyen appears ready to gamble away her already contentious legacy, whilst her track record over the past five years reveals not just thin ideological positions but a landscape rife with scandals, corruption, pro-Israeli government lobbying, and relentless efforts to dismantle crucial EU human rights. And one can hardly expect her to stop there.

archive L'Italia Cambia L'Europa
by Cat on Mon May 20th, 2024 at 06:56:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
lefigaro | France's Assemblée passes bill against foreign interference, 27 Mar 2024
Algorithm-based online surveillance has existed in France since 2015, but has only so far been used to hunt down potential "terrorists." This new law would expand the practice to pinpoint potential perpetrators of foreign interference during a four-year test period.
ibid.  "interest representation" on behalf of third countries
The law would also require people lobbying for foreign interests to sign up to a registry, with sanctions for those who did not. These foreign EnTItiEs would include non-EU foreign powers, firms of which half or more are foreign-owned or -funded, and foreign political parties. The bill also lays out the possibility of freezing the financial assets of people, firms or entities found to have engaged in foreign interference.
ibid. Regarding the eNTiTy organisational setup
publicsenat.fr | Senate votes for more oversight (23.05.24)
Le premier article du texte propose la création d'un répertoire où devront se déclarer les représentants d'intérêts étrangers en France, en dehors des ressortissants des pays de l'Union européenne. Une mesure phare du texte, décrite par le ministre délégué chargé de l'Europe Jean-Noël Barrot comme un « bouclier de transparence ». Au Sénat, la commission des lois a modifié le texte pour préciser le périmètre des personnes soumises à cette obligation de déclaration. Un périmètre large, qui englobe notamment les avocats et les journalistes, qu'un amendement porté par le groupe communiste souhaitait exclure. « Nous avons auditionné de nombreux services de renseignements, qui nous ont confirmé qu'ils avaient rencontré plusieurs cas d'ingérences qui avaient utilisé la voie du conseil juridique ou du journalisme », a justifié Agnès Canayer, avant le rejet de cet amendement. Une commission mixte paritaire doit désormais se réunir, pour s'accorder sur un texte commun entre la version votée à l'Assemblée et celle adoptée au Sénat.
by Cat on Sat May 25th, 2024 at 01:36:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
irishtimes | Jewish Social Democrats candidate claims she was dropped after raising concerns about anti-Semitism, 2 May itinerant prophet
Social Democrats source says Orli Degani`s candidacy became 'unsustainable' after she objected to the use of the Palestinian flag at party events
She was deselected by the party last Friday. The party confirmed she is no longer a candidate for the local elections. Ms Degani described her deselection as an "affront to the values of equality and inclusivity I have come to know since immigrating to these shores".

Ms Degani and her husband Hidai set up a business, OH Degani Consultants Ltd, in Ireland in 2018 having lived in several countries including Israel where she studied at the University of Haifa.

Soc Dems drop Dún Laoghaire candidate after 'internal review', 1 May
It is understood there was a feeling in the party that Ms Degani's views were no longer compatible with the Social Democrats' stance on the war in Gaza.
She added that she had raised a concern that has been growing in the local Jewish community "where local people like me were feeling more and more unwelcome and unsafe in Ireland and in Dún Laoghaire".

"And I sought to constructively engage internally and raise these concerns," she said. "I could not have expected what came next. I will be issuing a further statement in the coming days, after I take legal advice."

by Cat on Thu May 2nd, 2024 at 10:17:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
merkur.de | Nach Angriff auf SPD-Politiker Matthias Ecke: Tausende bei Demonstrationen in Dresden und Berlin
...Update vom 5. Mai, 20.24 Uhr: Nach dem brutalen Angriff auf den SPD-Europaabgeordneten Matthias Ecke in Dresden haben sich in der sächsischen Metropole sowie in Berlin tausende Menschen zu Solidaritätskundgebungen gegen rechte Gewalt versammelt. Vor dem Brandenburger Tor in Berlin fand am Sonntagabend eine Kundgebung unter dem Motto ,,Haltung zeigen gegen Hass und Gewalt: Unsere Demokratie lässt sich nicht einschüchtern!" statt....

by Cat on Sun May 5th, 2024 at 11:10:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Teenager turns himself in for assault on SPD pol, 5 May
The teenager reported to police in Dresden early Sunday morning and said he was "the perpetrator who had knocked down the SPD politician," the police said in a statement. The 17-year-old did not provide any detailed information, according to the media outlet Der Spiegel.
Ecke is only the most high-profile victim of violence.
"The SPD has blamed supporters of the far-right [EPP] party Alliance for Germany (AfD) for the attack on Ecke. Their supporters are now completely disinhibited [free?] and apparently see us democrats as fair game"
Last week, two Greens deputies were abused while campaigning in Essen in western Germany and another was surrounded by dozens of demonstrators in her car in the east of the country.

According to provisional police figures, 2,790 crimes were committed against politicians in Germany in 2023, up from 1,806 the previous year, but less than the 2,840 recorded in 2021, when legislative elections took place.

by Cat on Sun May 5th, 2024 at 11:40:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Catalans vote in crucial regional election for the separatist movement, 12 May
An upstart pro-secession, far-right party called Catalan Alliance, which rails against unauthorised immigration as well as the Spanish state, will hope to earn parliamentary representation. A coalition is inevitable as total of nine parties are running and no single one is expected to come close to winning enough votes to reach the absolute majority of 68 seats in the chamber.
Presidential election, citizenship referendum kick off in Lithuania, 12 May
Eight presidential candidates are vying for the post, with incumbent President Gitanas Nauseda holding a firm lead in polls, followed by Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte, and a lawyer, Ignas Vegele. Polling stations are open from 7 a.m. local time (0400 GMT) to 8 p.m. (1700 GMT). A total of 1895 polling stations opened across the country. Eligible voters can cast ballots at any of the stations, no matter where their place of residence is.
Every Vote Counts in the 2024 Lithuanian Citizenship Referendum
The referendum's question is straightforward yet profound: Should individuals who have acquired Lithuanian citizenship by birth retain their citizenship upon acquiring the citizenship of another country that is friendly to Lithuania?....
For the referendum to be valid, at least 50 percent of voters must vote. However, the hurdle for adopting the proposed amendment to the constitution is a high one: at least 50 percent of all eligible voters—not just those who vote—must say "yes." According to the Central Electoral Commission of Lithuania, 2,385,234 people are on the voter list. Around 400,000 live abroad and can vote by mail or in person at Lithuania's diplomatic representations.
reuters | Lithuanian presidential hopefuls vow to stand up to Russian threat
Lithuanians vote on Sunday in a presidential election expected to hand a new term to incumbent Gitanas Nauseda, a staunch supporter of Ukraine in its two-year war with Russia, following a campaign focusing on security concerns in the Baltic states....
dw | Three perspectives - What Does German citizenship Mean? - video
by Cat on Sun May 12th, 2024 at 02:15:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Catalan election results
The Socialists secured 42 out of 135 seats in the Catalan parliament, with almost all votes counted. The separatist Junts party of Carles Puigdemont, the man who as Catalan president in 2017 attempted to declare independence from Spain, came in second with 35 seats, while fellow separatists ERC won 20 seats, with others trailing further behind....Catalan voters on Sunday also delivered a boost to the center-right [EPP] People's Party, which saw its share of seats jump to 15 from just three.
ChatGPT | Lithuania election result
Nausėda took about 44 percent of the vote in the first round, followed by Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė on 20 percent, according to electoral commission data. As no candidate received an outright majority, the pair will head to a run-off election on May 26.
by Cat on Mon May 13th, 2024 at 01:27:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
eda.admin.ch | Casting Call, 2 May calendar update
President Viola Amherd announced the date of the summit on the Bürgenstock via social media platform X on 2 May 2024.
Following up on Ukraine's request Switzerland has invited over 160 delegations from around the world to join for the first Summit on Peace in Ukraine on 15-16 June 2024 at the Bürgenstock resort.
The summit will build on the discussions that have taken place in recent months, notably the Ukrainian peace formula and other peace proposals based on the UN Charter and key principles of international law.
The overarching objective of the summit is to inspire a future peace process. To achieve this, the summit intends to:
• Provide a platform for dialogue on ways towards a comprehensive, just and lasting peace for Ukraine based on international law and the UN Charter;

Why is the summit being held in Switzerland?
During President Zelensk*'s visit to Bern on 15 January 2024, Switzerland and Ukraine discussed the next steps towards a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine. At Ukraine's request, Switzerland agreed to host a summit. Switzerland regularly hosts negotiations or acts as a mediator for talks and meetings.

archive "high-level" schedule conflict
by Cat on Thu May 2nd, 2024 at 03:50:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukriform venue shopping w/e 4 May

Ukraine is preparing seven more security agreements with partners
President Volodymyr Zelensk* said this in his evening
video address, Ukrinform reports with reference to the president's press service.
[EN transcript]
Today is a day dedicated to our international work—to the results that Ukraine needs in May and June. We are preparing seven new security documents for our country—bilateral security agreements, including a security agreement with the United States... Weapons, finance, political cooperation [...] The second issue is the European orientation. [...]
And, of course, the Global Peace Summit, the first of its kind, which can launch a real movement towards just peace. [...] And one more thing for this day. I have made several personnel changes in the Security Service of Ukraine. ...

Security Agreements
UK Foreign Secretary D. Cameron "kicked off" negotiation with Ukraine PM Denys Schmyal on a "100 Year Partnership" that will build enduring links between our two countries across the spectrum of trade, "security and defense" cooperation, science and tech[nology], education, culture, and much more." He also pledged GBP 36 million for Ukraine's capital improvements and unspecified emergency services.

Global Peace Summit
During another "United News" telethon presidential office head Andriy Yermak, emphasized again that Russia will not participate in the Global Peace Summit; "It is important for Ukraine that as many countries as possible attend the Global Peace Summit," to restore and respect principles of international law. He exhorted Ukraine's diplomatic corps to encourage participation by Chinese representatives who had declined invitations to previous NSA "work groups".

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said, Ukraine unites world to make aggressor realise that there is no alternative to Peace Formula to consolidate international financial assistance for Ukraine's reconstruction. The Conference on the Restoration of Ukraine in Berlin (11-12June), G7 Leaders' Summit (13-15 June), and the Global Peace Summit (15-16 June) are dedicated to this mission.

Political and Legal Co-operation
In a draft agreement CoE's Committee of Ministers took another step toward setting up Special Tribunal [30.04.24] with Ukraine to establish a Special Tribunal for the Russian crime of aggression. They assert that the ICC has no jurisdictional authority (Part 1) to try crimes of aggression, because the RF is not party to the Rome Statute. However, neither disputes ICC authority to arrest RF officials suspected of illegal deportation of Ukranian children.

The organzing principles, or "characteristics," of the Special established by COE and Ukraine Tribunal will not imitate either the ICC or UNSC Art. 41 tribunals.

It is worth noting that representatives of 141 countries voted for the UN General Assembly resolution a year ago, which supported the Formula of Peace [?] of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensk*.
"Firstly," said Denys Maslov, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Legal Policy, the previous tribunals were established only after the defeat of the aggressor country and the detention of its leadership. Moreover, Nuremberg and Tokyo military tribunals were established before the International Criminal Court [ICC], whose prosecutor customarily investigates,  indicts, and tries UN Convention war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and aggression codified in the Rome Statute Part 2. Maslov recommends creation of a duplicate repository, the International Center for the Prosecution of Crimes of Aggression Against Ukraine, for collections of evidence with which the ICC might not be privy.
by Cat on Sun May 5th, 2024 at 03:27:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Military intelligence general: Chasiv Yar's fall probably a matter of time

Additional disfunction UA forces ...

Ukraine is forced to haul its fleet of $10million US Abrams tanks back from the frontline after losing five of its stock of 31

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun May 5th, 2024 at 08:55:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Christ is risen. (L) CNN: Sumy building damaged by a Russian drone; (C) Tendar: Belgorod building destroyed by FSB; (R) RT: Belgorod building destroyed by Ukraine Tochka-U

strana | Explosion in a high-rise building in Belgorod, Russia, probably occurred from the inside - OSINT-analyst

"This has all the hallmarks of what happened in Moscow in 1999, when the Russian FSB blew up high-rise buildings to 'justify' the war in Chechnya," the analyst added.
ukranews | Entrance of high-rise building collapses in high-rise building in Belgorod
The governor of the Belgorod Region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, has accused Ukraine of shelling and claimed that the high-rise building allegedly collapsed due to a shell hit. Nevertheless, according to another version, a russian guided aerial bomb, which the russians wanted to drop on Ukrainian territory, fell on the house. As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, guided bombs from time to time fall on russian cities, because they break off from aircraft.
vOLdeMoRT | Multiple dead after Ukrainian strike on residential area - Russian official
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Ukraine attacked residential areas of Belgorod, using a Tochka-U tactical missile system, as well as Olkha, and RM-70 Vampire multiple launch rocket systems. The ministry further asserted that Russian air defenses intercepted six Soviet-era Tochka-U missiles, four Vampire rockets, and two Olkha projectiles. It was mentioned that fragments of one of the downed Tochka-U missiles had caused damage to a residential building in Belgorod.
cnn | With a Surprise! cross-border attack, Russia ruthlessly exposes Ukraine's weaknesses (11.05.24)
The northern border assault follows the creation of a new Russian military grouping called Sever (North).  George Barros at the Institute for the Study of War [ISW] in Washington told CNN that Sever is an "operationally significant group." It's from this new force that units of armored infantry tried to cross the border. The available evidence suggests they were expected and suffered significant losses. But if more elite units join (there are reports that elements from other divisions may do so) Russia's ambitions could grow.
archive Belgorod: this is a frontline, 24 January 2024 borders, 4 June 2023, Fear and denial 2022, Sumy: Energy Mathematics in Casualty, counter-offensives
by Cat on Sun May 12th, 2024 at 06:12:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Remember when NATO crowed that PUTIN failed to capture Keev? Or when NATO boasted that UKRAINE's summer counter-offensive regained almost all illegally annexed Donbas territory AND the Black Sea? How about that time the Pentagon bought MOAR Starlink equipment to replace UAF abandoned Starlink terminals? Then paid for SpaceX freight to the ISS, the moon, and beyond? And most recently revealed that RUSSIA had launched nukes in orbit with...dual-use DPRK rockets, Iranian weapons-grade uranium, and primitive Chinese microprocessors.  

NY Yella Cake | Russia in New Push Increasingly Disrupts Ukraine's Starlink Service (25.05.24)
In an interview this week, Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine's digital minister, said Russia's recent attacks against Starlink appeared to use new and more advanced technology. The service previously held up remarkably well against interference on battlefields, where there has been widespread electronic warfare, radio jamming and other communication disruptions. SpaceX did not respond to requests for comment. Russia's Ministry of Defense did not respond to a request for comment. Explanations for Starlink outages in Ukraine over the past year [?!] vary. Several experts said Russia had gotten better at interfering with the signal between the satellites and Starlink terminals on the ground by using powerful and precise jammers. For Ajax, the Ukrainian commander, the loss of Starlink service brought back bad memories from the war. When he fought near the Russian border in 2022 [!], his unit was sometimes cut off from Starlink, disrupting drone video feeds that were used for targeting artillery from a distance. In its place, the unit deployed soldiers to covertly watch enemy positions and direct attacks. "It became the old way with radios," he said. "We had to say, 'Move left 100 foot.' It was super strange."
Try to act surprised one year from today, when DOD parks "modernized" F-35s in Lviv.
by Cat on Sun May 26th, 2024 at 03:02:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT jalopnik | $90-Million* F-35 Fighter Jet Crashes Straight Out Of The Factory, 29 May
A pilot from the Defense Contract Management Agency [dcma.mil] was at the F-35B's controls at the time of the incident. The plane had refueled at Kirtland Air Force Base, just adjacent to the airport, before the crash. The pilot ejected from the fighter and was transported to the University of New Mexico Hospital with serious injuries, ABC News reports.
archive September 2023 American sciences
It's difficult for mishaps with the Lockheed Martin F-35 to go unnoticed when the program costs the government north of $1 trillion. Last September, a Marine Corps pilot ejected from an F-35B during a training flight in South Carolina. The pilot ejected safely, but the plane went missing. It took over 30 hours to find the wreckage, which was worth $90 million to roll off the assembly line.
* tennessean | [Modernized] F-35 fighter jet worth $135M crashes near Albuquerque International Sunport, pilot injured
"The aircraft was a test jet equipped with Technology Refresh 2 (TR-2) and was transferring to Edwards AFB for additional test equipment modification."
ibid. GOA, "Program Continues to Encounter Production Issues and Modernization Delays": If Lockheed Martin delivers the software on this timeline, it will need to park aircraft produced over the last several months at various facilities. The parking arrangement, however, presents additional risk to the government should damage occur to some or all of the parked aircraft. [pp 24-25]
by Cat on Wed May 29th, 2024 at 07:13:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wapoo | Ukrainian men abroad voice anger over pressure to return home to fight,
"to the last Ukrainian"
"We all felt like the ground was pulled out from under us," said Oleksandr, a 42-year-old from Kyiv now living in Austria. "That Ukraine no longer wants to support us." Like other men interviewed for this article, Oleksandr agreed to speak on condition that he be identified only by his first name because he feared being ostracized or facing other repercussions.
"I am not afraid to die," Oleksandr added. "My biggest fear is to be captured and experience torture."
I gather, indefinite tour of duty isn't a topic of moral, political, or legal conversation.
archive April Fraught Mobilization Bill
by Cat on Sun May 5th, 2024 at 06:03:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
newsqueak | Conscription Officers in Russia Keep Suffering a Grim Fate (18.10.22)
Roman Malyk, an enlistment officer in charge of mobilization in the Partisansky and Lazovsky districts of the Primorsky region in Russia's far east, was found dead on the evening of October 14, local officials said.
archive Yevgeniy Prigozhin, 40K WAGNER CONVICTS, ex-convict returned from war kills again, Prigozhin's rebellion

kyivindependent | Ukraine struggles to ramp up mobilization as Russia's war enters 3rd year (23.01.24)

...Once the draft law was made public, debate on its points quickly erupted both in parliament and in society at large, with the Armed Forces' Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhny holding a special press conference on Dec. 26 to clarify aspects of the document....
archive Prisoners with 'Combat Experience, UA's Ghost General, UK ambassador

yahoo! kyivindependent | Man dies at military enlistment office in Dnipropetrovsk, 7 May

...A 49-year-old man reportedly died at a military enlistment center in Ternopil Oblast in late February after staying at the center for multiple days. He was reportedly found to be epileptic but had bruises all over his body. The Special Prosecutor's Office of Ternopil was investigating the conduct of the center's employees for potentially abusing power....
reuters | Ukraine lawmakers back bill allowing some convicts to enlist in army, 8 May
The move is only expected to generate around several thousand new soldiers from a possible pool of up to 20,000 convicts, David Arakhamia, a senior lawmaker said. The bill, which needs President Volodymyr Zelensk*'s signature to become law, would not allow people convicted of the most serious crimes to enlist, lawmaker Oleksiy Honcharenko said....
ChatGPT | Ukraine moves to send convicts to the front line—minus the rapists and killers
...The Anti-Corruption Action Center, a Kyiv-based watchdog, called the vote "a victory with a bitter taste," given that not all types of corrupt officials were excluded from the law's provisions....
strana | "It is better to sit alive than to lie dead." Will Ukrainian prisoners go to the front?
Minister of Justice Malyuska said that there are many thousands of people who are ready to enlist in the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the colonies [?!]. However, a survey by Strana in the colonies showed that the situation is not so clear.
"I am not eager to go to war, no matter what is offered. I have a year and a half left to sit. Leave to fight without the possibility of demobilization, for an indefinite period? It means buying a ticket to nowhere. What is the point of changing one term for another, even with a high probability of becoming a corpse? Moreover, most likely, former prisoners in the Armed Forces of Ukraine will not be protected, our fate is to become meat at the front. Therefore, no," [said] Kirill V., who is serving time for theft, told Strana.
by Cat on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 10:36:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Zelensk* signs law on prisoner mobilization
"in exchange for parole"

Zelensk* signed a law on increased absentee fines for evaders
"up to 25.5 thousand hryvnias is imposed in absentia with the prospect of blocking accounts in case of non-payment"

by Cat on Fri May 17th, 2024 at 06:40:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yahoo! nv.ua | Ukraine mobilization law spurs trucker protest, disrupts Kyiv highway in Odesa Oblast
...According to eyewitnesses, hundreds of trucks are on the highway against the "draconian law of the authorities" on mobilization. Drivers from almost all regions of Ukraine came to the protest, the Telegram channel Our Odesa reports.

Traffic on the Kyiv-Odesa highway has been restored as of 5 p.m., Vitalina Bevzenko, a spokeswoman for the National Police in Kirovohrad Oblast, told Suspilne.

In a comment to RBC-Ukraine, [National Police spokesperson Olena] Berezhna said that about 100 trucks were standing on both sides of the road in Kirovohrad Oblast. Traffic was not blocked, and the roads were passable. Currently, about 15 vehicles reportedly remain on the road....

New Voice of Ukraine "information space"
nv.ua | The law on mobilization came into force today: all about new duties, deadlines, changes, and penalties for evasion
...These norms will work in conjunction with other legislative acts, resolutions and orders of the Cabinet of Ministers and relevant ministries, which were adopted in the spring of 2024 and affect the processes of mobilization and military registration. The standards of some of these additional documents are included below....
nv.ua | "The dead were thrown onto the tracks." 80 years ago, the STALIN regime deported 200 thousand Crimean Tatars—genocide in numbers and memories
...In memory of the victims of this crime, Ukraine celebrates the Day of Struggle for the Rights of the Crimean Tatar People on May 18. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine established this memorable day on November 12, 2015, recognizing the deportation of Crimean Tatars as genocide of the Crimean Tatar people....
by Cat on Sat May 18th, 2024 at 08:56:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Secretary Blinken delivers remarks at Kyiv Polytechnic Institute in Kyiv, Ukraine
(@ 01:29:49) People from every region, every community, every institution have stepped forward to serve, including at this university, where students, alumni, teachers, and other employees of Kyiv Polytechnic have answered the call to defend their homeland, putting aside their studies, their careers, their dreams, leaving loved ones behind. Eighty-eight of those men and women gave their lives for Ukraine's freedom. Many of their names are etched in the memorial on campus that I just visited with the rector. They include an aspiring book illustrator, a cancer researcher, a marathon runner, a muscian who opened Keev's first rock-and-roll—school of rock-and-roll—a veteran who lost both of his legs fighting against Putin's previous invasion in the Donbas and volunteered to serve again, when Putin re-invaded in 2022. Like countless Ukrainians these citizens never asked others to fight for them. Indeed, all the Ukrainians have asked is that you get what you need to defend yourselves and your right to survive as a nation. Your recent mobilization was a difficult decision but a necessary one. The defenders who have so courageously held the line for more than two years need help. They need rest. This will allow both, while providing your military with additional troops to fight off bigger invading forces. The mobilization will also allow you to hardern your defenses, to build more units, to take the fight to Russian aggressors. Now, our joint task is to secure Ukraine's sustained and permanent strategic advantage so that Ukraine can not only deliver on the battlefield today but deter and defend against future attacks.
by Cat on Tue May 14th, 2024 at 09:20:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
president.gov.ua | Easter Greetings by the President of Ukraine (05.05.24)
It's a mirror that reflects our reality in times of war, the path we have already taken, and this Easter, and our entire present. This is what our amulets look like today. This is how we feel that God is protecting us through the hands of our warriors. This is how we see the protection of the heavenly forces, embodied in the Security and Defense Forces of Ukraine, every Ukrainian who devotes themself to the sacred cause of defending their native land from darkness and evil.
Christ is risen!
by Cat on Sun May 5th, 2024 at 10:33:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
strana | "I will do everything so that Ukrainians do not cry." Five years ago, Zelensk* became President of Ukraine, 20 May
With these words, 5 years ago, the newly elected President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensk*, who took office on May 20, 2019, finished his inaugural speech.

This speech now looks like a video created by a neural network from a parallel reality.

"Demographic collection". "Servant of the people" is going to introduce a tax on childlessness of Ukrainians
The demographic fee is proposed to be paid [by] all residents of Ukraine from 21 to 58 years old until the demographic reform is carried out.

The tax will not apply to persons with three or more children, persons with infertility, impaired reproductive function, confirmed by medical documents at least once every 2 years, as well as disabled people of the 1st group.

The tax itself will be 1.5% for the childless, 1% for those with 1 child, and 0.5% for those with 2 children.

by Cat on Mon May 20th, 2024 at 10:38:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
pravda | Zaluzhny's pause. As you can see, the appointment of Zaluzhny has not yet taken place. Moreover, he did not officially respond to Zelensky's written invitation to become Ukraine's ambassador to the UK, 5 May
According to our information, people with two arguments are walking around Zaluzhny:

Valera, leave for the sake of Ukraine, before May 21, otherwise I can drag you into a new Maidan, and it can happen to you, and then.... Well, you get it;

Valera, stay, we have one last chance to take out this green shobla on May 21 with Bankova. Then Ukraine will remain. There's no way without you. Only you can lead the column going to the Bank.

While Zaluzhny is considering these proposals in the shadows, the ratings of the government are rapidly declining, along with stocks of air defense missiles... And history is inexorably moving towards the next bifurcation point.

kyivindependent | Zelensk*'s term would have expired this month, but he's staying. Russia wants to use it, 6 May
Officially, the administration stays away from the topic. Unofficially, its members have been warning allies for months that Russia was preparing a targeted campaign to undermine Zelensk*'s legitimacy in the eyes of Ukrainians and the West. Undermining Zelensk*'s legitimacy is part of Russia's multi-component plan to destabilize Ukraine, Deputy Chief of Military Intelligence Vadym Skibitsky told the Economist [!] in a recent interview.
ChatGPT | Ukraine arrests 2 rogue colonels over secret plot to murder Zelensk*, 7 May
who were working for Russia.
Zelensk* has previously said he has survived more than 10 assassination attempts. "But it is the first time such a high-ranking official of the state security department has become [the] enemy's moles," Artem Dehtiarenko, SBU spokesman, told POLITICO....
strana | He fired a Glock and signed the flags. Zaluzhny became more active in the information field after his resignation, 8 May
Former Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valery Zaluzhny, who did not appear in public for a long time after resigning from his post, became more active in the media field and social networks. In particular, he published the first post in a long time in his Telegram channel.
Back in March, the former commander-in-chief was appointed ambassador to the UK, but has not yet begun to fulfill these duties. On April 23, adviser to the head of the Presidential Office Mikhail Podolyak assured that Zaluzhny will start working as an ambassador in the coming weeks.###
strana | "Servants of the people" in full force left the hall when they voted for the title of honorary citizen of Kiev to Zaluzhny, 8 May
by Cat on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 10:07:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
strana | Yermak and Rasmussen offered to accept Ukraine into NATO no later than 2028, 14 May illustrated cyrillic
NATO should invite Ukraine to join the Alliance at a summit in Washington this summer and commit to accepting Ukraine into its ranks no later than July 2028.

This proposal is included in the report developed by the group of the head of the Office of the President Andrey Ermak - NATO Secretary General in 2009-2014 Anders Rasmussen. The report also suggests that "allies spend 0.25% of their GDP on military assistance to Ukraine and unlock frozen Russian assets worth $ 300 billion to support Ukraine."

president.gov.ua | NATO Membership Is a Guarantee of Peace and Security for Ukraine and the World: Rasmussen-Yermak International Task Force Published an Official Report, Copenhagen Democracy Summit stage
The International Task Force on Security and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, co-chaired by Head of the Presidential Office Andriy Yermak and former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, has published a report with a rationale for the necessity of Ukraine's future membership in NATO and concrete proposals for it.

"A credible prospect of NATO membership is a way to convince Russia that it has nothing to gain from waging war. Inviting Ukraine to start accession talks now is a way to send a clear message to Russia that it needs to end the war and give Ukraine a chance for a just peace," the report emphasizes. The Rasmussen-Yermak International Task Force proposes to set a clear timeframe for Ukraine's accession to NATO - no later than July 2028, subject to the fulfillment of specific conditions.

RU syndicated rumors about fomal EU-level "security agreemnt", attributed to Welt am Sonntag w/e 11 May confirmed
The International Task Force emphasizes the need to unify the set of bilateral security agreements between Ukraine and its partners into an international compact. In particular, its goal is to build up Ukraine's Armed Forces so that they can reach a size and structure strong enough to defend against a future Russian attack and strengthen NATO's collective defense by the end of the decade. It is proposed that NATO members commit to spending 0.25% of their GDP on military aid to Ukraine, as well as unlocking $300 billion in frozen Russian assets and using them to support Ukraine.
The report [EN, 11 pp] is attached. The document was signed by [18] members of the task force:

by Cat on Tue May 14th, 2024 at 03:29:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hogwash ... total NUTS as some historic US general exclaimed during WWII ...
Same description can be applied to the extended fascist attack on the Soviet Union Moscow and the Russian Federation.

(Western) Ukraine as NATO member is totally unacceptable to Moscow ... one of the signatories is jack@$$ Ivo Daalder ... have blogged about him and NATO commander Breedlove over nearly 15 years.

Gorbachev and Yeltsin were right...

Back to reality. the daisies in the field (Lyndon Johnson v Barry Goldwater in 1964) will be replaced by radioactive ☢️ mushrooms.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue May 14th, 2024 at 04:35:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Andriy Yermak Urged Heads and Other Representatives of Foreign Universities to Spread Information about the Global Peace Summit
Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak held an online meeting with heads and other representatives of about 40 foreign universities that cooperate with Ukrainian higher education institutions.
Andriy Yermak also noted that the Global Peace Summit aims to reach a common position on three issues that are important for the whole world and have arisen in the wake of Russia's aggressive war against Ukraine: food and nuclear security and the return of all illegally deported Ukrainian children and prisoners of war....
Andriy Yermak Urged UNITED24 Ambassadors to Support the Global Peace Summit
Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak met online with ambassadors of the UNITED24 fundraising platform.
TOTAL COLLLECTED: $ 646 408 247
He thanked the ambassadors for supporting Ukraine from the first days of the full-scale Russian invasion and spoke about the preparations for the Global Peace Summit. Andriy Yermak urged to spread the idea of the Summit and information about it....
archive Advantage Ukraine
by Cat on Tue May 14th, 2024 at 06:55:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Secretary Blinken delivers remarks at Kyiv Polytechnic Institute in Kyiv, Ukraine
(@ 1:25:25) Today, I'm here in Keev to speak about Ukraine's strategic success and to set out how with our support the Ukrainian people can and will achieve their vision for a future of free, prosperous democracy fully integrated into the Euro-Atlantic community and fully in control of its own destiny. We're meeting at a critical moment. Putin is ramping up yet another offensive against Ukraine and Kharkiv and across the east, sending wave after wave of Russian soldiers, Iranian drones, North Korean artillery, and tanks, missiles, and fighter jets built with machines and parts supplied by China. The coming weeks and months will demand a great deal of Ukrainians who have already sacrificed so much, but I have come to Ukraine with a message: You are not alone. The United States has been by your side since day one. We are with you today, and we will stay by your side until Ukraine's security, its sovereignty, its ability to choose its own path is guaranteed. And we're far from your only friend. Dozens of countries around the world are not just rooting for Ukraine's success, they're helping you achieve it.
World War or Global Peace Summit? You be the judge. Needs moar Oceania and Western Hemisphere or 'just' nuclear detonation?
by Cat on Tue May 14th, 2024 at 09:34:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Blinken and Kuleba had lunch at the Keev pizzaria Veterans Pizza. A video of Blinken with a local band playing Neil Young's "Rockin' in The Free World" appeared online. Some native bar fllies were not amused.

Meanwhile, Zelensk* will visit Spain to sign a bilateral security agreement. Zelensk* will visit Madrid Friday, May 17.

The European Union also admitted it agreed to "a general agreement" on security guarantees with Ukraine. But it will not be legally binding or contain a clause on sending troops to Ukraine.

by Cat on Tue May 14th, 2024 at 10:54:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
reuters | Ukraine commander says French military instructors to visit Ukrainian training centres
"I am pleased to welcome France's initiative to send instructors to Ukraine to train Ukrainian servicemen," Oleksandr Syrskyi said on the Telegram messaging app after talks via video link with French defence minister Sebastien Lecornu. "I have already signed the documents that will enable the first French instructors to visit our training centres shortly and familiarize themselves with their infrastructure and personnel."
archive Paris Leaders' Conference
In a statement to Reuters, France's Defence Ministry said: "As already mentioned several times, training on Ukrainian soil is one of the projects discussed since the conference on support for Ukraine convened by the President of the Republic on February 26.
archive FR-UA bilateral security agreement
"Like all the projects discussed at that time, this track continues to be the subject of work with the Ukrainians, in particular to understand their exact needs."###
F24 | Kyiv says talks on France sending military instructors to Ukraine are ongoing
"Kyiv's defence ministry made the 'clarification' after army chief Oleksandr Syrsky said that the first French military instructors would soon arrive in the war-battered country."
archive Breton, Lecornu countries' contributions
by Cat on Tue May 28th, 2024 at 02:40:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Top NATO commander: Russia's offensive won't succeed, 16 May
"I know the Russians don't have the numbers necessary to do a strategic breakthrough," Christopher Cavoli told reporters after a meeting of the alliance's defense chiefs at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

"They don't have the skill and the capability to do it, to operate at the scale necessary to exploit any breakthrough to strategic advantage," said the U.S. general, but added: "They do have the ability to make local advances and they have done some of that."

Cavoli's assessment comes from "very close contact with our Ukrainian colleagues, and I'm confident that they that they will hold the line," he added. Despite Russia pressing along the frontlines with Ukraine and recently launching an attack near Ukraine's second city of Kharkiv, Cavoli said he was uncertain that this was Moscow's full-scale summer offensive.

"What we don't see is large, large numbers of reserves being generated someplace," he said. Cavoli added that it's difficult to know if Russia's effort has run out of gas.

archive center of psychoville
president.gov.ua | We managed to give confidence to the direction of Volchansk, but the Russian shelling does not stop, there are threats-the President's address (16.05.24)
We held a meeting of the Headquarters in Kharkiv: That is, all aspects of the situation. In detail—about the fighting in Kharkiv region and the protection of people, our positions, the needs of units that protect our positions. Today, in particular, the head of the administration of Volchansk was injured. Our counterattack operations continue—they continue in other areas in the border regions of Kharkiv, and our results in repelling the assaults, in destroying the occupier should become more. After returning to Kiev, I spoke with Polish Prime Minister Tusk about our needs, about Patriot systems that could significantly change the situation in the Kharkiv direction.
ukrinform | Zelensk*: Russia won't occupy Kharkiv if Ukraine gets two Patriot systems
...Asked by a journalist whether America is to blame for what is happening in Kharkiv, Zelensk* answered: "It's the world's fault. They gave the opportunity for Putin to occupy (Ukrainian territory - ed.) But now the world can help."...
archive one spare battery of Patriots
by Cat on Fri May 17th, 2024 at 12:13:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]

euractiv syndicated ISW capitulation sitrep w/e 25 May
For this account, Reuters spoke to a total of five people who work with or have worked with Putin at a senior level in the political and business worlds. The fifth source did not comment on freezing the war at the current frontlines.
All five sources said Putin had told advisers he had no designs on NATO territory, reflecting his public comments on the matter. Two of the sources cited Russian concerns about the growing danger of escalation with the West, including nuclear escalation, over the Ukraine standoff.
Three sources said Putin understood any dramatic new advances would require another nationwide mobilisation, which he didn't want, with one source, who knows the Russian president, saying his popularity dipped after the first mobilisation in September 2022.
Annotated ISW map Legend:
hatch blue area (///): current "Korea Option" grey zone along RF border
solid pinko area: four (4) RU "occupied territories"
thin black line: Ukraine oblast boundaries
thin blue line: active "frontline" meandering through  Kherson, Zaporizh*, Donetsk, and Luhansk
Putin's insistence on locking in any battlefield gains in a deal is non-negotiable, all of the sources suggested. Putin would, however, be ready to settle for what land he has now and freeze the conflict at the current front lines, four of the sources said.

"Putin will say that we won, that NATO attacked us and we kept our sovereignty, that we have a land corridor to Crimea, which is true," one of them said, giving their own analysis. Freezing the conflict along current lines would leave Russia in possession of substantial chunks of four Ukrainian regions he formally incorporated into Russia in September 2022, but without full control of any of them.

strana | The SBR accused 28 Ukrainian commanders of seizing ten villages near Kharkiv by the Russians, 24 May lost in translation
settlements of Strelka, Krasnoe, Borisovka, Pylnoye of the Kharkiv region and Gatische of the Chuguevsky region, as well as other settlements of the Kharkiv region (along the state border of Ukraine with the Russian Federation), during the assault actions of the Russian Army, there were facts of abandonment of combat positions by AFU units.
by Cat on Fri May 24th, 2024 at 11:27:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
< inhale >
Russia's jamming of the guidance systems of modern Western weapons, including Excalibur GPS-guided artillery shells and the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, which can fire some U.S.-made rockets with a range of up to 50 miles, has eroded Ukraine's ability to defend its territory and has left officials in Kyiv urgently seeking help from the Pentagon to obtain upgrades from arms manufacturers.
< exhale >
< inhale >
Russia's ability to combat the high-tech munitions has far-reaching implications for Ukraine and its Western suppliers—potentially providing a blueprint for adversaries such as China and Iran—and it is a key reason Moscow's forces have regained the initiative and are advancing on the battlefield.
< exhale >
archive HIMARS and Bradleys, freedom and property in The cost of doing business
by Cat on Sun May 26th, 2024 at 11:43:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
uatv.ua. willing to pay the price for counterfeit Lego® strategic autonomy
"The NATO secretary general recently said that as NATO countries, we can temporarily move below the alliance's capability targets. So the room for creativity is there. Industrial suppliers have pledged to speed up production and delivery of replacement systems. We are counting on that," Dutch Minister of Defense Kajsa Ollongren referred to Jens Stoltenberg who encouraged the allies to sacrifice the needs of alliance when it comes to boosting support for Ukraine.
defence-ua | Netherlands [Asks] Multiple Countries to Assemble a Patriot for Ukraine Piece by Piece
This could be a reasonable idea of how to get a Patriot air defense system in a short time, and there's already a list of countries that could participate in this venture
In April, the German Ministry of Defense announced the "immediate" transfer of another Patriot to Ukraine and sparked a discussion of who else could donate additional systems. For a reminder, the Netherlands itself has three Patriot fire units (batteries), and in 2023 committed to sending two extra launchers to complement the Patriots deployed in Ukraine.
kyivindependent | Netherlands wants to deliver Patriot system to Ukraine jointly with partners
The country has identified which partners could contribute parts and ammunition from their own stocks and called on them to join the initiative.
Ukraine operates at least three Patriot systems provided by the U.S., the Netherlands, and Germany, with Berlin recently pledging to deliver a fourth one. The Netherlands did not supply a full system but rather two launchers and other supplies. Previously, the Netherlands contributed funds to Germany's air defense initiative for Ukraine, which reportedly collected close to 1 billion euros as of May 21.
defensie.nl | The Netherlands spearheads initiative to jointly deliver Patriot system for Ukraine, calls on other European nations to contribute, 28 May
"The Dutch government proposes to quickly assemble a Patriot air defense system in close cooperation with several partners and deliver it to Ukraine. The Netherlands will contribute core components and parts from its stock and invites European countries to add components from theirs."
defensie.nl | The Dutch supply of Patriot air defence system to Ukraine, 20 Jan
"The Netherlands will supply parts of a Patriot air defence system, specifically 2 launchers and missiles, to Ukraine. The Netherlands is also responsible for training Ukrainian soldiers. Further The Netherlands will supply 100 vehicles fitted with [brand-name?] anti-aircraft guns that were commercially purchased < wipes tears > in the Czech Republic."
by Cat on Wed May 29th, 2024 at 12:40:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kuleba did not say whether Turkey, India[, Brazil, South Africa, Russia,] and China will attend the summit in Switzerland, 17 May
"I am happy with the trend of increasing the number of participants. But we can't name everyone publicly. After all, an act of Russian diplomatic and economic aggression immediately begins against the authorities of this country in order to force them to refuse," Kuleba said.
by Cat on Fri May 17th, 2024 at 06:27:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
WH Press Briefing: Karine Jean-Pierre and John Kirby | May 17, 2024, A/V (EN), 00:56:45
Q @ 22:33: Admiral, back to Ukraine— Does the president hope to attend the Ukraine peace conference next month?
KIRBY: I don't have anything on his schedule to speak to that regard.
by Cat on Sat May 18th, 2024 at 04:16:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ukrinform | Peace Summit's agenda to include nuclear, food security, return of children, all-for-all POW swap, 21 May
"If we can bring these three points to a logical implementation, then we will be able to move on to the second part—complex points that can lead to the end of the war. No one says that Russia will agree tomorrow, but it is important that we maintain the initiative because they came against us with war," the president said.
TASS | Kiev to unveil reduced 'peace formula' ahead of Swiss conference (22.05.24)
The Kiev government had to cut the so-called peace formula, earlier put forward by Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensk*, from ten points to three, fearing that the upcoming peace conference in Switzerland may end in failure, the country's Delovaya Stolitsa media outlet reported.
dsnews.ua | Swiss mathematics. Why Zelensky left three points out of ten in his formula for peace (22.05.24)
In an earlier interview to Reuters, Zelensk* said he planned to focus on food and nuclear security, as well as on humanitarian issues such as prisoner swaps, during the upcoming summit. The publication says Kiev's expectations of the event have become way less optimistic. Zelensk* was planning to discuss nothing but his own peace formula during the summit, but organizers decided that all participants should be given an opportunity to introduce changes into the final document. This was done to attract leaders of the Global South, whose absence will make the summit useless.
scmp | Joe Biden set to skip Ukraine peace summit for Hollywood fundraiser, 24 May
Biden is scheduled to fly from the G7 meeting [13-15 June] in southern Italy to Los Angeles for the June 15 fundraiser. Along with Clooney and Roberts, former president Barack Obama and late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel are set to join him. ...Still, about 70 countries will take part in the summit at some level including major leaders such as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, while, Japanese Premier Fumio Kishida is likely to be there too.
Diplomats organising the [15-16 June] conference winnowed down its ambitions to focus on a narrow set of goals, such as nuclear safety and prisoner exchanges, in a bid to broaden participation. Those points fall short of Ukraine's blueprint for peace, which calls for the withdrawal of Russian troops as well as future security guarantees.
Lavrov has also reached out to ambassadors in Moscow with the same goal ["of deterring participation"], according to the memo, and a meeting of foreign ministers from the so-called BRICS countries and their allies on June 10-11 should seal that effort. Zelensk* on Thursday described Moscow's efforts to scupper the summit as "the key goal for Russian diplomacy and foreign intelligence for the nearest future."
by Cat on Sat May 25th, 2024 at 12:02:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yahoo! nu | EU plans Ukraine summit with Russia in Saudi Arabia this fall, 27 May
EU foreign ministers are set to discuss the feasibility of a summit on Ukraine, potentially including Russian representatives, to be held in Saudi Arabia this fall, Bloomberg reported on May 27.
China and Brazil are planning a rival initiative [sic].
The discussion will also cover steps following the recent Global Peace Summit in Switzerland.
GT | China, Brazil propose road map for solving Ukraine crisis, 24 May
Wang Yi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, had an in-depth exchange of views on pushing for the political settlement of the crisis with visiting Celso Amorim, Chief Advisor to the President of Brazil, in Beijing on Thursday.
gov.br | Brazil and China present joint proposal for peace negotiations with the participation of Russia and Ukraine (23.05.24)
1. The two sides call on all relevant parties to observe three principles for deescalating the situation, namely no expansion of the battlefield, no escalation of fighting and no provocation by any party.
fmprc | Common Understandings Between China and Brazil on Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis (23.05.24)
6. Dividing the world into isolated political or economic groups should be opposed. The two sides call for efforts to enhance international cooperation on energy, currency, finance, trade, food security and the security of critical infrastructure, including oil and gas pipelines, undersea optical cables, electricity and energy facilities, and fiber-optic networks, so as to protect the stability of global industrial and supply chains.
China and Brazil support an international peace conference held at a proper time that is recognized by both Russia and Ukraine, with equal participation of all parties as well as fair discussion of all peace plans, Xinhua News Agency reported Thursday.
strana | Zelensk* called Biden's decision to skip the peace summit in Switzerland "not very strong", 28 May competitive campaign fundraising
He said this in Brussels.
"I believe that the Peace Summit needs President Biden and other leaders who are looking at the reaction of the United States of America. His non-presence—this will only be applauded by Putin, personally applauded by Putin, and standing up, " Zelensk* added.
aa.com.tr | Kremlin spokesman rejects reports about plans to hold peace conference on Ukraine in Saudi Arabia, 28 May
Responding to reports during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, which suggested the EU is exploring the possibility of such a summit, Peskov remarked, "At the moment, it is out of the question." Meanwhile, Central Asian media reported that Kyrgyz Deputy Foreign Minister Aibek Moldogaziev met Ukraine's Ambassador Valeriy Zhovtenko on Monday to discuss the potential for peace talks to be held in Bishkek.
by Cat on Tue May 28th, 2024 at 04:43:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning's Regular Press Conference on May 27, 2024
Reuters: Ukraine's President Zelensk* has appealed to Chinese and US leaders to attend the peace summit in Switzerland next month. Will China be attending? And if yes, who will China send?
Bloomberg: I think there's talk that China will send the delegation, but not a high-level delegation. So I guess the question is, will you send the delegation or not to the Swiss peace forum?
archive Quick Dismissal of China's Proposal by Kyiv, Zelensk* was late

strana | The Ukrainian Armed Forces used the Patriot air defense system for strikes on the territory of the Russian Federation. Germany and the US were angry, 28 May ChatGPT map

When and where Patriot was used, the publication does not specify. But earlier, the Russians blamed Ukraine for the fact that in January 2024, the Patriot system from the Kharkiv region shot down a Russian plane near Belgorod with Ukrainian prisoners of war on board, who were being taken for exchange. A number of Western media outlets also wrote that the plane was shot down by this air defense system. Ukraine did not confirm this as well as the fact that Ukrainian prisoners were on board the downed plane.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning's Regular Press Conference on May 28, 2024
Ukrinform News Agency: Last time, China often calls for de-escalation in the Russia-Ukraine war but does not name the countries to whom such calls are addressed. Russia, for more than two years, has continued invasion in neighboring Ukraine. So, earlier this month, Russia opened a new front in the eastern Ukrainian Kharkiv region, and last week, it launched a series of airstrikes on civilian objects in Kharkiv city. Can you specify whether the Chinese side's calls for de-escalation are addressed to Russia or not?
Mao Ning: China believes that dialogue and negotiation is the only viable way out of the Ukraine crisis. Parties need to all be committed to deescalating the situation and seeking political settlement of the crisis. This position has been clear and consistent.
archive Jan 25th 2024 in Comfortable Couch In Kyiv, we urgently need Patriot systems, NATO Permission to Cross Red Lines in #DEFEATRUSS!A
by Cat on Tue May 28th, 2024 at 05:13:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wapoo, 18 May Courting the Global South
"That's the role that Yermak plays for President Zelensk*."
by Cat on Sat May 18th, 2024 at 09:29:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ft | NATO training soldiers in Ukraine does not escalate war, says Estonian PM, 20 May
"If you send your people to help Ukrainians...you know the country is in war and you go to a risk zone. So you take the risk"

news.err.ee | PM to FT: NATO training personnel in Ukraine would not be escalation (20.05.24)
"In Estonia, where Riigikogu approval would be needed to make the move Kallas is calling on other countries to make, the situation is one of "an open public debate, but I think we shouldn't rule out anything right now," she told the FT, adding that support for Ukraine runs the gamut in terms of intensity."

KALLAS @52:29: I think it's important that Russia is losing this war, because, like, Timothy Sneider say, has said, in order for a country to become better it has to lose its last colonial war. Thaty haven't lost their last colonial war, and for them, you know, I mean, they are not seeing that, you know, aggressors, rapers, killers, but expanding the empire. It's glory. That's why as long as it is glory, then the war is glory, then you will always have people. You know, it's not this leader. It's going to be next leader, because if people admire dictators, there's no obstacle in becoming one or submitting to one. That's why, you know, you have to have this bigger understanding, you know, that Russia will lose this war, and then it will be beneficial to the society as well, because for a small country like ours war always means devastation and human suffering atrocities. Whereas for a big country it might also mean, you know, new territories, new resources, and all the, you know, good things that come out of it for those—for their understanding. So I think, this is important to understand, and to also base our strategy....[@ 01.01.04] I want to build on that. What is keeping the west from supporting Ukraine as much as is needed, and that is what Foreign Minister [Kuleba] referred to. It's the fear, fear of escalation, fear of the nukes, fear here really of the Russian defeat. I've heard that alot, and if you think about, you know, NATO's enlargement, all these events in history, then this continues all the time. That, you know, what happens if, you know, at that time, you know, 1990s—What happens if Soviet Union collapses? This is a bad thing—It's not a bad thing! Russia's defeat is not a bad thing, because then, you know, there could be really a change in the society. And you know there are many different nations right now part of Russia as well, I think, if you would have more, like, small nations it's not a bad thing if you—if the big power is actually much smaller. So also fear of elections. Because we are all democratic countries, this means that you constantly have to keep up what the public, you know, is thinking. And, of course, you leadership as well to say what is right and what is wrong and what we have to do.
eestinen.fi | The Estonian head of government: Russia decomposition is not at all a bad thing, 19 May
by Cat on Mon May 20th, 2024 at 04:21:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Sadiq Khan victory speech at London mayoral election interrupted by hecklers | The Times |

Conservatives lose West Midlands mayor, capping bleak results for Rishi Sunak | BBC News |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat May 4th, 2024 at 10:07:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat May 4th, 2024 at 10:08:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UK PM Rishi Sunak calls surprise July election as his party seeks to defy dire polls, 22 May pre-bunking
Soaked by a downpour as he spoke, Sunak said: "Now is the moment for Britain to choose its future." He also attacked his opponents, saying that by voting for the Labour Party, Britain would "risk going back to square one." But he admitted: "I cannot and will not claim that we have got everything right."
Rishi Sunak's election call means he thought the worst was yet to come, 23 May de-bunking
by Cat on Thu May 23rd, 2024 at 01:42:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu May 23rd, 2024 at 09:58:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Wed May 1st, 2024 at 10:05:30 PM EST
euractiv | US issues hundreds of sanctions targeting Russia, takes aim at Chinese companies, 2 May
"Treasury has consistently warned that companies will face significant consequences for providing material support for Russia's war, and the US is imposing them today on almost 300 targets," Yellen said in a statement.
Treasury is committed to disrupting individuals and entities who help facilitate Russia's acquisition of technology and equipment for its war machine. Treasury and other U.S. government partners have issued extensive guidance and conducted outreach around the world to educate and inform about the risks of doing business with Russia, and Treasury will continue to take unilateral action when necessary to disrupt Russia's military-industrial supply chains, no matter where they are located.
Washington has since sought to crack down on evasion of the Western measures anti-coercion racketeering, including by issuing sanctions on firms in China, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. Treasury's action on Wednesday sanctioned nearly 60 targets located in Azerbaijan, Belgium, China, Russia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Slovakia it accused of enabling Russia to "acquire desperately-needed technology and equipment from abroad."
The State Department also imposed sanctions on four China-based companies it accused of supporting Russia's defense industrial base, including by shipping critical items to entities under US sanctions in Russia, as well as companies in Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, and Malaysia that it accused of shipping high priority items to Russia.
Russia relies on external suppliers for cotton cellulose and its highly flammable by-product, nitrocellulose, which are key explosives precursors that Russia needs to keep producing gunpowder, rocket propellants, and other explosives. Today's action targets major Russian importers of cotton cellulose, nitrocellulose, and key inputs to nitrocellulose such as cotton pulp, as well as two PRC-based suppliers sending these substances to Russia.
"The concern about enTItiEs in the PRC supplying Russia's war is in focus at the highest levels of the Department and the administration. The reason is very simple: the PRC is the leading supplier of critical components for Russia's defense industrial base, and Russia is using them to prosecute its war on Ukraine," a senior State Department official said.
treasury.gov | OFAC Targets Sanctions Evaders Supporting Key Hizballah Financial Advisor, 2 May SWIFT-like cross-border "immobilised" assets
"Hizballah continues to rely on seemingly legitimate business investments and key facilitators to generate revenue for the group's operations, including its destabilizing attacks across Israel's northern border," said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial ["]Intelligence["] Brian E. Nelson [!]. "The United States remains focused on relentlessly pursuing Hizballah's key revenue sources and constraining its ability to further destabilize the region defend Lebanon and Palestine."
archive Adrian Zenz gunpowder plot, 15 May 2023 price cap psychotic break
by Cat on Thu May 2nd, 2024 at 05:30:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US, allies press UAE over Russia trade, sanctions, 2 May
A US State Department spokesperson said a US delegation had visited the UAE as part of an ongoing dialogue about transshipment trends, especially of dual-use goods that support the Russian defense industrial base.
"We will follow with interest the European Commission's investigation of how the Chinese government treats foreign medical devices in the PRC's government procurement market under the EU's new International Procurement Instrument,"
Existing sanctions have had limited impact. Russia, which has accused the West of trying to bully other nations into following its restrictions, has found ways to procure dual-use products through third countries.
Using the new weapons
For the best part of a decade, the European Commission has been drawing up a stronger arsenal of trade defenses, but the big question has always been whether Brussels was prepared to use them, or whether they were primarily only a deterrent.
Western diplomats also say UAE banks have closed accounts of some Russian nationals and that it was now generally more difficult for Russians to open accounts after the US threatened sanctions against financial institutions in third countries that were found to be helping Russia skirt sanctions. However, last week, during the visit by Western officials, the European Parliament voted to keep the UAE on its own watch list for countries found to have deficiencies in their framework to counter money laundering and terrorist financing.
archive World Governments Summit, "Ask Zelensk* for money", "covered nations", BRICS Expansion and EU in NATO's Declaration of War, World POWs BRICS XV logistics

wto.org, Agreement on Government Procurement 2012 (GPA), full text
wto.org, Agreement on Government Procurement, summary
"The GPA is a plurilateral agreement within the framework of the WTO, meaning that not all WTO members are parties to the Agreement. At present, the Agreement has 22 parties comprising 49 WTO members. Thirty-five WTO members/observers participate in the Committee on Government Procurement as observers. Several WTO members have initiated accession negotiations."; "access" applications and procedure

EU International Procurement Instrument (IPI)
full text (29.08.22)

by Cat on Thu May 2nd, 2024 at 06:19:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ft | The clash over whether to commandeer Russia's frozen assets, 3 May
At the recent gathering of G20 finance ministers in Brazil, [some] delegates were gripped by a deep sense of unease over a pressing issue: the potential seizure or [embezzlement] of Russian [property] frozen [sic] under the [G7] sanctions that followed its invasion of Ukraine.
G20 (1999 NGO): CA, EU (EU-CO, EU-EC), FR, DE, IT, JP, UK, US, KR, AR, AU, BR, CN, IN, ID, MX, RU, SA, TR, ZA
Two ministers—Saudi Arabia's Mohammed al-Jadaan and Indonesia's Sri Mulyani Indrawati—were among those particularly alarmed by the idea. Were G7 countries seriously preparing to do this? And had they considered the full implications of such a drastic step?

Their questions to their western counterparts cut to the heart of a fraught debate over whether hundreds of billions of euros in frozen Russian central bank assets should be mobilised ["commandeer"ed] to help fund Ukraine as the conflict there drags into a third year.

archive UNLOCK THE VALUE of Russian sovereign assets frozen
"We immobilised the assets together; we would like to mobilise them together as well," says Daleep Singh, White House deputy national security adviser for international economics.
Further afield, the worry is about the [risk] this would set. Countries such as Indonesia and Saudi Arabia have been lobbying EU capitals not to seize the assets, according to officials, fearing for the future of their own reserves held ["immobilised"] within the west. "They are very worried," says one European official, adding that their main concern is: "Is our money still safe there?"
contradictions in terms
"It is morally and politically absolutely sound, but legally it is not sound," says Armin Steinbach, professor of law and economics at HEC Paris business school.
The problem with that plan, for Europe, is what happens if the war ends in the near future [!]. The debt present value raised against the expectation of decades' worth of profits of future cash flow would need to be backed by state guarantees does not discount future capital costs assumed by Ukraine's creditors or by the Russian assets themselves—something that could be "complicated and costly", says one EU official.
Present Value (PV)
Net Present Value (NPV)
Internal Rate of Return (IRR)
by Cat on Fri May 3rd, 2024 at 03:21:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Fri May 3rd, 2024 at 03:22:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sat May 4th, 2024 at 07:17:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
euractiv | EU to discuss compromise text on ["]windfall profits["] from immobilised Russian assets next week
EU ambassadors on Wednesday, 8 May, are expected to discuss another compromise text on the use of windfall profits [sic] from Russian frozen assets, with the clock ticking before a June G7 summit. While the Belgian EU presidency text is ready to be discussed, there have been new requests for changes and amendments that would risk delaying and jeopardising the overall text, people familiar with the discussions said.

Several EU member states also raised objections to the fact that proceeds [sic] are subject to a 25% tax under existing Belgian [tax] rules. Belgium said it decided to set the [tax] revenue aside and allocate all of it to Ukraine, which is likely to include the Czech initiative to acquire ammunition for Kyiv.

Assuming EU ambassadors sign off on the compromise next week, EU finance ministers could rubber stamp the deal at their next gathering on 14 May. This would give Europeans enough time to meet the earlier declared target to start using the proceeds [sic] by June before Hungary takes over the EU's rotating presidency, which some fear could hinder further efforts to support Ukraine in fighting off Russia's invasion.

present value
US-led G7 push
Timeframes < wipes tears > are key to the plan, which would provide Ukraine with the largest possible support quickly, rather than in smaller instalments, ["people familiar with the discussions"] said.
According to some EU officials, it could help mitigate a potential return of former Republican president Donald Trump, under whom further US financial and military support to Ukraine could be in jeopardy. Although G7 statements have made clear the entire group's intention to make Russia pay war reparations for damages in Ukraine, it is unclear whether Trump would commit to this. ###
by Cat on Sun May 5th, 2024 at 05:40:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
finance.yahoo! | With moratorium, Ukraine risks demand for immediate payment on all bonds (12.06.15)
"Bondholders, led by Franklin Templeton, have declared themselves "deeply concerned" with Finance Minister Natalia Yaresko[!]s threat to call a moratorium on foreign debt payments if restructuring talks drag on into the summer."
archive Jun 11th 2022

ft | Ukraine creditors form committee as Kyiv seeks debt restructuring, 16 Apr junk bond

Ukrainian bonds covered by the committee include $17bn in US dollar securities and €2.25bn in euro debt, with maturities ranging from this year to 2035. The names of members of the group have not been disclosed. The bonds currently trade at highly distressed levels of about 25 to 30 cents per dollar of original face value.
"When we agreed the moratorium in 2022, there was ability to pay but obviously a national need to preserve resources," one bondholder said. "Now we know the debt is unsustainable, it doesn't make sense to kick the can down the road."
archive rating action, sell something like a CDO

babel.ua | WSJ: Ukraineʼs foreign creditors want to resume payments on the national debt as early as 2025, 5 May net present value calculated risk

The group, which holds about a fifth of Ukraineʼs $20 billion in outstanding Eurobonds, recently formed a committee and hired lawyers and bankers to negotiate. Creditors want Ukraine to strike a deal to resume payments in exchange for writing off much of the countryʼs outstanding debt. Some of the groupʼs bondholders discussed these plans with senior officials in Kyiv.
At the same time, the US and its allies are concerned that taxpayer money will end up in the hands of bondholders if Ukraine resumes any debt service. The [G7] countries agreed to give Ukraine a debt holiday worth about $4 billion of its own loans until 2027 and expressed concern that bondholders could start receiving payments earlier than they do. The WSJ says that without a deal, Ukraine could default after the debt holiday ends in August.

Bondholders hope to receive up to $500 million in annual interest payments [from WHOM?] after agreeing to write off [!?] the debt. They have made it clear that they may be willing to provide further debt relief at a later date.

archive  balance sheet "accountability", "high-quality securities" and "ficticious assets"

m'k. What are the vigilantes fighting for? UA.gov and sanctioned RU eNTiTY bonds are worthless. The odds that some  UA commercial paper comprise "immobilised" Russian assets are not disclosed. What's left?

by Cat on Sun May 5th, 2024 at 10:00:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
kommersant | Euroclear CEO
"A decision should be made in the coming weeks. The amount will be in the range between 87% and 89% of all income from Russian assets ["intérêts sur les avoirs russes."] after taxes," said Valerie Oubrain in an interview with the Belgian newspaper L'Echo*. The total amount of income from blocked assets, according to her, will be 2-3 billion euros, depending on interest rates [?].
* googlish: "interest on the assets in Russian"?
Quote Investigator: What kind of woman do you think I am?
He: We've already established that. Now we're just haggling over the price.
ChatGPT | The EU's new plan to break Russian assets EU capitals' stalemate, 6 May
The European Commission proposed in March to use 90 percent of the proceeds [sic] from Russia's frozen sovereign assets to buy weapons for Ukraine, while directing the rest to humanitarian aid. The plan applies only to the €192 billion being held by Euroclear, the Belgium-based securities depository.
The latest proposal takes a slightly tougher approach to Euroclear—following complaints from across the bloc that Belgium had given the financial institution preferential treatment. The EU halved Euroclear's commission [sic] from 3 percent to 1.5 percent of the total profits [sic]—which is still seen as too much by some capitals, including Berlin.
Belgium did not mention the issue ["tax on Euroclear's profit"] in the text, arguing that it falls beyond the scope of its proposal. But pressure is growing on senior government figures to publicly explain how the money is being handed over to Ukraine, two EU diplomats said.

by Cat on Tue May 7th, 2024 at 10:49:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
euractiv | Don Brussels agrees to send €3bn from frozen Russian assets to aid Ukraine
EU diplomats agreed Wednesday to use income from frozen Russian state assets to aid Ukraine - paving the way for the war-torn country to get around €3 bn for arms purchases and reconstruction before the summer.
The plan—which also has backing from the group of seven leading industrialised democracies—comes as Ukraine hopes to turn the tide in an increasingly desperate military campaign, bolstered by €89bn recently agreed by the US Congress. But Ukrainian ministers have said Brussels needs to go further than merely scooping up interest [sic] payments—and fully confiscate ["mobilise"?] Moscow's assets to ensure the aggressor pays for the cost of war.
archive duh syphon's buffer
The final deal allows Euroclear to keep a provisional buffer [!] worth 10% of [WHOSE?] profits, in case of litigation over the funds. It can also keep 0.3% as an incentive ["vig"], while 90% of the funds will be sent via the < wipes tears > European Peace Facility to help Ukraine buy weapons.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen previously suggested Ukraine could receive the first funds under the mechanism by July—but the calculation will be backdated to February, when Euroclear formally segregated the assets.

by Cat on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 06:01:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
kyivindependen | The REPO Act hasn't won the war for Russian assets, 7 May
...For one, the bill does not guarantee the confiscation of Russian assets - this is a decision for the U.S. president.
Another issue is that the REPO Act stipulates [?] that any efforts by the U.S. to confiscate and allocate Russian assets must be done in conjunction with international allies, including the G7, the European Union, and other countries.
DIVISION F, Title I, Title II - Repurposing of Russian sovereign assets
The fact that the U.S. would require the prior consent of foreign governments [nope] before it could take discretionary action has been criticized by legal experts [?] as being "unprecedented" and "unconstitutional."
SEC.203 Prohibition on release of blocked Russian sovereign assets.
(a) In general.—No Russian sovereign asset that is blocked or effectively immobilized by the Department of the Treasury before the date specified in section 104(j) may be released or mobilized, except as otherwise authorized by this division, until the date on which the President certifies to the appropriate congressional committees
Russian assets in the U.S. are also only a drop in the bucket, totaling around $4-5 billion. This barely scratches the surface of Ukraine's $486 billion reconstruction bill or $100 billion annual war costs....
ChatGPT | Zelensk* Reveals 10-Year Military Aid Plan between U.S. and Ukraine, 1 May
"negotiations for the bilateral security agreement are underway, with teams from both Ukraine and the United States collaborating on drafting the text"

< wipes tears >

sum chump fell for the "unrepayable loan" scam.

by Cat on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 08:40:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thehill | US announces $400 million military aid package for Ukraine, 10 May
On Friday, Russia also launched a major attack in the northeastern Kharkiv region, putting even more pressure on Ukrainian forces.
defense.gov | Biden Administration Announces Additional Security Assistance for Ukraine, 10 May PDA "attritable capabilities" LIST
by Cat on Sat May 11th, 2024 at 01:10:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Tue May 14th, 2024 at 09:58:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
WH Press Briefing: Karine Jean-Pierre and John Kirby | May 17, 2024, A/V (EN), 00:56:45
KIRBY @ 06:50: Now, if I could just quickly shift to Ukraine. We are closly monitoring Russia's offensive in northeastern Ukraine and are working around the clock to get weapons and equipment into the hands of Ukrainian soldiers to help them repel these attacks. Soon after the president signed the National Security Supplemental Act last month, he authorized two military aid packages under the presidential draw-down authority [PDA], and late last month the Department of Defense announced a six billion dollar package through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative which will be used to procure new equipment to strengthen Ukraine's defenses over the medium and long term, and of course you saw Secretary Blinken in Keev this past week announce that the United States will provide an additional two billion dollar aid package for Ukraine's defense under the foreign military financing program. All of this—sorry, that aid for FMF will used in four ways—first, to help Ukraine procure weapons and equipment to repel Russia's invasion; second, to invest in Ukraine's defense industrial base; third, to help Ukraine purchase military equipment from other countries in addition to the United States; and finally, these funds may help other countries transition off [sic] Russian systems and incentivize [sic] donations to Ukraine.
archive Feb 15th 2024, Nov 3rd 2023, Ukraine Security Initiative, Foreign Military Sales Agency, dodig.mi, osd.mil, samm.dsca.mil, Read My Lips in Diplomacy Soley with Allies

dsca.mil, Foreign Military Financing (FMF)
cnn, US approves first-ever military aid to Taiwan through program typically used for sovereign nations (31.08.23)
"The package—which is part of the State Department[!]s foreign military financing (FMF) program—totals $80 million and will be paid for by US taxpayers."

by Cat on Sat May 18th, 2024 at 07:53:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some great work Cat ... amazing how you manage all the links ... one straight line ... a continuing story (telling) of a war narrative, destroying dissent, censorship and sticking to rhetoric until defeat and retreat is inevitable ... Saigon - Baghdad - Tripoli - Damascus - Kyiv. Millions have suffered, been displaced, wounded and died ... young lives destroyed ... war trauma lasts a lifetime. ... boat refugees ... Garden and Barbarians from the Jungle

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun May 19th, 2024 at 06:00:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
eur-lex.europa.eu | amending Regulation (EU) No 833/2014 concerning restrictive measures in view of Russia's actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine, 21 May
(8) On 28 February 2022, the Council adopted Decision (CFSP) 2022/335 (4) amending Decision 2014/512/CFSP, which prohibited any transactions related to the management of reserves, as well as of assets of the Central Bank of Russia, including transactions with any legal person, entity or body acting on behalf of, or at the direction of, the Central Bank of Russia. On 9 March 2022, the Council adopted Decision (CFSP) 2022/395 (5) to include such prohibition concerning the Russian National Wealth Fund. As a result of those prohibitions, the relevant assets held by financial institutions in the Member States are 'immobilised'.
(16) The prohibition of such other transactions generates an extraordinary and unexpected accumulation of cash balances on the balance sheets of central securities depositories within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 909/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council (9) that occupy a key position in the settlement and the central maintenance of financial instruments in the Union. That accumulation is due to the immobilisation of assets and reserves of the Central Bank of Russia, or those of any legal person, entity or body acting on behalf of, or at the direction of, the Central Bank of Russia, such as the Russian National Wealth Fund, because any payments of principal and interest, coupons, dividends or other income on securities to the Central Bank of Russia and those persons, entities and bodies are prohibited.

(17) Central securities depositories are in a specific situation, which is different from that of other financial institutions because cash balances of or with customers of central securities depositories are usually transferred out of the central securities depositories before the end of the day and do not yield any remuneration for the customers. The cash balances held by central securities depositories in relation to the assets of the Central Bank of Russia, or those of any legal person, entity or body acting on behalf of, or at the direction of, the Central Bank of Russia, such as the Russian National Wealth Fund, accumulating due to restrictive measures, subsequently need to be prudently managed by the central securities depositories. This results in the generation of unexpected and extraordinary revenues.

(18) Unexpected and extraordinary revenues do not have to be made available to the Central Bank of Russia under applicable rules, even after the discontinuation of the transaction prohibition. Thus, they do not constitute sovereign assets. Therefore, the rules protecting sovereign assets are not applicable to these revenues.
Article 1
Regulation (EU) No 833/2014 is amended as follows:
(1) In Article 5a, paragraphs 8 to 10 are replaced by the following:

`8.  As of 15 February 2024, and for as long as the restrictive measures set out in paragraph 4 are maintained, central securities depositories within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 909/2014 holding assets and reserves referred to in paragraph 4 of this Article with a total value exceeding EUR 1 million shall apply the following rules regarding cash balances accumulating exclusively due to the restrictive measures:
(a) those cash balances shall be accounted for separately;
(b) revenues accruing from or generated by the cash balances referred to in point (a) from 15 February 2024 shall be registered separately in the financial accounts of central securities depositories;
(c) without prejudice to paragraphs 9 and 10, net profits determined in respect of revenues referred to in point (b) of this paragraph in accordance with national law, including by deducting all relevant expenses linked to or resulting from the management of the immobilised assets and the risk management associated with the immobilised assets and after deduction of corporate tax under the general regime of the Member State concerned, shall not be disposed of by way of distribution in the form of dividends or in whatever form to the benefit of shareholders or any third party. This prohibition shall not apply to the net profits not constituting the financial contribution referred to in paragraph 9.

9.  The net profits referred to in point (c) of paragraph 8 shall be subject to a financial contribution due by the central securities depositories to the Union.

The rate of the financial contribution shall be 99,7 % of those net profits.

The Commission shall call for financial contributions, in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 (*1), from the central securities depositories concerned biannually on the basis of the interim financial report referred to in paragraph 11 of this Article. The Commission shall establish the definitive amounts of the financial contribution due annually on the basis of the statutory audited financial statements for year N after they are available in year N+1. If the definitive annual amount of the financial contribution due for year N is lower than the sum of amounts of the biannual payments made in respect of year N, the difference shall be deducted from the next payment due by the central securities depositories to the Union in the year N+1, including biannual payments and transfer of amounts provisionally retained in accordance with paragraph 10, points (e) and (f). The amount due by the central securities depositories resulting from the netting pursuant to the previous sentence shall not be lower than zero.
Article 2

This Regulation shall enter into force on the date following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.###

"negative disinformation," quantum disinformation, or positive disinformation?

You be the judge.

by Cat on Thu May 23rd, 2024 at 02:29:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Family mug shot. Finance ministers and central bank governors pose at the G7 Finance Ministers Meeting, May 24, 2024 © AFP / Gabriel Bouys
"We are discussing potential schemes to bring forward the extraordinary revenues stemming from immobilized Russian sovereign assets to the benefit of Ukraine," the draft communique reads. "We reaffirm that, consistent with our respective legal systems Russia's sovereign assets in our jurisdictions will remain immobilized until Russia pays for the damage it has caused to Ukraine."
The move comes after the US pushed for the G-7 to leverage future revenue generated from about $280 billion in Russian central bank funds, most of which lies immobilized in Europe. The plan could unlock an aid package of as much as $50 billion for Ukraine.
by Cat on Sat May 25th, 2024 at 01:07:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
reuters | EU gets more cautious on hitting third countries over Russia sanctions
one year ago
The EU's latest draft of new sanctions against Russia would make it more difficult than originally proposed to cut trade with third countries over busting existing restrictions, a document showed, after Berlin warned against targeting China....
archive G7 Leaders Statement on Ukraine

reuters | French, Dutch seek EU sanctions on financial institutions ["]helping["] Russia
2 days ago

Ambassadors of EU governments will discuss the proposal on Wednesday as part of the 14th package of sanctions against Russia now under preparation by the EU. Under the proposal, anyone in the EU could be banned from doing business with any financial institution in the world, identified by the EU as directly or indirectly helping Russia's military obtain forbidden dual-use goods and technologies.

Such a ban could be a powerful [dis]incentive for financial institutions in the Middle East, Turkey, or even China not to engage in deals to supply EU-sanctioned dual-use goods to Russia as they could lose access to European business and the EU's financial markets their immobilised assets . EU officials said the European Commission would be likely to coordinate any such sanctions on financial institutions with the U.S., making the tool EVEN MORE POWERFUL.

"The Netherlands and France propose to introduce a legal basis ... providing for a transaction ban with financial institutions in Russia or other third countries when the Council has determined that these eNTitIes to be involved in transactions that significantly support Russia's military by facilitating exports towards Russia of essential goods for the war effort, such as dual-use goods and technologies or goods listed in annexes VII and XL of the Regulation," the Franco-Dutch proposal, seen by Reuters, said.
The EU expects to have the 14th sanctions package, which requires unanimity among all of the EU's 27 governments, ready in June.###

Proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL establishing harmonised requirements in the internal market on transparency of interest representation carried out on behalf of third countries and amending Directive, ANNEX I
1. Regarding the eNTiTy referred to in Article 3(1):
(h) the category that most closely resembles the organisational ["]setup["] of the eNTiTy:
(i) academic institutions;
(ii) companies and groups;
(iii) law firms;
(iv) non-governmental organisations, platforms and networks;
(v) professional consultancies;
(vi) self-employed individuals;
(vii) think tanks and research institutions;
(viii) trade and business associations;
(ix) trade unions and professional associations;
(x) other organisations, public or mixed entities [?!];
DISCLAIMER: EUR-LEX may define "eNTiTy" differently in other "proposals". Why? I couldn't say. This one appears to cover every combination of "social" enterprise.
by Cat on Thu May 16th, 2024 at 01:16:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On the protection of the Union and its Member States from economic coercion by third countries (08.12.21)
(11) Coercion is prohibited under international law when a country deploys measures such as trade or investment restrictions in order to obtain from another country an action or inaction which that country is not internationally obliged to perform and which falls within its sovereignty [?], when the coercion reaches a certain qualitative or quantitative threshold, depending on both the ends pursued and the means deployed. The Commission should examine the third-country action on the basis of qualitative and quantitative criteria that help in determining whether the third country interferes in the legitimate sovereign choices of the Union or a Member State and whether its action constitutes economic coercion which requires a Union response.

(12) Acts by third countries are understood under customary international law to include all forms of action that are attributable to a State under customary international law. International law qualifies as an act of a State, in particular: the conduct of any State organ, of a person or EnTiTy which is not an organ of the State but which is empowered by the law of that State to exercise elements of governmental authority, an organ placed at the disposal of a State by another State, a person or group of persons that are acting on the instructions of, or under the direction or control of, that State in carrying out the conduct, a person or group of persons that are exercising elements of the governmental authority in the absence or default of the official authorities and in circumstances such as to call for the exercise of those elements of authority, and conduct that the State acknowledges and adopts as its own.

by Cat on Thu May 16th, 2024 at 02:03:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
worldbank | 1Q2024 corn, wheat prices, April 2024 starving Africans
The World Bank's food price index eased in early April after falling by about 4 percent in 2024Q1 (q/q), to a level 9 percent lower than a year earlier.
Both wheat and maize prices hit three-year lows during the quarter, with the downtrend continuing in early April. The decline in maize prices was attributed to competitively priced offers from the Black Sea region, larger production in major exporters, and favorable prospects for the next harvest, with global maize production in the 2023-24 season expected to increase by 6 percent to an all-time high. Downward pressure on wheat prices derived from robust exports from Russia nd Ukraine and the second-highest global production on record in 2023-24. The collapse of the Black Sea Grain Initiative had minimal fallout, as Ukraine has so far been able to continue
exporting via seaborne corridors and new overland routes.
pap.pl | Farmers' protest action in front of the Grebennoye checkpoint has ended, 29 Apr
"I didn't agree to another protes. Among the reasons are losses incurred by merchats, customs agencies and customs wharehouses. I understand frmers, but it is impossible for the residents of the municipality to constantly suffer," the mayor stressed.
The main demands of farmers are the elimination of the "Green Rate" and blocking the import of agricultural products fom Ukraine.
S&P Global | Polish manufacturing downturn reaches two-year mark in April, 2 May
Polish goods producers remained optimistic about the likelihood of higher output in the next 12 months. A number of firms were hopeful of a recovery in market conditions and higher exports. That said, growth forecasts were the weakest in six months and below the long-run trend.###
pap.pl | Poland's GDP growth is expected to reach 2.9 percent this year, while inflation is expected to reach 3.9 perceent, 2 May OECD forecast
by Cat on Thu May 2nd, 2024 at 08:30:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
bloomberg | Global Food Roundup: Fears over Higher Prices and Unfair Trade, 10 May illustrated
...Bad weather and war are threatening to keep the world's wheat supplies under strain. Bumper Black Sea harvests have long kept a lid on prices and wheat is trading at half its record set in 2022, but futures have rebounded to hit the highest since August and funds are trimming bearish bets that they've held for almost two years....
ibid worldbank corn, wheat prices
ChatGPT | US plans to impose major new tariffs on EVs, other Chinese green energy imports, 10 May "competition"
Tariffs on electric vehicles, in particular, could quadruple—from the existing 25% to 100%. The plan was described by the people on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to provide details ahead of a formal announcement. The tariffs, expected to be announced Tuesday [14 May], come as officials across the Democratic administration have expressed frustration over China's manufacturing "overcapacity" of EVs and other products that they say pose a threat to U.S. jobs and national security.
yahoo! bloomberg | China's EV Exports to EU Slump at Start of Year Amid Probe (26.03.24)
Tuesday's announcement is expected to keep in place some tariffs that were imposed during Trump's administration, covering about $360 billion in Chinese goods. The new tax on imports would add products such as Chinese syringes and solar equipment.
archive Jan 11th 2020

reuters | Biden set to impose tariffs on China strategic sectors, source says, 10 May

Details on the precise value or categories of tariffs that would be imposed were sketchy, but the administration was said to have zeroed in on areas of interest within strategic competitive and national security areas, the person said.
In 2022, Biden launched a review of the Trump-era policy under Section 301 of the U.S. trade law. Last month, he called for sharply higher U.S. tariffs on Chinese metal products. The Biden administration has also been pressuring neighboring Mexico to prohibit China from selling its metal products to the United States indirectly from there.
GT | Even higher tariffs cannot protect the US automotive industry, 12 May
The White House declined to comment. The US side is currently reviewing the tariffs on Chinese goods imposed during the Donald Trump era. Chinese new energy products represented by EVs have garnered particular attention. However, it's generally believed that considering the "almost zero" number of EVs exported from China to the US, even if the new tariffs are implemented, they are unlikely to immediately impact Chinese electric car companies. What the US will do next matters more about a portrayal of its own national reputation.
Some analysts believe that in addition to domestic political considerations, if the US really imposes high tariffs, it also intends to put pressure on the EU at this moment. Some former US government officials also stated that they want to involve developing countries such as Brazil and India with the US to do so.
scmp | China's EV makers, unfazed by US, European export curbs, will push overseas vehicle shipments to new heights (06.05.24)
Looking at it from a different perspective, can high tariffs and trade barriers really protect the US automotive industry? The US steel industry is a case in point. As early as 2017, when the US issued anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders on imports of stainless steel sheet and strip from China, the Global Times pointed out in an article that China's steel exports to the US are insignificant, and the root of the US steel industry's problems lies not in so-called "unfair competition" or lack of sufficient protection, but in its long-standing monopoly position and lack of emphasis on relying on technological progress to improve production efficiency.
archive Laggards in Electric Vehicles
by Cat on Sun May 12th, 2024 at 10:51:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu May 16th, 2024 at 11:12:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is the EU already in a trade war with China?, 28 May luxury goods redux
But that's not all, is it?
Absolutely, the EU has launched probe after probe this year. With the latest investigations into steel pipes, the food additive essential amino acid lysine and the taste component food additive vanillin, the count stands at no less than 13. None are as high-profile as the electric vehicle case, but that doesn't mean Beijing won't take notice.
tron.trade.ec.europa.eu | Trade defence investigations: Case AD708 - Vanillin
Countries investigated: People's Republic of China
Timeframe and key steps: intiation, provisional, definitive
archive We cannot change the geology in Europe

What is Vanillin in Food? Types, Production, Uses, and Differences with Vanilla extract
"Vanillin, with the chemical formula C8H8O3, is the world's most used flavoring agent in food and beverages. It is the vanilla extract alternative that provides a similar smell and taste of vanilla extract. It is both naturally occurring and synthetically produced."

Nielsen Massey, "2023 vanilla bean crop report"
Madagascar, Comoros, Uganda, Indonesia, Tahiti, Mexico, other Growing Regions (Papua New Guinea, Tanzania, Ecuador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Haiti, Nicaragua)
"The Madagascar 2023 vanilla crop is expected to be one of the best harvests in the last two decades, forecast at 2500 tons with exceptionally high quality. Unfortunately, only 1400 tons were exported from the 2022 harvest, which has led to an oversupply situation."

Trade defence investigations: Case AD706 - Lysine
Countries investigated: People's Republic of China
Timeframe and key steps: intiation, provisional, definitive
archive our companies are excluded from foreign markets

Mount Sinai Health Library, Lysine
"naturally occurring "

PubChem, Lysine (Compound)
uses and manufacturing viz. EUR-LEX classification, European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)

Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, Expanding lysine industry: industrial biomanufacturing of lysine and its derivatives, 2018 RoW
"L-Lysine is widely used as a nutrition supplement in feed, food, and beverage industries as well as a chemical intermediate. At present, great efforts are made to further decrease the cost of lysine to make it more competitive in the markets. Furthermore, lysine also shows potential as a feedstock to produce other high-value chemicals for active pharmaceutical ingredients, drugs, or materials.

by Cat on Tue May 28th, 2024 at 01:15:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Industrial production up by 0.6% in the euro area and by 0.2% in the EU, 15 May
Down by 1.0% in both the euro area and the EU compared with March 2023

In March 2024, compared with February 2024, seasonally adjusted industrial production increased [MoM] by 0.6% in the euro area and by 0.2% in the EU, according to first estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In February 2024, industrial production grew by 1.0% in the euro area and by 0.9% in the EU.

In March 2024, compared with March 2023, industrial production decreased [YoY] by 1.0% in both the euro area and the EU.

by Cat on Thu May 16th, 2024 at 11:56:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
whitehouse.gov | Readout of National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan's Meeting with Foreign Minister Diana Mondino and Chief of Cabinet Nicolás Posse of Argentina, 17 May
...The National Security Advisor also congratulated Argentina on the recent purchase of F-16s from Denmark, and discussed further opportunities to deepen our security and defense partnership.

Additionally, they discussed ways to bolster cooperation to address important regional and global challenges, including ongoing efforts to increase humanitarian aid to Gaza and secure a ceasefire and hostage deal that would bring hostages home, including those from the United States and Argentina. ...

archive April Bidenecómicas!
by Cat on Sat May 18th, 2024 at 07:34:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
euronews | Argentinian President speaks at Spain's far-right conference in Madrid, 19 May
Hundreds of protesters were gathering in Madrid on Sunday to protest against the Argentinian president Javier Milei on the second day of his three day visit to Spain.
In a speech at the Vox conference, Argentine President Javier Milei advocated for ending state welfare, stating, "We must destroy this parasitic idea of the West, that politicians have to take care of the citizen from the cradle to the grave," and adding, "Social justice is always unfair."
by Cat on Sun May 19th, 2024 at 06:06:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
bbc | US blacklists seven Chinese supercomputer groups (0.04.21)
On Thursday, three companies and four branches of China's National Supercomputing Center were added to the US Entity List. The US commerce department said the groups were involved in building supercomputers used by Chinese "military actors" and facilitating programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction.

timesofindia | 'These countries are most vulnerable to sanctions', 19 May

The research,conducted in early 2024 at China's National Supercomuting Center, tested the resilience of 19 ["]global economies["] to large-scale economic sanctions using mathematical modeling. Analysts assessed the direct gross domestic product (GDP) lossess each country would suffer if faced with a complete trade blockade without the option of parallel imports, a Russia Today report said.
NBER, A portrait of U.S. factoryless goods producers (2018)
The study revealed that while all countries would see economic contraction under such a scenario, some would be hit harder than others. The German economy would be the worst affected, contractin by 8.1%. Other significanly impacted economies include South Korea (down by 7.9%), Mexico (7.2%), France (7%), Turkiye (6.6%), Italy (6%), and the UK (5.7%).
census.gov, The Changing Firm and Country Boundaries of US Manufacturers in Global Value Chains (2023)
In contrast, Russia would be among the three most resilient countries, with its economy shrinking by no more thatn 4.5%. China would see a 3.2% decline in GDP, while the US would experience a 2.3% drop. Analysts attributed the resilience of the American, Chinese, and Russian economies to their Composite Index of National Capability, which includes significant natural resources, [financial assets,] human capital, scientific prowess [IPR], and military [marketing] potential.
What Is Import Substitution Industrialization? local vertical integration
archive 30 December 2022 price cap mania, 20 January 2023 price cap mania
by Cat on Mon May 20th, 2024 at 01:09:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Wed May 1st, 2024 at 10:05:47 PM EST

May Day. Why the Greater 80 values labor and U.S. Americans does not
by Cat on Thu May 2nd, 2024 at 01:36:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Judge declares mistrial after jury deadlocks in suit by former Abu Ghraib prisoners, 3 May principle-agent problem
[8 days] Jury deliberations went far longer than the trial itself. CACI, as one of its defenses, has argued it shouldn't be liable for any misdeeds by its employees if they were under the control and direction of the [US] Army.
archive Iraqi Survivor Day in Court 15 Apr
by Cat on Fri May 3rd, 2024 at 03:59:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
palestinechronicle | Hamas Accepts Ceasefire Proposal, 6 May
"Ismail Haniyeh, head of the political bureau of the Hamas movement, had a phone call with the Qatari Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al-Thani, and with the Egyptian Minister of Intelligence, Mr. Abbas Kamel, and informed them of the Hamas movement's approval of their proposal regarding the ceasefire agreement," the movement said in a statement late on Monday. Hamas later said that the necessary measures "to ensure the implementation of the agreement were also reviewed after the movement made its decision out of concern for our people and their supreme interests."

"It is now on the occupation to seize the moment and agree to the proposal presented," the statement added.

Details of the ceasefire proposal are yet to be released. There has been no official response from Israel.

Protests Erupt in Tel Aviv

The Times of Israel reported that several families of captives held in Gaza have blocked Tel Aviv's major Begin Road, demanding Israel agree to a hostage release deal.

Israel says Hamas ceasefire offer doesn't meet key demands, Rafah op moving forward (06.05.24)
US says it is studying group's claim it accepted truce proposal. Police try to remove hostage families blocking traffic on Ayalon Highway
by Cat on Mon May 6th, 2024 at 07:40:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
RT | Hamas accepts ceasefire deal - Al Jazeera, 6 May
Hamas has accepted a ceasefire proposal put forward by Egyptian and Qatari mediators, a spokesman for the group told Al Jazeera on Monday. The announcement came shortly after Israel ordered the evacuation of the city of Rafah ahead of a long-planned assault.
aljazeera | Hamas accepts Qatari-Egyptian [!] proposal for Gaza ceasefire
Khalil al-Hayya, a member of Hamas's political bureau, told Al Jazeera Arabic that the Qatari-Egyptian proposal includes a withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza and a return of displaced Palestinians to their homes, as well as an exchange of Israeli captives and Palestinian prisoners. The proposal includes a three-stage truce, each phase lasting 42 days, according to al-Hayya.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh held phone calls with Qatari  Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani and Egyptian Intelligence Minister Abbas Kamel, informing them "of the Hamas movement's approval of their proposal regarding the ceasefire agreement," the group said in a statement to Al Jazeera.
aljazeera | Israel hits Rafah after Hamas accepts truce deal, 6 May
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh says the group has accepted a Gaza ceasefire proposal put forward by Qatari and Egyptian mediators. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's office says the proposal agreed by Hamas is far from Israel's demands but the Israeli government will send a delegation to negotiate.
archive 7 Feb: HAMAS "pause concept" - 3x 45 days
by Cat on Mon May 6th, 2024 at 08:06:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]

better late than never

by Cat on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 06:26:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
euronews | Israeli police break up anti-government protest in Tel Aviv (12.05.24)
The protesters continue to demand that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should resign—but not before he has signed up to a deal with Hamas to secure the release of the hostages. There are believed to be about 132 hostages in Gaza—but it's not clear whether some may have died in the midst of the war.
rmf24.pl | HAMAS: another Israeli hostage dies
The Palestinian terrorist organization said that the cause of death of Nadav Popplewell, who was abducted from Kibbutz Nirim in southern Israel, was injuries that he received during an Israeli attack in the Gaza Strip. Also on Saturday, Hamas shared an undated recording. It shows Popplewell, 51, standing in front of a white wall. A bruise is visible around his right eye. The Israeli gave his first and last name. A few hours later, the organization reported the man's death. He died because he did not receive intensive care, because the enemy is destroying hospitals in the Gaza Strip, said Hamas spokesman Abu Ubayda....
dw | Two doctors killed in Israeli air strike in central Gaza, says agency, 12 May - video
by Cat on Sun May 12th, 2024 at 04:08:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
mronline.org | Gaza ceasefire proposal-Full Text, 11 May 3x 42 edition
Below is the full [Hamas] proposal for Gaza ceasefire and prisoners exchange, which was accepted by Hamas on Monday.
Guarantors of the Agreement: Qatar, Egypt, the United States, and the United Nations.
7 Feb 3 x45 edition: "Egypt and Qatar will lead efforts with all necessary parties to manage and supervise the guarantee, achievement, and completion"

archive Israel's 4-day "fighting pause" accountability Nov 2923

by Cat on Fri May 17th, 2024 at 10:38:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
nypost | Mom of Shani Louk, whose body was paraded in streets by Hamas, hopes she'll be found alive 9 Oct 2023
nypost | Shani Louk 'beheaded' by Hamas after she was kidnapped at music festival and paraded by terrorists: Israel 30 Oct 2023
cnn | Shani Louk, 23-year-old kidnapped by Hamas from music festival, declared dead, Israel says, 30 Oct 2023

WH Press Briefing: Karine Jean-Pierre and John Kirby | May 17, 2024, A/V (EN), 00:56:45

KIRBY @ 19:33: The talks didn't go anywhere las week. Unfortunately, we just didn't get to a successful conclusion. One of the things that Jake [Sullivan] wants to cover, when he goes over back to the region is to see what we can do to to keep those talks going and get some kind of resolution here. I don't think, it's difficult to see how this grim news today [IDF recovers three dead Israeli hostages] is going to have a major effect on the hostage deal negotiations. We really want to get this done so that we can get six weeks of a cease fire that can maybe lead to something more enduring.
nypost | Shani Louk's parents describe identifying their daughter's body, 17 May 2024
"seven months after she was murdered by terrorists"
by Cat on Sat May 18th, 2024 at 04:49:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
whitehouse.gov | Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, 13 May 10-point Global Enduring Calm Normalization Plan
SULLIVAN: Nine, we are urgently and relentlessly working for a ceasefire and a hostage deal, starting with the first phase and building to an enduring calm. As the President said this weekend, there could be a ceasefire tomorrow if Hamas simply released women, wounded, and elderly hostages—all innocents.

Israel put a forward-leaning proposal on the table for a ceasefire "fighting pause" and hostage deal. The world should be calling on Hamas to come back to the table and accept a deal. The hostages include [Palestinian-]Americans [?] and citizens from around the world. The President is determined to bring them safe—safely back to their loved ones. And I met with the families of these American hostages again just this past Friday [10 May?].

The families of American-Israeli hostages in Gaza met with US National Security adviser Jake Sullivan on Monday [6 May] in Washington to press for their immediate release, according to the Hostages Families Forum Headquarters. The forum says at least eight American-Israelis were taken hostage by Hamas. Five of them are still thought to be held alive in Gaza. Another, 19-year-old Itay Chen, was confirmed dead by the Israel Defense Forces last month.

10 May: jpost | Families of American hostages in Gaza meet Jake Sullivan, express frustrations over negotiations
Friday's meeting with Sullivan was also the first time the families met with the White House after Hamas released videos of three hostages, including Americans Keith Siegel and Hersh Goldberg-Polin.

They know how hard the President is working on this.
ChatGPT cnn | Jake Sullivan met in-person with representatives of countries whose citizens Hamas took hostage, 16 May
Jake Sullivan convened for the first time this week an in-person meeting of ambassadors and chiefs of mission representing countries whose citizens were taken hostage by Hamas on October 7, CNN has learned, as a ceasefire and hostages release deal remains stalled.

Sullivan met with representatives from 17 nations: Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Thailand, and the United Kingdom, according to a US official and senior administration official familiar with the meeting.

WH Press Briefing: Karine Jean-Pierre and John Kirby | May 17, 2024, A/V (EN), 00:56:45
KIRBY @ 8:19: Now, just one last program announcement, and I promise, I'll shut up. I can announce today that our National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan will travel to Saudi Arabia starting tomorrow [18 May]. He'll be there to meet with Prime Minister and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman to discuss discuss bilateral and regional matters, including the war in Gaza, of course, and ongoing efforts to achieve a lasting peace and security in the region. On Sunday, the next day, Mister Sullivan will travel to Israel to meet with senior Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, to discuss, of course, the war in Gaza, including ongoing negotiations to secure the release of all the hostages, address the humanitarian crisis, and our shared objective for the enduring defeat of Hamas through both military pressure [$1 billion more in weapons to Israel] and a political plan.
by Cat on Sat May 18th, 2024 at 07:07:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | US national security adviser, Saudi Arabia's crown prince meet to discuss `semi-final' security deal, 19 May
The announcement by the state-run Saudi Press Agency [spa.gov.sa] comes as the strategic deal had been upended after Hamas' Oct. 7 attack on Israel that killed 1,200 people and saw 250 others taken hostage back to the Gaza Strip.
reuters | Gantz demands Gaza day-after plan by June 8, threatens to quit Netanyahu cabinet, 18 May: "he wanted the war cabinet to form a six-point plan"

ft | Gantz threatens to quit Israeli government if no new war plan, 19 May: "in a televised statement on Saturday evening"

thehill | Frustration with Netanyahu boils over on plans for Gaza after Hamas, 19 May: What Yovav Gallant said ... on Wednesday

"The semi-final version of the draft strategic agreements between the kingdom and the United States of America, which are almost being finalized—and what is being worked on between the two sides in the Palestinian issue to find a credible path—were discussed," the statement released after the talks said.
spa.gov.sa | HRH the Crown Prince Receives U.S. National Security Advisor, 19 May
His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, received in Dhahran today U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. During the meeting, they reviewed the strategic relations between the two countries and ways to enhance them in various fields and discussed the nearly final version of the draft strategic agreements between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America, which are almost being finalised. They reviewed the work of the two sides on the Palestinian issue to find a credible pathway towards the two-state solution in a way that meets the aspirations of the Palestinian people and their legitimate rights. They also discussed the latest developments in the region, including the situation in Gaza and the need to stop the war and facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid.###
arabnews | Saudi crown prince meets White House national security adviser, 19 May
During the meeting, the strategic relations between the two countries and ways to enhance them in various fields were reviewed, SPA said. It said efforts to find a credible solution to the Palestinian issue, including a lasting ceasefire and unhindered entry of humanitarian aid in Gaza, with a view to a "two-state solution that meets the aspirations and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people", were also discussed.

by Cat on Sun May 19th, 2024 at 02:24:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Blinken orders crackdown on Israel-Hamas leaks, 20 May

What are the chances that sooper sekrit "semi-final" normalization plan is gonna close before this case closes?

by Cat on Mon May 20th, 2024 at 01:42:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ICC | Statement of ICC Prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan KC: Applications for arrest warrants in the situation in the State of Palestine, 20 May
Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Diab Ibrahim Al-Masri (Deif), Ismail Haniyeh
On the basis of evidence collected and examined by my Office, I have reasonable grounds to believe that Yahya SINWAR (Head of the Islamic Resistance Movement ("Hamas") in the Gaza Strip), Mohammed Diab Ibrahim AL-MASRI, more commonly known as DEIF (Commander-in-Chief of the military wing of Hamas, known as the Al-Qassam Brigades), and Ismail HANIYEH (Head of Hamas Political Bureau) bear criminal responsibility for the following war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on the territory of Israel and the State of Palestine (in the Gaza strip) from at least 7 October 2023:...
Benjamin Netanyahu, Yoav Gallant
On the basis of evidence collected and examined by my Office, I have reasonable grounds to believe that Benjamin NETANYAHU, the Prime Minister of Israel, and Yoav GALLANT, the Minister of Defence of Israel, bear criminal responsibility for  the following war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the State of Palestine (in the Gaza strip) from at least 8 October 2023:...
tabloid USAToday | International court seeks arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Hamas leader Sinwar on war crimes charge, 20 May
by Cat on Mon May 20th, 2024 at 01:28:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
reuters | Reactions to ICC decision on Israeli and Hamas leaders, 20 May
Sami Abu Zuhri, HAMAS
Benny Gantz, ISRAEL
Yair Lapid, ISRAEL
Bezalel Smotrich, ISRAEL
Wasel Abu Youssef, PLO
by Cat on Mon May 20th, 2024 at 07:52:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The International Criminal Court just saved Benjamin Netanyahu, 20 May
"Binding Bibi with Sinwar—that's something that's very hard for Israelis to swallow," Ehud Olmert, a former Israeli prime minister and fierce Netanyahu critic, told POLITICO. It will only encourage Israelis to feel more beleaguered, he explained.

"You take a murderer, a killer, a man who sends his guys to butcher innocent Israelis, and you bind him with the prime minister of Israel who's responsible for a counteroffensive, I mean, this is something that Israelis can't accept," Olmert said. "That plays in favor of Netanyahu. Israelis are already saying, 'Look, they are all anti-semites. They are all against us.'"

< wipes tears >
archive Is the ICC Anti-Semitic?
by Cat on Mon May 20th, 2024 at 08:57:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ICC | State of Palestine
2 January 2015, The State of Palestine acceded to the Rome Statute by depositing its instrument of accession with the UN Secretary-General. The Rome Statute entered into force for The State of Palestine on 1 April 2015.
16 January 2015, the Prosecutor announced the opening of a preliminary examination into the Situation in the State of Palestine
5 February 2021  Pre-Trial Chamber I's decision that the Court could exercise its criminal jurisdiction in the Situation.
3 March 2021, the Prosecutor announced the opening of the investigation into the Situation in the State of Palestine.
28 January 2020 Pre-Trial Chamber I issued an order setting the procedure and the schedule for the submission of observations on the Prosecutor's request.
17 November 2023 the Office of Prosecutor Office received a further referral of the Situation in the State of Palestine from South Africa, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Comoros, and Djibouti.
state.gov | Department Press Briefing - May 20, 2024
QUESTION: Okay. Second question, in addition to everybody else asked, is you said that Israel is not a member of the ICC, which is true. But also, and I don't know if you're aware of this or not, but Israel has supported the candidacy of Mr. Khan when he was elected in 2021, and they wanted him to be there. So, the fact that they actually endorsed him, they know there are some consequences, otherwise they won't have bothered in the first place. So, this is just to—I don't agree—to agree or disagree.
MILLER: It doesn't change the underlying—
QUESTION: It doesn't change anything.
MILLER:—the underlying jurisdictional question.
Rome Statute of the ICC, Part 2, Jurisdiction, Admissibility, and Applicable Law
QUESTION: Okay. So that my question is lawmakers agreed with you. They said the same. They repeated the same statement they issued in the White House. But they went further, and they said actually the decision is antisemitic. Do you agree that this decision is antisemitic as well?
MILLER: That's not an assessment that we have made or a conclusion we have drawn.
archive "Report to Congress under Section 2 of the National Security Memorandum on Safeguards and Accountability with Respect to Transferred Defense Articles and Defense Services (NSM-20)," 10 May  pp 18-32
QUESTION: Okay, and one last thing is on the issue itself, many international lawyers, very well known, different background, they said they found a reasonable ground that actually Israel has committed crime against humanity and crimes—war crimes. Does the White—Sorry, the State Department lawyers have a different conclusion, or did the—you have not reached this conclusion, or do you disagree with them? What exactly the difference between the lawyers who works at State Department and international lawyers who found different conclusion?
MILLER: So let me try to separate the ICC and answer this in two ways. One, when it comes to the ICC, we have a jurisdictional issue and then we have an issue with how this investigation was conducted. But to answer your underlying question about making that sort of determination, it is a question that we are looking at here. We have ongoing processes to look at Israel's use of U.S.-provided weapons, and those processes are ongoing. We have not yet reached final determinations.
by Cat on Tue May 21st, 2024 at 02:52:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]

AMANPOUR: The world 'genocide' has been used by both sides, and many believe that genocide is being committed. But you do not. You're not using that word.
KHAN: Well, this is an active investigation, and we have criminal charges that we can use—genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in relation to this current stage of investigations. The charges that we've but forward to the judges do not include genocide, but we are continuing to investigate. It's a very complex situation. We have not been allowed access into Gaza by the Israeli authorities. We are aslo continuing our investigations in relation to the Hamas attacks. And i and when the evidence points us in a particular direction, we will not hesitate to act. So it's still an active investigation. But, yes, we haven't.
AMANPOUR: What is extermination?
KHAN: It's mass killing.
AMANPOUR: Different than genocide?
KHAN: Yes. Genocide is defined by specific intent, not only killing, but an intention to destroy the group in whole or in part with specific intent to destroy the group in whole or in part. So we're not, we've not incuded in out application today warrants for the crime of genocide
m'k. War is genocide. BUT. What are the odds that charge obtains convictions of the Shoah's poster boys, compared to stateless Hamas' rape murderers?
AMANPOUR: Recently, when word cam out that this may be happening at some point, US senators and US Congress people, mostly Republicans, wrote you a letter, signed by Senator Tom Cotton, Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and others. This is the quote: 'Target Israel, and we will target you. If you move forward with the measures indicated in the report, we will move to end all American support for the ICC, sanction your employees and associeates, and bar you and your families from the United States. You have been warned.' Is that a threat?
KHAN: I think, that's the plain meaning of it in English.... And I've said to distinguished members on the Hill and to the administration that Rome Statute values are quintessential American values.... Now, of course, this situation, unfortunately, lies on the San Andreas fault of international politics, and strategic interests and, of course, I've had some elected leaders speak to me and, you know, be very blunt. 'This court is built for Africa and for thugs like Putin' was what one senior leader told me.

We don't view it like that. This court is the legacy of Nuremberg. This court is a sad indictment of humanity. This court should be the triumph of law over power and brute force.

by Cat on Tue May 21st, 2024 at 10:14:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
4 days ago: ICC just saved Benjamin Netanyahu
50 min ago: Netanyahu case will make or break the ICC

"generative AI" in action.

by Cat on Fri May 24th, 2024 at 08:51:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The United Nation is the established Word Order post WWII and the ICJ and ICC are a major supporting part of it. America from many recent presidents and administrations set policy to undermine International Law and Humanitarian Law. The U.S.-UK and Israel will forever be considered rogue states for what has taken place over decades in the Middle East and the genocide of Palestinian people. This will be a stain on the Jewish State of Israel forever and make much of the Holocaust rhetoric moot.

Netanyahu case will make or break the ICC

A longtime ICC skeptic, O'Connell is worried Khan's action will "cause more harm than good," prolonging the conflicts raging in the Levant and Eastern Europe, as the indictments will undoubtedly complicate peace negotiations. "It pushes us away from the viability of talks and peace agreements and settlements. Therefore, we will have far more loss of life in this effort to hold a few individuals accountable, which, in the view of many of us in the international law realm, has never really succeeded," she told POLITICO.

The indictments will end the air of impunity for Israel and its leaders ... the indictments cannot be brushed over by an UK white-wash commission.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri May 24th, 2024 at 09:22:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
F24 | Student protests against Gaza war spread in Europe, sparking clashes and dozens of arrests (088.05.24)
Students at various European universities—NL, DE, FR, CH, AT—inspired by ongoing demonstrations at US campuses, have been occupying halls and facilities, demanding an end to partnerships with Israeli institutions because of Israel's punishing assault on Gaza.
reuters | Biden administration to miss deadline for report on Israeli weapons use, 7 May
A National Security Memorandum, known as NSM-20, that U.S. President Joe Biden issued in February requires the State Department to report to Congress by May 8 on whether it finds credible Israel's assurances that its use of U.S. weapons does not violate U.S. or international law. Four sources said on Tuesday the administration had informed congressional committees that it would not make the deadline but hoped to present its findings within days. Two congressional aides said they had no indication the delay was tied to political concerns.
Israel's assurances of compliance with U.S. law are "not credible," said Representative Jason Crow, who last week [03.05.24] organized a letter to Biden from more than 80 Democratic lawmakers saying there is sufficient evidence that Israel has violated international law and obstructed U.S. aid deliveries to Gaza.
State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told a news briefing on Tuesday [?] the NSM-20 report was not yet finished but the department was working "very hard" to complete it.
state.gov | Department Press Briefing - May 6, 2024
QUESTION: Can you just provide us an update on the NSM-20 report and if it'll go to Congress on time, when it's due on Wednesday?
MILLER: The only update I have is that we continue to work on it, and we'll have more to say about it later in the week. "It's possible it slips just a little bit but we're still, at this point, trying to get it done by tomorrow," he said.
by Cat on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 05:22:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
al-monitor | US report criticizes Israel but does not block arms, 10 May
...The State Department finally submitted its report two days after President Joe Biden publicly threatened to withhold certain bombs and artillery shells if Israel goes ahead with an assault on the packed city of Rafah. The report does not affect that decision, with the White House reiterating Friday that it was concerned about Israeli military action around the southern Gaza city, where some 1.4 million Palestinians have taken shelter....
NY Yella Cake | Israel May Have Broken International Law in Gaza, State Dept. Says
...The State Department found no specific cases of Israel misusing U.S. weapons that would justify withholding aid.
The report said that conclusion was based in part on the difficulty of collecting reliable information from the war zone and the way Hamas operates in densely populated areas. It also stressed that Israel has begun the process of seeking accountability for possible violations of the law, a key component in the U.S. assessment about whether to provide military aid to allies accused of human rights violations....
by Cat on Fri May 10th, 2024 at 11:54:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sun May 12th, 2024 at 07:12:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
tabloid USAToday | United Nations [OCHA] cuts estimates of women, children deaths in Gaza war in half, 13 May humane IDF vindication
Of the 34,735 people who have died in Gaza since the war began, according to data published May 6 by the UN, more than 9,500 were women and more than 14,500 were children. But in updated data published two days later on May 8, the UN significantly reduced the figures to 4,959 women and 7,797 children among the 34,844 people reportedly killed in Gaza.

The UN cites data from the Gaza Ministry of Health, controlled by Hamas, to produce casualty figures. The UN reports come with a disclaimer that says, "The UN has so far not been able to produce < wipes tears > independent, comprehensive, and verified casualty figures."
"According to the Ministry, the fatalities for whom full details have been documented include 7,797 children, 4,959 women, 1,924 elderly, and 10,006 men," [UN spokesperson Eri] Kaneko said. "The Ministry of Health notes that the documentation process of casualties' full identification details is ongoing"

non-binary human remains inquiry forthcoming
"Hamas wants the world to believe that the main casualties and fatalities have been women and children, an argument almost universally accepted until very recently," Elliott Abrams [!], a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies [?!] at the think-tank Council on Foreign Relations [!!], wrote in a blog post. "Now even the UN, or one part of the UN, silently acknowledges that it blindly accepted Hamas numbers meant to mislead," said Abrams, former deputy national security adviser for President George W. Bush.

According to the UN's latest figures, 40% of casualities in Gaza have been men, 32% children, 20% women, and 8% elderly.

by Cat on Mon May 13th, 2024 at 08:52:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UN seemingly halves estimate of Gazan women, children killed | JPost - 11 May 2024 |

The UN  also highlighted that the plurality of identified fatalities were men (40%), while children were (32%) and women (20%).

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) released a report in January that showed major discrepancies in the fatality reports. The research concluded that such discrepancies were most likely caused by manipulation.

Professor Abraham Wyner showed that the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry has been "faking" casualty numbers, in an article for Tablet Magazine on March 7.

He concluded that in war, the pattern of deaths should be irregular as the intensity of war is irregular. the UN reported that the number of deaths climbed by 15%, which is statistically impossible.

Tablet: Weiss, Walt, Sullivan, Greenwald 'Agents of Anti-Israel Influence,' Why Not Me? | Tikun Olam |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon May 13th, 2024 at 11:29:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Tue May 14th, 2024 at 01:43:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
euronews | "Where is Mama?" - How a Ukrainian boy was abducted by Russian forces, Snizhana (MIA), "Sasha's father" (MIA), Sasha, Viktoria (MIA)
24th March 2022, Mariupol
"While her 11-year-old son, Sasha, was outside helping with the preparation of food, heavy shelling began."
• Officials told Sasha, his mother "didn't want him anymore"
The tactic of separating Ukrainian children from their families is a known strategy
"The forceful deportation and indoctrination of Ukrainian children also seem to serve the purpose of `stocking up' the Russian army."
The Ghetto in Bezimenne
"The BBC reported that Russia was housing an estimated 5,000 at the temporary camp in Bezimenne in March 2022, and a video verified by the Washington Post confirmed the existence of the 'ghetto'."
• Sasha is brought to a hospital without his mother
19th of April: Sasha calls Liudmyla
"Two months after the full-scale invasion, a man approached Liudmyla at work, telling her Sasha was looking for her and on the 19th of April, she heard her grandson's voice over the phone."
• Liudmyla makes it her mission to get Sasha back
Liudmyla embarks on her journey to occupied Donetsk (from Chernihiv Oblast, UA)
"Throughout the two months when Liudmyla prepared for her journey, Sasha managed to stay in the hospital."
• The journey back home
• Where is Snizhana?
UN: The deportation of Ukrainian children is a war crime
"'Reports suggest between 260,000 to 700,000 Ukrainian minors were forcibly relocated by the occupiers, with estimates reaching 738,000 children since 2014. Advisor and Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for Children's Rights and Rehabilitation, Daria Herasymchuk, believes the actual number could be even higher', added Georgetown.edu. Collaborative on Global Children's Issues fellow, Vladyslav Havrylov."
• "Sasha, I will never stop looking for her"
by Cat on Sun May 19th, 2024 at 07:07:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Deteriorating Efforts as the Battle Progressed

The October 27 expansion of fighting to include ground operations inside the Gaza Strip has rendered the normal reporting system entirely ineffective. Whatever the accuracy of Health Ministry fatality figures in past conflicts, the current war is vastly different in scale, having seen the internal displacement of perhaps 1.7 million Palestinians. It is also the first Gaza conflict to involve severe and repeated loss of communications, combined with closure and evacuation of hospitals and an all-out IDF ground operation.

The loss of hospital capacity is borne out by the numbers. Six weeks after the start of ground operations, only eighteen of thirty-six hospitals in Gaza remained operational, and only a few in the north were even partially functional. Under such circumstances, many injured or dead Gazans are not brought to the hospital, where they would be formally counted. Moreover, ambulances often lack fuel or simply cannot reach war zone areas. As the battle has progressed, reports have proliferated of mass burials of unidentified Gazans, whose deaths may be unreported to the Health Ministry. This suggests a likely undercount of total deaths, as often occurs in confusing urban battles--although some no-longer-missing or rescued persons will not have been removed from lists of the presumed dead.

Palestinian Manipulation of the International Community | JCPA - 2014 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon May 13th, 2024 at 11:32:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Israeli Intelligence Has Deemed Hamas-Run Health Ministry's Death Toll Figures Generally Accurate | VICE - 25 Jan 2024 |

Israeli intelligence services have studied civilian casualty figures released by the Hamas-run Ministry of Health in Gaza and concluded the figures were generally accurate, despite earlier public claims by U.S. and Israeli officials that the ministry's statistics are manipulated. 

According to a story in Mekomit by Yuval Avraham, who last year broke news about the Israeli military's use of AI for targeting purposes, the numbers were accepted for inclusion in briefings to senior Israeli officials after intelligence services conducted operations and analysis to monitor the health ministry's information collection methods and its internal communications and determined the statistics were credible.

WINEP Clawson Advocates U.S. Sinking Iranian Sub to Provoke War | Oct 2012 |
HonestReporting DNC Stacking the Deck Against Bernie Sanders - Again! | Feb 2020 |
Tablet Magazine Wikipedia

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon May 13th, 2024 at 11:34:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thecradle | Israeli army fires on UN convoy in Rafah, kills foreign aid worker, 13 May
The Israeli military shot and killed a foreign NGO worker and wounded another on 13 May in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, local authorities reported. The two aid workers were in a UN vehicle clearly displaying the UN flag and logo when they came under Israeli fire.

The video of the targeted vehicle showed multiple bullet holes had pierced the windows....

thejournal.ie Israeli settlers block and loot food convoy as President Higgins condemns attacks on aid for Gaza (14.05.24)
It was not the first time Israelis have blocked aid access to Palestinians at checkpoints and border crossings since the latest war on Gaza began in October. This latest example occurred at the Tarqumiya checkpoint west of Hebron in the Occupied West Bank. Once again, soldiers stood by and watched. President Michael D Higgins denounced the incident at the Tarqumiya checkpoint in a statement issued today, in which he also condemned the Israeli targeting of aid convoys in Gaza.
by Cat on Wed May 15th, 2024 at 07:05:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thecradle | West Bank settlers set fire to trucks mistaken for Gaza aid shipments, 17 May
the Times of Israel reported on 17 May.
In a statement, the army said the settlers attacked the Israeli driver of the truck at a junction outside the Kochav Hashahar settlement, northeast of Ramallah, before lighting the truck on fire. Soldiers provided medical treatment to the Israeli driver while working to fend off the mob. The army said the extremists responded with violence toward the soldiers.

In a separate incident, dozens of rioting settlers protesting aid to Gaza hurled rocks at Palestinian cars at the Tapuah Junction south of the West Bank city of Nablus. Israeli police responded with tear gas and stun grenades. Haaretz reported that one of the Israelis was lightly wounded after being hit by a car whose Palestinian driver was attempting to escape from the mob....

ft | Pier opens for Gaza aid as US warns of 'imminent famine', 17 May
The first humanitarian aid arrived in Gaza by sea via a US-built floating pier on Friday as shipments over land have frequently been impeded by Israeli restrictions and protests by members of the country's far right.
archive "dinner with Cindy"
On Thursday night, a truck believed to be carrying aid to Gaza was stopped on a West Bank highway and set on fire by far-right Israeli protesters. Three Israeli soldiers were injured while attempting to provide medical care to the driver and disperse people, said the Israeli military. Israeli media reported that it was at least the fourth such attack on a Gaza aid convoy crossing Israeli territory from Jordan or the West Bank since late last week.

Far-right Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich wrote to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, demanding "clarifications" about aid being supplied directly from the West Bank and Israel for Gaza. He claimed the supply of aid via this route violated previous cabinet decisions.

"We must defeat Hamas—renewing trade with Gaza is not the way," Smotrich wrote.

by Cat on Fri May 17th, 2024 at 10:56:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
N = 8.108 billions (e)

Democracy Perception Index 2024.ppt
Chapter III. Global Politics
US popularity has taken a hit globally in 2024, particularly in MENA countries but also in Europe. At the same time, attitudes towards China and Russia have become more positive all around the world outside of Europe and the US. While the United States remains more positively viewed globally, Russia and China are now seen as positively as the United States in most MENA and Asian countries surveyed.

What is your over all perception of the European Union / the United Nations / the United States / China / Russia?
Very positive / Somewhat positive / Neither positive nor negative / Somewhat negative / Very negative / Don't know

[p 29]

Trend 2023 v. 2024. Visualization of EU perceptions, p 31. Visualization of US perceptions, p 34. "After economic inequality and corruption, global [sic] corporations [eNTItiEs] are viewed as the third most significant threat to democracy by people around the world."

archive Yermak and Rassmussen, "The Kyiv Security Compact International Guarantees for Ukraine: Recommendation", 13 Sep 2022
Alliance of Democracies

by Cat on Fri May 10th, 2024 at 02:14:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu May 2nd, 2024 at 01:40:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Conference-debate of the World Independent Trad Union, the strength of association (CSI-Niger() on the occasion of the celebration of the 1st of May, 1 May
"We pay a vibrant tribute tall the hardworking workers of Niger s well as to the men and women around the world who are seating dignity in the noble quest for a decent life," said the the secretary general....
Meeting at the Ministry of Water Resoures, Sanitation and the Environment: economic collaboration between the World Bank and Niger in the three areas, 3 May
...The PISN (Security of the Water in Niger) comes in seven (7) regions of Niger, specifically in ten sub-basins and the city of Niamey....
Press conference of the chairman of the National Committee responsible for the operationalization of the Confederation Alliance of the States of the Sahel (AES)
...It is composed of two categories of members. "There are members of statutory, all selected according to the positions they occupy within the Sates apparatus, in cluding diplomats, government officials, academics, senior officers, and economists and planners. Then, there are the members of the civil society, including women's organizations, youth organizations, and communities in Burkina Faso and Mali are present on the territory of Niger, as it is a question of constructing something for three [nations]," the chairman explained....
reuters | Russian troops enter base housing US military in Niger, US official says, 3 May
A senior U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Russian forces were not mingling with U.S. troops but were using a separate hangar at Airbase 101, which is next to Diori Hamani International Airport in Niamey, Niger's capital.

Asked about the Reuters report, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin played down any risk to American troops or the chance that Russian troops might get close to U.S. military hardware.

defense.gov | Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Press Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii (02.05.24)
In Niger, you asked about Niger and Russians being in the same space that we're in in Niger. I think you know that Air Base 101, where our forces is, is a Nigerian Air Force base that is co-located with an international airport in the capital city. The Russians are in a separate compound and don't have access to U.S. forces or access to our equipment.
The Nigerien and Russian embassies in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
archive Perhaps Pentagon Will Delay in US-France Ousted from Colonial Africa
by Cat on Fri May 3rd, 2024 at 11:50:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
punchline, 7 May


by Cat on Tue May 7th, 2024 at 11:17:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wapoo | U.S. threats led to rupture of vital military ties, Nigerien leader says, 14 May
"The Americans stayed on our soil, doing nothing while the terrorists killed people and burned towns," [PM Ali Mahaman Lamine] Zeine said. "It is not a sign of friendship to come on our soil but let the terrorists attack us. We have seen what the United States will do to defend its allies, because we have seen Ukraine and Israel."
Zeine said leaders of Niger's new government, known as the National Council for Safeguarding the Homeland, or by its French initials CNSP, were bewildered that the United States had frozen military support while insisting on keeping the troops in the country without justifying their continued presence. The American response in the wake of Niger's coup contrasted sharply with that of other nations, including Russia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, he said, which have welcomed the new Nigerien leaders with "open arms."
state.gov | Department Press Briefing - May 14, 2024
QUESTION: The junta's prime minister gave an interview to The Washington Post in which he blamed a visit by Assistant Secretary Phee for the decision to boot out U.S. troops, saying that she made threats about Niger's relationship with Iran and Russia and called it unacceptable. Do you dispute the characterization of this? Do you have any comment on—
PATEL: So I'm not going to get into the specifics of our diplomatic, deliberative conversations, Shaun, but what I can say is that the CNSP was presented with a choice based on mutual interest about whether it wished to continue its security partnership with us, a choice that was rooted in our belief of democratic principles and what was in our national security interest....
He said the Nigerien leaders took particular umbrage at remarks by Molly Phee, the State Department's top official for African affairs, who he said had urged the government during a March visit to Niamey to refrain from engaging with Iran and Russia in ways objectionable to Washington if Niger wanted to continue its security relationship with the United States. He also said Phee had further threatened sanctions if Niger pursued a deal to sell uranium to Iran.
by Cat on Wed May 15th, 2024 at 04:16:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
defense.gov | Joint Statement From the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of National Defense of the Republic of Niger, 19 May long air kiss good night
The U.S. Department of Defense and the Ministry of National Defense of Niger and have reached a disengagement agreement to effect the withdrawal of U.S. forces, which has already begun. It is therefore agreed that this disengagement will end no later than September 15, 2024.

Both delegations confirmed the guarantees of protection and security to the American forces during their withdrawal. The delegations also established procedures to facilitate the entry and exit of U.S. personnel, including overflight and landing clearances for military flights.

The withdrawal of U.S. forces from Niger does not affect the continuation of U.S.-Niger development relations [?]. The United States and Niger are committed to ongoing diplomatic dialogue to define the future of their bilateral relations.
lesahel.org | Meeting of ministers of Foreign Affairs othe Alliance of the States of the Sahel (AES): The common desire to make the AES as the preferred tool of defence, diplomacy, and development, 17 May
...In addition, the ministers have agreed to involve the diaspora through their diplomatic missions to the operationalization of the Confederation AES. They reviewd and finalized the draftof the treaty on the creation of the Confederation of AES, the draft of the final communique, and the draft Rules of Procedure of the College of Heads of State.

The ministers welcomed the support expressed by the 15th session of the Islamic Summit Conference of the Organization of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) of the 04 and 05 May 2024 in Banul (Republic of the Gambia), which has expressed its rejection of any external interference in the internal affairs of the States of the AES.

reuters | US to complete withdrawal from Niger by Sept. 15, 19 May

A senior U.S. military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that about 100 U.S. troops had already been moved out of the country. The United States will remove sensitive equipment it has in Niger, but will leave behind other larger pieces like air conditioning units, generators, and hangars, a separate U.S. defense official said. The United States will let Nigerien forces use that equipment left behind, if it meets legal standards, the official said.

The official added that it did not appear that the Nigerien junta wanted to hand over counter-terrorism operations to Russian troops or those from the Wagner private military company.

by Cat on Sun May 19th, 2024 at 10:34:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]

barrons AFP | EU Military Training Mission Leaves Mali After 11 Years, 17 May

The 27-member bloc deployed the European Union Training Mission (EUTM) in 2013 to train and advise the West African country's armed forces in the face of rising jihadism since 2012. The mission had included up to 700 soldiers from some 20 European states, but numbers significantly reduced against a backdrop of diplomatic tensions between Bamako and Western partners.
archive EUCAP, 31 Dec 2023 MONUSCO, MINUSMA exit and termination in Decolonization, Resources and Military Intervention, EU planning new Africa mission
by Cat on Sat May 25th, 2024 at 02:01:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]

F24. France declares state of emergency in 21st century "Zone of Influence"
The unrest flared after French lawmakers approved a bill extending voting rights in provincial elections to residents arriving from mainland France—a change critics fear could marginalise indigenous people and benefit pro-France politicians.
Macron has been seeking to reassert his country's importance in the Pacific region, where China and the United States are vying for influence but France has a < wipes tears > strategic footprint through its overseas territories, which include New Caledonia and French Polynesia. Lying between Australia and Fiji, New Caledonia is one of several French territories spanning the globe from the Caribbean and Indian Ocean to the Pacific that remain part of France in the < wipes tears >  post-colonial era.
France imposes state of emergency, bans TikTok in riot-hit New Caledonia, 15 May
The death of the French gendarme followed two nights of rioting as protesters demonstrated against a constitutional reform being debated in the national assembly in Paris that aims to expand the electorate in the territory's provincial elections.
The main figure of the non-independence camp, former minister Sonia Backes, denounced what she described as the anti-White racism of demonstrators who burned down the house of her father, a man in his 70s who was < wipes tears > exfiltrated by the security forces.

"If he was not attacked because he was my father, he was at least attacked because he was White," she told BFMTV.

ChatGPT | France accuses Azerbaijan of fomenting deadly riots in overseas territory New Caledonia, 16 May
Speaking to POLITICO, a French intelligence official granted anonymity to discuss sensitive issues of national security, said that "we've detected activities from < wipes tears > Russia and Azerbaijan in New Caledonia for weeks, even a few months. They're pushing the narrative of France being a colonialist state."
archive SIDESHOW department, Pacific Islands Forum, fresh vote on independence 2020
by Cat on Thu May 16th, 2024 at 03:16:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Macron is really pissed off losing, being ousted from the Sahel region, in particular the relations with Niger, and Areva mining rights for essential uranium. Decades of "good-will" down the Wagner drain. Macron makes it personal and blames Vlad Putin. It won't succeed in Polynesian, our weapons testing ground. Let the Rainbow Warrior be a lesson never to be forgotten. Good old times.

"Have gun, will travel"

Vive la Françafrique! Who Benefits from Niger's Uranium?

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri May 17th, 2024 at 06:58:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
euractiv. 'Massive' French police deployment arrives to secure New Caledonia
The number of police and gendarmes on the French-ruled island will rise to 2,700 from 1,700 by Friday evening.
by Cat on Fri May 17th, 2024 at 11:00:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
F24 | French forces launch 'major operation' to open route to New Caledonia's restive capital, 19 May "trapped tourists"
...Furthermore, plans for the Olympic torch relay to pass through the French territory were cancelled on Saturday....
alrighty then
by Cat on Sun May 19th, 2024 at 09:17:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Emmanuel Macron appeared in New Caledonia (Nouvelle-Calédonie) yesterday for 12 hours to interpret the 1998 Nouméa Accord. With one hand, Macron immobilised execution of a constitutional "reform" passed from seats of the metropol National Assembly to the overseas provincial parliament. With the other, Macron extended the gendarmerie visa to restore "democratic legitimacy" of foreign settlers until conclusion of this summer's Olympic Games (T -80 days) or indefinitely, some familiar with the matter say.

To demonstrate French magnanimity, Macron also opened channels of communication with the natives' elected leadership, President of the Government of New Caledonia (FKA Kanaky) Louis Mapou and the President of Congress Roch Wamytan at the territorial residence of an anonymous "high commissioner."

Let us now note. The name of the préfet d'ouverture de Nouvelle-Calédonie ("high commissioner") is Louis Le Franc, not Louis Le Nickel, Louis Franc Pacifique, or Louis XPF.

a/o 24 May
XPF:EUR, 1:0.008
XPF:USD, 1:0.009
XPF:GBP, 1:0.007
XPF:RMB, 1:0.06
XPF:AUD, 1:0.013

by Cat on Fri May 24th, 2024 at 01:00:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wapoo | How is the violent unrest in New Caledonia impacting global nickel prices?, 22 May
The European Union has named nickel as a critical raw material, which means it is economically and strategically important for the European ['Green'] economy but is considered to have a high-risk associated with its supply importing it.

"Some of the discussion around France wanting to maintain its control over New Caledonia is motivated by its hopes to secure the large nickel deposits there, perhaps with an eye to future electric vehicle production," said Nicholas Ferns, a research fellow at Monash University in Australia.
New Caledonia's mining industry is STRUGGLING to compete against Indonesia, the world's largest nickel producer, due to decades of export restrictions and high energy costs that have made its nickel more expensive and less profitable to produce.
The French government has pledged to help maintain the territory's nickel industry operations with [climate finance?] SUBSIDIES.

archive Selling Nickel to China, Trudeau-Scholz "market case", March 2022 "black swan"
by Cat on Fri May 24th, 2024 at 05:10:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
planet money | How Haiti Was Forced To Pay Reparations For Freedom
While the U.S. officially left Haiti in 1934, it continued to control Haiti's public finances until 1947, siphoning around 40% of Haiti's national income to service debt repayments to the U.S. and France. Surrounded by French gunboats, a newly independent Haiti was forced to pay its slaveholders reparations. You read that correctly.
archive "centuries of shared history"
Pourquoi Macron recule?
Emmanuel Macron s'est plongé pendant 24 heures dans la poudrière calédonienne. « Je ne passerai pas en force » a dit le chef de l'État, qui lance un nouveau processus de négociations et donne rendez-vous dans un mois. La réforme institutionnelle est-elle enterrée? Les violences vont-elles cesser après cette promesse présidentielle?
"to quantify the damages."
by Cat on Sun May 26th, 2024 at 11:20:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
rfi | Britain to return looted crown jewels to Ghana, but only on loan (26.01.24)
V&A Director Trisam "Hunt stressed the items had not been permanently returned to Ghana, saying the new cultural partnership 'is not restitution by the back door'."

bbc | UK returns looted Ghana artefacts after 150 years (11.04.24)
"The loan, which was negotiated with the king and not with the Ghanaian government, will last for three years with the option to extend for a further three years."

aljazeera | UK returns looted Ghana artefacts on loan after 150 years (20.04.24)
Ivor Agyeman-Duah, the chief negotiator, confirmed the items' return, telling the AFP news agency on Saturday that they were given to the palace on loan. It comes as international momentum and campaigning has grown for museums and institutions to have African artefacts returned from former colonial powers.

Nigeria is also negotiating the return of thousands of 16th to 18th-century metal objects looted from the ancient kingdom of Benin and currently held by museums and art collectors across the United States and Europe.

Two years ago, Benin received two dozen treasures and artworks stolen in 1892 by French colonial forces during the sacking of the royal Palace of Abomey.

by Cat on Mon May 27th, 2024 at 05:50:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wilsoncenter | The Squad and the Quad, 14 May INDOPACOM "latticework"
In recent weeks, a new minilateral in the Indo-Pacific has emerged: the "Squad," as it is dubbed informally in the Pentagon. The new grouping of Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and the United States coalesced during a Defense Ministers' meeting in Hawaii in May 2024, following up on a previous gathering at the 2023 Shangri-La security dialogue. With its traditional security focus, the Squad adds another layer to the developing latticework architecture in the Indo-Pacific. But does it mean that the old Australia-India-Japan-US Quad is obsolete?
Unlike the original Quad, the Squad is about traditional hard power security, hence the "S" appended to its name. The meeting readout makes this abundantly clear, directly naming the People's Republic of China as the aggressor in the East and South China Seas. This meeting builds on several years of effort and defense cooperation between all four powers, including joint naval patrols in the South China Sea. Its hard power security emphasis and the addition of the Philippines instead of India distinguish Squad from Quad.
defense.gov | Joint Readout From Australia-Japan-Philippines-United States Defense Ministers' Meeting (03.05.24)
However, that does not mean that the Squad replaces the Quad, nor that the Quad is deficient. Instead, the Squad and Quad pursue different objectives with different levers of national power, traditional security (hard power),  and < wipes tears > non-traditional security (public goods) respectively.
bloomberg | New US-Backed Defense 'Squad' to Counter China in Indo-Pacific, 5 May
A US official who requested anonymity to discuss the "Squad" said the grouping aims to counter < wipes tears> coercion and aggression across Asia as well as to ensure that defense capabilities among their militaries are increasingly inter-operable, allowing them to work more efficiently together in the event of conflict.
by Cat on Thu May 16th, 2024 at 07:45:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
bbc | Chabahar Port: US says sanctions possible after India-Iran port deal
hours after India signed a 10-year contract to operate a port with Tehran.

India had entered an agreement to develop the strategically important Chabahar port, close to Iran's border with Pakistan, in 2016. On Monday, it signed a long-term deal with Iran to develop it further. India's shipping minister called it a "historic moment in India-Iran ties". But the move may not go down well with the US, which has imposed more than 600 sanctions on Iranian-related eNTiTiEs over the past three years.

In a press briefing on Tuesday,

QUESTION: Iranian traders smuggled more than $1 billion worth of fuel into neighboring Pakistan annually. Is it a concern that how black market earning billions of dollars in the region?
PATEL: So all Iran sanctions remain in effect, and we advise anyone considering business deals with Iran to be aware of the potential risks.
the country's State Department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said, when asked about the deal, that the US sanctions on Iran are still in place and that Washington would continue to enforce them....
RT | India responds to US warning on Iran deal (15.05.24)
Chabahar is also a hub for the upcoming International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), envisioned by New Delhi, Tehran, and Moscow. Once completed, the INSTC would reduce transit times between Mumbai, India, and St. Petersburg, Russia, by 40%, dramatically cutting costs. While India expressed interest in developing the port as far back as 2003, US sanctions on Iran over its suspected nuclear program derailed its development.
archive Israel As Strategic Hub IMEC in Amalek, World Governments Summit, I2U2 "sssignificant progressss", 2015 in the rear view mirror, I2U2 mobility, Saudi snub of Biden, president.ir, Chabahar wheat, Chabahar waiver
by Cat on Wed May 15th, 2024 at 03:36:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NY Yella Cake | Congolese Army Says It Foiled a Coup Involving Americans, 19 May
hours after a gunfight near the presidential palace in which at least three people were killed.

In a brief statement on state television, an army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Sylvain Ekenge, initially offered little detail about the purported putsch in the capital, Kinshasa, other than to say that the plotters and their leader had been "put out of action."
But he later told The Associated Press that three Americans were among the perpetrators, and the United States ambassador to Congo, Lucy Tamlyn, acknowledged publicly that American citizens may have been involved.

"sixth region of the African Union"
while most of the region's recent coups have been led by senior military officers from those countries, the purported one in Kinshasa on Sunday appeared to have been led by an obscure opposition politician based in the United States and appeared to have little prospect of succeeding.
A website in Mr. [Christian] Malanga's name said that his family settled in Salt Lake City in the 1990s as part of a refugee resettlement program. He participated in the U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps, it said. He returned to Congo to run for political office in 2011 but was arrested "on bogus charges" and held for several weeks by police officers who beat him, it said. A year later, he returned to the United States, where he formed the United Congolese Party, "a grass-roots platform that unifies the Congolese diaspora around the world opposing the current Congolese dictatorship," the site said.
by Cat on Sun May 19th, 2024 at 09:31:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
reuters |Taiwan lawmakers exchange blows in bitter dispute over parliament reforms, 17 May
The DPP says the KMT and TPP are improperly trying to force through the proposals without the customary consultation process in what the DPP calls "an unconstitutional abuse of power". Lawmakers from all three parties were involved in the altercations, and traded accusations about who was to blame.
ChatGPT ANI | Taiwan parliament chaos: Ruling, opposition lawmakers engage in physical scuffles, verbal attacks over controversial bills, 18 May
The turmoil unfolded during Friday's legislative floor session, where legislators grappled for over 10 hours with amendments that would grant the Legislature expanded powers. The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) and Taiwan's People Party (TPP) sought to prolong the session to push through amendments to four bills aimed at promoting legislative reforms.

The mayhem followed a fruitless five-hour cross-caucus negotiation on Thursday, leaving unresolved tensions that erupted into full-blown conflict the next day. Adding fuel to the fire, the KMT and TPP had previously bypassed customary committee deliberations, opting instead to fast-track their versions of the bills directly to a floor vote.

archive DPP party loses control of legislature
by Cat on Sun May 19th, 2024 at 11:16:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps mainland China can bring peace to the violent island and opposing parties ... red vs blue?

In Taiwanees colors Pan-green vs Pan-blue 😂

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon May 20th, 2024 at 11:41:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
thehindu | 2024 General Elections, Phase 3 | These are the Lok Sabha constituencies and States going to polls, 3 May
The third phase of the Lok Sabha elections will take place on May 7, when 94 constituencies from 12 States will go to the polls. The last date for nominations in Phase 3 was April 19.
archive April mammoth election data points
by Cat on Fri May 3rd, 2024 at 12:44:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
cbc.ca | Sikh rally in Toronto with multi-party support prompts diplomatic rebuke from India, 30 Apr
India has summoned Canada's envoy in New Delhi following a large Sikh rally in Toronto attended by all three major federal party leaders.
scmp | Trudeau's presence at Sikh rally further inflames India ties as Canadian PM accused of 'encouraging climate of violence', 1 May
A decision by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to attend a rally in Toronto supporting a separatist Sikh movement has aggravated already strained relations between his country and India.
While New Delhi has repeatedly blamed Trudeau for failing to reign in Khalistani separatists and playing "vote bank politics" with the Punjabi diaspora, observers were divided over whether the government overreacted with an eye to gain votes in ongoing Indian elections.
archive Canada's Safe Haven for Terrorists, Canada in Lok Sabha 2023
by Cat on Fri May 3rd, 2024 at 12:51:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
freepressjournal.in | 20% Candidates In 5th Phase Have Criminal Cases, Reveals ADR Report (12.05.24)
In the run-up to the fifth phase [20 May] of the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 in Uttar Pradesh, the Uttar Pradesh Election Watch and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has found that 20% of the candidates have criminal records while 37% of the candidates are crorepatis. The ADR has conducted a comprehensive analysis of the affidavits submitted by all 144 candidates vying for seats in 14 constituencies. "The findings shed light on various facets of the candidates, including criminal records, financial assets, educational qualifications, and demographics," Santosh Shukla, of UP Election Watch said.
ndtv | Lok Sabha Phase 4: 476 Phase 4 Candidates Are Crorepatis, 668 Have Assets Under ₹10 Lakh, 9 May map
The fourth phase of India's Lok Sabha elections is set to be held on May 13 with voters across 96 constituencies in 10 states casting their ballots....
by Cat on Sun May 12th, 2024 at 03:55:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
siasat PTI | India to participate in G-7, Ukraine peace summits, 20 May
Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam
In an interview to PTI, the prime minister said India will "resonate the voice of the Global South" at these summits to shape the global discourse and advance the vision for human centric development and a prosperous and peaceful world.

"The level of participation will be the factor of timing, logistics, and parallel commitments," Modi said in response to a question on whether he will be attending the two multilateral gatherings.

archive G7 preferred plenipotentiary
by Cat on Mon May 20th, 2024 at 04:44:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Wed May 1st, 2024 at 10:06:07 PM EST

Poll Smoke. Generation Z leads disaffected Americans off the campaign rails.

T -188

• 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)

proposed to take a "no-spoiler" pledge with Genocide Joe to commission a survey measuring which of the two is the weakest challenger to Trump.
Rt Rev Dr Cornel West (JFP)
told NewsNation Now, "Anytime you have a military occupation on college campuses, it is clear that there's been a moral meltdown and a spiritual breakdown."
• Phil The Builder (D)
the-other-Jill (G)
charged with resising arrest and assaulting an officer
• Joe face-palm (D)
• Literally Anybody Else (N/A)
by Cat on Thu May 2nd, 2024 at 01:29:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT nypost | House passes bill expanding antisemitism definition as campus chaos rages on, 1 May
..."This bill threads to chill constitutionally protected speech—speech that is critical of Israel alone does not constitute unlawful discrimination," Manhattan Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), who is Jewish, said on the House floor. "It is imperative that we confront the scourge of antisemitism and Congress can help. But this legislation is not the answer."....
H.R.6090 - Antisemitism Awareness Act of 2023
It is the sense of Congress that--

(1) title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.), prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance;

Ex. Ord. No. 13160. Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Race, Sex, Color, National Origin, Disability, Religion, Age, Sexual Orientation, and Status as a Parent in Federally Conducted Education and Training Programs
(2) while such title does not cover discrimination hatred based < wipes tears > solely on religion, individuals who face discrimination hatred based on actual or perceived shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics do not lose protection under such title for also being members of a group that share a common religion;;
House passes CROWN Act, banning race-based hair discrimination (18.03.22)
Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair..."because Black [or non-Black] people are often penalized under workplace and school dress code policies that frown upon hairstyles such as afros [and] braids, or cornrows."
SEC. 4. Definitions.

For purposes of this Act, the term "definition of antisemitism"--

(1) means the definition of antisemitism adopted on May 26, 2016, by the IHRA [2016], of which the United States is a member, which definition has been adopted by the Department of State;

"Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities."

(2) includes the "[c]ontemporary examples of antisemitism" identified in the IHRA definition

archive National Anti-Semitism Strategy in Hijacking Peace by Zelensky
by Cat on Thu May 2nd, 2024 at 07:12:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Judge Cannon indefinitely postpones Trump's classified docs trial, 7 May
once scheduled for May 20.

The date had been widely expected to move amid a tangle of pretrial conflicts between special counsel Jack Smith and Trump's attorneys. Smith had urged Judge Aileen Cannon to reschedule the trial to begin on July 8, but an order from the judge on Tuesday afternoon suggested that she is unlikely to even decide on a new trial date before late July.

What was the question?
Whether and if so to what extent does a former President enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office.
That reshuffling further clouds the picture for Smith, who is also awaiting a Supreme Court ruling on presidential immunity that could determine whether his other case against Trump—charges in Washington D.C. for attempting to subvert the 2020 election—can move forward this year.
archive Fischer v. United States, emergency D.C. appeal, TRUMP INDICTMENT TRACKER
• Agent Smith fed "election inteference" (USDC)
• Agent Smith fed "classified docs" (SDFL)

ChatGPT | White House to Republicans: You're not getting audio of Biden's interview with Hur, 17 May

President Joe Biden has asserted executive privilege to block House committees from obtaining audio recordings of his own interviews with special counsel Robert Hur about Biden's handling of classified documents.
archive "Report on the Investigation Into Unauthorized Removal..."

Chat GPT | Biden's team had a few demands for a Trump debate. A major one: No crowd, 17 May executive ADA bureau

There were several conditions that the Biden team felt were necessary in order to agree to a debate with the former president, among them that at least one forum take place before the start of early voting and that the hosts weren't from outlets with an ideological bent toward Trump. But in interviews with more than a half dozen officials and advisers who were not authorized to discuss private conversations, the issue of the crowd was consistent. Among their concerns were that the audience noise could disadvantage Biden, who sometimes has trouble hearing amid a din. They also wanted to ensure that there was a clean tempo and cadence to the debate and that it not turn into a shouting match or spectacle. Biden aides have envisioned using the forums to pummel Trump on abortion rights, his response to the Covid pandemic, and threats to democracy. For that reason, they were also pleased that the debate would, it appears, involve microphones that can be cut off if a candidate speaks when it's not their [sic] turn.
archive ELECTION 2024 re-runs 2020
by Cat on Fri May 17th, 2024 at 07:40:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
#Ancestor worship is not well understood
archive Gadsen flag immortal "signal" of independence

36 USC Sec. 176 - Respect for flag
(a) The flag should never be displayed with the union down, < wipes tears > except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
(i) The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.
(k) The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, < wipes tears > preferably by burning.
Police break up University of Michigan protest encampment, 21 May 1st Amd.
"The disregard for safety directives was the latest in a series of troubling events centered on the encampment. Individuals will continue to be welcome to protest as they always have at the University of Michigan, so long as those protests do not infringe on the rights of others, endanger our community, violate the law or disrupt university operations"
by Cat on Tue May 21st, 2024 at 04:00:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]

has entered the room.
by Cat on Sun May 26th, 2024 at 12:02:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did Betsy Ross actually make the first flag of the European Union? Or did Europeans make the first flag of the United States?
by Cat on Mon May 27th, 2024 at 06:46:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Democratic Party scheduled national convention for nominating Biden 19 Aug. Ohio Democratic Party does not conduct an indedependent nominating convention. Ohio deadline for any party certifiction is 7 Aug, 90 days before GE date.
Ohio warns Democrats that Biden may miss deadline for November ballot, 7 Apr

Democrats in Ohio legislature propose certification change in state law. Republicans pass a bill permitting state certification date after 19 Aug with one condition: prohibition of foreign contributions to Ohio ballot initiatives.

Ohio Democrats reject bill, select DNC option.

DNC plans to virtually nominate Biden ahead of convention amid Ohio ballot concerns

by Cat on Tue May 28th, 2024 at 08:58:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu May 30th, 2024 at 07:26:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Stormy! FEC "hush money" NDA pleas, PECKER's plea agreement


Thirty-four (34) counts of falsifying business records (alleging intent commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof, not stipulated in the trial indictment ergo jury instruction, such as "violation of federal* campaign finance limits [sic], violation of state election laws by unlawfully influencing the 2016 election, and violation of state tax laws** regarding the reimbursement.")

* US has not indicted Trump on this civil charge, and Agent Smith's "election interference" indictment has yet to seat even a jury.
** NY (state) v. Trump (corp.) jury returned a guilty verdict and $450M penalty for charges in civil court litigation of falsified business records; NY (county) D.A. Bragg duplicated and amended dispositive criminal allegations, ie. furtherance of unspecified crimes pertaining to "concealed Woman 1, Woman 2, and Lawyer A"—Stormy! McDougal extortion cases (previously dismissed in US courts) and Cohen's tax evasion (US court conviction)—to the disposition of NY state's civil complaint. Indeed, a "novel legal" theory of jurisdiction, locus standi, and the 5th Amd. of the US Constitution.

NY (state) v. Trump docket, 15.02.24 - 23.05.24, and transcripts, 22.04.24-28.05.24, or 31 days avg. 260 pp/day (8,000 pp)

Now. Lemme calculate ChatGPT-informed standard burden of proof typically borne by US American prosecutors, measured by duration of SECRET jury deliberation per count since conclusion of trial.

(5 hr x 60 min) ÷ 34 counts = 8.8 minutes each count


by Cat on Thu May 30th, 2024 at 09:24:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
faster computing POWER coulda woulda shoulda wrap this up yesterday

< wipes tears >

by Cat on Thu May 30th, 2024 at 09:37:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WE CAN'T READ 14 MILLION COHEN DOCUMENTS ... 2,800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants, 230 orders for communication records, 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and testimonies by approximately 500 witnesses ... BY THURSDAY.

Karim Khan: "Rome Statute values are quintessential American values."

Policy on Complementarity and Co-operation [pp 24-30]:

As part of this work, the OTP has partnered with Microsoft, Accenture Avanade, and other technology actors [eNTiTIes?] to develop cutting-edge solutions for the analysis of large volumes of digital data composed of heterogenous file types, much of it photographs, videos, and audio files. The Office has benefited significantly in this regard from voluntary financial contributions from several States Parties and from the European Commission, which have enabled a critical investment to strengthening its technological capacity.

Under this initiative, the following aspects have been implemented, setting a stronger basis for complementarity efforts with:
• A new Evidence Lifecycle Management System ...
• Cloud-based platform ...
• Automated transcription and translation ...

Drawing on these new platforms, the Office will be able to harness enhanced cognitive tools in analysing information collected. Through the appropriate use of artificial intelligence [computer programming] and machine learning tools [computer programming], the OTP [computer processor units] will be able to mass transcribe and translate text from video and audio files collected pursuant to its investigative activities. This step holds the potential for revolutionising the ability of the Office to draw on such data, reducing the need for investigators and analysts to conduct in-depth review of all such files and instead allowing staff to target searches on videos containing references to specific individuals, locations, or other keywords.

European Court of Auditors, eca.europa.eu | SPECIAL REPORT No.08: EU Artificial intelligence ambition, May 2024
"We conclude that the Commission and national measures were not effectively coordinated due to the few governance tools available, their partial implementation, and outdated targets."
by Cat on Thu May 30th, 2024 at 10:20:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ChaptGPT newsqueak | Michael Cohen Admits to Stealing From Trump in Blow to Alvin Bragg's Case, T -"one week ago" [23 May? nope]
Cohen is a key prosecution witness in the trial after previously admitting to making the $130,000 payment to Daniels.

During Cohen's testimony Monday [20 May], Trump attorney Todd Blanche questioned him about a payment to tech company Red Finch. Cohen paid the company $20,000 from the $50,000 he received from the Trump Organization for financial services, according to Newsweek reporter Katherine Fung, who is covering the trial from the courtroom.

Cohen admitted to billing the Trump Organization for the full expense even though he never paid Red Finch the entire amount. When Blanche asked Cohen if he stole from the Trump Organization, given the $20,000 Red Finch payment, Cohen answered, "Yes, sir."

reasonable doubts
Michael McAuliffe [!], a former federal prosecutor [1989-1990, 1994-1999] and former elected [FL 2008-2012] state attorney, told Newsweek that "it will come as little to no surprise to the jurors that Cohen padded an invoice and kept the overage."

"The issue is whether all the evidence taken together convinces the jury—all the jurors—that Cohen's testimony rings true, that it makes sense, when it comes to his interactions with Trump as to the payments to hide affairs and disguise them as legal expenses," McAuliffe continued.

< wipes tears >
Stormy! Daniels Goes Into Detail, Great Detail, at Donald Trump's Trial. Read her book
by Cat on Thu May 30th, 2024 at 10:53:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
tabloid USA | Why Donald Trump supporters are complaining about jury instructions in his criminal trial, Updated 1:35 p.m. ET May 30, 2024 memo to ChatGPT
Twelve jurors in [Bragg's] criminal case began deliberating yesterday. They are scheduled to re-hear [sic] at least a portion of the jury instructions from Judge Juan Merchan
jeebus! Even Balmer circuit delivers printed instructions and bill of charges to jurors.
when proceedings begin Thursday at 9:30 a.m. EDT as well as listen to portions of the trial < wipes tears > transcript that will be read aloud.
Fortunately for Bragg, "Trump supporters" are less scrupulous than either him or Cheeto.
Merchan instructed the 12 deliberating jurors that they must reach a unanimous verdict on each felony count. The wrinkle in the story has to do with the multiple findings jurors have to make in order to convict Trump on any of the counts.
No. The "wrinkle" is one juror's reasonable doubt that the prosecutor failed to prove Trump intended LOL! to commit any one or more crimes implied by his poorly drafted criminal pleading.
Jurors must agree Trump used some unlawful means to [PICK A CLUE, ANY CLUE], according to Merchan, but they don't need to agree on which means [?!] it was. "Although you must conclude unanimously that the defendant conspired [?!] to promote or prevent the election of any person [?!] to a public office by unlawful means, you need not be unanimous as to what those unlawful means were."
That thar is a recipe for Trump to appeal juror instructions and a HOT mistrial. Way to clear your docket, Merchan!
< wipes tears >
by Cat on Thu May 30th, 2024 at 07:38:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu May 30th, 2024 at 07:57:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]

BWAH! "In order to find Trump guilty, the jury had to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt not only that Trump falsified the records with a fraudulent intent, but also that Trump did so to commit or conceal another crime. That underlying crime, prosecutors argued, was a violation of a New York state election law that prohibits conspiring to promote a candidate by 'unlawful means.'"
by Cat on Thu May 30th, 2024 at 10:14:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(in order of MSM appearance)

  1. FIRST former POTUS convicted
  2. "Trump supporter" forecast: Cheeto NYC rally, ROR pro-forma sentencing (July 11), and appeal before, during, after RNC nomination
  3. poll smoke: registered and likely voter indifference
  4. orange jumpsuit cartoons
  5. ChatGPPT "pre-bunking": read the story, ignore the poll smoke
  6. EUSA right-wing EPP reacts
  7. CHINA! indifference
Reuters: Former US President and Republican Party candidate Donald Trump has been convicted by a New York jury of felonies related to the 2016 election. If he is elected, would Trump's conviction prevent him from visiting China if he was invited or present any other difficulties for Sino-American relations?
Mao Ning: I will not comment on the US presidential election or any other US domestic affair. We hope that whoever gets elected will be committed to growing sound and stable China-US ties, because it will be in the interest of both countries and both peoples.
AFP: A follow-up question on Donald Trump. Donald Trump mentioned Taiwan at a recent campaign event. Do you have any comment on this? And does China fear Trump may become the next US President?
Mao Ning: The US presidential election is the domestic affair of the US. I would not comment on campaign rhetoric.


by Cat on Fri May 31st, 2024 at 01:39:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen | Protecting democracy is vital to safeguard strong economy, 3 May
My conviction is bolstered by economic research, including a recent study finding that democratization increases gross domestic product per capita by about 20 percent in the long run, and by what I have observed and studied throughout my life. But democracy is now under threat. At home, years of attacks on our democratic norms and institutions reached an unprecedented extreme on Jan. 6, 2021, with the attempt to block the peaceful transition of power that is the heart of our (and any other) democracy.
CYE 2023 real US GDP, + 2.5
CYE 2023 millionaires: US 23.6M (e)
CYE 2023 billionaires: US 748 +6% YoY, worldwide 2,376 +7% YoY
For the first time in nine editions of the UBS Billionaire Ambitions Report, new billionaires acquired greater wealth through inheritance than entrepreneurship.³ A total of USD 150.8 billion was inherited by 53 heirs, exceeding the 84 new self-made billionaires' total of USD 140.7 billion
by Cat on Fri May 3rd, 2024 at 01:52:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
whitehouse.gov | Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception , 1 May
And I also want to thank Senator Ma—where is Mazie?  She—where is Mazie Hirono?
And Congressman Ted Lieu is also here.  And I know several other members are on their way and couldn't her—be here because of votes.
And I also want to thank Katherine Tai, who's here today.  Katherine, you were here, anyway.  (Applause.)  There you are.  
Look how far we've come: 15 million new jobs—a record for any one term for a President of the United States. (Applause.) Because of you, historically low levels of unemployment for Asian Americans, while Asian American unemployment nearly doubled under Trump.
Folks, this election is about freedom, America, and democracy.  That's why I badly need you.

You know, one of the reasons why our economy is growing is because of you and many others. Why? Because we welcome immigrants. We look to—the reason—look, think about it. Why is China stalling so badly economically? Why is Japan having trouble? Why is Russia?  Why is India? Because they're xenophobic. They don't want immigrants. Immigrants is what makes us strong. Not a joke. That's not hyperbole.  Because we have an influx of workers who want to be here and just contribute.  

by Cat on Fri May 3rd, 2024 at 02:30:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yahoo! WSJ | A Global Tax on Billionaires? Janet Yellen Says 'No', 20 May bidenomics
Yellen said the U.S. wouldn't support the talks on the issue. She is due to meet later this week with finance ministers from the Group of Seven [G7] advanced empires, who are expected to discuss the global wealth tax.

"We believe in progressive taxation. But the notion of some common global arrangement for taxing billionaires with proceeds redistributed in some way—we're not supportive of a process to try to achieve that. That's something we can't sign on to," she said.
"We believe in progressive taxation, but the notion of some common global arrangement for taxing billionaires with proceeds redistributed in some way—we're not supportive of a process to try to achieve that. That's something we can't sign on to," she said.

the least "vulnerable" eNTiTIes
While the Biden administration has proposed significantly raising taxes on high-income Americans, it has shied away from a wealth tax, which seeks to annually collect a share of an individual's net worth. President Biden has instead [?] pushed for a plan that would require Americans worth more than $100 million to annually pay a 25% tax on all of their earnings, including unrealized capital gains.
by Cat on Mon May 20th, 2024 at 06:39:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Biden tops Trump by 4 points among likely voters in new survey
n = 2,260 adults
Biden, Trump deadlocked in national survey
n = 1,000 registered voters
Confidence in Biden economic decisionmaking near record low: Gallup
n = 1,001 adults

magical margin folklore
Share of Black Americans planning to vote drops
"In 2020, they helped Biden secure the White House."

by Cat on Mon May 6th, 2024 at 03:54:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Louisiana HBCU becomes second school to cancel UN Ambassador's address amid Gaza protests
Xavier University President Reynold Verret announced the news in a Wednesday email.
Xiavier, an HBCU [Historically Black Colleges and Universities], is the second school, after the University of Vermont (UVM), to make the decision. Suresh Garimella, UVM's president, announced the decision in an email to the university community.

"It is with regret that I share that our planned speaker, Ambassador Linda "Eat muh Gumbo" Thomas-Greenfield, will not be joining us to deliver the Commencement address," Garimella said in the email.

Change.org Petition Pink Slip
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield has repeatedly voted against a ceasefire in Gaza, resulting in the decimation of all 13 universities in Gaza, the loss of over 30,000 lives with thousands more remaining in the rubble from violence, and the continuation of the genocide in Gaza. Palestinians in Gaza draw upon the experiences of their brothers and sisters in America during the segregation era.  Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield has not played a direct role in the furthering of the Xavierite mission; she has not contributed to the scholarly success at Xavier, has not represented our mission through her actions as UN ambassador, has allowed for the continuation of systematic oppression, and does not represent our student body. Moreover, her presence poses a potential source of disruption in what should otherwise be a day of celebration.

As an HBCU, XULA represents the championing of education in eras of segregation. XULA has been a haven for Black students, Asian students, Middle Eastern/North African students, Jewish students, and Muslim students who all seek refuge in the supportive, diverse, and open-minded environment unique to minority-serving institutions. Xavier University hosts a wide variety of students whom the ongoing genocide in Gaza continues to impact personally. We have students whose families and friends reside in Gaza, who are Palestinians, who are Muslims, who are Jewish and being targeted for their views, and who are our allies who feel our pains upon seeing the devastating images of violence. We have faculty members and alumni who have family members who have been targeted, brutalized, and imprisoned by the Israeli Defense Forces.

archive Aug 6th 2022"
by Cat on Fri May 10th, 2024 at 01:16:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nikki Two-Tones (R)
nabs 128,000 votes in Indiana GOP primary months after ending campaign
archive 'none of these candidates'

RFK, Jr (I)

said doctors told him a parasite ate part of his brain, after experiencing memory loss and brain fog in 2010.

reference: Brain Dead (2016)

by Cat on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 04:42:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dakato Doug Tech (R)
is now seen as one of the top contenders to be Trump's running mate. He is not a firebrand. He is not an anti-woke crusader and launched his presidential campaign with a pledge to eschew "anger, yelling, infighting," instead saying he would "listen with respect" and "talk things out." In his campaign launch video 11 months ago, Burgum was shown riding horses, repairing a barbed wire fence and eating around a campfire.
archive Joe Biden selects...
by Cat on Sat May 11th, 2024 at 01:49:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(L) two weeks ago, (R) one day ago
McDonald's is working to introduce a $5 value meal (10.05.24)
The potential new offering comes at a time when low-income consumers are beginning to pull back on spending, particularly at fast-food brands. Mentions of low-income consumers on company earnings calls are at their highest levels in nearly two years, according to data from Bank of America. Executives from McDonald's to Wendy's to Dave and Buster's have all noted the restraint in spending.
archive CNN interviews "well-meaning, elderly man
BURNETT: When you talk about the economy, it is of course by far the most important issue for voters. It's also true, Mister President, voters by a wide margin trust Trump more on the economy. They say that in polls, and part of the reason for that may be the numbers and you are aware of may of these, of course. The cost of buying a home in the United States is double what it was when you look at montly costs before the pandemic. Real income, when you account for inflation, is actually down since you took office. Economic growth last week far shorter of expectations. Consumer confidence may be no surprise is near a two year low. With less that six months to go to election day are you worried that you're running out of time to turn that around?
BIDEN: We've already turned it around. Look at the m- m- Michigan survey where sixty-five percent of the American people think they're in good shape economically. They think the nation's not in good shape—they're personally in good shape. The polling data has been wrong all along. Now, how many [do] you guys do a poll [at] CNN? How many folks[do] you have to call to get one response? The idea that we're in a s- s- s- situation where things are so bad. Look. I mean, we've created more jobs. We're in a situation where people have access to good paying jobs, and the last I saw, the combination of inflation, the cost of inflation and all those things, that's worrisome to people and with good reason. That's why I'm working very hard to bring the cost of rentals down, increase the number of homes available. Let me say it this way, when I started this administration, people were saying there would be a collapse in the economy. We have the strongest economy in the world. Let me say it again, in the world. GDP is still growing. Look at the response of the markets, overwhelmingly positive, and one reason people feel good about it not being strong as it was is [that] they believe the Fed[eral Reserve]...
BURNETT: They hope they're going to get a rate cut.
BIDEN: Yeah. Well. So. I mean, no president has had the run we've had in terms of creating jobs and bringing down inflation. It was nine percent when I came into office.

by Cat on Sun May 12th, 2024 at 01:32:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
10 May 2024 v.1 memorable quotes
WAPOO: "allegedly engaging in quid pro quo after withholding aid to Israel"
Republicans have a new new theory of why Biden should be impeached

WELKER: "pausing the delivery of high payload bombs to Israel"
The White House declined to comment.

LINDSEY "human shield" CRACKER: "This is not Viet Nam."
How many people died in the Vietnam War?

NBC News | Graham says Israel should do 'whatever' it has to while comparing the war in Gaza to Hiroshima and Nagasaki (12.05.24)
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on Sunday compared Israel's war against Hamas to the U.S. decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan in World War II during an interview on NBC News' "Meet the Press." Asked by moderator Kristen Welker why it was OK for President Ronald Reagan to withhold certain weapons from Israel during its war in Lebanon in the 1980s, but not OK for Biden to threaten to do so now, Graham once again brought up World War II.
archive So what does that mean?, fucking ludicrous

10 May 2024 v.2, "Blowback & Biden's Red Line," A/V (EN) 00:54:04
SYNOPSIS: Former State Department official Josh Paul reacts to President Biden's decision to pause some weapons shipments to Israel. Richard Engel joins with the latest reporting on the ground in Jerusalem. Yasmin Vossoughian and Carol Lam break down another week in the Trump hush-money trial, with Michael Cohen set to testify next week. Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, talks about the state of the anti-abortion movement and former President Trump's stance on abortion.

WELKER @ 00:00:02: If it's Friday, US officials tell NBC News, the Biden administration has continued to send military assistance to Israel despite the president's threat to halt weapons shipments and despite his acknowledgement, US weapons have killed civilians in Gaza....
Big Israel Impoundment Control Act in US Congress impeaches self
by Cat on Mon May 13th, 2024 at 12:48:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChayGPT | Biden administration is sending $1 billion more in weapons to Israel, 15 May
But it was not immediately known how soon the weapons would be delivered....The package disclosed Tuesday includes about $700 million for tank ammunition, $500 million in tactical vehicles and $60 million in mortar rounds, the congressional aides said. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an arms transfer that has not yet been made public.

The administration's notice to lawmakers this week isn't the final, formal notification before a sale, one of the congressional aides said. The deal would be an entirely new sale, the aide said. That means any weapons that are part of it could take years to be delivered....

archive The "Christmas Tree" Problem

foreign interference
sputnik | Biden Sending $1 Billion Arms Package to Israel in Latest Flip-Flop, 15 May

Reporting on Tuesday indicated US President Joe Biden is preparing to send $1.25 billion worth of weapons and ammunition to Israel despite putting a separate arms transfer on hold just days ago.
Biden has previously suggested an Israeli incursion into the city would constitute a "red line," before immediately walking the comment back during a heavily criticized interview on cable news channel MSNBC.
The Biden administration previously contradicted itself in March after voting "present" during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, allowing a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Israel's seven-month assault on Gaza to pass. White House officials quickly insisted the resolution was "non-binding," a characterization criticized by international law experts.
by Cat on Wed May 15th, 2024 at 04:01:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
defense.gov | Biden: Range of Missions Increasing as Pace of World Change Accelerates (25.05.24)
Biden, who spoke at the commencement address to the graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York, today, provided some examples of change. The president touted the strength of the NATO alliance, applauding the newest members Finland and Sweden. "I've always been willing to use force when required to protect our nation, our allies, our core interests. When anyone targets American troops, we will deliver justice to them," Biden said. "Never forget Americans are strongest when we lead not only by our example of our power, but by the power of our example," he said.
alkhaleej.ae | Justice of the Palestinian cause wins, 26 May
While the Israeli reaction to the International Court of Justice's order to stop the military aggression on Rfah was expected, attention is turning to Washinton as the only party capable of facilitating the implementation of the resolution, whether by refraininf from usina a "veto" in the Security Council or actively pressuring Tel Aviv to comply with the ruling of the highest judicial body representing the spirit of international law.
CRS | Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2023
The image of the United States in front of world public opinion is unenviable, for the first time < wipes tears > in its history, this increasing international isolation is known because of international covenants and treaties, which made it gamble with its strategic interests and historical alliances, because its claim to defend the world order is only a defense of its interests and employs all international bodies and institutions in this.
archive commencement insults in Gaza Obliterated, we reject the ICC's application and we have jurisdiction in Accused of War Crimes
by Cat on Sun May 26th, 2024 at 01:36:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Tue May 28th, 2024 at 11:28:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
'Significant' Chinese response to US tariffs possible: Janet Yellen, 13 May 14 minutes transitory stump speech "interest cost"
"President Biden believes that anything we do should be targeted to our concerns and not broad-based, and hopefully we will not see a significant Chinese response. But that's always a possibility," Yellen told Bloomberg TV in an interview on Monday.
scmp | German carmakers want to compete with China but it must be a 'fair fight': envoy Patricia Flor de-coupled strategic autonomy "de-risking"
SCMP: China and the European Union share different perspectives on overcapacity and have had heated exchanges on the issue. What is your take? Do you see any middle ground? What would you want to see China do to address its partners' concerns?
FLOR:The European Union and Germany have been asking for a level playing field for our companies, banks and other institutions in China for quite some time, because this is the underlying issue for overcapacity.
scmp | Chinese companies pull out of solar projects after EU launches subsidy probe, 13 May: photovoltaic in Romania, electric trains in Bulgaria
SCMP: The European Union has taken a hardline approach against China by launching several investigations into Chinese new energy products. Meanwhile, Germany and China promised to cooperate on clean energy, such as developing automated driving, and Berlin said it will scale back restrictions for China's investment. Is there any inconsistency? If the EU is getting tough on China, then where is the room for Germany to cooperate with China?
FLOR: If the EU gets tough on China, it is also because Germany and all member states of the European Union decide to empower the EU Commission to launch investigations and take measures to protect the European single market whenever they find evidence that something is wrong, such as dumping, subsidies, or unfair support measures. The European Commission then decides on its own authority.
EU International Procurement Instrument (IPI) summary | full text
The European single market is an open market. It works under market conditions. It is totally transparent, and everybody can look up all of the regulations, but this is not equally true all over the world....
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on May 13, 2024
Ukrinform News Agency: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Special Representative of the Chinese government Li Hui carried out the third round of shuttle diplomacy on the issue of Russian war against Ukraine. Could you share more details about the results of this round?
Wang Wenbin: From May 3 to 9, Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Eurasian Affairs Li Hui carried out the third round of shuttle diplomacy on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. He visited Türkiye, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Before and after the visit, Special Representative Li Hui had discussions with officials from countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, and Kazakhstan....
by Cat on Mon May 13th, 2024 at 07:26:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thehill | US military anchors pier to Gaza; aid expected within days, 16 May
The U.S. military has finally anchored its new pier to the coast of Gaza, and officials are expected to soon begin delivery of crucial humanitarian aid to the besieged region.
In a press call, Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, deputy commander of U.S. Central Command [CENTCOM], said the pier was successfully anchored to a beach in Gaza in the early morning hours on Thursday.
Final assembly was in the Israeli port of Ashdod. "This morning—just a few hours ago—the pier was successfully affixed to the beach in Gaza, and in the coming days we will commence the delivery of aid," he said.
Sonali Korde, assistant to the administrator at the United States Agency for International Development's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, said the pier would help address a "gap" in humanitarian assistance for the people of Gaza.
The process for getting supplies to Gaza will begin in Cyprus. Humanitarian assistance will arrive in Cyprus [!] via air or sea. The assistance packages will be screened and then palletized placed on pallets for delivery. These pallets will be loaded onto large commercial and military vessels. Those vessels will sail to a large floating platform anchored several kilometers off the coast of Gaza. "This loading platform acts as a stable workspace to trans[fer] pallets from the larger commercial ships on the smaller U.S. military vessels that can reach closer to shore," Cooper said.
Some Republicans have raised concerns about how the U.S. military can stay out of harm's way, especially after the area near the port on the shore was attacked last month.
Picture duplicating Ashdod, if you're perplexed by HAMAS is not aiming missiles at P&E or CENTCOM "post-war" plans for permanent port authority in Gaza.
archive The Bat Man JLOTS Watch
by Cat on Thu May 16th, 2024 at 10:48:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
tabloid USAToday | U.S. military begins Gaza Strip aid deliveries from floating pier, 17 May
U.S. Central Command said in a statement no U.S. troops went ashore as trucks began using the makeshift dock.
How much aid can the Gaza pier handle?
U.S. officials have said the pier will initially handle about 90 trucks a day, rising to 150 when fully operational. Since March, an average of 171 trucks per day have entered Gaza, according to the U.S.-established Famine Early Warning Systems Network. The U.N. says that prior to Hamas' Oct. 7. attack on Israel about 500 trucks of aid entered Gaza each day. More than 2 million Palestinians in Gaza are in need of humanitarian assistance.
Will Gaza pier put U.S. troops in harm's way?
Some critics have expressed concerns the temporary dock could leave U.S. troops vulnerable to attack.

"I think the pier is a disaster waiting to happen," said Michael DiMino, a former career CIA military analyst and counterterrorism officer who is now a fellow at Defense Priorities, a Washington think tank. "I would just say there are a number of logistical and operational challenges here, and I am very concerned about mission creep, and what starts as a pier becomes U.S. Marines on the beach in Gaza."

by Cat on Fri May 17th, 2024 at 05:52:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Admiral @ 00:4:19: This is a humanitarian effort, and contrary to what we've been seeing out there in the information space, particularly in the region, it is designed solely, only, for the delivery of humanitarian assistance. There's no ther purpose for this than humanitarian assistance. We're obviously gratedul for all the US service members [soldiers] and our teams at USAID and the State Department for their tireless work over the past few weeks to get this going. Through the humanitarian maritime corridor USAID plans to provide initial contributions of more than 170 metric tonnes of  nutrient rich food bars [MREs] to support 11,000 of the most vulnerable children and adults, ready to use theraputic foods [TREs?] to treat to treat severe wasting in children, and nearly 90 metric tons of supplies such as plastic sheeting for shelter, jerry cans to hold clean water, and hygiene kits to support more than 33,000 people. Just today, as you're seeing here, we're able to get more than 300 pallets of some of that material in there. Now, today is just the start. It's the first day. There's still work that has to be done to reach what we call 'initial operating capability', but what we hope to be able to increase the number of pallets that get in over the coming days and keep that sustainable. We'll keep you up-dated, of course. [...] I want to make one more point before I leave this topic. There is a robust security plan for this effort, and we remain vigilant to potential threats to our service members working on the pier and humanitarian aid organizations and workers [eNTiTIes!] helping with the distribution and collection at the marshaling area on the ground. It remains a top priority. We're going to remain laser focused on ensuring the safety of everybody involved in this effort.

Now, if I could just quickly shift to Ukraine....

by Cat on Sat May 18th, 2024 at 05:22:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
usni | U.S. Soldier Critically Injured During Gaza Pier Operation, 2 Other Service Members Hurt, 23 May
The soldier was working on the staging platform two miles off the coast of Gaza where trucks filled with aid packages are driven from cargo ships onto Army watercraft, the defense officials told USNI News. At the time of the injury, the roll-on roll-off cargo ship MV Benevides was attached to the platform.
U.S. forces have dedicated around 1000 personnel and 16 ships to the operation, including the deployment of at least one counter rocket, artillery, and mortar system on the pier itself. While [Vice Adm. Brad] Cooper would not comment on the force protection deployed by U.S. forces, he said the deployment of these systems is "prudent planning."

The Israeli Defense Forces are the main security providers for the operation and have dedicated a brigade of troops and various air and naval assets. Two U.S. Navy destroyers will aid in the protection of the pier, Military.com reported.

by Cat on Sat May 25th, 2024 at 12:54:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
npr | U.S. Army aid vessels become unmoored near floating Gaza pier, classic trrst technique
Four U.S. Army vessels supporting the humanitarian floating pier mission in Gaza became unmoored by rough seas, military officials said.

Two vessels are now anchored on a Gaza beach near the pier, U.S. Central Command said in a statement on Saturday. The other two are beached further north, on the coast of Israel near Ashkelon. Israeli forces are assisting recovery efforts near the pier, and no U.S. personnel will enter Gaza, CENTCOM said. No injuries were reported, and the pier remains fully functional, according to the statement.

by Cat on Sun May 26th, 2024 at 12:52:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
four (4) grounded Army vessels. One (1) refloated ("recovered"). Three (3) waiting recovery by Thursday.

defense.gov | Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh Holds a Press Briefing, 28 May

In addition, due to high sea states and the North African weather system, earlier today, a portion of the Trident Pier separated from the pier that is currently anchored into the coast of Gaza.  As a result, the Trident Pier was damaged and sections of the pier need rebuilding and repairing.

Therefore, over the next 48 hours, the Trident Pier will be removed from its anchored position on the coast and towed back to Ashdod, where U.S. Central Command will conduct repairs. The rebuilding and repairing of the pier will take at least over a week and will -- and following completion, will need to be re-anchored to the coast of Gaza.
Q: Just one pier, and then another topic.
SINGH: Sure.
Q:  The service members that were injured last week, what's the status of all those three?
SINGH: I believe two of them have returned to duty, but you know what?  Let me—let me take that question on the two. And those were minor injuries, but I believe we had read out that they were planning to be returned to duty, so let me just get back to you on that. The third service member that was in critical condition still remains in critical condition.
Q:  On the airstrike this weekend in Rafah...
SINGH:  Yeah.
Q:  ... was it a U.S. bomb that was used in that airstrike, or a U.S.-provided bomb that was used in that airstrike? Have the Israelis been able to assure you that it wasn't?
SINGH: I do not know what type of munition was used in that airstrike. I'd have to refer you to the Israelis to speak to that.
Q: But if it was, shouldn't—I mean, shouldn't the U.S. be doing something to prevent additional airstrikes like this?

tabloid USA | Towed to Israel for repairs: Pentagon's $320 million pier in Gaza trashed by rough sea and storms
"'When it was operational, it was working,' Singh said."
by Cat on Wed May 29th, 2024 at 12:38:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Wed May 1st, 2024 at 10:06:32 PM EST
asia.nikkei  Japan's abandoned homes increase 80% in 20 years, 1 May
There were 3.85 million abandoned homes across Japan as of October 2023, according to a survey published Tuesday by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, an increase of 360,000 from the previous survey conducted in 2018.
The tally also includes a growing number of apartments and condo units. Over 5.02 million, or 16.7%, of such units were vacant as of October, according to the new survey. Of that number, 846,800 were abandoned—an increase of 8.6% from 2018, or roughly 60% from 20 years prior.
To better deal with the situation, the national government amended a law on condominium management in 2022 so that local authorities can issue advice and warnings to owners of improperly managed units.

Still, "only a few cases have been handled" under this law, a land ministry source said. Housing complexes often have residents of diverse ages and family composition. To facilitate better consensus-building, the Japanese government is working to bolster management associations and lower hurdles for renovations.

mainichi.jp | Japan's regional communities face rough road, many risk extinction, 2 May
A report analyzing the population trends of municipalities nationwide estimated that about 40% of all municipalities in Japan, totaling 744 cities, towns and villages, may face difficulty maintaining their communities due to population decline and risk disappearing in the future.
While the population is declining nationwide, there is an accelerating concentration of people in the Tokyo metropolitan area, defined as Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba. This cannot be ignored, not only for its economic and social impact, but also in terms of regional deterioration and disaster prevention....The main population segment leaving rural regions to the Tokyo metropolitan area is young women. Municipalities that are able to halt this trend noticeably place their focus on supporting child care and housing. The government should have placed more emphasis on strategies to improve women's employment and child care environments.
The concept of "related population," in which people living in Tokyo and other areas are connected with different municipalities, without actually moving there, through events and other means, is also gaining attention. It may be worth considering the introduction of a system which supports rural communities by redirecting a portion of resident taxes.
by Cat on Thu May 2nd, 2024 at 08:49:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
onstructionworld.in | Mumbai's Underground Metro Project to Finish by June 2024
Upon completion, the fully underground North-South metro corridor will comprise 27 stations and interchange points linking with Mumbai's suburban railway, Monorail, and existing Metro lines (Metro-1, Metro 2B, and Metro 6). The project is expected to cater to over 1.6 million daily commuters...
rumble.com, The Cost of Subway Systems, A/V (EN)
Host Christy Ai and Professor Dr. Allan Zarembski delve into the essential societal benefits of metro systems in urban mobility, despite the significant operating expenses involved. Which countries have the best and worst, least and most profitable rail systems?
etrorailtoday | Phase 1 of Metor Line 2 will be fully operational by May 2024, 19 Feb
Navigating to Driveless Train Operations
In response to the growing global trend of authonomous trasportation, Managing Director of Mumbai Metro Rail Corp. Ashwini Bhide, discusses the potential for driverless train operations on Metro Line 3. The plan entails implementing unmanned train operations (UTO). However, she highlights two intermediate stages preceding UTO: automatic train protection and automatic train operation (ATO). Currently, the focus is on achieving ATO ceertification.

by Cat on Thu May 2nd, 2024 at 11:06:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
latimes | Despite some progress, state's high-speed rail is $100 billion short and many years from reality, 21 Mar
hsr.ca.gov. Project Sections
Voters first approved a high-speed rail proposal in 2008 that would connect Los Angeles to San Francisco by 2020. That end date has changed considerably over time. In its latest projection, the rail authority goal is for the the 494-mile system, which includes a line from Los Angeles to Anaheim, to serve riders by 2040. But that timeline is not set. The current focus centers on the Central Valley, where officials estimate the 171-mile line from Merced to Bakersfield will be finished between 2030 and 2033.
ChatGPT Sky | California mocked over 'billion-dollar' bridge to nowhere, 5 May
The California High-Speed Rail Authority recently publicised one of the completed sections of construction—finished back in 2018 and reported to cost $1bn on its own. This is a 0.3-mile stretch of bridge, called The Fresno River Viaduct in Madera County, and it has attracted ridicule for going from nowhere to nowhere.
There's economic and social advantages for connecting areas in the Central Valley to "thriving coastal economies because we have a very unequal society in California," Elkind said. But no one knows when that will definitively happen.
Officials estimate it could cost about $35 billion to finish the first line from Bakersfield to Merced and roughly $100 billion more to complete the route from Los Angeles to San Francisco&mdaah;about $100 billion more than what was originally proposed years ago. And the source of most funds is unclear.
nypost | Mayor Adams visits Rome, praises its subway construction, 10 May
...Adams marveled at the rapid progress of Rome's new subway line—which is slated to open next year—and compared it to New York City's long-stalled $7.7 billion Second Avenue extension.
"This is an amazing feat to see this built right by the Coliseum. It's going to allow passengers and visitors and tourists to come take the metro right to the Coliseum," he said in the footage, posted on X Friday morning....
by Cat on Fri May 10th, 2024 at 11:34:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
California high-speed rail project is late, over budget. But there's no $11B bridge | Fact check, 14 May malign Russian influence?
A May 5 Facebook post (direct link, archive link) shows a picture of a viaduct over the Fresno River.

"This stretch of bridge right here in California was just completed and cost get this 11 billion dollars!" the post reads. "Also took just 9 years. Will be used for high-speed rail."

The post was shared more than 2,000 times in nine days.
The system was planned to cover 500 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles for $33 billion and be operational by 2020. But the full build-out is now projected to cost as much as $128 billion, according to the authority. Yet those cost overruns and delays are far less than what is claimed in the post. It is impossible for the Fresno River Viaduct, the 1,600-foot-long structure pictured in the post, to cost $11 billion, based on publicly available information.

Augie Blancas, a spokesperson for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, said the body cannot break out a cost for the viaduct alone because it is part of what the authority called the first "significant" construction contract awarded for the 32-mile central California segment, and that entire package of projects has not been completed yet. However, he noted the authority has approved about $2 billion worth of invoices for that package.

well, alrighty then
by Cat on Wed May 15th, 2024 at 12:57:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Biden's [nearly final,] final EV tax credit rules please automakers, anger China hawks, 3 May *flation reduction actions
...The rules offer some reprieve for automakers on the most severe restrictions on Chinese minerals, acknowledging that fledgling American battery suppliers will need years—or possibly decades—to catch up to their Chinese competitors.

The regulations nonetheless have left only around 20 percent [?] of electric models qualifying for the lucrative incentive. That is unlikely to change with the final rules, as they continue to bar vehicles with a majority of their battery minerals sourced from abroad or relying on suppliers with even loose links to the Chinese government.

DOE | Search for Eligible Vehicles (last update 25.04.24)
Manufacturers*: 9
Models: EV (23), PHEV (7)
MSRP: $55K (3),  $80K (27)
The restrictions initially limited the number of qualifying electric [EV] and plug-in hybrid [PHEV] cars to roughly a dozen of the more than 100 models on the market. The list has since grown to around 22 [?] models as automakers shift their supply chains to the U.S. and allied nations....
treasury.gov | U.S. Department of the Treasury Releases Final Rules to Lower Consumer Costs, Continue U.S. Manufacturing Boom in Batteries and Clean Vehicles, Strengthen Energy Security, 3 May Yellen, Podesta, Zaidi chain mail
Concurrently with today's final rules, the Department of Energy (DOE) is also releasing final interpretive guidance related to the definition of Foreign Entity of Concern for purposes of the [Sec.] 30D clean vehicle credit and the battery manufacturing grant program created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Today's release also includes rules for transferring the [Sec.] 30D clean vehicle credit of up to $7,500 and [Sec.] 25E previously owned clean vehicle credit of up to $4,000 to registered dealers. This mechanism created by the IRA is already extending the reach of the [tax] credits by making the credit available at the point of sale rather than when buyers file their taxes. Researchers have found that consumers overwhelmingly prefer an immediate rebate at point of sale. So far this year, more than 100,000 [rebates] have been transferred at the point of sale, representing more than $700 million in upfront savings for consumers.

* irs.gov has some pages describing HH income ceiling, product content and final assembly requirements, and after-market specs, but these are undated. So I really don't care how the brain trust rationalizes "substantial" transformation of "foreign-origin" processed  minerals and components to add a few more German models. Plus two (2) "value-priced" Nissan Leaf models, unexpectedly.
by Cat on Fri May 3rd, 2024 at 05:37:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
merkur.de | Habecks Heizungsgesetz wird zum Drama: Wärmepumpen werden jetzt verscherbelt - "Macht mich fassungslos", 5 May "value pricing"
...Um Kunden aus der Reserve zu locken und zum Kauf einer Wärmepumpe zu bewegen, senken die ersten jetzt schon ihre Preise. Wie die FAZ berichtet, bietet der Hersteller Daikin mittlerweile einen ,,Energiebonus" in Höhe von 1500 Euro, wer jetzt die fossile Heizung austauscht. Buderus hat in dieser Woche ebenfalls einen ,,Cashback" von 1000 Euro bekannt gegeben, in Kooperation mit Tchibo. Vaillant und Stiebel Eltron versuchen es erstmal mit einer ,,Förder-Garantie": Sollte die staatliche KfW-Förderung nicht wie erhofft klappen, dann übernehmen diesen die Hersteller. Je nach Haushaltseinkommen kann das bis zu 21.000 Euro sein....
merkur.de | In der Bundesrepublik liegt die durchschnittliche Rentenzahlung bei rund 1500 Euro im Monat
archive August 2022 market making, Heat On Over EU Heat Pump Plan, DERAILED transition action plan, CCfDs and EUAs
by Cat on Sun May 5th, 2024 at 11:22:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
rwe | Investment decision made: RWE to build wind farms with capacity of 1.6 GW off German North Sea coast, illustrated
Sven Utermöhlen, CEO RWE Offshore Wind: "Our portfolio already includes six offshore wind farms off Germany's coastlines. The Nordseecluster will add two more. This sends out a good signal for the energy transition in Germany and for RWE. With a total capacity of 1.6 gigawatts, these wind farms will generate around 6.5 terawatt hours of green electricity per year. This will contribute in particular to the decarbonisation of industry in our home market."

The Nordseecluster is being implemented in two phases - Nordseecluster A and B. Nordseecluster A has a total capacity of 660 MW. Manufacturing of some key components has already started. Construction at sea is scheduled to begin next year. By the beginning of 2027, all 44 wind turbines shall be connected to the grid. Nordseecluster B will add a further 900 MW of capacity. The 60 turbines are scheduled to start commercial operation from the beginning of 2029.

by Cat on Mon May 27th, 2024 at 08:53:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
asahi shimbun | Startup grows sea alga to slash greenhouse gas in cattle burps
Sunshiki Co. plans to commercialize the method created by a team of researchers primarily from Kochi University. The researchers found that certain seaweed added to the diets of cattle slashes greenhouse gas emissions in the bovines' belches.
Belches of ruminant animals, including cattle, account for an estimated 5 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions around the world. A red alga species called Asparagopsis taxiformis found around the Japanese archipelago and elsewhere in the Pacific is seen as an effective countermeasure. Research abroad showed that when the alga is mixed into the cattle's feed, their methane emissions were reduced by more than 90 percent.
Demand for fodder with methane-reducing effects is so high that one estimate projects the market scale for such products will reach 300 billion yen ($1.96 billion) in 2030.
asahi shimbun | More cities to sell precious metals extracted from ashes of the dead
Tajimi [Gifu Prefecture] is among a growing number of municipalities implementing similar initiatives, with some generating annual sales revenues exceeding 200 million yen ($1.28 million). However, other municipalities remain hesitant to adopt this approach due to ethical considerations.

Bereaved families typically collect only a small portion of their loved ones' cremated remains. The uncollected ashes may contain gold, silver, palladium, and other precious metals from teeth, artificial joints, and implanted medical devices.

Despite some criticism, Tajimi has decided to proceed with its plan to extract and sell these precious metals from cremated human ashes. The decision was made following a survey conducted in February, which found that 95 percent of the 562 randomly selected citizens were either in favor of or somewhat in favor of the initiative. Tajimi will commission metal refiners to extract precious metals from uncollected ashes. The city will then auction off the extracted metals.

by Cat on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 06:53:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]

LET US HELP YOU HELP US. G7 profit and loan report 2024.
Japan, France, Germany, the United States and other wealthy nations are reaping billions of dollars in economic rewards from a global program meant to help the developing world grapple with the effects of climate change, a Reuters review of U.N. and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development data shows.
archive unfulfilled climate finance obligations
The financial gains happen as part of developed nations' pledge to send $100 billion a year to poorer countries to help them reduce emissions and cope with extreme weather. By channeling money from the program back into their own economies, wealthy countries contradict the widely embraced concept that they should compensate poorer ones for their long-term pollution that fueled climate change, more than a dozen climate finance analysts, activists, and former climate officials and negotiators told Reuters.
archive Loss and Damage Transitional Committee
Try to act surprised.

At least another $11 billion in loans—nearly all from Japan—required recipient nations to hire or purchase materials from companies in the lending countries. And Reuters identified at least $10.6 billion in grants from 24 countries and the European Union that similarly required recipients to hire companies, nonprofits or public agencies from specific nations—usually the donor—to do the work or provide materials.
archive COP28 transition "actionism"
Many of the conditional loans and grants Reuters reviewed were counted toward developed nations' pledge to send $100 billion a year by 2020 to poorer countries disproportionately harmed by climate change. First made in 2009, the commitment was reaffirmed in the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Roughly $353 billion was paid from 2015 through 2020. That sum included $189 billion in direct country-to-country payments, which were the focus of the Reuters analysis.
"a new wave of debt caused by climate finance"
archive 2023 Loss & Damage Deal Book
concessional capital, Debt-for-Climate Swaps, Green Bonds
"It should also be emphasized that the climate finance provisions of the Paris Agreement are not based on 'making amends' for harm caused by historic emissions," the U.S. State Department spokesperson said, when asked whether collecting market-rate interest and financial rewards contradicts the spirit of the climate finance program.
archive CBAM to raise $80B per year by 2040
Echoing years of pleas from developing nations, UNFCCC Executive Moron Simon Stiell has publicly urged wealthy nations to offer so-called concessional loans, with very low interest rates and long repayment periods. This makes them less costly than those sold on the open market. UNFCCC and OECD had no comment for this report. UNFCCC instead referred Reuters to Stiell's past remarks.
archive CCfD fictional CO2 price
by Cat on Thu May 23rd, 2024 at 03:00:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Wed May 1st, 2024 at 10:06:50 PM EST
semafor | China declines to meet with US on nuclear arms control, US official says, 1 May
The US and China held their first meeting on nuclear arms control in nearly five years in November [2023 "Woodside Summit", San Francisco], and while those talks did not lead to substantial breakthroughs, sitting down to discuss their growing nuclear rivalry was seen as a small step forward.

"On the arms-control front, we really want to see China respond to some of our more substantive ideas on risk-reduction, and we're still waiting to see if they will," the White House's top arms control official, Pranay Vaddi, said at an event at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies in January.

aftershock | RAND: Strategies for the US victory over China, 2 May complete cliff notes
The American analytical center RAND Corporation has prepared a report "Military theories of US victory in a potential war with China [21.02.24]." This report outlines five potential "victory theories" for the United States in a war with China over Taiwan and analyzes the risks of escalation associated with it. The authors justify the need for their work by saying that today's choice of the power component that the United States will rely on will affect which "victory theories" will be viable in ten years.
• Complete victory
• Limited victory
• Limited defeat
• Complete defeat
• Total destruction
The obsession of the Americans to impose "rules" that they themselves formulate and according to which for some reason the opponents should play was revealed in the report "Military theories of US victory in a potential war with China" in full.
archive DNI Annual Threat Assessment, Dec 11th 2023, FMPRC system UPDATE
by Cat on Thu May 2nd, 2024 at 09:50:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | US Dept. of Stalking rolls out innerboob services, 6 May
...These are promoting a secure digital ecosystem [sic] globally; upholding "rights-respecting" digital technology approaches with allied nations; building coalitions to counter malicious cyberattacks; and enhancing the cybersecurity resiliency of partner nations....
Olympic Games
Secretary Blinken to Deliver Keynote Address at RSA Conference 2024, 5 May
"The keynote will mark the release of the "International Cyberspace Telecommunication and Digital Policy Strategy," highlighting technology's transformative impact on foreign policy and the U.S. vision towards an innovative, secure, and rights-respecting digital future. Secretary Blinken's remarks will be open to credentialed media and streamed live on the Department homepage and YouTube channel."

state.gov | Bureau of Cyberspace Telecommunication and Digital Policy, ambassador at large
"CDP strives for a world in which every person can access the opportunities that come with digital connectivity to build thriving economies and societies and works to counter challenges to this vision from authoritarian states."

Sales and Marketing
RSA Conference 2024 6-9 May
6 May, 10:50-11:40 PT agenda "highlights"
• "Agents of Chaos: Hacktivism Spreads Fear, Disinformation, and Propaganda"
• "Beginner's Guide to Bypassing Modern Authentication Methods to SSO"
• "Can You Spot a Fake? AI Computer Programming and Cyber Telecommunication Risks in Luxury Retail"

by Cat on Mon May 6th, 2024 at 06:21:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
every-other-week variant estimates, KP.2 and another [SARS-CoV-2-Omicron] strain with the same FLiRT mutations, called KP.1.1, together make up a projected 35.3% of infections this week. This is up from 7.1% a month ago.

"That means that while KP.2 [FLiRT] is proportionally the most predominant variant, it is not causing an increase in infections as transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is low," a CDC spokesperson told CBS News in a statement. The strain also does not have large amounts of worrying changes, unlike some previously highly-mutated variants that have raised alarm in years past.

CDC Nowcast. Epidemic estimates in a range
by Cat on Thu May 16th, 2024 at 02:30:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
who.int | COVID-19 eliminated a decade of progress in global level of life expectancy, 24 May statistics 2024 report
Noncommunicable diseases remain the top killer
COVID-19 rapidly emerged as a leading cause of death, ranking as the third highest cause of mortality globally in 2020 and the second in 2021. Nearly 13 million lives were lost during this period. The latest estimates reveal that except in the African and Western Pacific regions, COVID-19 was among the top five causes of deaths, notably becoming the leading cause of death in the Americas for both years.
Cambodia, China, Laos, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Singapore, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tokelau, Solomon Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, Viet Nam
The WHO report also highlights that noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as ischemic heart disease and stroke, cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, and diabetes were the biggest killers before the pandemic, responsible for 74% of all deaths in 2019. Even during the pandemic, NCDs continued to account for 78% of non-COVID deaths.

Increasing obesity and malnutrition

by Cat on Sat May 25th, 2024 at 02:15:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NY Yella Cake | Countries Fail to Agree on Treaty to Prepare the World for the Next Pandemic, 24 May
"Those of us in public health recognize that another pandemic really could be around the corner," said Loyce Pace, an assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, who oversees the negotiations in her role as the United States liaison to the World Health Organization.
"Donald Trump is in the room," said Lawrence Gostin, director of the W.H.O. Center on Global Health Law, who has helped to draft and negotiate the treaty. "If Trump is elected, he will likely torpedo the negotiations and even withdraw from W.H.O.," Mr. Gostin said.
archive Gostin 2019, Gostin 2020 in Trump's Failed Takeover Bid, global health law 2021, Gostin 2023
Among the biggest bones of contention in the draft treaty is a section called Pathogen Access and Benefits Sharing, under which countries would be required to swiftly share genetic sequences and samples of emerging pathogens. This information is crucial for rapid development of diagnostic tests, vaccines and treatments. Low-income nations, including those in Africa, want to be compensated for the information with quick and equitable access to the developed tests, vaccines and treatments.
whpa.org | WHA77 Constituency Statement (Agenda Item 13.4), 28 May
Of the issues still under negotiation, we are particularly concerned about Pathogen Access and Benefit Sharing.
The pandemic also deepened mistrust between wealthier nations and poorer ones. By the end of 2021, more than 90 percent of people in some high-income countries had received two doses of Covid vaccines, compared with less than 2 percent in low-income nations. The lack of access to vaccines is thought to have caused more than a million deaths in low-income nations.
reuters | Western states push for deal on pandemic response rules at WHO, 28 May
led by the United States, France, and Germany pushed for a deal to bolster pandemic response rules at a major World Health Organization meeting on Tuesday after states failed to finalise a pandemic treaty. [...] However, a parallel deal on updates to existing legally-binding health rules known the International Health Regulations (IHR) that includes a new, tiered alerts system for global health emergencies, is seen as within reach.
state.gov | Release of 2024 U.S. Global Health Security Strategy, 16 Apr
The Department also supports the United States' efforts towards concluding a Pandemic Accord and amended International Health Regulations by the May 2024 deadline.
"My appeal here is let us focus on the IHR so we have this success as this is already providing much better protection for the world," Germany's Health Minister Karl Lauterbach told the annual meeting of the WHO's 194 member states. If we do this, "we would have all been part of an historic opportunity and we would have seized it," he said, urging the pandemic treaty talks to also be finalised within a year. France, Norway, Ireland, and the United States also called on Tuesday for an IHR deal.
abcnews | World Health Assembly hopes to reinforce pandemic preparedness after bold treaty project stalls, 27 May
Issues remain over proposed "transfer of technology" and the creation of a new fund [uh oh] under WHO in 2030  that would [theoretically] help boost pandemic-fighting capacities "particularly in developing countries."
To counter what they saw as COVID-era hoarding, African countries are seeking a new system that would reserve at least 20% of tests, treatments and vaccines for poorer countries among other major reforms in the event of another pandemic. Lawrence Gostin, a professor at Georgetown Law in Washington D.C. involved in the negotiations said the IHR were being "leveraged in order for more gains on the pandemic treaty".
by Cat on Wed May 29th, 2024 at 01:44:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
SURGING antisemitism in the front, BUSINESS in the back.

oversight.house.gov | Hearing Wrap Up: Dr. Fauci's Top Advisor Held Accountable for COVID-19 Federal Records Violations, Undermining NIH Operations

The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic held a hearing titled "A Hearing with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Senior Scientific Advisor, Dr. David Morens." Evidence obtained by the Select Subcommittee prior to the hearing showed that Dr. Morens—a former top advisor to Dr. Anthony Fauci at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)—deliberately obstructed the Select Subcommittee's investigation into the origins of COVID-19 to protect Dr. Fauci, unlawfully deleted federal COVID-19 records, and shared nonpublic information about National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant processes with his "best-friend" EcoHealth Alliance President Dr. Peter Daszak.
Science! Memos! Eco-ethics! Risky "virus" studies! help spark COVID-19 pandemic APLOGOGIES!
by Cat on Wed May 29th, 2024 at 02:37:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Special Competitive Studies Project | Our Mission
Our mission is to make recommendations to strengthen America's long-term competitiveness as artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies are reshaping our national security, economy, and society. We want to ensure that America is positioned and organized to win the techno-economic competition between now and 2030, the critical window for shaping the future.
SCSP | AI Expo 2024, 7-8 May and Second Annual Ash Carter Exchange.
Thank you to our sponsors, media partners, event partners, and speakers
by Cat on Tue May 28th, 2024 at 03:28:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"cloud sovereignty" left the room.
by Cat on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 03:53:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
justice.gov | Charges and Seizures Brought in Fraud Scheme, Aimed at Denying Revenue for Workers Associated with North Korea, Poland, Ukraine, USA, 16 May "digital nomads"
"On the surface, today's allegations of wire fraud, identity theft, and money laundering may read like a typical white collar or economic crime scheme," said Assistant Director Kevin Vorndran of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division. "But what these allegations truly represent is a new high-tech campaign to evade U.S. sanctions, victimize U.S. businesses, and steal U.S. identities. The charges clearly demonstrate how the FBI and its partners will employ every resource at our disposal to bring to justice anyone who helps North Korea evade sanctions."
archive "False persona" and "US persona" and "online persona" in 18 USC 2, 371, 2349, 2028A
by Cat on Fri May 17th, 2024 at 06:07:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
euronews | Council of Europe adopts first binding international AI computer programming treaty - conventions and normzzz
The treaty sets out a legal framework that covers the entire lifecycle of AI computer programming systems and addresses the risks they may pose while promoting responsible innovation.

"With this new treaty, we aim to ensure a responsible use of AI computer programming that respects human rights, the rule of law and democracy," the council's Secretary-General Marija Pejčinović Burić said in a statement.
The European Union has agreed on an AI Act, which is set to be implemented this year, but the Council and EU are different eNTitIEs.

Ibid. organisational setup of the eNTiTy
How is it different from the EU AI Act?
Unlike the EU, non-member states can sign the document.
archive first-world risk-based pioneering definition
Some eleven states that are not council members observers participated in drafting the convention, which included Argentina, Israel, Japan, the United States, and Uruguay. The treaty covers the use of AI computer programming systems in both the public and private sectors with two different modes of complying with its principles and obligations when regulating the private sector.
Ibid. International law qualifies as an act of a State, in particular: the conduct of any State organ, of a person or EnTiTy which is not an organ of the State but which is empowered by the law of that State to exercise elements of governmental authority, an organ placed at the disposal of a State by another State, a person or group of persons that are acting on the instructions of, or under the direction or control of, that State in carrying out the conduct, a person or group of persons that are exercising elements of the governmental authority in the absence or default of the official authorities and in circumstances such as to call for the exercise of those elements of authority, and conduct that the State acknowledges and adopts as its own.
The convention will be open for signature on September 5 in Lithuania. Signatories will have to ensure [without reservations?] accountability and responsibility for "adverse impacts and that AI computer programming systems respect equality, including gender equality, the prohibition of discrimination, and privacy rights," the statement read.
archive Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
by Cat on Fri May 17th, 2024 at 10:13:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
noaa.gov | Strong geomagnetic storm reaches Earth, continues through weekend, 10 May

The First of Several CMEs reached Earth on Friday, May 10 at 12:37 pm EDT. The CME was very strong and SWPC quickly issued a series of geomagnetic storm warnings. SWPC observed G4 conditions at 1:39 pm EDT (G3 at 1:08 pm EDT). This storm is ongoing and SWPC will continue to monitor the situation and provide additional warnings as necessary.
space.com | The Carrington Event: History's greatest solar storm
The flare was a major coronal mass ejection (CME), a burst of magnetized plasma from the sun's upper atmosphere, the corona. In 17.6 hours, the CME traversed over 90 million miles (150 million km) between the sun and Earth and unleashed its force on our planet. According to NASA spaceflight, it usually takes CMEs multiple days to reach Earth.
Three Body Problem: How long until another?
"The sun's activity naturally ebbs and flows in 11-year periods known as the solar cycle."
by Cat on Sat May 18th, 2024 at 11:07:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Wed May 1st, 2024 at 10:07:09 PM EST
Eurovision is here, too.
by Cat on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 11:31:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thousands protest Israel's Eurovision participation
Israeli contestant Eden was forced to change the title and lyrics of her song "Hurricane" before being allowed to compete, however. It had originally been titled, "October Rain," in what seemed to be a reference to the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel that sparked the current war.
by Cat on Fri May 10th, 2024 at 01:23:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
bbc | Who qualified from the second semi-final?
The 10 acts who succeeded in Thursday's public vote were: Latvia, Austria, The Netherlands, Norway, Israel, Greece, Estonia, Switzerland, Georgia, Armenia.

Which means the six countries eliminated were Malta, Albania, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, and San Marino.
According to bookmakers, Golan's song is fifth favourite to win the contest on Saturday night. Topping the odds is Croatian act Baby Lasagna, whose riotous dance anthem "Rim Tim Tagi Dim" qualified from the first semi-final on Tuesday. Switzerland's Nemo, whose operatic pop song "The Code" is the second favourite, was one of the 10 acts who were voted through after Thursday's show. The singer put on one of the night's most impressively athletic performances, dancing on a rotating turntable while they sang about coming to terms with their non-binary identity.

Slava Little Israel!
PBS | Eurovision Song Contest sees boos, cheers and tighter security for Israel's contestant (10.05.24) Another protest march is planned for Saturday, hours before Golan competes in the live Eurovision final. Israel is allowed to compete in Eurovision, although it's not in Europe, because its national broadcaster belongs to the EBU, whose membership extends beyond the continent.
by Cat on Fri May 10th, 2024 at 07:45:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
welt.de | Nemo gewinnt für die Schweiz den ESC - Deutschland wird Zwölfter
"Sas ,,O - Oh - o" aus dem Song ,,The Code" wird Bestand haben, ein eingängiges, dreifaches Kieksen, das für diese Selbstbestimmungshymne zentral ist. Da hat ein junger Mensch seinen Weg gefunden und sich befreit von Konventionen. Und eine starke Show geliefert."
by Cat on Sun May 12th, 2024 at 02:18:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sun May 12th, 2024 at 04:14:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
😂 🤣 desperate huh ...

Security Through Peace, Not War

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun May 12th, 2024 at 04:23:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurovision's popular vote was actually the result of manipulation by the Israeli Foreign Ministry - TOI, JPost, Ynet, YouTube, X
While the mere 52 points that judges awarded Golan would have left her in 12th place, viewers managed to propel the Israeli singer into 5th place by awarding her an astonishing 323 points via televoting. In the end, Golan received the maximum possible 12 points from audiences in Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, and received the second-highest possible 10 points from Albania, Austria, Cyprus, Czechia, Moldova, Slovenia, and Ireland.
by Cat on Sat May 25th, 2024 at 10:38:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My dad was enrolled in the Army to defend the Moerdijkbruggen ... taken prisoner after a sniper killed his best comrade standing next to him outside the bunker.

Nazi propaganda film -- Jump into enemy territory to defend the homeland, unsere Heimat, unser industrielles Herz Ruhrgebiet

5 Years of death, hunger and struggle for survival followed. The ugly German Nazi war machine rolled through Europe on a Blitzkrieg. WWII and Nazi crimes during occupation ruined millions of lives. No more war.

I was witness to the mine fields and bunkers of the Atlantik Wall ... in the end, Germany was destroyed and Eastern Europe and Berlin conquered by the Soviet Red Army. The Soviet Union lost between 27 and 43 million of its citizens. Georgian POWs staged a final assault on German occupiers on the island of Texel. In the late stage of the war conscripts from Belarus were stationed on the Western coastline of Holland ... my dad always praised these men as reasonable ... not like the German fanatic counterparts.

5 Days of Battle for the Netherlands

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri May 10th, 2024 at 07:12:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Assange wins UK court permission to appeal UK extradition to US
"James Lewis, representing the US government, told the court Assange's conduct was 'simply unprotected' by the First Amendment."

one-way ticket to Rwanda story developing ....

by Cat on Mon May 20th, 2024 at 02:42:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sun May 26th, 2024 at 04:06:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Wed May 1st, 2024 at 10:07:27 PM EST
ELECTION 2024 memorabilia

by Cat on Thu May 2nd, 2024 at 02:31:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Tue May 28th, 2024 at 12:08:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Marilyn Mosby asks for no jail time, while prosecutors seek a 20-month sentence, 9 May
"The only thing Marilyn Mosby is guilty of is the desire to provide her family with a better life. The sad reality is, as Black women take their rightful places in positions of power, DARK FORCES seek to tear down both their progress and that of our community," president and CEO Derrick Johnson stated.
< wipes tears >
archive Wed Feb 7th 2024
by Cat on Fri May 10th, 2024 at 09:15:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tired of your state politics? These residents are looking to secession as the solution.
by Cat on Sun May 19th, 2024 at 10:10:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Tue May 21st, 2024 at 11:49:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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