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

May 2021

by Bernard Sun May 2nd, 2021 at 08:02:42 PM EST

Your take on this month's news

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by Bernard on Sun May 2nd, 2021 at 08:03:36 PM EST
by Cat on Tue May 4th, 2021 at 06:23:20 PM EST
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"¡¡EEUU está gobernada por comunistas, Dios mío!!" thread

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu May 6th, 2021 at 11:58:41 PM EST
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Chinese university plan causes ["]security concerns["] in Hungary
"Eastern Opening" plan tied to $2B loan from China's Exim Bank, "piles of garbage" and "spy hub"

EU-China investment deal put on ice over sanctions
sanctions and counter-sanctions ditch deal finally closed Dec 2020

by Cat on Tue May 4th, 2021 at 10:41:53 PM EST
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Not this Exim, the other one
"initially developed at the University of Cambridge in 1995"
by Cat on Wed May 5th, 2021 at 05:37:39 PM EST
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Brexit: UK gives EU ambassador full diplomatic status
The UK government has agreed to give the European Union ambassador in London full diplomatic status.

The Foreign Office had resisted the idea, arguing the EU should not be treated like an independent nation.

But in a joint statement, the UK and EU announced ambassador Joao Vale de Almeida, would get "a status consistent with heads of missions of states".

He will now be immune from detention, prosecution or taxation during his time in London.

These are among the privileges given to diplomats in the states where they are stationed, as sanctioned by the Vienna Convention.

In more than 100 other countries, the EU's ambassadors have the same status as those representing sovereign nations.

Note that, pre-Brexit, the EU ambassador to the UK had "full diplomatic status." Since the UK didn't want at first to grant that status to recently nominated Vale de Almeida, Charles Michel declined to receive the UK ambassador to the EU in Brussels, who has yet to officially present his credentials; should happen soon, now.

by Bernard on Wed May 5th, 2021 at 07:52:47 PM EST
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Let's hope the tabloids don't notice has caved in to the tyrannical Brussels bureaucrats.

I'm sure they showed their approval at his initial refusal.

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

by eurogreen on Thu May 6th, 2021 at 10:22:04 AM EST
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by Cat on Thu May 6th, 2021 at 06:27:25 PM EST
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Germany rejects US push to waive COVID vaccine patents
As if to trivialize intractable barriers to extruding brand generic licenses after patent expiry, "Two further factors could also be key, namely the rather narrow proposal put forth by the Biden administration -- which covers vaccines only -- and the fact that India and South Africa have also said they would be submitting a revised proposal of their original request."
by Cat on Fri May 7th, 2021 at 12:55:51 AM EST
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Five EU countries say focus should be on vaccine production, not patents
BE, SE [LOL!], FR, DK, ES to world: "waivers could take years to negotiate"!
by Cat on Fri May 7th, 2021 at 07:21:10 PM EST
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From your link ...

While Biden's backing adds political impetus to get a deal done, Germany, home to Pfizer's (PFE.N) vaccine partner BioNTech SE , on Thursday rejected the waiver proposal.

I believe Rutte and NL are opposed .. most countries are participating in the Covid-19 vaccine production.

by Oui on Fri May 7th, 2021 at 08:02:28 PM EST
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Yves Smith basically predicted this a few days ago.
In fact, cynically I wonder if the US hasn't already counted noses at the WTO, knows the votes aren't there, and will quietly reassure big drugmakers privately that this was all a gesture that the Administration knew was destined to fail.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri May 7th, 2021 at 08:27:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If that were true, why did EC brow beat "BionTech-Pfizer" for 4 months then turn around to sue AstraZeneca?
by Cat on Fri May 7th, 2021 at 08:56:44 PM EST
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EU agrees potential 1.8 billion-dose purchase of Pfizer jab
The European Commission currently has a portfolio of 2.6 billion doses from half a dozen companies. Pfizer-BioNTech had an initial contract of 600 million doses with the EU.
The size of the contract - 1.8 billion doses for a bloc of 450 million residents - will provide for a lot of options, von der Leyen said.
by Cat on Sat May 8th, 2021 at 06:39:12 PM EST
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by Cat on Fri May 7th, 2021 at 02:34:02 PM EST
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by Cat on Sat May 8th, 2021 at 05:53:15 PM EST
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by Bernard on Sun May 2nd, 2021 at 08:03:53 PM EST
UK, France send patrol boats to Jersey amid fishing rights row
The United Kingdom and France have dispatched patrol boats to the British Channel island of Jersey amid an escalating row over post-Brexit fishing rights.

French trawler crews angry at restrictions placed on their access to UK fishing grounds after the latter's departure from the European Union sailed to Jersey in a flotilla in the early hours of Thursday to register their protest.

Because nothing screams "de-escalation" like sending gunboats to the scene.

Thursday's stand-off came after Jersey's government said the island had issued new fishing permits, which included new conditions for license-holders, in accordance with post-Brexit trade terms between the UK and EU.

Under the trade deal brokered between London and Brussels, Jersey must allow European vessels into its waters.

But the new fishing permits issued by the UK dependency have angered French trawler crews and the French government, who said the new terms had been imposed unilaterally and without discussion, and that they placed unfair restrictions on French fishing vessels.

by Bernard on Thu May 6th, 2021 at 12:31:15 PM EST
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by Oui on Thu May 6th, 2021 at 02:14:59 PM EST
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After making much noise in front of the port of St Hélier, the fishermen departed, saying: "Now, give us our fishing rights or we shall taunt you again".
by Bernard on Thu May 6th, 2021 at 05:30:56 PM EST
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One amusing thread packed with Brits debated Brittany and Normandy rights of return.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri May 7th, 2021 at 01:16:22 AM EST
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Britain Accuses France of Showing `Small Dick Energy' in Petty Navy Standoff Over Fish
Back in 2016, right after Britain voted to leave the European Union, the leader of that campaign, future Prime Minister Boris Johnson, spoke glowingly about how Brexit would begin a new phase in the unwavering friendship between his country and its European allies.

But, fast forward five years, British and French warships are standing off against each other over a incredibly petty dispute about fish, and U.K. government officials are ridiculing French President Emmanuel Macron of exposing his "small dick energy" over the throwback conflict.

My apologies for using such coarse language: I'm quoting an official from Her Majesty's Government.

by Bernard on Sat May 8th, 2021 at 08:04:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scotland performed one in the weeds, Thursday, May 5 with the count being held over two days due to coronavirus restrictions."

Despite Galloway's vociferous campaign to take a seat, I've neither an opinion about the validity of topline results

After 53 declared seat results, the four main parties have:
SNP: 915,789 votes
Conservatives: 428,643 votes
Labour: 409,627 votes
Lib Dems: 156,914 votes
nor interest in divining significance vested in "tactical votes" either to remain or leave the UK.
by Cat on Sat May 8th, 2021 at 02:42:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scottish National Party started out with 63 seats from the 2016 election.  With 56 seats in the bag, including a flipped seat from Labour and two from the Tories, it looks like SNP will have 66 directly elected constituency seats, giving them at least one seat majority in Holyrood.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat May 8th, 2021 at 03:25:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC predicts 63. But anyway the SNP not losing seats is a pretty big deal. If the Brexit + COVID-19 disaster saga continues as expected, being a member of the UK will look worse and worse over time.

Predictions for when they will have an independence referendum?

by asdf on Sat May 8th, 2021 at 04:29:24 PM EST
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by Cat on Sat May 8th, 2021 at 08:47:09 PM EST
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Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat May 8th, 2021 at 11:07:26 PM EST
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by Bernard on Sun May 2nd, 2021 at 08:04:10 PM EST
Reaching 'Herd Immunity' Is Unlikely in the U.S., ["]Experts["] Now Believe
with 4 months of "America First" Fauci vaccination DRIVE and the First 100 days of POTUS in Joe's pants, so to speak:
"People were getting confused and thinking you're never going to get the infections down until you reach this mystical level of herd immunity, whatever that number is," he said.

"That's why we stopped using herd immunity in the classic sense," he added. "I'm saying: Forget that for a second. You vaccinate enough people, the infections are going to go down."

< wipes tears >
by Cat on Mon May 3rd, 2021 at 03:29:04 PM EST
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by Cat on Tue May 4th, 2021 at 03:55:20 PM EST
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by Cat on Tue May 4th, 2021 at 10:22:52 PM EST
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Derek Chauvin, 3 other former Minneapolis police officers indicted on civil rights charges in George Floyd's death
The indictment, unsealed Friday, accuses Chauvin, [Thao, Kueng, and Lane] of [Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law]
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison called the federal prosecution of the four officers "entirely appropriate."

"The federal government has a responsibility to protect the civil rights of every American and to pursue justice to the fullest extent of federal law," Ellison said in a statement.

18 USC 242, min-max penalties

...and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

archived Fri Apr 23rd, 2021, Sat May 2nd, 2009

by Cat on Fri May 7th, 2021 at 07:44:26 PM EST
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by Cat on Thu May 6th, 2021 at 11:31:02 PM EST
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by Cat on Fri May 7th, 2021 at 11:51:33 PM EST
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by Cat on Sat May 8th, 2021 at 09:36:36 PM EST
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"This is a complex issue with a remarkably sophisticated understanding by the public. The tension is as follows: On one hand you have the need to protect the intellectual property rights of the scientists and companies that brought about the fastest vaccine in history, and will likely need to produce new versions of the shot even faster to battle evolving strains," Dritan Nesho, chief researcher and CEO of HarrisX, told Hill.TV.

"On the other hand there's the need to save lives, reaching global heard immunity and providing access to the vaccine as broadly and equitably as as possible," Nesho continued.

by Cat on Sat May 8th, 2021 at 09:50:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hear you, I hear you ... heard immunity ?
by Oui on Sat May 8th, 2021 at 10:09:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gruesome Murder Near German Border - 2019

Ex-Mississippi Deputy Accused in Bizarre Plot to Murder German Farm Owner | The Daily Beast |

Prosecutors believe Schwarz's gruesome murder on Nov. 26, 2019, was likely the consequence of an unpaid debt to a German investor--who allegedly hired a former Mississippi sheriff's deputy and a New Jersey man to snuff him out.

The stunning allegations are detailed in a series of extradition requests that were filed over the last two weeks. The alleged mastermind of the bizarre scheme, 51-year-old Lukas Fecker, is the owner of Innovation Brain, a company that buys businesses "on the verge of bankruptcy" and attempts to turn them around.

Normally the hired killers come from former Yugoslavia, motorclubs or immigrant gangs. This time they were "tourists" from America.

by Oui on Wed May 5th, 2021 at 12:33:15 PM EST
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by Cat on Fri May 7th, 2021 at 04:39:31 PM EST
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In Historic First, Governor Hogan Issues Full Posthumous Pardon For Victims of Racial Lynching
Governor Larry Hogan today issued a full posthumous pardon for 34 victims of racial lynching in Maryland between 1854 and 1933, on the basis that these extrajudicial killings violated fundamental rights to due process and equal protection of law. It is the first time in history that a governor has issued a blanket pardon for the victims of racial lynchings.

"The State of Maryland has long been on the forefront of civil rights, dating back to Justice Thurgood Marshall's legal battle to integrate schools and throughout our national reckoning on race," said Governor Hogan.  ...

by Cat on Sat May 8th, 2021 at 07:00:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard on Sun May 2nd, 2021 at 08:04:28 PM EST
by Cat on Fri May 7th, 2021 at 10:30:01 PM EST
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in spirit, if not flesh
by Cat on Sat May 8th, 2021 at 07:43:51 PM EST
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UK threatens to charge Palestine Action with terrorism
Arnott has been charged with conspiracy to commit criminal damage against property belonging to Israel's Elbit Systems in the UK and its property manager Jones Lang LaSalle.
Palestine Action activist Richard Barnard, who is also facing multiple charges in relation to direct actions against Elbit and LaSalle, told The Electronic Intifada that he recently experienced something similar when questioned by London's Metropolitan Police.
by Cat on Sat May 8th, 2021 at 08:13:41 PM EST
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Of course all related security products "made in Israel" has a back door ...

Australian military to stop using Elbit's battle management system | JPost - May 5, 2021 |

ADM Comment: This flies in the of industry sources who note that in the past 12 months the program has failed two security related milestones and the Commonwealth enforced a stop payment point last year.

Elbit must have known that they were heading towards a decision point that was not entirely in their favour. The suddenness and nature of the cancellation however cannot be answered without calling into question the national security aspect. Back doors into such systems are well known and even expected in some cases. What has happened in this case? We may never know the exact nature of the issue at this unclassified level. The is the nature of Defence.

by Oui on Sat May 8th, 2021 at 08:53:06 PM EST
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by Bernard on Sun May 2nd, 2021 at 08:04:41 PM EST
by Bernard on Sun May 2nd, 2021 at 08:04:55 PM EST
In the French language, steps forward and back for women
Warning that the well-being of France and its future are at stake, the government banned the use in schools of a method increasingly used by some French speakers to make the language more inclusive by feminizing some words.

Specifically, the education minister's decree targets what is arguably the most contested and politicized letter in the French language -- "e." Simply put, "e" is the language's feminine letter, used in feminine nouns and their adjectives and, sometimes, when conjugating verbs.

But proponents of women's rights are also increasingly adding "e" to words that normally wouldn't have included that letter, in a conscious -- and divisive -- effort to make women more visible.

< wipes tears >
by Cat on Sat May 8th, 2021 at 06:43:36 PM EST
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Blanquer, our Minister of Education, is a pathetic joke. Oh, and also an insecure white male (but you knew that).
by Bernard on Sat May 8th, 2021 at 08:07:52 PM EST
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by Bernard on Sun May 2nd, 2021 at 08:05:07 PM EST
G7 has agreed, the SARS-CoV-19 pandemic is fini.
by Cat on Thu May 6th, 2021 at 06:26:19 PM EST
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by Cat on Fri May 7th, 2021 at 10:37:52 PM EST
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by Bernard on Sun May 2nd, 2021 at 08:05:24 PM EST
Belgian farmer accidentally moves French border
A local history enthusiast was walking in the forest when he noticed the stone marking the boundary between the two countries had moved 2.29m (7.5ft).

The Belgian farmer, apparently annoyed by the stone in his tractor's path, had moved it inside French territory.

Instead of causing international uproar, the incident has been met with smiles on both sides of the border.

"I was happy, my town was bigger," the Belgian mayor added with a laugh. "But the mayor of Bousignies-sur-Roc didn't agree."

The farmer will now be asked to move the stone back to its original position.

"We should be able to avoid a new border war," the amused mayor of the neighbouring French village, Aurélie Welonek, told La Voix du Nord.

Local Belgian authorities plan to contact the farmer to ask him to return the stone to its original location.

by Bernard on Wed May 5th, 2021 at 07:47:12 PM EST
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