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


by Bernard Tue Jun 1st, 2021 at 05:03:10 PM EST

Your take on this month's news

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by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Jun 1st, 2021 at 05:03:36 PM EST

According to the proposal, EU citizens would be able to sign up voluntarily for the European Digital Identity Wallets, which would allow them access to a wide range of public services and store official documents.

What is the idea with the digital wallets?

Officials say the coronavirus pandemic has shown the need to have a way of recognizing paperwork across the 27-member bloc. Diplomats last month signed off on a digital green travel certificate, effectively a vaccine passport, as a means of reopening travel across the European Union.

A look at authoritarian push for digital national ID cards , 2018
The current ID card is the second-generation version that features an embedded chip and digital encryption. The card contains personal information including the individual's full name in Chinese characters, gender, ethnicity, date of birth, domicile, identification number, and a colour photo. The ID card is used for purposes including the obtaining of residence permits and driving licenses, opening of bank accounts, checking into hotels, purchasing high-speed railway tickets and boarding domestic flights.
In the future, people will no longer have to carry along their physical ID cards and can instead just use the digital ID on their smartphones. It will also reduce paper-based transactions and make online transactions more convenient by removing the need to scan-and-send physical ID cards.
Is China The Roadmap -- Or Red Flag -- For Digital ID Verification?, 2019
"In an interview with Karen Webster, Trulioo General Manager Zac Cohen took a multi-market look at government and thematic approaches to setting (and settling on) ID infrastructures."
China accelerates national rollout of digital currency, 2021
by Cat on Thu Jun 3rd, 2021 at 05:45:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US MarketWatch | After China causes bitcoin to ["]crater["], threat of new U.S. regulations LOOM over crypto market, ["]experts["] say
The People's Bank of China said in a notice Monday that "virtual currency trading activities disrupt the normal economic and financial orders, breed the risks of illegal cross-border transfer of assets, money laundering and other illegal and criminal activities, and seriously infringe the people's property safety."

The dollar price of bitcoin BTCUSD, -5.37% tumbled roughly 11% early Monday morning before paring those losses slightly. Ether ETHUSD, -4.70% was trading 13% lower Monday afternoon , while dogecoin DOGEUSD, -15.35% was down about 25%.

The moves underscore the influence that large governments, like China and the U.S., hold over the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, experts say.

2017: China bans companies from raising money through ICOs, asks local regulators to inspect 60 major platforms
2021: Banque de France tests digital currency-based securities settlement
Famed author, mathematician and investor Nassim Nicholas Taleb on Sunday published a paper critical of bitcoin enthusiasts, who he said seriously underestimate the threat that government power poses to cryptocurrencies.
Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler [topical OECD min-corp and veteran Tobin tax fan] has repeatedly discussed the need for greater regulation of crypto exchanges to protect investors, while saying that he considers many of the thousands of extant cryptocurrencies trading on exchanges to be unregistered securities that are subject to SEC enforcement actions.
archived Always read the footnotes
by Cat on Tue Jun 22nd, 2021 at 01:16:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
McAfee ["]Antivirus["] Mogul Found Dead in Spanish Jail
a Spanish court issued a preliminary ruling supporting extradition of the 75-year-old tycoon to the United States where he had faced tax-related criminal charges in the Western District of Tennessee [state attys!] since last year.
Madrid-based daily newspaper El Pais reported McAfee's jail cell death on Wednesday as suicide.

Spain's National Court ruled Monday in favor of extraditing McAfee, who had argued earlier this month that his U.S. indictments were politically motivated and that he would spend the rest of his life in prison if he was returned stateside.
Five months after his arrest on the tax charges, McAfee was indicted in the Southern District of New York [US attys!] on seven criminal charges. Prosecutors there alleged a $13 million "scalping" fraud and money-laundering conspiracy in connection with two cryptocurrency [!] investment schemes.

by Cat on Thu Jun 24th, 2021 at 01:35:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IIRC, McAfee a few years ago claimed US authorities wanted him "suicided". Not that it proves anything, but I thought it interesting. If the same things happened to someone wanted by the Russian or Chinese government it would be treated as proof positive of foul play.
by fjallstrom on Fri Jun 25th, 2021 at 12:18:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Fri Jun 25th, 2021 at 12:27:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard (bernard) on Thu Jun 3rd, 2021 at 08:23:29 PM EST
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US suspends tariffs on European nations in digital tax dispute
President Joe Biden's administration is pushing for a 15% global minimum corporate tax that aims to resolve the issue of corporations sheltering profits in low-tax nations. ... However, Ireland, which has become a haven for many multinationals, has expressed opposition to the global minimum tax.
by Cat on Thu Jun 3rd, 2021 at 08:38:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bill Gates and EU pledge $1 billion boost for ["]green["] technology
Support will target hydrogen produced from renewable energy, sustainable aviation fuels, technology to suck CO2 out of the atmosphere, and long-duration energy storage, the Commission said.
Breakthrough Energy
by Cat on Thu Jun 3rd, 2021 at 08:48:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US troops accidentally storm olive oil factory in Bulgaria
(CNN)The US military has issued an apology after soldiers accidentally stormed a factory in Bulgaria that produces processing machinery for olive oil during a training exercise last month.
US soldiers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade had been practicing for days how to seize and secure the Cheshnegirovo decommissioned airfield in Bulgaria, training that included clearing bunkers across the airfield, according to a statement from the US Army Europe and Africa released Tuesday. During an exercise on May 11, the soldiers cleared a building next to the airfield that "they believed was part of the training area, but that was occupied by Bulgarian civilians operating a private business." No weapons were fired, the US military also said.
by Bernard (bernard) on Fri Jun 4th, 2021 at 09:04:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Czechs forward Babiš case to new EU prosecutor's office
He has insisted he transferred Agrofert to two trust funds in February 2017, when he was finance minister, under a Czech anti-corruption law dubbed "Lex Babiš".
"blind trust"
But publicly available documents show he is still Agrofert's beneficial owner.
well, yeah.
by Cat on Fri Jun 4th, 2021 at 09:35:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown  - RSF.org
The "editor-in-chief" of the Russian state-funded media outlets Rossiya Segodnya, RT and Sputnik has publicly congratulated Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on the hijacking of an airliner to Minsk and the arrest of journalist Raman Pratasevich last month. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) deplores her comments, which amount to open support for the crackdown by the Belarusian government on independent media.


Margarita Simonyan expressed her admiration for the Belarusian government and congratulated Lukashenko: "I never thought that I would envy Belarus for anything. But now I'm jealous in a way. Batka (Lukashenko) played it beautifully."

"Such comments amount to welcoming the crackdown on Belarusian journalists, which is shocking coming from someone who often invokes freedom of the press when it comes to defending the interests of the media organisations that she runs," RSF Secretary General Christophe Deloire said. "The Munich Charter of ethics states in article 2 that journalists should `defend freedom of information, comment and criticism' and Margarita Simonyan is doing the opposite, which says a lot about her idea of freedom.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Jun 5th, 2021 at 11:37:23 AM EST
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by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Jun 6th, 2021 at 01:34:28 PM EST
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US Will Insist on 'Real Steps, Concrete Actions' to Mitigate ["]Effects["] of Nord Stream 2, Blinken Says
Blinken said on Tuesday that the US intended to 'compensate' Ukraine for possible losses of natural gas transit revenues, as the pipeline will effectively bypass the country
by Cat on Tue Jun 8th, 2021 at 04:18:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I sure  hope with delivery of F-35s to destroy the Buk missile launchers inside the Donbas.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Jun 8th, 2021 at 06:51:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My understanding of the process is, first Congress sends money to Ukraine's government, then Ukraine's government buys arms from US manufacturers, possibly at discounted wholesale prices.
by Cat on Wed Jun 9th, 2021 at 02:56:16 PM EST
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Russia threatens to cut Ukraine gas over Donbas war
"Do you think we should feed everyone? Do we have such a duty to feed everyone, or what?". He said he would honour existing contracts for Ukraine transit supplies, worth some €2bn a year to Kiev.
channeling Cameron 2015
But speaking of supplies in the long term, he added: "Everything's possible, we're ready for this and we want it [future Ukraine transit], but we need goodwill on the part of our Ukrainian partners".
by Cat on Tue Jun 8th, 2021 at 04:34:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU proposes alternative to IP waiver to expand global vaccine access
The EU has submitted its proposal to the World Trade Organization (WTO), a multilateral trade action plan envisaged to expand the production of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments
It is hoped that producers can be encouraged to expand their production, while ensuring that those countries most in need of vaccines receive them at an affordable price.

The plan maintains that where voluntary cooperation fails, compulsory licencing within the WTO's existing Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) should be used to facilitate the expansion of production and sharing of expertise, rather than IP waiver.
the main problem at this moment is the insufficient manufacturing capacity to rapidly produce the required quantities.

"The objective must be to ensure that any available and adequate manufacturing capacity anywhere in the world is used for the production of the COVID-19 vaccines," Dombrovskis said.

secured supply chain victory lap
by Cat on Sun Jun 6th, 2021 at 01:40:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Inventory control and quality assurance audit
ahead of HISTORIC EU summit
US to Donate 500 Million Covid Shots to Dozens of Nations
The U.S. government is said to be paying not-for-profit prices for the Pfizer doses.

The doses will be shared through the World Health Organization's global Covax initiative and will go to 92 low-income countries and the African Union.

secured by CARES Act
by Cat on Wed Jun 9th, 2021 at 11:31:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is the "slack" in the system?  My impression is vaccine manufacturing plants across the globe had been closed due to low profit margins

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Jun 10th, 2021 at 06:40:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To the contrary: The recurring complaint from experts at the top of the supply and value chains ("downstream") is, raw and intermediate commodity shortages ("upstream"), attributable public health crisis constraints, have disrupted "inflation targets" and "normal" consumption patterns.

On the other hand, First World market cap is booming and producer price inflation is gaining under the radar. Never mind exposure to chain reactions of economic sanction, debt burden, and tariff impositions proceeding from the credit crash of '08.  

There is no slack.

by Cat on Sat Jun 12th, 2021 at 09:28:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US lumber, a leading indicator under the radar, crushing "affordable housing" starts under unaffordable housing inventory.

Any commodity slack trading in EU?

by Cat on Tue Jun 15th, 2021 at 12:33:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The "affordable housing" crisis is mostly about people wanting to live in San Francisco or Boston or DC and not making enough to buy a 2 million dollar shack. But they could live in, say, Wichita, Kansas, where perfectly good houses are $200,000.
by asdf on Tue Jun 15th, 2021 at 05:00:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's true that I was reminded of a very low-info, tenants rights tweeter out of the Bay area who earlier in the year RAILED against YIMBY obstruction when lumber were "so cheap." ha. ha. ha.

It's also true that "affordable housing" inventory (excluding the favela and US red state options) is smoldering in the craters Blackrock left in post-panic '08 'burbs.

by Cat on Tue Jun 15th, 2021 at 05:51:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The 2020 scramble to lock-in $/dose in the press certainly left the impression with casual "Warp Speed" observers that the only barrier to manufacture was EUA by gov't experts of the Atlantic Charter persuasion. But who's been keeping track of 2020 forward contracts (besides Ursula vdL and possibly WHO.int fund-raisers) and actual Q delivered? Oddly, this info appears to be a closely guarded innerboob secret, wrapped in "arms jabbed". But ifpma.org data series a/o 3 Mar 2021, broadcast by Statista and MSN syndicates.

corresponds proportionately to FDA reported shares of "Percentage of Finished Dosage Form Manufacturing Facilities for All Drugs by Country or Region, August 2019", notwithstanding inscrutable Chinese infrastructure, slave labor, and cover-ups.
by Cat on Sun Jun 13th, 2021 at 05:23:56 PM EST
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IFPMA | Biopharmaceutical industry welcomes COVID-19 vaccine-sharing pledges but warn challenges remain to urgently address vaccine inequity, 11 June 2021
To date, 2 billion doses have been pledged in Q1 2021 by innovative vaccine manufacturers and biotech companies, a further 3,5 billion doses were pledged at cost or discounted to LMICs to COVAX or other established mechanisms at the G20 (May 2021). As manufacturing output picks up momentum, industry is confident that it will make the estimated 10 billion plus dose target by the end of 2021; with over 2,2 billion doses already produced by the end of May. But reaching the World Health Organization's targets of 10% of the world's population vaccinated by September and 30% by the end of the year depends swift translation of the pledges into action that allows a planned efficient and sustained roll out. According to UNICEF, G7 countries could donate 20% of available vaccines to COVAX now, without any significant delay in current plans to vaccinate their adult population.
by Cat on Sun Jun 13th, 2021 at 06:26:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Help with license fees is on the way: 1B Covid vaccine ["]donation["]
Meanwhile, the G7 leaders were trying to resolve differences over a proposal to reallocate $100 billion (€82 billion) from the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) war chest to help countries struggling to cope with the Covid-19 crisis.
The IMF's members agreed in April to a $650 billion (€537 billion) increase in IMF's special drawing rights and the G7 countries are considering whether to reallocate $100 billion of their rights to help poor countries ["]fight the Covid pandemic["].

Special drawing rights are the IMF's reserve asset, and are exchangeable for dollars, euros, sterling, yen and Chinese yuan or renminbi. Member states can loan or donate their special drawing rights reserves to other countries for their use.

"compulsory licencing within the WTO's existing Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) should be used to facilitate the expansion of production and sharing of expertise"
by Cat on Sun Jun 13th, 2021 at 06:42:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jun 6th, 2021 at 05:56:30 PM EST
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Commission threatens to sue Germany over EU law supremacy dispute  - Politico.eu
The European Commission on Wednesday launched legal proceedings against Germany over a controversial ruling at the country's constitutional court, arguing that "the integrity" of EU law was at stake.

The Commission announced it had decided to send a letter of formal notice -- the first step of an infringement procedure, which can morph into a high-level court case and potentially lead to financial penalties for Germany -- "for violation of fundamental principles of EU law."

The decision represents a major escalation in a row over the supremacy of EU law and pits European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, a former German defense minister, against her onetime boss, German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The underlying dispute broke out last year when the German constitutional court ruled that the European Central Bank's 2015 bond-buying program would be illegal under German law unless the central bank could prove the purchases were justified.

Controversially, the Karlsruhe-based court also defied a previous decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union, saying that the EU judges in Luxembourg had acted "ultra vires," or beyond their competence. This raised concerns that the German ruling could encourage other countries like Poland or Hungary, which are locked in a rule-of-law battle with Brussels, to also question the authority of the top EU court and argue that national law should stand above EU law.

Frank's diaries on the subject:
Karlsruhe and German exceptionalism - 20 May 2021
The Primacy of EU law - 25 May 2021
Countering Karlsruhe - 28 May 2021

by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Jun 9th, 2021 at 06:36:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Commission declares war on German arrogance - Politico.eu
At its core, the Commission's threat is about putting Germany in its place. The fact that the EU executive is currently led by a German -- Ursula von der Leyen -- makes the decision all the more notable. But if anyone in Brussels understands the culture of German jurisprudence and how intractable it can be, it's von der Leyen, a trained doctor and longtime minister in Angela Merkel's Cabinet, where she spent years surrounded by lawyers.

The only institution Germans trust more than their beloved Bundesbank is the Karlsruhe court. That trust filters down through the entire legal system, which Germans generally regard as second to none. But the confidence in the system, critics say, also filters up -- into the heads of the lawyers and judges who run it.

If Germans have a reputation abroad for lecturing others, within Germany that stereotype is often applied to members of the bar, charitably referred to as Besserwisser (know-it-alls), less charitably as Klugscheisser (shitters of wisdom). That said, the lawyers often are right, which is why court decisions are accepted as sacrosanct.

Knowing that culture is necessary to understanding both the ease with which Karlsruhe made its bond-buying decision and why the court's justices were so surprised by the negative reaction to it across Europe.

It also helps explain why getting Karlsruhe under control won't be easy.

by Bernard (bernard) on Thu Jun 10th, 2021 at 06:34:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Myanmar: EU's third round of sanctions raises eyebrows
On the one hand, she added, EU sanctions have "symbolic effects" in supporting international condemnation of the junta*'s actions, and may also pressure other governments to follow suit. "Therefore, they are more effective than they seem," [associate professor of international business [?!] at Curtin University, Perth, Htwe Htwe Thein] said.

Yet many other nations haven't followed the EU's example. Singapore, the largest investor in Myanmar, has opposed sanctions, as have other major investors Japan and China.

Who is in charge of mediation?

Confusing matters further, the EU is ramping up its sanctions against Myanmar's junta*, but at the same time, is trusting the ASEAN bloc to mediate a solution that may end up conferring legitimacy on the same people that Brussels has targeted.

Trial of Myanmar's [State Counsellor] Aung San Suu Kyi to begin next Monday: lawyer

* junto/a (ES). The deeper that I've delved into eurocentric historiography, the more perplexed I've become by usages (gender preference) of and connotations applied to this borrowed word by *-Eng language speakers. The translations of a pretty innocuous common noun, absent context, conveys a kind of psychotic Hapsburg anxiety.

by Cat on Thu Jun 10th, 2021 at 04:30:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Suu Kyi tells lawyers trial testimony against her is wrong
  • illegally importing walkie-talkies for her bodyguards' use
  • unlicensed use of the radios
  • spreading information that could cause public alarm
  • violating COVID-19 pandemic restrictions during the 2020 election campaign
  • violating a state secrets act, "a holdover from British colonial law"
  • accepting bribes
On Friday, a U.N. General Assembly resolution with broad support called on the ruling junta to restore the country's democratic transition, condemned its "excessive and lethal violence" since the takeover and called on all countries "to prevent the flow of arms into Myanmar."
by Cat on Mon Jun 21st, 2021 at 04:21:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unlicensed use of a walkie-talkie seems like a pretty trivial offense...
by asdf on Tue Jun 22nd, 2021 at 04:15:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
J&J a/k/a Baltimore batch /Janssen a/k/a Leiden vaccine fired sale

EU version: EU rejects some Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccines over contamination

The EMA said the vaccines on the continent that came from the plant, which were made at a similar time, should not be used as a precaution. It was not immediately clear how many vaccine doses that were in Europe could be affected. In a statement, the EMA stated, "authorities in the EU are doing everything possible to safeguard supplies and mitigate the effects of any delay in the delivery of this vaccine."

As of June [...] Due to the contamination, the EU said it would not expect Johnson & Johnson to deliver the 55 million vaccine doses it had committed to shipping to the bloc by the end of June.

US version: Some J&J vaccine doses can be used, but many must be tossed
U.S. regulators are allowing the release of about 10 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine from a troubled Baltimore factory [...] Roughly 100 million doses made from bulk vaccine produced at Emergent's factory, including those just approved for use, had been set aside for additional review by FDA staff after factory employees accidentally contaminated an earlier batch. [...] The productions problems have forced J&J to import millions of doses from its factory in the Netherlands to the U.S. [!] and to miss supply commitments.
by Cat on Sat Jun 12th, 2021 at 11:36:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sun Jun 13th, 2021 at 03:53:24 PM EST
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(Photo: nato.int)
"They [the Chinese] already have the ... second biggest defence budget, and already the biggest navy, and they are investing heavily in new modern capabilities, including by investing in new disruptive technologies such as autonomous systems, facial recognition and artificial intelligence, and putting them into different weapon systems," he said.

"They are really in the process of changing the nature of warfare," Stoltenberg said.

He rejected the idea that Nato, whose core task was to defend the North-Atlantic region, was overstepping its treaty boundaries.

by Cat on Tue Jun 15th, 2021 at 02:22:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gender confusion at the White House:

Several Scandinavian and Baltic countries have female Prime Ministers.

by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Jun 14th, 2021 at 08:48:43 PM EST
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by EnergySaver on Sat Jun 19th, 2021 at 12:23:02 PM EST
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Coronavirus pandemic worsened corruption in EU: survey
In its annual Global Corruption Barometer report for the EU, the anti-graft watchdog called health care a "hot spot for corruption," adding that graft is of "particular concern during the current COVID-19 pandemic, when citizens urgently need medical support and vaccinations."

Transparency International, headquartered in the German capital of Berlin, surveyed more than 40,000 people in the EU's 27 member states between October and December 2020.

Hungary, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria prominently featured
by Cat on Tue Jun 15th, 2021 at 05:57:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Polish government email leaks continue
The Russian service Telegram has published further email leaks from the head of the prime minister's office Michał Dworczyk ... Meanwhile, investigations by Onet.pl and Gazeta Wyborcza suggest that during a secret parliamentary meeting on hacking attacks on [private] email accounts of members of the Polish government, the Secretary of State for Digitalisation Janusz Cieszyński said hackers had gained access to as many as 4,500 different email accounts, from which they stole around 70,000 emails, including those of many members of government.
Magistrate Calls Poland 'Pathological' Over Rule of Law Breakdown
European Court of Justice Advocate General Michal Bobek's harsh characterization of the state of affairs in Poland came at the end of a legal opinion he wrote related to one facet of a multi-sided legal and political fight between Poland's far-right government and Roman Giertych, a prominent Polish lawyer who represents opposition politicians, including Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister and recent president of the European Council.
by Cat on Thu Jun 17th, 2021 at 07:12:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Schmiegelsplainin The Telegram Billionaire and His Dark Empire in Dubai
The Federal Office of Justice, which is part of the Justice Ministry, has also opened proceedings to fine Telegram for failing to designate a contact person for the authorities and for not offering a criminal complaint procedure for criminal content as required under German law. The company could face fines as high as 55 million euros. The Federal Office of Justice sent two letters from Bonn to Dubai ordering hearings on the matter.
by Cat on Sat Jun 19th, 2021 at 07:03:44 PM EST
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Politicosplainin Polish diplomat splainin Polish politicians hit by 'large-scale' cyberattack, Russia blamed : pl.gov statement (PL) demands "EU countries in the Council of the EU to hold a ministerial debate on how to respond to the attacks"
by Cat on Sat Jun 19th, 2021 at 08:46:52 PM EST
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Behind Repubblica's paywall, but the headline already gives you an idea as to how low the Russians will sink.
Bergamo: virus, spie e vaccini

Un'operazione di intelligence. Non per spiare le basi Nato ma per ottenere tutti i segreti sul Covid e sul modo di contrastarlo. Ecco come la missione "Dalla Russia con Amore" ha permesso al Cremlino di difendersi dal virus e realizzare di corsa Sputnik-V. Ingannando il governo italiano.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Jun 18th, 2021 at 12:06:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AstraZeneca and EU both claim win as court rules on vaccine supply row
A Brussels court rejected an EU request for at least 120 million vaccine doses by the end of this month - something the company has claimed as a win. Instead, the drug maker said the judge ruled it should deliver only 80.2 million doses by 27 September.
AstraZeneca said ... the court backed its assertion that the European Commission "has no exclusivity or right of priority over all other contracting parties."

However, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the ruling supported the EU's view that AstraZeneca had failed to meet its commitments.

by Cat on Fri Jun 18th, 2021 at 03:24:21 PM EST
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Armenia to drop 'cognac' use for its products by 2043 -- Acting Deputy PM
The requirement to drop the `cognac' name in the [The Enhanced Partnership Agreement] is dictated by the fact that the term is a protected geographic name. The EU will allocate financial aid of 3 mln euros under the Agreement.
by Cat on Sat Jun 19th, 2021 at 05:19:58 PM EST
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Germany: Verdi calls on Amazon staff to strike for three days
The action will take place at Amazon centers in Werne, Leipzig, Rheinberg, Bad Hersfeld, Koblenz and Graben. The strike will begin on the night of Monday, June 21, and run through and all of Wednesday, June 23.
by Cat on Mon Jun 21st, 2021 at 12:09:34 PM EST
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Pope Francis has put French statesman Robert Schuman, one of the founders of modern Europe, on the path to sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church.

The Vatican said the Pope approved a decree recognising Schuman's "heroic virtues", an early stage of the long process that can lead to canonisation.

One miracle would have to be attributed to Schuman for him to be beatified and then another for him to become a saint.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Jun 21st, 2021 at 12:45:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Jun 21st, 2021 at 05:07:16 PM EST
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The vote was for?
by EnergySaver on Tue Jun 22nd, 2021 at 05:27:16 AM EST
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The vote was a straight up vote of confidence. If a majority of parliament rejects the PM, the government falls. Sweden is right now in cartaker government, led by the same PM. The PM has until monday to either call a new election (which would mean a special election this fall, and a regular election next fall) or the speaker will get three attempts at presenting an acceptable PM.

The issue at hand was de-regulation of rents in newly constructed appartment buildings. Sweden has since january 2019 been ruled by a Social Democratic - Green cabinet with an agreement with the two liberal parties - Liberals and Center - and passive acceptance of the Left party, with whom the liberal parties refuse to deal with on the national level. The neoliberal wing of the Center party really wants de-regulation of rents, so getting it into the agreement was a win for them. The Left party has been clear they would do their outmost to defeat de-regulation of rents. The national tenants association has been campainging against de-regulation of rents.

So last week things came to a head as the Left declared an ultimatum whereby the government had to stop the process leading to de-regulation of rents in newly constructed appartment buildings or they would vote with the two conservative parties and the far right in toppling the government. Skipping ahead, that happened Monday. Wednesday, the Center declared they will give up on de-regulation of rents as there is no parliament majority for it (this is a fake-out as the conservatives are not against de-regulation of rents, they just seized the opportunity to topple the cabinet), of course the Center party expects political compensations.

However, when the January agreement was enacted in 2019 both liberal parties agreed that the far-right had to be kept from power and thus they couldn't form a right-wing coalition government with the conservative parties as it would be dependent on the far right. This is still true for the Center party, which is doing well in the polls, while the Liberals that is polling around 2,5% has essentially thrown their liberal ideals out if it relates to migrants and decided that they now support a right wing government, even if dependent on the far right.

Center, Green, Social Democrats and the Left party would still have a majority of one. But last piece of news I picked up the Center party wants the Liberals to re-join the agreement if they are to take part. And there we are.

Now it is midsummer weekend, which is the start of summer. Today is work free for most, people are going to the country side, and those for whom vacation doesn't start next weak are still getting into the summer mode. I don't know how that will affect things, but I don't expect anything to happen until Monday.

by fjallstrom on Fri Jun 25th, 2021 at 12:48:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I realise this comment is of diary-lenght, so here you go.
by fjallstrom on Fri Jun 25th, 2021 at 12:55:51 PM EST
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NY Times
Warren Buffett, the chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, said on Wednesday that he had resigned as a trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, weeks after the couple announced their divorce
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Jun 23rd, 2021 at 01:37:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wembley Match: Nazi Lyrics on Dutch TV

"Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, über alles in der Welt"

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Jun 29th, 2021 at 08:31:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NGO analytics: Facebook approved ads inciting violence in N Ireland
on category error (*-advertising), free press, antitrust "surveillance," and broadcast "media"--in no particular, ie. systematic, order
by Cat on Thu Jul 1st, 2021 at 03:10:59 PM EST
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by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Jun 1st, 2021 at 05:03:54 PM EST
Travellers on UK border controls: `I've noticed a change of attitude' - Guardian
Detained, fingerprinted, treated with hostility and suspicion: are EU citizens right to be concerned about entry to the UK? Many have written to us to share their views and experiences of the border.

Robert, Briton returning from the Netherlands

"I recently returned from a short business trip to France and the Netherlands. What was really interesting to me was the fact that the French tried to help and were sympathetic, whereas the UK Border Force were diabolical and absolutely awful to deal with. I was in the military and fought overseas and I have been a teacher, and I'm used to dealing with aggressive and uncooperative people. The chap at the Border Force was quite possibly one of the most unpleasant people I have met. He was unsympathetic and overtly hostile. I was embarrassed and ashamed to think this was the first view that anybody traveling to the UK may have of our country."

by Bernard (bernard) on Thu Jun 3rd, 2021 at 07:56:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A couple currently visiting England from the US told me that they are not going to go on the Northern Ireland part of their tour because of concern that they might get trapped there, like the tourists in Portugal.
by asdf on Fri Jun 4th, 2021 at 11:21:40 PM EST
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by Cat on Sun Jun 6th, 2021 at 02:56:31 PM EST
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by generic on Tue Jun 8th, 2021 at 09:10:32 AM EST
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How about I take a cricket bat and apply some "mild cranial adjustments?"

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Jun 10th, 2021 at 06:37:08 PM EST
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by Bernard (bernard) on Thu Jun 3rd, 2021 at 08:16:25 PM EST
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"Any deal could pave the way for similar agreements with countries like Iceland."
< wipes tears >
by Cat on Fri Jun 4th, 2021 at 07:35:48 PM EST
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Even better than Iceland: Liechtenstein, bitches!

by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Jun 5th, 2021 at 05:54:36 PM EST
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No mention of what it does for the banks?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Jun 5th, 2021 at 06:08:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Warning: If you're going to one of these concerts in Balzers, eat before you leave Switzerland - there are only 3 restaurants there, and they will all be booked solid if there's a concert going on (spoken from experience)
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Jun 5th, 2021 at 08:55:13 PM EST
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UK is not our competitor ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Jun 7th, 2021 at 02:30:54 PM EST
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Apparently immigration is ok if it is controlled by people you voted for, like BoJo, and if it is for starvation-wage jobs serving fois gras to the rich folks.

Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin, one of the greatest advocates for Brexit in the past decade, said he supported the idea.

He told i: "Anecdotal feedback from calls on pubs since reopening is there have been lots of people applying for jobs.

"Most hospitality companies would probably support some sort of preferential visa system for EU workers, justified by `proximity'.

"As I have said for many years, the UK has a low birth rate. I think a reasonably liberal immigration system, controlled by those we have elected (as distinct from the EU system), would be a plus for the economy and the country."

Jeez, make up your mind!

by asdf on Mon Jun 7th, 2021 at 05:47:13 PM EST
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Legal foie gras will soon be a memory only in the UK.

This would not have been possible without Brexit. Because free trade, and stuff.

A conservative government is doing this.

by Number 6 on Wed Jun 9th, 2021 at 08:40:04 AM EST
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UK Hypes China 'Threat' While Selling Country Billions in "civilian goods with a military purpose"
The U.K. government has authorized the sale of £2.6-billion worth of military and civilian equipment with potential military use to China in the past three years, government figures show.
by Cat on Sat Jun 12th, 2021 at 11:53:49 PM EST
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by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Jun 13th, 2021 at 02:12:03 PM EST
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British scientists develop ceiling-mounted 'Covid alarm' that detects infections
60 easy monthly payments. Complementary bag o' AstraZeneca monoclonal inhalers if you order by 30 June. Operators standing by.
by Cat on Sun Jun 13th, 2021 at 04:33:49 PM EST
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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jun 18th, 2021 at 07:17:33 PM EST
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Human Skulls Reveal New Clues About Early Anglo-Saxon Ancestry
As it turns out, early Medieval Britain following the influx was much like modern-day Britain in that it was full of people from a diverse range of backgrounds, eventually united by a common language, culture and values, according to the authors of a study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS One.
"England is a country with an unusually high level of diversity in relation to ancestry, as anybody watching the current Euros soccer competition will readily appreciate. But of course, the vast majority of people living in the country speak the same language and share a large number of cultural values and practices."
by Cat on Thu Jun 24th, 2021 at 01:49:04 AM EST
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To determine the origins of the Germanic migrants, researchers employed a 3D analysis technique known as photogrammetry on the cranial base of 236 skulls dug up from archeological sites across Britain and Europe. The thinking goes that a person's skull is more similar to their brother's than to their cousin's, and more similar to their cousin's than to an unrelated stranger. In that way, researchers were able to piece together relationships between settlers and locals over time, and for far less money than ["]traditional["] DNA analysis.
by Cat on Thu Jun 24th, 2021 at 01:50:51 AM EST
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Oh for ...............

Craniometry is right up there with Phrenology.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Jun 24th, 2021 at 04:30:47 PM EST
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The Swedish institute for racial biology did a lot of measurements of skulls in the 20ies and 30ies. "Long skulls" were considered more Aryan, "Short skulls" more Finnish or Sami. That research hasn't aged well.
by fjallstrom on Fri Jun 25th, 2021 at 01:09:58 PM EST
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And I'm going to take a wild guess and say the "Aryan" skulls proved the former owners were smarter, better looking, had blue eyes and blond hair, and were in every conceivably way superior to the short skulls.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Jun 25th, 2021 at 10:35:18 PM EST
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Indeed, but they measured living people. Got to take stock of the population stock.

Latest equipment, very scientific.

by fjallstrom on Sat Jun 26th, 2021 at 02:22:58 PM EST
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Craniometry was also very much in vogue in France from the second half of the 19th century, with the racist "pseudo-science" from Gobineau that provided air cover to the colonial conquests in Africa and SE Asia.
by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Jun 26th, 2021 at 02:42:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Modern day technologies should prevent stranded sailors from resorting to cannibalism, a government minister hopes.

Charlotte, Baroness Vere of Norbiton, a Conservative frontbencher in the House of Lords and minister at the Department for Transport, gave the view after being pressed on the matter while discussing human rights at sea.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Jun 24th, 2021 at 11:28:58 AM EST
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"there are no laws against cannibalism per se," sez most ignorant, litigious nation on planet
by Cat on Fri Jun 25th, 2021 at 03:08:20 PM EST
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EU countries in general are trying to help their British residents to keep living in their adopted country.
by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Jun 26th, 2021 at 12:25:37 PM EST
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by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Jun 26th, 2021 at 06:15:55 PM EST
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George Eustice.

English breakfast with British Bangers ...

What sausage suggestion for Ulster Fry?

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jun 26th, 2021 at 08:19:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Jun 1st, 2021 at 05:04:31 PM EST
California AB-3121

Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans
Assembly Bill 3121 was enacted on September 30, 2020 and the commission of nine (9) members assembled convened its first public hearing, moderated by CA-DOJ staff, 1 June, 2021. I watched approx. 3 hrs and will share a recording if it becomes available. The proceedings largely concerned statutory limitations and procedural election of officers (ch MOORE, vice-ch AMOS) and adoption of a schedule of public hearings and final reports, Pt 1 2022 and Pt 2 2023, proposed by CA-DOJ. The enormity of the discovery process ahead tempered the assumptions of a few members, accustomed as they are to academic or moral polemic, and properly situated the exemplary, dual purpose of their charge and cause of action in state, federal, and international jurisdictions. For at end of business, a preponderance of evidence must convince the CA Assembly to convict the state of its crimes, past and present, or there will be no reparations for descendants of US slaves.

the act
the agenda, ppt slide deck

by Cat on Thu Jun 3rd, 2021 at 02:54:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Facing Lawsuit After Questioning CRT in Curriculum of Elementary School
Proponents of critical race theory (CRT) suggest that white supremacy and institutional racism remains prevalent through American law. Critics, however, suggest that the theory relies more on storytelling than on evidence and reason.
"I was also told that they refrain from using gendered terminology in general terms of anti-racism. I was told that kids in kindergarten are asked what could have been done differently at Thanksgiving, and this struck me as a way to shame children for their American heritage," Solas suggested.
"a big PR problem"
by Cat on Thu Jun 3rd, 2021 at 04:02:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Federal Judge Halts Debt Relief Program for Farmers of Color [sic]
A decision from a federal judge late Thursday put the brakes on a government program offering loan forgiveness only to farmers of color [sic], which a lawsuit says is unconstitutionally discriminatory against white farmers.
Plaintiffs  are  twelve  white  farmers  and  ranchers  from  nine  different  states.    Plaintiffs moved for a temporary restraining order seeking to enjoin the purportedly unconstitutional race-based program before all of the money is distributed.
Defendants assert that the government has a compelling interest in remedying its own past and present discrimination and in assuring that public dollars drawn from the tax contributions of all  citizens  do  not  serve  to  finance  the  evil  of  private [?!] prejudice.
But  if  the  government  cannot  show that it actively or passively participated in this past discrimination, race-based remedial measures violate equal protection principles.
"The obvious response to a government agency that claims it continues to discriminate against farmers because of their race or national origin is to direct it to stop: it is not to direct it to intentionally discriminate against others on the basis of their race or national origin," Griesbach wrote.
5th + 14th + nolo contendre, because Victimless Reparations®
Vilsack offers insight on $5B in Black farmer aid, Mar 2021
"systemic [sic] causes and barriers that perpetuate discriminatory practice"
by Cat on Sat Jun 12th, 2021 at 02:39:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Former child slaves can't sue U.S. chocolate companies over child labor in West Africa, HA!
Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the court, said that the plaintiffs could not sue under the Alien Tort Act because the actions at issue took place in Ivory Coast, not in the United States.
I'd been dragging that 1789 statute (safe conduct) around twitter for over a year to publicize the first in a series of crimes against "foreign ...Citizens or Subjects" cognizable in contemporaneous international law and the depraved indifference of US governments to the capture, transport, and enslavement of 586,986 Africans (a/o 1790) by US persons for 200 years, ie. until Filartiga v. Pena-Iral (1980). But a lot of people can't wrap their "trauma" around the fact, GOD don't operate a teller window exchanging sins, stains, and accidents for USD.
Although several of the justices were skeptical about the specific allegations in the case, they also questioned the idea that U.S. corporations couldn't be sued by foreigners under the statute.
by Cat on Thu Jun 17th, 2021 at 08:59:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Courthousenews adds a wooden nickel.
Supreme Court Rejects Human Rights Case Against Nestle
During oral arguments at the Supreme Court in December, Nestle's attorney Neal Katyal emphasized that the focus of the ATS, passed in 1789, was on the injury itself. He successfully argued that liability [does not] apply to Nestle because the injuries occurred halfway around the world.

Under the ATS, foreign plaintiffs can bring complaints in U.S. courts if their central grievance meets the high bar of violating international treaties or laws. But when suing a corporation, the waters quickly become murky because corporate liability is a subject that is ["]generally ill-defined["].

mmmm, No.

Y'all know, no stature of limitation applies to human rights crimes--such as genocide, apartheid--and original jurisdiction of the Alien Tort Act stipulating US district court adjudication--removed in part mid-19th century from US Admiralty? 10 USC 101 - 18506.

by Cat on Fri Jun 18th, 2021 at 04:45:46 PM EST
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Y'all remember Neal Katyal's 15 minutes of fame, dontcha. Wutta mensch.
by Cat on Fri Jun 18th, 2021 at 04:51:37 PM EST
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corporate crime reporter adds a bitcoin Terry Collingsworth on the Case Against the Chocolate Companies, proceeding from a well-worn "predator" scenario.
COLLINGSWORTH: There are men in their 20s called locateurs. They travel to Mali and Burkina Faso and they go to public places like bus stations where there are a lot of young boys who are looking for odd jobs. And they tell them they have a great job for them harvesting cocoa in Cote d'Ivoire. And they promise them a payment of $100 when the harvest is over.
And then when they get to the plantation they are told the truth - here you are in a different country in the middle of nowhere with a different language. You have no money at all. Your choices are work or starve.
Katyal v. Blackstone, Vattel in Journals of the Continental Congress
We used the Alien Tort Statute which prohibits violations of the laws of nations. And that includes forced labor and child slavery. We sued them from profiting from child slavery. The case has a trajectory that is unusually slow.
The argument was extremely interesting. Nestle and Cargill both hired Neal Katyal. Katyal was Obama's Solicitor General. He is regarded as a liberal progressive lawyer. I guess he got paid a high enough price so that he agreed to argue the case.

This was a phone argument. And their argument was that corporations are immune under international law for liability for child slavery. Only individual humans can face liability under international law. [FALSE]

CCR: What was that argument based on?

COLLINGSWORTH: We think it's just made up. We don't see any legal precedent.

cf. US jurisdiction, The Antelope., 24 U.S. (11 Wheat.) 413 (1826) or Gedney et al v. The Schooner Amistad (1839)
When Katyal made that argument, the interesting reaction was that even Justices Alito and Thomas found it to be outrageous.
by Cat on Sat Jun 19th, 2021 at 10:20:16 PM EST
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by Cat on Thu Jun 3rd, 2021 at 05:15:24 AM EST
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by Cat on Tue Jun 8th, 2021 at 01:10:32 PM EST
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by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Jun 8th, 2021 at 08:34:16 PM EST
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Let's hope, responsible authorities hold the line with orange juice for a liter of blood.
by Cat on Wed Jun 9th, 2021 at 12:37:31 PM EST
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Damn, that racist Trump is at it again!

Oh, wait, it's Kamala Harris.

Well, at least there are no more kids in cages.

by Number 6 on Wed Jun 9th, 2021 at 08:33:45 AM EST
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Harris, Hispanic Caucus meet on Central America
"According to several meeting attendees, Harris touted meetings she's held with corporate leaders eager to invest in the Northern Triangle - Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador."
by Cat on Wed Jun 9th, 2021 at 10:59:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
'Offensive': House lawmakers rebuke fellow Democrat Ilhan Omar for equating US, Israel with Hamas, Taliban
"She included a video of her questioning Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing Monday."
by Cat on Thu Jun 10th, 2021 at 05:15:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Secret IRS Files: Trove of NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN Records REVEAL How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax
The IRS records show that the wealthiest can -- perfectly legally -- pay income taxes that are only a tiny fraction of the hundreds of millions, if not billions, their fortunes grow each year.
by Cat on Wed Jun 9th, 2021 at 02:31:11 PM EST
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I am sure this is news across the great states of Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Carolina - North & South, Tennessee, Montana, Kansas, Nebraska, etc. etc. etc.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Jun 10th, 2021 at 06:43:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
S. 1260 (Endless Frontier Act) passes without note, 68-32, evidently having been rewritten in its entirety by amendments and floor debate. The Clerk might be annoyed.
archived Wed Apr 14th, 2021 hearing
by Cat on Wed Jun 9th, 2021 at 02:51:12 PM EST
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Standard practice. That's how they get around the thing about all spending bills originating in the House.
by asdf on Wed Jun 9th, 2021 at 03:43:44 PM EST
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Naughty, you didn't click through! Catch it before the Clerk inserts the emended final text and compare that with the companion bill, if any, passed in the House.

The entire bill is struck through, and this USC reader has never seen anything of the kind before.

More frequently (since 9/11 changed everything) the Speaker suspends House rules to schedule floor vote and enroll bills originating in the senate. Then, the money questions are settled by the conference committee (now d/b/a novel "reconciliation" procedure) before POTUS signature;

alternately, the unofficial Palimpsest Action prevails: the senate amends a House bill text out of existence and passes it. Then, the money questions are settled by the conference committee (now d/b/a novel "reconciliation" procedure) before POTUS signature.

by Cat on Wed Jun 9th, 2021 at 05:07:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Endless Frontier Act, 8 June 2021
by Cat on Wed Jun 9th, 2021 at 06:43:00 PM EST
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I thought that was one of the republican complaints about Obamacare.
by asdf on Wed Jun 9th, 2021 at 10:47:07 PM EST
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Indeed. Republican-controlled states' legislators objected for many years to aspects of the PPACA other than senate logtrolling lately d/b/a 24-hr "vote-a-rama" to polish the American Rescue Plan. In Dec 2009, the Dems held the majority. So the Dems felled Medicare for All (a Dingle, Kennedy JV) passed in the House, when senate leader leader REID instead amended an unrelated highway bill with WH preferred provisions of PPACA--which Mitch O'bama signed as-is in March 2010 before conference committee sent an enrolled act to his desk. THAT "reconciliation" rolled out in the proceeding year in Thomas.gov as if "mark-up" text of a stand-alone act. A wonder to behold, while the press ginned up states' litigation for the next 8 years, culminating specifically on scope of commerce clause and "individual responsibility". Tax? Or penalty? Tax? Or penalty? You will recall how congress remedied SCOTUS rulings (held constitutionality of the act). $0 tax or penalty.

Wait. There's more. California v Texas, a ruling which SCOTUS has not yet published, possibly to relieve Team Joe of further "New Deal" PR burdens until FY budget passes through the python. I wouldn't be surprised at all that this embargo until Oct session is an admin request.

by Cat on Sat Jun 12th, 2021 at 03:48:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S. Supreme Court seeks Biden views on Harvard admissions dispute
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday asked President Joe Biden's administration to give its views on whether the justices should hear a challenge to Harvard University's consideration of race in undergraduate student admissions.
who says?
The action by the court signals the interest [?!] of at least some of the nine justices in considering an appeal brought by a group called Students for Fair Admissions
by Cat on Mon Jun 14th, 2021 at 05:40:14 PM EST
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Every admissions system is skewed, it's a question of which sort of skewing do you want.
by asdf on Tue Jun 15th, 2021 at 02:23:38 AM EST
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and SCOTUS asks, "How high?,"

amid controversial SCOTUS packing, SCOTUS leanings, and SCOTUS cert delays, conservative liberals and liberal liberals alternately if inadvertently admit "politicization" of US government is not operating according to their beliefs in American Scripture d/b/a US Constitution (much less the sanctity of private property and, ahem, freedom of association) and surely never has.

So you may be interested in studying this set of libertarian interpretations of seminal American political science, allegedly proffered by A. Hamilton's alter-ego.

by Cat on Tue Jun 15th, 2021 at 01:06:04 PM EST
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Court Orders Dismissal Remand of Challenge to Health Care Law "Obamacare", Barrett "Super-precedent" Test No. 1
"With the penalty zeroed out, the IRS can no longer seek a penalty from those who fail to comply," Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the majority. "Because of this, there is no possible Government action that is causally connected to the plaintiffs' injury -- the costs of purchasing health insurance. Or to put the matter conversely, that injury is not 'fairly traceable' to any 'allegedly unlawful conduct' of which the plaintiffs complain. They have not pointed to any way in which the defendants, the commissioner of Internal Revenue and the secretary of Health and Human Services, will act to enforce §5000A(a). They have not shown how any other federal employees could do so either. In a word, they have not shown that any kind of Government action or conduct has caused or will cause the injury they attribute to §5000A(a)."
BREYER, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and THOMAS, SOTOMAYOR, KAGAN, KAVANAUGH, and BARRETT, JJ., joined. THOMAS, J., filed a concurring opinion.  SCALITO, J., filed a dissenting opin-ion, in which GORSUCH, J., joined.

No problem! Biden frustrates death penalty opponents with Supreme Court ["]request["]

by Cat on Thu Jun 17th, 2021 at 04:31:28 PM EST
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Can you count?
"there was little doubt his criticism was aimed primarily at Chief Justice John Roberts"
by Cat on Sat Jun 19th, 2021 at 08:55:12 PM EST
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Barrett "Super-precedent" Test No. 2

Supreme Court backs Alaska Natives in clash over COVID-19 relief funds
, simple "score" reporting

The court's voting breakdown marked a departure from the ["]familiar["] ideological divisions. Three of the court's more conservative members joined Sotomayor's opinion in its entirety, and Justice Samuel Alito, one of the court's staunchest conservatives, signed on to most of it. Justice Stephen Breyer, a member of the court's liberal wing, also joined the majority.

Yellen v Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation et al.

SOTOMAYOR, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and BREYER, KAVANAUGH, and BARRETT, JJ., joined, and in which ALITO, J., joined as to Parts I, II-C, II-D, III, and IV.  GORSUCH, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which THOMAS and KAGAN, JJ., joined.

archive McGirt, incorporation

by Cat on Sun Jun 27th, 2021 at 03:02:52 PM EST
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US increasingly unlikely to meet Biden's July 4 vax goal
"Fauci on Tuesday emphasized that increased vaccination was essential to stamping out potentially dangerous variants, including the so-called "Delta variant" first identified in India that is now the dominant strain in the United Kingdom and is growing in the U.S."
archived Fri Jan 1st, 2021

CDC "The 7-day average of percent positivity from tests is now 2.2%."
CDC "Data from 171,731,584 people with at least one dose administered. Race/Ethnicity was available for 97,809,656 (57%)"
CDC "This page will no longer be updated after April 12, 2021"; "estimated biweekly proportions of the most common SARS-CoV-2 lineages, a/o 5/22/21

by Cat on Wed Jun 9th, 2021 at 06:37:40 PM EST
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Here in New Mexico the non-vax'ed are down to the hard core ignorant hick Evangelical bigots who think the mRNA vaccines cause their bodies to become magnetic.

And, nope, that's not snark.

And "I don't want no animal DNA in MY body" too.  Also

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Jun 10th, 2021 at 06:46:35 PM EST
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Despite multiple easy, free vaccination options, El Paso county (Colorado Springs) is at 42% of eligible people vaccinated. And the unvaccinated are, many of them, holy rollers going to crowded churches with no social distancing. Petri dish for variants.
by asdf on Fri Jun 11th, 2021 at 12:58:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But what have they against their bodies becoming magnetic? It could be very useful for carrying spare ammo.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Jun 11th, 2021 at 06:24:53 AM EST
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People are calling this registered nurse a liar. Can't figure out why.
by asdf on Sat Jun 12th, 2021 at 02:15:15 PM EST
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US Supreme Court rules against residency for immigrants from South Sudan, Sudan, 7 June
"The TPS program gives foreign nationals non-immigrant status, but it does not admit them. So the conferral of TPS does not make an unlawful entrant eligible", [Justice Elena Kagan] stated."
ICYMI Justices unanimously rule against asylum seekers on question of credibility, 1 June
by Cat on Wed Jun 9th, 2021 at 08:50:12 PM EST
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Illinois Republicans Take Democrats to Court Over Redistricting Plan
The plan was based on population estimates from the American Community Survey, or ACS, produced by the Census Bureau. The Republicans' suit argues the ACS is not a valid substitute for the official federal census numbers.

"Unlike the decennial census, which represents a complete count of the population, the ACS estimates represent a small sampling of addresses and are therefore subject to sampling errors and imprecision," the complaint states.
Estimates by the ACS undercount minority populations, according to the complaint. As a result, the Republicans argue, the plan approved by the legislature "ensures that historically undercounted minority communities will continue to be underrepresented and lose their right to an equal vote in the legislature by foregoing the official census counts in favor of the ACS estimates."

Formal Privacy and Synthetic Data for the American Community Survey
archived Fri May 21st, 2021
by Cat on Thu Jun 10th, 2021 at 07:01:42 PM EST
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by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Jun 12th, 2021 at 10:48:35 AM EST
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by Cat on Sun Jun 13th, 2021 at 07:28:03 PM EST
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by Cat on Sat Jun 19th, 2021 at 02:00:49 PM EST
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Politico | White House freezes Ukraine military package that includes lethal weapons
"'Ukraine is an aspirant country,' Stoltenberg said."
Psaki | blasts report of Ukraine military aid holdup as 'nonsense'
"Just last week -- in the run-up to the US-Russia Summit -- we provided a $150 million package of security assistance, including lethal assistance."
by Cat on Sat Jun 19th, 2021 at 08:39:43 PM EST
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Police reform: Maryland lawmakers push for reform after video showcases excessive force
With the passage of the reforms, Maryland became the first state in the nation to repeal its Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights, which had created enhanced due process rights for officers facing internal discipline.

The law that replaced the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights created a complex new network of disciplinary procedures that involve civilians more heavily. That new process won't go into effect until July 2022.

Note that MD General Assembly remonstrations are exaggerated, as is the custom. The LEIBOR "reform" package is a hot mess that doesn't effectively repeal LE legal defenses, because the new "system" much like the Geo. Floyd Body Cam Micro-management bill preserves disciplinary records in a maze access certification, approved by LE union reps. MDGA recessed for the year ending March, having accomplished little in the way either of relieving the abrupt end to federal CARES "moratoriums". One can only hope this item is the first in a series of unflattering national press that unravels Maglev's 2024 WaPo endorsed "moderate republican" campaign for POTUS from MDGA's bogus "progressive" reputation.
by Cat on Tue Jun 15th, 2021 at 09:30:07 PM EST
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by Cat on Thu Jun 17th, 2021 at 06:08:50 PM EST
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Mr 11.7% concedes
by Cat on Fri Jun 25th, 2021 at 04:23:51 PM EST
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by Cat on Tue Jun 29th, 2021 at 09:54:19 PM EST
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"The bungle was a black mark."
Ahead of the 2016 election, it mistakenly purged tens of thousands of voters from voting rolls. In 2018, voters had to wait in line for several hours at some polling places over equipment issues. In 2020, it struggled to process applications for absentee ballots and initially sent many voters ballots with return envelopes printed with the wrong people's names on them.
< yawn >
by Cat on Wed Jun 30th, 2021 at 01:02:27 PM EST
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From a Tubman twenty to a $0.25 Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign.
by Cat on Fri Jun 18th, 2021 at 05:59:39 PM EST
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 Of "slaves," masters, cults, sex traffickers, racketeering, Mann Act, remorse, branding and "manipulation," prostitution and plea bargaining
'Smallville' actress Allison Mack gets 3 years in prison in NXIVM cult case
Mack, a longtime Raniere devotee who has since disavowed him, faced a maximum of 40 years in prison, though federal sentencing guidelines called for between 14 and 17 1/2 years.
archived FIFTH WAVE is a void

meanwhile ...
GAO | SEX TRAFFICKING Online ["]Platforms["] and Federal Prosecutions, June 2021
FOSTA/SESTA scare quotes

by Cat on Wed Jun 30th, 2021 at 06:35:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dutch police take down VPN service [encrypted telecom signal] used by cybercriminals
The coordinated takedown of DoubleVPN involved the seizure of servers [US-Eng. "platforms", "clouds", The Cyber; GAO p 13, "assets"] in several countries, including the Netherlands, Germany, US and Canada. The web pages have now been replaced with a law enforcement splash page. DoubleVPN was heavily advertised on both Russian and English-speaking ["]underground["] cybercrime [USC, wire fraud] forums [multi-user IPC switch] as a means to mask the location and identities [IP URL addresses] of ransomware operators [US-Eng. "controllers" LOL] and phishing fraudsters, Europol said.
`We have made it very clear they do not have a safe haven, by taking legal action and breaking into their [telecommunication] infrastructure digitally. These criminal acts ... affect the trust of citizens and companies in digital technology.'
by Cat on Thu Jul 1st, 2021 at 12:18:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Jun 1st, 2021 at 05:04:51 PM EST
Do  you need RT to point this out? I thought it was obvious.
China's Foreign Ministry blasted the resurgent interest in the Covid-19 lab-origin theory, noting that the journalist behind a report about Wuhan scientists falling ill is the same one who peddled lies that led to the Iraq War.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin took aim at Michael R. Gordon, a national security correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and one of the authors of the report that added fuel to speculation about Covid-19's lab origin.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Jun 5th, 2021 at 04:00:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Besides the hacks, there have been some interesting articles by science writers (Warning! May contain actual science and little certainty):

The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora's box at Wuhan? - Nicholas Wade

In what follows I will sort through the available scientific facts, which hold many clues as to what happened, and provide readers with the evidence to make their own judgments. I will then try to assess the complex issue of blame, which starts with, but extends far beyond, the government of China.

By the end of this article, you may have learned a lot about the molecular biology of viruses. I will try to keep this process as painless as possible. But the science cannot be avoided because for now, and probably for a long time hence, it offers the only sure thread through the maze.


I'll describe the two theories, explain why each is plausible, and then ask which provides the better explanation of the available facts. It's important to note that so far there is no direct evidence for either theory. Each depends on a set of reasonable conjectures but so far lacks proof.

A sometimes dissenting, but not entirely, analysis:

How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love the Lab-Leak Theory* - Donald G. McNeil Jr.


The deeper I read into the papers and articles Nick cited, the clearer it became how much new information had trickled out in the last year. Not new to the most intense and well-educated followers of this topic, but new to the greater public debate. I include articles like this, this, this, this and this by Yuri Deigin, Rossana Segretto, Milton Leitenberg, Josh Rogin, Nicholson Baker and others.

And more and and more scientists feel misled.

I now agree with Nick's central conclusion: We still do not know the source of this awful pandemic. We may never know. But the argument that it could have leaked out of the Wuhan Institute of Virology or a sister lab in Wuhan has become considerably stronger than it was a year ago, when the screaming was so loud that it drowned out serious discussion.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Jun 5th, 2021 at 06:29:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's some more, from somebody who relies on public sources, not US government officials who want to plant something in the WSJ/NYT. I do wonder how meaningful this part is
Along with what we now call SARS-CoV-2, her paper also reported the genome sequence of a closely related (96.2% identical) bat virus. The authors called this virus RaTG13. To this day RaTG13 is still the closest known viral genome by far to SARS-CoV-2.
Isn't that the same as the difference between us and chimpanzees?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Jun 5th, 2021 at 06:57:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
RaTG13 is discussed at length in both articles, actually.

The bottom line is still: we cannot know for sure (and we may never). From Wade:

Where we are so far. Neither the natural emergence nor the lab escape hypothesis can yet be ruled out. There is still no direct evidence for either. So no definitive conclusion can be reached.
by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Jun 5th, 2021 at 08:26:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lethal Pneumonia Cases in Mojiang Miners (2012) and the Mineshaft Could Provide Important Clues to the Origin of SARS-CoV-2 | Oct. 20, 2020 |

(Ref: 12) Wuhan coronavirus hunter Shi Zhengli speaks out

Shi stressed that over the past 15 years, her lab has isolated and grown in culture only three bat coronaviruses related to one that infected humans: the agent that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which erupted in 2003. The more than 2000 other bat coronaviruses the lab has detected, including one that is 96.2% identical to SARS-CoV-2, are simply genetic sequences that her team has extracted from fecal samples and oral and anal swabs of the animals. She also noted that all staff and students in her lab recently tested negative for SARS-CoV-2, challenging the notion that one of them triggered the pandemic.

In particular, would like to thank Professor Anand Rahalkar, MD radiology, Bharti Vidyapeeth Medical College, Pune, India, for reviewing the X-rays and CT scans from the Master's thesis by Li Xu (2013). We would like to specifically thank the reviewers and the editors for their valuable comments. An earlier version of the paper has been published as a pre-print on May 24, 2020 by Rahalkar and Bahulikar (8).

Conspiracy theorist Jonathan Latham, PhD was quite busy publicizing from a paper mid 2020 not yet peer reviewed.

The WHO delegation of independent international researchers came to their conclusion of a lab accident as highly unlikely after a visit to Wuhan in Jan/Feb this year.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Jun 9th, 2021 at 02:02:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A Nobel prize-winning US biologist, who has been widely quoted describing a "smoking gun" to support the thesis that Covid-19 was genetically modified and escaped from a Wuhan lab, has said he overstated the case.

David Baltimore, a distinguished biology professor, had become one of the most prominent figures cited by proponents of the so-called lab leak theory.

Originally quoted in an article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in May, and widely requoted since, Baltimore had appeared to suggest that a specific feature in Covid-19's genome, known as the furin cleavage site, was the "smoking gun" to the theory the virus had been contained inside a laboratory and then escaped via a leak.

But that article is by Nicholas Wade. Why should anybody have taken that seriously?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Jun 9th, 2021 at 04:32:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The human/chimp DNA difference figure is about 1.2%.

What Does It Mean to Be Human? -- Genetics Evidence


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Jun 16th, 2021 at 02:54:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
not really, but I have noticed (since lightning struck Fauci's R&D perch above the DOD chain) that the Anglophone press is now especially smitten with Zhengli Shi (among others) who has been collecting serum samples from Yunnan villages for nearly a decade. Although serilogical testing captured the zoonotic evolution years ago in asymptomatic subjects, journalists suspect Zhengli deliberately mishandled, modified, or mislabeled The One Genome Sequence, infecting four Mojiang Miners (2012), in order to exculpate Wuhan lab leak technicians' responsibility for The Pandemic--possibly contracted by NATO allies of indeterminate origins to engineer a recombinant virus expressing "gain of function" properties.
by Cat on Sat Jun 5th, 2021 at 09:40:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
oh. Look. Paranormal zoonotic investigation continues. Fauci found two more dead miners from 2012 whose names Chinese researchers did not disclose.
[Anonymous] Explainer: China's Mojiang mine and its role in the origins of COVID-19
The paywall wall is closing in on Patient 0.
by Cat on Wed Jun 9th, 2021 at 12:31:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AP EXPLAINER: The US investigation into COVID-19 [sic] origins
The most compelling argument for investigating the possibility of a lab leak is not any new hard evidence, but rather the fact that another pathway for virus [SARS-CoV-2] spread has not been 100% confirmed.
channeling Cameron 2015
"There are probabilities, and there are possibilities," said Banerjee. "Because nobody has identified a virus that's 100% identical to SARS-CoV-2 in any animal, there is still room for researchers to ask about other possibilities."
by Cat on Wed Jun 9th, 2021 at 05:21:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Chinese researchers find batch of new coronaviruses in bats
"In total, we assembled 24 novel coronavirus genomes from different bat species, including four SARS-CoV-2 like coronaviruses," the researchers wrote in a report published in the journal Cell.
milk and tea served promptly at 15:00 GMT
by Cat on Sat Jun 12th, 2021 at 06:53:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Tue Jun 15th, 2021 at 06:01:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sun Jun 6th, 2021 at 01:50:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Jun 5th, 2021 at 05:07:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this Northern or Southern Chinese? I think they are genetically completely different.....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Jun 5th, 2021 at 05:25:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sun Jun 6th, 2021 at 01:22:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Labour chairwoman disappears (blurred image third from the right)

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Jun 8th, 2021 at 02:46:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Give 'em Bal'more minute.
by Cat on Tue Jun 8th, 2021 at 05:01:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BLOOMBERG | Fujimori Insists on Fraud Claims as Peru Vote Count Nears End
"Five hundred thousand votes are still at stake here, half a million votes nationwide, that we believe are essential to be analyzed for the elections jury's final count," she said in a statement.

A senior official in President Joe Biden's administration said the U.S. hasn't seen evidence of fraud, only isolated incidents of voter intimidation.

by Cat on Thu Jun 10th, 2021 at 02:22:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Thu Jun 10th, 2021 at 07:41:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Wed Jun 16th, 2021 at 04:02:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China set to send first [?] crew to new space station Thursday
The astronauts will be traveling in the Shenzhou-12 spaceship launched by a Long March-2F Y12 rocket set to blast off at 9:22 a.m. (0122 GMT) from the Jiuquan launch center in northwestern China.
Beijing doesn't participate in the International Space Station, largely due to U.S. concerns over the Chinese space program's secrecy and its military connections. Despite that, foreign science missions and possibly foreign astronauts are expected to visit the Chinese station in the future, China Manned Space Agency Assistant Director Ji Qiming told reporters at Jiuquan.
The mission is the third of 11 planned through next year to add the additional sections to the station and send up crews and supplies. The main living section of the station was launched in April while the other two modules will be primarily for scientific work.
Chinese astronauts ready for in-orbit space station construction, task details
phys.org, schematic
by Cat on Wed Jun 16th, 2021 at 08:48:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pacific undersea cable project sinks after US warns against Chinese bid
The former Huawei Marine Networks, now called HMN Technologies and majority owned by Shanghai-listed Hengtong Optic-Electric Co Ltd, submitted a bid for the $72.6 million project priced at more than 20% below rivals Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), part of Finland's Nokia, and Japan's NEC, the sources said.

The East Micronesia Cable system was designed to improve communications in the island nations of Nauru, Kiribati and Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), by providing underwater infrastructure with a far greater data capacity than satellites.

Two sources with direct knowledge of the tender told Reuters that the project reached a stalemate due to security concerns raised within the island nations over HMN Tech's bid. The project's planned connection to a sensitive cable leading to Guam, a US territory with substantial military assets, heightened those security concerns.

"Given there was no tangible way to remove Huawei as one of the bidders, all three bids were deemed non-compliant," one of those sources said.

by Cat on Fri Jun 18th, 2021 at 03:42:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Fri Jun 18th, 2021 at 03:48:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Fri Jun 18th, 2021 at 06:18:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not yet, it seems...

by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Jun 21st, 2021 at 05:55:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]

by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Jun 23rd, 2021 at 07:08:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
25 June
John Kiriakou, Lee Stranahan (Sputnik "Back Story") reportsto world, US has seized presstv.com [?!], citing 18 USC 981, 982 et seq. "We should all be worried" when the gov't decides what news we "consume".

meanwhile presstv.ir

27 June US airstrikes target Iran-backed militias in Syria, Iraq

[DOD press sec] Kirby said the U.S. military targeted three operational and weapons storage facilities -- two in Syria and one in Iraq. In its release of videos of the strikes by Air Force F-15 and F-16 aircraft, the Pentagon described one target as a coordination center for the shipment and transfer of advanced conventional weapons.

Kirby said the airstrikes were "defensive," saying they were launched in response to the attacks by militias.

"The United States took necessary, appropriate, and deliberate action designed to limit the risk of escalation -- but also to send a clear and unambiguous deterrent message," Kirby said.

The Pentagon said the facilities were used by Iran-backed militia factions, including Kata'ib Hezbollah and Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada.
Two Iraqi militia officials told The Associated Press in Baghdad that four militiamen were killed in the airstrikes near the border with Syria. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give statements. They said the first strike hit a weapons storage facility inside Syrian territory, where the militiamen were killed. The second strike hit the border strip.

by Cat on Mon Jun 28th, 2021 at 04:33:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have been thinking about Australia lately. It seems almost as if it is drifting towards eventual abandonment.

  • Drought
  • High temperatures
  • Massive wildfires
  • Exploitative economy based on exporting raw materials, mostly minerals...
  • To China...
  • Which the Australian politicians seem to be determined to get on the bad side of...
  • But if they try to divert their economy to exporting to Europe, their coal is not wanted...
  • And the ships would have to come from Asia because Belfast shipyards
  • Media controlled by Murdoch
  • Politics controlled by conservative whack-a-doodles
  • Military cannot possibly defend the country...
  • Against an imaginary invasion, but can spend piles of money to try...
  • And lots of enthusiasm for the US and UK, but little reciprocal interest
  • International contracts (e.g., ports) not held binding, undermining future investment
  • Universities dependent on mostly Chinese students paying high fees...
  • Who are met with racism when they show up to enroll
  • COVID controlled by border controls...
  • Which prevent overseas students from entering even if they want to
  • COVID not controlled by vaccination, so they are at risk of any future variant...
  • But Bondi Beach is crowded because everybody is "tired" of quarantine
  • And no government concern about having only 3% of the population vaccinated
  • Tourism a big part of economy but not allowed due to border controls
  • General bloody-mindedness when it comes to anything sensible

I am wondering now if it will be the first continent to see overwhelming emigration leading to effective abandonment.
by asdf on Wed Jun 30th, 2021 at 03:51:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
With only 3% vaccination it's more likely the place will depopulate due to Covid.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Jul 1st, 2021 at 03:50:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Jun 1st, 2021 at 05:05:07 PM EST
Bill Gates' next generation nuclear reactor to be built in Wyoming
TerraPower, founded by Gates about 15 years ago, and power company PacifiCorp, owned by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N), said the exact site of the  Natrium reactor demonstration plant is expected to be announced by the end of the year.
The project features a 345 megawatt sodium-cooled fast reactor with molten salt-based energy storage that could boost the system's power output to 500 MW during peak power demand. TerraPower said last year that the plants would cost about $1 billion.

Late last year the U.S. Department of Energy awarded TerraPower $80 million in initial funding to demonstrate Natrium technology, and the department has committed additional funding in coming years subject to congressional appropriations.

China fires up 'artificial sun' at 120 MILLION DEGREES Celsius in quest for nuclear fusion
Russia also recently reported nuclear fusion news. Earlier this month, state media said the T-15MD tokamak had been powered for the first time.

China and Russia are also both members of the international team building the ITER nuclear fusion project in Europe. Construction of the ITER tokamak began last year in southern France.
This article was originally published on Oilprice.com

by Cat on Thu Jun 3rd, 2021 at 05:29:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect that Bill Gates has an unusually developed sense of how to make money. While in theory the climate change problem could be dealt with without nukes, we dumb humans are almost certainly going to procrastinate and prevaricate and politicize the whole thing, delaying the sensible solution and forcing ourselves into an emergency.

When the emergency hits, Mr Gates and his pals will be there with fancy technological "fixes" like nukes and geoengineering, ready to sell to the desperate for big bucks.

by asdf on Fri Jun 4th, 2021 at 01:26:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sri Lanka's burning cargo ship on track to become its 'worst environmental disaster'
A huge cleanup operation was underway for a sixth day in Sri Lanka Tuesday [1 June] after a container ship laden with chemicals caught fire 12 days ago, inundating the country's western coastline with microplastic pollution and potentially hazardous waste.
350 metric tons of oil could leak into the ocean with the potential to cause widespread ecological damage to marine life and affect 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) of coastline between the capital and Negombo, Sri Lanka's Minister of Fisheries Kanchana Wijesekera said last week.

The ship was carrying 1,486 containers when the fire started, 81 of which held "dangerous goods," including 25 metric tons of nitric acid, according to X-Press Feeders, the operators of the X-Press Pearl. The other chemicals onboard the ship are yet to be confirmed.

by Cat on Sun Jun 6th, 2021 at 04:57:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lab-Created 'Spider Silk' a Sustainable, Vegan Alternative to Single-Use Plastics
cellulose and nanocellulose, polysaccharides and polypeptides
by Cat on Thu Jun 10th, 2021 at 07:08:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
G7 get together seen by a 18-yr old Swede.

by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Jun 14th, 2021 at 05:49:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Fri Jun 18th, 2021 at 01:19:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sat Jun 19th, 2021 at 02:49:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sat Jun 19th, 2021 at 02:54:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Report: Half of children in out-of-home care have psychiatric or neurodevelopmental disorders
"'The results emphasise that child protection workers need a solid understanding of how the mental health of children and young people should be supported in everyday life,' stated THL's specialist researcher Antti Kääriälä in a press release on Monday."

Antti Kääriälä et al, The association between treated psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders and out-of-home care among Finnish children born in 1997, 2021
Sapolsky L06, prenatal elevated glutocorticoid levels, 2011

What we have shown is an environmental manipulation on a pregnant female manifesting itself two generations later in her grandchildren. And when this was first described in the early 60s, this was called the grandmother effect. Evenually it was shown to go out four or five generations, the magnitude of the effect would get smaller with each generation before it disappeared, but look at what this is about. This is inheriting a trait that is not genetic. This wound up being the first example of what is now called non-Mandelian inheritance of traits.
by Cat on Mon Jun 21st, 2021 at 05:17:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Jun 1st, 2021 at 05:05:20 PM EST
Prosecutors seek 30-year sentence for Derek Chauvin
In separate filings, an attorney for Chauvin argued that he should get probation, and that his incarceration should be limited to time already served.
Chauvin will only be sentenced for the most egregious charge against him [?!]: second-degree murder. The recommended sentence was 12.5 years, with a range of 10.67 to 15 years.
archived simple survey of pressestimates
by Cat on Thu Jun 3rd, 2021 at 03:32:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll be absolutely astonished if he serves more than 1 year.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Jun 3rd, 2021 at 05:58:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu Jun 3rd, 2021 at 08:25:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
WaPoo editorializing this "historic moment" and denouement at 14:30 EST.
by Cat on Fri Jun 25th, 2021 at 05:41:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
22 years
published order and reasoning of the court forthcoming--for purposes of appellate review, doubtless. As I've mentioned, reviews search for error.
by Cat on Fri Jun 25th, 2021 at 08:07:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sentenced to 22 years.

Still a long road of legal BS to walk

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Jun 25th, 2021 at 10:25:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]

I skipped most of the witness impact statements, between child Floyd and Chauvin's mother*; my understanding being they were redundant as all, except Chauvin's mother, had testified at trial. I heard the lead prosecutor's recommendation, reiterating aggravating factors and court discretion, and Cahill's brief preamble to his sentencing order. Both emphasized that Chauvin's conviction was not a "typical manslaughter" case.

Which provoked amusement in my mind, given differential sentencing typically applied to typical crimes, eg. crack/cocaine possession, and the cumulative effects of each state's ever more refined criminal coding (which typically is unknown) on public expectations of "equal protection"--not to mention prosecutors' charging gymnastics to obtain indictments. Periodic discourse regarding race or class analysis of (empirical) outcomes seldom depart from an unstated assumption that states conform with some uniform template of governance.

This delusion is most marked among academic "policy" papers, contemplating linear distributions of federal appropriations to the states every fiscal year, regardless of wildly divergent, conditional constraints placed by states' legislatures on "aid".

by Cat on Sat Jun 26th, 2021 at 07:43:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Chauvin's mother read a maternal bolierplate for leniency, asserting letters of sympathy, her "favorite" son's professional dedication, public service, and kindnesses seeming to echo proverbial incredulity of neighbors across US America, confronting bodies in the basement of the "nice, quiet" serial killer next door.

Chauvin's own allocution was intransigent and perfunctory, about 2 minutes of regard for Floyd's grieving family and a secretive reference to mitigating or exculpatory fact presumably to be revealed in appellate brief.

Over all, the press' immediate interpretation of the hearing clings to evident absence of Chauvin's remorse, rather than clinical psychopathy, baldly propounding the method of murder itself in these times of "extremist" passions. But one minority opinion offers contrast to lingering doubts about the proprieties of Cahill's calculus.

Trial judges, even where there are prescribed sentencing guidelines, have virtually unfettered discretion to fashion criminal sentences based on the background of the defendant, the possibly aggravated nature of the crime, the impact of the crime on the victim's family and the vindication of the public interest. As Daniel Webster famously said: "Every unpunished murder takes away something from the security of every man's life."
Chauvin had a disciplinary history of police brutality, and should not have been on the force in the first place. He stands indicted for another crime, a federal civil rights charge alleging that he slugged a 14-year-old with a flashlight and kneeled on him during a 2017 arrest. As the legendary former New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has said, "It's critical that you not hire your problems. Right now, I don't think we're identifying enough people who have deep-seated psychological problems."
What underscored the brutal nature of the crime was the cold face of Chauvin as he went about his murderous task. Sunglasses on his head and hands nonchalantly in his pockets, he seemed to be carrying out a task that was not even unpleasant with no awareness that it was a human being under his knee. All in a day's work.
And as Arendt not so famously wrote, "What is not punished is permitted."
by Cat on Sun Jun 27th, 2021 at 12:14:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Jun 9th, 2021 at 08:15:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Looking forward to a review of the re-release of Guinness 0.0. Some of the earlier comparisons suggested it is hard to tell from the regular stuff.
by asdf on Sun Jun 20th, 2021 at 06:07:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Jun 1st, 2021 at 05:05:39 PM EST
100 years ago...

Long-hidden story of 1921 Tulsa race massacre getting wide coverage on 100th anniversary - Detroit Free Press

One hundred years ago, one of the worst instances of racial violence in U.S. history erupted in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

On May 31 and June 1, 1921, a white mob attacked the city's Greenwood district, dubbed the "Black Wall Street," and inflicted two days of terror. It's not known exactly how many people died, but historians estimate that hundreds were killed. Several dozen city blocks were destroyed. Thousands of residents were left homeless. Low-flying planes and machine guns were among the weapons used to devastate the prosperous Black community.

For decades, the white establishment tried to erase the story from school lesson plans, local newspapers and history itself. Then in 2019, the Emmy-winning HBO series "Watchmen" sparked a wave of interest in the little-known tragedy.

The show inspired by a comic book depicted chilling scenes of what happened there. Viewers were shocked to realize that the assault on Greenwood was a real event grounded in horrifying facts.

by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Jun 1st, 2021 at 06:14:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
h/t Cat

The Senate passes the Sedition Bill 48-26. 24 of the 26 no votes are Republicans. It provides for 20 years in prison or $10,000 fines for anyone who "makes or conveys false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States, or to promote the success of its enemies" or obstruct the sale of bonds or attempt to incite "insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, or shall obstruct recruiting or enlistment; or shall willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of Government of the United States, or its flag, or the uniform of its army or navy, or any language intended to bring the form of Government of the United States, or the Constitution, into contempt, scorn, contumely or disrepute" etc. An amendment to protect people "who speak the truth for good motives and for justifiable ends" is rejected on the urging of Attorney General Thomas Gregory. It gives the postmaster-general the power to stop any mail he personally considers seditious. At one point in the debate, Sen. Sherman waves a clipping from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in which the president of the Missouri branch of the German-American Alliance predicts that Germany will win the war. Sherman says the paper should have been excluded from the mails, and Sen. King adds that any editor who prints such articles should be put in prison under this act.

Reference my diary ...

Yesterday's Bolsheviki and Today's Deplorables

IWW and Wobblies

In 1917, during an incident known as the Tulsa Outrage, a group of black-robed Knights of Liberty, a short-lived faction of the Ku Klux Klan, tarred and feathered seventeen members of the IWW in Oklahoma. The IWW members had been turned over to the Knights of Liberty by local authorities after they were convicted of the crime of not owning war bonds.

The situation grew so intense that even acts of murder were merely winked at, such as in the case of miner Robert Prager, above, who was hanged by an angry mob in Collinsville, Illinois because they "suspected" he might be a German spy. The perpetrators of this heinous act received no punishment.

The Nightmare of Dreamland

This led to the Tulsa Outrage and in this article one gets an historical insight how Tulsa was founded, the influence of Southern Confederacy that led to the slaughter known as the Tulsa Massacre of 1921. Horrific!

The Untold Story of One of America's Worst Race Riots | WaPo - Sept. 12, 1982 | [archived]

With Trump and White Supremacy the dials of democracy and equality are reversed. And repeating history, the sedition of January 6th will not be investigated by the black suits in US Congress.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Jun 2nd, 2021 at 08:25:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Corr. Act of 1918 of course 😣

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Jun 2nd, 2021 at 01:48:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Colfax massacre, another, auspicious "hidden" chronicle of US agents' and partisan vigilantes' calumny and crimes against US slaves and their descendants no less vivid than the 117th Congress' craven appropriation of the Enforcement Act, Ch.22 Stat.17 (the "Klan Act"), to prosecute the latest contested election on the steps of the Capitol. Insurrection my ass.

US v Cruikshank (1875)
whereof SCOTUS "barred the Justice Department from using the federal Enforcement Act of 1870 to prosecute a prominent instance of white supremacist against African-American political participation"

by Cat on Wed Jun 2nd, 2021 at 10:45:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
inspired by civil suits filed by congressional freedmen, Thompson (D-MS) and Swalwell (D-CA), traumatized by Trump's "insurrection" of Jan 6 at the Capitol, because why not.

"They aggressively surrounded the bus and limited its ability to move."

For 90-minutes, the "Trump Train" maintained its position around the bus. One of the drivers in the convoy of trucks, Cisneros, side-swiped Cervini in his SUV.
The Texass Civil Rights Project and the Protect Democracy Project say that the actions of the Trump supporters amount to intimidation and political violence. Emma Hilbert, a senior attorney with the Texass Civil Rights Project, said in an interview that the Klan Act is [sic] meant to address acts of political violence like those committed by the "Trump Train" that day.

The Biden-Harris campaign said police ignored its bus during the ["]altercation["]. Due to their inaction during the incident, the separate lawsuit against the police department claims that they too violated the Klan Act by failing to prevent or stop what happened.

The lawsuit goes on to say, "As a result of the events of October 30, [2020] which escalated in San Marcos without the presence of a police escort, Plaintiffs suffer ongoing psychological and emotional injury." The driver of the bus, Timothy Holloway says he has been unable to drive a bus since that day.
NEXT WEEK: Brittany Spears leads the "Third Reconstruction" movement to Garland's office
by Cat on Fri Jun 25th, 2021 at 09:23:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]

A Proclamation on Day Of Remembrance: 100 Years After The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

extrajudicial press commentary
Biden privately tells lawmakers not to expect much on reparations legislation

Reparations for Black people in America has been a politically fraught and risky topic for Democrats for decades, though Republicans have essentially never wavered from their opposition. But activists say they have reason to remain hopeful even as the issue moves at a snail's pace in Congress.

A POLITICO/Morning Consult poll from earlier this year found that just 38 percent of voters supported a committee to study reparations. But 60 percent of Democrats supported the formation while 74 percent of Republicans opposed it.

ramifications of a guilty verdict

archived Sat Mar 2nd, 2019

by Cat on Wed Jun 2nd, 2021 at 10:20:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NY Yella Cake Conveys Tidings of Remorse, Revulsion, Resentment, and Restitution
"Tulsa can only redeem herself from the country-wide shame and humiliation into which she is today plunged by complete restitution and rehabilitation of the destroyed black belt. The rest of the United States must know that the real citizenship of Tulsa weeps at this unspeakable crime and will make good the damage, so far as it may be done, to the last penny.
by Cat on Fri Jun 4th, 2021 at 02:28:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Has Hell frozen over?


Then lot's O'Freakin' luck on that reparations thing.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Jun 10th, 2021 at 06:50:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did you know, apart from the most recent poll (62% above), 80%, 73%, or 71% of US Americans oppose reparations for descendants of US slaves?

Anyway, that's a significant proportion of voters greater than the dread, registered "white supremacist" Republican Party membership. Even if Mitch O'bama had not indemnified national indifference ("none of us currently living are responsible") to state crimes, foreign and domestic, Geo. Floyd's death galvanized conspicuously innumerable BLM sympathizers who appeared to substantiate a class-denominated union of civil society against ... police brutality, in general, and cheeto dictatorship of the "trumpists" at the polls and steps of the Capitol. For descendants of US slaves--d/b/a perpetual "essential workers" and disenfranchised felons--the effect and satisfaction derived from this sequence of democratic restoration has landed like a neutron bomb on so-called "structural" and "spatial" opposition to reparations.

Now, streaming from the woodwork of US American innocents comes ridicule of "critical race theory" (CRT), a 40-year-old body of case law analyses collected by Derrick Bell, priced beyond the reach of skeptics and beneath latter-day diversity advocates' "intersectional" idiomatic commentaries. The patriots who the press is collecting to support "Trump Era" repudiation of "divisive" and "revisionist" US historiography presents a demographic cross-section of polled respondents offended by rule of law, "truth and reconciliation," in practice.

by Cat on Sun Jun 27th, 2021 at 06:53:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It will be a long time before the US is prepared to pay reparations to anybody. Recently there has been some thought about reparations to GLBT community, but then there is the entire 50% of the population that is female and has been oppressed for eons.
by asdf on Mon Jun 28th, 2021 at 12:16:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ASK: UN rights chief: Reparations needed for people facing racism
It analyzed 190 deaths, mostly in the U.S., to show how law enforcement officers are rarely held accountable for rights violations and crimes against people of African descent, and it noted similar patterns of mistreatment by police across many countries.

The report ultimately aims to transform those opportunities into a more systemic response by governments to address racism, and not just in the United States -- although the injustices and legacy of slavery, racism and violence faced by African Americans was clearly a major theme.

archived UN Special Rapporteurs

GET: National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism

The IC assesses that racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (RMVEs) and militia violent extremists (MVEs) present the most lethal DVE threats, with RMVEs most likely to conduct mass-casualty attacks against civilians and MVEs typically targeting law enforcement and government personnel and facilities. The IC assesses that the MVE threat increased last year and that it will almost certainly continue to be elevated throughout 2021 because of contentious sociopolitical factors that motivate MVEs to commit violence.
The IC assesses that U.S. RMVEs who promote the superiority of the white race are the DVE actors with the most persistent and concerning transnational connections because individuals with similar ideological beliefs exist outside of the United States and these RMVEs frequently communicate with and seek to influence each other. We assess that a small number of US RMVEs have traveled abroad to network with like-minded individuals.
by Cat on Mon Jun 28th, 2021 at 05:32:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes I do know.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Jul 1st, 2021 at 03:51:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Microsoft says human error caused "tank man" Bing censorship

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jun 5th, 2021 at 08:34:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Weird how they always cut off the last few seconds in the video where some other civilians pulled him away.
by generic on Sat Jun 5th, 2021 at 09:15:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They are probably afraid that it makes the Chinese look too humane. US tanks wouldn't have behaved like that. (RT had a video showing brutal US and French cops at work, followed by protestors beating up Russian police who didn't react....)
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Jun 5th, 2021 at 09:18:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Jun 5th, 2021 at 11:30:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kent State shooting was 51 years ago.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Jun 10th, 2021 at 06:53:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Jun 12th, 2021 at 01:00:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
14 June 1941:

by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Jun 14th, 2021 at 08:36:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Five years ago, June 2016:

Calm down. Trump won't be President - and Britain won't leave the EU - NewStatesman

The nightmare of a Trump presidency and a Brexit vote ain't gonna happen, says Ian Leslie.

You'd hope Mr Leslie has quit the prediction making business.

by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Jun 16th, 2021 at 06:00:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Jun 27th, 2021 at 09:55:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
45 years ago:

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Jun 27th, 2021 at 06:01:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sun Jun 27th, 2021 at 07:51:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yet Henry Kissinger lives at 98.
by generic on Sun Jun 27th, 2021 at 08:10:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He's on the Cheney health care plan.
by Cat on Sun Jun 27th, 2021 at 09:05:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Weapon of Mass Destruction dead
"The statement did not say when Rumsfeld died."
by Cat on Thu Jul 1st, 2021 at 12:23:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Jun 1st, 2021 at 05:05:50 PM EST
by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Jun 16th, 2021 at 08:35:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anyone seen or heard of Dodo in recent times? He's been gone from here a long time and I hope he is alright

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jun 21st, 2021 at 09:21:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Must have been five years since stopped posting here. I don't think I've ever read a more insightful commentator on central European politics. I couldn't blame him if he just turned his internet off in 2016 and never looked back.
by generic on Tue Jun 22nd, 2021 at 06:47:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dodo's last diary and comments on Orban government and corruption ...

Anti-migrant referendum in Hungary | Oct. 2, 2016 |

The year of Brexit and the structure of the EU collapsed due to the rise of xenophobia and populism. Regime change in the US and UK. Democracy replaced by PR fetish and a new generation of politics based on social sciences, algorithms and AI.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Jun 22nd, 2021 at 08:36:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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