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

Februari 2023

by Oui Thu Feb 2nd, 2023 at 04:12:33 PM EST

Your take on today's news media

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>>> just giving it a try ... :-)

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 2nd, 2023 at 04:13:12 PM EST
Tout un symbole
https://www.lemonde.fr/m-le-mag/article/2023/02/01/l-interminable-agonie-de-l-ancien-porte-avions-fo ch_6160169_4500055.html
by Tom2 on Thu Feb 2nd, 2023 at 06:30:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Readovka | Gazprom launches LNG production, storage and shipment complex in Kaliningrad, 2 Feb
...The LNG plant was launched already in September 2022, and in January the marine terminal was used for the first time for bunkering ships. The ship "Gazprom Neft" "Dmitry Mendeleev" completed the first regular loading.

Separately, it is worth noting a very important point - the Portovaya complex was launched without the participation of the German company Linde, which left the Russian market in July 2022. Preparation for operation and start-up were carried out without a licensor of natural gas liquefaction technology, as well as without technical and operational support from foreign manufacturers equipment....

archived Sun Jul 10th, 2022, July 2022 bootstraps, Sat Jun 18th, 2022
by Cat on Fri Feb 3rd, 2023 at 01:43:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At least they dont stop to make us laugh

A good summary of The Netherlands, especially last paragraph

https:/www.dutchnews.nl/news/2023/02/stamp-of-approval-row-about-quality-certificate-for-coffeeshop s

1 size fit all doesnt work but to get properly treated you ll have to pay more...

https:/www.dutchnews.nl/news/2023/02/leiden-study-shows-adjusting-drug-doses-to-patient-dna-cuts-si de-effects

And, well, you know the usual EU business aka clusterf...

https:/www.dutchnews.nl/news/2023/02/royals-to-remain-a-tax-free-zone-no-majority-for-constitutiona l-change

by Oosterbeek on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 09:51:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The first link shows exactly how the EU works nowadays: it's illegal or grey? let's make a certification and sell patents for it!

Sounds like IP laws these days.

by Tom2 on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 01:39:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Politico.eu.com | Ukraine army discipline crackdown sparks fear and fury on the front, 5 Feb
President Volodymyr Zelensk* refused to veto a new law that strengthens punishment for wayward military personnel on Thursday, rejecting a petition signed by over 25,000 Ukrainians who argue it's too harsh.

"The key to the combat capability of military units and ultimately of Ukraine's victory, is compliance with military discipline," Zelenskyy said in his written response to the petition.
Army of civilians [sic]

Ukraine's armed forces have swelled rapidly to over a million [?!] soldiers in the year since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022 -- up from 250,000 personnel.

The influx of hundreds of thousands of new recruits, whom Ukraine has had to equip and train while withstanding the barrage from Russia, has compromised the usual vetting process and meant some unsuitable soldiers have ended up in combat, Valerii Markus, the chief master sergeant of the 47th Separate Assault Brigade, told subordinates in a lecture about "desertion at the front," posted to his YouTube channel in January.

by Cat on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 01:14:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dutch political parties and Army generals ask for introduction conscription, obligatory military service.

The reason, demand on military investment by NATO and #Bakgmut losses of manpower on frontlines in Ukraine.

Seventy-five years of peace in Western Europe ... arrogance of NATO expansion ... Russia is part of Europe ... building walls to separate the jungle and Borrell's garden ... stopping the barbarians ... so Medieval.

Dutch conscription law has been expanded for girls and women #equality

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 01:59:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
southfront | K*v regime looking for new soldiers among Ukrainian refugees abroad, 4 Feb

Norway looks to donate $7.3 billion [NOK 75B] in aid to Ukraine, 6 Feb
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said the money would be split evenly between military and humanitarian assistance over five years, broken down to 15 billion kroner ($1.5 billion) annually. The proposed aid package will be put to a vote in parliament.

Last week, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that overall, the European Union's economic, humanitarian and military support for Ukraine now amounts to almost 50 billion euros. Earlier this month, the EU said it would unveil its 10th package of sanctions against Russia on the Feb. 24 anniversary of the war. It will target ["dual-use"]technology used by Russia's war machine, among other things.

hurseda-net | Claim: Ukrainian and Russian casualties according to MOSSAD, 25 Jan
As the first year of the Russia-Ukraine war is approaching, the war losses claimed by Israeli intelligence reveal the terrible dimensions of the war. Allegedly, the field data of January 14, 2023, based on Israeli intelligence, is listed as follows:

Russian losses in the field with 418 thousand soldiers (plus 3,500,000 reservists) and a growing number of Wagner mercenaries :
The losses of 734 thousand soldiers (plus 100 thousand reservists) and NATO officers, soldiers and mercenaries in the field of Ukraine are as follows:
234 Dead - NATO military trainers (US and UK)
2,458 Dead - NATO soldiers (Germany, Poland, Lithuania, ...)
5,360 Dead - Mercenaries

archived January 2023 EEAS "passportization"
by Cat on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 05:44:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unreliable source from Türkiye, affiliated to Muslim Brotherhood and Hizbollah-- post deleted on Reddit

Article copied in Russian media, could not find a second source.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 06:47:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 07:03:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]

I guess you take what you can get.

Apparently you and Elon are among the select few fans of this "media outlet"

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

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 10:08:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO was for the Muslim Brotherhood et al. in "spring" before any one of them won an election.
archived without TWTR in Goodbye Mr. Musk

BTW, most ignorant, litigious nation on planet REWARDS his sacrifices and "bad word choices".

by Cat on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 01:59:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hurseda.net traffic volume is 151 unique daily visitors and their 1,810 pageviews. The web value rate of hurseda.net is 35,150 USD. Each visitor makes around 12.84 page views on average.

By Alexa's traffic estimates hurseda.net placed at 36,526 position over the world, while the largest amount of its visitors comes from Germany, where it takes 19,872 place.

Hurseda.net is hosted by OVH SAS in France; however, we recommend migrating the server to Germany, as it will speed up hurseda.net page load time for the majority of users. See the list of other web pages hosted by OVH SAS.

Hurseda.net registered under .NET top-level domain. Check other websites in .NET zone.

The last verification results, performed on (November 23, 2019) hurseda.net show that hurseda.net has an expired SSL certificate issued by cPanel, Inc. (expired on December 21, 2019). Click "Refresh" button for SSL Information at the Safety Information section. Check the list of websites using SSL certificates issued by cPanel, Inc..

In accordance with Google Safe Browsing, Google Safe Search and Symantec hurseda.net is pretty a safe domain.

Relying Google MobileFriendly test hurseda.net is well optimized for mobile and tablet devices, however web page loading speed may be improved.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 10:04:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Politico.eu.com | EU to launch platform to fight Russian, Chinese disinformation, 7 Feb

EU foreign affairs [gardner] Josep Borrell said today.

A so-called Information Sharing and Analysis Center within the EU's foreign services --the European External Action Service (EEAS) -- will seek to track information manipulation by foreign actors and coordinate with the 27 EU countries and the ["]wider community of NGOs["].

One EEAS official said it would be a decentralized platform to exchange information in real-time with NGOs, countries and cybersecurity agencies, enabling better understanding of emerging disinformation threats and narratives [read: published stories]  and quicker action to tackle such problems. ... Kremlin-led propaganda [nope] seeking to blame the EU for a global food crisis due to its [Pricee Cap Coalition] sanctions has also spread to countries in Africa and the Middle East.

Global South media operators: "a 'new wave' of disinformation of fabricated images, videos and websites posing [!] as media outlets" [read: professional journalists]
The EU's existing disinformation unit, the Stratcom division, in a first-ever report, noted that most of the foreign information manipulation in 2022 had centered on narratives supporting the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russian and Chinese diplomatic channels were particularly involved.
1st EEAS Report on Foreign Information Manipulation and Interference[FIMI] Threats, Towards a framework for networked defence, February 2023, 36 pp
archived There's this thing about liars ...
Foreign Information Manipulation and Interference (FIMI) describes a mostly non-illegal pattern of behaviour that threatens or has the potential to negatively impact values, procedures[,] and political processed [sic]. Such activity is manipulative in character, conducted in an intentional and coordinated manner, by state or non-state actors, including their proxies inside and outside of their own territory.1 ...
...They can't keep track of their lies. Or degrees of atrocity.
by Cat on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 01:45:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Disclaimer: The empirical data analysed in this report represents a limited time-period in 2022 and reflects patterns seen in known outlets related to overt Foreign Information Manipulation and Interference (FIMI) or independently attributed operations by selected actors and on priority issues of the EEAS. The evidence presented in this report serves illustrative purposes and should not be used to draw conclusions about general trends in FIMI, as they only reflect a limited subset of threat actors activity.

"We have to focus on foreign actors who intentionally, in a coordinated manner, try to manipulate our information environment. We need to work with democratic partners around the world to fight information manipulation by authoritarian regimes more actively. It is time to roll up our sleeves and defend democracy, both at home and around the world."

Josep Borrell, High Representative / Vice-President

[pp 5-6]
archived Shaping Europe
by Cat on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 02:18:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 04:47:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Zelensk* admits he never intended to implement Minsk agreements, 9 Feb
..."As for Minsk as a whole, I told Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel: we will not be able to implement it like that," Zelensk* said in an interview with Spiegel published on Thursday. According to Zelensk*, he said the same thing to Russian President Vladimir Putin at the first and last meeting with him in the Normandy format in 2019.

"I told him the same thing as the other two. They were surprised and replied: 'If we knew in advance that you would change the meaning of our meeting, then there would be problems even before the summit,'" Zelensk* added....

archived Merkel's Explosive Interview Die Zeit
by Cat on Thu Feb 9th, 2023 at 09:14:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
archive.is | Ukraine Credit Rating Cut by Moody's on 'Likely' Restructuring, 10 Feb
• Agency assigns Ukraine the second-lowest credit score at Ca
• Fitch, S&P lifted war-torn nation from default in August
"These challenges increase risks to government debt sustainability, making a debt restructuring with significant losses for private-sector creditors very likely," analysts wrote. "The stable outlook reflects balanced risks at the Ca rating level, which is consistent with a recovery in the event of default typically in the order of 35 to 65%."
Ukraine has about $23 billion outstanding in international bonds, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Last year, the nation's dollar bonds were the worst performers in the world, handing investors losses of 77%, according to a Bloomberg index. ...
archived Ukraine "debt freeze" saga, corporate income tax rates in Europe
by Cat on Mon Feb 13th, 2023 at 05:54:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the defender community has entered the room.
by Cat on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 02:26:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU ["]calls out["] Twitter for incomplete disinformation report, 9 Feb
The commission highlighted other tech companies' actions for praise. Google's report indicated that it prevented more than 13 million euros ($14 million) of advertising revenue from reaching disinformation actors, while TikTok's report said it removed more than 800,00 fake accounts.

Meta said in its filing that it applied 28 million fact-checking labels on Facebook and 1.7 million on Instagram. Data indicated that a quarter of Facebook users and 38% of Instagram users don't forward posts after seeing warnings that the content has been flagged as false by fact-checkers

"inauthentic behavior" update
ChatGPT: Optimizing Language Models for Dialogue
ChatGPT Reddit users create DAN, a way to get around the AI chatbot's content restrictions
archived The Code of Conduct on Countering Illegal Hate Speech Online in Goodbye Mr. Musk, New EU media bill seeks to curtail government meddling in Crisis as Discipline, NPI Systems Design 2022, "Extremist Content and Russian Disinformation Online" in A Trip to the Woodshed

professional journosplainin Zelensk*: Ukraine intercepted plans to destroy Moldova, 9 Feb

"I have informed [President Maia Sandu] that we have intercepted the plan of the destruction of Moldova by the Russian intelligence," Zelensk* said through a translator.

Zelensk* said the documents showed "who, when and how" the plan would "break the democracy of Moldova and establish control over Moldova." Zelensk* said the plan was very similar to the one devised by Russia to take over Ukraine. He added that he did not know whether Moscow ultimately ordered the plan to be carried out.
In December, Moldova's national intelligence agency warned that Russia could launch a new offensive this year with the aim of creating a land corridor through southern Ukraine to Moldova's Moscow-backed breakaway region of Transnistria.

archived 2024 US president candidate in Ruble and Rupee, Moldova means business
by Cat on Thu Feb 9th, 2023 at 03:25:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu Feb 9th, 2023 at 03:29:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu Feb 9th, 2023 at 03:50:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
euractiv, 9 Feb "media operator" data privacy and hacker report
Notably shorter than its counterparts was the report submitted by Twitter, which came in at almost 80 pages. In contrast, those of TikTok, Meta, Google and Microsoft, for instance, range from around 150 to well over 200.

That the platform produced the thinnest report "gives the impression that they didn't take it seriously enough", a Commission official said.

This was perhaps unsurprising given Twitter's announcement earlier this week that it would scrap free third-party developer access to its APIs (Application Programming Interface), the official added, describing the move as "going against the spirit of the Code". [...]

by Cat on Thu Feb 9th, 2023 at 04:06:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
background 2022
Economic implications for Moldova of the war in Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia,
17 pp March remittance GRAPHIC WARNING
Ukraine war disrupts Moldova's energy plans, 10 Mar
Moldova unable to halt Russian gas imports, seeking alternatives - president, 5 Apr
Moldova Makes Plans to Escape Russian Energy Dependence, 20 Apr
Gas Stored In Ukraine Is Ours, Moldova Says, Accusing Russia Of Energy 'Blackmail' [sic], 23 Nov
Moldova moves closer to breaking dependence on Russian gas, deputy PM says, 17 Dec

Al Jazeera | Romania counters Ukraine's claim over straying Russian missiles, 10 Feb
"While Moldova confirmed a Ukrainian claim that Russian missiles violated its airspace, Romania issues a firm denial."
Politico.eu.com | Moldova's pro-EU government falls after months of pressure from Russia, 10 Feb snap ELECTION 2023?

At a surprise press briefing Friday, Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilița announced she was resigning together with her pro-Western government. Moldova was granted candidate status to the European Union last June, together with Ukraine, but the government has faced intense pressure from Moscow, which has sought to undermine its authority.
President Maia Sandu said she would launch discussions with the political parties in parliament to appoint a new prime minister.
Moscow has a long history of turning the economic screws on Moldova over the past two decades to undermine pro-EU administrations, most notoriously by rolling out ["]bans on imports["] into Russia of Moldova's all-important wines.
Sandu, a Harvard-educated former anti-corruption campaigner, told POLITICO last month that a "serious discussion" was now taking place in the country, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, including the possibility of joining a defense alliance.
by Cat on Fri Feb 10th, 2023 at 02:25:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Easy victory for Putin with expansion of Russian empire ... 😠 🌏

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 10th, 2023 at 02:55:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In one year ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 10th, 2023 at 02:59:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[President Sandu] names new pro-EU prime minister after government falls amid Russian pressure, 10 Feb
... She named Dorin Recean, a noted pro-EU figure and current national security adviser, to replace Natalia Gavrilița, as the new head of government. The Moldovan parliament, where Sandu's party holds a comfortable majority with 63 out of 101 seats, will vote to confirm the nomination next week...
by Cat on Fri Feb 10th, 2023 at 04:11:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU alone and joined with UN: Moldova, Syria, Türkiye, Ukraine
by Cat on Sat Feb 11th, 2023 at 02:00:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
archive.ph | EU Urged to Make Banks Report Size of Frozen Russian Assets, 9 Feb
The EU's ["]legal service["] said the bloc's laws would permit it to invest the frozen assets and use the proceeds to help Kyiv, but officials must first get a handle on the scale of central bank and other sanctioned state-backed assets that have been immobilized, according to a document shared this week with member states as leaders met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensk* in Brussels.
Officials have estimated that some $258 billion could be located, based on information the Bank of Russia gave in a 2022 report on its foreign exchange and gold asset management, according to the document. So far, EU nations have reported about €33.8 billion ($36.4 billion) of Russian central bank assets that have been frozen, but that figure is still being assessed.
by Cat on Sat Feb 11th, 2023 at 02:09:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Call it "karmic plundering". They are trying to reconnect with their ancestors, or what?
by Oosterbeek on Sat Feb 11th, 2023 at 06:55:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
visitukraine.today | Ukrainian refugees in the US will receive a pension and health insurance: details
The USA will start paying pensions and also provide health insurance to Ukrainians who arrived in the country after the war began. Find out in more detail what new assistance the country's government will provide and what documents are required to receive it.

Retirees from Ukraine who arrived in the U.S. after the outbreak of full-scale war will be able to receive the government's Supplemental Security Income (SSI) pension. This was reported by the Office of Refugee Resettlement of the US Department of Health and Human Services....

by Cat on Sat Feb 25th, 2023 at 10:47:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
WaPoo | Pentagon looks to restart top-secret programs in Ukraine
The Pentagon is urging Congress to resume funding a pair of top-secret programs in Ukraine suspended ahead of Russia's invasion last year, according to current and former U.S. officials. If approved, the move would allow American Special Operations troops to employ Ukrainian operatives to < wipes tears > observe Russian military movements and counter disinformation [?].
< wipes tears >
If successful, these programs could resume as soon as 2024, though it remains unclear if the Biden administration would allow U.S. commandos back into Ukraine to oversee them or if the military would seek to do that from a neighboring country. No American military personnel are known to have operated there since the war began, beyond a small number tasked [sic] to the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.
Mercenaries or Unlawful Combatants,
NATO combatants are housed  in #Zaporizhzhya,
NBC News has not confirmed how many,
16 Dec lost materiel and boots-on-ground
Military officials are eager to restart these activities in Ukraine to ensure that hard-gained relationships are not lost as the war wears on, said Mark Schwartz, a retired three-star general who led U.S. Special Operations in Europe when the programs began in 2018. "When you suspend these things because the scale of the conflict changes, you lose access," he said, "and it means you lose information and intelligence about what's actually going on in the conflict."

American commandos, using a similar funding authority, have for many years paid select foreign military and paramilitary units across the Middle East, Asia[,] and Africa, employing them as < wipes tears > "surrogates" in counter[-]terrorism operations against al-Qaeda, the Islamic State[,] and their affiliates. Newer surrogate programs, such as those used in Ukraine, are considered a form of < wipes tears > "irregular warfare."
Proponents, including current and former defense officials and some congressional staffers, say the secrecy surrounding [NDAA] 1202 programs has made them appear more aggressive than they are, in large part because of Section 1202's derivation from the authority -- called Section 127e -- that allows U.S. Special Operations to pay and equip foreign troops, and dispatch them on missions to kill or capture suspected ["]terrorists["]. Irregular warfare [!] surrogates [!], by contrast, have only conducted what the U.S. military calls < wipes tears >"non-kinetic" -- or nonviolent [sic]-- missions.

tabloid euroweeklynews | WATCH: Austrian Colonel claims NATO soldiers are fighting in Ukraine
by Cat on Fri Feb 10th, 2023 at 08:50:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Wed Feb 22nd, 2023 at 11:14:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]

[N.B. Sud Radio is a far-right cesspit, exactly the sort of place I would go if I wanted to hear pro-Russian sentiment or "analysis")
This woman (a think tanker apparently, and a colonel in the French army reserve) talks about how Ukraine will collapse unless Nato commits troops which it won't, and the FACT that there are many, many Polish soldiers in Ukrainian uniforms, but I confess I stopped listening, doubled over with laughter, when she cited the FACTS about Ukrainian casualties compiled by Mossad and leaked by "a Turkish media"... I realised that she was referring to the Germano-turkish activist site which you quoted a week or two ago.

Perhaps the "Muslim brotherhood" part came later?

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

by eurogreen on Thu Feb 23rd, 2023 at 03:30:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu Feb 23rd, 2023 at 04:04:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hurseda.net traffic volume is 151 unique daily visitors and their 1,810 pageviews. The web value rate of hurseda.net is 35,150 USD. Each visitor makes around 12.84 page views on average.

By Alexa's traffic estimates hurseda.net placed at 36,526 position over the world, while the largest amount of its visitors comes from Germany, where it takes 19,872 place.

Hurseda.net is hosted by OVH SAS in France; however, we recommend migrating the server to Germany, as it will speed up hurseda.net page load time for the majority of users. See the list of other web pages hosted by OVH SAS.

Quite a lot of Turkish migrants living in Germany (and France) are far-right ultra-nationalists. Not sure how they got the inside poop from Mossad.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Feb 23rd, 2023 at 04:48:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu Feb 23rd, 2023 at 09:39:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow, my knowledge of French extreme-right online media is expanding rapidly.  Thanks Cat, for bringing Livre Noir and Omerta to my attention. I will now attempt to forget them.

Can you give me a resumé of the salient points of the interview of Ekaterina Kopylova, Chef du Protocole chez Ambassade de Russie à Paris?

Haven't got the time to listen to the whole 1h17min.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 24th, 2023 at 10:17:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Fri Feb 24th, 2023 at 04:08:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Omertà (oʊˈmɛərtə, Italian pronunciation: [omerˈta])[a] is a Southern Italian code of silence and code of honor and conduct that places importance on silence in the face of questioning by authorities or outsiders; non-cooperation with authorities, the government, or outsiders, especially during criminal investigations; and willfully ignoring and generally avoiding interference with the illegal activities of others (i.e., not contacting law enforcement or the authorities when one is aware of, witness to, or even the victim of certain crimes). It originated and remains common in Southern Italy, where banditry or brigandage and Mafia-type criminal organizations (like the Camorra, Cosa Nostra, 'Ndrangheta, Sacra Corona Unita and Società foggiana) have long been strong. Similar codes are also deeply rooted in other areas of the Mediterranean, including Malta, Crete in Greece,[1] and Corsica, all of which share a common or similar historic culture with Southern Italy.

Retaliation against informers is common in criminal circles, where they are often described by terms such as "rats" or "snitches".

The term is in fairly common usage in France. In the context of sexual harassment, the implication is that men protect each other and themselves by refusing to talk about it or deal with it.

When a far-right media site uses the term, the implication is that "they" (the guvvermint, the medias, the Deep State, usual laundry list) don't want us to know what's REALLY happening, and we're here to tell you the truth. An explicitly conspirationist choice of name.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 24th, 2023 at 04:55:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukrinform | 17,000 volunteers apply to Offensive Guard assault brigades
The relevant statement was made by Ukrainian Internal Affairs Minister Ihor Klymenko during a nationwide telethon, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

"About 10.5 thousand persons submitted applications via the website [of the Offensive Guard - Ed.], and 6.5 thousand persons came via administrative services centers," Klymenko told. In his words, there are 600 requests from female applicants. They can be involved in medical and logistics units.

According to Klymenko, the average age of applicants is 33. They will sign a contract for a period of three years.

Ukrinform | Ukroboronprom, NATO country launch joint production of 120mm mines
"The Ukroboronprom State Concern and a member country of the North Atlantic Alliance [sic] began to jointly produce 120mm mines. The other day, a contract was concluded with the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine for the supply of these weapons, so the Ukrainian military will soon receive them," the report said.
The company specified that 120mm mines are manufactured using modern technologies. At the same time, the production facilities are dispersed, with some of them located in a European country. Such mines hit enemy infantry in a radius of 25 to 60 meters, and fragments can be scattered for a distance of 250 meters.

The 120mm mortar is one of the most common types of artillery weapons in Ukraine and is actively used in hostilities against the Russian invaders. It is capable of hitting targets at a distance of up to seven kilometers, and with modern ammunition - at more than eight kilometers.

archived Ukraine urgently needs cluster munitions, Russian 'war crimes' reported in Kherson

euractiv | Ukraine fights to defend Europe's 'way of life', Zelensk* tells EU Parliament, 9 Feb farewell cruel jungle

"This is our Europe, these are our rules, this is our way of life, and for Ukraine, it's a way home, a way to home," Zelensk* said. "I'm here in order to defend our people's way home," he said.

Ukraine's President paused his speech and clapped for Europeans who supported Ukraine in "this historic battle" against Russia, with many MEPs responding with standing ovations.
Speaking before Zelensk*, [EP President Roberta] Metsola urged that EU member states "must consider" providing the long-range missile systems and jets that Ukraine has asked for and needs to protect the "liberty too many have taken for granted".

archived Europe welcomes Ukrainian refugees
by Cat on Thu Feb 9th, 2023 at 08:28:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spiegel | Searches for possible violations of Russia sanctions  near Cologne, 9 Feb
6.45 p.m.: Because of the suspicion of violations of the EU sanctions [Package No. x] against Russia, the Cologne public prosecutor's office searched the business premises of three companies in the Rhein-Erft district near Cologne and the living quarters of three suspects. A spokeswoman for the public prosecutor said records, documents[,] and electronic data carriers [sic] had been secured.

The investigation, which has been ongoing since January, is about the delivery of goods from the IT and electrical sectors with a volume of around 15.5 million dollars (14.4 million euros) by a Kerpen company to a company based in Turkey [!]. There is a suspicion of circumvention of EU economic sanctions against Russia, said the justice spokeswoman. In the morning, the ARD magazine "Monitor" reported on the possible violations of sanctions. [I]n the afternoon[,] "Monitor" and the "Bild" newspaper reported on the searches.

by Cat on Thu Feb 9th, 2023 at 09:27:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukrinform | EU accounts for over half of Ukraine's agricultural exports last year
"In 2022, Ukraine received the main part of revenues from the export of agri-food products to the European Union countries. The total worth of supplies to the EU totaled $13.1 billion, i.e. 56% of all agricultural exports. To a large extent, this is due to forced circumstances as a result of the war because our seaports were actually blocked from the end of February to August last year," the Ukrainian Agriculture Export Association informs.

Dairy product exports saw especially noticeable changes in geographical structure. In 2022, the sale of dairy products to the European Union totaled $102 million. In particular, Poland, Israel, and the Netherlands bought dry and condensed milk (the share of total exports was 38%), Poland, Moldova, Azerbaijan - butter and milk pastes (69%), Kazakhstan, Poland, Moldova - cheeses (85%).

archived Please take these [agricultural] products to Africa ...
by Cat on Thu Feb 16th, 2023 at 02:52:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
broken link to the article you quote
by Tom2 on Thu Feb 16th, 2023 at 09:39:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 16th, 2023 at 10:35:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
comical: The global food crisis ends at EU27 borders.
Since May 2022, over 23 million tonnes [60%, or 13.8M mt] of grain and oilseeds were exported [by Ukraine] via the solidarity lanes [to EU27]
9.2M mt of Solidarity Lanes' grains and oil seeds were delivered to "other". If the remainder of Solidarity Lanes' "humanitarian relief" is not in "storage on EU territory", which "vulnerable countries" received it?

The Consilium "Global Cooperation" infographic does not say.

Rather, the EU27 enjoy surplus of dairy, "select" meats, and "cereal products" thanks to CAP.

The sum of the Consilium's bar graph of Ukraine total (Black Sea Initiative) food products exports (src: UA) is 29,115,815.

So. Let's compare Concilium infographics with JCC infographics a/o 16 Feb: total mt (21,411,838) and destinations, of which total cargo directly delivered to a port of Africa is 2,531,771, or 11%—of which 1.3M mt wheat, 1.01M mt corn.

The sum of Ukraine's "Solidarity Lane" and "Black Sea Grain Initiative" cargo is 50,527,666 mt, of which 5% received by starving Africa.

In conclusion, the data do not agree who in the world has benefited from the "granary of Europe".

by Cat on Fri Feb 17th, 2023 at 01:28:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukranews round-up
Ukraine Reduces Grain Exports By 28.7% To 30.3 Million Tons Since Early MY2022/2023
...This follows from a statement by the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food, Ukrainian News Agency reports.

A total of 10,808,000 tons of wheat, 1,981,000 tons of barley, and 15,300,000 tons of rye and 17,415,000 tons of corn have already been exported....

Daily Sabah | Ukraine wants grain deal to be extended 1 year with new ports, unexpectedly
Last July, the Black Sea Grain Initiative brokered by the U.N. and Türkiye allowed grain to be exported from three Ukrainian ports. The agreement was extended in November and will expire on March 18 unless an extension is agreed upon.

"A formal proposal will come out from us this week on the need to work on an extension," Yuriy Vaskov, Ukraine's deputy minister of restoration, told Reuters in an interview.
Ukraine exports around 3 million tons of agricultural products monthly under the deal. Still, Vaskov said Ukraine could export 6 million tons a month from the ports of the Odessa region and boost it to 8 million tons if Mykolaiv joins.
Vaskov said Mykolaiv's ports, which accounted for 35% of Ukrainian food exports before the Russian invasion, were ready to join the initiative and would need a maximum of two weeks to start operations.

He said Kyiv did not see Russia's occupation of the Kinburn spit as an obstacle to adding Mykolaiv's ports to an extended deal. The spit of land overlooks ships' route to sail from Mykolaiv's ports into the Black Sea.

"If the ports (of Mykoliav) are included in the initiative, there will be an obligation not to attack ships carrying agricultural products, which can work even in the current situation," Vaskov said.

Ukraine Counting On Multi-Year Program With IMF For USD 15 Billion
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said this after a meeting with IMF Director Kristalina Georgieva and the Fund's team, Ukrainian News Agency reports.

"We discussed the mechanisms of financial support for Ukraine. We have achieved success in the implementation of the monitoring program, in particular, we have finalized the implementation of all ["]structural beacons["]. So we look forward to the launch of a new multi-year large program with a volume of more than USD 15 billion," he said. According to the Prime Minister, the program will be organized in two parts: urgent financial assistance and support for structural reforms that will contribute to the restoration of Ukraine....

Cabinet Approves Procedure For Conducting E-Auctions During Large-Scale Privatization, unexpectedly
This was announced by Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal during a government meeting on February 14, Ukrainian News Agency reports.

"The government is continuing the reform of corporate governance and privatization. Only since the beginning of the year, within the framework of the so-called small privatization, the state has attracted UAH 747 million at open auctions, and entrepreneurs from all over the country have received opportunities to develop their businesses," he said....

Banks' Profit Up 2.1 Times To UAH 14.7 Billion In January
...The sector's return on capital for the year was 10.9% [!] compared to 35.1% [!] a year ago. The main factor in the decrease in profitability was a significant increase in deductions to reserves for incurred and expected losses as a result of the war.

As of January 1, 2023, out of 67 solvent banks, 46 were profitable and had a net profit of UAH 45.6 billion, which covered the losses of 21 banks in the total amount of UAH 20.8 billion....

ISW Explains Why Putin's Message Contained So Few Specifics About War In Ukraine
by Cat on Wed Feb 22nd, 2023 at 06:21:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Politico.eu.com | Cyprus presidential election heads for runoff next Sunday, 6 Feb
Former Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides will face diplomat Andreas Mavroyiannis in second round on February 12.

In a record field of 14 candidates, Christodoulides won 32 percent of the votes, according to results announced by state broadcaster of Cyprus, while Mavroyiannis received just under 30 percent. ...Christodoulides is from the ruling right-wing Democratic Rally party (DISY), but is running as an independent. Mavroyiannis is running as an independent with the backing of the communist-rooted AKEL party.
The winner will succeed outgoing conservative President Nicos Anastasiades, who has been at the helm of the Mediterranean island for a decade. All the main candidates have been close associates of Anastasiades for the last decade.

Anastasiades' tenure has been marred by corruption allegations, especially for the controversial "golden visa" program, which gave foreigners a passport in exchange for investment in the country. Recipients included people involved in money laundering and other criminal activities. At least 1,000 Russians received Cypriot citizenship this way, before the program was suspended in 2020.

archived shipping companies, Historic Gold Agreements, Pipeline to EU, lower tax rates in This is obscene, citizens' benefits in Continent preparing for Brexit, A couple of British "ex-pats" demand satisfaction, UK Sovereign Base Areas in Has the backstop back-fired on Ireland?
by Cat on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 06:14:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
TASS | Nikos Christodoulidis wins Cypriot presidential election, 12 Feb
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulidis, will become the eighth president of this state after the island gained independence in 1960. In the second round of elections held on Sunday, 49-year-old Christodoulidis defeated his 66-year-old rival, the former Greek Cypriot side's chief negotiator for a settlement on the island and former Cyprus Permanent Representative to the UN, Andreas Mavroyiannis, by almost four percentage points....
by Cat on Sun Feb 12th, 2023 at 11:56:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Berlin: Conservatives win vote but unclear who will rule, 13 Feb
after a botched 2021 election was declared invalid
The conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) picked up the largest share of the vote at 28.2%, leaving the SPD in a tie for second place with the environment-friendly Greens, each with 18.4%. The result is the worst for the SPD in the post-war era in Berlin. In 2021, the center-left party received 21.4% of the vote. For the CDU, the result is the best in 20 years, potentially giving them 48 seats in the 147-seat Berlin state parliament, with the SPD and the Greens each taking 31.
Sunday's turnout was lower than in 2021, with about 63.5% to 65% of voters participating by 6 p.m. local time (1700 GMT). In 2021, it was 75.4%, although it is difficult to compare these numbers as a federal election was held at the same time, and these usually attract more voters.
rbb24.de | Everything that is on the ballot for the rerun of elections in Berlin, 27 Jan
by Cat on Mon Feb 13th, 2023 at 03:26:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The outgoing coalition, pink/green/red, won 92 seats out of 159, so has a clear majority and mandate.
Probably avec a Green mayor, as they were the only party of the coalition to pick up seats (+2, while the others lost 2 each)

The major change, unmentioned by the DW article, is the wipeout of the right-liberals FDP (12 -> 0).

The only way they get a CDU mayor is if the SPD joined them in coalition (which would be a typical SPD loser move)

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

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 13th, 2023 at 03:53:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The CDU is trying a Trump/Bolsonaro move of claiming to have won the election, which clearly they have not. They won 28% of the vote, hardly a majority. Besides, their campaign was not just an attack on red, red, and green policy, it went into personal smear mode, and additionally some very racist moves. Now, all of a sudden, they complain bitterly that nobody is eager to start negotiations about a coalition with them.
by Katrin on Mon Feb 13th, 2023 at 07:05:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 02:26:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UN Charter, Art.106-107, JOINT FOUR-NATION DECLARATION, October, 1943 in re: "Hitlerites"
The governments of the United States of America, United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and China; United...
APsplainin Bulgaria bans neo-Nazi event after public outcry, 25 Feb 2023
The event has been condemned by human rights groups, political parties, and foreign embassies, which criticized the march organizers for promoting racism, xenophobia, [possibly fascism,] and antisemitism. Nationalists gathered in front of the prosecutor's office to protest [la omerta].

Meanwhile, dozens of anti-fascist activists staged a rally against the nationalist event, insisting that neo-Nazis should be banned. A heavy police presence blocked any clashes between the two sides.

Held annually since 2003 [!], the march over the years has attracted nationalist admirers of Gen. Hristo Lukov, who supported Germany during World War II and was killed by an anti-fascist resistance movement. The general served as war minister from 1935 to 1938 and led the pro-Nazi Germany Union of Bulgarian Legions from 1942 until his death in 1943.

Organizers deny that Lukov was antisemitic or that they are neo-fascists, insisting that the general was a war hero and a true Bulgarian patriot and claiming that the descendants of the [communist partisan] murderers of Lukov are afraid of the event.

The creation of monuments in Bulgaria and the celebration of the Day of Homage and Gratitude are not isloated eppisodes. Since the global economic crisis that began in 2008, governments and coporations are especially eager to remind the public about the evils of communism. In 2009, the European Union created a new holiday to be marked each year on August 23: the European Day of Rememberance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism. In that same year, the American Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation launched a virtual Global Museam on Communism, "an international portal created to honor the more than 100 million victims of communist atrocities." In June 2013, a Madrid court order the dismantling of a monument that commemorated the sacrifies of the International Brigades who fought against Franco in the Spanish Civil War.
archived 24 May 2022 HUMANITARIAN CRISIS
by Cat on Sun Feb 26th, 2023 at 06:32:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
stars & stripes | Protest by Kremlin supporters draws 2,500 outside Ramstein Air Base gate
Organized by a mix of German right-wing politicians and Russian expatriates, the protesters made their way from Ramstein's small train station toward the main gate of Ramstein Air Base, the largest U.S. Air Force installation in Europe.

Focused on Russia's war in Ukraine, the protest attracted droves of people who share the organizers' pro-Kremlin views. They also included nuclear disarmament advocates and anti-vaccine activists. German police estimated a crowd of 2,500 people at its peak, according to a statement Sunday....

foreignbrief | Anti-Ukraine war protest to begin in Germany
The rally is expected to occur outside NATO's Ramstein Air Base, under the slogan "Stop the export of NATO weapons to Ukraine to prevent the Third World War". While the protest is organized by pacifist organizations, there have been suspicions that they have been influenced by Russia in an effort to sow discontent over military aid being provided to Ukraine....
by Cat on Sun Feb 26th, 2023 at 11:50:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
presstv.ir | Thousands in Italy protest West's weapons supplies to Ukraine as war enters 2nd year
A march was held in Rome under the name "Europe for Peace", with contributions from non-governmental organizations. The anti-war protesters also held demonstrations in Milan, Italy's second-largest city, Pisa, Florence, and Lecce among several other cities. ...In Genoa, people took to the streets and chanted "Exit Italy from NATO", calling for Italy's withdrawal from the European Union and NATO. Other slogans such as "Down the guns, raise the wages" were also shouted....
Politico.eu.com | In show of solidarity, Belgium protests against Russian President Putin's invasion
by Cat on Mon Feb 27th, 2023 at 12:03:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The guy is famous enough to have an impact and his Twitter profile shows he knows what is at stake: straight riad to transhum


by Oosterbeek on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 06:43:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
F24 | LIVE [blog-ish]: Third wave of nationwide strikes, protests against French pension reform, 7 Feb no video
Trade unions launched a third wave of nationwide strikes on Tuesday against President Emmanuel Macron's plans to make the French work longer before retirement, a day after parliament began debate on the bill. Follow FRANCE 24's live blog below for the latest developments.

• People took to the streets for a third day of strikes Tuesday against government plans to reform the pension system, of which a proposal to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 is among the most controversial. Public transport was disrupted and refinery deliveries were halted across France as workers walked out on the job, with unions urging the public to take to the streets in large numbers....

Sputnik live video feed has been running a few hours now. I started watching the march about 1.5 hr ago. The crowd on the move was tight until riot police moved in ~ 40 minutes ago to disperse. Sporadic flares and flash amid the rally chants ...
by Cat on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 04:47:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Booming, democratic, Europe
by Tom2 on Fri Feb 17th, 2023 at 03:44:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The signatories of a Manifesto for Peace, initiated by Sara Wagenknecht (formerly of the Left) and Alice Schwarzer, and signed by an impressive roster of boomer peaceniks, and call for a demo at the Brandenburg Gate on Saturday.

Their objective is to stop arms deliveries to Ukraine, to force the Ukrainian government to negotiate.

but (unexpectedly?) they have some embarassing bedfellows :

In the weeks since its release, however, the manifesto has also been embraced by the far right. Among the half a million signatures since added to the online petition is that of Tino Chrupalla, a co-leader of the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party, while a link to the manifesto has been shared online by Hans-Christian Strache, the disgraced former leader of Austria's far-right Freedom party.

Groups from the rightwing extremist spectrum, including Saxony's Freie Jugend youth movement and the neo-fascist magazine Compact, have encouraged participation in Saturday's gathering on their social media channels.

Die Linke has dissociated itself from the demo.

A quote from Wagenknecht :

"We can be happy that Putin isn't what he is portrayed to be, namely a crazy Russian nationalist who gets high on moving borders. If that were so, negotiations would probably be pointless."

I agree with the second part of this statement.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 24th, 2023 at 10:36:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thousands join Berlin rally calling for Ukraine peace talks
While most placards at the protest reflected traditional left-wing positions, some participants bore banners with the slogan "Americans go home" and the logo of a far-right magazine [CFR.de?]. Some waved Russian flags.
Another of the organizers, prominent feminist author Alice Schwarzer, said it was time to look beyond left and right. Protesters jeered whenever she and Wagenknecht mentioned the name of German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who has strongly backed the delivery of arms to Ukraine.
Protesters jeered whenever she and Wagenknecht mentioned the name of German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who has strongly backed the delivery of arms to Ukraine....
by Cat on Sun Feb 26th, 2023 at 05:08:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 27th, 2023 at 08:04:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]

141 for, 7 against
Six countries joined Russia to vote no - Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea, Mali, Nicaragua and Syria. Russia's close ally China abstained on the UN vote.

(I remember when Ortega was a hero. I was young.)

But apart from that, sure, Russia has widespread support for its imperialist adventure.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 24th, 2023 at 11:36:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 2nd, 2023 at 04:13:38 PM EST
consilium.europa.eu | EU agrees on level of price caps for Russian petroleum products, 4 Feb
The first price cap for petroleum products traded at a discount to crude oil is set at USD 45 per barrel, while the second price cap for petroleum products traded at a premium to crude is set at USD 100 per barrel.

The level of the cap was established in close cooperation with the Price Cap Coalition and will become applicable as of 5 February 2023. A transitional period of 55 days is foreseen for those vessels carrying Russian petroleum products, which were purchased and loaded onto the vessel prior to 5 February 2023 and unloaded prior to 1 April 2023.

In addition, the Council will revert to review the price cap mechanism for crude oil as of mid-March and the review will occur regularly every two months.

archived January price cap mania, never accepts failure

by Cat on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 02:58:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SPglobal | G7, Australia agree on price cap levels for seaborne Russian petroleum products, 3 Feb
Grace period
Refined product price cap regulations will take effect Feb. 5 "or very soon thereafter," the coalition said, with a 55-day grace period for refined products loaded before Feb. 5 and unloaded by April 1.

The US Treasury Department has said that the window for unloading provides confidence that entities can continue to carry Russian products and sign purchase contracts above the price cap ahead of Feb. 5, avoiding a sudden halt in Russian products flow leading up to price cap implementation, while also ensuring that stakeholders are mindful of the price cap guidance. Market observers, however, have warned that shipping logistics could prove more challenging as refined products that generally travel in smaller tankers search for fleet capacity.

archived This happened after the restriction of oil prices from the Russian Federation (05.12.22)
The ["]embargo["] on Russian refined oil products is likely to stress near-term European supply, but the US futures market expects a calm transition as it had already priced in any immediate disruptions.[...] Longer term, the sanctions are likely to result in a reconfiguring of global supply chains, rather than tighter supply. European buyers have already stepped up imports from Turkey and India -- both countries that have become top buyers of Russian crude in the wake of the separate EU ban on Moscow's crude exports from Dec. 5.
Indian refiners purchase Russian crude in Emirati currency: Report (03.02.23)
"We have already seen early progress toward those objectives through the price cap on crude oil exports," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement Feb. 3. "Senior Russian officials have repeatedly admitted that the crude oil price cap is cutting into their most important source of revenue and has darkened [!] the Kremlin's already troubled fiscal outlook. [FALSE] Global energy markets have also remained well-supplied, and public reports indicate that crude oil importers are using the price cap to drive steep bargains on Russian oil imports."
archive.is | Russia's Oil Cargoes Surge With Pipe Down and Fuel Ban at Hand, 30 Jan
archive.ph | Gulf Oil Refiners Struggle to Be Ready as EU Bans Russian Fuels, 2 Feb
archive.is | G-7, EU Set $100 Price Cap on Russian Diesel as Import Ban Looms, 3 Feb
archive.ph | The EU's Ban on Russian Diesel Won't Really Stop Fuel Flows, 4 Feb
by Cat on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 03:15:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
S&P Global | Platts will exclude Russia as potential origin in Europe T2 Ethanol assessment
Commodity: Agriculture [!]
Region: EMEA

Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, will no longer include Russia as part of the open origin basis of its FOB Rotterdam T2 Ethanol assessments in Europe, effective February 7, 2023.

Market feedback to Platts consultation opened Jan. 24 highlighted that flows of Russian-origin ethanol into Europe are insignificant, but that companies are nonetheless increasingly stipulating that they will not handle Russian-origin material.

Platts has therefore decided that its FOB Rotterdam T2 Ethanol assessment will no longer reflect Russian-origin material.

Platts would like to clarify that its assessments that exclude Russian-origin material reflect ethanol that is not wholly, or in part, produced, manufactured or processed in Russia; or exported from Russia. Platts would also like to reiterate that, as per its assessment methodology, commodities supplied from countries or entities that are subject to trading embargoes and sanctions recognized under international law should not be delivered against transactions concluded during the Platts MOC [Management of Change] process, regardless of whether the assessment reflects restricted-origin or open-origin material.
Market feedback also highlighted that Proof of Sustainability documents and contractual language may prompt buyers to request further detail regarding the origin of ethanol cargoes. Platts invites further feedback on typical market practice for demonstrating the origin of ethanol and its feedstocks.

Don't ask. Don't tell.
by Cat on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 01:02:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
APsplainin German leader seeks Indian support for Russia's isolation, 25 Feb
Olaf Scholz sought assurances Saturday from India that it would support or at least not block [?] Western efforts to isolate Russia for waging a devastating war against Ukraine.
Scholz, who arrived in the Indian capital on Saturday, also discussed with Modi ways to boost economic cooperation, including through a free trade agreement between the European Union and India. Scholz made clear he favors a free trade deal and said he "personally will make sure that (the talks) do not drag on."

The trip is Scholz's first official visit to India, though it is his fourth meeting with Modi since taking office in 2021, underlining Germany's interest in reaching out to Delhi.
Modi said the business delegation accompanying Scholz was firming up agreements with India in digital technology, the telecommunication sector[,] and diversification of supply chains.

Scholz reiterated that Germany welcomes [Indo-Germano] skilled workers from India, especially in information technology and software industries.

money quote
India is set to receive $10.5 billion in aid by 2030 to boost the use of clean energy under agreements the two sides signed in May last year. Scholz's delegation included several German business leaders, including the head of ThyssenKrupp, which is trying to sell further submarines to India.

Asked whether such a [arms] deal with India, which has been a major buyer of arms from Russia, could be struck, Scholz said he had "the impression that the quality of German technology enjoys great recognition and appreciate here."

navalnews | [Indian shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Ltd] MDL Delivers 5th Scorpene Submarine To The Indian Navy, 22 Dec 2022
... Scorpène is the conventional submarine designed by Naval Group for the export market. It demonstrates both Naval Group's ability to deliver best in class submarines and to conduct successful transfers of technology. Today 14 Scorpène submarines are in operational service or being built, for the Chilean Navy (2 units), the Malaysian Navy (2 units), the Indian Navy (6 units) and the Brazilian Navy (4 units)....
by Cat on Sun Feb 26th, 2023 at 05:49:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BNN Bloomberg | US Warns Turkey on Export-Controlled Goods Sent to Russia, 3 Feb
"The UAE and Turkey have emerged as havens for Russian wealth over the past year, complicating US efforts to muster a unified front against President Vladimir Putin."
yahoo! Bloomberg | US Raises Pressure on Turkey and UAE to Curb Russia Trade Ties
"Nelson is the third senior official from the US Treasury to visit Turkey in a year, ratcheting up pressure to comply with US sanctions."

US Treasury | Remarks by U.S. Department of the Treasury's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson in Türkiye, 3 Feb pain pointes

At the U.S. Treasury Department, we approach these issues introspectively as well. We recognize that while these issues may originate outside of America's borders, it is often vulnerabilities within the United States that illicit actors exploit to move, launder, or hide their dark [!] money.
archived: btw, the Price Cap Coalition is no closer to defining a RF fiscal "break even" price/bbl than it was Dec 2021, because it kicked CBR off SWIFT, can't track ...
Just last week, my department released an alert to the U.S. private sector on potential U.S. commercial real estate investments by sanctioned Russian elites, oligarchs, and their proxies....
... As part of our coordinated efforts, we are working to stop and prevent Russian efforts to circumvent international sanctions and financial controls in dozens of countries, including Türkiye.... However, the marked rise over the past year in non-essential [?!] Turkish exports or re-exports to Russia makes the Turkish private sector particularly vulnerable to reputational and sanctions risks. This is being driven by Moscow.[...] In engaging with sanctioned Russian entities, Turkish businesses and banks could put themselves at risk of sanctions and a potential loss of access to G7 markets and correspondent relationships....
While as governments we are working on curbing these threats in international fora, as you know, there are areas where governments generally do not adapt as quickly as the private sector to address evolving illicit finance threats. As such, I request that you take independent steps to protect the integrity of the Turkish financial system and minimize risks to your business reputation....
...After all, safeguarding our financial system is not just about preventing crime, it's also about ensuring < wipes tears > equity and inclusion across the global economy: so that political elites play by the same set of rules as everyone else, so that criminals don't exploit everyday people, so that we preserve and uphold the rule of law, and so that people across the globe can ultimately live in a fair society.
Daily Sabah | US envoy hails ties with Türkiye from aboard warship in Bosporus, 3 Feb
"Speaking to the media aboard the USS Nitze, Jeff Flake [intervention specialist!] called it a wonderful demonstration of the partnership the U.S. has with Türkiye."
archived Nelson, Türkiye, Oman in The cost of doing business
by Cat on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 03:39:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sputnik | Turkish Experts Interpret Photo of US Envoy Aboard Warship as 'Threat to Turkey'
"Retired Lieutenant General and former Turkish intelligence chief Ismail Hakki Pekin argued the display of disproportionately-sized flags was a conscious move. The ex-official told the newspaper there was 'serious reaction against the US in Turkey' in light of Washington's alleged 'ties to terrorism.'... He also said that he had never encountered such an 'unpleasant' situation before, having visited many ports in his life."
by Cat on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 09:19:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sanction brochure No. 10

ec.europa.eu | Statement by President von der Leyen on the 10th package of sanctions against Russia, 15 Feb sensitivity training

First, we propose further export bans worth more than €11 billion, to deprive the Russian economy of critical technology and industrial goods. ...

Second, we will further restrict the export of dual use goods and advanced tech goods.This is why, for the first time ever, we are adding third country entities to the Russia dual use sanctions. Iran's Revolutionary Guards have been providing Russia with Shahed drones to attack civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. Therefore, we are now adding seven Iranian entities to our dual use regime. They are now under a complete ban to sell sensitive items to Russia. And we stand ready to list further Iranian and other third country entities that are providing sensitive technology to Russia. This should act as a strong deterrent to other companies and international traders...

My third point is about Russia's propaganda machine. Putin is also waging war in the public space, with an army of propagandists and disinformation networks....

This is my fourth point. We will track oligarchs trying to hide or to sell their assets to escape sanctions. And together with Member States we will set up an overview of all frozen assets of the Russian central bank held in the EU. ...

And finally, we are working closely with Member States, operators and partner countries to tackle circumvention. Our special envoy David O'Sullivan is reaching out to third countries, to ensure strict implementation of sanctions and prevent circumvention. And next week, we will organise a Sanctions Coordinators Forum, gathering our international partners and Member States, to strengthen enforcement efforts. Together, we are tightening the screws on Russia more and more. I call on the Member States to adopt this new package of sanctions swiftly. Our aim is to have, together with our G7 partners, further significant sanctions in place by February 24—xactly one year after Putin launched his [?] imperial war.

business.inquirer reuters | EU debates 11 billion euro worth of trade curbs in new Russia sanctions
a new batch of sanctions against Russia, which the head of the bloc's executive said could cost [WHO?] 11 billion euros ($11.8 billion) in lost trade.
The Commission has proposed EU countries should cut four more Russian banks, including the private Alfa-Bank, the online bank Tinkoff and the commercial lender Rosbank from global messaging system SWIFT, two EU diplomatic sources said on condition of anonymity.

Rubber and asphalt would be added to the EU list of barred imports from Russia and the bloc would ban Russia Today's [RT] Arabic service from its territory, according to the people, who are familiar with the confidential talks.

NASA | 16 Allies, Finland[,] and Sweden launch largest space project in NATO's history, 15 Feb Global Gateway
On Wednesday (15 February 2023), 16 Allies¹, together with invitees Finland and Sweden, launched a new initiative that will transform the way NATO gathers and uses data from space, significantly improve NATO's intelligence and surveillance, and provide essential support to NATO's military missions and operations
1. Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Türkiye, United Kingdom, United States.
archived the impertinence
by Cat on Wed Feb 15th, 2023 at 07:01:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Wed Feb 15th, 2023 at 08:11:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO (a/o 2022) AL, TR; EU ( BE, BG, HR, CZ, DK, ES, EE, FR, DE, GR, HU, IT, LV, LT, LU, NL, PL, PT, RO, SI, SK,  ME*, MK*), EEA (IS, NO), COE observers (UK, US, CA)
IMF (1944 SDR capital): USD, GBP, EUR (FKA 1995: DE, FR, NL), JPY, RMB
UNSC (perm. delegates): FR, US, UK, CN, RU
Price Cap Coalition: US, EU, UK, CA, AU

Roll Call | OpEd | Fireproofing US-European ties, 6 Feb

In the face of these growing challenges and those that will arise from a changing geopolitical global order, it is time for the U.S. and the EU to strengthen EU-U.S. cooperation, building on the 1995 New Transatlantic Agenda and the 2021 Joint Transatlantic Agenda.

To that end, the EU and the U.S. should agree at the U.S.-EU summit this summer to develop a 21st century Transatlantic Partnership framework by their 2024 summit and commit to a road map for achieving their goals by 2030.
To ensure that a strong EU-U.S. Partnership has broad political support, Congress and the European Parliament must be engaged from the beginning. As a first step, the Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue should have official status in Congress.

This enhanced engagement with the political community should point toward creation of a Transatlantic Assembly, comparable to NATO's North Atlantic Assembly, to provide a shared platform for congressional and parliamentary involvement as U.S.-EU relations deepen.
Bruce Stokes is a visiting senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund.

by Cat on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 02:40:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
rollcall | Lawmakers seek to stop China's tech rise without a 'Great Wall', 14 Feb "progressive caucus"
"There are certain areas that meet the test of national security as well as issues that the American people care about ... including semiconductors, large-capacity batteries that have to do with electric vehicles, critical minerals, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, but also pharmaceutical ingredients, automobile manufacturing," said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., the ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee.
DeLauro, a founding member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said she intended to take up her capital-flow [read: FDI] measure in the current Congress and push back against opposition from U.S. companies, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, that called for more narrowly tailored legislation. DeLauro is also encouraging the Biden administration to take executive action to track and restrict U.S. capital investment in China.
Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., said it's possible to trade some goods with China even as the U.S. closes Beijing's access to others. Gallagher is chair of the House Select Committee on Strategic Competition between the U.S. and the Chinese Communist Party, tasked [sic] with proposing a wide range of measures to address the U.S.-China ties.

"I don't have a problem with us buying cheap clothes from China. ... We probably don't want to spend a bunch of money onshoring textile manufacturing," Gallagher said in an interview. "I also don't have a problem with Wisconsin farmers selling soybeans to China, but I do have a problem with us being dependent on China for advanced pharmaceutical ingredients, or micro electronics. ... I have a problem with dependency on rare earths," he said.

Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., a member of the select committee on China and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said it's not enough to decouple from China and that the U.S. must aim for a broader economic rebalancing and reduce the U.S.-China goods and services trade deficit that was about $383 billion last year.

In addition to bringing back key U.S. industries, such as steel, that shifted operations abroad in the past few decades, "we have to push to open the Chinese markets to American products," Khanna said in an interview. "What's going to keep us ahead of China is to have China become dependent on American technology and have American technology lead."
"If we don't ... then we descend into autarky, and that doesn't help Americans," Gallagher said.

archived self-sustainability or autarky, this kind of autarky, Mohamed Ali's state-centered autarky
by Cat on Wed Feb 15th, 2023 at 12:46:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CNN | China sanctions Lockheed, Raytheon after vowing to retaliate against US ["]restrictions["], 16 Feb
China has imposed sanctions on two American defense [sic] manufacturers over arms sales to Taiwan, a day after Beijing pledged to take "countermeasures" in response to Washington's handling of a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that entered US airspace late last month.
archived a rare, auspicious CNN appearance
Both companies are also subject to fines "twice the amount" of their arms sales to Taiwan dating back to September 2020, and their senior executives will be prohibited from entering and working in China.

It was not immediately clear how Beijing would enforce the fines. While the United States prohibits the sale of weapons to China, some US defense contractors have ties to civilian sectors.

Beijing has previously imposed sanctions on both companies in relation to their arms sales to Taiwan, without specifying what the penalties would entail and how they would be enforced. China's ruling Communist Party views democratic Taiwan as its territory, despite never having controlled it.

archived Ministry of Foreign Affairs Announces Countermeasures in Response to Nancy Pelosi's Visit, Mr. Qin Gang published an article
The move comes just days after the US Commerce Department ["]restricted["] six Chinese companies that it said were tied to the Chinese army's aerospace program from obtaining US technology without government authorization. That move came after American forces downed what it called a Chinese surveillance balloon that entered its airspace late last month.
"late last month"
NY Post reuters | Ukraine says it shot down 6 Russian spy balloons over Kyiv, 15 Feb
"Aerial targets were detected in the sky over the Kyiv region. As a result air defense kicked into action," the Kyiv Regional Military Administration reported on Telegram. "Keep calm and stay in shelters!"

Although the message did not specify when the balloons were shot down, air alerts were issued in Kyiv on Wednesday.

The apparent use of balloons comes on top of the US shooting down several unusual objects in American [and Canadian] skies, including a balloon with a payload the THE SIZE OF THREE BUSES that reportedly had been tracked from China ["late last month"?].

Kyiv's military said the balloons it shot down appeared to be carrying corner reflectors and reconnaissance equipment.

"According to information that is now being clarified, these were balloons that move in the air under the propulsion of wind," the military administration wrote.

by Cat on Thu Feb 16th, 2023 at 04:34:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Politico.eu.com | The delayed impact of the EU's wartime sanctions on Russia, 3 Feb "visualization"
...The main reason behind this? Energy dependency on Russia and skyrocketing energy prices. But that's not the whole story: Some EU countries were much quicker than others to reduce trade flows with Moscow -- and others were still increasing them at the end of last year....
psychotic break with ROW "impersonating" the IMF

"World Economic Outlook" Jan 2023 overview and full report pdf (11 pp)

For advanced economies, growth is projected to decline sharply from 2.7 percent in 2022 to 1.2 percent in 2023 before rising to 1.4 percent in 2024, with a downward revision of 0.2 percentage point for 2024. About 90 percent [?!] of advanced economies are projected to see a decline in growth in 2023.
For emerging market and developing economies, growth is projected to rise modestly, from 3.9 percent in 2022 to 4.0 percent in 2023 and 4.2 percent in 2024, with an upward revision of 0.3 percentage point for 2023 and a downward revision of 0.1 percentage point for 2024. About half of emerging market and developing economies have lower growth in 2023 than in 2022.
Growth in China [!] is projected to rise to 5.2 percent in 2023, reflecting rapidly improving mobility, and to fall to 4.5 percent in 2024 before settling at below 4 percent over the medium term amid declining business dynamism and slow progress on structural reforms. Growth in India [!] is set to decline from 6.8 percent in 2022 to 6.1 percent in 2023 before picking up to 6.8 percent in 2024, with resilient domestic demand despite ["]external headwinds["].
"Foreign Information Manipulation and Interference threats"
Growth in ["]emerging and developing Europe["] is projected to have bottomed out in 2022 at 0.7 percent and, since the October forecast, has been revised up for 2023 by 0.9 percentage point to 1.5 percent. This reflects a smaller economic contraction in Russia in 2022 (estimated at -2.2 percent compared with a predicted -3.4 percent) followed by modestly positive growth in 2023. At the current oil price cap level of the Group of Seven [alias Price Cap Coalition], Russian crude oil export volumes are not expected to be significantly affected, with Russian trade continuing to be redirected from sanctioning to non-sanctioning countries.
[pp 4-5]
never accepts failure
SHADOWSTATS DAILY UPDATE -- February 6th to 7th, 6 Feb for net importers
...On the Monetary front, it is the bloated Money Supply and gasoline price disruptions that are driving or impacting high inflation, at present, not an overheating economy. Ongoing FOMC rate hikes to "reduce inflation," remain counterproductive in the context of an already deepening Economic Recession and resurgent gasoline prices: January 2023 Gasoline Prices just jumped 12.2% in the month, while December 2022 Real Construction Spending plunged ever deeper into a headline Recession, amidst a record annual-average plunge of 7.6% (-7.6%) in 2022. -- PENDING COVERAGE: The December 2022 Real Merchandise Trade Deficit (Tuesday, February 7th)....

by Cat on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 03:01:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
never accepts failure

But seriously. Take a look at the spread between Urals and whatever other crude you prefer, over the last three months.

And then paint a picture of what failure would look like.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 8th, 2023 at 07:27:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What would success look like?
Buyers in China and India and other countries are hoovering up more Russian crude, making up for the lost trade with Europe. But knowing that Russia has few alternative markets, buyers have been able to drive down the price. "The discounts that Russia has to give, that its partners can demand, are strong and are here to stay," said one senior European Commission official. Russian Urals crude is trading at around $50 per barrel, around $30 below the benchmark Brent crude price.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Feb 8th, 2023 at 08:16:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Politico.eu.com | Putin is staring at defeat in his gas war with Europe, 16 Feb 10-pack sanctions
...A senior European Commission official attributed Europe's success in securing its gas supply to a combination of planning and luck.

"A good part of the success is due to unusually mild weather conditions and to China being out of the market [due to COVID restrictions]," the official said. "But demand reduction, storage policy, and infrastructure work helped significantly."

Ending the winter heating season with such healthy reserves -- above 50 percent of the EU's roughly 100bcm total storage capacity [?] -- removes any lingering fears of a gas shortage in the short term. It also eases concerns about Europe's energy security going into next winter.

The positive figures underlie the more optimistic outlook presented by EU leaders in recent days, with Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson [!] saying on Tuesday that Europe had "won the first battle" of the "energy war" with Russia....

by Cat on Thu Feb 16th, 2023 at 05:06:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
S&P | US increases pressure on Russia [BWAH!] with 200% aluminum tariff, 24 Feb
..."The Russian aluminum industry is a key part of Russia's defense industrial base and has played a major role in supplying Russia with weapons and ammunition used in the war," the White House said in a statement. "In addition, Russia's war against Ukraine has caused global energy prices to rise, causing direct harm to the United States aluminum industry."
Furthermore, the US will also impose the 200% tariff on aluminum articles and derivative products from other countries "where any amount of primary aluminum used in the manufacture of the aluminum articles is smelted in Russia ... or the derivative aluminum articles are cast in Russia." This expanded form of the tariff will take effect on April 10.
"fifth largest source of imported aluminum in the United States"
The Commerce Department said the new Section 232 tariff and higher PNTR suspension tariff will effectively "increase tariffs on Russian aluminum up to 270%, increasing pressure on Russia while minimizing costs on us < wipes tears > and protecting our industries and workers."
The US imported nearly 210,000 mt of aluminum products from Russia in 2022 out of a total import volume of 6.36 million mt from all origins, according to aluminum import monitoring data compiled by Commerce's International Trade Administration. Imports from Russia represented about 3.3% of all import volume.

US aluminum imports from Russia in 2022 rose from about 180,000 mt in 2020, but have fallen drastically since they exceeded 750,000 mt/year in 2016 and 2017.

whitehouse | A Proclamation on Adjusting Imports of Aluminum Into the United States, 24 Feb
4. The Secretary has informed me that the capacity utilization in the domestic aluminum industry remains well below the target capacity utilization level recommended in the [TRUMPY] January 2018 report. The Secretary has also informed me that two of the five remaining aluminum smelters in the United States are in danger of closing as a result of continued high levels of aluminum imports and high energy prices.
"Primary aluminum" derivatives have entered the room.
these rates of duty, which are in addition to any other duties, fees, exactions, and charges applicable to such imported derivative aluminum articles or steel articles, shall apply to imports of derivative aluminum articles described in the Annex to this proclamation from all countries except Argentina, Australia, Canada, the member countries of the European Union, and Mexico and to imports of derivative steel articles described in the Annex to this proclamation from all countries except Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the member countries of the European Union, Mexico, and South Korea
by Cat on Sun Feb 26th, 2023 at 04:58:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 8th, 2023 at 08:59:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
RT | West's gasoline shipping costs soar after Russia embargo - Bloomberg, 13 Feb
Medium and small tankers carrying refined fuels on the Atlantic Ocean are raking in profits, with daily earnings reaching $55,857 - a surge of 405%, the outlet wrote, citing data from the Baltic Exchange in London.
BNN Bloomberg | 'Shadow Fleet' of Tankers Hauling Russian Oil Swells to 600 Ships, Trafigura Says (13.02.23)
Gasoline transfer price hikes have been triggered by a shortage of tankers, as vessels earmarked for the delivery of Russian oil products reduced supply elsewhere, exposing the flipside of the aggressive measures aimed at limiting Russia's petroleum revenues.
"What we hear is that many vessels suddenly were removed from tonnage lists and drawn towards Russia," a shipping analyst at Pareto Securities AS in Oslo, Eirik Haavaldsen, noted, adding that "so suddenly vessel supply was almost gone yesterday."
Platts to amend dirty tanker basket rates for Persian Gulf-Red Sea 80kt assessments from March 1, 13 Feb S&P Global subscriber note
Following a Worldscale Association update for the Marine Terminal Assistance Fees at Jeddah port, Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, will amend the Worldscale flat rate baskets used in the $/mt calculations for its Persian Gulf-Red Sea 80kt assessment, effective March 1, 2023.
archived Wed Nov 23rd, 2022, "dirty" tanker flat or float rates, Fri Sep 2nd, 2022, Saudi Arabia July oil imports
by Cat on Mon Feb 13th, 2023 at 06:55:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
S&P Global, Platts no longer includes Russia as potential origin source in Asia, Middle East gasoline (13.02.23)
Commodity: Oil
Region: EMEA, Asia, Americas
Subscriber note type: Methodology Note

Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, has decided to no longer include Russia as part of the open origin basis of its gasoline assessments in Asia and the Middle East, effective immediately.

Market feedback to Platts' consultation opened Feb. 2 highlighted that Russian gasoline is not part of the fungible spot market.

Feedback included concerns about the potential impact on trading operations around the Singapore hub of the entry into force on Feb. 5, 2023 of European Union sanctions on Russian oil products and the accompanying price cap mechanism drawn up by G7 member countries. Platts understands that oil market participants in Singapore typically use EU, British[,] and US shipping, insurance and credit institutions to facilitate their daily trading operations.

In addition, market feedback to Platts highlighted that companies operating around the Singapore hub are increasingly stipulating that they will not trade Russian gasoline and/or gasoline blending components that are used in making end-user grade of gasoline traded in the Asian market.

Platts has therefore decided its gasoline assessments in Asia and the Middle East will no longer include Russia as a potential delivery source for the open origin basis of its gasoline assessments, effective immediately.

S&P Global, Platts seeks feedback on Russian material in Asian MTBE assessments (15.02.23)
Commodity: Oil, Petrochemicals
Region: EMEA, Asia
Subscriber note type: Methodology Note
Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, is seeking feedback on whether Russian material is part of the open spot market reflected in its FOB Singapore MTBE assessment.

This consultation by Platts is driven by the observation of an increasing number of market participants restricting, or pre-emptively seeking to exclude Russian-origin MTBE, in their recent spot trading activity.

In addition, the feedback to Platts consultation on the inclusion of Russian origin gasoline in its Asia and Middle East gasoline assessments highlighted that companies are increasingly stipulating that they will not trade Russian gasoline blending components used in making the end-user grade of gasoline traded, in the Asian market.

Platts has also observed that there has not been any significant flow of Russian-origin MTBE into Singapore, and Singapore did not import any Russian-origin MTBE from January-December 2022, Enterprise Singapore data showed. However, there are concerns from market participants about potential new flows from Russia to Asia after the EU sanctions on Russian oil products came into force on Feb. 5, 2023.

Platts is therefore seeking immediate feedback on whether its FOB Singapore MTBE assessment should continue to include Russian-origin material as part of its open origin specification. All Platts assessments also only reflect merchantable [archaic -Eng.; -Eng. law] commodities

Don't ask. Don't tell. archived never accepts failure
by Cat on Wed Feb 15th, 2023 at 12:19:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Wed Feb 15th, 2023 at 06:23:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]

yahoo! Bloomberg | Russia's Shadow Oil Tanker Fleet Becomes Everyone Else's Problem, 18 Feb LOL
A $2.2 billion fleet of oil tankers has been assembled to keep Russian crude[ and petroleum product] and fuels exports flowing [to EU].
Piecing together the exact size of the shadow fleet is almost impossible, with ownership details -- and most individual vessels' commitment to Russia -- shrouded in secrecy. Commodity giant Trafigura estimated it could total 600 ships, of which 400 are crude haulers. Privately, some shipowners put the figure slightly lower -- between 10% and 12% of the global tanker fleet. Irrespective of whether they permanently leave the international [P&I] market or merely shy away from it, the result could be higher shipping costs for Russia's rivals the Price Cap Coalition.
Markets for shipping ["]clean["] petroleum products -- such as diesel and jet fuel -- are currently strong, according to Torm A/S, which owns a fleet of tankers. There is increased demand in the Middle East for Europe-bound cargoes as well as plenty of loadings from refineries in East Asia, the firm said by email.

Ships hauling refined fuels across the Atlantic are earning $55,000, having been as low as $10,000 a day earlier this month. Crude carriers are approaching a similar figure after briefly topping $100,000 a day late last year.
If trade remains disrupted and the Russia-friendly fleet doesn't return to serving western markets, the cost of hauling fuels like gasoline and diesel may stay higher for longer.

"We do have a sense that a lot of these businesses that are buying older ships are funded by Russian capital, in some shape or form," said Svein Moxnes Harfjeld, CEO of DHT Holdings, an oil tanker company. "We find it hard to believe that they will stay in business over time or ever return to the compliant markets

archived Once Russian petroleum products or Russian oil are substantially transformed"
by Cat on Sun Feb 19th, 2023 at 03:52:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that the goods and services deficit was $67.4 billion in December, up $6.4 billion from $61.0 billion in November, revised. ...
by Cat on Thu Feb 16th, 2023 at 04:42:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
RT | Russia to cut oil production in response to Western sanctions
Output will be reduced by 500,000 barrels per day in March
Price Cap Coalition to ROW: The walls are closing in!
Russia has repeatedly warned of potential output cuts since the EU and G7 began discussing capping the price of Russian exports. Economists say the production reduction, which is the equivalent of about 5% of January's output, may trigger volatility on the oil market, which has taken in its stride the EU ban on seaborne imports of Russian oil.
There are concerns that Moscow's decision will deepen the 2 million barrel-a-day supply curbs announced late last year by OPEC+, which Russia leads along with Saudi Arabia. An analyst at UBS Group, Giovanni Staunovo, told Bloomberg that in the short term there is nobody [NOPEC] to fill the supply gap created by the Russian cuts.

Crude prices jumped on the news, with the [G7] benchmark Brent rising more than 2% to $86.60 a barrel as 13:00 GMT on Friday.

advanced economies' OPEC "embargo" gas and oil products "import ban" price cap guidance for emerging markets' jungle loss and damage "leverage" story developing...

Politico.eu.com  Russia announces oil production cut in response to sanctions

The EU banned imports [EU "embargo"] of Russian crude in December; earlier this month, it also introduced a [EU "embargo"] on Russian oil products such as diesel and gasoline....Russia's vital fossil fuel income has taken A HIT as a result of the sanctions, as buyers in Asia and elsewhere LEVERAGE the price caps to negotiate < wipes tears > lower prices [read: onshore FX swaps] for Russian crude oil. Oil traders previously warned that Russia was likely to cut production in an ATTEMPT to create global security of supply concerns and push up prices....Simone Tagliapietra, senior fellow at the Bruegel think tank, said the move is an "early sign that Russia might try to WEAPONIZE oil supplies after last year's < wipes tears > FAILED attempt to WEAPONIZE natural gas."
🎵 Where have all the Urals gone / long time passing ...
by Cat on Fri Feb 10th, 2023 at 02:59:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DOE Issues Notice of Congressionally Mandated Sale to Purchase Crude Oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, 13 Feb bottom of the proverbial
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Petroleum Reserves announced a Notice of Sale to meet its obligation to Congress to sell 26 million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in Fiscal Year 2023. This sale will fulfill the congressional mandate set forth in section 403 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 and section 32204 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act. The deliveries will take place from April 1 through June 30....
Bloomberg | Oil Succumbs to One-Two Punch From US Oil Release and Inflation
• WTI settles near $79 as market digests news of more SPR oil
• US consumer price growth remains elevated in January
archived FY23 Winter Oil Purchase 3MMB, Biden Announces Release from the SPR
by Cat on Wed Feb 15th, 2023 at 07:55:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The "jump" in Brent was pretty ephemeral. However, the spread between Brent and Urals stayed steady, and has settled at around $25. That's about a 30% discount for bargain seekers. The "threat" of Putin cutting off his nose leaves the market unmoved.

Meanwhile, Russian gas exports to the "far abroad" decreased by 45% in 2022.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Feb 16th, 2023 at 04:00:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Buying Uniper was 'a mistake', Finnish finance minister says, 29 Sep
"after its nationalisation left both countries with huge losses"
Dutch-owned grid operator mulls sale to German government, 10 Feb bail-out
...TenneT, which is one of four transmission network operators in Germany, pointed to the need to find a "structural solution" to funding needs for its German business as the grid is bolstered to handle the transition to renewable energy, which it put at about 15 billion euros ($16.1 billion)....
Reuters | TenneT CEO says bringing in private investors not ruled out, 19 Jan
"because higher debt levels could affect TenneT's credit ratings"
archived Uniper, German Energy Headaches and Costs
by Cat on Mon Feb 13th, 2023 at 06:20:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 10:23:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
dailyrecord | Dozens of giant turbines at Scots windfarms powered by diesel generators, 5 Feb
after a fault developed on the grid.

The firm said it was forced to act in order to keep the turbines warm during very cold weather in December. But a whistleblower has told the Sunday Mail the incident is among a number of environmental and health and safety failings.

The worker, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "The Scottish Government wants to make our country attractive to foreign investors as 40 per cent of the wind that blows across Europe blows across Scotland. However, that should not mean we put up with our waterways and nature being polluted with carbon from diesel generators and hydraulic oil.
Labour[!]s South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said: "The SNP and Greens have proven time and time again they cannot be trusted on environmental issues. They laud Scotland's potential for renewables, yet don't appear to ensure those already in existence are properly run. This isn't the first problem raised about this site and there is concern at a lack of openness when problems arise.

"Whatever the reasons, having to use diesel generators to de-ice faulty turbines is environmental madness. This level of dishonesty cuts to the very core of the SNP and Green Government where their rhetoric on net zero is very different from the reality."
Sixty turbines at Arecleoch Wind farm and 11 at Glenn App near Cairnrayn in South Ayrshire were affacted and connected to six huge diesel generators. The windfarms are operated by Scottish Power Renewables, a subsidiary of Spanish-based Iberdrola, which operates 1183 onshore turbines which can produce enough electricity to power two million homes.

Spanish PM urges end to EU reliance on imported food, energy, 6 Feb
...He pointed to microchips and personal protective equipment from Asia during the pandemic and Russian natural gas and grains during the war in Ukraine. Sánchez was giving a speech in Madrid to outline policy priorities before Spain assumes the rotating presidency of the EU council in the second half of 2023.

The solution, he added, was to "reindustrialize Europe" and "recover jobs and strategic capabilities that we should never have lost." The focus would not be on traditional heavy manufacturing but "digitalization or ecological transition," said Sánchez, noting that just 1% of solar panels were made in the EU or [sic] 20% of internet storage used by the bloc....

ecb.europa.eu | Monetary policy decisions, 2 Feb
...the Governing Council today decided to raise the three key ECB interest rates by 50 basis points and it expects to raise them further. In view of the underlying inflation pressures, the Governing Council intends to raise interest rates by another 50 basis points at its next monetary policy meeting in March and it will then evaluate the subsequent path of its monetary policy. Keeping interest rates at restrictive levels will over time reduce inflation by dampening demand and will also guard against the risk of a persistent upward shift in inflation expectations. In any event, the Governing Council's future policy rate decisions will continue to be data-dependent and follow a meeting-by-meeting approach.
Accordingly, the interest rate on the main refinancing operations[,] the interest rates on the marginal lending facility[,] and the deposit facility will be increased to 3.00%, 3.25% and 2.50% respectively, with effect from 8 February 2023....
komersant | Borrowed euro ordered to rise in price or go green, 2 Feb
by Cat on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 07:42:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Desertec is back. New management. Same proposition.

euractiv | Timmermans: Africa likely to be EU's most important renewable [fuel supplier], 6 Feb

To help fill the gap, many in the EU are looking to Africa, where there is a high potential for renewable energy production - in particular solar power.

"You start with your proximity," said Timmermans, pointing to potential partnerships with the wider Mediterranean and North Africa.

This includes plans to import renewable electricity from Egypt to Greece via an undersea cable already under construction. The submarine cable, which has a budget of €3.5 billion, will be able to carry 3,000 megawatts of power from Egypt to Greece, replacing 4.5 billion cubic metres of fossil gas each year, according to the Copelouzos Group developing the project.
For countries further away, he pointed to the role hydrogen can play in bringing renewable energy to Europe. Hydrogen can be produced using green electricity and then transported wherever the energy is needed.

"The European Union will need more green hydrogen than we can produce ourselves, so we're looking for countries where green hydrogen can be produced," Timmermans told EURACTIV.

"Tackling energy poverty in Africa"
["]Cooperation["] is not just about ensuring supplies for Europe, it is also about developing infrastructure and improving Africa's access to energy, said Philippe Henry, the climate and energy minister of Belgium's Wallonia region.
"We have to rewrite the way that international cooperation works because it does not work effectively if you want to stay in line with the Paris Agreement goal," [IRENA director general Francesco] La Camera said.

That includes multilateral finance [ie. IMF, WB, MFIs] institutions working on building up infrastructure using capital [read: loans] from their members and finding a way to work with utilities and the private sector, he said.

ec.europa.eu | COP27: European Union concludes a strategic partnership with Namibia on [continuous] raw materials and renewable hydrogen [export]
ec.europa.eu | Joint Statement on the EU-Egypt Renewable Hydrogen Partnership
Globe&Mail | South Africa moving to declare state of disaster over energy crisis, 31 Jan
Some commentators have voiced concerns that a national state of disaster would allow Mr. Ramaphosa's government to take steps that threaten basic rights and freedoms. Advocates of the plan, however, argue that it would permit the fast-tracking of energy reforms that have been blocked by political and bureaucratic gridlock.

Environmental groups and Western governments, meanwhile, are pressing South Africa to capitalize on the crisis by moving away from coal, which has dominated its economy for decades. They have offered billions of dollars to support a transition away from fossil fuels.

by Cat on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 12:01:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
brettonwoodsproject | World Bank and IMF influence casts shadow over South Africa's Just Energy Transition Partnership, 8 Dec
Significantly, the policy reforms undertaken as a part of the JETP [Just Energy Transition Partnership] - which seek to unbundle Eskom, South Africa's much-criticised, state-owned energy utility (see Update 70), and create a more privatised, market-based electricity sector - bear the clear imprint of the World Bank and IMF's controversial approach to structural adjustment in the power sector across the Global South in recent decades, raising fears about the JETP leading to increased inequality.

The World Bank has been heavily involved in South Africa's energy sector over the past decade, providing a $3.75 billion loan [!] to Eskom in 2010 that went primarily towards the construction of the 4800 megawatt (MW) Medupi coal-fired power plant [!] (see Observer Spring 2019), a problem-riddled project that South African civil society organisations (CSOs) have repudiated as "odious debt" and demanded be written off by the Bank.

In order to pay for Medupi and two other [coal] plants, Eskom has raised the real price of electricity by more than 620% since 2007. Eskom is also in the process of privatising, and...its leadership aims to end cross-subsidisation that assists low-income users

The JETP IP emerged after yearlong negotiations with an international partnership group (IPG) - including the UK, US, France, Germany, and the EU - which offered South Africa $8.5 billion in financing for the initiative at the UNFCCC's 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021 (see Observer Winter 2021). However, the IP revealed that just 4 per cent of this finance ($330 million) will be provided by the IPG in grants, with much of the other financing provided as loans or guarantees.

by Cat on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 12:25:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
non-precious critical material has entered the room.

oilprice | Scientists Successfully Split Seawater To Produce Green Hydrogen, 12 Feb

University of Adelaide's Professor Shizhang Qiao and Associate Professor Yao Zheng from the School of Chemical Engineering led an international team that successfully split seawater without pre-treatment to produce green hydrogen.
A typical non-precious catalyst is cobalt oxide with chromium oxide on its surface.
not that "pre-treatment", the other one
Should this work get replication with similar success it will be a [value chain] breakthrough. No expensive precious metals [?] involved. But cobalt, while not so rare, isn't abundant by any means and is often sourced from ore gathering by small children. That makes the future of cobalt very much up in the air for assessment. Should this research prove up, the cobalt demands would sky rocket and get way more expensive. There is cobalt to be had, it's just buried under 'not in my backyard' and the environmental green groups' lawyer barriers, which plug up the politics quite severely.

The second matter is that the [producer] power source isn't discussed. While the energy input is definitely electric and the claim is near 100% efficiency, the input vs product calculation isn't shown or discussed.

Yet the prospect of a greatly reduced water source cost, plus not using precious metals is cause for a lot of anticipation. Congratulations to the team is in order. Lets hope the next steps are solvable by low costs and not requiring decades of [Global Gateway] political maneuvering to get the jobs done.

Jiaxin Guo et al, "Direct seawater electrolysis by adjusting the local reaction environment of a catalyst", Nature energy, 30 Jan
$32 pay-to-view
by Cat on Mon Feb 13th, 2023 at 04:49:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]

A vigorous defense of democratic capitalism worthy of the name

While the autocracies of Orbán, Erdogan, Xi, Putin, and Trump are essentially mediocre, combining "the vices of populism with the evils of despotism," they can still prevail. But as long as capitalism does not slide into autarky and democracy does not devolve into authoritarianism, the joined system of democratic capitalism has a chance of thwarting the ambitions of, say, China, which by Wolf's account represents the greatest existential threat to the West.

Chinese officials do not necessarily want military dominance; rather, they seek to "make trade, commerce, and investment the foundation of a Chinese-led global order." In order to maintain a functioning system of democratic capitalism, Wolf argues for the renewal of a social contract that renounces nationalism and extends citizenship as "the tie that binds people together in a free and democratic society," creating a true level playing field.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 8th, 2023 at 07:06:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
euractiv | Norway may tax power exports to keep domestic prices down, 16 Feb
separate electricity auctions for domestic and foreign use and the carving out of some power consumption from the spot market.
The Labour-led government has also faced a domestic backlash over new power exchange cables to Britain and Germany, which have been partly blamed for higher electricity prices. Previous Norwegian plans to curtail power exports have been met with criticism from neighbouring Denmark, Finland, and Sweden, which argued that such moves may force others to adopt similar measures, weakening regional energy security.
energyintel | EU Industrial Demand Uptick Could Be Short-Lived, 14 Feb
Industrial natural gas demand in Europe has picked up in recent weeks following lower gas prices, raising questions over how the region will cope in a tightly supplied global market if the bounce in consumption is sustained. Significant industrial capacity remains shut in Europe and is expected to remain so until there is more confidence over price levels and demand for end-products, experts say. Industrial consumption made up around 23% of the EU's total gas demand in 2021, according to Energy Intelligence calculations.
Demand Denting Restarts

... "While declining energy costs have provided a short relief, we have observed high levels of stocks of finished chemicals products and a drop in chemicals demand. It is also important to note that energy prices are still above pre-energy crisis levels and the gap with competing regions is still significant," a spokesperson for European chemicals trade association Cefic tells Energy Intelligence.

Premature Warnings

Warnings of permanent closures of European industrial capacity have yet to materialize significantly.... The mandated demand cuts are expected to be extended after they expire next month, as consumption needs to remain lower in response to limited additional gas supply this year.

The EU needs to fill storage to 90% of capacity by Nov. 1 [2023] and despite expectations of inventories exiting winter at levels above the five-year average of 33% full, the task to restock will be difficult as Russian gas flows are currently 60 million cubic meters per day -- a fraction of the 284 MMcm/d imported over the same period last year. If Russia cuts flows further, deeper demand cuts may be necessary, according to Brussels-based think tank Bruegel [!].

Blue Origin | Blue Alchemist Technology Powers our Lunar Future, 10 Feb transition action plan
... We start by making regolith simulants [on earth] that are chemically and mineralogically equivalent to lunar regolith, accounting for representative lunar variability in grain size and bulk chemistry. This ensures our starting material is as realistic as possible, and not just a mixture of lunar-relevant oxides. We have developed and qualified an efficient, scalable, and contactless process for melting and moving molten regolith that is robust to natural variations in regolith properties on the Moon.

Using regolith simulants, our reactor produces iron, silicon, and aluminum through molten regolith electrolysis, in which an electrical current separates those elements from the oxygen to which they are bound. Oxygen for propulsion and life support is a byproduct.
Because our technology manufactures solar cells with zero carbon emissions, no water, and no toxic ingredients or other chemicals, it has exciting potential to directly benefit the Earth.

by Cat on Thu Feb 16th, 2023 at 07:54:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wut Commission: Labelling 'jungle' deters consumers from buying green food
by Cat on Tue Feb 21st, 2023 at 03:49:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 2nd, 2023 at 04:14:00 PM EST
mintpress | How Elon Musk is aiding the US Empire's regime change operation in Iran, 17 Jan
The process of smuggling Starlinks into Iran has been far from easy - or cheap. Each terminal has cost more than $1000 to purchase and transport, as couriers have charged high premiums on the risky cargo. Nevertheless, some sources have suggested as many as 800 have made it over the border unscathed.
archived sanctions relief, U.S. Treasury Issues Iran General License D-2 Sep
Musk's Iran operation bears a striking resemblance to his actions earlier this year in Ukraine - another current top priority of the United States....It soon transpired, however, that Musk's donation might not have been as generous as first thought. USAID - an American government agency that has frequently functioned as a regime-change organization - had quietly paid SpaceX top dollar to send what amounted to virtually their entire inventory of Starlinks to Ukraine.
archived receiving-party charges OCT
SpaceX has also won contracts with the Air Force to deliver its command satellite into orbit, with the Space Development Agency to send tracking devices into space, and with the National Reconnaissance Office to launch its spy satellites. These satellites are used by all of the "big five" surveillance agencies, including the CIA and the NSA.
archived Remote Operations Center Nov
According to the Twitter Trending Archive, on September 18 alone, there were 1.6 million tweets from American users using the Farsi-language Amini hashtag (#مهسا_امینی). This total was beaten two days later when over 2 million tweets were sent using that hashtag, making it by far the most used in the United States that month.

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

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

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

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

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 3rd, 2023 at 10:30:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]


I believe to have skipped the 1953 Coup d'Etat and overthrow by MI6/CIA of president Mohammed Mossaddeq.

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

'Sapere aude'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 09:05:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ecuador, 5 Feb

IFES | At Stake in this Election

On 5 February 2023, Ecuadorian citizens will vote on a series of constitutional amendments proposed by President Guillermo LASSO.  The proposed amendments would allow the extradition of citizens involved in transnational organized crime, make the State Prosecutor's office more autonomous, reduce the number of political parties and assembly seats, reduce the powers of the Council of Civic Participation and Social Control (CPCCS), add aquatic sites to the National Protected Areas system, and allow communities to receive government compensation for supporting ecosystem services.

The questions on the ballot are as follows: ...

laprensalatina | Day of sectional elections and referendum begins in Ecuador
In a ceremony held at the CNE headquarters, the Ecuadorian president, Guillermo Lasso, rejected the murder, the day before, of one of the candidates for mayor of the Manabita municipality of Puerto López, Omar Menéndez, of the Revolución Ciudadana movement.

The president of the CNE, Diana Atamaint, also regretted the political crime occurred last night and urged the Attorney General's Office to investigate this type of facts that affect democracy.

Atamaint informed that the National Table of Electoral Security is activated to guarantee the process during this Sunday's elections. ...

TeleSur | 80.74% Of Voters Cast Their Ballots in Ecuador's Elections
by Cat on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 01:00:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
tribune.com.pk | LHC orders ECP to announce election date in Punjab immediately, 10 Feb
The Lahore High Court (LHC) has ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to announce the date for elections in Punjab without delay.
Earlier in the day, the LHC reserved its decision on a plea filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) seeking direction to the Punjab governor for immediately announcing the date of elections in the province. Justice Jawad Hassan reserved the decision after hearing detailed arguments from each side.

As the proceedings commenced, the chief secretary and Inspector General Police (IGP) Punjab Usman Anwar appeared before the court. Justice Jawad asked the IGP about his take regarding the elections, to which he replied that he was unaware of the case, and added that the police department had sent its proposals to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

by Cat on Fri Feb 10th, 2023 at 06:53:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ADBG | Nigeria Economic Outlook, 2021-2023
GT | BRICS Summit: expectations and groundbreaking trajectories, 19 June 2022
...Last year, BRICS added Bangladesh, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Uruguay to its New Development Bank. Last month, BRICS foreign ministers were joined by representatives from Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Senegal and Thailand....
CNN | Nigeria bans Twitter after company deletes President Buhari's tweet, 5 June 2021
"You're using Twitter to suspend Twitter? Are you not mad?"
Al Jazeera | Nigeria ends its Twitter ban after seven months, 12 Jan 2022
The Nigerian government suspended Twitter on June 4 after it removed a post from President Muhammadu Buhari that threatened to punish regional secessionists. Telecoms companies subsequently blocked access to users in Nigeria.
The [Twitter] would work with the federal government and the broader industry "to develop a Code of Conduct in line with global best practices, applicable in almost all developed countries," [National Information Technology Development Agency] said.
CFR | Twitter Ban Shows Limits of State Power in Nigeria, 18 Jan 2022
"that the government had reversed the ban after seven months has gone virtually unnoticed"

F24 | Protests at banks and ATMs amid 'cash scarcity' concerns, 17 Feb (Modi model 2016)
"as people struggle to get their hands on newly designed banknotes" but for "a lack of new notes in the banks as well as allegations that banks are hoarding the new notes"
Guardian Nigeria | Your vote matters, Blinken tells Nigerians in video message

ripples | Biafran dissident, Simon Ekpa, reportedly arrested by Interpol at Finland airport, 23 Feb
as he was about to board a flight to Israel.
Ekpa, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons including declaring sit-at-home orders and inciting his followers to violence and disobedience to constituted authorities in the South-East. The leader of the Autopilot faction of IPOB had also reportedly told his followers not to participate in the forthcoming general elections, urging them to deal decisively with anyone in the region who participates the exercise.
The Igbo community in Finland had also disowned the fugitive and called on the government of the European country to effect his arrest and bring him to book,while thousand of Nigerians also signed a petition for his arrest.
Al Jazeera | Nigerian Senate candidate killed ahead of presidential elections, 23 Feb
A senatorial candidate from Nigeria's opposition Labour Party has been killed by unknown gunmen in southeastern Enugu State ahead of the country's national election, according to police and a party official.
A spokesperson for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Enugu said it had the power under electoral law to suspend a poll in the event of a candidate's death and set a new date within 14 days. However, he said processes had to be followed and no decision had been made yet in this case.
reliefweb | Political Violence and the 2023 Nigerian Election, 23 Feb
...Term limit legislation bars President Muhammadu Buhari from running for a third term, and the end of his presidency marks the longest democratic stretch since independence. Eighteen [18] candidates are vying for the presidency, and at least 4,223 candidates are running for the 469 seats in the National Assembly. The presidential frontrunners include Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the incumbent All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) candidate who has surprisingly led in the pre-election polls. Two weeks after the national election, on 11 March 2023, 28 out of 36 states will also elect a new governor, with 17 incumbent governors reaching their term limits and hence barred from re-running...
by Cat on Fri Feb 24th, 2023 at 01:38:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Could Nigeria's cash shortage hurt the presidential vote?, 23 Feb
...The currency changeover is meant to curb inflation and money laundering, with people holding more than 80% of all money in circulation as of November, when the central bank introduced the policy. Policymakers also said it was supposed to limit the use of cash to buy votes [!], a common trend in Nigeria's elections. But the fast timeline of the currency swap [sic] has led to a very limited supply of the new notes. In the absence of cash, many people have turned to digital payment services [!] that are usually unreliable.

Nearly 200 local and international observer groups with 145,000 members will monitor the presidential and state elections. Some have complained of not being able to deploy staffers in all 36 Nigerian states and the capital because paying for services has become difficult.

Hassan Idayat, who leads the Center for Democracy and Development, Nigeria's largest democracy-focused group, said the lack of access to cash has slowed down preparations for election monitoring because workers have been left stranded.

by Cat on Fri Feb 24th, 2023 at 04:20:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
polls closed.
by Cat on Sat Feb 25th, 2023 at 10:05:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
some polls closed early, as is the custom.

states where polling stations suspended until further notice due to stolen or torched ballot boxes, voter intimidation, partisan brawls, delays blamed on the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), etc. Some observers suggest international interest may have incited unintended consequences. Counts have not begun anywhere, RT correspondent Karabo Lethlatlha reports. "No one trusts anybody."

Othewise, the elections proceeded smoothly.

by Cat on Mon Feb 27th, 2023 at 12:48:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Westworld is picking winners out of randomly selected ballot results (AKA "exit polls"), as is the custom. Musk has permitted the EU Observer mission to tweet Barry Andrew's learned criticism of INEC's preliminary reports from 1 or 4 or 11 or 20 of 36 states. Predictably, the center of right-wing election-denial "kinship" is leading with a bleeding Tensions rise in Nigeria as opposition demands new vote story.
by Cat on Tue Feb 28th, 2023 at 08:33:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nigeria's Bola Tinubu declared winner of presidential vote, 1 Mar
...Tinubu, 70, the former governor of Lagos state, appealed for reconciliation with his rivals in a pre-dawn victory speech in the capital, Abuja. The running mate of one opposition candidate, though, signaled a court challenge was imminent.... The running mate of one opposition candidate, though, signaled a court challenge was imminent.

Nigeria, Africa's largest economy and one of the continent's top oil producers, has seen deadly violence erupt after previous presidential elections. Tinubu urged Nigerians to unite behind his administration after he takes office on May 29.
Tinubu, though, received only 37% of the votes or nearly 8.8 million, the first time that a president takes office in Nigeria with less than 50% of the vote, analysts say. Main opposition candidate Atiku [Atiku] Abubakar [Peoples Democratic Party] won 29% with almost 7 million, and third-place finisher [Peter] Obi [Labour Party] took 25% with about 6.1 million, according to official results.

Hours after the election result was announced by the electoral body, Obi's running mate told reporters in Abuja that they will challenge the outcome in court on the basis that it didn't follow the provisions of Nigeria's electoral law.

beyond sectarianism in Lagos, the most populous state in "the south"
Tinubu is a Muslim from the south and chose a fellow Muslim as his running mate in order to secure votes from the Muslim-dominated north, which has more registered voters than the Christian[-dominated?] south, a strategy that proved effective, analysts say.
"as goes new hampshire, so goes the nation"
by Cat on Wed Mar 1st, 2023 at 07:18:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 08:50:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]

1300+ dead, not much comments in the European MSM

by Tom2 on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 01:44:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
+ FR, HU, RO, EU, US, UNSC, GE, IR, RU, IL*, CN*

aze.media | OpEd | Azerbaijan's quest for a renewed foreign policy strategy in 2023, 15 Feb skillet

First of all, Russian President Vladimir Putin's war against Ukraine has been the single major event to influence Azerbaijani foreign policy in the past year. While the Russo-Ukrainian war has caused a great deal of international uncertainty, it has also given rise to new opportunities. Economically, Azerbaijan's significance as a gas supplier to Europe has risen. Cargo freights have surged through Azerbaijan in increasing numbers as the Russian route has become dysfunctional due to the war and related Western sanctions (Gfsis.org, December, 2022).

In recent years, Azerbaijan and Georgia had experienced a cooling in bilateral relations. But now that has changed by virtue of the opportunities arising from Western sanctions against Russia....

* interested observers
by Cat on Fri Feb 17th, 2023 at 01:57:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 2nd, 2023 at 04:15:13 PM EST
by Cat on Thu Feb 2nd, 2023 at 07:47:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Zelensky addresses participants of National Prayer Breakfast in United States, 2 Feb
We must do everything we can so that next year we will be able to pray with thanks for the obtained salvation from evil - Volodymyr Zelensk*'s address to the participants of the National Prayer Breakfast in the United States
...I am glad that for 70 years this tradition of prayer breakfasts, which was started during the time of President Eisenhower, has been preserved to this time. This is a symbol that despite any, even the worst, circumstances, the best in people still prevails, and prayer continues.

If you recall the Psalms of David, you will pay attention to how often they ask the Lord to hear the prayer...

religionnews | A new vision for the National Prayer Breakfast
Most Americans probably haven't give much thought to how the National Prayer Breakfast came to be or what happens there. If I had to guess, I imagine most believe it to be an anodyne expression of civic religion. In fact, until this year, this annual event at the Washington Hilton was funded and organized by a conservative Protestant advocacy organization variously known as the International Foundation, the Fellowship Foundation or simply "The Family."....
whitehouse | Remarks by President Biden at the National Prayer Breakfast
by Cat on Fri Feb 3rd, 2023 at 02:01:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]

The Family (2019)
(I skipped this one, and now I am not a NFLX subscriber. Darn.)
by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 01:07:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lo! The Star of Rouen on high
by Cat on Mon Feb 13th, 2023 at 07:50:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Watch Pentagon officials testify on UFOs in rare House hearing, 17 May 2022 A/V (EN)
run time 01:26:35
"Congress on Tuesday held its first public hearing on UFOs in more than 50 years. Pentagon officials testified before a House Intelligence Committee subcommittee about how the Defense Department is organizing reports of these mysterious objects."

Congress Holds UFO Hearing, Unveils Never-Before-Seen Videos, 18 May 2022

Deputy Dir. US Naval Intelligence SCOTT BRAY: the triangular appearance is a result of light passing through the night vision goggles and then being recorded by an SLRN camera.
Pentagon admits to 400 UFO sightings & 11 encounters; Shows video 'proof' at U.S. Cong hearing
Deputy Dir. US Naval Intelligence SCOTT BRAY: We attribute this incease in reporting to a number of factors including our work to de-stgmatize reporting, an increase in the number of new systems such as quad 'copters and unmanned arial systems that are in our air space, identification of what we can classify as clutter—mylar balloons and other types of air trash—and improvements in the capabilities of our various sensors to detect THINGS in our airspace.
by Cat on Mon Feb 13th, 2023 at 07:43:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China says more than 10 high-altitude US balloons flew in its airspace in past year, 13 Feb
said China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin at a briefing in Beijing.
AFP: I have another question regarding China's balloon shot down by the US ten days ago. The foreign ministry said it was for civilian use. Can you tell us which entity it belongs to?
Wang Wenbin: We've stated repeatedly our position on the unmanned airship's unintended entry into US airspace. But let me share with you some facts....
White House dismisses claims of US balloons in Chinese airspace: 'Not true', 13 Feb
"Not true. Not doing it. Just absolutely not true," National Security Council spokesman John KIRBY told MSNBC when asked about the accusations from China. "We are not flying balloons over China. This is absolutely true."...
by Cat on Mon Feb 13th, 2023 at 08:07:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Tue Feb 14th, 2023 at 11:00:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
APsplainin Mormon church fined for obscuring $32 billion investment portfolio, 22 Feb SEC
The [Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] has agreed to pay $1 million and Ensign Peak [Advisors Inc.]  will pay $4 million in penalties based on the violation.
Federal investigators said for a period of 22 years, the firm violated agency rules and the Securities Exchange Act by not filing paperwork required that disclosed the value of its assets.

Instead, they said Ensign Peak filed the forms through 13 shell companies they created, even as they maintained decision-making power. They also had "business managers," most employed by the church, sign the required shell company filings.

by Cat on Wed Feb 22nd, 2023 at 04:22:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This "values, procedures" story put on boots, tied laces, and zipped over to R-word "media outlets" last weekend.

CBS | Lawmakers propose letting Massachusetts prisoners donate organs for reduced sentences

The legislation would give people anywhere from 60 days to a year off their prison sentence "on the condition that the incarcerated individual has donated bone marrow or organ(s)."

The "act to establish the Massachusetts incarcerated individual bone marrow and organ donation program" [HD.3822] is sponsored by Democratic Reps. Judith Garcia of Chelsea and Carlos Gonzalez of Springfield.

... The Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Committee shall also be responsible for promulgating standards of eligibility for incarcerated individuals to participate and the amount of bone marrow and organ(s) donated to earn one's sentence to be commuted. Annual reports including actual amounts of bone marrow and organ(s) donated, and the estimated life-savings associated with said donations, are to be filed with the Executive and Legislative branches of the Commonwealth. All costs associated with the Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Program will be done by the benefiting institutions of the program and their affiliates-not by the Department of Correction. There shall be no commissions or monetary payments to be made to the Department of Correction for bone marrow donated by incarcerated individuals....
They say it would "restore bodily autonomy [!] to incarcerated folks" and expand the pool of donors, especially for people of color [!] who struggle to find a match. But critics strongly disagree and say it might even be illegal.

"It's like [sic] you're harvesting organs. It just doesn't feel right. It doesn't feel humane," Project Turnaround founder Romilda Pereira told The Boston Globe. "You're bargaining with ["]vulnerable people["] over their time."

by Cat on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 09:38:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trial ICC The Hague - Trial KLA leaders for war crimes and alleged organ harvesting

... The report itself was controversial. It alleged among other things that the KLA engaged in organ harvesting but failed to provide concrete evidence. However, it did make allegations that prominent KLA leaders were tied to war crimes and crimes against humanity, including Hashim Thaci - who would become Kosovo's president in 2016 - and one of the group's founders Kadri Veseli, a future president of the National Assembly.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 10:12:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ill-conceived headline of w/e 25 Feb
Colorado gay club shooting no mystery, but motive unknown
by Cat on Wed Feb 22nd, 2023 at 04:30:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FTX best practices with Blinken characteristics
DOJ seeks court sanctions against Google over 'intentional destruction' of chat logs, 23 Feb
...Through a setting in its chat software, Google employees can save chat history for up to 18 months—but only if the setting is manually enabled, the US government said in its filing, adding that Google routinely trained and encouraged employees to discuss sensitive topics over chat messages they knew would be auto-deleted the next day.

The filing cites several attached exhibits in which Google employees, sensing that a conversation was about to stray into sensitive territory, suggested that the discussion continue on the chat platform, with history turned off....

US vs Google LLC, 23 Feb: Memorandum in support of the United States' sanctions against Google, LLC and an evidentiary hearing to determine the appropriate relief
These deleted chats may have contained especially probative information and revealed candid discussions between key Google executives on relevant topics. As a result, the prejudice to the United States is substantial. Gerlich, 711 F.3d at 171 (prejudice analysis is "unavoidably imperfect" when the evidence at issue has been destroyed and noting "care should be taken not to require too specific a level of proof") (quotations omitted); Borum, 332 F.R.D. at 47 (noting the degree of prejudice should be analyzed "along a continuum," with Rule 37 providing "judges
with discretion to determine how best to assess prejudice in particular cases"). [pp 21-22]

by Cat on Fri Feb 24th, 2023 at 09:48:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pelosi endorses Schiff in California Senate race -- if Feinstein doesn't run, 3 Feb
Pelosi's conditional endorsement comes one week after Schiff (D-Calif.) officially launched his campaign. Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) was the first to jump into the race, and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) has privately told her colleagues that she intends to run. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) has also expressed interest, saying that will consider a bid "over the next few months."
After Shock | The coming end of the American gerontocracy
< wipes tears >
archived attachment disorders, NY Post "primary" winner, Short- or long-term memory loss?
by Cat on Fri Feb 3rd, 2023 at 01:08:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CBS | Biden says it's a "big mistake" for Russia to suspend participation in New START nuclear treaty, 22 Feb
President Biden said Wednesday that it is a "big mistake" for Russia to suspend its participation in the New START nuclear arms control pact, the last remaining nuclear treaty between the U.S. and the Kremlin.
U.S. Withdrawal from the INF Treaty on August 2, 2019
The United States will not remain party to a treaty that is deliberately violated by Russia.  Russia's noncompliance under the treaty jeopardizes U.S. supreme interests as Russia's development and fielding of a treaty-violating missile system represents a direct threat to the United States and our allies and partners. The United States greatly appreciates the steadfast cooperation and resolve NATO allies have shown in responding to Russia's violation....
The New START treaty was signed in 2010 by then-President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The treaty limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles and heavy bombers. It also includes a number of verification measures, including 18 on-site inspections annually for U.S. and Russian teams.

The pact was set to expire in February 2021, but the U.S. and Russia struck a deal to extend it through February 2026....

FAS |If Arms Control Collapses, US and Russian Strategic Nuclear Arsenals Could Double In Size(07.02.2023)

...In August 2022, in response to a US treaty notification expressing an intent to conduct an inspection, Russia invoked an infrequently used treaty clause "temporarily exempting" all of its facilities from inspection. At the time, Russia attempted to justify its actions by citing "incomplete" work regarding Covid-19 inspection protocols and perceived "unilateral advantages" created by US sanctions; however, the State Department's report assesses that this is "false:"

"Contrary to Russia's claim that Russian inspectors cannot travel to the United States to conduct inspections, Russian inspectors can in fact travel to the United States via commercial flights or authorized inspection airplanes. There are no impediments arising from U.S. sanctions [?] that would prevent Russia's full exercise of its inspection rights under the Treaty. The United States has been extremely clear with the Russian Federation on this point."

Instead, the report suggests that the primary reason for suspending inspections "centered on Russian grievances regarding U.S. and other countries' measures imposed on Russia in response to its unprovoked, full-scale invasion of Ukraine....It is also important to note that the United States' findings of Russian noncompliance are not related to the actual number of deployed Russian warheads and launchers. While the report notes that the lack of inspections means that "the United States has less confidence in the accuracy of Russia's declarations," the report is careful to note that "While this is a serious concern, it is not a determination of noncompliance." The report also assesses that "Russia was likely under the New START warhead limit at the end of 2022" and that Russia's noncompliance does not threaten the national security interests of the United States....

After Shock | US at nuclear zero: start with the FBI raid on Rockwell Int'l. in 1989
by Cat on Thu Feb 23rd, 2023 at 12:18:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Medvedev was President of Russia during the Georgia War started by Saakashvili at the behest of NATO allies, the West and Israel, a key military ally. George Bush, John McCaine and profiteer lobbyist Scheunemann were key players ... Bush/Cheney threatened a naval assault from the Baltic Sea ... never happened as the war soon ended with "independence" called over Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Indeed the renewal of the SALT treaty and don't forget the key foreign policy win for Obama the short-lived JCPOA agreement with Iran.

Obama/Biden/HRC showed the appreciation for Medvedev's cooperation by starting the war in Libya for regime change .... oops, that wasn't part of the UN Security Council resolution (1) ... oh what the heck .... it's just about borders-sovereignty-UN Charter ... who really cares? Democrats got the applause of the MIC establishment, neocons and the twin Johns: Bolton and McCaine. Well done USA, onward to Syria.

Ref. (1) To Intervene or Not to Intervene -- Role Military Force

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2023 at 09:37:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
USAToday | What's the difference between a tactical and strategic missile?, 23 Feb illustrated
According to the Defense Department, tactical nuclear [!] weapons, sometimes called battlefield or nonstrategic nuclear weapons, were designed to be used on the battlefield. They are smaller than strategic nuclear weapons like the warheads carried on intercontinental ballistic missiles, which are designed to be used against enemy cities, factories and large-area targets.
< wipe tears >
Tactical nuclear weapons vary in yield from sub-kiloton to about 50 kilotons, compared with strategic nuclear weapons, which have yields that range from about 100 kilotons to more than a megaton.
[Which countries have nuclear weapons? - no attribution]
[Estimated global nuclear warhead stockpiles, 1945-2022 - no attribution]
[2022 stockpiles - SOURCE Federation of American Scientists [!], March 2022; USA TODAY]

Global nuclear missile stockpiles

According to a paper printed in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Russia has a stockpile of an estimated 2,000 tactical nuclear missiles. The Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy organization based in the U.S., says that the yield of these weapons ranges from 'very low' [like 15 kt?] to over 100 kilotons.

The U.S. has an estimated 200 tactical nuclear bombs, which have yields of 0.3 to 170 kilotons (The bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945, was 15 kilotons.) In the interactive simulation site NUKEMAP, created by Alex Wellerstein, the effects ["yield"] of a nuclear explosion at various levels of kilotons are shown.

by Cat on Thu Feb 23rd, 2023 at 01:24:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU sets up first stockpile to respond to chemical and nuclear emergencies in Finland, 17 Jan Health Union
A total of €242 million has been allocated to Finland by the European Commission to create the bloc's first strategic [not tectical?] reserve against chemical, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats for use by all member states.

"Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine has confirmed the need to strengthen EU CBRN preparedness," Janez Lenarcic [!], European Commissioner for Crisis Management, said. The stockpile, he added, "will provide the EU with a significant safety net enabling a quick and coordinated response at EU level."

by Cat on Thu Feb 23rd, 2023 at 01:39:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yahoo! Grand Forks Herald | Two commanders, four others fired from Minot Air Force Base, 28 Feb
... due to a loss of confidence in their ability to complete their assigned duties," a news release from the base said.

The commanders are Col. Gregory Mayer, 5th Mission Support Group commander, and Maj. Jonathan Welch, 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander, according to Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs.
The release added that in order to "protect the privacy of the individuals, further details will not be released."

"Eighth Force continues to safeguard global combat power and conduct around-the-clock strategic deterrence operations in a safe, secure[,] and effective manner," [Maj. Gen. Andrew J.] Gebara said in the release. "Our mission is foundational to our nation's defense, and we remain committed to the success of that no-fail mission." ...

CBS kktv AP | US officials make case for renewal of surveillance powers
...At issue is a provision of FISA known as Section 702, which allows spy agencies to collect huge swaths of foreign communications. But that tool has drawn scrutiny from civil liberties advocates because it results in the incidental collection from Americans when those Americans are in contact with the foreign surveillance targets.
Separately, Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen [!], the Justice Department's top national security official, delivered the same message in a speech at the Brookings Institution [!] think tank.

"The bottom line is that Section 702 gives us the intelligence necessary to stay one step ahead of our adversaries," Olsen was to say, according to a copy of his prepared remarks. "We cannot afford to allow it to lapse. And it is too important to the interests of the U.S. and our allies -- and to our basic safety -- to wait for the 11th hour to do so."...

WaPoo AP | US officials make case for renewing FISA surveillance powers
...As part of an effort to persuade Congress to renew the program, and to assuage potential privacy concerns, Biden administration officials held a background briefing for reporters and released a statement from national security adviser Jake Sullivan [!] and a letter to lawmakers from Attorney General Merrick Garland [!] and the national intelligence director, Avril Haines [!].
The intelligence community has also never released a precise figure on how many searches are conducted of its bulk data for information on Americans. In its most recent transparency report, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said the FBI had conducted "fewer than 3,394,053" searches during 2021.
by Cat on Tue Feb 28th, 2023 at 05:51:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu Feb 23rd, 2023 at 01:35:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu Feb 23rd, 2023 at 10:19:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]

The Balloon vs F-22s (Larry Mayer/The Billings Gazette via AP
by Cat on Fri Feb 3rd, 2023 at 03:14:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Fri Feb 3rd, 2023 at 04:10:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning's Regular Press Conference on February 3, 2023
CNN*: Pentagon officials said that over the past few days, they have been monitoring a high-altitude surveillance balloon that they believe is from China. I wonder if you can confirm this and offer any comments. And will this revelation have any impact on the expected visit by Secretary Blinken to China and the program of the visit, including his expected meeting with the Chinese leader? 
Mao Ning: I have noted relevant reports. We are gathering and verifying the facts. As to whether Secretary Blinken will visit China, I have nothing to offer at the moment. 
CNN*: The US military has also said that it is not the first time that high-altitude surveillance balloons from China have been discovered in the US airspace and they have expressed the hope to maintain communication with the Chinese side via multiple channels. But after Speaker Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, the Chinese side has suspended mil-to-mil talks with the US. Does this incident highlight the importance and urgency of resuming China-US mil-to-mil talks?
Mao Ning: China is a responsible country and we always act in accordance with international law. We have no intention to violate the territory or airspace of any sovereign country. As I said, we are gathering and verifying the facts. We hope both sides can handle the matter together in a cool-headed and prudent manner.
* a rare, auspicious appearance at the daily briefing
Other than that, what else is going on in the world of "Just Transition" action plans?
Global Times: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in his remarks to the International Religious Freedom Summit [partners, sponsors] that this past November  [?], the US named a dozen nations as "Countries of Particular Concern" because of their egregious violations of religious freedom, including China's "perpetrating an ongoing genocide against predominantly Muslim Uyghurs". Do you have any comment?
Mao Ning: Those remarks are contrary to the basic facts and deeply rooted in ideological bias. They deliberately paint China's religious policy in a negative light and constitutes grave interference in China's internal affairs. We are firmly opposed to that.
euractiv | EU imports from Xinjiang rose by 34% in 2022, 2 Feb illustrated
... Judging by Chinese customs statistics, EU imports from Xinjiang have strongly increased in the past years, reaching more than $1.1 billion in 2022. The number is a fraction of the total EU imports from China, which stood at €472 billion in 2021. However, some products that the EU imports from the rest of China are likely < wipes tears > to have parts of their supply chain in Xinjiang....
archived (bal)LOON-y telecom devices, It's not about the nail in Crisis as Discipline, NPI Systems Design 2022
by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 12:32:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning's Regular Press Conference on February 7, 2023
NBC*: China has said that The Balloon™ that was shot down over the US and the second balloon that has been spotted over Latin America are civilian airships. Which company or enterprise or department do the balloons belong to? Can China please clarify for the record? Several days into the investigation, could you please clarify what kind of information, weather or otherwise, was The Balloon™ gathering over the US?
Mao Ning: The Chinese side has given information about the unmanned airship on several occasions.
Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks during a phone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. [04.02.23]
I don't have anything to add at the moment.
NBC*: Has China asked the US to return the debris of The Balloon™ that was shot down?
Mao Ning: The airship does not belong to the US. It belongs to China.
buh bye!
by Cat on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 06:19:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AFP: With regard to the spy balloon, I would like to confirm that based on information the foreign ministry has gathered so far, is the Chinese side still looking forward to a visit by Secretary Blinken? There's no change to the plan, right?
Mao Ning: As to whether Secretary Blinken will visit China, I have nothing to share at the moment.
Wall Street Journal: I know you cannot confirm any information about the alleged balloon over the US, but could you confirm whether the US and China have been in contact over the past 24 hours about this issue whether at a diplomatic level or any communication between the two militaries? 
Mao Ning: As I said, the Chinese side is gathering and verifying the facts. We hope that both sides will handle this matter together in a cool-headed and prudent manner.
I detect a pattern.
by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 12:40:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
state.gov | Senior State Department Officials On the People's Republic of China, 3 Feb "special briefing" by teleconference
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  Good morning, everyone. And thanks for joining this call at somewhat short notice.  We want to take advantage of the opportunity to discuss and to explain for you the postponement of the Secretary's planned travel to the People's Republic of China.

This call will be on background. You can attribute what you hear to senior State Department officials. This call will also be embargoed. It will be embargoed until the conclusion of the call. Just for your background and not for reporting purposes, we're joined today by [Senior State Department Official Two].  [Senior State Department Official Two], as you know, is [title redacted].
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Yesterday, the Department of Defense released a statement saying that it has detected and is tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon that is over the continental United States. The U.S. Government, to include NORAD, continues to track and monitor it closely.  Once the balloon was detected, the U.S. Government acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive < wipes tears > information.

We've directly communicated with the PRC Government through multiple levels about this issue. The Secretary and Deputy Secretary conveyed this message clearly and directly to the PRC's senior Washington-based official on Wednesday evening. That same message was delivered at senior levels in Beijing. Senior department officials also engaged close allies to inform them of the presence of the surveillance asset in our airspace.

We have noted the PRC statement of regret. But the presence of this balloon in our airspace is a clear violation of

archived 2022 jet streams of BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS
our sovereignty, as well as international law and it is unacceptable that this has occurred. After consultations with our interagency partners, as well as with Congress, we have concluded that the conditions are not right at this moment for Secretary Blinken to travel to China. ... But the Secretary indicated that he would plan to travel to the PRC at the earliest opportunity when conditions allow.
by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 01:22:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BRENNAN:  Is - kind of what's different this time, if there have been past balloons as the Pentagon said?  And is postponement the extent of the diplomatic fallout?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Yeah, thank you very much, Margaret.  Look, again, I think on the assessment of the situation, I'll, again, refer you to the Pentagon's statement.
And Margaret, I'll add one point.  You asked what's different this time. As [Senior State Department Official Two] said, we'd refer you to the Department of Defense to speak to the details of that, but we can point out one element that's different this time. This is the first time it's happened on the eve of a planned secretary of state visit to the PRC.
< wipes tears >
by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 01:31:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NBC | Another Chinese 'surveillance balloon' is flying over Latin America, Pentagon says, 3 Feb flotilla of BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS
...Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said the Defense Department was aware of reports of another balloon "transiting Latin America. We now assess it is another Chinese surveillance balloon."

Earlier on Friday the Pentagon said it wouldn't attempt to remove the balloon in U.S. airspace because "any potential debris field would be significant" and could cause "civilian injuries or deaths or < wipes tears > significant property damage" -- but did not provide a plan to respond to the < wipes tears > slow-moving violation of "U.S. airspace and international law."...

by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 01:56:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It should be under "butterfly effect theory" with keyword Paper tiger and cunning rabbit.
by Tom2 on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 12:38:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 02:03:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 02:27:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Blinken postpones China trip amid spy balloon row; US officials scramble to get rid of it

"The spy balloon incident would have detracted from the planned 'broad, substantive agenda,' according to officials."

by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 04:14:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LMAO 🤣🤣🤣

Performance of weasels ... I understand there are "serious" negotiations underway between the US and Russia to "end the Ukraine War" seceding 20% of sovereign territory, declare "peace" and fast track 80% of Ukraine 🇺🇦 into NATO.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 08:53:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 12:48:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
🤣😂 Man O' Man  

Great headlines for American pastime ... we had the 02-02 gopher ... chipmunk or was it a ...

Nice to have coverage of a weather balloon now flying over South America ... do they having any subject worthwhile spying on? Drugs lords ... corruption ... dictatorships ... already plenty of Chinese investments, need to secure those assets before the US launches a new law of thievery and blocking/seizure of Chinese property.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 03:54:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
< wipes tears >
by Cat on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 01:59:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 05:02:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]

#balloongate #huawei

Chinese balloon punctures Blinken's plans, leaving U.S.-China ties adrift | NPR |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 06:20:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Antony Blinken just wanted to mimer a bit longer about the strategic military base extension on the Philippines ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 06:21:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Biden's Legacy of Peacekeeper Was Not to Be

Union of concerned scientists The Equation ... however politicians aren't defined by scientific formulas. Flunked the test.

Could Biden's Legacy Be Leaving Behind a Safer World? | UCSUSA - Oct. 11, 2021 |

Thirty-five years later, the goal that Reagan and Gorbachev set still makes sense, particularly for the United States. No country would benefit more from the elimination of nuclear weapons, as they constitute the greatest direct threat to our nation's survival. 

We can't go back in time, but we can go back to Reykjavik and back to the negotiating table. With that in mind, President Biden should invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to join him in Reykjavik and put on the table the elimination of nuclear weapons. If he is feeling highly ambitious, Biden could invite China's leader, Xi Jinping, to join them. China has made it clear that it will only join negotiations on limiting its nuclear arsenal when the United States and Russia come down to its level. Setting a goal of zero, particularly in combination with progress on other international arms control treaties, could open that door at a time when it is desperately needed.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 08:41:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]

A legal precedent? Time for other nations to take down those US military spy satellites hanging above sovereign states

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 09:05:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 09:47:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 09:18:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Chinese physicists simulate nuclear blast against satellites | SCMP |

A nuclear blast in near space could create a radioactive cloud over an area as big as New York state, crippling or destroying satellites in near-Earth orbit, according to a new computer simulation conducted by a team of Chinese military scientists.

Starlink alert: China testing anti-satellite nuclear weapons | Asia Times - Oct. 22, 2022 |

China would target Elon Musk's satellite system in a Taiwan war and now has a model to simulate high-altitude attacks

Challenges to Security in Space was first published in early 2019 to address the main threats to the array of U.S. space capabilities, and examine space and counterspace strategies and systems pursued primarily by China and Russia and, to a lesser extent, by North Korea and Iran. This second edition builds on that work and provides an updated, unclassified overview of the threats to U.S. space capabilities, particularly from China and Russia, as those threats continue to expand.

Infographic: Growth of All Chinese and Russian Satellites In-Orbit, 2019-2021

On 11 January 2007, China conducted an anti-satellite missile test. A Chinese weather satellite--the FY-1C (COSPAR 1999-025A) polar orbit satellite of the Fengyun series, at an altitude of 865 kilometres (537 mi), with a mass of 750 kilograms (1,650 lb) ...

Wait ... not the end, a precedent of destruction has just been set by Joe's Top Gun. 😀

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 05:21:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When this balloon panic appeared, I recalled an article published earlier in the week, iirc AP, describing Blinken's agenda and a date certain, 5-6 Feb—coinciding with Price Cap Coalition's pivot to Indo-Pac "Russian-origin" oil trade. I also thought it strange for two reasons: (1) Blinken supposedly was meeting XI who is not his counterpart and cursorily mentioned Wang and Qin's ancillary roles in his morality play; and (2) neither China state editorial nor fmcn daily conference anticipated or confirmed Blinken's meeting—as they did ahead of Biden's G20 summit prep.

Ironically, these discrepancies recalled months-long 2022 MSM promotion of Biden's desire to lock-in his "close friend Xi" to (any) sideline summit. I wanted link it, but couldn't re-locate it even in my bookmark history. I suppose, AP alerted by Defense nat. sec. telex, scrubbed it. (in this weekend background filler), not only have "Allies" been tracking the "spy balloon" for a week...
Canada tracked suspected Chinese spy balloon over Canadian airspace since last weekend: sources (h/t MoA)

Canadian officials have not publicly stated whether the massive high-altitude balloon entered Canadian airspace. But sources told CTV News it had passed over the Canadian Arctic, Alberta and Saskatchewan before it was spotted over Montana on Thursday, as it flew over a nuclear launch site. Sources told CTV News it was tracked the entire time it was in Canadian airspace.

After being flagged by Norad, the joint U.S.-Canadian agency responsible for air defence in both nations, U.S. fighter jets investigated the balloon and determined it wasn't fitted with any weapons, but was equipped with high-resolutions cameras.

Even though Canadian officials had known about the balloon since the weekend, the Department of National Defence only confirmed it had been tracking the balloon late Thursday night, after the U.S. had announced the spotting of the balloon....

...Blinken had not received a response from China to his gate-crashing invitation by Friday. So. 14-hour flight cancelled until "the earliest opportunity when conditions allow".
by Cat on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 01:00:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]

netweather.tv, interactive jet stream MODEL
by Cat on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 01:26:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
USNI News | 3 Navy Warships, FBI Now Hunting for Wreckage of Chinese Spy Balloon off South Carolina, 4 Feb
"The balloon, which was being used by the PRC in an attempt to surveil strategic sites in the continental United States, was brought down above U.S. territorial waters," Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a Saturday statement. "On Wednesday, President [Joe] Biden gave his authorization to take down the surveillance balloon as soon as the mission could be accomplished without undue risk to American lives under the balloon's path."

The Raptor from the 149 Fighter Squadron, based at Langley Air Force Base, used a single AIM-9X Sidewinder, fired from 58,000 feet in the air, to shoot down the balloon that was operating at 62,000 feet, a senior military official told reporters on Saturday afternoon.

The remains of the surveillance balloon, about the size of three school buses, is spread over a seven-mile debris field in shallow water in the Atlantic, a senior military official told reporters.

Guided-missile destroyer USS Oscar Austin (DDG-79), guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) and amphibious warship USS Carter Hall (LSD-50) are on station near the crash site. Coast Guard cutters and boats are also on the scene to assist in the recovery, a message left with a Coast Guard Atlantic Area spokesman was not immediately returned.

needs moar SE, DK, DE salvage crews, possibly Polish politicians
by Cat on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 01:39:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What will they do when 99 luftballoons fly over?
by Oosterbeek on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 09:54:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 02:43:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wut: "In recent weeks, Xi and his aides have launched a charm offensive aimed at easing tensions with Washington as they struggle with a Covid outbreak and an economic downturn. The Chinese government was even preparing to welcome Secretary of State Antony Blinken for a now-postponed visit in which he would potentially have met with Xi."
by Cat on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 01:42:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 03:27:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 10:52:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fool's coverage @zerohedge 😂

US Stealth Jet Shoots Down Chinese Spy Balloon Off Carolinas

From EMP-Delivery To Nuke-Mapping: Potential Purposes Of China's High-Altitude Invasion

First, the immediate question is why the Biden Administration has not destroyed the balloon? Why not shoot first and ask questions later? Well, Biden's silence on this issue suggests he either has no answers or that the truth will make the American public very angry.

The most likely reason it has not been shot down is because it is very difficult to shoot down.

Chinese ALTA Balloon Program
For a few years now DARPA has been playing with a concept for high altitude surveillance balloons using a technology called "Strat-OAWL". Balloons have been fielded for centuries as surveillance weapons, but unpredictable wind and atmospheric changes push the balloons around, making them useless within a coupe of days for any specific region.

High altitude balloons travel at 80,000 to 120,000 feet. The average fighter jet can hit altitudes of 65,000 feet and new generation drones can climb to 50,000 feet. These balloons also emit little to no heat signature, which makes them very difficult to target using missiles. If laser technology exists that has such a range, the US military is not talking about it. It might actually be easier to shoot down a Chinese satellite than one of these balloons.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 10:53:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
APsplainin 'It just rang': In crises, US-China hotline goes unanswered, 10 Feb
Within hours of an Air Force F-22 downing A GIANT Chinese balloon that had crossed the United States, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reached out to his Chinese counterpart via a special crisis line, aiming for ["]a quick general-to-general talk["] that could explain things and ease tensions. But Austin's effort Saturday fell flat, when Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe declined to get on the line, the Pentagon says.
From [US] Americans' perspective, the lack of the kind of reliable crisis communications that helped get the U.S. and Soviet Union through the Cold War without an armed nuclear exchange is raising the dangers of the U.S.-China relationship now, at a time when China's military strength is growing and tensions with the U.S. are on the rise.
archived Biden admin declares post-Cold War era 'definitively over'
Without that ability for generals in opposing capitals to clear things up in a hurry, Americans worry that misunderstandings, false reports[,] or accidental collisions could cause a minor confrontation to spiral into greater hostilities.
archived "we're not putting a gun to anyone's head"
And it's not about any technical shortfall with the communication equipment, said Bonnie Glaser, managing director of Indo-Pacific studies at the German Marshall Fund think tank. The issue is a fundamental difference in the way China and the U.S. view the value and purpose of military-to-military hot [tubs].
archived DOD, "Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China 2022", DOD, "2022 Nuclear Posture Review Fact Sheet, US Extended Deterrence"
by Cat on Fri Feb 10th, 2023 at 03:29:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CNN | White balloon similar to the one seen flying across US has been spotted over Latin America this week, 4 Feb
CNN is aware of at least half a dozen [6] eyewitnesses in Latin America who have reported seeing the white balloon, sharing video and images on social media of its flight over Costa Rica and Colombia. CNN is unable to confirm if the images show a Chinese surveillance balloon.

Colombian media are reporting sightings of a balloon flying at about 70,000 feet [!] over the South American country's airspace, citing the Colombian military. There have also been reports that there was a balloon seen flying over Costa Rica, which could be the same one as seen in Colombia.

Neither the Colombian government nor Costa Rica have issued any confirmation or official statement so far regarding any sightings.

ABC News | 2nd Chinese surveillance balloon spotted over South America, Pentagon says, 4 Feb
There were early reports Friday that the balloon was flying over Colombia and Venezuela but there was no information until now.

"We are seeing reports of a balloon transiting Latin America. We now assess it is another Chinese surveillance balloon," said Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

by Cat on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 04:04:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Blinken to travel to Germany, raising possibility of meeting with Chinese counterpart, 15 Feb
Secretary of State Antony Blinken will attend a prominent European security conference this week that will overlap[!] with the travel of his Chinese counterpart, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
not Xi, not Qin Xi, or even Wang Wenbin
The secretary's travel raises the possibility of a face-to-face meeting with Wang. Blinken canceled a high-stakes trip to Beijing in the wake of the Biden administration's discovery and destruction of a Chinese spy balloon transiting the U.S.
Munich Security Conference on Thursday, 16 Feb
The statement did not specify Blinken's agenda but said discussions will include U.S. "commitment to transatlantic security and a rules-based international order."

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday confirmed that Wang would travel to the Munich Security Conference.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that Blinken is considering meeting Wang at the Munich conference, citing anonymous sources, but said no meeting had been set or confirmed.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on February 16, 2023
by Cat on Thu Feb 16th, 2023 at 03:09:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
House passes resolution denouncing socialism, vote splits Democrats
"328-86-14 vote. The majority of Democrats -- 109 of them -- voted with all Republicans for the resolution, while 86 voted against it and 14 voted 'present.'"
wut: "The measure, which runs three pages, says "socialist ideology necessitates a concentration of power that has time and time again collapsed into Communist regimes, totalitarian rule, and brutal dictatorships."
by Cat on Fri Feb 3rd, 2023 at 04:15:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Victoria Spartz passes on Senate run, to retire from Congress at end of term, 3 Feb
"The lawmaker will leave Congress [in 2024] after only two terms, having replaced former Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) in 2021. She previously served in the Indiana state Senate."
archived on vendetta and purges
by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 03:01:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No loss ... in 2025 a new Secretary of State ... 50/50 chance it will be a Republican 🙃

Earlier failed spy missions ...

U-2 Gary Powers one of many flights above the USSR

The Soviets recovered the plane mostly intact, including the aerial camera system. It became instantly apparent that the weather survey story was a cover-up for a spy program.

Extraterrestrial observation ... it was a weather balloon

A published statement from the War Department in Washington claimed the debris collected on Brazel's ranch was the remains of a weather balloon, and the Roswell Dispatch's morning headline, "Army Debunks Roswell Flying Disc as World Simmers with Excitement," set the tale to rest on July 9.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 3rd, 2023 at 04:38:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bolton? Or Power?

< wipes tears >

by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 12:03:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Tom2 on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 12:51:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Navy releases images of downed Chinese balloon resisting arrest
...Sailors aboard several ships continue to scan for debris of the estimated 200-foot aerial object that spent days floating over the country. ...
by Cat on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 06:57:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 18th, 2023 at 08:00:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 18th, 2023 at 08:02:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Archives Jan 8th 2021 ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 18th, 2023 at 08:04:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ron DeSantis takes control of Disney's governing district after `don't say gay' row

Disneyland... the gayest kingdom of them all!

Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, signed a bill on Monday that gives him control of Walt Disney World's self-governing district, punishing the company over its opposition to a state law that restricts sexual orientation and gender identity discussions in schools.

"The corporate kingdom finally comes to an end," DeSantis said during a press event at Lake Buena Vista near Orlando. "There's a new sheriff in town, and accountability will be the order of the day."

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Feb 28th, 2023 at 11:38:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 2nd, 2023 at 04:15:47 PM EST

Politico | Shrinking Colorado River hands Biden his first climate brawl, 5 Feb ELECTION 2024
The current feud centers on California, a longtime Democratic stronghold, and Arizona, a new[-]found [?] swing state that has proven crucial to the party's control of the White House and Senate.
Water levels at the system's two main reservoirs are falling so fast, the Interior Department has said that water users must cut consumption by as much as a third of the river's flows or risk a collapse that could cripple their ability to deliver water out of those dams. That would also cut off hydropower production that is crucial to the stability of the Western grid. ... This week, six of the seven states along the river asked the Biden administration to spread the cuts among the Lower Basin's water users. They argued, in effect, that climate change has so fundamentally altered the waterway that the century-old legal system governing who must sacrifice in times of shortage should not be the final word in how those cuts are divvied up.
The state-level politics, alone, are a disaster for a Democratic administration.
archived Western US cities to remove decorative grass amid drought, Rio Grande decree to be made public
by Cat on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 01:39:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Politico.eu.com | From farm to flop? Political risks choke EU's green food plan, 5 Feb
The Farm to Fork document, entitled an "overview of the politically sensitive topics," was written by the Commission's Directorate General for Agriculture (DG AGRI) to give Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski a state-of-play assessment on 31 green policies that impact food and farming.

The document was considered so sensitive that in a cover note, also seen by POLITICO and written by the DG's top civil servant Wolfgang Burtscher, officials are instructed not to read or carry it in public places, to use encrypted software to save it, and to shred physical copies.

by Cat on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 01:49:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The "green food" plan was thrown to the dogs the day they decided to give the Agriculture portfolio to the Polish commissioner. That's EU politics. Love it or leave it.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 02:11:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ars technica | Creation of largest US lithium mine draws closer despite protest over land use, 7 Feb
...On Monday, a US district judge denied the majority of legal challenges raised by environmentalists, ranchers, and indigenous tribes, upholding that the federal government's decision to approve the Thacker Pass mine in 2020 was largely not made in error. However, chief judge Miranda Du did agree with one of the protesters' claims, ordering the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to complete a fresh review to determine if Lithium Americas Corp has the right to deposit waste rock on 1,300 acres of public land that the mining project wants to use as a waste site.

Because this waste site may not contain valuable minerals, there's a possibility that this land may not be validly claimed as a waste site under current US mining laws, Du wrote in the order. A mining law from 1872 requires that mining projects must validate all claims to public lands before gaining federal approval, and that means Lithium Americas must now provide evidence that valuable minerals have been found on the proposed Thacker Pass waste site to resume the project....

archived SIDEBAR subsidy carbon sinks, "more abundant rare-earth elements", zero-emission mining?, #lithium will not #decarbonise in Living In Two Worlds
by Cat on Mon Feb 13th, 2023 at 05:21:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US judge won't block huge lithium mine on Nevada-Oregon line
A federal judge has sided again with the Biden administration and a Canadian-based mining company in a high-stakes legal battle with environmentalists and tribal leaders trying to block a huge lithium mine in Nevada near the Oregon line.

[Obama-appontee] U.S. District Judge Miranda Du in Reno denied the opponents' request Friday for an emergency injunction to prohibit work at the largest known lithium deposit in the nation until the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals can hear their latest appeal.

by Cat on Mon Feb 27th, 2023 at 03:11:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wind and Solar generated record 20% of EU electricity in 2022.
More than (each of) gas, nuclear, hydro, coal.
The graph is worth a look : over twenty years, the transformation is dramatic.
Now 2022 is over, the figures are in for all the main electricity generation types. For the first time ever, wind and solar delivered more electricity in 2022 than gas, nuclear, hydro or coal. In total, that's a record one-fifth of the EU's electricity last year. We can thank the "triple crisis" of Russian gas cuts, the 500-year record drought's effect on hydro, and the unexpected French nuclear shutdowns for the renewed drive for wind and solar. Daisy Dunne at Carbon Brief presents all the numbers. A fall in demand, caused by public concern over the Russian gas cuts as well as a mild winter, made a contribution to handling the crisis too. But that doesn't detract from the success of wind and solar, and in particular record solar generation in 20 EU nations with standout figures from the Netherlands and Greece. Coal also rose to help compensate, but no higher than its 2018 figure.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 01:54:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kronen Zeitung | Storage tanks were full of Putin's gas in December, 9 Feb Austria
The reasons for the increase in November and December are lower imports from Germany and Italy, while at the same time relatively constant gas flows from Russia. Gazprom had severely throttled the gas delivery volumes to OMV over the summer, but recently delivered more again.
The NEOS criticize that Austria is increasingly developing into a special case in Europe. Overall, Europe has never received so little Russian gas as it has in the past few weeks, according to NEOS Lab Director Lukas Sustala. However, electricity production from renewable [fuels] in Austria is stagnating.

Austria pays more for Russian gas than before the war

Sustala refers to data from Ember, according to which Austria is one of the few EU countries that produced less electricity from renewable ["energy carriers"] in 2022 than in 2017. This is mainly due to hydropower, which in the previous year suffered from the drought.

by Cat on Mon Feb 13th, 2023 at 05:35:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A front seat of eruption in Guatemala

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 24th, 2023 at 09:43:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 2nd, 2023 at 04:16:06 PM EST
renewable gas strategic partnership has entered the room.

Ukrinform | Ukraine needs to expand electricity imports from EU - PM Shmyhal

... Shmyhal added that in the field of energy, Ukraine intends to expand the capacity of networks connecting it to the EU countries, coordinate the issue of gas supply security, participate in joint gas purchases, and strengthen work for the implementation of the European Green Deal.

As reported, on December 13, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine needs to import electricity from EU countries in the amount of up to 2 GW worth about EUR 800 million at current prices in the current winter's heating period.

He noted the importance for NATO states, before any action is taken, to consider claims that have been made about "Russian involvement in actions which are designed to create the reaction which Turkey has now made to this appalling incident."...

Quran burning stunt in Stockholm instigated by Russia
according to a British MP Sammy Wilson
by Cat on Fri Feb 3rd, 2023 at 02:15:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
New Indian Ocean fishing rules in big win for coastal states, 6 Feb
The decision comes after three days of turbulent negotiations at the meeting of the 30-member [UN-FAO] Indian Ocean Tuna Commission in Mombasa, Kenya, where developing nations were at odds with the European Union, whose member states rely more heavily on purse seiners and long liners which are more destructive to the marine environment.

The new resolution "may finally give room to yellowfin and bigeye populations to rebuild," said Frédéric Le Manach, the Scientific Director of ["]the French["] ocean conservation group Bloom.

The new rules on tuna fisheries were nearly thwarted over the weekend when Kenya's fisheries minister pulled support for the proposal, with some observers saying the change of heart may have been down to EU pressure. But 11 other states, led by the [G20] Indonesian delegation, pushed the resolution through.

archived "The" and "French", Tuna [and "tuna-like species"] dries up for Kenya, poisoned relations over Oder
by Cat on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 06:59:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
weather.gov | High Altitude Balloon released by NASA Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility
On September 14, 2021, a high altitude research balloon was launched from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Fort Sumner, New Mexico (CSBF). These balloons are released by NASA and are different from the weather balloons released by the Albuquerque National Weather Service. ...
csbf.nasa.gov | Scientific Balloons
...The Balloon Program's capabilities are being expanded with the development of an Ultra Long Duration Balloon (ULDB). The ULDB is made of advanced materials and uses a new pumpkin-shaped balloon design to achieve flights of up to 100 days. The ULDB is completely sealed and pressurized in order to maintain constant altitude night and day. The ULDB payload consists of a solar power system, radio receivers and transmitters, computers, batteries[,] and other systems required for science experiments.
Types of Ballooning
Conventional ... Long Duration (LDB) ... Ultra Long Duration (ULDB)
wff.nasa.gov | Welcome to the homepage of NASA's Balloon Program Office
by Cat on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 08:51:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
White House wants to 'exploit' what it can recover from China balloon, 6 Feb 42' deep and 1" wide
National security adviser Jake "The Snake" Sullivan said recovering the balloon will take time but be beneficial "so that we can then exploit what we recover and learn even more than we have learned." He offered the remarks during an appearance as part of a panel at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition summit. Sullivan said the U.S. has been able to learn a good amount already because officials monitored the balloon when it traversed the U.S. before it was shot down.

National security spokesman John Kirby echoed those comments in a briefing on Monday, noting how valuable it will be to surveil the balloon.

"Our efforts to surveil this balloon and what we're going to learn from the recovery will prove to be valuable," he said. "The time that we had to study this balloon over the course of a few days last week, we believe, was important and will give us a lot more clarity not only on the capabilities that these balloons have but what China is trying to do with them," Kirby added.
"As you know, we are still in recovery mode on the balloon remnants itself both on the surface and under sea. And we expect we'll learn more through that recovery effort," he said.

by Cat on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 09:17:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Satellite image of of Nurdagi of Gaziantep, TR, taken by Chaohu-1 Mon, 6 Feb, 11:05 am local time. Photo: Courtesy of Spacety

Tianwen-1 mission marks second full year in Mars' orbit, with more notable finds expected, 10 Feb

Friday marks the second anniversary since China's independent Tianwen-1 orbiter and rover entered Mars orbit, kicking off an amazing treasure-hunt journey focused on the Red Planet. Over the past two years, Tianwen-1 has obtained first-hand detection data and achieved notable scientific research results, which analysts believed would be continued with further multi-dimensional exploration missions carrying out.

After a journey of 470 million kilometers, Tianwen-1 probe entered orbit around Mars on February 10, 2021, becoming China's first satellite to achieve this feat.
Three months after it entered Mars orbit, on May 15, 2021, Tianwen-1 probe touched down at its pre-selected landing area in Utopia Planitia, a vast Martian plain, marking the first time that China has landed a probe on the planet. A week later on May 22, 2021, the Mars rover Zhurong, which resembles a butterfly, drove down from its landing platform to the Martian surface. On June 11, the China National Space Administration released the first photographs taken by Zhurong.

by Cat on Fri Feb 10th, 2023 at 09:48:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rough seas complicate US efforts to recover suspected China spy balloon, 6 Feb  U.S. Northern Command
...The [amphibious warship USS Carter Hall] is currently collecting and categorizing debris while an oceanographic survey ship, USNS Pathfinder, is mapping out the ["three school buses"] balloon's debris field, predicted at about 1,500 meters by 1,500 meters, ["seven-mile"] or "more than 15 football fields by 15 football fields," he said.  

As the military is worried that material on the balloon could contain explosives or be hazardous, an explosive ordnance disposal team was on site Monday morning. The forces deployed unmanned underwater vehicles with side-scan sonar to further locate sunken debris, [Gen. Glen] VanHerck noted.
VanHerck acknowledged that a "domain awareness gap" led to U.S. officials being unaware of the several previous surveillance balloons that flew over the country at that time. In this case, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), which VanHerck also oversees, first detected the balloon north of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.

oceanexplorer.noaa.gov | Estuary to the Abyss: Exploring Along the Latitude 31-30 Transect, maps
A Profile of the Southeast U.S. Continental Margin: Blake Ridge, Plateau details
distance from shore
by Cat on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 10:02:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the intelligence payload was about the size of a regional jetliner and weighed thousands of pounds
new script: DOD did not think the spy balloon was a military threat when it was first detected, but
explosives might have been aboard to destroy sensitive equipment
as is the custom Chinese with "spy balloon" semi-conductor design.
by Cat on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 01:16:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"small car"

msn USAToday | 'It was a success': White House says a second 'high altitude object' shot down over Alaska, 10 Feb enc: KIRBY-content A/V

John Kirby, a White House spokesman, described a "high altitude object" roughly the size of a small car traveling in Alaska's air space. He said the Pentagon was not ready to determine whether the object was a balloon, where it was from[,] and whether it was seeking surveillance.
by Cat on Fri Feb 10th, 2023 at 11:19:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yahoo! Fox News | US officials briefed [NATO+] on Chinese spy flight: report, 8 Feb
Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman briefed nearly 150 foreign diplomats across 40 embassies on Monday, while officials at the U.S. embassy in Beijing gathered foreign diplomats on Monday [6 Feb] and Tuesday to present findings about the balloon.
The Washington Post first reported Sherman's briefing and quoted U.S. officials as saying the spy balloon was linked to an extensive military surveillance effort centered on China's Hainan Island in the South China Sea.
According to Reuters, U.S. officials presented information in the Beijing briefings that demonstrated the balloon was not for weather research, as China claimed, but an airship that was used for espionage. Diplomats in Beijing said they were told by the U.S. embassy that the solar panels on the balloon meant that it needed more power than a weather balloon, and that its flight path did not conform with natural wind patterns.
Northeast heat wave and tornado storms -- a month of weird weather across the US (08.02.23): ...The unseasonal temperatures were just one aspect of January's broader pattern of weird weather, according to a report published on Wednesday by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association [NOAA].... "part of the same system" as the succession of nine ["]atmospheric rivers["] that pummeled California in December and January,the National Weather Service meteorologist Allison Santorelli told Reuters in January.
The balloon was also reportedly equipped with rudders and propellors.

"Based on the U.S. briefing, our own understanding about such balloons
The ULDB payload consists of a solar power system, radio receivers and transmitters, computers, batteries[,] and other systems required for science experiments.
and the fact that China has so far refused to name the company or entity that owns this balloon, we find it hard to believe it is a civilian weather balloon," said a Beijing-based Asian defense diplomat. [unamed] Officials in Washington said the balloon was controlled by the People's Liberation Army, China's military....
by Cat on Wed Feb 8th, 2023 at 09:33:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Generative AI" (ChatGTP, DAN, Bard, TikTok) UPDATE!

Meta unveils [LLaMA], 24 Feb

a "smaller, more performant" model designed to "help researchers advance their work," in what could be seen as veiled criticism of Microsoft's decision to release [ChatGPT] technology widely, while keeping the programming code secret.

Microsoft-backed ChatGPT has taken the world by storm with its ability to generate finely crafted texts such as essays or poems in just seconds using technology known as large language models (LLM).
But reports of disturbing exchanges with Microsoft's Bing chatbot—including it issuing threats and speaking of desires to steal nuclear code or lure one user from his wife—went viral, raising alarm bells that the technology was not ready.

Meta said these problems, sometimes called hallucinations, could be better remedied if researchers had improved access to the expensive technology.

Google workers learned they were fired when emails bounced back, staffer says, 24 Feb
Tim Wilde, a site reliability engineer at Google, told Insider that he found out about terminated employees from posts on LinkedIn and Twitter.
vOLdeMoRT | Musk fires more Twitter staff (26.02.23)
..The job cuts targeted product managers, data scientists and engineers. They include the head of the paid subscription service Twitter Blue, Esther Crawford. The founder of the screen-sharing app Squad, Crawford joined Twitter after her company was acquired by the social media giant in late 2020...
Nicole Tsai, a Southern California-based "vlogger," posted a viral TikTok video showing the precise moment she learned she was being let go. Tsai is seen in the video shedding tears as she learns of her termination
UK at risk of 'lagging behind' EU, US, 24 Feb
...On Thursday, both the European Commission, the EU's executive branch, and the Council of the EU, representing member state governments, banned staff from using TikTok on work phones. The decisions followed a U.S. move in December to prohibit the app for all federal government devices....
China is hurting our kids with TikTok but protecting its own youth with Douyin, 25 Feb
While TikTok has become the most popular app in the rest of the world, a domestic version called Douyin is available to Chinese consumers. The apps are nearly identical -- but with one critical difference: users under 14 are required to use Douyin in healthy moderation on "teenage mode."
NIKKEI | China limits online gaming to 3 hours a week for schoolchildren (31.08.21)
"The tougher rules come as the Chinese government exerts greater control over youth education"
NPR | Kids Are Limited To Playing Video Games For Only 3 Hours Per Week (31.08.21)
"In an effort to curb video game addiction among children..."
Young, impressionable users are limited to 40 minutes  a day between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. to ensure they get adequate sleep. Endless zombie-like scrolling is interrupted by mandatory 5-second delays. They're also only shown specially-selected "inspiring" content.
"The algorithm is vastly different, promoting science, educational[,] and historical content in China while making our citizens watch stupid dance videos with the main goal of making us imbeciles," Nicolas Chaillan, former Air Force and Space Force Chief Software Officer told the Post.
Dozens protest outside Chinese police station in NYC over alleged spying
"'The CCP has coerced the Chinese community severely and has a large influence on them here in the state, through American and Asian-American politicians,' [Toni Cai] said."
"It's almost like they recognize that technology is influencing kids' development, and they make their domestic version a spinach version of TikTok, while they ship the opium version to the rest of the world," former Google employee and Center for Humane Technology founder Tristan Harris told "60 Minutes."
["]Generative AI["] could be an authoritarian breakthrough in brainwashing, 26 Feb
AI companies and the U.S. government alike must institute stricter norms for the development of tools like ChatGPT in full view of their game-changing potential for the world's authoritarians—before it is too late.
China and Russia are, in other words, fertile ground for generative AI to usher in a historic breakthrough in brainwashing -- a recipe for more international catastrophes, greater human rights abuses, and further entrenched despotism. As China refines and exports its techno-authoritarianism, would-be tyrants the world over are likely to cash in on the propaganda revolution.

Luckily, companies in the United States and allied nations have largely led the advance of generative AI capabilities. As the technology matures, this advantage will be increasingly important in giving open societies time to understand, detect and mitigate potential harms before autocratic states leverage the technologies for their own ends. But the free world risks squandering this advantage if these pioneering tools are easily acquired by authoritarians.

by Cat on Mon Feb 27th, 2023 at 04:44:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Old World left behind decades ago ... people cancelled ... the future is created in the image of a generation employed by Microsoft-Facebook-Google -- wars will be won or lost on the screen -- revolutions will be promoted or denied --- whistleblowers have lost any footing as it has become a phantasy environment for humans where automation, robots will outperform men ... and outlived ... replaced by a new generation build by AI ... to build LEBENSRAUM

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 27th, 2023 at 05:03:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Tue Feb 28th, 2023 at 08:45:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
House Republicans advance TikTok ban along party lines, 1 Mar
...The House Foreign Affairs Committee voted 24-16 in a party-line vote Wednesday morning to advance Committee Chair Michael McCaul's (R-Texas) Deterring America's Technology Adversaries Act (DATA Act)....
If that fails, the seven co-sponsors of the ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act ("Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party") might loosen all their screws.

TikTok adding more control for parents in wake of government bans, 1 Mar

...The platform also announced new screen time controls for teenagers and users under 13 years old. Every account with a user under the age of 18 will have 60-minute daily screen time limit, and users will need to type in a passcode to extend their screen time on the app. Those under the age of 13 will need a parent or guardian to type in a passcode to give them an additional 30 minutes of screen time....
MEANWHILE opposition party introduces...Beyoncé on the House floor
"She's an icon, she's a legend, and she's now and forever the moment"
by Cat on Wed Mar 1st, 2023 at 05:31:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. Wtaf does any gov buy mobile phones for employees?
  2. Wtaf does any gov maintain "social media" accounts?
  3. And wtaf kind of explanation for European Media Freedom Cyber-Security acts is this?
Don't mind our TikTok[, Facebook, Telegram, Whatsapp, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn]: German ministry says its 144K-follower account is not 'for official purposes'
or this?
France aims to protect kids from "sharenting" pics
Half of the pictures shared by child sexual abusers were initially posted by parents on social media ...In case of disagreement between parents, a judge can ban one of them from posting or ["]sharing["] a child's pictures without authorization from the other. And in the most extreme cases, parents can lose their parental authority over their kids' image rights "if the dissemination of the child's image by both parents seriously affects the child's dignity or moral integrity."
by Cat on Wed Mar 1st, 2023 at 06:34:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
APsplainin Court says South Korea responsible for Viet Nam War massacre, 7 Feb
A South Korean court on Tuesday ordered the government to pay 30 million won ($24,000) to a Vietnamese woman who survived a gunshot wound but lost several relatives when South Korean marines rampaged through her village during the Viet Nam War in 1968.

In awarding the compensation to 62-year-old Nguyen Thi Thanh, the Seoul Central District Court dismissed the government's argument that it was unclear whether South Korean troops were responsible for the slaughter in the village of Phong Nhi in central Viet Nam.

The court also rejected the [Yoon] government's argument that civilian killings were unavoidable because the South Korean troops were dealing with Viet Cong guerrillas who often blended with villagers, according to Thanh's lawyer, Lim Jae-sung. The [Yoon] government's lawyers were also unsuccessful in invoking a statute of limitations.

The ruling marks the first time a South Korean court has found the government responsible for mass killings of Vietnamese civilians during the war and could potentially open the way for similar lawsuits. Then ruled by anti-communist military leaders, South Korea sent more than 320,000 troops to Viet Nam, the largest foreign contingent fighting alongside U.S. troops.

Yonhap | 1st S. Korean state compensation ordered for victim of Viet Nam War mass killings
The Seoul Central District Court's ruling marks the first time a South Korean court has acknowledged the state's liability to compensate victims of the 1968 mass killings in the village of Phong Nhi in Viet Nam's Quang Nam Province. About 70 people were killed in the massacre reported to have been conducted by troops of the 2nd Marine Brigade of the Republic of Korea Marines while on a mission during the Viet Nam War.
The Ministry of National Defense, which oversees the dispatch of troops overseas, hinted it may seek an appeal.

"We will review follow-up steps after going through consultations with relevant agencies," the defense ministry said in a statement, when asked if it accepts the latest ruling.

archived fucking ludicrous
by Cat on Mon Feb 13th, 2023 at 04:24:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 19th, 2023 at 12:58:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Jimmy Carter enters hospice care at home

Jason Carter:
"I saw both of my grandparents yesterday. They are at peace and--as always--their home is full of love. Thank you all for your kind words."

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 19th, 2023 at 12:59:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 2nd, 2023 at 04:16:36 PM EST

On this day - Brittanica

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 3rd, 2023 at 08:18:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Feb. 6th, 1685 -- Charles II died, on his deathbed he converted to Catholicism ... a shock to the country.

Cause of death a chronic kidney disease.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 09:31:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
scotsman | Nicola Sturgeon resigns as Scotland's First Minister
"at a hastily-arranged news conference at Bute House in Edinburgh"
by Cat on Wed Feb 15th, 2023 at 01:24:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Sturgeon dodges question on SNP 'fraud' probe as she quits | The Herald |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 15th, 2023 at 03:14:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NY Yella Cake -100
Lithuania shells the Polish border.

Here's a first: a pro-opera demonstration, after the French occupiers ban "William Tell" in Bochum in the Ruhr. ...

But where in hell are Adolf and Benito?
by Cat on Wed Feb 22nd, 2023 at 05:46:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 2nd, 2023 at 04:16:55 PM EST

5 years and 277 days of waiting for a trophy are OVER! What a laudable triumph of great difficulty! Delights #MUFC

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 26th, 2023 at 06:37:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 26th, 2023 at 07:06:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu Feb 2nd, 2023 at 05:39:38 PM EST
Need html input for the macro's  😉
to finish the Newsweek diary.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 2nd, 2023 at 06:27:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What happens to the people who talk against Monsanto

https://www.radiofrance.fr/franceinter/on-en-a-marre-de-t-entendre-paul-francois-l-agriculteur-qui-a -fait-condamner-monsanto-agresse-chez-lui-1002620

by Oosterbeek on Fri Feb 10th, 2023 at 09:39:42 PM EST
The links are broken, e.g. when I click on Living off the planet or type https:/www.eurotrib.com/story/2023/2/2/161233/2077#livingoff
I don't get there...

Good interview of Jancovici
www.les-crises.fr/les-ressources-s-epuisent-la-planete-surchauffe-adieu-la-mondialisation-je an-marc-jancovici

by Tom2 on Tue Feb 14th, 2023 at 12:35:04 PM EST
See my first post of this diary ...

I'm looking for my manual "html for dummies" 😄
Hopefully next month I'll get the macro's to work 🙏🏽

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 14th, 2023 at 01:05:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your hack, "Februari 2023, is splendid, given the limitations of front-end user permissions. You got the job done better than, ahem, MOA.

I think, You might want back-end admin permission to exploit "Admin Tools" (hidden style sheet classes and function files as well as editor modalities) indicated in the source code? These automate some display elements such as the series of comment section headers before admin commits the Newsroom "story" to public view. Otherwise, you'll be stuck with common user permissions, auto format macros, and "Allowed HTML" elements which is actually a pretty constructive set to play with.

Headers for December 2019 comment section was a special case (hack) containing an error for which I suspect that I am responsible.

<div style="background-color:#0000bc; font-size:125%; text-align:center; width:500px;"><a style="color:#ffd000;" href="#europe"><b>EUROPE</b></a></div>

The correct HTML for a work-around Newsroom is
<div style="background-color:#0000bc; font-size:125%; text-align:center; width:500px; id="europe"><b>EUROPE</b></div>

"jumping anchor links" and named anchor tags, paired to section list

by Cat on Tue Feb 14th, 2023 at 05:14:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(forgot quote enclosing style attributes)

<div style="background-color:#0000bc; font-size:125%; text-align:center; width:500px;" id="europe">EUROPE</div>


<div id="europe" style="background:#0000bc; font-size:125%; text-align:center; width:500px;">EUROPE</div>


  1. font-color:#xxxxxx; is also a style attribute, so goes between quotes

  2. forward slash \ is the universal escape character. Prefix any HTML tag that you want to display in ASCII format.
by Cat on Tue Feb 14th, 2023 at 10:49:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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