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

August 2023

by Oui Tue Aug 1st, 2023 at 10:27:17 AM EST

Your take on today's news media


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by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 1st, 2023 at 10:27:55 AM EST
telesur | Europe Does Not Offer Solutions to Ukrainian War: Pope Francis, 2 Aug
circumnavigating Portugal
...The Argentine Pope also stressed the need to respect the original mission of the European Union (EU). In front of the authorities, diplomatic corps, and members of civil society, Francis recalled that the 2007 reform of the European Union states that this integration bloc "has the purpose of promoting peace, its values and the well-being of its peoples."
[...]
Pope Francis then asked Europe, "Where are you sailing, if you do not offer peace processes, creative paths to end the war in Ukraine and so many conflicts that bloody the world?"...
arabnews | Ukraine hopes to hold peace summit this autumn, Zelensk* says, 2 Aug
project management
Zelensk* told Ukrainian diplomats in a speech published on the president's website that almost 40 countries would be represented at the meeting in Jeddah on Aug 5 and 6.
Your task is to ensure that the world always stands with Ukraine - President's speech at the meeting with heads of foreign diplomatic missions of Ukraine (02.08.23)
Dear Denys Anatoliyovych, Mr. Prime Minister, dear Dmytro Ivanovych, dear participants, dear ambassadors, dear ladies and gentlemen diplomats!

Today we have an important meeting, we can say that it is an emergency meeting.

Recently, we have been meeting in this format once a year, in the winter, to summarize what we have done and set the main tasks for the next year. Now is a special moment when we need exactly this kind of communication, exactly this format. In a month, a new political season will begin in our partner countries. And we have managed to make the previous political seasons in the world pro-Ukrainian. Moreover, they became pro-Ukrainian in all countries whose support is vital for Ukraine and Ukrainians. Now, in August, we have to prepare for a new political season in the world so that this season, a very important season, can also become pro-Ukrainian.

The period from September to December will indeed be a period of decisions. Very responsible decisions—for Ukraine, for the whole of Europe, and, no doubt, for the security of the whole world. We have to prepare the decisions of this six-month period in such a way that each decision is blue and yellow, ours, Ukrainian, national—all our decisions, decisions together with our partners, and decisions at the level of international institutions. Every decision about Ukraine and Ukrainians should be for Ukraine and for Ukrainians. It should strengthen our state and society, the entire nation—Ukrainians in Ukraine and Ukrainians in the world. It should help protect the freedom and independence of our country. And no less importantly, it should strengthen Ukraine's position in the global competition for human capital. Nowadays, being ambassadors of Ukraine means being ambassadors of the decisions that we expect, prepare, and fill with content.

Everything is very specific.
[...]

"We are working on making it (the summit) happen this fall," he said. "Autumn is very soon, but there is still time to prepare for the summit and involve most of the world's countries."
[...]
The summit would build on a 10-point plan outlined by Kyiv last autumn that has been actively promoted by Zelensky. ... No venue has been agreed for the summit yet. Ukrainian and Western officials have said the summit would not involve Russia.
###
archive Western Effort to Woo Global South, "The application of the principles isn't as clear" in Chinese peace principles for the war in Ukraine
by Cat on Thu Aug 3rd, 2023 at 02:59:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Minding the words from Rome about the European Union ... my very words over at least the last five years. Over the Ocean @BT and here @ET.

"Your task is to ensure that the world always stands with Ukraine ...."

Mindless, fuc*king idiot ... thinks he has a room at the White House and purse of Brussels .... I guess he does until all is shut down ... Downing Street 10 - let them eat cake. Mercenaries for NATO and US.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Aug 3rd, 2023 at 03:20:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]

ukrinform | Elections in Ukraine should take place after end of martial law (19.06.23)
He emphasized that the Ukrainian authorities do not know how to organize voting for almost seven million Ukrainians who are currently outside Ukraine, as well as for citizens living in the regions temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation. "We don't know how to ensure proper representation, turnout of other citizens during martial law, and whether the election facilities will be attacked. Therefore, it seems to me that a very wise decision is laid down in the legislation of Ukraine that elections cannot be held during martial law," the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada argued.
26 Aug 2023, A/V (EN voice trans. answers only), autotranslate enabled
I gave Lindsey an answer simply, very quickly. He's very pleased with it. As long as our legislators are willing to do it. Why? This is because the electoral code would need to be amended for elections to happen during martial law. I told him, if you're ready to give me five billion. Since I'm not a person who deals with the cobblestones, I cannot just take five billion from the budget. It seems to me, this is exactly the amount needed to hold elections in peace time. I don't know how much is needed in war time. So I told him, if the US and Europe provide financial support—I'm sorry. I'm not asking  for anything. I'm not going to hold elections [on] credit. I will not take money from weapons and give it to elections, and this is stipulated by law. And most importantly, let's take risks together. How? Observers must be in the trenches. I told him, you and I should send observers to the front lines so that we have legitimate elections for us and the whole world. And there are moments with foreign countries, here we need Europe to help us for the most part, because Ukrainian refugees are the majority in the European Union today, and we need to open up appropriate opportunities there so that people could come to the polls. We don't have such infrastructural capabilities. Seven million people have to vote. We need every vote. We need a lawful choice. We need society to have this choice, so that it does not divide our people, so that the military could vote. They are defending this democracy today and not to give them this opportunity because of war , that is unfair. All is against elections just because of this.
[...]
by Cat on Tue Aug 29th, 2023 at 12:50:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Shmyhal - resign, Reznikova - ambassadors. What changes are being prepared in the Ukrainian government, 1 Aug
Rumors are again circulating in political circles about reshuffles in the Cabinet of Ministers allegedly being discussed in the corridors of power. Including the replacement of the prime minister, as well as a number of key ministers.

In particular, the replacement of Shmygal with the current head of the Ministry of Finance Mikhail Fedorov, Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kurbakov or Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova is being discussed.
[...]

strana.ua | A criminal scheme for selling children under the guise of surrogate motherhood was exposed in Ukraine, 3 Aug
According to border guards, babies wer sold for 50-70 thousand euros. The organizers of the scheme were the heads of medical institutions. In total, the group included 12 people. They were looking for women in a difficult situation who agreed to become surrogate mothers for 12,000 euros.
[...]
The Ombudsman called the number of children missing during the war in Ukraine, 5 Aug
Since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, 1,074 children are still considered missing. This was reported by the press service of the Ombudsman's Office on its Facebook.

According to the state portal for the search for children "Children of War", as of August 5, 2023, the following are considered:
missing - 1,074 children,
found - 15,757 children.
[...]
As we reported earlier, the SBU is collecting evidence on war crimes in the Russian Federation. Among them, more than 16,000 facts of illegal displacement of Ukrainian children are being investigated.

by Cat on Sat Aug 5th, 2023 at 07:55:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
erudera | Ukrainian Male Students Not Allowed to Travel Abroad During Martial Law, 25 Sep 2022
...Before the war in Ukraine, students who gained admission to universities abroad were allowed to travel for their studies, but Demchenko said that now the latter are not able to leave the country, at least until the government decides in this regard....
voiceofeurope | Ukrainian officials hinder students from studying in EU and impede access to education in the country, 24 July 2023
Even before the "border saga" began, some European universities received directives from the Ukrainian government not to accept male Ukrainian students of conscription age. This violates Article 53 of the Ukrainian Constitution, which states that every citizen of Ukraine has the right to education. Students who couldn't cross the border reported that they were either expelled or given deferrals. Many of them had prepared and intended to study in the EU, even on a contractual basis.
[...]
As a result, thousands of Ukrainian applicants failed the National Multi-Subject Test (NMT) (the test introduced by the Ukrainian Ministry of Education in the spring of 2023), primarily due to serious technical issues. The testing system was lagging and not saving answers, leading to lower overall scores. Many students across the country received test results that did not meet their expectations for university admission.
archive State in a smartphone (2020-2023)
[...]
Failures in the NMT system ruined the chances of many graduates to get into universities. Some of them, even being excellent students, will no longer be able to study on budgetary places due to low test results. The dissatisfaction of applicants and their parents is fueled by the lack of the opportunity for a retake and the absence of measures taken by responsible authorities to address the system failures.

Ukrainian officials introduced a test just a month before the exam, which eventually failed to load and provided incorrect results. Complaining about the system or requesting a retake was also impossible. As a result, Ukrainian prospective students are left with only one option—paying for their education. On average, a contract at a Ukrainian higher education institution costs more than 30,000 hryvnias per year (almost 1,000 euros), while the average annual salary in Ukraine in 2023 is around 156,000 hryvnias (3,900 euros). Thus, the parents of a future student need to pay around 1,000 euros for education, another 1,000 for accommodation or dormitory, and provide their child with monthly expenses for food. In total, Ukrainian parents end up spending about 3,000 euros for their child's higher education in Ukraine (which is almost the equivalent of the average yearly salary). And let's not forget that Ukrainian students are also unable to study abroad with grants, as Ukraine blocks such an opportunity at the border.
[...]

strana | In Ukraine, they want to limit travel abroad to adolescents under the age of 18, 9 Aug
... As conceived by the authors of the bill, this will eliminate situations when social services in the European Union take away minor children from Ukrainian refugees. This is reportedly predominantly due to differences in legislation. For example, they can take the child away from the grandmother if she does not have a power of attorney to represent the child, and the mother remains in Ukraine.

The document proposes to allow teenagers to cross the border only in the following cases:
• accompanied by one parent and with the consent of the second;
• accompanied by a trusted person;
• if it is an orphan child or a child deprived of parental care, with the permission of the guardianship authority, which will be provided in the manner determined by the Cabinet of Ministers.
[...]

ukrinform | Zelensk*: Everyone in Ukraine has same task of increasing country's military capabilities, 9 Aug
President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, stated this in his latest address, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
[...]
As reported, the head of the President's Office, Andriy Yermak, said Germany had sent Ukraine two Patriot air defense systems. Zelensk* said that in the new aid package, Germany handed over "exactly what was agreed upon."

strana | The head of the "Come Back Alive" Foundation said that hundreds of thousands more men would have to be mobilized in Ukraine, 10 Aug

Hundreds of thousands more men will have to be mobilized in Ukraine. And if the war drags on, then almost everyone will have to fight, said Taras Chmut, head of the Come Back Alive Foundation. He explains that sooner or later it will be necessary to rotate the fighters who have been on the front line for a long time.
[...]
He believes that only some unforeseen factor, like the death of Putin, will allow to avoid this.

"If everything goes the way it is now. It's already a year and a half. Maybe there will be another one and a half. And this is already three. And before that it's already nine. So this can turn into a sluggish war for decades," says Chmut.

voiceofeurope | Ukrainians are being prepared for a new wave of mobilization, 10 Aug
[...]
"The level of losses that exists takes a toll on people. Due to injuries, due to health. And this is now a total problem: people who have been in the trenches on the front lines for a year and a half need physiological recovery. In order to do this, they need to be replaced by someone in those trenches. These are hundreds of thousands of people who will need to be mobilized. In addition to those who are already there, because they are not immortal. And that means that out of the three of us, someone will definitely be taken. Then the second, then the third," Chmut says.

According to him, Ukraine has irreversibly lost a significant number of people due to injuries, who were trained, motivated and had combat experience. These fighters are being replaced by less trained servicemen who have recently taken up arms.
[...]

strana | The network writes that guys who will soon be 18 years old are leaving Ukraine en masse, 11 Aug
...Kiev resident Elena Tsisar, leaving Ukraine by train, said that "the guys are leaving." She observed several guys who crossed the border and joyfully informed relatives about it by phone. Or they were congratulated on their departure by the accompanying family members....
archive evacuation, abduction, deportation, genocide UPDATE
by Cat on Sat Aug 12th, 2023 at 12:47:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
stana | The Ministry of Internal Affairs denied Denisenko, who proposed not to let men go abroad for three years, and his words, 6 Aug "false statements"
The Ministry of Internal Affairs commented on the proposal not to let men go abroad for three years after the end of the war. The department rejected this idea. The comment appeared on the telegram channel of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

"Mr. Denisenko's statement about the ban on men traveling abroad is a personal opinion. Please do not consider this the position of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine," the ministry said in a statement.

The reaction of the ministry came because many media outlets named the head of the Ukrainian Institute for the Future, Vadim Denisenko, as an adviser to the interior minister. But the Interior Ministry denied this.

"Vadim Denisenko is not an adviser to the interior minister," said ministry spokeswoman Mariana Reva.
[...]

so there's that.
by Cat on Sat Aug 19th, 2023 at 07:01:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ukrinform | JPMorgan stops processing payments for Russian grain exports
According to Ukrinform, the official spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, stated this.

"The direct channel established between Rosselkhozbank and the American JPMorgan, which Western capitals and the UN tried to present as a working alternative to SWIFT, was closed on August 2," Zakharova said on August 4, commenting on the U.S. Secretary of Stalking's statement about the Black Sea Initiative [BSI].

3 weeks ago JP Morgan outside of SWIFT
by Cat on Sat Aug 12th, 2023 at 02:59:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
vg.no | Open to Ukraine ceding territory in exchange for NATO membership, 15 Aug
[...]
Stian Jenssen is chief of staff for NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels. Stoltenberg himself has not been willing to discuss possible solutions for Ukraine after Russia's invasion. The Secretary-General has consistently said that it must be up to Ukraine to decide both the time and terms for any negotiations with Russia to end the occupation.

Now Stoltenberg's closest collaborator in NATO says that one must have some thoughts about what the security situation for Ukraine will be like once the war ends.

- It is important that we discuss our way through this, Jenssen said in a conversation about Ukraine's future NATO membership, after the summit in Vilnius this summer.
[...]
When asked by VG whether it is Nato's view that Ukraine must cede land in order to achieve peace with Russia and future membership in Nato, Jenssen pointed out that the discussion about possible status after the war is already underway, and that questions about ceding territory to Russia is raised by others.

- I'm not saying it has to be like this. But that could be a possible soluton, replied Jenssen.

by Cat on Tue Aug 15th, 2023 at 04:01:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Re: Mikhail Gorbachev - Boris Yeltsin - Medvedev - Vladimir Putin [speech in 2007 at München Security Conference]

NATO knows better ... one simple position of the Kremlin ... don't expand NATO into the Ukraine. The bloodshed of 18 months is to protect Russian speaking Ukrainians ... R2P principle of US administrations ... besides Russia prefers a frozen conflict and ruin Western Ukraine. No more ports on the Black Sea.

The rationale underpinning the law of occupation is that the occupying power has to ensure (or restore) public order and security in the occupied territory. However, under no circumstances the occupying power acquires sovereignty over the occupied territory. Therefore, the referendums are illegal under international law.

Did someone slip this piece of paper under the door of Bibi Netanyahu ... how much his adventure on the West Bank reminds the Western alliance of Russia and the Donbas combined with Crimea ... uncaged of course.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 15th, 2023 at 04:57:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a ridiculous and dangerous game of fantasy ... is not ging to happen ... eons further down the road.

Should Ukraine agree to relinquish territories, it will lose Kiev -- Medvedev  | TASS |

Should Ukraine agree to relinquish disputed territories for the sake of joining NATO, it will have to give up even Kiev, the deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, said on his Telegram channel.

While commenting on a remark by the director of NATO's Secretary-General's Private Office, Stian Jenssen, to the effect that Ukraine might become a member of the alliance in case of territorial concessions to Russia, Medvedev wrote: "Why? The idea is curious. The only question is that all of allegedly `their' territories are highly disputable. To enter the bloc [NATO], the Kiev authorities would have to give up even Kiev itself, the capital of Ancient Rus," he added.

"Well, they (the Ukrainian authorities - TASS) would have to move the capital to Lvov then. If, of course, the Poles agree," Medvedev remarked.

LMAO ... next press briefing with Q&A at the White House NSC spokesperson Kirby ...

Prussia the Nordic pagan tribes



'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 15th, 2023 at 06:21:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
kyivpost | NATO Official Acknowledges Mistake in Suggesting Territorial Concessions for Ukraine's Alliance Membership
..."My comments during that time were part of a larger conversation about potential future scenarios for Ukraine. I shouldn't have phrased it that way. It was a mistake."

The initial suggestion made by Jenssen during the interview triggered a strong reaction from Kyiv....

Zelensk* multiplies National Security Advisors' working groups
president.gov.ua | We are preparing powerful things to strengthen our state, our warriors - address of President of Ukraine, 18 Aug
[...]
You will see the news for Ukraine. We prepare them with our neighbors in the EU. And also in those regions of Europe where our cooperation with the states has not yet been sufficient. And, of course, with our European partners, with whom we have already proved more than once that European leadership in defending freedom is of global importance.

By the way, we have already had important diplomatic successes this week.

The G7 Declaration on security guarantees for Ukraine: as of today, 18 states have joined.

The Peace Formula: already 63 diplomatic missions are working to implement the points of the Formula. It is crucial that the Peace Formula gradually unites the world majority based on our respect for international law and the UN Charter.

The European Union: we are trying our best to make Ukraine ready for the opening of membership negotiations this year.
[...]

regime change archive
reuters | Zelensk* decree rules out Ukraine talks with Putin as 'impossible', 4 Oct 2022
voa | Zelensk*: Negotiating With Putin 'impossible' After Annexation Claim
euractiv | As Ukraine progresses on battlefields, Zelenskyy declares 'impossible' any talks with Putin
jamestown.org | Zelensk* Bans Negotiations With Putin
brusselstimes | Zelensk* signs decree rejecting negotiations with Putin
haaretz | Ukrainian Citizens Banned From Negotiating With Putin, Zelensk* Orders
by Cat on Sun Aug 20th, 2023 at 05:14:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
unser-mitteleuropa | Unverschämt: Ukraine ,,dankt" dem Wertewesten indem sie Energieversorgung der EU torpediert, 21 Aug
Ukraine has announced that it will no longer extend the current contract for the operation of the last gas pipeline through Ukraine, which expires in 2024.

Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galuchenko has made it clear to the US state broadcaster Voice of America that Kiev does not want to hold talks with Russia about extending the transit contract, which ends in 2024. He said:

"We will definitely not take part in talks with the Russians, that's absolutely clear. The next year will show whether Europe can do without Russian gas"

The reader is reminded of the propaganda in the Western media before the Nord Stream lines were blown up: repeated attempts were made to blame Russia for the sabotage of gas transit through Ukraine. They did not shy away from presenting the blowing up of the Nord Stream lines themselves as a Russian terrorist attack. So far, all investigations into this terrorist attack have been torpedoed or their results have been kept secret from the public. This time, with the best will in the world, Russia can no longer be held responsible.
[...]

alt src
reuters | Ukraine has no plans to talk with Russia on gas transit contract renewal - VOA, 17 Aug
...Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko said on Wednesday Kyiv will not join in talks with Russia about a renewal of the contract for the transit of Russian gas through Ukrainian territory which is due to expire next year.

"We will not be a party at the talks with the Russians for sure, it's absolutely obvious," he told the Ukrainian service of U.S. broadcaster Voice Of America....

possibly related communication failure...
standardmedia.co.ke | VOA declines to renew contract of former Russian state journalist following outcry, 17 June
... "VOA has concluded the review of two of its Russian-language journalists started earlier this year and led by an external reviewer with deep experience in both Eurasia and in U.S. journalism," [VOA spokesperson Nigel] Gibbs said...
archive 2019 gas transit-deal, the current transit agreement, Plenty of EU Subsidy for Green Hydrogen, Ukraine to hike transit fees for Russian oil to EU - Transneft, End to "ukrainian Monopoly" in Gas Transit
by Cat on Tue Aug 22nd, 2023 at 09:52:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
insidevoa | VOA Ukrainian, est'd. Dec 1949
...VOA Ukrainian's daily TV broadcasts, special interactives with affiliates, weekly programming and web reporting are carried by major media across Ukraine. The service has more than 40 active agreements with affiliates, and its reports are reprinted in major Ukrainian digital media sources. Through its regular and ad hoc interactives, VOA Ukrainian serves as a "Washington Bureau" for many major media players in Ukraine.
by Cat on Tue Aug 22nd, 2023 at 10:04:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 1st, 2023 at 10:28:20 AM EST

Europe reluctantly turns to air conditioning, look with disdain at overcooled US buildings. ¡Estudialo!
by Cat on Wed Aug 2nd, 2023 at 05:46:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
F24 | France may soon overtake Russia as the world's No. 2 arms exporter, 2 Aug MOODI! MODI! MODI!
... To anyone closely following the international arms trade, this will not have come as a surprise. The day before, New Dehli gave initial approval for an order of six Scorpène submarines and 26 Rafale jets for the Indian Navy. Two weeks later on July 25, France's La Tribune newspaper reported Qatar is considering adding another 24 Rafales to their stockpile....

Some clients have also been disappointed with Russian products in recent years. As the world's largest arms importer, India has a decades-long relationship with Russian arms suppliers. "India is not particularly happy with what they have received, in technical terms, from Russia," SIPRI reporter Pieter Wezeman said. "So they have turned to France."...

Among European states that are members of NATO, there is a strong preference for the Lockheed Martin F-35 because of its capacity to drop US-made nuclear bombs. But the stock price of Dassault Aviation has almost doubled since February 2022, when Russian invaded Ukraine. Asked whether the French arms industry is directly benefiting from the war in Ukraine, Olivier Gras, general secretary of the EuroDéfense-France trade association said the matter was "delicate", noting that the increase in French arms deals is the result of long-standing policy and predates the Russian invasion....

by Cat on Wed Aug 2nd, 2023 at 06:08:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DW | Germany's Rheinmetall starts building F-35 fuselage plant, 1 Aug footprints
The premier of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hendrik Wüst, took part in a ground-breaking ceremony at the construction site, saying that "a highly modern factory is to be built here that will guarantee good jobs for decades." Rheinmetall is a partner of the US company Lockheed Martin, which makes the F-35 together with Northrop Grumman, another US firm.
[...]
The factory, which is estimated to cost €200 million ($219 million) and will have an area of some 60,000 square meters (645,835 square feet), is to go into operation in 2025. Up to 450 workers will produce the fuselage parts for at least 400 of the aircraft, 35 of which are earmarked for use by Germany's armed forces at a cost of €8.3 billion. Those aircraft are being purchased as part of the €100 billion package agreed by the government last year to upgrade the country's military.

Other planes [surplus planes?], whose delivery is scheduled to start in 2026, will likely be purchased by other NATO partners. The remaining components for the aircraft are to be supplied by other manufacturers, meaning that Rheinmetall will receive only a small part of the proceeds.

Complementors (Sixth Force of Porter's Five Forces™)
Some 1,500 other jobs could be created in connection with the factory. ....
archive Germany's biggest arms maker in Carpathia
by Cat on Wed Aug 2nd, 2023 at 11:20:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sueddeutsche.de | ,,Das ist ein humanitäres Dilemma", 31 July
CEO Jan-Hendrik Mohr condemned the Russian attack on Ukraine. A conversation about sanctions, hunger, and tractors as status symbols.
br.de | Developments, reactions and news on the Russia-Ukraine war from July 31 to August 6 in retrospect., 1 Aug
8.20 a.m.: Agricultural machinery manufacturer does not want to completely withdraw from the Russian business
The [NEW!] boss of the agricultural machinery manufacturer Claas, Jan-Hendrik Mohr, does not want to say goodbye to the Russian business completely, despite the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. "We cannot and do not want to withdraw from one of the world's most important agricultural regions," Mohr told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. "Millions of people in the world are starving. Basically, with our machines, we make a contribution to the global food supply." Accordingly, Claas continues to deliver harvesting machines such as combine harvesters to Russia. They are exempt from the sanctions - unlike tractors < wipes tears >, which can be used as support vehicles in war. They are considered so-called dual-use products. He thinks it is right that "agricultural engineering was partially exempted from the sanctions, as were pharmaceuticals and medical technology," Mohr told the "SZ".

ground.news | Read with caution - Süddeutsche Zeitung pay-wall teaser price
by Cat on Thu Aug 3rd, 2023 at 12:34:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
bundesregierung.de | Military support for Ukraine, 4 Aug
Delivered military support to Ukraine:
(Changes compared to the previous update in bold)
[...]
Logistics
• 140 trucks Zetros*
• 32 truck tractor [!] trains 8x8 HX81 and 27 semi-trailers*
[...]
---
* Deliveries from industry stocks financed by German funds for security capacity building. Some of the deliveries require upgrades or productions is ongoing; also training measures take place.
by Cat on Sun Aug 6th, 2023 at 09:33:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sat Aug 12th, 2023 at 01:08:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Politico.eu.com PROBES Sahel Alliance cash-for-influence scandal? nope.

Politico.eu.com | What happened to QATARGATE's forgotten country, Mauritania?, 11 Aug

The country wanted to change its image in Brussels and spent €200,000 to do so, according to [Pier Antonio Panzeri's] testimony. The result? A [Mauritania-funded] conference ... and not much else.
[...]
Yet while Morocco gets regular mentions in QATARGATE coverage, Mauritania's potential role has gone almost unnoticed. Mauritania's goal, Panzeri said, was ["]reputation rehab["].
refworld | 1999 - Mauritania Freedom Scores
"The Islamic state of Mauritania appeared both to court the international community and withdraw from its neighbors by establishing diplomatic relations with Israel [!] and backing out of the 16-member Economic Community of West African states (ECOWAS). Analysts say the move to establish ties with Israel could prompt [w]estern donor countries to look on Mauritania, an Islamic state that supported Iraq [!] during the Gulf War, more favorably. No official reason was given for Mauritania's withdrawal from ECOWAS, but analysts said the country was unhappy with recent moves by members to turn the regional grouping into more of a monetary and customs union. ECOWAS wants to launch a single currency by 2004, and Mauritania could see this as undermining its economic sovereignty...."

imf.org | Monetary Union in West Africa (ECOWAS) Is It Desirable and How Could It Be Achieved? (14.02.01)
"On April 20, 2000, in Accra, Ghana, the leaders of six West African countries1 declared their intention to proceed to monetary union among the non-CFA2 franc countries of the region by January 2003, as a first step toward a wider monetary union including all the ECOWAS3 countries in 2004.[...]The plan to create a second monetary union (in addition to that constituted by the West African Economic and Monetary Union, or WAEMU),5 as well as a full ECOWAS monetary union, raises a number of questions about the advantages and disadvantages of various alternative arrangements and strategies...such as whether the French Treasury's guarantee of convertibility of the CFA franc to the euro at a fixed parity would continue...."

The [w]est African country, which receives MILLIONS from the EU to host [EU27] fishing vessels each year, has long been criticized in Brussels for its human rights record.
[...]
In 2014, the European Parliament voted through a resolution calling on Mauritania to release anti-slavery activist Biram Dah Abeid, who was facing the death penalty. The [EU] Parliament's Socialists & Democrats [SD] group later shortlisted Abeid for its prestigious Sakharov Prize, given to those standing up to repression.
amnesty | Arrests of opposition leader, anti-slavery activist and two journalists point to worrying pre-election crackdown (15.08.18)
...The president of the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA) and former presidential candidate Biram Dah Abeid was arrested at his home on 7 August, while Abdellahi el Housein Mesoud an IRA member was arrested two days later. Online journalists Babacar Ndiaye and Mahmoudi Ould Saibout were also arrested on 8 August after posting an article critical of a France-based lawyer close to the Mauritanian government which was initially published on another platform....
It was a touchy matter for Mauritania, which had only outlawed slavery in 1981. That made Panzeri, who took over the human rights subcommittee in 2017, and Giorgi, Panzeri's assistant, ideal targets. And Panzeri, according to his own testimony, was a willing mark.
Who's the "mark"? Who was duped?
By that point Panzeri was transitioning out of Parliament, choosing not to run for re[-]election after serving since 2004 as part of the [SD] group. Even as an ex-MEP, though, Panzeri remained a well-known figure in Brussels with close TIES to his former colleagues. When he launched a human rights-focused NGO, Fight Impunity, in 2019, he said Mauritania was there to offer support.
[...]
The "lavish" EU-MR post-pandemic development forum
According to [Emanuela] Del Re, the EU's special representative to the Sahel, the initial proposal for the event came from Maria Arena, the MEP who replaced Panzeri as head of the Parliament's human rights subcommittee in 2019. Del Re said Arena approached the Commission with the idea of co-organizing an event in the Sahel region.
The President of the Republic supervises the launch of an international forum on development, governance, and human rights in the Sahel, 28 June 2022, "family photo"
"Arena and I thought that it'd be interesting doing something in Sahel, as it is a very relevant theme," Del Re said. Del Re said Arena also proposed roping in Fight Impunity as a sponsor, which gave Panzeri a say in the conference. ... Neither Fight Impunity and Panzeri nor Giorgi received any money from Parliament for the event, Arena added.
[...]
The country's new president, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, a self-styled reformer, even dropped by the conference, and it took place under his "high patronage," according to a government press release.

"He just came at the beginning of the conference, didn't utter a word, sat down, listened to some of it, and left," the speaker said
[...]
And, in essence, that was that. Panzeri said his exchanges with Mauritania dried up after the conference. And the EU-Mauritania relationship has remained largely unchanged.

EXCEPT that...
[...]
It did, however, seal a major agreement on fisheries in June 2022.
MEPs endorsed the largest EU's fisheries [sic] agreement with Mauritania (06.08.22)
"With 557 votes to 34 and 31 abstentions, MEPs backed the largest fisheries agreement concluded by the EU with a third country. Valid for six years, it will enable vessels from France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, and Spain to fish for tuna [!], small pelagic [!] fish, crustaceans [!], and demersal [!] fish in Mauritanian waters. In return for maximum 290,000 tonnes of fish, Mauritania will receive €57.5 million a year. An additional €3.3 million per year will be used to support the local fishing community.
[...]
Ending overfishing
The European Parliament also urges Mauritania [?!] to stop overfishing of small pelagic stock, which has negative consequences on local food security and causes water pollution. Small pelagic fish are processed into fishmeal and fish oil by the food processing industry instead of being used for local consumption, MEPs say. They note that while Mauritania committed in 2017 to gradually phase out fishmeal and fish oil [processing] by 2020, there ha[d] been an expansion of fishmeal factories since 2010.

MEPs also support the EU's [industrial] fleet in kind contribution to local communities. EU fishers are encouraged to continue distributing 2% of their pelagic catches to people in need by landing it to the National Fish Distribution Company (SNDP). The European Parliament calls on the Mauritanian authorities to ensure that the contribution reaches citizens...."

Perhaps the best illustration of how little Mauritania has played into QATARGATE: When Parliament brought in stricter guidelines for foreign [?] diplomats after the scandal broke, the institution specifically targeted Qatari and Moroccan officials, among others.
June 2023 EP piranha tank
reference
Bocoum et al. "Fisheries at the heart of a development issue in Mauritania: Small coastal pelagics between market logic and nutritional rationality" (2020)
"the National Fish Distribution Company (SNDP) has been set up, which benefits from a compulsory contribution of 2% on the catches of industrial trawlers."

ICSF APA | Mauritania stockpiling 20,000 tonnes of fish amid Covid-19 uncertainty
"10,000 tonnes will be supplied by private operators in the sector and intended for the National Fish Distribution Company to supply urban centers"

Spain and Mauritania stress the importance of reaching a satisfactory fisheries agreement with the European Union
"Luis Planas visited, together with his Mauritanian counterpart, the National Fish Distribution Company and the Qualifications and Training Centre for Fishing Trades of the Naval Academy"

by Cat on Mon Aug 14th, 2023 at 04:37:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Axel Springer Lawfare | Austria's Sebastian Kurz charged with making false statements, 18 Aug Habsburg Court of Public Opinion
Former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has been charged on suspicion of making false statements during a government inquiry into the so-called Ibiza Scandal [?].
Austrian government collapses over Russia scandal (18.05.19)
The move came barely 24 hours after the release of a ["incriminating"] video showing Heinz-Christian Strache, the far-right leader of his junior coalition partner, trying to trade public contracts for party donations from a woman he believed to be the wealthy niece of a Russian oligarch.[...]The government crisis was a blow to the youthful chancellor who sees himself as the future of European conservatism and whose international stardom won him a private dinner with Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner in February....

Sebastian Kurz's political future in doubt amid perjury probe (12.05.21)
In Austria, witnesses appearing before a parliamentary tribunal face the same legal requirement to tell the truth as they would in court.[...] The criminal probe against Kurz, detailed in a 58-page document published by Austrian media on Wednesday, surrounds his government's effort to install a close ally [not PUTIN] to run the country's state holding company, known as ÖBAG.[...]The others include Finance Minister Gernot Blümel, a close Kurz associate, ex-Finance Minister Hartwig Löger and former Justice Minister Wolfgang Brandstetter, who currently sits on Austria's constitutional court....

Judge questioned Austria's Kurz as part of perjury investigation (22.09.21)
by anti-corruption prosecutors into whether Kurz gave false testimony to a parliamentary commission

The charges were announced Friday morning by Austria's Economic and Corruption Prosecutor's Office more than two years after Kurz confirmed [12.05.21] he was under investigation. Criminal charges were also filed against Kurz's former head of Cabinet, Bernhard Bonelli, Austrian media reported....
archive Sun May 19th, 2019

pirate guidelines
Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch, StGB) 1998 EN translation
Chap. Nine False unsworn testimony and perjury, § 153-163 in particular; Chap. Ten, Casting False Suspicion; Chap. Twenty-two Fraud and Breach of Trust; Chap. Twenty-three Falsification of Documents; and Chap. Thirty Crimes in Public Office

echr.coe.int | TEU Art.6 - Right to a Fair Trial
IV. General Guarantees: Procedural Requirements
V. Specific Guarantees

by Cat on Fri Aug 18th, 2023 at 02:39:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
eulawanalysis.blogspot | The risk of circumvention of EU sanctions through the immediate family of leading businesspersons and the CJEU's case law, 2 Aug pirate guideline adjustment bureau
The inclusion of family members in the categories of persons covered by EU targeted sanctions against Russia has been justified, in the [European [Council] of Europe]'s view, for maximising the effectiveness of those sanctions. The inclusion of family members of leading businesspersons aims to prevent the circumvention of EU targeted sanctions (in the forms of asset freeze [sic]) by the transfer of assets between targeted leading businesspersons and their immediate family.

Updating the EU sanctions regime against Russian businesspersons

The EU's targeted sanctions against Russia's economic elites introduced on 5 June 2023 a short but significant amendment to its current sanctions regime. It extended the scope of the sanctions regime through Council Decision (CFSP) 2023/1094 ('Council decision of 5 June 2023') to permit the designation of immediate family members of leading Russian businesspersons operating in Russia. There are in other words now EU legal acts in place which allow for the adoption of EU sanctions against the sons and daughters, spouses, and parents of Russian oligarchs based on the autonomous designation criterion of immediate family members of leading Russian businesspersons operating in Russia. (In 2015 the Council introduced the 'leading businessperson operating in Syria' as an autonomous general listing criterion. See Council Decision (CFSP) 2022/329 and Council Regulation (EU) 2022/330 of 25 February 2022 on the criterion of `leading businesspersons'.) Family members of Russian leading businesspersons have been put on the lists since early 2022 but under different grounds....

by Cat on Fri Aug 18th, 2023 at 02:57:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
bild.de | Putins Blut-Dünger überschwemmt deutsche Äcker, 21 Aug
Es klingt absurd, aber: Deutsche Bauern machen Russlands Blut-Oligarchen reich und finanzieren so den Krieg von Kreml-Schlächter Wladimir Putin gegen die Ukraine. Unfreiwillig!

Denn sie düngen ihre Felder zu einem großen Teil mit Blut-Dünger aus Russland. Jedes Mal, wenn deutsche Bauern auf dem Acker düngen, rollt in Moskau der Rubel ...

BILD_Russian, Aug 21 at 09:09 "substantial transformation" of starving Africans ALERT
German fertilizer producers stop their work - it becomes unprofitable due to cheap fertilizers from Russia

German farmers continue to use Russian fertilizers, the export of which is not subject to sanctions imposed by Western countries. For German fertilizer producers, the rejection of cheap Russian gas has become a big problem: the price of gas has increased by up to 40%, and the cost of fertilizers produced, in some cases, by up to 150%.

While the gas-intensive production of nitrogen and ammonia fertilizers is gradually becoming unprofitable in Germany, imports of Russian fertilizers to the EU are growing at a fast pace: last year they increased five times. This is because the price of gas accounts for four-fifths of all ammonia production costs.

"The entire fertilizer industry in Germany is operating at great losses. If Germany does not want to finance the war unleashed by Russia, and therefore refuses Russian gas, then the question arises why the import of Russian gas in the form of urea and ammonia to Germany has been able to increase in recent months? Sven Schulze, Minister of Economy and Agriculture of Saxony-Anhalt, is perplexed in an interview with BILD.

Chemical giant BASF had previously announced the closure of its ammonia plant in Ludwigshafen, and now another manufacturer, the nitrogen plant SKW Piesteritz, is hesitant.

Thus, the EU sanctions policy endangered the entire industry. At the same time, Russia, which withdrew from the grain deal in the middle of last month, is still allowed to supply fertilizers to Germany and other European countries.

According to Schulze, Russia's "war chest" is filled with significant income from the sale of fertilizers.

"German and European production sites will be forced to close or at least significantly reduce production as Russia will be allowed to flood the market with cheap fertilizers," he says.
###

by Cat on Mon Aug 21st, 2023 at 09:12:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing new as in my time living in the US, school summer vacation stretched over three months. Kinda nice ...

Hot Temperatures Decrease Worker Productivity, Economic Output | Aug. 29, 2018 |

A new study finds hot weather may cause significant global economic losses because workers are less productive when it is warm. Air conditioning may not solve the problem.

Today's headline ...

Extreme heat costs the U.S. $100 billion a year, researchers say | CBS News - Aug. 1, 2023 |

A recent study by researchers with the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center estimated that high heat costs the U.S. $100 billion annually in reduced productivity, a figure expected to double by 2030. Such daunting figures exclude related hits from factors including a decrease in tourism and rising health and energy costs.

Employers must also make costly investments to adjust their business to account for the rising mercury, including in air conditioning. That can take a particular toll on small and midsize businesses.

"It's easily a couple millions dollars investment, and that is not an investment a lot of employers feel like they're able to make," Davenport said.

The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is working on developing a set of national standards that would institute protections for workers exposed to heat. Some business groups have opposed the effort, citing the costs of such remedial measures.

"It would probably include things like mandatory rest, mandatory water, potentially requiring some employers to install air conditioning," Davenport said.



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Aug 2nd, 2023 at 07:28:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
euronews | Migrant hunters in Greece show off captured 'trophies' after wildfire season, 30 Aug
As the popular belief spreads that migrants are to blame for the fires that have ravaged Greece, self-organised civilian 'militias' are hunting them down.
[...]
With more than 73,000 hectares burned in six days, the wildfires around Alexandroupolis, the capital of Evros, have become the most devastating ever seen in the European Union. The disaster has left the country searching for culprits, leading to a popular belief that migrants are responsible for the fires.

"There is a widespread rumour and local politicians are using it as a political tool because it's easy to blame migrants. They don't have a voice," Lefteris Papayannakis, director of the Greek Institute for Refugees Greek Council for Refugees, told Euronews. "The authorities have received complaints about the way they have handled the fires. There's always a need for an enemy to justify the government's failure, so we find scapegoats to protect them. In Evros, it's the migrants," he adds.

Greek Institute for Refugees (HIAS Greece)
Urban militias' hunting migrants
This has led to the emergence of civilian self-organised 'militias' that commit unlawful acts of violence against migrants, according to the UN refugee agency [OHCHR?].

Villagers dressed in black and heavy boots, resembling Greek special forces, form vigilante groups that now patrol the Evros border "looking for migrants", as stated in the Border Violence Monitoring Network [BVMN] report [14.08.23].
[...]

I did not see this coming.
by Cat on Thu Aug 31st, 2023 at 12:55:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
27 July ECB windows 4.25%, 4.50% and 3.75%
27 July FRB windows 5.25, 5.5 percent

NEW!
3 Aug BoE window 5.25% and Monetary Policy Summary
+
USD:GBP Risk-free Reference Rates transition action plan

by Cat on Thu Aug 3rd, 2023 at 07:18:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NEW!
4 Aug BoJ "bond yield curve" cap (YCC) 10-Y +0.5
by Cat on Sun Aug 6th, 2023 at 12:39:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
bloomberg | OPEC Output PLUNGES by Most Since 2020 as Saudis Deepen Cuts, 1 Aug "surprise"
Traders expect the kingdom will announce an extension of the measure into September in the coming days, deepening signs of a supply DEMAND shortfall in the market. While consuming nations fret that OPEC policy risks reviving ["our sanctions don't effect..."] inflation, key group members appear to need higher oil prices to cover government spending.
[...]
Bloomberg's survey is based on ship-tracking data, information from officials and estimates from consultants including Kpler Ltd., Rapidan Energy Group, and Rystad Energy.


oilprice.com, 7 Aug 2023 "premium" headlines

never accepts failure

chinadaily | Links with US endure amid slow imports, 9 Aug

"I think the decline is mainly due to a slowdown in US household purchases of the various goods produced in China," said Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow and trade expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.
[...]
"Weakening consumer demand for goods and retreating inventory growth by businesses have softened imports this year, while exports continue to trend downward as the global economic backdrop softens," Matthew Martin, a US economist at Oxford Economics, told Reuters.
[...]
"China is shipping more intermediate goods to countries like Mexico, Malaysia, and Vietnam, and then the final products are coming to the US [from Mexico, Malaysia, and Vietnam]," Hufbauer told China Daily. "I think we will see more of these redirected supply chains in the future."
US neighbor opts against BRICS, 9 Aug
..."We are not going to participate in this bloc, in this association. Of course, we celebrate that other countries do. However, for reasons of proximity, geopolitics, we will continue strengthening the alliance with North America and the whole of the Americas," Obrador was cited as saying by La Prensa Latina news outlet.
...In May, he said, Mexico became the No.1 trading partner of the US. He said that Foreign Secretary Alicia Barcena will discuss economic integration with US officials when she visits Washington this week, alongside other topics such as migration and drug trafficking.

AMLO, whose term ends in November 2024, said that he will use the rest of his time in office to advance the project of transforming the Americas into an economic and trade block that would be "the most important region in the world."...

His comments were made in response to [Bloomberg?] media reports that Mexico was among the nations which had applied to join the five-nation economic group currently comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The bloc's 15th summit is set to take place in Johannesburg later this month.

Obrador denied the reports, stressing that his administration's current priority is developing ties under the 2020 US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)....

archive Cuba, Dominica, and Mexico
by Cat on Thu Aug 10th, 2023 at 03:22:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
bloomberg | Ruble Whipsaws Top Forecasters as Worst Currency Becomes Best (05.04.14)
bloomberg  | Ruble Surpasses Brazil's Real as Year's Best-Performing Currency (11.05.22)
bloomberg | Bank of Russia Halts FX Buys as Ruble Slumps Near 100 to Dollar (09.08.23)
The ruble has weakened by about 24% against the dollar so far this year, placing it among the three worst emerging-market performers with the Turkish lira and the Argentine peso. The currency weakened past 98 per dollar during trading on Wednesday and is nearing 100 to the greenback, a level last seen during the first month after President Vladimir Putin ordered the February 2022 invasion.
[...]
What Bloomberg Economics says
Ruble weakness comes down to capital outflow, which itself resulted from mis-calibrated domestic policy. The government's 14% year-on-year spending surge boosts demand for imports at a time when export revenue is dwindling. At the same time, households have moved around $40 billion to foreign banks as ruble interest rates have fallen short of inflation expectations and a growing number of Russian banks have been cut off from global payment systems.
Ruble SURGES after interest rate hike, (17.08.23)
The Russian ruble strengthened to 93 versus the US dollar and to 101 against the euro on Thursday for the first time since August 1 after the central bank raised the key interest rate to 12%.
parity watch a/o 18 Aug
USD:VND, 1:23,750.52
USD:KRW, 1:1,340.11
USD:CLP, 1:865.77
USD:NGN, 1:768.88
USD:XOF, 1:602.96 (EUR:XOF, 1:655.95)
USD:ARS, 1:349.86
USD:HUF, 1:351.17
USD:PKR, 1:297.11
USD:JPY, 1:145.20
USD:RUB, 1:93.97
USD:INR, 1:83.19
USD:THB, 1:35.42
USD:TWD, 1:31.93
USD:TRY, 1:27.11
USD:HNL, 1:24.60
USD:ZAR, 1:18.95
USD:MXN, 1:17.04
USD:HKD, 1:7.83
USD:RMB, 1:7.28
USD:BRL, 1:4.96
USD:PLN, 1:4.10
USD:SAR, 1:3.75
USD:EUR, 1:0.91
reuters | Yield gap between China and US widens to highest since 2007 after surprise rate cut
China remains an outlier among global central banks as it has loosened monetary policy to shore up a stalling recovery whereas others, particularly the United States, have been in tightening cycles as they battle high inflation.[...] But the divergent monetary policy paths between the world's two largest economies widened the yield gap to 164 basis points between China's benchmark 10-year government bonds and U.S Treasuries s—the highest since February 2007.
reuters | China's state banks seen selling dollars for yuan in London and New York hours, 17 Aug
China's major state-owned banks were seen busy selling U.S. dollars to buy yuan in both onshore and offshore spot foreign exchange markets this week, people with direct knowledge of the matter said, in an attempt to slow the yuan's depreciation.
[...]
What is the onshore and offshore currency market?
by Cat on Fri Aug 18th, 2023 at 07:47:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
strana.ua sez Bloomberg sez JP Morgan sez
Stop Blaming Foreign Central Banks for Bond Rout, 18 Aug OFAC liquidity bulletin
The conclusion came as speculation mounted that some countries would be dumping Treasuries to get their hands on dollars to defend their own currencies. Thirty-year US yields hit the highest since 2011 this week as the greenback strengthened.

JPMorgan strategists including Jay Barry said bonds due in 20 and 30 years account for less than 5% of foreign central banks' Treasury holdings. In comparison, about 40% of their holdings are concentrated in notes maturing in three years or less.
[...]
Unlike foreign private investors, central banks prefer holding short-term notes in their foreign reserves because these securities can be more easily liquidated in times of freeze 'n' seize stress, according to the strategists....

by Cat on Sat Aug 19th, 2023 at 06:48:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia's Flagship Oil Above $60 Does Little to Halt G-7 Services
...It stood at about $71 a barrel on Friday at Russia's Baltic and Black Sea ports, according to Argus....
because everyone at Kepler was on vaca.

MEANWHILE at oilprice, de nile overfloweth

by Cat on Wed Aug 23rd, 2023 at 11:31:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose, this bit is wutcha might call a ONCE IN 100 YEARS "open secret".

realclear AP | WH Ignores Human Rights Crisis at America's ["Backyard"] Doorstep, 22 Aug
habeas corpus expert SPEAKS OUT

...As a candidate, President Joe Biden promised that he would "revitalize our national commitment to advancing human rights and democracy around the world." That, of course, is a noble goal, but in practice, his administration has had an inconsistent approach in our own hemisphere.

Across Latin America, human rights are under assault. And in the case of the Dominican Republic, the Biden administration is seemingly enabling a crisis perpetrated by President Luis Abinader US Marines.

The Dominican government's judicial system is keeping thousands of people locked behind bars for years at a time and often without charge. Prosecutors are utilizing a < wipes tears > long-condemned practice called preventive detention, which holds individuals indefinitely in prison before trial—and often before being charged with a specific crime—on the presumption that their release would not be in the best interest of society. There is certainly a strong chance that those incarcerated without due process include American citizens and legal permanent residents.

Clearly, the arbitrary use of preventive detention is a tactic of failed justice systems that are rife with politicization and corruption. Yet preventive detention has become the go-to tool for many prosecutors in the Dominican Republic, so liberally used that as many as 70% of people in Dominican prisons are being held on a preventive basis, often without seeing the inside of a courtroom. The rate of [alias] pretrial detention is among the highest in the Americas, behind only Haiti. Under Dominican law, they are legally allowed to hold anyone for as long as 18 months [!] before even being charged with a crime.

Secretary of Stalking Antony Blinken has inexplicably chosen to pick and choose which nations will be called out for their criminal justice policies. When El Salvadoran president Nayib Bukele launched a crackdown on violent street gangs, which included using preventive detention, the Biden administration immediately denounced the country for human rights violations and authoritarianism....

archive Europe 2 ROW: "nice to have but not mission-critical"
by Cat on Fri Aug 25th, 2023 at 06:38:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yahoo! | Why Putin may help Trump again, 29 Aug  psychotic break
...Putin has tried to weaponize Russia's oil and natural gas exports throughout the war, and he could do so to influence the 2024 US election. Russia is still the world's second-largest oil exporter, after Saudi Arabia.
< wipes tears >
Because of sanctions, Russia now sells less oil to Europe and more to China and India. But oil is a global commodity, and changes in supply or demand anywhere affect prices everywhere. So the question is whether Russia could pull enough oil from the market to push up US gasoline prices in a way that would harm Biden's re[-]election odds.
[INCONTINENCE ALERT]
It's plausible. Russia desperately needs oil revenue to continue financing its costly war. Yet it has already cut oil production by about 300,000 barrels per day this year, in conjunction with a production cut by Saudi Arabia of roughly 1 million barrels per day. Those cuts have helped push global oil prices up by about $10 per barrel this summer. Some oil-producing nations can make more money with less production if demand is solid and prices rise, which is what has happened this year....

by Cat on Wed Aug 30th, 2023 at 06:26:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 1st, 2023 at 10:28:45 AM EST
by Cat on Tue Aug 1st, 2023 at 01:07:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
reuters | Mexican president urges end to 'irrational' Ukraine war, wants Russia at peace talks, 1 Aug
Lopez Obrador said Mexico would only take part in the talks in Saudi Arabia, reportedly scheduled to be held over the coming weekend, if both sides were present.

"If there's acceptance from both Ukraine and Russia to look for solutions to achieve peace, we'll participate," the president told reporters at a regular press conference.

gob.mx | Conferencia de prensa del presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador del 31 de julio de 2023
"We don't want the Russia-Ukraine war to continue, it's very irrational," Lopez Obrador added, noting that the conflict has caused massive human suffering. "The only thing that benefits from it is the war industry."

Senior officials from up to 30 countries are expected to participate in the talks Aug. 5-6 in Jeddah, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday [29.07.23]. Russia has not been invited, the outlet [Politico AP] reported [30.07.23], citing diplomats involved in the planning.
[...]
On Monday, the Kremlin said it would "follow" the meeting but did not currently see conditions for peace talks with Kyiv.

sputnik | AMLO to Sputnik: Mexico Sees No Point in Ukraine Peace Talks Without Russia (01.08.23)
"Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov indicated Monday that Russia will seek more information about the purpose of the talks"
RT | US and Ukraine discussing security guarantees - State Department (01.08.23)
"'Those talks are going to kick off this week,' State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters at the daily briefing [31.07.23], describing them as the "outgrowth of the statement that the G7 released on the margins of the last NATO summit in Vilnius.'"
[...]
Lopez Obrador had outlined a separate peace plan last year, which Ukraine opposed, arguing it would have benefited Russia.
justsecurity.org | Mexico's Initiative for Dialogue and Peace in Ukraine (22.09.23)
"In his statement on the occasion of the 212th anniversary of Mexican independence, delivered on Sept. 16, the President of Mexico Andrés Manuel López Obrador presented his proposal for the establishment of a High-Level Caucus for Dialogue and Peace in Ukraine. Yesterday, during his statement in the Security Council, and later in the general debate of the 77th General Assembly, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard formally presented Mexico's proposal."
state.gov | Department Press Briefing - July 31, 2023
QUESTION: Yeah, on Ukraine, President Zelensk*'s chief of staff has said that there are talks this week on security guarantees in Washington. Do you have anything on this?
MILLER: Sure. Those talks are going to kick off this week. Those are an outgrowth of the statement that we released at—that the G7 released on the margins of the last NATO Summit in Vilnius, where President Biden and G7 leaders made clear that we were going to engage in negotiations with the Government of Ukraine about our long-term commitments to Ukraine's security so it can establish a military that can defend itself and deter a future attack, rebuild its economy, protect its citizens, and pursue integration into the Euro-Atlantic community.
state.gov | Joint Declaration of Support for Ukraine (12.07.23)
9 heads of the G7: CA, EUCO, EC, FR, DE, IT, JP, UK, US + BE, CZ, DK, ES, FI, IS, IE, NL, NO, PT, RO, SE
I will note this is separate and apart from the security assistance that we regularly provide now. We've made clear that we see this proceeding on two tracks: one, security assistance to support their efforts to repel the Russian aggression inside their country; and two, to establish a long-term military that can serve as a deterrent effect from future Russian aggression. So those meetings are going to start this week. I would add that since we released that [NATO] joint declaration [11.07.23] at the—from the G7 and EU in Vilnius, 12 other countries have joined their names to the declaration. So talks will begin this week about how we can decide on the actual details of those security commitments going forward.
QUESTION: And on the summit in Saudi Arabia this week on Ukraine, do you support this summit? Who will attend it? And what's the goal of it?
QUESTION: Yeah.
MILLER: We do, of course, support this summit. We have long said that it is important that Ukraine be in the driver's seat when it comes to any potential diplomatic resolution to this war.  It's important that countries that have not yet heard directly from Ukraine hear from Ukraine, so we are gratified that there will be countries that are attending this summit to talk directly with Ukraine. If your question was with respect to what other countries will be attending, I would defer to the governments of Saudi Arabia and Ukraine to that—to answer that question. If the question is respect—
[...]
MILLER: If the question is with respect to what U.S. Government—
QUESTION: Yeah.
MILLER: —officials will be attending, I can confirm that there will be U.S. Government officials. Not ready to make announcements yet about who those will be, but as the week goes on, certainly you can expect that we will do so.
archive Part of Western Effort to Woo Global South, "Non-starters" v "isolation", Kirby-content
by Cat on Tue Aug 1st, 2023 at 03:32:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Por tales razones, el Presidente de Mexico, el licenciado López Obrador, consciente del la reponsibilitad individual y colectiva que tenemos, propone que una comitiva o caucus de Jefes de Estado y de Gobierno aliente y acompañe los esfuerzos del Secretario General, para promover medidas de fomento de la confianza hoy perdid entre la Federación de Rusia y Ucrania que permitan generar las condiciones tan pronto sea posible para acercar a las partes a los mecanismos de solución pacifica de las controversias que señala la Carta de las Naciones Unidas.
by Cat on Tue Aug 1st, 2023 at 03:52:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
brics2023.gov.za | Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism, Sandton, Convention Center, Johannesburg, 22-24 Aug FAQs

Bloomberg baited a couple hooks ...
BRICS May Decide on Whether to Admit New Members This Year (12.01.22)
BRICS Strive to Counter US With Expansion, Shared Currency (01.06.23)

... caught a fish
thediplomat | Why India Must Shape the New BRICS Moment (02.06.23)

New Delhi's stand of settling the accession criteria on agreed terms and then proceeding gradually is a sensible move, but it can no longer reliably depend upon the Russians to make its case. India has to look for other sources of influence within BRICS. This is where IBSA - essentially BRICS minus Russia and China - can be a worthy counterweight, preventing the criteria for new members from being set on Chinese terms.

India to Resist Anti-US Messaging at BRICS Summit With Xi, Putin (21.06.23)
China's Push to Expand BRICS Membership Falters (27.07.23)

... and released it.

firstpost | India and Brazil oppose China's rapid expansion bid for BRICS group (28.07.23)
India and Brazil want to use the summit to discuss potentially bringing in additional countries with observer status, the officials said. South Africa supports discussing different membership options to accommodate this, but doesn't necessarily oppose expansion, two of the officials said.

by Cat on Tue Aug 1st, 2023 at 05:19:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
indiatimes | India dismisses reports that it opposes BRICS expansion (03.08.23)
It is learnt that New Delhi is yet to take a final decision on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's in-person attendance in the summit of the five-nation grouping from August 22 to 24.
news18 | August 8-10 will see the 28th no-confidence motion (02.08.23)
"The date allotted for the motion is significant. It is towards the end of the Parliament session."
"We have seen some baseless speculation that India has reservations against the expansion. This is simply not true," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a media briefing. "We have talked about India's position on expansion and we have clarified our position in the past. As mandated by the leaders last year, BRICS members are internally discussing the guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures for the BRICS expansion process on the basis of full consultation and consensus," he added.

telesur | BRICS Can Play Exceptional Role Globally: President Lula, 3 Aug

At a breakfast with foreign correspondents, the Brazilian leader said he has high expectations for the 15th BRICS Summit to be held in South Africa on August 22. Lula da Silva also noted that it is "extremely important" that countries like Saudi Arabia, Argentina, and other large developing countries join the bloc.
BRICS (2009 FTA): CN, RU, BR, IN, ZA; AR*, DZ*, IR*, EG*, ET*, BO*, SA*, AE*, ID*, BD*, CM*, ML*, SN*, TH*, UZ*, FJ*, KZ*, TN*, TR*
* observer, dialogue, or applicant member
"At this meeting, we could possibly decide by consensus which new countries will be able to join the BRICS. I consider it extremely important to allow other countries that meet the BRICS requirements to join the group," Lula said. "From a global perspective, I think the BRICS can play an exceptional role," the Brazilian leader stressed, adding that the BRICS New Development Bank must be "more efficient and generous" than the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
archived New Development Bank, Articles of Agreement
In advocating for the expansion of the BRICS, Lula took the opportunity to criticize the group of the world's seven most industrialized countries (G7) and affirmed that it should already have been replaced by the Group of Twenty (G20).
G20 (1999 NGO) FR, DE, IT, ES, JP, UK, US, EU-CO, EU-EC, AU, CA; AR, BR, CN, ID, IN, KR, MX, RU, TR, SA, ZA

reuters | G20 no longer an economic forum - EU's Borrell, 3 Mar
"and has become a platform to discuss [G7] geopolitical issues"
reuters | EU warns that Russia aims to create new dependencies with cheap grain, 2 Aug
"EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell wrote to developing and Group of 20 countries on Monday to urge them to speak 'with a clear and unified voice' to push Moscow to return to a deal that allowed the safe Black Sea export of Ukraine grain and to stop targeting Ukraine's agricultural infrastructure."

by Cat on Thu Aug 3rd, 2023 at 11:39:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
lemonde | Indian opposition is gearing up to face Modi, 5 Aug ELECTION 2024
An Indian Supreme Court decision could reshuffle the cards in the race for India's spring 2024 general elections. On Friday, August 4, the nation's highest court suspended the sentence handed down to Rahul Gandhi, the main opposition leader, in a defamation case against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
wut confidence vote?
Gandhi, a fierce critic of the prime minister, should once again be able to take his seat in the lower house. The Indian National Congress party will be petitioning Parliament to reinstate him as soon as possible. In its judgment, the Supreme Court argued that Gandhi's conviction was "seriously prejudicial to freedom of speech" and also infringed on the "rights of those who voted for him." In power since 2014, the Hindu nationalist [read: Hinduvta] government has regularly been accused of using the justice system to muzzle critics.
archive Difference Between Hinduism and Hindutva

F24 | Pakistan court sentences former PM Imran Khan to three years in prison

Police arrested Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan in Lahore on Saturday after a court sentenced him to three years in prison for illegally selling state gifts [?!], potentially barring the opposition leader from contesting an up-coming election.
[...]
The arrest was the latest in a series of blows that have weakened Khan's political standing, after he ["]fell out["] with Pakistan's powerful military and his party splintered.

Lahore Police Chief Bilal Siddique Kamiana confirmed the arrest and told Reuters Khan was being transferred to the capital, Islamabad. He would then be held at Central Adiala Jail in nearby Rawalpindi, according to the arrest warrant. Khan's political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), said it had filed another appeal to the Supreme Court earlier on Saturday.
[...]
His conviction came a day after Pakistan's high court temporarily halted the district court trial. It was not immediately clear why the trial had proceeded despite the high court decision.
[...]

archive The arrest of Imran Khan, Major Win PTI In Punjab in Imran Khan, Debt, IMF Vassal to America, Pakistan's PM blocks no-confidence vote in US-Pakistan Relations on a Cliff Edge

dont-say-Trump

dawn | Why polls may be put off until Spring 2024, 6 Aug

by Cat on Sun Aug 6th, 2023 at 06:32:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Resistance is possible': Ravish Kumar, the broadcaster risking his life to tell the truth about India​ today​ | The Guardian |

Ravish Kumar was born near the same Indian city - Motihari in Bihar- as George Orwell. In his early years as a TV journalist and nightly news anchor, Kumar did not imagine that he would live to be part of a modern-day Nineteen Eighty-Four nightmare. But that changed almost a decade ago with the election of Narendra Modi's government in India. In the years since then, Kumar has become an increasingly lone voice of truth-telling in an Indian media landscape in thrall to the Hindu nationalist politics of Modi's Bharatiya Janata party (BJP). Kumar's one-man campaign to maintain journalistic integrity, as mainstream news organisations became promoters of politicised fake news, earned him the "Nobel prize of Asia," the Ramon Magsaysay award, in 2019. It also led to an unending campaign of harassment and death threats from government supporters.

Kumar, the Indian equivalent of, say, Jeremy Paxman in his prime, finally resigned from his post at NDTV in New Delhi last November, after the station was taken over by Indian billionaire Gautam Adani, a close friend of Modi. He now lives in virtual hiding with his family and broadcasts through a personal YouTube channel. His story, one of repression in modern India and of the existential crisis in truth-telling worldwide, is the subject of an urgently compelling documentary, While We Watched.

India's Congress party defeats Narendra Modi's BJP in Karnataka state elections

Industrialists at Davos ...

The annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland

Key word | Biden Democracy Summit |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Aug 7th, 2023 at 05:31:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sparks fly during no-trust debate: Forced to bring motion to break PM's 'maun vrat' on Manipur (08.08.23)
Opposition asserting that it was forced to do so to break Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'maun vrat' (vow of silence) on Manipur and the treasury benches hitting back saying it was a no-trust vote against a "poor person's son" who has worked for the welfare of the people. The opposition leaders at various points during the debate also invoked BJP veteran Atal Bihari Vajpayee to target the Prime Minister and remind Modi of 'rajdharma'.
[...]
Intervening in the debate, Union minister Kiren Rijiju said the Congress and other opposition parties have brought the no-confidence motion at a "wrong time and in a wrong manner." At a time when Prime Minister Modi has emerged as the world leader and the country was marching ahead to become a developed nation by 2047, there was no need for such a motion against the government, the minister said.
[...]
Pak's top election body disqualifies Imran Khan for five years following his conviction in corruption case, 9 Aug
...In a notification issued on Tuesday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said that the Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was disqualified after being found guilty of corrupt practices under Section 167 of the Elections Act, 2017 and his sentencing for three years. The ECP declared Khan, 70, disqualified under Article 63(1)(h) of the Constitution read with Section 232 of the Elections Act, 2017.
August 8 Dawn
PTI chief moves IHC against conviction in Toshakhana case, Attock Jail
The petition will be taken up tomorrow (Wednesday) by a two-member bench comprising IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri.
PM Shehbaz confirms advice for [National Assembly] dissolution to be sent to President Alvi tomorrow snap election
The government has announced that assemblies will be dissolved three days ahead of its mandated period, following which elections are to be held within 90 days.
by Cat on Tue Aug 8th, 2023 at 10:18:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu Aug 10th, 2023 at 07:18:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
timesofindia | criminal code talking points
1. Sedition law to go, death for mob lynching
The government has proposed sweeping changes in the British-era criminal laws through three bills that Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced in Lok Sabha on Friday.
[...]
2. Two dozen bills sail through the stormy monsoon session
The monsoon session of Parliament concluded on Friday after three weeks of tumult, during which the opposition and treasury benches faced-off over the months-long ethnic violence in Manipur.
[...]
3. When court was forced to 'regulate' speeches
A number of people-centric pronouncements and observations came from courts on Friday
[...]
hindustantimes | Death penalty for gang rape of minors among crucial proposals in bill, 12 Aug
[...]
In IPC [India Penal Code], the provisions relating to the gang rape of minors are classified under two categories—where a survivor is under 12 years of age and where she is less than 16 years old. For an act of gang-raping a girl under 12, the maximum punishment under IPC is death sentence, but for the crime against a girl between 12 and 16 the maximum punishment is life imprisonment.

Doing away with these age subclassifications, the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill, 2023, lays down that an offence of gang rape against a girl under 18 years of age can fetch capital punishment for all those involved in the crime.
[...]
The other provisions relating to rape and gang rape have been retained under the new law with the same punishments. Similarly, definitions and punishments for various other offences against women, including sexual harassment, molestation, voyeurism, and stalking have remained the same under the 2023 bill.

Engrafting the mandate of a 2017 judgment of the Supreme Court, the proposed legislation enhances the minimum age of wife from 15 to 18 years for giving an immunity to husband from a charge of rape. In 2017, the top court interfered with Exception 2 of Section 375 to the extent that it protected husbands from prosecution under the rape charge if the wife was not below 15 years. The Supreme Court read down the exception clause to hold that a wife must not be younger than 18 years, instead of 15 as mentioned under IPC, for the immunity to be valid.

The bill also does away with Section 377 of IPC, which made homosexuality an offence punishable up to life term. The move borrows from the Supreme Court's judgment of 2018 by a Constitution bench that decriminalised gay sex between consenting adults.

by Cat on Sat Aug 12th, 2023 at 11:50:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
GT | Attempt to sow discord between China, India won't impact BRICS cooperation, 3 Aug
On Wednesday, an article in Bloomberg, entitled "This club isn't big enough for both China and India," claimed that "tensions between the Asian rivals will likely prevent the BRICS bloc from ever posing a coherent challenge to the West."
darn. I missed that one
Actually, China and India have much in common in the global arena, particularly in multilateral mechanisms where they have a wide range of common interests. Despite some differences in bilateral relations, India's international ambition to improve its status and become a great power should not lead it to go against BRICS cooperation.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that "Brazil has resisted gathering momentum in the BRICS group of major emerging economies to add more member countries" and that "India has reservations about the expansion." But the next day, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva expressed support for more countries joining the BRICS group. Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also denied on Thursday reports that the country was against expanding the BRICS organization.
[...]

< wipes tears >
by Cat on Sat Aug 5th, 2023 at 11:11:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"so-called BRICS" PR notes
reuters | 'BRICS bank' issues first South African rand bonds, 16 Aug
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on August 18, 2023
...Under the theme of "BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism", the summit will carry forward the sound momentum of cooperation from the BRICS "China Year" 2022 and blueprint a brighter future for BRICS....
reuters | 'BRICS bank' aims to issue first Indian rupee bond by October, 22 Aug

BRICS XV Business Forum
Agenda, 08:50 - 17:00
• Opening Remarks: Fernando Haddad (BR), Piyush Goyal (IN), Phuthi Mahnyele-Dabengwa (ZA)
- Panel Discussion:Unlocking BRICS trade and investment opportunities
- Panel Discussion: BRICS Agriculture in focus
Tea Break
• Opening Remarks: Stella Ndabeni Abrahams (.gov.ZA)
- Panel Discussion: BRICS Entrepreneurial opportunity & Market Access as a key enabler for SMMES
• Opening Remarks: Sec-Gen Wamkele Mene (AfCFTA)
- Panel Discussion: Building a parnership between BRICS nations & the rest of Africa for mutually beneficial opportuities for increased trade, investment & infrastructure development
Networking Lunch
• 15:30- 16:10 BRICS Business Council speakers
• Leaders' Session remarks: C. Rahmaphosa (ZA), L. I. Lula da Silva (BR), V. Putin (RU), N. Modi (IN), Xi. J (address read by Wang Wentao, mofcom.gov.CN)
SABC session recording @ -04:22:00, AI translation enabled
EWN session recording, run time 01:32:20, translation disabled

by Cat on Tue Aug 22nd, 2023 at 06:37:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(recalling Putin's and Xi's reciprocal OpEds in advance of the CN-RU State Visit, March 2023)

Full text of Xi's signed article on S. African media, 21 Aug

An English version of the article, carried by The Star, Cape Times, The Mercury as well as Independent Online, is as follows: Sailing the Giant Ship of China-South Africa Friendship and Cooperation Toward Greater Success
[...]
by Cat on Tue Aug 22nd, 2023 at 06:56:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
President Xi Jinping Held Talks with President of South Africa Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, illustrated
On the morning of August 22 local time, President Xi Jinping held talks with President of South Africa Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings in Pretoria during his state visit to the country. The two heads of state had an in-depth exchange of views on the development of China-South Africa relations in the new era and international and regional issues of mutual interest, and they reached important common understandings. They agreed to work together to take the China-South Africa comprehensive strategic partnership to new heights and build a high-quality China-South Africa community with a shared future....
Joint Statement between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa
At the invitation of H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, H.E. Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China, paid a state visit to South Africa on 22 August 2023. The two leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on China-South Africa relations, China-Africa cooperation, and regional and international  affairs of mutual interest. They reached consensus on a series of important related issues....
by Cat on Wed Aug 23rd, 2023 at 01:15:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Director-General of the Department of African Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Wu Peng Briefs Chinese and Foreign Media on President Xi Jinping's State Visit to South Africa
[...]
Journalists from more than 30 Chinese and foreign media, including the Mail and Guardian, and Business Times of South Africa, BRICS Africa Channel, Reuters, L'Agence France-Presse (AFP), the Economist, People's Daily, Xinhua News Agency, China Media Group (CMG), China Daily, China News Service, Phoenix TV, and Global Times, were present at the briefing.
by Cat on Wed Aug 23rd, 2023 at 01:21:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BRICS leaders support the expansion of the bloc at the open session of the 15th BRICS Summit (23.08.23)
The open part of the plenary session of the leaders of the BRICS member countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) was held at the summit of the five countries on the second day of its work.

The session addressed the issues of substantial reform of global governance and international organisations. The leaders of the five countries discussed the realisation of the BRICS potential to deepen mutually beneficial partnership with Africa.

All BRICS heads of state noted the importance of developing the education system both within each country and across the grouping. They recognised the need to embrace new technologies, including AI, and called for strengthening ties within the bloc, both at the structural and people-to-people levels....


innernashunal law 'n' order experts: And how important is this "so-called" group today?

archived Axel Springer: WHAT DOES PUTIN REALLY WANT?

correct answer:
fulfillment of the UNGA Declaration on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order, 1974
in Ruble and Yuan

by Cat on Wed Aug 23rd, 2023 at 04:42:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
running across TV BRICS
< wipes tears >
I feel SEEN.
by Cat on Wed Aug 23rd, 2023 at 04:54:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I did open a separate thread this morning ... expecting quite interesting developments, and prefer not spoiled by Western media saucevor politicians ...

15th BRICS Summit South Africa

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Aug 23rd, 2023 at 05:08:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
infobrics.org | Brics to Admit Six New Countries to Bloc Including Iran and Saudi Arabia
BRICS (2009 FTA): CN, RU, BR, IN, ZA, AR, IR, EG, ET, SA, AE
Argentina, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the UAE are to become full members from 1 January 2024, the group announced at its summit in South Africa.

"This membership expansion is historic," said the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, whose country is the most powerful in the group of non-western states that represents a quarter of the world's economy. "The expansion is also a new starting point for BRICS cooperation. It will bring new vigour to the BRICS cooperation mechanism and further strengthen the force for world peace and development."

The Ethiopian prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, hailed what he called "a great moment" for his country. "Ethiopia stands ready to cooperate with all for an inclusive and prosperous global order," he said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
[...]
Nearly two dozen countries had formally applied to join the club from across the "global south", a broad term referring to non-western nations. About 50 other heads of state and government attended the summit, underscoring what BRICS leaders say is the attractiveness of its message.

US officials have played down the likelihood of BRICS emerging as a geopolitical rival, describing the bloc as a highly diverse collection of countries containing both friends and rivals.
[...]

brics2023.gov.za | BRICS CHAIR President Cyril Ramaphosa's Media Briefing Remarks Announcing the Outcomes of the XV BRICS Summit
Good Afternoon,

We successfully concluded the 15th BRICS Summit yesterday. It is the first BRICS Summit to be hosted in-person since the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent global travel restrictions.

Leading up to the Summit, there was a wide-ranging BRICS business programme aimed at attracting investment, promoting collaboration and showcasing opportunities within South Africa, Africa and BRICS countries.

We welcome the clear vision of Ms Dilma Rousseff as the President of the New Development Bank on the role that the Bank should play in support of infrastructure and sustainable development in Africa and the Global South.

We celebrated the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the BRICS Business Council and welcomed the self-review by the Council and the subsequent recommendations made to Leaders.

We also welcomed the work of the BRICS Women's Business Alliance in their first in-person engagement with leaders. We particularly welcomed the participation of youth representatives in the Summit.

We addressed our expectations for the BRICS economic partnership to generate tangible benefits for our communities and deliver viable solutions for common challenges faced by the Global South.

We shared our vision of BRICS as a champion of the needs and concerns of the peoples of the Global South. These include the need for beneficial economic growth, sustainable development and reform of multilateral systems.

We reiterate our commitment to inclusive multilateralism and upholding international law, including the purposes and principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
[...]

yahoo! torygraph | Brics is now a motley crew of failing states (24.08.23)
Listening to Vladimir Putin's comments to the Brics summit in Johannesburg this week, one could be fooled into thinking that the West is about to be replaced by a powerful new trading bloc of economic powers challenging the dominance of our democracies.

In the parallel universe the Russian leader inhabits, the five founding members of Brics—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—are about to undertake a radical overhaul of the global system, replacing tired post-war institutions such as Nato and the UN with a new approach that reflects the wishes of the "global majority"....

by Cat on Thu Aug 24th, 2023 at 01:49:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To: Challaney
From: Ramaphosa

[...]
The Summit agreed to task the BRICS Finance Ministers and/or Central Bank Governors, as appropriate, to consider the issue of local currencies, payment instruments, and platforms and report back to the BRICS leaders by the next Summit.
2024 BRICS XVI, Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, Russian Federation
This Summit reaffirmed the importance of BRICS people-to-people exchanges in enhancing mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation. The Summit appreciates the progress made over the last year in the fields of media, culture, education, sports, arts, youth, civil society and academic exchanges.

We adopted the Johannesburg II Declaration which reflects key BRICS messages on matters of global economic, financial, and political importance. It demonstrates the shared values and common interests that underlie our mutually beneficial cooperation as the five BRICS countries.

mea.gov.in | Sandton, Gauteng, South Africa, Wednesday 23 August 2023
BRICS itself is a diverse group of nations. It is an equal partnership of countries that have differing views but have a shared vision for a better world.

As the five BRICS countries, we have reached agreement on the guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures of the BRICS expansion process, which has been under discussion for quite a while. We have consensus on the first phase of this expansion process, and further phases will follow.
[...]
We value the interest of other countries in building a partnership with BRICS. We have tasked our Foreign Ministers to further develop the BRICS partner country model and a list of prospective partner countries and report by the next Summit.

2024 BRICS XVI, Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, Russian Federation
Today, we will be hosting leaders from Africa and the Global South in the BRICS-Africa Outreach ["observer" status] and BRICS Plus Dialogue [status]. This is so that we can have an inclusive dialogue on key issues affecting developing economies and identify actions that we can take together towards a more equitable, inclusive, and representative world.
[...]
Nothing personal, son. Just "geostrategic" business.
by Cat on Thu Aug 24th, 2023 at 02:43:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Fri Aug 25th, 2023 at 10:48:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
INSTC (2000 TNC): AM, AZ, BG, BY, IN, IR, KG, KZ, OM, RU, TJ, TR, UA, SY—Trans-Iran leg (2022)
SCO (2001 NGO): CN, IN, IR, KZ, KG, PK, RU, TJ, UZ; AM*, AF*, AZ*, BY*, TR*, LK*, KH*, SA*, EG*, MY*, MV*, KW*, AE*
BRICS (2009 FTA): AE, AR, BR, CN, EG, ET, IN, IR, RU, SA, ZA; DZ*, BO*, ID*, BD*, CM*, ML*, SN*, TH*, UZ*, FJ*, KZ*, TN*, TR*
JCPOA (2015): CN, FR*, DE*, IR, RU, UK*, US

tehrantimes | Russia sends 1st transit train through Iran to Saudi Arabia, 27 Aug

According to the head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRISL), the mentioned transit cargo entered Iran through the Incheh-Boroun border crossing with Turkmenistan heading to Bandar Abbas in the south to be shipped to Saudi Arabia.

The train, which has 36 containers, passes Iran as part of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), Miad Salehi said.

It is estimated that the new route would reduce the delivery time by several days, the official added.

The cost of transit through the INSTC has been decreased by almost half as a result of the reduction of the customs tariff, the official underlined. Nearly 250 billion dollars of Indian, Chinese, and East Asian products are expected to be transported to Europe through the mentioned corridor.

The founding member states of the International North-South Transport Corridor [INST], namely Iran, Russia, and India, gathered for the third time in Tehran in early July, to discuss solutions for promoting freight transit through the newly developed international corridor.
[...]

by Cat on Tue Aug 29th, 2023 at 07:25:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Recap of the Second Summit and Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum, 27-28 July 2023

CBS News:Russia-Africa summit hosted by Putin draws small crowd, reflecting Africa's changing mood on Moscow
WaPoo: African nations aren't tilting toward Putin's Russia
Mail: Fresh humiliation for Putin as he faces poor turnout by African leaders at key Russian summit - days after he quit Ukraine grain deal and bombed Black Sea ports
Guardian: Kremlin blames west for small number of leaders due at Russia-Africa summit
Time: Why African Leaders Are Staying Away From Putin's Russia-Africa Summit
BBC: Unlike the previous Russia-Africa summit in 2019, attended by 43 African leaders, this time only 17 are expected in St Petersburg.
Politico: Wagner boss Prigozhin spotted at Russia-Africa summit
DW: A stab in the back
F24: Moscow scrambles to reassure partners after grain deal exit
euobserver | Little love from Africa for Putin at lavish summit, 26 July

When Alex Vines, an Africa scholar at British think-tank Chatham House, met with ex-guerrilla fighters at a remote demobilisation camp in the Zambezia province in Mozambique last November, he was surprised to hear their number one concern: inflation.

"These were preliterate people, some of whom had been in the bush for 30 years, but somehow they'd rationalised that the biggest challenge they'll be facing in their new lives is the cost-of-living increase", Vines said.

euobserver | How Prighozin tried to steal Putin's Africa summit, 28 July
After months of diplomatic choreography and billions of rubles invested in an Africa summit by Russian president Vladimir Putin, mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin stole the limelight in jeans and a polo shirt outside the event. And his spin of the Niger putsch tried to push Putin's proclamations and splashy gifts still further down the newspaper columns.
Declaration of the First Russia-Africa Summit, Sochi, 23-24 Oct 2019
Third Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Beijing Action Plan, Beijing, 3-4 Sep 2018
by Cat on Thu Aug 3rd, 2023 at 05:33:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Russia-Africa Sumit Plenary: Spot 17 "preliterate" African leaders, name them, and win the thread!

Documents adopted and signed following the second Russia-Africa Summit, of which
Declaration of the Second Russia-Africa Summit
• Mechanism for Dialogue Partnership, §1-3
• Political and Legal Cooperation, §4-31
• SecurityCooperation, §32-40
• Trade and Economic Cooperation, §41-59
• Scientific and technical, humanitarian, educational, cultural, sports, health, youth and information cooperation, §60-69
• Environmental and Climate Cooperation, welcoming COP27, §70-74

by Cat on Fri Aug 4th, 2023 at 12:58:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia Will Pick Up the Slack

h/t EU "diplomat" Borrell ...

EU warns that Russia seeks to create dependencies through cheap grain | Hellenic Commodity News |

The EU has warned developing countries and the Group of 20 (G20) members that Russia is offering cheap grain "to create new dependencies," Reuters reported on Aug. 3, citing a letter it has obtained.

"As the world deals with disrupted supplies and higher prices, Russia is now approaching vulnerable countries with bilateral offers of grain shipments at discounted prices, pretending to solve a problem it created itself," the EU's chief diplomat Josep Borrell said in the letter seen by Reuters on Aug. 2.

"This is a cynical policy of deliberately using food as a weapon to create new dependencies by exacerbating economic vulnerabilities and global food insecurity."
Russia unilaterally terminated the Black Sea Grain Initiative on July 17. The deal, brokered by Türkiye and the U.N. in July 2022, allowed Ukraine to export its grain amid the full-scale Russian invasion.

Ukraine's grain exports are vital to the world's food supply.

Zelenskyy had announced he wanted a grain deal cutting out Russia completely and set up talks with the UN and Türkiye... neutral NATO states to patrol the Sea of Odessa, Danube ports, Black Sea and guide International vessels through the Dardanelles. Building permanent walls for our security and share future wealth from the EU-UK-USA.

Zelenskyy Wanted Russia Out of UN Grain Deal | July 19, 2023 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Aug 4th, 2023 at 03:41:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukraine, UN and Türkiye can jointly ensure operation of food corridor and inspection of vessels - address of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy | President UA - July 17, 2023 |

Dear Ukrainians,

I wish you good health!

First. Today, I held a conference call - substantive reports. Front, security, supply of rounds. Commanders, SSU chief, intelligence chiefs - defense and foreign intelligence, minister of internal affairs, Defense Ministry. We do everything in detail and every day so that our soldiers have everything they need for active operations.

[...]

Third. Food security. We are preparing a conversation with Mr. UN Secretary General...

Ukraine's position has always been and will be as clear as possible - no one has the right to destroy the food security of any nation.

[...]

Slavi Ukraini 🇺🇦

I get confused ... higher profits for Russia, or delivery of "subsidized" cheap grain to the poorest countries in the Third World ... where the Barbarians live and reproduce.

Lion share of Ukrainian grain destined for African nations ... oh wait 🤥

China's the top importer of Ukrainian grain, and could save the Black Sea deal | CNBC - Aug. 3, 2023 |

I wished America and Europe would get their messages straight ... #WeAreUnited 🇺🇸 🇪🇺

Fortunately for the 1,400,000,000 Chinese there seems to be a bromance with the Russian people, from Moscow to Beijing. Food and hunger is priority number one.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Aug 4th, 2023 at 03:42:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
kyivpost | News from the future (23.02.21)
Once the network is completed, it will be possible to travel from Lviv to Kharkiv at speeds of up to 250 kilometers an hour, completing the trip in "three to four hours," President Volodymyr Zelensk* stated during his opening statements at the forum.
[...]
The first step in the process will be to build 80 kilometers of high-speed tracks from the Polish border to western Lviv's Sknyliv station, near the Lviv airport. This would facilitate travel to and from Poland without delays at the border caused by the different gauge of European and Ukrainian railways.
Track gauge by country in Europe
1,435: BG, HR, CZ, DK, DE, HU, IT, NL, PL, RO, SK, SI
1,520: BY, EE (old tracks), LV, LT, MD, RU, UA
1,524: FI, EE (new tracks)
cpk.pl | CPK and Ukrainian Railways have signed a cooperation agreement. The goal is to build a high-speed railway line from Poland to Ukraine (19.01.23)
"I hope that cooperation with the CPK will bring us closer to the construction of the first HSR with a European gauge and will be an important step towards Ukraine's integration with the EU," says Volodymyr Shemaeve, Director of the Office of International Projects of Ukrainian Railways.
ukranews | UGA proposes to European Commission to increase exports "by means of solidarity" by 1-1.5 million tons per month (24.07.23)
This is stated in the message of the UGA, Ukrainian News Agency reports.
UZA asks the European Commission to create "green corridors" for Ukrainian grain
The Ukrainian Grain Association officially appealed to Mr. Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President, Trade Commissioner of the European Commission regarding the optimization of alternative routes, the so-called Solidarity Paths, for the export of grain from Ukraine to European ports with further shipment to third countries.
[...]
In connection with the disruption of the Black Sea grain initiative [BSI] by the Russian Federation, Ukraine faced an urgent need to additionally increase the capacity of "Solidarity Paths" by approximately 1-1.5 million tons of grain per month. This can be done by exporting grain through the ports of the Baltic countries (Klaipeda and others), Germany (Rostock, Hamburg), the Netherlands (Rotterdam), Croatia (Rijeka), Italy (Trieste), and Slovenia (Koper). The development of these routes is actively supported by the European Commission.It is worth noting that these routes are not used much due to the complexity and cost of logistics compared to other routes. The price difference is approximately 30-40 euros per ton.
[...]
Therefore, UZA asks the EU to introduce "green corridors" for ...

  1. the transfer of sanitary, phytosanitary and veterinary control from checkpoints on the border with Ukraine to the territory of the country of destination, which will ensure a significant increase in exports;
  2. introduction of subsidies from the European Commission to compensate European carriers for additional logistics costs for transit transportation and partial compensation for European ports—the so-called port costs for Ukrainian grain.
interfax | Ukrainian Railways starts offering container shipment to Poland's Gdansk (26.07.23)
Cargos will be transported using 25-tonne 20DV and 27-tonne 40DV dry cargo containers. At present, the Ukrainian Railways offers two shipping modes, i.e. one-trip train, which means that the customer is not responsible for returning a train car, and round-trip way, in which train cars are used following a previous operation. The company published transportation rates, which will remain valid until August 1. For example, the one-trip transportation of a loaded 20DV container from Kiev to Gdansk would cost 1,620 euros and a 40DV container 2,290 euros. This price does not cover container rent or use, the Verified Gross Mass Certificate, customs formalities, guarantees, inspections, and cargo insurance.

According to the Ukrainian Railways' presentation, container trains should start being formed at four border crossing points on 1,435-mm and 1,520-mm tracks soon. These are the Yagodin-Dorohusk, Izov-Hrubiesczow, Mostiska-Medyka (toward Poland), and Chop-Cierna (Slovakia) Zahony (Hungary) crossing points. Those trains would enable efficient communication with the European Union's principal railway network, it said.
[...]

27 July
EEAS Ambassador of Qwon | EU has no easy options to help Ukraine shift its grain
Least-worst options
[...]
Show me the money
[...]
Who to believe?
reuters | Inside EU, no clear financial options to reduce Ukraine grain transport cost
...Ukraine, one of the world's biggest grain exporters, will now have to rely almost entirely on expensive routes through the European Union and the cheapest alternative artery, the Danube River, may not be able to expand its volume as much as hoped after bombing....
archive pre-meditated ECOCIDE?
by Cat on Fri Aug 4th, 2023 at 07:13:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Preliminary results of the implementation of the "Black Sea grain initiative" | Nov. 25, 2022 |

As a result of the large-scale armed aggression of the Russian Federation, the Ukrainian Black Sea ports were blocked - the main export channel for domestic agricultural products (before the invasion of the Russian Federation, more than 90% of grain and oil crops were exported by sea). Due to the limited possibilities of exporting products by other transport routes and the almost fourfold increase in the cost of export logistics, grain exports decreased from 5.4 million tons in January 2022 to 0.3 million tons in March 2022. Ukraine also observed an oversaturation of the domestic market with export-oriented crops and a drop in domestic prices for them by more than 30%.[1] This situation caused significant losses in the agricultural sector:according to the assessment of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine and the Kyiv School of Economics, the losses of producers due to the blockade of ports amount to 18.5 billion dollars. USA [2], and according to World Bank experts, the cost of losses due to logistical disruptions and a decrease in export prices amounts to 15.428 billion dollars. USA.[3]

The Government of Ukraine has taken a number of steps to reorient export flows of agricultural products to alternative routes to the Black Sea - the railway and Danube river ports. As a result, in July of this year, agricultural products arrived via five main routes through 12 checkpoints on Ukraine's borders with Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, as well as on the Moldovan-Romanian border. There are 15 more transport routes at various stages of development, along which Ukrainian grain and seeds will be delivered across Europe to the ports of the Baltic, Northern, Mediterranean and Adriatic seas.[4]

As a result, if in March of the current year 331.6 thousand tons of grain were exported, then in April - 1.2 million tons, in June - more than 2.7 million tons. At the same time, this is significantly less than 5-6 million tons , which were exported monthly by the Black Sea ports before the war. In general, before the opening of Odesa ports, as of August 1, 2022, almost 8 million tons of grain were shipped, while last year the figure for March-July was more than twice as large - 19.5 million tons.

Signed on July 22, 2022 by Ukraine, Turkey and the UN The Initiative for the Safe Transportation of Grain and Food Products from Ukrainian Ports provides for the resumption of grain and related food exports through three sea trade ports - "Odesa", "Chornomorsk" and "Pivdenny" . The Russian Federation also signed a mirror agreement with Turkey and the UN. The term of the agreement was 120 days. On November 17, 2022, the agreement was extended for the same period.

Already in August (the first full month of implementation of the initiative), 68 ships left the mentioned ports, the ports of destination of which are located in 18 countries of the world. During the month, 1.72 million tons of Ukrainian agricultural products were sent to these countries. In particular, 36 ships with 848,000 tons of products left the port of "Chornomorsk", 19 ships with 419,000 tons of products from the port of "Odessa", 13 ships with 459,000 tons of products from the "Pivdenny" port. At the same time, 66.9% of exports were corn, 21.6% - wheat, 4.8% - barley, 6.7% - other products (sunflower, rapeseed, bran, pulp). In total, 726,000 tons of Ukrainian agricultural products were sent to Asia, 640,000 tons to Europe, and 365,000 tons to Africa. As part of the UN World Food Program, 60,800 tons of products were sent to Ethiopia and Yemen. In total, in August through unblocked and Danube ports,

According to the Ministry of Infrastructure, plans for the monthly export of grain from the three ports amount to 5 million tons.[6] In total, during the three months of the grain initiative, 423 vessels with 9.8 million tons of agricultural cargo (grain, oil and processed products) left the ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Pivdenny. 2.9 million tons of wheat were sold through the "grain corridor", of which 772 thousand tons (26.86%) were sent to African countries.[7]

The IAEA did not find mines on the roofs of the two power units of the ZNPP, which Ukraine suspected

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Aug 4th, 2023 at 09:53:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[1] Before the invasion of the Russian Federation, the EXW price for food wheat in Ukraine was 297 dollars. US per ton, the current price is only 192 dollars. ...
[7] Over the past two days, Ukraine shipped 136,000 tons of Ukrainian agricultural products to Africa. (01.11.22) ...
[15] Grain deal month: Uncertainty remains (22.08.22 "green corridors")...
How Russia's WAR OF AGGRESSION reduced the costs of shipping "agricultural products" from Ukraine

I hadn't read this material. In retrospect, the top portion of the story corresponds in part to contemporaneous PR campaigns ending MY 2021/2022: light on historical UA export vol, Q1-Q3 2022 cargo content, shipping destinations, and UAF-RF inland combat, but heavy on "blockade" of (not to mention stolen grain and "artificial queues" entering) ports other than besieged Mariupol. Likewise, the second half  of the story (MY 2022/2023) furnishes Zelensk*'s "Grain from Ukraine" fund-raising project with exaggerated confidence in yield for "vulnerable" G20 members.

So far, an agreement has been reached to provide [sic] the USA with 20 million dollars to the "Grain from Ukraine" initiative through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Food Program [WFP] of the United Nations to facilitate the supply of additional volumes of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea Grain Initiative. Already on November 16, 2022, within the framework of the "Grain from Ukraine" initiative, the NORD VIND vessel set off through the "grain corridor" with 27,000 tons of Ukrainian wheat for Ethiopia.
How  France-Romania signed a deal to export more grain from Ukraine
The internal inconsistency of this EXISTENTAL epic is surreal. The question that remains is, How will Ukraine's guarantors fold a Russian "blockade" of Ukrainian rice into it?
by Cat on Sat Aug 5th, 2023 at 02:38:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Global food security is at a crossroads as rice shortages and surging prices hit the most vulnerable, 21 Aug

[KES] Prices for rice grown in Kenya soared a while ago because of higher fertilizer prices and a years decades[-]long drought in the Horn of Africa that has reduced production. Cheap rice imported from India [INR] had filled the gap, feeding many of the hundreds of thousands of residents in Nairobi's Kibera slum who survive on less than $2 [VND 47,500] a day.

But that is changing. The price of a 25-kilogram (55-pound) bag of rice has risen by a fifth [20%] since June [before BSI expiration 17.07.23]. Wholesalers are yet to receive new stocks since India, the world's largest exporter of rice by far, said last month [20.07.23] that it would ban some rice shipments.

India's rice export ban is a wise economic decision ahead of an election year (03.08.23)
... Because their home nation is the world's largest rice exporter, shortage worries aren't entirely irrational among the Indian diaspora. India sells the widely consumed grain in more than 130 countries, accounting for about 40% of the total 55.4 million metric tonnes of global rice traded last year. [...] Much more than the US and Canada, India's partial ban on rice exports is expected to adversely hit countries that are among the largest buyers of its cheaper varieties of rice, especially low-income ones such as Bangladesh, Senegal, Nepal, and Benin, according to trade experts.
ECOWAS CFA Zone  / WAEMU: BJ, BF, CI, GW, ML, NE, SN, TG
This explains why the International Monetary Fund (IMF) asked India to reconsider a decision that may affect poorer countries and cause food insecurity. However, in African countries, where Oryza glaberrima is mostly consumed instead of the Indian Oryza sativa variety, this measure may not have much of an impact. [...] The government has maintained that it had to restrict exports because domestic rice prices were showing "an increasing trend." According to official data, the retail prices of rice rose by 11.5% over the past year and 3% in just the month of July. The Indian view, therefore, is that the partial ban on rice exports is more an economic than political matter.[...] Nevertheless, the fear of shortages in wealthier countries is misplaced because non-basmati white rice constitutes only around 25% of India's total rice exports. Furthermore, most of these more prosperous Western countries buy basmati rice and non-basmati parboiled rice, which form the bulk of India's exports and for which there are no export restrictions as of now. Besides, rice isn't a staple in the West for the majority of the population. Meanwhile, traders of basmati varieties are upbeat about getting higher prices in the global market amid a likely spike in demand....
[...]
"I'm really hoping the imports keep coming," said Ndege, 51, who's sold rice for 30 years.

He isn't the only one. Global food security is already under threat since RUSSIA halted an agreement allowing Ukraine to export < wipes tears > wheat and the El Nino weather phenomenon hampers rice production. Now, rice prices are soaring—Vietnam's rice export prices [VND], for instance, have reached a 15-year high—putting the most vulnerable people in some of the poorest nations at risk.
[...]
The impact would be felt worldwide. Rice consumption in Africa has been growing steadily, and most countries are heavily dependent on imports. While nations with growing populations like Senegal [XOF] have been trying to grow more of their own rice—many are struggling.

wut
Asian countries, where 90% of the world's rice is grown and eaten, are struggling with production. The Philippines [PHP] was carefully managing water in anticipation of less rain [?] amid the El Nino when Typhoon Doksuri battered its northern rice-producing region, damaging $32 million worth of rice crops—an estimated 22% of its annual production.
[...]
With prices fluctuating, exporters CME brokers don't know what prices to quote—because prices may spike again the next day.

"And no one wants to take the risk," [Thai Rice Exporters Association pres Charoen] Laothamatas said.

by Cat on Mon Aug 21st, 2023 at 06:07:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]

IAEA provided a roof
IAEA inspectors gained access to the roofs of the third and fourth power units, as well as the turbine hall of the ZNPP. Having examined these objects, they reported: "Traces of mines and explosives were not found." It follows from the agency's statement : although permission to inspect the places of interest to the experts was not issued immediately, but only after several requests, as a result, the IAEA team "gained unhindered access."
Update 177 - IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine
by Cat on Sat Aug 5th, 2023 at 11:41:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
msn thenational | Extension of ban on Ukraine grain exports to EU would be 'unacceptable', says Zelensk*, w/e 29 July
"Our position is clear: blocking (Ukrainian) exports by land after September 15, when the relevant restrictions expire, is unacceptable in any form," said Mr Zelensk* on the Telegram messaging app.

Introduced in May, the ban enforced by Poland, Bulgarian, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania on imports of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower oil has led to tensions with Kyiv....

barrons AFP | Poland, Ukraine Spar Over Grain Imports, 1 Aug
...Polish presidential aide Marcin Przydacz on Monday said Warsaw was prioritising "the interests of Polish farmers" when it called on the EU to extend a ban on imports of Ukrainian grain.

"Ukraine received a lot of support from Poland, it would be worth it, if it started to appreciate the role Poland has played for Ukraine in recent months and years," Przydacz added.

Kyiv reacted by summoning Poland's ambassador to the Ukrainian foreign ministry on Tuesday.

"The statements about the alleged ingratitude of the Ukrainians... do not reflect reality and as such are unacceptable," the Ukrainian side said in a statement.

Poland reciprocated by summoning Ukraine's envoy, Vasyl Zvarych, to the foreign ministry but later said his deputy would be hosted on Wednesday as Zvarych is currently in Kyiv....

wpolityce.pl | Poland to keep ban on Ukrainian grain after September 15 says PM, 4 Aug
...He pointed out that the EC needs to work on ,,regulations that will extend this ban, or we will do it ourselves."

The prime minister's declaration follows an agreement struck earlier on Wednesday by the agriculture ministers of five 'frontline' EU member states—Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania—all bordering Ukraine. The ministers signed a joint position on extending the ban on the import of four types of grain from Ukraine until the end of 2023.

Poland is still enabling grain transit from Ukraine.

,,Poles earn money on transit, there's no risk of destabilising the internal market, which is why we facilitate this export and enable transit," Morawiecki said....

17 days ago Moscow gives UN Secretariat 90 days (save the date: 17 Oct)
by Cat on Sat Aug 5th, 2023 at 04:03:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DW | Can Ukrainian grain be shipped to the world via Croatia?, 5 Aug where's a will, there's a __.
It sounded like the good news that millions around the world had been waiting for. When Ukraine announced on Monday that Croatia had agreed to allow Ukrainian grain to be exported via its ports on the Danube and the Adriatic Sea, it may have appeared to some that the serious threat to global food security created by Russia's war on Ukraine and its blockade of Ukraine's Black Sea ports had been averted.
[...]
Huge logistical challenges
[...]
Does Vukovar have the capacity?
But the port in Vukovar [HR] is small. It is currently capable of handling a maximum 1.2 million tons of freight per annum. That might sound like a lot, but it is important to note that this capacity does not relate to bulk freight (such as grain) alone but to all freight, including containers. Moreover, Vukovar currently has only one silo that could be used to store grain and it has a capacity of just 10,000 tons.
[...]
Are road and rail transport viable options?
[...]
by Cat on Sat Aug 5th, 2023 at 11:05:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wsj | U.S. in Talks to Develop [Expensive] Ukraine Grain Export Routes, 15 Aug dignity initiative
[...]
The U.S.-backed plan involves increasing capacity for Ukraine to export four million tons of grain a month via the Danube River by October. Much of the grain would be sent down [?] the river and via the Black Sea to nearby ports in Romania and shipped onward to other destinations. Though slower and more expensive, the route would work as an alternative to a Black Sea shipping corridor established last year under an agreement with Russia, Turkey, and the United Nations[-RF Memorandum of Understanding? NOPE].
4 days ago JP Morgan
Western planning for alternatives to the Black Sea Grain Initiative shows how the U.S., Ukraine and European countries are preparing for a scenario in which Russia doesn't rejoin the deal in time to move Ukraine's summer and fall harvests.

"The reality is Russia has decided to attack the global food supply, and until it thinks it's done with its attack, it's going to be hard to bring them back," said a[n anonymous] senior U.S. official based in Washington.

supra (save the date: 17 Oct)
The grain deal is seen as critical to keeping global food prices low, as Ukraine is a top exporter of wheat, corn, and sunflower oil. Food prices[, insurance, port fees, and S&H] have risen by 10% since Russia exited the Black Sea deal last month, according to the State Department. Russia's invasion of Ukraine is one of a series of crises that have driven millions of people around the world closer to hunger [HOLODOMOR!] in recent years, according to the U.N.
value trilemma: "impossible" to obtain simultaneously
[...]
Senior U.S. officials discussed the effort with leaders from Ukraine, Moldova, and Romania—a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO]—at a meeting in the Romanian city of Galati on Friday, the State Department said. Romania's transportation minister told reporters afterward that his country would double capacity for grain exports to four million tons a month.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry didn't respond to a request for comment on this week's talks with the U.S.

The U.S. plans will draw in part on a European Union initiative to set up road, rail, and sea routes known as "solidarity lanes" to bring grain and < reckless eyeballin' > other cargoes into and out of Ukraine as smoothly as possible.
[...]
EU officials say some of the routes have insufficient staffing and resources to speedily carry out the necessary sanitary and customs checks on incoming cargoes, sometimes causing backlogs and delays that slow traffic and drive up road-transport prices—which push up the price of Ukraine's grain exports [to starving Africans and vulnerable Asians]. There have been < wipes tears > disputes, now settled, between Ukraine and Romania over Ukrainian work to dredge shipping canals in the Danube delta to smooth the passage of grain-carrying vessels. U.S. officials say they are discussing improving the efficiency of the Danube route to allow for larger ships, making room for < wipes tears > parking and increasing the number of pilots available to move ships through a key canal.

However, the efforts "will not be a replacement for the Black Sea ports, first and foremost Odesa, and so it's not a solution; it's really an interim alternative," said Erin Elizabeth McKee, USAID assistant administrator, Bureau for Europe and Eurasia, in a briefing this month.
[...]

by Cat on Wed Aug 16th, 2023 at 05:06:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Zelenskyy said we can do without Russia ... shipping lanes of safe independent vessels that would NEVER carry arms, munitions or explosives in its hull.

Never thought it would be difficult to travel through a minefield at sea, quite uncommon. We could use our port facilities on the Danube ... secure territory, has always been so. #WeAreNato



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Aug 16th, 2023 at 06:01:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Later as no negotiations were engaged with our enemy ...

Price rebounds, some luck for the farmers, can't say the storage units will rebound soon.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Aug 16th, 2023 at 06:02:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Aug 16th, 2023 at 06:06:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yahoo! New Voice of Ukraine | Ukraine working to secure invitation to G20 summit in India -- Foreign Ministry, 16 Aug Jeddah Hotel outreach
Ukraine, along with its international partners, is working to secure an official invitation to the G20 summit in New Delhi, India, scheduled for Sept. 9-10, Deputy Foreign Minister Mykola Tochytskyi told Ukrainian TV broadcasters on Aug. 16.

"We are working on this summit invitation," said Tochytskyi. "We believe that what the Russian Federation is doing in terms of terminating the 'grain deal' is a challenge not only for African and Asian countries, but also for the global economy."
[...]

efe.com | India confirms Ukraine will not take part in G20 Summit, working groups
In a meeting in New Delhi with international media in which EFE participated, the minister revealed that India has invited nine countries—Spain, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Mauritius, Egypt, the Netherlands, Oman, Singapore, and United Arab Emirates—and that no one apart from them and the member states would participate in the event.
The 18th Heads of State and Government Summit of the Group of 20 (G20) will take place in September 2023 in New Delhi, India. Under the Indian Presidency, the G20 in 2023 will focus on the theme, 'One Earth, One Family, One Future'.
The minister recalled that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met on several occasions in the past with his Ukrainian counterpart, and that the two countries maintain "strong" relations in various areas. Jaishakar said India's decision to not invite Ukraine was made taking into consideration the that G20 stood for growth and development and not conflict resolution, which should be done at the United Nations Security Council.
indiatimes | India considers wheat imports from Russia at discount to calm prices, 17 Aug ELECTION 2024 inflation reduction acts
India has not imported wheat through diplomatic deals in years. The last time India imported a significant amount of wheat was 2017, when private traders shipped in 5.3 million metric tons. The government's plan to import Russian wheat is one of the supply-side measures being considered to ring down prices of key commodities like cereals and pulses along with an extension of rural schemes to ease the impact of inflation on the poor, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.
[...]
Although India needs only 3 million to 4 million metric tons of wheat to plug the shortfall, New Delhi might consider importing 8 million to 9 million tons of wheat from Russia to have a far bigger impact on prices, another source said.
[...]
"Russia has indicated its willingness to offer a discount on prevailing market prices. There are no restrictions on the export of food commodities from Russia," one official said. India is also importing sunflower oil from Russia and settling payments in U.S. dollars and is planning to use the same approach, the official said.

"India can easily secure a discount of $25 5o $40 per ton from Russia. This will ensure that the landed cost of wheat remains significantly below local prices," said a dealer based in Mumbai with a global trade house.
[...]
Last year, India banned wheat exports due to lower output, and this year's crop is also expected to be at least 10% lower than the government's estimate.

archive from September to December, DICTION CORNER: Substitution Effect, Jaishankar: The answer is "B"
by Cat on Fri Aug 18th, 2023 at 06:18:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ukranews | Agrarian Ministry updates forecast for this year's harvest in Ukraine, 13 Aug
Thus, at the beginning of spring 2023, the total gross harvest for the current year was projected at 63.5 million tons, which was 13% less in relation to the 2022 figure. In June, after the harvest began, the forecast was raised to 68 million tons, which was 7% less than the 2022 figure.

"Now, due to favorable weather conditions [?], we have every reason for another change in the forecast in the positive direction to 76.7 million tons, which is 5% more than in 2022," the Ministry said....

ukranews | U.S. Department of Agriculture improves wheat and corn harvest forecast in Ukraine in 2023/2024 MY, 14 Aug
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) improved the forecast for the wheat harvest in Ukraine by 3.5 million tons to 21 million tons and corn - by 2.5 million tons to 27.5 million tons in the 2023/2024 marketing year (MY) (July 2023 - June 2024).

This is stated in the message of the Ukrainian Agrarian Business Club (UABC) association, Ukrainian News Agency reports. At the same time, export volumes remain unchanged: wheat - 10.5 million tons, corn - 19.5 million tons.
[...]
As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food has increased the forecast for the harvest of grain and oil crops in [MY 2022/]2023 to 76.7 million tons, which is 5% more than the figure for 2022.

minagro.gov.ua/en | 17 Aug
Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), free on board (FOB), cost and freight (C&F)
Quotation of agrarian products
Corn CME $ 188.77 (1.37%)
Corn FOB Black Sea CME $ 203.50 (-0.37%)
Corn Black Sea CME C&F China $ 262.00 (-0.38%)
Soybean oil CME $ 1505.54 (0.78%)
Wheat 11.5% FOB UA CME $ 217.00 (0.23%)
Wheat 11.5% UA CME C&F Egypt $ 260.00 (0.39%)
Wheat 12.5% FOB Black Sea CME $ 246.00 (0.31%)
Wheat 12.5% Black Sea CME C&F Egypt $ 262.00 (0.38%)
Wheat APW Australia FOB CME $ 293.50 (-0.09%)
Wheat CME $ 225.33 (4.03%)
Wheat FOB Vancouver CME $ 331.25 (2.00%)
Wheat HRW11 CME $ 276.86 (2.80%)
Soy CME $ 500.72 (1.94%)
Soy FOB Santos CME $ 541.40 (1.31%)
Soybean Santos CME C&F China $ 580.00 (0.00%)
CME soybean meal $ 445.22 (1.08%)

Export of сereals, legumes (with products of their processing) and flour [MY2022/2023]

interfax | Ukraine farmers harvest 27.3 mln tonnes of grain, 18 Aug, unexpectedly
Ukraine's farmers harvested early grain and leguminous crops on an area of 6.2 million hectares, and threshed 27.259 million tonnes of grain with a yield of 44.1 centners per hectare, Ukrainian media said, citing the Agrarian Policy and Food Ministry. The largest harvest, 3.2 million tonnes, was once again in Odessa [?!] region.
[...]
According to the ministry's adjusted forecast, in 2023, Ukraine's farmers should harvest 20.9 million tonnes of wheat, 5.8 million tonnes of barley, and 28.1 million tonnes of corn. Gross production of oilseeds will reach 20.3 million tonnes: 12 million tonnes of sunflower, 4 million tonnes of rapeseed, and 4.2 million tonnes of soybeans. The sugar beet [!] harvest is projected to reach 13.7 million tonnes.
[...]
archive sugar beets Fri Jan 20th 2023, Fri Apr 6th 2018, Fri Jan 2nd 2015, Sat Jan 25th 2014, Thu Jul 18th 2013, Mon Jul 30th, 2012, Wed Aug 31st 2011, Wed Dec 1st 2010
by Cat on Sat Aug 19th, 2023 at 08:04:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
reuters | On stage with Putin, African Union chair calls for 'peaceful coexistence' of Russia and Ukraine, 27 July
African Union chair Azali Assoumani appealed for "peaceful co-existence" between Russia and Ukraine in a speech at a Russia-Africa summit on Thursday, saying this would save the lives of those who depend on food supplies from the two countries.

Assoumani, president of Comoros, was speaking at a summit plenary session where he shared the stage with President Vladimir Putin.

Assoumani also said that the African Union "decisively" condemns a coup in Niger, and called for the release of President Mohamed Bazoum.
###

Second Russia-Africa Forum plenary session
run time 03:08:26, EN voice trans, auto-translate enabled
@ 00:22:00 KM Pres, AU55 chair Azali Assoumani
@ 00:30:00 BF Interim Pres Ibrahim Traore
...On behalf of my generation I would like to say that due to poverty many had to cross oceans in quest for a better life. At times they died. At times they starve. It's hard for them to survive. And so Burkina Faso, it's been eight years since we have been facing the most barbaric and violent form of colonialism, barbarism where imposed this modern form of slavery. We were taught one thing. A slave that cannot rebel does not deserve pity, and we decided to fight against terrorists that impede our development and our struggle. Our peoples decided to take up arms in order to fight terrorism. We're surprised that imperialists [call them] militarized units, militarized groups in Europe—people [who] take arms to defend their motherland. They say they are not patriots, but when my grandfather had to take up arms, it was against his will. When people decide to take up arms, there's another problem. The problem is that the heads of African states do not give anything to these people who fight against imperialism. They're calling us armed units, bandits. We do not agree with such an approach. Leaders of African states should not be puppets when imperialists treat them like that. I woul like to convey the message to the heads of African states, we need to ensure self-sufficiency of our peoples, of our countries. We need to ensure food self-sufficiency, and we need to meet all the needs of our peoples....
BF Independence Day: August 5, 1960
by Cat on Fri Sep 1st, 2023 at 11:21:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
punchline | Wheel has come full circle in Myanmar, 2 Aug
Aung San Suu Kyi, the iconic figure of Myanmarese politics, has been moved from prison to house arrest. This may seem a baby step, but make no mistake, the journey of a thousand steps begins with one step, as the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu had said. This development signifies stirrings in the air, a willingness to explore dialogue, and must be welcomed by neighbouring countries—in particular, India, China, and Thailand.  
[...]
The Thai military is making sure that Pita Limjaroenrat, a rich playboy retreaded through Harvard University and pitchforked to the vanguard of the colour revolution in Bangkok will not get the requisite majority support in the parliament to form a government.

Pita's electoral alliance is unravelling leaving him in limbo. The second biggest constituent of his electoral alliance, Pheu Thai party, is seeking a modus vivendi with the politico-military establishment in Bangkok (backed by the monarchy) to work out a power-sharing arrangement that nips in the bud Washington's best-laid plans to turn Thailand into a vassal state an anti-China base—an Ukraine in Asia on China's doorstep.

Pita had made it abundantly clear that once in power, he would do all he could to evict the generals in power in Myanmar. Indeed, the Western strategy is to turn Thailand into a staging post to destabilise the countries along China's "soft underbelly"—Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. Washington pinned high hopes on Pita who also possesses, curiously, the communication skills comparable to Ukraine's Zelensk*.
[...]

sputnik | Thai Prime Minister Election Postponed Until After Court's Decision, 3 Aug
"The Constitutional Court accepted for a substantive consideration the ombudsman's petition and notified that the decision on the constitutionality of candidates' re[-]nomination will be announced on August 16," the speaker said at a briefing. This means the election may take place on any date after August 16, he added.

On July 13, Pita Limjaroenrat, the leader of progressive Move Forward Party, did not receive a majority vote in parliament to become the prime minister. The politician said he would try to gather enough support before a second round of voting on July 19 but the election was canceled on that day as lawmakers argued that the re[-]nomination violated the constitution.

voa | Thai PM Vote Postponed Again as Political Crisis Deepens (03.08.23)
More than 14 million Thais voted for MFP and its radical agenda to cut the military from power, break up a monopoly on the economy and amend the royal defamation law, which criminalizes criticism of the powerful monarchy. But the party has rattled the royalist establishment, which has blocked its bid for power.
[...]
In mid-July, Move Forward's prime ministerial candidate, Pita Limjaroenrat, was voted down in parliament by the military-appointed Senate and later denied the chance of another vote. That opened the way for second-place party, Pheu Thai, the once-unbeatable political machine of self-exiled ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, to put forward a candidate for premier despite its poorest electoral performance in its history.
[...]
But the vote was abruptly postponed after Thailand's top court said it needed more time to consider a petition by Move Forward. MFP contends that Pita has been unfairly prevented from trying to win the premiership in a second vote.

The Constitutional Court next meets on Aug. 16.The delay means Pheu Thai's bid to make a government with Srettha at the helm has been put on hold.
[...]

archived Fundamentally Flawed Preliminary Pivotal New Generation Election, "french community" in Pékin, Burma , Special Economic Measures Act, east asia and the pacific Sec. 7043
by Cat on Thu Aug 3rd, 2023 at 06:29:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(If you can find an official title for this event, please share)

D1: Radio Silence

The usual G7 stenographers have nothing to add to the PR boilerplate issued by G7 functionaries one week ago. No agenda. Not even an attendance list for "40" or "30" or "dozens" or "several" invitations delivered. I suspect, when this story concludes tomorrow, no heads of state will headline. Which is a pity, considering the pride that the Price Cap Coalition attaches to collecting premiers, presidents, and prime ministers at US-officiated world forums. I'm somewhat alarmed that AP hasn't even bothered to turn on its bot publisher to quote Zelensk*'s opening remarks. Leaving "partner, competitor, rival" NY Yella Cake to roam yards of speculation.

SCMP: "The meeting of national security advisers and other officials in the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah underscores Riyadh's "readiness to exert its good offices to contribute to reaching a solution that will result in permanent peace," the official Saudi Press Agency said on Friday"; tentatively confirmed by

SPA: "Saudi Arabia hosts a meeting for National Security Advisors of various brotherly and friendly countries on the Ukrainian crisis"; and

NDTV: "Shri Ajit Doval, NSA arrived in Jeddah to take part in National Security Advisers' meeting on Ukraine." Recall that Doval trailed after Sullivan in May and June.
footnote: "China...sending Special Envoy for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui."

Inadvertently, Strana.ua yesterday divulged "Ukraine will distribute among the countries at the summit in Saudi Arabia the responsibility for the points of the peace formula." For example,

Igor Zhovkva, Deputy Head of the President's Office, spoke about this in an interview with Radio Liberty.

"If China talks about nuclear security, China absolutely, for example, can be a co-leader in paragraph No. 1 on nuclear security. And if Brazil is engaged in environmental issues, it can easily be a co-leader, co-organizer in paragraph No. 8," he said.

I'm pressed to understand whether or not the invitation specified minimum bids. So enterprising!
by Cat on Sat Aug 5th, 2023 at 07:30:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
kommersant paraphrasing Corriere della Sera:Jeddah negotiators on Ukraine agree on two issues
Negotiators on Ukraine in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah reached an agreement on two issues after the first day of consultations, sources told Corriere della sera . According to the Italian newspaper, they all believe that any peace agreement should be based on [1] "respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine" and [2] the supremacy of the UN Charter.

The participants also agreed to create working groups to discuss the plan for the settlement of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict proposed by Kiev. Negotiations are underway on the timing of the meeting of heads of state. According to the sources of the newspaper, it can take place before the end of the year.

by Cat on Sat Aug 5th, 2023 at 10:54:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sources??

Machine translation from link

Le notizie del 5 agosto sul conflitto in Ucraina | Corriere della Sera |

5:00 pm - Saudi media: "The Jeddah summit has begun"

[...]

The meeting will aim to facilitate an exchange of views between the participating countries on ways to resolve the crisis peacefully while, along the lines of the Copenhagen meeting last June, there will be no joint final declaration.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Aug 6th, 2023 at 11:34:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A torrent of enthusiasm from event planners!
"so-called Global South of G20 countries" feat. BR, IN, ZA ("three-fifths of the BRICS countries" and CN), AR,  ID, MX, EG, KR, AU, 2/3 GCC, 2/55 AU. Evidently, 21/30 NATO arrived to supervise, so I hope Ukraine didn't count EUCO and the UN Sec-Gen among "state" consultants.  

36 Representatives from more than 40 countries pose for a family picture as they attend talks in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, August 6, 2023, to make a headway towards a peaceful end to Russia's war in Ukraine. Saudi Press Agency/Handout

president.gov.ua | International consultations on key principles of peace for Ukraine took place

On the instructions of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian delegation to Jeddah was headed by Andriy Yermak, Head of the Presidential Office.

The format of the consultations included in-person and online participation of national security advisors and political directors from Saudi Arabia, Australia, Argentina, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Estonia, the European Union, Egypt, India, Spain, Italy, Jordan, Canada, Qatar, China, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, the United Arab Emirates, the Republic of South Africa, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Romania, Slovakia, the Union of the Comoros, the United States of America, Türkiye, Finland, France, the Czech Republic, Chile, Sweden, Japan, and the United Nations. In total, more than 40 states [?] were represented in Jeddah, almost three times as many as at the Copenhagen consultations. This indicates the world's great interest in establishing a sustainable and lasting peace.
[...]
The meeting in Jeddah was a step towards the practical implementation of peace initiatives proposed by Ukraine. Each state participating in the consultations has the opportunity to show leadership in global efforts for peace. And most of them have already defined their role in the implementation of certain points of the Formula.
[...]

guardian | China 'backs further Ukraine peace talks' after Saudi Arabia summit
A source from the Ukrainian delegation told the Al Arabiya and Al-Hadath news channels that the proposals were supported by several countries....
An EU source said China "participated actively and was positive about [the] idea of a third meeting at this level". The involvement of China is seen as a big diplomatic prize....
The official said there was agreement that working groups would be set up to develop details of key themes prominent in Zelensk*'s 10-point peace formula while a parallel ambassadors group would continue technical work on the issues....
The US national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, led Washington's delegation to the Saudi city, a senior White House official said, but no official statement or readout has yet emerged. The European Council president Charles Michel's foreign policy adviser, Simon Mordue, represented the EU.
FT | Ukraine allies buoyed by 'constructive' China signals at Jeddah talks
The weekend talks in Jeddah, which were attended by dozens of countries and focused on a 10-point peace plan proposed by Kyiv, were expected to conclude on Sunday without concrete developments. But the presence of Beijing, which weeks earlier declined to attend similar talks in Copenhagen, was seen as a coup [sic] for Kyiv and became the focus of the event among participants.
[...
One European diplomat said China "appeared constructive" and "keen to show that [it] is not Russia". The "mere presence of China shows Russia is more and more isolated", the person said.
[...]
Western countries and Ukraine hoped the gathering would help isolate Russia and win backing for Ukraine among developing countries that had yet to declare a position on the invasion. Some view the conflict as between a US-led NATO and Moscow.
[...]
In an address on Saturday evening, Zelensk* referred to the Jeddah conference, saying there were "different continents, different political approaches to global affairs, but everyone is united by the priority of international law". Andriy Yermak, head of Zelensk*'s office, said on Sunday the talks had been positive.
[...]
arabnews| Ukrainian ambassador, US official thank Saudi Arabia for hosting peace talks
• Meeting in Jeddah attended by national security advisers from 42 countries
• Two days of discussions 'proven to be constructive,' [UA Amb. in SA] Petrenko Anatolii says. "First of all, I'd like to thank Saudi Arabia for being so committed and hospitable to Ukraine in moving forward our peace formula plan," he said.
[...]
He added that the key objectives following the two-day talks remained to "stop military aggression against Ukraine, to restore territorial integrity and sovereignty, to kick-start the economic recovery of Ukraine and, of course, to bring confidence into the UN charter and international law."
[...]
A US official on Sunday expressed Washington's appreciation to Riyadh for hosting the talks, describing them as "constructive," according to an Al-Arabiya report.

"It was a good and constructive set of conversations with a range of countries who came together to exchange views and build common ground in support of a just and lasting peace in Ukraine, discuss how to end the war in Ukraine and address the practical consequences of Russia's war in Ukraine and around the world," the person said.

reuters | Ukraine calls Jeddah talks productive, Russia calls them doomed
Ukraine and its allies called the talks an attempt to secure broad international support for principles that Kyiv wants to be the basis for peace, including the withdrawal of all Russian troops and the return of all Ukrainian territory to its control. President Volodymir Zelensk* has said he wants a global summit to take place based on those principles later this year.

Saudi Arabia's Media Ministry said participants had agreed on the importance of continuing consultations to pave the way for peace. European officials have said participants planned to establish working groups to address specific problems raised by the war.
[...]
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted by state media on Sunday as saying the meeting was "a reflection of the West's attempt to continue futile, doomed efforts" to mobilise the Global South behind Zelensk*'s position.
[...]
While Western countries have broadly backed Ukraine, many other states have been reluctant to take sides even though they want an end to a conflict that has hit the global economy. The participation of China, which stayed away from an earlier round of talks in Copenhagen and has shunned Western calls to condemn Russia's invasion, signalled a possible shift in its stance but not a major change, analysts said....

by Cat on Sun Aug 6th, 2023 at 11:46:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Saudi Arabia's Ukraine Peace Talks, How to Measure Success?, 3 Aug
Ukraine and Saudi Arabia sent invitations last week to around 30 countries, double the number of capitals that participated in June's Copenhagen meeting. Some countries may dial in rather than turn up.
[...]
But there are doubts about how many developing countries will come and a big question surrounding China. Beijing ignored the Copenhagen talks, but U.S. and European officials said this week that China appeared likely to send a [Special] representative [For Eurasian Affairs] to Jeddah.
[...]
archive
EU and NATO slam China in Munich Security Conference 2023
China Ready to Issue a Joint Call with France for Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis in Ruble and Yuan
Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Eurasian Affairs Li Hui's visit to...
A particular sticking point: Ukraine's call for all Russian troops to withdraw before peace talks can start is seen as an obstacle to peace by some countries.

European officials say they hope to use the Ukraine plan--which also deals with prisoners of war, nuclear safety and food and energy security--to frame the issues in Jeddah. They would be eager to see working groups of the participants discuss each of the points in more detail at some point.
[...]
From the start, Ukraine and its Western backers were clear that Russia wouldn't be invited. They wanted to build support among developing countries for a durable and fair peace, which they believe should favor Ukraine as a victim of the Russian invasion.
[...]

With China Attending, Ukraine Peace Discussions Inch Forward, 6 Aug

The meeting's location Saturday carried important symbolism, as Ukraine, the U.S. and Europe have pushed to bolster support for Kyiv in the global south. Western diplomats have said the kingdom was picked to host [by "Western diplomats"] partly in hopes of persuading China to participate, as Riyadh and Beijing maintain close ties.
[...]
The biggest difference between the Copenhagen and Jeddah meetings was attendance--more than twice as many countries attended or dialed into Saturday's talks.
[...]
During the talks, China presented a 12-point plan for a cease-fire and peace talks to end the war "Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis", which it first announced in February. European diplomats pushed back to warn that an unconditional cease-fire could simply create a frozen conflict and allow Russia to consolidate its control of Ukrainian territory.
Chinese peace principles for the war in Ukraine
[...]
A senior U.S. official said that national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland met with the head of the Chinese delegation, Beijing's peace envoy Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui, on the sidelines.
[...]
Diplomats also said some of the differences that emerged in Copenhagen appeared to have narrowed....In Jeddah, Ukraine and the major developing countries appeared keener to seek out a consensus. A senior European official said that Ukraine didn't push again for its peace plan to be accepted and other countries weren't insisting that Kyiv drop it. Nor was there any crossfire over Ukraine's demand for the withdrawal of Russian troops. Ukraine didn't press the point, two diplomats said, nor was it challenged by developing countries.
[...]
Saudi Arabia plans to propose a set of working groups for specific issues raised in the Ukrainian peace plan, some of which touch on the global impact of the war.
archive Our sanctions don't affect the exports of food and fertilisers, "snapback sanctions"
by Cat on Mon Aug 7th, 2023 at 01:09:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jeddah talks wind down as long-term efforts needed for peace in Ukraine conflict | Global Times |

A European Union official said there would be no joint statement after the meeting, but that the Saudis would present a plan for further talks, with working groups to discuss issues such as global food security, nuclear safety and prisoner releases.

Chinese Special Envoy for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui attended the talks. "We have many disagreements and we have heard different positions, but it is important that our principles are shared," he said, according to Reuters. 

China's attendance of the conference demonstrates its considerable influence and respect from all parties. In other words, Saudi Arabia clearly understands that without China's participation, the impact of the talks would be diminished, and the results obtained would be less significant, Cui Heng, an assistant research fellow from the Center for Russian Studies of East China Normal University, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Throughout the Russia-Ukraine conflict, China has maintained a mediating posture, acting as a communication bridge, Cui said.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is not just a dispute between the two countries, but also a security conflict between Russia and US-led NATO. Therefore, China has always advocated for negotiations and a prompt end to the conflict, a cease-fire, and a resolution to the Russia-Ukraine dispute, to alleviate the pressures on both countries' societies, as well as Europe and the world, Zhang Hong, an associate research fellow at the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times. 

In international press, free interpretation to reference of "our" principles ✍️ 🤥
Saudi host nation or UA Zelenskyy or the Chinese reservations.

Dutch headline: Hammer blow threatens for Putin, will China turn its back on Russia? | De Telegraaf |

NIKKEI Asia: Ukraine latest: China says Jeddah talks on Ukraine helped to 'consolidate international consensus'

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Aug 7th, 2023 at 03:59:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
in progress. Word on the vine is, the Kremilin attentively is listening to BRICS (and China) collegues that attended (in person or dialed in), rather than G7 press reporters.

< wipes tears >

by Cat on Mon Aug 7th, 2023 at 05:33:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukrainian Presidency: Jeddah peace talks were very fruitful | Saudi Gazette |

Saudi Minister of State and Member of the Cabinet and National Security Advisor Musaed Al-Aiban chaired the meeting, which was also attended among others by the officials of the United Nations.

 Saudi Arabia's hosting of the meeting comes as a continuation of the humanitarian initiatives and efforts being made in this context by Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammad bin Salman since March 2022. It is noteworthy that the Crown Prince made contacts with the Russian and Ukrainian leaderships since the early days of the crisis, and reiterated his country's willingness to carry out its good offices to contribute to reaching a solution, leading to lasting peace, and supports all efforts and initiatives aimed at mitigating the effects of the crisis and its humanitarian repercussions.



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Aug 7th, 2023 at 08:09:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Couldn't find a second source to corroborate this version. There was no consensus and no final statement from host nation Saudi Arabia. Plenty of confusion and individual opinions in the Western media.

Jeddah Peace initiatives NATO v BRICS Groups

IN BRIEF: Talks on Ukrainian settlement, outcome of meeting in Jeddah held without Russia | TASS |

Earlier, Kiev said that it wanted to convene a meeting to promote the so-called peace formula of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. Participants in the consultations in Jeddah made the decision to create working groups to look into it.

According to the DPA news agency, which cites two diplomatic sources, it was initially planned to discuss only Zelensky's so-called peace plan, but one more peace initiative was announced in Jeddah. It was presented by the host country, Saudi Arabia, backed by a number of other states. ‼️ Allegedly, part of the plan is to maintain Ukraine's integrity, cease fire on all fronts, launch peace talks under UN supervision, and exchange prisoners.

Chinese Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui conveyed Beijing's position with regard to settling the Ukrainian conflict, the Chinese Foreign Ministry reported, noting that it was important to adhere to the Chinese peace plan on the situation in Ukraine.

The Chinese initiative, which was made public in February, has 12 points, including calls for a ceasefire, respect for the legitimate security interests of all countries, and refusal to impose unilateral sanctions without a relevant decision from the UN Security Council.

According to Ajit Doval, the national security adviser to the Indian prime minister, each of the proposals put forward has positive aspects, but none of them is acceptable to Moscow and Kiev.



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Aug 7th, 2023 at 08:11:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Saudi ambition to join BRICS

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Aug 7th, 2023 at 08:13:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SA already is a certified paid-in New Development Bank subscriber. That's no secret. Check out NDB.
by Cat on Tue Aug 8th, 2023 at 12:08:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Energy security: Yermak meets with representatives of 58 countries to discuss Peace Formula implementation, 12 Aug
Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak held the fifth meeting [?!] with representatives of foreign diplomatic missions accredited in Ukraine within the framework of implementing [the 10-point] Peace Formula.

The meeting participants discussed the energy security point of the Formula

The third is energy security.
"We have already proposed that a mission of UN experts is sent to the objects of critical energy infrastructure of Ukraine to assess the scope of damage and the needs for restoration, as well as to prevent their further destruction. We need to speed up the dispatch of this mission! This will be a specific contribution of the international community to the stabilization of the energy situation in Ukraine and Europe, and therefore in the global energy market.[...] the answer to this should be a forced limitation of export prices for Russia. So that the export price was not higher than the production cost."
the President's Office informs.

Ambassadors and representatives of the diplomatic missions of Japan, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Croatia, the Republic of South Africa, the United Kingdom, Estonia, Ethiopia [!], Jordan, the Netherlands, Portugal, Lithuania, Egypt, Brazil, Canada, the Republic of Korea, India, Belgium, Spain, Austria, Finland, Azerbaijan, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece, the EU, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, North Macedonia, Romania, the United States, Türkiye, Hungary, France, Montenegro, Sweden, and United Nations Resident Coordinator for Ukraine Denise Brown, special representative of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland Þórlindur Kjartansson, the Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Ukraine, Bishop Mykhailo Komansky (Anishchenko), and chargé d'affaires of the Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine Joseph Maramreddy attended the event in person or via video links.

Greeting the meeting participants, Yermak separately thanked those who joined this format of communication for the first time, namely the representatives of 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Algeria, Portugal, Ecuador, Croatia, Switzerland, Guatemala, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Montenegro, New Zealand, and Ethiopia.
[...]

"working group" ROLE call
[Yermak] said that Russia, receiving imported components by[-]passing sanctions, was increasing the production of long-range weapons to continue destroying Ukrainian infrastructure. In particular, he recalled the recent attack by an aggressor on an oil depot in Rivne region. In this context, the Head of the President's Office notedthe importance of preparing the Ukrainian energy industry for the winter period and protecting it from heavy Russian attacks.
Advantage Ukraine: A trillion-dollar opportunity? Rebuilding Ukraine will mean giant investments and potential big payoffs, say economists adding up the costs (07.12.22)
[...]
"We are implementing projects that no one in the world has done before, because no energy system in the world has experienced such large-scale attacks. In the future, Ukraine will be ready to share this experience so that, if necessary, other countries understand how to act in such scenarios. By the way, it is what we consider to be a very crucial element of the Peace Formula for Ukraine—a unique exchange of experience that will protect each of us and every country," [PM Denys] Shmyhal said.

Minister of Energy of Ukraine German Galushchenko, Board Chairman of NPC Ukrenergo Volodymyr Kudrytsky, CEO of JSC Naftogaz of Ukraine Oleksiy Chernyshov informed those present about the current situation in the energy system of our country. [Yermak] also told the audience in detail about implementing another important point of the Peace Formula, concerning security guarantees.

The next—the ninth—is the prevention of escalation.
"We need effective security assurances. That is why we prepared a draft agreement—the Kyiv Security Compact, and have already presented it to partners....The main outcome of the conference should be the signing of the Kyiv Security Compact."
He said that 13 states had already joined the Joint Declaration of Support for Ukraine agreed by the G7 countries at the NATO Summit in Vilnius.
Joint Declaration of Support for Ukraine
"Other countries that wish to contribute to this effort to ensure a free, strong, independent, and sovereign Ukraine may join this Joint Declaration at any time."
###
ukrinform | Zelensk* confirms Greece joins security guarantees for Ukraine, 12 Aug
"I am grateful to Greece for joining the G7 declaration on supporting Ukraine. Greece became the 14th country to support security guarantees for Ukraine," he said.
ukrinform | PM: Energy facilities' repair campaign goes according to plan, 9 Aug
by Cat on Sat Aug 12th, 2023 at 02:51:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Latvia PM: Let EU countries with no colonial past lead diplomacy with BRICS+, 25 Aug colonial future
Outgoing Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš called on Europe to let member countries without a history as colonial overlords handle the crucial but often tense diplomatic relations with countries across Africa, Asia, and South America.

"The countries that were formerly colonized may not necessarily care for the advice of the former colonies. Certainly in Latvia, we can understand this," he said during a video interview from Riga. During a recent EU summit with Latin American countries "I realized that, actually, their perception of Europe was often a little bit like [nope] the Baltics' perception of Russia," he said.

archive Mon May 22nd, 2023, Thu Jun 8th 2023, Fri Jul 20th 2012
[...]
Born and raised in the United States [!], Kariņš is among the few European heads of government with significant experience living and working outside the country he leads. A well-respected figure within the center-right European People's Party, he spent a decade as a member of the European Parliament before becoming Latvia's prime minister in 2019.
[...]
Charles Michel: Get ready by 2030 to enlarge EU, 28 Aug
by Cat on Tue Aug 29th, 2023 at 05:04:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hersh edition, 12 days later
[...]
I asked an American intelligence official why it was Sullivan who emerged from the Biden administration's foreign policy circle to preside over the inconsequential conference in Saudi Arabia.

"Jeddah was Sullivan's baby," the official said. "He planned it to be Biden's equivalent of [President Woodrow] Wilson's Versailles. The grand alliance of the free world meeting in a victory celebration after the humiliating defeat of the hated foe to determine the shape of nations for the next generation. Fame and Glory. Promotion and re-election. The jewel in the crown was to be Zelensky's achievement of Putin's unconditional surrender after the lightning spring offensive. They were even planning a Nuremberg type trial at the world court, with Jake as our representative. Just one more fuck-up, but who is counting? Forty nations showed up, all but six looking for free food after the Odessa shutdown"
[...]

oh
by Cat on Thu Aug 17th, 2023 at 05:27:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Tue Aug 8th, 2023 at 12:04:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Feb 2023 CFR: "No one really knows for sure what Beijing is trying to get out of it"

xinhua | Chinese currency gains popularity amid rising trade ties with Kenya, 2 Aug RMB:KES

The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) said Wednesday that the Chinese currency renminbi, or the yuan, is gaining popularity among commercial lenders due to the rising Sino-Kenyan trade ties.

Habil Olaka, the chief executive officer of KBA, told Xinhua in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, that the yuan is emerging as an alternative currency to the U.S. dollar in settling financial transactions involving trade between Kenya and China.

... About 2,000 years ago, in the Han Dynasty (202 B.C.-25 A.D.), a Chinese envoy named Zhang Qian began his expedition to the Western Regions...
"What tends to happen between two countries trading, is that they use a currency that is readily available in their countries," Olaka said on the sidelines of the launch of the 2022 Kenyan Banking Sector Total Tax Contribution study by KBA.
LCT trial and tribulations
Oil marketers to pay for fuel imports in Kenyan shilling (13.03.23)
Kenya Receives First Consignment Of Fuel From UAE (14.04.23)
"The contract stated clearly in black and white that payment would be in US dollars" (11.07.23)
According to the state-owned Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the country's total exports to China reached 27.5 billion shillings* (about 193 million dollars*) while imports from China hit 3.17 billion dollars [KES 373.9B, or RMB 21.3B] in 2022*. Government data indicated that China has become the largest trading partner, foreign investor and project contractor of Kenya.
[...]
Axel Springer Simile Suicide Festival, 2 Aug
...Regarded as small, in need of money, plagued by democratic issues and easy to influence, CEE countries were once seen as Beijing's Trojan horse in Europe. And there were fears that a flood of Chinese investment would buy political influence, threatening the bloc's cohesion when it comes to China—but that's not how it happened....
aljazeera | China's heaviest rains in 140 years kill at least 20, leave 27 missing, 2 Aug

* I detect substantial deviation from mean in the reporting period.
parity watch, avg 2022 FX rates
USD:KES, 1:117.9
USD:RMB, 1:6.73
RMB:KES, 1:17.53
parity watch avg 2023 FX rates to date
USD:KES, 1:142.48
USD:RMB, 1:7.19
RMB:KES, 1:19.84

by Cat on Wed Aug 2nd, 2023 at 09:28:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
KENYA transition action plan

Borrell: Why pay less for your DIGNITY?!

by Cat on Thu Aug 10th, 2023 at 03:47:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FBI, EU Partners Dismantle Qakbot Infrastructure in Multinational Cyber Takedown

On August 29, the FBI and the Justice Department announced a multinational operation to disrupt and dismantle the malware and botnet known as Qakbot.   
 
The action, which took place in the U.S., France, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, Latvia, and the United Kingdom, represents one of the largest U.S.-led disruptions of a botnet infrastructure used by cybercriminals to commit ransomware, financial fraud, and other cyber-enabled criminal activity. 



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Aug 30th, 2023 at 05:11:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 1st, 2023 at 10:29:41 AM EST
by Cat on Tue Aug 1st, 2023 at 12:55:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Damn ... On Holiday, Undercutting the President

Harris will meet with the prime minister of Mongolia. While she frequently meets one-on-one with foreign leaders separate from the president, the meeting is notable given Biden will be out of town and unable to meet with the foreign leader.

Xi Jinping Meets with Mongolian Prime Minister Luvsannamsrai Oyun-Erdene | 27 June 2023 |

Xi Jinping stressed that China and Mongolia should always stay committed to respecting each other's national independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, respecting the development paths independently chosen by the two peoples, and firmly supporting each other on issues involving their respective core interests and major concerns. Noting that China is advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization while Mongolia is committed to national reform and economic and social development, Xi Jinping said that the two sides can continue to seek greater synergy between their development strategies and join hands to advance modernization. China will continue to carry out cooperation with Mongolia in line with the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness.

Effort for full containment of China reckons the importance of the visit with VP Harris ...

Prime Minister L. Oyun-Erdene to Visit the United States

During the Official Visit, the Prime Minister is going to hold official talks with the Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris, and meet with other high-level officials. As part of his Official Visit, the Prime Minister will visit NASA, the U.S. Agency for International Development [Director Samantha Power], and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation.

Issues on deepening the strategic partnership relations with the USA, which plays an important role in Mongolia's "third neighbor" policy, and expanding political, economic, humanitarian, and regional cooperation will be topics of the talks. Moreover, the establishment of some bilateral cooperation documents is expected.

Samantha Power the epitome of military intervention to save mankind: Kosovo-Libya-Syria-Ukraine by any means.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 1st, 2023 at 02:25:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wsws | Australian Labor MP calls for Assange to plead guilty to frame-up US charges, 27 July
The main point is that what the Australian government has done on Assange's behalf is remarkably little
Australian PM rejects calls to intervene in Julian Assange case (20.06.22)
Anthony Albanese vows to continue to lobby the US to end legal action against Julian Assange (29.11.22)
Australia Has Not Written to US on Assange For 6 Months (25.01.23)
Penny Wong moves to dampen expectation of breakthrough in Julian Assange case (30.03.23)
'Enough is Enough': Australian PM Frustrated by Biden's Refusal to Drop Assange Charges (05.05.23)
if anything at all. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has made very sporadic public statements, along the lines of "enough is enough" in the Assange case and it is "time for the matter to be brought to a close."

Secretary Antony J. Blinken Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Richard Marles, And Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong At a Joint Press Availability, 29 July AUKUS rules-based order

[...]
QUESTION:  Deputy Prime Minister Marles, just the two questions.  (Laughter.)
[...]
And secondly, to Minister Wong and Secretary Blinken about the Julian Assange case:  Did you raise this with your counterparts, Minister Wong, and is Australia becoming frustrated from publicly what we see as a lack of progress on this issue?

And from Secretary Blinken, I think Australians would be very interested in the American perspective on this issue.  We have heard our prime minister say that he thinks it's time for this matter to be brought to a close. This involved sensitive diplomatic and military information, but many Australians, I believe, think that it's frankly unfair that the American military officer who leaked the information is free while an Australian is still being prosecuted through the justice system.
[...]
WONG:  The question in relation to Mr. Assange:  I have answered this question, I think, probably also from you, Matthew, on a number of occasions. I would make three points. The first is we have made clear our view that Mr. Assange's case has dragged on for too long and our desire that it be brought to a conclusion.  And we've said that publicly, and you would anticipate that that reflects also the position we articulate in private.

I've also said that, obviously, that we do what we can government to government, but there are limits until Mr. Assange's legal processes have concluded. And as a footnote, I would make this point that the case you reference had a—had got to a different point in terms of legal proceedings.

And my final point is that I understand Mr. Assange has filed a renewal of appeal application in the UK. The Australian Government is not party to these legal proceedings, and nor can we intervene with them.  Having said that, we will continue to offer him consular assistance and to convey our expectations about his treatment.
BLINKEN: Look, as a general matter of policy, we don't really comment on extradition matters, extradition proceedings. And so I really would refer you to our Department of Justice for any questions about the status of the criminal case, whether it's with regard to Mr. Assange or the other person in question.
[...]

ABC News | Blinken tells Australia that WikiLeaks founder is accused of 'very serious' crime, 29 July
Assange's freedom is widely seen as a test of Australia's leverage with President Joe Biden's administration.

Blinken confirmed on Saturday that Assange had been discussed in annual talks with Foreign Minister Penny Wong in Brisbane, Australia. ...Wong said Assange's prosecution had "dragged for too long" and that Australia wanted the charges "brought to a conclusion."

Australia remains ambiguous about whether the United States should drop the prosecution or strike a plea bargain.

yahoo! foxnews | Australian prime minister says government stands firm against US prosecution of Julian Assange, 2 Aug
by Cat on Thu Aug 3rd, 2023 at 02:23:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
theregister | White House: Losing Section 702 spy powers would be among 'worst intelligence failures of our time', 31 July
While there may be only three cases of intentional misconduct reported, the briefing does seem to gloss over the hundreds of thousands of instances of FBI misuse between 2020 and early 2021 alone—as well as the time and effort it takes to declassify these top-secret disclosures to give the public any insight into how these surveillance powers are being abused.
whitehouse | Statement from National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer on the President's Intelligence Advisory Board's Review of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, 31 July
... We agree with the unanimous conclusion reached by this group of independent, deeply experienced experts that failure to reauthorize Section 702 could be "one of the worst intelligence failures of our time." We also agree with the Board's recommendation that Section 702 should be reauthorized without new and operationally damaging restrictions on reviewing intelligence lawfully collected by the government and with measures that build on proven reforms to enhance compliance and oversight, among other improvements....Read the full report here
Miller, R., "FISA Section 702: Does Querying Incidentally Collected Information Constitute a Search Under the Fourth Amendment?" (2020)
by Cat on Thu Aug 3rd, 2023 at 02:36:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... are limits until Mr. Assange's legal processes have concluded.,,, [laughter, frenzied laughter] 😂 🤣

[... as a general matter of policy, we don't really comment on extradition matters, extradition proceedings. And so I really would refer you to our Department of Justice for any questions about the status of the criminal case ...]

Extensive policy of torture, black prisons, rendition, assassinations overseas.

The death of Harry Dunn and wife of "diplomat"

The US authorities asserted that Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity and, according to her lawyers, "determined that it would be difficult for her and her family to remain in the small Croughton community".

Dunn's alleged killer returned to the US on a commercial flight after the US embassy "informed the Foreign Office of this decision and instructed Anne to return home".

... offer her normal  consular assistance ... not interfere in extradition proceedings.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Aug 3rd, 2023 at 05:07:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On Snowden a complete new policy ... attempt to kidnap during flight from Moscow to Bolivia ...

Bolivia complains to UN after Evo Morales' plane 'kidnapped' | The Guardian -  July 3, 2013 |

"We have been in contact with a range of countries that had a chance of having Snowden land or travel through their country but I am not going to outline what those countries were or when this [contact] happened," said spokeswoman Jan Psaki.

The diplomatic crisis may have been set off by a remark by Morales during a television interview in Russia, where he had been attending an energy conference. Morales said that he sympathised with Snowden, who is believed to be holed up in the transit area of Sheremetyevo airport, and hinted that Bolivia might accept an asylum petition.

Diplomatic immunity of a sitting president, sovereignty of states, borders, UN Charter, Geneva convention ....

Hope you do appreciate America's New World Order ... Atlantic Alliance - #WeAreNato ... above and beyond International law ... exceptionalism ... Super MAGA ... EU's Garden and the Jungle.

A complete laughing stock ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Aug 3rd, 2023 at 05:08:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Morales a common name just as Johnson is in the UK and US

The US trail of the man whose security firm spied on Julian Assange | El Paiz |

Emails sent by David Morales, owner of UC Global, place him in Alexandria, in the state of Virginia, near the federal court that has been investigating the Australian cyberactivist for years

UC Global S. L.spied on Assange for the CIA, as shown by testimony and documents disclosed by this newspaper. Morales allegedly gave the intelligence agency audio and video material on the cyberactivist's meetings with his lawyers and collaborators at the embassy. Following this newspaper's revelations, Judge José de la Mata of Spain's High Court, the Audiencia Nacional, agreed to consider a criminal complaint filed by Assange against Morales, who was arrested and is now the target of an investigation into alleged violations of Assange's privacy and attorney-client privilege, as well as misappropriation, bribery, money laundering and illegal possession of arms.

Worked for the Americans and also Sheldon Adelson

Morales often traveled to the United States. The IP addresses of the emails he sent his workers showed him to be variously in New York, Dallas, Miami, Washington, Chicago, Lakewood and Las Vegas. At this last location, the messages were sometimes sent from the hotels owned by Sheldon Adelson and his Las Vegas Sands Corporation. Morales has been working for the billionaire business magnate for years, taking care of security on the latter's yacht during trips to the Mediterranean. The company's personnel includes a former CIA official. Adelson is one of the main donors to the Republican Party and a personal friend of Donald Trump.

[also major donor of Israel's Bibi Netanyahu, lobbyist at the highest level in Jerusalem and the White House ... offered suggestions to use a nuclear bomb to express our anger at the mullahs of "pariah" state Iran, true friend of John McCain]

Spain's High Court closes Pegasus investigation over 'lack of cooperation' from the Jewish Fascjst State of Israel | The Guardian - July 10, 2023 |

Oh horror, what injustice ... where are the protests ⁉️

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Aug 3rd, 2023 at 05:09:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If Albanese's such a buddy of Biden's, why is Assange still in jail? | SMH - July 26, 2023 |

UK Justice and the ECJ ... BreXit was worth it! Freedom in emissions ... not for Assange.

Britain's Belmarsh prison for hardened criminals, national security risk and terrorists

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Aug 3rd, 2023 at 05:28:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
smh.com | Caroline Kennedy flags Assange plea deal, 14 Aug
"'So it's not really a diplomatic issue, but I think that there absolutely could be a resolution,' she said in an interview at her residence in Canberra.
by Cat on Mon Aug 14th, 2023 at 11:38:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
defense.gov | Hicks Underscores U.S. Innovation in Unveiling Strategy to Counter China's Military Buildup, 28 Aug Defense Production Act act
Under the strategy, coined by Hicks as the replicator initiative, the Defense Department will field thousands of autonomous systems [drones] across multiple domains [land, air, sea, stratosphere] within the next 18 to 24 months.
< picks teeth, sucks vigorously >
Hicks revealed the strategy during her remarks at the National Defense Industrial Association's Emerging Technologies for Defense conference in Washington.

"Replicator is meant to help us overcome the PRC's biggest advantage, which is mass," she said. "More ships. More missiles. More people."

She said, through the initiative, the U.S. will augment its manufacturing and mobilization capabilities "with our real comparative advantage, which is the innovation and spirit of our people."
[...]
Attritable capabilities [lolwut] refer to platforms that are unmanned and built affordably, allowing commanders to tolerate a higher degree of risk in employing them.

random number generator
"We must ensure the PRC leadership wakes up every day, considers the risks of aggression and concludes, 'today is not the day'—and not just today, but every day, between now and 2027, 2035, 2049, and beyond," Hicks said.
Pentagon Wants to Buy 1,000s of Small, Cheap, Autonomous Drones in Next Two Years, 28 Aug
"'What this clearly communicates is DOD's sense of urgency, which I think is totally appropriate,' Caitlin Lee, the director of the Acquisition and Technology Policy Program at the RAND Corporation, told Air & Space Forces Magazine."
archive Wed May 3rd 2023, 2022 National Defense Strategy
by Cat on Thu Aug 31st, 2023 at 09:04:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Not that McGovern, the other one: 'I just wish he wasn't doing it'
by Cat on Tue Aug 1st, 2023 at 01:01:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When asked who they would vote for between Biden as the Democratic nominee and Trump as the GOP's, both saw 43% support among the surveyed registered voters.

Trump saw slightly more support from his base than Biden, with 88% of registered Republicans selecting Trump versus 83% of Democrats choosing Biden. Independents favored Biden with 42% support over 37% for Trump.

According to a July poll from The New York Times and Siena College



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 1st, 2023 at 07:48:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sun Aug 6th, 2023 at 05:12:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Biden told Maui wildfire survivors that he can relate, citing a small fire he had in his kitchen in 2004 (22.08.23)
When President Joe Biden met with survivors of the Maui wildfires on Monday, he told them that he could relate to them because he and First Lady Jill Biden knew what it was like to lose a home to a fire.

But the fire in question was described by the Associated Press at the time as "a small fire that was contained to the kitchen," with the Delaware fire chief indicating that it was under control in 20 minutes....

whitehouse | Remarks by President Biden at Community Engagement with Residents Impacts by Wildfires, 21 Aug "The Cure at Troy" in Lahaina, Hawaii
[...]
We just surveyed the damage. I want you to know: whatever it takes, as long as it takes.

And I look at your congressmen and senators and governor and lieutenant governor. We're going to get it done for you, but get it done the way you want it done —(applause)—not get it done somebody else's way. No, I mean it.

I don't want to compare difficulties, but we have a little sense, Jill and I, what it's like to lose a home. Years ago—now 15 years ago—I was in Washington doing "Meet the Press." It was a sunny Sunday, and lightning struck at home on a little lake that's outside of our home—not a lake, a big pond —and hit a wire and came up underneath our home into the heating ducts—the air conditioning ducts. [...] To make a long story short, I almost lost my wife, my '67 Corvette, and my cat. But all kidding aside, I watched the firefighters, the way they responded.

You know, there's an old expression -- I grew up right across the street from a fire hall in Claymont, Delaware. And the expression is, "God made man, and then he made a few firefighters." You're all crazy, thank God. The only people who run into flames to help other people. And they ran into flames to save my wife and save my family. Not a joke.
[...]

archive SEC BLINKEN: floods in Durban and in Kentucky
by Cat on Tue Aug 22nd, 2023 at 05:35:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"digital colonoscopy" has entered the Anti-SLAPP room.


EN auto-translate enabled. State and fed criminal code-translate disabled.

by Cat on Thu Aug 31st, 2023 at 01:50:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Trump live updates: Former president indicted by grand jury on 2020 election interference | CNBC |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 1st, 2023 at 09:43:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MoA: Coincidence? I think not, Agent Smith.
The timeline proves that these were not independent events.

Andrew Clark @AndrewHClark - 21:15 UTC · Aug 2, 2023
This timeline is actually incredible. I mean come on.

3/17 - Hunter admits laptop
3/18 - Trump indictment news

6/8 - FBI doc alleges Biden bribe
6/9 - Trump indicted

7/26 - Hunter plea deal collapses
7/27 - Trump indicted

7/31 - Devon Archer testifies
8/1 - Trump indicted

US v Donald J. Trump, 45 pp
The Defendant's Co-Conspirators
8. The Defendant enlisted co-conspirators to assist him in his criminal efforts to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election and retain power. Among these were:
(a.) Co-Conspirator 1, an attorney who was willing to spread knowingly false claims and pursue strategies that the Defendant's 2020 re-election campaign attorneys would not.
(b.) Co-Conspirator 2, an attorney who devised and attempted to implement a strategy to leverage the Vice President's ceremonial role overseeing the certification proceeding to obstruct the certification of the presidential election.
(c.) Co-Conspirator 3, an attorney whose unflounded claims of election fraud the Defendant privately acknowledge to others sounded "crazy." Nonetheless, the Defendant embraced and publicly amplified Co-Conspirator 3's disinformation.
(d.) Co-Conspirator 4, a Justice Department official who worked on civil matters and who, with the Defendant, attempted to use the Justice Department to open sham election crime investigations and influence sate legislatures with knowingly false claims of election fraud.
(e.) Co-Conspirator 5, an attorney who assissted in devising and attempting to implemet a plan to sumbit fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certificatin proceeding.
(f.) Co-Conspirator 6, a political consultant who helped implement a plan to sumbmit faudulent slates of presiential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding.
The Federal Government Function
9. The federal government function by which the results of the election for President of the United States are collected, counted, and ceertified was established through the Constitution and the Electoral Count Act (ECA) a federal law enacted in 1887.
[...]
archive A Multiple-Choice Civics Exam, Congress impeaches self, Hayes v Tilden, the Compromise of 1877
by Cat on Thu Aug 3rd, 2023 at 04:09:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Truly fuc*ing mad on search engine on the House Committee transcript, on Devon Archer in the Hunter Biden case ... I googled

| Mykola Zlochefsky and Vadym Pozharsyi | number of hits: 0 , yes zero.

Another search engine displayed over a dozen of pages wtf ... the U.S. unraveling  ... this is unacceptable.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Aug 3rd, 2023 at 04:55:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]

most ignorant, litigious nation on planet REPORTS:WHAT a MUG!

Electoral Count Act of 1887, Statute at Large, Chap. 90

[...]
Sec. 4....Upon such reading of any such certificate or paper, the President of the Senate shall call for objections, if any. Every objection shall be made in writing, and shall state clearly and concisely, and without argument, the ground thereof, and shall be signed by at least one Senator and one Member of the House of Representatives before the same shall be received. When all objections so made to any vote or paper from a State shall have been received and read, the Senate shall thereupon withdraw, and such objections shall be submitted to the Senate for its decision; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, in like manner, submit such objections to the House of Representatives for its decision; and no electoral vote or votes from any State which shall have been regularly given by electors whose appointment has been lawfully certified to according to section three of thi act from which but one return has been received shall be rejected, but the two Houses concurrently may reject the vote or votes when they agree that such vote or votes have not been so regularly given by electors whose ppointment has been so certified. If more than one return or paper < wipes tears> purporting to be a return from a Shate shall have been received by the President of the Senate, those votes, and those only, shall be counted which shall have been regularly given by the electors who are shown by the determination mentioned in section two of this act to have been appointed, if the determination in said section provided for shall have been made, or by such successors or substitutes, in case of vacancy in the board of electors so ascertained, as have been appointed to fill such vacancy in the mode provided by the laws of the State; but in case there shall arise the quesion of which two or more of such State authorities determining what electors have been appointed, as mentioned in section two of this act, is the lawful tribunal of such State, the votes regularly given of those electors, and those only, of such State shall be counted whose title as electors the two Houses, acting separately, shall concurrently decide is supported by the decision of such State so authorized by its laws; and from a State, if there shall have no such determination of the question in the State aforesaid, the those votes, and those only, shall be counted whith the two Houses shall concurrently decide were cast by lawful electors appointed in accordance with the laws of the State, unless the two Houses, acting separely, shall concurrently decide such votes not be the lawful votes, then, and in that case, the votes of the electors whose appointment shall have been certified by the Executive of the State, under thseal thereof, shall be counted. When the two Houses have boted, they shall immediately again meet, and the presiding officer hall then announce the cecision of the questions submitted. No votes or papers from any other State shall be acted upon until the objections previously made to the votes or papers made to the votes or papers from any State shall be acted upon until the objections previously made to the votes or papers from any State shall have been finally disposed of.
Sec. 5. That while the two Houses shall be in meeting as provided in this act the President of the Senate shall have power to preserve order; and not debate shall be allowed and no question shall be put by the presiding officer except to either House on a motion to withdraw.
[...]
too little, too late!
campaignlegal.org | Congress Takes Historic Action to Update the Electoral Count Act, 23 Dec 2022
In a major victory for democracy, Congress passed the Electoral Count Reform Act of 2022 (ECRA). This vital legislation will update the Electoral Count Act of 1887 (ECA), an < wipes tears > archaic law that provides the primary legal framework for casting and counting Electoral College votes in presidential elections.

Congressional passage of the ECRA is crucial and timely. An updated ECA will provide critical new safeguards against election manipulation just as voters are turning their attention to the electoral contests of 2024. While there is still much more work to be done to protect Americans' freedom to vote, the ECRA should build confidence that the will of the people will prevail in the next presidential election.
[...]
However, until now, the original text of the ECA had not been updated since it was first enacted more than 130 years ago. This law was rife with imprecise language, gaps and ambiguities that former President Donald Trump and his allies attempted to exploit as part of an organized effort to overturn the 2020 election.

Although this plan failed, it culminated in the January 6th attack on our country, and these dangerous events drew new attention to the urgent need to update the ECA. That is why, in early 2021, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) convened constitutional experts from across the country and representing all political viewpoints to determine how this law should be modernized.

< wipes tears >
archive Thu Nov 8th 2018
by Cat on Fri Aug 25th, 2023 at 10:39:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jawjaw "lawful elector" challenges HANG IN THE BALANCE

tabloid USAToday | Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp called to publicly oppose ["]sanctions["] against DA in Trump case, 25 Aug misplaced precision

A Georgia faith leader representing more than 530 churches is calling upon Gov. Brian Kemp to publicly oppose Republican efforts to remove or discipline Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.
[...]
The letter, obtained exclusively by USA TODAY, comes at time when Republican governors are cracking down on liberal-leaning prosecutors and it cites a state law signed by Kemp this year creating a new panel, dubbed the Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission, that can discipline, remove, or apply measures against prosecutors who are not following the law.
< wipes tears >
Georgia Republicans pitched the change as an oversight policy, which Kemp celebrated in May as a way to hold "rogue or incompetent prosecutors" accountable. The governor's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A statement from Kemp would "put to rest this divisive, polarizing, partisan and inflammatory attempt to disrupt our state and its people," according to Jackson, who notes how Kemp testified to the grand jury in the case and has rejected Trump's false claims that the presidential contest was stolen in previous public comments.
[...]

archive Kemp Declares Victory in Georgia, Resigns Secretary of State Office 2018, his successor Raffensperger is (R)

atlantanewsfirst | Who's up for Georgia's 2026 governor's race?, 9 Nov 2022 not-stacey-abrams

by Cat on Fri Aug 25th, 2023 at 11:36:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Politico.com Live results and analysis from the Nov. 2, 2021 races in Virginia, New Jersey, New York City and more
[typogrphic error in original]

The State of Georgia vs Donald J. Trump, et al
ie. 19 named co-conspirators and one or more crimes* distributed to each are:

prime factors

  1. Solitication of violation of oath by public officer
  2. False statements and writings
  3. Impersonating a public officer
  4. Forgery in the < wipes tears > first degree
  5. Filing false documents
  6. Influencing witnesses
  7. Perjury
  8. Criminal attempt to commit influencing witnesses
  9. Criminal attempt to commit filing false documents
  10. Violation of Georgia RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization)

prime multiples

  1. Conspiracy to commit filing false documents
  2. Conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree
  3. Conspiracy to to commit solicitation of false statements and writings
  4. Conspiracy to commit election fraud
  5. Conspiracy to commit computer theft
  6. Conspiracy to commit computer trespass
  7. Conspiracy to commit computer invasion of privacy
  8. Conspiracy to defraud the state
  9. Conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer

* Enumeration here does not correspond to enumeration of differential code subsections assigned to any one defendant in the indictment, totaling 41.
by Cat on Tue Aug 15th, 2023 at 12:42:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
politico | Prosecuting ousted president of Niger would be 'unjustified,' U.S. says, 14 Aug
The State Department said on Monday that it would be "unwarranted and unjustified" if Niger's military junta moved forward with its plan to prosecute ousted President Mohamed Bazoum on treason charges over his dealings with foreign leaders and organizations....
state.gov | Department Press Briefing - August 14, 2023
[...]
QUESTION: We're all very polite. Can I start with Niger?
PATEL: Sure.
QUESTION: The military rulers have said that they're going to try former President Bazoum. Do you have any reaction to that? And do you have any update on further contact from this building with President Bazoum?
PATEL: Sure, Shaun. So first let me just say we are incredibly dismayed by the reports that President Bazoum's unjust detention has gone an even step further, and now that the CNSP is threatening prosecution. This action is completely unwarranted and unjustified, and candidly, it will not contribute to a peaceful resolution of this crisis. It is a further affront, in our opinion, to democracy and justice and to the respect of the rule of law. And a threat like this underscores the urgency of respecting the constitutional order in Niger.

And in terms of—I believe you also asked about engagements. We've continued to remain deeply engaged in the region. I don't have any additional calls to read out at this time, but I'm sure we'll be able to share with you more on that throughout the day.
SHAUN: Sure. In diplomacy with the military leaders, of course, Victoria Nuland, Deputy Secretary Nuland was there recently. Has there been any further contact with the military rulers to convey this message directly?
PATEL: I'm not aware of any additional contact. But you all heard from Acting Deputy Secretary Nuland last week as she was getting ready to leave Niamey, and the message that the United States sent was quite clear. We expect to see President Bazoum and his family unharmed, we expect to see them released, and we expect to see an immediate respect for the constitutional order in Niger.
[...]

The constituion order in Niger 2010 (rev. 2017), EN trans. William S. Hein & Co., Inc
First Article
The State of Niger is an independent and sovereign Republic.

All threat [atteinte] to the Republican form of the State and to the democratic institutions is a crime of high treason punished as such by the law...

by Cat on Tue Aug 15th, 2023 at 02:39:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
kommersant | No peace, no war, 14 Aug territorial integrity and sovereignty guidlines
The rebellious military in Niger intend to judge the President Mohamed Baz*um, who was removed from power by them, for treason. At the same time, they are signaling their readiness to negotiate with their neighbors in the region, who demand that Mr. Baz*um be returned to his post. This contradictory situation confuses international mediators both in Africa and in the West. Some call for military intervention, others favor negotiations. Paris and Washington differed in their views on the situation in Niger. Moscow has taken a wait-and-see attitude, continuing to work actively with Niger's neighbors.
[...]
Art. 50-63 authorities granted and denied the president, Art. 66-67 authorities granted and denied the Forces Armée Nigériennes, Art. 79 in general, and Art. 142, 144-154 in particular
If Mr. Baz*um's guilt is proven, he could be sentenced to death in accordance with the Niger Penal Code. Meanwhile, the release of Mohamed Baz*um and his return to the presidency remains the main demand of most of the international community [of foreign constitutional law scholars]. First of all, Niger's neighbors in the region.
[...]
However, news about the impending trial of President Bazum followed almost immediately. In addition, a statement read on Niger TV by Amadou Abdraman said that high-ranking [w]est African politicians and "their international mentors" had made false accusations against the coup organizers and were trying to thwart a peaceful solution to the crisis in order to justify military intervention. It was emphasized that the decision to press charges against Mohamed Baz*um was made after he turned to external players for help. Who acts as the "international mentors" of ECOWAS was not mentioned, but earlier representatives of the rebels have repeatedly accused France of intending to support foreign intervention in [the constitutional order of] Niger.
[...]
l'omertà della cosa nostra
Against this background, France looks very jealously at the actions of other regional players in Africa. "With such allies, we don't need enemies," the French newspaper Le Figaro quoted a diplomatic source in Paris as saying. These words refer to American policy towards Niger. "They did exactly the opposite of what we thought," the source said.
"The goal of the Americans is simple: to keep their bases. If this means canceling the process of returning to constitutional order, they will not hesitate"
[...]
"The biggest concern for the US is the possibility that Wagner will add another African tag to its belt," CNN said. However, as Kommersant already wrote, some experts believe that the rivalry with Paris, which often works together with Beijing to implement business projects in Africa, is much more relevant for Washington than the threat from Wagner. True, this factor is not discounted in the United States, as well as Russia's interest in Africa in general.

For its part, Moscow is also closely following developments in Niger. "Russia supports the mediation efforts of ECOWAS aimed at finding ways out of the current crisis," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on Friday. They also express concerns about a possible attempt to resolve the situation in Niger "by military means", as this "could lead to a protracted confrontation in this African country, as well as to a sharp destabilization of the situation in the Sahara-Sahel region as a whole." It is possible that the situation around Niger may become the subject of consultations in Moscow, where, among other guests from abroad, the defense ministers of the Central African Republic [.CF] and Burkina Faso [.BF] arrived to participate in the Army-2023 forum [14-20 Aug].

...According to the Russian Defense Ministry, nearly 60 countries have confirmed their participation in this year's forum events. Bilateral meetings between the leadership of the Russian Armed Forces and foreign partners are planned. Foreign delegations will also take part in a robust scientific and business program....
by Cat on Tue Aug 15th, 2023 at 05:30:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A bit of nuance in choice of words ... emphasis is on return to constitutional order, NOT reinstating the former president.

Excellent coverage @Al Jazeera - as outsider in this particular conflict - interests of Sunni Arab states, not MB of Qatar and Türkiye ... their interests lie in Libya-Tunisia-Azerbaijan-Afghanistan-Tatjikistan-Uzbekistan and of all places Gaza (Hamas) and Sinai.

Central Asian leaders sigh with relief as Erdoğan wins presidential elections in Turkey

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 15th, 2023 at 06:06:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you've yet encountered any Nigerien constitutional or common law commentary on the allegations, please, share. AFAICT, G7 real estate lessees are disinterested in the merits of Bazoun's, ahem, pre-trial detention by Niger's law enforcement agents.

  1. The Nigerien Army claims authority to restore "constitutinal order" perverted by Bazoum.

  2. Foreign intervenors demand unconditional, extrajudicial restoration of Bazoum to office per Bazoum's request.
by Cat on Tue Aug 15th, 2023 at 07:25:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
eat my words ...



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 15th, 2023 at 08:25:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
msn DW AFP reuters | EU planning new Africa mission [off] Gulf of Guinea 27 Aug "geo" challenges
he EU is set to launch a new mission in West Africa in the fall, a German newspaper has reported. The combined military-civilian operation will aim to prevent instability triggered by jihadi groups.European Union member states have agreed to begin a mission in the Gulf of Guinea [off] west Africa, with police and soldiers deployed to Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Ivory Coast, German newspaper Die Welt am Sonntag reported on Sunday, citing diplomats. According to the paper, the mission will aim to train and advise local security forces, help prepare for anti-terror operations, give technical support and implement confidence-building measures in the security sector.
[...]
The EU also wants to counter Russian [!] influence in the region which has been spread through Wagner [!] mercenaries who have supported military regimes in the Sahel.

The mission is to be launched after formal approval is given by EU foreign ministers at a meeting in October in Luxembourg....The EU also wants to counter Russian influence in the region which has been spread through Wagner mercenaries who have supported military regimes in the Sahel.[...] The situation was further complicated for the EU after Mali kicked out French and German forces that had been training Malian soldiers and police.

Benin and Ghana had already officially invited the EU to deploy the mission on their territories, according to the paper.

CFA confidence-building. EUR search for unspoiled, low-hanging humanitarian aid across The Zone continues...


APsplainin Soldiers in Gabon say they've seized power and detained a president whose family ruled for 55 years, 30 Aug
Mutinous soldiers claimed to have seized power in Gabon on Wednesday and put the president under house arrest, hours after he was declared the winner in an election extending his family's 55-year rule in the oil-rich Central African nation [?!].The former French colony is a member of OPEC
OPEC (1960 FTA): IR, IQ, KW, NG, SA, VZ, LY, AE, DZ, AO, GQ, CG, GA; PLUS OM*, SD*, BN*, RU*, MX*, AZ*, KZ*, MY*, BH*, EC*, ID*, QA*
but its oil wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few
...Many of Gabon's financial problems resulted from protracted and large-scale corruption among government officials and business leaders. Although this group comprised just 2 percent of the population, they came to control some 80 percent of all personal income. In addition to receiving large salaries, they diverted funds from public works and services, as well as the income from at least one-fourth of the oil sales, and transferred vast sums of money to foreign accounts. To counteract this financial drain, the government borrowed money, and by the late 1990s debt service constituted some two-fifths of the national budget. The government turned regularly to France for funds and for help in canceling and rescheduling debts. By the late 1990s Gabon was under pressure from the International Monetary Fund [IMF] to privatize state corporations and to eliminate the diversion of state funds, which the country was able to show some progress with during the 2000s....
and nearly 40% of Gabonese aged 15 to 24 were out of work in 2020, according to the World Bank. Several members of the Bongo family, meanwhile, are under investigation in France [!], and some face preliminary charges of embezzlement, money laundering and other forms of corruption, according to French media reports.
CFA Zone (1945): 1973 CAEMC;1994 WAEMU) BF, BJ, CF, CG, CI, CM, GA, GQ, GW, ML, NE, SG, TD, TG
[...]
The coup attempt came about one month after mutinous soldiers in Niger seized power from the ["]democratically elected["] government, and is the latest in a series of coups across West and Central Africa CFA Zone in recent years. The impunity those putschists [sic] enjoyed may have inspired the soldiers in Gabon, said Maja Bovcon, senior analyst at Verisk Maplecroft, a risk assessment firm.
Axel Springer | Soldiers stage coup in Gabon, in sign of fresh instability in Africa, 30 Aug
[...]
On Wednesday, France's government spokesperson Olivier Véran condemned the coup "that is underway" in Gabon and called for "the results of the election to be respected, once they are known," with reference to the disputed election results. EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said the coup would increase "the instability in the whole of Africa" and said that "it was a big issue for Europe [!]."
[...]
Close ties with France
The news of a coup in Gabon would be another blow to France, which has maintained close political and diplomatic ties with the country. French President Emmanuel Macron visited it in March where he attended a summit on protecting tropical forests marine biodiversity.

CFA franc. store of value, national security, and supply chain stability since 1945.
While relations between Gabon and France cooled when Ali Bongo came to power in 2009, amid corruption investigations against the Bongo family in France, economic relations remain strong. France is Gabon's No. 1 exporter [sic], with a market share of 25.5 percent according to the French ministry of foreign affairs. The French mining company Eramet, which extracts manganese in the east of the country has announced it is stopping its activities.
by Cat on Wed Aug 30th, 2023 at 04:39:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CFA Zones: ECOWAS


WAEMU (XOF):  BJ, BF, CI, GW, ML, NE, SN, TG


CAEMC (XAF): CG, CF, CM, GA, GQ, TD

src: IMF

CFA Archipelago (currency code)

Comoros (.KM) president and 2023 African Union chair Azali Assoumani speaks to Wuambushu Operation "money from France" (05.08.23) and France 24 "envoyés spéciaux lors du sommet des Brics" et "aide pour libération du président du Niger"(29.08.23)


Comoros (KMF)

src: diplomatie.gouv.fr | Franc Zone

...In reality, the term "CFA franc" refers to three different currencies and is the source of some confusion—and sometimes even the subject of falsehoods...

by Cat on Thu Aug 31st, 2023 at 03:26:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fitch downgrades U.S. long-term ratings to AA+ from AAA | CNBC |

Fitch Ratings downgraded the U.S.'s long-term foreign currency issuer default rating to AA+ from AAA, pointing to "expected fiscal deterioration over the next three years," as well as a growing general debt burden.

Back in May, the agency placed the nation's AAA rating on negative watch, blaming the debt ceiling fight. At the time, lawmakers in Washington butted heads over an agreement that would keep the federal government from running out of money.



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 1st, 2023 at 09:48:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Marty McFly, PhD, sez: Bidenance is a Reaganomics game changer.

Given a spectrum of comparative growth (formerly-known-as "profit") and relative "uncertainty" or "certainty"  (formerly-known-as "risk") of recurring borrower default (formerly-known-as "frequency") in a specific period, the  probability of default assigned by credit calculators to sovereign borrowers of the advanced economy persuasion is tacitly understood to equal zero—the beginning, the alpha, sine qua non, "risk-free" basis—ceteris paribus to which all human commerce aspires, ibn told;

Given that expert and amateur credit calculators' nonetheless assume responsibility for adducing minute qualities of zero indirectly corresponding to increases of interest added by sovereign authorities to the price of risk-free coupons, accordingly, such inducements leave sales agents of the principal borrower at pains  to stress absolute value of any grade A credit.

25 Aug 2022: "Note: negative figures represent higher receipts or lower outlays". 9 May 2023: "The President has been clear since February. Since February, he has said over and over again: We cannot be a country that defaults. And most recently, he has said we cannot be a deadbeat nation, something that we have never done before—never done before." 1 Aug 2023: "We strongly disagree with this decision. The ratings model used by Fitch declined under President Trump and then improved under President Biden, and it defies reality to downgrade the United States at a moment when President Biden has delivered the strongest recovery of any major economy in the world."

Please, make a note of it.

by Cat on Wed Aug 2nd, 2023 at 03:36:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
treasury.gov | Statement by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen, 1 Aug transitory inflation reduction indearacators
"I strongly disagree with Fitch Ratings' decision. The change by Fitch Ratings announced today is arbitrary and based on outdated data. Fitch's quantitative ratings model declined markedly between 2018 and 2020 - and yet Fitch is announcing its change now, despite the progress that we see in many of the indicators that Fitch relies on for its decision. Many of these measures, including those related to governance, have shown improvement over the course of this Administration, with the passage of bipartisan legislation to address the debt limit, invest in infrastructure, and make other investments in America's competitiveness.

Fitch's decision does not change what Americans, investors, and people all around the world already know: that Treasury securities remain the world's preeminent safe and liquid asset, and that the American economy is fundamentally strong.

by Cat on Wed Aug 2nd, 2023 at 09:58:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu Aug 10th, 2023 at 04:10:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Remarks by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen on the Economy Ahead of Inflation Reduction Act < wipes tears > Anniversary in Las Vegas, Nevada, 14 Aug
... As we move away from fossil fuels, we remain concerned about the risks of over-concentration in clean energy supply chains. Today, the production of critical clean energy inputs—from batteries to solar panels to critical minerals—is concentrated in a handful of countries. It's important that we build resilient and diversified critical global supply chains that can reduce chokepoints, mitigate disruptions, and protect our economic security.

That starts by investing here at home. The IRA is helping re-shore some of the production that is critical to our clean energy economy. Looking beyond our shores, we are also working hard to accelerate the clean energy transition in other countries. Accelerating these transitions can mean greater demand for U.S. clean energy technologies produced by American workers. It can also bolster global clean energy supply chains....

U.S. Department of the Treasury, IRS Release < wipes tears > Final Rules and Guidance on Investing in America Program to Spur Clean Energy Investments in Underserved Communities (150 pp)
...This groundbreaking program through President Biden's Inflation Reduction Act provides up to a 20-percentage point boost to the Investment Tax Credit for qualified solar or wind facilities in low-income communities. The goals of the program are to increase clean energy facilities in low-income communities, encourage new market participants, and benefit individuals and communities that have experienced adverse health or environmental effects or lacked economic opportunities. This program will advance President Biden's Investing in America Agenda—a key pillar of Bidenomics—by lowering energy costs and providing breathing room for hard-working families, investing in good-paying clean energy jobs in low-income communities, and supporting small business growth....
OFAC's "Introduction to OFAC" Web Series, 28 July
Financial sanctions continue to be a vital tool to support the United States' foreign policy goals and national security, and the private sector is a critical partner in the success of our mission. The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) implements and enforces sanctions, but the private sector acts as the first line of defense. To meet the latest national security challenges, our sanctions have evolved and, in many cases, become more complex. We know this creates complexities in compliance, too. To help provide further clarity on U.S. sanctions requirements, OFAC is launching a series of short videos that provide background on our sanctions programs along with practical suggestions on how to comply effectively.....
by Cat on Tue Aug 15th, 2023 at 02:11:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thehill | SNAP changes coming Sept. 1, Inflation Reduction Acts
SNAP, which stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, used to be called the Food Stamp Program. Over the next year, small changes to eligibility will take effect as a result of the debt ceiling bill, the Fiscal Responsibility Act, signed by President Joe Biden in June.

The changes only affect one group of SNAP recipients: able-bodied adults without dependents (or ABAWDs, as the agency calls them), ages 50 to 54. ABAWDs between the ages of 18 and 49 already need to prove they are working at least 80 hours a month, pursuing an education, or in a training program to qualify for SNAP for more than three months [in a three year period].
[...]
"State agencies' annual allotment of individual ABAWD discretionary exemptions will be reduced from 12 percent to 8 percent of the caseload subject to the ABAWD time limit as of October 1, 2023," a USDA spokesperson said.

MEANWHILE...
voiceofeurope | In Ireland, Ukrainians were urged not to travel to the country
The Irish government stated that refugees from Ukraine residing in hotels and other service-providing places would have to pay 10 euros per adult and 5 euros per child for meals every day. However, this decision has angered the residents of the Breaffy Woods hotel near Castlebar, where 333 Ukrainian refugees and 132 individuals awaiting international protection from other countries are residing. In a letter sent to the hotel management, Ukrainian residents of the hotel stated that the food does not meet the standards set by the World Health Organization and is "not equivalent to the proposed price." The letter also expressed Ukrainian's "concern and collective disagreement" and stated that displaced individuals from other countries should not have to pay for meals.

According to the cost-saving scheme introduced, refugees who do not want to pay will be considered as refusing the provided accommodation, and they will be asked to leave the country.

by Cat on Sun Aug 27th, 2023 at 03:27:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
rollcall | Biden asks Congress for $33 billion in Ukraine aid, 28 Apr
assistance for Ukraine
+ $6B Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative
+ $2.6B US troop "deployment to the region"
+ $4B UA "foreign military financing"
+ $14.1B State.gov, USAID economic support to PL, LT, UA, "and the Baltic countries"
+ $1.2B HHS "Uniting for Ukraine" resettlement fund
misc.
+ $16.4B DOD weapons purchases
+ $5.4B DOD weapons inventory
+ $1.9B US cybersecurity and intelligence "weapons systems upgrades and unspecified classified programs"
+ $0.5B US "food production"
+ $1.6B ROW humanitarian aid and food assistance

reauters | Biden seeks $24 billion for Ukraine, testing bipartisan support in Congress, 10 Aug
• "and other international needs"
+ $4B US "border security"
+ $12B US "disaster relief"
+ x

wapoo | Biden asks for $20.6 billion for Ukraine as counteroffensive sputters, 10 Aug

...In a letter to lawmakers, the White House Office of Management and Budget asked for $13 billion in new military aid and $8.5 billion in additional economic, humanitarian and security assistance for Ukraine and other countries affected by the war. The funding request also includes other forms of assistance for Ukraine....
AP | Biden asks Congress for $40 billion to support Ukraine, replenish US disaster aid, and bolster border, 11 Aug
$24B for Ukraine
+ $13B in emergency defense aid to Ukraine
+ $8B for Ukraine humanitarian support
misc.
+ $13.1B DOD ($9.5B "equipment for Ukraine", US weapon inventory, $3.6B "intelligence and other defense support"
+ 8.5B State.gov, USAID ($7.3B UA and "affected countries", $1B "developing countries," $0.2B "to strengthen African countries' resistance to Russia's Wagner Group")
+ $12B for U.S. federal disaster funds
+ $2.65B DHS ($2.2B "border management," $0.416B "counter-fentanyl activities"
+ 3.3B WB Group trance for "developing countries"
by Cat on Mon Aug 14th, 2023 at 11:30:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
a ripple in the G7 antitrust farce

justice.gov | Major Generic Drug Companies to Pay Over Quarter of a Billion Dollars to Resolve Price-Fixing Charges and Divest Key Drug at the Center of Their Conspiracy to RESTRAIN TRADE, 21 Aug "US-origin" RICO

[...]
The agreements each require the companies to undertake remedial measures, including the timely divestiture of their respective drug lines for pravastatin, a widely used cholesterol medicine that was a core part of the companies' price-fixing conspiracy [!]. This extraordinary remedy forces the companies to divest a business line that was central to the misconduct. Teva must also donate $50 million worth of clotrimazole and tobramycin, two additional drugs with prices affected by Teva's criminal schemes, to humanitarian organizations that provide medication to Americans in need. Both Teva and Glenmark have agreed, among other things, to cooperate with the department in the ongoing criminal investigations and resulting prosecutions, report to the department on their compliance programs, and modify those compliance programs where necessary and appropriate.

"Today, the Antitrust Division and our law enforcement partners hold two more pharmaceutical companies accountable for raising prices of essential medicines and depriving Americans of affordable access to prescription drugs. The resolutions include extraordinary remedial measures that require the breakup of assets and restore competition to the industry," said Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division. "Companies in heavily regulated industries are on notice that the division will not hesitate to hold them accountable and will not tolerate recidivism."
[...]

thehill | DOJ settles price-fixing charges against generic drug ["]giants["]: Teva [IL], Glenmark [IN] US subsidiaries
...The two companies entered into a deferred prosecution agreement, in which they admitted to participating in antitrust conspiracies and paid penalties in exchange for not being charged....
How does that help the banks? 16 years later ...
justice.gov | UBS Agrees to Pay $1.435 Billion for Fraud in the Sale of Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities, 14 Aug
by Cat on Wed Aug 23rd, 2023 at 01:46:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Outrage after DeSantis says he'd 'start slitting throats' if elected president | The Guardian |

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Aug 4th, 2023 at 04:40:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Aug 13th, 2023 at 08:55:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
to country, constitution, elected office, possibly volunteers

thehill | Kremlin issues executive order that could require Wagner mercenaries to take loyalty oath to Russia, 26 Aug

The Kremlin issued an executive order that could require members of the Wagner Group to take an oath to Russia Friday.
[...]
The "special military operation" referred to in the post appears to reference the terminology Russian President Vladimir Putin initially used to refer to the Russia-Ukraine war.
thekremlin | Executive Order on administering the oath to certain categories of individuals, 25 Aug
The Executive Order has been signed with the view to shaping spiritual and moral foundations for defending the Russian Federation, its independence and Constitution.

Under the executive order, the oath to the State Flag of the Russian Federation shall be administered to people joining volunteer units and other persons contributing to fulfilling the objectives of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, as well as other troops, military units and bodies as per the Federal Law On Defence, and taking part in the special military operation; those employed by state enterprises established as per the law setting forth a special legal framework regulating the circulation of arms and security; and persons involved in territorial defence.

The executive order contains the text of the oath.
###

reference
RAND | The Evolution of the All-Volunteer Force
army.mil | OATH OF ENLISTMENT, OATH OF COMMISSIONED OFFICERS
by Cat on Sun Aug 27th, 2023 at 03:14:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
forbes | A Draft Of TikTok's Plan To Avoid A Ban Gives The U.S. Government Unprecedented Oversight Power, 21 Aug
[...]
Ama Adams, a managing partner and CFIUS [Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States] expert at Ropes & Gray, said that some of the government powers in the draft agreement were somewhat typical—including the right to inspect a company's facilities and materials, and the use of a third-party monitor. But "setting up a structure that has allegiance to the United States—I've never seen language, per se, to that extent."
[...]
forbes | As TikTok Ban Looms, ByteDance Battles Oracle For Control Of Its ["]Algorithms["], 24 Aug

archive The Bat Man Cyber Space, A Trip to the Woodshed

by Cat on Sun Aug 27th, 2023 at 01:55:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Aug 23rd, 2023 at 07:08:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Aug 23rd, 2023 at 07:09:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Aug 23rd, 2023 at 08:07:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A key witness in the Trump classified docs case changed his testimony after switching lawyers, special counsel says

A key witness against former President Donald Trump and his two co-defendants in the Mar-a-Lago documents case recanted previous false testimony and provided new information implicating the defendants after he switched lawyers, special counsel Jack Smith's office said in a new court filing.

Yuscil Taveras, the director of information technology at Mar-a-Lago, Trump's club in Palm Beach, Florida, changed his testimony last month about efforts to delete security camera video at the club after he changed from a lawyer paid for by Trump's Save America PAC to a public defender, Tuesday's filing says.

The revised testimony led to last month's superseding indictment against Trump and his two co-defendants.

Taveras decided to change lawyers after he learned he was being investigated on suspicion of having made false statements in his previous grand jury testimony in Washington, D.C., the court filing says.

 

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Aug 23rd, 2023 at 08:07:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
< wipes tears >
by Cat on Wed Aug 23rd, 2023 at 11:24:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 1st, 2023 at 10:30:10 AM EST
Copernicus | July 2023 sees multiple global temperature records broken, illustrated
The month started with the daily global mean [?!] surface air temperature record being broken on four days in a row, from 3-6 July. All days since then have been hotter than the previous record of 16.80°C [62.24° F], set on 13 August 2016. The hottest day was 6 July, when the global average temperature reached 17.08°C [62.74° F], and the values recorded on 5 and 7 July were within 0.01°C of this.

This means that the first three weeks of the month was the warmest three-week period on record. During the first and third weeks, temperatures also temporarily exceeded the 1.5°C threshold above preindustrial level—a limit set in the Paris Agreement.

ERA5 data also show that the global mean surface air temperature for the first 23 days of July was 16.95°C [62.51 °F]. This is well above the 16.63°C [61.93 °F]recorded for the full month of July 2019, which is the current hottest July and hottest month in the ERA5 record. It is almost certain that, in due course, data will show July 2023 to break both these records.
[...]

wmo.int | Europe's advanced new weather satellite will support Early Warnings for All, 4 May
"the new generation of European weather satellites, Meteosat Third Generation - Imager 1 (MTG-I1). MTG-I1 was launched on 13 December 2022."
aljazeera | Europe's Euclid space satellite launched to explore 'dark matter', 1 July
"unseen forces"
by Cat on Sat Aug 5th, 2023 at 03:14:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]

German city sends in snowplows after summer hailstorm | DW News |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Aug 5th, 2023 at 06:55:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Aug 5th, 2023 at 06:56:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Aug 9th, 2023 at 09:09:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Crews continue to battle the Maui and Big Island fires, 36 dead | NBC News |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Aug 10th, 2023 at 05:11:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"cadaver dog" finding equals 99. Casualty count and "humanitarian aid" features supressed. $6B eplacement cost (excluding tort claims) tentatively estimated. Survivors have "lawyered up", citing an obscure federal emergency readiness report and local utility maintenance negligence.
by Cat on Tue Aug 15th, 2023 at 01:25:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lawsuit alleges power lines downed by high winds led to Maui wildfire spread, 15 Aug

2014 Wildfire Management Organization mitigation plan deficiencies invoked therein.

"As has always been our policy, we don't comment on pending litigation. Our immediate focus is on supporting emergency response efforts on Maui and restoring power for our customers and communities as quickly as possible," a Hawaiian Electric spokesperson told The Hill in a statement. "At this early stage, the cause of the fire has not been determined and we will work with the state and county as they conduct their review."
KACHING!
by Cat on Tue Aug 15th, 2023 at 07:46:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DW | Storm 'Hans' batters Scandinavia, 8 Aug
A major storm swept through Scandinavia on Tuesday, bringing in strong winds and heavy rain that have triggered landslides and damaged infrastructure.

Norway's emergency services evacuated residents from various communities, which were threatened by the landslides. The storm, which has been called "Hans," hit Sweden late on Sunday and reached Norway on Monday, with parts of Denmark and Finland also affected.
[...]

NDK | The power plant at Glomma
- We will have to look at that when the situation has returned to normal. We actually don't know why this happened, says Abrante.

Crews from Hafslund Eco will monitor the situation closely together with the police. They must see how it develops in order to assess what measures they take. The police in Innlandet ask spectators to be careful at 6 p.m. They write on X (formerly Twitter) that several people are sitting dangerously close to the river.

by Cat on Thu Aug 10th, 2023 at 12:02:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If man could only harness the energy benefits of Climate Change ...

Germany adds 60% more onshore wind power in H1 but pace seen too slow | Reuters - July 16, 2023 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Aug 10th, 2023 at 07:36:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Aug 10th, 2023 at 07:37:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
mehrnews | Iran to produce fresh water by peaceful nuclear technology, 29 July
"Today, there are various methods in the world to produce fresh water. One of the most important ways to produce fresh water in the world is by using nuclear power plants," [AEOI Deputy Director Seyyed Pejman Shirmardi] said.

Large nuclear power plants have a high capacity to produce fresh water, he said, adding that Bushehr nuclear power plant has a unit that can produce fresh water up to 70,000 cubic meters per day. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran [AEOI] is planning to supply a part of the country's water consumption, at least in the areas that have nuclear power plants, he noted.

world-nuclear | Nuclear desalination (2020)
by Cat on Sun Aug 6th, 2023 at 01:01:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
dailysabah | 'Fuel of future': Oil-rich Gulf nations bet on 'green' hydrogen, 17 Aug
[...]
Wielding its massive investment capital, oil-rich Saudi Arabia is constructing the world's largest green hydrogen plant at NEOM, the $500 billion futuristic megacity being built on the Red Sea. The $8.4 billion plant will integrate solar and wind energy to produce up to 600 tons of green hydrogen a day by the end of 2026, officials say.

In July the UAE, which will host the United Nations' COP28 climate conference this year, approved a hydrogen strategy that aims to make it one of the top 10 producers by 2031.

"Hydrogen will be a critical fuel for the energy transition," said Hanan Balalaa, a senior official at the UAE's oil firm ADNOC, calling it a "natural extension" for the company.

"We believe hydrogen and its carrier fuels have great potential as new, low carbon fuels, that the UAE is well placed to capitalize" on, Balalaa told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

But it is Oman, which lags Saudi Arabia and the UAE in fossil fuel production, that looks poised to lead the Gulf's clean hydrogen race. The sultanate is on track to become the sixth-largest exporter globally and the biggest in the Middle East by the end of the decade, the International Energy Agency said in a June report. Oman aims to produce at least one million tonnes of green hydrogen a year by 2030, and up to 8.5 million tonnes by 2050, "which would be greater than total hydrogen demand in Europe today," the IEA [!] said.
[...]
Abdullah al-Nuaimi, the UAE's former climate change minister, cautioned, however, that "the existing infrastructure for transporting hydrogen is not adequate and would require massive investment to modify."

"The time required to overcome and solve the challenges facing hydrogen is too long," he told AFP.

oh
by Cat on Thu Aug 17th, 2023 at 04:33:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
euronews | EU to reach winter gas storage target months ahead of new deadline, 17 Aug
"The good news is indeed that as of today the storage is at 89.89%, which is indeed excellent news," an EU Commission spokesperson told reporters on Thursday.

Not all EU countries with storage facilities have so far hit the 90% capacity requirement but the Commission spokesperson struck an upbeat note, adding that "member states see and understand that it is extremely important to stick to the obligation to refill our gas storage facilities."
[...]
Gas storage levels at the beginning of April -- or the end of the heating season -- were 56% full, well above the five-year average of 34%. Still, to prevent a repeat of 2022 when EU member states competed with each other to import gas from non-Russian suppliers, the EU Commission set up a joint gas purchasing platform. The aim was to leverage the bloc's market power and lower prices for EU buyers. The EU executive has touted its platform as a 'remarkable success' but kept mum on prices, stating it does not take part in negotiations between buyers and sellers.

The European Union has a storage capacity of 100 billion cubic metres (bcm) with an additional 30 bcm in Ukraine.

by Cat on Thu Aug 17th, 2023 at 04:39:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
helsigin sanomat | The repair of Olkiluoto 2 is delayed, 23 Aug flesh wound
THE CONTINUATION OF THE ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION OF THE SECOND UNIT OF THE OLKILUOTO nuclear power plant will be delayed until September, informs the nuclear power company Teollisuuden vima. The company says production will resume on September 4. Earlier, the company estimated that production will continue on August 28.

THE UNIT'S electricity production was unexpectedly interrupted on the night between Thursday and Friday at three o'clock. At that time, the company said that it had noticed a rise in humidity at the turbine plant's generator.
[...]
THE STOCK MARKET PRICE OF ELECTRICITY started to rise shortly after Olkiluoto announced the reactor failure. Pekka Salomaa, the head of the energy industry's electricity market , said at the time that the power plant's disruption came at a bad time, because the electricity market is facing other challenges at the same time.

"The maintenance of Loviisa's second reactor is scheduled to start on Sunday. Transmission connections between Finland and Sweden are also maintained," Salomaa told HS.

archive the electricity cannot fit into the market", it's the headline that's wrong , Europe's largest nuclear plant starts operating, "We're not using these profits to celebrate"
by Cat on Fri Aug 25th, 2023 at 09:09:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
euobserver. German energy giant RWE has begun dismantling a wind farm -- to make way the expansion of its Garzweiler open-pit mine (Photo: Alle Dörfer bleiben)
rwe | Wind farm Jüchen A 44n: turbines to be dismantled; new wind farm to be connected to the grid in 2023 (08.25.22)
As the responsible company, Nordex has drawn up a dismantling concept for the Jüchen A 44n wind farm with support of RWE, the city of Jüchen, and the utility company NEW. The concept comprises the complete dismantling of the existing wind turbines and safe demolition of the concrete towers. A new wind farm is then to be built on the same site and connected to the grid in 2023. The dismantling is required due to structural defects identified in the towers. For safety reasons, the entire wind farm has therefore been out of operation for months. As a result, manufacturer Nordex was unable to hand over the project to the three partners RWE, the city of Jüchen and the energy supplier NEW.
[...]
beyondfossilfuels.org | RWE tears down operational wind turbines in grab for more coal, 28 Aug opposition
As devastating wildfires continue to ravage Europe as a consequence of the climate emergency, German energy giant RWE has begun dismantling operational wind turbines near its sprawling Garzweiler open pit coal mine in North Rhine Westphalia with the intention of excavating a further 15 to 20 million tonnes of coal.

The demolitions are part of a deal brokered with Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck and Economics Minister for North Rhine Westphalia, Mona Neubaur, that is supposed to see RWE wind down its coal operations by 2030. RWE is Europe's second largest CO2 emitter from coal power stations, and has razed over 100 villages in the Rhineland region to make way for its coal operations. Germany's government is still aiming to exit coal by 2030.
###

by Cat on Wed Aug 30th, 2023 at 09:37:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cargill Tests 123-Foot-Tall Sails in Effort to Slash Fuel Burn (20.08.23)
"It's going to make the new fuels a lot more affordable," said Jan Dieleman, president of Cargill's ocean transportation business. "Wind is there for free." If more operators and shipowners find ways to tap renewable sources like wind to propel their mammoth fleets, the notoriously dirty shipping sector could be on course to clean up its act.
[chart: World fleet's fuel use by gross tonnage]
yaramarine | Mitsubishi Corporation's Pyxis Ocean named as first vessel to be retrofitted with BAR Tech WindWings by Yara Marine, 21 June
by Cat on Tue Aug 22nd, 2023 at 11:11:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
climatechangpost | Turkiye anectdotal drought profile
...Turkey is exposed to drought hazards rather frequently. Spatial and temporal analyses of drought hazards in Turkey have not yet been completed but, for instance, intensive drought periods in 1804, 1876 and 1928 caused the loss of crops and animals and the migration of farmers to other areas. In particular, drought in 1876 caused the loss of more than 200,000 people because of famine and disease epidemics.

Moreover, in 1915, the 1930s and between 1970 and 1974, Turkey experienced serious drought hazards (3).  Recent widespread droughts in Turkey occurred in 1973, 1977, 1990, and 1991 (8). Also, 1988 and 1989 were the hardest drought years for the south-eastern Anatolia Region....


European Droughat Observatory: No data? No drought!

hurriyet |  Plenty of rainfall turns drought map 'green', 27 May... The drought map of Türkiye, which was predominantly "black and brown" tones in all regions except the capital Ankara, southern provinces of Kilis, Hatay and the Central Anatolian province of Karaman, turned into "green and blue" tones, showing a significant change from dry toward humid conditions.



hurriyet | Heat wave leaves Istanbul dams at lowest in 9 years, 8 Aug
... Among the dams supplying water to Istanbul, Alibey Dam has reached a critical low, with a water occupancy rate of just 17.34 percent.

Similarly, Pabuçdere Dam's rate stands at 4.26, Kazandere Dam at 7.66 percent, percent, Büyükçekmece Dam at 16.37 percent, Sazlıdere Dam at 19.62 percent, and Terkos Dam at 22.26 percent.

Know It All noaa.gov | Global Drought Narrative, June 2023
by Cat on Tue Aug 8th, 2023 at 09:01:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
telesur | Over 7,000 Hectares Burned by Fire in Southern Portugal, 8 Aug
This European country is experiencing the worst wave of fires this summer. Although some wildfires have been controlled in recent days, the flames have been active in Odemira since Saturday.

"This is the wildfire that arouses the greatest concern," Civil Protection Commander Andre Fernandes said, explaining that the fire affected pine, eucalyptus, cork oak, strawberry tree and scrub forests. The terrain is also complicating the work of extinction of the fire that has two active fronts. Currently, local authorities are working to prevent the Odemira wildfire from spreading to the Serra de Monchique.

"The next 24 hours are fundamental," Fernandes pointed out and recalled that weather forecasts do not augur favorable conditions for fighting the fire as humidity is less than 50 percent and temperatures are above 30 degrees Celsius.

So far, some 1,000 firefighters are deployed in Odemira and have the support of over 300 ground vehicles and 11 aerial means.

According to the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF), 50 percent of the 25,279 hectares of forests burned so far this year were lost in August.
[...]

Portugal takes new forestry control measures 2019

Meanwhile in Canada ...
Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre dashboard UPDATE
Canadian Drought Monitor UPDATE
archive April 30, 2023 "grey zones"

by Cat on Tue Aug 8th, 2023 at 11:08:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SPEI Global Drought Monitor est'd. 1955

Singh and Mishra, A Look at 20th Century Droughts, Perdue University, 2011 Synoisium on Data-driven Approaches to Droughts
Science Advances | Old World megadroughts and pluvials during the Common Era," 2015

...[Fig.2 OWDA maps of known years of hydroclimatic extremes. 1315-1921]
The OWDA greatly expands our understanding of the spatiotemporal history of droughts and pluvials in the Old World. It confirms the occurrence of an MCA megadrought in north-central Europe, first noted in southern Finland (29), which is similar in timing, duration, and relative intensity to that found in the NADA for the western United States (26).....
Semenova and Ovcharuk, "Droughts of the last centenary period Droughts of the last centenary period in Ukraine," 1900-2009



Semenova and Ovcharuk, Droughts of the last centenary period in Ukraine,
PAGES Open Science Meeting (OSM), May 2017; published 2019

Ukraine seeks solutions, 17 Sep 2021

Ukraine's Minister of Agriculture Roman Leshchenko said this summer the country's Weather Institute reported record breaking temperatures--the hottest night in 140 years in one instance.[...]"Climate change is having a big impact on them, particularly southern Ukraine but pretty much all of Ukraine," Dr. Deason said. "They don't have enough water and so how to adapt to climate change with sustainable water management, that's where we come in. "We'll look at sources of water that aren't being used, or aren't being used appropriately, like ground water resources, optimization of surface water resources, with multiple reservoir management and things of that nature," he said. Under a proposed partnership, GW would help find external research grants, conduct educational exchange programs and provide technical assistance."
Statement by President Joe Biden on Remembering the Holodomor, 23 Nov 2022
...This November marks the anniversary of the Holodomor—"death by hunger." During his regime, Joseph Stalin imposed harsh and repressive policies on Ukraine, including creating a deliberate famine in 1932-33
Ukrinform: Today [26.11.2022], Ukraine called on the world to recognize the Holodomor of 1932-1933 organized by Stalin's totalitarian communist regime as genocide of the Ukrainian people.
that caused millions of innocent Ukrainian women, men, and children to perish. We commemorate all the lives lost in this senseless tragedy, and we pay tribute to the resilience of the Ukrainian people who endured devastation and tyranny to ultimately create a free and democratic society....
archive Wed Jan 18th 2023
by Cat on Wed Aug 9th, 2023 at 01:03:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]

US Drought Monidtor, 8 Aug 2023

tabloid USAToday | 'Devastating' Maui wildfires rage in Hawaii, forcing some to flee into ocean

... The National Weather Service said Hurricane Dora, which was passing 500 miles south of the island chain, and a very strong high pressure north of the state produced strong, damaging winds through the overnight hours.

"These strong winds coupled with low humidity hurricane levels are producing dangerous fire weather conditions that will last through Wednesday afternoon," the weather service said Wednesday....

by Cat on Wed Aug 9th, 2023 at 03:08:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Not the Dnieper, not the Oder, Po, Bug, or Danube CAPTION CONTEST
by Cat on Sun Aug 13th, 2023 at 10:54:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Easy .. cathedral was a give-away 😊

Took 10sec.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Aug 13th, 2023 at 11:00:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sat Aug 19th, 2023 at 11:21:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bringing Them Back to Life | National Geographic - April 2013 |

The revival of an extinct species is no longer a fantasy. But is it a good idea?

The dodo and the great auk, the thylacine and the Chinese river dolphin, the passenger pigeon and the imperial woodpecker--the bucardo is only one in the long list of animals humans have driven extinct, sometimes deliberately. And with many more species now endangered, the bucardo will have much more company in the years to come. Fernández-Arias belongs to a small but passionate group of researchers who believe that cloning can help reverse that trend.

The notion of bringing vanished species back to life--some call it de-extinction--has hovered at the boundary between reality and science fiction for more than two decades, ever since novelist Michael Crichton unleashed the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park on the world. For most of that time the science of de-extinction has lagged far behind the fantasy. Celia's clone is the closest that anyone has gotten to true de-extinction. Since witnessing those fleeting minutes of the clone's life, Fernández-Arias, now the head of the government of Aragon's Hunting, Fishing and Wetlands department, has been waiting for the moment when science would finally catch up, and humans might gain the ability to bring back an animal they had driven extinct.

"We are at that moment," he told me.



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Aug 10th, 2023 at 05:41:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so little time to count
by Cat on Mon Aug 14th, 2023 at 12:38:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Wed Aug 23rd, 2023 at 09:11:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 1st, 2023 at 10:30:37 AM EST
telesur | Normal Life Far From Reach After Earthquakes in Türkiye, 3 Aug
"Many people in Türkiye—particularly those who lost their homes and income—are still struggling with their day-to-day needs, including paying for food, rent and other necessities, a 'normal' life is still far from reach," the official said.

According to the IFRC, more than 50 percent of families supported by the IFRC and Turkish Red Crescent are taking on new debts after the earthquakes as the country battles inflation and a drastic increase in prices.

In Syria, the reality for many people is even more dire as the economic situation continues to push already vulnerable communities deeper into hardship and uncertainty, IFRC said, adding that the earthquake's impact, coupled with 12 years of conflict, has rendered recovery exceedingly challenging.
[...]

by Cat on Sat Aug 5th, 2023 at 03:33:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sat Aug 5th, 2023 at 04:08:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
mysterious genius: Salvatore Cezar Pais
abandoned US patent application
derivative US patent application
Credential Tracker

basic science demonstration
hankyoreh | Scientists across world race to verify possible superconductor breakthrough by Korean researchers

On July 22, a team of Korean scientists posted two research papers about a superconductor displaying superconductivity at room temperature on Arxiv (pronounced "archive")*, an online archive for papers in the pre-publication stage. Scholars can share research papers that have not yet gone through the peer-review process and thus have yet to be verified by academia on this website.
Authors listed primarily included members of the Quantum Energy Research Centre's research team, such as Lee Suk-bae, the institute's president, as well as Hanyang University professor emeritus Auh Keun-ho and Kim Hyun-tak, who previously worked for the government-funded Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute.
[...]
Superconductor Breakthrough Findings Replicated, Twice, in Preliminary Testing (VIDEO)

* Musk infringement story developing...

by Cat on Sun Aug 6th, 2023 at 12:17:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Big Tech
Here at BuzzFeed, we are constantly freaking out about what Europeans hate and love about Americans. That's why I asked AI a computer program, state by state, what Europeans REALLY think Americans from all 50 states look like.
by Cat on Sun Aug 6th, 2023 at 05:18:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EG.5, alias "Eris", the latest corona virus variant that might cause COVID-19

CDC | Monitoring Variant Proportions anchor link w/e 5 Aug

ECDC | Country overview report: week 30 2023

[...]
• Among the seven countries reporting at least 10 results from SARS-CoV-2 sequencing or genotyping for weeks 28-29 (10 July to 23 July 2023), the estimated distribution of variants of concern (VOC) or of interest (VOI) was 93.8% (71.6-100.0% from six countries) for XBB.1.5, 12.0% (4.3-19.8% from two countries) for XBB, and 5.8% (2.2-100.0% from five countries) for BA.2.75.

• There are no updates for the cumulative vaccine uptake in the EU/EEA compared to the previous week. Among people aged 60 years and above, the cumulative uptake of a first booster was 84.9% (country range: 13.3-100.0%) and of a second booster was 35.6% (country range: 0.4-87.0%).

by Cat on Tue Aug 8th, 2023 at 09:32:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hankyoreh | Skepticism mounts over Korean team's claim of room-temperature superconductor, 7 Aug
"In an online article published on Friday, the international academic journal Nature..."
by Cat on Tue Aug 15th, 2023 at 03:28:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gkasdaris and Birbilis, "First Human Head Transplantation: Surgically Challenging, Ethically Controversial and Historically Tempting - an Experimental Endeavor or a Scientific Landmark?, Maedica, March 2019
According to many, head transplantation is considered to be an extraordinary and impossible surgical procedure. However, nowadays, relevant literature and recent advances suggest that the first human head transplantation might be feasible. This innovative surgery promises a life-saving procedure to individuals who suffer from a terminal disease, but whose head and brain are healthy. Recently, the first cephalosomatic anastomosis in a human model was successfully performed, confirming the surgical feasibility of the procedure, but still not the real outcome. Skepticism and several considerations, including surgical, ethical and psychosocial issues, have emerged in the scientific community since this imaginary procedure seems to be more feasible than ever before.
[...]
Murphy, T., "Should Uterus Transplantation for Transwomen and Transmen Be Subsidized?," AMA Journal of Ethics, June 2023
[...]
Transwomen who want to gestate children. Even though there has been no uterus transplant to date in transwomen that we know of, some clinicians have maintained that there are no absolute barriers in anatomy, hormones, and obstetric considerations that would rule out the possibility of successful UTx in transwomen.11 Transwomen wanting to gestate children can plausibly justify subsidy of UTx on a number of grounds, as mentioned above. Transwomen lack a trait (the ability to bear children) that may cause them to experience psychological dissonance in a way that undermines their health and well-being. The lack of a uterus also closes off the prospect of gestating a child in a way that is available to women as a class. It follows that lack of a uterus is an obstacle to full participation in the social goods attached to women's identity.

Such women might also note that because some insurance coverage is available in the United States for IVF, it is inconsistent that only some kinds of infertility treatment are subsidized. Moreover, just because no pregnancy has been achieved by UTx in a transwoman, some commentators have argued that the government has some responsibility to support research on methods to achieve that goal on the grounds that government has a responsibility to help secure equity in the social goods important to human well-being.8, 12 However, the counterargument might be raised that other options for having children are available, such as through adoption, thereby limiting government responsibility for that kind of research. Nevertheless, transwomen might point to values of gestation that cannot be offset by adoption and to obstacles that sexual and gender minorities sometimes face in adoption.13
[...]

[emphasis in original]
archive gestational carrier

reference
news.un | A major win for transgender rights: UN health agency drops 'gender identity disorder', as official diagnosis, 30 May 2019
who.int | Gender incongruence and transgender health in the ICD, 2019 ICD-11 manual
APA Resolution on Gender Identity Change Efforts, Feb 2021  (pdf)

by Cat on Sat Aug 26th, 2023 at 02:41:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]

wuttacoincidence! On February 13, 1960, France carried out its first nuclear test, codenamed Gerboise Bleue, over the Sahara desert in Algeria which it was occupying at the time.

archived uranium 3, uranium 2, uranium 1 in Niger: Decolonization, Resources and Military Intervention, bloomberg's Kazatomprom, August 2022 cockroach alert, 'missed opportunity'

chasing yield
nationalbank.kz | National Bank on the increase in non-residents' demand for Kazakhstan's government securities and the developments in the foreign exchange market, 9 Aug

- How did the Kazakhstan foreign exchange market operate under these conditions?
- Tenge exchange rate strengthened in July to 445.89 [:USD 1.00!] or by 1.4%. Overall, the month was positive for the national currency, with strengthening attributed in part to the rise in oil prices and the inflow of funds from non-residents into government securities. As of the end of July, investments of non-residents in government securities of Kazakhstan amounted to 559 billion tenge, having increased by 178 billion tenge since the beginning of the year. Moreover, in July alone, new inflow into the sovereign debt of Kazakhstan amounted to approximately 100 billion tenge.

The volume of sales from the National Fund as part of transfer to the republican budget amounted to 591 million US dollars. In August, according to the Ministry of Finance forecasts, sales volume is expected to range from 750 to 800 million US dollars.

The UAPF purchased $240 million US dollars in currency in July, and similar purchases are anticipated this month within the same range of 200 to 250 million US dollars.

It is also worth adding that the Kazakhstan Deposit Insurance Fund plans to gradually increase the foreign currency share of its assets to 15%.
[...]
- What are the developments regarding assets of the National Fund?
- The volume of foreign exchange assets of the National Fund, according to preliminary data, at the end of July amounted to 60.2 billion US dollars, having increased over the past month by 413 million US dollars.

Financial market participants no longer forecast a recession in the current year due to stability of the economy. Economists at leading investment banks expect a pause in the Fed's rate hike at its September meeting amid falling inflation. In July, investors were predominantly optimistic, which was reflected in the growth of the stock, bond, and gold markets. As a result, investment income of the National Fund in July amounted to about 900 million US dollars.

Last month, 284 billion tenge was transferred from the National Fund to the republican budget in the form of transfers.  For these purposes, foreign currency was uniformly sold on the domestic foreign exchange market for 591 million US dollars. Meanwhile, currency inflows into the accounts of the National Fund in July amounted to $102 million.
[...]

bloomberg | Kazakh $60 Billion Oil Fund to Seek Longer Treasuries, More Risk, 25 Aug pay-to-view
• Kazakh oil fund reshapes portfolio in search of higher returns
• Central banker says 'we must hurry' with Fed rate hikes ending
Kazakhstan's central bank is reshaping the portfolio of the country's $60 billion oil fund with a plan to load up on longer-maturity US Treasury bonds and more risky assets amid signs the Federal Reserve is nearing the end of its tightening campaign.

The foray into new markets is set to involve non-investment-rated corporate debt issued in developed economies as well as assets such as private equity and real estate, according to Aliya Moldabekova, deputy governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan.
The goal is to allocate up to $2.5 billion for "alternative instruments," which includes hedge fund investments, she ...

aftershock | Are you scolding Nabiullina? You didn't read Moldabekov!, 26 Aug
At first, I wanted to shorten Bloomberg's material in a rehash of Profinance, but then I realized that it's such a beauty to edit—only to spoil it. So let's go.

Oil Fund of Kazakhstan to rebuild portfolio of assets in search of higher returns

The Central Bank of Kazakhstan is rebuilding the country's $60 billion oil fund portfolio, planning to invest in longer maturities and riskier US Treasuries amid signs that the Federal Reserve is nearing the end of its rate hike cycle.

According to Aliya Moldabekova, Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan, the fund's new investments will include non-investment grade corporate debt issued in developed countries, as well as such direct and real estate investments.

The goal is to allocate up to $2.5 billion for "alternative vehicles" that include investments in hedge funds, Moldabekova said in a recent interview in Astana. As part of efforts to boost yields, the fund will also invest in emerging markets bonds for the first time. As for developed countries' government debt held by the National Oil Fund, of which nearly two-thirds is US Treasury bills, Moldabekova said the central bank plans to increase the maturity of bonds to 30 years from the current range of one to 10 years.

"We have to hurry up," as the goal is to "fix returns at their peak," Moldabekova said.

When the Fed starts cutting rates, she said, debt with longer maturities will rise in price the most.....

Axel Springer | Kazakhstan to EU: We can increase uranium exports in wake of Niger coup, 28 Aug
Although "for the moment we don't see demand," said Kazatomprom CEO Yerzhan Mukanov, his firm is "of course" ready to increase exports of nuclear fuel to the bloc.
[...]
"In the long term, we're [EU27] fine as long as we properly assess the situation" and plan for alternative suppliers, said Phuc-Vinh Nguyen, an expert with the Jacques Delors Energy Center think tank.
[...]
For now, Mukanov said he does "not expect the big impact of the Niger situation," citing the West African country's relatively small production share—Niger last year accounted about 4 percent of global uranium production—and the largely muted market reaction following the military takeover. "I'm sure that this situation will be successfully resolved in the quite close future," he added.
by Cat on Tue Aug 29th, 2023 at 04:01:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Benson et al, "Hydrothermal enrichment of lithium in intracaldera illite-bearing claystones", 30 Aug
Developing a sustainable supply chain for the global proliferation of lithium ion batteries in electric vehicles and grid storage necessitates the extraction of lithium resources that minimize local environmental impacts. Volcano sedimentary lithium resources have the potential to meet this requirement, as they tend to be shallow, high-tonnage deposits with low waste:ore strip ratios. Illite-bearing Miocene lacustrine sediments within the southern portion of McDermitt caldera (USA) at Thacker Pass contain extremely high lithium grades (up to ~1 weight % of Li), more than double the whole-rock concentration of lithium in smectite-rich claystones in the caldera and other known claystone lithium resources globally (<0.4 weight % of Li). Illite concentrations measured in situ range from ~1.3 to 2.4 weight % of Li within fluorine-rich illitic claystones. The unique lithium enrichment of illite at Thacker Pass resulted from secondary lithium- and fluorine-bearing hydrothermal alteration of primary neoformed smectite-bearing sediments, a phenomenon not previously identified.
archive Thacker Pass, "black mass", SIDEBAR subsidy carbon sinks, EU's list of Critical Raw Materials, Canadian lithium, What G7 really wants, "predators" in Sahel?

Golly. IRA rush on lithium just might make millionairs out of Nevada like the Gold Reserve Act of '34 made of Colorado miners. 75% profit per ounce guaranteed!

by Cat on Thu Aug 31st, 2023 at 11:52:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's why Dickensian illnesses are returning years after being eradicated

(replaces GOAT: How to survive an extinction event)

by Cat on Thu Aug 10th, 2023 at 04:16:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
De-extinction as headline ... 9 years apart 😷

Why we should be concerned about the return of Victorian diseases | The Guardian - Aug. 8, 2014 |

Official figures showing a rise in diseases linked to poverty, such as gout, TB, measles, malnutrition and whooping cough are a barometer of failure and neglect

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Aug 10th, 2023 at 05:39:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
South Korea's Yoon could be the weakest link in the next Korean War
If a war is to ultimately happen, the most decisive factor in modern warfare has long been the resolve of the leader. In our modern times, numerically and militarily inferior forces have repeatedly shown their ability to fight and win, from Ho Chi Minh to Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky, who famously refused evacuation in the dark, early days of the Ukraine War.
by Cat on Mon Aug 21st, 2023 at 12:12:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mali: Au Revoir, France, run time 00:27:26
by Cat on Mon Aug 14th, 2023 at 12:44:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As North Africa slowly perished as instability grew into chaos ..

Clinton on Qaddafi: "We came, we saw, he died" | CBS News - Sept. 20, 2011 |

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared a laugh with a television news reporter moments after hearing deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi had been killed.

"We came, we saw, he died," she joked when told of news reports of Qaddafi's death by an aide in between formal interviews.

Clinton was in Tripoli earlier this week for talks with leaders of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC).

HRC was the favorite of Erdogan, Turkey, Qatar and Al Jazeera ... Muslim Brotherhood. The U.S. angered the Saudi Kingdom by deposing of authoritarian ruler Mubarak. The Saudis corrected the intervention from the U.S.

On this day ...

10 years on: Why Egypt's Rabaa massacre never went to court | DW News |

Morsi was forced by extremist religious elements of the MB to make changes in government and appoint new governors. The MB is considered a terror group and banned in the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

My diaries @BooMan archived ...

Khairat El-Shater Ordered Violence by Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo | Dec 6, 2012 |

A moment caught on camera that changed Northern Africa for decades to come ... more misery, terror and deepening poverty. Shameless ... the deplorables.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Aug 14th, 2023 at 06:32:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Poor links and can only watch on YouTube ...



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Aug 14th, 2023 at 07:41:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 1st, 2023 at 10:31:00 AM EST
osti.gov | THE ATOMIC BOMBING OF NAGASAKI*
[...]
The next break in the weather over Japan was due to appear just three days after the THE ATOMIC BOMBING OF HIROSHIMA, to be followed by at least five more days of prohibitive weather. The plutonium implosion bomb, nicknamed "Fat Man," was rushed into readiness to take advantage of this window. No further orders were required for the attack. [US President Harry] Truman's order of July 25th had authorized the dropping of additional bombs as soon as they were ready. At 3:47 a.m. on August 9, 1945, a B-29 named Bock's Car lifted off from Tinian and headed toward the primary target: Kokura Arsenal, a massive collection of war industries adjacent to the city of Kokura.

From this point on, few things went according to plan.  The aircraft commander, Major Charles W. Sweeney, ordered the arming of the bomb only ten minutes after take-off so that the aircraft could be pressurized and climb above the lightning and squalls that menaced the flight all the way to Japan. (A journalist, William L. Laurence of the New York Times, on an escorting aircraft saw some "St. Elmo's fire" glowing on the edges of the aircraft and worried that the static electricity might detonate the bomb.) Sweeney then discovered that due to a minor malfunction he would not be able to access his reserve fuel. The aircraft next had to orbit over Yaku-shima off the south coast of Japan for almost an hour in order to rendezvous with its two escort B-29s, one of which never did arrive.  The weather had been reported satisfactory earlier in the day over Kokura Arsenal, but by the time the B-29 finally arrived there, the target was obscured by smoke and haze.  Two more passes over the target still produced no sightings of the aiming point.  As an aircraft crewman, Jacob Beser, later recalled, Japanese fighters and bursts of antiaircraft fire were by this time starting to make things "a little hairy."  Kokura no longer appeared to be an option, and there was only enough fuel on board to return to the secondary airfield on Okinawa, making one hurried pass as they went over their secondary target, the city of Nagasaki.  As Beser later put it, "there was no sense dragging the bomb home or dropping it in the ocean."  

As it turned out, cloud cover obscured Nagasaki as well. Sweeney reluctantly approved a much less accurate radar approach on the target. At the last moment the bombardier, Captain Kermit K. Beahan, caught a brief glimpse of the city's stadium through the clouds and dropped the bomb. At 11:02 a.m., at an altitude of 1,650 feet, Fat Man (right) exploded over Nagasaki.  The yield of the explosion was later estimated at 21 kilotons, 40 percent greater than that of the Hiroshima bomb.  
[...]

UN Secretary-General's message to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial on the 78th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima,  6 Aug 2023
no apologies

consilium.europa.eu | G7 Leaders' Statement on Ukraine, 19 May 2023

[...]
We hereby pledge, from Hiroshima, the "symbol of peace", that G7 members will mobilize all our policy instruments and, together with Ukraine, make every effort to bring a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine as soon as possible.
no apologies
* U.S. Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information
by Cat on Wed Aug 9th, 2023 at 12:29:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NY Yella Cake -100: To Americanize the alien before the alien alienizes the American
Wilhelm Cuno's last act as German chancellor was to announce that Germany is suspending reparations-in-kind payments...

Oklahoma Gov. J.C. Walton puts Tulsa under martial law ...

Secretary of Labor James J. Davis has been traveling around Europe investigating immigration. On his return, he says "I am for selective immigration or none."...

US Steel actually starts 8-hour instead of 12-hour shifts in Gary, Indiana and South Chicago, though not for everyone.

by Cat on Mon Aug 14th, 2023 at 12:46:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Aug 20th, 2023 at 05:19:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 1st, 2023 at 10:31:20 AM EST
Multiple surprises ...

Not through to quarter finals: Brazil, Italy, Germany ,,,
Through: South Africa, Columbia, Jamaica, Nigeria ...

Germany crash out of World Cup in huge upset after draw with South Korea

Play time 90 min +9 ... stretched out to total 01:44:30

Major women leagues international meet in England-France-Germany ... Dutch have some excellent players in younger generation playing in Europe's top leagues.



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Aug 3rd, 2023 at 12:48:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Fifa Women's World Cup: Holders USA knocked out by Sweden in shootout | BBC Sport Live! |

VAR decides last penalty by Sweden crossed the line: GOAL!

By far, the USA squad deserved to win, brilliant saves from both goalkeepers kept a clean sheet over 120 minutes.

'Penalties suck'

USA captain Lindsey Horan: "A lot went into this performance, we were confident and patient abd played beautiful football. We created chances, we didn't score and to be frank penalties suck.

"I'm proud of every player who stepped up to take one. I'm very proud of my team.

"Some of the young players coming through are killing it."



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Aug 6th, 2023 at 12:15:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As soon as I heard her stupid remark v. team USA, I expected the Dutch too to be eliminated. Having been sport minded all my life, I don't understand a player in the international top can be so unprofessional.

'They have a really big mouth': Dutch forward delights in US World Cup exit | The Guardian |

In her own game as #10 she missed four golden opportunities. BBC Sports rated her as the worst player in the match. The game was one-sided as Spain deserved the win. After the Orange women disappointed, their frustration on the next day (!) turned to anger over a VAR decision. Absolutely sealing their arrogant attitude towards the WC tournament. Just not good enough ... so STFU and go HOME.

Top Sport is also a mental game which can make or break a game. If I was coach, I would have pulled her from the starting eleven. Sportsmanship goes hand in hand with top flight performance. Can't put oneself above the collective team, nor show disrespect for other nations and/or teams.

A Dutch soccer star slammed US players for their arrogance at the World Cup. Americans are clapping back after her team's loss

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Aug 12th, 2023 at 10:57:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Mon Aug 14th, 2023 at 12:56:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Aug 19th, 2023 at 04:09:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]

After the match Olga Carmona learned of her father's death. 🙏🏽 🕯️

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Aug 21st, 2023 at 01:13:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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