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

February 2024

by Oui Thu Feb 1st, 2024 at 06:26:21 AM EST

Your take on today's news media

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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 1st, 2024 at 06:27:25 AM EST

ChatGPT. EU approves €50B Ukraine aid as Viktor Orbán folds
by Cat on Thu Feb 1st, 2024 at 02:28:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
europarl | Artificial intelligence Computer programming Act: deal on comprehensive rules for trustworthy Artificial intelligence Computer programming, 12 Dec 2023
On Friday, Parliament and Council negotiators reached a provisional agreement on the Artificial Intelligence Act. This regulation aims to ensure that fundamental rights, democracy, the rule of law, and environmental sustainability are protected from high risk AI, while boosting innovation and making Europe a leader in the field. The rules establish obligations for AI based on its potential risks and level of impact.
Law enforcement exemptions
Negotiators agreed on a series of safeguards and narrow exceptions for the use of biometric identification systems (RBI) in publicly accessible spaces for law enforcement purposes, subject to prior judicial authorisation and for strictly defined lists of crime. "Post-remote" RBI would be used strictly in the targeted search of a person convicted or suspected of having committed a serious crime.
europarl | AI Computer programming Act: first regulation on artificial intelligence, 19 Dec 2023
AI Act: different rules for different risk levels
The new rules establish obligations for providers and users depending on the level of risk from artificial intelligence eNTiTiEs.
theregister | Tech world won't have long to fall in line when EU signs off on AI Computer Programming Act, 24 Jan
Requirements to comply with the rules will be staggered according to the categories of AI computer programming, as set out in the draft act, explained Tanguy Van Overstraeten, partner and global head of privacy and data protection with law firm Linklaters. The legislators are proposing a pyramid system in which some categories will be expected to comply with the rules sooner than others.
courthouse AFP | EU states greenlight landmark new AI rules, 2 Feb 2024
The EU's top tech enforcer, Thierry Breton, hailed the "historical, world-first first-world, pioneering" rules.

"The AI Act unleashed a lot of passion ... and rightly so! Today member states endorsed the political agreement reached in December -- recognizing the perfect balance found by the negotiators between innovation and safety," he said.

blue screen
euparl | Artificial intelligence Computer programming act, June 2023
No single definition of artificial intelligence is accepted by the scientific community and the term 'AI' is often used as a 'blanket term' for various computer applications based on different techniques, which exhibit capabilities commonly and currently associated with human intelligence.14 The High Level Expert Group on AI proposed a baseline definition of AI that is increasingly used in the scientific literature, and the Joint Research Centre has established an operational definition of AI based on a taxonomy that maps all the AI < wipes tears > subdomains from a political, research, and industrial perspective. However, the Commission found that the notion of an AI system should be more clearly defined, given that the determination of what an 'AI system' constitutes is crucial for the allocation of < wipes tears > legal responsibilities under the new AI framework. The Commission therefore proposes to establish a legal definition of 'AI system' in EU law, which is largely based on a definition already used by the OECD.15 Article 3(1) of the draft act states that 'artificial intelligence system' means:
...software that is developed with specific techniques [algorithms"?] and approaches ["human-defined objectives"?] and can, for a given set of human-defined objectives, generate outputs ["data"?] such as content, predictions, recommendations, or decisions < wipes tears > influencing the environments they interact with.16
Annex 1 ["ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TECHNIQUES AND APPROACHES referred to in Article 3, point 1"] of the proposal [EU-Lex] lays out a list of techniques and approaches that are used today to develop AI. Accordingly, the notion of 'AI system' would refer to a range of software-based technologies that encompasses [sic] 'machine learning', 'logic and knowledge-based' systems [databases?], and 'statistical' ["computing"?]. This broad definition covers AI systems that can be used on a stand-alone basis or as a component of a product. Furthermore, the proposed legislation aims to be < wipes tears > future-proof and cover current and future AI technological developments. To that end, the Commission would complement the Annex 1 list with new ["human-defined objectives"] and techniques used to develop AI systems as they emerge—through the adoption of delegated acts (Article 4).
man made this machine
by Cat on Sat Feb 3rd, 2024 at 05:33:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
euractiv | European Parliament will use TikTok for EU electoral campaign despite ban, 7 Feb
"The Directorate General for Communication plans to set up an institutional presence on the platform without initially using European Parliament devices and networks," the press service told Euractiv.

"This would allow the [European Parliament] to fight disinformation and get the message across while keeping Parliament systems secure," the press service added.

The Conference of Presidents (CoP), the EU Parliament's body responsible for setting the plenary session agendas, is expected to discuss the matter at its meeting next Thursday, 8 February, Euractiv learned from multiple sources close to the matter.
Election strategy

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Feb 8th, 2024 at 11:40:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | The Biden campaign joins TikTok, 12 Feb
Biden-Harris HQ, operated by the Biden campaign, made its first TikTok post Sunday night timed with the Super Bowl. It featured President Joe Biden answering football-themed questions. [...] The move by the Biden campaign comes as the president has struggled to gain traction with young voters, a core part of the Democratic Party's base. [...] The Biden campaign did not join TikTok in 2020. Instead, they used influencers to disseminate their message on the platform.
by Cat on Mon Feb 12th, 2024 at 07:03:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Congressional Dems warn of grim future for US cyber agency under Trump, 12 Feb
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency [CISA, 2018]—the main agency in charge of protecting critical infrastructure
A weakened CISA could leave the field open for hackers to further exploit weaknesses in U.S. critical infrastructure, and do so at a particularly dangerous time given stepped-up U.S. involvement in conflicts abroad. Last year, Iranian hackers breached Israeli-made industrial equipment in multiple U.S. water facilities, and CISA recently revealed that Chinese hackers have been burrowing inside U.S. energy, water and telecommunications [teh CYBER!] providers [sic] for at least < wipes tears > five years. This is on top of expectations of renewed election meddling this year.
Part of CISA's official remit [EU-Eng. ALERT] is to protect U.S. election systems from physical and digital threats. The agency says its counter-disinformation efforts are focused on educating state and local election officials, and are limited to deceptions spun by foreign actors.
most ignorant, litigious archive Oct 22nd 2023, Jul 5th 2023
by Cat on Mon Feb 12th, 2024 at 07:18:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU opens formal investigation into TikTok's impact on minors, 29 Feb
...The investigation will review if TikTok, owned by the Chinese-based parent company ByteDance, breached the Digital Services Act (DSA), the EU's new online children protection rule that went into effect Saturday, by its platform design and privacy settings.
The proceeding will focus on TikTok's algorithmic systems, including systems "that may stimulate behavioral addictions and/ or create so-called `rabbit hole effects,'" according to the announcement. The probe will also review if TikTok has put in place appropriate measures to "ensure a high level of privacy, safety and security for minors," and if the platform is compliant with DSA obligations to provide a searchable repository for advertisements....

by Cat on Tue Feb 20th, 2024 at 05:33:53 PM EST
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ChatGPT | Mein Opa und die Nazis, 8 Feb
"Baerbock wusste offenbar von nichts."
by Cat on Fri Feb 9th, 2024 at 08:05:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ouest-france | ENTRETIEN. Stéphane Séjourné: « Ce sera Otan et Europe, on a besoin d'une deuxième assurance-vie », 10 Fev
Un voyage à Kiev, puis à Berlin et Varsovie. Un saut aux États-Unis puis une tournée au Proche-Orient dont il revient. Stéphane Séjourné, le nouveau chef de la diplomatie française, n'a pas eu de temps mort depuis sa nomination.

Il reçoit ce lundi 12 février 2024 à Paris, en format dit de Weimar (France, Allemagne, Pologne) ses homologues allemand et polonais, Annalena Baerbock et Radoslaw Sikorski. Pour parler d'Ukraine, de désinformation russe, de sécurité européenne à quelques mois d'un possible retour de Donald Trump à la Maison Blanche.

Il a reçu trois quotidiens européens en format Weimar également. Ouest-France, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung et Gazeta Wyborcza. Il nous dit son inquiétude face à la montée des nationalistes, qui risque selon lui de créer un « Brexit généralisé ». Il évoque la situation humanitaire catastrophique et injustifiable à Gaza. Et avertit les Européens : il faut l'Otan et l'Europe, pas l'une ou l'autre.

archive EU: January 2024 momentum cheese chunks
by Cat on Sun Feb 11th, 2024 at 08:01:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ec.europa.eu | February infringement package: key decisions, 7 Feb
The Law establishes the so-called Office for the Defence of Sovereignty, tasked with investigating specific activities carried out in the interest of another State or a foreign body, organisation or natural person, if they are likely to violate or jeopardise the sovereignty of Hungary; and organisations whose activities using foreign funding may influence the outcome of elections or the will of voters. It also contains provisions and amendments to existing Hungarian legislation that prohibit candidates, political parties and associations participating in elections from using foreign funding to influence or attempt to influence the will of voters for the elections in question, and to punish under criminal law the use of foreign funding in the context of elections. The Commission considers that the Hungarian legislation at stake violates several provisions of primary and secondary EU law, among others the democratic values of the Union; the principle of democracy and the electoral rights of EU citizens; several fundamental rights enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, such as the right to respect for private and family life, the right to protection of personal data, the freedom of expression and information, the freedom of association, the electoral rights of EU citizens, the right to an effective remedy and to a fair trial, the privilege against self-incrimination and the legal professional privilege;...
archive EU condemns Georgia's 'foreign agents' law, EU version, US version, Canada EU version, China version, Biden version...
by Cat on Sun Feb 11th, 2024 at 08:28:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO | NATO's Steadfast Defender 2024: Unprecedented Military Exercise Signals Alliance Unity and Preparedness, 26 Jan
The announcement by U.S. Army Gen. Christopher Cavoli, NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Operations and head of U.S. European Command, has garnered widespread attention. STEADFAST DEFENDER 2024 is designed to provide valuable insights for enhancing NATO's defence plans, improving interoperability, efficiency, and resilience. This effort aims to demonstrate NATO's commitment to collective defence and send a robust message about its readiness to protect all allies in the face of emerging threats.
reuters | NATO to hold biggest drills since Cold War with 90,000 troops (19.01.24)
More than 50 ships from aircraft carriers to destroyers will take part, as well as more than 80 fighter jets, helicopters and drones and at least 1,100 combat vehicles including 133 tanks and 533 infantry fighting vehicles, NATO said....NATO did not mention Russia by name in its announcement. But its top strategic document identifies Russia as the most significant and direct threat to NATO members' security.
The exercise is strategically located in several key European countries, including Finland, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Events will take place from the end of January to May 31, 2024, divided into two parts.

During the initial phase (End of January to mid-March), the focus will be on maritime reinforcement across the Atlantic and in the Arctic. The second phase (mid-February to the end of May) will shift to using deployed reinforcements across all domains, from the Arctic to the Eastern Flank.

CNN video | article, 1 Feb
A formal announcement has not been made, meaning Zaluzhny was still in post as of Wednesday [31 Jan] evening, however, a presidential decree is expected by the end of the week [2 Feb or 3 Feb?], one of the sources told CNN, in what would be the biggest military shake-up by Zelensk* since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion almost two years ago
< checks watch >
On Monday [29 Jan], presidential spokesman Serhiy Nykyforov told CNN and others that rumors of the army chief's dismissal were untrue. The defense ministry also put out a message on its social media channels which read, "Dear journalists, an immediate answer to everyone: No, this is not true." And in his daily evening address Monday, Zelensk* himself made no reference at all to his army chief. But according to one of the sources, at a small gathering at his office on Monday—also attended by Defense Minister Rustem Umerov
Two names in particular are being discussed as possible successors, one of the sources, a senior military commander, told CNN. One of them is the current head of the Defense Intelligence Directorate, Kyrylo Budanov, a 38-year-old general known to have strong ties with Zelensky and seen as representing a new generation of military leaders....The other frontrunner is Oleksandr Syrskyi, currently the Commander of Ukrainian Land Forces, the senior military commander speaking to CNN said.
wapoo | Ukraine informs U.S. about decision to fire top general, 2 Feb
The government of Ukraine has informed the White House that President Volodymyr Zelensk* has decided to fire his top military commander, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, in what would be the most consequential personnel shake-up of the war, said two people familiar with the discussion. White House officials did not support or object to the high-stakes decision, but acknowledged it as the [Ukraine] president's sovereign choice, these people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive conversation.

Zelensk* has yet to issue a formal decree announcing the ouster of Zaluzhny, and it is uncertain when that might happen. The advance notice to Washington, which has not {?] been previously reported, reflects the influential role of the United States as Ukraine's most powerful military and and political backer.

archive Throw In More Budanov, the Ukrainian Eisenhower, There is no stalemate, June 2023 Slava Ukraini!, Stoltenberg Strategic Concept bot
by Cat on Sat Feb 3rd, 2024 at 08:44:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CNN | Zaluzhnyi OpEd: The design of war has changed, 1 Feb
Whatever remarkable advances there have been in the fields of aviation, missile technology and space-based assets, for instance, the concept of victory remains unchanged: to destroy the enemy and to capture or liberate territory.
archive 'Is your goal to help Russia?'
A: First of all, I can repeat it again. We are fighting a war for our territory, fighting on our territory and de-occupying our territory. That's it. All my conversations with Zaluzhny, [Oleksandr] Syrsky, [Oleksandr] Tarnavsky—I have a lot of generals with whom I work, with whom I talk, and I talk directly to them, I know all of their needs. And these are my personal conversations, and no one in our country has given orders for offensives or strikes on Russian territory.
NY Yella Cake | Germany Braces for Decades of Confrontation With Russia, 3 Feb
Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has begun warning Germans that they should prepare for decades of confrontation with Russian, and they must speedily rebuild the country's military in case Vladimir V. Putin does not plan to stop at the border with Ukraine.
The defense minister's post in Germany is often a political dead end [except for VDL]. But Mr. Pistorius's status as one of the country's most popular politicians has given him a freedom to speak that others&mdahs;including his boss, Chancellor Olaf Scholz&mdahs;do not enjoy.
But now, with an undependable America, an aggressive Russia and a striving China, as well as a seemingly stalemated war in Ukraine and a deeply unpopular conflict in Gaza, German officials are beginning to talk about the emergence of a new, complicated and troubling world, with severe consequences for European and trans-Atlantic security.

Their immediate concern is growing pessimism [?] that the United States will continue [?] to fund Ukraine's struggle, just as Germany, the second largest contributer, has agreed to double its contribution this year, to about $8.5 billion. Now, some of Mr Pistorius's colleagues are warning that if American funding dries up and Russia prevails, its next target will be closer to Berlin.

by Cat on Sun Feb 4th, 2024 at 08:54:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
strana | Who of the Ukrainian generals was born, studied and served in Russia, 9 Feb
The new Commander-in-Chief Alexander Syrsky was born on July 26, 1965 in the village of Novki, Kirzhachsky district, Vladimir region of the RSFSR (now the Russian Federation).

He graduated from the Moscow Higher Combined Arms Command School. He began serving in the Soviet Army in 1986 as a commander of a motorized rifle platoon.

Parents and brother of the new commander -- in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Alexander Syrsky still live in Russia, and his father is a retired colonel of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, and now retired, according to Russian media.

Parents, according to the publication, live in Vladimir. My brother Oleg, who works as a security guard, also lives there. Before the war, Syrsky's parents actively conducted social networks, where they posted posts, for example, from the march of the "Immortal Regiment" in 2019, where they stand with St. George's ribbons.

+ 7
by Cat on Mon Feb 12th, 2024 at 06:59:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
rainews.it | Exclusive interview to president Zelensk*: "we can [n]ot allow that Russia leftovers", 5 Feb "googlish" translation
Long interview [by] the director of Tg1 Gian Marco Chiocci [and] the president of ukraine Volodymyir Zelensk*, in which [they/them/their] are retraced all of the most important steps of this war that started almost 2 years ago with the invasion of Russia of Vladimir Putin, seeking to dissolve all of the next nodes of a conflict which is currently stalled in a phase of tiring "friction", in 2024 it will be a year of major elections in the different [c]ountries of the world, a geopolitical framework lately, ever so unstable and dangerous.
✓ Ukraine "today is different, closer to Europe"
✓ "I never thought to give up"
✓ "Regarding the war on the ground there is a deadlock, it is a fact"
✓ "If he wins, Trump, I hope that the line remains the same"
✓ "Zaluzhny? Need a reset, a change of leadership not only in the military"
✓ "I have a very positive attitude towards Dragons and Melons, I can not compare them, it would not be right"
by Cat on Mon Feb 5th, 2024 at 01:26:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Mon Feb 5th, 2024 at 06:28:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Zelensk* denied that he spoke about the stalemate at the front in an interview with an Italian TV channel, according to Press secretary Adm. Serhiy KIRBY who wrote a post on Facebook.
"We are talking specifically about counter-offensive actions in the south. This does not give the right to generally describe the situation at the front as a stalemate"
by Cat on Tue Feb 6th, 2024 at 12:19:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
involuntary separation complete, manifold fanciful "explainers" still developing ...
by Cat on Fri Feb 9th, 2024 at 01:47:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EEAS | Informal Foreign Affairs Council (Defence): Press remarks by High Representative Josep Borrell (31.01.24)
First, we will hear from Ukrainian Minister of Defence Umerov, who will join us by videoconference, to explain the situation on the ground and the military development of the war. Then, we will discuss about our support. This is a restricted session—Ministers only—due to the very confidential quality of the information that we are going to share among us.
The third point is the grave security challenge in the Red Sea. The creation of a new navy missions of the European Union, to participate in escorting the merchants' ships in the Red Sea facing the attacks by the Houthis, will be decided. I am sure that it will be decided. Not all Member States will be willing to participate, but no one will obstruct—that is what I hope. The ones that do not want to participate, they just have to stand aside. And we are going to be very quick, I hope that on the 17th of next month [Feb 2024], the mission could be launched. We have to decide which country will take the command, the command forces, where the headquarters will be and which will be the navy assets that member states will provide. You know that for EUNAVFOR ATALANTA, it is Spain who is taking the command, the headquarters is in Rota, in Spain. It depends on who is going to take the lead. I hope that this will be decided today, and I will announce it to you after. This operation in the Red Sea will have a name: "ASPIDES". "ASPIDES" means protector, not to confound with "áspid". "ASPIDES": protection—this is the purpose. Protection of the ships, intercepting the attacks against the ships, not participating in any kind of actions against the Houthis, only blocking the attacks of the Houthis on the boats.
The last point will be Sahel. You know that the three countries with military dictatorships—Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso—have abandoned immediately ECOWAS. Mali has broken the Algiers Agreements. Well, immediately means that at least during one year they will still be there, preparing their way out. But it is very important and very significant that these three states, all of them with a military dictatorship, decided to leave the regional body—the West Africa—to create another group of countries, I suppose very much linked to Mali, which is the strongest among them.[...]On the 24th  of May, there is a deadline for the military mission that we still have in Mali [EUTM Mali], and member states will have to decide if they want to stay, continue the mission or do otherwise. This will be based on a decision by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs. There will be restricted meeting to see what we do. France has had to leave, we have left our military mission—incipient military mission—in Niger. We have now been < wipes tears > invited to abandon Niger with our civilian mission. We still have a couple of missions in Mali which have not been withdrawn, but they are not connected to the ordinary work since we do not want to cooperate with Wagner, now called "Africa Corps".
archive Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso to withdraw from ECOWAS, World POWs Russia-Africa Summit
by Cat on Mon Feb 5th, 2024 at 02:49:36 PM EST
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voiceofeurope | Zelensk* decided to accuse Zaluzhn* of the Il-76 crash, 4 Feb MH-17
As cited by Politika [03.02.24], analysts believe that Zelensk*'s decision to target the plane over Belgorod aimed to undermine the morale of Russian authorities but had the opposite effect.
The field commander of the Kraken responsible for the attacks on Belgorod is Sergei Velichko. He previously served in the Azov Regiment, considered by many to be a neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic group known for its recklessness. The Kraken unit is located in the northeastern part of Kharkov Oblast. It is not part of the Ukrainian military and is under the direct command of the Main Intelligence Directorate.
Zelensk*'s error became evident with the death of Ukrainian prisoners loaded onto the exchange plane. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has stated that they cannot currently confirm the involvement of the Il-76 in the downing. This is undoubtedly true, as the operation was conducted by the "Kraken" unit, a special forces division under the command of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) led by Kirill Budanov. The unit is not part of the armed forces and operates independently. Budanov assigns tasks to it and maintains constant contact with Zelensk*.
There are three motives for shooting down the plane. [T]he first is to show the West "the ability to continue killing Russians". [T]he second is to disrupt all negotiations on the exchange of prisoners of war. [T]he third is to intimidate the fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who surrender en masse.
As a result, Zelensk* and his inner circle are attempting to distance themselves from responsibility by requesting the resignation of Chief of the General Staff Valer* Zaluzhn*. They are blaming him for the tragic misunderstanding and calling for an international investigation into the crash. According to the publication, Ukrainian society condemns such Zelensk*'s actions, viewing them as an intentional escalation of the conflict due to his concerns about the up-coming elections in Ukraine.
* alias Valery Zalugny
by Cat on Mon Feb 5th, 2024 at 06:17:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
la cronicizzazione has entered the room.
by Cat on Mon Feb 5th, 2024 at 11:16:45 PM EST
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Press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

Opening remarks by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

Doorstep statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

strana | NATO announced the transfer of one million drones to Ukraine by Western countries (15.02.24)
Recall that the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Rustem Umerov announced the official launch of the drone coalition, which has already been joined by eight countries: Sweden, Britain, Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Estonia, the Netherlands, Latvia. Earlier, the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrel, said that Ukraine does not need drone supplies from the European Union, since it produces them itself.
by Cat on Fri Feb 16th, 2024 at 01:15:10 AM EST
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eunews.it | Von der Leyen, expected Monday to announce her candidacy for a second term as head of EU Commission, 16 Feb
reuters | European Commission outlines upcoming defence strategy proposal (17.02.24)
The European Commission will present a defence industrial strategy proposal in three weeks, commission president Ursula von der Leyen said on Saturday, and will also open a defence innovation office in Ukraine.

"Europe has to step up its industrial base ... I'm a convinced transatlanticist and at the same time we have to build a strong Europe and that goes hand in hand," von der Leyen told a panel at the Munich Security Conference.
"It is not only about Russia's war in Ukraine and Putin's attempts to destabilise democracies but all the other autocratic adversaries that we are watching very closely ... whether the democracies stand united, are determined, show resolve."

ChatGPT | Von der Leyen plans new defense commissioner post , 17 Feb
"If I would be the president of the next European Commission, I would have a commissioner for defense," said von der Leyen, who was German defense minister before taking the Commission top job.

The center-right European People's Party [EPP], with which von der Leyen is aligned, has come out in support of creating a defense post in the next Commission to steer work on ramping up the bloc's industrial and defense capacity. However, the scope of any such job is still unclear, and also if it would cover the bloc's defense industry or also security operations and whether space [!] would be included.

Von der Leyen said it was an "open" question on which nationality would get the post, but added that it's "important" for a candidate from Central and Eastern Europe to receive a good portfolio. "This is a good portfolio," she said of the defense post.

MSC 2024 Main Program agenda, speakers
by Cat on Sat Feb 17th, 2024 at 09:56:17 PM EST
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barrons AFP | Blinken, China's Wang Discuss Russia, US Sanctions, 16 Feb
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised concerns over Beijing's backing for Russia's war against Ukraine on Friday in talks with China's top diplomat Wang Yi, who called for Washington to lift sanctions on Chinese entities.
fmprc | Wang Yi Meets with U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, 16 Feb
Wang Yi emphasized that the pursuit of turning "de-risking" into "de-sinicization", building "a small yard with high fences" and "decoupling from China" will ultimately backfire on the United States itself. Wang Yi called on the U.S. side to lift its illegal unilateral sanctions against Chinese companies and individuals and not to undermine China's legitimate rights to develop.
ChatGPT  | Chinese foreign minister says trying to cut his country out of trade would be a historic mistake (17.02.24)
Wang Yi spoke at the Munich Security Conference. Host Germany wants to avoid over-reliance on trade with an increasingly assertive China and diversify its supply of key goods in an approach it calls "de-risking." That's in line with the approach of other industrial powers in the Group of Seven, which has stressed that it doesn't seek to harm China or thwart its development. Beijing has criticized the strategy. Wang also renewed China's push-back against allegations of forced labor in the western Xinjiang region, where it is accused of running labor transfer programs in which Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities are forced to toil in factories as part of a longstanding campaign of assimilation and mass detention.
China's Wang Yi defends ties with Russia, warns West on Taiwan 'red line', 17 Feb
"Just a day after Wang met his US counterpart Antony Blinken—there were also thinly veiled swipes at the United States and a firm rejection of a direct request for China to rein in Russia, almost two years into its invasion of Ukraine."
strana | Ukraine wants to convince China to take part in Global Peace Formula Summit - Bloomberg, 17 Feb
"Ukraine wants to hold a summit of leaders of countries in March according to the formula of President Vladimir Zelensky. How do the world react to China's plan for Ukraine."
by Cat on Sat Feb 17th, 2024 at 10:51:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
reuters | Japan unexpectedly slips into recession, Germany now world's third-biggest economy, 15 Feb illustrated
... Both consumption and capital expenditure shrank for the third straight quarter. Big companies expect to increase capital expenditure by hefty 13.5% in the year ending in March, a quarterly survey showed. But analysts point to a delay in actual investment due to rising raw material costs and labour shortages....
F24 | Ukraine seeks Japan's support for post-war reconstruction
...Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensk* had also been due to address the gathering in Tokyo by video link but this was cancelled, organisers said without elaborating.

"The private sector is the main engine for reconstruction efforts in Ukraine... We would like to work together with Japan on the modernisation and reconstructing of Ukraine. We want you all to be part of the economic miracle for Ukraine," [Ukraine PM Denis] Shmygal said.

RT | Ukraine to get $12 million from Japan - Kiev. 19 Feb
A massive Ukrainian delegation of over 100 people was led by the country's prime minister, Denys Shmyhal, who touted the event as a major diplomatic win. According to Shmyhal, over 50 cooperation agreements were signed at the event, including "an intergovernmental convention on the avoidance of double taxation, which is extremely important for Japanese companies planning new projects in Ukraine."

"During our meeting, [Japan PM Fumio] Kishida said that Japan will provide Ukraine with $12.1 billion in aid, including the announced and implemented amount," Shmyhal claimed in a Telegram post. It was not immediately clear when exactly and in what form the funding would materialize. According to the Japanese side, during the conference Tokyo pledged $105 million in new aid for Ukraine to fund demining work and emergency repairs in the energy and transport sectors.

The Japanese prime minister also pledged to open a new government trade office in the Ukrainian capital. Japan sees the rebuilding of Ukraine as an "investment" beneficial for both sides, he said.

reuters | Japan hosts Ukraine reconstruction meeting, pledges new tax treaty
... About 50 Japanese companies signed deals with Ukrainian counterparts at the conference, in areas including agriculture, energy, and infrastructure. The total value of the deals was not disclosed.
archive Tokyo reconstruction peace recovery aid formula conference
by Cat on Mon Feb 19th, 2024 at 11:56:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yle | Alexander Stubb leads Pekka Haavisto in presidential election's second round, HS survey finds, 30 Jan
If the second round of the presidential election were held right now, National Coalition Party candidate Alexander Stubb would win, according to newspaper Helsingin Sanomat's latest survey. The poll, which was carried out in the days following the election's first round on Sunday, found support for Stubb at 57 percent and his rival Pekka Haavisto (Green/independent) with 43 percent support.
Advance voting in the second round begins on Wednesday and continues until Tuesday 6 February. Election day is on Sunday 11 February.
yle | How do Pekka Haavisto and Alexander Stubb differ?, 2 Feb
...It hasn't been very easy to discern significant differences between the top two candidates' foreign and security policy stances. But there are some areas where the two contrast, particularly concerning Åland's demilitarisation, nuclear weapons on Finnish soil, and gender-neutral conscription. Haavisto provided his election compass responses in English, whereas Stubb's comments are translated from Finnish....
by Cat on Sun Feb 4th, 2024 at 01:02:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yle | Finland votes: Stubb wins presidency, 11 Feb
"With all votes counted, Alexander Stubb is to be elected President of the Republic of Finland with 51.6% of the vote. In second place is Pekka Haavisto with 48.4% of the vote."
data visualization
by Cat on Sun Feb 11th, 2024 at 08:08:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ekathimerini | Parliament OKs civil marriage for same-sex couples, 15 Feb
Greece becomes the first Christian Orthodox country to vote a similar bill. It is also the 16th EU member, out of 27, and 37th globally. The bill allows same-sex couples to marry in a civil marriage. "Cohabitation contract" unions had been legalized in December 2015.
by Cat on Fri Feb 16th, 2024 at 07:43:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
euObserver | EU states embedded 'Rwanda clause' into new asylum rules, 15 Feb
Coined after failed efforts by the UK to offshore asylum to Rwanda, the EU Council, representing member states, embedded the clause into the regulation dealing with asylum procedures. The bill has already generated criticism by campaigners, who say it will lead to a mushrooming of detention-like centres, amid recently disclosed French-led efforts to also imprison children.
"This is similar to the legal nonsense that the UK is pursuing in trying to pass a law which states that Rwanda is safe which actually it is not," [Catherine Woollard, who heads the Brussels-based European Council on Refugees and Exiles,] said. And she warned that the changes undermined the UN refugee convention and ran counter to the EU treaties and EU charter of fundamental rights.
by Cat on Sat Feb 17th, 2024 at 11:15:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
strana | The UN Court in The Hague recognized Russia's violation of international conventions, but rejected Ukraine's claims for compensation., 31 Jan
The decision was announced during a court hearing today, January 31. We are talking about the process initiated by Ukraine in 2017 —in connection with the actions of pro-Russian separatists in 2014 in the east of Ukraine and the Russian "authorities" in the Crimea.

The Court found that Russia violated the provisions of two conventions—on combating the financing of terrorism and on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination-in eastern Ukraine and in Crimea.

The court concluded that Russia did not investigate financial support for the "DPR" and "LPR", but rejected most of Ukraine's claims and did not award compensation, as Kiev had sought. In Crimea, a similar decision was made-the court found that the Russian Federation did not protect education in the Ukrainian language in Crimea, which dropped sharply after the annexation of the peninsula by the Russian Federation in 2014. However, the remaining claims were rejected and no compensation was awarded to Ukraine.The court also found that the Russian Federation violated its obligation since 2017 to refrain from any actions that could escalate or expand the dispute with Ukraine.

archive language quotas

ukranews | For first time in history, UN Court recognizes russia violator of international law, 1 Feb

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine announced this on Thursday, February 1.
The case initiated by Ukraine documented a campaign of terrorist acts that began in 2014 and brought suffering to the Ukrainian people. Russian-controlled individuals and groups have attacked Ukrainians, shelled civilian targets, and bombed peaceful cities. We are talking, in particular, about Volnovakha, Mariupol, Kramatorsk, Avdiivka, Kharkiv, Odessa. In addition, Russia has been carrying out a campaign aimed at the cultural destruction of ethnic groups of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars in the temporarily occupied Crimea since 2014.
archive thousand-year history of Ukrainian statehood

yahoo! kyivindependent | Foreign Ministry: ICJ decision 'leaves no doubt Russia is in violation of international law', 1 Feb

The case originated from Ukraine's argument that Russia had financed terrorism during the conflict in Donbas. It did not include alleged violations of international law that occurred after the beginning of the full-scale invasion in 2022.[...] At the same time, the court declined to hold Russia responsible for the downing of MH17, which killed 298 people, the majority of whom were Dutch citizens.
"Ukraine remains committed to pursuing justice and accountability for all of Russia's illegal acts, including the full-scale invasion Russia launched in 2022," the ministry concluded.
Application of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Ukraine v. Russian Federation), 31 Jan ICJ judgment, 112 pp
by Cat on Fri Feb 2nd, 2024 at 12:39:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
strana | The UN Court in The Hague recognized Russia's violation of international conventions, but rejected Ukraine's claims for compensation., 31 Jan
The decision was announced during a court hearing today, January 31. We are talking about the process initiated by Ukraine in 2017 —in connection with the actions of pro-Russian separatists in 2014 in the east of Ukraine and the Russian "authorities" in the Crimea.

The Court found that Russia violated the provisions of two conventions—on combating the financing of terrorism and on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination-in eastern Ukraine and in Crimea.

The court concluded that Russia did not investigate financial support for the "DPR" and "LPR", but rejected most of Ukraine's claims and did not award compensation, as Kiev had sought. In Crimea, a similar decision was made-the court found that the Russian Federation did not protect education in the Ukrainian language in Crimea, which dropped sharply after the annexation of the peninsula by the Russian Federation in 2014. However, the remaining claims were rejected and no compensation was awarded to Ukraine.The court also found that the Russian Federation violated its obligation since 2017 to refrain from any actions that could escalate or expand the dispute with Ukraine.

yahoo! kyivindependent | Foreign Ministry: ICJ decision 'leaves no doubt Russia is in violation of international law', 1 Feb
The case originated from Ukraine's argument that Russia had financed terrorism during the conflict in Donbas. It did not include alleged violations of international law that occurred after the beginning of the full-scale invasion in 2022.
At the same time, the court declined to hold Russia responsible for the downing of MH17, which killed 298 people, the majority of whom were Dutch citizens.
"Ukraine remains committed to pursuing justice and accountability for all of Russia's illegal acts, including the full-scale invasion Russia launched in 2022," the ministry concluded.
ukranews | For first time in history, UN Court recognizes russia violator of international law - Foreign Ministry, 1 Feb
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine announced this on Thursday, February 1.
The case initiated by Ukraine documented a campaign of terrorist acts that began in 2014 and brought suffering to the Ukrainian people. Russian-controlled individuals and groups have attacked Ukrainians, shelled civilian targets, and bombed peaceful cities. We are talking, in particular, about Volnovakha, Mariupol, Kramatorsk, Avdiivka, Kharkiv, Odessa. In addition, Russia has been carrying out a campaign aimed at the cultural destruction of ethnic groups of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars in the temporarily occupied Crimea since 2014.
courthousenews | UN's top court partially advances Ukraine genocide case, 2 Feb
Kyiv has used a creative argument to bring a complaint against Moscow under the 1948 Genocide Convention—that Russia's false accusation of genocide against Ukraine violates the treaty.
In a complicated decision, the International Court of Justice threw out Ukraine's request to determine whether the Russian invasion was in breach of the post-war treaty, but accepted jurisdiction over whether Kyiv [8-year ATO?] has itself committed genocide against Russian-speaking people in Eastern Ukraine.

"In the present case, even if the Russian Federation had, in bad faith, alleged that Ukraine committed genocide and taken certain measures [prevention of genocide] against it [UAF] under such a pretext ... this would not in itself constitute a violation," court President Joan E. Donoghue said in reading out the ruling.

Ukraine asked The Hague-based court to intervene just [14] days after the 2022 invasion, using the novel argument that Russia was violating the 1948 Genocide Convention by falsely accusing Kyiv of committing genocide.
Ukraine still characterized the ruling as a victory. "It is important that the court will decide on the issue that Ukraine is not responsible for some mythical genocide, which the Russian Federation falsely alleged that Ukraine has committed," Anton Korynevych, the leader of Ukraine's legal team, told reporters after the hearing.

archive thousand-year history of Ukrainian statehood, language quotas, Is it possible?, Slava Ukraini! cRIme Drama (ICJ No. 20228/8, 7 Mar 2022)
Application of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Ukraine v. Russian Federation), 31 Jan ICJ judgment, 112 pp

Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation): 32 States intervening), 2 Feb, 62 pp

by Cat on Fri Feb 2nd, 2024 at 07:27:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
guardian | Jailed as collaborators: the stories of Ukrainians who ended up in prison, 2 Feb
Ukraine's SBU security service says it has opened more than 8,100 criminal proceedings "related to collaboration and aiding and abetting the aggressor state" and Ukrainians convicted on these counts are only held in certain prisons, where they are kept away from other inmates. The Guardian was granted rare access to two such prisons—one for men and one for women—on the condition that their locations would not be revealed.

[The Guardian] Interviews took place with a prison guard in the room but participation was voluntary. Some prisoners did not wish to be interviewed at all, others told their stories on condition of anonymity, while many were willing to speak openly and be photographed.
Among the prisoners there are different shades of guilt. Some have clearly put Ukrainian lives at risk by handing over information and co-ordinates to the Russians. In other cases, such as a woman jailed for five years for providing logistical assistance during Russia's fake referendum in Kherson region, the facts of the case point to the difficult decisions people were forced to make when faced with an occupying force that claimed it was there to stay*.
Many of the prisoners have signed documents asking to be exchanged with Russia['s others realise it is their best chance of being freed before the end of their sentences.

"Each individual case has to be discussed separately," said Oleksiy Danilov, the head of Ukraine's national security council, when asked about the process for a potential exchange. He said, however, that if Russia made an offer and people wished to be exchanged, in principle Ukraine was willing to give them up in exchange for some of the many Ukrainian civilians kidnapped from occupied territories and held in Russian jails. So far, however, there is little sign that Russia is interested in taking in its low-level helpers.

Not everyone has signed up to be exchanged, however. The woman from Kyiv said she planned to sit out her sentence and repent her actions. "I hate myself for what I've done. I made a huge mistake, out of idiocy. I believed them, and they made a fool out of me," she said.

* where? The journalist doesn't say where the collaborators were detained by SBU.
by Cat on Sat Feb 3rd, 2024 at 07:40:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Mon Feb 5th, 2024 at 02:53:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Zelensk* takes a dig at Congress over military aid: 'Dictators do not go on vacation'
by Cat on Sat Feb 17th, 2024 at 05:10:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
RU captured the ruins of Avdiivka/Avdeevka and abandoned UAF materiel.

Avdiivka is an agricultural center located in Donbas oblast, 15 km distant from Donetsk, a metropolitan area of some 890K people. Depending on informant, the population in 2022 ranged 30K-32K. Both G7 and RU identify this town as a Ukraine "stronghold" and "key Donbas city," because the UAF quartered there have been shelling DPR "occupied" Donetsk since 2014. Russianunesco.mid estimates the total number of civilian casualties 2014 -2022 8,661 dead, 22,921 injured.

More than 90% of Avdiivka's residents abandoned the town on or before the start of Russia's "full-scale war". Recent estimates confirm how few remain.
1,800, 10 Apr 2023
1,000, 24 Oct 2023
1,600, 27 Oct 2023
< 1000, 17 Feb 2024

New UAF Commander-in-Chief Syrsky purportedly ordered retreat Saturday. However, UA and RU networks report that UA companies began to abandon positions 16 Feb, having recognized RU had surrounded them with superior "fire cover". Neither the number of UA troops deployed, evacuated, nor captured is immediately public. Russia MOD reported 1,500 UA troops killed in the final 24 hours of battle.

by Cat on Mon Feb 19th, 2024 at 02:16:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ukrinform | Dmytro Natalukha, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Economic Development, 16 Feb wtf
Your committee is considering a bill that could change the employee booking [?] process. Deputies propose to establish a monthly fixed payment, after which the company will be able to book an employee. This monthly payment should be 40 thousand hryvnias.

There are miscalculations, there is a certain mathematical model that allows us to understand how much money this tool can bring to the state [?!]. Why there is no bill - because we are not sure that it should go through the bill, perhaps at the level of the Cabinet of Ministers it can be done, at the level of the government's decision, this is one time. Two - we also do not want to disrupt the mobilization with this model. In other words, we are conducting a dialogue with the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff.

Do you think that our Ukrainians will hand over dollars [?] and finally pay off all the mobilization?

You know our people are extremely resourceful, extremely resourceful. The point is correct. The essence is that any enterprise or individual entrepreneur can apply for an employee's reservation by paying a fixed amount for it on a monthly basis in the form of the minimum wage of a serviceman. Today it is about 20 thousand hryvnias. This is a voluntary additional military levy [?]. This is the right to choose who exactly you can book.

Has the rule of social justice been violated?

It seems to me that it is fair that there is no reference to salary. Any worker, regardless of the amount they receive, is eligible to claim this reservation [?]. We try to make it as fair as possible. Now the military takes away those people whom they simply can find on the list. And very often this leads to the fact that enterprises simply become and stop working or stagnate for a long time, looking for some kind of replacement. We suggest that the state withdraw from this process and let the teams themselves decide who will be booked.

strana | US will cease to be a strategic partner of Ukraine in case of termination of aid to Kiev - Zelensk*, 17 Feb
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensk* after a meeting with US Vice President Kamala?! Harris said that the United States will cease to be a strategic partner of Ukraine if it stops providing assistance to Kiev. Zelensk* said this to journalists during the Munich Security Conference. However, at the moment, Kiev is not considering such a scenario, the president added.

"We are very much counting on a positive decision of the Congress, this package is vital for us. We are not considering an alternative today, because we count on the United States as our strategic partner to remain a strategic partner. If we are talking about an alternative, it means that it is not our strategic partner. That's why I don't consider such an alternative," Zelensk* said.

ChatGPT | Ukraine's Zelensk* Warns Of An 'Artificial Deficit' Of Weapons After Withdrawal From Avdiivka, 17 Feb
"Ukrainians have proven that we can force Russia to retreat," he said. "We can get our land back, and (Russian President Vladimir) Putin can lose, and this has already happened more than once on the battlefield."
archive Zelensk* wants Ukraine to become a 'big Israel' (05.04.22)
by Cat on Mon Feb 19th, 2024 at 03:57:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 1st, 2024 at 06:27:51 AM EST
ChatGPT | AI Computer programming choice should not be 'American or American,' EU antitrust chief warns, 1 Feb antitrust farce
Vestager was addressing increasing concerns among competition regulators that the control over artificial intelligence is being gobbled up by a few leading technology companies.
Big data became "an essential driver of < wipes tears > competition ... It completely changed market dynamics," Vestager said in the interview, on her visit to Washington, D.C. "Now, with AI computer programming, it is likely that we will see a change in market dynamics as well, and it's likely that it will happen much faster than what we saw of network effects and the data-driven marketplace," she said.

The fear of being steamrolled by U.S. giants in past weeks led France to slow down the approval of the EU's Artificial Intelligence Act because it argued parts of the law would slow down its national AI champion computer program developer  Mistral AI.

by Cat on Thu Feb 1st, 2024 at 03:51:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wolfgang Münchau, 13 Feb
When Olaf Scholz was elected German chancellor in 2021, the most dire consequences of Angela Merkel's policies were not yet apparent: Germany's geopolitical alliance with Russia and its dependence on Russia gas; a complacent industrial policy; and a woeful under-investments in defence. All these problem at once blew up shortly Scholz took over.
Henry Johnston, 20 Feb
Bloomberg recently foretold the end of Germany's days as an industrial power in an article that begins with a depiction of the closing of a factory in Dusseldorf. Stone-faced workers preside with funereal solemnity over the final act—the fashioning of a steel pipe at a rolling mill—at the century-old plant. The "flickering of flares and torches" and "somber tones of a lone horn player" lend the scene a decidedly medieval atmosphere.  
S. Freud, Totem and Taboo, Some Points of Agreement between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics (1913), pp 2662-2814 EN translation
by Cat on Tue Feb 20th, 2024 at 01:04:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As foretold on 17 Jan. 2017 by our propheteur himself... "I will be back" to his friend the chocolate king of UA.

    You've strengthened the country's banking sector.  You protected Ukrainian depositors by nationalizing Privatbank [lost $5.5bn].  You implemented a groundbreaking ...

    Your national anti-corruption bureau and the special anti-corruption prosecutor are providing and proving their impact when they have the resources.

Zelenskiy's office accuses Poroshenko of fleeing treason charges | Politico |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 20th, 2024 at 03:21:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Tue Feb 20th, 2024 at 11:12:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Berlin launches €50 billion 'climate contracts' for industry (2023)
Germany aims to decarbonise its industrial production entirely by 2045, but with the EU's carbon price currently hovering at around €100 per tonne, investments in clean manufacturing processes are still not [price] competitive.

The German "Carbon Contracts for Difference" (CCfD) scheme aims to bridge this gap.

"With this modern < wipes tears > funding instrument, we are setting international standards and ensuring that the funds flow to where they are needed for the transformation of industry and bring the greatest benefit," said Robert Habeck, minister of economy and climate action, when presenting the scheme in Berlin on 5 June.

"It is a new instrument," he noted, saying a similar measure had only been implemented in the Netherlands. Companies applying for the scheme must submit a fictional CO2 price < wipes tears > that would allow them to develop clean production while remaining [price] competitive against rival companies running on fossil fuels [and CABM tariff premium].

A steelmaker [fuel] switching [from NG? LNG? coal?] to [blue, grey, brown, pink, white, or] green hydrogen, for instance, may require a CO2 price of €300 per tonne to be [price] competitive, meaning €200 of state subsidy would be needed for each tonne of CO2 avoided.

State subsidies for industry: Brussels greenlights €4bn German initiative, 16 Feb 2024

For every tonne of CO2 emitted, European companies have to purchase 'CO2 certificates' [FKA "carbon credits" or "European Emission Allowances (EUAs)"], under a scheme known as the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)—with the extra cost set aside to drive investment in green production. However, because of low CO2 market prices today and long lead times in industry, few of the necessary investments are taking place.

In 2023, Germany announced a scheme to address the issue. Using binding contracts, the government wanted to incentivise investments by offering companies to pay inflated carbon prices, a scheme known as "Carbon Contracts for Difference" (CCfDs). Since that amounts to distorting subsidies, Brussels had to give its OK.
Contracts run for 15 years and could return money to taxpayers when carbon prices exceed initial bids. Companies that can decarbonise their entire production at carbon [credit] prices of €160 per tonne—prices currently sit below €60—within three years would beat out companies requiring a price of €200 per tonne to achieve climate-neutrality in the same time frame.

archive 2024 green metallurgy transition action plan, predatory heat pump production, Market and Non-Market Mechanisms in Ursula's Seat at the Desk , CBAM certificate revenue, EU's PROBE into state subsidies, Foreign ENTity of Concern, post-FIT "green" technology PROBE in Energy as a Weapon of War

A contribution by the European Tribune to the Public Consultation on The European Commission Green Paper (2006)
"The interference of market ideology. The incoherence of the stated objectives"
Carbon Contracts for Difference (CCfDs) (2021)
"bmwk.de | Climate Change Contracts (CCfD)" (2023)
"climatestrategies.org | Carbon Contracts for Differences"
What's next for Carbon Contracts for Difference

"We urgently need solutions, like funds and mechanisms, for European SMEs which represent the large mass of European industry, since the green transition is becoming increasingly unaffordable for them."
by Cat on Wed Feb 21st, 2024 at 04:20:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
euractiv | EU broadband law final compromise: Useful legislation, with 'minimal direct impact', 12 Feb public property adjustment bureau
EU telecom associations have criticised the course pursued by negotiators on the Gigabit Infrastructure Act, saying the text will allow the speeding up of telecom infrastructure roll-out but will have a minimal impact due to < wipes tears> shrinking returns on investments.

The Gigabit Infrastructure Act is an EU bill accelerating high-capacity network deployment throughout the Union. A political agreement was reached on 6 February, which now has to be rubber-stamped by the two co-legislators, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament.

• "tacit approval" of construction permits
"not implementing a mandatory tacit approval principle in the text, which in the case of an authority not responding to a request for permit granting, the absence of an answer would be treated as authorisation....might infringe on the rights of private building owners, who might be forced to allow the building to be used for the roll-out of telecom infrastructures [equipment]."  
-- "passive telecom" digital signal equipment, eg. fibre optic wire, wireless spectrum : "the < wipes tears > bitstream access clause shows that some governments 'are unable to apply in their market the European Electronic Communications Code concerning access to ducts'"
-- "active telecom" digital signal receiver equipment, eg. modem "bitstream access"

private property eNTiTiEs
"'In Europe, property right is a strong element of continental law that is difficult to challenge, as evidenced by the rejection of tacit approval,' commented Telecom Paris academic Gérard Pogorel Pogorel."

• telecom "surcharge abolition"
"The deal sets out a gradual phase-out of fees paid by EU citizens when calling or sending a text from home in another EU country. On 1 January 2025, operators will be able to compete < wipes tears > below the price cap [!] (0.19€/min for a call, 0.06€/SMS) and as of 1 January 2029, price caps will be abolished" and the regulation of wholesale [?!] costs to tackle roaming surcharges"

archive SIDEBAR incoherence in NPI Systems Design 2022
by Cat on Wed Feb 21st, 2024 at 05:13:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FT | Frozen Immobilised Russian assets yielded €4.4bn in 2023, says Euroclear, 1 Feb
EU countries on Monday [29 Jan] unanimously approved new rules that will pave the way for such a step, making it mandatory to set aside the extraordinary profits, which Euroclear has already been doing. But the legislation will not apply retroactively to the proceeds from 2023, and only to those accumulated once the new rules come into force in the coming weeks. This means that Euroclear's 2023 proceeds of €4.4bn will probably not be set aside for Ukraine.

Euroclear already paid €1.08bn in regular corporate tax to Belgium in 2023, with the money going towards measures supporting Ukrainians, according to the Belgian government.

The European Commission is preparing further legislation to actually seize the profits that will be set aside, and then transfer them to a fund for Ukraine. The debate around using Russia's immobilised assets, and the windfall profits [sic] Euroclear is making by holding them, has been fraught because of technical and legal difficulties.
Euroclear said it was already facing a "significant number of legal proceedings ongoing, almost exclusively in Russian courts" over the immobilised assets, adding that the probability of "unfavourable rulings" was high.

archive January 2024 price cap mania exit plan
by Cat on Thu Feb 1st, 2024 at 11:50:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FT | G7 draws up plans to backstop debt-raising for Ukraine with Russian assets, 4 Feb
Under the plans, Kyiv's allies could raise debt to fund the war-torn country. The coalition supporting Ukraine would demand that Russia repays the debt and, if it fails to do so, would seize frozen < wipes tears > Russian sovereign assets instead, according to officials familiar with the discussions.

The Belgian government has circulated the plans to G7 nations, several officials with knowledge of the proposals told the Financial Times. Officials from two G7 nations said that it was now a leading option to unlock the frozen immobilised funds for Ukraine.

ex __ o __ t __ on spells "backstop"!
Structuring the support in this way would allow the coalition to raise funds for Ukraine without needing to immediately resolve < wipes tears > legal questions about other nations' grounds for the seizure of Russian sovereign assets.
archive January 2024 price cap mania exit plan
by Cat on Sun Feb 4th, 2024 at 01:50:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT | Eurozone governments rush to sell bonds to tap investor demand, 4 Feb, illustrated
Eurozone governments have rushed to ["]raise debt["] early this year in an effort to take advantage of bumper investor demand. The bloc's members have sold €200bn of bonds since the start of 2024. Issuance in January was the highest monthly total on record and about 20 per cent above the same period last year, according to analysts at Barclays.
The eurozone has issued about €54bn of government debt this week alone, an unusual move for such a busy week in the economic calendar with the release of eurozone inflation figures, the Federal Reserve's interest rate meeting, and a series of employment data that could disrupt markets.
European governments need to sell huge volumes of bonds this year. The investment arm of the Italian insurer Generali estimated that issuance, net of redemptions and European Central Bank [ECB] purchase programmes, would reach €680bn this year, 7 per cent higher than in 2023, and that "supply fatigue" would set in as the year progressed.
Spain attracted €138bn of bids for €15bn of new 10-year debt—a record order book for an individual government bond. That followed Belgium receiving €75bn in bids for its 10-year bond, its highest level, while Italy received €91bn for its 30-year debt sale, the largest Italian order book since the start of 2021.
by Cat on Mon Feb 5th, 2024 at 06:44:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
strana |  There will be no new import bans in the 13th package of EU sanctions against Russia
This is reported by the Reuters news agency, citing its sources.

The Europeans want to adopt this package quickly, in time for the anniversary of the invasion on February 24. Therefore, they do not want to include norms that will cause a debate. The new package may expand the list of Russian companies to which EU firms cannot sell dual-use goods.

Some EU countries are calling for a ban on more Russian exports, such as aluminum. They can be included in the 14th package of sanctions, which the European Commission will propose to discuss immediately after the adoption of the 13th.

by Cat on Tue Feb 6th, 2024 at 12:38:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukraine War Day #715: Contract Law 101
The Ukrainians, always creative in their thinking, have come up with a new way to demand cash. I call it the "Reverse Jubilee". Namely, all their debts are forgiven, and then they get to seize your assets. Or, as comedian Yakov Smirnoff might say: "In America, when you don't pay for car, repo-man seizes your car. In Ukraine, when you don't pay for car, car seizes repo-man and his car too!"

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Feb 9th, 2024 at 12:06:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU agrees first sanctions on China in more than 30 years —EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime (GHRS 22.03.21)
... Third-country individuals listed under the GHRSR are subject to EU asset freezes forfeiture and a travel ban to the EU, and EU enTitIEs are prohibited from making funds available to
those listed. China's counter-sanctions target, inter alia include Parliament's Subcommittee on Human Rights; MEPs Reinhard Bütikofer (Greens/EFA, Germany), Michael Gahler (EPP, Germany), Raphaël Glucksmann (S&D, France), Ilhan Kyuchyuk (Renew, Bulgaria), and Miriam Lexmann (EPP, Slovakia); the Council's Political and Security Committee,and a number of EU Member State Members of Parliament, think-tanks andacademics....
FT | EU prepares sanctions on Chinese and Indian companies over Russia [trade]
If member states approve the plan, it would be the first time [FALSE] businesses in mainland China and India have been hit by EU sanctions. [...]The sanctions package, expected to be approved ahead of the second anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, will be the 13th the EU has passed.
archive EU adopts 12th package diamonds, iron, and steel
The list of companies under sanctions will hit 643 if it is approved. The new names also include businesses in Sri Lanka, Turkey, Thailand, Serbia, and Kazakhstan. Sanctions on an Indian company would be especially sensitive ironic as the country is a US ally and is negotiating a trade deal with the EU [and UK]. New Delhi has hit back at responded to criticism that it legally buys cheap sanctioned Russian [crude] oil and sends [petroleum] products refined from it to the EU.
archive 15 May 2023 price cap psychotic break
The commission has ignored requests from some member states and the EU aluminium industry to further restrict supplies of the metal from Russia, given that it is a crucial component in aircraft and other advanced products critical materials.
kommersant | Asian steel has taken over Europe, 13 Feb/blockquote>Europe in 2023, after the introduction of sanctions on the import of Russian metal, switched to purchases from Asian countries. India became the largest supplier, while Vietnam, Japan, and Taiwan also actively increased their supplies. The growing export opportunities of Asian countries frighten European steelmakers, and the European Commission is considering introducing new protective ["restrictive"] measures.
Asian countries have become beneficiaries of European sanctions on Russian ferrous metallurgy, according to a report published in February by the Association of European metallurgists Eurofer. According to the results of 11 months of 2023, the main suppliers of finished steel products in the EU were India (3.3 million tons), South Korea (3.1 million tons), China (2.7 million tons), Vietnam (2.4 million tons), Taiwan (2.3 million tons), Turkey (2.1 million tons) and Japan (1.7 million tons). The top five suppliers accounted for 58% of total finished steel imports to the EU. Vietnam (38%), Japan (32%), Taiwan (12%), and South Korea (6%) show the highest growth rates of deliveries to Europe. Imports of finished goods from Turkey and China fell by 51% and 13%, respectively, while imports from India increased by 7%.
Sanctions were introduced in several packages. The European Union announced the first [Russian] steel sanctions on March 15, 2022. The black list includes such types of products as shapes and profiles made of cast iron and non-alloy (carbon) steel, hot and cold rolled products, products made of reinforcement and wire, welded and seamless pipes. The eighth package of sanctions, introduced in October 2022, banned the supply of slabs and square billets, but with reservations: the import of square billets is prohibited from April 1, 2024, and slabs—from October 1, 2024. Import quotas were introduced for the transition period.
Customs data do not show a sharp increase in Russian imports to those Asian countries that are increasing steel supplies in Europe. The increase in supplies to the EU is due to high prices there and increased production in Asia: India increased smelting by 12%, to 140 million tons, and South Korea—by 1.3%, to 67 million tons.

European steelmakers, noting the growth of export opportunities, are in favor of tightening trade policy. On February 9, the European Commission launched a new investigation, examining the need to introduce protective measures for European steel producers. Eurofer, for its part, said that "China's unprecedented expansion of steel capacity over the past two decades has led to a deep imbalance in global steel markets." The situation is complicated by the fact that a new trend of excess steel capacity is also emerging on a regional scale, especially in Southeast Asia (ASEAN countries, India), the Middle East, and North Africa, which, according to Eurofer, are re-directing their exports to the European Union.

by Cat on Wed Feb 14th, 2024 at 09:01:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
justice.gov | Justice Department Transfers Approximately $500,000 in Forfeited Russian Funds to Estonia for Benefit of Ukraine, 17 Feb
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and Estonian Secretary General Tõnis Saar announced today at the Munich Security Conference the transfer of nearly $500,000 in forfeited Russian funds for the purpose of providing aid to Ukraine. The funds were forfeited by [?] the United States following the breakup of an illegal procurement network attempting to import into Russia a high-precision, U.S.-origin machine tool with uses in the defense and nuclear proliferation sectors. Additionally, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, a citizen of Latvia [?] charged criminally in connection with the procurement scheme pleaded guilty to violating U.S. export laws and regulations.

This transfer is the first of its kind from the United States to a foreign ally for the express purpose of assisting Ukraine, and the second time the Justice Department's Task Force KleptoCapture has made confiscated Russian assets available for Ukraine—having provided $5.4 million in forfeited funds last year to the State Department for the support of Ukrainian war veterans. The confiscated funds are being transferred to Estonia since under current authorities, the facts of this case do not allow for a direct transfer to Ukraine. Estonia will use the funds for a project to expedite damage assessments and critical repairs to the Ukrainian electrical distribution and transmission system, which have been purposefully targeted by Russian forces.

archive New Laws Targeting Assets of Russian Oligarchs
by Cat on Sun Feb 18th, 2024 at 12:52:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
usnews reuters | IMF Slashes 2024 Argentina GDP Growth Forecast, Weighs on Regional View, 30 Jan
The International Monetary Fund slashed its 2024 economic growth projection for Argentina to a 2.8% contraction from a 2.8% expansion, dimming its view on output growth in Latin America as a whole as part of the fund's World Economic Outlook update on Tuesday.

"The (Latin America and the Caribbean) forecast revision for 2024 reflects negative growth in Argentina in the context of a significant policy adjustment to restore macroeconomic stability," the fund said in a statement.
The 5.6 percentage point downgrade to Argentina's growth estimate is by far the largest of the IMF's outlook update.

archive waivers of non-observance, IMF praised the new government
by Cat on Sat Feb 3rd, 2024 at 11:27:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe 'getting more dependent on China' for clean tech, EU climate chief warns, 14 Feb
If buying up excess inventories isn't possible, the industry urged the Commission to consider "safeguard" measures such as import tariffs and quotas. However, the Commission has cautioned against this, saying import restrictions could impede the EU's goal to increase solar generation capacity to  < evil pinkie > 600 gigawatts by 2030, up from 263 GW today.
archive 2024 transition action plan leadership!, real bottlenecks along global supply chains, China's unfair trade practices in Reactionary Visions and eNtiTiES
by Cat on Thu Feb 15th, 2024 at 06:44:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 1st, 2024 at 06:28:14 AM EST

First World. Critical mineral certificates link third-country green rights to Europe's strategic autonomy.
by Cat on Thu Feb 1st, 2024 at 02:50:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MoA | MBS Says John Kirby Needs Some Mouth Wash, illustrated
Kirby says US received 'positive feedback' on Israel-Saudi normalization talks
The Saudis disagreed with that characterization: A Statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the discussions between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America on the Arab-Israeli peace process. Feb 7, 2024.
archive KIRBY-content En Route Morrisville, NC
by Cat on Wed Feb 7th, 2024 at 03:17:59 PM EST
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ChatGPT | White House national security spokesman John Kirby gets expanded ROLE in Biden administration, 11 Feb inflated balloon
... Kirby will have a new title, White House national security communications adviser, and will be named an assistant to the president, the official said Sunday. The official was not authorized to speak about an appointment that has not been publicly announced and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity....He will run a separate team from the national security press team that will coordinate information across agencies, the official said....
by Cat on Thu Feb 15th, 2024 at 06:16:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 20th, 2024 at 10:14:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
barrons ChatGPT | US, UK Strike Dozens Of Huthi Targets In Yemen, 3 Feb
The joint air raids in Yemen come a day after a wave of unilateral American strikes against Iran-linked targets in Iraq and Syria that were carried out in response to the killing of three US soldiers in Jordan on January 28.

The strikes hit "36 Huthi targets across 13 locations in Yemen in response to the Huthis' continued attacks against international and commercial shipping as well as naval vessels transiting the Red Sea," the United States, Britain and other countries that provided support for the operation said in a statement.

"These precision strikes are intended to disrupt and degrade the capabilities that the Huthis use to threaten global trade, and the lives of innocent mariners," the statement said.

by Cat on Sat Feb 3rd, 2024 at 11:50:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i24news | Netanyahu 'appreciative' of U.S. support after Ben-Gvir criticism, 4 Feb
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday afternoon remarked on military progress in Gaza, as well as diplomatic relations with the United States, following public criticism from Israel's National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.
The Israeli prime minister also reiterated the war goal of eliminating Hamas, describing it in three steps through an in-depth review of what has and hasn't been achieved in Gaza.

"First, the reduction of the Hamas battalions is required. To date we have leveled 17 out of 24 battalions. Most of the remaining battalions are in the southern Gaza Strip and in Rafah, and we will take care of them as well," the Israeli prime minister said. "Secondly, purification operations are required after the battalions are disbanded, as our forces are doing with determination in very aggressive raids in the north and center of the Gaza Strip.

"Thirdly, the neutralization of the underground is required, as our forces are systematically doing in Khan Yunis, and are doing in all parts of the strip, and this requires more time," Netanyahu explained.

"We will not end the war before we complete all of the goals: the elimination of Hamas, the return of all our abductees and a promise that Gaza will no longer pose a threat to Israel," he concluded, reiterating a deal will not be "at any price."

kommersant | Netanyahu announced the elimination of 17 of the 24 Hamas battalions, 4 Feb
On February 1, the Qatari Foreign Ministry announced [01.02.24] that Israel and Hamas had agreed to a temporary ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. On the same day, 114 Palestinian prisoners were released from Israeli prisons.
Earlier today, on February 1, the Al-HadathTV channel reported that new conditions for the exchange of hostages were worked out at a recent meeting in Paris. The militants agreed to a phased release of the Palestinians.

On January 23, the Axios publication, citing sources, wrote that ... Israel is ready to release an "indefinite number" of Palestinians from its prisons, but at the same time made it clear that it will not agree to release all 6 thousand Palestinian prisoners.

At the same time, at the moment, the fighting in the enclave continues and the final agreement on the terms of the deal is being delayed on both sides of the conflict.
alhadath | Netanyahu is worried about a prisoner release agreement. Hamas demands "strong" guarantees, 5 Feb
by Cat on Sun Feb 4th, 2024 at 09:30:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
palestinechronicle | Full Text of Hamas Response to Ceasefire Proposal, translated by the Resistance News Network (RNN)
Draft - Preliminary Response/the Hamas Movement's Response

To a General Framework for a Comprehensive Agreement among the Parties

(between the Israeli occupation, Hamas, and the Palestinian factions)

This agreement aims to stop the mutual military operations between the parties, achieve complete and lasting calm, exchange prisoners between the two sides, end the blockade on Gaza, reconstruction, return of residents and displaced persons to their homes, and provide shelter and relief requirements for all residents in all areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the following stages:
First Stage (45 days): ...
Second Stage (45 days): ...
Third Stage (45 days): ....
- The exchange process is closely linked to the extent of commitment to the entry of sufficient aid, relief, and shelter mentioned and agreed upon.

reuters | Exclusive: Hamas proposes three-stage ceasefire over 135 days, leading to end of war
by Cat on Wed Feb 7th, 2024 at 04:24:40 PM EST
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ChatGPT | Netanyahu rejects Hamas cease-fire demands, 7 Feb
Netanyahu made the comments shortly after meeting the visiting U.S. Secretary of Stalking Antony Blinken, who has been traveling the region in hopes of securing a cease-fire agreement.

"Surrendering to Hamas' delusional demands that we heard now not only won't lead to freeing the captives, it will just invite another massacre," Netanyahu said in a nationally televised evening news conference.

"We are on the way to an absolute victory," he said, adding that the operation would last months, not years. "There is no other solution."

by Cat on Wed Feb 7th, 2024 at 07:56:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
citizen.za | Pandor's security beefed up amid threats to her and children over ICJ case against Israel
Following President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Thursday night, Pandor told journalists she believes the threats are related to the ICJ case. The minister did not disclose who the threats were from, but confirmed Police Minister Bheki Cele had to strengthen her security detail.

"I spoke to Minister Cele because of the various messages I was getting and I felt it would be better if we had extra security. What I am more concerned about is my family because in some of the social media messages, my children are mentioned and so on."

by Cat on Fri Feb 9th, 2024 at 07:54:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
reuters | UN likely to vote Tuesday on Gaza ceasefire, US signals veto, 17 Feb
Algeria put forward an initial draft resolution more than two weeks ago. But U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda "Eat muh Gumbo" Thomas-Greenfield quickly said the text could jeopardize "sensitive negotiations" aimed at brokering a pause in the war.
"The United States does not support action on this draft resolution. Should it come up for a vote as drafted, it will not be adopted," Thomas-Greenfield said in a statement on Saturday.
"It is critical that other parties give this process the best odds of succeeding, rather than push measures that put it*mdash;and the opportunity for an enduring resolution of hostilities - in jeopardy," Thomas-Greenfield said.
usnews ChatGPT | Israel Vows to 'Finish the Job' in Gaza as War Cabinet Member Threatens a Ramadan Deadline for Rafah, 18 Feb
CAPTION: A woman walks between dead bodies of Palestinians killed in the Israeli bombardments of the Gaza Strip, in front of the morgue at Al Aqsa Hospital in Deir al Balah, Gaza Strip, on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Israel's government has not publicly discussed a timeline for a ground offensive on Rafah, where more than half the enclave's 2.3 million Palestinians have sought refuge. Retired general Benny Gantz, part of Netanyahu's three-member War Cabinet, represents an influential voice but not the final word on what might lie ahead.

"If by Ramadan our hostages are not home, the fighting will continue to the Rafah area," Gantz told a conference of Jewish American leaders. Ramadan, expected to begin March 10, is historically a tense time in the region.

timesofisrael | Rebuffing Biden, cabinet rejects unilateral [?!] Palestinian state as 'reward for terrorism' (18.02.24)
Israel's cabinet on Sunday unanimously approved a declaration rejecting "international diktats" seeking to push Palestinian statehood, in the wake of reports that the US and several Arab partners were preparing a detailed plan for a comprehensive peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians that includes a "firm timeline" for a Palestinian state.
Speaking Sunday night at a Jerusalem conference of US Jewish leaders, US Ambassador Jack Lew sought to downplay talk that the US could recognize a Palestinian state unilaterally.

"We have never said there should be a unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state," says Lew. Instead, he called for an "over-the-horizon process that includes a vision for a demilitarized Palestinian state. "Now is a moment in time when there is a real possibility that by engaging in normalization and negotiations with Saudi Arabia" [?!] along with reforms in the Palestinian Authority, "there can be a demilitarized Palestinian state. But Israel will have to make that choice," Lew said.

The U.S. also says it will veto another draft U.N. resolution calling for a cease-fire, with its U.N. ambassador warning against measures that could jeopardize "the opportunity for an enduring resolution of hostilities." But Netanyahu opposes Palestinian statehood, which the U.S. calls a key element in a broader vision for normalization of relations between Israel and regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia. His Cabinet adopted a declaration Sunday saying Israel "categorically rejects international edicts on a permanent arrangement with the Palestinians" and opposes any unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.
by Cat on Mon Feb 19th, 2024 at 03:06:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NY Yella Cake | Israel's government formally rejects the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state, 18 Feb
"It did not explicitly rule out the possibility of Palestinian statehood, focusing instead on the process."
by Cat on Mon Feb 19th, 2024 at 03:10:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]

33. The only State besides Fiji to defend Israel is the United States. This is not surprising. Whatever offences against international law Israel commits, the United States comes forward to shield it from accountability. Here, the United States attempts to defend Israel, not by arguing that the occupation is lawful, but that it is neither lawful nor unlawful. To reach this conclusion, the United States argues that belligerent occupation is governed exclusively by international humanitarian law and not by the United Nations Charter or general international law. In its own words: "Although international humanitarian law imposes obligations on belligerents in their conduct of an occupation, it does not provide for the legal status of an occupation to be lawful or unlawful."68
35. Notably, the United States ignores the part of the General Assembly's request that the Court determine the legal status of the occupation under the United Nations Charter, in addition to international humanitarian law and other sources of law; and the United States fails to mention, let alone respond to, Switzerland's Written Statement, asserting that belligerent occupation is covered both by international humanitarian law and by the United Nations Charter and general international law; and that the legality of the occupation itself is governed by the latter. The United States also ignores the written statements of the many other States which conclude that the Israeli occupation is unlawful as a whole, precisely because its annexation and settlement of the occupied territory constitute a permanent acquisition of territory by force in violation of Article 2 (4) and general international law.

36. Instead, in a single footnote, the United States responds only to those States which submitted that the Israeli occupation is unlawful under Articles 40 and 41 of the Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts 69. Remarkably, the United States contends that neither of those two articles reflects general international law. This is truly stunning! A persistent failure of a State to fulfill an obligation arising under a peremptory norm is not unlawful under general international law, as provided in Article 40? The injunction in Article 41 that no State shall recognize as lawful a situation created by a serious breach of a peremptory norm is not part of general international law? Just how far in disregarding the international legal order will the United States go to exempt Israel from the consequences of its ongoing violation of peremptory norms, including the prohibition on acquisition of territory by force?

19. "[T]he violence and restrictions imposed on Palestinians impact every aspect of Palestinian life"168. That's UNCTAD reporting in March 2023. And, of course, today the situation is even more grave. The violation of Palestine's exercise of the right to self-determination is manifest and it is gross.

20. In summary, Israel has arrogated to itself the right to decide who owns Palestinian land, who may live on it, and how it is to be used. On Israel's approach, it decides on the use of resources and allocation of benefits. On Israel's approach, it decides whether Palestinians remain or return. On Israel's approach, it decides how, if at all, Palestinians may meet, trade, teach, worship, live, love.

21. And Israel wants more. Its current Prime Minister and Government celebrate the denial of Palestinian exercise of self-determination, of sovereignty and statehood. They celebrate it. They claim a right to construct settlements in the Palestinian territory169. With pride they speak of the power to frustrate the Oslo Accords and Palestinian statehood, the ultimate expression -- the ultimate expression -- of the right of self-determination170.

by Cat on Mon Feb 19th, 2024 at 09:38:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
news.un | US vetoes Algerian resolution demanding immediate ceasefire in Gaza, 20 Feb
• US uses veto power to quash Algeria's draft resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and presents rival text that would condemn Hamas but also support a temporary ceasefire
• The US is expected to circulate its own draft later on Tuesday but news reports suggest negotiations will be far from easy, with both Russia and China voicing strong opposition to the third use of a veto by the US on ceasefire resolutions
• Council members lament continued suffering in Gaza and lambast possible Israeli military operation into Rafah
• Algeria's ambassador says it will continue to "knock at the Council's door" to maximize pressure on Israel and Hamas for a ceasefire which will end the bloodshed
• "This veto does not absolve Israel of its obligations," says the ambassador for the observer State of Palestine
• A ceasefire would be "a death sentence", for Israelis and ordinary Gazans alike, says Israel's ambassador
• Qatar's ambassador, speaking for the Gulf Cooperation Council, says her delegation will continue its facilitating efforts to free all hostages, protect civilians and secure a ceasefire
US to World: The American Way of Life or the highway to hell
US offers alternative draft resolution

US Ambassador Linda "Eat muh gumbo" Thomas-Greenfield said her delegation is working on a hostage deal. Although gaps remain, the key elements are on the table, so if an arrangement were reached, it would involve a sustainable peace.

"Sometimes hard diplomacy takes more time than any of us might like," she said. "Any action this Council takes should help and not hinder these sensitive ongoing negotiations."

4 Feb Netanyahu's war goals: reduction, purification, neutralization
7 Feb Full Text of Hamas Response to Ceasefire Proposal; and
Netanyahu rejects "Hamas' delusional demands"
That's why the US is proposing a separate resolution that would work towards a temporary ceasefire based on the formula that all [Israeli] hostages are released. It is time this Council condemns Hamas ["infrastructure of violence", ie. Palestine], she said.
archive EO 13224, 23 Sep 2001 - EO EO 14115
Should the US draft be adopted, it would be the first time the Council condemned Hamas, as well as called against any forced displacement of Gazans and that a major ground offensive in the enclave would not proceed.
archive "lower intensity operations" approved for Israel's "self-defense"
by Cat on Wed Feb 21st, 2024 at 02:39:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Homicidal maniacs table draft resolution on Gaza rivaling Algeria's at UN Security Council, 19 Feb
The US draft resolution underscores that the Israeli offensive against the Gazan town of Rafah should not proceed, citing circumstances under which such an attack "would result in further harm to civilians and their further displacement including potentially into neighboring countries [!], which would have serious implications for regional peace and security."
The US draft, seen by Arab News, condemns "all acts of terrorism [!], including the Hamas-led attacks of October 7, 2023, as well as Hamas' taking and killing of hostages, murder, and sexual violence including rape."
O RLY? | 'Credible allegations' of Palestinian women and girls being raped and executed by Israeli troops: UN experts (19.02.24)
It emphasizes "grave concern" for the well-being of the 130-plus Israeli hostages [!] held by Hamas and other groups, as well as for the well-being of the civilian population of Gaza, including the more than 1.5 million Palestinians now taking refuge in Rafah.

It calls for the lifting of "all barriers to the provision of humanitarian assistance at scale," and for parties to the conflict to allow "the immediate, safe, sustained and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance at scale [wtaf] directly to the Palestinian civilian population throughout the Gaza Strip."

The text also stresses the urgent need for "a viable plan to ensure the protection of and prevent the displacement of civilians in the event of a major ground military offensive into Rafah," and calls on all parties to "refrain from depriving Palestinians in Gaza of assistance indispensable [?] to their survival."

It further stresses that Gaza constitutes "an integral part of the territory occupied [BY WHOM?] in 1967 [wtaf]," and reiterates the vision of a two-state solution with the Gaza Strip as part of a Palestinian state.

They simply cannot quit, because they will not accept the word, NO.
by Cat on Mon Feb 19th, 2024 at 09:11:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
12-14 Feb World Governments Summit 2024
In 2024, the World Governments Summit will take place under the theme of 'Shaping Future Governments' where the conversation will involve governments, international organizations, thought leaders, and private sector leaders from around the globe to international cooperation and enable governments to identify innovative solutions for future challenges- further rippling to inspire and empower the next generation of governments. "key speakers" (Carlson omitted)
agenda | PR archive, 2013 - present

comment. I confess, this annual confab had completely escaped my noticed until today. Had RT not planted Carlson's footprint on today's news, I would have missed an otherwise potent catalyst in re-alignment of uhh polarities. The tenor of Carlson's interview with the host's agonistic interlocutor is most peculiar—the odour of a pair of unsophisticated socks discarded on a polished floor tickles my nostrils. While forum agenda and key speakers make clear that this event caters in large part to facilitating commericial ventures between Gulf states, littoral African delegations, and transnational corporations, organizers ironically selected TR, QA, IN heads of state to attend as guests of honor. "Mohammad Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of WGS Organisation, said that hosting Türkiye, India, and Qatar as this year's guests of honor reflects their deep-rooted ties and strategic partnership with the UAE."

Save the Date
Munich Security Conference 2024, 16-18 Feb
The Hague A/RES/77/247 application hearing, 19 Feb,

by Cat on Mon Feb 12th, 2024 at 10:18:57 PM EST
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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, BR, CN, EG, ET, IN, IR, RU, SA, ZA; DZ*, BO*, ID*, BD*, CM*, ML*, SN*, TH*, UZ*, FJ*, KZ*, TN*, TR
archive IMEC

India, UAE sign pact on trans-continental trade corridor, 13 Feb CEPA adjustment
"an agreement on a trade corridor that aims to connect Europe with India through parts of the Middle East by sea and rail, an ambitious key corridor plan backed by the U.S. and the European Union"

Indian PM Modi's seventh UAE visit strengthens bilateral ties amid election buzz, 13 Feb

...The meeting between Modi and Sheikh Mohammed included the signing of bilateral agreements, covering various sectors such as trade, investment, defense, security, food, energy security and education. Modi's office expressed satisfaction with the expanding cooperation between India and the UAE, highlighting the robust cultural and people-to-people connections.

While specifics of the discussions weren't immediately disclosed by the UAE, thousands of Indian nationals are expected to attend an event in Abu Dhabi's Zayed Sports City Stadium to welcome Modi...

Volume of trade exchange bet. Egypt, Turkey record $6.6B in 2023: CAPMAS, 13 Feb
"compared to $7.8 billion in 2022, a decline of 15.7 percent, according to data released by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics"
Turkish exporters redirect sales away from Israel as trade plunges
"Trade Minister Ömer Bolat earlier this month affirmed the decline and said there was a nearly 50% drop in trade with Israel."
Türkiye's Erdogan, Egypt's el-Sisi meeting updates: Erdogan arrives in Cairo, 14 Feb Cairo Summit
by Cat on Wed Feb 14th, 2024 at 08:01:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
agenda.ge | Georgia's Central Election Commission reveals date, procedures for 2024 parliamentary vote , 10 Jan
Georgia's Central Election Commission on Wednesday set October 26 as the date for this year's parliamentary elections and outlined mandatory registration procedures for participating parties.
georgiatoday | Overview: Georgia's Prime Minister Steps Down, Ivanishvili Seeks to Replace Him with Kobakhidze, 1 Feb
On Monday January 29, Irakli Garibashvili stepped down from his post as Prime Minister of Georgia.

"I clearly served our country, uncompromisingly defended the interests of our country and people, and I am proud of the results I achieved with the team during this period," he told media. Garibashvili served as the Prime Minister of Georgia from 22 February 2021, following on from Giorgi Gakharia. He had first served as prime minister from 20 November 2013 until his resignation on 30 December 2015.
Parliament now has a two-week period to express confidence in a new prime ministerial candidate and the government team and program presented by him. The party with the best results in the elections has the right to nominate a candidate for the position of prime minister. In this regard, a change has been made in the charter of the Georgian Dream party, according to which the political council of the party will approve the candidacy of a prime minister after their nomination by the honorary chairman of the party, this being Bidzina Ivanishvili. In order to receive confidence, the support of the majority of the full composition of parliament, in all 76 deputies, is required.

agenda.ge | Four Parliamentary committees back new cabinet, Gov't programme, 5 Feb
for "building a European state" following changes sparked by the resignation of Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and nomination of the ruling Georgian Dream party Chair Irakli Kobakhidze as his replacement last week.

The committees—for Legal Affairs, Human Rights and Civil Integration, Defence and Security, and Procedural Issues and Rules—supported the new cabinet composition following a joint session involving presentations by Vakhtang Gomelauri, the candidate for the Interior Minister, Rati Bregadze, the candidate for the Justice Minister, Irakli Chikovani, the candidate for the Defence Minister and Thea Akhvlediani, the candidate for the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality.

SSSG: Explosive devices were transported from Ukraine to Russia through Georgia, 5 Feb

archive Georgia candidate status, May 2023 transition action plans, EU Friendship: Democracy Live in Georgia in European Betrayal of Minsk Agreements, candidacy deferred in Merkel Defends Her Legacy, EU Membership Questionnaire for Georgia in Biden's Blitzkrieg, Georgia formally applies

by Cat on Mon Feb 5th, 2024 at 04:11:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
lemonde | Senegalese President Macky Sall postpones election and his departure from the presidency
[W]ith three weeks to go, Sall has given no date for the ballot, leaving the matter to the National Assembly, whose bureau approved a bill to postpone the election by six months on Saturday morning. Earlier, it had set up a parliamentary commission of inquiry to shed light on the candidate selection process. The bill has every chance of being passed, as the presidential majority and the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS), which support the initiative, represent more than three-quarters of the Assembly's elected representatives.
vOLdeMoRT | Election delay heightens tensions in African state, 5 Feb
The African Union (AU) has called on Senegalese authorities to hold a presidential election as soon as possible, citing concerns about unrest in the country following the postponement of a vote originally scheduled for later this month.

The statement from the 55-nation bloc on Sunday came a day after Senegalese President Macky Sall pushed back the West African nation's February 25 election to an unspecified date, citing electoral issues that he claimed would trigger conflict. Sall, who is not running for office, cited a disagreement between the judiciary and federal lawmakers over the exclusion of key opposition candidates from the final electoral list, including the jailed Ousmane Sonko and Karim Wade, as well as the alleged dual nationality of some candidates already cleared to contest the vote.

Wade, the son of former Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, has accused judges of corruption in the disqualification process and has requested the rescheduling of the polls, in order to "make it possible to repair the damage suffered" by those disqualified. However, Sall's decision has sparked anger, with several of the 20 opposition candidates and civil society organizations denouncing it as an "institutional coup." They have called on citizens to defend democracy.

guardian | Senegal riot police fire teargas to break up protests over postponed election
Sall's unprecedented announcement on Saturday pitched the west African country into uncharted constitutional waters that threaten to further tarnish its reputation as a bastion of democratic stability in a region swept by coups ECOWAS.

"They are trying to extend the president's term, which is illegal and not allowed," said Mohammad Mbengue, one of the protesters.

mwfa.oeg | MFWA demands immediate lifting of suspension of Walf TV (13.03.23)

cpj.org | Senegalese broadcaster Walf TV suspended for 1 month, threatened with permanent license revocation (26.06.23)

About 100 people gathered outside parliament on Monday after confrontations on Sunday [4 Feb], chanting "Macky Sall is a dictator". Police chased them into side streets and made arrests. Authorities temporarily restricted mobile internet access from Sunday night, citing hate messages on social media and threats to public order. Several schools sent pupils home early. The private Walf television channel said it had been taken off air on Sunday and that its licence had been revoked.
archive December CFA Zone:WAEMU, UNGA CEASE FIRE, Zimbabwe 2023 Elections, West Africa prepares for war in Niger: Decolonization, ELECTION 2023 Nigeria 25 Feb, African POWs "stress test" SUMMIT, G7 concern trolls UPDATE

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)

by Cat on Mon Feb 5th, 2024 at 05:10:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT allafrica | Ecowas Opposes President Sall, Demands Return to Electoral Calendar, 7 Feb
Senegal's parliament on Tuesday voted to delay the presidential election to 15 December. The ECOWAS Commission, on Tuesday, urged the political class in Senegal to urgently respect the country's constitution and allow elections to hold in line with the electoral calendar.
Senegal's parliament on Tuesday voted to delay the presidential election to 15 December in a chaotic vote that took place after opposition lawmakers were forcibly removed from the chamber as they debated President Macky Sall's earlier decision to delay the crucial election.
BUT FOR convergence of unsolicited advice

thenewsnigeria | ECOWAS must sanction Senegal for illegal postponement of elections—Falana

Human rights lawyer Femi Falana, SAN has urged the Authority of Heads of State and Government [!] of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to urgently organise an extra-ordinary session to discuss and respond to the deteriorating human rights and rule of law situation in Senegal.
and solicited advice

ecowas.int | The President of The Ecowas Commission Engages in High-Level Discussions With the FCDO Director General in Abuja (UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office mission)

Stressing coordinated efforts for critical concerns, H.E. Mathews highlighted Touray's leadership importance, especially in Niger [!] and Sierra Leone. She explored counterterrorism and cooperation, showing commitment to mutual understanding amid complex geopolitical dynamics.
under MSC 2024 "shifting sands" of the Sahel might well foment a violent insurgency, perhaps a "constitutional order" coup, that Sall claims to foreclose.
by Cat on Wed Feb 7th, 2024 at 09:33:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
voiceofeurope | President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador declares victory in election, 5 Feb
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele, recognized for his tough stance on gangs in the Central American nation, asserts that he has been re-elected. The 42-year-old announced on social media that he secured 85% of the vote, though official confirmation is pending, as reported by BBC.
Despite his popularity, Bukele remains a contentious figure, with human rights groups accusing him of arbitrary arrests during the anti-gang campaign. Approximately 75,000 people have been arrested under extended emergency measures. Amnesty International, in a December report, criticized the "gradual replacement of gang violence with state violence."
bbc | Salvador election: Nayib Bukele revels in landslide win
After casting his own vote, President Bukele held a news conference in the capital.
I [, Will Grant,] asked him if, now that he had turned the security situation around, he would concentrate on the next stage of the security policy—specifically the legal process of the thousands of people with no gang affiliation who, according to human rights organisations, have been unlawfully jailed.
univision | "La seguridad está mejor, la economía sigue mal": los retos del nuevo gobierno de Bukele en El Salvador
"Su segundo gobierno será problemático porque no se cumplirán las expectativas de la gente ni en lo económico ni en lo social. Las tendencias (económicas) no son buenas para él", dijo a la AFP el economista independiente salvadoreño César Villalona. Un informe de la agencia Moody's destaca que el perfil crediticio de El Salvador refleja necesidades de financiamiento aún elevadas, la falta de acceso a los mercados internacionales de capital y una baja capacidad de pago de la deuda.

"La falta de un marco fiscal y de financiamiento creíble a medio plazo, junto con una gobernanza débil, socavan la previsibilidad de las políticas y continúan afectando la solidez crediticia", dice el reporte.

telesur | El Salvador: Electoral Boards Members Denounce Vote Duplication
On Monday, the Central American newspaper La Prensa Grafica published an article compiling reports of irregularities in the presidential and legislative elections held in El Salvador. According to some citizens who took part in the Voting Reception Boards (JRV), the number of votes is doubling due to failures in the electoral information transmission system.
scmp | El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele declares landslide victory in election
by Cat on Mon Feb 5th, 2024 at 05:44:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
PAKISTAN Live: Elections 2024

Counting underway after polling concludes

"ISPR says troops outside RO offices for security only, not part of electoral process; govt claims cellular services partially restored amid rigging allegations."

Amnesty International expresses concern over 'lethal, targeted' violence in KP, Balochistan, 28 killed, over 50 injured in back-to-back explosions in Pishin, Qila Saifullah

by Cat on Fri Feb 9th, 2024 at 12:35:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mail-in, 7 Feb
Former prime minister Imran Khan and other prominent incarcerated political figures have cast their votes through a postal ballot from Adiala Jail, sources said on Wednesday.

Other political leaders who have managed to vote by mail included former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid, and former information minister Fawad Chaudhry.

However, Mr Khan's wife, Bushra Bibi, was unable to partake in the voting as she was convicted and arrested after the completion of the postal voting process.

by Cat on Fri Feb 9th, 2024 at 12:38:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
arab.org (NGO 1945), OPEC (1960 FTA), OIC (1969 NGO), GCC (FTA 1981)

Since The UNSC Res. 678 Gulf War (1990-1991) between Iraq and a 42-country  coalition led by the United States' Operations "Desert Storm" and "Liberation of Kuwait", Kuwait's been mighty quiet.

Let's recap 2024
arabtimesonline | Kuwait's Future in Jeopardy with Populist Legislation, 2 Jan

Experts and economists are sounding the alarm about the repercussions of succumbing to economically irrational populist demands and parliamentary pressures, warning of the potential catastrophic financial consequences that could push Kuwait into a fiscal impasse, jeopardizing its economic stability and sovereign credit rating, reports Al-Qabas daily.
It appears as if there is a plan to deplete the "generations" reserve, exacerbated by the government's struggles to pass laws promoting financial sustainability and its inability to make tangible progress in financial and economic reforms.
Adding to the gravity of the financial predicament is the fact that approximately 80% of the country's budget is allocated to salaries and subsidies, leaving meager spending on capital projects that often face numerous obstacles. Experts warned that the deficit for the upcoming fiscal year 2024-2025 may soar to 6.1 billion dinars, assuming optimistic oil prices around $80 per barrel. If oil prices drop to $70 per barrel, the deficit could reach 9 billion dinars.
reuters | Kuwait 2024-25 draft budget sees $19.15 [KWD 5.892] bln deficit (30.01.24)
The draft budget for the year from April 1 sees oil revenues at 16.234 billion dinars, down 5.4% from 2023-2024, based on an oil price of $70 a barrel, the ministry added. Expenditure is projected to fall by 6.6% to 24.555 billion dinars, the ministry also said.
At this point, salaries, wages, and subsidies would constitute about 113% of general budget revenues, exceeding current expenses. This calculation does not even account for the cost of absorbing 20,000 to 25,000 citizens entering the labor market.
usnews reuters | Kuwait Forms First Government Under New Amir and Prime Minister, 17 Jan
Sheikh Mohammed appointed new ministers for oil, finance, and foreign affairs in the first cabinet formed under Kuwait's new Emir Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah, which he said would carry out reforms to comply with the emir's guidance.
dailynewsegypt | Egypt Kuwait Holding Company appoints Jon Rokk as Managing Director (05.02.24)
... Founded in 1997, Egypt Kuwait Holding Company is listed on both the Kuwait and Egyptian stock markets. Its diverse portfolio spans five major sectors: fertilizers, petrochemicals, gas upstream and distribution, power production and distribution, insurance, and non-bank financial services.
Kuwait's Amir Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who came to power in December [2023] after his predecessor Sheikh Nawaf died, is expected to preserve Kuwaiti foreign policies including support for Gulf Arab unity, Western alliances, and good ties to Riyadh—a relationship seen as a priority.

Kuwait will have to grapple with long-running strains between the ruling family and its critics in the deadlocked and fractious parliament that critics say has hindered fiscal and economic reform. The legislature wields more influence than similar bodies in other Gulf monarchies, and political deadlock has for decades led to cabinet reshuffles and dissolutions of parliament.

KUNA.kw, 7 Feb
Arab League condems Argentina's plan to relocate embassy to Jerusalem
"citing UNSC Resolution 478"

Four aid-laden trucks head to Yemen-KRCS
"through Saudi Arabia as part of the capaign helping Yemen"

Kuwait Amir expresses gratitude towars Omani Sultan, people's hospitality
"he was elated to join Sulatan Haitham in the opening of Al-Duqm Refinery and Petrochemical Industries Company, which embodies a quantum leap in Kuwait-Omani economic partnership

Keen on meeting citizens' basic needs - Kuwaiti Min.
"Sheikh Feras's remark to KUNA came following a high-level meeting on the declaration approved by the 32nd Arab Summit [19.05.23] in Saudi Arabia, as part of the High-level Arab Multidimensial Social Development Forum in Doha."

by Cat on Fri Feb 9th, 2024 at 02:14:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Book III
gold,1 and much frequented by merchants, who obtain large profits. We shall now speak of the province of Aden.


THE province of Aden is governed by a king, who bears the title of soldan.3 The inhabitants are all Saracens, and utterly detest the Christians. In this kingdom there are many towns and castles, and it has the advantage of an excellent port, fre quented by ships arriving from India with spices and drugs. The merchants who purchase them with the intention of con veying them to Alexandria, unlade them from the ships in which they were imported, and distribute the cargoes on board of other smaller vessels or barks, with which they navigate a gulf of the sea for twenty days, more or less, according to the weather they experience. Having reached their port, they then load their goods upon the backs of camels, and transport them overland (thirty days journey) to the river Nile, where they are again put into small vessels, called jerms, in which they are conveyed by the stream of that river to Kairo, and from thence, by an artificial canal, named Kalizene, at length to Alexandria. This is the least difficult, and the shortest route the merchants can take with their goods, the produce of India, from Aden to that city. In this port of Aden, likewise, the merchants ship a great number of Arabian horses, which they carry for sale to all the kingdoms and islands of India, obtaining high prices for them, and making large profits.

The soldan of Aden possesses immense treasures, arising from the imposts he lays, as well upon the merchandise that comes from India, as upon that which is shipped in his port as the returning cargo ; this being the most considerable mart in all that quarter for the exchange of commodities, and the place to which all trading vessels resort. I was informed that when the soldan of Babylon led his army the first time against the city of Acre, and took it, this city of Aden furnished him with thirty thousand horses and forty thousand camels, stimulated by the rancour borne against the Christians. We shall now speak of the city of Escier. [Polo:348]
1. Although gold is enumerated amongst the articles of export from Abyssinia, and is said to be found in its rivers, it is not spoken of by modern writers as abounding in the country: yet, as the adjoining coasts of Africa have at all periods been celebrated for the production of gold, it is reasonable to suppose that, during the flourishing days of the empire, it may have been collected there from the southward, in large quantities, and at a price to afford considerable profit when disposed of to the mer chants of Arabia. " On trouve," says Niebuhr, in his description of the latter country, " beaucoup d or de Habbesch dans les villes bien commercantes." P. 124.
2. Whatever place it may have been, against which the hostility of the king of Abyssinia was directed (as mentioned in the preceding chapter), there can be no doubt of the Aden here described being the famous city and port of Aden, in the south-eastern extremity of Yemen or Arabia Felix, and not far from the entrance of the Red Sea. It is not, indeed, surprising that two places so nearly resembling each other in name (as Adel and Aden), and spoken of in successive chapters, should have been confounded by the translators of the work, and mistaken for the same ; nor is it impossible that our author himself might have misapprehended the information he received from the Arabian pilots.
3. De Guignes, speaking of the princes of the family of Saladin, who reigned at Aden from the year 1180, says: " Apres la mort de ce prince, qui a du arriver vers Tan 637 de 1 Hegire, de J. C. 1239, un Turkoman, appelle Noureddin Omar, qui s etoit empare de ce pays, envoya demander au khalif Mostanser une patente et rinvestiture en qualitl de sulthan de 1 Yemen, ce qui lui fut accorde." Cette famille a possede 1* Yemen jusqu apres Tan 800 de 1 Hegire, de J. C. 1397." (Tab. Chronol. liv. vii. p. 426.) Consequently, it was one of these sultans or soldans who reigned at the period of which our author treats.

by Cat on Sun Feb 11th, 2024 at 10:29:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is UNRWA
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Middle East, commonly known by the acronym UNRWA, is the UN agency that currently provides humanitarian relief and services to Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon,
and the occupied Palestinian territories (the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including East Jerusalem). It has an interesting history.

UNRWA came into existence after the first attempt to implement a two-state settlement in 1948 ended in catastrophe. This attempt was initiated by the United Nations by way UN General Assembly Resolution 181(II) of 29 November 1947 recommending the partition of Palestine.

by Cat on Tue Feb 20th, 2024 at 03:15:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
msk.gov.az | Election Commission, procedural instructions

Ilham Aliyev wins presidential election with 92 percent of votes, 7 Feb, procedural results

euronews.com | President of Azerbaijan sweeps election - exit polls, procedural observer

...This year's vote, which Aliyev only announced last month, was boycotted by the two main opposition parties, and took place under increased restrictions on the media. Assuming Aliyev's win is confirmed, he will be set up for another seven years in power....
procedural drama
eurasiareview | The Story Of Azerbaijan's 2024 Elections, 8 Feb
...The media, often referred to as the fourth estate of democracy, fulfilled its role by delivering thorough, impartial, and perceptive reporting on the election process. Journalists diligently labored to guarantee that all developments, nuances, and viewpoints were communicated to the residents of Baku and the Caucasus Mountains without any filtering or distortion. The exceptional media environment not only educated and enlightened the voting population but also played a crucial role in protecting the honesty of the democratic process by ensuring that all parties involved were held responsible....
aze.media | Unexpected call from Brussels: Michel realizes that he owes Ilham Aliyev, 9 Feb
...Michel's congratulatory social media post also looks like an act of penance. As they say, small mercies. He said that he had substantive discussions with the Azerbaijani leader on the normalization of Armenia-Azerbaijan relations and said that he welcomed "Azerbaijan's commitment to resume the Brussels process trilateral meeting to advance a stable and prosperous South Caucasus."

Finally, he touched upon the topic of co-operation of the European Union with Azerbaijan, emphasizing the importance of connectivity and energy. The cable-brief message merits some important clarifications. The Azerbaijani leadership has always maintained and continues to maintain a clear position. To accuse Baku of not being previously committed to co-operation on the basis of the Brussels platform is, at the very least, dishonest. Does Michel not know who initiated the peace agenda, who made the first step towards a sustainable and comprehensive peace? Of course, he knows all this....

archive Azerbaijan Refused to Meet EU, September 2023 right to return, strategic autonomy gas, INSTC, CPEC, IMEC, scrambled AZ, AM
by Cat on Fri Feb 9th, 2024 at 01:49:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
TASS | Next meeting of SCO defense ministers to be held in Kazakhstan in 2024, 29 Apr 2023
"Kazakhstan will chair the SCO from July 2023 to July 2024"

zakon.kz | Kazakhstan Government resigns, 5 Feb

As follows from the text of the decree, in accordance with Article 70 of the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the President decided to accept the resignation of the Government of Kazakhstan. The decree also states that the President has decided that members of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan "will continue to perform their duties until the new composition of the government is approved."
cgtn | Kazakh president Tokayev accepts government resignation
Tokayev's office did not say why the cabinet had resigned. Before the decree was published, the government of Kazakhstan was headed by Alikhan Smailov, who was appointed prime minister in January 2022 and reappointed in March 2023.
nur.kz | Kazakhstan Government resigns
In March 2023, Alikhan Smailov was re-elected as Prime Minister. Today, Akorda announced an expanded government meeting with Tokayev's participation—it will be held on Wednesday, February 7. Last week, Senate Speaker Maulen Ashimbayev announced the date of the planned meeting. Then journalists were interested in whether it is worth waiting for the resignation of the government, but the chairman of the Senate said that he was not authorized to answer such questions.
kz.kursiv | New prime minister of Kazakhstan wants the government to cut expenditures, 9 Feb
New Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Olzhas Bektenov has instructed the Ministry of Finance to carry out an audit of the national and municipal budgets in order to cut unnecessary expenditures, according to the cabinet's press service. Bektenov has already met with officials responsible for financial and economic issues.
primeminister.kz | Work pace to be high and demand to be tough: Olzhas Bektenov outlines key tasks for Government, 9 Feb

archive BRICS "messaging system, SCO "messaging system" keynotes, World POWs "stress test", September 2022 more constitutional amdts

by Cat on Fri Feb 9th, 2024 at 05:08:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LockBit ransomware group taken down in multinational operation | ArsTechnica |

Graeme Biggar, NCA director-general, said law enforcement officers had "successfully infiltrated and fundamentally disrupted LockBit."

"LockBit has caused enormous harm and cost. No longer," Biggar told a media conference in London, flanked by officials from the FBI, US Department of Justice, and Europol. "As of today, LockBit is effectively redundant. LockBit has been locked out."

Over the past four years, LockBit has been involved in thousands of ransomware attacks on victims around the world, from high-profile corporate targets to hospitals and schools.

Five defendants have been charged in the US, officials said, including two Russian nationals. Two of the five are in custody. Another two alleged members of the gang were arrested in Ukraine and Poland on Tuesday, with law enforcement officials promising more to come.

"There is a large concentration of these individuals in Russia," said Biggar, who added that, while there was "clearly some tolerance of cyber criminality" there, the investigation had "not seen direct support from the Russian state."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 20th, 2024 at 04:27:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 1st, 2024 at 06:28:33 AM EST

Wray Gun. China to 'wreak havoc' by returning TAO exploits to US infrastructure
by Cat on Thu Feb 1st, 2024 at 02:34:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wsj | Why Defense Contractors Are Saying No to Their Biggest Customer: The Pentagon, 30 Jan
The Pentagon typically uses what are called cost-plus contracts to develop new weapons systems. Companies earn a fixed profit and the government covers unexpected expenses if problems emerge or contract requirements change. When those plans are ironed out and weapons are ready for production, the Pentagon often switches to fixed-price deals. The parties agree on a price, but companies are left on the hook if costs run higher.

Executives said the balance between risk and reward from some deals has swung too far toward the Pentagon, pushing them to avoid projects that could fuel growth.

by Cat on Thu Feb 1st, 2024 at 11:39:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Former CIA coder sentenced to 40 years in prison for WikiLeaks 'Vault 7' breach, 1 Feb
Comparing the WikiLeaks "Vault 7" leak of top secret Central Intelligence Agency cyber-espionage tools to a "digital Pearl Harbor," U.S District Judge Jesse Furman said Thursday he was "blown away by Mr. Schulte's complete lack of remorse and acceptance of responsibility."

"The impact on our nation's intelligence operations was enormous and we will likely never know the extent of the damage caused, but no doubt it was massive and real," Furman said before imposing the 480-month sentence.

"It did have, as substantiated by the deputy director's unclassified letter and even more substantiated by a confidential letter, an immediate and catastrophic effect on the CIA, and caused untold damage to national security," the Obama-appointed judge said at the conclusion of the two-hour sentencing hearing.

by Cat on Fri Feb 2nd, 2024 at 07:33:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on February 2, 2024
CCTV: In his article in Foreign Affairs, CIA Director William Burns said that "CIA has committed substantially more resources toward China-related intelligence collection, operations, and analysis around the world--more than doubling the percentage of our overall budget focused on China over just the last two years," and CIA is "hiring and training more Mandarin speakers while stepping up efforts across the world to compete with China, from Latin America to Africa to the Indo-Pacific." What's your comment?
Wang Wenbin: China is committed to a path of peaceful development. China's development represents opportunities for global development and the growth of the force for world peace. As the head of the largest spy agency in the world, William Burns openly told everyone that US spies are everywhere. Thank him for reminding us. China will take precautions as usual and will not allow the US to get its way through illegal moves.
by Cat on Fri Feb 2nd, 2024 at 07:47:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
insidedefense | Pentagon tester says F-35 availability at serious low, program deficiencies persist, 1 Feb
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is significantly behind schedule, with just 51% of the aircraft available last year for combat, testing or training as opposed to the fleet's stated goal of 65%, according to a Pentagon report published today.
uniindia | F-35 jet fails to meet basic operating stards in 65 areas: DOTE, 3 Feb
"The F-35 program development cycle continues to experience delays due to immature and deficient Block 4 mission systems software and avionics stability problems with the new Technology Refresh 3 (TR-3) hardware going into Lot 15 production aircraft," the report said. "As a result, deliveries of production Lot 15 aircraft in the TR-3 configuration are on hold until more testing can be completed and the avionics issues resolved"
archive The cost of doing business

dote.osd.mil, "FY Annual Report", Jan 2024, pp 52-67, of which Tables 1-7
Acronyms: C2D2 - Continuous Capability Development and Delivery; IAW - in accordance with; IOC - Initial Operational Capability; JOTT - JSF Operational Test Team; OUE - Operational Utility Evaluation; OT - operational test; SDD - System Development and Demonstration; TR-[x] - Technology Refresh [version #], referring to the suite of various avionics and supporting subsystems; UOTT - U.S. Operational Test Team
GAO, F-35 JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER, More Actions Needed to Explain Cost Growth and Support Engine Modernization Decision, May 2023
by Cat on Sat Feb 3rd, 2024 at 02:57:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT newrepublic | GOP Congressman Says Dead Palestinian Babies Aren't All That Innocent, 1 Feb
A Republican representative believes that Palestinian babies are not innocent civilians but "terrorists" who should be killed.

Florida Representative Brian Mast made the horrifying comment when confronted by Code Pink protesters outside his office on Wednesday. In a video, Mast can be seen calmly telling the demonstrators, "It would be better if you kill all the terrorists and kill everyone who are supporters." ...

by Cat on Sun Feb 4th, 2024 at 12:27:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
rollcall | New Israel supplemental readied in House, without [IRS budget cut], 3 Feb
Speaker Mike Johnson told GOP lawmakers on Saturday that he's preparing to bring a stand-alone, $17.6 billion supplemental funding package for Israel and U.S. troops in the Middle East to the House floor next week.
Jan bill: $14.3B for "Israel, U.S. embassy personnel, and evacuation of American citizens"
The new House bill departs from an earlier Israel aid package by dropping an offset opposed by Democrats—rescinding more IRS enforcement funding —and adds $3.3 billion for U.S. operations in the region since the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks.
by Cat on Sun Feb 4th, 2024 at 08:33:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"You're not Nalvany." (or Assange)
Some Jan. 6 rioters are not 'political prisoners'. Judges want to set the seditious conspiracy to overthrow the US government, resist arrest, and willfully damage property record straight. Too late to uhh de-politicize US federal civil and criminal codes but not too late to revise Don Cheeto's leading ROLE as the bankrupt CATILINE.

APsplainin Capitol rioters' convictions and punishments, data visualization

by Cat on Mon Feb 5th, 2024 at 12:44:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oct 2023
• Israel $14.3 billion
• Ukraine $61.4 billion
• Border security $13.6 billion
• Indo-Pacific $7.4 billion
OMB $106B supplemental budget request items

Dec 2023

Feb 2024

reuters | US Senate unveils $118 billion bill on border security, aid for Ukraine, Israel amended to H.R. 815, "Removing Extraneous Loopholes Insuring Every Veteran Emergency Act" (RELIEVE)
• Ukraine $60.06 billion
• Israel $14.1 billion
• CENTCOM Operation Prosperity Guardian $2.44 billion
• Indo-Pac $4.83 billion
• USAID (Ukraine, Palestine, East Africa, South Asia) $10 billion

rollcall | Senate supplemental receives frosty reception from some members, 5 Feb

The $118.3 billion package would direct some of the widest-reaching changes to U.S. border policy in years, and has garnered the support of President Joe Biden despite including provisions that would have seemed unpalatable to a Democrat-controlled White House just months ago.
Biden threatens veto of House GOP's standalone Israel aid bill, 5 Feb
"'The security of Israel should be sacred, not a political game,' the statement continued."

appropriations.senate.gov | Emergency National Security Supplemental Bill, 4 Feb draft, 370 pp
appropriations.senate.gov | National Security and Border Act, 2024, summary
National Security and Border Act, 2024, 7 pp summary
• Ukraine mil $15.1B
• Ukraine fin $1.5B
• Israel $10.6B
• Israel fin $3.4B
• Ukraine arms procurement  $13.5B
• Ukraine, Israel arms procurement $34.25B
• DOD arms contractors $5.9B
• DOD arms oversight $8B
• Ukraine refugees $2.334B
• Ukraine fiscal $13B
• Border security + combatting fenanyl, $43.99B; pp 3-5 "whole-of-government" disbursement

by Cat on Tue Feb 6th, 2024 at 10:35:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
rollcall | Schumer plans quick move to scaled-back war funding package, 7 Feb veto-proof levity
After a 1 p.m. Wednesday cloture vote on the motion to proceed, which is expected to fall short of the necessary 60 votes, Schumer, D-N.Y., intends to call up an amended version of the bipartisan $118.3 billion emergency appropriations bill. The same procedural vote on the scaled-back measure, which would lop off $20.2 billion in border-related spending and over 100 pages of immigration policy language from the original, would occur later on Wednesday.
< wipes tears >
After the cloture vote on the combined package goes down, if 60 votes are achieved on the amended version sans border and immigration provisions, then it would trigger potentially several days of debate and additional procedural votes. But under this plan, if enough Republicans vote for it, a war-time  < wipes tears > supplemental could be on its way to the House before lawmakers head out to the Munich Security Conference next weekend. The Senate-drafted package has over $60 billion for Ukraine, more than $14 billion for Israel, nearly $5 billion for Taiwan [!] and Indo-Pacific allies Compacts of Free Association, $10 billion in humanitarian aid and more.
archive Munich Rejects Key Speaker Slot Gallant in So the IDF Shoots UN Aid Workers, What's the second part of the question? in Munich Security Conference 2023, COFA Palau, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, 'opportunity' to genuflect
Compact Appropriations. Provides $7.1 billion in mandatory funding over the next 20 years for the Compacts with the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau, which includes $6.5 billion in economic assistance to the Freely Associated States and $634 million for continued United States Postal Service in the Freely Associated States [Palau, Micronesia, Marshall Islands]
by Cat on Wed Feb 7th, 2024 at 05:15:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yahoo! bloomberg | Biden Pins Border Bill Failure on Trump ["and his MAGA friends"] With Ukraine Hanging, 6 Feb
poll smoke: "Six in 10 swing state voters say the president bears responsibility for the the migrant influx at the southwest border, a Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll taken last month found, as Trump has blamed Biden for the situation."
by Cat on Wed Feb 7th, 2024 at 08:03:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Congress enacts third stopgap to fund government through March 2024 to avoid government shutdown, 18 Jan CRISIS
two separate expiration dates for two groups of annual spending bills:

NEW Deadline #1: Agriculture-Rural Development, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, Energy & Water, and Transportation-HUD - through March 1, 2024
NEW Deadline #2: Commerce-Justice-Science, Defense, Financial Services & General Government, Homeland Security, Interior-Environment, Labor-HHS-Education, Legislative Branch, and State & Foreign Operations - through March 8, 2024

As Congress works to finalize FY 2024 appropriations by these new deadline, lawmakers must also be mindful of the spending limits and deadlines imposed by the [Biden-McCarthy] Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA).

rollcall | Senate passes security supplemental, but House prospects murky, 13 Feb melodrama
Senators passed a $95.3 billion national security package amendment to House enrolled H.R.815, "RELIEVE" early Tuesday morning to provide military aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, the culmination of months of negotiation and days of procedural maneuvering on the Senate floor. After a handful of Republican senators finished giving speeches that dragged into the pre-dawn hours, a solid bipartisan majority supported the measure by a vote of 70-29 [≥ 2/3 "supermajority"].
"In the absence of having received any single border policy change from the Senate, the House will have to continue to work its own will on these important matters," [Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La.] said. "America deserves better than the Senate's status quo."
spending cardinals crafting legislation entered to the room. (12.02.24)
The [senate's appropriations amendment] had already faced an uncertain future in that [ArtI. §9, ¶.7] chamber. If Johnson opts to not bring the bill up for a vote, Democrats could attempt to force one on it anyway, with the help of a handful of Republicans, by using a so-called discharge petition, although those can be complicated and time-consuming.
archive FY2024 stopgap laddered bills
by Cat on Tue Feb 13th, 2024 at 06:19:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
intelligence.house.gov | Chairman Turner Leads Bipartisan CODEL to Ukraine, 9 Feb
Turner was joined by HPSCI [f/k/a HUAC] members Representatives French Hill (AR-02), Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Jason Crow (CO-06), as well as Representative Zach Nunn (IA-03), who sits on the House Financial Services Committee's Subcommittee on National Security, Illicit Finance, and International Financial Institutions and currently serves as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. The purpose of Chairman Turner's CODEL was to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensk*, members of the Ukrainian Parliament, and senior intelligence officials to learn about the latest developments in the region.
"fact found"
tabloid USAToday | 'National security threat' is about Russia's plan to put nuclear weapon in space, 14 Feb
Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, warned of a "serious national security threat" in an ominously worded statement [FKA "tweet"] Wednesday ahead of the planned meeting.
ABC News reported that Russia's push to put a nuclear weapon in space would be for potentially targeting satellites, not to be dropped on Earth. [...] Jon Wolfsthal, Director of Global Risk at the Federation of American Scientists added, however, that Russia doesn't need a nuclear weapon to damage satellites. And the use of a non-nuclear weapon would not violate existing treaties.
NY Yella Cake | Russia's Advances on Space-Based Nuclear Weapon Draw U.S. Concerns, 14 Feb
Concerns about placing nuclear [dilithium?] weapons in space go back 50 years; it was even a sub-theme [episode?] of < wipes tears > "Star Trek" episodes in the late 1960s, just as the treaty was coming into effect. The United States experimented with versions of the technology but never deployed them. Russia has been developing its space-based capabilities for decades.
The "ENtitY"! Khan! KHAN!
Shortly after Mr. Turner's announcement, Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, entered the White House press room to discuss the [$60B] importance of continued funding for Ukraine's [Defense Contact Group (UDCG)]. But Mr. Sullivan declined to address a reporter's question about the substance of Mr. Turner's announcement, saying only that he was set to meet with the chairman on Thursday
...I'm not in a position to say anything further from this podium at this time, other than to make the broad point that this administration has gone further and, in more creative, more strategic ways, dealt with the declass-—declassification of intelligence in the national interest of the United States than any administration in history. So, you definitely are not going to find an unwillingness to do that when it's in our national security interest to do so. At the same time, we, of course, have to continue to prioritize and focus very much on the issue of sources and methods. We'll do that. Ultimately, these are decisions for the President to make. ...
"We scheduled a briefing for the House members of the Gang of Eight tomorrow," Mr. Sullivan said, referring to a group of congressional leaders from both parties. "That's been on the books. So I am a bit surprised that Congressman Turner came out publicly today in advance of a meeting on the books for me to go sit with him alongside our intelligence and defense professionals tomorrow."
UNOOSA, "Space Law Treaties and Principles"
by Cat on Thu Feb 15th, 2024 at 11:31:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Mind The Gap. Opens in a theater near you 1 March 2024

by Cat on Sat Feb 17th, 2024 at 01:11:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sat Feb 17th, 2024 at 12:23:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu Feb 22nd, 2024 at 02:37:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Austin taken to hospital for 'symptoms suggesting emergent bladder issue', 11 Feb
"Austin, 70, was retaining his duties during his hospitalization, Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a written statement."
archive Praetorian Guard preppers
by Cat on Mon Feb 12th, 2024 at 06:28:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin cancels overseas trip following hospitalization, 12 Feb ICU
"The secretary will no longer travel to Brussels and Wednesday's Ukraine Defense Contact Group will now be held virtually," the U.S. defense official told ABC News. [...] "At approximately 4:55 pm today, Secretary Austin transferred the functions and duties of the office of the Secretary of Defense to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen ['Attritable Capacities'] Hicks," Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, said in a statement, updating the public early Thursday evening. "The Deputy Secretary of Defense has assumed the functions and duties. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the White House, and Congress have been notified."
by Cat on Mon Feb 12th, 2024 at 07:58:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Austin to resume Pentagon duties one day after admission to hospital, 12 Feb
"'A statement issued by the Pentagon said Austin, 70, had undergone non-surgical procedures under general anesthesia [?] to address the bladder issue. "We anticipate a successful recovery and will closely monitor him overnight,' the statement read."

Austin released from hospital and expected to return to Pentagon 'later this week', 13 Feb
"He resumed his full duties from home at 5 p.m., approximately 48 hours [?] after he had first transferred his responsibilities to his deputy, Kathleen Hicks."

by Cat on Thu Feb 15th, 2024 at 01:29:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Austin undergoes new procedures in third hospitalization, 12 Feb
"Estimates range widely for how prevalent that complication is after a prostate-removal procedure [prostatectomy], but Oliver Sartor, an oncologist who was not involved in Austin's care described it as a 'plausible' outcome. The obstruction can be fixed with a cystoscopy, a non-surgical procedure."

(with "non-surgical" biopsy tool, possibly "vaccination"?)

by Cat on Thu Feb 15th, 2024 at 02:02:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A day after his latest hospital release, Austin presses for urgent military aid for Ukraine, 14 Feb Ukraine Defense Contact Group
"Austin conducted the virtual session from his home, where he is still recovering from complications from his December surgery to treat prostate cancer."
by Cat on Thu Feb 15th, 2024 at 01:44:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
defense.gov | Statement by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on the Senate's Passage of the National-Security Supplemental, 13 Feb
I applaud the Senate's passage of the vital national-security supplemental, which will advance our core security interests and our bedrock values as we continue to stand firm with our Allies and partners around the world. This critical piece of bipartisan legislation will provide urgently needed military aid to help Ukraine defend itself against Putin's flagrant aggression; it will deliver additional security assistance to Israel after the October 7th Hamas terrorist assault, along with humanitarian aid for innocent Palestinian civilians in Gaza; and it will bolster our deterrence in the Indo-Pacific. The national-security bill will also provide additional resources for U.S. Central Command to support our forces facing attacks from Iranian-backed militias and protecting international commerce in the Red Sea from the Houthis' reckless and unlawful attacks.
This bill also strengthens our domestic industries and provides resources to create more good American jobs across the country, including $20 billion to buy new capabilities and gear to restock U.S. military inventories, $13.8 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative
defense.gov | U.S.-Led Coalition Announces New Initiatives to Bolster Ukraine's Long-Term Armor, Drone Capabilities (23.01.24)
Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Celeste Wallander announced that Germany and Latvia will lead the newly formed armor and drone capability coalitions [EE, NL, NO, SE, UK] collectively.
and $3.3 billion to strengthen the U.S. submarine industrial base. As was the case for previous supplementals, the bulk of the supplemental would flow through our defense industrial base, supporting American jobs in dozens of states across our country and creating greater prosperity at home and greater security around the world.
defense.gov | Austin Affirms U.S.-Led Coalition Stands With Ukraine, 14 Feb, 6-min. A/V enclosed
"Today's meeting marked the 19th iteration of the UDCG, a U.S.-led coalition comprising nearly 50 countries.  It comes amid continuing negotiations on Capitol Hill over President Joe Biden's request to Congress to continue critical funding for military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine."

defense.gov | Opening Remarks by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III at the 19th Ukraine Defense Contact Group (As Delivered), 14 Feb

archive center of psychoville 2023

by Cat on Thu Feb 15th, 2024 at 02:37:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
reuters | UK to supply thousands of drones to Ukraine, 15 Feb USD 251M Alibaba purchase order
"'Together, the UK and Latvia will give Ukraine the capabilities it needs to defend itself and win this war, to ensure that Russian President Vladimir Putin fails in his illegal and barbaric ambitions,' British Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said in a statement, ahead of meetings with allies in Brussels and Munich [Security Conference?] this week."

archive replicator initiative Attritable capabilities, Rand "Swarming

by Cat on Thu Feb 15th, 2024 at 11:44:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]

T -278

The Don Cheeto (R)

has won the last remaining unresolved delegate from New Hampshire, giving him a 13-9 delegate advantage in the Granite State over former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Two-Tones
Nikki Two-Tones (R)
who also served under the Trump administration as ambassador to the United Nations, will need to make up a lot of ground if she wants to have a strong showing in the Feb. 24 South Carolina primary. Despite losses in Iowa and New Hampshire last month, she has vowed to stay in the race through Super Tuesday, March 5.
Perry WUT? (R)
suspended his long-shot bid for president on Friday [October 20, 2023] after failing to gain traction in the race.
• not that Scott, the other one (R)
• Asa (R)
• dont-say-de-Santis (R)
•Dakato Doug Tech (R)
• Texass Hurd (R)
• Vivek WHO? (R)
• Pilgrim Pence (J)
• Christie Kreme Do'nuts (R)
• Marianne (D)
RFK, Jr (I)
is stepping up his strategy to get on battleground ballots as he flirts with the idea of running on the Libertarian Party ticket, raising alarm bells for Democrats who fear he will dent President Biden's re-election prospects.
Rt Rev Dr Cornel West (I) (JAP)
Announces the Formation of the Justice for All Party as Part of His 2024 Presidential Campaign and Beyond
Phil The Builder (D)
sued too late after being left off of Wisconsin's primary ballot and the state Supreme Court should reject his lawsuit
• the-other-Jill (G)

archived Jan 2024

by Cat on Thu Feb 1st, 2024 at 03:37:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
tabloid USAToday | South Carolina Democratic Presidential Primary Results, 3 Feb
candidates: Genocide Joe, Phil The Builder, Marianne
The DNC moved the South Carolina primary earlier in the year to elevate diverse voices in the presidential nominating contest. Will Black South Carolina voters turn out for Biden like they did in 2020? Or will Democratic voters sit out this primary and vote in the Republican primary on Feb. 24 and boost Nikki Haley's struggling campaign against former President Donald Trump?
archive magical margin folklore 2023, magical margin 2022, magical margin 2020, magical margin 2019, magical margin 2018
by Cat on Sat Feb 3rd, 2024 at 03:13:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
tabloid USAToday | 3 takeaways from President Biden's blowout win in the South Carolina Democratic Primary, 4 Feb
Genocide Joe's decisive win, which was called almost immediately after polls closed, was not a surprise given his lack of a formidable challenger. But it was an important milestone nonetheless, ["SPRINGBOARD":] setting Biden on course to win the nomination as he looks unite the entire party around his candidacy. Biden won a whopping 96.2% of the vote, followed by author Marianne Williamson, 2.1%, and Rep. Dean Phillips, D.-Minn., 1.7%.
old black church ladies' quotes and CIVIL RIGHTS ICON "kingmaker" Clyburn credit
Voter turnout Saturday, not surprisingly, decreased dramatically from the highly competitive, open Democratic primary of 2020, which Biden also won. Turnout among Democrats Saturday was only about 24% of the 2020 turnout.
"Now in 2024, the people of South Carolina have spoken again," Biden said in a statement after his win Saturday, "and I have no doubt that you have set us on the path to winning the presidency again—and making Donald Trump a loser—again."
South Carolina ELECTION 2020
Ahead of the general election, Biden has work to do to ensure Black voters support him at the same level they did in 2020. A USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll last month found Biden has support of just 63% of Black voters, a sharp decline from the 87% he carried in 2020. If Black support continues to lag, it could be devastating to Biden's chances in the fall.
by Cat on Sun Feb 4th, 2024 at 04:48:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nikki Two-Tones (R)
wrote, "Michael is deployed serving our country, something you know nothing about. Someone who continually disrespects the sacrifices of military families has no business being commander in chief." Ms. Haley's husband is currently serving a voluntary, year long deployment in Africa that began last June. He is stationed at Camp Lemonnier, a sprawling US military base in Djibouti by the Red Sea.
archive Nikki Haley's husband to deploy to AFRICOM May 2023

moar "weaponized" US "dollar diplomacy"
BREAKING: US congress receives bill to review SA relations following `politically motivated' ICJ case, 10 Feb

A bill has been submitted to the United States congress calling for a full review of the country's bilateral relationship with South Africa following the International Court of Justice ruling that found it plausible that Israel has committed acts of genocide against Gaza.
bilaterals.org | SA's AGOA deal in jeopardy after US Congressmen call for review of SA-US bilateral relationship (12.02.24)
the bill has been referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

"I am not sure if the Senate version has been introduced yet. [S.2952, yes] But I fully expect that will happen. There is strong bilateral support for a full review," Howard U. Centre for African Studies fellow Michael Walsh said. "However, it is important to point out that this predates the ICJ. It was going to happen either way. The ICJ just provided the policy window to trigger it."

The bipartisan bill which was introduced by US Republican congressman John James and Democratic Party congressman Jared Moskowitz this week could threaten South Africa's prospects to benefit from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
archive COFA and Pandor 2024, US-Africa "stress test" SUMMIT Dec, Long time no see Aug, Lawmakers Ask White House to Punish South Africa June, Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act and US ambassador accuses South Africa May 2023
by Cat on Mon Feb 12th, 2024 at 06:43:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump and his MAGA friends (04.02.24)
You know, right—right after I was elected, I went to what they call a G7 meeting, all the NATO leaders. And it was in—it was in the south of England. And I sat down and I said, "America is back."

And Mitterrand, from Germany—I mean, from France looked at me and said—said, "You know, what—why—how long you back for?"  (Laughter.)  And I looked at him, and the—and the Chancellor of Germany said, "What would you say, Mr. President, if you picked up the paper tomorrow in the London Times, and London Times said, 'A thousand people break through the House of Commons, break down the doors, two Bobbies are killed in order to stop the election of the Prime Minister.'  What would you say?"

And I never thought about it from that perspective.  What would we say that happened in another democracy around the world?  Well, the whole world watched—the whole world watched. And what's going on?

archive The Bat Man ELECTION 2024 re-runs 2020
by Cat on Tue Feb 6th, 2024 at 09:34:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sponsored by Brookings ChatGPT, Jeddah Hotel Division

Jake Sssullivan's Revolution. Globalization and free markets had time to prove themselves.
Now, a new Bidenomic "Bidenism" is emerging. (22.02.24)
For weeks, Jake Sullivan and his team crafted an address that was nominally about the administration's views on economics. But it would really serve as a critique of orthodoxy in America's capital, a bludgeon to U.S. foreign policy thinking that was so prominent in the gilded halls of Brookings and among Washington's well-heeled.
vox | Meet Jake Sullivan, the man behind hawkish Hillary Clinton's foreign policy (04.09.15)
NYT | Hillary Clinton to Unveil a $10 Billion Plan to Bolster Manufacturing (01.04.16)
538 | The Science Of Clinton: Education, Advanced Manufacturing And More Money For Research (23.09.16)
The speech reflected the journey Sullivan himself had been on for six years. Down and out after Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton, he sought to understand why the modern-day traditions of U.S. foreign policy weren't resonating with the kind of people he grew up with in Minnesota. He helped craft a new vision that took root among Democrats and formed the backbone of the Biden administration's thinking about the world after the scarring scenes of Jan. 6, 2021.
archive H.R.5376 - Inflation Reduction Act of 2022
That was the problem. What was the solution? Instead of rampant globalization, Sullivan's pitch was that a re[-]energized American economy made the country stronger. It was time to remake the Rust Belt into a Cobalt Corridor, to establish industries that led not only to blue-collar work but to azure-collared careers. If that was done right, a strengthened America could act more capably around the globe.
archive U.S. Cobalt Supply Chains in My Critical Elements v Your Chips
The speech served as the grandest example of the significant rethink that occurred in the Biden administration's first half of the first term. A self-proclaimed "A-Team" came together to move beyond the Trump era, but in some ways they embraced elements of it. Not the nativist demagoguery, but the need to return to fundamentals, a healthy middle class powered by a humming industrial base, a humility about what the U.S. military alone can accomplish, a solid cadre of allies, attention to the most existential threats, and a refresh of the tenets that sustain American democracy. Sullivan proposed an old road map to a new future.
archive Remarks by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Renewing American Economic Leadership at the Brookings Institution (23.04.23)

reviewjournal | Nevada identifies voter history errors on website, fixes underway, 19 Feb

...Las Vegas resident and registered Republican Daphne Lee said she and her family checked the secretary of state's website on Sunday to see their voter history after she heard from a few people that their voting history was incorrect. The site showed that she and her family's mail-in ballots were counted for the primary, even though none of them participated in the election. She tried to opt out of future mail-in ballots and was met with a message saying she was not currently registered to vote, and her voting history no longer existed....
by Cat on Thu Feb 22nd, 2024 at 07:02:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nikki Two-Tones (R)
is trounced by about 60% 'none of these candidates' votes in Nevada's non-binding, no delegates Republican primary. [Don Cheeto was not on the ballot.]
Genocide Joe (D)
easily won Tuesday's Democratic presidential primary in Nevada, his second lopsided victory in four days over a mostly unknown field of challengers, 30 out of the state's 36 delegates
by Cat on Wed Feb 7th, 2024 at 12:46:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Don Cheeto (R)
D.C. Cir. ruling essentially forces Trump to file an emergency appeal with the Supreme Court by Feb. 12 if he wants to keep his trial schedule on hold, which would help align with his strategy to delay any potential conviction [!] until after November's election.
The Hill prediction: SDNY 6th Amd. imperative trumps pre-trial motions!
by Cat on Wed Feb 7th, 2024 at 01:15:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
time | DOJ Investigation Into Biden's Handling of Classified Documents Ends With No Charges, 6 Feb
The decision not to charge Biden isn't surprising because it involved seemingly innocent mishandling of classified papers that were uncovered and immediately handed over for investigation, according to Barbara McQuade, a former federal prosecutor.

"Trump's case is completely different because of his willful refusal to return the documents," McQuade said. "And the cover up."

wapooo | Read the special counsel's report on Biden's handling of classified documents, 8 Feb
How Trump, Biden cases compare: There are key differences between the discovery of classified documents at Biden's home and former office and Donald Trump's retention of hundreds of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida. Here's our fact-checker. Nonetheless, the furor over the classified documents could make it harder for Democrats to blast Trump.
Robert K. Hur, "Report on the Investigation [02.11.22-05.02.24] Into Unauthorized Removal, Retention, and Disclosure of Classified Documents Discovered at Locations Including the Penn Biden Center and the Delaware Private Residence of President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.", 5 February 2024
[W]hen he served as vice president and when the Afghanistan documents were found in Mr. Biden's Delaware garage in 2022, his possession of them in his Delaware home was not a basis for prosecution, because as vice president and president, he had authority to keep classified documents in his home. The best case for charges would rely on Mr. Biden's possession of the Afghanistan documents in his Virginia home in February 2017, when he was a private citizen and when he told his ghostwriter he had just found classified material.
five (5) YEARS later...
Several defenses are likely to create reasonable doubt as to such charges. For example, Mr. Biden could have found the classified Afghanistan documents at his Virginia home in 2017 and then forgotten about them soon after. This could convince some reasonable jurors that he did not retain them willfully. When Mr. Biden told his ghostwriter about finding "all the classified stuff downstairs," his tone was matter-of-fact.
In addition. Mr. Biden's memory was significantly limited, both during his recorded interviews with the ghostwriter in 2017, and in his interview with our office in 2023. And his co-operation with our investigation, including by reporting to the government that the Afghanistan documents were in his Delaware garage, will likely convince some jurors that he made an innocent mistake, rather than acting willfully—that is, with intent to break the law—as the statute requires.
factcheck.org | Timeline of U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan
29 Feb 2020 - 17 Aug 2021
We searched for such additional evidence and found it wanting. In particular, no witness [?], photo, email, text message, or any other evidence conclusively places the Afghanistan documents at the Virginia home in 2017. In addition to this shortage of evidence, there are other innocent explanations for the documents that we cannot refute.

When Mr. Biden told his ghostwriter he "just found all the classified stuff downstairs," he could have been referring to something other than the Afghanistan documents, and our report discusses these possibilities in detail. We have also considered that, at trial, Mr. Eiden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory. Based on our direct interactions with and observations of him, he is someone for whom many jurors will want to identify reasonable doubt. It would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him—by then a former president well into his eighties—of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness.

emphasis added
by Cat on Fri Feb 9th, 2024 at 03:45:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Fri Feb 9th, 2024 at 04:05:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
whitehouse Diplomatic Reception Room | Remarks by President Biden (08.02.24)
Q: President Biden, something the special counsel said in his report is that one of the reasons you were not charged is because, in his description, you are a "well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory."
BIDEN: I am well-meaning, and I'm an elderly man, and I know what the hell I'm doing. I've been President. I put this country back on its feet. I don't need his [Hur's] recommendation. That's totally—
Q: Do you feel your memory has gotten worse, Mr. President?
BIDEN: Now, look, my memory has not gotten—my memory is fine. My memory—take a look at what I've done since I've become President. None of you thought I could pass any of the things I got passed. How did that happen? You know, I guess I just forgot what was going on.
Q: Mr. President, you were—you were cleared of criminal liability today, but do you take responsibility for at least being careless with classified material?
BIDEN: I take responsibility for not having seen exactly what my staff was doing. That—goes in and points out things that appeared in my garage, things that came out of my home, things that were moved were moved not by me but my staff—but my staff. And—
Q: But, Mr. President—
BIDEN: No, let—let me answer your question. The fact of the matter is what I didn't want repeated—I didn't want him ["ghostwriter"] to know, and I didn't read it to him—was I had written a long memorandum to President Obama why we should not be in this—in Afghanistan. And I was of the—multiple pages. And so, what I was referring to—I said "classified"—I should have said it was—should be < wipes tears > private because it was a contact between a president and a vice president as to what was going on. That's what he was referring to. It was not classified information in that document. That was not classified.
Q: A question on Israel, sir. Can you provide an update on the hostage negotiations? The hostage negotiations—can you provide an update of the hostage negotiations in Israel??
BIDEN: The hostage negotiation, look—I'm of the view, as you know, that the conduct of the response in Gaza—in the Gaza Strip has been over the top. I think that—as you know, initially, the President of Mexico, El-Sisi, did not want to open up the gate to allow humanitarian material to get in. I talked to him. I convinced him to open the gate....
nypost | Israel developing dual plan to evacuate civilians from Rafah ahead of strike on Hamas: Netanyahu, 9 Feb
by Cat on Fri Feb 9th, 2024 at 07:19:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Amazing elderly person ... in a single reply solving two border disputes 🤣 👏

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 9th, 2024 at 07:57:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Fri Feb 9th, 2024 at 10:22:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How was Biden's mental state around Oct. 7? Netanyahu says
"I found him very clear, very focused. We managed to agree on the war aims and on many things."
by Cat on Sun Feb 11th, 2024 at 05:37:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gaza toll reaches 28,176 as Israel kills 112 more in last 24 hours, 11 Feb

Send more money soon. To Israel. kthnxby

by Cat on Sun Feb 11th, 2024 at 09:33:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]

most ignorant, litigious nation on planet REPORTS

Trump, riffing [sic] on special counsel Robert Hur's decision to clear not to prosecute President Joe Biden over his handling of classified documents, called his own the DOJ prosecution of his [classified] documents-related criminal case handling "nothing more than selective prosecution of Biden's political opponent: me."
by Cat on Sat Feb 10th, 2024 at 09:24:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
supremecourt.gov | Docket for 23-719

Donald J. Trump (appellant) v Norma Anderson, et al.

oral arguments, 8 Feb 2023

transcript | audio (EN)

most ignorant, litigious nation on planet REPORTS
John Roberts tipped his hand, Ketanji Brown Jackson asked about Jan. 6, plus other key moments from Trump's hearing, 8 Feb

by Cat on Sun Feb 11th, 2024 at 01:19:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(recurring appellant habeas citation 08.02.24)
[p 3] Caesar Griffin, a negro, was indicted in the county court of Rock bridge county, for an assault with intent to kill. He removed his case as under the law he had the right to do into the circuit court for that county, and was there tried by a jury which found him guilty and assessed his punishment at imprisonment for two years in the penitentiary. He was accordingly sentenced by the court to that imprisonment. While on his way thither, in the custody of the sheriff of Rock bridge county, he sent out this writ which was served on the sheriff.

Ex parte Garland, 71 U.S. 333 (1866) (omitted SCOTUS citation 08.02.24)

The act of Congress of January 24th, 1865, providing that, after its passage, no person shall be admitted as an attorney and counselor to the bar of the Supreme Court, and, after March 4th, 1865, to the bar of any Circuit or District Court of the United States, or Court of Claims, or be allowed to appear and be heard by virtue of any previous admission, or any special power of attorney, unless he shall have first taken and subscribed to the oath prescribed in the act of July 2d, 1862 — which latter act requires the affiant to swear or affirm that he has never voluntarily borne arms against the United States since he has been a citizen thereof, that he has voluntarily given no aid, countenance, counsel, or encouragement to persons engaged in armed hostility thereto, that he has neither sought nor accepted, nor attempted to exercise the functions of any office whatever under any authority or pretended authority in hostility to the United States, and that he has not yielded a voluntary support to any pretended government, authority, power, or constitution within the United States hostile or inimical thereto—operates as a legislative decree excluding from the practice of the law in the courts of the United States all parties who have offended in any of the particulars enumerated.
archives.gov | 14th Amendment, July 28, 1868
...Not only did the 14th Amendment fail to extend the Bill of Rights to the states; it also failed to protect the rights of Black citizens....
Amdt14.§3.1 Overview of Disqualification Clause
"On the construction of "engaged in rebellion," see United States v. Powell, 27 F. Cas. 605 (C.C.D.N.C. 1871)."
...[I]n the first place, gentlemen, if you find from the evidence that before the late war the defendant held the office of constable in the state of North Carolina, and took the oath to support the constitution of the United States required of such office, and subsequently engaged in the Rebellion, it is necessary for you to know whether or not he is within the meaning of the provisions of the act of congress, under which he is now indicted.....
archive NEW! uses for the Enforcement Act of 1870/1
by Cat on Sun Feb 11th, 2024 at 02:29:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Art.1, §9, cl.3
No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

archive as it should be

by Cat on Sun Feb 11th, 2024 at 03:05:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What was the question?
Did the Colorado Supreme Court err in ordering President Trump excluded from the 2024 presidential primary ballot?
by Cat on Sun Feb 11th, 2024 at 03:34:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sun Feb 11th, 2024 at 02:31:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OBSCURE Title 42 ChatGPT published A listener's guide to Supreme Court arguments over Trump and the ballot. BECAUSE "there are no cameras in the courtroom," this guide provided links to APnews and C-SPAN audio recordings and one dead link to supremecourt.gov. FURTHERMORE, ChatGPT links GRIFFIN'S CASE to oyez.org's Justice S. Chase bio page.
by Cat on Mon Feb 12th, 2024 at 03:17:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not that GRIFFIN'S CASE,the other one, 13 Feb
Before the Trump challenges gained steam, a state judge booted from office Couy GRIFFIN, who had been found guilty of entering a restricted area during the riot.

GRIFFIN, the founder of Cowboys for Trump, is now urging the justices to hear his appeal, even as they begin writing their opinion in Trump's case. GRIFFIN's petition is scheduled to be discussed at the justices' closed-door conference Friday.

"At this point about everything happening with Trump legally at the top is happening to me here at the bottom. Many things are in tandem. And most greatly compliment [SIC] each other," GRIFFIN wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, shortly after Thursday's arguments in Trump's case, which was born out of a challenge in Colorado.

Originally designed to keep ex-Confederates from returning to power, the Civil War-era [14th AMENDMENT] bars people who took an oath to support the Constitution and then engaged in insurrection from returning to office [SIC].

by Cat on Tue Feb 13th, 2024 at 06:40:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
criminal election-subversion FKA riot FKA insurrection FKA presidential immunity defense has entered the room.
by Cat on Tue Feb 13th, 2024 at 06:50:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Don Cheeto (R)
finances take massive hit from 'double whammy' of legal blows
railroad to hell Dec 7th 2022, Apr 5th 2023, Oct 7th 2023
by Cat on Sat Feb 17th, 2024 at 05:54:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 1st, 2024 at 06:29:06 AM EST
Green Deal Ukraїna
a trilateral project of Germany, Poland, and Ukraine... is a 4 years project, started on 01.06.2023, funded by BMBF, that aims to set up a Think Tank Kyiv-based to support Ukrainian governmental institutions, policymakers, experts, and society in making future-proof energy and climate policy decisions ahead of full EU membership.

The Think Tank will support Ukraine in three missions: (1) sustainable reconstruction of Ukraine's energy system, (2) successful accession to the European Union, and (3) decarbonisation of Ukraine's energy system and economy with three main work directions—data and modelling, policy analysis and advice, and capacity-building programs.

helmholtz-berlin | Green Deal Ukraina: Energy and Climate Agenda for Ukraine's way towards EU, 10 Oct 2023
The first high-level event of the Green Deal Ukraina (GDU) project took place today in Kyiv, Ukraine, attended by more than 150 participants. This first gathering and formal launch took place at an important moment: EU will share a new report on the countries progress towards EU and Ukraine will respond by sharing its own analysis, called pre-screening.

Green Deal Ukraina (GDU) is a common project by Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB), Forum Energii, Warsaw, DixiGroup, and EcoAction. The GDU project is funded by The German Ministry for Education and Research and strives to establish an independent energy and climate think tank in Kyiv by 2027.

voxukraine | Green Deal In The EU And Ukraine: What Challenges Arise, 30 July 2021
The European Green Deal is the most comprehensive and ambitious climate and environment protection program launched by the EU. It is a strategy that should transform the EU into a resource-efficient economy where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050 and where economic growth is decoupled from resource use. The reason for that is the rapid climate change due to human-induced increase of greenhouse gases in the 20th century. Ukraine plans to join the agreement; it announced carbon-neutrality by 2060 in its National Economics Strategy [03.03.21]. However, for our country such transition can become a huge challenge due to outdated industry technologies, low quality governance and overly ambitious goals prompted to Ukraine by the EU.
archive EU unveils €300 billion global infrastructure plan (12.01.21)
by Cat on Sat Feb 3rd, 2024 at 03:39:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
bloomberg | Germany Eyes Critical Materials Fund of as Much as $1.1 Billion, 26 June 2023
"We're discussing the option of using equity capital," Habeck told a news conference in Berlin following a meeting with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and Italian Industry Minister Adolfo Urso. Germany's KfW Development Bank could take part in projects or even take stakes, he said.
Germany Prepares to Sell Big Stake in Nationalized Uniper (31.01.24)
Uniper is still listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, but with most of the shares in government hands, an average of less than €1 million of stock has traded each day over the past three months. That's why market participants consider a share sale like the one Germany is considering to essentially be a fresh initial public offering, or "re-IPO."

In a placement, shares would probably be priced at a discount to Uniper's current market value of €23.7 billion, some of the people said. Uniper shares fell 5.0% to €54.90 at 1:47 p.m. Wednesday in Frankfurt.

For the government, selling shares in Uniper would provide an influx of cash after the country plunged into a budget crisis sparked by a verdict by the nation's top court in November.

In its Critical Raw Materials Act launched in March, the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, proposed that member states should extract 10% of the critical raw materials the bloc needs domestically by 2030.
archive February 2023 2023 price cap mania, privatized loss alert, KfW 2017, KfW 2015
finance.yahoo! | $36 Billion in Critical Minerals Investment at Stake in BC, 8 Jan
...The study, which examined 14 potential critical mineral mines and two mine extensions, found the long-term economic impact of operating these mines over several decades could be nearly $800 billion....
archive Trudeau-Scholz "market case"
Germany Invests €1 Billion to Counter China on Raw Materials, 2 Feb
A selection process will be established to determine which projects—including in extraction, processing and recycling materials—are eligible, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Financing, via Germany's state-owned KfW Development Bank, will consist of equity capital to make acquisitions of minority stakes.
archive Timmermans and Borrell explore GCC, Ukraine, Africa
Germany's $1B Raw Materials Investment Project to Defy China is 'Totally Unrealistic' (04.02.24)
Thomas Pauken said that it remains unclear whether Berlin itself or someone else could be behind the idea with the $1.1 billion raw materials investments. "It could have been Brussels, London or Washington. And if that is the case, they will encourage Germany to make investments in their specific regions and member states in their countries or allies. However, is $1 billion sufficient to totally transform their minerals, their supply chains and regard to natural resources? This is absolutely absurd. This is a drop in a bucket.[...] It's going to cost more than $1 billion. $1 billion is a lot of money, but it's not enough," he reiterated, recalling that "billions and billions of dollars are [typically] used to extract natural resources." Last year's report by the German Institute for Economic Research think tank revealed that Europe is currently heavily dependent on the import of critical raw materials. Most of the imports are coming from China, which holds superiority in terms of the mining and the processing of critical raw materials. The EU is, in particular, is currently importing 93% of its magnesium and 86% of its rare earth metals from Beijing, according to the report.
archive I make the joke
by Cat on Sun Feb 4th, 2024 at 11:08:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The discussion will centre around how Africa can take advantage of the energy transition to ensure a cleaner energy future, while at the same time considering responsible sourcing and sustained, ethical supplies of the critical minerals needed. Also under discussion will be how the continent can power the production of transition minerals while ensuring justice for employees affected through local content partnerships and the distribution of mining ["]benefits["].
Speakers for this all-important panel are Responsible Minerals Initiative Senior Director, Impact, Innovation and Credibility, Fabiana Di Lorenzo, Newmont Senior Director, Environmental Affairs-Africa Business Unit Paul Sowley, Seriti Green Development South Africa CEO Peter Venn, The Particle Group & Women in Mining South Africa CEO Chairperson Raksha Naidoo, and Standard Bank South Africa Head of Sustainable Finance Sasha Cook. It will be moderated by Jayne Mammatt, Deloitte Partner—Sustainability, Climate Change and Equity.

"Our sustainability programme—now called the Sustainability Series—has been extended to two days. This is our response to the industry's need to talk about sustainability at length. It is a driving factor for the mining industry and forms one of the most important programmes we offer in 2024. Our priority for this year is for our panellists to start engaging on real challenges in mining to find solutions—in other words, showcasing how they are disruptive in the industry so that other stakeholders can feel inspired and connected with these messages," says Investing in Mining Indaba < wipes tears > Head of Content, Laura Cornish.

archive 4-6 Sep 2023 Loss & Damage Deal Book
by Cat on Wed Feb 7th, 2024 at 02:30:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Special Envoy on Afghan Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Yue Xiaoyong Visits Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan, 5 Feb
On January 29, 2024, Special Envoy on Afghan Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Yue Xiaoyong, upon invitation, visited Afghanistan collectively with representatives of Russia, Iran and Pakistan on the Afghan issue, met with Acting Foreign Minister Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi and other senior officials of the Afghan Interim Government, and attended Afghanistan's Regional Cooperation Initiative meeting.

From January 30 to February 3, Special Envoy Yue visited Iran and Pakistan, where he met respectively with officials in charge of the foreign ministries of the two countries and had an exchange of views on issues of mutual interest and concern with them respectively.

archive "Developing Key Economic Corridors"
cctv | Xi receives credentials of new ambassadors to China, 31 Jan
Chinese President Xi Jinping received the credentials of 42 ambassadors to China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday afternoon.
After the ceremony, Xi delivered a speech to the ambassadors....
The diplomatic recognition of the Taliban government in Afghanistan on January 31, 2024 by China must be bracketed with two other far-reaching regional policy moves by Beijing in the post-cold war era—the Shanghai Five in 1996—later renamed as Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in 2001—and the Belt and Road Initiative announced by President Xi Jinping in 2013.
"the Asian Century" has entered the room. m'k
At its most obvious level, Beijing has outwitted the US' surreptitious, attempts in the recent months to return to Afghanistan after its humiliating military defeat and exit in 2021. The Biden Administration produced in the public domain a back-dated document [14.11.23] titled Integrated Country Strategy for Afghanistan on the same day that Xi Jinping received the letter of credentials from the Taliban ambassador at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on January 30.
It was no coincidence that Xi Jinping received the new Taliban ambassador at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on the very same day that the Taliban government unveiled its regional initiative.
by Cat on Fri Feb 9th, 2024 at 01:10:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
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*

* observer, dialogue, or applicant member

by Cat on Fri Feb 9th, 2024 at 01:21:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
reuters | India plans to protest EU's carbon tax at WTO meeting , 7 Feb
New Delhi, along with South Africa and other like-minded countries, is planning to push its demand to rein in the European Union's unilateral measure at the WTO's Ministerial Conference (MC13), to be held in Abu Dhabi from Feb. 26 to 29, senior government officials said.

"Any unilateral measures taken to combat climate change should not constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or disguised restriction on global trade," one of the government officials with direct knowledge of WTO discussions told reporters on Wednesday.
The EU has said it designed the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) carefully so that it was compatible with WTO rules, applying the same carbon price on imported goods as on domestic EU producers.
India and China are among several countries that have aired concerns within the WTO over the EU's carbon tax designated to prevent European industry being undercut by cheaper goods from countries with weaker environment rules.

archive WTO, CBAM, World POWs COP28
by Cat on Fri Feb 9th, 2024 at 01:41:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Helmer | The Maidan cookie has crumbled, 7 Feb
The illusion of return for energy production  
[T]hat is why Vladimir Putin by his decree dated  June 30, 2022, effectively  took away 27.5% of the LNG plant on Sakhalin from Shell. Formally speaking, according to this decree, the Kremlin took the plant from all its shareholders, including Gazprom (50%),  Japanese Mitsui (12.5%) and Mitsubishi (10%)—the latter are representatives of the "sit and wait" strategy—and transferred the enterprise to a specially created Russian company, Sakhalin Energy. Of course, the Japanese and Gazprom agreed to become its shareholders. Shell refused this honour.

The refusal of the Anglo-Dutch company meant that, according to the same presidential decree, Shell's share had to be sold, and the money blocked inside Russia in a Type C account. In the spring of 2023, the Russian government allowed Novatek to buy this block of shares. Novatek is the second gas producer in Russia after Gazprom and the Kremlin's great hope for conquering the global LNG market.
Shell's competitors, British BP and French TotalEnergies, did not issue loud statements and did not promise to protect their shareholder rights. And as a result, they have retained their assets in Russia. TotalEnergies' strategy is to continue making money from LNG production together with Novatek, in which it owns a 19.4% stake. In addition, the French concern owns stakes in Arctic gas projects jointly with Novatek.

archive  November 2022 price cap mania Sahkalin I, PL seizes Novatek Green Energy, Sakhalin Energy Shareholders 2006 in Neocon Years and NATO Expansion

kommersant | And the gas is still there, 8 Feb

According to Kommersant, NOVATEK will not be able to start shipping LNG from the Arctic LNG-2 project before March, waiting for the project's fleet to be replenished with at least one ice-class LNG tanker Arc7. US sanctions significantly slow down the project, as buyers still refuse to take cargo. NOVATEK will not attract a fleet from its other Yamal LNG project for shipments from Arctic LNG-2. The company expects to receive six tankers from South Korean shipyards by the end of the year, which will carry Arctic LNG-2 gas. According to Kommersant's calculations, in an optimistic scenario, these vessels will allow exporting up to 2 million tons of LNG in 2024, with the capacity of the new line at 6.6 million tons.

src: J. Helmer, totalenergies, 2018

Yamal LNG has its own strict shipping schedule, and redirecting tankers to Arctic LNG-2 is contrary to the interests of the project's other shareholders—France's TotalEnergies (20%) and China's CNPC (20%) and SRF (9.9%). Previously, analysts assumed that NOVATEK could use the Yamal LNG fleet to deliver Arctic LNG-2 cargo to trans-shipment points in Murmansk and Kamchatka.

After the [12th] sanctions were imposed, NOVATEK sent a notice of force majeure to customers regarding sales of LNG from its portfolio to Arctic LNG-2. The project's foreign shareholders—France's TotalEnergies, China's CNPC, CNOOC, and a consortium of Japan's Mitsui and JOGMEC—also declared force majeure on their contracts. US sanctions prohibit any transactions with Arctic LNG-2, including payments for gas.

The situation may change dramatically if the foreign shareholders of the project get exceptions from the application of sanctions from the US authorities: in particular, it was reported that CNPC and CNOOC are ready to initiate this process. TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne said on February 7 that European consumers continue to need NOVATEK's LNG, but it is "politically difficult" to supply more Russian fuel to Europe.

archive Northern Sea Route, EU adopts 12th package, Shell exits [Sakhalin-2], Sakhalin-2
by Cat on Sat Feb 10th, 2024 at 01:49:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Quite interesting ... thx for the update

NOVATEK will not be able to begin shipping LNG from the Arctic LNG-2 project before March, waiting until the project fleet is replenished with at least one Arc7 ice-class LNG tanker. US sanctions are significantly slowing down the project, since buyers are so far refusing to accept cargo.

Orderbook and cancellations @ South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME)

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 10th, 2024 at 09:50:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
voiceofeurope | Water restrictions imposed in Algarve, Portugal, and Catalonia, Spain amid severe drought, 18 Jan
...The severity of the situation is exacerbated by the findings of a 2022 study revealing the Iberian peninsula's driest conditions in 1,200 years, attributed to climate change....
'A new climate reality': Spain's drought-stricken villages have been in crisis mode for months, 2 Feb
Officials in Spain's northeast region of Catalonia declared a drought emergency on Thursday. Reservoirs that serve 6 million people, including the population of Barcelona, are at less than 16 per cent of their capacity, a historic low. The emergency, which takes effect on Friday, limits daily amounts of water allowed for residential and municipal purposes to 200 litres per person. Catalonia's water agency says the average resident uses 116 litres a day at home.
"It is telling that this drought makes headlines simply because it affects Barcelona ... when we have villages in the Pyrenees that have endured water shortages and have needed to get water brought in by truck for several months," said Dante Maschio, spokesman for the Catalan nonprofit Aigua és vida, or Water Is Life organisation.
Europe Drought Observatory Last update: 06-OCT-18
copernicus | European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS, 30 Jan
by Cat on Sat Feb 3rd, 2024 at 06:41:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
telesur | Chile: Emergency State and 22 Dead Due Forest Fires, 3 Feb
Among the worst affected areas are Quilpué, Villa Alemana, El Olivar, and the Chacao Canal, towns surrounding the coastal city of Viña del Mar, in the central eastern part of the country.

Experts attribute such incidents to rising temperatures and a forestry model focused on monoculture of pine and eucalyptus. Despite recent wet winters, concerns persist as specialists warn of ongoing drought conditions and the potential for easily combustible vegetation in the south-central region of Chile.

ICIWaRM is a U.S.-based, UNESCO "Category 2" water center. While it is "under the auspices of" UNESCO, it is legally separate, and is operated and funded by the United States. As a water-themed center, ICIWaRM is closely engaged with UNESCO's Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP).

ICIWaRM works globally, emphasizing connections with other IHP-linked centers and university chairs, and is focused on applying science and engineering to water challenges of importance to IHP and its partners. It works through its network of governmental and non-governmental entities. It directly supports IHP's Global Network on Water and Development Information for Arid Lands, or G-WADI, as its Global Technical Secretariat.

2-min video demonstration of the Princeton Analytics data visualization
The center is hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Institute for Water Resources, in Alexandria, Virginia, USA. More information about our mission, vision, history, partners, leadership and action framework are here.
by Cat on Sun Feb 4th, 2024 at 12:18:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
telesur | Emergency State and 22 Dead Due Forest Fires, 3 Jan
Among the worst affected areas are Quilpué, Villa Alemana, El Olivar, and the Chacao Canal, towns surrounding the coastal city of Viña del Mar, in the central eastern part of the country.
On the other hand, the Interior Minister, Carolina Tohá, confirmed on Saturday that at least the death of 22 people as a result of forest fires that affect the Valparaíso Region and whose emergency is centered in Viña del Mar and Quilpué.

"We have different data, some reports speak of 10 people, others of 16. But we will have a more consolidated number (by Saturday morning)," said the minister on a statement.

reuters | Forest fires kill 123 in Chile's worst disaster since 2010 earthquake, 5 Jan
Firefighters in central Chile on Monday battled to quell fierce forest fires that have killed 123 people so far and razed entire neighborhoods, while President Gabriel Boric warned the country faces a "tragedy of very great magnitude". Hundreds of people are still missing, authorities say, stoking fears the death toll will keep climbing as more bodies are found on hillsides and houses devastated by the wildfires.
presstv.ir | Chile inferno: National mourning after 123 killed in wildfire; hundreds missing, 6 Feb
by Cat on Tue Feb 6th, 2024 at 02:15:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU halts water resilience plan amidst Southern Europe's drought crisis, 15 Feb - ChatGPT
"According to the European Drought Observatory, as of late January, 17 percent of EU territory is facing drought conditions."

EU Policy. Outrage as Commission accused of shelving water resilience rain dance

[R]ecent months have seen a number of U-turns on environmental policies, following widespread protests by farmers, and a broader conservative pushback against the flagship green deal package. Brussels' powerful agricultural lobby has made no secret of its misgivings about EU-level action on water scarcity, which could limit options for irrigation in areas suffering water stress.

A provisional agenda for weekly commission meetings released late on Wednesday (14 February) has removed all mention of the water crisis plan, with no later date given for its publication. The agenda was dated two days earlier and apparently produced after a weekly meeting of commissioners' chiefs of staff. A spokesperson for the commission told reporters the 12 March publication date had only ever been provisional - but that seems at odds with recent statements by EU officials.

by Cat on Wed Feb 21st, 2024 at 04:32:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
tabloid USAToday | '1-in-1,000 year rain' event: State of emergency due to floods, mudslides in California, 5 Feb jet stream UPDATE!
The tail end of a powerful < wipes tears > atmospheric river storm that knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of California homes and businesses was deluging the state Monday with more heavy rain, mudslides, flooding, and several feet of snow in the mountains.
Additional rainfall totals of 5-8 inches were forecast in some areas, which would bring 48-hour totals as high as 14 inches for some locations, the weather service said. A state of emergency was declared in eight Southern California counties.
Officials have attributed three deaths to the storm. In Yuba City, 40 miles north of Sacramento, a man was killed when a redwood tree toppled on him in high winds, police said. Two other men were killed by fallen trees Sunday in Carmichael, a suburb of Sacramento, and in Boulder Creek in Santa Cruz County.
Climate change, El Nino conspire to fuel storms
archive 3 Seasons of California Jan 2023
by Cat on Tue Feb 6th, 2024 at 02:31:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 1st, 2024 at 06:29:28 AM EST
CNN | John Podesta will take over for John Kerry as top US climate diplomat, 31 Jan
He plans to stay within the White House in his new role as chief climate diplomat, rather than moving to the State Department, and will keep both his current portfolio as a senior adviser to the president on climate change and engage in international climate diplomacy on behalf of the Biden administration, the source said.
February fan club
greekreporter | Greek American John Podesta Appointed US Climate Envoy
"In an earlier article in The New York Times Podesta had said that he loves to cook Greek dishes he learned from his mother."

scmp | White House's John Podesta to replace John Kerry as top US climate diplomat

Podesta steps into the role after the Cop28 climate summit in Dubai concluded with a global deal for countries to transition away from fossil fuels just as the US became the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas.
Podesta played a central role alongside Kerry and former US climate envoy Todd "Better REDD"  Stern [!] in brokering the first US-China bilateral agreement on climate change in 2014, a diplomatic breakthrough credited for paving the way for the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
thehill | Podesta will build on John Kerry's trail-blazing climate work
"With a presidential election rapidly approaching, it will be critical for Podesta to show the global community sustained climate action at home."

eurasiareview | Climate Czar Podesta Is Czar Of Duplicity
"If a non-Catholic president chose Podesta for a senior post in his administration, we would brand it as anti-Catholic. When a president who identifies as a Catholic does it, it is aiding and abetting sabotage within the Catholic Church."

by Cat on Sat Feb 3rd, 2024 at 06:23:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Ocean system that moves heat gets closer to collapse, which could cause weather chaos, study says (09.02.24)
A collapse of the current—called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, or AMOC—would change weather worldwide because it means a shutdown of one of key the climate and ocean forces of the planet. It would plunge northwestern European temperatures by 9 to 27 degrees (5 to 15 degrees Celsius) over the decades, extend Arctic ice much farther south, turn up the heat even more in the Southern Hemisphere, change global rainfall patterns and disrupt the Amazon, the study said.
How a warming Pacific Ocean and climate change will impact agriculture, 25 July 2023
only in India?
by Cat on Sun Feb 11th, 2024 at 01:03:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Human kind and Global Warming ... the Planet 🌎 🌏 hits back 🥊

Chronology of Southern Laurentide Ice Sheet Advance and Retreat

Canada ice sheet breaks through meltwater Niagara Lawrence Seaway Northern Atlantic fresh water heat pump to Indian Ocean

Forthcoming collapse of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), with a transition most likely to occur between 2025-2095

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 11th, 2024 at 06:00:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Alaskapox has entered the room.
by Cat on Sun Feb 11th, 2024 at 03:38:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]

MacMillan. Jessie Kanzer sees Zelensky as a Spiritual Leader for Our Times
by Cat on Mon Feb 5th, 2024 at 11:31:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | US says anti-Nazi resolution at UN restricts free speech (17.11.16)
"The United States was one of three countries to vote against a U.N. resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism on Thursday, citing freedom of speech issues and concerns Russia was using it to carry out political attacks against its neighbors."

lemonde | Why France and 51 other countries voted against UN resolution condemning Nazism (09.11.22)

As it has every year since 2012, on Friday, November 4, the Russian Federation submitted a draft resolution before the United Nations (UN) General Assembly against the glorification of Nazism, urging vigilance against modern forms of xenophobia and re-instatement of the Third Reich.
Each year, this resolution is endorsed by a large majority. It was adopted on December 16, 2021, by 130 votes for, 2 against (United States and Ukraine) and 49 abstentions. While France did vote against the text for the first time this year, it had never voted for it and had always abstained, like many other Western countries.
While they voted against the text proposed by Russia, the EU-27 were keen to recall that the "joint fight against contemporary forms of all extremist and totalitarian ideologies, including neo-Nazism, must be a joint priority for the whole international community." Canada and the United States (the only country to have consistently voted against these resolutions for the past 10 years) justified their opposition to this draft resolution, believing that it aimed to "legitimize a discourse based on disinformation."
The countries opposing the resolution emphasize at every turn that they do not in any way condone the Third Reich. "We reaffirm our strongest condemnation of all forms of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance," Ukraine insisted in 2019, while recalling that 8 million Ukrainians died in the Nazi offensive.
lrt.lt | Lithuania's Jewish community calls to remove monument of accused Nazi collaborator (04.08.23)
Lithuania's Jewish Community (LŽB) has called on the country's authorities to remove a monument to Juozas Krikštaponis, a Lithuanian volunteer soldier accused of ["]Holocaust complicity["]. On Thursday, the director of the state-funded Genocide and Resistance Research Centre (LGGRTC) failed to decide on the monument's removal.
usun.usmission | Explanation of Vote on a Third Committee Resolution on Combating Glorification of Nazism (03.11.23)
The Russian Federation's resolution is not a serious effort to combat Nazism, antisemitism, racism, or xenophobia—all of which are abhorrent and unacceptable. Instead, Russia's attempts to instrumentalize history to justify its aggression is an affront to Holocaust victims and to all who fought against Nazism. This resolution is a shameful political ploy.
BNS | Lithuanian News, 06 Feb 2024 12:09
US stays committed to NATO's eastern flank despite new global challenges - ambassador

voLDeMoRT | US tells EU state not to glorify Holocaust participants , 6 Feb

There should be no place in Lithuania for any glorification of ["]Holocaust participants["], especially with anti-Semitism currently on the rise in the world, the newly-appointed US ambassador to the Baltic state has told local media.

The thorny issue of suspected war criminals being honored as heroic freedom fighters in modern Lithuania was raised by Baltic News Service (BNS) in an interview with Ambassador [Kara] McDonald published on Tuesday. BNS specifically asked about a monument to a military officer named Juozas Krikstaponis, who stands accused of the mass killings of Jews and other civilians on behalf of Nazi Germany.

archive "meritless", Ottowa Hunka Sep 2023, Ottowa Olena Oct 2023
by Cat on Tue Feb 6th, 2024 at 04:15:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Ukraine is a nice buffer zone for "Old" Europe ... in 10 years 2014-24, the armed forces of the Russian Federation performed so damn poorly and most likely runs out of manpower and motivation to reach Lvov, the western center of Nazism ... IMO the German state is quite safe ... climate change is moving much faster ...

Even the Dutch have daily influencers for the coming war against Russia .... daily ads for job opportunity by Dutch commandos ... documentaries about heroics of the armed forces ... be a real man/woman fighting for country and flag red-white-blue 🇳🇱   🇳🇱 ... be careful with design 🇫🇷 🇫🇷 or worse  🇷🇺 🇷🇺 ... before you know you are fighting in the wrong trench.

Europeans as proxy mercenaries for America 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 are keeping jobs at home ...

U.S. weapons exports in 2023 increased by more than 50% from 2022, earning defense companies $81 billion in profits driven by Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Politico reported Jan. 29, citing unpublished State Department figures.

Russia's war has spurred the U.S. arms industry, which supplies military hardware to Ukraine and wary NATO allies amid increasingly aggressive anti-Western posturing from Moscow.

Sales of attack and transport helicopters, and long-range missile launchers to Poland and Germany constituted around $30 billion in the three largest deals, according to the report.

Joe isn't that stupid after all and serves Wall Street quite well.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 6th, 2024 at 06:11:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OECD Economic Outlook reveals heavy global price of Russia's war against Ukraine

The world is set to pay a hefty price for Russia's war against America's proxy war by Ukraine.

A humanitarian crisis is unfolding before our eyes, leaving thousands dead, forcing millions of refugees to flee their homes and threatening an economic recovery that was underway after two years of the pandemic. As Russia and Ukraine are large commodity exporters, the war has sent energy and food prices soaring, making life much harder for many people across the world.

The extent to which growth will be lower and inflation higher will depend on how the war evolves, but it is clear the poorest will be hit hardest. The price of this war is high and will need to be shared.

Well done Joe ... on the heels of Brexit, the war on the old continent reduces the EU to a regional player tied to the apron strings of the US empire.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 6th, 2024 at 06:34:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
kommersant | A reliable good way, 7 Feb
The sea container transportation market has adapted to the problems in the Red Sea. According to The Loadstar, all the world's largest container lines, except CMA CGM, have officially launched routes from Suez to by-pass Africa-around the Cape of Good Hope. And the French company, according to unofficial data, did it: a Reuters source told the agency that such a decision was made, in particular, in connection with the Houthi attack on the convoy, which included the CMA CGM vessel.

The stabilization of the market was reflected in a decrease in container freight rates—in the last tracked week (from February 1), the Drewry WCI index showed a decrease of 4% for the first time in two months after a 2.9-fold jump since the end of November.

On January 25, at its peak, it reached a value of $3.9 thousand per FEU (40-foot container), while on November 30 it was at the level of $1.4 thousand. However, even taking into account the recent downturn, the index is still at a high level, which is 88% higher than on the same date in 2023. An even larger gap is shown by the index on the Shanghai--Rotterdam route ($4.7 thousand)—it is 169% higher than last year's level. Rates are also spurred by the upcoming Chinese New Year: suppliers in a hurry to deliver goods before the long holidays are being put up with a price tag of up to $10 thousand, according to The Loadstar.
According to January data from UNCTAD, in less than two months since the conflict escalated, the passage of ships through the canal has fallen by 39%, while the volume of cargo transported has decreased by 45%. The passage of container ships fell especially strongly—by 67%.

As [UNCTAD Trade Facilitation Section chief] Jan Hoffmann points out, this is the third major destabilized global trade route. He noted that the state of global maritime trade is already negatively affected by the conflict in Ukraine, which disrupted the structure of world trade in oil and grain, as well as the shallowing of the Panama Canal due to drought {!] and El Nino. Mr. Hoffmann said that in December, the passage of ships through the Panama Canal decreased by 36% compared to last year and by 62% by 2022.

by Cat on Fri Feb 9th, 2024 at 05:39:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 6th, 2024 at 09:56:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
greyzone | UK steps up war on whistleblower journalism with new National Security Act9 Feb
I had been detained under Britain's 2019 Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act, which the UN [2018] has branded draconian and repressive. Under its Schedule 3 powers, anyone entering British territory suspected of "hostile activity" on behalf of a foreign power can be detained, interrogated for six hours, and have the contents of their digital devices seized and stored. "Hostile acts" are defined as any behavior deemed threatening to Britain's "national security" or its "economic well-being."
ohchr | Country visits of Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council since 1998: UK
ohchr | UN privacy expert visits UK to assess surveillance laws and use of personal data (18.06.18)
ohchr | Visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - Report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights (23.014.19)
ohchr | UN torture prevention body to visit the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (06.09.19)
In December 2023, after processing for 18 months through parliamentary procedures, the British National Security Act came into force. Under the aegis of protecting Britain from the threat of espionage and sabotage by hostile actors at home and abroad, the law introduces a number of completely new criminal offenses with severe penalties -- and wide-ranging consequences for freedom of speech. Indeed, the law's terms are so broad, individuals will almost inevitably break the law without wanting to, intending to, or even knowing they have.
ChatGPT | Forced labor still haunts China's Xinjiang, report finds, 13 Feb
The Chinese region of Xinjiang continues to subject members of the Uyghur ethnic group to forced labor two years after a damning U.N. report [31.08.22] detailed the abusive practice, according to new research previewed exclusively by POLITICO. The findings will likely pressure Western lawmakers to further restrict imports of products from the region.

According to a report by Beijing-sanctioned academic Adrian Zenz, due to be published this week, "forced labor transfers" of the Uyghur Muslim workforce in 2023 "exceeded those from the previous year and surpassed state-mandated quotas."

UNODC, Proposed Definitions of Terrorism, 1937-1992
"If terrorism is defined strictly in terms of attacks on non-military targets, a number of attacks on military installations and soldiers' residences could not be included in the statistics."
OHCHR, International Standards on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism
Relevant Legal Instruments
MSF, The Practical Guide to Humanitarian Law
Terrorism Definitions, of which 1977 European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism
• seriously intimidating a population, or
• unduly compelling a Government or international organisation to perform or abstain from performing any act, or
• seriously destabilising or destroying the fundamental political, constitutional, economic or social structures of a country or an international organisation, shall be deemed to be terrorist offences:
  1. attacks upon a person's life which may cause death;
  2. attacks upon the physical integrity of a person;
  3. kidnapping or hostage taking;
  4. causing extensive destruction to a Government or public facility, a transport system, an infrastructure facility, including an information system, a fixed platform located on the continental shelf, a public place or private property likely to endanger human life or result in major economic loss;
  5. seizure of aircraft, ships or other means of public or goods transport;
  6. manufacture, possession, acquisition, transport, supply or use of weapons, explosives or of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons, as well as research into, and development of, biological and chemical weapons
  7. release of dangerous substances, or causing fires, floods or explosions the effect of which is to endanger human life;
  8. interfering with or disrupting the supply of water, power or any other fundamental natural resource the effect of which is to endanger human life;
  9. threatening to commit any of the acts listed in (a) to (h).
consortiumnews | The UN's Growing Counter-terrorism Office (28.07.23)
by Cat on Tue Feb 13th, 2024 at 03:25:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 1st, 2024 at 06:29:52 AM EST
united "useful idiots" exclusive X broadcast

TikTok syndication developing....


by Cat on Fri Feb 9th, 2024 at 12:55:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Roman fortified city on the Rhine River called Noviomagus.

USAAF, 22 February 1944: Nijmegen, close to 800 deaths
Mistake bombing (the intended targets were the German towns of Kleve and Goch)

Nijmegen was heavily bombed during the Second World War. Unfortunately, this was the Allies' fault. German propaganda naturally took advantage of this. TV1 broadcast this short documentary on February 22, 1994.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 22nd, 2024 at 07:11:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Another mistaken bombing district Bezuidenhout in The Hague ... a stone's throw where I have lived for half a century 😥 Clingendael nearby.

RAF, 3 March 1945 The Hague, Bezuidenhout, at least 520 deaths

Unintended outcome; the intended target was a V-2 warehouse in the Haagse Bos (forest).

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 22nd, 2024 at 07:22:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 23rd, 2024 at 07:24:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 1st, 2024 at 06:30:16 AM EST
Federal Jury Convicts Former Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, 7 Feb

What a long-COVID fraud saga! What a soap opera!

Stay tuned for S4, "Appellate Court"

by Cat on Wed Feb 7th, 2024 at 04:09:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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