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

March 2024

by Oui Thu Feb 29th, 2024 at 10:36:38 PM EST

Your take on this month's news


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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 29th, 2024 at 10:37:26 PM EST

T -97. Euronews full force at era-defining European elections
As Europe counts down to an era-defining election, Europe's foremost newsroom is set to deploy the full force of its dedicated TV and web journalists recentred in Brussels and spread across national capitals to deliver a high-octane multi-media experience.
archive ELECTION 2024 metropole UPDATE!, TikTok security challenges
by Cat on Fri Mar 1st, 2024 at 07:03:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | In race for top EU, NATO jobs, Eastern Europe asks: 'Are we equals or not?', 4 Mar
[...]
"What moral credibility does this guy have?" said former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, pointing to the Netherland's failure to meet its NATO commitment to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense during Rutte's 13 years as prime minister.
[...]
"If we think about a geographical balance, it's going to be the fourth NATO Secretary-General from the Netherlands," Kallas told POLITICO's Power Play podcast last week. "And then there is a question, whether there are first-rank and second-rank countries in NATO."
[...]
"Since the 2004 enlargement, there are 110 million people living in Central and Eastern Europe," said Ilves. "There are five big positions in the EU and NATO, and they rotate every five years, so that's 25 jobs in total. During that time, 20 percent of the EU gets 7 percent of the jobs."
[...]
dumbass. Send to Donald The Tusk a memo: MLK, Prince of Market Mechanisms, once said ibn to the mountain. Let my people go.
by Cat on Mon Mar 4th, 2024 at 03:10:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
public property UPDATE!

rfi | French parliament approves bill adding abortion rights to constitution, Nov 2022

Lawmakers in France's lower house of parliament voted Thursday to add the right to abortion to the constitution. The move was approved with 337 votes for and 32 against, with the bill now set to be sent to the conservative-majority Senate for approval.
[...]
"The law guarantees the effectiveness and equal access to the right to voluntarily end a pregnancy" reads the proposed constitutional addition to Article 66.
[...]
bbc | France makes abortion constitutional right
[...]
Parliamentarians voted to revise the country's 1958 constitution to enshrine women's "guaranteed freedom" to abort. It becomes the 25th amendment [benchmark] to modern France's founding document and the first since 2008.
[...]
The constitutional change was prompted by recent developments in the US, where the [statutory] right to abortion [up to 26 weeks] was removed by the Supreme Court in 2022. Individual states are now able to ban [or not] the procedure again, ending the right to an abortion for millions of women.
[...]
victory lap
cnn |France becomes WORLD'S FIRST country to enshrine abortion right in constitution
The amendment states that there is a "guaranteed freedom" to abortion in France
without restriction?
rfi | Parliament officially approves law to enshrine abortion rights in the Constitution
"It's incredibly important, with such an amazing majority, such enormous support and in such a democratic way....We really hope it will reverberate," [International Planned Parenthood Foundation European Network proxy Irene Donadio] added.

Abortion has been authorised in France since 1975 when legislation led by then health minister Simone Veil decriminalised the practice in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. The time limit has since been extended to 14 weeks, with the cost of the procedure covered by the national health insurance system.
[...]
With the vote on Monday in France, the Constitution will be changed to state: "The law determines the conditions under which the freedom is guaranteed to a woman to resort to voluntarily terminating a pregnancy".
[...]

NY Yella Cake | France Prepares to Enshrine Constitutional Right to Abortion
...The amendment would declare abortion a "guaranteed freedom" overseen by Parliament's laws. That means future governments would not be able to  "drastically
< wipes tears > modify" current laws funding [?!] abortion for women who want it, up to 14 weeks in their pregnancies, according to the French justice minister, Éric Dupond-Moretti....
archive green zone 2014, blue zone 2022
by Cat on Mon Mar 4th, 2024 at 07:20:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Infographic Liste des groupes : Communiste Républicain Citoyen et Ecologiste - Kanaky (CRCE), Socialiste, Écologiste et Républicain (SOC), Écologiste - Solidarité et Territoires (GEST), Rassemblement des démocrates, progressistes et indépendants (RDPI), Rassemblement Démocratique et Social Européen (RDSE), Les Indépendants - République et Territoires (RTLI), Union Centriste (UC), Les Républicains (LR), Réunion administrative des non-inscrits (NI). Source : Assemblée nationale- Crédits : franceinfo

Face à l'inflation, de plus en plus de Français rognent sur leurs dépenses d'hygiène : "On a l'impression de descendre une pente glissante", 3 Mar

by Cat on Mon Mar 4th, 2024 at 10:49:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]

rollcall | Responding to US...
...The French first-trimester abortion limit has been seized upon by U.S. Republicans who claim 15-week abortion bans are in line with similar restrictions in France and other countries. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Scalito Jr. both cited European abortion limits in their consideration of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization when discussing Mississippi's 15-week abortion limit....
archive Oct 5th 2021
by Cat on Tue Mar 5th, 2024 at 02:06:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
eruonews | Young, Portuguese, Green voters most in favour of stronger EU, 20 Mar
As European voters prepare for elections in June, just over one in five [22%] want to see Brussels gain stronger powers, according to a Euronews-Ipsos poll published today.
[...]
The poll commissioned by Euronews—which interviewed [n=] 25,916 people in 18 countries over the phone and online, between 23 February and 5 March - represents the first pan-European survey of its kind ahead of the elections due to take place from 6 to 9 June.

With nearly [N=] 400 million eligible to vote, the process to select 720 Members of the European Parliament will be one of the world's largest democratic exercises.
[...]
One quarter [25%] of younger people (18-29) want a stronger EU, but that proportion PLUNGES to just 20% for the older 50-64 cohort. The results mirror wider projections that show a shift away from the pro-European green and liberal parties towards the radical right—which is likely to stymie Brussels' decision-making for the next five years, even if a pro-[VDL] majority remains in place....

nu.nl | Nederlanders staan te trappelen: 'Russisch visum regelen we'
classic Russian technique
by Cat on Wed Mar 20th, 2024 at 05:42:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Leaked Document Reveals German Military's Scenario for NATO-Russia War in 2025, 1 mo ago
The document, which is purportedly secret and not independently verified, suggests a detailed month-by-month escalation leading to the deployment of NATO troops, including hundreds of thousands of soldiers, and a possible start of war in the summer of 2025.
[...]
mfa.ru spox Maria Zakharova derided the reported scenario in a post on Telegram. "I read the German `secret plan' leaked into the [ChatGPT] Bild information gutter. It's like a mighty horoscope from last year for Pisces in Cancer," she said.
yahoo! newvoiceofukraine | Leaked Russian military files reveal Moscow rehearses tactical nuclear weapons response to Chinese invasion, 28 Feb
the Financial Times reported on Feb. 28, citing leaked military files that include training scenarios for an invasion by China. The cache consists of 29 secret Russian military files drawn up between 2008 and 2014, including scenarios for war-gaming and presentations for naval officers, which discuss operating principles for the use of nuclear weapons.

"This is the first time that we have seen documents like this reported in the public domain," said Alexander Gabuev, director of the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center in Berlin.

sana.sy | Russia seeks explanations from Germany on leaked talk about attack on Crimean bridge—MFA, 1 Mar
[19 Feb 2024] audio of German Bundeswehr officers discussing plans to attack the Crimean Bridge, and any attempt to avoid giving answers will be considered as an admission of guilt, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

dw | NEWS, 5 hours ago

German Defense Ministry investigates possible Russian eavesdropping
The German Ministry of Defense is investigating whether air force communications were intercepted, following allegations from Moscow.

"The Military Counterintelligence Service has initiated all necessary measures," a ministry spokeswoman said in a statement to DW.

Earlier on Friday, Margarita Simonyan, head of the Russian state broadcaster RT, said she received an audio recording of an approximately 40-minute conversation in which German military officers allegedly discussed whether Taurus missiles would be technically capable of destroying the bridge built by Russia to the Crimean peninsula.

RT has been described as a propaganda outlet for the Russian government and Russian foreign policy. It was not immediately possible to verify the alleged recording RT purported to have in its possession. Russian Foreign Ministry demanded an explanation from the German government.

The German Defense Ministry spokesperson said did not comment on the content of the alleged conversation.

by Cat on Sat Mar 2nd, 2024 at 02:07:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Document From 2022 Reveals Putin's Punishing Terms for Peace, 1 Mar TOP SECRET
Russian President Vladimir Putin has in recent weeks publicly hinted that he would be open to discussions to end the war in Ukraine on Moscow's terms, as Kyiv's military momentum stalls.
archive African peace delegates held hostage in Poland (16.06.24)
The outlines of a deal the Russian leader likely wants can be seen in a draft peace treaty drawn up by Russian and Ukrainian negotiators in April 2022, about six weeks after the start of the war. Western officials and analysts say those objectives remain largely unchanged after two years of fighting: Turn Ukraine into a neutered state permanently vulnerable to Russian military aggression.
archive Ukraine and the Budapest Memorandum
While the broad outlines of the ultimately unsuccessful peace negotiations have been disclosed, the full 17-page document, which was viewed by The Wall Street Journal and others familiar with the negotiations, hasn't been made public.
usnews ChatGPT | Putin Meets With African Leaders in Russia to Discuss Ukraine Peace Plan, but No Visible Progress (17.06.23)
The document, dated April 15, 2022, sketches out how negotiators on both sides sought to end the fighting by agreeing to turn Ukraine into a "permanently neutral state that doesn't participate in military blocs," barred from rebuilding its military with Western support and leaving Crimea under de facto Russian control.
TASS | Putin shows initialed draft agreement with Ukraine to African leaders (17.06.23)
[...]
archive World POWs Russia-Africa Summit (27.07.2023)
by Cat on Sat Mar 2nd, 2024 at 03:42:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There there an English version available written in layman's language?

On 2 December 2022, the Commission submitted a proposal for a Directive on the definition of criminal offences and penalties for the violation of Union restrictive measures. The legal basis of the proposal had been provided through Council Decision (EU) 2022/2332 of 28 November 2022 on identifying the violation of Union restrictive measures as an area of crime that meets the criteria specified in Article 83(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

The proposal was based on the assessment that it is necessary to establish minimum rules concerning the definition of criminal offences and penalties with regard to the violation of Union restrictive measures, in order to ensure the effective application of Union restrictive measures, the integrity of the internal market within the Union, and to achieve a high level of security within the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice.

Did the EU leaders screw the Union by going to war against Russia on behalf of global leading military power with a sanctions portfolio of diplomacy in Washington DC - Be as a Light of the World, a Shining City Upon a Hill [author: Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy, John Winthrop Matthew 5:14]



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Mar 2nd, 2024 at 02:52:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]

The Internationalists
When the U.S. sends military aircraft to drop food, water, medicine, and other assistance for people in need, it typically does so in areas occupied by terrorist groups or hostile regimes, not allies. And yet, months of pushing Israel to allow more aid into Gaza—where around 80 percent of the population is displaced and famine looms—have yielded limited results.
[...]
The good news is airdrop operations aren't overly dangerous for U.S. personnel, especially when there aren't immediate threats to the aircraft or crew, noted retired Gen. Frank McKenzie, who led U.S. Central Command during the Trump and Biden administrations. There aren't enemies to shoot down the planes, he said, and working with aid agencies on the ground to manage crowds clamoring for fresh supplies and food won't be too difficult.
[...]
"The fact that the U.S. is having to mobilize military resources to airdrop aid into Gaza is a staggering symbol of just how emphatic Israel's constraints are on access," Middle East Institute Sr. Fellow Charles Lister said.
archive Hope springs eternal in Flour Massacre, Matthew Miller in ICJ Start Oral Hearings , Matthew Ward
by Cat on Sat Mar 2nd, 2024 at 03:57:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
nbcnews | U.S. completes first airdrop in Gaza
3 military C130 planes dropping 66 pallets containing 38,000 meals
reference
US Defense Logistics Agency, Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE)
usda.gov | Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act, 1933 CCC
Arkansas Law Review, "The Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations: Past, Present, and Future Present, and Future"
In the absence of traditional food systems, and often any food systems at all, people were forced to rely on rations from the federal government for survival. In the mid-1800s, the new Office of Indian Affairs, no longer housed under the War Department, became responsible for distributing these rations to newly created reservations to prevent widespread starvation. While these rations were originally intended to be temporary, the barren landscape of many relocation areas and lack of other governmental assistance led to their permanence in both Native American policy and culture by the end of the nineteenth century. Thus, although it was housed in different departments and underwent policy changes over the next two centuries, FDPIR is rooted in this bedrock of rations, violent colonization, and displacement. [Doss: 6-7]
Warehouses Full of 'Government Cheese'
archive "the source of its problem and the source of its solution"
by Cat on Sat Mar 2nd, 2024 at 05:10:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The White House has enlisted Barak David to revive Israel Agrees to Gaza Ceasefire. The bell tolls for the well-meaning elderly man's State of the Union address, 7 March. Gather all ye boats, wagons, and donkeys, o, Palestine, by Monday morn'. Tic, toc, tic, toc, tic, toc.

U.S. officials told reporters that Israel accepted the terms of a deal for a six-week cease-fire, and negotiators are awaiting Hamas' response. The guns could stop immediately if Hamas agrees, Axios reporter Barak Ravid posted on X. "The deal is on the table," he quoted a U.S. official telling reporters. "The talks continue in Doha & we hope we can get a deal by Ramadan. The ball is in Hamas' court. We continue to push a hard as we can"
"it is now up to Hamas to agree to it, a senior U.S. administration official said Saturday."
by Cat on Sun Mar 3rd, 2024 at 01:04:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Why is this month different from all other months?"

other than, yanno, Netanyahu's  plague upon Palestine.

by Cat on Sun Mar 3rd, 2024 at 05:33:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
dailysabah | Israeli minister calls for eliminating Islam's holy Ramadan month , 1 Mar
...Israeli Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu told Army Radio, "The so-called month of Ramadan must be wiped out, and our fear of this month must also be wiped out." Eliyahu is a member of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party, led by National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir. In November, Eliyahu said dropping a "nuclear bomb" on the Gaza Strip is "an option."...
oh
by Cat on Sun Mar 3rd, 2024 at 08:33:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Genocide Joe faces ticking clock and rising pressure on Gaza

government cheese and MREs. "It's important for the president to be able to point to some kind of tangible progress if he is to dial down rising tensions with progressives over his vigorous support for Israel"

by Cat on Sun Mar 3rd, 2024 at 05:10:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
cbs | U.S. military aircraft airdrop thousands of meals into Gaza in emergency humanitarian aid operation
"U.S. Central Command and the Royal Jordanian Air Force conducted a combined humanitarian assistance airdrop into Gaza, CENTCOM said in a statement. A defense official told CBS News three U.S. C-130 cargo planes dropped 66 total bundles, equating to about 38,000 pork-free meals, into the territory on Saturday morning. The bundles were split between three planes, the official said."
by Cat on Mon Mar 4th, 2024 at 06:00:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
whitehouse | Background Press Call on Humanitarian Aid for Gaza Ahead of the State of the Union , 7 Mar US Army Corp of Engineers Epiphany
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: .... We've been working with the Israelis to open a new crossing directly into north Gaza. The U.N. confirmed today they're working, hopefully over the coming days, for a pilot transport through that new crossing.  We began the airdrops; we had another one today, which we can talk about a little bit on this call.

And importantly, tonight in the speech, the President will announce that he's directing the U.S. military to lead an emergency mission to establish a port in the Mediterranean, on the Gaza coast, that can receive large ships carrying food, water, medicine, and temporary shelters.  And this is an initiative that will get underway here when < checks watch > the President makes the announcement and issues the orders. And we wanted to preview it on the call and address any questions you might have.
[...]

humanitarian famine report w/e 9 March : 140,896 MREs ÷ 1M persons = 8.3e-7 meals per person per day! Or 3 meals per 46,965 persons per day!
Last week, President Biden announced that we would carry out airdrops of aid into Gaza.  Since then, the Department of Defense has carried out three airdrops that include 192 bundles containing 112,896 meals, which include this morning's airdrop operations that occurred in northern Gaza.  And we have more airdrops planned for the coming days.

Additionally, we continue to coordinate with international partners, including Jordan, Egypt, France, the Netherlands, and Belgium. This morning, their airdrops added a cumulative total of 28,000 meals on top of CENTCOM's airdrops to Gaza. Importantly, this is part of a sustained effort. More aid is coming.

And as the President previewed last week, the United States is taking the lead in activating a maritime corridor to allow assistance to flow by sea directly into Gaza as part of our sustained effort to increase aid flows coming into Gaza by land, air, and sea.

"civilians" dodging bombs and bullets strafing "safe corridors"
[...]
The path to a ceasefire is straightforward. There could be at least a six-week ceasefire today if Hamas would agree to release a defined category of vulnerable hostages, including women, elderly, sick, and the wounded. That deal is on the table now and has been for more than the past week.
[...]
Q Hi there. So will this require American boots on the ground on the Gaza coast?

And then secondly, I think speaker number two said weeks for preparation.  If you could provide any more—I guess more precise detail on if you have sort of a benchmark date for this port to be up and open.

And then thirdly, if you guys can also just—you know, there's been—does the White House see it as a problem, one that it has to fly past its closest ally and now build a port?  I think Robert Ford, the longtime diplomat, called it an "absurdity" that the U.S. military has to deliver aid into ["]a territory controlled by an ally["]. Can you guys also just speak to this dynamic that's established and what it says and how it complicates the administration's case of continuing robust assistance for Israel?  Thank you.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: ...I don't want to get ahead of the planning in terms of this operation.  You know, and I'm sure we'll have further details to share with our DOD colleagues soon.  But we are not planning for this to be an operation that would require U.S. boots on the ground.  But issues in terms of the dates, the timelines, et cetera, those are all things that we're working through because they require contributions from our partners, from the humanitarian community and others, to make sure that this entire pipeline works effectively.

by Cat on Thu Mar 7th, 2024 at 07:08:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Mar 7th, 2024 at 09:30:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
dual-use food, water, medicine, fuel center-right EPP Cmmdr. VDL
[...]
Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides in November [!] offered use of his country's port in Larnaca for aid deliveries to the Palestinian enclave reservation, a 230-mile (370-kilometer) [!] journey from Cyprus.

European Union Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen planned to visit Larnaca on Friday [8 March 2024] to inspect installations.

Cyprus early on invited authorities from Israel, the U.S. and other European countries to join Cypriot agents in vetting all shipments so nothing could be used by Hamas Palestinians against Israel.
[...]

by Cat on Fri Mar 8th, 2024 at 12:30:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Biden orders US military to set up temporary aid port for Gaza, 7 Mar
[...]
One of the options under consideration is for the military to provide a floating pier called a JLOTS, or Joint Logistics-Over-the-Shore, another U.S. official said on the condition of anonymity to discuss the options before a decision has been made. The large floating pier allows supplies to be delivered without having a fixed port in place, alleviating the need to have troops on a dock on shore. Ships can sail to the pier, which is secured by anchors, and dock there.
many partner "dynamics"
[...]
Defense Department spokesman Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a statement Thursday [?] that U.S. officials and international partners were looking at options, including using commercial companies and contractors to aid in the delivery. Sigrid Kaag, the U.N. senior humanitarian and reconstruction coordinator for Gaza, told reporters late Thursday after briefing the U.N. Security Council behind closed doors that air and sea deliveries cannot substitute for expanding and diversifying supply routes on land, which remains "the optimal solution."

The Biden administration's latest move provides one more layer to the extraordinary dynamic that's emerged as the United States has had to go around Israel, its main Mideast ally, and find ways to get aid into Gaza, including through airdrops that started last week.

Biden has been a crucial partner to Netanyahu's military offensive following Hamas's Oct. 7 attacks in Israel. That includes providing bombs and other weapons to Israel and fending off efforts to censure Israel in the United Nations for the growing deaths among Gaza civilians.
[...]

reference
General Says Centcom Area Facing 'Volatile Security Situation' , 7 Mar sob story
"The situation in Gaza has created the conditions for malign actors to sow instability throughout the region and beyond, CENTCOM Army Gen. Michael E. Kurilla said."

Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Call With Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant, 7 Mar appeasement

Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder Holds a Press Briefing , 5 Mar
"we would be only in the supporting role"

by Cat on Fri Mar 8th, 2024 at 12:20:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Four Star General Major bull$hitter graduated cum laude Fort Laramie genocide warfare ...

This morning, U.S. Central Command announced that they conducted their second combined humanitarian assistance airdrop into northern Gaza. Three U.S. C-130s dropped over 36,800 meals into northern Gaza to provide critical relief to civilians Hamas supporters there.

Need a briefing for this obvious crap 💩⁉️

Key words | Sitting Bull |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Mar 8th, 2024 at 03:41:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
defense.gov | DOD to Construct Pier to Deliver Humanitarian Aid to Gaza , 8 Mar illustrated Eid al-Fitr
[...]
"This is part of a full-court press by the United States to not only focus on working on opening up and expanding routes via land, which are the optimal way to get aid into Gaza, but also by conducting air drops," said Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, in reference to the more than 100,000 meals that have been dropped into Gaza by the U.S. and Jordan during the past week.
[...]
The 60-day timeline for JLOTS [Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore] to become operational off Gaza includes the time it will take to transport some of the JLOTS components from Virginia to the Middle East, Ryder said.
[...]
Türkiye has dispatched 40,000 tons of aid for Gaza so far, 9 March cruise to Al-Arish (EG)
by air: food, water, hygiene, medical, and shelter supplies, along with 53 ambulances, 1,551 generators, eight field hospitals, and 3,000 tents since 13 Oct 2024
by sea: 3,000 tons of aid expected to arrive Sunday, 10 Mar, onward land convoy to Rafa
message:
"We will increase the amount of aid throughout the (Muslim holy) month of Ramadan," Erdoğan added. He also expressed regret over the failure of the Islamic world, with a population of approximately 2 billion, to fulfill its duty of true "brotherhood to the Palestinian people."

The president reiterated that Hamas is not classified as a terror group, adding that his country stands firmly in support of Hamas.

Alan Dershowitz Challenged on Israel's Genocidal Slaughter in Gaza, A/V (09.03.24)
Flouting the provisional ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Israel continues its onslaught on the Gaza Strip where at least 30,960 Palestinians have been killed, mostly women and children, and 72,524 injured since Oct. 7, according to Palestinian health authorities.
by Cat on Sun Mar 10th, 2024 at 01:40:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
strana | A humanitarian aid worker dropped from a plane from Egypt and the United States killed five people in the Gaza Strip. Two dozen more wounded, 8 Mar
Five people were killed during the dumping of humanitarian aid on a camp in the Gaza Strip. About 20 others were injured.

Parachutes failed to open over several crates, and they fell on people. Eyewitnesses published a video of the humanitarian aid dump. These were shipments from Egypt and the United States. In the video, you can see that some parachutes did not open. Crates with the help fell directly on the crowd.
[...]
The other day we told you that the United States wants to build a temporary port in Gaza for the delivery of humanitarian aid. According to US officials, the temporary port will help increase the supply of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians "by hundreds of additional trucks a day", but it will take "several weeks" to build it.

ChatGPT | A ship with Gaza aid is preparing to inaugurate a sea route from Cyprus to the war-ravaged strip
the European Commission president said Friday as international donors launched a sea corridor to supply the besieged territory that is facing widespread hunger after five months of war.

The opening of the [marine] corridor, along with the recent inauguration of airdrops of aid, showed increasing frustration with the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and a new international willingness to work around Israeli restrictions.

The vessel belonging to Spain's Open Arms aid group will make a pilot voyage to test the corridor in the coming days, Ursula von der Leyen told reporters in Cyprus, where she's inspecting preparations for it. The ship has been waiting at Cyprus's port of Larnaca for permission to deliver food aid from World Central Kitchen, a U.S. charity founded by celebrity chef José Andrés.

by Cat on Fri Mar 8th, 2024 at 05:59:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
nope. 11:00 am EST

Atlantic MSM is now tripping over selves to rationalize a "humanitarian aid dump" on Genocide Joe's triumphal SOTU. The seminal point offered (off-record) by anonymous stalking.gov sources is, the US is not to blame for this SNAFU—an airforce "partner" wutdunnit, because USAF evidently aims at off-shore targets where Palestinians are "no concentrated."

Further, MSM reporters are demonstrating unexpected interest in the quantity and caloric value of  dehydrated MREs dropped by whomever in the previous week.

by Cat on Fri Mar 8th, 2024 at 09:41:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Fri Mar 8th, 2024 at 09:44:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
middleeastmonitor | South African Minister Naledi Pandor proposes 'powerful armed forces of the world' accompany aid trucks into Gaza, 8 Mar
South Africa's Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor called on allies of Israel to send their troops to escort aid trucks into Gaza and ensure the safe passage of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in the besieged strip. Pandor's statements came in a press conference with Danish Foreign Minister Lars Rasmussen [!] in Pretoria.

"Those powerful armed forces of the world should be instructed by their presidents or prime ministers that they will go to the Rafah border and their soldiers will escort all those trucks into Gaza and the West Bank," she said. "And since these are very close friends of Israel, surely they will be allowed safe passage. I can't imagine them being fired upon by the Israeli forces."

More than 576,000 people in Gaza, a quarter of the population, are on the brink of famine, according to the UN. Israel has been accused of targeting aid deliveries in recent days, killing hundreds of desperate Palestinians.

archive super-human shields
by Cat on Sun Mar 10th, 2024 at 01:50:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany confirms bugging of Bundeswehr Ukraine war talks plan, 2 Mar
"Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged a quick probe into a Russian leak of secret talks about the Ukraine war. The German military confirmed the talks were real, but couldn't rule out that the recording had been < wipes tears > edited...."
by Cat on Sat Mar 2nd, 2024 at 04:08:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German air defense frigate Hessen deploys to the Red Sea

The Red Sea-deployment of German warship "Hessen" was off to a start with mixed results this week, as missile woes for the German Navy are clouding two successful drone-interceptions. The F124 Sachsen-class air warfare frigate assigned to EUNAVFOR Aspides had arrived in the theatre of operations by February 26.

Confusion over undeclared MQ-9 flight and SM-2 failure

All was not well however, as shortly after the initial news additional media reports revealed how Hessen had prior to this incident nearly shot down an American MQ-9 MALE UCAV (short for medium altitude long endurance combat drone).

The ship had detected the unidentified drone, which reportedly did not use its IFF (identification - friend/foe) and therefore considered it a possibly hostile contact. "Hessen" in response contacted liaison staff with the US-led mission Prosperity Guardian, who confirmed the drone was not theirs, approving an engagement. The frigate then launched two SM-2 missiles to intercept the target. Significantly however both missiles experienced a so far unspecified technical malfunction and fell into the sea.



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Mar 2nd, 2024 at 04:17:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Telecommunication" has exited the room.

dcweekly | German Defense Ministry to Distribute Instructions on Safe Remote Communication (04.03.24)
The transcript of the conversation among German officers, who discussed the possibility of supplying Ukraine with Taurus missiles and plans to attack the Crimean Bridge and ammunition depots, APPEARED in the internet on March 1. The leaked conversation serves as a stark reminder of the dangers posed by the Democratic-led German government, which continues to engage in questionable actions that undermine stability and fuel TENSIONS in the region. It is imperative that the international community closely monitors Germany's actions and holds them ACCOUNTABLE for their reckless behavior.
(emphasis added)
by Cat on Mon Mar 4th, 2024 at 03:39:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
save the date

lemonde | French lawmakers approve Macron's Ukraine strategy, 12 Mar

France's Assemblée Nationale on Tuesday, March 12 approved the government's Ukraine strategy, including a bilateral security agreement signed by Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Volodymyr Zelensky last month. The Sénat was set to hold similar debates on Wednesday.
axar.az | Weimar Troika (13.03.24)
At noon, French and German politicians will hold a bilateral meeting, and then the Polish Prime Minister will join them.
"Ukraine is watching us, waiting for the confirmation and signal of our unity behind them," French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal told the chamber ahead of the vote. He added that "we are at a tipping point" in the conflict and that a Russian victory had "real, tangible dangers" for "everyday life for the French people."
bloomberg | Weimar Triangle (13.03.24)
"I spoke with President Biden about how we are mobilizing our colleagues in Europe. There will be an emergency, unscheduled Weimar Triangle summit on Friday," Tusk said  in an interview for Polish public television late on Tuesday.
With the symbolic vote, Macron forced political parties to take a public stance on the conflict as Russia's invasion of Ukraine stretches into its third year. The far-right Rassemblement National (RN), which polls say is ahead of Macron's coalition by a wide margin in the June European elections, abstained, while the radical-left La France Insoumise party voted against....
ChatGPT | Scholz, Macron and Tusk to meet in Berlin to hash out differences on Ukraine
Tusk will join the French and German leaders later in the day, according to a German official, marking the first meeting of the "Weimar Triangle," a dialogue format between the three countries, since Tusk became prime minister of Poland again in December.
npr | Poland's new government deprograms its once far-right public media (19.02.24)
The leaders intend the meeting to be a show of unity following a tense period in which Franco-German frictions over Ukraine have descended into an open feud.
by Cat on Wed Mar 13th, 2024 at 11:56:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO members must raise their defense spending to 3 percent of GDP,
By Andrzej Duda, 11 Mar


kommersant. President and Prime Minister of Poland Andrzej Duda and Donald Tusk (right) actually played along with US President Joe Biden (left) by emphasizing the need to allocate money to Ukraine as soon as possible. Judging by the published photos of the meeting, the politicians' talks were not without mutual understanding. Radoslaw Sikorski reminded that the Speaker of the House of Representatives is a Baptist by religion, and Russia, according to him, "persecutes religious minorities, including Baptists." In other words, Warsaw played the role of an ideal lobbyist in every sense. (12.03.24)

by Cat on Fri Mar 15th, 2024 at 12:37:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My comment grew out of proportion:

  • MICC Benefits In a Hot War w Russia
  • Our great fan of warmongering US - UK citizen Polish FM Radislaw Sikorki ☹

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Fri Mar 15th, 2024 at 02:03:42 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    Weimar plane geometry. Macron (a) Scholz (b), Tusk (c) press statement. Michael Kappeler/dpa

    economist | France, Germany, and Poland try to patch differences over Ukraine

    Rather than muting his comments, however, Mr Macron has doubled down on his calls for "strategic ambiguity" about nato's intentions.

    english.elpais | France, Germany, and Poland vow to procure more weapons for Ukraine in a show of unity

    Scholz gave no details, and the three leaders took no questions.
    wapoo | Germany, France and Poland vow to procure more weapons for Ukraine in a show of unity
    "We want to spend our money, we want to help in every possible way ... here and now, so that the situation of Ukraine in the coming weeks and months gets better, not worse," Tusk said.

    by Cat on Sat Mar 16th, 2024 at 12:33:53 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    diplomatie.gouv.fr | Joint Statement by Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, and Poland (12.02.24)
    2024 is a year of major elections, including in Europe. We will not tolerate any attempts to interfere in our democratic processes. The cohesion of our societies is at stake. Together, we will maintain a high level of vigilance and protect our citizens from such manipulations. We have agreed to set up a Weimar alert and response scheme between France, Germany and Poland on Foreign Information Manipulation and Interference, and we will work towards further EU mobilization in this field, with a view to ensure more effective measures actions from online platforms.
    wyborcza.pl | An unusual vertex of the Weimar Triangle. There is good news for Ukraine "Some of the evil rumors that European capitals are terribly different ate very exaggerated rumors," Prime Minister Donald Tusk joked.

    polskieradio24.pl | Berlin. Vertex Of The Weimar Triangle. "I will be in Berlin with President Macron and Chancellor Scholz to discuss this situation," he said in an interview with TVP Info. They are also waiting for my information from the talks in Washington," the prime Minister said.
    gov.pl | Peak of the Weimar Triangle in Berlin (15.03.24)


    by Cat on Sat Mar 16th, 2024 at 02:57:07 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ChatGPT | Israel under pressure [nope] to justify its use of [computer programming] in Gaza, 3 Mar system errors
    Israel is deploying new and sophisticated artificial intelligence technologies computer programming at a large scale in its offensive in Gaza. And as the civilian death toll mounts, regional human rights groups are asking if Israel's AI targeting telecommunication systems have enough < wipes tears > guardrails.

    It's a push for accountability [sic] that could force Washington to confront some uncomfortable questions about the extent to which the U.S. is letting its ally off the hook for its use of AI computer-powered warfare [tactics].
    [...]
    It's unclear if any of the civilian casualties in Gaza are a direct result of Israel's use of AI targeting GPS. But activists in the region are demanding more transparency [sic]—pointing to the potential errors AI systems can humans make, and arguing that the fast-paced AI targeting GPS system is what has allowed Israel to barrage large parts of Gaza.

    Palestinian digital rights group 7amleh [The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media] argued in a recent position paper that the use of automated weapons in war "poses the most nefarious threat to Palestinians."

    RESEARCH QUESTIONS
    • As AI technologies become rapidly deployed across communications, surveillance, and military sectors, what are the emergent dangers and risks posed by these technologies on Palestinian lives and narratives?
    • Which AI technologies are being used to repress, dehumanise, or harm Palestinians and Palestine advocates in Israel, the OPT, and internationally, and how are they being utilised
    And Israel's oldest and largest human rights organization, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, submitted a Freedom of Information [FOI] request to the [IDF] Israeli Defense Forces' LOL legal division in December [10.12.23]
    The [DOCTYPE href title: "hasbara"] system processes the information and proposes attack targets, which are then approved by a human authority based on the system's recommendations.
    demanding more transparency [sic] on automated "The Gospel" System Used to Propose Targets for Military Attacks".
    [...]
    archive different rules for different risk levels, manufacturer liability, Unit 8200 in Nord Stream Whodunnit UPDATE
    by Cat on Sun Mar 3rd, 2024 at 04:17:11 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Cat on Tue Mar 5th, 2024 at 01:54:28 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Věra Jourová, European Commissioner for values and transparency, told the parliament on Tuesday the law would send a "clear message to those who want to weaken democracy."

    US bans maker of spyware used to target government officials, journalists, 5 Mar
    retail Predator

    The U.S. government deployed sanctions against Greece-based [?] spyware vendor Intellexa on Tuesday and the company's leadership after targeting U.S. officials.
    ...Intellexa Ltd's current address is listed as an office building down a laneway in Dublin's north inner city....Tal Dilian, an entrepreneur and former Israeli intelligence officer, founded the Intellexa spyware group. Initially running operations from Cyprus in 2019, he later opened branches in Greece and elsewhere after running into trouble with the Cypriot authorities....
    [...]
    "Today's actions represent a tangible step forward in discouraging the misuse of commercial surveillance tools, which increasingly present a security risk to the United States and our citizens," Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson said.
    [...]
    The Tuesday announcement represents the first time the U.S. has sanctioned a commercial spyware eNTitY. The technology has faced increased scrutiny over its capability to collect data, contact lists, and recordings without the knowledge of the phone's owner. ...
    archive TAO in Nordstream Whodunnit, professional journalists in NPI Systems Design, Pegasus, Vault 7, PRISM
    by Cat on Thu Mar 14th, 2024 at 02:28:06 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ChatGPT | Former prime minister Kaczyński says Poland needed spyware but he wasn't interested in its details, 15 Mar email and wire privacy fraud free trade farce
    [...]
    "As far as Pegasus goes, I was aware that it's a tool for breaking into [tele]communication devices, and that Poland needs it, and that other countries also have it," Kaczyński said. "I was not directly interested in the operation activity of the (special) services," he said.

    The Israel-based NSO Group's Pegasus [software]ware was used to spy on mobile devices belonging to opponents of the party. Recent findings suggest it was also used to eavesdrop on some key members of Kaczyński's right-wing party.

    mass marketing strategy, 2010-present
    brookings | PRISM and Boundless Informant: Is NSA Surveillance a Threat? (13.06.13)

    guardian | WikiLeaks: US spied on Angela Merkel's ministers too (01.07.15)
    dw | Merkel: Berlin didn't lie about possible US 'no-spy' pact (30.05.15)
    dw | Merkel testifies on NSA spying affair (16.02.17)

    U.S. spied on Merkel and other Europeans through Danish cables (31.05.21)
    Snowdon manufacturer guarantee "leak"
    wapoo | THE PEGASUS PROJECT | A GLOBAL INVESTIGATION (20.07.21)
    customer satisfaction
    NY Yella Cake | F.B.I. Secretly Bought Israeli Spyware and Explored Hacking U.S. Phones (28.01.22)
    "American companies have been trying to build their own tools that could hack phones with the ease of NSO's 'zero click' [zero day] technology."

    The revelations, first reported by The Associated Press in 2021, shocked Poland and added to the European Union's concerns that the Law and Justice government a NSA software contractor was undermining the rule of law. They also hurt the credentials of Kaczyński's populist party.
    [...]
    by Cat on Fri Mar 15th, 2024 at 03:45:01 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on March 13, 2024
    CNN: As you will know, lawmakers in the United States are voting to possibly ban TikTok. Regardless of what they may decide, what is your response to feelings of distrust from American lawmakers and the American public toward Chinese companies?
    Wang Wenbin: In recent years, though the US has never found any evidence of TikTok posing a threat to the US's national security, it has never stopped going after TikTok. Such practice of resorting to hegemonic moves when one could not succeed in fair competition disrupts the normal operation of businesses, undermines the confidence of international investors in the investment environment, sabotages the normal economic and trade order in the world, and will eventually backfire on the US itself. 
    archive TikTok for EU electoral campaign
    by Cat on Thu Mar 14th, 2024 at 03:02:07 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ChatGPT | Europe's far right uses TikTok to win youth vote, 17 March OMFG illustrated
    BILLIONS of people will vote in a record number of elections in 2024, amid expected foreign interference, disinformation campaigns, and fears of voter fraud. Still, politicians have FLOCKED to social media to convince THE MASSES their values and their ideology will fundamentally affect how Europe, the United States, and THE WORLD will be run.
    "THE WORLD"
    EXTREMIST movements around the world are challenging the fundamentals of democracy, and parties tout ideologies AGAINST economic equalities, immigration, < wipes tears > war, and climate change to an EXTREMELY ONLINE population. Among them is a young base of voters tapped into politics, finding much of their news on social media. In Germany, Malta, Austria, and Belgium, 16-year-olds will be able to cast ballots in the European election. In Greece, the voting age is 17.
    euractiv | UK unveils new extremism definition amid rise in hate crimes against Jews, Muslims (14.03.24)
    "Prime Minister Rishi Sunak warned that Britain's multi-ethnic democracy was being deliberately undermined by both Islamist and far-right extremists"
    gov.uk | £28.50 Prevent Strategy (June 2011)
    gov.uk | New definition of extremism (2024) (14.03.24)
    ChatGPT DPA | EU backs Egypt with €7.4 billion aid package amid migration concerns (18.03.24)
    yahoo! independent | Rishi Sunak facing potential rebellion over Rwanda deportation for Afghan allies (17.03.24)
    POLLS ACROSS EUROPE, from Italy to France to the Netherlands, show support for the [EPP] right and the [EPP] far[-]right among young voters is growing. With their potential votes, much of Europe could shift to the right in the June election when 450 MILLION people can vote for Members of European Parliament (MEPs). Some projections show far-right parties are expected to win a record-setting number of seats.
    archive T -103
    [...]
    POLITICO reviewed all 705 MEPs' presence on TikTok between February 15 and March 8 and found 186 ACTIVE ACCOUNTS, with a quarter of lawmakers coming from the [EPP] right wing and [EPP] far-right grouping in the European Parliament.
    "BATTLE GROUND"
    [...]
    The right-wing movement's "first objective is to win what they call a cultural battle, which in their view THEY ARE WINNING BECAUSE, as American right wingers would say: the left can't meme well," said Romain Fargier, a researcher on political radicalization at the Center for Social and Political Studies (CEPEL) of Montpellier ["The future since 1220"] university.
    "crusade strategists": Papal Policy on Mamluk Trade: Before the 1290s
    The strategy of blockading Egypt in order to deprive it of revenue and strategic commodities had far more backers than the strategy of inducing mamluks to convert. The blockade concept had a long history by the late thirteenth century: the Carolingians and Byzantines had banned the sale of timber to Muslim powers in the tenth century, and the papacy had restricted trade between Christians and Muslims beginning in the second half of the twelfth century. The papal restrictions were usually targeted at specific war materials. The most frequently banned goods were timber, iron, arms, and ships, with the occasional addition of horses and staple foods. Blanket bans on all Christian shipping to Muslim ports were generally limited in duration, usually covering the four or six years before a fleet of crusaders was due to embark. The ban formulated by the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 was not the first to restrict trade with Muslims, but its wording became standard...
    [Barker: 382-420]
    [...]
    From Italy to Germany, many far-right members of the European Parliament engage with young users on TikTok far more than peers from < wipes tears > traditional parties, according to POLITICO's research. Nearly 4 out of 10 accounts following MEPs on TikTok subscribe to the [EPP] right-wing European Conservatives and Reformist group or the  [EPP] far-right Identity and Democracy group. Those  [EPP] right-leaning MEPs have accrued nearly 39 million likes and 2 million followers.

    Lawmakers from the center-right European People's Party  [EPP], the largest grouping in Parliament,  held fewer than 3 percent of the total likes.
    [...]
    Pedro Lopez de Pablo, head of press for the EPP, said his political group had invested less on TikTok for security and practical reasons.

    wsj | TikTok Crackdown Shifts Into Overdrive, With Sale or Shutdown on Table (10.03.14)
    The first push to force ByteDance to sell TikTok started from then-president Donald Trump. Lawmakers have since banned TikTok from government-owned devices, but broader efforts stalled. Biden administration officials concluded that TikTok represented a national-security threat but were uncertain they had the legal authority to effectively ban the app or separate [confiscate, seize, freeze, immobilise] it from its Chinese owner.
    cnbc | Former Treasury Secretary Mnuchin is putting together an investor group to buy TikTok (14.03.23)
    TikTok's most valuable asset and, to lawmakers, its most worrying weapon, is its algorithm, which delivers tailored content to users and was developed in China. Any sale of TikTok without the algorithm would be significantly less attractive to potential buyers.
    cnn| Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is interested in buying TikTok (14.03.24)
    "It's sharks. They see blood in the water," Wedbush Securities equity analyst Dan Ives said.
    "We cannot use it with our phones or computers when they are connected with the Parliaments' network, so we are on the network with computers and phones outside of the Parliament," he told POLITICO.
    [...]
    archive 6 November 2023 deep, deep crazy guidelines
    by Cat on Tue Mar 19th, 2024 at 02:49:19 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    europarl.europa.eu | MEPs vote for tougher rules on political advertising (02.02.23)
    ...Restricting targeting strategies and a de facto ban on micro-targeting

    Under the changes made by MEPs to the Commission's proposal, only personal data explicitly provided for online political advertising can be used by advert providers. Micro-targeting, a strategy that uses consumer data and demographics to identify the interests of specific individuals, will therefore not be possible. Parliament introduced other provisions to further regulate the broader activity of targeting, such as a blanket ban on using minors' [< 16 y.o.?] data....

    europarl.europa.eu | Stronger rules on the evasion of EU sanctions and confiscating criminal assets, 7 Mar
    ...Following a debate on Monday, Parliament will take a final vote on Tuesday on a directive, already agreed with the Council, introducing a common definition for EU sanctions violations and minimum penalties. EU sanctions (most recently against Russia), are enforced by member states, but inconsistent penalties have left room for forum-shopping, where companies wanting to circumvent sanctions ["restrictive measures"] search out the weaker regimes for their activities. The new directive will harmonise penalties so they are ["]dissuasive["], make it a criminal offence to provide financial services or legal advisory services that violate sanctions, and criminalise trade in arms or dual-use items, including in cases of serious negligence....
    EU sanctions: new rules to crack down on violations, 12 Mar
    ... With 543 votes in favour, 45 against, and 27 abstentions, the European Parliament has adopted a directive, agreed with member states, on criminalising the violation and circumvention of EU sanctions. It will introduce a common definition of, and minimum penalties for, violations.
    [...]
    Stronger punishments for violations

    The directive ensures punishment for violating and circumventing sanctions is dissuasive by making them criminal offences carrying prison sentences of a maximum of five years in all member states. When companies violate or circumvent sanctions, judges must be able to issue dissuasive fines, although member states can choose whether a judge can impose a maximum penalty based on the worldwide annual turnover of the company, or based on absolute maximum amounts....

    consilium.europa.eu | EU sanctions: new rules to crack down on violations, 12 Mar
    ...The law lays down that member states will need to define certain actions as criminal offences. These include:
    • helping persons subject to EU restrictive measures to by[-]pass a travel ban
    • trading sanctioned goods and running transactions with states or eNTiTiEs which are hit by EU restrictive measures
    • providing financial services or performing financial activities which are prohibited or restricted
    • covering up the ownership of funds or [dual-use?] economic resources by a person, eNTiTiEs or body which is sanctioned by the EU

    Inciting, aiding, and abetting these offences will also be punishable as a crime. Trade with war material would constitute a criminal offence not only when committed intentionally but also if committed with ["]serious negligence["]....

    yahoo! Ukrainski Pravda | European Parliament supports aggravation of punishment for violating sanctions, 12 Mar
    "In December 2022, the European Commission put forward a proposal for the harmonisation of criminal offences and penalties for violations of EU restrictive measures."
    by Cat on Tue Mar 19th, 2024 at 03:46:15 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    DW | TikTok for sale: UNLOCK MUH VALUE!, 20 Mar

    1. TikTok is not for sale. TikTok IPO failed in 2020. IPO comp 2024, from $6.4B to $748M
    2. ByteDance is a privately-held corp. TikTok is a privately-held subsidiary of ByteDance. The only fin-tech and tax regulators on the planet who have a clue what's in ByteDance balance sheet are the PRC.
    3. It's extremely doubtful that "venture" funds such as KKR, Cerberus, and SoftBank hold 60% of all ByteDance debt "positions" outstanding. China's entrepreneurs aren't as stupid as G7 b-school grads.
    4. Another round redeeming equity and debt of ByteDance is in progress, inflating estimated p/s outstanding, or market cap, and reasons to HOLD.
    5. 170M US app subscribers:1B total app subscribers is nowhere near a Pareto risk to warrant ByteDance "trade-off" such as a TikTok IPO ("spin-off", "divestiture") in order to maintain the unknown value of ad sales and collection of private, personal data published by the most ignorant, litigious nation on planet.
    6. Similarly, the US Congress' attempt to quash Huawei distribution failed. Nothing in this bill purporting controlling interest in ByteDance lines of business worldwide will realize anti-coercion, free trade, and national security objectives implied therein.  
    7. "reputational damage": scmp (6 Mar), "bully pulpit": ChatGPT (15 Mar),
    DMA "drop-out": cont'd.
    [...]
    Forcing an ownership sale [racketeering] would also set a dangerous precedent [sic] that could be used by other governments against US social media ["information service"] companies.
    by Cat on Wed Mar 20th, 2024 at 04:10:47 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    2021 inna pandemic
    by Cat on Wed Mar 20th, 2024 at 04:24:01 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    kommersant | The EU has become the spearhead for regulating high-tech giants, 10 Mar Digital Markets Act
    The "Law on Digital Markets" was proposed by the European Commission in December 2020—and since then, the EU has been undergoing a long and multi-level coordination of its norms. The Council of Europe and the European Parliament, as well as the EU member states, approved it in 2022. Last year, it began to operate—but then only partially. Now, from March 6, the DMA will be fully operational.
    [...]
    "This is a turning point. Self-regulation is over, " Ms. Vestager said in connection with the entry into force of the DMA, pointing out that previously technology companies largely determined their own practices of this kind. European Commissioner for Internal Market Affairs Thierry Breton, who has actively consulted with high-tech companies in recent years, notes that the US authorities have failed to do so over many years of trying to introduce tougher rules for such companies-unlike the EU.
    [...]
    "The main question is whether (Brussels.- FT) monitor compliance? Companies have almost unlimited resources (to fight regulation. - FT), " says Paul Gallant, a technology regulatory analyst at TD Cowen in the United States. The Financial Times quoted a tech investor who asked to remain anonymous as saying,"This is yet another case of regulators and politicians trying to regulate the industry in ways they don't understand."
    euractiv | EU Commission breached data protection rules using Microsoft 365, EU watchdog found, 11 Mar keyboard ChatGPT
    ...According to the EDPS [European Data Protection Supervisor], an independent supervisory authority ensuring that European institutions uphold privacy and data protection laws, the  Commission violated several parts of the EU's data protection regulation for institutions (Regulation 2018/1725). The law concerns data protection within the EU institutions, bodies, offices, and agencies (EUIs) and the processing of personal data by these entities, ensuring compliance with data protection principles and safeguarding individuals' rights to privacy within the EU institutions....
    archive EU states greenlight TECHNIQUES AND APPROACHES
    by Cat on Wed Mar 13th, 2024 at 04:31:34 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    stalking.gov | On the Retirement of Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, 5 Mar less family time
    Victoria Nuland has let me know that she intends to step down in the coming weeks as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs—a role in which she has personified President Biden's commitment to put diplomacy back at the center of our foreign policy and revitalize America's global leadership at a crucial time for our nation and the world.

    Toria's tenure caps three and a half decades of remarkable public service under six Presidents and ten Secretaries of State. Starting with her very first posting as a consular officer in Guangzhou, China, Toria's had most of the jobs in this Department. Political officer and economic officer. Spokesperson and chief of staff. Deputy Assistant Secretary and Assistant Secretary. Special Envoy and Ambassador.

    These experiences have armed Toria with an encyclopedic knowledge of a wide range of issues and regions, and an unmatched capacity to wield the full toolkit of American diplomacy to advance our interests and values.
    [...]
    But it's Toria's leadership on Ukraine that diplomats and students of foreign policy will study for years to come. Her efforts have been indispensable to confronting Putin's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, marshaling a global coalition to ensure his strategic failure, and helping Ukraine work toward the day when it will be able to stand strongly on its own feet - democratically, economically, and militarily.

    There is so much to admire about Toria beyond her diplomatic skill. She always speaks her mind—to my benefit and to the benefit of our foreign policy. She always stands up for and invests in America's diplomats—mentoring them, lifting them up, and ensuring they and their families have what they deserve, and what our mission demands. She finds light in the darkest moments, makes you laugh when you need it most, and always has your back.

    vk.com | The cookies are... finished
    by Cat on Tue Mar 5th, 2024 at 06:41:41 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    reuters | Ukraine needs $3 bln in financial aid per month in 2024, Kyiv says, 28 Feb
    Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko said on Wednesday, highlighting the challenges Kyiv faces as U.S. support begins to falter.
    [...]
    Addressing finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven [G7] major industrialised nations on Wednesday, Marchenko said the government had been more active on the domestic debt market this year and looked for other ways to increase its budget revenues.
    [...]
    "International donors' help is not just a financial issue, but an opportunity to support millions of Ukrainians who need it and to save the lives of thousands of soldiers," Marchenko said.
    reuters | EU aims to shift European arms industry to 'war economy mode', 4 Mar
    Thierry Breton, the European industry commissioner, will lay out proposals to encourage EU countries to buy more weapons together from European companies, and to help such firms increase production capacity, according to EU officials.
    ChatGPT | Challenging Kiel
    French officials including Lecornu have long been critical of the Kiel Institute's methodology, arguing that the German organization uses pledges and not actual deliveries to calculate countries' contributions.
    [...]
    Breton's proposals include creating a European version of the U.S. Foreign Military Sales AgencyFMS  under which the United States helps other governments to buy from U.S. arms companies. Another proposal would allow the EU to compel European weapons firms to prioritise European orders in times of crisis.
    [...]
    FUNDING QUESTIONS
    Breton's package is expected to include some 1.5 billion euros ($1.63 billion) in new money through the end of 2027—a modest sum in the world of large-scale defence procurement. But officials say the package will create a legal framework that would allow much greater coordinated spending in years to come, if the EU is willing to stump up the cash. Breton has called for a special EU fund of 100 billion euros for defence projects. Commission officials say they want Kyiv to take part in the proposed new schemes to boost joint procurement and production capacity, even though Ukraine is not part of the EU.
    pravda.ua | Ukrainian Foreign Minister thanks Belgium for money for shells and talked about strengthening air defence, 4 Mar
    They also discussed preparations for the global peace summit in Switzerland.
    archive Eurozone governments rush to sell bonds, samm.dsca.mil

    reference
    europarl.europa.eu | The EU's financing of military assistance to Ukraine (30.03.22)

    by Cat on Tue Mar 5th, 2024 at 08:48:16 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The European Union does not know where to get money to strengthen its own defense
    French President Emmanuel Macron said that the European Union's promise to provide Ukraine with a million tons of ammunition was reckless, since the community of countries does not have such a large amount.
    however
    Ukraine's allies have almost collected all the necessary money for the purchase of hundreds of thousands of shells for the Ukrainian army
    At the end of February, it was reported that at an urgent conference dedicated to Ukraine, the EU countries agreed to purchase shells for Kiev in the amount of $1.5 billion.
    wut: "A carbon pricing crash is stripping the EU of revenue to fund climate-friendly projects"
    by Cat on Wed Mar 6th, 2024 at 11:41:43 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    wapoo | Zelensk* in bind over how to draft more troops as Russian forces advance, 3 Mar
    [...]
    Syrsky has been tasked with auditing the existing armed forces to find more combat-eligible troops, after Zelensk*'s office recently announced that of the 1 million people who have been mobilized, only about 300,000 have fought at the front lines. But nearly a month after his promotion, no one in the military leadership or the presidential administration has explained where those 700,000 are—or what they have been doing. Ukrainian lawmakers say the lack of a unified message from the president and the military has added confusion over next steps.
    Socis Center Poll Smoke | Tougher mobilization. Two-thirds of Ukrainians are against restrictions for draft dodgers (06.03.24)
    ...64.5% of Ukrainians spoke out against the restrictions for draft dodgers prescribed in the draft law on toughening mobilization. Half as many people supported the introduction of restrictions—26.9%. Another 8.6% were undecided about their position. Asked whether they agree that all men who are fit for service in terms of age and health should be conscripted without exception, more than half or 54.5% of respondents supported this idea....
    "I don't know why Zelensk* or his team still try to convince society that everything is always fine," said Solomiia Bobrovska, a lawmaker from Holos, a liberal opposition party. "It's not—especially with the army."

    Ukraine's dwindling number of battle-ready troops is now a strategic crisis that was at least partially to blame for its recent retreat from the eastern city of Avdiivka and surrounding villages, where Ukrainian forces were far outnumbered.
    [...]

    dw | The German medic who died fighting for Ukraine, 6 Mar
    ...And so, after two months of basic training, in June 2022, the German citizen was deployed to northeastern Ukraine. She started as a foot soldier. Looking back, she believed it was because in the chaos of the early days of the war, her superiors hadn't been informed of her medical background....

    by Cat on Thu Mar 7th, 2024 at 12:34:31 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    thetimes.co.uk | President Zelensk* appoints Valery Zaluzhny as UK ambassador, 7 Mar circular reference
    ...[Zaluzhny ]was replaced as Ukraine's top commander in February by General Oleksandr Syrskyi, who oversaw Kyiv's successful counter-offensive in the Kharkiv region in 2022.
    [...]
    The announcement on Zaluzhny 's appointment as ambassador came as Zelensk* met Grant Shapps, the defence secretary, in Kyiv. "Our alliance with Britain should only get stronger," Zelensk* said. "Zaluzhny told me that this is the direction he would like to take—diplomacy."

    Zaluzhny has a master's degree in international relations and speaks English. Ukraine has not had an ambassador in Britain, one of its staunchest supporters, since its former envoy, Vadym Prystaiko, was dismissed in July 2023 after publically criticising Zelensk*....

    archive Zaluzhny 2024, I am the Lord, Prystaiko 2023, British Push, Prystaiko 2022, Prystaiko 2019
    by Cat on Sun Mar 10th, 2024 at 06:43:54 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    rbc.ua | Pope makes unexpected statement on talks between Ukraine and Russia, 9 Mar
    Reuters has obtained a recording of the Pope's interview with the Swiss TV channel RSI, which took place in February and is to be published on March 20.
    Vatican News | Ukrainian President thanks Pope for support for peace efforts in Ukraine, Mar 2022 - Aug 2023
    The recording contains a fragment of the interview, where the pontiff answers the question of whether Ukraine should raise the "white flag" and negotiate with Russia, despite the fact that many say that this will legitimize Moscow's aggression.
    americamagazine.org | After backlash, Vatican clarifies Pope Francis' call for Ukraine to have 'courage of the white flag', 10 Mar
    "To negotiate is never a surrender. It is the courage not to carry a country to suicide," Pope Francis said in an interview with Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS), a French-language Swiss public media outlet, in which the pope again denounced "the folly of war" in a conversation that covered both the war in Gaza and the war in Ukraine.
    archive Peter, Francis 2023, Benedict XVI 2022, Kirill 2022 in Germany Goes To War, Joseph John Paul Francis
    The pope encouraged Ukraine to seek to negotiate an end to the war with Russia, in comments that were criticized by several prominent Ukrainian voices and that prompted a clarifying statement from the Holy See Press Office on Saturday, March 9....The news outlet, however, sent transcripts of the interview to ANSA, the Italian news agency, and to Reuters on Saturday, March 9. Soon after, the Vatican published the full transcript in Italian.
    Big Israel valedictory
    Ukrainian human rights activist Oleksandra Matviychuk said capitulation would mean Russian occupation for Ukraine. "Occupation is just another form of war," she added. She is the chairwoman of the Kiev Centre for Civil Liberties, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2022. "Occupation" means "torture, sexual violence, enforced disappearance, rejection of one's own identity, forced adoption of one's own children, filtration camps and mass graves," she said. Olena Halushka, the co-founder of the International Centre for Ukrainian Victory, an association of Ukrainian NGOs, wrote on X: "The Pope should finally have the courage to condemn an aggressor instead of accusing  < wipes tears > the victim of resisting genocide."
    alarabiya | Germany criticizes pope's Ukraine 'white flag' remarks , 11 Mar
    "I don't understand it," Baerbock said in a talk show on public broadcaster ARD late Sunday. "I think some things you can only understand if you see them for yourself," added Baerbock, who has travelled to Kyiv several times since the start of the war. When talking to children in Ukraine who are suffering because of the war, she said, "I ask myself: Where is the pope? The pope must know about these things."
    reuters | German bishops call on Vatican to clarify pope's Ukraine 'white flag' remarks (11.03.24)
    [...]
    A spokesman for Chancellor Olaf Scholz was also asked about the pontiff's remarks in a regular press conference on Monday.

    "As you can imagine, the chancellor does not share the pope's opinion on this issue," spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said, adding that Ukraine was "defending itself against an aggressor".

    ukrinform | Baerbock confirms talks with UK on missiles for Ukraine (11.03.24)
    [...]
    Kyiv on Sunday responded angrily to the pope's "white flag" appeal, with Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba saying his country would "never" surrender. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensk* also hit back at the comments. Ukrainians of all faiths stood up to defend their country when Russia invaded, he said in his evening address on Sunday.
    ...When the Russian evil started this war on February 24, all Ukrainians stood up for defense. Christians, Muslims, Jews—everyone. I thank every Ukrainian chaplain who is with the army, in the Defense Forces....
    [...]
    ancient history Urban II alias Odo of Châtillon-sur-Marne, or Lagery, or Lagny
    by Cat on Mon Mar 11th, 2024 at 06:14:53 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    prayers, platitudes, and bromides

    archive "I need ammunition, not a ride."
    by Cat on Mon Mar 11th, 2024 at 10:07:47 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    sanctimony

    "sanctimoniousness" is a symptom of illiteracy.

    by Cat on Mon Mar 11th, 2024 at 10:19:57 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    appending -ism or -ability to "sanctimoniousness" will not embargo brain damage.
    by Cat on Mon Mar 11th, 2024 at 10:24:01 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    Translation:
    The Portuguese defend their identity and their prosperity, and sweep away the corrupt socialists! Congratulations to @AndreCVentura and his young party who are making a great breakthrough.

    Friends of Chega, meet together at the European Parliament the day after June 9!

    VDL doesn't have a clue what people need, want, deserve. Populism and right-wing fascist beast has been fed by  incompetent leaders at best, IMO corrupt due to free market economy and capitalism. Income inequality - housing are primary motives to vote to the right ... desperation and as a protest vote.

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Sun Mar 10th, 2024 at 10:21:33 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Portugal: Exit polls show center-right ahead in general election, far-right soars

    The election was called after Socialist Prime Minister Antonio Costa, 62, unexpectedly resigned in November following an influence-peddling probe that involved a search of his official residence and the arrest of his chief of staff. Though Costa himself was not accused of any crime, he decided not to run again.

    Portugal's main center-right party, formerly in opposition with the current government, won the most seats in Sunday's general election while support for the populist far-right Chega party surged, an exit poll showed. The center-right Democratic Alliance (AD) is expected to win 83 to 91 seats in the 230-seat parliament, compared to 69 to 77 seats for the Socialists who have ruled since 2015, the poll for public television RTP showed. Chega is on track to win 40 to 46 seats, up from just 12, making it a kingmaker in the new parliament.

    The AD had campaigned on promises to boost economic growth by cutting taxes and to improve unreliable public health services and education which has been plagued by strikes by teachers and school workers over pay.

    The far-right surges but it's too close to call Portugal's election | EuroNews |

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Sun Mar 10th, 2024 at 10:22:31 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Whoever forms Portugal's government, this is a victory for the far right. Will Europe ever learn? | The Guardian Opinion |

    It was one of those great ironies of history. Just short of 50 days before the 50th anniversary of the Portuguese revolution, which toppled an almost 50-year dictatorship, the nation woke up to nearly 50 newly elected far-right lawmakers in parliament. To give you a sense of Chega's politics, it ran on a platform advocating the creation of a new crime of "illegal residence" on Portuguese soil and "reviewing" police regulations on the use of force. Pundits are now struggling to envision a governmental combination that does not include Chega. Montenegro has so far explicitly ruled out any deals with Chega because of what he calls the party leader's "often xenophobic, racist, populist and excessively demagogic" views - the question is now how much strength is left in that cordon sanitaire.



    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 12th, 2024 at 06:15:01 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 19th, 2024 at 06:13:31 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 29th, 2024 at 10:37:46 PM EST
    w/e 17 Feb
    mfa.am | Joint press statement following the 5th meeting of the Armenia-EU Partnership Council
    additional €5.5M EU displaced Karabakh funding, Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) review: visa liberalisatio, unlocking preferential tariffs, ICC "capacity-building", €550M Economic and Investment Plan (EIP), normalisation of Armenia-Azerbaijan relations

    w/e 24 Feb
    armradio.am | Armenia ready to contribute to EU civilian missions, top security official says, Y2 anniversary

    "We are grateful to more than two dozen EU member states, the leadership in Brussels and, of course, the staff of the mission for contributing to this important mission. We hope and expect that we will soon see the representatives of all EU member states in the mission. We welcome Canada's participation and Norway's willingness to join the mission," Security Council Sec. Armen Grigoryan added.
    armenpress.am | Armenia freezes participation in CSTO
    "The CSTO hasn't fulfilled its security obligations towards Armenia, particularly in 2021, in 2022, and this couldn't have gone without consequences. And the consequence is that in practice we have basically frozen our participation in the CSTO," Pashinyan told France24.

    Asked on the Russian military base in Armenia, the Prime Minister clarified that the base is located in Armenia not as part of the CSTO. "That's an entirely different legal-contractual framework, and we haven't had the occasion to address that framework."

    ChatGPT | Putin loses grip on member of his military alliance
    Speaking to France24 on Friday, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a club of former Soviet nations, "hasn't fulfilled its security obligations towards Armenia." ...The prime minister's latest comments come as French Armed Forces Minister Sébastien Lecornu visits Armenia on Friday to announce a package of new arms deals expected to include radar equipment and night vision goggles.
    w/e 2 Mar
    armenpress.am | Russia seeks clarification from Armenia on participation in joint integration structures, 1 Mar Antalya Diplomatic Forum, Türkiye
    dailysabah | Azerbaijan's FM hails Armenia meeting for better 'understanding', 3 Mar Antalya Diplomatic Forum
    by Cat on Sun Mar 3rd, 2024 at 08:24:23 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    eurostat | Euro area annual inflation [rate] down to 2.6%, 1 Mar illustrated
    Looking at the main components of euro area inflation, food, alcohol & tobacco is expected to have the highest annual rate in February (4.0%, compared with 5.6% in January), followed by services (3.9%, compared with 4.0% in January), non-energy industrial goods (1.6%, compared with 2.0% in January) and energy (-3.7%, compared with -6.1% in January).
    euractiv | Eurozone inflation drops to lowest in 2 years, spurring talk of ECB [interest] rate cut, 1 Mar excluding food and energy prices
    "Lagarde has slightly changed her emphasis from warning about wage-price spirals to emphasising that wages can partly catch up with lost purchasing power without becoming inflationary"
    by Cat on Sun Mar 3rd, 2024 at 08:47:01 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    "media operator" ad revenue, "trusted flagger" status

    euractiv | Consumer groups file data privacy complaints against Facebook, Instagram 'pay-or-consent' model, 29 Feb

    [...]
    'Pay-or-consent' model
    Meta's 'pay-or-consent' business model refers to Facebook and Instagram customers' choice to either continue to use the services at no cost, providing they consent that their private data is processed by Meta, or opt for a paid subscription model, in which case Meta will refrain from processing it.
    [...]
    It also considers that Meta's data processing is unfair as it uses its dominant position to force its users to accept its privacy policy, without bringing enough detailed explanation.
    [...]
    archive Europe's privacy struggle, EU Code of Conduct, Opt-in, one-click, no-exit consent "data gathering" IMG, d/b/a terms of use with "privacy settings", Gestisci le opzioni "data gathering" IMG, contract of adhesion, China's data 'disappearance', Privacy Tools, who owns the data?, the streaming process
    by Cat on Tue Mar 5th, 2024 at 07:27:57 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    around "monetizing" user "engagements"

    ChatGPT | Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Threads logins restored after widespread outage, 5 Mar

    Andy Stone, Meta's head communications, acknowledged the issues on X, formerly known as Twitter, and said the company "resolved the issue as quickly as possible for everyone who was IMPACTED, and we apologize for any inconvenience."
    [...]
    A senior official with the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency [CISA] told reporters Tuesday that the agency was "not aware of any specific election nexus nor any specific malicious cyber-activity nexus to the outage."
    twin "curated" ad litter and "privacy" settings
    The outage comes just ahead of Thursday's deadline for Big Tech companies to comply with the European Union's new Digital Markets Act. To comply, Meta is making changes like allowing users to separate their Facebook and Instagram accounts so personal information can't be combined to target them with online ads. It's not clear whether the outage [system update?] is connected to any preparations Meta might be carrying out for the DMA.
    by Cat on Tue Mar 5th, 2024 at 10:41:29 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    international "debt-raising" market

    EU Parliament urges EIB to scrap ammunition, weapons financing restrictions, 29 Feb

    "[The Parliament] emphasises the need to make the most effective use of all the instruments at the EIB's disposal and calls on the EIB to enhance its support... to the European defence industry," reads the Greens/EFA-sponsored resolution, which passed by 455 votes to 64, with 26 abstentions.

    An amendment added to the bill by the liberal Renew group also explicitly urged the EIB to overhaul its investment eligibility criteria "so that ammunition and military equipment that go beyond dual-use application are no longer excluded from EIB financing".
    [...]
    The EIB's current mandate limits the range of permissible defence-related investments to so-called "dual-use" technologies, which can be used for civilian and military purposes. According to the Bank's lending criteria, most of the technology's expected future revenue must derive from its civilian use. This also means the bank is currently explicitly prohibited from investing directly in ammunition, weapons, and "core military and police infrastructure".

    economy-finance.ec.europa.eu | What is SURE
    ...Loans provided to Member States under the SURE instrument were underpinned by a system of voluntary guarantees from Member States. Each Member State's contribution to the overall amount of the guarantee corresponds to its relative share in the total gross national income (GNI) of the European Union, based on the 2020 EU budget. The establishment of SURE is a further tangible expression of Union solidarity, whereby the Member States agree to support each other through the Union by making additional financial resources available through loans....
    by Cat on Tue Mar 5th, 2024 at 07:36:01 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ec.europa.eu | First ever defence industrial strategy and a new defence industry programme to enhance Europe's readiness and security, 5 Mar regulatory and finance TOOLS
    [...]
    A stronger and more responsive European defence industry will benefit the Member States and ultimately EU citizens. It will also benefit the EU's key partners, including NATO and Ukraine.
    • European Defence Industry Programme (EDIP)
    • European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB)
    • Capability Development Plan (CDP)
    • Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD)
    • Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO)
    • European defence industry reinforcement through common procurement act (EDIRPA)
    • Act in Support of Ammunition Production (ASAP)
    • Fund to Accelerate defence Supply chains Transformation (FAST)
    • European Armament Programme (SEAP)
    • European Defence Projects of Common Interest (EDPCI)
    defensenews | EU proposes $1.6 billion plan to prop up defense industry, 5 Mar war bonds
    [...]
    Funding for the European Defence Industry Program, or EDIP, runs from 2025 to 2027 and serves a bridge until the bloc negotiates a new long-term budget, said Thierry Breton, the EU commissioner for the internal market.

    The commission suggested profits generated by frozen Russian assets could be used to fund support for Ukraine within the framework of EDIP, subject to a decision by the European Council. EU leaders meet in the council, which, together with the European Parliament, adopts European legislation.
    [...]
    With each of the EU's 27 member states in charge of its defense budget, economic nationalism has often pushed countries such as France and Germany to buy local rather than ["Made in Europe"]. The resulting fragmentation has a price: A European Parliament report in 2019 found the costs of duplication in security and defense policy among the bloc are at least €22 billion a year.
    [...]

    scmp AFP | Europe BATTLES gunpowder plot to supply shells for Ukraine's defence against Russia, 2 Mar
    by Cat on Wed Mar 6th, 2024 at 04:14:56 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    EU Commission announces €2 bn defence projects for armaments production, joint purchases and research
    The EU's executive announced on Friday (15 March) a series of deals and subsidised projects for the defence industry, in a bid to boost ammunition production and joint procurement to speed up deliveries to Ukraine.

    The Commission also revealed the work programme for the European defence industry reinforcement through the Common Procurement Act (EDIRPA) to help joint procurement of EU countries' missing key capabilities following donations to Kyiv, with an emphasis on ammo and air defence but also land capabilities. It unveiled how much the bloc's production capacity in ammunition is expected to rise in the coming year thanks to Act in Support of Ammunition Production (ASAP) and which companies got the deals.
    [...]

    Streamlining Foreign Subsidies Regulation needed to accelerate EU investment
    [...]
    "The first impression was that a new, major shock was about to hit the EU," stated the report, noting that after the turbulence of COVID-19 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the inking of IRA [Inflation Reduction Act] led to numerous calls for Europe to react.

    It also warned that the local content requirements might have consequences not only for the bilateral trade relations and a possible diversion of direct foreign investments but also have the potential to undermine the free trade principles that are at the core of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
    [...]
    Addressing distortions
    The primary reaction was the FSR. According to the European Commission, the new set of rules "enables the Commission to address distortions caused by foreign subsidies and allows the EU to ensure a level playing field for all companies operating in the Single Market while remaining open to trade and investment."

    The Commission perceived a problem in foreign subsidies that appeared to give their recipients an unfair advantage to acquire companies or obtain public procurement contracts. Within the EU subsidies granted by EU Member States are subject to strict State Aid rules, but before the FSR subsidies granted by non-EU governments were un-monitored [sic].

    < reckless eyeballin' >
    The IRA's State aid instruments are primarily tax credits and tax deductions, but it will also provide grants, and loans as well as offer loan guarantees.

    "The main difference between the US and EU is that the IRA doesn't create funds, and even less so debt financed funds, while the EU is mainly relying on funds, and these are being financed by debt. Yet, in case of a large uptake of the programmes in the US, massive tax reliefs may create a substantial reduction in government tax collection which needs to be compensated by sovereign debt," explained the ECON briefing.
    [...]

    wut: "the big question is how EU legislation can best incentivise businesses to reduce emissions even as they face stiff competition [FOR WUT?] from other parts of the world with less stringent climate legislation such as China, the United States, and India."

    oh. third-country sanctions

    by Cat on Wed Mar 20th, 2024 at 12:48:08 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    around pirate guidelines

    lemonde | Macron urges Ukraine's allies not to be 'cowardly' (05.03.24)
    The Financial Times said Prague was looking to amass $1.5 billion to pay for the munitions for Ukraine, which has been battling the Russian invasion for two years. Fiala said at an international conference in Paris last week that around 15 nations were ready to join the initiative, including France. The Netherlands has already pledged to donate €100 million.

    Macron did throw his weight behind using revenues from frozen Russian assets in Europe to fund Ukraine's defense, estimating them at €3-5 billion ($3.25 - 5.4 billion) per year, but said the capital should remain untouched. "We are not in favor of doing things forbidden in international law and opening a debate that I believe would weaken Europe," he said.

    Macron's visit to Prague follows an invitation from Pavel during the Czech president's visit to Paris last December....

    archive.ph lemonde | Macron urges Ukraine's allies not to be 'cowardly'
    ...Fiala said at an international conference in Paris last week that around 15 nations were ready to join the initiative, including France. The Netherlands has already pledged to donate €100 million.

    Macron said his country would take part in the initiative but did not disclose any details as to how much it would contribute. Prague now expects the French leader to come up with a specific pledge during Tuesday's talks.

    Later on Tuesday, Macron is due to address a nuclear forum in the Czech capital, attended by several French energy companies. These include the power giant EDF, nuclear fuel distributor Orano and nuclear reactor producer Framatome. ...

    by Cat on Tue Mar 5th, 2024 at 09:28:47 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    around solidarity lanes

    ChatGPT | Poland sees its most violent protest yet by farmers and supporters against Ukraine imports, EU rules, 6 Mar photo gallery

    [...]
    The deputy agriculture minister, Michał Kołodziejczak, said he didn't believe that "real, normal farmers caused a riot in front of the Sejm today," and that it was necessary to isolate "provocateurs and troublemakers." He did not say who he thought was behind the violence.

    Farmers on tractors blocked highways leading into Warsaw while thousands of their supporters gathered in front of the prime minister's office before marching to the parliament. Some trampled a European Union flag and burned a mock coffin bearing the word "farmer." Farmers were joined by miners, foresters, hunters, and other supporters. They blew horns and set off firecrackers and smoke bombs, despite police warnings that the use of pyrotechnics was banned. Some protesters burned tires.
    [...]

    FT | Ukraine willing to accept restrictions on EU trade, 6 Mar
    [UA Trade Min] Taras Kachka told the Financial Times that Kyiv was in favour of new curbs on Ukrainian agricultural imports, although the EU also needed to ban Russian farm exports that are still reaching the bloc via Belarus and the Baltics.

    "Maybe for a transitional period this kind of...managed approach to trade flows between Ukraine and the EU is something that we all need," Kachka said. But he added, "For wheat [?!], it is not Ukraine that is causing problems for Polish farmers, it is Russia."
    [...]
    "We need to find a solution that will effectively protect the Polish and European markets against unequal competition," [Donald The] Tusk said on Monday during a visit to Lithuania. He agreed with the Ukrainian minister on the need to ban agricultural imports from Russia and Belarus, a measure that would be backed by Lithuania, said the country's Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė. Tusk said restrictions at the level of the entire bloc would be more efficient, after Latvia recently imposed a countrywide ban on Russian imports.
    [...]
    Kachka said Kyiv supported new measures proposed by Brussels to impose caps on imports of eggs, poultry, and [beet] sugar [!] from June and to allow individual countries to close their markets to Ukrainian grain except for onward transit to other countries. He acknowledged Ukraine's sugar production SURGED from 7,000 to 500,000 tonnes between 2022 and last year: "How fast it was done can scare everyone."...

    archive PL: January 2024 value chain resistance, September 2023 Slava Ukraini!, Putin's blood fertilizer floods, Takeover of Ukraine's Agricultural Land, USAID AGRI-Ukraine
    by Cat on Wed Mar 6th, 2024 at 09:14:18 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    around solidarity lanes

    euractiv | EU Parliament's trade committee approves renewal of Ukraine trade benefits

    ...The sharp increase in imports of food commodities from Ukraine into the EU has been a controversial issue for months a year, and one of the main drivers of the farmers' protests in Eastern European countries. The proposal to extend the suspension of duties of tariffs has been pushed back on by farming groups, who have requested more extensive safeguards. However, the trade committee voted on Thursday (7 March) to reject all amendments to this effect, approving the unaltered text with 26 votes in favour, 10 against and one abstention.
    [...]
    If the Parliament's plenary next week gives the green light to the text with no amendments, the Council—which also did not propose changes—will only have to formally approve the regulation, to allow it to enter into force after being published in the EU Official Journal....
    notesfrompoland | Polish parliament calls for EU sanctions on Russian agricultural imports, 8 Mar
    ... in a near-unanimous vote, passed a resolution calling on the EU to impose sanctions on Russian and Belarusian agricultural imports, to protect domestic markets from "excessive" imports of Ukrainian produce, and to withdraw "unreasonable and costly" climate policies. The measure comes amid protests in Poland by farmers against Ukrainian imports and EU policies. In response, the government has pledged to seek EU restrictions on Ukrainian produce, an embargo [sic] on Russian and Belarusian agricultural imports, and the suspension of some elements of the Green Deal.
    ...
    dcweekly | Polish Parliament Overwhelmingly Approves Suspension of CFE Treaty, 9 Mar
    ...In a significant move, the Polish Sejm has voted overwhelmingly in favor of suspending the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE). The decision, supported by 435 deputies, highlights Poland's commitment to its national security and its dedication to reshaping its defense strategy. However, this move has not come without controversy, as some critics argue that it could strain Poland's relationship with its NATO allies.

    Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vladislav Teofil Bartoshevsky, clarified that Poland's decision to suspend the treaty does not signal its withdrawal from the agreement. Rather, it is a precautionary measure taken in response to the reluctance of its NATO allies to support radical actions. This move demonstrates Poland's commitment to maintaining a strong partnership within the North Atlantic Alliance....

    reuters | Polish government pledges grain surplus cut, farmers press on with protests, 9 Mar
    ...Prime Minister Donald Tusk held three hours of talks in Warsaw with the farmers, who are demanding a halt to cheap imports and to environmental regulations they say harm their livelihoods.

    "The premier told the farmers there will be money available to take several million tons of grain off the market," Deputy Agriculture Minister Michal Kolodziejczak told reporters, suggesting a cut of 4-5 million tons had been proposed. But Tomasz Obszanski, leader of the NSZZ RI Solidarnosc union for individual farmers, said after the meeting that the protests would continue and would be stronger....

    ukrinform | Kaczyński rallies supporters for massive march in Warsaw against Green Deal, Ukraine imports, 10 Mar
    by Cat on Sun Mar 10th, 2024 at 03:56:43 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    armscontrol.org | Nov 2023
    ...The CFE Treaty was designed to prevent either alliance from amassing forces for a blitzkrieg-type offensive and establish a military balance between NATO and the Warsaw Treaty Organization, at a lower level of armaments. The CFE Treaty (1990) and the politically binding 1992 Concluding Act of the Negotiation on Personnel Strength of Conventional Armed Forces in Europe both contained numerous provisions that focused on confidence building and stabilizing nature. These provisions were monitored by a joint review monitoring mechanism. Although the threat of such an offensive all but disappeared with the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, member states repeatedly touted the enduring value of the treaty's weapons limits and inspection regime, which provides an unprecedented degree of transparency on military holdings.

    From an American point of view, CFE negotiations were viewed as a great success....

    US Sen. Mike Lee | NATO Can Have Ukraine or the USA—Not Both, 9 Mar 2024
    Marking the second anniversary of the war in Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg proclaimed that "Ukraine will join NATO....It is not a question of if, but when." Fortunately for the United States, the admission of Ukraine into NATO cannot be forced upon us by the unilateral dicta of global elites. Nevertheless, Stoltenberg's shocking display of hubris and blatant disregard for sovereignty reminds us exactly why a nation should not be added to the NATO alliance without weighing the risks.
    [...]
    This op-ed has been updated to reflect the current debate over NATO troops entering Ukraine.
    reference
    OSCE, "Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe" (CFE), done 1990
    by Cat on Sun Mar 10th, 2024 at 04:15:08 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    guardian | Britain 'prepared to loan Ukraine all frozen Russian central bank assets in UK', 6 Mar Cameron
    He said [Russia's] assets would be used as surety [collateral] for the [RU.gov] payment of the reparations [to UA.gov].

    The plan is more radical than proposals discussed in the European Union for Ukraine to be given only the windfall [sic] profits from the Russian central bank assets being held by the West. The annual windfall profits [sale proceeds and interest income] are estimated at $4bn.

    Cameron told peers on Tuesday night: "There is an opportunity to use something like a syndicated loan or a bond [CDO] that effectively uses the frozen Russian assets as a surety to give that money to the Ukrianians knowing that we < wipes tears > will recoup it [principal UA.gov debt] when reparations are paid by Russia [to UA.gov]. That may be a better way of doing it. We are aiming for the maximum amount of G7 and EU unity on this, but if we cannot get it [CDO subscription] I think we will have to move ahead with allies [Zelensk* Peace Formula donors?] that want to take this action."

    Cameron said he did not think the bond embezzlement plan would undermine the [fiduciary] reputation of the City of London Group PLC in any way.
    [...]
    The G7 has been debating for over a year whether the Russian central bank assets frozen [seized, confiscated, immobilised, impounded] at the time of the Russian invasion of Ukraine could also be seized without undermining faith in the international financial system Price Cap Coalition racketeering.

    The EU estimates around €260bn in Central Bank of Russia [CRB] assets have been immobilised [!] in the form of securities [any bond and equity contract] and cash in the jurisdictions of IMMOBILISED by the G7 partners, the EU, and Australia treasury agents, with more than two-thirds of those immobilised [!] in the EU [member states].
    [...]
    The US Treasury, initially reluctant to seize [!] Central Bank assets due to the assumed sanctity of sovereign state assets property, has warmed to the idea of a bond [sic]. The US [OFAC] is estimated to have ["seized"] $40 to $60bn worth of Russian assets, and the UK closer to £25bn, but no official figure has been disclosed.

    bad SWOT, bad, bad SWOT
    The strength of the proposal is that seized [!] assets would be deemed to have been returned to Russia after the payment of reparations. The proposal's weakness is that it assumes Ukraine will win a military victory prevail by ICC or UA "special tribunal" judgment of Ukraine v Russian Federation] and a defeated Moscow will be prepared to pay reparations for the damage it caused to Ukraine, something that now seems unimaginable.
    [...]
    Vladimir Putin has already retaliated by seizing the assets of some US divested by companies [domiciled in G7 jurisdictions that are prohibited from] operating in Russia.

    It is estimated Ukraine needs €100bn [!] a year to fight off the Russian invasion, and another €50bn [!] a year for reconstruction.

    Similar [ex]ppropriations of state assets have happened before, most notably the UNSC resolution granting US seizure [!] of billions of dollars of Iraqi [!] funds [revenue] that were earmarked for [assigned to[  reparations for Kuwait in the after the Iraq 1990 invasion. Russia would veto any UNSC move to endorse seizure of its assets.
    [...]

    Ukraine Business News | Britain is ready to lend the Russian Federation's frozen assets to Ukraine, 7 Mar
    ...British Foreign Minister David Cameron said.

    "There is an opportunity to use sell something like a syndicated loan or a bond, which use assigns market value of Russian assets—effectively [] a guarantee [surety, collateral]—to give this money to the Ukrainians debt owed to G7.gov knowing that we [UA.gov] will return it [repay principal loan amount €260bn? €300B? €600B?] when Moscow pays reparations," he noted....

    archive January 2024 price cap mania exit plan
    • eeas.europa.eu | Press remarks by High Representative Josep Borrell; and
    Kyiv Security Compact International Guarantees for Ukraine: Recommendations (13.09.22): "A legal framework should be developed which will allow authorities to seize the property of the aggressor, its sovereign funds and reserves, and the assets of its citizens and entities on the sanctions list. The funds raised should be directed to repair the war damage inflicted on Ukraine. ...Provide financial aid and direct investments, including ...non-repayable grants...non-repayable financial assistance"
    by Cat on Thu Mar 7th, 2024 at 05:39:19 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    bloomberg | Ukraine Cut by S&P as Restructuring Is 'Virtual Certainty', 8 Mar euro-denominated junk bonds
    [...]
    The agency cut the war-torn nation by two notches to CC, the second-lowest level above default. The agency said the outlook was negative, according to a Friday statement.

    "The rating action reflects our belief that the inclusion of commercial creditors (Eurobond holders) in Ukraine's ongoing government debt relief effort is a virtual certainty," analysts led by Karen Vartapetov wrote.

    The government plans to get debt relief from Eurobond holders before the current standstill agreement expires in August, according to S&P. Absent a restructuring, the nation faces bond payments of $4.5 billion [€4.1B] this year, the agency said.
    [...]

    by Cat on Sun Mar 10th, 2024 at 02:50:30 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    background

    reuters | IMF board approves $15.6 bln loan package for Ukraine (31.03.23)
    "four-year $15.6 billion loan program for Ukraine, part of a broader $115 billion international support package to help the country meet urgent funding needs"

    newsqueek | Clip of Lindsey Graham Saying 'Russians Are Dying' Misleadingly Edited (30.05.23)
    "The clip, first published on a Ukrainian government Telegram channel on Friday, May 26, was quickly pounced on by Russian government officials, who condemned the 'incendiary' rhetoric"
    reuters | Graham did not call Russians dying 'the best money we've ever spent' (31.05.23)
    "During the meeting, Zelensk* thanked Graham for visiting Kyiv and praised the military assistance provided. Graham said this was 'the best money we've ever spent.'"
    archive Sen. Lindsey Graham on "Face the Nation (01.10.23)
    "The key to Ukraine funding is to deal with a broken border."

    foreground

    nbcnews  House Republicans consider a loan program for some Ukraine aid, 8 Mar 2024

    Among the proposals being floated is treating some of the nonmilitary aid as a type of loan, said House Foreign Affairs Chairman Mike McCaul, R-Texas, who is involved in the discussions, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. Economic aid to support the general function of Ukraine's government and its long-term rebuilding efforts would be subject to a loan under this plan. Russian assets seized by the U.S. government through sanctions could also be used as collateral for loans to the Ukrainians, McCaul said, adding that the plan could also have a generous [non-]repayment system to help Ukraine.
    [...]
    McCaul said the proposal would make Russia at least partially responsible for paying for Ukraine to rebuild.

    "We're looking at two factors. One is my REPO Act, which will allow us to attach assets related to the Russian sovereign assets that have been sanctioned to help pay for Russia's war crimes. That's a very popular idea in the House," McCaul said. "And secondly, the loan program. ... At the end of the day, the Russian sovereign assets would pay for that or they [Ukraine?] would just default."

    archive McCaul
    by Cat on Sun Mar 10th, 2024 at 07:52:12 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Well. This investment advice is quite the departure from orthodox risk-free rating. Now, premium added to G7 coupon yield no longer measures fiscal instability of the issuer, but "superior returns" guaranteed not by  "Green Deal" capital formation, but "collective"capital destruction.

    yahoo! bloomberg | Bond Investors Are Lining Up to Fund the War Against Putin

    ..."The beauty of EU bonds is that the debt doesn't appear in your national statistics, it doesn't count toward Maastricht or the debt brake or anything like that," said Moritz Kraemer, chief economist at German bank LBBW. "So in principle, you can get funding for whatever you think you need without having to incur the penalty."
    [...]
    A debt-funded EU defense program "would be a very welcome development—an Hamiltonian moment < wipes tears > so to say," said Kaspar Hense, a senior portfolio manager at RBC BlueBay Asset Management, referring to the Treasury secretary who in 1790 ["]helped["] turn the US into a federation by pooling the debt of various states [FALSE]. "I would not worry about there not being demand."
    The states' private banking systems didn't even circulate one currency (nominally "backed" preferably by spanish milled "dollars", rather than sterling, deposits) until after the Civil War, preceded by the first Great Depression of 1837. Beware an up-tick in about 1789 US treasury bond market fantasies recently circulating the innerboobs.

    reference
    Beard, An economic interpretation of the Constitution of the United States
    foreign state and private domestic creditors of the US Congress

    In other words at least nineteen out of the forty-six men who voted for the Constitution in the Pennsylvania convention were interested in public paper at or about the time of the adoption of the Constitution. Their names follow with the references to each,1 but it is not to be supposed that this list is complete, for the records of Pennsylvania are not full, and a great many of the transactions in that state were not with the local loan office, but directly with the Treasury, a part of whose early records were probably burned in one of the fires at the Treasury. [Beard:276]

    by Cat on Tue Mar 12th, 2024 at 08:10:49 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    reutersplainin | How the West might use Russia's frozen reserves, 12 Mar fiduciary duties
    [...]
    CONFISCATION
    Some international policymakers and lawyers say the immobilised Russian reserves property can simply be confiscated under a doctrine of international law known as "countermeasures". The assets would then be sold or collateralised and the [sale or loan] proceeds handed transferred to Ukraine or to a dedicated reconstruction fund....in the United States, leading sovereign debt [asset?] experts have highlighted, that the International Emergency Economic Powers Act [50 USC Ch. 35] does not authorise an outright confiscation of frozen Russian property in the absence of actual armed conflict between the U.S. and Russia.
    [..]
    SIPHON OFF PROCEEDS
    [O]f the nearly 210 [?] billion euros ($230 billion) of Russian reserves locked in the EU—essentially bonds and other types of securities in which the Russian central bank had invested—are held in a Brussels-based ["Eurosystem Collateral Management System"] called Euroclear.
    wut
    When those assets bonds reach their final pay[ment] day—or "matur[ity date]", in banker speak—they get converted [?] into cash, a transaction that is taxed at a rate of 25% in Belgium.
    [...]
    Some lawyers also point out that, legally, there is little difference between siphoning off the maturity revenues < wipes tears > and grabbing the full [principal deposit amount] $300-350 [?] billion. There is the risk that Russia could, through court action, try and seize Euroclear [sic] cash in securities depositories < wipes tears > in Hong Kong, Dubai, and elsewhere. The worry is that this could drain Euroclear capital and require a huge bail-out. There are plans therefore to set aside [immobilise?] some of the siphoned-off money [into] a < wipes tears > safety net [reserve account?].
    [...]
    REPARATION BONDS
    [..]
    SYNDICATED LOAN
    [..]
    DICTION CORNER
    n. siphon or syphon; v. to siphon; preposition uses
    reutersplainin | ["]EU-frozen["] Russian assets to generate 15-20 bln until 2027, EU official says, 12 Mar the syphon and preposition preparations
    Part of the profits as well the tax on the gross amount [are] likely to be transferred from the EU to Kyiv on a regular basis, but some of the money will have to stay in the West Price Cap Coalition treasuries to build a < wipes tears > buffer against the expected Russian retaliation litigation which could destabilise the global financial system, the official said.
    [...]
    "The moment the war ends and all settlements can be made, all the money that was provisionally retained will also be transferred [from WHERE?] to Ukraine. But we need a significant amount in Euroclear...beause Euroclear ["the syphon"] will face a lot of [clients' deposit withdrawal] claims," the official said.
    [...]
    "That's the mechanism how Euroclear could be totally emptied, basically," the senior EU official said. If Euroclear were to run out of [return clients'] capital, the Belgian central bank would have to withdraw its licence, likely causing a global financial crisis because Euroclear has [total clients'] assets in custody of 37 trillion euros, the official said.
    [...]
    The Commission is to present a proposal next week on how much of profits [Russian capital gains] over the next four years [Euroclear agents] can immediately [transfer] to Ukraine and in what form, and how much should be kept [immobilised?] to create the safety ["net"] buffer. There should also be an emergency mechanism should Euroclear get in trouble, the official said. Belgium, which taxes the profits that Euroclear makes on the Russian cash at 25%, expects to get 1.7 billion euros in tax from that in 2024 of which 1.5 billion will be sent to Kyiv this year and the rest in 2025, the official said.
    [...]
    by Cat on Wed Mar 13th, 2024 at 07:22:57 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Borrell to propose 90% of frozen Russian assets should go to European Peace Facility
    A small part would be withheld, which would be the share of EU member states unwilling to fund lethal weapons and instead undertake other tasks under the EPF. According to the upcoming proposal, the remaining 10% would be transferred to the EU budget to be used to boost the capacity of the Ukrainian defence industry.
    Von der Leyen dilutes plan to use Russian assets to buy Ukraine arms
    It is expected that this will amount to 10 percent, while the remaining 90 percent would be earmarked to buy arms, two officials said.
    [...]
    The Commission's proposal only applies to proceeds derived from assets after Feb. 15, 2024. The profits from 2022 and 2023 will be kept by Euroclear, the Belgian-based security depository that holds the bulk of the frozen assets, as a buffer against possible legal risks.
    by Cat on Tue Mar 19th, 2024 at 11:36:30 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 29th, 2024 at 10:38:07 PM EST

    Procedural intervention drama. ICJ amends Articles 81, 82, and 86 of the Rules of Court
    by Cat on Fri Mar 1st, 2024 at 06:12:35 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Nicaragua vs  Federal Republic of Germany, 1 Mar, 43 pp application instituting proceedings
    [...]
    3. In this Application, Nicaragua requests the Court to adjudge and declare that Germany by its conduct with respect to the serious violations of peremptory norms of international law taking place in the OPT (a) has not only failed to fulfill its obligation to prevent the genocide committed and being committed against the Palestinian people—including those in its component part in the Gaza Strip—but has contributed to the commission of genocide in violation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (hereinafter "Genocide Convention"); (b) has failed to comply with its obligations under international humanitarian law, derived both from the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and its Protocols of 1977 and from the intransgressible principles of international humanitarian law, by not respecting its obligations to ensure respect for these fundamental norms in all circumstances; and (c) has failed to comply with other peremptory norms of general international law in particular by rendering aid or assistance in maintaining the illegal situation of the continued military occupation of Palestine including its ongoing, unlawful attack in Gaza, and d) has failed to comply with other peremptory norms of general international law in particular by rendering aid or assistance and not preventing the illegal regime of apartheid and the negation of the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people.
    [...]
    by Cat on Fri Mar 1st, 2024 at 06:23:27 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Situation in Ukraine: ICC judges issue arrest warrants against Sergei Ivanovich Kobylash and Viktor Nikolayevich Sokolov, 5 Mar
    [...]
    The two warrants of arrest were issued following applications filed by the Prosecution. Pre-Trial Chamber II considered that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the two suspects bear responsibility for missile strikes carried out by the forces under their command against the Ukrainian electric infrastructure from at least 10 October 2022 until at least 9 March 2023. During this time-frame, there was an alleged campaign of strikes against numerous electric power plants and sub-stations, which were carried out by the Russian armed forces in multiple locations in Ukraine.

    Pre-Trial Chamber II found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the alleged strikes were directed against civilian objects, and for those installations that may have qualified as military objectives at the relevant time, the expected incidental civilian harm and damage would have been clearly EXCESSIVE to the anticipated military advantage.
    [...]
    The content of the warrants is issued 'SECRET' in order to protect witnesses and to safeguard the investigations. However, mindful that conduct similar to that addressed in the present situation, which amounts to violations of international humanitarian law, is alleged to be ongoing, the Chamber considers that public awareness of the warrants may contribute to the prevention of the further commission of crimes. Therefore, Pre-Trial Chamber II considers it to be in the interest of justice to authorise the Registry to publicly disclose the existence of the warrants, the name of the suspects, the crimes for which the warrants are issued, and the modes of liability.

    wapoo | International court seeks arrest of 2 Russian officers over attacks on Ukraine's infrastructure
    ...It's only the second time the global court has publicly announced arrest warrants linked to Russia's war in Ukraine. In March 2023, the court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes, accusing him of personal responsibility for the 700,000-800,000 abductions of children from Ukraine....
    by Cat on Tue Mar 5th, 2024 at 03:52:56 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    pravda.ua | Ukraine breaks record for daily electricity exports, 5 Mar
    By the end of today, Ukraine plans to have exported a record amount of electricity, 13.39 gigawatts, to Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Moldova. On Monday, 4 March, the export figure was 13.2 gigawatts.
    [...]
    by Cat on Tue Mar 5th, 2024 at 08:51:22 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    iaea.org | Update 215 - IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine, 8 Mar
    [...]
    Director General Grossi described Wednesday's meeting with President Putin as "professional and frank", with the discussions focused on the paramount importance of reducing the still significant nuclear safety and security risks at the Zaporizh* Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) in southern Ukraine, controlled by Russia for the past two years.
    [...]
    At the ZNPP this week, the IAEA experts stationed at the site have continued to hear explosions and other indications of military activity not far away from the facility. Three times this week, they reported hearing several successive explosions within a few minutes, as well as one explosion yesterday evening and multiple explosions this morning, possibly indicating the use of heavy weapons from an area close to the plant.
    [...]
    Further underlining the fragile nuclear safety and security situation at the ZNPP, the plant remains without back-up external power after the only remaining 330 kilovolt (kV) line was disconnected more than two weeks ago, on 20 February. As a result, the ZNPP remains dependent on its only functioning 750 kV power line, out of four such lines available before the conflict. The IAEA team was informed that the 330 kV line is not expected to be reconnected for at least another week.
    [...]
    eadaily | Ukraine stops NPP power units: too much electricity, 7 Mar
    Since last week, Ukraine has been warming, [residential and industrial] demand for electricity has fallen, and excess [energy] production is forcing the grid operator to turn to neighboring countries for emergency exports to import surplus. Energoatom has announced that it is putting several power units under repair.

    "Due to the surplus of electricity, which is observed in the power system of Ukraine for the second week in a row, several power units of nuclear power plants are operating at reduced capacity, and JSC NNEGC Energoatom is preparing them for scheduled repairs," Energoatom reports. The NPP operator added that the current situation allows starting repairs five days earlier, starting from March 8.

    At the end of February, heat arrived in Ukraine, and the power system began to experience overproduction of electricity. Even exports to neighboring EU countries did not help. On March 4, for example, 13 GWh was sold to Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Moldova. But even that wasn't enough. The power system operator asked the Polish PSE to import emergency electricity within three hours—246 MWh.

    Recently, the situation worsened, as the high water sharply increased the output at hydroelectric power plants [HPPs], Ukrenergo reports.

    oh
    by Cat on Sun Mar 10th, 2024 at 02:25:21 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Netanyahu denies Palestinians are starving, 10 Mar
    "Hamas is coming at gunpoint and stealing the food."

    Burns says cease-fire is needed to help starving children in Gaza,11 Mar
    "They're malnourished as a result of the fact that humanitarian assistance can't get to them."

    by Cat on Mon Mar 11th, 2024 at 11:43:19 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    cnn | UN report finds 'convincing' information that hostages in Gaza were raped (04.03.24)
    The UN team, which was led by Patten, visited Israel between January 29 to February 14 for a mission "aimed at gathering, analyzing, and verifying information on conflict-related sexual violence" during October 7 and its aftermath, according to a 24-page report.
    [...]
    Patten stressed on Monday that the mission "was neither intended nor mandated to be investigative in nature," adding that the team had 33 meetings with Israeli institutions while in Israel, interviewed 34 people, including survivors and witnesses to the October 7 attack, and released hostages, as well as reviewed 50 hours of footage of the attacks.

    The mission was not able to meet with any victims of sexual violence on October 7 "despite our efforts," Patten said. "On the very first day, I made a call for survivors to come forward. But we received information that a handful of them were receiving very specialized trauma treatment and were not prepared to come forward," she said.


    archive NGO Physicians for Human Rights Israel Nov 2023
    NY Yella Cake | Tensions Rise Between Israel and U.N. Chief Over Sexual Violence Report (05.03.24)
    Israel has recalled its ambassador for consultations, claiming on Tuesday that the U.N. chief was failing to take steps to address a new report finding signs that sexual violence was committed during the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attack on Israel.
    Show More
    The U.N. report, which also cited allegations that Palestinians detained by Israel have also been sexually abused, was issued three months after The New York Times published an extensive report on sexual violence during the Hamas-led attack, including several incidents along Road 232. Hamas leaders denied the accusations, and the U.N. report, noting the array of fighters who took part in the Oct. 7 attack, said its experts could not determine who was responsible for the sexual assaults.
    yahoo! torygraph | Hamas attackers raped women's corpses, UN finds, 4 Mar
    ...Ahead of the report's release, Israel's foreign minister, Israel Katz, criticised the UN's secretary general Antonio Guterres for not convening the security council to discuss the findings. Mr Katz announced he had recalled the country's UN ambassador, Gilad Erdan, to discuss alleged attempts "to keep quiet the serious UN report on the mass rapes committed by Hamas and its helpers on Oct. 7". In a separate statement, Mr Erdan said: "It took the UN five months to finally recognise the shocking sexual crimes committed" by Hamas....
    archive Russia is giving soldiers Viagra to rape Ukrainians Oct 2022

    reference
    Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, "Mission report, 29 January-14 February 2024," 23 pp
    archive Michelle Bachelet holds a news conference May 2022

    by Cat on Tue Mar 5th, 2024 at 05:24:11 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Greyzone ridicules NY Yella Cake, 7 Mar

    by Cat on Sun Mar 10th, 2024 at 08:42:54 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Cat on Fri Mar 15th, 2024 at 08:56:51 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    CNN T -250. AP T -237 presumptive nominees
    whitehouse.gov | Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan (18.03.24)
    Q: Jake, do you have a reaction to Russian President Putin's victory? He will be president until 2030. Do you accept the result and his victory?
    SULLIVAN: Well, first, nothing about the election outcome was unpredictable because Putin had closed the political space, had locked up political opponents. Some of his political opponents had tragically died. And so, there was nothing free or fair about this election, and the outcome was preordained. Second, the reality is that President Putin is the President of Russia. We've had to deal with that reality throughout the war in Ukraine, throughout the other aggression Russia has undertaken, throughout the other steps contrary to U.S. national interests that we have seen from this President and from the Russian Federation under his leadership.
    AP | Putin extends rule in preordained Russian election after harshest crackdown since Soviet era (18.03.24)
    And we will continue to deal with that reality. But that reality doesn't deny the fact that this election was not something that met any kind of benchmark of being free or fair.
    repubblica.it | Divergenze nell'amministrazione Biden dietro la mancata condanna delle elezioni russe da parte del G7 (19.03.24)
    Il Dipartimento di Stato di Antony Blinken ha bloccato il testo a cui il governo italiano e lo stesso consigliere della Casa Bianca Jack Sullivan avevano dato parere favorevole. All'origine la volontà di non dare a Mosca il pretesto per nuove ingerenze nelle elezioni Usa. Intanto i repubblicani pensano a dei prestiti per Kiev
    kommersant | La Repubblica: The US blocked the G7 statement condemning the Russian presidential election (20.03.24)
    The draft statement was prepared by the Italian Presidency of the G7. According to the newspaper, the document called the Russian election a "farce". US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan gave a positive opinion, but the State Department considered the wording inappropriate. Washington itself said that the elections held in Russia were "not free and unfair."
    by Cat on Wed Mar 20th, 2024 at 07:36:12 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 29th, 2024 at 10:38:28 PM EST

    V-Day. Stopgap laddered continuing resolution budget passes House under the suspension of the rules
    by Cat on Fri Mar 1st, 2024 at 06:00:23 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    rollcall | First batch of FY2024 laddered budget bills passes House, 6 Mar
    The House overwhelmingly voted to pass ["]a six-bill["], $467.5 billion final fiscal 2024 appropriations package Wednesday, a long-awaited step forward in a lengthy process that is just now beginning to come to a close nearly six months after the fiscal year began. The vote, which required two-thirds support under suspension of the rules, was 339-85 to send the package to the Senate. Speaker Mike Johnson won a majority of votes from his conference, despite opposition from his party's right flank, with 132 Republicans voting in favor and 83 in opposition to the measure.

    The Senate now has to clear the bill ahead of the midnight Friday deadline for four of the six appropriations measures included in the combo. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said he would put the bill on the floor immediately after House passage with the goal to pass it "with time to spare" before the deadline to head off a partial government shutdown this weekend [8 Mar].
    [...]

    "classic Russian technique"
    ...The legislation covers six appropriations areas, for which funding is set to expire on March 8. The US Congress must pass funding for six other appropriations areas by March 22. The legislation covers some 30% of the overall budget for the year, estimated at $1.6 trillion....
    by Cat on Thu Mar 7th, 2024 at 02:18:38 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ahead of FY 2024 final stopgap laddered budget act
    ahead of FYE 2024 Sep 30
    ahead of ELECTION 2024 VICTORY
    ahead of 2025 debt ceiling cap
    ahead of VICTORY in UKRAINE
    ahead of lasting peace in da Middle East...

    Biden sends FY 2025 $7.3 trillion budget to Moon, 11 Mar inflated Inflation Reduction Act

    ...He claims that his taxing and spending agenda would lower the deficit by $3 trillion over ten years, compared to current policy....
    (merits duplication under ELECTION 2024 Ring Toss)

    White House has a lot of splainin to do
    17 budget "Fact" sheets

    by Cat on Mon Mar 11th, 2024 at 08:20:32 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    whitehouse.gov | Statement from Genocide JOe on the Occasion of Ramadan , 10 Mar ELECTION 2024 Ring Toss
    ...While we get more life-saving aid to Gaza, the United States will continue working non-stop to establish an immediate and sustained ceasefire for at least six weeks as part of a deal that releases hostages. And we will continue building toward a long-term future of stability, security, and peace. That includes a two-state solution to ensure Palestinians and Israelis share equal measures of freedom, dignity, security, and prosperity. That is the only path toward an enduring peace.

    Here at home, we have seen an appalling resurgence of hate and violence toward Muslim Americans. Islamophobia has absolutely no place in the United States, a country founded on freedom of worship and built on the contributions of immigrants, including Muslim immigrants. My Administration is developing the first-ever National Strategy to Counter Islamophobia and Related Forms of Bias and Discrimination, to take on hate against Muslim, Sikh, South Asian, and Arab American communities, wherever it occurs. ...

    Remember, folks, you don't have to be a Jew to be a zionist!
    by Cat on Mon Mar 11th, 2024 at 08:27:21 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Cat on Thu Mar 7th, 2024 at 10:47:50 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    SOTU tabloid transcript (v.1.0)

    Hitler...Roosevelt...Lincoln...PUTIN...UKRAINE...Reagan...NATO...Bipartisan National Security Bill [?!]... history....January 6th...IVF...Roe v. Wade...My God...COVID...Chips and Science...Child Tax Credit...1,000 billionaires...Social Security...shrinkflation...border security reforms...Border Patrol Union...Chamber of Commerce...my predecessor...NEW! White House Initiative on Women's Health Research...Native Americans...my ancestral family in Ireland...Grand Dragon of the KKK...Freedom to Vote Act...John Lewis...Equality Act [?!] ...PRO Act [?!]...Climate Corps...American Rescue Plan...Violence Against Women Act...NEW! Office of Gun Violence Prevention...October 7th...Israel has a right to go after Hamas...a temporary pier...No U.S. boots will be on the ground...Iran...China...promise of A.I. ...PACT Act...ARPA-H [?!]...World War II...Dr. King and Bobby Kennedy..first Black President...first woman Vice President...North Star...ancient ideas...May God protect our troops.

    by Cat on Fri Mar 8th, 2024 at 01:53:35 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    State of the Union Address transcript: Read the full text of Biden's 2024 speech, V.1.0

    "astonishing message discipline"

    A SOTU transcription without audience response notations is...suspicious. It now appears to me, office of the WH press secretary must have barred free press from publishing transcripts of remarks as broadcast. AFAICT, all news corps reporting, except CSPAN, published text "as prepared for delivery and provided by the White House". A couple present "annotations" of the WH prepared script as fact-checking.

    Here is CSPAN recording with timed interval transcription. (SIDEBAR option menu > "Text" > "Show Full Text" punctuated by audience response notation); CSPAN warranty: *This text was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.

    1 hour flawless delivery?

    by Cat on Fri Mar 8th, 2024 at 03:33:07 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    is not spotting "gotchas" (comical errors). It's the dreary confirmation that there are none. In this case, "trusted sources" omit significant, true statements in fact. The moral is that MSM is not to be trusted, the federal government is infested by sincerely unscrupulous people, and quite likely the "cultural revolutions" unleashed by tyrants of their eras on ancien régimes in France and China were necessary evils. Catharis and relief to many more.

    strana

    ..."I want the maximum cost of prescription drugs to be $22,000 $2,000 a year for everyone. Guys, I'll be in trouble if I say this [I'm going to get for saying it], but anyone who gets on Air Force One and flies with me to Toronto, Berlin, Moscow, excuse me, well, maybe even Moscow. And take your prescription with you, and I promise youI'll get 40 percent of the price you're paying for it now [the cost you're getting now]. The same company, the same drug, the same place."

    These statements of Biden were impromptu: they are not included in the pre-prepared text of the speech....

    The excerpt correctly translates CSPAN recording, except Biden does not say $22,000. I suppose, many "gotcha" lurkers wish he had though.
    CSPAN @ 00:24:16 A/V and corresponding "text" block
    [...]
    STARTING NEXT YEAR, THE SAME ALL CAPS TOTAL PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS FOR SENIORS ON MEDICARE TO $2000 A YEAR. EVEN EXPENSIVE CANCER DRUGS THAT COST $10,000, 15 THOUSAND DOLLARS, I WANT TO CAP IT AT $2000 A YEAR FOR EVERYONE. [APPLAUSE] I'M GOING TO GET IN TROUBLE FOR SAYING IT, BUT IN TORONTO, BERLIN, MOSCOW -- I'M SORRY, BUT MOSCOW PROBABLY. YOU CAN GET IT FOR 40% OF WHAT YOU PAY NOW. SAME COMPANY, SAME DRUG. FOLKS, THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, THE OBAMACARE, IS STILL A VERY BIG DEAL. [APPLAUSE] OVER 100 MILLION OF YOU CAN NO LONGER BE DENIED HEALTH INSURANCE BECAUSE OF A PRE-EXISTING CONDITION. BUT MY PREDECESSOR AND MANY IN THIS CHAMBER WANT TO TAKE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS AWAY BY REPEALING THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. I'M NOT GOING TO LET THAT HAPPEN. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] WE STOPPED AT 50 TIMES BEFORE AND WE WILL STOP YOU AGAIN. IN FACT, I'M NOT ONLY PROTECTING IT, I'M EXPANDING IT. WE ENACT A TAX CREDIT OF $800 PER PERSON PER YEAR, WE CAN REDUCE HEALTH CARE COSTS FOR MILLIONS OF FAMILIES. THAT TAX CREDIT EXPIRES NEXT YEAR. I WANT TO MAKE THAT SAVINGS PERMANENT. [APPLAUSE]
    [...]
    CSPAN "text" omits portions of the speech correctly transcribed by strana.

    This exercise is all too tiresome. I'm still not about to comb through this rat nest.

    by Cat on Fri Mar 8th, 2024 at 08:14:30 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    Learn More share.america.gov | Ukraine's Office of the Prosecutor General,  ICC, and EU Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation

    state.gov | The United States Joins the International Coalition for the Return of Ukrainian Children, 7 Mar Ukraine v Russian Federation

    ...Expressing support for the principles of point 4 of the Peace Formula of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensk* and the Action Plan "Bring Kids Back UA", as well as the continuation of the fruitful consultations of national security and foreign policy advisors that took place in Copenhagen, Jeddah, and Malta in the year 2023 and in Davos in January of 2024...
    archive World POWs innernat'l venue shopping, "Russia's Nuremberg", Zelensky Willing to Discuss ICC, Digital detectives scour Ukraine
    by Cat on Sun Mar 10th, 2024 at 08:28:09 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    strana | "They want to go to Russia." The human rights activist spoke about the problem with returning Ukrainian children, 11 Mar
    Orphaned children returned to Ukraine from the occupied territories are trying to leave for Russia. This was stated on the air of the Kiev 24 channel by the Executive Director of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union Alexander Pavlichenko. According to him, some of the children who have returned to Ukraine are trying to leave for Russia again.

    "They see better conditions there, they see themselves as being better implemented there," Pavlichenko said.
    [...]
    As we wrote, in mid-February [2024], Russia returned to Ukraine the largest group of children who were previously taken from the occupied territories to the Russian Federation, 11 people.

    archive SIDEBAR 100K 700,000-800,000 child abuctee Fact Check
    by Cat on Mon Mar 11th, 2024 at 09:06:14 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    strana | The International Court of Justice in The Hague was headed by a judge who issued an arrest warrant for Putin, 11 Mar
    The International Criminal Court (ICC) is headed by a judge who issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    This is reported on the official website of the ICC. The judges of the International Criminal Court in The Hague have elected Tomoko Akane as their President. She was elected for a three-year term.
    [...]

    One thing is certain. Big and Little Israels has divided competition for one "world court" into two teams.
    archive May 17th 2022
    by Cat on Mon Mar 11th, 2024 at 09:24:34 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    thehill | Supreme Court tosses [nope] rulings on public officials' social media blockings, 15 Mar fact-free agita
    ...After hearing appeals of two conflicting rulings—one filed against school board members in Southern California and another filed against the city manager of Port Huron, Mich.—the justices provided no definitive resolution to the disputes and instead sent both cases back to lower courts to apply the new legal test.
    "Determining the scope of an official's power requires careful attention to the relevant statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage."
    In a unanimous decision authored by Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the court said state officials cannot block constituents on their personal pages when they have "actual authority to speak on behalf of the State on a particular matter" and "purported to exercise that authority in the relevant posts."...
    archive color of law, Murthy, Surgeon General, et al. (appellants) v. Missouri, et al. censorship, S.B.8 an arm of the state, "the form of Sullivan" in Free Speech, limited-purpose public figure, a crunch question in A Trip to the Woodshed

    washingtonexaminer | Date set for Supreme Court hearing on major free speech Big Tech case, 29 Jan system error

    The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will hear arguments on March 18 in Murthy v. Missouri, a major case involving free speech, government agencies, and social media "information service providers" that could have monumental implications for content moderation "consumer generated media".

    The case deals with whether or not federal agencies ["]indirectly encouraged["] social media platforms private companies such as Facebook and X, formerly Twitter, to take down [censor] posts [speech] on the basis [pretext] that they contained false [illegal] information about COVID-19. The case could set a significant [nope] precedent around social media and how much communication is allowed between federal agencies and that depute "information service providers" tech companies before the speech becomes coercive to contravene state action prohibited by 1st Amdt.
    [...]

    reference
    Lindke (appellant) v Freed opinion and order
    James Freed, like countless other Americans, created a private Facebook profile sometime before 2008. He eventually converted his profile to a public "page," meaning that anyone could see and comment on his posts. In 2014, Freed updated his Facebook page to reflect that he was appointed city manager of Port Huron, Michigan, describing himself as "Daddy to Lucy, Husband to Jessie and City Manager, Chief Administrative Officer for the citizens of Port Huron, MI."
    [...]
    As Lindke saw it, he had the right to comment on Freed's Facebook page because it was a public forum. The District Court determined that because Freed managed his Facebook page in his private capacity, and because only state action can give rise to liability under §1983, Lindke's claim failed. The Sixth Circuit affirmed.
    Held: A public official who prevents someone from commenting on the official's social-media page engages in state action under §1983 only if the official both (1) possessed actual authority to speak on the State's behalf on a particular matter, and (2) purported to exercise that authority when speaking in the relevant social-media posts.

    a) Section 1983 provides a cause of action against "[e]very person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State" deprives someone of a federal constitutional or statutory right. (Emphasis added.) Section 1983's "under color of" text makes clear that it is a provision designed as a protection against acts attributable to a State, not those of a private person.
    [...]
    (2) For social-media activity to constitute state action, an official must not only have state authority, he must also purport to use it. If the official does not speak in furtherance of his official responsibilities, he speaks with his own voice. Here, if Freed's account had carried a label—e.g., "this is the personal page of James R. Freed"—he would be entitled to a heavy presumption that all of his posts were personal, but Freed's page was not designated either "personal" or "official." The ambiguity surrounding Freed's page requires a fact specific undertaking in which posts' content and function are the most important considerations. A post that expressly invokes state authority to make an announcement not available elsewhere is official, while a post that merely repeats or shares otherwise available information is more likely personal. Lest any official lose the right to speak about public affairs in his personal capacity, the plaintiff must show that the official purports to exercise state authority in specific posts. The nature of the social-media technology matters to this analysis. For example, because Facebook's blocking tool operates on a page-wide basis, a court would have to consider whether Freed had engaged in state action with respect to any post on which Lindke wished to comment.

    37 F. 4th 1199, vacated and remanded.
    [...]

    by Cat on Fri Mar 15th, 2024 at 07:41:40 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Supreme Court won't review GRIFFIN'S CASE ballot disqualification , 18 Mar
    ... the high court ruled that a singular state has no authority to disqualify federal candidates from the ballot under the 14th Amendment. Notably, Griffin was disqualified from state office....
    archive OMFG

    Double Feature oral argument, 18 Mar 2024 in progress

    Murthy, Surgeon Gen. v. Missouri
    What was the question?

    1) Whether respondents have Article III standing; (2) Whether the government's challenged conduct transformed private social-media companies' content moderation decisions into state action and violated respondents' First Amendment rights; and (3) Whether the terms and breadth of the preliminary injunction are proper. The application for stay is also treated as a petition for a writ of certiorari, and the petition is granted on the questions presented in the application. The stay shall terminate upon the sending down of the judgment of this Court.
    NRA v. Vullo
    What was the question?
    1. Does the First Amendment allow a government regulator to threaten regulated entities with adverse regulatory actions if they do business with a controversial speaker, as a consequence of (a) the government's own hostility to the speaker's viewpoint or (b) a perceived "general backlash" against the speaker's advocacy?
    2. Does such coercion violate a clearly established First Amendment right?
    GRANTED LIMITED TO QUESTION 1 PRESENTED BY THE PETITION
    24 hr. DELAY retrieve case records here
    by Cat on Mon Mar 18th, 2024 at 05:21:25 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Remember "enhanced interrogation"?

    well, "significant encouragement" entered the room with "bully pulpit" and "persuasion" to wait for "conduct" and "speech.

    Murthy v. Missouri transcript
    NR v Vullo transcript

    archive Y'all think I've been fooling about lawyers and their dictionaries. I am not., lawyers jealously guard their dictionaries

    by Cat on Wed Mar 20th, 2024 at 01:12:15 AM EST
    [ Parent ]

    Internationalists: Toot Genocide Joe State of the Union address without a cease-fire deal to tout.

    T -248

    The Don Cheeto (R)

    wins the Missouri caucuses and sweeps Michigan GOP convention as he moves closer to nomination
    Nikki Two-Tones (R)
    enters the weekend 0-for-5 in primaries and caucuses, but her best chance to notch a win anywhere in the nominating process might be this weekend in the District of Columbia.
    • Perry WUT? (R)
    • 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)
    re-enters 2024 race after besting Dean Phillips in Michigan
    • RFK, Jr (I)
    • Rt Rev Dr Cornel West (JFP)
    • Phil The Builder (D)
    reflects on "campaign of principle" ahead of Super Tuesday
    • the-other-Jill (G)
    latimes | The Nader Factors
    Of the three independent and third-party candidates the poll tested, the Green Party's Jill Stein and Cornel West, who is running as an independent, draw support away from Biden, the poll found. When the poll asked voters their second choice, most West and Stein backers said Biden. Neither has much support—2% and 3%, respectively—but if that were mirrored in closely divided states, it could be enough to matter.

    archived Feb 2024

    by Cat on Sat Mar 2nd, 2024 at 09:15:10 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Nikki Two-Tones (R)
    wins the District of Columbia's Republican primary and gets her first 2024 victory.
    however
    speculation surrounds the possibility of Nikki Haley launching a third-party bid is mounting as she struggles to win delegates going into Super Tuesday.
    The Don Cheeto (R)
    celebrated a Supreme Court ruling to restore him to the ballot in Colorado as a "BIG WIN FOR AMERICA" on Monday.
    reference
    Trump (appellant) v Anderson, et al., per curiam decision
    by Cat on Mon Mar 4th, 2024 at 04:06:35 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    TRUMP INDICTMENT TRACKER
    • "New York Civil Fraud Case", verdict: 16 Feb 2024; appeal: TBD
    • "Georgia Election Interference Case", verdict: N/A
    • "Federal Election Interference Case", verdict: N/A
    • "Classified Documents Case", trial: 20 May 2024
    • "New York Hush-Money Case", verdict: N/A
    by Cat on Mon Mar 4th, 2024 at 05:18:28 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Phil The Builder (D)
    announced that he was suspending his campaign following a poor showing on Super Tuesday. "I invite, I encourage and will do everything humanly possible to ensure Joe Biden's reelection this November," he said.
    by Cat on Thu Mar 7th, 2024 at 01:53:45 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    N=161.42M registered voters (2022 e)

    Yella Cake | Voters Doubt Biden's Leadership and Favor Trump, 2 Mar

    The poll offers an array of warning signs for the president about weaknesses within the Democratic coalition, including among women, Black and Latino voters. So far, it is Mr. Trump who has better unified his party, even amid an ongoing primary contest.
    data table, n=980 registered voters, 83% "likely" voters

    WSJ | Voters Are More Upbeat on Economy, but Biden Gets Little Benefit, 3 Mar

    The new survey gives clues to one of the most pressing questions in the 2024 presidential campaign: whether an improving economy will lift Biden's re-election prospects against former President Donald Trump. The answer so far appears to be that it is helping Biden just a bit—but also that more voters are turning their attention instead to immigration, a perilous issue for the president.
    data table, n=1745 registered voters, 94% "likely" voters
    by Cat on Mon Mar 4th, 2024 at 04:51:02 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    RFK, Jr (I)
    laments the established parties' front-runners, deeming them unfit to address the current national turmoil and bigger systemic problems in government. So far, he's become an official contender in New Hampshire and Utah, and last week he added Hawaii to his camp's ballot tally.
    by Cat on Tue Mar 5th, 2024 at 09:48:45 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Nikki Two-Tones (R)
    will not immediately endorse former President Donald Trump, who has been losing a not insignificant number of moderate Republicans and independents to Haley1 in GOP contests.
    1 "first Indian-American and female governor of South Carlina...U.N. ambassador"; Kamala?! Census Bureau ethnicity and ancestral homeland disambiguation: read, subcontinental "Asian," not western hemisphere, pre-colombian "Native American," of the christian persuasion
    by Cat on Wed Mar 6th, 2024 at 02:55:12 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Joe face-palm (D)
    posted on X that "Washington D.C. is long overdue for a president who will be an advocate for American Samoa." His account includes pictures of young people holding homemade campaign signs.
    by Cat on Wed Mar 6th, 2024 at 06:00:14 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Phil The Builder (D)
    congratulates Joe Biden, Uncommitted, Marianne Williamson, and Nikki Haley for demonstrating more appeal to Democratic Party loyalists than me" and "Jason Palmer."
    by Cat on Wed Mar 6th, 2024 at 06:08:30 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Phil The Builder (D)
    defended the father of a Marine killed in Afghanistan who shouted at President Biden and was arrested during the State of the Union address Thursday.
    [...]
    Steven Nikoui, whose son died during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, was arrested for disrupting the president's address around 10:15 p.m. EST, U.S. Capitol Police confirmed.
    The Don Cheeto (R)
    posted the full amount of $91.63 million—110 percent of the damages, as is standard practice—hours after the judge rejected the former president's latest attempt to delay settlement of E. Jean Carroll defamation verdict.
    by Cat on Fri Mar 8th, 2024 at 10:51:14 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Cat on Tue Mar 19th, 2024 at 09:28:54 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The Don Cheeto (R)
    said Tuesday that, if he is reelected, the United States will come to the aid of NATO nations should they be attacked. But he emphasized his stipulation that those nations must play "fairly" with financing the military alliance.

    "NATO has to treat the U.S. fairly, because if not for the United States, NATO literally doesn't even exist," Trump said in an interview with conservative British politician Nigel Farage.

    "fire sale"
    His legal team noted difficulties finding a Treasury Department-approved [?] surety company that was willing to underwrite such a large bond and that many of the approved companies have policies against issuing bonds of more than $100 million.
    "reputational risk"
    The other bond companies will not "accept hard assets such as real estate as collateral," but "will only accept cash or cash equivalents (such as marketable securities)," the filing said. The lawyers also noted those companies typically "require collateral of approximately 120% of the amount of the judgment"—which would total about $557 million.

    "In addition, sureties would likely charge bond premiums of approximately 2 percent per year with two years in advance—an upfront cost over $18 million," the filing said. That $18 million would not be recoverable even if Trump wins his appeal.

    Genocide Joe (D)
    said he has $155 million on hand, a total which includes funds from the campaign, the Democratic National Committee and related joint fundraising committees. It's the largest war chest amassed by any Democratic presidential candidate at this point in the cycle, according to a Biden campaign memo announcing the totals.
    FEC: "Sen. Barack Obama (IL), raised a total of $745.7 million in private funds for his 2008 primary nomination and general election campaign."
    by Cat on Wed Mar 20th, 2024 at 12:14:33 AM EST
    [ Parent ]


    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Mar 13th, 2024 at 09:44:32 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Century-Old Harvard Records Show How Social Connections Help the Elite

    When an ambitious student from a low-income family arrives at college for the first time, they might assume that all they need to do is work hard and excel at their studies, and they'll be in a position to move into the most prestigious career tracks.

    But research on Harvard students in the 1920s and 1930s suggests that students from privileged backgrounds hold a social advantage that lasts throughout their careers and raises questions about how old boys' clubs can dull the egalitarian promise of higher education.

    A new study drawing on a variety of archival records, found that students from elite private high schools were far more likely than other students to join the most exclusive clubs in college. Those clubs then appeared to help members--even those with lackluster academic performance--to launch higher-paying careers. More recent data indicates that the backgrounds of Harvard graduates continued to shape their career paths as recently as the late 20th century.

    The Harvard archives shed light on a larger phenomenon, Zimmerman says: the structures that elites create to maintain their advantages in the face of social change. For a student from a low-income family, "the grades don't matter that much," he says. "It's the social success that seems to matter much more."

    All quite logical ... life's experience.

    Rethinking inclusion: Professor's book explores the struggles of low-income students at elite schools

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Mar 13th, 2024 at 09:59:49 AM EST
    [ Parent ]

    See my earlier diary ...

    Niger: Decolonization, Resources and Military Intervention

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Sun Mar 17th, 2024 at 11:46:14 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    U.S. relations with former key ally in African crisis region hit new low

    In a statement on state television, a spokesman for Niger's junta said the U.S. military presence in the country is no longer justified. The announcement followed high-level talks with U.S. diplomatic and military officials this week.

    Niger plays a central role in the U.S. military's operations in Africa's Sahel region and is home to a major airbase. The U.S. is concerned about the spread of jihadist violence in the region, where local groups have pledged allegiance to al-Qaida and the Islamic State extremist groups.

    In reading the statement, the junta's spokesman, Col. Maj. Amadou Abdramane, stopped short of saying U.S. forces should leave. He said Niger was suspending military cooperation with Washington and added that U.S. flights over the country's territory in recent weeks were illegal.

    The U.S. military in recent years began operating a major airbase in the Niger city of Agadez, some 920 kilometers (550 miles) from the capital of Niamey, using it for manned and unmanned surveillance flights and other operations.



    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Sun Mar 17th, 2024 at 11:47:50 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 29th, 2024 at 10:38:58 PM EST
    'We're part of the problem.' Astronomers confront their role in—and vulnerability to—climate change, 2020
    ..."We were surprised how big the supercomputers were. Everyone thought flights would dominate," says lead author Adam Stevens of the University of Western Australia, Perth.
    [...]
    In another of the six studies, Simon Portegies Zwart of Leiden University calls for changes in computing strategy. Astronomers should avoid traditional computers and instead use ones that rely on more efficient graphical processor units, Zwart says, although they are harder to program. Astronomers should also abandon popular programming languages such as Python in favor of efficient compiled languages. Languages such as Fortran and C++, Zwart calculates, are more than 100 times more carbon efficient than Python because they require fewer operations....
    astronomy | Predictions for the next 50 years of astronomy (14.08.23)
    Yvette Cendes: One thing that particularly excites me when thinking so far ahead is that it's reasonable to imagine we'll have a sizable radio telescope on the far side of the Moon. This is important to shield the telescope from all the human-generated radio frequency interference (RFI) on Earth. It will also open up the lowest frequencies from space that are blocked by Earth's ionosphere. There's probably some exciting new science down there we don't know about! However, I anticipate this observatory will be automated and I will never see it with my own eyes—with remote observing now routine, it seems hard to imagine a far-side lunar radio telescope wouldn't be, too.
    astronomy | What happened to those tardigrades sent to the Moon?, 28 Feb
    by Cat on Mon Mar 4th, 2024 at 09:37:49 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ChatGPT | Why Toyota Is Hellbent On Keeping The Hydrogen-powered Mirai Alive Despite Its Poor Sales, Jan 2024 under-capacity dumping?
    All in all, the Mirai isn't a bad car, and its inability to attract customers has more to do with the current market conditions than any dearth of features or attractiveness. As of 2023, there were only 59 open retail hydrogen stations in the United States, most of them based in California. On a global scale, the scarcity isn't any less daunting. There were only 1,089 combined hydrogen stations across the globe by Q2 of 2023.
    FCEV truckes, FCEV fuel tanks
    The decision to open an H2 facility in the old continent is a strategic one. Toyota expects Europe to become a leading force in the global FCEV market by the beginning of the next decade, as growing investments and political incentives pile up.
    Hydrogen vehicle registrations are flatlining across most of Europe—with hundreds more filling stations on the way (02.02.24)
    However, the data from France shows that the country is becoming one of the most dynamic FCEV markets in Europe—although hydrogen vehicle sales are still tiny compared to those of battery-electric equivalents—with the UK and Czechia the only other European nations to have seen more than ten FCEV registrations per HRS [H2 refuelling station] last year.
    The EU's transport infrastructure fund has notably awarded €284 million (around one-third of its budget) for the installation of hydrogen stations, which should help solve the current infrastructure issue to some extent. To up the ante a bit, the European Commission's Green Deal is also set to invest €45 billion by 2027.
    hydrogeninsight | Global sales of hydrogen vehicles fell by more than 30% last year, with China becoming world's largest market, 16 Feb
    ...According to SNE, the vast majority of FCEV sales in China—5,362—were for commercial vehicles, ie, trucks, vans, and buses [mass transpo] which it attributes to Beijing's plans to expand the supply of FCEVs and H2 infrastructure via its Hydrogen Energy Industry Mid- to Long-Term Development Plan (2021-35)....
    ChatGPT | Toyota Offers Incentives to Promote Hydrogen Adoption with Mirai Purchase, 2 Mar 2023 model year
    by Cat on Mon Mar 4th, 2024 at 10:12:44 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Biden administration backs short-term Colorado River water savings plan , 5 Mar
    ...The plan, which involves at least 3 million acre-feet of system-wide usage reductions, serves to tide the region over until current operational guidelines expire at the end of 2026, according to the Department of the Interior. The administration said it will be harnessing up to $670.2 million in Inflation Reduction Act funds to support [?] more than 1.58 million acre-feet of that total 3 million acre-feet of water conservation....
    archive cuts to water allocations, Colorado River basin states
    by Cat on Tue Mar 5th, 2024 at 09:58:36 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    invisible water losses have entered reservoirs of invisible water surcharges
    by Cat on Thu Mar 14th, 2024 at 01:29:29 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Climate change is trapping Texans in an arid 'fortress of solitude,' expert says
    "That means nearly $20 trillion in American home value may be at risk—that is beginning to ripple through the real estate sector.
    [...]
    Thus, the paradox. "Twice as many people—demand for water goes way up," [geologist Jay] Banner said. More heat means "more drought, and water availability goes way down."
    by Cat on Thu Mar 14th, 2024 at 01:37:41 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    scmp | EU moves to slap retroactive tariffs on electric vehicles from China, 6 Mar PROBE conclusion
    [...]
    The move, which was signalled in a document bearing the stamp of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen published on Tuesday night, means vehicles imported before the probe has concluded could be slapped with anti-subsidy duties. It can be viewed as a way to deter imports, which the EU says are "MASSIVE", and were 11 per cent higher between October and January compared to before the launch of the investigation.
    non-market mechanisms: "consumer" v "producer" subsidies and tax credits
    [...]
    It can also be assumed that the commission is satisfied it has enough evidence to put duties on EVs made in China, but wants to expedite the process. The note, which was published in the EU's official journal on Wednesday, said that regarding subsidies, "the commission has at its disposal sufficient evidence tending to show that imports of the product concerned from the PRC are being subsidised".
    COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) 2024/785
    making imports of new battery electric vehicles designed for the transport of persons originating in the People's Republic of China subject to registration
    [...]
    The evidence also shows critical circumstances in the form of massive imports in a relatively short period as well as a substantial increase of imports under CN code 8703 80 10 in the period from October 2023 to January 2024 [2023Q4]. Specifically, the evidence available shows that the amount of imports between October 2023 and January 2024 is 177 839 pieces. This represents an increase of 11 % compared to the investigation period ["IP"] (October 2022-September 2023) in terms of monthly average (see Table 1), and of 14 % [?] compared to the respective period between October 2022 and January 2023 (see Table 2).
    The EU said OVERCAPACITY in China's economy was leading to a flood of hi-tech goods that could not be consumed domestically because of sluggish demand hitting its shores.
    [...]
    Meanwhile, statistics released on Monday found the EU's trade in goods deficit with China fell by 27 per cent last year [2023] compared to 2022, to €291 billion (US$315 billion). The 2022 deficit was the highest on record, according to the EU data agency Eurostat, and became another bone of discontent in the relationship. Telecoms ["remote communication"] products were the biggest EU import last year, but vehicles showed the biggest growth, soaring 36.7 [?] per cent compared to 2022, Eurostat found.
    archive comparative advantage of nations in Reactionary Visions and eNtiTiES, "strategic autonomy"
    by Cat on Wed Mar 6th, 2024 at 03:46:48 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    behind the scenes at COP27 loss & damage reports, COP28 "stock-taking"

    ChatGPT | Brussels warns of water conflict danger in EU, 6 Mar COP29 summit preppers

    ...The Commission's missive will accompany the first-ever European Climate Risk Assessment [EUVRA], a comprehensive European Environment Agency (EEA) report set for release on Monday [11 Mar]. An increase in water extremes such as floods and droughts is only one of the climate threats facing Europe. The EEA assessment "identified 36 key risks for Europe, several of them already at catastrophic levels and of high urgency," the Commission document says, without providing further detail....
    reference
    climate-adapt.eea.europa.eu
    "In May 2022, the Directorate-General for Climate Action of the European Commission (DG CLIMA) and the European Environment Agency (EEA) initiated the preparation of the first European Climate Risk Assessment (EUCRA)."
    by Cat on Thu Mar 7th, 2024 at 12:06:16 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    thehill | Plutonium pit 'panic' threatens America's nuclear ambitions, 6 Mar
    Los Alamos National Laboratory NM and SC "blue states"
    ...These pits are crucial: As a source of nuclear fuel, they will transform the Air Force's new, modernized nuclear missiles, called Sentinel, into weapons of mass destruction. Sentinel is scheduled to be fielded in the Western rural U.S. in the 2030s, though that is likely to be delayed.
    [...]
    But the NNSA [National Nuclear Security Administration] hasn't done large-scale pit production since the early 1990s, creating unease about restarting the process after decades of inactivity. And the agency is plagued by schedule delays, workforce challenges and budget concerns.
    [...]
    The NNSA pit production effort has been flagged for several years by a government watchdog group, the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO in a 2023 report said history has "cast doubt on NNSA's ability to produce the required number of plutonium weapon cores on schedule."...
    archive February 2024 drought transition, May 2023 transition action plans
    by Cat on Wed Mar 6th, 2024 at 06:27:00 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 29th, 2024 at 10:39:18 PM EST
    [CANDIDATE X] should put on [THEY/THEIR/THEM] dancing shoes and WOO nonpartisan* voters : Big Data Affective Disorders 101, Schlitz School of US Cybernetic Government,
    Adm. Kirby Chair
    Voters use three models to make decisions:

    • Cognitive:....
    • Affective:....  
    • Behavioral:...

    Neglecting behavioral voters is a sure way to lose the election. To win, [CANDIDATE X] must cha-cha these voters to the booths, especially those in battleground states. The dance must be seen as dynamic, not old, or too old. And it must portray a captivating picture of voters' future, give them hope and assure them he has their backs.
    [...]
    Avraham Shama is an award-winning writer and a retired university professor. His doctoral dissertation was about voter decision-making and political marketing.

    * "unaffiliated" or "independent"
    archive AP Government "Stockholm Syndrome?"
    by Cat on Fri Mar 1st, 2024 at 08:14:52 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    lbnf-dune.fnal.gov | Solving big mysteries
    The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment [DUNE] is an international flagship experiment to unlock the mysteries of neutrinos. DUNE will be installed in the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility, under construction in the United States. DUNE scientists will paint a clearer picture of the universe and how it works. Their research may even give us the key to understanding why we live in a matter-dominated universe—in other words, why we are here at all.

    DUNE will pursue three major science goals: find out whether neutrinos could be the reason the universe is made of matter; look for subatomic phenomena that could help realize Einstein's dream of the unification of forces; and watch for neutrinos emerging from an exploding star, perhaps witnessing the birth of a neutron star or a black hole.

    The U.S. Department of Energy's Fermilab is the host laboratory for DUNE, in partnership with funding agencies and more than 1,400 scientists and engineers from all over the globe. They contribute expertise and components, which provide economic benefits to each of the partner institutions and countries. DUNE consists of massive neutrino detectors, at Fermilab in Illinois and Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota. LBNF produces the world's most intense neutrino beam and provides the infrastructure. The PIP-II particle accelerator at Fermilab powers the neutrino beam. ....

    archive only three plots for all the stories
    by Cat on Sat Mar 2nd, 2024 at 04:25:02 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    cnbc | NASA shuts down $2 billion satellite refueling project after contractor Maxar is criticized for poor performance, 1 Mar
    ... NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland was leading the work on OSAM [On-orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing 1], with Maxar Space Systems as the project's prime contractor under multiple deals. OSAM-1 has been in development since 2015, with the goal of docking with the U.S.-owned Landsat 7 imagery satellite in orbit, to repair and refuel the aging spacecraft to extend its life....
    ChatGPT | NASA Investigates Intensifying Air Leak in ISS's Russian Module, 1 Mar
    ...The problem of air leakage in the ISS has been ongoing. Joel Montalbano, NASA's ISS program manager, revealed on Wednesday, February 28, during a briefing about the upcoming Crew-8 mission, that the leak in the Russian Zvezda module had doubled in size. This development occurred roughly a week before the scheduled February 13 launch of the Progress MS-26 supply vessel....
    wapoo | Amid tensions with Russia, SpaceX to launch another astronaut crew, 2 Mar
    archive Jul 19th 2023, Jul 26th 2022, Jan 1st 2022, Dec 2nd 2021, Jan 5th 2019

    reference
    cnbc | Intelsat signs up for Northrop Grumman satellite servicing (13.04.23)

    ...Northrop Grumman's latest version of this tech represents a more flexible approach: A larger model, called MRV (or mission robotic vehicle), will carry three MEPs (or mission extension pods), that it plans to deliver and connect with three satellites in 2026. Like before, the targets are big, expensive satellites operating in the distant geosynchronous orbit....
    oig.nasa,"NASA's Efforts to Demonstrate Robotic Servicing of On-Orbit Satellites" (4.10.23)
    Intelsat, McLean, VA 22102, USA
    by Cat on Sun Mar 3rd, 2024 at 09:33:29 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    reuters | Japan's Space One Kairos rocket explodes on inaugural flight (13.03.24)
    Space One has said the launch is highly automated and requires roughly a dozen staff at the ground control centre. Kairos carried an experimental government satellite that can temporarily replace intelligence satellites in orbit if they fall offline. Space One wants to offer "space courier services" to domestic and international clients, aiming to launch 20 rockets a year by the late 2020s, its president Masakazu Toyoda said. Although the company delayed Kairos' inaugural launch window four times, it said orders for its second and third planned trips have been filled, including by an overseas customer. Partnering with the United States, Japan is seeking to revitalise its domestic aerospace industry to counter technological and military rivalry from China and Russia.

    by Cat on Wed Mar 13th, 2024 at 04:42:23 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    DARPA tasks Northrop Grumman with drafting lunar train blueprints, Artemis stretch goal
    Northrop Grumman announced that DARPA selected it yesterday, describing the defense agency's vision for a Moon train as one that could transport humans, supplies, and resources for future commercial ventures on Earth's natural satellite.

    The lunar rail project is part of DARPA's 10-Year Lunar Architecture (LunA-10) project that aims to develop scalable, interoperable standards and systems for a permanent human presence on the Moon. Northrop is one of 14 companies DARPA has commissioned to work on various aspects of the project.

    For its work on a Moon train concept, Northrop Grumman will be investigating what sort of interfaces and resources would be needed to build it, determining how much it would cost and the logistical risks, identify prototypes, and explore construction concepts.
    [...]

    by Cat on Thu Mar 21st, 2024 at 03:28:42 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    defense.gov | Statement by Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder on the Historical Record Report on Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena, Volume 1 , 8 Mar
    ...In completing this report, AARO reviewed all official U.S government investigatory efforts since 1945, researched classified and unclassified archives, conducted dozens of interviews, and partnered with Intelligence Community and DOD officials responsible for controlled and special access program oversight, respectively. AARO will publish a second volume that will provide analysis of information acquired by AARO after Nov. 1, 2023, including information received via interviews with current and former U.S. government personnel who contacted AARO via the secure reporting mechanism on AARO's website....
    archive Congress Holds UFO Hearing, former US Intelligence officer, Inadmissible aliens

    reference
    aaro.mil, "Report on the Historical Record of U.S. Government Involvement with Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP)", Feb 2024, 64 pp pdf

    by Cat on Tue Mar 12th, 2024 at 12:12:19 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ChatGPT | New study finds no brain injuries among 'Havana syndrome' patients, 18 Mar xtra-long COVID 19?
    [...]
    The National Institutes of Health's nearly five-year study offers no explanation for symptoms including headaches, balance problems, and difficulties with thinking and sleep that were first reported in Cuba in 2016 and later by hundreds of American personnel in multiple countries. But it did contradict some earlier findings that raised the specter of brain injuries in people experiencing what the State Department now calls "anomalous health incidents."
    [...]
    Yet sophisticated MRI scans detected no significant differences in brain volume, structure or white matter—signs of injury or degeneration—when Havana syndrome patients were compared to healthy government workers with similar jobs, including some in the same embassy. Nor were there significant differences in cognitive and other tests, according to findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association [JAMA]. While that couldn't rule out some transient injury when symptoms began, researchers said it's good news that they couldn't spot long-term markers on brain scans that are typical after trauma or stroke.
    [...]
    If some "external phenomenon" was behind the symptoms, "it did not result in persistent or detectable pathophysiologic change," [Dr. David Relman] said. The State Department said it was reviewing NIH's findings but that its priority was ensuring affected employees and family members "are treated with respect and compassion and receive timely access to medical care and all benefits to which they are entitled."
    archive trauma-informed June 2022, January 2022 Havana, Miami Syndrome, [INCONTINENCE ALERT], CIA Director William Burns

    reference
    JAMA, "Neurological Manifestations Among US Government Personnel Reporting Directional Audible and Sensory Phenomena in Havana, Cuba" (15.02.18)
    JAMA, "More Questions Raised by Concussion-like Symptoms Found in US Diplomats Who Served in Havana" (20.03.18)
    JAMA, "Neuroimaging Findings in US Government Personnel With Possible Exposure to Directional Phenomena in Havana, Cuba" (23.07.19)
    JAMA, "Neurological Illness and National Security Lessons to Be Learned" (18.03.24)
    NIH, "NIH studies find severe symptoms of "Havana Syndrome," but no evidence of MRI-detectable brain injury or biological abnormalities" (18.03.24)

    JUSTICE KAGAN: So back in—this—this—this still happens now—decades ago, it happened all the time, which is somebody from the White House got in touch with somebody from The Washington Post and said this will—this will just harm national security, and The Washington Post said, okay, whatever you say. I mean, that was all—we didn't know enough, but that was—that was coercion?
    by Cat on Tue Mar 19th, 2024 at 07:30:01 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    "spiritual narcissist" has entered the room.
    a narcissist who uses spirituality and religion as a means to garner attention and validation, also known as narcissistic supply, to control others.

    By no means does someone being religious or spiritual mean they're [sic] a narcissist. Rather, psychologists say, spiritual narcissists distort religion and spirituality to cater to their own selfish interests, as well as to punish and abuse others.

    by Cat on Thu Mar 21st, 2024 at 01:41:09 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ChatGPT wapoo | Long covid may cause cognitive decline of about six IQ points, study finds
    ...The participants were from a cohort  of more than 3 million adults who were randomly selected [?] as part of a major English study to track the spread of covid between May 1, 2020, and March 21, 2022. As there is no scientific consensus around the definition of long covid, the study instead looked at symptom duration, comparing the results of people who had not had covid to those who were infected but recovered in less than four weeks, those who recovered between four and 12 weeks and those whose symptoms continued after that.
    [...]
    The study had a number of limitations. The researchers did not have information on ["volunteer"] cognitive abilities before they were infected [baseline "IQ"] and therefore compared their results to those of [control group] who hadn't had covid, rather than measuring the change in [each respondents'] cognition....
    American editors
    nejm | Long Covid and Impaired Cognition—More Evidence and More Work to Do
    ... For example, what are the functional implications of a 3-point loss in IQ? Whether one group of persons is affected more severely than others is not clear. Whether these cognitive deficits persist or resolve along with predictors and trajectory of recovery should be investigated. Will Covid-19-associated cognitive deficits confer a predisposition to a higher risk of Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia later in life? The effects on educational attainment, work performance, accidental injury, and other activities that require intact cognitive abilities should also be evaluated. SARS-CoV-2 infection happened in the context of a global pandemic that disrupted many facets of our lives; disentangling the effects of the infection from those of the pandemic (e.g., social isolation, grief, and trauma) should also be undertaken. There are limitations to the study conducted by Hampshire and colleagues. The study was based on an engagement survey; hence, there may be a degree of response and ascertainment bias, such that either more persons with long Covid may have opted to enroll and that persons who were sick and had disability would not participate in the surveys. Also, there was a lack of racial diversity, which will lead to uncertainty with regard to the effects of long Covid on cognition in underrepresented populations....
    reference
    Hampshire et al, "Cognition and Memory after Covid-19 in a Large Community Sample"
    - Supplementary Appendix: London, E Midlands, SE, Yorkshire, W Midlands, NE, NW, E of England, SW
    by Cat on Sun Mar 3rd, 2024 at 10:53:07 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 29th, 2024 at 10:39:41 PM EST
    Navalny's funeral draws mourners and defiance -  22 photo gallery
    A short memorial service for Navalny took place in an Orthodox church in southeastern Moscow. He was then interred in a nearby local cemetery, where music from Terminator 2, Navalny's favorite movie, was played at the cemetery, his spokesperson [Kira_Yarmysh] said. Video streamed online on [Team] Navalny's [Memorial] YouTube channel [Похороны Алексея Навального] showed sizable crowds standing in orderly lines and behind barricades set up by police at the church and cemetery.
    Support Team Navalny - We ask you to send any information related to the murder of Alexei Navalny. We guarantee anonymity and reward
    [...]
    There were no immediate reports of arrests.
    The case of the Navalny corpse—cherchez les femmes (25.02.24)
    OVD-Info published a photo from inside the church during Navalny's memorial service Friday that showed his body in an open casket covered with red and white flowers. His mother sat beside it holding a candle. Navalny's father was also present. It was not clear who else in his family attended the service.
    Alexey Navalny is buried at the Borisov Cemetery in Moscow
    The funeral of politician Alexey Navalny was held at the Borisov Cemetery in Moscow. Before the funeral, funeral and farewell ceremonies were held in the church of the Icon of the Mother of God "Assuage my Sorrows" in the Maryino district. Parents, friends and supporters of the deceased came. The widow and children were not seen leaving.
    Navalny Organization splits into 'Whites' and 'Reds' as lies multiply (26.02.24)
    RIA Novosti reported that the ceremony was also attended by US Ambassador to Russia Lynn Tracy, German Ambassador Alexander Lambsdorf, French Ambassador Pierre Levy, as well as the ambassadors of Canada, Ireland, Greece, Poland, Belgium, and Austria.
    by Cat on Fri Mar 1st, 2024 at 05:13:51 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ChatGPT | Massive crowds gather as Putin's arch-rival is buried
    "The rights group OVD-Info reported that four people had been detained as they set out from the southern city of Voronezh to attend Navalny's burial service and funeral. One person detained was a local campaign coordinator for [Boris] Nadezhdin."
    by Cat on Fri Mar 1st, 2024 at 06:38:38 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    scores, hundreds, ...

    thousands of people convened at a church and cemetery in southern Moscow to pay their respects to Alexei Navalny, the celebrated Russian opposition figure who died inside a Siberian prison two weeks ago....
    " throngs "
    by Cat on Sun Mar 3rd, 2024 at 02:46:20 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    WSJ: Thousands Defy Kremlin to Attend Alexei Navalny's Funeral in Moscow photo gallery.
    by Cat on Sun Mar 3rd, 2024 at 07:15:21 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    One small step for mankind ...

    What was the first animal sent into space?

    Miss Baker was one of the squirrel monkeys sent into space

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Sat Mar 9th, 2024 at 03:04:12 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 29th, 2024 at 10:40:00 PM EST
    UPDATE! Musk sues ChatGPT maker over AI computer programming THREAT, 2 Mar antitrust farce
    OpenAI has morphed into a subsidiary of Microsoft, the billionaire entrepreneur argued
    [...]
    OpenAI, founded in 2015 as a non-profit research lab to develop an open-source Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), has now become a "closed-source de facto subsidiary of the largest technology company in the world," Musk's legal team wrote [courthousenews  archive] in the suit filed on Thursday in San Francisco Superior Court.
    [...]
    Elon Musk sues OpenAI over AI threat, 29 Feb

    archive Sam Altman, who do I sue?, artificial intelligence signs and symbols
    < wipes tears >

    by Cat on Sat Mar 2nd, 2024 at 07:53:13 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Germany falls short on women in parliament, Rwanda on top
    by Cat on Tue Mar 5th, 2024 at 06:25:50 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Most automated driving systems are lousy at making sure drivers pay attention, insurance group says
    by Cat on Tue Mar 12th, 2024 at 05:19:50 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    US inflation* up again in February in latest sign that price pressures* remain elevated*

    * neither He nor the other gas formerly-known-as "irrational exuberance"

    by Cat on Tue Mar 12th, 2024 at 05:31:48 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    strana | Why Lady Ze refused Biden, 6 Mar
    "Zelenskaya's presence at the president's speech could look like "too close a connection with Biden." Ukraine does not want to offend Republicans, who may control the White House next year depending on the results of the November elections".

    wapoo | Ukraine's first lady declines State of the Union invitation

    The intent had been to seat first lady Jill Biden near [*lena] Zelenska and Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who died last month in an Arctic prison, according to officials familiar with the planning. The image of both women, each a symbol of resistance to Russian President Vladimir Putin, would offer a powerful backdrop to President Biden's address to a joint session of Congress. But Navalnaya's potential presence caused discomfort for the Ukrainians, said people familiar with Kyiv's deliberations. Though her late husband is widely hailed as an anti-corruption ICON who risked his life to oppose Putin, Navalny's legacy in Ukraine is clouded by past statements that Crimea, which Putin annexed in 2014, belonged to Russia.
    oh
    A White House official said Zelenska*'s decision was probably due to "schedule conflicts," and referred further questions to Zelenska*'s office, adding that the seating arrangement is a detail finalized near the end of the process.
    [...]
    Navalnaya also declined to attend Biden's address, according her spokeswoman, who cited fatigue as a factor.
    yahoo! pravda.ua | WP claims Zelenska* declined White House's invitation because of Navalnaya, [US] President's Office denies
    dittto

    hoi polloi REMATCH!
    obozrevatel | Called a Nazi and forced to take a picture with a Russian woman: Ukrainian woman shocked with details about the Miss Europe contest, 29 Feb 2024

    On her Instagram, the Ukrainian model posted a video in which she shared the shocking details of what she went through at the pageant. According to the girl, this is only 5% of the horror that happened to her.
    archive Miss Universe proxy war 2022
    by Cat on Wed Mar 6th, 2024 at 10:55:42 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    intimacy co-ordinators entre dans la pièce.
    by Cat on Fri Mar 8th, 2024 at 10:33:45 PM EST
    [ Parent ]


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