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

June 2024

by Oui Sat Jun 1st, 2024 at 05:17:42 PM EST

Your take on today's news media



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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jun 1st, 2024 at 05:18:01 PM EST

Organizational hygiene. Pragmatic pro-Ukraine Meloni. Nationalist pro-Ursula Meloni.
T -4
euractiv | Green lead candidate hits back at EPP attempts to exclude her group from Commission majority, 31 May
The centre-right EPP is projected to remain in charge of the European Commission after the EU elections, but it needs to team up with other European Parliament groups for its candidate for the presidency to pass the investiture vote.
[...]
euractiv | Meet the parties fighting for power in the European [Parliament], 1 June illustrated
However, the Greens' offer to join the Commission's majority in exchange for policy concessions has been received coolly by the EPP. Daniel Caspary, leader of the EPP's largest delegation, the German CDU, claimed that the Greens proved unreliable when voting against the EU's migration reform.

"The Greens should not be part of the Commission majority because they are very dogmatic and ideological in the European Parliament," Jens Spahn, a leading national CDU lawmaker, told Euractiv. Commission President and EPP lead candidate Ursula von der Leyen also appeared to doubt the Greens' suitability.

"We will see how the Greens behave after the elections", she told WDR on Monday when asked about her coalition options, noting that the Greens voted against parts of the Green deal "because they wanted more."
[...]

dailynewshungary | Hungary to lose important Brussels position
"Fed up with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's constant obstructionism on Ukraine, his fellow EU leaders plan to punish him by giving his country a weak portfolio in the next European Commission," POLITICO writes, citing three diplomats who requested anonymity.
[...]
reuters | Thousands rally to back Hungary's Orban ahead of EU vote, 1 June
"The results of the EP and local elections on June 9 will reveal how big Orban's domestic political challenges are and whether Magyar poses a greater threat to Fidesz or other opposition parties," said Andrius Tursa at think tank Teneo.
The diplomats also told POLITICO that EU officials "have no appetite for" Olivér Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement from Hungary.
euractiv | EU ministers fume as 'outrageous' Hungary yet again blocks military aid for Ukraine, 27 May absent 'abstention'
The Commissioner plays a significant role in discussions about Ukraine's and Balkan states' accession to the EU, which is problematic because, as the diplomats note, Hungary has been openly and consistently attempting to halt the accession talks and block aid to Ukraine.
[...]
by Cat on Sun Jun 2nd, 2024 at 05:06:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
😂

How about letting the folks vote first  and quite likely punish the elitists in Ivory Tower managing the enlarged EU of Brussels.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jun 2nd, 2024 at 05:41:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jun 2nd, 2024 at 05:46:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Mega-rumor to the Top Job for Baerbock, 1 June GOTV
Könnte unsere Außenministerin Annalena Baerbock (43, Grüne) die EU-Chefin ablösen? Gar nicht mal ausgeschlossen, berichtet ,,Politico" (gehört wie BILD zur Axel Springer SE).
[...]
Scholz und Macron wollen Wechsel an der EU-Spitze
Und immer klarer wird: Der Unmut über von der Leyen auf dem Top-Posten ist bei vielen wichtigen EU-Akteuren groß.
[...]
Wenn eine deutsche EU-Chefin, dann grün
ABER: Im Koalitionsvertrag der Ampel ist festgehalten, welche Partei das Vorschlagsrecht bekommt, sollte Deutschland einen oder eine neue Kandidatin für das mächtigste EU-Amt ins Rennen schicken. Es sind: die Grünen!
[...]
EU-Konservative haben jetzt schon genug Grün
Was noch gegen eine weitere Amtszeit von Ursula von der Leyen spricht: Selbst wenn sie von Frankreich und Deutschland im EU-Rat unterstützt würde, ist ihr eine Mehrheit im Parlament nicht sicher. Schon beim letzten Wahlgang hatte sie nur neun Stimmen mehr als nötig. Sogar in ihrer Fraktion werden wohl einige Abgeordnete von der Leyen ihre Stimme verweigern, möglicherweise auch in CDU und CSU, wo ebenfalls einiger Frust über die aktuelle EU-Chefin herrscht. Hauptgrund dafür: Von der Leyen ist ihnen zu grün, treibt für ihren Geschmack zu viele Öko-Projekte voran - insbesondere ihr ,,Green Deal" ist bei vielen EU-Konservativen verhasst.
[...]
by Cat on Sun Jun 2nd, 2024 at 11:41:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this Sino- or Ruso-disinfoo?
In 2018 the National Assembly of France established a single EP electoral "constituency" (81 seats). Prior to that, eight EP electoral districts, drawn in proportion to population size, elected candidates for the number of EP seats apportioned to each. It's rumored that 37 parties registered 3,000 candidates for France's trailing EP election (9 June). I am thrilled to learn, le gouvernment requires original identity documents in lieu of a valid voter card at one's polling place—a contentious limitation to freedoms of persons resident in US America. I suppose, also-ran EP candidates will nominate themselves for NA seats in 2027.

Atlantic MSM, G7 MSM, fixation on the outcome of MEP elections this week contrasts with months-long alarm that corruption of EU27 parliaments by far-right EPP "national populists" is imminent (2027).

Regarding the National Assembly of France, French PM steps in to boost Macron's ailing EU parliament campaign

Regarding G7 joint ventures to vanquish RUSSIA, with or without the imprimatur of global peace summit delegates, Macron, Zelensk* to discuss Ukraine's needs in Paris on Friday. The Ukrainian president will be welcomed by France's Armed Forces Minister Sebastien Lecornu with military honours on Friday morning, deliver a speech in the National Assembly, and meet with the speaker of the lower house Yael Braun-Pivet. Opposition leader of right-wing Republicans in parliament, Olivier Marleix, said, it was "inappropriate" to invite Zelensk* during EP elections.

Biden to meet with Zelensk* in France
Jake Sullivan debriefed reporters en route to France on Tuesday night. He also noted that Biden will "be with" Zelensk* in Italy for the G7 meeting next week.

by Cat on Wed Jun 5th, 2024 at 07:12:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European citizens still face administrative hurdles to vote, 10 June
The [EP] elections are the world's second-largest democratic ballot after India.
SIMILE SUICIDE
However, compared to other elections, EU citizens face a complicated web of administrative hurdles they need to overcome to be eligible to vote.

While citizens are automatically registered to vote in national elections, things are more complicated when it comes to the [EP] elections, especially for people not living in their country of citizenship.

In most EU countries, these citizens have to register with local authorities to be eligible to vote in their country of residence if they hold citizenship from another EU state—with procedures and deadlines varying from country to country and voters having to register up to 90 days in advance, as is the case in Italy.
[...]

GOTV 2024 Managment is still crunching the numbers
by Cat on Mon Jun 10th, 2024 at 02:01:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For Politico.com.eu "D-Day" isn't Democracy Day. It's Joe Macron memorial services versus PUTIN oligarchs Day.

Meanwhile

euronews AI-enabled "political families" matrix prepares to run numbers

by Cat on Thu Jun 6th, 2024 at 08:03:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Voting in 20 EU countries under way as elections for the European Parliament enters its final day, 9 June
Surveys suggest that mainstream and pro-European parties will retain their majority in parliament, but they will lose seats to hard right [EPP] parties like those led by Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni, Hungarian leader Viktor Orban, Geert Wilders in the Netherlands and Marine Le Pen in France. That would make it harder for Europe to pass legislation and could at times paralyze decision-making in the world's biggest trading bloc.
< wipes tears >
euronews | Poll Centre, "pre-bunking"
DISCLAIMER
Euronews Polls Centre builds its parliamentary graphs, polls and projections from an array of sources. Our Euronews Polls Average is developed using publicly available polls from across the European Union. Euronews aggregated findings are built with a proprietary methodology utilizing a Kalman Filter (LQE), a predictive statistical algorithm that uses large data sets for predictive purposes. Euronews does not adjust results for house effect, weight any polls, or favor specific polling houses. Euronews only collects data with sample populations over 800 < wipes tears >, except under unique [!] circumstances where data is limited. Euronews Parliamentary seat predictions are based on polling results. All information regarding E.U. parliamentary seats, party affiliations and MEPs can be found on the E.U.'s website. Euronews-Ipsos [abbynormal sampling] methodology can be found on the Ipsos website.
by Cat on Sun Jun 9th, 2024 at 01:28:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yahoo! DPA | Germany's Scholz to attend D-Day 80th anniversary events, 31 May
"Macron did not invite any representatives from the Russian government to attend the D-Day anniversary events because of Russia's ongoing military invasion of Ukraine."

ChatGPT | A MASS PARACHUTE JUMP over Normandy kicks off commemorations for the 80th anniversary of D-Day, 4 June
"Part of the purpose of fireworks shows, parachute jumps, solemn commemorations and ceremonies that world leaders will attend this week is to pass the baton of remembrance to the current generations now seeing war again in Europe, in Ukraine. U.S. President Joe Biden, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensk* and British royals are among the VIPs that France is expecting for D-Day events."

NY Yella Cake | Zelensk* Shares Emotional Moment With U.S. Veteran at D-Day Ceremony, 6 June

The veteran, Melvin Hurwitz, embraced the Ukrainian president and called him "the savior of the people." Mr. Zelensk* told Mr. Hurwitz that he and his fellow World War II veterans had "saved Europe."
yahoo! Hill | Zelensk* compares retaking of Kherson to D-Day (15.11.22)
Their embrace mirrored a connection that President Biden made explicit in his remarks at the ceremony, in which he cast the allied effort to repel the Russian invasion of Ukraine as an extension of the ["]battle for freedom in Europe["] that unfolded on Normandy's beaches eight decades ago."
Biden and Zelensk* to meet amid tensions over pace of U.S. military aid, 6 June: "It's a familiar pattern we've seen again and again. It's usually: `No, No, Maybe, Yes,'" said John Herbst, a retired career diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.
"We know the DARK FORCES that these heroes fought against 80 years ago," Mr. Biden said, addressing a crowd of thousands, including 180 surviving veterans of the D-Day operation, near the graves of 9,388 American service members.
abcnews | 9 members of Congress parachute jump over Normandy for D-Day anniversary: Reps. Crow (D-CO), Waltz (R-FL), Crenshaw (R-TX), Jackson, (R-TX), McCormick (R-GA), Green (R-TN), Mills (R-FL), Issa (R-CA), Self (R-TX)
"They never fade," Mr. Biden added. "Aggression and greed, the desire to dominate and control, to change borders by force—these are perennial. The struggle between dictatorship and freedom is unending."
globalsecurity.org | Federal Chancellor at D-Day commemoration ceremony - Ouest France Olaf
The Allied landing in Normandy on 6 June 1944, 80 years ago today, was a day of liberation. It was a day of liberation for France and for many countries of Europe that had to endure a reign of terror under German occupation. But it was also a day of liberation for Germany itself. After all, the landing of the Allies on the beaches of Normandy marked the beginning of the end of the barbaric system of National Socialism, of its racist fanaticism, and militarism, of its will to exterminate and its imperialistic < wipes tears > fantasies....
I noted with interest that several aged US American veterans, included by ChatGPT in Genocide Joe's entourage, were no where on the beach—or the eastern front.
archive Aug 19th, 2022
by Cat on Sun Jun 9th, 2024 at 02:53:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]

SIDEBAR WARNING ChatGPT "hallucination" based on 2024 estimates by country.
by Cat on Sun Jun 9th, 2024 at 07:18:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
F24 | France's Macron calls new legislative elections over projected far-right [EPP] victory, 9 June
In an address to the nation from the Elysee presidential palace, Macron said: "I've decided to give you back the choice of our parliamentary future through the vote. I am therefore dissolving the National Assembly." The vote will take place in two rounds on June 30 and July 7, he said.
by Cat on Sun Jun 9th, 2024 at 07:27:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Tue Jun 11th, 2024 at 04:45:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
sofagate has entered the room.
by Cat on Thu Jun 13th, 2024 at 11:27:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | 14 MEPs vie to join European People's Party [EPP] in European Parliament, 18 June head count
[...]
The EPP group is meeting between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday to vote on new members.

According to a document seen by POLITICO, 7 of the 14 applicants hail from the Tisza party led by Hungarian [HU] opposition leader Péter Magyar. Two from the Dutch Farmer-Citizen Movement known as BBB, two from the Czech [CZ] Mayors and Independents party known as STAN, one from the Danish [DK] Liberal Alliance, one from the Dutch [NL] New Social Contract party and one from the German [DE] Family Party.

BBB and NSC are forming a coalition government with far-right Geert Wilders in the Netherlands. EPP leader Manfred Weber has said any politicians wishing to join the group must be pro-EU, pro-Ukraine, and in favor of the rule of law.
[...]

ibid Green EPP archive 'The new Ursula', EUSA TikTok ELECTION 2024, T -103

Prepare for a July SURGE! Axel's count of "nonaligned" seats has dropped from 100 to 89 since 10 June. I imagine, Axel prefers all the orphans are adopted by the families before summer holiday in August, when president pick fever, EC and EUCO, has subsided. Bundles of far-right "nationalist populists" groups are easier to track.

by Cat on Tue Jun 18th, 2024 at 03:29:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wapoo | Ukraine can use U.S. weapons for limited strikes in Russia (30.05.24)
The shift allows Ukraine to use U.S.-provided artillery and rocket launchers to hit Russian troops and equipment just across the border from Kharkiv and to strike missiles headed toward Ukrainian territory, U.S. officials said. They emphasized that the Biden administration's policy barring longer-range strikes inside Russia "has not changed."
dw | NATO chief: Time to rethink restrictions on Ukraine weaponry, 30 May
Biden signed off on the change several days ago, and the policy went info effect Thursday [30 May]. In a visit to Kyiv this month, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said Ukraine has the right to use London-provided weapons to strike targets in Russia.
dw | Kyiv can now hit Russia with German weapons, 31 May
by Cat on Sun Jun 2nd, 2024 at 08:20:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wapoo | U.S. concerned about Ukraine strikes on Russian nuclear radar stations, 29 May
At least one strike in Armavir, in Russia's southeastern Krasnodar region, appeared to have caused some damage....A Ukrainian official familiar with the matter, however, said that Russia has used the radar sites to monitor the Ukrainian military's activities, particularly Kyiv's use of aerial weaponry, such as drones and missiles.
wapoo | As Ukraine stumbles in war, Kyiv and Western powers struggle to coordinate (30.05.24)
The sharpest battlefield disagreement at the moment is whether Ukraine can use donated weapons to strike targets on Russian soil. The Biden administration has strictly prohibited Ukraine from using U.S. weaponry to do so because it fears that the heavy U.S. involvement required to operate the weapons could escalate the war into a direct conflict between Washington and Moscow, though it is reexamining its policy.
[...]
new fissures appear to emerge daily. On Wednesday, a U.S. official said Washington had expressed concerns to Kyiv over Ukraine's strikes—using its own weapons—on Russian radar stations that provide conventional air defense and early warning of nuclear launches by the West.
by Cat on Sun Jun 2nd, 2024 at 08:33:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
reuters | Switzerland flags cyberattacks, disinformation ahead of Ukraine summit, 10 June
Ninety states and organisations have registered to take part in the talks due to be held at a resort near the central city of Lucerne from June 15-16, roughly half of them from South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Switzerland said. Russia has not been invited, but the Swiss government said the talks aimed to "jointly define a roadmap" on how to involve both it and Ukraine in a future peace process.

Swiss President Viola Amherd told a press conference cyber attacks had increased in recent weeks and was asked how her government was addressing personal attacks against her in Russian media that have been publicised in Switzerland.

"We haven't summoned the ambassador," she said. "That's how I wanted it, because the disinformation campaign is so extreme that one can see that little of it reflects reality."
[...]
Roughly half the countries taking part will be represented by heads of state or government, Switzerland said.

The summit is due to conclude with a final declaration, "ideally" one backed unanimously, [FM Foreign Minister Ignazio] Cassis said. It also aims to set out what the next step would be in the peace process. When asked who might succeed Switzerland in the next phase, Cassis said he could not give details, but noted efforts were underway for something "outside the western part of the world". Doing so could boost inclusion of the "Global South and Arabian countries" in the process, he said.

Arabian country foreign minister arrives in Russia for BRICS meeting, 10 June
by Cat on Tue Jun 11th, 2024 at 06:33:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
strana | 92 countries and 8 organizations will take part in the Swiss[-Ukrainian] peace Summit, 14 June hmmm
Meanwhile, Vladimir Zelensky has already arrived in Switzerland to participate in the summit, as he wrote in his social networks.
archive May 2024 Slava Big Israel!, casting call UPDATE
strana | Zelensk* meets with Indian Prime Minister Modi at G7 summit in Italy
"We discussed the development of bilateral relations and the expansion of trade, in particular in the context of the functioning of the Black Sea export corridor. We considered the possibility of exchanging experience in using new technologies in agriculture, " Zelensk* writes.
eda.ch | List of participating states and organisations (as of 14 June 2024)
Kapoor, Pavan (India 2024 MEA Sec. West, Amb. to Russia (2021-2024), UAE (2019-2021), IL (2016-2019)
They also talked about the upcoming peace summit in Switzerland, where India will send a delegation, but it is not clear who exactly.
archive "high-level" schedule conflict

Yermak's "global south" hit list is conspicuously...not intimidated. BUT. Every EU member, wannabe, and eNTiTY—"the whole world"—is booked. The next host for Zelensk*'s "debt-raising" roadshow best stick "strategic ambiguity" on the promos for the next  OUTREACH Summit 2024 v. < checks watch > 5.

Stay tuned. eda.CH just might livestream sessions to YouTube.

by Cat on Fri Jun 14th, 2024 at 08:23:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sat Jun 15th, 2024 at 11:02:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
alkhaleej.ae | Why the UAE did not sign, 18 June adjustment bureaus
Because the conference, hosted by Switzerland on June 15 and 16, with the presence of more than 90 delegations from different countries of the world, carried the slogan "peace in Ukraine". And because the items of the statement issued by [them] are difficult to achieve, in order to achieve the goal of achieving peace, with the absence of Russia from the conference, which is a key party to the war.

[B]ecause many of the countries that participated in the conference take a neutral positive position on the war, and play a mediation role between Russia and Ukraine, and play a positive role in finding a solution to the crisis, including the UAE, they chose not to sign the final statement of the conference, in addition to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Brazil, South Africa, and India, Indonesia, Mexico, Armenia, Libya, Colombia, Vatican, Jordan, Iraq.
[...]

With respect to Rwanda also 2 retracting communique approval (1), (2), other eda.CH program "irregularities" have surfaced. The communique was prepared without all participant consultation. (note Gustavo Petro's and Harris' abrupt D1 departures.) Third-country rumors suggest, all participants were automatically added to the list of signatories (eda.ch display, above, which could be mistaken for lounge decor). Some state representative were not informed that eda.cha required application submission to retract their country indicia from the communique. And eda did not conduct a procedural vote on final communique. AFIACT, eda.CH has neither confirmed nor denied authenticity of listed signatories but has issued a revised list, replacing Rwanda with Ecumenical Patriarchate. The complete list of participant states and "observers" who withheld and withdrew communique approval appears to be 17 (UAE list + Rwanda, Mauritania, OAS). Whether fait accompli or forgery this event failed to accomplish stated purposes of conference organizers.
by Cat on Tue Jun 18th, 2024 at 08:01:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
strana | The Caribbean offshore joined the Swiss peace declaration after the summit, 19 June
The island nation of Antigua and Barbuda joined the Swiss peace declaration, although its representatives were not present at the summit in Burgenstock. This is reported by Vladimir Zelensk* on his page in the social network.
[...]
Shortly after Zelensk*'s publication, the Swiss government announced that the Organization of American States [OAS] had joined the peace declaration, increasing the number of states and organizations that supported the communique to 84 [?].
Slava Big Israel!
by Cat on Wed Jun 19th, 2024 at 03:32:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
swissinfo.ch | 'Real peace closer for Ukraine' despite lack of consensus at Swiss summit (16.06.24)
Eighty-four [?] out of around [92] states and [8 eNTiTIeS*] at the Ukraine peace conference in Switzerland have agreed on a final declaration. However, Swiss President Viola Amherd acknowledged there was no agreement on how and when Russia should be involved.Participating countries that did not sign the final [3-point] communique included Saudi Arabia, India, South Africa, Thailand, Indonesia, Mexico, and the United Arab Emirates. Brazil, which was listed as an "observer" on the list of attendees, also did not feature as a signatory.
*  Council of Europe, European Commission, European Council, European Parliament, OAS, OSCE, observers: UN (DiCarlo), Ecumenical Patriarchate (UA). bold face denotes signatory.
However, initial reactions were somewhat muted. "Expectations of the meeting with 57 heads of state and government were modest—and they underwhelmed rather than overwhelmed," reckoned Sebastian Ramspeck, international correspondent for Swiss public broadcaster, SRF.

"Particularly disappointing for Switzerland as host: there's no follow-up summit in another host country for the time being. Whether the Bürgenstock summit has initiated a peace process is therefore more than questionable."

ChatGPT | 78 countries at Swiss conference agree Ukraine's territorial integrity must be basis of any peace, 16 June
About 100 delegations, mostly Western countries, attended the conference that was billed as a first step toward peace.
[...]
Testifying to war fatigue and other preoccupations, only about half of U.N. member countries took part. It's a far cry from March 2022, when condemnation of Russia's invasion led to passage of a non-binding resolution at the U.N. General Assembly by 141 countries calling for Russian troops to leave Ukraine.
A/RES/ES-11/1 (2022/141-5-35)  and A/RES/ES-11/6 (2023/94-14-73)
It wasn't clear why some developing countries attending didn't line up behind the final statement, but they may be hesitant to rankle Russia or have cultivated a middle ground between Moscow, its ally China and Western powers backing Kyiv.

"Some did not sign—even though very few—since they are playing 'Let's have peace based on concessions' game, and they usually mean concessions by Ukraine, and basically accommodating Russian demands," said Volodymyr Dubovyk, a Ukraine expert and senior fellow at Center for European Policy Analysis, a Washington-based think tank. "They also like this 'neutrality positioning'."

meaning no weapons, boots to donate, no USD to lend, and no licenses to validate?
[...]
The Ukrainian government believes that 19,546 [?] children have been deported or forcibly displaced, and Russian Children's Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova previously confirmed that at least 2,000 were taken from Ukrainian orphanages.
archive Data Sources and Manipulation?
Memorable Quote
Andrzej Duda: "Russia remains the largest colonial empire in the world, which—unlike European states—has never gone through the process of decolonization and has never been able to deal with the demons of its past"
Start with Findland, end with "overseas territories and possessions"
by Cat on Sun Jun 16th, 2024 at 11:40:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
nypost | Kamala Harris zips back to DC after blink-and-miss-it appearance at Ukraine Peace Summit, 15 June
Harris told Kyiv's delegation, which included Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensk* and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, that the largest chunk of the funding would help restore Ukraine's energy infrastructure, which Russian forces have relentlessly targeted.
[...]
"President Biden and my support for the people of Ukraine ... not out of charity, but because of the people of Ukraine and their future is in our strategic interest," Harris said. "It is in the interest of the United States to defend democratic values and stand up to dictators."
one day early and "ten to twelve trillion dollars" short
Harris intends to leave the summit after a leaders' dinner Saturday evening, according to the White House, but told reporters that the gathering has already been "productive."

"Jeddah Jake" Sullivan remained in Switzerland at the luxury Bürgenstock hotel home to take part in the summit in her place. He insisted Harris is not the only leader to skip out on Sunday's events, which will including break-out sessions to work on key issues, such as ways to secure the release of < wipes tears > kidnapped Ukrainian children in Russia's custody.

"Tomorrow is really—and it's not just with her, but other leaders, as well—turning it over to their teams to really try to drive through how we convert [the issues discussed] into practical progress in these various areas," said Sullivan, whose hotel sits atop a steep mountain dotted with sheep, and overlooks the beautiful Lake Lucerne below.

by Cat on Mon Jun 17th, 2024 at 03:15:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
pravda.ua | Switzerland seeks discussing Peace Summit with Russia and China
Asked whether Putin's arrival in Switzerland can be organised taking into account the arrest warrant of the ICC for further negotiations and, perhaps, conference on the peace in Ukraine, Amherd said that it was possible.

ukrinform. President's Office investigating whether some countries really withdrew their signatures

Lack of ratification of security agreement between USA and Ukraine will not affect its implementation

Merezhko noted that for American Presidents, so-called executive agreements are a more convenient tool for regulating international relations than those international treaties that, according to the US Constitution, require ratification, that is, the consent of two-thirds of the US Senate.
Putin's allies at Peace Summit make offer to help Ukraine
Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for human rights, Dmytro Lubinets noted that offers of help unexpectedly came even from countries that are considered pro-russian. These states offered their channels of communication with the Russian Federation. The Ombudsman did not specify which countries made such proposals.
The next summit with the participation of Russia should lead to the end of the war
"This is not the language that we hear from our Western partners," the Foreign Minister said.
by Cat on Tue Jun 18th, 2024 at 01:40:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
energyglobal | Honeywell and DTEK join forces for renewables integration into the energy mix (31.07.20)
The system will help maintain Ukraine's energy system, enable the integration of renewables into the energy mix, and decrease fossil fuel power generation. Moreover, the energy storage system will increase the flexibility of Ukraine's power grid and help pave the way for the country to join Europe's energy community (ENTSO-E) in the future.
archive DTEK Group invests $1 bln, DTEK Energy, ENTSO-E Ukraine, 400 MW export
dtek | DTEK Group enters Polish renewables market to build the first large-scale battery storage project in the country, 27 Mar 2024
DRI signed a final binding share purchase agreement with Poland's Columbus Energy on 27th March which will give it the right to build a 133 MW battery storage facility in southern Poland, subject to permitting approvals. which will give it the right to build a 133 MW battery storage facility in southern Poland, subject to permitting approvals. The agreement is DTEK's first major infrastructure investment in Poland and a key building block in the company's plan to create a pan-European energy system uniting Ukraine and the EU.
reuters | Ukraine agrees on first LNG supply deal with US company, 13 June
Under the agreement, DTEK's trading unit D. Trading will buy cargoes from Venture Global's Plaquemines LNG facility in Louisiana from later this year until the end of 2026. D. Trading will also purchase up to 2 million tonnes per year of LNG from Venture Global's third facility, Calcasieu Pass 2, for 20 years.

Ukraine currently has no regasification terminals for LNG imports but DTEK has contracts for re-gasification capacity elsewhere in Europe which have connecting pipelines [?] with Ukraine. DTEK was not immediately available for comment.

interfax | DTEK, Honeywell sign strategic partnership agreement at URC-24, 14 June
DTEK CEO Maxim Timchenko and Honeywell President for Central and Eastern Europe Przemek Szuder signed a strategic cooperation memorandum at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Berlin....Szuder said, for his part, that Honeywell with a portfolio focused on three global megatrends—automation, energy transition and the future of aviation—is an innovator in delivering technologies that accelerate energy transition and automation.
by Cat on Fri Jun 14th, 2024 at 09:13:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
rbc.ua | Dmitry Pletenchuk, Navy: A third of the Russian Black Sea Fleet has already been disabled, starving Africans memo to Lord Cameron
In an interview with RBC-Ukraine, the speaker of the Naval Forces Dmitry Pletenchuk told how Russian ships are fleeing from the occupied Crimea, where they are hiding, why they have not used Kalibry for rocket attacks for a long time, and how the enemy is now using the Crimean Bridge.
[...]
And how many launch vehicles did our Defense Forces manage to destroy?
Two MRCS and a submarine: Askold, Zyklon and Rostov-on-Don. That leaves eight, including three submarines, three Buyan-M ICBMs, and two Essen and Makarov frigates. I repeat, the Russians, in principle, could fire even from the Caspian Sea. But they are well aware that to leave is to show weakness, it is surrender. And now they are ready to die here for the sake of their imperial show-offs. Let's not disturb them.
And what would the destruction of the Crimean Bridge give Ukraine now?
Not the same effect anymore. Because it is almost never used for military logistics. Less than a quarter of the total load is carried by this bridge. The rest goes to the ferry crossing that was recently hit. Therefore, this bridge is already of such tactical and strategic importance after the damage it received as a result of a joint operation of the SBU and the Navy with a drone attack.
[...]
What is the current threat to Ukraine from Russia from the sea?
Kalibr cruise missile carriers and aircraft over the sea. Plus, they use the air space above the sea to launch other missiles from the Iskander OTRK, the Bal and Bastion coastal complexes.
Why have the Russians been systematically firing ballistics at Odessa from Crimea lately?
Because they can't get anything else. The key goal is port infrastructure.
Is there still a threat of amphibious landings in Odessa or our other regions?
No, it's completely absent. We must understand that, first of all, the enemy's amphibious capabilities are greatly reduced. Of the 14 ships, five remain in service. Secondly, they cannot approach our shore. Big ships aren't that fast. And, accordingly, it will be a very easy goal. They can try, but everyone knows how it will end: if they land on the beach, they will all be killed there, plus everything is booby-trapped.
[...]
by Cat on Mon Jun 17th, 2024 at 02:47:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
fp | Patriot Missiles Are Made in America and Fail Everywhere (28.03.18)
On March 25, Houthi forces in Yemen fired seven missiles at Riyadh. Saudi Arabia confirmed the launches and asserted that it successfully intercepted all seven.
This wasn't true. It's not just that falling debris in Riyadh killed at least one person and sent two more to the hospital. There's no evidence that Saudi Arabia intercepted any missiles at all. And that raises uncomfortable questions not just about the Saudis, but about the United States, which seems to have sold them —and its own public—a lemon of a missile defense system.
[...]
In fairness, the system deployed in Saudi Arabia—the Patriot Advanced Capability-2 or PAC-2 —is not well designed to intercept the Burkan-2 missiles that the Houthis are firing at Riyadh. The Burkan-2 flies around 600 miles and appears to have a warhead that separates from the missile itself.
[...]

Lockheed-Martin. PAC-3® MSE Overview.ppt 2023
ft | US to redirect Patriot air defence orders to Ukraine, 20 June
[...]
A senior White House official said the US would be "re-sequencing deliveries" of air defence systems including Patriots "so interceptors rolling off the production line now are provided to Ukraine".
Russia is firing a staggering 20,000 [!] artillery rounds per day (10.11.22)
Ukraine says Russia has launched over 8,000 [!] missiles, 4,630 [!] drones during war (22.02.24)
Russia is producing about 250,000 [!] artillery munitions per month (11.03.24)
"This decision demonstrates our commitment to supporting our partners when they're in existential danger. And our second message really is to Russia, which is that if they think they can outlast Ukraine in this war, they are mistaken," the official said. Washington has briefed all affected countries privately; air defence exports to Taiwan are not expected to be affected [?!]
[...]
The US-made Patriot systems are Washington's most advanced air defence weapons. They consist of a radar system and mobile launchers that can fire interceptor missiles at incoming projectiles or aircraft.
archive Lego Patriot, Ukraine's iron dome
by Cat on Thu Jun 20th, 2024 at 07:09:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jun 1st, 2024 at 05:18:26 PM EST
ChatGPT | With inflation soaring argentina will start printing 10,000 peso note (08.05.24)
"The new denomination note—five times the value of the previous biggest bill—is expected to hit the streets next month [JUNE] in a bid to 'facilitate transactions between users,' the central bank said. The 10,000 peso note is worth USD 11 at the country's official exchange rate and USD 9 at the ["blue peso"] market exchange rate."
Milei puts on a show musical at Luna Park as he launches new book (23.05.24)
"I wanted to do this because I wanted to sing," he said before singing along with an amateur band on a single song: his warped version of 'Panic Show' by Argentine rock trio La Renga. After his performance, the economist gave a lengthy economics lecture based on his 13th book Capitalismo, socialismo y la trampa neoclásica ("Capitalism, Socialism and the Neoclassical Trap"). Milei gave a lesson in liberal economics stretching from ancient Egypt to the fall of the Berlin Wall. In his speech, the President railed against socialism, defended monopolies, denied the existence of market failure and said that abortion was a "mechanism to massacre populations.
Read the book! La presentación del libro, A/V (ES) 02:54:28
archive May 2024 MICmarket penetration, April Bidenecómicas!
by Cat on Sun Jun 2nd, 2024 at 03:43:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
londonstockexchange | CLEANSING ANNOUNCEMENT, 17 June
Kyiv, Ukraine: The Government of Ukraine ("Ukraine") announces today that over a twelve-day period from 3 to 14 June 2024, representatives of Ukraine held meetings with members of the ad hoc creditor committee (the "Ad Hoc Creditor Committee") comprised of a number of major institutional asset managers and other long-term investors in Ukraine representing around 20% of the outstanding amount of Ukraine's Eurobonds, as well as with certain other holders of Eurobonds ("Investors") on a bilateral basis. Ukraine entered into the consultation period with the Ad Hoc Creditor Committee and the Investors to discuss, under non-disclosure agreements, the potential terms of a restructuring of Ukraine's thirteen series of outstanding Eurobonds (the "Eurobonds") listed in Annex
[...]
As detailed in Annex B, Ukraine's proposal (the "Sovereign Proposal") consisted of the exchange of the Eurobonds for either (i) a package of fixed income instruments (the "Vanilla Bonds") and state-contingent instruments (the "SCDIs") ("Option 1") or (ii) a package of Vanilla Bonds ("Option 2"). In relation to Option 1, the SCDIs would be converted into Vanilla Bonds based on a single test in 2027 with a face value dependent upon Ukraine's performance on tax revenues, subject to meeting conditions around real GDP levels projected in the IMF's baseline scenario. As such, if the revenue test and GDP target is met, the SCDIs would be replaced by fixed-income instruments of Ukraine whose cash flows would be certain. Both options have been designed to deliver holders cash flows during the IMF program period and provide for a nominal haircut ranging between 25 and 60% depending on the country's recovery over the IMF program period. The Sovereign Proposal also incorporated certain legal terms, including a "loss reinstatement" provision and a "most-favoured creditor" clause....
reuters | Ukraine's international bond rework derailed with little time left, 17 June
Ukraine has not been able to reach an agreement with a group of bondholders over restructuring some $20 billion of international debt during formal talks, it said on Monday, raising the spectre that the war-torn country might slip into default. An agreement with holders of international bonds that allowed Ukraine to suspend payments after Russia's invasion of the country in 2022 ends in August....Bondholders said the government's proposal had demanded a write down that was "significantly in excess of market expectation" which was consistent with a 20% "haircut".
alarabiya reuters | Ukraine's Marchenko says
"Strong armies must be underpinned by strong economies to win wars," he said, adding the country's economy was a "fragile balance" that hinged on consistent and substantial support from its partners. "Timely debt restructuring is a critical part of this support."
by Cat on Tue Jun 18th, 2024 at 05:55:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
tabloid Today EV startup Fisker files for bankruptcy, aims to sell assets, 18 June IRA tax credit and rebate Reduction Act
...Fisker went public in late 2020 in a merger with a blank-check firm, valuing it at $2.9 billion and infusing its balance sheet with more than $1 billion in cash.

The listing was a second chance for its Danish CEO [Henrik Fisker, former consultant at TSLA] and founder to build an auto business after his first venture, Fisker Automotive, filed for bankruptcy in 2013, falling victim to the 2008 financial crisis and a battery failure in the Karma hybrid sedan that had led to a substantial recall....

archive most favored EV, PHEV models May
by Cat on Tue Jun 18th, 2024 at 06:03:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
venezuelanalysis | Venezuela Edges Closer to Losing CITGO as Corporations Submit Binding Offers, 17 June
A total of 18 creditors are looking to collect a $21.3 billion combined debt, with a final sale decision expected in mid-July.
[...]
According to Reuters, at least five groups of investors put forward proposals. Sources disclosed that Wall Street banks JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and investment groups Rothschild & Co, and Elliott Investment Management, secured financing for auction bids.
[...]
Rusoro Mining, another Canadian company presented a non-binding offer in the previous round in January but did not disclose whether it submitted a second-round bid. It is owed $1.6 billion. Other rumored interested parties include hedge fund Elliott Investment and Centerview Partners. The latter has reportedly tried to join forces with ConocoPhillips. The US oil giant is looking to enforce two arbitration awards worth $1.3 and $10.2 billion, respectively. It did not state publicly whether it had submitted a bid.
[...]
The present CITGO board might lobby the court to open a third round of bidding if offers remain far from the company's $11-13 billion valuation. The highest amount put forward in the first round was just $7.3 billion. CITGO's board was appointed by the since-defunct Venezuelan self-proclaimed "interim government" headed by Juan Guaidó with US support.
[...]
reuters | Financial alliances build as Citgo share auction enters last mile, 17 June
by Cat on Wed Jun 19th, 2024 at 09:09:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Venezuela's Dual Power In Its Last Year?

The AN 2015's term was due to end in January 2021, and had been formally dissolved by President Maduro in 2017. However, it survived in exile with support from the U.S. government and allies.

The decision meeting took place on December 15th virtually, as most lawmakers are based in the U.S., Colombia, and Spain. Many of them are also substitutes, as some withdrew when their formal term ended in 2021 and for other reasons.

A failed regime change plan

In January 2019, a lawmaker from the AN 2015, Juan Guaidó, proclaimed himself as the interim president of the country. The argument was that the elections in 2018, where President Maduro was re-elected for a second term, were fraudulent. Guaidó was swiftly recognized by the U.S. and allied administrations.

Decision makers then in the Trump administration believed that they could trigger an uprising or military coup in Venezuela, by using a tough sanctions regime, diplomatic isolation, and the threat of invasion.

The European Union was a compliant commodity for the US capital vultures. UN Charter guarantees sovereignty of nations and non-intervention. American Century Pax and the NWO. The Replacement Theory of Colour Revolutions, a promising new era of fascism driven by Big Tech and today's AI.

U.S. Republican administration of George Bush and electronic voting systems [manipulation] sold to Venezuela ... after the successful  intervention in Palm Beach County butterfly ballots (John Bolton) to get GWB elected in the first place. American jewels of democracy expanded.

Behind-the scenes look at the political battle of battles: Bush v. Gore in 2000

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jun 20th, 2024 at 07:02:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
japantimes.co.jp | U.S. adds Japan to currency watchlist, 21 June
but stopped short of labeling it or any other trade partner as a currency manipulator.

While pointing out that Japan intervened to support the yen earlier this year, the Treasury took aim, instead, at Tokyo's large bilateral trade and current account surpluses.

"Treasury's expectation is that in large, freely traded exchange markets, intervention should be reserved only for very exceptional circumstances with appropriate prior consultations," the department said Thursday in its semiannual foreign-exchanges report. "Japan is transparent with respect to foreign exchange operations."

The other countries on the monitoring list were unchanged from the previous report in November: China, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Viet Nam.

U.S. interest rates at the highest in more than 20 years have kept the value of the dollar elevated against most other currencies. That, in turn, has put severe strain on major importers of dollar-priced commodities such as oil, as well as on those countries bearing dollar-denominated debt.
[...]

by Cat on Sat Jun 22nd, 2024 at 01:51:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
obektivno.bg | Western leaders gathered for a secret meeting , 30 May - 2 June, Madrid, Spain
70th Bilderbergite Summit this weekend.
[...]
This year's meeting in Madrid started on Thursday and ends on Sunday. Among those present were US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo and Vice National Security Adviser Jonathan Finer, Finnish President Alexander Stub, European Council President Charles Michel, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, as well as the Prime Ministers of the Netherlands and Estonia, the Foreign Ministers of Spain, Ukraine, Sweden, Poland and the Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland. Pfizer CEO Albert Burla, BP Chief Executive Officer Murray Auchinclos and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt will take part in the world of business, along with several AI executives from Google, Microsoft and the Anthropic PBC. Despite the fact that Russia is one of the topics, there is not a single Rusnak among the invited guests.
[...]
"To say that we want one world government is an exaggeration, but it's not entirely unfair," commented Dennis Healy [10.03.01], one of the group's founders. "Those of us in Bilderberg we felt that we couldn't go on forever fighting each other about anything so we kill people and leave millions of people homeless. So we think a community around the world would be nice""
treasury.gov | Remarks by Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo at Atlantik Brücke and the Transatlantic Business Initiative Event, 31 May
[...]
We should not be blind to the fact that a growing Russian military with material support from Chinese companies will only grow in ambition.

Our Response

That's why we must be explicit with every individual, company, and country that providing the Russian military-industrial complex [MIC] with support is unacceptable.

This needs to start at home, including with companies within our countries. As Ukrainians have directly raised with me, Russian weapons found on the battlefield have American- and European-branded components. The United States is engaging with our manufacturing, distribution, and freight forwarding firms to build out better compliance regimes to prevent our goods from ending up in Russia. We need our allies to do the same housekeeping with their private sectors, and we need companies around the world to take similar steps.
[...]

by Cat on Sun Jun 2nd, 2024 at 09:51:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | EU looks at using its own budget as guarantee for huge loan to Ukraine, 4 June collateral reparations cock up
The European Commission is floating the idea of using future interest generated [sic]  by the investment of Russian assets frozen in Europe to pay back a loan [FROM WHOM?] that would, crucially, use the might of the bloc's €1.2 trillion seven-year budget as collateral. This is similar to a joint proposal [nope] pushed by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, but would see the EU acting alone.
wut
The original plan, which finance ministers of the G7 gave a cautious welcome to at a meeting last month, would see the U.S., or G7 countries jointly, securing the loan for Kyiv, while using the profits [!] of the Russian assets mainly held in Europe to pay back the interest [?!] on it.
[...]
The U.S. signaled the size of the loan [TO EU?] should be €50 billion, but the amount hasn't been agreed yet. Washington's idea would be for the frozen assets to be used to pay back [humanitarian OR weapons assistance?] the remaining [?] share of the loan [TO UKRAINE?] after the end of the war. While Washington initially suggested the U.S. would issue the loan [nope] to Ukraine with Europeans guaranteeing the funding RUSSIA reparations payment to UKRAINE, EU officials privately dismissed the idea.
USD 61B supplement PLUS "G7+ contributions"
They noted that the U.S. administration is keen to transfer risks to EU countries because < wipes tears > President Joe Biden does not want to involve Congress in ratifying the agreement appropriating moar Yermak "non-repaybable" Rassmussen "financial assistance", fearing that opposition from < wipes tears > Republican lawmakers will drag out the process past November's presidential election.
[...]
reuters | ECB cuts rates, keeps next move under wraps, 8 June
The European Central Bank cut interest rates for the first time in five years on Thursday but kept [Green MIC] investors in the dark about its next move given increasing uncertainty over inflation after a sharp slowdown in the past year. The ECB lowered its record-high deposit rate by 25 basis points to 3.75%, joining the central banks of Canada, Sweden, and Switzerland in starting to unwind some of the steepest rate hikes used to tame a post-pandemic inflation surge. Some economists say the biggest risk to the rate cut schedule is actually the U.S. Federal Reserve, not wages and inflation. The Fed has clearly signalled a delay in policy easing and a further delay in U.S. rate cuts is likely to make the ECB more cautious too, as a widening interest rate differential would weaken the euro and raise imported inflation.
ecb.europa.eu | Why we adjusted interest rates, 8 June
by Cat on Sun Jun 9th, 2024 at 04:34:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BRENNAN: Your republican colleague Senator Tommy Tuberville just this past week said on Steve Bannon!s show that Volodymir Zelensk* is a dictator and unconstitutional, and he said this about Vladimir Putin [VIDEO CLIP: He doesn't want Ukraine. He doesn't want Europe. Hell, he's got enough land of this own. He just wants to to make sure that he does not have United States weapons in Ukraine pointing at Moscow.] Those echo some Russian talking points. Senator, I wonder if those remarks from your fellow senator represent the GOP.
CRACKER: No. It represents him and him alone. If you spend fifteen minutes studying Putin and what he wants, he wants to recreate the Russian empire. He's not going to stop in Ukraine. We celebrated the 80th anniversary of D-Day. It was a failure. It was the unnecessary war described by Winston Churchill. We had a dozen chances to stop Hitler. It's not about NATO. It's not about American weapons in Ukraine. It's about a megalomaniac wanting to create the Russian empire by force of arms. If you don't stop him, there goes Taiwan [?!]. We've been slow as hell helping Ukraine, but Senator Tuberville's analysis really misses what Putin's all about. He's an outlier, I think, in the Republican Party. I like him personally, but what did Trump [?] do to get the weapons flowing? He created a loan system. They're sitting on ten to twelve trillion dollars of critical minerals in Ukraine. They could be the richest country in all of Europe. I don't want to give that money and those assets to Putin to share with China [?!]. If we help Ukraine now, they can become the best business partner we ever dreamed of. That ten to twelve trllion dollars of critical mineral assets could be used by Ukraine and the west, not given to Putin and China. This is a very big deal, how Ukraine ends. Let's help them win a war we can't afford to lose. Let's find a solution to this war, but they're sitting on a gold mine. To give to Putin ten to twelve trillion dollars of critical minerals that he will share with China is ridiculous.
oh
by Cat on Mon Jun 10th, 2024 at 12:12:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
duhh 🫠

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Jun 10th, 2024 at 09:10:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Mon Jun 10th, 2024 at 01:44:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
@ 02:13:26, "We Build Ukraine" infomercial (US-Eng.)
@ 02.15.10, Olaf Scholz opening speech
justice.go | neighbourhood-enlargement.ec. | Opening speech by President von der Leyen at the Ukraine Recovery Conference (11.06.24)
...The rationale of this conference has always been to look beyond Ukraine's immediate needs and chart a credible path towards its economic renaissance. In London last year, I presented the new EUR 50 billion Facility for Ukraine, to provide predictable support until 2027. And Member States supported, also thanks to your tireless personal effort, Olaf. The Facility is backed by a solid plan for reforms and investments. It is now up and running. EUR 6 billion have already reached Ukraine. And here in Berlin, we are signing the first agreements worth EUR 1.4 billion with our partner banks, to attract investments in Ukraine from the private sector. And, as you have already mentioned, Olaf, we will also launch dedicated support for equity investments in Ukraine. Our partner banks will be able to apply for EU budget support, when they invest in equity funds active in Ukraine. In that way, we, the EU, help them remove some of the risks associated with equity investments. Our aim is to improve access to finance for Ukrainian businesses, especially for SMEs and start-ups that can help modernise the Ukrainian economy, for example, in areas like IT and digitalisation, renewable energy, and critical raw materials....
urc-international.com | Ukraine Recovery Conference, 11-12 June 2024, Berlin, DE
motto United in defence. United in recovery. Stronger together.
The key goal of the URC2024 is to mobilise* continued international support for recovery, reconstruction, reform, and modernization of Ukraine.
[...]
The URC2024 will focus on the following four thematic dimensions:
Business Mobilising the Private Sector for Reconstruction and Growth
Human Social Recovery and Human Capital for the Future
Local and Regional Recovery of Municipalities and Regions
EU Ascension and Related Reforms
"Success Stories" video ribbon

* a "fraught" turn of phrase

by Cat on Thu Jun 13th, 2024 at 06:53:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See also NATO declaration of war on Russia at Bucharest Summit in Spring 2008.

Zijlstra admits faking story about Putin's 'greater Russia' ambitions | Dutch News |

Foreign affairs minister Halbe Zijlstra (VVD) has admitted lying about being at a meeting where Vladimir Putin supposedly set out his plans for a 'Greater Russia'.

Zijlstra claimed that he had overheard the Russian president talking about his expansionist ambitions during a gathering of businesspeople at Putin's dacha in 2006. At the time Zijlstra was working for Shell. But in an interview in De Volkskrant at the weekend he admitted that he had not been at the meeting, but 'borrowed' the anecdote from someone whose identity he wanted to protect.



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Jun 10th, 2024 at 09:28:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ft | British army delays King Charles cap badges over China spying fears, 15 June
[T]he Yorkshire-based company contracted to make the badges, Wyedean Weaving, sources some of its manufacturing capacity from factories in China.

"There is a fear that tracking devices or a GPS transmitter could be embedded in the cap badges," a senior UK defence official said. "The result is a delay in the introduction of the cap badges as < wipes tears > the UK does not have the capacity to manufacture them as quickly or as cheaply," the official added.
[...]
Wyedean won a £2.9mn three-year subcontract in 2022 from US-listed defence services company Leidos, which has a direct contract with the UK MoD, declined to comment. Susannah Walbank, Wyedean's systems director, said the family-owned company was waiting for final approval to press ahead with the badges.

"China is part of our supply chains, we have been there for 15 years [!], have long-standing relationships, and there has never been any concern," Walbank said, adding that the new cap badges would be made "in a mix of places, including China" and that they would be quality checked in the UK.

by Cat on Sat Jun 15th, 2024 at 04:56:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's recap G7 mobilized "debt-raising"
A legal framework should be developed
Eurozone governments rush to sell bonds
collateral for a bond issued by a special-purpose vehicle
PV, NPV, IRR

Now, this.
reuters | Biden, France's Macron reach agreement on using Russian assets for Ukraine, 10 June Macron set theory

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Sunday he had reached an agreement with French President Emmanuel Macron on the use of profits from frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine.
[...]
The Group of Seven nations and the European Union [enTitY] are considering how to use profits generated by Russian assets immobilized in the West to provide Ukraine with a large up-front loan [for UKRAINE] now and secure Kyiv's financing for 2025.
< wipes tears >
The funds [sic] generate 2.5 billion to 3.5 billion euros a year in profit, which the EU says is < wipes tears > not contractually owed to Russia
archive eur-lex.europa.eu: "they do not constitute sovereign assets. Therefore, the rules protecting sovereign assets are not applicable to these revenues." (21.05.24)
and therefore represents a windfall [sic]. The idea, championed by the U.S., is to use this [orphan] profit as a steady ["guaranteed"] revenue stream to service [pay principal and interest owed] a large loan of $50 billion [for UKRAINE] that could not be [ADVANTAGE UKRAINE rings a bell]
[INCONTINENCE ALERT]
raised on the market.
by Cat on Mon Jun 10th, 2024 at 01:37:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
bloomberg | France's Bond Yield Reaches Highest This Year on Snap Election, 10 June
French government bonds sold off sharply on Monday amid mounting concerns over the nation's finances after President Emmanuel Macron called a snap election. and Biden agreed to embezzle RUSSIAN assets.
[...]
The vote is sharpening the growing focus on the country's < wipes tears > fiscal challenges, which culminated with a credit downgrade by S&P Global Ratings last month. France's bonds, long considered one of the safest in the euro area, have been falling out of favor as the fiscal picture worsens, with the extra yield on 10-year bonds over German securities doubling from pre-Covid levels.
by Cat on Mon Jun 10th, 2024 at 02:10:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | EU looks at using its own budget as guarantee for huge loan to Ukraine, 4 June
[...]
"The attractiveness of this option for the EU may critically depend on the nature of the assurances that the United States is seeking, other G7+ contributions, the < wipes tears > governance of the loan, and the spending as well as how the financial risk is shared," the document says.

Tricky negotiations lie ahead

The plan to secure a loan unilaterally won't be without its complications for the EU however.
[...]
In a strategic win earlier this year, Hungary secured a guarantee that the decision to keep the Russian funds frozen would be renewed unanimously by the EU's 27 countries every six months. This allows Budapest to potentially turn off the taps for Ukraine at any time. The Commission's document suggests finding a way to work around this requirement in order to give more < wipes tears > predictability to the loan.

by Cat on Tue Jun 11th, 2024 at 05:29:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukraine pushes forward with war compensation mechanism, despite lack of funding
The estimated price tag for the damage caused to Ukraine by Russia's full-scale invasion is $1 trillion.
[...]
Funding [sic] for such mechanisms has historically been tricky.
How the US pay war reparations to Viet Nam
How Japan and France evaded war reparations to Viet Nam
How Monsanto paid for loss and damages in Viet Nam
What if Euroclear offered Russia a checking account with a free toaster?
[...]
Last month, however, Ukraine won a small victory. Brussels announced it would hand over the profits from those frozen assets—the interest earned on money in a bank account, for example—to a special fund for Ukraine. The estimated 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) per year will reimburse EU member states for weapons and ammunition they send to Ukraine, but might in the future help Ukrainians rebuild their homes and lives.
by Cat on Tue Jun 18th, 2024 at 09:43:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ASEAN (1967 FTA): BN, ID, KH, LA, MM, MY, PH, SG, TL, TH, VN
EAS (2005 East Asia Summit): CN, RU, IN, KR, ASEAN; US, AU, JP, NZ

bloomberg | Viet Nam Greets Putin in Boost to Ties, Ignoring US Criticism, 20 June
"The visit demonstrates that Viet Nam actively implements its foreign policy with the spirit of independence, self-reliance, diversification, multilateralism," according to a statement on Viet Nam's government website.

Viet Nam and Russia have TIES going back decades to the Soviet Union.

fmprc | Xi Jinping to Pay a State Visit to Viet Nam (12.07.23)

fmprc | Wang Yi Meets with a Delegation of the Communist Party of Viet Nam (22.03.24)

Putin said nearly 60% of trade transactions between the two countries were in rubles [RUB] and Vietnamese dong [VND]. Russia relies on alternative payment settlement systems since its banks are cut off from the international payments system SWIFT.

The Russian president is expected to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and meet officials including Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong, Chinh and President To Lam, according to Viet Nam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

archive US defeat by Viet Nam, financing the Viet Nam caper, NEW! Green Zone embassy garrison, Lula and Võ Văn Thưởng, Biden's high-stakes Asia sojourn, a return to normalcy and end of Viet Nam, A/RES/ES-10/21, 27 Oct 2023
by Cat on Thu Jun 20th, 2024 at 03:30:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
state.gov | Press Briefing - June 20, 2024
QUESTION: On this, you talk about the UN Charter and the territory—sovereignty and territorial integrity. What's the U.S. record on that with regard to Viet Nam?
MILLER: So obviously we have—were involved in a conflict in Viet Nam many years ago, ancient history, and we are glad to see the—
QUESTION: It's not so ancient. I mean, I was alive during it.
MILLER: We—we are—yeah—
QUESTION: I don't know, maybe not others were, but I&mash;but it's not ancient. It's not ancient history, and—
MILLER: I wasn't trying to insult you, Matt, just to be clear. That said, we have&mDash;
QUESTION: But look, I mean, in the early 1960s, the U.S. actually went into Viet Nam and stayed there until 1975, so—
MILLER: I am full aware of the long historical record between our two countries, and in the years since you have seen a broad reconciliation between our countries and between our two peoples.
QUESTION: Okay, but when you say that you want the Russians to respect the UN Charter as it relates to Viet Nam and—
MILLER: I was speaking as it respects to Ukraine—with respect to Ukraine.
QUESTION: Well, anywhere.
MILLER: Yeah.
QUESTION: As it relates to Viet Nam, you don't exactly have the best record, right?
MILLER: So as usual, I'm not going to litigate the full history of American foreign policy.
QUESTION: You don't have to litigate it.
by Cat on Sat Jun 22nd, 2024 at 02:45:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
bloomberg | Europe in Talks to Keep Russia-Ukraine Gas Pipeline Flowing, 10 June transit fees
[...]
One option that's been discussed is for European companies to buy and inject gas from Azerbaijan into Russian pipelines heading to Europe, according to some of the people. Such an arrangement would allow Europe to avoid the embarrassment of buying Russian gas at a time when it's trying to crimp Moscow's revenues.
[...]
No comment: RF, Gazprom, Transneft, AZ, Socar, SK, AS, DE, Uniper
"There are two factors we should always remember," Oleksiy Chernyshov, chief executive of Ukraine's state-run Naftogaz, told Bloomberg News on Monday. "One is that Ukraine has incredible infrastructure of transit and storage gas, which should be used, and Ukraine is predisposed to use this infrastructure because it brings a lot of [income]." He ruled out any plan that involved working with Russia's Gazprom PJSC, and said bringing gas from Azerbaijan "might have some future."
[...]
Russia still ships around 15 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe a year, mainly to Slovakia and Austria, where Russia is still a dominant supplier. In Austria, Russian gas has covered more than 80% of Austrian consumption for five straight months. Europe also imports Russian LNG by ship, and despite frequent debates about whether it should, it has never sanctioned Russian gas.
< wipes tears >
"I'm doing everything to find a solution that the Ukrainian gas transportation system will continue to be operational because it's a big asset and someone should be a customer," Chernyshov said. "Otherwise it's loss generating."
archive Naftogaz, Druzhba 2022, OGTSU, Yamal, Sudzha, Togliatti-Odessa 2023, TAP
by Cat on Tue Jun 11th, 2024 at 07:55:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]

ChatGPT. O RLY?
..."What Washington is proposing is, 'We [the U.S.] take a loan, Europe takes all the risk, you [Europe] pay the interest, and we [the U.S.] use the money for a U.S.-Ukraine fund,'" said one senior European diplomat.
(proof marks in original - ed)
[..]
Governments are in a race against time, not just because Ukraine desperately needs the money, but because there's no certainty that a Donald Trump presidency would back the initiative. A final agreement will now be delayed until at least the fall, according to three officials.
EU-US Treasury bonds?
To front-load that aid, Washington suggested taking on a $50 billion loan for Ukraine < wipes tears>, which would be paid back each year with the profits generated by immobilized Russian assets.
WWIII Marshall Plan for yerp?
[...]
"If it was the other way around, they would say we are crazy," said an EU official about the U.S. proposal.
[...]
"The EU can be naïve, but this goes too far," said an EU diplomat. "This would benefit mostly American companies, so we have to discuss the conditions more in detail." Officials are now discussing whether to issue the loan through the World Bank or an ad hoc instrument, with the officials saying the EU wanted to negotiate the exact conditions to avoid their companies being left out of profitable Ukrainian contracts....
yahoo! afp | G7 to agree $50-bn Ukraine loan at Italy summit, 13 June
"We are on the verge of a good outcome here," US National Security Advisor Jake Sssullivan said Thursday, adding that the details still needed to be thrashed out.
archive REPO Act "Ukraine Support Fund", the keepers of global values
by Cat on Thu Jun 13th, 2024 at 12:21:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
whitehouse.gov | Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby (17.06.24)
Q  Can you explain why you just called it a, quote, unquote, "loan"?
KIRBY: Because it's not as if—because if you're using the windfall profits, it's not as if Ukraine is going to have to pay those back. It's going to—you're going to continue to be able to source that through—through the frozen assets and the—the windfall profits from those assets.
by Cat on Thu Jun 20th, 2024 at 08:17:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]

euractiv. 14th EU Russia sanctions package includes first-ever third-country LNG restrictions

...The new restrictions under the package will not hit the majority of Russia's liquid natural gas (LNG) exports to the EU. However, the ban on trans-shipments is the first restriction the bloc has applied to LNG, a first-ever far-reaching measure that would have once seemed unthinkable in terms of reaching unanimity at the EU level. Now, ports [sic] in the EU will not be allowed to resell Russian LNG, and financing Russia's planned Arctic and Baltic LNG terminals will be blocked....
euronews | EU agrees new sanctions on Russia, targeting LNG for the first time
...About 22% of these supplies (4.4 bcm) were trans-shipped globally, with 1.6 bcm sent to other member states, CREA says. The rest went to China, India, Türkiye, and other clients.
[...]
"This hard-hitting package will further deny Russia access to key technologies," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. "It will strip Russia of further energy revenues. And tackle Putin's shadow fleet and shadow banking network abroad."
eunew.it | 14th sanctions package targets EU sale of LNG from Moscow to third-countries
...Official approval and publication of the package will have to wait for the EU Foreign Affairs Council on Monday, June 24. However, EU sources say the sanctions will affect "more than 100 new persons and eNtITieS, for a total of over 2,200," and include measures to cut back on "imports, investments, and transshipments of LNG."
[...]
The agreement reached today by EU ambassadors does not include an outright import ban: European companies will still be able to purchase Russian LNG, but [they] will be prohibited to re-export (or transshipment) it to other countries....
by Cat on Thu Jun 20th, 2024 at 07:50:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | China is threatening EU agriculture. Should farmers squeal? , 11 June illustrated paronomasia
Pork and dairy are first at the plate, according to the state-owned Global Times. Over the last two weeks, it has reported that the Chinese government is considering anti-dumping probes into imports of both foods, which in 2023 accounted for nearly €5 billion—a quarter [25%] of EU agri-food exports to the Asian giant and 2 percent of total exports.
volume or value?
[...]
Cheaper Brazilian and U.S. protein is already cutting into Europe's margins, complained [Belgian Meat Office manager Joris] Coenen, and EU producers can't easily redirect volume to emerging markets like Viet Nam and the Philippines. Duties are currently 12 percent. Hoist them to 20 percent and exporters are in trouble.
[...]
Piggybacking

But context is important too. Only a tenth [10%] of Europe's pork leaves the bloc, of which less than half [< 5%] goes to China.

wut
In threatening higher pork duties, Beijing is also "piggybacking": trying to profit from a step they might take anyway due to domestic oversupply, said Jacob Gunter, lead analyst on economy for the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS).
[...]
Beijing is already looking to finalize its near-complete self-sufficiency in grains, with its first "food security law" taking effect last week. The strategy "puts China first" by importing moderately and using scientific and technological advances to boost output [yield].
[...]
Spotlight on the top five EU agri-food exports to China over the past 5 years, in value in euros. Details of the product categories can be found here.
First question: Which EU states cultivate coffee, tea, cocoa, and "spices"? Second question: What are inedible agri-foods?
by Cat on Tue Jun 11th, 2024 at 03:00:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
12 June | 17 June
bloombrg | China Launches Anti-Dumping Probe on Imports of EU Pork (17.06.24)
The investigation began on Monday, according to a statement from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. China is the EU's biggest overseas market for pork, although [EU] export volumes have fallen off in recent years due to [CN] domestic oversupply and low prices. Still, the trade was worth $1.83 billion last year, with farmers in Spain, Denmark, and the Netherlands the biggest beneficiaries.
archive NEO Beijing autoshow 2024, third-country EV battery swapping since 2019
euractiv | OpEd | EU, China and pigs in the middle, 18 June
John Clarke is the former director for international relations at DG Agriculture at the European Commission and former head of the EU Delegation to the WTO and UN in Geneva.

China confirmed European producers' worst fears yesterday when it announced the launch of an anti-dumping investigation into imports of European pork.
Chinese officials made no secret that the launch was in retaliation against Europe's imposition last week of higher than anticipated anti-subsidy tariffs on imports of Chinese Electric Vehicles (EVs): up to 38% duty on top of the existing 10% applied to all imported cars.
[...]
But in this author's view, China's move is misguided, and it may come to regret it.
[1] ...An anti-dumping case (along with vague allegations of distorting subsidies) launched for purely political and tit-for-tat retaliatory reasons hardly inspires confidence in China's attachment to those multilateral principles....
[2] the move will not have the desired deterrent or leverage effect. Spain, the Netherlands, and Denmark are unlikely by themselves to be able to swing EU decision-makers against the imposition of definitive EV duties, expected early next year....
Wrong victims. Germany and France < wipes tears > should have been the targets if that [EV market entry]  is China's objective...
[3]...WTO law and practice assumes retaliation—where legal—to be focused where possible on the sector under dispute. Cars for cars, planes for planes, and so on. To routinely take unrelated sectors hostage in trade disputes is a risky policy with unforeseen consequences....
[4] is it wise to target commodity foodstuffs, notably in a country like China, for which food security is a perennial pre-occupation? Even the EU excluded food from its Russia sanctions list. Food politics is fools' politics. Food relies on long-term contracts between supplier and buyer.
[...]

dont-say-solidarity-lanes. dont-say-starving-africans.
by Cat on Tue Jun 18th, 2024 at 02:19:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]

telesur. Maximum Security Deployed Ahead of G7 Summit in Italy
Some 1,500 extra troops have been deployed across the country, adding to some 6,800 troops already involved in security operations leading up to the event. Border controls have been temporarily reinforced at all land, air and sea entry points. Extra checks will be in place around sensitive targets in the provinces of Bari and Brindisi until 2 p.m. local time on June 18....The agenda of this summit includes six working sessions about African development and climate change, the situation in the Middle East, the Ukraine-Russia conflict, migration, the Indo-Pacific region, and a special session focusing on [computer programming, hard skills, soft skills,] and energy. The G7 leaders are expected to agree on a plan to freeze billions of U.S. dollars in Russian assets and use the money to financially support Ukraine.
by Cat on Thu Jun 13th, 2024 at 04:27:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu Jun 13th, 2024 at 04:29:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
arabnews | Saudi foreign minister arrives in Russia for BRICS meeting, 10 June
Prince Faisal met with Lavrov on the sidelines of the meeting on Monday and also held talks with Yvan Eduardo Gil Pinto of Venezuela on the same day.
Hajj 14-19 June 2024
spa.gov.sa | HRH the Crown Prince Sends Regrets, 12 June
to Giorgia Meloni, Prime Minister of the Italian Republic for the kind invitation that he received to participate in the communication session of the G7 summit, which will be held in the Italian Republic on June 14, 2024, corresponding to 8 Thu Al-Hijjah 1445(H). The cable included HRH's regret for not being able to participate due to commitments related to overseeing the works of the Hajj season. HRH emphasized the depth of the relationship between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the friendly Italian Republic, and he wished success for the summit's proceedings
ChatGPT dpa | Ukraine's Zelensk* visits Saudi Arabia ahead of Swiss peace talks, 12 June
Saudi Arabia does not want want to take part in the June 15-16 [Global Peace] conference as Russia will not attend, sources® in Riyadh said earlier this month on condition of anonymity
arabnews | Pope Francis to weigh in on 'ethical' [computer programming] at G7 summit, 13 June
..."The Church always looks to humans as the center of its mission," said Paolo Benanti, a Franciscan university professor and member of the UN's [computer programming] advisory body, who directly advises the pope. "From this perspective it is clear that the [computer programming] that interests the Church is not the technical tool, but how the tool can impact on the life of man," he told AFP....
indiatoday | PM Modi leaves for Italy, to meet world leaders tomorrow, 14 June
and is expected to arrive in Apulia later tonight. During the ["G7 Outreach"] summit, which is likely to be dominated by the raging war in Ukraine and the conflict in Gaza, India will focus on ["Outreach session"] issues such as [computer programming], energy, Africa [?], and the Mediterranean region. PM Modi is likely to hold bilateral meetings with a number of world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, Italy's Giorgia Meloni and others, attending the outreach session of the G7 summit. In a departure statement, PM Modi said issues crucial for the Global South will also be deliberated upon at the outreach session.
by Cat on Thu Jun 13th, 2024 at 10:45:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
nasdaq | U.S-Saudi Petrodollar Pac Ends after 50 Years, 11 June G7 de-industrialization
The "petrodollar" agreement, formalized after the 1973 [OPEC EMBARGO] stipulated that Saudi Arabia would price its oil exports exclusively in U.S. dollars and invest its surplus oil revenues in U.S. Treasury bonds. In return, the U.S. provided military support and protection to the kingdom.
[...]
The global demand for dollars to purchase oil has helped to keep the currency strong, making imports relatively cheap for American consumers. Additionally, the influx of foreign capital into U.S. Treasury bonds has supported low interest rates and a robust bond market.
[...]
The agreement between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia expired on June 9, 2024. This expiration has far-reaching implications, as it has the potential to disrupt the global financial order.
[...]
archive to get a mega-deal with Saudi Arabia, price-taker's guide to the galaxy,  KSA enjoys market power in New Trade and Security, The Embargo That Must Not be Named, So what really happened in the 70s?
by Cat on Fri Jun 14th, 2024 at 10:33:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
osu.edu | The Yom Kippur War and the OPEC Oil Embargo
Operation Nickel Grass
history.state.gov | Oil Embargo, 1973-1974
Project Independence
wikiwtf
Initially, Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger suggested to Kissinger that the USA invade Saudi Arabia and another Arab countries and seize their oil fields. Kissinger stated in a private state department meeting that it's "ridiculous that the civilized world is held up by 8 million savages... Can't we overthrow one of the sheikhs just to show that we can do it?" They formed a plan to invade Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. Kissinger publicly threatened "countermeasures" in a Nov 21st, 1973 press conference if the embargo was not lifted, and the Saudis responded with threatening further oil cuts and to burn their oil fields if the US military invaded. After the CIA confirmed these threats, Kissinger gave up military intervention and decided that dealing with Israel's troop withdrawals and settled on diplomatic solutions to the oil embargo.
state.gov | Second Arab Oil Embargo, 1973-1974he United States announced Project Independence to promote domestic energy independence. It also engaged in intensive diplomatic efforts among its allies, promoting a consumers' union that would provide strategic depth and a consumers' cartel to control oil pricing. Both of these efforts were only partially successful. The Nixon Administration also began a parallel set of negotiations with Arab oil producers to end the embargo, and with Egypt, Syria, and Israel to arrange an Israeli pull back from the Sinai and the Golan Heights.
On November 7, 1973, Kissinger flew to Riyadh to meet King Faisal and ask him to end the oil embargo in exchange for promising to be "evenhanded" with the Arab-Israeli dispute.
energyhistory.eu | Oil, dollars, and US power in the 1970s
The US government played its cards skillfully: on 8 June, at a ceremony in Washington DC, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Crown Prince Fahd signed before cameras a framework agreement for the creation of two joint US-Saudi commissions (an economic one, and a military one), aimed at the promotion of Saudi investments in the US in exchange for US cooperation in technology and in the modernization of Saudi Arabia's armed forces.41
--
41. "'Milestone' pact is signed by US and Saudi Arabia", New York Times, 9.6.1974. The importance of Saudi investments in the US was repeatedly stressed in the correspondence between the two sides throughout 1975: USNA, RG 56, Chronological files of Gerald Parsky, 1975-1976, FRC 1.
Only on March 18, 1974 did the king end the oil embargo after Sadat, whom he trusted, reported to him that the United States was being more "evenhanded" and after Kissinger had promised to sell Saudi Arabia weapons that it had previously denied under the grounds that they might be used against Israel. More important, Saudi Arabia had billions of dollars invested in western banks, and the massive bout of inflation set off by the oil embargo was a threat to this fortune as inflation eroded the value of the money, giving Faisal a vested interest in helping to contain the damage he himself inflicted on the economies of the West.
history.state.gov | Shuttle Diplomacy and the Arab-Israeli Dispute*, 1974-1975
...With Jordan no longer in a position to press the United States for a negotiation with Israel, and Israel unwilling to talk with the PLO, Sadat convinced President Ford and Kissinger that they should spend 1975 pushing for a second agreement between Israel and Egypt over the Sinai. Unlike Sinai I, however, negotiations for this second agreement proved far more challenging and lasted several months....
"Democracy Shield"
Reports of the petrodollar system's demise are 'fake news'—here's why, 15 June
[1] Almost immediately, Google searches for the term "petrodollar" spiked to the highest level on record dating back to 2004 < wipes tears > according to Google Trends data.

[2] According to UBS Global Wealth Management chief economist Paul Donovan a formal agreement demanding that Saudi Arabia price its crude oil in dollars never existed. Rather, Saudi Arabia continued accepting other currencies—most notably the British pound for its oil even after the 1974 agreement on joint economic cooperation was struck. It wasn't until later that year that the Kingdom stopped accepting the pound as payment.

[3] Perhaps the closest thing to a petrodollar deal was a secret agreement between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia reached in late 1974, which promised military aid and equipment in exchange for the Kingdom investing billions of dollars of its oil-sales proceeds in U.S. Treasurys, Donovan said. The existence of this agreement < wipes tears > wasn't revealed until 2016, when Bloomberg News filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the National Archives.

[4] "The evidence for any kind of conspiracy is thin to nonexistent," Eurasia Group analyst Gregory Brew told MarketWatch in an interview on Friday. "There is a very clear record of both the Americans and the Saudis being concerned in the aftermath of the global oil shock of what Saudi surpluses would do to the global economy."


by Cat on Sat Jun 15th, 2024 at 02:04:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ALKHOSHID @ 21:57: Dimitry, the United States—this new movement on the part of the Unitates in the Middle Eas—is in the new article in Wall Street Journal. It says that it seems the United States is offering Saudia Arabia a formal defese treaty in return for normalizing with Israel and vowing to distance itself from China and prohibit Chinese bases. Do you think that at the end of the day they would convince Saudi Arabia to do that?
ORLOV: Well, I think that the idea of the United States offering some kind of a security deal to Saudi Arabia is eliciting peals of laughter from the Saudis. The United States can't pretend to protect anyone, not its military bases in Iraq or Syria, not Israel. If Iran wants to attack Israel using hypersonic weapons, the United States is powerless to stop it. The United States has completely failed to provide Saudi oil installations [defense] from Houthi attacks, and the Houtis are commonly portrayed with this sort of stone-age people, if you will, but for some reason they're better militarily than the United Sates at this point, to the point of being able to attack American aircraft carriers.
dodig.mil | Audit of the DoD's Revaluation of the Support Provided to Ukraine Through Presidential Drawdown Authority (Report No. DODIG‑2024‑095), 11 June
by Cat on Sat Jun 15th, 2024 at 01:01:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We recognize the impact of AI on the military domain and the need for a framework for responsible development and use. We welcome those who have endorsed the Political Declaration on Responsible Military Use of AI and Autonomy (REAIM) and the REAIM Call to Action, and we encourage more States to do so to ensure that military use of AI is responsible, complies with applicable international law, particularly international humanitarian law, and enhances international security. [Apulia G7 Communiqué:23]
To speak of technology is to speak of what it means to be human and thus of our singular status as beings who possess both freedom and responsibility. This means speaking about ethics. [Partecipazione del Santo Padre Francesco al G7 a Borgo Egnazia]
There are a number of reasons why the discussion of the right or the ability to judge touches on the most important moral issue. Two things are involved here: First, how can I tell right from wrong, if the majority or my whole environment has prejudged the issue? Who am I to judge? And second, to what extent, if at all, can we judge past events or occurances at which we were not present? As to the latter, it seems glaringly obvious that no historiography and no courtroom procedure would be possible at all if we denied ourselves this capability. One might go a step further and maintain that there are very few instances in which, in using our capacity to judge, we do not judge by hindsight, and again this is equally true of the historiographer as it is of the trial judge, who may have good reasons to mistrust eyewitness accounts or the judgment of those who were present. [Responsibility and Judgment (2003):19]

by Cat on Mon Jun 17th, 2024 at 11:48:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu Jun 13th, 2024 at 10:52:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sun Jun 16th, 2024 at 12:11:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
globalnews.ca | Canada's senate passes foreign interference bill, awaits LOL royal assent,
20 June dont-say-Georgia-say-foreign-interference!
[...]
The transparency registry < wipes tears > would require certain individuals to register with the federal government to help guard against such activity.

Civil society groups called for more time to consider the legislation—introduced in the House of Commons less than seven weeks ago—saying the rush could could result in flawed provisions that violate people's rights.

openparliament.ca | Bill C-70
Part 4 enacts the Foreign Influence Transparency and Accountability Act which, among other things,
(a) provides for the appointment of an individual to be known as the Foreign Influence Transparency Commissioner;
(b) requires certain persons to provide the Commissioner with certain information if they enter into arrangements < wipes tears > with foreign principals under which they undertake to carry out certain activities in relation to political or governmental [?] processes in Canada;
(c) requires the Commissioner to establish and maintain a publicly accessible registry that contains information about those arrangements;
(d) provides the Commissioner with tools to administer and enforce that Act; and
(e) amends the Public Service Superannuation [pension] Act, the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians Act, and the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency Act.
Parts 1-3 are chips off ye olde Norman National Security Act 2023
EU eyes targeted sanctions, visa restrictions over Georgia's 'foreign agent' law, 21 June
EU foreign ministers on Monday (24 June) are expected to discuss the options paper, drawn up by the bloc's diplomatic service (EEAS), in response to the passing of Georgia's controversial `foreign agent' law in May. Brussels had called on Tbilisi to withdraw the law, which had sparked weeks of mass demonstrations, warning the passing of the bill would hamper its hopes of joining the bloc in the near future.
PS. Man accused of plotting to murder Sikh separatist extradited to US from Czechia: "Nikhil Gupta was arrested in the Czech Republic last year, after he was accused by US prosecutors plotting to arrange the assassination of Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a US resident."

I repeat: WHO IN HELL WANTS TO DO BUSINESS WITH THESE PEOPLE?

by Cat on Fri Jun 21st, 2024 at 12:24:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jun 1st, 2024 at 05:18:44 PM EST

Code Napoléon. Olympic laïcité scholarship with foreign influence characteristics
by Cat on Sun Jun 2nd, 2024 at 03:56:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the-star.ke bbc |Who's up, who's down in South Africa's election and why, 31 May
[...]
Here are three factors that explain how South Africa got here, why and what the future holds.

[1] Behind the ANC's free-fall...after three decades in power it has become synonymous with corruption and bad governance....

[2] The return of Zuma...to the political frontline under the banner of a new party, uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), or Spear of the Nation. Results released so far suggest that the ANC has bled support mostly to MK, which could take control of KwaZulu-Natal province....

[3] The dawn of coalition politics... This is the result that many ANC members had resigned themselves to during the election campaign, and said the party could remain in power in coalition with smaller parties—like the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), which draws its support mainly from ethnic Zulus in KwaZulu-Natal, or the Muslim Al Jama-ah party. But if the ANC falls below 45%, it is likely to need a big party as a coalition partner.
[...]


31 May 'coalition country'. Partial election results put ruling ANC well below 50%
...Democratic Alliance [DA] leader John Steenhuisen said he was open to working with the ANC, although he would have to first speak with a group of other smaller parties with which he has a pre-election agreement. He said the possibility of the country's biggest political shift in 30 years "opens up a whole new universe for politics in South Africa and to start building something better for the people of South Africa."...
wapoo | South Africa's president urges parties to find common ground in talks after election deadlock, 2 June
...The ANC had said earlier Sunday that it was starting its negotiations with all major parties. More than 50 parties took part in the election, and at least eight had significant shares of the vote. At least 26 of them, including the MK Party led by former President Jacob Zuma, have lodged objections and complaints with the electoral body alleging voting irregularities, which it has promised to address....
sabcnews | Julius Malema has played the opening move on coalitions (02.06.24)
He has confirmed that the EFF does not only intend to work with the ANC but in fact wants to work with the ANC. He argues that they have done their strategic evaluation and are keen to go into a coalition with the ANC because it will never grow, along with everything else they mentioned. In the 2024 elections, in essence, the Economic Freedom Fighters [EFF] find themselves in the realm of the ambiguous in terms of their growth prospects in this election. The party's results were hovering at 8,67% when 18.19% of the votes were counted by midday on Thursday.
sabcnews | Supporters voted for Zuma believing he still represents ANC: Mtolo
by Cat on Sun Jun 2nd, 2024 at 10:42:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
citizen.co.za | Date of president's inauguration will be announced, says Ntshavheni (03.06.24)
The seventh democratic Parliament has to be ushered within 14 days of the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) declaring the election results. The first sitting of the National Assembly will elect South Africa's new president. Ramaphosa is reportedly already facing calls for his resignation in light of the ANC's performance in the general election. But ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula has ruled out Ramaphosa stepping down as the party enters coalition talks with other political parties.
ANC NEC meeting opts for Government of National Unity over coalition, 6 June
"We have looked at various scenarios for setting up a government, as the ANC, with its 40% return of votes, cannot set up a government without cooperating with others," says Ramaphosa, pointing out that the NEC [National Executive Committee]  meeting has reached a consensus on the way forward.
EFF rejects ANC's proposal of a GNU if it encompasses DA, FF Plus, 7 June
On the other hand, the DA says it will only agree to be part of the ANC's proposed Government of National Unity if the MK Party, the EFF, and Patriotic Alliance (PA) are excluded.
polity.org.za | Ramaphosa congratulates Modi on third consecutive term in office, 7 June
He emphasised the importance of the two countries' continued cooperation to promote the agenda of the Global South, notably the reform of the global system of governance, and to align positions in global fora in the interest of strengthening multilateral organisations.
sabcnews | 'Formation of government won't be smooth sailing', 9 June
With eighteen political parties expected to form a government within the stipulated 14 days after the declaration of election results, political analyst Dr Oshupeng Maseng from the University of Mpumalanga believes this will not be smooth sailing. The ANC has already announced its stance, choosing a Government of National Unity as its preferred form of government. Maseng says coalitions in some of the municipalities in the country depict the instability that coalition government may bring.
by Cat on Sun Jun 9th, 2024 at 07:03:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sabcnews | Over 50 delegates to be sworn in at NCOP's first sitting on Saturday, 12 June
Up to 54 permanent delegates drawn from nine provinces are expected to be sworn in at the first sitting of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Saturday after the nine legislatures have been constituted. This will happen a day after the first sitting of the National Assembly which is expected to take place on Friday.
apanews  | Af'Sud : rejet de la tentative de Zuma de bloquer le parlement, 13 June
La Cour constitutionnelle d'Afrique du Sud a rejeté une demande de l'uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) visant à bloquer la première séance du parlement prévue vendredi, estimant qu'il n'était pas dans l'intérêt de la justice d'examiner l'affaire du parti de l'ancien président Jacob Zuma.
[...]
« Le requérant n'a pas réussi à justifier le fait qu'il n'ait pas introduit cette requête plus tôt alors qu'il était conscient de l'obligation constitutionnelle de convoquer l'Assemblée nationale au plus tard 14 jours après la proclamation des résultats de l'élection », a déclaré la Cour. L'urgence de la requête était donc « auto-créée », a jugé la Cour.
sabcnews | Teams ready to usher in 7th Parliament, 13 June
...Chief Justice Raymond Zondo announced that Friday is the first sitting to swear in MPs, elect the President, Speaker and Deputy Speaker. This per the Constitution, which states that the first sitting must be held no later than 14 days after the declaration of election results....
citizen.co.za | MK party slams 'conglomerate of rejects' as NFP leaves them out in the cold in KZN, 13 June
The National Freedom Party (NFP) will enter the Government of National Unity (GNU). This was announced by its leader President Ivan Barnes on Thursday. He announced the party will join the ANC, DA, and IFP in forming a government in KZN [KwaZulu-Natal], leaving the MK party without power despite it getting the most votes in the province last month.
[...]
by Cat on Thu Jun 13th, 2024 at 09:28:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
citizen.co.z | Ramaphosa re-elected as president, 14 June 283 votes to 44
"He will be inaugurated next week in Pretoria and is set to announce his cabinet soon."
by Cat on Sat Jun 15th, 2024 at 03:54:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
aljazeera | Iran opens registration for presidential race to replace late Raisi, 30 May
On Thursday, state media reported that "around 30 people" came forward to submit applications for candidacy, but "none of them met the basic conditions for qualification".
mehrnews | Names of Iran's presidential election candidates announced, 9 June
Masoud Pezeshkian, Mostafa Pour Mohammadi, Saeed Jalili, Alireza Zakani, Amirhossein Qazizadeh Hashemi, and Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf are set to compete at the upcoming presidential elections which is set to be held on

i24news.il | Iran announces final presidential candidates ahead of election

The exclusion of several high-profile figures, including ex-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and former parliament speaker Ali Larijani, has stirred controversy and speculation about the direction of Iran's leadership.
presstv.ir | Iran gears up for 14th presidential election, 2 min. video (EN)
constitutional process, last Art. 131 election? 1981
iranintl.com | Iran OKs Final Six Presidential Candidates, Rejects Key Figures
On the other hand, the 'reformists' must be somewhat disappointed as only one of their official candidates has his credentials approved, Iranian analyst and Iran International contributor Behruz Turani said. The only reform-minded candidate, Pezeshkian's chances to win the presidency is uncertain because of his [Pishevari?] ethnic voter base, something that Khamenei is known to detest.
mehrnews | Iran acting FM departs for Moscow to attend BRICS meeting
by Cat on Sun Jun 9th, 2024 at 08:47:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
barrons | Mauritanian Presidential Election Set For June 29, 20 Apr
The first round of Mauritania's presidential election will take place on June 29, with a possible second round on July 14, according to a presidential decree published on Saturday. Outgoing President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, 67, is expected to be the clear favourite in the election though he has not yet announced his candidacy.
[...]
Seven prominent opponents have so far said they will take part in the election. The well-known anti-slavery activist and opponent Biram Dah Abeid, who was a runner-up in the last presidential election, has also said he intends to stand as a candidate.
apanews | Presidential election in Mauritania: the campaign officially starts this Thursday, 13 June
Un an après la tenue des élections législatives, municipales et régionales, les Mauritaniens sont encore appelés aux urnes. Le samedi 29 juin 2024, ils éliront leur président de la République pour les cinq prochaines années.

Officiellement, les sept candidats engagés dans la course au palais iront à la rencontre des électeurs du 13 au 27 juin 2024. Le président Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, dont le parti est arrivé en tête des dernières élections, brigue un second mandat.

Face à lui, il y a l'opposant et « militant des droits humains » Biram Dah Abeid et le candidat Mohamed Lemine Elwavi, haut fonctionnaire au Trésor mauritanien. Tous deux ont participé au scrutin de 2019.

risis24.garda | Mauritania: Political gatherings and associated disruptions likely in cities across country in lead-up to June 29 presidential election, 13 June SECURITY THREATS
by Cat on Thu Jun 13th, 2024 at 09:47:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thehindu | BJP poised to get third term; both BJP and Congress may register small gains in vote share (02.06.24)
The BJP made every effort this time to make an impact in both States of the east, and of the south. These efforts are likely to pay off with BJP's vote in these regions increasing compared with last time. On the other hand, for the Congress, its gains are likely to be rather chaotically spread across a few States, perhaps not enough for the party to make an impressive gain in terms of seats. This asymmetry of performance is likely to help the BJP and disappoint the Congress. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is Congress' ally only in Gujarat, Haryana and Delhi; and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) only in Uttar Pradesh.
ptinews | Cong, INDIA bloc trying to undermine electoral process, alleges BJP, 2 June
The delegation submitted a memorandum to the Election Commission (EC) in this regard.

"We had to call upon the Election Commission today in light of the repeated attempts by a section of political parties, like the Congress and their INDI alliance partners, and also by certain motivated civil society groups and NGOs who are trying their level best to undermine the integrity of India's electoral process," Goyal told reporters after meeting EC officials.
[...]
Earlier in the day, a delegation of opposition INDIA bloc leaders, including Congress' Abhishek Singhvi, met the EC and urged it to ensure that all the guidelines, including declaring the postal-ballot results before the outcome of the EVMs is announced, are followed on June 4. ...Terming the exit polls "bogus", the Congress on Sunday said they were a "deliberate attempt to justify rigging" of the elections and part of "psychological games" being played by Prime Minister Modi to lower the morale of the INDIA bloc workers. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi dubbed the exit polls as "Modi media poll".

Hindustan Times: OpenAI Makes Big Interference In Indian Elections Claim, Draws Israel Link; Modi Minister Responds, A/V (EN) 4:6
archive Phase 3, 4, 5
by Cat on Sun Jun 2nd, 2024 at 11:18:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Official ballot tally is incomplete. BUT. The headlines are. The WORLD'S LARGEST DEMOCRACY trimmed BJP majority in the LOK SABHA to 40% of seats.
by Cat on Tue Jun 4th, 2024 at 07:54:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu Jun 6th, 2024 at 08:26:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sun Jun 9th, 2024 at 06:27:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mexicans elected Claudia Sheinbaum president. So far, Anglo-american press has reserved judgment to (a) FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT and (b) FIRST JEWISH PRESIDENT...
with scant reference to curriculum vitae, campaign debate topics, (Morena) partisan agenda, congress election results, and inauguration date (1 Oct).
by Cat on Tue Jun 4th, 2024 at 08:29:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Niger's highest court lifts immunity of deposed President Mohamed Bazoum, 14 June "mutinous soldiers"
The proceedings before the State Court have been marred by serious irregularities, including violations of Bazoum's rights to present evidence in his defense, to communicate with his legal counsel, and to be heard before an independent court, according to Human Rights Watch, a leading rights group. Bazoum's lawyer, Reed Brody, criticized the ruling as a "mockery" of the rule of law in Niger.

"We never even got to speak to our client," Brody said. "This is a travesty of justice."

Bazoum's lawyers have been unable to communicate with him since last October and have had restricted access to case material, according to HRW [!]. Late last year, the highest court of West African regional bloc ECOWAS ruled that Bazoum and his family were arbitrarily detained and called for him to be restored to office.

Russia formally charges WSJ journalist with spying for CIA, 13 June dual-use Evan Gershkovich
Investigators claimed in a statement that they have evidence proving the US citizen was acting on behalf of the foreign intelligence agency when he tried to collect classified information about Uralvagonzavod, a major Russian producer of tanks and armored vehicles, in Ekaterinburg in March 2023.
ofac.treasury.gov | "Updated Guidance for Foreign Financial Institutions on OFAC Sanctions Authorities Targeting Support to Russia's Military-Industrial Base"
On June 12, 2024, OFAC updated the definition of "Russia's military-industrial base" to include all persons blocked under E.O. 14024 (FAQ 1181 and 1151). The updated definition reflects the Kremlin's increasing use of Russia's entire economy to support its war in Ukraine.
[...]
American officials have reportedly contacted other governments about potentially taking custody of prisoners who they believe may be of interest to Russia in a swap for Gershkovich. Brazil, Norway, Germany, and an unnamed former Soviet bloc country have been approached with such requests, according to Western media.

by Cat on Sat Jun 15th, 2024 at 04:31:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Türkiye confirms contract signed with US for F-16 warplanes, 13 June
The Defense Ministry's statement came days after the U.S. State Department said Türkiye had signed a letter of offer and acceptance to purchase the Lockheed Martin-made warplanes. That brings the two NATO allies closer to completing the prolonged process that sometimes fueled tensions and tested Washington's ties with Ankara.
Türkiye's strategic bid for BRICS membership, 14 June
Although Türkiye has not yet formally applied for membership, Fidan expressed interest in joining BRICS during his recent visit to Beijing.
[...]
From Russia's viewpoint, Türkiye's potential inclusion in BRICS is strategically multifaceted.
Summit on Peace in Ukraine Participating countries and organizations
Hakan Fidan, FM, Türkiye
List of states and international organisations supporting the Joint Communiqué
Türkiye
Russia perceives Türkiye's potential inclusion as a move that could enhance the group's global influence and sees benefits in boosting trade and investment opportunities within the BRICS framework. Politically, Russia and Türkiye share a complex relationship characterized by both cooperation and competition.
RT | Russia names main condition for BRICS membership (18.06.24)
Countries seeking to join the group must not be involved in unilateral sanctions schemes, Russia's deputy foreign minister has said
Thus, Russia might consider Türkiye's BRICS membership as a means to reinforce their political alignment on specific international issues while simultaneously managing their regional rivalries.
archive Macron asks for invitation to BRICS summit
by Cat on Wed Jun 19th, 2024 at 08:33:31 PM EST
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dailysabah | French police arrest New Caledonia independence leader, 7 others , 19 June
Christian Tein leads a branch of the Caledonian Union called the Field Action Coordination Cell (CCAT), which organized protest barricades across the capital Noumea that have disrupted traffic, movement and food supplies. He was among the pro-independence political figures who met with French President Emmanuel Macron during his lightning visit to New Caledonia last month. In a statement, Caledonian Union President Daniel Goa urged calm among CCAT protesters and told youth not to respond to what he said was a "provocation."

The French High Commission ["Louis le Franc"] said in a statement that the city center was "free and secure," as media reported many cars leaving. The New Caledonia prosecutor's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

archive riot-hit New Caledonia
by Cat on Wed Jun 19th, 2024 at 08:40:13 PM EST
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usnews reuters | One Person Killed, Over 200 Injured in Kenya Anti-Tax Demonstrations (21.06.24)
Protesters want the government to abandon its finance bill, saying it will choke the economy and raise the cost of living for Kenyans who are already struggling to make ends meet. The IMF, however, says that the government needs to increase revenues to reduce the budget deficit and state borrowing. Lawmakers are expected to meet on Tuesday to vote on proposed changes to the bill, which parliament's budget committee says would blow a 200 billion Kenyan shilling ($1.56 billion) hole in the 2024/25 budget, and compel the government to make spending cuts.
chathamhouse | Kenya's debt deeper than Chinese loans (31.05.23)
"The contribution of commercial external lending to Kenya's debt problem also must not be overlooked, particularly as the Ruto administration's current scramble for liquidity is overwhelmingly focused on a $2 billion Eurobond maturing in June 2024."
by Cat on Sat Jun 22nd, 2024 at 12:19:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Chatham House London conference 2024 in conversation with Hsiao Bi-khim, Vice-President of Taiwan, 20 June

ill-conceived headline w/e 22 June

inews.uk | Taiwan learning from Ukraine to prepare for Chinese attack (20.06.24)
The self-styled "cat warrior"—a parody of China's idea of "wolf warrior diplomacy"—said there were parallels with Ukraine's struggle against a larger neighbour at an event hosted by British think-tank Chatham House in London on Thursday. "We are learning from Ukraine's defence, where smaller combat forces have proven nimble and adaptable," said the 52-year-old, who loves cats and has four. "We know we must reform and decentralise our military command structure. And we understand that's not only relevant for our military, we are working to enhance our whole society's resilience, incorporating civil defence in our homeland."
archive DPP party loses control of legislature ibid "re-sequencing deliveries"
by Cat on Sat Jun 22nd, 2024 at 12:31:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
telesur | Claudia Sheinbaum Presents her New Administration, 20 June
"Presentamos a 3 mujeres y 3 hombres que formarán parte de nuestro gabinete. Todas y todos creen en la Cuarta Transformación. No le vamos a fallar a nuestro pueblo."
by Cat on Sat Jun 22nd, 2024 at 01:27:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jun 1st, 2024 at 05:19:06 PM EST

NATOization? Or torygraphication? Either way, the UWC is not ridin' with Biden to victory day
by Cat on Tue Jun 4th, 2024 at 07:48:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Duly Noted Disinfogater  | US Congressional Committee approves bill on sanctions against ICC, 4 June
A bill to impose US sanctions on the International Criminal Court (ICC) for handling cases against Washington and its allies has been approved by the House of Representatives ' procedure committee. The document card is published on the congress website.
[...]
Nine congressmen supported the bill, while three opposed it. Later, the document should be considered by the House of Representatives, and then it will be sent to the Senate, where, as expected, it will be blocked by Democrats, writes The Hill.
[...]
by Cat on Tue Jun 4th, 2024 at 08:52:50 PM EST
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omg. I've been revising a post about Biden's counterfeit "Israel proposal" since last Friday's inexplicable afternoon broadcast. The first draft was wildly impolitic. Successive drafts drifted into the weeds over the weekend as I wrote dialogue for a cast of four WH advisers, burdened by the task of persuading "ima Zionist" Joe to change tack with facts on the ground in Gaza and failure of "Gulf Case" mega-deals against the backdrop of world-class opprobrium. Naturally, I assigned MOTIVATION a ROLE in my one act drama.

me: With confidence in the American system of justice and customary braggadocio JOE co-opted the studied patience that Gulf diplomats had cultivated in his absence.

Now, this.
"I did it": Biden demands credit for foreign policy, domestic achievements

by Cat on Tue Jun 4th, 2024 at 11:06:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
White House fires back at Wall Street Journal over Biden story, 6 June
Democrats rallied to Biden's defense and took issue with key parts of the story, blasting the [pay-wall 04.06.24] Journal for largely citing the accounts of Republican officials who had spent time with the president, including former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). The [semi-secret] Journal story was based on interviews with 45 people over several months, including Democrats and Republicans who were in meetings with Biden or briefed on them. The [hidden] story cites examples of Biden reading from notes in meetings on Ukraine aid, sometimes deferring questions to aides and at times speaking too softly to be audible or closing his eyes. "Most of those who said Biden performed poorly were Republicans, but some Democrats said that he showed his age in several of the exchanges," the Journal reported.
Pelosi slams Wall Street Journal article on Biden's mental acuity as 'hit piece', 6 June
That's some fancy footwork around the consolidated FOIA lawsuit to release audio record of Special Counsel R. Hur's interview with the "well-meaning elderly man". Evidently, plaintiffs are not satisfied with either US Atty Weinsheimer's clinical opinion on "executive privilege" or selected "draft" transcripts delivered 11 March, (a) 8.10.23, 159 pp | (b) 9.10.23, 99 pp

archive Read the special counsel's report 9 Feb 2024

by Cat on Thu Jun 6th, 2024 at 04:09:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
libertarianinstitute | US Testing Anti-Drone Weapon for War with Russia in Gaza, 4 Jan
The US has deployed a new combat vehicle to Gaza with the aim of field testing the weapon for use in Ukraine, as the Pentagon hopes it will help repel Russian drone attacks. Moscow's forces have made significant territorial gains in Ukraine, in part, by overwhelming Kiev's air defenses.

The Defense Department stationed two Mobile-Low, Slow, Small-Unmanned Aircraft Integrated Defeat Systems (M-LIDS) in Gaza stating in May, the Telegraph reported [scrubbed msn telegraph file; 14.05.24 title].

@Sprinter May 20, 2024
Centurion C-RAM and M-LIDS battery photo and video  
armyrecognition | US Army Deploys Its New M-LIDS Counter-Drone System for the First Time to Protect Gaza Floating Pier (21.05.24)
photo source: X
bulgarianmilitary | US M-LIDS system's first baptism by fire in the Middle East (22.05.24)
tech talk
"The US Army sailed some of its coastal landing ships to Gaza as part of the US military's humanitarian flotilla, the ships carried one of the initial M-LIDS vehicle sets," the outlet wrote, adding that "At least one M-LIDS vehicle rolled down the pier and took up station at the edge of the beach."
[...]
That sooo Obama 2014 ebola "logistical support"
archive May JLOTS, Apr JLOTS + satellite depiction, Mar JLOTS, AMZN of "marine corridors
by Cat on Thu Jun 6th, 2024 at 01:15:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
whitehouse | Remarks by President Biden on the Middle East, 31 May
"Now, after intensive diplomacy carried out by my team and my many conversations with leaders of Israel, Qatar, and Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries, Israel has now offered—Israel has offered a comprehensive new proposal."
ChatGPT | Around 80 hostages still alive in Gaza—Israel, 4 June
A total of 43 Israelis who were abducted by Hamas on October 7 have been declared dead in absentia, according to official estimates

The four hostages perished while the country's military was operating in the city [Khan Younis], IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari admitted.

"We are thoroughly examining the circumstances of their deaths and checking all possibilities. We will soon present the findings, first to their families, and then to the public. We will present them with transparency, as we have done until now," he added.

ChatGPT | Aid is delivered to Gaza from newly repaired US-built pier, US military says, 8 June JLOTS watch
The first aid from an American-built pier arrived in Gaza on Saturday since storm damage required repairs to the project, the U.S. military said, relaunching an effort to bring supplies to Palestinians by sea that had been plagued with problems. The pier constructed by the U.S. military was operational for only about a week before it was BLOWN APART in high winds and heavy seas on May 25. A damaged section was reconnected to the beach in Gaza on Friday after being repaired at an Israeli port [ASHDOD].

About 1.1 million pounds (492 metric tons) of humanitarian aid was delivered to Gaza through the pier on Saturday, U.S. Central Command said in a statement. It reiterated that no U.S. military personnel went ashore in Gaza.

ChatGPT | At least 94 killed by Israeli airstrikes in central Gaza as Israeli operations intensify, 8 June Nuseirat refugee camp
The deliveries came the same day that Israel mounted a heavy air and ground assault that rescued four hostages, who had been taken by Hamas during the Oct. 7 attack that launched the war in Gaza. At least 210 [?] Palestinians, including children, were killed, a Gaza health official said.
ChatGPT | Gaza's Health Ministry says 274 Palestinians were killed in Israeli raid that rescued 4 hostages, 9 June Nuseirat refugee camp "labyrinth of tunnels"
[...]
nypost | Inside one of the `most complicated hostage rescue missions in history' that saved four captured Israelis, 8 June
"Noa Argamani, 25, Almog Meir Jan, 21, Andri Kozlov, 27, and Shlomi Ziv, 41, were saved during the "Summer Seeds" operation in Nuseirat, central Gaza, at 11 a.m. local time Saturday, IDF spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari announced."
RT | Israeli troops free four hostages from Gaza - video
"A Russian citizen was among those liberated during a daylight raid in the heart of the enclave"
by Cat on Sun Jun 9th, 2024 at 01:14:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]

So many NCOs, so few recruits to crush Hezbollah and Hamas.
F24 | Israeli army in urgent need of troops amid rising casualties in Gaza (19.06.24)
The Israeli army does not officially comment on the state of fatigue of its troops, but the signs are clear. "We are seeing examples of sooner-than-expected rotation of brigades and battalions," said Steven Wagner, historian and lecturer in international security at Brunel University London. In other words, the soldiers need more frequent breaks. The situation is complicated by increased fighting between Hezbollah and Israeli forces on Israel's northern border with Lebanon, reported the US public radio NPR. An extension of the war in the north "would be catastrophic for both Lebanon and Israel", said Bregman. "In terms of soldiers, tanks and quality of equipment everything is fine on paper for a short war. But in terms of a long war with Hezbollah, no, Israel isn't ready, and it's mainly about morale," said Omri Brinner, a Middle East analyst at the International Team for the Study of Security Verona (ITSS).  

Approve exit strategy. Israeli military to hand occupied West Bank real estate to Smotrich Finance Ministry

haaretz | Number of Israeli Hostages Still Alive in Gaza Estimated to Be as Low as 50 (20.06.24)
According to the [Pay] Wall Street Journal report, the IDF has rescued 7 hostages alive, compared to 105 brought home through a release deal and 50 that are believed to have been killed, 19 of whose bodies have been brought back to Israel by the army. Paradoxically, the success of Israel's raid could actually make the remaining hostages' conditions worse as Hamas moves them to more secure locations.
by Cat on Sat Jun 22nd, 2024 at 02:11:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
newsqueak | Netanyahu Responds After Benny Gantz Resigns, 9 June
Upon [Gantz's] resignation, Netanyahu posted on X, formerly Twitter, a national call and wrote: "Citizens of Israel, we will keep fighting until victory and the achievement of all of the goals of the war, first of which is to free all of our hostages and to eliminate Hamas." He added: "My door will stay open to any Zionist party that is willing to share the burden and help bring victory over our enemies and ensure the safety of our citizens," according to The Jerusalem Post's translation.
jpost | 'This is exactly what Sinwar, Nasrallah, and Iran were aiming for', YOU ARE HAMAS! X flame war translations
Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Liberman wrote in a statement to X, "Better late than never, the time has come for a Zionist coalition."
by Cat on Sun Jun 9th, 2024 at 07:58:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
17 June
i24news.tv | Netanyahu dissolves war cabinet, says no need after Gantz's resignation
Netanyahu made it clear that he will continue limited [?]security consultations. He rejected establishing a forum of coalition heads for security consultations, an idea that was brought up during the meeting. In practice, the expanded [?!] cabinet will meet more often. According to < wipes tears > Israeli law, the powers and responsibilities for making decisions on managing the war effort are vested in State Security Cabinet.
israelhayom.co.il | Netanyahu announced at a meeting of his political-security cabinet: "There is no war cabinet anymore."
As mentioned, the prime minister's announcement comes in the background of Ben Gvir[!]s demand to join the limited forum and after the retirement of Benny Gantz [!] and Gadi Eizenkot [!], whose entry into the government at the beginning of the war led to its establishment. At a cabinet meeting yesterday, National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir criticized the conduct of the army and the management of the war.

"If the army does not inform the government that there is a humanitarian lull ["tactical pause"?] between 8:00 and 19:00 pm, then stop deluding yourself, we will not be able to bring the residents back and terrorism will only increase," he said.

bbc | Israeli PM scraps war cabinet after key departures
"Cabinet members are being changed and the method is being changed. We have the echelon, we know the chain of command. We're working according to the chain of command. This is a democracy," IDF's chief spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari [!] told reporters.
euronews | Netanyahu dissolves war cabinet amid coalition shifts
Netanyahu now plans to consult a smaller group of ministers on critical decisions related to the Gaza war. This group will include Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, both of whom were members of the now-dissolved war cabinet.
archive ICC elephants in da house
Netanyahu under pressure
The Israeli PM had been under pressure from his nationalist-religious coalition partners, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who sought inclusion in the war cabinet. Their inclusion, however, risked exacerbating tensions with international allies, including the US.
lolwut U.S.-Israel Strategic Consultative Group
wapoo | Netanyahu dissolves war cabinet but plans to keep far right sidelined
bwahahahahaha m'k hahahaha shure. alrighty, then.
by Cat on Mon Jun 17th, 2024 at 02:14:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
news.un | Gaza: Security Council adopts US resolution calling for 'immediate, full and complete ceasefire', 10 June burlesque
The United States-drafted text calls for Hamas to accept a ceasefire proposal announced on 31 May by President Joe Biden that has already been accepted by Israel.

Adopted by a large majority with 14 votes in favour and Russia abstaining—choosing not to exercise its veto power—the resolution also urges both parties to fully implement the terms of the proposal "without delay and without condition."

What terms? Hamas' "General Framework for a Comprehensive Agreement among the Parties" 07.02.24 or 06.05.24?
Russia's Permanent Representative told the Council after the vote there was a lack of clarity over what exactly Israel had signed up to in the resolution, leaving too many questions unanswered for Moscow to offer its support.
Literally, Genocide Joe's 31 May "Israel proposal" script.
President Biden described the deal as "not just a ceasefire that would inevitably be fragile and temporary" but one that would provide a "durable end to the war". He added that the terms of the deal had been transmitted by Qatar to the leadership of Hamas.
For the past several months, my negotiators of foreign policy, intelligence community, and the like have been relentlessly focused not just on a ceasefire that would eve— that would inevitably be fragile and temporary but on a durable end to the war. That's been the focus: a durable end to this war.
Three-phase approach
The motion envisages [?!] a three phase approach to ensure a lasting and comprehensive end [?!] to the fighting.
Now, I'll be straight with you. There are a number of details to negotiate to move from phase one to phase two. Israel will want to make sure its interests are protected. But the proposal says if the negotiations take longer than six weeks for phase one [42 days], the ceasefire will still continue as long as negotiations continue.
In the resolution, the Security Council rejects any attempt at demographic or territorial change in the Gaza Strip, including any actions that reduce the territory of the enclave [Palestine's occupied territory]. The text also reiterates the Council's "unwavering commitment" to the vision of the two-State solution where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders consistent with international law and relevant UN resolutions.
Literally, Sullivan's 9 June newsreel bullshit.
Hamas must accept deal: US
But the fact is that the whole world is looking to Hamas to say, yes, because for all those people, for all these months who've been calling for a cease fire, now's the moment there could a cease fire tomorrow, today even, if Hamas would say, yes, to the deal.
The fighting could stop today if Hamas agrees to the deal now endorsed by the Security Council, said US Ambassador Linda "Eat muh Gumbo" Thomas-Greenfield.
naked brinksmanship
Algeria voted in favour of the draft because it represents a step towards an immediate and lasting ceasefire.
[...]
China voted in favour of the resolution but there needs to be a permanent ceasefire which has been at the core of the international community's concerns. Ending the bombardment and offensive is also the most pressing need for civilians under fire in Gaza.
[...]
Russia have a whole of host of questions about the American draft resolution, whereby the Council welcomes some deal—the ultimate outlines of which are not known to anyone perhaps except the mediators"
[...]
Israel: War aims unchanged
The Representative of Israel Reut Shapir Ben Naftaly said her country's goals have been "very clear" since the first few days following 7 October: "To bring all our hostages back home and to dismantle Hamas' capabilities...and ensure that Gaza does not pose a threat to Israel in the future ... As we have echoed several times in this very chamber, once these goals are met, the war will end," she added, noting that 120 [?] hostages remain in captivity and that Hamas continues firing rockets at Israeli towns and cities.
At this point, Hamas no longer is capable of carrying out another October 7th, which—one of the Israelis' main objective in this war and, quite frankly, a righteous one.
She called for more pressure on Hamas, stating that although three resolutions have been adopted by the Security Council calling for hostages to be released, none have been freed as a result.

"The pressure on the terrorists should have begun long ago but it is still not too late, it must begin now," she added. "We will continue until all of the hostages are returned and until Hamas' military and governing capabilities are dismantled," she said. "Israel will not engage in meaningless and endless negotiations which can be exploited by Hamas as a means to stall for time."

How many "relevant" UNGA cease fire resolutions THAT DID NOT CONDEMN HAMAS did the US block? Last 12 months or last 50 years—you choose.

webtv.un | The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question - Security Council, 9650th meeting, 10 June A/V 01:39:57

by Cat on Tue Jun 11th, 2024 at 12:30:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]

archive 6-day 'fighting pause' 24-29 Nov 2023
by Cat on Tue Jun 11th, 2024 at 12:51:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
nbcnews | Biden admin has discussed potentially negotiating unilateral bilateral deal with Hamas to free U.S. hostages, 10 June mental disorder laces up, circles world
if current cease-fire talks involving Israel fail, according to two current senior U.S. officials and two former senior U.S. officials. Such negotiations would not include Israel and would be conducted through Qatari interlocutors, as current talks have been, said the officials, all of whom have been briefed on the discussions. White House officials declined to comment.
[...]
The officials did not know what the United States might give Hamas in exchange for the release of American hostages. But, the officials said, Hamas could have an incentive to cut a unilateral bilateral deal with Washington because doing so would likely further strain relations between the U.S. and Israel and put additional domestic political pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
DICTION CORNER unilateral, bilateral, multilateral

• Affirming Israel's "unilateral concept" of UNGA Palestine state and cease fire resolutions as well as ICJ jurisdiction, US has opposed all multilateral judgments and unilaterally rejected two (2) UNSC resolutions carried by the majority of members
• The US has not recognized that Hams, Islamic Jihad, and Palestinian Authority (herein after "Hamas") accepted the S/Res. 2735 (2024) authority
S/2735 (2024) text has not been published, has not bee ratified, has not been deposited in the UN Treaty Collection...not even in the manner of the Military Armistice of Korea
• US Dept. of State unilaterally—without knowledge or consent of Israel—presented a "Israel Proposal" to Palestine ("Hamas")
• "Biden's Israel Proposal" does not credit "comprehensive" cease fire terms conveyed by Qatar and Egypt as proposed by Palestine ("Hamas") including but not limited to multiple guarantors, namely Qatar, Egypt, the United States, the United Nations)
• Since US is not a party in the conflict between Palestine ("Hamas") and Israel—just as it's not a party in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine—any decision US proffers to any one belligerent in either conflict would represent a bilateral proposition "targeting civilians for the purpose of effecting social or political change"

by Cat on Tue Jun 11th, 2024 at 01:21:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
dw | Israel-Hamas war: Hamas responds to US cease-fire proposal, 11 June
The White House said it is 'evaluating' Hamas response.
Qatar, Egypt confirm Hamas cease-fire response, joint mediation with US. The statement made no mention of Israel
Blinken announces Gaza aid, says Netanyahu backs Hamas Qatar-Egypt Israel US proposal
by Cat on Tue Jun 11th, 2024 at 10:24:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
starring Bibi, Biden, Blinken, and Sullivan

aol reuters | Hamas responds to Egypt, Qatar on ceasefire plan; source ays group proposes new timeline, 11 June 12:38 PM  EDT Al-Mughrabi, Makary, Taha, Osterman

...The statement from Egypt and Qatar did not disclose what the response said, but the official, who declined to be identified, said Hamas proposed a new timeline [same as the old timeline?] for a permanent ceasefire with Israel and withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, including Rafah....
reuters | Hamas says it accepts UN-backed Gaza truce plan, US cites 'hopeful sign', 11 June 2:23 PM UTC Psaledakis and Al-mughrabi
...On Tuesday, senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri, who is based outside Gaza, said it accepted the ceasefire resolution and was ready to negotiate over the specifics. This required a formula stipulating the total withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza and a swap of hostages held in Gaza for Palestinians jailed in Israel, he told Reuters....
Hamas formally responded on Tuesday to a U.S. ceasefire proposal for the eight-month-old war in the Gaza Strip, and Israel said the response was tantamount to a rejection while a Hamas official said the Palestinian group merely reiterated longstanding demands not met by the current plan. The United States has said Israel accepted its proposal, but Israel has not publicly said this. Israel, which has continued assaults in central and southern Gaza, among the bloodiest of the war, has repeatedly said it would not commit to an end of its campaign in Gaza before Hamas is eliminated.
[...]
The first phase would last for six weeks.  Here's what it would include: a full and complete ceasefire; a withdrawal of Israeli forces from all populated areas of Gaza; a release of a number of hostages—including women, the elderly, the wounded—in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.  There are American hostages who would be released at this stage, and we want them home.
[...]
Then phase two: There would be an exchange for the release of all remaining living hostages, including male soldiers; Israeli forces would withdraw from Gaza; and as long as Hamas lives up to its commitments, a temporary ceasefire would become, in the words of the propo- —the Israeli proposal, "the cessation of hostilities permanently," end of quote. "Cessation of hostilities permanently."
An Israeli official said on Tuesday the country had received Hamas' answer from the mediators and that Hamas "changed all of the main and most meaningful parameters." The Israeli official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Hamas "has rejected the proposal for a hostage release that was presented by President Biden."
Liars always lose. Which evidently is The Internationalists' plan.
by Cat on Wed Jun 12th, 2024 at 12:09:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Secretary Antony J. Blinken And Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani At a Joint Press Availability , 12 June "six weeks"
QUESTION: And Prime Minister, even with the elaborate three-phase deal that's being created to try and bridge the divide between Israel and Hamas, we still seem to be stuck on the fundamental question of a temporary versus a permanent truce, which is effectively will Israel allow Hamas to survive this. Do you think these negotiations can really be salvaged, and what is the risk to the region if these talks continue to fail?
AL THANI: Regarding, I think, your question about how can we have this proposal to become a permanent ceasefire, this is an issue that we've been struggling with for a very long time, is how to ensure that we bridge the gap between those two fundamental differences, between what Hamas wants as a permanent ceasefire and what Israel wants as the hostages released—maybe a plan to continue the war. I think what we have achieved in this structure is the best way to bridge those gaps and to merge both tracks. And I believe that having three countries—United States, Qatar, and Egypt —as guarantor for this process to ensure that these negotiations keeps going until we reach the permanent ceasefire is something significant that we are putting ourself at stake.
ibid arabcenterdc.org (06.05.24): guarantors Qatar, Egypt, the United States, the United Nations
[...]
QUESTION: Osama bin Javaid with Al Jazeera English.  My question for Secretary Blinken. I just want to go back to the words that you used.  You said the deal was on the table and yet there are workable parts that you were will be working towards. Which one is it? Was there a deal or is there still a deal on the table? And as the UN Security Council and the United Nations at large remains the cornerstone for your policy towards finding a solution, today, the latest UN investigation says Israel committed "crimes against humanity," including "extermination," is the words used.
ibid COI, "Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel"
And Israel is already facing a genocide case at the ICJ, warrants were request at the ICC. And last month, you said there are no red lines for Israel. Is that still the case?  And if there is, what will this mean for yourself and the U.S. administration?
.
.
.
BLINKEN: The proposal speaks for itself. What's in the proposal—backed by the United States, by Qatar, by Egypt—speaks for itself.
Security Council resolution 2735 (2024) on ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, S/RES/2735 Draft resolution / United States of America, pdf
Secretary Antony J. Blinken With Jalal Chahda of Al Jazeera, 12 June
QUESTION: (In Arabic.) Mr. Blinken, thank you for talking to Al Jazeera. Hamas submitted a response to the proposal—
BLINKEN: That's right.
QUESTION: —seeking some amendment. How do you assess the response so far?
BLINKEN: Well, just to step back for one second, 12 days ago President Biden laid out thisproposal. And in that time, almost THE ENTIRE WORLD came out in support of it, including the United Nations Security Council, but also the Arab League, virtually every country in this region, and well beyond. Israel accepted the proposal [lolwut], the Palestinian Authority accepted the proposal. Hamas was the one answer we were waiting for. And the answer that we got last night—that was submitted to Qatar, it was submitted to Egypt, and to us as the mediators of this process—unfortunately was not the yes that everyone else has provided. It was looking for more changes to the agreement, including changes on items that Hamas had previously accepted.
.
.
.
QUESTION: What is not workable for you and for Israel?
BLINKEN: Well, I can't get into the details.  You'll understand that given the sensitivity of the negotiations, we're not going to talk about the details. But what I can say is this: The proposal that President Biden laid out 12 days ago was virtually identical [lolNO] to one that Hamas had accepted and put forward itself on May the 6th [that Israel rejected]. So there's no reason why this agreement should not be reached. The only reason would be Hamas continuing to try to change the terms.

But here is what's the reality. The reality is as this negotiation is going on, during the 12 days that it took Hamas to respond, the world wasn't standing still. Gaza wasn't standing still. People were suffering every single day —Palestinian children, women, and men suffering every single day. So from my perspective, from our perspective, it's time to stop all of this haggling and back and forth, and start a ceasefire.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian's Regular Press Conference on June 13, 2024
Al Jazeera: According to the Times of Israel, Hamas has demanded that China, Russia, and Türkiye serve as guarantors for any hostage deal with Israel.
rejected by both the US and Israel
The demand is said to be one of several changes made by Hamas to the proposal put forward by Israel last month and publicized by US President Joe Biden. What's China's comment?
Lin Jian: China has noted the report. The Gaza conflict has been dragging on for more than eight months. The most urgent priority is to fully and effectively implement relevant UN Security Council resolutions, achieve an immediate ceasefire, protect civilians, guarantee humanitarian assistance and ensure the early release of all those held captive. China will continue to work with all parties to make unremitting efforts to end the fighting in Gaza as soon as possible, ease the grave humanitarian situation and implement the two-State solution.
by Cat on Sat Jun 15th, 2024 at 03:35:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 
ChatGPT | Israel's army says it will pause daytime fighting along a route in southern Gaza to help flow of aid (16.06.24)
The "tactical pause," which applies to about 12 kilometers (7½ miles) of road in the Rafah area, falls far short of a complete cease-fire in the territory that has been sought by the international community, including Israel's top ally, the United States. The army said that the daily pause would begin at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT) and last until 7 p.m. (1600 GMT) and continue until further notice. It's aimed at allowing aid trucks to reach the nearby Israel-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing, the main entry point, and travel safely to the Salah a-Din highway, a main north-south road, the military said. The crossing has had a bottleneck since Israeli ground troops moved into Rafah in early May. COGAT, the Israeli military body that oversees aid distribution in Gaza, said the route would increase the flow of aid to other parts of Gaza, including Khan Younis
wapoo | U.S. to sideline Gaza pier and suspend aid deliveries again, 14 June
by Cat on Mon Jun 17th, 2024 at 12:24:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
wapoo | OpEd |  The U.S. military plans a 'Hellscape' to deter China from attacking Taiwan, 10 June
President Xi Jinping [?] has called on China's People's Liberation Army to be ready to take Taiwan by force by 2027 [circular ref: wapoo 20.02.23]. The United States, together with regional partners, must ensure a Chinese invasion can't succeed. That plan hinges on quickly building and deploying thousands of new drones that would swarm the Taiwan Strait and keep China's military busy until more help can arrive, according to the top U.S. military official in the Pacific.
[...]
"They want to offer the world a short, sharp war so that it is a fait accompli before the world can get their act together," [INDOPACCOM  Adm. Samuel] Paparo told me on the sidelines of the annual Shangri-La Dialogue, hosted by the International Institute for Strategic Studies [IISS]. "My job is to ensure that between now and 2027 and beyond, the U.S. military and the allies are capable of prevailing."
[...]
The key to thwarting Xi's assumed strategy is a U.S. strategy called "Hellscape," Paparo told me. The idea is that as soon as China's invasion fleet begins moving across the 100-mile waterway that separates China and Taiwan, the U.S. military would deploy thousands of unmanned submarines, unmanned surface ships, and aerial drones to flood the area and give Taiwanese, U.S., and partner forces time to mount a full response.

"I want to turn the Taiwan Strait into an unmanned hellscape using a number of classified ["attritable"?] capabilities," Paparo said. "So that I can make their lives utterly miserable for a month, which buys me the time for the rest of everything..."I can't tell you what's in it," he replied when pressed about details. "But it's real and it's deliverable."
[...]

YES!
There are some public signs the Hellscape plan is making progress. In March, the Defense Department announced it would spend $1 billion on a program called "Replicator" to build swarms of unmanned surface ships and aerial drones for this very mission. Paparo said the Replicator program shows that the United States is also learning lessons [lolwut] from the Russia-Ukraine war, where Ukraine has innovated with drone technology.
taipeitimes | US plans ["Ukrainization"] strategy to defend Taiwan, 12 June dumbass
However, drones alone would not be enough to match the Chinese People's Liberation Army's buildup of forces with an estimated US$700 billion annual military budget, he said. The US Indo-Pacific Command was US$11 billion short of the funding it needs for this year, the article said, citing a letter by Paparo's predecessor to the US Congress in March.
by Cat on Wed Jun 12th, 2024 at 12:38:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT wapoo | Biden, Zelensk* to sign 10-year U.S.-Ukraine bilateral security deal at G-7 summit, 13 June
...The deal aims to commit future U.S. administrations to support Ukraine, even if former president Donald Trump wins November's election [lolwut], officials said. It will be a framework for a long-term effort by the United States to help develop Ukraine's armed forces, which have innovated on drone warfare and other < wipes tears> cutting-edge [AI!] techniques in the fight against Russia, but are also desperately outgunned and in need of modern [AI!] weapons.
[...]
G7+
Biden on Thursday will join 15 [?] other countries that have signed bilateral agreements with Ukraine, including Britain, France, Germany, and Italy. An additional 16 countries have committed eventually to making similar agreements. Officials expect the nations will coordinate how they carry out their assistance pledges, potentially starting at a summit of NATO [!] leaders in Washington next month, although not every country that has signed a deal with Kyiv is a member of that alliance....
Slava Big Israel!
archive Zelensk* drafting the text, Swarming on the Battlefield
by Cat on Thu Jun 13th, 2024 at 12:47:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mark Rutte of The Netherlands was close behind Great Britain to commit to a 10 year bi-lateral security deal with military support and financial aid.  Bastards all of them 😡

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jun 13th, 2024 at 01:28:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NY Yella Cake | Pentagon Opens Ammunition Factory to Keep Arms Flowing to Ukraine, 29 May: "To keep Ukraine's artillery crews supplied, the Pentagon set a production target last year of 100,000 shells per month by the end of 2025. Factories in Scranton [!] and Wilkes-Barre, Pa., together make about 36,000 shells per month."

state.gov | U.S.-Ukraine Bilateral Security Agreement, 13 June

The United States intends to provide assistance, advice, and training to build Ukraine's defense and security capabilities, advance the reforms necessary to light Ukraine's path toward EU accession and NATO membership, and bolster Ukraine's defense industrial base through co-production and joint ventures with U.S. industry.  The agreement furthers our goal of a secure, sovereign, and independent Ukraine that is integrated with the Euro-Atlantic community and militarily capable of defeating Russian aggression now and deterring it in the future.
archive Euro-Atlantic Integration "no later than 2028"
by Cat on Sat Jun 15th, 2024 at 03:46:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
New York Yella Cake | U.S. Pier for Gaza Aid Is Failing, and Could Be Dismantled Early, 18 June JLOTS watch
In the month since it was attached to the shoreline, the pier has been in service only about 10 days. The rest of the time, it was being repaired after rough seas broke it apart, detached to avoid further damage or paused because of security concerns.
[...]
In the month since it was attached to the shoreline, the pier has been in service only about 10 days. The rest of the time, it was being repaired after rough seas broke it apart, detached to avoid further damage or paused because of security concerns. After the videos emerged, U.S. Central Command said in a statement that the pier and "its equipment, personnel and assets were not used in the operation to rescue hostages today in Gaza."
fdd.org | U.S. To Reportedly Dismantle Gaza Aid Pier as Early as July, 19 June
[...]
In a further sign that the United Nations has fallen short of its aid distribution goals [!], COGAT also noted on June 18 that "the content of over 1,000 aid trucks" was sitting on the Gazan side of the Kerem Shalom border crossing waiting "to be picked up by UN aid agencies."
18 June | 20 June liars club
(20.06.24)
In public, the White House expressed bafflement. Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre noted that only one weapons shipment had been paused since the war began, while billions of dollars of weapons had flowed unimpeded. "We genuinely do not know what he is talking about," she said. In private, Biden's team was angry and shocked by Netanyahu's ingratitude. Some U.S. officials who watched Netanyahu's video said the prime minister looked "unhinged." Netanyahu met on Wednesday with a delegation of bipartisan dumbasses from Congress led by Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD).
by Cat on Thu Jun 20th, 2024 at 05:55:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
overconcentrated supply has entered the room...
of Inflation Reduction Act "tax credits" instead of "tax cuts" for corporations

Remarks by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen at the Economic Club of New York (ECNY), 13 June

garbage in

Countries around the world look to the state of our two economies, but also our interactions, because they are crucial to global growth [volume or value?]. Together, China and the United States represent 40 percent of global output [volume or value?] and have the two largest [volume or value?] financial systems in the world. I believe that America's fundamental economic strength means that the United States [OFAC] has nothing to fear from healthy economic competition [for capital].
ofac.treasury.gov "non-market mechanisms"
Counter Terrorism Designations; West Bank-related Designation, 14 June
Russia-related Designations; Publication of Russia-related Determination; Issuance of Russia-related General Licenses, 12 June
Furthermore, OFAC is publishing an updated "Compliance Advisory to Foreign Banks on Russia Sanctions Risks" in order to provide additional guidance for foreign financial institutions.
Global Magnitsky Designations, 11 June
Counter Terrorism Designations; Iran-related Designations, 10 June
As I hear frequently from American businesses, China represents a huge market for American manufacturers and firms, supporting over 700,000 ["FACTORYLESS"] American jobs. President Biden and I reject the notion that "decoupling" would be in any way beneficial for the American economy. At the same time, we can only realize the potential benefits of our economic relationship if there is a level playing field.
Fort, T., "The Changing Firm and Country Boundaries of US Manufacturers in Global Value Chains", 2023
I am particularly concerned about China's enduring macroeconomic imbalances. China is a global outlier in terms of its very high saving rate: 45 to 50 percent of GDP for roughly 20 years. This is roughly twice the OECD [18 net "global" trade importers] average. Such high savings [OECD "investment" or CN disposable income?] reflect a lack of sufficient domestic consumption demand and risk leading to an expansion in China's external surplus [wut]. At present, China is directing an increasing share of savings into manufacturing. Specifically, China's industrial policies channel savings into unusually high investment rates in select industries, leading to excess capacity.
garbage out
This dynamic is a problem for China, as excess capacity usually indicates the presence of economic inefficiencies [?] as resources are trapped in less productive [overcapacity] firms and industries. Indeed, the share of firms losing money [?] has been rapidly increasing, recently hitting a level not seen since the early 2000s. China already accounts for 30 percent of the world's manufacturing output.
"Together, China and the United States represent 40 percent of global output"
It cannot rapidly grow that share without causing displacement [?] globally. And China cannot assume that the rest of the world will rapidly absorb huge quantities of excess production to the detriment of domestic industries in other countries.

This overcapacity threatens [FACTORYLESS] American firms and workers, along with those around the world. We saw in the past how overcapacity can decimate businesses here at home.

archive value pricing
by Cat on Fri Jun 14th, 2024 at 07:08:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]

archive inna uniparty piranha tank 2020-2024

T -152

• Genocide Joe (D)
• The Don Cheeto (R)
• Nikki Two-Tones (R)
• 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)
• RFK, Jr (I)
• Rt Rev Dr Cornel West (JFP)
• Phil The Builder (D)
• the-other-Jill (G)
• Joe face-palm (D)
Literally Anybody Else (N/A)

MOAR POLL SMOKE| 58 percent say they're living paycheck to paycheck, 6 June

About 77 percent said they are at least "somewhat" or "likely" to tune into this year's debates. The first debate is scheduled for June 27
by Cat on Thu Jun 6th, 2024 at 02:41:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Tue Jun 11th, 2024 at 02:35:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
justice.gov | Recorded interview (8.10.23)
BIDEN: I was going to become a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and I was working at the University of Delaware for the Biden School on domestic policy.
HUR: Um-hmm.
BIDEN: And so my objective was to stay engaged in public policy debate and teach. By the way, I taught before, when I was a senator, on Saturdays for a number of years. I taught at Delaware Law School. I taught a course on constitutional law on Saturday mornings. So it was—I wanted to continue that kind of work.
HUR: Understood. So with respect to your professorship and the Penn Biden Center, how much of your time did you anticipate spending on that post-vice presidency?
BIDEN: All of it.
by Cat on Thu Jun 13th, 2024 at 05:36:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
WI total pop (V2023): 5,910,955
W:    86.6%
B or AA: 6.6% (390,123)
H or L:  7.6%

HS: 93.1
BA: 32
AGE > 18: 78%
2022 HH (m): $72K

Milwaukee, WI (V2023) 561,385
W:    38.8%
B or AA: 36.6% (20,546)
H or L:  20.2%

HS: 85.5%
BA: 26.1%
AGE > 18: 74.3%
2022 HH (m): $49K

state LEGISLATURE

state ELECTORS: 10

Magical Margin Folklore w/e 22 June
ChatGPT | Black Voters in This City Could Determine 2024.
oFFS. "In Wisconsin, there isn't much margin of error."

by Cat on Fri Jun 21st, 2024 at 03:01:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jun 1st, 2024 at 05:19:36 PM EST
"ocean intelligence"
New research also adds weight to an ongoing legal fight over the responsibility of terrestrial governments to the ecosystems of the ocean. In late May, the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea found that carbon in the atmosphere counts legally as pollution, and ordered the world's governments to go further in restricting them.
by Cat on Tue Jun 11th, 2024 at 04:54:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
thehill | New map shows vast potential for geothermal energy beneath entire US (04.06.24)
Much of the vast fleet of U.S. military bases, coal plants, and industrial facilities sits atop a prime resource for clean energy: layers of hot rock deep within the earth. Geothermal is the focus of wide and bipartisan interest from eNtiTIes ranging from the fossil fuel majors to climate groups to the U.S. Department of Energy—a focus that has led to a boom in new startups. The GeoMap data shows that virtually every military base in the West, and most of those in Texas, sits atop geothermal resources suitable to generate electric power—a fact that has not been lost on the Department of Defense, which is funding pilot projects at six military bases across the West. Texas in particular stands out: The data shows a hundred-mile-wide corridor of near-surface geothermal heat that cuts across the state from the Rio Grande Valley northwest past Houston to Shreveport, La. One nearer-term site of future interest is the data center industry, which is at the leading edge of a boom in U.S. electricity demand that is pushing regional grids toward the breaking point—and which has an urgent need for cooling as well as electricity.
The Geothermal Exploration Opportunities Map Beta (GeoMapTM)
Unlike wind or solar, [Project Innerspace spox Drew] Nelson said, that potential isn't obvious to those standing on the surface. In the past, "the only way heretofore to figure out if your site was a match for geothermal was to go and drill a hole in the ground. And that gets really expensive really quick. But with this tool, the idea is that we're significantly reducing the barriers to figure out does it make sense to do geothermal in your given area?"

by Cat on Tue Jun 11th, 2024 at 05:15:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
GT | China's first zero-carbon desert highway produces 5m kW green power, 11 June
As of Monday, China's first zero-carbon desert highway—the longest photovoltaic (PV) demonstration project for irrigation and sand control at the Tarim Oilfield in the Taklimakan Desert, Northwest China's Xinjiang [!] Uygur Autonomous Region—had generated more than 5 million kilowatts of green electricity, realizing sand control and environmental protection, China Media Group (CMG) reported on Tuesday.

According to the CMG, the demonstration project has set up 86 PV power stations along the desert highway, generating electricity to irrigate more than 3,100 hectares of ecological protection forests along the highway, providing a comprehensive alternative to diesel power pumping irrigation.
[...]

China's largest environmental desert control PV project in Kubuqi desert, 3 Dec 2023
Inner Mongolia. The project will use drones in seeding and planting high-quality pasture grass and medicinal herbs under the PV power panels, achieving ecological restoration while developing agriculture in the field.
archive Tarim ultra-deep wells 2022, October 2021 ancient history, Spiegel Online 2007
by Cat on Tue Jun 11th, 2024 at 06:13:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
worldbank.org | Curbing Desertification in China (04.07.2019)
Since 2012, a US$80 million World Bank-financed project has been helping to control desertification, rehabilitate natural vegetation, and introduce other ecological protection measures in seven counties and cities in Ningxia.The effort to control sand received a boost in funding from the project. Based on experience accumulated over the past six decades and site-specific conditions, a 1+4 approach to restoring vegetation has been adopted....
euronews AP | The Maowusu Desert in China has vanished from the map (17.05.20)
"The Maowusu Desert, in northern China's Inner Mongolia Region, was one of four major deserts in the country, until it vanished from the map. Thanks to decades of work, 93.24 per cent of the land has turned green...."
gov.cn | Kubuqi Desert in North China turns green thanks to efforts of local people (29.09.20)
Photos show sand-fixing forest, a photovoltaic power base, highway, and irrigation installations in Kubuqi Desert in Ordos of Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

2021
gov.cn | Inner Mongolia set to clean up its energy act (12.03.21)
It will strictly control substandard and repetitive projects in energy-intensive industries, while encouraging enterprises to step up upgrading and transformation efforts to make room for energy consumption in high-quality development. The region will also accelerate the establishment of a new energy supply system that features intensive, efficient and comprehensive use of multiple forms of energy, to increase utilization of renewables and gradually reverse the coal-centered energy mix.

cn.gov | China to raise desert reclamation endeavors (18.06.22)
"By 2025, China plans to restore an additional 6.7 million hectares of desert areas with forests and grasslands, adding to the 18.8 million hectares the country has recovered over the last 10 years..."
xinhua | "Green Great Wall" safeguards oases in desert (06.07.23)
"The Babusha Forest Farm has successively completed sand control and afforestation of over 280,000 mu (about 18,667 hectares) of land, and the transition zone from the oasis to the desert has expanded by 30 km as a whole."
xinhua | China's anti-desertification practice amazes international students, 17 June

by Cat on Sat Jun 22nd, 2024 at 01:14:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
euronews | Scientists have built a 'digital twin' of Earth to predict the future of climate change , 11 June
The project, activated by the European Commission on 10 June with over €315 million in funding from the Digital Europe programme, hopes to provide a method of testing scenarios that will help policymakers and scientists to prepare for the future.
[...]
DestinE will be used to help Europe respond to natural disasters more effectively, adapt to climate change, and assess the potential socioeconomic and policy impacts of such events. Hypothetical scenarios such as building wind farms across Europe and information on where to plant crops as our climate changes could be provided by the model.

"If you are planning a two-​metre high dike in The Netherlands, for example, I can run through the data in my digital twin and check whether the dike will in all likelihood still protect against expected extreme events in 2050," said Peter Bauer, co-initiator of Project Destination Earth, when the project was initially announced in 2021.
[...]

Up to 5m of beach are disappearing from this Spanish coast every year: Is climate change to blame?, 10 June
[...]
According to the Ministry of Ecological Transition, this specific stretch of coastline [Costa del Sol] has lost more than 200,000 square metres of beach during this time period [2016-202]. Initially made vulnerable by human action it is now being eroded by climate change.
[...]
Patching the damage is costing the Spanish government tens of millions of euros each year. Sand has to be brought in from elsewhere to fill up the beaches for the summer tourism season. This sand is then, once again, pulled away by erosion—sometimes at a faster rate than it can be replaced.
Most of the surface ozone contributing to deaths in Europe is 'imported' pollution from elsewhere, 6 June
by Cat on Tue Jun 11th, 2024 at 06:31:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Maryland officials release timeline, cost estimate, for rebuilding bridge, 2 May: "Maryland plans to rebuild the Francis Scott Key Bridge in just over four years at an estimated cost between $1.7 billion and $1.9 billion"

dezeen | Carlo Ratti Associati proposes replacement for collapsed Baltimore bridge, 7 May AI-enabled CBAM

...In contrast to a cable-stayed bridge, the former Key Bridge was a steel arch continuous through truss bridge, an option that while strong, can be expensive and time-consuming to construct. This means it's more material-efficient and ultimately sustainable, according to the team.

"In terms of sustainability, Baltimore's cable-stayed design is one of the most material-efficient ways to build at the proposed span, minimizing the project's embodied carbon," said the [Carlo Ratti Associati] team.
[...]
It would also include integrated "smart features" that build upon Ratti's Good Vibrations research as a professor at MIT—which included capturing vibration data from smartphones placed in vehicles crossing the Golden Gate Bridge....

ChatGPT baltimoresun | Congress hasn't approved 100% funding of Key Bridge replacement, 6 June: "some have expressed sticker shock. Key Bridge handled 34,000 vehicles a day. Its absence has resulted in an 18% traffic increase and added to delays through the two harbor tunnels"

Marylandreporter | [Maryland General Assembly] imposes 338 new or increased taxes and fees, 9 June: "the 2025 Legislative Session seems very far away, but Maryland still has a significant challenge as spending is projected to outpace our revenue and large budget deficits loom"

wypr | Maryland transportation officials provide update on Key Bridge reconstruction 12 June

the MDTA said it will rebuild to current standards....Asked about reconstructing the bridge to future standards, Brian Wolfe, a principal engineer and MDTA's Director of Project Development said that is a consideration.
[...]
"Throughout the process, MDTA in cooperation with our progressive design builder will evaluate input. We welcome comments and questions and suggestions throughout the project and development," Wolfe said.
by Cat on Thu Jun 13th, 2024 at 02:14:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Global car sales fell in Q1 2022, while China's OEMs gained market share (04.07.22)
EVs outsell diesels. Sedans continue to lose share to SUVs. Toyota Group led in the rankings.

jato | Sales of Chinese cars top those of US rivals for first time 2023Q4, 15 pp
The report has focused on Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Viet Nam, and Philippines. The car sales of these countries account for more than 80% of the entire region.

jato | European EV Market: Finance insights from Belgium and the Netherlands (31.05.24)
Belgium's automotive landscape reveals a dichotomy between private retail and business sectors, with the latter dominating market share. Across the border in the Netherlands, a similar sales channel split prevails, with business sales commanding a lion's share of the market.

ec.europa.eu | Commission investigation provisionally concludes that electric vehicle value chains in China benefit from unfair subsidies, 12 June
sampled firms
• BYD: 17,4%;
• Geely: 20%;
• SAIC: 38,1%
co-operative, sampled firms
21%
any firm not sampled
38,1%
archive Reactionary Visions and eNtiTiES (13.09.23)

janto | Tesla Model Y secures position as world's best-selling car in 2023 (13.06.24)
Interestingly, last year's positive results were not driven by China. Munoz stated: "Over 17.5 million new cars were sold in the emerging economies in 2023. That is more than the total sales in US or Europe during the year."
bloomberg | China Beats US in Global Car Sales in Industry First (13.06.24)
"'Negligence from legacy automakers, which has resulted in consistently high car prices, has inadvertently driven consumers toward more affordable Chinese alternatives,' Jato analyst Felipe Munoz said."
fitch | EU Tariffs on Chinese EVs Will Not Affect Market, Potential Retaliation is Key (14.06.24)
We think any additional tariffs on European vehicles [ex]ported to China are mostly likely to be absorbed by automakers. We believe that joint-ventures (JVs) of German automakers and local manufacturers that sell vehicles in China may also be affected. China accounts for 20%-30% of German automakers' sales through JVs (increasing the overall sales exposure of German automakers to China to 30%-40%).
by Cat on Sat Jun 15th, 2024 at 10:11:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
olympics.com | The Olympic Games of Paris 2024, 26 July-11 August
"Hosting the biggest event in the world is going to change our country—it's inevitable."
euronews | Paris plans river cleanup ahead of 2024 Olympics (07.04.23): "The Paris City Hall is aiming to lift the 1923 swimming ban by 2025 if all projects go to plan."
le monde | Macron promises to swin in Seine to show off Olympic clean up (01.03.24): "Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo also said she would take a dip in the Paris river, which French authorities have spent €1.4 billion on for upgrades."
metro | Parisians to 'take a sh*t' in seine ahead of Olympic games (27.05.24):"The hashtag #JeChieDansLaSeineLe23Juin, began trending on X last week after she announced the date of her dip."
bfmtv | 50.000 cubic meters of waste water dischard into the river Seine because of broken pumps in the Yvelines, 2 June
Une quantité astronomique de lingettes. On traite 14 millions de mètres cubes d'eau usée par an à la station d'épuration de Neuville-sur-Oise et malheureusement on retrouve des choses qui ne devraient pas être là", soulève Didier Moers, directeur général des services du SIARP.
ChatGPT | Unsafe levels of E. coli found in Paris' Seine River less than 2 months before Olympics, 15 June "colony-forming units"
after persistent heavy rain in Paris, showed bacteria such as E. coli and enterococci beyond limits judged safe for athletes. The report was published by monitoring group Eau de Paris one day after a senior International Olympic Committee executive said there were "no reasons to doubt" races will go ahead as scheduled in a historic downtown stretch of the Seine near the Eiffel Tower.
[...]
Earlier this week, Paris' mayor Anne Hidalgo doubled down on her promise to take a dip in the river before the start of the competition. On Tuesday, she confirmed that her swim was postponed until after the snap elections in France, which end on July 7.
by Cat on Mon Jun 17th, 2024 at 12:46:26 AM EST
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axios | Seine remains too polluted to host swimming events at Paris Olympics, 21 June
Paris region official Marc Guillaume said at a press conference Friday. However, he said he was "confident" the swimming events would go forward as planned, noting that heavy rains recently had hurt the results and likely don't reflect the weather anticipated for the Games' opening on July 26. "At one point or another, the weather will change, it's going to stop raining, and we're going to have sunshine ... It is in summer conditions that we must be able to examine swimmability," he added.
by Cat on Sat Jun 22nd, 2024 at 02:09:25 PM EST
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euronews | 'A momentous day for nature': EU approves Nature Restoration law that could bring back biodiversity, 19 June
The Nature Restoration Law aims to restore at least 20 per cent of the EU's land and sea areas by 2030, and all degraded ecosystems by 2050. It is the first comprehensive, continent-wide law of its kind.

The law sets binding targets and obligations for EU member states to rehabilitate their natural habitats - 80 per cent of which are currently in poor condition. It focuses especially on those with the most potential to capture and store carbon.
[...]
In a vote held among EU environment ministers today, Finland, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden rejected the law, while Belgium abstained. But Austria, which had been internally divided, flipped at the last minute in favour, allowing the minimum threshold for it to pass.

Under the new law, EU member states will prioritise restoration of Natura 2000 protected areas, which cover Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats.

ChatGPT | EU approved Slovak law to kill bears in return for nature vote, minister claims, 18 June Teddygate
...The Commission denied such a transaction ever took place. But in a note to the Slovak last week, which [deputy PM] Tomáš] Taraba's department shared with POLITICO, EU environment chief Virginijus Sinkevičius gave provisional backing to a controversial Slovak law that sanctions killing bears near villages and towns. Then he asked for Taraba's vote for the nature law. Sinkevičius' team insists this wasn't a trade. But Taraba certainly viewed it that way....

by Cat on Wed Jun 19th, 2024 at 04:48:21 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jun 1st, 2024 at 05:20:06 PM EST
Boeing launches NASA astronauts for the first time after years of delays, 5 June
...Crippled by bad software, Starliner's initial test flight in 2019 without a crew had to be repeated before NASA would let its astronauts strap in....
upi | 'Nicely done!' Boeing Starliner astronauts welcomed to ISS at last (06.06.24)
There are two American-crewed spacecraft docked at ISS now—SpaceX's Dragon was there when Starliner arrived. It experienced a thruster malfunction with the B1 A3 thruster, so it was shut down while others were used to control the spacecraft as it docked. At about 10 meters away a planned hold was implemented to perform the final line-up for docking.
space.com | Boeing's 1st Starliner astronaut mission extended through June 18, 10 June
If all goes well on CFT [Crew Flight Test], Starliner will be certified to fly six-month astronaut missions to and from the ISS for NASA. SpaceX already does this with its Dragon capsule; Elon Musk's company is in the middle of its eighth long-duration crewed flight to the ISS, known as Crew-8.
by Cat on Tue Jun 11th, 2024 at 05:47:12 AM EST
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by Cat on Thu Jun 13th, 2024 at 05:16:50 PM EST
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Click Bait DICTION CORNER
content amalgamation: blend ofcontent types to create a credible, multi-layered story
FIMI: foreign interference and information manipulation

Exec. Summary (15.06.24): Russia deliberately flooding newsrooms with fake content to overwhelm fact-checkers, 90 pp study says:"Operation Overload" by Finnish software and methodologies company Check First, which published the report [v.1.1/05.06.24]. The ongoing scheme involves anonymous pro-Russian actors who contact journalists in a co-ordinated campaign to have them verify suspected fake news. The ploy relies on the simple principle that "all publicity is good publicity". For example, the sender of one email cited in the report poses as a concerned citizen who has supposedly seen suspicious claims in Russian media and asks journalists to take a look.
Acknowledgments: EU DisinfoLab, IDLab-MEDIA, COM-PRESS, Antibot4Navalny, AFP
Elevator Pitch (14.06.24): EU Policy. Mistral AI warns of lack of data centres and training capacity in Europe

"We are reaching the capacity; we need to build datacentres and ensure there is enough electricity for the scale of [computer programming] development today. There is a huge amount of work to be done," Audrey Herblin-Stoop, Head of Public Affairs at Mistral AI said at a conference organised by the European Court of Auditors (ECA). Mistral AI, which was founded a year ago, used supercomputer facilities opened by the European Commission to train [test] its models.

"The access to infrastructure is important, if you don't have this, you cannot build large language models. We could train the first ones on EU supercomputer Leonardo. We were lucky enough not being blocked access to computing, but this will come for other companies. The volumes [EUR/Tb] that are needed for [computer programming] are incredible," she added.

archive European Court of Auditors, Sam Altman, The Bat Man Makes The Machine
by Cat on Sat Jun 15th, 2024 at 07:10:14 PM EST
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Safeguarding Democratic Processes
In a year during which millions worldwide choose their leaders and representatives, we reaffirm our commitment to safeguard democratic values and human rights. With the rapid evolution of emerging technology, we are more concerned than ever about Foreign Information Manipulation and Interference (FIMI) in our democratic institutions and processes, and how attempted interference campaigns, malicious cyber activities, and transnational repression collectively undermine sovereignty and democratic values.

We pledge to strengthen our coordinated efforts to better prevent, detect, and respond to FIMI threats through human rights-respecting practices and by supporting freedom of expression and free, independent, and pluralistic media. We ask our relevant Ministers to bolster the G7 Rapid Response Mechanism [2018 G7] by creating by the end of the year a collective response framework to counter foreign threats to democracies, including publicly exposing foreign operations of information manipulation. We also call on tech companies, in particular social media platforms, to intensify their efforts to prevent and counter FIMI campaigns and the  potential abuse of AI for this purpose and work towards higher standards of transparency and accountability on these issues.

We will continue our cooperation with governments and non-governmental partners to work towards the promotion of fact-based, quality, and trustworthy information and will support relevant international initiatives, in particular in the UN and OECD. [9 heads of the G7:36]

by Cat on Sun Jun 16th, 2024 at 12:34:51 AM EST
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by Cat on Fri Jun 21st, 2024 at 12:30:09 PM EST
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by Cat on Wed Jun 19th, 2024 at 02:43:45 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jun 1st, 2024 at 05:20:28 PM EST

Thanks, G7!

by Cat on Thu Jun 20th, 2024 at 12:09:40 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jun 1st, 2024 at 05:20:47 PM EST
Lemkin's Girl Friday, 2024 re-make of the 1940 classic

voa* | Anna Neistat: Clooney Foundation seeks criminal prosecution of Russian propagandists, 30 May

Now international organizations investigating the role of Russian propaganda in Russia's aggressive war against Ukraine say that the organizers and agents of information support for this war should be prosecuted in the same way as war criminals.

One such organization is the Clooney Foundation for Justice, founded by human rights activist Amal Clooney and her husband, the famous American actor George Clooney. Anna ["Anya"] Neistat, Director of Legal Affairs for the Clooney Foundation's Docket [Initiative], told Danila Galperovich about the ways in which she and her colleagues are trying to bring Russian propagandists to justice.
[...]
VOA: What exactly are you doing to bring Russian propagandists to justice? Tell us about your method of doing this.

latimes | Biden, Trump head to Southern California in June for big-dollar fundraisers (13.05.24 TOWING UKRAINE AND ISRAEL)
In 2012, Clooney hosted a fundraiser for Obama at his Studio City house that raised $15 million for his re-election effort, believed at the time to be the largest one-night campaign haul.
NEISTAT: There are two main approaches to this, which we are mastering, despite the fact that there are other ways, but they are much more complex. I don't want to go too deep into legal casuistry, but I will tell you about two ways. First, the charge of incitement to genocide. [...]  In other words, one of the ways to prosecute Russian propagandists is to appeal to the ICC with a request to bring them to justice and open an investigation into their involvement in incitement to genocide. But this path is not the easiest, given all the legal difficulties associated with proving this crime, and given how many cases the ICC is currently considering—both related to UKRAINE and all the others < wipes tears >. But I think that even purely symbolically, if the ICC considers the possibility of such an investigation, such a signal will be absolutely correct.

However, a more practical way is to bring charges of propaganda of war. This is a crime that is still present in the criminal codes of several European countries. The construction of the articles there is quite interesting, but the crime itself is very simple, simpler than incitement to genocide: it is literally propaganda of war < wink, wink >.
[...]

* Russian lang. VOA, golosameriki

tr.im | George Clooney's Docket [Initiative] Seeks Secret Arrest Warrants for Russian Journalists in Europe , 31 May

We plan to hunt down Russian journalists through secret arrest warrants."
ChatGPT | George Clooney Denies Plans to Seek Arrest of Russian Journalists, 3 June
On Monday, the Hollywood actor issued a statement through his organization saying that "someone in our foundation misspoke."
reference
Williams, K., "A New History of War Reporting," 25 pp excerpt
by Cat on Wed Jun 5th, 2024 at 01:36:32 AM EST
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tabloid USA | George Clooney phoned White House over fears his wife, Amal Clooney, could face sanctions, report says, 7 June
"The two-time Academy Award winner [actor, director, producer] was concerned the Biden administration might impose sanctions on the international court [AND] his wife, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, wapoo said."
Clooney's call came just weeks before he is set to appear at a fundraiser for Biden's reelection campaign June 15 in Los Angeles. His concerns spread throughout Biden's orbit, leaving some officials to worry that the high-profile actor [director, producer, "frenemy"] would withdraw from participating in the marquee fundraiser, which will also feature former president Barack Obama, late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel and actress Julia Roberts.
ibid
by Cat on Sun Jun 9th, 2024 at 03:15:08 PM EST
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Obama, Clooney, Kimmel help raise $28 million for Biden campaign at Hollywood fundraiser, updated 5:52 ET June 15, 2024 breakfast buffet
"Biden, who was in Italy the past few days for the Group of Seven nations summit, landed on Aif Force One at Joint Andrews Base outside Washington shortly before 3 a.m. ET Saturday. The plane refueled, and Biden left for Los Angeles about an hour later."
by Cat on Sat Jun 15th, 2024 at 10:44:16 PM EST
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Biden's decision to fly through the night across nine time zones pays off: Clooney and Roberts help Biden raise $30 million-plus at a star-studded Hollywood gala, 16 June
by Cat on Sun Jun 16th, 2024 at 11:50:31 PM EST
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by Cat on Thu Jun 6th, 2024 at 08:27:15 PM EST
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So the truth comes out at last for the servile masses in America ...

Such a sad state of affairs 🥵

See my writings about HRC and the corrupt intelligence community backing her candidacy ... PropOrNot ...  Lying Liars


'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jun 7th, 2024 at 05:40:42 AM EST
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after roughly three hours of deliberation
first criminal conviction of a sitting president's child's first-time offense are rarely given the maximum penalty story developing ...
by Cat on Tue Jun 11th, 2024 at 03:30:23 PM EST
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OpenAI founder Ilya Sutskever sets up new AI company devoted to "safe super-intelligence"
Sutskever, Daniel Gross, and Daniel Levy said in a prepared statement that Safe Superintelligence is an American company with roots in Palo Alto and Tel Aviv, "where we have deep roots and the ability to recruit top technical talent."
by Cat on Thu Jun 20th, 2024 at 12:49:42 PM EST
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"What fresh hell is this?" (Shakespeare)

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jun 21st, 2024 at 08:29:14 PM EST
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