• Sep, 2021
  • 14-09-2021
  • Trump interview, talks about 'surviving' in role of president

    He was asked in an interview with FoxNews this month what was hard about being pres. He said:

    "Well, I had 2 forms of presidency. Number 1 I had to run the country, work on the world, and do things. In the other one I had to survive. The survival was much tougher, because I had fake Muller people coming after me, I had 19 really haters after me. I had every form of law enforcement after me. It started from the day I came down the escalator. It never stops. I had every prosecutor after me. They're looking at deals I did years and years ago. I forgot about them. ... But if you don't survive, you can't do a good job in terms of running."

    "... with Pelosi and Schumer and all of them. That was probably the toughest. Far tougher than a lot of world leaders."
     
  • Sep, 2021
  • 11-09-2021
  • Japan PM Yoshihide Suga to step down

    ... after just a year in office, after the resignation of Abe.

    People said it was just simple politics, that he doesn't have political backup and is stepping down to avoid more infighting which might cause his party (LDP) to lose more seats. Suga's ratings are low.

  • Sep, 2021
  • 06-09-2021
  • Guinea pres. removed in coup

    Critics say President Alpha Conde didn't deliver on the promises he made that put him in government, Last year he changed the constitution to allow himself a third term.

    The main points are ethnic reconciliation and economic improvement. Critics say that although he said he would work towards ethnic unification, he later politicked and used ethnic divisions to advantage.

     
  • Sep, 2021
  • 01-09-2021
  • FDA’s former acting chief scientist: “FDA is losing two giants who helped bring us many safe and effective vaccines over decades of public service.”

    Office of Vaccines Research and Review Director Marion Gruber, Ph.D. and Deputy Director Phillip Krause, M.D.


  • Chinese govt erases rich actress from internet

    Zhao Wei fled to France.

    From News.au:

    On Friday, Beijing’s Cyberspace Administration agency issued a set of instructions to social media and internet operators aimed at “rectifying issues” with fan communities.

    The purpose was to ensure “political and ideological safety in the cyberspace as well as creating a clean internet”.

    Celebrities can no longer be ranked in order of popularity.

    Talent agencies must submit themselves to Communist Party oversight.

    Fan clubs must be licenced and officially authorised.

    Any disagreement between fans of different high-profile personalities must immediately be censored.

    The regulatory crackdown follows the publication of a policy guideline, Implementation Outline for the Establishment of a Rule of Law-Based Society, which mandates the establishment of “moral norms” as “legal norms”.

    China is reportedly banning stars who are considered immoral. Zhao has been in various scandals over the years. She has also been in conflict with the CCP for her friendly relations with Taiwan and Japan, it seems.

    She was accused of tax evasion Friday. If she pays the $A63m fine, she might be able to return to normal life in China.

    https://www.news.com.au/technology/online/internet/china-erases-billionaire-actress-zhao-wei-from-history/news-story/94100f6569377078cfeee411f5fc3538
     
  • Aug, 2021
  • 23-08-2021
  • Future political change in US, taking apart Big Tech - Stoller's guess

    (Matt Stoller, Director of Research at the American Economic Liberties Project)

    'The pace setters of our ideology right now, of these dominant centers of power, and ignoring that power to just sort of focus on other questions that matter but that don't touch power directly, that don't touch concentrated commercial power. This is big tech. It's Amazon, it's Facebook, it's Google, it's Apple, it's Microsoft. These are the pace setters of our economic order. And I think that we're going to be taking those apart. And as we take those apart, because they are too powerful, and the Right and Left have both kind of come to that conclusion, there are going to be so many other consequences of that choice.

    'To take apart the most powerful firms in your economy means that you're really restructuring how you think about political philosophy and political economy, and that's going to have lots of consequences in every industry across the board, and you're already kind of seeing it.'

     
  • Aug, 2021
  • 22-08-2021
  • Taliban's future plans and update from them

    Abdul Qahar Balkhi, from the Taliban’s Cultural Commission, in the Taliban’s first official interview since it took control of Kabul a week ago (talking to AJ):

    On government formation

    "The consultations are ongoing, and of course it is going to be an inclusive system.

    "The talks include whether the capital will remain in Kabul or move to [the group’s birthplace] Kandahar.

    On the chaos at Kabul airport

    Balkhi: We are in talks and we have a relationship, a working relationship, with the Americans about the security arrangement.

    The outside checkposts are in our control, and inside is under the control of the US forces, and we are in constant contact with one another.

    On the lack of trust between people in Kabul and the Taliban

    Balkhi: It is very unfortunate for people to be rushing to the airport the way they are at the moment.

    Because we have announced a general amnesty for everyone in the security forces from the senior to the junior level… this fear, this hysteria that has taken place is unfounded.

    On the swift takeover of Kabul

    Balkhi: The developments were so fast that all people were taken by surprise.

    When we entered Kabul, and it was not planned because we announced initially that we do not want to enter Kabul, and we want to reach a political solution before entering Kabul and making a joint and inclusive government. But what happened was that the security forces left, abandoned their places, and we were forced to ask our forces to enter and take over security.

    On governance and women’s rights

    Balkhi: The point of intra-Afghan talks was precisely that we come to an agreement about what those rights actually entail.

    Islamic law is known to everyone and there are no ambiguities about the rights of women, the rights of men, not only women but also the rights of men and children. And right now we’re in a situation that hopefully during the consultations there will be clarifications about what those rights are.

    On the reported targeted killings and harassment of government and civil society figures

    Balkhi: O
    On the chaos at Kabul airportur foremost priority is the discipline in our own ranks, and not enforcing laws on others but enforcing it on ourselves first and then giving it an example for the rest of society to follow suit. So we’re the first ones and our members, if they are involved in such things, [they] will be the first to be prosecuted.
    On the group being labelled ‘terrorists’

    Balkhi: I don’t think people believe we are terrorists. I think it’s just “the war on terror”, it was just a term coined by the United States and anyone [who did] not fall in line were labelled terrorists.

    ...

    What a difference it makes to hear a non-aggressive man speak English. It's the first time I've heard anything other than Taliban elders speaking with subtitles underneath. While they may have sounded a bit rough or stern, perhaps part of that was simply a rougher, sterner way of just speaking normally there.

    Although some wondered if it was just a charm offensive, not representative of the Taliban.

    AJ English on YT: Taliban official reveals more about the group’s vision for the future
     
  • Women, girls and minorities

    This seems to be the mantra used by mass media, voicing the US gov side of the Afghan issue.

    The Taliban has said their government won't be like a Western democracy but will protect everyone's rights, but critics doubt this given the Taliban's record for ...

    Is this because Western govs can't really say they protect rights anymore? and really just have a few things they really hold up (some say unfairly positively prejudice in favor of)? Those three things.
  • Some US National Guards seeking to limit their deployment unless a state of war is actually declared by Congress

    'The mission for the National Guard has to be changed,' said one vet.

    Traditionally, the National Guard is activated by the states to deal with domestic emergencies (natural disasters, civil disturbances, pandemics). And support and backup for overseas military operations. Lots served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    They were a strategic reserve, and are now 'a combat operationally-focused reserve capability,' according to some.

    States are obligated to make them available in 'national security threats.' The issue is 'What is a national security threat?' The 2001 War on Terror resolution has allowed the last 4 presidents to use them for their wars, and they all have done so. Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Some, like Congresswoman Idaho Lt. Governor Janice McGeachin, believe undeclared wars (all American wars since WWII) are not included, according to Article 1 of the Constitution. Article 1, for allowing Federal use of the state's militia, is for executing the laws of the nation, suppressing insurrection, and repelling invasions.

    'Defend the Guard' is the name of one of the groups doing this.

    However, the states might not be able to limit Federal control of the Guard after it 'has been mobilized for Federal service in the context of any law, or mobilized for Federal training as a reserve of the army or air force, the states have no control over what the president or the DoD does with those units once they're in that status.' (Brig. Gen. David McGinnis (Red.))

    One thing the Fed can do is limit funding for the Guard if they don't come when called on. Hundreds of millions per year.

    Some say the Guard, as a result of it's militarization and combat deployments, is better trained, equipped, and more integrated with the active military.

    But is that a good type of better for doing state domestic emergencies?


    WIkipedia: Article One of the United States Constitution
     
  • Jul, 2021
  • 23-07-2021
  • China announces sanctions on seven Americans, including HRW's Sophie Richardson

    China's foreign ministry spokesperson also referred to American 'preaching' and 'arrogance.'

  • France lower house approved a bill to give the government more powers to combat things tied to 'religion' (Islamist separatism)

    Powers to enable the government to do things with religious organizations and places of worship, foreign funding, home schooling, wearing religious symbols and certain clothing, and 'online abuse.'
  • Jul, 2021
  • 22-07-2021
  • Merkel at last press conference says 'we' did not do enough for global warming goal (keeping it under 2 degrees)

    ... and that this is why 'we need to step up our efforts.' She was in power 16 years.

  • Assassinations of political leaders, or at least reports of them

    Most recent in Madagascar for a plot.

    In previous weeks Haiti's president was killed by a squad of gunmen, and Mali's interim leader said he was victim to an attempt.

     
  • Jul, 2021
  • 07-07-2021
  • Haitian president assassinated at home

    At 1am armed men, some speaking French, some English, entered his residence and shot him and his wife (who died later). His son escaped.

    We don't know what group the assassins belong to, or how they get past security, or how they knew anything about the interior of the residence.

    President Jovenel Moise won (with 8% of the vote) in 2017. Due to violence in the country, he assumed office without continuing to Haiti's second round of the election, so many considered him illegitimate in the role. When called to step down, he didn't, and some said he was increasingly authoritarian.

    Haiti has a lot of violence. Most of the population lives on a few dollars a day, and parts of the country are not regularly accessible because they are controlled by armed groups and bandits.

    Now there's a shuffle ongoing to put in a new leader, as the VP died months ago of Covid-19.

    The PM announced that day a 'state of emergency.'

     
  • Jul, 2021
  • 02-07-2021
  • Historical 'revisionism' in China, CCP anniversary

    China's Communist Party marked it's 100th anniversary, and Xi made a big speech, using quite marshal language and stating China wouldn't be pushed around by foreign powers.

    China is practicing 'historical nihilism,' according to China Centre (Oxford U) Director Rana Mitter, revisionism in which the communist political movement started with a handful of guys in the 1920's, and then some stuff happened which was necessary or inevitable, and then they are where they are now.

    The take is that before Communism, China was being buffeted by various foreign factors like Western imperialism and the 'Century of Humiliation,' Opium Wars, Japanese invasion in the 1920s; and the CCP is the final vehicle of destiny that allowed China to stand up for itself.

    He said that in China you can't mention the Great Leap Forward of the 1950s (where 10's of millions died), and that the Cultural Revolution, although more complex, can be talked about in China but you have to be careful which parts you talk about.

  • Jun, 2021
  • 27-06-2021
  • Palestinian protesters want Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to resign following death of one of his critics in custody

    The man's family said the autopsy report showed he had been beaten.

    'What Nizar faced was planned and organized crime,' said a protester.

    The protesters who assembled in Ramallah had other complaints, including corruption, cronyism, disregard for legitimate process, and not protecting the rights of Palestinians. Abbas recently postponed Palestinian elections indefinitely.
  • 5 years since Brexit referendum (June 23, 2016)

    A panelist back then: 'The spell of the European Union not being questioned has been broken.'

    The vote result was kind of a surprise.

    A recent poll has it that 48% of Britons think it was the wrong decision to have made, and 40% the right decision.

     
  • Jun, 2021
  • 26-06-2021
  • Trump held his first rally since leaving office

    He left office Jan 20. He hasn't done anything really public except a few interviews since then.

    He doesn't have options for speaking to the public he used to have, since Twitter and Facebook banned him earlier this year.

     
  • Jun, 2021
  • 14-06-2021
  • Israeli PM Netanyahu voted out after 10 years

     
  • Jun, 2021
  • 13-06-2021
  • Macron slapped

    ... by a man behind a regular barricade when the French pres walked up to talk to people. The man nearest him grabbed the presidents arm, yelled 'Down with Macronism,' and slapped his face.

     
  • US Republicans very much enjoying Kamala Harris' not visiting the US/Mexico border

    They're counting the days (now about 80) since she's held a news conference on the immigration issue.

    She's been down in Guatemala, tasked with addressing the root cause of the immigration crisis.

    According to Ted Cruz in a recent criticism of the Biden government, the US is seeing the highest rate of illegal immigration in 20 years.

     

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