• Drought threatens major (shipping) rivers in Europe, DW reported

    #Europe
  • Putin to temporarily shut down Nord Stream, reportedly
  • Turkey 'got what it wanted from Finland and Sweden' in talks, its government says

    ... and it approved the bids by Finland and Sweden to join NATO. Many view this as picking sides against Russia. Erdogan also said yesterday 'We will work with Biden for the purchase of the F-16s.'


  • The biggest increase in military spending since the 90s. 40% for air force 20% on the Navy. 17% for ground forces. 35% to refill ammunition depos and upgrade cyberwarfare and kit.

    They want 35 Lockheed-Martin F-35s, 60 Boeing Chinook helicopters, and 15 Eurofighter typhoon jets. They'll also spend on R&D, combat cloud, combat air systems (6th gen fighter jet), submarine tech, frigates, artillery, tanks. In cooperation with other European countries and the US.

    They don't currently have a single combat-ready division, reportedly. They plan to have a combat ready division in 2025.

    What was their use to NATO? "On paper" they have 350 Pumas (150 can be used), 51 Tiger helicopters (9 ready). They use analog (not encrypted) radios.

    30% of their navy is seaworthy. Their army has 200k soldiers, down from 1990's 500k.

    They're planning to up their spending to 2% of GDP on defense.

    But they have to get approval to pass this. Germany has a lot of pacifism, but it's currently anyway getting a lot of support.

    An interesting thing in Germany is when there's bidding for a defense contract, the loser can challenge the decision, which can stall things for years. German contractors do sue each other sometimes, delaying things for years also.

      
     
  • Europe taking a lot of flack for recently switching to coal after long criticizing developing nations for using it

    Russia has cut gas exports to Europe 50% over the past week, reportedly.

    Some say China and India are buying more Russian gas.

    Colombia increased exports of coal to Europe 50% (1.3m tonnes) this year. South Africa is now sending coal to Europe.

    Europe uses 20% of the world's energy resources, but has 7% of the world's population.

     
  • Turkey blocked Sweden and Finland bids to join NATO

    Sweden and Finland had a decades-old policy of neutrality that they now seem to want to change.

    NATO needs a unanimous vote for new members.

    The main reason given by Turkey is that those countries host Kurdish groups the Turkish government deems terrorists.

    Diplomats from the two countries are going to Turkey to try diplomacy, but Erdogan publicly said they shouldn't bother to tire themselves, as Turkey won't accept counties that impose sanctions (export bans on Turkey... Sweden halted arms sales to Turkey after Turkish intervention in Syria 3 years ago) on Turkey, because then NATO would cease to be a security organization and start to be a place where reps of terrorist organizations are represented.

  • Indonesian coal

    Has seen prices rise from $100 per ton in April 2021 to around $300 (it was $400 a bit ago). It started a while ago, before the Ukraine war, but has been effected by Europe's new energy issues.

    The government of Indonesia requires coal producers to sell 25% in Indonisia at prices it decides ("domestic market obligation"), and the companies are making a good profit off the rest on the open market.

     
  • "Perversely, what is supposed to be the cleanest energy policy will turn out to be the dirtiest" - Samo Burja

    He said he thinks that because for the past 20 years (more?) the German government has been telling the populace nuclear energy is like the worst thing, dangerous, it would be very difficult to now say to them that they're going to start building new plants, "I think you're just going to keep burning coal, because you will be forced to disentangle from Russia eventually."


  • The Germans have been slashing [defense] budgets basically every year for the last 20 years. The capabilities of the once-fearsome West German military that became the German military, those are long gone. There's really nothing Germany can do except economically. - Samo Burja

    Britain, France. These are shadows of what they were even in the 90s.

  • "It's not in China's interest to have Russia collapse. So I think a coupling of Russia to the Chinese system feels like the default outcome right now." - Samo Burja

    Resulting in high energy prices in Europe, slow de-industrialization and impoverishment of Europe.

    China is the only winner of a conflict between Europe and Russia, Burja said, although he said the US could benefit long term from the goings on (because the US can be energy independent and produce oil, in addition to other reasons).

     
  • "The Germans have been enabling Russia more than anyone else in behavior against our interests" - Samo Burja

    He said they just have to do something else, whether its nuclear plants or de-industrializing.

  • "The entire German strategy for the last 40 years has been 'Use our economic weight to effect a favorable security and trade and regulatory environment worldwide. That strategy has failed profoundly." - Samo Burja

    ... talking about Ukraine.
  • Perhaps EU wants to prove its relevance in the situation - Russian EU delegate

  • Reportedly, Latvia and Czech Republic have made it illegal to support Russia

    That basically means Speech.

    25% of Latvia is Russians.

    Czech said 1-3 years possible for supporting Russia.

  • EU banned Russia Today and Sputnik media

    In the West (or the world?) Russia's main media sites are regarded not really as news but more as of propaganda.

     
  • "One sanction that Putin fears, and that is ending the purchase of natural gas from Gazprom." - Yanis Varoufakis

    "... As we speak, Nordstream 1, the gas pipeline, is feeding the German industrial machine with 40% of its energy from Russian gas. They're not going to say anything about that, because this is a sanction they're not prepared to make."

     
  • Expectation is inflation will be worse in Europe than US

    US is a net- energy exporter (since 2019).

  • Norway's said it will unwind its $3b worth of Russian holdings from its sovereign wealth fund

  • Estimated that maybe 5m Ukrainians will become refugees in Europe (mostly in Poland)

    They're talking about allowing such refugees to live in EU countries for three years.

  • Zelenskyy wasn't popular among many European nations before, but now he's seen as a kind of folk hero, an underdog fighting for his nation

    ... some say. He didn't accept the US invitation for him to come to the States. He reportedly hasn't been avoiding battles, joining the soldiers where the fighting is. And he has demonstrated he can work 24 hours a day.

     
  • 2008 Russia takes a piece of Georgia, sanctions were pretty limited

    2014 takes two pieces of Ukraine, a few years later he's hosting the World Cup and European leaders are coming to visit him there

    2016 elections, Obama's like I don't want to deal with that right now

    So the economic sanctions now are maybe more than Russia expected

    - View by Ian Bremmer

  • Bulgarians and Greeks are buying a lot of goods in Turkey for the low prices.

  • Cluster: Ultra-right, anti-vaccine-mandate, political organization

    MSM is tying vaccine mandate opposition to 'nazis,' it seems.

    But there might be two things here: first, that protesting vaccine mandates (which would include people of all political affiliations) could be a basis for political organization and activity; and radical political extremes in political limitations on those in the chairs.


     

  •  
  • Fed gov of Austria ordered a lockdown for non-vaccinated people

    Barred from leaving their homes, with threat of a $500 fine. Applies to anyone not 'fully vaccinated' or previously infected.

    65% of the country is vaccinated.


    Protests:


     
  • EU (ECJ) fines Poland 1m Euros per day

    In Poland there's a disciplinary chamber that, critics say, can make judges leave if they don't follow the 'right wing' party line.

    The chamber, EU says, violates EU law because it compromises the independence of the judiciary in Poland.

    ECJ decided this last summer and Poland accepted it, but Poland didn't really take any steps to remove the chamber.

    The method of fines is standard for the EU when a country does something they don't like, but usually the countries fall into line.

    In September, one of Poland's high courts (with ties to government it is said) also decided Poland's courts can overrule the ECJ.

     
  • EU majority vote against mass surveillance through facial recognition

    ... such as that used by police. It's called 'biometric surveillance.'

    It's not a law against, that they voted for. It's more of a statement against the idea.

     
  • Putin assured EU he has all the natgas they want

    Europeans pay 5x what Americans pay for natgas.

  • EU fined WhatsApp (FB) $270m for privacy violations

    Someone commented that until it's over a billion or double-digit billions FB will view these fines as costs of doing business, and that the EU is using the company as an ATM.

    #BigTech #EU #Law
     
  • 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.

     
  • EU border wall, sound weapons, AI lie detection

    In order to keep out migrants several EU countries are building border walls (nevermind their negative response to the 2017 Trump proposal), employing sound cannons, and working on an AI lie detection tool.

    Analysts have commented that often these types of tools, implemented for such causes as migrants, are tested out before being turned on the citizens of the countries that built them.

    They also note that the steps will possibly result in more deaths, as the migrants will turn to smugglers and other more dangerous methods of entering Europe.

     
  • EU Parliament threatens Russian oil sector

    The EP, responding to Russian military buildups on the Ukraine border, passed a resolution that "demands that Russia immediately end the practice of unjustified military build-ups targeted at threatening its neighbors."

    The EU stated that other countries should supply more arms to Ukraine, and threatened that if Russia invaded Ukraine the EU "imports of oil and gas from Russia to the EU be immediately stopped, while Russia should be excluded from the SWIFT payment system, and all assets in the EU of oligarchs close to the Russian authorities and their families in the EU need to be frozen and their visas cancelled."

    Russia responded by saying it was ready to be shut off from Swift.

    SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) is a transaction network that connect thousands of banks in over 200 countries. Russia's central bank has its own transaction network, SPFS (System for Transfer of Financial Messages) but outside of Russia only 8 banks use it.
    "demands that Russia immediately end the practice of unjustified military build-ups targeted at threatening its neighbours."

    Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/world/russian-aggression-ep-resolution-proposes-switching-off-swift-for-russia-if-kremling-invades-ukraine-11406190.html
    It also "demands that Russia immediately end the practice of unjustified military build-ups targeted at threatening its neighbours."

    Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/world/russian-aggression-ep-resolution-proposes-switching-off-swift-for-russia-if-kremling-invades-ukraine-11406190.html
    It also "demands that Russia immediately end the practice of unjustified military build-ups targeted at threatening its neighbours."

    Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/world/russian-aggression-ep-resolution-proposes-switching-off-swift-for-russia-if-kremling-invades-ukraine-11406190.html

     

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