In which Europe continues to flounder, Erdogan doubles down on his demands, British imperialists reach new levels of derangement, victory is defeat and defeat is victory, and the many lessons we can take from Reagan.

Link back to the discussion thread.


Economically

Europe

  • How Europe Was Pushed Towards Economic Suicide Moon of Alabama

  • The banks collapsed in 2008 – and our food system is about to do the same Guardian

For the past few years, scientists have been frantically sounding an alarm that governments refuse to hear: the global food system is beginning to look like the global financial system in the run-up to 2008.

While financial collapse would have been devastating to human welfare, food system collapse doesn’t bear thinking about. Yet the evidence that something is going badly wrong has been escalating rapidly. The current surge in food prices looks like the latest sign of systemic instability.

  • UK Is About to Become Stagflation Nation Bloomberg

In a world reeling from soaring inflation and weak growth, the UK holds a special place. It’s on track to be the advanced nations’ stagflation capital. Prices are expected to rise 13.1% over this year and next, the most in the Group of Seven, and the UK will drop to the bottom of the pack for growth in 2023, according to the International Monetary Fund. The National Institute of Economic & Social Research reckons the country will be in recession before next year.

  • EU unveils 210 bln euro plan to ditch Russian fossil fuels Reuters

  • Russia Will Force Oil Buyers To Pay More If EU Introduces Tariffs OilPrice

  • Russia’s Gas Flows Via Ukraine Plunged 50% In The Past Week OilPrice

  • LNG Demand Is Soaring As Europe Races To Replace Russian Gas OilPrice

  • Can Africa replace Russia as the EU’s main source of gas? RT

In 2021, Russia supplied about 45% of the European Union’s natural gas, pumping around 155 billion cubic meters (bcm) of it through several pipelines. …

In 2021, African nations supplied 16.6 million tons (MT) of LNG (approximately equivalent to 23 bcm) to the countries of the EU, another 7 MT was delivered to the UK and Turkey, 16.7 MT to Asia, and 0.5 MT to Latin America. Despite post-pandemic economic growth and the dynamic recovery of gas demand, Africa was only able to increase LNG exports by 2 MT compared to the crisis year of 2020. Pipeline exports to Spain and Italy from Algeria and Libya totaled 35 bcm. Thus, Africa exported around 68 bcm to the EU in 2021.

African gas exporters can be divided into two categories: those with spare export capacities (Algeria, Egypt) but lacking enough supplies of their own gas; and those with gas but without the capacity to properly export it (Nigeria, Mauritania/Senegal, and Mozambique). Algeria and Egypt are taking steps to increase production, but most of this growth is spent meeting the needs of their domestic markets (electricity generation, industries, fertilizer production); liquefaction facilities are being built in Mauritania, Senegal, Mozambique and Nigeria, and it is from these countries that we can expect an increase of exports in the medium term.

  • UN urges Ukraine grain release, World Bank pledges extra $12 bn BangkokPost

  • Russia could legalise cryptocurrencies as means of payment Reuters

  • Companies leaving Russia are caving to public pressure, not actually making a difference The Conversation

  • As McDonald’s Exits Russia, China, Turkey, Brazil And India Step-In Forbes

Asia and Oceania

  • Japan Inc turns against central bank’s monetary stimulus, Reuters survey shows Reuters

More than 60% of Japanese companies want the central bank to end its policy of massive monetary easing this fiscal year due to pain from the weak yen, with roughly a quarter calling for it to take action now, a Reuters survey shows.

  • Australia’s unemployment rate drops to lowest since 1974 Al Jazeera

  • Thai economy rebounds after Covid battering Phnom Penh Post

  • Laos Economy Short-changed by Foreign Currency Outflows LaotianTimes

  • Indonesian Farmers Protest Falling Palm Oil Prices Amid Export Ban The Diplomat

North America

  • Wall Street dives as Target Corporation cracks 25%; Dow sinks 1,000 points, Nasdaq 4.73% IndiaTV

  • Biden Invokes the Defense Production Act to Increase Baby-Formula Supply WSJ

  • U.S. Floats Tariff on Russian Oil as EU Oil-Sanction Talks Drag On WSJ

  • Gasoline could top $5 a gallon this summer, causing more pain for consumers CNBC

  • US Treasury says it could block Russian debt payments starting next week CNN

  • It’s possible the US can dodge a recession but stagflation is unavoidable, Mohamed El-Erian says BusinessInsider

  • Americans hate the economy but that hasn’t stopped them from spending big. I am genuinely confused how the profits of Target and Amazon have decreased but also retail spending is up. Is it purely a function of inflation? BusinessInsider

Americans are, by the widest margin in a decade, feeling awful. Inflation continues to weigh on economic moods, with shoppers facing soaring prices from the gas station to the grocery store. The trend dragged the University of Michigan’s sentiment index to its lowest level since 2011, signaling the bleakest outlook since the sluggish recovery from the Great Recession.

But Americans sure aren’t acting on that pessimism. Data out Tuesday showed spending at retailers and restaurants climbing 0.9% in April to yet another record high of $677.7 billion. The nationwide spending spree has slowed throughout 2022, and the April print marks the smallest one-month gain since spending declined in December. Yet the report still shows spending growing and remaining well above the pre-pandemic trend.

  • Unionization Is Starting to Spread Across the Retail Sector Jacobin

Inspired by the recent wave of union campaigns at Starbucks and Amazon, retail workers at major chains like Target are launching new organizing drives across the United States.

Global

  • Global logistics under pressure from Russia’s invasion AsiaNews

It was expected that the Trans-Siberian Railway would serve as an alternative to sea freight, but there are no prospects for resuming the use of the railway for logistics.

  • Age of Scarcity Begins With $1.6 Trillion Hit to World Economy Bloomberg

The ties that bind the global economy together, and delivered goods in abundance across the world, are unravelling at a frightening pace. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s Covid Zero lockdowns are disrupting supply chains, hammering growth and pushing inflation to forty-year highs. They’re the chief reasons why Bloomberg Economics has lopped $1.6 trillion off its forecast for global GDP in 2022.

Bloomberg Economics has run a simulation of what an accelerated reversal of globalization might look like in the longer term. It points to a significantly poorer and less productive planet, with trade back at levels before China joined the World Trade Organization. An additional blow: inflation would likely be higher and more volatile.

  • US, banks unveil plan to address global food crisis. I’m assuming this will either do nothing or make things worse. Al Jazeera

  • Is The Global Debt Bubble About To Burst? OilPrice


Diplomatically and Politically

Involving Ukraine or Russia

  • Ukraine Should Beware of Brits Bearing Gifts Bloomberg

A negotiated settlement increasingly seems like the only way to end the violence and suffering in Ukraine. Yet, almost unnoticed by world, the path to a ceasefire is being complicated by some long-distance belligerents: three top members of the United Kingdom’s government.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Foreign Minister Liz Truss and Defense Minister Ben Wallace have all sought in the war in Ukraine a boost to their political fortunes. For Johnson, Vladimir Putin’s assault came at just the right moment. In late February, he faced the worse crisis of his premiership in “partygate.” Fellow Tories were turning against him over revelations of illegal gatherings at No. 10 Downing Street that Johnson attended, breaking laws that his own government had imposed at the height of the pandemic.

  • Russia will rebuild “freed” territories in Ukraine Reuters

Europe

Alexander Mercouris pointed out yesterday that if Turkey (and Croatia, and whoever else draws up shopping lists) isn’t pacified soon, then Sweden and Finland would be in the worst possible diplomatic situation, where they’ve officially given up neutrality but also aren’t part of NATO. No gain, all loss. He didn’t think that this was likely, and that Turkey would either get its wish or be threatened into capitulation or even kicked out or something, but it is a possible outcome.

  • NATO Unity at Risk With Turkey’s Nordic Block Bloomberg

NATO officials have boasted that Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has reinvigorated the alliance, but Turkey is challenging its unity by opposing Sweden’s and Finland’s bids to join. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has chosen a maximum moment of leverage to protest how Sweden and Finland — and other member states — handle Kurdish groups they view as terrorists. NATO says it will work to rapidly resolve the issues but any delays pose a security risk. The Nordic nations only benefit from collective defense commitments once they’re full members. If part of NATO, the two would also bolster the alliance’s own defenses, a topic likely to come up at today’s meeting of NATO military chiefs. The Swedish and Finnish leaders are also in Washington today to chart their next steps.

  • How Turkey spoiled NATO’s historic moment with Finland, Sweden Reuters

A Turkish diplomatic source said Cavusoglu had outlined Turkey’s stance respectfully, rejecting what he said was an allegation from Linde that its opposition was due to Sweden’s feminist foreign policy.

“Her comments are not helping Sweden’s NATO bid, while the statements coming from Finland are carefully crafted,” the source said. Sweden’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment after business hours.

  • Why has Erdoğan doubled down on threat to veto Nordic Nato bids? Guardian

After initial hesitation about the seriousness of Turkey’s objections, its president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has doubled down on his threat to veto Finland’s and Sweden’s applications for membership of Nato, saying there is no point in either country sending delegations to Ankara to persuade him otherwise.

On Wednesday, he also extended his demands from the two he outlined on Monday to 10, leading to claims that he is using blackmail.

No one doubts that Erdoğan’s intervention could tangle Nato up in knots for months. It is now the task of alliance diplomats to establish Erdoğan’s seriousness and the price that would have to be paid to make him back down, and prevent a full-blown Nato crisis.

  • Another NATO leader voices opposition to Sweden and Finland RT

Croatian President Zoran Milanovic plans to instruct the country’s permanent representative to NATO to block the accession of Finland and Sweden to the US-led organization, he said on Wednesday.

Refusing consent would turn the international community’s attention to problems facing ethnic Croats in neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milanovic told reporters. Under the current election laws, Croat representatives tend to get elected with the votes of Bosnian Muslims, known as Bosniaks. Zagreb is pushing to revise this.

“I have said before, Croats in Bosnia are more important to me than the entire Russian-Finnish border,” Milanovic said.

  • Greece wants new firepower from the US RT

Athens wants to join the F-35 program and is lobbying against Turkey’s moves to upgrade its own air fleet

Asia and Oceania

  • Biden set for first Asia trip with N. Korea nuclear fears looming BangkokPost

  • North Korea sends cargo planes to China as country fights pandemic CNN

  • Cambodian brides being trafficked to China for marriages in increasing numbers KhmerTimes

  • Philippines' Marcos wants China ties to ‘shift to higher gear’ under his presidency Reuters

Middle East

  • Mass arrests in Armenia as opposition protests spread Yahoo

  • UN experts say mass eviction of Palestinians a possible war crime Al Jazeera

  • Syrian FM Predicts End of Illegal US Presence in Syria TeleSUR

North America

  • Russian Official Caught Trying to Cross U.S.-Mexico Border Newsweek

A Russian politician who publicly opposed his country’s invasion of Ukraine, has reportedly been detained at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Viktor Kamenshchikov, was a Communist Party member who served as a deputy at the Vladivostok Duma (Parliament) in the administrative center of the Primorsky region in Russia’s far east.

This is what that US bill that proposed that all immigrants should declare whether they are members of communist parties before they are able to cross the border was actually targetted at.

South America

  • Colombia’s Left Is on the Brink of a Historic Breakthrough Jacobin

Left-wing candidate Gustavo Petro is still leading the polls ahead of this month’s Colombian presidential election. If he succeeds, Petro will have to overcome the dark legacy of Colombia’s hard-right oligarchy and a shameful history of US intervention.


Militarily

General News

  • Cyberattacks quietly launched by Russia before its invasion of Ukraine may have been more damaging than intended BusinessInsider

A few hours before the Russian invasion began on February 24, Russian hackers launched a cyberweapon against Viasat, an American satellite communications company that has been providing communication services to the Ukrainian military.

Named “AcidRain,” the cyberweapon was a kind of malware known as a “wiper” that targeted Viasat modems and routers and erased all their data before permanently disabling them.

The cyberattack targeted commercial satellite communications networks in an attempt to disrupt the Ukrainian military’s command and control and sow chaos among Ukrainian units on the battlefield as Russian forces crossed the border.

However, the Russian hackers appear to have let AcidRain run amok, either not able or not caring to limit the attack to Ukrainian devices.

Avril Haines, the US director of national intelligence, told lawmakers this month that the Russian cyberattack “had an outsized impact” and affected a large number of ground satellite communication stations, also known as Very Small Aperture Terminals, or VSATs.

As a result, hundreds of thousands of people outside Ukraine were affected in several ways, including losing internet services and power.

  • With troops in Ukraine, Russia’s defence spending leaps 40% Reuters

  • Russia Embeds Spies in Military Units to Identify Rebellion, Report Says. Regardless of whether this is true, this is literally also what Azov and other Nazi paramilitaries have done. Newsweek

  • Russia’s Spending $15.5 Million an Hour on Ukraine War Newsweek

  • Biden resists Ukrainian demands for long-range rocket launchers Politico

  • Zakharova said that Russia’s response to Finland’s decision to join NATO will be a surprise, and the measures will be military

Eastern Ukraine

  • DPR advancing on Adviika.

  • DPR takes a village near Popasna and is advancing outwards in all directions from the city, sort of similar to Izyum. Fierce fighting in the northernly direction because if Ukraine’s defense fails here, then le cauldron will become yet more developed.

  • In a similar vein, a punch from Russia near Severodonetsk, developing the encirclement. Could potentially link up with the forces fighting northwards from Popasna within a week or two if the pace is maintained.

  • Ukraine has crossed the Severskyi Donets river east of Kharkiv and has taken a few villages there. Within a couple weeks of this pace, Ukraine will begin to seriously threaten the supply lines feeding the Izyum advance, so Russia will need to counterattack soon if they’re going to at all.

Southern Ukraine

  • Another 771 Ukrainian militants surrender at Azovstal plant TASS

Overall, 1,730 militants, including 80 wounded servicemen, have surrendered since May 16," Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said

The Azovstal basement is like a fucking clown car.


Dipshittery and Cope

  • Courtesy of @Awoo: Why England should leave the UK and declare an English secession. You can’t fire me, I quit! MailPlus

What are we waiting for? All the other nations of the UK are set on tearing themselves away from England. I have given up trying to persuade them to stay. Let us leave them instead.

You could not call this ‘independence’ since England has never depended on the other countries in these islands. I would call it the Restoration of England, in recollection of that other great moment in our history, when Oliver Cromwell’s nightmare republican junta crumbled in 1660 and we returned with relief to our ancient laws and liberties.

From a chosen day, England would once again be a sovereign nation in its own right — instead of the country that lives in millions of hearts, but is barely mentioned in official documents and is associated mainly in the minds of the world with football and cricket teams.

It would be surprisingly easy, since so much of our government and law is already English, borrowed by others from us. No more will we have to speak of our country abroad as ‘the Ukay’, a weary set of initials that denies a thousand years of illustrious history and reduces them to a bureaucratic nothingness.

Personally, I think the great years of our global power are thrilling and inspiring, and agree with the conclusion of the Spanish-American philosopher George Santayana on Britain’s imperial era that ‘never since the days of heroic Greece has the world had such a sweet, just, boyish master. It will be a black day for the human race when scientific blackguards, churls and fanatics manage to supplant him’.

No doubt many wicked things were done by our empire, but compare it with the Soviet, Belgian, Spanish, and Portuguese empires of the past, or with the hideous Chinese empire of the future. And you might then concede that, if there must be empires (and it looks very much as if this is so), ours was better by far than any that has ever existed.

Ah, of course, the Soviet Empire. And like, those other empires did do horrific things, but the British Empire is really in a league of its own in pure depravity and widespread, global disregard for human life and libery. Really only the American Empire is a contender. The China thing is hilarious.

We have gained great things from it in experience and knowledge as well as treasure. Many of our former subjects and their descendants still seek and choose to live here, and they are very welcome. But the Empire is over and we shall never again rule the waves or make the great powers of the earth tremble with the might of our Navy.

Yet we are still unconquered for almost a thousand years, sustained by an extraordinary civilisation based upon trust and the thirst for justice.

Like, I intellectually know that these people still exist, but actually seeing them out in the wild like this always surprises me. American patriotism is worse because they’re egging on genocidal wars of imperial conquest right in the here and now, but this is approaching that level of derangement.

  • Two maps show NATO’s growth — and Russia’s isolation — since 1990. Since 1990, you say? That’s so weird! CNBC

  • Biden’s Cuba and Venezuela policy shifts leave Florida Democrats dismayed Politico

President Joe Biden hemorrhaged South Florida Hispanic voters in 2020 — one reason he lost the state to Donald Trump during the last election. Two moves by his administration this week — easing sanctions on Venezuela and loosening restrictions on Cuba — signal he’s likely not interested in improving his standing with the key demographic. And Florida Democrats, already reeling from a tough electoral environment for the party, are disheartened.

Administration officials have long emphasized that they will not shape their foreign policy based on what plays best politically in South Florida. That has left Democrats in the state navigating the political radioactivity of the issue on their own. The area is home to a huge concentration of Hispanic voters and Latin American exiles who fled leftist violence or dictatorships in Colombia, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

“Allowing investments in the Cuban private sector and easing travel restrictions will only serve to fund the corrupt dictatorship,” Demings, who once was being considered as Biden’s vice president, said in a statement.

  • The Disinformation Governance Board Is Dead. Here’s The Right Way To Fight Disinformation. Forbes

The Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board has been paused, only three weeks after it was announced. …

Legally, it is rarely permissible for the U.S. government to be the arbiter of truth.

Hilarious.

The U.S.’s robust freedom of speech is at the core of what makes America great, and at the essence of what it means to be American.

Meanwhile, U.S. adversaries continue to weaponize First Amendment freedoms. The interagency must act where Congress has not. However, an effective approach to fighting disinformation would involve far more than a poorly-named DHS board with no clear mission. Attacking the threat of disinformation requires a whole-of-government approach, involving the Departments of State, Defense, and Justice, the military, the intelligence community, and other civilian agencies. The work of these agencies is governed by a patchwork of laws that needs to be reformed, synthesized, and harmonized with the U.S.’s commitments to free speech and civil liberties. New, creative thinking on First Amendment doctrine, privacy, and the role of the Internet and social media in society will be necessary to combat information warfare. All efforts must conform to Constitutional principles and the transparency that the American public demands.

Word salad.

  • US withdrawal triggered catastrophic defeat of Afghan forces, damning watchdog report finds Guardian

The Sigar account focused on the impact of two critical events that it said doomed the Afghan forces: the February 2020 Doha agreement between the Trump administration and the Taliban, and then Biden’s April 2021 decision to pull out all US troops by September, without leaving a residual force.

“Due to the ANDSF’s dependency on US military forces, these events destroyed ANDSF morale,” the inspector general said. “The ANDSF had long relied on the US military’s presence to protect against large-scale ANDSF losses, and Afghan troops saw the United States as a means of holding their government accountable for paying their salaries. The US-Taliban agreement made it clear that this was no longer the case, resulting in a sense of abandonment within the ANDSF and the Afghan population.”

The ANDSF were dependent on US troops and contractors because that was how the forces were developed, the report argued, noting “the United States designed the ANDSF as a mirror image of US forces”.

“We made the Afghan forces just like us and then their country fell in a week. How strange."

It would have taken decades to build a modern, cohesive and self-reliant force, the Sigar document argued. The Afghan air force, the main military advantage the government had over the Taliban, had not been projected to be self-sufficient until 2030 at the earliest.

Bro, just one more decade of occupation. Just ten more years. That’s it. Then it would have been fine.


  • Over 1,000 Ukrainian fighters surrender in Russian-held Mariupol as Putin’s forces make key gain. They used the word “surrender”. Kudos. IndiaTV

  • Russia suffers series of military, economic, diplomatic defeats. Hey, that’s MY classification system! Al Jazeera

Russia is losing manpower at an unsustainable rate; it was forced to accept Finland and Sweden’s decisions to join NATO; and it is cutting its own gas sales to Europe, which helps it finance the war with Ukraine.

Russia seems to be contracting plans for a grand pincer movement around Ukrainian forces in the country’s east, partly because of a lack of manpower.

Ukraine says Russia has lost almost 28,000 troops – 20 percent of the force that launched Moscow’s so-called “special military operation” and as much as 60 percent of the equipment involved in the invasion.

The Ukrainian general staff say some Russian units in the Donbas are at 20 percent of their strength and are being forced to team up with private military companies.

After the twin failures at Izyum and Rubizhne, it is likely that Russian forces are abandoning a broader encirclement plan in order to focus on Luhansk oblast, says Serhiy Haidai, head of the Luhansk Oblast administration.

The… the twin failures? Of two cities that Russia has taken and then advanced forward from?

  • Victory and Defeat Are Hard to Define in Ukraine. I saw this and immediately started laughing. This article sucks so fucking bad. Copium overdoses are increasing in frequency across western media offices. Bloomberg

One of the most striking things about the Russo-Ukrainian war of 2022 is the variety of outcomes that both sides could declare as a victory — and the scarcity of outcomes that can last. What will determine the success of any declaration is its intended audience. What matters in the real world, however, is whether the outcome establishes a balance of forces and interests between the belligerents such that further armed conflict makes no sense, or even becomes impossible.

Both sides’ declared goals in the war are relatively ambitious, even after Russia appeared to scale down its own.

Russia’s goals have remained almost entirely consistent (aside from that brief time around the Istanbul talks). Western journalists are so America-brained from shock and awe bombing campaigns that the idea of strategic advances and retreats is unknown to them. Well, to be more precise, they’re unknown to them if it’s the enemy doing it. If it’s an ally, then they have perfect comprehension of early 20th century tactics and strategy, and will talk about salients and supply lines from dawn till dusk.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s vision of victory includes the return of Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk to Ukraine. Russia aims to expand its control of Ukrainian territory to the entire Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the east and a slice of the Ukrainian Black Sea coastline in the south, turning Ukraine into a landlocked nation. The invaded territories may even be claimed as parts of Russia rather than allied unrecognized statelets.

That doesn’t mean, however, that either side lacks “victory” options in between — or that even if one of the sides achieves its maximum goal in the coming months, the violence will end in the long term.

For Ukraine, a Russian retreat to the contact lines that existed before Feb. 24 would constitute a clear victory, at least in the eyes of the world. Zelenskiy might even be able to sell it domestically — as a compromise that would save Ukrainian lives and bring back the status quo to which the nation had generally become accustomed — even if an electorate angered by Russian war crimes would likely bristle. More than 80% of Ukrainians oppose the recognition of any Russian conquests, including Crimea, and almost three quarters believe Ukraine is capable of repelling the Russian attack. These numbers are not conducive to any kind of compromise.

And yet, even if Ukraine suffers a reversal of military fortunes and a Russian withdrawal to previous lines becomes unrealistic, any outcome under which Ukraine retains access to the Black Sea and the Russian blockade of its remaining ports is lifted would already constitute something of a victory — at least of the moral kind, akin to the one Finland won in the Winter War despite losing 9% of its territory. Ukraine would still frustrate Putin’s regime change ambitions and retain its independence and national identity.

Ukraine could only be considered defeated if Putin had displaced Zelenskiy and installed a puppet government in the first weeks of the invasion. Since even the Kremlin has given up this pipe dream, Ukraine has, in a sense, already won.

Russia, for its part, has already lost this war — its reputation as a military power has been undermined, its global image tarnished for decades by the brutality of the invasion’s soldiers, its sense of security diminished by the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to Finland and Sweden. The territorial gains in Ukraine — especially given the devastation of the conquered territories — cannot compensate for the loss of international business and frozen Central Bank reserves.

Literally what the fuck are you talking about?

Despite this, a declaration of victory is essentially possible for Russia any day that it still holds more territory than when it invaded, and especially while it holds the Sea of Azov coastline between Crimea and the Russian border. This land ensures uninterrupted water supply and a route from mainland Russia to occupied Crimea. Without the peninsula and without the Donetsk, Luhansk and Kherson regions, Ukraine’s territory would shrink by about 18% — much more, in both absolute and relative terms, than Stalin managed to wrest from Finland; Russia would add an area comparable in size to Colorado, Nevada or Bulgaria.

  • US intel shows Russians fear Mariupol abuse will backfire Yahoo

The U.S. has gathered intelligence that shows some Russian officials have become concerned that Russian forces in the ravaged port city of Mariupol are carrying out grievous abuses, a U.S official familiar with the findings said Wednesday.

The Russian officials are concerned that the abuses will backfire and further inspire Mariupol residents to resist the Russian occupation. The U.S. official, who was not authorized to comment publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the Russians, who were not identified, also feared that the abuses will undercut Russia’s claim that they’ve liberated the Russian-speaking city.

I’ve watched some Patrick Lancaster and I don’t get this vibe at all. The citizens seem satisfied, if not necessarily happy, with the occupation by Russia and the expelling of Azov.

  • Russians confess to killing civilians Yahoo

The Russian invaders do not hesitate to shoot civilians trying to escape the temporarily occupied territories.

Source: new telephone conversations between occupying forces’ troops, intercepted by the Security Service of Ukraine

Quote from aggressor: “They have nowhere to go now, they try to pass by at night. We are murdering them. I do not feel sorry for them, even for the peaceful population. Anyone who wanted to leave already done it. So, we don’t care and we murder them”.

The Security Service of Ukraine is really bad at this.

  • Missile strikes push Russian-speaking Odesa’s allegiance toward Ukraine NBC

“Odesa residents are not behaving as expected. This causes, of course, revenge, anger,” the spokesperson of the Odesa Oblast Military Administration said.

Viktoria Sibir remembered when she was called a Nazi for painting the words “Slava Ukraini,” or “Glory to Ukraine,” on her balcony, which overlooked Derybasivska Street, a pedestrian walkway that meanders through the heart of this port city.

Now, months into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, hundreds of buildings have a simple Ukrainian flag painted on their walls, doors or gates. Odesa’s identity was once a blurry and complicated question, but each Russian missile that hits this city makes the answer clearer for its people: Odesa belongs to Ukraine and Europe.

  • To counter Putin’s aggression in Ukraine, look to Ronald Reagan WaPo

Inflation is at a 40-year high, the economy is contracting, gas prices are skyrocketing, a U.S. ally has been overthrown by Islamist radicals and an expansionist Russia has invaded one of its neighbors. It’s practically the second coming of the Carter administration.

My visit happened to coincide with that of the late president’s son, Michael Reagan, the longtime conservative radio host and author. He brought his grandchildren — President Reagan’s great-grandchildren — on their first visit to the ranch to bury their cat, Sticky, in the family pet cemetery. I ask Michael what his father would have done about Ukraine. “It would never have happened if he were president,” Michael says. He’s right. Not far from here, at the Reagan presidential library, a Reagan quote is emblazoned on a sign: “We know only too well that war comes not when the forces of freedom are strong, but when they are weak. It is then that tyrants are tempted.”

The weakness of the Biden administration tempted Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine. So this is a good moment to reflect on some important lessons from Reagan on how to confront and reverse Putin’s unprovoked aggression.

Reagan assumed the presidency in the wake of our withdrawal from Vietnam. Then, as now, Americans had no appetite for sending U.S. troops to fight in distant lands. He needed to figure out a way to roll back Soviet expansionism without committing American ground forces to every global flash point. So, he forged the Reagan Doctrine, which recognized that there were brave men across the world willing to fight their own wars of liberation. Given American weapons, training and intelligence, as well as financial, diplomatic and humanitarian support, they could free their nations from Russian domination. By providing such assistance, Reagan helped freedom fighters from Central America to South Asia unshackle their countries from the grip of an expansionist Russia. He also worked with Pope John Paul II to funnel millions of dollars to the Solidarity movement in Poland, laying the groundwork for that country’s liberation from Soviet domination.

Now, in Ukraine, a new generation of freedom fighters is defending their land from Russian expansionism.

Today, Congress is moving forward with a nearly $40 billion package of military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine that would make Reagan proud. The package passed the House 368 to 57, and the Senate voted 81 to 11 to proceed toward final passage. The good news is that the bill has broad bipartisan support. The bad news is that Reagan’s fellow Republicans made up all the “no” votes.

Anything that would “make Reagan proud” should be annihilated on sight.

In his farewell address to the 1992 GOP convention, Reagan called on his fellow Republicans to reject the “new isolationists” who “insist that our triumph [in the Cold War] is yesterday’s news, part of a past that holds no lessons for the future.” We must never go back, he said, to a world “where our leaders told us that standing up to aggressors was dangerous.”


Climate

  • Current crisis could spur countries to invest in nuclear energy AsiaNews

Belgium, for instance, reversed a decision to phase out nuclear energy by 2025 and extended the life of two reactors for another decade after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The safe use of nuclear power will be very important to hitting net-zero carbon emissions, he said, adding that the IEA believes nuclear technology has a role in achieving global climate goals.

Other emerging energy sources such as green hydrogen and geothermal were also identified as potential low-carbon alternatives to help the Republic decarbonise its power sector.

Commercial viability for low-carbon hydrogen to be scaled up is likely to occur from the 2030s, said Mr Gould.

Green hydrogen, which is produced by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen by using renewable electricity, has been touted as a cleaner fuel as it emits no carbon dioxide during the production process. But producing and transporting low-carbon hydrogen globally has proven costly for mass adoption so far.

There are pilot initiatives under way for shipments from Australia to Japan, and from the Middle East to Japan, he said, noting that the European Union’s ambitions in hydrogen could also accelerate innovation over the next few years. International trade of green hydrogen, however, will require physical infrastructure and contractual models that have yet to be set up, he added. Said Mr Gould: “The decade of the 2020s is extremely important for innovation of green hydrogen, to bring the costs down and to find out what works best.”

“You are likely to see the commercial hydrogen trade already this decade, but the volumes are unlikely to be huge.”

  • Brexit Britain’s Nuclear Future May Lie on a Welsh Island Bloomberg

Anglesey is where the government’s new energy strategy and its economic vision meet, but some locals are skeptical.

The Wylfa site in North Wales is one of the top contenders to host a so-called small modular reactor, or SMR, a component of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to ramp up nuclear energy production. At the forefront of the new technology is Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc, whose SMR business received 210 million pounds ($260 million) from the government to develop it.

  • World’s oceans at most acidic level in 26,000 years, climate report warns Inquirer

  • Climate change has made India’s heat wave 100 times more likely, UK weather service says CNBC

  • Most automakers fall short on climate goals IraqiNews

  • Biden warns of ‘another tough hurricane season’ this year ABC

  • European Drought of 2018-20 Worst in 250 Years and Will Likely Be Repeated Newsweek

  • Vast Swath of US at Risk of Summer Blackouts, Regulator Warns Bloomberg

A vast swath of North America from the Great Lakes to the West Coast is at risk of blackouts this summer as heat, drought, shuttered power plants and supply-chain woes strain the electric grid.

  • Nebraska and Colorado face off over water Yahoo

Spurred by a climate change-fueled drought, a water rights battle is brewing between Colorado and Nebraska. Nebraska plans to build a canal in Colorado to divert water from the South Platte River, afraid there won’t be enough to go around.

  • Japan Approves Plan to Discharge Radioactive Water Into Ocean TeleSUR

I Thought I’d Mention

  • Fiona Hill says Putin got ‘frustrated many times’ with Trump because the Russian leader ‘had to keep explaining things’ to him Yahoo

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