RT: Google to expand ‘disinformation’ campaign in Europe
Google is expanding its campaign against what it calls online “disinformation,” and will roll out ads in Germany aimed at “prebunking” content it disagrees with. Tested in Poland last year, the ads are the product of a Google research unit formed to combat “threats to open societies.”
The tech giant will release a series of videos identifying apparent misinformation techniques and release them on multiple platforms in Germany, including Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok, the Associated Press reported on Monday. The ads will focus on photos and videos, and the ease with which both can be manipulated, the news agency noted.
The West is so self-important, it can’t even just call it state censorship. It has to be “prebunking”.
RT: West European energy subsidies approaching $1 trillion – think tank
The total of €792 billion marks a nearly €86 billion increase in spending since Bruegel’s last assessment released in November. The think tank attributes the boost to the region’s continued need to turn to more expensive supplies through winter after most EU states opted to stop importing gas from Russia.
Germany reportedly topped the spending chart, allocating some €270 billion, while the UK, Italy and France – the next highest – each spent almost €150 billion. Most EU states spent a fraction of that. Luxembourg, Denmark and Germany were the biggest spenders on a per capita basis.
WSWS: UK courts/energy companies told to stop the forced installation of energy pre-payment meters after popular outrage
WSWS: UK survey shows nurses’ mental health is at its lowest point in the pandemic
In the fourth year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the psychological state of a significant section of the health care workforce is at its lowest point. In a survey conducted by Nursing Times, 40 percent of nurses reported that their mental health is “worse” or “much worse” now than it was in 2020 or 2021. Participants also characterized their colleagues’ morale as “poor” or “very poor.”
Monthly Review: French police attack 4th protest over pension reforms
TeleSUR: 2.5 Million French Protest Against Pension Reform
RT: NATO flag defaced as ‘thousands’ rally in Paris
Florian Philippot, the head of the right-wing Les Patriotes party, which organized the march, claimed that it had gathered some 10,000 people and was the largest such protest to date. He said 25 smaller anti-NATO rallies were held elsewhere across France on the same day.
I’m sure the French left will get out there and protest NATO… eventually…
People’s Daily: Sweden discards 8.5 mln doses COVID-19 vaccines
The main reason for doses being discarded was the fact that individuals had not had their booster doses as expected, Bergstrom explained.
East Asia and Oceania
Central Asia and the Middle East
RT: Saudi Arabia keen to join BRICS and SCO – envoy
According to the ambassador, the possibility of the Gulf nation’s membership in the SCO is being actively discussed, while the idea of joining BRICS is under consideration.
MEMO: IMF: Gulf countries provided Arab states $54bn over five years
MEMO: UAE: Dubai ruler says flying taxis to take-off by 2026
Plans for an aerial taxi service in the emirate have floated since 2017 and the year before, Sheikh Mohammed announced that he wanted 25 per cent of all passenger trips in the city to be done by driverless vehicles by 2030. In October last year, Chinese firm XPeng Aeroht showcased its two-seater electric VTOL flying car in a demonstration in Dubai.
The promotional video in the latest announcement also highlighted the six-rotor electric flying taxi made by US firm Joby Aviation. The “safe and efficient” aircraft will offer passengers a “smooth end-to-end passenger journey” with zero operating emissions, the video mentioned. Each aircraft will accommodate a pilot and four passengers, with a 241 kilometre range and a 300kph top speed.
This seems like an absolutely terrible idea.
MEMO: Israel to reduce bathroom access for Palestinian prisoners
MEMO: Unsure if Israel is a democracy foreign investors are fleeing the apartheid state
Foreign investors are fleeing Israel over concerns that it is drifting towards dictatorship, the President and Co-Founder of the Israel Institute for Innovation, Leo Bakman, has told the Haaretz newspaper. Bakman’s institute serves as an incubator for 2,500 startups. Speaking as the head of the NGO he described the growing unease among foreign investors in doing business in Israel.
Judicial reform introduced by the current far-right government led by Benjamin Netanyahu has, however, caused unease over Israel’s self-proclaimed status as a democracy. The country’s President, Isaac Herzog, has himself said that the occupation state is facing “constitutional collapse.” Netanyahu’s coalition has made the overhaul of the judiciary one of its main priorities. Changes include plans to give the government control over the appointment of judges and all but eliminate the top court’s ability to strike down legislation.
MEMO: Turkiye: shipments of Azerbaijani oil resume after earthquakes
MEMO: UN: Death toll from twin earthquakes likely to surpass 56,000
MEE: Syria earthquake: Flooding wipes out vital farmland after dam bursts its banks
RT: Russia’s trade with Tunisia up more than 50% – ambassador
Africa News: ‘We want a bigger share’: Botswana, De Beers row over diamond profits
Africa News: Equatorial Guinea confirms outbreak of Marburg virus, nine persons dead
Africa News: Libya launches maritime line with Tunisia as Tripoli seaport reopens after 11 years
Africa News: Sudan sees spike in tropical disease spread
Africa News: Eritrean leader accuses US of supporting rebels in Tigray conflict
StatNews: Survey: Nearly 3 in 5 teen girls felt persistently sad or hopeless in 2021
Conducted in fall 2021, the survey is the first iteration to account for the impact of the pandemic. The survey, which is done every other year, asks teens about their mental health and well-being, sexual behaviors, substance use, and other issues. The 2021 survey was also the first to ask about social determinants of health like housing stability and certain factors that are protective, including parental involvement and feeling close to people at school.
The survey found that teens broadly reported increasing mental health issues, experiences of violence, and thoughts of suicide, but that certain groups face higher rates of distress and harm. Teen girls, for example, “are faring more poorly than male students” on nearly every measure included in the survey, the authors wrote.
Nearly 1 in 5 female students reported experiencing sexual violence, up 20% since 2017. About 30% had seriously considered attempting suicide, up nearly 60% from 2011.
LGBQ+ teens also reported higher rates of mental health issues and violence. Nearly 70% of LGBQ+ students reported feeling persistently sad or hopeless in the past year. More than 1 in 5 had attempted suicide in the past year.
Jacobin: Google’s YouTube Music Workers Are on Strike
Inside Climate News: In Dimock, a Pennsylvania Town Riven by Fracking, Concerns About Ties Between a Judge and a Gas Driller
Inside Climate News: Navigator’s Proposed Carbon Pipeline Struggles to Gain Support in Illinois
Naked Capitalism: How Precision Scheduled Railroading at Norfolk Southern Caused a Toxic Vinyl Chloride Mushroom Cloud Over East Palestine, Ohio
RT: Anti-Semitism rising in US – survey
The number of Jews who say they feel less safe in the US rose by ten percentage points in a year, one of the oldest Jewish advocacy groups in the US said on Monday. The American Jewish Committee (AJC) is calling on the White House to do more against “Jew-hatred.”
According to AJC’s annual anti-Semitism survey for 2022, 41% of American Jews feel less secure, compared to 31% in 2021. One in four reported being “personally targeted” by anti-Semitism, a number that has remained constant since 2019.
I would genuinely like to know how many of these are due to the Qanon people getting increasingly antsy about Jewish Space Lasers, and how many of them just saw a Palestinian person out in public and started hyperventilating. That’s part of the problem with calling every single person who is against the apartheid state of Israel an “anti-semite” - it gets much harder to track actual anti-semitic rhetoric and action and therefore do something about it. Fascists getting more and more anti-semitic is a genuinely concerning trend and we should obviously protect Jewish people, but if “believing that Palestinians are not subhumans” is put under the anti-semitism umbrella, then it all gets very muddled.
Common Dreams: Sanders-Warren Plan Would Tax the Rich to Increase Social Security by $2,400 a Year
RT: Snowden calls UFO craze a distraction
“It’s not aliens. I wish it were aliens. But it’s not aliens. It’s just the ol’ engineered panic, an attractive nuisance ensuring [national security] reporters get assigned to investigate balloon bullshit rather than budgets or bombings” such as the Nord Stream, Snowden tweeted.
Climate Change News: Biden promises to “work with Congress” to fund Amazon protection
I believe that’s code for “I’m not gonna do shit about it."
RT: Trump denies he spends a lot of time inventing nicknames
“All of the Fake News is reporting that I spend large amounts of my time coming up with a good ‘nickname’ for Ron DeSanctimonious [sic], who is obviously going to give the presidential ‘thing’ a shot,” Trump wrote on his social media platform, insisting the media was “100% wrong, I don’t even think about it — a very unimportant subject to me!!!”
WSWS: Toronto unveils major hike in police budget as city’s social crisis deepens
Geopolitical Economy: Mexico’s AMLO announces campaign against US blockade of Cuba, denounces neoliberalism
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Mexico will lead an international movement to end the US government’s “inhumane” blockade against Cuba. Praising Fidel Castro as a “visionary”, AMLO denounced neoliberalism and pledged support for universal public healthcare and education.
People’s Daily: Venezuelan president urges youths to defeat U.S. blockade
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday urged the country’s youths to fight and defeat “the challenge of the blockade, sanctions and attacks” of the United States.
Addressing thousands during a ceremony marking National Youth Day, he called on the younger generations to “liberate the homeland,” and to “fight so that Venezuela will not be a colony again.”
Monthly Review: U.S. Lawfare and the destabilization of Latin America
The Ukraine Proxy Conflict
Common Dreams: Tanks for Nothing: On What Can’t Be Won on the Ukraine Battlefield
Those fuckers stole my megathread title!
TeleSUR: Russian Forces Liberate Krasnaya Gora in the Donetsk Region
WSWS: European powers prepare delivery of fighter jets to Kiev
People’s Daily: Germany plays key role in calming NATO partners
Although Germany was criticized by its partners in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for its “late” export approval of Leopard tanks to Ukraine, the country is right not to blindly rush into more and more weapon deliveries and plays a key role in calming its western allies.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned against a “public competition to outdo each other along the lines of battle tanks, submarines, aircraft…” NATO must not become a party in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, he said ahead of a special meeting of the European Union (EU).
MEMO: NATO ministers to discuss plans on ramping up military production
NATO countries must speed up military production to be able to keep supporting Ukraine and maintain stockpiles, the alliance chief said on Monday, reports Anadolu Agency.
Addressing a press conference ahead of a meeting of NATO defense ministers on Tuesday, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the session would “focus on ways to increase our defense industrial capacity and replenish stock points” because the “war in Ukraine is consuming an enormous amount of ammunition and depleting allied stockpiles.”
Stoltenberg stressed that NATO countries must “ramp up” the manufacturing since “the current rate of Ukraine’s ammunition expenditure is many times higher than our current rate of production.”
He reaffirmed that “NATO stands with Ukraine for as long as it takes” but warned that “we are in a race of logistics.”
RT: NATO to focus on ‘undersea cables and pipelines’
NATO will set up a new coordinating body to address threats to undersea infrastructure, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday. His announcement comes just days after legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh said the US and Norway were behind the September explosions on the Nord Stream pipelines under the Baltic Sea.
“Protection of critical undersea infrastructure will also be high on our agenda,” Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels, following the meeting of NATO defense ministers. The US-led bloc “has been working on this for many years,” Stoltenberg added, “and we are now taking it to the next level.”
A new “coordination cell” will be established at NATO Headquarters to “map our vulnerabilities, and engage with industry,” which will “support our efforts to prevent and counter threats to critical infrastructure, including undersea cables and pipelines,” according to Stoltenberg. He said further measures will be decided at the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania in July.
Man, Hersh really sent them into panic mode! “C-could an organization that is setting up a coordination cell to protect infrastructure have blown up the pipelines? Of course n-not!"
Valdai Club: Why Does Zelensky Need a Long Conflict With Russia?
It is unlikely that Zelensky is counting on a military victory for his country. For this, Ukraine does not have its own military-economic resources, and the funds provided by the West will never be sufficient to inflict a final defeat on Russia. Probably, the calculation of the president of Ukraine is based on offering Ukraine as a tool for the West in the fight against Russia, writes Valdai Club Programme Director Andrey Sushentsov.
Retrospectives, History, Theory, and Technology
Jacobin: The Market Will Never Solve the Climate Crisis
Naked Capitalism: The Gas Stove Panic
What the hell is going on in the United States? I have nothing to add here but I think the last few sentences from Yves says it all:
And finally, amusingly, the Administration appeared to have thought it had a trump card in the spectacle of children’s health. After the lack of uproar over Covid deaths and likely long-term harm, Team Biden should have recognized from their experience that despite all the sentimentality, children are disposables in an neoliberal economy.
Naked Capitalism: The Correlation Between Oil Prices And Inflation Isn’t Straightforward
Yves has a foreword where she expresses some confusion about the article (by Oil Price), but doesn’t outright dunk on it. Some food for thought, at least, for our more economically minded comrades.
RT: Russian scientists claim they’ve invented tranquilizing cheese
“Rosemary, basil, sage, thyme, savory, oregano, and marjoram are introduced into the composition of this cheese. It is because of them that the tranquilizing effect is achieved,” she explained.
My mental image when I saw this headline was a player character in Skyrim eating a cheese wheel and then it doing the paralyzing effect where you just collapse and the camera goes into 3rd person. Sorry, I have terminal gamerbrain.
Inside the Imperial Core
Monthly Review: Dying by killing: U.S. and its manifest destiny
The fear of disappearing as a hegemonic power awakens the survival instinct. The United States (U.S.) has entered a dangerous drift, the end of which puts the future of humanity at risk. If a nuclear holocaust is on the horizon, it is no coincidence. The cultural reason of the West is facing its worst nightmare: being trapped in a war where it cannot see the way out. We are living the end of a historical stage, with many chiaroscuros. Genocides, holocausts, ethnocides, generalized deterioration of the environment, global warming and the stubbornness of the United States tying the European Union to its plans. A lot of testosterone and little head. No matter who the tenant of the White House is, in foreign policy, Republicans and Democrats act in unison. With pedestrian but effective arguments, they base their warmongering. They point out that they have been destined by Providence to be the champions of world peace. They are not belligerents, but in the event of an attack, they will respond with all their might and nuclear arsenal, if necessary. The American way of life must be preserved, as well as protecting the planet from communism and dissolving ideologies that threaten the family and deny God. Timothy Dwight IV, president of Yale University from 1795 to 1819, wrote:
Thy glory shall spread over the vast reaches of the earth. And wild nations before thy scepter shall bow. Around icy shores shall thy sons sail. As they shall spread thy banner in the realms of Asia.
In the battle for world control of the Western bloc, the United States is ready to provoke a political tsunami. The symptoms are visible. They foment conflicts and destroy states to the point of innocuousness. Likewise, under the pretext of fighting drug trafficking, they encourage it. Nothing stops them. In the twilight of their hegemony, they sponsor organized crime cartels under the protection of the DEA. And, with the support of the CIA, they plot and promote coups d’état. They sow death. The United States sees its power diminishing where it was previously unopposed. Its setbacks and the internal crisis it has to face confirm its fragile dominance. At this juncture, China is emerging as the world’s leading power in artificial intelligence, production of rare minerals, solar panels, lithium batteries, microchips, conductors and nanotechnology. In addition to becoming an investor that is slowly displacing the United States in Latin America and Africa. Lula’s recent statement making a peace proposal in which China is present and rejecting the sending of arms to Kiev is a slamming of the door to Biden’s pretensions of incorporating the region to his warmongering policy. Without scorning the words of the Brazilian president, holding Zelensky, the European Union and the White House responsible for being instigators of the war, in the same proportion as Putin.
The West is squirming. The NATO declaration, signed in Madrid on June 29, 2022, including the People’s Republic of China as a danger to world security, is not only an absurdity, it shows the fear of the United States of losing its hegemony. The West takes off its mask. The call to provide tanks and mercenaries to fight in Ukraine adds to the billions of dollars given to Zelensky, let’s not kid ourselves, it indicates weakness.
Valdai Club: How Benjamin Netanyahu’s Right Turn Affects the Israeli Economy
The increased likelihood of a large-scale escalation of the Middle East conflict, which is also associated with the latest transit of power in Israel, worries not only the international community and peace mediators, but also foreign investors, forcing them to reconsider their strategy of maintaining a presence in the country. Of concern is Benjamin Netanyahu’s failure to deter potentially risky activities from far-right members of his cabinet, writes Elizaveta Yakimova, Research fellow at the Department of Israel and Jewish Communities, RAS Institute of Oriental Studies.
Outside the Imperial Core
People’s Daily: U.S. unilateral sanctions, dollar hegemony compound woes of Mideast countries
TeleSUR: Scientists to Analyze Cloud Formation Process From Antarctica