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The All-Encompassing World News Thread
Welcome to the new year.

"Iran seizes tanker, ramps up uranium enrichment."
https://www.yahoo.com/news/iran-says-res...10186.html
"You want a vision of the future?Imagine a boot stomping on a human face.....forever."
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Police in Hong Kong arrested dozens of pro-democracy politicians early Wednesday in a series of dawn raids that swept up many of the opposition’s most prominent opposition figures:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/hong-kong-p...1609895177
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Merkel's not comfortable with Trump's Twitter ban:

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/11/germanys...1610382172

Quote:German Chancellor Angela Merkel blasted Twitter’s decision to ban U.S. President Donald Trump.

“The right to freedom of opinion is of fundamental importance,” Steffen Seibert, Merkel’s chief spokesman, told reporters in Berlin on Monday, according to Reuters.

“Given that, the chancellor considers it problematic that the president’s accounts have been permanently suspended.”

Seibert said that, while Twitter was right to flag Trump’s inaccurate tweets about the 2020 U.S. election, banning his account altogether was a step too far. He added that governments, not private companies, should decide on any limitations to freedom of speech.
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I'm more concerned about my own right to freedom from Trump's opinions, at the moment.
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Yeah, that's a weird fucking take right there. Like, does she think that the MAGA mutants are right when they claim that they have a Constitutional right to the unmoderated use of Twitter's platform?
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Angela must only watch one specific part of the news, I guess.
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That coming from the country that’s (rightfully) banned Nazi paraphernalia since 1945 is ... puzzling.
Originally posted by Schwartz on Cool as Ice ("When a girl has a heart of stone, there's only one way to melt it. Just add Ice."):
"It's not just a mixed metaphor, or that the stone is one that is melting...but the ice is actually making it melt. (kisses fingers) Magnifique."
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Indonesian Navy divers recovered the flight data recorder from Sriwijaya Air Flight 182, which fell from the sky shortly after takeoff on Saturday:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/12/world...k-box.html
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Chinese authorities sentenced a former journalist, Zhangto for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” His offense? Retweeting and liking tweets that were critical of the government or advocated for media freedom:

https://www.nchrd.org/2021/01/2-journali...-targeted/

Quote:Nanming District Court in Guiyang City handed down a 1.5-year prison sentence to former journalist Zhang Jialong (张贾龙) on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” on January 8, 2021. Police initially seized Zhang from his home on August 12, 2019 and criminally detained him the next day. Authorities targeted Zhang for having “retweeted” or “liked” tweets either critical of the government or advocating media freedom. Shortly before police took him away, Zhang had “liked” a few tweets about the Hong Kong protests. Zhang was a journalist with Tencent until 2014, when he met with then-US Secretary John Kerry, and asked Kerry to help “tear down this great firewall that blocks the Internet.” As a result, he was fired from Tencent. He continued to make occasional comments on social media. Zhang vowed to appeal the prison sentence. He is currently held at the Nanming District Detention Center in Guiyang City and is expected to be released on February 11, 2021.
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Italy's political turmoil looks to be getting worse:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/13/world...tw-nytimes

Quote:Italy’s history of political instability resurfaced in particularly unstable times on Wednesday as a government crisis began in the midst of a pandemic that has devastated the country, raised doubts about the competence of its leadership and intensified political turf battles.

The government, a wobbly coalition of convenience between increasingly unpopular populists and the center-left establishment, seemed to verge on implosion amid long-simmering power struggles, revenge plots and ideological disputes over E.U. bailout funds.

Italy now finds itself in a familiar period of political uncertainty, but one that is much more dangerous given the pandemic.

The crisis was triggered by the withdrawal of government ministers by a former prime minister, Matteo Renzi, who controls a small but critical support in the governing majority. His gambit, which nervous political leaders spent the week trying to avoid, forces his rival, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, into a difficult position. 

The opening of a government crisis comes as Italy, the first European country to be strongly hit by the virus and among the most devastated by it, is embarking on a vaccination program upon which the nation’s hopes rest.
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Estonia’s main opposition party leader Kaja Kallas has been given 14 days to form a new government, a day after the prime minister stepped down in the wake of a corruption scandal:

https://apnews.com/article/cabinets-esto...=AP_Europe

Quote:Kaja Kallas, chairwoman of the center-right Reform Party that emerged as the winner of the 2019 general election, will have 14 days to put together a new Cabinet, President Kersti Kaljulaid said.

The Baltic country’s head of state urged Kallas to move rapidly as the new government needs to immediately start tackling a worsening COVID-19 situation and the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic.

"Both the Estonian people and I are expecting that Estonia will quickly have an active and competent government, which focuses on handling the pandemic and the economic crisis and on making our lives better,” Kaljulaid said in a statement after meeting with Kallas.

Ratas and his Cabinet resigned Wednesday over a scandal involving a key official at his Center Party suspected of accepting a private donation for the party in exchange for a political favor on a real estate development at the harbor district of the capital, Tallinn.

After the announcement by Ratas, who had led a three-party coalition with his left-leaning Center Party, the nationalist EKRE party and the conservative Fatherland party since April 2019, parties immediately started informal talks on cobbling together a new government.

On Thursday, the Reform Party said it would start official government formation talks with the Center Party. Together, the two parties would muster a comfortable majority at the 101-seat Riigikogu Parliament.
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Remember when Bill Barr abruptly let this guy go, so that Mexico could purportedly take the first crack at prosecuting him?

Well, guess what:

https://apnews.com/article/mexico-latin-...031afc0c31

Quote:Mexican prosecutors on Thursday declared completely unfounded the U.S. case against a former defense secretary arrested on drug charges in the United States and then returned under pressure from the Mexican government.

Few had ever expected Mexico to really prosecute influential former Defense Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has relied more on the army than any other recent president, trusting it with everything from infrastructure projects to operating airports and trains.

Some thought Mexican prosecutors might dismiss the case on technical grounds of inadmissible evidence. But they went further than that, absolutely clearing Cienfuegos of accusations that he helped a drug cartel in return for bribes in a move that could mar Mexico’s already-bumpy relations with the United States in the post-Trump era.

In a surprisingly quick process, Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office announced that Cienfuegos presented evidence in five days that it said completely disproved what it described as a seven-year U.S. investigation of the now-retired general.

“The conclusion was reached that General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda never had any meeting with the criminal organization investigated by American authorities, and that he also never had any communication with them, nor did he carry out acts to protect or help those individuals,” the office said in a statement.

It said Cienfuegos had not been found to have any illicit or abnormal income, nor was any evidence found “that he had issued any order to favor the criminal group in question.”

All charges were dropped and Cienfuegos, who was never placed under arrest after he was returned by U.S. officials, is no longer under investigation.

Cienfuegos was arrested in Los Angeles in October, after he was secretly indicted by a federal grand jury in New York in 2019. He was accused of conspiring with the H-2 cartel in Mexico to smuggle thousands of kilos of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana while he was defense secretary from 2012 to 2018.
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Very, very brave to return.  We'll likely never see him again:

https://apnews.com/article/alexei-navaln...7980e472e1

Quote:Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested Sunday at a Moscow airport as he tried to enter the country from Germany, where he had spent five months recovering from nerve agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin.

Navalny’s detention at passport control in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport was widely expected because Russia’s prisons service said he had violated parole terms from a suspended sentence on a 2014 embezzlement conviction.

The prisons service said he would be held in custody until a court rules on his case. No date for a court appearance was immediately announced. The service earlier said that it would seek to have Navalny serve his 3 1/2-year sentence behind bars.

Navalny, 44, who is President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent and determined foe, brushed off concerns about arrest as he boarded the plane in Berlin.

“It’s impossible. I’m an innocent man,” he said.

The arrest raises tensions in Russia as it approaches national parliament elections this year, in which Navalny’s organization is expected to be active in trying to defeat pro-Kremlin candidates. Navalny decided to leave Berlin of his own free will and wasn’t under any apparent pressure to leave from Germany.

“This is a real act of bravery for Alexei Navalny to return to Russia, given that government agents already tried to kill him once,” Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth tweeted. “But he understandably wants to be part of the pro-democracy movement in Russia, not a dissident in exile.”

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for national security adviser called on Russian authorities to free Navalny.
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Absolute badass/hero
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The impoverished south of Italy is being ravaged by COVID-19 - and the mafia:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-55098415

Quote:Calabria has been left behind by decades of political mismanagement and plunder by its mafia, the 'Ndrangheta, which infiltrated the healthcare system.

Criminal gangs seized resources and ran up massive debts, leading to 18 of its public hospitals being closed and savage cuts to beds and staff.

Just days ago, a top local politician was arrested, charged with laundering money through 'Ndrangheta-controlled pharmacies in exchange for mafia support.

Corruption exacerbated serial political failings: two health commissioners for the region were fired within the past month. One was sacked after he called face masks useless and said the only way to catch the virus was to kiss an infected person with a tongue for 15 minutes.

Two other candidates nominated by the government refused the job.

"Calabria found itself without the appropriate hospitals to meet even the minimum requirements of coronavirus - so the whole system went into meltdown," says Santo Gioffrè, a gynaecologist who, as head of a local health authority, exposed fraud five years ago - but says he was silenced by the authorities.

That emergency is crippling Calabria's economy, the "red zone" designation closing businesses for a second time this year.
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Britain's new economic reality:

https://www.ft.com/content/cc6b0d9a-d8cc...6df018c10e

[Image: EsVAuSWW8AAGZEo?format=jpg&name=360x360]
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Nightly protests have been planned in Poland this week over a near-total ban on abortion that abruptly came into effect on Wednesday. 

Advocates are calling on doctors to defy the ruling:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/28/world...&smtyp=cur
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So....there apparently was a military coup in Myanmar over the weekend.

Myanmar military coup: 'Our world turned upside down overnight'


1962 = deja vu?
I used to be with "it", but then they changed what "it" was. Now, what I'm with isn't "it", and what's "it" seems weird and scary to me.   -Grandpa Simpson
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"A woman gave her live aerobics class in Myanmar without knowing about the ongoing coupe. Behind her, military vehicles arrive to seize the Parliament building

2021 off to a great optic start"
https://twitter.com/InvisiblesMuros/stat...8405414913
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That's quite the video, RCA.
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Boris Johnson has vowed to "do everything we need to do" - including an attempt to override post-Brexit arrangements with the EU - in order to "ensure there is no barrier down the Irish Sea"

May I suggest rejoining the European Union?

https://news.sky.com/story/brexit-boris-...sf-twitter
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Well gosh, who would've thought that Irish border politics could be complicated?
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The whole protocol idea within the trading agreement is a sticking plaster. The reality is there are two options - reunified Ireland in the EU with a border in the Irish Sea or NI no longer a gaping whole in the Single Market with a land border between RoI/NI. Anything else is long term an unworkable fudge.

Now I have my views on a preferred outcome, but it really needs a democratic solution. The problem is there are four vested “national” groups - NI, GB, RoI and the EU27 - each of whom, for any plan to be workable - need to assent to it. NI because it is a question of their self-determination, RoI because they would be taking on a not especially economically sound territory, GB because it’s breaking up the UK and the EU27 because ultimately their funds would probably be needed to support regeneration in the province.

Total clusterfuck. Fucking English.
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Polish media suspend reporting to protest a planned tax on advertising that is really an attack on press freedom:

https://www.politico.eu/article/polish-m...vertising/
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His appointment was controversial, so no one can pretend to be surprised:

https://www.timesofisrael.com/state-hist...um=twitter

Quote:Images have emerged in Poland of a man who was recently appointed to a senior post at a state historical research institution performing what appears to be a Nazi salute.

On Thursday, the Gazeta Wyborcza daily published the pictures from 2007 of Tomasz Greniuch, who in 2019 was appointed head of the local branch of the Institute of National Remembrance in Opole, in southwestern Poland.

Greniuch is seen extending his right arm in a gesture similar to the Nazi salute during a meeting of the far-right ONR group to which he used to belong. Greniuch’s appointment was controversial in Poland due to his ONR ties, which he said at the time extended mostly to reading the group’s literature on Polish nationalism.

In addition to millions of Jews, the Nazis murdered about 3 million non-Jewish Polish people during the Holocaust. Subsequently, the sort of glorification of Nazism that is prevalent in Ukraine, Hungary and the Baltic states, among other parts of Europe, is a rare phenomenon in Poland.

Following the discovery, a former adviser to Poland’s prime minister joined critics of Greniuch’s appointment.

“This man should never have never been appointed,” Andrzej Pawluszek, once the adviser to Mateusz Morawiecki, told the SE website. “We are dealing with a scandal that is hitting Poland.”

Pawluszek added: “Nobody will convince me that a person giving the Nazi salute is a patriot.”
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I find it interesting how little press the utterly massive (look at them, the size is insane) protests in India are getting right now.

Basically India passed a bunch of laws that destroyed small independent farmers and benefit the large agrarian interests. I'm guessing The Powers That Be who decide what kind of news we're allowed to see are afraid that coverage might give peasants here in the U.S. ideas.

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(02-22-2021, 02:18 AM)Overlord Wrote: I find it interesting how little press the utterly massive (look at them, the size is insane) protests in India are getting right now.

Basically India passed a bunch of laws that destroyed small independent farmers and benefit the large agrarian interests.  I'm guessing The Powers That Be who decide what kind of news we're allowed to see are afraid that coverage might give peasants here in the U.S. ideas.

I was just listening to this podcast about the situation in India and how Modi (actually smart Indian Trump) has been fucking over the country with nationalistic populism for awhile now.

Modi’s “Arrogance of Power” and the Indian Farmers’ Protests with Rana Ayyu‪b‬
I used to be with "it", but then they changed what "it" was. Now, what I'm with isn't "it", and what's "it" seems weird and scary to me.   -Grandpa Simpson
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Hockey player Artemi Panarin recently came out as a supporter of Alexei Navalny.  Not longer after, Panarin had to take a leave of absence from the New York Rangers because a Russian paper claimed he beat up a woman in 2011:

https://twitter.com/NYP_Brooksie/status/...6562059276

Quote:Breaking news: Panarin is taking a leave of absence from NYR in aftermath of political hit piece against him from Russia alleging that he beat up an 18-year-old girl in Russia in 2011.

The New York Rangers have issued a statement:

https://twitter.com/NYRangers/status/136...3637005314

[Image: Eu2BkybWgAI4Rb9?format=jpg&name=900x900]
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Speaking of massive rallies:

https://twitter.com/Joyce_Karam/status/1...1938760706

Quote:Wow. Massive Rallies and Demonstrations in #Myanmar today, biggest against Military Coup. Hundreds of thousands took to streets across country accompanied with business strikes.

This is from Yangon, being dubbed as #22222Revolution, 22 days after coup:

Video at the link.
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No signs of the protests or violence stopping in Myanmar:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-myanm...SKCN2AS018

Quote:Myanmar police fired on protesters on Sunday in the bloodiest day of weeks of demonstrations against a military coup and at least seven people were killed and several wounded, political and medical sources and media said.

Myanmar has been in chaos since the army seized power and detained elected government leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership on Feb. 1, alleging fraud in a November election her party won in a landslide.

The coup, which brought a halt to tentative steps towards democracy after nearly 50 years of military rule, has drawn hundreds of thousands onto the streets and the condemnation of Western countries.

“Myanmar is like a battlefield,” the Buddhist-majority nation’s first Catholic cardinal, Charles Maung Bo, said on Twitter.

Police were out in force early and opened fire in different parts of the biggest city of Yangon after stun grenades, tear gas and shots in the air failed to break up crowds. Soldiers also reinforced police.
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A rough read:

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/sto...sic-crisis

Quote:Some 80,000 Mexicans have disappeared in the last 15 years and never been found. Many are now thought to be in government custody — among the thousands of corpses that pass through morgues each year without ever being identified and end up in common graves.

The country’s top human rights official, Alejandro Encinas, has called the problem a “humanitarian crisis and forensic emergency.”

“For years, the state abdicated its responsibility, not only to guarantee the safety of the people, but to give ... families the right to search and find and return home with their relatives,” he said last year.

A recent investigation by the news team Quinto Elemento Lab revealed through public records requests that there are nearly 39,000 unidentified bodies dating back to 2006 in government custody.

More than 28,000 of them had been cremated or buried in public cemeteries. Another 2,589 had been donated to medical schools. Most of the rest were still in morgues or could not be located.

Government officials won praise from human rights advocates when they announced a plan in late 2019 to assemble a team of national and international experts with the aim of identifying all the bodies and even bone fragments.

But the effort has stalled amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the realization that the forensic challenges are more daunting than anticipated.
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Video at the link:

https://twitter.com/ThomasVLinge/status/...8667370500

Quote:Mass protests in #Haiti this Sunday against President #Moise who recently accused political opponents of plotting a coup, arresting dozens of them.
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Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s former president, was found guilty on corruption charges and received a one-year prison sentence. He is likely to appeal:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/01/world...tw-nytimes

Quote:The former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was found guilty and sentenced to jail by a court in Paris on Monday on charges of corruption and influence peddling, only the second time in modern French history that a former president has been convicted of a crime.

The conviction was the culmination of just one of several long-running legal entanglements that are coming to a head for the politician who led France from 2007 to 2012.

Mr. Sarkozy, 66, is likely to appeal, and while the conviction could undermine his stature in French politics, he still holds considerable sway among French conservatives.

Mr. Sarkozy was found guilty of trying to illegally obtain information on another case against him from a judge in return for promises to use his influence to secure a prestigious job for the judge.

The presiding judge in Monday’s case, Christine Mée, told the court that Mr. Sarkozy had “used his status as a former president to reward a magistrate who served his personal interest” and that he was “perfectly informed” of the illegality of his actions, according to French news reports.
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