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9/30/20

US Presidential Debate - the worst debate ever

The debate. What a disaster. Donald Trump constantly interrupting and disrupting the questioning, like a screaming hyena. All people who were not convinced Donald Trump is mentally insane at this point are insane themselves. If during this Presidential debate there had been advertising breaks, every commercial should have been for anti-depressants to be taken by the viewers of this debate.--..If you are Republican, Democrat or whatever, this lying sociopath has got to go for the sake of a return to normalcy in the USA. Not sure if I can stomac another debate between these two.
Read more at: EU-Digest

9/29/20

The Netherlands considers nationwide face mask obligation

 Following the Netherlands’ announcement of the stricter measures against the coronavirus on Monday, calls for a national face mask obligation in the country are rising.

The Dutch government’s current measure – that shopkeepers in the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague should only allow customers wearing a face mask to enter their shops – is perceived as unclear, according to the Dutch Lower House.

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The Netherlands considers nationwide face mask obligation

Middle East: Turkey accused of deploying jihadists from Syria to Azerbaijan as World Peace Council calls for immediate ceasefire

The  World Peace Council has called for an immediate ceasefire following a second day of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

And Iranian peace campaigners said that Turkey had reportedly transferred jihadists from Syria to fight for Azerbaijan in the conflict, echoing its intervention in the Libyan civil war.

The council said that peace campaigners in both countries needed to mobilise to counter “war hysteria” over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory recognised internationally as part of Azerbaijan but self-governed as the Armenian-majority Republic of Artsakh since the early 1990s.

Dozens have been reported killed and wounded since clashes broke out at the weekend, with Armenia and Azerbaijan disputing each others’ claims.

Association for Defence of Peace, Solidarity & Democracy-Iran convener Payam Solhtalab condemned Turkey’s intervention in the conflict in support of Azerbaijan.

“Turkey, a member of Nato, has territorial ambitions in the region which would be detrimental to regional stability and world peace,” he said, expressing “concern” at Turkey’s reported deployment of jihadists it had sponsored in the war to overthrow the Bashar al-Assad government in Syria. Turkey has vocally backed Azerbaijan since fighting broke out, while Russia, which has close ties to Armenia, says it is seeking to defuse tensions.

Read more at: 
Turkey accused of deploying jihadists from Syria to Azerbaijan as World Peace Council calls for immediate ceasefire | Morning Star

USA: The Rolling Constitutional-Fascist Coup in the World’s Most Dangerous Nation - by Paul Street

We are in the middle of a rolling authoritarian and even fascist coup that is working with and through the United States Constitution to no small degree. To be sure, Trump is doing everything in his considerable power to undermine a “normal” bourgeois-constitutional election. He’s working to sabotage mail delivery in an election that will depend on mail-in ballots thanks to the pandemic Trump has fanned. He’s deploying armed right-wing “poll watchers” to intimidate minority and other Biden voters. He’s encouraging terrorist street actions and intimidation by white “tough guys” (bikers, militia members, cops, and soldiers) before, during, and after the election. His party will mess with voting sites and access in majority Democratic jurisdictions.

Trump claims again and again that the only way he can lose is “if the election is rigged.” This is understood by his armed “tough guy” base as a call for “civil war” if vote count doesn’t go his way. It is possible pretext for suspending the election and declaring invalid the tens of mail-in ballots required by the pandemic that Trump has fanned across the nation – the novel coronavirus that is now part of the widely hated Trump’s electoral/anti-electoral strategy. It a possible “justification” also for declaring martial law, as he is being urged to do by some of his far right friends (e.g. neo-Nixonian lunatic Roger Stone and the Fatherland News’ fascist frau Jeanine Pirro) to squash protests against his fake Election Day victory.

Remember Cohen’s testimony to Congress last year: “Given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020 there will never be a peaceful transition of power. That is why I agreed to come before you today.”

“Trump,” Cohen warns in his book Disloyal, “will never leave office peacefully….Whoever follows Trump into the White House, if the President doesn’t manage to make himself the leader for life, as he has started to joke about – and Trump never actually jokes – will discover a tangle of frauds and scams and lawlessness. Trump and his minions will do anything to cover up that reality, and I mean anything” (emphasis added).

Listen to this recent exchange between Trump and an American reporter:
Reporter: “Win, lose, or draw in this election, will you commit here today for a peaceful transferal of power after the election”?

Trump: “Well, we’re going to have to see what happens. We want to get rid of the ballots, and we’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation. The ballots are out of control, you know it….”

The orange wannabe fascist strongman will not commit to a peaceful transition.

 Read more at:
The Rolling Constitutional-Fascist Coup in the World’s Most Dangerous Nation - CounterPunch.org

Azerbajan: The demise of diplomacy: Azerbaijan’s military offensive - by Richard Giragosian

For the past several years, the outlook for diplomacy in Russia’s self-proclaimed “near abroad” or sphere of influence has been particularly daunting.  Ranging from Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008 to its annexation of Crimea in 2014 and continuing aggression in eastern Ukraine,

Western diplomacy has been largely stalled and stalemated.  More recently, it was Belarus that emerged as the obvious focal point for European engagement and diplomatic efforts, with a new challenge for security and stability along the EU’s “eastern neighborhood.”

But with a sudden and sweeping military offensive by Azerbaijan early on Sunday morning, the unresolved Nagorno Karabakh conflict has now surfaced as the more pressing and most urgent crisis for European diplomacy.

Read more: 
The demise of diplomacy: Azerbaijan’s military offensive | New Europe

Biodiversity Loss: Canada, Britain, EU pledge to protect 30% of land, sea by 2030 to stop 'catastrophic' biodiversity loss

 Britain and Canada on Monday joined the European Union in pledging to protect 30 per cent of their land and seas by 2030 to stem "catastrophic" biodiversity loss and help galvanize support for broader agreement on the target ahead of a United Nations summit.

With the twin crises of climate change and wildlife loss accelerating, leaders are trying to build momentum ahead of the UN meeting in Kunming, China, in May, where nearly 200 countries will negotiate a new agreement on protecting nature.

Read more at:
Canada, Britain, EU pledge to protect 30% of land, sea by 2030 to stop 'catastrophic' biodiversity loss | CBC News

9/28/20

USA: Is Trump Planning a Coup d’État? - by Sasha Abramsky

 This summer, shortly after scores of camo-wearing, heavily armed federal agents descended on Portland, Ore., to attack protesters, Charles Fried, Ronald Reagan’s solicitor general, pondered the implications of what he was seeing on the streets. What he saw scared him; he remembered the use of paramilitaries by fascist leaders in 1930s Europe, where he was born, and he feared he was now witnessing a slide into paramilitarism in the United States. (His family fled the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia.) Fried felt that President Trump was using the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies in a way that was “very menacing. You might as well put brown shirts on them. It’s a very bad thing.”

Read more at: 
Is Trump Planning a Coup d’État? | The Nation

Coronavirus - Global Increase: Fears grow for the 'next million' as global COVID death toll reaches deadly milestone

The number of people who have died globally as a result of COVID-19 has reached the one million mark, a grim milestone that comes just nine months after the disease first emerged in Wuhan, China.

Worldometer, which collects data from a number of official sources including governments, reported that the number of reported deaths worldwide surpassed 1 million on Monday morning.

Preventing another million from dying from the virus will only be possible if countries use all the tools available, experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. This includes issuing physical distancing measures, mass testing and contact tracing.

If they fail to prevent coronavirus transmission, however, it's not only "imaginable" that there could be another one million dead but it's "likely," said Dr Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO's health emergencies programme.

Read more at: 
Fears grow for the 'next million' as global COVID death toll reaches deadly milestone | Euronews

Coronavirus EU: Netherlands joins neighbours in tightening coronavirus restrictions amid surge in cases

The Netherlands has introduced stricter measures to combat rising coronavirus cases, banning spectators at professional sports matches and ordering bars and restaurants to close at 10pm for the next three weeks.
Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said “we’re doing our best, but the virus is doing better”, warning that tougher measures could follow if the numbers don’t stop going up.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte also advised people to wear face masks when shopping in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, the three cities with the highest rates of infections.

Read more at: 
Netherlands joins neighbours in tightening coronavirus restrictions amid surge in cases | Euronews

USA - Report: Trump Paid Only $750 in Federal Income Taxes in 2016 and 2017 - by Peter Wade

The New York Times has obtained tax-return data for President Trump that shows he paid no income taxes in 11 of the 18 years the paper examined. The bombshell report also revealed that Trump paid only $750 in federal income taxes in 2016, the year he won the presidency. And he paid the same amount in 2017, his first year in office.

Trump, who has refused to release his tax returns on multiple occasions, using the excuse that he has been under IRS audit, called the report “fake news” during a Sunday news conference.

But the Times says they have obtained more than two decades’ worth of tax-return data for Trump and for hundreds of companies in his business organization. The president’s debt that, according to the report, he has personally guaranteed is in the hundreds of millions of dollars is coming due in the next four years. The Times says that debt leaves Trump dependent on his business accumulating more income, which is a conflict of interest with his duties as president.

Read more at:
Report: Trump Paid Only $750 in Federal Income Taxes in 2016 and 2017 - Rolling Stone