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10/23/21

USA: How Do You Make 7 Million Workers Disappear? - by Derek Thompson

The U.S. economy is experiencing the disorienting superposition of multiple timelines and while Wall Street still rules, it has the potential of becoming a Fata-Morgana economy.. Let us hope it wont.

Read more at: How Do You Make 7 Million Workers Disappear? - The Atlantic

USA: Are lobbyists trying to gut Biden’s budget? No one knows – and that’s the problem - by David Litt

West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, who raised more than $400,000 from the oil and gas industry while the bill was being negotiated, is now poised to gut Biden’s clean-energy plan. Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema spent the summer and fall collecting checks from corporate groups and Trump donors who oppose the Biden agenda, then helped cut the size of the reconciliation package by approximately half.

READ MORE AT: Are lobbyists trying to gut Biden’s budget? No one knows – and that’s the problem | David Litt | The Guardian

Turkey to declare US, 9 other ambassadors ‘persona non grata’ after call for release of jailed opposition figure – says President ErdoganErdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he instructed the foreign minister to declare 10 ambassadors, including Washington’s envoy, ‘persona non grata’ over a rare joint statement urging release of a jailed opposition figure.

“I gave the necessary instructions to our foreign minister, I said that you will handle the denunciation of the 10 ambassadors as soon as possible,” Erdogan said.

Read more at: Turkey to declare US, 9 other ambassadors ‘persona non grata’ after call for release of jailed opposition figure – Erdogan — RT World News

10/22/21

China’s Naval Modernization: The Dragon Going Global? - by Rubiat Saimum

n 1890, American Naval officer and historian Alfred Mahan published his magnum opus ‘The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660–1783’. The book revolutionized the way Naval power was perceived in the in the strategic thinking in the contemporary America. Mahan theorized that ‘Naval power’ would be the key to dominate the future global order. He pointed out that it is a vast navy that allowed the British to forge a global empire spanning six continents and outflank its rivals like Germany and Russia. Mahan’s ideas were later integrated in US Naval strategy that made the country a global superpower after the Second World War. Now more than a century later, the China is pursuing a similar strategy, taking lessons directly from Mahan’s playbook.

Note EU-Digest: the question which arises always is: why not? Is the US the only nation on earth which is allowed to have a strong naval force, or to decide which country it considers to have an aggressive foreign policy ?

Read more at: China’s Naval Modernization: The Dragon Going Global? - Modern Diplomacy

The Netherlands: New Covid sub variant is in the Netherlands, but remains minor: RIVM

A new sub variant of the Delta coronavirus strain, currently being monitored in the UK, has been in the Netherlands for the past 10 weeks, public health institute RIVM has confirmed. The AY.4.2 sub strain accounts for 0.1% to 0.2% of cases, and the fact it has not increased since it was first identified is an indication that it is not a highly infectious variant, a spokesman told broadcaster NOS.

Read more at: New Covid sub variant is in the Netherlands, but remains minor: RIVM - DutchNews.nl

EU-Polish Relations: Brussels wins support for further legal steps in dispute with Poland -S, Fleming, H. Foy, V. Pop and M. Khan

European leaders warned Poland that the union was prepared to deploy further legal sanctions against Warsaw in response to its defiance of EU law, as they urged the country to walk back its challenges to the bloc’s judicial foundations.

In their first face-to-face talks since Poland’s top court ruled that key parts of EU law are not compatible with the country’s constitution, leaders voiced strong support for the European Commission’s pledge to hit back at Warsaw.

However, numerous leaders also called for political dialogue to be prioritised alongside legal measures, as they sought to ease a bitter row that has triggered fears that Poland could ultimately exit the Union.

Read more at: Brussels wins support for further legal steps in dispute with Poland | Financial Times

US Defense Budget out of control: The Afghanistan War Is Over. But the Defense Budget Is Still About to Go Up.

After the United States military stopped fighting wars in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, Congress went on to appropriate less funding for defense in subsequent years. But now that the US has pulled out of Afghanistan, ending the longest war in American history, it seems unlikely that the pattern will repeat itself.

With the House set to vote on a defense policy bill this week, Congress is preparing to increase the Pentagon budget in fiscal year 2021-22 to around $740 billion, a figure that surpasses President Joe Biden’s request by roughly $25 billion. That would be nearly $37 billion more than Congress approved in Donald Trump’s last year in office.

When Biden issued his budget proposal in April, he requested $715 billion for the Pentagon, a slight increase over last year’s $704 billion budget. This increase—at a time when Biden’s party controls both the House and Senate—is a reminder of how bipartisan support for more military spending is one of the only things you can predict in Washington. MOTHER JONES TOP STORIES Steve Bannon Doesn’t Want to Testify. We Already Know What He Did.

Read more at: The Afghanistan War Is Over. But the Defense Budget Is Still About to Go Up. – Mother Jones

China-US relations:China's latest missile test raises the stakes for Biden's nuclear weapons review

China's test of a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile has given new fuel to critics of President Joe Biden's ambitious agenda to scale back America's nuclear arsenal, with intelligence and defense officials warning that the Chinese launch marked a significant technological leap that could threaten the US in new ways.

News of the launch is coming to light publicly as the administration nears the end of its nuclear posture review. Biden's national security team has been working toward a policy of increased restraint and more limited spending on nuclear modernization and production. The President has also been weighing a "no first use" policy for U.S. nuclear weapons, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Others within the administration are waving red flags, however. Intelligence officials told the Senate Intelligence Committee in private briefings that the Chinese test -- which they tracked closely as it was happening -- marked a substantial advancement in China's ability to launch a strategic first strike against the United States, according to people familiar with the briefings.

Read more at: https://www.wral.com/chinas-latest-missile-test-raises-the-stakes-for-bidens-nuclear-weapons-review/19938942/

10/21/21

USA: Internet providers collect "staggering" amounts of data - U.S. FTC chair

nternet service providers collect a “staggering” amount of detailed data on consumers, Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan said on Thursday in discussing an agency staff report on information collected by major providers like AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

“We intend this report to be the continuation of an ongoing discussion about commercial data practices, and user privacy,” said Khan, who noted that the data collected could also crop up as an issue in merger reviews.

Read more at: Internet providers collect "staggering" amounts of data - U.S. FTC chair - Metro US

Turkey: Double pandemic feared as COVID-19 cases rise in Turkey

As COVID-19 cases continue on an upward trend in Turkey, the pandemic may get even worse in the coming winter months amid the risk of a flu epidemic.

Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board member professor Serap Şimşek Yavuz warned that several respiratory viruses, such as the Rhinovirus, have been detected much earlier this year.

“With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, the flu epidemic may well make a comeback. This is our biggest concern,” she said.

Read more at: Double pandemic feared as COVID-19 cases rise in Turkey | Daily Sabah

EU - Inflation Sutge: ECB's Rehn warns of risk if inflation surge lasts much longer

The surge in inflation in the euro zone is still mostly temporary but households and firms will start to lift their price expectations if it lasts much longer, European Central Bank policymaker Olli Rehn said on Tuesday.

Inflation in the euro zone hit 3.4% last month according to flash estimates amid higher energy prices and supply constraints pushing up the price of a range of goods.

Read more at: ECB's Rehn warns of risk if inflation surge lasts much longer - Metro US