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Out and about | Pleasanton Express

Out and about |  Pleasanton Express

  What is the interest rate I will be expecting when taking out loans to a direct lender when I have bad credit? 

The lenders offer a range of rates of interest. They calculate their rates based on a range of variables, such as the type of loan you’re seeking and the length of your loan. A lot of lenders will accept the loan application but will charge higher rates of interest for those with poor credit. Personal loans may be charged an interest rate that can range from 6 percent or 36 percent, installments directly from lender.

Singers from SouthTexas

Free concert on the 23rd of October at the 1st BaptistChurch of Pleasanton 400N. Reed St. at 6p.m.

Food and Learn online parent trainings

The event is held by the Atascosa McMullenSpecial Educational Cooperative. The event will be held the 25th of October, on Monday 2012 at 12:15pm. The subject is “Special assessment for schools The things parents should be aware of. For more information, get in touch with BrendaNelson at [email protected].

Jourdanton, 1st BaptistChurch FoodPantry

Distribution on Friday the 29th of October, beginning around 8:15 a.m. till the time where the items are given away. 515 Zanderson Avenue., Jourdanton.

Peacefor thePieces social group

This group hosts events or gatherings and also meetings geared toward families of disabled individuals from the local area. They help to boost confidence and socialization among those disabled at the highest stage, from infants up to those over 25yrs old. Contact Laura at 830-570-278 for more information.

FamilyCollaboration Council by Connections in the Jourdanton

They would like to hear ideas regarding ways to improve services within the community. A virtual meeting has been scheduled for close of November. You can contact [email protected]

CowboysStock Exchange FallFestival

The 31st of October on a Sunday, from 6:30 p.m. There will be activities, including makeup contests, costume contests , and prizes Live entertainment, as well as prizes offered through Marlon Sharp. Check out the official announcement of this event.

The primary forms are available! They are designed for use by users

Merry The Main at Pleasanton between December 3 to 4. The forms for vendors, the Bicycle ParadeIlluminated Christmas NightParade, River Park Wonderland and Little MissMerry on MainPageant are available on www.merryonmain.org.

Merry the MainTalent Show will accept audition videos

Submit your 1minute video to [email protected] for the details for future contest. Be sure to include your first name as well as date of birth along with the type for your video (voice comedy voice, voice, etc. ).Age categories are 5-10, 11-17 , or those aged 18 and over. Deadline for submission of video is on the 7th of November.

WildBill Christmas CowboyGallop

SouthCentral Texas Community CouncilFundraiser

The cost for tickets to the raffle is $10 which is equal to three tickets. The prizes will include gift card baskets as well as other prizes. Tickets are available at 1220 Ave. Simmons in the Jourdanton. You can also contact 830-767-2019.

A fun family time within GeorgeFarms

595 Allee des Mobil-Homes , located in Poteet. It is accessible to the public on every Saturdays and Sundays beginning September 30th from 10a.m. until at least 6p.m. The cost of 12 dollars includes for unlimited rides in the hay and wine tastings and many other activities or $5 admission (does exclude the pumpkin but it includes hay rides, unlimited wine tasting, and much more).

CoastalBend College OpenHouse

1411Bensdale Road in the Pleasanton. The 21st of October, Thursday between 5p.m. between five p.m. to seven p.m. Go through the facilities, see the classrooms and get meet the staff and teachers. Participate in a mixer that includes a chamber. Bring a book that you have just purchased to donate for at the AtascosaCo Juvenile DetentionCenter.

SAP JAM October23

The event will begin at 12 noon in the Pleasanton SkatePark. It’s organized by SanAntonio / PleasantonPartners for Progress. Show off your skating skills. You could win a cash prizes in the form of skates are provided. Drinks and food are also offered. You can join the party to register by phone BobByrd at 210-896-5525 and provide your expertise.

PercyMedina Scholarship Fund PokerTournament

The 23rd of October take place in St.Andrew’s ChurchHall in the Pleasanton between 6 to 11p.m. The evening will include a dinner and dancing, and auction silent. This is an auction that is silent. Texas Hold’em Poker event ticket is $100 per person (including food and drinks). 1. The cash award for First Prize cash prize: 1,000USD gift card. 2nd prize cash prize cash prize 500USD gift card, and third prize: an award-winning gift card worth 250USD. Tickets for dinner cost $25. To reserve a table, call Priscilla at 210-639-2553, or phone Gabe at 512-995-994.

SaferPath domestic violence shelter provides a watchful eye

The 28th day the month of October on Thursday, beginning at the time between 6:30pm and 715 p.m. at the AtascosaCounty Courthouse. Find out more about local police officials and the inspirational story of an individual who survived in DomesticViolence AwarenessMonth.

Dia delos Muertos exhibition “Recuerdame”

Cafeteria is located in Cafeteria located in the Memorial Annex situated in Leming. The event is free and open in the public. Vernissage Wednesday on hte 27th of October from 6:30p.m. between 8p.m. until eight p.m. The event will continue through October 28-30 beginning at 10:30 a.m. until 3p.m. Everyone is invited. Go to this section on the website for further details.

Cleaning-up at SanYsidro cemetery on 30th of October

The festivities begin at 8:30 a.m. Families and relatives at the cemetery are invited to participate. Lawn mowers and other tools are required. 

HalloweenTrick-or Treat at GeorgFarms

595 Allee des maisons mobiles in the Poteet on the Saturday of October. 30th of October, from 10a.m. to 6p.m. The cost for admission is $5. Children aged 2 and older are admitted for free. Bring your blanket or toy to enter at no cost. Costume contest and Halloween patch inside the Backyard Food and hay rides in the kitchen. There will be cash prizes, and much more.

PoteetFirst BaptistChurch , FallFestival

Saturday, 30th of October, 2013, 1305Amphion Rd. 5pm-8pm. Costume contest, games cart rides, as well as complimentary food and drinks until the all supplies are gone.

Halloween Trail in Pleasanton RiverPark

Sunday 31 October at 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. It is run by PleasantonParks & Recreation. It’s an event that is free and includes food and Hay rides and games.

Cleansing of Dia delos MuertosCemetery

CharlotteCommunity Cemetery. Monday, r 1st of November, 4:00p.m. until 6:30p.m. Remember the lives of people who have passed on by donating food altars for time funeral services, and many other events. Bring a picture of someone you’ve been a part of. Everyone is asked to dress in disguise.

Noche delas Calaveras on 6th of November

MainStreet in downtown Pleasanton between 5 and 9p.m. Cultural festival that includes food and vendors of arts. Folklore performance and an altar competition, along with Catrina costume contest. Are you in search for sellers. If you’d like to know more about the process, contact 830-570-2782 , or 830-569-2163.

Meetings online for foster and adoption

It is run in conjunction with Belong. Meetings on November 6 in the evening, beginning with 6:30p.m. and on 13th of November at 10:00 a.m. Go to sjrcbelong.org to sign up.

the T1D annual 2nd WildBill PumpkinRace

Sunday, 7th of November GeorgeFarms 595Mobile HomeAlley in the Poteet. A fundraiser for diabetes Alert Dogs and StevieJayde Beddo. A fun 3K run, BBQ sales. Raffle of baked goods, sale of canning equipment Face painting, and lots more.

The 6th year for the The AtascosaCo.VeteransDay celebration.

Wednesday, 10th of November. Parade will begin at an estimated at 11:00a.m. at 1101Main St. in the Jourdanton. The line-up is scheduled to begin at 10:30am. Food and refreshments for Veterans and is available from the VeteransServices Bureau.

Atascosa Co. ThanksgivingDay

The event will take place on Thursday , 25th of November Jourdanton Community Centre. Jourdanton Community Centre 1101Campbell Ave.Free and hosted by Wayne Vaughn and Julie Hilberg. Anyone living in AtascosaCounty. The operating hours are the following times that are 12:00p.m. 1. p.m 2, 3, or 4. p.m. Take-out the pickup is available from 11:30 p.m. until 3.30 p.m. To book a table, make reservations, call 830-534-7083. Include the names of your guests and their preferred time. Maximum of 8 guests per table, or take-away reservations.

The Atascosa County Seniors’ Christmas Goal for Project 2021

This was known before as ACCEPT and has since shifted its attention to elderly individuals who need help. For those with any questions you can call (210-771-769).

FEATURED an event in Out&About, email Lifestyles editor LisaLuna at [email protected] or call our office at 830-569-6130.

Reports: Five dead in Russian strike on Ukraine flight school

A midday Russian missile attack on a flight school in central Ukraine left at least five people dead and more than two dozen injured, according to reports. The attack marks the latest civilian target since Russia first invaded the country in February.

Two Russian missiles hit hangars at the National Aviation University Flight Academy located in Kropyvnytskyi, Ukraine, approximately 320 miles southeast of Kyiv, shortly after noon on July 28, Reuters reported.

“There are casualties, dead and injured,” Andriy Raikovych, regional governor of the Kirovohrad region, told a press conference reported by Reuters. “Twenty-five have already been taken to medical facilities – they have been injured. Five were killed, including a soldier.

In total, at least three planes were destroyed in the attack, according to the news agency. “There are material losses – two civilian aircraft and one [Antonov] Aircraft AN-26.

The flight school, which has been in operation for more than 70 years, has trained more than 120,000 students from 80 countries, he said. The facility includes two training airfields, training aircraft and training complexes.

On Friday, flight school officials inspected the charred skeletal remains of the hangars to assess the extent of the loss.

“The explosion caused a fire, resulting in significant loss of maintenance facilities, including a Cessna aircraft,” the flight school said.

In a statement offering his condolences to those killed, Volodymyr Maksimov, the academy’s acting director, denounced the “treacherous attack” on the flight school’s civilian hangar, “in the middle of the working day”.

According to Maksimov, airmen affiliated with Air Urga, a Ukrainian private airline that operates a fleet of 16 aircraft, including six AN-26-100s, two AN-26s, seven SAAB-340Bs and a Cessna 172-R used for training .

Maksimov praised the quick response of first responders who arrived on the scene immediately after the attack. “A few minutes after the explosion, the academy’s special vehicles began to put out the fire,” he said.

According to Ukrainian defense officials, Russia is increasingly targeting civilian targets in Ukraine.

“Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia has attacked civilian targets nearly 60 times more often than military targets,” Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said Monday. “Terrorists carried out 17,300 strikes on civilian property and around 300 on military targets.”

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Naylor Association Solutions Unveils New Suite of Strategic Marketing, Public Relations and Social Media Services for Associations


Naylor Association Solutions, a leading provider of innovative strategic products and services for professional and trade associations in the United States and Canada, today announced an expanded suite of marketing, public relations (PR) packages and association-specific social media. The full suite of customizable and packaged strategic marketing and communications products and services are proven to boost member recruitment and non-dues revenue, improve member engagement, and help build an association’s brand as a as industry leader.

“With our new white-label marketing services packages designed specifically for nonprofits, we’re ready to help nonprofits position, grow and engage their audiences and assert the leadership nonprofits deserve,” said Alex DeBarr, CEO of Naylor Association Solutions. “Whether your association is understaffed, struggling to connect with members with content, blogs, emails, newsletters, ads and social media, or if you struggle with outreach, retention and member engagement, we can help.”

The expansion of Naylor Association Marketing Services, which will be implemented by Gabriel Marketing Group (GMG), an industry-leading digital marketing and public relations agency for high-growth organizations, is driven by the partnership Naylor’s strategic focus with GMG, which brings GMG’s external communications and demand generation expertise to Naylor’s more than 1,600 customers.

“Naylor is now highly differentiated as a true one-stop-shop for all association needs, from association management and member software to marketing and brand management,” added Leah Nurik, Founder and CEO of Gabriel Marketing Group. “We already provide many of these services to Naylor, so it makes perfect sense to bring these services to charities through Naylor.”

Naylor’s expanded association marketing and public relations products and services include:

  • Association Marketing Boost: to increase website traffic, engage current members, recruit new members, increase SEO ranking and domain authority, and/or improve site speed, includes site optimization audit Web site with implemented recommendations, Google Tag Manager implementation and configuration, Google Analytics goal creation, retargeting audience configuration, digital advertising platform audience configuration and implement SEO foundations and capture audit trails
  • Strategic Association Content: to create consistent messages and communications for members and new target members, optimize web content to increase rankings and strategic keyword identification, includes strategic editorial calendar planning with titles, meta tags and corresponding H1s and identified core keywords woven into content planning
  • Strategic PR: to increase public awareness and media coverage of association activities and initiatives, includes three tiered packages with the creation of a public relations message and press kit, a relations program strategies with media, a thought leadership program and an awards program, with optional social media programs
  • Digital Event Promotion: To increase attendance at virtual and in-person association events, includes three tiered packages with digital advertising programs, digital ad design, website optimization recommendations and tips strategic
  • Event Publicity with Social Media: To increase awareness, media coverage and social media presence of the association’s corporate events or local events, includes event messaging, news releases press releases, targeted media pitches, pre-event social media posts, on-site, on-site/day-time media assistance of live event highlights, and photography and video capture for post-event production of highlight videos

Additional customizable services include:

  • Digital Advertising: Includes Paid Search and Social Media Ads, Native Advertising, Influencer Marketing, Google Analytics Setup, Ad Strategy, Ad Copy and Design, Ad Operations and Reporting
  • Content and Design: Includes conceptualizing, writing, and designing infographics, white papers, e-books, web copy, marketing emails, case studies, blog posts, factsheets techniques, landing pages, immersive digital experiences, and more.
  • Marketing Automation: Three tiered packages for designing targeted marketing campaigns, which can be applied to career center promotional campaigns, exposure and sponsorship marketing, membership campaigns and more; includes a campaign calendar, CRM and workflow audits, email writing, targeting and audience segmentation, and campaign landing pages, among other elements
  • Marketing strategy: includes website and SEO audits, branding framework, messaging materials, growth marketing plans and strategic consulting engagements
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): includes SEO audits, competitor analysis, keyword research, editorial calendar planning and monthly reporting

For pricing and more information, please visit https://www.naylor.com/.

About Naylor Association Solutions

Naylor Association Solutions is dedicated to building stronger associations. As a strategic partner of professional and trade associations in the United States and Canada, Naylor offers a comprehensive set of innovative association tools and services that enhance member engagement and increase non-dues revenue. Our offerings include member communications, live and online meeting and event management, online career centers, Association Management Software (AMS) and Member Data Platform (MDP) , full-service association management and e-learning. The Naylor team supports clients with unparalleled depth and breadth of expertise and an innovative spirit to solve the unique challenges facing associations. Naylor also provides valuable insights through its personalized client portals that provide real-time feedback and advanced analytics. Founded in 1969, Naylor today serves more than 1,600 associations in over 80 industries. Our headquarters are in McLean, Virginia, with additional offices in Alpharetta, Georgia; Gainesville, Florida; Schaumburg, Ill.; Hunt Valley, Maryland; and Winnipeg, MB. For more information, visit https://www.naylor.com.

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Best Installment Loans – Secured Installment Loans for Bad Credit in 2022

Unforeseen expenses and emergencies can spell devastation to a carefully balanced American family budget. Installment loans are a great option for those who urgently need cash to cover expenses they otherwise couldn’t afford. With so many online installment loan providers, it can be difficult to know which one to turn to based on your financial needs. Learn about the top online personal installment loan providers and what to expect if you choose to use them.

Best Online Installment Loans 2022 – Quick Pick Now:

Green dollar loans: Best Overall for Installment Loans – Very High Approval!

Big Buck Loans: Ideal for Bad Credit Installment Loans – All Credit Types Welcome!

. Money Lender Squad: Ideal for same day installment loans – Apply for cash in 10 minutes!

Best guaranteed online installment loans

Green dollar loans

Projector wire

Green Dollar Loans is a reputable loan service that anyone can use to apply for personal installment loans. Applications for green dollar loans are open to anyone over the age of 18 who has had an income of $1,000 or more for at least three months. Green Dollar Loans and the lenders they host care about the stability and consistency of your income each month.

The application process found on Green Dollar Loans is quick, simple and easy to understand. You will need approximately 5 minutes to complete the application form. You must include your name, date of birth, monthly income, residential address and contact information. You can apply for a loan between $500 and $10,000 with a repayment period of 2 to 24 months.

The interest you will be charged varies depending on certain factors, but you will not be charged more than 35.99% interest.

Eligibility for Online Installment Loans

● Be at least 18 years old

● Have a monthly income of $1,000 or more

● A valid ID

● Have legal residency or citizenship in the United States

Benefits of Online Installment Loans

● Loans up to $10,000

● Flexible repayment period from 2 to 24 months

● Applications with bad credit ratings are welcome

Disadvantages of Personal Installment Loans

● Not the cheapest form of finance available

2. Large loans

Loan Big Bucks 640X480 (4)Projector wire

If you are looking for a loan matching service that accepts applicants with bad credit, your search is over. Anyone can apply for instant payout loans through Big Buck Loans. Well, almost everyone. You will be

need a minimum income of $1,000 and be of legal age (18+) to apply. This means that people who are self-employed, receiving government benefits, etc., are just as welcome to apply as people who have 9-to-5 jobs. Big Buck Loans offers loans between $100 and $5,000. $, a payment period of 2 to 24 months and interest rates between 5.99% and 35.99%.

To apply for instant approval of installment loans online through Big Buck Loans, you will need approximately 5-10 minutes, a stable internet connection and a mobile phone or computer capable of charging a website. The application form is simple, you will only have to enter your basic details to complete it. We know you might be looking for installment loans online that don’t require a credit check, but that’s not possible because all lenders in the United States are required by law to perform a credit check. on each applicant.

Eligibility for installment loans near me

● Be a legal resident or citizen of the United States

● Earn $1,000 or more every month

● Be at least 18 years old

● Have a residential address in the United States

Advantages of Instant Approval Online Installment Loans

● Applications are open to all

● Quick approval period

● Repayment of loans in 24 hours or less (within one business day)

Disadvantages of installment loans

● Interest rates can reach 35.99%

3. Money Lender Team

Custom Money Lender (5) (3)Projector wire

Money Lender Squad is a reliable and reputable loan matching service best known for its fast repayment period. For example, when you apply for an installment loan online through Money Lender Squad, you can apply for a loan of up to $5,000 with a repayment period of 2 to 24 months.

The application process can be done completely online from the comfort of your own home. You shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to complete and submit your application. After submitting your application, you can expect a response within 2 minutes. Then, if you have been approved, you will be invited to finalize your application on the lender’s site by uploading your supporting documents and signing the loan agreement. Once you have returned the signed contract, you can be paid within 60 minutes. However, most applicants receive their money within 24 hours.

Eligibility for Personal Installment Loans

● Have an active bank account that can accept direct deposit

● Have citizenship or legal residency in the United States

● Be at least 18 years old

● Have a valid US ID

Benefits of Installment Loans Near Me

● Quick payout periods

● Quick and easy online application

● Loans up to $5,000

Disadvantages of Online Installment Loans

● Credit checks may apply.

What are installment loans and how do they work?

Online installment loans are a type of personal loan that can be used for anything you want. Loan maturities are broken down into small amounts that can be repaid over 2 to 24 months. Anyone over the age of 18 who earns more than $1,000 per month can apply for personal installment loans.

When you apply for instant approval of installment loans online through a loan matching service such as Green Dollar Loans, you will need to select the amount you wish to borrow and for how long. Then you will be asked

to complete an online application form which will be used to connect you with lenders who can offer you the loan you are looking for. If one of these lenders offers you a loan that’s right for you, you’ll need to complete the application process on the lender’s website by sending them your supporting documents, such as a copy of your ID, payroll, bank statements and proof of address. If the lender is happy, you will receive a contract to sign, after which you will receive your loan repayment within one business day.

How to apply for an installment loan in 4 quick steps

Step 1: Choose your loan amount

Use the sliders on the loan matching service website to select how much you want to borrow and for how long. You can click next to complete the application form when you have done so.

Step 2: Complete the application form

Next, you will need to complete the application form by adding your basic personal information. It should take you about 5 minutes to complete. Once completed, you can submit the form for review by multiple lenders.

Step 3: Wait for a decision

Once your application is submitted, you will receive a decision within 2 minutes. You will be prompted to complete your application on the lender’s website if approved.

Step 4: Get your loan

Finally, you will have to finalize your loan on the lender’s site by uploading your supporting documents and signing the contract that the lender will send you. Then, once everything is in order, you will be paid in 24 hours or less.

Characteristics of installment loans and factors to consider

● How much should you borrow?

First you need to figure out how long you will need to borrow to pay for everything you need. You can borrow up to $5,000 when you apply for an installment loan.

● How long is your repayment period?

You can choose between 2 and 24 months to repay your loan. This will determine the size of your installments and potentially the amount of interest you will be charged.

● How much interest will you be charged?

Lenders charge between 5.99% and 35.99% interest on installment loans, so make sure you get the best deal for paying as little as possible.

● The lender makes the final decision

The loan matching service can only pre-approve you for a loan. The lender will be the one who decides whether your application is accepted or not.

● A credit check is mandatory

All lenders in the United States are required by law to perform a credit check. This does not mean that you will be turned down for a loan just because your credit history is bad. Lenders will use other factors to determine your eligibility.

How did we choose the best installment loan providers?

We considered the following features:

● How much you can borrow per loan (between $100 and $5,000)

● How long you will be given to repay the loan (up to 24 months)

● How fast you will get paid (within 24 hours)

● The amount of interest you will be charged (no more than 35.99%)


If you are looking to increase your chances of being approved for online installment loans and want a simple application at your fingertips, you may consider using a loan matching service such as Green Dollar Loans or the other loan matching services.


How long does it take to apply for an installment loan online?

Applying for an installment loan online will take you no more than 30 minutes.

What do I need to apply for a personal installment loan?
You must be 18 or older and have an income of $1,000 or more each month for at least three months. You will also need digital copies of all your supporting documents.

Who can apply for instant payout loans?

Anyone 18 or older and earning more than $1,000 a month can apply for installment loans online.

Disclaimer – The above content is non-editorial, and Economic Times hereby disclaims all warranties, express or implied, in connection therewith, and does not warrant, warrant or necessarily endorse any contents. The loan websites reviewed are loan matching services, not direct lenders. Therefore, they are not directly involved in the acceptance of your loan application. Applying for a loan with the websites does not guarantee acceptance of a loan. This article does not provide financial advice. Please seek the assistance of a financial advisor if you need financial assistance. Loans available only to US residents.

South Korea, the United States and Japan begin a Pacific Dragon ballistic missile defense exercise this week

US military, NASA and members of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory observe the trajectory of NASA’s Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) test vehicle after launch from the US Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai , Hawaii. (File Photo – US Indo-Pacific Command)

South Korea, the United States and Japan are set to jointly conduct a ballistic missile defense exercise to boost military interoperability and readiness against growing threats from North Korea.

The Pacific Dragon ballistic missile defense exercise conducted by the U.S. Pacific Fleet will be held for two weeks between Monday and Aug. 14 off the coast of Hawaii, the South Korean military confirmed on Sunday.

A total of five countries – South Korea, Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States – will take part in the multilateral exercise. The South Korean navy plans to send the 7,600-ton destroyer Sejong the Great Aegis equipped with SM-2 surface-to-air missiles.

The Pacific Dragon exercise aims to improve interoperability and tactical and technical coordination among participants in the detection, tracking, reporting and assessment of ballistic targets.

During the exercise, the five countries will practice detecting, tracking and sharing information on dummy ballistic projectiles fired by the US Navy, according to the South Korean military. The US Navy will also intercept dummy projectiles with guide missiles.

Although the Pacific Dragon was staged every two years in conjunction with the biennial US-led Rim of the Pacific, or RIMPAC, exercise, the exercise was not open to the public in 2018. and 2020 so as not to provoke North Korea.

But the South Korean military’s confirmation came after South Korean, US and Japanese defense chiefs met in June and agreed to regularize and publicize trilateral missile defense drills to deter threats. ballistic missiles from North Korea.

Cautious approach on trilateral exercises
Expanding trilateral security cooperation and military exercises were high on the agenda of the recent meeting of defense ministers, a senior ministry official said on Sunday – who asked to remain anonymous – during a briefing behind closed doors.

South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met in Washington on Friday and discussed ways to strengthen trilateral security cooperation to jointly respond to missile and nuclear threats of North Korea.

Lee also briefed Austin on Gov. Yoon Suk-yeol’s stance on trilateral military exercises during the meeting, the senior official said.

Essentially, Seoul sees the need to expand trilateral military exercises with Japan and the United States in light of growing threats from North Korea, but it will push the plan forward gradually with a cautious case-by-case approach.

Lee explained that the Yoon government was seeking to “gradually expand trilateral exercises” while focusing on strengthening existing trilateral exercises such as a simulation-based trilateral missile warning exercise, the South Korean ministry said on Sunday. Korean Defense in a separate statement.

The three countries have agreed to conduct a trilateral Missile Warning Exercise – which aims to track a virtual ballistic target and exchange information – every three months in 2016. But the Missile Warning Exercise has not been organized only once this year and only three times last year. .

“We have expressed our position that we pursue the expansion of trilateral exercises and training in a phased manner and with careful consideration in light of public sentiment and other factors,” the unnamed senior official said.

Widespread anti-Japanese public sentiment is a key consideration in conducting trilateral military exercises, though Seoul perceives the growing importance of trilateral security cooperation.

In a nutshell, Lee told Austin that Seoul should take a step-by-step case-by-case approach to deciding whether or not to participate in the trilateral exercises based on public opinion. But South Korea will actively participate in non-military training, including the suspended search and rescue exercise.

South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup (second from L) and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (second from R) are seen holding bilateral talks at the US Department of Defense in Washington on July 29, 2022. (Department of National Defense)

South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup (second from L) and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (second from R) are seen holding bilateral talks at the US Department of Defense in Washington on July 29, 2022. (Department of National Defense)

Strengthen alliance deterrence, preparedness
Austin and Lee also discussed how to strengthen the alliance’s deterrence and defense posture to deal with evolving threats from North Korea.

Defense chiefs discussed ways to improve the viability of U.S. extended deterrence as a key program, the senior official said.

Austin and Lee agreed to reactivate the Extended Deterrence Strategy and Advisory Group (EDSCG) and hold a meeting in September.

The latest EDSCG meeting between the South Korean and US deputy foreign and defense ministers, launched in December 2016 in the aftermath of North Korea’s fifth nuclear test, was held in January 2018.

The defense chiefs also pledged to enhance table-top exercises (TTX) on the employment of deterrents and the deployment of strategic US military assets in accordance with joint efforts to enhance alliance deterrence. Seoul and Washington only conducted TTXs in 2019 and 2021.

TTXs allow South Korea and the United States to practice joint military responses in simulated emergency scenarios, including North Korean nuclear threats and the use of nuclear weapons.

South Korea and the United States essentially seek to propose policy measures to the EDSCG while improving military readiness by conducting TTXs.

Resumption of exercises at the theater level
The two defense chiefs also agreed to conduct theater-level military exercises in August and September incorporating the South Korean government’s civilian contingency exercise Ulchi and the combined military exercise, the source said.

Theater-level military exercises were suspended following the first U.S.-North Korea summit in June 2018.

South Korea and the United States plan to conduct large-scale “Ulchi Freedom Shield” military exercises, including field training exercises between Aug. 22 and Sept. 1. The UFS is simulating an “all-out war” with North Korea, according to the senior official. .

Austin and Lee are committed to resuming and expanding Field Training Exercises or FTX at the regimental level and on a larger scale.

“The action aims to further strengthen the combined defense posture by enhancing political and strategic coordination as well as improving interoperability between tactical units,” the senior official told reporters. The official explained that the FTX will offer South Korean and American tactical units the opportunity to share their tactical doctrine.

Meanwhile, the Choson Sinbo, a pro-North Korea newspaper produced by the Chongryon community in Tokyo, warned South Korea and the United States of the consequences of the upcoming combined military exercises in a Korean-language article published Saturday morning.

The article was written by Kim Ji-young, a senior writer for Choson Sinbo and a top spokesperson for Pyongyang, and published hours after Seoul and Washington announced the results of the defense ministers’ meeting. .

“The confrontation between the DPRK and the United States is becoming increasingly fierce. Actions could be taken corresponding to the intensity of the opponent’s provocations and the level of confrontation as we are in the force for force phase,” the Choson Sinbo said. “It is impossible to predict how the DPRK will crush US military provocations to prevent war.”

The Choson Sinbo warned that North Korea has a “wider range of options to respond to provocations” compared to the run-up to the 2018 Singapore summit, noting that North Korea has strengthened its “deterrence of war”.

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Ukraine says more than 100 Russian soldiers have been killed in latest fighting in Kherson

US authorities have accused a Russian national of recruiting political groups in the United States to sow discord, spread pro-Moscow propaganda and interfere with US elections.

The Justice Ministry said on July 29 that Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionov had been named in an indictment accusing him of working on behalf of the Russian government and in conjunction with the Federal Security Service (FSB) on a “malign foreign influence campaign” that lasted from at least December 2014 until March 2022.

Ionov and his Anti-Globalization Russia Movement (AGMR) were simultaneously singled out on July 29 by the US Treasury Department for sanctions in connection with US allegations of Russian interference in US elections.

AGMR’s English-language website claims it is a socio-political movement that opposes “certain aspects of the globalization process” and seeks to stop “manifestations” of the so-called “new world order”. , the Treasury Department said.

The AGMR maintained ties with anti-establishment groups in the United States and other countries, organizing conferences and demonstrations against American policy, according to the department. AGMR has received funding from the Russian National Benevolent Fund, a trust established by Russian President Vladimir Putin that raises funds from state-owned enterprises and Russian oligarchs.

The criminal charge against Ionov, a citizen of Moscow, was filed in federal court in Florida, one of the states in which the Justice Department said Ionov contacted a political group to carry out the malign foreign influence campaign.

“As court documents show, Ionov allegedly orchestrated a brazen influence campaign, turning American political groups and American citizens into instruments of the Russian government,” said Deputy Attorney General Matthew Olsen of the National Security Division of the National Security Division. Ministry of Justice.

According to the indictment, Ionov recruited political groups in the United States, including the U.S. states of Florida, Georgia and California, “and exercised direction or control over them on behalf of the FSB.” .

The Justice Department did not identify the American political groups by name, but provided details of their alleged involvement with Ionov.

The leader of the political group in Florida, for example, received an all-expenses-paid trip to Russia in May 2015, and for at least the next seven years, Ionov “exercised direction and control over senior members of the group”, the department said. .

Ionov “provided financial support to these groups, ordered them to publish pro-Russian propaganda, coordinated and financed direct action by these groups in the United States intended to promote Russian interests, and coordinated coverage of this activity in the Russian media,” according to the indictment. said.

The indictment also says Ionov’s relationship with the Florida political group continued until at least March 2022, and following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the group hosted him in virtual conferences to discuss the war.

Ionov falsely stated at the conferences that anyone who supported Ukraine also supported Nazism and white supremacy. Ionov then reported to the FSB that he had enlisted the group to support Russia in the “information war unleashed” by the West, the indictment says.

Ionov is accused of conspiring to get American citizens to act as unlawful agents of the Russian government. If found guilty, he faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf, and he is not currently in custody.

The sanctions imposed on him and the AGMR were announcement as well as sanctions against another Russian national, Natalya Valeryevna Burlinova, and three other entities. The department said it played various roles in Russia’s attempts to manipulate and destabilize the United States and its allies and partners, including Ukraine.

The sanctions freeze all assets they hold in the United States and prohibit people in the country from doing business with them.

Brian Nelson, the department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement that the sanctions were a response to repeated attempts by the Kremlin to “threaten and undermine our democratic processes and institutions.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it was crucial for democracies to hold free and fair elections without malicious outside interference.

He said the Treasury action is distinct from the wide range of economic measures that the United States and its allies and partners have imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, “which is another clear example of Russia’s contempt for the sovereignty and political independence of other states.”

The sanctions announced on July 29 follow a series of designations aimed at “exposing and disrupting Russia’s persistent election interference and destabilization efforts against Ukraine,” he added in a statement.

With reporting from Reuters, AFP and AP

Ukraine calls for investigation after video allegedly shows Russian troops torturing POWs

The United States imposed sanctions on two Russians and four Russian entities in connection with US allegations of Russian interference in US elections and charged one of those sanctioned with allegedly using US citizens and political groups to spread Russian propaganda.

The US Treasury Department said on July 29 that the named individuals and entities played various roles in Russia’s attempts to manipulate and destabilize the United States and its allies and partners, including Ukraine.

The sanctioned individuals and entities raised funds and disseminated false information to disrupt the US election process and were supported by Russian intelligence services to “create or deepen divisions within the country”, the government said.

Brian Nelson, the department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement that the sanctions were a response to repeated attempts by the Kremlin to “threaten and undermine our democratic processes and institutions.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it was crucial for democracies to hold free and fair elections without malicious outside interference.

He said the Treasury Department’s action is separate from the wide range of economic measures that the United States and its allies and partners have imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, “which constitutes a another clear example of Russia’s contempt for the sovereignty and political independence of other states.”

The sanctions announced on July 29 follow a series of designations aimed at “exposing and disrupting Russia’s persistent election interference and destabilization efforts against Ukraine,” he added in a statement.

One of the individuals sanctioned is Aleksandr Ionov and one of the four designated entities is the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia (AGMR) of which Ionov is the president and founder.

AGMR’s English-language website claims it is a socio-political movement that opposes “certain aspects of the globalization process” and seeks to stop “manifestations” of the so-called “new world order”. , the Treasury Department said.

The AGMR maintained ties with anti-establishment groups in the United States and other countries, organizing conferences and demonstrations against American policies, according to the department. AGMR has received funding from the Russian National Benevolent Fund, a trust established by Russian President Vladimir Putin that raises funds from state-owned enterprises and Russian oligarchs.

The criminal charge was filed against Ionov as part of a malicious foreign influence campaign that the United States said lasted at least from December 2014 to March 2022.

“As court documents show, Ionov allegedly orchestrated a brazen influence campaign, turning American political groups and American citizens into instruments of the Russian government,” said Deputy Attorney General Matthew Olsen of the National Security Division of the National Security Division. Ministry of Justice.

According to the indictment unsealed on July 29, Ionov worked under the supervision of the Federal Security Service (FSB) and with the support of the Russian government. He recruited political groups in the United States, including in the US states of Florida, Georgia and California, “and exercised direction or control over them on behalf of the FSB”.

The Justice Department statement does not identify the US political groups by name, but does provide details about their alleged involvement with Ionov.

The leader of the political group in Florida, for example, received an all-expenses-paid trip to Russia in May 2015, and for at least the next seven years, Ionov “exercised direction and control over senior members of the group”, the department said. .

Ionov “provided financial support to these groups, ordered them to publish pro-Russian propaganda, coordinated and financed direct action by these groups in the United States intended to promote Russian interests, and coordinated coverage of this activity in the Russian media,” according to the indictment. said.

The indictment also says Ionov’s relationship with the Florida political group continued until at least March 2022, and following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the group hosted him in virtual conferences to discuss the war.

Ionov falsely stated at the conferences that anyone who supported Ukraine also supported Nazism and white supremacy. Ionov then reported to the FSB that he had enlisted the group to support Russia in the “information war unleashed” by the West, the indictment says.

Ionov is accused of conspiring to get American citizens to act as unlawful agents of the Russian government. If found guilty, he faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf, and he is not currently in custody.

The sanctions imposed on him and others freeze all assets they hold in the United States and prohibit people in the United States from doing business with them.

The other person sanctioned by the Treasury Department is Natalya Valeryevna Burlinova. Its Center for Support and Development of Creative Diplomacy of Public Initiative (PICREADI) is one of four entities designated for its work on behalf of the Russian government.

With reports from Reuters, AFP and AP

Invisible ink and coded papers add mystery to identity theft case

HONOLULU (AP) — Bobby Edward Fort was 27 when he enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1994 and retired 22 years later with a secret security clearance that landed him a job in Honolulu in as a defense contractor.

But in reality, Bobby Fort was long dead. He was just 3 months old when he choked to death in a Texas hospital in 1967.

The Bobby Fort who enlisted in the Coast Guard had stolen the identity of the baby who died 35 years ago. A fake birth certificate helped him get five passports, driver’s licenses and references from the Department of Defense.

The fraud was discovered last week. On Thursday, the man, authorities said, had impersonated Fort in front of a judge, who asked him to say his name: “Walter Glenn Primrose,” the 66-year-old said.

Primrose was held without bond by a U.S. District Court judge after a prosecutor provided new details about how he and his wife had been living fraudulently for decades under the stolen identities of two infants who died in Texas.

While the hearing further delved into the mystery of why the couple let go of their pasts, it was unclear whether the case against them went beyond impersonation, although a prosecutor suggested he might have overseas connections.

“We believe the defendant is obviously quite adept at impersonating other people, obtaining government identification documents, defrauding, avoiding detection,” the assistant US attorney said. Wayne Myers. “He can – we don’t say for sure – but he can have troubling foreign connections. And if he does, he may be able to use them for help.

A search of the couple’s home in Hawaii revealed faded Polaroids of the two jackets that appear to be authentic Russian KGB uniforms, Myers said. An expert has determined that the snapshots were taken in the 1980s.

The search also produced an invisible ink kit, documents with coded language and maps showing military bases, Myers said.

When the pair were left in a room together, they were recorded saying “things consistent with espionage,” Myers said.

Federal defender Craig Jerome said the government only provided “speculation and innuendo” that the pair were involved in something more nefarious than “purely white-collar, non-violent crime.”

“If it weren’t for the speculation that the government has injected into these proceedings without providing any real evidence…he would definitely be released,” Jerome said.

Prosecutors feared Primrose would flee if released. They noted in court documents that he was an avionics electrical technician in the Coast Guard and was highly trained to communicate covertly if released.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Rom Trader said he based his detention order on the alleged fraud “repeatedly over a long period of time”.

Morrison faces a bail hearing on Tuesday.

His lawyer said the couple – whatever names they used – had lived a law-abiding life. Attorney Megan Kau told The Associated Press the couple posed for photos in the alleged KGB jackets for fun.

“She wants everyone to know she’s not a spy,” Kau said. “All of this has been grossly disproportionate. It is the government that goes too far. »

The couple’s story begins in Texas, where Primrose and Gwynn Darle Morrison attended high school and college together and married in 1980, according to court documents.

In the early 1980s, they told their family they were going into the witness protection program before abruptly abandoning their home and leaving Texas, Myers said. They handed over the keys to their house in Nacogdoches and told the family members to take whatever they wanted. The house was then seized.

When they reappeared, they had new names and different explanations of what had happened.

In 1987, Primrose assumed the identity of Fort, a child who died in 1967 in Burnet, Texas. Morrison assumed the identity of Julie Lyn Montague, who died in 1968 in the same hospital as Fort. Primrose and Morrison, both born in 1955, were more than ten years older than the birth dates shown on their new IDs.

“The defendant and his wife allegedly told other associates that they had to change their names for legal and financial reasons,” Myers said. “And that in the future they may be contacted using their new names, Fort and Montague.”

At one point, Primrose told someone he was a government agent and couldn’t share photos of himself.

The couple remarried under their assumed names in 1988, according to court records.

Primrose had a long interest in espionage, Myers said. His wife had anti-government and anti-military sentiments and, according to an associate, lived in Romania when she was part of the communist bloc.

Kau denied that Morrison ever lived in Romania.

The couple, who were arrested at their Kapolei home on Friday, are charged with conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, false statement in a passport application and aggravated impersonation. They face up to 17 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Inside their home, investigators found correspondence in which an associate believed Primrose had joined the CIA or become a terrorist, Myers said.

Morrison used her real name to open a post office box, where she told her family to contact her. When her father died, her family could not reach her and appealed to local law enforcement to find her.

“Even the defendant’s family can’t find him when they need him,” Myers said.


Melley reported from Los Angeles.

Biden’s pick for Pentagon acquisition role promises to cut weapons system costs

WASHINGTON — Radha Plumb, President Joe Biden’s nominee to be the Pentagon’s second-in-command of acquisitions and support, has pledged to find ways to reduce the costs of the systems she buys.

“If confirmed, my focus would be to ensure that we can identify key issues and sustainment drivers as early as possible. [costs] then include that in the first negotiations [with vendors]she told the Senate Armed Services Committee during its July 28 confirmation hearing.

Plumb, chief of staff for Kathleen Hicks, the Pentagon’s second civilian, also noted that the Department of Defense is moving toward a more data-driven approach to tracking the sustainment needs of its defense systems. weapons.

The comments came in response to questions from Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Jack Reed, DR.I., who said the costs are so high the Pentagon is struggling to maintain the state of preparation of some of its systems.

Pressed by Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, on whether the Pentagon should include intellectual property associated with any major weapons system it purchases as a means of controlling maintenance coats, Plumb said the Pentagon must do this to better manage its Supply Chains.

“That includes managing parts obsolescence and our ability to produce that in-house in a more robust and resilient way,” she said. “If confirmed, I am committed to ensuring that intellectual property and other solutions that can enable us to build supply chain resilience allow us to maintain and maintain combat capabilities at a much more reasonable cost.”

Before Plumb became Hicks’ chief of staff in February 2021, she was Google’s director of research and insights on trust and security. Prior to that, Plumb was Facebook’s global head of policy analysis after serving in several senior positions at the Pentagon, the Department of Energy and the White House National Security Council.

The Pentagon is struggling to control the costs associated with maintaining its weapons systems. For the F-35 jet made by Lockheed Martin, sustainment costs are set to get so high that the Air Force will either have to cut its planned purchase or cut its flight hours, the Government found. Accountability Office last year.

If confirmed, Plumb would serve with Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment William LaPlante at a time when contractors are reporting issues with supply chains, inflation and shortages of workforce.

Another candidate, Laura Taylor-Kale, chosen by Biden to be assistant secretary of defense for industrial base policy, asked about the ability of industry – in light of these problems – to supply the United States. United, Allies and Ukraine, following the invasion of Russia.

Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., said the Pentagon, along with Congress and the defense industry, must increase production rates. The US military would be well supplied in the event of a conventional conflict with Russia or China. Taylor-Kale said she would work within the Department of Defense to fill critical gaps and needs.

“The war in Ukraine and COVID-19 have really laid bare some of these critical vulnerabilities and challenges that we’ve known for a while but are certainly more acute now,” Taylor-Kale said, adding that she would work with LaPlante and defense companies to build more “hot production lines”.

The nominees are unlikely to receive quick confirmation, in part because Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., denied unanimous consent to advance Pentagon civilians to the Senate.

Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, signaled he could do the same. He took the unusual step of announcing at Thursday’s confirmation hearing that he would block appointments in relation to the Home Office‘s opposition to a road to the Ambler mining district in the northeast. western Alaska.

“Until I get answers on Ambler at high levels, unfortunately, I will not be helping to advance your nominations, although I believe you are qualified – and important positions,” he said. he declares. “But it is important. On the same day the President is hosting a Critical Minerals Summit, they shut down the largest supplies of critical minerals in America, possibly the world because of their relentless war on the State of Alaska.

Joe Gould is a senior Pentagon reporter for Defense News, covering the intersection of national security policy, politics and the defense industry.

The Stepping Stones group acquires the Center for Behavioral, Educational and Social Therapies (CBEST)


BOSTON, July 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Stepping Stones Group (Stepping Stones), a leading national provider of therapeutic, behavioral, autism, nursing and educational services for children in school, home and community, is pleased to to announce the acquisition of the Center for Behavioral, Educational, and Social Therapies (CBEST), a provider of ABA services in the greater Los Angeles Region.

“Dr. Shah Bahador has built a high-quality, mission-driven organization and I look forward to partnering with him to expand our behavioral services and transform more lives in the world. Los Angeles region,” remarked Tim MurphyChairman and CEO of the Stepping Stones Group.

“I am thrilled to join Stepping Stones. Their national reach and resources will enable us to better make a difference in the lives of children,” said Dr. Shah Bahador, Founder, Clinical Director and CEO of CBEST.

Shah Bahador will assume the role of Clinical Director and will report to Antoine RintalaPresident and COO, K-12 practice.

Hexagon Capital Alliance, a leading M&A firm, represented CBEST in this transaction.

About the Stepping Stones Band

The Stepping Stones Group is a leading provider of therapeutic and behavioral services for children, including those with special needs and autism. The company serves more than 1,000 customers and 300,000 children each year in 45 states. With over 30 years of experience, our team consists of over 8,000 staff, including licensed clinicians and specialist educators, dedicated to delivering high quality therapeutic and behavioral services. For more information: https://thesteppingstonesgroup.com/.

About the Center for Behavioral, Educational and Social Therapies (CBEST)

Established in 2002, CBEST offers behavioral therapy to students with neurodevelopmental and/or emotional disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, speech/language problems and specific learning disabilities. For more information: https://www.centerbest.com/

SOURCE The Stepping Stones Group

How a retired SEAL is helping other veterans transition to civilian life

SEAL veteran and author Eric Muller helps other ex-military people turn their lives around by helping them transition back into civilian life with three life lessons he himself learned after leaving active duty.

Muller, a native of Santa Monica, Calif., served 20 years in the Navy, 18 as a SEAL, and completed seven overseas tours, including two combat tours in Iraq to the cities of Mosul and Ramadi, respectively. from 2003 to 2004 and 2005. until 2006.

During his military service, he was briefed on hundreds of counter-terrorism operations and served on several SEAL teams related to Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

SEAL veteran and author Eric Muller (pictured), 51, served in Iraq from 2003-2004 and again between 2004-2005 before retiring from active duty in 2014

Retired from the Navy in 2014, Muller’s first job outside of active duty was as a full-time instructor at Mid-South Combat Shooting in Mississippi, which books only training courses for the U.S. Army, government and state or local law enforcement.

The 20-year-old Navy SEAL, who has four children from two previous marriages and is now engaged to his 35-year-old high school best friend, talks about the lessons he learned transitioning from long-term military life to the civilian world, and how few veterans realize that the skills they learned in uniform are in demand.

He has also been running a new online micro-learning platform Magnifi U since this year, to help and teach veterans how to successfully transition into non-military life. For the course, he draws on his 2017 book, Set Up for Success, A Veteran’s Guide to Re-acclimatization, and his own career to help and inspire others.

For now, here are three life lessons that Muller recommends for those seeking a successful post-military career:

Muller also wrote about his post-military struggles and experiences in a book titled Set Up for Success, A Veteran's Guide to Re-acclimatization, published in 2017.

Muller also wrote about his post-military struggles and experiences in a book titled Set Up for Success, A Veteran’s Guide to Re-acclimatization, published in 2017.

1. Plan your plan

“If you don’t have a plan, you’re just blown away. No matter what storm comes, you’re going to come in, you’re flapping in the wind, you’re going to drown, right? is why it’s so important to have a plan,’ Muller told DailyMail.com

The California native added that whatever path you choose, whether it’s staying home to take care of his family, looking for a job or going to college, he’s essential to stick to your plan until the end.

Jessica Di Ponzio, Director of Learning and Development at Magnifi U, is working with Muller to further develop her courses and said, “All of the courses offered are about navigating separation and finding your motivation. […] And also how to harness your motivation to pursue what really matters to you,” she exclusively told DailyMail.com.

‘Our second class is about finding direction, using your motivation to figure out what field work, what will satisfy you, what are you really interested in? What do you want to explore? And then the third course is to put all of that into action, create a plan, create a resume, and really learn how your skills translate, like we talked about what role you played in the military, what branch you’re into the things you’ve done and what that translates to, and then, you know, a custom skill translator.

2. Make adjustments to your plan

After coming up with a plan, Muller recommends sticking to it and making adjustments to make it happen. He says that all too often, veterans tend to abandon their plans “because life and things happen.”

‘If you go to school wanting a degree, and you have a plan to finish but all of a sudden [your] wife is pregnant now [you] having a baby thrown into the mix. You then ask yourself “Am I just stopping this plan?” No, you don’t have to stop this plan.

“Instead, you might have to find a night job for a little while because your wife won’t be able to work for two or three months.” So there is an adjustment there.

The veteran said people often think tweaks “cripple you or put you in a situation where you just throw that plan in the trash.”

However, he says that’s usually not the case and talking to others about personal struggles can help overcome those feelings and stay on track.

“I think having someone you can talk openly with and use as a mentor, like I did with my brother, is super important and super helpful.”

Muller was living in his car after divorcing his second wife, two years after retiring from the military in 2014. He recalls it being one of the lowest points in his life before turning to records delivered by motivational speakers.

He then realized that he could talk openly about his struggles with his brother.

“I finally had someone who was able to help me with mentorship, but if I had realized that at the start, I think it would have alleviated a lot of things that I went through.”

Now teaching veterans how to transition into civilian life after discharge from the military, Muller is also engaged to his high school best friend of 35 years (right)

Now teaching veterans how to transition into civilian life after discharge from the military, Muller is also engaged to his high school best friend of 35 years (right)

3. Translate and showcase your military worth and skills in a corporate setting

“I guess as a veteran most companies don’t see or understand the true value of a veteran because they don’t understand the terminology about what we (veterans) have. does in the military versus what you know is in the civilian world, and how that translates from one to the other,’ Muller told DailyMail.com.

He added that companies are doing themselves a disservice “by not knowing it, because there are so many people who are more than capable of doing a job”.

Muller also revealed that the Army only offers courses focused on resume building and job interviews, before serving members are officially discharged.

“They give everyone a 10-day course before they go out. It’s two weeks but the classes weren’t up to date. Resumes were old school [format].’

“Now you have companies that have a seven second look or a 15 second look, and they look at a cover page and if they don’t like what they don’t see right away, then they put it aside. .”

Muller found his first job as a range instructor in Mississippi because of his military ties. He said he initially liked the job, finding it “super easy” before realizing how unprepared he was to work a normal job.

“I never considered, like finances, how much I was getting. And I really didn’t realize that until I got my first paycheck. And that was a bit shocking, and then that really hit me probably two or three months in. It’s like financially I haven’t set myself up for success at all.

He added that the sudden realization had ‘strained his relationship with his ex-wife’.

“For me, trying to figure out who I was was the hardest party, because you know, for 20 years I was a Navy SEAL. It was my identity and then all of a sudden I’m out and trying to figure out who I am again. You know, it was like I just graduated from high school, because you know, I don’t have a college degree,’ Muller said.

A father of four (pictured with one), Muller is now on a risk management and business development contract in Mississippi

A father of four (pictured with one), Muller is now on a risk management and business development contract in Mississippi

After leaving his job at the range, Muller eventually wrote a book about his struggles and experience finding his own identity after military life. Then he was offered to teach at Magnifi U, which made him realize that he could make a difference by helping others in a similar position.

“Our courses teach veterans how to write an elevator pitch, how to talk about themselves in an interview, and what to put on their resume,” said Jessica Di Ponzio, director of learning and development at Magnifi U, at DailyMail.com.

“We have plans for a ton more. There are endless possibilities for these courses for veterans and for anyone struggling, but what we are specifically talking about today are veterans,” she added.

“Soft skills and self-awareness, understanding your values, your relationships, your communication, your mental health, your complete well-being, are skills that enable you to perform functional jobs.”

Muller now plans to re-enroll at San Diego State University, where he attended college before dropping out and enlisting in the Navy. He said he was inspired by his fiancée, who just graduated from Texas Tech University.

He is also a risk management and business development contractor for a private company in Mississippi.

Editorial: Bail isn’t the problem

Critics of bail reforms in New York continue to ignore two basic facts about our criminal justice system: First, people are considered innocent until proven guilty. And second, the purpose of bail is to ensure a person shows up for court – not to summarily deprive them of their liberty before trial.

These are not quaint aspirations. These are essential characteristics of any justice system worth its salt. Without them, we would live in a society where government officials could imprison people on a whim, without bothering to prove their case. These protections are integral to the concepts of public order and the rule of law.

Yet here we are again, with New York’s Republicans and conservatives – who profess to uphold law and order and limit the power of big government – railing against reforms designed to guarantee, as the oath of allegiance, justice for all. The reforms aimed to prevent police investigators and prosecutors from using the threat of expensive bail and a long jail term without trial to extract guilty pleas from people too poor to afford a lawyer. and dependent on an overstretched public defense system. Reforms designed to even out a system in which those with money could be released pending trial, while those without money languished behind bars.

The newest attack on bail reform comes, among others, from Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin. Its law and order platform stops short of condemning former President Donald Trump for plotting the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, the very heart of American democracy, but instead focuses on the issue. politically artificial bail reform.

An incident involving Mr. Zeldin last week illustrates how contrived the problem can be.

Mr Zeldin was at a campaign stop outside Rochester when a man approached him with a sharp self-defense tool. Mr. Zeldin grabbed the man’s arm, and the man was tackled to the ground and arrested. He was charged with attempted second-degree assault, but was later released on his own recognizance by a city judge because the charge is a non-violent felony and not eligible for bail.

Why hasn’t the suspect been charged with a bailable violent crime? Why didn’t a prosecutor appear in court to ask for conditions on the suspect’s release? Those would be questions for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney Sandra J. Doorley, who is listed as Mr. Zeldin’s campaign co-chair — a potential violation of ethics rules for district attorneys — although she claims to have quickly retired from this role. . She also said she would recuse herself from the case, but as of the start of this week, she had not officially done so. In any case, the failure to charge the suspect more harshly under state laws — which were in effect long before bail reform — gave Mr. Zeldin and his fellow Republicans a supposed example of the “failure” of bail reform, coerced as it was.

And to go back to this fundamental principle of American justice and the reality of bail: the suspect is always presumed innocent until proven guilty, and even if the charge were eligible for bail, he could pay bail if he could afford it.

We understand that it is not always easy to wait for our justice system to work. We understand the frustration that law enforcement can feel, like Watervliet Police Chief Joseph Centanni, who last week took the extraordinary step of issuing a press release warning residents of a man who subject to seven drunk driving arrests, including three in the past three months. only. He claimed – wrongly – that it was entirely the fault of bail reform. It’s not. Even if a bail was set, the person could post it and be released. Opponents of bail reform have ignored this fact, intentionally or not, from the start.

Cases must run their course in a fair justice system. In the meantime, we don’t just lock people up because the police or opportunistic politicians who think they’ve touched on a hot topic say they should be.

And experience suggests that giving judges more leeway to set bail in more types of cases will make little or no difference. As Joshua Solomon of The Times Union reports, the latest data shows that those released on bail are being re-arrested on a separate felony charge at about the same rate as those released on their own recognizance. And in both cases, the overwhelming majority of defendants who are released – 83 to 84 percent – are not re-arrested pending resolution of their cases.

Bail reform is not just about lofty principles of justice. These are the very real consequences of people being imprisoned and unable to work, pay rent or mortgage, feed and support their families. Destroying the lives of people who may well be innocent is a recipe for turning honest people into desperate people. And the desperate sometimes turn to crime. Our justice system should punish criminals, not create new ones.

Senate Intelligence Committee wants UAP investigators to focus on non-man-made ones

Members of the US Senate criticize the Pentagon’s slow progress in establishing new organization and notification mechanisms, among other things, to deal with what they claim are “exponentially” growing threats presented by unidentified aerospace and underwater phenomena. Those same lawmakers also want the U.S. military-led office now tasked with investigating and studying these phenomena to focus on truly unexplained incidents rather than those that have been determined to involve “man-made” systems. ‘man”.

Those comments were included in a report that Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia who is the current chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, submitted on behalf of that committee on July 20. This document accompanied the final Senate Intelligence Authorization Bill (IAA) for Fiscal Year 2023.

In its current form, the AAI proposal for the 2023 Senate fiscal year includes a number of provisions relating to unidentified phenomena in the air, in space, under water, as well as those known as “transmedium” which might be likely to cross more than one of these “domains”. If passed and then signed into law, the legislation would further clarify the roles and responsibilities of a new U.S. military office focused on these issues — and rename it the Joint Aerospace and Underwater Phenomena Joint Program Office — and impose new reports and records. -dress requirements.

Summaries of sections related to unidentified phenomena in the current draft of the Senate Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal year 2023. US Congress

It should be noted that the Pentagon just announced last week that it was renaming the office in question from the Airborne Object Identification and Management Group (AOIMSG) to the All Domains Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO). , and broadened the official scope of its activities. A formal announcement was also made that Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick, who has held positions in the US intelligence community over an already decades-long career, has been named director of the AARO.

“At a time when transmedium cross-domain threats to the national security of the United States are growing exponentially, the Committee is disappointed with the slowness of DoD-led efforts to establish the office to deal with these threats,” indicates the report submitted by Warner. “The Committee hoped that the new office [AARO] would solve many of the structural problems that impede progress.”

The report goes on to say that the proposed name change to the AARO in associated legislation “reflects the broader scope of the congressionally-led effort” and that “the identification, classification, and scientific study of phenomena Aerospace and Unidentified Submarines are inherently challenging inter-agency and cross-domain issues requiring an integrated or joint intelligence community and DoD approach.”

The Senate’s draft IAA would require this office to include representatives from a number of agencies outside the Department of Defense, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Department of Energy, as well as elements intelligence community within the military, such as the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and the intelligence components of the Air Force and the Space Force. However, the bill does not describe the exact functions that would be expected of this group.

Consistent with all of this, the senator’s intelligence committee is also pushing for “the official DoD and intelligence community definition of terms used by the bureau” to be “updated to include space and submarine.” , and the scope of the office must be inclusive”. of these additional domains with [a] focus on technological surprise and “unknown unknowns”.

“Unattributed temporary objects, or those that are positively identified as man-made after analysis, will be forwarded to the appropriate offices and should not be considered under the definition as unidentified aerospace and underwater phenomena,” he adds.

The complete section of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report accompanying the Intelligence Authorization Bill for the 2023 fiscal year. US Congress

The criticism of the Senate Intelligence Committee is not necessarily new, but it is certainly more explicit. In November 2021, when the Pentagon first publicly announced its intention to create what it then called the Airborne Object Synchronization and Identification Group (AOIMSG), some lawmakers, among others, suggested that it this may have been an attempt to get ahead of the proposed Congress. actions and potentially minimize problems.

What’s new and notable here are the senators claiming that not only are they “disappointed” with what they’ve seen from the US military so far, but that there are now real threats coming in. in these categories and are increasing significantly in one way or another. . The report, unfortunately, does not provide specific examples of such threats.

Beyond that, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s emphasis on “technological surprise and ‘unknown unknowns,'” including phenomena that are explicitly not currently identified as ‘man-made,’ indicates that the threats in question do not surround initially unexplained incidents that have now been assessed to have involved aircraft, satellites or submersibles and other man-made systems.

The use of the term “man-made” is certainly in itself frowning, as it would seem to acknowledge the possibility of non-man-made phenomena. This is despite the lack of hard evidence to support the existence of anything that would fit that description, as well as senior US military officials regularly pushing back against the idea that there is anything extraterrestrial. or “extraterrestrial” in reports of unidentified phenomena of any type. kindly.

Of course, the wording of the Senate’s draft IAA for fiscal year 2023 does not preclude the possibility that as yet unidentified phenomena may eventually be assessed as man-made, after which these reports would then be forwarded to other other entities within the US military. or intelligence community. With this in mind, the language used in the Senate Intelligence Committee report may be intended, at least in part, to attempt to reduce any stigma surrounding reporting encounters with unidentified phenomena in any field. It’s something The war zone highlighted as a key factor in addressing the real threats at play here.

Similarly, the current version of the Senate IAA includes a provision that would establish a “secure system” whereby uniformed military personnel or civilian employees, including contractors, of the Department of Defense or elsewhere in the intelligence community could send reports. directly to the Pentagon-run office that deals with these issues without having to consult with their superiors and provides legal protections for anyone who does. The clear idea here is to encourage individuals to report what could be serious national security risks by providing a way to do so without any fear of ridicule or adverse administrative action.

A separate IAA draft for fiscal year 2023 that the House Intelligence Committee put forward last week also includes whistleblower-style protections for people in the military, civilian government, or even contractors with relevant information. This would cover individuals even if they were party to “any written or oral non-disclosure agreement, order or other instrument or means, which could be construed as a legal compulsion to report”, which could be construed as referring to the possibility of cover-ups.

“We are open to all hypotheses,” Ronald Moultrie, Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, assured members of the House Intelligence Committee during a hearing specifically devoted to Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, or UAP. , in May. “We are open to any findings we may come across.”

Rep. Tim Burchett, a Republican from Tennesee, left, shakes hands with Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Ronald Moultrie, after a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, Counterintelligence and Counterproliferation on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena on May 17, 2022. Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

At that same hearing, Moultrie had also pushed back against investigating various unsubstantiated anecdotes, including Cold War-era allegations of UFOs disabling US Air Force nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. “Individuals and groups who spread information that could be considered somewhat self-serving … are helping to undermine the confidence that Congress and the American people have that we are trying to find the root cause of what is happening here” , added the Pentagon’s top intelligence official at the time.

So it’s possible that this language about reported unidentified phenomena that have not yet been determined to be man-made reflects a belief among some in Congress that officials like Moultrie aren’t as open-minded as they are. ‘they committed to doing it. be, or maybe even truthful, for that matter.

There are certainly indications of this in the other half of Congress. The draft IAA that the House Intelligence Committee advanced last week included a provision that would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the intelligence community for any “prior efforts to track, identify, recover, transferring or obscuring” unidentified phenomena or ” efforts to recover or transfer related technologies to US industry or [the Department of Energy’s] National Laboratories.”

The Senate IAA draft would also require the GAO to conduct an equally thorough historical review of records of unidentified, classified and unclassified phenomena within the intelligence community, but makes no specific mention of a recovery. potential of non-artificial technology and does not allude to the possibility of efforts by the intelligence community to conceal any relevant activity.

Either way, it’s important to remember that there are still many steps the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 needs to go through in the Senate and House of Representatives before it can be sent. to President Joe Biden, who then decide whether or not to sign it into law. The wording of the bill, including its provisions regarding unidentified phenomena, may still change during this process.

Yet the Senate Intelligence Committee report makes it clear that there is a bipartisan consensus that the Unidentified Phenomena now represent real threats to national security and that those same lawmakers believe the Pentagon and the intelligence community continue to give the issue less attention than it deserves.

Contact the author: [email protected]

5 killed, 50 injured in anti-UN protests in eastern Congo


KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — At least five people have been killed and about 50 others injured during the second day of protests in Goma, eastern Congo, against the United Nations mission in the country, an official said. governmental.

The UN has confirmed that a peacekeeper and two international police officers serving with the UN peacekeeping force were killed and another injured at the UN base in Butembo in the North Province -Kivu in the east when “violent assailants snatched weapons from Congolese police” and fired on UN personnel.

Deputy UN spokesman Farhan Haq said reports of civilian casualties, including reports of UN peacekeepers killing and injuring civilians, would be subject to scrutiny. ‘investigation.

He said that on Tuesday “hundreds of assailants again attacked bases of the UN force, known by its French acronym MONUSCO, in Goma as well as in other parts of North Kivu” fueled by hostile remarks and threats made by individuals and groups against the UN, especially on social media. “

READ MORE: UN tribunal orders Uganda to pay Congo $325m for violence in long-running conflict

“Crowds are throwing rocks and petrol bombs, breaking into bases, looting and vandalizing, and setting fire to facilities,” Haq said. “We are trying to calm things down”, including by sending rapid reaction forces, but there is no evidence that the violence has ended.

Additionally, Haq said at least four incidents targeted the residences of MONUSCO personnel, who have now been moved to UN camps. And a crowd also tried to enter the United Nations Development Program compound earlier on Tuesday but were rebuffed by security guards, he said.

On Monday, protesters set fires and forced entry into UN mission offices in Goma, accusing peacekeepers of failing to protect civilians amid rising violence in the region eastern Congo. They are calling on the UN forces, present in the Congo for years, to leave.

“At least 5 dead, around 50 injured,” government spokesman Patrick Muyaya said in a tweet, condemning the attacks on UN personnel and buildings.

Protesters blamed shots fired by peacekeepers for the deaths.

Mineral-rich eastern Congo is home to a myriad of rebel groups and security in the region has deteriorated despite a year of emergency operations by a joint force of Congo and Ugandan armies. Civilians in the east have also faced violence from jihadist rebels linked to the Islamic State group.

The government spokesman did not say what caused the deaths but described the response of security forces and peacekeepers as “warning shots to disperse protesters and prevent any attacks on the base and installations. from @MONUSCO,” he said on his Twitter account.

“The government has instructed the security forces to take all measures to ensure a return to calm and the resumption of normal activities in Goma,” he said. He also reiterated that steps are already being taken for the withdrawal of peacekeeping forces.

In June 2021 and June 2022, the peacekeeping mission closed its office in the Congolese regions of Kasai Central and Tanganyika. Mission has more than 16,000 uniformed personnel in Congo, UN says

READ MORE: Internal emails reveal that the World Health Organization was aware of complaints of sexual abuse in Congo

The protests come as fighting has intensified between Congolese troops and M23 rebels, forcing nearly 200,000 people to flee their homes. M23 forces have shown increased firepower and defense capabilities, according to a report by Human Rights Watch.

Acting MONUSCO chief Khassim Diagne and UN spokesman Haq condemned the killings of UN personnel. Haq said the head of UN peacekeeping operations, Jean Pierre Lacroix, who is currently in Mali, will visit Congo “as soon as possible”.

Diagne described the violence against the UN as “absolutely unacceptable” and “counterproductive” given MONUSCO’s mission to protect civilians, deter armed groups and build the capacity of state institutions and services.

Haq responded to a question asking if the UN effort had been a failure because armed groups are still roaming the country saying “our presence has provided protection but it has not solved the problem” which involves the region and armed groups vying for control of minerals and resource-rich regions.

In this framework, he said, the UN has “done its best” to ensure that people’s lives and basic freedoms are not taken away from them.

Haq said the UN had planned to withdraw its peacekeeping force and even withdraw from Congo, but “we stayed because the situation on the ground is far too dangerous for us to consider leaving and put so many people at risk.”

AP writers Edith M. Lederer of the United Nations and Al-Hadji Kudra Maliro in Beni, Congo contributed.

Foursight Capital finances the premium through subprime auto loans with $209 million in ABS

Returning for its second securitization of 2022 and its twelfth auto securitization overall, the Foursight Capital Automobile Receivables Trust is set to raise some $209.1 million in asset-backed securities (ABS), in a deal that will take a better combination of first-class guarantees, and the so-called Greenlight loans.

Greenlight loans refer to certain loans, primarily in the subprime and quasi-prime segments, for which Foursight has taken out insurance policies, to cover any deficiency balances on defaulted contracts and related vehicle liquidation proceeds, according to the Kroll Bond rating agency.

JPMorgan Securities is the structuring lead manager of the transaction, with Vervent acting as backup manager and Foursight Capital as originator, sponsor, depositary and manager. The latter is a wholly owned subsidiary of Jefferies Financial Group that provides installment auto loans.

A mix of prime, non-prime and subprime retail auto installment contracts secures the deal, with FICO scores ranging from 580 to 680, according to S&P Global Ratings.

Foursight Capital, 2022-2, will issue fixed rate notes from a senior subordinated capital structure, and unlike Foursight Capital, 2022-1, the deal does not have pre-funding in place, S&P said.

In another change from previous agreements, the initial firm credit enhancement for Class A, B, C and D notes increased to 30.7%, 24.3%, 16.4% and 8.7% , respectively. This compares to the initial hard credit enhancement rates of 26.7%, 19.7%, 15.9% and 4.4%, also respectively on the same classes.

In terms of credit enhancement, the transaction has an initial overcollateralisation level of 8.0%. Foursight Capital, 2022-2, also has a cash reserve account equal to approximately 0.74% of the initial pool balance, plus subsequent loan balances. Additionally, the deal is expected to have an excess spread of 5.75%, according to KBRA.

S&P expects to assign ratings ranging from “A-1+” to the $34.3 million Class A-1 Notes; and “AAA” on the $88.7 million A-2 Notes and the $40 million A-3 Notes, all of which are senior notes.

Ratings range from “AA” on B ratings to “BBB” on D ratings, according to S&P.

For its part, KBRA plans to assign grades of “K1+” to A-1 grades; ‘AAA’ on A-2 and A-3 tickets; and ‘AA+’ to ‘BBB’ on classes B to D.

In race for Suffolk DA, Ricardo Arroyo doubles down on gradual reform as path to victory

“I played that one,” he said. His thought was simple: the officer’s blunder called his whole testimony into question. If he confused the defendant’s defense attorney, how could he be considered reliable?

“The jury knew I was a defense attorney,” he said over a Udon noodle lunch at a Chinatown restaurant recently.

He won that case, but the officer resumed patrolling the streets of Lawrence, he said. For Arroyo, the story vividly illustrates the racism woven into the fabric of the American legal system. A system Arroyo, as the Democratic candidate for Suffolk prosecutor, is looking to reform from within.

It’s not a role Arroyo ever envisioned for himself. Early in his legal career, when deciding what kind of lawyer to be, he vowed not to “stand with the people who oppressed” and chose to be a public defender.

He often spoke with colleagues about how they were participating in a broken system. He rarely encountered prosecutors who viewed his clients as human beings; most only saw the charges they faced, he said.

“I think it’s one thing to see this on paper, and it’s an entirely different thing to know these individuals and see it play out in such a nefarious way,” he said.

But his four years as a public defender also showed him how crucial a district attorney can be, how their policies can directly affect people’s lives, their ability to get jobs, housing, even student loans, did he declare.

“It has a lot of impact,” he said of the role, which oversees around 20,000 cases a year in Boston, Revere, Chelsea and Winthrop. So when Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins was named U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, Arroyo saw an opportunity to have a bigger impact and help more people.

A Hyde Park councilor first elected in 2019, Arroyo has a habit of prefacing his statements to council with the qualifier “frankly”, as if he was simply laying out clear, albeit difficult, truths. He is known for his sharp elbows and his no-prisoners approach to political disputes, a tact that has at times drawn the ire of his progressive and centrist colleagues.

Arroyo acknowledges that he can be intense, but adds that there is “real urgency” to his plea.

“I’ve never done anything that crosses the line,” he said.

He is also seen as very ambitious, even on a board that had four of its then-members ran for mayor last year. At just 34, he might be the youngest district attorney in modern state history. He could also become the first Latino to hold the Suffolk DA job.

To do that, he must defeat Kevin Hayden, 54, who was named district attorney in January to succeed Rollins. As a technical starter, Hayden seems to have an inherent advantage. But among local politicians, including some Arroyo opponents, there is consensus that Arroyo is the frontrunner given his connections and past electoral success. Arroyo won a second term on the board last fall, while Hayden, the former head of the state’s Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB), never ran for office.

He also received the endorsement of Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, whose candidacy he supported, and other notable progressives, including U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley.

With less than two months until the primary, the campaign has begun to heat up. Arroyo recently criticized Hayden for his management at SORB, citing a 2017 audit that revealed problems monitoring hundreds of sex offenders. Hayden’s campaign, meanwhile, portrayed Arroyo as inexperienced in leadership and dismissed him as a “rookie prosecutor with no public safety experience”.

Arroyo fends off criticism.

“I was in court more recently than him,” he said. “I actually think I’m more aware of where we are in our justice systems than he is.”

Arroyo comes from a large and well-known political family. He is the fourth of five siblings, and his father, Felix D. Arroyo, was a Boston alderman and school board member and currently serves as Suffolk’s probate registry. His brother, Felix G. Arroyo, was a city councilman and mayoral candidate who served as chief of staff in Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s administration. Her brother was fired from the job in 2017 amid sexual harassment allegations which he denies.

Both of his parents grew up in Puerto Rico, moving to Boston in the early 1970s. From an early age, Arroyo said his family emphasized education and community. He said he came to understand “the way the system works against people like me.”

But, thanks to his father’s political experience, he said growing up, “I never felt like there was a room I didn’t belong in.”

Still, Arroyo said he was reluctant to run for public office. There are aspects of life as the chosen one, he wasn’t “super excited to take on it”, noting that his mother’s house had recently been targeted by anti-vaccination protesters.

He is a forward thinker, especially on law enforcement issues and public safety. In his first speech as an adviser, he declared racism a public health emergency in Boston; racial and socio-economic inequity is a constant theme of his advisory mandate. He led an order that limited how police use crowd control tactics such as tear gas and championed a new police oversight agency. In a controversial vote in 2020, he joined others in opposing Walsh’s budget because he felt it was not doing enough to address systemic inequality and structural racism. .

As district attorney, he would support “moving to” a system where there is no bail for non-violent offenses and would support an end to mandatory minimum sentences. He pushed for answers about the Boston Police Department’s use of overtime, which is chronically over budget. As a public defender, he helped draft Rollins’ list of 15 crimes not to prosecute, including trespassing, shoplifting and drug possession, and he wants to build on his policies , believing that they have helped Boston avoid the sharp increase in street violence seen in other American cities during the pandemic.

On Mass. and Cass, the heart of the city’s opioid and homelessness crises, Arroyo said while violent crime and sex trafficking must be prosecuted, putting addicts behind bars will only exacerbate the problem, citing a number of his clients who overdosed during short incarcerations.

Arroyo supports ending qualified immunity for police. Undeniably, he is not the candidate of the cops in this contest. He said that while it is important for the district attorney’s office to have a productive relationship with police officials, it does not mean “you should turn a blind eye to criminal behavior”. He said he’s not afraid “that people will be mad at me” and that change often comes with tension.

“It shouldn’t be groundbreaking to say we’re going to say we’re going to hold police officers accountable when they break the law,” he said.

A “do not call” list of local prosecutors, an inventory of officers who have committed or been accused of serious misconduct, such as lying or falsifying police reports, must be expanded, he said.

“If an officer was caught not telling the truth under oath, that is relevant in any criminal case where he testifies,” he said. These officers should not stay on the force, he said.

Arroyo wants to adopt policies that are “data-driven and backed by evidence.” He rattles off various recidivism rates, but he also doesn’t hesitate to back up the statistics with human anecdotes.

When he moved his law practice from Essex County to Suffolk County in early 2017, he was shocked to see prosecutors drop minor charges before an arraignment, meaning they wouldn’t appear. not in the person’s criminal record. For him, it underscored the difference that various approaches to prosecution can make in someone’s life.

When Arroyo’s parents first moved to Boston, they lived in public housing in the South End, where his three older siblings were born. By the time Arroyo was born, they had moved to Hyde Park, where he grew up.

He attended the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science for high school, but left before graduating to care for his mother, who had mental health issues and alcohol problems. He earned his GED, graduated from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, then earned his law degree from Loyola University Chicago.

He and his mother remain close, and his struggles have impacted “every other issue in my life.” Having seen the effects of his drinking, he abstains from drinking alcohol.

And his care for her, a longtime public school teacher who sat and read with him as a child, informs his advocacy for the less fortunate.

“I recognize the humanity of these people the same way I recognize the humanity of my mother, even though at times she wasn’t a perfect person, she was human,” he said. “It was my mother.”

Danny McDonald can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.

US Air Force ‘top fighters’ get their radars jammed and missiles jammed as they try to shoot down intruders

The US military is the strongest armed force in the world. With over 3,000 aircraft belonging to the US Navy alone – a fleet that rivals most regular air forces – 11 aircraft carriers, another air force 5,000 aircraft strong, and the US Army and US Marine Corps , the force that Washington can muster is truly terrifying.

Even Russia and China realize this. To a large extent, their refusal to enter into military blocs against the United States is motivated by a genuine desire for multipolarity, de-escalation and peaceful coexistence.

Even if a war remains confined to the conventional realm under the nuclear umbrella, the damage the US military can cause to Russian and Chinese forces is devastating.

If Russia and China, whose armies are technically competent enough to beat stealth and erode the American advantage, even the reverse is true. A technologically advanced military like the United States can also reverse the disadvantages imposed by overly advanced platforms like the F-22 and F-35.

Aircraft carriers and planes aside, the US can muster dozens of highly advanced submarines, space assets and a landing force – if it comes down to that – to seriously challenge China and Russia. , even on land.

This is why Russia and China have developed anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) technologies and missiles – to prevent the main thrust of the US military from getting close and to avoid taking it head-on.

In other words, the deterrence holds not only because the United States is wary of directly fighting its competitors, but because both would also like to avoid a direct confrontation with the superpower.

But, interestingly, it turns out that what really holds the U.S. military in the most unmilitary and subtle way, without coming across as a conventional threat, is something that “belongs neither to Russia nor to China”.

This seemingly sensationalist implication is not the work of eccentric conspiracy theorists or mad scientists. Yet it is now the subject of long-running congressional investigations, in which US military personnel have made indirect suggestions.

Sensational statements

A recent report by The Sun is fascinating and terrifying in what he has discovered.

In stark contrast to what U.S. military officials told their congressional panels in May of this year, an on-duty United States Air Force (USAF) official revealed that they routinely fire at unidentified aerial phenomena ( UAP).

In pursuit of a UFO! Fighter jets scrambled to hunt hypersonic ‘alien planes’ in one of the world’s most intriguing events of the past

This follows a long-running controversy based on congressional hearings since 2017, where service members reported that their radars were jammed and communications were down.

“The Air Force regularly observes and even kinetically engages UAP in sensitive operational areas around the world to this day. While some UAPs are ultimately identified, all too often, others are hastily dismissed outright. due to an inability to properly classify them, based on displayed and observed characteristics,” the unnamed US serviceman quoted.

However, Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray previously denied firing on the UAPs when responding to a question from Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois.

However, Bray admitted there have been sightings that U.S. officials “just can’t explain.” Some of the most famous images show UAPs/UFOs moving seamlessly between sea and air, while US submarines have reported detecting objects moving at unprecedented speeds and maneuverability beyond man-made devices.

Image for representation

For example, pilots over the years, having spotted fuzzy-looking drones, say that being incredibly fast and nimble objects should still have essential aerodynamic characteristics like having some form of propulsion/exhaust and damper. latent kinetic energy.

The objects are shown moving without any thrust at speeds approaching Mach 1.5 and suddenly changing direction, stopping by a penny, or accelerating in a way that just appears to be moving forward.

“There are a small handful of cases in which we have more data than our analysis has simply not been able to paint a full picture of what happened,” adding that UFOs/UAPs had “ unexpected flight characteristics,” Bray himself told Congress.

Congressional investigations were themselves inspired by the work of investigative journalists Jeremy Corbell and George Knapp. They obtained and released a treasure trove of visual evidence of UFOs tracked by the US military in 2021.

The videos combine Navy radar displays and thermal and infrared recordings from electro-optical tracking systems (EOTS) aboard US Navy warships, helicopters, reconnaissance aircraft and combat aircraft. Bray’s interview before the Congressional committee came after another hearing on May 17 chaired by Congressman Andre Carson, which was later changed to a closed hearing following a request from Deputy Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security. Ronald S. Moultrie.

American Fighter Pilot Account and Massive Study of Franc

The issue gained international attention after the 2004 footage captured by Commander Chad Underwoodnow known as a “tick-tock” drone event, where he reported strobe lines on his radar screen, which he later reported to Corbell as “jamming lines”.

Underwood, in his interview with Corbell, answers in the affirmative when asked if his radar going bad after detecting the “ticking” UFO/UAP was an “indication of active jamming”.

“Once I had the target of interest on my radar, I took a ‘lock’, and that’s when all the great stuff started to happen. The erratic nature of ‘ticking’ , the speed, told me.

Then we started seeing “strobe lines” of jam. Strobe lines are vertical lines that appear on your radar indicating that you are stuck.

The Pentagon released a report, the first of its kind, on UAP sightings with encounters in June of last year with more than 100 unexplained object skirmishes with the military. The United States has also confirmed the existence of the Advanced Threat Identification Program (ATIP), which existed until 2017 and was replaced by the UAP Task Force in 2020.

But France, an ally of the United States, has led the compilation and publication of explosive findings since 1977, analyzing 8,000 encounters over the past 40 years. Of these, 4% (300) remain truly unexplained. Known as the Group for Studies and Information on Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena (GEIPAN), based in Toulouse and reporting to the French space agency CNES.

Study reports 81 cases where pilots encountered electromagnetic effects on or more aircraft systems, affecting radio, autopilot (3 cases) and fire control systems in military aircraft that rendered weapons insensitive (4 incidents). In 31 cases, the pilots had to perform evasive maneuvers to avoid collision with the UAP/UFO, injuring numerous passengers in five cases.

What did the dissenting judges think about the power of military authorities?

There’s a lot to cover when learning about modern history and the subject of the Korematsu court order against the United States in World War II. Among them is the question: “What did the dissenting judges think of the power of the military authorities? On Quizlet and other quiz study sites, you’ll find 4 typical choices:

  • The army lacked strength because so many men had gone to fight
  • The military should declare martial law in times of war
  • Military powers should never be limited in times of war
  • There should be limits to military action when martial law has not been declared

Among these choices, you will earn a rating if you register or check “There should be limits on military action when martial law has not been declared”. And that was on the grounds that the Korematsu v. United States court ruling was racially discriminatory.

However, to make sure you can answer the questions that require a longer write-up (if you come across them), keep reading. We will dive deep into the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 and the Exclusion Ordinance within the power of Congress.

background background


First, we need to look at the background context to get a full understanding.

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the US War Department established military zones, which could exclude some or all Americans. This was authorized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt based on Executive Order 9066 in February 1942.

The Western Defense Command responsible for coordinating the defense of the west coast then ordered anyone of Japanese ancestry, including non-foreigners and foreigners, to be resettled in internment camps.

But Fred Korematsu, a 23-year-old Japanese American, refused. He believed it was a violation of the Fifth Amendment.

Yet the judges ruled that protection from espionage by Japan should take priority over the rights of Japanese Americans. Korematsu was arrested and convicted. This decision was criticized for its racial discrimination and critics were called dissenting judges.

1. Quick Facts

  • Case Name: Fred Korematsu v. United States
  • Chief Judge: Harlan F. Stone
  • Associate judges: 7
  1. Owen Robert
  2. Hugo Black
  3. Stanley F. Reed
  4. Felix Frankfurt
  5. William O. Douglas
  6. Frank Murphy
  7. Robert H. Jackson
  8. Wiley B. Rutledge
  • Majority: Black, Stone, Reed, Frankfurter, Douglas and Rutledge
  • Competition: Frankfurter
  • Dissenting: Murphy, Roberts and Jackson

2. The timeline

  • March 21, 1942 – Congress acted on bill to authorize implementation of Executive Order 9066
  • March 24, 1942 – The Western Defense Command has begun issuing Civilian Exclusion Orders. People of Japanese descent (non-foreigners and foreigners) were required to report to designated assembly points
  • May 19, 1942 – Civil Restraining Order No. 1 has been issued. Then Japanese Americans were forced into relocation camps

Up to 120,000 Japanese Americans have been forcibly deported and confined

More than 110,000 Japanese Americans have been sent to resettlement centers in remote parts of the country

Dissenting judges

There were 3 dissenting judges. Their names were Judge Murphy, Judge Roberts and Judge Jackson.

1. Justice Frank Murphy

He served as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court from February 5, 1940 to July 19, 1949.

Here is a photo of him:


2. Judge Owen Roberts

Who served as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court from June 2, 1930 to July 31, 1945.

Here is a photo of him:


3. Justice Robert H. Jackson

Who served as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court from July 11, 1941 to October 9, 1954.

Here is a photo of him:


Judge Frank Murphy

He issued a fervent dissent. In his words, the exclusion of the Japanese falls into the abyss of racism and is no different from the treatment by dictatorial tyrannies of minority groups that the United States is committed to destroying. Simply put, the United States, to defeat dictatorial tyrannies, becomes one!

Murphy also compared the treatment of Japanese Americans with the treatment of German and Italian Americans to emphasize that race was the trigger for the exclusion order, not safety.

  • Fun fact: Murphy’s use of the term “racism” in the opinion quoted above and in his other settlements was one of the first to appear in a United States Supreme Court opinion.

Judge Owen Roberts

Like Justice Murphy’s dissent, Justice Roberts’ dissent acknowledges the inherent racism in the case. He doesn’t use the term “racism” but acknowledged that Korematsu was being punished because of his ancestry.

Judge Robert H. Jackson

Justice Robert Jackson wrote that while courts shouldn’t have to second-guess or interfere with military orders, they shouldn’t have to enforce orders if they’re unconstitutional. Additionally, he wrote that he would (if he could) overturn the judgment and discharge Korematsu. Here is its exact wording:

justice jackson

Jackson also warned that the Korematsu precedent would likely last after internment and the war.

His quote is as follows

civil liberties

Modern Dissenters

the exclusion-order-in-the-power-of-congress

Judge Antonin Scalia

Scalia said the “Supreme Court’s Korematsu decision upholding the internment of Japanese Americans was wrong,” on February 3, 2014, during a discussion with students at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law.

In October 2015, he also told law students that he most admired Judge Jackson’s dissenting opinion: “It was nice to know that at least someone in the court realized that it was was wrong. It was at Santa Clara University.

Mentions in other court cases

  • Chief Justice Roberts in his dissent of Trump v. Hawaii

Chief Justice Roberts said Korematsu v. the United States had been erroneously decided and cited the dissent of Judge Robert Jackson. His exact words were “Korematsu was gravely wrong the day it was decided, was overruled by the court of history and – to be clear – ‘has no place in law under the Constitution’, and the forced relocation of American citizens to concentration camps, solely and explicitly on the basis of race, is objectively illegal and beyond the scope of presidential authority.

  • Judge Gorsuch in his dissent from the United States against Zubaydah

Gorsuch J., in his dissent in United States v. Zubaydah, reiterated that Korematsu was negligent. He criticized the court for using “the interest of the state” as a justification for “suppressing legal proceedings” and cited Korematsu as a reason not to (again).

Civil Liberties Act of 1988 Summary

This is a federal law (signed by President Ronald Reagan) that granted reparations to Japanese Americans who had been interned by the government during World War II. The law stated that the government’s acts of internment were based on racial prejudice rather than security reasons and thus reflected a failure of political leadership.

The specific stated purposes of the law are:


Since 1990, surviving internees have cost $20,000, or $39,000 in 2020 value. Two offices have been created to meet the provisions of the law: the Office of Appeals Administration and the Public Education Fund of civil liberties.


Now that you’ve read this article, you know that the answer to “What did the dissenting judges think about the power of military authorities?” is “that there should be limits to military action when martial law has not been declared”. And it was on the grounds that the decision in Korematsu v. United States was racially discriminatory.

Feel free to bookmark this to come back to while you study. And if your classmates are also looking for this study material, share it with them! They will surely appreciate it!

Startups can break the chains of poverty


It is indeed a matter of pride that India has become the third largest startup ecosystem in the world after the United States and China with over 65,861 startups recognized as of March 14, 2022. There are over 100 unicorns in the country, 42 of which were created only last year. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) India Report 2021-22, India’s entrepreneurial activity in 2021, with its total entrepreneurial activity rate, the percentage of adults aged 18-64 who starting or running a new business, increased to 14.4%, from 5.3% in 2020.

According to the Union Ministry of Trade and Industry, nearly 50% of recognized startups originate from Tier I and Tier II cities. Recognized startups are spread across more than 640 districts and have reported the creation of over seven million jobs. About 700 start-ups from agriculture and related sectors have also been selected under the “Innovation and Agro-Entrepreneurship Development Program”. This is a completely bullish situation.

Agriculture is very important to our country. It is the mainstay of our rural terrain.

About 60% of our population, mostly in rural areas, depends on agriculture for their livelihood. It contributes about 20% to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country. By making the most of technology, agriculture has been totally transformed in countries like China, Israel and the United States. Hybrid seeds, precision farming, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, geolocation and satellite monitoring, mobile apps and farm management software have made significant inroads into agriculture in most advanced countries. India is also gearing up to drive agriculture digitally to increase agricultural productivity and income. Given the small land holdings of nearly 90% of farmers, they need every possible incentive to have surplus income that they can invest in the health and education of their children.

There are three critical segments – rural areas, agriculture, and self-help groups (SHGs) – where startups can aggressively engage. They are linked to each other in more ways than one. Part of the rural population is socially, educationally and economically disadvantaged. An overwhelming percentage of agricultural workers come from the weakest sections of society, consisting of SCs, STs, OBCs and members of minority communities. Startups can play an important role in their financial empowerment. Due to multifaceted constraints, most of them fail to break out of the vicious cycle of poverty. Generation after generation, they continue to struggle to achieve their ends. This is a painful situation and also a serious stumbling block in our collective efforts to achieve the goal of inclusive and sustainable development. The problem of disparities stems from people’s inability to make the most of national resources and opportunities, and these inabilities cause perpetual socio-economic deficiencies and insufficiencies, making life difficult for the poor.

Startups can break the chains of poverty by monetizing the time and talent of rural people in multiple ways. The challenge is how to engage them in income-generating activities. They have plenty of time to use after completing their daily routine tasks. Billions of hours of small farmers and agricultural workers are lost every day in our country for lack of any other commitment to them. They will get a critical financial boost even if 25% of those hours are fully utilized. Each village or group of villages offers a plethora of opportunities for startups if they accept or are encouraged and incentivized to work in rural areas.

Rural development is directly linked to the country’s agro-economy, but it must be understood that well-to-do village farmers are an entirely different social group. Each of them dominates the rural ethos and value system. There is no comparison between them and smallholders and agricultural workers. The socio-economic gap between them is permanent and must be bridged as soon as possible.

Similarly, Self-Help Groups (SHGs) should be encouraged and guided to expand their operations and market reach to obtain better prices for their products. This is another area, which offers unlimited opportunities for start-ups. To date, more than 75 lakh SHGs have been trained across the country under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), a flagship program of the Ministry of Rural Development.

Since an overwhelming percentage of them come from the weakest sections of society, their financial empowerment means a lot. More income means slightly better education and food for their children, which will be a big boost to their overall improvement. Thus, getting started with them will be a win-win situation for startups and SHGs. In 250 backward districts, all SHG women are eligible for bank loans of up to Rs 3 lakh at an annual interest rate of 7%. An additional interest subsidy of 3% per annum is granted to them, reducing the effective interest rate to 4%. If startups show up to help them, our SHGs will undergo a total makeover in more ways than one.

Fortunately, most Indian states are working hard to promote the startup ecosystem. According to the results of the third edition of the Ranking of States on Supporting Startup Ecosystems, Gujarat and Karnataka were found to be the best performers. For the purposes of the rankings, the states and union territories have been classified into five categories, namely, High Performers, Top Achievers, Leaders, Aspiring Leaders, and Emerging Startup Ecosystems. Participants were assessed in seven broad areas of reform comprising 26 action points ranging from institutional support to promoting innovation and entrepreneurship, market access, support for incubation, funding support, mentorship support and capacity building for facilitators. Meghalaya won the highest honor among UT and North Eastern (NE) states. Maharashtra, which was categorized as “Leaders” in the 2020 ranking, improved its position and was praised as a “Top Performer” state along with Telangana, Kerala and Odisha.

Let’s focus on developing the startup ecosystem in blocks, subdivisions and districts with the help of all startup-related programs from central government and state governments. There is a great opportunity to democratize the startup ecosystem. Government initiatives such as JAM or Jandhan, Aadhaar, Mobile, Digital India, GatiShakti and Ease of Doing Business are driving the startup ecosystem. They should be directed to rural India, the goldmine of opportunities and possibilities. Every stakeholder should come forward to bridge the urban-rural divide. A start must be made the sooner the better. Governments – central or state – will continue to do their part but others cannot and should not turn a blind eye to our villages. People who live in remote villages are simple, upright and meaningful. They adapt to all odds to stay afloat, but that doesn’t mean other stakeholders won’t join in and help them achieve their aspirations in the new India!

(The author is a senior journalist, author and columnist. Opinions expressed are strictly


Greece missed an opportunity for dialogue, says Türkiye communications director


The Greek government led by Kyriakos Mitsotakis did not take advantage of Türkiye’s offer of dialogue, the Turkish communications director said.

In an interview with the Greek daily Kathimerini, published on Sunday, Fahrettin Altun assessed relations between Ankara and Athens, the current tension on the Aegean Sea and the militarization of the eastern Aegean islands.

“Our president gave the Mitsotakis government a chance and opened channels for dialogue. The Greek prime minister did not take advantage of this opportunity,” Altun said.

Altun said Turkey wants to have “good relations with all its neighbors and ensure peace and stability in the region.”

Asked about the possibility of a meeting between Erdogan and Mitsotakis, Altun said: “I don’t think there will be such a meeting under the current conditions.”

“Despite promising not to include third countries in bilateral relations, Mitsotakis sent anti-Türkiye messages to the United States,” he said, adding: “Greece is not hurting itself only by opposing the Türkiye in an interested way or by relying on third countries”.

Altun said resolving disputes within the framework of diplomacy and international law will be particularly in the interests of the Greek people.

– Tension on the Aegean Sea

Commenting on allegations that Turkish planes violated Greek airspace, Altun said: “Greece has been the party responsible for the escalation of tension over the Aegean Sea for months.

“You would have seen Turkish warplanes flying over the Attica peninsula if Turkey had decided to play such a dangerous game as Greece. But we don’t have such a problem.”

Altun stressed that Turkey will not be the one to exacerbate regional tensions, but “we have the resources and the capabilities to respond to any movement.”

– Militarization of the Eastern Aegean Islands

Speaking on Greece’s violation of the non-military status of the Eastern Aegean islands and international treaties, Altun said: “By arming the islands with a non-military status, Greece violates international conventions.

“It is absurd to imagine that Turkey will not denounce Greece’s illegal actions on such an issue,” he added.

Greece will only hurt itself by opening the discussion on current international agreements, he said, referring to the Lausanne peace treaty and the 1947 Paris peace treaty.

Turkey has rejected Greece’s militarization of the islands from the start, protesting Greece’s policy of violating the islands’ non-military status since the 1960s.

Ankara issued protests through diplomatic channels and demanded an end to the violations. The issue came on the agenda of the UN and NATO in the 1970s.

The latest Turkish diplomatic initiative was to send a letter of complaint to the UN in July 2021, claiming that the militarization of the islands posed a serious threat to Türkiye’s security.

– Türkiye’s New Drillship

Responding to whether Türkiye’s drillship Abdulhamid Han will begin operations in August, Altun said: “It’s up to Turkey to decide for itself as a sovereign state where our drillships would operate. “

Nobody should be disturbed by the activities that Türkiye will carry out with its own vessels in accordance with international law, he added.

Türkiye has undertaken drilling activities in its waters for the past four years.

The Anadolu Agency website contains only part of the news offered to subscribers of the AA News Broadcast System (HAS), and in summary form. Please contact us for subscription options.

Reviews | Weaning the State Department from War

Other than being an ancillary reinforcement to the Pentagon’s military operations abroad and bolstering its vulnerable embassies, what else does the US State Department stand for and do?

Sometimes it’s hard to see much difference from the much larger Department of Defense (DOD). His more belligerent statements or threats since the days of Bill and Hillary Clinton have made the DOD almost wary.

Recall that it was the Secretary of State, “Generalissimo” Hillary Clinton, under Obama, who, against the opposition of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, urged the President in 2011 to illegally overthrow the Libyan regime, triggering the Chaos, violence and mayhem in Libya and in neighboring African nations still prevails today. (Obama later said that was his biggest foreign policy regret.)

The founders of our country created the Department of State in 1789 to conduct diplomacy (plus consular functions). Its charter explicitly states that its function is to have peaceful relations with other nations.

We now have Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who comes from the Hillary Clinton school of routine, unconstitutional and illegal adventures abroad. It ignores arms control treaties, especially with Russia, that have expired, are about to expire, or are being violated by both Russia and the United States and other nations such as the Treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT).

Then there are the treaties signed by 100 or more countries for which the US State Department barely made a move for ratification by the Senate. These include the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the International Criminal Court, the Landmine Ban Treaty, the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the Convention on the Rights of the child.

Making peace and resolving conflict should be the primary mission of the State Department. There’s plenty of legacy work for Antony Blinken and a revived Foreign Service Corps to fully commit to. Mr. Blinken could push aggressively for a “ceasefire,” for example, as in the case of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

In 2019, former President Jimmy Carter called the United States “the most warlike nation in the history of the world”, adding that only 16 of our country’s 242 years have been times of peace.

Washington and its “military-industrial complex” (in the words of President Eisenhower) have set records by overthrowing duly elected foreign governments and supporting right-wing dictatorships in Latin America, Africa and Asia, as long as ‘they obey us and our societies. (See: War is a Racketeer by General Smedley D. Butler, 1935).

Against this militaristic mania, you might want to know about the Veterans for Peace (VFP) organization of which I am a member. VFP is embraced by veterans of all our wars since WWII. Its members have written, spoken, picketed, and pursued nonviolent disobedience against the recent wars of the American Empire. VFP highlighted the immense harm caused to millions of innocent victims in these countries, denouncing the injuries and illnesses of returning American soldiers. VFP advocates for robust peace missions and enforceable arms control treaties.

I found VFP’s short report on the links between militarism, environmental destruction and climate violence particularly noteworthy. (See, VeteransforPeace.org: https://www.veteransforpeace.org/).

Veterans for Peace challenges the proliferating impact of militarism and the vast, inflated, unauditable military spending in our political economy, culture, and educational institutions.

Under the leadership of Executive Director Garett Reppenhagen, VFP plans a major expansion of its business. Membership is open to non-veterans and they welcome donations. In particular, very wealthy seniors who are looking for a universal cause to recognize might envision what a new future of peace and social justice looks like for our posterity. They can call Mr. Reppenhagen at 314-899-4514 / [email protected]veteransforpeace.org.

Maybe the State Department can arrange a reunion with Veterans for Peace to remember its original mission.

Veteran Air Traffic Controller on Handling Stranger Things in the Sky

“Makes you feel like they’re just hiding things from you.”

This is how Colin Scoggins describes the US military’s response to a potential sighting of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) while at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center. Scoggins is now retired, but his accounts of various instances where he and his colleagues saw mysterious blips on their radars or heard reports of other sightings are timelessly intriguing.

Scoggins began his career in the US Air Force, working on fighter jets like the F-4 Phantom as a crew chief. Once out, he started school at West Virginia University and drank part-time at a local bar to pay the bills. It was at this facility that he met three air traffic controllers (ATC) who were working in the Morgantown Municipal Airport Tower in the spring of 1981.

An F-4D Phantom II from the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing. Scoggins was a crew chief in the Air Force who worked on planes like the F-4. Credit: Mike Freer/Wikimedia Commons

“They were joking about going on strike in June, and I almost thought I was going back to duty,” Scoggins said. The war zone. “And they said, ‘No, you should become a controller. So I actually took the test at the time and then they ended up going on strike in August and I was already back in the northeast and called the regional and told them I wanted to, you know, become a controller.

Unfortunately, he was told that the test he had already taken had expired and he had to take the new one. After passing the updated exam, Scoggins discovered that it could be about a year before he knew whether or not he got the job. Young, married, recently accepted to Northeastern University and in need of a reliable income, Scoggins once again considered returning to the Air Force. That was until just days after Christmas when an interview request came in the mail. In 1982, Scoggins began training for his position at the FAA.

The Morgantown airport where the three ATCs who asked Scoggins to become one worked in Morgantown, West Virginia. Credit: West Virginia and Regional History Center

Once officially hired, he worked in the northern Maine airspace until a powerlifting accident resulted in a shoulder injury that required Scoggins to be on medication for an extended period. Because of this, he was taken off the ground and transferred to the aerospace office where he would work throughout his healing process. After serving in that position and spending a bit more time in the field, Boston Center’s military liaison was removed from his post in 1995, and Scoggins was asked to work on both the military airspace sides and civilian of his department in the meantime. Then around 2005, he was relieved of his comptroller position and became the Boston Center’s military specialist until his retirement in 2016.

With more than three decades of experience working for the military and FAA, Scoggins is not short on stories. Stories ranging from some of the RQ-4’s first landings to his hand in the tragic United Flight 93 are just some of the defining career moments Scoggins could share, but his experience with strange things that happened in or near the country’s airspace is nonetheless notable. Although some were quickly or gradually debunked, the events still constitute a unique insight into how the FAA and the military handled UAP sightings, particularly prior to 9/11.

Aerial view of the FAA’s Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center in Nashua, NH Google Earth

In terms of UAP protocol, Scoggins explained that his department had a relatively standard requirement to report anything they saw or received to the team supervisor who would then pass it on to the operations manager. He said it was also procedure to report it to the military, and for Scoggins that meant contacting the Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS).

“Understand that most controllers have some personality,” Scoggins said. “Normally we control individuals. We like to control just about everything and none of us have patience. I still have no patience today after being retired for six years.”

Sometimes, however, Scoggins said a particularly busy day would only warrant an acknowledgment of a possible incident before time constraints forced the team to move on. Others would lead to specialized investigations.

“As far as how most controllers feel if they’re real, I think most feel they are,” Scoggins said. “And if they believe they’re not from our world, I’m sure there are a few. I think most believe they’re probably from our world and probably from our own government. “

He added that there is a small percentage of conspiracy theorists among ATC, just like there are in the general public, who will believe what they want to believe. Although he doesn’t recall ever being told not to report his findings, he also didn’t think a controller felt his job was in jeopardy if he did.

“I had three cases that I can think of,” Scoggins said. “One of them was definitely a meteor crashing into the ocean. A pilot saw it and thought it was a UFO. Another guy flying at a 90 degree angle from it saw and said, “No, it’s definitely a meteor that went straight into the ocean. So we could cancel that one.”

Meteors are often mistaken by onlookers for UAPs or UFOs. Cosmic chunks of rock, large and small, travel through space all the time, sometimes entering Earth’s atmosphere and emitting a fiery glow as they burn. It can also cause the meteor to break apart, eventually becoming multiple pieces so small that it essentially vanishes into thin air. These characteristics could lead many people to believe that they have just seen a UFO when it is a common celestial event.

A meteor crosses the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower. Credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA

“Another was at dusk or dawn,” Scoggins said. “We had a Boeing 747 pilot swear that one of the passengers in the back seat said he saw rockets fired at their plane. At the time, we had air traffic assistants for tracking systems and it was usually ex-pilots. This guy was an ex-Boeing 747 in the right seat and he said, ‘You know what I’m guessing? Was it on a bend?” And I said, yes, and he said, “At dusk or at dawn, the light can shine through the window on the other side of the wing, then when they straighten the wing, the light comes back to you.”

Because such an optical illusion could convince someone with an untrained eye that a rocket was fired at their plane, Scoggins was the first to admit that the air traffic assistant’s guess was entirely viable. But he made sure to take into consideration the specific airspace the 747 was flying in at the time.

“This pilot was near Warning Area 102, which was sometimes used for live fire, but normally it wasn’t,” Scoggins added. “We also had no military activity in Alert Area 102 at the time, so it couldn’t have been a rocket fired at them because we didn’t have anyone up there.”

A Boeing 747 landing in Spain at dusk, an environment similar to that described by Scoggins. Credit: Jordi Cucurul/Wikimedia Commons

According to GlobalSecurity, Warning Area 102 is part of the Boston Area Complex in waters adjacent to the coasts of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and New York. The overall Military Operations Area also includes Warning Areas 103 and 104, Small Spikes Firing Range, and Underwater Transit Lanes. In terms of military activities conducted in this area, beyond air training, these operations could include surface-to-air gunnery, anti-submarine warfare tactics, and surface and subsurface exercises.

Scoggins used this knowledge to help him determine if a rocket or missile had indeed been fired not just at the aforementioned 747, but at the tragic Trans World Airlines Flight 800 (TWA 800) which also crashed in the middle of its career. Before the reasoning behind the TWA 800 explosion was finally reached, there were allegations that a missile had been fired at the airliner.

A Trans World Airlines Boeing 747. Credit: Eduard Marmet/Wikimedia Commons

“Now it was only a few years later when TWA 800 broke down, and I spent two years working on that,” Scoggins said. “I had to research any military activity that was going on at the time that could possibly have fired a rocket, and we had a C-130 there at the time in warning area 105, but they wouldn’t have fired no rockets.

After a four-year National Transportation Safety Board investigation, Scoggins’ work, along with the help of all other experts and departments involved, later determined that the disastrous TWA 800 in-flight explosion was caused by flammable fuel vapors in the center fuel tank. A short-circuit. The incident killed all 230 people on board. But that wasn’t the last of Scoggins’ encounters with strange happenings in the airspace around and off the US east coast.

A photograph of the right side of the large three-dimensional reconstruction of TWA Flight 800. Credit: National Transportation Safety Board accident report

“The only other we had was a plane flying at 49,000 feet in a straight line passing over New York at about 900 knots,” Scoggins said. “We reported it to the military three or four times and they just kept saying, ‘No, we don’t see anything.’ And I think it was definitely a [real radar] target. So I guess the military knew who it was, and they weren’t going to tell us.”

Scoggins is confident in this claim because, before 9/11, he said the military shared the same radars that the Boston Center used on the coast. He explained that if he was using the radar located at Riverhead on Long Island, so was the military. If he was using Bucks Harbor radar in Maine, the military was looking at exactly the same thing.

An aerial view of the Bucks Harbor Radar Station in Maine. Google Earth

He even added that the military actually owns these sites and often adjusts and works on them. For some perspective he went on to mention that his department also had a site in Skowhegan, Maine called an air traffic control radar beacon system and these were non-military and not looking for not the raw radar returns. However, Bucks Harbor and Riverhead had the raw primary radar the military actually used, so Scoggins was sure the Pentagon was looking at the exact same information, but insisted they hadn’t seen anything.

“The Army has a lot of things,” Scoggins said. “I’m not really a fan of actual UFOs, but I’m a firm believer that if the SR-71 was made in the 1960s, I’m sure we’ve got a lot better out there now. Who knows what we’ve got really, but I know there are other controllers out there who have seen a lot more.

Thanks to Colin Scoggins for taking the time to share his experiences with the FAA for this article.

Contact the author: [email protected]

Myanmar Archbishop calls for respect for human dignity in conflict

Archbishop Marco Tin Win of Mandalay calls for respect for human dignity and property as Myanmar’s military junta continues its indiscriminate attacks on civilians, including Catholic villages, amid accusations of war crimes.

Jul 22, 2022

A church destroyed by military forces in Myanmar

By Lisa Zengarini
As attacks on civilians by the military junta in Myanmar continue to escalate, with indiscriminate shelling and shelling, and burning of homes in several parts of the country, Bishop Marco Tin Win of Mandalay calls for respect for human dignity and property.

Catholic villages targeted
In recent weeks, the military junta that took over the reins of power on February 1, 2021, has specifically targeted historic Catholic villages in the Bamar Buddhist heartland of Sagaing, home region of Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon, with the aim of crack in the face of growing resistance from the popular defense forces. In the midst of them, the village of Mon Hla, where airstrikes and artillery fire hit a church, a convent and houses, and its inhabitants seek refuge in forests and other safe areas. The army has also stepped up its offensives in neighboring Magwe region and western Chin state, forcing villagers to flee their homes and live in makeshift camps without food.

In a video message quoted by the Ucanews agency, Bishop Tin Win said he was “deeply discouraged to learn of the suffering of thousands of people, especially from the villages, including Catholics whose homes have been burned and properties looted. , and who have become homeless, displaced and in dire need of food and shelter”.

Protecting fundamental human rights must be a priority
The Prelate, also born in the Sagaing region, therefore urged all the fighting parties “not to burn and destroy the homes of civilians and to respect their properties”. “Food, clothing, shelter and health care are basic rights of all human beings and must be given priority,” he said.

“According to the teachings of the Church, human existence and human dignity must be respected”

Bishop Tin Win further remarked that Catholic villagers in the Archdiocese of Mandalay affected by the ongoing conflict have been living side by side with Buddhists peacefully and harmoniously for decades. “They understand and respect each other despite their differences and there have never been any religious conflicts in these villages,” he said.

Amnesty International report on the widespread use of landmines
Meanwhile, in a report released on Wednesday, Amnesty International (AI) accused Myanmar’s military regime of committing war crimes by using large-scale anti-personnel landmines in and around villages in the predominantly state. Christian from Kayah. The human rights organization recalled that anti-personnel landmines are by nature indiscriminate and that their use is internationally prohibited. He said landmines laid by the Tamadaw, Myanmar’s armed forces, have killed and seriously injured civilians and will have significant long-term consequences, including on the ability of displaced people to return home and cultivate their land. .

AI researchers interviewed 43 people in Hpruso and Loikaw townships in Kayah state from June 25 to July 8, where fighting erupted between the army and Karenni armed groups in May 2021. The he army has laid mines in at least 20 villages in Hpruso, Demoso and Loikaw townships in Kayah state in recent months, AI said citing “credible sources”.

Bishops’ repeated calls for non-violence and dialogue
Since the military coup that toppled the now imprisoned democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi, junta forces in Myanmar have killed more than 2,000 civilians, arrested more than 14,000, displaced more than 700,000, carried the number of internally displaced persons to more than one million, and plunged the country into an economic and humanitarian crisis threatening the lives of millions of people.

Local church leaders, including the outspoken Charles Maung Bo, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar (CBCM), have repeatedly called for non-violence, dialogue and the restoration of democracy, calling for respect for human life, places of worship, hospitals, and schools. These calls went unheeded even after Cardinal Bo met with the head of Myanmar’s military junta, General Min Aung Hlaing, in December 2021, and the military offensive continued to escalate.–Vatican News

Installment Loans at Greendayonline.Com | BOSS Magazine

Reading time: 5 minutes

Major life events such as buying a home or financing an automobile are best financed with installment loans. Large purchases can be spread over a period of six months to 30 years with installment plans.

Installment loans aren’t always the best option for big purchases like a house. As with any other form of debt, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of taking out an installment loan and then making the payments.

Are installment loans the right choice for you?

It is a type of loan where principal and interest are repaid over a predetermined period of time in an approximately equal manner. There is a wide range of loan amounts and repayment terms availablefrom a few hundred dollars to several hundred thousand dollars.

Compared to a traditional loan, using a credit card or other revolving method of borrowing has two distinct advantages. The term, or the time you have to pay off your installment loan, is predetermined in an installment loan. There are also fixed interest rates that do not vary regardless of the prime rate. Ultimately, you’ll know exactly how much you’re spending each month and how long it will take to pay off your debt.

Paying off a single item, like a credit card bill or medical bills, is the biggest use for an installment loan. Unless you apply for another loan, you will get the full amount of the loan all at once after it is funded.

It is advisable to use an installment loan, says Akbar Rizvi of Spring Bank, for a purpose, because once you get the funds, you will want to put them to good use.

As for reimbursement, Rizvi points out that it’s simple: “You make your payment; it gradually decreases each month; and when the period is over… you’re done.

Installment loans come in many shapes and sizes

In case you don’t have a down payment, an installment loan can be used to cover the full cost, or at least part of it.

Installment loans are most often used to finance a home, car or personal item. In order to get a loan of any kind, you must first apply to a lender, who will then assess your credit report and score to decide on the type of interest rate and the amount of the loan. loan for which you are eligible.

Personal loans and some auto loans only require a small down payment, but most home loans require a minimum of 3.5%.

Mortgages for single-family homes

To buy a house, mortgages, sometimes called installment loans, are commonly used. Single family homes, condominiums and other types of real estate can all be purchased with a mortgage. Collateral can be seized if a person fails to repay a debt.

The three most common types of mortgages are conventional mortgages, FHA mortgages, and VA mortgages. Buyers who want to lock in their monthly payment for 15, 20, or 30 years will need to deposit 3.5 to 5 percent of the purchase price, depending on the lender. Unlike conventional or FHA loans, VA loans are exclusively for military and veterans.

finance a car

A new or old car can be paid for using an installment car loan. It can last from two to eighteen years on average.

“You make monthly payments, or payments, every month for 60 months” with a 60-month car loan, says David Tuyo, president of University Credit Union of Los Angeles.

Besides retail banks and credit unions, a wide range of financial institutions offer car loans. You may be able to get a better deal if you research and go directly to a lender, despite the fact that many car dealerships cooperate with lenders to provide financing,

Although usually not necessary, installments can save you money on interest and lower your monthly payments. The vehicle can be repossessed if the borrower does not repay the loan.

Loans to Individuals – Personal

Various companies offer personal loans, many of which are unsecured. However, this is not always the case. Applicants with strong credit can borrow up to $100,000 over a period of six to sixty months. Loans for personal use are less extensive.

An individual’s creditworthiness, annual income, and past debt all determine the interest rate and maximum loan amount that can be obtained on a personal loan.

With a fixed interest rate, it is possible to consolidate credit card or medical debt into a single loan that can be paid off over time with a cheaper monthly payment. Big purchases like home renovations and weddings can also be financed with personal loans.

Pay in one installment rather than regularly

If you’re looking to make a major purchase, an installment loan isn’t your only option.

You can apply for a credit card instead of taking out a loan. If you plan to make substantial purchases over a long period of time, 0% APR credit cards can be useful. To avoid missing the promotional period, make sure you have the funds to repay the loan before it expires. Any amount that is not repaid during the promotional period may be subject to interest charges of up to 25%.

“A credit card can be a great alternative if you’re disciplined and use it correctly,” says Rizvi.

As a last resort, customers can also apply for a personal line of credit. Personal property can be used as collateral for unsecured lines of credit, such as a home equity line of credit (HELOC). It is possible to borrow money and repay it over time with a reduced interest rate because the loan is secured by real estate.

Is it a good idea to get a payday loan for your next purchase?

Before applying for an installment loan, think about the purpose of the money and ask yourself if it fits into your overall financial strategy.

The answers to these two questions will help you decide if an installment loan is right for you and if you have the monthly income to make the payments.

Tuyo makes a distinction between “desirable” and “undesirable” debt in his explanation.

On the other hand, the debts you want to pay off will not help you build your personal wealth as much, according to an expert. For example, “frivolous trips” can be paid for with credit card debt or installment loans.

In the long term, if you plan to use the money for “home improvement projects that would increase your property value and net worth” or for debt consolidation, an installment loan GreenDayOnline may be your best option.

Jason Ratman


Jason writes on all financial topics such as loans, debt solutions and bankruptcy. He is an expert on topics such as APR, loan fine print, debt collection laws in the United States. With his in-depth knowledge of everything related to finance, he is a major asset for Greendayonline.

Ukrainian troops clear recaptured Snake Island and rescue lone cat

Ukrainian troops cleared areas of the recaptured Snake Island, changed the Russian flag to the defending nation’s yellow and blue – and also rescued a lonely cat.

The Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense (MoD) said that mine clearance and search work had been carried out on Snake Island, also known as Zmiinyi Island, after it was resumed in Beginning of the month.

The leadership said on Wednesday: “Ukraine is carrying out search and clearance of Snake Island.

Ukrainian troops cleared areas of the recaptured Snake Island and replaced the Russian flag with the yellow and blue of the defending nation. The Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense (MoD) said that mine clearance and search work had been carried out on Snake Island, also known as Zmiinyi Island, after it was resumed in Beginning of the month.

“During the MoD’s Operation GUR, searches and reconnaissance of the territory and underground fortifications of the island of Zmiiny were carried out.

“The demining engineering work is now complete.

“The enemy’s weapons and equipment were identified and seized. In particular, guidance and control systems, Orlan-10 drones, MANPAD systems, grenade launchers, flamethrowers, small arms, combat diaries, personal documents of the Russian army and electronic media.

“The Ukrainian flag was hoisted on the island in place of the racist ‘tricolour'”.

Management added: “In addition, a Ukrainian cat that had been living on the site for several months was found and taken to controlled territory.”

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin calls a “special military operation.” Thursday marks the 148th day of the invasion.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and July 20, Russia lost about 38,750 men, 1,700 tanks, 3,905 armored fighting vehicles, 856 artillery units, 250 multiple rocket launcher systems, 113 air defense systems, 221 combat aircraft. , 188 helicopters, 703 drones, 167 cruise missiles, 15 warships, 2,775 motor vehicles and tankers and 70 units of special equipment.

CIA chief William Burns said Wednesday there was no information indicating Russian President Vladimir Putin was in poor health or unstable. It has long been rumored in Western media that Putin, 69, is suffering from health issues, possibly cancer, but Burns joked that the Russian president seemed “too healthy”, adding: ” He is convinced that his destiny as leader of Russia is to restore Russia as a great power.

“He thinks the key to doing that is to recreate a sphere of influence in Russia’s neighborhood and he can’t do that without controlling Ukraine.”

Burns said the United States believes Russia has so far lost around 15,000 troops in Ukraine, with some 45,000 injured.

Washington announced on Wednesday that it would supply Ukraine with more long-range weapons despite an apparent warning from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that such an act would expand Moscow’s military concentration in Ukraine.

A report published the same day by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights indicates that Russian troops have committed serious rights violations in Ukraine. The Warsaw-based office cited such cases as the bombing of a theater in Mariupol in mid-March and the train station in Kramatorsk in early April.

Both incidents resulted in civilian deaths and could constitute Russian war crimes, the institution said.

The report also details testimonies of unlawful executions, detentions, abductions and cases of torture and sexual violence.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.

Election officials urged to prepare for shortages and delays | News, Sports, Jobs


AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus, File An election worker examines a ballot at the Clackamas County Elections office Thursday, May 19 in Oregon City, Ore.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Election officials across the country gathered under tight security were urged Tuesday to prepare for supply chain issues that could lead to shortages of paper used for everything from ballots to “I voted” stickers for years to come.

The National Association of State Election Officers’ summer meeting brought together nearly 200 people, including election officers from 33 states, election security experts, interest groups who work with elections, vendors and others.

Election security experts have told administrators to prepare for years of supply chain issues affecting paper, hardware and other things.

The election supply chain may not return to normal until 2026, said Ed Smith, a longtime veteran of election technology and administration who chairs a government-industry coordinating council that works on electoral security issues.

The delay in obtaining election materials is two to three times longer than the norm, a delay not seen since 1999 or 2000, Smith said. Costs are also higher, and election officials need to be prepared for one-off and unpredictable issues with transportation and pandemic-related shutdowns, he said.

Supply chain issues are largely triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and exacerbated by global factory shutdowns and a drop in the number of people in the workforce. They have been felt by a wide range of industries.

Election officials preparing for November’s midterm are also preparing for their own issues that could make it difficult to obtain the paper needed to print ballots, information inserts and other materials needed to organize an election.

“Certainly the supply of paper has been the most meager it has ever been”, said Jim Suver, co-chair of a federal election security task force that focuses on supply chain issues. The biggest crisis will begin in September, when all states will work for the same November election, he said.

Suver said hoarding was not a problem.

“There is not enough paper to hoard” he said. “It does not go through.”

Election officials have been urged to order their supplies early and prepare for shortages and delays.

The biggest risk is having an urgent request, such as the need for a large number of reprints, 10 days or 15 days before an election, Suver said. It will be crucial for jurisdictions to be extra careful in proofreading ballots so they don’t have to place new orders, Smith said.

Misprints have already occurred in this year’s primaries. In Oregon, election workers in Clackamas County had to transfer votes from tens of thousands of ballots that had fuzzy barcodes and were rejected by ballot counting machines. In Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, a printing company sent out thousands of ballots with the wrong ID code, which meant they couldn’t be read by scanners.

The three-day meeting, which also covered issues such as insider threats to holding elections and how to connect with hard-to-reach communities, comes as election officials face growing threats amid false claims by former President Donald Trump and his supporters that the 2020 election was stolen.

Amy Cohen, executive director of NASED, warned meeting attendees to wear their name badges at the event so security can see they belong, but to remove them when moving around the city.

“Don’t advertise who you are and exactly why you’re here,” she says.

Cohen said meeting organizers coordinated with federal, state and local law enforcement for the event. The group was not live-tweeting or streaming the event, but there were no restrictions on attendees talking about it on social media.

“Please be mindful of what you post and remember that some of the people in this room face serious safety issues and we need to be respectful to keep everyone safe,” says Cohen.

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Developing Australia’s role in space is vital for national security

Space activities are important for national security, particularly because of the importance of remote sensing technologies in collecting intelligence and data. Any weaponization of space presents obvious national security challenges. Safe and continuous access to space, as well as to launch sites, will be essential for obtaining essential information, such as that used to monitor military activities and climatic events, and to deliver humanitarian aid.

The use of space also poses unique legal issues, including when and how national laws may apply to space activities – for example, the application of criminal law in space and the challenges posed by the use and abuse of extraterritorial jurisdiction in outer space in general.

The demographics of space actors have changed rapidly since the end of the Cold War. There is now an expanding kaleidoscope of space activity in the Indo-Pacific region. For example, Indonesia has plans to build a (non-military) spaceport in Biak, an island in northern Papua. Notably, Indonesia’s geographical position on the equator makes it an attractive space launch location because the way the Earth rotates on its axis means that equatorial launches can produce additional velocity compared to higher latitude launches.

Biak is home to indigenous West Papuans who care about land acquisition and environmental management. This illustrates the interdependence between space and human rights, including when both business interests and human rights obligations are actively present and can be confrontational. Indonesian President Joko Widodo would have personally introduced Indonesia as a launch site to SpaceX founder Elon Musk. In November, Indonesia is set to host the Business 20 summit in Bali, which Musk reportedly plans to attend.

Australia and the rest of the world should not underestimate the strategic importance of Indonesia. It is the largest economy in Southeast Asia and the largest in the world fourth most populous nation and 10th largest economy by purchasing power parity. It is the fulcrum linking the Philippines and the North and West Pacific to the northeast; the South China Sea directly to the north; and to the west, the Indian Ocean. It lies in the heart of the Indo-Pacific. As a strategically located emerging power, it is perhaps unsurprising that Indonesia is looking to expand its reach into space.

Australia itself has a rapidly growing commercial space sector which includes launch capabilities. In June, Equatorial Launch Australia successfully completed his first commercial space launch for NASA of Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory. It was also NASA first launch of a fully commercial spaceport. This was followed last week by a second successful launch for NASA from Nhulunbuy.

Other potential Australian launch sites that could be of strategic interest are being developed at Whalers Way near Port Lincoln in South Australia and at Bowen in northern Queensland. Australian Gilmour Space Technologies is would be close the first orbital launch of its Eris I launcher, suitable for deploying small satellites in orbit. All of these projects enhance Australia’s global competitiveness as a potential key player in Indo-Pacific space relations.

Elsewhere in the region, Thai start-up mu Space has opened the first spaceship factory end of 2020. Last month, South Korea satellites launched into orbit using its own rocket for the first time. Japan, already a great space nation, launched the world’s first mission to return samples from an asteroid in December 2020. Last year, the Japanese government signed an agreement with NASA on Lunar Gateway, an orbiting outpost with commercial and government partners. Launched in 2008, the Indian Chandrayan-1 confirmed the presence of ice water on the moonand India plans to land Chandrayan-2 on the moon in 2022 or 2023.

China released a white paper in 2021 on its space program, describing its mission “to explore the vast cosmos, develop the space industry and make China a space powerhouse” as an “eternal dream” to be pursued “for the benefit of all humanity; meet the requirements of economic, scientific and technological development, national security and social progress; and to raise the scientific and cultural level of the Chinese people, to protect China’s national rights and interests, and to enhance its overall strength.”

In the same year, China signed a memorandum of understanding with Russia establish a research station on the moon within the next two decades. Beijing is also the headquarters of the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization, whose member states are Bangladesh, China, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, Peru, Thailand and Turkey. The theme of the organization’s development strategy forum in 2015 was Belt and Road Initiative to Facilitate Space Capabilities Building on Asia-Pacific Countries‘. It has since built a satellite data sharing platform.

For Australia, the rapid expansion of space activities in the Indo-Pacific region means ensuring respectful working relationships in the region, continuing to invest in our own space industry and deepening engagement in space diplomacy. It also means ensuring that our legal regimes both protect and enable our potential to play a leadership role in regional space relations.

Australia’s support of the Artemis Accords led by the United States is significant. Among other topics, the chords recognize “the need for greater coordination and cooperation between and among established and emerging actors in space”, “the global benefits of space exploration and commerce” and “the collective interest in preserving space heritage. They also affirm the principles of space law set out in the main international treaties governing space.

Australia has also strengthened its space relations with the United Kingdom. In February 2021, the two countries signed the Space Bridge Framework Arrangementwhich aims to create jobs in the industry.

Notwithstanding these broader international partnerships, it would be well for Australia to continue to develop as a regional and international player in space, in particular by remaining aware of the geographical and political importance of our neighbor Indonesia. and other regional players of growing interest. in the space sector.

Opinion/Letter: Demand Response to Climate Change | Opinion

Demand response to climate change

How could I, a law-abiding retired civil servant, find myself sitting on the DC Beltway blocking traffic on the 4th of July? Believe me, I didn’t risk my life and inconvenience motorists with a five-mile traffic jam on a whim. Science tells us that we have two to three years to start tackling the climate crisis before we head into inevitable environmental catastrophe. Evidence shows that we are currently only making things worse with new fossil fuel projects.

Former UK government chief scientist Sir David King said in February 2021 that “what we do over the next three to four years will, I believe, determine the future of humanity”.

How to communicate the severity of the emergency? So far, people have signed petitions, participated in political campaigns, protested, been arrested and imprisoned. None of these caught the public’s attention or changed the votes of lawmakers. People are therefore coming together to lead nonviolent civil disobedience to demand that President Biden stop all fossil fuel extraction on federal and indigenous lands and declare a climate emergency, which would allow him to reinstate the oil export ban. , redirect some of the military spending to build renewable energy infrastructure and invoke the Defense Production Act.

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It would also raise awareness of what humanity is facing: widespread famine, floods, forest fires, heat waves and drought. Working with DeclareEmergency.org, 13 brave souls (including a black Muslim, a 78-year-old grandmother and a seven-month-pregnant Latina) blocked the ring road with Declare Emergency signs to draw attention to the climate crisis.

This movement is international, part of the A22 network, with non-violent campaigns in nine countries. Don’t let our world catch fire. Join me in protecting what we love.

Sullivan and fellow senators call on Department of Defense to expedite critical military aid to Ukraine


WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Robert Portman (R-Ohio), and Lindsey Graham ( RS.C.) sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, asking them to immediately expedite shipments of military equipment to Ukraine, as decided by Congress under the Supplementary Appropriations Act for Ukraine. Adopted on May 19, the law provided nearly $20 billion in military aid to the Ukrainian army. Equipment recommended for immediate delivery includes medium and long range air defense systems, 155 mm howitzers, high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS), armored personnel carriers, larger and more capable unmanned aerial vehicles (UAS) and Mi-17 helicopters.

The senators also urged defense leaders to consider recommending the inclusion of fourth-generation fighter jets, as well as funding for necessary flight training, in future military aid programs.

“While the medium and long range air defense and HIMARS capabilities included in the June 27, 2022 and July 8, 2022 assistance programs are a good start, these systems must be delivered at a rate and in sufficient quantity to have an impact on the result. fighting in Donbass, Kherson and other regions,” the senators wrote. “We urge you to act quickly, while coordinating with NATO allies and partners, to immediately provide this equipment to the Ukrainian military.”

The full letter can be read below and accessed here.


July 15, 2022

Dear Secretary Austin and General Milley:

On May 19, 2022, Congress passed the Supplementary Appropriations for Ukraine Act, which provided nearly $20 billion in military aid to the Ukrainian military. In the weeks that followed, President Biden approved five drawdowns and sent $3.3 billion in military aid to Ukraine, including the $400 million package approved on July 8, 2022. June 23, 2022 , we met with a delegation of Ukrainian fighter pilots and air defense officers to hear first-hand what they need to defend Ukrainian cities and military installations from Russian air and missile attacks.

Protection of Ukrainian cities, military infrastructure and forces on the ground against Russian air and missile attacks requires ground-based air defense systems, counter-rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) systems and Avenger mobile anti-aircraft missile systems. Longer-range air defense systems will allow Ukraine to target Russian aircraft and cruise missiles operating at altitudes the Stingers cannot reach. C-RAM will provide critical point defense capability against missiles and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) targeting civilian and military critical infrastructure. The Avengers will provide Ukrainian forces with short-range mobile air defense against low-flying aircraft, helicopters and UAS.

In addition to these critical air defense capabilities, it is imperative that the United States continue to provide 155mm howitzers, High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), armored personnel carriers, larger and more capable UAS platforms and Mi-17 helicopters to Ukraine. military. The importance of the continued delivery of ammunition cannot be overstated given the critical nature of Ukrainian efforts to retake lost territory. We also urge you to consider including fourth generation combat aircraft and the necessary flight training in future military aid programs.

While the medium and long range air defense and HIMARS capabilities included in the June 27, 2022 and July 8, 2022 aid programs are a good start, these systems must be delivered at a sufficient rate and quantity to have a impact on the outcome of the fighting in Donbass, Kherson and other regions. Our aid must be decisive and not incremental. We urge you to act quickly while coordinating with NATO allies and partners to provide this equipment to the Ukrainian military immediately.


# # #

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Lam Chu Tai Chinh launched the new installment policies

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, July 18. 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Lam Chu Tai Chinh is a financial website that only collects loan applications from licensed companies and guides and recommends suitable loans to customers. It is not a bank, finance company or insurance company. In recent development, the online company has launched new services to borrow money which fall into three categories:

  1. Borrow money quickly:

A quick loan is an overnight financial solution backed by ultra-fast money lenders based on Fintech technology with low interest rates, simple documents only ID cards, accepting bad customers and disbursing quickly in a short time.

Fast loan applications of the day support loan with a limit of 500k VND – 15 million VND, quick disbursement to bank account 5-30 minutes approval. Clients only need to be Vietnamese citizens between the ages of 18 and 60 and have a minimum income of 3 million VND/month to apply for a loan.

Quick Loan Via App

Fast loan via app is a quick loan with just an ID card which customers only need on the loan app on CH Play or App Store and install it on their phone to apply for a loan.

Fast Loan on Website

Fast loans on the website are customers who go directly to the lender’s website to register with many exceptional advantages such as:

  • Borrow money fast according to available instructions
  • No personal information is infiltrated
  • Feedback from the consulting team promptly
  • Fast loan processing

Fast loans with ID cards have many advantages including simple profile, fast disbursement, customer support for bad debts, flexible loan limit, prestigious fast loan support unit and fast loan at low interest rate.

  1. Borrow money online:

A fast online loan is a solution that only requires an ID without collateral and registers 100% online on smartphones under the P2P lending model (loan between individuals) supported by lenders – reputable online loans.

Borrow Money Online supports quick financial solutions within a day with a loan limit of 500,000 VND – 10,000,000 VND only with an ID card, disbursed directly through a bank account after the approval of the ready.

Borrow apps are apps that support online loans installed on mobile phones (smartphones) by downloading from CH Play (for phones using Android operating system) and AppStore (for phones using Android operating system) iOS operating system). Credit support units often develop online loan applications alongside the registered version on the website.

Borrowing money through the app is a form of loan that many customers choose to register for its convenience and speed in the approval and disbursement process. Online loan website helps customers to apply for loan online directly in browser – website of loan service provider by clicking on link to borrow money online. With online loans on the web, customers can do this on phones, laptops, desktops, tablets, and more.

  1. To borrow money

An installment loan is a form of unsecured consumer loan in which the monthly payment amount includes both principal and interest and is divided equally by the total number of installments according to the loan agreement. Installment loans help solve short-term financial needs with loans with flexible limits ranging from 500,000 VND to 70 million VND with preferential interest rates.

Finance companies and banks often offer installment loans to individual customers who need loans for shopping, consumption, paying bills, or for other purposes that are not contrary to regulation. The bank and the law. Currently, there are two most popular forms of monthly installment loans:

  • The first is installment loans or installment consumer loans from finance companies/banks.
  • The second is to borrow money quickly; users have to pay monthly installments to online money lenders.

Potential users should visit the official website https://lamchutaichinh.vn/ for more information.


Installment Loans with BridgePayday: How They Help You Finance Big Purchases or Consolidate Debt

When it comes to financing big purchases or consolidating debt, installment loans can be a great option. Unlike a payday loan, an installment loan is repaid over time in fixed monthly payments. This makes it more manageable for borrowers and can help them avoid costly penalties and interest rates.

Installment loans are disbursed all at once, giving borrowers quick access to important expenses. Just make sure you’ll eventually pay off your debt and have a stable source of income to help pay your monthly payments. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the benefits of installment loans and how they can help you get ahead financially.

What are installment loans and what are their benefits?

Installment loans are a type of loan in which the borrower repays the loan in fixed monthly installments. The main advantage of installment loans is that they are easier for borrowers to manage than other types of loans, such as payday loans. Indeed, the borrower knows exactly how much he has to pay each month and can budget accordingly. Additionally, installment loans often have lower interest rates than other types of loans, which can save long-term borrowers money.

The fact that installment loans can be used for a number of things is another advantage. For example, consumers can use installment loans to pay for important acquisitions such as a car or a new house. Or, customers can combine their debts using installment loans. For borrowers who have multiple debts with different interest rates, this can be a viable solution. Borrowers could reduce their monthly payments by combining these obligations into a single loan with a reduced interest rate.

Be sure to browse and compare offers from several lenders if you are considering taking out an installment loan. Before signing a loan agreement, make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions. Before taking out an installment loan, like any other type of loan, make sure you can afford the monthly payments.

How to benefit from an installment loan?

To qualify for a BridgePayday installment loan, you will generally need to have a stable source of income and good credit. Lenders will also want to see that you have a history of making payments on time. If you don’t have perfect credit, you may still qualify for an installment loan with a co-signer. A co-signer is someone who agrees to repay the loan in the event of default.

If you’re not sure if an installment loan is right for you, there are a few other options to consider. For example, personal loans and lines of credit have their own advantages and can be used for various purposes. However, personal loans generally have higher interest rates than installment loans. Lines of credit, on the other hand, can be a good option for borrowers who need flexibility in how they repay their debt.

Whichever type of loan you choose, be sure to shop around and compare offers from multiple lenders. Make sure to read the terms and conditions carefully before signing any loan agreement. And, as with any type of loan, make sure you can afford the monthly payments before taking out a loan.

The different types of installment loans

There are several types of installment loans. The most common type is a mortgage, which is used to purchase a home. Mortgages are generally repaid over a period of 15 to 30 years. Other types of installment loans include auto loans, student loans, and personal loans.

  • The car loan is used to finance the purchase of a new or used vehicle. Auto loans are generally repaid over a period of two to seven years.
  • Student loans are used to finance the cost of college or higher education. Student loans are generally repaid over a period of five to 20 years.
  • Personal loans can be used for a variety of purposes, such as consolidating debt or financing a major purchase. Personal loans are generally repaid over a period of two to five years.

The borrower’s credit history will be a major factor in determining the interest rate and other parameters of the installment loan. Compared to alternative financing options, a borrower with a poor credit rating might not qualify for an installment loan with a favorable interest rate and payment size. However, a low credit score does not always prevent you from obtaining an installment loan. Never hesitate to check with a lender to determine if you are prequalified for a loan without it affecting your credit score.

If you’re considering an installment loan, be sure to shop around and compare offers from multiple lenders. Make sure to read the terms and conditions carefully before signing any loan agreement. And, as with any type of loan, make sure you can afford the monthly payments before taking out an installment loan.

What you need to know before taking out an installment loan

Before taking out an installment loan, there are a few things you need to know.

First, installment loans can be used for a variety of purposes, such as financing a major purchase or consolidating debt.

Second, when shopping for an installment loan, be sure to compare offers from multiple lenders. And third, make sure you can afford the monthly payments before taking out an installment loan.

When you are ready to apply for an installment loan, be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully before signing any loan agreement. And, as with any type of loan, make sure you can afford the monthly payments before taking out a loan.

By adding a history of on-time payments to your credit report, installment loans can boost your credit score. They can also diversify your credit mix, as the different forms of credit you’ve successfully managed affect your credit score.

If you are considering a BridgePayday installment loan, be sure to keep these things in mind. Installment loans can help you finance a major purchase or consolidate debt, but it’s important to compare offers from multiple lenders and make sure you can afford the monthly payments before taking out a loan.

Author Bio: Julie Snearl, Senior Personal Finance Writer at BridgePayday

An editor and writer for over a decade, writing and editing finance for the national technical and mainstream readership, Julia Snearl is the Personal Finance Editor at BridgePayday. Her background in business book publishing also includes working as the Graphics Editor of Ahead of the Curve. With over 3 years of experience editing content for finance on BridgePayday, Julie is interested in learning how to use digital content to help people make better financial choices.

Americans should be able to sponsor refugees who can stay permanently



The war in Ukraine has created one of the biggest refugee crises since World War II, with an estimated 7 million people fleeing the country. While some have since returned, and some have settled elsewhere in Europe, there are still many who need permanent refuge. Unfortunately, the US refugee system is proving relatively unhelpful.

Even before President Donald Trump, the refugee resettlement process was slow and tedious, but Trump has made matters worse by reducing annual refugee quotas to a minimum of 18,000 for fiscal year 2020 and 15,000 for fiscal year 2020. 2021, before Biden increased it, which in turn led to many resettlement organizations closing or downsizing. President Biden raised the 2021 cap to 62,500 in May of that year – and set a cap of 125,000 for 2022 – but was unable to restore the resettlement infrastructure that Trump undermined. As a result, the highest quotas remain largely unfilled, with a record 11,411 refugees admitted in 2021, although many more would love to come. Even in the current fiscal year, the administration expects to fall well short of its target, Axios reports.

The Biden administration has tried to ease the impasse — at least for Ukrainian victims of Russian aggression — by creating the Uniting for Ukraine program, under which private citizens can sponsor Ukrainian refugees. Ukrainians wishing to enter must first obtain a US sponsor, who must prove they can financially support the newcomer for two years; they must also pass certain health and safety checks. Ukrainians can apply for permission to work but can only stay for two years. US sponsors have filed applications on behalf of some 60,000 Ukrainians under this policy. The administration has pledged to help at least 100,000 Ukrainians move overall.

The war in Ukraine is set to be one of the bloodiest in modern history

The program is a good start, but could be improved by adapting a similar, better run Canadian program.

Since 1979 — inspired by the massive number of people displaced by the Vietnam War and its aftermath — Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees program has enabled ordinary people and community groups to support refugees financially and otherwise for 12 months (or up to that the refugee is self-reliant, whichever comes first). Sponsors can be private citizens working together (a “group of five”) or a group that has a sponsorship agreement with the Canadian government, such as a religious institution or cultural organization. In a stark contrast to the US program, refugees can stay permanently after the sponsorship period, and the program is not limited to people from specific nations. Combining financial assistance with more personal support, such as helping refugees find language lessons or enrolling their children in school, gives refugees a chance to get started on track. Recipients of private assistance must be a refugee as defined by the United Nations (or according to a few other criteria). In 2022, Canada’s target number for privately sponsored refugees is 31,255, while the target for government-sponsored refugees is 19,790. Relative to the size of Canada’s population – a just over a tenth of that of the United States — those numbers are several times higher per capita than Biden’s unmet quota of 125,000.

Privately sponsored refugees tend to be better educated than government-assisted refugees, but even after controlling for these variables, a recent Canadian study found that privately sponsored people had lower rates of employment and higher incomes than those sponsored by the government.

The Canadian program is superior to the US Uniting for Ukraine program in part because it offers refugees a permanent solution. How many Ukrainians admitted under the US program will be able to return home in two years? The Russian-Ukrainian war shows few signs of ending, and even if it ends tomorrow, many Ukrainians may not be able to return to destroyed towns and homes. Past refugee crises, such as those triggered by the Syrian civil war, make it clear that many people forced to flee war zones are in need of new, permanent housing.

Opening up sponsored resettlement to people facing a multitude of dangers around the world, as Canada does, makes more sense than a temporary program targeting one nationality. To take just one example, the United States should open its doors to Russians fleeing the growing oppression of Vladimir Putin’s regime. We should welcome people fleeing war and repression, regardless of race, ethnicity or nationality.

Creating a program more like Canada’s could help the United States meet the moral imperative to help Ukrainians and other refugees (permanently, not just temporarily). It would also help advance US economic and strategic interests. Studies show that migrants strengthen the US economy and contribute disproportionately to scientific and technological innovation, and that even refugees are net contributors to the public purse. Moreover, accepting them deprives hostile governments of precious human resources and strengthens our position in the international war of ideas against Putin and other authoritarians. Refugees from allied countries, such as Ukraine, can also help their home countries by sending remittances home and promoting political liberalization; studies indicate that having a diaspora in advanced liberal democracies often has a liberalizing effect on countries of origin. Given all of these benefits, we argue that there should be no cap on the number of privately sponsored refugees—or, if political factors dictate, the cap should be very generous.

Adopting a version of the Canadian system could also save taxpayers’ money. Canadian private sponsors often spend $28,000 or more to support refugees and their families in that crucial first year (roughly what the government spends on the refugees it helps). Sponsored refugees are not eligible for social assistance during the sponsorship period, unless the sponsor breaks their agreement, in which case the government may demand repayment from the sponsoring group.

Canada’s private sponsorship system has flaws. Limiting the program, as Canada does in some cases, to people who meet the strict definition of a refugee, as established by the United Nations, is arguably too onerous. The UN definition only covers those whose “life or freedom would be threatened because of [their] race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion”. Many people fleeing war, as opposed to repression based on race or religion – including many Ukrainian migrants today – do not fit these parameters. The United States would do well to omit these limitations.

Private resettlement of refugees would allow the United States to augment its damaged refugee system, thereby helping many more people, saving taxpayers money, and advancing United States strategic and economic interests. The United States should learn from Canada’s example — and improve on it.

Putin is already at war with Europe. There’s only one way to stop it | Simon Tisdall

JIt’s time to wake up and feel the cordite. Like the shockwaves of an exploding missile, Vladimir Putin’s War on the Edge of Europe is moving rapidly westward, smashing its way through the front doors of homes, businesses and venues. working from Berlin to Birmingham. Its fallout sows a toxic rain of instability, hardship and fear.

The idea that the Ukrainian conflict could be confined to Ukraine – NATO’s great politically convenient illusion – and that Western sanctions and arms shipments would stop the Russians has always been nonsense. Now, enraged by Kyiv’s stubborn resistance and determined to punish his tormentors, Putin’s goal is the impoverishment of Europe.

By weapon energy, food, refugees and information, the Russian leader is spreading economic and political pain, creating conditions of war for all. A long, cold European winter filled with calamities, power shortages and unrest looms. And like a coin-operated gas meter, the price of the timidity and short-sightedness of Western leaders is rising hour by hour.

Russia’s destabilization operations, social media manipulation, cyberattacks, diplomatic doublespeak, nuclear blackmail, as well as its relentless massacre of civilians in Ukraine, will only intensify Europe’s state of siege in the months to come. The West’s fanciful belief that it could avoid a continent-wide escalation is rapidly evaporating.

Although not entirely due to Putin’s war, Europe now faces fundamental challenges as big or bigger than the financial crash of 2008, Brexit or the pandemic. Yet many European and British politicians hide in denial. If, as expected, the gas stops flowing and the lights go out, it won’t just be about closed factories, lost jobs and depressed markets.

Frozen pensioners, starving children, empty supermarket shelves, unaffordable increases in the cost of living, devalued wages, strikes and street protests point to Sri Lankan meltdowns. An exaggeration? Not really. Blowback, stoked by Putin admirers far rightis already gaining ground in Greece and Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.

Also in prospect is a splintering of EU solidarity as national governments compete for scarce resources. Brussels is due to publish a “winter preparation plan” this week. But its provisions are vague and unenforceable. The broader context is the absence of an agreed and implemented EU-wide energy policy.

Despite promises of bilateral cooperation, a total Russian cut could pit country against country, further inflate prices and split the anti-Moscow coalition. In such a scenario, Putin would demand sanctions relief in exchange for the resumption of supplies, just as he blocked Black Sea grain.

Germany, which depends on imports, is already taking unilateral steps to seek alternative oil and gas suppliers. A the national emergency has come closer after Moscow closed the Nord Stream I gas pipeline last Monday. Many in Berlin fear (and some environmentalists hope) that the shutdown – and any subsequent rationing – will become permanent.

Robert Habeck, German vice-chancellor, publicly worried about a “political nightmare”. Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of Finance, seemed equally panicked Last week. He predicted an impending gas cut. Having become Napoleonic, he urges European countries to put themselves in “battle order”. But as in 1812, Russia has “General Winter”.

As if the growing misery of millions of people weren’t disheartening enough, consider also the impact of war on efforts to address the climate and biodiversity crises. In the UK and elsewhere, net zero targets seem increasingly likely to be abandoned.

Because Europe faces “very, very strong disputes and disputes” this winter over energy prices, it should make a short-term return to fossil fuels, suggested Frans Timmermans, vice-president of the European Commission. Once again, Germany is leading by example by increasing electricity production from coal-fired power plants. Once again the West is looking to the tyrannical oil sheikhs of the Gulf for salvation.

A chaotic winter in Europe could also strain relations with the United States. By comparison, America’s post-pandemic recovery is more advanced, its economy more resilient, its energy costs much lower. Yet it is US President Joe Biden’s overcautious leadership of NATO that has led Europe into this geopolitical cul-de-sac, even as the weakened euro slips below the dollar.

For Europeans, as they relearn at their expense, all wars are local. For Americans, as always, all wars are foreign.

Sanctions, economic aid and other non-military measures favored by Biden were never going to be enough to bring Putin to heel. Some observers suspect that a stalemate that slowly bleeds Russia serves US goals, regardless of the collateral damage. Yet, right now, it is Putin who is bleeding Europe. Sanctions backfire or misapplied. His energy chests swell. And Ukrainians aside, the pain is felt disproportionately by less wealthy European and developing countries. As instability grows, the divergence between the United States and Europe will fuel the pressure to change course.

The obvious escape route is a land-for-peace deal with Putin, made over the corpses of Ukraine. This kind of shoddy selling has influential advocates. If (and it’s a big “if”) Russia were to return to normal, it would alleviate Europe’s suffering – but probably not Ukraine’s.

Yet such an agreement would also constitute an unprecedented disaster for future peace and security on the continent and in the world as well. Think of Taiwan. Or Estonia. This would destroy the sovereign integrity of democratic Ukraine.

Fortunately, there is an alternative: to use the overwhelming power of NATO to turn the tide military.

As previously stated here, direct, focused, and forceful Western action to repel Russia’s repulsive horde is not a vote for World War III. This is the only possible way to end this escalation of horror quickly while ensuring that Putin and those who might emulate him do not profit from anarchic butchery.

Anxious to inflict maximum disruption, Putin openly threatens the heart of European democracy. The writing is on the wall and can no longer be ignored. Enough of half-measures and dithering! NATO should act now to force Putin’s marauding troops back within Russia’s recognized borders.

It’s not just Ukraine that needs saving. It is also Europe.

‘Meet the right people,’ say NJ cannabis industry insiders at sold-out business networking event


More than 200 motivated cannabis businesspeople gathered in Asbury Park this week for NJ Cannabis Insider’s first networking event since hitting the legal weed market this spring.

“I came to these [NJ Cannabis Insider] networking events since their launch four years ago. And this is where, whether I introduce people to other people, or get introduced to someone new, this is how I do my marketing,” said Stacey Udell, a partner at HBK CPAs who was among three speakers who spoke about their business networking strategies at the July 14 event. “That’s how I grow my network.”

Fellow panelist Matha Figaro, the owner of cannabis edibles company ButACake, said it’s okay to be bold at these events. “What worse could happen? Someone might say “no” to you, and if they do, who cares? Someone behind you will say “yes”. Just keep doing it. Keep firing your shot.

During a Q&A portion of the conference, Figaro asked members of the audience in the room to raise their hands if they were approved retailers.

After the individuals raised their hands, she said, “If you want to do business with a retailer, here it is. Several people immediately stood up to slip their business cards into the hands of those who had lifted them. Figaro then drew up a small list, arousing similar interest: farmers, industrialists, real estate agents, marketing, security, etc.

Mollie Hartman Lustig, president of cannabis at McLaughlin & Stern Law, rounded out the advice with this:

“Your network extends beyond this room. Your network is in every backyard barbecue you have this summer. It’s in every pool party,” she said, “because you never know who’s involved in that business — and not even who’s involved in that business, but may be involved in an ancillary service that can help you in this endeavor.

Presented by Hance Construction, the sold-out networking session at the Asbury Hotel’s indoor and outdoor banquet space hosted power players not just from New Jersey, but from across the region.

“I talked to people non-stop all night long,” Hance told NJ Cannabis Insider near the end of the rally. Hance Construction’s vendor area featured two large digital screens with QR codes and videos of cannabis facilities he has built. “The turnout was great.”

Hance Construction was recently recognized for excellence in commercial construction operations by NJ Cannabis Insider subscribers at its inaugural awards gala in June. In a Q&A for this week’s issue of NJ Cannabis Insider, Hance talked about the challenges he sees new licensees facing as cities erect barriers to entry and the real estate market seethes.

“You know there’s a process to build or open a facility in New Jersey,” he said, “and it doesn’t matter if you build and open a cannabis facility or a taco facility. You have to go through through all stages.

Other sponsors and vendors included HBK CPAs & Valuations, Cova Software, McLaughlin & Stern law, UFCW, Treez, Zenco and US Payment Services LLC.

Dozens of influencers from Garden State joined the serious networking session, including the president of New Jersey CannaBusiness Ed DeVeauxvice president Mariana Bays and board member Tara “Misu” Sargente, also owner of Blazin’ Bakery; Professor at the University of Stockton and entrepreneur Rob Mejia; Mike McQueeny, Foley Hoag cannabis president and general counsel of the New Jersey Cannabis Trade Association; Gary CohenCEO of Cova Software; Wild PenniDeputy Executive Director of the State Enterprise Action Center; Lou Magazzuowner of Magazzu Law; Hugues Giordanounion representative at UFCW Local 360; Jill Cohenowner of CannaBoss Lady; Gabriel Eustachepartner and vice-president of Puffin; Suzanne Short, NJCTA co-founder and industry consultant; Lou Magazoupartner at Groupe OCan; Nichelle Santos and Jscary booker from CannaCoverage; Jack Palisthe National Cannabis Risk Prevention Service; David CunicCEO of UCS Advisors; Tony Gallo, an executive risk advisory group of Sapphire; among others.

NJ Cannabis Insider is currently working on its next conference, which will take place on September 15 at the Crown Plaza in Princeton. Presented by Weedmaps, the one-day conference will focus on serving New Jersey’s micro-licensees.

“We bill our fall conference as a bootcamp for new businesses and an accelerator for cannabis businesses that have already started,” said Enrique Lavine, publisher and editor of NJ Cannabis insider. “Instead of hosting panels with multiple speakers, we want to create more of a focused classroom with industry leaders as educators. We want attendees to leave with the tools, information and partners they need to succeed.

As part of NJ Cannabis Insider’s commitment to supporting social equity, tickets for qualified minority businesses will receive a significant discount to attend. For more information on the September 15 conference, go here.

“Like any insider who knows NJ Cannabis Insider, tickets are selling out fast. Don’t wait until the last minute to register,” Lavin said.

Additionally, NJ Cannabis Insider, in conjunction with Advance Local, is hosting a live virtual job fair July 25-27. Virtual Employer Booths will remain live until August 23, allowing visitors to explore and apply for jobs at their convenience. Over 4,000 job seekers participated in May’s hiring event. Register here.

NJ Cannabis Insider is a weekly subscription-based online business magazine and event group produced by NJ Advance Media, which also publishes NJ.com, The Star-Ledger and other affiliated newspapers. Are you interested in the NJ cannabis industry? Subscribe here for insider exclusives. follow us on LinkedIn.

About 70% of Russian attacks target non-military targets, says Ukrainian defense spokesman

Rescuers work next to a damaged building the day after a Russian missile strike in Vinnytsia, Ukraine on July 15. (Roman Pilipey/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Relatives of those missing after Thursday’s missile strikes in the central Ukrainian town of Vinnytsia have submitted DNA samples to help officials identify the dead, according to a Ukrainian police chief .

“Fourteen relatives of missing persons have submitted their biological samples,” Ihor Klymenko, head of Ukraine’s national police, said in a statement on Facebook.

“Our specialists have already performed more than 200 comparisons of selected DNA profiles. Twelve of the 19 identified individuals were recognized using this rapid DNA identification technology,” Klymenko added.

Eight people are still missing, according to Klymenko’s statement.

Klymenko also gave details of the three children who died in the attacks – a 4-year-old girl, whose mother is hospitalized, and two boys, aged 7 and 8.

“One of the boys was being examined at the medical center at the time of the attack. He died with his mother. Another was waiting for his uncle in a parked car and fell into a fire trap. A relative of this boy was thrown away by the shock wave, he is now hospitalized, ”said Klymenko.

A bit of context: The Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday that the missile attack in Vinnytsia, central Ukraine, targeted a military installation as a meeting of the Ukrainian Air Force command was taking place.

At least 23 people were killed in the attack according to Ukraine’s state emergency service, including three children. On Thursday, Vinnytsia Police Chief Igor Klymenko said “three Russian missiles targeted a building with offices.”

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called the missile attack “terrorism” and a “deliberate killing of civilians to instil fear”.

In the aftermath of the attack, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the international community to officially recognize Russia as a terrorist state, saying that “Russia has shown its attitude towards international law, towards Europe and the whole civilized world”.

CNN’s Anna Chernova and Chris Liakos contributed to this post.

Synchrony installment payments are coming to Clover POS from Fiserv

Synchrony (NYSE: SYF), a leading consumer finance company, today announced that merchants will now be able to offer a short-term, interest-free payment option, Synchrony SetPay pay in 4 , through Clover Point of Sale and Fiserv, Inc.’s system business management.

This buy now, pay later (BNPL) offering will further expand the reach of Synchrony’s innovative payment and financing options and enable select merchants using Clover to accelerate their growth while providing consumers with more choice and flexibility. especially at the point of sale. »

With more than a third of buyers saying they are more likely to seek out additional financing options today than two years ago,1 ⁠ Synchrony’s SetPay 4-installment payment offering gives customers the ability to make four equal, interest-free payments for purchases typically between $40 and $500 with the first payment due at checkout. The offer will be part of the Pay with Synchrony app available on the Clover App Market for participating merchants using any Clover device. This application will be the first time that a combined private label credit card and BNPL solution will be available for small merchants on the Clover platform.

Rad Air Complete Car Care & Tire Centers, an Ohio-based car and tire service franchise, is implementing SetPay to provide customers with an easy and flexible way to fund purchases with predictable, equal payments over a defined period of time. Rad Air has worked with Synchrony since 2014 as a member of the Synchrony Car Care™ network, which has helped them build customer loyalty and increase sales volume.

“We trust Synchrony to be with us every step of the way to deliver an innovative customer experience as consumer behaviors evolve,” said Bill Snow, vice president of Rad Air Franchise Systems. “It is a game-changer to be able to offer BNPL at the point of sale in our store. We now have everything we need on the Clover device to offer customers more financing and payment solutions adapted to their needs and the get back on the road quickly.”

“The next big opportunity in payments is the ability to offer a variety of products and solutions. SetPay pay in 4 on Clover builds on Synchrony’s growth strategy to expand our products to more customers through more distribution channels,” said Florin Arghirescu, SVP, Chief Product Manager, Synchrony. “Access to SetPay pay in 4 on the Clover App Market can help small businesses grow their customer base and provide the right financing solutions at the right time.”

“Small businesses operate in a competitive environment in which their customers expect to have multiple payment options everywhere they shop,” said Dan Bjerke, head of Clover at Fiserv. “As consumer adoption of buy-it-now and pay-later continues to grow, it’s important that Clover can provide businesses with easy access to these flexible payment solutions, including offerings such as SetPay pay in 4 from Synchrony.”

Synchrony offers a wide range of revolving credit and installment loan options in a variety of channels, including SetPay pay in 4, SetPay monthly installment loans for up to 84 months, and a variety of equal payment solutions offered by the through revolving credit programs.

Missiles hit stores, event hall in Ukraine; died at 23

VINNYTSIA, Ukraine – A volley of Russian cruise missiles hit a shopping mall, dance studio and wedding venue in Vinnytsia, central Ukraine, on Thursday, killing at least 23 people and sparking a frantic search for dozens others lost in the rubble. the last strike to hit a civilian area away from the front lines.

The US Embassy in Kyiv issued a security alert late Thursday urging all US citizens remaining in Ukraine to leave immediately. The alert, which appeared to be a response to the day’s attack, claimed that large gatherings and organized events “could serve as Russian military targets anywhere in Ukraine, including its western regions”.

Three children were among the dead in Vinnytsia, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office said. The attack involved three Kalibr cruise missiles which struck the city around 10:30 a.m. and were launched from a submarine in the Black Sea, his office said.

More than 70 people, including three children, were hospitalized after the missiles hit the center of a typically sleepy provincial capital about 200 miles from the coast, and left behind a harrowing scene of smoldering ruins.

Grooms once carried their brides out of the wedding hall, a well-known local landmark, and a building next door was the site of a photography studio where a steady stream of children had their pictures taken for school yearbooks . Even hours after the strike, as firefighters poured water on the smoldering carcasses of overturned cars, passers-by were in shock.

Ukraine’s state emergency service said more than two dozen people remained missing as of Thursday evening. He said a search effort was underway in the rubble of a part of town where people typically shopped at the mall for household items or attended celebrations in the wedding hall.

“Every day Russia destroys the civilian population, kills Ukrainian children, directs rockets at civilian objects,” Zelenskyy said. “What is this if not an act of open terrorism?”

More than 50 buildings were damaged in the attack, Viktor Vitovetsky, an emergency services official, said at a news conference on Thursday. Dozens of emergency crew members were helping clear the rubble and search for survivors, he said.

The Russian Defense Ministry did not comment on the strike.

Vinnytsia, which had a pre-war population of over 370,000, lies west of the Dnieper, hundreds of kilometers from the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, in the center of the Moscow’s military campaign in recent weeks. The area has not seen any major attacks since early March, days after the Russian invasion, when Russian cruise missiles hit an airport in the city.

Thursday’s attack on Vinnytsia and the missile strikes at the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, which the city council said damaged two school buildings, are the latest examples of Russia’s willingness to launch attacks against populated civilian areas.

National Police Chief Ihor Klymenko said only six bodies had been identified so far, while 39 people were still missing. Three children under 10 among the dead. Of the 66 people hospitalized, five remained in critical condition while 34 were seriously injured, Ukraine’s state emergency service said.

Vinnytsia region governor Serhiy Borzov said 36 apartment buildings were damaged and residents were evacuated, while a 24-hour hotline was set up to get information on injured or missing persons. Thursday was declared a day of mourning, he said.

Margarita Simonyan, head of Russian state-controlled TV channel RT, said on her messaging app channel that military officials told her a building in Vinnytsia was being targeted because it housed “Nazis “Ukrainians.

In June, a missile hit a shopping complex in Kremenchuk, a town south of Kyiv on the Dnieper, killing 18 people. A nearby factory was a potential military target. In April, a Tochka-U ballistic missile hit a train station in Kramatorsk, killing 59 people, including seven children. A hundred other people were injured.

Some military analysts have said such strikes suggest Russia lacks precision weapons and resorts to random fire on targets, oblivious to collateral deaths. Others see it as an intentional campaign of brutality designed to break Ukraine’s will to resist.

“The way war is fought in this part of the world has always been brutal,” said Evelyn Farkas, director of the McCain Institute and former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia. , about Russian tactics. “The violation of the human rights of civilians has always been part of war.”

Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov said the attack mirrors previous ones on residential areas that Moscow launched “to try to pressure Kyiv into making concessions”.

“Russia used the same tactic when hitting the Odessa region, Kremenchuk, Chasiv Yar and other areas,” Zhdanov said. “The Kremlin wants to show that it will continue to use unconventional methods of warfare and kill civilians in defiance of Kyiv and the entire international community.”


Russian forces also continued their artillery and missile attacks in eastern Ukraine, mainly in the Donetsk region after overtaking the adjacent Luhansk region. The town of Lysychansk, the last major Ukrainian resistance stronghold in Luhansk, fell to Russian forces earlier this month.

Lugansk and Donetsk together form Donbass, a predominantly Russian-speaking region of steelworks, mines, and other industries that fueled Ukraine’s economy.

Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko meanwhile urged residents to evacuate as “quickly as possible”.

“We urge civilians to leave the area, where there is a lack of electricity, water and gas after the Russian shelling,” Kyrylenko said in televised remarks. “The fighting is intensifying and people should stop risking their lives and leave the area.

At the front, Russian and Ukrainian militaries are seeking to replenish their depleted stocks of unmanned aerial vehicles to locate enemy positions and guide artillery strikes.

Both sides are looking to procure advanced jamming-resistant drones that could provide a decisive advantage in combat. Ukrainian officials say the demand for such technology is “tremendous” with crowdfunding efforts underway to raise the necessary funds.

In other developments:

• Russian-installed officials in the Zaporizhzhia region of southeastern Ukraine have announced plans to hold a referendum in early September on the region’s integration into Russia. Large parts of Zaporizhzhia are now under Russian control, as is most of neighboring Kherson. Kremlin-backed administrations in both regions have declared their intention to become part of Russia. Separatist leaders of the self-proclaimed “republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk have also announced similar plans.

• Russia’s parliament speaker visited separatist-held areas in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, hours after Kremlin-installed officials in the country’s south announced they would hold a referendum on joining Russia. According to Russian news agencies, Vyacheslav Volodin spoke about the need to harmonize legislation between Russia and the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic in his speech to the territory’s self-proclaimed legislative assembly. He said Moscow and the separatists must “create a single legal field” in health, education, public services and social protections.

• Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday signed into law a bill banning the dissemination of information about Russian companies and individuals who may be subject to international sanctions. The law explicitly prohibits the publication on the Internet or in the media – without written permission – of any information about transactions carried out or planned by Russian natural or legal persons engaged in foreign economic activity. It also suspends for three years the mandatory publication of key financial and governance information by large Russian public companies.

Information for this article was provided by Maria Varenikova and Andrew E. Kramer of The New York Times; and by Maria Grazia Murru and Hanna Arhirova of The Associated Press.

A Soviet MiG-21 fighter jet, part of a monument honoring the Ukrainian Air Force, sits among burnt-out vehicles on Thursday after a Russian cruise missile struck in the central Ukrainian town of Vinnytsia, killing at least 23 people and injuring dozens. (AP/Efrem Lukatsky)

Gallery: Images from Ukraine, month 5

Buhari promises more support to the army

President Muhammadu Buhari celebrated the sacrifices and successes of the Nigerian military in the courageous defense of the country.

During the graduation ceremony of 247 students from the Upper 44 course of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, President Buhari pledged that his administration would continue to provide the necessary support to eliminate terrorists and the insurgents.

The President noted that most of the security challenges facing the world today were both asymmetric and cross-border, mainly involving non-state actors in different regions and sub-regions of the world.

”Nigeria’s armed forces are working tirelessly to improve their combat effectiveness, operational capability and training necessary to eliminate threats, in synergy with other institutions and nations. The response of the Nigeria Armed Forces to the Boko Haram insurgency, banditry, militancy, kidnappings as well as the activities of separatists and armed militias, among others, has been commendable”. He stated.

“This government will continue to provide the necessary guidance and support to ensure the desired results are achieved,” he said.

”We have witnessed recent terrorist attacks in Nigeria bearing the hallmark of domestic and cross-border insurgents trying to wreak havoc in Nigeria as well as neighboring countries. It will be your duty to confront these terrorists and insurgents and wipe them off the face of the earth and bring peace to our countries,” the president told the graduate students. The president said.

President Buhari described the specifics of their training, which focused primarily on countering security threats, as very important, adding that “effectively countering common security threats requires African countries to continue to work together. at all levels, whether tactical, operational or strategic.

President Buhari emphasizes multinational partnership

Assessing the ongoing collaboration of the armed forces of Nigeria, Cameroon, the Republic of Niger, the Republic of Benin and Chad in a multinational operation to counter the Boko Haram insurgency in the Lake Chad region, the President said she had been productive, commendable and successful.

The President said that the past 12 years have been very difficult for our nation, given the various security threats that have beleaguered the country.

”Our government stands ready to promote national security and development, as well as remain committed to promoting a vision of a safe, secure, just, peaceful, prosperous and strong Nigeria. We will employ all elements of our national power to ensure security, a just society, peaceful coexistence, national unity and sustainable development while promoting our good reputation internationally,” he noted.

President Buhari said he was delighted that among the graduating students were international officers from brotherly African countries, saying he was sure they enjoyed the friendliness of the country during their stay.

Describing Nigeria as one of the most hospitable countries to visit and stay despite its diversity and challenges, the President enjoined the 44 course scholars to have fond memories of the 40+ year college which prepares officers leadership at the tactical and operational level, focusing on national security, joint planning processes, interagency cooperation and operations, and multinational integration.

Graduating students

President Buhari told the graduate students that their participation in the course was a further testament to national security aspirations to promote international peace, friendship and cooperation.

”To the graduate students of ministries, departments and agencies in Nigeria, you have indeed vindicated the trust placed in you by your respective organisations. Congratulations!

“We must especially commend the wives of the graduates here for keeping the home front and without whose sacrifices there would have been no celebrations for many here today,” he said.

President Buhari also commended the Commandant and his team for turning the graduating students into highly refined products and for the ongoing works to expand and modernize the facilities of the College.

“Your efforts maintain the College’s status as a reputable mid-level military training institution. I therefore congratulate the College Board and the Commandant and his staff for these remarkable achievements.

”This government will continue to support the College in its development efforts. My administration will also continue to prioritize the training and welfare of the officers and men of our armed forces.

“You graduate students should realize that the nation has made a lot of investment in your education up to this point in your respective careers.

”I’m confident you’ve been groomed enough in character and learned to handle the challenges you’ll face down the road.

”For the graduating Nigerian students among you, graduation today is a call to duty in the service of our country. Nigeria expects the best from you in terms of loyalty, commitment to duty and service to your motherland.

“Therefore, you should strive to make honest and positive contributions to the discharge of the constitutional responsibilities of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, your strategic ministries, departments and agencies and be good ambassadors of the Command College and of the General Staff of the Armed Forces”, the president said.

Intensive training for attendees

Earlier, the Commandant of the College, Air Vice Marshal Olurotimi Tuwase explained that 111 army officers, 69 navy officers, 42 air force officers, 10 students from organizations paramilitaries and ministries, departments and agencies, as well as 15 international students have completed the 48-week intensive training, culminating in the Pass Staff Course, PSC.

AVM Tuwase said the 44 international students in the upper course come from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania , Togo and Zambia.

The Commandant thanked the President for his unwavering support to the College, noting that students at the prestigious school have been sufficiently trained and equipped with the staff and leadership skills to enable them to face most challenges in their careers.

President Buhari presented PSC certificates and awards to some graduates, as well as top graduate students.

Major Sunday Olayinka Atomode won the Minister of Defense Award for Highest Overall Rating, the Chief of Defense Staff Award for Joint Studies Department and the Chief of Staff Award of the Army for the Department of Land Warfare.

Lt. Commodore Godwin Emeka Okutue won the Navy Chief of Staff Award for the Maritime Warfare Department, Squadron Leader Peter Chika Echeazu won the Navy Chief of Staff Award for the Air Warfare Department, while the Commander’s Award for Outstanding Non-Military Student went to Ajiamah, and Major Dankwoh of Ghana, for Outstanding International Student.

Reporting by Abdullah Bello; edited by Adeniyi Bakare

Photos of the event

Bison sentenced to life without parole in Mandan man’s death | Accident and incident

A South Dakota man will serve life in prison for intentionally running over a 77-year-old Mandan who was picking up his granddaughter after an early morning sports practice last March.

A judge weighed Wade Bison’s fate only briefly during a hearing on Wednesday before handing down the sentence which offers no chance of parole. It’s a phrase that Erwin Geigle’s family members said they searched for, but that doesn’t end the loss of a man they called “Swervin’ Erwin,” a nod to her prowess on the dance floor.

South Central District Judge Douglas Bahr sentenced Bison on lesser felony charges before returning to the most serious charge of murder. He said his only decision after hearing comments from a lawyer and testimony from a probation officer was whether Bison, 39, should be given the option of parole.

“I don’t think we can stress enough the seriousness of this situation,” the judge said, calling it “horrible, unprovoked and random.”

In April, Bison pleaded guilty to murder in the March 21 death of Geigle, 77, who was at the All Seasons Arena complex picking up her granddaughter from morning sports practice.

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Geigle was punched and killed multiple times in the parking lot of the arena, which is right next to the high school, police said.

There was no provocation by Geigle that prompted Bison to hit him with his pickup truck, Morton County Assistant Attorney Gabrielle Goter said. Bison had to slam on his brakes when Geigle walked past him, which angered Bison. He left exhaustion marks on the sidewalk as he accelerated and hit Geigle, who tried to get up but couldn’t because Bison “kicked him down two more times”, said the prosecutor.

“It should never have happened,” Goter said, referring to Bison’s criminal history of 54 prior convictions, including a one-year incarceration. He was offered “opportunity after opportunity” through probation and programs.

“And yet here we are. An innocent man lost his life just for crossing the street to pick up his granddaughter,” Goter said.

On Wednesday, Bison did not address the court before or after sentencing. Defense attorney Steve Balaban, at Bison’s request, asked Bahr for a 10-year prison sentence, five of which were suspended, and a term of probation to be determined by the court. If the sentence was life, Balaban requested that it be accompanied by the possibility of parole.

“Mr. Bison is not an old man, he’s not a young man,” Balaban said. “I think with a prison sentence he can redeem himself and be fit to reenter society.”

Bison’s sentencing request was “almost offensive to the court,” Bahr said.

“Nothing was done to warrant any action towards the deceased,” Bahr said. Some of Bison’s past convictions were non-violent, but when he was given the opportunity to be helped to become a productive member of the community, he refused and continued to engage in behavior “harmful to himself and to others.” others,” the judge said.

Life without parole was an appropriate sentence because this pattern would likely continue and community members would be put at risk if Bison was not incarcerated, Bahr said.

The judge also ordered Bison to pay restitution of approximately $10,000 for funeral expenses and damage to the arena.

“Sweet in Everything”

That March morning was the day Geigle picked up her granddaughter from training, said Evelyn Snyder, who is married to Geigle’s nephew.

“He was a great, great man,” Snyder said. “He was so sweet in everything, just a very, very easy-going, sweet guy.”

Geigle and his wife, Jeanette, who weren’t in the courtroom, loved to dance the polka and jitterbug, with other dancers sometimes clearing a circle in an attempt to stay away, Snyder said. She said Jeanette Geigle can accept the fact that her husband is gone, but not the way he died.

“It’s his biggest injury,” Snyder said.

Dennis Snyder, Erwin Geigle’s nephew, said the family had hoped for the life sentence without parole. Although they understood this, it does not bring closure.

“Not yet,” he said. “We’re just going to have to learn to live with it because nothing’s going to bring it back. It’s something you’ll never recover from. »

During a court appearance in April, Bison told Bahr he got upset because Geigle walked ahead of him. He said he put his foot on the accelerator “just to rev the engine”, but hit Geigle. When he saw the extent of Geigle’s injuries “I thought there was nothing I could do, nothing I could do. I freaked out,” Bison said. “I just closed my eyes and hoped I had mercy on him.”

During this hearing, Bahr asked Bison if he intentionally ran over Geigle to ensure he was dead.

In April, Bison also pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident involving death, terror and reckless endangerment, as well as counts of criminal mischief and driving with a suspended license.

Rescuers heard Geigle’s phone ringing in the parking lot, Goter said. Jeanette later told authorities she tried to reach him.

The truck’s movements were also captured on surveillance video, including the truck rolling over a figure on the ground that was in the same position as Geigle’s body. The truck caused damage estimated at $1,800 to the arena.

Witnesses said the stolen Ford F-250 pickup truck “quickly left” the parking lot where teachers, students and parents were coming and going. A teacher said he was almost hit.

“No attempt was made by the driver of the (pickup) to check for damage or injuries to Geigle before recklessly leaving the scene,” according to a police affidavit.

Bison was arrested by Bismarck police later the morning of March 21 after an accident on State Street that sent the stolen pickup truck he was driving and a stolen SUV he was towing down an embankment and into a chain-link fence at the exterior of Motel 6. The crash followed a police chase that reached speeds of up to 50 mph.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of theft, fleeing a police officer with risk of death or serious injury, and possession of drug paraphernalia, as well as misdemeanor driving with suspension. The most serious of these charges carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. He will be sentenced Thursday on these charges.

In an affidavit, police said Bison was a known meth user and had two used syringes in his pants pocket when he was arrested. Authorities initially said Bison was from Bismarck or Fargo. He told Bahr during his plea change hearing that he was from Wakpala, South Dakota.

North Dakota court records show Bison has a long history of alcohol, drug and driving convictions dating back to 2003, including incidents last year. During one such incident, he told Mandan police his name was Rico Havoc.

Vertex begins US Navy’s $850 million maintenance work

MADISON, Mississippi, July 13. Feb. 1, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Vertex Company, a V2X company (NYSE: VVX), has begun work on a contract worth up to $850 million from the U.S. Navy after the award was confirmed by government protest American against the offer decisions. Vertex previously announced the contract, which is to maintain test aircraft for the US Navy, in April 2022.

Vertex will maintain aircraft for Naval Test Wing Atlantic, known as NTWL, which has five squadrons comprising a range of fixed-wing, rotary and unmanned aircraft. The aircraft supported by this contract perform a variety of test and evaluation missions and operate at the US Naval Test Pilot School.

“Vertex is expanding its skilled team who will work closely with the Navy to service the aircraft used to test and evaluate emerging capabilities,” said Ed Boyington, president and CEO of The Vertex Company. Boyington graduated from the US Naval Test Pilot School.

As part of the transition process, The Vertex Company is hiring Aircraft Technicians with a strong preference for those currently employed on the contract. A complete list of opportunities for skilled craftsmen and support positions available in Patuxent River, MD is available on the company’s website: https://vtxco.com/welcome-new-naval-test- wing-atlantic-teammates/.

The Vertex Company provides turnkey vertically integrated lifecycle support, from concept definition, through engineering and manufacturing, to end-of-life support for complex systems. Our offerings include all levels of aircraft maintenance, global contractor logistics support, systems engineering and integration, specialized on-site mission execution, high impact training programs and integrated Supply Chain.

In July 2022, Vertex and Vectrus merged to form V2X, one of the world’s leading providers of mission critical solutions and support to defense customers. The company offers a complete suite of integrated solutions in the operations and logistics, aerospace, training and technology markets to national security, defense, civilian and international customers. The global team of approximately 14,000 employees brings innovation to every stage of the mission lifecycle, from readiness to operations to sustainment.

For more information about The Vertex Company, visit www.vtxco.com.


“Normal or with meat?” : All Burger King items are plant-based in an Austrian experience, meat must be requested – vegconomist


July 13, 2022


Shortly after announcing that one in three Burger King burgers sold in Belgium is meatless, and in some places even one in two, BK reveals that from now on almost the entire Burger King range, including popular classics, will be served on a vegetable basis in Austria, unless meat is specified.

The fast-food giant has already demonstrated what the future could look like during an experiment at a restaurant in Vienna’s Margaretengürtel, where plant-based products have become the new normal. Those who ordered without expressing a particular request for “meat” received a vegetarian burger. And those who wanted to eat the popular meat dishes had to say so explicitly.

Normal or with meat?

Since July 12, the campaign slogan “Normal or with meat?” can be read throughout Austria and on social media. The question has already triggered heated debates on the internet. The associated campaign video on Instagram and YouTube generated nearly 20,000 views on day one under the hashtag #normalodermitfleisch.

BK Austria normal campaign or with meat
© Burger King Austria

“At BURGER KING®, we are making meatless indulgences a permanent part of our menu, because meat no longer comes naturally to everyone. With the provocative question “Normal or meat?” we want to show that we take our customers and their needs seriously. Because now we also serve almost our entire range on a plant-based basis,” says Jan-Christoph Küster, Marketing Director of the TQSR Group, the Austrian master franchisee of Burger King.

“With this question, we want to fuel the social debate and show that our plant alternatives have a confusing taste. Meat is one option, but it’s not the only one. We let our guests free what is normal for them: everyone must have the same taste.

Outsmart harmful element designs

The education department should have a strict inspection team that audits all private schools, madrassas and dar-ul-ulooms for teaching the prescribed curriculum

“War is not black or white; it’s gray. If you don’t fight in the gray zone, you will lose. -Marcus Luttrel
Pakistan’s sinister proxy war plan against India began with simple steps when President Zia Ul Haq formulated the ‘Bleed A Thousand Cuts’ strategy. Its interference in Kashmir has multiplied in varied areas since the plan was executed in the early 1990s with “hybrid warfare”, a term which has now been redefined into a broader form of warfare encompassing many other areas. , the war of the gray zone. Gray Zone Warfare is a novelty that all military thinkers and planners are talking about. Is it old wine in a new bottle? Did we understand ‘ChanakyaNiti’ a bit late? Is it just another term for Hybrid Warfare?
The gray area is the ambiguous or unclear space between black and white. It is a state between the war and the continuum of peace. It involves the use of non-military means against the adversary to his own advantage. In military terms, these are actions that do not provoke full-scale conventional conflict or warfare, but still address the adversary’s vulnerabilities. The traditional spectrum of conflict from sub-conventional to conventional nuclear has now expanded to include many non-traditional areas across the entire strip. These include cyber, covert economic interference, triggering financial scams, counterfeit money, election manipulation, electronic subversion, legal attacks, influence of the target population through disinformation campaigns, diplomacy, narcotics and many other forms. It could be the use of kinetic forms like the use of guerrillas/terrorists or non-state actors. These could be selected for use against an opponent depending on the end state one wishes to achieve. Many, if not all, of them can be employed with ease of denial.
How are subsets from this Gray Zone Warfare used in J&K’s UT? Proxy warfare has entered an era characterized by the use of technology as well as the use of human resources. Every action of Pakistan is in the realm of the gray area and does not cross the threshold that could lead to a conventional reaction on our part. The tools that are now being used to support its ecosystem in the valley involve the use of sleeper cells, Over Ground Workers (OGW), kinetic actions through terrorists trained in Pakistan or recruited locally, a financial support system, influence operations via social media, diplomacy, counterfeit currency and use of drugs to destroy the younger generation, etc. In fact, ideological radicalization as a tool is used by managers on the other side of the line of control to identify gullible young people who are prone to radicalization. All of the above and many more are key ingredients in this form of warfare, which the adversary is waging against India. Since most of the functionality is non-military in nature, the answer must also be in the non-military domain. Pakistan portrays that infiltrated terrorists from different tanzeems have no connection with the Pakistani military, which makes it easy to deny. Replacing LeT (Lashar-eToiba) with TRF (The Resistance Front) is, again, a method of displaying non-attributability to 2 recognized tanzeems operating from Pakistan, to project it as an “in-house” resistance force. Disinformation campaigns through fake pseudonyms on social media, a feature of this war, are also widely exploited through pseudonyms used in Pakistan and other countries by the radicalized diaspora living there or abroad. ‘foreign. Pakistan Intelligence Operatives (PIO) calls and honey trap tools accompanied by cyber hacks associated with the use of AI and Internet of Things have made this war more complex to manage as there is no has no mechanism in place to counter such acts or unleash its own plan against the adversary. . J&K’s civilian administration lacks the means to deal with this non-military threat. While the J&K Army is working hard to counter this imminence, it alone cannot implement a response, which must be a whole-of-government approach. A general framework at the national level should be established, highlighting the approach to be implemented at the national level and at the UT level. Coordination between central agencies and UT is therefore vital.
While the resources within UT exist to deal with the non-military response to the war, it only needs to reorient itself with the belief that it is the duty of the administration and the people of the valley to respond to such threats with a coherent plan. Funding for the terrorist ecosystem operating in the Valley comes from domestic and international sources. J&K’s local backers receive money from abroad, not directly but through various backers based in different parts of the country. Any transactions entering UT through private accounts must be verified for authenticity. The banking system should automatically create a database of these transactions and share it with the NIA/SIA for investigation. A Central Bureau of Economic Intelligence cell under the Ministry of Finance should be established at J&K to deal with all economic offences. All mobile operators should be responsible for sharing data with the Department of Telecommunications. This should include all mobile numbers that are less or erratically used. All used hotspots should be shared automatically. Any calls from abroad, especially from Pakistan, should be reported. The call system on mobile phone applications such as Whatsapp or Telegram and or virtual numbers originating from Pakistan should be immediately put under surveillance. A data analysis unit should be established within the telecommunications department. Likewise, any negative or suspicious content coming out of the Valley via social media should be automatically monitored with location. The Media Wing, Electronic Media Monitoring Centre, National Cyber ​​Security Coordination Center and CERT should have special cells to deal with J&K and have sub-centres in Srinagar/ Jammu. It is necessary to set up its own narrative building and counter propaganda teams in each district to deal with any false propaganda while pushing its own narrative. It is necessary to conduct a sentiment analysis of local people to extract negative views and opinions. All of this requires specialists in each field who must be hired through a special selection process. A team of legal experts in international law, cyber and social media law must be assembled and centrally employed by the judiciary to bring legal action against anyone who tries to defame the nation and the national spirit. Intelligence agencies at the national and UT level need to be equipped and given more authority. All of the above organizations are to be merged at the UT level to form a state Tier 3 security architecture. The education department should have a strict inspection team that audits all private schools, madrassas and dar-ul-ulooms for teaching the prescribed curriculum. Sudden raids on their premises and the installation of video cameras should deter teachers from getting involved in teaching radicalized content.
These threats cannot be addressed by government alone. The role of society is just as important. Responsible citizens are the most important and powerful component of the struggles in this area. Open criticism of the killings of innocents through candlelight marches, announcements in masjids and other forums will weaken the opponent’s resolve. Every troll campaign conducted by a dedicated agency must be supported to create a storm. Social media IDs can be easily blocked if the local population decides to block them collectively. The terrorist families chased by the whole village will break the bond they have in the village. Sarpanchs and panchs must immediately report any strangers in the village to the police through the hotline numbers. No logistical support to the terrorist will significantly reduce his survivability. The recent example, where villagers prevented a terrorist movement by making noise when a Pakistani terrorist tried to enter a house by force, is to be imitated by others. Photos of these terrorists should be put in the public domain. Terrorists have no external support structure; they depend on a few OGWs that must be exhibited by the locals. Close relatives of the local terrorist should be denied any government positions. As a society, Kashmiris should not allow any extremist organization to promote their own evil agenda. Young people must openly and vehemently challenge their ideology and actions. Legal action against these organizations must be strictly enforced. There should be an immediate rebuttal by the people of the
‘Kashmir Card’ played by Pakistan in international forums.
Gray Zone Warfare is rapidly evolving and taking different forms. Simultaneous applications of all tools without any attribution will lead to a precarious situation in J&K. Since the actions of the gray area are non-military in nature, its response must also be in the same form for which government agencies and society must act together in coordination with security forces as part of a whole-of-government approach. . The counter-campaign and its own actions within the state and in Pakistan must be launched simultaneously to counter the nefarious designs of the adversary. “It’s a gray world. Trying to make sense of it based on black-and-white book pages is like trying to build a spaceship with fifth-grade math.
Abhijit Naskar, “The woman on the world: the novel”

Get the financing you need to grow your business with BridgePayday installment loans no credit check –

If you’re looking for a way to get the financing you need to grow your business, no credit check installment loans may be just what you’re looking for. These loans allow you to borrow money without having to worry about your credit score. This can be a great option if you have bad credit or no credit at all. In this blog post, we will discuss how to get the funds you need without a credit check installment loan.

What exactly are bad credit installment loans and how do they work?

Installment loans without a credit check are personal loans that are repaid in monthly instalments. These loans can be used for a variety of purposes, including debt consolidation, home improvement, and major purchases. No credit check installment loans are generally available from online lenders. This type of loan is a great option if you have bad credit or no credit history.

One of the main advantages of BridgePayday installment loans no credit check is that they can help you improve your credit score. By making payments on time, you can build up your credit history and improve your credit score. This can make it easier to approve other loans in the future.

Another benefit of no credit check installment loans is that they offer flexible repayment terms. You can usually choose the term of the loan, as well as the amount of each monthly payment. This can make it easier to tailor the loan to your budget.

Things to consider when taking out installment loans without a credit check

If you’re interested in installment loans with no credit check, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, make sure you understand the terms of the loan. Read the fine print carefully to make sure you know what you are agreeing to. It is also important to shop around and compare rates from different lenders. You don’t want to end up with a loan that has a high interest rate or high fees.

Installment loans with no credit check can be a great way to get the financing you need. Just make sure you fully understand the terms of the loan and look for the best rates.

Benefits of Installment Loans for Entrepreneurs

Installment loans have many advantages for entrepreneurs. One advantage is that the interest rate is usually lower than other types of loans. It can save you money in the long run.

The fact that installment loans can be used for a number of things is another advantage. For example, you can use them to finance a major purchase, restructure a debt, or even make improvements to your home.

Installment loans also benefit from flexible repayment schedules. The term of the loan and the amount of each monthly payment are normally your choice. It may be easier to include the loan in your budget accordingly.

Finally, no credit check installment loan can help you improve your credit score. By making payments on time, you can build up your credit history and improve your credit score. This can make it easier to approve other loans in the future.

If you’re looking for a way to get the financing you need to grow your business, no credit check installment loans may be just what you’re looking for. These loans offer many benefits, including lower interest rates, flexible repayment terms, and the ability to improve your credit score. So if you’re looking for a no credit check loan, be sure to keep these things in mind.

Finding Approval for an Installment Loan with Bad Credit

If you have bad credit, it may seem impossible to get approved for a loan. But there are actually a number of options available to you. One option is no credit check installment loans. These loans can be used for a variety of purposes, including debt consolidation, home improvement, and major purchases. No credit check installment loans are generally available from online lenders. This type of loan is a great option if you have bad credit or no credit history.

You can increase your credit score without a credit check installment loan, which is one of its main advantages. You can build a credit history and increase your credit score by making payments on time. Future loan applications could thus be more easily authorized.

Another benefit is that no credit check installment loans have variable repayment terms. The term of the loan and the amount of each monthly payment are normally your choice. It may be easier to include the loan in your budget accordingly.

Use your installment loan funds responsibly

Once you’ve been approved for an installment loan, it is important to use funds responsibly. One way to do this is to use the money for its intended purpose. For example, if you take out a loan to consolidate your debts, be sure to use the money to pay off your debts. Don’t use the extra money for shopping or vacations.

Another way to use your installment loan responsibly is to make payments on time. By making timely payments, you can improve your credit score and build a good payment history. This can make it easier to approve other loans in the future.

If you are looking for a loan without a credit check, installment loans can be a great option. Just be sure to use funds responsibly and make payments on time. By doing so, you can improve your credit score and build a good payment history. This can help you get approved for other loans in the future.

Alternatives to a free credit check installment loan

If you’re looking for an alternative to no credit check installment loans, there are a few options available. One option is a secured loan. With a secured loan, you will need to provide collateral, such as your house or car, to be approved.

Another option is a cosigner loan. With this type of loan, you will need to find a friend or family member who is willing to co-sign your loan. This can be a good option if you have bad credit, but someone you know has good credit.

If you’re looking for an installment loan but don’t want to go through a lender without a credit check, there are still options available to you. You can try a secured loan or a co-signer loan. Just be sure to shop around and compare offers before settling on a loan.

Author Bio: Julie Snearl, Senior Personal Finance Writer at Bridgepayday

An editor and writer for over a decade, writing and editing finance for the national technical and mainstream readership, Julia Snearl is the Personal Finance Editor in Bridgepayday. Her background in business book publishing also includes working as the Graphics Editor of Ahead of the Curve. Over 3 years of experience editing content for finance on Bridgepayday, Julie is interested in learning how to use digital content to help people make better financial choices.

Links: Support Ukraine; Bannon offers to testify; Latinos and the GOP

On the site of political theology, Rubén Rosario Rodríguez analyzes the war in Ukraine. “The challenge for contemporary Christian theology becomes to affirm Christ’s call to human nonviolence while simultaneously proclaiming God’s judgment against tyranny and abuse,” Rodríguez concludes. “Ukraine is acting in self-defense against a more powerful aggressor (Russia) who has always considered Ukraine part of its empire, so it refuses to consider its actions immoral. Until Russia recognize Ukraine’s sovereignty and renounce its claim to Ukrainian lands and peaceful negotiations are meaningless. Meanwhile, anything but supporting Ukraine in its war of self-defense – by diplomatic means, the use of sanctions, and even military options – subverts the very meaning of justice I agree with almost everything in this finely argued essay.

If you’re looking for a classic definition of “getting jerked off,” look no further than Steve Bannon’s last-minute decision to testify before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol Building. Just before Bannon goes on trial for refusing to honor the committee’s subpoena, he shows up with a memo from his former boss, former President Donald Trump, waiving executive privilege. Politico has history.

ProPublica reports that the right-wing advocacy and research group Family Research Council has filed with the IRS to be considered a church, a designation that allows it significant exemptions from government scrutiny. Here is an issue for churches to stand up and be heard on: One way to destroy religious freedom is if any group can call itself a church. Apparently other bands are doing the same. It’s scandalous.

At The New York Times, Ian Prasad Philbrick talks to Jennifer Medina about his reporting on Texas politics, specifically how and why a growing number of Latino voters are voting Republican. Hint: While there are several dynamics at play, abortion politics doesn’t necessarily help Democrats with Latino voters.

Similarly, in The Washington Post, David Byler examines contests where GOP inroads among Latinos are likely to make an immediate difference, particularly in the Southwest and the country’s three largest states: California, Texas and Florida, all of which have great Latinos. populations.

Andrew Sullivan looked at the similarities and differences between Boris Johnson and Donald Trump in a recent Substack article. His essay, which is worth reading in its entirety, included two particularly relevant paragraphs. Comparing how the Conservative Party held Johnson accountable to how the GOP failed to hold Trump accountable, he writes:

Against this backdrop, the Tory’s dispatch of Boris underscores just how deep the Republican rot runs. They cling to a man who cannot win the popular vote, who despises the Constitution, and who has organized an armed mob to prevent the peaceful transfer of power for the first time in American history. What this reveals, at least to me, is that conservatives still exist as an entity beyond a colored leader, while the GOP seems to have collapsed into the abyss that is the psyche. depraved Donald Trump.

Sullivan is also fair in explaining that Trump and Johnson captured the political dynamics of the mid-2010s in a way that their opponents failed to:

In the mid-2010s, something snapped in the psyche of a critical mass of voters in the US and UK. They felt abandoned by politicians, despised by liberal elites, ignored in the wave of economic globalization, taken for granted by both parties. Struggling to get by, they also felt less and less at home in their own country. For this, they were ridiculed as racist and bigoted or deplorable, or simply ignored.

When Sullivan is good, he is really good.

DoD eases travel restrictions for civilian and other employees

The Pentagon eased travel restrictions for DoD civilian personnel and others, in the first major change to pandemic-related policies since it consolidated policies in early April previously scattered across numerous broadcasts.

The changes: Remove pre-travel virus testing requirements for military service members, DoD family members, DoD civilian employees, and DoD contractor personnel; remove additional guidance related to travel testing requirements, including exceptions to those requirements; and incorporate recommendations regarding pre-travel testing for all travelers arriving in the United States via or from a foreign country.

For example, rather than requiring a virus test between one and three days before international travel and travelers keeping proof of the negative test while travelling, this is now only recommended. However, it continues to advise that travelers should adhere to any stricter policies in place at the destination.

The guidelines are here: https://media.defense.gov/2022/Jul/07/2003031163/-1/-1/0/CONSOLIDATED-DOD-COVID-19-FHP-GUIDANCE-REVISION-1.PDF

More in: Federal Manager’s Daily Report

City of Hope Brings a Taste of Hope to New York City


City of Hope, one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the United States and a leading center for research into diabetes and other life-threatening diseases, today announced that its group of the music, film and entertainment industry will present the 14th annual Taste of Hope event on Thursday, September 15, 2022. After a two-year hiatus, the annual event returns with an in-person celebration, taking place at Three Sixty in downtown Manhattan, New York. Founded by iHeart Media’s Alissa Pollack, Taste of Hope is an elegant evening featuring a distinguished selection of wines from the world’s best private collections, along with an exciting dinner and live and silent auctions. Over the past decade, the event has brought together entertainment industry powerhouses such as Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey and Carrie Underwood and raised more than $3.1 million to improve outcomes for people with cancer. of cancer and diabetes.

For the first time, proceeds from this year’s event will go to support City of Hope’s supportive care programs. As a leader in the field, City of Hope’s Department of Supportive Medicine was the first in the United States to fully integrate into supportive care specialties and clinical patient care, and is one of the largest such programs today. Its programs help patients and families cope with the physical, psychological, social and practical burdens that arise during and after cancer treatment. Despite its proven benefits, supportive care is not widely available in US cancer centers and hospitals. City of Hope is working to increase access to its evidence-based program, which has the potential to reshape standard best practices for cancer care nationwide.

Event founder Pollack leads the Taste of Hope event committee. In addition to being a driving force at one of the industry’s leading media companies through her role as Executive Vice President of Global Music Marketing at iHeart Media, Pollack has shown extensive philanthropic support to City of Hope as part of the Music, Film and Entertainment Industry Board of Directors. . The event committee includes Steve Bartels, music entrepreneur and entertainment director; Tom Corson, Co-Chairman and COO of Warner Records; Shawn “Pecas” Costner, vice president of brand development at Roc Nation Sports; Bruce Gearhart, former president of Bacchus Importers, LTD. ; Peter Gray, EVP and Head of Promotion at Columbia Records; Richard Palmese, CEO of Palmese Entertainment; Antonio “LA” Reid, Founder and Co-Chairman of Hitco Entertainment; Marcus T. Grant; Dave Dyer, senior vice president of promotion and marketing at Warner Records; Mike Easterlin, Co-Chairman of Elektra Music Group; and Greg Thompson, president and partner of Big Loud Management.

For more information on Taste of Hope tickets, please visit CityofHope.org/music-taste.

Athol Daily News – Allyn’s candidate in crowded Democratic primary for Governor’s Council

Posted: 7/10/2022 4:28:56 PM

Modified: 07/10/2022 16:28:41

HOLYOKE — Holyoke attorney Shawn Allyn is one of four Democrats seeking his party’s Sept. 6 nomination to fill the 8th District Governor’s Council seat currently held by East Longmeadow’s Mary Hurley , who announced earlier this year that she would not run for re-election.

Allyn’s roots run deep in Holyoke, being born and raised in the city. He attended Blessed Sacrament, a Catholic elementary and middle school, before attending and graduating from Holyoke Catholic High School. He stayed in the city, where he went to Holyoke Community College, then went on to complete a bachelor’s degree at Westfield State College (now the university). He completed his legal education at what is known today as the Western New England University School of Law.

After graduating from Westfield State, Allyn went to work with the Key program. This, he explained, “is a program that provides outreach services to young people who are engaged with the Department of Youth Services and then the Department of Social Services, where we support parents, follow them and provide direct care services”.

It then moved to the Department of Social Services, which was renamed the Department of Children and Families. During his five years with the agency, he provided care and protection services to women and children, abused children, victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. While working with DCF, Allyn attended law school in the evenings.

After graduating from law school, he served as a clerk in juvenile court, then became an assistant attorney for the city of Holyoke before moving into private practice. He has been with the law firm of Allyn & Ball for just over two decades, serving as lead counsel in more than 2,000 criminal cases and acting as defense counsel in state and federal courts. He is also involved in civil cases, including employment discrimination cases.

Regarding his decision to run for Governor’s Council, Allyn told the Athol Daily News, “I think I’m the most qualified candidate given the vast experience I have practicing in just about every superior court in the state, in the Court of Appeals and in the district courts. Who better to control a judge than someone who has practiced before at least – without exaggeration – 50 different judges throughout my career – probably more that.

“I know the ins and outs of the system, I know the bail laws, I know the sentencing laws, and I think that’s very important.”

Another motivating factor for Allyn is, he said, “to remove politics from this position. This position is far too important for politics, and it has to be qualifications rather than political connections.

“We need to diversify our bench, and I mean the people we appoint to be judges. Judges should reflect the community in which we live. The portrait of retired Superior Court Justice (Springfield) Tina Page was unveiled a few weeks ago. No other black Superior Court justices have been appointed to those four counties in two decades. We have to ask ourselves: ‘Why is this happening?’

Page came off the bench in 2018.

“Our judges must reflect the community in which they are judging,” Allyn continued. “It’s very important to me, and the qualifications of the judges are very important to me. Selecting judges who will keep our communities safe will be the number one priority. »

The Holyoke attorney added, “It’s really important to make sure we have judges who believe in restorative justice for non-violent offenders. It is so important to divert people from our criminal justice system. People focus on why they’re committing the crime – let’s punish them – rather than assessing the big picture to say, “What’s going on here? How can we keep this person out of the criminal justice system? »

Allyn, 52, is single and lives in Feeding Hills, part of Agawam.

His opponents in the Democratic primary are North Adams school board member Tara Jacobs, Springfield attorney Michael Fenton and East Longmeadow attorney Jeffrey Morneau. Palmer resident and Air Force veteran John Comerford is the only Republican in the race.

The 8th District includes the counties of Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire.

Greg Vine can be contacted at [email protected]

The secrets of the Russian artillery war in Ukraine

A report by the UK-based Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think tank reveals fascinating new details about Russian artillery tactics gleaned from face-to-face interviews with Ukrainian soldiers by military analyst Jack Watling and Nick Reynolds.

While the report is worth reading in its entirety here, the article highlights key findings regarding Russia’s artillery-based mode of warfare.

It’s no secret that after Russia’s first ambitious attacks ended in disaster in February-March, from April Russia turned to an attrition style of warfare focused on artillery in eastern Ukraine, hitting Ukrainian units with overwhelming shelling.

Watling observes: “The generally poor performance of the Russian ground forces was increasingly offset by their use of massive artillery fire to facilitate a slow and methodical advance. Sustained shelling gradually displaced the local population and razed settlements and infrastructure that were being defended, forcing the Ukrainian military to abandon the territory after it was devastated.

Heavy shelling gradually dislodged Ukrainian troops from the symbolically important towns of Severodonetsk and Lyschansk in late June, while preventing Ukrainian forces from concentrating with sufficient speed and numbers to counterattack effectively. More worryingly, Watling estimates that Ukrainian personnel losses could now approach parity with those of Russia.

The silver lining is that Ukrainian units repeatedly avoided encirclement and annihilation – which were among Moscow’s initial objectives in the Donbass – through timely and relatively orderly withdrawals, and in fact won around Kherson in southern Ukraine.

Russian artillery has a firepower advantage of more than 3:1

Russia doesn’t actually have a huge quantitative advantage in combat troops over Ukraine (because it’s not fully mobilized) – but it has a lot more artillery and generates a lot more artillery fires.

According to the report, Russian howitzers fire an average of 20,000 shells per day, compared to 6,000 fired by Ukraine. The ratio for artillery rocket and ballistic missile launches is even worse. And Ukraine still risks exhausting its supply of Soviet-standard 152-millimeter shells even faster than Russia.

Russian artillery remains more centralized than expected.

The Russian Army was thought to have decentralized much of the artillery to its key tactical unit, the Tank or Infantry Battalion Tactical Group (BTG), which was supposed to incorporate a powerful (and theoretically more responsive) complement of 1 3 artillery batteries.

But according to the study, the BTGs often have in practice only a modest number of older mortars and howitzers. Instead, the brigade and division command echelons jealously retain control of more modern artillery assets in centralized “artillery tactical groups”.

Additionally, BTG artillery struggled with an incredibly poor communications architecture, requiring units to verify fire missions via unencrypted civilian cell phones, resulting in a cumbersome “kill chain”.

The result, according to the report: “…Russian artillery largely operated independently of – rather than in close support of – its maneuver elements [ie. tanks and infantry]with support fire missions having long delays.

Russian artillery firing. Image credit: Creative Commons.

Russian artillery becomes a lot more effective when tied to drones.

Prior to 2022, the Russian military was seen to have developed a Western-style “reconnaissance fire complex” where advanced drone surveillance assets (specifically Orlan-10 surveillance drones) could unleash precise and timely strikes, aided by digital fire direction/combat management. systems.

This was not obvious at the start of the war due to rushed war preparations, but since then it has been clear that Russia sometimes can implement this doctrine and deliver deadly precision attacks – this is just not a widespread ability, due to the lack of properly trained personnel and computer equipment, in particular communication systems and drones.

For example, when supported by drones, Russian artillery can adjust fire in real time to hit moving targets. Drone spotters also allow the deployment of small sub-units of only one or two guns to carry out effective strikes, rather than full batteries of six guns.

But a lack of competent personnel and equipment (especially the larger Orlan-30 drone, which has a laser designator) led Russian units to waste laser-guided Krasnopol munitions in unguided barrages.

Russia assigns different roles to different types of artillery.

According to Watling, while Russia uses howitzers to attack inconspicuous point targets, multiple rocket launcher systems are often used to impede the movement of Ukrainian forces by laying a curtain of destruction between them and their desired objective.

Counter-battery attacks targeting Ukrainian artillery, as well as Ukrainian drone operators, are the preserve of Tochka-U ballistic missiles and longer-range Russian guns controlled at divisional level: the 2A65 Msta and 2A36 Giatsint towed howitzers, their self-propelled variants 2S19 and 2S5, and the 2S7M Malka 203 mm self-propelled howitzer.

2S7 Malta

2S7 Malka. Image credit: Creative Commons.

This is how the Russian artillery deploys

Ukrainian sources claim that Russian artillery units typically deploy around a third of their maximum firing range from the front line to shield themselves from enemy attack.

Watling writes that “…the mortars are largely positioned at 1.5 km [1 mile] set back from the front line of own troops, artillery tactical groups subordinate to brigades 8 km [5 miles] rear and artillery tactical groups armed with longer range systems dedicated to deep firing at 10-15 km [6-9 miles] return.”

Howitzer units typically deploy in an area of ​​100×300 meters, with 20–40 meters between guns. Rocket launcher units instead use a linear formation, with up to 150 meters separating each launcher truck.

The report also describes Russian units deploying “dummy” artillery batteries consisting of mostly damaged/destroyed guns to deflect and absorb Ukrainian strikes.

Russia’s counter-battery play is slow except when aided by drones.

Counter-battery artillery seeks to eliminate adversary artillery, using radar and acoustic sensors to trace incoming shellfire back to its point of origin. The faster this can be accomplished, the more likely it is that counter-battery fire will catch the attacking battery before it can move.

But according to Watling & Reynolds, the Russian counter-battery is slow, averaging 30 minutes to launch a counter-battery strike. That’s more than enough time for the artillery, even when towed, to fire, hook up to the trucks, and get out of the dodge.

But when networked with a drone spotter, Russian guns can execute accurate counter-battery strikes in just 3-5 minutes. Only Ukraine’s most modern mobile artillery systems, supplied by the West, can fire and fly fast enough to avoid this. As a result, Ukrainian artillery batteries regularly deploy man-portable air defense missiles – preferably optically guided Starstreak/Marlet missiles – to shoot down drones.

Watling notes that Russia has made surprisingly extensive, if not unnecessary, use of Tochka-U ballistic missiles for counter-battery strikes, noting an incident when Three of these powerful but inaccurate weapons were fired from a single Ukrainian M109 Paladin self-propelled howitzer, causing only light damage.


Tochka missile system. Image credit: Creative Commons.

Russian artillery does not fire and does not fire.

While the report notes that Ukrainian units report that they can “consistently evade” Russian counter-battery fire (at least when the drones aren’t around), Russian artillery crews generally didn’t budge after shooting, only moving after to have been attacked, that is to say. ‘catch fire and then toddle.

Ukrainian sources also claim that Russian howitzer crews, when coming under shellfire, usually abandon their guns for cover, even when mounted on a vehicle.

Ammunition supply is Russia’s Achilles’ heel

Russia’s use of artillery may lack finesse by Western standards, but it has always played a dominant role in facilitating the capture of key objectives and inflicting unbearable casualties. How do you tackle such a largely destructive, albeit clumsy, behemoth?

Watling argues that the key is to starve the beast, ie. “…the logistical burden posed by transporting and storing the large amount of shells that allows Russia to continue to maneuver through fire.”

This is because the Moscow ground forces are sadly dependent on rail logistics to supply forces compared to Western armies, lacking adequate trucks and modern palletized load lifting equipment.

Watling writes: “…divisional and brigade-level ammunition depots are large, distinct, difficult to conceal or defend, and slow to move…given the disparity of guns and dearth of fire precision Russians, the quickest way to level the playing field is to allow Ukraine to strike Russian artillery logistics.

Although the report claims that Ukraine has not systematically exploited this weakness, this has no doubt changed, given an astonishing succession of precision attacks against Russian ammunition dumps deep behind the front line in July. .

These are made possible by Ukraine’s use of Western-supplied HIMARS and M270 rocket artillery systems, which can accurately attack targets up to 80 km away using rocket-guided rockets. GPS.

Such strikes could cripple Russia’s artillery war, but only as long as Ukraine receives sufficient HIMARS / M270 and western long-range howitzers quite quickly, and if NATO states adequately increase production of 155 millimeter shells in order to maintain deliveries to Ukraine. He also advocates that the West rationalize the number of artillery types delivered to Ukraine to simplify the resulting “logistical nightmare” for the Ukrainian military, but this seems unlikely given the distributed nature of Western aid to Ukraine.

Sébastien Roblin writes on the technical, historical and political aspects of international security and conflict for publications such as national interest, BNC News, Forbes.com, war is boring and 19fortyfive, where he is the editor of Defense-in-Depth. He holds a master’s degree from Georgetown University and served in the Peace Corps in China. You can follow his articles on Twitter.

Join the Stamford and District Cribbage League for the 2022 to 2023 season


The Stamford and District Cribbage League is gearing up for the new season with a pub meeting later this month.

New players and teams are welcome and can come from a pub, social group or just friends interested in playing cards.

The league will hold its annual general meeting on Monday July 25 at the Blue Bell, Belmesthorpe at 7.30pm.

Some of last year’s league winners

All teams wishing to play the 2022-23 season must then register their players.

For more information contact league chairman Jill Newbold on 07773 955535 or treasurer Sarah Critchard on 07495 567643.

League members for the 2021-22 season enjoyed a lively pitch night at Empingham Cricket and Social Club, where trophies were presented to winners and runners-up in the league and other competitions.

The results for the 2021-22 season were:

Winners: The Jolly Brewer B Team

Finalist: Empingham Cricket and Social Club

Third: Ketton Sports and Cricket Club

Wooden spoon: La Cloche Bleue, Belmesthorpe.

Competition results:

Dryden Cup winner: Empingham Cricket and SC; runner-up: The Jolly Brewer B

Captains Cup winner: K Boyden; finalist: J Newbold;

Singles winner: A Johnson; Finalist: J Bunney

Doubles winners: T Lilley and J Taylor; finalists: T and B Haynes

Winners of the Foursomes: A and P Stubley, E and R Senior; finalists: J Newbold and S Critchard, A Johnson and J Sylvester

Play to Lose Winners: T Pridmore and K Bannister; finalists: J Bunney and P. Gattlin;

Highest average: D Britton.

LILLY HAVSTAD – Black lives matter. Patrick Lyoya’s life mattered

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On June 24, 2021 around 6 a.m., an insidious hashtag, #KatibaMbichi, appeared on the Kenyan Twitter timeline. Her trending appeared to be driven by a number of faceless bots and retweeted by a series of catfish which propelled her to number one on Kenyan Twitter trends.

Our investigations have revealed how these malicious, coordinated and inauthentic attacks that seek to silence members of civil society, cloud their reputation and stifle the reach of their messages, are a growing problem in Kenya. Twitter, in particular, has been at the heart of these operations because of the influence it has on the country’s news cycle.

The proliferation of digital media platforms in Kenya holds the promise of a renewed definition of freedom of expression. Additionally, Twitter has been a vital tool of expression for many Kenyan citizens, many of whom use it to hold their leaders to account and denounce their failures. But members of civil society and journalists are increasingly under attack thanks to disinformation campaigns in the country.

Through a series of interviews with anonymous influencers involved in these campaigns, we accessed their inner workings and obtained crucial information about their organization.

A campaign review provided our team with a window into the murky world of Twitter influencers for political hire in Kenya. Many of the accounts and individuals involved promote brands, causes, and political ideologies without disclosing that they are part of paid campaigns.

Twitter features such as the trending algorithm are leveraged to achieve the goals of these campaigns by amplifying them. Some verified accounts on the platform are complicit in carrying out these attacks. The purpose of these campaigns is to exhaust critical thinking and poison the informational environment by blurring the truth.

Our surveys looked at data from two months between May 1, 2021 and June 30, 2021, with a particular focus on the Constitutional Amendment Bill – known as the Building Bridges Initiative – which was being promoted in Kenya at the ‘era.

With the help of Twint, Sprinklr and Trendinalia, we tracked the attacks by mapping and analyzing the specific hashtags influencers were using on Twitter. This involved mapping some accounts that were posting malicious content targeting Kenyan activists and bailiffs. Reported hashtags often showed synced post timestamps in the metadata, with a lack of content most days, followed by a very heavy burst of activity, and then exhaustion.

In total, using Sprinklr, which has access to Twitter’s full historical archive, we reported 23,606 tweets and retweets posted by 3,742 accounts under the 11 hashtags. We also obtained 15,350 of these tweets using the Twint package on Github to perform further content analysis.

How Misinformation Spreads

The Twitter campaigns we reviewed were those that were pro-BBI and directly attacked prominent citizens and civil society activists who strongly opposed the proposed reforms, and also sought to discredit civil society organizations and activists. portraying them as funded villains. by the Vice President of Kenya, William Ruto, who opposes the BBI process.

The well-coordinated attacks are launched through WhatsApp groups to avoid detection. WhatsApp group admins give instructions on what to post, which hashtags to use, which tweets to engage with and who to target. They also sync the post to allow tweets to trend on Twitter.

There is money to be made by attacking civil society. Our sources have confirmed that they are paid between $10 and $15 to participate in three campaigns per day. Those higher in the ranks receive a monthly retainer of up to US$500. Those under mandate oversee hashtags and ensure they evolve on the days they are posted.

Who is targeted by misinformation

According to our analysis, the top three most frequent victims were known Kenyan journalists, judges and activists. Prominent anti-BBI activists under the Linda Katiba movement that took the BBI to court have been the target of some of the most vicious attacks.

The attacks peaked in early May with the specific aim of trying to discredit the anti-BBI campaign. Jerotich Seii, a key member of the Linda Katiba campaign that was targeted, said in an interview that she had to spend a lot of time trying to prove her activism efforts were genuine and not a front for someone else. “The disinformation attacks against me were aimed at portraying me as someone with ulterior motives who is not interested in the welfare of Kenyans. I had to spend a lot of my time defending my position as someone who is actually a patriot who does what he does out of love for his country,” Seii said.

According to our analysis, the top three most frequent victims were known Kenyan journalists, judges and activists.

All of this leads to self-censorship by some of the platform’s activists as they feel it is pointless to use a platform that cannot offer any meaningful engagement. One activist we spoke to said she had reduced her Twitter activity significantly due to all the trolling she had experienced.

The Kenyan High Court struck down the BBI on May 14 on the grounds that the initiative was unconstitutional and the Court of Appeal followed suit on August 20. The decision not only strained the already poor relationship between the judiciary and the executive in Kenya, but also led to successive waves of disinformation attacks aimed at questioning the judicial independence of judges and the accuracy of their decision.

A notable change in these attacks has been the evolution of the visual aesthetics of campaign content; newspaper editorial cartoon-style caricatures and memes were used, a likely indication of a change in leadership or strategy at the top that sought to make content more palatable and shareable.

What is the impact of slander?

Data we collected from Trendinalia (which collects Twitter trending data in Kenya) shows that sufficient amplification was achieved for 8 of the 11 hashtags we identified that became trending topics. This amplification was achieved in part through the use of verified accounts. An anonymous influencer we spoke to said owners of some verified accounts involved in these campaigns often praise them to improve the campaign’s chances of trending. “The account owner usually gets a share of the campaign loot from the person who rented it out once it’s over,” the influencer said.

The demand for this service by the political class in Kenya is clearly strong. In the months of May and June alone, we counted at least 31 contrived political hashtags, including those related to the BBI process. This translates into at least one manipulated disinformation campaign that Kenyans have to deal with every other day.

Curiously, there is little evidence that these operations actually influence people’s opinions. However, they do have an effect on how Twitter users interact with their information environment. The purpose of such operations is to overwhelm, to create an environment where no one knows what is true or false anymore. The goal is to exhaust critical thinking and blur the truth.

In the months of May and June alone, we counted at least 31 contrived political hashtags, including those related to the BBI process.

Typically, a post written by one of the prominent activists or law officers is bombarded with so many attacks, insults and dismissive comments that space for a good conversation is lost. The goal is always to ensure that sober people are discouraged from amplifying the topic after encountering so much aggression in replies and quote tweets.

The role of Twitter Inc.

For many Kenyans, Twitter matters. The platform has become an avenue for highly critical expression, networking, posting announcements, and a way to get information. It is also an important avenue for active citizenship as #KOT (Kenyans on Twitter) is one of the loudest and most lively internet communities in Africa.

On the darker side though, some of Twitter’s features are being exploited for nefarious purposes. The platform fails Kenyans and Africans in general. Political actors use it to try to control political narratives by poisoning the platform and harassing dissenting voices.

Specifically, Twitter’s trending algorithm, which selects and highlights content without examining its potential for harm, often serves as an on-ramp for users trying to find information on the platform. Our sources said that Twitter trends are the primary KPI by which most of their campaigns are judged. They admitted that without it, their jobs would not exist. “The main goal is to be trending on Twitter. I don’t know what our jobs would be like without that goal,” a source said.

Available evidence indicates that, for Twitter executives, this is not a new phenomenon. The trending algorithm in particular, which is a big part of how Twitter works, has been left open to misinformation campaigns and attacks.

Twitter’s moderation team should pay close attention, carefully monitor and regulate its trending section. Activists, such as Sleeping Giants, have repeatedly called on Twitter to “undo” itself. This can be done by removing the feature entirely or disabling it during critical times such as election times.

Available evidence indicates that, for Twitter executives, this is not a new phenomenon.

It can be said that Twitter has no incentive to solve this problem. It sells ads for “promoted trends” and “promoted tweets” in hashtag feeds from its trending topics section to business clients. This puts Twitter in the middle of the mess as it profits from this harmful activity.

Ad Dynamo, an agency that sells Twitter ads in Kenya, currently offers Promoted Trends for $3,500 per day in the country. The overall message this sends is that it’s okay to sow hate on the platform as long as Ad Dynamo owners can place ads next to trending content and profit from it.

As Kenya heads towards elections in 2022, the demand for these services will increase and many political parties will seek malicious coordinated trend patterns and create the risk of a repeat of the political violence of 2007.

Simone Biles responds to Trump lawyer who called her a loser: ‘Who is Jenna Ellis?’

Simone Biles isn’t letting the naysayers spoil her latest achievement. This week, the 25-year-old Greater Houston resident became the youngest person to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The nation’s highest civilian honor, the medal is awarded to individuals who “have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other societal, public endeavors or significant private,” the White House said.

President Joe Biden presented the award to Biles and 16 others during a ceremony at the White House on Thursday. The moment was widely celebrated on social media, including by Biles who wrote that she was “honored and grateful” to be recognized by the president and felt “shocked”.

However, not everyone was happy with those who were chosen for this prestigious honor. Jenna Ellis, a former campaign lawyer for President Trump, took to Twitter to criticize Biles and another recipient, soccer star Megan Rapinoe. “Appropriately, Biden awarded his presidential medals to fellow losers Biles and Rapinoe,” Ellis tweeted.

Later, she tweeted“Biles is a selfish quitter and Rapinoe is a crass un-American bully. They’re losers, not role models. Biden doesn’t care about anything solemn, like the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”

Biles was quick to silence the critics. On Friday, the gymnastics star tweeted in response to a fan who brought the complaints to her, “Who is Jenna Ellis? Asking for everyone.”

Biles’ fans came to her defense on Friday, including “On Democracy” podcast host Fred Wellman, who wrote to his more than 260,000 subscribers: “Simone Biles has won 19 world championship gold medals , 4 Olympic gold medals and is the most decorated gymnast in the history of the United States.Megan Rapinoe has won 2 World Cups, an Olympic gold medal and was named the best player in the world in 2019. You lost 63 lawsuits and got busted by Rudy Giuliani.”

However, Ellis didn’t let it stop there, Tweeter in response: “Sorry Biles, you can’t date me”, accompanied by a gif of Pirates of the Caribbean Captain Jack Sparrow saying “But you’ve heard of me.” She also criticized Biles’ recent Twitter posts about the cancellation of Roe v. Wade, writing: “The person who was not careful in civics in 6th grade and who selfishly left the American team receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Only in Joe Biden’s America.”

Biles has yet to directly acknowledge Ellis’ tweets.

Divers who rescued 12 boys and a soccer coach from flooded Thai cave receive honorary degrees

Two British divers who helped rescue a young football team from a flooded cave in Thailand in July 2018 have received honorary degrees from the University of Bristol. John Volanthen, from Bristol, and Rick Stanton, from Coventry, traveled 1.6 miles (2.5km) of constricted underwater passages, in near-zero visibility, against a fast-moving, debris-strewn current to save 12 boys and their football coach in what has been described as one of the greatest saves of all time. The unlikely heroes have been called up by the Thai government after heavy rains stranded the junior football team in Tham Luang, a cave complex in the north of the country.

According to a Press release by the University of Bristol, the highly publicized rescue involved 5,000 people, led by Volanthen and Stanton. The boys and their then 25-year-old coach were discovered in the cave on July 2, 2018, nine days after the search began, and had survived with little food and no shelter. Time was running out as the oxygen in their small air pocket was dwindling and more monsoon rains were forecast. “Having operated in difficult conditions, I was reasonably confident that I could manage my own safety. For the boys, it was extremely dangerous. Trying to get them out was something that had never been done before,” said Volanthen.

The rescue team eventually hatched a plan to inject each of the boys and their trainer with the anesthetic ketamine, the anti-anxiety drug Xanax, and atropine, which slows heart rate and reduces salivation. Once they administered the drugs with the help of an anesthetist, Volanthen and Stanton spent hours dragging the unconscious boys out of the submerged cave with a team of cave divers. Along the way, they had to inject the boys multiple times with the drug mix to keep them sedated throughout the rescue, despite their poor medical training. This was an extremely risky process, as the wrong dose of the drug could have woken them up and panicked – or never come to their senses – and put Volanthen and Stanton in a Thai court to answer for any incident.

Although this was one of many cave diving operations they had undertaken – including some to recover bodies – Volanthen revealed that “the scale and complexity of this particular problem was beyond the others”. Stanton agreed, adding: “It was unprecedented, nothing really compares. People cite it as one of the greatest rescues of all time. It was two and a half weeks and you had to think outside the box We were literally writing the procedures, there was no manual – it had never been done before.”

Volanthen, an IT consultant who remains a scout leader in his home town of Long Ashton, and Stanton, a firefighter for the West Midlands Fire Service for 25 years, have both been awarded the George Medals, a non-military award for bravery, for successfully rescuing. The duo also set a record at Wookey Hole, Somerset, for the deepest dive recorded in a UK cave. They were named for their honorary degrees by Linda Wilson, Vice-President of the Speleological Society at the University of Bristol.

Image source: University of Bristol

“Rick, John and the other rescue divers have been asked to perform an impossible task,” Wilson said. “Fortunately, through a combination of extraordinary courage and meticulous planning, they overcame all odds and pulled off one of the most extraordinary rescues ever attempted, ultimately getting all 12 boys and their coach out alive despite the harshest conditions. No one could better exemplify the values ​​this university values ​​- resilience, courage and exceptional skill – than Rick and John, who had to save the lives of so many others, while risking their own lives, daily, for the 15 days of this massive rescue effort that captured the world’s attention.

Image source: University of Bristol

Volanthen and Stanton received their honorary degrees on Wednesday at the University of Bristol’s summer graduates. Stanton said it was an “absolute honor” to receive the award, while Volanthen added: “It’s an honor and a lesson in humility, especially considering others who have received the same prizes and have achieved far greater things than me.”

Virginia Tech Postdoctoral Fellowship Community Thrives | VTX


Producing cutting-edge research, mentoring other researchers, and expanding knowledge and ideas, postdoctoral associates are essential to Virginia Tech’s vibrant research ecosystem and represent the next generation of diverse research leaders at universities, universities, and universities. industry and the public service.

Amid the pandemic, the Office of Research and Innovation brought together stakeholders from across campus to explore ways to further enhance the postdoctoral researcher experience and provide more support through a combination community building, mentoring and professional development.

Launched most recently this spring, the Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship Program aims to prepare postdocs from a variety of fields and disciplines for the next stage of their careers, offering them a two-year appointment with competitive salaries and benefits at Nationally, $10,000 for training and professional development. expenses to be used on the two-year fellowship, in addition to mentorship and professional development support. The first cohort of fellows will begin this fall, with application cycles available throughout the academic year.

In January, the Office of Postgraduate Affairs was created and Chris Smith was appointed Program Administrator. Over the past several months, Smith has led the development of new postdoctoral associate career programs and held town hall meetings. Early program topics focused on career exploration, creating an individual development plan, and job search resources. Future workshops focused on promoting the well-being and advancement of the postgraduate population are planned for the fall semester.

“One thing that became clear from listening to our postgraduate community at town halls in March and from a postgraduate climate survey is the desire for more connection among this population,” Smith said. “We plan to launch a new quarterly orientation program coupled with a larger postdoc community gathering event to facilitate connection and community for our postdocs in Blacksburg. Plans are also underway to offer options in Roanoke and virtually for our postdocs located throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.

In addition to the new office, Cristina Miliano, postdoctoral associate in the College of Science’s School of Neuroscience and postdoctoral representative on the Research Commission, spearheaded the creation of the Virginia Tech Postdoctoral Association (VTPA), established in April 2021.

The association has started to communicate the opportunities to postdocs through a newly created platform which includes a list server, the Slack group, Twitter accountFacebook page and updates available on a Google calendar.

Providing a deeper connection to the wider network of postdocs, Smith is also a board member of the National Postdoctoral Association, where he engages with a variety of stakeholders who represent postdoctoral communities across the country, and locally. as Chair of Campus Association Strategic Planning. Committee.

Celebrating its first anniversary in May, the association’s mission is to create a postdoctoral community to improve postdoctoral life at Virginia Tech and to advocate that postdoctoral fellows have the resources they need to achieve their career goals. Currently, more than a third of Virginia Tech’s postgraduate population has joined the association with a desire to grow this community of members.

New VTPA leaders were announced this summer. They understand:

  • Megan Vogt, Co-Chair, Postdoc in Biomedical Sciences, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Sina Niazi, Co-Chair, Civil and Environmental Engineering Postdoc, College of Engineering
  • Alex Cumbie, Communications Officer, Postdoc in Entomology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Petar Mlinaric, secretary, postdoc in mathematics, College of Science
  • Nico Naus, International Support Chair, Postdoc in Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Karthikeyan Chandrasegaran, Chair in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Postdoc in Biochemistry, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Timothy Nuy discusses Finclusion’s mission to end debt traps by providing sustainable installment loans to more Africans

Enjoy the interview with Timothy Nuy.

BI Africa: It’s nice talking to you, Mr. Nuy. For the benefit of those who may not know you, please introduce yourself and what you do at Finclusion.

Timothy Nuy: I started working in Africa with a German company called Africa Development Corporation. It is an investment banking group with operations across Africa. We invested in BancABC in Southern Africa and Unity Bank in Nigeria. And in 2014 we sold ADC to Atlas Mara. From there, along with the shareholders who had invested in ADC, I joined a micro-lender called GetBucks (later MyBucks) in 2015. Between 2015 and 2018, we built this company from South Africa and the Kenya to 12 other countries. In 2018, I disagreed with the founders on how the company should be run and where the company should go, so I made the decision to start Finclusion.

At Finclusion, we believe in bridging the credit gap in Africa, by concretely creating sustainable financial services on the African continent. Emphasis is placed on making our loans productive for small business, education, home improvement, and more. And in doing so, we position ourselves between the nano-lenders, which offer small loans, and the banks, which offer larger loans.

One of the ways we differentiate ourselves is by ensuring that we repay loans very quickly, because we provide people with essential financial services that they can use thanks to infrastructures adapted to the phases in which our consumers find themselves.

We operate in South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania.

BI Africa: As you know, access to finance is one of the biggest challenges facing small businesses in Africa. Tell us more about how your business is helping solve this specific problem.

Timothee Nuy: What we focus on is affordability first. Thus, we make sure to give loans to people who can afford to repay them. We also offer the possibility of staggering repayments to make the conditions more comfortable for our customers. This is why the installment loan is important.

Our credit scoring system consumes all the data we can get – Data analytics is where we stand out the most. By successfully accessing bank account or mobile money information, we use this information to calibrate income spending and then make the best possible credit decisions.

BI Africa: How does your interest rate compare to that of commercial banks?

Timothee Nuy: Our interest rate is approximately 56% including all associated fees and costs. We sit at a lower level without the associated costs, fees and expenses.

BI Africa: To a large extent, FinTechs have helped bridge Africa’s financial gap. And their work was made possible by the funding they received from investors. Unfortunately, there has recently been a significant downturn in venture capital funding in the African startup ecosystem. And it has raised concerns about whether FinTechs can continue to do their job effectively.

So I want to get your opinion on this. Do you think the slowdown in venture capital funding is a significant threat to African FinTech?

Timothy Nuy: People “who are going to struggle” have tried to “fake it until they make it”, as they say. Those who run exceptional businesses will do just fine.

Investors will continue to fund good FinTechs in Africa. They will also become much more diligent in deciding which startups to invest in, so there is no need to worry.

If your FinTech solves real problems, capital will be available to help scale your business.

BI Africa: Finclusion recently raised some capital which I think helps you facilitate your business activities. Do you plan to raise more capital soon?

Timothee Nuy: We raised a good part of the debt. We are continually building additional capacity because ultimately the more we raise, the stronger our market trajectory. No capital increase has been confirmed for the moment. That said, I think we will announce additional capital increases later this year.

BI Africa: In your opinion, what will be the “next thing” in the African FinTech space in terms of innovation?

Timothy Nudey: For me, the loan is always a big thing because that’s where the big opportunity is; I’m pretty excited about it. Another area where I think we will see significant recovery is the increased adaptability of mobile money on the African continent.

BI Africa: Recently, African “TelCos” have also positioned themselves as major players in the mobile money industry. Do you think this will create saturation in the business and possibly increase competition? And is your business ready for the competition?

Timothy Nuy: We have excellent knowledge of credit. I think we are better than most players at scoring/assessing credit. This will continue to help us drive growth.

But that aside, I think the competition in the African fintech space is positive. There is such little credit penetration today that the more people push credit and educate the public about credit, the better it is for inclusion.

Ultimately, we need more credit available to all Africans.

BI Africa: How is your Finclusion business positioning itself for the next phase of growth in the African FinTech space?

Timothee Nuy: We see ourselves as the provider of essential financial services solutions, adapted to our needs. We want to continue to provide customers in low to middle income brackets and the middle class with reliable, world-class financial services.

For now, we’ll focus on loans. But over time, we plan to diversify into savings and other services. Sustainability is fundamental to us.

BI Africa: Earlier, when you mentioned some countries where you currently operate, I didn’t hear you say Nigeria. So, currently, in which other African countries do you plan to develop next?

Timothee Nuy: At the moment, we are focusing on East Africa. Besides the countries I mentioned, the next country we will probably expand to will be Uganda.

We want to consolidate our efforts in East Africa first before we start looking to West Africa and other markets. I think there are huge opportunities in Nigeria. But again, many people are trying to solve the challenges that the Nigerian market presents.

In financial services, scale matters a lot. So we had to decide which market to enter first. And that’s why we’re quite bullish on Uganda.

We are ultimately excited to transform Africa one country at a time and provide people with sustainable installment plans. Moving from nano-loans to installment loans is important because it helps us move away from debt traps, towards a more sustainable lending model.

Drucker’s Business Lessons From Those in Uniform

Drucker never served in the military, however, when the war came he had a doctorate, so he volunteered for civilian service. He was assigned and he eventually familiarized himself with the military and how it worked, including its rules, systems, and unique aspects. This included organization and management which he then incorporated into his practice and recommended for civil adoption.

Generals rarely get rich

Right away he saw that a general who could command thousands of people and be responsible for millions of dollars worth of equipment was making less than $50,000 a year. At the time, it was less than five times the salary of an average soldier who was not an officer.

Later, he discovered that many CEOs of companies received more than 58 times the salary of their average employees. Drucker said not only was it unfair, but it was also poor management and affected productivity.

In 2004 he expressed his admiration for the military in a testimonial for the book to be, to know, to do, co-written by her friend Frances Hesselbein who had served as CEO of Girls Scouts of the USA and General Eric K. Shinseki who had served as Chief of Staff of the US Army. Drucker wrote:

“The military trains and develops more leaders than all other institutions combined and with a lower casualty rate. to be, to know, to do shows how it’s done and how it can be adapted by non-military businesses, colleges and universities, nonprofits, and churches.

The first of many lessons Drucker learned from the military

I heard many lessons he learned from the military when I was his student. The first concerned his government orders to report to a colonel who was to be his commanding officer. His assignment was as a management consultant; however, the ordinances did not explain what a management consultant was or what duties they were to perform.

Drucker himself did not know. The term wasn’t in any dictionary, management or book he consulted but the Colonel seemed kind enough and asked if he had any questions.

“Please, sir,” Drucker asked. “Can you tell me what the responsibilities of a management consultant are? »

The Colonel looked at him with a twinkle in his eye but did not answer Drucker’s question and only said, “Young man, don’t be impertinent. By this, Drucker told us that he knew the Colonel also did not know what the duties of a management consultant were. Drucker said, “His response allowed me to suggest something I wanted to do and where I could best contribute.”

Knowing yourself is more important than knowing your competitors

I had always thought competitive intelligence was important, but Drucker discovered that knowing yourself, your own abilities and limitations at any given time is even more so, and he wasn’t the first.

Former Chinese military genius Sun Tzu wrote, “If I know myself and my enemy, I need not fear defeat in 100 battles. If I only know myself, I’ll lose half of it. If I only know my opponent and not myself, I will lose everything.

Proven again in China during WWII

Claire Chennault, then a retired Army Air Corps captain, traveled to China as an advisor to General Chang Kai Shek, fighting the Japanese who had invaded the country. He was commissioned as a colonel in the Chinese Air Force and commanded the group of American volunteers sent to China and known as the “Flying Tigers” by President Roosevelt, to serve as part of the Army of the Chinese air before the United States entered the war.

Few of the 200 American volunteers had flown fighters before. They all held reserve commissions in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, and all were pilots. They had flown transports, bombers and observation planes, not fighters, which Chennault needed.

Chennault had helped convince President Roosevelt to give the Chinese 100 P-40E fighter jets. They were all that was available but were considered inferior to the Japanese fighters. Moreover, their Japanese opponents had years of combat experience while the American pilots had none.

Chennault knew they could be trained and was familiar with the P-40E. It wasn’t as nimble for traditional dogfighting as the Japanese aircraft, but it was heavier and faster and had much better armor.

He trained his pilots to take advantage of what the P-40Es had, not what they lacked. In their first combat, the Flying Tigers defended the important Chinese city of Kunming, which previously had no air defenses and which the Japanese had bombarded unopposed. The inexperienced pilots trained by Chennault shot down nine of the 10 attacking bombers.

Over the next six months, its inexperienced fighter pilots destroyed 296 enemy aircraft, while losing only 14 pilots in combat. No other fighter unit from any country in history has equaled this record.

How Corporal Joe Cossman overcame obstacles

Cossman had no college experience and had been a corporal in the combat engineers during World War II. After the war, he explains: “I bought an old typewriter and used my kitchen table as a desk every night after supper. Every night I read the newspaper, looking for rare commodities. Then I offered these products by mail to overseas prospects.

He worked for a year skipping meals and working part-time from his kitchen table. He says, “Then one day I saw a classified ad in the New York Times. It was for laundry soap, which was then in short supply. As I had done several times before, I replied to the advertisement, obtained samples and sent them to contacts abroad. This time I received an order with a letter of credit for 180,000 USD almost by return mail. »

The letter of credit stated that a New York bank would pay him $180,000 as soon as he presented bills of lading, which are the documents showing the product on a ship bound for the buyer. There was also a time limit, as bills of lading had to be presented to his bank within thirty days or the letter of credit would be worthless.

Cossman explained, “When I got to New York, I phoned the man who ran the ad. He didn’t own a single bar of soap! He had put the speculation ad in the newspaper and sent in some samples he had on hand.

At a local library, Cossman obtained the names, addresses, and phone numbers of every soap maker in the United States and locked himself in his hotel room the next day. There was a phone strike and it took fifteen minutes before he got an operator and after telling his story the operator promised to keep him on the line until he made his calls .

It took until the next day for him to find a company in Alabama that had the laundry soap he needed, but he had to ship it to New York. He started looking for someone who would lend him thirty trucks and drivers on credit to transport the soap and succeeded.

He returned to New York 24 hours before the letter of credit expired, but loading the soap onto a freighter in the port was going to take too long. The banks closed at two o’clock and he would not be able to present his bills of lading on board in time.

Cossman found the steamboat company president’s office near the docks and convinced his secretary to let him in to see him. After telling his story to the president, he looked him in the eye and said, “If you’ve come this far, you’re not going to lose the case now.

Within minutes, Cossman had his bills of lading and arrived at the bank within fifteen minutes of the President before closing time. The cashier gave him a check for US$180,000 and cash which helped him find a taxi.

Cossman went on to build a multi-million dollar company over the next few years. His company sold dozens of unusual products including 1.8 million anthills, a children’s toy still sold today. Like Drucker, he adapted military lessons to civilian life. Veteran or not, you can also apply many lessons learned from those in uniform.

Let us know of any other business lessons that can be learned from those in uniform in the comments below.

Kuwait’s economy on the road to recovery; KD 2.5 billion loans granted in 5 months – ARAB TIMES

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KUWAIT CITY, July 7: Credit granted by the Kuwaiti banking sector continued to grow during the month of May, bringing all types of loans granted to all economic sectors to approximately 2.5 billion dinars over the past five first months of 2022 reaching a new record level at 44.8 billion dinars at the end of last May, reports the daily Al-Anba. At the monthly level, credits granted by Kuwaiti banks increased during the month of May by 1.6%, with a value of 722 million dinars, compared to last April, which had reached the level of credits at the end of 44.1 billion dinars.

This rise coincides with the strong recovery of the Kuwaiti economy since the beginning of this year, supported by the rise in oil prices to record highs and the gradual improvement in the pace of consumer spending. The increase in consumer loans granted for the purchase of durable goods and cars continued for the fourth consecutive month, registering a monthly increase of 0.75%, worth 14 thousand dinars during the month May, to reach 1.86 billion dinars, against 1.85 billion dinars last April.

While installment loans to Kuwaitis for renovation or purchase of private homes rose 1% in May to a record 14.99 billion dinars from 14.84 billion dinars at the end of last April, and recorded strong annual growth of 13.9% compared to levels last May of 13,160 billion dinars.

In addition, credit growth strengthened with the acceleration in the growth of credits intended for the purchase of securities, with a monthly increase of 13.5% to record a level of 3.509 billion dinars during the month. of last May, against 3.091 billion dinars last April, and also recorded an annual increase of 38.97% compared to its levels of May last year amounting to 2.525 billion dinars. The oil and gas sector recorded a monthly increase of 1.14% to reach the level of 2.293 billion dinars during the month of last May, against 2.267 billion dinars during the month of April. While it registered an annual increase of 15.86% compared to the levels of May last year, which amounted to 1.979 billion dinars. With economic activity returning to pre-Corona pandemic levels and Kuwait’s oil production increasing within agreed quotas and oil prices continuing to rise, it is expected that credit will continue to receive more support. over the coming period, in addition to an increase in the growth of Kuwait’s non-oil economy at a steady pace.

With regard to banking sector deposits, we note that they increased during the month of May by 0.65%, reaching the level of 47 billion dinars, up from the level of 46.69 billion. dinars reached during the month of April. This increase is due to the wise policy of the Central Bank of Kuwait to increase interest rates in conjunction with the decisions of the Federal Reserve over the past period. The State raised 77 million dinars on its deposits last May, bringing the total of State deposits in the banking system to 7.178 billion dinars, with a monthly increase of 1.08% against 7.101 at the end of April. .

On a yearly basis, it rose 1.22 percent from its levels in May last year, which stood at 7.091 billion dinars. Thus, the government pumped 87 million dinars from its balances in one year. At the private sector level, deposits in Kuwaiti dinars increased by 0.56% per month during the month of May, reaching 37.150 billion dinars at the end of the month, after the private sector pumped out 210 million dinars deposits in Kuwaiti dinars.

Private sector deposits in dinars increased annually, amounting to 2.564 billion dinars, compared to the levels of May last year, which amounted to 34.586 billion dinars, at the rate of 7.41 %. Central Bank data showed that Kuwait’s reserve assets reached 15.04 billion dinars at the end of last May, with monthly growth of 4.3% from its level of 14.41 billion dinars last April.

The country’s reserves included about 13.39 billion dinars, the balance of deposits and foreign currencies abroad, to which are added about 1.33 billion dinars of Kuwait’s special drawing rights with the International Monetary Fund. It also consists of approximately 234.2 million dinars on balance with the International Monetary Fund. Kuwait’s foreign exchange reserve includes gold (amounting to 79 tons calculated at book value since its purchase) at approximately 31.7 million dinars at end-May 2022, knowing that the foreign exchange reserve does not include external assets of the General Investment Authority represented by the sovereign wealth fund.

Police must investigate provision of ammunition to separatists by civilians: MPR

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), Bambang Soesatyo, has urged Papuan police to investigate allegations of civilians supplying ammunition to armed separatist groups.

“We urge the Papua Police Department to investigate the matter to reveal the ammunition supplier network,” Soesatyo said in a written statement received here on Wednesday.

He also urged the authorities to impose severe sanctions on the suppliers in question, while determining their motives and the organizers behind the whole operation.

Soesatyo asked for a commitment from the authorities, whether national defense or police forces, for a quick resolution of the matter through the imposition of stricter surveillance to limit such incidents. He also urged investigators to uncover the entire ammunition supplier network.

“In addition to digging into information, ranging from the source of funding to the transactions of alleged perpetrators who have been arrested,” he said.

He urged the government of Papua, the National Defense Force and the police force to maintain security in Papua, including eliminating armed separatist terrorists, their arms suppliers, as well as their benefactors.

Related News: Papua Armed Criminal Group Burns High School Teachers’ Homes

“This is necessary to limit the room for maneuver of armed criminal groups, who often commit acts of armed terrorism that worry the people of Papua,” he said.

Last week, the Papua Police Department arrested a civilian for allegedly supplying ammunition to armed groups in Papua.

“Indeed, on Saturday (July 2, 2022), (we) caught LT, a resident of Jayapura who allegedly supplied ammunition to M, a state civilian operative, who was captured in Yalimo,” the director said. of general crime at the Papua Police Department. , Chief Commissioner Faizal Rahmadani, confirmed on Tuesday.

The resident was arrested following further investigations into the role played by M, a civilian state apparatus from Nduga. LT was reportedly responsible for supplying ammunition received from two members of the national defense forces.

“The two personnel in question were detained by military police from Military Command XVII/Cenderawasih District,” Rahmadani said.

The two captured civilians were investigated to get a better idea of ​​the entire supplier network.

M was captured in Elelim, Yalimo, with 615 bullets of various calibres, which were to be delivered to an Nduga armed group. The armed group led by Egianus Kogoya is believed to need ammunition at this time.

Related News: Separatist group attacks naval post in Papua, soldier dead

Ukrainians living in South Wexford are welcomed into the community


MEMBERS of the Ukrainian community living at Cedar Lodge and Horse & Hound Hotel have learned about the area and the friendliness of strangers over the past few weeks through an initiative called The Connection Cafe.

he “café” is organized by Raheen FRC and supported by the MAED Fund (WWETB, Community Education). Its aim is to connect Ukrainian participants with native Irish people in order to improve their English skills. This is done in a completely informal and fun way – with a focus on well-being.

Earlier this month, women’s group Poulpeasty hosted a large group of Ukrainian women who learned all the names of the ingredients that go into an Irish stew.

“Every week they learn at least five to ten words. It is also important that Ukrainians have the opportunity to connect with the local population to promote inclusion and social cohesion,” said the cafe coordinator, Carmen Sanchez.

She said around 80 Ukrainians were staying at the Cedar Lodge Hotel near Carrigbyrne, including around 35 at the Horse & Hound currently.

“We got funding through the Education & Training Board to do the cafe. They like to do yoga on the beach with Irish people and learn about wellness.”
Participants spend three weeks on the program.

Ms Sanchez said the Poulpeasty women’s group had done a wonderful job hosting the Ukrainian group. “Ukrainian women sang their national anthem. They have beautiful voices and it’s a way for them to stay connected.

Ms Sanchez said the group will soon be involved in a fruit and vegetable growing initiative in community gardens in Clonroche, Adamstown and Raheen.

She said food is very important to the ladies and the idea is to help them feel at home as much as possible.

Most excursions end with a picnic or a meal. Clothing and toiletries were also provided for the women and their children.

As Ukraine’s National Day approaches on August 24, plans are already underway for a concert featuring Ukrainians staying at Cedar Lodge, Horse & Hound, Spring valley in Enniscorthy (where around 150 people reside) and at Wexford.

There are plans for a parade and a big celebration of Ukrainian culture, the location of which is yet to be determined.

News: Declaration of NATO Heads of State and Government (Brussels 2022), 24-March-2022

We, the Heads of State and Government of the 30 NATO countries, have gathered today to confront Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the most serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security since decades. Russia’s war against Ukraine has broken the peace in Europe and is causing enormous human suffering and destruction.

We condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the strongest possible terms. We call on President Putin to immediately stop this war and withdraw military forces from Ukraine, and call on Belarus to end its complicity, in accordance with the resolution on aggression against Ukraine adopted by the General Assembly of United Nations on March 2, 2022. Russia must comply with the March 16 Judgment of the United Nations International Court of Justice and immediately suspend military operations. Russia’s attack on Ukraine threatens global security. His attack on international standards makes the world less safe. President Putin’s escalating rhetoric is irresponsible and destabilizing.

Ukrainians inspired the world with heroic resistance to Russia’s brutal war of conquest. We strongly condemn Russia’s devastating attacks against civilians, including women, children and people in vulnerable situations. We will work with the rest of the international community to hold accountable those responsible for violations of humanitarian and international law, including war crimes. We are deeply concerned about the increased risk of sexual violence and human trafficking. We urge Russia to allow rapid, safe and unimpeded humanitarian access and safe passage for civilians, and to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to Mariupol and other besieged cities. We also condemn attacks on civilian infrastructure, including those that endanger nuclear power plants. We will continue to counter Russia’s lies about its attack on Ukraine and expose fabricated narratives or fabricated false flag operations to set the stage for further escalation, including against Ukraine’s civilian population. Any use by Russia of a chemical or biological weapon would be unacceptable and would have serious consequences.

Russia must show that it is serious about negotiations by immediately implementing a ceasefire. We call on Russia to constructively engage in credible negotiations with Ukraine to achieve concrete results, starting with a lasting ceasefire and moving towards a full withdrawal of its troops from Ukrainian territory. Russia’s continued aggression as the talks take place is deplorable. We support Ukraine’s efforts to achieve peace, as well as those undertaken diplomatically by the Allies to pressure Russia to end the war and alleviate human suffering.

We stand in full solidarity with President Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian government and the courageous Ukrainian citizens who are defending their homeland. We pay tribute to all those who have been killed, injured and displaced by Russian aggression, as well as to their families. We reaffirm our unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders extending to its territorial waters.

Ukraine has a fundamental right to self-defence under the UN Charter. Since 2014, we have largely supported Ukraine’s ability to exercise this right. We trained the Ukrainian Armed Forces, strengthened their military capabilities and capabilities, and improved their resilience. NATO Allies have stepped up their support and will continue to provide additional political and practical support to Ukraine as it continues to defend itself. NATO Allies will also continue to provide assistance in areas such as cybersecurity and protection against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. NATO Allies also provide significant humanitarian support and host millions of refugees. Foreign ministers will discuss our support for Ukraine in more detail when they meet in April.

We are united in our determination to counter Russia’s attempts to destroy the foundations of international security and stability. We hold Russia and Belarus to account. Massive sanctions and heavy political costs were imposed on Russia in order to end this war. We remain determined to maintain coordinated international pressure on Russia. We will continue to coordinate closely with relevant stakeholders and other international organizations, including the European Union. Transatlantic coordination remains crucial for an effective response to the current crisis.

We call on all states, including the People’s Republic of China (PRC), to respect the international order, including the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, to refrain from supporting Russia’s war effort in any way and refrain from any action that helps Russia evade sanctions. We are concerned about recent public comments by PRC officials and call on China to stop amplifying the Kremlin’s false narratives, especially about the war and NATO, and promote a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

We remain committed to the fundamental principles that underpin European and global security, including that each nation has the right to choose its own security arrangements without outside interference. We reaffirm our commitment to NATO’s open door policy under Article 10 of the Washington Treaty.

We are providing tailored support to partners affected by Russian threats and interference and will scale up our assistance to help them resist malign Russian influence and build resilience, based on requests from our partners and our long-standing partnership. In April, foreign ministers will consider concrete proposals to strengthen our support for these partners.

We will continue to take all necessary measures to protect and defend the security of our Allied populations and every inch of Allied territory. Our commitment to Article 5 of the Washington Treaty is unwavering.

In response to Russia’s actions, we have activated NATO defense plans, deployed elements of the NATO Response Force and placed 40,000 troops on our eastern flank, as well as significant air and naval forces, under direct NATO command supported by Allied national deployments. We are also fielding four additional multinational battlegroups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. We take all measures and decisions to ensure the security and defense of all Allies in all areas and with a 360 degree approach. Our measures remain preventive, proportionate and not progressive. We will now accelerate NATO’s transformation towards a more dangerous strategic reality, including through the adoption of the next Strategic Concept in Madrid. In light of the most serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security in decades, we will also significantly strengthen our long-term deterrence and defense posture and further develop the full range of ready forces and capabilities needed to maintain credible deterrence and defence. These measures will be supported by reinforced exercises with greater emphasis on collective defense and interoperability.

We are increasing the resilience of our societies and infrastructures to counter the harmful influence of Russia. We strengthen our cyber capabilities and defenses by supporting each other in the event of cyber attacks. We stand ready to impose costs on those who harm us in cyberspace, and increase information sharing and situational awareness, improving civilian preparedness and strengthening our ability to respond to disinformation. We will also improve our preparedness and readiness for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. We will make other decisions when we meet in Madrid.

The steps we take to ensure the security of our Alliance and the Euro-Atlantic area will require adequate resources. The Allies dramatically increase their defense spending. Today, we have decided to accelerate our efforts to fulfill our commitment to the Defense Investment Pledge in its entirety. In accordance with our commitment in Article 3 of the Washington Treaty, we will further strengthen our individual and collective capacity to resist all forms of attack. At our meeting in Madrid, we will submit additional plans on how to fulfill the Commitment.

Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine represents a fundamental challenge to the values ​​and norms that have brought security and prosperity to all on the European continent. President Putin’s choice to attack Ukraine is a strategic mistake, with serious consequences also for Russia and the Russian people. We remain united and resolute in our determination to oppose Russian aggression, to assist the government and people of Ukraine, and to defend the security of all Allies.

Artists Under Fire: The BDS War on Celebrities, Jews and Israel

The cover of “Artists Under Fire”. Photo: provided.

The the announcement came just recently on social media: the folk group Big Thief would not perform as planned in Tel Aviv. It was a complete reversal of the group’s statement only a week earlier, when it announced its determination to “stay open” to views on Israel and the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and also “to love beyond disagreement.”

It was also just the latest in a long line of cultural events canceled, muted or destroyed by one of the most powerful and effective anti-Jewish movements since the mid-20th century.

In “Artists Under Fire” (Lioncrest, 2022), author and activist Lana Melman clearly and succinctly explains how BDS and its cultural boycott of Israel have become a significant threat – not just to Israel, not even to Jews around the world, but to the flourishing of the arts everywhere.

As Melman writes, “The BDS campaign against Israel seeks to use artists’ fame as a tool to destroy Israel and stir up hatred against Jews around the world… They want international artists to avoid performances in Israel and international venues cancel invitations to Israeli artists. Their rhetoric reeks of classic anti-Semitic tropes, demonizes Israel and stirs up hatred of Jews around the world. »

Part of the problem, the author explains, is the general acceptance of the BDS movement’s self-defense argument that it is not anti-Jewish, but “simply” anti-Israel – a protest against the politics of the country, not against its people.

Melman doesn’t buy it. “We are told that anti-Zionism is about Israel, but in fact it is an attack on Jews – and many Jews don’t see it or are intimidated into not accepting what they see,” she wrote. “Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. It traffics in modern day blood libel (the false claim that Jews murder Christians in their rituals) and anti-Jewish conspiracy theories about money and power. It demonizes Israel and creates an environment that makes hatred of Jews more acceptable worldwide. And he points the finger at the Jewish homeland for disproportionate criticism and blame for his mistakes.

How dangerous it is, and how much damage BDS has already done, turns out to be worse than you think.

“Numerous polls conducted in recent years have shown a direct correlation between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, with large segments of the population echoing the false accusations disseminated by BDS,” Melman explains in “Artists Under Fire.”.” “A survey by the Action and Protection League (APL) collected 500,000 data points from a total of 16,000 people in 16 EU countries from December 2019 to January 2020. A quarter of respondents equated Israelis with Nazis and agreed that this justified an international boycott of Israel – and 21% expressed their belief that “there is a secret Jewish network that influences political and economic affairs around the world”.

It is no wonder that anti-Semitic attacks have worsened and become more frequent in most of Europe, as well as in the United States, in recent years.

Much of this anti-Semitism comes not, as many would expect, from neo-Nazis and far-right extremists, but rather from so-called “progressives” and “social justice warriors” on the left. He often attaches himself – ironically enough – to the “awakening”, a movement theoretically based on support for the rights of minority groups.

Despite the fact that Israel is the only Jewish state in the world (despite a population that also includes Muslims, Christians and others), surrounded by 14 Muslim countries – many of which have made no secret of their desire to erase the Israel’s Jews on the face of the planet – ‘woke’ BDSers nevertheless see Israeli Jews as the oppressors, and Palestinian Muslims as their victims. “Supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions cultural campaign against Israel claim their cause is human rights and their methods are non-violent,” Melman writes. “They’ve mastered the language of the enlightened left, but scratch the surface and you’ll see that their tactics – as well as their messaging – are anything but peaceful.”

Indeed, BDS denies any possibility of peace in the region. “There is no declaration in favor of a two-state solution. In fact, there is no BDS call for a democratic Palestinian nation that lives in peace and security with Israel,” Melman writes.

Chapter by chapter, step by step, Melman’s powerful writing builds his argument with revealing insight into the history of Jews, Israel and, therefore, the BDS movement. Throughout, his perspective remains lucid and balanced; she is prepared to criticize the actions of the Israeli government without criticizing Israel itself or questioning its right to exist. After all, she notes, BDSers and their supporters have never called for the boycott, censorship, or destruction of American artists when they disagree with the US government, which many do frequently.

She quotes a protest by six Israeli choreographers after they were banned from participating in a Norwegian festival: “Would you reject a Spanish artist for the Spanish policy against Caledonia and the Basques? Would you reject a Saudi artist for Saudi restrictions on women’s rights? Would you reject an American artist for the American policy regarding the regulation of “Muslim prohibition”? Would you reject a Syrian artist for bloodshed caused by the Syrian government? Would you reject an Iranian artist for their forceful reaction to the country’s latest uprising? If we were Israeli Arab Muslim artists, Israeli Arab Christian artists, Israeli Bedouin artists, Israeli Circassian artists, Israeli Druze artists or Israeli Jewish artists living abroad, would we also have been refused participation in your festival ? »

It was a scathing message. And throughout “Artists Under Fire,” Melman similarly rips off the mask of the BDS movement, its organizers, and its adherents, exposing not just their hypocrisy, but their true intent: “BDS is not about educating.” , she writes, “he seeks to intimidate.

Yet this intimidation does more than just threaten the lives and well-being of artists, several of whom — including singer Lana del Rey — have backed out of performing in Israel out of fear for their own safety. It represents a deeper political and cultural threat. “The threat to free speech everywhere is a threat to that freedom everywhere,” Melman said. “BDS is creating a manual for the repression of artistic expression in democratic societies. The world looks away at great peril.

While Melman focuses on performers — especially musicians such as anti-Israel activist Roger Waters of Pink Floyd and Patti Smith — censorship and anti-Israel boycott go deeper. Other artists whose anti-Israel and pro-BDS stances have motivated their anti-Semitic activism include graffiti artist Banksy, actress Susan Sarandon, writers Alice Walker, Sally Rooney, and many others.

Certainly, their freedom of expression has not been affected by their own choice not to participate in Israeli culture – refusing, for example, to perform there or to have their books translated into Hebrew, or in the case of Banksy, to categorically support militant Palestinian propaganda with anti-Semitic imagery. But as a lawyer and Israel time Columnist Craig Emanuel wrote, “The actions taken by the BDS movement and similar organizations are not only a threat to the collaboration of artists and international artists. They also create roadblocks between people from different cultures who share something in common and who want to be able to engage in open and honest discussions regarding cultural, political and even religious differences which can lead to the possibility of better understanding of often misunderstood issues. .”

And without such an understanding, how can societies still thrive? “Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed that his children would one day be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” Melman writes. “Perhaps if he were alive now, he would dream of the day when Israeli artists would be judged not by the cover of their passports, but by their contributions to the world.”

Terrorism Investigation Project (IPT) Senior Fellow Abigail R. Esman is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands. Her new book, Rage: Narcissism, Patriarchy, and the Culture of Terrorism, was published by Potomac Books in October 2020. Follow her on @abigailesman. A version of this article was originally published by IPT.

Albany D-Day survivor inducted into Veterans Hall of Fame

A 99-year-old World War II veteran from Albany has been inducted into the state Senate Veterans Hall of Fame.

Former army technician. sergeant. Harold Williams, one of the few survivors of the D-Day invasion and Battle of the Bulge in the Capital Region, was recognized in a ceremony at the Albany State Capitol for his military service and meritorious civilian, according to Senator Neil Breslin, who nominated Williams for the honor.

Williams served as a radio operator and forward observer with the 62n/a Armored Field Artillery Battalion, 1st infantry division. He was one of the 160,000 Allied soldiers who landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy on June 6, 1944. He landed in the first wave under heavy enemy fire.

During the Depression, Williams dropped out of eighth grade and went to work to support his family financially. He first worked in the farm fields picking fruits and vegetables to help his parents and younger sister. Her income provided the family with food, clothing and money for rent. He then got a job in a factory, then went to work at the Watervliet arsenal before enlisting in the army in 1942.

Prior to the Normandy invasion, he fought the Germans in North Africa and Tunisia before invading Sicily.

After D-Day, he conducted seven combat campaigns in the European theater. It has survived many of the greatest tank battles of all time, according to Green Island’s Tom Mullins, spokesman for the Rev. Francis Kelley Military Honor Society.

After Normandy, Williams traveled to the Ardennes to help counterattack German forces in the Battle of the Bulge. He also participated in important strategic battles at Hurtgen Forest and Eisenhorn Ridge, where his unit destroyed 40 German tanks. He then fought in Leipzig before deploying to Czechoslovakia.

Williams earned an American Theater Campaign Medal, a Europe-Africa-Middle East Medal, a World War II Victory Medal, a Presidential Unit Citation, a Certificate of the French Republic, and an Occupation Medal of the army – Germany.

“He’s the embodiment of Tom Brokaw’s ‘Greatest Generation’,” Mullins said.

After the war, he worked for the postal service before retiring.

In 2021, Williams was recognized by local and state officials at a Rev. Francis Kelley Military Honor Society. He received a Medal of Freedom from the State of New York.

bronze star

Army circuit. Howard E. Voisinet, a World War II veteran, was awarded a posthumous replacement Bronze Star Medal in a ceremony in Albany.

His daughter Joanne Cimorelli of Albany accepted the medal and other alternate military honors on her father’s behalf from Congressman Paul Tonko.

Tonko and his team spent months getting replacement medals. The originals were lost in a house fire.

Voisinet obtained the bronze star during a military operation in Germany. He risked his life to help evacuate his company of fellow soldiers, including wounded comrades from an exposed position under heavy German fire.

Cimoprelli also received the replacement for his father’s World War II Victory Medal, American Theater Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal, and of the Honorable Service Pin.

Voisinet, originally from Tonawanda, enlisted in the army during World War II. After being honorably discharged after the war, he graduated from Purdue University in 1948 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He worked for the Ministry of Defense for 30 years before retiring in 1985.

naval academy

Maren Mae Louridas of Bethlehem was inducted into the Naval Academy class of 2026 on June 30.

Louridas began six weeks of intensive midshipman Plebe Summer training at the academy in Annapolis, Maryland. This work prepares her for four years of academic, military, seamanship and leadership training.

Louridas, a basketball star from Bethlehem High School, said she expects to major in computer science and play hoop on the academy team.

Troop and unit news can be sent to Duty Calls, Terry Brown, Times Union, Box 15000, Albany, NY 12212 or email [email protected].

Ahmedabad researchers discover the genesis of a genetic mutation affecting bones | Ahmedabad News

AHMEDABAD: Morquio A is a genetic disorder which affects the development of bones and spine and reduces the life span of the person. In Gujarat, one community has a prevalence of the disease of 1 in 10,000 live births, compared to 1 in 20,000 globally, indicating double the prevalence. A study by researchers in the city indicated that the disorder is the result of endogamy – the practice of marrying within a community over centuries – and originated 450 years ago!
The article “GALNS pR variant is a probable founder mutation from Gujarati India causing mucopolysaccharidosis syndrome IVA” was recently published in BMC Genomics, a journal of Springer Nature. The study was conducted by Harsh Sheth, Premal Naik, Maulin Shah, Riddhi Bhavsar, Aadhira Nair, Frenny Sheth and Jayesh Sheth.
Dr Harsh Sheth, Head of Advanced Genomics Technology at the Institute of Human Genetics (IHG) in the city, said that over the years Gujarat has been observed to have a higher prevalence of Morquio A per compared to other parts of India and the world. “So we identified families with a history of genetic disease and took their samples to find a common link,” he said.
The team managed to find the origin with all the samples showing a specific mutation – pR in the GALNS gene – responsible for the disease. The team members, buoyed by the success, attempted to determine the age of the mutations.
“Polymorphism – the presence of two or more variant forms of the same DNA sequence – is a way to find the ‘age’ of the mutation. In our case, the gap between the mutations was very narrow, indicating that ‘He was part of the sequence for Based on the computer simulation, we got the figure around 450 years,’ said IHG Director Dr. Jayesh Sheth.
In simpler terms, two individuals carrying the same mutated gene marrying in Mughal-era India resulted in the genetic disease which continued for four centuries, primarily due to the practice of marriage within a specific social group, reducing gene diversity!
The researchers said this may well be the first report of the founder variant, linking the disorder to the specific community in Gujarat, India. “Its implications are wide – if a specific family has a high prevalence of the disease, they can look for a genetic profile before conceiving a child to check whether both parents are carriers of the mutation. child is also possible. The only cure is enzyme replacement, which is prohibitively expensive. Prompt diagnosis is the best prevention we can offer,” Dr Sheth said.

Explanation: What is white phosphorus and does Russia use it in Ukraine?

In grainy black-and-white video released on Friday, a Russian jet plane flies over Snake Island in the Black Sea, recently evacuated by Russian troops, and drops several bombs.

According to the Ukrainian army. the bombs contained white phosphorus.

Russia has deployed a wide range of weapons during its ongoing four-month military campaign in Ukraine, but some of the most controversial are incendiary weapons, including white phosphorus ammunition.

Arsonists are so feared not only for their indiscriminate nature – meaning they scatter over a wide area and are more likely to come into contact with civilians – but also for the horrific wounds they inflict.

But what is white phosphorus, what is it used for and what is the evidence that Russia used it in Ukraine?

What are incendiary weapons?

Composed of flammable substances that burn brightly, incendiary weapons are used to set enemy positions ablaze, create smoke screens to mask troop movements, and provide illumination in low light conditions.

But the category of “incendiary weapons” is broad. This can include weapons such as incendiary grenades and flamethrowers, as well as unguided bombs – called cluster munitions – filled with incendiary agents like napalm or white phosphorus.

What is white phosphorus?

A pungent, waxy substance, white phosphorus produces thick white smoke when it burns, making it effective in masking the movement of friendly forces, experts said.

But phosphorus is also infamous for the damage it can cause both to humans and to the area where it is deployed.

Igniting on contact with oxygen, phosphorus burns at 800 degrees Celsius, burning to the bone if it comes into contact with human skin.

“White phosphorus burns are unpleasant because they are not traditional fires, so if you add water it can actually make it worse,” said Brian Castner, war crimes investigator for Amnesty International Specialist. in bombs and bullets, at the Moscow Times.

Did Russia use white phosphorus in Ukraine?

While The Moscow Times was unable to verify Russia’s use of white phosphorus, Ukrainian officials – including President Volodymyr Zelensky – have repeatedly said the controversial arsonist was deployed.

“This morning, by the way, there were phosphorus bombs. Russian phosphorus bombs. Adults have been killed again and children have been killed again,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said during a virtual address to NATO leaders on March 25.

White phosphorus munitions were used by Russia against the city of Kramatorsk in March, according to a video shared online by Kyiv deputy police chief Oleksiy Biloshytskiy, who shows onlookers gathered around a strongly smoking ammunition.

“Another proof of the phosphorus bombs used by the Russian invaders. In Kramatorsk this time #War crimes“Biloshytskiy said in a tweet.

Pavlo Kyrylenko, regional governor of Donetsk said By late March, Russian forces were deploying phosphorus against entrenched Ukrainian defenders in the besieged Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol.

Russian officials have not responded to allegations that Moscow forces used phosphorus bombs in Ukraine, but instead accused Kyiv itself of using the substance.

“Desperate to contain the offensive of the troops of the Russian Armed Forces, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have started using ammunition filled with phosphorus in the suburbs of Kyiv,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor said in February. Konashenkov.

What incendiary weapons does Russia use in Ukraine?

“Russia has a range of incendiary munitions that they could use,” said Sam Cranny Evans, military analyst at the Royal United Services Institute in London.

And since many incendiary weapons share similar qualities when deployed, it is likely that the use of other incendiary has sometimes been confused with white phosphorus.

One of the materials often confused with white phosphorus is thermite, Cranny Evans said.

Like white phosphorus, thermite burns at very high temperatures but does not produce as much smoke and is only used to create fires.

Is the use of white phosphorus legal?

Due to its indiscriminate nature, the use of weapons containing white phosphorus is strictly regulated. However, they are not outright prohibited by international law.

Agents like phosphorus and thermite have legitimate wartime uses, but the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), signed by 113 countries including Russia and Ukraine, prohibits the use of incendiary weapons in civilian areas.

Under the convention, phosphorus can be used in open spaces to conceal military movements, but not to set fire to military targets if they are “in concentrations of civilians”.

But Russia has repeatedly ignored these conventions throughout the war in Ukraine, according to Amnesty International’s Castner.

“Russia destroys block by block and doesn’t care whether it’s a civilian or a military target,” he said.

In Damascus, Iran FM says Israel seeks to destabilize Syria with alleged strike

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Saturday condemned an alleged Israeli airstrike on Syria earlier in the day, making the comments shortly after arriving in Damascus.

Amir-Abdollahian made a statement on the strike at the start of a visit to the Syrian capital, where he was to discuss mutual relations and regional affairs with senior Syrian officials.

“We strongly condemn the actions of the Zionist regime and their encroachment on the territorial integrity of Syria,” Amir-Abdollahian said, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency.

“With the sanctions applied against the Syrian people and the resistance, the Zionists seek to destabilize and aggravate the problems of the Syrian people,” he said.

Syria said on Saturday that Israel carried out a rare daytime airstrike in the south of the country, injuring two people.

There was no comment from the Israel Defense Forces on the alleged strike, in keeping with their policy of not generally commenting on specific actions in Syria.

A structure is damaged following an airstrike attributed to Israel in al-Hamidiyah, Syria on July 2, 2022. (Social media)

Israel has staged hundreds of strikes on targets in Syria over the years, but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations.

Israel has said in the past that it has targeted Iran-allied militia bases, such as the Lebanese Hezbollah group which has fighters deployed in Syria, as well as arms shipments believed to be destined for various proxies in the region.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based opposition group whose funding is unclear, said Saturday’s strike targeted weapons en route to the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon . The allegation has not been confirmed by any other organization.

Citing a military source, Syria’s official SANA news agency said the missiles were launched by Israeli fighter jets over the Mediterranean Sea west of the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on Saturday. , on the Syrian town of al-Hamidiyah, south of Tartous.

While alleged Israeli attacks in Syria usually take place under cover of darkness, Saturday’s alleged strike was carried out around 6:30 a.m. during daylight hours.

According to SANA, “poultry farms” were targeted by the airstrike and two civilians were injured. Their terms were not immediately clear. Damage was also caused to the site.

Syria often claims the targets of Israeli strikes as non-military.

Video footage released by SANA showed rubble at what it said was the site of the targeted facility.

Saturday’s strike marked the first such raid attributed to Israel under Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who took office Friday morning.

Israeli strikes have continued in Syrian airspace, largely controlled by Russia, even as ties with Moscow have soured in recent months. Israel has found itself at odds with Russia as it has increasingly backed Ukraine while seeking to maintain freedom of movement in Syrian skies.

The last strike in Syria attributed to Israel dates back to June 10, when Damascus International Airport was the target of a major attack and forced to close for two weeks, following accusations by Israel that Iran is said to have smuggled weapons to the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, via civilian flights to Syria.

Emanuel Fabian contributed to this report.

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Far-right group shouted ’empty building’ in failed drag show blitz, bar owner says


The hateful comments began after June 8, when the owner of a Woodland, Calif. restaurant announced she would mark the end of Pride Month with a Drag Queen Happy Hour.

Christina Hayes was hosting the June 30 event at Mojo’s Lounge & Kitchen428 restaurant with the same spirit that had inspired her at other times to host school fundraisers and a car show.

“It’s all about community,” the 39-year-old Air Force vet told The Daily Beast.

She was surprised to see that the first venomous comment regarding her local nod to Pride came from the distant Midwest.

“I was wondering, ‘Why is this person from Central America trolling an Instagram post in little California? ‘” Hayes said.

A subsequent hateful remark was accompanied by a screenshot of his flyer and sparked hundreds of poisonous comments.

“That’s when we started getting phone calls and interactions on Facebook and Instagram with all kinds of hateful people,” Hayes said. “We immediately contacted the Woodland Police Department to advise them of the threat and to kind of explain to them how can we move forward to make sure everyone is safe?”

Hayes said the police department told him they would post a radio car outside Mojo’s and assign two additional officers to the area.

“Then it calmed down a bit,” Hayes said. “And then as the event got closer, the threat became a bit more localized with what we think are the Proud Boys. I don’t really know who they are, but a local hate group.

On June 11, a group of self-proclaimed Proud Boys interrupted a “Drag Queens Story Hour” at the San Lorenzo Public Library, about 89 miles from Woodland. The menacing intruders shouted homophobic and transphobic slurs. One wore a black and yellow shirt stenciled with an AR-15 rifle and the words “Kill your local pedophile.”

Now, on June 29, the left normal_resist The Instagram page posted a copy of Mojo’s flyer with a disclaimer:


The norca_resist The page added: “Telegram chat shows Proud Boys planning to smash that Woodland drag show tomorrow night.”

Hayes contacted police with an update.

“To let them know about the new type of threat,” she said. “They doubled the number of additional officers who were going to be on duty and notified other departments to be on standby. I think they also said they forwarded the threats to the FBI.

But, says Hayes, a number of scheduled acts “didn’t feel comfortable playing that night.”

“And so they canceled,” Hayes said. “And so we canceled the show.”

But then the evil of a few met the good of many.

“A lot of people still wanted to come out in support of Pride,” Hayes said. “So we were basically open for business, as usual.”

Hayes decorated what she calls “an upscale, casual neighborhood bar and restaurant” with rainbow Pride colors and flags.

“And we had a big crowd of people starting around 4:30 p.m.,” Hayes said. “The place was crowded. People are having dinner, having drinks, appetizers, just having a good time.

Around 7 p.m., three characters arrived to make a beautiful evening even more beautiful.

“Two drag kings and a drag queen from the area decided to do it as an impromptu show,” Hayes recalled. “I had maybe 20 minutes notice that it was happening. And so they showed up and just did like a little 30-minute lip-sync, dance around, stand-up comedy routine.

The show ended around 7:45 p.m.

“Everyone was taking pictures with the drag queens, having a great time,” she said. “The night was coming to an end. »

A number of people were about to leave when half a dozen young men appeared outside.

“Just before 8:15 the Proud Boys, or whoever they were, started marching up 1st Street,” Hayes said. “Everyone who was outside who was leaving went inside.”

Hayes and his staff closed and locked the doors. Officers stood on either side of the entrance.

For a short time, there was a sort of stalemate. The people inside then opened the doors and moved to leave. The police asked them to close the door as the young men tried to burst inside.

“They were trying to get their way in and someone inside pepper sprayed one of the attackers right in the face,” Hayes said.

Police body camera footage shows young men immediately retreating with several officers. Hatred such as that first sparked in online comments now took the form of insults and epithets from the young men, who branded those inside “pedophile motherfuckers”. The door to the restaurant was locked again.

“Unfortunately with pepper spray, or pepper spray or whatever, he just doesn’t hit his target,” Hayes said. “So that created a cloud of pepper spray inside Mojo’s. And so everyone evacuated through the back of the restaurant.

One person suffered what appeared to be an asthma or panic attack and was promptly treated by paramedics. The others were escorted to their cars as the young men crossed the street from the front of Mojo’s.

“The Proud Boys or whoever those guys were screaming into an empty building,” Hayes said. “Everyone was going home and leaving already, so they didn’t stop anything. … But they terrorized people. And that’s sort of their main focus.

The young men sought to terrorize her in particular.

“The Proud Boys were screaming my name and address,” she later said.

“I’m fine, but it was a little annoying.”

The young men were allowed to disperse without being taken into custody, but the police department released a statement making it clear they weren’t just going to drop the case:

“Tonight, the Woodland Police Department dispatched foot patrol officers downtown near Mojo’s Lounge & Kitchen restaurant on 1st Street after the business received social media threats in response to their scheduled drag show. Several people showed up and disrupted while making derogatory comments about the event and the LGBTQIA+ community. At one point, there was an altercation at the door of the facility which Woodland PD officers defused. No arrests have been made at this time. »

The police also pledged to prosecute those who had spread hatred.

“Right now, Woodland PD investigators are reviewing surveillance video, following leads and working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to determine who made the threats. We want to be clear that the Woodland Police Department does not tolerate threats or discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion.

Several people sent Hayes pictures of the young men.

“They’re not from the area,” she said. “They are foreigners.”

On Friday, everything was almost back to normal.

“We got a drunken phone call this morning on our voicemail with hate,” Hayes said.

She added that she still hopes to host a Drag Happy Hour.

“We hope to reschedule maybe at the end of the summer,” she said. “But we’ll just have to take the room temperature and see what happens.”

She couldn’t offer any immediate theory about what fuels the hate.

“I have no idea where this came from and why they are so furious,” she said. “All I know is that in the end, love always wins.”

7 On your side: “Buy now, pay later” loans are popular, but do they make sense?

NEW YORK (WABC) — Buy ​​now, pay later, or BNPL, loans have become incredibly popular, up 230% in the past two years.

These are loans that are usually interest-free and allow you to make a purchase and pay it off in four or five installments.

Sounds good, right?

Well, before you reach the plastic, pump the brakes. 7 On Your Side’s Nina Pineda has the lowdown on these loans.

“Buy now, pay later, lending has kind of taken the world by storm,” said Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at Lending Tree. “They’re everywhere. You can’t go to an online retailer without seeing them.”

Plus 7 on your side | Helping a homeowner forced into foreclosure

Schulz says their research at Lending Tree showed a huge increase in such loans during the pandemic, as shoppers were lured by offers to split payments into small chunks with a few clicks while checking shopping carts online.

“Unlike a credit card, which has interest rates that you don’t know exactly how much you’re going to pay in the end,” he said. “You know exactly how much you’ll pay for a purchase now, pay a loan later, and when that loan will end.”

Klarna, Afterpay and PayPal have paved the way for BNPLs, with Apple joining the trend offering consumers a new way to pay. Recently, investment in business-to-business BNPLs has taken off as rising costs force businesses big and small to look for ways to stay afloat.

For those of us looking to fund everything from designer duds to a new speaker system, it’s easy to qualify.

There are no hard credit applications to apply, and typically you pay it back in four equal installments every two weeks.

“That’s why everybody likes them, because they’re interest-free and they’re predictable, because they’re installment loans,” Schulz said. “But the thing is, they’re really easy to get, and that really makes it easier to overspend.”

Matt says a BNPL is great for beginners who don’t have a credit history, but not for those of us who don’t pay our bills on time.

The downsides are that it’s too easy to get into deep debt, be caught off guard by frequent payments, rack up late fees, and not understand return policies, which can make repayments difficult. .

Plus 7 on your side | Dozens of poll workers say they were stiffed by New York gubernatorial candidate

“It’s a bit of a Wild West situation going on there,” Schulz said. “So it’s important to look at the fine print with any financial transaction, but especially with these.”

Remember, just because someone is willing to give you these loans doesn’t mean you have to accept them.

You can be in a lot of trouble if you start piling them on top of each other because while there’s no thorough credit check to receive them, you better believe that if you miss a payment , they will affect your credit score.


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Fill out the form below or email your questions, issues or story ideas by filling out the form below or sending an email [email protected]. All emails MUST INCLUDE YOUR NAME AND CELL PHONE NUMBER. Without a phone number, 7 On Your Side will not be able to respond.

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The disappointment of the Quad Vaccine – The Diplomat partnership

On May 25, the leaders of the Quad – the loose grouping of Australia, India, Japan and the United States – meet in Tokyo to announce several new initiatives, including plans to monitor deep-sea fishing in the Pacific, a new educational exchange program, and more. These initiatives have attracted international attention and guest predictable but fiery criticism from the Quad’s main rival, China, which complained that the alliance was becoming a hyper-militarized and destabilizing force in the region.

However, a less discussed but still important initiative was also announced at the Tokyo Quad Summit: a $100 billion investment from the Bank of Japan to finance the ongoing Quad Vaccine partnership. Announced in March 2021, the Quad Vaccine Partnership aiming at make a donation 1.2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the Indo-Pacific by the end of 2022. Below Under this partnership, India would produce vaccine doses, the United States would finance dose production, and Australia and Japan would contribute to vaccine manufacturing, distribution and financing efforts.

Beyond the humanitarian motives, this Quad Vaccine Partnership was a thinly veiled counterattack on Chinese vaccine diplomacy, under which Beijing has sold 1.9 billion doses to 118 countries worldwide, including almost all Indo-Pacific countries, and donated another 246 million. Indeed, since its launch, observers rented the Quad Vaccine Partnership as a chance for the alliance to go beyond its traditional military domain and use diplomatic engagement to counter China in the region.

However, a year later, the Quad Vaccine Partnership has underperformed expectations. Despite continued funding since 2021, the first doses of the partnership were delivered only at the beginning of 2022. In addition, the Quad has delivered less than half of its promised 1 billion doses, with six months until the end of 2022. Moreover, for many countries, the Quad’s donations pale in comparison to Beijing’s. In Cambodia, for example, the first edition of the Quad Don of 325,000 doses in April represents less than 1% of the highest that 40 million doses sold or donated by Beijing. In fact, ironically, individual members of the Quad were more successful on their own, as each nation donated millions more doses unilaterally than through their joint partnership.

How has the Quad Vaccine partnership fallen so far? The answer is deceptively simple: time. The Quad Vaccine Partnership has faced several delays, some due to unforeseen tragedies, but others due to the Quad’s short-sighted thinking. First, soon after the announcement of the partnership, India faced a devastating wave of COVID-19 infections, first New Delhi to prioritize domestic vaccine production and reduce donations. This delayed the launch of the partnership by several months.

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Shortly after, the Quad encountered new problems with its choice of vaccines. The Quad chose to donate Johnson & Johnson and experimental Corbevax vaccines instead of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines – and officially, the Quad has never given an exact reason for this choice. In turn, the production of the two vaccines chosen by the Quad was program start in a single factory in Hyderabad, India, possesses by the Indian firm Biological E.

However, this decision soon ran into difficulties. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) limit the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as it may cause blood clots, and India refuse sign a liability waiver that would protect Johnson & Johnson from legal action over vaccine side effects. These two events cause Biological E will cease production of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and switch to manufacturing only the Corbevax vaccine – but since this vaccine remains experimental and has never received WHO approval, it cannot be donated internationally. In addition, the limited production capacity of the original single factory in Hyderabad limit the number of doses the Quad could give.

Together, these issues caused the Quad Vaccine Partnership to be delayed, allowing other states like China and even individual Quad members like the United States to take the lead in donations while Quad Vaccine Partnership was left behind.

This failure, in turn, had consequences in the real world. The Quad’s inability to carry out its multilateral initiative effectively raises questions about whether the alliance is capable of carrying out effective diplomatic and economic initiatives. These credibility issues reinforce the perception of Quadruple reviews like Kishore Mahbubani that the alliance is a military-oriented organization that is unable to support the Indo-Pacific on critical economic, diplomatic and humanitarian issues.

This perception, in turn, present a valuable opportunity for Beijing, as it allows China to present itself as the only actor capable of successful economic and diplomatic engagement in the Indo-Pacific. In turn, such a framing makes Southeast Asian States feel that they must avoid angering China and limit their alignment with the Quad, undermining the alliance’s unstated goals of building a broad regional coalition to counter China.

So, to protect its long-term goals of building regional support and fighting China, the Quad should learn two key lessons from its vaccine diplomacy initiative. First, the story of the Quad Vaccine Partnership should warn the alliance of how nationalism and short-term self-interest can hamper the Quad’s long-term effectiveness in countering Beijing. The Quad’s first major vaccine diplomacy delay is due to India’s vaccine export restrictions, and those restrictions were politically and scientifically sound, especially given the need to contain the horrific second wave of COVID-19 in India.

However, when this delay arrived, the other members of the alliance should have acted. The other Quad members should have invested in scaling up vaccine production in their states to ensure that the alliance could donate vaccine doses by the stated target date. Such a step could have gone against the strictly short-term interests of States like the United States and Japan, which have not need produce more vaccines because they had enough doses for their populations. However, these investments would have helped overcome production bottlenecks caused by India’s export restrictions and ensured that the Quad’s vaccine doses were delivered on time, bolstering the alliance’s credibility in South East Asia.

Similar examples of short-term self-interest opposing long-term gains abound throughout the Quad Vaccine partnership. For example, instead of relying on experimental vaccines or those with liability issues, the Quad should have donated a vaccine that was better tested and less impeded by law. Although mRNA vaccines may not have been feasible in donation due to the lack of cold chain storage capacity in Southeast Asia, the Quad could have increased the production of vaccines like the Indian Covishield, which is Authorized by WHO and can therefore be donated. While these vaccines may have cost more to purchase or may have obligatory additional investment to expand their production for a global donation, the use of these vaccines could have helped the Quad Vaccine Partnership deliver the promised doses on time.

Second, the disappointing performance of the Quad Vaccine Partnership also indicates that the alliance needs to give equal priority to its non-military initiatives instead of solely prioritizing military tools. Throughout the Quad Vaccine partnership, as the initiative faced repeated delays, liability hurdles, and production issues, Quad States continued to invest heavily in expansion. defense budgets, military exercises, and more. This contrast indicates that the alliance viewed the Quad Vaccine Partnership as a secondary priority to the Quad security cooperation.

A prime example of this seemingly military mindset was seen at the Tokyo Summit. While the Quad Vaccine Partnership remained behind schedule, Quad officials only briefly discussed this issue in their joint statement. Instead, Quad executives are eager quirky their attention to the Quad’s new military initiatives, such as its plan to monitor Chinese naval activity in deep water.

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In turn, this military-first mindset is wrong for several reasons. First, the constant use of military initiatives flow in the aforementioned perception that the Quad is incapable of carrying out economic and diplomatic initiatives. Secondly, this military approach is also insufficient to counter the panoply of economic and diplomatic tools that Beijing uses to expand its influence. While the Quad states have often attempted to contain China through military bases or naval presences, the vanguard of Beijing’s influence often comes in the form of trade deals such as Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), infrastructure investments in projects like China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and more. These initiatives, once launched, allow China to build closer relations with the target state and limit the influence of the United States or the Quad in these countries, such as Beijing. has done successfully in Cambodia and Myanmar.

So, to really counter China and build support in the region, the Quad needs to to offer a compelling diplomatic and economic alternative to China for Southeast Asian states. In the end, not only should the Quad engages in new economic initiatives such as offering technology transfers, trade deals and infrastructure investment to Southeast Asian states, but the alliance must also show the world that it gives priority to these initiatives at the same level as military operations. In particular, the Quad should allocate more personnel and provide more funding and resources to ensure that these new economic and diplomatic initiatives achieve their goals on time. Quad leaders should also more actively promote these new programs at alliance summits and on other media platforms to raise the profile of these initiatives and combat the perception that the alliance is primarily a military-oriented group.

In short, the Quad can no longer claim that competition with China is only in the military fields. Instead, the Quad must understand that the heart of strategic competition with China inevitably lies in the economic and diplomatic spheres, and it must allocate its resources and personnel accordingly. Defending the rules-based international order in Asia demands nothing less.

NATO summit met with wave of creative protests – Waging Nonviolence

In Madrid on Monday, a group of around 30 anti-war activists organized a die-in at the Reina Sofia museum, lying like corpses in front of Pablo Picasso’s painting representing the bombing of Guernica, striking placards on which could read: “War is the death of people. War is the death of Art.

The protest was organized by Extinction Rebellion and Fridays for Future, marking one of the few protests, marches and community dialogues organized around this week’s NATO summit in Madrid. The summit, which takes place in the shadow of the war in Ukraine, is expected to lead to increased military spending in NATO countries and has paved the way for the expansion of NATO status to Sweden and Finland.

In what he called “the biggest overhaul of collective defense and deterrence since the Cold War”, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also announced plans to increase the size of forces. NATO’s collective response to over 300,000, an increase of over 650%.

In the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, even some Spanish politicians who have traditionally criticized NATO have been relatively muted in their support. Yet as NATO expands its power and reach, critics fear it will lead to increased militarization and less funding for social services in light of soaring inflation and climate-induced crises. climate, as well as increased militarization deployed against refugees at Europe’s borders.

Thus, the demonstrators showed creativity. On Tuesday, dozens of smock-clad activists marched into Madrid’s army war school, scrawling anti-NATO messages on its walls with colorful paint in a bid to turn the facility into a “school Peace”. Police arrested 29 activists for the action.

Activists have renamed the Madrid Army War School the ‘School of Peace’. (Twitter/Fridays of Future Madrid)

Last weekend, an alternative peace summit organized by global activists in Madrid called for the dissolution of NATO and a demilitarized security system and investment in social progress.

Elsewhere in the capital, a group of La Guinda Activa activists emptied red liquid into the park’s fountains – temporarily coloring them the color of blood – and covering the area with pamphlets noting their “rejection of the NATO summit in Madrid, the militarization of our city, and the inter-imperialist wars, fewer military bases and more community centers.

Also on the NATO summit agenda were calls to mainstream unregulated immigration as a national security threat to member states, thereby further militarizing Europe’s borders. The proposal comes less than a week after 37 sub-Saharan migrants died trying to scale a border barrier between Morocco and Melilla, Spain.

“The victims of the tragedy in Melilla agonized for hours under the cruel gaze of those who were supposed to help them and did not,” tweeted Helena Garzon, leader of the Walking Borders group.

Protesters marked the Spanish Foreign Ministry “Closed for criminal activity”. (Facebook/Extinction Rebellion Spain)

In a direct action, protesters blocked the entrance to the Spanish Foreign Ministry with a large banner stating that it was ‘closed for criminal activity’. They also condemned the officials’ decision to increase NATO’s military spending instead of acknowledging its responsibility for the Melilla tragedy and the plight of climate refugees.

Earlier protests against the NATO summit culminated in a larger street demonstration on Sunday, with more than 2,200 people marching on the capital, although organizers put the number much higher. During the march, a protester said El País that he had spent the last 40 years protesting against a military base in his municipality.

“No NATO, no bases, no military spending,” protesters shouted.

As the summit wrapped up on Thursday, President Biden announced that the United States would provide an additional $800 million to Ukraine in the coming days, in addition to increasing its military presence in Europe.

” I’ve had it up to here [with] this case of weapons and murders. The solution they are proposing is more guns and wars, and we are still paying for that,” Concha Hoyos, a protester and retiree from Madrid, told Al Jazeera. “So no NATO, no [army] bases, let the Americans go and leave us alone without wars and weapons.

One of the first combat drones ever deployed in the world

Using drones for combat is nothing new, but early examples would pale in comparison to the sophistication of modern models. However, there were bright lights in the history of this technology that would reveal the potential of this technology for future generations.

One such craft was the Interstate TDR-1. Developed by the United States towards the end of World War II, this interesting craft is fascinating to briefly explore.

What is Interstate TDR-1?

The TDR Highway was one of the first unmanned combat aerial vehicles built by the Interstate Aircraft and Engineering Corporation for use by the United States Navy during World War II. Nicknamed “attack drone” at the time, around 2,000 aircraft were ordered.

Each TDR-1 had a very simple design, with a steel tube frame built by the Schwinn Bicycle Company and a molded wood skin made by the Wurlitzer Musical Instrument Company. Two non-military flathead Lycoming 6s provided the power with 230 horsepower each. The drone was built using few strategic resources so as not to hamper the manufacture of higher priority aircraft.

The TDR-1 was capable of carrying bombs or torpedoes, but only about 200 were completed, and even fewer were used in combat. The TDR-1 saw action against the Japanese in the Pacific theater, with mixed success.

IInterstate TDR-1 assault drone in flight, circa 1944. Source: US Navy/Wikimedia Commons

Throughout their use, around 50 drones were launched in two months, with 31 hits on anti-aircraft positions, bridges, airfields and stranded ships recorded. The drone would be dropped by a ground control team and then handed over to the TBM pilot already flying above terrain, guided by a modified TBM-1C Avenger torpedo bomber. The TBM pilot would be connected to the drone and pass control to the controller in the rear cockpit. The controller would guide the drone to its target using Camera signals mounted on the nose of TDR.

Due to continued aircraft development challenges and successful operations using more conventional weapons, the attack drone program was canceled in October 1944.

Interstate TDR-1 Vital Stats

Several variants of the Interstate TDR program were built like many other aircraft. However, the only production model was the TDR-1. For this reason, we will provide the statistics for this particular model.

Seized service: July 1944

Retired: November 1944

Crew: 0–1 (optional driver)

Wingspan: 48 ft (15 m)

Gross weight: 5,900 lbs (2,676 kg)

Power plant: Lycoming O-435-2 opposed piston engines, 220 hp (160 kW) each

Cruising speed: 140mph (230kph)

Interval: 684 km (425 mi)

Armament: A 2,000-pound (907 kg) aerial bomb or torpedo

What is the history of TDR-1?

In 1942, the United States embarked on a mission to develop inexpensive, easy-to-use drones to help save their very valuable and irreplaceable human crews. With the end of the war seeming a long way off, such wacky and experimental technology was relegated to the bottom of the military’s priority list.

TDR-1 pilot variant
Interstate XBQ-4 assault drone prototype (a US Army variant). Source: US Army Air Force/Wikimedia Commons

However, enough U.S. military officials foresaw how beneficial such technology would be if successfully developed, especially in the Pacific theater against the Empire of Japan.

To that end, Interstate Aircraft was commissioned to develop the drones, which were mostly made of wood stretched over a metal frame. Each TDR had two engines and a removable cockpit, giving them the ability to be piloted by humans if and when needed. However, from the outset, their primary function was to serve as an unmanned drone.

Each drone was remotely controlled by a Grumman TBM-1C Avenger torpedo bomber master who tracked the drone and controlled it using very sophisticated technologies for the time.

What technology was added to the TDR 1 that made it different from all previous UAS?

The secret of TDR-1 was a new type of top-secret technology called an RCA TV. Images from a camera installed in the drone’s nose were sent to a five-inch screen in the Avenger’s rear cockpit. The image quality was admittedly poor, but it was more than enough for the pilot to see large targets like enemy ships.

Once developed and built, the first batches of them were supplied to three special air groups (STAGs) specially created to operate them. However, problems with these early drones soon became apparent. For example, when they landed in the Solomon Islands, it was quickly discovered that the tropical climate and lack of sophisticated infrastructure proved to be a nightmare for drone electrical equipment.

However, these early problems were overcome and the TDRs were put into action soon after.

On June 30, 1944, they were tested against a Japanese freighter, the Yumasuki Maru, which had run aground near Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. A total of four drones were used, three of which collided with the ship. Two of them successfully exploded.

tdr-1 silhouette
A three-view drawing of the Interstate TDR-1 assault drone. Source: Greg Goebel/Wikimedia Commons

Another test also showed promise when four drones were launched from Bougainville in September of the same year for a mission to destroy another stranded Japanese ship. This ship, unlike the first, was a little more robust and had some Japanese defenses, such as an anti-aircraft battery. Each drone was armed with a 2,000 pound (907 kg) bomb and had to fly a total of 55 miles (88.5 km) to reach the target.

This test was a bit more mixed, with one drone lost along the way, another nearly hit the ship but didn’t explode, and a third hit the ship but didn’t explode. The last plane rammed the ship, successfully detonating its massive explosive payload.

Further tests followed, with more flights made over the next month, some of which were sent to targets over 100 miles from their base.

Drones were largely successful in attacking many military targets, but they were widely looked down upon by US Navy leaders, and in November 1944 the project was duly cancelled. This was likely due to politics, mistrust and lack of knowledge of such new and radical technology rather than serious design flaws. There had been no American lives lost as a result of their use.

After the war, some TDR-1s were converted for operation as private sport aircraft.

And that, UAV enthusiasts, is your lot for today.

The Interstate TDR-1 was a revolutionary aircraft for its time, but like most advanced technologies in history, it probably arrived a little too early to be fully appreciated. This would in part show the world how valuable unmanned aircraft could be in combat, which would ultimately lead to the development of modern combat drones that we know all too well today.

Best installment loans for bad credit

When you borrow a fixed amount and need to repay it in regular installments, it is called an installment loan. Car loans, personal loans, and mortgages are just a few examples of popular installment loans. These loans involve monthly payments calculated so that the borrower repays the loan according to an agreed schedule.

Installment loans are common, and in most cases you don’t need to have good credit to increase your chances of being approved. But this is where most people fall prey to unscrupulous lenders who charge borrowers high interest rates.

When looking for a loan, it’s a good idea to always read and fully understand the terms before signing the agreement – and know your credit rating.

Today we are going to focus on installment loans for bad credit.

What is a bad credit installment loan?

Borrowers with no credit, imperfect credit history or poor credit scores are the best candidates for installment loans for bad credit. It is a type of payday loan designed to help people who have difficulty accessing credit.

Online lenders offer installment loans, although some local credit unions and banks may also offer payday loans for poor credit.

Payday loans for borrowers with bad credit are usually unsecured. Therefore, borrowers must provide an asset that will act as collateral to get loan approval. This way, the lender reduces the risk associated with defaults since they can simply repossess the asset to offset the loan balance.

But some lenders may not need collateral to approve an installment loan for borrowers in credit difficulty. It’s called an unsecured loan, but instead of collateral, lenders tend to charge higher interest rates to protect against defaulters.

Features of Bad Credit Installment Loans

As we see now, you don’t need to have a great credit score to qualify for an installment loan. You can take out a certain loan amount and repay it in fixed installments over a period of time.

Bad credit installment loans have unique characteristics that set them apart from other types of loans:

  • Variable or fixed interest rates often apply. Variable interest rates change over the term of the loan. Fixed rates, on the other hand, mean that interest rates remain the same throughout the term of the loan.

Although terms and interest rates vary depending on the lender you choose, installment loans generally have:

  • Higher fees: Bad credit installment loans tend to have higher fees. Fees can be administrative fees, loan service fees or collection fees.
  • Higher interest rates: It is common for lenders to charge higher interest rates on loans to borrowers with bad credit.
  • Loan amounts: Bad credit installment loan finance companies typically offer loans ranging from $100 to $10,000.

How to choose an installment loan

Here’s what to look for when choosing payday loans:

  • Costs: Most lenders charge origination fees on loans, which can range from 1% to 10% of the total loan amount. Always ask the lender to disclose all fees associated with the loan before accepting the loan offer.
  • Annual rates in percentage: APR is a term used to understand the cost of borrowing. For a personal loan, the APR is the annual cost of taking out a loan expressed as a percentage. Generally, you should find the lowest APR possible.
  • Monthly payments: Payday loans tend to have fixed interest rates, which means your monthly payments stay the same for the life of the loan. This can be great for your budget as it allows you to properly manage your debt.
  • Minimum credit score: Different lenders have different definitions of bad credit. Some consider it to be below 630 while others may have no minimum requirement and may approve borrowers even without a credit history.
  • Credit Repair Features: Most online lenders work with the three biggest credit bureaus, namely Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. They report your loan payments to these credit bureaus, so if you consistently make on-time payments, you can improve your credit score. Some lenders also offer additional features to help borrowers build credit. Always choose a lender who helps you repair your credit score.

How Bad Credit Installment Loans Work

You do everything online – from making a simple request to depositing funds into your account. Most online platforms are brokers, who then connect you with a lender.

One of the leading installment loan brokers is MyUSALoans, which provides unparalleled access to bad credit lenders. Upon submitting your application through their easy to use website, you will get an instant decision on your loan application. Your funds will usually be deposited within one business day.

Eligibility criteria

In order for you to apply for bad credit installment loans through MyUSALoans, you will need to:

  • Be 18 or older
  • Show proof of stable income
  • Have an active bank account with direct deposit.

Advantages of installment loans

Quick application

Most lenders operate online and you can complete the application on any device with internet access. It only takes a few minutes if you have the required information readily available.

Affordable Loans

Your income will determine the loan amount you can borrow. However, most lenders have predetermined algorithms that limit the amount of money you can borrow to prevent you from falling into a cycle of debt.

Easy qualification

Most payday loans do not involve a credit check and if you can prove that you are earning a steady income, you can easily qualify for a no credit check loan. If you haven’t defaulted with another lender, your chances of qualifying are still good.

flexible payment

Bad credit installment loans tend to have flexible payment plans to meet your unique financial needs. In some states, the loan may have a three month repayment period. But you can often also prepay the loan without a prepayment penalty.

No spending restrictions

You can use your loans for anything. But we suggest that you only borrow when you are in a financial emergency. Unlike bank loans, installment loans and other payday loans have no restrictions on how you spend them.

Will my credit report be affected?

MyUSALoans does not check your credit score when you apply for a loan online. But some lenders may check your score through a “soft search” that won’t appear as a credit application on your report.

Can I get a bad credit loan with guaranteed approval?

Although it is normally easy to get approved for a payday loan, unfortunately no one is guaranteed approval. It doesn’t matter how few loan requirements and how good your credit score is. However, if you have a steady stream of income and an active bank account that allows direct deposit, you will have an excellent chance of being approved through MyUSALoans.com.

Can I borrow twice from the same lender?

Instead. Especially if you have managed to repay a loan on time in the past. So paying off your loan on time will always increase the chances of borrowing twice from the same lender.

What other options do I have?

If you think a bad credit installment loan isn’t the right solution, there may be an alternative for you, including:

Guarantee loans

As the same suggests, these are types of unsecured loans that require a co-signer in the form of a family member or friend. The guarantor simply undertakes to repay the debt in the event of default by the borrower.

Guarantor loans are ideal for anyone with poor or no credit and if you can repay on time, you can use them to repair your credit rating.

Secured loans

Secured loans are also a great way to access credit if you have bad credit. With a secured loan, you must appoint collateral that the lender will use to recover the cost if you fail to repay the loan.

Why Choose MyUSALoans for Bad Loans in Maryland?

If you want a payday loan for bad credit, you can use MyUSALoans to borrow up to $5,000. They can match you with a reputable lender who will be able to provide you with the funds you need.

With MyUSALoans, you can get a loan in three easy steps:

  • Loan application: The platform is safe and secure
  • Decision: Instant decision on your loan application
  • Get your funds: Get up to $5,000 in 24 hours.


If you need a loan but are afraid of your bad credit, MyUSALoans can help you get a loan within 24 hours. The platform will connect you with the best lenders in America and on the same day of application, you will receive your funds so that you can deal with your financial emergency.

Circuit Court Judge races feature four starters, two challengers

Editor’s note: With early voting beginning July 7, Bethesda Beat will be hosting election recaps for Montgomery County offices and the General Assembly. Today, we focus on nonpartisan court races.

Four incumbent Montgomery County Circuit Court justices are up for re-election in the July 19 primary. The race, which is non-partisan, also includes two challengers.

In recent years, Circuit Court judges Gary Bair, Ronald Rubin, Cynthia Callahan and Robert Greenberg have retired. To replace them, Governor Larry Hogan appointed:

  • Kathleen Dumais, former state delegate and attorney from Rockville
  • Carlos Acosta, who had previously served as a Montgomery County District Court judge
  • Theresa Chernosky, Montgomery County public defender for 20 years
  • Rachel McGuckian, a lawyer with Miles & Stockbridge for 25 years.

Under state law, governor-appointed judges must run for election for 15-year terms in the next general election to be held at least one year after their appointment to the court.

Dumais, Acosta, Chernosky and McGuckian are on the ballot, along with challengers Thomas P. Johnson III and Marylin Pierre – both lawyers in private practice who ran unsuccessfully in 2020.

Since 1970, Maryland has used a vetting process in which judicial appointing commissions help the governor appoint judges when vacancies occur. After lawyers complete a lengthy application regarding their work experience and other background information, nominating commissions send the applications to bar associations and separate judicial screening committees for review. The judicial selection commissions examine the applications and interview the candidates.

Pierre sparked anger in 2020 when she accused the incumbents of that year’s race of being a “group” and being “tied by marriage”, while the incumbents pointed out that she had repeatedly failed to appear on the list of candidates of the nominating commissions. Then, days before the general election in November, the incumbents obtained a restraining order after one of Pierre’s campaign workers allegedly falsely claimed that Pierre was a judge. Pierre said she had “no direct knowledge” of the incident.

Here are the candidates:

Carlos Acosta

Acosta, 58, of Silver Spring has served as a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge since January, and prior to that served as a county district court judge for four years. He also served as Inspector General of the Prince George’s County Police Department from 2012 to 2018.

Acosta has also served as a United States Special Prosecutor in the Organized Crime and Narcotics Trafficking Section, Assistant District Attorney in Montgomery and Prince George Counties, and Associate Professor of Law at American University.

Acosta highlighted in a question-and-answer guide for Bethesda Beat voters the need for the justice system to continue to use technology to conduct certain administrative hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure efficiency and equal access.

Therese Chernosky

Chernosky, 52, of Gaithersburg has served as a Circuit Court judge since December 2021 and was previously an assistant district public defender in the county. She also served as an assistant public defender in the county from 2001 to 2017 and an assistant public defender at the Department of Public Advocacy in London, Ky., from 1996 to 2001.

Chernosky told Bethesda Beat that she worries about a lack of “trust” in the justice system and plans to listen with empathy and compassion if elected and to be fair in her judgments.

Chernosky, at an earlier election forum, said a move by the legislature to revoke the governor’s ability to make the final decision on parole eligibility for inmates serving life sentences would be very significant. . Changes are needed to address the high incarceration rates in the state, she said.

Catherine Dumais

Dumais, 63, of Rockville, has been a Circuit Court judge since December 2021 and a lawyer in private practice for 25 years. Dumais was also a state delegate who represented District 15 in the Legislative Assembly from 2003 to 2021.

Dumais strongly emphasized the importance of the judicial vetting process in his response to Bethesda Beat’s questionnaire, noting that nominating commissions screen candidates for judicial office at the district, circuit, and appellate levels.

A lawyer who is at least 30 years old and lives in Maryland can pay an application fee and have their name put on the ballot without going through the verification process, she noted.

Rachel McGuckian

McGuckian, 54, of Rockville has served as a Circuit Court judge since January and was previously a lawyer in private practice in Rockville for 25 years. McGuckian also served as a lieutenant colonel in the Maryland Defense Force Judge Advocate General Corps of the Maryland National Guard between 2005 and 2016.

McGuckian also highlighted the importance of the vetting process in his responses to Bethesda Beat, noting that judges who applied and were appointed to the bench filled out more than 25-page applications, and 13 bar associations as well as an independent nominating committee reviewed the applications. .

At an earlier forum, McGuckian rejected the premise that sitting judges are a “group,” saying only qualified judges are appointed, but everyone gets a chance.

Maryline Pierre

Pierre, 56, of Gaithersburg, has been an attorney in private practice since 1993 and served as a family law facilitator at the Montgomery County Circuit Court from 2006 to 2016.

In interviews and campaign forums, Pierre has said she is concerned that African Americans, especially young black men, are incarcerated at a disproportionately high rate in Maryland. Pierre says she worries about the pipeline from school to state prison and the excessive sentences.

Pierre has been highly critical of the vetting process, saying in a forum last month that she thought she had applied nine times to be a judge without being selected, but was unsure of the exact number. Pierre said she believed her lack of rapport with members of the nominating committees had hurt her feelings.

Thomas P. Johnson III

Johnson is an attorney who has practiced for 29 years and is licensed in Maryland, Louisiana and Washington, DC, according to his website.

On his website, Johnson says he is committed to judicial and penal reform, and that judges must consider the potential harm of bail and pretrial incarceration for low-income and non-low-income offenders. violent.

Like Pierre, Johnson has also applied several times unsuccessfully to be a judge in Maryland, saying in a forum last month that he had gone through the vetting process six times. He criticized the incumbent judges in the race for running as a slate, saying their platform “is based on their tenure”.

When is the election?

The primary election takes place on July 19. Early voting begins July 7. Absentee ballots will be accepted as long as they are postmarked before 8 p.m. on July 19 or deposited in a ballot box at that time.

[For more information on candidates for local, state and federal races, check out the Bethesda Beat voters guide.]

Dan Schere can be contacted at [email protected]

Octo Metric Wins Joint Venture Contract to Support Army Defensive Cyber ​​Operations (DCO)

RESTON, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Octo, a member of Octo Metric Joint Venture (JV) with Metric5, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a CIO SP3 SB contract to support the project management support services (PMSS) of the U.S. Army Defensive Cyber ​​Operations (DCO) program. The five-year contract has a potential value of $69 million and will allow Octo to continue its history of service to DCO by overseeing cybersecurity implementation and strategy spanning the entire lifecycle of DCO systems. Octo will provide program management to support a full range of advisory assistance and cybersecurity-related work products for the DCO, ensuring that cyber projects meet time, budget and technical requirements by applying the IT and business best practices that meet DCO requirements as they continue to modernize their systems and strengthen security.

DCO is responsible for rapidly delivering innovative and dominant cyber capabilities, as well as tailored solutions for national, joint and allied partners that rely on defensive cyber solutions, cyber analytics and cyber threat detection tools. Octo has supported DCO for over five years in various capacities. Past projects have included supporting the development of the first wearable soldier cybersecurity platform used by the US military and a Garrison-based cybersecurity platform, among others.

Octo CEO Mehul Sanghani said: “We are excited to continue working alongside our Metric5 partners and deepen our relationship with the US Army DCO. This is a proven collaborative effort. Past projects have demonstrated our ability to meet the needs of DCOs and the combatants they serve. Octo looks forward to using the cybersecurity experience, knowledge and expertise of our teams to lead critical projects that protect our warfighters, our nation and our allies.

About Octo

Octo is a technology company dedicated to solving the federal government’s toughest challenges, enabling agencies to leap the technology curve. We don’t just modernize. We create lasting change through best practices that help agencies implement and integrate next-generation technology and innovation at scale. With a mission and service first mindset, we deliver Agile, DevSecOps, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Blockchain, Cloud, Open Source and Data Science solutions, collaborating to solve customers’ pressing problems. Based in Reston, Va., Octo provides proven technology vital to the intelligence community and healthcare, defense, national security and civilian agencies that directly impact our country. Visit octo.us to learn more.

Pro-Navalny Moscow lawmaker detained after trial for ‘war forgery’


Opposition Moscow City MP Ilya Yashin was arrested Monday night a month after he was found guilty of “discrediting” the Russian military, lawyers and journalists said.

Freelance journalist Irina Babloyan said she and Yashin were walking in a park in the Khamovniki district of central Moscow when police officers took him in an unknown direction.

Babloyan later said she learned Yashin was charged with disobeying police orders.

If found guilty, the opposition politician faces up to 15 days in prison.

Lawyer Vadim Prokhorov said he was denied access to see Yashin at the police station.

He added that Yashin’s trial is scheduled to take place on Tuesday morning.

Yashin, 38, is one of the few opposition figures who has not fled Russia despite the authorities’ unprecedented crackdown on dissent during the war in Ukraine.

Russia has cracked down on anti-war protests, independent press and social media since launching what Moscow calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

On May 25, a Moscow court fined Yashin 90,000 rubles ($1,799) for “discrediting” Russian military actions abroad.

Last year, Yashin resigned as chairman of the council of deputies of the Krasnoselsky municipal district in central Moscow, which he had headed since 2017.

He attributed his resignation to state pressure over his support for imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

Yashin Yelena Kotenochkina’s colleagues, who had fled Russia, and Alexei Gorinov were accused of spreading “fake news” for calling the special operation a “war” at a council session in March.

The criminal offence, committed just days after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, carries prison sentences of up to 15 years.

The Biden administration’s China strategy – The Diplomat

Diplomat author Mercy Kuo regularly engages subject matter experts, policy practitioners, and strategic thinkers from around the world for their diverse insights into US policy in Asia. This conversation with Dr. Raymond Kuo – political scientist at the RAND Corporation and author of “Following the Leader” (2021) and “Contests of Initiative” (2021) – is the 324th in “The Trans-Pacific View Insight Series”.

Analyze the new fundamental pillars of the Biden administration’s China strategy, namely “invest, align and compete”.

The strategy is late and uneven, but nonetheless a good start for a coherent US strategy toward China. It centers domestic competition with China, but acknowledges that there are still issues Washington and Beijing can cooperate on (e.g. climate change, COVID-19). It also clarifies the overall political objective: to outclass China and preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific region. Secretary Blinken also clarified that the United States not interested in regime change in Beijing, which is helpful.

The “align” pillar is best supported. Particularly compared to the previous administration, the Biden administration has done an effective job of galvanizing international cooperation and momentum against China’s threats to regional security. There is still a lot to do, especially to get the Asian partners to increase their military preparations and capabilities. Moreover, as I will discuss later, Asian countries see US economic engagement as a key indication of Washington’s engagement in the region. The withdrawal of the United States from the TPP has damaged American credibility, and I am not sure that the IPEF is enough to compensate for that.

My biggest concern is whether the Biden administration can commit the resources necessary to implement this strategy. The United States has been swivel in Asia since at least the George W. Bush administration. It’s actually happening this time, at least rhetorically. But Washington still has to devote more funding and personnel, not only for the military, but also for the diplomatic, aid and investment arms of the United States.

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There is a danger in believing that the United States can compete with China cheaply, that success does not require sometimes painful political and economic adjustment, in addition to military expenditure. This is simply not the case. The USSR never reached 60% of the American GDP. China has already passed this milestone. In particular, the United States has a lot to rebuild at home. Blinken highlighted innovation, democracy and human capital among the strengths the United States can and will rely on in its competition with China. But all of these elements are eroding, and the United States needs a coherent and ambitious national strategy to strengthen these elements and develop the resources necessary to outperform Beijing.

How does this new strategy reflect US foreign policy priorities?

The strategy shares some similarities with built-in deterrent, in the sense that the United States is attempting to pull together its wide array of capabilities into a cohesive strategy for great power competition. Like much of U.S. foreign policy, the “invest, align, and compete” approach does not sufficiently emphasize or detail the nonmilitary engagement that often interests Asian states. a clearly worded statement of principles.

Examine how the White House’s recently launched “Indo-Pacific Economic Framework” (IPEF) advances its New China Strategy.

I’m glad the United States is re-engaging in international economic policy, but there’s still a long way to go. Trump has been a disaster on trade issues, hitting his allies with tariffs while simultaneously seeking their help against China. Unfortunately, the Biden administration has maintained many of its predecessor’s tariffs, despite the critical relationship improvements that reversing them would produce.

Support for free trade is actually at a all-time high among Americans. But this issue has also been swept away in American politics. polarizationwith “Does my side win?” considerations significantly influencing attitudes towards trade. This makes it politically difficult to conclude global trade agreements.

The IPEF is structured to avoid these problems. Senate approval is not required, as these are executive orders that do not address access to the US economy. However, especially among advanced economies, states generally sign trade agreements so that their companies can earn to access to new markets. This will not happen with IPEF. Moreover, the IPEF can be easily overthrown if a trade skeptic enters the White House. I expect the Biden administration to hope the trade perks will “lock in” the deal even after they leave. But as seen with other trade deals or even the Iran nuclear deal, partisanship drives breaking even extremely well-crafted deals for domestic political purposes.

The Biden administration is finally right that the United States should push for “high quality” trade deals. But the US got it with the TPP, and even joining its new form (i.e. the CPTPP) would imply a greater economic commitment than the IPEF.

Explain China’s “Global Security Initiative” and its implications for the US-China rivalry.

Chinese President Xi Jinping announcement the GSI in April, presenting it as a counterpart to the Global Development Initiative. The speech itself didn’t offer much substance. It was mostly the same message of win-win global cooperation and the five principles of peaceful coexistence that we often see in Chinese foreign policy statements. There was also the standard opposition to a Cold War mentality (i.e. US efforts to contain China) and the desire to lead Asian states into a future of common security, but not necessarily enhanced or embedded in constraining institutions.

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Additionally, Xi and others highlighted what might be called public goods issues in their GSI discussions: COVID-19, economic recovery, some environmental issues. These are fruits at hand. States have largely aligned interests on these issues, and China can unlock mutual gains relatively easily by coordinating between governments or providing these goods directly.

But the GSI says nothing about more difficult issues where China and its neighbors have conflicting interests. If win-win is not possible, does China prioritize its own interests or consider the interests of its neighbors? For example, would Beijing be willing to submit rival maritime territorial claims to UNCLOS arbitration? Or establish a military code of conduct and procedures for sharing information between states in the region? Can he commit to decoupling trade from political disputes?

Beijing has had an uneven record on all of these issues. This partly reflects a general tendency within Chinese foreign policy to favor bilateral discussions on security issues over multilateral deliberations in highly institutionalized settings. But this is a liability in this case, as China could certainly benefit from stronger engagement mechanisms to bolster its credibility, as well as regularized policy coordination forums to coherently understand and manage disputes in matters of security.

In this sense, the United States has a strong advantage that the GSI does little to compensate for. Its network of alliances and other security ties face these difficult trade-offs directly. Even countries like Vietnam are seeking closer ties with the United States in response to Chinese coercive activities. Washington has succeeded in using the security organs to institutionalize this regional momentum and broaden political and military discussions.

Assess the risks and benefits of the new Chinese strategy for US Indo-Pacific allies.

I’m not that worried that the GSI is somehow displacing the US alliance and security network or even directly undermining US partners, for the reasons I stated earlier. The GSI does not commit China to any concrete security action, or even deeper political alignment and discussion of difficult military and political issues.

This can serve to build goodwill among, for example, African or Latin American countries wishing to engage on COVID-19 or economic challenges. But there is little reason to secure this cooperation, especially when China has other vehicles that achieve the same goals, such as the BRI. I am skeptical of Beijing’s ability to translate this engagement into real military or security coordination, especially since the PLA has limited power projection capabilities, especially beyond Asia.

Pro-abortion protests at the US Supreme Court

(Fight! News/Staff)

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Washington, DC – Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that granted women a constitutional right to abortion, hundreds of people took to the streets of Washington DC on June 24. They protested in front of the Supreme Court against what they consider an unjust decision.

Chants of “This decision must not stand. Legal abortion on demand! “Illegitimate forced motherhood! Illegitimate Supreme Court! and “Legal abortion you!” and “Legal Abortion Now!” sounds as Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights organizers lead a rally and lead a group of protesters outside the US Supreme Court.

“The Democrats are deeply complicit and not just complicit, but there is a cynicism. Some like this decision because they think they can go all the way to the primaries,” a Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights organizer told the crowd, with barricades in front of the court and rows of police behind her.

Several other protests are planned for the weekend and will continue into next week. Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights intends for the organization to support protests in the Supreme Court for as long as necessary. Another speaker said: “It was thanks to people coming out onto the streets that we won the right to abortion. We have to be here day in and day out on the streets. It’s time to start raising hell! You can’t say you’re pro-choice and stay home right now.

Several groups staged actions throughout the day, including Harriet’s Wildest Dreams, a black-led abolitionist organization focused on community advocacy, and Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights, an organization formed in January 2022 calling for mass protests, supported and non-violent throughout the country in support of the right to abortion.

Letter: Self-defense, the defense of the country is, indeed, a God-given right | Letters

Thomas Jefferson understood and warned against disarming the people. He wrote, “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

This is why the second amendment is “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. It was important to our founding fathers that every citizen not only have the right, but also the means, to protect their country from a hostile takeover by corrupt politicians.

History has shown us that democracies have been taken by force in several countries. They succeeded because the tyrants first disarmed the civilians. Nazi Germany is an excellent example of civilian disarmament. First they demanded that people register their firearms. This ended up causing the Storm Troopers to go house to house confiscating all the weapons.

We see that some politicians see this as a start in America. The fact is that a small handful of evil people have used guns for mass murder, but politicians are focusing on guns rather than dangerous people. They are trying to convince people that this will stop, or at least reduce, mass murder. No weapons, no mass murder.

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The problem is that if evil murderers don’t have access to firearms, they will find other ways to kill many people in a single action. Timothy McVeigh murdered 168 people of all ages without firing a shot. His weapon was a truck loaded with fertilizer and fuel oil that became a deadly bomb. Exceptionally effective.

While some politicians say the people’s right to own and bear arms is not a God-given right, the right to self-defense is. Such is the defense of our country.

Hartford Community Prayer Service seeks safety for city’s youth over summer – Hartford Courant


Hartford – A longtime violence prevention activist, Brother Carl Hardrick recalled a young man he was called to see at Saint Francis Hospital. He went upstairs and saw the poor state the young man was in.

After seeing him, Hardwick sensed how serious his condition was and even told the doctor that he didn’t think the young man would survive.

The young man died as a result of community violence.

The story Hardrick shared is one of many that inspired him and Hartford Communities That Care Executive Director Andrew Woods to participate in the Beta Chapter’s ‘Prayer with Purpose’ community event. Hartford’s Sigma Lambda of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., as the two are in the trenches helping victims of communal violence.

Outside the Woodland entrance to Keney Park in Hartford, fraternity, sorority, community leaders and members gathered to pray for a safe summer for the city’s youth. As a black man and chairman of the Beta Sigma Lambda fraternity social action committee, Charon Smalls said he felt compelled to bring this event to the heart of Hartford.

“So over the last month we just (wanted to do something) that impacted on a spiritual level, (because) a lot of us are believers. We’re people of faith. We think that ‘it’s about not only having that intervention from God, but also motivating ourselves (to action),” Smalls said. is not just about speaking these words, but also about living them.”

The fellowship works throughout the year to ensure they live their faith out loud by having educational and youth programs designed to ensure local children get into college. Some of the activities included an annual fishing trip for Hartford County children, an online youth tutoring program during the COVID-19 pandemic, and other experiences around scholarships and education. This year, they helped four local high school students go to college.

Fellowship member Reverend Sylvester Turner Jr. was the one who helped bring Small’s vision for the prayer event to life. He noted the importance of hosting the prayer event.

“When Charon asked me to set up something for the community, regarding prayer for the summer, I thought it would be a task of sharing responsibilities,” he said. “After while it started, you know, God put on my heart how to do it. I just felt it was necessary for community leaders, faith communities, DN9 organizations, families and community members to come together. The Bible speaks of two or three being gathered together, God is there. So if he is there, we believe him (and) we pray.

Turner also noted the community’s responsibility to pray for children during the summer.

“It’s really…just making sure that we’ve done our part, as members of the community, to pray for our children. If no one prays for them, then who will? We have a duty and a responsibility to do that, and that’s what it’s really about,” he said. “Whether it’s five people here or (one) group of people, we just want to let our young people and our families know that, no matter how things look, we, the members of the community, are here to support them, pray and move them forward in their purpose and what God has called them to do.

A highlight of the event was Pastor AJ Johnson of Urban Hope Refuge Church in Hartford, who instructed the men in the crowd to pledge to mentor a young man aged 18 to 24 and the parents to love their children harder.

“There are young people right here at Martin Luther King School, who (have) never been anywhere but GA 14 (court) on Lafayette Street, who have never had the opportunity to extend their borders beyond those 18 square miles,” Johnson said.

“So I want to challenge all of you to engage this 18-24 age group. … I want to instruct parents to love harder. You’re probably saying… don’t tell me how to love my son or my daughter, or my child or my children. Don’t tell me how to do that, because I do a fantastic job, and indeed you are.

“You do an amazing job, but what you also need to understand is that when your kids leave you, they’re out of your space for six to eight hours a day being taught by other people. …I want us to love our kids, beyond those times when they come home and don’t look like we raised them to be…so they don’t have to find love (in) another place, but the home you made for them.

Understanding NATO enlargement through the realistic principle of “anarchy” – Kashmir Reader

The ongoing Russian war against Ukraine was sparked (at least from a Russian perspective) by Ukrainian intentions to join the US-led western military bloc, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO ). As a result, one of the main objectives of the war has been to prevent Ukraine from applying for NATO membership given the threat it poses to Russia due to Ukraine’s geographical contiguity with she. Far from deterring Ukraine from joining the bloc, the Russian invasion prompted hitherto militarily neutral countries on its border – Sweden and Finland – to reverse their decades-old position of neutrality by deciding to join the NATO. What makes NATO membership so attractive to newcomers? It is the search for security in an anarchic structure of the international system.
Overview of NATO expansion
Formed in 1949 with twelve founding nations to counter the expansion of its military rival, the Soviet Union, NATO continued its expansionist course, building its strength to 30 members and still counting. NATO has an “open door” policy for any European country wishing to join the military alliance after meeting certain basic membership requirements such as being a stable democracy, civilian control over the military, ability to pay enough for its own defense and that of the community, and no internal conflict or external territorial conflict. The latest country to join the bloc on March 27, 2020 is the Republic of North Macedonia. Although NATO expansion continued unabated after 1949, the only waves of enlargements that became controversial were those that occurred after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The first wave after the dissolution of the USSR took place in 1999, which brought the former Soviet republics – the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland – into the NATO docket. The second and so far largest wave of expansion swept seven countries – Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia and Lithuania – into NATO’s military ocean. In 2009, Croatia and Albania and in 2017 North Macedonia became members of NATO. In addition, there is a list of candidate countries awaiting the green signal from NATO to join. Denouncing these enlargements to the East, Russian President Putin said at a recent press conference: “You promised us in the 1990s that (NATO) would not move an inch to the East . You shamelessly deceived us”.
Why is NATO constantly expanding?
NATO’s usefulness to its members is twofold – internal and external – in the anarchic nature of the international system. The realistic concept of “anarchy” is the structural condition of international relations where there is no sovereign supranational authority to check the selfish behavior of nations. This essentially leaves nations to self-help in times of crisis. The state of anarchy gives rise to another realistic concept of a “security dilemma” obliging states to assume and prepare for the worst coming from the other state actor in the international system. Preparations for the worst lead to the accumulation of more and more military equipment, which leads to a vicious circle of arms race. To escape anarchy or mitigate its effects, states adopt one of two strategies: “balance of power”, where states form compensatory alliances against the threatening power/alliance to deter it from attacking, for example, the Warsaw Pact against NATO. ; the other is “band-wagoning” referring to a smaller power aligning itself with a stronger power, such as the special relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States.
On the external level, NATO represents a factor of balance of power for its members in the face of the foreign threat, in particular Russia. NATO describes itself as a defensive military bloc, but defense against whom? It was the USSR before its dissolution in 1991 and now its successor state, Russia. Russia would have liked to see the breakaway states from the USSR as its sphere of influence and, therefore, disliked their decisions to join NATO. However, the opposition was rather moderate due to Russia’s military and economic weakness and also due to its internal division on the issue of NATO’s eastward expansion. Recently Putin echoed the same when he said that in the past we were weak and will not be again, signaling Russia’s intention to prevent further attempts to expand the NATO.
So in the past, at the time of the dissolution of the USSR, while Russia’s response was ambivalent at best, with Putin in power for quite a long time now, Russia’s opposition to NATO enlargement became vocal and aggressive. As Russia intensified its opposition to NATO enlargement, especially in the case of Ukraine with the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the ongoing invasion of the country in February 2022, it rang the bell. alarm among other Russian non-NATO neighbors, in particular Sweden and Finland. about the potential threat to Moscow’s security. To deter any potential security threats, they seek to join the NATO military alliance which provides a security umbrella to its members under Article 5 (Collective Security) of NATO. Thus, NATO expansion avoids the security implications of anarchy for new members. The pernicious implications of the state of structural anarchy have increased substantially for Ukraine, Sweden and Finland to such an extent that, while previous waves of expansion have occurred at the invitation of NATO, the three countries above have asked NATO to admit them.
For member states, NATO acting as a sort of supranational authority helps to mitigate or suppress the self-help behavior among member states that results from the anarchic structure of international relations. Instead, it reduces security competition; it enables security cooperation. Hence, a muted security dilemma. Being part of NATO insulates states both from the offensive actions of other members and, of course, from external attacks. This isolation of internal security threats has stabilized Europe’s regional political order. The importance of NATO-induced stability in Europe must be understood in the context of two world wars when the European powers were at loggerheads, a consequence of the anarchic regional and international system. After the Second World War, the new order that emerged brought in its wake many institutions of a military and non-military nature which largely contributed to solving the problem of anarchy, thus speaking both of the case of neorealism and of liberal institutionalism. .
In summary, one can only agree that NATO has certainly improved the security, stability and prosperity of the region mainly, so to speak, by reducing the “security dilemma” of member countries , which in turn is the result of a strategy tame anarchy. After managing the Valsian structural problem, the path of liberal institutionalism has been cleared, the fruits of which are reaped by the member countries, which acts as a gravitational attraction for other countries to hitch their coach to the engine of the NATO.

The author is a PhD student at Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi. [email protected]

Leslie Feinberg brings Rainbow Flags to ‘FREE MUMIA! – working world

Feinberg made the remarks at the historic Free Mumia rally, Madison Square Garden, New York, May 7, 2000. (youtube.com/watch?v=zV4rxNZaF9M)

My name is Leslie Feinberg, and we came with rainbow flags for Mumia! We are here today to demand a new trial for Mumia. And we are here to stand with the family of Patrick Dorismond and all the victims of police brutality here today. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people are no strangers to police and right-wing violence.

Leslie Feinberg speaks for Rainbow Flags for Mumia, May 7, 2000. WW Photo

When Matthew Shepard was murdered, we marched through the streets with ten thousand men. And we made it clear that we were no less outraged by the racist lynching of James Byrd Jr. in Jasper, Texas. Our march was violently attacked. We were beaten and arrested by the same New York police department that lynched our brothers Dorismond and Amadou Diallo.

An injury to one is an injury to all! This is why we are fighting to free Mumia.

And Mumia stands with rainbow flags! Death Row Mumia called for unity to stop homophobic killings. It took courage for him to stand up against gay-bashing. But it’s his courage. This is why he is a leader who inspires so many communities.

Now we also have to fight to free Imam Jamil al-Amin, formerly H. Rap ​​Brown. Georgia seeks execution – and why? In order to deal a blow to the rising progressive movement.

We must not allow ourselves to be divided. The Jewish Defense Organization tried to put an end to this historic event. How dare this Klan-like group, which bombed and murdered, claim to speak on behalf of the Jewish people? May the voices of all anti-racist Jews, of all progressive whites, be heard loud and clear.

For so long, black and Latino communities have suffered one police killing after another. We have seen mass protests, even rebellions. But more white people need to protest. White people in particular have an additional responsibility in combating any manifestation of racism. We cannot allow the fight against racism to be the sole burden of Black, Latina, Arab, Asian and Indigenous communities.

Since the murder of Amadou Diallo, more white people have protested racist police killings. Not enough! But a new day is coming. We can see it. This is what the government fears. And that’s what they want to stop.

This is why we must unite with one fist, in greater numbers, in order to strike a mortal blow against racism, police brutality, far-right violence, the death penalty and forced labor in the prison-industrial complex!

We who believe in Mumia’s freedom will have no rest until she comes!

Patrick Dorismond was a 26-year-old black father of two, murdered by two NYPD undercover officers on March 16, 2000. His funeral in Brooklyn, joined by thousands of protesters, was attacked by the NYPD. The cops who killed Dorismond were acquitted by a grand jury, which ruled the shooting “accidental”.

Matthew Shepard was a 21-year-old gay student at the University of Wyoming who was tortured and killed in a homophobic hate attack on October 6, 1998.

James Byrd Jr. was a 49-year-old black father of three who was brutally lynched by confessed white supremacists in Jasper, Texas on June 7, 1998. Two of the killers were the first white men to be sentenced to death for killing a black man in modern Texas history.

Amadou Diallo was a 23-year-old student and Guinean migrant, murdered by four NYPD undercover officers on February 4, 1999. Cops fired 41 shots at Diallo, who was unarmed, and was acquitted by a jury in Albany, New York, after a Bronx grand jury indicted them for murder.

Imam Jamil al-Amin is a political prisoner and former president of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, charged with murder by police in Fulton County, Georgia. He has been incarcerated since 2002.

Explainer: What changes after the landmark US Supreme Court decision on firearms?

Abortion rights protesters protest outside the United States Supreme Court as the court rules in the abortion case Dobbs v Women’s Health Organization, overturning the landmark abortion decision Roe v Wade in Washington, USA United, June 24, 2022. REUTERS / Jim Bourg

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June 24 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled for the first time on Thursday that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees an individual’s right to bear arms in public in self-defense.


The ruling invalidated New York’s gun licensing laws and similar laws in California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and the District of Columbia, denying concealed carry permits to guns to residents wanting a gun for self-defense unless they can prove they had a “good cause.”

The ruling makes it much harder for U.S. lawmakers to regulate guns and other weapons like other countries can, and easier for the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun groups to win legal challenges. against gun control.

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Gunmakers said the move would likely expand their market in a country that the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey says is unique in having more guns than people. Since 2005, the Lawful Arms Trade Protection Act has granted near-blanket immunity to gun manufacturers and dealers from liability for crimes committed with their products.

In a concurring opinion, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, a conservative, wrote that licensing regimes for handguns used by 43 states that do not require “just cause” are acceptable. Officials in the states affected by the ruling said they plan to rewrite their laws along these lines.

Provisions used by many states, including checking a firearms license applicant’s criminal and mental health records, fingerprinting the applicant, and requiring firearms training , are all constitutional, Kavanaugh wrote.


No. The court reiterated an earlier ruling that guns could be banned in “sensitive places such as schools and government buildings”.

New York leaders have said they will seek to ban guns from as many places, including the subway, as possible. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he would seek legislation banning guns in places such as bars, arenas, hospitals and government buildings. California officials said they would compile similar lists.

Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, one of the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case, said he would legally challenge any gun-in-transit ban.


The 63-page opinion of the court’s conservative majority in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen asserts that there is a “constitutional right to bear arms in public in self-defence”.

The right is comparable to other fundamental rights guaranteed by the US Constitution, according to the opinion, such as the right to due process or the free exercise of religion. Contrary to these rights, the opinion indicates that the right to bear arms can only be limited to “law-abiding and responsible citizens”.

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Reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Editing by Marguerita Choy

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Ireland eyes closer cooperation with NATO in hybrid and cyber spheres – The Irish Times

The government is considering closer cooperation with NATO in the field of hybrid warfare and cyber warfare.

The officials plan to join the Helsinki-based European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, which operates under the auspices of NATO and the European Union.

The center is dedicated to designing methods to counter hybrid threats, generally defined as aggression that falls below the threshold of military operations. These can include the use of disinformation, cyberattacks and economic warfare to destabilize an enemy state. Russia has frequently engaged in these activities against Ukraine and other European countries in recent months.

The center engages in hybrid warfare training, wargaming and research for the benefit of its 31 member states. Ireland declined to join when it was initially created in 2017 and joining now would be the latest move to forge closer ties with NATO, particularly around cyber defence.

The government recently opted to join NATO’s Malware Information Sharing Platform, which enables real-time cyberattack details to be shared between member states. In 2019, Ireland joined the NATO Cooperative Cyber ​​Defense Center of Excellence in Tallinn, Estonia, to which a small number of Irish personnel are seconded.

These are in addition to Ireland’s membership since 1999 of NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme, which aims to improve interoperability between NATO defense forces and armies.

None of these initiatives imposes a collective security obligation on Ireland. The government has repeatedly stated that it does not want to join NATO and opinion polls show strong opposition to such a move. However, officials increasingly believe that Ireland could benefit from increased NATO cooperation in non-military areas.

“I think one of the things that we’re certainly very open to looking at is whether our partnership with NATO can be used to look at other things, including capacity building around cyber threats and hybrid threats. in the future,” said David Bruck, director of the foreign office’s international security policy unit.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Azure Forum for Contemporary Security Strategy, Bruck said the government is “looking very carefully” at joining the Helsinki Center of Excellence.

“It’s a very, very important space there for policymakers to engage and learn from each other about how you’re addressing these issues,” he said at the event hosted by the Belgian Embassy, ​​which is NATO’s official liaison officer for Ireland.

The European Union as a whole is also working to strengthen its relations with NATO within the framework of the Strategic Compass strategy. An announcement clarifying the relationship between the two organizations is expected later this year.

Mr Bruck said “it makes sense for the two organizations to cooperate”, especially if it strengthens international peace and security. He said Ireland had historically benefited from its geographical position “on the periphery of Europe” and its policy against joining military alliances.

“As a result, for much of the state’s history, the perceived threat of conventional attack has been quite low,” he said, adding that there’s “a sense that we don’t cannot rely solely on our geographical location in terms of security”. ”.

He said Ireland has become a digital hub of international importance and is home to vital data centers and communications cables. He said last year’s cyberattack on the Health Service Executive “was a wake-up call for many of us”.

Declaration of the Association World without Wars and Violence Mali (WwW-Mali) on the terrorist attacks in the localities of Diallassagou, Dianweli, and Deguessagou in the circle of Bankass

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(Image by afropages.fr)

The Association World without wars and without violence Mali (WwW-Mali) has learned with dismay of the attack perpetrated by terrorists against the peaceful populations of the villages of Diallassagou, Diaweli, and Deguessagou in the circle of Bankass, resulting in the death of a hundred people.

The Association World without wars and without violence Mali (WwW-Mali) condemns these attacks, which are the work of individuals without faith or law, locked in obscurantism, and whose sole objective is to impose terror as means of satisfying their obscurantism. designs.

The Association World without wars and without violence Mali (WwW-Mali) presents its deepest condolences to the bereaved families and expresses its deep solidarity and compassion.

Whoever the perpetrators of these attacks are, they respond to the logic of an anti-humanist system that imposes violence to strengthen its personal power and thus justify the limitation of freedom and living together of Malians.

To break this destructive chain, the Association Monde sans Guerres ni Violence Mali (WwW-Mali) invites all civil society organizations, as well as all those who reject the twisted logic of terrorism and war, to refuse the blackmail of fear through non-violent and daily actions.

Supporting the Armed Defense and Security Forces in their noble mission of securing people and their property, the Association World without Wars and Without Violence Mali (WwW-Mali) urges the Malian authorities to take more appropriate measures to deal with such circumstances to our people.

The President AMGV-Mali

Gaoussou BATHILY

The Day – Friends & Neighbors: Niantic’s Rotary Celebrates 2022 Student of the Month Winners


At its regular lunch meeting at Flanders Fish Market on June 1, Rotary Niantic welcomed parents and 2022 Student of the Month award winners.

Students are selected by 11 departments at East Lyme High School: Math, English, Social Studies, Science, Global Language, Music, Art, Health/Physical Education, Technology Education, Coastal Connections, and Family/Consumer Science . Nominated for their academic, volunteer and leadership qualities, each winner received a plaque and scholarship to mark their achievements.

Jeffrey Newton, Rotary President of Niantic and Superintendent of East Lyme Schools, said he has no doubt these students will achieve great things and also encouraged them to “go out there and be great role models.” “.

Newton also remarked that he may be considering a future Rotary Niantic president or two in the group. His prediction isn’t that far-fetched considering Niantic’s former Rotary President, David Putnam (current East Lyme Parks and Recreation Director) was a Niantic Rotary Student of the Month beginning in 1981.

Returning to a Rotary Niantic reunion 40 years later to see his daughter receive the award, another alumnus of the month was parent Scott Fraser.

The 2022 Rotary Niantic Students of the Month are: Isabella Y. Bogue, Sophia E. Cambi, Lila B. Devlin-Perry, Madeline M. Fraser, Grace M. Liu, Ethan J. Moore, Saayda Sajid, David J. Semnoski, Tenzin K. Sermo and Jennie A. Sherwood.

The Niantic Rotary Club is made up of volunteers who work and live locally to contribute to projects that benefit students, seniors, food security, safety, and accessibility for all. Local Rotarians also participate in the international impact of Rotary clubs around the world that help promote peace, eradicate disease, provide clean water and support education.

For more information, visit nianticrotary.org or on Facebook at the Rotary Club of Niantic.

Friends and Neighbors is a regular feature. To send an email [email protected]

Online payday loans near me for bad credit

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Civil society turns to Europe to call for peace

More and more European citizens are turning to the EU institutions in Brussels to demand that they take a leading role in ending the conflict in Ukraine. Catholic journalist, Marco Tarquinio, tells Vatican News of a widespread expectation that Europe, which is based on values ​​of respectful coexistence and fraternity, will act for peace in accordance with the Pope’s calls.

By Gabriella Ceraso & Linda Bordoni

It is increasingly clear that not only is there no solution to the war in Ukraine on the horizon, but also that the conflict and the suffering it causes may soon fade from the spotlight and fall into the oversight.

This pushes civil society to mobilize from below, silently but concretely, in favor of a “European initiative” which would transform the EU into a protagonist in the peace process.

That is the aim of a 15-point peace plan to end the Russian-Ukrainian war published last week and presented Monday at the headquarters of the European Parliament’s Italian Bureau.

He proposes a negotiated compromise peace agreement which could be negotiated by France, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Israel and would be followed by a cessation of all military operations and the withdrawal of all Russian military forces. of Ukraine outside the Donbass region.

The comprehensive peace proposal attempts to permanently resolve, rather than postpone resolution, all existing areas of contention between Russia and Ukraine in order to ensure that Russia will have no reason to resume hostilities against the Ukraine in the future.

It also addresses some of Russia’s most pressing security concerns while serving to enhance the security of NATO members by reducing the prospects of future conflict with Russia.

Marco Tarquinio is the editorial director of the Catholic publication “Avvenire”. He spoke to Vatican News about the highlights of the plan and Pope Francis’ repeated calls for peace.

Q: Civil society calls for a united Europe. What are the central points of this call to responsibility?

It is a call which springs from below but which intends to put pressure on those who have the political power and the possibility of influencing current events, and to steer them in a different direction from that undertaken so far, without neglect all available tools.

First and foremost, the role of the United Nations, where the European Union does not have the right to vote but is represented alongside its 27 members, including France, a permanent member of the Security Council, which must take the responsibility of promoting a mediation initiative. This is something that must also, and above all, take place in the General Assembly, where a large majority of the nations pushing in this direction have already gathered.

Then there would have to be the intervention of a peacekeeping force – a word that seems to have been banished from the current scenario – and a humanitarian corridor would have to be kept open at all times. This is important to avoid what has already happened in other conflicts in which the escape routes that preserve the human dignity of the person have been sealed once the emotion of the moment has passed.

The EU is then asked to intervene in the negotiations, both possible and necessary, and not only in the role of spectator. In this regard, the document takes into account that Italy is one of the countries that has already taken a step in this direction, a step that has triggered a series of dystonic reactions from the parties concerned, especially from Russia.

In short, he calls on Europe to “grow”. It asks it to equip itself with a common security system, interdependent of States and independent of other dimensions, endowed with a genuine security and defense organization endowed with two arms: a non-aggressive military and a non-violent civilian.

Coming back to the subject of an international framework, the other appeal is addressed to multilateral organisations. The United Nations of course, but also the OSCE which, according to a wish shared by the Holy See and the President of the Italian Republic, must become a reference and embody the spirit of the actions carried out. This, so that we do not rush towards the direction of Yalta, but towards that of the Helsinki agreements of 1975 which opened a new phase in relations between European states and for stability and peace in the world.

Q: Europe is currently bearing the brunt of the immediate consequences of what is happening in Ukraine. It is a Europe which funds the conflict with arms, but which has called for responsibility and the promotion of peace, multilateral solutions and conflict prevention in accordance with Article 21 of the EU Treaty. How can we make this item work? Why it does not work ?

This article does not work because Europe is broken, it does not agree on the direction to take. Despite an apparent unanimity at the start of the war, different sensibilities and tendencies emerged among the 27 member states. During the press conference, we expressed the wish that even if there is not absolute unanimity, there will be at least one initiative from the European institutions, to agree on an initiative for enhanced cooperation involving a few major countries .

A hint of this was seen in the joint mission to Kyiv by the leaders of France, Germany and Italy, the three great founding countries that gave impetus to the EU. We would like this to be reinforced, using the instruments indicated in article 21 – which is the translation of article 11 of the Constitution of the Italian Republic. It is the article quoted by many Italians, and by the Holy Father himself, who supported him during this crisis.

He says that “Italy rejects war as an instrument of aggression against the freedom of other peoples and as a means of settling international disputes”.

This is a key point. Politically, we would like to see a strong and coherent initiative from the great European leaders who would thus respond to the feelings of so many people who today are not represented by what is happening in the public arena.

Q: Is there a disconnect between civil society and politics? And responding to the Pope’s call to each of us to ask what we can do for peace, can this proposal be of support?

I think the right path is the “simple” path, accessible to all thinking people with a heart. And it means organizing mobilizations from below, as is already done – less noticeable than in the past because there is a lack of large gatherings – but there are meetings in all regions of the country.

I know something about it myself, personally, as well as all the promoters of this initiative, which brings together people of different sensitivities, from different backgrounds, people of faith and those without faith, and this is very important. I think that together we have to constantly push and show governments that this disconnect between public opinion and those with the power to push buttons has to go, given the very complicated situation we have before us .

We are not talking about “wishes” from below or from above. We must find a way, together, to put pressure on the protagonists of the war, so that they choose a different path: one that puts an end to the suffering of the people, starting with the Ukrainian people, who are, at this stage , the one being attacked. Everyone can do their part, every drop in the ocean counts.

Q: Pope Francis’ positions on war, crises, weapons, common responsibility have been criticized and considered utopian. Is that the case? What are your thoughts on this?

The most serious thing is that they were also censored. I think that at this moment, above all, we must be grateful to Pope Francis.

For us Catholics, it’s simple; for so many others, it is just as easy to identify with the appeals he has launched with extraordinary efficiency and which point in another direction, one that, it seems, we do not want to see.

There is a road ahead of us that seems impossible to navigate. The Pope knows how to tell us this and he does so as a man of faith, as a First Citizen in a world that has no other First Citizens who know how to take initiatives for peace.

It is no coincidence that even the supporters of the appeal I have decided to join (the National Association of Italian Partisans, Arci, and the European Movement), wanted to launch an appeal to the Catholic world, by through the President of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi, who undertook to receive it and hand it over to the Holy See.

This is because they all recognize in Pope Francis the highest, most credible and clear point of reference, at a time when other voices may have great interests in the conduct of mediations, but may -not be in the “general interest” to build a new level of security. , coexistence and mutual respect under the sign of fraternity, fundamental for us Christians.

‘The Impossible’: Ukraine’s Secret and Deadly Rescue Missions

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — As was his custom before each flight, the veteran Ukrainian army pilot ran a hand along the fuselage of his Mi-8 helicopter, stroking the heavy carrier’s metal skin to lift him luck, as well as his crew.

They would need it. Their destination—a besieged steel mill in the brutalized city of Mariupol – was a death trap. Some other crews did not return alive.

Yet the mission was vital, even desperate. Ukrainian troops were pinned down, their stocks dwindling, their dead and the wounded are piling up. Their ultimate stand at the Azovstal factory was a growing symbol of Ukraine’s defiance in the war against Russia. We couldn’t let them perish.

The 51-year-old pilot – identified only by his first name, Oleksandr – flew only one mission in Mariupol, and he considered it the most difficult flight of his 30-year career. He took the risk, he said, because he didn’t want the Azovstal fighters to feel left out.

In the charred hell of this plantin an underground bunker turned medical station that provided shelter from death and destruction above, word began to reach the injured that a miracle might happen. Among those who said he was on the evacuation list was a junior sergeant who had been shredded by mortar shells, slicing through his left leg and forcing his amputation above the knee.

“Buffalo” was his nom de guerre. He had been through so much, but another deadly challenge loomed: escaping Azovstal.


A series of clandestine, against-the-odds, terrain-hugging and high-speed helicopter missions to reach the defenders of Azovstal in March, April and May are celebrated in Ukraine as among the most heroic feats of military bravery in the four-month of war. Some have ended in disaster; each became increasingly risky as Russian air defense batteries grew.

The full story of the seven supply and rescue missions has yet to be told. But from exclusive interviews with two injured survivors; a military intelligence officer who participated in the first mission; and pilot interviews provided by the Ukrainian military, The Associated Press has pieced together the account of one of the final flights, from the perspective of both rescuers and survivors.

Only after more than 2,500 defenders remained in the ruins of Azovstal had begun to surrender Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky first give wind of the missions and their mortal cost.

The tenacity of the Azovstal fighters had thwarted Moscow’s aim of quickly capturing Mariupol and prevented Russian troops from being redeployed elsewhere. Zelenskyy told Ukrainian television channel ICTV that the pilots braved the “powerful” Russian air defenses by venturing beyond enemy lines, carrying food, water, medicine and weapons so that the defenders of the factory could continue to fighting and evacuating the wounded.

The military intelligence officer said one helicopter was shot down and two others never returned and are considered missing. He says he dressed in civilian clothes for his flight, thinking he could blend in with the population if he survived a crash: “We knew it could be a one-way trip.”

Says Zelenskyy: “These are absolutely heroic people who knew what was difficult, who knew it was almost impossible. … We lost a lot of pilots.


If Buffalo had been right, he wouldn’t have lived to be evacuated. His life would have ended quickly, to spare him the agony he suffered after 120mm mortar rounds ripped open his left leg, bloodied his right foot and peppered his back with shrapnel during fighting in Mariupol. March 23.

The 20-year-old spoke to The Associated Press on the condition that he not be identified by name, saying he did not want to give the impression that he was seeking publicity as thousands of Azovstal defenders are in captivity. or dead. He had been on the trail of a Russian tank, aiming to destroy it with his armour-piercing, shoulder-launched NLAW missile on the last day of the first month of the invasion, when his war was halted.

Thrown next to the wreckage of a burning car, he dragged himself to hide in a nearby building and “decided it was better to crawl into the basement and die there quietly”, he said. -he declares.

But his friends evacuated him to the steelworks in Ilyich, which subsequently fell in mid-April as Russian forces tightened their grip on Mariupol and its strategic port on the Sea of ​​Azov. Three days passed before doctors could amputate him, in a bomb shelter in the basement. He considers himself lucky: the doctors still resorted to anesthesia when his turn came to go under the knife.

When he returned, a nurse told him how sorry she was that he lost the limb.

He cut the awkwardness short with a joke: “Will they return the money for 10 tattoo sessions?”

“I had a lot of tattoos on my leg,” he said. One remains, a human figure, but its legs are also missing.

After the operation, he was transferred to the Azovstal plant. A fortress covering nearly 11 square kilometers (over 4 miles), with a 24 kilometer (15 mile) maze of underground tunnels and bunkers, the factory was virtually impregnable.

But the conditions were dark.

“There was constant shelling,” said Vladislav Zahorodnii, a 22-year-old corporal who was shot in the pelvis, tearing a nerve, during a street fight in Mariupol.

Evacuated to Azovstal, he meets Buffalo there. They already knew each other: Both were from Chernihiva northern town surrounded and shelled by Russian forces.

Zahorodnii saw the missing leg. He asked Buffalo how he was doing.

“It’s alright, we’ll be clubbing soon,” Buffalo replied.


Zahorodnii was evacuated from Azovstal by helicopter on March 31, after three unsuccessful attempts.

It was his first helicopter flight. The Mi-8 caught fire while exiting, killing one of its engines. The other kept them aloft for the rest of the 80-minute early morning run to the city of Dnipro on the Dnieper River in central Ukraine.

He would mark his deliverance with a round tattoo on his right forearm: “I did it so as not to forget,” he says.

Buffalo’s turn came the following week. He was ambivalent about leaving. On the one hand, he was relieved that his share of dwindling food and water was now going to others still able to fight; on the other, “there was a painful sensation. They stayed there and I left them.

However, he almost missed his flight.

The soldiers dragged him on a stretcher out of his deep bunker and loaded him onto a truck which rumbled towards a pre-arranged landing zone. The soldiers wrapped him in a jacket.

The helicopter ammunition cargo was unloaded first. Then the injured were taken on board.

But not Buffalo. Left in a back corner of the truck, it had somehow been forgotten. He couldn’t sound the alarm because the mortar fire had injured his throat, and he was still too hoarse to be heard through the whoop-whoop-whoop of the helicopter rotors.

“I was like, ‘Well, not today then,'” he recalled. “And suddenly someone shouted, ‘You forgot the soldier in the truck!’ »

Because the hold was full, Buffalo was placed across from the others, which had been loaded aboard side by side. A member of the crew took her hand and told her not to worry, they would go home.

“All my life,” he told the crew member, “I’ve dreamed of flying a helicopter. It doesn’t matter if we arrive, my dream has come true.


In his cockpit, the wait seemed interminable to Oleksandr, the minutes seeming like hours.

“Very scary,” he said. “You see explosions around and the next shell might hit your location.”

In the fog of war and with the full picture of covert missions still looming, it is not possible to be absolutely sure that Buffalo and the pilot who spoke to reporters in a video interview recorded and shared by the army were on the same flight. But their account details match.

Both gave the same date: the night of April 4 to 5. Oleksandr recalled being fired upon by a ship as they flew over Mariupol waters. A shock wave threw the helicopter “like a toy”, he said. But his escape maneuvers saved them.

Buffalo also remembers an explosion. Evacuees later learned that the pilot had evaded a missile.

Oleksandr propelled the helicopter at 220 kilometers (135 miles) per hour and flew as low as 3 meters (9 feet) above the ground – except when jumping over power lines. A second helicopter from its mission never returned; on the return flight, his pilot radioed him that he was low on fuel. It was their last communication.

On his stretcher, Buffalo had watched the field slip away through a porthole. “We flew over the fields, under the trees. Very low,” he said.

They arrived in Dnipro, safely. Upon landing, Oleksandr heard the injured call for the pilots. He expected them to yell at him for shaking them so hard during the flight.

“But when I opened the door, I heard some guys saying, ‘Thank you,'” he said.

“Everyone clapped,” recalls Buffalo, currently in rehab with Zahorodnii at a clinic in Kyiv. “We told the pilots that they had done the impossible.”


AP journalists Sophiko Megrelidze in Tbilisi, Georgia, and Oleksandr Stashevskyi in Kyiv contributed.


Follow AP coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

A thousand words about Ukraine: heroism, weapons and wheat – KyivPost

First line developments, prospects for a Ukrainian counteroffensive, the open question of German weapons supplyand the fear of an impending world famine.

Severodonetsk Zugzwang

Enemy forces continue to shell Donbass. They are breaking their backs to carry out Putin’s order to take Severodonetsk and expand their occupation to the administrative borders of the Lugansk and Donetsk regions. The deadline was originally set for Friday, June 10.

Currently, military action is focused on a small area in the east of the country where its fate and the architecture of a new world order are being decided. There, fierce battles wreak havoc on both sides. The difference is that the Ukrainian soldiers know what they are fighting for when the enemy’s morale drops.

So what is obvious now?

Russian forces failed to meet the Kremlin’s strategic deadline. They failed to turn tactical gains like the capture of Popasna and Lyman into major operational breakthroughs. Ukrainian forces retained control of their supply lines to deliver ammunition, food, equipment and supplies to Lysychansk and Severodonetsk where the Russian invaders are locked in street-to-street fighting.

As the Russian offensive falters, Kremlin generals are feverishly looking for ways to sustain it. As in a game of chess, the Russian military command is in a Zugzwang: any movement could worsen its position.

Russian troops are physically unable to attack continuously for more than four weeks. Like their Ukrainian counterparts, they need rest and supplies, but the Russian generals cannot stop because “it is an order” given by Putin.

Another failure will cost them at least their ranks.

The Russian Chiefs of Staff are urgently trying to form an additional reserve battalion battle group (BTG). They are also redeploying troops to the epicenter from other sectors, weakening them and allowing Ukrainian forces to launch counterattacks. As the saying goes, damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Long-awaited gifts by June

The situation in Severodonetsk is critical. There, the fate of the Donbass region depends not only on the heroic Ukrainian soldiers and the operational expertise of their commanders, but also on long-range heavy artillery.

On June 9, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov breathed a sigh of relief to Ukrainians. The long-awaited “gifts” from the West were already in Ukraine and some of them already on the front line. They largely include:

  • 150 artillery systems (Krab, Caesar, М109А3, М777 and FH70);
  • 240 Polish Т-72 tanks;
  • 250 armored vehicles (М113 ТМ, М113 YPR-765, Bushmaster, Mastiff, Husky and Wolfhound);
  • “Thousands” of anti-aircraft launchers (Stinger, Starstreak, Mistral, Piorun, Grom etc.); and
  • Anti-tank launchers (NLAW, Javelin, Milan, etc.).

These are not just promises but real weapons that are already in the front line or in the rear where Ukrainian soldiers are quickly learning how to handle them.

At the same time, it became clear that German weapons would hardly help the Ukrainian army in its counterattack – not because they weren’t good enough, but because there weren’t enough of them.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s statements about the supply of modern anti-aircraft systems, Marder armored vehicles and Leopard tanks turned out to be little more than lip service. Hopefully soon Ukraine will receive seven (!) German PzH2000 self-propelled howitzers.

Lately, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have gathered reserves and used Western weapons and equipment more frequently in the most important frontline areas. By all accounts, they should be ready to launch a counter-offensive next month.

How Russia caused the world food crisis and how to overcome it

Prior to the Russian invasion, Ukraine was one of the world’s leading food exporters. The annual quantity of cereals and pulses exported amounted to some 60 million tons.

The main export routes were from its Black Sea ports to poorer African and Asian countries, some of which are critically dependent on Ukrainian supplies.

Since invading its neighbour, Russia has blockaded and mined Ukrainian ports. As a result, about 20 million tons of Ukrainian grain remains trapped. Ukraine has tried to export its crops by rail, but the throughput capacity of the railroads is too low.

Some countries are already on the brink of famine while others are experiencing unprecedented price increases. It was Russia’s war that caused this global food crisis. The Ukraine problem has become a global problem and the issue of Black Sea port blockages is now at the center of the concerns of the United Nations and many governments around the world.

In theory, there are two ways to unblock Ukrainian ports: military and non-military.

The military way is for the Ukrainian navy to demine the ports in cooperation with the navies of the countries concerned, then to form international escorts for the Ukrainian ships transporting cereals in order to protect them from possible Russian attacks.

But this approach risks internationalizing the war and involving other countries, which most governments oppose.

The non-military way involves diplomacy: a negotiated agreement whereby Russia participates in the demining of the Black Sea and guarantees safe passage.

Turkey would like to lead the negotiation process, claiming its role as a regional superpower and being on good terms with Russia and Ukraine.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan has pronounced a “positive” outcome of recent talks between Turkey and Russia, but both seem to have forgotten a basic principle: nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine.

Kyiv was left out of the process, details and results of the Turkish-Russian negotiations. Kyiv still has no guarantee that after the ports are cleared, Russia will not take the opportunity to take them or seize ships carrying Ukrainian grain.

Nevertheless, it is more likely than not that Ukrainian ports will be unblocked. This could be achieved through Russian-Ukrainian talks brokered by Turkey, France and Italy, whose governments have said they are ready to escort Ukrainian grain convoys and guarantee security.

Ihor Zhdanov is a co-founder of the Open Policy Foundation, a national governmental organization (NGO) in Ukraine.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Kyiv Post.

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The Digital Republic by Jamie Susskind review – why the West was no match for the tech giants | Political books


AAs Marx might have said, a specter haunts the democracies of the world: the specter of technological power. For more than two decades, these democracies slept peacefully as a handful of global corporations gained a stranglehold on the most powerful communications technology since the invention of the printing press. The political earthquakes of 2016 rudely awakened these sleeping giants who suddenly realized that “technology was political”, that irresponsible power was loose in their world, and if they didn’t hold it back, they could find themselves as democracies in name only.

The years following this rude awakening saw a frenzy of legislative and regulatory activity: antitrust lawsuits, bills in the US, EU and UK (among others), congressional and parliamentary investigations , etc. Whether any of this leads to effective restraints on tech power remains to be seen, and this reviewer isn’t holding his breath. The question is not whether tech giants can be mastered: we know they can because Xi Jinping’s regime has held masterclasses in how to do it. The question for us is: can we liberal democracies do it?

All this to explain why Jamie Susskind’s big book is a welcome arrival on the scene. Its focus is unexplainable technological power and how it could be tamed. But unlike the many other works that criticize, for example, machine learning technology because of racial or gender bias or its environmental impact, Susskind raises the deeper question of why such powerful discriminatory technologies can be deployed. Why are democracies so intimidated by digital technology that almost anything goes?

He is struck, for example, by the way Joe Biden, when he was running for president, “started a petition ask Facebook to stop “paid misinformation” from influencing the election,” while on Capitol Hill, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi “plaintively asked advertisers to tell tech companies to curtail misinformation online.”

How did we get here – where public servants must advocate with businesses to protect the integrity of the democratic system? The answer is that for 50 years, liberal democracies have built a political system where the interests of corporations are systematically prioritized over those of citizens. The result is a world in which tech companies are allowed to wreak their “creative destruction” while government and civil society are expected to clean up the rubble, much like those Indian servants of the Raj who plodded after the elephants of ceremony have swept up their excrement.

The name Susskind gives to this servile mindset is “market individualism”, an ideology that sees society “as the product of a great contractual market between each of its members, a vehicle for the pursuit of individual advantage, without an overall pursuit of the common good”. This is what I would call neoliberalism, in the sense that Gary Gerstle uses it in his new book, The rise and fall of the neoliberal orderand Susskind no doubt had his own reasons for avoiding such an incendiary term.

But it’s a small downside. What matters is Susskind’s assertion that a society ruled by such an ideology can never bring the tech giants to heel. We need something better, and he knows what that is: a Republican mindset. Note the small r: this has nothing to do with the GOP, or even the IRA, but with a more venerable way of thinking about governance. To be a republican in this sense is, according to Susskind, to oppose all social structures that allow one social group to exercise inexplicable power (i.e. dominance) over others. Republicans “reject the institution of absolute monarchy, not just the flaws of certain kings. They fight for tenants’ rights, not just for more benevolent landlords. They demand legal protections at work, not just nicer bosses. And they oppose the very idea from someone with the power of Mark Zuckerberg, not Zuckerberg himself.

Susskind’s book is essentially an exposition of how anyone who subscribes to these principles would approach the task of curbing the power of the tech companies that now dominate our networked world. It begins with a succinct overview of how republicanism differs from market individualism and follows with a diagnosis of how digital technologies control our behavior, frame our perception of the world and increase the intrusions of markets in all aspects. of our lives. But he also points out that there is nothing divine about the political and economic system that allowed all of this to happen. It can – and should – be changed.

The rest of the book is about what we should do differently if we don’t want to live as slaves to technological power. It is about taking seriously the Republican principles of not tolerating irresponsible power, after which it presents a prospectus for a new system of Republican governance of industry. Accordingly, much of the second half of the book is about data governance, challenging the legitimacy of impenetrable machine learning algorithms, antitrust issues, the difference between free speech and algorithmic amplification, and related topics.

In other words, it may sound like a to-do list for political buffs, but Susskind’s gift for exposition means the reader rarely loses the will to live as he heads into the (extensive) bibliography. It also helps that he has a knack for the tell-tale phrase: the surveillance capitalists are the “Great Brotherhood,” for example; TikTok has “subtly marginalized unattractive and poor people”; we need “a market of ideals”; etc

But really, the most refreshing thing about this beautiful book is its ideological stance. The reason most current attempts to rein in technological power are doomed to failure is that its critics implicitly accept its legitimacy rather than be outraged by its arrogant brashness. It’s because they’ve been drinking neoliberal Kool-Aid for nearly half a century. Ideology, after all, is what determines how you think when you don’t know you think. It’s time to change, and The Digital Republic is a good starting point.

John Naughton is a columnist for Observer and chairs the advisory board of the Minderoo Center for Technology and Democracy at Cambridge University

  • The Digital Republic: Freedom and Democracy in the 21st Century by Jamie Susskind is published by Bloomsbury (£25). To support the Guardian and Observer order your copy at guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply

China and the Middle East: towards rough waters

China could enter the choppy waters of the Middle East. Multiple crises and conflicts are likely to shape its relationship with major powers in the region, including Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey.

The long list of pitfalls for China includes fallout from the war in Ukraine, strained US relations with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Turkish opposition to Finland and Sweden’s membership at NATO, the threat of a new anti-Kurdish Turkish incursion into northern Syria, and the fate of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 international agreement that curbed Iran’s nuclear program .

Drowning out the noise, one thing that becomes apparent is that neither the Gulf states nor Turkey intend to fundamentally alter their security relationship with the United States, even if the dynamics in the Saudi cases Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey is very different.

Saudi Arabia recognizes that there is no alternative to the US security umbrella, regardless of any doubts the kingdom may have about the US commitment to its security. With President Joe Biden visiting Saudi Arabia next month, the question is not how US-Saudi differences will be covered up, but at what cost and who will foot the bill.

Meanwhile, China has made it clear that it does not wish and is not yet able to replace the United States. He also said that for China to engage in regional security, states in the Middle East should first get their differences under control so that conflicts do not spiral out of control. Measures to reduce tensions between Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt by focusing on the economy are a step in this direction. Yet they remain fragile, with no issues causing the differences having been resolved.

A potential failure of negotiations in Vienna to revive the Iran nuclear deal could upset the plow. This would likely push Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to tighten security cooperation, but could threaten rapprochement with Turkey. It could also increase tensions in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq, where Iran supports various political actors and militias. None of this is good news for China, which, like other major players in the Middle East, prefers to stay focused on the economy.

The dynamic with Turkey and Iran is of a different order. China may look on with glee at Turkey’s stonewalling of NATO, but even if Turkey seeks to chart an independent path, it does not want to sever its umbilical cord with the West rooted in its NATO membership.

NATO needs Turkey even if its center of gravity, for the moment, has shifted towards Eastern Europe. Likewise, Turkey needs NATO, even if it is better placed to defend itself than the Gulf States. Ultimately, the haggling will solve NATO’s most immediate problems due to Turkish objections to Sweden and Finland joining NATO.

The threat of Turkey’s anti-Kurdish incursion into northern Syria would be an escalation that neither side, including China, wants. Not because it underpins Turkish opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO, but because the Syrian Kurds seeking the support of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the forces backed by Turkey and Iran could end up on opposite sides.

Finally, Iran. Despite the turmoil over the 25-year US$400m deal between Iran and China, relations between Tehran and Beijing are unlikely to fully blossom as long as Iran is under sanctions Americans. A failure to revive the nuclear deal guarantees that the sanctions will be maintained. China has made it clear that it is willing to push boundaries by violating or circumventing sanctions, but not to the point of turning Iran into another major sticking point in already strained US-China relations. China.

In a world where the bifurcation has been hastened by the war in Ukraine and the Middle East threatened by potentially heightened tensions in the absence of a nuclear deal, the Gulf states may find that increasingly the principle of ” you are with us or against us” becomes the norm. The Gulf states hedged their bets in the early months of the war in Ukraine, but their ability to do so may be coming to an end.

Already Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are beginning to make concessions on the issue of oil production, while Qatar is engaging with Europe on gas. The bifurcation would not sever relations with China, but would likely restrict technology cooperation and contain Gulf coverage strategies, including notions of granting military facilities to China.

Beyond the immediate geopolitical and security concerns, there are many other potentially problematic issues and powder kegs.

A major Saudi newspaper, Asharq Al-Awsat, recently challenged the increasingly aggressive tone of Chinese diplomacy. “China is doing itself a disservice…Chinese officials seem intent on undermining their own case for global leadership…Somehow Chinese officials don’t seem to recognize that their belligerence is just as off-putting…than Western paternalism,” the newspaper wrote. said in an editorial.

China’s balance, especially between Saudi Arabia and Iran, could become more difficult. A failure to revive the nuclear deal will complicate the already difficult talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran aimed at easing tensions. It could also fuel a nuclear, missile and drone arms race accelerated by a more aggressive US-backed Israeli strategy to confront Iran by striking targets in the Islamic republic rather than with US backing. United, for example in Syria.

While Chinese willingness to sell arms may be strengthened, China may find that Saudi Arabia and Iran become more demanding in their expectations of Beijing, particularly if tensions escalate.

A wild card in the pack is China’s crackdown on Turkish Muslims in its northwestern province of Xinjiang. A majority of the Muslim world turned a blind eye, with a few, like Saudi Arabia, openly endorsing the crackdown.

The interest in doing so goes beyond Muslim-majority states that don’t want to risk their relationship with a China that responds harshly and aggressively to public criticism. Moreover, repression in Xinjiang and Muslim acquiescence legitimize a common opposition to any political expression of Islam.

The problem for Muslim-majority states, especially those in the Middle East, is that the era in which the United States and others could get away with the application of double standards and apparent hypocrisy in the Adherence to values ​​could be coming to an end.

China and, for that matter, Russia are happy to benefit from the Global South’s reluctance to join in condemning the invasion of Ukraine and sanctions against Russia because the West refuses to enforce the universally, for example in the case of Israel or multiple violations of international law and human rights elsewhere.

However, China and Middle Eastern states are sitting in similar greenhouses. Regardless of how one judges the recent controversial statements by spokespersons of the ruling BJP party in India regarding the Prophet Muhammad and the Muslim faith, criticism of Muslim states rings hollow as long as they do not also resist the repression of the Muslims in Xinjiang.

For some in the Middle East, judgment could come sooner and later.

Turkey is a state where the Uyghur issue in China is not just a show away from my bed. Uyghurs play a role in the domestic politics of a country that is home to the largest Uyghur exile community that has long supported the rights of its fellow Turks in China and still has strong swathes of pan-Turkism.

These are all things that could come to the fore when Turkey heads to the polls next year as it celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Turkish republic.

The question is not whether China will encounter rough waters in the Middle East, but when and where.

Author’s note: This article is based on the author’s remarks at the 4th Roundtable on China in West Asia – Entering the Void? hosted by the Ananta Aspen Center on June 14, 2022 and was first published by the Middle East Institute in Washington DC.

Latest Russia-Ukraine news: UN says civilian casualties top 10,000 | Russo-Ukrainian War

The dead include hundreds of children killed mostly in heavy shelling, missiles and airstrikes.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

An update on key developments:

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin told an event in St. Petersburg that the country had resisted economic sanctions imposed following the invasion of Ukraine.
  • The executive arm of the European Union has backed Ukraine’s bid for EU candidate status.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a surprise visit to Kyiv and offered to train Ukrainian troops.

Here are the latest updates:

Sale of US high-tech drones to Ukraine stalls: Reuters

The Reuters news agency reports that US plans to sell four MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones to Ukraine have been put on hold due to fears that sophisticated surveillance equipment could fall into enemy hands.

The technical objection to the sale of the weaponized drones came under further scrutiny by the Pentagon’s Defense Technology Security Administration, which is tasked with protecting high-value technology from enemy hands, Reuters said, citing two people. familiar with the plan.

TikTok insists on whether it allows ‘pro-war’ propaganda

Republican United States senators have written to TikTok chief executive Shou Zi Chew over reports that the social media site allowed Russian state-approved media content but banned other videos.

“Recent reports indicate that TikTok… allowed Russian state media to flood the platform with dangerous pro-war propaganda. No company should be in a position to amplify the Kremlin’s lies, which fuel public support for Russia’s war of choice in Ukraine,” the letter reads.

The senators wrote that they were “deeply concerned” that TikTok “allows the dissemination of pro-war propaganda to the Russian public, which risks adding to an already devastating human toll for Ukrainians and Russians. “.

UN announces more than 10,000 civilian casualties

According to the United Nations, more than 10,000 civilians, including hundreds of children, have been killed or injured in the war in Ukraine.

Some 4,509 people had been killed and 5,585 injured as of midnight in Kyiv (2100 GMT) on June 16, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in its daily update. The dead include 294 children, the OHCHR said.

“Most of the recorded civilian casualties were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including heavy artillery and multiple rocket launcher system bombardments, and air and missile strikes “, the statement said, adding that the actual numbers were likely much higher.

Read all updates from June 17, here.

Citizens have the power to address the global refugee crisis

Seeing the ever-increasing number of humans being uprooted and becoming so-called “refugees” due to armed conflict or other factors makes me wonder if we really understand what this phenomenon means and why it is happening. Indeed, the debate about how refugees are cared for in host countries comes after the seemingly terrible thing that forced the person, family or group (all equally deserving of rights and freedoms) to seek and to beg for refuge – why?

Perhaps we still don’t fully understand the globalized nature of the whole world, whereby even the most basic perceptions and actions in one country, for example, can have profound impacts on another or on the rest of the world.

The global refugee crises from Ukraine, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and the Horn of Africa, for example, are worsening in part because in countries that are financially and militarily more powerful, common public perceptions about their role and responsibilities in these crises are not taken seriously enough.

Some six million Afghanss live as refugees around the world. Why was there this bloody military intervention in Afghanistan for 20 long years if it resulted in the same authoritarianism and the same displacement? The same question could apply to the crises in Ukraine, Iraq and many others.

Power circles in these so-called first world countries are spreading fears of the refugee crisis very well in domestic politics to secure their authority, but the level of their interference in other countries that cause this dilemma in the first place is never highlighted. And, ultimately, small donations and charitable support to vulnerable refugees are presented in every possible way to boost their charitable image.

Citizens of countries with considerable prestige and influence in the world must wake up, use their voting power choose the right politicians and promote policies of equality, non-military interference and pro-environmental action. They simply cannot remain immune to tragedies in distant lands caused in part or entirely by their own governments.

This vicious cycle, which lacks empathy, not only compounds the refugee dilemma, but further alienates humans in host communities from the stark possibility that they too may one day become refugees.

picture by Levi Meir Clancy

Crowdfunder launched for UK’s first community-run LGBTQI+ venue | London


Queer activists have launched a £100,000 fundraiser to open the UK’s first community-run LGBTQI+ bar after a property developer blocked its promise to fund a venue following the closure of the famous Joiners Arms.

Campaign group Friends of the Joiners Arms launched a crowdfunding initiative on Friday, selling shares in the proposed new bar and community venue for just £25 in a ‘fight back’ against the number of queer venues being lost to property development .

The move comes more than seven years after developer Regal London bought and closed Joiners Arms, an LGBTQI+ institution in Tower Hamlets, east London. The bar had a host of famous names among its regulars, including Alexander McQueen, Rufus Wainwright and Sir Ian McKellen.

The developer had promised to pay £100,000 to fund an ‘LGBT+ pop-up bar’ to give Londoners an inclusive meeting place during the demolition and redevelopment of the Joiners. However, he did not provide the money as work on a planned hotel on the site was delayed by the pandemic.

The Joiners Arms on Hackney Road, east London, had a host of famous regulars, including Alexander McQueen and Sir Ian McKellen. Photography: Jonathan Player/Rex/Shutterstock

Amy Roberts, Chair of Friends of the Joiners Arms, said: “London has lost so many of its LGBTQI+ spaces to property developers and rising rents, and we have fought back against that. It took eight long years, but the strength of our community prevailed. We are so proud to open a new queer space, in memory of the Joiners Arms, and are so grateful to the community for all the support we have had so far on our long journey.

By Friday night, the campaign had already raised nearly £14,000. But Roberts said the bar could not open if fundraising did not reach the £100,000 target.

“So we’re asking people to invest just £25 – although we’ll take more if you have it,” she said. “For those who can’t afford it, we’re also offering a ‘pay it forward’ scheme, to ensure that as many people as possible have a say in how this new queer space is run. “

Roberts said the campaign has received funding and support from the Foundation for Future London, Co-ops UK and social investment firm Reach Fund.

Campaigners are working with the Greater London Authority’s Culture and Community Spaces at Risk team to secure a site for the new venue for at least five years. It is hoped the space, which will host regular drop-in events for housing advice, HIV/AIDS testing and health awareness, will open by the end of the year.

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Steve Harrington, Director of Planning at Regal London, said: “We are truly disappointed that we have not been able to make rapid progress in restoring this iconic LGBTQI+ venue.

“The challenges of the past two years have had a catastrophic impact on the entire hospitality industry and as a result the hotel operator we had planned to take on the lease has fallen. We are working hard to find another partner in order to advance development.

“We would like to continue to work closely with the Friends of the Joiners Arms on their plans for the future. Our relationships with our neighbors and community groups are essential, and we will do all we can to support this important space to be created.

Man charged with arson, accused of burning down two houses near River Road

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Clean-shaven, dressed and seemingly calm and lucid, Adam Baxter made a radically different impression in court on Wednesday than when he was arrested a week earlier, naked and wrapped in a blanket after a night of destruction.

“Even in conversations I’ve had with him before, he seems lucid and alert,” defense attorney Mike Burns said. “I don’t know his whole story. But there was definitely something going on the day all of this happened.

Baxter is accused of deliberately burning down two homes Tuesday night, June 7, in eastern Jefferson County near River Road.

Burns said Baxter had no memory of what he was doing the night the owners say he was roaming the area in his underwear, stealing and causing damage.

Baxter, who had no criminal history, was released Wednesday on $50,000 bail with assurances that he would continue treatment for undisclosed mental health issues.

“If he gets the help he needs, I think that’s good,” Burns said. “Before that, he has hardly any background. So I guess the big question is what happened to make this happen? »

There are also lingering questions about how Baxter was initially released on his own recognizance hours after his arrest.

He was released from police custody when he was administratively released by the Department of Pre-Trial Services.

According to the Kentucky Court of Justice website, a state Supreme Court order “gives pretrial officers the power to release based on specific criteria without contacting a judge. The program is designed to expedite the bail of low to moderate risk defendants charged with non-violent, non-sex crimes.

Baxter has been assessed by a pre-trial expert as “at low to moderate risk of both non-appearance and further criminal activity,” according to an email from Leigh Anne Hiatt, public information officer for the Courts Administration Office.

Hiatt also said that “if Mr. Baxter had (originally) been charged with a more serious or violent charge, such as arson, he would not have been allowed to be released.”

Copyright 2022 WAVE. All rights reserved.

Sip whiskey and re-emphasize the new men’s social club


A glass of smoky, oaky whiskey and camaraderie with new friends is the atmosphere A League of Gentlemen, a new social club, wants to create to raise money for charity.

It’s a social club held at the Spring Mill Distillery on July 4 from 7-9 p.m. Tickets are $100 and each attendee will receive a free sample of whiskey and a whiskey expert will talk about the tasting notes. The money raised will be donated to a local charity.

David Coccia, creator of the club, started volunteering 10 years ago. He was linked to a man named Andrew, who has autism and wanted to race. Coccia was part of the Guelph Victors and was happy to run or walk at 7:30 with his friend.

“It taught me that it is good to do good and to do good to be part of a community. As you get older, it’s very important to give a bit of your time,” Coccia said.

He had a conversation with his boss about giving back to the community and he suggested a social club as a way to bring people together to donate.

Coccia said there will be three charities to choose from, the food bank and Wyndham House are sure to be two of the options. There will be ballot boxes at the event and people can vote for the charity they want to donate to.

He hopes the event will take place twice a year.

“The hope is that it will be a cross section of different people,” Coccia said. He believes that connections are inevitable, whether professional or personal.

“I hope people can take advantage of the fact that they have done something good for their community.”

There will be no speeches or promotion of any person or company. It’s supposed to be a fun social event.

Guelph is no stranger to social clubs, 100 Men Who Give A Damn, called 100+ Guelph is a social group of men who get together and donate $100, raising $10,000. Coccia said it would be great to collaborate with them in the future.

“I want it to be a little more rooted in the community, both on the part of the charity, but also to help grow businesses in Guelph,” he said.

“I hope they get an idea of ​​what I get when I go hang out with my friend in the morning. It’s the feeling of doing something good.”

Brutal honesty meets ‘prudence’: Canadian and British parliaments analyze Afghanistan withdrawal

Certain times call for plain language. The assessment of the chaotic end of Western engagement in Afghanistan is one such moment.

The Canadian and British parliaments recently tabled committee reports on the war in Afghanistan and the tumultuous withdrawal of Western forces. Only one of them offers a startling example of the kind of brutal self-reflection that is supposed to be at the heart of our democratic system.

“The international withdrawal from Afghanistan has been a disaster in terms of its planning, execution and consequences for the UK’s wider interests,” the UK Foreign Affairs Committee wrote in its final report, published on May 22. 2022.

“It was a betrayal of our partners in the country and, worst of all, it undermined the security of the UK by encouraging our enemies to act against us.”

And those were just the first two sentences of a blistering 60-page report that unflinchingly dissected Britain’s evacuation efforts and how Afghanistan’s allies left it to its fate. .

Western military involvement in Afghanistan ended in August 2021 when allied nations, led by the United States, completed their withdrawal.

The two-week airlift that pulled Western troops out of the country brought with it scenes of despair and horror. At first, people desperate to flee the Taliban regime flooded the Kabul airport tarmac and some died after clinging to a departing plane.

“The former head of the armed forces told us the decision to step down was ‘strategically illiterate and morally bankrupt’, while the former national security adviser called it ‘poor policy, poorly implemented. ‘” says the UK Foreign Affairs Committee report. “This is an act of strategic self-harm.”

In this image provided by the US Marine Corps, a member of the Canadian coalition forces walks through an evacuation checkpoint during ongoing evacuations at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, August 24, 2021. (Staff Sergeant Victor Mancilla/US Marine Corps/Associated Press)

The UK committee’s report, endorsed by members of the ruling and opposition parties, added that the decision to leave Afghanistan “damaged the reputation of the UK and its allies, and will affect the [U.K.] ability of the government to achieve its foreign policy objectives for the years to come”.

Imagine hearing that kind of candid assessment from Canadian parliamentarians or senior defense and security officials.

In fairness, two former Canadian generals, other former members of the military and representatives of humanitarian organizations gave frank and lucid testimony on the situation in Canada Special Committee on Afghanistan over the past few months.

“More caution”

But when it came time for a committee of Canadian parliamentarians to speak truth to power, the outcome was decidedly more restrained.

“While the exact moment at which Taliban ascendancy became inevitable could not have been predicted with certainty, the Special Committee believes that greater caution – and, therefore, a more proactive approach – was warranted in response. to Afghanistan’s clearly worsened trajectory,” it read. the assessment of the Special Committee on Afghanistan — buried on page 38 of its 86-page report, which was tabled without much fanfare last week.

While the phrase “greater caution” may sound like fight words for Ottawa’s bureaucracy, it’s probably cold comfort to the thousands of Afghans who believed in what countries like Canada were doing. in Afghanistan and who had to flee for their lives. Some of them are still at large.

“The testimonies highlighted the danger faced by those associated with the international coalition. Given the history of the Taliban and their long campaign against coalition forces and the Afghan republic, the risks were known,” says the Canadian parliamentary report.

A U.S. Marine checks a woman as she passes through the Evacuation Control Center (ECC) during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, August 28, 2021. (US Marine Corps/Staff Sergeant Victor Mancilla/Handout/Reuters)

The call for “greater caution” may also be a bitter pill to swallow for tens of thousands of military and non-military Canadians whose lives have been forever changed by more than a dozen years of war.

“The Special Committee recognizes the complexities and dangers of operating the airlift from Kabul, and commends those who made it possible,” the Canadian parliamentary report said.

“At the same time, he believes that long before August 15, 2021, the risks associated with the Taliban should have compelled greater urgency and a more systematic policy and planning effort across the Canadian government to help people to get to safety before it becomes much more difficult to do so.”

No excuses

It’s a typical Canadian approach — polite and low-key — to a humanitarian disaster.

The report of the committee of the House of Commons of Canada dwells on the “mechanism [of] government” and its systemic failures while ostensibly avoiding judgment or pointing fingers – a stark contrast to the tone of the UK report

“There were systemic failures in intelligence, diplomacy, planning and preparedness which raise questions about the machinery of government, principally the National Security Council,” the UK Parliament report said. “The British government has failed to shape or respond to Washington’s decision to step aside, despite giving 18 months’ notice.”

The British report adds that while other allies found it difficult to predict the speed of the Taliban takeover, “the fact that it surprised many, including the militants themselves, does not excuse failures. of the UK, but rather makes it more urgent to identify where its intelligence gathering, analysis and planning has failed.”

You don’t find such a stark record in the Canadian report.

In fact, the Canadian special committee suggested that Global Affairs, the Department of National Defense and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada appeared to have taken steps to shield themselves from criticism.

“Some departments conducted an internal lessons learned exercise or after action review,” the Canadian parliamentary report said.

“However, the results of these exercises were not reported to the Special Committee, and it was not clear that a formal, comprehensive, whole-of-government review had been conducted.”

When the British committee found itself at a standstill – particularly on issues relating to the evacuation from Afghanistan of a British charity for homeless animals – it did not hesitate to challenge the British Foreign Office in its final report for lack of transparency.

“The FCDO has repeatedly given us answers which we believe are at best intentionally evasive and often deliberately misleading,” the UK report said.

Federal law interfering with aid delivery, MPs say

In addition to examining the evacuation and resettlement of Afghan refugees, the Canadian parliamentary committee heard from humanitarian groups that federal anti-terrorism legislation is impeding the delivery of aid to Afghanistan, where the economy is shrinking. has collapsed and where more than three quarters of the population will soon fall below the poverty line.

The Taliban is on Canada’s list of terrorist entities and the prevailing view is that indirect payments to Afghanistan in any form would risk violating the Criminal Code.

Canada is alone among its allies in not creating an exemption for charitable work.

This is where the House of Commons committee came closest to a warning.

“The Special Committee wishes to communicate that it does not believe that Canada taking its own policy, regulatory and legislative measures to facilitate legitimate humanitarian action would amount to legitimizing the Taliban,” the Canadian report said.

“The Special Committee, as stated, appreciates the complexity of this situation. However, it is concerned that many months have passed since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, when the needs of the population are known to be shouting.”