World Wild III

September 28th 2023

Refugee Crisis

Good morning. Over the last few days you have probably heard about a growing crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh, an enclave of ethnic Armenians surrounded by Azerbaijan.Right now, tens of thousands of people are fleeing the region fearing for their lives and the future of their homeland. Experts expect that over the coming weeks almost all of the estimated 120,000 people who live in Nagorno-Karabakh could leave for Armenia, creating another refugee crisis on the doorstep of Europe.There’s a lot going on in the world right now, and it’s hard to be up to speed on everything, particularly things that sound complicated. So you’re forgiven if you don’t, yet, know all about it.Today we will hopefully answer all the important questions: Including where is Nagorno-Karabakh? What is happening? Why is it happening now? Is this related to the war in Ukraine, and what might happen next?Our guide is Andrew Roth, the Guardian’s Moscow correspondent, who is on the Armenia border witnessing a “staggering stream” of Nagorno-Karabakh refugees entering the country. More after the headlines.
Five big stories
1Iraq | More than 100 people have been killed and 150 people injured in a fire at a wedding in northern Iraq. It is not yet clear what caused the blaze, but early reports say it may have broken out after fireworks were lit before the first dance.
2Donald Trump | Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to fame and the White House, a New York judge ruled on Tuesday. The ruling found that Trump and executives from his company, including his sons Eric and Donald Jr, routinely and repeatedly deceived banks, insurers and others by massively overvaluing assets and exaggerating his net worth.
3Asylum | The UN’s refugee agency has rebuked Suella Braverman after she claimed that world leaders had failed to make wholesale reform of human rights laws because of fears of being branded “racist or illiberal”. It came after the home secretary claimed that women and gay people must face more than discrimination if they are to qualify as a refugee
4Prisons | Traumatised children in a young offender institution are talking to psychologists through the hatch in their cell doors as there are not enough guards to unlock them for therapy sessions, the Guardian has learned. Many of the teenagers have suffered childhood trauma, with an overrepresentation of autism, ADHD and other neurological disorders.
5Politics | Ed Davey has closed the Liberal Democrats’ conference with a pledge to guarantee in law that anyone referred for cancer treatment will be seen in two months. The announcement was arguably the sole big policy of the gathering and reinforces the party’s focus on the NHS before the general election.
In depth: ‘It is a historic exodus, and everyone who’s leaving has a heartbreaking story’
Refugees look on as they wait near a Red Cross registration centre in Goris, on 26 September 2023.
Let’s start with the real basics. Where is Nagorno-Karabakh? It’s a landlocked region in the South Caucasus mountains surrounded by Azerbaijan, about 140km to the east of the border with Armenia. To complicate matters a little more the region is known by Armenians as Artsakh.What is happening in Nagorno-Karabakh (watch this video for help on how to pronounce it), and why is it happening now? To answer this, Andrew says we need to rewind at least thirty years to the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, which led to the messy creation of 15 states.They included Armenia and Azerbaijan, which both claimed Nagorno-Karabakh. While the land is within Azerbaijan (and the international community recognises it as part of Azerbaijan), it has been run autonomously by its ethnic Armenian population as a de facto independent state since 1994.“Armenians call it their ancestral homeland, but territorially it is part of Azerbaijan,” Andrew says. “This led to a series of wars over who it really belongs to, which led to the uneasy status quo that it is Armenian within Azerbaijan. It has always been a bone of contention.”In the last conflict in 2020 – which lasted 44-days – Azerbaijan recaptured seven surrounding districts and took back about a third of Nagorno-Karabakh itself. The region is now 3,170 sq km – that’s about twice the size of greater London.As part of the truce that halted that war, Russia provided peacekeepers to police a road, known as the Lachin corridor, that allowed people to travel between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia.However, the road has been blocked since December 2022, which has effectively trapped Nagorno-Karabakh people within the territory and led to shortages of food, medicine and baby formula. Azerbaijan denies there is any blockade and says it was forced to act after environmental violations. The Russian peacekeeping troops did not intervene to get traffic moving.Hostilities restarted on 19 September 2023 when Azerbaijan launched a full scale military offensive against Nagorno-Karabakh. It described it as “an anti-terrorist operation”.It lasted just over 24 hours, before the local Karabakh government accepted a ceasefire proposal negotiated by Russian peacekeepers. Azerbaijan declared military victory while Armenia accused Azerbaijan of pursuing a “policy of ethnic cleansing”. The majority of Armenians are Christian, and the majority of Azerbaijanis are Muslim.

Why has this happened now?Andrew believes Azerbaijan is taking advantage of Russia being “distracted by the war in Ukraine”. “Russia is the big player here, and Armenia is its traditional ally,” he says. “Russia is meant to get involved, but it is a very hard time for Russia with the war in Ukraine taking up a lot of resources.”Azerbaijan has also, Andrew says, invested heavily in militarisation so the balance of power has shifted. “Azerbaijan wants to end the three decades of self-rule in Karabakh, and take it over.”Azeri president Ilham Aliyev has said the region would be turned into a “paradise” as part of Azerbaijan.
What is causing the exodus?
Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev in Moldova in June.
“The ethnic cleansing of Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh is under way, that’s happening just now,” Armenia’s prime minister Nikol Pashinyan told the US in a plea for help. “And that is [a] very unfortunate fact, because we were trying to urge international community on that,”Azerbaijan denies it is intent on ethnic cleansing, and said it wants to re-integrate the ethnic Armenians as “equal citizens”.Andrew says, most Nagorno-Karabakh people aren’t willing take the risk of trusting Azerbaijan, and are fleeing through the – recently re-opened Lachin corridor – to Armenia. Almost 30,000 refugees have already crossed the border out of the estimated 120,000 population of Nagorno-Karabakh.“It’s been called a negotiated ceasefire, but really there is no negotiation,” Andrew says. “Azerbaijan massively has the upper-hand, so the only thing to negotiate is how Azerbaijan is going to take the territory and what happens when the troops go into the towns and how they treat the people.”He says the people, who have seen videos of Azeris beheading locals during the 2020 war, aren’t sticking around to find out what might happen this time.More than 100 people were killed in an explosion at a fuel depot on Monday, which witnesses said struck as people lined up to refuel their cars before evacuating.Andrew, who spent yesterday talking to refugees as they cross the border, said people say they are “fleeing for their lives” and are angry at the international community for not doing more to protect them.“There are wave after wave of cars and vans coming over every 10-15 minutes,” he says. “They’re full of people and their belongings latched to the roof. They are making children lie on the floor of minibuses and blocking the windows with cardboard in fear of shelling.“No one expected this many people to be leaving so quickly. It is a historic exodus, and everyone who’s leaving has a heartbreaking story.”He has talked to people whose relatives have been killed in shelling and had their homes destroyed, and others who had been forced into hiding for days. “I spoke to a 90-year-old who slept for three days on the floor of the airport terminal [which is controlled by the Russian peacekeepers].”A father of a four-day old baby told Andrew, that he took the newborn and his six other children to a shelter, before going back to try to protect his house.
Where will the Nagorno-Karabakh people go?Pashinyan has said Armenia has allocated space for at least 40,000 people, but warned that he expects the vast majority of the 120,000 people “will see exile from their homeland as the only way to save their lives and identity”.Andrew says there’s no way Armenia, a country with a population of just under 3 million people, will be able to integrate 100,000 refugees. “It’s going to be hard to find them housing or jobs – it is beginning to look like the beginning of another refugee crisis on the doorstep of Europe.”

September 23rd 2023

Germany went from envy of the world to the worst-performing major developed economy. What happened?

By DAVID McHUGH Updated 1:34 PM BST, September 19, 2023

ESSEN, Germany (AP) — For most of this century, Germany racked up one economic success after another, dominating global markets for high-end products like luxury cars and industrial machinery, selling so much to the rest of the world that half the economy ran on exports.

Jobs were plentiful, the government’s financial coffers grew as other European countries drowned in debt, and books were written about what other countries could learn from Germany.

No longer. Now, Germany is the world’s worst-performing major developed economy, with both the International Monetary Fund and European Union expecting it to shrink this year.

It follows Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the loss of Moscow’s cheap natural gas — an unprecedented shock to Germany’s energy-intensive industries, long the manufacturing powerhouse of Europe.

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FILE - Gas prices are displayed at a gas station in Frankfurt, Germany, on July 28, 2023. The European economy grew modestly in the most recent quarter, breaking out of a months of stagnation or contraction as higher interest rates designed to fight inflation make it more expensive for households and businesses to borrow, invest and spend. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, File)

Europe’s economy grows a bit after months of stagnation. But rate hikes are weighing on businesses

The sudden underperformance by Europe’s largest economy has set off a wave of criticism, handwringing and debate about the way forward.

Germany risks “deindustrialization” as high energy costs and government inaction on other chronic problems threaten to send new factories and high-paying jobs elsewhere, said Christian Kullmann, CEO of major German chemical company Evonik Industries AG.

From his 21st-floor office in the west German town of Essen, Kullmann points out the symbols of earlier success across the historic Ruhr Valley industrial region: smokestacks from metal plants, giant heaps of waste from now-shuttered coal mines, a massive BP oil refinery and Evonik’s sprawling chemical production facility.

These days, the former mining region, where coal dust once blackened hanging laundry, is a symbol of the energy transition, dotted with wind turbines and green space.

The loss of cheap Russian natural gas needed to power factories “painfully damaged the business model of the German economy,” Kullmann told The Associated Press. “We’re in a situation where we’re being strongly affected — damaged — by external factors.”

After Russia cut off most of its gas to the European Union, spurring an energy crisis in the 27-nation bloc that had sourced 40% of the fuel from Moscow, the German government asked Evonik to keep its 1960s coal-fired power plant running a few months longer.

The company is shifting away from the plant — whose 40-story smokestack fuels production of plastics and other goods — to two gas-fired generators that can later run on hydrogen amid plans to become carbon neutral by 2030.

One hotly debated solution: a government-funded cap on industrial electricity prices to get the economy through the renewable energy transition.

The proposal from Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck of the Greens Party has faced resistance from Chancellor Olaf Scholz, a Social Democrat, and pro-business coalition partner the Free Democrats. Environmentalists say it would only prolong reliance on fossil fuels.

Kullmann is for it: “It was mistaken political decisions that primarily developed and influenced these high energy costs. And it can’t now be that German industry, German workers should be stuck with the bill.”

The price of gas is roughly double what it was in 2021, hurting companies that need it to keep glass or metal red-hot and molten 24 hours a day to make glass, paper and metal coatings used in buildings and cars.

A second blow came as key trade partner China experiences a slowdown after several decades of strong economic growth.

These outside shocks have exposed cracks in Germany’s foundation that were ignored during years of success, including lagging use of digital technology in government and business and a lengthy process to get badly needed renewable energy projects approved.

Other dawning realizations: The money that the government readily had on hand came in part because of delays in investing in roads, the rail network and high-speed internet in rural areas. A 2011 decision to shut down Germany’s remaining nuclear power plants has been questioned amid worries about electricity prices and shortages. Companies face a severe shortage of skilled labor, with job openings hitting a record of just under 2 million.

And relying on Russia to reliably supply gas through the Nord Stream pipelines under the Baltic Sea — built under former Chancellor Angela Merkel and since shut off and damaged amid the war — was belatedly conceded by the government to have been a mistake.

Now, clean energy projects are slowed by extensive bureaucracy and not-in-my-backyard resistance. Spacing limits from homes keep annual construction of wind turbines in single digits in the southern Bavarian region.

A 10 billion-euro ($10.68 billion) electrical line bringing wind power from the breezier north to industry in the south has faced costly delays from political resistance to unsightly above-ground towers. Burying the line means completion in 2028 instead of 2022.

Massive clean energy subsidies that the Biden administration is offering to companies investing in the U.S. have evoked envy and alarm that Germany is being left behind.

“We’re seeing a worldwide competition by national governments for the most attractive future technologies — attractive meaning the most profitable, the ones that strengthen growth,” Kullmann said.

He cited Evonik’s decision to build a $220 million production facility for lipids — key ingredients in COVID-19 vaccines — in Lafayette, Indiana. Rapid approvals and up to $150 million in U.S. subsidies made a difference after German officials evinced little interest, he said.

“I’d like to see a little more of that pragmatism … in Brussels and Berlin,” Kullmann said.

In the meantime, energy-intensive companies are looking to cope with the price shock.

Drewsen Spezialpapiere, which makes passport and stamp paper as well as paper straws that don’t de-fizz soft drinks, bought three wind turbines near its mill in northern Germany to cover about a quarter of its external electricity demand as it moves away from natural gas.

Specialty glass company Schott AG, which makes products ranging from stovetops to vaccine bottles to the 39-meter (128-foot) mirror for the Extremely Large Telescope astronomical observatory in Chile, has experimented with substituting emissions-free hydrogen for gas at the plant where it produces glass in tanks as hot as 1,700 degrees Celsius.

It worked — but only on a small scale, with hydrogen supplied by truck. Mass quantities of hydrogen produced with renewable electricity and delivered by pipeline would be needed and don’t exist yet.

Scholz has called for the energy transition to take on the “Germany tempo,” the same urgency used to set up four floating natural gas terminals in months to replace lost Russian gas. The liquefied natural gas that comes to the terminals by ship from the U.S., Qatar and elsewhere is much more expensive than Russian pipeline supplies, but the effort showed what Germany can do when it has to.

However, squabbling among the coalition government over the energy price cap and a law barring new gas furnaces has exasperated business leaders.

Evonik’s Kullmann dismissed a recent package of government proposals, including tax breaks for investment and a law aimed at reducing bureaucracy, as “a Band-Aid.”

Germany grew complacent during a “golden decade” of economic growth in 2010-2020 based on reforms under Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in 2003-2005 that lowered labor costs and increased competitiveness, says Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg bank.

“The perception of Germany’s underlying strength may also have contributed to the misguided decisions to exit nuclear energy, ban fracking for natural gas and bet on ample natural gas supplies from Russia,” he said. “Germany is paying the price for its energy policies.”

Schmieding, who once dubbed Germany “the sick man of Europe” in an influential 1998 analysis, thinks that label would be overdone today, considering its low unemployment and strong government finances. That gives Germany room to act — but also lowers the pressure to make changes.

The most important immediate step, Schmieding said, would be to end uncertainty over energy prices, through a price cap to help not just large companies, but smaller ones as well.

Whatever policies are chosen, “it would already be a great help if the government could agree on them fast so that companies know what they are up to and can plan accordingly instead of delaying investment decisions,” he said.

Comment Cutting through all the expert waffle, the mindless downtrodden masses of the western world were forced into globalisation in the wake of glasnost, akong with a race to the bottom on wages accelerated by mass Third World Immigration.

Now they are being forced out of it while mass immigtaion, which they pay for goes hyper. This is all in the name of western democracy versus Russian autocracy ( sic ).

Population pressures and cultural conflict provoked a political phenomenon labelled the far right because the comfortable white liberal and feminazis who brook no argument, don’t like it. Britain apparently left the EU so that it could lead European foreign policy in cahoots with the United States. U.S born disgraced former PM and Churchill wannabe Boris ‘Bullshitter’Johnson was quick to say that Nordstream 2 would not go on line. The same Johnson told Zelensky not to accept a peace deal regarding a NATO & EU takeover for the U.S New World Order.

The last two world wars were promoted by Britain and described by some academics as ‘The Wars of the British Succession.’ The British were succeeded by the United States. Now we have a new World War for the United States Succession. The likes of Biden and his fake democrats don’t like it – but their Industrial Military Complex likes it very much because they are short term hedonistic thinkers ( sic ). They are not feeling it at the moment because they are far away. Germany is feeling it, desperately going all out back to coal. Britain’s pathetic little green people shriek out the mainstream media mantra ‘we are all in it for the long run.’ Their long run of war has already seen at least 200.000 young dead Ukrainian solidiers fighting for a very corrupt country where Zelensky sits as front man following a western backed bloody U.S backed coup toppling a democratically elected leader while murdering 44 police officers, and reneging on Minsk twice. All has tested Russia beyond the media.

The fact that the sickening U.K Houses of Lords, where they call each other’s chamber ‘the other place,’ flaunt their consensus for a so called nation they can’t wait to join in raping, before repopulating with African overspill, says it all about what U.K democracy really means.

Meanwhile, the author of the above article pays no attention to what de skilling a once proud Germany that has never been allowed to rise, really means. We are at the beginning of one hell of a war, where Russia and China must never be allowed to rise. The western privileged elite and third world lackey dictators will do whatever it takes to stop them. If they win ? I am watched by police et al on her 24/7, so dare not express my thoughts on that one.

The Future’s Bright, The Future’s Orange.

R J Cook

September 21st 2023

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Lutheran pastor in Germany. In the 1920s and early 1930s, he sympathized with many Nazi ideas and supported radically right-wing political movements. But after Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, Niemöller became an outspoken critic of Hitler’s interference in the Protestant Church. He spent the last eight years of Nazi rule, from 1937 to 1945, in Nazi prisons and concentration camps. Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for his postwar statement, which begins “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out…”

Key Facts

  • 1 The quote that begins with the words “First they came for…” continues to be used today in popular culture and public discourse. It has often been adapted to reflect current social issues and debates across the world.
  • 2 There are different versions of the quotation because it originated from Martin Niemöller’s impromptu public speeches.
  • 3 The quotation expresses Niemöller’s belief that Germans had been complicit through their silence in the Nazi imprisonment, persecution, and murder of millions of people. He felt this was especially true of the leaders of the Protestant churches, which were made up of Lutheran, Reformed, and United traditions.

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

—Martin Niemöller

This quote is attributed to the prominent German pastor Martin Niemöller. It is sometimes mistakenly referred to as a poem. 

After World War II, Niemöller openly spoke about his own early complicity in Nazism and his eventual change of heart. His powerful words about guilt and responsibility still resonate today.

Niemöller’s Quote at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The quote “First they came for…” has been part of the permanent exhibition at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum since its opening in 1993. Initially, Niemöller’s words were part of a text panel. Today, they are prominently featured on a wall as the final words of the exhibition. They serve as an indictment of passivity and indifference during the Holocaust

Visitors stand in front of the quotation from Martin Niemöller that is on display in the Permanent Exhibition of the United States ... [LCID: img4857]

Museum visitors in front of the Martin Niemöller quotation

Visitors stand in front of the quotation from Martin Niemöller that is on display in the Permanent Exhibition of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Niemöller was a Lutheran minister and early Nazi supporter who was later imprisoned for opposing Hitler’s regime.

  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Origins of the Quote

This Martin Niemöller quote originated after the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. After the war, Niemöller was well-known for his opposition to the Nazi regime and as a former victim of Nazi persecution. In 1946, he traveled on a lecture tour in the western zones of Allied-occupied Germany. In his lectures, Niemöller publicly confessed his own inaction and indifference to the fate of many of the Nazis’ victims. He used phrases such as “I did not speak out…” or “we preferred to keep quiet.” He explained that in the first years of the Nazi regime he had remained silent as the Nazis persecuted other Germans, especially members of leftist political movements with whom he disagreed.

Niemöller considered his fellow Germans as the primary audience for his confession. In his lectures, he lamented that individual Germans failed to accept responsibility for Nazism, German atrocities in German-occupied countries, and the Holocaust. According to him, individual Germans were passing the blame onto their neighbors, superiors, or Nazi organizations like the Gestapo. Through his confession, he wanted to show Germans how to accept personal responsibility for complicity in the Nazi regime

Why are there multiple versions of Niemöller’s quote?

There are multiple versions of the quote “First they came for….” Some versions include a different list of victims. This is because Niemöller often presented his lectures impromptu and changed the list of victims from lecture to lecture. At different times and in different combinations, Niemöller listed: communists, socialists, trade unionists, Jews, people with mental and physical disabilities, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. 

Some printed versions of the quote include Protestants and Catholics in the list of victims.1 Given the history of the Nazi regime and Niemöller’s personal experiences, it was highly unlikely that he included either group in his confession of complicity. In his post-war lectures, Niemöller specifically focused on groups that the Nazis targeted prior to his arrest in 1937, and for whom he could have advocated in the 1930s, but did not.

Regardless of his exact words, Niemöller’s message remained consistent: he declared that through silence, indifference, and inaction, Germans had been complicit in the Nazi imprisonment, persecution, and murder of millions of people. He felt that it was particularly egregious that he and other German Protestant church leaders, whom he believed had positions of moral authority, chose to remain silent.

Today, the quote has entered public discourse and popular culture. It is variously referred to as a poem, a confession, or an aphorism. The quote is also frequently adapted and rewritten as a political tool, often in ways that are not in keeping with Niemöller’s original intentions. 

Who was Martin Niemöller?

Pastor Martin Niemöller at his desk in his home. [LCID: 63455]

Pastor Martin Niemöller

Pastor Martin Niemöller at his desk in his home. Berlin, Germany, ca. 1936.

  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Sibylle Niemoeller

Martin Niemöller was born the son of a Lutheran pastor in the German Empire on January 14, 1892. At age 21 he started his career in the Imperial German Navy as an officer. During World War I (1914–1918), Niemöller served as an officer on a U-Boat (a submarine). For his role in sinking Allied ships he earned the high honor, the Iron Cross First Class, in 1917.  

Niemöller was a fervent nationalist and anti-communist. He was devastated by Germany’s defeat in World War I and the collapse of the German Empire. He also strongly opposed the new postwar German government called the Weimar Republic (1918–1933). Unwilling to serve the new government, Niemöller resigned from the Navy in 1919. 

In 1920, Niemöller began seminary training at the University of Münster. He was ordained as a Lutheran pastor in 1924. During the 1920s and early 1930s, he participated in right-wing and antisemitic political parties and organizations.

How did Niemöller react to the Nazi regime?

In keeping with his right-wing, antisemitic outlook, Niemöller enthusiastically welcomed the Nazi regime in 1933. He voted for the Nazi Party in March of that year. 

Niemöller’s enthusiasm for the new government led by Adolf Hitler quickly waned, however, when the Nazi regime began to interfere in church policy. In 1933, Hitler threw his support behind a radical faction within the Protestant churches known as the Deutsche Christen (in English, the German Christians). The German Christians portrayed Jesus as an Aryan and denied that he was Jewish. They rejected the authority of the Old Testament and sought to alter parts of the New Testament. Their goal was to remove what they called “Jewish elements” from Christianity. This included prohibiting pastors with Jewish ancestry from serving in the Protestant church. Niemöller led the opposition to the German Christians and Hitler’s church policy.

Niemöller’s attitude toward the Nazi regime further transformed in January 1934 after a meeting with Adolf Hitler. Niemöller and other prominent Protestant church leaders met Hitler to discuss the relationship between church and state. At this meeting, it became clear that the Gestapo View This Term in the Glossary (the Secret State Police) had tapped Niemöller’s phone. The Pastors Emergency League (Pfarrernotbund), which Niemöller had helped found in 1933, was also under close state surveillance. Hitler’s hostility made it clear to Niemöller that the Protestant Church and the Nazi state could not be reconciled unless Protestants were willing to compromise their faith. Niemöller was not willing to do this. 

As a result, Niemöller became an outspoken critic of Nazi church policy. On July 1, 1937, the Gestapo View This Term in the Glossary arrested and imprisoned him as a political prisoner for the next eight years. A number of international religious leaders made calls for his release. However, Niemöller was not freed until May 1945, when the Allies defeated Nazi Germany and liberated him and other concentration camp prisoners.

An Enduring yet Controversial Legacy

After the end of World War II, Niemöller’s prominence as an opposition figure gave him international stature. He was often at the center of controversy for his outspoken views. For example, he opposed the postwar denazification policies of the Allied powers. He believed these policies caused more harm than good. He also refused to side unequivocally with the United States in the Cold War. As a result, some of his critics called him a communist.

Despite these controversies, Niemöller is remembered as one of the more prominent Germans to publicly acknowledge his moral failures committed during the Nazi era, as well as the moral failures of his nation and church. And he continued to speak publicly about the relationship between inaction and Germans’ responsibility for the persecution and murder of Jews in the Holocaust.

Last Edited: Apr 11, 2023

Author(s): United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC

September 13th 2023

Of course the western elite doesn’t do this sort of thing !!!! Where is Julian Assange et al ?
  1. Kim Jong Un’s summit with Vladimir Putin at a cosmodrome in Russia’s far east has finished
  2. Putin says Kim will visit other sites in Russia before crossing back into North Korea
  3. After dinner at the summit, the Russian leader toasted Kim’s health and the two countries’ friendship
  4. Putin also says there are “possibilities” for military co-operation between the countries
  5. Kim earlier said “we will always support the decisions of President Putin and… we will be together in the fight against imperialism”
  6. The leaders did not discuss the risk of nuclear war, a Kremlin spokesman adds

Live Reporting

Edited by Nadia Ragozhina and Rob Corp

Kim to visit civilian and defence aviation factories

Along with Vladivostok, Kim Jong Un will also visit the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur – an important industrial centre in the Russian far east.

Interestingly, he will fly there, according to President Putin, who announced the visit on Russian state channel Rossiya 1 – according to the Interfax news agency.

Kim Jong Un doesn’t share his father’s fear of flying, as he has flown on his Soviet-era private jet for several trips.

In Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Kim will visit defence and civil aviation factories.

What does imperialism mean to North Koreans?

Jean Mackenzie

Seoul correspondent

As you may remember, Kim told Putin that they will “remain together in [the] fight against imperialism”.

But what does imperialism mean this context?

For North Korea, it means one thing: the United States.

It views the US as an imperialist bully which tries to invade other countries – itself included – to rid the world of dictators with nuclear weapons, all under the guise of creating peace.

It dates America’s “imperialist foreign policy” all the way back to the slave trade, and then to the Korean War – in which an estimated 20% of the North Korean population was killed.

In reality, the Korean War started when the North invaded the South, and the US came to South Korea’s defence.

But successive North Korean leaders have pointed to the intense US bombing campaigns that wiped out scores of cities in the North.

At an anti-US rally in Pyongyang this summer, people carried placards adorned with the slogan: “The imperialist US is the destroyer of peace”.

Kim to continue Russia tour after talks – Putin

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has been speaking after Kim Jong Un’s visit, and according to the Ria news agency, announced that the North Korean leader would continue his tour with a visit to the city of Vladivostok.

Putin also said he had an “open exchange of opinions with Kim”.

He said there were opportunities for bilateral military-technical co-operation, though he added that Russia would comply with its international obligations.

The two leaders discussed agriculture, Putin added, where Russia “has something to offer to North Korea”.

BreakingPutin and Kim did not discuss risk of nuclear war – Ria

Putin and Kim did not discuss nuclear war risks during their talks, says Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, according to Russian state news agency Ria Novosti.

BreakingTalks ‘important and substantive’ – Kremlin spokesman

President Vladimir Putin’s talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were “important and substantive”, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency.

Speaking after the two leaders held talks in Russia’s Far East region, Peskov added that North Korea was interested in co-operation with Russia in the areas of aviation and transport.

North Korean arms ‘would kill more Ukrainians, but not Ukraine’ – expert

Tessa Wong

Asia Digital Reporter

There’s been much speculation on what kind of weapons North Korea could give Russia, and as my colleagues noted earlier, Pyongyang may hand over artillery shells and rockets.

But what kind of impact would that have on Russia’s war effort in Ukraine?

Artillery is “the god Russia worships”, said Valeriy Akimenko, an expert on Russia’s military with the Conflict Studies Research Centre.

“Anecdotally, Russia’s artillery shell stocks have been hugely depleted at this stage and it would not be easy to ramp up production at this time”, he added.

So North Korea’s arms could be a “stop-gap measure” while Russia rebuilds it capabilities.

But given how fast Russia has been going through its supplies, any North Korean arms deal would not have much impact.

“It would kill more Ukrainians. But it will not kill Ukraine”, said Akimenko.

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Posted at 11:1311:13

China supplying Russia with weapons would ‘change everything’

In Ukraine, concern about North Korea’s potential supply of artillery and ammunition to Russia is matched by worry about any possible role China could play, according to BBC Monitoring.

“The North Koreans will rebuild their stockpile with Chinese ammunition

. It’s not without the Chinese, that’s for sure,” military expert Roman Svitan told 24 Kanal TV.

“China, in spite of its declarations of neutrality, is becoming more active on Russia’s side

,” commentator Yuriy Poyta told the website Liga. “Beijing is doing so secretly to avoid problems.”

Poyta said more than 75% of microprocessors used by the Russian army make their way into the country through China. “It has played a serious role in Russia’s ability to rebuild and sustain its missile industry,” he said.

If China starts supplying Russia with weapons, this will “change everything”, and “not only for Ukraine” Poyta added.

Kim assures Putin of ‘great victory’

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has assured President Vladimir Putin that Moscow’s forces will win a “great victory” over its enemies, according to Russian news agencies.

“We are confident that the Russian army and people will certainly win a great victory in the holy struggle to punish the gathering of evil,” Kim was quoted as saying.

Kim then spoke of the continuing war with Ukraine, saying: “I am deeply convinced that the heroic Russian army and nation will greatly inherit the tradition of victory and demonstrate priceless virtues and honour on the fronts of the special military operation.”

Special military operation is how the Kremlin refers to the invasion of its neighbour.

Posted at 10:3410:34

BreakingKim boards his train home

According to Russian state news agency Ria Novosti, the talks between Kim Jong Un and President Vladimir Putin have finished and the North Korean leader has boarded his heavily armoured private train.

Kim proposes toast to Putin’s health

Vladimir Putin has raised his glass and toasted North Korea’s Kim Jong Un during an official lunch at a summit that has been taking place in Russia.

Putin raised his glass and said: “A toast to the future strengthening of cooperation and friendship between our countries.

“For the well-being and prosperity of our nations, for the health of the chairman and all of those present.”

Kim responded in kind saying: “I propose a toast to Putin’s health.”

BreakingRussia-North Korea talks to conclude today

Talks between the Russian president Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un will conclude on Wednesday, Russian state media TASS has reported – quoting Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

China responds to its friendly neighbour’s diplomatic trip

China has given its reaction to the meeting between Russian President Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

China is one of North Korea’s long-time allies and an economic benefactor.

Mao Ning, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, said the visit “pertains to relations between North Korea and Russia.”

She also described North Korea as China’s “friendly neighbours connected by mountains and rivers”, adding that currently “China-North Korea relations are developing well.”

Kim has been very vocal about strengthening his country’s relationship with Russia, saying earlier that bilateral ties with Putin is now his government’s “number one priority”.

Kim-Putin: A friendship of convenience?

Steve Rosenberg

BBC Russia editor

Kim has said North Korea supports “all of Putin’s decisions”. Putin has been equally friendly with his North Korean counterpart, offering Kim a warm welcome at the Russian space centre.

But it’s worth noting that Russia was never as close to Pyongyang as the Soviet Union was. This budding friendship is being forged in the geopolitical realities of 2023.

They do have a lot in common.

Both have been accused of becoming “rogue states”, are under heavy international sanctions and dislike the US. Plus, they both have something the other needs; Russia needs North Korea’s weapons and North Korea needs Russia’s food.

So for now, Putin and Kim see potential benefits from a closer relationship.

Read more about what they both can get out of this friendship here.

Seoul names new defence chief amid flurry of missiles from North

Shin Won-sik, a ruling party lawmaker and retired three-star general, has been named as South Korea’s new defence minister.

“[Shin] is the right person to… establish our security capability against North Korea’s advancing nuclear and missile threats with plenty of experience in both defence policy and strategy,” South Korea’s presidential chief of staff Kim Dae-ki said.

Why did Kim and Putin meet at a space centre?

Jean Mackenzie

Seoul correspondent

In return for selling weapons to Russia, Kim was expected to ask Putin to share advanced military technology, so he can make progress with his own weapons programme.

Moscow’s weapons are thought to be decades ahead of Pyongyang’s.

One of the areas where Kim is struggling to make progress is his space programme. He has tried to put a spy satellite into orbit twice in the past six months – and failed.

A spy satellite would give North Korea eyes in the sky on its enemies. It could use it to plot attacks more accurately and to monitor incoming threats.

Kim has made developing a spy satellite one of his key military priorities in the past few years.

Duck salad and sturgeon for Kim and Putin

Kim and Putin have ended their face-to-face meeting that lasted over two hours, Russian media report.

Now they’re off to an official lunch comprising duck salad, crab dumplings, fish soup, sturgeon with mushrooms, and last of all, a berry dessert.

Ties with North Korea will not be hindered by UN sanctions – Kremlin

Kim and Putin’s face-to-face talks at a Russian spaceport have just ended, but earlier today, the Kremlin stressed that UN sanctions on North Korea will not hinder its own ties with Pyongyang.

According to Russian state news agency TASS, when asked about longstanding sanctions against North Korea, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “Russia maintains its position at the UN Security Council, but this cannot and will not hinder the further development of Russian-North Korean relations.”

The United Nations has passed nearly a dozen resolutions sanctioning the North since its first nuclear test in 2006.

Some analysts have said the Russians could provide North Korea with high-end technology in exchange for artillery stock as a result of this meeting – this could mean a violation of the international sanctions regime.

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September 12th 2023

House of Representatives to open Biden impeachment inquiry

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  1. The US House of Representatives will open an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden
  2. The most senior Republican in the US House, Kevin McCarthy, says the inquiry will focus on “allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption”
  3. McCarthy says his party had uncovered what he called serious and credible corruption allegations that Biden had profited off his son Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings
  4. Biden has denied being involved in his son’s business ventures overseas
  5. So far, House Republican-led investigations into Hunter Biden have not found any direct evidence of wrongdoing by the president

Live Reporting

Edited by Brandon Livesay and Marianna Brady

  1. Posted at 21:1021:10What happened todayKevin McCarthyReutersCopyright: ReutersKevin McCarthy, the most senior Republican, made the announcementImage caption: Kevin McCarthy, the most senior Republican, made the announcementWe’re closing our live coverage shortly, so here’s a round-up of what’s happened over the last few hours:
    • The US House of Representatives have announced that a formal impeachment inquiry will be opened into US President Joe Biden
    • Kevin McCarthy, the most senior Republican in the lower chamber, said the inquiry will focus on “allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption” into Biden
    • McCarthy said his party had uncovered what he called serious and credible corruption allegations that Biden had profited off his son Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings
    • Biden has denied being involved in his son’s business ventures overseas and the White House slammed the inquiry as “extreme politics”
    • House Republican-led investigations into Hunter Biden have not found any direct evidence of wrongdoing by the president
    • Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer called the impeachment inquiry “absurd” whereas right-wing Republican Scott Perry said it was “long overdue”
    Today’s coverage was brought to you by Holly Honderich, Anthony Zurcher, George Wright and Chloe Kim. Editors were Brandon Livesay and Marianna Brady.

Men Have Always Been Canon Fodder While Women Hand Out White Feathers – R J Cook.

I bought this in Waterstones,Oxford, on a recent visit. It says a lot about this pseudo moral westerm proxy war on Russia via the gullible ignorant Ukrainian masses. Over 500,000 young white men have been killed or crippled so far, with more toc come.
Over 200,000 Ukrainian men at risk of conscription have fled to Germany since start of war
Ordinary Ukrainians want a ceasefire
Ordinary Ukrainians Don’t Matter To The Global Elite.
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September 10th 2023

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September 8th 2023

New World Disorder

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‘ You can have increasing concentrations of wealth in very few hands or you can have democracy, but you can’t have both.’

Comment Chain Migration is destroying Europe. BRICS is the only means of blocking the planet eaters and countering so called western independent media. As I write I am listening to while glancing at white suited Tory peer Lord Dannatt addressing the House of Lords. He has called Vladimir Putin ‘Hitler’and calling for more soldiers and military aid for Ukraine to defeat him. Heavily accented East European Baroness Helic has come on the antquated House of Lords stage to call for united war against anything they view as human rights infringements worldwide.

This country has gone war crazy because the global elite want it all. Ten per cent of the U.K population own 50 % of its wealth and are adept tax dodgers, as my time with HM Inspector of Taxes and a London Accountant taught me. Labour are just as nasty, with Lord Liddle now taking up the charge. He has just said that he doesn’t like the tax cuts because we need more money for wars current or expected future. Whiskery grey old Lord Craig of Radley, former Chief of Staff 1981- 91, amazingly referenced, on the BBC, the proxy war for Ukraine against Russia.

These old timers should take their places in the war zone. He is talking about expanding a British army to meddle all over the world. People are expected to believe that these are policies to benefit them rather than the likes of the 3 % of world population who own 62% of world wealth . I forget the name of the U.S politician who said, many years ago that ‘ You can have increasing concentrations of wealth in very few hands or you can have democracy, but you can’t have both.’

Oxford August 2023. Appledene Photographics / R J Cook

R J Cook

September 6th 2023

Transparency International’s 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which scored 180 countries on a scale from 0 (“highly corrupt”) to 100 (“very clean”), gave Ukraine a score of 33.

Three years ago, on May 20, 2019, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, with a hint of irony, said in his inauguration speech that his election victory proved that Ukrainians were tired of experienced politicians who over the past 28 years had created a country of opportunities – “opportunities to steal, bribe and loot”.

The former comedian, who promised to tackle corruption in his campaign, added: “Let’s build a country of other opportunities. Where everybody is equal before the law and where the rules of the game are honest and transparent, that are the same for everyone.”

Ukraine has long been associated with corruption and oligarchy and Russia has used these talking points to partially justify its war against the country.

However, analysts say that Ukraine today has made significant strides to root out corruption as they note Russia is in no position to criticise.

According to Transparency International’s 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index, Ukraine ranked 122nd out of 180 countries, near countries such as Zambia, Gabon and Mexico, while nations like Denmark and Finland ranked first.

That year, Ukraine was the second most corrupt in Europe. Russia was the most corrupt at 136.

But according to Koen Slootmaeckers, senior lecturer in international politics at City, University of London, “we need to be very careful on how we discuss the issue of corruption in Ukraine as if we are not, we only add to the Russia propaganda narrative which uses corruption as a justification for its own aggression.

“This is particularly the case when we start this conversation by comparing Ukraine to African countries where Western powers often use corruption to continue subordinating African nations and put them under special measures and development aid conditionality,” he told Al Jazeera.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy holds aloft the mace at his inuauguration in 2019
At his inauguration in 2019, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukrainians were tired of established politicians who had ‘created opportunities – opportunities to steal, bribe and loot’ [File: Efrem Lukatsky/AP Photo]

While there is little doubt corruption has troubled Ukraine’s society and political landscape, everyday Ukrainians have repeatedly stood up against government wrongdoing and called for the rule of law, democracy and self-determination, such as during the Orange Revolution in 2004 and the pro-European protests of the Euromaidan movement some 10 years later.

The Orange Revolution was a series of strikes and protests linked to allegations of vote-rigging in favour of Viktor Yanukovych, a pro-Russian candidate in the 2004 presidential election.

The Euromaidan in 2013-2014 was the result of the then-government’s decision not to sign the European Union-Ukraine Association Agreement with the bloc. Those protests ended with Yanukovych’s resignation.

“When it comes to Ukraine, the Euromaidan revolution was largely sparked by a desire to change the political regime and tackle the issue of corruption in Ukraine,” said Slootmaeckers.

Legacy of Soviet Union

But Ukraine experienced widespread systemic corruption long before the Yanukovych era.

Bribes or “gifts” were common in the public system. Ukrainians would have to resort to bribing officials to get better access to public services, such as education or healthcare, or to prevent being denied them.

“Unfortunately, this type of widespread systemic corruption is complicated to tackle and requires sustained efforts for at least a generation or even more,” Cristian Nitoiu, a lecturer in diplomacy and international governance at Loughborough University, told Al Jazeera.

“The legacy of the Soviet Union plays an important role, as citizens had to learn how to navigate a system of informal relations and rules, where everyone had equal rights on paper, but in practice, some people were more ‘equal’ than others.

“These developments are not unique to Ukraine, as most post-Soviet and Communist countries experienced them, including Russia, but Ukraine, alongside Moldova, were extreme cases.”

A massive rally with Ukraine flags at Maidan in December 2013

September 5th 2023


Aerospace & Defense

Ukraine Has Lost Its First Challenger 2 Tank

Viral: First British Challenger 2 Tank Burns In Zaporizhzhia …

It seems the Ukrainian armed forces have lost their first Challenger 2 tank. A video that circulated online on Monday depicts what appears to be one of the 82nd Air Assault Brigade’s ex-British Challengers 2 in flames on a roadside outside Robotyne, in southern Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

The apparent first loss of a 69-ton, four-person Challenger 2, out of 14 that the United Kingdom pledged to the Ukrainian war effort back in January, comes just days after the Ukrainian defense ministry highlighted the tank in a video interview with an 82nd Brigade trooper.

The soldier praised the Challenger 2 for its long-range firepower and excellent protection compared to Soviet-style tanks. We still haven’t seen footage of the 82nd Brigade’s Challenger 2s firing their 120-millimeter rifled guns in anger in Ukraine, but the Monday video of the burning Challenger 2 ironically does highlight the tanks’ survivability.

That’s because the burning Challenger 2’s turret still is attached to its hull.

One of the major weaknesses of a Soviet-designed T-72, T-80 or T-90 is that the three-person tanks—they have autoloaders for their main guns instead of a fourth crewman who manually handles ammunition—stow their ammo in a ring underneath the turret.

When a T-72 takes a direct hit and its ammo cooks off, the tank tends to explode like a firework. The turret and its occupants as often as not launch right off the hull. “You’re sent flying somewhere in the fields,” the 82nd Brigade tanker, a former T-80 crewman, mused in his interview. “You don’t stand much of a chance.”

By contrast, the Challenger 2 like most Western tanks stows its ammo in special compartments along the turret that explode outward, away from the crew, when struck. “Everything here is designed for the people,” the tanker explained.

We don’t know what misfortune befell the Challenger 2 that burned on that road outside Robotyne. But we do know the 82nd Brigade and its sister unit, the 46th Air Mobile Brigade, steadily are advancing from liberated Robotyne southeast toward Verbove. Their ultimate objective, Russian-occupied Melitopol, lies 50 miles to the south along the T0408/T0401 highway.

According to the 82nd Brigade tanker, the Ukrainians prefer to use their 14—now 13—Challenger 2s as long-range fire-support, fully taking advantage of their excellent day-night optics, precise fire-controls and powerful main guns firing tungsten penetrators two miles out or farther. “It’s a machine designed to operate at a long distance.”

But when the battalions they’re supporting are advancing, the tanks have no choice but to move out in order to keep up.

It’s apparent the Russians caught that Challenger 2 on the road, far from any concealment. If the Challenger 2 loss is at all similar to previous losses of German-made Leopard 2 tanks in Ukrainian service, it’s possible the ex-British tank struck a mine or got immobilized by artillery—and then explosives-laden drones zeroed in to finish it off.

Don’t shed a tear for the tank. “It’s impossible to entirely avoid armor losses, especially due to the enemy’s advantage in the air,” Ukrainian soldier Olexandr Solon’ko wrote. “However, armor serves a specific purpose that entails risks. These actions are justified by the fact that they save lives.”

“You can replace a piece of metal, even if it’s expensive, but you can’t repair a human life.”

Take comfort that, three months into Ukraine’s counteroffensive, the Ukrainians have lost just six of their 105 Western-made tanks: five of 71 Leopard 2s and one of 14 Challenger 2s. None of the 20 delivered Leopard 1A5s yet have been destroyed.

And many more tanks are en route to Ukraine as the counteroffensive grinds on: 14 more Leopard 2s, 31 American-made M-1s and perhaps another 145 Leopard 1A5s.

Yes, Ukraine is losing tanks, including some of its best tanks. No, it’s not running out of tanks.

David Axe

Comment Ukraine is a horrible excuse for a nation that has been allowed to perpetrate genocide on ethnic Russians in the Donbas, violating the 2014 Minsk Agreement with Anglo U.S led profiteering blessing.. It is an oppressive corrupt police state, under martial law, well in harmony with its U.S & U.K elite friends and hypocrites. It alarms me that so called U.K indepedent media refers to the Ukraine war effort as ‘we.’ If nuclear war breaks out , these people will have played their part.

R J Cook

The Minsk agreements were a series of international agreements which sought to end the Donbas war fought between armed Russian separatist groups and Armed Forces of Ukraine, with Russian regular forces playing a central part.[1] The first, known as the Minsk Protocol, was drafted in 2014 by the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine, consisting of Ukraine, Russia, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE),[2][3][4] with mediation by the leaders of France and Germany in the so-called Normandy Format. After extensive talks in Minsk, Belarus, the agreement was signed on 5 September 2014 by representatives of the Trilateral Contact Group and, without recognition of their status, by the then-leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR). This agreement followed multiple previous attempts to stop the fighting in the region and aimed to implement an immediate ceasefire.

September 4th 2023

Daily Comment

The Mobster Cosplay of Donald Trump

He’s been indicted on RICO charges, but how does the former President stack up against actual dons?

By David Remnick

August 22, 2023

Donald Trump and Roy Cohn sitting side by side behind microphones at a press conference in October 1984

Murray Kempton, the greatest newspaper columnist New York has ever known, was both a moralist and an ironist, particularly as he chronicled the lives, the crimes, and the decline of the Cosa Nostra in the pages of Newsday and the Post. Dressed in a black suit and listening to Verdi on his headphones, Kempton would bicycle to arraignments at Foley Square and interviews at the Ravenite Social Club, on Mulberry Street. He had no illusions about the mafiosi. But, in describing their ordinariness, their codes of behavior and self-delusions, their modest houses in Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge, he seemed to say that the Five Families were merely a more lurid reflection of the rest of us.

“You know, most of these guys, when you meet them, are just as bad as respectable people,” he once told me. As John Gotti, the “Dapper Don” of the Gambinos, headed off to federal prison—doomed, in part, by his prideful indiscretions and by the bugs planted amid the espresso cups at the Ravenite—Kempton saw him as the end of something. “Do you remember that moment in Henry Adams’s ‘Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres’ when Adams speaks of the Virgin and Child looking down on a dead faith? Well, John Gotti believed in all of it. He believed in a dead faith.”

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I once asked Kempton if he ever really liked any of the mobsters of his acquaintance. He told me that he had “tremendous admiration for Carmine Persico,” the longtime boss of the Colombo crime family. He was a killer, of course, but the wiretaps brought out an appealing side to his character. Kempton recalled an episode in which Persico, Carmine Galante, and others were playing cards, and Galante, a widely loathed capo of the Bonanno crime family, kept insulting a player of Irish extraction. “Galante just kept it up with all manner of obscene anti-Irish comments,” Kempton said. “Finally, Persico said, ‘Get out of the game!’ and Galante did, slinking off for home. The next day, Galante came back to the card game, begging, ‘Please! I’m sorry! I’ll never do it again!’ It was wonderful. Persico said about Galante, ‘He’s not such a bad guy. He was just brung up wrong.’ ”

Yet even Kempton, who died in 1997, might have struggled to find a shred of virtue in another fallen Don—Donald J. Trump—who is finally confronting a judicial system that he cannot bully into submission. This week, the forty-fifth President, who built his early fortune on casinos and construction, and Rudolph Giuliani, the former “hero mayor” of New York, whose early legal reputation came from locking up mobsters and bankers on racketeering statutes, will turn themselves in with a gaggle of co-conspirators on forty-one felony charges in Fulton County, Georgia. Fani Willis, the county’s district attorney, is employing a state version of RICO, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, to make her case. Easy ironies are blooming like dandelions.

I wish I could discuss those ironies with Kempton, who always had time for a struggling colleague on deadline. As a connoisseur of Mob wiretaps, he would have relished Trump’s long telephone call to Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, on January 2nd, 2021, in which the sitting President adopts a mob-boss tone as he asks Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes,” which were needed to steal the state from Joe Biden.

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In Kempton’s absence, I turned to others who have spent time prosecuting or chronicling the Mob. To them, Trump’s gangsterish ways are unmistakable. “Jim Comey picked this up from the beginning,” Daniel Richman, a former federal prosecutor, and a friend of Comey’s, told me. Richman recalled when Trump invited Comey, then the director of the F.B.I., to dinner in the Green Room of the White House. Trump leaned across the table and said, “I need loyalty. I expect loyalty.” As a young prosecutor, Comey had encountered the Gambino underboss, Sammy (the Bull) Gravano, and Trump’s behavior called the mobster to mind, Comey wrote later in his memoir, “A Higher Loyalty.” “The demand was like Sammy the Bull’s Cosa Nostra induction ceremony.” Such gangsters, Comey went on, created a particular kind of atmosphere around them: “The silent circle of assent. The boss in complete control. Loyalty oaths.”

Trump, Richman added, has “the affect and sometimes the communication style of a mobster. It’s a combination of clear signalling as to who has power and the source of that power with an obliqueness of expression that, intentionally, barely conceals the threat.” Trump used the same tactics, Richman said, during a 2019 phone call to Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Ukraine, in which Trump leaned on him to “look into” the Biden family in exchange for unlocking a weapons sale. Richman said that in many RICO cases, the government will display charts that resemble the orderly hierarchy of the Ford Motor Company. But the Oval Office in the Trump years seemed more like a mob social club, in which “people come in and out without clear titles, and access is freely given as long as they pledge fealty. If you say you have a good idea, you’re told to run with it.”

Paul Attanasio, who wrote “Donnie Brasco,” a 1997 Mob film starring Al Pacino and Johnny Depp, told me that Trump, though he deploys the swagger of a mafia boss, is in no way a wise mafia boss. “It would be highly unusual for the boss to get involved and make a call like the one to Raffensperger,” Attanasio said. “There’s no way Vincent (the Chin) Gigante would make that call. He’d have someone do it for him. But it’s Trump’s arrogance, his belief that he can do it better and successfully intimidate Raffensperger.”

Nearly all the legal experts I spoke with are of the opinion that the RICO case in Georgia is compelling and well-constructed, but, with its immense cast of defendants and sprawling criminal narrative, it will probably take a very long time to resolve. Andrew Weissmann, a former chief of the Fraud Section of the Department of Justice and a lead prosecutor in Robert Mueller’s Russiagate investigations, pointed out that another of Willis’s RICO cases in Georgia is, after seven months, still in the jury-selection phase. (The advantage of the Georgia prosecution is that it is a state case, not a federal one, and therefore Trump could not pardon himself as President.) Although the Florida documents trial is, as a matter of evidence, a grim prospect for Trump, the prosecution there faces a potentially hostile judge and an uncertain jury pool. Alvin Bragg’s hush-money case in New York is, by far, the least urgent of the four prosecutions. The January 6th case, brought by the special counsel Jack Smith, in Washington, and alleging an attempt to overturn a national election, is an immensely daunting prospect for Trump.

This week, the former President, hoping to shift the imagery away from his imminent fingerprinting-and-mug-shot session in Georgia, has declared it beneath his dignity to engage in a debate with his rivals in the race for the Republican nomination. Instead, he will subject himself to the feathery inquisition of Tucker Carlson on social media.

Yet Trump, the unwise wise guy, will eventually face less kindly examiners. Although he has long enjoyed the sleazy glamour and cynical counsel supplied by Mob-adjacent figures like Roy Cohn, his mentor in matters of conscience and the law, Trump has no code and shows no loyalty. Despite his mobster cosplay, in short, he lacks even a gangster’s sense of dignity. Carmine (the Snake) Persico, for all his many sins, would have found Trump unworthy of the Cosa Nostra. Before the Mafia’s disintegration, a boss was obliged to help a fallen or legally entangled soldier. And yet Trump won’t even pay the legal bills of Giuliani, his loyal sidekick. The most lasting image of Giuliani will not be of a valiant public servant inspiring a grieving city but of a cynical mook lying about stolen votes on Trump’s behalf while rivulets of hair dye course down his cheek. Is there no honor among thieves? Or, as Murray Kempton put it, “Where are the scungilli of yesteryear?” ♦

The MAN by R J Cook

Comment Donald Trump is confronting a very corrupt legal and judicial system in a very corrupt country so like the U.K where the elite run media, political and related education teach the masses to hate the former U.S President, just as they do in the U.S.A.

As for the term honest politician, those words are contradictions in terms. Trump is the one being bullied while the Bidens get off scott free – free to keep their profiteering proxy war on Russia going. Idiots are taught to believe how bad Russia is.

We are not suupposed to ask where is war crimes whistle blower Julian Assange , or why it has been OK to invade and divide Syria for oil and so many other places where rabid war crimes and bullying is acceptable to the smug self righteous unjust western world elite where 2 % of the population own 62 % of the wealth..

I am writing from fake democracy U.K, where 90 % of the population struggles to pay taxes, cope with the wartime cost of living crisis and an apparently unlimited supply of so called asylum seekers who take priority for housing and benefits in an excuse for a nation of record homelessness, drug addiction, alcohol addiction, youth suicide, broken homes, feral children and violent crime. To borrow from Neil Young and Buffalo Springfield ; ‘There’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear…… there’s a man with a gun over there,tellin’ you you gotta beware , step out o’ line the man ( police ) will come and blow you away.’ How many rememeber the Kent State University slaughter, government bullets fired into four innocent young protestors ? The so called Capitol Rioters should have listened to the great Neil Young that because ‘Freedom is the recognition of necessity ( Friedrich Engels ).’ Who remembers former soldier Ashli Babbit a white woman shot by police, or the other 3 victims of that night when corrupt politicians feared for their lives ?

As for The MAN, he watches this website 24/7. He has wanted to blow me away for the past near on 16 years. I will be dead soon I am sure.

R J Cook

R J Cook

John Seiler California Bill Would Guarantee More Labor Lockouts Paid by Taxpayers SHARE*             READ MORE
Judge Drops Bombshell Ruling on Transgender Case SHARE*       READ MORE
Health & Safety Major COVID Study Just Changed Everything

Here we go again. Social Control and vested interests.

R J Cook

September 3rd 2023

Liberal Consequences

WATCH: Notting Hill Carnival ‘Unsustainable,’ Police Unions Warn
AfD hits 35% in Saxony, double that of all federal government parties combined
The right-wing party continues its popularity surge across the country ahead of elections next year
Hungary refuses to drop EU block on arms funding for Ukraine until conditions met
Hungary’s OTP Bank must be taken off the Ukrainian sanctions list and minority rights for Hungarians in Ukraine must be restored
Tusk is trying to blackmail and bribe Polish voters
Donald Tusk promises he can free up money for Poland blocked by the EU
WATCH: 26 Churches Burned, Christians Attacked in Pakistan
US foundation funds pro-opposition NGOs to influence elections across Europe, Polish news site claims
The Action For Democracy foundation has been accused of attempting to influence electoral outcomes in Hungary, Italy and now Poland
EU needs to accept 10 new members, says EU’s top diplomat
Josep Borrell says war in Ukraine has sped up enlargement

September 1st 2023

Ukraine war: Drone attack on Pskov airbase from inside Russia – Kyiv

Related Topics

Explosions seen during drone attack on Pskov
Image caption, Wednesday’s attack on Pskov left several aircraft damaged

By Robert Greenall

BBC News

The drone attack on an airbase in the Russian city of Pskov on Tuesday was launched from inside Russia, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief has said.

Kyrylo Budanov said two Ilyushin cargo planes were destroyed and two damaged. Russia says four were damaged.

Mr Budanov did not say whether the attack was carried out by Ukrainian or Russian operatives.

Ukraine’s drone attacks on Russia occur almost daily. It had already admitted the Pskov attack.

But Mr Budanov’s comments appear to end speculation that it was caused by a long-range weapon.

On Thursday President Volodymyr Zelensky said that a Ukrainian-made weapon had hit a target at a distance of 700km. Pskov is nearly 700km (434 miles) from the Ukrainian border.

“We are working from the territory of Russia,” Mr Budanov told the War Zone website on Thursday, without saying what type or quantity of drones were used.

He said the drones targeted the tops of the aircraft – the location of the fuel tanks and a critical section of the wing spar.

The damaged aircraft are long-range cargo planes, ideal for transporting troops and equipment over long distances and therefore valuable war assets for Russia.

Ukrainian officials are generally tight-lipped about attacks inside Russia, says BBC World Affairs correspondent Paul Adams. But it seems that as the campaign gathers pace, officials in Kyiv are more willing to claim them as part of the country’s war effort. caption,

Watch: Fire after Russian airport drone attack, says governor

Meanwhile drone attacks on several locations in Russia continued overnight Thursday to Friday.

Unconfirmed reports say a factory making electronic parts for rockets in the town of Lyubertsy outside Moscow was hit.

However, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said in his Telegram channel that the drones over Lyubertsy were shot down without causing any damage or casualties.

As with previous attacks in the Moscow area, a number of flights from Moscow airports were delayed or cancelled on Friday morning.

Kursk Region Governor Roman Starovoyt said one residential and one administrative building had been hit in the town of Kurchatov, close to the Kursk nuclear plant.

Ukraine is continuing its counter-offensive into Russian-occupied territory.

The Institute for the Study of War said on Thursday that advances were made near Bakhmut in the east, and in the west of Zaporizhzhia region.

Related Topics

More on this story


Ukraine and U.K news sources cannot be trusted. It seems likely that the drones were released from a NATO country, Estonia being a likely take off point.

R J Cook

Sadibou Marong, Director of the sub-Saharan Africa bureau

Dear Friends,

The situation of the media is very worrying in Niger, one month after the military coup there. Mobilised by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), African media professionals have issued a joint appeal to Niger’s military junta, the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP), to respect press freedom.

Since 26 July, the date of the coup, local and international journalists have been physically attacked and harassed online and media have been suspended. Media freedom and pluralism are being directly targeted. The right to inform and be informed must not be called into question in Niger at a time of political turmoil.

Journalists and press freedom organisations across Africa, from Niamey to Djibouti and from N’Djamena to Antananarivo, came together to call on Niger’s junta to respect the fundamental right to reliable and pluralistic media reporting, and to not obstruct journalists’ work.

We need your support in order to be able to continue our fight, alongside independent journalists on the ground, to preserve the freedom to report the news in this crisis-torn region.
Thanks for your help.

Sadibou Marong, Director of the sub-Saharan Africa bureau
Make a donation on
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Another month, another coup in Francophone Africa.After Niger in July, this time it was Gabon, whose President Ali Bongo found himself detained in the same presidential palace that Emmanuel Macron visited six months ago. It was the eighth military takeover in a former French colony in the past three years.Key Reading:
Gabon to Swear In Transitional Leader After Coup in OPEC Member
Gabon Junta Tightens Grip as EU Opposes Military Intervention
What’s Driving the Coups Across Sub-Saharan Africa?
Niger’s Junta Orders Police to Expel French Ambassador
Russia’s Footprint Grows in Africa as France Leaves Burkina FasoMacron likes to remind his African audiences that he is the first French president born after independence swept the continent, and he took office vowing to reset relations with former colonies in Africa. Change has come, but not on his terms — whether democratically elected or longtime authoritarians, the men whom France supports are dropping like flies.The spate of coups has been driven in part by rising anti-French sentiment — which in turn has been gleefully exploited by Russia — and frustration with the corruption and neglect of regimes that have long been allied with Paris, despite their democratic shortcomings.Tellingly, condemnation of the latest armed putsch from a regional body was signed by the Central African Republic’s president, Faustin Archange Touadera, who last month pushed through a referendum to secure an unconstitutional third term. He was also the first Francophone African leader to break with France and hire the Russian mercenary group, Wagner.Macron has spent weeks calling for the restoration of Niger’s president, Mohamed Bazoum. But he’s stayed largely mum about Bongo’s plight, recognition that Gabon’s case is “very distinct” from Niger, as the European Union’s top diplomat Josep Borrell put it yesterday. While Bazoum is generally seen to have been fairly elected, Bongo was declared the winner of an election last weekend that was widely viewed as, per Borrell, “rigged.”But Paris has plenty of other friends in Gabon’s neighborhood that fit Bongo’s authoritarian bill — Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville, Chad, to name a few.It remains to be seen whether it’ll take a coup for France to break ties with them. — Neil Munshi
Macron and Bongo in Libreville in March. Photographer: Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty ImagesSign up for our twice-weekly newsletter Next Africa. And if you are enjoying this newsletter, sign up here.
Global Headlines
Vladimir Putin is moving swiftly to take control of Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin’s sprawling operations in Africa and the Middle East, days after the Russian president’s renegade ex-protege died in a mysterious plane crash. All of Wagner’s covert overseas network is due to fall under effective Russian military command, sources say, ending a setup that gave Putin a veil of deniability over Moscow’s official involvement.Russian-led forces are staging joint military exercises in Belarus near the border with NATO-member Poland, weeks after Putin warned Warsaw he’d treat any “aggression” toward Minsk as an attack on his country. Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan holds talks in Moscow today with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on reviving the Black Sea grain deal.Deep-seated structural problems in China’s economy will ultimately strengthen the West’s hand against a weakening geopolitical competitor, officials in Washington, Rome, Tokyo and other capitals say. If China once seemed on an inevitable path to overtaking a declining America as the world’s leading economic power, the view now is that economic narrative is flipping fast.Chinese President Xi Jinping is planning to skip next week’s Group of 20 summit in New Delhi, sources say. US President Joe Biden said he hoped Xi will attend.China moved to allow its largest cities to cut down payments for homebuyers and encouraged lenders to reduce rates on existing mortgages in its latest attempt to halt a slide in its residential property market. Beijing is betting that lower mortgage rates and down payments will revive demand for homes after sales by the country’s largest developers fell 34% in August from a year earlier.
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Why Putin Is Worried About Russia’s Volatile Ruble Here’s Everything China Is Doing to Save Its Property Market Trump Assets Are ‘Mona Lisas,’ He Testifies in NY Fraud ProbeHong Kong is bracing for Super Typhoon Saola, forecast to hit the city today in a major test for Chief Executive John Lee’s government. The stock market and schools were closed, most public transportation ground to a halt and many flights were canceled in anticipation of the storm, which is sustaining winds of 210 km/hour near its epicenter — equivalent to a category 4 hurricane.Saola today. Tune in to Bloomberg TV’s Balance of Power at 5pm to 6pm ET weekdays with Washington correspondents Annmarie Hordern and Joe Mathieu. You can watch and listen on Bloomberg channels and online here.
News to Note
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his South Korean counterpart that he supports Seoul’s efforts to resume three-way summits that include Japan, a sign Beijing is trying to counter a US push to forge closer ties with its two Asian allies. Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah rejected the prospect of normalizing relations with Israel, days after news of a secret meeting between top envoys sparked protests in the OPEC member. The US Capitol’s top health official cleared Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell to work, a day after he froze for the second time in as many months at a public event. The Biden administration is making up to $12 billion available for automakers to retrofit their facilities to produce electric vehicles and hybrids. Singaporeans voted for a new president for the first time in over a decade, posing a test for the ruling party challenged by higher living costs and political scandals.Pop quiz (no cheating!) Which African nation’s main opposition party called this week for a rerun of an election that handed the president another five-year term and was found to be deeply flawed by international observers? Send your answers to finally … After establishing the controversial LIV Golf tour and splashing out on superstars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar for its football clubs, Saudi Arabia is setting its sights on cricket. According to England cricket captain Ben Stokes, Saudi billions will continue to transform sport, and his could be next if players are lured by massive contracts. “You can’t compete with money,” Stokes told Jamie Nimmo.Stokes celebrates winning the third Ashes Test against Australia in 2019. Photographer: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
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Here are the latest updates and the big news stories to follow today 1. Supreme Court hearing on Article 370 abrogation | Day 14 The Centre on August 31 conveyed to the Supreme Court its inability to commit to an exact time period within which the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir would be restored to full Statehood. The Union government, however, said Jammu and Kashmir was ready to hold elections “any time now”. Appearing before a Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta assured the court that the Union Territory status of Jammu and Kashmir was only a “temporary phenomenon”. Mr. Mehta had on Tuesday sought time till August 31 to get instructions from the government about a time frame by which Jammu and Kashmir would revert to Statehood following bifurcation in August 2019. The erstwhile State was reorganised into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Ladakh would continue to be a Union Territory unlike Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre had said on August 29. Hearing will continue on September 1, 2023.2. Solar mission countdown to start on Friday, says ISRO chiefISRO Chairman S Somanath on Thursday said the space agency was getting ready for the September 2 launch of the country’s ambitious solar mission, Aditya-L1 and that the countdown for its launch will start tomorrow. The mission is scheduled to be launched on September 2 at 11.50 am from the Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh. Aditya-L1 spacecraft is designed for providing remote observations of the solar corona and in situ observations of the solar wind at L1 (Sun-Earth Lagrangian point), which is about 1.5 million kilometres from the earth.3. Manipur violence – 8 killed in Manipur violence since Aug 29: Officials At least eight persons have been killed and 18 injured, including two security personnel, in Manipur’s Bishnupur and Churachandpur districts following continuous gunbattle between Kukis and Meiteis over the last 72 hours, officials said on Thursday. An official said firing was continuing intermittently in the foothills of Khoirentak in Bishnupur district and adjoining Chingphei and Khousabung areas in Churachandpur district.4. Opposition alliance INDIA’s third meeting in Mumbai – Day 2The third meeting of the opposition bloc INDIA will begin here on Thursday to discuss its strategy to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Lok Sabha elections due next year and inclusion of new allies. Along with talks on strategy and inclusion of new allies, unveiling of the INDIA bloc logo and discussion on the common minimum programme (CMP) will be the highlight of the two-day deliberations. As many as 63 representatives from 28 political parties will attend the meeting of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) on Thursday and Friday at Grand Hyatt Hotel in Mumbai.5. Special session of Parliament announced to manage news cycle: Congress The Congress on Thursday said the government has announced a special session of Parliament to manage the news cycle that is dominated by fresh allegations against the Adani Group and will focus on the opposition bloc INDIA’s meeting on Friday. The demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the allegations against the Adani Group, however, will continue to resonate inside and outside Parliament, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.6. 2024 LS Polls: Amit Shah to inaugurate call centers nationwide tomorrow to engage with votersUnion Home Minister Amit Shah is set to inaugurate a comprehensive campaign to establish nationwide call centers across the country to engage with voters on a national scale ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha polls.This inauguration is scheduled to take place at the party headquarters on Friday, in the presence of selected party members from all corners of the nation. A significant meeting under the aegis of the BJP has been slated to discuss the launch of these call centers in preparation for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. With a strategic focus on the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, the BJP is taking steps to equip its party workers through training as part of this initiative.7. Jail term for most violations under Press, Registration of Books Act to be history from FridayThe provision of imprisonment for most violations under the Press and Registration of Books Act by publishers and the keepers of printing presses are set to be history from Friday. The government on Thursday notified September 1, 2023 as the date on which the provisions of the Jan Vishwas Act related to the PRB Act will come into force. Violations under the PRB Act such as printing with incorrect particulars, keeping press without a declaration, making a false declaration, improper disclosure of information will no longer attract the six-month jail term, a senior official said.8. Vasundhara on one-day religious tour ahead of BJP’s ‘Parivartan Yatra’ in RajasthanA day before the BJP’s ‘Parivartan Yatra’ begins under the “collective leadership” in Rajasthan, former chief minister Vasundhara Raje will on Friday go on a one-day religious tour of three temples in the State. Raje has led the poll-related yatras in the state in the past which started from Chabhujanath temple in Rajsamand, but the BJP has this time decided to take four ‘Parivartan Yatras’, each to be launched by a central leader with state functionaries joining them.9. Traffic on Pune-bound lanes of Mumbai-Pune Expressway to be stopped for two hours on Friday for gantry workTraffic on the Pune-bound lanes of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway will be stopped for two hours on Friday to erect a gantry at Lonavala, an official said. The work will take place between 12 noon and 2pm and Pune-bound motorists are urged to exit the expressway at Khandala Ghat and re-enter it at Valavan toll plaza near Lonavala, a Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation release said on Thursday. The 95-kilometre expressway, which connects the state’s two biggest cities, is the country’s first access-controlled route and was operationalized in 2002.10. Typhoon Saola churns toward south China, suspending transport and delaying the school yearChinese state media report at least 121 passenger trains are suspending service in anticipation of the arrival of Typhoon Saola. People in areas of southern China were warned to stay away from the coastline and several cities delayed the start of the school year. The suspensions on key lines running from north to south as well as on regional networks will begin Thursday and continue through Sept. 6, state broadcaster CCTV reported.11. Jio Financial to be excluded from BSE Indices from September 1Jio Financial Services Ltd, the demerged non-banking financial services unit of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance group, will be dropped from all the S&P BSE Indices, including Sensex, on September 1, the stock exchange BSE said on Thursday. Earlier, the stock was slated to be removed from the indices on August 24. Later, it was postponed to August 29. The exclusion of the stock was postponed as it continued to hit the lower circuit. Shares of Jio Financial Services Ltd (JFSL) got listed on the stock exchanges on August 21 due to its spin-off from parent Reliance Industries.12. Texas high court allows law banning gender-affirming care for transgender minors to take effectThe Texas Supreme Court allowed a new state law banning gender-affirming care for minors to take effect on Friday, setting up Texas to be the most populous state with such restrictions on transgender children. Legal advocates who sued on behalf of the families and doctors, including the American Civil Liberties Union, called the law and the high court’s decision Thursday “cruel.” “Transgender youth and their families are forced to confront the start of the school year fearful of what awaits them. But let us be clear: The fight is far from over,” the advocacy groups said in a joint statement. Last week, a state district judge ruled the pending law violated the rights of transgender children and their families to seek appropriate medical care, and violated doctors’ ability to follow “well-established, evidence-based” medical guidelines under threat of losing their license.13. ICC Cricket World Cup 2023: Tickets for India matches at Dharamsala, Lucknow and Mumbai to go on sale on FridayGeneral ticket sales for an additional three matches in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup will commence on September 1 at 2000 hours IST as anticipation builds ahead of the pinnacle event of the one-day game. Tickets for India matches in Dharamsala, Lucknow and Mumbai will go on general sale via the official ticketing website  
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About the Author

Robert Cook
facebook I went to school in Buckinghamshire, where my interests were music ( I was a violinist ), art ( winning county art competitions ) athletics and cross country ( I was a county team athlete ). My father died as a result of an accident- he was an ex soldier and truck driver- when I was 11. It could be said that I grew up in poverty, but I did not see it like that. As a schoolboy, I had my interests, hobbies and bicycle, worked on a farm, delivered news papers, did a lot of training for my sport, painting, and music. I also made model aeroplanes and was in the Air Training Corps, where we had the opportunity to fly an aeroplane. I had wanted to be a pilot, but university made me anti war. At the University of East Anglia-which I also represented in cross country and athletics- I studied economics, economic history, philosophy and sociology. Over the years, I have worked in a variety of manual, office and driving jobs. My first job after univerity was with the Inland Revenue in Havant, near Portsmouth. I left Hampshire to work for the Nitrate Corporation of Chile, then lecturing, teaching and journalism - then back to driving. I play and teach various styles of guitar and used to be a regular folk club performer. I quit that after being violently assaulted in Milton Keynes pub, after singing a song I wrote about how cop got away with killing Ian Tomlinson at G7, in broad daylight and caught on camera. The police took no action, saying taht my assailant had a good job. The pub in question was, and probably still is, popular with off duty police officers.

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