Ghana’s Concentration Camps For Witches Stone Age Herbalist (guurst)
Production begins on season two of House of the Dragon Guardian (furzy)
Where We Meet the World’ Review: A Flood of Senses Wall Street Journal (Anthony L)
Study examining patients at a long COVID neurology clinic showing deficits in executive, attention, language and memory functions. MRIs showed reduced blood flow to frontal, parietal and temporal regions of the brain compared to age & sex matched controlshttps://t.co/iE7MyhI21J
— Dr. Deepti Gurdasani (@dgurdasani1) April 11, 2023
Research Warns of Dangers of Too Much Hydrogen in Atmosphere Jalopnik (resilc)
The illusion of a trillion trees Financial Times
More than 2,000 people told to evacuate after inferno engulfs Indiana plastic recycling plant spewing a huge cloud of toxic black smoke visible 20 miles away – as officials warn it will burn for DAYS Daily Mail
Xi topping Biden in New Cold War’s economic game Asia Times (Kevin W)
Cambodia: Halt ‘mass forced evictions’ at World Heritage site Angkor Wat Amnesty International (furzy)
Pankaj Mishra · The Big Con: Modi’s India London Review of Books (Anthony L)
Looking for sanity check from Aurelian and others who know French politics:
This is huge!
European Council president Charles Michel : "European leaders are becoming increasingly favorable toward French President Emmanuel Macron's push for 'strategic autonomy' away from the United States"https://t.co/OYc90GZ4BO
— Arnaud Bertrand (@RnaudBertrand) April 12, 2023
My impression is Michel has acted as a pro-Macron voice on matters European, so my suspicion is he is gilding the lily. Look at the number of European leaders going to see Xi carrying US water. In other words, grumbling, which I am sure is happening, is a long way from revolt. And Macron is looking weak in France, which makes a difference. But having said that, Macron and his fellow refusniks have good odds of succeeding in bucking the US in its Taiwan adventurism given the cost of Ukraine v. the results, and the lack of any European security interest in Taiwan.
One calibration from Politico’s European morning newsletter. Forgive the length:
FRENCH PRESIDENT HECKLED DURING ‘EU SOVEREIGNTY’ SPEECH: With half of Europe pushing back on his comments to POLITICO about Taiwan and Europe’s relationship with the U.S., French President Emmanuel Macron drilled down on his vision for a “sovereign Europe” that can “choose” its partners during a speech in The Hague that was interrupted by protesters….
What’s that you said? But the speech was overshadowed by noise — from the audience, where protesters shouted him down and unfurled a banner saying “President of violence and hypocrisy;” and from further afield, as Central and Eastern Europeans lashed out at his suggestion the bloc should avoid “following” Washington.
Eastern anger: “Instead of building strategic autonomy from the United States, I propose a strategic partnership with the United States,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Tuesday ahead of his own trip to the U.S. Off the record, Eastern Europeans struck a tougher tone: “We cannot understand [Macron’s] position during these very challenging times,” one diplomat who requested anonymity told my colleague Jacopo Barigazzi. Read his full story here…..
Michel to the rescue: The din carried over to Brussels, where a spokesperson for the European Commission did his best to promote unity between Macron and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen; and where Council chief Charles Michel offered the French leader rare backing for his controversial remarks…..
No fighting, please: While Berlin pledged a fully equipped army division to NATO in response to Russia’s war on Ukraine, the letter from the army’s inspector general said the army would “not be able to hold its own in high intensity combat,” Gabriel Rinaldi reports.
Numbers don’t lie: The leak was a reminder of the gap between ambitions of autonomy and the reality in Europe, where the U.S. not only provides the bulk of military aid to Ukraine, but a security umbrella covering the entire bloc. While France touts strategic autonomy, it’s far down the ranking of countries providing aid to Ukraine, with less than €1 billion pledged since the start of the war, according to the Kiel Institute.
The ‘dry residue’ from Macron’s visit to China Gilbert Doctorow
Taliban poppy ban puts Europe on fentanyl alert Politico (Kevin W)
King’s coronation: 3 crowns, 2 carriages and a shorter route Associated Press (resilc)
La belle France
Liberty, sure; fraternity, sort of; but equality? Asia Times (resilc)
New Not-So-Cold War
Exclusive: Russia starts fuel supplies to Iran by rail -sources Reuters (Kevin W)
Meeting on economic issues President of Russia. Worth reading if you have time. Inflation down to 3.3% annualized. Growth forecast expected to be increased from old projection as a budget time of 0.8%. And note this:
With unemployment at an all-time low of 3.5 percent across Russia, there is a shortage of workers in many industries.
There are three main tasks to be tackled here.
One is to tap the personnel potential of the Russian regions and cities where the unemployment rate remains high. We have such regions.
Second. We need to widely introduce lean manufacturing and automation technologies in all sectors of the economy and in the social sphere, and accordingly, take advantage of additional internal personnel reserves.
Finally, it is important to increase investment in the training of specialists in the most important and in-demand professions.
Putin then points out there are some programs that address these issues but they are long-term. He says they need short-term ones too, mentions a pilot, and said the labor market will be a major topic at the upcoming St. Petersburg Economic Forum and wants more study, which I take to mean proposals.
Contrast with the US….
Pentagon leak traced to video game chat group users arguing over war in Ukraine Guardian (furzy). Adds new details, including what may be the first gamer server on which they appeared.
‘Death to Christians’: Violence steps up under new Israeli gov’t Al Jazeera (Kevin W)
Egypt’s headline inflation rate increased to 32.7% in March Reuters (resilc)
The Espionage Act & the 4th Year of Assange’s Arrest Consortium News (UserFriendlyy)
Big Brother is Watching You Watch
Imperial Collapse Watch
South Korea says leaked US intel document ‘untrue’, amid spying allegations Reuters (furzy). Has a “lady doth protest too much” quality.
FWIW, trade finance is a very low margin, high volume, document-intensive business. You need big, well run ops not to lose money (which you can in a serious way via fraud). A sudden increase in activity will expose weaknesses in procedures and processes:
Yuan now rivalling euro in trade financing. Lower interest rates relative to the inflationary West seem to be attracting more people to use it. The inflation is part of the #greatdivergence and unless something changes in Western policy, these trends will continue. pic.twitter.com/t77iUu7bib
— Philip Pilkington (@philippilk) April 12, 2023
Private armies are making a killing Unherd. Note that there were huge private armies in the US. Pinkerton was for hire; Henry Ford has his own. All for the purpose of crushing labor uprisings.
Manhattan DA sues Jim Jordan over Trump indictment inquiry Associated Press (furzy). Hoo boy. Over my pay grade. The Feds do provide funding to the Manhattan’s DA’s office and allegedly some has been used on the Trump probe. So it would seem Congress could call Bragg in his capacity as head bureaucrat in that office. How far can they go at all in inquiring about his other capacity, running particular prosecutions? Jordan did not help himself here with his heated rhetoric. And did it not occur to him that the subpoenas might be challenged? Filing here. Note it makes a lot of noise about Trump’s attacks on Bragg when frankly that’s not germane to the Congress v. NYC DA”s office jurisdiction issues.
Biden Administration Proposes Evenly Cutting Water Allotments From Colorado River New York Times (Kevin W)
Bombshell Docs Appear to Reveal Biden Admin’s Direct Involvement in Raid on Trump’s Estate Sputnik. Kevin W: Linked tweet showing this – https://twitter.com/America1stLegal/status/1645573489510817794
Gun violence affects half of all US families: Survey Anadolu Agency
Our No Longer Free Press
Daniel Ellsberg Has Foiled Those Who Want Him Confined to the Past Norman Solomon, Reader Supported News (furzy)
It is way way too easy to make fun of John Kirby. Nevertheless, “What about ‘public information’ don’t you understand?” Once it becomes public, there is no way to put the toothpaste back in the tube.
Yeah, that sounds just like what you'd want to say if you were genuinely concerned about this information being disseminated widely … right?
— Will Schryver (@imetatronink) April 11, 2023
Training ChatGPT AI Required 185,000 Gallons of Water: Study Gizmodo (Dr. Kevin)
Promising new AI can detect early signs of lung cancer that doctors can’t see NBC (furzy). I don’t know if this is true of lung cancer, but generally your body is making tiny cancers all the time but they get stopped by T-cells. When full body CAT scans were a fad, they picked up zillions of anomalies that were nearly always not consequential. Could some of these super early not normally detected cancers include ones that your body would stop on its own
Biden Administration Weighs Possible Rules for AI Tools Like ChatGPT Wall Street Journal (resilc)
Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes to go to prison end of April BBC. Resilc: “Better for the kids if she is held for 50 years.”
Every year Harvard makes less and less of an effort to pretend to be a center of learning. They just sold naming rights to their whole graduate school to a reactionary billionaire. They should just start outright selling degrees, it'd be more honest. pic.twitter.com/WQ7Kvr3qqE
— Nathan J Robinson (@NathanJRobinson) April 12, 2023
What is the use of school? Lars Syll. Important
Antidote du jour. From Health Care Renewal: In Memoriam: Ahnold, Our Faithful Watchdog Mascot
And a bonus (guurst):
“Just passing through” 🦆 🖤 pic.twitter.com/dqEbWZ7Rxp
— Jessi 💫 (@its_jessi_grace) April 4, 2023
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.