Europe

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Those who incite to genocide typically attempt to dehumanize their victims, but it is disturbing that Andrei Perla’s ‘justification’ for Russia’s killing and maiming of sick children has elicited so little reaction.

Russia’s missile attack on Okhmatdyr, Ukraine’s main children’s hospital, aroused enough international outrage for Moscow to go into denial mode. Not so, however, Russian propagandists, one of whom positively told Russians to quit making excuses. The strike was no accident, according to Andrei Perla, a columnist for Tsargrad, and can be repeated as Ukrainian children, any Ukrainians “cannot be considered people”.[...]

In the propagandist's own words:

“The pitiless law of war is very simple – such enemies cannot be considered people. We must acknowledge the simple and terrible [truth] that there are no people on the other side. Not one person. Our missiles do not kill people, not one person. There are no people there.”

“Simple and terrible, but we shouldn’t try to justify ourselves for hitting a children’s hospital. We need to say: do you want it to stop? Then surrender. Capitulate. And then, perhaps, we will spare you.

“If we don’t forbid ourselves from viewing them as people, from pitying them, protecting them – we will weaken ourselves. We will restrict our ability to save our own children. We will obstruct the path to Victory.”

“If the aim of the SMO* is to ensure Russia’s security, denazify and demilitarize Ukraine, then the path to this aim is for surviving Nazis [sic] and all their families to have to flee in panic to the West. Before the Polish border. From shelling. From the ruins of their cities and homes, losing on the way their blue and yellow flags and slippers.”

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Archived link

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, international sanctions have made trading Russian crude and oil products difficult, prompting traders to seek loopholes to export them, including offshore ship-to-ship transfers.

Waters around Greece’s southern coast and the Laconian Gulf have recently been meeting points for transfers from tankers carrying Russian oil onto other vessels.

Greek officials have in the past said Greek authorities cannot inspect vessels that carry a foreign flag in international waters and such naval advisories help rein in offshore ship-to-ship transfers.

Greece, over the past months, has been issuing and extending such advisories for military exercises off the Laconian Gulf and even further, off the island of Kithira, urging merchant and other vessels to avoid the area.

The latest advisory was extended until Sept. 15, 2024.

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The EU General Court in Luxembourg ruled that the designation was warranted under the European Union's new Digital Markets Act (DMA) because short video app TikTok exceeded relevant thresholds including global market value and the number of EU users.

Labeled companies are prevented from forcing users in the bloc to consent to have access to a service or certain functionalities.

ByteDance had argued that its global market value largely came from China, rather than the EU.

It also said TikTok does not operate an exponential user expansion model and that it was acting as a "challenger" to digital monopolies operated by established platforms such as Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, and Alphabet, which owns Google. Both companies are also designated as "gatekeepers."

But the EU General Court rejected those arguments, finding that TikTok could no longer be considered a "challenger" on the market, unlike when it joined back in 2018.

The judges concluded that TikTok had "succeeded in increasing its number of users very rapidly and exponentially" since then, and that its large number of European users does indeed contribute to its global market value.

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Archived link

The General Court of the European Union found that the European Commission was wrong to restrict access to COVID-19 vaccine purchase contracts to citizens, in a decision handed down on Wednesday (July 17).

Between 2020 between 2021, and 2023, the Ursula von der Leyen Commission signed contracts with several pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, Moderna, and Astra Zeneca, to purchase COVID-19 vaccine doses.

In January 2021, five Green MEPs – Margrete Auken, Tilly Metz, Jutta Paulus, Kim van Sparrentak and the late Michèle Rivasi – asked the Commission for access to these contracts, in the name of the public interest.

However, the Commission published the contracts in a redacted version. As a response, the MEPs decided to take their case to the Luxembourg-based court.

On Wednesday, the court announced its findings, “The Commission did not give the public wide enough access to the contracts for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines.”

The court criticised the “partial” refusal by the Commission to disclose the details of members of the negotiating team on grounds of privacy.

“It was only by having the names, surnames and details of the professional or institutional role of the members of the team in question that they could have ascertained whether or not the members of that team had a conflict of interests” the press release reads.

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The Stuttgart court said the 59-year-old man delivered 120,000 parts to Russia that could be used for military purposes between January 2020 and May 2023.

The parts included those used in the Orlan-10 drone deployed by Russia against Ukraine, the court said.

After the war began in 2022, the defendant tried to disguise the sales to Russian companies with invoices and shipping documents for destinations like Hong Kong and Turkey, the court said.

The court, in arriving at its sentence, said it "took into account the criminal energy he expended - in particular in the form of circumventing the sanctions after February 2022 - as well as the long period of the transactions and their considerable scope".

The court did not name the individual in line with German privacy customs but said he confessed to the crime and expressed regret. His 54-year-old partner received a shorter suspended sentence.

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Two hundred and ninety eight people died on 17 July 2014 when the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was hit by a Russian surface-to-air Buk missile, fired from an area of eastern Ukraine seized by Russian proxy forces.

Two Russians and a Ukrainian national were convicted of murder in absentia by a Dutch court in 2022.

Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinsky and Leonid Kharchenko all face life sentences but the three remain at large because Russia refused to surrender them to face justice.

The Buk missile system belonged to Russia’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, based in Kursk, and the three men were all found guilty of transporting the missile into Ukraine.

The Kremlin has always denied any responsibility for the air disaster, which has left an indelible mark on the collective memory of the Dutch nation.

Of the 298 victims, 196 were Dutch but there were victims from many other countries including 43 from Malaysia, 38 from Australia and 10 from the UK.

Eighty children were among the dead.

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cross-posted from: https://calckey.world/notes/9vqj8p6pgj4ra31t

Switzerland mandates all software developed for the government be open sourced

Switzerland mandates software source code disclosure for public sector: A legal milestone

https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/collection/open-source-observatory-osor/news/new-open-source-law-switzerland

@technology@lemmy.world

#tech #libre

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Ursula von der Leyen’s speech on Thursday at European Parliament will be crucial to ensure the majority she needs to be reelected as Commission president, but to convince all pro-EU coalition lawmakers, she will have to address some key EU policy issues.

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A group of 63 European Parliament lawmakers has asked the EU to withdraw Hungary's voting rights in the bloc, in response to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's recent visits to Moscow and Beijing.

Orban met U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump last week and earlier travelled to Ukraine, then Russia to meet President Vladimir Putin Moscow and Beijing to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping, on a self-styled "peace mission" to end the war in Ukraine.

Hungary took over the rotating EU presidency this month, and is responsible for organising meetings of EU countries - collectively known to as the "council" of the EU - until Dec. 31.

The lawmakers said Orban had deliberately implied he was acting on behalf of the entire EU, despite not having the authority to do this.

"Prime Minister Orban has already caused significant damage by exploiting and abusing the role of the Council Presidency," said the letter.

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While joining leaders of fellow NATO countries in voicing support for defending Ukraine from Russian aggression, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Wednesday implored Western nations to avoid "double standards" in the application of international law regarding Israel's war on Gaza.

Sánchez, a member of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party who has led his country since 2018, said that Western leaders must have "consistent political positions" on Ukraine and Gaza.

"If we are telling our people that we are supporting Ukraine because we are defending the international law, this is the same that we have to do toward Gaza... say that we are backing the international law, especially the international humanitarian law," Sánchez said, drawing applause from the audience.

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Since 2020, Next Generation Internet (NGI) programmes, part of European Commission’s Horizon programme, fund free software in Europe using a cascade funding mechanism. This year, according to the Horizon Europe working draft detailing funding programmes for 2025, we notice that Next Generation Internet is not mentioned any more as part of Cluster 4.

[...]

While the USA, China or Russia deploy huge public and private resources to develop software and infrastructure that massively capture private consumer data, the EU can’t afford this renunciation. Free and open source software, as supported by NGI since 2020, is by design the opposite of potential vectors for foreign interference. It lets us keep our data local and favors a community-wide economy and know-how, while allowing an international collaboration. This is all the more essential in the current geopolitical context: the challenge of technological sovereignty is central, and free software allows addressing it while acting for peace and sovereignty in the digital world as a whole.

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Archived version

In 2025, Russia’s Central Bank plans to fully roll out the digital ruble — a new form of currency that, according to officials, can be used on par with cash and electronic payments, and holds the exact same value as the traditional ruble.

The Russian authorities insist that this new tool is safer than cash and that the fees for using it will be lower than for other electronic payment methods. Every digital ruble has its own unique code, which theoretically makes it possible for the Central Bank to restrict its use — and, according to experts from the digital rights group Roskomsvoboda, to monitor citizens’ transactions.

  • The issuer of this new form of currency is the Central Bank itself, a key difference to conventional bank transfers. Responsibility for its use and management will fall on the state, not on commercial banks. When customers deposit funds into their digital ruble accounts, they will effectively be lending their money to the authorities.

  • At the same time, commercial banks will be responsible for all account operations, as well as for ensuring security. Clients will be able to manage their digital rubles through commercial bank apps.

  • Each digital ruble will always be worth exactly one ruble. However, it’s possible that the authorities will restrict how digital rubles can be spent; the Central Bank may encode certain rubles, for example, so that they can’t be used for gambling or buying alcohol.

  • Unique codes on each digital ruble will allow the government to directly monitor citizens’ spending when they use the new form of currency.

  • The digital ruble could become a major tool in the Central Bank’s management of Russia’s finances, allowing not only the monitoring of transactions (the government already surveils non-cash payments) but also “instantaneous and direct control over monetary policy.”

  • According to the lawyer, the government could use it to instantly implement currency redenomination or impose broad restrictions on money use. “During the COVID restrictions, for example, it would have been possible to use digital rubles to ban payments for [travel] tickets and hotels,” the lawyer said.

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She also said the satan is in there and that she will call a priest to come. She also said that she wanted to talk with Roberta Metsola, she told her who she is and Metsola replied that she already knows. Șoșoacă said that she turned white on her face or something and that Metsola immediately called a few people to protect her "like I was trying to kill her or something" (as Șoșoacă said - gee, I wonder why she would do this, hmm?).

Edit: also, Șoșoacă said her internet was cut while she was doing a livestream in the EU Parliament.

I fucking hate everyone who sent this circus performer to Brussels. Her place should be in Moscow, where she is the most comfortable!

youtube.com/watch?v=OuqNyeVa9h…

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