Thought for the day

"If there is one basic element in our Constitution, it is civilian control of the military." -- Harry S. Truman

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France will welcome the Ocean Viking and its 234 illegal immigrants “on an exceptional basis,” President Macron’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced on Thursday, Nov. 10, after several days of wrangling with Italy.

New Europol rules expanded the powers of the EU law enforcement agency while reducing human rights protections and oversight over its data processing operations, according to a report by Statewatch.

Enforcement of the rules started in June.

Europol processes data exchange between EU members and other entities. Therefore, the new rules increase the powers of all law enforcement agencies that work with Europol.

As many as 280,000 tonnes of Russian mineral fertilizers remain arrested in European ports, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said on Saturday.

“Up to 280,000 tonnes of Russian mineral fertilizers have been under arrest in a number of European countries over recent months,” Vershinin said adding that Russia supported gratuitous exports of these arrested fertilizers to countries in need, especially in Africa.

The UK and the EU will boycott Russia’s delegation at the Bali summit of the Group of Twenty (G20) next week, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Citing EU officials, the newspaper reported on Friday that London and Brussels plan to stage walkouts when Russian delegates speak.

Riots broke out in Athens as thousands of people protested in the Greek capital in response to the soaring inflation rates befalling the country.

Molotov cocktails and rocks were thrown at Greek police on Wednesday as workers went on another general strike, walking off the job for 24 hours to demand pay hikes to alleviate the growing cost of living crisis.

Soldier wounded amid heightened Armenia-Azerbaijan tensions MikeRivero Fri, 11/11/2022 - 07:31

 Armenia ’s Defence Ministry reported Thursday that an Armenian soldier was wounded and in critical condition after being shot by Azerbaijani forces on the eastern section of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.

Both sides accused each other of opening fire on border positions earlier in the week.

While the world has slapped a wide variety of sanctions on Russia in the wake of Vladmir Putin’s illegal invasion and partial annexation of Ukraine, most of them have been relatively toothless. To hit Russia where it hurts, the world has to stop buying energy from the oil and gas titan. But slapping energy sanctions on the Kremlin while Europe was dependent on Russian oil and gas to keep the lights on would have been a pyrrhic victory at best.

The European Union’s European Commission on Wednesday proposed a massive aid package for Ukraine worth 18 billion euros ($18.06 billion) meant to help cover the country’s budget deficit for 2023.

The US State Department has greenlighted the foreign military sale of AIM-120C-8 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAMs) to Belgium.

Belgium requested the $380 million deal to arm its F-16 Fighting Falcons and future F-35 Lightning II fleet.

According to the US Defense Security Agency (DCSA), the approval allows Belgium to buy up to 120 AIM-120C-8 AMRAAMs and 10 C-8 Guidance Sections.

Raytheon Missile Systems was selected as the principal contractor for the agreement.

Moldova’s Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilița is planning to ask EU countries for €450 million amid the “very real possibility” that Russia’s Gazprom will cut gas supplies this winter.

Gavrilița's call for emergency cash in the face of Russia detonating its energy weapon will refocus attention on one of Europe's poorest nations where Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to undermine a government that is seeking to set Chișinău on a pro-EU trajectory.