Tag Archives: Europe

Is the Russian military superior to any other European nation?

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Germany backs EU proposals for Russian oil ban

The Times, May 3, 2022

Event

The European Union is moving towards a ban on Russian oil by the end of the year amid divisions over the speed of phasing out imports and the impact of the embargo on the cost of living in the West. EU energy ministers held emergency talks in Brussels yesterday before European Commission proposals on new sanctions that are expected over the next 48 hours. In a significant U-turn, Germany is backing the planned oil ban, but there are still difficulties, particularly for small, landlocked central European countries dependent on crude oil supplies from Russia. The German energy ministry hopes to achieve “total” independence from Russian oil within weeks, chiefly by importing more through Rostock in northeast Germany and the Polish port of Gdansk.

Comment

Europe is switching off Russian oil and gas as soon as it possibly can. When this happens it will be an enormous blow to Putin as 37% of its total trade comes from the EU. 40% of Russia’s total revenue comes from oil and gas. Without the flow of this money Russia would quickly go bankrupt. One country the EU is looking to to replace oil and gas is Israel! There is already a pipeline planned from Israel to the EU. Putin will see this as Israel taking his lost income and decide to take it back – hence coming to Israel to take a spoil. Germany (lead nation in the EU) is heavily dependent on Russian oil and gas. It is planning to stop all oil trade with Russia by the end of the year. Germany has also just begun building its first terminal for importing liquefied natural gas from the US and the Middle East. Germany is not part of the Gogian invasion of Israel. Germany invades Israel after Christ has returned and the saints have been judged…

And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.  These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.  These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: (Revelation 17:12-14)

Andy Walton,

Weekly World Watch > Download this week’s WWW

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Preceding

Ukraine war is veering fast towards a big power conflict

Sanctions are crippling the economy of ‘Fortress Russia’

EU to snatch Kremlin’s oil and gas profits to rebuild Ukraine

As Europe Sends $300 Million per day to Russia for Oil and NatGas, TotalEnergies Looks After Customers in Tricky Decision

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Additional reading

  1. A useless but very dangerous challenge game
  2. Russia invades Ukraine: A dark day for Europe
  3. The first week of February 2022
  4. Screws turned on Vladimir Putin & Russian oil and gas industry
  5. Northern Hemisphere time of Spring & War in Ukraine
  6. The Guardian’s view on Ukraine for the second half of April 2022
  7. The Telegraph’s Weekly view 2022 April 30 – May 6
  8. The Week from 01-07 May 2022 according to The Week
  9. G7 agreed to ban or phase out Russian oil and gas imports
  10. Stories to read in the week of 2022 May 05-11
  11. Signs of the Times – “Distress of nations …”
  12. Will the Russian War in Ukraine reset World diplomacy?
  13. Ukraine war is veering fast towards a big power conflict
  14. Ukraine Crisis Reading List
  15. EU must fight in the diplomatic and economic frontline
  16. President of Ukraine met with the Speakers of the Parliaments of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia who arrived in Kyiv
  17. Can turning down our radiators turn up the heat on Putin?
  18. Trade surpluses vs Most sweeping set of sanctions ever aimed at a country since World War 2

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Related

  1. Ukraine Situation Report: 1300 10 March 22
  2. The Russian invasion: what happened, and what happens next?
  3. Russia, The US, and Crude Data
  4. Russia is cutting off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria
  5. Russia’s retaliation on gas raises stakes for U.S.
  6. Europe announces ban on Russian oil imports
  7. A problematic oil embargo against Russia
  8. Biden to ban Russian oil imports over Ukraine war
  9. 01/31/22 Antiwar: NATO ‘Concerned’ About Europe’s Reliance on Russian Gas
  10. Cutting off Russian gas is going to cost the EU, here’s why
  11. Gas shortages expected in Europe as Russia imposes sanctions, Ukraine halts flow
  12. Banning Russia oil would hit US prices hard
  13. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says efforts to isolate Russia ‘are doomed’
  14. Are sanctions on Russia failing?
  15. The Russia-Ukraine War and the fate of Financial & Foreign Assets!
  16. US and EU officially begins to sanction the Russian Federation after invading Ukraine
  17. Treasury Secretary Yellen says the U.S. is ‘unlikely’ to let Moscow continue making debt payments, forcing Russia into default
  18. U.S. Eyeing Russian Energy Sanctions Over Ukraine War, Officials Say
  19. U.S. may take a hugely controversial step to stop Russian oil exports funding the war in Ukraine
  20. Energy watchdog prescribes a miserable return to the 1970s to solve the oil crisis: car-free Sundays and crawling speed limits
  21. Russian Gas – Illegal Drugs
  22. Vladimir Putin demands Russian gas be paid for in roubles
  23. 04/06/22 Antiwar: Breaking With EU, Hungary’s Orban Says He Would Pay for Russian Gas in Rubles
  24. Putin’s Ruble Standoff With Europe Risks De Facto Gas Embargo
  25. New Sanctions on Russia Could Trigger a Default That Will Be Felt Across the Global Economy
  26. Cost of living crisis exacerbates Europe’s quest for consensus over Russian oil embargo
  27. EU: VI Russia sanctions package blocked
  28. Oil price up as EU gets set to ban Russian crude
  29. Shell is already backtracking on its boycott of Russian oil
  30. Ukraine’s Zelensky says EU should ban Russian oil
  31. WTI regains $111.00 on surprise API inventory draw, fears of EU’s Russian oil embargo
  32. U.S. reaches out to Venezuela amid possible Russia oil embargo
  33. NC elected officials support oil-import ban against Russia
  34. EU proposes Russian oil ban as Ukraine loses contact with soldiers in Azovstal steelworks
  35. Floating liabilities: Western authorities grapple with the cost of seizing oligarchs’ superyachts
  36. Most Americans are willing to pay more at the pump for Ukraine

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Thoughts from a Ukrainian refugee

 

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Preceding

A letter from Kyiv

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Find also to read

Baby Yar summary

the scroll

CN: war, trauma

OPINION

How do I write that my older brother could go to war? How do I write that I cannot comfort my godchildren, wipe their tears away and protect them from the injustice now taking place? How can I write that the peace in which my goddaughter believes does not exist?

Imagine the place you have always called home, the place where you planned to start a family, being bombed into terror and destruction. This is what I’m experiencing. And I am still struggling to believe it.

The country I proudly call my home is Ukraine. Let us not call this a ‘crisis’. Let us open our eyes to see that this is nothing short of a re-invasion by one aggressor. People are dying, families are being destroyed. Children, women and men are being killed every day. For what? For a rich man…

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A letter from Kyiv

It is good for us who live in Western Europe to hear various voices from the North-East. Knowing that after the corona crisis an even more dangerous virus may now affect the world, we should not allow ourselves to be misled by propaganda, and it is, therefore, all the more important to also hear the voice of the ordinary man in the street of a country under attack from a power-hungry individual who will not hesitate to lead Europe into a third world war.

Not everyone is gifted to find a good place to shelter his or her life.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who must now face the harsh reality of the world’s most heinous acts.

 

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Additional reading

Towards a Third World War or not

the scroll

CN: war, trauma

When I woke up on 24 February, I was expecting a day like any other. I’d have breakfast, make coffee, and head to work. I’d smile at our customers, trade anecdotes with my colleagues, call my friends and family to ask them about their plans for the upcoming weekend. “Maybe we can go see a movie”, I’d suggest, or “maybe we’ll go out dancing”. I’ve always enjoyed the stability of this routine, the comfort of an ever-constant schedule. That comfort is long gone.

When I woke up on the 24 February, it was to the sound of my mother’s voice through the receiver, an audible tremor in her words as she told me that a full-scale invasion by Russian forces was no longer a threat, but a crushing reality. I wasn’t oblivious to the gravity of my country’s situation — I’d packed a suitcase…

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A History Of The Culture Wars

Jared Stacy

Culture War Christianity has long since ossified into the de facto expression of faith for many white American evangelicals. In Part One of this series (which you can find here) we introduced the American Culture Wars. As a whole, this series examines the historical & theological shape of Culture War Christianity in comparison to Jesus’ Kingdom through the lenses of these two camps, conscientious objectors and vocal advocates. We concluded last week with a descriptor: Culture War Christianity tends to make enemies, not love them.

This week, our second part examines the historical orgins of the Culture Wars. If you’re pressed for time, I present a TL;DR that takes 2 minutes, and you can return to read the article at your leisure…

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read Summary)

The key to understanding modern Culture War Christianity is the history of American race relations and Christianity. This article locates the birth…

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Freedom for whom?

 

East of Eden

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to drag on, one thing is emminently clear to politicians, scientisits, business leaders and the public at large: mass vaccination is the only way out of the pandemic, and thus the only way out of the cycle of restrictions that have been imposed on our lives. Most people can see this, and thus most people in Britain have already gotten vaccinated at this point. But of course, not every country is as fortunate to have vaccination rates as high as ours.

In Austria, which has among the lowest vaccination rates in Europe at 42%, has recently become the first country in Europe to make it mandatory for all eligible citizens to recieve the Covid vaccine. In the US, only about 59% of the population has been vaccinated, which sounds fine until you remember that a large and vocal part of the population resists the idea…

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Are the European floods linked to the climate crisis?

Almost certainly. Scientists have long predicted climate disruption will lead to more extreme weather, such as heatwaves, droughts and floods. Human emissions from engine exhaust fumes, forest burning and other activities are heating the planet. As the atmosphere gets warmer it holds more moisture which brings more rain. All the places that recently experienced flooding – Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, London, Edinburgh, Tokyo and elsewhere – might have had heavy summer rain even without the climate crisis, but the deluges were unlikely to have been as intense.

There has not yet been an attribution study for the latest floods in Europe because the analysis takes several days.

Please continue reading: What is causing the floods in Europe?

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Investigating how climate affects intense rainstorms across Europe, climate experts have shown there will be a significant future increase in the occurrence of slow-moving intense rainstorms.

The scientists estimate that these slow-moving storms may be 14 times more frequent across land by the end of the century. It is these slow-moving storms that have the potential for very high precipitation accumulations, with devastating impacts, as we saw in Germany and Belgium.

Professor Lizzie Kendon, Science Fellow at the Met Office and Professor at Bristol University, said:

“This study shows that in addition to the intensification of rainfall with global warming, we can also expect a big increase in slow-moving storms which have the potential for high rainfall accumulations. This is very relevant to the recent flooding seen in Germany and Belgium, which highlights the devastating impacts of slow-moving storms.

“Our finding that slow-moving intense rainstorms could be 14 times more frequent by the end of the century under the high emissions RCP8.5 scenario, shows the serious impacts that we may expect across Europe if we do not curb our emissions of greenhouse gases.”

The study findings are relevant to climate mitigation and adaptation policy in Europe, with specific implications for future flooding impacts, the design of infrastructure systems, and the management of water resources.

Currently, almost stationary intense rainstorms are uncommon in Europe and happen rarely over parts of the Mediterranean Sea. Accurate predictions of future changes in intense rainfall events are key to putting effective adaptation and mitigation plans in place to limit the adverse impacts of climate change.

> Extreme Storms Will Be More Likely In Europe Research Shows

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Can China Become A Super-Power

 

Political And Developmental Thoughts

Throughout history, many superpowers that dominated the world politically and economically came and left, the Roman empire, the Byzantine empire, the Umayyad empire, the Abbasid empire, the Mongol empire, the British empire. In today’s world, the hegemon that can be said is the world power that dominates the world not only politically and economically, but also culturally such as by movies, media, music and literature is the United States. 

The United States became the new superpower after world war 1 when the British Empire lost that position due to the economic and political damage the war had cost. The Americans filled that space by entering and ending the war, helping Europe recover by financing projects to rebuild war-torn Europe, and spreading its muscle around the world.

Today many believe that in the 21st century the world will experience another…

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Europe’s catastrophic flooding was forecast well in advance – what went so wrong?

Almost 200 people dead and many others still missing. Billions of euros’ worth of damage. Communities devastated. Thousands of homes destroyed and their occupants traumatised.

Hannah Cloke  advises the Environment Agency, the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts, the Copernicus Emergency Management Service, local and national governments and humanitarian agencies on the forecasting and warning of natural hazards. She is a Council member of the UKRI Natural Environment Research Council, a fellow of the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts, a fellow of the Centre for Natural Hazards & Disaster Science in Sweden and is also affiliated to Uppsala University in Sweden. Her research is funded by the UKRI Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, the UKRI Natural Environment Research Council and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

I am a flood forecaster who helped to set up the forecasting system that was used to predict the recent floods in Germany and surrounding countries. I saw days in advance that they were coming. I read reports of rainfall and river levels rising. And then I watched with growing horror as the death toll surged.

The European Flood Awareness System (EFAS), which I helped to set up, is part of the EU’s Copernicus Emergency Management Service. It provides early information on flooding to national and local authorities across Europe. I work closely with people there in my role as an independent flood scientist at the University of Reading to improve and analyse EFAS data. I don’t work in the team that issues early flood information to authorities, but looking at the data with colleagues, I could see early on just how serious the floods looked.

Forecasts on Friday July 9 and Saturday 10 for the Rhine catchment, covering Germany and Switzerland, had shown a high probability of flooding that would begin on Tuesday July 13. Subsequent forecasts also showed the Meuse in Belgium would be affected. The forecasts in the following days showed that there was little doubt that a major flood was coming.

EFAS sends out bulletins of early information which are designed to be read, understood and acted on by experts. They are not directly available to the public. Public flood warnings come from the national and regional weather, environment and civil protection agencies, and EFAS information needs to be used by these authorities alongside their own forecasts.

The first EFAS bulletin was sent to the relevant national authorities on Saturday July 10. More updates continued over the following days as more precise predictions became available. Formal flood notifications were issued to authorities in Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg, as well as the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) of the European Commission throughout Monday and Tuesday. As the event neared and uncertainty in the forecast shrank, the predicted start of the flooding was pushed to Wednesday for smaller rivers and Thursday for the larger downstream rivers. Around 25 individual warnings were sent out to parts of the Rhine and Meuse.

The German weather service, DWD, had independently forecast extremely high rainfall too and issued warnings for more than 200 mm of rain in the same areas several days ahead of time, saying that flooding was possible. Regional warnings were also issued, for example by the Environment Agency in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, one of the areas hit particularly hard by flooding.

The floods that did happen matched the scale and distribution of those that were forecast several days before. I was very surprised, therefore, that so many people died, given that authorities knew about the event and had sufficient warnings to get people to safety before the floods began.

Where flood warnings fail

Clearly, tragically, the whole system designed to save lives by ensuring people act on warnings before floods arrive, did not work as it should have done. It may be that individual parts of the system worked exactly as they were designed, and it is certainly true that forecasts were accurate, and there were some warnings issued through official channels. In some areas, many authorities did act in time, to evacuate people, erect temporary flood defences, and move vehicles to higher ground. But this clearly did not happen everywhere.

In the middle of an election campaign, some German leaders in national and regional government still seemed to defend the locally-devolved nature of disaster management in Germany, insisting that the warnings were adequate and agencies did their work well. It is like claiming that the maiden voyage of the Titanic was a success because 99% of its engineering worked perfectly throughout. While their arguments may be true on an individual scale, unless those in power admit that the system ultimately failed, they risk failing to learn lessons and put others at risk in the future.

Science, in large part, is about helping people see the invisible. What is the use of a perfect forecast if the people it is supposed to warn cannot see the danger they are in? Effective flood warnings require people to be able to see into the future and imagine their house full of water, to assess the likelihood of that happening, and to see the multiple paths they could take to keep them, their family, and their property safe.


Read more: Report from Europe’s flood zone: researcher calls out early warning system gridlock amid shocking loss of life


I recently took part in an exercise encouraging scientists, from senior professors to school pupils, to trace the path of water in a river through time using just their imagination. Weeks later, we are seeing what happens when people cannot visualise the threat of a river ripping down their street, or a lake appearing in their house. These are the elements of flood warnings that must improve.

As climate change increases risks from heatwaves, fires and floods, we need to not only slash emissions but prepare ourselves for the problems we already have in store. Even with sufficient decarbonisation measures – which we are still yet to see from any major government – there is no avoiding the consequences of a hotter, more turbulent environment.

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Suggested further reading

McEwan, L., Garde-Hansen, J., Holmes, A., Jones, O. & Krause, R. (2016). Sustainable flood memories, lay knowledges and the development of community resilience to future flood risk. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 42, 14 – 28. https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12149.

Alexander, M., Priest, S. & Penning-Roswell, E. (2017). The risk of ill-informed reform: The future for English flood risk management. Area, 50, 426 – 429. https://doi.org/10.1111/area.12393.

Forrest, S., Trell, E. & Woltjer, J. (2018). Civil society contributions to local level flood resilience: Before, during and after the 2015 Boxing Day floods in the Upper Calder Valley. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 44, 422 – 436. https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12279.

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La Peste (1947) by Albert Camus – The Plague

Michael mentioned in his exhortation the book The Plague by  (or the original French title La Peste),
It just so happened that a version was broadcast on 26th July on BBC Radio 4.
This is available on this link below and is available until 22nd August – probably on iPlayer for longer.
https://cdn.britannica.com/07/21107-004-8BBC18D8/Albert-Camus-photograph-Henri-Cartier-Bresson.jpg

Albert Camus, French novelist, essayist, and playwright, best known for such novels as L’Étranger (1942; The Stranger), La Peste (1947; The Plague), and La Chute (1956; The Fall)

The Plague was adapted from the globally renowned novel La Peste by Albert Camus, and directed for radio by Neil Bartlett, based on his 2017 Arcola Theatre production and script. A disturbing, deeply relevant listen. Bartlett’s adaptation is the English language world radio premiere production of The Plague and focuses the story on five characters, using only words contained in the novel.

La Peste book cover.jpg

Cover of the first edition of the novel by Albert Camus, published in 1947, that tells the story from the point of view of an unknown narrator of a plague sweeping the French Algerian city of Oran. The novel presents a snapshot of life in Oran as seen through the author’s distinctive absurdist point of view.[

It is often said of La Peste – written in 1947 by the Nobel Prize winner for literature, Albert Camus – that the plague and the rats in his novel are an allegory for the rise of fascism across Europe. He always denied this.
For us today, The Plague will have uncanny echoes of the pandemic, the restrictions and the moral dilemmas we are living through, as well as the rise of extremist ideology in many countries today. Just like our current crisis, the characters in The Plague comprise heroes, selfless and selfish acts, those who shame themselves into changing, and those who do not and suffer the consequences once the plague has been conquered. Hope surfaces when there is talk of a serum but, with the arrival of the first attempts at a cure, who should be selected as the guinea pigs? In an uncanny parallel, this drama about a community facing lockdown due to a deadly plague was recorded by actors, locked down in their own homes during our own pandemic. The scope of the production was not reduced as a result. 

Cast:

Doctor Rieux ………… Sara Powell
Raymond Rambert …. Billy Postlethwaite
Mr Cottard ……………. Joe Alessi
Jean Tarrou ………….. Jude Aduwudike
Mr Grand ……………… Colin Hurley

Adapted for radio and directed by Neil Bartlett
Producer: Turan Ali A Bona Broadcasting production for BBC Radio 4

The Plague (1992 film).jpg

Hong Kong DVD Release of The plague (La Peste) this time telling the story of Dr. Bernard Rieux in the 90s (Camus’s novel was set in 1940s),

For those who want to see the 1992 Argentine-French-British drama film written and directed by Luis Puenzo. (On Disc/Streaming:

 

Released directly on to video in the U.S., but exhibited on the festival circuit and in Europe, Plague is an adaptation of Albert Camus’ novel and reteams filmmaker Luis Puenzo with actors Robert Duvall and William Hurt, Sandrine Bonnaire, and Raul Julia, to tell the story of a South American city that must be cut off from the world following an outbreak of the bubonic plague. The key characters include a French tele-journalist, her cameraman and a fearless doctor.

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We talked  about it also for our payertheme for this month:

And David said to his son Solomon,
“Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God—my God—will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord. (NKJ)
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Find the prayertheme for the month: Prayertheme for August 2020: Feeling alarm or anxiety

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