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rpannier's Journal
rpannier's Journal
December 30, 2020

Argentina abortion: Senate votes in favour of legalisation

Senators voted in favour of the bill after a marathon session with 38 in favour, 29 against and one abstention.

The law is groundbreaking for Latin America, a region which has some of the world's most restrictive abortion laws.

The bill had already been approved by the Chamber of Deputies and is backed by President Alberto Fernández.

The passing came two years after senators narrowly voted against legalising abortion.

Large crowds of campaigners both for and against abortion had gathered outside Congress to try to sway undecided senators.


December 23, 2020

Pelosi and Hoyer are most correct in quickly jumping on this

Trump wants 2,000 stimulus checks and 4,000 for a couple
Pelosi agrees
Hoyer has announced he wants unanimous consent for the 2k
Who doesn't want the 2k/4k? --> mostly the republicans (except Hawley and maybe a few others and there may be a small handful of Democrats that oppose the 2k -- Sen Warner is one that comes to mind)
Why does Trump want it? Don't know. Don't care. My guess is so he can have his name on the checks or so he can claim that he got the number raised to 2k (prob claim that whole thing was his idea)
It's important to get it passed ASAP, not after il douche leave office. The republicans will NOT pass anything after he's gone from office. And you can be certain, trump won't push for it after he's out.

December 21, 2020

Bosnia-Herzegovina's Mostar Holds First Local Elections In 12 Years

Polls have closed in Bosnia-Herzegovina's ethnically divided southern city of Mostar is holding its first local elections in 12 years on December 20, amid concerns that a surge in coronavirus infections would keep many voters away.

Thirty-five city councilors will be elected under the city's new election rules. Those city councilors will then vote to determine Mostar's next mayor by a two-thirds majority vote.

Polling stations closed at 7 p.m. local time. Preliminary results are expected around midnight. The Central Election Commission said about 40 percent of the eligible voters had turned out by 4 p.m., according to RFE/RL's Balkan Service.


Local elections were held on November 15 across the rest of the country, with opposition parties winning contests in the Balkan country’s two largest cities.

The results dealt a blow to long-ruling nationalists amid a wave of dissatisfaction with the handling the coronavirus pandemic.


December 19, 2020

A Photographic Trove Of Village Life In Postwar Ukraine (9 of 29 b/w pics)


In the attic of an old house, artist Ihor Solodovnikov stumbled on a collection of 5,000 photographs taken by his grandfather, Ivan Lytvyn. The images preserve the faces of Ukrainian villagers in the postwar period and the folk traditions that were rarely, if ever, captured by official Soviet photographers.

The unique find documents how rural Ukrainians lived and worked, what they wore, and how they spent their precious free time. The photos also reveal the transformations taking place in Ukraine from the late 1950s to the early '70s as local customs gave way to Soviet influence.

In 2010, Solodovnikov and his family were preparing to sell Lytvyn's house in the Cherkasy region. Solodovnikov was sorting through rubbish in the attic when he found his grandfather's old suitcase, filled with photographic accessories. But he didn't explore the contents closely until two years ago, when he noticed the rolls of film left by Lytvyn. Solodovnikov started working to digitize the photographs.

Lytvyn's sister Yaryna, seen here as an adult, survived the Holodomor with the help of her brother.

Raisa Lytvyn, the photographer's daughter

World War II veterans from the village of Hrushkivka

December 18, 2020

5 Stories from Europe You May Have Missed

1. French MPs approve return of looted historical artefacts to Benin and Senegal

France is to return looted historical artefacts to Benin and Senegal after MPs backed a limited restitution to the two countries on Thursday.

Benin is to receive 26 artefacts plundered from the Palace of Behanzin in 1892, including a royal throne, which are currently exhibited at the Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac museum in Paris.

Senegal will have a 19th-century sword belonging to El Hadj Omar, a major political and military figure, returned. The sword and its sheath are in the collection of France's Army Museum but are currently exhibited in Dakar as part of a long-term loan.

These restitutions were approved by MPs on Thursday with 48 votes in favour, none against and two abstentions.


2. Backer Of Kosovar War Veterans Declines To Enter Plea At Hague Hearing

The deputy leader of an association of Kosovar war veterans declined to enter a plea before the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague on December 18 in a hearing related to witness endangerment and other charges in connection with investigations of possible war crimes.

Nasim Haradinaj accused the prosecutors of “selective, political, and biased" prosecutions and "trying to place the blame on Kosovo" for atrocities during the former Yugoslav province's war of independence from Serbia in 1998-99.

Hysni Gucati, the head of the Kosovo War Veterans' Association of which Haradinaj is vice president, was expected to appear before the chambers later on December 18.

Both men are accused of obstruction of justice and divulging the identities of witnesses in violation of the secrecy of proceedings before the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor's Office.


3. Russia 'Used Bulgarian Airspace' To Deliver Military Equipment To Serbia

Russian aircraft have repeatedly used the airspace of NATO-member Bulgaria to deliver military equipment to Serbia, a joint investigation by RFE/RL’s Bulgarian and Balkan services shows.

In the most recent case known, an AN-124 plane flying from Russia to Serbia passed through Bulgarian airspace on March 3, coinciding with the delivery of parts for the Russian Pantsir-C1 air defense system.

It was at least the fourth delivery of Russian military equipment to the Balkan country via Bulgarian airspace in the past few years.

The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry did not confirm it had received a request to transport Russian military supplies through its airspace, telling RFE/RL there were no grounds for refusing "flights delivering trade supplies between sovereign states."


4. Russia banned from Tokyo Olympics and 2022 World Cup after Cas issues two-year ban for anti-doping offences

Russia has been banned from the next summer and winter Olympic Games and the 2022 World Cup after the Court of Arbitration for Sport after the Court of Arbitration for Sport found their Anti-Doping Agency non-compliant.

A three-judge panel unanimously agreed that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) failed to provide authentic drug-test data upon request by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), although the two-year ban is half the length requested by Wada.

It means the Russian name, flag and anthem will not be allowed at either Tokyo 2020 or Beijing 2022, and should Russia qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, they will have to compete under a neutral name.

Russia will also be banned from the Paralympic Games in Tokyo next summer, as well as any world championship events that are organised by a Wada signatory until the sanction concludes on 16 December 2022. Ruada will only be reinstated after the ban if it respects and observes the sanctions imposed, pays all related fines and contributions and becomes compliant with the Wada code, the Cas added.


5. An Old Refrain: Russian Lawmakers Question Kazakhstan's Territorial Integrity, Statehood

Many Kazakhs are likely upset and perhaps a bit worried by some of the comments and actions heard in Russia recently that have questioned Kazakhstan’s existence as a country.

Since December 10, two deputies from the Russian State Duma, the lower house of parliament, have described Kazakhstan's current territory as being a “gift” from Russia, echoing remarks by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2014 that “Kazakhs never had any statehood” before the collapse of the Soviet Union in late 1991.

Vyacheslav Nikonov, Duma deputy and head of its Education and Science Committee, appeared on The Great Game program on Russia’s First Channel on December 10 for a show dedicated to the anniversary of the signing of the Belovezha Accords on December 8, 1991, that dissolved the Soviet Union.

Nikonov said that when the Soviet Union was created in 1917, “Kazakhstan simply did not exist as a country, its northern territories were basically uninhabited,” and that areas “further down south [in present-day Kazakhstan], most of the territories were basically given as a gift to [the Kazakhs] by the Soviet Union, by Russia."

The next day, an activist from Russia’s Patriot movement hung a banner on the gate of the Kazakh Embassy in Moscow that read “Northern Kazakhstan is Russian land.”

December 13, 2020

WHO accused of conspiring with Italy to remove damning Covid report

The World Health Organization has been accused of conspiring with the Italian health ministry to remove a report revealing the country’s mismanagement at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic – the publication of which was intended to prevent future deaths.

Italy was the first European country to become engulfed by the pandemic. The report, produced by the WHO scientist Francesco Zambon and 10 colleagues across Europe, was funded by Kuwait’s government with the objective of providing information to countries yet to be hit.

Called An Unprecedented Challenge: Italy’s First Response to Covid-19, the document was published on the WHO website on 13 May before being taken down the next day, as first reported by the Guardian in August. The 102-page report said Italy’s pandemic plan had not been updated since 2006 and that, due to being unprepared, the initial response from hospitals was “improvised, chaotic and creative”. It took time for formal guidance to become available, the report added.

The document was allegedly removed at the request of Ranieri Guerra, the WHO’s assistant director general for strategic initiatives. Guerra was the director general for preventive health at the Italian health ministry between 2014 and late 2017, and was therefore responsible for updating the pandemic plan as per new guidelines laid out by the WHO and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Guerra is among the scientists on the Italian government’s Covid-19 taskforce.


December 12, 2020

5 Stories from Europe You May Have Missed

1. Boris Johnson snubbed by Merkel and Macron after requesting phone calls about Brexit deal

UK prime minister Boris Johnson tried to set up calls with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron to discuss a Brexit deal but was rebuffed to present a united front, it has emerged.

Johnson attempted to arrange calls with the leaders of the European Union's two biggest economies on Monday ahead of his crunch talks over dinner with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels.

senior EU official confirmed that the request had been made but that the UK premier had been refused and told that all negotiations must be done through the European Commission.

Johnson's attempt to circumvent the Commission was roundly criticised in EU circles, even by key UK allies, including Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte.


2. EU breaks stalemate on €1.8tn seven-year budget and recovery fund

The EU’s unprecedented €1.8tn (£1.6tn) seven-year budget and coronavirus recovery fund has been unblocked after Hungary and Poland lifted their objections to a link between payments and maintaining the rule of law.

At a summit in Brussels, Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, and his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki, backed a compromise tabled by Berlin after months of tensions and destabilising rows.


Hungary and Poland had refused to allow the disbursement of the budget – known as the multiannual financial framework – or the pandemic recovery fund, known as Next Generation EU.

They had claimed that a rule-of-law condition on the payment of funds, designed to be a block on corruption, was legally vague and could be used to punish Warsaw and Budapest over political differences ranging from attitudes to migration and the treatment of LGBTQI+ communities.


3. Minsk Residents Handed Prison Terms For Commemorating Killed Protester

Two Minsk residents have been sentenced to two-year prison terms each for writing "We Will Not Forget" with paint on a sidewalk near a subway station where a protester was killed by riot police in August.

The Frunze district court in two different hearings found 26-year-old Maksim Paulyushchyk and 25-year-old Uladzislau Hulis guilty of hooliganism and sentenced them the same day.

Paulyushchyk's codefendant, 25-year-old Maria Babovich, was also found guilty of hooliganism and sentenced to 18 months of a parole-like restriction known as "limitation of freedom."


Individuals sentenced to terms in open prisons in Belarus live in special dormitories and work at state companies, usually industrial facilities, as free people. Their movements after work are restricted and they must stay in the dormitories after 10 p.m.


4. Russia Summons Stalingrad Survivors In World War II 'Genocide' Probe

Russia has begun questioning witnesses to the monumental Battle of Stalingrad as part of a criminal investigation into what authorities term the "genocide" of Soviet citizens by invading Nazi forces in World War II.

Officials have cast a series of investigations into events that occurred in wartime more than 75 years ago as part of an effort to establish facts and pursue justice. But they have also indicated that the probes are part of a continuing push by President Vladimir Putin's government to enshrine a positive narrative of the country's history, and counter what it claims are efforts abroad to equate the Soviet Union's wartime role with that of Nazi Germany.

News of the summonses sent to Stalingrad witnesses was first reported by the independent newspaper Novaya gazeta. It cited the grandson of a 94-year-old man who was identified only as Vasily N. and lives in Volgograd, as the city of Stalingrad is now known, as saying that the family had received a letter on November 28 instructing Vasily N. to appear for questioning on December 1.


5. Austrian constitutional court rules headscarf ban in primary schools 'unconstitutional'

Austria's constitutional court struck down a law banning headscarfs in elementary schools on Friday.

The law had prohibited girls from wearing "ideological or religious clothing that is associated with covering the head until the end of the school year in which they turn 10."

In a statement released following the decision, the court said that equality and "freedom of thought, conscience and religion, establishes the state's religious and ideological neutrality."

The court said the legislature was required to treat various religious convictions equally. The law did not apply to the Jewish Kippa or to the turban worn by Sikh men.

December 12, 2020

Iran Executes Opposition Journalist Ruhollah Zam

Iran has executed dissident journalist Ruhollah Zam, whose online work helped inspire nationwide economic protests in 2017.

The semiofficial ISNA news agency reported on December 12 that Tehran's Revolutionary Prosecutor's Office announced Zam's execution by hanging.

The execution comes days after Iran's judiciary announced the Supreme Court had upheld a death sentence against the 47-year-old journalist, drawing international condemnation.


He was convicted of "corruption on Earth," a charge often leveled in cases involving espionage or attempts to overthrow Iran's government.

Zam's website, AmadNews, and a channel he created on the popular messaging app Telegram, had informed people about the 2017 protests, which began over economic hardship and spread nationwide.


December 7, 2020

F@CK Your Feelings

This message is for all the trump supporters who are so upset about the election
To their enablers in the congress and the media F@CK You

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