Archiv: lame excuses / opportunities


04.04.2020 - 19:41 [ Haaretz ]

Gantz Wants a Six-month Coronavirus Government, Netanyahu Wants Annexation

With Joe Biden possibly the U.S. president come January 20, many Likudniks think it’s now or never for a West Bank land grab

04.04.2020 - 18:27 [ Electronic Frontier Foundation ]

How EFF Evaluates Government Demands for New Surveillance Powers

Even in the midst of a crisis, the public must carefully evaluate such government demands, because surveillance invades privacy, deters free speech, and unfairly burdens vulnerable groups. It also metastasizes behind closed doors. And new surveillance powers tend to stick around. For example, nearly two decades after the 9/11 attacks, the NSA is still conducting dragnet Internet surveillance.

Thus, when governments demand new surveillance powers—especially now, in the midst of a crisis like the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak—EFF has three questions:

– First, has the government shown its surveillance would be effective at solving the problem?
– Second, if the government shows efficacy, we ask: Would the surveillance do too much harm to our freedoms?
– Third, if the government shows efficacy, and the harm to our freedoms is not excessive, we ask: Are there sufficient guardrails around the surveillance?

02.04.2020 - 19:34 [ theHill.com ]

Democrats to delay convention until August

The Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee will be delayed for a month because of the coronavirus pandemic, the host committee announced on Thursday.

02.04.2020 - 14:22 [ The Jimmy Dore Show / Youtube ]

Why Are Progressives Voting For Ultimate Screwing Of America?

(video)

02.04.2020 - 14:17 [ Jimmy Dore / Twitter ]

What will be remembered is how our progressive leaders did worse than absolutely nothing during the ultimate screwing of America, you voted for it! and still have ZERO ideas for what to do right now. Progressive leadership is co-opted & worthless.

RentStrike/MortgageStrike

02.04.2020 - 12:44 [ LA Times ]

Could Trump delay the November election? Not without risking forfeit to a Democrat

(17.03.2020)

The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service reached the same conclusion when it investigated the question in the aftermath of 9/11.

Under the U.S. Constitution, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence cannot stay in office past their four-year terms without being reelected. If the election does not happen for any reason, constitutional rules of succession kick in.

That could mean a lawmaker down the line of succession who is not up for reelection could be the new president.

02.04.2020 - 12:35 [ New York Times ]

Biden Calls for Democratic Convention to Be Delayed Because of Virus

“I doubt whether the Democratic convention is going to be able to be held in mid-July, early July,” Mr. Biden told Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show.” “I think it’s going to have to move into August.”

Mr. Fallon had not asked Mr. Biden about the convention’s timing. The former vice president was responding to a question about how the virus would affect the election.

02.04.2020 - 11:55 [ ABC News ]

In coronavirus pandemic, authoritarians around the world see opportunity to crack down

Leaders with authoritarian instincts may not cede their emergency powers.

02.04.2020 - 10:38 [ EDRI.org ]

Open letter: Civil society urges Member States to respect the principles of the law in Terrorist Content Online Regulation

On 27 March 2020, European Digital Rights (EDRi) and 12 of its member organisations sent an open letter to representatives of Member States in the Council of the EU. In the letter, we voice our deep concern over the proposed legislation on the regulation of terrorist content online and what we view as serious potential threats to fundamental rights of privacy, freedom of expression, etc.

01.04.2020 - 14:47 [ theHill.com ]

Bill Gates calls for nationwide shutdown: ‚Shutdown anywhere means shutdown everywhere‘

“This is a recipe for disaster. Because people can travel freely across state lines, so can the virus. The country’s leaders need to be clear: Shutdown anywhere means shutdown everywhere,” he added. “Until the case numbers start to go down across America — which could take 10 weeks or more — no one can continue business as usual or relax the shutdown.

01.04.2020 - 14:35 [ Xinhua ]

Xi calls for making major cities „smarter“

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said major cities can become „smarter“ by using big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence technologies to modernize urban governance.

01.04.2020 - 13:46 [ Stephen Lendman / GlobalResearch.ca ]

COVID-19 and Economic Duress: A Pretext to Enhance Police State Powers? Suspension of Constitutional Rights During COVID-19?

Crises are times when ruling authorities convince people to sacrifice personal freedoms for greater security — not realizing that both will be lost.

Ruling authorities take advantage of times like now by instituting draconian policies they’re unable to introduce during normal times without risking mass rebellion.

01.04.2020 - 13:34 [ RFI.fr ]

Dismantling democracy? Covid-19 used as excuse to quell dissent in Hungary

Hungary’s parliament endorsed a bill on Monday giving nationalist premier Viktor Orban the sweeping new powers he says he needs to fight the new coronavirus pandemic.

01.04.2020 - 10:19 [ Ansa.it ]

Coronavirus: Salvini defends Orban taking new powers

Nationalist opposition League leader Matteo Salvini said, amid criticism of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban getting full powers Monday, that it had been a democratic choice by the Hungarian parliament.

01.04.2020 - 09:40 [ Haaretz ]

Too Big a Brother

Under the cover of the spreading coronavirus, the government is deepening its invasion of the lives of this country’s citizens. Defense Minister Naftali Bennett continues to use his temporary authority in order to promote plans that run roughshod over the right to privacy, while demolishing the distinction, so vital in a democracy, between the army and civil society.

31.03.2020 - 12:32 [ Spiked ]

The frightening crackdown on Covid ‘fake news’

Most concerning is that this could lead to the censorship of those who disagree with the government’s line on coronavirus – and the extraordinary measures it has put in place to tackle it.

There is a great deal of disagreement among experts on a whole range of questions related to the coronavirus outbreak, such as over the death rate of the virus or the necessity of a society-wide shutdown. Members of the public have every right to weigh in on these debates on social media, too.

31.03.2020 - 12:15 [ Spiked ]

Britain is sliding into dystopia

(26.03.2020)

Derbyshire Police have tweeted a menacing video warning the public to stay away from the Peak District during the coronavirus lockdown.

The video shows police drone footage of unsuspecting members of the public hiking, walking their dogs and watching the sunset. All totally harmless behaviour, which is now deemed ‘non-essential’ – and by implication illegal – by the authorities.

31.03.2020 - 12:08 [ Spiked ]

Coronavirus Bill: the greatest loss of liberty in our history

(25.03.2020)

The Coronavirus Bill, having sailed through the House of Commons, is expected to become law today. The Bill gives the government and the authorities unprecedented new powers, unheard of in a democracy during peacetime.

29.03.2020 - 09:19 [ New York Times ]

Armed Israeli Troops to Help Enforce Coronavirus Lockdown

(27.03.2020)

Israel will deploy armed troops to support police on street patrols in enforcing a lockdown against the coronavirus epidemic, the military said on Friday.

About 500 troops will join police squads from Sunday to help „in patrolling, isolating and securing certain areas, blocking routes and additional similar assignments“, the military said in a statement.

28.03.2020 - 11:36 [ Jennifer Rubin, @WashingtonPost , MSNBC / Twitter ]

@JoeBiden agrees with @BillGates on need for nationwide shutdown

28.03.2020 - 07:00 [ Politico.com ]

Coronavirus: Washington quietly prepares a bank rescue — just in case

(27.03.2020)

Tucked inside Congress‘ $2 trillion economic rescue package for America is sweeping authority for the government to come to the aid of the one industry that has insisted it doesn’t need a bailout: the big banks.

27.03.2020 - 18:21 [ Washington Post / Youtube ]

WATCH LIVE: House debates $2 trillion coronavirus emergency relief bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) agreed to approve the measure with a voice vote Friday that would not require all 430 current members of the House to travel to the Capitol, given that two lawmakers have contracted the disease and others are self-quarantining due to exposure to confirmed carriers.The leadership also is taking meticulous steps to change the protocol for debate and voting to ensure the safety of lawmakers.

One lawmaker, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) is threatening to stymie swift passage of the stimulus bill, potentially delaying a vote until the weekend.

27.03.2020 - 18:18 [ Sunrise Movement / Twitter ]

House Dems have their hands tied, they can either: 1)Vote yes for a corporate bailout that does little to help working people or 2) Vote no on the stimulus bill that’s the only plan on the table before Congress goes on recess for a month As @AOC said, these options are shameful

27.03.2020 - 18:05 [ courier-journal.com ]

Trump calls for ousting GOP congressman from party ahead of coronavirus relief vote

„Looks like a third rate grandstander named (Thomas Massie), a congressman from, unfortunately, a truly GREAT state, Kentucky, wants to vote against the new Save Our Workers Bill in Congress,“ Trump tweeted early Friday.

Massie’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the congressman signaled he was moving forward despite bipartisan calls to forgo calling for a roll call vote.

27.03.2020 - 17:55 [ Thomas Massie, Abgeordneter im US Repräsentantenhaus / Twitter ]

(8/11) This bill creates even more secrecy around a Federal Reserve that still refuses to be audited. It allows the Federal Reserve to make decisions about who gets what, how much money we’ll print. With no transparency.

27.03.2020 - 17:12 [ The Hill / Twitter ]

Rep. @AOC : „What did the Senate majority fight for? One of the largest corporate bailouts with as few strings as possible in American history. Shameful!“

27.03.2020 - 11:54 [ Justin Amash, Abgeordneter im US Repräsentantenhaus / Twitter ]

Just ten years after the Tea Party movement, Republicans in Congress are defending a $500 billion corporate welfare fund for a select group of large companies.

27.03.2020 - 11:32 [ Patriotic Millionaires ]

A COVID-19 Economy: I’m Not Worried About the 1%. I’m Terrified for the Bottom 50%.

(16.03.2020)

I am worried about all of the people who are usually standing behind the counter asking me what vegetables I want with my tofu, and putting carrots or broccoli or whatever into my bowl. I am worried about the people who clean this restaurant, who prepare the food in the back, who deliver the food to staff here every day.

I am worried about the millions of Americans in millions of restaurants and bars and retail shops like this one living paycheck-to-paycheck, facing the potential of cut hours, full closures, no sick leave, no benefits, and no outside income to cushion them through this disaster whatsoever. That is the reality of over half our country.

If these people – millions and millions of us – are not working, are they going to be paying their cell phone bills? Their credit card bills? Are they going to be bringing their kids to music class? Are they going to be able to pay for even the most basic necessities like groceries or rent?

27.03.2020 - 09:33 [ Ansa.it ]

Conte, 8 EU leaders call for ‚Coronabonds‘

The letter was signed by Spain, France, Portugal, Slovenia, Greece, Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy, the Italian premier’s office at Palazzo Chigi said.

27.03.2020 - 09:27 [ Kathimerini ]

EU leaders fail to agree on coronavirus economic rescue

European Union leaders failed to agree on Thursday on the scale of support for their economies battered by the coronavirus, but gave themselves two more weeks to work out details in a dispute between the ailing south and the fiscally conservative north.

Highlighting how the pandemic is testing the bloc’s cohesion, Germany and the Netherlands blocked a call from Italy, Spain and France to issue joint debt to help finance a recovery.

27.03.2020 - 08:20 [ i24news.tv ]

After Blue & White split, Lapid slams Gantz for ‚betraying‘ voters, ‚capitulating‘ to Netanyahu

Lapid, who heads Yesh Atid, told journalists at a press conference that „Benny Gantz decided today to break apart Blue and White and crawl into Netanyahu’s government.“

„What’s being formed today isn’t a unity government and not an emergency government. It’s another Netanyahu government. Benny Gantz surrendered without a fight,“ he added.

27.03.2020 - 08:19 [ p2a.co ]

Congress must remove the Mnuchin corporate slush fund and put the American people first.

On March 25th, The Senate voted to pass the 3rd coronavirus relief package based on the proposal from Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans that features, among other provisions, a nearly $500 billion slush fund that would be controlled by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Mnuchin, who is best known for making millions off running a notorious foreclosure mill, would be able to direct corporate bailouts with limited, after-the-fact oversight. This is absolutely unacceptable.

27.03.2020 - 08:11 [ CommonDreams.org ]

‚Looting of America by Big Corporations‘: Progressives Appalled as Senate Unanimously Passes Largest Bailout Bill in US History

By a vote of 96-0, the United States Senate Wednesday night passed an enormous coronavirus stimulus package that would provide some desperately needed economic relief to struggling workers and the unemployed while establishing a $4.5 trillion fund to bail out large corporations—with little to no enforceable restrictions.

Progressives didn’t mince words in response to the unanimous vote, which sends the largest bailout legislation in U.S. history to the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, where it could pass as early as Friday before heading to President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature.

27.03.2020 - 07:07 [ Huffington Post ]

Democrats Are Handing Donald Trump The Keys To The Country – The Senate coronavirus bill is shocking.

Democrats control the House. They can pass any bill they like and dare Senate Republicans and the president to oppose a serious bill for a serious problem.

Or they can rubber-stamp the Senate bill and help Donald Trump foreclose on the next generation of American democracy.

24.03.2020 - 11:26 [ Caitlin Johnstone ]

Hollywood Celebrities Are Psyops Wrapped In Human Skin

It is an absolute guarantee that powerful people will use this pandemic to advance authoritarian measures which they have no intention of rolling back once the pandemic is over. They are working to do this currently. This is not a possibility, this is an absolute certainty.

24.03.2020 - 09:52 [ Axios.com ]

Location data likely to play limited role in fighting coronavirus

As COVID-19 worsens, though, expect to see a greater willingness to trade privacy for effective health surveillance, just as 9/11 led to a tightening of security around airports and other public spaces.

„A situation like the pandemic creates a fundamental shift in how people react to technology. This is the direction we are going to be moving in.“

— Labhesh Patel, chief technology officer at Jumio, an ID verification company

The bottom line: We’ve already given up so much in the fight against COVID-19. Some elements of personal privacy may be the next to go — and don’t expect the surveillance to end when the pandemic does.

24.03.2020 - 09:44 [ Forbes ]

Coronavirus, Surveillance And The Redefinition Of The Social Contract

We should listen to somebody who grew up in a society where there were no civil rights, Angela Merkel, talk about how the current situation justifies restricting our movements. And matters will not stop there: people might have been shocked when they saw China use apps and geolocation to control the movements of its population during the spread of the infection, but we now see Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan following suit: their success is being used to justify population control measures that would be completely unacceptable under normal circumstances.

23.03.2020 - 20:14 [ Haaretz ]

After Week-long Paralysis, Knesset Approves Forming Crucial Panel

The right-wing bloc aligned with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boycotted the vote, excluding Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein who abstained and Minister of Construction and Housing Yoav Gallant, who attended as a representative of the government, but did not participate in the vote.

The composition of the arrangements committee will give the center-left bloc a one seat advantage with 9 members, relative to the right-wing bloc’s eight members.

23.03.2020 - 11:55 [ Alec Pollard / Twitter ]

Lawmakers arrive at first session of Israeli #Knesset greeted by protesters demanding to replace speakers of the parliament @YuliEdelstein . @Likud_Party say if he is replaced they will scuttle unity government .

23.03.2020 - 10:49 [ Haaretz ]

Coronavirus Crisis Accelerates Israel’s Slide Into Erdogan-style Authoritarianism

Monday is an important test for Israeli democracy. The Knesset is due to resume its deliberations amidst the political crisis and the spread of the coronavirus.

If the Knesset chairman Yuri Edelstein, backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political hatchetmen from Likud, continue with their delay tactics to prevent the legislative branch performing its duty, Israel will win the dubious title of the only „parliamentary democracy“ to fail to recognize the results of its last democratic general election and to be governed by an inoperative parliament.

23.03.2020 - 10:39 [ Haaretz ]

Netanyahu Has Hijacked Israel’s Coronavirus Response, Sidelining Top Health Experts

He said Bar Siman Tov, who as the ministry’s director general should be leading this process, is instead collaborating with Netanyahu and stifling anyone opposed to Netanyahu’s approach.

Since Bar Siman Tov has no medical training, the ministry’s top medical authority is its deputy director general, Prof. Itamar Grotto. Its other key official is Dr. Boaz Lev, a former director general at the ministry who now heads its epidemic task force.

But anyone talking to these two men in recent days has had trouble getting clear answers. The reason, according to Health Ministry sources, is that they don’t know the answers because the decisions are being made without them.

23.03.2020 - 09:11 [ Newsweek.com ]

Exclusive: Inside The Military’s Top Secret Plans If Coronavirus Cripples the Government

(18.03.2020)

According to new documents and interviews with military experts, the various plans – codenamed Octagon, Freejack and Zodiac – are the underground laws to ensure government continuity. They are so secret that under these extraordinary plans, „devolution“ could circumvent the normal Constitutional provisions for government succession, and military commanders could be placed in control around America.

„We’re in new territory,“ says one senior officer, the entire post-9/11 paradigm of emergency planning thrown out the window. The officer jokes, in the kind of morbid humor characteristic of this slow-moving disaster, that America had better learn who Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy is.

23.03.2020 - 08:51 [ theTimes.co.uk ]

General Terrence O’Shaughnessy: Secret plan to install general if law breaks down

The United States would then be placed under the authority of Terrence O’Shaughnessy, a four-star general and former fighter pilot who is the designated “combatant commander”, according to Newsweek.

General O’ Shaughnessy, 56, leads the US Northern Command (Northcom), a military authority responsible for homeland defence, created after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

23.03.2020 - 08:49 [ Pentagon ]

Northcom Commander Calls for 21st Century Tools to Defeat Current Threats

(11.03.2020)

The command will continue to partner with the U.S. defense and commercial industries a „to transform rapidly evolving scientific information into leading-edge digital age technology,“ he said.

The command is building a SHIELD — the Strategic Home and Integrated Ecosystem for Layered Defense — to defend the homeland.

„Our layered defense needs to establish awareness in all domains; from below the oceans to the highest levels of space, including the unseen cyber domain, which are all at risk,“ he said.

23.03.2020 - 08:47 [ Politico.com ]

De Blasio asks Trump to send military to New York

“The military is the best logistical organization in the nation. If there are ventilators being produced anywhere in the country, we need to get them to New York. Not weeks from now or months from now, in the next 10 days.“

“Why are they at their bases? Why are they not being allowed to serve?“ de Blasio said. “I guarantee you, they’re ready to serve. But the president has to give the order.“

23.03.2020 - 07:58 [ Washington Post ]

Don’t let constitutional rights be a victim of this virus

But the Justice Department’s request doesn’t stop there. Instead, the department has also included an idea that should be immediately rejected: letting federal court chief judges halt all court proceedings during an emergency. This provision would apply to “any statutes or rules of procedure otherwise affecting pre-arrest, post-arrest, pre-trial, trial, and post-trial procedures in criminal and juvenile proceedings and all civil process and proceedings.”

23.03.2020 - 07:52 [ CNN ]

In the battle against coronavirus, personal privacy is at risk

When Declan Chan arrived in Hong Kong from Zurich on March 17 after six weeks overseas, city officials made him put on a plain-looking white wristband and download an app called StayHomeSafe before he exited the airport.
He was told to register on the app once he got home, which would start a 14-day countdown, and walk to all four corners of his apartment so it could capture the location and confines of his home.

22.03.2020 - 13:15 [ Washington Post ]

With a pandemic as cover, Netanyahu is carrying out a coup in Israel

(19.03.2020)

Under the cover of a pandemic, he is transforming himself from lame-duck prime minister to unelected strongman. He and his henchmen have shut down parliament, enacted extreme “security” measures without legislative oversight and shelved the courts just as Netanyahu was about to go on trial for corruption.

I don’t use the word “coup” lightly. But any weaker description of Netanyahu’s assault on Israeli democracy is a refusal to absorb and report the truth.

22.03.2020 - 13:06 [ Matt Stoller ]

Stop the Coronavirus Corporate Coup

And there’s a precedent.

In 2008, when Congress was on the brink of passing a $700 billion bailout to Wall Street, something astonishing happened. A motley bipartisan group of roughly a hundred members, as well as outside experts, formed what was called the „Skeptic’s Caucus,“ and organized enough votes to take down the package. Congressional leaders then attached some minor tweaks, and forced the package through after the stock market crashed. Ultimately, the skeptics failed, and the bailouts ended up shifting power and wealth to an unaccountable elite class.

But for that brief moment, it became clear that opposition to Congressional leadership on corporate subsidies is possible. We will need another Skeptic’s caucus, and quickly.

22.03.2020 - 12:56 [ Politico ]

DOJ seeks new emergency powers amid coronavirus pandemic

“Not only would it be a violation of that, but it says ‘affecting pre-arrest,’” said Norman L. Reimer, the executive director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. “So that means you could be arrested and never brought before a judge until they decide that the emergency or the civil disobedience is over. I find it absolutely terrifying. Especially in a time of emergency, we should be very careful about granting new powers to the government.”

22.03.2020 - 10:48 [ Haaretz ]

Knesset Speaker Edelstein and His Puppet Master Netanyahu, Free Israel’s Parliament

Since a majority of Knesset members – 61 out of 120 – oppose the government, Edelstein was dispatched to block the activity of the legislature and prevent it from voting in a new speaker. It is inconceivable that a temporary speaker would use his authority to set the agenda in order to prevent the selection of a permanent speaker. It is parliamentary bullying, and it must stop immediately.

20.03.2020 - 21:17 [ Haaretz ]

How to Stop Netanyahu From Destroying What’s Left of Israel’s Democracy

The government is doing all it can to fight the coronavirus, while the premier moves to demolish Israel’s democracy. Only if the center-left parties are in the coalition will they be able to contain Netanyahu

20.03.2020 - 17:10 [ Haaretz ]

Americans Beware: Trump Could Emulate Netanyahu’s Coronavirus Coup

The United States is facing greater coronavirus upheavals than Israel, led by a president who has less respect for democracy and the rule of law

20.03.2020 - 12:39 [ Haaretz ]

Unity Under Bibi Would Be Capitulation

On top of all that, this would be political idiocy of the highest order, because sooner or later, Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi will discover what their colleagues in Kahol Lavan’s cockpit, Moshe Ya’alon and Yair Lapid, have already learned through bitter experience: That Netanyahu is exactly what people say of him – a liar, devoid of credibility and dangerous to Israel, just as Kahol Lavan’s leadership so ably explained in election after election. And then, when people once again seek an alternative, nobody in Kahol Lavan’s electorate will give it their vote.

19.03.2020 - 21:57 [ Haaretz ]

Raise the Black Flag at Home. Stand Up to the Tyrant Netanyahu

For years and years, we wondered when the occupation would come home.

It happened this week.

As the settlers once said in a different context: Yesha Zeh Kan – Judea, Samaria and Gaza are here.

One set of laws for the tyrant’s allies. Another set of laws for everyone else. Innocent civilians hounded. Their persecutor – never held accountable.

Raise the black flag. Stand up to the tyrant.

This is the fitting flag for this new Israel.

19.03.2020 - 21:53 [ Haaretz ]

Netanyahu Is Using Coronavirus to Hold Onto Power

Panic over the coronavirus, justified as it may be, mustn’t blind the public from seeing how the temporary prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and members of his party are exploiting the crisis to hold onto power. Through their management of the coronavirus crisis, Netanyahu and his government are neutralizing the justice system and quarantining the legislature.

19.03.2020 - 21:50 [ Haaretz ]

‚Total Suspension of Individual Freedom‘: Inside Israel’s Secret Coronavirus Debate

These special means include gathering data about a person’s location via their cellphone and additional technological information using secret tools, and cross-referencing all of the data.

The process identifies all of the contacts coronavirus patients have had and the places they were, whether they are aware of it or not.

19.03.2020 - 15:06 [ Noa Landau נעה לנדאו / Twitter ]

Israeli police tries to stop thousands of cars raising black flags on their way to Jerusalem, to protest anti-democratic measures in midst of #Covid_19 outbreak, such as closure of Knesset. When asked ‘why’, this policeman said ‘because!’

19.03.2020 - 15:04 [ Haaretz ]

Police Arrest Protesters Against ‚Assault on Democracy‘ at Knesset

Protesters said they were angry at anti-democratic measures being taken to fight the coronavirus outbreak, such as this week’s decision to use cyber measures to track the location of people diagnosed with the virus as well as suspected coronavirus patients, in addition to strict restrictions to achieve social distancing, such as barring thousands of people from leaving their homes.

Further, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein dispersed parliament on Wednesday, deepening the paralyzation of Israel’s legislative body, which critics have seen as an attack on the checks and balances within Israel’s democratic institutions.

18.03.2020 - 19:48 [ Haaretz ]

Netanyahu’s Coronavirus Coup: Israelis’ Basic Rights Are Now on Life Support

We are about to let the government gain absolute control over our lives – and thus know who we are, where we have been, when and with whom and who we speak to and when – without any form of consent or restriction.

18.03.2020 - 19:35 [ Haaretz ]

Speaker Adjourns Parliament, Israeli President Warns Him Against ‚Undermining Democracy‘

By preventing the formation of the organizing committee, Speaker Yuli Edelstein also hampers the formation of the Knesset oversight committees on the coronavirus crisis

18.03.2020 - 19:30 [ 24news.tv ]

Rivlin warns Edelstein that adjourning the Knesset is ‚undermining Israeli democracy‘

Edelstein has effectively prorogued parliament and with a total coronavirus shutdown expected in Israel any day now, politicians and political commentators have argued that the speaker’s actions have engendered one of Israel’s severest constitutional crises ever.

18.03.2020 - 19:27 [ Jerusalem Post ]

Edelstein: Still unsure how Knesset inauguration will occur on Monday

(14.03.2020)

„The manner of how the inauguration will take place will be decided after another assessment tomorrow with relevant professionals,“ Edelstein said.

18.03.2020 - 19:12 [ i24news.tv ]

Coronavirus surveillance: What can the Israeli gov’t know about its citizens?

Israel’s interim government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, approved an emergency regulation on Monday, March 16, that allows the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) to track citizens’ cell phones in an unprecedented move to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

15.03.2020 - 14:32 [ Haaretz ]

The Coronavirus Pandemic Serves Netanyahu’s Political Interests

His subjects, thanks to the terrifying television broadcasts, have become a hysterical herd. They have gone into war mode. It’s as if this war fell out of the sky as a gift to Netanyahu. But it’s not just luck. It’s also brains. Netanyahu refused to resign and refused to give up. Campaign after campaign, he grasps at his seat like a drowning person grasps at driftwood floating in the middle of the sea. He grasps and grasps and refuses to let go, until the ship comes along to carry him to safe haven, the corona ship.

15.03.2020 - 14:04 [ Haaretz ]

Gantz Party Open to Unity Government With Netanyahu as First PM to Counter Virus

The party has rejected this option in the past on principle that Netanyahu should not serve as premier because of his indictment in corruption cases.

15.03.2020 - 14:00 [ Haaretz ]

Netanyahu Trial Postponed as Justice Minister Freezes Courts Over Coronavirus Emergency

The trial was set to begin on Tuesday. It has now been pushed back to May 24.

15.03.2020 - 13:52 [ Beth Oppenheim / Twitter ]

Could coronavirus be the miracle @Netanyahu was praying for? Netanyahu’s corruption trial now delayed until May, as Israel’s courts declare a state of emergency. @GantzBe considering forming an emergency national unity government with Bibi.

15.03.2020 - 07:35 [ New York Times ]

Coronavirus Tests Europe’s Cohesion, Alliances and Even Democracy

For the European Union and the new team at its executive arm, the European Commission, led by Ursula von der Leyen, this pandemic is a challenge to her intention to have a “geopolitical commission,’’ Ms. Stelzenmüller said — ‘‘if the member states let her.”

15.03.2020 - 00:33 [ Reuters ]

Israel to use anti-terror tech to counter coronavirus ‚invisible enemy‘

Avner Pinchuk, a privacy expert with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, said such capabilities could include real-time tracking of infected persons’ mobile phones to spot quarantine breaches and backtracking through meta-data to figure out where they had been and who they had contacted.

12.03.2020 - 19:23 [ Jerusalem Post ]

Bennett, Liberman, Deri call for emergency unity government

„Unite now, fight later,“ Bennett said at a Tel Aviv press conference in which he proposed passing a bill to freeze the current political situation for six months.
Liberman suggested a government of only Likud and Blue and White to deal with the coronavirus on Thursday in an interview with the Russian-language Channel 9.

08.03.2020 - 15:37 [ The Chronicle Herald ]

U.S. creates new envoy position to counter rising terrorism in Sahel

The U.S. currently has around 6,000 military personnel in Africa. Although some experts say a repositioning of forces is overdue, many U.S. officials share French concerns about relieving pressure on militants in Africa.

07.03.2020 - 20:00 [ Wall Street Journal ]

Saudi Authorities Widen Security Crackdown After Detaining Two Rivals to Crown Prince

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has embarked on a broad security crackdown by rounding up royal rivals, government officials and military officers in an effort to quash potential challenges to his power, Saudi royals and advisers familiar with the matter said Saturday.

07.03.2020 - 12:41 [ wbfo.org ]

In Syria, The U.S. Fight To Protect Oil Fields

BOWMAN: Right. The U.S. and Europe actually want Bashar al-Assad removed. He killed hundreds of thousands of his own people in a civil war. And they don’t want Assad to gain more strength by having access to millions of dollars from the oil. And Russia is Syria’s main ally. The U.S. ally in this ongoing ISIS fight, the Kurds, are using proceeds from the oil to continue their operations. And to make this even more politically convoluted, the Kurds are selling the oil to the Syrian government.

06.03.2020 - 21:04 [ New York Times ]

How Working-Class Life Is Killing Americans, in Charts

The combined result is a divergence in the life expectancy of white college graduates and non-graduates. Overall mortality for whites between the ages of 45 and 54 has held roughly steady in the last 25 years. But that average hides a big increase in death rates for non-graduates and a big decline for graduates.

05.03.2020 - 18:05 [ Jonathan Martin, NY Times / Twitter ]

Warren has told associates she’s NOT planning to endorse later today when she announces that she’s dropping out.

Wants to weigh whether to do it and, if so, timing.

02.03.2020 - 19:59 [ CNN ]

Amy Klobuchar will end 2020 presidential campaign and endorse Joe Biden

Sen. Amy Klobuchar will end her presidential bid on Monday and endorse Joe Biden, a campaign aide tells CNN.
The Klobuchar campaign confirmed that the senator is flying to Dallas to join the former vice president at his rally, where she will suspend her campaign and give her endorsement on the eve of Super Tuesday.

02.03.2020 - 16:12 [ NBC News ]

Protesters force Klobuchar to cancel rally in home state of Minnesota

Activists are upset with the case of a black teen sentenced to life in prison while Klobuchar was the county’s prosecutor.

25.02.2020 - 13:50 [ Fox News ]

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews makes on-air apology to Sanders for linking Nevada victory to Nazi rise: ‚I was wrong‘

MSNBC host Chris Matthews offered a rare on-air apology to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., after his remarks invoking the rise of Nazi Germany following the 2020 front-runner’s victory in Nevada sparked major backlash.

23.02.2020 - 16:57 [ solidus / Twitter ]

Germany prepares for reprisal attacks after Muslim massacre in Hanau. Security being stepped up, authorities monitoring far-left and Islamic groups

20.02.2020 - 17:05 [ JustSecurity.org ]

Germany Goes 19th Century with New Statement on Law of Occupation – On Status of US Forces in Syria

In Germany’s current view, the United States cannot be considered an occupying power in these areas, because although it exercises physical control over them, it does not “exercise jurisdiction” there. On this approach, for an occupation to materialize, two cumulative elements must be fulfilled: effective physical control and the actual establishment of an administration in the area.

Granted, this interpretation can be read into the text of Article 42 of the 1907 Hague Regulations,

15.02.2020 - 12:08 [ NATO ]

NATO Secretary General participates in meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS

Mr. Stoltenberg briefed the Coalition on the decision in principle by Allied ministers to enhance NATO’s training mission in Iraq. As a first step, this will consist of NATO taking on some of the Global Coalition’s current training activities in the country.

Mr. Stoltenberg highlighted that NATO’s work in Iraq is helping strengthen the Iraqi armed forces and institutions to ensure ISIS cannot return, and Iraq no longer requires support.

15.02.2020 - 12:06 [ @NATOpress / Twitter ]

Secretary General @jensstoltenberg took part in the meeting of Defence Ministers of the Global @Coalition to Defeat ISIS in #Munich.

He briefed on the Allied decision to enhance #NATO’s training mission in #Iraq. #MSC2020.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2UUFLb5

13.02.2020 - 12:06 [ wboc.com ]

NATO eyes boosting Iraq army training, still needs Iraq’s OK

NATO is ready to expand its military training effort in Iraq, the alliance’s top civilian official said Wednesday, but the Iraqi government is not yet ready to approve the move.

The Canada-led operation was launched in 2018 but suspended last month after a U.S. missile strike at Baghdad Airport killed Iran’s top general and Iraq’s government and lawmakers demanded that foreign troops leave. U.S. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has demanded that U.S. allies do more in the Mideast.

12.02.2020 - 13:50 [ New York Times ]

Faulty Iowa App Was Part of Push to Restore Democrats’ Digital Edge

(04.02.2020)

Still, when Iowa Democrats, on the advice of the national party, abandoned plans to have caucus results called in by phone because of security concerns and instead build an app, they chose Shadow from multiple bidders, according to a state party official.

08.02.2020 - 11:21 [ Fox News / Youtube ]

Iowa Democratic Party chair holds a press conference

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price holds a press conference on the Iowa Caucus process.

08.02.2020 - 11:19 [ WQAD.com ]

Watch: Iowa Democratic party chair holds press conference on caucus status

Friday, February 7, at 3:30 p.m., Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price started speaking at the Northwestern Hotel to discuss updates in the 2020 Iowa Caucus process.

04.02.2020 - 06:18 [ CNN ]

READ: Iowa Democratic Party statement on delay in caucus results

„We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results. In addition to the tech systems being used to tabulate results, we are also using photos of results and a paper trail to validate that all results match and ensure that we have confidence and accuracy in the numbers we report. This is simply a reporting issue, the app did not go down and this is not a hack or an intrusion. The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results.“ — Iowa Democratic Party Communications Director Mandy McClure

26.01.2020 - 05:42 [ Bloomberg ]

German Defense Chief Warns Islamic State Could Resume ‘Terror’

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, speaking in an interview at the World Economic Forum on Thursday, said that Germany aims to keep its forces in Iraq, but can only do so at the behest of the government in Baghdad.

“We need to keep in mind that in Iraq, IS is not yet defeated,“ Kramp-Karrenbauer told Bloomberg Television in Davos, Switzerland. “If the pressure is reduced, then the danger is great that it resumes its regime of terror.”

15.01.2020 - 10:14 [ theHill.com ]

Democrats clash at debate over keeping US troops in Mideast

The United States has about 5,000 troops in Iraq leading the fight against ISIS. There are also about 800 U.S. troops fighting ISIS in Syria. Meanwhile, about 14,000 U.S. troops are in Afghanistan helping Afghan forces fight the Taliban and conducting counterterrorism operations against groups such as ISIS.

Outside of combat zones, the United States has also deployed about 14,000 more troops throughout the Middle East since the summer in an effort to deter Iran.

13.01.2020 - 20:33 [ theHill.com ]

Fox’s Wallace presses O’Brien on contradiction between Trump threat claims, briefing

“It does seem to be a contradiction. He’s telling Laura Ingraham [about imminent attacks], but in a 75-minute classified briefing, your top national security people never mentioned this to members of Congress. Why not?” Wallace asked O’Brien on “Fox News Sunday.”

“I wasn’t at the briefing, and I don’t know how the Q&A went back and forth. Sometimes it depends on the questions that were asked or how they were phrased,” O’Brien said.

13.01.2020 - 20:18 [ New York Times ]

The Trump Administration’s Fluctuating Explanations for the Suleimani Strike

Since the Jan. 3 drone strike that killed Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s most important general, the Trump administration has offered shifting rationales for the attack. Here are some of the administration’s evolving justifications. …

13.01.2020 - 19:44 [ theHill.com ]

Esper: Gang of 8 ‚did not think‘ further intelligence on Iranian threat should be shared with Congress

Esper said that he was not in the room briefing the top intelligence lawmakers, but said he spoke to one of the briefers afterward.

“His assessment was …

13.01.2020 - 19:28 [ Washington Post ]

Trump’s ‘four embassies’ claim utterly falls apart

Trump has said in recent days that Soleimani was planning to “blow up” the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and also that he was going after “four embassies.”

But Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper revealed on talk shows Sunday that the idea that Soleimani was about to attack four embassies wasn’t based on intelligence. Instead, he said it was simply something Trump and others “believed” to be the case.

13.01.2020 - 19:25 [ theHill.com ]

Trump says it doesn’t matter if Soleimani posed an imminent threat

President Trump on Monday said it didn’t matter if Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani posed an imminent threat to the United States because of his “horrible past.”

Trump also asserted that his national security team agreed on the imminent threat posed by Soleimani that led to the decision to kill him.

13.01.2020 - 06:15 [ CBS News ]

Esper says he „didn’t see“ specific evidence showing Iranian threat to 4 U.S. embassies

„The president didn’t cite a specific piece of evidence. What he said was he believed,“ Esper said Sunday on „Face the Nation.“ „I didn’t see one, with regard to four embassies. What I’m saying is that I shared the president’s view that probably — my expectation was they were going to go after our embassies.

13.01.2020 - 06:12 [ theGrayzone.com ]

Ex-US intel officer: Pompeo ‘lying through his teeth’ on Iran

The Trump administration is imposing new sanctions on Iran and defying Iraq’s call for a US troop withdrawal. This comes as the stated rationale for the US assassination of Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis is being increasingly undermined.

Scott Ritter, a former Marine Corps intelligence officer, analyzes the increased White House coercion efforts and collapsing intelligence claims.

13.01.2020 - 06:09 [ theHill.com ]

Administration officials defend Trump claims, Soleimani intelligence as senators push back on briefing

Esper also said the so-called Gang of Eight, the top members of Congress’s intelligence committees, did not believe further intelligence on Iran should be shared with Congress.

Esper told CBS’s Margaret Brennan he spoke to one of the officials who briefed the Gang of Eight and that “his assessment was most if not all the members thought the intelligence was persuasive and that the Gang of Eight did not think it should be released to the broader members of Congress.”