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Sneaking all around the fediverse.

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Israel’s military says it is fighting near central Rafah, apparently expanding its operation in the city. ( www.nytimes.com )

Israel’s military said on Thursday that it was fighting in neighborhoods near the heart of the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, apparently expanding its campaign against Hamas in a week when Israel has faced mounting diplomatic and legal pressure over its war effort....

Russia’s latest offensive into Kharkiv Oblast is stretching Ukrainian defenses ( kyivindependent.com )

Two weeks into the offensive, one group of Russian forces is already fighting in the streets of the town of Vovchansk about 70 kilometers away from the city of Kharkiv, while the other is trying to push toward the town of Lyptsi, just under two dozen kilometers away from the city....

Ireland, Spain and Norway to recognise Palestinian state ( www.theguardian.com )

Ireland, Spain and Norway have announced they will formally recognise a Palestinian state on 28 May, triggering an immediate response from Israel, which said it would retaliate by recalling its ambassadors from Dublin, Madrid and Oslo, and withholding vital funds from the Palestinian Authority....

breakfastmtn OP ,
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It has more to do with them being identified and fleeing the country:

Holocaust memorial had recorded two figures arriving at about 3am with spray paint and stencils, as well as two or three other people who may have been involved. They were reportedly quickly identified from mobile phone information.

All were Bulgarian and left Paris by coach for Brussels later the same morning just after spray-painting the graffiti, France Info reported, confirming an earlier report in the satirical weekly Canard Enchaîné.

And the similarity to a previous incident:

In October, about 60 Stars of David were discovered on walls in Paris and districts on the outskirts. All were in a blue similar to the blue of the Israeli national flag.

A Moldovan couple were arrested in that case and their alleged handler, a pro-Russian Moldovan businessman, was identified, according to Agence France-Presse.

breakfastmtn OP ,
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breakfastmtn OP ,
@breakfastmtn@lemmy.ca avatar

That does make it sound less good, but there's also a compelling pro-Ukrainian argument for using revenue (and other funds) rather than the seized assets for defense. It's widely agreed that Ukraine is owed those assets for reconstruction. Many want to liquidate them as an alternative to directly funding the defense effort, which could harm Ukraine's ability to rebuild after the war. So it's sort of robbing future-Ukraine to pay for the present. It's especially risky because countries tend to lose focus of things like reconstruction and get distracted by the next shiny conflict or crisis.

That obviously depends on Ukraine's allies continuing to fund their defense though.

Decentralized Systems Will Be Necessary To Stop Google From Putting The Web Into Managed Decline ( www.techdirt.com )

Is Google signaling the end of the open web? That’s some of the concern raised by its new embrace of AI. While most of the fears about AI may be overblown, this one could be legit. But it doesn’t mean that we need to accept it....

Decentralized Systems Will Be Necessary To Stop Google From Putting The Web Into Managed Decline ( www.techdirt.com )

Is Google signaling the end of the open web? That’s some of the concern raised by its new embrace of AI. While most of the fears about AI may be overblown, this one could be legit. But it doesn’t mean that we need to accept it....

‘What’s the Problem?’ Zelensky Challenges West Over Hesitations. ( www.nytimes.com )

With his army struggling to fend off fierce Russian advances all across the front, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine urged the United States and Europe to do more to defend his nation, dismissing fears of nuclear escalation and proposing that NATO planes shoot down Russian missiles in Ukrainian airspace....

Georgia’s ‘foreign agents’ law could be dropped in return for US support bill ( www.theguardian.com )

A “foreign agents” law that has brought hundreds of thousands of people on to the streets of Georgia’s capital of Tbilisi could be dropped in return for a package of economic and security support from Washington, the ruling party has hinted....

breakfastmtn OP ,
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The party’s ruling body, known as the political council, issued a statement on Tuesday in which it insisted that the government would not be blackmailed but also signalled that a way out of the crisis was possible if there was swift progress on preferential trade terms and visa liberalisation.

'We won't be blackmailed but we can be bribed!'

Russia’s War Machine Revs Up as the West’s Plan to Cap Oil Revenues Sputters ( www.nytimes.com )

The United States and its allies in the Group of 7 nations set two goals in 2022 when they enacted a novel plan to cap the price of Russian oil: restrict Moscow’s ability to profit from its energy exports while allowing its oil to continue flowing on international markets to prevent a global price shock....

Austin at Ramstein: US has 'already delivered many of Ukraine's top priority requirements' ( kyivindependent.com )

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin delivered the opening remarks at the 22nd Ramstein-format summit of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) on May 20, emphasizing that the new Russian offensive in Kharkiv Oblast has added to the urgency of the West's support for Ukraine....

breakfastmtn ,
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Can we talk about a story that's fallen through the cracks here? CNN claiming this as an exclusive is madness. Who do these people think they are? And should the ICC issue arrest warrants about it? 😉

breakfastmtn ,
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They changed it to that considerably less bonkers headline. Perhaps because they became of aware of their legal exposure under international laws against poor taste...? 🧐

breakfastmtn ,
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BBC just reported that Iranian state media has confirmed their deaths:

President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and several others are confirmed to have been killed in Sunday's helicopter crash in north-western Iran, state TV says.

European far-right leaders gather ahead of EU elections ( www.theguardian.com )

International far-right leaders, including France’s Marine Le Pen, Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, Italy’s Giorgia Meloni and Argentina’s Javier Milei, came together in Madrid to rail against socialism and “massive illegal migration” three weeks before hard-right parties are expected to see a surge in support in June’s...

Russian 'double-tap' strike north of Kharkiv kills 6, including pregnant woman ( kyivindependent.com )

Russian troops attacked a recreation center in a northern suburb of Kharkiv at around 11 a.m. local time, killing six civilians including a pregnant woman and wounding 27, the Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor's Office said on May 19....

Zelensky calls for three-point action plan at upcoming peace summit ( kyivindependent.com )

President Volodymyr Zelensky said that he anticipates the upcoming peace summit in Switzerland will yield an action plan addressing three key areas: free navigation to protect port infrastructure, global food security, and Ukraine's economic development....

Zelensky: 'Our partners fear that Russia will lose this war' ( kyivindependent.com )

President Volodymyr Zelensky believes that Ukraine's partners "are afraid of Russia losing the war" and would like Kyiv "to win in such a way that Russia does not lose," Zelensky said in a meeting with journalists attended by the Kyiv Independent....

breakfastmtn OP ,
@breakfastmtn@lemmy.ca avatar

I think that's one of the meanings. If a Russian loss led to the sudden collapse of the Russian state or a radical retraction of the Russian economy, who knows what the consequences would be?

I don't think that's a justification for not letting Russia lose, but it is a big bag of who-the-fuck-knows.

breakfastmtn OP ,
@breakfastmtn@lemmy.ca avatar

The concern isn't about the consequences faced by Russia, but the impact on the rest of the world. Like, if Russia were to collapse, I think most would agree that Egyptians don't deserve to find out what suddenly not having $1.7 billion in wheat would mean, right? I don't think anyone has any idea what that would mean for, say, Tajikistan and other post-Soviet states with economies closely tied to Russia. Collapse would be chaos and it wouldn't stay confined within Russia's borders.

And, again, I don't think that justifies preventing Russia from losing. There are worse concerns for Russia winning. And the idea that Russia neither winning nor losing could be a sustainable final state is probably a fantasy.

Under Israeli Bombs, a Wartime Economy Emerges in Gaza ( www.nytimes.com )

In the seven months since Israel started bombarding Gaza and imposed a siege in response to the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack, the enclave’s economy has been crushed. People have been forced to flee their homes and jobs. Markets, factories and infrastructure have been bombed and flattened. Farmland has been scorched by airstrikes or...

breakfastmtn OP ,
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It's complicated. They don't have the ability to bring down the government but both Gantz and Gallant are much more popular than Netanyahu. Netanyahu's choice (again) comes down to placating the far-right to keep his government in power in the short-term at the expense of further alienating the Israeli public. If he bows to this pressure, the far-right might topple his government immediately. All paths probably lead to electoral (then legal) doom for Netanyahu at some point.

breakfastmtn OP ,
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Netanyahu doesn't need Gantz's party to remain in power. They'd lose a more moderate voice in the war cabinet. The Unity government would probably lose legitimacy in the eyes of most Israelis. It would be very bad for Netanyahu politically. It would also probably be good for Gantz politically, as recent polling suggests that he might be starting to get some of Netanyahu's stink on him.

New Star Wars Plan: Pentagon Rushes to Counter Threats in Orbit ( www.nytimes.com )

The Pentagon is rushing to expand its capacity to wage war in space, convinced that rapid advances by China and Russia in space-based operations pose a growing threat to U.S. troops and other military assets on the ground and American satellites in orbit....

breakfastmtn OP ,
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It was initially incorrectly reported that she was alive and unconscious. This isn't a new correction. She was declared dead in late October after investigators identified a piece of her skull:

A source involved with her identification told CNN Louk’s death was announced after forensic examiners found a bone fragment from her skull.

The bone fragment was from the petrous part of the temporal bone, which is at the base of the skull, normally near the carotid artery, a major blood vessel that provides blood to the brain. A DNA test concluded the fragment belonged to Louk.

. . .

The bone fragment, combined with the circumstances surrounding the October 7 attack and video that appeared to show Louk unconscious on the back of a Hamas truck, led investigators to conclude these were her remains.

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