Global News: Stories that Mainstream Mostly Missed

Around the world and back again.

Russia Factory Activity Grows at Fastest Pace in Almost Six Years

Daily Mail, Dec 1, 2022

“Despite a further sharp extension to supplier delivery times amid logistics challenges and disruptions, firms expanded their input buying at the fastest pace since January 2017,”

Meanwhile business confidence, supported by hopes for new orders, surged to its second-highest since April 2019.

Somebody’s been on a gold-buying bender. It’s not clear who — or why.

Marketplace, November 20, 2022

Somebody or something out there has been buying a lot of gold — 400 tons of it in the third quarter, more than $20 billion worth at today’s price.

That’s double the amount that changed hands in the second quarter, and more than quadruple that of the first quarter, all according to the World Gold Council.

Central banks bought a quarter of it, but the rest? Nobody knows. Maybe some country or countries. But who? And why?

The EU has a spy problem — here’s why it’s so difficult to catch them

Politico, Dec 1, 2022

Brussels, as nearly everyone knows, is packed with spies.

They’re hovering at the bar at the think tank networking event. They’re raising their hand in the press room at European Union briefings.

They’re listening in — if a 2019 warning to staff from the European External Action Service is to be believed — at the bars and restaurants near the European Commission’s headquarters.

That the walls have ears has long been a fact of Brussels life. But the fight against espionage is receiving renewed attention as the EU’s spy-catchers redouble their efforts in the face of Russian hostility, Chinese spying and the return of Great Power geopolitics.

The trouble, for those charged with addressing the problem, is just how much can be done about it. And the answer, for now, seems to be: not enough.

To start with, nobody really knows just how many spies are operating in the EU capital. When Belgian security officials are pressed to provide a number they joke that, if anybody can find out, they’d be delighted to know.

To continue reading.

EU and US turn up the heat on Elon Musk over Twitter

Financial Times, Nov 30, 2022

EU commissioner warns billionaire he must adhere to the rules as Janet Yellen indicates Washington could review purchase

Elon Musk is under renewed pressure from the US and EU over his ownership of Twitter, as regulators clamp down on the billionaire’s push to transform the social network into a freewheeling haven of free speech.

The European Commission on Wednesday threatened Musk with a ban unless Twitter abides by strict content moderation rules, as US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen indicated that Washington was reviewing his purchase of the social network. The warning from Brussels came in a video call between Musk and Thierry Breton, the EU’s commissioner in charge of implementing the bloc’s digital rules… Breton told Musk that Twitter must adhere to a checklist of rules, including ditching an “arbitrary” approach to reinstating banned users, pursuing disinformation “aggressively” and agreeing to an “extensive independent audit” of the platform by next year.

Musk was warned that unless he stuck to those rules Twitter risked infringing the EU’s new Digital Services Act, a new law that sets the global standard for how Big Tech must police content on the internet. Breton reiterated Twitter could face a Europe-wide ban or fines of up to 6 per cent of global turnover if it breached the law.

Twitter’s owner said repeatedly that he thought that the DSA was “very sensible”, said people briefed on the conversation, adding that he had read the legislation and thought it should be applied everywhere in the world. Musk has previously said

Twitter would adhere to all relevant laws. Among the EU’s demands is that Musk provides clear criteria on which users are at risk of being banned…

In a blog post, Twitter said none of its policies had changed and that its trust and safety team remained “strong and well-resourced”, but added: “Our approach to policy enforcement will rely more heavily on de-amplification of violative content: freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach.”

So… maybe this is why the medical freedom fighters are not allowed back on Twitter…yet.

The 50 Countries with the Lowest deaths per million population (per World Meter).

(#173) Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Senegal, Tonga, Rwanda, Sudan, Kiribati, Kenya, Laos, Timor-Leste Nauru, Guinea-Bissau, Somalia, Uganda, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, Cameroon, Yemen, Congo, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Cook Islands, Angola, Liberia, Madagascar, Uzbekistan, Ghana, Vanuatu, Mali, Guinea, Nicaragua, Togo, Ivory Coast, Eritrea, Bhutan, CAR, Burkina Faso, DRC, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Benin, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Niger, South Sudan, Chad, Macao, China, Burundi, DPRK, (#223) Western Sahara

So…in reviewing the list of countries, clear patterns seem to emerge. Of course, one can easily generate lots of hypothesize as to what it all means. For instance, the median age, health, co-morbidities and/or weight of the population, ivermectin or HCQ routines, other traditional medicines used in Africa, staying out of the hospitals -so ventilator deaths didn’t occur during the first wave, the use under reporting and/or vitamin D levels are just some of the reasons that could have led to the lower deaths per million in these regions.

Also included in this list of countries are some of the island nations. The isolation of which during the Alpha (Wuhan) and Delta strain waves – which were the most lethal may account for their lowered death rates.

In any case, this data set, although crude – leads to some very interesting questions about why some “developed” or “first world” nations, with all their exensive medicines, vaccines and hospitals fared so much worse than these countries with the lowest death per million population rates.

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