Is Macron’s ‘European Political Community’ a realistic prospect?

France’s presidency of the EU ends on June 30 with Emmanuel Macron’s new big idea, a “European Political Community”, hanging in the balance. This community would encompass EU membership candidates like Ukraine, and possibly ex-member Britain. For some observers, the French president’s idea offers an essential way of bringing countries into the European project while the long EU accession process takes its long course. But others argue that Macron’s plan offers little in the way of clear objectives and is likely to wither just like a similar French idea from three decades ago.

Lithuania, NO corridors to Kaliningrad. Tactical retreat. Nukes for Lukashenko. Update 1

Lithuania, NO corridors to Kaliningrad. Tactical retreat. Nukes for Lukashenko. Update 1
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Unwanted News – The Dark Side of War on Twitter: “ English version of the @FRANCE24 #Lisichansk “we want no deportation video” now for Twitter RTs:”The #Russians are our friends”: The civilians refusing to evacuate Ukraine’s #Lysychansk.#UkraineWar #UkraineRussianWar #UkraineKrieg #UkraineUnderAttaсk #RussiaUkraine #War / Twitter”

English version of the @FRANCE24 #Lisichansk “we want no deportation video” now for Twitter RTs:”The #Russians are our friends”: The civilians refusing to evacuate Ukraine’s #Lysychansk.#UkraineWar #UkraineRussianWar #UkraineKrieg #UkraineUnderAttaсk #RussiaUkraine #War

US Democrats cling to abortion rights as a chance to claw back votes

The repeal of Roe v. Wade is seen as an opportunity to get people to vote blue in the midterms and ignore the more real and present problems

“This fall, Roe is on the ballot,” said Joe Biden, addressing his base in the wake of the landmark decision to repeal federal protections for abortions. “Personal freedoms are on the ballot. The right to privacy, liberty, equality, they’re all on the ballot.”

Calling it a “sad day for the Court and for the country,” Biden is hoping to flip a light switch in the heads of every liberal voter and motivate turnout among those disenchanted by his administration’s failures and the shortcomings of every Democrat floundering against a resurgent conservative movement.

Following the repeal of Roe v. Wade on Friday, Democrats are hoping to tap into the anger of their voting base to direct their ire against the Republicans – and away from the failures of their own policies.

Read more

US Democrats encourage pro-abortion protests

They’re blaming Donald Trump, the man responsible for appointing the three conservative justices to the Supreme Court who flipped the balance of power on the judiciary. They’re blaming Justice Clarence Thomas, calling him an “Uncle Tom,” thus allowing their unvarnished racism to seep through the cracks of their virtuous façade. They’re blaming Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, for firing up conservatives to fight back against woke ideology.

Some are even blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Putin needs Americans to be divided and too caught up with our own politics so he can continue his march into Ukraine then into Poland and beyond. He knows the only way to defeat the Americans is by turning them against each other. Don’t fall for it,” wrote liberal anti-gun activist David Hogg.

“Russian intel’s asymmetrical warfare through active measures likely is already in full activation and only going to get stronger as we get closer to the election – Putin needs leaders in America loyal to him so they stop giving military aid and end sanctions against Russia.”

By the twisted logic of liberals ailing from Putin Derangement Syndrome, one might think Putin – in all his omnipotence – had to have manipulated millions of American voters into getting Trump elected in 2016 to set off a chain reaction he foresaw years in advance. Trump then appointed three conservative judges to the Supreme Court, who years later repealed Roe v. Wade in the middle of the Russian military operation in Ukraine.

You couldn’t make this up. But the Democrats can. Their ability to compose complex political fiction would give House of Cards a run for its money. And they’re only doing it because they’ve run out of options.

While David Hogg might be somewhat of an outlier when it comes to attributing even Roe v. Wade to Putin, other Democrats are no less intent on distracting the electorate with the issue of abortion.

The move to turn Roe into a key issue in the November midterms is a last-ditch effort made in desperation as the Democrats flounder in the polls. With US inflation at a 40-year high, a free-for-all at the southern border, unending supply shortages, and pain at the gas pump – all of which the Democrats have no answers for – Biden and his cohort have no other issues they can bank on.

Simply put, the Democrats – in all their lofty ambitions for a green energy transition under Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ agenda – have failed their voters.

Read more

US is now international ‘outlier’ – Biden

After all, no one’s buying “Putin’s price hike” as a talking point no matter how many times Biden repeats those words in front of the press. A recent fact check by Newsweek rated that attribution by Biden to be “false.” The Washington Post admits it wanted to rate the claim as “half-true,” but begrudgingly – perhaps to appease its reader base – left it unrated. And the Boston Globe called it “the latest Biden inflation myth.”

Most Americans are unconvinced by Biden’s spin, with only around one in ten voters falling for it.

Democrats have also aimed their sights at Ron DeSantis in the hopes that their support for the participation of transgender athletes in women’s sports and for Drag Queen Story Hour can win them votes. Likening the Florida Republican to Putin – and branding him an enemy of the LGBTQ community – progressive activists have spent the entirety of Pride Month attacking DeSantis’ pro-parent, anti-grooming policies.

And when all that failed to distract Americans from the country’s most pressing problems, the Democrats turned to the issue of reproductive rights – of Roe v. Wade and what DeSantis thinks of it.  After all, liberals have good reason to fear DeSantis – a recent straw poll shows him beating Trump as the primary choice for the Republicans’ nomination in the 2024 presidential election.

DeSantis’ decision to stand up to the liberals has steadily influenced other conservative governors and legislatures that are now fighting to claw society back from the decay of woke, Democrat policies – and his pro-life stance is now center stage.

As the Washington Post details, Florida has emerged as a “key battleground” in the state-by-state fight for pro-life policies following the repeal of Roe, where a ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy has already passed legislation.

But will the issue be enough to sway voters? Probably not.

The presumption is that by focusing on Roe, more liberal women will turn out to vote. But as the dust settles and liberal voters – currently caught up in the hysteria of the Current Thing – calm down, they’ll come to realize that for Democrat-controlled states, nothing much will have changed with the repeal of Roe. All the repeal means is that abortion is now a state issue.

At the end of the day, people vote based on what’s most personal to them. For many people, that would be issues such as gas prices, the surge in violent crime and the baby formula shortages – precisely the problems Democrats don’t want anyone to think about. It’s hard to care about having an abortion on demand when you can’t even pay for a full tank of gas.

22 young people dead in South African nightclub

The cause of the tragedy remains unknown

At least 22 people were found dead in a nightclub in the South African city of East London on Sunday. The cause of the deaths is unclear, and no obvious signs of injury on the bodies have been reported.

Emergency workers were called to the Enyobeni Tavern in the early hours of Sunday morning, and arrived to find bodies “lying strewn across tables, chairs and on the floor; with no obvious signs of injury,” according to the Daily Dispatch, a South African news site.

The newspaper said that its reporters have been informed that 22 people died. With no visible wounds or injuries, it is speculated that the deceased were either exposed to some kind of toxic substance, or were injured and killed in a stampede.

However, Police Minister Bheki Cele told News24 that “by the looks of things, there was no stampede.” A local resident told the South African news network that “it was definitely not a stampede. Some bodies were still in their chairs while others were found lying on the floor.”

22 people died in an East London tavern, ENYOBENI, after a stampede. Cause investigated. Numerous injured. Emergency services and the police are still working on the scene. Forensic investigation underway. #SABCNEWS

— Jurie Blignaut (@kluisenaar) June 26, 2022

“We are going to immediately be embarking on autopsies so we can know the probable cause of death,” a spokesperson for the Eastern Cape Department of Health told Reuters. 

Police told reporters outside the tavern that those who died were aged between 18 and 20. According to the Associated Press, they had been celebrating the end of school exams. 

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa referred to the dead as “teenagers.” In a post on Twitter, Ramaphosa expressed his “deepest condolences” to the families of the dead, remarking that the “tragedy is made even more grave by its occurrence during Youth Month – a time during which we celebrate young people.”

Boris Johnson reveals downside of settling Ukraine conflict

Any effort to resolve the conflict between Moscow and Kiev peacefully will cause more harm than good, the UK PM has said

The West needs to keep arming Ukraine instead of seeking a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Kiev and Moscow, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told French President Emmanuel Macron, according to Downing Street. Any attempt to resolve the conflict peacefully will lead to global instability, he said at a meeting on the sidelines of the G7 Summit on Sunday.

The military action in Ukraine is at a “critical moment,” the two leaders agreed, but there is still “an opportunity to turn the tide.” According to the statement, Johnson and Macron have agreed to continue supporting Kiev militarily to “strengthen their hand in both the war and any future negotiations.”

The prime minister also cautioned the French leader against seeking alternatives to resolving the conflict.

The Prime Minister stressed any attempt to settle the conflict now will only cause enduring instability and give Putin licence to manipulate both sovereign countries and international markets in perpetuity.

Johnson took a similar stance at a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday. “Ukraine is on a knife-edge and we need to tip the balance of the war in their favor. That means providing Ukraine with the defensive capabilities, training and intelligence they need to repel the Russian advance,” a statement from Downing Street read.

On Sunday, Johnson tweeted that Ukraine’s “security is our security, and their freedom is our freedom.”

Now is not the time to give up on Ukraine, they need the support and resolve of the @G7 more than ever.

The UK will continue to back Ukraine every step of the way, because we know that their security is our security, and their freedom is our freedom.

— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) June 26, 2022

Ahead of the summit, London pledged an additional £429 million ($525 million) in guarantees for World Bank loans in 2022 as a form of financial assistance to Kiev. According to Downing Street, the UK’s total financial support for Ukraine, including loan guarantees, amounted to £1.3 billion ($1.5 billion) and the combined UK economic and humanitarian support for Ukraine amounted to £1.5 billion ($1.8 billion) this year.

READ MORE: UK PM outlines issue that could force his resignation

Johnson has been one of Kiev’s most ardent supporters after Russia’s military operation in Ukraine began in late February. He has visited Kiev twice since then and repeatedly called on Western nations to provide more weapons. The UK is one of Kiev’s major arms suppliers, including heavy weaponry.

In June, Johnson warned that the West must brace for a long war between Kiev and Moscow. On Saturday, he said he would consider resigning if he has to abandon Ukraine at some point.

Biden says Putin’s hopes dashed

The G7 did not “splinter” as the Russian president expected, his US counterpart has said

“We have to stay together” in the face of the conflict in Ukraine, US President Joe Biden insisted as he arrived at the G7 Summit in the German Alps on Sunday.

Putin had been hoping “that somehow NATO and the G7 would splinter,” Biden said. “But we haven’t and we’re not going to.”

The US president met with the host of this year’s gathering, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, at the picturesque Elmau Castle in the Bavarian mountains ahead of the official kickoff of the event. The leaders of the G7 nations – the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the US – have come together at the summit to discuss the Ukraine crisis and other pressing issues for the next three days.

Read more

OXFAM activists hold protest amid G7 summit in Bavaria

Biden also thanked Scholz for his leadership amid Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine, and the fallout of the sanctions imposed by the US and EU on Moscow.

“I want to compliment you for stepping up as you did when you became chancellor,” and “the way you had a great impact on the rest of Europe to move, particularly relating to Ukraine,” he told the German leader, whose country is going through an energy crisis as a result of its own measures against Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about the G7 on Friday, reiterating that the current economic turmoil around the globe has little to do with the conflict in Ukraine.

“I want to stress once more: The sharp increase in inflation didn’t happen yesterday – it was a result of several years, it was a result of many years of irresponsible macroeconomic policies of the countries from the Group of Seven, uncontrolled emission and accumulation of unsecured debts,” Putin said.

READ MORE: US policies led to ‘new G8’ – Moscow

The G7 was known as the G8 from 1997 to 2014, when Moscow was excluded from the organization due to Crimea’s reunification with Russia.