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Member since: Sun Jul 1, 2018, 07:25 PM
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Journal Archives

No, EU countries aren't sending fighter jets to Ukraine


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday that European Union members will not lend fighter jets to the war in Ukraine, after days of mixed messages from officials across Europe.

“NATO allies provide different types of military support: material, anti-tank weapons, air defense systems and other types of military equipment for Ukraine, humanitarian aid and also financial support. But NATO is not to be part of the conflict,” he said in a joint appearance with Polish President Andrzej Duda at the country’s Łask Air Base. The alliance “is not going to send the troops into Ukraine or move planes into Ukrainian airspace,” Stoltenberg added.

Sending jets into Ukrainian airspace — ones similar enough to Ukraine’s MiG-29 Fulcrum and Su-27 Flanker fighters — would amount to military interference in Russia’s invasion of the neighboring country, Duda added. Critics of the plan have suggested following through would make targets of Poland and other countries who could potentially donate aircraft to the cause. Kevin Nieberg, a spokesperson for NATO’s Allied Air Command, declined to confirm the claims of jets on loan on Monday. The U.S. Air Force had “no plans so far” to send its own fighters to fill in for any NATO jets offered to Ukraine, he added.


A dizzying back-and-forth has unfolded on social media and in the press since Sunday, when Alexandre Krauss, a senior adviser to the EU Parliament, tweeted that European jets would arrive in Ukraine within an hour. That tweet is now deleted.


I am posting this becuase I keep seeing it claimed and referenced

Everywhere You Can Get Free Food & Tons of Other Food Deals This Month

Don't miss out on all the treats. We've pulled together the best deals here, and it's updated regularly.


It might not be in full swing, but it's time for spring. The long, cold winter is coming to an end. So, March is different than other recent months. But it's basically the same in that there are a boatload of food deals available if you know where to look. The arrival of spring brings with it food deal opportunities like Pi Day and St. Patrick's Day.

You're going to be able to dig up deals from fast food chains like Wendy's and McDonald's, fast casual hubs like IHOP, and local restaurants across the country. Check back often. We're updating this list of food deals frequently—sometimes daily—and there's always something worth giving a try. Here are the best food deals you'll find in March.

Ongoing Food & Drink Deals


There are over 150 deals at the link above

#Kharkiv will never forget #Ukraine will never forgive. The scale of destruction grows every day.

The amount of reparations to be payed by #Russia - unimaginable #StandWithUkraine


AutoCamp opens Airstream glamping site near Joshua Tree National Park


A clubhouse informed by Quonset huts features at an AutoCamp glamping site in southern California designed by American firms HKS and Narrative Design Studio. The property is located in the town of Joshua Tree – on the border of Joshua Tree National Park – which is three hours by car from Los Angeles. It is the fourth location from AutoCamp, which launched in 2013. Totalling 25 acres (10 hectares), the grounds offer around 50 customised Airstream trailers and a spacious clubhouse. Woven into the site are pathways, fire pits and a plunge pool. "One of the critical design drivers was to incorporate a feeling of both privacy and community on the property," said HKS, a Dallas-based firm.

"Intimate moments and privacy are encouraged at the Airstream campsites, but guests can also opt for shared spaces," the team added. HKS was tasked with designing the site's masterplan and architecture, including a clubhouse created in collaboration with San Francisco's Narrative Design Studio, which oversaw the interiors. Together, the firms worked to create a contextually appropriate building that captures the serenity of the desert. "The architecture nods to the eclectic nature of the town it resides, supplemented with a mid-century modern elegance," the team said.

The clubhouse consists of two joined structures that were informed by the Quonset hut – an arched, lightweight building that become popular during the Second World War. Exterior walls are wrapped in steel and thermally modified pine, and shading elements were incorporated to help reduce solar heat gain. In the summer, the area's temperatures can often exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius). The building is oriented in a way that takes advantage of summer breezes while providing shelter from winter winds. "HKS worked on multiple studies to identify the best orientation for the property and factor in Joshua Tree's intense climate," the team said.

"By shifting the axis of the property, HKS was able to provide a seamless indoor/outdoor experience that shades visitors from the desert sun and wind, while allowing views toward the vistas and beauty of Joshua Tree." The clubhouse encompasses lounge areas, a bar, a multipurpose room and a covered patio. The building is filled with warm hues, contemporary details and handcrafted pieces. A high, rounded ceiling provides a lofty feel. In a lounge area, woven chairs and sofas upholstered with waxed cotton-canvas surround a blocky, wooden coffee table. Underfoot, a textured rug lays atop concrete flooring.


Ukraine's EU membership: still some way off

There has been a positive response to the appeal by the Ukrainian president for EU membership. But it won’t come soon.


On Sunday, the fourth day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, its president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, appealed for it to be granted membership of the European Union. On Tuesday, members of the European Parliament overwhelmingly approved—with 637 votes in favour—a resolution which called for a range of measures and seemed to offer a European perspective to the country.

Ukraine expressed its interest in the EU soon after declaring its independence from the collapsing Soviet Union in 1991. This was understood as a foreign-policy reorientation which would open new prospects for co-operation with western countries and bring modernisation and socio-economic development.

It was not however until after the Eastern Partnership was established in 2009 that the EU-Ukraine relationship was institutionalised, through the conclusion in 2014 of the Association Agreement. The agreement is a comprehensive document—circa 2,140 pages, including 46 annexes, three protocols and a joint declaration—published in the Official Journal. The detailed provisions imply alignment of Ukrainian laws and policies with the EU acquis, which requires extensive legislative and regulatory approximation, including sophisticated mechanisms to secure the uniform interpretation and effective implementation of relevant EU legislation.

‘One of us’

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, told Euronews on Sunday that Ukraine is ‘one of us and we want them in the European Union’. But she does not have the power to grant any country accession, nor even to grant official candidate status. Such decisions are taken by the 27 member states in unanimity, after the applicant makes a formal request and the commission gives an official opinion.


The 34 Best Italian Restaurants in America

Check out these trattorias, osterias, pizzerias, and nonna-driven holes in the wall.


Italy had its Renaissance a few centuries ago, but in the American dining landscape, Italian food is in a constant state of reinvention and refinement. Trattorias, pastarias, osterias, pizzerias, and nonna-driven holes in the wall have woven themselves into the American culinary fabric, offering up everything from fine-dining experiences to the kinds of gut-busting feasts that leave everybody at the table comatose and feeling like family. For our little tour of Italy, we scoured the country to find a bit of everything. And while our focus veered from the little, old-school red-sauce joints, we’ve assembled a glorious cross-section of regional styles, innovative fusions of style, and wood-fired glory. Grab a bib. Pour a glass of wine. And get ready for a nap. These are the best Italian restaurants in America right now.

Caruso’s Grocery

Washington, DC

Modeled off a classic “red sauce” joint, this restaurant features Italian-American dishes you might order in The Bronx or Brooklyn. From handmade pasta dressed up in dishes like rigatoni alla vodka and five cheese ravioli to hand-pulled mozzarella with basil-marinated tomatoes, both the vibe and menu would make Tony Soprano proud. The concept comes from chef Matt Adler, who wanted guests at the 65-seat concept to feel like they’re at home for Sunday dinner. Popular dishes include the chicken parmigiana, pork chops pizzaiola-style, and dessert classics, like New York-style cheesecake with strawberry preserves and a transcendent tiramisu.

No. 246

Decatur, Georgia

No. 246 dishes out inventive Italian fare inspired by authentic flavors and local ingredients in a sleek, modern space that somehow makes the food feel even more convincingly Italian. From pasta to wood-fired oven-baked pizzas, the entirety of the menu is delicious, but it’s the meatball appetizer that can’t be glossed over. Made from fresh pork, veal, and beef, dusted with basil and Parmesan, and served on a bed of spicy tomato sauce, these meatballs definitely put all others to shame.


New York, New York

Chef Stefano Secchi brings the Northern Emilia Romagna region to NYC with Rezdôra, a rustic eatery that offers regional—and seasonal—favorites. The restaurant specializes in housemade pasta with dishes ranging from classic flavors like ragu tagliolini to those with more complexity like “grandma walking through forest in Emilia,” featuring cappelletti verdi with roasted leeks, baby leeks, and black mushroom puree. An entire section is also dedicated to appetizer-style cheeses, where items like truffle burrata and fresh bufala mozzarella make an appearance. The restaurant also offers a regional pasta tasting menu with a vegetarian option as well.


Mexico Nixes Russia Sanctions To Keep 'Good Relations', Whines About RT Being 'Censored'


Mexico has declined to impose any economic sanctions on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine, the country’s president said in a news conference Tuesday.

“We are not going to take any sort of economic reprisal because we want to have good relations with all the governments in the world,” President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said. “We do not consider that it corresponds to us, and we think that the best thing to do is to promote dialogue to achieve peace.”

The leader also condemned the “censorship” of Russian state media from platforms like Google and Facebook, after the social networks’ companies announced they would take steps to limit state-backed channels like RT.com.

Mexico’s policy departs sharply from the stance taken by many other countries in response to the Ukraine invasion. Several hit Russia with fresh sanctions and injunctions over the weekend, including the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Switzerland, Australia, and Taiwan. The U.S., the E.U., the U.K., and Canada all banned a number of Russian banks from SWIFT on Saturday.


Newsweek's Rightward Swing Has Kushner Written All Over It

In the first edition of Source Material, we look inside Newsweek’s rightward lurch, the NY Times’ succession drama, the hottest media club in town, and more.


WHERE KUSH GETS HIS NEWS(WEEK): Media observers have recently noted how Newsweek, once The Daily Beast’s partner publication, has lurched further and further rightward in its editorial voice. Source Material has learned that readers can at least partly thank Trump adviser Jared Kushner, who, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter, has maintained a cozy relationship with the outlet.

Throughout his father-in-law’s presidency, people familiar with the matter said, Kush often sought positive story placement, frequently talked as an unnamed source, and, where politically expedient, granted access to the White House (see: “Exclusive: Jared Kushner Gets Candid About Struggling Trump Campaign, Mideast Peace, More”). Newsweek CEO Dev Pragad is believed to have helped foster the relationship.

Meanwhile, under conservative firebrand Josh Hammer, who once caused a staff revolt over a racist birther op-ed, the outlet’s opinion page has seemingly gone off the deep end, publishing far-right “Pizzagate” conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec and MAGA diehard Charlie Kirk, whose utterings have become fodder for generic news write-ups at the outlet.

“News organizations are in contact with White House advisers as a matter of course, and our coverage of the Trump administration speaks for itself,” wrote a representative for Newsweek. “Our Opinion section also reflects our commitment to offering views and voices from across the spectrum, as our mission statement says.” Kushner didn’t immediately respond to Source Material’s requests for comment.


Russia imposes a de facto military censorship over its invasion of Ukraine

Echo of Moscow and TV Rain have reportedly been cut off the airwaves as Russia imposes a de facto military censorship over its invasion of Ukraine. Russian media have been banned from using the words “war, invasion or attack.” Predictably Orwellian turn as Russia bombs Ukraine.


Russia’s parliament is going to discuss criminalizing “spreading disinformation about the armed forces of the Russian Federation in any military conflicts” on Friday


The war censorship crackdown begins. Russian prosecutors want to ban independent channel
and liberal radio station
(owned by Gazprom!) for "calls to extremism" and "publishing false data about Russian soldiers" during the war in Ukraine


Russia is also threatening to ban Wikipedia for an article called “Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022” because of “illegally disseminated information” about Russian military and Ukrainian civilian casualties, as well as bank runs


Sweden's government calls for even tougher sanctions on Russia

Sweden's government has called for the European Union to impose tougher and more far-reaching sanctions on Russia, following the latest round announced on Sunday.


Hans Dahlgren, Sweden's EU minister, makes a call for tougher sanctions against Russia. Photo: Lars Schröder/TT

“This reckless invasion which Russia is now carrying out against Ukraine is a new and dark chapter in Europe’s history,” Hans Dahlgren, Sweden’s EU minister, said at a press conference on Tuesday. The EU had already put in place historic measures to support Ukraine, he said.

“But more is needed. This is about more and tougher sanctions against the Russian leadership, but also targeted support measures directly to Ukraine. They need to hit the Russian elite harder and more broadly,” Sweden, he said, wanted tougher measures against the billionaire oligarchs who give their support to Vladimir Putin, as well as against individuals connected to the Wagner Group, a mercenary organisation connected to the Russian government.

Dahlgren also called for faster action to end the so-called “golden passports and visas” offered by EU countries such as Malta, which allow wealthy Russians to receive citizenship or visas in exchange for inward investment. It was, he said, “a completely reprehensible business”.

Russian participation in international organisations should be further limited, he continues, and Russian competitors should be banned from all international sporting competitions. Sweden’s government is also pushing for Russia to be investigated for crimes against international law. President Putin, Dahlgren said, was responsible for “enormous human suffering”.


Swedish speakers can watch the press conference here:

English summary of this:

Hans Dahlgren: ”Nu behövs skarpare sanktioner och ännu större stöd”

https://www.regeringen.se/artiklar/2022/03/hans-dahlgren-nu-behovs-skarpare-sanktioner-och-annu-storre-stod/ (in Swedish)

Hans Dahlgren: “Tougher sanctions and even greater support are what’s needed now”

Minister for EU Affairs Hans Dahlgren today presented six areas in which Sweden is pushing for the EU to take further decisions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These would entail additional and tougher sanctions against the Russian leadership and increased direct support to Ukraine.

The Government is working intensively to ensure that the EU takes new measures in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. At a press briefing on Tuesday 1 March, Minister for EU Affairs Hans Dahlgren presented six areas in which Sweden wants the EU to take joint decisions without delay.

“Europe is in an extraordinary situation that requires extraordinary measures. So far, the EU’s response to Russia’s aggression has been powerful and united. Historic, large-scale sanctions have been imposed and now both financial support and defence materiel are being provided to Ukraine. But even more is needed,” says Mr Dahlgren.

In the EU, Sweden is now pushing for the following six measures:

1. Tougher and broader sanctions against Russia’s top leaders. This would include sanctions targeting even more oligarchs who prop up Putin’s regime, and even more people with ties to the ‘Wagner Group’, a Russian mercenary organisation that commits violations and abuses in conflicts around the world.

2. The sale of EU passports to Russian citizens must stop. These so-called golden passports enable Russian oligarchs to become citizens of, and gain access to, the European Union from certain Member States.

3. A joint EU position on excluding all elite athletes from the Russian Federation from all international exchanges.

4. Long-term support to Ukraine to strengthen the country over time. The Government therefore wants the EU to reprioritise existing funds in the EU budget to increase support to Ukraine.

5. Isolate Russia further by restricting its participation in international organisations as done, for example, by the Council of Europe. The EU should now move forward and take another look at what can be done to further isolate Russia within international organisations. A similar inventory will also be taken in Sweden.

6. Initiate investigations into the very serious reports now emerging from Ukraine of widespread violations of international law. The Government will initiate the establishment of an international mechanism to collect facts and investigate alleged crimes so that those responsible can be held accountable.

At the press briefing, Mr Dahlgren emphasised the importance of the EU as Sweden’s most important arena for foreign and security policy cooperation. The scale of sanctions so far adopted by both Sweden and the EU is historic.

“Russia’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine is a new dark chapter in the history of Europe. But the attack on Ukraine has clearly demonstrated the unity of the EU’s 27 Member States against Russian aggression and for solidarity with the Ukrainian people. Now is the time for even tougher sanctions and even greater support,” said Mr Dahlgren.
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