Twitter under Elon Musk's ownership has played a major role in allowing Russian propaganda about Ukraine to reach more people than before the war began, according to a year-long study released this week by the European Commission.
🇪🇺🇵🇸 EUROPEAN UNION COMMISSION ANNOUNCES THEY WILL NOT BE SUSPENDING AID TO PALESTINE AFTER MEMBER REVOLT
The European Commission announced on Monday they would be suspending aid to Palestine, then quickly backtracked, further announcing aid would NOT be suspended.
Earlier Monday, European Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi had told reporters that all payments from the development program for Palestinians would be "immediately suspended" with "all projects put under review. All budget proposals... postponed until further notice."
Then later today, the European Commission released a short statement saying, "there will be no suspension of payments."
The initial announcement took member states by surprise, with Spain, Ireland and Luxembourg dissenting and critics accusing the European Union of collective punishment against Palestinian civilians.
“[Foreign Minister] Jose Manuel Albares called European Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi to say he disagrees with this decision,” Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said following the initial announcement.
“Our understanding is that there is no legal basis for a unilateral decision of this kind by an individual commissioner and we do not support a suspension of aid,” a spokesman for Ireland’s foreign ministry had also said.
Luxembourg's Foreign Minister followed suit, expressing their refusal to support the proposal.
Over 500 children have been killed in Gaza in the last week and over 2,000 maimed, many with life changing injuries. Nobody can claim they do not know what is already happening or what is about to unfold. The cutting off of food and water to Gaza is a major international crime, which the western proponents of the “rules based order” universally refuse to condemn.
In both the UK and the US there can be no more stark illustration of the lack of any kind of meaningful democracy, than the fact that there is no major political party that opposes the genocide – despite massive public opposition.
The bought and paid for media and political class in the west are extremely nervous, throughout the western world. Now they have come to the final genocide for which zionism has always aimed, they face a good deal of popular resistance.
Throughout Europe there is a massive gap between the zionist unanimity of the politicians and the much greater understanding of the Palestinian situation among the general public. Tellingly the response by the zionist political class has been a wave of outright fascist suppression.
In France, Macron has made all pro-Palestinian demonstrations illegal, but as so often the French people are not standing for that kind of authoritarianism.
In the UK, the police have adopted the cowardly tactic of arresting a couple of individuals, one in Brighton and one in Manchester, for pro-Palestinian demonstration. Under Tony Blair’s notorious draconian “anti-terror” legislation, they could face up to 14 years in prison.
The young man in Manchester was arrested on the precise site of the famous “Peterloo massacre”, which generations of British people were taught at school was a terrible crime in breach of the rights to freedom of speech and assembly. Let the irony of that set in.
You can go out in the streets of the UK with an Israeli flag and yell that you want every Palestinian to be cleansed from Gaza. That is not illegal. If you say the Palestinians have a right to resist their genocide, that is illegal.
That appears to be a genuine analysis of the law in the UK, France and many other western countries.
That is intended to terrify all of us. It will not work.
The European Commission has been ferociously zionist and gung-ho for this Palestinian genocide. It displayed the Israeli flag on its Berlaymont headquarters. It has taken a side in the most ferocious way.
It is therefore deeply sinister that the European Commission is actively working to shut down pro-Palestinian information and comment on social media. The European Commission has written to all major social media organisations and is able to threaten them with massive fines if they do not remove information of which the European Union disapproves.
The notion is plainly nonsense that through the fog of war the European Commission – which is 100% parti pris – is qualified to say what information is true and what information is false, and what comment is legitimate.
Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner in charge of this operation, is a former chief executive of electronic companies – and defence contractors – Atos and Thomson. He has no genuine interest in freedom of speech, and is engaged in a process of silencing dissent for military aims, which is quite simply fascist.
We are witnessing almost all western governments deliberately facilitating massacre, ethnic cleansing and genocide. We are witnessing almost all western governments turning on their own people to crush dissent at that complicity in genocide.
This feels not so much like the week that western democracy died, as the week it was impossible any longer to deny that western democracy died some time ago.
“European leaders have granted Ukraine candidate status, in a historic decision that opens the door to EU membership for the war-torn country and deals a blow to Vladimir Putin.
EU leaders meeting in Brussels approved Ukraine’s candidate status on Thursday night, nearly four months after the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, launched his country’s bid to join the bloc in the early days of the Russian invasion. Moldova was also given candidate status.
Zelenskiy immediately welcomed the move, calling it “a unique and historic moment” in relations with the 27-nation bloc. “Ukraine’s future is in the EU,” he tweeted.
The move from applicant to candidate usually takes years, but the EU has dramatically accelerated the process, amid outrage over the brutality of the unprovoked Russian attack, and to show solidarity with Ukraine’s defenders.
“Ukraine is going through hell for a simple reason: its desire to join the EU,” tweeted the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, on the eve of the summit. The commission last week called on EU leaders to grant Ukraine’s candidate status. “Our opinion acknowledges the immense progress that [Ukrainian] democracy has achieved since the Maidan protests of 2014,” Von der Leyen said.
Earlier, Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said candidate status would “draw a line under decades of ambiguity and set it in stone: Ukraine is Europe, not part of the ‘Russian world’”.”
This does not mean that Ukraine is part of the EU right now, but it’s a step in that direction.
“Candidate country status does not give an automatic a right to join the EU. The Commission scrutinises the application in the light of the accession criteria (Copenhagen criteria), while the accession process starts with the European Council decision to open accession negotiations.
Depending on their circumstances, a candidate country may be required to institute a reform process to bring their legislation in line with the EU acquis and to strengthen their infrastructure and administration if necessary. The accession process is based on the pre-accession strategy, which provides instruments such as financial aid.
Accession and membership of the EU depends on the progress made by the candidate country, which is regularly assessed and monitored by the Commission.”
-from Practical Law
Here’s a little more information about what the rest of the process could look like.
BRUSSELS, June 14 (Reuters) - Alphabet's (GOOGL.O) Google may have to sell part of its lucrative adtech business to address concerns about anti-competitive practices, EU regulators said on Wednesday, threatening the company with its harshest regulatory penalty to date.
The European Commission set out its charges in a statement of objections to Google two years after opening an investigation into behaviours such as favouring its own advertising services, which could also lead to a fine of as much as 10% of Google's annual global turnover.
The stakes are higher for Google in this latest clash with regulators as it concerns the company's biggest money maker, with the advertising business accounting for 79% of total revenue last year.
Its 2022 advertising revenue, including from search services, Gmail, Google Play, Google Maps, YouTube adverts, Google Ad Manager, AdMob and AdSense, amounted to $224.5 billion.
Google has a few months to respond to the charge. It can also ask for a closed hearing in front of senior Commission antitrust officials and their national counterparts before the EU issues a decision in a process that could take a year or more. The company also could potentially settle by offering stronger remedies than previously proposed.
EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said Google may have to sell part of its adtech business because a behavioural remedy is unlikely to be effective at stopping the anti-competitive practices.
"For instance, Google could divest its sell-side tools, DFP and AdX. By doing so, we would put an end to the conflicts of interest," she told a news conference.
"Of course I know this is a strong statement but it is a reflection of the nature of the markets, how they function and also why a behavioural commitment seemed to be out of the question."
Google said it disagreed with the Commission's charge.
"The Commission's investigation focuses on a narrow aspect of our advertising business and is not new. We disagree with the EC's view," Dan Taylor, Google's vice president of global ads, said in a statement.
Vestager said investigations would continue into Google's introduction of a privacy sandbox set of tools to block third party cookies on its Chrome browser and its plan to stop making the advertising identifier available to third parties on Android smartphones.
She said the EU had closely cooperated with competition authorities in the United States and the UK.
The European Publishers Council, which filed a complaint to the Commission last year, welcomed the charge.
The Commission said Google favours its own online display advertising technology services to the detriment of competing providers of advertising technology services, advertisers and online publishers.
It said Google has abused its dominance since 2014 by favouring its own ad exchange AdX in the ad selection auction by its dominant publisher ad server DFP, and also by favouring AdX in the way its ad buying tools Google Ads and DV360 place bids on ad exchanges.
Google is the world's dominant digital advertising platform with a 28% market share of global ad revenue, according to research firm Insider Intelligence.
Google had sought to settle the case three months after the investigation was opened but regulators grew frustrated with the slow pace and the lack of substantial concessions, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters previously.
Yesterday, Monday 3 July, was the deadline for large, systemic platforms to notify the Commission that they meet the thresholds to qualify as gatekeepers under the Digital Markets Act (DMA).
The companies who declared meeting the thresholds are:
These companies have a market size that impacts the internal market (annual turnover in Europe of at least €7.5 billion in the last three financial years or fair market value of at least €75 billion in the last financial year and operations in at least 3 Member States) and have served more than 45 million monthly active end users and more than 10 000 yearly active business users in the EU during the last three years on a number of core platform services, such as search engines, social networking services and operating systems.
We will now check their submissions and designate the gatekeepers for specific platform services by 6 September (within 45 working days from their submission).
And then, gatekeepers will have 6 months to comply with the DMA rules:
They will no longer be able to lock in users in their ecosystem.
They will no longer be able to decide which apps you need to have pre-installed on your devices; which app store you have to use.
They will not be able to “self-preference”: exploiting the advantage of being the gatekeeper by treating their own products and services more favorably.
Their messaging apps will have to interoperate with others.
And so on…
Consumers will have more services to choose from, more opportunities to switch providers, and will benefit from better prices and higher quality services.
Innovative companies will no longer be prevented from reaching new customers.
That is what the DMA is all about.
With the Digital Markets Act, together with the Digital Services Act and the Data Act – and soon with the AI Act, Europe is completely reorganising its digital space to both better protect EU citizens and enhance innovation for EU startups and companies!
From the Beitar Illit settlement, which was hit by a missile attack launched from Gaza a short while ago, and reports indicate a number of injuries at the place. This settlement is located 10 kilometers south of Jerusalem, and is inhabited by about 100,000 settlers who live on an area of about 4,300 dunams
🇪🇺🇵🇸 EUROPEAN UNION COMMISSION SUSPENDS ALL AID TO PALESTINIANS
The European Commission on Monday told reporters it was putting its full €691 million [$728 million] portfolio for development aid to Palestinians on hold until it can be fully reviewed.
Under the current regime, the European Union would invest €1.2 billion [$1.265 billion] from 2021 through 2024 for Palestinian development aid.
Separately, both Germany and Austria have announced they will be reviewing aid to Palestine, with Austria suspending aid until the review is completed.
"The scale of terror and brutality against Israel and its people is a turning point," Oliver Varhelyi, the European Union Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, said in a post on X.
"There can be no business as usual," he continued, adding: "The foundations for peace, tolerance and co-existence must now be addressed. Incitement to hatred, violence and glorification of terror have poisoned the minds of too many. We need action and we need it now."