Emerging voices from choked society

A Spring bringing uprisings

In the Spring of 1989, the year of the turning point in political history with the “Revolutions of 1989” sweeping the Eastern Bloc, starting in Poland and Hungary, young people in China came out to voice their displeasure of the turn of events.

China came to hear about youngsters, mainly university students, having a growing sentiment for political and economic reform. Though at that time we in the West could already see how china had changed its path and started to follow the capitalist countries. We could nearly say China was going to become a hyper-capitalist country. More and more it looked like the Chines government had no eye for the ordinary people but gave in to the big bosses of big companies and those who managed to gain a lot of money. Priorities were made to create a superpower on economic level, no matter what impact or what sacrifices were demanded from the ordinary citizens.

The country had experienced a decade of remarkable economic growth and it gave the impression there was some more liberty to the people than in the previous decades. Many chines were also allowed to go abroad where they could also see how the Europeans had created a welfare state.  Being exposed to foreign ideas and standards of living they brought several ideas to their home country and tried also to implement some ideas in their culture. Although the economic advances in China had brought new prosperity to many citizens, it was accompanied by price inflation and opportunities for corruption by government officials. Many disgusting practices of certain Chinese who held higher positions came to light and stung the eyes of ordinary people.

National Emblem of ChinaSince the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), founded as both a political party and a revolutionary movement in 1921 by revolutionaries such as Li Dazhao and Chen Duxiu, has been in sole control of that country’s government.

Free-market economic reforms

When one of the proteges of Deng Xiaoping, Zhao Ziyang was succeeded by Jiang Zemin in 1989 as general secretary of the CCP the leaders of the CCP hoped to have a compromise choice combining a commitment to continued free-market economic reforms with a determination to preserve the CCP’s monopoly on political power. It was for all clear they should not give any power away.

Normally in a nation where everybody should be on equal terms, the reforms of the 1980s had led to a nascent market economy that benefited some people but seriously disadvantaged others. Furthermore were there questions on the matter of regulating the country. The one-party political system faced a challenge to its legitimacy. Common grievances at the time included inflation, corruption, limited preparedness of graduates for the new economy, and restrictions on political participation. {Brook 1998, p. 216.}

Calling for more individual rights and freedom

But those student-led demonstrations calling for more individual rights and freedoms in late 1986 and early 1987 were a thorn in the CCP’s side. They caused hard-liners in the government and Chinese Communist Party to suppress what they termed “bourgeois liberalism.” They were convinced that the freedoms previously given and the view of Europe allowed, had spoiled the young people to such an extent that they no longer had a sober view for what was best for the community, but were rather concerned with their own personal gain.

Události na náměstí Tian an men, Čína 1989, foto Jiří Tondl.jpg

People protesting near the Monument to the People’s Heroes

When pro-reform CCP general secretary Hu Yaobang (Hu Yao-pang) died in April 1989 his death sparked a series of demonstrations led by students and others (the Tiananmen Square incident) that culminated on the night of June 3–4 with the forceful suppression of demonstrators at Tiananmen Square in Beijing and elsewhere in the country.

Shortly after the arrival of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in mid-May, a demonstration in Tiananmen Square drew some one million participants and was widely broadcast overseas. Moderates, such as Zhao Ziyang (Hu Yaobang’s successor as party general secretary), advocated negotiating with the demonstrators and offering concessions. But those who felt that one should not pander to the pampered students at all, found more supporters to take stricter action against the protesters, who were therefore dealt with harshly. As the protests spread to other cities and threatened the central authority, the government imposed martial law and in early June forcibly suppressed the demonstrators in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Dissolution of Soviet states not bringing communist regime in danger

Unlike what happened in Europe with the opening of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet communist regime, the Chinese communist regime turned out to be much stronger and could suppress the population. Party members who listened to the students’ grievances were also dealt with harshly and given house arrest. Though Zhao could retain his party membership, he was formally dismissed from his top party and government posts and got replaced as general secretary by Jiang Zemin.

One could say that in 1989 revolutions against communist governments in Eastern Europe mainly succeeded, but it did not succeed in China, where now more than 30 years later again students are stepping forwards to raise their voices. But this time, after a fire in a tower flat, more adults are joining them.

In previous years, the Chinese government has made every effort to keep the events of the Tiananmen Square battlefield quiet and out of the people’s memory.

China’s zero-Covid policy in 2022

A worker wearing protective equipment stands inside a temporary Covid-19 testing laboratory in northern China’s Tianjin Municipality, Tuesday, January 11, 2022

At the beginning of this year China’s northern Tianjin province launched a major emergency response to ensure residents had adequate daily supplies as it tackled a new wave of coronavirus.

Officials had mobilised all major wholesale suppliers, supermarkets and shops to ensure they met the demand for meat, eggs and vegetables. Stocks had increased as the municipality, which has a population of 13.8 million, launches measures to contain the spread of the omicron variant.

Tianjin city — which lies 80 miles south-east of the capital Beijing — moved swiftly after 20 people tested positive for Covid-19 Friday January 7. On Tuesday 11 this had increased to 33.

Authorities initiated a city-wide nucleic acid testing programme, which had proven effective in containing the spread of coronavirus in Xi’an in the central Shaanxi sheng (province).

It enabled health officials there to identify the sources and implement lockdowns and centralised quarantines for those infected.

Western media had reported food shortages in Tianjin, but authorities said that there was adequate supply after stocks were briefly depleted following the panic buying of pork, eggs and other goods.

The province was the latest to be hit by a Covid-19 outbreak, the north-eastern Shaanxi Province reporting nearly 2,000 cases since December and with other smaller outbreaks in Guangdong, Zhejiang and Henan.

Isolation

Thanks to the Beijing Winter Olympics, you’ve probably heard a lot about China in the  weeks around 2021-22. But there’s a side of China which many probably have not seen before. For years it was difficult for gay people to express themselves in China. Many faced hardships because of who they are or who they love. Isolation is one of the worst enemies of queer people struggling with their identities. Now they could have it worse, because some thought they were spreaders of the disease. Also when citizens were placed in lockdown they could not go to visit eachother.

China’s zero-Covid policy — under fire from a number of Western countries — has seen it record just 67 deaths since January 2021, and fewer than 5,000 since the outbreak began.

Whilst Coronavirus restrictions were beginning to be eased in many Western countries,  China remained committed to its strict ‘zero-Covid’ policies. But that policy started to give a strain on the country.

On the 12th of March China‘s new COVID-19 cases had more than doubled, compared to the previous day as the so-called stealth Omicron variant tests the nation’s zero-tolerance coronavirus policy and fueled a new outbreak. The National Health Commission reported 3,507 new locally spread cases over 24 hours, up from 1,337 the previous day but still far lower than caseloads in many other countries. China on Monday March 14 locked down all 24 million residents of northeastern Jilin province in the country’s first such province-wide lockdown since Wuhan and Hubei in January 2020, early in the pandemic. Along the coast of the South China Sea and immediately north of Hong Kong, Shenzhen city, which has a population of 17.5 million, started a week-long lockdown on Monday, with all public transport and non-essential businesses shut down.

You have to imagine it, that nobody around you can leave the house, and that food is provided at your doorstep by teams in white suits. The only contact with other people being by phone and computer. No real-life contact with other people, than those in the building. And couples of the same sex had now difficulties having food for two and could be unmasked as homosexuals in their premises, bringing them in danger of being locked up as perverted sick creatures.

People expressing anger over the lockdown

On the 5th of April China extended Shanghai‘s coronavirus lockdown to cover the financial hub’s entire population of 26 million after city-wide testing found daily new cases surging to more than 13,000. The broadening restrictions came as residents of China‘s largest city were already expressing anger over the lockdown. Outside experts warned the campaign’s economic cost would be huge. China had brought in at least 38,000 personnel from other regions in what state media called the country’s biggest medical operation since the Wuhan shutdown in early 2020. Thousands of Shanghai residents who had tested positive were been confined to “central quarantine” facilities whether they were symptomatic or not, with children sometimes separated from their parents. We could see pictures on televisions with big dormitories full of children separated from their parents for days and weeks.

Airports, companies and paralysis of economic development

In 2021 seven of the top 10 busiest airports in the world were in China, but because of the lockdowns and the restrictions on traveling it mostly became very quiet at Chinese airports and railway stations.

At the beginning of this year Atlanta could reclaim its title as the busiest airport in the world, after Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport dropped one spot last year.
The world’s 10 busiest airports accommodated 463 million passengers in 2021, a 52 percent increase over 2020 but still 29 percent below pre-pandemic levels in 2019. In 2021, eight of the top 10 passenger airports were in the United States.

Each time there was another hotbed of Covid, the Chinese government took such harsh measures that social but also economic life came to a standstill. No one could go to work and businesses simply shut down for days, not to say weeks. This brought the production of goods to a halt in many cities, which also affected the export of products to the West.

Ongoing supply-chain clogs and China coronavirus restrictions costed Tesla a month of production at its Shanghai factory.

“Shanghai is coming back with a vengeance,”

Elon Musk said. He said Tesla would produce more than 1.5 million vehicles this year, 60 percent more than last year.

Though all the restrictions and factories shut down for some time, China has been making a concerted effort to strike new trade and security deals with Pacific island nations.

Workers in protective suits stand at a closed residential area during lockdown, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Shanghai, China, May 23, 2022 (Credit: Aly Song/Reuters)In July 2022, after two-and-a-half years of the Covid-19 pandemic, many countries have lifted restrictions – but cases were once again on the rise. As the World Health Organisation warned that the pandemic was “nowhere near over”, and scientists analysed how to tackle the latest variants, governments looked for measures that could be sufficient to contain the disease without unduly burdening the population.

Mr.Jiang Zemin, the Chinese official, a wily and garrulous politician, who following the forceful suppression of demonstrations in Beijing and elsewhere in 1989, and had become general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP; 1989–2002) afterwards guiding China into Global Market, died at the end of November, at 96.

Broader demands

At the end of November protests against Covid restrictions evolved into broader demands.

The protests have been fueled by anger over an apartment building fire in the capital city of the Uygur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang, northwestern China. Many attributed the tragedy at Urumqi, that killed 10 people, to Covid restrictions that confined people to their homes, a suspicion that officials have denied.

At the time of the corona measures in Belgium and the Netherlands there were many protesters making a lot of amok makers who ranted loudly and who raged hard, destroying a lot of private and state property to enforce their views. Those anti-vaxxers probably had no idea how free they still were, especially compared to the Chinese.

In China, the protesters’ calls for an end to lockdowns have morphed into demands for official accountability and even for China’s leader, Xi Jinping, to step down.

In Shanghai on Sunday, protesters had gathered at Urumqi Road, named after the city, when the man stepped onto the road.

“I’m holding flowers — is that a crime?”

the man asked loudly, as dozens of police officers drew closer. The crowd responded:

“No!”

Corona measures and a choice that the people are now unwilling to accept

Since the Corona outbreak and its choice to limit the spread, the CCP has made a choice that the people are now unwilling to accept. The children of those who do remember the 1989 uprising could talk to their relatives about it during the past few months, but could also give them advice on how to be careful not to externalise their protest.

The protests that erupted across China’s streets and campuses this past weekend were among the broadest and boldest challenges to China’s leadership since the student-led pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

To avoid the police having a reason to arrest them for unauthorised protest, many protesters now wore a blank white sheet, such that they could not be charged for expressing certain things. But on that front too, the government intervened and banned the sale of A4 paper the day before yesterday.

China has never abandoned its dream of eliminating Covid, and thought that only serious measures could eliminate the spreading of the disease.

Zero-Covid might briefly have seemed clever, such as at New Year 2021 when many western countries were trying and failing to control Covid with belated lockdowns but the Chinese were allowed to celebrate the festival in near-normal fashion. But that faded quickly once the West became vaccinated and the inevitable outbreaks continued to occur in China. It didn’t help that China’s vaccines were significantly inferior to those developed in the West.

Also, according to the citizens, the measures were far too severe, especially with the unauthorised encroachments of many citizens, some of whom did not even have corona at all, but were just unlucky enough to live near infected people.

Growing protests

Protesters march towards a local government building

Protesters marching towards the local government building following the Ürümqi fire in a residential high-rise, on 24 November 2022

Last week the protests started to grow. More people daring to step out of their barricaded apartment blocs. As more protesters and police officers gathered on the streets, many wondered what would happen next, some police officers compassionate to those who were (unjustly) incarcerated, whilst others were afraid they would become infected with that horrible virus.

 “You could feel the intensity in the air,”

said one protester in Shanghai, who asked to be identified only by the surname Liu for fear of official reprisals. This time many of the protesters took pictures of the situation and placed it on social media or sent it to friends abroad, before the government could closedown the internet.

At a university in the eastern port city on the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang), Nanjing, twice serving as the seat of revolutionary government, protesters turned their cellphone flashlights on and raised the devices into the air in a tribute to the victims of the Urumqi fire.

Whilst in the world’s most populous national capital city, with over 21 million residents, Beijing‘ residents gathered at the banks of the Liangma River chanting slogans popularised by a lone protester who had boldly denounced China’s leader last month. The man had displayed banners on Sitong Bridge in the city’s north, days ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at which CCP general secretary Xi cemented a new term in power.

A slogan on one of the banners referred to the Cultural Revolution, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, launched by the principal Chinese Marxist theorist, soldier, and Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-tung) during his last decade in power (1966–76) to renew the spirit of the Chinese Revolution. It was a time of fanaticism and radicalism that demonstrated the risks of autocratic rule, not wanting China to develop along the lines of the Soviet model.

The protesters in Shanghai also turned a Communist Party slogan popularised by Mao Zedong, “Serve the people,” into a pointed reminder to the police of who they were meant to protect.

It can be said that it has been unseen, so many people even shouting not only to have Xi step down but also to get rid of the CCP. Today as in Mao’s time China is again facing an economic depression, partly caused by overproduction and by certain factories not being able to produce enough products for export to Europe and the U.S.A., but also by having lots of workers not able to go to work because of their restriction to go to other places.  But at the same time lots of factory workers were locked in the company where they worked and not allowed to leave there for days because of the corona lockdown. One can imagine how frustrated those people must have been that they could not go home or to their families, but were locked up like animals in a cage, with insufficient food and water supply. Because of the inability to carry out their operations, many small traders also ran into problems.

Some cases became very absurd, people being in places, suddenly feeling trapped not being allowed to get out. This happened a.o. with Shanghai Disney for a second time, which includes Disneyland and its surrounding shopping districts, when it announced the closure of the park shortly after 11:30 a.m. local time, citing compliance with COVID-19 regulations, the park barring people from exiting until they could provide a negative COVID-19 test. Similarly, there was a case in Shanghai in August, when a lockdown was imposed at an IKEA branch, sending the shoppers scrambling for the exit to avoid being locked inside.

China’s staunch commitment to its zero-COVID policy in order to eradicate any outbreak of the disease has led to millions of residents being confined to their homes and other locations. Long lockdowns in large cities like Shanghai have made the policy increasingly unpopular with Chinese residents. {Visitors trapped inside Shanghai Disney resort after lockdown imposed}

Eventually, those restrictions had to result in protests.

Foreign anti-Chinese forces and patriots

The Chinese government actually wants to pin the current protests on incitement from the West, which, according to the CCP, wants to undermine China. When in Beijing a man with a megaphone warned a crowd that there were

“foreign anti-Chinese forces in our midst,”

protesters erupted with a series of clever retorts.

“We are all patriots,”

one replies.

“By foreign forces, are you referring to Marx and Engels?”

another asked, referring to the Communist Party’s own roots in the ideas of the two German philosophers.

In September, a bus headed to quarantine in the province of Guizhou crashed and killed 27 people, fueling nationwide anger over China’s zero-Covid policy, and now people dared to ask

“Was the Guizhou bus flipped over by foreign forces too?”

The population is now all too aware that the CCP is all too easily willing to blame the West for things going wrong in the country, because of their own fault. For the government to claim that these protesters were allegedly summoned by Western powers is a bridge too far for them, as they themselves want change out of love for their homeland and for their own people.

“Were we all called here by foreign forces?”

one man asks the crowd.

“No!”

they answer in unison

In a remarkable display of dissent coupled with patriotism, protesters in Shanghai chanted

“Arise, arise!”

a line from

“March of the Volunteers,”

National anthem of ROC score.gif

National Anthem of the Republic of China

the Chinese national anthem once used to galvanise Chinese against Japanese troops during the Sino-Japanese war.

For years, the party assumed that the expression of patriotism should also be an acknowledgement that people loved the CCP.
Now that they have been curtailed by the party for several years to travel, interact with each other in all circumstances, move freely around the country as well as express themselves freely, they are questioning their choice or their acceptance of the leading group of the party apparatus.

If the party does not want to comply this time and suppress the protests as it did in 1989, there is a great danger that this time the people will not allow themselves to be done at all and will be strong enough to go into full resistance. Then China will be looking squarely at a new revolution.

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Preceding

The unseen enemy

CoViD-19 Curation

Coronavirus on March 11 declared a global pandemic on March 31 affecting more than 177 countries

Remembering what happened in the previous influenza pandemic

Staying at home saves lives

Unlikely silence

Keeping healthy whilst not going to far away from home

No time yet to relax the CoViD-19 restriction measures

Fast-rising energy prices attract China to capitalise on them

How will China ease policy in response to the power cuts and Evergrande?

The New Imperialist Structure

European Council meeting of 20 – 21 October 2022

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Additional reading

  1. Violent riots against Corona-measures
  2. Demonstrators once again on the streets to oppose all corona measures
  3. Federal PM condemns Sunday’s violence on the streets of Brussels
  4. New coronavirus measures having come into force
  5. Looking at 2021 in a nutshell
  6. The first week of February 2022
  7. A pandemic, Inflation and Hyperinflation
  8. Omicron variant probably the most significant threat since the start of the pandemic
  9. The first week of March 2022 looked at by the Guardian
  10. 2022 March 21-31 according to the Week
  11. Stories the Week brought to you from 2022 June 02 – June 08
  12. Asia in review for the first half of September
  13. Danny Boyle looking at The Telegraph’s front page for 2022/10/17
  14. The Telegraph’s Frontpage in the morning of 2022/11/03
  15. The Telegraph Frontpage for Friday 2022 November 25
  16. The Telegraph Frontpage for 2022 November 28
  17. The Telegraph Frontpage for 2022 November 29

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Southern Ukrainian city Kherson back in the hands of Ukraine

Many people, especially Ukrainians, hoped that after Russian troops fled the southern Ukrainian city Kherson, we could now start looking forward to a further withdrawal of the Russian army and a coming end to the war in Ukraine.

The Russian military’s order on Wednesday 9 November for troops to retreat from the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson was a major setback on the battlefield. And Putin’s decision not to go to the Group of 20 summit in Indonesia underlines his diminishing diplomatic clout.

Putin wasn’t present when his defence minister and top military commander in Ukraine announced the pull-out in a televised meeting. The Kremlin isn’t eager to associate the president with defeats that contradict his claim to have annexed Kherson and three other Ukrainian territories forever. On television General Sergei Surovikin, the commander of Russia’s forces in Ukraine, said he believed that the time has come to withdraw from Kherson. The reason was given to save the lives of Russian soldiers, who faced being cut off if they did not retreat to the right bank of the Dnieper River. Television anchors appeared visibly upset even reading the news.

Not everyone felt comfortable when it was announced and could see the Russian soldiers crossing the right (west) bank of the lower Dnieper River over the pontoon to leave Kherson behind. They destroyed the last road bridges over the Dnipro river, which bisects Ukraine, as its forces completed their withdrawal. A railway bridge upstream was also destroyed as Russia’s forces made their hasty getaway, while satellite imagery from Maxar appeared to show damage to the bridge over the Kakhova dam.

Igor Konashenkov, Russia’s defence ministry spokesman, said its military had completed the “redeployment” in the early hours of Friday morning, without leaving any hardware behind or suffering any casualties. Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, said Russia had no regrets about annexing Kherson in September and said the decision to withdraw was made entirely by the ministry of defence. He also said that Russia continues to consider Kherson its territory, despite the withdrawal of its troops from the city.

It was feared at first, that the withdrawal could be a trap. Russia’s position to the north and west of the Dnieper River has been untenable for some months now. Ukrainian officials had initially feared a ruse in the Russian announcement of a pullback, which followed days of enigmatic declarations from the occupying authorities, but the Ukrainian troops dared to come closer to the Crimean Peninsula and ventured into what once was the first Russian naval base and shipyard on the Black Sea.

Following a remarkable change in fortunes, Volodymyr Zelensky’s forces re-entered the city in the most important victory for Ukraine since its defence of Kyiv in March. Locals in previously occupied areas were seen pulling down Russian propaganda posters and welcoming the soldiers as liberators and heroes in jubilant scenes.

Many people on the route to the city as well as in the city are overwhelmed with emotions. As they greet the men, they seem to forget for a moment their difficulties and compassionate living conditions. But we can find also lots of realistic citizens who say

“I want to celebrate, but something tells me it is not over yet, the Russians can’t be giving up so easily, not after everything that has happened.”

Nor should we lose sight of how the Russians have been trying to destroy the entire energy supply infrastructure in recent days. The Ukrainians have all reason to be scared for the winter and to worry the city will become a battleground again. Some do know

“We will be in the firing line.”

The few residents that remained in Kherson during the lengthy occupation endured curfews, food shortages, partisan warfare and a brutal campaign to force them to become Russian citizens. But as has happened in other wars, they could also find collaborators. Now the question is how they will deal with such pro-Russian citizens and how their revenge will be sweet or sour.

Both the Kherson Oblast and city governments returned to the city on Nov. 12, one day after Ukrainian troops liberated Kherson after over eight months of Russian occupation.

File:Будинок колишньої Херсонської міської думи (мур.) 2.jpg

Kherson Art Museum (also known as the Shovkunenko Kherson Regional Art Museum)

The Ukrainian military’s National Resistance Center said that Russian soldiers and collaborators had robbed the Oleksiy Shovkunenko Kherson Art Museum among others. The museum’s collection includes religious paintings of the 17th and early 20th centuries, Ukrainian art of the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and works of contemporary artists, according to the centre.

The Kremlin sought to distance President Vladimir Putin from the retreat in Kherson, saying the decision to withdraw Russian forces came from the defence minister.

Russian shortage of modern weapons due to the Western sanctions is pushing Moscow to purchase weapons from world pariahs, according to Vadym Skibitskyi, a representative of the Defense Ministry’s Intelligence Directorate.

The hope that Putin would accept the hand for peace offering from Zelensky is idle. Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson is eroding confidence in Vladimir Putin’s commitment and ability to deliver his war promises, the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest assessment. On Nov. 12, a pro-war Russian ideologist Alexander Dugin openly criticised Putin — whom he referred to as the autocrat — for failing to uphold Russian ideology by surrendering Kherson. Russian irredentists still expect their leader to unite former parts of the Soviet Union into a unified Russian Federation. To which belong already Crimea, Southern and Eastern Ukraine and Kyiv should also come included.

Even as his difficulties mount at home and abroad, though, there’s no sign yet that the Russian leader is ready to throw in the towel and sue for peace. Putin’s room for manoeuvre is narrowing all the same. The question is how he will continue to be able to justify the fact that more than 100 000 Russian soldiers have already been killed.

On Nov. 14, Kherson Oblast Governor Yaroslav Yanushevych asked people to avoid gathering in the central part of liberated Kherson as sappers need to demine it first.

“The enemy has mined nearly everything (in Kherson). Please, avoid crowded places,”

Yanushevych said.

For the moment, there is no stopping the invaders and the Russians again bombarded the country on all sides yesterday.

According to Belarusian monitoring group Belarusian Hajun, if its assessment proves to be true, missiles transported to Russia’s Rostov Oblast will likely be used to launch attacks in the Donetsk and Luhansk directions.

Also, British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace applauded the “remarkable capability” of Ukraine’s Armed Forces but said it is important not to “underestimate” Moscow.

“History will remind you that Russia can be brutal to their own. And if they need more cannon fodder, that is what they’ll be doing,”

Wallace said.

The General Staff reported on Nov. 13 that Russian forces are bringing more troops and building fortifications around Melitopol in Zaporizhzhia Oblast,

Yesterday, Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command reported that from Nov. 7 to Nov. 13, Ukrainian troops liberated 179 towns and villages in southern Mykolaiv and Kherson oblasts and 4,500 square kilometres of formerly Russian-occupied territories.

View of Kherson and Antonovskiy bridge, 2006.jpg

Antonivka Road Bridge, also known as the Antonivskyi Bridge of 1,366 m (4,482 ft) long – By 11 November, with Ukrainian forces entering Kherson and Russian forces leaving it, part of bridge collapsed; according to the prominent Russian military blogger Rybar, the Russians destroyed it. A pontoon bridge was used by Russian forces during their withdrawal from Kherson.

A video shot by Ukrainian soldiers and shared on social media on Nov. 13 shows the yellow and blue flag being hanged upon the Antonivskyi Bridge, a strategic passage between the Kherson Oblast’s liberated west bank and the east bank to where Russians retreated.

Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said Russian strikes on Nov. 15 targeted power generation and transmission facilities across the country, affecting both Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and those of neighbouring states.

“After defeats in military and international arenas, the enemy (Russia) is carrying out another attempt at terrorist revenge and is trying to inflict maximum damage on our energy system on the eve of winter,”

Halushchenko said.

On the same day the Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra on his visit to Kyiv, had to take shelter during Russia’s mass missile strike. The attack has demonstrated

“Putin’s willingness to resort to criminal methods,”

according to Hoekstra, and the only answer to it is

“to continue – continue to support Ukraine, continue to deliver weapons, continue to work on justice, continue to work on the provision of humanitarian aid.”

European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said

“Moscow’s ability to inflict damage is still significant. It’s not using it to fight the military, it’s using it to destroy critical infrastructure.”

Ukraine’s Air Force reported that Russia, on that day, fired around 100 missiles at Ukraine, the largest mass attack on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure since the start of the war. Those energy supplies are a favourite target for the Russians because, in the dark days when temperatures can drop to -25°C, people will beg to stop. Yesterday, temperatures of -11° C had already been recorded. To keep courage in it then, one has to be very strong.

The day before yesterday, President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the city of Kherson and said that Ukraine is ready for peace, but peace for all of its territories, which is why it continues operations to liberate the occupied areas.

The Head of State yesterday thanked Hoekstra for his visit and said that he highly appreciated the consistent support for Ukraine from the government of the Netherlands and the personal efforts of Prime Minister Mark Rutte to counter Russian aggression.

“We thank the Netherlands for understanding the conditions in which our people live today and what Ukrainians are fighting for,”

said Volodymyr Zelensky.

He thanked for the recent decisions of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to provide additional security assistance to Ukraine, as well as a separate support package for preparing for the winter period.

Volodymyr Zelensky emphasised that the Russian Federation continues missile terror against the population of Ukraine and the destruction of energy infrastructure. He noted the importance of creating an air shield over Ukraine to protect against Russian missile attacks. It was stated that in the conditions of approaching winter, Ukraine is counting on prompt receipt of assistance from partners for the restoration of damaged infrastructure and stable electricity supply.

Hope was expressed that the Netherlands would support a new Ukrainian initiative to supply grain to African countries suffering from hunger.

“Helping those suffering from hunger today is an effective response to Russia’s attempts to repeat the genocide in the 21st century. And also a reminder to humanity of the lessons of the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine,”

the President emphasised.

Mudryj-bant.jpg

Star of the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise on a shoulder sash

The President of Ukraine presented the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands with the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise of the III degree, which was awarded to him for significant personal merits in strengthening interstate cooperation and supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Yesterday Zelensky spoke in a video call to the gathering G20 members. He said:

Dear leaders, you now clearly see what modern war is. Today, it is impossible to imagine life without computer networks, high-speed communication, the Internet, and even more so – without electricity. But your enemies may try to deprive you of just that.

My good advice to you is to take Ukrainian defence experience in order to guarantee the safety of your people.

We have created an IT army that prevails in cyberspace. The best specialists and companies of the country have united to protect the state.

We repelled more than 1,300 cyberattacks during the 8 months of the Russian war. In the first week of the invasion, Russia destroyed a key data center of our country, and the response solution is the “clouds” into which we moved part of the information systems.

We have built the protection of public registers. We have preserved the digital resilience of banks. Thanks to digitisation, we can quickly organize social payments to those affected by hostilities.

Millions of Ukrainians use our Diia state service every day. These are more than 100 public services without contact with officials. A digital passport, opening accounts, paying fines and taxes, receiving state aid, raising funds to support the army… All this is Ukrainian “Diia”.

If you or your allies and partners do not already have such a system and such digital protection, we will be happy to help you build them!

Cyber defence is about cooperation. The stability of institutions is cooperation. Reliable communication, including satellite communication, is also about cooperation.

What we all need is to put aside disputes and develop collective efforts for global peace. The G19 can be very successful in this!

Ukraine is willing to help. Our security experience is your security experience.

And please remember that everything must now be considered from the point of view of security.

Thank you Mr. President Widodo for a very meaningful summit!

Thank you all for your support!

Let there be peace!

Glory to Ukraine!

 

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Preceding

Key Facts About Ukraine and the Russian invasion

President Volodymyr Zelensky, addressing a European Parliament emergency session via videolink

Russian invasion of Ukraine enters seventh day – BBC News

Ukraine Crisis Reading List

Despicable actions that endanger entire regions and historical monuments in addition to citizens

Will the Russian War in Ukraine reset World diplomacy?

Putin adressing tens of thousands of flag-waving supporters at Moscow’s main football stadium

Full speech of President Vladimir Putin delivered on 18.03. 2022 in the Great Sports Arena of the Olympic Complex Luzhniki

Putin Has Fallen Into The ‘Dictator Trap’, Says Professor

EU must fight in the diplomatic and economic frontline

President of Ukraine met with the Speakers of the Parliaments of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia who arrived in Kyiv

Can we starve the Russian war-machine

Last capitalist mark in Russia brought down

Continued attacks clearly targeting civilians

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Additional reading

  1. Russian take-over of Crimea
  2. Risk of accidental war with Russia highest in decades, general warns
  3. A lot of talk about a war beginning soon
  4. Boris Johnson warns Putin against Ukraine invasion
  5. Britain warns Russia over Ukraine
  6. US bolsters Europe with 3,000 extra troops
  7. The strategic error Putin is potentially about to make
  8. Russia announces troop withdrawals from Crimea in response to the Ukraine crisis
  9. Optical illusions
  10. Make Ukraine A Buffer State Between Russia & the EU
  11. Ukraine prepares
  12. Pope Francis I making another passionate appeal for peace in Ukraine
  13. Why Putin’s Attack on Ukraine Could Mean World War 3
  14. Poem 97 – Incomprehension
  15. Sending Love to the people of Ukraine
  16. Last week’s saying about Russia signing decrees ordering military forces into two separatist regions of Ukraine for “peacekeeping” purposes
  17. Last week: It became a fact: Russia invades Ukraine
  18. Russia-Ukraine war: Putin lays waste to cities
  19. The first week of March 2022 looked at by the Guardian
  20. The biggest ground offensive in Europe since World War II
  21. No one can split Ukraine they say
  22. The judgement of posterity will determine whether invading Ukraine was wise or a mistake
  23. A letter from Kyiv
  24. Thoughts from a Ukrainian refugee
  25. Overcoming The Terror Of War
  26. Praying For The Victims Of Ukraine
  27. The invasion of Ukraine is personal for me…as it is for many of us
  28. Looking at a “Man from the North” endangering the world
  29. Нет войне
  30. Нет войнe. No war
  31. Elon Musk challenging Vladimir Putin
  32. Russia demonstrated it has the capability to reach out and destroy targets anywhere within 1200 miles
  33. Ukraine war is veering fast towards a big power conflict
  34. Some out of date from our Ukrainian brethren
  35. Ukraine 2022 update end of April
  36. Sister and brothers living in Ukraine in danger
  37. Is Putin the Antichrist?
  38. Ukraine’s week of 2022 March 21-27 in view
  39. UNESCO Fears Ukraine Harm As Russian Culture Backlash Grows
  40. As Europe Sends $300 Million per day to Russia for Oil and NatGas, TotalEnergies Looks After Customers in Tricky Decision
  41. EU to snatch Kremlin’s oil and gas profits to rebuild Ukraine
  42. Does the population of Russia know what the Russian soldiers are doing in Ukraine
  43. Pushing Russia
  44. Liz Truss: We may support a tribunal to try Putin over war in Ukraine
  45. Our selection of Things you need to know The Week: July 18 – July 24
  46. Ukraine prepares
  47. The Guardian’s view on Ukraine for the second half of April 2022
  48. Yulia Tymoshenko: We are in World War Three already
  49. Living under Russian occupation
  50. Caution that Russians do not lay traps

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Related

+++

Related

  1. Putin Could Have Been A Hero
  2. In Europe’s ‘darkest hours’ since WWII, Russia invades Ukraine.
  3. In Europe’s ‘darkest hours’ since WWII, Russia invades Ukraine.
  4. A stalemate in ghost villages on the front lines in southeast Ukraine.
  5. The MoD warns that the Ukraine war is about to enter a “new phase” as Russian soldiers get ready for the Kherson counteroffensive.
  6. Putin ally laments war on Russian state television: “West is starting to mock us.”
  7. Moscow establishes a new ‘temporary capital’ for the Kherson area as Ukraine retakes the city.
  8. Where Have All the Ukrainian Oligarchs Gone?
  9. The Price of Escaping Putin’s Mobilization
  10. Russian Occupiers in Ukraine’s Kherson ‘Ask’ Moscow for Military Base
  11. Zelenskiy Tells Russians ‘Go Home’ as Ukraine Launches Major Offensive
  12. Russia to Annex More Ukrainian Territory Tomorrow
  13. The Party of European Socialists Congress on Russian Invasion of Ukraine
  14. War and Resistance Report No. 8
  15. War and Resistance Report No. 9
  16. Teachers in occupied Kherson refuse to collaborate with Russian occupiers
  17. Poem 101 – Putin’s ’84
  18. Poem 110 – Adam’s Drums
  19. Sending love to the people of Ukraine
  20. A letter from Kyiv
  21. President Biden, do not abandon Ukraine
  22. Ukrainian Roma in times of war
  23. Signs of the Time – The world has embarked upon a crucial milestone and it is evident to everyone that various events are happening all over the world that strongly indicates that the coming of Christ is near.
  24. The invasion of Ukraine is personal for me…as it is for many of us
  25. Explainer: Why Ukraine’s southern Kherson region is a strategic prize
  26. TheVoiceOfJoyce Day 263 of Putin’s war.
  27. Ukraine’s Kherson races to restore power, water after Russian retreat
  28. Putin Loses
  29. Russia’s retreat from Kherson divides Putin’s allies
  30. Zelensky says 400 war crimes already documented in Kherson
  31. Russia’s Withdrawal from Kherson
  32. Kherson then, or: Now
  33. Zelenskyy hails liberation of Kherson in surprise visit
  34. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy walked the streets of Kherson,
  35. ‘Beginning of the end’ – Ukraine leader’s claim as he visits liberated city
  36. Ukraine as a State of Mind – The Failed Russian Occupation of Kherson (The Russian Invasion of Ukraine #243)
  37. ‘Beginning of the end’: Ukraine celebrates crucial victory in ongoing war
  38. Ukraine retakes Kherson after 8 months of occupation
  39. Zelensky compares retaking of Kherson to D-Day
  40. The Russian Withdrawal of Kherson: Liberation or Trap?
  41. US has intelligence Russia may have factored midterms into timing of Kherson announcement: report
  42. Ukraine war: Russia ‘deliberately’ destroyed Kherson infrastructure – Zelensky
  43. Visiting liberated Kherson, Zelensky sees ‘beginning of the end of the war’
  44. US official: Russian missiles crossed into Poland, killing 2
  45. Putin puppet breaks cover after Kherson defeat as he whines: ‘Why are we retreating?’
  46. Ukraine war: Russian missiles pound major cities days after Kherson pull-out
  47. Inside Kherson: What next for Russia’s war with Ukraine? | World News
  48. Ukrainian soldiers’ joyful reunion with family after liberating Kherson
  49. Ukrainian servicemen remove landmines in Kherson
  50. Canada Sanctions Iran Makers of Drones Used by Russia in Ukraine
  51. Please Help to Keep Ukraine Connected
  52. ‘Matter of time’: Polish locals blame Russia for missile attack that has left border guard ‘in shock’
  53. Poland Determines Russian Missile Was Fired By Ukraine
  54. NATO:s executive secretary Stoltenberg said. “‘Missile hit to Poland likely caused by Ukraine. But it’s not Ukraine’s fault” .
  55. ‘Hurry up, Lord’ and bring peace to Ukraine, pope prays
  56. Brutality of war grips Polish village where missile struck
  57. NATO and Poland Say Missile Strike Was Likely Unintentional: Ukraine Updates
  58. Missile That Landed In Poland Was A Ukrainian SAM
  59. Nato response to Polish missile incident plays perfectly into Putin’s hands
  60. Nato, Warsaw say missile that hit Poland was Ukrainian stray
  61. Escalation Fears Ease After NATO, Warsaw Say Missile That Hit Poland Was Ukrainian Stray
  62. Russia says missile strike in Poland caused by Ukrainian air defence
  63. Confusion erupts after Biden initially declines to discuss Poland missile incident at emergency roundtable
Posted in News and Politics, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

On the highway to climate hell

Even though there are a lot of citizens and politicians who claim that all those climate activists are lunatics and insist that those scientists who claim that the earth is warming, it is safe to say that all those climate deniers will have their children facing reversible disasters in a few years.

Many people keep their ears and eyes closed to the warnings of multiple climatologists, some of whom do seem to speak in thin air. Many of those scientists have been rightly de-challenged over the many meetings that have taken place in previous years to expose climate change to politicians. One may wonder what actually needs to happen in the world before people’s eyes will open.

27th annual U.N. climate talks, known as COP27, November 2022 Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Egyptian Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry, who’s also this year’s conference’s president, said

COP27 is to be convened while the international community is facing a financial and debt crisis, an energy-prices crisis, a food crisis, and on top of them the climate crises.”

He is fully aware that now there are more problems and that it will now be more difficult to achieve all the goals articulated in Paris.

“In light of the current geopolitical situation, it seems that transition will take longer than anticipated.”

Marc Champion and Salma El Wardany, whose writings you also can find on my site “Some View on the World” write

The UK wrapped up its ­hosting duties at COP26 with a claim to have kept alive the Paris Agreement’s goal of capping warming at 1.5C above preindustrial levels. Those gains have now been at best stalled or at worst reversed by the wartime logic brought on by the invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has turned Europe’s energy spigot into an economic weapon in response to sanctions, and major developed economies faced with suddenly scarce natural gas supplies are racing to open up old coal-fired power stations. {The Road to Cop27}

Patrick Verkooijen, chief executive officer of the Netherlands-based Global Center on Adaptation, an international organisation focused on brokering climate solutions.  said

COP27 will be a train wreck if the adaptation finance doesn’t come through.”

An industrial area, with a power plant, south of Yangzhou’s downtown, China

Last time when the world leaders got together for a climate summit, the backdrop was thoroughly menacing. A pandemic had decimated national budgets. We also saw the poor countries up in arms over the hoarding of Coronavirus vaccines by the same wealthy nations whose fossil fuel consumption did most to warm the planet. Poor countries could only look on as polluting superpowers such as America, China and India continue to pollute without parallel, while the consequences of their actions are most felt in their regions suffering from massive droughts as well as flooding and incalculable weather conditions.

Those countries have reason to be afraid nothing will change for the good. They see the world’s biggest oil and gas companies descending on COP27 in an all-out offensive to protect their profits. They are aware of the plans of those industrialised capitalist countries to exploit the EU energy crisis to lock in gas as a path forward instead of actual clean energy. And if those rich countries succeed, it will mean we continue down our currently catastrophic pathway to 2.5+ degrees of heating.

The threats we face are a matter of life or death. If we don’t slam the brakes on runaway climate change, our future is extreme weather, food shortages, and millions displaced. The next few months will decide if we succeed or fail, but to win we need to centre the voices of the communities with everything at stake.

Last Monday UN secretary general Antonio Guterres addressed once more world leaders who, this time gathered in Sharm El Sheikh, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt at the Cop27 conference.

One of the key objectives around which the 2015 Paris Agreement was formed, was to bring a halt to the increasing global warming. The intention everyone agreed to was to hold the global average temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming. But as it happens more often with political agreements is that a lot of words went into the wind, but few really made an effort to get their country to commit to a major reduction in global warming, to a maximum of 1.5°.

Despite the wide-ranging agreement reached at Cop26 in Glasgow last year, the world body is predicting planet earth is likely to see accelerated sea level rises, glacier melting and more record heat waves. Even in Western Europe, a lot of people could feel the effects of global warming over the last two years. Huge floods took place, with people talking about a ‘water bomb’, along with huge droughts and accompanying forest fires.

The diplomats and world leaders now gathered in Egypt for the annual United Nations climate summit are tasked, in some sense, with holding the global average temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming and having to come to an agreement to help the poor countries which undergo most trouble by the polution industrialised countries are causing.

The head of the UN has warned the world is

“on the highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator”

as temperatures rise to dangerous levels.

Mr Guterres also warned that

“we are in the fight of our lives – and we are losing”

with greenhouse gas emissions still growing and temperatures still rising.

He said climate change was

“the defining issue of our age. It is the central challenge of our century. It is unacceptable, outrageous and self-defeating to put it on the back burner.”

Today, it also seems that people everywhere want to put forward the war in Ukraine as an excuse. Referring to that war in Ukraine, Guterres warned:

“Today’s crises cannot be an excuse for backsliding or greenwashing.”

Professor Hannah Cloke of the University of Reading also warned:

“The time we have to change the course is getting shorter and shorter and shorter and there just feels like a lot of talking and no action, and as a climate scientist it is just awful, it’s really, really frustrating.”

That is the big problem we as citizens have to witness. We see and hear a lot of politicians talking about what is happening in nature and what should be done, but we do not see anyone really taking sufficient measures at home.

Some countries would have preferred not to show up at this year’s conference. Britain’s previous prime minister, Ms Liz Truss, even wished the king would not go to that nevertheless very important meeting. Her successor was not really keen on it either and would normally, like his predecessor, not have gone either. About this, Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said Mr Sunak

“had to be dragged kicking and screaming into showing up at all.

Due to outside pressure, the PM of Greater Britain will have to show up and actively participate. It shall be his first attending international outing as prime minister following what opponents called a “screeching U-turn,” having planned to stay home to work on domestic financial issues.

“When real leadership is required at home and abroad, we have a weak and wobbly prime minister on a day trip.”

Mr Sunak used his speech to call on countries to stick to commitments made at the Cop26 summit hosted by the UK in Glasgow, if it is to limit warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

But Green Party MP Caroline Lucas tweeted that the PM lacked credibility

“when his own government hasn’t met finance pledges”

and

“was continuing fossil fuel subsidies, won’t rule out new coal and is green-lighting more oil and gas.”

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who is also at the conference, seems to understand the reason why all leaders there at the conference should put their heads together. She said there is an obligation for richer countries that have largely caused climate change to help those suffering its effects.

The call for a loss and damage response fund for nations on the front line of climate change has emerged as one of the key demands from the global South to Cop27.

Sohanur Rahman, from Bangladesh, one of the hardest hit countries, said:

“I am from a coastal community where cyclones and storm surges are frequent — we are facing climate disasters every year.

The riverine country of Bangladesh (“Land of the Bengals”) is one of the most densely populated countries in the world and most of the people living there have no sufficient means to tackle the bad weather conditions.

“Climate-vulnerable countries such as Bangladesh should not bear the brunt of the climate crisis alone.”

But former PM Boris Johnson said the UK did not have enough cash to pay “reparations” to low-income countries affected by climate change.

World Meteorological Organization Logo.svgA new report by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) ahead of Cop27 also reported that the Earth is warming faster and sea levels rising more quickly.

Mr Guterres called data from the WMO’s latest state of the global climate report

“a chronicle of climate chaos.”

“We must answer the planet’s distress signal with action – ambitious, credible climate action,”

he said.

The annual report said that the rise in sea levels over the past decade was double what it was in the 1990s and since January 2020 has jumped at a higher rate than that. Since the beginning of the decade, seas have risen at five millimetres a year compared to 2.1 millimetres in the 1990s.

The WMO said the last eight years have been the warmest on record.

Its secretary-general Petteri Taalas said:

“The melting [of ice] game we have lost and also the sea level rate.

“There are no positive indicators so far.”

Mr Taalas said the only reason that the globe hasn’t broken annual temperature records in the past few years is because of a rare three-year La Niña weather phenomenon. The cyclic counterpart to El Niño, consisting of a cooling of surface waters of the Pacific Ocean along the western coast of South America.

“This latest report from the World Meteorological Organisation reads like a lab report for a critically ill patient, but in this case the patient is Earth,”

said climate scientist Jennifer Francis of the Woodwell Climate Research Centre in Cape Cod [formerly known as the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC)].

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn said:

“Cop27 must achieve climate justice, support the poorest for loss and damage, and deliver systemic change on a global scale.

Capitalist and industrial countries will have to come to realise that they have to do their bit to help those countries that run into climate problems because of their actions.

The world has to be aware that we are running out of time.

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Find also to read

  1. The link between extreme weather and extreme inequality
  2. The Guardian’s view on the world 5th week of May 2022
  3. The Telegraph’s Weekly view 2022 June 04 – June 10
  4. Composted reads for the 2nd week of June
  5. USA Climate Change Action Plan
  6. Failing climate: Climate-aid pledges by industrialized nations are worthless, according to the leader of Seychelles
  7. In the picture for 2022 July 04 – July 10 by The Week
  8. Stories from the climate warrior for the first half of July
  9. July 8: It’s curtains for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson who did not deny that the climate crisis was real
  10. US Climate Activists Pivot to Local Action
  11. 2022 First half of July – Here’s what else you need to know in Green
  12. 2022 Second half of July – Here’s what else you need to know in Green
  13. The Climate Crisis and the Need for Utopian Thinking
  14. The Observer end of July 2022 overview
  15. System change, not climate change
  16. 2022 August biggest climate milestones
  17. The Week of 2022 September 05 – 11
  18. Reviews about nature for the first half of September
  19. A third of Pakistan left underwater
  20. Only time will tell if Britain’s new PM has what it takes to confront the biggest crisis of all
  21. Ban Ki-moon called for ramping up adaptation measures to climate disasters happening around the world
  22. Will Sunak rebuild green agenda torn up by Truss?
  23. The Telegraph Frontpage for 2022 November 07
  24. The Telegraph Frontpage for 2022 November 08

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Related

  1. Rich told to cough up for climate change – Michael West
  2. GB News Mark Steyn says the COP is a “virtue-signalling conference”
  3. John Kerry Says We Have to ‘Declare War’ on Climate Change as Midterms Wind Down
  4. Forest and Climate leaders’ partnership launched with Guyana as founding member
  5. At COP27, Plans to Overhaul the IMF and World Bank Gain Traction
  6. Global greenwashing and COP27
  7. Sharp rise in fossil fuel industry delegates at climate summit
  8. The science of climate change
  9. Western Indian Ocean countries share progress on Great Blue Wall at Conference of the Parties (COP27)
  10. Arab Coordination Group Commits To US$24 Billion Of Climate Action Financing By 2030
  11. COP27: UK pledges £200m for climate adaptation in Africa
  12. COP27 Thematic Day: Finance
  13. Solidarity and justice were explored by government officials, civil society actors, and other leaders of thought, at a press conference hosted by the BIC together with @TzuChiUSA at this year’s #COP27 United Nations conference on climate change in Egypt. https://t.co/4pRXmZFFDr https://t.co/otYBK5gBJH
  14. Climate Action Africa leads UNFCCC panel discussion on implementing the Enhances Transparency Framework
  15. COP27: WTO to champion importance of trade in climate action toolkit at COP27 climate summit
  16. COP27 Commences – What’s at stake?
  17. Egypt faces a human rights crisis as the COP27 begins
  18. COP27: Sharp rise in fossil fuel industry delegates at climate summit
  19. COP27 Update Diary (Day 1-3)
  20. Australian carbon emissions nearly double those of Egypt
  21. African bishops: No climate justice without land justice
  22. Meet the African women’s rights activists pushing for change at COP 27
  23. Fossil fuel industry delegates increases at COP27
  24. Events sector calls for sustainability legislation as COP27 gets underway
  25. Why this year’s UN climate conference is all about money
  26. CarolCooks2…Thursday’s Thoughts!..COP27 and beyond…
  27. EU and Egypt commit to step up co-operation on renewable hydrogen at COP27
  28. ‘A Twisted Joke’: 636 Fossil Fuel Lobbyists Swarm COP27 Climate Talks
  29. Pathways president says industry will be judged on whether it accomplishes its goals
  30. COP27: Climate Change agenda in limbo as rich countries failing to pay “faire share”
  31. COP27: India insists on new global climate finance target by 2024
  32. Leah Namugerwa at the Opening of the #COP27 
  33. As hurricane Nicole hits Florida, mend and make-do is Ron DeSantis’s answer to climate change
  34. Rainn Wilson Changes His Name To Raise Awareness Of Climate Crisis And ‘Extreme Weather Events Around The Globe’
  35. A fiscal statement without a green investment plan won’t lead to economic stability
  36. Activists at COP27 remember the Ogoni 9 and warn against African gas expansion
  37. Guest post: Ride the Change by Stuart Riches
  38. What U.N. scientists say about climate change
Posted in Economy, Environment and Ecology, Milieu, News and Politics, Poverty, Warning, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Celebrate World Ballet Day 2022

World Ballet Day is the chance to see the beauty of ballet, expressed right before you in the most up close of ways.

World Ballet Day returns for its ninth year, giving you an insider’s view into dance companies around the globe.
See morning class and rehearsals,
get a sneak peek of upcoming performances and see ballet’s biggest stars at work.

Fill your day with dance, streamed for free across six continents.

For several decades, I was lucky enough to practice what I loved so much.
For me, it was a fantastic experience both to dance and to watch dancing. If I was free (not having to dance), I took every opportunity to see ballet performances.

My wife also enjoyed travelling with me just to see some ballet company at work. And when I was working abroad, she was there to take care of me (preparing food and taking care of loads of laundry).

Several years I sacrificed for dance. Dancing was at the very top of my agenda, and when the body would no longer cooperate, I still wanted to stay connected to that dance, by choreographing and teaching dance.

Unfortunately, the conclusion of my dancing career did not turn out so neatly and I was pushed aside for ‘a younger chick’ and had to understand that such a person was cheaper than I. That slap in my face (with what preceded it) kept me away from dancing for two years. But after a few years in retirement, that itch and pleasure for dance came again. When I retired, I had transferred my archive to the Flemish Theatre Institute so that they could take further care of it and let several (professionally) interested people enjoy it.

Though not following the dance world any more and not being subscribed to several international dance magazines, until the war in Ukraine broke the contacts, I kept contact with my Ukrainian friends of the Kyiv National Ballet and the Kyiv Choreographic Academy, the Kyiv State Choreographic School, and enjoyed several of their performances and classes. The earth of Ukraine has given birth to some very great dancers, but now in wartime exercising regularly became very difficult and many youngsters had to stop their training to fight for their country.

After the Covid lockdown I came to see lesser classes from the Vaganova Institute St. Petersburg, but keep looking forward to get back on track when the Russians will be gone out Ukraine.

My love for contemporary dance is not at all gone, but I must admit that the last twenty years here in Belgium I did not come to see many interesting works, also because I was not prepared to pay and give time to just some solo’s or to see two or three dancers, having to pay like for a whole (big) company. Though some modern works still get my attention, and not able to travel so much, today I am pleased there is so much good work to see on internet, which has broadened the availability of ballet for so many more viewers.

If you’ve ever been curious about how ballet dancers prepare for performances, now’s your chance to find out! Today a few of the globe’s biggest dance companies are streaming their classes and rehearsals for free. Catch ballet’s biggest stars, including the incredible Misty Copeland and Michaela DePrince, unscripted.

Also come to see how certain people from war-torn countries could make their way to the ballet profession. One of the lucky ones is Michaela DePrince, original name Mabinty Bangura, (born January 6, 1995, Kenema district, Sierra Leone), who was placed at an orphanage, where she was mistreated because she had vitiligo — a medical disorder of skin pigmentation that caused the appearance of white patches on her neck and chest. She also witnessed the mutilation of a pregnant teacher by rebels before her orphanage relocated to a refugee camp in Guinea. In 1999 American couple Elaine and Charles DePrince adopted her along with another girl, her friend Mia. The girls were raised in New Jersey with the DePrinces’ nine other natural and adopted children.

Soon after arriving in the United States Mabynti, as Michaela DePrince started following ballet in Philadelphia. After DePrince studied there at the Rock School for Dance Education (RSDE) for six years, the family moved to Vermont where she did not take classes. But the next year, at age 13, she resumed her training at RSDE as a boarder. In 2010 she competed in the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) for the fourth time, winning a full scholarship to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School (JKOS) at American Ballet Theatre (ABT), New York City. As often in the cultural world it is also a matter of getting the ‘chance’ of getting ‘opportunities’. As such while at JKOS, DePrince could perform with ABT Studio Company and touring with the Albany Berkshire Ballet, opening doors further for her. She was also one of six youths profiled in American filmmaker Bess Kargman’s First Position (2011).

With stints at the American Ballet Theatre, the Dance Theatre of Harlem, and the Dutch National Ballet under her belt, Michaela DePrince now reigns as a globally renowned dancer.

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Link to Live Program

https://worldballetday.com/

Participating companies

Africa

Joburg Ballet
Cape Town City Ballet

Asia

Bangkok City Ballet
Cloud Gate Dance Theater of Taiwan
Universal Ballet
Singapore Dance Theatre
The National Ballet of Japan
Korean National Ballet
Hong Kong Ballet
Ballet Indonesia Foundation

Europe

Finnish National Ballet
The Royal Danish Ballet
La Scala Theatre Ballet
Polish National Ballet
Stuttgart Ballet
Ballet de l’Opera de Paris
Wiener Staatsballett
Opera Sofia
Staatsballet Berlin
Dutch National Ballet
Bayerisches Staatsballett
Estonian National Ballet
Ballet de Barcelona
The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet
Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo*
The Royal Ballet
English National Ballet
Royal Academy of Dance
Birmingham Royal Ballet
Northern Ballet
Scottish Ballet
ISTD

Australia

Anna Rose OSullivan The Royal Ballet World Ballet Day 2022 ©2022 ROH. Photograph by Andrej Uspenski 1
Anna Rose OSullivan The Royal Ballet World Ballet Day 2022 ©2022 ROH. Photograph by Andrej Uspenski
Oceania

The Australian Ballet
West Australian Ballet
Queensland Ballet
Royal New Zealand Ballet

North America

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
American Ballet Theatre
Boston Ballet
The National Ballet of Canada
Miami City Ballet*
San Francisco Ballet
Houston Ballet
The Joffrey Ballet*
Pacific Northwest Ballet
Oregon Ballet Theatre*
BalletX
Smiun Ballet*
Texas Ballet Theatre*
Kansas City Ballet*
The Sarasota Ballet*
Ballet West*
Ballet West Academy*
Ballet Arkansas*
Philadelphia Ballet*
The Washington Ballet*
Ballet Idaho*

Central and South America

Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico
Acosta Danza
Ballet Nacional de Cuba
São Paulo Dance Company

*Joining for the first time

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Preceding

Live Streaming ‘World Ballet Day’

A Balllerina her dignity

Reasons to go and see Premiere Plus

Premiere Plus

A fresh Light in the dark light of Las Vegas

Dancer, teacher Leo Kersley departed

Monica Mason retires

Historical Ziegfeld and other Multiply Groups

Dance scrables for Summer 2012

Ballet will not become the poor cousin of the Flemish Opera

Master teacher Matt Mattox died on Feb. 18 in France

Sacrifices to be made

Interview: Elise Shea, Indiana Ballet Conservatory student, Paris Opera Ballet summer intensive attendee

Johan Inger’s Walking Mad (Excerpt) | Finnish National Ballet….

Rose adagio – Svetlana Zakharova

Mastery from Kiev, Ukraine

Michael Smuin and Intended broad appeal

Duo Paradise Le plus grand Cabaret du Monde

A good team to guaranty a musical about the First World War

The Lion King – Circle of Life

Genée International Ballet Competition in Antwerp for the first time

Turkey anno 2002 #1 Aspendos

2014 Personalities and Obituary

Third act of Swan Lake National Opera of Ukraine, 03.11.2015

Nataliya Lazebnikova in Lileya

2015 Performance arts

2016 in review Arts

Jerusalem Ballet paying tribute to Franceska Mann

Star Ballerina Olga Smirnova Quits Bolshoi Over Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Ballet Dancers Fleeing Ukraine Rubble Find Bucharest Stage

One of my teachers said: “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I died tonight?”

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Find also other articles about World Ballet Day

  1. #WORLD BALLET DAY 2 November 2022
  2. World ballet to be celebrated on screen
  3. He created ballet as we know it
  4. Ballet
  5. for the love of ballet
  6. Balletcore; should we care?
  7. UNESCO Fears Ukraine Harm As Russian Culture Backlash Grows
  8. The Magic of the Ballet: Seven Classic Stories by Vivian French & Lauren O’Hara
  9. Charlotte Nebres: A New Stage
  10. Dancers in exile: ‘My mother said I have to share our stories’
  11. The Colorado Ballet’s Blood-Curdling Performance of Dracula
  12. Finding Love at Swan Lake
  13. Swan Lake – Darling Harbour Theatre, ICC (NSW)
  14. United Ukrainian Ballet – Swan lake
  15. Cheers And Tears As United Ukrainian Ballet Performs “Swan Lake”
  16. Listening to Swan Lake Awakens the Memory of a Former Ballerina with Alzheimer’s — Colossal
  17. Black Swans
  18. Video of the Week: Igor Moiseyev Ballet in Rehearsal
  19. Nicky Hilton Sparkles in Purple Sequin Dress & Crystal-Embellished Sandals at the American Ballet Theater Gala
  20. Sunday Almanac: When the Gipsy Kings Came to Town…
  21. Nocturne review
  22. Twinkle toes
  23. The Wedding Dress
  24. The Wind At My Back by Misty Copeland
Posted in Ballet + Dance/Dans, Culture, Dagboek = Diary, Visuals (Video, Photo, Cartoon) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Great Britain low incomes, a financial crisis and a new PM to solve the problems

Governments are expected to protect the people and act on their behalf to make the best of the environment and the world around them.

To have a government, a lot of money has to be invested. Government leaders are expected to do a lot of work for the good of the country, in return for which, of course, a reasonable or fair wage may be paid. But one should not overdo it and the monthly bets should be in proportion to the work done.

A young conservative minister may take the helm of a country in chaos.

Great Britain, like the other countries around her, is facing an energy crisis and inflation, which is testing its people very hard. After Liz Truss seemed to help the country into even more trouble, eyes are now on the first young person of colour to be allowed to take the Conservative helm.

Rishi Sunak having become the youngest prime minister of Great Britain, must protect people facing a cost-of-living crisis, campaigners warned as the new Prime Minister hinted at cuts today.

In his first speech as PM, Mr Sunak vowed to place

“economic stability and confidence at the heart of this government’s agenda,”

after the financial chaos triggered by his predecessor Liz Truss.

He promised not to leave future generations

“with a debt to settle that we were too weak to pay ourselves.”

And he warned that there will be

“difficult decisions to come.”

Everyone should realise that in these times, when Europe is facing a war, certain energy companies are taking advantage of this to boost their profits, while other companies are forced to raise prices to survive.

In view of the financial problems that will affect both the population and the country as a whole, the prime minister will have to take measures here and there that will not appear very popular.

At the beginning of this month Kwasi Kwarteng was being forced to plug a £60bn hole in the public finances with steep spending cuts or a tax raid, the Institute for Fiscal Studies had warned amid a fresh surge in government borrowing costs.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said deep austerity measures will be needed to stabilise debt in the medium term as it forecast a £1,500 hit to households from surging interest rates. The IFS and Citi’s “Green Budget” estimates that £62bn of fiscal tightening will be needed to stabilise debt as a share of national income in 2026-27 – a huge sum that would imply the return of austerity and is equivalent to adding 9.5p to the base rate of income tax.

Paul Johnson, director of the IFS, warned at the beginning of this month, that

“spending cuts of this scale would be extraordinarily hard to achieve” as “there is not a lot of fat to cut”.

He said:

“If you are going to say you are going to balance the books with significant spending cuts, you really do, to be credible, have to be clear what those cuts are going to be. It may require something rather different about the scale and the scope of the state.”

Ms Truss could give no assurances and now that Rishi Sunak has taken over her job, the country can only hope that he will.

The PM’s message he gave in his inauguration speech implies that tax rises and spending cuts are almost certainly on the way as Mr Sunak looks to fill an estimated £40 billion black hole in public finances while trying to reassure financial markets.

Following his address, Joseph Rowntree Foundation senior policy adviser Iain Porter said:

“Families on low incomes desperately need stability and certainty, as they try to afford the essentials, pay their rent and keep food on the table.

“Rishi Sunak personally pledged to go ahead with the usual uprating of benefits in line with inflation, and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt promised last week that he would take action to protect the most vulnerable and to act with compassion.

For the British, they will now look out whether this government, cobbled together without calling a general election, will be able to provide solutions that will satisfy the majority. The new government has to make an end to the chaos Mr Johnson has created and must come to prove there still exist conservatives who are honest and who find it important to make done with liars and cheats we have seen from the period before Brexit until Partygate scandal. This new government must also show it is as serious about protecting its citizens from harm as well as about calming the markets.

In terms of medical care too, this government will have to do a lot of cleaning up. Former PM Boris Johnson had previously also claimed to want to strengthen the NHS, but did not make enough work of that.

In June the 42-year-old Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Rachel Reeves, who joined the Labour Party at 16, had already said it makes no sense to increase taxes on working people in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis. She warned that the public needs much more than the Conservatives’ “sticking plaster approach” to the public finances. She  stepped in for Keir Starmer to respond to Rishi Sunak’s Budget speech after the Labour leader tested positive for Covid. Trying to pick holes in an incredibly dense package of tax and spending measures that had been announced, widely considered to be one of the toughest tasks in frontline politics.
A trained economist, she is also an amateur historian, will doubtless have been aware of the parallels of Gordon Brown who similarly shot to prominence when he stood in at the last minute for John Smith, the then-Shadow Chancellor who was recuperating from a heart attack, to cross swords with Nigel Lawson.

She thinks the Labour Party spend a lot of time having arguments with each other, rather than reaching out to the country. she says

We think that we’re here to save people from the Tories, rather than trying to understand why people vote Conservative.’

She believes the recent changes to how Labour selects MPs and leaders should help.

‘Keir has done a really good job in showing that we’ve changed – if you look at some of our flagship policies on business rates, on a victim’s law and so on. Look at the Shadow Cabinet. It is totally different.’

With the PM switch, the Labour Party will also have to start proving that it can put aside all the bickering among Conservative members and get serious about truly standing up for ordinary citizens.

It is now up to Mr Sunak to also prove that conservatives really can have an eye and ear for the working man or the man of the street.

Unison general secretary Christina McAnea called on Mr Sunak to improve workers’ pay to meet this aim.

She said:

“If Rishi Sunak really wants the NHS to become stronger, it must be given the resources needed to tackle the growing workforce crisis.

“That starts with giving health employees a second pay rise to stop experienced staff from heading for the door.

Along all sides in the English medical community, we hear and see alarm signals, which the previous government did not seem to hear or perceive enough. For that government, it will be a serious matter not to delay any longer, but to act before winter sets in.

“Unless the government acts soon, a strike across the NHS looks increasingly likely this winter.”

we hear from union voices.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said Mr Sunak will be a “weak” PM who will always have to put the interests of the Tory Party first.

He said the former chancellor

“will not deliver for working people.”

But if we look at the figures the party would achieve if there were elections in Britain now, the party will still have to do a lot more work and come to the people, more than the last two prime ministers did. Otherwise, like the Belgian Christian People’s Party CVP, which was once the largest political party of Flanders, until it was overtaken by the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) in the 2010s, they will end up like the CD&V, a very small party that few still believe in.

With Sunak previously raising the overall tax burden to its highest level since just after the Second World War and repudiating George Osborne’s era of austerity with increased spending in every government department, many had suggested the Chancellor had not merely parked his tanks on Labour’s lawn but driven straight into the Opposition’s front room.

Addressing the shadow cabinet, Sir Keir said:

“Rishi Sunak stabbed Boris Johnson in the back when he thought he could get his job.

“And in the same way, he will now try and disown the Tory record of recent years and recent months and pretend that he is a new broom.

Though for the Labour leader people should not forget that Sunak

“ was also the chancellor who left Britain facing the lowest growth of any developed country, the highest inflation and millions of people worried about their bills.

After the mess left behind by the Conservatives, the new Tory leader will have to come clean.

“And now he plans to make working people pay the price for the Tories crashing the economy.”

warned Sir Keir.

Mr Sunak reappointed Mr Hunt to the role of chancellor as he assigned his own government.

James Cleverly was kept on as foreign secretary and Ben Wallace as defence secretary. Dominic Raab was handed back his former roles under Mr Johnson of deputy prime minister and justice secretary.

Suella Braverman was reappointed home secretary less than a week after she was out of Ms Truss’s government over a ministerial code breach.

And the most recent home secretary Grant Shapps was given the role of business secretary.

In her brief exit speech, Ms Truss said that the nation continues to

“battle through a storm,”

but defended her disastrous economic policies, making no apologies for her mini-budget, and said she believes

“brighter days lie ahead.”

We may hope so for the British people, who now largely realise the consequences of their wrong choice for Brexit, but are now hit even more in their moneybelt by the consequences of the war in Ukraine.

 

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Additional reading

  1. A new opportunity for regained stability in Britain
  2. Will Sunak rebuild green agenda torn up by Truss?

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Related

  1. Will build a Britain where our children, grandchildren can light their Diyas, says PM Rishi Sunak
  2. Autumn budget 2022: How Rishi Sunak could plug £35bn hole in public finances, from triple lock to income tax
  3. The Fall of Liz Truss and the Return of Market Reality
  4. Will build a Britain where our children, grandchildren can light their Diyas: PM Sunak
  5. New poll shows over 90% of Conservative Party members would have voted for Boris
  6. Taking a Moment to Celebrate Britain’s First Brown PM!
  7. Regime Change Rishi
  8. Britain’s new leader will need to make people his first priority
  9. How did Rishi Sunak make his money? The new Prime Minister and his wife’s family’s net worth explained
Posted in Economy, News and Politics, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

European Council meeting of 20 – 21 October 2022

After the Covid pandemic, which is actually not quite over yet, Europe has much worse cats to flog.

With what is going on in the North of Europe, no wonder a lot of time is recently spent on that very delicate situation, which could bring the world in a horrible position.

For this reason, all government leaders really need to be on their guard and it comes down to ‘not taking any hasty decisions’.

At their 20-21 October 2002 meeting, European Union leaders focused on Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, and the impact on the markets, where, besides food problems for poorer countries, the majority of richer countries face an energy crisis.

Naturally, one could not ignore the fact that Putin‘s choice to invade Ukraine should be seen in the light of his desire for expansion and hope to achieve a kind of renewed Soviet Union, in which China will be allowed to act as a faithful ally.

During their exchange on external relations, EU leaders held a strategic discussion on relations with China, without adopting conclusions; discussed the preparation of the EU-ASEAN Commemorative Summit; took stock of the preparation of the upcoming United Nations-led summits on climate change and biodiversity; and condemned Iran’s human rights breaches.

On Thursday the 20th of October, for the seventh time in a row, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, addressed the European Council, and told the European leaders that Russian forces have mined a dam upstream of the southern city of Kherson that would put “hundreds of thousands” at risk from flooding if it’s blown up, and endanger water supplies to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. More than once, the Ukrainian president told the European leaders Russia behaves like terrorists and should be punished for its atrocious actions.  He stressed

terror must lose. Ukraine and all of Europe must win’.

President Zelenskyy also stressed that a third of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure had been destroyed as a result of Russia’s attacks using Iranian combat drones, depleting Ukraine’s ability to export energy. He underlined that the IRIS‑T system provided by Germany protects both Ukrainians and Europeans, and urged transatlantic partners to supply more such systems

‘to create a truly reliable air shield’.

The European Parliament President, the Maltese politician Roberta Metsola, addressed the leaders, noting that Ukraine is defending Europe and that

‘real peace can only come with justice – with a Tribunal to look into war crimes, perpetrators and restitution’.

Roberta Metsola stressed that a revision was needed

‘to respond to crises or to finance new priorities’

and underlined that

‘the MFF needed to be future-proofed with in-built flexibility’

to finance new priorities. President Metsola also drew attention to Moldova, stressing that it needs EU assistance, at a time when it is confronted with the ‘economic, humanitarian, energy or even political’ consequences of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

The widening repercussions of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and planetary consequences of that war have, by now, reached far beyond the disruption of climate efforts in Europe, where gas shortages have prompted governments to recommission coal plants. The conflict has also intensified a race among great powers for ascendancy in the Arctic, adding to pressure on a fragile system that’s critical to mitigating global warming.

The EU leaders noted Ukraine’s ‘readiness for a just peace’ and again noted its right to defend itself, to liberate all illegally occupied territories and to re-establish its territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.

Justice and accountability for war crimes were among the key issues discussed by the EU leaders. Several Member States, including Lithuania and Estonia, supported the creation of a special tribunal for war crimes committed in Ukraine, whist the EU institutions are

‘to explore options so that full accountability can be ensured’.

There is an overwhelming sense that the world is returning to an era of great powers competing for resources and security, rather than collaborating over climate.

The war in Ukraine is a major contributing factor raising energy prices and driving up the prices of grains and fertilisers. And the squeeze has been sharpest near the conflict zone: In Hungary, the cost of a basic loaf has surged by 77 percent.

A poster of Putin and Orban during a Fidesz party march in Budapest on March 15.  Photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg

The day before the meeting European Union’s longest-serving prime minister and idol for populist movements around the world, Viktor Orbán defied the bloc’s norms on everything from immigration to judicial independence. In the midst of Europe’s energy crisis over Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, he struck side deals with Russian energy giant Gazprom and casted doubt on EU sanctions against Moscow. Though that man who does not want to keep to EU regulations seem to forget that Hungary’s bills are paid by the EU. After funneling billions of dollars to help the country’s post-communist transformation, Brussels is now threatening to cut off aid. Orbán, who is facing protests and has backtracked on lavish utility subsidies that bolster his political support, has two months to implement anti-corruption legislation to unfreeze the EU funds.

The meeting’s topics – Ukraine, energy and the economy – showed continuity with the informal European Council meeting [European Political Community (EPC)] held in Prague on 7 October 2022, and the next regular meeting on 15‑16 December 2022, as announced in the indicative 2022 Leaders’ Agenda.

The European Council, which was extremely fruitful reached an agreement in the field of energy,

an extremely important agreement, with an immediate effect since we have seen, in the last few hours, a significant drop in prices – which shows that acting in unity, acting as Europeans, has an impact.

said president Charles Michel who went on

Of course, we are going to remain mobilised to implement, from the Council of Ministers of the European Union, with the European Commission, the various measures necessary to show the credibility, strength and power of the European Union in order to protect European citizens.

It is precisely in these times of crisis that the people of Europe are looking forward to what their government leaders have to offer.

When it comes to military support, EU leaders noted that the Union will conduct an EU military assistance mission, aimed at training Ukrainian armed forces. At the moment only Great Britain is providing training in Ukraine, as a successor to Operation Orbital, which has trained 22,000 Ukrainian soldiers in the UK between 2015 and May this year.

Given that Ukraine is a country at war, the mission will be conducted on EU soil, a first for a common security and defence policy mission. Over €10 billion has been allocated from the European Peace Facility (EPF) to cover common costs. The EU leaders also noted that an additional €500 million in EU military assistance was agreed in the Council, increasing the total provided to Ukraine since the start of the war to €3.1 billion. This amount represents nearly 55 % of the entire EPF envelope planned to 2027.

The leaders consider,

because we are democracies, that a central and fundamental element directly concerns personal rights, human rights and freedoms, whereas in the Chinese model, the starting point, the software, tends to consider that the State, and perhaps even more so the party, is the determining criterion. So we can see that the software is very different in terms of the institutional and political system, and also in terms of the economic system. This is an objective, neutral observation that we must calmly make, and that we have all shared.

Michel said.

Firstly, we are always going to stand firm and stand up for our principles, which we deeply believe in: democracy and fundamental freedoms.

Secondly, we believe that we must be committed to bringing about more reciprocity, more rebalancing, particularly in economic relations between China and the European Union. This is work that we must carry out in all areas and we are going to be determined to make progress on this issue.

And thirdly, we also believe that we must be able to engage with China on global issues: climate change and health are obvious examples that show that we want to engage with China on these issues.

It was therefore a debate that showed a very clear desire not to be naive, but not to be in a logic of systematic confrontation either. We have our own model to develop, to build in this relationship with China.

There is a very strong, very consensual, very convergent conviction, which was expressed by all 27 European leaders, of the importance of really developing this strategic autonomy, this capacity to be less dependent from a strategic point of view, to have more independence on the strategic level, but also, to do this, to strengthen and diversify our partnerships with the rest of the world. And that is why, a few months ago, we held this summit with the African Union in February in Brussels, which was an opportunity to build the foundations for a new relationship of mutual interest in a partnership of equals with Africa.

In doing so, however, European leaders should not lose sight of how China has been impaling and sucking the African continent for several years.

As regards economic and financial assistance, the EU Heads of State or Government called for the rapid disbursement of the remaining €3 billion in macro-financial assistance. They invited the Commission and the Council to work on

‘a more structural solution for providing assistance to Ukraine’.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen underlined that

‘it is important for Ukraine to have a predictable and stable flow of income’,

stressing that Ukraine needed between €3 and €4 billion per month for its basic needs, which the EU, the United States and the international financial instructions could cover. She confirmed that the EU’s contribution could be around €1.5 billion a month in 2023, with the disbursement mechanism still to be developed by the Ministers of Finance.

The EU leaders also stressed that existing mechanisms – the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with Ukraine – facilitated access to the single market and should be implemented in full. With Ukraine recently granted candidate country status, President Michel stressed the need for the EU

‘to act to ensure that this is a credible and strong perspective for Ukraine’

For the EU leaders it is clear that the EU has to engage with the rest of the world. Michel finds it important to diversify the EU partnerships,

building strategies to ensure that we are more independent.

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It should be clear to everyone that we will mainly have to seek everything here on our own continent and make ourselves completely independent of countries that are not part of the European Union.

Michel further said

It is a geopolitical transformation that we are witnessing, and in this moment of geopolitical transition, the important thing for the European Union is to have clear ideas, to have a concern for unity but also a concern for power, and this is perhaps what best sums up the state of mind of our discussions on China and, more generally, on foreign affairs.

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Preceding

A recovery plan for Europe

President Volodymyr Zelensky, addressing a European Parliament emergency session via videolink

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Additional reading

  1. Germany blocks Nord Stream 2 pipe from Russia
  2. Has Russia already started World War Three?
  3. Ukraine’s week of 2022 March 21-27 in view
  4. Germany blocks Nord Stream 2 pipe from Russia
  5. EU Commission proposing an emergency intervention in Europe’s energy markets to tackle dramatic price rises
  6. Promises of energy contributions
  7. E is for everything
  8. Bloomberg looking at the 4th week of August 2022
  9. Shall skyrocketing energy prices bring down consumption
  10. The Independent 2022 August 29 – September 04
  11. The Telegraph 2022 September 05 – 11
  12. The Week of 2022 September 05 – 11
  13. The Telegraph of 2022/10/12 looking at what happened in the world
  14. European Union leaders finally agreed to shut off the flow of most of the oil they buy from Russia

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Related

  1. EU rejects Donbass referenda
  2. A peace facility for war – the EPF!
  3. Under the Radar Reports
  4. New frontrunner emerges to take powerful Council top job
  5. Foreign Affairs | EU progress on Ukrainian access
  6. Prague: EU leaders convene informally
  7. White House announces new surveillance guardrails to meet EU Privacy Shield expectations
  8. EU: Fast and Furious on Ukraine, But Not on Energy
  9. Outcome of the European Political Community and European Council meetings in Prague on 6-7 October 2022
  10. Zelensky accuses Russia of planning false-flag operation at hydroelectric plant
  11. The EU Military Assistance Mission; what’s known
  12. An opportunity for Ireland!
  13. Ireland agrees to EU Military Assistance Mission to Ukraine
Posted in Crisis, Economy, News and Politics, Visuals (Video, Photo, Cartoon), Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Journalistiek gaat niet over waarheid. Schaf die term liever af’ (Trouw, 13/08/2022)

Assistent-hoogleraar Filosofie van de Techniek aan de Universiteit Maastricht Massimiliano Simons die op 3 december deelnam aan een workshop over “de Strijd om de waarheid”, georganiseerd door Simon Truwant, naar aanleiding van in België als Nederland van enkele pijnlijke schouwspelen waarbij politici en opiniemakers de waarheid op alle mogelijke manieren volgens hen geweld aandeden: de wetenschappelijke waarheid over o.a. het corona-virus, de geleefde waarheid van de slachtoffers van toeslagenaffaires of ‘de verliezers van de globalisering’, alsook de politieke waarheid die idealiter tot stand komt middels een parlementair debat, werden ondermijnd, miskend of gemanipuleerd. [> Workshop ‘De strijd om de waarheid. Publieksfilosofie in de Lage Landen’ (3/12/2021)]

Martha Claeys (Universiteit Antwerpen & Kluwen Podcast), Catherine Koekoek (Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam), Martine Prange (Universiteit Tilburg), Katrien Schaubroek (Universiteit Antwerpen) Massimiliano Simons (Universiteit Gent) en Simon Truwant (KU Leuven), bogen zich over de strijd om de waarheid die publieksfilosofen uit de Lage Landen een hele dag samen bracht om na te denken over concrete manieren waarop individuen en (kleine) gemeenschappen zichzelf en hun omgeving kunnen vaccineren, wapenen of heroveren ten aanzien van deze onverschilligheid voor de waarheid.

*

Te herinneren

  • scepsis > zijn journalisten wel in waarheid geïnteresseerd?
  • cruciaal te achterhalen of feiten kloppen.
  • Feiten snel geweld aangedaan
  • Ruil fixatie in voor analyse van concrete praktijken die het verschil maken.
  • journalistiek = zaak v kritiek, verontwaardiging, ontmaskering, oproep tot publieke acties, + stemmingmakerij of hogere oplages.
  • begrip waarheid = verworden tot rookscherm waar men zich naar believen achter verschuilt
  • concrete zaken die we v goede journalistiek verlangen + welke praktijken die verlangens kunnen vervullen.

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Voorgaande

Bloggen in het Nederlands de moeite waard voor 9 landen?

De toekomst van de onafhankelijke journalistiek… en wie gaat dat betalen?

De journalist, een bedreigde soort?

Blog uitgestorven beestje of toch nog behorend tot nieuwe media

Massimiliano Simons

In de zomerserie in Trouw gaan steeds twee filosofen in gesprek over het meest omstreden begrip van deze tijd: waarheid. Vorige week was er al aflevering met Martine Prange en Simon Truwant. Deze week zijn Martha Claeys en ikzelf aan de beurt.

In mijn stuk pleit ik ervoor dat we het begrip waarheid gerust mogen afschaffen.

“Vroeger marcheerde elke partij het slagveld op onder de leuze ‘God met ons’, terwijl de oorlog beslist werd door concrete strategieën en materiële middelen. Hetzelfde geldt voor waarheid. Ruil de fixatie op dat hoogdravend begrip in voor een analyse van de concrete praktijken die het verschil maken.”

(Volgende week: Katrien Schaubroeck & Catherine Koekoek)

Mijn stuk:

‘Journalistiek gaat niet over waarheid. Schaf die term liever af’

Wat drijft journalisten? Martha Claeys’ verhaal hierboven van de zeeleeuwende journalist suggereert dat ze niet altijd even oprecht de waarheid inroepen. Dat roept direct scepsis op: zijn…

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De toekomst van de onafhankelijke journalistiek… en wie gaat dat betalen?

Onderstand kan u aansluitend op voorgaande berichten een tekst vinden van Eva Flipkens die journalistiek studeert aan de KU Leuven.

Photo by u00d6mer Aydu0131n on Pexels.com

Haar tekst sluit aan bij deze waar wij een verband hebben gelegd voor het al of niet betalen van content door de lezer, luisteraar of kijker, geloven wij dat zowel het blog of de eigen berichtgeving op het net en de nieuwsgaring via blogs, kranten en/of tijdschriften nog toekomst hebben.

Zoals zij besluit ligt het er namelijk aan dat er altijd gemotiveerde en idealistische burgers zullen rondlopen die opkomen voor bepaalde idealen en die het belangrijk vinden om de vrijheid van meningsuiting te verkondigen en te gebruiken, om gebalanceerde nieuwsberichten in de wereld te sturen en het fake nieuws te ontmaskeren, ook ontvangen zij daarvoor geen (rotte) cent.

De democratie en vrijheid van spreken en mening zal altijd hoog in het vaandel gehouden worden door een bepaalde groep van mensen, die zich bereid zullen voelen om op te komen voor anderen en nieuwsfeiten in het licht te stellen van de werkelijkheid.

*

Te onthouden

  • onderzoek v d Erasmus Hogeschool Brussel = mensen steeds minder bereid n om te betalen voor onafhankelijke journalistiek.
  • adverteerders nr Facebook + Google e.a.
  • monopolie v tech-giganten (absolute heersers over de advertentiemarkt) = jaren oorzaak v heuse hoeveelheid kopzorgen bij onafhankelijke journalistiek.
  • bevolking steeds vaker voor consumeren v media & nieuws via digitale platformen.
  • gedrukte pers > langzaam maar zeker uitgaan door digitalisering van media > zelfs  tv-journaal enorm onder druk.
  • geletterdheid bij jeugd achteruitgaat > bijna 20% van 15-jarigen niet langer  basisniveau leesvaardigheid halen.
  • Vandaag > alles in tekstformaat: sms-berichten + e-mails — Tweets + internetpagina’s
  • teksten erg simplistisch, kort + oppervlakkig opgesteld
  • bereidheid bij het volk om te betalen voor nieuwsdiensten is lager dan ooit.
  • internet + sociale media > alle info immers ‘gratis’ te verkrijgen (gratis tussen aanhalingstekens omdat de gebruiker uiteindelijk betaalt met zijn persoonlijke gegevens).
  • In Vlaanderen bij de bevolking: algemeen verlaagd vertrouwen in nieuwsdiensten & overheid
  • wereldwijd veel meer belangstelling voor Brits nieuws dan voor bijvoorbeeld nieuws uit België.
  • in de nabije toekomst een stabiel + rendabel inkomstenmodel creëren voor de journalistiek = hele klus
  • mogelijke inkomstenmodellen: 1. marktmodel  + 2. publieke-sfeermodel
  • internetgegevens van sitebezoekers zullen met behulp van cookies door Real Time Bidding aan bedrijven verkocht
  • publieke-sfeermodel = heel belangrijke speler bij in stand houden v democratie <= publieke rol in functie v maatschappelijk belang.
  • algoritmes van sociale media > risico om in echokamer terecht te komen > eigen overtuigingen bevestigd
  • ! nieuws personaliseren => datgene voorgeschoteld krijgen wat je het meest interesseert.
  • gezonde interactie = belangrijkste taken van digitale journalistiek
  • interactieaspect = belangrijke rol

+

Voorgaande

Bloggen in het Nederlands de moeite waard voor 9 landen?

De journalist, een bedreigde soort?

Blog uitgestorven beestje of toch nog behorend tot nieuwe media

Eva's Pen

Journalisten werken vandaag harder dan ooit om de razendsnelle informatiestroom bij zien te houden. Toch blijkt uit een onderzoek van de Erasmus Hogeschool Brussel dat mensen steeds minder bereid zijn om te betalen voor onafhankelijke journalistiek. En alsof de situatie nog niet zorgwekkend genoeg was, doet de coronapandemie daar nog een schepje bovenop. Duizenden adverteerders trokken zich vorig jaar terug uit de wereld van de journalistiek en boden zich aan bij Facebook en Google om zich zo te redden tegen het anders onontkoombare faillissement. Maar wat als de journalistiek failliet gaat?

De wortels van het probleem

De enorm snelle technologische verandering en het monopolie van tech-giganten is al jaren de oorzaak van een heuse hoeveelheid kopzorgen bij de onafhankelijke journalistiek. Een week geleden daagden nog 200 Amerikaanse kranten Google en Facebook voor de rechter wegens monopoliegedrag. De technologiereuzen zijn absolute heersers over de advertentiemarkt en doen zo duizenden nieuwsoutlets financieel…

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Posted in Cultuur, Gedachten van anderen, Nieuws en politiek, Wereld om ons heen | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blog uitgestorven beestje of toch nog behorend tot nieuwe media

Lieze Asselman, masterstudent journalistiek, vindt dat de blog een uitgestorven beestje in internetland, wat het haar moeilijk maakt om hem bij de nieuwe media te plaatsen.

Toch is de blog het best daar te classificeren. Volgens Lev Manovich zijn nieuwe media vooral esthetische objecten. Onder meer Geert Lovink kijkt dan weer naar de interactieve eigenschap en het tweerichtingsverkeer van nieuwe media. {1. De blog stierf voorgoed aan wiegendood}

Photo by Leeloo Thefirst on Pexels.com

Msngroups.png

MSN Groups was een internetdienst van MSN, waarbij mensen via groepen gezamenlijke interesses konden delen en met elkaar online konden communiceren.

Enkele jaren geleden werden wij bekoord door de mogelijkheden die de persoonlijke computer met het internet ons leek te brengen. Vanaf 1995 werd ik door dat ‘moderne wonderding’ gegrepen en toen MSN Groepen begon te lanceren vond ik ook daar mijn weg om aan te sluiten bij die mensen die zin hadden om over het leven en het godsgebeuren na te denken.
Men zou dus kunnen zeggen dat die eerste groepen en blogs die ontstonden, of het nu op een Microsoft site, Yahoo, Xanga, of Multiply webplatform was, meestal mensen kon aanspreken die zich verbonden wensten te voelen en gedachten wensten te wisselen in een groep waar ze zich thuis konden voelen.

Multiply social networking service

Zoals Lieze Asselman aangeeft was bij het begin van de blogs eerder het hoofddoel een community of een on-line gemeenschap van gelijkgestemden, te willen creëren. In de latere jaren kwam het blog meer naast een eigenlijke website te staan om nieuwsvoering of nieuwsgaring te brengen over een maatschappij, vereniging, gemeenschap of om verdere teksten te poneren over het onderwerp waarover die website gaat. Dus in de meeste gevallen is het blog vandaag eerder geëvolueerd naar een nieuwsvoering of verdere uitleg kanaal.

Voorbeeld van de Multiply Christadelphian site

Vreemd genoeg ziet Asselman de bloeiperiode van het blog maar pas in 2005, met een toppunt in 2008, dit terwijl meerdere bloggers al zeer actief waren rond de eeuwwisseling en juist toen een verzwakking of vermindering van blogs zagen. Heel wat blogs zijn namelijk gesneuveld toen MSN er mee stopte. Later vielen er nog meer weg toen Multiply (2012) en Xanga (2013) het welletjes vonden, of er geen voldoende commerciële winst er meer in zagen.

Tieners, een risicogroep op een sociaalnetwerksite

Het aantrekkelijke van Multiply was, dat meerdere mensen toegang kregen op een sociale netwerkdienst die gebruikers in staat stelde media – zoals foto’s, video’s en blogberichten – te delen met hun “echte” netwerk. De website werd in maart 2004 gelanceerd en was in particuliere handen met steun van VantagePoint Venture Partners, Point Judith Capital, Transcosmos en particuliere investeerders. Het kwam vele gebruikers vreemd over toen Multiply in 2012 besloot deze dienst op te heffen terwijl het toen meer dan 11 miljoen geregistreerde gebruikers had. Het bedrijf had zijn hoofdkantoor in Boca Raton, Florida, maar verhuisde begin 2012 naar Jakarta, Indonesië, en kondigde toen aan dat het van plan was over te schakelen op e-commerce, waarbij het sociale netwerkaspect volledig werd losgelaten. dit op een ogenblik dat Quantcast schatte dat Multiply 3,5 miljoen maandelijkse unieke bezoekers had in de VS alleen, terwijl het daarbuiten ook een zeer veel gebruikte ‘tool’ was om met anderen over heel de wereld te communiceren.

File:MultiplyNewMain.jpg

Print screen of web page of Multiply (website)

Een screenshot van de BlogActive website.

Misschien zagen zij de bui al eerder hangen dan hun vele trouwe gebruikers, zoals ik er een was. Want vanaf 2010 moest het ‘blog’ plaatsmaken voor andere nieuwe media: sociale media, online platformen waar de gebruikers, zonder of met minimale tussenkomst van een professionele redactie, de inhoud kunnen verzorgen.

Onder de noemer sociale media worden onder andere weblogs, microblogs (bijvoorbeeld Twitter), social bookmarking, videosites (bijvoorbeeld YouTube, Vimeo en TikTok), fora, op samenwerking gebaseerde projecten als Wikipedia, en sociale netwerken als Facebook en Google+ geschaard. {Wikipedia over Sociale media}

Generatie Z of de pampergeneratie, een demografische generatie, volgend op Generatie Y (de Millennials) die als beeldschermgeneratie totaal ingenomen is door sociale media- en smartphone.

Van de sociale netwerken kwam Google+ vorig jaar ook aan zijn einde, terwijl Facebook ook wel aan populariteit verloor, maar nog stand houdt. TikTok lijkt de laatste jaren met haar beeldboodschappen YouTube te overtreffen en bij de jongeren aan populariteit te winnen. Opvallend bij de meer populaire media wordt er niet echt een aanbod van nieuwsvoering of nieuwsgaring aangeboden.  De jongeren komen wel de koppen of sloganeske teksten op Facebook te lezen, maar als er linken in staan naar diepergaande onderwerpen geven de jongeren verstek.

LogoEen groot deel van het verlies van ‘Blogger‘ of ‘Blogspot‘ had meer te maken met de gebruikers die kloegen dat het systeem veel te traag werkte, en er stilaan genoeg van kregen om telkens te moeten wachten eer teksten uitgevoerd geraakten. Eer dat er een connectie gemaakt wordt of bij het doorsturen naar een link, de pagina vertoond wordt gaat er veel te veel tijd over. Na bijna drie jaar heeft Google het probleem nog steeds niet kunnen oplossen. Zowel voor het schrijven als voor het lezen heeft Firefox moeilijkheden om tekst en beeld op het Bloggersplatform snel te laten doorvoeren. Wegens die ongemakken heb ook ik blogger vaarwel gezegd en heb “Our World” naar het veel makkelijker te editeren WordPress over gebracht.

In 2010 schreef de Canadese blogger en journalist Cory Doctorow nog voor ‘De Standaard’ dat de blog

‘helemaal niet ten dode opgeschreven is’.

Zo mocht het wel lijken als wij de vele blogs van het netwerk zagen verdwijnen, maar andere zagen voortbestaan en zelfs actiever worden.

Sociale media zouden naast de blog bestaan en hem niet vervangen, omdat niet alle blogcontent over te brengen is naar snelle, behapbare sociale mediacontent.

Daar had Doctorow het volgens mij toch fout. {1. De blog stierf voorgoed aan wiegendood}

schrijft Asselman, alhoewel ze dan verder gaat met

2010 betekende voor de blog wel degelijk het begin van een wiegendood. {1. De blog stierf voorgoed aan wiegendood}

LogoZij kon niet anders vaststellen dan wat wij ook over de hele wereld zagen gebeuren. Er greep vooral bij de jongeren een grote verschuiving plaats. Op hun zeggen dat zij niet meer de ‘ouderen’ of ‘bejaarden’ op ‘hun platform’ wensten te zien.

De meidenbloggers verhuisden massaal naar YouTube en Instagram om er influencer te worden. {1. De blog stierf voorgoed aan wiegendood}

Vooral jongeren die er geld in zagen om anderen te beïnvloeden grepen hun kans in veel vlottere of ‘modernere’ middelen, waarbij TikTok toch de kroon mocht spannen.

Die media zijn voor hun content dan ook vast een beter medium. {1. De blog stierf voorgoed aan wiegendood}

Logo Politiekers zagen er wat in om de ‘influencers‘ achterna te lopen en hun populariteit te vergroten door ook sloganeske verkondigen op het net af te sturen.

Maar de maatschappijbewuste politieke bloggers van weleer verkondigen hun mening nu vooral op Twitter. Dat is jammer. Twitter is namelijk een vorm van ‘microblogging’. De blogpostjes en reacties bevatten maximaal 280 tekens. {1. De blog stierf voorgoed aan wiegendood}

Twitter boodschappen

Dat is uiteindelijk het grootste verlies dat wij sinds enkele jaren moeten vaststellen. Zelfs politici achten het niet meer nodig om echt relevante informatie naar de burger door te sturen. Zij beseffen maar al te goed dat de jongere generatie niet meer geïnteresseerd is in uitvoerige betogen of artikels.

Vaarwel genuanceerde en respectvolle discussies, want hoe kan je een ander motiveren om zich in je standpunt te vinden met de schamele hulp van twee zinnen?

Al in 2012 bewees Twitter hoe hij de rol van blogs overnam.

Volgens een artikel van de Britse krant ‘The Guardian’ maakten de Amerikaanse presidentsverkiezingen van dat jaar duidelijk dat het korte tijdperk van politieke blogs voorbij was, ten voordele van het Twittertijdperk. Vanaf dan speelde Twitter de grote rol in het bepalen van de winnaar en de verliezer van de presidentiële debatten. {1. De blog stierf voorgoed aan wiegendood}

Na van het MSN profiel overgestapt te zijn naar Multiply volgde na die beëindiging de overstap naar WordPress waar op 6 december 2010 het 1ste artikel geplaatst werd.

Al jaren ben ik iemand die tegen de stroom blijft oproeien. Ik ben er van overtuigd dat er platformen moeten blijven bestaan en zullen blijven bestaan waar men zal proberen zuivere berichtgeving te voeren.

Joan Mancuso en Karen Stuth gaven al in 2011 aan dat zij zich ook zorgen maakten dat het blog een dood tegemoet ging, maar waren overtuigd dat een blog het uitgelezen medium is om op een geloofwaardige manier je uitvoerige mening te delen in de publieke sfeer.

Ze betwijfelen of een korte, snelle, impulsieve tweet hetzelfde communicatieve gewicht kan hebben als de formelere en extensievere blogpost. (Opvallend: in ‘Svevo, Blogging and the Future of Literature’ probeert Giuliana Minghelli de twintigste-eeuwse inzichten van de Italiaanse schrijver Italo Svevo te projecteren op het fenomeen blogging. Daaruit zou blijken dat een blogpost al een te ongevormde, te subliteraire, kortom, te snelle vorm van schrijven is.) {1. De blog stierf voorgoed aan wiegendood}

Die schrijvers gaan ervan uit dat elk blog een snelle beoordeling van iets is, maar er zijn ook meerdere personen die wel ernstiger en dieper willen ingaan op een gebeurtenis, dan in een Tweet kan verwoord worden, en bij het schrijven van hun blog er de tijd voor nemen. Asselman is het ermee eens dat microblogging tekortdoet om een maatschappelijk potentieel te hebben, omdat de gebruikers zo snel zo een korte boodschap kunnen posten waardoor ze niet genoeg reflecteren over hun eigen en andermans standpunten. Volgens haar investeren ze te weinig moeite en tijd in de uitdaging om elkaar te begrijpen.

Bovendien kan een tweet anoniemer zijn dan een blogpost en dat wekt minder snel vertrouwen, respect en geloofwaardigheid op en versterkt individualisering. Microblogging is dus niet hetzelfde als blogging. Mancuso en Stuth dachten dan ook dat de blog niet zou uitsterven zolang er geen alternatief ontstond dat dezelfde behoeften kon vervullen, maar dat idee is volgens mij te utopisch.  {1. De blog stierf voorgoed aan wiegendood}

Pequeña Sudamérica, or “Little South America”, website

Men moet er niet van blijven uitgaan dat een blog noodzakelijk een forumelement moet zijn. Niet elk blog wordt geschreven vanuit het oogpunt om er reacties op te krijgen welke een discussie op gang moet brengen. Blogs zouden een mooie plek kunnen zijn waar individuen kunnen samenkomen om te debatteren over de organisatie van de samenleving, maar dat is niet het essentiële van vele blogs.

Meerdere blogs vandaag zijn een aanhangsel van een al of niet commerciële website geworden. Bij de webshop dient het blog dan gewoon om (nieuwe) artikelen in het voetlicht te brengen of om belangstelling op te roepen voor bepaalde producten. Voor nieuwssites vormen de blogs dan eerder een mogelijkheid om updates te brengen of om feiten van de dag naar voren te brengen. Met de mogelijkheid om op die artikelen te reageren, blijft er dan nog wel een opening voor en naar dialoog, maar het is niet meer het hoofddoel, zoals het vroeger bij de MSN Groepen was.

Men mag stellen dat na Bol.com, Zalando, Coolblue en andere grote spelers op de webwinkel markt, de mensen tijdens de coronaperiode wat meer zijn gaan verwachten van webwinkels. Niet enkel willen zij een snelle service, maar ze willen ook meer productinformatie vinden, waarbij naast de pagina’s van het winkelaanbod, bijkomende artikelen of blogs gewaardeerd worden. Ook aanvullende video’s worden gesmaakt.

Volgens mij is het internet de uitgelezen plek om verschillende geesten op een eenvoudige manier samen te brengen en kan een blog de mogelijkheid geven om meerdere schrijvers hun betoog te laten doen op één en dezelfde plek, zodat de lezer, of internetbezoeker met gemak een overzicht kan vinden van datgene waarin hij geïnteresseerd is.

Bloggen heeft het potentieel om de online polarisatie tegen te gaan en alternatieve visies genuanceerd voor te stellen. Door blogs te lezen met een andere mening of perspectief kunnen mensen voorkomen dat ze vast komen te zitten in hun eenzijdige filterbubbel, die polarisatie en het onvermogen tot discussie in de hand werkt. Als alternatieve visies meer in het licht komen, zouden meer mensen gaan accepteren dat er zulke visies kunnen bestaan zonder het met die visie eens te moeten zijn, want dat is ook niet het doel van een discussie. Een discussie heeft meestal geen einddoel, nee, ze bestaat om elkaar wijzer te maken. {1. De blog stierf voorgoed aan wiegendood}

Journalistiek en geschiedenis zijn met elkaar vervlochten en zeer belangrijk om mensen een inzicht te geven van het gebeurde en van wat er nog mogelijk zal gebeuren. Met een blog kan men dadelijk inspelen op gebeurtenissen van de dag maar ook even terugblikken naar voorbijgegane gebeurtenissen. Hierbij kan het blog inspelen op de gebeurtenissen van de dag terwijl er gereflecteerd wordt naar het vroeger gebeuren.

Geschiedenis gaat over het proberen uit te zoeken wat waar of nauwkeurig is of zo dicht mogelijk bij de werkelijkheid van het verleden komt. Op het net kunnen wij gelukkig meerdere blogs vinden die op onderzoek willen gaan en de schijnwerpers willen lichten op voorgaande gebeurtenissen. Eveneens zijn er dan die blogs die de moeite nemen om die vroegere gebeurtenissen te analyseren en in het voetlicht van de gebeurtenissen van vandaag te plaatsen. De bloggers die dan mogen doorgaan als geschiedschrijvers willen dan niet simpelweg een mooi verhaal selecteren, en zijn er niet om begaan om met sloganeske tittels mensen op sociale media om likes te smeken. Waar het hen om gaat is dat mensen hun artikelen lezen en er over na denken. Voor hen hoeft het debat niet echt door te gaan op hun blog, als het maar ergens gebeurd.

Voor die bloggers is geschiedenis ook geen vorm van therapie om zoals wij vele andere blogs kunnen vinden, een afschrijven van eigen gevoelens of aandachttrekkerij naar het eigen ik. Hun blog met de verschillende geschiedkundige, ethische, milieu e.a. artikelen moet geen vorm van therapie zijn voor allerlei ontevreden groepen om sommige activisten een plezier te doen.

Blogs zoals “Some View on the World” en “From Guestwriters” geloven er in dat het belangrijk is diversiteit aan te bieden welke in de meeste kranten niet wordt aangeboden omdat deze dikwijls aan een politieke en/of godsdienstige denkrichting zijn verbonden. Zulke blogs als de bovengenoemde gaan er van uit dat men open moet staan naar en voor allerlei meningen en deze ook moet durven kenbaar maken. Hiertoe wordt dan ook op toe gezien dat schrijfsels van andere auteurs en andere blogs kunnen worden voorgesteld aan het lezerspubliek, waarvan verwacht wordt dat die zelf een eigen mening kunnen vormen. Maar die blogs stellen wel als doel mensen van allerlei denkrichtingen, gemeenschappen, rassen en landen proberen te bereiken, om hen, zoals alle kinderen zouden moeten opgroeien met een sterk gevoel erbij te horen, hen dat gevoelen te geven dat ook naar hen wordt geluisterd en dat zij ook een plaats in onze maatschapij verdienen. Die blogs trachten dan ook te bereiken dat elke lezer zichzelf zal komen te zien als integrerend deel van het rijke, diverse mozaïek van tradities, geloofsovertuigingen en etnische groepen waaruit onze wereld vandaag bestaat.

Ik geloof er in dat nieuws en geschiedkundige blogs nog een leven op het net kunnen blijven genieten. Ook al mag het een inspanning van tijd en geld vergen van de oprichter van zulk een blog. (Laat dat een voldoende reden zijn om u als volger ter ondersteuning van zo een blog in te schrijven, of om zelfs een donatie te doen, om zo mee te helpen de kosten te dekken.)

Alternatieve visies via blogs zullen in de komende jaren volgens mij dus nog zichtbaar op de kaart gezet kunnen  worden. Met andere woorden, zullen zulke bloggers het volgens sommigen “jonggestorven blog” doen “herrijzen om mediahegemonie en online polarisatie de kop in te drukken”, ook al vreest mevrouw Asselman

dat de blog zijn maatschappelijk potentieel nooit nog kan bereiken. De techreuzen van de sociale media zijn te groot geworden, hun filterbubbel te beperkend en hun monopolie te definitief. En de doorzettende politieke blogger van vandaag, die is te alleen en te klein. Nieuwe media worden niet per se oud. {1. De blog stierf voorgoed aan wiegendood}

Mevrouw Asselman is zoals ik ook meer van het optimistische, utopische type, al twijfelt zij er de laatste tijd aan of die houding niet gewoon een copingmechanisme is tegen al het negatieve nieuws over de toekomst. Zij schrijft

Michaël Opgenhaffen en Harald Scheerlinck besloten na een studie bij Vlaamse journalisten dat sociale media enorm interessant zijn voor nieuwsgaring, nieuwsverspreiding en communicatie met de lezer. Maar utopisten leggen vooral graag de nadruk op het feit dat lezers ook journalisten kunnen zijn en zo elkaars horizon kunnen verbreden in een gedecentraliseerde netwerkmaatschappij. (Mark Zuckerberg, jij weer?) Socioloog Zygmunt Bauman zou het overigens niet eens geweest zijn met die stelling. Volgens hem zijn sociale media slechts een comfortzone, omdat mensen kiezen wie ze in hun netwerk toelaten.

Toch kan ik zeggen dat ik op Instagram, TikTok of Twitter veel meningen tegenkom die ik aanvankelijk niet deel, maar me wel helpen om aan introspectie te doen en wat ‘woker’ te worden. {2. Sociale media kunnen de weg plaveien naar ‘civic journalism’}

Ook al hebben sociale media wel degelijk een negatieve impact op de journalistiek hoeft dat zeker niet de teloorgang er van of de dood van het blog teweeg te brengen.

Haatdragende reacties en het risico op fake news kennen we, maar een even verontrustend gevolg is dat zowel vorm als inhoud van kwaliteitsmedia online sensationeler en oppervlakkiger worden. {2. Sociale media kunnen de weg plaveien naar ‘civic journalism’}

De Blogger van vandaag wil juist niet zo oppervlakkig zijn.

In de veronderstelling dat er geen ontkomen is aan technologie, is burgerjournalistiek in theorie de meest democratische oplossing: de invloed van de techreuzen neemt af, algoritmes worden transparant en privacybescherming ligt meer in eigen handen.

Het probleem van zo’n ‘wisdom of the crowd’-systeem is dat een basisvertrouwen in de maatschappij verloren dreigt te gaan. Bovendien kan iedereen nieuws maken, maar een lezer heeft ook diepgang, context en analyse nodig, zoals socialemediaspecialist Kwinten Rummens beweert. Dat zijn dingen die enkel kwaliteitsvolle journalistiek kan bieden. Ook Bart Van Belle, ex-online redacteur bij De Standaard, verdedigt de blijvende nood aan professionele journalisten “om onze blik op de wereldgebeurtenissen zo breed mogelijk te maken en om een selectie te maken uit die enorme hoeveelheid informatie die de wereld rondgaat via sociale media, persagentschappen en nieuwsmedia”. {2. Sociale media kunnen de weg plaveien naar ‘civic journalism’}

Zij blijven er van uitgaan dat de historicus of journalist moet werken bij een betalende organisatie, krant of uitgever. Vrijblijvend werken lijkt niet in hun mogelijkheden te bestaan. Zij moeten beseffen dat er voldoende gemotiveerde burgers zijn die wel van wanten weten en zich voldoende verdiept hebben in bepaalde gebieden. Die bloggers zijn burgers die weldegelijk geëngageerde journalistiek met aandacht voor alternatieve en kritische perspectieven kunnen brengen, ook al mogen meerdere professionele journalisten (die dan ook een perskaart hebben) neerkijken op hen die geen perskaart hebben.

Het burgerjournalisme of ‘civic journalism’ kan de negatieve impact van sociale media tenietdoen: doordat ze niet meer focust op een zo groot mogelijk publiek willen tevredenstellen, maarzich richt naar bepaalde doelgroepen en dat publiek juist al betrekt in de inhoud, waardoor er minder behoefte is om de inhoud sensationeler en oppervlakkiger te maken.

Ook kan meer aandacht voor de burger in het nieuws zorgen voor minder gefrustreerde, haatdragende reacties. {2. Sociale media kunnen de weg plaveien naar ‘civic journalism’}

Voor al die vrije bloggers, journalisten, predikers, komt het er vreemd genoeg op aan dat zij meestal bij het bloggen artikelen gratis ter beschikking stellen van iedereen die het blog wil lezen. Bij de commerciële kranten en tijdschriften ligt dat anders. ZIj hebben betaalmuren opgezet.

Haast stevigere fundamenten dan de Berlijnse, heeft die betaalmuur. {3. Communiceer, journalisten, en de betaalmuur valt vanzelf}

Naarmate muziekstreamingplatforms in de VS meer ingang hebben gevonden, zijn de muziekpiraterijcijfers gedaald. De piraterijcijfers zijn berekend als functie van de totale bevolking van de VS.

schrijft Asselman, die er zich van bewust is dat het een algemeen fenomeen is dat toch vragen oproept warom er zo weinig mensen geld willen betalen om informatie te ontvangen terwijl er hen niets op tegen houdt om voor allerlei streamingdiensten en muziekproviders te betalen.

Maar waarom verwachten we eigenlijk dat online journalistiek gratis is, terwijl we bovendien gretig betalen voor muziek- en tv-abonnementen?

De journalistiek heeft de lezer fout ingeschat en zal nu met handen en voeten moeten uitleggen dat aan online nieuws ook een prijskaartje hangt. {3. Communiceer, journalisten, en de betaalmuur valt vanzelf}

Dat is iets wat heel wat mensen vergeten. Velen zijn er niet bewust van dat het voorzien van een blog heel wat kosten met zich mee kunnen brengen, vooral als de blogger het ernstig wil doen. Er zijn het materiaal om het onderzoekswerk te doen, kranten en tijdschriften waarvoor abonnementskosten moeten betaald worden, auteursrechten, verwarmingskosten voor de ruimte waaruit het blog moeet vertrekken, aansluitingskosten voor het internet alsook de kosten voor de server waarop het blog de weg naar het algemeen publiek vindt. Al vlug lopen die samengevoegde kosten op en kunnen bij wijze van spreken soms een aardige streep door de rekening van de auteur zijn huishoudbudget zijn.

Luxebeestjes

Mensen betalen niet graag voor nieuws, want het voelt als een recht om alles te weten.

We zijn de luxe gewoon dat het internet een antwoord kan bieden op al onze vragen en hersenleemtes. Betalen voor print voelt logisch, want we krijgen er fysiek iets voor terug. Bij online abonnementen ligt dat anders. Het gekochte product verschijnt gewoon op een scherm, wat minder meerwaarde lijkt te bieden. Hoe dan ook: de media, ook zij die nog een printoplage achter de hand hebben, staan onder druk, want online journalistiek kost meer dan het oplevert. Het is continu zoeken naar de schat die op het internet te rapen valt en die zoektocht verloopt niet zonder vergissingen. {3. Communiceer, journalisten, en de betaalmuur valt vanzelf}

Een decennium al wordt de reguliere pers met het internetfenomeen geconfronteerd.

Vanaf 2011 zijn media minder gaan investeren in de printsector, omdat ze hun lezers en vervolgens adverteerders zagen verhuizen naar de online wereld. {3. Communiceer, journalisten, en de betaalmuur valt vanzelf}

Voor velen is het heel wat gemakkelijk op elk tijdstip van de dag, overal waar het maar kan, vlug even de gebeurtenissen van de dag te overlopen. Hierbij zijn de smartphones voor velen het handigste gebruiksmiddel geworden om gedurende de gehele dag geïnformeerd te blijven.

Dag- en weekbladen die dara zijn gaan op ingaan en hun diensten bereikbaar hebben gemaakt via het internet , kunnen dan wel heel wat mensen bereiken, maar blijken daar wel inkomsten wegens gebrek aan reklame vergoedingen te missen. Wel valt op dat bij de sociale media het juist anderen zijn die met de reklame koek gaan lopen.

Het probleem dat daar minder gemakkelijk inkomsten te rapen vallen, aangezien vooral platformen als Facebook geniet hebben van advertentie- en data-inkomsten. De lezer denkt dat hij gratis leest, maar beseft niet dat hij betaalt met data en persoonsgegevens. Als iets gratis is, bent u zelf het product: een onheilspellende uitspraak die hier wel van toepassing is. {3. Communiceer, journalisten, en de betaalmuur valt vanzelf}

Bij het blog valt dat wel iets anders, zeker als de schrijver nog eens extra betaalt voor een reklame vrij blog te hebben. Voor andere blogs is in de browser dan weer de ad-blogger een handig tool om niet met advertyenties geconfronteerd te worden.

borderSommige uitgevers merken nu wel dat een betaalmuur beter rendeert dan een gedrukte krant met advertenties er in.

In haar rapport van 2020 meldde ‘The New York Times’ dat lezers sinds 2011 meer opbrengen dan adverteerders. Het is dus niet verbazingwekkend dat de nieuwe verdienmodellen vooral inkomsten willen halen bij lezers.

Eric Smit bij een presentatie van Follow the Money (2012)

Het probleem is dat die inmiddels onterecht verwachten dat nieuws gratis is. Media hadden meer moeite moeten doen om die misvatting van de lezer om te zetten. Bij het bepalen van een nieuw verdienmodel zijn media te vlug gaan denken dat online alles snel en gratis moest zijn. Ze zijn zomaar meer kwaliteit gratis gaan aanbieden, zoals Eric Smit, oprichter van de Nederlandse nieuwssite ‘Follow The Money’ stelt. {3. Communiceer, journalisten, en de betaalmuur valt vanzelf}

Als blogger kan ik mij er in vinden dat vele van mijn medebloggers gelijkaardig als ik denken dat wij ten dienste kunnen (of moeten) staan voor het volk. Het is onze plich om de burger te informerren. En dat plichtsbesef noodzaakt ons om de nodige inspanningen te doen op alerlei vlakken. Op een of andere manier moet er wel voor een inkomen gezorgd worden om de huishoudkosten en de kosten voor het blog te betalen. Daarvoor, al ben ik al enkele jarren gepensioneerd, blijf ik nog altijd naast mijn schrijf en predikingswerk nog een job doen die wat extra centen binnen brengt. Zo ken ik ook enkel amerikaanse bloggers die zich in die mate met hart en ziel inzetten voor dat ‘goede doel’.

Er zijn wel bloggers die gesponserde artikelen plaatsen, mar anderen, zoals ik, zijn daar volledig tegen en brengen dan ook geen artikelen waarin wij op misleidende wijze mensen willen lokken nar deze of gene company die daar dan ook een inkomen kan uit verschaffen, en de blogger een percentage afstaat voor de geleverde ‘advertentie tekst’.

Natuurlijk is er iets te zeggen voor betaalmuren.

Online abonnementen en betaalmuren hebben dan wel te weinig succes, in theorie zijn het handige inkomstbronnen. {3. Communiceer, journalisten, en de betaalmuur valt vanzelf}

schrijft Lieze Asselman die erin gelooft dat hun beste tijd nog moet komen, en wel aan de hand van een analogie met YouTube en Spotify.

Playlist queue.

Spotify Desktop Client op Arch Linux

Ruim 10 jaar geleden was YouTube (bij jongeren) hét muziekplatform, maar toen in 2015 advertenties steeds vaker video’s onderbraken, werd muziek luisteren via YouTube minder aantrekkelijk. Dat leek ook Spotify Premium begrepen te hebben: voor 10 euro per maand schonken ze onbeperkte toegang tot alle muziek, rechtstreeks downloadbaar, zonder advertentie-onderbrekingen en – in tegenstelling tot LogoiTunes – op Apple én Android. Spotify heeft die handigheid en meerwaarde uitgebreid benadrukt en mensen zijn dat gaan geloven, hebben de kwaliteit ervan ingezien en zijn blijven betalen: vanaf 2015 kan Spotify elk jaar op meer abonnees rekenen. {3. Communiceer, journalisten, en de betaalmuur valt vanzelf}

Ook de grote toeloop naar film streamingsdiensten, zoals Netflix, getuigen er van dat heel wat mensen toch bereid zijn om te betalen voor een zekere content.

Volgens Deckmyn kan een Spotifyformule waarbij de lezer maandelijks een schappelijke 10 euro betaalt voor het volledige digitale aanbod zelfs beter werken dan een betaalmuur voor individuele artikels. {3. Communiceer, journalisten, en de betaalmuur valt vanzelf}

Er zijn bovendien tekenen dat de Vlaamse lezer al meer uitbesteedt aan online nieuwsmedia. Volgens het mediaconcentratierapport van 2021 ging het aantal verkochte digitale krantenabonnementen de hoogte in, al stimuleerde de coronacrisis die verkoop ongetwijfeld. Opvallend is ook dat de gratis pers de grote verliezer was met 60 procent minder inkomsten. Dat bewijst dat het onhoudbaar is om enkel inkomsten te halen uit reclame en daar biedt de portemonnee van de lezer een oplossing toe. {3. Communiceer, journalisten, en de betaalmuur valt vanzelf}

Vraag hierbij is wel of dat die lezer in zijn of haar portemonnee wil grijpen om bepaalde blogs te ondersteunen, zodat deze kunnen blijven verder berichten op het internet kunnen plaatsen. Wel kunnen wij opmerken dat bepaalde bloggers ook hun toevlucht hebben genomen om hun blogs ‘privaat’ te houden en de lezers er van te alten betalen om die ‘private’ berichten te lezen.Hierbij weet ik niet of het daar om winstbejach gaat en of dat er daar dan nog eens influencers gebruik van maken om van twee walletjes te eten. (Van sommige gevallen heb ik wel al gehoord.)

De bereidheid om te betalen voor online content is er dus wel. De muur kan vallen, mits goede communicatie (waar Spotify zo goed in was) als stimulans. Online abonnementen en betaalmuren zouden vaker verkocht worden als media er transparanter en minder overhaast over communiceerden.

Media moeten duidelijk maken dat online journalistiek ook moeite en dus geld kost. Al zullen ze dat nu, zo plots in een tijd van gratis online artikels, met handen en voeten moeten gaan uitleggen, want de betaalmuur is ondertussen een muur geworden die de verstandhouding tussen journalist en lezer in de weg staat. {3. Communiceer, journalisten, en de betaalmuur valt vanzelf}

Ik kan alleen maar hopen dat zowel lezers als auteurs inzien dat ‘niets gratis is’ en dat er van ergens geld zal moeten binnenstromen om ernstige, journalistieke en geschiedkundige onderwerpen aan de man te brengen.

Op dat vlak kunnen wij, als bloggers, enkel op de gulheid van mensen die met ons in die noodzak van vrije menigsuiting geloven.

Enkele professionele schrijvers en journalisten wijzen er ons wel op dat wij als bloggers daar openlijk moeten over durven praten en de mensen duidelijk moeten maken waar onze beperkingen liggen.

Ook het Nederlandse online magazine ‘OneWorld’ heeft het over die transparantie als eerste stap richting het leefbaarder maken van online nieuws.

“Als we mensen niet constant wijzen op het belang van betalen, doen ze het gewoon niet”,

zegt hoofdredacteur Seada Nourhussen.

De Standaard’ komt wel eens met zulke transparante campagnes:

“De waarheid is dat u op ons rekent om de waarheid zo goed mogelijk bloot te leggen, en dat wij op u rekenen om uw tijd en geld in ons te investeren.” {3. Communiceer, journalisten, en de betaalmuur valt vanzelf}

Ik, met vele andere bloggers, hopen dat er voldoende lezers zullen zijn die ook voor ons die noodzaak zien, om ons werk verder te ondersteunen. Het aantikken van de ‘Like’ knop is al één manier om ons een schouderklopje te geven en aan te moedigen om op deze weg verder te gaan. Een financiële bijdrage is dan nog een verdere bijdrage die mee kan helpen om onze kosten te verlichten.

Met dank voor het lezen van dit en andere artikelen.

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Voorgaand

Bloggen in het Nederlands de moeite waard voor 9 landen?

Historical Ziegfeld and other Multiply Groups

Journal for and from bothered citizens

Looking for Free Blogs and blogging

De journalist, een bedreigde soort?

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Aanvullend

  1. Gratis kan dat wel of is Crowdfunding een oplossing voor ernstige journalistiek of nieuwsverspreiding
  2. Al of niet gratis nieuwsvoorziening
  3. Einde van achtjarige Multiply relatie
  4. Openingswoord voor Nederlandstaligen
  5. Neergeschreven gedachten
  6. Samen delen van informatie en gedachten
  7. Bijbelvorsers uitkijkend om meerdere lezers te bereiken
  8. Plaatsing van oudere artikelen
  9. Burgerjournalistiek
  10. Transfer website geopend op Blogger
  11. Vlaamse Broeders Googlesite opgepoetst
  12. Vernieuwde Christadelphian Wereld
  13. Bloggers Voor Vrede
  14. Vlaamse Broeders Googlesite opgepoetst
  15. Totaal verse kijk in het Nederlands op de Broeders in Christus
  16. “Enige Kijk op de wereld” om kerk te doen groeien door getuigenis
  17. Het eerste half jaar van een Kijk op de wereld op WordPress
  18. Stilstaan of uitvliegen
  19. Goede journalistiek hoeft niet te verdwijnen of opzij geduwd te worden door sociale media
  20. Is er wel belang voor persoverzichten – of Krijgt frustratie mij klein
  21. The New York Times en de journalistiek: de waarheid is …
  22. Onafhankelijke onderzoeksjournalistiek is nodig. En mogelijk
  23. Aan Ab Gietelink: Er is geen censuur op sociale media en internet, maar terughoudendheid om journalistieke taak ernstig te nemen
  24. De toekomst van de journalistiek
  25. Mak’s Epiloog
  26. When you think you have nothing to say or to show
  27. Do you have a writer or presenter in you?
  28. Readers, likes and comments
  29. Transfer site opened to the public
  30. New Name a fact
  31. Blogger seems too slow to be practical
  32. Our World on Blogger coming to its end
  33. “Our World” Moving from Blogspot to WordPress
  34. Ending Multiply relationship
  35. 2013 insecurity
  36. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritualy
  37. Belgian Christadelphians 2013 & 2014 in review
  38. Notification and news feed for Facebook users
  39. Flemish Brethren site cleaned up
  40. The untiring response of some Christadelphians
  41. Fresh new WordPress site in Dutch about the Brothers and sisters in Christ
  42. Entering 2022 still Aiming for a society without exploitation or oppression
  43. Don’t Just Log Out. Deactivate Facebook

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