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Dilma Doomed?, China v. G7, Future Of Facebook

Dilma Doomed?, China v. G7, Future Of Facebook

ARE DILMA’S DAYS NUMBERED?

Photo: Agencia Estado/Xinhua/ZUMA

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will face what promises to be a dramatic impeachment after a committee in Brazil’s lower house voted in favor of removing her from office last night. Folha de S.Paulo reports that the committee panel vote came after an investigation into accusations that Rousseff had manipulated government finances to conceal a growing national deficit. Police are preparing for both major pro and anti-government protests in the coming days, with voting set to begin Friday, and a final decision expected Sunday. Impeachment requires a two-thirds lower house majority before moving on to the Senate.


PANAMA PAPERS EXPOSE CIA

In the latest from the Panama Papers probe into offshore financial accounts, German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reports that intelligence agencies from around the world, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), have long used the Mossack Fonseca law firm, which is at the center of the leaked documents, to hide various financial activities. More from AFP.


NEW BRUSSELS ATTACK ARRESTS

Two more men have been charged in connection with last month’s deadly terror attacks in Brussels, Belgian authorities announced this morning. Brussels-based daily Le Soir reports that the two men â€" identified only as Smail F. and Ibrahim F. â€" are suspected of involvement in the rental of a hideout in Brussels’ Etterbeek neighborhood, and face multiple charges, including terrorist activity and murder.


CHINA HITS BACK AGAINST G7 MEMBERS

Beijing slammed G7 member states today for “taking sides” in the East and South China Seas territorial disputes, stating that the member should “stop making irresponsible remarks and all irresponsible actions, and truly play a constructive role for regional peace and stability,” Chinese state news agency Xinhua reports. The criticism came after the G7 foreign ministers issued a statement yesterday during their meeting in Hiroshima that appeared to be directed towards China, expressing their “strong opposition to any intimidating, coercive or provocative unilateral actions that could alter the status quo and increase tensions.”


ON THIS DAY


He became the first man in space, 55 years ago today ... Find out who, in today’s 57-second shot of history.


TALIBAN ANNOUNCES SPRING OFFENSIVE

The Taliban issued a statement today announcing the start of their warm-weather fighting season, Voice of America reports. This year’s campaign â€" dubbed “Operation Omari,” in honor of deceased Taliban founder Mullah Omar â€" promises both suicide attacks and assassinations. The Taliban vowed to try not to kill civilians or destroy civilian infrastructure.


120 MILLION EUROS

A painting believed to be the work of Italian Renaissance master Caravaggio was found in a French attic. If genuine, it could be worth up to 120 million euros, Le Monde reports.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Writing for Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, Katarzyna Wężyk notes that despite Hillary Clinton's fitness for the job, many see her presidential ambitions through a bigoted lens. She's not just a woman, but one who doesn't know her place: “If a woman wants to be successful in politics, she needs to prove that she is tougher than her male competitors, that she will not let others push her around and that she will not serve sandwiches. But if she is tough and hard-boiled, she stops being womanlike; she becomes a Tartar, a butch or an ordinary bitch. A man who defends his opinions is assertive; a woman â€" aggressive. And indeed nobody likes an aggressive woman. On the other hand, nobody wants weak leaders. So either way is no good.”

Read the full article, Deconstructing The Sexist American Animus Toward Hillary Clinton.


RESEARCHERS ANNOUNCE THAT ZIKA IS WORSE THAN THEY THOUGHT

Health officials stated in a White House briefing yesterday that the more doctors learn about the Zika virus, the more frightening it looks, NBC News reports. Just hours before the statement was made, scientists released two more studies: one showing the virus seems to home in on developing brain cells and kill them, and one showing it may cause rare nerve damage that resembles multiple sclerosis.


MY GRAND-PERE’S WORLD



FACEBOOK’S ANNUAL F8 CONFERENCE

Facebook's annual F8 conference kicks off at today at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, Tech Times reports. Insiders expect to see new products and features linked to artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Outsiders predict artificial reality and virtual intelligence. What you say Zuck?

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Geopolitics

"The Truest Hypocrisy" - The Russia-NATO Clash Seen From Moscow

Russia has decided to cut off relations with the Western military alliance. But Moscow says it was NATO who really wanted the break based on its own internal rationale.

NATO chief Stoltenberg and Russian Foregin Minister Lavrov

Russian Foreign Ministry/TASS via ZUMA
Pavel Tarasenko and Sergei Strokan

MOSCOW — The Russian Foreign Ministry's announcement that the country's permanent representation to NATO would be shut down for an indefinite period is a major development. But from Moscow's viewpoint, there was little alternative

These measures were taken in response to the decision of NATO on Oct. 6 to cut the number of personnel allowed in the Russian mission to the Western alliance by half. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the removal of accreditations was from eight employees of the Russian mission to NATO who were identified as undeclared employees of Russian intelligence." We have seen an increase in Russian malicious activity for some time now," Stoltenberg said.


The Russian Foreign Ministry called NATO's expulsion of Russian personnel a "ridiculous stunt," and Stoltenberg's words "the truest hypocrisy."

In announcing the complete shutdown in diplomacy between Moscow and NATO, the Russian Foreign Ministry added: "The 'Russian threat' is being hyped in strengthen the alliance's internal unity and create the appearance of its 'relevance' in modern geopolitical conditions."

The number of Russian diplomatic missions in Brussels has been reduced twice unilaterally by NATO in 2015 and 2018 - after the alliance's decision of April 1, 2014 to suspend all practical civilian and military cooperation between Russia and NATO in the wake of Russia's annexation of Crimea. Diplomats' access to the alliance headquarters and communications with its international secretariat was restricted, military contacts have frozen.

Yet the new closure of all diplomatic contacts is a perilous new low. Kommersant sources said that the changes will affect the military liaison mission of the North Atlantic alliance in Moscow, aimed at promoting the expansion of the dialogue between Russia and NATO. However, in recent years there has been no de facto cooperation. And now, as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has announced, the activities of the military liaison mission will be suspended. The accreditation of its personnel will be canceled on November 1.

NATO told RIA Novosti news service on Monday that it regretted Moscow's move. Meanwhile, among Western countries, Germany was the first to respond. "It would complicate the already difficult situation in which we are now and prolong the "ice age," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters.

"Lavrov said on Monday, commenting on the present and future of relations between Moscow and the North Atlantic Alliance, "If this is the case, then we see no great need to continue pretending that any changes will be possible in the foreseeable future because NATO has already announced that such changes are impossible.

The suspension of activities of the Russian Permanent Mission to NATO, as well as the military liaison and information mission in Russia, means that Moscow and Brussels have decided to "draw a final line under the partnership relations of previous decades," explained Andrei Kortunov, director-general of the Russian Council on Foreign Affairs, "These relations began to form in the 1990s, opening channels for cooperation between the sides … but they have continued to steadily deteriorate over recent years."

Kortunov believes the current rupture was promoted by Brussels. "A new strategy for NATO is being prepared, which will be adopted at the next summit of the alliance, and the previous partnership with Russia does not fit into its concept anymore."

The existence and expansion of NATO after the end of the Cold War was the main reason for the destruction of the whole complex of relations between Russia and the West. Today, Russia is paying particular attention to marking red lines related to the further steps of Ukraine's integration into NATO. Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov previously stated this, warning that in response to the alliance's activity in the Ukrainian direction, Moscow would take "active steps" to ensure its security.

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