07.06.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 6/7/2021: KDE Bugfixes and Qt 6.2 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 9:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • Rust in the Linux kernel: good enough for driver development
      • Google’s Linux challenger just got a hugely useful update

        The Rust for Linux initiative made significant progress after lead developer Miguel Ojeda sent in a revised set of patches to shore up support for adding Rust as a secondary programming language within the Linux kernel.

        Ojeda has been spearheading the initiative and his work is now sponsored by Google, who along with a large section of developers, are pushing for Rust to be used in the Linux kernel, especially in areas where security and memory safety are of utmost importance.

        The set of 17 patches lay the groundwork for the initiative with important components such as a beta Rust compiler, an example driver, and more.

      • Programming languages: Rust in the Linux kernel takes another step forwards

        The Google-backed project to make Rust a second programming language in Linux kernel development after C just took it’s next big step.

        Key to the project is Spain-based developer Miguel Ojeda, who’s been leading the charge to bring Mozilla-hatched systems programming language Rust to the Linux kernel.

      • More OpenRISC LiteX Drivers Expected To Be Upstreamed In Linux – Phoronix

        While RISC-V secures much of the spotlight these days when it comes to open-source processor instruction set architectures, OpenRISC is still moving along and soon should see more OpenRISC LiteX drivers upstreamed.

        In recent kernels we have seen work around OpenRISC LiteX as a Migen/MiSoC CPU/SoC builder for deployments on FPGAs with soft-core implementations of PicoRV32, VexRISCV, and more. Moving ahead, the OpenRISC developers are now on a path for upstreaming more peripheral drivers into the mainline kernel.

      • Linux 5.14 Continues Work On USB4 Support Bring-Up – Phoronix

        Greg Kroah-Hartman on mailed in the USB/Thunderbolt changes targeting the Linux 5.14 merge window.

        There is a lot of code clean-ups / fixes for the USB/Thunderbolt code as well as various other mostly routine driver updates. One area worth mentioning is the continued USB4 support work going on within the Thunderbolt code.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.22.3 Improves Support for Flatpak Apps, Plasma Wayland, and More

          KDE Plasma 5.22.3 is the third of five updates in the KDE Plasma 5.22 series, and comes just two weeks after the KDE Plasma 5.22.2 point release to further improve support for sandboxed Flatpak apps by addressing a crash in the pop-up that asks you to approve background activity, which occurred when switching to another Flatpak app.

          KDE Plasma 5.22.3 also continues to improve the new Plasma System Monitor app by improving the process kill functionality in the Tree View to correctly terminate the right process, as well as the Plasma Wayland session to make window rules related to Activities work correctly.

        • KDE Plasma 5.22.3, Bugfix Release for July

          Today KDE releases a bugfix update to KDE Plasma 5, versioned 5.22.3.

          Plasma 5.22 was released in June 2021 with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience.

          This release adds two weeks’ worth of new translations and fixes from KDE’s contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important and include…

    • Distributions

      • Educational Distro Escuelas Linux 7.0 Released with New Apps, Based on Bodhi Linux 6.0

        Based on Bodhi Linux 6.0, which is derived from Canonical’s long-term supported Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) distribution, Escuelas Linux 7.0 is here with new apps, such as the AnyDesk remote desktop software, as well as the OpenBoard interactive whiteboard software, both of which being perfect for online classes.

        There’s also numerous updated apps including in the Escuelas Linux 7.0 release, such as the LibreOffice 7.1.4 office suite, Veyon 4.5.6 computer monitoring and classroom management tool, LiveCode 9.6.2 programming software, Krita 4.4.3 digital painting app, and GeoGebra 5.0.642 interactive math application.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • CentOS Stream 9 Builds Flowing, Opened Up For Contributors – Phoronix

          More build artifacts of CentOS Stream 9 are being published now while more OS images are still on the way. CentOS Stream 9 is open for contributions as RHEL’s future upstream.

          As part of the latest CentOS community newsletter covering the past month of work, the developers involved have been getting more images spun of what is forming for CentOS Stream 9. The start of these new builds can be found at compose.stream.centos.org.

        • What is a hybrid work model?

          As vaccination rates climb and things return to something more like normal – or at least more normal than midsummer 2020 – hybrid work has become one of the most talked-about topics in business and technology circles.

          You can view the surge of interest in hybrid work models as a reflection that past concepts of “normal” are currently getting a reboot. For various reasons, some individuals and organizations alike don’t necessarily want to return entirely to pre-COVID ways of working. Instead, they’re reimagining what the next “normal” will look like and rethinking the best ways to work.

          Public health and safety certainly remain a predominant concern. Individuals and organizations have also realized that more flexible approaches to traditional office work – rather than an insistence that people be in the same physical space 40 (or more) hours a week – can actually be beneficial in some businesses and industries.

        • Finding block and file OCP application contents in ODF: The infrastructure

          Part one of a three part series on mapping application data in an OpenShift Data Foundation cluster.

        • Finding block and file OCP application contents in ODF: Creating the project

          Wrapping up how to map application data in an ODF cluster.

        • Finding block and file OCP application contents in ODF: Creating a file storage project | Enable Sysadmin

          Wrapping up how to map application data in an ODF cluster.

        • Digital transformation: How to forge tighter business partnerships [Ed: IBM/Red Hat treating Gartner like a fountain of truth]

          IT spend is set to skyrocket in 2021 – according to Gartner, $3.9 trillion will be spent on IT projects worldwide this year, up more than 6 percent for 2020.

          But IT spend does not automatically translate to favorable business outcomes. For companies rebounding from a year of disruptions, ensuring IT investments actually help achieve goals, increase profits, and move other business levers is critical. However, contrary to popular belief, technology isn’t the driving force of business success and growth – instead, it should be viewed as an accelerated path toward their goals.

          In fact, I would argue that IT generally shouldn’t own projects within an organization. Instead, ownership responsibility should fall to line-of-business (LOB) leaders and stakeholders. Ideally, LOB employees should analyze the business need for a new IT solution, determine its objective, and identify the KPIs that will measure success.

          IT shouldn’t be brought in until LOB leaders and stakeholders perform much of this pre-work, like identifying business value, establishing KPIs, and determining needs from teams – but it’s also important not to read IT into the project too late.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Nextcloud Hub 22 Launches with Approval Workflows, Integrated PDF Signing, and More

        Optimized for the modern, digital office, Nextcloud Hub 22 introduces new features like user-defined groups called Circles, an integrated knowledge management application called Collectives, integrated chat and task management, an easy approval workflow, as well as integrated PDF signing with DocuSign, EIDEasy and LibreSign.

        All these features are here to facilitate team collaboration, allowing users to create their own teams and manage memberships, empowers teams to manage themselves, allow employees to request approval on a document and management to respond, making it easier to share tasks into a chat room, and allow users to request a formal signature on a PDF document.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Opera browser tries to make sweet music for the ears of Chromebook users

            Norwegian web developer Opera has created a version of its software optimised for Google’s ChromeOS.

            The company claims the release is “the world’s first alternative browser optimized for Chromebooks”. The announcement of the browser doesn’t really elaborate on that claim, other than to say the application “… was built based on the Opera Browser for Android with custom optimizations that deliver a full-fledged laptop experience while maintaining all of its unique features”.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Recognition For NoSQL Pioneers

          The Association for Computer Machinery, the world’s foremost professional membership organization for computing, administers a large number of awards with the Turing Award being the best known and most lucrative. The System Software Award is one of the ACM’s technical awards in which recipients are selected by their peers for making significant contributions that enable the computing field to solve real-world challenges. It is awarded to an institution or individual(s) recognized for developing a software system that has had a lasting influence on computing.

      • Education

        • Ep17 Bryan Cantrill

          In this episode of ACM ByteCast, Rashmi Mohan hosts Bryan Cantrill, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Oxide Computer Company and a past member of the ACM Queue Editorial Board. Previously, he was Vice President of Engineering and CTO at Joyent. He is known for his work on the award-winning DTrace software, a comprehensive dynamic tracing framework for which he was included in MIT Technology Review’s TR35 (35 Top Young Innovators) list.

      • Programming/Development

        • Qt 6.2 Beta Released

          I am pleased to announce that we released the first Qt 6.2 Beta today. Qt 6.2 includes all widely used Qt add-on modules and is also the first release in the Qt 6 series to provide Long Term Support for commercial licensees. We will continue to provide subsequent beta releases via the online installer throughout the beta phase.

        • Qt 6.2 Beta Released As The First Qt6 LTS Release Moves Closer – Phoronix

          The Qt Company today issued the first of several expected betas for the upcoming Qt 6.2 toolkit release that will also be their first Qt 6 long-term support version.

          Qt 6.2 has arrived on-schedule in being the first of at least four planned beta releases that will run through the end of August. A release candidate of Qt 6.2 is expected mid-September and the official Qt 6.2.0 LTS release around the end of September.

        • High-Performance Computing yesterday, today, and tomorrow – interview with HPC Specialist Dr. Jussi Enkovaara

          We asked for hints from Enkovaara about where to begin if someone is interested in learning to program or improve their HPC skills. CSC organizes various courses on programming and high-performance computing. In Autumn 2021, a series of training, Autumn of HPC, will start from the basics of parallel programming, proceeding towards the middle-level GPU programming. These courses require basic programming skills, though.

          HPC skills could be developed through training in programming languages. C++ is widely used in HPC, which often is utilized in heavy computing as well. Python is a useful programming language to combine software and currently remains the most popular programming language in Github. Please note that in corporations, there may be other programming languages used.

  • Leftovers

    • On Being A Bit Wrong

      I was down in London last week for discussions around my appeal to the Supreme Court, and staying in a hotel close to Leicester Square, I wandered along to see the fans during their game with Ukraine and its very noisy aftermath. I was hoping to write a piece about disgusting uncouth yobs of racist English nationalists and their stupid and perhaps violent excesses.

    • Science

      • NCCIH strategic plan 2021-25: Same ol’, same ol’, with a devious twist

        I’m back, after an issue prevented me from posting last Friday. (Let’s just quote Obi-Wan Kenobi and say, “Now that’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time,” and leave it at that…for now.) In any event, over the weekend it hit me. It seems that I’ve been blogging about COVID-19 on this blog almost nonstop without (much) interruption for close to the last 16 months because, well, I have. Be it conspiracy theories, doctors behaving badly (as they did throughout the pandemic), “wonder drugs” for COVID-19 like hydroxychloroquine (and now ivermectin), or antivaccine lies about the new COVID-19 vaccines that have led wealthy countries (like the US) to get out from under the worst of the pandemic, COVID-19 has been my niche. I could use a break, which brings us to the NCCIH.

    • Education

      • The Predictable Backlash to Critical Race Theory: A Q&A With Kimberlé Crenshaw

        Kimberlé Crenshaw is a professor of law at Columbia and UCLA, and she’s probably the most prominent figure associated with critical race theory—she coined the term, 30 years ago. She’s also creator of the concept “intersectionality” and host of the podcast “Intersectionality Matters.” And she cofounded the African American Policy Forum, now one of the country’s leading social justice think tanks. In 2015, it created the hashtag #SayHerName. This interview has been edited and condensed. 1

      • Fixing Crumbling US Schools Could Save Lives — and the Planet
      • “Public” universities aren’t free, conservatives

        But America’s investment in its state university system is far from great even at its best, and it’s been this way for years now. A 2017 report from the Center on Budget and Political Priorities delivered the grim news that “Overall state funding for public two- and four-year colleges was nearly $9 billion below its 2008 level, after adjusting for inflation. The funding decline has contributed to higher tuition and reduced quality on campuses as colleges have had to balance budgets by reducing faculty, limiting course offerings, and in some cases closing campuses.”

        In tandem with that decline in state funding, costs have been going up — way up. As the Atlantic reported three years ago, “For the first time, public colleges and universities in most states received most of their revenue from tuition rather than government appropriations.” The revelation couldn’t feel more resonant to my own experience — the nation crossed that rubicon the exact year my firstborn enrolled at one our state’s universities.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Physicians Have a Duty to Confront the Exploitative Industry That Employs Them
      • Covid-19 Is a Wake-Up Call for American Health Care

        The United States is currently recovering from the worst public health catastrophe of our lifetimes: hundreds of thousands dead, people losing their employer-sponsored health plans at record rates as unemployment skyrocketed, and medical debt spiking by more than $2.8 billion.

      • Them’s the rules Russian tourists forced to quarantine in Cuba after testing positive for COVID-19. Many say they tested negative in Russia.

        At least 137 Russian tourists who arrived in Cuba between June 30 and July 3 were forced to quarantine in their hotel rooms after testing positive for COVID-19. As of July 5, at least 89 Russian nationals are still in isolation and awaiting the results of repeat PCR tests. However, many of the tourists aren’t convinced that they actually have the coronavirus — while some tested negative prior to leaving Russia, others say they’ve been vaccinated against the disease. Meanwhile, the Russian Association of Tour Operators is telling travellers not to expect compensation for the inconvenience of having quarantine, because they were warned about Cuba’s coronavirus regulations.

      • Ultra-contagious COVID Delta variant “wreaking havoc” worldwide

        First detected in India, the Delta variant is rapidly emerging as the dominant coronavirus strain across the globe. The mutation—which is estimated to be 60% more transmissible than the highly contagious Alpha variant—has now been detected in more than 80 countries, and it accounts for over a third of all new cases in the United States.

        The Delta strain is the “most contagious variant we’ve seen so far,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health.

        “It is wreaking havoc around the world, and will cause problems here,” Jha added, referring to the U.S.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • IT for service providers biz Kaseya defers decision about SaaS restoration following supply chain attack • The Register [Ed: Microsoft Windows TCO; a lot of the media neglects to say what's impacted in terms of operating system (how convenient; unless it's Linux and then they attack Linux, the kernel). What corporate media calls Microsoft Windows when it's PROMOTIONAL: "Vista 11" (the vapourware, the myth). What media calls Microsoft Windows when it's NEGATIVE (like thousands of businesses being blackmailed by crackers because they use Windows): "computer".]

          IT management software provider Kaseya has deferred an announcement about restoration of its SaaS services, after falling victim to a supply chain attack that has seen its products become a delivery mechanism for the REvil ransomware.

          The company’s most recent update on the incident, dated July 4, 2021 5:45 PM EDT, initially advised that further information would be posted “very late” on the same date after a meeting of the company’s executive committee.

          The latest update says that committee met at 10:00 PM EDT and decided that “to best minimize customer risk … more time was needed before we brought the data centers back online.”

        • Kaseya ransomware attackers demand $70 million, claim they infected over a million devices [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Three days after ransomware attackers started the holiday weekend by compromising Kaseya VSA, we have a clearer idea of how widespread the impact has been. In a new ransom demand, the attackers claim to have compromised more than 1 million computers, and demand $70 million to decrypt the affected devices.

        • Biden: ‘Initial thinking’ recent ransomware attack not by Russian government [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Speaking to reporters in Traverse City, Mich., Biden said he’s directed the “full resources of the federal government” to investigate the attack, according to a pool report.

        • Ransomware attack hits software manager, affecting 200 companies [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a division of the the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), said on Twitter that it was “taking action to understand and address the supply-chain #ransomware attack against Kaseya VSA and the multiple #MSPs that employ VSA software.”

        • [Crackers] demanding $70M to restore data in massive cyberattack: report [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The ransomware attack was carried out on Friday, targeting Miami-based technology firm Kaseya. The group used Kaseya’s access to clients as well as some of their clients’ clients to immobilize the computers of hundreds of technology firms worldwide, Reuters noted.

        • Up to 1,500 businesses affected by ransomware attack, U.S. firm’s CEO says [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Kaseya is a company which provides software tools to IT outsourcing shops: companies that typically handle back-office work for companies too small or modestly resourced to have their own tech departments.

          One of those tools was subverted on Friday, allowing the [crackers] to paralyze hundreds of businesses on all five continents. Although most of those affected have been small concerns – like dentists’ offices or accountants – the disruption has been felt more keenly in Sweden, where hundreds of supermarkets had to close because their cash registers were inoperative, or New Zealand, where schools and kindergartens were knocked offline.

        • [Crackers] behind holiday crime spree demand $70 million, say they locked 1 million devices [iophk: Windows TCO]

          REvil began its spree Friday by compromising Kaseya, a software company that helps companies manage basic software updates. Because many of Kaseya’s customers are companies that manage internet services for other businesses, the number of victims grew quickly. Instead of locking an individual organization, as ransomware gangs usually do, REvil locked each victim computer as a standalone target and initially asked for $45,000 to unlock each one.

        • Up to 1,500 Businesses Affected by Ransomware Attack, US Firm’s CEO Says [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Between 800 and 1,500 businesses around the world have been affected by a ransomware attack centered on U.S. information technology firm Kaseya, its chief executive said Monday.

          Fred Voccola, the Florida-based company’s CEO, said in an interview that it was hard to estimate the precise impact of Friday’s attack because those hit were mainly customers of Kaseya’s customers.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • ABC mum when asked if iview user data is fed to Google, Facebook

              The ABC is unwilling to say whether it provides Google and Facebook access to the data of iview users, a considerable number of whom have created accounts to access the service prior to 1 July based on ABC warnings that logins would be compulsory in the new financial year.

            • TikTok Extends Maximum Video Length to 3 Minutes

              The extended video length will become available to all creators globally “over the coming weeks,” Kirchhoff said, though he noted that a few creators have been able to experiment with the format already. Creators will receive a notification on their app once they are able to upload longer videos.

            • TikTok is taking the book industry by storm, and retailers are taking notice

              “BookTok” is a community of users on TikTok who post videos reviewing and recommending books, which has boomed in popularity over the past year. TikTok videos containing the hashtag #TheyBothDieAtTheEnd have collectively amassed more than 37 million views to date, many of which feature users reacting — and often crying — to the book’s emotional ending.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Why Did You Kill my Brother?

        Chauvin famously knelt on George Floyd’s neck last year, as Floyd lay handcuffed and helpless, for those nine-plus minutes, while three colleagues stood by, indifferent to the murder so obviously underway . . . police administering the death sentence to a man accused of trying to use a counterfeit $20 bill at a nearby convenience store.

        Unfortunately for the smirking Chauvin, his crime was caught on cellphone video and shocked much of the nation and the world. And a year later, something almost unprecedented happened: A police officer was held accountable for killing a black man.

      • What you need to know about Russia’s 2021 national security strategy

        President Vladimir Putin signed off on a new national security strategy for Russia on July 3. This latest version builds upon the ideas contained in the previous strategy, which was signed into law on December 31, 2015. Even then, Putin proclaimed that Russia is surrounded by enemies who are trying to infringe upon the country using methods ranging from military pressure to the spread of extremist ideas. But the latest charter goes further still. Indeed, it recognizes an even wider range of national security threats, including (but not limited to) the online activities of transnational corporations, the “Westernization of culture,” the imposition of foreign moral values, and the destructive impact of profanity on the Russian language. Meduza unpacks what you need to know about Russia’s new national security strategy.

      • Can’t Wait to Get a Gun?
      • The Constitutional Right to Bear Arms Carries a Racist History
      • “The Second”: Carol Anderson on the Racist History Behind the Constitutional Right to Bear Arms

        As gun violence soars in the United States, we look at the Second Amendment and its racist roots with Carol Anderson, author of the new book, “The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America.” In the book, Anderson details how the Second Amendment was written to empower local militia groups to put down slave revolts and protect plantation owners. She writes the Second Amendment is “rooted in fear of Black people, to deny them their rights, to keep them from tasting liberty.” Carol Anderson joined us from Atlanta, where she is a professor at Emory University. She is also the author of “One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy” and “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide.”

      • Biden Acknowledges ‘Over the Horizon’ Air Attacks Planned Against Taliban

        On July 2, fleeing questions from reporters about U.S. plans in Afghanistan, President Joe Biden sought refuge behind the July 4th Independence Day holiday, yet obliquely acknowledged that the U.S. will use some level of “over the horizon” air attacks to prevent the Taliban from taking power, attacks that will include drones and manned aircraft, possibly even B-52s.

      • Getting Afghan interpreters out of Afghanistan isn’t progressive: It’s the right thing to do

        During my service as a Marine sergeant, I had two combat deployments to Afghanistan; my platoons each had an Afghan interpreter. These men decided to work for the United States knowing well that they had signed their own death warrants by working with us. These men not only worked with us, they lived with us, they patrolled with us, and when we came under fire, they stood with us providing valuable insight on the local area. These men sat in our vehicles with the same risk of roadside bombs that we experienced every day. When we hit a roadside bomb, they suffered injuries or death, just like us. These men were in the foxhole with us every day.

      • Illegal Migrants, People Smugglers Face Tougher New Penalties in Britain

        The move is designed to dissuade migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats and dinghies. People smugglers will also face much heavier jail terms with those found guilty facing life sentences, up from a current maximum of 14 years.

      • Taliban seize key Kandahar district after fierce fighting

        The Taliban have captured a key district in their former bastion of Kandahar — the latest area to be seized since US troops began their final withdrawal — after fierce night-time fighting with Afghan government forces, officials said on Sunday.

        The insurgents have pressed on with their campaign to capture territories across Afghanistan’s rural areas since early May when the US military began the pullout.

      • US adds Turkey to list of countries implicated in use of child soldiers

        The United States on Thursday added Turkey to a list of countries that are implicated in the use of child soldiers over the past year, placing a NATO ally for the first time in such a list, in a move that is likely to further complicate the already fraught ties between Ankara and Washington.

        The US State Department determined in its 2021 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) that Turkey was providing “tangible support” to the Sultan Murad division in Syria, a faction of Syrian opposition that Ankara has long, supported and a group that Washington said recruited and used child soldiers.

      • Britain fails to ban notorious Hizb Ut Tahrir

        Well-known counterterrorism expert Robert Spencer, commenting on Britain’s inaction in outlawing Hizb Ut Tahrir said: Why couldn’t they ban Hizb ut-Tahrir, which openly calls for Sharia hegemony? Because to have done so would have been “Islamophobic.” Britain is slowly committing national suicide, and every step of the way it refuses to defend its culture, laws, borders and more because to do so would be “Islamophobic”.

      • Tech giants warn of cutting off service in Hong Kong over data-protection laws: report

        Tech giants including Facebook, Google and Twitter have reportedly issued a warning to Hong Kong’s government that their services may be cut off in the city if authorities proceed with data protection laws that would make the companies liable if individuals’ personally identifiable information is released without their consent, The Wall Street Journal reports.

    • Environment

      • Melting tropical glaciers sound an early warning

        Climate change means melting tropical glaciers are losing frozen landscapes of great beauty − and high value to millions.

      • The new U.S. Climate Normals are here. What do they tell us about climate change?

        Known as the U.S. Climate Normals, these 30-year averages — now spanning 1991-2020 — represent the new “normals” of our changing climate. They are calculated using climate observations collected at local weather stations across the country and are corrected for bad or missing values and any changes to the weather station over time before becoming part of the climate record.

        Simply stated: The Normals are the basis for judging how daily, monthly and annual climate conditions compare to what’s normal for a specific location in today’s climate.

      • ExxonMobil Lobbyist on Playbook for Plastic: “It’s Just Like on Climate Change”

        Greenpeace UK has released additional video clips of its explosive, undercover interview of one of ExxonMobil’s top lobbyists. In these new video segments, Keith McCoy, senior director of federal relations for the oil giant, describes how the company’s playbook for dealing with public outrage over its plastic pollution is “just like on climate change.”

        McCoy also reveals that Exxon is linked to PFAS, a substance incorporated in many consumer products that has become notorious as a “forever chemical” because of its durability in the environment and ability to foul water supplies. McCoy describes the company’s efforts to lobby against PFAS regulation “under the guise” of industry front groups — an effort he boasts has succeeded in keeping PFAS from becoming known as “the Exxon Mobil chemical.”

      • Conviction of Dam Company Executive for Murder of Berta Cáceres Hailed as ‘Step Towards Justice’

        Human rights advocates on Monday welcomed the conviction of Roberto David Castillo Mejía, a Honduran businessman and former military intelligence officer, for the March 2016 assassination of Indigenous environmental activist Berta Cáceres, while calling on authorities in the Central American nation to bring everyone involved in planning the murder to justice.

        “Until all those responsible are held accountable, other human rights defenders in Honduras will continue to lose their lives.”—Erika Guevara-Rosas, Amnesty International

      • As Big Oil Execs Roam Free, Climate Activist Gets 8 Years in Prison

        Environmentalists in recent days expressed outrage over the eight-year prison sentence handed to Jessica Reznicek—a nonviolent water protector who pleaded guilty to damaging equipment at the Dakota Access Pipeline in Iowa—while calling the fossil fuel companies who knowingly caused the climate emergency the real criminals who should be held to account.

        “Why is Jessica Reznicek going to prison and Big Oil executives aren’t?” —Rebecca Parson, congressional candidate

      • Energy

        • ‘Disgusting’: Pipeline Company Files $15 Billion Claim Against US for Canceled Keystone XL

          In a move that progressives described as unsurprising yet outrageous, TC Energy Corporation, the Canadian company behind the now-defunct Keystone XL pipeline, is seeking more than $15 billion in compensation from the United States government, which it has accused of violating free trade obligations by blocking further development of the tar sands oil project.

          “America didn’t want your pipeline. You took the risk. Taxpayers are not going to pay $15 billion for your failed and risky investment. You lost. This is how capitalism works.”—Jane Kleeb, Nebraska Democratic Party

        • Koch Industries Among Investors Set to Take Over UK Supermarket Morrisons

          Supermarket chain Morrisons is set to be snapped up by a group of US investors that includes a subsidiary of fossil fuel giant Koch Industries, known for funding numerous climate science denial groups across the country.

          The £6.3 billion takeover bid of the UK’s fourth largest supermarket group, which campaigners fear could represent a “worrying shift”, is being led by US private equity firm Fortress Investment Group, owner of Majestic Wine. 

          Stay up to date with DeSmog news and alerts

        • Humanity Needs to Declare Independence From Fossil Fuels

          The Declaration of Independence, the work of a five-person committee appointed by the Continental Congress, but with Thomas Jefferson as the most vocal figure of the values of the Enlightenment on this side of this Atlantic being the primary author and upon the insistence of none other than John Adams himself, is one of the most important documents in the history of democracy and of political progress. 

        • Oil Companies Cancel Pipeline Plans Amid Grassroots Pressure
        • Some locals say a Bitcoin mining operation is ruining one of the Finger Lakes. Here’s how.

          Because private-equity firms expect to hold their investments for only a few years, they often keep alive fossil-fuel operations that would otherwise be mothballed, said Tyson Slocum, director of the energy program at Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocate. “Private equity thinks it can squeeze a couple more years out of them,” Slocum said. “And they are often immune from investor pressures.”

          In 2016, for instance, private-equity firm Arclight Capital Partners of Boston bought into Limetree Bay, an oil refinery and storage facility in St. Croix, U.S.V.I. The operation had gone bankrupt after a series of toxic spills but reopened in February 2021. Just three months later, it was shuttered after unleashing petroleum rain on nearby neighborhoods.

        • Kajaani, the green home of HPC

          Possibility to utilize waste heat generated by the equipment in the district heating network of Kajaani, this reduces total energy costs and CO2 emissions.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Study Details How Trump Unleashed ‘Outright Slaughter’ of Wolves in Wisconsin

          A new study published Monday estimates Wisconsin lost as much as a third of its gray wolf population after the Trump administration stripped federal protections for the animals and the state allowed for a public wolf hunt widely decried as being “divorced from science and ethical norms.”

          The February hunt, panned (pdf) by wildlife advocates as “an outright slaughter,” killed 218 wolves—already far past the quota the state had set. But over 100 additional wolf deaths were the result of “cryptic poaching,” University of Wisconsin–Madison environmental studies scientists found, referring to illegal killings in which hunters hide evidence of their activities.

        • The Anti-Wolf Conspiracy Inside Colorado’s Wildlife Bureaucracy

          Governor Polis, Colorado has got a problem.

          Last week, I reviewed recordings of CPW meetings and official documents obtained by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a watchdog group is dedicated to exposing corruption within state and federal land and wildlife agencies. The documentation provides irrefutable proof that Romatzke conspired with an anti-wolf lobby group to undermine and oppose CPW commissioners.

    • Finance

      • What Happens Economically When Wealth Amasses at the Top
      • Inside the June Jobs Report

        It is not unusual to see sharp monthly divergences between the two surveys. Over a longer period, they tend to show a similar picture of the labor market, but the household survey can have erratic movements that don’t seem to correspond to anything in the economy. For example, in October 2017, the household survey showed a drop in employment of 633,000, and then in August 2018 it showed a decline of 619,000. In both periods the economy was growing at a healthy pace and there was no evidence of weakness in other economic data. These drops were preceded and/or followed by months with large gains.

        Establishment Job Gains Driven by Growth in Hard Hit Sectors

      • The Wealth Inequality Virus Persists

        The Federal Reserve Board recently released its figures on wealth distribution in the United States as of the end of March.[1] The wealthiest 1% are presumably quite happy.  Their wealth increased $2.01 trillion to $41.52 trillion in the first three months of 2021, an increase of more than 5%.

        Presumably, a disproportionate share of the increase has gone to those at the very top of the 1%. In 2020, according to the Federal Reserve figures, the wealth held by the 1% increased 14.88%.  However, using the Bloomberg Billionaires Index figures, in 2020, the wealthiest ten U.S. citizens, as of the end of the year, saw their wealth rise 47.9% bringing their total to $1.0685 trillion from $730.29 billion at the beginning of the year. The total holdings of the wealthiest ten as of the end of 2020, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, represents 2.69% of the total holdings of the wealthiest 1% using the Federal Reserve figures of their holdings then. This is up from 2.12% at the beginning of 2020.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The US Finds Itself on the Wrong Side of Imran Khan’s Populism

        Islamabad—Pakistan’s embattled prime minister, Imran Khan, in a speech that is likely to reverberate in both Washington and Beijing, accused the United States last week of having crushed the “self-esteem” of the Pakistani people.

      • Nina Turner Wins July 4 Endorsement of Largest Ohio Newspaper
      • ‘That Person Is Nina Turner’: Progressive Nabs July 4 Endorsement of Largest Ohio Newspaper

        Nina Turner, running for U.S. Congress in Ohio’s 11th district, won the endorsement of the state’s largest newspaper Sunday—the latest show of momentum for the progressive champion who has been targeted for defeat by the Democratic Party’s more corporate-friendly establishment wing.

        “We have an historic opportunity to deliver an agenda that puts working people at the center of our economy. To get there we need a Congress made up of leaders who never forget their purpose.”—Nina Turner

      • The Three Revolutions of the Chinese Communist Party

        Before 1991, when the Soviet state went pffft, I would have bet, hands down, that the most important event of the 20th century was the Russian Revolution of 1917.

        Now, owing to history’s merciless intolerance for failed experiments, the Chinese Revolution has emerged as the most momentous event of the last century, and its paradoxical consequence — the rise of China as the center of global capital accumulation — bids fair to be the most significant development of this century as well.

      • Lithuania grants diplomatic status to Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s office

        The office of exiled Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya) has received diplomatic status in Lithuania as the “Belarusian Democracy Representative Office.” 

      • “The Hill We Climb, If Only We Dare It”: Watch Amanda Gorman, Youngest Inaugural Poet in U.S. History

        Amanda Gorman became the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history when she spoke at the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. She was 22 years old when she read “The Hill We Climb,” a poem she finished right after the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6. We continue our July Fourth special broadcast with Gorman’s remarkable address.

      • The Porter: The Untold Story at Everest
      • The Supreme Court just made Citizens United even worse

        Before Thursday, the Court treated most disclosure laws as valid, and it typically only allowed plaintiffs who objected to such a law to seek an exemption from it — not to seek a court order striking down the law altogether. After Americans for Prosperity, there is now a presumption that all such laws are unconstitutional — although this presumption might be rebuttable in some cases.

        As Justice Sonia Sotomayor writes in a dissenting opinion, “today’s analysis marks reporting and disclosure requirements with a bull’s-eye.” The upshot is that wealthy donors now have far more ability to shape American politics in secret — and that ability is only likely to grow as judges rely on the decision in Americans for Prosperity to strike down other donor disclosure laws.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Facebook Gives the Most Dangerous Extremists a Free Pass

        The pop-ups are part of something called The Redirect Initiative, which attempts to “combat violent extremism and dangerous organizations by redirecting hate and violence-related search terms towards resources, education, and outreach groups that can help.”

        The Redirect Initiative sounds like something that could be a valuable public service if Facebook was serious about fighting extremism. But that’s obviously not the case.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Julian Assange’s freedom depends on the mobilisation of the working class

        If the US and its allies have their way, Assange will never be a free man. Even though a British district court ruled against his extradition to the US on narrow health grounds in January, there is no timetable for Assange’s release from prison in the foreseeable future.

        The US is proceeding with an appeal against that verdict. Despite the discrediting of the prosecution case as a frame-up, including last week’s admission by a key US witness that he provided fabricated evidence for the indictment against Assange, there is every reason to suspect that such an appeal would be successful. At each point, the British judiciary has thrown aside the rule of law to facilitate Assange’s persecution.

      • ‘A direct trail of blood drops’ leads from a Twitter hack to Jamal Khashoggi’s murder

        The first clue popped up on Omar Abdulaziz’s phone four years ago. A Saudi dissident attending college in Montreal, Abdulaziz got a cryptic message from Twitter. His account had been penetrated by a “state sponsored” actor. He should take precautions to protect his personal information, the company advised, offering no further details.

        b Abdulaziz didn’t think much of it at the time. He changed his password and switched to two-factor authentication. “I thought this is, like, a problem, it was solved and it’s not happening again,” says Abdulaziz. “I didn’t know how big that was.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Baltimore to Stop Prosecuting “Nonviolent” Crimes. Activists Say More Is Needed.
      • Palestinian Families Face Another Summer of Needless Suffering in Gaza

        My family and I—my wife, our young son, our elders, and the twin baby girls who will be born to us this week—ask the world to hear the conditions of our lives here in Deir el Balah, after 14 years’ captivity in the world’s largest toxic prison-camp, and since the May waves of Israeli tank shells, artillery shells, rockets and bombs have stopped exploding in our midst. 

      • Russian national Yegor Dudnikov complains of poor jail conditions in Belarus

        Russian national Yegor Dudnikov, who has been in pre-trial detention in Minsk since May, has complained about the poor conditions of detention and the deterioration of his health, his mother and lawyer told the independent television channel Dozhd.

      • Activists Are Working to Ban Anti-LGBTQ “Conversion Therapy”
      • Is Fulton v the City of Philadelphia Really a Win for Freedom of Religion?

        The court chose to allow Catholic Social Services (CSS) to continue to discriminate against homosexual and unmarried couples seeking to foster and adopt children because other oganisations in Philadephia will serve these groups. However, as the caregivers of these children it is the responsibility of the state to ensure they have all the best possible resources.

        This change could set a precedent where the government is forced to provide contracts and funding to organisations and businesses even if they misuse those funds for religious purposes.

      • ‘A huge wave of hate’ Tbilisi Pride calls off ‘March for Dignity’ following violent attacks in Georgia’s capital

        LGBTQ+ activists from Tbilisi Pride were forced to cancel a march planned for the evening of Monday, July 5, following violent attacks by counter demonstrators in the Georgian capital. In addition to physically assaulting journalists who had gathered ahead of the “March for Dignity,” the anti-Pride demonstrators broke into the Tbilisi Pride office and set fire to a rainbow flag. In its statement canceling the march, Tbilisi Pride condemned both the violence and the inaction of the authorities, accusing the government and the Georgian Patriarchate of backing a “huge wave of hate.” Eighteen Western Embassies also issued a joint statement condemning the attacks in Tbilisi, as well as the failure of government and religious leaders to speak out against this violence.

      • Independence Day and the Imperial CEO

        On July 4, 1776, Americans rejected the divine right of kings, declaring self-evident truths: All men are created equal. Legitimate government is founded on consent of the governed. Government exists to support our pursuit of life, liberty and happiness—not to save our souls or pursue military glory. Now, those principles of limited government can tame imperial CEOs.

      • “What to the Slave Is the 4th of July?”: James Earl Jones Reads Frederick Douglass’s Historic Speech

        We begin our July Fourth special broadcast with the words of Frederick Douglass. Born into slavery around 1818, Douglass became a key leader of the abolitionist movement. On July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York, Douglass gave one of his most famous speeches, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” He was addressing the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society. James Earl Jones reads the historic address during a performance of “Voices of a People’s History of the United States,” which was co-edited by Howard Zinn. The late great historian introduces the address.

      • Man Freed After Spending 21 Years in Prison for Crime That ‘Never Happened’

        The prosecution’s case against Smith was based entirely on two of the victims identifying him from a photo lineup, with no other evidence linking him to the crime. He was sentenced to 67 years in prison after being convicted of multiple counts of aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, and kidnapping.

        But last month, Fairfield County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Berens ruled that prosecutors had withheld evidence that suggested the crime may have been staged—and granted him a new trial.

      • Into the Quagmire with Donald Rumsfeld

        Rumsfeld relished such tributes to his toughness, but he was above all else a skilful bureaucratic warrior in Washington and never the warlord he pretended to be. As defence secretary between 2001 and 2006, he gloried in his role as America’s military chief avenging 9/11, but his arrogance and inability to adjust to the realities of the Afghan and Iraq wars produced frustration or failure on the battlefield.

        Manoeuvre though Rumsfeld did to avoid responsibility for the Iraq war, he became the living symbol of America’s plunge into the quagmire. Typically, he responded to this by banning his staff at the Pentagon from using the word “quagmire” along with “resistance” and “insurgents”.

      • The Known Knowns of Donald Rumsfeld

        Long before Donald Trump took aim at irritating facts and dissenting eggheads, Donald Rumsfeld, two times defense secretary and key planner behind the invasion of Iraq in 2003, was doing his far from negligible bit. When asked at his confirmation hearing about what worried him most when he went to bed at night, he responded accordingly: intelligence.  “The danger that we can be surprised because of a failure of imagining what might happen in the world.”

        Hailing from Chicago, he remained an almost continuous feature of the Republic’s politics for decades, burying himself in the business-government matrix.  He was a Congressman three times.  He marked the Nixon and Ford administrations, respectively serving as head of the Office of Economic Opportunity and Defense Secretary.  At 43, he was the youngest defense secretary appointee in the imperium’s history.

      • Remembering Donald Rumsfeld: A Killer of Multitudes

        One thing you won’t find in corporate media obituaries of Donald Rumsfeld is any estimate of how many people died in the wars he was in charge of launching.

      • The Crimes of Donald Rumsfeld and a Reflection on the Iraq War

        Donald Rumsfeld’s death is a good occasion to reflect on the Iraq War of which he was a major architect. The War was the highpoint of the U.S. pursuit of global hegemony. That means it’s been downhill since then. Its failures echo far beyond the calamity of the War itself.   The collateral impacts—before, during, and after—have grievously damaged American interests and substantially diminished its power in the world. It’s the exact opposite of what was promised going in.

      • HASSAN: The ex-Muslim movement seeks to challenge apostasy in Islam

        It is widely known that apostasy in Islam carries a death sentence or at least severe public and private censure. That is why a great number of ex-Muslims hide their disbelief from family, friends, and society. However, some noteworthy ex-Muslims have tried to address this phenomenon by proclaiming their apostasy and encouraging others to do the same.

      • Ilhan Omar needs to answer for the stabbing of Boston rabbi

        Imagine, then, the power of that tongue when it lashes out against Jews from within the government, yes, the House of Representatives.

        That gives it the stamp of frightful authority.

        Yet Omar feels comfortable enough to do it again and again, with that smirk, because there is no one to stop her.

      • Aceh woman collapses after receiving 100 lashes for premarital sex

        The woman and her male lover were sentenced to 100 lashes each for engaging in premarital sex. The public flogging yesterday also saw three others subject to their punishment: one man was sentenced to 75 lashes for providing a venue for premarital sex while two other men were sentenced to 40 lashes for drinking alcoholic beverages.

        The woman collapsed after receiving her punishment, which was carried out by enforcers from the province’s Wilayatul Hisbah (religious police), Satpol PP (the Public Order Agency), and witnessed by members of the public.

    • Monopolies

      • DiDi, China’s Uber analog, booted from local app stores for data naughtiness • The Register

        Chinese ride hailing app DiDi Chuxing was on Sunday removed from local app stores on on grounds that it did not comply with data protection laws. The ban came less than a week after the company’s US stock market debut.

        The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) issued the ban. In its notice of its actions the CAC wrote: “The DiDi Travel App has serious violations of laws and regulations in collecting and using personal information.”

      • Copyrights

        • Copyright Holders: Automatically Deleting Pirated Content From Search Isn’t Enough

          A draft bill before Russia’s State Duma will allow all copyright holders to have links to pirated content automatically removed from search engines within six hours. However, some copyright holders believe the measures don’t go far enough since there is no provision to permanently ban persistent pirate sites from search engines.

        • Stream-Ripping Can be Perfectly Legal, French Ministry of Culture Says

          Downloading music via stream-ripping tools can be perfectly legal, the French Ministry of Culture has confirmed. The resulting copies fall under the private copying exemption. However, this only applies if the stream-ripping service doesn’t circumvent technical protection measures, which is a widely contested issue.

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DecorWhat Else is New


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  2. Society Needs to Take Back Computing, Data, and Networks

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  3. [Meme] Meanwhile in Austria...

    With lobbyists-led leadership one might be led to believe that a treaty strictly requiring ratification by the UK is somehow feasible (even if technically and legally it's moot already)



  4. The EPO's Web Site is a Parade of Endless Lies and Celebration of Gross Violations of the Law

    The EPO's noise site (formerly it had a "news" section, but it has not been honest for about a decade) is a torrent of lies, cover-up, and promotion of crimes; maybe the lies are obvious for everybody to see (at least EPO insiders), but nevertheless a rebuttal seems necessary



  5. The Letter EPO Management Does Not Want Applicants to See (or Respond to)

    A letter from the Munich Staff Committee at the EPO highlights the worrying extent of neglect of patent quality under Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos; the management of the EPO did not even bother replying to that letter (instead it was busy outsourcing the EPO to Microsoft)



  6. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 04, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 04, 2021



  7. EPO-Bribed IAM 'Media' Has Praised Quality, Which Even EPO Staff (Examiners) Does Not Praise

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  8. Tux Machines is 17.5 Years Old Today

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  9. Approaching 100

    We'll soon have 100 files in Git; if that matters at all...



  10. Improving Gemini by Posting IRC Logs (and Scrollback) as GemText

    Our adoption of Gemini and of GemText increases; with nearly 100,000 page requests in the first 3 days of Decembe (over gemini://) it’s clear that the growing potential of the protocol is realised, hence the rapid growth too; Gemini is great for self-hosting, which is in turn essential when publishing suppressed and controversial information (subject to censorship through blackmail and other ‘creative’ means)



  11. Links 4/12/2021: IPFire 2.27 Core Update 162 and Genode OS Framework 21.11

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  12. Links 4/12/2021: Gedit Plans and More

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  13. Links 4/12/2021: Turnip Becomes Vulkan 1.1 Conformant

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  14. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 03, 2021

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  15. Links 4/12/2021: EndeavourOS Atlantis, Krita 5.0.0 Beta 5, Istio 1.11.5, and Wine 6.23; International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on December 10th

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  16. Another Gemini Milestone: 1,500 Active Capsules

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  17. [Meme] António Campinos and Socialist Posturing

    Staff of the EPO isn’t as gullible as António Campinos needs it to be



  18. António Campinos as EPO President is Considered Worse Than Benoît Battistelli (in Some Regards) After 3.5 Years in Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    The EPO's demise at the hands of people who don't understand patents and don't care what the EPO exists for is a real crisis which European media is unwilling to even speak about; today we share some internal publications and comment on them



  19. Media Coverage for Sale

    Today we're highlighting a couple of new examples (there are many other examples which can be found any day of the year) demonstrating that the World Wide Web is like a corporate spamfarm in "news" clothing



  20. Links 3/12/2021: GNU Poke 1.4 and KDDockWidgets 1.5.0

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  21. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 02, 2021

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  22. Links 3/12/2021: Nitrux 1.7.1 and Xen 4.16 Released

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  23. Links 2/12/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.4 Alpha, Qt Creator 6

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  24. The EPO's “Gender Awareness Report”

    There’s a new document with remarks by the EPO’s staff representatives and it concerns opportunities for women at the EPO — a longstanding issue



  25. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 01, 2021

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  26. EPO Staff Committee Compares the Tactics of António Campinos to Benoît Battistelli's

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO talks about EPO President António Campinos, arguing that “he seems to subscribe to the Manichean view, introduced by Mr Battistelli…”



  27. Prof. Thomas Jaeger in GRUR: Unified Patent Court (UPC) “Incompatible With EU Law“

    The truth remains unquestionable and the law remains unchanged; Team UPC is living in another universe, unable to accept that what it is scheming will inevitably face high-level legal challenges (shall that become necessary) and it will lose because the facts are all still the same



  28. Links 1/12/2021: LibrePlanet CFS Extended to December 15th and DB Comparer for PostgreSQL Reaches 5.0

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  29. EPO Cannot and Will Not Self-Regulate

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  30. [Meme] Germany's Licence to Break the Law

    Remember that the young Campinos asked dad for his immunity after he had gotten drunk and crashed the car; maybe the EPO should stop giving diplomatic immunity to people, seeing what criminals (e.g. Benoît Battistelli) this attracts; the German government is destroying its image (and the EU’s) by fostering such corruption, wrongly believing that it’s worth it because of Eurozone domination for patents/litigation


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