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Offline scarface

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Re: General chat room
« Reply #210 on: September 07, 2019, 06:43 AM »
Today, I’m going to hold a conference to talk about Assad’s hollow victory.




Bashar al-Assad is on the verge of retaking Idlib province, the last rebel stronghold. But that will not end the chaos he has wrought at home and abroad

"Assad or we burn the country.” For years Bashar al-Assad’s troops have daubed that phrase onto walls in the towns they recapture. The insurgents pushed the dictator to the brink. But Mr Assad shrugged off the empty threats of Western leaders, and enlisted the help of Iran and Russia. True to his slogan, he destroyed whole cities and gassed and starved his own people. What rebels remain are holed up in Idlib province. It, too, will soon fall. Against all the odds, the monster has won.
Yet it is a hollow victory. Far from bringing order to the country, as the Russians and Iranians claim, Mr Assad has displaced half the population. Mr Assad has nothing good to offer his people. His country will be wretched and divided. The consequences will be felt far beyond its borders.
The precise moment of Mr Assad’s triumph will be determined in Idlib. About 3m people live there, many of whom fled fighting elsewhere. The area is controlled by the hardest-core rebels, jihadists linked to al-Qaeda, who will not go quietly. That, too, is a legacy of Mr Assad’s ruthlessness. He released hundreds of jihadists from prison in 2011, hoping that they would taint the once-peaceful, multi-confessional uprising. Now the regime is bombing them, along with civilians and hospitals. The offensive will take time—and it will be bloody.
When the fighting stops, the tensions that originally threatened the regime will remain—but they will be worse than ever. Start with religion. Mr Assad’s father, Hafez, a member of the Alawite minority, clung to power partly by holding the line between the country’s faiths. His son, though, painted his Sunni opponents as fundamentalists as a way of rallying Christians, Druze and secular-minded Syrians to his side. Millions of Sunnis have fled the country, creating what Mr Assad calls “a healthier and more homogeneous society”, but millions remain. They have seen their homes looted, property confiscated and districts overrun by Assad supporters. Resentful, fearful and oppressed, they will be a source of opposition to the regime.

Next are Syrians’ grievances. Back in 2011 corruption, poverty and social inequality united the uprising. Things have only got worse. Syria’s GDP is one-third of what it was before the war. The UN reckons that more than eight in ten people are poor. Much of the country lies in ruins. But the government’s plans to rebuild Syria risk tearing it further apart. Reconstruction will cost between $250bn and $400bn, but Mr Assad has neither the money nor the manpower to carry it out. So he has focused resources on areas that remained loyal. The Sunni slums that did not are being demolished and redeveloped for his bourgeois supporters. His cronies reap the profits, as the country’s class and religious fault lines grow wider.

Then there is Mr Assad’s cruelty. Hafez kept Syria in check with a brutal secret police and occasional campaigns of murderous violence. His son, in danger of losing power, has tortured and killed at least 14,000 people in the regime’s sprawling network of clandestine prisons, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, an NGO. Nearly 128,000 people are thought to remain in the dungeons, though many are probably dead. Even as the war nears its end, the pace of executions is increasing. Almost every Syrian has lost someone close to them in the war. Psychologists speak ominously of a breakdown in society.

Last is Mr Assad’s debt to Iran and Russia. He owes his victory to their supply of firepower, advice and money and their willingness to back a pariah. They will expect to be paid, with interest.
For Syrians, therefore, Mr Assad’s victory is a catastrophe. But his opponents are exhausted so, in spite of his weaknesses, he could yet cling to power for years. And for as long as he is in charge, Syria’s misery will spread across the region.

The war has already drawn in a handful of outside powers, but the chaos could grow. Iran treats Syria as a second front against Israel to complement Hizbullah, its proxy in Lebanon. Israel has launched hundreds of air strikes on Iranian positions during the war. One in August prevented Iranian and Hizbullah operatives from attacking Israel with armed drones, the Israeli army says. Turkey, which has troops in the north, is threatening to launch an offensive against Kurdish forces, whom it considers terrorists, near its border. That could lead to a face-off with America, which supports the Kurds and had been trying to calm the Turks.

Refugees will destabilise Syria’s neighbours, too. Those who have fled Mr Assad do not want to go home—indeed their numbers will grow because of the offensive in Idlib. The longer they stay in camps, the greater the danger that they become a permanent, festering diaspora. They are already unsettling host countries, such as Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, where many locals accuse them of draining resources and taking jobs. Turkey is sending some back, even to places like Idlib.
And that could spill over into the wider world. Dispossessed at home and unwanted abroad, refugees are at risk of radicalisation. Mr Assad’s ruthless tactics have left large parts of his population bitter and alienated. His prisons will incubate extremism. What better breeding ground for al-Qaeda and Islamic State, which the American government says is already “resurging in Syria”? In May America dropped 54 bombs and missiles on jihadists in Iraq and Syria. That number rose to over 100 in each of June and July.

Having failed to act in the war’s early days, when they might have pushed the dictator out, Western countries can do little now to change Syria’s course. Some European leaders think it is time to engage with Mr Assad, participate in reconstruction and send the refugees home. This is misguided. The refugees will not return willingly. Reconstruction will only benefit the regime and the warlords and foreigners who backed it. Better to let Russia and Iran pay.
Instead the West should try to spare Syria’s suffering by offering strictly humanitarian assistance and threatening retribution for heinous acts, such as the use of chemical weapons. America should stay to keep IS and al-Qaeda in check. But for as long as Mr Assad is allowed to misrule Syria, most aid money would be better spent helping its neighbours. With Mr Assad’s victory, Syrians’ misery will go on.

Offline scarface

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Re: General chat room
« Reply #211 on: September 08, 2019, 05:16 AM »
Today, I'm going to talk about the vibrant appeal of chef Raoni in Bordeaux to save the Amazon and its peoples.




In Bordeaux for several days for the Climax festival in Darwin where he is one of the guests of honor, the great chef Raoni was able to express himself during the press conference of the festival, as well as at the Bordeaux city hall, where he received the Medal of the City. Financial assistance for reforestation will be discussed at the next municipal council.

This 4th of September, Bordeaux was able to discover the face of one of the greatest defenders of the Amazon cause. Raoni Metuktire, better known as Chef Raoni, has been here for almost a week. He will speak at a Climax festival conference on Saturday, September 7th at 4pm, entitled "Testimony of a cacique of the Kayapo tribe".

In the meantime, the iconic Brazilian chef made several public appearances on Wednesday at the Climax press conference and at Bordeaux City Hall.
The voice of the indigenous people

Born between 1930 and 1934, Raoni is one of the most publicized indigenous leaders of the last 40 years. It is impossible to miss his face marked by a labret, a disc of ceremonially painted wood, worn under the lower lip. Surrounded by a delegation of representatives of indigenous peoples, Raoni carries the voice of the Amazon all over the world, and especially in Europe.

Sadly under the spotlight for several weeks, the "green lung" of the planet is in the throes of fierce fires, mainly on the part of the Brazilian territory. From the beginning of January to the end of August 2019, 74,000 fires were recorded in the country (almost twice as many as in 2018).

Chosen over a year ago, the theme of the 2019 edition of Climax festival, "the Amazon or the uprooting of the world", puts the question of the preservation of the largest tropical forest in the world at the heart of the questions on agricultural intensification and deforestation.

The presence of Raoni as guest of honor marks this new edition of the festival. At the inaugural press conference on September 4, his arrival – surprise – seized the assembly. His words, transmitted to a translator of the dialect of his tribe, then translated into Portuguese and finally into French, resounded in a lead silence.
"I'm here to fight for the last remaining forests, for the heart of the Amazon. For that, I need to know if you think like me. Together, we will leave our children a future."
"President Bolsonaro justifies his campaign against us by saying that we are not sufficiently advanced. I ask the world that it helps us: the forest is our house, our pharmacy. If it dies, we will die. In Brazil, we do not have the freedom to speak like here."

Offline humbert

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Re: General chat room
« Reply #212 on: September 08, 2019, 08:58 PM »
Today, I’m going to hold a conference to talk about Assad’s hollow victory.
Bashar al-Assad is on the verge of retaking Idlib province, the last rebel stronghold. But that will not end the chaos he has wrought at home and abroad

As you said, Assad was very close to losing power until Russia and Iran won the war for him. There is no question he's a brutal dictator. However, I firmly believe some (not all) of his opponents would be infinitely worse. ISIS and some other fanatical islamists were in the battle to oust him. If you live in Damascus and don't get involved in politics, chances are Assad will leave you alone. You can do things like go to a night club to drink and dance. and generally go about your business. This is impossible under ISIS or similar. This is, of course, no reason Assad should stay in power forever. The world just needs to be very careful as to who will succeed him if he is defeated.


Offline scarface

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Re: General chat room
« Reply #213 on: September 09, 2019, 02:53 PM »
Tonight, I'm going to talk about the Taliban.



Trump has declared talks between the US and the Taliban “dead” after he called off a Camp David meeting over the weekend, triggering fears of a spike in violence in Afghanistan in the run-up to presidential elections due later this month.

Trump’s tweeted announcement on Saturday came as a shock in Washington and Kabul, where there was disbelief that the president would have invited the Taliban to an iconic presidential venue in the same week as the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

There was also scepticism that the bombing of Thursday in Kabul was the real reason the talks were called off.

The Taliban issued a statement saying an agreement had been “finalised” and that talks had ended in “a good atmosphere” but the deal had been sabotaged by Trump.

The Taliban would continue their “jihad” against foreign “occupation”, the statement said. “Now, the announcement by the president of the United States of an end to negotiations with the Islamic Emirate [the Taliban] will harm America more than anyone else; it will harm its credibility, and further expose its anti-peace stance to the world; it would [result in] an increase in financial damage and casualties to its forces.”

The Taliban are expected to step up attacks on preparations for presidential elections on 28 September.

President Ghani had been opposed to the US-Taliban deal negotiated in Qatar by the US special envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, because the Afghan government had been excluded from the talks, and the agreement reportedly gave no guarantees on the holding of this month’s election or the survival of the Kabul government. Nor did it commit the Taliban to talking directly to Ghani or his ministers.

Offline humbert

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Re: General chat room
« Reply #214 on: September 09, 2019, 09:23 PM »
Trump came up with this scheme about inviting the Taliban in order to look like a peacemaker after the failed talks with Kim Jong Un. As usual he overruled all his advisors, including Pence. Not surprisingly, the scheme backfired.

Offline scarface

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Re: General chat room
« Reply #215 on: September 16, 2019, 06:12 AM »
Today, I noticed an interesting magazine cover in a bar, with the headline "how to buy a laptop or a smartphone without losing one's shirt". You can see that cover below. Note that the French expression "se faire plumer" perfectly fits the picture.
I imagine that usmangujjar and Maher are going to read this message with interest.

As far as laptops are concerned, the magazine is saying that ultraportable are pretty cheap like the Acer Swift 1. If you want a bigger screen, they are also recommending the laptop hp notebook 17 by0024nf.
As for the smartphones, they are recommending the Xiaomi mi9 T.  (I have a Honor 9 lite, it's even cheaper).


Offline scarface

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Re: General chat room
« Reply #216 on: September 20, 2019, 04:39 AM »
Note that this afternoon I will give you the link for the new repack of soma (I will test it before).
I will also hold a conference to talk about the worldwide demonstrations, since a climate strike has begun.

Offline scarface

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Re: General chat room
« Reply #217 on: September 20, 2019, 06:09 AM »
Here are the first photos of the strike for climate taking place in many towns around the world.


In Sydney, Australia; on 20 September 2019. Young Australians kicked off this day of global mobilization to fight global warming.



Activists are taking to London streets in a global climate crisis protest



In Lyon, the strike has begun too.



Students take to the streets of Prague as part of the global day of action



In Qalqilya, some palestinians are gathering to discuss the issue of climate change. They look very happy.



The movement has been inspired by Swedish schoolgirl and climate activist Greta Thunberg


Offline scarface

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Re: General chat room
« Reply #218 on: September 20, 2019, 08:26 AM »
Apparently, there is a mistake in the message above.
The scene in Palestine was supposedly taking place in Qalqilya during the strike for climate.
In fact the photo was taken in Pakistan, near Islamabad, with a crowd of onlookers, in front of the house of Bin Laden, after he was arrested.


Offline scarface

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Re: General chat room
« Reply #219 on: September 20, 2019, 10:55 AM »
Here are more photos of the global strike for climate.

Millions Of Young People Around The World Are Leading Strikes To Call Attention To The Climate Crisis.


People take photos on their phones as marchers stream past in Melbourne, Australia.

People across the world are walking out of school and work in a massive youth-led movement to draw attention to the climate crisis.
There are more than 3,600 events planned, according to the main organizing group #FridaysForFuture. The third global youth-run climate strike of the year, Friday’s event is poised to be the biggest yet, leading up to the first-ever UN Youth Climate Summit in New York on Saturday.
“September 20 is not our goal,” Xiye Bastida, a 17-year-old climate activist helping to organize the latest strike in New York, told BuzzFeed News. “It’s a stepping stone, a catalyst for future action. It’s a point to tell the world we are watching.”
The climate strike movement is just over a year old. It started with 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, who began striking alone every Friday in August last year outside of the Swedish Parliament building in Stockholm to call attention to climate change. In the year since, the movement has spurred hundreds to thousands of kids to strike regularly. Other climate movements, most notably Extinction Rebellion in the UK and the Sunrise Movement in the US, have tapped into growing frustration about a lack of climate action.
Thunberg has brought her blunt plea for climate action first to the international climate conference in Poland last year, the TED Talk stage, and, just this week, to the US Congress, where she told lawmakers, “This is the moment in history we need to be wide awake. Dreams cannot stand in the way of telling it like it is, especially not now.”

In Afghanistan