Belarus’ Tikhanovskaya and her children safe in Lithuania

Lietuvos nacionalinis radijas ir televizija:

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya / AP

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the opposition candidate in Belarus’ presidential election, is in Lithuania, Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius said on Tuesday morning. He later said that her children were also in the country.

“She arrived in Lithuania and is safe now,” he told BNS on Tuesday morning.

Linkevičius later told LRT TV that Tikhanovskaya arrived in Lithuania on Tuesday night.

“The night was tense, she was detained for a very long time, some seven hours. We didn’t know the circumstances of her detention nor her whereabouts,” he said.

“There was a threat [to Tikhanovkaya]. After I’d been trying to contact her for several hours, unsuccessfully, we started a search. There was a lot of communicating through­out the night, everyone was concerned,” Linkevičius told LRT TV. “She is now in a safe country, which is the most important thing.”

On Monday, Tikhanovskaya refused to concede victory to Alexander Lukashenko whom the officially announced results gave 80 percent of the vote.

Opponents to Lukashenko’s autocratic rule maintain the results were rigged and Tikhanovskaya said she was the real winner.

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in Minsk and other Belarusian cities to protest the result of Sunday’s controversial presidential election.

Tikhanovskaya, a 37-year-old teacher of English, decided to run for president after her husband, Sergey Tikhanovsky, a popular blogger, was arrested. She has promised to hold a new, fair election if elected.

A number of members of her election campaign have been arrested over the past week, too.

Mindaugo Bridge in Vilnius / S. Žiūra/LRT

On Monday, four bridges in Vilnius were illuminated in the white–red–white colours of the Belarusian flag used by the opposition.

“Vilnius is sending a message of support to the democracy-seeking Belarus,” the city’s authorities said in a statement.

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Sanctioned phrases

Guardian:

Unrest and violence erupted in the center of Chicago early on Monday
after weeks of bubbling tension
protests on Sunday after
a man was shot by police
More than 100 people were arrested on Monday
after pockets of disruption escalated
escalated overnight into looting … and some destruction
the trouble in the downtown area
Police superintendent David Brown said … “not an organized protest” but instead “an incident of pure criminality”
began following the shooting of a person by police
“This was straight-up, felony criminal conduct,” said Chicago’s mayor
“This was an assault on our city.”
Hundreds of people were seen damaging storefronts and stealing goods
There was a large police presence on Monday morning outside an Apple store
Train and bus service into downtown was temporarily suspended
Bridges over the Chicago River were lifted, preventing travel to and from the downtown area
Illinois state police blocked some expressway ramps into downtown
police were investigating the possible link between the latest unrest and the shooting of the man
But she said there “cannot be any excuse”
“brazen and extensive criminal looting and destruction”
“This has nothing to do with first amendment expression. This was straight-up felony, criminal conduct.”
“It’s deeply painful for every Chicagoan, it’s an assault on our city”
unnamed man who was
shot by police
thought to be in his teens or early 20s
outbreaks of violence of varying intensity
culminating in Sunday night’s chaos
underlying factors such as a history of extreme inequality between different neighborhoods
policing problems
Deep-seated problems have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, the related cratering of the economy and tension with police
“This is a failure of leadership,” tweeted … an alderman
“A failure to act on information.”
“We have seen this before.”
“how do we protect the other neighborhoods”
“How do you hold these criminals accountable.”
the vandalism and thefts were occurring in the broader context of surging unemployment, healthcare disparities in the pandemic and community anger at police for disproportionately targeting people of color
“We not only have criminals on the streets, we have criminals in corporate boardrooms and criminals in government. People are starving,”
“The solution isn’t to just lock them all up.”
sporadic clashes with police in other cities over the weekend
largely peaceful protests splintered on the fringe
Police donned riot gear … and, guns drawn, advanced upon protesters
protests that had been largely calm … were marred later by a clash
Law enforcement officers … declared the situation a riot

US State Dept.’s Advisory for France – Level 3: Reconsider Travel:

Reconsider travel to France due to COVID-19.  Exercise increased caution in France due to terrorism and civil unrest.

Demonstrations in Paris and other major cities continue in France and are expected to continue in the coming weeks. Property damage, including looting and arson, in populated tourist areas has occurred with reckless disregard for public safety. Police have responded with water cannons, rubber bullets, and tear gas. The U.S. Embassy is advising official U.S. government travelers to avoid travel to Paris and other major cities in France on the weekends.

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Hegel, Kojève, Fukuyama, Trump

Die Zeit:

In der Tat, für Hegel war Amerika das Land der Zukunft, ein Sehnsuchtsort für all jene, “welche die historische Rüstkammer des alten Europa langweilt”. Mit dem Sieg Amerikas, so Fukuyama, sei der Weltgeist in die Zielgerade eingebogen. Es existiere keine tragfähige Alternative mehr zum liberalen Westen, und über kurz oder lang würden alle Nationen seinen Werten nacheifern: der Freiheit, der Gleichheit, der Demokratie und, ganz wichtig, dem kapitalistischen Markt.

Es kam anders. Der Jugoslawien-Krieg und der islamistische Terror widerlegten die Behauptung vom Triumph des Liberalismus. Auch der chinesische Staats­kapitalismus machte keinerlei Anstalten zur nach­holenden Demokratisierung, und ausgerechnet Amerika, das von Hegel beschworene Zugpferd des progressiven Weltgeistes, legte 2003 mit dem Irak-Krieg die Axt ans Völkerrecht – das “Land der Zukunft” demolierte die Hoffnung auf eine kooperative Weltordnung, die dem nationalen Egoismus Grenzen setzt. Und dann gewinnt auch noch der Immobilien­tycoon Donald Trump die Präsidentenwahl und hält seitdem die Predigt von America first.

Ω Ω Ω

Sobald ein Staat den Bezug zu seinen Idealen aufkündigt, war er in Hegels Augen vom Niedergang bedroht. Was also, wenn sich die Vereinigten Staaten von diesem Donald Trump nicht mehr erholen und die amerikanische Klassengesellschaft in einem kalten Bürgerkrieg erstarrt? Was, wenn sich das Musterland des angel­säch­sischen Liberalismus als unfähig erweist, die Macht der Finanzaristokratie zu brechen, die – in Hegels Worten – “unverhältnismäßige” Konzentration von “Reichtümern in wenigen Händen”? Und was bedeutete das alles für die Laufrichtung des Weltgeistes?

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Normalization

Patrick Cockburn:

The polio epidemic in Cork supposedly ended abruptly in mid-September 1956 when the local press stopped reporting on it, but that was at least two weeks before many children like me caught it. In a similar fashion, right now, wars in the Middle East and north Africa like the ongoing disasters in Libya and Syria that once got significant coverage now barely get a mention much of the time.

In the years to come, the same thing could happen to the coronavirus.

Los Angeles Times:

When the number of people being sent to the hospital with COVID-19 began to creep up in Los Angeles County early this summer, officials warned that a major increase in deaths was inevitable. A record-breaking number of cases could result in a record-breaking number of deaths, they predicted.

But nearly two months later, that has not materialized. The coronavirus continues to kill hundreds of people every week in L.A. County, but the death toll has remained lower than expected.

“We’ve acquired a tremendous amount of information in the last seven months that has been helpful. We just need everybody to recognize that the virus has not gone away,” Brewer said.

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Die verschiedene Erlebnisbereiche der Vergangenheit

Es ist auch eine Legende, dass Brandts Abneigung gegen Kurt Georg Kiesinger im Wesentlichen auf dessen NSDAP-Mitglied­schaft zurückzuführen war, auch wenn er im Ärger gelegentlich über den »alten Nazi« schimpfte. Das war eher eine persönliche Sache, eine Frage der »Chemie«. Er forderte seine Partei sogar auf, Kiesingers NS-Vergangenheit zu übergehen, was wohl auch mit seinen eigenen Erfahrungen mit persönlichen Angriffen, die ihre Argumente aus der Vergangenheit bezogen, zu tun hatte. Als er in das Kabinett der Großen Koalition eintrat, knüpfte er an seine inner­gesell­schaft­liche Versöhnungsbotschaft früherer Jahre an und hob hervor, dass Deutschland nun durch »Persönlichkeiten der verschiedenen Erlebnisbereiche der Vergangenheit« repräsentiert sei, worin er tatsächlich einen wesentlichen Beitrag zur »Aussöhnung des deutschen Volkes« sah.

—Peter Brandt, Mit anderen Augen, (Bonn: Verlag J.H.W. Dietz Nachf. GmbH, 2013), 193.

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SPD-Bundesvorsitzender hält Koalition mit Linkspartei für denkbar

Die Zeit:

“Wenn wir eine Bündnisoption mit der Linken ausschlössen, hätten die Verteidiger des Weiter-so und damit der weitergehenden Spaltung der Gesellschaft schon gewonnen”, sagte Walter-Borjan den Zeitungen der Funke Mediengruppe.

Allerdings hätte ein Bündnis aus SPD, Grünen und Linken momentan keine politische Mehrheit. Die SPD liegt zudem hinter den Grünen.

Die Partei dümpelt in Umfragen weiterhin mit Werten zwischen 14 und 16 Prozent dahin. Eine realistische sozialdemokratische Machtperspektive ist nicht in Sicht.

Die Partei wirkt, als stolpere sie unbeholfen in Richtung Bundestagswahlkampf.

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‘Worst nightmare’: Laid-off workers endure loss of $600 aid

Associated Press:

Job seekers exercise social distancing as they wait to be called into the Heartland Workforce Solutions office in Omaha, Neb. The extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits has expired, the federal eviction moratorium has ended and federal money to help businesses retain workers has grown lean. Meanwhile, the pandemic rages on and there is no consensus from Washington on another relief package. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Kaiser Health News:

Scientists know that vaccines engineered to protect the public from influenza, hepatitis B, tetanus and rabies can be less effective in obese adults than in the general population, leaving them more vulnerable to infection and illness. There is little reason to believe, obesity researchers say, that COVID‑19 vaccines will be any different.

“Will we have a COVID vaccine next year tailored to the obese? No way,” said Raz Shaikh, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

“Will it still work in the obese? Our prediction is no.”

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We did what we could

Philadelphia Inquirer:

Many Americans feel disappointed that the country has not been able to tame the virus despite the sacrifices that have been made by the public.

“In the beginning, it looked like we were able to flatten the curve,” Sudak said. “Many people thought that flattening the curve had to do with making the virus go away. Every­body did what they were supposed to do then, and now people want to go out and do what they used to do, but the virus hasn’t gone away.”

Because cases across the U.S. continue to spike, she said, people are still dealing with a tremendous amount of uncertainty, which “is the thing that’s been the most distressing.” Human beings are wired to dislike uncertainty, she said.

“People have really been wanting a sense of certainty about being safe, and we did all the right things like social distancing from each other to get that,” Sudak said. “But we still don’t have a sense of security and safety as we should. There’s likely a tremendous amount of disappointment about that.”

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Stock phrases as public policy (it is what it is)

Guardian:

At least 100,000 people are expected to attend the 10-day annual Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota’s Black Hills from Friday, as opportunities for the local economy have overridden concerns it could become a coronavirus superspreading event.

“I’ve not seen one single person wearing a mask,” said Jessica Christian, who is working at a bar at the sprawling event.“It’s just pretty much the mentality that, ‘If I get it, I get it.’”

“I’m sitting here and I’m watching people walk up and down the street, watching people ride up and down the street. A few have masks – most don’t,” he said. “There’s not much we can do. Everybody is coming here with their eyes wide open. They know what they’re getting into.”

Mayor Mark Carstensen said throughout the pandemic, “the state of South Dakota has been the freedom state and the city of Sturgis has stayed true to that”.

Carstensen emphasized that public health could not be pitted against the economy and people’s ability to maintain livelihoods.

“It’s a situation where those can work together. It’s not easy,” the mayor said, “but we’re all in this together.”

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US State Dept. has lifted the Global Level 4 Health Advisory, which advised Americans to avoid international travel due to COVID-19

US State Dept.’s Advisory – Worldwide Caution:

As terrorist attacks, political violence (including demonstrations), criminal activities and other security incidents often take place without any warning, U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance and practice good situational awareness when traveling abroad.

US State Dept.’s Advisory for Germany – Level 3: Reconsider Travel:

Reconsider travel to Germany due to COVID‑19. Exercise increased caution in Germany due to terrorism.

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for the Germany due to COVID-19.

Improved conditions have been reported within Germany. Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Germany.

Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Germany. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

US State Dept.’s Advisory for France – Level 3: Reconsider Travel:

Reconsider travel to France due to COVID-19.  Exercise increased caution in France due to terrorism and civil unrest.

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for France due to COVID-19.

Improved conditions have been reported within France.  Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in France.

Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in France. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

Demonstrations in Paris and other major cities continue in France and are expected to continue in the coming weeks. Property damage, including looting and arson, in populated tourist areas has occurred with reckless disregard for public safety. Police have responded with water cannons, rubber bullets, and tear gas. The U.S. Embassy is advising official U.S. government travelers to avoid travel to Paris and other major cities in France on the weekends.

FAZ:

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