Permalink ‘Smell of death is everywhere’: corpses pile up in flood-hit Libyan city

Retrieving the dead in devastated Derna as big a challenge as finding the living | The corpses are everywhere. Buried under mud-filled husks of ruined homes. Wedged among smashed bridges and roadways. Drifting by the dozens – perhaps hundreds, even thousands – in the detritus-filled sea. In the days after a powerful storm lashed Libya’s coastline and floodwaters from two burst dams swept part of the city of Derna into the sea, authorities have understandably focused on the living, racing to find and evacuate survivors. But they also must contend with the dead, to collect and bury the growing number of victims before their bodies turn Derna into a massive contamination site. Estimates of the death toll have varied widely, and large numbers of Derna residents have lost their homes and belongings.  The catastrophe was triggered by Mediterranean Storm Daniel, which over the weekend dumped more than 40cm (16 inches) of rain within 24 hours on Libya’s northeast coast – a region that normally receives about 15mm over the entire month of September.

Libyan flood survivor recounts horror in Derna after dams burst (09/14/23)
Fears mount of surging death toll in Libya flood disaster (The Straits Times)
10,000 missing in Libya storm floods, death toll 'huge': Red Cross (09/12/23)

Permalink German general revealed plans for war in Ukraine until 2032

German general revealed plans for war in Ukraine until 2032 | Berlin will help Kyiv in its confrontation with Moscow for almost another decade, or rather 9 years - until 2032. This was stated during a panel discussion at the oligarch Victor Pinchuk’s foundation by the head of the planning and command headquarters of the German Ministry of Defense and the head of the Ukrainian situation center of the Bundeswehr, Major General Christian Freuding, who revealed Germany’s plans for the war in Ukraine, writes the Austrian publication Exxpress.  The German government expects that the mentioned conflict on Ukrainian territory will last exactly that many years. All this time, the Bundeswehr will supply the Ukrainian Armed Forces, providing support to the Ukrainian army with everything necessary. Berlin is ready to give Kyiv money and weapons, which destroys any hopes for a quick end to the crisis. [...] Major General Christian Freuding is a supporter of the Ukrainian Armed Forces' campaign against Crimea. He was Ursula von der Leyen's favorite assistant when she was still the German Minister of Defense (she is now the Chairman of the European Commission), and they developed a warm relationship.

Permalink Surveillance States: Monitoring of Journalists Goes Unchecked in Central, South-East Europe

Milica Stojanovic | Using new spyware technology as well as bugs and wiretaps, authorities in various Central and South-East European countries continue to monitor reporters and their sources, journalists who have been under surveillance told BIRN. | [The big] picture is made clear by BIRN’s survey of 15 countries in Central and South-East Europe, which identified 28 cases of surveillance of individual journalists or larger numbers of journalists over the past decade. It’s not clear how many more remain undiscovered and how much active surveillance is still ongoing.  Investigators and judges are currently dealing with ongoing cases of surveillance against journalists in Greece, Moldova, Slovakia and North Macedonia. In North Macedonia, the country’s former secret police chief is awaiting retrial for the illegal wiretapping of thousands of people, among them journalists.  The UK newspaper The Guardian has described Pegasus as “perhaps the most powerful piece of spyware ever developed – certainly by a private company”. Manufactured by Israeli cybersecurity firm NSO, it can be installed on mobile phones by exploiting their vulnerabilities and can then record or harvest messages, photographs, videos and calls.

Permalink Baltic state should confiscate Russian cars – minister

Estonia’s interior minister says cars bearing Russian license plates are to be re-registered or confiscated | Estonian Interior Minister Lauri Laanemets emphasized the need for strict enforcement of the EU's sanctions against Russia, calling for the confiscation of Russian-licensed vehicles in Estonia. This decision comes as Tallinn has already prohibited Russian cars from entering the country to align with the EU's trade sanctions against Moscow.  At present, Russian vehicles are allowed to exit Estonia and cross internal EU borders. However, during a recent government press conference on Thursday, Laanemets expressed his personal view that all Russian-registered cars within Estonia should be seized. He also raised questions about why such vehicles are present in the country. [...] Acknowledging a lack of precise data, Laanemets admitted that the Ministry of Internal Affairs does not have an accurate count of the Russian-licensed cars currently in the country. As of now, the Estonian government has not yet reached an official decision on this matter.

Will EU border guards really force Russian citizens to undress? (Ivan Timofeev)(RT.com)
EU is ‘racist’ against Russians – Moscow (09/13/23)

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