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Some American-made, precision-guided weapons supplied to Ukraine have proved ineffective on the battlefield, their accuracy badly diminished by Russian jamming efforts, according to Ukrainian commanders and a Ukrainian military research project.

The projectiles performed well when first introduced to the battlefield, but lost effectiveness as Russian forces adapted their defenses, two confidential Ukrainian reports found. The problem prompted the Ukrainian military to stop using the weapons, two artillery commanders said.

The reports, first revealed by The Washington Post, focus on the American-made Excalibur, a 155-millimeter guided artillery shell, and the Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb or GLSDB. One of the reports was shown to The New York Times by people familiar with the research. The second report was described but not shown to a reporter. The individuals asked not to be identified because the reports contain classified military information.

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232
submitted 2 days ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

China has begun its second day of military drills targeting Taiwan, in what it says is punishment for “separatist acts” after the inauguration of its new president on Monday.

The exercises, which involve Chinese military units from the air force, rocket force, navy, army, and coast guard, were announced suddenly on Thursday morning, with maps showing five approximate target areas in the sea surrounding Taiwan’s main island. Other areas also targeted Taiwan’s offshore islands, which are close to the Chinese mainland.

China’s defence ministry said the drills on Friday were testing its military’s ability to “seize power” and occupy key areas, in line with Beijing’s ultimate goal of annexing Taiwan. Taiwan’s government and people reject the prospect of Chinese rule, but China’s ruler Xi Jinping has not renounced the use of force to take the island. Western intelligence has claimed Xi has told the People’s Liberation Army to be capable of an invasion by 2027.

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submitted 2 days ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

The retail and pharmacy chain reported a cyberattack on April 28

Retailer London Drugs says cybercriminals who stole files from its corporate head office last month have released some of the data after it refused to pay a ransom.

The company says the files may contain employee information, calling it a "deeply distressing" situation.

The statement from the company says it was "unwilling and unable" to pay a ransom to hackers it describes as "a sophisticated group of global cybercriminals."

It says London Drugs is notifying employees whose personal information may be affected and offering them credit monitoring and identity theft protection services.

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83
submitted 2 days ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Israel’s military said on Thursday that it was fighting in neighborhoods near the heart of the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, apparently expanding its campaign against Hamas in a week when Israel has faced mounting diplomatic and legal pressure over its war effort.

The fighting came as the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the top court of the United Nations, said it would respond on Friday to a South African petition for the court to order an immediate halt to the ground assault in Rafah. The court has no means of enforcing its orders, but a call for Israel to rein in its offensive would be the latest setback to the country on the international stage.

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submitted 2 days ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

In the week since the U.S. military and allies attached a temporary pier to the Gaza shoreline, Pentagon planners have come face to face with the logistical nightmare that critics had warned would accompany the endeavor.

The Defense Department predicted that a steady stream of humanitarian aid would be arriving in Gaza via the pier by now, but little relief has reached Palestinians in the besieged strip, officials acknowledged this week. Several trucks were looted as they made their way to a warehouse, the U.N. World Food Program said, and the complexity of operating the pier project in a war zone is continuing to slow distribution.

The problems, as expected, are on the back end of the operation. Looting of aid trucks has continued, officials said, and forced the World Food Program to suspend operations for two days. The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, suspended food distribution in Rafah on Tuesday, citing lack of security. It added that it had not received any medical supplies for 10 days because of closures and disruptions at the Rafah and Kerem Shalom border crossings.

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57
submitted 2 days ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Two weeks into the offensive, one group of Russian forces is already fighting in the streets of the town of Vovchansk about 70 kilometers away from the city of Kharkiv, while the other is trying to push toward the town of Lyptsi, just under two dozen kilometers away from the city.

The Kremlin has options for what it can try to accomplish in the area: depopulating Kharkiv, taking territory, and most importantly, getting Ukraine to commit reserves needed elsewhere.

So far, Russian troops seem at least partially successful with the latter two. Multiple border villages have reportedly been captured and some Ukrainian units have been moved in from outside Kharkiv to reinforce the defense of the region.

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142
submitted 2 days ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

The far-right German party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) has been expelled from its pan-European parliamentary group after a string of recent controversies over its policy choices and the conduct of some of its leaders.

“The bureau of the Identity and Democracy group in the European parliament has decided today to exclude the German delegation, AfD, with immediate effect,” the ID group of populist far-right parties said in a statement on Thursday.

The day before, AfD’s lead candidate in June’s European elections resigned from the party leadership and renounced all further campaign activities following criticism of comments he made last weekend that the Nazi SS were “not all criminals”.

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174
submitted 3 days ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

In Europe, long a vital source of support for Israel, the political center of gravity is moving away from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

Spain, Ireland and Norway on Wednesday recognized Palestinian statehood, despite vehement Israeli and American opposition. And most European governments offered unequivocal support to the International Criminal Court this week, after it requested arrest warrants for Israel’s prime minister and defense minister, along with leaders of Hamas.

Israel still has staunch allies within the European Union, especially Hungary and the Czech Republic, and key players like Germany, despite growing discomfort with Israel’s conduct, have not shown any inclination to alter their stance. The growing fissures within Europe mean that the consensus-driven European Union will not change its positions any time soon.

But European countries face rising international and domestic pressure to take a firmer stand against Israel’s handling of the Palestinian territories, and particularly the devastating war in Gaza.

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[-] [email protected] 32 points 3 days ago

It has more to do with them being identified and fleeing the country:

Holocaust memorial had recorded two figures arriving at about 3am with spray paint and stencils, as well as two or three other people who may have been involved. They were reportedly quickly identified from mobile phone information.

All were Bulgarian and left Paris by coach for Brussels later the same morning just after spray-painting the graffiti, France Info reported, confirming an earlier report in the satirical weekly Canard Enchaîné.

And the similarity to a previous incident:

In October, about 60 Stars of David were discovered on walls in Paris and districts on the outskirts. All were in a blue similar to the blue of the Israeli national flag.

A Moldovan couple were arrested in that case and their alleged handler, a pro-Russian Moldovan businessman, was identified, according to Agence France-Presse.

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submitted 3 days ago* (last edited 3 days ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Ireland, Spain and Norway have announced they will formally recognise a Palestinian state on 28 May, triggering an immediate response from Israel, which said it would retaliate by recalling its ambassadors from Dublin, Madrid and Oslo, and withholding vital funds from the Palestinian Authority.

The three European governments made the long-awaited announcements in coordinated moves on Wednesday morning that they said were intended to support a two-state solution and foster peace in the Middle East.

“We are going to recognise Palestine for many reasons and we can sum that up in three words: peace, justice and consistency,” Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, told the parliament in Madrid, to applause. “We have to make sure that the two-state solution is respected and there must be mutual guarantees of security.”

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74
submitted 3 days ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

France is investigating whether graffiti painted on the wall of Paris’s Holocaust memorial last week was a destabilisation operation coordinated from Russia, French media have reported.

On the morning of 14 May, about 20 spray-painted red hand symbols were discovered on one of the memorial’s exterior walls, which is dedicated to honouring individuals who saved Jews from persecution during the Nazi occupation of France.

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, immediately reported the graffiti to prosecutors as a possible antisemitic act. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, condemned the act as one of “odious antisemitism”. He wrote on X that this vandalism damaged “the memory” of those who saved Jews during the Holocaust and of the victims.

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[-] [email protected] 7 points 4 days ago

That does make it sound less good, but there's also a compelling pro-Ukrainian argument for using revenue (and other funds) rather than the seized assets for defense. It's widely agreed that Ukraine is owed those assets for reconstruction. Many want to liquidate them as an alternative to directly funding the defense effort, which could harm Ukraine's ability to rebuild after the war. So it's sort of robbing future-Ukraine to pay for the present. It's especially risky because countries tend to lose focus of things like reconstruction and get distracted by the next shiny conflict or crisis.

That obviously depends on Ukraine's allies continuing to fund their defense though.

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Ukraine will receive the first delivery of funds stemming from the revenue of frozen Russian assets in July, the European Commission said on May 21.

Ukraine's Western partners and other allies froze around $300 billion in Russian assets at the start of the full-scale invasion in 2022. Roughly two-thirds are held in the Belgium-based financial services company Euroclear.

In March, the European Commission submitted a proposal on using 90% of the generated funds to purchase weapons for Ukraine and allocate the remaining 10% to the EU budget to support the country's defense industry.

After many weeks of debates, EU ambassadors reached a political agreement on the proposal on May 8.

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106
submitted 4 days ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

The United Nations has suspended food distribution in the southern Gaza city of Rafah due to lack of supplies and insecurity.

It also said no aid trucks have entered the territory in the past two days via a floating pier set up by the US for sea deliveries, and warned that the $320m (£250m) project may fail unless Israel starts providing the conditions humanitarian groups need to operate safely.

Several hundred thousand people remain in Rafah after the Israeli military launched an intensified assault there on 6 May, but relief agencies say food aid deliveries have been reduced to a trickle.

Abeer Etefa, a spokesperson for the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP), warned that “humanitarian operations in Gaza are near collapse”. She said that if food and other supplies do not resume entering Gaza “in massive quantities, famine-like conditions will spread”.

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[-] [email protected] 17 points 4 days ago

The party’s ruling body, known as the political council, issued a statement on Tuesday in which it insisted that the government would not be blackmailed but also signalled that a way out of the crisis was possible if there was swift progress on preferential trade terms and visa liberalisation.

'We won't be blackmailed but we can be bribed!'

[-] [email protected] 5 points 5 days ago

They changed it to that considerably less bonkers headline. Perhaps because they became of aware of their legal exposure under international laws against poor taste...? 🧐

[-] [email protected] 35 points 5 days ago

Can we talk about a story that's fallen through the cracks here? CNN claiming this as an exclusive is madness. Who do these people think they are? And should the ICC issue arrest warrants about it? 😉

[-] [email protected] 27 points 6 days ago* (last edited 6 days ago)

BBC just reported that Iranian state media has confirmed their deaths:

President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and several others are confirmed to have been killed in Sunday's helicopter crash in north-western Iran, state TV says.

[-] [email protected] 14 points 1 week ago

The concern isn't about the consequences faced by Russia, but the impact on the rest of the world. Like, if Russia were to collapse, I think most would agree that Egyptians don't deserve to find out what suddenly not having $1.7 billion in wheat would mean, right? I don't think anyone has any idea what that would mean for, say, Tajikistan and other post-Soviet states with economies closely tied to Russia. Collapse would be chaos and it wouldn't stay confined within Russia's borders.

And, again, I don't think that justifies preventing Russia from losing. There are worse concerns for Russia winning. And the idea that Russia neither winning nor losing could be a sustainable final state is probably a fantasy.

[-] [email protected] 19 points 1 week ago

I think that's one of the meanings. If a Russian loss led to the sudden collapse of the Russian state or a radical retraction of the Russian economy, who knows what the consequences would be?

I don't think that's a justification for not letting Russia lose, but it is a big bag of who-the-fuck-knows.

[-] [email protected] 27 points 1 week ago

Netanyahu doesn't need Gantz's party to remain in power. They'd lose a more moderate voice in the war cabinet. The Unity government would probably lose legitimacy in the eyes of most Israelis. It would be very bad for Netanyahu politically. It would also probably be good for Gantz politically, as recent polling suggests that he might be starting to get some of Netanyahu's stink on him.

[-] [email protected] 11 points 1 week ago

It's complicated. They don't have the ability to bring down the government but both Gantz and Gallant are much more popular than Netanyahu. Netanyahu's choice (again) comes down to placating the far-right to keep his government in power in the short-term at the expense of further alienating the Israeli public. If he bows to this pressure, the far-right might topple his government immediately. All paths probably lead to electoral (then legal) doom for Netanyahu at some point.

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