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The do-it-yourself approach to MDM

Open-source software has long been a part of every enterprise toolbox — and that includes managing mobile devices. Whether IT wants to go all in on open-source tools or integrate those tools with commercial offerings, it’s possible to develop a do-it-yourself approach to mobile device management (MDM). Given the impact of Broadcom’s acquisition of VMWare — and the shift of all its product lines to a subscription-only payment model — the DIY model is now particularly attractive. Not only can IT admins cut costs, particularly recurring costs, but they can avoid vendor lock-in and ever escalating expenses. If you’re a VMWare customer facing the prospect of migrating your mobile management environment wholesale to something different, why not consider open-source tools as well as commercial and managed service provider alternatives? Even if you’re not directly affected by VMWare’s pricing shift, there’s always the possibility other vendors could put your company in a similar situation. While that’s always been a potential issue, the shift to public cloud options for almost everything over the past decade has certainly ramped up IT cost worries. Think about it: when was the last time it seemed feasible to run anything on premise? Can you do MDM yourself? The most important question about DIY MDM is whether it’s even feasible. The answer for most companies: a qualified yes. There are several solid, full-featured open-source options available — most are roll-it-out-yourself solutions, though some come with commercial add-ons, including support for managed service contracts. Like most commercial MDM solutions, many of these are designed to manage Apple devices, though most support non-Apple hardware, too. Some are even designed specifically for companies with completely (or mostly) Android device fleets. Companies in regulated industries, of course, face additional hurdles, because they not only require security and auditing functions — they also need to be able demonstrate them. In situations where there are specialized requirements, it might be easier and cost effective to manage devices with a commercial product. It’s also important to make sure there’s a migration path to open-source options. One of the advantages of going with a commercial replacement is that you have access to engineers who can ensure the migration goes smoothly and either do some of the work for you or refer you to an MSP. When you migrate to an open-source MDM option, you’re taking on more of that responsibility yourself (though there are still contractors MSPs that can help). Defining the path, however, is very much on IT decision makers and the tech team. If that sounds daunting, this may not be the path for you. The added workload goes beyond just an initial implementation; you’ll also be taking on more service and support in-house, including on- going maintenance to keep everything running and end user support. That means more costs. And if you find there’s one little issue that’s driving one of your admins — or the help desk — crazy because they can’t quite figure it out, you’ll have to rely on the open-source community to help figure out what’s going on. Simply calling a vendor and asking them to take a look might not be in the cards. So while you’re saving money in the form of licensing and service fees, you’re spending time and energy that might end up costing you more than those fees — and those costs might be more difficult to quantify and predict. Platforms and integration If you’re comfortable taking on extra responsibilities and costs, the next big question is whether you can get the right tool — or more often, many tools — you need. This is where you need a detailed understanding of the mobile platforms you have to manage and every platform that needs to integrate with them for everything to work. MDM isn’t an island. It integrates with a sometimes staggering number of enterprise components. Some, like identity management, are obvious; others like log management or incident response are less obvious when you think about successful mobility management. Then there are the external platforms that need connections. Think identity management — Entra, Workspace, Okta — and things like Apple Business Manager that you need to work well in both every day and unusual situations. Then tack on the network, security, auditing, load balancing, inventory, the help desk and various other services. You’re going to need something to connect with everything you already have, or you could find yourself saddled with multiple migrations. You should also take into account the management and administration experience that’s required to be sure you’re not generating added work for those teams on a daily basis. What, beyond Apple devices, do you need to manage? The broadest use of MDM tools has always been to secure and manage Apple devices. iOS is the clear dominant platform for business, but it isn’t the only one. Android, ChromeOS, Windows and even Linux can be managed through MDM tools. Even wearable, appliance, and IoT platforms are becoming managed parts of the enterprise whole. Which ones do you need to support? While not everything has to be managed — and not everything needs to be managed by the same tools — there are obvious advantages in working from a single or small number of interfaces. Most commercial MDM vendors tend to be Apple-centric. (Some, like JAMF and Kandji, are Apple-only.) Open source might be appealing because it isn’t Apple focused. In fact, some of the biggest uses for open source MDM involves organizations that don’t have an Apple presence and need MDM to manage just Android devices. Whether it’s because you need to manage something beyond iOS and macOS or because you don’t handle Apple products at all, clearly understanding what you manage is crucial if you build mobility support on open-source tools. Working it out (or not) I’ve recently been in touch with two organizations attempting to move to a collection of open-source tools, including MDM. Both experienced more challenges than anticipated, with support for IT staff being the biggest, followed by migration roadblocks. One decided the costs in terms of time, energy and disgruntled execs was too much. The other, a college, considers its deployment an “ongoing experiment,” though their CIO feels like they’ve made it over the hump, mostly thanks to the help of students that became part of the process. This speaks to the fact that an entire team may be needed to overcome unexpected challenges and get everything up and running. This was a theme among those that I spoke with: there is a lot of up-front work (as with any migration), particularly in the planning and testing stages. And everyone I spoke to said that led to a longer and deeper testing process than might be needed for commercial software. Who’s doing DIY MDM now? I’ve noticed some common threads among the organizations taking this DIY journey. The majority were mid-size operations, colleges seem particularly enthusiastic about the idea, and younger IT teams seemed more willing to get into the weeds and comfortable with the inherent responsibility of doing so. Those that went all-in on DIY had thing in common — they were growing from small to mid-size. This doesn’t come as a big surprise. I’ve found that when small organizations with just handful of IT staffers — all doing a bit of everything — grow to become something larger with more defined roles, they often re-think how their team will work. They usually consider what they will need during and after that period of growth. And they’re more thoughtful about the tools they want to use as a foundation going forward. Some options spelled out There are several options in the open-source MDM and enterprise mobility space (and some have commercial options, too). Miradore MicroMDM nanoMDM Fleet Headwind OneMDM If you need more help figuring out your migration, check out: 7 questions to ask when considering a new MDM. (These apply to both open source and commercial options.)

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Argentina: Libertarians not to insist on so-called Omnibus Law bill — MercoPress

Argentina: Libertarians not to insist on so-called Omnibus Law bill After Tuesday’s failure at the Lower House to move forward with the so-called Omnibus Law bill targetting government spending, Argentine President Javier Milei said Wednesday from Israel that La Libertad Avanza (LLA) would not insist on that initiative which has achieved its goal of exposing “the caste.” LLA bloc leader Oscar Zago confirmed that, as per Milei’s instructions, the bill would not be sent back to the various House committees and that no further drafts would be entered this year, although one project to repeal the ”Voluntary Pregnancy Interruption (Interrupción Voluntaria del Embarazo – IVE)“ Act was put forward by LLA, Zago being one of its signatories. Interior Minister Guillermo Francos and Lower House Speaker Martín Menem, met at Casa Rosada to review Tuesday’s session resulting in the ”Bases and Starting Points for the Freedom of the Argentines“ bill going back to square one. ”I’m not interested in it being dealt with any further, the caste has been exposed,“ Milei argued from Israel. ”Their mask fell off,“ he added after various governors had reportedly agreed with Francos and Menem to endorse the federal government’s initiative in Congress. Milei also branded the lawmakers who voted against his draft of over 600 provisions as ”delinquents“ and ”saboteurs.“ ”The reason why the project was sabotaged yesterday is that the discretionary allocations to the provinces fell by 98%, which explains the betrayal of the governors, who tell you that they want change as long as theirs is not touched,“ Milei explained. ”Those who vote against these reforms fill their mouths talking about the poor and helping the poor, that is why I say that leftist progressives talk so much about the poor that all they do is multiply them, it is like King Midas, but the other way around, King Midas turned everything he touched into gold, everything a lefty touches turns it into poverty,“ the president went on. Despite this Parliamentarian setback, ”the economic program is not at risk,“ Milei insisted. Economy Minister Luis Toto Caputo concurred: ”The vote (…) will not change the economic course“ because the Argentine Government ”is not going to spend more than what is collected and the Central Bank is not going to finance the treasury. This is what will guarantee that the problems of the last 20 years will not happen again.“ ”Come in and see the enemies of a better Argentina,“ Milei wrote on social media as he listed the lawmakers who voted against the LLA’s initiative and made a clear distinction between the ”loyal“ ones and the ”traitors.“ ”Here is the list of the loyalists and traitors who used the discourse of change in order to steal a seat… Come in and see the enemies of a better Argentina,“ he wrote from Israel. ”The people will never forget the names of those who, being able to facilitate the reforms that were elected by 56% of Argentines, decided to continue playing the game to the caste,“ he went on. Meanwhile, LLA Congressman Carlos D’Alessandro admitted in a radio interview that Libertarian lawmakers were still going to file the bills ”that we believe the country needs“ during 2024. He added that dialogue with the other political forces would continue because ”we cannot have the Congress at a standstill.“ According to the new bill introduced by Congresswoman Rocío Bonacci and endorsed by Lilia Lemoine, Manuel Quintar, Beltrán Benedit, Maria Fernanda Araujo, and Zago, abortion would be punishable even in cases of rape except in cases where a judge has previously ruled otherwise. The Libertarians said they found that the law providing for safe, legal, and free abortion was unconstitutional and opposite to the general feeling of the Argentine people while at the same time disregarding the dignity of the human person. They argued that the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy is a ”falsification by calling the act what it is, plainly and undoubtedly an abortion, for which the intention was clearly to confuse by means of a euphemism that the only thing it pursues is to make believe the recognition by law of a right to abortion, while it is really the right to end the life of the unborn person,” which in the end showed the moral crisis the country was going through.

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Northlines – Latest News Jammu Kashmir|

JHARSUGUDA, Feb 8: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not born in an Other Backward Class family, and he is “misleading” people by identifying himself as an OBC.Gandhi, while making a brief speech here on the third and concluding day of his ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ in Odisha, said Modi “was born in a family that belonged to the general caste”. “Modi ji has been misleading the people by saying that he is an OBC. He was born in a family of the Teli caste, which was included in the OBC list during the BJP government’s tenure in Gujarat in 2000. Therefore, Modi ji is not an OBC by birth,” the Congress MP asserted.Gandhi also alleged that the prime minister does not shake hands with OBCs, but “hugs billionaires”.Clad in a white t-shirt, the former Congress president resumed the yatra on Thursday from the Old Bus Stand here and moved towards Kissan Chowk in an open jeep. He was accompanied by AICC leader Ajoy Kumar and OPCC president Sarat Pattnayak.The yatra will enter Chhattisgarh in the afternoon from Odisha. (Agencies)

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Halton Police recover $200,000 worth of local stolen vehicles sent to Dubai

Halton Police recovered $200,000 worth of stolen vehicles that were sent to Dubai last year. In collaboration with the Canada Border Services Agency, Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) Regional Auto Theft Task Force successfully recovered four stolen vehicles destined for Dubai. The vehicles, part of a larger investigation initiated in 2023, were intercepted before reaching their destination. Read more: Halton Police help recover 24 stolen cars in Morocco Despite previous challenges, two shipping containers carrying the vehicles were rerouted back to Canada in late January. Among the recovered vehicles include: One Lexus SUV stolen from HaltonTwo Ford-150s stolen from Peel and TorontoOne Land Rover Range Rover also stolen from Peel The total value is approximately $200,000. Investigation into these thefts is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact the Regional Auto Theft Task Force at 905-825-4777 ext. 3407. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

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Books from Mexico, Netherlands, and Japan bring rewrites of history, teen tales

One of the pleasures of reading widely in translation is getting to juxtapose books from completely different literary traditions, letting them inform each other in a new language in ways they could not do in the original. The Mexican writer Álvaro Enrigue has been a favorite of mine for years, and while I did not expect to find myself reading the two other books below — Simone Atangana Bekono’s Confrontations and Kiyoko Murata’s A Woman of Pleasure — through the lens of Enrigue’s newly translated You Dreamed of Empire, doing so feels natural. They may not come from the same place, but that’s no reason they can’t be in conversation. You Dreamed of Empires When Álvaro Enrigue’s sixth novel, Sudden Death, the story of a fictional tennis match between the Italian painter Caravaggio and the Spanish poet Quevedo, came out in English in 2016, Enrigue told a New York Times interviewer curious about his attraction to the past, “I work with history because I come from a country that has a tremendous thirst for reality.” History, he went on, lets him “take a step back, through metaphor,” in his analysis of the present. In his latest novel, You Dreamed of Empires — translated, like Sudden Death, by the brilliant Natasha Wimmer — Enrigue takes two steps back from reality. You Dreamed of Empires is a counterfactual history of Hernán Cortés’ arrival at Moctezuma’s court. It’s also a drug novel. Moctezuma is high on mushrooms for the whole book. In one climactic scene, he and Cortés take peyote together, which may sound like a gag but is, in Enrigue’s skillful hands, the culmination of political maneuvering almost too intricate to follow. You Dreamed of Empires is full of pettiness and intrigue, its characters scrambling for power on all levels. It’s got glorious, but never self-serious, levels of historical detail — Moctezuma’s gold-and-gem sandals bother his feet; a Spanish major is late to meet a superior officer because he’s cutting his toenails, and doing so “with a dagger is no easy thing, let alone putting boots back on with bleeding fingers” — and the constant shimmer of mild hallucinations. All this melds into a drugged-out Mexican Wolf Hall, a novel that, much like a mushroom trip, rewards the reader who relaxes into it, not the reader who tries to take control. It isn’t hard to see the link between Enrigue’s Tenochtitlan and the United States or Mexico today. You Dreamed of Empires is a portrait of people, mostly men, jockeying for influence in a government whose sustaining alliances, overt and not, are on the verge of blowing up. But Enrigue’s not offering allegory here. Neat comparisons and takeaways aren’t available. In a note to his Anglophone readers about the Nahuatl he integrates into the text, Enrigue suggests, “Don’t worry too much about [understanding]… Mexican readers won’t know right away what a macehuatl or a pipil is either. Let the meanings reveal themselves.” It’s good advice for reading his large and compelling cast of characters, too. Cortés’ translator Malinalli is clumsily drawn — after Cortés assaults her, Enrigue writes, “The rape had made her feel vulnerable,” a staggeringly obvious line in a work that otherwise resists obviousness — but everyone else is slippery and fascinating, easy both to empathize with and to hate. Getting that balance right is tricky in any novel, let alone one set in an alternate version of the 16th century. Here, it’s a colossal achievement. Early in the book, Enrigue writes of the conquistadores, “They were making things up as they went along, with extraordinary results.” The same could be said of him. Confrontations Reading Confrontations, the Dutch writer Simone Atangana Bekono’s debut novel, alongside You Dreamed of Empires is more illuminating than the books’ subjects and settings would suggest. Confrontations, translated into English by Suzanne Heukensfeldt Jansen, is contemporary — well, nearly: Its characters listen to Chingy CDs — and as self-serious and limited as Enrigue’s novel is imaginative and freewheeling. It appears in English as an adult literary novel, but, in the original Dutch, won awards for both best debut and best book for young readers. Certainly it feels adolescent: Atangana Bekono succeeds in capturing her teenage narrator’s voice and emotional state, but at the expense of the complexity and perspective that readers of all ages should expect. Confrontations is, theoretically, set in a juvenile detention center, where its protagonist Salomé, the working-class daughter of a Dutch mother and Cameroonian father, is serving six months after violently assaulting a pair of bigoted, bullying classmates. (Technically, that was a spoiler: The precise nature of Salomé’s crime isn’t revealed until late in the book, but it’s easy to guess almost immediately.) But the detention-center setting is underdeveloped, the other girls in it mere stick figures. Her therapist, Frits, is patently useless, a symbol of institutional racism who cannot possibly help either Salomé or the narrative. Really, then, the whole book takes place in Salomé’s head, where she weighs the two competing sets of adult instructions by which she has attempted to live — her dad’s advice, which is “Work hard. Don’t moan,” and her intellectual aunt Céleste’s reminders that “the systems [of power] are aligned against you” — and decides that Céleste is right. Céleste is right, of course. Atangana Bekono seems to assume from the start of the book that her readers know as much, though she does find it necessary to include a letter in which Aunt Céleste assures Salomé that the boys she beat up “represent an extremely malicious system!” Such a plainly explanatory approach on the writer’s part leaves very little room for Salomé to explore or develop: she is present on the page to learn lessons, not to surprise herself with her thoughts or emotional capabilities. It doesn’t help that in dramatic moments, Atangana Bekono, a poet as well as a novelist, shifts into a dreamlike stream of consciousness that is all impression and no analysis, effectively curtailing another avenue for Salomé to break the novel’s didactic mold. As a result, Confrontations cannot startle or challenge any reader who agrees with the basic premise that the systems of power are aligned against its protagonist. It delivers that message clearly and repeatedly, but both Salomé and her readers deserve more. A Woman of Pleasure Kiyoko Murata’s A Woman of Pleasure is proof that a novel can opt for clarity without sacrificing complexity. Set in a fancy brothel in turn-of-the-century Kumamoto, Japan, it is at once a detailed character study, a beautifully researched work of historical fiction, and a plain declaration of both women’s rights and workers’ rights. Murata is a major literary voice in Japan, but her books have never appeared in English before, an injustice made slightly better by the fact that she’s now being translated by the incomparable Juliet Winters Carpenter. (Among Carpenter’s many gifts is great taste: A good rule of thumb is to read any book with her name on it.) In Carpenter’s English, A Woman of Pleasure is brisk but lyrical, moving but unsentimental, able to range easily from haiku to sex talk to the broken journal entries of its protagonist, Ichi, a girl from a rural island who, when she gets sold to a brothel at 15, speaks only her island’s dialect and barely knows how to write. Ichi’s education gives A Woman of Pleasure its shape. At first, it seems to be the book’s only plot — which would be more than enough, given how compelling Ichi is. She attracts the attention of Tetsuko, a kindly teacher at the Female Industrial School where Kumamoto’s sex workers get their education and gynecological care; at the brothel to which she’s been sold, she’s placed under the tutelage of Shinonome, the oiran, or highest-ranking prostitute. Shinonome is so highly valued that her body is metaphorically “made of money;” to the awed, frightened Ichi, Shinonome “was Kannon, the goddess of mercy, and other times she was the female sex itself.” But the lessons Ichi learns from Tetsuko and Shinonome — how to write; how to do Kegels; how to advocate for herself even in the heartbreaking context of indentured sex work — happen in the context of labor unrest across Japan. Slowly but surely, Murata builds a collective consciousness into her novel, juxtaposing other women’s perspectives to Ichi’s. She lets the reader into Tetsuko’s rejection of the condescending, “egotistical compassion” that reformers show sex workers; she draws out Shinonome’s slow rejection of her claim, early in the novel, that “there’s nobody in the world as free as a prostitute.” By the novel’s stirring end, when Shinonome leads her colleagues in a quest for real freedom, A Woman of Pleasure has become an ode to self-determination — physical and intellectual both. Lily Meyer is a writer, translator, and critic. Her first novel, Short War, is forthcoming from A Strange Object in 2024.

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Some Hostages’ Families Say Israel Should Keep Fighting Hamas

As mediators pursue a deal that would free hostages from Gaza in exchange for a pause in Israel’s military campaign, a small group of relatives of Israeli hostages says that the government should keep waging war against Hamas — even if it prolongs their loved ones’ captivity. Family members of three hostages say that Israel should not agree to a deal with Hamas before the Israeli military has achieved its objectives in the war. They have formed a group, called Forum Tikva, or “hope,” to press their position. That puts them at odds with the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum, the main alliance of hostages’ families, which has forcefully urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to give priority to the captives’ release. One of Forum Tikva’s founders is Tzvika Mor, whose son Eitan was working as a security guard at the Tribe of Nova music festival on Oct. 7. Eitan became one of the roughly 240 civilians and soldiers Israel says were abducted to Gaza during the Hamas-led attack that day. Any negotiation with Hamas, Mr. Mor said, should come from a position of strength. “I want my son back now, but I want the Israeli government to make a good deal for all the people of Israel, not only for me,” he said. His comments are a reflection of the emotionally charged debate in Israel around the fate of the hostages as the war in Gaza enters its fifth month. At least 30 of the roughly 136 remaining hostages captured Oct. 7 are believed to be dead, according to an Israeli intelligence assessment. As hostages’ families mount more aggressive protests to demand that Israel secure their release, a rift has deepened among Israelis about the cost the country is willing to absorb to have the remaining captives brought home.

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Supreme Court hears landmark election case seeking to kick Trump off ballot over Capitol attack

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday will hear former President Donald Trump’s appeal to remain on the 2024 ballot, the justices’ most consequential election case since Bush v. Gore in 2000. The court will be weighing arguments over whether Trump is disqualified from reclaiming the White House because of his efforts to undo his loss in the 2020 election, ending with the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. The case marks the first time the justices will be considering a constitutional provision that was adopted after the Civil War to prevent former officeholders who “engaged in insurrection” from holding office again. It sets up precisely the kind of case that the court likes to avoid, one in which it is the final arbiter of a political dispute. The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Trump incited the riot in the nation’s capital and is ineligible to be president again. As a result, he should not be on the ballot for the state’s primary on March 5, the court ruled. It was the first time that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment was applied to a presidential candidate. Trump’s lawyers argue that the amendment can’t be used to keep Trump off the ballot for several reasons. For one thing, they contend the Jan. 6 riot wasn’t an insurrection, and even if it was, Trump did not participate. The wording of the amendment also excludes the presidency and candidates running for president, they say. Even if they’re wrong about all of that, they argue that Congress must pass legislation to reinvigorate Section 3. The lawyers for Republican and independent voters who sued to remove Trump’s name from the Colorado ballot counter that there is ample evidence that the events of Jan. 6 constituted an insurrection and that Trump incited it. They say it would be absurd to apply Section 3 to everything but the presidency or that Trump is somehow exempt. And the provision needs no enabling legislation, they argue. A definitive ruling for Trump would largely end efforts in Colorado, Maine and elsewhere to prevent his name from appearing on the ballot. A decision upholding the Colorado decision would amount to a declaration from the Supreme Court that Trump did engage in insurrection and is barred by the 14th Amendment from holding office again. That would allow states to keep him off the ballot and imperil his campaign. The justices could opt for a less conclusive outcome, but with the knowledge that the issue could return to them, perhaps after the general election in November and in the midst of a full-blown constitutional crisis. Trump is separately appealing to state court a ruling by Maine’s Democratic secretary of state, Shenna Bellows, that he was ineligible to appear on that state’s ballot over his role in the Capitol attack. Both the Colorado Supreme Court and the Maine secretary of state’s rulings are on hold until the appeals play out. The court has signaled it will try to act quickly, dramatically shortening the period in which it receives written briefing and holds arguments in the courtroom. People began lining up outside the court on Wednesday hoping to snag one of the few seats allotted to the public. “This is a landmark decision and I want to be in the room where it happened, to quote ‘Hamilton,’” said Susan Acker of Cincinnati, Ohio, who was in line with two friends. The issues may be novel, but Trump is no stranger to the justices, three of whom Trump appointed when he was president. They have considered many Trump-related cases in recent years, declining to embrace his claims of fraud in the 2020 election and refusing to shield tax records from Congress and prosecutors in New York. Before the Supreme Court is even finished deciding this case, the justices almost certainly will be dealing with another appeal from Trump, who is expected to seek an emergency order to keep his election subversion trial on hold so he can appeal lower-court rulings that he is not immune from criminal charges. In April, the court also will hear an appeal from one of the more than 1,200 people charged in the Capitol riot. The case could upend a charge prosecutors have brought against more than 300 people, including Trump. The court last played so central a role in presidential politics in its 5-4 decision that effectively ended the disputed 2000 election in favor of George W. Bush. Justice Clarence Thomas is the only member of the court who also took part in Bush v. Gore. Thomas has ignored calls by some Democratic lawmakers to step aside from the case because his wife, Ginni, supported Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election results and attended the rally that preceded the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters. (Copyright (c) 2023 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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Larne Lough Gas Caverns “not significant or controversial” Belfast Appeal Court told

Edwin Poots’ decision to provide a licence for seven gas caverns under protected Larne Lough was “not significant or controversial” the Appeal Court has been told. Harland and Wolff subsidiary, Islandmagee Energy, won a marine license to carve out the 1,350m deep caverns and discharge up to 24,000 cubic metres of the resulting brine into the sea every day making around 450m2 of seabed unliveable in March 2021. Locals opposed to it over concerns for the environment, 11 priority species, the food web and marine life in the nearby Area of Scientific Interest sought a judicial review against Edwin Poots’ decision to greenlight the project in November 2021, when he was Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister. Read more: Judge says Larne Lough gas caverns case is ‘significant’ as he reserves judgement Read more: Court hears Edwin Poots had right to give go-ahead to gas storage project But that JR failed and now Friends of the Earth and No Gas Caverns have appealed the High Court decision that the minister’s decision was ‘lawful’. The appeal was launched on two grounds – Edwin Poots’ failure to refer the application to the Executive on the grounds it was cross-cutting, controversial and significant and taking into account “an irrelevant consideration” in the shape of a community fund to mitigate the impacts of the development. In an appeal heard on Tuesday and Wednesday at Belfast High Court, Barrister Conor Fegan told the court few projects “come close to this in terms of strategic significance in terms of energy supply and security” and that it was “expressly described” as significant by civil servants. Responding to his submissions, Tony McGleenon KC told the court on Wednesday it was “not significant or controversial” – that Minister Poots’ decision was a “matter of contextual judgement” and “political judgement”. And that not every decision “can go to the Executive committee”. He also highlighted how no “action was taken” by other Ministers over the project. The appellants and defendants will now wait for the Court of Appeals’ decision on the case. For all the latest news, visit the Belfast Live homepage here. To sign up to our FREE newsletters, see here.

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Russian Skater Blamed Positive Drug Test On Dessert Made By Grandfather

An intense wave of Russian missile and drone strikes on six Ukrainian regions on February 7 killed at least five people — four of them in a high-rise apartment block in the capital, Kyiv — wounded dozens of others, and caused widespread damage to energy infrastructure. The latest round of Russian strikes came as EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and the head of the UN’s atomic agency, Rafael Grossi, were in Ukraine, with the latter visiting the Russia-occupied Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant to assess the situation amid concerns about the plant’s safety. In Kyiv, debris from a downed Russian missile fell on an 18-story residential block in the southern Holosiyivskiy district, triggering a fire that killed at least four people, Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said. Sixteen people were injured in Holosiyivskiy and in the eastern district of Dnipro in the capital, Klymenko said. Serhiy Popko, the head of the Kyiv City Military Administration, said at least 38 people were wounded in the capital. Fragments of a downed Russian missile also damaged electricity lines, leaving part of the Ukrainian capital without power and heating. “Some consumers on the left bank [of the Dnieper River] are currently without electricity,” Mayor Vitali Klitschko wrote on Telegram. “The heating supply main on the left bank was damaged.” “Another massive Russian air attack against our country,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wrote on X, formerly Twitter, as an air-raid alert was declared for all of Ukraine. “Six regions came under enemy fire. All of our services are currently working to eliminate the consequences of this terror,” Zelenskiy wrote. In the southern city of Mykolayiv, one man died following a Russian strike, Mayor Oleksandr Sienkevych said. Russian missiles also hit the Kharkiv and Sumy regions, wounding two people, regional officials said. The Ukrainian Air Force said Russia launched 64 drones and missiles at Ukraine’s territory. The Ukrainian air defense shot down 29 missiles and 15 drones, it said. The Russian Defense Ministry said its air defense systems intercepted two waves of Ukrainian airborne attacks, destroying a total of 12 rockets and drones over the southwestern region of Belgorod. Two people were injured, Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said. The ministry said the first attack involved seven rockets and two drones. The second wave involved five more Czech-made Vampire rockets, the ministry said. The same type of rocket was used in deadly strikes on the city of Belgorod in late December. Borrell, in Kyiv on a two-day visit to highlight the bloc’s support for Ukraine, posted a picture on X from a shelter. “Starting my morning in the shelter as air raid alarms are sounding across Kyiv,” Borrell wrote. “This is the daily reality of the brave Ukrainian people, since Russia launched its illegal aggression.” Borrell met later with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who called for “urgent steps” to increase deliveries of military aid. “If you ask a soldier at the front what he needs most now, the answer will be shells,” Kuleba told Borrell. “The scale of the war and Russia’s use of artillery reached a level for which, let’s be honest, the European defense industry was not ready,” he added. Kuleba also said Ukraine found infighting in the U.S. Congress over the future of U.S. aid “confusing.” Some $60 billion in aid for Ukraine is included in a border security bill that has stalled in Congress despite the urging of President Joe Biden to pass it. U.S. national-security adviser Jake Sullivan told a joint news conference in Brussels with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on February 7 that the United States “can and will” deliver the needed aid. Stoltenberg said such a move was “vital.” Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), meanwhile, arrived at Moscow-controlled Zaporizhzhya — Europe’s largest nuclear power plant — accompanied by IAEA mission staff and Russian soldiers, Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti reported. Russia occupied the plant shortly after it launched its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, and its six nuclear reactors are now idled. The UN nuclear watchdog has voiced concern many times over the possibility of a nuclear catastrophe at the plant amid fighting in the area. With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP

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