But Microsoft carries on with its usual tricks, this time calling them “Azure IP Advantage”… (Microsoft-armed trolls attacking Azure’s rivals and non-customers)
Summary: With the demise of software patents come some interesting new developments, including the decision at Infosys — historically very close to Microsoft and a proponent of software patents — to join the Open Invention Network (OIN)
OVER the past month or so we’ve published 10 articles about Microsoft siccing patent trolls on GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. It’s already happening on the face of it (we have since our last article learned that the Toyota patent deal covers “OS” and “file systems”, i.e. Linux), and LG adopts similar tactics that prevent responsibility/reaction by ‘proxifying’ to trolls (see this old cartoon about it — one that we’ve just ‘massaged’ or flattened to fit our layout above). This is the kind of thing OIN was supposed to protect against, but we have hardly seen any evidence of effective defense (OIN told one such tale about half a decade ago, but nothing since).
“OIN cannot guard against this.”The idea that OIN will somehow ‘snatch’ patents before they reach trolls (even where Microsoft arranges for others’ passage, e.g. from Nokia to MOSAID/Conversant) assumes that Microsoft is naïve. See what happened with CPTN. OIN cannot guard against this. OIN is not the solution to the core issue, which is patents on software. OIN stakeholders, in particular the large ones, don’t want patents on software to stop. They want GNU/Linux and they want patents on software too; they want the impossible!
Over in India, thanks to vigilant populace and local businesses, software patents have been kept illegal all these years. Infosys, a Microsoft proxy which had a change of heart on software patents (because they’re impossible to attain/enforce), joins the Open Invention Network this week [1, 2, 3, 4]. It’s rather surprising, but given the nationality of Infosys (Indian), this is not entirely shocking. Their CEO has actually lashed out at software patents — a move which we very much welcome.
“OIN is not the solution to the core issue, which is patents on software.”Over in the United States, there is still some uncertainty over the death of software patents. Companies generally know that courts are hostile towards software patents (the higher the court, the more hostile) and fewer of them — albeit not all — dare sue. It’s the initiation of a long and expensive process which typically yields nothing after Alice (only court and lawyers’ fees).
IAM, an enemy of India [1, 2, 3] and a proponent of software patents (also the mouthpiece of patent trolls, as we last showed yesterday), worries about an impending SCOTUS ruling which would most likely further inhibit patent trolls and software patents in the US. IAM wrote the following yesterday:
As anyone with even a cursory interest in patents could tell you, this means that as things stand a large proportion of patent suits are concentrated in the Eastern District of Texas, which because of its handling of issues such as discovery and early case motions, is perceived to be particularly plaintiff friendly.
Because it is. And it’s even advertising itself as such! So much for justice! It’s like a disciplinary committee under Battistelli, which evidently continues to be a problem
“Over in the United States, there is still some uncertainty over the death of software patents.”According to this new article (sheltered behind a paywall, as usual), the USPTO is probably realising that software patents are a thing of the past. To quote the summary:
Recent Federal Circuit decisions, and updated Guidance issued by the USPTO have provided practitioners with a new roadmap to navigate the minefield left in the wake of the “Alice” case.
Alice, as we repeatedly noted last year, is here to stay. There are no signs that Justices will revisit the matter (patentability of software) any time soon. Instead, again behind paywall, Justices now look into other matters. MIP give paying subscribers a glimpse at what happens in Impression v Lexmark (oral arguments). It’s a SCOTUS patent case which along with TC Heartland will quite likely further restrict patent scope in the US (a much-needed and overdue reform). █
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LG is copying Microsoft (or Microsoft’s method of attacking its competition)
Summary: LG gives yet more reasons for a boycott, having just leveraged not just patents but also patent trolls in a battle against a competitor
TEN years ago we called for a boycott of LG, after it had agreed to pay Microsoft for Linux (over alleged patents). LG did not even put up a fight and later it adopted Android.
LG is now turning hostile even against Android (and by extension Linux), taking advantage of the US-centric ITC. It has has begun legal action. Korean companies going aggressive with patents is rather unusual (cultural reasons), but apparently not anymore. The trolls’ voice, IAM, reveals that LG used to do this via trolls. To quote the relevant parts (below):
LG Electronics appears to have launched its first-ever patent enforcement actions in the United States with a Delaware district lawsuit and International Trade Commission (ITC) complaint targeting US phone maker Blu Products.
LG’s complaint and exhibits as filed with the Delaware district court are currently under seal, while any documentation outlining the ITC filing is apparently yet to be published. As such, details are thin on the ground at the moment, though some particulars can be determined from an LG press release announcing the actions.
Indeed, these latest LG filings are not even the first time that Blu has been sued using LG patents. In January, Blu was named in litigation filed in the District of Colorado by an NPE named Sentegra LLC. One of two patents asserted by Sentegra against Blu had originally been owned by LG, and had been assigned to the NPE by the South Korean company in November 2015.
LG is doing this not in Texas but in Delaware, with the troll in Colorado. We’re going to keep an eye on this because it represent a new kind of threat and this time it comes from Korea, for a change. █
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Also see (from yesterday): Techrights Was Right About the Unitary Patent (UPC)
Summary: Stating the obvious and proving us right amid Article 50 débâcle
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Forever tyranny, using Mafia tactics, against every rule in the book (including Battistelli's own rules)
Summary: Discussion about Battistelli and his chinchilla denying national representatives their rights and power to oust Battistelli, who is rapidly destroying not just the Office but also the whole Organisation, Europe’s reputation, and the image of France
YESTERDAY we wrote that “Benoît Battistelli ‘Pulls an Erdoğan’ Faster Than Erdoğan,” taking note of forever tyranny which becomes ever more severe over time. The crisis accelerates. The EPO has already sunk among job applicants (it's not at all or barely even listed anymore) and staff is fleeing, based on the actual numbers leaked to us (just like those striving to escape Turkey).
We honestly begin to wonder, in light of a recent proposal from Battistelli’s protectors, what if Battistelli has no intention of stepping down when his term ends, even in defiance of the EPC? Who’s there to enforce the EPC after the Battistelli coup? Tyrants can go on for decades and Battistelli wasn’t even eligible for his current term based on his age. A lot of people don’t know this! The same is true for Minnoye. Will Battistelli say that UPC woes and delays justify extension of his term? Will he rewrite the rules as he so habitually does? Or get others to do it for him? Will he stage a crisis (like a silly bicycle tale)? Nothing is impossible at the EPO. We repeat: Nothing is impossible at the EPO. Not anymore!
“I think it is wishful thinking to believe that Battistelli will be replaced in 2018,” says this new comment. Here it is in its entirety:
Another earlier comment which is interesting in the present context:
“the Council cannot stop Battistelli dismantling the European Patent Office if that is his plan. He can continue as long as he gets votes from 10 countries. Even for a second or third term, as far as I can tell.
All he needs are the votes from 10 countries.”
That poster refers to the majority of 3/4 necessary to elect a new president. But in the last session, Kongstadt had this strange proposal that a same majority of 3/4 was necessary to start the selection process. Isn’t that a veiled way of saying “start the selection process if you want, without a 3/4 majority Battistelli stays in post”?
What happens in June 2018 if Battistelli, who controls at least a blocking minority of 10 countries, decides that he just stays in post? Without another President, he stays in post. And he has an history of disregarding the provisions of the EPC, hasn’t he?
I think it is wishful thinking to believe that Battistelli will be replaced in 2018. He is there to stay until he has finished his task.
Battistelli continues to lie, cheat, steal and cause people to commit suicide (which is not the same thing as murder, but liability/culpability may exist though cannot be proven because Battistelli prevents authorities from actually investigating).
Consider this recent letter to Battistelli, which was about coverup attempts:
Sehr geehrter Herr Präsident,
in den Balanced Score Cards der letzten Zeit war auch immer wieder der Punkt „S12: Staff Satisfaction“ eine Größe, welche das Amt im Auge behalten wollte, weil die Zufriedenheit der Belegschaft eine für die Amtsleitung wichtige Größe dargestellt hat (siehe hier).
Die aktuelle BSC scheint diese Größe nicht mehr zu beinhalten (siehe hier). Die Personalvertretung fragt Sie daher, warum die Zufriedenheit der Belegschaft nicht mehr dargestellt wird. Liegt es daran, dass sie nicht mehr messbar ist? Oder möchten Sie das Amt mit den gemessenen Ergebnissen nicht weiter blamieren?
Mit freundlichen Grüßen,
Der Zentrale Personalsusschuss
Wir bestätigen, dass das obige Schreiben ordnungsgemäß vom Zentralen Personalausschuss beschlossen wurde.
An automated translation of it (Google Translate, unedited) goes like this:
Dear Mr President,
In the Balanced Scorecards of the last time was also always the Point “S12: Staff Satisfaction” a size which the Office in mind Because the satisfaction of the workforce was one for the (See here).
The current BSC does not seem to contain this size anymore (see here). The staff representation therefore asks you why the satisfaction of the Workforce is no longer represented. Is it because they do not Is measurable? Or would you like the office with the measured Results do not continue to embarrass?
The Central Staff Committee
We confirm that the above letter is correct from the Central Committee on Personnel.
Is it not obvious already why EPO staff is up in arms? They’ve been subjected to a coup by a tyrant and the media in Europe (certainly in Germany) doesn’t seem interested in covering that. Maybe it is being paid not to cover it. Or maybe simply threatened, just like in Turkey. If it wasn’t for the sanctions, IP Kat wouldn’t have gone so silent since last summer. █
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The EPO has lowered the quality bar to the point of the unethical, laughable and ludicrous
Reference: genome.gov (US)
Summary: Criticism and embarrassing coverage for the EPO, which has just decided to grant patents even on genome, in defiance of a lot of things
THE EPO has become an embarrassment to a lot more than itself. Run by a Frenchman with an Italian name connected to the 'Corsican Mafia', the Office already commits atrocious acts with the consent of the Organisation and complicity of apathetic politicians. And now Europe — not the US — bears the embarrassment of patents on life, probably the most widely denounced type of patents. Just watch yesterday’s and this morning’s news [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. What the EPO has just done is being attributed to “Europe”. People might soon start saying stuff like, “that’s a terrible idea. It’ll never happen, except maybe in Europe” (where patent scope became patently farcical).
“And now Europe — not the US — bears the embarrassment of patents on life, probably the most widely denounced type of patents.”Yet more articles about decline in EPO patent quality (including patents on life) were published earlier this week [1, 2] and these should be of great concern to anyone who works for the EPO, which for decades derived its pride (and high fees) from the perception of high patent quality. We still hope that perhaps someone from the inside (a whistleblower) can tell us more about the process and why this patent was granted. There are going to be many protests against this and some media alleges that appeals are on the way (attracting yet more negative publicity). To quote:
University of California’s CRISPR patent win in Europe likely to be challenged
If you enjoyed the US edition of the CRISPR patent dispute, get ready for the European one: With the announcement last week that the European Patent Office intends to grant a patent to the University of California, Berkeley, and its partners covering a broad range of uses of the revolutionary genome-editing technology, expect a similar plot to unfold on that side of the Atlantic.
In particular, “now we go through opposition proceedings in Europe, where 3d parties can challenge the patent,” patent expert Jacob Sherkow of New York Law School tweeted. “And that could take a while.”
The longer it drags on for, the more damage it will do to the perception of patent quality at the EPO — something which even staff representatives openly speak about nowadays.
“This would be the overall price of lending a hand to a system that permits patents on every single thing, including life itself.”We’ve historically complained mostly (if not only) about software patents in Europe, occasionally also alluding to patents on life. How about both in the same? Yesterday we caught this news article an “agreement [which] follows the transfer of 10 drug design software patents from RCDD” (involves the UK and China).
If we’re unable to keep patent scope under control, the public will lash out against patents in general. A close friend of mine, who has many EPs and US patents, already tells me that he’s against all patents (I don’t share this sentiment) and everywhere I look on the Web these days I see people who think that all patent systems should be abolished (someone last told me this yesterday). This would be the overall price of lending a hand to a system that permits patents on every single thing, including life itself. █
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Heralding an era of endless, frivolous patent litigation in Europe?
Destroying the Office and making the staff pay for it!
Summary: An attack on truth itself — the disintegration of the European Patent Office (EPO) — carries on, after staff found the courage to tell delegates what had happened due to Battistelli’s policies and incredible oppression that prevails and expands
10 days ago we mentioned an attack on staff for saying the truth about decline in patent quality at the EPO — a serious issue that would damage if not destroy Europe’s industry, more so (and more quickly) if the UPC ever became a reality, enabling a lot more financially-prohibitive litigation — often using bogus patents — against vulnerable companies all around Europe (unable to afford a defense, i.e. challenge to the patents). Companies already know they would hobble under a UPC-like regime and they complain about this.
The rant from Minnoye and Casado Cerviño was documented here before. The cause for their rant was originally delivered in German and the Central Staff Committee thankfully translated that into English. “Attack on quality delivered by EPO staff” is what they call it (playing along with the misleading narrative of “attack”), explaining that “Vice-Presidents of DG 1 and DG 2 stated on 17 March 2017 in the Intranet: “Staff Representation criticizes EPO quality during Administrative Council”.
Here is the transcript of the intervention:
Sehr geehrte Delegierte,
der Weg zum einheitlichen Patentschutz ist sicher von größter Bedeutung für das Amt und das Personal. Daher ergreift der Personalausschuss in Absprache mit dem Ratspräsidenten auch regelmäßig das Wort, um Sie über die neuesten Entwicklungen im Personal diesbezüglich zu informieren. Es ist ja die statuarische Aufgabe des Personalausschusses, die Interessen des Personals zu vertreten und für den erforderlichen Kontakt zu der zuständigen Stelle, hier dem Verwaltungsrat, zu sorgen.
Mehr und mehr Kolleginnen und Kollegen sprechen den Personalausschuss mit ihren Sorgen an, dass der Weg zum einheitlichen Patentschutz in Gefahr ist. Drei häufig genannte Probleme möchte ich herausgreifen und Sie um Ihre geschätzte Aufmerksamkeit bitten.
1. In der täglichen Arbeit des Patentprüfers ist nicht mehr genügend Zeit, um den Stand der Technik zu einer Patentanmeldung hinreichend zu ermitteln. Daher werden mehr und mehr Patente erteilt, die nie hätten erteilt werden dürfen. Wenn die renommierte juristische Fachzeitschrift JUVE Rechtsmarkt davon berichtet, dass 54 % der Industrievertreter nicht mehr mit der Qualität unserer Patenterteilungsverfahren zufrieden sind, dann sollten wir uns Sorgen machen. Die implementierten Qualitätsmechanismen sind ungeeignet, um die Qualität der Recherchen und erteilten Patente zu gewährleisten. Dies berichten unsere Kolleginnen und Kollegen.
2. Die in Recherche, Sachprüfung und Formalprüfung eingesetzte Software weist zahlreiche Mängel auf, sie ist unergonomisch und teilweise unbrauchbar. Dies berichten unsere Kolleginnen und Kollegen.
3. Die Prüfungsabteilungen fühlen sich immer mehr der Einflussnahme durch die Verwaltung ausgesetzt. Aus objektiver Sicht ist immer öfter die Besorgnis der Befangenheit der Patentprüfer begründet. Dies berichten unsere Kolleginnen und Kollegen.
Dies sind keine guten Nachrichten, es ist aber die Pflicht des Personalausschusses, den Verwaltungsrat darüber zu informieren, welche Sorgen das Personal äußert. Ich kann Ihnen lediglich versichern, dass der Personalausschuss immer bereit sein wird, durch konstruktive Vorschläge dabei zu helfen, die Probleme zu beseitigen.
Meine Damen und Herren, ich danke Ihnen für Ihre geschätzte Aufmerksamkeit!
The path towards Unitary Patent protection is for sure of the utmost importance both for the Office and for its staff. Therefore, the Staff Committee regularly takes the floor – in agreement with the Chairman of the Council – in order to inform you about the latest staff developments in this regard. According to our Codex, the Staff Committee shall represent the interests of staff and maintain appropriate contact with the competent administrative authorities, which here is the Administrative Council.
More and more colleagues have addressed the Staff Committee about the perceived risks that concern them as we head towards the Unitary Patent. There are three specific issues repeatedly mentioned that I would like to bring to your attention:
1. Patent examiners no longer have enough time in their daily work for an adequate search and analysis of the “state-of-the-art” for a patent application. This implies that more and more patents are being granted than should ever have been. When the renowned, independent judicial journal JUVE Rechtsmarkt reports that 54% of industry representatives are no longer satisfied with the quality of our patent grant procedures, then we should all be very concerned. The internally implemented quality controls are insufficient for guaranteeing to maintain the current quality of search reports and granted patents. This is what our colleagues tell us.
2. The software tools used in search, examination and formalities show numerous deficiencies: many are not ergonomic and some of them are simply unusable. This is what our colleagues tell us.
3. The Examining Divisions feel more and more to be under the influence of the administration. From an external, objective viewpoint, it seems more and more justified to question the impartiality of the patent examiners. This is what our colleagues tell us.
Although this is not good news, it remains the duty of the Staff Committee to inform the Administrative Council about any such concerns expressed to them by the staff. Nevertheless, I can ensure you that the Staff Committee shall always be ready to help with constructive proposals for resolving any of these identified problems.
Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you very much for your kind attention!
Regarding claims that “path towards Unitary Patent protection is for sure of the utmost importance both for the Office and for its staff,” we don’t quite agree. In fact, UPC would make many people redundant. The EPO has not been honest about it. It’s basically honest about nothing these days, including the prospects (of lack thereof) of the UPC. Regarding ergonomics, it will be the subject of future articles of ours.
We are gratified to see that EPO staff is finally speaking out about a subject that has irked us for years, seeing in particular how software was being patented in defiance of directives, the EPC, common sense, and economic sense. Software developers absolutely do not want patents in their vicinity. It only inhibits progress. █
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Summary: Under pressure and habitual intervention from a demoralising, overreaching, and out-of-control President (from an entirely different division), examiners and judges ‘normalise’ the practice of granting patents on genetics — a very slippery slope in terms of patent scope
EARLIER today we wrote about patents on life being granted by the EPO, even though the USPTO — owing largely to an excellent PTAB — rejects these after Mayo and Alice. This served to show that the EPO had probably become more lenient than the US patent system and strict on nothing except 100% obedience to Battistelli with his ‘production’ obsession. A recent decision from BoA publicly complained about loss of independence, so it’s not unthinkable that the Battistelli-led thugs exercise control over judges too, particularly ones who deny patents.
“So they’re competing over who will ‘own’ genetics. Get it? Life.”There is a lot of news today about the CRISPR decision/s that we mentioned in the morning. ERS Genomics, for example, issued a press release and copies of it all over the place. To them, it’s great news, but at whose expense? US media explains today that “[w]ith such a radical new technology, there is extreme financial opportunity. Rights of ownership over the CRISPR technique have lingered since its initial discovery. Recently, the CRISPR patent disputes were partially settled between the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard, and the University of California (UC) Berkeley. On Feb. 15, the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruled in favour of the Broad Institute. As a result, the Broad Institute won the patent pertaining to editing eukaryotic genomes, a patent that UC Berkeley considers to be interfering with its claim.”
So they’re competing over who will ‘own’ genetics. Get it? Life.
“More importantly, why did examiners (and maybe BoA some day) allow this? Could it be pressure from the top-level management — pressure that they have already complained about?”This afternoon we have found many new articles and briefs about it, e.g. “CRISPR Therapeutics Announces European Patent for CRISPR/Cas Gene Editing” (also here), “EPO to grant UC, Berkeley CRISPR patent”, “Take that Editas: CRISPR Therapeutics and colleagues win a European round in the IP tug-of-war over gene editing tech”, and “CRISPR Therapeutics announces European patent for CRISPR/Cas gene editing”. So will the EPO now receive a lot of applications for similar patents on life? ‘Production’! Is the EPO prepared to become the world’s laughing stock? It was bad enough when pigs, plants and seeds got patented — something which even the EPO eventually realised it cannot carry on allowing (only after many protests, including from the highest offices in Europe).
Based on today’s trading [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11], some people expect to profit from this grab or monopolisation of genetics, but again, at whose expense? The externalities are vast!
“This will be another toxic legacy of Battistelli, which extends well beyond the Office and tarnishes the track record of the entire Organisation. It’s therefore imperative that the tyranny is smashed as soon as possible.”More importantly, why did examiners (and maybe BoA some day) allow this? Could it be pressure from the top-level management — pressure that they have already complained about?
In the mean time, based on another filing and press release, “Key BioTime Patents [are] Upheld by European Patent Office” and this one says that a “large pharmaceutical company and an anonymous filer challenged the EPO’s previous grant of two European patents (EP2554661 and EP2147094), which cover the proprietary directed differentiation methods to produce pluripotent stem cell-derived cell replacement therapies being developed to treat retinal degenerative diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (“AMD”).”
We are not trying to suggest that the BoA are corruptible but rather to suggest that their loss of independence — something which Battistelli was very eager to ensure (with persistent punishments) — will impact their decisions and set precedential laws (decisions) that are dangerous. This will be another toxic legacy of Battistelli, which extends well beyond the Office and tarnishes the track record of the entire Organisation. It’s therefore imperative that the tyranny is smashed as soon as possible.
Europe is up for sale. Now it’s the turn of living organisms to be ‘sold’ to US corporations that assert they ‘own’ genetics and can therefore tax reproduction, medical treatments, breeding, etc. Where does this madness end? █
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If they were in a competition (the ‘tyranny challenge’), Battistelli would win
From the latest Patent Information News bulletin of the EPO
Summary: An explanation of what the imminent departure of Minnoye (this summer) will mean for Benoît Battistelli and his confidants, who now resemble some of the world’s most ruthless dictatorships
THE autocracy at the EPO is only getting worse over time. Nothing is improving, it’s only getting worse. Benoît Battistelli has already turned his ‘supervisor’ into his own henchman — a fact now widely-recognised within the Office and to a lesser degree among the delegates (Organisation), who ought to overthrow their so-called ‘chairman’. Jesper Kongstad has been such an obedient coward that the only thing he can go against is a bunch of defenseless chinchillas. He repeatedly failed, for a number of years in fact, to do anything about Battistelli. Seeing how weak and toothless Kongstad has been, Battistelli merely expands his autocracy, gives more money to his cronies, and takes more direct control of their jobs.
“Does your job involve innovation?”
The EPO discussed/asked this earlier today. Well, the people in charge of the EPO have nothing whatsoever to do with innovation, except in the Mafia sense (innovating methods for tyranny and ‘protection’, as we noted earlier in the morning). It’s truly despicable and it’s not hard to see why smart people who work for the EPO are appalled. “You need to know about the most active tech fields in terms of patent applications,” the EPO continued, linking to unscientific claims from its misleading video.
“Battistelli,” says this new comment (from this morning), “will [soon] manage the branch responsible for examination and search (about 4500 people) directly.”
Got that? So much for improving independence. Here is the full comment:
It is sometimes interesting to reread old comments, for example this one:
“during the Admin. Council, Battistelli called VP1 in his luxury suite overlooking Munich’s city on floor 10 of the Isar building, to tell him that he was very happy with the production figures and that VP1 did an excellent job before to eventually tender him a letter of resignation ready to sign on the spot.”
Now, we know that the idea was never to replace the vice-president DG1, but that Battistelli will manage the branch responsible for examination and search (about 4500 people) directly. The new structure with 3 “COO” each working in tandem with a “Principal director” at exactly the same level will insure that these managers will be absolutely powerless.
So now we know that Minnoye was pushed away so that Battistelli can manage the largest part of the Office directly. What for? What does Battistelli plan to do that Minnoye would have opposed?
Another person expanded by saying:
There will also be a race between the clusters for production numbers (to allocate “bonus” and other “goodies”).
Plus a lack of 2nd level AC appointed (and thus disciplined) managers will indeed mean that no-one who wants to keep her/his job can oppose any demand by the president, no matter if questionable or fully reasonable.
Welcome to Eponia. It’s like Turkey, only smaller. As with Turkey, a bunch of European politicians look the other way while human rights are trampled upon. █
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