Baltic winds of change as Europe steps up response to Putin’s fossil fuel ‘blackmail’ – The Irish Times

Picture of the Week: Baltic Breeze

Irish people might complain about the ‘Baltic’ weather whenever it’s freezing cold, but on the shores of the Baltic Sea, a strong Baltic wind has never been so welcome. Here, appearing to be on the regional equivalent of the game show Fifteen to One, stands European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen with the leaders of Lithuania, Finland (not all nightclubs in the newspaper of Sanna Marin), Denmark, Estonia, Latvia and Poland. They are at the Baltic Sea energy security summit in Kongens Lyngby, near Copenhagen, where the European Commission president said Russia’s attempt to ‘blackmail us with fossil fuels’ was failing because it was only accelerating the transition to a green economy powered by the home. clean cultivated fuels. Or, as his speechwriter put it, “the winds of change are blowing through Europe”. Still, he could have exploded a little earlier, perhaps.

In figures: undeclared pools

20,000

Hidden swimming pools discovered in France thanks to the analysis of aerial photographs by artificial intelligence software developed by Google and the French consulting firm Capgemini.

10 million euros

The pools, which had not been declared for tax purposes, now generate a windfall of this amount for the French tax authorities.

200 €

A medium-sized French swimming pool of 30 m² is taxed at this price per year, according to Le Parisien. The bad news for owners of fabulous properties trying to skimp on taxes is that the software should now be used to find undeclared house extensions, patios and gazebos.

Getting to Know: Peiter Zatko

Twitter whistleblower Peiter Zatko, the social media company’s former chief security officer, said he failed to come forward to make various allegations about its security procedures to help Elon Musk in his legal battle against Twitter . His lawyer says Zatko’s revelations, reported by CNN and the Washington Post last week, have “nothing to do” with Musk’s countersuit against Twitter, which is suing Musk for trying to drop his offer to join. purchase of the company. Nonetheless, Zatko, once a young, long-haired hacker who was hired by Twitter after a major hacking incident in 2020 but was fired in January for ‘poor performance and leadership’, will now be required to appear in a deposition. in the case, with Musk seizing his account of security mismanagement at the company. This includes a claim that Twitter had no interest in knowing how many bots were on the platform — a topic Musk was pondering publicly even before his offer. As for Twitter, it rejected the statement from its former employee, better known as Mudge.

The List: Liz Truss’ Economic Policy

Once best known outside Britain for her musings on pork markets (much-repeated on Have I Got News For You), Liz Truss is now set to become Britain’s next prime minister. So what was the reaction to the economic policies she outlined to get Conservative Party members to vote for her? Hint: not great.

1. Potential for collapse: Truss could “completely crush public finances” if it goes ahead with “pretty worrying” plans to cut VAT, says Institute for Fiscal Studies director Paul Johnson.

2. Increased risk: Investors are starting to view UK assets as riskier than before due to indications from Truss that she plans to cut taxes and increase spending, the former British deputy governor said. Bank of England, Charlie Bean.

3. Deeply irresponsible: Speaking of the Bank of England, Truss was called “deeply irresponsible” by Labor shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves for threatening to review its mandate.

4. Alternate reality vibes: Truss’ economic plan is “ruinous nonsense with no reference to reality” was the title of an excoriating assessment by Observer columnist Will Hutton.

5. Bold vision: Liz Truss has a “bold vision” for the UK and its economy, according to, uh, Liz Truss.

Mary I. Bruner