Italian "law enforcement" stole approximately 2 tons of cocaine in transit from Colombia to Spain while the conveying ship was in the port of Genoa (archived). After Italian police swapped the valuable cargo with salt, the ship departed for Barcelona where a 59 year old man was arrested for taking possession of the mundane salt.
Amid deep cold sweeping the heart of the US, General Motors and others have suspended manufacturing in Michigan amid a natural gas shortage (archived). Residential users are being begged to lower their thermostats amid sub zero temperatures and wind chills well below the -40 fahrenheit/celsius intersection point. Last winter Airstrip One faced a severe lack of natural gas as an importer, but the US prides itself on a bountiful natural gas extraction industry. It turns out living in a "developed" country doesn't offer the same protection from winter's chill as it once did. Blame is being laid on a single fire at a single gas compression station.
The computing timeshare market xDedic has been shuttered following "law enforcement" action (archived). Participants in the xDedic market traded time on available computers captured in the wild including numerous computers nominally operated by various governments. No arrests or indictments have been announced as of press time.
Stanislav Datskovskiy (WOT: asciilifeform) has published code that adds a constant time implementation of the Miller-Rabin primality test to his Finite Field Arithmetic library as chapter 16A. He will publish a proof his algorithm implements Miller-Rabin and a discussion of the statistics informing proper use of the Miller-Rabin in the field as chapter 16B.
In his genesis of the FFA library Datskovskiy laid out his mission of creating a auditable bignum library whose entire operation is accessible to literate readers while avoiding optimization traps that add complexity or deviate from constant time operation opening up side channels that leak information intended to be kept secret. In the case of Werner Koch's MPI versus FFA, Datskovskiy's constant time implementation actually outperforms the optimized, variable time, legacy Koch library in in modular exponentiation.
At present FFA consists of 4013 non-empty lines of code in the libffa library of which 1835 are comments and 1047 non-empty lines of code in the accompanying ffacalc interface to the library of which 390 are comments.
The USG has announced it is sanctioning Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA. Under the sanctions the US is still buying and allowing the purchase of oil produced by PDVSA while further allowing PDVSA to continue operating in the US under its Citgo brand (archived). Per their announcement the criminal organization referring to itself as the United States Government is touting their theft of 7 billion USD and projecting a further 11 billion USD to be captured over the next year. Further the USG is promising to keep the funds in "restricted accounts" payable to their chosen interim president or another interim government of the USG's choosing. This theft dwarfs the current paper fiat value of gold the Bank of England has denied the Venezuelan government.
From the involvement of John Bolton to the brazen nature of this theft cloaked as sanctions, the situation suggests the USG may be pivoting back to imagineering an Iraq style regime change endgame in the Bush/Rice tradition over an Obama type sustained color spring. For his part, Maduro spent his weekend visiting the troops as he oversaw and participated in drills and exercises.
Over the weekend the Bank of England revealed their willingness to extend Airstrip One's domestic mammy state policies to foreign reserve deposits places in their trust by explicitly denying the Venezuelan government's right to retrieve their gold (archived). Venezuela under Maduro's leadership has been attempting to repatriate their foreign gold reserves in spite of obstruction by Airstrip One in the leadup to the US regime change effort going live.
Meanwhile Israel, "Greatest Ally" of the USG decided on Sunday to support the USG line on Venezuela days later than the rest of USG's dwindling allies (archived).
Finally over the weekend Yellow Jacket protesters convened for the 11th consecutive weekend. Numerous French casualties were suffered at the hands of Macron's forces including a protest leader whose eye was taken from him (archived). The despot Macron has lauded foreign meddling in Venezuela's democracy, demanding the Maduro's recent election be invalidated while his own Presidential term be sustained in spite of widespread French opposition to his policies and his person.
This week ended with Trump signing a deal which gives his opposition 3 weeks of USG funding in exchange for their promise to engage his border security proposals. Should they fail, Trump will be free to shut it down again while declaring yet another concurring national emergency to get the barrier building started. The nature of the next shutdown may lead to the Office of Management and Budget transitioning the impending furloughs to pink slips this next round.
At the same time John Bolton and other neocons Trump has allowed into his circle are getting the 2003 Iraq "regime change" team back together again.
Meanwhile French autocrat Macron is calling for regime change against Venezuela's Maduro, a leader who enjoys a far higher approval rating than Macron.
Oxford University is refusing to allow new research grants and incoming donations from Chinese alt-Cisco Huawei (archived). The US, UK and other five eyes states object to Huawei's existing for ambiguously declared national security reasons rooted in:
- Huawei equipment handling internet traffic while they would prefer Cisco equipment under their control do the same, and every piece of Huawei kit deployed denies a Cisco machine the opportunity to be racked.
- The Five Eyes are concerned the Chinese goverment may have the same level of control over Huawei kit they have over Cisco.
Oxford however is keeping the donations Huawei made while spending the grants have already taken from Huawei.