NEWS,,A Pico-8 story: How the fantasy console unlocked Frédéric Souchu’s dreams

Publish Date : 2020-12-03


NEWS,,A Pico-8 story: How the fantasy console unlocked Frédéric Souchu’s dreams

NEWS,,A Pico-8 story: How the fantasy console unlocked Frédéric Souchu’s dreams
Koxihif
Koxihif
Just now·12 min read

A Pico-8 story: How the fantasy console unlocked Frédéric Souchu’s dreams
From a neophyte perspective, it must be quite puzzling to observe the console manufacturers investing billions of dollars to battle over super high tech specs while Minecraft and its rough pixelated blocks are holding the best-selling game title. Surprisingly, the big pixels have never been so
Aid agencies are unable to bring food and health supplies to Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, the UN warned on Thursday in the latest sign that the fighting there is intensifying. Analysts say that federal forces are facing a tough opponent in the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), and that the conflict threatens to further destabilise other parts of Ethiopia.
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Tigray has been increasingly isolated from the outside world since the fighting began on November 4: Airports and roads out of the region have been closed while Internet and telephone connections have been cut off. On November 12 the UN’s humanitarian office reported “shortages of basic commodities” affecting “the vulnerable first and the most”.
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The same day, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wrote on Twitter that federal forces have “liberated” the western part of Tigray. But given that communications from Tigray have largely been cut off, it was not possible for news agencies to verify this claim.
On Wednesday, Sudanese officials said that more than 10,000 refugees from Tigray had fled across the border to their country, adding that they expect to see a total of 200,000 Ethiopian refugees.
The European Union, the African Union and the United Nations have all called for a ceasefire. Abiy, however, tweeted on Tuesday that “we won’t rest until this junta is brought to justice” — referring to the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the political party and armed group that runs the region bordering Eritrea. Diplomatic and security sources told Reuters that Abiy is keen to crush his opponents in Tigray and does not want mediation.
Of all US President Donald Trump’s foreign policy moves, it may be those in the Middle East that prove the most lasting. Trump pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal; angered the Palestinians by moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, cutting off US aid and closing their diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C.; and later brokered the normalisation of ties between Israel and several Arab states. Now, Israelis, Palestinians and others are trying to anticipate what Joe Biden’s incoming administration will mean for the region.
Aid agencies are unable to bring food and health supplies to Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, the UN warned on Thursday in the latest sign that the fighting there is intensifying. Analysts say that federal forces are facing a tough opponent in the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), and that the conflict threatens to further destabilise other parts of Ethiopia.
Before a sea of cheering, weeping supporters, many of them waving flags from the tops of cars as they juggled jubilation with coronavirus-distancing measures, Kamala Harris delivered a victory speech on Saturday night like no other.
Acknowledging her late mother, Shyamala Gopalan — who, she reminded the nation, “came here from India at the age of 19” — Harris noted that Gopalan “maybe didn’t quite imagine this moment”.
Dressed in a white suit — the colour of the women’s suffragette movement — the US vice president-elect proceeded to unpack the historical import of the “moment”.
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FRANCE 24: Should world leaders be concerned about this awkward period? Donald Trump is a lame duck — and already quite volatile, so to speak.
François Heisbourg: It’s 72 days [until the inauguration]. A lame duck doesn’t have to prove that it can fly. Trump’s not going to be re-elected. So he’s entirely free. And that’s very scary.
FRANCE 24: What could he do?
Heisbourg: Well, he can issue executive orders, that’s always possible. Or he can just do nothing. If he plays golf every day, who’s going to run the Covid-19 pandemic? My assumption is, it’s going to be very difficult to have a coordinated approach on the pandemic. The Americans are basically two weeks behind Europe in terms of the increasing caseload. It’s getting rapidly worse. By the end of the month, you’ll have an increase in the fatalities and so on in the States.
Problem B is that the lame-duck Congress and the lame-duck secretary of the Treasury may or may not agree on the stimulus package before January 20th. It’s not going to be a great time for the American economy — and, by ricochet, for the European economy, either.
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FRANCE 24: In terms of foreign policy, what concerns are there about how to deal with Trump in the interim? Or will leaders just hang on until Joe Biden takes office?
Heisbourg: They’ll wait until the new man comes in. What can you negotiate with Trump at this stage? I assume nothing much. I don’t expect any policy decisions from Trump in that area. But we don’t know that a foreign country is not going to do something which will stress America’s decision-making capability.
FRANCE 24: Something that requires a response and doesn’t get one?
Heisbourg: Yes. It could well happen. So, the transition is going to be really long.
FRANCE 24: Turning to President-elect Biden, former European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker says things are going to get a lot easier because Biden understands Europe better than Trump. Is that your sense?
Heisbourg: He knows Europe and the Europeans know him. Biden is very much part of the furniture. All of us have met Biden at one time or another in the last 48 years [laughs]. We’ve learned to know each other. And, of course, Biden is an adult. He may not be a perfect adult, but he is an adult, and that in itself is a great relief [laughs]. It’s a big change. It’s an enormous change.
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Whether Biden will be wise and constructive, I don’t know. But he clearly will want to improve relations, to re-establish relations with the Europeans on a cooperative basis. When Biden crafts his China policy, he’ll try to do it in as multilateral a manner as possible. So all of these things are essentially to the good. But, beyond that, we don’t know yet what the content of his policy will be.
America has not grown in strength over the last 10 years, relative to a rising China. The US policy of strategic prudence in the Mediterranean will continue, meaning: The Americans are not going to do it for us. If you look towards Eastern Europe [in the last decade], the Ukrainian account was handled essentially by the Europeans, with the Americans in the background. The key players [in 2014] were German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French president François Hollande, not Barack Obama. There is little reason to expect that to change.
So it’s not going to be back to the world of American leadership. It’s going to be back to what I call “Obama minus”.
FRANCE 24: Obama minus?
Heisbourg: Yes. That is, focus on China and let other people handle the other stuff. In a friendly manner — but if people are expecting American leadership, they’re probably not going to get it. I don’t see why Biden, who was Obama’s vice president, would take a higher profile [in foreign affairs] than Obama did. And Trump to a very large extent — in terms of attitude, not implementation — was very much a continuity president in the Mediterranean.
[Consider] the stuff the French have been doing in the eastern Mediterranean over the last few months. It’s not as if the Americans were absent, but they are no more present than the Egyptians or the Emiratis. The Russians and the Turks are definitely more present.
Biden’s Middle East policy
FRANCE 24: In Europe, Merkel is winding up her term just as Biden arrives; Emmanuel Macron will start getting to the less constructive part of his term should he seek re-election. What can Biden’s arrival mean for them?
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Heisbourg: A return to civilised relations. That in itself is very important. If they expect American leadership, I don’t think they’ll get it. But if they expect a civilised, cooperative relationship with the US, I think they will. And that’s not trivial.
There is this sort of feeling [here in France] that we shouldn’t get carried away with expectations. That’s actually a pretty good thing because big expectations will be disappointed. If one expects a return to civilised relations and that there will be all sorts of issues on which it will be possible to consult, concert and sometimes even agree, then expectations will be met. And that hasn’t happened for a long time.
FRANCE 24: What about Brexit? Should British PM Boris Johnson be quaking in his boots at the arrival of this pro-Ireland US leader?
Heisbourg: When you look at the spin from Number 10 [Downing Street] and Her Majesty’s Government, yes, clearly they have woken up to the painful revelation that there are more Irish people in the States than there are in Ireland [laughs]. And now one of them happens to be the president [laughs]! I think Johnson will really come to regret not having stuck to the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement.
FRANCE 24: Has Trump damaged any global relationships irreparably?
Heisbourg: Yes. The short answer is yes. The longer answer is: We now know that the US is a deeply divided society and that anything can happen by the end of the current electoral cycle. Biden may not run in 2024; Trump got 4 million more votes than the last time!
FRANCE 24: Would leaders be wise to brace themselves for the return of Trump-ism?
Heisbourg: No, it’s not so much that. It’s not that there is a specific fear. It’s simply that — from basically the beginning of the Cold War until Trump was elected — the outside world could assume that the US was going to stick to the basic choices it made at the beginning of the Cold War. That is: An alliance system in Asia and Europe functioning as an influence and force multiplier for the US and which implied a certain type of relationship between the US and its Asian and European partners. And that whatever the colour of the American president — even George W. Bush — that that would be the case.
Indeed, one of the reasons why former French president Jacques Chirac and former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder were ready to oppose Bush the way they did in 2003, during the Iraq crisis, was because they felt safe in their assumption that, whatever happened, the US would still function on the basis of that alliance relationship. That the risk being run was limited.
Trump, of course, wanted to un-build the alliance relationship. And of course it’s a great relief to know that he’s not been re-elected because, if he had been, it’s fair to assume the US would have left NATO by the end of his second term, de facto or de jure. That’s no longer on the cards. But we are no longer safe in assuming that the US is going to stick to its 70-year-old alliance policy. The US h



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