‘QAnon Shaman’ Freed from Federal Prison

QAnon Shaman
QAnon Shaman was originally due to be released this July: Video screenshot/US Today

The US Capitol rioter Jacob Chansley, known as the QAnon Shaman, has been released early from prison to a halfway house.

The 35-year-old was sentenced to 41 months in prison. Chansley pleaded guilty to charges of civil disorder, disorderly and disruptive conduct, violent entry to a building, and other counts at his November 2021 sentencing hearing. He was originally due to be released this July.

He has been moved to a “residential re-entry management” facility in Phoenix, Arizona, and is expected to be released on 25 May, according to prison records.

He received one of the longest terms handed down to any of the rioters.

Chansley – convicted of a felony count of obstruction – was one of nearly 1,000 criminal defendants charged in the 6 January 2021 riot, when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol as lawmakers certified President Joe Biden’s election victory.

His lawyer, Albert Watkins, said in a statement that the early release of his client was “appropriate” and he should be “permitted to move forward with the next stage of what undoubtedly will be a law-abiding and enriching life”.

With his face paint, horns and bearskin headdress, Chansley – an aspiring actor – became the notorious face of the raid on the seat of American democracy as his picture was beamed around the world.

He recently re-emerged in the national spotlight after Fox News host Tucker Carlson argued the riot was mostly peaceful, airing footage of the self-styled QAnon Shaman wandering the halls of Congress with police officers either escorting him, or making no attempt to bar his way.

Federal prosecutors said Carlson had omitted key parts of Chansley’s actions.

Elon Musk is among the supporters of QAnon Shaman

Elon Musk had also thrown his support into the defense of QAnon Shaman in an effort to downplay the disruptive events of Jan. 6, 2021.

“Free Jacob Chansley,” Musk tweeted to his 130 million followers while sharing a video that appears to show Chansley telling protestors at the Capitol to go home and remain peaceful, adding in a separate tweet that Chansley was sentenced to four years in prison “for a non-violent, police-escorted tour.”

In another tweet, Musk claimed Chansley “was falsely portrayed in the media as a violent criminal who tried to overthrow the state and who urged others to commit violence.”

“I’m not part of MAGA, but I do believe in the fairness of justice,” he added.

Chansley’s alias was a reference to a baseless conspiracy theory whose adherents believe former President Donald Trump was waging a secret war against elite Satan-worshipping paedophiles.

Trump Becomes First Former US President to Face Criminal Charges

Donald Trump criminal charges
Adult performer Stormy Daniels (pictured left) and former US President Donald Trump (pictured right). Credit: (first picture) The Circus / Wikimedia Commons CC BY 3.0 (second picture) Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0

Donald Trump has become the first former President to face criminal charges after he was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on Thursday.

The former President will be charged over a hush money payment to former adult movie star Stormy Daniels.

Although it is not yet clear exactly what Trump will be charged with, he is expected to be arraigned in a New York court next Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg released a statement Thursday saying the office has contacted Trump’s attorney to “coordinate his surrender” for arraignment on “a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal.”

CNN reports that Trump faces more than 30 counts related to business fraud in an indictment. Meanwhile, the New York Times says there are more than two dozen counts, also citing two unnamed sources.

Daniels claims she had an adulterous affair with the former president, and was paid to keep quiet.

Trump has strongly denied the allegations and called the indictment a “political persecution”. He took to his own social media platform to say that he does not expect to have a fair trial in New York.

“They only brought this Fake, Corrupt, and Disgraceful Charge against me because I stand with the American People, and they know that I cannot get a fair trial in New York!” he wrote on Truth Social.

In earlier comments to the press, he had described his indictment as “political persecution” and criticized the Manhattan district attorney prosecuting his case.

According to ABC News Trump has been making calls to Congressional allies on Capitol Hill Thursday night, urging them to go on the offensive and defend him.

Criminal charges Trump may face

In 2016, Daniels contacted media outlets and offered to sell the story of what she claimed was an adulterous affair with Trump which took place in 2006.

The former president has denied any involvement with the adult movie star since the allegations became public in 2018.

Nevertheless, when Trump’s team became aware that Daniels was offering to sell the story to the media, lawyer Michael Cohen paid her $130,000 to remain quiet.

This itself is not illegal. However, when Trump reimbursed Cohen for the payment, he listed the payment as a legal fee. According to prosecutors, this amounts to falsifying business records and is a misdemeanor (a criminal offense less severe than a felony) in New York.

Prosecutors could potentially make the claim that Trump also broke election law. This would be on the basis that efforts to conceal the payments to Daniels were made to hide the alleged affair from voters in order to maintain political support.

Concealing a crime by falsifying records would count as a felony, which is a more serious charge carrying heavier penalties.

A conviction for a misdemeanor would result in a fine, whereas for a felony, the former president could face a maximum of four years in prison, although even in the latter case a fine would still be more likely.

Pentagon Official Says Alien Mothership Could Be Watching Us

Alient Mothership
Alien Mothership, Pentagon officials, and Harvard scientists suggest that an alien mothership could be watching us. Credit: Megan Rosenbloom / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

The head of the Pentagon’s UFO office and a Harvard scientist have presented a new idea about the possibility of an alien mothership being present in our solar system.

They proposed that small probes, which they called “dandelion seeds,” could be sent out by the mothership to explore the planets nearby and collect information. These dandelion seeds are similar to the spacecraft that we humans use to explore space.

The draft paper, titled “Physical Constraints on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena,” was released on March 7 by Avi Loeb, an astronomer at Harvard University, and Sean M. Kirkpatrick, the director of the Pentagon’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO).

Although it is not an official document by the Pentagon, it was carried out in collaboration with the Department of Defense (DoD). The paper has not undergone peer review.

Oumuamua alien spaceship

Loeb is recognized for his work on Oumuamua, which is a visitor from outside our solar system that astronomers detected in 2017.

The initial assumption was that the object was a comet, but its unique characteristics, such as its elongated shape, the absence of a coma, and its acceleration away from the sun, caused doubts about the theory. Loeb suggested that Oumuamua was an alien spaceship.

The theory behind dandelion seeds

Six months before ‘Oumuamua’ came close to Earth, a small meteorite crashed into our planet. Loeb saw this as an opportunity to think about the possibility that an alien spaceship could release tiny probes that could explore our planet. He called these probes “dandelion seeds” because they would be small and light, like the seeds of a dandelion plant.

In a new paper, Loeb and his colleague Thomas Kirkpatrick suggest that these probes could be sent to Earth without being detected by telescopes. They think that the probes could use a parachute to slow down as they enter our atmosphere, so they wouldn’t burn up. Once they land, they can explore our planet without anyone noticing.

The paper also talks about Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAPs), which is another name for UFOs. The authors suggest that the probes could be used for exploration without being detected.

Aliens likely to explore planets with atmosphere

Scientists suggest that if aliens were to explore our solar system, they would probably be interested in rocky planets that have an atmosphere. Venus, Earth, and Mars would all seem attractive from a distance, but Earth would be the most intriguing to aliens once they discovered signs of liquid water.

The extraterrestrial civilization that sent out these probes wouldn’t necessarily have to be physically present on the main spaceship, and it’s even unlikely that they could communicate with the probes.

This alien civilization may not even exist anymore. Most stars in our galaxy formed billions of years before our sun, which means a habitable planet with intelligent life may have launched probes long before Earth even formed. Searching for these probes is like checking our mailbox for any packages that may have accumulated over time, even if the senders are no longer alive, according to scientist Loeb.

However, the Pentagon has recently taken a keen interest in investigating unidentified flying objects spotted over American airspace.

Since the establishment of the Aerial Phenomena Task Force last summer, the organization has launched over 360 new investigations into reported encounters with unexplained aerial phenomena by US military personnel, according to Live Science.

About half of these have been identified as “balloons or balloon-like objects,” while the other half lack sufficient data to be fully resolved.

Italy to Ban Lab-Grown Meat to Protect Food Heritage

Italy proposes to ban lab-grown meat
Italy proposes to ban lab-grown meat. Credit: World Economic Forum / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

Italy’s government, with a conservative stance, has supported a law that could prohibit the manufacturing of laboratory-generated meat and other artificial edibles. This move aims to safeguard Italian food culture. In the event that this proposal becomes law, anyone who violates it will be subject to a fine of up to $65,000.

Conflict of Opinion

Francesco Lollobrigida, who leads the recently rebranded department for agriculture and food sovereignty, emphasized the significance of Italy’s culinary heritage. The farmers’ interest group praised the decision.

Nevertheless, some animal welfare organizations view the prohibition as a setback, considering lab-grown meat a solution to problems such as reducing carbon emissions and ensuring food safety.

Coldiretti and other farming lobbies have amassed around 500,000 signatures in recent months, calling for the protection of “natural food versus synthetic food.” Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is among those who have signed the petition.

The proposed law was introduced shortly after a series of government decrees prohibited the use of flour made from insects like crickets and locusts in pasta or pizza. The decision was motivated by Italy’s cherished Mediterranean diet, according to the Ministers.

The agriculture minister, Francesco Lollobrigida said, “Laboratory products in our opinion do not guarantee quality, well-being and the protection of our culture, our tradition.”

Lab-Produced Food Products

On Tuesday, March 28, 2023, the Ministers gave their approval to the proposals, which aimed to prohibit synthetic foods that were created from animal cells without harming the animal, including lab-produced fish and synthetic milk.

In November last year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved cell-cultured chicken for human consumption after a thorough review. In 2020, Singapore granted regulatory approval for the use of lab-grown chicken meat in nuggets.

The European Food Safety Authority has not yet been approached for approval, but it has been suggested within the European Commission that cell-based agriculture, such as cultured meat, could be a “promising and innovative solution” for healthy and environmentally friendly food systems.

Some experts have pointed out that Italy would not be able to prevent the sale of synthetic meat produced within the European Union once it is approved due to the free movement of goods and services.

The International Organization for Animal Protection (Oipa) emphasized that lab-produced meat, although derived from animal cells, is an “ethical alternative” that does not compromise animal welfare, environmental sustainability, or food safety.

However, Paolo Zanetti, who leads the dairy industry group Assolatte, praised the government’s decision to ban synthetic foods made from animal cells.

He explained that milk producers are in a difficult situation: they are being asked to make their product more eco-friendly, while others are promoting an unnatural product under the pretence of being environmentally friendly.

Speculation that Vladimir Putin is Using Body Doubles Grows

President Vladimir Putin, pictured September 2022. Credit: Council.gov.ru / Wikimedia Commons CC BY 4.0

Speculation is growing, particularly on the internet, that Russian President Vladimir Putin is using body doubles.

The theory is based on alleged inconsistences in Putin’s appearance, with proponents of the theory pointing to features like his chin, his ears, and the wrinkles on his forehead. Theorists claim that the body doubles have been used due to Putin’s declining health, or that they are sent out to areas deemed too dangerous for the Russian President.

The conspiracy theory has been particularly prevalent online, but the story has also been picked up by mainstream media outlets. Some Ukrainian officials have even backed the claim that Putin is using body doubles on social media.

Theory that Putin is using body doubles

According to several conspiracy theorists, many of which have gone viral on the internet, the Russian President has been using body doubles for one of a number of possible reasons.

Some online users have suggested that Putin relies on the doppelgängers to conceal his declining health. Others have speculated that body doubles are sent to places like the Ukrainian frontline where the President wants to be publicly seen but which are deemed too risky for a legitimate appearance.

An even more dramatic conspiracy theory, spread online by some tabloids, is that Putin may have already died, and that his doubles are extending his lifespan in the public eye.

Those who believe the theory to be true have highlighted what they claim are several important inconsistences in Putin’s appearance.

For example, online users cited footage of a recent visit by Putin to the occupied city of Mariupol as evidence for the use of body doubles. According to proponents of the theory, the facial features of the President, like one of his earlobes and a mole, changed during the footage in a suspicious manner.

Other images and videos of Putin have also been put forward as evidence for the existence of doppelgängers, where the wrinkles on his forehead or the shape of his chin have apparently changed. Even the President’s gait has been analyzed for signs of deception, with some claiming that his walk in some videos is uncharacteristically brisk.

Ukrainian claims

This body double theory has proven quite popular among some officials in Ukraine, adding a further twist to mounting speculation.

Major General Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, believes that Putin is using at least three body doubles. He even reportedly questioned “whether the real Putin still exists?”

Anton Gerashchenko, the official advisor to the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, has also weighed in on the popular conspiracy theory. Gerashchenko posted three images of Putin’s chin on social media and questioned whether the pictures were even of the same man.

Alternative theories

Not everyone is on board with the theory that Putin has a loyal cadre of doppelgängers at his disposal.

Simone Malik, a portrait artist who spent time studying Putin’s face, told the Mirror that she believed the changes in the Russian President’s appearance were down to ageing or illness.

“His face has changed quite a bit, it used to be a bit more stretched and now it’s a bit rounder with more puffiness. But that’s very consistent with natural ageing or underlying health issues that could be ongoing,” Malik told the publication.

Monks Create World’s First Powdered Beer

Beers and Glassware
Beers and glassware / A German brewery created the world’s first powdered beer. Credit: Cambridge Brewing Co / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

A brewery run by monks in eastern Germany has developed a new product, the world’s first powdered beer. This innovative creation can be easily prepared by adding water, resulting in a foamy and full-flavored brew, complete with a frothy head.

Since powdered beer is lightweight, it can be shipped at a fraction (10%) of the weight, which would result in significant savings on transport costs.

The Klosterbrauerei Neuzelle collaborated with “technology partners” and received financial assistance from BMWi to create their first powdered product – a zero-alcohol beer that is rich in dextrin. The brewery followed traditional brewing techniques to create the product and then processed it into a water-soluble granulate.

The powdered beer is currently being tested in small quantities until mid-2023. The brewery’s plan is to scale up production and start producing alcoholic versions of the powdered beer as well.

However, the success of the product will determine the course of their next steps. The brewery believes that by minimizing the use of raw materials, labor, and energy, it can revolutionize traditional brewing techniques.

Traditional methods and environmental concerns

Helmut Fritsche, a shareholder in Neuzelle, says the time is right to evaluate traditional beer production and distribution methods in the light of environmental concerns.

Beer is made up of up to 90% water, and billions of liters of it are transported worldwide. While there have been some efforts to reduce transport-related emissions, there is still room to reduce resource usage and production costs.

Managing director Stefan Fritsche acknowledges that classic pilsner drinkers and craft beer enthusiasts in Germany may be initially hesitant to try their product. However, the goal is not just to introduce a new beer to the market but to challenge the traditional beer business model.

Klosterbrauerei Neuzelle Brauhaus
Klosterbrauerei Neuzelle Brauhaus. Credit: Nicholas Roese / wikimedia commons CC BY SA 3.0/de

In an interview with the local news channel, Stefan Fritsche also explained that beer powder could reduce CO2 emissions and will contribute to the reduction of carbon footprint worldwide.

He also explained that the beer powder would significantly reduce the need for glass bottles.

The primary target audience is global resellers who can transform the granules into a finished product for end consumers without needing to be brewing experts.

The brewery plans to focus on international markets like Asia and Africa, where transport costs are higher, and the demand for beer is greater than concerns about beer quality.

Investors are currently in talks with the monastery brewery about trying out a new marketing strategy and improving the process of making beer powder, said the Klosterbrauerei.

The brewery needs these investment partners to help fund their business plan and make it a reality. They are working together with their technology partners to achieve their goals.

Does Artificial Intelligence Help or Hinder Healthcare?

Medical professionals are debating the potential benefits and risks of using artificial intelligence in the healthcare sector. Credit: mikemacmarketing / Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0

Since the release of ChatGPT and other similar platforms last November, there has been a flurry of excitement concerning the possible applications for artificial intelligence (AI) in a wide breadth of areas, including healthcare.

Proponents of the new technology are optimistic that AI could revolutionize healthcare. For example, it could be used to assist with diagnoses or to cut down waiting times at local doctors’ practices. Patients might even be able to obtain a diagnosis without leaving the comfort of their own home.

However, some medical professionals and tech experts have urged patients to be cautious. There are growing concerns that AI applications have made misdiagnoses and are providing improper medical advice. The prevailing advice is that patients should seek the advice of qualified (human) health professionals.

Artificial intelligence and healthcare

Of all the AI applications currently on the market, ChatGPT is probably the best known, although tech giants like Google and Microsoft also have their own applications, and Meta recently shifted its focus towards AI.

Even before popular platforms like ChatGPT came to the forefront of public consciousness, there was growing excitement that AI could soon play a positive role in the healthcare sector.

In 2018, for instance, Lab100, a prototype medical clinic and research lab, was created by Cactus, a design studio based in Brooklyn, in collaboration with Mount Sinai, a medical school based in New York. The innovative clinic employs AI and data capture techniques to meticulously generate a profile of an individual’s physical and mental health.

The experimental lab features different stations that patients can visit to assess various categories of their health.

Elsewhere, healthcare professionals have experimented with how AI can be used to supplement more traditional medical practices.

Two surgeons from the United Kingdom’s National Healthcare Service (NHS) have started using Microsoft’s Azure cloud-based software and its machine learning and AI dashboard to organize waiting lists, assign staff their duties more efficiently, and communicate with patients.

“This is a really exciting project that we hope can help the NHS nationally at a time when the service is facing increased demand and a backlog of operations”, said one of the surgeons, Professor Mike Reed during an interview with Industry Europe last year.

This is just a snapshot of the potential healthcare applications for AI, but medical professionals are certainly interested to see what technological developments might be relevant to their practice.


Despite this wave of optimism, there are concerns that AI might be misused.
This is particularly true in cases where patients with limited medical knowledge of their own have turned to AI applications like ChatGPT to act as their own personal medical assistants.

The main worry is that the AI might be giving false or misleading medical advice to individuals who would otherwise seek the help of a trained medical professional.

Jeremy Faust, an emergency medicine physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, tested ChatGPT’s ability to provide a diagnosis for a fictional patient. Initially, the diagnosis looked legitimate; however, when Faust looked for the sources cited by the AI, he found that they did not exist.

Concerns like these have led to some medical professionals to call on the relevant authorities to implement minimum standards of quality for next generation AI technologies when dealing with healthcare.

Google has issued its own warning of sorts against AI-generated medical misinformation, even as its own efforts to develop a popular chatbot-integrated search feature are underway.

“On topics where information quality is critically important—like health, civic, or financial information—our systems place an even greater emphasis on signals of reliability,” reads an updated passage from Google Search’s guidance about AI-generated content.

As AI looks set to play an increasingly important role in a diverse array of sectors, including healthcare, finance, logistics, and more, the way in which this technology is implemented regarding reliability, factuality, and ethics, will determine whether it becomes a help or a hindrance in our daily lives.

The Day Two Greek Teenagers Took Down the Nazi Flag from the Acropolis

Nazi flag Acropolis manolis glezos
Greek freedom fighters Manolis Glezos (L) and Apostolis Santas resisted the Nazis in Greece. Credit: Public Domain

On this day in 2020 (March 30), Manolis Glezos, one of the two Greeks who removed the Nazi flag from the Acropolis, passed away at the age of 98.

It was May 30, 1941, when two teenaged Greek boys, Manolis Glezos and Lakis Santas, climbed up the Acropolis and took down the Nazi flag. It was the very first of many brave acts of resistance against the occupying army in World War Two in Greece.

One of the most humiliating moments—not only for Greece but for all humanity—was when on April 28, 1941, the Nazi flag, the swastika, was hoisted atop Acropolis Hill on the very cradle of democracy and Western Civilization.

It was the day when German troops entered Athens to take control of the surrendered city. The moment the Nazi flag flew in the sky of Attica marked the beginning of three and a half years of pain, hunger, and death under the Wermarcht boot.

Yet, two young men, barely 18, made a heroic move which later proved to be the beginning of the great Greek resistance to the Nazis. The two youths, Manolis Glezos and Lakis Santas, climbed Acropolis Hill at night and took down the swastika flag, dealing a symbolic blow to the powerful occupying forces.

Taking down Nazi flag an act of defiance

It was a gallant act, an act of proud defiance which ultimately raised the spirit of Greece and made them believe that, indeed, they could resist the Nazis. It was a demonstration of the power of the human spirit against the power of guns.

The young mens’ plan to pull down the Nazi flag from the Acropolis had been organized days earlier. They read everything they found about the Acropolis in encyclopedias. Most importantly, they read about natural tunnels and crevices in the Sacred Rock and other points where they could hide.

On the morning of May 30, 1941, Glezos and Santas heard on the radio that Crete had fallen. The two young men decided it was time to act.

At 9:30 pm, the Acropolis’ small guard was gathered in Propylaia, drinking beer and getting drunk. The two men jumped over the wire fences and crawled through the cave at the Pandroseion sanctuary.

They climbed up the archeologists’ scaffolding and came to within a few meters of the flagpole, without being spotted by any guard. Moving quickly, they took down the hated Nazi flag.

The two students, armed with only a small knife, a lantern, and a ton of courage, had done what seemed impossible: They climbed 34 meters (111.5 feet) up Acropolis Hill in the middle of the night under a strict curfew, approached the flag, and cut it down. They then went 34 meters downhill, crossing the empty streets of central Athens, and quietly returned to their homes.

Later in their lives, Glezos and Santas spoke about the carefully orchestrated act, their practice the day before, and the fear they felt when returning to their homes. They were admittedly lucky by any measure, but luck is always on the side of the brave.

Sentenced to death in absentia for taking down flag

Early next morning, the German guards realized that the flag was missing. The Nazi authorities ordered several interrogations and by 11 AM, a new Nazi flag was flying above the Acropolis.

On June 1st, the Greek newspaper Eleftheron Vima published a proclamation from the German commander stating that the “unidentified culprits” responsible for taking down the Nazi flag from the Acropolis had been sentenced to death in absentia—a punishment that was never applied.

Glezos ended up being arrested three times by the Nazis during the German occupation of Greece for a variety of other acts of defiance. He was even temporarily imprisoned, but managed to escape, while Lakis Santas escaped the enemy entirely and joined the leftist Greek People’s Liberation Army (ELAS), which resisted the Nazis.

Apostolos Santas died in Athens at age 89 in 2011, and Manolis Glezos passed away at the age of 98 on March 30, 2020.

Troubled Waters in Eastern Med: The Case of Crete’s EEZ

Crete EEZ
A satellite image of Crete. Credit: NASA/Public Domain

The island of Crete illustrates how Turkey is attempting to curtail the exercise of Greece’s sovereign rights regarding the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

By Dr. Stathis Palassis

The island of Crete is situated between the Aegean and Libyan Seas. It has strategic and symbolic importance, as it defines the southernmost border of both Greece and the European Union.

It also presents an interesting case that illustrates how Turkey is attempting to curtail the exercise of Greece’s sovereign rights under the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC), particularly as regards the territorial sea and the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Following the discovery of natural gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean, in Israel (2009/2010), Cyprus (2011), and Egypt (2015), significant findings have been made south and west of Crete (2023).

These reserves are important, both in securing the energy needs of the states in whose territories the deposits are found, as well as in lessening the European Union’s reliance on Russia as an energy source.

Turkey’s disruptive acts in the Eastern Mediterranean

The region has become the focal point of an energy security race. In its quest for control on resources, and guided by the expansive policies of the “Blue Homeland”, Turkey has engaged in all manner of disruptive acts in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Its unequivocal declaration that no resource exploitation is acceptable without its involvement clearly evidences Turkey’s extra-territorial energy aspirations in the region.

Central to Turkey’s stance is its minority position on the international law of the sea. Turkey was one of only four states to vote against the adoption of the LOSC, due to its dissatisfaction regarding the breadth of the territorial sea, its delimitation, and the regime of islands.

Since then, Turkey maintains a position of non-ratification, demonstrating a systematic disregard for the international law of the sea and a preference instead for its own interpretation of legality.

Turkish threats and provocation, amounting to coercion, have created an untenable position for Greece, in that it is unable to freely exercise its sovereign rights under the LOSC.

Pursuant to the LOSC, all states have the sovereign right to a territorial sea of up to twelve nautical miles (Articles 2 and 3).

Greece currently has a twelve nautical mile territorial sea westward, while in the Aegean and south of Crete its territorial sea is six nautical miles, with the right to claim up to twelve nautical miles.

Extending the breadth of the territorial sea means extending State sovereign territory, and in this regard, Turkey has declared casus belli should Greece extend  its territorial sea in the Aegean by even one mile. Most recently, the declaration of casus belli was extended to include Crete.

In maintaining that any act that expands Greek sovereign territory is considered a hostile act, Turkey is restricting the exercise of Greece’s sovereignty and violating its right to self-determination.

Furthermore, pursuant to the LOSC, states also have a sovereign right to claim an EEZ of up to 200 nautical miles (Articles 55 and 57). Greece has claimed an EEZ in areas that border to the west with Albania and Italy, to the south with Egypt and Libya and to the east with Cyprus and Turkey.

Recent exploration has revealed significant gas reserves in areas that include the west, south and southwest of Crete. Involved in the exploration and exploitation activities are the Greek Government, along with the United States-based energy giant, ExxonMobil and HelleniQ Energy, Greece’s largest oil refiner.

Crete EEZ
The areas west and southwest of Crete where Exxon Mobil conducts surveys for gas. Public Domain

Turkey claims that Crete cannot generate an EEZ

On the other hand, and based on its unique view of international law, Turkey claims that Crete cannot generate an EEZ as it is an island and islands do not have the right to claim extended maritime zones beyond the limits of the territorial sea. This position is not just a minority view, it is unique to Turkey.

Furthermore, Turkey has been deploying its exploratory ships to the area and raising tensions, as was the case during the summer of 2020. States do not have the right to enter other states’ EEZ with the purpose of resource exploration/exploitation.

Underpinning any kind of sustainable resource exploration/exploitation activities in the Eastern Mediterranean are the bilateral maritime delimitation agreements (the ‘Agreements’). The purpose of these Agreements is to accommodate states with opposite or adjacent coastlines where there are geographic constraints on claiming an EEZ up to the 200 nautical mile limit.

The agreements provide legal certainty on the basis of equity. By creating a median line that equitably accommodates the overlapping claims and mutually recognizes each other’s territory, a boundary is formed separating the EEZ of each state.

Furthermore, the median line can be adjusted based on the existence of relevant circumstances pertaining to the situation in question, such as geographic, economic and historical.

In this regard, Greece has secured delimitation agreements with Egypt and Italy, while with Albania the two states have submitted the matter to the International Court of Justice.

The Agreements entered into are valid as created pursuant to Article 74 of the LOSC, in that maritime delimitation agreements can only be affected by opposite or adjacent states.

On the other hand, the Turkey-Libya Agreements that traverse diagonally across Greece’s EEZ lack validity as per Article 74 and constitute a blatant attempt to infringe on the rights of third states in clear defiance of international law.

The conflicting positions of Greece and Turkey are not easily reconciled. As an island, Crete generates the right, under international law, to a twelve-nautical mile territorial sea and to extended maritime zones, including an EEZ.

However, provocative conduct and hostile relations, characterized by a continuing threat of the use of force, make exercising sovereignty and the right to self-determination particularly difficult.

Instead, on the basis of good neighborly relations, and consistently with the LOSC, states should respect each other’s territorial integrity, political independence and right to self-determination. It is against such a backdrop that all the states of the Eastern Mediterranean can cooperate and enter into bilateral delimitation agreements.

By adhering to the spirit and letter of international law, political and legal certainty is achieved. This allows for harmonious and sustainable resource exploration/
exploitation activities of states within their respective EEZs, particularly at this crucial moment in time.

Dr. Stathis Palassis is a Greek-Australian lawyer with doctoral qualifications in law. He was admitted into legal practice as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Australia. He later was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Technology, Sydney.

“Telosa,” the Billionaire-Backed Utopian City Inspired by Aristotle

An artist’s rendering of the city of Telosa. Credit: City of Telosa/Twitter

Billionaire Marc Lore, the former head of Walmart.com, is planning to create the “utopian” city of Telosa by 2050.

Lore, who was the CEO of Walmart’s US e-commerce between 2016 and 2021, resigned from the mega-retailer in order to shift his entire focus towards creating Telosa. Lore is also a billionaire who was named one of the “smartest people in technology” by Fortune magazine.

Lore’s interest in a sustainable and “utopian” city for the future here on Earth represents a stark contrast from fellow billionaires Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, who each have their own respective aerospace companies — Bezos’ is Blue Origin and Musk’s is SpaceX — dedicated to space exploration with eyes towards commercial space travel and even possibly settling on Mars.

Telosa — sustainable utopia with an ancient Greek philosophy

Telosa draws its name from the Greek word telos, which means “greater purpose” or goal.

The term was a staple of ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle’s thinking, and he used it to explore the meaning of the fullest purpose a person or thing may hope to achieve. Scholar Bill Thayer, in his introduction to the Roman philosopher Cicero’s work De Finibus, defined Aristotle’s concept as pertaining to “the supreme end of man’s endeavor.”

It’s clear that Lore seeks to fulfill the goal humanity has had since its most early days on Earth: building the most functional and successful civilization possible.

“I’m trying to create a new model for society, where wealth is created in a fair way,” Lore explained in a recent interview with Fortune.

“It’s not burdening the wealthy; it’s not increasing taxes. It is simply giving back to the citizens and the people the wealth that they helped create.”

Telosa project aims to reach a population of 5 million by 2050

In Telosa, “training centers, cultural institutions, and retail spill out onto the street where shaded public spaces encourage residents to come together,” the project’s website says.

“Lush in native planting, the city parks host carefully managed reservoirs which store water for the city and provide all residents with open space within minutes of where they live.”

Lore’s push for sustainability will have the city featuring indoor farming, energy-efficient buildings, self-driving electric cars, and high-speed public transit.

The city’s central landmark will be the Equitism Tower, a large cone-shaped metal skyscraper with water storage, aeroponic farms, and a photovoltaic roof that will make it capable of distributing energy.

Lore needs $500 billion in order to launch Telosa, and expects the city to have a population of 50,000 by 2030, with an eventual population of 5 million by 2050.

Lore and his team are still searching for the perfect location for Telosa, and are particularly interested in the American desert.