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01 Sep

Labor Day – Organize!

The O’Leary: To the workers who built this country and could restore it again if we had leaders in Washington!

Pete Seeger – Joe Hill

Pete Seeger -  Which Side Are You On

Pete Seeger – Solidarity Forever

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01 Sep

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

guardian

All countries and global regions

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Russian foreign minister calls for immediate ceasefire in Ukraine

Russian soldiers near the border with Ukraine

Lavrov says talks should focus on a truce and Ukraine forces must retreat from positions where they can harm civilians

Hong Kong MPs disrupt Chinese official’s speech in electoral protest

Pro-democracy MPs hold up signs during a protest as Li Fei explains China's electoral decision

Pro-democracy MPs hold up a banner and signs during a protest as Li Fei (on screen) explains China’s electoral decision. Photograph: Bobby Yip/Reuters

Hong Kong pro-democracy MPs and activists have disrupted a Beijing official’s speech explaining a decision to rule out allowing residents to freely choose their next leader.

Hong Kong voters ‘would be confused by too many candidates’

Li Fei, deputy general secretary of the National People's Congress (NPC) standing committee

Li Fei, deputy general secretary of the National People’s Congress (NPC) standing committee, speaking in Hong Kong. Photograph: Bobby Yip/Reuters

Hong Kong voters would be “confused” if they had too many candidates to choose from, a Beijing official told a briefing in the city on Monday, as pro-democracy activists launched their civil disobedience campaign against the decision to tightly limit electoral reforms.

Huge new Israeli settlement in West Bank condemned by US and UK

The Gush Etzion settlement, near Bethlehem, in the West Bank

The Gush Etzion settlement, near Bethlehem, in the West Bank. Photograph: Abir Sultan/EPA

The UK and US governments have criticised, in unusually strong language, Israel‘s decision to greenlight one of the largest appropriations of Palestinian land for settlement in recent decades.

N Ireland children sent to Australia were sexually abused, inquiry told

Sir Anthony Hart

Sir Anthony Hart. chairman of the historical abuse inquiry, said witnesses’ evidence ‘will not be swept under the carpett’. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Children as young as five were sent from Northern Ireland to Australian orphanages and other institutions where they were sexually and physically abused, the chairman of an inquiry into institutional child abuse has revealed.

Sir Anthony Hart, who is chairing the historical abuse inquiry, said witness evidence will show “in shocking terms” how children were subjected to “severe hardships, and grave sexual and physical evidence” when they arrived in the country.

British Wildlife Photography Awards – in pictures

British Seasons winner Andrew Parkinson,

British Seasons winner: Andrew Parkinson’s ‘Hares’, Derbyshire, England. Photograph: Andrew Parkinson/BWPA

A selection of winning images from this year’s BWPA competition

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01 Sep

Afghanistan & Iraq Occupation Casualties & News

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Results of Our Insane Foreign Policy

The McGlynn: And for what?!

Afghan girl

Photographer Muhammed Muheisen took an impressive series of portraits of Afghan refugee children in Islamabad. Here is six-year-old Laiba Hazrat in a slum on the outskirts of the city.

Other Occupation News

Reported security incidents
#1: Eight armed insurgents including two commanders of them were killed in drone attack of foreign troops in Kunar province. The attack took place in Peshigul village, Asadabad capital of that province. General Abdul Habib Syeedkhail police chief of Kunar said BNA, Qari Malang and Mawlawi Hakim two Taliban commanders with their six men lost their lives in the attack.

#2: Four armed Taliban were killed in explosion of their own mine in Jouzjan province yesterday.

#3: At least 3 policemen were killed following an insider attack in central Uruzgan province of Afghanistan late Sunday. Provincial governor spokesman, Dost Mohammad Nayab, has said the incident took place on Sunday night in Shahid Asas district. Nayab further added that the attack was carried out by four policemen who opened fire on their three comrades in a check post in Kekhi area.

09/01/14 KP: Afghan forces repel large scale Taliban attack in Helmand

09/01/14 KP: US drone strike kills 3 Pakistani militants in Kunar province

09/01/14 Tolonews: 41 Taliban Insurgents Killed in ANSF Operations

09/01/14 KP: Insider attack leaves 3 policemen dead in Uruzgan province

09/01/14 Gaurdian: Inside an Afghan women’s prison – in pictures

09/01/14 KP: Suicide attack plots foiled by Afghan intelligence in Farah

09/01/14 Tolonews: Blast in Mazar Kills 2 NDS Personnel

09/01/14 iraqinews: US conducts new airstrikes against ISIL terrorists

09/01/14 Reuters: Iraq violence killed at least 1,420 in August – U.N.

09/01/14 BBC: Acts of inhumanity on unimaginable scale – UN

09/01/14 tengrinews: 16 Kazakhstanis join militants of Islamic State of Iraq

09/01/14 AP: Iraqi forces break militant siege at Amirli

09/01/14 KUNA: France makes air drop of aid to northern Iraq

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Afghanistan Occupation Casualties, Exclusive of Civilians

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U. S. Casualties Total To Date:Killed: 2343

Recently Identified Color denotes today’s confirmation:

Sgt. Christopher W. Mulalley, 26, of Eureka, Calif., died Aug. 22, in Gardez, Afghanistan, as the result of a non-combat related incident. The incident is under investigation. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

Sgt. 1st Class Matthew I. Leggett, 39, of Ruskin, Florida, died Aug. 20, in Kabul, Afghanistan, of injuries received when he was engaged by the enemy.He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

.Boatswain’s Mate Seaman Yeshabel Villotcarrasco, 23, of Parma, Ohio, died as a result of a non-hostile incident June 19 aboard USS James E. Williams (DDG-95) while the ship was underway in the Red Sea

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died July 24, in Mirugol Kalay, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the enemy attacked their vehicle with an improvised explosive device. These soldiers were assigned 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo. Killed were: Staff Sgt. Benjamin G. Prange, 30, of Hickman, Neb.; and Pfc. Keith M. Williams, 19, of Visalia, Calif.

Pfc. Donnell A. Hamilton, Jr., 20, of Kenosha, Wisconsin, died July 24, at Brooke Army Medical Center, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, from an illness sustained in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

.Deaths in Afghanistan: A look at the faces of American lives lost

 

 Afghanistan Occupation Confirmed U.S Casualties – Since June 1, 2009

Iraq Occupation Casualties, Exclusive of Civilians

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U. S. Casualties Total To Date:Killed: 4486

Recently IdentifiedColor denotes today’s confirmation

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Deaths in Iraq: A look at the faces of American lives lost

IIraq Occupation Confirmed U.S Casualties – Since June 1, 2009

Soldiers and families in need of crisis assistance can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained consultants are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and can be contacted by dialing 1-800-273-TALK1-800-273-TALK (8255) or by visiting their website at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org .The Military Crisis Line offers free and confidential support to service members in crisis or anyone who knows a service member who is. The service is staffed by caring, qualified responders from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), many who have served in the military themselves. Support is offered through the crisis line, online chat, and text-messaging services for all service members (active, National Guard and reserve) and veterans 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year by visiting the Military Crisis Line website at http://www.militarycrisisline.net ; Online Chat at: http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/ChatTermsOfService.aspx ; sending a text to: 838255 or calling toll free at: 1-800-273-82551-800-273-8255, Press 1; in Europe Dial: 00800 1273 8255 or DSN 118. Services are available even if members are not registered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or enrolled in VA health care.The Army’s comprehensive list of Suicide Prevention Program information is located at http://www.preventsuicide.army.mil . Information about the Army’s Ready and Resilient campaign is located at http://www.army.mil/readyandresilient . Army leaders can access current health promotion guidance in the revised Army Regulation 600-63 (Health Promotion) at: http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r600_63.pdf and in Army Pamphlet 600-24 (Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention) at http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/p600_24.pdf .Suicide prevention training resources for soldiers, leaders, Department of the Army civilians and family members can be accessed at http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/suicide/training_sub.asp?sub_cat=20 (requires Army Knowledge Online access to download materials). Information about Military OneSource is located at www.militaryonesource.com or by dialing the toll-free number 1-800-342-96471-800-342-9647 for those residing in the continental U.S. Overseas personnel should refer to the Military OneSource web site for dialing instructions for their specific location. Information about the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Program (CSF2) is located at http://csf2.army.mil/ .The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) Outreach Center can be contacted at 1-866-966-10201-866-966-1020, via electronic mail at Resources@DCoEOutreach.org and at www.dcoe.health.mil . The website for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is http://www.afsp.org/ , and the Suicide Prevention Resource Council site is found at http://www.sprc.org/index

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29 Aug

Elizabeth Warren Defends Israeli Shelling of Gaza Schools, Hospitals

*Huff Post

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Elizabeth Warren Defends Israeli Shelling of Gaza Schools, Hospitals

The McGlynn: Madness! Complete Madness! We are in need of leaders not beholden to Israeli madness.

The Israeli military has the right to attack Palestinian hospitals and schools in self defense if Hamas has put rocket launchers next to them, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said last week at a local town hall, according to the Cape Cod Times.(See below).

Warren, in defending her vote to send funds to Israel in the middle of its war with Hamas, said she thinks civilian casualties are the “last thing Israel wants.”

“But when Hamas puts its rocket launchers next to hospitals, next to schools, they’re using their civilian population to protect their military assets. And I believe Israel has a right, at that point, to defend itself,” she said.

Israeli tanks shelled schools and hospitals during the most recent conflict in Gaza. The Israeli government claimed at the time that rockets and militants had been located nearby. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency condemned militants for hiding rockets in two schools, and also sharply criticized Israeli attacks on other schools as.

The Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War prohibits attacks on hospitals, “unless they are used to commit, outside their humanitarian duties, acts harmful to the enemy.” Even under those circumstances, civilian hospitals can only be attacked “after due warning has been given, naming, in all appropriate cases, a reasonable time limit and after such warning has remained unheeded.”

Warren argued that Israel’s use of force was justified by the violence in the region. “America has a very special relationship with Israel,” she said. “Israel lives in a very dangerous part of the world, and a part of the world where there aren’t many liberal democracies and democracies that are controlled by the rule of law. And we very much need an ally in that part of the world.”

She also questioned whether to condition future U.S. funding for Israel on the halting of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. “I think there’s a question of whether we should go that far,” Warren said.

Israel is indeed a democracy. The nation’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a member of the Likud Party, whose founding charter calls for the destruction of any Palestinian state; Hamas’ founding document calls for the same for Israel, though it recently joined a unity government which recognizes Israel’s right to exist.

Warren has been on the receiving end of sporadic criticism over the years from progressives for a hawkish if hesitant approach to foreign policy, which she appears to prefer to avoid in favor of domestic economic policy.

Cape Cod Times

Warren explains positions on Israel

rbarber@capecodonline.com

HYANNIS — In a room filled with signs calling for the closure of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station and the end of NStar’s herbicide use, it seemed that Cape issues would dominate Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “office hours” Wednesday at Barnstable Town Hall.

“No questions about the Pilgrim nuclear power plant and no questions about NStar, right?” joked state Sen. Daniel Wolf, D-Harwich, facing signs that read, “Close Pilgrim” and “Say nay to the spray.”

But when the man in the green Hawaiian shirt stood up, Warren went from voicing her support for those local causes to defending her vote to send $225 million to Israel in its ongoing conflict with Hamas.

“We are disagreeing with Israel using their guns against innocents. It’s true in Ferguson, Missouri, and it’s true in Israel,” said Harwich resident John Bangert, who identified himself as a Warren supporter but said the $225 million could have been spent on infrastructure or helping immigrants fleeing Central America.

“The vote was wrong, I believe,” he added, drawing applause from several in the crowd.

Warren told Bangert she appreciated his comments, but “we’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one.”

“I think the vote was right, and I’ll tell you why I think the vote was right,” she said. “America has a very special relationship with Israel. Israel lives in a very dangerous part of the world, and a part of the world where there aren’t many liberal democracies and democracies that are controlled by the rule of law. And we very much need an ally in that part of the world.”

Warren said Hamas has attacked Israel “indiscriminately,” but with the Iron Dome defense system, the missiles have “not had the terrorist effect Hamas hoped for.” When pressed by another member of the crowd about civilian casualties from Israel’s attacks, Warren said she believes those casualties are the “last thing Israel wants.”

“But when Hamas puts its rocket launchers next to hospitals, next to schools, they’re using their civilian population to protect their military assets. And I believe Israel has a right, at that point, to defend itself,” Warren said, drawing applause.

Noreen Thompsen, of Eastham, proposed that Israel should be prevented from building any more settlements as a condition of future U.S. funding, but Warren said, “I think there’s a question of whether we should go that far.”

After visiting the Cape Abilities farm in Dennis and WE CAN, a nonprofit organization in Harwich that helps women through life transitions, the debate marked the lone point of discord on a day of friendly facetime with Warren. Before leaving Barnstable Town Hall for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Warren said she shared the Cape Downwinders’ concerns over the Plymouth nuclear plant.

Warren said she first raised the lack of an adequate escape plan for the Cape in the event of an accident at Pilgrim in a conversation with Allison Macfarlane, chairwoman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. At the Statehouse, legislation to expand the emergency zone to include the Cape and Islands has stalled, in part, because federal regulations supersede the state’s.

“We had some back-and-forth, I’ll just put it that way. We had some back-and-forth about it, and some of the back-and-forth was about the question of whose responsibility it was to have an adequate escape route and who has to approve the escape route. Her position was that this is the responsibility of the state,” Warren said of Macfarlane. “My pushback on this, I think, ends up kind of in the same place where you are on this, and that is it is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that is ultimately responsible for ensuring that if the plant is open, it is operated safely, and that means there is an exit plan in the case of emergency.”

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27 Aug

“Through a Lens Darkly”

Race Seen Through Viewfinders

The photographer Renee Cox,  featured in the film “Through a Lens Darkly,” comments on racism by drawing on a biblical narrative in which blacks have often been excluded. Credit Renee Cox/First Run Features

…………Such images can still cause pain, in no small part because the attitudes they reflect don’t entirely belong to the past. “Through a Lens Darkly” takes on a grim timeliness when you think about the role that photographs — shared and sometimes counterfeited on the Internet and social media — played in the aftermaths of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Mo., and Trayvon Martin’s killing in Florida in 2012. It is still depressingly easy to find images that pathologize and dehumanize young black men……………

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