30 Jun

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective


MP who headed leave camp in EU referendum says he is not the person to lead the country

Live coverage of the fallout from Boris Johnson’s announcement

Boris Johnson announces on Thursday that he will not be running in the contest to be leader of the Conservative party. The former mayor of London’s surprise decision came after his Leave campaign ally, Michael Gove, announced that he would run

Boris Johnson has unexpectedly ruled himself out of the Conservative leadership race after a turbulent morning in the contest, hours after his key ally Michael Gove challenged him for the top job.

Speaking at a hotel in central London, where he had been expected to lauch his candidacy, Johnson gave an upbeat speech, saying the agenda for the next prime minister was for the UK to become a more outward-looking nation that resets its relationship with Europe.

But he went on to say: “Having consulted colleagues and in view of the circumstances in parliament, I have concluded that person cannot be me.”

Despite having been the leading public face in the victorious Vote Leave campaign, Johnson appeared to have concluded that he could not command enough support from his party, after a series of key MPs, including business minister Nick Boles, and pro-Brexit Dominic Raab, defected to the Gove camp.

“My role will be to give every possible support to the next Conservative administration to make sure that we properly fulfil the mandate of the people that was delivered at the referendum and to champion the agenda that I believe in, to stick up for the forgotten people of this country.”

He went on: “And, if we do so, if we invest in our children and improve their life chances, if we continue to fuel the engines of social mobility, if we build on the great reforming legacy of David Cameron, if we invest in our infrastructure and we follow a sensible, one-nation Conservative approach that is simultaneously tax-cutting and pro-enterprise, then I believe that this country can win and be better and more wonderful and, yes, greater than ever before.”…………


Cash seized from two men and three women under law that allows police to confiscate valuables to cover housing and food costs

Flag of Denmark.

Flag of Denmark. Critics say the controversial law is degrading and inhumane. Photograph: Rex Shutterstock

Danish police have seized valuables from asylum seekers for the first time since a controversial law went into force five months ago.

National police spokesman Per Fiig said the two men and three women carried dollars and euros worth about 129,600 kroner (£14,400). They were arrested late on Tuesday at Copenhagen’s airport for using forged passports.

Fiig said the group, aged between 26 and 35, immediately sought asylum.

Under the controversial law, police are allowed to search asylum seekers on arrival in the country and confiscate any non-essential items worth more than 10,000 kroner that have no sentimental value to their owner.

Denmark’s centre-right government said at the time the procedure was intended to cover each asylum seeker’s housing and food costs while their cases are being processed, and mimics the handling of Danish citizens on welfare………………


Setback for gay community, which argued that penal code undermined their rights by failing to protect sexual preferences

Gay rights activists attend a protest against section 377 of India’s penal code in New Delhi

Gay rights activists attend a protest against section 377 of India’s penal code in New Delhi. Photograph: Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters

India’s supreme court has refused to hear a petition challenging a law criminalising gay sex, in a setback for activists battling in the country’s courts to get the ban overturned.

A number of well-known lesbian, gay and bisexual Indians had argued that section 377 of India’s penal code, which prohibits “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal”, undermined their fundamental rights by failing to protect their sexual preferences.

“The supreme court refused to hear the matter and asked the petitioners to approach the chief justice of India,” said Arvind Dattar, a lawyer for one of the petitioners.

India’s chief justice is already hearing a separate case to strike down the ban, and India’s top court has previously argued that only parliament has the power to change section 377.

The decision is the latest setback India’s gay community has faced in its fight to get a prohibition on homosexual sex overturned since the supreme court reinstated a colonial-era ban in late 2013.

That ban ended a four-year period of decriminalisation that had helped bring homosexuality increasingly out into the open in a deeply conservative society………….


Ultra-conservative Society of St Pius X, notorious for its Holocaust-denying bishop, attacks Francis over his stance on doctrine

Pope Francis

Pope Francis’s stance on topics such as sex and pre-marital cohabitation has angered many traditional Catholics. Photograph: Gregorio Borgia/AP

A controversial traditionalist Catholic group that split from the Vatican has accused Pope Francis of spreading confusion and errors about the faith, joining a chorus of conservative criticism over his perceived lax doctrine and emphasis on mercy at the expense of morals.

A statement from the schismatic Society of St Pius X suggested that a new attempt at reconciliation with Rome had stalled, or that the society itself was divided over next steps and decided at least to take a hard line against Francis.

The organisation has become notorious for its anti-semitism, Holocaust denial, and support for far-right parties such as the Front Nationale and fascist regimes including the Nazi collaborationist Vichy government in France and Spain under Franco. It was founded by a French archbishop, Marcel Lefebvre, in 1970 in response to the liberal reforms of the Catholic church that began with the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.

The statement, issued after a meeting of the society’s superiors, said its members were not primarily looking for a legal resolution to their schismatic status but eager to return Catholic tradition to a church where “great and painful confusion” reigned………………


Bipartisan group of 158 members of Congress ‘deeply concerned’ that US did not treat UN’s refusal to accept responsibility for outbreak with enough urgency

At least 30,000 people have died during the cholera outbreak after UN peacekeepers relocated from Nepal in 2010 brought the bacterium with them.

At least 30,000 people have died during the cholera outbreak after UN peacekeepers relocated from Nepal in 2010 brought the bacterium with them. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A bipartisan group of 158 members of Congress has accused the Obama administration of a failure of leadership over the cholera scandal in Haiti in which at least 30,000 people have died as a result of an epidemic caused by the United Nations for which the world body refuses to accept responsibility.

A joint letter highly critical of US policy – and devastatingly critical of the UN – has been sent to the US secretary of state, John Kerry, signed by 12 Republican and 146 Democratic members of Congress. Led by John Conyers, a Democratic congressman from Michigan, and Mia Love, a Republican congresswoman from Utah, the letter’s signatories include many of the most senior voices on foreign affairs on Capitol Hill.

The missive takes the Obama administration to task for failing to admonish the UN for its refusal to accept responsibility for the cholera outbreak. “We are deeply concerned that the State Department’s failure to take more leadership in the diplomatic realm might be perceived by our constituents and the world as a limited commitment to an accountable and credible UN,” the letter says.

It continues: “We respectfully urge the Department of State to treat the issue of a just and accountable UN response to Haiti’s cholera with the urgency that 10,000-100,000 deaths and catastrophic damage to the UN’s credibility deserves.”………….


Harvard report highlights the lion-sized role in modern death penalty of just four men and a woman, and how capital punishment is a ‘personality-driven system’

Lynne Abraham, known as the ‘Queen of death’, saw 108 capital sentences returned during her time as chief prosecutor in Philadelphia County.

Lynne Abraham, known as the ‘Queen of death’, saw 108 capital sentences returned during her time as chief prosecutor in Philadelphia County. Photograph: Dan Loh/AP

One had a poster from the movie Tombstone on his office wall with “Justice is coming” emblazoned on it; another used a miniature model of an electric chair as a paperweight; a third, dubbed the “Queen of death”, said she was “passionate” about judicially killing people and described the emotion of watching an execution as a “non-event”.

What they all had in common was a vast appetite for putting men and women to death. What additionally made them special was that they all had the power to turn such unusual tastes into sentences.

As head prosecutors in their counties, just five individuals have been responsible for putting no fewer than 440 prisoners onto death row. If you compare that number to the 2,943 who are currently awaiting execution in the US, it is equivalent to one out of every seven…………….

The five are profiled in a new report from Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project. Titled America’s Top Five Deadliest Prosecutors, the report highlights the lion-sized role in the modern death penalty of just four men and one woman.

They are: Joe Freeman Britt of Robeson County, North Carolina; Donnie Myers of Lexington, South Carolina; Bob Macy of Oklahoma County; Lynne Abraham of Philadelphia County; and Johnny Holmes of Harris County, Texas…………….


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English Online International Newspapers

For a change from the same old news stories from the same old news networks, here are links to English-edition online newspapers from other parts of the world. Nearly all of these are English-edition daily newspapers. These sites have interesting editorials and essays, and many have links to other good news sources. We try to limit this list to those sites which are regularly updated, reliable, with a high percentage of “up” time.

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Some of the available newspapers:

Asia & CIS


China & Hong Kong








30 Jun

United States Wars, News and Casualties

Buffalo Springfield – For What It’s Worth (1967)


See also: Iraq – A Peoples Photo Journal

War News

Iraq News

06/30/16 Reuters/dpa: Airstrikes kill IS fighters fleeing Fallujah

06/30/16 VOA: After Fallujah, Iraq Gears Up to Rid Mosul of Islamic State

06/30/16 BBC: Iraq air strikes ‘target militant convoy’

06/30/16 Reuters: Islamic State forces Syria rebels to retreat from border area

06/30/16 Reuters: Iraqi forces say press towards key air base south of Mosul

06/30/16 Reuters: U.S. backed Syrian rebels launch attack on IS-held town near Iraqi border

06/30/16 Reuters: U.S. official sees progress against Islamic State, war continuing

06/30/16 Reuters: Iraqi army closes in on Islamic State militants near Falluja

Afghanistan News

US should adopt policy of total isolation against Pakistan: Khalilzad

A former top American diplomat has said the United States should adopt a policy of total isolation against Pakistan, harshly criticizing the country for supporting the Afghan militant groups. In an interview with the Times of India, Khalilzad said the step by US should be taken to send a signal that it faces the prospect ……

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NATO condemns Kabul explosions that left 27 dead and 40 wounded

The NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan strongly condemned back to back explosions in capital Kabul this afternoon as security officials are saying at least 27 people have been killed. “RS strongly condemns the suicide attack in Kabul today. The Taliban continue to display a total disregard for human life,” a statement by the Resolute ………..

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Most ISIS militants coming from Pakistan, Central Asian and Gulf States: Atmar

The majority of the militants fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group in Afghanistan are coming from Pakistan, Central Asian and Gulf countries. The National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar informed regarding the issue during a visit to the eastern Nangarhar province on Wednesday. The visit by Atmar followed five …….

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Nawaz Sharif allows Afghan refugees to stay in Pakistan until 2016 end

The Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has extended the stay of the Afghan refugees in Pakistan for another six months to allow them to stay legally until the end of this year The Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal said Wednesday “Today, Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, ordered that the registration cards Afghan refugees………….

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China and Qatar to build 11,000 residential units in Afghanistan

The construction work at least 11,000 residential units is expected to kick off in the near future with China to build the 10,000 units. The Ministry of Urban Development Affair Syed Sadat Mansoor Naderi said Thursday that the construction work of 10,000 residential units will likely start in coming three months with the conclusion of ………

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27 killed, 40 wounded in back to back explosions in Kabul

Twins explosions rocked capital Kabul this afternoon with the preliminary reports suggesting scores of police cadets have lost their lives in the attack. An official in the Ministry of Interior has said at least 27 people were killed and 40 others were wounded in the back to back explosions in the vicinity of Company area. A security ……

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73 Taliban insurgents killed in Afghan, US forces airstrikes in Nuristan

At least 73 Taliban insurgents were killed in the airstrikes conducted by the Afghan Air Force and US forces in Afghanistan in eastern Nuristan province of Afghanistan. The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the militants were targeted after launching a coordinated attack on security posts in Kamdish district. MoD further added that the Taliban insurgents …………

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Taliban’s chief of suicide bombing missions arrested in Helmand

A top Taliban leader who was leading the group’s suicide bombing missions was arrested in southern Helmand province before he manage to coordinate attacks during the Ramadan and Eid days. The Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS), said Mawlavi Nematullah was arrested together with his two colleagues from Lashkargah city by the intelligence operatives. ……

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4,000 more visas granted for Afghans who supported US-led coalition

At least 4,000 more visas have been granted to the Afghans who have supported the US-led coalition in Afghanistan in a bid to help relocate those who are in fear of persecution. The decision to grant more visas to the Afghans was taken by a Senate panel, Appropriations Committee on Wednesday with the members of …………

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Afghanistan Casualties, Exclusive of Civilians

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29 Jun

Bernie Sanders: Democrats Need to Wake Up


Bernie Sanders: Democrats Need to Wake Up


The McGlynn:


I am an ancient one who has followed Senator Sanders for decades and has had tremendous respect for him. Since way back in the day, when his colleagues in the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle literally laughed in his face when he forcefully and passionately stated many of the positions ,with vigor, that he forcefully stated in the campaign. He was, I’m afraid, our only hope to address the monumental problems we faced as a country in a peaceful manner.

As for Hillary Clinton. She stands for Neoliberalism and the trade agreements she supported all her time as Secretary of State and before. Though she says she doesn’t support them now, she didn’t say it until after Senator Sanders literally forced her. It would be damn revealing to read her Wall Street sermons. But this will never happen unless some attendee at the sermons reveals her words. This will happen when Hell freezes over.

What Bernie Sanders is saying is this: if you consistently ignore the interests of working people (the common folk, many of whom, defended our country and fought in the wars),  eventually they will stop voting the way you want them to. Then you get things like Brexit and Donald Trump.

And if we keep focusing on the boogeyman of the week and not the actual problems, we’ll always be in this position, if not with Trump, then with someone else.

And now, especially on the NY Times,  many of the commentators  are responding: “No, Bernie, it’s actually your fault because you haven’t backed Hillary strongly enough!” The problem, in their view, is not that the Democratic Party has turned itself from a party of common folk into a party of large corporate interests. They are hung up on crap that doesn’t matter, e.g. when Sanders decides to drop out of the race, and ignoring what he is saying. It’s becoming more and more clear that the media and the DNC will learn all the wrong lessons from Sanders’ run.

No, the problem is (apparently) the one person who has been pointing this out, and who sees that nominating yet another corporate shill may lead to unfortunate results in the current atmosphere. It’s hard to imagine a more self-deluded, self-congratulatory form of scapegoating. Yes, let’s blame Bernie if Hillary loses! Everything would be just fine if this disheveled 74-year old would abandon the principles he has followed for a lifetime in order to enthusiastically endorse someone who is in just about every respect the antithesis of his, and ours, principles.

We need a president who will vigorously support international cooperation that brings the people of the world closer together, reduces hyper nationalism and decreases the possibility of war. We also need a president who respects the democratic rights of the people, and who will fight for an economy that protects the interests of the common folk, not just Wall Street, the drug companies and other powerful special interests.

Keep saying it, Bernie. Thank you for pointing America’s compass in the right direction and giving us a cohesive voice that demands a just and fair country. You make a difference, while others make noise.

I, for one, and millions more are in debt to you and will remain thus forever.

And so will our country.

The McGlynn

Credit Adam McCauley

Surprise, surprise. Workers in Britain, many of whom have seen a decline in their standard of living while the very rich in their country have become much richer, have turned their backs on the European Union and a globalized economy that is failing them and their children.

And it’s not just the British who are suffering. That increasingly globalized economy, established and maintained by the world’s economic elite, is failing people everywhere. Incredibly, the wealthiest 62 people on this planet own as much wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population — around 3.6 billion people. The top 1 percent now owns more wealth than the whole of the bottom 99 percent. The very, very rich enjoy unimaginable luxury while billions of people endure abject poverty, unemployment, and inadequate health care, education, housing and drinking water.

Could this rejection of the current form of the global economy happen in the United States? You bet it could.

During my campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, I’ve visited 46 states. What I saw and heard on too many occasions were painful realities that the political and media establishment fail even to recognize.

In the last 15 years, nearly 60,000 factories in this country have closed, and more than 4.8 million well-paid manufacturing jobs have disappeared. Much of this is related to disastrous trade agreements that encourage corporations to move to low-wage countries.

Despite major increases in productivity, the median male worker in America today is making $726 dollars less than he did in 1973, while the median female worker is making $1,154 less than she did in 2007, after adjusting for inflation.

Nearly 47 million Americans live in poverty. An estimated 28 million have no health insurance, while many others are underinsured. Millions of people are struggling with outrageous levels of student debt. For perhaps the first time in modern history, our younger generation will probably have a lower standard of living than their parents. Frighteningly, millions of poorly educated Americans will have a shorter life span than the previous generation as they succumb to despair, drugs and alcohol.

Meanwhile, in our country the top one-tenth of 1 percent now owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. Fifty-eight percent of all new income is going to the top 1 percent. Wall Street and billionaires, through their “super PACs,” are able to buy elections.

On my campaign, I’ve talked to workers unable to make it on $8 or $9 an hour; retirees struggling to purchase the medicine they need on $9,000 a year of Social Security; young people unable to afford college. I also visited the American citizens of Puerto Rico, where some 58 percent of the children live in poverty and only a little more than 40 percent of the adult population has a job or is seeking one.

Let’s be clear. The global economy is not working for the majority of people in our country and the world. This is an economic model developed by the economic elite to benefit the economic elite. We need real change.

But we do not need change based on the demagogy, bigotry and anti-immigrant sentiment that punctuated so much of the Leave campaign’s rhetoric — and is central to Donald J. Trump’s message.

We need a president who will vigorously support international cooperation that brings the people of the world closer together, reduces hypernationalism and decreases the possibility of war. We also need a president who respects the democratic rights of the people, and who will fight for an economy that protects the interests of working people, not just Wall Street, the drug companies and other powerful special interests.

We need to fundamentally reject our “free trade” policies and move to fair trade. Americans should not have to compete against workers in low-wage countries who earn pennies an hour. We must defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership. We must help poor countries develop sustainable economic models.

We need to end the international scandal in which large corporations and the wealthy avoid paying trillions of dollars in taxes to their national governments.

We need to create tens of millions of jobs worldwide by combating global climate change and by transforming the world’s energy system away from fossil fuels.

We need international efforts to cut military spending around the globe and address the causes of war: poverty, hatred, hopelessness and ignorance.

The notion that Donald Trump could benefit from the same forces that gave the Leave proponents a majority in Britain should sound an alarm for the Democratic Party in the United States. Millions of American voters, like the Leave supporters, are understandably angry and frustrated by the economic forces that are destroying the middle class.

In this pivotal moment, the Democratic Party and a new Democratic president need to make clear that we stand with those who are struggling and who have been left behind. We must create national and global economies that work for all, not just a handful of billionaires.

29 Jun

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective


James Berry, a Conservative, asks for a reassurance that EU citizens in the UK have a secure future here.

Cameron says the first thing to do is to tell them their contribution is welcomed. He says at the moment all their rights are guaranteed. We are still members of the EU. He says the leave campaigners said EU nationals would be entitled to say. But the government is not in a position to offer a guarantee now, because the negotiations have not taken place.

  • Cameron says government is not in a position now to guarantee that EU nationals living in the EU will be unaffected after Brexit. But he said the leave campaign did promise this……………..


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