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24 Oct

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

English Online International Newspapers

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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World Politics

United States

Cartoonist Overseas Takes on Donald Trump

 

Donald Trump listens during a meeting with Governor Ricardo Rossello of Puerto Rico in the Oval Office.

Donald Trump listens during a meeting with Governor Ricardo Rosselló of Puerto Rico in the Oval Office. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

Right now in the United States, there is the threat (and actuality) of racial identity extremism leading to extreme violence. But it is not coming from the so-called “black identity extremists”, an absurd made-up term Trump’s FBI has created to whip up hysteria about black people.

The FBI claims to be worried that “Black Identity Extremist (BIE) perceptions of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will very likely serve as justification for such violence.” This is just hyperbolic speculation from the US government meant to undermine the movement – just as the FBI tried to undermine Martin Luther King and the Black Panthers decades ago.

The real threat of racial extremism is coming from the White Identity Extremist-in-Chief in the White House – and his name is Donald Trump.

The so-called “black identity extremists” are no threat to democracy. Like the Panthers, MLK, Malcolm X, Fannie Lou Hamer, and so many other black people in the mid-20th century, the brave Black Lives Matter organizers and street protesters in St Louis, Baltimore and elsewhere being called “black identity extremists” are being unfairly maligned.

Instead of a danger to society, these groups are standing up to increasing economic racial violence, the routine killing of black people by police, and gross miscarriages of justice – such as when white supremacists in Charlottesville who beat up black people were allowed to go free while two black men trying to defend their very lives were arrested.

If you want to see seething racial animus that is causing actual racial violence and terrorism in the world, look no further than the White Identity Extremist-in-Chief. who routinely uses his bully pulpit to bully people of color while defending white nationalism.

The White Identity Extremist-in-Chief cut funds for fighting rightwing white nationalist groups, just weeks before white supremacists gathered to riot in Charlottesville, leading to the killing of one woman and the death of two police officers on duty. He further gave these white nationalists succor by saying there were “some very fine people” among them.

As she tried to keep her city from sliding into starvation, the White Identity Extremist-in-Chief beat up the mayor of San Juan on Twitter. And, after pledging to help Texas and Florida for the long haul in their hurricane recovery efforts, Trump tweeted that he won’t help Puerto “forever”. When so much of the island is still without power and water, this puts countless lives at risk.

The White Identity Extremist-in-Chief is beating up on the free speech rights of black men in the NFL like Colin Kaepernick – who have valiantly taken a knee to protest police killings – and on black women like Jemele Hill, who has been suspended from her job as a sports anchor. The White Identity Extremist-in-Chief’s message is clear to black Americans: use your first amendment right to speak out against injustice and you will be destroyed.

The White Identity Extremist-in-Chief told police officers that, when they are arresting suspects who have been legally convicted of nothing, “When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddywagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice.’”

He routinely threatens to “totally destroy” all North Koreans. And he’s now using hundreds of thousands of young “Dreamers” as a bargaining chip to try to get his racist, unnecessary and divisive border wall built.

But like many manifestations of white supremacy, the White Identity Extremist-in-Chief is stoking white resentment with actions that will actually harm poor white people while consolidating money and power for rich white people.

His desperate plot to destroy Obamacare by any means necessary – just so he can dismantle the legacy of the black president he believed was Kenyan – will harm the white people in the states that voted for Trump.

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Washington stops aid and puts consideration of travel waivers for senior Myanmar military leaders on hold

Rohingya refugees, who crossed the border from Myanmar

More than 600,000 members of the minority Muslim group have fled across the border into Bangladesh Photograph: Zohra Bensemra/Reuters

The United States has announced it is withdrawing military assistance from Myanmar units and officers involved in violence against Rohingya Muslims that has triggered a massive exodus and humanitarian crisis.

“We express our gravest concern with recent events in Rakhine state and the violent, traumatic abuses Rohingya and other communities have endured,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in announcing the punitive measures.

“It is imperative that any individuals or entities responsible for atrocities, including non-state actors and vigilantes, be held accountable.”

Last week, secretary of state Rex Tillerson said the US holds Myanmar’s military leadership “accountable” for the Rohingya refugee crisis, drawing a distinction with Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian government.

The world won’t stand and “be witness to the atrocities that have been reported,” he warned, adding that the military must be disciplined and “restrained.”

More than 600,000 members of the minority Muslim group have fled across the border into Bangladesh in an intensifying crisis that began in late August.

Militant attacks on Myanmar security forces in Rakhine sparked a major army crackdown on the community likened to ethnic cleansing by the UN.

Drone footage shows Rohingya refugees entering Bangladesh – video

Washington already had existing restrictions on its limited engagement with Burma’s armed forces, as well as a long-running embargo on all military sales, so the withdrawal of military aid served to reinforce that position.

In addition, the state department said it has halted its consideration of travel waivers for senior Myanmar military leaders, and is weighing targeted economic measures against individuals linked to the “atrocities,” along with targeted sanctions.

The US has also rescinded invitations to senior members of Myanmar’s security forces to US-sponsored events and is pressing for “unhindered access” to the affected areas for a United Nations fact-finding mission, international organisations and the media.

“The government of Burma, including its armed forces, must take immediate action to ensure peace and security; implement commitments to ensure humanitarian access to communities in desperate need; facilitate the safe and voluntary return of those who have fled or been displaced in Rakhine state; and address the root causes of systematic discrimination against the Rohingya,” Nauert said.

The state department made the announcement ahead of US president Donald Trump*s maiden visit to the region early next month when he will attend a summit of ASEAN countries, including Myanmar, in Manila.

It marked the strongest US response so far to the months-long Rohingya crisis but came short of applying the most drastic tools at Washington’s disposal such as reimposing broader economic sanctions suspended under the Obama administration.

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Proposed measures seem designed to shut down groups such as Breaking the Silence, denounced by rightwingers as traitors

Israeli soldiers during clashes with Palestinians

Israeli soldiers during clashes with Palestinians near the Jewish settlement of Qadomem in the West Bank. Photograph: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters

Israeli MPs will this week consider two initiatives that critics say are aimed at shutting down one of the country’s most high-profile anti-occupation groups, Breaking the Silence, which records the testimonies of Israeli soldiers operating in Palestinian territories.

They will examine proposals for a committee of inquiry into groups receiving foreign funding, and a provision in the so-called “NGO law” advanced by Benjamin Netanyahu’s rightwing coalition that would allow the state to shut down groups it claims are working to “have [Israeli] soldiers tried under international law”.

The moves come amid increasingly harsh rhetoric from Israel’s right wing, which has sought to cast Breaking the Silence and other anti-occupation groups including B’Tselem as “traitors”.

Breaking the Silence collects and publishes accounts of the actions of Israeli soldiers, in their own words, both in combat and in the day-to-day business of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.

The group says it aims to highlight “the price paid for a reality in which young soldiers … are engaged in the control of that population’s everyday life”. Critics say its activities leave the Israeli military vulnerable to prosecution in international courts.

Yehuda Shaul, a co-founder of Breaking the Silence, and Avner Gvaryahu, the group’s director, say they are not surprised by the latest efforts against them. “After 50 years, the occupation [of Palestinian territories] has become normalised,” said Shaul. “The only thing left fighting it is civil society groups.”

Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian boy during clashes in the West Bank city of Hebron

Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian boy during clashes in the West Bank city of Hebron. Photograph: Mussa Issa Qawasma/Reuters

Demands for inquiries into the group’s funding and new laws aimed at curbing its activities have increased in the last two years, coinciding with a campaign by supporters of the pro-settlement movement who have tried to infiltrate the group and targeted its staff with threats.

“We have had sophisticated cyber-attacks against us for 72 hours straight which we believe was aimed at finding information on our testifiers,” said Shaul.

The pair claim that rightwing pro-settler activists have attempted to place fake testimonies to discredit the group and glean information on how they work.

“The worst problems began after 2015 and the election of Israel’s most rightwing ever government,” said Shaul. He said that as a result, dissent had increasingly become concentrated among a handful of NGOs.

Gvaryahu said: “The clock was ticking until the next attack. It was very clear when the Knesset finished its summer recess they would return to us.”

This month plans for the new committee were announced shortly before reports emerged that the tourism minister, Yariv Levin – allegedly at Netanyahu’s behest – intended to push for a legal mechanism to ban groups such as Breaking the Silence.

Levin has said the election in the US of Donald Trump, whose administration has rarely criticised the Netanyahu government, has made the proposed legislation easier to promote.

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Tim Flach’s endangered species – in pictures

Photographer Tim Flach’s latest book Endangered, with text by zoologist Jonathan Baillie, offers a powerful visual record of threatened animals and ecosystems facing the harshest of challenges

by

Military macaw, Ara militaris.

IUCN Red List status: Vulnerable

Military macaws are caught for the pet trade and endangered through the loss of their habitat. In 2007, Defenders of Wildlife estimated that each year 78,500 birds were caught in Mexico, and a quarter of their original habitat has been cleared for logging and agriculture. Today, fewer than 10,000 military macaws are spread over an increasingly patchy area. In 2008, Mexico issued an export ban on its 22 parrot species but illegal trade – much of it on the local market – continues.

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