12 May

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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White supremacist city commissioner of public safety, Theophilus Eugene ‘Bull’ Connor. On 3 May, the day after the demonstrations began, Connor ordered the use of high-pressure fire hoses and police attack dogs on the young protesters. The resulting images helped swing opinion in favour of civil rights legislation. Connor remained unrepentant for the rest of his days

On 8 May, Ann Stewart, 16, and Rosemary Johnson, 17, tell a news conference about the mistreatment they received following their arrests during a demonstration

Newly unearthed document details Ernesto Geisel’s approval of over 100 executions of ‘subversives’, sparking immediate outcry in Brazil

The memorandum was sent to then secretary of state Henry Kissinger by CIA chief William Colby on 11 April 1974.

The memorandum was sent to then secretary of state Henry Kissinger by CIA chief William Colby on 11 April 1974. Photograph: PA

Brazil’s former dictator Ernesto Geisel personally approved the summary execution of his regime’s perceived enemies, according to a newly unearthed CIA memo that has reopened a bitter debate over one of the darkest chapters of contemporary Brazilian history.

Matias Spektor, the São Paulo-based academic who discovered and distributed the document on Thursday, called it “the most disturbing I have read in 20 years of research”.

The memorandum, sent to then secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, by the CIA director, William Colby, on 11 April 1974, details a meeting it said had taken place a few days earlier between Geisel and three Brazilian generals.

One tells Geisel, who ruled Brazil from 1974 until 1979, the regime “cannot ignore the subversive and terrorist threat” it faces. “Extra-legal methods should continue to be employed against dangerous subversives,” Gen Milton Tavares de Souza is quoted as saying.

De Souza informs Geisel that 104 such “subversives” were summarily executed by military intelligence in the previous year – a policy a second general insists should continue.

According to the US account, Geisel notes that such killings could be “potentially prejudicial” and asks for a few days to consider whether such tactics are appropriate. The following week Brazil’s president concludes “the policy should continue but that great care should be taken to make certain that only dangerous subversives were executed”.

The revelation sparked an immediate outcry in Brazil where Geisel, who died in 1996, is remembered as one of the more benign leaders of Brazil’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship, who oversaw a gradual relaxation after a brutal five-year period known as the anos de chumbo or years of lead.

A 2014 report by Brazil’s truth commission blamed the dictatorship for at least 191 killings and 210 disappearances.

“It’s an astonishing document,” Pedro Dallari, the former head of that commission, told the G1 news website, calling on the armed forces to face up to their responsibility for such crimes.

In a front-page article, O Globo, one of Brazil’s leading newspapers, said the memo, which was published by the US state department in 2015 but only uncovered in Brazil this week, proved Geisel “gave the green light to savagery”.

Ricardo Noblat, a political commentator, claimed it gave the lie to the idea that “crazed and out of control” junior officials alone were responsible for the killing and torture. “[The memo] makes it clear Geisel did far more than simply tolerate the crimes committed by his colleagues in uniform. He knew about and authorized many of them.”

The focus on the junta’s murderous tactics comes amid an upsurge in support for rightwing politicians, some of whom, like presidential frontrunner Jair Bolsonaro, openly praise the dictatorship’s iron rule.

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Town & Country magazine’s withdrawal of an invitation after Bill Clinton accepted was plain rude – and bad party-planning

Monica Lewinsky

‘Monica Lewinsky is the rare media pariah to not just survive, but to use her notoriety for good.’ Photograph: Owen Kolasinski/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

How would you feel if you were invited to a party and then told not to come because someone you had a relationship with decades ago was going to be attending? A quarter century is long enough for most of us to be civil in those circumstances. But the event planners at Town & Country magazine seemingly didn’t have faith that Monica Lewinsky would be capable of acting like a mature adult in that situation. They disinvited her from an event this week after they found out that Bill Clinton was also planning to attend.

The party hosts were also not smart enough to remember that it’s a long time since Lewinsky has been silent in the face of insults. On Wednesday, she wrote on Twitter: “Dear world: please don’t invite me to an event (esp one about social change) and – then after i’ve accepted – uninvite me because bill clinton then decided to attend/was invited. it’s 2018. emily post would def not approve.”

Monica Lewinsky

? @MonicaLewinsky

dear world:
please don’t invite me to an event (esp one about social change) and –then after i’ve accepted– uninvite me because bill clinton then decided to attend/was invited.
it’s 2018.
emily post would def not approve.

When it comes to self-preservation, Lewinsky is a model to us all. After some difficult years following her affair with Bill Clinton, she has emerged as a crucial spokeswoman against bullying and shame. That Lewinsky did not perish under the weight of hundreds of thousands of critical, mocking cable news stories and late-night comedy gags is an achievement in itself.

Lewinsky is the rare media pariah to not just survive, but to use her notoriety for good. In particular, in the post-#MeToo era, she’s cast a light on how her treatment by the media in the 1990s was a monstrous exercise in misogyny: “The wholesale dissection of a young, unknown woman – me – who, due to legal quarantine, was unable to speak out on her own behalf.”

Though Lewinsky takes pains to note that her relationship with the president was consensual, it was also “a giant abuse of power”. And yet, in the context of the Town & Country soiree, Lewinsky and not Clinton became the persona non grata. It’s as if a magazine that celebrates the rococo country homes of the rich and famous didn’t get the memo about what people think about sexual misconduct in 2018.

“We apologize to Ms Lewinsky and regret the way the situation was handled,” Town & Country said the morning after, a classic sorry-but-not-sorry approach: the passive voice, the distancing from responsibility by calling it handled. And what was the situation, in any case? Two people who had a consensual relationship two decades ago were going to be at the same party? That didn’t need “handling”, beyond perhaps a double check of the seating chart.

Good manners would assume that two adults in that situation would have the capacity of ignoring each other if they happened to find themselves in the same queue for the bar.

Alas, this was just a case of old-fashioned misogyny: of protecting a man from the evidence of his past extramarital misdeeds rather than respecting the humanity, and prompt RSVP, of a woman. That’s just plain rude. But it’s also plain bad party-planning. An articulate and resilient woman makes a better companion than a man who preys on his intern any night of the week.

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World Politics

United States

John McCain’s daughter responded after White House official Kelly Sadler made remarks about the ailing Arizona senator in a meeting

‘It is not how you die. It is how you live,’ Meghan McCain said on ABC’s The View, on which she is a co-host.

‘It is not how you die. It is how you live,’ Meghan McCain said on ABC’s The View, on which she is a co-host. Photograph: KPA/Zuma/Rex Features

John McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, has hit back at the White House official who is said to have dismissed her father’s views by saying “he’s dying anyway”.

Appearing on ABC’s The View, McCain said she did not understand why the official, Kelly Sadler, still had a job.

“We’re all dying,” she said, on the show she co-hosts. “… It is not how you die. It is how you live.”

She added: “I don’t understand what kind of environment you’re working in when that would be acceptable and then you could come to work the next day and still have a job.”

It was reported that Sadler made the remarks about the 81-year-old Arizona senator, who has brain cancer, in a staff discussion of his opposition to Donald Trump’s nominee for CIA director, Gina Haspel. A person in the room spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the closed-door meeting.

The White House did not dispute the remark but said in a statement: “We respect Senator McCain’s service to our nation and he and his family are in our prayers during this difficult time.”

The Hill newspaper first reported the comment.

McCain’s wife came to his defense on Twitter, responding with a tweet tagged to Sadler: “May I remind you my husband has a family, 7 children and 5 grandchildren.”

Sadler is a special assistant to the president. She did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday evening.

On Friday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders refused to comment, saying she was “not going to comment on an internal staff meeting” and framing her refusal to do so as a refusal “to validate a leak”.

Asked about how the White House felt about McCain, she said: “We have a respect for all Americans and that is what we try to put forward in everything we do both in word and in action.”

Sanders did make clear Sadler was still employed at the White House.

McCain was diagnosed last July with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer. He left Washington in December and had surgery last month for an infection.

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Kinder Morgan pipeline: Al Gore joins fight to block ‘destructive’ project>>

‘John McCain is not fighting a losing battle’: a senator defends his legacy>>

Trump ’embarrassed, frankly’ by Mueller investigation, John Kelly says>>

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