15 Apr

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

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, with an emphasis on the Middle East and Asia. 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.

Some of the available newspapers:

Asia & CIS


China & Hong Kong









The California university is being accused of censorship after paying a firm to try to hide references to the incident in which police sprayed protesters in 2011

UC Davis hired a communications firm on a $15,000-a-month contract with a goal of eradicating ‘references to the pepper spray incident on Google’, according to the Sacramento Bee, including ‘negative search results’ for chancellor Linda Katehi.

UC Davis hired a communications firm on a $15,000-a-month contract with a goal of eradicating ‘references to the pepper spray incident on Google’, according to the Sacramento Bee, including ‘negative search results’ for chancellor Linda Katehi. Photograph: Brian Nguyen/Reuters

Students pepper-sprayed by campus police at the University of California at Davis have reacted in anger at the “vastly inappropriate” and “insulting” decision by their university to contract firms to systematically scrub mentions of the story on the internet.

The university is being accused of censorship after quietly seeking to hide web references to a widely reported incident in which police sprayed student activists from the then-nascent Occupy movement four years ago.

The photograph and video went viral across the world, prompting a major backlash against the California university and its chancellor Linda PB Katehi, who was accused of using heavy-handed tactics against peaceful activists Students are once again calling for Katehi’s resignation.

Details of the attempt to remove references of the pepper-spraying incident were revealed by the Sacramento Bee, which reported that UC Davis hired a communications firm on a $15,000-a-month contract with a goal of eradicating “references to the pepper spray incident on Google”, including “negative search results” for Katehi………


Syrian refugees flee after camps are overrun by Isis but find themselves being shot at by Turkish border troops

Syrian refugee camp on Turkey-Syria border near Aleppo

The camps were abandoned en masse, with up to 5,000 people heading towards the main border point in the area. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

A new wave of refugees has fled northern Syria for the Turkish border after Islamic State opened fire on communities that had sheltered them, killing at least three people and uprooting thousands more.

The killings came as the terror group pushed back Syrian opposition forces who had edged to within five miles of Dabiq, a highly symbolic village that the group’s leaders believe is the pre-ordained epicentre of a clash that will herald an apocalyptic showdown.

The Isis advance appeared to catch the opposition off guard after 12 days of gains in the same area, which had seen it move closer to Dabiq than at any time in the past three years.

Units linked to the Free Syria Army, which led the offensive, said they never intended to seize the village, and were instead intending to push further across the north towards the town of Minbij, which lies roughly halfway between Isis’s two largest hubs in the area, al-Bab and Raqqa.

“We knew they would fight for Dabiq like crazy, so why bother attacking them there,” said a leader of an opposition unit whose forces had earlier this week seized the adjoining village of al-Rai. After being beaten back by Isis, he said: “It was never strategic for us. The east of their so-called caliphate is the target that matters.”…………..


Financial meltdown, environmental disaster and even the rise of Donald Trump – neoliberalism has played its part in them all. Why has the left failed to come up with an alternative?

Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher at the White House.

‘No alternative’ … Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher at the White House. Photograph: Rex Features

Imagine if the people of the Soviet Union had never heard of communism. The ideology that dominates our lives has, for most of us, no name. Mention it in conversation and you’ll be rewarded with a shrug. Even if your listeners have heard the term before, they will struggle to define it. Neoliberalism: do you know what it is?

Its anonymity is both a symptom and cause of its power. It has played a major role in a remarkable variety of crises: the financial meltdown of 2007?8, the offshoring of wealth and power, of which the Panama Papers offer us merely a glimpse, the slow collapse of public health and education, resurgent child poverty, the epidemic of loneliness, the collapse of ecosystems, the rise of Donald Trump. But we respond to these crises as if they emerge in isolation, apparently unaware that they have all been either catalysed or exacerbated by the same coherent philosophy; a philosophy that has – or had – a name. What greater power can there be than to operate namelessly?

Inequality is recast as virtuous. The market ensures that everyone gets what they deserve.

So pervasive has neoliberalism become that we seldom even recognise it as an ideology. We appear to accept the proposition that this utopian, millenarian faith describes a neutral force; a kind of biological law, like Darwin’s theory of evolution. But the philosophy arose as a conscious attempt to reshape human life and shift the locus of power.

Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. It redefines citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised by buying and selling, a process that rewards merit and punishes inefficiency. It maintains that “the market” delivers benefits that could never be achieved by planning……….



Ukip leader takes aim at president who is expected to support campaign for Britain to remain in European Union

Nigel Farage returns a pro-EU pamphlet to No 10 in protest.

Nigel Farage returns a pro-EU pamphlet to No 10 in protest. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Barack Obama has been branded the most anti-British US president in history, by Nigel Farage.

The Ukip leader, a prominent member of the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, took aim at Obama ahead of the president’s visit to Britain next week, during which he is expected to express support for the remain camp.

“Mercifully, this American president, who is the most anti-British American president there has ever been, won’t be in office for much longer, and I hope will be replaced by somebody rather more sensible when it comes to trading relationships with this country,” Farage said.

Handing the government’s pro-EU pamphlet back to Downing Street in protest against £9.3m being used to distribute it nationally, the Ukip leader challenged David Cameron to a face-to-face debate on the referendum.

“If this leaflet had genuinely contained objective facts, I simply would not have a problem with it. But when it tells me that if we vote to remain we will keep our own border controls, when the truth is now that we have an open door to 508 million people, this isn’t fact, it’s false assertion,” Farage said…………..



US politics

Election 2016


Bill Clinton in Philadelphia

‘For one class of Americans, Clinton brought emancipation, a prayed-for deliverance from out of Glass–Steagall’s house of bondage. For another Clinton brought discipline: long prison stretches for drug users; perpetual insecurity for welfare mothers.’ Photograph: Ed Hille/AP

Here is an actual headline that appeared in the New York Times this week: Prison Rate Was Rising Years Before 1994 Law.

It is an unusual departure for a newspaper, since what is being reported here is not news but history – or, rather, a particular interpretation of history. The “1994 Law” to which the headline refers is the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act; the statement about the “prison rate” refers to the fact that America was already imprisoning a large portion of its population before that 1994 law was approved by Congress.

The media has stepped up to reassure us that the nightmare isn’t real, that this honorable man did the best he could

As historical interpretations go, this one is pretty non-controversial. Everyone who has heard about the “War on Drugs” knows that what we now call “mass incarceration”, the de facto national policy of locking up millions of low-level offenders, began long before 1994. And yet similar stories reporting that non-startling fact are now being published all across the American media landscape. That mass incarceration commenced before 1994 is apparently Big News.

Why report a historical fact that everyone already knows? The answer is because former president Bill Clinton, the man who called for and signed the 1994 crime bill, is also the husband of the current frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, and Democratic voters are having trouble squaring his draconian crime bill with his wife’s liberal image.

That might be the reason so many of these stories seem to unfold with the same goal in mind: to minimize Clinton’s moral culpability for what went on back in the 1990s. Mass incarceration was already happening, these stories agree. And besides, not everything in the crime bill was bad. As for its lamentable effects, well, they weren’t intentional. What’s more, Bill Clinton has apologized for it. He’s sorry for all those thousands of people who have had decades of their lives ruined by zealous prosecutors and local politicians using the tools Clinton accidentally gave them. He sure didn’t mean for that to happen.

When I was researching the 1994 crime bill for Listen, Liberal, my new book documenting the sins of liberalism, I remember being warned by a scholar who has studied mass incarceration for years that it was fruitless to ask Americans to care about the thousands of lives destroyed by the prison system. Today, however, the situation has reversed itself: now people do care about mass incarceration, largely thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement and the intense scrutiny it has focused on police killings.

All of a sudden, the punitive frenzies of the 1980s and 1990s seem like something from a cruel foreign country. All of a sudden, Bill Clinton looks like a monster rather than a hero, and he now finds himself dogged by protesters as he campaigns for his wife, Hillary. And so the media has stepped up to do what it always does: reassure Americans that the nightmare isn’t real, that this honorable man did the best he could as president……………








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