18 Jun

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective


Russian athletics: IAAF upholds ban before Rio Olympics

The McGlynn: Great News! It is my belief that when an athlete is found to have used dope in competition that athlete should be bared from competition for life.

Too tough? You better believe it!

  • State-sponsored doping revelations prompt unanimous vote

  • IOC will now consider case of clean athletes wishing to compete

  • UK Athletics’ Ed Warner: Russians only have themselves to blame

During a press conference in Vienna on Friday, the President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Friday says that the IAAF council unanimously agrees that ‘RusAF (Russian Athletic Federation) had not met the reinstatement conditions and that Russian athletes could not credibly return to international competition without undermining the confidence of their competitors and the public’

There will be no track and field athletes competing under the Russian flag at the Rio Olympics after the world athletics governing body ruled they had not met readmission criteria imposed when they suspended over widespread state sponsored doping in November last year.The unprecedented step was taken by the International Association of Athletics Federations because an expert task force ruled that Russia had not taken sufficient steps to overhaul its testing procedures and prove its athletes were clean. Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, described the decision as “unjust and unfair”……………..The IAAF’s decision, accepted unanimously by the 24 voting members of the IAAF Council, was damning and concluded that it was impossible to tell whether Russian athletes were clean or not because the system had not been sufficiently reformed………..


  • Data analyzes racial disparities in state prison population
  • Oklahoma and New Jersey among states where disparity is 10 times or more
Hands clench bars.

The Sentencing Project’s report also found a disparity between Hispanic and white prisoners. Photograph: Alamy

“You can’t work in the justice system and not know just by looking that there are racial disparities in the system,” said Baz Dreisinger, the creator of the Prison-to-College Pipeline program which prepares New York inmates in state prison for higher education.“Every year we maybe have one white student in our class,” Dreisinger said. “Obviously race is not remotely an admissions factor for us, but it’s just the reality of what it is.”A report published on Tuesday sought to put data behind that reality by analyzing race within state prisons and comparing those findings to the US census.Black Americans were incarcerated in state prisons at an average rate of 5.1 times that of white Americans, the report said, and in some states that rate was 10 times or more. The US is 63.7% non-Hispanic white, 12.2% black, 8.7% Hispanic white and 0.4% Hispanic black, according to the most recent census.The research was conducted by Ashley Nellis, a senior research analyst with the Sentencing Project, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit that promotes reforms in criminal justice policy and advocates for alternatives to incarceration.Nellis found that in five states, the disparity rate was more than double the average. New Jersey had the highest, with a ratio of 12.2 black people to one white person in its prison system, followed by Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and Vermont.Overall, Oklahoma had the highest rate of black people incarcerated with 2,625 black inmates people per 100,000 residents. Oklahoma is 7.7% black.Among black men in 11 states, at least 1 in 20 were in a state prison…………..


Steven W Thrasher questions media’s lack of nuance and affirms when a safe space is invaded Latinos and others will stand up and be heard

Orlando Latinos Pulse nightclub

‘Even when it’s our community under attack, our community is not allowed to set the tone, and I hate to say it, white people just rush in.’ Photograph: Bob Self/AP

On Tuesday night in Orlando, there was no sight of a reporter at the Parliament House, the ageing gay resort whose club is the biggest queer gathering place in the city now that Pulse is closed, when a drag queen who had survived the shooting took the stage. It was Hip-Hop night, and gay people of color turned out en masse to dance, to remember, to forget.I stayed at the run-down gay resort all week, and it was one of the most queer spaces I’ve ever encountered. Many of the staff who worked at Pulse also worked there. Drag queens and buff bartenders worked in the front bar, and a “Bear Den” in the back welcomed older men for late-night drinks . Sex workers and those looking for sex for free wandered around all hours of the day and night. It definitely sits in the margin.The Parliament House community is used to being left alone, but the community is large, and working class. Staff who lost multiple friends during the attack were bussing tables the next day because, like many of those who died, they have service jobs.

Staff who had have lost multiple friends during the attack were bussing tables at The Parliament House the next day

While some reporters turned up at Parliament House midday, the place only really came alive late at night. The Hip-Hop night’s drag show began well after 1am, and drag queen Angelica Sanchez took the stage around 2am. Sanchez had survived the horrors of the Pulse just a few nights before. And with a blackness that could have been divined from RuPaul, Bessie Smith, Nina Simone, or Audre Lorde, she gave face, and spun and dipped to the song Survivor. The performance, despite the flashing lights and pounding music, had a stillness to it. It was one of the most beautiful, most gay, and most black things I had ever seen……………untitled

Relatives and friends of those killed in nation’s deadliest mass shooting mourn as FBI investigates the motives and movements of gunman Omar Mateen

A memorial near Pulse nightclub, where 49 people were killed.

A memorial near Pulse nightclub, where 49 people were killed. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The grim task of burying the dead has begun in Orlando, Florida, still reeling from the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil since 11 September 2001.Among the funerals due to take place on Friday is that of Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25, a dancer and choreographer from Puerto Rico, according to Newcomer Funeral Homes. A day earlier, more than 150 relatives and friends mourned him at a wake.As the grieving continued, so did the FBI investigation into the motives and movements of gunman Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old American of Afghan origin who killed 49 people and wounded 53 at the Pulse nightclub in the early hours of Sunday morning………untitled

Remains recovered in 2005 but recent DNA analysis confirmed identities of slaves owned by Philip Schuyler, who was Alexander Hamilton’s father-in law

The interment site in St Agnes cemetery for 14 slaves who died near the land of slaveowner and Revolutionary war general Philip Schuyler.

The interment site in St Agnes cemetery for 14 slaves who died near the land of slaveowner and revolutionary war general Philip Schuyler. Photograph: St Agnes and the Albany diocese

The 14 bodies were found during work on water pipes, each of them aligned to the east. They were the remains of a man, six women, five children and two infants, and they were near land once owned by the father-in-law of Alexander Hamilton, a hero of the US revolutionary war. They were the family’s slaves.On Saturday the community that survived them in Albany, New York, will see them buried again in a cemetery first dedicated in the run-up to the civil war for Irish Catholics, the unwanted immigrants of the 1860s.The remains were recovered in 2005, but it was not until years later that DNA and bone analysis showed African ancestry and the telltale marks of slavery.“They could tell that they were small in stature but muscular,” said Kelly Grimaldi, historian for St Agnes, the church near which the bones where found and where they will be buried.“They didn’t appear to have been abused, no gunshot wounds, no knifed bones, a few broken bones. But overall the conclusion was that they definitely had a hard life.”She added that the bones show the effects of severe arthritis and stress, and most have “signs of very, very hard labor”……………


From soaring temperatures in Alaska and India to Arctic sea ice melting and CO2 concentrations rising, this year is smashing records around the world

Scorched land on the outskirts of Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Scorched land on the outskirts of Jaipur, Rajasthan. The desert state recorded India’s hottest ever temperature of 51C on 19 May. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

1) Arctic sea ice is melting at a rate that by September could see it beat the record low set in 2012. The maximum extent of sea ice in winter was at a record low, and the extent in May was the lowest for that month ever, by more than 500,000 sq km.

2) Every month this year has been the hottest on record globally for that month. May, data published this week by Nasa revealed, was no exception. Nasa’s dataset, one of three main global surface temperature records, shows February recorded the highest anomaly against long term average temperatures.

3) India recorded its hottest day ever on 19 May. The mercury in Phalodi, in the desert state of Rajasthan, rose to 51C, as a nationwide drought that has affected more than 300 million people marched on, leaving armed guards at dams, and reservoirs well below their usual levels……….


US politics

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Jo Cox

‘The rhetoric of bigotry – and hatred cloaked in a veil of politics – can conjure violence.’ Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

At a time when American politics is dominated by a revived gun debate, the killing of a British member of Parliament an ocean away shows gun control isn’t enough – we must also remake our violent political discourse.

With its strict gun control measures, shootings in Britain are rare. Those measures did not, however, stop an attacker from savaging lawmaker Jo Cox, an outspoken advocate for multiculturalism and an inclusive approach to immigrants. The attack comes amidst a divisive debate about whether Britain should remain in the European Union.

Usually, it is possible for people to qualify strong sentiments around race and ethnicity and to express them in ways that are functional within a democratic society that prizes free speech and freedom of religion. But just as a weapon in the hands of the mentally unstable can have violent consequences, the rhetoric of bigotry – and hatred cloaked in a veil of politics – can conjure violence.

The suspect reportedly shouted “Britain First”, as he attacked Cox, according to witnesses. Britain First is a far-right group known to put on anti-Muslim demonstrations. The organization has posted a statement distancing itself from suspect Tommy Mair and saying it “would never encourage behavior of this sort”. But its invocation – and the shooter’s alleged ties to the US based neo-nazi organization National Alliance – underscore the reach that bigoted thinking has played in discourse around the upcoming Brexit vote.

That ugly discourse can have ugly consequences is nothing new. We saw this clearly in the right-wing, anti-government extremism and white supremacy of the 1995 Oklahoma city bombing, which killed 168 people and remains America’s deadliest rightwing terror attack. Bill Clinton, who was president at the time, would recall years later the centrality of violent rhetoric in the tragedy.

“What we learned from Oklahoma City is not that we should gag each other or we should reduce our passion for the positions that we hold, but the words we use really do matter, because there are — there’s this vast echo chamber, and they go across space, and they fall on the serious and the delirious alike. They fall on the connected and the unhinged alike,” Clinton said in a speech in 2010.

His words didn’t prevent history from repeating. We saw it a year ago in a racially motivated shooting at a black church in South Carolina, where the white supremacist shooter later admitted he was hoping to ignite a race war. And we saw it six months ago in the shooting of a Colorado Planned Parenthood, where the killer’s comments about “no more baby parts” signaled he’d taken the moral extremism of the right’s war on abortion to an illogical conclusion.

We even saw it this very week in the Orlando shooting. The killer was reportedly triggered by gay men kissing in front of his wife and child – something a deranged radicalization of his faith had taught him was a grave and evil sin. (His father would later condemn his son’s shooting only because he thought gays would ultimately be punished by God.)………………




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.

View All

Some of the available newspapers:

Asia – UN IRIN News

Asia & CIS (Updated Link!)





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