Showing posts from December 13, 2015

Burundi army: 87 people killed in Friday violence

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[I'm pretty sure most people have never heard of Burundi or know where it is. The global media and Western 'peacekeepers' ignore it like crazy. You won't be surprised to learn that Burundi is a landlocked, resource-poor country with an underdeveloped manufacturing sector. The mainstay of the Burundian economy is agriculture. I.e., no plunder in sight, just poor black people dying. *RON*]

By Eloge Willy Kaneza, Yahoo! News, 12 December 2015

BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) — Violence from coordinated attacks on three Burundian army installations killed 87 people, an army spokesman said Saturday, showing the escalating turmoil over the disputed third term of President Pierre Nkurunziza.

Related Stories
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Fear, Anger and Hatred: The Rise of Germany's New Right

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[Important. Compare this (scary) piece with the articles that have appeared concerning the rise of Marine Le Pen and the National Party in France: Merkel's Deputy Says German-Led Austerity Helps National Front and Front National's election triumph leaves mainstream parties reeling. A late addition, and good to hear: French far right 'routed' in key vote. *RON*]
For years, a sense of disillusionment has been growing on the right. Now, the refugee crisis has magnified that frustration. Increasingly, people from the very center of society are identifying with the movement -- even as political debate coarsens and violence increases. By SPIEGEL Staff

Martin Bahrmann, a local politician in the Saxon town of Meissen, was just preparing to speak in a council debate on refugee shelters when a ball-point pen ricoched off the back of his head. It was a cheap, plastic writing utensil -- blue with white writing.

As a member of the business fr…

Inside the commodity trader Vitol that pulls the levers of the global economy

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[Interesting piece. Simply put, Vitol is one of the biggest trading companies on the planet and the ninth largest corporation in the world by revenue. It is also actively involved in some of the most violent hot-spots on the planet. "From the war-hit Balkans,and the wilds of the Caucusus to Central Asian republics, tinpot Gulf dictatorships, and unstable African kingdoms,... Vitol has helped to prop up fledging, cash-strapped governments reliant on the sale of its raw materials on the international markets, and been pivotal in the toppling of others." *RON*]
By Ben Marlow, The Telegraph, 12 Dec 2015

It did not take much to convince Ian Taylor to enter the cut and thrust of Shell’s oil trading floor. As a cash-strapped graduate fresh out of Oxford, one of the biggest decisions of his life was swayed by something very basic – the promise of a few extra quid.

“I was broke. I’d studied PPE [philosophy, politics, and economics], which was com…

Striking Fact: Trump's Corporate Media Coverage Outnumbers Bernie's 81 to 1

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[The mainstream media IS the 1%. Trump has received more network coverage than all the Democratic candidates combined. "The network newscasts are wildly overplaying Trump, who regularly attracts between 20-30 percent of primary voter support, while at the same time wildly underplaying Sanders, who regularly attracts between 20-30 percent of primary voter support." *RON*]
By Eric BoehlertMedia Matters / AlterNet, 12 December 2015

81:1. Does that ratio seem out of whack? That’s the ratio of TV airtime that ABCWorld News Tonight has devoted to Donald Trump’s campaign (81 minutes) versus the amount of TV time World News Tonight has devoted to Bernie Sanders’ campaign this year. And even that one minute for Sanders is misleading because the actual number is closer to 20 second.
For the entire year.

That’s the rather stunning revelation from the Tyndall Report, which tracks the various flagship nightly news programs on NBC, CBS and ABC. The R…

Gambia's president declares Islamic statehood

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["Leader Yahya Jammeh says his nation must reflect its Muslim majority and needs to break away from its colonial past." Is it because this is what the people want, or because this will allow Jammeh to be even more repressive than he already is? "...Gambia is not a country of laws but is rather ruled by the whims of Yahya Jammeh." *RON*]

Al Jazeera and agencies (With reporting by Ryan Rifai in Doha), Al Jazeera, 12 Dec 2015

Gambia's president has declared the West African country an Islamic republic saying the decision was made because Islam is the religion of most citizens and the nation must break away from its colonial past.

President Yahya Jammeh made the declaration at the end of a political rally held on Friday at the coastal village Brufut, about 15km west of the capital Banjul.

"In line with the country's religious identity and values, I proclaim Gambia as an Islamic state," the Gambian leader said.

Merkel's Deputy Says German-Led Austerity Helps National Front

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[Dissent from within the ranks: "If people had listened to us more closely, maybe Mrs. Le Pen wouldn’t have gotten as far as she has today." *RON*]

Birgit Jennen, Bloomberg, 11 December 2015

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s insistence on fiscal austerity in the euro area is empowering France’s anti-euro, anti-immigrant National Front, the leader of her junior coalition partner said.

“I always warned Angela Merkel against trying to impose austerity on France because it was predictable already two years ago that only the National Front would profit,” Vice Chancellor and Social Democratic Party head Sigmar Gabriel said in a speech to an SPD convention on Friday. “It makes no sense to tighten the austerity screws and thereby give a boost to the National Front.”

Gabriel’s comments in Berlin reflect long-standing misgivings about Merkel’s stance in Europe’s debt crisis and concern that nationalist parties are gaining ground across Europe. Marin…

James Hansen, father of climate change awareness, calls Paris talks 'a fraud'

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[The division of opinion around the Paris climate talks is severe, even among environmentalists. By comparison see, for example, the DeSmog Blog's Agreement in Paris Paves Road For The End of Fossil Fuels. In this article, Hansen, a former Nasa scientist, criticizes the talks, intended to reach a new global deal on cutting carbon emissions beyond 2020, as ‘no action, just promises.’ *RON*]
Oliver Milman, The Guardian, 13 December 2015
Mere mention of the Paris climate talks is enough to make James Hansen grumpy. The former Nasa scientist, considered the father of global awareness of climate change, is a soft-spoken, almost diffident Iowan. But when he talks about the gathering of nearly 200 nations, his demeanor changes.

“It’s a fraud really, a fake,” he says, rubbing his head. “It’s just bullshit for them to say: ‘We’ll have a 2C warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.’ It’s just worthless words. There is no action…

Defense Contractors Laud Themselves for Steering Candidates Toward Militarism

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[The quotes speak for themselves. See also: Bernie is Right: The Military-Industrial Complex is Alive and Well. *RON*]

Lee Fang, The Intercept, 11 December 2015
A group formed this year by executives and lobbyists for the defense contracting industry is taking credit for “driving the national debate on foreign policy during the 2016 presidential election,” and in particular for getting Republican presidential candidates to call for escalating military action in Syria.

In an email to supporters over the weekend, Mike Rogers, the founder of Americans for Peace, Prosperity, and Security, hailed the group for “pushing candidates on national security.”

He illustrated the group’s impact with “highlights from many of our Iowa, South Carolina, and New Hampshire forums showcasing the candidates’ views on defeating ISIS.”