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Showing posts from July 18, 2016

Six richest nations 'host just 9 percent of refugees'

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[Oxfam says it's "shameful" that the richest countries are turning their backs on the most vulnerable people in the world. *RON*]
Source: Agencies, Al Jazeera, 18 July 2016

The six richest countries - which make up more than half the global economy - host less than nine percent of the world's refugees, an aid group has said.

The United States, China, Japan, Germany, France and the United Kingdom hosted 2.1 million refugees and asylum seekers last year - just 8.88 percent of the global total, the report from the Britain-based Oxfam said.

Poorer countries, in contrast, have accommodated most of those looking for save havens, Oxfam said.

"Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, South Africa as well as the Occupied Palestinian Territory host over 50 percent of the world’s refugees and asylum seekers but account for under two percent of the world’s economy," it said.

Clean energy won’t save us – only a new economic system can do that

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[Clean energy is better than dirty energy but the fundamental delusion that drives things is the dangerous idea of infinite growth. "What would we do with 100% clean energy? Exactly what we’re doing with fossil fuels." *RON*]
Jason Hickel, The Guardian, 15 July 2016

Earlier this year media outlets around the world announced that February had broken global temperature records by a shocking amount. March broke all the records, too. In June our screens were covered with surreal images of Paris flooding, the Seine bursting its banks and flowing into the streets. In London, the floods sent water pouring into the tube system right in the heart of Covent Garden. Roads in south-east London became rivers two metres deep.

With such extreme events becoming more commonplace, few deny climate change any longer. Finally, a consensus is crystallising around one all-important fact: fossil fuels are killing us. We need to switch to clean energy, and fast…

Republican National Convention Staffers Scrambling to Remove Jim Crow-Like 'White Elevators' Signs

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["It’s unclear how or why the signs were posted." *RON*]
By Bethania Palma MarkusRaw Story / AlterNet, 17 July 2016

At best, it’s an Oscar-level performance in tone-deafness. Republican National Convention staffers are scrambling to remove signs labeling a bank of elevators as “white elevators,” the Wall Street Journal’s Byron Tau reports.

Tau is in Cleveland, along with many reporters, gearing up for the Convention. The signs, meanwhile, are being frantically replaced. “I’m told it’s being replaced for obvious reasons,” Tau tweeted.

According to the New York Daily News, the signs were spotted in Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena. It’s unclear how or why the signs were posted.

The discovery comes amid controversy swirling around the GOP’s presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, who has espoused what critics have called racist views. Trump has won the support of white supremacists with his rhetoric against immigrants from Mexico, Muslim and Jewi…

As Bastille Day Attack in France Kills 84, Is the War on Terror a "Self-Fulfilling Prophecy"?

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[There's no reason to think this attack was religiously motivated and good reason to believe it was not. Meanwhile, blanket crackdowns on the Muslim community in France have been utterly ineffective in preventing violence, but have alienated Muslims while reinforcing hatred against migrants and refugees by the general French population. Hollande's response has been to double-down on the emergency decrees. *RON*]

Amy Goodman & Juan Gonzalez, Democracy Now!, 15 July 2016


GUESTS: YASSER LOUATI French human rights and civil liberties activist and researcher. ISMAIL KHALIDI Palestinian-American playwright and writer who was in Nice visiting family.

More than 84 people are dead in Nice, France, after an attack on a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day in the city in the French Riviera. Witnesses said a man in a large truck deliberately drove into a massive crowd watching a fireworks celebration. The…

Turkey's response to the coup could herald a permanent break with the West

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[This has some ring of truth to it. On a similarly blunt note, see: Turkey may no longer be a viable partner in fight against Isis following coup attempt, says French foreign minister. I believe Erdogan now thinks that Turkey's acceptance into the EU is problematic - not surprising given his essentially anti-Western views - so he has been floundering around for new allies. If he succeeds in building links with Putin the US would have to deal with the fact that they currently store nuclear weapons in Turkey. A new friendship with Egypt seems unlikely considering their reaction to news of the coup attempt: Egypt blocks UN call to respect 'democratically elected' government in Turkey. *RON*]

Mark Almond, Telegraph, 17 July 2016


A glance at the map of the West’s current crises shows that Turkey occupies the neuralgic point where so many international problems meet. It is the intersection of the West’s war with Isil in Syria and Iraq. Nato…

Turkey's bungled putsch: a strangely 20th century coup

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[We'll see how this pans out in days to come. I don't buy any of this spin. The coup is "strangely 20th century" because Erdogan regained the airwaves using his cell phone and the military 'mysteriously' hadn't thought of that. The "people power" simply refers to the fact that Erdogan can buy protest crowds by the thousands, and his supporters are simply those who would lose a job if they didn't show up to heckle. There's also a growing meme that the coup was staged by Erdogan: Syrian state paper says failed Turkey coup fabricated. It's a mistake to think people are that smart - I think the military simply staged a bad coup, period. *RON*]
By Ece Toksabay & Paul Taylor, Reuters, 16 July 2016

It was a strangely 20th century coup, defeated by 21st century technology and people power.

When a self-styled military "Peace Council" tried to topple Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his …