July 24, 2014 (RT) — A security researcher considered to be among the foremost experts in his field says that more than a half-billion mobile devices running Apple’s latest iOS operating system contain secret backdoors.
By Mehdi Hasan
The assault on Gaza has been a humanitarian disaster, yet the west’s staunch support for Israel continues.
July 16, 2014 (Huffington Post) — Seventeen members of a single family wiped out in a missile strike. A centre for disabled people bombed. Schools and mosques attacked. Operation Protective Edge has been a humanitarian disaster for the residents of Gaza. This, apparently, is how Israel defines “self-defence”.
The experts disagree. The UN’s top human rights official, Navi Pillay, has said the killing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza raises “serious doubt… whether the Israeli strikes have been in accordance with international humanitarian law”. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have gone further, urging the hapless president, Mahmoud Abbas, to make the Palestinian Authority join the International Criminal Court and bring war crimes charges against Israel. Read more…
Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and beyond – everywhere you look you see mass slaughter and devastation caused by the US-led illegal wars of aggression, says Noam Chomsky.
July 8, 2014 (Stop The War Coalition) — The front page of The New York Times on June 26 featured a photo of women mourning a murdered Iraqi.
He is one of the innumerable victims of the ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) campaign in which the Iraqi army, armed and trained by the U.S. for many years, quickly melted away, abandoning much of Iraq to a few thousand militants, hardly a new experience in imperial history. Read more…
June 11, 2014, IRBIL, Iraq (Washington Post) — Insurgents inspired by al-Qaeda rapidly pressed towards Baghdad on Wednesday, confronting little resistance from Iraq’s collapsing security forces and expanding an arc of control that now includes a wide swath of the country.
By nightfall, the militants had reached the flashpoint city of Samarra, just 70 miles outside Baghdad, after having first seized Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown, and other cities while pressing southward from Mosul.
The stunning speed with which the rout has unfolded in northern Iraq has raised deep doubts about the capacity of U.S. -trained Iraqi security forces, and it has also kindled fears about the government’s grip on the capital itself. Read more…
April 21, 2014 (RT) — Every year the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) releases a study on military spending around the world. This year’s report contains many interesting details. Read more…
April 13, 2014, Australia (Victoria Police News) — Police are appealing for public assistance to help locate a missing North Brighton mother and her two children.
Kiya Worku was last seen at a residential house in Willlansby Street about 5pm yesterday afternoon.
Police have been told the 33-year-old was planning to travel by train from North Brighton to Elsternswick with her one-year-old son Yorisun and her four-year-old daughter Justine.
They have not been seen since.
Police are concerned for the welfare of Kiya and that of her young children
Kiya is approximately 170cm tall, thin build with short black curly hair.
It is not known what she is wearing but police believe she is in possession of a pram.
Images of Kiya and her two children are below. Read more…
March 28, 2014, Singapore (NDTV): Twenty-one of the world’s top-25 news organisations have been the target of likely state-sponsored hacking attacks, according to research by two Google security engineers.
While many internet users face attacks via email designed to steal personal data, journalists were “massively over-represented” among such targets, said Shane Huntley, a security software engineer at Google.
The attacks were launched by hackers either working for or in support of a government, and were specifically targeting journalists, Huntley and co-author Morgan Marquis-Boire said in interviews. Their paper was presented at a Black Hat hackers conference in Singapore on Friday. Read more…
March 23, 2014 (The Guardian) — Diplomacy is the only way out of this crisis. The alternatives are sanctions, which will be ineffective – or war, which would rapidly escalate into nuclear war.
The belief that the Cold War was over may well have been a delusion.Pushing Nato to the borders of Russia was motivated by Cold War attitudes, and bound to be opposed by Russia. President Gorbachev believed he had a firm agreement that Nato would not move one yard east. He was probably wrong in that belief, but it was still his belief and he had argued for it fiercely. Read more…
March 23, 2014 (Solomon Star) — ALMOST four years after the world met the global target set in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for safe drinking water, and after the UN General Assembly declared that water was a human right, over three-quarters of a billion people, most of them poor, still do not have this basic necessity, UNICEF said to mark World Water Day today
Estimates from UNICEF and WHO published in 2013 are that a staggering 768 million people do not have access to safe drinking water, causing hundreds of thousands of children to sicken and die each year.
Most of the people without access are poor and live in remote rural areas or urban slums.
UNICEF estimates that 1,400 children under five die every day from diarrhoeal diseases linked to lack of safe water and adequate sanitation and hygiene. Read more…
Putin Winning Propaganda War? US Provoking Black Sea Fleet: Ukraine Overwhelms And Confuses US Media
March 18, 2014 (Before it is news) — How in the world does the western media think Russia’s KGB trained leader would let Crimea and Sevastopol slide out of his hands? Russia’s Black Sea fleet is headquartered in Crimean Sevastopol. And Russia has shown that it will kill to maintain the integrity of that fleet. Read more…
March 17, 2014 (CNN) – To no one’s surprise, Ukraine’s autonomous Crimea region has voted overwhelmingly to break from Ukraine and join Russia. But what happens next is far from certain.
Diplomatically, Sunday’s referendum has put the United States and Russia on the kind of collision course not seen since the Cold War. Economically, it’s unclear how much such a coupling will cost Russia. And politically, it’s divided Crimeans — some of whom think it will bring better pay, and some who see this as a Kremlin land grab.
Crimea’s Moscow-backed leaders declared an overwhelming 96.7% vote in favor of leaving Ukraine and being annexed by Russia in a referendum that Western powers said was illegal and will bring sanctions. Turnout was 83%. Read more…
Russia claims to have downed U.S. drone over Crimea region
March 14, 2014, Moscow (AFP) – A United States surveillance drone has been intercepted above the Ukranian region of Crimea, a Russian state arms and technology group said Friday.
“The drone was flying at about 4,000 metres (12,000 feet) and was virtually invisible from the ground. It was possible to break the link with US operators with complex radio-electronic” technology, said Rostec in a statement.
The drone fell “almost intact into the hands of self-defence forces” added Rostec, which said it had manufactured the equipment used to down the aircraft, but did not specify who was operating it.
“Judging by its identification number, UAV MQ-5B belonged to the 66th American Reconnaissance Brigade, based in Bavaria,” Rostec said on its website, which also carried a picture of what it said was the captured drone. Read more…
March 2, 2014, UKRAINE (Huffington Post) – Military pressure on Ukraine has never been this strong, but cannons aren’t Moscow’s best weapon. With the growing Crimea issue — a pro-Russia Ukrainian region — gas appears as a threat in the resolution of the crisis. Ukraine highly depends on Russian energy. Rising gas prices decided by Moscow could lead, at any moment, to the country’s collapse. Read more…
Reuters| February 22, 2014
Protesters seized the Kiev office of President Viktor Yanukovich on Saturday and his whereabouts were a mystery, as the pro-Russian leader’s grip on power rapidly eroded following bloodshed in the Ukrainian capital.At the president’s headquarters, Ostap Kryvdyk, who described himself as a protest commander, said some protesters had entered the offices but there was no looting. “We will guard the building until the next president comes,” he told Reuters. “Yanukovich will never be back.”
The grounds of the president’s residence outside Kiev were also being guarded by “self-defense” militia of anti-government protesters. Hundreds of people entered the grounds, although not the building itself.
A senior security source said the president was still in Ukraine but was unable to say whether he was in Kiev. An ally was quoted as saying he was in an eastern city. Read more…
Ethiopia still ranks 71st out of 78 countries for severe hunger in the 2013 Global Hunger Index
Download the foreword October 18, 2013
In 2012 Tropical Storm Isaac and Hurricane Sandy battered Haiti, damaging harvests, swelling rivers, flooding roads, and blocking access to communities. As food prices rose and debts mounted, poor Haitians took extreme measures. Some migrated. Others made ends meet by eating fewer meals per day and selling off their land or livestock. Every summer, Haitians fear nature’s wrath.
Whether it’s storms like these, or a drought, like the one in 2012 that left 18 million people in the Sahel hungry, other extreme weather, surging food prices, or prolonged political unrest, crises or shocks continue to buffet the poor and most vulnerable. All too often, those who are unable to cope find themselves more deeply entrenched in poverty, facing malnutrition and hunger. Read more…
A year from today, Scotland will be in a position to become the master of its destiny, potentially gaining independence.
By Humza YousafSeptember 21, 2013 (Aljazeera) — Today (18 September), people in Scotland are exactly one year away from the all important day when our citizens will vote on the future direction of their country. Gaining control of how Scotland will engage with the wider world is an important consequence of that vote.
For me, an independent Scotland is not – and never will be – an end in itself. It is about Scots gaining the powers that all independent nations throughout the world take for granted: powers which will enable the creation of jobs, encourage sustainable economic growth, secure social justice, tackle inequality and promote fairness at home and abroad.
Independence will mean Scotland being able to develop policies that are determined by the people of Scotland, which reflect our values. It will mean being able to take a different approach to the UK, where this is the right decision for Scotland. Scotland has much to offer as an active global citizen. Read more…