Including information on Institutions of Self-Government not recognized by the United Nations, as defined by the USA State Dept.'s legal statement supporting unilateral declarations of independence (2009-07) (.pdf) [is.gd/6MJUTQ], and by the UN International Court (2010-07-22) [archive.is/mc6sX]. Also recognizing EEZ territorial boundaries [archive.is/wl8Oj], and the jurisdictions of the the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) [archive.is/UtXrm], the Outer Space Treaty (OST) [archive.is/CLCXG], and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) (.pdf) [is.gd/ek1oFs].
Evaluated by Northbay MDS Committees, serving as a 5th World News services [FifthWorldNews.blogspot.com], more news sites: [ww4report.com] [globalresearch.ca] [southfront.org] [fmso.leavenworth.army.mil] [corpwatch.org] [fpif.org]
Global Anarchist vanguards & autonomous zones
[anarchistnews.org] [ainfos.ca] [libcom.org] [anarchiststudies.org] [a-revolt.org] [wsm.ie] [facebook.com/SolidarityTimes]
* "A Hello to Arms: A New Generation of Steely-Gazed Anarcho-Communists Head Off to Syria" (2016-06-07, villagevoice.com) [archive.is/qG1rl]
* "After 'Destroying' Canada, Stephen Harper Leaving Politics to 'Make His Fortune' ; Or, in other words, 'resigning to pursue same corporate interests more directly' " (2016-05-25, commondreams.org) [archive.is/0hQrR]
The nations within the Realm of Canada, including...
The Inuit, the Metis, the 630 recognized First Nations governments, and traditional nations.
Maps of the Inuit [archive.is/tHTzZ] [archive.is/7cycI] [archive.is/yVcDs]
* "Rights group calls for cleanup of Canada natives' water" (2016-06-07, AFP Newswire) [archive.is/pjZCc]: Thousands living in Canadian indigenous communities have had no access to potable water, some for decades, and Human Rights Watch on Tuesday pressed Ottawa to finally deal with this "water crisis."
Chronic water woes linked to defective treatment plants or contamination from nearby farming or resource extraction affects dozens of communities across the country, leading to hygiene and health problems, Human Rights Watch said in a 92-page report.
Of more than 600 indigenous communities in Canada, 89 are currently under orders to boil tap water before consuming it. Some -- mostly in Ontario province -- have been doing it for the past 20 years.
In a statement, Human Rights Watch noted the tragic irony of these circumstances in country with one-fifth of the world's fresh water.
The group pointed to a lack of regulations or enforcement, as well as insufficent stable funding for safe water and sanitation in these communities.
The report looked at water systems in 137 communities and cited negative health consequences from exposure to contaminants that ranged from serious gastrointestinal disorders to increased risk of cancer.
Households surveyed also reported skin infections, eczema, psoriasis and other disorders that they believed were related to or exacerbated by the water conditions.
Baths for children were also curbed, they told researchers, due to worries, after contaminants such as coliform, E. coli, Trihalomethanes, and uranium were found in water supplies.
"The water crisis is the result of years of discrimination -- compounded by lack of accountability," said Human Rights Watch researcher Amanda Klasing.
"Canada needs to tackle both the symptoms and the underlying causes," she said.
In March, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to bring water and wastewater systems in indigenous communities up to national standards within five years.
Human Rights Watch praised the announcement, but warned that past administrations have failed to live up to similar commitments.
USA Homeland's resident nations:
Nations exist alongside the Federal [archive.is/VXoPR], and State governance [archive.is/Cz2uF]. Demographic maps: 2000 [archive.is/nXHXz], 2010 [archive.is/nKbSA], religion [archive.is/XArBS]. The New Afrikan nation, the nation of Nueva Aztlan, the Boriqueno, and of the overseas territories each have their own section separately on this news page.
Sovereign nations of the "Indian Country", and of traditional lodges.
Map [archive.is/s4FYb]; News [indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com] [bsnorrell.blogspot.com]
* "Akwesasne Putsch" (2016-05-08, Mohawk Nation News) [archive.is/PlPaR]: A rotiskenrakete recalls when Akwesasne was surround by the military in 1989. “Somebody from the band/tribal/handsome lake longhouse reports to the military. “Antis” were trained and put into position ahead of time.
Control over us is critical because we never relinquished our land and resources. A 100-year plan was made to assimilate/genocide us by 2024. in 1924 POW [prison of war] camps, called numbered “reserves”, were set up to imprison onkwe’hon:weh. The “INDIAN Affairs war room” was run by the Department of War and then Department of Defense. US Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Department of War are same.
“It’s always about controlling the people. Bingo halls, casinos and slot machines could be set up by the onkwe’hon:weh independant nations. BIA reassured them that federal and state regulatory agencies did not apply. The kanion’ke:haka could proceed into the gaming business.
“The Mohawks were becoming prosperous and asserting their legitimate right to self-determination. The New York State public petitioned Albany to stop the kanion’kehaka/Mohawk as they were losing money because of the restaurants, gas, cigarettes, bingos and casinos.
“To illegally invade Akwesasne NYS used the excuse that slot machines were illegal in NYS, even though Akwesasne is not in NYS. The previous night the rotiskenrakete got a call from Washington DC that they were to be raided. In July 1989 over 1,000 NYS Troopers, federal marshals and FBI surrounded Akwesasne. National Guard and surrounding counties police were on alert.
“37 armed onkwe’hon:weh men defended the community and the people. They backed out all police forces. Akwesasne was placed under marshall law.
“Antis surfaced. Some acted as though they were with the rotiskenraketeh. In fact, they were collaborators.
“Roadblocks surrounded Akwesasne. More Troopers arrived, costing $1 million a day. The highways were empty. Fort Drum Army Base was on alert.
“The standoff lasted for months. The media was kept out, except for a few. “Supporters/provocateurs” and mediators were sent in. Fletcher Graves believed the people spoke the truth but his people would not hear of it. Graves explained the destruction of the Black Panthers by the Department of Justice. Undercover agents were sent into meetings in homes to gather information. The government would then send in assassins to kill the targets and their families.
“Meetings were held with NYS Troopers’ commanders at bingo halls on Route 37. The rotiskenrakete had one speaker. The others listened. NYS wanted Route 37 opened. They were asked, ‘Why do you come in here with guns to talk about peace?’ NYS was chasing the onkwe’hon:weh who were on the outside back into the community. The men stopped them, took them into their protection and chased off the police.
“There was nothing to negotiate. Some wanted to end living under threat of invasion. They petitioned the federal government to bring in the 101stAirborne Division of the regular army to do away with the ‘warrior society’.
“The feds needed a reason to invade. A phony gun fight was created where the Canadian government supplied guns to the antis. Two young men were murdered. The excuse was then made to come in. Canada sent St. Regis police, RCMP, OPP; NYS sent in Troopers, federal marshalls, local police and other policing agencies. Nobody was ever prosecuted for these murders.
“Onondaga chiefs stayed out. A rotiskenrakete told the NY Times, “The Chiefs in Onondagas were museum Indians and cowards with power!” An anti phoned them warning them to be careful what they say or something is going to happen to them. They refused a face to face meeting.
After this Admiralty rules and regulations were made to control all INDIAN gaming.
“Overwhelming forces did not discredit the rotiskenrakete.”
* "Western Shoshone Walk and Run 2016" (2016-05-02, bsnorrell.blogspot.com, photos by Carl 'Bad Bear' Sampson) [archive.is/RJSgB]
* "Western Shoshone Run, Blessings for the Land" (2016-05-04, bsnorrell.blogspot.com) [archive.is/MdP8M]
* "Western Shoshone Bad Bear: Raising teepee symbol of hope on Peace and Friendship Run" (2016-05-05, bsnorrell.blogspot.com) [archive.is/Y2vls]: On the Western Shoshone Peace and Friendship Run today, in Western Shoshone land recognized in the Treaty of Ruby Valley of 1863, the raising of the teepee is a symbol of hope, an affirmation of Treaty Rights and an harbinger of a new generation healing the scars of the United States atomic bomb testing here, proclaiming the message of peace to halt the ongoing nuclear holocaust.
Western Shoshone runner Carl Bad Bear Sampson is on the run this week and sharing his photos with Censored News.
Bad Bear's father Buck Sampson said they are sending a strong message to the employees at Yucca Mountain.
"Our Treaty of Ruby Valley of 1863 didn't say squat on our land and put radioactive waste here to store. They contaminated the underground water and desecrated Native burials and artifacts that were there a long time before the white immigrants came to Nevada 160 years ago."
"We Natives are still here with our culture and Native values on the land. We are still Trustees of the land. The US needs to start recognizing all the Treaties made with Natives on Turtle Island."
Buck Sampson quoted the Northwest Ordinance, "The utmost good faith shall always
be observed towards the Indians."
Treaties made under the US are to be the Supreme Law of the Land. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787, article 3, passed by the US Congress assured Natives of their future sovereignty.
* "Western Shoshone Run Nears Peace Camp" (2016-05-06, bsnorrell.blogspot.com) [archive.is/BuuXu]
* "Western Shoshone Mother's Day at Peace Camp Nevada Test Site" (2016-05-08, bsnorrell.blogspot.com) [archive.is/FE80g]
* "Western Shoshone at Nevada Test Site: Prayers for Mother Earth on Mother's Day Weekend" (2016-05-08, bsnorrell.blogspot.com) [archive.is/rNOMT]
* "Vernon Masayesva: 'Hopi and Tewa Demand Halt to Water Negotiations' " (2016-05-28, bsnorrell.blogspot.com) [archive.is/3qVA9]
* "Benjamin Nuvamsa: Grassroots Hopi and Tewa Senom Defense of Water Rights" (2016-05-28, bsnorrell.blogspot.com) [archive.is/fcVM8]. "The Hopi Tribal Council is not informing the Hopi and Tewa Senom of what it is doing ... Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and others are determined to take our water rights away. Former Sen. Jon Kyl tried hard before he retired." -- Former Hopi Chairman Benjamin Nuvamsa
* "Sacred Stone Camp: Human Shield Blocking Access to Dakota Access Pipeline" (2016-05-25, bsnorrell.blogspot.com) [archive.is/wWaYV]
* "Lummi Victory! No Coal Terminal at Cherry Point!" (2016-05-11, Lummi Nation) [archive.is/Uy8ek]: Lummi Nation responds to U.S. Army Corps’ decision on Gateway Pacific coal terminal Tribe praises Corps’ decision to uphold treaty rights by denying permit Bellingham, Wash.— The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) announced its decision today to deny Pacific International Terminals' application to build North America’s largest coal export terminal in the Lummi Nation’s treaty-protected fishing waters off Cherry Point. The statement below from Tim Ballew II, chairman of the Lummi Indian Business Council, can be quoted in full or in part.
This is a historic victory for treaty rights and the constitution. It is a historic victory for the Lummi Nation and our entire region. We are pleased to see that the Corps has honored the treaty and the constitution by providing a decision that recognizes the terminal’s impacts to our fishing rights. This decision is a win for the treaty and protects our sacred site.
Our ancient ones at Xwe'chieXen, Cherry Point, will rest protected. Because of this decision, the water we rely on to feed our families, for our ceremonies and for commercial purposes remains protected. But this is more than a victory for our people; it’s a victory for treaty rights. Treaty rights shape our region and nation.
As tribes across the United States face pressures from development and resource extraction, we’ll continue to see tribes lead the fight to defend their treaty rights and protect and manage their lands and waters for future generations.
The impact of a coal terminal on our treaty fishing rights would be severe, irreparable and impossible to mitigate. Today’s victory is monumental and the Corps followed a fair process defined by law to make the right decision. The Corps has honored the treaty between Lummi and the United States. We will always fight to protect Xwe'chieXen.
* "Acoma Pueblo Gov. to France: Return Sacred Items to Homeland" (2016-05-28, bsnorrell.blogspot.com) [archive.is/vTvYe], communication (.jpg) [archive.is/vJgHv] [archive.is/68BiQ]. Photo caption: Pueblo of Acoma Gov. Kurt Riley, center, accompanied by Pueblo of Acoma Traditional Leader Conroy Chino, contests sale of sacred items.
* "Houma Native to Speak out at Shell Annual Meeting: Netherlands May 24, 2016" (2016-05-23, bsnorrell.blogspot.com) [archive.is/LQacZ]
* " 'Run for Your Life' Runners Defending Sacred Water" (2016-04-28, bsnorrell.blogspot.com) [archive.is/QHdfU] [begin excerpt]: In solidarity with the ongoing fight against the Dakota Access pipeline, a group of Native and Non-native youth have organized a 500-mile spiritual relay run from Cannonball, ND to the district office of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in Omaha, NE. The run is titled “Run For Your Life: No DAPL.” It departed the Cannonball community on April 24th, 2016 and plans to arrive in Omaha on May 3rd, 2016. The intention of the run is to deliver a unified statement to the USACE in resistance to the oil pipeline that proposed to cross beneath sacred water needed for life. The runners will will also turn over a petition calling for a full EIS to be conducted on the Bakken pipeline. [end excerpt]
* " 'Run for Your Life' Arrives in Omaha! Runners Defend Land and Water from Dakota Access Pipeline" (2016-05-02, bsnorrell.blogspot.com) [archive.is/EVc3V]
* "Lakota Youth Battles Dirty Coal in Australia; U.S. Indigenous Youth travels to Australia to Call Attention to Climate Justice" (2016-05-02, bsnorrell.blogspot.com) [archive.is/kvbH2]
* "Blockade Disrupts Klamath Salvage Logging; Early Morning Blockade Disrupts Klamath Salvage Logging; Group urges Forest Service to support Karuk Alternative to the Westside Project" (2016-05-02, bsnorrell.blogspot.com) [archive.is/xjQUI], attached video [https://youtu.be/zwr_F4-cW6E], and photos [is.gd/8jBA9v] by Stop Westside Coalition.
* "Indigenous 'Break Free' Day of Action - Anacortes, Washington, Photos May 14" (2016-05-14, by Lloyd Vivola) [archive.is/Kc3hl], photos: [archive.is/WKpkU] [archive.is/w64Vy] [archive.is/8wpwT] [archive.is/VHKkd] [archive.is/6q5vv] [archive.is/FK55s] [archive.is/tY5Tt] [archive.is/f7LF6] [archive.is/EIq4L] [archive.is/PrMf3] [archive.is/cZMD1]
USA Homeland's resident nations:
American Nation, including the State Sovereignty campaigns, and Dominionist Campaigns. [tenthamendmentcenter.com]
* "Ohio Senate Adopts Resolution Affirming Tenth Amendment" (2016-06-11, by TJ Martinell) [archive.is/rEPzM]
Fascists are doing what they've always been doing; becoming militant, training, and planning. These fascists need to be stopped. Fascism is on the rise. There's almost as many such known groups in California as there are in Texas.
* "Armed and Vigilant: In Fear of a Muslim Uprising in Texas" [youtube.com/watch?v=4c7AWS4Bc-M]
* "Neo-Nazi Posters Spotted on Boston University’s Campus; ‘Black Lives Don’t Matter' " (2016-05-02, bostonmagazine.com) [archive.is/8KHkK]
* "Neo-Nazi posters spotted at Boston University; One of the posters says 'Black Lives Don't Matter' " (2016-05-01, thetab.com) [archive.is/NbJpU]
* "Nazi Skinhead concert to be held at Black Bear Bar in Brooklyn" (2016-05-28, antifascistnews.net) [archive.is/S1OCV]
* "Founder of Minuteman border group guilty of child molestation" (2016-06-08, AP Newswire) [archive.is/Jou82]
* "Look at this shit. Nazi flags in background in Quinlan, Texas" (2016-06-11) [archive.is/faFAx]:
Regional insights for the lands of
Anahuac, Carib, and Abya Ayla ("Latin" America)
"When the Eagle of the North flies with the Condor of the South, The Spirit of the Land, She will Reawaken".
* English language news [upsidedownworld.org] [narconews.com] [narcosphere.narconews.com] [nacla.org] [coha.org] [cepr.net] [cedema.org].
* Spanish language news [contrainjerencia.com]
* "The United States supports counter-revolution in Latin America: seeks to roll back the Bolivarian Revolution" (2016-05-03, by Harry Targ, heartlandradical.blogspot.com) [archive.is/FPt3L]
* "The Brazilian Coup and Washington’s “Rollback” in Latin America" (2016-05-26, cepr.net) [archive.is/FPkNl]
* "Latino Politicians in US Ignore Human Rights Abuses in Mexico; Latino politicians should demand more accountability from the Mexican government and consider cutting funds to the country’s corrupt security forces" (2016-05-29, telesurtv.net) [archive.is/yE86j]
* (2016-05-24, facebook.com/telesurenglish) [facebook.com/telesurenglish/videos/846443222165748/]:
Historically, the United States has reached out to Latin American elites to carry out policies in accordance with Washington's interests. But, who are the U.S. puppets in Latin America nowadays?
United States of Mexico
* "Mexico Accused of Crimes Against Humanity in U.S.-Backed Drug War; PRI Loses Hold in State Races" (2016-06-06, democracynow.org) [archive.is/1PLI6]
The Good Government and the EZLN ("Zapatistas")
[chiapas-support.org] [enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx] [zeztainternazional.ezln.org.mx]
* JOINT COMMUNIQUE BY THE CNI AND EZLN ON REPRESSION AGAINST THE COMMUNITY OF CHABLEKAL (2016-05-07) [archive.is/cTPyP]: We, the peoples, communities, tribes, neighborhoods, organizations, and collectives who make up the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) denounce and condemn the events today in the community of Chablekal, Yucatán, where the police attempted to evict an elder of the community from his home. Upon learning of the unjust eviction, the inhabitants decided to protest to try to stop the action, to which state antiriot police responded with tear gas. Women, children, and elderly persons were present; as of now more than 40 canisters of tear gas have been found in the community.
Jorge Fernández Mendiburu and Martha Capetillo Pasos, in their role as human rights defenders and members of the Human Rights Center Indignación A.C. and the National Indigenous Congress, were arbitrarily detained, beaten, and handcuffed in an aggressive manner and against all due process. Although they were released shortly after, this constitutes an act of intimidation and criminalization of human rights observation and social protest.
In addition, we denounce this act as an attempt to intimidate not only the Human Rights defenders but also the inhabitants of the community of Chablekal, who organized the Union of Inhabitants of Chablekal in Defense of land, territory, and natural resources to defend what remains of their territory from the theft and displacement they have suffered over the last few years on behalf of speculators—new landowners who have the support of the municipal, state, and federal agrarian and political authorities. Their demand to halt the indiscriminate selling off of lands has been answered with this and other attempts at intimidation of their members and those who accompany them and defend their rights.
This abuse of authority and its associated crimes take place in the context of the imposition of the “Yucatán Shield” strategy. This strategy, carried out through large economic loans with unclear ends, is meant to render citizens defenseless against police actions. The Indignación A.C. team has presented a document denouncing this aspect and other irregularities in this strategy. This treatment of groups critical of police action is one of the digressions of this plan, which should be more closely analyzed before its implementation.
With regard to the above, WE DEMAND
–INVESTIGATION OF AND PUNISHMENT FOR THE POLICE OFFICERS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ARBITRARY AND ILLEGAL DETENTION OF THE MEMBERS OF THE INDIGNACION A.C. TEAM
–THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF THE FOUR MEMBERS OF THE CHABLEKAL COMMUNITY STILL DETAINED
*Pedro Euan Flores
*Pedro Euan Santana—member of the MPDT of Chablekal and of the CNI
*A 15 year old
–INVESTIGATION OF THE AGGRESSION COMMITED AGAINST THE INHABITANTS OF THE COMMUNITY OF CHABLEKAL
–SAFETY GUARANTEES FOR HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS
–A HALT TO ACTS OF INTIMIDATION AGAINST THE UNION OF INHABITANTS OF THE COMMUNITY OF CHABLEKAL IN DEFENSE OF LAND, TERRITORY, AND NATURAL RESOURCES.
–THAT THE NECESSITY FOR AND DETAILS OF ANY SECURITY ACTION, INCLUDING THE “YUCATAN SHIELD,” THAT MAY VIOLATE HUMAN RIGHTS BE FIRST DISCUSSED WITH COMMUNITIES AND CITIZENS
Sisters and brothers of Chablekal,
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
NEVER AGAIN A MEXICO WITHOUT US!
FOR THE FULL RECOGNITION AND REVINDICATION OF OUR PEOPLES!
- NATIONAL INDIGENOUS CONGRESS
- ZAPATISTA ARMY FOR NATIONAL LIBERATION
Central America, an "Economic Sacrifice Zone"
* "Guatemalan drug lords burning forests to land planes" (2016-06-07, AFP Newswire) [archive.is/NBVWv]
Republic of Honduras
Most of the comments are collected from the daily "Presente Honduras Digest", and from the "Honduras Solidarity Network" listserve, authored by experts in geopolitics and history of Latin America. Libre is the "leftist" party working to uphold human rights and sovereignty, JOH is the dictator of Honduras supported by the USA.
new report about Honduras from the Congressional Research Service:
* "Hillary, Honduras and my late friend Berta" (2016-05-29, sfexaminer.com) [archive.is/mGq4N], photo caption: A woman holds up a poster with a photo of slain environmental leader Berta Caceres during a protest in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on March 16. Caceres reported receiving threats from security personnel with Desarrollos Energeticos SA — the company carrying out the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project that Caceres lead protests against — as well as an attempt by a company official to bribe her to call off the demonstrations, according to Billy Kyte, a senior campaigner on land and environmental defense at London-based Global Witness.
* " From the Aguan Valley: La Lucha Sigue" (2016-05-25, hondurasresists.blogspot.com) [archive.is/hOK5N]
* "Death Threats Against Members of MADJ/Radio Didgnidad After Harassment by Military" (2016-05-25, Greg McCain, Presente-Honduras Digest, Vol 55, Issue 80): Radio Dignidad has issued an alert that two of it's journalists have received on-air death threats yesterday. Luis Ramos, co-host of the "Tertulias de la Tarde" program along with his co-host Martin Fernandez who is also General Coordinator of The Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice (MADJ) and has been awarded medidas cautelares, precautionary measures, by the IACHR.
These threats are doubly worrisome because recently Martin has been repeatedly harassed and threatened by the military and anonymous individuals as reported by The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders together with The World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), who requests urgent intervention in the situation in Honduras.
According to information received, incidents have taken place since the end of March until today. On March 29, 2016, the property of Mr. Martin Fernandez Guzman, the farm "The Torogoces" was illegally searched by approximately 50 soldiers of the Fourth Infantry Battalion, based in La Ceiba, Atlantida, while a training activity with activists of the "Caravan of Good Living" was taking place. This traning is an initiative that promotes, encourages and provides training to community organizations. Arbitrarily, the members of the army entered in different parts of the property, recorded videos and interviewed some of the people present, staying on the farm about two hours. It is noteworthy that while the military were in the farm, a military helicopter flew at low altitude.
On April 7, 2016, the intimidations continued when elements of the army on board a vehicle re-entered the property without authorization from Mr. Fernandez on the pretext of registering a vehicle arbitrarily of his. On both occasions, the soldiers could not be identified due to concealed name tags on their uniforms.
In addition, throughout the month of April, staff communication through MADJ's community radio station, Radio Dignidad, has been subjected to constant threats and intimidation by anonymous individuals. Specifically, calls and threatening messages were received while the radio program "The afternoon talk show," directed by Mr. Martin Fernandez Guzman, was performed.
Honduras: Hostigamiento repetido y amenazas contra Martín Fernández, Coordinador General del MADJ
* "VICTORY! Canada-based Gildan Activewear Give Lilian her Job Back!" (2016-05-25, Karen Spring, Presente-Honduras Digest, Vol 55, Issue 80): I’m happy to report that Canada-based apparel company Gildan caved to the pressure and Lilian Castillo was given her job back today!!
After three long years of battling the Honduran courts, unemployment, and serious financial difficulties related to the high costs of the medical treatment for her worked-related injury, Lilian will now be given a job inside the factory that doesn’t involve demanding work paces and repetitive movements on the assembly lines. She will now be able to get her 15 and 17 year old son and daughter back into high school (they were pulled out b/c of Lilian’s financial situation) and Lilian will now have medical benefits that will cover a lot of the treatment she needs for her musculoskeletal disorder.
CODEMUH and Lilian are super proud! On goes the struggle for other men and women just like Lilian that have been fired or laid off b/c of their health injuries developed from the poor working conditions and repetitive movements inside Russell Brand (US), Hanes (US), and Gildan (Canadian) factories.
Thank you for your tweets and letters of solidarity!!!
A new video from COPINH (Spanish language). New threats against the Lencan people in the area of Rio Blanco in del la Vega Achotal from the DESA company and the Agua Zarca project.
COPINH: VIDEO SOBRE NUEVAS AMENAZAS EN EL ACHOTAL (RIOBLANCO)
La tierra de la Vega del Achotal es terreno ansestral del pueblo Lenca de Rio Blanco. En parte fue acaparada por DESA para la construccion del Proyecto Agua Zarca en violacion del Convenio 169. Según la ley hondureña la municipalidad esta obligada de consultar a la gente cuando tiene planes con impactos al medio ambiente.
Desde los campesinos recuperaron y cultivaron su tierra hay amenazas contra ellos como también el 23 de Mayo del 2016. Como COPINH denunciamos estas amenazas y demandamos una vez más el respeto a nuestro territorio Lenca.
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (USA territory) and the Boriqueno nation
* "Empire of Lies: How the US Continues to Deceive the World About Puerto Rico" (2016-05-19, truth-out.org) [archive.is/wiqTN]
* "Most Americans Don’t Know Puerto Ricans Are American; The territory’s residents have held citizenship for nearly a century" (2016-05-21, huffingtonpost.com) [archive.is/Y3Kle]
* "Supreme Court Chips Away at Puerto Rican Sovereignty; The court ruled that Puerto Rico doesn't have the same rights as states when it comes to criminal trials" (2016-06-09, motherjones.com) [is.gd/ZRmJO1]
* (2016-05-26, Brave New Films):
John Paulson is a hedge fund manager who is building resorts in Puerto Rico without having to pay taxes to invest in the local community. Sheida Franqui Torres is a Puerto Rico resident whose home was forcibly bulldozed to make way for these new resorts. Urge elected officials to put the lives of Puerto Ricans over the interests of hedge funds.
Sign the petition at [http://bit.ly/puerto-rico-debt]
Republic of Colombia
* "State-sponsored slaughter in Colombia" (1999-10-21, anphoblacht.com) [archive.is/TSvIn]
* "Colombians Tell of Massacre, as Army Stood By" (2000-07-14, nytimes.com) [archive.is/GVmGb] [begin excerpt]: The armed men, more than 300 of them, marched into this tiny village early on a Friday. They went straight to the basketball court that doubles as the main square, residents said, announced themselves as members of Colombia's most feared right-wing paramilitary group, and with a list of names began summoning residents for judgment.
A table and chairs were taken from a house, and after the death squad leader had made himself comfortable, the basketball court was turned into a court of execution, villagers said. The paramilitary troops ordered liquor and music, and then embarked on a calculated rampage of torture, rape and killing.
''To them, it was like a big party,'' said one of a dozen survivors who described the scene in interviews this month. ''They drank and danced and cheered as they butchered us like hogs.''
By the time they left, late the following Sunday afternoon, they had killed at least 36 people whom they accused of collaborating with the enemy, left-wing guerrillas who have long been a presence in the area. The victims, for the most part, were men, but others ranged from a 6-year-old girl to an elderly woman. As music blared, some of the victims were shot after being tortured; others were stabbed or beaten to death, and several more were strangled.
Yet during the three days of killing last February, military and police units just a few miles away made no effort to stop the slaughter, witnesses said. At one point, they said, the paramilitaries had a helicopter flown in to rescue a fighter who had been injured trying to drag some victims from their home.
Instead of fighting back, the armed forces set up a roadblock on the way to the village shortly after the rampage began, and prevented human rights and relief groups from entering and rescuing residents.
While the Colombian military has opened three investigations into what happened here and has made some arrests of paramilitaries, top military officials insist that fighting was under way in the village between guerrillas and paramilitary forces -- not a series of executions. They also insist that the colonel in charge of the region has been persecuted by government prosecutors and human rights groups. Last month he was promoted to general, even though examinations of the incidents are pending. [end excerpt]
Towards a Bolivarian Republic of Colombia / Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People's Army (FARC-EP)
Communiques [is.gd/rRiMnb], Peace Delegation [farc-epeace.org].
English [justiceforcolombia.org], [prensarural.org/spip/spip.php?mot95]. Spanish [farc-epeace.org] [pazfarc-ep.org] [mujerfariana.org] [resistencia-colombia.org]
* "Unrest in Colombia’s countryside: truckers join mass rural strike" (2016-06-06, colombiareports.com) [archive.is/Ey4uf], with 70,000 participants in the strikes being the most accurate count as of this posting.
Photo: Agrarian strike, Cauca, Colombia
* "Colombia strike organizers ask for international protection after 3 killed and 200 injured in rural protests" (2016-06-07, colombiareports.com) [archive.is/BKHMZ]
* News from Colombia: A selection of the latest news from different regions in Colombia.(FARC-EP International, farc-epeace.org) [archive.is/2sBnf]
* "Young LGTBI member murdered" (2016-05-25, prensarural.org) [archive.is/zAd3q], (translated by farc-epeace.org) [archive.is/qPuyZ]: Jesus Caceres Ortiz, a young 21-year-old community leader and member of the LGBTI community has been murdered, denounced the political movement Marcha Patriotica in North Santander.
According to Marcha Patriotica, the young man was last seen alive on Friday 20 May at approximately 8pm when he left his home. His body was found on Monday 23 May in the sector Charco Azul of the municipality of El Zulia. He had been shot twice in the leg and in the forehead. After the murder, the community is frightened and on alert for further reprisals that may be triggered against social leaders in the sector.
Marcha Patriotica called on the competent authorities to act against the increase in violence and the crisis on human rights in the municipality of El Zulia. It also urges the national and international community and human rights defenders to speak out in favor of the defense of life and personal integrity and to express their solidarity with the relatives of Jesus Cáceres, who need support to overcome this difficult moment.
The movement also required to stop targeted killings and systematic persecution waged against members of social and popular movement in the country. To the General Prosecutor's Office the movement asked to investigate the murder and bring those responsible for the crime to justice.
To the Colombian government, Marcha Patriotica asked for the necessary mechanisms to be activated in order to protect human rights. “We put responsibility - reads the statement - on the National Government, the security forces and to control bodies responsible for ensuring the right to life, physical integrity, freedom and respect for general political rights”.
* "Trade unionist murdered after boss warns 'take care on the street' " (2016-05-10, UNI Global Union) [archive.is/p6YxT], (re-posted at justiceforcolombia.org) [archive.is/i5i4i]:
Photo caption: Justice for Colombia has been working together with Uni Global Union to support Prosegur workers in Colombia.
UNI mourns Prosegur union member killed in Colombia -
UNI Global Union is in mourning following the tragic death of a Prosegur guard killed during an armed robbery in Colombia.
Alcides de Jesus Cortes Jurdado, a member of the UNI-affiliated SINTRAVALORES union, died during a surprise attack on April 14 as he prepared to restock a Bancolumbia ATM in the city of Santa Marta.
According to his union, Alcides was working as part of a three man crew at time of his death but was the only member of Prosegur staff on duty. His two colleagues were outsourced employees, the union says. If proven, this constitutes a clear violation by the company of article 55 of its collective agreement.
Colombia is one of the world’s most dangerous countries in which to be a trade unionist, and Alcides' death came just weeks after he joined the union on 29 February. SINTRAVALORES says Alcides had been subject to harassment and threats from his own manager who had told him to "take care on the streets" after he had refused to leave the union. SINTRAVALORES says it reported these threats to Prosegur management before Alcides was killed.
UNI and Prosegur reached a settlement in Colombia earlier this year following serious allegations of workers’ rights abuses by the company. However, the situation has deteriorated further since the settlement with the company having taken steps to de-register the industry union.
UNI Global Union has raised concerns on a number of occasions about the number of on-the-job deaths and injuries to Prosegur guards in Latin America. 18 Prosegur guards died at work in 2014 - almost twice the number of workers per capita that died at G4S during the same period, despite the fact that G4S operates in a higher number of insecure countries.
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (ALBA member)
News & Info: [venezuelanalysis.com]; [rnv.gob.ve]; ALBA Ciudad 96.3 FM [albaciudad.org]; Public Ministry [mp.gob.ve]
* "Mass Civic-Military Mobilisations in Venezuela Warn Against Intervention" (2016-05-23, venezuelanalysis.com) [archive.is/BueC6], photo caption: Both the civilian-militia and the National Bolivarian Armed Forces participated in the manoeuvres (AVN).
* "Maduro ‘ready to radicalise the revolution’ Imperialist and comprador sabotage can only be countered by the rule of the proletariat" (2016-06, cpgb-ml.org) [archive.is/FDaRS] [begin excerpt]: Putting these words into practice, a state of emergency has now been declared in response to the contrived shortages of food and medicine, mirroring the situation in 2002 (and the attempted coup against President Chávez) when oil prices plummeted and the public took control of food distribution. Maduro has already approved the funding of seven large-scale projects to set up communes and community councils, known as the ‘Communal Power’, in order to kick-start food production and distribution.
Further to this, at a rally to support these small-to-medium production projects managed by workers’ councils, Maduro announced: “I’m ready to hand over to the Communal Power any factory stopped by any rich person in this country ... Whoever doesn’t want to work should leave and those who do are welcome; we will go united. This country needs all of its economic structure to be functioning. [end excerpt]
* "Indigenous Communities March to Defend Venezuelan Revolution; Participants said they back the Bolivarian Revolution due to the respect it has always extended to Indigenous peoples" (2016-06-02, telesurtv.net) [archive.is/KiYkA]
* "Venezuela army vows 'absolute loyalty' to President Maduro" (2016-01-08, france24.com) [archive.is/qsx8I]
* "Senior Venezuelan Military Officer Murdered in Caracas; Witnesses say two unidentified gunman approached to the vehicle aboard a motorcycle and killed the senior military officer" (2016-05-28, telesurtv.net) [archive.is/3duV5]
* "Venezuela: Over 600K Opposition Recall Signatures Invalid—11,000 Belong to Deceased People; Among the signatures, almost 11,000 were found to be of deceased people; almost 10,000 had nonexistent identity cards; and 3,000 belonged to minors" (2016-06-10, telesurtv.net) [archive.is/qwPl8]
* "The Truth Behind Shortages in Venezuela; The shortages are deliberately caused primarily by opposition sectors and private enterprises in order to cause destabilization" (2016-01-15, telesurtv.net) [archive.is/7ty1q]
* "Venezuela Sacred Heart Sisters Deny Govt to Blame for Shortages; 'Corn flour is allegedly lacking in the supermarkets, yet the sale of arepas and empanadas has never decreased in the streets,' said the sisters in a published letter" (2016-06-10, telesurtv.net) [archive.is/h9LNu]:
In a letter released Friday on Contexto y Accion, the Sisters of the Sacred Heart criticized the “economic war” in Venezuela, arguing that shortages in the country are “not produced by this government, nor by any previous or following governments.”
Shortages, they explained, are caused “by a capitalist, bourgeois industry that manipulates prices and margins, determined to take down this legitimately-elected government.”
“Corn flour is allegedly lacking in the supermarkets, yet the sale of arepas and empanadas has never decreased in the streets. Wheat flour is supposed to be lacking as well, and bread, but the bakeries in our neighborhoods have never shut down, have never stopped selling sweet bread, pies and cookies at very high prices," they added.
"The bread that we cannot find is the salty bread, whose price is state-controlled at about US$5, but when we find it, it costs two, three or four times more. And price control? It's because there is no wheat flour!” They exclaimed.
They added that they had access to a great variety of vegetables and proteins such as poultry, meat and fish, 10 times more expensive than one year earlier.
Cheese, ham and other things can be found easily, although at very high prices, according to the letter, because price controls are difficult to implement, they explained.
Venezuela's opposition has repeatedly claimed that the country was facing a humanitarian crisis due to lack of food. This view has been echoed in the international media, the picture painted is one of economic collapse, with shortages leading to widespread hunger and grave risks to the population's health.
Yet, evidence shows that these shortages appear to be part of a concerted action by the opposition to remove the democratically-elected government from power.
* "Do Eggs in Venezuela Actually Cost $150 a Dozen? Some news agencies use incorrect sources in their reports on the economic difficulties in Venezuela" (2016-05-, telesurtv.net) [archive.is/mKORE]: International media outlets are continuing to misreport the economic crisis in Venezuela and the effect of high inflation on the cost of living.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times published a story [archive.is/u56Xc] claiming that, "It costs US$150 to buy a dozen eggs in Venezuela right now."
The newspaper backs up that claim by using an exchange rate of 10 bolivars for one U.S. dollar, according to which a woman in Caracas who buys a carton of eggs from a street vendor for around 1,500 bolivars is paying “a staggering US$150 at the official exchange rate."
But the article uses wrong exchange rate for the example. In Venezuela, companies that import basic goods pay an exchange rate of 10 bolivars per dollar—a subsidy meant to encourage a steady supply for those goods—but not regular Venezuelans. That woman in Caracas, by contrast, would receive 520 bolivars for every U.S. dollar she exchanges, which means that for her a dozen eggs would cost less than US$3.
That Venezuela uses multiple official exchange rates—last year there was three, in addition to the black market rate—has been a source of confusion, and also exploited for disinformation.
International media reports often cite the subsidized exchange rate for importers, known as DIPRO, even though it only applies to imported goods, services and remittances which are identified by the government as a priority. Using that rate to calculate the cost of living for a resident of Caracas paints a much more dire and misleading picture of the economic reality, however troubled it may be.
As for Venezuela's high rate of inflation, little international reporting on the issue notes the central bank's assertion that much of it is the result of currency manipulation, or rather: wealthy Venezuelans bringing in U.S. dollars and exchanging them for that 520 to 1 rate.
* "Venezuela, where a hamburger is officially $170" (2016-05-24, AFP Newswire) [archive.is/DJ766]
* "Rich Eating Well in Venezuela, Basque Executive Shows; To prove his relatives in Spain wrong, Otxotorena published a series of photographs of fully-stocked markets in upper class neighborhoods in Caracas" (2016-05-30, telesurtv.net) [archive.is/Ktyns]
* (2016-05-30, facebook.com/telesurenglish) [archive.is/0QoAs]: Just so you know, these are photos of Venezuelan supermarkets.
A Basque national living in Caracas shared these photos on Facebook to show that the way the corporate media likes to portray Venezuela right now, is only half of the truth.
He grew tired of constant claims that there was no food in Venezuela, with the media and right-wing politicians comparing the country with Somalia, Ethiopia or Syria. So he began publishing photos on Facebook of supermarkets in more well-to-do sectors of Caracas which were filled with goods. He added that the poor are definitely hit by the shortages, but he explains that that is for a large part due to foul play by the private sector, Colombian mafia organizations and the Venezuelan right-wing opposition.
"If you have money there is champagne … vodka, Belgian chocolates … lobster, brand-name clothes, exclusive restaurants … nightclubs, beaches … yachts, golf clubs—a whole country within a country where there are no poor, women and children are blond, go to exclusive schools, exclusive universities, and vacation, where Blacks or poor are the waiters.
With this I'm not saying there's a lot of people having a hard time and who do not earn enough money to live. But the same is the case in Colombia, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Brazil, Argentina, and so on and so forth. Poverty is an evil endemic in this region of the world, which does not mean that there is still an upper class that has a higher standard of living than Europeans. The problem is that wealth is poorly distributed."
He added on the motivations of the right-wing opposition: "Everything goes toward the overthrow of Chavismo. However, whatever, whenever ... The only thing that matters to them, even if the country is destroyed, is to get the Blacks, the poor, the Indigenous, the ‘ugly people’ or ‘peasants’ out of power."
Share to show the world the truth about Venezuela.
* (2016-04-09, facebook.com/telesurenglish) [archive.is/sesZ3]: How media manipulation works.
This is a photo that was widely circulated by the corporate media and the right-wing opposition in Venezuela to discredit the left-wing government for chaos and shortages of goods.
Guess where the photo was taken?
At a Stop and Shop in New York.
* "Rafael Correa Denounces Venezuelan Opposition 'Trickery' ; President Correa has repeatedly criticized private media, who he accuses of deliberately trying to foment fear and misinformation among the population" (2016-04-29, telesurtv.net) [archive.is/wg50z]
* "Hugo Chavez’s economic miracle; The Venezuelan leader was often marginalized as a radical. But his brand of socialism achieved real economic gains" (2013-03-06, salon.com) [archive.is/GOavv]
* "Hugo Chavez was poisoned at UN Headquarters" (2016-06-06, youtube.com/user/PravdaTV) [youtube.com/watch?v=aIFhVDm6oLU]: The Venezuelan researchers claimed that they had found out nanoweapon, former President of the country Hugo Chavez was killed with. “The US could have been involved in infecting Chavez with cancerous cells, as it had been elaborating such a plan”. Igor Nikulin, former member of the UN Commission on biological weapon, military expert: ‘It is not only Hugo Chavez who died because of cancer, but also many other Latin American leaders and at quite a young age. The Americans have corresponding elaborations. They significantly outperform other countries in virology and nanotechnologies. Chavez was probably poisoned at the UN headquarters during the General Assembly in New York. If it had been a unique case, one could have said that it’s an accident, two cases – is a coincidence, three cases – is regularity.’
* "Chavez: Is U.S. behind spate of cancer among Latin American leaders?" (2011-12-29, edition.cnn.com) [archive.is/p6uiV]
Pluri-National State of Bolivia (ALBA member)
* "Bolivia takes over operations of Chinese-built satellite" (2016-05-26, news.xinhuanet.com) [archive.is/xr4nX]: In a successful transfer of technology, Bolivian personnel have taken over the operations of the country's Chinese-built Tupac Katari satellite, an official said Wednesday.
"Starting in April of this year, our supplier left Bolivian personnel 100 percent in charge of the operations of the satellite and ...the operations are progressing smoothly," the Bolivian News Agency reported, citing the director of the Bolivian Space Agency, Ivan Zambrana.
The agreement between the two countries called for Chinese experts to operate the satellite for two years alongside Bolivian engineers after the device began operating commercially in April 2014.
The Chinese technicians that helped to launch the project have now returned to China, said the report.
"The quality of the services is the same and, well, we are very pleased that the technological transfer process allows Bolivians to independently operate a communications satellite," said Zambrana.
Named in honor of an 18th-century indigenous Bolivian warrior who fought off the Spanish conquistadors, the satellite, which weighs 5.3 tons, and is 2.36 meters long and 2.1 meters wide, was designed to provide Internet service across much of Bolivia, as well as radio and communications emissions.
The state-run National Telecommunications Company is the main user of the satellite, which was launched on Dec. 21, 2013 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China's southwestern province of Sichuan.
Through the satellite, the company hopes to expand mobile telephone, broadband Internet, TV and radio service throughout Bolivia, especially in remote communities.
Republic of Ecuador (ALBA member)
* "CIA-run agency recruited Ecuadorian police, military to spy for US – report" (2016-06-14, rt.com) [archive.is/osEDt]
* "11 Mapuche arrested for Luchsinger-Mackey Case, Lissette Melillan: 'The [Chilean] Government uses the Police to Guard Cows' " (2016-05-20, wccctoronto.wordpress.com) [archive.is/gwh4H] [begin excerpt]:
LM: In general, all [Mapuche] movements have this form of more confrontational struggle. For us, it is simply a form of resistance to seek the freedom of Mapuche political prisoners, since we understand that they are a result of the ongoing liberation of the territory. Therefore, politically, it is always precise to demand the freedom or due process of the accused on trial, and our communities have understood it this way. Here, the government did not perceive the injustice being committed, and with those decisions comes an intensification of the conflict.
TMK: So these actions continue being carried out?
LM: The injustice of these detentions have been apparent, since the PDI witness in contradicting his testimony, only contributed to the further rage of the Mapuche communities. There has been no response in the negotiation [with government officials], and the territories that have been reclaimed – of good quality – have been through struggle. The State has never left us another choice than to struggle this way. The State has generated this political violence, and thus we have no choice but to struggle this way. Further, we should remember that the attacks that have occurred in Mapuche territory have happened around communities that are surrounded and occupied by large landed estate owners. It is not something that happens on a whim.
TMK: Yes, but they have burnt down six churches. What do they have to do with the reclamation of land?
LM: We will not question the decisions of the communities acting autonomously. The issue of the churches has come up after [the recent mass] detention. That is to say, an aggravation of the movement has taken place and the [Chilean] state has not been efficient enough to deal with it.
TMK: But why do they burn churches?
LM: Because they have something to say. When we talk of historic debt, we are not just talking about the debt owed to us by the State, but also society as a whole. The Catholic Church, of course, must respond, since they own much of the Mapuche occupied land, and we have not obtained a response. The San Fidel seminary handed over their keys to the reclaiming Mapuche community, and later [the community] was evicted through violence. So how is politics deliberated: through dialog or violence?
TMK: And the Protestant Churches?
LM: They are more predominant in Mapuche communities, and yes, we know that people do go to these churches, and the clergy does not let them participate in Nguillatun (Ceremony), since they claim they would be worshiping two gods. However, these are gods that do not belong to us, wherein a singular God has been imposed on us. We respect those who go to those Protestant churches, but we disagree that they impose their customs of God on us, since we have existed before they came to our territory. They are usurpers that come hand in hand with colonial conquest. When we speak of having a mix of cultures, we are not simply asking for public services in our Mapudungun language, we are talking of a real respect, and that we do not see. Beliefs must be respected and the Church has displaced the beliefs of our Mapuche people.
TMK: But burning churches is attacking the heart of the citizenry and this has been testified by those who go to these churches…
LM: We are not here to say to the communities which practices are correct or not. We shall see how these events develop in time, since these actions can be currently demonized, but later vindicated. Let us remember that the first arson attack was in 1997 and few understood that there was no other way. The Mapuche movement has so many mutations and we only hope that it can be for the better, because believe me, the violence of the State is also tiresome. We will not cry because they come to raid us, because we understand it is part of the struggle and that is why I tell you this is the consequence of our struggle.
TMK: So then what should the [Chilean] State do?
LM: The [large landed] agriculturalists and the Mapuche are on opposite sides, but the State is responsible for not being able to politically deal with the issue at hand. Throwing services at us is not the answer. Repression is not the answer.
TMK: Do you mean to say that the State is responsible for these actions?
LM: It is responsible, because when it represses, it aggravates the conflict, and when it throws services at us, it does not resolve the issue. The issue here is the territory, and when we have it, we will end the conflict. We don’t even need help. We only need land and water. I am on the territory that lies in front of the Luchsinger estate and the police guard cows, and in the Inia Carrillanca estate, the police guard wheat. There are so many public resources being wasted that if they want their estates to be watched over, they should pay for private guards. They should invest that money in buying the land to give back to the communities. They would save so much with all of the attacks on their estates. [end excerpt]
Republic of Argentina
* " ‘I don’t like the 666’: Pope rejects suspect donation from Argentinian government" (2016-06-14, rt.com) [archive.is/t8V11]
* "Argentina to suspend RT from national broadcasting" (2016-06-10, rt.com) [archive.is/HGfbc]
Federation of Brazil
* "Get Real: Petrodollars, Not Corruption Is the Reason for Brazilian Coup; Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment was motivated by her efforts to circumvent U.S. dollar dominance through trade with Iran" (2016-05-27, telesurtv.net) [archive.is/lsuPN]
* "Brazil’s media ‘incited protests,’ favored Rousseff’s impeachment from start – Greenwald" (2016-06-04, rt.com) [archive.is/AgQSq]
* "Now, in Brazil, the Battle for Democracy is Fought on the Streets" (2016-05-19, by Carlos Aznarez, mltoday.com) [archive.is/xsuEK]
* "In Brazil, support grows for suspended President" (2016-06-11, thebricspost.com) [archive.is/wMNqi] [begin excerpt]: Major protests took place in almost all states throughout Brazil on Friday evening, gathering hundreds of thousands of supporters of suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
If reinstated, Rousseff has said she would call a referendum on holding early elections. According to surveys by Brazilian media, up to a dozen of the 55 senators who voted last month to put Rousseff on trial are now undecided. If just a couple of those change sides, the Temer camp would lose the 54 votes it needs – two-thirds of the 81-seat Senate – to convict Rousseff.
On Friday, activists, student associations, trade unions, took to the streets to protests against what they term a “coup” and the functioning of the interim government led by Michel Temer.
Organisers claimed 100,000 people attended the protests across the country. No official estimates were made available.
“Temer, as a constitutional lawyer you know that what you did was not right. Give the power back to the people and to Dilma and try to gain the Presidency in the next election,” Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Rousseff’s predecessor and political mentor, said at a gathering in Sao Paulo.
“The most important thing for the social movements gathered here is stopping the impeachment, stopping the coup,” said Vagner Freitas, head of Brazil’s largest trade union CUT. [end excerpt]
Photo caption: In the first widespread organized demonstrations against Temer, thousands of Brazilians gathered at protests across the country, including this one in Sao Paolo on 10 June 2016
NEW AFRIKAN PEACE MOVEMENT newswire
[NewAfricaPeace.blogspot.com] An overview of Africa and the Diapora, with the Green Charter Committee, towards Pan-Afrikan Solidarity and Liberation!
* "Tributes for Chinese peacekeeper killed in UN Mali mission" (2016-06-07, AFP Newswire) [archive.is/LPkZt]
Jurisdiction of Libya
* "Libya's parallel central bank issues banknotes printed in Russia" (2016-05-26, rt.com) [archive.is/E3XRV]
* "Gunboat diplomacy: Cameron pledges warship & support to Libyan unity government" (2016-05-27, rt.com) [archive.is/kBQyV]
European Union (EU) / NATO
Documenting economic and political trends across the EU jurisdictions, and international operations.
Maps: Homeland and overseas territories [archive.is/iqAFG], global Exclusive Economic Zone [archive.is/GJkE9]
* " 'Drunk' EU chief Junker face slaps world leaders at summit in resurfaced viral video" (2016-06-05, rt.com) [archive.is/TeS9S]
* "French admirals back Brexit, say it would slam ‘screeching brakes’ on EU army plans" (2016-06-13, rt.com) [archive.is/A1ZGR]
* "German plans to lead NATO buildup ‘big mistake’ on anniversary of 1941 Nazi invasion – ex-Сhancellor" (2016-06-12, rt.com) [archive.is/SQzHK]
* "NATO boosts build-up in E. Europe, confirms deployment of four multinational battalions" (2016-06-14, rt.com) [archive.is/oup6z]
* "Germany to take on bigger military role: draft document" (2016-05-27, AFP Newswire) [archive.is/fK8nS]
* "From partner to rival: Germany to designate Russia 'a security challenge' – report" (2016-06-05, rt.com) [archive.is/utYuu]
* "German minister wants EU to curb foreign investors" (2016-06-09, AFP Newswire) [archive.is/GRc0k] [begin excerpt]: Germany's economy minister urged Thursday the EU to shield its key industries from foreign investors after Chinese appliance giant Midea made a controversial bid for German robotics group Kuka. [end excerpt]
Collage of the logos for the ballot box fascist parties across the European Union, aided by European Union capitalists and inspired by the historical parties who participated in the fascist European Union's invasion of the USSR, 1941, which murdered over 20 million civilians.
* "Tax hikes, more austerity: Osborne’s punishing recipe for post-Brexit budget" (2016-06-15, rt.com) [archive.is/50Wef]
* " ‘BeLEAVE in Britain!’ Rupert Murdoch’s Sun backs Brexit as ‘Leave’ takes poll lead" (2016-06-14, rt.com) [archive.is/jLQRh]
* "Vote Leave unveils post-Brexit ‘roadmap’ as Remain camp warns of ‘decades of uncertainty’ " (2016-06-15, rt.com) [archive.is/zOUGn]
* "German govt unsure about visa-free regime for Georgia & Ukraine, fearing spike in crime rate" (2016-06-05, rt.com) [archive.is/x4VRE]
* "EU-Turkey refugee deal illegal, court challenge claims" (2016-06-14, rt.com) [archive.is/SQjLd]
* "Merkel ‘ready to give in to Turkish blackmail’ on visa free-travel – leaked UK diplomatic cables" (2016-06-14, rt.com) [archive.is/IpHEh]
* "EU envoy to Turkey steps down after Ankara sees red over visa comments" (2016-06-15, rt.com) [archive.is/WNw8V]
* "Greece: Protesters march against NATO & EU at Souda military base" [https://youtu.be/sZ3O01a1RDA]
* "Euro 2016: 82 security staff revealed to be on terror watch list – French intelligence" (2016-06-05, rt.com) [archive.is/7DLX4]
* "Deportation coming? Bus with 50 Russian Euro 2016 fans ‘blocked, searched’ by French police" (2016-06-14, rt.com) [archive.is/msC1n]
* "Euro 2016: Russia handed €150k fine, may be disqualified if more fan violence" (2016-06-14, rt.com) [archive.is/Tw4jd]
* "Sepp Blatter claims European draws were rigged" (2016-06-14, rt.com) [archive.is/bcMyO]
United Kingdom of Great Britain (UKGB) (EU Member)
* "UK ‘most corrupt country in the world’ – mafia expert" (2016-05-30, rt.com) [archive.is/asUcN]
* "Public health: a matter of private profit; The proposed new junior doctors’ contracts and cuts to student nurse bursaries are part of the drive to turn our hospitals into profit-taking enterprises" (2016-04, cpgb-ml.org) [archive.is/lc9vZ]
* "Police lies revealed at Hillsborough; Orgreave must be next; Inquiry reveals police guilt for 96 unnecessary deaths in Sheffield, and highlights the militarised and anti-worker culture that grew out of the political policing of the miners’ strike five years earlier" (2016-05, cpgb-ml.org) [archive.is/Z3cdL]
Republic of France (EU Member)
* "Chaos, uncertainty & anger: 5 ways anti-labor reform protests disrupt life in France" (2016-05-27, rt.com) [archive.is/Ck5KI]
* "Dramatic Photos Capture The Chaos In France As Strikes Escalate; French protesters accuse the government of undemocratically passing controversial labor reforms" (2016-05-25, huffingtonpost.com) [archive.is/1YuZG]
* "Against the criminalization of social movements: open-channel - they are blocking everything!" (Alternative Libertaire AL) machine translation [archive.is/iobq1]
* "Against the labor law: strike, blockade, sabotage" (Alternative Libertaire AL) machine translation [archive.is/Ap9Ha]
* "Railwaymen: renewed strike, finally?" (Alternative Libertaire AL) machine translation [archive.is/8Hvgq]
(1) Loi travail: grèves en vue dans les transports (Labor Law: Strikes in Transportation Looming – France Orange News 31 mai 2016. Top French Business Representative uses shrill “war on terror” rhetoric against Labor Organization now in the 4th month of their campaign of strategic opposition to the Labor “Reform” Law passed by executive decree. The bypassing if the French legislature was done as some sort of emergency response to France being said to be under attack from Syrian Muslims due to the Charilie Hebdo & Nov 13, 2015 events. http://finance.orange.fr/actualite-eco/article/loi-travail-greves-en-vue-dans-les-transports-CNT000000pnvzw.html
“Pierre Gattaz, president of Medef, has added fuel to the fire Monday by accusing the CGT union of behaving like "thugs" and "terrorists", remarks considered "scandalous" by the leader of the CGT Philippe Martinez and have drawn criticism from the political side. The boss of bosses urged the government not to give in "to blackmail, violence, intimidation, terror."
Loi Travail: la fronde menée par les syndicats CGT et Force Ouvrière, entre dans son quatrième mois, avec des grèves dans les transports. (The front led by the CGT and Workers Force enters into its 4th month, with strikes in transportation.) La fronde contre le projet de loi travail, menée par la CGT et Force ouvrière, est entré lundi dans son quatrième mois, avec de nouvelles grèves prévues cette semaine affectant les trains et le transport aérien, à douze jours du début de l'Euro de football. (The revolt against the labor law, led by the CGT and Force Ouvrière, entered its fourth month last Monday, with further strikes planned this week affecting trains and air travel, twelve days before the start of the Euro soccer games.)
(2) Hollande Bypasses France’s Lower House on Labor Law Overhaul By Adam Nossiter May 10, 2016 New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/11/world/europe/france-hollande-labor-law-changes.html
Excerpt: Amid boos and catcalls, France’s Socialist government forced an overhaul of the country’s rigid labor laws through the National Assembly on Tuesday, hoping to bring down chronically high unemployment before elections next year. The decision to bypass a vote and ram the measure through with a rarely used executive power followed weeks of street protests against the legislation and unyielding opposition from some Socialist lawmakers. President François Hollande’s government says making France’s labor laws more flexible will encourage employers to hire more people, but critics of the measure, including labor and student unions, are fiercely opposed to what they say is a weakening of worker safeguards. The government’s support of the bill has sparked demonstrations, some of them violent, a grass-roots political movement that has camped for weeks in a major Paris square and angry cries of betrayal from inside the Socialist Party. The decision to push the bill through the National Assembly without a vote left Mr. Hollande and his government facing the risk of intensified backlash a year before the presidential election….
Mr. Valls told the members of Parliament: “I am doing this, we are doing this, because we are convinced that this reform paves the way for lasting employment, and brings into the labor market those who are excluded, and so that, most notably, our smaller firms are able to hire.” But a representative from the Communist Party, André Chassaigne, denounced Mr. Valls and the government’s use of force. “This is a sign of the government’s impotence, its turning in on itself,” Mr. Chassaigne shouted in the ornate marbled Parliament chamber. “Who could have imagined that a leftist government would seek to crush our social model?” Outside the chamber throngs of reporters pounced on the members of Parliament as they emerged from the heated session. “The government is taking us on a strange trip,” said Laurent Baumel, a Socialist who is part of a group that opposes Mr. Hollande called the Frondeurs, or Rebels. “This calls into question the values to which I am attached.”
(3) French labour law: Government forced to use emergency powers to push through controversial changes by force - The issue has resulted in increasingly angry street protests by militant unions and students by John Lichfield in Paris Tuesday 10 May 2016 UK Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/french-labour-law-government-forced-to-use-emergency-powers-to-push-through-controversial-changes-by-a7023371.html
Excerpt: The French government has resorted to its emergency powers to impose changes in employment law which have provoked violent protest in recent days. In a stinging reverse for President François Hollande a year before elections, the government failed to persuade a blocking minority of its own Socialist deputies to support plans to simplify and loosen France’s complex rules on hiring and firing. Defying increasingly angry street protests by militant unions and students, the government moved to by-pass a parliamentary vote and impose the changes by decree in the next few days. The Prime Minister Manuel Valls told parliament – to scattered boos and heckling – that he had been authorised by a cabinet meeting to use clause 49.3 of the constitution to “engage the government’s responsibility” and push through the changes. Unless the government loses a confidence vote – which seems unlikely – the reforms will become law.
(4) Labour Protests Continue - French Workers Fight Back by Gearóid Ó Colmáin - Gearóid Ó Colmáin is an Irish journalist and political analyst based in Paris. His work focuses on globalisation, geopolitics and class struggle.
Excerpts: All over France strikes and demonstrations are taking place. People are protesting against the French government’s attempt to reform labour laws which would make it easier to hire and fire workers. French labour laws have always been seen as an obstacle to progress by the ruling class due to the modest protection they afford workers. Since the popular front of 1936 and in particular the National Council of the Resistance formed after the liberation in 1945, French worker made significant gains. These ‘acquis sociaux’ or social gains are now being brutally rolled back by a powerful oligarchy bent on driving down the price of labour and increasing the profits of capitalists.
The leftist intellectuals of ‘Nuit debout’ are attempting to gain control of the workers movement. This needs to be resisted with an iron fist! No more specious sloganeering about ‘social republics’ and ‘another world is possible!’ It is time for French workers to bring all enterprises public and private under their control.
The labour movement needs to understand the connection between the fraudulent war on terror, the endless foreign wars and their own class oppression. Terrorist attacks requiring more militarisation and suspension of civil liberties will be used by the state to crush working class solidarity, inciting racism and xenophobia. Coercive engineered migration, whereby oligarchs such as George Soros are financing the replacement of European workers by migrants, will be also be used to crush working class unity. Therefore, the first stage in social emancipation will require the affirmation of national sovereignty – an end to the ultra-leftist and infantile slogan of ‘no borders’ which has always meant ‘capitalism without borders’. If this movement is led by workers, then the national revolution can become a socialist one, spreading throughout Europe and the world.
Republic of Latvia (EU Member)
* " ‘Best intentions’: Gardner let off hook for mowing swastika into Latvian president’s lawn" (2016-06-04, rt.com) [archive.is/gGYSs]
Republic of Ukraine (EU / NATO associate state)
“Oligarchs are Ukraine’s wealth”, says new Ukrainian PM V.Groyssman (from Poroshenko's faction) in response to criticism against oligarchy in power, reports Business.ua. "We naively used to think that the wealth are people, nature, industries and natural resources but the main ‘treasure’ are our oligarchs and they should be defended".
original article (2016-04-21, business.ua) [archive.is/JOasv], machine translated [archive.is/4X7KJ].
* "Poroshenko appoints former NATO chief Rasmussen ‘non-staff adviser’ " (2016-05-28, rt.com) [archive.is/B0Bdg]
* "Torture, intimidation, secret jails: UN reveals Ukraine’s ‘grim’ human rights record" (2016-06-03, rt.com) [archive.is/mnLbX]
* "Citing obstruction, UN torture prevention panel suspends Ukraine visit" (2016-05-25, un.org) [archive.is/Cr9C6]
* "Odessa's Vietnamese Riot in Protest at 'Government Raid' Thuggery; Ukraine's coastal city of Odessa saw confrontations between the police and the Vietnamese community on Monday during the course of protests at the activities of self-described government employees, who broke into property and looted their belongings" (2016-05-25, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/wj9nM]
* "Criminal case of Ukraine Government against WFTU cadre Pierpaolo Leonardi must be withdrawn now!" (2016-05-24, wftucentral.org) [archive.is/g7AQj]
* "Ukrainian Television Channels Honor Symon Petliura, Mass Murderer of 50,000 Jews" (2016-06-07, by Steven Argue) [archive.is/KVKSW]. Photo caption: Ukrainian Youth Association honoring Symon Petliura.
Union of People's Republics of Novorossiya
For more info, with maps, and link, visit [NovorossiyaSolidarity.blogspot.com]; More news [dninews.com]
* "Donetsk and Lugansk: People on the front line against fascism" (2016-05-18, workers.org) [archive.is/2y8Ng]
* "Zakharchenko explains conditions for a future reunification of Donetsk with Ukraine during online discussion with Kherson region residents" (2016-05-25, Lenta.ru, translation by newcoldwar.org) [archive.is/K6aM0]
* "Head of Lugansk People's Republic recognizes monument to Alexei Mozgovoi in Alchevsk" (2016-05-26, redstaroverdonbass.blogspot.nl) [archive.is/B1QHz]
* Ukraine June 9, 2016 - Civilians Bombed by Kiev [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYskRbXuoEo]
* 30,000 People protest against the OSCE in Donetsk (2016-06-10) [youtube.com/watch?v=EqohDHKYj6M]
Attacks against the People's Republics of Novorossiya (a daily calender)
* (2016-05-27, facebook.com/russell.b.bentley): Ukrop nazis are now shooting at their own comrades in the OSCE. The OSCE are only cover and spies for the ukrops, now they get a little taste of their own medicine. I hope they like it. They sure deserve it.
* "The unconfirmed ruinoy information, blind mission begins to slowly move away, far away from where they're shooting" [archive.is/Nwonl]:
* "Ukrainian fighters shelled nearly 600 times the DPR territory" (2016-06-09, novorossia.today) [archive.is/ATjkC]: Armed forces of Ukraine shelled DPR territory 600 times for the last 24 hours.
Deputy of the DPR Command-In-Chief reported that Ozerynovka, Zaytsevo, Mayorsk, Gorlovka, Yakovlevka close to Yasinovataya, Dokuchaevsk, Petrovskiy, Kievskiy and Kuibishevskiy districts of Donetsk were shelled.
44 buildings destroyed by Kiev punitives in the DPR for the last 24 hours.
It is necessary to add that the Donetsk City Administration reported about 13 destroyed populated houses in Donetsk districts, and 14 houses damaged in the village Zaytsevo (Gorlovka).
* "Once Again Nazi Ukraine Junta Bombs Civilian Areas Of Donetsk, Many Casualties And Destruction!" (2016-06-10, novorossia.today) [archive.is/XoEHT]: WAR CRIMES ! Once again Nazi Ukraine forces had shelled with mortars last night the cities and villages in the Donetsk People’s Republic located along the contact line. “The Nazi Ukrainian side was shelling Sakhanka, Kominternovo, Leninskoye, Gorlovka, Yasinovataya checkpoint , Mineralnoye, Staromikhailovka and Dokuchaevsk between 20.00 and 04.02 hours firing a total of 70 120-mm and 70 82-mm mortar shells,” he said. Overnight on June 9, the Nazi Ukrainian military carried out massive artillery and mortar attacks of Donetsk, Makeevka, Yasinovataya and Dokuchaevsk. A civilian was killed, 15 others wounded, 44 buildings, two coal mines and two enterprises were damaged.
Members of the Contact Group on the settlement in the Donbass region (eastern Ukraine) agreed in Minsk on April 29 a new “regime of silence” as of April 30. However, the parties to the conflict continue to accuse each other of violating the truce.
* "Donetsk Blog, June 10: Donetsk Under Heavy Fire - 3-Year-Old Wounded - Childbirth in Basement" (2016-06-10, russia-insider.com) [archive.is/7Jvep]
Novorossiya Armed Forces (NAF) Operations
Russell Bonner Bentley [plus.google.com/+RussellBentleyTexac/posts] [facebook.com/russell.b.bentley] [vk.com/donbasstexac]
* (2016-06-05, Novorossia News) [archive.is/qF1dA]: During a drill, Arseny Pavlov (‘#Motorola’) received a shrapnel wound in his left eye. The ‘#Sparta’ Battalion commander got brought into a hospital in St. Petersburg for a surgery.
* (2016-05-27, Russell Bentley, vk.com/donbasstexac) [archive.is/QDNWZ]:
People's Republic of Donetsk (DPR, or DNR)
* "Zakharchenko announced holding public primaries in all districts of Donetsk city" (2016-05-24, dninews.com) [archive.is/75dkT]
Moldovan Republic of Pridnestrovie (Transnistria, Trans-Dniestr, Transdniestria, or Transdnieper)
More info at [http://is.gd/G6paP5]
* "Moldova, Transdniestria begin to implement agreements reached at Berlin talks; The sides agreed to continue efforts to coordinate a draft document on cooperation in a number of spheres" (2016-06-10, tass.ru) [archive.is/5Ebc1]
Photo caption: Border between Moldova and Transnistria
Map of Moldova and Transnistria:
Republic of Chechnya (part of the Federation of Russia)
The "Democratic" proxies of the USA would prefer their Salafist partners tied to Saudi Arabia to administer the Republic of Chechnya, for a permanent forward base of operations against the entire Federation of Russia... towards the imposition of Salafist Law against the people of the Republic of Tatarstan, which is situated next door to Moscow itself!
* "Ramzan Kadyrov, John Oliver and the power of ridicule" (2016-06-03, opendemocracy.net) [archive.is/Z62ch]
* (2016-06-03, USC Institute of Armenian Studies, facebook.com/uscarmenian): USC Institute of Armenian Studies Fellow Karena Avedissian writes in Open Democracy Russia about #FindKadyrovsCat and how the Internet, contrary to notions about its democratizing potential, can be used to cement autocratic survival in the post-Soviet space.
* photo caption [is.gd/mJejoH]: October 2015: A huge portrait of Russian president Vladimir Putin and a sign reading "To the best president, Happy Birthday" covers the pitch of the Akhmat Arena, Grozny.
Federation of Russia (EEU Member)
Map [archive.is/yFbmy]. News: [rbth.com]
* "Poll: Most Russians Prefer Return of Soviet Union and Socialism" (2016-04-20, telesurtv.net) [archive.is/eZu74]
* "1 in 10 Russians ready to claim free land in Far East" (2016-06-03, rt.com) [archive.is/oiPWC]
* "Chief investigator proposes law on Russia’s ‘national idea’ " (2016-05-26, rt.com) [archive.is/JeBUH]: The head of Russia’s top federal law enforcement agency says the community should jointly develop a national idea, along with a strategy for its implementation, and include these concepts in the national legislative base.
Chief of the Investigative Committee Aleksandr Bastrykin made the proposal at the international conference on law enforcement that is currently taking place in Moscow, a spokesman for the agency told reporters on Thursday.
Bastrykin did not suggest any exact formula of the national idea, but listed several ideas that, in his view, could become the basis of this concept.
“First of all, the ideas that will become its essence must reflect not the momentary situational interests of our state, but the strategic interests of long-term perspective,” RIA Novosti quoted him as saying.
“Second, these ideas must be fully based on the internal and external conditions in which our state exists – the historical traditions, the mentality of our people, geopolitical positioning of our country, the economic, demographic, ecological, and a number of other factors,” he added.
“Third, they must envelop all spheres of life – the socio-political, the economic and the spiritual ones,” Bastrykin said.
President Vladimir Putin addressed the topic in February, telling a major conference of business leaders that the only possible unifying idea for Russia is patriotism.
“We have no national idea besides patriotism, and there can be no other,” Putin told the participants of the Leaders’ Club session.
Putin went on to say that the idea of patriotism “is not ideologized or associated with the work of a party or any social structure," and urged that all members of Russian society to discuss it constantly and on all levels.
In May 2015, Bastrykin said in a public speech that Russia should introduce changes to its Constitution in order to end the precedence of international laws. He claimed that the principle of the superiority of international law over domestic had been added to Russian legislation in 1993 due to the strong backing of US advisors, and called this move a possible act of legislative sabotage against Russia.
This proposal has not yet made it into a bill, but later in the year MPs representing all four Russian parliamentary parties jointly drafted the bill that once passed into law would give more powers to the Constitutional Court, allowing Russia to legally ignore the decisions of foreign justice bodies.
The sponsors of the bill wrote in explanations accompanying the document that it seeks to secure the “legal sovereignty” of the Russian Federation and to “oppose the prejudiced rulings” that demand huge monetary compensation from Russia’s budget.
In December 2015, Putin signed this bill into law.
* "Washington snubs Russia's economic forum, EU's Juncker to attend" (2016-06-10, rt.com) [archive.is/rvOJw]
* "Russia military might trounces that of US, NATO: Analyst" (2016-05-29, presstv.ir) [archive.is/CuVjX]
* "Russian Commandos Carry Suppressed Rifles That Can Shoot Through Body Armor The AS Val and VSS are fearsome weapons" (2016-05-30, warisboring.com) [archive.is/hEpVC]
* "Russian Satellites Resistant to Any Possible Control Interception; The control system of Russia's satellite constellation is protected from any outside intervention, and disabling Russian satellites or intercepting control over them is not possible, Russia's Titov Main Test and Space Systems Control Center said Saturday" (2016-05-21, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/IVXnP]
* "Russia Helps Guatemalan Man Become His Country’s First Cosmonaut; Vinicio Montoya de León, a 49-year old native of Guatemala, is set to become the first Central American astronaut in history by late 2018 – early 2019" (2016-05-24, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/DIEkm]
* "Russia to Create New Powerful Plasma Rocket Engine - Roscosmos; A Russian rocket engine company, with the assistance of a major research and development institute, will work on a project to create a powerful electrodeless plasma rocket engine, Russia’s Roscosmos space corporation said Wednesday" (2016-05-26, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/Ibpzf], photo caption: The forward section of the experimental rocket, right, showing several of the scentific instruments that will measure the dusty plasma.
* "Putin issues ‘humanitarian’ pardons for 2 Ukrainians held on terror charges – Kremlin" (2016-06-14, rt.com) [archive.is/YrEik]
Foreign Hostilities against Russian people and entities
* "RT reporter Anna Baranova harassed by ‘pro-Ukraine’ protesters during Paris demo" (2016-05-26, rt.com) [archive.is/FmGWh]
Russian Repression Report: Actual incidents and false stories explained
* "Putin signs NGO bill exempting charities from Russia’s ‘foreign agents law’ " (2016-06-03, rt.com) [archive.is/4j1sI]
Eurasian Union (EEU) / Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)
EEU Map [archive.is/7gu7z]
* "One year passes since formation of Eurasian Economic Union; The Eurasian Economic Union was created on the base of the Customs Union and the Common Free Market Zone of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan" (2016-01-03, tass.ru) [archive.is/zh2T5]
* "Common market of medications in Eurasian Economic Union ‘cannot work de facto' " (2016-05-25, eng.belta.by) [archive.is/42RzY]
* "India considers accession to Eurasian Economic Union, Kazakh ambassador says" (2016-05-20, theasian.asia) [archive.is/9Xry5]
* "Poll: EU Membership Loses to Eurasian Union Among Moldovans; Moldovans are increasingly in favor of joining the Russia-led Customs Union over the European Union, a newly published public survey said Wednesday" (2016-05-04, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/rftST]
* "Eurasian Economic Union-Iran Free Trade Area Talks May Start in June" (2016-05-25, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/w4e44]
* "Iran’s Membership in Eurasian Economic Union May Serve as 'Economic Bridge' ; An analysis of the potential benefits for countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) to conclude an interim agreement on free trade with Iran will be completed by the end of this year, according to Minister of Trade of the Eurasian Economic Commission, Veronica Nikishina" (2016-06-13, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/n6gZE]
* "Belarus, Eurasian Economic Union encouraged to step up cooperation with Afghanistan" (2016-06-15, eng.belta.by) [archive.is/lIdTU]
* "Serbian Trade Deal With Eurasian Union Worries Experts Free-trade deal with Russian-dominated economic bloc offers Serbia little - and could damage Belgrade's relations with the EU, experts warn" (2016-06-14, balkaninsight.com) [archive.is/xfpfp]
* "EEC Chair Sargsyan Says Eurasian Economic Union Developing, Expanding Ties with Others" (2016-06-07, astanatimes.com) [archive.is/9oFM5]
* "Eurasian Economic Union, Israel to wrap up work on free trade zone deal in 2017 — official; Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Trade Minister Veronika Nikishina said that on the sidelines of the Russia-ASEAN summit" (2016-05-19, tass.ru) [archive.is/ayTHN]
* "Eurasian Economic Union on the move" (2016-06-08, by Dr. Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Deputy foreign minister 2005-2011, via rt.com) [archive.is/j70Yn], photo caption: May 31, 2016. A restricted meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council at the level of heads of state in Astana.
On May 31, 2016, Presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan – members of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council of the Eurasian Economic Union – met in Astana to mark the second anniversary of the signing of the EAEU Treaty.
The leaders of the EAEU member-states confirmed their commitment to building a closer relationship with the view of raising each other’s competitiveness and involvement in global economy.
The governments and businesses of the Eurasian Economic Union are now gaining experience in working together. Collaboration within the Union offers an opportunity to consolidate resources and create favorable conditions for joint economic development, while economic integration requires a higher level of mutual macroeconomic coordination.
Within this context great importance is attached to continuous implementation of the main macroeconomic goals set by the EAEU member-states for 2016–2017 and development of new effective mechanisms aimed at harnessing our joint economic potential. This helps the member-countries stabilize their economies and overcome the consequences of negative economic developments. The internal issues of our cooperation have been largely settled and regulated.
This year the EAEU countries will form a common market in the socially important area of drugs and healthcare products. They expect to build a common electricity market by 2019, which will provide the member-states with a $7bn GDP increase. A common hydrocarbons market is to be put in place by 2025, the cumulative effect of which may exceed $1bn for gas and $8bn for the oil industry. We are looking to harmonize legislation regulating construction and design, scientific research and tourism.
The EAEU gives a high priority to liaisons with other countries and important integration associations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and ASEAN. The Union has a growing network of international contacts. Last year the EAEU signed its first free trade zone agreement with Vietnam. The Eurasian Commission has signed Memoranda of Understanding with the Governments of Mongolia, Peru and Chile, one with Serbia is to follow. Cooperation agreements with South Korea, Ecuador and MERCOSUR are also in the pipeline. We welcome the outline of a legal framework for cooperation with ASEAN member-states Cambodia and Singapore and similar documents (altogether more than twenty) signed with national governments and international organizations. Other countries that have expressed an interest in establishing closer ties with the EAEU include Egypt, India, Iran, and Israel.
At the same time, the EAEU has been looking into the possibility of developing trade and economic ties with the European Union. We believe that cooperation between the two integrations should be aimed at achieving common goals with regard to free movement of goods, labor, services and capital. This should contribute to building a common space from Lisbon to Vladivostok with no dividing lines. In this regard we welcome the recent statement by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in favor of the eventual creation of a common economic zone between Russia and the EU.
It is clear that the EAEU is gradually gaining ground as a modern economic integration project committed to cater for economic developmental needs of its member-countries and networking in a wider international environment.
* "Russia calls upon EU to engage with Eurasian Economic Union" (2016-04-13, by Dr. Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Deputy foreign minister 2005-2011, via rt.com) [archive.is/g7uQb]:
The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which comprises 182.7 million people and constitutes the world’s 6th trading organization per GDP (USD 2.2 trillion) has become a vital new element of the global economic architecture .
The EU remains the largest trading partner for the EAEU: in terms of import (with 43.8 percent of market share in 2014), followed by China (19.4 percent), USA (6.7 percent), Ukraine (4.4 percent), Japan (3.9 percent).In terms of export (in 2014 the EU share in total EAEU export was 56.5 percent), followed by China (8.6 percent), Turkey (4.8 percent), Japan (3.7 percent). It seems logical for these two trading organizations to combine potential to create a free-trade area.
This initiative was proposed by President Vladimir Putin at the EU-Russia Summit in Brussels in January 2014.
Unfortunately, the Ukrainian political crisis and the coup in February 2014, which resulted from the EU pushing Kiev hard on the Association without any open debate or democratic consultation, had a negative impact on the prospects of EU-EAEU interaction. The fact that the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) was incompatible with Russia’s and Ukraine’s commitments under the CIS Free Trade Area (CIS FTA), has been disregarded by the previous Brussels team that deliberately or by ignorance laid the groundwork for the Ukrainian crisis including its economic dimension.
As a result, Russia had to suspend CIS FTA trade preferences for Ukraine “due to exceptional circumstances affecting the interests and economic security of the Russian Federation” from 1 January 2016 until further notice.
Meanwhile, the idea of a possible cooperation between the EAEU and the EU could help bridge that split. According to the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, “the EU is supportive of worldwide trade integration”, although, of course, the decision is to be made by the EU Member States.
We believe that the EAEU and the EU have everything that it takes for a real partnership, including a high level of economic complementarity and commitments to the same, WTO standards of trade.
The fact that the Eurasian and the European integration models rely on the WTO system provides a sound foundation for a comprehensive work to eliminate barriers to trade and investments and to harmonize the legal framework, business principles and technical standards.
All the parties to this eventual agreement will only benefit from trade and investment opportunities. It will also help Eastern Partnership countries to avoid painful choice either to access the EAEU or the EU and the risk of being left in the cold. After all, we all share the same continent.
* "EEC Chair Sargsyan Says Eurasian Economic Union Developing, Expanding Ties with Others" (2016-06-07, astanatimes.com) [archive.is/9oFM5]:
May 29 marked two years since the day the Treaty on Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) was signed in Astana. Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Tigran Sargsyan spoke to the Kazakhstanskaya Pravda newspaper about what the integration union is and what has changed with its emergence for EAEU citizens and businesses.
[Begin interview] -
[astanatimes.com]: The Treaty on the EAEU is now two years old. Has the union gained any global recognition so far?
[Tigran Sargsyan]: A huge amount of work, creating real results, was done over a fairly short period of time. The interest in our economic project from the more than 40 countries that have expressed a wish to develop trade and economic cooperation with the union is evidence of that. An agreement on establishing a free trade zone between the EAEU and Vietnam was signed last year and the advisability of entering into agreements with India, Egypt, Israel and Iran is being negotiated.
At the initiative of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, chair of the EAEU in 2016, deepening economic relations with third countries and integration unions are priorities of the EAEU this year.
The Asian aspect of our international cooperation is developing. Memorandums of understanding were recently signed between the EEC, Cambodia and Singapore. Both parties are interested in deepening cooperation, down to signing an agreement on a free trade zone. The commission is in dialogue with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and discussing coupling the integration processes of our union with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
We are also successfully cooperating with countries and unions of Latin America – the commission has signed memorandums of understanding with Peru and Chile, and discussions on concluding a memorandum of cooperation on trade and economic issues with the common market of South American countries (MERCOSUR) are being conducted.
Regional economic integration is a defining trend of the modern world. Countries understand that jointly overcoming new challenges and risks is more efficient in the quickly changing conditions and the uncertainty of the global economic environment. In that sense, the EAEU is developing in the mainstream of a global trend.
The EAEU’s international activity, including concluding agreements on free trade zones with third parties, will foster the development of export products from countries of the union, attract investment and support the economic growth of the EAEU as a whole by creating conditions for the diversification of trade and economic relations.
[astanatimes.com]: Increased cooperation with China is also being discussed, and the EAEU and that country have decided to link the EAEU and China’s New Silk Road Economic Belt programme. Have any steps been taken on this so far?
[Tigran Sargsyan]: On May 20, at the EEC session of the Intergovernmental Council in Yerevan, the commission received a mandate for conducting negotiations with China about concluding an agreement on trade and economic cooperation between the EAEU, its member states and China. This is big step forward. It means that our five countries will be jointly holding negotiations in a single format.
[astanatimes.com]: How can the EAEU and China cooperate?
[Tigran Sargsyan]: An advisory panel examined offers from Chinese businesses and countries of the union. The list of prospective EAEU projects to be linked with the New Silk Road Economic Belt was agreed upon. We plan to discuss an agreement on trade and economic cooperation between the union and China. To reflect the interests of the EAEU business community to the utmost is our main goal here. If our manufacturers can enter the huge Chinese market, this will be create huge potential for the development of the union.
[astanatimes.com]: What has the EAEU done to support business so far?
[Tigran Sargsyan]: Opening customs borders, first of all. This allowed companies to significantly reduce shipping times for goods going to the markets of the union’s countries and to reduce the costs of cargo clearance. Cancelling customs controls between EAEU countries allowed manufacturers to ramp up exports to other countries of the union and expand cooperation with companies from other countries …
A simplified procedure for declaring international carriage of vehicles registered inside countries of the union was legislatively fixed and is being implemented in the EAEU.
The first phase of the four-stage programme of liberalisation of coastal shipping by car began Jan. 1 this year …
Work on providing access to state procurement markets to companies from EAEU countries is being conducted. Today, mutual access is already provided for companies from Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia.
Technical regulations were developed and accepted within the EAEU that will allow optimal requirements for providing a necessary level of product safety to be established … this means reducing costs and removing trade barriers for business. … Manufacturers and importers do not need to adjust to various national standards.
[astanatimes.com]: A single market of services has been launched. What does it mean? What has changed for businesses with its emergence?
[Tigran Sargsyan]: Now, 43 sectors are part of a single market of services, in total being over 25 percent of the gross domestic product of each member state. Work on liberalising 21 more service sectors is underway.
As part of the single market of services, service suppliers are provided the highest attainable standard of freedom, which includes supplying and receiving services without limitations, withdrawals and additional requirements, except for certain cases …
[astanatimes.com]: Does the EEC discuss its decisions with the business community?
[Tigran Sargsyan]: We are in constant dialogue with the business community. The interaction is carried out via council committees and work groups. Creating favourable conditions for the efficient development of business inside countries of the union, improving regulatory systems and reducing barriers are the main tasks of the commission. We strive to promptly respond to requests by entrepreneurs. Eliminating the remaining barriers is necessary for this. The earlier they are withdrawn, the faster we will establish a united market and the more comfortable business entities will feel. Expanding the range of authority passed by countries to a supranational level is equally important. This will allow the EEC to actively render assistance to businesses.
[astanatimes.com]: Common markets of pharmaceuticals and medical products were started this year, but they are working in a restricted mode, as not all the necessary documents were accepted. What are the difficulties and when will the markets be working at full capacity?
[Tigran Sargsyan]: The pharmaceutical field is developing very fast inside EAEU countries and the main task is to create equal conditions for all participants of common markets and stimulate competitiveness. The adoption of several second-level regulatory documents is being postponed because of a difficult discussion about how to implement the registration of new medications and how to avoid creating advantages for certain business entities. Without them, common markets of pharmaceuticals and medical products cannot work fully. But the discussion is being conducted and all issues will soon be overcome.
[astanatimes.com]: What about citizens? How has the union benefited them?
[Tigran Sargsyan]: By establishing a common labour market, first of all. Working people from EAEU countries now have significant advantages over migrant workers from other countries. Particularly, they have an opportunity to stay inside the country without registering with migration service agencies for 30 days instead of seven. They have the right to social and medical provisions, including free care in clinics …
Moreover, the mutual recognition of diplomas is valid for all technical and most humanitarian specialties (except for pharmaceuticals, medicine, law and pedagogy.) Work on an agreement regarding pension provisions is in the final stage. After its signing, citizens of the EAEU will be able to receive a pension for the period of their labour activity from the state of the union where they were working, even if they are not its citizens.
The problem of double taxation of value-added tax (VAT) when individuals import goods of personal consumption and during transmission of material assets by structural units of one legal entity located in different states of the union was also resolved.
The process of decreasing prices for roaming has also begun.
Republic of Turkey (NATO member state)
* "An autopsy of the new Turkish government; The new Turkish government under Prime Minister Binali Yildirim includes and excludes some curious names" (2016-05-24, al-monitor.com) [archive.is/GCNFS]
* "Outrage as Turkish academic says people who don’t pray are ‘animals’ on state TV" (2016-06-14, rt.com) [archive.is/ep30b]
Republic of Iraq
* "Baghdad’s envoy demands Turkish troops out as Iraqi forces vow to free Fallujah ‘in a week’ " (2016-06-03, rt.com) [archive.is/dpfuB]
Arab Republic of Syria: Diplomatic and Civil News
[sana.sy/en] [syriatimes.sy] [facebook.com/United.Syrian.Republic] [sana-syria.org] [joshualandis.com/blog] [syriasolidaritymovement.org] [syrianfreepress.wordpress.com] [syrianews.cc] [acloserlookonsyria.shoutwiki.com] [syrianperspective.com] [breakingnews.sy/en.html] [almasdarnews.com]
* "Syrian President Assad hands Tory MPs a ‘kill list’ of British extremists" (2016-06-13, rt.com) [archive.is/jJXm3]
Arab Republic of Syria: War News
* "Syrian airlifter escorted by Russian jets parachutes vital aid to ISIS-besieged town" (2016-05-27, rt.com) [archive.is/y6IR7]
* " ‘Soon we’ll have democratic Syria’: US volunteers battle for ISIS capital among YPG ranks" (2016-05-30, rt.com) [archive.is/qQLjx]
* "Russian fighter jets destroy ISIS oil facilities close to Turkish border" (2016-06-03, rt.com) [archive.is/Yvggx]
* "Onslaught on ISIS: Syrian Army enters Raqqa province as Kurds, rebels advance" (2016-06-04, rt.com) [archive.is/4OLgT]
* "270 civilians killed in terrorist shelling in Syria as Al-Nusra regroups - Russian MoD" (2016-06-05, rt.com) [archive.is/CdOrk]
* "France Admits Special Forces Active In Syria" (2016-06-09, Brandon Turbeville) [archive.is/qaUTr]
* "100 Al-Nusra terrorists arrive in Syrian-Turkish border region – Russian Defense Ministry" (2016-06-15, rt.com) [archive.is/kMKoS]
The International anti-Syria Alliance, the "Free Syria Army", and allied organizations
* "The Truth About Syria: A Manufactured War Against An Independent Country; The people of the world should ask Western leaders and their allies: Why are you prolonging this war? Why do you continue funding and enabling the terrorists? Isn’t five years of civil war enough? Is overthrowing the Syrian government really worth so much suffering and death?" (2016-05-26, mintpressnews.com) [archive.is/SW2Sp]
* "Cheney, Rothschild, and Fox News’ Murdoch Begin Drilling for Oil in Syria — a Violation of Int’l Law" (2016-06-15, Claire Bernish) [archive.is/8gYHu]
* "US asks Russia not to target Al-Qaeda branch in Syria – Russian FM Lavrov" (2016-06-04, rt.com) [archive.is/Mt3Wo]
* " ‘Moderate opposition’ involved in ongoing attacks on civilians in Aleppo – Syrian FM to UN" (2016-06-06, rt.com) [archive.is/XZzp7]
* (2016-05-29) [archive.is/rwn0v]: To all those FSA fan boys out there. Who call me a hypocrite when I say that there should be no foreign intervention in Syria But then they tell me what about Russia, Hezbollah or Iran. Or when I tell them I support Russia in Syria but I oppose the West carrying out strikes in Syria.
I say to them well Russia and Hezbollah have been invited into Syria by the Syrian government. To help them fight all of these foreign backed terrorists. On the other hand countries like the UK and USA have not had any permission to be in Syria from the Syrian government. Also the West's agenda is different they are most likely using the whole bombing ISIS thing.As some kind of guise to cover what they are really doing. Destroying the infrastructure of Syria and to help these so called "rebels"
See there is a difference.
* "Syrian Analyst, Afraa Dagher, To U.S.: 'Is It Normal To Kill Kids, Women? Is This Normal For You?' " (2016-05-25, by Afraa Dagher and Brandon Turbeville) [archive.is/bGaH3]
* "Turkey slams 'unacceptable' photos of US troops wearing Kurdish patches while they fight ISIS" (2016-05-27, uk.businessinsider.com) [archive.is/uQWQZ]
* "US troops fighting ISIS to remove 'inappropriate' Kurdish patches after Turkish complaint" (2016-05-27, rt.com) [archive.is/joWhv]
Global Islamic Caliphate / Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL ; ISIS)
A USA-backed self-governing entity for the disruption of the Eurasian Union and other rival blocs.
* "Over 40,000 foreign militants from 100 countries fighting in Syria – US State Department" (2016-06-03, rt.com) [archive.is/pbfGA]
* "Al-Nusra Front in Syria gets daily weapons supplies from Turkey - Russian military" (2016-05-27, rt.com) [archive.is/ybwLj]
* "ISIS publicly burns alive 19 Kurdish women for rejecting sex slavery – report" (2016-06-05, rt.com) [archive.is/cr0el]
* "Manhunt on for 'over 20 religious radicals' after shootout, attack on military HQ in Kazakhstan" (2016-06-05, rt.com) [archive.is/nGMZv]
* "Terrorism or Tribal Solidarity? Boko Haram & Al-Qaeda in Africa" (by Emran El-Badawi) [archive.is/tVd5p]. Map caption: Al-Qaeda in Africa, 2012.
* "Three Somali-Americans in Minnesota found guilty of plotting to join ISIS" (2016-06-03, rt.com) [archive.is/MjOFF]
[kurdishdailynews.org] [facebook.com/pages/International-freedom-battalion/1597451687171173][turkeyharvest.blogspot.com] [kurdishquestion.com] [kurdishmatters.com] [kurdishrights.org] [ekurd.net][kurdishquestion.com]
* "Slajov Zizek: Kurds are the most progressive, democratic nation in the Middle East" (2015-10-22, kurdishquestion.com) [archive.is/slPcS]
South Kurdistan (Basur), within the jurisdiction of the Republic of Iraq
* "Kurdish forces equipped with T-55 tanks launch ISIS offensive" (2016-05-30, rt.com) [archive.is/YZC5a]
West Kurdistan (Rojava), within the jurisdiction of the Arab Republic of Syria, governed by the Rojava Kurdistan Democratic Autonomous Administration
Map [archive.is/7Z32s]. News [rojavareport.wordpress.com].
* "Will Afrin be the next Kobani? Afrin, one of the three cantons of Rojava, strives to provide refuge to its population despite the blockade by Turkey and its allies" (2016-06-09, al-monitor.com) [archive.is/PoNTU]
State of Israel and international operations
[972mag.com] [dukium.org] [icahd.org] [haaretz.com] [i24news.tv] [tabletmag.com] [jpost.com]
* "Netanyahu: Israel Will 'Never Accept' Palestinian State, End of Settlements; The Israeli Prime Minister caved to hardliners in his own administration in renouncing his support for a peace plan that he initially boasted about" (2016-06-15, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/Etnw2]
* "Israel elected to head permanent U.N. committee for first time" (2016-0-13, Reuters Newswire) [archive.is/hLWSs] [begin excerpt]: The so-called Legal Committee, or Sixth Committee, oversees issues related to international law. The General Assembly has six standing committees that report to it, on: disarmament, economic and financial issues, human rights, decolonization, the U.N. budget, and legal issues.
"I am proud to be the first Israeli elected to this position," Israel U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon said in a statement.
"Israel is a world leader in international law and in fighting terrorism," he added. "We are pleased to have the opportunity to share our knowledge with the countries of the world."
Israel was a candidate for the regional Western European and Others Group (WEOG) and received a comfortable majority of votes - 109 out of 175 valid votes cast in the 193-nation assembly. Sweden was runner-up with 10 votes. [end excerpt]
* "Netanyahu Unaware of the Camera 'America can easily be moved' " [www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrtuBas3Ipw]: Netanyahu 'America Won't Get in Our Way..It's Easily Moved (Bibi orders the cameras to stop recording in the beginning but they keep rolling after 00:06) Mileikowsky later changed his name to Netanyahu is of polish origin. Footage recorded in 2001, full VIDEO, this part taken from HERE:
Video mentioned in Hebrew-language media [archive.is/6zU9X].
* "Netanyahu: 'America is a thing you can move very easily' " (2010-07-16, voices.washingtonpost.com) [archive.is/25rF]
* "It’s Time for a Formal U.S. Alliance With Israel; Why doesn’t America have a treaty pledging collective defense of Israel?" (2016-09-25, foreignpolicy.com) [archive.is/pqPw8], comment from [archive.is/A8uBl]: Israel is not an ally of the US. All the US candidates know that there is no alliance treaty between the 2 countries, because when LBJ offered a treaty to Israel after the 6 Day war in '67, Israel refused. Why? Every alliance treaty requires that signatories define precisely the borders of their country and bind themselves to notifying all other signatories of any military action about to be taken against a 3rd nation. Israel still finds these traditional alliance requirements unacceptable, hence no alliance treaty exists between Israel & the US. There is no treaty of alliance between Israel and the U.S. A treaty of alliance with the U.S. would actually be less advantageous to the Israeli State than the status quo. Treaties spell out the responsibilities and obligations of the signatories. As matters stand now, Israel has a de facto book of blank checks from the U.S. which it can cash at any time. Witness Obama's groveling before AIPAC recently.
* "U.S.-Israel Relations: Formal Agreements (1950 - Present)" (retrived 2016-05 from jewishvirtuallibrary.org) [archive.is/PaALa]
* "What’s behind the US media’s special relationship with Israel?" (2016-06-03, electronicintifada.net) [archive.is/UJthP]
* "With Latest Denial of Rights, Israel May be Guilty of 'Collective Punishment': UN; After deadly Tel Aviv attack, Israel cracks down, boosting troops in West Bank and barring Palestinian entry for Ramadan" (2016-06-10, commondreams.org) [archive.is/U3jPm]
* "Israel Demolished $73M Worth of EU-Funded Projects in Palestine; A new report said Israel has been targeting EU-funded projects in Palestine over the bloc’s decision to label Israeli products made in settlements" (2016-06-06, telesurtv.net) [archive.is/jHuIw]: Palestinian boys walk past the remains of their house, which was funded by the EU's aid arm after being demolished by Israeli forces Jan. 21, 2016.
* "Israeli Who Burned Palestinian Baby To Death Released From Custody Without Charge" (2016-06-06, newcenturytimes.com) [https://is.gd/QiBxym]
* "Says his aunt: ’He wants to change the laws of the country to the laws of the Torah. That’s his right’ ; Who is Meir Ettinger, the Shin Bet’s No.1 alleged Jewish nationalist?Meir Kahane’s grandson is being held in the wake of a rash of extremist attacks, including the fatal firebombing of a Palestinian home; his lawyer says he’s never been involved in violence" (2015-08-06, timesofisrael.com) [archive.is/85e9r]
* "The death of Ali Dawabsheh; Death of 18-month-old baby has left Palestinians feeling helpless as other members of family fight for their lives" (2015-08-04, aljazeera.com) [archive.is/XjeXs]
* "Israel a ‘prisoners’ paradise,’ says American cable series; MSNBC’s ‘Lockup: World Tour’ visits the Jewish State and passes an encouraging verdict" (2012-09-15, timesofisrael.com) [is.gd/jcRlDh]
* " 'My Hell in an Israeli Jail': Israel Prison Population 90 Percent Black Africans" (2009-07-21, blackagendareport.com) [archive.is/dfTcd]
* "If you boycott Israel, New York state will boycott you" (by New York State Gov. Coumo, for the washingtonpost.com) [archive.is/Iq57P]
* " ‘We are Israel and Israel is us’ — Governor Cuomo couldn’t make things clearer!" (2016-06-11, mondoweiss.net) [archive.is/FWkHy] [begin excerpt]: Cuomo tries to meet the widespread contention by civil libertarians that his order is a McCarthyist blacklist on free speech by arguing that BDS is anti-semitism: “the politics of discrimination, hatred and fear. [...] There is a clear, well-established legal distinction between political speech — whom you vote for, whom you stand with in a public rally — and blatant discriminatory conduct such as BDS activities. If a business owner refuses to serve or hire someone based on race, religion or ethnicity, it is illegal and sanctionable. If that same person attends a political rally decrying one group of people — African Americans, Jews, the LGBT community — it is constitutionally protected speech."
So the governor entirely conflates Judaism and Zionism, and leaves out the many Jews who support BDS. [end excerpt]
* "NY Gov. Cuomo signs “unconstitutional, McCarthyite” pro-Israel exec. order punishing BDS boycott movement; Andrew Cuomo pushed through discriminatory policy to punish groups that boycott Israel for Palestinian human rights" (2016-06-05, salon.com) [archive.is/ANRQm]
* "Union officials suppress member support for BDS" (2016-05-25, palestinelegal.org) [archive.is/Qjh3z] [begin excerpt]: As a growing number of local unions endorse Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) in solidarity with Palestinian workers, the United Auto Workers (UAW) Public Review Board last week affirmed a decision to nullify the BDS resolution adopted by members of Local 2865.
UAW Local 2865 – which represents over 14,000 graduate student workers at the University of California (UC) – voted by an overwhelming majority in December, 2014 to demand that their union and their employer, the UC, divest from companies complicit in human rights violations against Palestinians. A few members who opposed the resolution engaged a union-busting corporate law firm to appeal the vote. In December 2015, the International UAW, which oversees Local 2865, nullified the vote – despite its own finding that the local conducted a fair and democratic election. The local union appealed, and last week, the union’s Public Review Board affirmed the nullification.
The new decision reasons that because the UAW International president signed a letter opposing BDS in 2007, UAW now holds a position against BDS, and subordinate membership groups cannot assert a different position. But this reasoning ignores the fact that the 2007 statement was signed without any record of discussion among the Executive Board, much less any debate among the UAW’s membership.
Rank and file member of Local 2865, Jennifer Mogannam, said, “This decision cannot erase the fact that increasing numbers of UAW members stand in solidarity with Palestinian workers. … Clearly, several thousand UAW members from coast to coast disagree with the president from 2007. The International union cannot just reach into a dusty file cabinet to shut down the growing number of members who want to discuss and change the union’s position on BDS." [end excerpt]
* "Meet Bibi’s New Tribulation-Courting, Jew-Converting, Demon-Exorcising American Allies; Netanyahu and Christian Zionists have long enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship. But with a new, more radical sect ascending within the movement, the marriage may be in trouble" (2015-03-22, thedailybeast.com) [archive.is/ihAsx]
* " ‘Anti-zionism is not antisemitism’, statement on ‘Labour’s problem with antisemitism’ " (2016-04-28, Jewish Socialists’ Group, jewishsocialist.org.uk) [archive.is/HIuTg]:
The following statement was issued by the Jewish Socialists Group (JSG) on 28 April 2016, in response to the contrived campaign accusing the Jeremy Corbyn leadership of the Labour party of antisemitism. This campaign not only seeks to undermine Corbyn. More importantly, it is but the latest example of a concerted attempt by imperialism and its zionist stooges to equate the settler colonial state of Israel with the jewish religion, culture and people, and thereby to criminalise support for the just struggle of the Palestinian people.
Antisemitism exists and must be exposed and fought against in the same way as other forms of racism by all who are concerned with combating racism and fascism.
Antisemitism and anti-zionism are not the same. Zionism is a political ideology which has always been contested within jewish life since it emerged in 1897, and it is entirely legitimate for non-jews as well as jews to express opinions about it, whether positive or negative. Not all jews are zionists. Not all zionists are jews.
Criticism of Israeli government policy and Israeli state actions against the Palestinians is not antisemitism. Those who conflate criticism of Israeli policy with antisemitism, whether they are supporters or opponents of Israeli policy, are actually helping the antisemites. We reject any attempt, from whichever quarter, to place legitimate criticism of Israeli policy out of bounds.
Accusations of antisemitism are currently being weaponised to attack the Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour party with claims that Labour has a ‘problem’ of antisemitism. This is despite Corbyn’s longstanding record of actively opposing fascism and all forms of racism, and being a firm a supporter of the rights of refugees and of human rights globally.
A very small number of such cases seem to be real instances of antisemitism. Others represent genuine criticism of Israeli policy and support for Palestinian rights, but expressed in clumsy and ambiguous language, which may unknowingly cross a line into antisemitism. Further cases are simply forthright expressions of support for Palestinian rights, which condemn Israeli government policy and aspects of zionist ideology, and have nothing whatsoever to do with antisemitism.
The accusations do not refer to antisemitic actions but usually to comments, often made on social media, long before Jeremy Corbyn won the Labour leadership. Those making the charges now did not see fit to bring them up at the time, under previous Labour leaders, but are using them now, just before mayoral and local elections, when they believe they can inflict most damage on the Labour party led by Jeremy Corbyn.
The attack is coming from four main sources, who share agendas: to undermine Jeremy Corbyn as leader of Labour; to defend Israeli government policy from attack, however unjust, racist and harmful towards the Palestinian people; and to discredit those who make legitimate criticisms of Israeli policy or zionism as a political ideology.
As anti-racist and anti-fascist jews who are also campaigning for peace with justice between Israelis and Palestinians, we entirely reject these cynical agendas that are being expressed by:
• The Conservative party
• Conservative-supporting media in Britain and pro-zionist Israeli media sources
• Right-wing and pro-zionist elements claiming to speak on behalf of the Jewish community
• Opponents of Jeremy Corbyn within the Labour party.
The Jewish Socialists’ Group recognises that ordinary jewish people are rightly concerned and fearful about instances of antisemitism. We share their concerns and a have a proud and consistent record of challenging and campaigning against antisemitism. But we will not support those making false accusations for cynical political motives, including the Conservative party, which is running a racist campaign against Sadiq Khan, and whose leader, David Cameron, has referred to desperate refugees as “a swarm” and “a bunch of migrants”.
The Conservative party demonstrated its contempt for Lord Dubs, a jewish refugee from nazism, when it voted down en masse an amendment a few days ago to allow 3,000 child refugees into Britain while Labour, led by Jeremy Corbyn, gave total support to Lord Dubs and his amendment.
The Jewish Socialists’ Group sees the current fearmongering about antisemitism in the Labour party for what it is – a conscious and concerted effort by right-wing political forces to undermine the growing support among jews and non-jews alike for the Labour party leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, and a measure of the desperation of his opponents.
We stand against antisemitism, against racism and fascism and in support of refugees. We stand for free speech and open debate on Israel, Palestine and zionism.
State of Palestine - West Bank of the Jordan River (governed by PLO)
* " ‘We won't allow Israeli presence’: Abbas wants NATO to replace IDF in West Bank" (2016-05-29, rt.com) [archive.is/RPaFT]
* "Tens of thousands of Palestinians left without water as Israeli firm cuts supplies – report" (2016-06-15, rt.com) [archive.is/sfj0g]
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia & GCC Council member states
* "Rights activists fear for life of imprisoned teen in Saudi Arabia" (2016-06-04, rt.com) [archive.is/VOCNy]
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic ("Western Sahara")
Learn more about the Sahrawi People [SahrawiSolidarity.blogspot.com]
* "Africa's Last Colony: Western Saharan Independence Movement Mourns Loss of Polisario Front Leader" (2016-06-02, democracynow.org) [archive.is/645Ol], introduction: A leader of the independence movement in Western Sahara died Tuesday. Mohamed Abdelaziz was the leader and co-founder of the Sahrawi people’s Polisario Front movement, which has demanded independence ever since Morocco took over most of Western Sahara in 1975. He was 68. A 16-year-long insurgency led by the indigenous Polisario Front ended with a U.N.-brokered truce in 1991. The resolution promised a referendum on independence, which has yet to take place. Morocco is only willing to grant limited autonomy to the disputed region. Eighty-four countries as well as the African Union recognize Western Sahara as an independent nation. In March, Morocco expelled U.N. staffers from Western Sahara after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon referred to Morocco’s rule over the region as "occupation" during a visit to refugee camps in the Algerian town of Tindouf, located in southwestern Algeria. The expulsion of the 84 U.N. staffers has put at risk the ceasefire between Morocco and the Polisario Front. We speak to Sidi Omar, ambassador-at-large of the Polisario Front, and University of San Francisco professor Stephen Zunes.
Islamic Republic of Iran
* "Over 30 Iranian students lashed 99 times for attending mixed graduation party" (2016-05-28, rt.com) [archive.is/zt4jT]
Republic of India
* "Horrors of busted cult in India: Torture jail, child soldiers" (2016-06-05, rt.com) [archive.is/U9XUx]: Indian police say a semi-religious cult, which clashed with officers enforcing an eviction order resulting in almost 30 deaths, tortured prisoners and trained minors to use arms as part of their bid to become an independent nation.
"They set up a court which pronounced punishments and jail barracks where inmates were tortured,” Uttar Pradesh chief police inspector DC Mishra said in the aftermath of the raid, as cited by AFP. "Children as young as eight years old were being given training in arms."
The violence in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh came when some 300 police officers were deployed to a park in the city of Mathura on Thursday night. They were enforcing an eviction order issued by a court, which demanded that followers of the cult vacated a 109-hectare stretch of land, where they had been squatting since January 2015.
Some 3,000 cult members were living in the area and they refused to follow the order. Instead they took melee weapons, firearms and crude explosive devices made from LPG cylinders to resist the eviction. The police used tear gas and rubber bullets and later live ammo in a fierce battle that followed.
Twenty-four people were killed during the clashes while three others died from injuries later, reported the Calcutta-based newspaper The Telegraph. Two police officers were among the victims. One was shot twice in the head from a close range while another one beaten to death with clubs and stones.
A badly charred body of one of the cult members was identified as the leader Ram Briksh Yadav by two of his associates. The police said most of the deaths among the cultists were due to gas explosions.
Amid criticism of his government over the violence, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said he did not "anticipate they would be so well armed."
Some 400 people were arrested after the clashes. Others set their own tents on fire and dispersed, the police said.
Ram Briksh, a charismatic 60-year-old “godman,” or semi-religious leader, declared his followers a “free nation” of revolutionaries rejecting the government of India. The "Jawahar Bagh people", as they call themselves, formed their own government and justice system, used their own currency instead of the rupee, and engaged in rigorous martial training. Their political program involved cheap fuel for everyone, abolition of democratic elections and other radical moves.
* (2016-06-14) [archive.is/opDF4]: "This is the corpse of a young woman named Madkam Hidme. According to the Chhattisgarh Police, she was a Maoist guerrilla and was killed in an encounter with a team of the Special Task Force. The encounter, they say, happened near Gompad village under Chhattisgarh's Konta Police Station. They say she was a member of "Kistaram area platoon number 8."
According to Himanshu Kumar, Madkam was from Gompad village and was thrashing paddy outside her hut when she was picked up by the police and bad things were done to her before she was shot in cold blood. He says the villagers are refusing to put her body to rest. I cannot independently verify this, but I can point out a few other things.
Look closely. Look at how the weapon (bharmar) has been placed strategically next to her body. Look at the uniform Madkam Hidme is wearing. It is brand new and crisp; the cut looks high fashion if we ignore the cheap fabric. Can the uniform of a Maoist guerrilla who was killed in an encounter be so unblemished? In 18 years of my travels in Chhattisgarh and elsewhere, I have never seen a Maoist guerrilla wear such a spotless (and crisp) uniform.
It is very easy to verify the truth. It will be just a matter of one honest autopsy. Will that be ever done? We know the answer.
The anthropologist, Michael Taussig, refers to instances of the Colombian army murdering civilians and then making them wear uniforms worn by guerrilla fighters so as to boost their "kill count." In Colombia they began to call such cases as "False Positives."
Madkam Hidme, to the best of my knowledge, is a false positive."
People's Republic of China
News: [news.cn/english] [news.xinhuanet.com] [go-taikonauts.com] [chinafrica.cn]; Map [archive.is/X1hWW]; History & the Current Context [is.gd/QwvQLr]
* "China pulls 66 million rural people out of poverty in three years" (2016-06-14, news.xinhuanet.com) [archive.is/XE79U]: The number of people living in poverty in rural areas was reduced by 66.63 million from 2012 to 2015, said a government report released on Tuesday.
China formulated the 12th Five-year Plan for Poverty Reduction Village By Village. By 2015, poverty alleviation projects covering 30,000 villages had been implemented, according to the report assessing the implementation of Human Rights Action Plan, which was released by the State Council Information Office.
Total Investment reached 144.569 billion yuan (22 bln U.S. dollars), an average of 4.8 million yuan for each village, it said.
From 2012 to 2015, the increase of residents' per capita disposable income surpassed the growth rate of GDP of the same period. The annual growth rate of the per-capita disposal income of urban residents and per-capita net income of rural residents were 7.5 percent and 9.2 percent respectively, the report said.
During the same period, the State Development and Reform Commission allocated 21 billion yuan from the central budget for relocation of impoverished residents, which brought about an additional more than 200 billion yuan in local government input and various other investments, the report said, adding that about 8 million people in poverty have been relocated.
The central government also allocated 771.7 billion yuan to support affordable housing projects, the report said.
Equal rights to employment have been guaranteed. In 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, 12.66 million, 13.1 million, 13.22 million and 13.12 million new urban jobs were created respectively, according to the report. The registered urban unemployment rate was kept within 4.1 percent, lower than the 5 percent target.
The basic medical insurance coverage has been extended to all citizens, with the rate of participation surpassing 95 percent.
It also underlined that an equal right to education for relocated children of migrant workers has been safeguarded. From 2012 to 2015, the central government allocated 34.6 billion yuan to enable nearly 90 percent of relocated children of migrant workers in cities to obtain government support.
* "Carter touts ‘principled security network’ for Asia, tells China to get in or be isolated" (2016-06-04, rt.com) [archive.is/hhi98]
* "China risks 'Great Wall of self-isolation': Pentagon chief" (2016-05-27, AFP Newswire) [archive.is/Aa9JL]
* "Chinese spy ship ‘shadowing Stennis aircraft carrier’ as Japan, US & India hold joint drills" (2016-06-15, rt.com) [archive.is/UxE6C]
* "Beijing to participate in US naval drills amid South China Sea tensions" (2016-06-03, rt.com) [archive.is/QbJD5]
* "Beijing to build 10,000ft deep underwater lab in South China Sea" (2016-06-10, rt.com) [archive.is/iqAHD]
* "What evidence does China offer to substantiate its claims of sovereignty in the South China Sea? Clearly, the country has its justifications but rarely do we see them expounded in the media. Could someone from China please elaborate?" (quora.com) [archive.is/UQibN]
* "The myth of fasting ban in China; It’s not all black and white" (2016-06-08, pakistantoday.com.pk) [archive.is/FupF1] [begin excerpt]: [end excerpt]
A fasting ban in China is the talk of the town nowadays. Journalistic circles in Pakistan are not ready to believe that fasting could be banned in any country. Even the brutal regime of Israel doesn’t put any restrictions on fasting by Palestinians in the holy month of Ramzan. So how China could put curbs on its own citizens for fasting?
This intriguing question compelled me to delve into the matter. Over the past few days, I contacted numerous officials and common citizens in China to get a true picture on this fasting ban.
The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang for short) is located in northwest China where Muslims are in majority. For thousands of years it has been a multi-ethnic region of multiple religions. At present, the major religions in Xinjiang are Islam, Buddhism, Protestantism, Catholicism and Taoism.
When contacted, a Chinese government official brushed aside the notion of fasting ban for Muslims, terming it a propaganda campaign to hurt the image of China among Muslims.
“There is nothing new in this propaganda campaign. Every year with the arrival of the holy month of Ramzan, a vicious propaganda campaign based on lies is projected just to harm the image of China and its valiant people. There is absolutely no ban on fasting in China. Rather, the Xinjiang government facilitates the Muslims fasting in Ramzan,” the official said.
“Chinese government never believed in putting curbs on ethnic minorities. Fasting ban in China is a false propaganda. This issue is actually being confused by some media organisations who don’t understand the system in China,” the official asserted.
An official in Xinjiang government also confirmed that no such ban has been officially enforced in the province. The official said that like the central government, the local governments at all levels of Xinjiang have fully implemented the system of regional ethnic autonomy and the policy on the freedom of religious belief, and constantly improved laws and regulations on the administration of religious affairs.
“All religions in Xinjiang have thus reached a new historical stage at which they coexist in harmony. Religious freedom is protected under the constitution in China, which the government strictly abides by. In case of minorities especially, the constitution is strictly followed to ensure harmony, peace and tranquility among peoples from various faiths and beliefs,” the official added.
The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China clearly stipulates: “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief.” “No state organ, public organisation or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion.” “The state protects normal religious activities. No one may make use of religion to engage in activities that disrupt public order, impair the health of citizens or interfere with the educational system of the state.”
According to the Regulations on Religious Affairs promulgated by the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, and the Regulations of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Religious Affairs promulgated by the local government of Xinjiang, both reflect the above principles of the Constitution that “citizens enjoy freedom of religious belief” and that “the state protects normal religious activities.”
Under the law, it is a completely independent choice of citizens to believe in, or not believe in, any religion. No organisation or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion. No citizen suffers discrimination or unfair treatment for believing in, or not believing in, any religion.
Relevant rules and regulations of Xinjiang also have provisions on religious groups, venues for religious activities, clerical personnel, religious activities, religious property and related matters. Citizens’ freedom of religious belief and their obligations are unified; citizens who believe in or do not believe in any religion must fulfill the obligations prescribed by the Constitution and the law.
Anyone who infringes upon citizens’ freedom of religious belief shall bear the corresponding legal liability.
These activities are protected by law, and no organisation or individual may interfere with them. To ensure successful pilgrimages for believers in Islam, Xinjiang adopts a policy of organised and planned pilgrimages.
The official said President Xi Jinping strongly believed in implementing the constitution in letter and spirit.
“Specific directions have been passed on to government authorities in Xinjiang to ensure that Muslim citizens enjoy religious freedom,” the official added.
During my recent visit to Xinjiang province, I also tried to investigate the fasting ban. Most of the Muslims in Ürümqi and Kashgar, with whom I spoke to, mentioned that they faced no obstructions in fasting and neither have they been prohibited or reprimanded.
I also visited the main Eidgah Mosque in Kashgar city and found people offering prayers. The mosque is the largest in the country and attracts more than 10,000 Muslims on important religious occasions, like Eid-ul-Fitr or Eid-ul-Azha.
Mohammad Noor, a Muslim praying at Eidgah, said there was no restriction on fasting in Xinjiang. “We have full freedom to observe religious rituals,” he said.
During my interaction with people in Xinjiang, it came to the fore that those government servants who are members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) are advised not to observe fasting during their duties.
Since communists do not follow the teachings of Islam, they also do not observe fasting. So the government employees are guided not to fast as the ruling party does not encourage any religious activities.
Ahmed Ali, a religious scholar in Xinjiang, says that even Islam allows children, old and the ill not to fast as it may hamper their recovery and physical and mental growth. [end excerpt]
Some articles originating from the USA State Dept. [archive.is/y7nJt] [archive.is/BcHKR] [archive.is/eHmnA]
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and relations with the states of the Eurasian Union (EEU)
* "FM: China, Russia should speed up linking Eurasian Economic Union, Silk Road Economic Belt; The Silk Road Economic Belt is a project of creating a transport, energy and trade corridor between the countries of Asia and Europe" (2016-05-24, tass.ru) [archive.is/Byw5O]
* "EEU-China Partnership to Be Arranged 'According to Interests' of Union; The cooperation between China and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) will be carried out taking into account interests of the EEU members, Chairman of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Tigran Sargsyan said Tuesday" (2016-05-31, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/lDEj9]
* "Russian-Chinese passenger jet to take on Boeing & Airbus" (2016-05-30, rt.com) [archive.is/suSsW]
Republic of Korea (RoK) in southern Korea
* "Echoes of Pyongyang as South Korea jails politician for 'subversive' plot Amid claims of a witch-hunt, president seeks party ban for 'spreading North's ideology' " (2014-03-04, theguardian.com) [archive.is/G0EZF]. South Korean political freedom, putting members of parliament into prison. What is this "echoes of Pyongyang"? This has always been South Korea, with it's crap NSL laws and anti-communisim laws... and just because the KCIA changed their name to the NIS doesn't mean they have changed their ways, the NIS like all spy organizations are still in the business of bribing, kidnapping, harassing, disappearing and assassinating... Not a single RoK politician has been promoting Juche. Basically, it's illegal to be a "Liberal" in the RoK (the regime over southern Korea). Though the article is describing the situation during 2014, the parliament member is still in prison, as are many others based on their liberal political beliefs. Under a current repressive regime which allows even criticism of the government's billionaire clique to be pretext for imprisonment during "investigation"... but hey, they got internet, and their jails are cleaner, not much blood to be washed off the walls, for sure
* "South Korean Man Questions Anti-Communist Dogma; In Conversation with Mr. Kim Dol" (2016-06-10, by Andre Vltchek, for pravdareport.com) [archive.is/bs0yP]:
"Thus now I have come to recognize the recently implemented sanctions against North Korea as an 'injustice'."
Above is a short excerpt from the letter that I received in May 2016, a letter from one of my readers, Mr. Kim Dol, a young South Korean professional based in Seoul.
Mr. Kim Dol, it seems, has been lately suffering from a gradual but irreversible loss of faith in the official dogmas that have been shaping his worldviews for most of his life - dogmas manufactured by his own country, South Korea (ROK), as well as those that have been imported from the West. He discovered countless contradictions between simple logic and what he was told, and expected to believe. He began questioning things, and searching for alternative sources.
That is how he found me. Online, he began reading my essays, as well as the essays of other comrades.
His letter arrived when I had been living for a month in Buenos Aires, Argentina, working on my new political novel while literally confronting the neo-liberal and neo-fascist government of the Argentinean President, Mauricio Macri.
Argentinian people had been fooled and they were now quickly waking up to a social, economic and political nightmare. The US was going to build military bases in at least two territories of this proud and essentially socialist nation. Prices were going up, privatization was in full-swing, and social benefits melting away. Protests erupted all over the capital. The fight for Argentina was on!
Simultaneously, in neighboring Brazil, a clique of cynical, corrupt, white and mostly evangelical members of the pro-Western 'elites' managed to overthrow the socialist government of Dilma Rousseff.
Mr. Kim Dol's letter was timely. The Empire was on the offensive, destroying Latin America, while provoking Russia, China and the DPRK (North Korea).
An enormous military conflict, even a Third World War did not appear as some improbable and phantasmagoric scenario, anymore.
Mr. Kim Dol solicited several questions. His letter and queries were simple, honest and essential. Obviously, they were addressing some of the philosophical and political concerns of South Korean people. I decided to reply, but on one condition: that this exchange would be in the form of an interview, and made public. He agreed. I asked whether he'd mind using his real name? He responded, bravely, that he'd have no problem with that whatsoever.
Therefore, we were on!
I am dedicating this interview to those citizens of South Korea (ROK) who are, like Mr. Kim, brave enough to question and challenge the official propaganda, and who are searching together with us - their comrades in Latin America, Russia, China, the DPRK, South Africa and elsewhere - for much better and kinder world, based on internationalism, solidarity, decency, humanism and equality.
An introduction by Mr. Kim Dol:
"I am a native South Korean in my early thirties. Having been raised in a middle class family, I now work as an office worker, as many ordinary Koreans of my generation do. I've never been abroad - I have hardly ever been outside the city of Seoul - and it has only been several years since I started getting interested in affairs that happen outside my tiny sphere. Though both of my parents are of a progressive type, they rarely shared their political views with me in my youth, therefore I have been educated by the most typical ideology in South Korea from schools, society, and media: the superiority of capitalism (though we readily recognize its shortcomings), the terrible conditions of North Korea and other socialist countries, model cases of western countries, democracy, highly valued nationalism and patriotism, and so forth. At least in terms of ideology, I used to be the most typical person one would encounter in South Korea.
But recently lots of happenings and trends have made me think about other possibilities: the S. Korean government's increasing rightward shift and pro-market policies has been enlarging the gap between the rich and the poor. The coarse lies of the ROK's central intelligence against North Korea, which used to serve as the most effective means of consolidating the conservative ruling party's power, are now being uncovered one after another. Although the current president of South Korea has been elected presumably in the most "democratic" way to be found among the chiefs of Northeast Asian countries - no one was forced to vote for her - ironically now it seems that she is the most unpopular leader. The ongoing low economic growth the world is facing has revealed capitalism's limits and its dangerous future. By contrast, Russia and China, which have been mentioned as representative failures of communism, are now emerging as new economic powers and challenging the USA and EU. I was confused by all these changing factors.
And two different forces - ISIS and North Korea - have been seemingly incurring the world's hatred over the past few years, which has brought a decisive change in my ideas. Both are hostile to the USA and western powers, but in quite different ways. While ISIS attacks civilians as a means of resistance against its state-scale enemies, North Korea does not need to harm innocent people in its struggle against its enemies. Arming itself with nuclear weapons seems to be the most effective means to defending its people from the USA's threats. (Just see what happened to the Iraqi people who had suffered from the USA invasion). Thanks to the nuclear weapons owned by N. Korea, not only its people but also the soldiers of the USA and its allies can avoid bleeding. It seems justifiable and appropriate to me. However, to my surprise, the global public, as well as all the mass media are siding with the USA. They overtly criticize North Korea arming itself with nuclear weapons. I don't know why. They seem to just assume that DPRK is wrong.
Throughout all this, I have found myself no longer able to conform to mainstream media. What was extreme now seems normal, and what was normal now seems extreme. Out of this confusion, I tried to listen to the voices of North Korean people, on both elite and mass levels via a few available media channels, and read some materials and books written by socialists, communists, anti-capitalists, or anti-imperialists, which include some of your works. Among them I have found some common qualities all the authors share: "universalism", "internationalism", and "egalitarianism." They are in striking contrast to the notion of "nationalism", which is so highly valued in South Korea. Now I see why socialists prefer the words "people" and "comrade", which are the most powerful words that break down the barriers between nations and classes. For three decades of my life, I have learned about the many cases of slaughters and brutality committed by communists and socialists. But it transpires that this ideology is founded on a powerfully peace-oriented spirit, at least theoretically - I have not yet sufficiently studied how it has been actually been put into practice. Rather, your books hold the western capitalist powers responsible for countless deaths and exploitation.
At the moment I am neither a capitalist nor a socialist. Though the western outlook I used to trust in now disappoints me to a degree and the other ideology I used to despise now touches and impresses me to a degree, still my knowledge is too short to identify me as something. For now, I am just a seeker for reality. I might end up being a capitalist, a socialist, or something in-between. Since I have long learned the values of the western capitalist scheme, now I need the teachings of your side. Once I get fully informed of both value systems, perhaps I will be able to come to the right conclusion. I hope the rest of my life will not be spent in opposition to humanity because of my ignorance of reality. Please help me get closer to reality, or the truth, by answering my questions."
[Kim Dol]: Given the many phases you have written about, you seem to be a socialist or communist. Do you think violence and immorality are inherent in capitalism even if the most virtuous capitalists make up part of a society? Or are your works only accusing a misuse of capitalism? In other words, I am wondering whether capitalism should be "discarded and replaced with something else or "renovated" and reformed into a better form. If you maintain the former, is it possible for it to happen in the current situation where only the few countries such as North Korea remain fully socialist?
[Andre Vltchek]: I believe that the Western imperialist/capitalist global dictatorship/regime has to be immediately dismantled, or else our humanity will eventually and most likely very soon, cease to exist.
The present form of capitalism (or call it neo-liberalism) is simply a grotesque, genocidal and gangrenous system. It is in direct contradiction to almost all the basic principles on which all the great civilizations of our planet had been based on. It is also a thoroughly nihilistic and depressing system.
The present form of capitalism is directly connected, even derived from, Western colonialism, Christian fundamentalism and the unmatchable brutality of the European culture.
It is thoroughly unrealistic to expect that capitalism could be reformed, considering that until this very moment, only one small ethnic group that is responsible for murdering hundreds of millions of human beings all over the world is still holding the global reins of power.
I am an internationalist, in the Cuban, Latin American tradition. You can call me a Communist, but I am not subscribing to any particular 'branch' of the left. My Communism or Socialism is about the perpetual struggle against colonialism, racism and imperialism - a struggle for equality, justice and social rights.
I believe that right now we have many socialist countries on this Planet (no matter how they are defined) including, of course, the most populous one - China.
I'm not dogmatic in how the socialism should be structured, economically. There are many ways, depending on the culture of each particular country. Chinese socialism is different from Bolivian or Iranian socialism, and that is actually wonderful.
Capitalism is an extremely outdated, barbaric and unsavory concept, and I believe that it should be scrambled eventually, but only after some prolonged and deep philosophical discussions take place - discussions during which the people should be offered many alternatives and enlightened about the past (how capitalism has been destroying countless countries and human lives, for decades).
[Kim Dol]: Many administrations that have been criticized as "dictatorships" by the Empire are really dictatorships at least from the perspective of the western concept of democracy, for example, Kim Jong Un's administration in North Korea. Furthermore, under those administrations, typically the media/press are not free to criticize them. To my knowledge, the public in a socialist country is usually less able to participate in politics and to express their views against their governments. Is this thought simply a misunderstanding caused by my "brainwashing" by the western imperialist ideas? Do you have another perspective on this?
[Andre Vltchek]: The question is essential and complex, and the answer cannot be simple either.
Essentially, almost all of us, including those in what you call 'the socialist countries', are, to at least some extent, under tremendous psychological pressure to accept Western slogans and definitions of "democracy", "freedom" and "openness". They have been literally bombarded, day and night, by open and concealed messages propagating this sort of system: through mass media, mass-produced films and pop music, and 'education' (which could be better described as 'indoctrination').
For decades and centuries, the West has been actually shamelessly utilizing a racist and 'exceptionalist' reasoning: "the only acceptable 'democratic' forms of government are those invented and implemented in/by Europe, North America, etc."
Why? To this, no answer is given, but it is understood that the reason is: "because the West; its race and its 'culture' (and therefore its political concepts) are simply superior, 'God-given' and unquestionable. It is all based on fundamentalist faith, not on any serious analyses or comparisons.
On closer examination, which is almost never conducted, such presumptions would, of course, immediately melt.
Not only that, Western global rule has never been 'democratic', it has been clearly genocidal.
But back to practical aspects of democracy...
For instance, present-day China is in many ways much more 'democratic' than the West. But there, the number of political parties competing or not participating at the election booths does not determine the level of 'democracy'. Let us remember that 'democracy' means only 'rule of the people', translated from Greek (nowhere does it say 'multi-party system'). In China, there is a thousand years old concept, 'The Heavenly Mandate". The government or the ruler has to answer to the people, and if it fails to represent them, can be removed. The Communist Party of China is well aware of it. It reacts to the needs and desires of the Chinese people much more readily than the Western governments do to their own voters. The current direction taken by President Xi and the leadership of the country is extremely good proof of it: Chinese people are demanding much more 'Chinese-style socialism', and they are getting it. There is a direct democracy at work there: it is unique, but it could be understood by outsiders/foreigners, if they decided to study it. The problem is that most of them don't. They repeat, like parrots, clichés invented by Western propagandists, without even doing their basic homework. But then they pass their indoctrination as a legitimate 'point of view', as their own opinion. That is very typical for the Westerners and citizens of the Western colonies and 'client' states: the absolute acceptance of the doctrines and unmatchable arrogant self-righteousness. It is really equal to fundamentalism.
In the West as well as in South Korea (or Japan), there is no serious and deep discussion about what precisely 'democracy' is. Perception implanted and accepted by almost all citizens of the Empire is: democracy is 'us', dictatorship is 'them'. There is no public philosophical discussion. As there are no reports ridiculing the Western 'democratic concept' (basically a useless, even grotesque act of sticking a piece of paper into those big carton or metal boxes, 'voting' for similar-thinking candidates already pre-selected by the regime) in the mainstream media.
No serious comparison of 'us' and 'them' is performed.
Let me give you a few simple examples to illustrate what I am saying:
In Venezuela, during Hugo Chavez Frias, but even now, all major developments and changes (including constitutional ones) have to be approved by the people, through a plebiscite. During those referendums you can vote for the government, for the Process, and that means that your country will stay on the socialist course; or you were to vote in the US-backed opposition, and in that case Venezuela would make a sharp U-turn and go back to being a Western 'client' state and capitalist economy. That is 1800 degrees turn! Where in the West would the citizens be allowed to make such decisions? In the West, you can choose only between capitalism and capitalism! After WWII, the Communist parties in France, Italy and elsewhere in Europe were heading for easy election victories, but the US and UK employed Nazi and fascist cadres to derail the votes. So much for their freedom and 'democracy'! Look now at all those recent polls: most of the Westerners are against capitalism. But can they choose? Can they change the entire system? No! But in China or in Cuba people live with the system desired by the majority. And they are much better informed than people in the West. Just visit any major bookstore in Beijing: you will see tons of books on Marxism and Communism, but you will also see tons of books on business, Obama's biographies, Bill Gate's biographies, Western bestsellers and even some iconic Western propaganda rubbish. Then go to the bookstores in New York City or Paris, and tell me how many books defending and glorifying Communism would you find in there. And then just draw some logical conclusions!
Or visit '798' which is an enormous city of art galleries and theatres in Beijing. What do you see there? Some great art, yes. But also, plenty of it carries provocative political messages. Messages are critical of everything: from Western imperialism to the way China is governed. It is impressive, truly mind-blowing, how free Chinese art is, compared to that of the West or in Japan. In China, people are passionate about their country, they are discussing, arguing how to make it better, even greater than it already is. Last year I visited 300 art galleries in Paris and I did not find one, a single one that would carry political art. And that is in France, a country that is rapidly falling apart, where people are basically pissed off at their regime, frustrated day and night. Do you call it normal or free? I definitely feel much more free and alive in Beijing than in Paris. And I am not alone! But you would hardly read such thoughts in the British or French or South Korean newspapers.
Now, let me return to your mentioning of the 'undemocratic nature' of the DPRK or some of the other socialist countries.
You should think why they are 'undemocratic'. As a Korean, you perhaps know that after the Korean War, the DPRK was in much better shape, and was more open that the ROK. ROK was a brutal right-wing dictatorship, run by a pro-Western treasonous clique, and by the military and business interests. People were being hunted down, tortured, and "disappeared". It was not unlike the situation in Pinochet's Chile or Suharto's Indonesia. But the West unleashed the terror of an arms race, intimidation, sanctions and psychological warfare against the DPRK. At some point it pushed the country into the corner. And DPRK had to react, to close its ranks, to harden itself, simply in order to survive. And when it reacted, the West pointed its fingers, shouting: "You see! It is acting undemocratically!" In fact the hatred of the West for North Korea has nothing to do with 'democracy'. It goes back to the neo-colonial era. Both Cuba and North Korea heroically fought for the liberation of Africa; that's why the West hates and tries to destroy them. I wrote extensively on this (DPRK: Isolated, Demonized, and Dehumanized by the West). But that angle is never mentioned!
The same happened to Cuba. There the West unleashed direct terror against the island, shooting down passenger airliners, bombing civilian airports, restaurants, hotels, staging assassinations, even trying to divert clouds to cause severe droughts. Cuba never reacted by full-force, but it reacted. The propaganda of the West went immediately into over-drive! You see, for the old and new Western colonialist powers, it is unacceptable, even 'undemocratic', to defend your own country! It is actually perversely 'logical': to the Westerners only the white, 'Caucasian', Christian, Western people really matter - only their 'rights to rule' are (sometimes) respected. All others have to accept their fate of subservience, of slavery!
But no, this would never happen in Cuba or in the DPRK. People don't want to be slaves there. They would never accept Western terror as something 'normal'. And they know that the only reason why they are in this 'special situation' is because they are intimidated, attacked, even terrorized by the West for helping to liberate the world from slavery! They never attacked any foreign country. But if attacked, they will fight. That is how the majority of people feel in both countries. And therefore, their determination is 'democratic'.
[Kim Dol]: Your term the Empire is mentioned in a singular form although it consists of many countries. Is it because North America and Western Europe have a common interest and usually stand on the same side? Doesn't "imperialism" usually feature competitions among a number of empires?
[Andre Vltchek]: Correct. The empires of Europe and later the United States of America used to compete for the loot and control of entire continents or particular countries. But after the WWII, there was 'consolidation', and now it is basically the Western world, a white race, or some sort of Christian fundamentalist realm (plus its lieutenants like Japan, South Korea and Israel) that forms one huge neo-colonialist Empire. I described it in detail in two of my recent books: "Exposing Lies Of The Empire" and "Fighting Against Western Imperialism".
[Kim Dol]: You and lots of other communists and socialists condemn the imperialist governments for having led many nations into ruins. However, I've found that communists and socialists including you also frequently criticize "feudalism", which is highly likely to have been predominant among those nations before they were colonized. Should I think that the "evil feudalism" has been replaced with the "more evil colonialism" and those nations have never been in bright conditions?
[Andre Vltchek]: Very interesting, and again, an essential question.
Many countries that were later colonized by the West went through some type of feudal period. And the West itself also lived, for centuries, under a feudalist system.
If there were to be no brutal intervention from abroad (from the West), most nations of the world would be developing in their own, specific way, but most likely moving towards some modern and, I'd dare to say, socialist state; definitely away from feudalism.
After colonizing Asia, Africa, what is now Latin America and Oceania, the West began using and re-introducing some old, oppressive power structures in each and every occupied country or part of the world. Almost immediately, the local feudal lords, warlords and 'aristocrats' were bribed, restored into control and armed with new privileges and powers, so they could terrorize and intimidate their own people on behalf of the occupying powers.
So, in a way, the West restored or re-introduced feudalism in the countries from which it had already disappeared, or upheld it where it was still reigning. It was clearly a regressive process, but what else are colonialism and slavery if not extremely dark, primitive and backward concepts?
A very good example is Indonesia, which, before the West-backed, extremely brutal and genocidal fascist coup of 1965, was moving towards electing its first Communist government (PKI). The country was ready to move to the Left, democratically. After the pro-Western murderous forces grabbed power, killing between 1 and 3 million people and turning Indonesia into an intellectual zombie land, feudalism was forcefully reintroduced, almost immediately.
Actually, to be precise, at least in modern history, most countries that were experiencing what you described as "bright conditions" were destroyed and occupied by the West, exactly because they were so democratic, and cared for their own people. What we see as 'bright conditions' - something that is positive and beneficial for the local people - the Empire considers as mortal danger to its dictatorial interests. The Empire does not care about people, especially for what Orwell used to call 'un-people' - the non-Westerners. Examples of horrors administered by the West are limitless: from Congo to Indonesia, Chile, Iraq, Iran and Libya.
Do you really believe that such a system can be reformed? Or perhaps we should finally stop fooling ourselves, after almost a billion of lives had been lost, throughout the centuries and in all corners of the world? And instead start defending human beings, human lives!
* "Jjokbangchon: Where South Korea’s destitute live" (2016-06-08, koreaexpose.com) [archive.is/DbEZz] [begin excerpt]:
The South Korean government takes poverty seriously. The country has made tireless efforts to bury the image of a war-torn nation it once was. Stories it promotes are the rags-to-riches tale of success, of the “Miracle of the Han River” variety, the Korean Wave, the democratization. Poverty is something this nation takes pains to ascribe to other parts of the world, and of course, to North Korea.
But dire poverty of the real variety goes on. The living conditions among the poor are so dehumanizing, it is difficult to process the contrast between them and the life normally associated with modern-day South Korea.
Soon after the Gangnam Style craze, foreign media attention briefly turned to Gangnam’s Guryong Village, and numerous images laid bare how some of the capital’s poorest fare in one of its richest districts. Guryong, however, is far from the only slum in Seoul. Favela-esque hotspots are scattered across Seoul, where residents live a subhuman existence.
Tucked away from sight, many districts including Jongno, Yongsan, Yeongdeungpo, and even the neighbouring city of Incheon all host what are called jjokbangchon, or ‘cubicle villages,’ named so because that is how small most dwellings are. Some jjokbangchon simply look poor, but others have the appearance of full-blown shanty towns.
I was recently taken by a volunteer group to one of these clusters, near the glittering Yeouido financial district, and was shocked by the squalid living the mostly elderly population endure.
On our way to the settlement, a number of people were lying on pavement like corpses. One man had a loose bandage on his head, stained with dry blood and his face flat on the road. Another, in a wheelchair, was clutching a bottle of makkoli – very cheap rice-based alcohol. And one woman, whose face was disfigured and blackened by what appeared to be a skin condition, walked aimlessly and kept tumbling over, exhibiting signs of intoxication.
On the outside the buildings looked like run down houses, constructed out of metal scraps. But from the inside, it was obvious that each building consisted of a series of rooms and was occupied by not one person but dozens. Each room was a windowless cubicle, no larger than 3 to 4 square meters in size and barely big enough for an adult to stretch out fully when sleeping.
Some of these dwellings lacked even the most basic of amenities: gas, running water, toilets and showers. Electricity was the only utility installed.
In one building, the corridor held a coal briquette burner like those found at Korean barbecue restaurants, used in lieu of heating during long subarctic Korean winters. Not only does it produce a toxic fume, it is also a major fire hazard. It’s not uncommon to hear about fires consuming a whole district because of one mistake.
The residents kept their possessions in piles on the floor or stashed them in boxes. I glanced into one cubicle: There was a box containing a torch light, a child’s toy, packs of face masks for moisturizing, unused socks and brand new saucepans. These were not belongings; these were goods collected from the streets or from garbage bins and stocked in the hope that they might prove useful one day.
Another cubicle had an unconnected refrigerator. I was curious as to what could possibly be inside, and opened the door. A putrid odour escaped, making the already stuffy room even more unbearable. The fridge was stocked with food, most of it rotting away. Hiding behind the fridge were cockroaches.
The only comfort each resident seemed to own was an old television.
We were there to help with a clean-up. As we took a snack break outside, an elderly woman came hurling abusive words at us for the temporary nature of our ‘good deeds.’ A limping grandfather with eyes sinking deep into his sockets approached, hissing at us for food and revealing that his mouth was missing most of its teeth. My party, consisting of young men and women from well-to-do families, was happy we’d soon be leaving this place, taking pictures to commemorate their public service on social networking sites, and joking that this was a zombie town scattered with crazy old alcoholics.
Their words were inexcusable, but they had a point: Most residents seemed to be physically disabled seniors. And many of them seemed to suffer from some form of mental illness or alcoholism.
I do not know the personal stories of the jjokbangchon residents. What I do know is that this is dire poverty, surprising even the South Koreans I was with. One NGO volunteer told us that many of the buildings once served as brothels and some residents used to work at the nearby red-light district in their younger days. Scores of people arrived after the Asian Financial Crisis in the late 1990s because they had gone bankrupt and lost everything, including family. While the buildings might have addresses, the cubicles within were illegal in the eyes of bureaucrats. The volunteer expressed his frustration at the ongoing battle with the authorities who want to evict the residents and make room for luxury high-rise apartments.
As it turns out, the state does provide subsidized housing for the displaced, but mostly in areas far away from Seoul, away from any means of making a meager income. People who leave, forcibly or voluntarily, still end up coming back here because this place, however terrible, has become home for them, the only place they know and feel a sense of community.
A recent survey identified five main areas in Seoul as having jjokbangchon, housing a total of 3,157 residents. 85.7% of them were from socially vulnerable groups, including the elderly and the disabled. The same survey also found that the most populous area was in Dongjadong, Yongsan District, right next to the Seoul Train Station, with 868 people.
This is definitely not the side of South Korea the government wants you to see. This is not Korea Sparkling.
The irony of it all is that the South Korean government has spent tens of millions of American dollars on promoting Korean cuisine abroad [archive.is/W3pA5], and yet literally has starving people on its doorstep. (Even the editor of this site, along with many foreign bloggers, was invited last month by a government-funded agency to a luncheon for promoting Korean food; he declined the invitation.) Promoting Korean pop culture entails a different budget. President Park Geun-hye recently flew to Africa to promote South Korea’s “New Village” model of development [archive.is/cZ3PQ], yet has little to say about the slum that exists in the same district – Jongno – as her presidential palace. [end excerpt]
Illustration caption: 1) Yeongdeungpo District (Yeongdeungpo-dong), 2) Yongsan District (Dongja-dong), 3) Junggu District (Namdaemun), 4) Jongno District (Donui-dong), and 5) Jongno District (Changsin-dong)
Photo caption: Nov 2006: An old sex worker does gimjang – preparation of kimchi for winter – in her small room in the Yeongdeungpo jjokbangchon.
Photo caption: Jun 2016: A room of one resident at the jjokbangchon in Yeongdeungpo
Photo caption: Oct 2006: The jjokbangchon in Yeongdeungpo District, near the Yeouido Financial district
Photo caption: Oct 2006:Nov 2007: Poi-dong Village is the smaller of the two slums near Gangnam’s famous Tower Palace and other expensive apartment complexes for the rich. Guryong Village is bigger and farther away.
Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in northern Korea
Info collected by Juche-Buddhism Friendship Society, for Peace through Knowledge! [Juchebuddhism.blogspot.com]; News: [rodong.rep.kp/en] [naenara.com.kp/en] [kcna.kp/kcna.user.home.retrieveHomeInfoList.kcmsf] [dprktoday.com] [nktoday.kr/?cat=305]
DPRK: Civil & Society News -
Notes from the DPRK Study Group (2016-06-07, facebook.com/groups/DPRKorea):
The space shuttle reads "KwangMyeongSong (The Shining Star) -5". Could this be another space program's work? It has captured my attention due to the fact it appears to be at an event my guess is they're working on shuttle's and may even be looking into putting astronauts in space!
If they were to aim for a manned program, I could recommend options for them to study, yet we cannot underestimate the power of the scientists of the DPRK im sure they'll develop something in the future. I really hope the DPRK pumps more money into the space program. Once they reach the moon, they have control over the worlds best recources.
Let me play armchair rocket engineer a moment. The planned Unha-9 looks to be the human-rated launcher. I do not agree with their approach of development, and design, because it makes it very hard to increase payload. They have to redesign the whole system as they improve, which slows things down and makes it more likely for problems to appear late in development. The Hwasong-X would be an ideal candidate for these auxiliary boosters, and have a proven reliability record.
If it were me, I would focus on a design similar to the Delta IV or Atlas V. They have solid smaller rockets which can be used for auxiliary boosters. Instead of trying to cram more engines on the main stage, put the engines on boosters, so when it stages the fewer engines are fine due to the fuel burned. This approach allows for piecemail debugging as well. Make a stage work independently of the others, leaving you only with integration challenges. Even if not as big as the D4 or A5, the dial a rocket approach works, really, really well.
* "Experimental Flight 2016: The Unha-3 Space Launch Vehicle in this next Five Year Plan As Anticipated" (2016-02-20, globalsecurity.org) [is.gd/ghmtGo]
* Unha-9 unveiled, plans to develop rockets in steps alongside delivering payloads into outer space (2013-01) [archive.is/YbYvs]
* Unha-9 flight (2013, uriminzokkiri-TV) [youtube.com/watch?v=tnIKlo9QjeI]
DPRK: Economic News -
* "N.Korea trade fair stacked despite fewer European companies Large crowds come to see beauty products, clothing and some apparently advanced electronics" (2016-05-30, nknews.org) [archive.is/wXpNf]
* "19th Pyongyang Spring International Trade Fair (2016)" (2016-05-29" [archive.is/QoYqw]: This year, the bulk of the 200+ exhibitors are beauty and health care related as North Koreans now pay a high emphasis on looks and personal well being. Most of the visitors seem to be women in the Ajumma (아줌마) category.
More photos [archive.is/lmkdS].
* "Project of the Ryugyong General Ophthalmic Hospital currently being under construction" (2016-05-25, facebook.com/MusicDPRK) [archive.is/crCs5]:
It was visited recently by Respected Marshal Kim Jong Un.
The completion of the Ryugyong General Ophthalmic Hospital would mean that we have built various modern healthcare facilities one by one in every recent year, he noted, saying this is a powerful demonstration of the advantage of our socialist healthcare system in which the Party and the state take full responsibility for the life and health of the people.
* (2016-05-31, facebook.com/dprk360) [archive.is/QnYAC]: Sci-tech Complex photographed from the air. It was designed to look like an atom.
joint ventures and foreign enterprises existing in economic development zones in the DPRK can be considered as a form of State capitalism in Leninist meaning (just like the concessions admitted in the USSR during the NEP)?
- [Answer 1, by Daniel Webster]: The NEP and the SEZs are completely different. Lenin described the NEP as "to start again from the beginning" basically the first attempt to build Socialism failed and so they decided to start again by completely privatising the economy and allowing for development to then re-nationalise it. The SEZs in the DPRK and Cuba as well work differently, they have very little in comparison to the NEP. Basically, in the SEZ workers will make for example, Samsung televisions, the televisions will then be directly exported to where they will be sold maybe the US or Russia etc. The company will then directly pay the DPRK Government for the workers' labour. So on an economic level, the workers' aren't being exploited like they are in factories in China or Bangladesh because they are still benefiting from providing labour and receiving consumption for that labour. So the difference between workers in an SEZ factory and a non-SEZ factory are indistinguishable.
- [Answer 2, by Stephen Ulyanov]: One thing to keep in mind is that the SEZs are just a way to bring in foreign currency so the DPRK can trade on the world market. As a small socialist country with relatively few of its own resources living in a sea of world capitalism, it has no choice but to deal with the world that exists. The Soviet Union could exist as a lone socialist state because it was a massive country with a superabundance of resources that was capable of total self-sufficiency. The DPRK is different. However, as Daniel said, the SEZs function in a special way so that the workers aren't exploited, so the DPRK gains hard currency and doesn't have to sell out its workers in return; the workers are provided for just the same as workers in non-SEZ jobs. Moreover, the fundamentals of the socialist economy as a whole are still sound and protected, with the economy guided by public ownership and central planning, and the fruits of labor being used to take care of the masses in the form of social services that guarantee no one slips through the cracks in the DPRK. Everyone is guaranteed free education, free healthcare, a job, a home, adequate leisure time, children and the elderly are well provided for by the state, and so on. The wealth of the people belongs to, and benefits, all of the people. So it's not like in China or Vietnam where everything has been privatized and the workers just have to fend for themselves. The SEZs in the DPRK exist to support the socialist economy.
* (2016-0525, Lee Dal-Young):
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) does not publish its international trade statistics, and it is even unknown that the country has systematically gather statistics. I have built a database entitled “North Korea Trade” by investigating international trade with North Korea , based on customhouse statistics of over 200 countries (and regions) which are trade partner of North Korea.
This service is available for free of charge.
(North Korea Trade URL)
(Official facebook page URL)
* "North Korea reactivates nuclear weapons plant, UN says citing satellite imagery" (2016-06-06, rt.com) [archive.is/65bNw]
DPRK: Foreign Relations -
* "Raúl Receives Kim Yong Chol, Special Envoy Of The President Of The Workers’ Party Of Korea" (2016-05-25, Granma Newswire) [archive.is/jkawZ], attached video [youtube.com/watch?v=zCv7hhD67FM]: During the fraternal meeting both officials confirmed their mutual interest in strengthening the historic ties which unite the two Parties, governments and peoples.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, May 24, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) Central Committee, received Kim Yong Chol, a member of the Politburo of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK).
During the fraternal meeting, both officials confirmed their mutual interest in strengthening the historic ties which unite the two Parties, governments and peoples.
Also Vice President of the WPK Central Committee, Yong Chol was accompanied by compañeros Kim Jong Sik, Ri Yong Chol and Pak Chong Yul, the latter ambassador of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to Cuba.
Participating on the Cuban side were José Ramón Machado Ventura, PCC Central Committee second secretary; Salvador Valdés Mesa, a member of the PCC Central Committee Political Bureau; and José Ramón Balaguer Cabrera, head of the PCC International Relations Department.
Prior to the meeting, the Korean official reported on the results of the Seventh Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea and received information regarding agreements reached during the Seventh Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba.
* "Irvine man visits North Korea to teach surfing; Lamberto Lo of Irvine had the rare opportunity to visit North Korea for a 10-day trip to teach surfing" (2016-06-07, NBC7 News) live link [is.gd/3D6k8H]
DPRK: Foreign Hostilities -
* "Tensions rising in West Sea, amid possibility of armed clashes over NLL; South and North Korea exchanged fire over the weekend and despite proposals, no military talks scheduled" (2016-05-30, english.hani.co.kr) [archive.is/Af6Bc]
“The North’s proposals for military talks are a window of opportunity. Once that closes, we could end up mired in a crisis with localized armed clashes in the West Sea and elsewhere,” said former Navy commander and current Kyungnam University Institute for Far Eastern Studies professor Kim Dong-yup on May 29.
Map: The orange dotted line in the map is the ridiculously drawn NLL - Northern Limit line.
* " 'Sanctions against North Korea are not working' Sanctions are falling short and hurting the wrong people, the UN Rapporteur for Human Rights in North Korea told DW. Nonetheless, Marzuki Darusman sees reason to believe that the pressure is starting to pay off" (2016-05-24, dw.com) [archive.is/ZhQsR]
* "Uganda angered at claim of halt to N.Korea military ties" (2016-05-29, AP Newswire) [archive.is/F1TfM] [begin excerpt]: Uganda hit back Sunday at South Korea's claim that Kampala had ordered a halt to military ties with North Korea in line with UN sanctions, denying it had made such an announcement.
South Korean President Park Geun-Hye's spokesman had earlier Sunday told reporters that Ugandan leader Yoweri Museveni had ordered officials to honour the latest sanctions during a summit in Kampala.
Spokesman Jung Yeon-Guk quoted Museveni as saying: "We instructed officials to faithfully enforce the UN Security Council resolutions, including the halt of cooperation with North Korea in the security, military and police sectors."
But Ugandan authorities responded swiftly, saying there had been no "public declaration" to this effect.
"That is not true. It is propaganda," deputy government spokesman Shaban Bantariza told AFP.
"Even if (such an order) was to be made by the president, it cannot be public. It cannot be therefore true and it can't happen. That is international politics at play," he added.
Dozens of North Korean military and police officials are believed to be working in Uganda as military trainers under a cooperation programme.
Museveni, who has ruled Uganda since 1986, has visited North Korea three times and met Kim Il-Sung, the country's late founding president and grandfather of current leader Kim Jong-Un. [end excerpt]
* "Seoul: Uganda Vows To Halt Military Ties With North Korea" (2016-05-29, AFP newswire) [archive.is/TAuoN]
* (2016-05-29, Yi Quan, DPRK Study Group) [archive.is/F6P7d]: Uganda newspaper confirmed the earlier claim by South Korea that Uganda will cut military ties with North Korea.
It seems Museveni did agree to halt military and security cooperation with DPRK. But at the same time, their gov spokesman, Shaban Bantariza, said different things by refuting the claim of South Korea as 'propaganda'.
This might look confusing, but i can why.
Uganda is trying to benefit from both sides in the middle. I think the defense ties with North Korea will continue just that it will go underground so that they can get economic aid from South Korea.
and again, this proves that pgh's visit to Africa is not a business trip like it claims, but a pure political trip. Just that it is a kindergarten politics, money diplomacy, knowing there is no economic return on money spent, just to get some empty promises from Museveni (6th worst dictator by Forbes) to be used as her "political achievements" to brag about in domestic politics back home.
“That is not true. It is propaganda,” deputy government spokesman Shaban Bantariza told French news agency AFP. “Even if (such an order) was to be made by the president, it cannot be public. It cannot be therefore true and it can’t happen. That is international politics at play,” he added.
None the images shown in the article advertised here are unique, nor illegal. Each photo has had a similar version posted by other tourists, who verified that they were able to photograph almost anything, including military personnel in uniform! Instead, as the article describes, the author was singled out... but, what the article doesn't mention is that the author was targeted for being a spy intending on collecting information for the purpose of war (and subsequent murder of millions).
* "EAT Journalist Chu Jingyi Executed By North Korean Agents in Kuala Lumpur" (2016-06-06, eastasiatribune.com) [archive.is/Jxbpy], alleged photo of the murdered journalist [archive.is/lZa1A]
* "The Evidence that Every Accusation against the DPRK in Robert Collins' and the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea's “Marked for Life: Songbun – North Korea's Social Classification System” is False* (*or at least unreferenced, unverifiable and of suspect providence)" (2016-05-25) [archive.is/EnXdi] [begin excerpt]: In June 2012 a paper was published that rewrites the history of the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea). Its title is “Marked for Life: Songbun – North Korea's Social Classification System” by Robert Collins, published by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea.
It has spawned numerous newspaper articles, think-pieces, hot takes, serious geopolitical analysis and the wikipedia entry on songbun, going from story of the day into accepted truth about the DPRK. The paper is the number two result on google.com for “songbun” after the wikipedia article on songbun (checked 25 May 2016), itself based almost entirely on the paper. Google scholar lists the paper as having been cited 31 times.
And yet it is a complete fraud, false from beginning to end. It is no exaggeration to say that Robert Collins' "Marked for Life" is a litany of falsehoods. And what’s more it was produced and is promoted by a small group of people working for United States think-tanks and organisations with numerous links to the U.S. and RoK government.
The original paper is available here: [hrnk.org/uploads/pdfs/HRNK_Songbun_Web.pdf]
The burden of proof falls upon the report to establish a number of claims:
1. The Songbun Classification System exists as “a powerful means of social control” and is “elaborate and intrusive”
2. The Songbun Classification System is similar to Apartheid
3. The Songbun system is extensive and precise, subdividing the population of the DPRK into 51 categories (not 50, not 52)
4. Songbun is a system in part specifically designed to rank citizens of the DPRK on their loyalty not just to the DPRK state but to the Kim family
5. The songbun system is a hereditary “caste system”, “focused on origin of birth”
As I will show show, HRNK is a resolutely anti-DPRK organisation, with numberous links to the United States government which "naturally" maintains a firmly anti-DPRK stance, it is therefore inconceivable that the author would omit any “damning” evidence or “smoking guns” from their report on the “Songbun” system as it is their aim to prove the above 5 statements, and demonstrate that the peoples of the DPRK live under a strictly enforced hereditary classification hierarchy. If they cannot present sufficient supporting evidence to back up these claims it is only logical to assume that they did not have access to them, and if they do not have access to them it is logical to assume that this evidence does not exist; until such a time in the future as such evidence may present itself. This analysis is not intended to prove or disprove the existence of the songbun system in the DPRK nor an attempt to justify a songbun system, it is simply presented as an analysis of “Marked for Life: Songbun – North Koreas Social Classification System” in an attempt to show how the accusations in this paper are lies. [end excerpt]
* " ‘North Korean social network’ appears" (2016-05-28, northkoreatech.org) [archive.is/E8n4A] [begin excerpt]: A Facebook-like social network has appeared on a North Korean web server, apparently installed by the state-run Internet service provider.
The site, which was first spotted by Doug Madory at Dyn Research, is available at www.starcon.net.kp. It’s running PHP Dolphin, a do-it-yourself social network application that advertises to allow anyone to create their own social network. [end excerpt]
Photo caption: A fake Kim Jong Un account on the Starcon network.
Comments: The DPRK doesn’t call itself “Best Korea”, like the old anti-DPRK joke among social media users in the USA and EU [archive.is/tV4yd]. And it says "copyright © 2016 Best Korea’s Social Network". It IS on a valid DPRK IP and has the right netblock owner but some other stuff is missing and seems suspicious. I've also never seen DPRK use "Ubuntu" as their server before [archive.is/UUM2C]... All be it probably fake I'd like to know how they hijacked a DPRK based IP address. had a guy look into it, he says it's around china somewhere. It looks like that they hijacked a DPRKorean TLD, though their servers might be in China, in order to increase availability. The problem is the only chance there is, is that they actually got into the Web Servers of Ryugyong Hosting.
* "The secret life of Kim Jong Un’s aunt, who has lived in the U.S. since 1998" (2016-05-27, washingtonpost.com) [archive.is/uMjNA] [begin excerpt]: Ko bears a striking resemblance to her sister, Ko Yong Hui, who was one of Kim Jong Il’s wives and the mother of Kim Jong Un, the third-generation leader of North Korea. And she had a particularly close relationship with the man now considered one of the United States’ top enemies: She took care of Kim Jong Un while he was at school in Switzerland.
But in 1998, when Kim Jong Un was 14 and older brother Kim Jong Chol was 17, Ko and Ri decided to defect. Ko’s sister, their link to the regime, was sick with terminal breast cancer — although she did not die until 2004 — and the boys were getting older. The couple apparently realized that they would not be needed by the regime much longer and fled, concerned about losing their privileged status. [end excerpt]
Defective Defectors, a study of pathlogy
Shin Dong-Hyuk -
And the whole thing of, "Well, maybe he's got PTSD so he's misremembering"... OK, so his misstatements could be innocent, but they are nevertheless misstatements, and it leaves us in the same position of not being able to trust what he says. The DPRK said records show he lost his finger working. There aren't very many North Korean "defectors" who are missing body parts, so I really don't think that's a normal part of North Korean prison life. Shin Dong-Hyuk revised the name of the prison camp... he was sent to a prison camp, or was he? He got hurt on the job, he was accused of rape, he escaped with help of criminal smugglers connected to CIA... what is the truth?
"Shin Dong-hyuk showing off his hypermobile elbows as a result of torture smelled awfully fishy to me. My cousin has the same type of hypermobility, but he was never tortured."
Yes, shin dong-hyuk was accused of being a rapist, which is why he fled DPRK (in theory). The CIA recruits criminals because they are easier to manage, and will do anything for freedom, not just from the DPRK, but in other countries too, such as what was seen with the CIA's use of ISIS-type criminals to take down the socialist government Libya and replace it with a kleptocracy that has murdered around 2 million so far (! through lack of medicine and water)
- "Lie and Truth" [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X0BVqiBXtI]
- "Shin Dong-hyuk changes his story" (the fifth estate) [https://youtu.be/ccx7X7_Hgu4]
- "North Korean eye witnesses on Shin Dong Hyuk" [https://youtu.be/7-RZlORRho4]
- "The Truth About Shin Dong-hyuk Exposed" [https://youtu.be/P82aad8QQW4]
- "Quick Thoughts on Shin Dong-Hyuk And Camp 14" [https://youtu.be/9eLR4EAjf0s]
- And a response from a "State Dept. Anarchist" who uncynically pushes the official USA explanation for the contradictions in Shin Dong-Hyuk's story.
* "A hacker explains why you shouldn't believe North Korea was behind the massive Sony hack" (2016-06-10, techinsider.io) [archive.is/VyZjO]: It's been nearly two years since a massive cyberattack hit Sony Entertainment, resulting in the leaks of thousands of private emails, social security numbers, unreleased films, and a complete data wipe of half of the company's network.
And in the months and years that followed, attribution of the attack has zeroed in on North Korea - thought to be angered over the release of the film "The Interview" - but as one well-respected hacker told Tech Insider in a recent interview, that claim should be taken with a grain of salt as long as solid evidence continues to be withheld [archive.is/vn1K8].
"The problem with that one is that the Sony network was documented Swiss cheese," said Cris Thomas (known as Space Rogue in hacker circles), a strategist at Tenable Network Security. "People have been in and out of the Sony network for the last decade. There's a list of who hacked Sony when."
Indeed, the website Attrition.org has a running tally of at least 24 hacks into Sony properties since 2011 [archive.is/Fbktu].
There's even a term hackers use to describe getting hacked (or owned) as much as Sony: Sownage [archive.is/eU2G3].
"So by the time North Korea got around to it - if it was North Korea - it was a known wide open network," Thomas said.
Sony declined to comment.
On its hacking list, Attrition wrote, "Sony has demonstrated they have not implemented what any rational administrator or security professional would consider 'the absolute basics.'"
At least that was true in the period before the 2014 attack. As we learned in the ensuing fallout [archive.is/jPCGa], Sony kept email records on its servers for many years, did not encrypt data, and it even kept thousands of passwords in a folder literally named "password" [archive.is/Xwpbo].
Prior to the alleged North Korean hack, Sony's Playstation Network was breached by Anonymous, a hacker named "b4d_vipera" breached one of its music sites through a simple SQL injection, LulzSec used the same technique on its Japanese sites, and the group Lizard Squad conducted a large-scaled denial-of-service attack on Sony's gaming networks.
And that's just a partial list.
About a year before the 2014 breach, Sony was warned of unidentified hackers that had breached its network and mined its databases regularly, according to Bloomberg [archive.is/jeaxs]. Investigators found at least three hacking groups rooting around its systems, with a Russian group causing the "most damage" over a period of two years.
Much of the evidence pointing toward North Korea has come via statements from government officials or the FBI, but neither have offered hard evidence. And that has led security professionals to still doubt the country's role in the attacks, with Thomas among them.
"It brings me back to the Cuban Missile Crisis, when President Kennedy famously gave his press briefing where he actually showed U-2 spy plane photos in his press briefing," Thomas said. "And this gave away great secrets of the United States, but it also proved to the world that there were, in fact, missiles in Cuba."
But nothing like that occurred after the 2014 Sony hack. It was as one Fordham law professor summed it up to Fortune [archive.is/jPCGa], "trust us, but we're not going to let you verify."
And it's interesting to note how strange it is for the president to call something like the Sony hack an "a serious national security matter" and have officials exhibit "high confidence" it was North Korea but offer no reasoning as to why [archive.is/4P6Ir]. Now contrast that with the numerous reports, photos, videos, and other data offered as evidence the Syrian government used chemical weapons in 2013.
Thomas will likely remain skeptical until the US shares intelligence data that really explains the rationale behind attributing the attack to North Korea. What would avoid a "he said, she said" debate is evidence of IP addresses and packet captures, among other data.
"It's a dogpile," Stuart McClure, CEO of cybersecurity firm Cylance, told Fortune. "'Well, that one is North Korea, and this one looks like it, so it must be North Korea.' There's no objective evidence."
* "Why North Korean defectors got paid to protest; Defector-activist says payment was for defectors' 'welfare,' compensation for their 'hard work' " (2016-06-10, nknews.org) [archive.is/LX47u]
Republic of the Philippines
Territorial map [archive.is/TmfDQ]. News [karapatan.org/news] [davaotoday.com]
* "A promising future for the Phl under Duterte" (2016-05-29, philstar.com) [archive.is/FhOCk]
* " Duterte changes mind, DENR will not go to progressive left" (2016-05-28, mb.com.ph) [archive.is/3BwpJ]
* "Duterte camp flip-flops on early proclamation; Incoming justice chief Vitaliano Aguirre II denies 'any crack' in Duterte's Cabinet after he and incoming spokesman Salvador Panelo contradicted each other" (2016-05-27, rappler.com) [archive.is/hsQC6]
* "KMP backs Mariano as peasants rep in Duterte Cabinet" (2016-05-27, newsinfo.inquirer.net) [archive.is/9RutT]
* "More political bigwigs join Duterte party" (2016-05-25, newsinfo.inquirer.net) [archive.is/jfrz8]
* "More LP members, political parties vow alliance with Duterte" (2016-05-23, cnnphilippines.com) [archive.is/MhICP]
* "Outrageous Duterte wants out" (2016-01-05, opinion.inquirer.net) [archive.is/wUUwv] [begin excerpt]: The appeal is there, whether or not news organizations are paying attention. In “Duterte’s path to victory,” I identified three possible sources of this mass appeal: the “Visayan bloc” that is genuinely intrigued by the possibility of a son of Mindanao making Malacañang his home, “the peace and order vote” which sees the reputation of Davao City built in the last quarter-century as a true benchmark, and the X-factor of a larger-than-life celebrity.
“There is, lastly, the outsize personality: the ready embrace of a risk-taking reputation, the carefully cultivated image of a politically incorrect rabble-rouser, the strategic revelations of womanizing (coupled with a candid confession of having ‘only P4 million’ in his bank account). This is not so much the Donald Trump of the Philippines as the pre-impeachment Joseph Estrada of Mindanao.”
But in his sit-down with Inquirer editors and reporters, Duterte took great care with his words; he regaled us with his recollection of the first, widely publicized case of what we can call official vigilantism in Davao City, when he made sure a gang of kidnappers ended up dead—but he refused to say whether he had pulled the trigger. “Come on, I was a fiscal for a long time,” I remember him saying in so many words, as a way to defuse tricky questions. He explained his view of the Philippine presidency, that contrary to public opinion it was not powerful enough, before advocating constitutional dictatorship (the powers would be unlimited in scope, but limited in time, or so he said, promising to vacate the presidency after six years). [end excerpt]
* "Business sentiment bullish after Duterte victory" (2016-05-28, philstar.com) [archive.is/wmPRa]
* "Duterte to pursue growth beyond Metro Manila" (2016-05-26, bworldonline.com) [archive.is/5n7mL]
* "Duterte in Davao boosts Mindanao economic role" (2016-05-28, mb.com.ph) [archive.is/dicAk]
* "Duterte warns power firms: Shape up or I’ll let foreigners in" (2016-05-29, business.inquirer.net) [archive.is/gG9dF]
* "Duterte calls CHR chair idiot" (2016-05-27, newsinfo.inquirer.net) [archive.is/xpuRR] [begin excerpt]: In his characteristic harsh language, presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday slammed both Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chair Chito Gascon and incoming Sen. Leila de Lima, for calling him out on his previous actuations.
Saying he was just exercising his right to free expression, Duterte called Gascon “naive” and “an idiot” for the CHR ruling that said the Davao mayor had violated the Magna Carta of Women (MCW) when he joked about the 1989 rape-slay of an Australian missionary in a prison hostage-taking.
The Davao City mayor also said he would launch an investigation against De Lima for her allegedly slow response to the flourishing illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) when she was justice secretary. [...]
De Lima, who had thumbed down Duterte’s bid to have the late dictator President Marcos buried at Libingan ng Mga Bayani as “an affront to human rights victims,” said she aimed to become a fiscalizer in the incoming administration. [end excerpt]
* "Rodrigo Duterte will allow Philippines dictator Marcos a hero's burial; President-elect says he will also pardon former leader Gloria Arroyo but admits controversial announcements could spark nationwide unrest" (2016-05-24, theguardian.com) [archive.is/bWOvh]
* "Bounty war: Drug lords raise offer for Philippines leader’s head to $1,000,000" (2016-06-10, rt.com) [archive.is/HLb2D]
* "Duterte to PNP, NBI, PDEA, BuCor: Big revamp is coming" (2016-05-27, newsinfo.inquirer.net) [archive.is/Le3B8]
* "Duterte: ‘massive reshuffling’ needed in campaign vs drugs" (2016-05-26, bworldonline.com) [archive.is/w6LNv]
* "Duterte OK with medical marijuana" (2016-05-25, philstar.com) [archive.is/z4vyR] [begin excerpt]: Incoming president Rodrigo Duterte is not opposed to the legalization of marijuana for medicinal use but is against its use for recreational purposes.
Duterte, who anchored his campaign on curbing crime and illegal drugs, said marijuana is now an ingredient in some medicines.
“Medical marijuana, yes, because it is really an ingredient of modern medicine now,” he told reporters on Monday night when asked about his stance on legalizing marijuana.
“There are medicines right now being developed or already in the market that (have) marijuana as a component but used for medical purposes,” he added.
Duterte, however, said he would still have those who use marijuana for recreational purposes arrested.
“If you just smoke it like a cigarette, I will not allow it ever,” the incoming president said. “It remains to be a prohibited item and there’s always a threat of being arrested. If you choose to fight the law enforcement agency, you die,” he added. [end excerpt]
* "Duterte death squad fears rise as Philippine police kill 8; Police insist the 8 drug suspects were killed lawfully, with the officers only firing back after being shot at in 3 separate raids" (2016-05-27, AFP newswire) [archive.is/itKaH]
* "Philippine president-elect says 'corrupt' journalists will be killed; You won’t be harmed if you don’t do anything wrong, says Rodrigo Duterte, pledging to end crime in six months by assassinating criminals" (2016-05-31, theguardian.com) [archive.is/WXfbz]
* "Duterte to meet with Nur in Jolo" (2016-05-26, philstar.com) [archive.is/W03N7]: Incoming president Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he would fly to Jolo in Sulu to talk to members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), who claimed to have been snubbed when they tried to meet with him after the elections.
Duterte said he would also try to meet with fugitive MNLF founder Nur Misuari, who is facing rebellion charges in connection with the 2013 Zamboanga siege.
“They (MNLF) said they were snubbed. I am very sorry but we did not really do that. Just to prove a point that I’m really interested…I’ll fly to Jolo and talk to Nur,” he said in a press conference here.
Duterte was reacting to the claim of MNLF officials that they were ignored by Duterte’s camp when they tried to visit him and to hear his plans for Mindanao.
“To be ignored is a great insult," MNLF spokesman Absalom Cerveza said in a previous interview.
Duterte, however, insisted that there was no deliberate effort to snub the group.
“Believe me, I don’t do that,” the next Philippine leader said.
When asked for details about his planned meeting with Misuari, Duterte said: “I’ll find time. Misuari does not want to travel. He is facing charges. He is a fugitive.”
Misuari and about 60 of his followers are facing criminal charges over the Zamboanga crisis, which claimed the lives more than 200 people and damaged about P200 million worth of properties.
The 20-day crisis started after Misuari’s followers attempted to raise their flag at the Zamboanga City Hall and held hostage several civilians.
An arrest warrant was issued against Misuari and his followers in October 2013 but until now, government forces have yet to capture the MNLF leader.
* "Sabah leaders reject Duterte’s claim on state, but mixed on resolving Philippine issue" (2016-05-29, themalaymailonline.com) [archive.is/ZqSmX]
* "New Philippines president pursues claim on Sabah" (2016-05-26, themalaymailonline.com) [archive.is/fJc9P]: The incoming president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte asserted today his administration is staking a fresh claim on Sabah, now a part of Malaysia.
Several Philippine dailies reported Duterte telling a news conference in Davao City that his administration recognises Sabah as Sulu sultanate territory that is being claimed by the Kiram clan.
“We are allowing proprietary heirs to talk [with Malaysia]. Since it is part of our claim, it will be there as our land,” he was quoted saying by the Manila Bulletin.
Duterte said his administration will assert the claim of the Sulu sultanate, whose leaders are now citizens of the Philippines.
“What has been the policy will always be the policy of the government especially those for the interest of the country. We have to stake our claim,” the Philippine Star quoted him saying.
The Kiram clan which claims to be descendents of the now defunct Sulu sultanate has been seeking to reclaim resource-rich Sabah for decades.
Some 200 armed men led by Agbimuddin Kiram sailed from South Philippines to Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu to stake their claim on Sabah in the name of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III in February 2013.
What followed was a month-long violent conflict with Malaysian security forces that ended in bloodshed on both sides; 70 filipino gunmen and 10 Malaysian security officers reportedly killed in the fighting.
Malaysia pays an annual cession payment of RM5,300, a rate that was negotiated in 1878 for the permanent ceding of Sabah territories.
The last sultan of Sulu officially recognised by the Philippine government was Mahakuttah Kiram, who died in 1986.
Sabah was formerly called North Borneo by the colonial British. Together with Sarawak, Singapore and Malaya, it formed the federation of Malaysia in 1963, and to which it remains a member today.
* "Signs of a nascent Islamic State Province in the Philippines" (2016-05-25, by Charlie Winter, warontherocks.com) [archive.is/5ic5e]
Towards a People's Republic of the Philippines
* "NPA taxation a reality, just pay them – Duterte" (2013-10-22, davaotoday.com) [archive.is/6hqHe]
* "NPA has 'right' to collect revolutionary tax – NDF; Revolutionary taxes are used to fund community services and never go to the pockets of corrupt leaders, says NDF spokesperson Fidel Agcaoili" (2016-06-10, rappler.com) [archive.is/Du6Ts]
* ""NPA Sparrow assassins kill IP rep in Bukidnon" (2016-05-24, update.ph) [archive.is/mc4zE]
* "2 Army sergeants killed in NPA attack in Sorsogon" (2016-06-13, Philippines News Agency) [archive.is/9RRET]
* "Duterte tells NPA: Try captive cop; Incoming resident changes tune after appealing for Officer’s release" (2016-06-04, newsinfo.inquirer.net) [archive.is/B9IOp]
* "Communists to demand end to US military presence from Duterte as condition for peace" (2016-06-03, gmanetwork.com) [archive.is/5uY97]
Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) protesters waving posters of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong in Phillipines
* "Prospects under the Duterte Administration and tasks of the Filipino youth" (2016-06-10, by Prof. Jose Maria Sison) [archive.is/SYIDv]:
Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines, Chief Political Consultant, National Democratic Front of the Philippines
June 10, 2016
Dear Compatriots and Friends:
Warmest greetings of solidarity! I thank Anakbayan, League of Filipino Students, Student Christian Movement of the Philippines, Panday Sining-KARATULA, National Union of Students of the Philippines, College Editors Guild of the Philippines, and Kabataan Partylist for inviting me to speak before this All Leaders Forum on the GPH-NDFP Peace Talks.
I propose to state each of the twelve points in the Program of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and discuss the prospects under the Duterte administration and the tasks of the Filipino youth. I shall be elaborative on the first four points to ensure a common understanding of our national and democratic framework and then I shall proceed with the subsequent points at a quicker pace.
First point: Unite the people for the overthrow of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal system through a people’s war and for the completion of the national democratic revolution.
On the basis of his previous pronouncements, Duterte can easily agree to a radical or substantial change of the semicolonial and semifeudal system but not to the overthrow of the system through a people's war. He is unique for declaring himself as the first Left president of the Philippines and a socialist but not a communist. He also says that he is against armed struggle and in that sense he is for peace negotiations with the NDFP and is willing to cooperate in realizing basic reforms or major changes.
Having been my student in his university days and a member of Kabataang Makabayan and having been associated with BAYAN, he understands what are the forces that make the semicolonial and semifeudal conditions and he is against the dominance of the US and other foreign powers , feudal exploitation and bureaucratic corruption. He has however declared opposition to armed struggle. The question therefore arises whether the national democratic revolution can be completed in the absence of a people's war.
He can argue that as president and commander-in-chief of the reactionary armed forces, police and auxiliary forces he has the armed strength to guarantee the reforms that the people demand against imperialism and the oligarchy. But examples in history abound of well meaning leaders or heads of state succumbing to neocolonial and neoliberal economic and financial manipulation, subjected to coup d'etat by their own armed forces and /or impeachment by Congress once they cross the line set by the US and oligarchs.
If he agrees on basic social, economic and political reforms with the NDFP, he must also agree to arousing, organizing and mobilizing the people in support of a government of national unity, peace and development. There must be provisions for developing all means for satisfying the demands of the people, especially the toiling masses, and for resisting effectively the use of deception and violence by the imperialist and oligarchic enemies of the people.
The manner by which President Duterte has been elected, the current composition of his government and his own pronouncements show that there is still a long way to negotiate comprehensive agreements on social, economic and political reforms that are satisfactory to the people. An interim ceasefire is possible to generate good will and a favorable atmosphere for the release of more than 500 political prisoners and for the acceleration of peace negotiations. But revolutionary vigilance is necessary for defending the patriotic and progressive forces as well as for a Duterte presidency that may come under threats from the US and local reactionaries.
Having said the foregoing, I urge the Filipino youth to continue all their efforts to unite the people for the overthrow of the semicolonial and semifeudal system through a people’s war and for the completion of the national democratic revolution. This task is validated by the lack of any final peace agreement that is satisfactory to the people. Even when and if there is already such agreement, the contracting parties and the people must still be ready to uphold, defend and advance the basic reforms agreed upon.
Any truce and alliance with the Duterte presidency should be justifiable in terms of serving the national and democratic rights and interests of the Filipino people. So long as such presidency is moving ahead along this line, any of its self-contradiction, imperfection or inadequacy by acts of commission and omission may be the subject of critical analysis and constructive proposal. The patriotic and progressive forces maintain their independence and initiative. A balance of unity and struggle must be maintained, with the latter always standing on just and reasonable grounds, with the objective of improving or strengthening the alliance.
Second point: Establish a people’s democratic republic and a democratic coalition government.
In the peace negotiations with the Duterte government, what is in sight is not a people's democratic republic under the leadership of the working class and the Communist Party on the basis mainly of the worker-peasant alliance. To have that kind of republic, you have to overthrow the exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords through the people's war. But the kind of republic now possible is one in which inside and outside the government the participation of the Communist Party of the Philippines is no longer banned but encouraged.
What is in sight is a kind of coalition government that involves the participation of the Communist Party amidst other patriotic and progressive forces. It is a government of national unity, peace and development. It is a framework within which all he patriotic and progressive forces can grow in strength because a common ground of basic reforms resulting from successful peace negotiations has been laid. And the Communist Party can prove that it best serves the people with its program of action and concrete deeds in this regard.
President Duterte must be credited for having offered the possibility of a coalition government long before winning elections. And in the process of forming his cabinet, he has generously offered to the Communist Party four cabinet posts concerned with labor, agrarian reform, social welfare and the environment. The CPP and NDFP have thanked the President for making the offer and have proposed that legal progressives can take the positions while the known revolutionary leaders must first focus on the progress of the peace process. The progressives are in the minority in Duterte's cabinet. But Duterte's actions before and after the elections have thus far been encouraging to the patriotic mass movement.
The task of the Filipino youth is to help develop and avail of a democratic coalition government in order to advance towards the goal of developing a people's democratic republic. They must support the patriotic and progressive initiatives and measures undertaken in an alliance with an otherwise fully reactionary government. They should continue to help in strengthening the mass movement in the cities and countryside and the organs of political power in the countryside to serve as the strong foundation for a developing coalition government.
Third point: Build the people’s revolutionary army and the people’s defense system.
President Duterte has said time and again that he is against armed struggle and that he is for the existence of only one army in the Philippines. This proposition must undergo the test of what is immediately possible, which is an interim ceasefire in place, and further negotiations on the end of hostilities and redisposition of the armed forces of both sides. There are many possibilities to consider in dealing with two opposing armies that cease to fight each other.
No genuine armed revolutionary movement has ever accepted capitulation and outright dismantling while the opposite remains intact and growing. Truce and alliance are the most realizable. Revolutionary armed units can become guards of the environment and the industries under conditions of peace and development. Integration of armed forces is permissible as in the experience of the Chinese revolution. Mutual demobilization is also possible if armed units have become redundant due to the existence of peace. The armed personnel of both sides can then opt to take industrial jobs or go back to agriculture and partake of the benefits of genuine land reform.
Certainly a lot of savings can be made for development and social services if there is a just and lasting peace. But if the social, economic and political reforms are serious and deepgoing enough, the US and the local reactionary forces are likely to wage armed counterrevolution, be it a coup d'etat or civil war or even an outright war of aggression by US imperialism. Because of such a high probability, there must be provisions for effective people's resistance.
The Filipino youth must support truce and alliance for the purpose of achieving national unity, peace and development and must always be alert and ready to fight armed counterrevolution or foreign aggression or intervention. At the first sign of a serious and imminent threat of violence against the Filipino people, the Filipino youth must rise up to join in their defense. They can do so only if they do not cease to build their mass movement and train for the defense of the people.
Fourth point: Uphold and promote the people’s democratic rights.
The entire Filipino people must uphold and promote their democratic rights: political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights against those who oppress and exploit them. The fundamental rights of the people are spelled out in the Program for a People's Democratic Revolution and the Guide for Establishing the People's Government. The NDFP has also succeeded with the Manila government in making a Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and has used the International Bill of Rights and the Geneva Conventions as the point of reference.
President Duterte's avowed focus on the crusade against crime and civil violence and his sense of urgency in implementing his reform platform have the effect of highlighting issues of human rights, especially civil and political rights. His reform platform has aroused and mobilized millions of people in spontaneous ways to support his electoral campaign and initial policies. This has gigantic potential for mass organizing in a progressive direction or otherwise.
The Filipino youth must be conscious of the fact that they constitute the largest part of the people, they are the most open to fundamental social change and they are the most resolute and militant in demanding and pursuing such change. They must persevere in the struggle to assert, defend and advance the people's democratic rights.
Fifth point: Terminate all unequal relations with the United States and other foreign entities.
The recent statement of President Duterte not to be dependent on the US for national security is welcome. After the Permanent Court of Arbitration decides in favor of the Philippines in its maritime dispute with China, China will have less reason for encroaching on the Exclusive Economic Zone and the Extended Continental Shelf of the Philippines and the Philippines will be more confident in further developing relations with China and in scrapping the unequal executive agreements with the US, like the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.
The Filipino people must uphold their national sovereignty and independence and the territorial integrity of their country. They must continue to demand the termination of all treaties, agreements and arrangements that involve unequal relations with other countries in the economic, financial, political and military spheres. The Filipino youth must use their intelligence to end the reactionary tradition and practice of subservience to the imperialist powers. These have perpetuated the conditions of high unemployment, underdevelopment and widespread poverty.
Sixth point: Implement genuine agrarian reform, promote agricultural cooperation, raise rural production and employment through the modernization of agriculture and rural industrialization and ensure agricultural sustainability.
It is fine that President Duterte has appointed the long time peasant leader Rafael Mariano as the Secretary of Agrarian Reform. The Aquino regime has allowed the bogus Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program-Enhanced Reform to lapse two years ago. More than 80 per cent of the supposed land reform beneficiaries have failed to amortize the land allotted to them. Land is always reaccumulated by a few in the wake of the fake reform program. Ka Paeng now has responsibility to push a new land reform law to effectively redistribute land to the tillers.
The Filipino people, the peasants themselves and the entire Filipino youth must push for the adoption and implementation of a genuine land reform program that involves the free distribution of land to the tillers, agricultural cooperation, increased production and employment through rural industrialization. Genuine land reform is the way to the economic, social and political liberation of the landless tillers. It is the main content of the democratic revolution. It is the necessary complement to national industrialization, assuring the people of food self-sufficiency and industries of major raw materials and enlarged domestic market.
Seventh point: Break the combined dominance of the US and other imperialists, big compradors and landlords over the economy. Carry out national industrialization and build an independent and self-reliant economy.
The combination of the imperialist powers headed by the US and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords have kept the people severely exploited and impoverished, the economy underdeveloped and the environment ravaged. It is necessary to carry out national industrialization and build an independent and self-reliant economy.
President Duterte has at certain times declared the need for a steel industry and national industrialization and the processing of the mineral ores taken away from the country. At other times he promises to create business islands and increase the special economic zones for foreign companies. So far he has appointed to key economic positions in his cabinet exponents of the neoliberal economic policy. But we look forward to engaging the Duterte government in peace negotiations and in due course persuade it to adopt the policy of national industrialization firmly and vigorously.
The Filipino people and youth must support the plan of the NDFP to have raw materials provided by agriculture and mineral ores provided by the extractive industries processed in our country in order to advance national industrialization and employ the millions of people who are unemployed and/or who go abroad for work. We can combine state and private Filipino resources to build industries. We can acquire investments and technology from a wide range of countries to avoid being dominated by one, two or three imperialist powers.
Eighth point: Adopt a comprehensive and progressive social policy.
It is fine that President Duterte has appointed Judy Taguiwalo as the secretary of social welfare and development. We have someone to rely on for providing timely distribution of relief goods and rehabilitation funds and other resources to cope with social and natural disasters. But the way to uplift the people is to develop the economy through national industrialization and land reform. These provide expanding employment and better means of livelihood along major lines of production and in medium and small enterprises.
The Filipino people and youth must support the plan for economic development and create and ensure democratic conditions to spread the benefits of a growing economy to the people. The people must exercise their democratic rights to demand better work and living conditions, increased social benefits and more and better social services.
Ninth point: Promote a national, scientific and pro-people culture.
President Duterte has emphasized the importance and necessity of expanding education as a way for uplifting the children and the youth and ensuring the steady progress of the people. He has announced his intention to rechannel resources to free public education and public health from bureaucratic corruption and from so many useless and yet costly projects and programs. He has expressed criticism of K-12 and has appointed a progressive person as secretary of education.
Even as more resources are intended to benefit education, the Filipino people and youth must demand a national, scientific and pro-people culture. We must promote a patriotic type of cultural and educational system that is proud of our national heritage and mindful of the current needs of the nation. We must free ourselves from feudal and medieval biases. We must use science and technology to hasten economic development. We must ensure that education and culture serve the needs and demands of the people, especially the toiling masses of workers and peasants.
Tenth point: Uphold the rights to self-determination and democracy of the Moro people, Cordillera peoples and other national minorities or indigenous peoples.
The Duterte government proposes to replace the current unitary state with a federal state. It believes that federalism is the way to assure the Moro people of regional autonomy and a fair share of the wealth that comes from their own region. Objectors argue that federalism would enhance and embolden centrifugal forces. Whatever is the form of government, the Filipino people and youth must uphold the rights to self-determination and democracy of the Moro people, the Cordillera peoples and other national minorities or indigenous peoples.
Eleventh point: Advance the revolutionary emancipation of women in all spheres.
While mayor of Davao City, Duterte has recognized and appreciated the role of women in public life, has created facilities for women and children in need and has demonstrated his abhorrence of violence to women. What remains to be seen is what more he can do to uphold gender equality and help realize the high potential of women who have long been suppressed by patriarchy. The Filipino people and youth must advance further the emancipation women in all spheres of social endeavor. There is no sphere where they cannot excel like the menfolk if they are recognized equally and enjoy equal opportunities.
Twelfth point: Adopt an active, independent and peaceful foreign policy.
President Duterte has demonstrated in a number of instances his patriotic position regarding the unjust acts and impositions of foreign powers and has in mind the immediate and long term interests of the Filipino people. The Philippines must have an active, independent and peaceful foreign policy.
The Filipino people and youth must demand the adoption and implementation of such policy. We can carry forward such a policy by upholding our national sovereignty and dignity, practising self-reliance in all fields of social endeavor (economic, political and cultural) and aiming for solidarity and cooperation for peace and development against imperialism and all reaction.
* "Pacific Islanders Shut Down World's Largest Coal Port" (2016-05-08, bsnorrell.blogspot.com) [archive.is/f1OAU]: On Sunday in Newcastle, Australia, Pacific Islanders shut down port and rail line of world's largest coal port. Leave it in the ground!
Twitter photos [archive.is/FInSf] [archive.is/4i3gU] [archive.is/EFIRy] [archive.is/EFIRy] [archive.is/3gogd] [archive.is/e2osc].