Tuesday, August 4, 2015

August 4: Reading 'alternate' news media.

The Irving press is not an all  unusual in our news world. It lies, it propagandizes, and it's so obvious you wonder how they get away with it. "ISIS cuts off head"s. Big story. U.S. invades Iraq, kills well over a million, destroys economy, Bush lies about reason for war (there was no legal reason), U.S. uses chemical weapons, depleted uranium shells that go on killing decades after the war...but precious little of this stirs any interest in our news media. Ditto with Canada sending troops to Afghanistan. Why? Nobody asks and nobody tells. Canada has aircraft killing Syrians. Why? We don't even get reports on what they're doing. Canada participated (and still does) in U.S. torture programmes.

I once made a list of countries which the U.S. invaded after 1945. Even without counting the killer squads and the agents that were sent to destabilize countries  (like  Ukraine, like  Guatemala, like Equador), it comes to at least a dozen counting Guatemala (twice), Haiti, Cuba, Libya, Vietnam, Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Libya, Iran, Afghanistan - all of them just terrible, terrible threats to the U.S. Yeah..

Nobody knows how many millions of  people were murdered, how many died of impoverishment and starvation or illness. The U.S., with Canadian support, is far the worst terrorist and mass murderer in the world today.

How can it be that we can watch this, and still see us an Americans as 'good guys'?

Part of it, of course, is news media that don't tell the truth. But I think there's another part - maybe even more important - the teaching of history in the high schools ( and sometimes the universities) and on TV and in movies.

What is taught isn't history  at all. It's lies used to develop patriotism. The American revolution, for example, was NOT fought to make all people equal.. A majority of Americans, by far, were not made equal. -  women, blacks, many of the poor. The War of  1812 was Not the "second war of independence as American history books say". It was an invasion to kill Canadians and steal their land. The US did not declare war on Germany to help Britain or to bring democracy and equality to the world.  (In fact, it never declared war on German at all.) The Korean war was NOT fought to keep South Korea free. South Korea had never been free in the first place. It was a dictatorship, and it remained a dictatorship long after the war. South Vietnam has an elected president when the U.S. moved in. But the U.S. and the Vietnamese generals killed him to set up a series of dictators.

The reality is that the U.S. is an empire, and it is even more thieving and murderous than its predecessors like Britain and France. And the reality is that the Canada which once fought under the British Empire to protect British profits now fights under the American Empire to protect American profits.

But that's not the image that most Canadians and American have. What they have is the phony history image which, for those who never listened in history class, is reinforced by movies and TV. Commonly, that's not the fault of the history teachers in the public schools. They's get fired if they told the truth.

We can see other people, especially of a different colour or religion, as quite brutal. But we are blind to the thoroughly brutal bastards that we are.

I took a long time to say that. But the idea came to me as I was reading a book on the development of tanks. On one page was a picture of a German tank of World War Two. It was being blessed by a Nazi clergyman. (There might be an opening for him at the Irving Chapel, or on the Faith Page of the Irving Press.)

For a break, here's an intelligent article on the idea of a guaranteed annual income.  It didn't appear in the Irving press, of course. The Irvings might want a guaranteed annual income - but only for themselves..


There are a couple of news stories worth reading in Section A news. But must of it is trivial crap.

The editorial, as always, is very local. These editorials are written by a man whose world is bounded by the Petitcodiac River, Mountain Road, and Vaughan Harvey Blvd. Today's editorial is about better training for motorcylists.  Way to speak out on the big issues, baby. Tell it like it is.

Norbert writes about Bill Cosby which is a) unpleasant but trivial and b) says nothing we don't already know.

Alan Cochrane's commentary is much the same as the editorial.

The guest columnist writes about Greece. (She's a professor of Economics at  UNB). Unfortunately, she really has nothing useful to say. Most of it is a boring recital of what we already know. Her only advice is in the final paragraph. It's vague and, to be kind, conventional. She might consider the human element here.  When you create a nation of high unemployment, destroyed public services, then you kill a great many of them. Average life expectancy drops to 50 and even much less. Even today, check the life expectancies of rich and poor districts. There's quite a gap. Funny how none of the news I have seen on Greece mentions that. Nor has austerity ever led to prosperity.

Alec Bruce has a column on frauds on the internet. His advice is good. But what we really need to know more about are frauds in our economic system, our governments, and business leaders.

Luckily, there are three, very good letters to the editor.
Canada&World - sigh...  Page B1 has story that's a lesson in slanting the news. "Iran's Ahmadinejad aims for political comeback". The reporter makes the point that, when Ahnadinejad was president, his term was marked by confrontation with the U.S. (My goodness. He must be evil.) There is no mention that the U.S. overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran way back in 1950, and installed a dictator who ruled to please American oil billionaires. A revolt overthrew the dictator, so the U.S. immediately labelled the new, elected Iranian government as "terrorists". Yes, relations between Iran and the U.S. were certainly bad in Ahmnadinejad's time. But it was scarcely he who caused that.

Meanwhile, AIPAC, the Israeli propaganda outfit in the U.S., has sent a huge contingent of Congressmen (money is no object) to Israel to encourage Israel in fighting the peace  agreement recently reached with Iran. There's an insanity going around. And it's catching.

The only big story is on B4.  Obama has just announced that he's taking climate change very, very seriously. He wants to end our reliance on fossil fuels. And he says we have to do it very soon. Congressmen and state governors who get their campaign money and other rewards from oil billionaires have announced they will defeat anything he puts forward. And they probably can. Energy companies have threatened to sue the American government. And they will.

Too bad nobody on staff at the Irving press understands any of this. But this give me a great idea. Why doesn't the paper send an  ace reporter to the most eminent and respected authority in this province? Ask him if he thinks climate change is a problem. You may not have heard of him because his name is seldom mentioned in the Irving press.

Is it just a fluke that parts of Iran are have the hottest weather on record recently? Yep. It feels, according to reports, like 70% Celsius. Also in the middle east, some 25 children in a refugee camp recently died of heat. That sorta suggests we have a problem here - a problem that will affect the food supply of billions, dry up water,  and make the large parts of the earth uninhabitable.

We need the opinion of an expert whose word we can depend on. He's shy, as many great men are. But he's a noted Christian and donor to good causes. So send a reporter to ask Mr. Irving if climate change is happening.

B5 has a headline "U.S. -led strikes against IS have killed at least 459 civilians." Well, it happens. But you have to recognize that  IS is an aggressor in a land that belongs to the U.S. I mean, it must belong to the US because the U.S. is bombing Syria, drone bombing all over the place, and sending bombs to the Saudis to drop on the Yemenis. So, you know. It just goes to show you.

There is,  below it, a story that the UN aims to eliminate poverty and hunger in the next 15 years. Well, it won't. First, we have no idea whether whether the Earth can be made to feed all its people even with the present climate, let alone if it's changing dramatically. Secondly, capitalists don't want poverty to end. They want it to go on and on as in Central America, Haiti, Africa because poverty gives them cheap labour. The reporter might ask Mr. Irving about that, too.  
Then their are the stories the paper had no room for because they needed a whole page for photos of volunteers holding up big cheques for things that shouldn't rely on voluntary donations.

Jewish settlers in "settlements" (land stolen from Palestinians) have been  terrorizing the remaining Palestinians for decades. (I know this from a friend who was such a "settler".)   The most recent case is reported because it's more sickening than usual. It's in Haaretz for August 4. A Palestinian house
was raided by Jewish settlers, spray painted with slogans in Hebrew meaning "Hail the Messiah", then firebombed. The parents and two children got out - though are suffering burns. In the terror and confusion, they couldn't  find the baby. So it was burned to death.

The Israeli government is, of course, very upset. But has rarely taken action in such cases. Well, that's at least consistent. The Israeli government has been spreading hatred of Palestinians as an excuse for its treatment of them. And the spread of such hatred has gone across the U.S. through the action and inaction of the U.S. government and its news media.

Puerto Rico didn't make the news, either. This American territory (kept at a distance because it's full of Puerto Ricans) is broke and in default. As in Greece, the bankers want their blood. The country, kept poor and with few social services is, at the demand of the bankers, being forced to close schools and fire teachers, plus higher taxes (though not for big business)..

Will it work? Of course not.  It didn't work in 1929. And it's never worked since then. So why do the rich always push for austerity to deal with a debt problem - as happened in Greece, in Puerto Rico, and as the Irving press in encouraging for New Brunswick?

Because it works for the very rich. They don't have to worry about feeding or educating their children, and they don't have to worry about taxes. In fact, austerity programmes make the rich richer because they help the rich to drive down salaries and benefits. That's what happened in the Great Depression, and the rich learned that lesson well.

You cannot rebuild an economy  by making most people poor, by spreading hunger, by cutting off medical help. All you can do that way is to make them miserable, and dead long before their time. But count on the Irving press to come down in favour of austerity every time. And if it comes to a time when the people of Moncton are weak and sick in the streets because of their poverty, the Irving press will still be campaigning for the new hockey rink.

Former U.S. president, Jimmy Carter, a guest on a recent radio talk show, said that the U.S. is not a democracy. It's an oligarchy (government by a small group of wealthy people) with unlimited political bribery.

I think he's right. And I found a site naming other  prominent Americans (including some who surprised me) who have said that.


To see the others who have said this, go to the end of the article.

Canada is pretty much the same. If Harper wins again, it will be game over for democracy. New Brunswick is ruled by oligarchy, too, albeit a small one. That can still be changed. But we have proof that neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives will ever change it.



Monday, August 3, 2015

August 3: http://www.canadianprogressiveworld.com/2015/07/30/wikileaks-reveals-cbc-and-canada-post-may-be-sold-under-tpp-agreement/

The post in my title is a about a letter  obtained by WikiLeaks. It shows that Harper is preparing to sell Canada Post and CBC to private buyers - something that may be incorporated into the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership.

And so we would lose the only reliable news agency in North America. And we will have just about all of our radio and TV  to match the abysmal standards of the Irving press. Nor will it save money. These deals never do. Private ownership is more expensive for us because its only motive is profit. As well, we will lose even more as most of those profits escape our taxation.

Is this the big deal that I mentioned in my last post? The one that big business really needed Harper to put through?

I don't think so. I think there's also something bigger in the works. Possibly selling off medicare. He would need a solid collection those bobble head dolls we call Conservatives to do that.  (Robert Goguen springs to mind.)  That done, Harper will be able to retire as a very wealthy man.

I grew up in a Canada that had almost no services. I remember it too well. I remember my uncle, in his 20s, dying at home with only an occasional visit from a doctor because we couldn't afford more. I never  saw a doctor  until I was twenty or so. The cost was out of the question. There were no school cafeterias because nobody could afford to buy lunch. That's the Canada that Harper sets up as his ideal.

It was a Canada of dreadful suffering and early death for most Canadians. But private profit was great - though not so good as today.

I remember that. And I can only think - you bastards.

On Nov. 11, we will hear how our young people died to save freedom. I don't know how many actually enlisted to save freedom and equality for all people. I do know that the Churchills and Roosevelts who said that were lying. The only colony Britain freed was India - and that was because India was to big to fight against. France. The U.S. freed none at all.

I don't know what our 40,000 dead thought they were fighting for. Nor do all those Nov. 11 speakers know. But I'm pretty sure they were not fighting to put us all back in the depression of the 1930s. And they did not fight to make billionaires richer at the expense of the rest of us.

The direction we have been moving for the last 30 or 40 years is a terrible reminder of we have forgotten the price they paid, I'll skip the Nov. 11 ceremonies until they drop the false sentimentality, and create the kind of country the 40,000 dead would have wanted.

The story about selling out Canada Post and CBC came out on Wednesday. But I haven't seen it in the Irving press. And I really don't expect to see it because it's a lying, propagandizing newspaper chain designed to keep us in the dark while the rich made ever-bigger profits out of us. That won't change because the staff of Irving press is gutless.

And we are leaving one hell of a world for our children. I know that because long ago I lived in that kind of a world.

This Canada  has no resemblance to the Canada of fifty years ago. That was a Canada of hope and advancement. This is a Canada run by the greediest and richest to serve the greediest and richest. We are living through a revolution which has  largely destroyed democracy (just about completely destroyed it in the U.S.), has made billionaires the real powers in the land, and turned them free to destroy the rest of us.
I read the paper. There's no, real news at all in Section 1.

In editorial and commentary, the only one worth reading is Steve Malloy. It's not really a commentary - it's a story - but its better than a 'just a story'.
Canada and World has only four pages - and wastes all of them. A typical news flash is at the bottom of B2, "First World War touched everyday lives in Atlantic Canada". Wow!  Who would have guessed?

There's no mention of the wars, some open and some secret, all over the world that have nothing to do with freedom or democracy or protecting anybody. They are wars to make the rich richer. Nothing else. And all they create is more wars. The result? Millions are murdered, displaced, starved to death, crippled, orphaned so the billionaires of this world can get richer.

The Irving press has nothing about this. Nor does it mention a related story. The men who operate the American drones that kill innocent people by the thousands are quitting their jobs and leaving the military because they can't live with the shame of what they're doing. So the U.S. government is replacing them with hired thugs - mercenaries.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government has been spending so massively and so corruptly on the military that the U.S. has a debt than can never be paid - and that means social services to the poor, the hungry, the unemployed and the homeless have to be cut. And not a word about this in the Irving press.

Apart from Steve Malloy's column, I could find only one item in the whole paper worth a read. It's by Jessica Naugler, a grade 10 student at Bernice McNaughton. She's a good writer and, unlike most of the Irving staff, she has something to say.

Briefly, it's about the shock of a visit to Haiti where she saw unspeakable poverty, sick and starving children as she had never seen before.

I can't recall ever seeing a news story about this in the Irving press - though Haiti is not the other side of the world.

Why is Haiti so dreadful? Because capitalists like it that way. They don't give a damn about the people. So they have all but killed public education. There is no health care - not when salaries are $5 a day, and almost no job is permanent. Yet,here are fortunes being made out of places like Haiti, some them by Canadians.

The U.S. has used invasion, occupation, dictatorships in Haiti for close to a hundred years to keep it wretchedly poor and hopeless. Remember that next time you're praising the God of the Irving Chapel,

Ms. Naugler says that, of course, there's a limit to how much we can give. She is too kind. North Americans have a terrible record in giving aid to anybody. Often (usually) the aid consists of weapons,or extravagant sums paid to a North American billionaire who cheats to keep most of it for himself. The U.S. gave very little to help Haiti after its earthquake - and most of that went into the pockets of American contractors - with not much sign of anything done.

Now, if it's bombs people want or armoured vehicles, no problem. Without American weaponry, Al Quaeda and IS would be forced to fight with slingshots.

There are no limits to the cynicism, cruelty and greed of the very rich.

We are all back to the 1930s. We are all or almost all led by the very wealthy who are thoroughly fascist, and sometimes Nazi. And it's much worse this time than the 1930s.

I don't take Trudeau seriously. I think Mulcair should be much further to the left - but he can't be as long as Canadians give so little thought to where we are heading. And Harper? He's our Hitler/Mussolini.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

August 2: Part II

Sorry, part one stopped abruptly before I got to my main topic. I couldn't fix it. So I had to find a child who could.

I was talking about the horrors that the Canadian mining industry inflicts, especially in Central American and Africa.  As well, it commonly pays insignificant royalties. One firm operating a mine in northern Quebec pulled out 10 billion in sales. But paid only 226 dollars in royalties. Nor do we see much in taxes from this activity, because wealthy Canadians now have 200 billion dollars and more in offshore tax havens. And you'll notice that the Irving press never tells us how much income tax the Irvings pay.

Sure, pipelines and mines and forests will provide jobs - as long as they last. But New Brunswick pays one hell of a price for those jobs - as long as they last. And this is true all over the world. Unregulated capitalism does NOT produce wealth (except for the unregulated capitalists.). It creates poverty That's why there's a wage gap, and it's growing. - all over the world.

The world has changed a great deal since the 1960s. That was a period is which Canadians expected government to act in their interests That's how we got medicare. (except in the U.S,) War had given us the experience that the civil service knew what it was doing, and could make life better for us.

But we forgot (or never knew) the depression, the much better years that followed into the 1960s...The privately-owned news media made sure of that by using a word that sounded derogatory (bureaucracy) to describe those civil servants who knew better than private business ever did what a society requires.

The wealthy organized themselves to turn the clock back to the days of piracy as they set out to loot the world. It's the same in Canada, the U.S., China, Russia, probably India. The  wars the people of those countries fight or threaten to fight  get nothing out of them but death, misery, starvation. The wars we are seeing and and expect more of are not wars between nations   They are wars between the various groups of the very rich - with the rest of us as cannot fodder.

And they use the news media they own to control us. In fact,  the U.S. is now hiring psychologists and psychiatrists to help it make the news more effective as propaganda. You can always find a goodly number of such 'experts' in the universities who will cooperate - for a price. Millions of people  have died. Many more millions are going to die to make the rich richer.

Ultimately, we're on a self-destructive path. But the greedy and power-hungry will never know that.

Is it possible to stop this?   I'm not optimistic.   We live in a province that has been ripped off by the rich ever since the start. And the people of this province  keep voting for the Liberals and the Conservatives who, almost openly, lead the rip-offs.

Can the NDP do it? It can certainly improve things - but not, fundamentally, change them.
Real change can come only when the people demand it. But they aren't demanding much of anything; because our private news media and TV and films are very effective in turning us into zombies. And without massive public support, real change is impossible.

We have accepted what is, essentially and using the correct sense of the word, a fascist state. Indeed, we have gone farther than Mussolini did. His fascism  made the wealthy unelected part of the government. Our fascism has,gone further, making the wealthy into the government. That suited our wealthy people very nicely. That's why,back in years we  have never been told about, they gave support to Hitler and Mussolini.

It's a system that needs a direction in which the the anger and frustration of the public can be released. Donald Trump is doing well not because of any useful programme he has suggested but using Mexicans as Hitler used Jews. The American and Canadian governments are  using Muslims in the same way.

At some point the anger and hatred will release itself in riots, and even rebellions. The U.S. is ready for that. That's why its police forces have been militarized - to fight Americans. That, I strongly suspect, is why we saw a special RCMP squad  in New Brunswick wearing military camouflage and carrying combat  rifles. They weren't there to protect us. They were there to attack us if the shale owners thought it necessary.

The natural reaction of angry people is not to attack those who threaten them. It's to attack those they've been conditioned to hate. That's what Hitler was all about. Nothing like patriotism and honour and love of God to make us indiscriminate killers.

People - us - have to change. And we have to think far, far more seriously than we do about what changes we want. In New Brunswick, especially, we need to read and to talk and to debate what's going on in this world.


By the way, a strange thing is happening in this federal election in Canada. But none of our eagle-eyed press seem to have noticed it. Harper's Conservatives have piles of money for the election campaign.

The NDP, of course, has very little. That's because the wealthy have never been fond of the NDP.

But - the Liberals are low on funding, too. And that's very odd.

The wealthy usually give big contributions to both Liberals and Conservatives because, after all, they're both pretty much the same, and both servants of the wealthy. So why is this election such an exception?

Because they expect the Liberals to lose? No. That makes no sense. If Harper gets only a minority, he will need the Liberals with all the seats they can muster.  Except -

What if, after this election, Harper intends to moveto  something really outrageous, but that the wealthy really, really want? Something so outrageous that even the Liberals can't support it?

What if it's a trade treaty that makes corporations so free to do whatever they want that they, in effect, become the government of Canada? And our opinions mean nothing.

But that can't be done without a Harper majority. Canada's wealthy have found our Mussolini.


August 2: Sunday odds and ends.

Yesterday, I forget to mention  the Faith Page of the Irving Press - always  inspiring and uplifting page. I was always look forward to the sermonette on this page as a key to understanding the world. And the contributing cleric does it again. This time, the message of the day, the solution to the world's problems is we must not take the Lord's name in vain. Well....

There are exceptions of course - though the writer does not mention them.The U.S. government is free to say it is God's will for the U.S. to rule the world. That's what it calls American Exceptionalism. And  we all send people to kill for God and country. Canada has some pilots doing it now. But that's  not taking God's name in vain because it's what God wants us to do. No. The preacher is taking dead aim at the real troublemakers in this world - the ones who say God Damn or  isti Christ Tabarnaque - though you can get away with the latter because God doesn't speak French. I mean, look at The Bible. It's all in English.

Incidentally, using God's name in vain, we are told, is one of the Ten Commandments. So is thou shalt not kill. So how come the sermonette is never about how we should not kill in Syria, or carry out provocative military exercises in Eastern Europe, or supply killing equipment and training in killing to Ukraine?

And how about loving thy neighbour? We live in a country which is cutting services to those of us who need help while we let the rich hide their wealth in offshore savings accounts.

Those sermonettes on the Faith Page have nothing to do with faith of any sort.
While we're on a religious theme, I was reading a couple of newspapers yesterday - one was Jewish and the other was Muslim. Both were good reads, and both gave evidence of closely related values. And both were of values more Christian than any I have seen in the Irving press - including the Faith page.

Here's Haaretz   weekend

Analysis || Israel's meekness in the face of Jewish extremism carries a heavy price 
The terrorists who murdered Palestinian infant Ali Saad Daobasa have exacerbated the situation in the territories to its most dangerous since the last Gaza war, says Amos Harel. 
Roger Waters sets the record straight: I hate apartheid, not Israel 
Gideon Levy spent 24 hours with the former Pink Floyd singer, who has become one of the leading lights in the BDS movement. A conversation on political views, tragic family history – and when the rock star-turned-activist will be happy to play in Israel again.
Analysis ||Israel's condemnation of Pride attack is hollow
Behind the pinkwashing, it turns out that homophobia in its worst forms exists within the coalition, writes Aeyal Gross
Why we don't know how to pick our leaders
Our craving for ideology means that we are partial to ideological leaders. But we need leaders who will make smart decisions that are aligned with the public interest.
Sayed Kashua celebrates 40 and bids farewell to news
A milestone birthday is as good an opportunity as any for a midlife crisis about the Middle East crises.
Canada's 'Jewish ghetto' isn't as bad as it sounds
Hadas still struggles with the heavy Quebec accent, but her kids know four languages – Yiddish included. 
Gain a family
Learn Hebrew today and gain more than a language 
East of U.S., Jews aren't drifting from Israel 
As Russian and Ukrainian Jews have told me, 'When Israel bombs Gaza and kills Palestinians, our neighbors here fear and respect us.'
Bertol Brecht has something to say to modern Israel
Itay Tiran as Mack the Knife is superb in this sociopolitical protest play.
Comic proportions: When Moses meets Superman
From Samson's battles to the wars of King David, a fusion of comics and 
Bible stories is the crux of this exhibition at the Israeli Cartoon Museum in Holon.
When Palestine was a sugar cane empire
Uri Malhi's sugar cane fields are a reminder of the days when sugar cane was a major crop in these parts. And in another tasty project, a designer creates fabulous new lollipops.

And here's Al Jazeera.

30 JULY 2015


Israel authorises force-feeding of prisoners
Reunion Island plane debris investigated for MH370 link
India executes plotter of deadly 1993 Mumbai bombings
Germany warns of attacks on Istanbul's public transport
Israel PM approves 300 settler homes in occupied W Bank
Afghan government says Mullah Omar dead
Bahrain arrests several suspects over deadly bombing
Saudi policeman killed in attack in Eastern Province
Is Saudi Arabia warming up to the Muslim Brotherhood?
White House rejects petition to pardon Snowden
Sweden far-right plans gay parade in mainly Muslim area
Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam sentenced to death
'Girl aged 10' used in bombing in Nigeria's Damaturu

Clashes erupt at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa on Jewish holiday
Q&A: 'It is possible to break the Israeli occupation'
US set to launch air strikes on ISIL from Turkey base
New app shakes up Indonesia's motorbike taxi market
'Strong evidence' of Israeli war crimes in Gaza
In a brutal assault in Rafah during 2014 Gaza war, Israeli forces purposely targeted scores of civilians, report finds.
California's drought and the battle for Medicine Lake
Plans are afoot to build power plants and frack near one of California's biggest reserves of fresh water.
Iceland women tackle rape and 'pornification'
As Iceland celebrates 100 years of women's suffrage, some women launch social media campaigns to demand more progress.
Magazine: A leap of faith
Meet the 97-year-old goddess of Haitian dance.
UK kids heading from care to jail
An alarming number of young UK offenders with criminal records were previously in the care of local authorities.
A Sino-Russian alliance to rival Europe
Faced with Western sanctions and falling oil prices, Russia bolsters ties with trade-partner to the east.
No Mr Cameron, jihadists didn't start on 9/11
Cameron's narrow historical lens and dismissal of foreign policy while explaining terrorism is inherently flawed.
A refugee's hope: Young girl takes on Merkel
In the presence of a cold Angela Merkel, Reem Sahwil puts a human face on the refugee crisis.
Romania's white knight: The EU
The narrative that the European Union disrespects democracy is a fallacy.

A close look at the most influential Kurdish groups in the Middle East spread over Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.

An interactive map details the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip during the 50-day assault during July and August 2014.
The story behind Nigeria's domestic movie industry, the second biggest producer of films in the world.
Slaving Away
We expose the dirty secrets behind Australia's fresh food industry and the widespread exploitation of foreign workers.
In Somalia, a leafless tree is marked by death
Puntland locals find themselves disturbed by haunting execution site but too frightened to ever cut it down.
Badwater: A race to breaking point in no man's land
Run widely considered the most difficult footrace in the world has taken on mythical status.

Then I received a note on Canadian mining companies and slavery, rape and torture.
As well, the current issue of Monitor - www.policyalternative.ca   has some very disturbing articles on how Canadian mining companies commonly destroy environments for any future survival, and commonly pay miners $30 a month. Any complaints are smothered by company police or, if necessary,  by the local army.
In El Salvador, a Canadian/Australian mining venture called Pac Rim Cayman announced plans to develop a gold mine. Now, El Salvador is a tiny and poor country with some of the worst environmental  problems in the world. Yet another mine would be the final touch. So the government refused permission. And so the mining company sued for 'lost profits' - at