India’s President Modi surprised the entire country on 24 March 2020. At 8 pm, he announced on a government owned news channel that a nationwide lockdown would be enforced from midnight. All workplaces, schools, shops and hotels were shut down. Flights, trains, buses, private vehicles and other transport systems were halted. People were only allowed to leave their homes to pick up essentials and faced a year in jail if they did not have a valid excuse for being outside. India had one of the harshest lockdowns in the world in March, according to Oxford University’s Stringency Index.Read more . . .
To protect humanity, we would have to launch a battle for freedom from science. Saying that one has purely scientific thinking is tantamount to saying that one is a religious fanatic. Today, when science is turning into a religion, we would have to skeptical of its claims of building a better world.We all need to reflect that when debates and discussions were being barred in the name of COVID; when crores of people were being pushed into hunger, unemployment and misery in the name of expert advice and science; at that time, what was our duty? Did we do our duty? There is still time. Do we intend to fulfil our responsibility; do we want to discharge our duty?Read more . . .
Iran’s parliament speaker on international affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, said on Friday that severe consequences await the US military’s act of provocation. “The harassment of an Iranian passenger plane by American fighter jets once again proved that the presence of foreigners in the region is a serious threat to peace and security,” he said in a post on his Twitter account. “US illegally occupies territory of another State and then harasses a scheduled civil airliner—endangering innocent civilian passengers ostensibly to protect its occupation forces,” the Iranian foreign minister said.Read more . . .
We are being told that everything is being done as per the guidelines of the WHO. Why are we not asking how credible the WHO is? Isn’t it true that WHO has been charged with protecting the interests of Big Pharma? After lockdown ruining the economies of many countries, the WHO is now saying that it had never advised lockdowns! Countries like Sweden, Japan, Tanzania, Belarus, Nicaragua and Yemen either did not go for lockdown at all or imposed restrictions that had the least impact on the liberty of the people. Why India did not tread this path?Read more . . .
Among other ideas, the EU diplomats discussed the option of creating a certificate of security in the sphere of tourism under the provisional name “COVID-19 passport”, which would refer to the health status of the owner of the document, and enable him/her to travel to the EU and Schengen States.Read more . . .
In Buñuel’s masterwork, the bourgeoisie affect to live apart from the swamp of political discord, sailing merrily past on a carpet of propriety and shared luxury. Yet they are again and again foiled in their efforts to exile the messiness of the political from their midst. This is precisely what neoliberal financiers hope to do in Argentina and elsewhere, to smuggle in their extractive policies behind a slew of altruistic platitudes and economic casuistry, hoping the commoners will leave their fates to the experts.Read more . . .
As this goes to print, many people in Iran are anxious. They do not understand what they have done to deserve this; the sanctions, the US aircraftcarriers sailing near their shores, and deadly B-52s deployed only dozens of miles away….Here, I declare my full support to the people of Iran, and to the country that has been giving countless cultural treasures to the world, for millennia.It is because I have doubts that if Iran is destroyed, the human race could survive.Read more . . .
The Macron government is threatening to lay charges carrying a five-year jail sentence against journalists who exposed its secret provision of arms for Saudi Arabia’s illegal war in Yemen, in which tens of thousands of civilians have been killed. The Macron government’s actions are part of a drive by capitalist governments around the world—assisted by the state stenographers in the corrupted corporate media—to criminalize whistleblowing and destroy the freedom of the press.Read more . . .
Australian Federal Police (AFP) spent seven hours ransacking a News Corp political reporter’s home in Canberra, and eight hours poring over and seizing files at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) Sydney headquarters.
In an extraordinary admission, the AFP’s acting commissioner Neil Gaughan blurted out that the real reason for the raids was to protect the information that the Australian police and intelligence agencies receive from their “Five Eyes” counterparts. Five Eyes is a top-level network of intelligence agencies dominated by the US that also includes Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.Read more . . .
Dual nationals – those holding the citizenship of both an EU Member State and a non-EU state- will also be included in the database, despite protests from international legal experts who argue that doing so will create two ‘tiers’ of EU citizenship and thus discriminate against dual nationals.Read more . . .
In 2015, a number of journalists and journalism associations requested access from the Parliament to documents relating to the subsistence allowances, travel expenses and parliamentary assistance allowances of Members of the European Parliament (‘MEPs’). Those requests were all refused by the Parliament, as were the confirmatory applications which followed them. The General Court confirms the Parliament’s refusal to grant access to documents relating to MEPs’ subsistence allowances, travel expenses and parliamentary assistance allowances.Read more . . .
MI5 has refused to answer the claimants’ questions about the scope of the policy, including whether it could in principle authorise murder, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, rape, kidnapping or false imprisonment. The security service’s lawyers said to answer such questions of law would reveal the facts of conduct they wish to keep secret.Read more . . .
The corporate state has made it very hard to make a living if you hold fast to this radical critique. You will never get tenure. You probably won’t get academic appointments. You won’t win prizes. You won’t get grants. The New York Times, if they review your book, will turn it over to a dutiful mandarin like George Packer to trash it—as he did with my last book. The elite schools, and I have taught as a visiting professor at a few of them, such as Princeton and Columbia, replicate the structure and goals of corporations. If you want to even get through a doctoral committee, much less a tenure committee, you must play it really, really safe. You must not challenge the corporate-friendly stance that permeates the institution and is imposed through corporate donations and the dictates of wealthy alumni. Half of the members of most of these trustee boards should be in prison!Read more . . .
Run from secret operations centers in Turkey and Jordan, a CIA program pumped many hundreds of millions of dollars to many dozens of militia groups in Syria. This was revealed now by the Washington Post. The rise and fall of the Syria covert action program conveys some useful lessons about this most delicate weapon in the United States’ arsenal, writes the Washington Post, acknowledging the US major role in destabilizing Syria.Read more . . .
On the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the Center for Constitutional Rights described how the Constitution had been shredded based on assumptions about the 9/11 attacks. By then, it had also become clear that the government was actually giving aid and comfort to the enemy (violating Article 3) through arming and training terrorists. One might think it obvious that stopping such actions would be the goal of all Americans but to do so one Congress member has had to spell it out in legislation.Read more . . .
As the news of murder of Libya’s revolutionary leader, Chairman of the African Union and defender of Africa from European neocolonial murderous exploitation was still fresh, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared a laugh with a television news reporter moments after hearing the Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi had been killed.
“We came, we saw, he died,” she joked when told of news reports of Qaddafi’s death by an aide in between formal interviews.”
Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, in August 2016:
“The West should seek the further weakening of Islamic State, but not its destruction… Allowing bad guys to kill bad guys sounds very cynical, but it is useful and even moral to do so if it keeps the bad guys busy and less able to harm the good guys… Moreover, instability and crises sometimes contain portents of positive change… The American administration does not appear capable of recognizing the fact that IS can be a useful tool in undermining Tehran’s ambitious plan for domination of the Middle East.”Read more . . .
Five years of devastating civil war and strict economic sanctions have plunged over 80 percent of Syrians into poverty, up from 28 percent in 2010. Ferdinand Arslanian, a scholar at the Center for Syrian Studies at the University of St. Andrews, says that reduction in living standards and aid dependency is empowering the regime.Read more . . .
Turkey’s neoliberalism culminated in the new millennium with the rise of the AKP, a party with an Islamist background. The party wedded Islamist populism to neoliberalism, which has been critically dubbed “neoliberalism with a Muslim face.”4 By winning over liberal intellectual and economic circles, the AKP has built a historic bloc with Islamic sentiments; İlhan Uzgel calls it “the new hegemonic bloc.” Thus, in order to alter Turkey, the AKP initially had to alter itself.Read more . . .
It would be wonderful if the [Vietnam] war were critically studied and its glorification subjected to massive public opposition combined with teach-ins, multimedia presentations, marches, and demonstrations. These could be directly tied to the interminable and deadly war on terror and the ongoing conversion of the United States into a police state.Read more . . .