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"It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have." James A. Baldwin

Journal Archives

Protesters march against Nato summit

Source: The Telegraph

Hundreds anti-war protesters marched peacefully through Newport on Saturday, days before the Welsh town was to host world leaders at the Nato summit. More than 150 heads of state and ministers will attend the two-day event at Newport's Celtic Manor Resort. Security for the summit will be provided by 9,500 police officers drawn from 43 UK police forces with 12 miles of security fencing already in place at keys sites in Cardiff and Newport.

The event will be "uncharted territory" for police – while Wales' First Minister Carwyn Jones has said it will be "momentous" in his country's history. However, its presence in the principality – and the UK – has been met with strong opposition from a number of anti-war groups as well as left-wing organisations. The demonstrators held placards against Nato involvement in conflicts around the world and shouted pro-Palestinian slogans.

Chris Nineham, vice chairman of Stop the War Coalition, said the worsening situation in Iraq was a direct result of the "invasion and occupation of Iraq that started in 2003. The idea again that what we need is more of the same – we need more Western bombs, we need more Western arms into the country – is ludicrous and again has to be opposed," he said.

Another demonstration is scheduled for Thursday, the first day of the Nato summit.

Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newsvideo/11066021/Protesters-march-against-Nato-summit.html

More power to the protestors. NATO really has outlived it's usefulness. Now it is more of an excuse to start a new war than anything else.
Posted by another_liberal | Sun Aug 31, 2014, 05:29 PM (60 replies)

Europe's largest nuclear power plant is in danger of being hit by artillery fire.

The environmental activists at Greenpeace are reporting fears a nuclear power plant near the fighting in southeastern Ukraine may be damaged by shelling. The six-reactor Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant (fifth largest in the World) is still outside artillery range at present, but the fighting is getting closer. Maybe some ceasefire negotiations might be in order?

The Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.

Ukrainian nuclear plant vulnerable to Kiev’s artillery strikes – Greenpeace expert.

Europe’s largest nuclear power plant is vulnerable to ‘direct bombardment’ in Ukraine if caught in the conflict, a Greenpeace nuclear energy expert told a German newspaper, claiming that its nuclear reactors are not protected from armor-piercing weapons.

Greenpeace nuclear expert Tobias Münchmeyer revealed his concerns over the six-reactor Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant in eastern Ukraine to Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung. He said the plant was insufficiently protected against a direct bombardment and that 1.2-meter thick reinforced concrete shells surrounding each reactor are strong enough to withstand only a small aircraft crash.

"There are many armor-piercing weapons in the region, which could penetrate these protective covers," Münchmeyer said, as cited by Deutsche Welle on Saturday. The Soviet design reactors at Zaporizhia are largely dependent on Russian expertise and spare parts, the expert also said.

Zaporizhia is the largest nuclear power plant (NPP) not only in Ukraine, but also in Europe and also the fifth largest NPP in the world. It is situated on the bank of the Kakhovka water reservoir on the Dnieper River. This is some 200 kilometers from the warzone in Donetsk region.


Read more at: http://rt.com/news/184004-greenpeace-zaporizhia-npp-danger/
Posted by another_liberal | Sun Aug 31, 2014, 10:33 AM (67 replies)

Ebola outbreak: Senegal confirms first case

Source: BBC News

Senegal's health minister has confirmed a first case of Ebola, making it the fifth West African country to be affected by the outbreak.

Awa Marie Coll Seck told reporters on Friday that a young man from Guinea had travelled to Senegal despite having been infected with the virus. The man was immediately placed in quarantine, she added.

The current outbreak, which began in Guinea, has killed more than 1,500 people across the region.

At least 3,000 people have been infected with the virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned it could get much worse and infect more than 20,000 people.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28983554

(no comment)
Posted by another_liberal | Fri Aug 29, 2014, 08:54 PM (7 replies)

Russian President asks Western leaders to make Kiev negotiate peace.

The President of Russia has suggested leaders of Western nations apply some of their diplomatic influence with Poroshenko to convince the Ukrainian leader to negotiate an end to the bloody conflict now devastating much of eastern Ukraine. Now we will see whether NATO, the EU and the United States are for peace and diplomacy, or if they prefer ever more destruction, death and war.

Putin: Kiev’s shelling in E. Ukraine reminiscent of Nazi actions during WWII

Russian President Vladimir Putin has compared the shelling of east Ukrainian towns and cities by Kiev’s troops to actions carried out by the Nazis during World War II.

“Sad as it might seem, this reminds me of the events of World War II, when the German Nazi occupants surrounded our cities, like Leningrad, and directly shelled those cities and their inhabitants,” Putin said on Friday, speaking at the “Seliger-2014” youth forum.

He recalled the signs in St. Petersburg, preserved since World War II, which warned citizens which side of the road was more vulnerable to shelling. Now “both towns and cities are surrounded by the Ukrainian army, which is directly shelling residential areas with the purpose of destroying infrastructure, and suppressing the will of those in the resistance,” Putin said.

The president also commented on Kiev’s military units that are currently surrounded and blocked by anti-government militia. According to the latest data, Kiev has refused to try and negotiate safe passage for them to retreat.



. . .

The Ukrainian leadership has demonstrated its inability to bring the situation under control, the Russian president said, urging talks between Kiev and the country’s east.

“Our partners’ position is clear to me,” he said. “Yes, there should be talks, but in the mean time we need to let Ukrainian troops to do a bit of shooting – maybe they will get the situation under control.”

Putin added that it was time to acknowledge that attempts to resolve the crisis by force have failed and it is “necessary to make Ukrainian authorities to begin negotiation and not over technical issues… but over the core issues.”

The main topic on the agenda should be the rights of the people living in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, the Russian president said.


Read more at: http://rt.com/news/183648-putin-russia-ukraine-nazi/
Posted by another_liberal | Fri Aug 29, 2014, 07:32 AM (97 replies)

Big contrasts in how Moscow and Kiev treat their prisoners.

When Russian anti-Kiev volunteers are captured by Ukraine they are charged with crimes, very serious ones relating to "aiding terrorism." When Ukrainian regulars cross the border fleeing combat and capture, they are fed and given medical attention, then allowed safe passage back to their own territory.

Over 60 Ukrainian troops cross into Russia seeking refuge

A group of 62 Ukrainian troops have crossed into Russia’s Rostov Region seeking shelter to save their lives amid an intensified counteroffensive recently launched by anti-Kiev militia in southeastern Ukraine.

“Today, 62 servicemen of the Ukrainian Armed Forces turned to Russian border guards asking to let them into the Russian territory near Russia’s settlement of Shramko, Matveyevo-Kurgansky district, with the aim to save their lives,” the spokesman for the FSB's border guard office in the Rostov Region, Nikolai Sinitsyn, told Itar-Tass news agency on Wednesday. They were allowed to cross and provided with a transit corridor on the principles of humanism, but only after they left their weapons on the Ukrainian side of the border, Sinitsyn added.

This case became the latest in a series of similar incidents where a total of over 500 Ukrainian troops crossed into Russia since July seeking refuge and medical help. Earlier this week, Ukraine released videos showing alleged Russian paratroopers captured on Ukrainian territory. Russian Defense Ministry sources were saying that they probably crossed the border by mistake during a routine patrol of an area which wasn’t manned. President Putin, when asked about the issue said he hoped it won’t be blown out of proportion, since Ukrainian troops regularly cross into Russian territory, sometimes in armored vehicles and were never charged with anything and always allowed to return to Ukraine freely.

Kiev’s renewed accusations of Russian military’s alleged operations on Ukrainian territory are “nothing new,” says Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, adding that Russia regularly refutes such reports. Meanwhile Kiev says it has launched a preliminary investigation into the detained men on suspicion of “aiding terrorist groups.”


Read more at: http://rt.com/news/183240-ukraine-troops-russia-border/
Posted by another_liberal | Thu Aug 28, 2014, 07:22 AM (14 replies)

WHO withdraws staff from Sierra Leone Ebola lab after doctor became infected.

Source: The Independent.

The World Health Organization has withdrawn staff from a laboratory testing for Ebola at Kailahun in eastern Sierra Leone after one of its medical workers there was infected during the worst ever outbreak of the disease, a WHO spokesperson said.

"It's a temporary measure to take care of the welfare of our remaining workers," WHO spokesperson Christy Feig said. "After our assessment, they will return."

The WHO has sent nearly 400 people from its own staff and partner organisations to fight the outbreak in West Africa. It said on Sunday that a foreign health worker it had deployed in Sierra Leone had been infected.

Read more: http://www.independent.ie/world-news/africa/who-withdraws-staff-from-sierra-leone-ebola-lab-after-doctor-became-infected-30538487.html

Is it common for so many health workers to become infected in one of these outbreaks? One would think they should have the least chance of any who might come into contact with infected people, due to their training and use of sterile gloves and suits. Pardon me if I am missing something, but this string of doctors and their assistants who have come down with the current Ebola strain is rather troubling.
Posted by another_liberal | Tue Aug 26, 2014, 07:11 PM (4 replies)

Russian Federation prepares to send second relief convoy to Donetsk and Lugansk.

Russian Federation Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, has announced his country plans to send a second truck convoy of relief supplies to eastern Ukraine. He cited international law as justification for the planned effort, and expressed hopes the humanitarian needs of people under siege in Donetsk and Lugansk areas would be a prominent topic at the international talks on Ukraine which are scheduled to begin tomorrow.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Lavrov: Russia to send another humanitarian convoy to Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has announced plans for a second humanitarian convoy to be sent to eastern Ukraine, urging foreign actors and agencies to participate in continuing efforts at relieving the crisis. Failure to do so would constitute a violation of international law, he warned.

“Anyone in need of aid shall receive it,” the FM said, stressing that it is important to learn from the mistakes of the first attempt and to look forward to closer cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities this time around. He stressed that as the indiscriminate shelling of areas such as Lugansk continues, the humanitarian need for water and food grows. This has been acknowledged by humanitarian agencies and international actors at large.

The distribution of aid is currently underway, and is headed by the ICRC. The FM also added that the shelling of schools, hospitals, kindergartens and other vulnerable institutions and structures can no longer be excused by claims of “wrongful shooting” or be written off as "accidental."

Minister Lavrov emphasized that Russia is willing and ready to participate in full in any type of negotiations on ending hostilities in the east, and expressed hope that Tuesday’s meeting in Minsk will include a focus on the crisis in Ukraine. “We certainly expect that tomorrow’s meeting in Minsk will feature a discussion on the humanitarian crisis,” Lavrov said. “We express hope that all participants will urge for the removal of any obstacles to smooth aid delivery to those who are most in need of it.”


Read more at: http://rt.com/news/182556-ukraine-russia-lavrov-/

Posted by another_liberal | Mon Aug 25, 2014, 08:46 AM (0 replies)

Anti-Kiev separatists score major successes against loyal forces near Donetsk.

Though flatly denied by the Poroshenko government in Kiev, reports are surfacing that a major reversal was suffered yesterday and this morning by Ukrainian forces attempting to complete an encirclement of separatist held Donetsk. If true, this would be a serious setback for the Kiev leadership, especially coming as it does just at the eve of Ukraine's "Independence Day" celebrations, and less than a week before an important international conference on Ukraine.


(Google Maps)

Anti-govt forces ‘circle 1000s of Kiev troops, capture 2 tank battalions’ in E.Ukraine.

After sustained defensive combat against Ukrainian troops in the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk during August, rebels are now reporting of entrapping two large groups of Kiev troops and seizing military hardware in a counteroffensive.

The main headquarters of the DPR army has made a decision to stop operations in small groups and form full-bodied independent military units, the anti-Kiev forces say in a summary of their operations filed on Sunday. They also say they are blocking a large “punitive force” near Alekseevskoe, Blagodatnoe, Voykovsky, Kuteinikovo, Ulyanovskoe and Uspenka.

Some 5,000 Kiev troops “with military hardware” including some 50 tanks, over 200 armored vehicles and 50 artillery rocket systems (including Grad) are trapped in the area, the DPR claims. “DNR’s army has surrounded the staff headquarters of the 8th army corps, 28th and 30th mechanized brigades, 95th air mobile brigade of the army of Ukraine, and also punitive battalions ‘Aidar’, ‘Donbass’ and ‘Shakhtersk’,” the document claims.

2,000 more Kiev troops, armed with 30 tanks, over 80 armored vehicles and more than 60 artillery pieces and mortars, have been engaged and are currently being eliminated near Olenovskoye, the anti-Kiev forces said.


Read more at: http://rt.com/news/182404-donetsk-forces-trap-hardware/


12:16 GMT:

Donetsk self-defense troops have force-marched dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war along the main street of the rebel-held town in east Ukraine.

People shouted “fascists” at the group, who walked with heads bowed, reports Reuters citing eyewitnesses. The captives were largely unshaven, disheveled and dressed either in combat fatigues or civilian clothes.

Supporters of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk threw plastic bottles and eggs at the group, which comprised of about 50 captive soldiers, reports the Ukrainian Ostrov news website.

08:50 GMT:

Kiev will spend 40 billion hryvnas (around $3 billion) on weapons and army modernization in 2015-2017, President Poroshenko promised, speaking at the military parade marking Ukraine’s Independence Day. He announced it will be a “modest beginning.”

Poroshenko also said that some of the military personnel engaged in the parade, as well as a portion of the new weaponry on display, will be sent straight to the military zone in the country’s east after the celebration.


Read more at: http://rt.com/news/eastern-ukraine-army-operation-680/


See video of the much discussed display of captured Kiev troops by separatists in Donetsk. Note the size of the crowd of civilians which came to see the prisoners. It is far larger than the "few dozen" which Western media is reporting attended the event:


Posted by another_liberal | Sun Aug 24, 2014, 09:11 AM (114 replies)

German support for a negotiated resolution of the Ukrainian civil war.

Finally a hint of some positive news regarding Ukraine and the end to Poroshenko's brutal civil war of an "anti-terror operation." Maybe soon no more fifteen-year-old girls will be getting their pathetic little arms blown off by Ukrainian Grad rocket batteries?


Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko (R) meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Kiev August 23, 2014. (Reuters)

Merkel supports Ukraine power decentralization

German Chancellor Angela Merkel upholds the idea of the decentralization of power in Ukraine as a path to resolving the ongoing conflict in the east of the country, she said while on a visit to Kiev Saturday. Merkel said that Berlin backs the Kiev-proposed plan on decentralization as an important step needed to let Ukraine’s Russian speaking population feel more involved in the country’s affairs.

“What we [in Germany] mean by federalism is called decentralization in Ukraine. And that is what President [Petro Poroshenko] wants,” she told a joint media conference following the meeting with the Ukrainian leader. “It’s an important step to make the Russian population feel part of Ukraine and stay within Ukraine,” she said, as cited by RIA Novosti. In Merkel’s view, Ukraine should proceed with the decentralization plan. However, she noted, appealing to Germany’s experience would be wrong as there are certain difficulties. What Germans understood by federalism was seen very differently in Ukraine where it was linked to a greater degree of independence “that we don't want at all,” she said, according to Reuters.

Merkel’s comments came shortly after her Vice Chancellor, Social Democrat Sigmar Gabriel, spoke out for federalization to be introduced in Ukraine once the conflict in the east of the country is settled.

“The territorial integrity of Ukraine can only be maintained if an offer is made to the areas with a Russian majority,” Gabriel said in an interview with the Welt am Sonntag newspaper which coincided with Merkel’s visit to Kiev. “A clever concept of federalization seems to be the only practicable way,” the politician said. However, he added, a ceasefire should first be agreed.


Read more at: http://rt.com/news/182356-merkel-visit-poroshenko-kiev/
Posted by another_liberal | Sat Aug 23, 2014, 01:53 PM (0 replies)

White House seeks Congressional Mandate to use American military in Iraq again.

I'm sorry to say so, but it looks like all of those poor, worn-out, PTSD-suffering multiple combat tour veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are about to be ordered to "mount up" once again. The Pentagon is going back to war where they like doing war the best, in those oil-rich deserts of the Middle East!

Militant Islamist fighters on a tank take part in a military parade along the streets of northern Raqqa province (Reuters)

US considers broad military action against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

As the US has acknowledged that the Islamic State group is a greater threat than Al-Qaeda, the White House is reportedly seeking domestic legal justification at home to use unlimited military force against the Sunni extremists in Iraq and Syria. On Friday, the Obama administration said that the killing of American journalist James Foley by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants amounts to a direct terrorist attack on the United States.

"We have seen them posing a threat to our interests in the region, to our personnel and facilities in the region, and clearly the brutal execution of Jim Foley represented an affront, an attack - not just on him, he's an American - and we see that as an attack on our country, when one of our own is killed like that," said Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes.

This comes a day after US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel stressed that the IS terrorist organization is so well funded and managed, that it “is beyond anything that we've seen. So we must prepare for everything.”

Now the White House is considering seeking domestic approval for military action and a mandate from Congress would do just fine, a senior administration official told the Washington Post.


Read more at: http://rt.com/usa/182280-us-threat-isis-syria/



Posted by another_liberal | Sat Aug 23, 2014, 08:28 AM (83 replies)
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