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Ghost Dog

Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Canary Islands Archipelago
Home country: Spain
Member since: Wed Apr 19, 2006, 12:59 PM
Number of posts: 15,559

About Me

Brit gone native. Cooperative member. Ecology. Cartography. Programming. Music production.

Journal Archives

Maldives ex-President Mohammed Nasheed calls for international help

... Mohammed Nasheed asked India to help release prisoners and the US to curb leaders' financial transactions.

Turmoil began when current President Abdulla Yameen refused to release political dissidents, defying a court order and sparking protests.

"We must remove him from power," Mr Nasheed said in a statement.

The government has declared a state of emergency and the chief justice of the Supreme Court has been detained with no further details given about his detention or charges...


Brexit journey from hubris to humiliation (Gary Younge)


... The past 18 months have illustrated the journey from hubris to humiliation. For a couple of generations, we have seen our attributes and others’ weaknesses through the wrong side of a magnifying glass; now our diminished state is becoming fully apparent, and, like Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, reciting Kipling in Myanmar, we are struggling to adjust.

This awakening would be funny (abroad they find it hilarious) if it were not so consequential. Johnson told the Commons the EU27 could “go whistle” for an extortionate Brexit bill. They whistled; now we will cough, to the tune of £35-40bn.

During her 2017 election campaign, Theresa May, channelling her inner Thatcher, boasted about being a “bloody difficult woman”. “The next man to find that out will be Jean-Claude Juncker,” she claimed. In fact Juncker, the president of the European commission, and his team have found May more overwhelmed and befuddled than overwhelming and belligerent. After one Downing Street dinner, European negotiators concluded that she “does not live on planet Mars but rather in a galaxy very far away”...

Maldives Supreme Court orders release of jailed politicians

... The Maldives Supreme Court has ordered the immediate release and retrial of the exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed and opposition leaders.

In a statement, the court declared that their original trials violated constitutional and international law.

It also nullified a decision which resulted in 12 lawmakers losing their seats - effectively giving opposition politicians a majority in parliament.

Opposition supporters took to the streets to celebrate the ruling.

But their jubilation on the streets of the capital Male was quickly contained by police using tear gas...


... Rule of Law... Or rule or politics/corrupt economics...

"Schedule 7": Drawn into the UK anti-terror net...

Owen Jones, The Guardian

My twin sister, Eleanor, is not a terrorist. It is absurd to have to write this. Three months ago – after travelling to Scotland to attend our grandfather’s funeral – she was detained at Edinburgh airport under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. She was forced to hand over her passwords for her mobile phone and computer; she was interrogated about the political beliefs of her relatives (myself included); and then was driven from the airport to a police station to have her DNA sample and fingerprints taken. After being detained for four hours, she missed her flight back to Berlin, where she lives: the police refused to even pay the cost of a ticket for a new flight.

Here’s the background. My sister took part in July’s protests at the G20 summit in Hamburg. She was sprayed by water cannon and tear gas, witnessed police brutality and, in the melee, fell and injured her legs. She was later arrested on suspicion of being in the anarchist black bloc (she wasn’t), detained for 36 hours and released without charge.

Her first arrest itself represented an attack on the civil liberties of a peaceful protester. The second detention can hardly be construed as anything other than an attempt to intimidate and harass someone exercising their fundamental democratic rights – using legislation supposedly designed to prevent would-be murderers committing atrocities. The Labour MSP Neil Findlay has written to Scotland’s justice minister with a series of questions about my sister’s case: including whether the detention was fair, justified or proportionate; about the tactics Police Scotland used against “a wholly innocent UK citizen”; and asking who authorised the action.

No one rational disputes the need for laws to protect people from the threat of terror. It is not unreasonable, after all, to expect anti-terrorism legislation to be used to target terrorists. When such laws were introduced, critics suggested they would threaten civil liberties and infringe on the rights of the innocent. They were smeared as scaremongers, and yet they were vindicated...


Malta car bomb kills Panama Papers journalist

Monday 16 October 2017 18.33 BST First published on Monday 16 October 2017 18.09 BST
The journalist who led the Panama Papers investigation into corruption in Malta was killed on Monday in a car bomb near her home.

Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday afternoon when her car, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful explosive device which blew the vehicle into several pieces and threw the debris into a nearby field.

A blogger whose posts often attracted more readers than the combined circulation of the country’s newspapers, Caruana Galizia was recently described by the Politico website as a “one-woman WikiLeaks”. Her blogs were a thorn in the side of both the establishment and underworld figures that hold sway in Europe’s smallest member state...

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/16/malta-car-bomb-kills-panama-papers-journalist

Capitalist? Socialist? Meaningless labels.

... (S)hould we describe the Netherlands as socialist because its rail system is state-owned? Is France socialist because it has a national energy company? Is Germany socialist because it has rent controls?

In fact all these countries are social democracies – a variety of developed-world market-based economy. Britain has another variety. So does Japan. So do the Scandinavian nations. These are all mixed economies, where markets coexist with some degree of state ownership and intervention. Even America, with its state-funded scientific research programmes and New Deal-era social security system, is really a mixed economy.

The idea that Theresa May and the Conservatives are offering a set of policies that can be usefully summed up as “capitalism” and Labour are offering something entirely distinct called “socialism”, is fatuous. There are certainly differences between the two major parties in their view of the proper borders between market and state within our mixed economy (bigger differences than there have been for several decades) – but their positions plainly still lie on a recognisable continuum.

Theresa May herself says she wants a louder voice for workers in company board rooms, and stresses that markets must operate “with the right rules and regulations”. And Jeremy Corbyn, for all the attempts by the right-wing press to portray him as a bloodthirsty revolutionary, is not calling for the nationalisation of supermarkets and car manufacturers...


"The smart money is on the butterfly breaking the wheel." (Marina Hyde)


"... And yet here we are today. Much is written about some Tories’ enduring search for a new Iron Lady to fantasise about. Just after the election was called, a few old-school Tory MPs were precipitously referring to Theresa May as Mummy. They will always have to live with the shame of what we all know they did at least a couple of times before they realised May wasn’t The One..."

Europe Sheds Its Brexit Baggage and Aims for a Bold Relaunch


... Globally, with Trump challenging the trans-Atlantic order and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un testing nuclear bombs, the EU is presenting itself as a bastion of stability.

To be sure, the EU has its fair share of lingering risks. The southern flank -- Italy and Spain included -- features weak governments and banks (*), Macron must deliver on a domestic economic overhaul that Germany is demanding and Poland has provoked unprecedented concerns about democratic backsliding in the bloc and a rift with western neighbors.

But these realities aren’t spoiling a more optimistic mood in EU circles.

“Some are even talking about a renaissance of Europe,” said Janis Emmanouilidis, director of studies at the European Policy Centre in Brussels. “We need to be careful not to cheer too early and too loud.”...

(*) - Spanish bank Banco Santander is rated as the strongest bank in Europe, and probably in the world.

Caroline Lucas speaks clearly re. Irma & Climate Change (in Parliament & the Independent)


... “Gaston Browne, the leader of Antigua and Barbuda, is talking about climate change today. Will the Minister reassure the House that we will not have to wait for a hurricane to hit the UK before we have the policies we need from this Government to tackle climate breakdown? Without that, we will not see the climate leadership that his Government like to claim in theory being shown in practice.”...

... Because the truth is that the Government doesn’t want to admit that its reckless attitude toward climate change has real effects. The most powerful people in the UK right now don’t want to acknowledge that our failure to sufficiently cut climate changing emissions contributes to sea levels rising, and oceans becoming warmer. They don’t want to face up to the fact that warmer oceans and higher sea levels make storms like Irma even more devastating, and more frequent.

Gaston Browne put it perfectly on the radio this morning when he said: “The science is clear. Climate change is real – in the Caribbean we are living with the consequences of climate change. It is unfortunate that there are some who see it differently.”

I hope that Minsters heard him. Because when they cut support to solar energy, plough ahead with fracking or effectively ban onshore wind farms, they might comfort some of their backbenchers and the more right-wing sections of the press – but in doing so they condemn people across the world to suffering the worst effects of climate breakdown...

UK Neolib Deregulation: Tearing apart what remains of the living world (Monbiot)

The less you care, the better you will do. This has long been the promise of conservative politics on both sides of the Atlantic. People who couldn’t give a tinker’s cuss about the consequences of their actions are elevated to the highest levels of government. Their role is to trash what lesser mortals value.

This describes the position of almost everyone in Donald Trump’s cabinet. In the UK, I feel it applies, among others, to Jeremy Hunt at the Department of Health, Boris Johnson at the Foreign Office, Priti Patel at international development and now Michael Gove at the environment department: the worst possible candidates are given the most sensitive portfolios.

Gove has attacked the two main pillars of protection for wildlife and ecosystems in this country, the European habitats and birds directives. As education secretary, he sought to erase climate change from the geography curriculum. Now, at a time of great environmental hazard, as the Brexit talks commence, he has been granted an opportunity to make his dream – and our nightmare – of destroying public protections come true...

... In 2011 David Cameron launched a “one-in, one-out” rule: any new regulation could be introduced only if an existing measure, with equal costs to business, was revoked. In 2013 it was escalated to one-in, two-out. This was the doctrine cited in 2014 by the then Conservative housing minister to justify his refusal to insist that sprinkler systems be fitted to new buildings to prevent fires from spreading. In 2015 the government ramped up the ratio to one-in, three-out, and locked it into law through the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act. As Christine Berry of the New Economics Foundation points out, this more or less bans new regulations. It ensures that business costs are transferred to society, where they remain, under this formula, uncounted...

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