25 Nov 2015

Mad World

Tears For Fears (1983)

Cultural figures and rights groups call for release of poet facing execution

Leading international cultural figures have joined human rights campaigners in calling for the release of Ashraf Fayadh, the Palestinian poet and artist facing execution in Saudi Arabia.


Chris Dercon, the director of Tate Modern, British poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, historian Simon Schama, playwright David Hare, and Egyptian novelist and commentator Ahdaf Soueif are among the those calling for the death sentence imposed on Fayadh by a Saudi court last week to be overturned.

More than a dozen organisations for artists, writers, musicians and freedom of expression from the UK, North America and Africa – including Index on Censorship, literary association PEN International and the International Association of Art Critics – have also signed a joint statement condemning Fayadh’s conviction for renouncing Islam, a charge which he denies. The statement, which will be delivered to the Saudi embassy in London by English PEN on Friday, says: “We believe that all charges against him should have been dropped entirely, and are appalled that Fayadh has instead been sentenced to death for apostasy, simply for exercising his rights to freedom of expression and freedom of belief.”

More at The Guardian

The Vikings

24 Nov 2015

NASA Fail Compilation

Glenn Greenwald on "Submissive" Media's Drumbeat for War and Anti-Muslim Scapegoating

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, media coverage has seen familiar patterns: uncritically repeat government claims, defend expansive state power, and blame the Muslim community for the acts of a few. We discuss media fearmongering, anti-Muslim scapegoating, ISIL’s roots, and war profiteering with Glenn Greenwald, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and co-founder of The Intercept. "Every time there’s a terrorist attack, Western leaders exploit that attack to do more wars," Greenwald says. "Which in turn means they transfer huge amounts of taxpayer money to these corporations that sell arms. And so investors are fully aware that the main people who are going to benefit from this escalation as a result of Paris are not the American people or the people of the West —-— and certainly not the people of Syria — it is essentially the military-industrial complex."

Democracy Now! 

22 Nov 2015

Ukrainian nationalist leader: “ISIS is our ally in the struggle against Russia”

A Ukrainian nationalist, leader of the “Brotherhood,” Dmitry Korchinsky proposed to offer asylum to ISIS terrorists in Kiev, the former head of UNA-UNSO [Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian People’s Self-defense] wrote on his social network page. According to Korchinsky, SSU (Security Service of Ukraine) must see ISIS as “allies in the struggle with Russia.”


“At the G20 summit leaders of Western countries were talking to the Moscow terrorist, like he’s a human, asking him to bomb ISIS positions. That is, their attitude towards the terrorists is pragmatic. Ukrainian security services also has to be pragmatic, and therefore, effective. It is not our business to arrest the enemies of Moscow – Islamists. We should only ask them to shoot accurately at Moscow’s terrorists in the Caucasus and in Syria.

More at  Novorossia Today

20 Nov 2015

One in four children at risk of poverty in Europe

More than one in four children in Europe are at risk of poverty and social exclusion, which will have repercussions for them throughout life.


Under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, all children should be guaranteed the right to education, health care services, housing, leisure and a balanced diet. Yet in Europe things look rather different. According to Eurostat, about 26 million children (anyone under 18) were at risk of poverty and social exclusion in 2014. This represents 27.7% of all children in the EU. Children living in poverty can be found in every EU country, even if percentages vary. Children are at greatest risk of poverty in Romania (51%), Bulgaria (45.2%) and Hungary (41.4%), whereas the percentage is much lower in countries such as Denmark (14.5%), Finland (15.6%), Sweden (16.7%). UK and Ireland are doing worse than the EU average of 27.7% with 31.3% and 33.9% (figure for 2013) respectively.

child poverty

The problem of malnutrition among children is also growing in Europe. According to Unicef, the percentage of children who cannot afford to eat meat or fish every second day has doubled in Estonia, Greece and Italy since 2008.

More at the European Parliament


David Bowie

19 Nov 2015

While the World Focuses on the Islamic State, Assad Keeps Bombing Doctors and Civilians

The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been bombing hospitals and civilian targets, a situation made worse recently by the arrival of Russian warplanes. Russian airstrikes hit medical facilities at least 10 times during their first month of bombing in Syria, making matters even worse for doctors, nurses, and patients who have already endured repeated bombardment from Syrian government forces, according to a report from the non-profit group Physicians for Human Rights (PHR).


PHR said the Russian strikes, which began on September 30, included several in the vicinity of Aleppo, where 45 healthcare facilities have been hit in the past three years. According PHR, almost all of the city's doctors — 95 percent — have been killed, detained, or fled the area. The group said it documented 329 attacks on Syrian medical facilities through October, leading to the deaths of 687 medical personnel across the country. It attributed 90 percent of those incidents to the Syrian government. "Each attack, whether the bombing of a hospital or the detention and torture of a doctor for providing health care, is a war crime," said the report's authors.

More at VICE News

18 Nov 2015

16 Nov 2015

Syria's war: Who is fighting and why


Assange Reveals That The West is Behind ISIS And Ukraine Crisis And Israel Behind Hamas

Washington might hope that it has Julian Assange cornered, but despite the man’s inability to physically move anywhere, it would seem that it is he who is doing all the cornering. He explained to an Argentinian paper how US intervention in Ukraine had led to civil war, how the West had helped ISIS, and why Israel supported Hamas.


The United States has spent “A lot of time Trying to Bring Ukraine to the West,” the WikiLeaks Founder said in an Interview to Pagina / 12, Argentinian newspaper on Monday. The intervention of Western countries in the Middle East had also led to  the creation of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), an Islamist group that is currently gaining a massive following across the wider Middle East and Africa, Assange said. “The IS is A Direct result of the adventurism of the West,” Said Assange.


He says the “adventurism” of Western countries has already destroyed the Libyan and Syrian society and now is “destroying Iraq for oil and other geopolitical reasons.” He said that most people are aware of the fact that arms are being funneled into Syria, and that the same agitators who provide these are also focused on reducing Iran’s influence on Iraq. But “what we don’t know is that in recent years in recent years Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey have increased their power and managed to gain certain independence form the US.” As a result, Washington stopped being “the only geopolitical actor “pushing developments in the Middle East, claims Assange.


Assange claims that Israeli authorities had supported the Hamas group at its early stages in order to divide the Palestinian resistance. “Our cables reveal that Israel supported Hamas in its infancy, that Hamas was used as an instrument to divide the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] and the Palestinian resistance,” Assange said.

More at RT.com

Liberté Egalité Fraternité

Rasheed Daci

John Oliver Paris Attacks

A life is a life

Jeremy Corbyn has suggested the British media under-played terrorist attacks in Beirut and Ankara compared to its coverage of the atrocities in Paris this weekend. The Labour leader claimed the events “got hardly any publicity” and the media should “report things that happen outside of Europe as well as inside”.

Paris media coverage

On Thursday evening, over 40 people died in Beirut in an IS terror attack a day before the Paris strikes. The extremists are also believed to have been responsible for the October suicide bombings in Ankara, Turkey, which killed over 100 people. Mr Corbyn told ITV’s Lorraine Kelly this morning: “I think first of all what happened in Paris was appalling, this is a vibrant, multicultural city, young people of all faiths, and older people as well, all there together, and cultures, and this terrible thing happened.

“Likewise, which didn’t unfortunately get hardly any publicity, was the bombing in Beirut last week or the killing in Turkey. I think our media needs be able to report things that happen outside of Europe as well as inside. A life is a life.”

More at Huff. Post UK – Also see The Conversation.

14 Nov 2015

Best of Carl Sagan Arguments And Comebacks

Carl Sagan

Disguised Israeli commandos raid hospital

Israeli security service operatives infiltrated a hospital in the Palestinian West Bank on Thursday, killing a bystander while attempting to detain a suspect who allegedly carried out a stabbing, local sources say - More on RT