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18 Nov

I Survived The Holocaust Twin Experiments

Strongly recommend this video be viewed.

I Survived The Holocaust Twin Experiments

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A few thoughts:
This woman is so strong, brave, empowering and most beautiful.

“I had two kidneys and one sister, so it was an easy choice” This was the line that really broke me. She had lost her older sisters, mother, father, without even saying goodbye. Later, she lost her twin as well. Despite all of this, she still has the power to forgive. She still has the power to talk about what happened. She went through something worse than hell but she still has the power to forgive.

She lost her whole family in a matter of minutes. She only had her twin sister after that. I can’t believe that there are people who believe that genocide did not happen!

If I ever meet a revisionist who said the holocaust didn’t happen I would do my damnedest to send such an ass to hell.
It must be horrific for holocaust survivors to see the Nazi flag waved about in modern day America, and it must be horrible for the veterans that risked their lives to defeat them

Please pause for a moment and think about Trump. Will there be in the future a YouTube video with an elderly Mexican or Muslim woman sitting down, saying almost the exact same things as the woman in this video, recalling her horror as well.

Think! Reflect! In the name of humanity IMPEACH!

The McGlynn

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18 Nov

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

English Online International Newspapers

Nearly all of these are English-edition daily newspapers. These sites have interesting editorials and essays, and many have links to other good news sources. We try to limit this list to those sites which are regularly updated, reliable, with a high percentage of “up” time.

 

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For more than three years, the US-led coalition has been using air strikes to help Iraqi troops retake territory from Islamic State group jihadists. But some are now tallying the human cost of the bombings. In West Mosul in northern Iraq, where Islamist militants used the population as human shields, the loss of life was especially high. FRANCE 24 investigated one air strike that killed an entire family.

Please note that some viewers may find images in this report disturbing.

Deep in the ruins of West Mosul in northern Iraq, an area closed to the population and which was booby-trapped by retreating Islamic State (IS) group fighters, another story from the long battle for Mosul is emerging: The story of the civilians trapped between the jihadists holed up in the old city and the Iraqi army, supported by coalition forces.

Every day roughly a dozen bodies – mostly those of women, children and the elderly – are dug up by firefighters. What exactly happened in west Mosul, which was liberated in July? Representatives of the international anti-IS group coalition say the lives of civilians remained a priority, although they admit that air strikes on Mosul probably killed around 350 civilians. Mosul residents say the number of collateral victims could range from 6,000 to as many as 8,500.

Our reporters looked at the story of one family that was wiped out by a single missile strike at the height of the battle against the jihadists. One of the 14,000 missiles fired by the coalition landed on their house on June 20. Did the family have jihadist links? Or did the coalition make a fatal mistake?

Our reporters also investigated the decision-making process that governs military air strikes. How is the decision taken to fire a missile and with what explosive charge? How quickly and on what basis? All of these factors can be decisive in avoiding the tragedies known collectively as “collateral damage”.

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World Politics

United States

Trump Ocean Club drew people accused of corruption and future president benefited from laundered funds, reports say

The Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower ‘aligned’ Trump’s financial interests with those of crooks, according to Global Witness.

The Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower ‘aligned’ Trump’s financial interests with those of crooks, according to Global Witness. Photograph: Rodrigo Arangua/AFP/Getty Images

The Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower soars over Panama City bay, a 70-storey skyscraper shaped like a sail. Donald Trump’s first international hotel venture, it opened in 2011, a mix of condominiums, hotel rooms and a casino.

As one of the tallest structures in Latin America, it was a bold and lucrative expression of the Trump brand, earning him as much as $13.9m in management fees and royalties in the last three years.

By day it glints in the tropical sunshine, an apparently shining testament to the US president’s business savvy.

But a curious thing happens at night. Many of the lights stay off. The restaurants are near deserted; the corridors silent. The skyscraper appears to be largely empty – a dark tower.

Many of those who bought the condos, it turns out, did so not to live there but allegedly to launder illicit money – Russian gangster money, drug cartel money, people-smuggling money.

A joint ReutersNBC News investigation published on Friday alongside a report by the non-profit Global Witness said the skyscraper with Trump’s name had ties to international organised crime.

The reports detailed how the future president gave the project to his daughter Ivanka as a “baby” effort to gain real estate experience, and said it ended up drawing a cast of characters accused of fraud, corruption and kidnapping.

Trump may not have intended to facilitate criminal activity but the Panama tower “aligned” his financial interests with crooks, said Global Witness. “Trump seems to have done little to nothing to prevent this. What is clear is that proceeds from Colombian cartels’ narcotics trafficking were laundered through the Trump Ocean Club and that Donald Trump was one of the beneficiaries.”

There is no evidence that the Trump Organization or members of the Trump family broke the law or knew of the criminal backgrounds of some of the tower’s brokers, buyers and investors.

The White House and Ivanka Trump referred requests for comment to the Trump Organization, which issued a statement distancing itself from the tower.

“The Trump Organization was not the owner, developer or seller of the Trump Ocean Club Panama project. Because of its limited role, the company was not responsible for the financing of the project and had no involvement in the sale of units or the retention of any real estate brokers.”

The story may endure. The president won last year’s election on the promise of draining corruption in Washington and building a wall to keep out drugs and undesirable immigrants. Robert Mueller, the special counsel who is investigating Russian influence in the election, is looking at Trump’s business dealings.

Trump lent his name but did not exert management control over the tower’s construction and was under no direct legal obligation to conduct due diligence on other people involved.

But Arthur Middlemiss, a former assistant district attorney in Manhattan and a former head of JP Morgan’s global anti-corruption program, told Reuters that since Panama was “perceived to be highly corrupt”, anyone engaged in business there should conduct due diligence on business collaborators. If they did not, he said, there was a potential risk in US law of being liable for turning a blind eye to wrongdoing.

Trump wanted to use the Panama project as a “baby” for Ivanka, Roger Khafif, a Panamian developer who pitched the deal to Trump in 2005, told Reuters.

She helped kickstart the project a year later by selecting a Brazilian former car salesman, Alexandre Ventura Nogueira, as a lead broker to sell units. He promised quick sales at high prices. Ventura’s firm, Homes Real Estate Investment & Services, delivered, selling 350 to 400 units, about $100m worth of property, he told Reuters and NBC.

He met Ivanka numerous times, met her brothers Eric and Donald Jr, and met the future president once, at a celebratory event in 2008 at Mar-a-Lago, the family’s Florida estate.

Read Full Article>>

Sarah Sanders on sexual misconduct: Franken admits to it but Trump doesn’t>>

Tracking Trump: president tries his best to befriend Kim Jong-un>>

Trump postpones decision on allowing import of elephant parts>>

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At Prospect Hill in Mississippi, people came from as far as Liberia for an unlikely gathering that led to a scene of visible emotion – with ‘a lot to talk about’

Alan Huffman in Red Lick, Mississippi

Claudius Ross: ‘Visiting Prospect Hill brings all the pieces back together.’ Photograph: Blue Magnolia Film

The gathering at Prospect Hill plantation that day could have been a casting call for a period drama set before the American civil war.

The location was remote, along a one-lane gravel road in sparsely populated Jefferson County, Mississippi. A group of about 50 people, black and white, stood in front of an archetypal southern Gothic home, chatting amiably about slave owners and slaves.

At one point, a lone costumed man in a top hat strolled through. Nearby, an elderly white woman held the hand of a black man with whom she was deeply engrossed in conversation. Then a van pulled up and discharged a group of African visitors who were running an hour late, and the crowd broke into applause.

As she surveyed the scene, Prospect Hill’s de facto director, Jessica Crawford, said: “This is all actually a bit surreal.”

She was right: where but in a dream would stand-ins for slave owners and slaves gather in the middle of nowhere, just to chat? Yet these were actual descendants of Prospect Hill’s original slave owners and slaves, gathered for the first of a series of reunion events held between November 2011 and April 2017.

Each attendee existed along a vast network of interconnected circuits, and once they got together, all the circuits lit up.

‘It changed my whole life. It helped me to understand who I am’

B.H. Wade at the gin at Prospect Hill, located near Whetstone Creek, just south of the house. Taken in 1901.

BH Wade, a descendant of the founder of Prospect Hill, poses with workers in front of the plantation’s cotton gin in 1902. Photograph: Courtesy Jim DeLoach

With the arrival of the van, a missing piece fell into place: the passengers were descendants of slaves who had been emancipated from the plantation before the civil war and emigrated to a freed-slave colony in what is now the west African country of Liberia. The contingent had driven all night to attend the event, completing a trip across a chasm that encompassed 170 years and 5,000 miles.

Their leader, Evangeline Wayne, noted that her ancestors had been taken from Africa during the slave trade. After decades in the US, their descendants had been allowed to immigrate “back” to Africa, though they’d never actually been there before.

Then, as a result of Liberia’s civil wars, which lasted from 1990 to 2003, Wayne herself immigrated “back” to the US, though she had likewise never been to the country before.

At Prospect Hill she found herself being embraced by people she’d never met as if she were a long-lost friend. “I didn’t expect this,” she said, smiling and fighting back tears. “I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t this.”

Wayne cannot definitively document her connection to Prospect Hill because Liberia’s national archives were destroyed during the civil wars, though she remembers her grandmother mentioning a Mississippi plantation and a “Captain Ross”.

Isaac Ross, a revolutionary war veteran, founded the plantation and provided in his will for the freeing of its slaves to emigrate to a colony in what is now Liberia – Prospect Hill’s primary claim to fame.

“To be honest, I’m unsure of who, and what, I am, and where I fit in,” Wayne observed, with visible sadness. “I’m considered a foreigner in Liberia, even though I’m from there, and it’s the same in the US.” When she met James Belton, a descendant of Prospect Hill slaves who had chosen not to emigrate, they both encountered someone whose life represented what their own might have been, had their ancestors made a different choice.

Unsure what to say, they simply embraced.

Belton said the reunions had helped him see Prospect Hill’s history from different vantage points. “In this country, we have so much division, black, white and what have you. And things like this, if it’s put out there where you can see it, it will let people know you can have unity regardless of what happened 150 years ago. It was a rare opportunity for everyone.”

Claudius Ross, a Liberian, visited Prospect Hill in June, when he was interviewed by the documentary film-makers Alison Fast and Chandler Griffin, who have been compiling footage from the reunion events. He became curious about his own background after his family was threatened by fighters from Liberian indigenous groups who were at war with his own ethnic group, freed slave descendants known as Americo-Liberians.

After he moved to the US in 2007, Ross was distressed to read that some Liberian immigrants had enslaved members of indigenous tribes. Then he read about Prospect Hill and recognized his family’s connection.

In Liberia, he recalled being told: “‘You don’t belong here. Go where you came from.’ So I was humiliated. I was sad. It led me on this journey of trying to find out exactly who I was. You know, ‘What does my name come from? What does it mean? Who does it belong to?’”

Visiting Prospect Hill, he said, “brings all the pieces back together”. He added: “It’s also a celebration for me, knowing that I do have a history. I’m not just a wandering person in the galaxy. I do have a spot, I do have a name, I do have a light.”

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James Belton, Claudius Ross and Sam Godfrey.

James Belton, Claudius Ross and Sam Godfrey. Photograph: Alison Fast and Chandler Griffin/Blue Magnolia

Charles Greenlee, a white descendant of the plantation’s slave owners, said he was “filled with anxiety the week prior to the reunion, as well as the day of the event”. He could barely contain his emotions as he watched the Liberians disembarking from the van.

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Opinion

Veteran climate scientist says litigation campaign against government and fossil fuels companies is essential alongside political mobilisation in fighting ‘growing, mortal threat’ of global warming

James Hansen in Bonn: he and his fellow Nasa researchers first raised the alarm about global warming in the 1890s.

James Hansen in Bonn: he and his fellow Nasa researchers first raised the alarm about global warming in the 1890s. Photograph: Friedemann Vogel/EPA

One of the fathers of climate science is calling for a wave of lawsuits against governments and fossil fuel companies that are delaying action on what he describes as the growing, mortal threat of global warming.

Former Nasa scientist James Hansen says the litigate-to-mitigate campaign is needed alongside political mobilisation because judges are less likely than politicians to be in the pocket of oil, coal and gas companies.

“The judiciary is the branch of government in the US and other countries that is relatively free of bribery. And bribery is exactly what is going on,” he told the Guardian on the sidelines of the UN climate talks in Bonn.

Without Hansen and his fellow Nasa researchers who raised the alarm about the effect of carbon emissions on global temperatures in the 1980s, it is possible that none of the thousands of delegates from almost 200 countries would be here.

But after three decades, he has been largely pushed to the fringes. Organisers have declined his request to speak directly to the delegates about what he sees as a threat that is still massively underestimated.

Instead he spreads his message through press conferences and interviews, where he cuts a distinctive figure as an old testament-style prophet in an Indiana Jones hat.

He does not mince his words. The international process of the Paris accord, he says, is “eyewash” because it fails to put a higher price on carbon. National legislation, he feels, is almost certainly doomed to fail because governments are too beholden to powerful lobbyists. Even supposedly pioneering states like California, which have a carbon cap-and-trade system, are making things worse, he said, because “half-arsed, half-baked plans only delay a solution.”

For Hansen, the key is to make the 100 big “carbon majors” – corporations like ExxonMobil, BP and Shell that are, by one account, responsible for more than 70% of emissions – pay for the transition to cleaner energy and greater forests. Until governments make them do so by introducing carbon fees or taxes, he says, the best way to hold them to account and generate funds is to sue them for the damage they are doing to the climate, those affected and future generations.

Hansen is putting his words into action. He is involved in a 2015 lawsuit against the US federal government, brought by his granddaughter and 20 others under the age of 21. They argue the government’s failure to curb CO2 emissions has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property.

A district court is due to hear the case in February in Oregon, though the federal government has tried to delay the case.

Hansen believes Donald Trump’s actions to reverse environmental protections and withdraw from the Paris accord may be a blessing in disguise because the government will now find it harder to persuade judges that it is acting in the public interest.

“Trump’s policy may backfire on him,” he said. “In the greater scheme of things, it might just make it easier to win our lawsuit.”

He feels a growing sense of urgency. Current government commitments are so inadequate that temperature rises are currently on course to exceed 3C by the end of the century. Hansen says that would mean existing problems – rising sea levels, displacement by flooding, droughts disrupting food production, wildfires consuming forests, worsening storms and hurricanes – would get three times worse.

“Three degrees would be disastrous. You can imagine the planet becoming ungovernable because we would lose the coastal cities where most people live … You’ll see migrants from those parts of the world and also so much disruption to the centres of wealth. So we can’t go down that path.”

Hansen is a believer in direct action. “I’ve been arrested five times. The idea was to draw attention to injustice,” he says. He has also testified on behalf of others who have lost their liberty during climate campaigns. On January, he will speak in defence of an activist who turned off the tar sands pipeline in North Dakota.

But he says litigation and political mobilisation are more effective than protests.

“Those are defence. We should be on the offensive. The lawsuits versus Trump and the fossil fuel industry are offence. People should use the democratic process,” he says. “That’s our best chance. It’s better than getting arrested.”…………..

According to Hansen, the action cannot come too soon. In a press conference at the climate conference, which is the first under the presidency of a small island state – Fiji – he noted that the risks are rising and so should the push for justice.

“We are entering a period of consequences and are in danger of being too late,” he warned. “I have come to note that greenhouse gas climate forcings are accelerating, not decelerating, and sea-level rise and ocean acidification are accelerating. We confront a mortal threat, now endangering the very existence of island and low-lying nations in the Pacific and around the planet. Accordingly, ambition must be increased and enforced.”

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18 Nov

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

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The War Criminal and His Two Buddies

 

Former U.S. Presidents, from left, Barack Obama, George Bush and Bill Clinton greet spectators on the first tee before the first round of the Presidents Cup at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J., Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The above picture makes me sick. It should make every decent human being sick. Why, one may ask? One reason follows.

We condemned children to death, some after many days of writhing in pain on bloodstained mats, without pain relievers. Some died quickly, wasted by missing arms and legs, crushed heads. As the fluids ran out of their bodies, they appeared like withered, spoiled fruits. They could have lived, certainly should have lived – and laughed and danced, and run and played- but instead they were brutally murdered. Yes, murdered!

The war ended for those children, but it has never ended for survivors who carry memories of them. Likewise, the effects of the U.S. bombings continue, immeasurably and indefensibly.

And the three play golf and have their picture taken. Bullshit!

The McGlynn

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War News

IRAQ BODY COUNT>>

This data is based on 51,544 database entries from the beginning of the war to 28 Feb 2017, and on monthly preliminary data from that date onwards. Preliminary data is shown in grey when applicable, and is based on approximate daily totals in the Recent Events section prior to full analysis. The full analysis extracts details such as the names or demographic details of individuals killed, the weapons that killed them and location amongst other details. The current range contains 36,537–38,380 deaths (20%–19%, a portion which may rise or fall over time) based on single-sourced reports.

Graphs are based on the higher number in our totals. Gaps in recording and reporting suggest that even our highest totals to date may be missing many civilian deaths from violence.

Total Dollar Cost of War>>

Cost of War in Iraq>>

Cost of War in Afghanistan>>

Cost of Military Action Against ISIS>>

Guard: Opinion The Guardian view on Yemen: a catastrophe that shames Britain

The world’s worst humanitarian crisis is deteriorating as a Saudi blockade prevents desperately needed food, fuel and medicine from entering the country. London’s unstinting support for Riyadh makes the UK complicit

Twenty years ago, Tony Blair acknowledged the British government’s responsibility for the Irish famine that killed one million people: a healing gesture needed because, even after a century and a half, pain and anger endured and the responsibility of “those who governed in London” remained glaring. Now we are on the brink of another famine – perhaps the worst for decades, says a UN aid chief – and Britain must again bear blame. The UN called Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis even before Saudi Arabia decided to blockade the country a week and a half ago, shutting out food and medicine. Now the heads of three key agencies have warned that millions are on the brink of starvation. Unicef fears that 150,000 children could die by the end of the year. A cholera outbreak that has already affected 900,000 is expected to flare up again, as the lack of fuel shuts off water and sewage systems. Twenty million people, more than two-thirds of the population, are in urgent need of humanitarian supplies.

Read full story »

GUARD: Syria chemical attacks: Haley calls Russia ‘shameful’ after it vetoes UN inquiry

US ambassador Nikki Haley describes Moscow’s use of veto that will let existing inquiry lapse as a ‘shameful’ move

Russia cast a second veto in as many days at the United Nations security council on Friday to block the renewal of an investigation to identify those behind chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

A draft resolution put forward by Japan would have extended the UN-led joint investigative mechanism (JIM) for 30 days to allow time for negotiations on a wider compromise.

But Russia used its veto power to prevent adoption after 12 council members voted in favour, in effect ending the mission. China abstained, while Bolivia voted no.

Read full story »

NYT: Crimes of the Caliphate: Iraqi Shepherd Bears Witness to ISIS Massacre

HAWIJA, Iraq — A shepherd heard the gunshots and the screaming.

As Islamic State fighters executed at least 60 people at a remote military base in northern Iraq one day last year, he cowered in his home nearby, terrified. When it was safe to go out, he found piles of bodies; many of them he recognized as his neighbors. He buried them himself.

“They were slaughtering people for all kinds of reasons, those caught using the internet, those suspected of being witches,” the shepherd, Saad al-Omar, said at the site of a mass grave here on Tuesday. “Here, I saw those victims, my neighbors. I saw bodies of mothers with their children. They had been shot. They had been burned. They were all dead.”

That executions routinely took place in his hometown, Hawija, was well known, proudly publicized by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, during its two-and-a-half year rule in the town. But Mr. Omar’s grisly knowledge represents something rare in the quest for justice — a witness who can lead the authorities to the bodies and identify many of them…………..So far, they have found the sites of more than 70 mass graves, numbers that have overwhelmed the nation’s police and forensics resources as well as the Iraqis’ international partners helping to search for tens of thousands of missing people.

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BBC: Hero dog gets highest bravery award

Eight-year-old Mali has been given the PDSA Dickin Medal for serving in Afghanistan.

A British military dog who helped save the lives of troops in Afghanistan is to receive the Dickin Medal – the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross. Mali twice entered a building in Kabul under direct fire in 2012 to sniff out explosives and insurgents. He was seriously injured during the operation but has since recovered.

NYT: A Policeman’s Bear Hug Stops a Suicide Bomber From Killing More

Security forces at the scene of a suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday. Credit Rahmat Gul/Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan — No one will ever know what went through the mind of Afghan Police Lt. Sayed Basam Pacha in those moments when he came face to face with a man he suspected of being a suicide bomber on Thursday afternoon, but whatever it was, he did not hesitate to act.

At his back was a crowd of civilians, many of them dignitaries, leaving the hall he was guarding. Around him were officers from the police company he commanded. The suspect had just approached their heavily guarded gate, the only way in or out of the compound around the hall.

Broad-shouldered and heavily muscled, Lieutenant Pacha shouted at the suspect to halt, but instead the man started running. The officer stopped him, throwing his arms around him in a bear hug.

A second later the bomber detonated the explosive vest hidden under his coat. Fourteen people, including Lieutenant Pacha and seven other police officers as well as six civilians, were killed; 18 others were wounded, seven police and 11 civilians, said Basir Mujahed, a police spokesman.

There was little doubt the death toll would have been far higher without the lieutenant’s body blunting the blast, Mr. Mujahed said.

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Terror safe havens still a major issue, Abdullah tells US Vice President

The Chief Executive of the Government of National Unity Abdullha Abdullah met with the US Vice President Mike Pence during his visit to Washington and discussed the issues of bilateral interest and other regional issues, the Office of the Chief Executive said. Thanking the US President and nation for their support to Afghanistan, particularly the

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Pakistan and Saudi Arabia condemn Kabul suicide bombing

Pakistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia condemned the suicide attack in Kabul city that left at least 18 people dead on Thursday afternoon. A source in the ministry of foreign affairs of Saudi told the Saudi Press Agency that Kingdom of Saudi Arabia strongly condemned and denounced the suicide attack with a bomb, in

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India and Israel using Afghan soil against Pakistan, claims Maulana Sami

A prominent political and religious Maulana Samiul Haq has claimed that the Indian and Israeli intelligence agencies are using the Afghan soil to hatch destructive plots against Pakistan. Speaking during a gathering on Friday, Maulana Sami said Israel and India are destabilizing Pakistan via the Afghan soil. He also accused US of being involved in

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Recent Casualties

Color Denotes Today’s Confirmation

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Sgt. 1st Class Hughton O. Brown, 43, of Brooklyn, New York died Nov. 14 in Camp Buehring, Kuwait, as a result of a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 306th Engineer Company, 411th Engineer Brigade, Farmingdale, New York. The incident is under investigation.

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DOD: The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Lee M. Smith, 35, of Arlington, Texas, died Nov. 11 at Camp Taji, Iraq, due to injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, KY. The incident is under investigation.

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The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Sgt. First Class Stephen B. Cribben, 33, of Simi Valley, California, died Nov. 4 in Logar Province, Afghanistan as a result of wounds sustained while engaged in combat operations. He was assigned to 2d Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group, Fort Carson, Colorado. The incident is under investigation.

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The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Chief Warrant Officer Jacob M. Sims, 36, of Juneau, Alaska, died Oct. 27 in Logar Province, Afghanistan, as a result of wounds sustained when he was involved in a helicopter crash. He was assigned to 4th Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The incident is under investigation.

Iraq Coalition Casualties: Military Fatalities By Name>>

Afghanistan Coalition Casualties: Military Fatalities By Name>>

Care for Veterans:

 

PTSD: National Center for PTSDPTSD Care for Veterans, Military, and FamiliesSee Help for Veterans with PTSD to learn how to enroll for VA health care and get an assessment.

All VA Medical Centers provide PTSD care, as well as many VA clinics.Some VA’s have programs specializing in PTSD treatment. Use the VA PTSD ProgramLocator to find a PTSD program.If you are a war Veteran, find a Vet Center to help with the transition from military to civilian life.

Call the 24/7 Veteran Combat Call Center1-877-WAR-VETS (1-877-927-8387) to talk to another combat Veteran.DoD’s Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE) 24/7 Outreach Center for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury provides information and helps locate resources.

Call 1-866-966-1020 or email resources@dcoeoutreach.orgMilitary OneSourceCall 24/7 for counseling and many resources 1-800-342-9647.Need further assistance? Get Help with VA PTSD Care

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17 Nov

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

English Online International Newspapers

Nearly all of these are English-edition daily newspapers. These sites have interesting editorials and essays, and many have links to other good news sources. We try to limit this list to those sites which are regularly updated, reliable, with a high percentage of “up” time.

 

View All>>

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Corruption is what defines them all

They might be having all sorts of problems enforcing a progressive, uniform tax throughout the country, but if there is one thing that has been embraced most gladly in all parts of the country, it is political corruption. Whatever be their ideological, personal, or other differences, the inordinate greed for money, licit, if possible, otherwise, illicit now defines the entire political class. Even a self-avowedly most progressive State in the country boasting of one hundred percent literacy is not exempt from the taint of political corruption.

Shockingly, not even when the Communists rule the roast in the State. The case in point is the strictures passed against the Transport Minister Thomas Chandy in the Pinarayi Vijayan Government by the Kerala High Court. Chandy was accused of encroaching on public land in an environmentally sensitive location, a fact duly established by an inquiry by the Alappuzha district authorities. He diverted the course of the rivulets and encroached upon the paddy fields for adding further commercial heft to his Lake Palace resort. Chandy, the wealthiest member of the State Assembly with assets close to Rs. 100 crores declared in his affidavit to the Election Commission, runs the resort in partnership with a few others. When the encroachment first became a matter of public controversy, he denied it outright.

Following public hue and cry, the Revenue Minister, who belongs to the CPI, ordered the district collector to inquire. Instead of respecting the findings, Chandy rubbished the report, saying it was biased. He went to the High Court on Tuesday, which berated the minister for questioning the report of his own government. On Wednesday, following popular pressure for his exit, the CPI ministers boycotted the Cabinet meeting in protest against Chandy’s continuance. They accused the CM of shielding the tainted minister. Late in the evening, Chandy was obliged to quit, even though he still protests his innocence. Chandy is a member of the two-member NCP legislature party. The other NCP MLA, A K Saseendran, is facing allegations of sexual molestation by a woman journalist. The report of a judicial commission examining the charge is still awaited.

This leaves the NCP without representation in the State government. But such is the electoral fragility of the caste-and community-linked politics in Kerala that the Chief Minister is keen to keep the two NCP MLAs in good humor, even though he has a comfortable majority. In short, what matters is power and how you retain it is unimportant so long you hold on to it under all circumstances. It is a comment on the vulnerability of all parties, the Kerala CPI(M) included, that they must embrace the corrupt and criminal caste leaders since the identity politics has made them count electorally.

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World Politics

Germany

Exclusive Questions over German politician’s ‘links to Russian pipeline’>>

United States

Steve Bell on Donald Trump and George Papadopoulos – cartoon

Donald Trump has tried to distance himself from a former foreign policy aide who pleaded guilty to perjury over his contacts with Russians during last year’s US election campaign

Opinions clash in Roy Moore’s home town: ‘There’s a lot of rumors in small-town Alabama’>>

Al Franken apologizes after accusation he kissed and groped TV news anchor>>

House Republicans pass major tax cut bill after Trump’s closed-door speech>>

Officials do not believe the leak in TransCanada Corp’s pipeline, which carries oil from Canada to refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma, affected drinking water

A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp’s planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, North Dakota, in January.

A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp’s planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, North Dakota, in January. Photograph: Terray Sylvester/Reuters

TransCanada Corp’s Keystone pipeline leaked an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil in north-eastern South Dakota, the company and state regulators reported on Thursday.

Crews shut down the pipeline on Thursday morning and activated emergency response procedures after a drop in pressure was detected resulting from the leak south of a pump station in Marshall County, TransCanada said in a statement. The cause was being investigated.

Officials do not believe the leak affected any surface water bodies or threatened any drinking water systems from the spill on to agricultural land, said Brian Walsh, an environmental scientist manager at the South Dakota department of environment and natural resources, which has dispatched a staff member to the site.

“Ultimately, the cleanup responsibility lies with TransCanada, and they’ll have to clean it up in compliance with our state regulations,” Walsh said.

The pipeline transports crude from Alberta, Canada, to refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma, passing through the eastern Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. It can handle nearly 600,000 barrels, or about 23m gallons, daily. TransCanada says on its website that the company has safely transported more than 1.5bn barrels of oil, or about 63bn gallons, through the system since operations began in 2010.

TransCanada said in its statement that it expected the pipeline to remain shut down as the company responds to the leak. It did not offer a time estimate.

The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration did not immediately return an email requesting additional information from the Associated Press.

A leak and spill in south-eastern South Dakota in April 2016 prompted a weeklong shutdown of the pipeline. TransCanada estimated that just under 17,000 gallons of oil spilled on to private land during that leak. Federal regulators said an “anomaly” on a weld on the pipeline was to blame. No waterways or aquifers were affected.

TransCanada said at the time that the leak was the first detected on the pipeline since it began operating, though there had been leaks at pumping stations. One of those leaks happened in south-eastern North Dakota in May 2011, when 14,000 gallons spilled after a valve failed at a pumping station near the South Dakota border.

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‘Maybe the smog can bring us together’: toxic air chokes Pakistan and India

With Lahore suffering from air pollution almost equal to that enveloping Delhi, joint action to tackle the problem is urgently needed, say environmentalists

A Pakistani vendor carries balloons down a Lahore street amid heavy smog.

A Pakistani vendor carries balloons down a Lahore street amid heavy smog. Photograph: Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images

Parts of Pakistan have been enveloped by deadly smog in recent weeks, with the city of Lahore suffering almost as badly as the Indian capital Delhi.

Pictures and video that show Lahore looking like an apocalyptic landscape have left people in shock. Some residents have said they can’t see beyond their outstretched arm.

According to the app Airvisual and a Twitter user going by the handle @Lahoresmog, the air quality index, which measures the level of PM 2.5 pollutants in the air, has been set at “hazardous” over the past week, making a modest improvement in recent days.

Flights have been cancelled, schools have shut and major traffic jams and accidents have gridlocked the streets.

At its peak, Lahore’s levels of PM 2.5, the particles most damaging to health, were more than 30 times the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) safe limit. Environmentalists say air pollution is getting worse every year. According to WHO figures, in Pakistan during 2012, nearly 60,000 people died because of PM2.5 particles in the atmosphere.

Children playing cricket in Lahore. At times in recent weeks, Lahore’s levels of PM 2.5 were more than 30 times the WHO’s safe limit.

Children playing cricket in Lahore. At times in recent weeks, Lahore’s levels of PM 2.5 were more than 30 times the WHO’s safe limit. Photograph: Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images

The causes of the air pollution are a combination of vehicle and industrial emissions, construction, seasonal dust, and crop burning. Analysts say because the causes and consequences of air pollution are not limited to a single nation state, it is time for cooperation between India and Pakistan to address the issue.

Shafqat Kakakhel, a former ambassador and deputy executive director of the UN Environment Programme, agrees.

“Both countries are now using wood for fuel and there is also bad quality of fuel in vehicles. The situation in India is definitely different because industrialisation in Punjab and Haryana is heavier than it is on our side. Their emissions come from the use of coal, we use gas – so basically the scale of pollution is much worse there.”

Delhi smog declared public health emergency – video

Abid Suleri, executive director of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, reiterated that the smog problem should be viewed as a cross-regional challenge. “This year [the smog] started a bit early, which shows the intensity of the problem. It is getting policymakers’ attention, but they seem clueless on how to handle it.

“Smog is a symptom. We need to introduce clean fuel, and renew efforts of reforestation: not only planting but taking care of saplings too. Also, by enforcing existing laws to control vehicular and industrial emissions.”

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