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25 Sep

This 97-year-old WWII vet took a knee in support of protesting NFL players

This 97-year-old WWII vet took a knee in support of protesting NFL players

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From one grandfather to another. Well done. Thanks!

The McGlynn

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25 Sep

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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World Politics

United States

President: attack on racial injustice protests has ‘nothing to do with race’

Colin Kaepernick has won: he wanted a conversation, Trump started it

NFL players protest during the US national anthem at Wembley – video

NFL players staged an unprecedented wave of protest on Sunday, beginning at Wembley Stadium in London, as Donald Trump maintained his attack on players who kneel in protest against the national anthem.

It was a climactic day for a movement that began with a single backup quarterback kneeling before a pre-season game 13 months ago and has since prompted a nation to wrestle with questions of free speech and racial justice.

Colin Kaepernick, then with the San Francisco 49ers, kneeled in an attempt to provoke debate over race and police brutality. He is now without a team but active players have followed his example. This weekend, the protest spilled into baseball: the Oakland A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell kneeled during the anthem before a game against the Texas Rangers.

Early on Sunday, shortly before his own treasury secretary insisted he was not picking a fight, Trump doubled down on his bellicose remarks at a rally in Alabama on Friday night. The president repeated his challenge to NFL team owners and encouraged fans to stop attending until the owners take action.

“If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!” Trump wrote on Twitter. “NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country. League should back US.”

Later, at an impromptu media scrum as he headed back to Washington from his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club, Trump was asked if he was inflaming racial tensions by criticising protesting players who are almost all black.

“This has nothing to do with race,” he said. “I never said anything about race. This has nothing to do with race or anything else. This has to do with respect for our country and respect for our flag.”

Cleveland Browns players stand and kneel before their game against the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Cleveland Browns players stand and kneel before their game against the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Photograph: Thomas J. Russo/USA Today Sports

Wembley staged the day’s first game. Around 25 players from the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens kneeled. The Guardian’s Sean Ingle reported that no white players appeared to kneel but “many players, coaches and even the Jaguars’ owner Shahid Khan linked arms instead as they stood, showing unity for their black team-mates against Trump”.

Later, at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, several Miami Dolphins wore black T-shirts supporting Kaepernick before facing the New York Jets. During the anthem, the Dolphins locked arms. The Pittsburgh Steelers decided to remain in the tunnel before their game against the Bears at Chicago’s Soldier Field.

“We’re not going to play politics,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told CBS. “People shouldn’t have to choose. If a guy wants to go about his normal business and participate in the anthem, he shouldn’t be forced to choose sides. If a guy feels the need to do something, he shouldn’t be separated from his team-mate who chooses not to.”

Dozens more players either kneeled or locked arms before the 1pm kickoffs. Trump tweeted: “Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country. Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!”

The shows of protest were not confined to the teams. Musicians performing the anthem also took knees at Falcons-Lions in Detroit and Seahawks-Titans in Nashville, where both teams stayed off the field.

Trump made his initial remarks at a Friday night rally for the Republican senator Luther Strange. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’” he said.

He also complained about rules introduced to improve safety in the NFL, which has a serious problem with head injuries.

The president’s remarks and his withdrawal on Saturday of a White House invitation to the NBA-champion Golden State Warriors prompted a remarkably strong response. NBA great LeBron James called the president a “bum” while Buffalo Bills NFL running back LeSean McCoy called him an “asshole”.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell expressed disappointment with the “divisive” comments while the New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a close friend of Trump, was among team owners to side with their players. In a statement, Kraft said he was “deeply disappointed” by Trump’s remarks.

“There is no greater unifier in this country than sports, and unfortunately, nothing more divisive than politics,” Kraft said.

In London, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said of his players and coaches: “We respect their demonstration and support them 100%.” Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke, a shareholder in Arsenal, released a statement affirming his belief in his players’ “freedom to peacefully express themselves”.

President tweets: ‘Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!’

Warriors: ‘We’ll use our trip to celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion’

Stephen Curry said Friday he’d vote no when team met to decide on trip

Stephen Curry: I don’t stand for things Trump has said – video

Donald Trump was the subject of startlingly strong abuse from major sports stars on Saturday, after he criticised NFL players protesting against racial injustice and withdrew an invitation for the NBA-champion Golden State Warriors to visit the White House, breaking a tradition dating back to the Reagan years.

The Cleveland Cavaliers star forward LeBron James called the president a “bum” while the Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy went further, calling Trump an “asshole”. Even NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was critical, saying in a statement: “Divisive comments like [Trump’s] demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL.”

In their own statement, the Warriors accepted they would not be going to the White House. But they said they would use their trip to Washington in February – they play the Washington Wizards on the 28th of that month – to “celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion”.

On Friday, point guard Steph Curry, the NBA champions’ star player, told reporters he planned to vote no when the players came together to decide whether to visit Trump. The Warriors could “inspire some change” and “send a statement” by snubbing the president, Curry said.

On Saturday morning, Trump tweeted: “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team, Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!”

In a statement issued later, the Warriors said: “While we intended to meet as a team at the first opportunity we had this morning to collaboratively discuss a potential visit to the White House, we accept that President Trump has made it clear that we are not invited.

“We believe there is nothing more American than our citizens having the right to express themselves freely on matters important to them. We’re disappointed that we did not have an opportunity during this process to share our views or have open dialogue on issues we felt would be important to raise.

“In lieu of a visit to the White House, we have decided that we’ll constructively use our trip to the nation’s capital in February to celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion – the values that we embrace as an organization.”

Reports that the Warriors might skip their White House visit first surfaced in June, a day after they defeated the Cavaliers to win a second NBA title in three seasons. It was unclear if the team ever received a formal invitation. There was no immediate White House comment.

Trump’s tweet came after a rally in Alabama at which he abused NFL players who have chosen to kneel during the national anthem. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’” the president said.

On Saturday James, a three-time visitor to the Obama White House after winning titles with the Miami Heat and the Cavaliers, launched an extraordinary outburst against Trump.

“U bum,” James tweeted. “Stephen Curry already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!”

McCoy’s tweet read: “It’s really sad, man … our president is a asshole.”

The Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul, who is president of the NBA players’ union, wrote: “With everything that’s going on in our country, why are YOU focused on who’s kneeling and visiting the White House??? #StayInYoLane.” He added: “And I doubt he’s man enough to call any of those players a son of a bitch to their face.”

Curry, a two-time NBA most valuable player and the face of the Warriors franchise, had made his feelings clear when asked to respond to comments from the chief executive of Under Armour, his primary sponsor, that Trump was “a real asset” to the country.

“I agree with that description, if you remove the ‘et’,” Curry said, wryly.

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President rips NFL players who have kneeled in fiery Alabama speech

Trump encourages fans to leave stadium if they see players kneeling

Trump attacks NFL anthem protesters – video

Donald Trump launched a sensational attack on NFL players who have kneeled in protest of the national anthem during a speech in Alabama on Friday night, challenging the league’s owners to release anyone who engages in the movement started last year by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’” the president said at a rally for Republican senator Luther Strange, who is running in a special election next week to remain in the seat vacated by attorney general Jeff Sessions.

“You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it [but] they’ll be the most popular person in this country.”

Trump went on to attribute the NFL’s dip in TV ratings to rule changes implemented over the last few years to make the game less violent and limit head injuries.

The issue was thrust back into the spotlight on Thursday with the revelation that Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots star who killed himself in April while serving a life sentence for murder, suffered a “severe” case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the progressive degenerative brain disease that has been linked to repeated blows to the head.

“The NFL ratings are down massively,” Trump said. “Now the No1 reason happens to be they like watching what’s happening … with yours truly. They like what’s happening. Because you know today if you hit too hard: 15 yards! Throw him out of the game!”

He added: “They’re ruining the game! That’s what they want to do. They want to hit. They want to hit! It is hurting the game.”

The president then encouraged people attending NFL games to leave the stadium in counter-protest if they see a player kneeling during the anthem, which is traditionally performed before kickoff.

Trump attacks McCain and other Republicans over healthcare failure>>

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Ex-CIA asset Khalifa Haftar, due to meet Italian officials in Rome, ordered soldiers to commit war crimes, according to legal experts

Khalifa Haftar

Khalifa Haftar controls nearly half of Libya. Photograph: Mohammed Elshaiky/EPA

European leaders are embracing a Libyan general who has ordered his soldiers to commit war crimes, according to new evidence that has been analysed by senior legal experts.

The allegation of human rights abuses by Gen Khalifa Haftar, a former CIA asset who controls nearly half of Libya from his base in the east, comes as the general is due to arrive in Rome on Tuesday, where he will be received by Italian officials. The visit is a radical departure for Italy, who had previously shunned Haftar and seen him as a major obstacle to stability in the region because of his refusal to recognise the UN-backed government in the west.

The two experts – a former top Pentagon attorney and a former official at the international criminal court – said that newly unearthed video evidence suggests that Haftar has been complicit in calling for extrajudicial killings and the unlawful siege of the eastern port city of Derna. In one case, he is believed to have called for the “choking” of Derna just a day after he met Boris Johnson, the UK foreign secretary, in Benghazi.

The new assessment, published on the Just Security blog, follows the recent issuing of an arrest warrant by the ICC for Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf al-Werfalli, a member of Haftar’s Libyan National Army. Werfalli stands accused of executing prisoners himself, as well as commanding others to carry out extrajudicial killings. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have also condemned alleged war crimes by the LNA.

The legal questions, and longstanding doubts among officials in the west about Haftar’s trustworthiness, have not dissuaded European leaders from seeking to forge an alliance with him.

The analysis by Ryan Goodman, a former special counsel to the general counsel of the Pentagon, and Alex Whiting, a former international criminal prosecutor at the ICC, paints a troubling picture of Haftar’s record.

The two experts point to a video that was posted on YouTube on 10 October 2015, recording a speech that Haftar gave to his LNA fighters on 18 September. In the speech, Haftar calls on his men to take no prisoners, which in legal parlance is called a “denial of quarter” and is a violation of the rules of war. “Never mind consideration of bringing a prisoner here. There is no prison here. The field is the field, end of the story,” he said in the video.

In another video, a spokesman for Haftar, Beleed al-Sheikhy, is heard saying in connection to fighting in Ganfouda, a district of Benghazi, that “who is above 14 years of age will never get out alive”. The video is believed to have been recorded in August 2016.

Haftar is a dual Libyan-US citizen who was once loyal to Muammar Gaddafi but then rebelled against the dictator. He was provided protection by the CIA around 1990 and was granted US citizenship. He lived in Virginia for two decades, where he reportedly trained in anticipation of a coup against Gaddafi. He later returned to Libya, where he has an unbreakable hold on the eastern bloc of the country, including a string of towns known as the oil crescent.

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Masked gunman enters Nashville church after shooting woman dead

Man who tackled suspect pistol-whipped before gunman shoots self

One person was killed and seven injured in a shooting at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Nashville, Tennessee.

One person was killed and seven injured in a shooting at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Nashville, Tennessee. Photograph: Handout/Reuters

A masked gunman entered a church in Tennessee on Sunday and opened fire, killing one person and injuring seven others before shooting himself, an official said. Nashville mayor Megan Barry called the shooting “a terrible tragedy for our city”.

Metropolitan Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron said a church usher who confronted the gunman was pistol-whipped by the suspect, who then apparently shot himself during a struggle. The usher then went to his own car to retrieve his own gun, Aaron said, returned and stood over the suspect until police arrived.

A witness said that without the usher, who was not immediately named, the situation “could be worse”. She called him a hero. Aaron called the usher “an extraordinarily brave individual”.

The police spokesman identified the suspect as 25-year-old Emanuel Kidega Samson of Murfreesboro. He was discharged from Vanderbilt University Hospital. Charging warrants were being obtained.

Aaron said the gunman arrived at the parking lot as services were ending at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in the Antioch neighborhood. The suspect fatally shot a woman who was walking to her vehicle, then entered the rear of the church where six people were shot.

The witness, Minerva Rosa, has been a member at the church for eight years and was inside when the suspect opened fire. The suspect said nothing as he shot churchgoers, she said. As the gunman made his way down the aisle, Rosa said, the pastor started shouting, “Run! Run! Gunshots!”

The gunman and five others were treated for gunshot wounds at Vanderbilt University Hospital, Aaron said. One gunshot victim and the man who was struck with the pistol were taken to Skyline Medical Center.

Aaron said he was “not aware” of any relationship between the alleged gunman and any of the worshippers inside the church. Congregants were being interviewed.

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25 Sep

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

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Iraq – A Peoples Photo Journal


Iraq Children by greyfox7

Originally Published on Nov 26, 2007

“I regret they got hurt,’ Bush,the former president and war criminal said of the veterans.”

To the War Criminal Bush – And to the thousands upon thousands of innocent civilians?

Never, ever forget that the War Criminals Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld etc. founded ISIS and today are proud of what they did and feel no regret.

‘It was the right decision’: Bush says he has ‘no regrets’ about invading Iraq and Afghanistan when asked how he feels when he sees wounded veterans

Since the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts began, at least 8,000 US and allied soldiers have died, according to CNN.

Tens of thousands of civilians are believed to have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, according to the United Nations.

The civilian death toll in Iraq is estimated to be somewhere between 170,000 and 190,000, according to Iraq Body Count

The McGlynn

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War News

IRAQ BODY COUNT>>

Total Dollar Cost of War>>

Cost of War in Iraq>>

Cost of War in Afghanistan>>

Cost of Military Action Against ISIS>>

REU: U.S. air strikes kill 17 Islamic State militants in Libya: U.S. military

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Six U.S. air strikes on an Islamic State desert camp in Libya killed 17 militants and destroyed three vehicles, the U.S. military said on Sunday, the first American strikes in Libya since President Donald Trump took office in January.

U.S. Africa Command said in a statement that strikes on Friday targeted a camp 150 miles (240 km) southeast of Sirte, a city that was once the Islamic State stronghold in Libya. The camp was used to move fighters in and out of Libya, plot attacks and store weapons, the statement said.

“ISIS and al-Qaeda have taken advantage of ungoverned spaces in Libya to establish sanctuaries for plotting, inspiring and directing terror attacks,” the statement said, using an acronym for Islamic State.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the strikes were carried out by armed drones.

Read full story »

GUARD: ‘Trump’s secret Yemen war’: UK role in US counter-terrorism causes unease

As new figures point to doubling of covert US airstrikes in Yemen, MPs and human rights groups voice concerns over British involvement

Donald Trump has more than doubled the number of covert US airstrikes in Yemen compared with the final year of Barack Obama’s presidency, new estimates show.

The rise, combined with Trump’s rollback of Obama-era safeguards, has sparked renewed concern from MPs and human rights groups over the UK’s role in US counter-terrorism operations, in Yemen and other countries with which Britain is not at war.

The number of covert American airstrikes in Yemen more than doubled in 2017, rising to 93 compared with a total of 40 the previous year, according to figures from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which tracks US air and drone operations in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen.

At least two children have been killed in US airstrikes in Yemen this year, according to a report by Reprieve. Brothers Ahmed and Mohammed al-Khobze, both under 15, died in a US strike in Yakla on 6 March, local residents said. The US military have said they were not aware of “credible civilian casualty allegations” in the 6 March strike.

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REU: Russia, Syria intensify bombing of rebel-held Idlib, witnesses say

AMMAN (Reuters) – Russian and Syrian jets escalated strikes on rebel-held Idlib and Hama provinces, several days after jihadist rebels opened an offensive against government-held parts of northwestern Syria, rebels and witnesses said on Sunday.

The bombing campaign in heavily populated civilian areas shattered six months of relative calm. Russian-inspired ceasefires had given a temporary reprieve to tens of thousands of people living in rebel-held northwestern Syria.

But now thousands of civilians who had been returning to their homes have headed back to the relative safety of refugee camps along the Turkish border, which are protected under Russian-Turkish understandings, residents said.

“People are very afraid things have gone back to what they were and returned back to camps – there is no longer any hope,” Ahmad Thaib, a resident of Jabal al Zawya.

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GUARD: Iraqi Kurds polarised as region holds historic referendum on independence

Excitement has been building in Erbil, where veteran Kurdish president Massoud Barzani is popular, but 150 miles to the east, in Sulaimaniya, it’s business as usual

Its streets bustled with Sunday shoppers. Its teahouses brimmed with men who preferred playing dominoes to talking politics. And on boulevards and in town squares, there was hardly a Kurdish flag to be seen.

On the eve of a historic day in Kurdistan, the region’s two biggest hubs were a tale of two cities. In Erbil, the centre of Monday’s independence referendum, a festival feel that had built for the past week had taken over neighbourhoods. Flags fluttered from street poles, and car windows and shops were festooned with banners proclaiming the dawn of self-determination.

In Sulaimaniya, 150 miles to the east, there was no sign of celebration, or of a vote on an issue that has defined the Kurdish cause for centuries. In the Shab teahouse, a business-as-usual feel belied the imminent day of reckoning. A lone Kurdish flag was pinned among framed photos of revolutionaries, poets and scholars. None were of the Kurdish president, Massoud Barzani, who will take the Kurds of Iraq to the polls on Monday.

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IraqiNews: Kurdish troops pressure families to take part in vote or leave:Observatory

Kirkuk(IraqiNews.com) Kurdish security services have pressured displaced families living in Kirkuk to take part in Kurdistan’s independence referendum, the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights said.

“Asayish urged the anti-referendum families to leave the province,” the observatory said on behalf of the families. “The families were forced by Asayish to either take part in the referendum or leave Kirkuk.”

“More than 250 families left Kirkuk over the past two days as they refused to take part in the referendum as well as a protest to support the governor, Najmaddin Karim, who was dismissed by Iraqi parliament on September 14,” IOHR added.

The observatory said it contacted five families who fled toward Al-Azeem town in Diyala.

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AP: Baghdad orders Kurdistan region to hand over borders, ports

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s central government in Baghdad ordered the country’s Kurdish region to hand over all border crossings and airports to federal government control late Sunday night, hours before the region is set to carry out a controversial referendum on support for independence.

The referendum is set to be held Monday in the three provinces that make up the Kurdistan region as well as dozens of towns and villages that are disputed, claimed by both Baghdad and the country’s Kurds, including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

The Iraqi government “requests neighboring counties and the countries of the world to deal with the Iraqi federal government exclusively (with regards to) ports and oil,” read a statement from the prime minister’s national security council released Sunday night.

Earlier Sunday, the Kurdish region’s president Masoud Barzani pledged the vote would be held despite pressure from Baghdad and the international community. He said that while the referendum will be the first step in a long process to negotiate independence, the region’s “partnership” with the Iraqi central government in Baghdad is over.

Barzani detailed the abuses Iraq’s Kurds have faced by Iraqi forces, including killings at the hands of former leader Saddam Hussein’s army that left more than 50,000 Kurds dead.

Read full story »

NYT: Syria Rejects Iraqi Kurdish Independence Referendum: State Media

BEIRUT — The Syrian government rejects the independence referendum organized by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq, Syria’s foreign minister has said.

Voting started on Monday in northern Iraq despite intense international and regional pressure to call the vote off.

“We in Syria only recognize a united Iraq and reject any procedure that leads to the fragmentation of Iraq,” Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said, as reported by Syrian state news agency SANA.

“This step is rejected and we do not recognize it and yesterday I informed the Iraqi foreign minister of this stance.”

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IraqiNews: Eight civilians killed, injured in bomb blasts east, south of Baghdad

Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Eight persons were killed and injured as two bomb blasts exploded in south and east of Baghdad, a security source said.

“A bomb exploded near stores in Kasret Waatash in east of Baghdad, leaving a person killed and five others wounded,” the source told Baghdad Today on Monday.

Moreover, “a bomb targeted police patrol in Arab Jabour region, south of Baghdad, leaving two persons injured,” the source added.

Violence in the country has surged further with the emergence of Islamic State Sunni extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

A monthly count by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), which excludes security members deaths, said 297 Iraqis, were killed and injured due to violence and armed conflicts during the month of ?August. Baghdad was the most affected province with 45 deaths and 135 injuries.

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IraqiNews: Islamic State holding 65000 civilians in western Anbar: NGO

Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State militants are holding 65000 civilians inside their last two remaining havens in western Anbar, a human rights monitor said as military operations managed to reclaim a third bastion.

Those are trapped inside the cities of al-Qaim and Rawa, and are prevented from leaving by mobile militant patrols, according to the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights. It predicted thousands of civilians to flee to Baghdad and security-held areas in Anbar, voicing fears that the militants were possibly going to use the civilians as hina shields.

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Ex-Presidential security staff among 3 killed in Nangarhar raid: Karzai

The former Afghan President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the killing of at least three people including a former presidential security staff during an operation in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. The Office of the Former President in a statement said a former intelligence staff and Nangarhar customs department worker are also among those killed. Karzai

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Casualties, Exclusive of Civilians

Recent Casualties

Color Denotes Today’s Confirmation

None

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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23 Sep

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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World Politics

France

Germany

Germany faces first far-right party in parliament since 1960s>>

United States

Trump’s combative first speech to the UN general assembly – video highlights

Source: Reuters

The US president, Donald Trump, castigates ‘a small group of rogue regimes’ in a combative debut speech to the United Nations general assembly in New York on Tuesday. He ramps ups his rhetoric on the escalating crisis with North Korea, and calls the Iran nuclear deal ‘an embarrassment to the United States’

The Resistance Now: campaigners warn fight for healthcare is not over

John McCain dealt a blow to Republican hopes of passing the Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act but activists warn against complacency

by in New York

Not out of the woods yet …

Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act were teetering on the brink of failure on Friday, after John McCain said he would vote no on the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill.

But teetering on the brink of failure is not the same as plunging headlong into failure – hence the message from the activist group Indivisible on Friday afternoon: “THIS IS NOT OVER”.

Indivisible is hosting more than 73 rallies across the country over the next week in an attempt to defeat the bill, with activists planning to hold “sit-ins or die-ins” at senators’ state offices. The organization has also published detailed scripts for calling elected officials.

Our Revolution, meanwhile, has set up a page urging supporters to get involved as efforts to beat the bill continue.

Net news

Net neutrality advocates are planning two days of protest in Washington DC this week, as they fight off plans to defang regulations meant to protect an open internet.

The Guardian’s Dominic Rushe reported that a coalition of activists, consumer groups and writers are calling on supporters to attend the next meeting of the Federal Communications Commission, in Washington on 26 September. The next day the protest will move to Capitol Hill, where people will meet legislators to express their concerns about an FCC proposal to rewrite the rules governing the internet.

Battle for the Net, which is organizing the protests, is also planning events across the country.

Pelosi heckled

Nancy Pelosi was confronted by demonstrators from the Immigration Liberation Movement in San Francisco this week, days after she and Chuck Schumer met Donald Trump to discuss a deal to extend protection for undocumented people who were brought to the US as children.

Pelosi and Schumer said they had reached a deal with Trump that did not include funding for the border wall, but could include other security provisions.

Activists were not convinced about the efficacy of working with the president, nor about the conviction of the Democratic party as a whole. They rushed the stage as Pelosi held a press conference in San Francisco. Sandy Valenciano, one of the protesters, later wrote about the situation for the Huffington Post:

The Democratic party plays into Trump’s tactics while pretending to put up a fight. Instead, party leaders endanger the lives of people of color by taking middle-of-the-road stances on issues that affect the lives of immigrants.

Democrats have long kept their doors closed to community members and chosen to advance the agendas of corporate lobbyists and donors instead. Immigrant communities have not forgotten that Pelosi stood behind programs like Secure Communities (S-Comm) and the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP-Comm), policies that streamlined deportations in communities that are already heavily over-policed.

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Singer says recognition of the love of his husband ‘is what makes life truly worth living’, in a heartfelt plea as nation takes part in postal survey over change in law

Elton John and his husband David Furnish pictured in 2016.

Elton John and his husband David Furnish pictured in 2016. Photograph: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

Elton John has called for gay marriage to be legalised in Australia, as the country votes in a postal survey to ascertain the level of support for a change in the law.

In a heartfelt post on Instagram, John wrote that for him and his husband David Furnish, who he married in 2014, “being able to openly love and commit to one another, and for that to be recognised and celebrated is what makes life truly worth living”.

He said that recognition “makes us want to be as kind, responsible and productive members of society, as well as the best parents, that we can be. I love Australia. I love its spirit, its lack of pretence, its passion. I hope it can embrace the honesty and courage that seeks gay marriage as an expression not of desire but of love”.

He made mention of his first marriage in 1984, to German recording engineer Renate Bluel, which took place in St Mark’s church in Sydney. “I wanted more than anything to be a good husband, but I denied who I really was, which caused my wife sadness, and caused me huge guilt and regret,” he said. “To be worthy of someone’s love, you have to be brave enough and clear eyed enough to be honest with yourself and your partner.”

John joins other public figures who have called for Australians to show their support for gay marriage, including TV host Ellen DeGeneres and Apple boss Tim Cook. Margot Robbie wrote “love is love” on Instagram this week, while her fellow Australian actor Liam Hemsworth wrote: “I believe it’s a human right to be able to marry the person you love regardless of gender.”

A Guardian Essential poll this week found that 55% of people surveyed were in favour of gay marriage, though support had dropped 4% in a fortnight as opposition rose. The “no” campaign have spent five times more than their opponents on TV advertising.

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Emails to prosecutor’s office include rightwing article sent by investigator and plea from lawyer whose firm would later represent Michael Brown’s killer

Cars burn at a dealership as demonstrators protest the Grand Jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson over the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, November 24 2014.

Cars burn at a dealership as demonstrators protest the grand jury decision not to indict the police officer Darren Wilson over the shooting death of Michael Brown, in November 2014. Photograph: Larry W Smith/EPA

An attorney whose firm represented the policeman who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson urged the local prosecutor a day after the 2014 shooting to “do the right thing” and said officers were depending on him, newly released records reveal.

Jerome Simon emailed the message to the St Louis County prosecutor, Bob McCulloch, amid intense protests set off by Darren Wilson’s fatal shooting of Brown. McCulloch went on to preside over the controversial decision to not bring criminal charges against Wilson.

“Dude, WTF? Do the right thing,” Simon wrote. “All of St Louis County is counting on your seasoned judgment and innate sense of essential justice for all – especially County Brown police officers.” St Louis County police officers are nicknamed for their brown uniforms.

Simon’s firm, Pitzer Snodgrass, went on to defend Wilson and Ferguson in a civil lawsuit brought by Brown’s parents, which was settled by the city for $1.5m. Simon was apparently not directly involved in the case. He did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.

The email from Simon to McCulloch on 10 Aug 2014 was one of the first few dozen released by McCulloch’s office in response to a public records lawsuit filed against it by the Guardian in St Louis County circuit court more than two years ago.

Another released email showed that while Wilson’s case was being considered, one of McCulloch’s senior investigators sent McCulloch a link to an article from a rightwing website that described Brown as a “thug” and said: “All the evidence backs Officer Darren Wilson’s side of the story.” The investigator, Jim Maier, did not respond to a request for comment. It was not clear from the records released whether McCulloch replied to the messages.

Since first being asked in a December 2014 records request for all his emails relating to the Ferguson case, McCulloch’s office has firmly resisted the publication of the records and tried to charge the Guardian tens of thousands of dollars to turn them over.

Judge Barbara Wallace ordered McCulloch’s office in January this year to release the emails that were not protected by confidentiality or legal privilege. Wallace fined McCulloch’s office for violating Missouri’s public records laws with its response to the Guardian’s original request.

Wilson’s deadly shooting of Brown in Ferguson, a previously obscure suburb of St Louis, was the major flashpoint behind a wave of demonstrations across the US in the subsequent years over the use of deadly force by police against African Americans.

McCulloch was sharply criticised by activists and protesters for his handling of Wilson’s case. He put the case through an unusually extensive grand jury process without providing a recommendation as to whether Wilson should be charged, leading to suggestions from some analysts that the process had been more like a criminal trial managed behind closed doors. He defended his handling of the case.

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Beijing bans exports of some petroleum products and imports of textiles as Pyongyang and US urged to calm tensions

A North Korean soldier guards barrels near Sinuiju, opposite the Chinese border city of Dandong.

A North Korean soldier guards barrels near Sinuiju, opposite the Chinese border city of Dandong. Photograph: AP

China has said it will ban exports of some petroleum products to North Korea, as well as imports of textiles from the isolated country, in line with a United Nations security council resolution passed after Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test.

The announcement from Beijing came at the end of a week that saw tensions rise between the US and North Korea, with the leaders of both countries trading insults.

The Chinese ministry of commerce said in a statement that exports of refined petroleum products would be limited from 1 October and exports of condensates and liquefied natural gas would be stopped immediately to comply with the UN sanctions.

Imports of textiles from North Korea would also be banned immediately, but textile trade contracts signed before 11 September would be respected if import formalities were completed before 10 December, the statement said.

The moves follow the adoption of a unanimous UN security council agreement on sanctions after North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on 3 September.

The resolution imposed a ban on condensates and natural gas liquids, a cap of 2m barrels a year on refined petroleum products and a cap on crude oil exports to North Korea at current levels.

Russia urged calm on Friday after the US president, Donald Trump, called his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong-un, a “madman”. Kim had called Trump a “mentally deranged US dotard” a day earlier after Trump had said Washington would “totally destroy” North Korea if it threatened the US or its allies.

Trump announced new US sanctions on Thursday that he said would allow the targeting of companies and institutions which finance and facilitate trade with North Korea. The US treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, also said banks doing business in North Korea would not be allowed to operate in the US.

China has also urged calm, with the foreign minister, Wang Yi, telling his Japanese counterpart that Tokyo should not abandon dialogue over North Korea.

Pyongyang has launched dozens of missiles this year, several of them flying over Japan, as it accelerates a weapons programme aimed at enabling it to target the US with a nuclear-tipped missile.

The Australian foreign minister, Julie Bishop, said China’s cutting of oil exports to North Korea was a key move in the attempts to force the country to the negotiating table.

“I actually believe oil is the game changer in the sanctions regime,” Bishop said. “China is clearly open to using its undoubted leverage – economic leverage.

“I’m not suggesting diplomatic but economic leverage over North Korea, and from my discussions with the US administration I’m confident the US and China are engaged in very serious dialogue about how they are going to bring North Korea to the negotiating table.”

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