themcglynn.com

20 Aug

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.

Recommended:

Irish Examiner>>

France 24>>

Spiegel>>

View All>>

‘We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them’: Pope condemns cover-ups within church

Press Association

The McGlynn: “Francis did not, however, provide any indication of what concrete measures he is prepared to take to sanction those bishops – in the US and beyond – who covered up for sexually abusive priests.”

Words Words Words = BULLSHIT.

Pope Francis has issued an unprecedented letter to Catholics around the world condemning the “crime” of sexual abuse by priests and subsequent cover-ups.

Pope Francis demanded accountability in response to new revelations in the United States of decades of misconduct by the Catholic Church.

The Pope begged forgiveness for the pain suffered by victims and said lay Catholics must be involved in any effort to root out abuse and cover-ups.

He attacked the self-referential clerical culture that has been blamed for the abuse crisis, with church leaders more concerned for their reputation than the safety of children.

Francis wrote: “We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them.”

The Vatican issued the letter today, ahead of Pope Francis’ trip this weekend to Ireland.

In the three-page letter, Francis wrote: “With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realising the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives.”

The church’s credibility has been damaged in Ireland by years of revelations that priests raped and molested children with impunity and their superiors covered up for them.

Sex abuse within the church was always expected to dominate the trip, but the issue has taken on new gravity following revelations in the US that one of Francis’ trusted cardinals, the retired archbishop of Washington Theodore McCarrick, allegedly sexually abused and harassed minors as well as adult seminarians.

In addition, a US grand jury report in Pennsylvania last week reported that at least 1,000 children were victims of some 300 priests over the past 70 years, and that generations of bishops failed repeatedly to take measures to protect their flock or punish the rapists.

In the letter, which was issued in seven languages and addressed to the “People of God”, Francis referenced the Pennsylvania report, acknowledged that no effort to beg forgiveness of the victims will be sufficient, and vowed: “Never again.”

He said, looking to the future, “no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated”.

Francis did not, however, provide any indication of what concrete measures he is prepared to take to sanction those bishops – in the US and beyond – who covered up for sexually abusive priests.

Francis several years ago scrapped a proposed Vatican tribunal to prosecute negligent bishops, and he has refused to act on credible reports from around the world of bishops who have failed to report abusers to police or otherwise botched handling cases, and yet remain in office.

In Chile, where a church sex abuse scandal exploded earlier this year, Francis strong-armed the 31 active bishops to offer to resign en masse over their handling of abuse. So far he has accepted five of their resignations.

Unlike the US bishops’ conference, which has referred only to “sins and omissions” in their handling of abuse, Francis labelled the misconduct “crimes”.

The Pope wrote: “Let us beg forgiveness for our own sins and the sins of others.

“An awareness of sin helps us to acknowledge the errors, the crimes and the wounds caused in the past and allows us, in the present, to be more open and committed along a journey of renewed conversion.”

Francis several years ago scrapped a proposed Vatican tribunal to prosecute negligent bishops, and he has refused to act on credible reports from around the world of bishops who have failed to report abusers to police or otherwise botched handling cases, and yet remain in office.

In Chile, where a church sex abuse scandal exploded earlier this year, Francis strong-armed the 31 active bishops to offer to resign en masse over their handling of abuse. So far he has accepted five of their resignations.

Unlike the US bishops’ conference, which has referred only to “sins and omissions” in their handling of abuse, Francis labelled the misconduct “crimes”.

The Pope wrote: “Let us beg forgiveness for our own sins and the sins of others.

“An awareness of sin helps us to acknowledge the errors, the crimes and the wounds caused in the past and allows us, in the present, to be more open and committed along a journey of renewed conversion.”

A State of Deep Suffering in Venezuela’s Hospitals

Venezuela has the largest known oil reserves in the world, but under the leadership of Nicolas Maduro, its hospitals lack equipment, medicines, food, anesthetics and even pens. The doctors who remain face a daily struggle to treat patients with little more than hope.

Photo Gallery: A Lack of Equipment, Food and Medicines

Photos Meridith Kohut / DER SPIEGEL

Little Joniel Briceño is much too small and too light for life. He’s eight months old and weighs 5 kilograms (11 pounds), little more than many newborns. His mother has carried him here from their small village. It involved two hours of walking to the bus stop with her son in her arm and then a two-hour ride with the bus. Now, Joniel is here, in bed number two, under a Donald Duck decal that someone adhered to the wall.

Joniel isn’t the only kid with an emaciated face, swollen legs and distended belly in the emergency room of the children’s department of the Dr. Luis Razetti de Barcelona University Hospital in Barcelona, a large city located about 300 kilometers (200 miles) east of the capital of Caracas. The doctors and nurses call the department “Africa.” Nowhere is the desperate situation the country finds itself in more clearly visible than in its hospitals.

Venezuela, the country with the largest known oil reserves in the world, is bankrupt. It once was one of the richest nations on the continent, but now the people are starving, especially in the interior of the country. The economy collapsed in 2014, and now there are regular protests and riots because stores lack food and everyday items like toilet paper and detergent. Armed guards stand at the entryways of supermarkets, and the annual inflation rate of 42,000 percent is eating up people’s incomes. The poor are starving, the weak and the sick are dying, youths are joining criminal gangs. Anyone who can afford to is leaving the country.

An Existential Crisis

Former president Hugo Chavez, who died in 2013, once made himself popular with the poor by using oil income to finance social programs. The state oil company, however, didn’t have enough money for investment. Corruption and mismanagement thrived. Under Chavez’s successor, Nicolas Maduro, the country fell into an existential crisis.

The government provides little money to the hospitals, but won’t allow any aid into the country either. Doing so would make it clear that Maduro’s autocratic government has failed. According to UNICEF, 15 percent of all children in Venezuela are undernourished.

Several of the worst cases come here, to the Razetti university hospital in Barcelona, with 10 beds in the children’s emergency ward. Up to three children are kept in some beds. There are dead cockroaches on the floor, and at night a cat saunters through the rundown rooms, which lack everything — blood glucose test strips, nutrient solutions, antibiotics and anesthetics.

In earlier days, the hospital had been an exemplary clinic, responsible for the entire eastern part of the country. Patients even come here from the Amazon region and the capital. The main building is nine stories high, an imposing red brick structure. “Africa” is located next door, in the children’s hospital. Every day, a dozen children are brought here, and one child dies almost daily. It’s here where little Jionel is now fighting for his life.

His mother, Yeriyoli Pérez, 25, a young woman with eyes that make her look much older and who weighs 39 kilograms (85 pounds) after losing 16 kilograms in the last six months, stands next to his bed. Her T-shirt flaps around her gaunt body. She mostly feeds herself and her son with corn. Her breastmilk has run dry. “We eat what we can get,” she says quietly. The doctors have recommended meat and milk products, but who can afford them?

Pérez only has 1 million bolívars per month at her disposal, the equivalent of one euro. She has no work and no money for anything, including baby food. One can of it costs 2 million bolívars — that is, if you can even find it in the supermarket in the first place.

A Clinic That Lacks Everything

They haven’t had any baby formula at Razetti university hospital since January. Sometimes the doctors have even bought food for the patients, one nurse says. “But they barely earn anything themselves,” she says. So, there’s little they can do for Joniel other than hope. And fan away the flies circling above him with a piece of cardboard.

There is nothing left at Razetti university hospital — no medication, no toilet paper, no diapers, nothing for cleaning or disinfecting, no bed linens, not even a pen and paper for the doctors. Loose cables hang from the ceiling in the bathroom, the color is crumbling from the wall, there hasn’t been any water for washing hands for weeks. The X-ray machine is broken, oxygen for the respirators is lacking and the air conditioning can’t be operated. The intensive care unit is out of commission, just like the operating room, because of missing instruments and equipment. Only a monitor that communicates the most important vital signs still works, quietly peeping. One last sign of civilization.

Read Full Article>>

 

Tears as separated North and South Korean families come together briefly – video

Source: Reuters

Eighty-nine North and South Korean families were temporarily reunited on Monday in a tearful meeting on Mount Kumgang, a North Korean tourist resort. Many families we separated after the Korean war in 1953. Reunions are permitted only occasionally by North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, but now an ageing generation means the numbers at the meetings are set to decline 

Separated South and North Korean families take part in rare reunions

Rising arctic temperatures mean we face a future of ‘extreme extremes’ where sunny days become heatwaves and rain becomes floods, study says

Rising arctic temperatures have slowed the circulation of the jet stream and other giant planetary winds, which means pressure fronts are getting stuck and the weather is less able to moderate itself, say researchers.

Rising arctic temperatures have slowed the circulation of the jet stream and other giant planetary winds, which means pressure fronts are getting stuck and the weather is less able to moderate itself, say researchers. Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Summer weather patterns are increasingly likely to stall in Europe, North America and parts of Asia, according to a new climate study that explains why Arctic warming is making heatwaves elsewhere more persistent and dangerous.

Rising temperatures in the Arctic have slowed the circulation of the jet stream and other giant planetary winds, says the paper, which means high and low pressure fronts are getting stuck and weather is less able to moderate itself.

The authors of the research, published in Nature Communications on Monday, warn this could lead to “very extreme extremes”, which occur when abnormally high temperatures linger for an unusually prolonged period, turning sunny days into heat waves, tinder-dry conditions into wildfires, and rains into floods.

“This summer was where we saw a very strong intensity of heatwaves. It’ll continue and that’s very worrying, especially in the mid-latitudes: the EU, US, Russia and China,” said one of the coauthors, Dim Coumou from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “Short-term heatwaves are quite pleasant, but longer term they will have an impact on society. It’ll have an affect on agricultural production. Harvests are already down this year for many products. Heatwaves can also have a devastating impact on human health.”

Circulation stalling has long been a concern of climate scientists, though most previous studies have looked at winter patterns. The new paper reviews research on summer trends, where it says there is mounting evidence of planetary wind systems – both low-level storm tracks and higher waves in the troposphere – losing their ability to shift the weather.

One cause is a weakening of the temperature gradient between the Arctic and Equator as a result of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. The far north of the Earth is warming two to four times faster than the global average, says the paper, which means there is a declining temperature gap with the central belt of the planet. As this ramp flattens, winds struggle to build up sufficient energy and speed to push around pressure systems in the area between them.

As a result, there is less relief in the form of mild and wet air from the sea when temperatures accumulate on land, and less relief from the land when storms build up in the ocean. Last year, Hurricane Harvey had a devastating impact on Texas because it was parked an unusually long time on the coast, where it kept drawing up moisture from the sea and dumping it in the form of the greatest deluge ever recorded in the US. Scientists had previously noted that hurricanes are slowing and bringing more rain.

A separate new paper in Scientific Reports indicated that the trapping of planetary airstreams – a phenomenon known as amplified quasi-stationary waves – also contributed to the 2016 wildfires in Alberta, which took two months to extinguish and ended as the costliest disaster in Canadian history with total damages reaching 4.7bn Canadian dollars.

“Clearly, the planetary wave pattern wasn’t the only cause for the fire – yet it was an additional important factor triggering a deplorable disaster,” says lead author Vladimir Petoukhov from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “In fact, our analysis reveals that beyond that single event, actually from the 1980s on, planetary waves were a significant factor for wildfire risks in the region.”

He said wave pattern studies will help forest managers and fire forecasters because changes can be detected ahead of their impacts.

However, scientists are also concerned that slowing circulation could produce “surprises”, by amplifying other climate changes.

Read Full Article>>

World Politics

United States

Beto O’Rourke Texas Democrat gains ground in battle for Lone Star state>>

‘Truth isn’t truth’ Giuliani trumps ‘alternative facts’ with new Orwellian outburst>>

‘Truth isn’t truth’ All the times Rudy Giuliani appeared not to think before he spoke – video>>

Trump-Russia Trump attacks ‘disgraced’ Mueller and rails against ‘phony’ obstruction claims>>

‘Fake piece’ Trump invokes Nixon and McCarthy in NYT rant>>

Michael Cohen Trump’s former lawyer under investigation for $20m bank fraud – report>>

 

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20 Aug

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

NYT: War Without End, Read Article>>

In the Viet Nam era, stories like this and television reporting on the war contributed to the end of the Viet Nam War in a time frame of much less than 17 years.

As deployment of the last 17 years only came to a sub set of young people, and TV and news rarely covered the searing violence of war, eschewing such content for minor content (Kardashians, Tweets, outrageous behavior), the daily violence and futility went “off stage”.

One is invited to read the daily post, “United States Wars, News and Casualties” and then watch the daily news on the U.S. TV Media.

The absence of U.S. War News is atrocious.

We need this daily report of our wars in our face………..Daily.

The McGlynn

Damn The War Criminals,Bush,Cheney,Rice,Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Powell and Blair from England.

How many Iraqis have died as a result of the invasion 15 years ago? Some credible estimates put the number at more than one million. You can read that sentence again.

The invasion of Iraq is often spoken of in our country as a “blunder,” or even a “colossal mistake.” It was a crime.

Those who perpetrated it are still at large. Some of them have even been rehabilitated thanks to the horrors of a mostly amnesiac citizenry.

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.

The McGlynn

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19 Aug

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.

Recommended:

Irish Examiner>>

France 24>>

Spiegel>>

View All>>

 

World Orangutan Day: palm oil awareness still key, activists say – video

Source: Melbourne Zoo, International Animal Rescue

Palm oil plantations continue to threaten this endangered species. Global standards for minimising consumption of palm oil varies wildly from country to country. Australian conservation groups have been pushing for legislation to mandate the labelling of palm oil on food ingredient lists for almost a decade. Currently, generic terms such as ‘vegetable oil’ or ‘vegetable fats’ can be used instead. The EU enforced palm oil labelling in 2014 and is now trying to pass a ban on using palm oil in EU biofuels – a move the UK is seeking to block

Kofi Annan’s three key UN speeches – video

Source: UNTV/REUTERS

The former UN secretary general faced tough times during his tenure at the organisation – the war in Iraq, which he opposed, lingering questions on scandals, deteriorating ties with the George W Bush administration and US rightwingers calling for his head. His worst moments, Annan said, included not being able to stop the bloodshed in Sudan’s Darfur region and in the Iraq war

Kofi Annan, former UN secretary general, dies

A farmers’ leader shot in the back is one of 18 activists killed this year, targeted for opposing evictions, logging and mining

Land rights protesters demanding the resignation of President Jimmy Morales in Guatemala City in 2017

Land rights protesters demanding the resignation of President Jimmy Morales in Guatemala City in 2017. Photograph: Esteban Biba/Epa-Efe/Rex Shutterstock

At 9am on 9 May, Luis Arturo Marroquín walked out of a shop in the main square of the small town of San Luis Jilotepéque in central Guatemala. Eyewitnesses say a black Toyota Hilux pick-up then drove up and, in full view of passersby, two men wearing hoods shot Marroquín repeatedly in the back.

The vehicle sped off but was identified and, within hours, police had stopped and reportedly questioned the men and found the weapons. But since then, no arrests have been made or charges levelled and the investigation has stalled.

Marroquín was a Q’eqchi’ Mayan, and a leader of Codeca, a group of indigenous farmers now gaining political ground by defending people from evictions, land grabs and pollution resulting from mines, hydro dams, logging, and huge palm oil and sugar cane developments.

He is one of 18 human rights and indigenous “defenders” to have been murdered so far this year in a wave of rural violence. Of these, 13 were involved in land conflicts and nine were Codeca leaders. Two were journalists investigating disputes and of the seven people killed in the month following Marroquín’s death, one died in a church, another was rammed by a truck and a third was murdered while doing the shopping. Others were stabbed or hacked to death. Few people have been arrested, let alone convicted.

“Everyone knows who the killers are,” said Maria Perez, Marroquín’s widow, in the modest house near Carrizal in Jalapa state that she and Luis built on a steep hillside 30 years ago. “I was warned that he would be killed but I did not take it seriously. All the authorities knew it was going to happen but I didn’t believe it. He had talked about the danger of his work and how if he was going to die it would be for his community,” she said.

But a high-level, UN-backed mission to Guatemala, which included the Observer, will suggest in a report to be published this week that although the men may have been killed by local hitmen, the killings have probably been orchestrated by more powerful political and financial interests, with links to the drug trade and the military.

They fear that if action is not taken, Guatemala could descend into the sort of violence and political chaos seen in neighbouring Honduras and nearby Nicaragua.

The killings are just the tip of a pyramid of abuses faced by people defending their land and environment, says Mike Taylor, director of the International Land Coalition (ILC), the global alliance of UN agencies and 278 civil society and farmers’ groups that spent a week hearing evidence from four communities, as well as judicial and government bodies.

“There is a culture of impunity. Leaders are being identified, arrested, detained and criminalised. People are being evicted illegally, even if they have title to land. Hundreds have been threatened with death and many thrown into prison without evidence on charges of murder and terrorism.

“Anyone who opposes mines, evictions, palm oil plantations or who even takes part in roundtables to find solutions to the rising tide of violence against land rights defenders is likely to be targeted,” Taylor said.

“We have seen evidence of criminality, prosecution, false imprisonment and killings. These are not random acts of violence but the systematic persecution of people who have been standing up to defend their land.

“At the base of the violence against defenders is the decision by the state to use land, water and natural resources not for the benefit of the many but the very few.”

James Loughran of Dublin-based Front Line Defenders, a member of the mission – which also took evidence from the UN and people held in prison – said: “People feel abandoned. No one is listening to them. They have no confidence in the justice system. Their leaders are being victimised and attacked, their voices silenced.”

Last year saw 197 killings of environmental activists worldwide, according to human rights group Global Witness. Brazil, with 57 people killed, and the Philippines, with 48, were the two deadliest countries. Guatemala has now become one of the most dangerous……………….Economic integration forced on Guatemala by the US and global bodies have further opened the country to foreign-backed mining, hydro and other extractive industries, forcing more evictions of indigenous peoples and leading to more violence and inequality.

Read Full Article>>

World Politics

Steve Bell on Jeremy Corbyn’s row with Benjamin Netanyahu – cartoon

Benjamin Netanyahu Donald Trump  Steve Bannon  Israel

United States

Corey Stewart’s odd attack on his Democratic opponent is apparent attempt to link Kaine with protesters clashing with white supremacists

The image tweeted by Corey Stewart.

The image tweeted by Corey Stewart. Photograph: Twitter

The Republican nominee for US Senate in Virginia on Friday tweeted out a bizarre Photoshopped image of his Democratic opponent, Tim Kaine, shaking hands with Joseph Stalin.

Under the hashtag #AntifaTimKaine, Corey Stewart described Kaine meeting Stalin to discuss “economic policy” in 1944. Kaine, who was the Democratic vice-presidential nominee in 2016, was born in 1958.

The tweet seemed to be an attempt to link Kaine with protesters who have repeatedly clashed with white supremacists in cities across the US. Stewart has previously dwelled on the arrest of Kaine’s son after an anti-Trump protest in 2017.

“Antifa” is an abbreviation of “anti-fascist”. In 1944, the US and Britain were allied with the Soviet Union, which was communist. Their mutual opponent, Nazi Germany, was fascist. The image of Stalin in Stewart’s tweet appeared to have been taken from an original of the Russian leader shaking hands with Harry Truman, who is also holding the hand of Winston Churchill, at Potsdam in 1945.

The tweet was the latest bizarre social media gambit by a candidate who has played up his support for Donald Trump and who was backed by the president on Twitter in June. On Thursday, Stewart’s account tweeted a Photoshopped picture which purported to show a young Kaine with leftist guerrillas in Central America. It was quickly pointed out that the fighters shown in the doctored image were in fact rightwing contra rebels from Nicaragua.

Stewart has faced repeated questions over his ties to the far right, including his use of two neo-Confederate brothers as volunteer security officials.

Responding on Friday, Kaine’s spokesman, Ian Sams, tweeted the Stalin image and three pictures of Stewart: two in which he posed with the Confederate battle flag and one in which he is seen with Jason Kessler, an organizer of the 2017 white nationalist march in Charlottesville during which a counter-protester was killed.

“Only one of these pictures is photoshopped,” Sams wrote.

Stewart has since denounced Kessler but he has been far more guarded about Charlottesville, echoing Trump’s comment that were “some very fine people on both sides”. Stewart blamed “half the violence” on counter-protesters and criticized “weak Republicans [because] they couldn’t apologize fast enough”.

Stewart has also had to disavow his ties with Paul Nehlen, a fringe congressional candidate whom Stewart once called “a personal hero”. Nehlen has repeatedly made antisemitic and white nationalist comments.

While campaigning for Roy Moore in last year’s special election for US Senate in Alabama, and defending the judge from allegations of sexual assault, Stewart claimed Barack Obama’s birth certificate was a forgery.

The Republican, who serves in local office in northern Virginia, has both repeatedly tried to tie himself to Trump and campaigned vocally on his support for the retention of Confederate monuments.

National Republicans have distanced themselves from Stewart and the National Republican Senate Committee has pointedly declined to endorse him. The most recent poll of the Virginia race had Kaine at 49% and Stewart at 26%.

Read Full Article>>

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19 Aug

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

NYT: War Without End, Read Article>>

In the Viet Nam era, stories like this and television reporting on the war contributed to the end of the Viet Nam War in a time frame of much less than 17 years.

As deployment of the last 17 years only came to a sub set of young people, and TV and news rarely covered the searing violence of war, eschewing such content for minor content (Kardashians, Tweets, outrageous behavior), the daily violence and futility went “off stage”.

One is invited to read the daily post, “United States Wars, News and Casualties” and then watch the daily news on the U.S. TV Media.

The absence of U.S. War News is atrocious.

We need this daily report of our wars in our face………..Daily.

The McGlynn

Damn The War Criminals,Bush,Cheney,Rice,Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Powell and Blair from England.

How many Iraqis have died as a result of the invasion 15 years ago? Some credible estimates put the number at more than one million. You can read that sentence again.

The invasion of Iraq is often spoken of in our country as a “blunder,” or even a “colossal mistake.” It was a crime.

Those who perpetrated it are still at large. Some of them have even been rehabilitated thanks to the horrors of a mostly amnesiac citizenry.

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.

The McGlynn

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