11 Jun

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective



Police chief says officials will determine whether incident caught on video was use of excessive force against Noel Carter outside a nightclub last Thursday

Noel Carter has asked for battery charges to be brought againset the officer who kicked him at least a dozen times and against another officer.

Orlando’s police chief says state officials will look into whether an officer used excessive force for repeatedly kicking a man sitting passively on a curb.

Orlando police chief John Mina said Wednesday that he has asked the Florida department of law enforcement to investigate. Mina’s decision came hours after 30-year-old Noel Carter filed an affidavit asking the state attorney to bring battery charges against the officer who kicked him at least a dozen times – and against another officer.

The two officers were working at a downtown nightclub last Thursday when a bystander captured the kicks on video.

Mina says the video shows only part of what happened. He says Carter and a woman were arguing when the officers intervened. Carter has been charged with domestic battery, among other counts.


People of Pagan and Tinian to take their appeal directly to Obama to save islands’ rare ecosystems from ‘irreparable damage’ and residents from forced relocation

Jungles grow over the Japanese-built runways later used by Americans on Tinian island.

Jungles grow over the Japanese-built runways later used by Americans on Tinian island. Photograph: Walter Meayers Edwards/National Geographic/Getty Images

If the Pentagon gets its way, a pair of idyllic Pacific islands have just two years before their tranquillity is pierced by the roar of US B-52 bombers, fighter jets and artillery fire.

Faced with the destruction of their homeland, residents are to take their appeal directly to Barack Obama in an attempt to block US military plans to turn Tinian and Pagan – US territories that form part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands – into a simulated theatre of war.

Campaigners say the arrival of thousands of navy seamen and marines on the tiny islands would obliterate rare coral ecosystems and wildlife, and force some residents to relocate.

Juanita Mendiola, a local resident, said the US military would do “irreparable damage” to the islands’ people and environment.

“These little islands cannot be the only alternative,” she told the Guardian. “There is no justification in taking small islands with very little resources … and destroying them for military purposes.”

The islands, located north of the US Pacific territories of Guam and Saipan, are home to pristine black sand beaches and rare animal species that experts say would not survive the arrival of troops and their hardware.

A campaign has so far attracted more than 109,000 signatures; the petition will be presented to the US president once it reaches 150,000……………………….


Former president says he will continue to give speeches without compensation amid accusations paid speeches raise the possibility of conflicts of interest

Former president Bill Clinton speaks at the annual gathering of the Clinton Global Initiative America in Denver this week.

Bill Clinton: ‘I will still give speeches, though, on the subjects I’m interested in.’ Photograph: Brennan Linsley/AP

Bill Clinton has said he will stop giving paid speeches if his wife, Hillary Clinton, is elected US president.

Republicans and media commentators have criticised both Clintons for earning millions of dollars from paid speeches, saying the practice raises the possibility of conflicts of interest.

The former president said he would continue to give speeches without compensation if Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, enters the White House.

“I will still give speeches, though, on the subjects I’m interested in, and I’ve really enjoyed those things,” he told Bloomberg TV at a Clinton Foundation conference in Denver on Wednesday.

Asked whether he would keep giving paid speeches if Hillary Clinton entered the White House, Clinton said: “No. I don’t think so. I don’t think that – because once you get to be president then you’re just making a daily story.”

In an interview with CNN at the conference, Clinton gave one of his lengthiest rebuttals yet of allegations Hillary Clinton gave favorable treatment to donors to the family’s charities while she was US secretary of state.

“No one has ever asked me for anything,” he said of the foundation’s donors…………………..



Willie Soon from Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics probed over failure to disclose more than $1.2m from energy industry when submitting articles

Dr Willie Soon attending the Third International Conference on Climate Change in Washington DC in 2009.

Dr Willie Soon attending the third international conference on climate change in Washington DC in 2009. Photograph: TripodGirl

A Harvard-Smithsonian researcher known as a climate sceptic is under multiple ethics investigations arising from his hidden financial relationships with fossil fuel companies.

A handful of academic journals have asked Willie Soon, a researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, about his failure to disclose more than $1.2m in energy industry funding when submitting articles for publication, the Climate Investigations Center (CIC) said.

Soon is also under two parallel ethics investigations by the Smithsonian, a spokesperson for the institution said.

Another journal, the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate, said it had amended a 2009 article by Soon, making it clear that he had been funded by an energy company.

The spate of investigations into Soon – who is frequently held up as an authority by those who reject the underlying science behind climate change – follow revelations in February that the researcher was almost entirely funded by the energy industry.

Over the years, Soon received more than $1.2m from the Southern Company, a coal-heavy utility, Exxon Mobil, the American Petroleum Institute lobby group, and the Koch family of oil billionaires as well as anonymous donors.

The reports were based on documents obtained by the CIC through freedom of information requests………………….

cli deny


Members of the Seattle Raging Grannies were protesting Shell’s drilling in the Arctic, which environmental groups say could lead to a catastrophic spill

Seattle police officers cut chains off two of the Raging Grannies during a protest in front of the Seattle port on Tuesday.

Seattle police officers cut chains off two of the Raging Grannies during a protest in front of the Seattle port on Tuesday. Photograph: Ellen M. Banner/AP

Six women were detained by Seattle police on Tuesday during a protest to block access to a Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig that activists believe may depart this week to resume fossil fuel exploration in the Arctic, authorities said.

The six, members of an activist group known as the Seattle Raging Grannies, were questioned and released by police after blocking railroad tracks near the Port of Seattle, police spokesman Patrick Michaud said. He added that about two dozen other protesters had left the port but were expected back on Wednesday.

Over the past month, activists have staged frequent demonstrations against Shell’s plans to drill for oil in the Arctic, including one on 16 May, when hundreds of protesters in kayaks and small boats fanned out on a Seattle bay.

Environmental groups say drilling in the icy Arctic, where weather changes rapidly, could lead to a catastrophic spill, and would threaten the region’s vast layer of sea ice that helps regulate global temperatures, which they say is already disappearing due to global warming.

One of the groups organizing the protests, ShellNo, said on its website that the rig, the Polar Pioneer, could begin moving north as early as Wednesday.

Shell said it had not yet set a firm departure date. “Work continues as planned in preparation for the Polar Pioneer’s departure to Alaska,” Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said in an email. “The rig and its crew will depart Puget Sound when the ongoing load-out is complete.”

Shell has not drilled in the Arctic since a mishap-filled 2012 season, when it was forced to evacuate its Kulluk drill rig, which eventually ran aground.

Activists say they want to launch boats once they learn the rig is leaving the terminal. A mandatory safety zone enforced by the US coast guard will keep watercraft at least 100 yards (90 meters) away from the rig. That zone will expand to 500 yards (460 meters) when it hits Puget Sound…………………….


A golden eagle feasting on a fox, California’s sea lions and dolphins hunting salmons are among in this week’s pick of images from the natural world


Chimpanzees at Tchimpounga chimpanzee sanctuary in Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo.

Photograph: Alexandra Rosati



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