18 Mar

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

English Online International Newspapers

For a change from the same old news stories from the same old news networks, here are links to English-edition online newspapers from other parts of the world. Nearly all of these are English-edition daily newspapers, with an emphasis on the Middle East and Asia. 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.

Some of the available newspapers:

Asia & CIS


China & Hong Kong









  • Rick Snyder says ‘I kick myself every day’ but blames officials and EPA

  • Congressman angrily accuses Snyder of putting dollars over public safety

Michigan governor Rick Snyder, who is under pressure to resign over his response to the ongoing Flint water crisis, appeared before the House oversight committee in Congress on Thursday morning, telling members that the tragedy weighs on his mind ‘day [and] night’. Snyder has faced increasing criticism in recent weeks following revelations he was aware of the scale of the lead poisoning in the city months before he took action to address the problem

Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan admitted to Congress that “I kick myself every day” over the toxic water crisis in Flint, but rebuffed repeated demands for his resignation during lacerating exchanges at an inquiry into the disaster.

One Democratic congressman told Snyder: “You sit there dripping with guilt. People who put dollars over the fundamental safety of the public do not deserve public office and you need to resign, governor.”

But Snyder instead criticized his own officials and the US Environmental Protection Agency over the crisis, which occurred after the city’s water supply was switched to the Flint river in April 2014. Flint, under direct emergency management from Snyder’s administration, failed to treat the water, leading it to corrode pipes that leached lead into the drinking supply.

“This is a sad event, a tragedy that should never have happened,” Snyder told a packed House oversight committee hearing. “Not a day or night goes by that this tragedy doesn’t weigh on my mind. I kick myself every day. This has been the most humbling experience of my life.

“The people of Flint should be angry. The experts said over and over again; career bureaucrats, quote-unquote experts. I get so mad, I should’ve never believed them.”…………….


US military personnel face punishment over Afghan hospital strike

Military personnel referred for ‘administrative action’ after bombing of hospital in Kunduz in which 42 people died

Médecins Sans Frontières employee inside hospital in Kunduz after it was hit by a US airstrike in October 2015

A Médecins Sans Frontières employee inside the charred remains of the hospital in Kunduz after it was hit by a US airstrike in October 2015. Photograph: Najim Rahim/AP

US military personnel involved in a devastating airstrike on a hospital run by Médecins Sans Frontières in Afghanistan have been or will be punished, officials have said.

The bombing last October of the MSF hospital in Kunduz – which came as Nato-backed Afghan forces clashed with insurgents for control of the northern provincial capital – left 42 people dead. The US military carried out an investigation and blamed human error.

“I can tell you that those individuals most closely associated with the incident have been suspended from their duties and were referred for administrative action,” said Col Patrick Ryder, a spokesman for US central command.

More than 10 military personnel face administrative action, another official said. This could range from “negative counselling”, or being told not to do something again, to a letter of reprimand, which generally blocks further promotion, the official said. Removal of command is also a possibility.

Next week, the Pentagon is due to publish a version of its report on the Kunduz attack. It will be redacted to remove classified material. Barack Obama has apologised and the Pentagon has said it will pay compensation to the families of those killed……………


Court-ordered release of Lavabit case files finally reveals Snowden was target of action that shuttered secure and private email service

edward snowden

Edward Snowden confirmed as the target of action against private and secure email service Lavabit after his email address was mistakenly left unredacted from re-released court documents. Photograph: Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A redaction oversight by the US government has finally confirmed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s targeting of secure email service Lavabit was used specifically to spy on Edward Snowden.

Ladar Levison creator of the email service, which was founded on a basis of private communications secured by encryption and had 410,000 users, was served a sealed order in 2013 forcing him to aid the FBI in its surveillance of Snowden.

Levison was ordered to install a surveillance package on his company’s servers and later to turn over Lavabit’s encryption keys so that it would give the FBI the ability to read the most secure messages that the company offered. He was also ordered not to disclose the fact to third-parties.

After 38 days of legal fighting, a court appearance, subpoena, appeals and being found in contempt of court, Levison abruptly shuttered Lavabit citing government interference and stating that he would not become “complicit in crimes against the American people”……..


$1m prize winner Hanan al-Hroub on how her family getting shot at by Israeli soldiers galvanised her to teach in an environment where violence is endemic

Palestinian teacher Hanan al-Hroub, right, holds her Global Teacher prize at a welcome ceremony upon her return to the West Bank city of Jericho.

Palestinian teacher Hanan al-Hroub, right, holds her Global Teacher prize at a welcome ceremony upon her return to the West Bank city of Jericho. Photograph: Nasser Nasser/AP

When Hanan al-Hroub returns to her classroom after a week’s absence on Sunday, her arms full of puppets, socks, wooden clothes pegs, toy cars and a clown’s wig, she will be additionally weighed down with a trophy inscribed with her name as this year’s winner of the $1m Global Teacher prize.

“I will carry the trophy aloft to my children,” the 43-year-old said at her home in Ramallah. “My students are the true winners of this prize. My inspiration came from these children.”

Hroub, 43, was named as this year’s winner of an award described as the Nobel prize for teaching last weekend, out of a field of 8,000 candidates and a final shortlist of 10 from the US, the UK, Japan, Australia, Finland, Pakistan and India. “And Palestine,” she says with visible pride.

At a ceremony in Dubai, Pope Francis, the Duke of Cambridge and Bill Clinton were among those who paid tribute by video to the woman who grew up in a refugee camp in Bethlehem and was inspired to teach after her daughters were shot at by Israeli soldiers.

In the West Bank, supporters watched the televised ceremony on a big outdoor screen in the centre of Ramallah. When the pope read Hroub’s name, the crowd erupted in cheers and waved the Palestinian flag. Among them were Hroub’s adult children. “We were praying, and then we cried,” said one…………….


Refugees brave another night at Greece’s border camp – video

Refugees light fires and brace another harsh night at a makeshift camp near Idomeni on Thursday night, as European leaders meet in Brussels for a summit on migrants. About 10,000 migrants have been in limbo for weeks after countries along the Balkan migration corridor shut their borders. Refugees Yashar and Mohammed say they hope the summit may lead to the reopening of the borders


US politics

Election 2016

Tell us Which issues do you want candidates to discuss?

US government investigating blood lead levels in New York’s public housing

Top military official: Trump’s plans would have ‘adverse effects’ – video

Trump campaign ad clips wings of fledgling Putin friendship

‘President Trump’ as big a threat as jihadi terror to global economy – EIU

Contested convention What happens if Trump fails to win enough delegates?

What Donald Trump’s butler saw Behind the scenes of a real-life Xanadu

Donald Trump Campaign ad clips wings of fledgling Putin friendship


‘The outpouring of legal support that Apple received in the San Bernardino case is almost unprecedented.’

‘The outpouring of legal support that Apple received in the San Bernardino case is almost unprecedented.’ Photograph: Steven Senne/AP

The FBI’s underhand attempt to get a judge to order Apple to make iPhones less secure is largely backfiring. The Obama administration is now taking heat from all sides in the debate over whether they can force Apple to open a backdoor in its encryption – despite there being no law that requires it.

The FBI’s primary case against Apple was once considered about as sympathetic for the government as it gets: the original phone in question belonged to one of the deceased San Bernardino terrorists, and was owned by a city which had already given permission to break into it. But thankfully, the public now realizes that this case is about much more than just “one phone” (as the FBI once tried to pretend, before admitting that the case would set a precedent that would allow them to break into thousands of them).

What really is at stake is the future of internet security, and whether the government can force tech companies to become arms of the state.

The outpouring of legal support that Apple received in the San Bernardino case is almost unprecedented, with over 40 separate “friend of the court” briefs filed by a variety of actors, including the major tech companies, law professors, civil liberties groups, Black Lives Matter activists, iPhone security experts and even the UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression.

Congress, which normally showers FBI director Jim Comey with praise, greeted him with an unexpected bipartisan grilling when he appeared before the House judiciary committee to discuss the issue earlier this month.

But it’s not just Congress that’s pushing back against the idea that the government should get backdoor access to consumer devices: a New York court has already strongly ruled against the justice department’s argument in a similar case. As the New York Times reported on Monday: “Many in the [Obama] administration have begun to suspect that the FBI and the Justice Department may have made a major strategic error by pushing the case into the public consciousness.”……………



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