05 Apr

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









In further twist, leaked documents show Rami Makhlouf was able to keep accounts open for months thanks to HSBC lobbying

Rami Makhlouf

Rami Makhlouf, the cousin of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad. Photograph: AP

The firm at the centre of the Panama Papers leak serviced a string of companies for a top financier in Bashar al-Assad’s government in the face of international concern about corruption within the Syrian regime.

Documents show Mossack Fonseca’s links to Rami Makhlouf, a cousin of the Syrian president, who was described in US diplomatic cables as the country’s “poster boy for corruption”.

Washington imposed sanctions on Makhlouf in February 2008, saying he was a regime insider who “improperly benefits from and aids the public corruption of Syrian regime officials”. It blacklisted his brother Hafez Makhlouf in 2007.

The documents show, however, that the Panamanian firm continued to work with the Makhloufs, and in January 2011 it rejected the advice of its own compliance team to cut ties with the family as the crisis in Syria began to unfold……………


Raised under the dark bubble of religious fundamentalism, Josiah Hesse recalls a childhood filled with gloom, doom and preparing for the end of the world

I am now 33 years old and am often asked if I’m bitter about how I was raised.

I am now 33 years old and am often asked if I’m bitter about how I was raised. Photograph: Matthew Nager for the Guardian

One stormy night in the summer of 1992, I walked down the basement steps of my parents’ house to await the apocalypse. The Iowa air was thick with humidity, the ominous green sky prophesying a tornado. My 10-year-old hands trembled as I laid out my inventory: animal crackers, juice boxes, a Bible, and every sharp knife in the kitchen.

My parents were home late and my first thought was that they’d been raptured up to heaven. I was a sinner who had been left behind to face the Earth’s destruction.

Thunder boomed as I opened my Bible to the Book of Revelation, a passage I knew well after years spent on my dad’s knee as he read it aloud to his kids. This would be my roadmap to doom: the stars falling from the sky. The cracked earth spitting locusts with the heads of lions. The beast with seven heads, the body of a leopard, and the feet of a bear will rise from the sea and be worshiped by all those left behind on Earth.

I would have to hide from the antichrist, who would force all those left on Earth to renounce Christ and receive the mark of the beast on their right hand or forehead. Anyone found with the beast’s mark after death would be thrown into the lake of fire. If I successfully avoided this and died of old age, I would be reunited with my family in heaven. (Note: There are countless interpretations of how this would all go down, but this is the one I heard most consistently as a child.)……………


After investigations into serious misconduct, findings of systemic bias cast a pall on law enforcement and question the city’s faith as a progressive beacon

While everyone in San Francisco appears to agree that there’s a problem with the police department, few can agree on the path forward.

While everyone in San Francisco appears to agree that there’s a problem with the police department, few can agree on the path forward. Photograph: Ryan Anson/AFP/Getty Images

A court filing by a US attorney pulled back the curtain of the San Francisco police department in March last year, revealing a shockingly ugly culture in which sworn officers of the law exchanged text messages expressing such sentiments as “All niggers must fucking hang” and “Cross burning lowers blood pressure”.

The ensuing scandal – which implicated 14 officers and compromised thousands of criminal cases – cast a pall on the police department and shook San Francisco’s faith in itself as a progressive beacon.

Elected leaders and the police brass quickly and forcefully denounced the officers involved and promised reform. But even as the city attempted to clean up the mess, another group of at least four San Francisco police officers was exchanging text messages that mocked the community response to the scandal, used racist slurs and denigrated LGBT people.

The revelation last week of that second batch of bigoted text messages has prompted another round of recrimination between city leaders and again raised the question: how can this be happening in liberal San Francisco?………….


Thirteen of 202 people returned to Turkey under EU migration deal may not have had chance to claim for asylum

Women sit at Chios port

Women sit at Chios port. Greece sent a first wave of migrants back to Turkey on Monday. Photograph: AFP/Getty

Some of the first people to be deported from Greece under the terms of the EU-Turkey migration deal may not have been given the chance to claim for asylum, the UN refugee agency has said.

Police “forgot” to process the asylum claims of 13 of the 202 asylum seekers sent back to Turkey on Monday, the first day the deal was put into practice, according to Vincent Cochetel, director of UNHCR’s Europe bureau.

If proved, the claims would undermine the EU’s argument that the deportation deal, which could lead to the expulsion of almost all asylum seekers who arrived in Greece after 20 March, was in line with international law. The EU has previously promised that people “who apply for asylum in Greece will have their applications treated on a case by case basis” and that “there will be no blanket and no automatic returns of asylum seekers”.

But Cochetel said on Tuesday that 13 Afghans and Congolese asylum seekers – who reached the Greek island of Chios after 20 March, and who were deported back to Turkey on Monday – were not allowed to formally register their asylum claims, due to administrative chaos on the island.

Afghans are escaping Islamist extremism and a decades-old civil war, while the eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been hit by a long-running insurgency………..


Proposed settlement in the death of Philip Coleman is the latest example of wrongdoing by officers resulting in a settlement with a victim or their family

Associated Press

Chicago police release video of officers Tasering prisoner – video

Chicago police released video footage late Monday of officers repeatedly shocking a man in a jail cell with a Taser. The 2012 footage shows Philip Coleman lying on a cot before six officers crowd into his cell. The officers appear to speak with Coleman before surrounding him and shocking him with a Taser. The officers then drag Coleman’s limp body out of the cell and down the hall. He was later taken to a hospital and died

Chicago would pay $4.9m under a proposed settlement of a lawsuit brought by the family of a man who died in police custody after a videotaped incident in which officers subdued him with a stun gun and dragged him from his jail cell, a city official said Monday.

Alderman Roderick Sawyer said mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office is recommending that city council members approve the settlement for Philip Coleman’s family and has been briefing them on the deal.

Coleman, who was black, was taken into custody in 2012 after allegedly attacking his mother. He had a fatal reaction to an anti-psychotic drug, but his family’s federal lawsuit contends Coleman would still be alive if he had been taken to a hospital instead of jail.

The settlement is the latest example of wrongdoing by police officers resulting in a huge settlement with a victim or the person’s family. Chicago has paid about $662m for police misconduct since 2004, including judgments, settlements and outside legal fees, according to city records. The payouts, for everything from petty harassment to police torture, have brought more financial misery to a city already drowning in billions of dollars of pension debt…………….


US politics

Election 2016

Trump and Clinton stare down deficits ahead of Wisconsin primary

How to rebuild a party The Democrats’ comeback is a lesson for Republicans

Civility reigns in Wisconsin as Trump and Sanders rallies rub shoulders

Bernie Sanders Supporters advised to avoid Wisconsin Trump rally

Conservative challenge to voting rights unanimously rejected by supreme court

Ted Cruz echoes Trump in bashing proposed changes to GOP rules

Cruz: there will be no ‘white knight’ at Republican convention – video

Trump poised for Wisconsin setback after campaign’s worst week

Now or never: Trump’s Mexico wall threat encourages migration to US

Melania Trump: Donald will punch back ten times harder – video

Opinion: Donald Trump has the manner of an arrogant televangelist suspected of murder by Columbo



We should celebrate higher minimum wages and paid leave passing in California and New York. They’re what every US worker deserves

A spectator holds an American flag during competition in the men’s free skate program in the World Figure Skating Championships, Friday, April 1, 2016, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Nowadays, the American Dream rarely comes true. Photograph: Steven Senne/AP

In 1931, banker-turned-writer James Truslow Adams argued with his publishers about the title of a book he’d just completed. Adams wanted to call the book The American Dream, but his publishers believed no American in the Great Depression would shell out $3 for a book by that name.

The publishers won. The book was called The Epic of America, but Truslow had the last word. He included the phrase “the American dream” in the text some 30 times, and gave a name to the belief that You Can Make It Here, no matter your origins.

We cling to this notion – that Americans have the unique ability to move up the socio-economic ladder – but that dream has become much more of a European one, where residents tend to enjoy more social mobility. Economic success and social fulfillment remain elusive to the vast majority of Americans.

That may be why last week, when state legislators in California and New York passed laws that will lift workers’ minimum wage to $15 an hour, and New York legislators approved a startlingly robust 12-week (by 2021) paid family leave that will affect 6.4 million New Yorkers, the stateside press covered it as if it’s a revolution.

New York’s new leave law – paid for by small payroll deductions – enhances the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, which promises to certain employees that their jobs will be waiting for them if they take a leave for the birth, adoption or placement of a foster child, or to care for an ill loved one. New York’s new law goes deeper: it covers full- and part-time employees, and small businesses are no longer excluded. And the leave will be paid.

Nationwide, just 12% of American workers have paid family leave through their employer. To be actually revolutionary – to make the US the land of opportunity we like to say we are – we must go much further than New York and California, pushing for paid leave for all, for policies that finally close the gender pay gap and for humane protections for all. Because these state policies are only a start: lower-wage workers and, notably, women remain caught in a system that devalues the work they do…………….




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