11 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









Detroit pastor leads effort that aims to gather at least 790,000 signatures within 60 days: ‘I haven’t seen this kind of momentum in a long time’

Rick Snyder testifies on Capitol Hill.

Rick Snyder testifies on Capitol Hill. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

In late January 2015, Michigan governor Rick Snyder sent an email to several aides with a list of priorities he wanted his administration to tackle in the forthcoming year.

“At least we can’t be accused of slowing down in term two,” the governor wrote. “Dog years are alive and well!” The phrase highlighted the Republican’s insistence on reinventing the way Michigan’s government functioned at an expeditious pace.

What Snyder didn’t realize was that a priority situated far down the list – “36. Flint water system” – would eventually supplant the rest and consume the remaining months of his tenure. Following his pronouncement in October that Flint, Michigan’s water supply had been contaminated to an extent far worse than he initially understood, Snyder, who ascended into office in 2010 by portraying himself as a pragmatic businessman and data nerd, has been mired in a battle for political survival that he likely never would have imagined.

For the 57-year-old former venture capitalist, the shift in his political outlook has been dramatic: a year ago, Snyder was crisscrossing the country and meeting with political donors for a possible 2016 presidential run. In recent months, he has been grilled by a congressional panel for his administration’s delayed response to addressing Flint’s water contamination, while his approval rating has plummeted. A poll released last month found 75% of voters believed Snyder hadn’t handled the situation in Flint well, and 41% believed he should resign – up from 29% in January…………….

erin baldwin

Erin Baldwin, 32, a Detroit native, said she had been involved in the recall effort since it began on Easter Sunday. She said she hopes to get more younger people involved in the coming weeks. Photograph: Ryan Felton

First US secretary of state to visit atomic bomb memorial says site is ‘harsh reminder of threat of nuclear weapons’

John Kerry puts his arm around Japan’s foreign minister, Fumio Kishida, after they and fellow G7 foreign ministers laid wreaths in Hiroshima’s peace park.

John Kerry puts his arm around Japan’s foreign minister, Fumio Kishida, after they and fellow G7 foreign ministers laid wreaths in Hiroshima’s peace park. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/AFP/Getty Images

John Kerry has become the first US secretary of state to visit the Hiroshima peace park, more than 70 years after the city was devastated by the world’s first atomic bombing.

Kerry, who laid a wreath at the cenotaph for the victims of the bombing, did not offer an apology for the bomb, which killed about 140,000 people.

“It is a stunning display, it is a gut-wrenching display,” he told reporters of his tour of the memorial museum, recounting exhibits that showed the bomb, the explosion, the “incredible inferno” and mushroom cloud that enveloped the city on 6 August 1945. “It tugs at all of your sensibilities as a human being. It reminds everybody of the extraordinary complexity of choices of war and what war does to people, to communities, countries, the world.”

Kerry urged all world leaders to visit, saying: “I don’t see how anyone could forget the images, the evidence, the recreations of what happened.”

Asked if this meant Barack Obama should come, Kerry said: “Everyone means everyone. So I hope one day the president of the United States will be among the everyone who is able to come here. Whether or not he can come as president, I don’t know.”……………


Authorities in the Ontario community of Attawapiskat describe ‘rolling nightmare’ as 11 people attempt suicide on one day

The epidemic in Attawapiskat began in October when a 13-year-old ended her own life after being bullied at school.

The epidemic in Attawapiskat began in October when a 13-year-old ended her own life after being bullied at school. Photograph: Spencer Wynn/Toronto Star via Getty Images

A Canadian First Nation community of 2,000 people has declared a state of emergency after 11 of its members tried to take their own lives, national media reported.

CTV News reported on Sunday that the remote northern community of the Attawapiskat First Nation in Ontario experienced an additional 28 suicide attempts last month. More than 100 people in the community have attempted suicide since last September, and one person died, according to CTV. The youngest was 11, the oldest 71.

Charlie Angus, the local member of parliament, told the Canadian Press it was part of a “rolling nightmare” of more and more suicide attempts among young people throughout the winter.

The Canadian Press said the regional First Nations government was sending a crisis response unit including social workers and mental health nurses to the community following the declaration. The Health Canada federal agency said in a statement that it had sent two mental health counsellors as part of that unit.

The First Nation’s band office could not be immediately reached for comment…………


Documents disclosed in Guardian lawsuit reveal for first time how Chicago police used punches, baton blows and Tasers at the off-the-books interrogation site

‘I was struck with multiple blows with open and closed fist by two officers ... I felt my face start to swell and deform instantly.’

‘I was struck with multiple blows with open and closed fist by two officers … I felt my face start to swell and deform instantly.’ Photograph: Jan Diehm for the Guardian

Internal documents from the Chicago police department show that officers used physical force on at least 14 men already in custody at the warehouse known as Homan Square.

Police used punches, knee strikes, elbow strikes, slaps, wrist twists, baton blows and Tasers at Homan Square, according to documents released to the Guardian in the course of its transparency lawsuit about the warehouse. The new information contradicts an official denial about treatment of prisoners at the facility.

The injured men are among at least 7,351 people – over 6,000 of them black – who, police documents show, have been detained and interrogated at Homan Square without a public notice of their whereabouts or access to an attorney.

None of the men identified in these newest documents had fled custody or were injured in the course of a lawful arrest. All were subject to force by Chicago police officers after they were already in custody at Homan Square. According to depositions with officers and more than two dozen first-hand accounts, handcuffing is standard. Police applied force to some arrestees sufficient enough to warrant hospitalization.

Some of those injured by police inside Homan Square told the Guardian they have experienced chronic pain or impairment years later. One said he was instructed by police to lie about his strangulation, which police claimed on an official form resulted from the already-handcuffed man “manag[ing] to put another flex cuff around his neck”…………


Revelations in Panama Papers shatter illusion that scandal had been left behind in reforms following banking collapse that brought country to the brink

Protests in Reykjaviík

Icelanders demonstrate in Reykjavík after the Panama Papers revealed prime minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson’s offshore holdings. Photograph: Sigtryggur Johannsson/Reuters

When news broke that the prime minister of Iceland had millions of pounds of family money in a Caribbean offshore company called Wintris, Jonas Haukdal, a Reykjavík ice-cream maker, had an idea.

Haukdal works at Valdís, by popular consent the best ice-cream parlour in Iceland (where ice-cream, oddly, is huge). He concocted a tempting blend of lemon sorbet and vanilla ice-cream dusted with liquorice, called it Wintris – “Ís” means ice in Icelandic – and announced it on the company’s Facebook page.

“We described it as ‘sour, with a strong dose of arrogance and laced with lousy excuses’,” he said at the parlour near the docks. “We said it was expensive, but a nice tax rebate meant it was the same price as our other ice-creams. And that we really couldn’t recommend it.”

Icelanders ignored the last part. Haukdal made enough Wintris for 500 servings, and started selling it last Monday. By Tuesday afternoon – when prime minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson fell on his sword, becoming the first major casualty of the Panama Papers – it had sold out…………..

US politics

Election 2016


Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders should remember that the only way to gauge qualifications for the office is to be tested by its demands

white house

‘The presidency may be a job that demands no particular qualifications or credentials from an applicant.’ Photograph: Corbis

It’s curious that the leading competitors for the Democratic presidential nomination – Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator and Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State – have struggled to extricate themselves from a “low-blow” fixation, which began some time ago and then, albeit briefly, moved to a new, lower level: whether either is qualified for the presidency.

The low-blow era probably began in February, when Clinton called it a “low blow” for Sanders to suggest that she’s a part-time progressive. Sanders had to fend off Clinton’s remark, during the first post-New Hampshire debate, that “the kind of criticism that we’ve heard from Senator Sanders about our President I expect from Republicans”. As those words were uttered, Sanders, looking outraged, called it “a low blow”.

All of this has managed to disguise the issue raised more or less directly by Clinton and Sanders: whether either one – or anyone – has the qualifications for a job that is possibly more stressful and difficult than any other.

The task was understood by President Dwight D Eisenhower who, in the fall of 1954 – a year before he suffered a major heart attack – told Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery that “No man on earth knows what this job is all about; it’s pound, pound, pound”.

What Ike knew is a reminder that, apart from the pounding, and having to make decisions that can affect the lives of millions (such as the Iraq invasion ordered by President George W Bush), an attempt to measure a future president’s qualifications is a hopeless assignment. The only way to gauge qualifications for the office is to be tested by its demands, leaving a person’s judgment as the most important qualification of all.

When you consider the office-seekers of recent years, you realize that the presidency, unlike, say, a county sheriff or a village mayor, may be a job that demands no particular qualifications or credentials from an applicant. Candidates have included everyone from a former Arkansas governor (Bill Clinton, Mike Huckabee) a first-term senator (Barack Obama, Marco Rubio) to a failed CEO (Carly Fiorina).

When the New York Governor Franklin D Roosevelt sought the presidency, the columnist Walter Lippmann judged him to be “a pleasant man who, without any important qualifications for the office, would very much like to be president”. He proved how easy it is to miss the point that one simply cannot predict a president’s performance…………..



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