29 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









Shakespeare Like You’ve Never Heard Him

Centuries after William Shakespeare wrote them, his plays are performed in a multitude of languages. To mark 400 years since Shakespeare’s death on April 23, 1616, actors from the Balkans to Central Asia performed Hamlet’s famous soliloquy for RFE/RL.



US law enforcement agency in possession of mechanism for unlocking iPhone 5Cs or older – but identity of hackers closely guarded secret

iphone 5c

The FBI has a mechanism that can unlock iPhone 5Cs or older, but it doesn’t know how the hack works. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The FBI doesn’t know how the hack used to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone 5C works, and yet it paid in the region of $1m for the mechanism, which can used again to unlock any other iPhone 5C running iOS 9, according to reports.

Several US government sources told Reuters that the amount paid for the hack, bought from professional hackers, was substantially less than previous reports indicating a value over $1.3m. The technique can also be used as many times as needed without further payments.

The FBI director, James Comey, said last week that the agency paid more to get into the iPhone 5C than he will make in the remaining seven years and four months he has in his job, suggesting the hack cost more than $1.3m, based on his annual salary.

The Justice Department unlocked the iPhone in March with the help of the hackers, leading the FBI to drop its attempt to force Apple to create software to unlock the iPhone 5C, which the company fought, saying it would compromise the security of all iPhones.

The FBI bought a physical mechanism used to unlock the phone, but does not know the details of the hack that makes it work. The identity of the hackers who made it is also such a closely guarded secret within the US law enforcement agency that its director does not know who it is…………..

  • Former PM helped PetroSaudi break into Chinese market
  • His firm was paid £41,000 a month plus 2% commission
  • Blair held role as Middle East peace envoy at the time
Tony Blair at the Global Competitiveness Forum in Riyadh in 2011.

Tony Blair at the Global Competitiveness Forum in Riyadh in 2011. Photograph: Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images

Tony Blair obtained a “blessing” from Chinese leaders for a company owned by a Saudi prince to do business in China as part of an arrangement that paid the former UK prime minister’s firm £41,000 a month and a 2% commission on any multimillion-pound contracts he helped to secure.

A series of documents, seen by the Guardian, show how Blair courted some of the most influential Chinese political leaders in 2010 and then introduced them to the Saudi-owned company he worked with, PetroSaudi. The company was not allowed to divulge his role without permission, according to the contract.

The emails suggest PetroSaudi was told of fears that the City regulator was targeting Blair over concerns he was not just opening doors but arranging and advising on deals for investors – a regulated corporate function that he is not authorised to conduct.

Blair began lobbying for PetroSaudi, a London-based company co-owned by Prince Turki bin Abdullah – the son of Saudi Arabia’s then monarch – in the summer of 2010. By the end of the year, the emails show, the former prime minister had arranged a meeting between the chair of the China National Petroleum Corporation, one of the largest companies in the world, and PetroSaudi in Saudi Arabia……………

Exclusive: Tim Clark and Ron Nehring, running California campaigns for Trump and Cruz respectively, advised rightwing tycoon Manuel Baldízon’s campaign

Although Ron Nehring and Tim Clark are now on opposite sides of the Republican presidential race, they have been close associates for several years.

Although Ron Nehring and Tim Clark are now on opposite sides of the Republican presidential race, they have been close associates for several years. Composite: Facebook/Max Whittaker for the Guardian

The two men hired by Donald Trump and Ted Cruz to spearhead their presidential campaigns in California are, for the moment, rivals in what could be the most important primary race of 2015.

But four years ago, Tim Clark and Ron Nehring, who are running the California campaigns for Trump and Cruz respectively, worked as paid advisers to a campaign to elect a Guatemalan presidential candidate whose platform included a call for public executions.

Clark and Nehring, the Guardian can reveal, spent six weeks in Guatemala in 2011 working as advisers to Manuel Baldízon, a rightwing populist and business tycoon who campaigned on the promise of broadcasting the executions of criminals on TV.

The pair of Republican political consultants, now at the helm of competing presidential campaigns in California, were paid to advise Baldízon by what Clark elliptically refers to as “business interests”.

Clark confirmed the pair’s involvement in the Guatemalan campaign during a wide-ranging interview with the Guardian……………

US politics

Election 2016

‘The state stole my raise’: workers sue Alabama over ‘racist’ wage law

Obama: Republican candidates’ economic policies are pure ‘fantasy’

Revealed: inside the tug-of-war to run Donald Trump’s California campaign

Hell of an election: Boehner calls Cruz ‘Lucifer’

Trump says what no other candidate will: the US is no longer exceptional

Protesters at Trump rally in California – video


Solitary confinement is inhumane. I should know – I spent 30 days there

After a month in segregation, I emerged gaunt and scared of everything. I was so thin that inmates thought I’d been away getting some type of chemotherapy

solitary confinement York Correctional Institution

‘Solitary shrinks a person with helplessness’ Photograph: Stephan Gladieu/Getty Images

The isolation of solitary confinement – getting away from the shouts and chaos of the general inmate population – is almost a relief, for about the first 20 minutes.

Then you realize that the horror-film cliche “no one can hear you scream” has come true. When I spent a month there in 2008 during my six-year sentence at York Correctional Institution, the staff thought it was funny to push the white, take-out style boxes that my meals came in off the tray slot before I could catch it, causing food to spill on the floor. And there was nobody to tell that I was starving.

Solitary confinement cells don’t get cleaned regularly or completely. Tumbleweeds of female hair – mine and others – skittered around the floor and mixed with the food. As trays were dumped over two weeks, the residue of meals would build up – the only way I could clean the mess was to scoop the food up and flush it, while my toilet still worked. I had one towel for my thrice-weekly showers, and scant toilet paper, and I wasn’t going to waste them wiping up liquid shepherds pie.

When the meal was two bags of cornflakes and an apple, there was nothing to spill so they just tossed the brown bag hard enough to bruise the fruit. In an abject display of my hunger, I rushed to pick up the bag.

As if I could preserve some dignity, I didn’t eat what hit the floor. As if I had some power, I wouldn’t pick up what they would drop, at least initially. Solitary shrinks a person with helplessness.

And I did shrink. One time when the commanding officer chucked the tray, filled with chicken a la king’s gelatinous gravy, across my floor, leaving withered peas, red peppers and carrot cubes in a milky trail where it slid, I ate about three vegetables from the muck and then was mortified by behavior that no one else would ever see.

Nobody could see the guards’ behavior either. If you get abused in solitary, the only person to whom you can report the abuse is the abuser. Or the abuser’s colleagues.

Prison infantilizes everyone inside, but inmates in the general population have brief romances with resourcefulness as they roam the facility: they can walk to the staff’s desk and ask for toilet paper; they can mail a letter. They can march up to a lieutenant in the dining hall and ask for help with an obstinate guard……………



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