13 Jun

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective


Omar Mateen was investigated at least twice for suspected terrorist sympathies but no evidence of wrongdoing was found

and in Orlando, Florida

Jose Alves and Tony Bracamonte at a Vigil for victims of the Orlando shooting LA Pride parade, Los Angeles, 12 June 2016.

Jose Alves and Tony Bracamonte at a Vigil for victims of the Orlando shooting LA Pride parade, Los Angeles, 12 June 2016. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

  • Santa Monica police arrest James Howell hours before the annual parade
  • Authorities say there appears to be no connection with the Orlando shooting

Los Angeles gay pride parade

Authorities ramped up security around the event in West Hollywood, which emerged as a symbol of LGBT defiance and solidarity just hours after the Orlando shooting. Photograph: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Police in Los Angeles have detained a man who was laden with guns and explosive materials on his way to the LA Pride festival.

Officers arrested James Howell with a carload of weapons hours before the annual LGBT parade in West Hollywood on Sunday.

Authorities said there appeared to be no connection with the massacre at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando but mobilised scores of law enforcement officers to protect the parade.

Santa Monica’s police chief, Jacqueline Seabrooks, initially said that Howell had told an officer that he intended to harm people at the event.

But she later issued a correction via Twitter stating that his intention had just been to go to the event, without giving any more information about why he was heavily armed.

Uncertainty over Howell’s intentions and motives deepened when a friend, Joseph Greeson, 18, told the Los Angeles Times that Howell was bisexual and bore no ill will toward gays or lesbians.

Police found three assault rifles, high-capacity magazines, ammunition and a five-gallon bucket with chemicals capable of forming an improvised explosive device, said police spokesman Saul Rodriguez said…………….

New release likely to fan controversy and provide further ammunition for Republican presidential rival Donald Trump

Julian Assange

Julian Assange says it was unlikely the US attorney general would indict Clinton. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has said his organisation is preparing to publish more emails Hillary Clinton sent and received while US secretary of state.

Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, is under FBI investigation to determine whether she broke federal law by using her private email in sending classified information. A new WikiLeaks release of Clinton emails is likely to fan a controversy that has bedevilled her campaign and provide further ammunition for Donald Trump, her Republican presidential rival, who has used the issue to attack her.

Assange’s comments came in an interview on ITV’s Peston on Sunday. “We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton … We have emails pending publication, that is correct,” Assange said.He did not specify when or how many emails would be published.

WikiLeaks launched a searchable archive in March of 30,322 emails and email attachments sent to and from Clinton’s private email server while she was secretary of state. The 50,547 pages of documents are from 30 June 2010 to 12 August 2014, and 7,570 of the documents were sent by Clinton, who served as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

Assange, a trenchant Clinton critic, said she was receiving constant personal updates on his situation. The WikiLeaks founder has been confined to the Ecuadorian embassy in London since July 2012, when he sought asylum to avoid extradition. Assange is wanted in Sweden over allegations of rape dating from 2010, which he denies, but he has not been charged.

A Stockholm district court upheld an arrest warrant against the Australian last month, saying there was still “probable cause for suspicion” against him.

Assange said it was highly unlikely that the US attorney general, Loretta Lynch, would indict Clinton. “She’s not going to indict Hillary Clinton, that’s not possible. It’s not going to happen. But the FBI can push for concessions from a Clinton government,” he said…………..

Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton brushed off the question of whether she will drop out of the race if indicted over the controversy surrounding her use of a personal email server while secretary of state. Appearing in a debate in Miami, Florida hosted by the Washington Post and Univision News alongside rival Bernie Sanders, Clinton said that any emails she sent were not ‘classified at the time’

Analysis of Peabody Energy court documents show company backed trade groups, lobbyists and thinktanks dubbed ‘heart and soul of climate denial’

Peabody Energy headquarters

Peabody Energy has funded dozens of groups that question climate science, analysis shows. Photograph: Jeff Roberson/AP

Peabody Energy, America’s biggest coalmining company, has funded at least two dozen groups that cast doubt on manmade climate change and oppose environment regulations, analysis by the Guardian reveals.

The funding spanned trade associations, corporate lobby groups, and industry front groups as well as conservative thinktanks and was exposed in court filings last month.

The coal company also gave to political organisations, funding twice as many Republican groups as Democratic ones.

Peabody, the world’s biggest private sector publicly traded coal company, was long known as an outlier even among fossil fuel companies for its public rejection of climate science and action. But its funding of climate denial groups was only exposed in disclosures after the coal titan was forced to seek bankruptcy protection in April, under competition from cheap natural gas.

Environmental campaigners said they had not known for certain that the company was funding an array of climate denial groups – and that the breadth of that funding took them by surprise.

The company’s filings reveal funding for a range of organisations which have fought Barack Obama’s plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and denied the very existence of climate change.

“These groups collectively are the heart and soul of climate denial,” said Kert Davies, founder of the Climate Investigation Center, who has spent 20 years tracking funding for climate denial. “It’s the broadest list I have seen of one company funding so many nodes in the denial machine.”

Among Peabody’s beneficiaries, the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change has insisted – wrongly – that carbon emissions are not a threat but “the elixir of life” while the American Legislative Exchange Council is trying to overturn Environmental Protection Agency rules cutting emissions from power plants. Meanwhile, Americans for Prosperity campaigns against carbon pricing. The Oklahoma chapter was on the list…………..

US politics

Election 2016

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Friends and family members outside the Orlando Police Headquarters during the investigation of a shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida

Friends and family members outside the Orlando Police Headquarters during the investigation of a shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Photograph: Steve Nesius/Reuters

For generations, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have turned to night clubs and bars like Orlando’s Pulse – the scene today of the deadliest shooting in American history – as places of refuge. They have been our sanctuaries.

When our homes would kick us out for being queer, there was the bar. When we were at risk of getting beaten up, as men, for wearing drag on the street, there was the club. When our places of employment might fire us for being queer (as they legally still can in most states), there were leathers bars and glam dance clubs where we could shake our moneymakers.

Bars offered us the illusion of a freedom from terror as queer people, the illusion that there was a place where our sexual desires and our communal need to gather with fellow queers would not be under attack.

This illusion was a lie, of course. Bars were not, and never have been, safe places. This should especially obvious every June when we celebrate Pride month. It’s when we remember the Stonewall riots, when all kinds of queers from all kinds of backgrounds were attacked by police inside a New York City dive bar 47 years ago, in June of 1969.

The police were violent to the queer people there. They thought they could do anything they wanted to them, because they knew queer people lived in fear. The police didn’t see the Stonewall as a sanctuary, but as a disgusting cage. They thought the patrons were sick and would be too ashamed of who they were to make a fuss.

But the brave queers at the Stonewall fought back against that. In finding the best spirit of themselves, they started what would become a worldwide movement – a movement that would evolve to fight legal oppression, challenge homophobia, organize around the holocaust of HIV/Aids, and lead to marriage equality many decades later.

But gay bars continued to be places of refuge for many – perhaps the only places a gay guy felt OK taking off his shirt, or a lesbian felt OK making out with her girlfriend, or a trans person felt OK expressing their gender identity. For many, no hookup app or amount of tolerance by straight people in straight places could provide this………….



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. 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.

View All

Some of the available newspapers:

Asia – UN IRIN News

Asia & CIS (Updated Link!)





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