14 Jun

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective


1,000 mass shootings in 1,260 days: this is what America’s gun crisis looks like

The McGlynn: Our country is insane. 

We have enacted plenty of laws to make cars safer, to require safety belts being used, to stiffen drunk driving penalties. We have enacted many laws to protect the public from second hand smoke at work or play.

What we don’t have are laws to effectively protect the public from mass shootings at a time when we’ve had 994 mass shootings in the USA in the past 1,004 days.
Why haven’t we passed even a simple requirement that all gun sales be registered and that all gun owners be criminally liable for crimes committed with guns they failed to secure? Because the NRA, its supporters and the weaklings in Congress. The blood is on them..

 “Greatest country in the world” and all that Bullshit––and our little ones can’t be safe at school without armed guards? What kind of world have we  created ?

In all the years of the Troubles in North Ireland, about 3,700 people died. We’re approaching 10 times that number killed by gun violence every year!!

Go to The Interactive

Sunday’s attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida was the deadliest mass shooting in American history – but there were five other mass shootings in the US during that weekend alone.

“We have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world,” Barack Obama said after the San Bernardino attack in December 2015.

Data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive via the crowd-sourced website reveals a shocking human toll: there is a mass shooting – defined as four or more people shot in one incident, not including the shooter – on five out of every six days, on average. (Updated on 13 June 2016)

Customers had seen killer there before and several report getting messages from him on gay dating apps

The gunman who killed 49 people in an attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando is said to have been a regular at the venue and had messaged several people on gay dating apps.

Four regular customers said they had seen killer Omar Mateen drinking at the nightclub on multiple occasions. “Sometimes he would go over in the corner and sit and drink by himself, and other times he would get so drunk he was loud and belligerent,” Ty Smith told the Orlando Sentinel……………

Exclusive: scientists find no trace of the Bramble Cay melomys, a small rodent that was the only mammal endemic to Great Barrier Reef

The Bramble Cay melomys has become extinct, Australian scientists say.

The Bramble Cay melomys has become extinct, Australian scientists say. Photograph: Queensland government

Human-caused climate change appears to have driven the Great Barrier Reef’s only endemic mammal species into the history books, with the Bramble Cay melomys, a small rodent that lives on a tiny island in the eastern Torres Strait, being completely wiped-out from its only known location.

It is also the first recorded extinction of a mammal anywhere in the world thought to be primarily due to human-caused climate change.

An expert says this extinction is likely just the tip of the iceberg, with climate change exerting increasing pressures on species everywhere………….

Report says children have been subjected to sexual violence, and open letter calls on UK to act more quickly

Four children in a refugee camp in Calais

Four children in a refugee camp in Calais. Photograph: Mary Turner/Getty Images

Young people in refugee camps in Calais and Dunkirk are being sexually exploited and forced to commit crimes by traffickers, according to a Unicef report.

The document, which draws on six months of interviews and is due to be published on Thursday, paints a disturbing picture of the abuse of unaccompanied minors in camps in northern France. It says children are being subjected to sexual violence by traffickers who promise passage to the UK.

Children in the camps also told researchers they have been forced to work and commit crimes such as opening lorry doors to enable adults to be smuggled across the Channel.

The interviews reveal the trauma the children have suffered getting to Europe, their experiences in the camps and the risks they are taking to be reunited with family members, despite many having a safe and legal route available……………

US politics

Election 2016

Latest Election Minute

Orlando shooting Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump offer clashing speeches

Trump won’t win. In fact, the US could be on the brink of a liberal renaissance

Bernie Sanders Supporters vow the revolution will not be silenced

Hillary Clinton on Orlando shooting: we must target extremism ‘virus’ – video

Donald Trump bans Washington Post from officially covering his campaign

Trump after Orlando attack: ban more immigrants

Trump renews call for ban on Muslim refugees after Orlando shooting – video

Campaign live Trump: ‘I will suspend immigration’ from many countries as president

Morrissey: Trump’s response to Orlando terror attack is anti-gay and pro-gun

Is Donald Trump running to be conspiracy-theorist-in-chief?

Lobbying from the petroleum industry may have convinced Republicans to denounce a carbon tax

U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (R) speaks as House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (L) and House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) (2nd L). Scalise sponsored the ant-carbon tax resolution.

U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (R) speaks as House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (L) and House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) (2nd L). Scalise sponsored the ant-carbon tax resolution. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

On Friday, the US House of Representatives voted on a Resolution condemning a carbon tax. As The Hill reported:

Lawmakers passed, by a 237-163 vote, a GOP-backed resolution listing pitfalls from a tax on carbon dioxide emissions and concluding that such a policy “would be detrimental to American families and businesses, and is not in the best interest of the United States.”

Six Democrats voted with the GOP for the resolution. No Republicans dissented.

The oil industry is scared of a carbon tax

ExxonMobil officially supports a carbon tax, but the company did not comment on the House Resolution prior to the vote. Meanwhile, the American Petroleum Institute, which is a key lobbying group of the oil industry, including ExxonMobil, publicly supported the anti-carbon tax resolution, as did Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) suspects that the Resolution itself originated from the oil industry:

And it’s not just a matter of lobbying by Big Oil and the Koch operation on how Republicans ought to vote; given their control over the Republican Party, it is very likely that the vote itself was brought up at their behest.

Since 2009, ExxonMobil has contributed at least $1.7 million to members of Congress who voted in favor of the resolution, according to an analysis by

There are some indications that GOP leadership pressured House Republicans to vote for the Resolution. They certainly succeeded: of the 8 Republicans who are members of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, whose purpose is to craft optimal climate change policies, 7 voted for the Resolution. Only Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) withstood the pressure, voting “Present.”

Ultimately, 231 of the 246 Republican members of the House (94%) expressed their unwillingness to consider a carbon tax by voting for the Resolution.

Why the House Republicans are wrong

It’s odd that not a single House Republican voted against the Resolution, because as long as the revenue is returned to taxpayers (also known as “revenue neutrality”), many conservatives support a carbon tax. This concept is supported by free market, libertarian, and conservative think tanks like the R Street Institute, the Niskanen Center, and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). AEI resident scholar Aparna Mathur said of the vote:…………..



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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