19 Jun

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective


Protest marks new low for US and Japanese relations over Okinawa and threaten plans to have US air station moved to another part of the island

People stage a rally in Okinawa over American military presence in Japan.

People stage a rally in Okinawa over American military presence in Japan. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Thousands of people gathered on the Japanese island of Okinawa on Sunday in one of the biggest demonstrations in two decades against US military bases following the arrest of an American suspected of murdering a local woman.

The protest marks a new low for the United States and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe in their relations with the island and threatens plans to have the US marines’ Futenma air station moved to a less populous part of the island.

The US and Japan agreed in 1996 to close the Futenma site, located in a residential urban area, after the rape of a 12-year-old Japanese schoolgirl by three US military personnel spurred mass demonstrations against the American presence.

That plan has been on hold since residents living near the proposed relocation site protested against the move, worried about noise, pollution and crime.

Okinawa assembly members opposed to the move won a majority in the prefectural assembly election this month, providing renewed support for Okinawa governor Takeshi Onaga’s plan to have the base move elsewhere.

Okinawa hosts 50,000 US nationals, including 30,000 military personnel and civilians employed at US bases…..


Journalists allegedly passed sensitive documents to Qatar and the Doha-based TV network during Mohamed Morsi’s rule

The headquarters of the Qatar-based al-Jazeera English-language channel in Doha

The headquarters of the Qatar-based al-Jazeera English-language channel in Doha. Photograph: Fadi Al-Assaad/Reuters

An Egyptian court sentenced six people, including two al-Jazeera employees, to death for allegedly passing documents related to national security to Qatar and the Doha-based TV network during the rule of Mohamed Morsi, the former president.

Morsi, the top defendant, and two of his aides were sentenced to 25 years in prison for membership of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood but were acquitted of espionage, a capital offence. Morsi and his secretary, Amin el-Sirafy, each received an additional 15-year sentence for leaking official documents. Sirafy’s daughter, Karima, was also sentenced to 15 years on the same charge.

Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected leader, was ousted by the military in July 2013 and has already been sentenced to death in another case. That death sentence and another two – life and 20 years in prison – are under appeal. The Brotherhood was banned and declared a terrorist organisation after his overthrow. Khalid Radwan, a producer at a Brotherhood-linked TV channel, received a 15-year prison sentence.

All of Saturday’s verdicts can be appealed against. Of the case’s 11 defendants, seven, including Morsi, are in custody…………


Noam Chomsky, Yanis Varoufakis, Ai Weiwei, Michael Moore and Ken Loach are among prominent voices demanding WikiLeaks founder be allowed to walk free

Julian Assange, who is now in his fifth year lliving in the Ecuadoran embassy in London.

Julian Assange, who is now in his fifth year lliving in the Ecuadoran embassy in London. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange starts his fifth year camped out in the Ecuadoran embassy in London on Sunday, an occasion his supporters said they would mark with events celebrating whistleblowers.

Assange, 44, is wanted for questioning over a 2010 rape allegation in Sweden but has been inside Ecuador’s UK mission for four full years in a bid to avoid extradition.

The anti-secrecy campaigner, who denies the allegation, walked into the embassy of his own free will on 18 June, 2012, with Britain on the brink of sending him to Stockholm, and has not left since.

His lawyers say he is angry that Swedish prosecutors are still maintaining the European arrest warrant against him.

The Australian former computer hacker fears that from Sweden he could be extradited to the US over WikiLeaks’ release of 500,000 secret military files, where he could face a long prison sentence.

Listed participants in Sunday’s anniversary events include Patti Smith, Brian Eno, PJ Harvey, Noam Chomsky, Yanis Varoufakis, Ai Weiwei, Vivienne Westwood, Michael Moore and Ken Loach.

Croatian philosopher Srecko Horvat, an event organiser, said: “We live in a critical time. We are gathering all around the world on 19 June to speak out for Julian, because he has spoken out for all of us.”…………


Federal investigators to charge Rodchenkov with abuse of office
Rodchenkov has spoken about Russian doping cover-up at Sochi Olympics

Grigory Rodchenkov

Grigory Rodchenkov has been accused by Russian investigators of ‘using his authority contrary to the legitimate interests of the anti-doping laboratory’. Photograph:

Russian federal investigators have opened a criminal case against the country’s former anti-doping chief on charges of abuse of office, a day after world athletics’ governing body upheld a ban on Russia for systematic doping.

Grigory Rodchenkov, the former Moscow anti-doping laboratory chief who later fled to the United States, has spoken widely about how Russia ran a cover-up of doping by dozens of its athletes at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. The country’s investigative committee said Rodchenkov ordered his subordinates in 2014 to recycle samples despite pledging to store them until further notice by world anti-doping body Wada, which resulted in damaging state interests…………


LGBT people of color refuse to be erased after Orlando: ‘We have to elbow in’

Orlando Latinos Pulse nightclub

‘Even when it’s our community under attack, our community is not allowed to set the tone, and I hate to say it, white people just rush in.’ Photograph: Bob Self/AP

Steven W Thrasher questions media’s lack of nuance and affirms when a safe space is invaded Latinos and others will stand up and be heard

n Tuesday night in Orlando, there was no sight of a reporter at the Parliament House, the ageing gay resort whose club is the biggest queer gathering place in the city now that Pulse is closed, when a drag queen who had survived the shooting took the stage. It was Hip-Hop night, and gay people of color turned out en masse to dance, to remember, to forget.

I stayed at the run-down gay resort all week, and it was one of the most queer spaces I’ve ever encountered. Many of the staff who worked at Pulse also worked there. Drag queens and buff bartenders worked in the front bar, and a “Bear Den” in the back welcomed older men for late-night drinks . Sex workers and those looking for sex for free wandered around all hours of the day and night. It definitely sits in the margin………….


Lane Graves, aged 2, was snatched and drowned by an alligator at a Disney resort in Florida

Parents of Lane Graves, who was snatched by an alligator at a Disney resort in Florida, have been ‘overwhelmed with the support’ shown to them.

Parents of Lane Graves, who was snatched by an alligator at a Disney resort in Florida, have been ‘overwhelmed with the support’ shown to them. Photograph: Family Handout/AFP/Getty Images

The parents of a two-year-old boy snatched away and drowned by an alligator in Florida have been “overwhelmed with the support and love” that have poured in since the tragedy, the family said in a statement on Saturday.

The alligator grabbed the boy at the water’s edge on Tuesday night while his family, on vacation from Nebraska, relaxed on the shore nearby. The parents tried to save the child but were unable to free him from the alligator’s grip……….

Disney will review the posted signs that ban swimming at a Disney World resort in Orlando, Florida, following a deadly alligator attack on a two-year-old boy. Lane Graves was snatched away earlier in the week by an alligator after playing near the water’s edge. His parents tried to save their son but were unable to free him from the reptile’s grip



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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.

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Some of the available newspapers:

Asia – UN IRIN News

Asia & CIS (Updated Link!)





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