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20 Jun

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

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PLO secretary general calls move by Binyamin Netanyahu’s rightwing cabinet ‘a slap in the face of the international community’

Binyamin Netanyahu

Binyamin Netanyahu said the extra funds would help beef up security for existing Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. Photograph: Ronen Zvulun/AFP/Getty Images

The Israeli government has approved an additional $18m (£12m) to pay for West Bank settlements.

The prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, said the decision by his rightwing cabinet to allocate the extra 70 million shekels was in response to concerns about the security of existing Israeli settlements.

According to the Haaretz newspaper, the amount is in addition to $88m already allocated to settlement-related spending.

Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank are considered illegal under international law and major stumbling blocks to peace as they are built on land Palestinians view as part of their future state.

The US, the European Union and many others in the international community have called for a halt to settlement building.

The Israeli government argued the increase was needed because of security concerns. There has been an increase in Palestinian knife, gun and car-ramming attacks since October, with much of the violence occurring in the West Bank.

Speaking at the start of the cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said the allocation was “an assistance plan to strengthen communities” in the West Bank, saying it would “strengthen security, assist small businesses and encourage tourism”.

Beyond security, the cash will also upgrade tourism infrastructure, sport facilities and cultural events, ministers said……………

NY Bill

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The worst I’ve seen – trauma expert lifts lid on ‘atrocity’ of Australia’s detention regime

Exclusive: In his 43-year career, Paul Stevenson has worked in the aftermath of the Bali bombings and the Boxing Day tsunami but says nothing he witnessed was as bad as the treatment of asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus

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“In my entire career of 43 years I have never seen more atrocity than I have seen in the incarcerated situations of Manus Island and Nauru.”

Paul Stevenson has had a life in trauma. The psychologist and traumatologist has spent 40 years helping people make sense of their lives in the aftermath of disaster, of terrorist attacks, bombings and mass murders, of landslides, fires and tsunamis.

He’s written a book about his experiences, Postcards from Ground Zero, and for his efforts in assisting the victims of the Bali bombings, the Australian government pinned an Order of Australia Medal to his chest.

Now, he says, it is the Australian government deliberately inflicting upon people the worst trauma he has ever seen.

The psychologist and traumatologist Paul Stevenson was regularly deployed on Manus Island and Nauru. He describes how Australia’s detention of migrants and refugees offshore is the bleakest ‘atrocity’ he’s seen in his 43-year career
Nauru and Manus incident reports reveal stream of despair and privation

Over 2014 and 2015, Stevenson made 14 “deployments” – as they are called in the militarised argot of those secretive worlds offshore – to Manus Island and Nauru, where about 1,500 asylum seekers who tried to arrive in Australia by boat are held on behalf of the Australian government. His role was to counsel and care for the mental health of the Wilson Security guards.

Stevenson is president of the Queensland branch of the Australian Democrats. The party is not registered in the state, so he is standing in this federal election as an independent, with the support of his party. He doesn’t know whether his slim electoral chances for a Senate seat – “somewhere between zero and a half” – will be helped or harmed by speaking to the Guardian. But he says he feels it is incumbent on those who have been inside Australia’s offshore detention centres to tell those at home the truth about regional processing.

He says he approached the Guardian, compelled by conscience to speak, “because I believe in our democracy”…………..

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german new right

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Thousands attend Orlando vigil one week on from shooting – video

Thousands of people gathered in downtown Orlando on Sunday night for a candlelight vigil in memory of the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. The names of the 49 people killed in the shooting were read out one by one during the gathering at a lakeside park in the city a week after the worst mass shooting in recent US history

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US politics

Election 2016

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Opinion

The Orlando killings would have been a perfect opportunity for the church to condemn the deep-rooted prejudice in our midst

 People attend a vigil in George Square, Glasgow, for the victims of the shootings at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

People attend a vigil in George Square, Glasgow, for the victims of the shootings at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Photograph: Paul Ward/PA

In Scotland, as in many other countries around the world, the response of ordinary people to the Florida gun attack was an uplifting one. In Glasgow last Monday evening, more than 600 people gathered in the city’s George Square to mourn the 49 who were killed at a gay nightclub in Orlando. A few days later in Edinburgh, a similar number huddled under umbrellas in St Andrew’s Square to remember the Florida fallen.

Many of those who attended these vigils were not only grieving for the dead but showing solidarity with the Scottish lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. This was entirely appropriate as few of us who have LGBT friends have not had our lives enriched and made more vibrant by their friendship. They have offered us forgiveness and compassion when they were entitled to be resentful and bitter at the way they have been treated in this country for generations.

There is still, nevertheless, a tendency among some of the newly enlightened to look askance at civic Scotland’s frequent displays of solidarity and support for the LGBT community. This manifests itself in sentiments such as: “Yes, OK, I’m as gay-friendly as anyone but do we really have to be so overt about it all?”

Sometimes, it is followed by: “You wouldn’t see so much hoopla if it was another minority group.”

I have instinctively harboured such sentiments myself and occasionally may even have expressed them. They betray ignorance over the insidious nature of discrimination and the extent to which it can destroy lives from the inside. It also fails to acknowledge that no amount of civic enthusiasm in expressing solidarity with our LGBT community can ever match the decades of fear, suspicion and hostility that characterised this country’s dealings with those among us whose sexuality was deemed to be “abnormal”, “other” and “grotesque”………….

 

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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.

View All

Some of the available newspapers:

Asia – UN IRIN News

www.irinnews.org/

Asia & CIS (Updated Link!)

www.newscentralasia.net/

China

english.peopledaily.com.cn/home.html

China

www.xinhuanet.com/english/

China

www.chinadaily.com.cn/

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