Random thoughts on torture

The recent senate report on torture has brought the issue to the forefront of late. Once again people line up, mostly according to party affiliation. I see plenty of bull shit coming from both camps.

To begin, there’s nothing conservative about torturing people. And there’s nothing liberal about covering up these acts when they do […]

United Nations vote on death penalty moratorium puts US in awkward spot

The General Assembly has passed four resolutions on an execution moratorium, with the US increasingly isolated for use

Al Jazeera, By Natasja Sheriff, December 17

New York — The United Nations General Assembly is expected on Thursday to vote once again on a draft resolution calling for a moratorium on the death penalty, with the […]

Three Members of Congress Just Reignited the Cold War While No One Was Looking by

TruthDig/Common Dreams, By Dennis Kucinich, December 16

Late Thursday night, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a far-reaching Russia sanctions bill, a hydra-headed incubator of poisonous conflict. The second provocative anti-Russian legislation in a week, it further polarizes our relations with Russia, helping to cement a Russia-China alliance against Western hegemony, and undermines long-term America’s […]

U.A.E. Sees OPEC Output Unchanged Even If Oil Falls to $40

Bloomberg, By Anthony DiPaola & Mahmoud Habboush, December 14

OPEC will stand by its decision not to cut crude output even if oil prices fall as low as $40 a barrel and will wait at least three months before considering an emergency meeting, the United Arab Emirates’ energy minister said.

OPEC won’t immediately change its […]

Six Guantanamo detainees transferred to Uruguay as Obama works to close prison

Washington Post, By Adam Goldman, December 7

Six detainees held at the U.S. military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were finally transferred to Uruguay over the weekend, months after the South American country had agreed to accept the men, the Pentagon announced Sunday.

The detainees included a Tunisian, a Palestinian and four Syrians who […]

France: ‘Major’ anti-ISIS raid taking place in Iraq

AFP, December 5

France said Friday its fighter jets were conducting a “major” raid in Iraq as part of the U.S.-led coalition offensive against the Islamic State group, days after members said the strikes were having effect.

“At the moment, a major raid is taking place,” Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told BFMTV, refusing to […]

WFP suspends food aid for 1.7 mln Syrian refugees

(Reuters) – A lack of funds has forced the United Nations to stop providing food vouchers for 1.7 million Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Monday.

“Without WFP vouchers, many families will go hungry. For refugees already struggling to survive the harsh winter, the consequences […]

Canadian Michaëlle Jean to head organization of Francophone states

RFI, November 30

Michaëlle Jean has been chosen as the new head of the union of French-speaking nations known as “la Francophonie” at the organization’s 15th summit in Dakar on Sunday. She is the first woman to head the organization.

Appointed after intense debate by the members of the International Organization of Francophonie (OIF), Jean […]

Will Lima climate talks pave way for a binding treaty in Paris in 2015?

Failure will condemn developing countries to unchecked climate change for another generation, and the poorest countries will be worst hit

The Guardian, By John Vidal, November 30

When, on Monday morning in Peru, 4,000 diplomats from the world’s 196 countries start their mammoth session to negotiate a new legally-binding global climate deal, they will know […]

Endless Blood: How smart use of an old technology is saving women’s lives

Not world headline material, but a a positive, informative piece I read this weekend … One of the largest risks for women, one of the leading causes of pregnancy-related mortality, has always been—and unfortunately still is—postpartum hemorrhage.

A few years ago, I delivered a beautiful baby at 3:06 a.m. after an uncomplicated labor. I put […]

In heart of Europe, migrants offer a one-stop tour of worldwide misery

Washington Post, By Griff Witte, November 26

Calais, France — Ibrahim’s odyssey has taken him over the hot sands of the Sahara and across the vast Mediterranean in a death-defying, thousands-of-miles-long quest.

Now the 21-year-old from the Sudanese region of Darfur is so close to his destination that he can see it shimmering on the […]

OPEC move puts US shale in tight spot

AFP, November 28

New York – In taking no action on production Thursday, OPEC did the opposite of what it usually does. It effectively rubber-stamped a supply glut that already has sent prices plunging.

But to many analysts, the cartel’s seeming enthusiasm for lower crude oil prices was not really all that surprising. Rather, the […]

Court rules Michigan has no responsibility to provide quality public education

The Michigan Citizen, November 13

Detroit, MI — In a blow to schoolchildren statewide, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled on Nov. 7 the State of Michigan has no legal obligation to provide a quality public education to students in the struggling Highland Park School District.

A 2-1 decision reversed an earlier circuit court ruling […]

Hardwired sexually?

Julian writes on” The Public Sins of Men:the private sins of women.”

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G20 commits to higher growth, fight climate change; Russia isolated over Ukraine

Reuters, By Lincoln Feast and Alexei Anishchuk, November 16

Brisbane – Leaders from the G20 group of nations agreed on Sunday to boost flagging global growth, tackle climate change and crack down on tax avoidance but ties between the West and Russia plummeted to a new low over the crisis in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir […]

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