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IndyWatch Asian News Feed was generated at World News IndyWatch.

Sunday, 28 January

01:03

Special Sarawak sitting on Jan 30 to mark 150th anniversary "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Sarawak State Legislative Assembly will hold a special sitting on Tuesday next week in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the legislative body, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said today. He said the Sarawak Cabinet, which made the decision to hold the special sitting, had also decided that there will be []

01:02

Sarawak deputy CM confirms Kuching man is seventh rabies victim "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A 59-year old man from Kuching division is the latest person to contract rabies after being bitten by a rabid dog two months ago, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said today. He said the victim is currently warded at the Sarawak General Hospitals intensive care unit. A laboratory test on January 26 []

01:02

Wrong facts can cause Dayak-Malay tension, Sarawak DCM says after historians blunder "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Sarawak Deputy Minister II Tan Sri James Masing chided a historian for allegedly presenting misleading information on Native Customary Rights (NCR), saying it could cause tension between the Dayak and Malay communities. Masing who is also Parti Rakyat Sarawak president said the historian had failed to understand the history of the NCR land controversy, asserting []

01:01

When children born in Malaysia are denied education because they arent citizens "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Unlike his peers, 17-year-old Muhamad Fitri Hassan Basri is not preparing for his final year SPM school-leaving examinations. In fact, he has never attended school at all despite having been born and bred in Malaysia and neither has his brother Muhamad Rizal, 18, because of issues with their citizenship. Weve been trying to apply for []

01:01

#CabarCalon campaign seeks to find out GE14 candidates stand on three issues "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Civil rights movement Bebas launched today a campaign to encourage voters to use the social media to pressure candidates to be more transparent on their stand in the coming 14th general elections.Called #CabarCalon, the campaign urges voters to ask those intending to contest in either federal or state seats to answer yes or no to []

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Saturday, 27 January

15:11

New Year, New Turmoil as US Targets Thailand "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

January 27, 2018 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Washington's Asia-Pacific strategy has gone from maintaining primacy over the region for decades to increasingly desperate attempts to salvage its now waning influence.


This is in part due to China's rise as an economic, military and political regional power as well as the increasing self-reliance of smaller but still pivotal Asian nations. This includes the Southeast Asian Kingdom of Thailand.  

In Washington' Shadow 

The height of contemporary US influence over Thailand was in 2001 when Thaksin Shinawatra became prime minister. His administration eagerly catered to US interests at Thailand's own expense, including sending Thai troops to participate in the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, hosting the US Central Intelligence Agency's extraordinary rendition programme on Thai soil, attempts to sign a US-Thai free trade agreement without approval of Thailand's parliament and the privatisation of Thailand's natural resources.

He also indulged in a wide spectrum of human rights abuses including a 2003 90 day "war on drugs" that left nearly 3,000 innocent people extrajudicially executed in the streets, a 2004 crackdown on protesters in Thailand's restive deep south that left over 80 dead in a single day, the assassination or disappearance of his political opponents and a concerted campaign of fear and intimidation waged against the Thai media.

...

15:11

New Year, New Turmoil as US Targets Thailand "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

January 27, 2018 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Washington's Asia-Pacific strategy has gone from maintaining primacy over the region for decades to increasingly desperate attempts to salvage its now waning influence.


This is in part due to China's rise as an economic, military and political regional power as well as the increasing self-reliance of smaller but still pivotal Asian nations. This includes the Southeast Asian Kingdom of Thailand.  

In Washington' Shadow 

The height of contemporary US influence over Thailand was in 2001 when Thaksin Shinawatra became prime minister. His administration eagerly catered to US interests at Thailand's own expense, including sending Thai troops to participate in the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, hosting the US Central Intelligence Agency's extraordinary rendition programme on Thai soil, attempts to sign a US-Thai free trade agreement without approval of Thailand's parliament and the privatisation of Thailand's natural resources.

He also indulged in a wide spectrum of human rights abuses including a 2003 90 day "war on drugs" that left nearly 3,000 innocent people extrajudicially executed in the streets, a 2004 crackdown on protesters in Thailand's restive deep south that left over 80 dead in a single day, the assassination or disappearance of his political opponents and a concerted campaign of fear and intimidation waged against the Thai media.

...

13:15

Whats the Use of Following RFE/RL Anyway? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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I love reading Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) these days. Youve no idea how much the US State Department propaganda channel helps in my truth research. Then theres the bonus of being transported back in time. For RFE/RL reminds me of younger years and the days of Duck and Cover the fearsome days of the big, bad, red menace revisited upon Earth today. Heres a brand-new method to convert imperialistic propaganda into fact, in case you are in need. And all the reason Europe should ever need to shut down this propaganda machine.

Duck! Trump May Hit the Button!

Yes, thats right. I am old enough to remember Americas Civil Defense Duck and Cover drills conducted by schools and communities across the U.S. back in the 1950s and 1960s. My earliest experience being in 1962, on schooldays in El Paso, Texas, home of Biggs Air Force Base (SAC) and Fort Bliss (1st Armored Division). Ill spare you the trip down memory lane, but anyone whos researched these ridiculous Civil Defense exercises wonders how on Earth safety experts concluded that hiding under a desk or in a hallway with ones hands over ones head might safeguard against being injured in a nuclear catastrophe? The answer is pretty simple really. There was nobody back then to call bullshit even when it was clear after nuclear weapons tests Ivy Mike and Castle Bravo showed that holding a coat over your head was not going to help you forego the inevitable. Those tests were in the early 1950s, but Duck and Cover programs continued for a decade. This is a situation a bit like RFE/RL today.

For those totally unfamiliar, it was during the Cold War that Radio Free Europe (RFE) began broadcasting to Soviet satellite countries, while Radio Liberty (RL) targeted the Soviet Union with western propaganda that was anti-communist.  The service was created under the auspices of the National Committee for a Free Europe, which was more or less created by CIA legend, Allen Dulles, who was first instrumental in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in World War II, and later oversaw the 1954 Guatemalan coup dtat, Operation Ajax (the overthrow of Irans elected government), the Lockheed U-2 aircraft program and the Bay of Pigs Invasion, not to mention his role in the Warren Commission investigating the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Without taking a romp over into dastardlier Dulles skullduggery, I frame his role here simply to show that...

11:15

Why Europe Must Reject US Blackmail over Iran's Nuclear Agreement "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Trump administration has threatened to end the nuclear deal with Iran. In our last post we argued in detail that the attempt of the European 3, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, to soothe Trump by condemning Iran's ballistic missiles is itself a breach of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and the UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

10:45

Syria"s Experience: the Russian TOS-1A Heavy Flamethrower Is Unique and Indispensable "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The TOS-1A is a very effective tool when conducting anti-ambush missions, which makes it a perfect weapon to use against terrorists.

10:15

Modi Resets India"s Foreign-Policy Priorities "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Indias economic diplomacy bounced back to center stage this week after a prolonged absence of more than three years, when it made a robust appearance at the World Economic Forum (WEF) meet in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday and New Delhi hosted a special ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit on Thursday.

09:45

Europe Standing Up to Trump at Davos? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The supposed stand-off in Davos this week between European liberals and nasty nationalistic Trump is as about as consequential as a snowball fight. A snowball fight, that is, with the fluffiest, softest, most powdery of snow.

09:22

Romanias Anti-Corruption Protests Pit EuroLiberals Against EuroRealists "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

It might be morally outrageous for the government to want to decriminalize some corruption offenses, but theres really no other way to stop the never-ending cycle of political tumult unless they legalize the small-time criminals and separate them from the big-time ones.

The post Romanias Anti-Corruption Protests Pit EuroLiberals Against EuroRealists appeared first on OrientalReview.org.

07:38

New Year, New Turmoil as US Targets Thailand "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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Washingtons Asia-Pacific strategy has gone from maintaining primacy over the region for decades to increasingly desperate attempts to salvage its now waning influence.

This is in part due to Chinas rise as an economic, military and political regional power as well as the increasing self-reliance of smaller but still pivotal Asian nations. This includes the Southeast Asian Kingdom of Thailand.

In Washington Shadow 

The height of contemporary US influence over Thailand was in 2001 when Thaksin Shinawatra became prime minister. His administration eagerly catered to US interests at Thailands own expense, including sending Thai troops to participate in the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, hosting the US Central Intelligence Agencys extraordinary rendition programme on Thai soil, attempts to sign a US-Thai free trade agreement without approval of Thailands parliament and the privatisation of Thailands natural resources.

He also indulged in a wide spectrum of human rights abuses including a 2003 90 day war on drugs that left nearly 3,000 innocent people extrajudicially executed in the streets, a 2004 crackdown on protesters in Thailands restive deep south that left over 80 dead in a single day, the assassination or disappearance of his political opponents and a concerted campaign of fear and intimidation waged against the Thai media.

By 2006, Shinawatra had overreached in his ambitions. Between increasingly bold attempts to consolidate his power and the abuse of that power, the Thai military was finally prompted to oust him from office in a swift and bloodless coup.

In the aftermath, he would be convicted for corruption and sentenced to 2 years imprisonment. Rather than face jail, he fled Thailand and has attempted to run his political party remotely as a fugitive since.

Shinawatra, a mult...

01:02

Wrong NCR presentation slammed "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Deputy Chief Minister II Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing has insisted that the Dayak native customary rights (NCR) land were acquired by their forefathers through blood, sweat and tears and thus, it must not be viewed as being given by the government. He was responding to the view of a historian presented at []

01:01

Otak rosak, idiots, criminals: #UndiRosak advocates face insults, mockery "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

If i ever see supporters of #undirosak i will kill your parents and make you watch. goes a tweet by a Twitter user with 805 followers.The (likely exaggerated) outburst is one of many insults and attacks, including from Pakatan Harapan (PH) politicians, against Malaysians who are expressing their plan to spoil their votes in the 14th general []

01:01

#UndiRosak forum causes a stir after panelists mic muted "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A forum last night discussing the #UndiRosak campaign to spoil votes in the next polls drew flak from viewers after its live broadcast on Facebook was muted whenever one of the panellists spoke.Hafidz Baharom who advocated the campaign told Malay Mail that Malaysia is a free country and that anyone was free to complain against his muted []

01:01

#UndiRosak says already creating waves "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The #UndiRosak campaign calling for spoilt votes in the next polls can already be regarded as a success with the attention given by the public towards its existence and its goals, a forum on the topic was told last night. One of its proponents Hafidz Baharom pointed to social media chatter among youths and the []

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Friday, 26 January

20:16

What secrets is Israels state archive hiding from the public? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Instead of exposing the past, the government archives are busy with hiding information from the public. The reasons: fear of exposing war crimes, upsetting the Arab public, and harming Israels image.

By Noam Hofstadter

Illustrative photo of Israel's State Archivesm, Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Illustrative photo of Israels State Archivesm, Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli Chief Archivist Dr. Yaakov Lozowick published a comprehensive report earlier this month on the state of publicly available material in the government archives. The report, which includes a detailed account of the ongoing work in the archives, was presented to the High Council of the Archives, the statutory body with limited advisory jurisdiction in archival matters. A final version of the report can be found on the State Archives website.

This is how the chief archivist opens the report:

Israel is not dealing with its archival material in a manner befitting a democracy. The vast majority of the material is sealed and will never be opened. The little of the material that will be made accessible, will be accessible only with unreasonable restrictions. The process of releasing of records lacks any public accountability or transparency.

The report is interesting, since we are not used to receiving detailed and updated testimonies from high-ranking officials on their work. So when an account like this appears, we must ask ourselves: why not? Th...

17:41

As long as occupation exists, soldiers will continue to speak out "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

We must make our voices heard sharply and clearly, so that every person who served in the occupied territories will know that speaking out is not merely an option it is a moral duty.

By Avner Gvaryahu

Palestinians clash with Israeli soldiers in Al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of the West Bank city of Hebron, December 31, 2017. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

Palestinians clash with Israeli soldiers in Al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of the West Bank city of Hebron, December 31, 2017. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

Like many who served alongside me, I preferred to remain silent. I preferred to forget, not to speak about the Palestinian homes I broke into in the middle of the night, forgetting the violence I carried out at checkpoints and the passivity required of me when settlers freely broke the law. When I was released from the army, I preferred to repress those three years, to put them behind me.

[tmwinpost]

Only after I joined a Breaking the Silence tour to the South Hebron Hills did my eyes open. Only then, I chose to speak. That is how I learned that I wasnt alone. I learned there are others like me soldiers who see the situation the same way and choose to take responsibility and change the way they and their society, our society, talk about the occupation.

This is what occupation sounds like: Make sure the village doesnt sleep. A man is tied up and kicked in the the stomach and the head. A death sentence for an unarmed man. Every kid you see with a stone shoot to kill. You c...

17:16

The Syrian Kurds Think They Can Play Damascus Like A Fiddle "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Having provoked a frenzy of patriotism in Damascus, the wily Syrian Kurds would then be in an ideal position to exploit the countrys long-standing dreams of liberating the former Syrian Province of Iskenderun that has been under Turkish control as the Province of Hatay since 1939.

The post The Syrian Kurds Think They Can Play Damascus Like A Fiddle appeared first on OrientalReview.org.

16:01

Oliver Branch: Turkeys Bid to Modify the Syrian End-game "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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Whereas Turkeys operation Oliver Branch is nothing short of an attack on the forces allied undoubtedly with the US, and thereby an attack on the US, this operation is as much a result of Turkey-US conflict of interests as it is aimed at modifying the US end-game for Syria. The US end-game for Syria envisages a Syria clearly portioned between the Syrian regime and the Kurds. This end-game is, however, nothing short of a nightmare for the Turks who have moved, in the last 5 years or so, from initially supporting the Jihadi elements such as ISIS to creating their own militias and to allying with Russia to strangulate the growing power of Kurdish militias and thus prevent the emergence of an independent Kurdistan on Turkish borders. In other wordsand contrary to what is being hoped in the Westneither Russia nor Syria will have any major objection to Turkish intervention because this intervention is directly thwarting the US objectives.

Oliver Branch will not damage Turkey-Russia alliance

Turkey, by invading Syria, is therefore not running the risk of breaking or significantly damaging the Turkey, Russia, Syria, Iran alliance. While Turkey may end up controlling a part of Syria, Turkey is neither interested in assimilating Afrin as its own territory nor is going to establish its direct military control.

While reports in the western media have tended to project this operation as an assault on Russia because Afrin is west of the Euphrates, where Russia, not the US, has been controlling the air space ever since it sent its air force to Syria in 2015 to salvage the Assad regime. However, instead of this operation being an evidence of a crack in Turkey-Russia alliance, it largely underscores the fact that this operation is a result of broader understanding reached between Ankara and Moscow.

There remains little doubt in that this operation will directly work to the US rather than Russian or Syrian disadvantage. To begin with, Afrin is a place which has been the gateway to the Amanos Mountains, where Kurdish guerillas and Turkish army have clashed numerous times. And, according to various media reports, Kurdish militias present in Afrin have amassed a big stockpile of weapons, thanks to American supplies since 2016, including multiple rocket launchers, missile launchers, 80- and 120-mm mortars, MK19 grenade launchers, US-made BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles, reconnaissance vehicles, FGM-148 Javelin...

12:48

Low hanging fruit for China-Malaysia ties "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Kuala Lumpur advances "durian diplomacy" to supply a bigger share of spiking Chinese demand for the pungent fruit


Musang King, a premium variety of durian, is all the rage in China. Durians and durian-based products such as pastries, desserts and confectionery are among the most searched for items on Taobao, Chinas biggest e-commerce platform, and surging Chinese demand for the spiked fruit could drive a major transformation of Malaysian agriculture in the years ahead.

Malaysian officials have recently advanced so-called durian diplomacy in hopes of winning a bigger share of Chinas market. Currently, China does not permit the import of fresh durians from Malaysia, allowing only for frozen fruit pulp. But if negotiations with Chinese authorities to allow whole fruit exports succeed, Malaysia could soon enjoy a new type of commodity boom.

Neighboring Thailand currently has a near monopoly on Chinas durian market. Thats in large part because the country is permitted to export whole fruit durian harvested from trees before ripening. Malaysias durian farmers, by contrast, traditionally harvest only when the fruit drops to the ground; China believes the fallen-fruit harvesting method risks exposure to dirt and pests.

Malaysian Agriculture Minister Ahmad Shabery Chee believes the prohibition could be lifted some time year, according to media reports quoting him in November. Known in Malaysia as the King of Fruits, officials have put high priority on courting their Chinese counterparts to expand Malaysias market access.

Chinas new ambassador to Malaysia, Bai Tian, was treated to a durian feast earlier this month at an orchard in Bentong, a budding eco-tourism destination in Pahang, the countrys top durian-growing state. The town, roughly an hours drive from Kuala Lumpur, hosted an annual international durian tourism festival last year that drew huge crowds.

Read the full story at 
Asia Times...

12:00

Economic Collapse and Dollar Hegemony How Did This Start? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Gold had its own intrinsic value and was valid in every empire around the world; the same with silver and bronze. Gold had become not only a means of exchange and a measure of value but also a reservoir of value to be bequeathed to heirs. Above all it was a means of payment.

11:49

Syrias Kurds Share Fate of Other Washington Allies "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

January 26, 2018 (Martin Berger - NEO) - One would be mistaken to believe the recent aggravation of the Syrian crisis triggered by the launch of Turkeys Operation Olive Branch along Syrias northern border, which has already resulted in military casualties suffered by both the Turkish and Kurdish sides, came as a surprise for those following the conflict carefully. Theres also no denying the fact that the bloody Turkish-Kurdish confrontation already resulting in a considerable civilian death toll is an avid example of the two-faced policies of Washington, when former allies of the US are now being used as bargaining chips.


Back in August of 2016, Ankara would show the world that it entered Syria with a fixed goal in mind that had little to nothing in common with fighting the Islamic State (ISIS). At that time, when Turkey launched an assault on Jarabulus, numerous media experts were not afraid to openly state that Ankara was going after Kurdish armed groups by taking this step.

In particular, back then Le Figaro commented on the Turkish invasion of Syria, noting that Erdogans assault on Jarabulus was not aimed at the destruction of ISIS, but instead was aimed at countering Kurdish advancements in Syria as this step had already been in the cards, with ISIS serving as a mere excuse. At the time, this position was supported by the German Tagesspiegel which would note that initially Erdogan was supporting Islamists in the fight against Damascus, but when they began to lose their grip over Syrian territories, the Turkish leader decided to step in directly, making it clear from that point on he would be using the fight against ISIS as a pretext for future military actions against Syrian Kurds. Further still, the Swiss Tagesanzeiger back in 2016 was also...

11:15

Why Is the Israeli Army Suddenly Concerned About Gaza? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

More than 10 years ago Israel tightened its grip on Gaza, enforcing a blockade on goods coming in and out of the tiny coastal enclave that left much of the two million-strong population there unemployed, impoverished and hopeless.

11:14

America"s National Defense Is Really Offense "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Pentagon planners clearly anticipate another year of playing at defense by keeping the offense on the field. An impetuous and poorly informed president is a danger to all of us, particularly as he is surrounded by general-advisers who see a military solution to every problem.

11:00

NATO Conflict in Syria Spotlights Illegal US Blundering "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The American interloping in Syria increasingly looks like a brazen illegal occupation whose ulterior agenda is to further destabilize the Syrian state. Washington needs to be censured and sanctioned. Its policies are illegal, criminal and prosecutable under international law. It needs to get its military forces out of Syria now.

10:15

When It Comes to Davos, It"s Inequality, Stupid "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

For billions of people, the Groucho Marx rule applies when talking about Davos. This is the exclusive club, which meets in the luxury Swiss resort each year to discuss the global business environment.

09:45

What Is "Safari Club II" and How It Can Change Middle East Dynamics "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The CIA and its Cold War allies, in forming the original Safari Club, has provided an invaluable template to the besieged peoples of Yemen, the Horn of Africa, and the wider Middle East. The Safari Club II is giving the Saudis, Israelis, Americans, Egyptians, Moroccans, and others a taste of their own bitter medicine.

07:29

Solutions: Building Communities "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

People are isolated from each other, public spaces are being privatized, and we are being punished for attempting to grow our own food. There is only one solution: resistance. Join us this week as we explore how to build communities through revolutionary gardening, revolutionary walking and other everyday activities.

07:04

Who are the Ukrainians? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Slavonic term Ukraine, for instance, in the Serbo-Croat case Krajina, means in the English language a Borderland a provincial territory situated on the border between Russia and Rzeczpospolita.

The post Who are the Ukrainians? appeared first on OrientalReview.org.

06:26

The Genocide Conspiracy Against North Korea: An Open Letter to the International Criminal Court "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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The American threats against North Korea continue to mount and with them the threat of the genocide of the people of North Korea by the United States of America and its allies. The meeting of the USA, Canada and other nations that attacked North Korea in 1950 held in Vancouver, Canada, on January 16, which some hoped would lead to a political solution, instead took on the character of a meeting of criminals who by their presence, agreement and actions made them parties to a conspiracy to commit genocide, a crime under the statute of the International Criminal Court and the Genocide Convention of 1948.

The threats made against North Korea are due to one single fact: the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea refuses to accept the world hegemony of the American Empire. It has nothing to do with nuclear weapons. It has become a ritual now to state that all the permanent members of the Security Council are armed with nuclear weapons, that the United States has used them on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that they have continuously threatened to use them to intimidate other nations since 1945, that Pakistan, India, and Israel have them, that NATO members in Europe have them at their disposal under US direction, that North Korea is in violation of no international law in developing them to defend themselves, to ensure their security just as all those other nations have done, that North Korea threatens no one and seeks only to have a full and final peace with the United States.

The nuclear weapon issue is a simply the pretext that the United States is using to try to solidify its tyranny over Korea, over the world.

The threat to the world peace comes not from North Korea. It comes from the United States and its allies: the nations who have degraded themselves into subjugated vassal states ready to obey any criminal order of their masters of war in Washington.

In response to what in our considered opinion are criminal actions, Dr. Graeme MacQueen, Founder and former Director of the Centre For Peace Studies, at McMaster University, and I, felt it necessary to send the following Open Letter to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on January 23.

...

01:02

Hiking interest rates before GE14 sign of BNMs independence, think tank says "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Todays increase of overnight policy rate (OPR) ahead of the 14th general elections (GE14) was a sign of Bank Negara Malaysias (BNM) credibility as an independent institution, a think tank has said today. A researcher with the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI) said such a hike would usually not be popular with voters, but []

01:02

Land Code amendment to be tabled at DUN sitting in July Uggah "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The amendment to the Sarawak Land Code will be tabled at the next State Legislative Assembly meeting which is scheduled to be held in July this year. Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said this following the proposal to amend the land code, which is vital to resolve the issues on Pemakai Menua []

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Thursday, 25 January

19:40

Support for two states drops below 50% among Jewish Israelis & Palestinians alike "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Given alternatives to a two-state solution, nearly 20 percent of Jewish Israelis said they would opt for a definitive war, and nearly 40 percent of Palestinians said they support armed struggle.

By Yael Marom

Israeli soldiers stop Palestinians at a flying checkpoint at the entrance to the West Bank city of Hebron, June 15, 2014. (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Israeli soldiers stop Palestinians at a flying checkpoint at the entrance to the West Bank city of Hebron, June 15, 2014. (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

For the first time in recent years, fewer than half of Jewish Israelis and Palestinians support a two-state solution, according to a public opinion poll published Thursday. One of the two populations maintained at least a small majority of support for two states in polls conducted over the past couple of years; the latest poll marked the first time both populations support dropped below 50 percent.

[tmwinpost]

Only 46 percent of Jewish Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza support the two-state solution, according to the poll, conducted by Dr. Khalil Shikaki and Walid Ladadwa from the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR), along with Israeli pollster and +972 Magazine writer Dr. Dahlia Scheindlin and the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research (TSC). Departing from the trends of Jewish Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, 83 percent of Palestinian citizens of Israel still back a two-state solution.

Asked What should happen next?&#8221...

19:01

Turkish-Kurdish War Or Daesh Civil War? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Turks and Kurds are trying to rid themselves of the devilish long-term consequences of their Faustian deals with Daesh, essentially sending their one-time allies to their doom in the mountainous meat grinder of northwestern Syria.

The post Turkish-Kurdish War Or Daesh Civil War? appeared first on OrientalReview.org.

17:33

What Marked the Beginning of 2018 in Indo-China Relations? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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The fundamental influence of Sino-Indian relations, which are constantly under surveillance of NEO, can hardly be doubted, not only on the situation in Indo-Pacific Regions (IPR), but also in the world as a whole.

A month earlier, it was difficult to disagree with the opinion of the experts that 2017 was marked as a worst (over many years) state in these relations. Due to the conflict on the Doklam plateau in the Himalayas, the situation almost resulted in a direct military confrontation between the two Asian giants. Moreover, conducting a regularly scheduled summit of BRICS members was on the verge of failure.

However, on the eve of the New Year, the same experts expressed discreet optimism on the future of the Sino-India relations in 2018. Alas, but international politics has nothing in common with the Christmas tales, and the pattern of the first few weeks of the New Year affirms it.

On 15 January, commenting on the same confrontation fact on the Doklam plateau, Director of the department of South Asia in Shanghai Academy of International Studies (one of the most reputed Chinese think tanks) Zhao Gancheng said that this conflict has damaged the mutual trust and confidence in the both diplomacy and defense as well.

In the article with remarkable title China should prepare for more India border clashes of the mentioned expert it is mentioned that some high-ranking Indian officials showing hostility and consider China as a major threat to India.

Furthermore, in the text of the article, the nameless officials indicates to Indian Army General Bipin Rawat, who has indeed made a number of strong statements regarding Sino-Indian relations in general as well as the situation on the border separating the two countries since his appointment to the current position at the end of 2016.

While often appearing in the Indian media news, General Bipin Rawat broadly manifested himself as a significant public politician. Thus, on January 12, he expressed his concerns over the imminent threats of the use of...

16:59

When the Sultan took in Jewish refugees "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Bayezid II, the sultan of the Ottoman Empire, saved my familys life during the Spanish Inquisition. The Israeli government could learn a thing or two from him.

By Tom Pessah

Sultan Bayezid II.

Sultan Bayezid II.

I am a Jew of Sephardic origin, which means the defining moment of my familys history was their expulsion from Spain in 1492. I still have relatives who speak Ladino, the Jewish language that evolved out of medieval Spanish and was preserved in the countries the Jews arrived in. We have our own dietary customs and liturgical traditions.

[tmwinpost]

For years, I only heard about the villains in this story  Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile  religious zealots who expelled the Jews and Muslims who refused to convert to Christianity from the newly re-conquered Spain.

But no one ever taught me about Bayezid II, the sultan of the Ottoman Empire at the time of the expulsion. In August 1492, he sent his navy to Spain to evacuate the expelled Jews to the empire, where he granted them permission to settle and become citizens. He sent a special decree to the governors of his European provinces, ordering them to receive the Jewish refugees well. Bayezid reportedly criticized the Spanish rulers for rejecting the Jews: You venture to call Ferdinand a wise ruler, he who has impoverished his own country and enriched mine! The sultan even provided economic assistance to pay ransom for Jews who had been kidnapped....

12:30

Remember Roop Kanwar? Padmaavat Isnt the First Instance of Misdirected Rajput Pride "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

In 1987, protests against the reportedly forced sati of 18-year-old Roop Kanwar drew a similar backlash.

Members of the Rajput community protest against the release of film 'Padmaavat' in Meerut o Wednesday. Credit: PTI

Members of the Rajput community protest against the release of film Padmaavat in Meerut o Wednesday. Credit: PTI

If the rule of law prevails over censorship by mob, Sanjay Leela Bhansalis latest film, renamed Padmaavat at the suggestion of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), will be released as scheduled, at least in some parts of the country, just a couple of days short of a year after the director was attacked and the film set at a fort in Rajasthan vandalised by members of the Shree Rajput Karni Sena.

The manufactured furore over a movie based on a poem about a medieval queen, who may or may not have existed, recalls a far more serious occasion in the past when the Rajput community rose up to aggressively defend and glorify womens right (or duty...

11:58

Revisiting Muthamma in Her Little Hamlet Near Coimbatore "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A closer look shows how the lives of poor tribal people gets affected when they lose access to land and forests.

Jaggi Vasudev of the Isha Foundation. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Jaggi Vasudev of the Isha Foundation. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

On January 9, I kept a second promise made to Muthamma and visited her small Adivasi hamlet near the Jaggi Vasudevs Isha Foundation in Coimbatore. I last met her about six months ago in Dharmapuri during the state conference of the Tamil Nadu unit of the All India Democratic Womens Association (AIDWA) and had spoken to her at length about the struggle she and a small band of Adivasis have been waging against the foundation.

I had kept my first promise to tell her story then, which was carried by The Wire in September 2017 and had been widely read. At a time when Vasudev was making waves across the country in the company of the rich and powerful, the article raised questions and doubts about his campaign to revive rivers through river-linking and tree plantation.

Vasudevs reputation and his promotion of river-linking received an even more severe jolt when the famous Waterman, Rajendra Singh, was quoted in an article in The Wire by Ni...

11:55

Syrias Kurds are Now Sharing the Sorry Fate of Most Washingtons Allies "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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One would be mistaken to believe the recent aggravation of the Syrian crisis triggered by the launch of Turkeys Operation Olive Branch along Syrias northern border, which has already resulted in military casualties suffered by both the Turkish and Kurdish sides, came as a surprise for those following the conflict carefully. Theres also no denying the fact that the bloody Turkish-Kurdish confrontation already resulting in a considerable civilian death toll is an avid example of the two-faced policies of Washington, when former allies of the US are now being used as bargaining chips.

Back in August of 2016, Ankara would show the world that it entered Syria with a fixed goal in mind that had little to nothing in common with fighting the Islamic State (ISIS). At that time, when Turkey launched an assault on Jarabulus, numerous media experts were not afraid to openly state that Ankara was going after Kurdish armed groups by taking this step.

In particular, back then Le Figaro commented on the Turkish invasion of Syria, noting that Erdogans assault on Jarabulus was not aimed at the destruction of ISIS, but instead was aimed at countering Kurdish advancements in Syria as this step had already been in the cards, with ISIS serving as a mere excuse. At the time, this position was supported by the German Tagesspiegel which would note that initially Erdogan was supporting Islamists in the fight against Damascus, but when they began to lose their grip over Syrian territories, the Turkish leader decided to step in directly, making it clear from that point on he would be using the fight against ISIS as a pretext for future military actions against Syrian Kurds. Further still, the Swiss Tagesanzeiger back in 2016 was also stressing the fact that the main goal of Turkeys invasion of Syria was a...

11:30

Its High Time the Government Took Notice of Kashmirs Changing Climate "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Uncharacteristically warm winters, disappearing snow cover and melting glaciers have already dealt a blow to winter tourism in the region. Horticulture and agriculture are likely next in line.

The dry and relatively warmer winter in Jammu and Kashmir has the entire region worried. Credit: Reuters

The dry and relatively warmer winter in Jammu and Kashmir has the entire region worried. Credit: Reuters

Srinagar: Chillai Kalan, the 40-day harsh winter period in Kashmir, is nearing its end. This dreaded period, typically marked by massive snowfall and freezing cold, has been uncharacteristically warm this year. There are no signs of snow draping the Valley anytime soon.

The lofty mountains circling the bowl-shaped region have scattered patches of snow. Many are naked and lifeless. On Monday, January 22, the sun shone brightly over Kashmir and the temperature went past 14C. The next day the mercury touched 15C.

There are no chances of snowfall for the next two weeks. This is worrying for us in the longer run. The precipitation during this period of winter charges our water resources. But the coming months could get tougher, explained Mohammad Hussain Mir, senior meteorologist at the India Meteorological Departments (IMD) Srinagar station.

This dry and relatively warmer winter has the entire region worried. Many see it as a weather shock. It has already dealt a blo...

11:15

Editorial: Mumbais Journalists Show the Way "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The nine journalists who filed the petition challenging the media gag in the Sohrabuddin case acted to uphold a principle and the victory is a vindication of the fundamental values of the profession.

The rights of the press are intrinsic with the constitutional right that guarantees freedom of expression. In reporting from an open trial, the press not only makes use of its own right, but serves the larger purpose of making such information available to the general public. With these ringing words, Justice Revati Mohite-Dere of the Bombay high court has set aside the restrictions imposed by a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on the medias coverage of the proceedings in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case.

Apart from stressing the constitutional issue at stake, Justice Mohite-Dere also noted that the CBI special judge had overreached his powers by issuing the gag order. There is simply no provision in the Criminal Procedure Code for such an order, she poi...

11:15

'Calls Upon' Trickery - How Europe Cheats on Iran's Nuclear Agreement "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Trump administration wants to abolish the nuclear agreement with Iran. The big European countries want to keep the formal agreement but are actively looking for other reasons, specifically Iran's ballistic missiles, to put new sanctions on Iran. A detailed look into the issue reveals that those European countries are willfully misreading the relevant UN resolutions and mislead the public about their real motivations.

10:45

Playing "Kurdish Card" in Syria Backfires on US As Turks Move In "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

What the result will be of Turkeys offensive against the Kurdish-held enclave of Afrin in northwest Syria may not be clear for a while, but two things are already certain. Bad decisions in Washington provided the trigger, and Washingtons regional position will suffer as a result of Ankaras Orwellian-named Operation Olive Branch.

10:34

Lawfare Against Lula? Jail for Former President May Throw Brazil Into Chaos "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

As an appeals court upheld Lulas conviction in a corruption case, casting doubt over his fresh bid for presidency in October, international experts have expressed shock over the state of Brazilian democracy.

Supporters of former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attend a rally. Credit: Reuters

Sao Paulo: The line dividing a vibrant democracy and a banana republic is rather thin, especially in South America. With a shameful history of countless coups, that line has been crossed many times in this part of the world. Brazil, in the eyes of many at home and abroad, seems to be on the verge of crossing that line all over again.

Wednesday was not an ordinary day in the history of this nascent democracy. On trial were a mans fate and the future of democracy in this country. In a way, the verdict in the corruption case involving Brazils former president Lula da Silva was a foregone conclusion: for his opponents, he was guilty as sin; for his supporters, the trial was nothing but a farce, a political witch-hunt against a former president who had rocked the countrys elite and their masters in North America with his pro-poor policies and independent foreign policy during his eight years (2003-2010) as president. Lula, his supporters say, is being hunted as he is heading back to the presidential palace.

By Wednesday afternoon, with more than 100,000 supporters of Lula jamming the city centre in Porto Alegre, where an appeals court was hearing his plea ag...

10:30

Rough Edges: How Not to Speak Truth to Power "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A column reflecting on contemporary society and politics.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Credit: Reuters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Credit: Reuters

In June 2016, when the former Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani boasted about being Prime Minister Narendra Modis chamcha, the media roundly blasted him. And rightly so. The matter erupted when in the wake of the controversy sparked by some 89-odd cuts Nihalini suggested for Anurag Kashyaps film Udta Punjab the Censor Board chief publicly declared obeisance to Modi. Yes, I am a chamcha of Narendra Modi as Anurag Kashyap said. I am proud to be a Modi chamcha (acolyte). Should I be a chamcha of the Italian Prime Minister instead? he asked.

Cynics would argue that Nihalini was being publicly brazen about what many others would execute by sleight of hand. The reality is that flatterers who are in awe of the powerful abound in every sector, including in our own the media. The reality is that a largely sycophantic media can have serious repercussions because the industry unlike many...

10:26

Twenty-Five Years On, India, ASEAN Want to Be in Sync, but Keep Missing Cues "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

While the number of linkages has increased, there is still a lot to learn about each other before India and ASEAN can optimise this partnership.

The ASEAN-India relationship has moved a long way from the early 1990s from being largely economic to a more broad-based strategic partnership. Credit: Reuters

The presence of the leaders of ten southeast Asian nations at Indias Republic Day parade, to mark 25 years of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-India dialogue partnership, demanded something special.

Raisina Hill wanted a symbolic show of force: military contingents from each country would march in unison with the cream of Indian defence forces down Rajpath, as the ten ASEAN leaders looked on.

The idea didnt get much traction though.

It would have been a logistics nightmare, said an ASEAN diplomat. Another senior envoy pointed out to The Wire that it would have required further negotiation within the army officers of the group themselves one walks one way, another walks another way. We still havent ever marched together. There was a strong push from the Indian foreign office, but ASEAN officials put their foot down.

In a nutshell, it is a near analogy of how India and ASEAN have worked for the last 25 years. The two partners know that they are made for each other on paper, but havent quite found the right beat to march in sync.

The ASEAN-India relationship has moved a long way from the early 1990s from being largely economic to a more broad-based strategic partnership. C...

10:15

Turkey Re-Enters Syrian Endgame with "Smart Power" "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday regarding Turkeys military operations in Syria turned out to be like the dog that didnt bark in the night in the Sherlock Holmes short story. There was no bark no statement by the Security Council condemning Turkey.

09:58

Anti-Padmaavat Protests: SC to Hear Contempt Pleas; Bajrang Dal Workers Clash With Police "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Supreme Court will hear two separate contempt pleas against four state governments and Karni Sena members on January 29.

Members of the Rajput community protest against the release of Padmaavat in Mumbai. Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: As certain groups continue to hold multiple states ransom over the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansalis movie, film distributors in BJP-ruled Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have decided not to pick up the films reels while cinema halls have agreed not to screen it despite the Supreme Court rejecting the plea to cancel the censor board certificate issued to Padmaavat....

09:25

With the Government Stopping Narmada Dam Water, Farmers in Gujarat Dont Know Where to Turn "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Prime Minister Narendra Modis engineering miracle is yet to show results.

The diesel water pumps that farmers use to pull water to their fields in absence of sub-canals. Credit: Damayantee Dhar

Farmers use diesel water pumps to pull water to their fields in absence of sub-canals. Credit: Damayantee Dhar

For about a week now, Kantibhai Tamaliya, a farmer based in Gujarats Surendranagar district, has been holding meetings with other farmers in the area. They are trying desperately to find a solution to the problem of water while they wait for the impending failure of the crop that they have sown in October-November last year. Harvest time is close, but before that the crops, mostly cumin and wheat, need to be irrigated twice, with an interval of about 15 days.

The Gujarat governments decision to stop supplying water to farmers after March 15 has come as a jolt. They should have informed us beforehand. We would not have sown seeds in November. They didnt announce it then because the (assembly) election was due in December, Tamaliya told The Wire.

The Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. (SSNNL) recently issued a notification stating that it will not provide irrigation water in the Narmada command area for summer crop post-March 15. The notification further stated that SSNNL has taken this decision owing to scarce water reserves in the Sardar Sarovar dam due to scanty rain in the catchment area. SSNNL appealed to the farmers to not sow summer crop unless they have a local water source. According to the notification, the storage level in the dam is a...

09:05

Remembering Y.V. Chavan, a Strong Advocate of Working Class Unity "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The veteran trade unionist passed away around noon on January 23, 2018, in Pune.

Y.V. Chavan. Credit: Author provided

With the death of Y.V. Chavan, one of the seniormost trade unionists of Maharashtra, a link with Mumbais and Maharashtras working class history has ended. He was also the founding president of the New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI).

Yashwantrao, as he was called by those closest to him, was born on August 28, 1920, to a judge in the then princely state of Kolhapur. He was active in the independence and communist movement from his teens. It was when he came to study at Elphinstone College, Mumbai, in 1939 that he began to directly address the working class question. While trying to evade arrest, he was underground at a friends house when he met Vimal Hemmady, his future wife, who passed away in 2009. She too was a freedom fighter, active in the school teachers union and in the womens movement. They are both survived by their only child, their son Madhav, who is the CEO of Pratham, an NGO that works in the field of education.

Recognising the will of the working class was critical to advancing the communist movement in Chavans view. He believed that the aspiration of the working class in 1942 during the Quit India Movement was unequivocally against British imperialism and for independence and self-determination. Hence in his view, while there could under no circumstances be any compromise with fascism, the Communist Party of Indias (CPI) support for the Soviet and, therefore, British efforts in World War II went against the dominant view of the working class and would weaken the communist movement. This difference meant his departure from the CP...

08:58

In Modinomics, Government Borrowing Is Bizarrely Reduced by Increasing PSU Borrowing "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

In the recent HPCL and GSPC deals, ONGC was used by the Modi government as a convenient milch cow.

ONGC has officially become the chief milch cow of the Modi government. Credit: Reuters

ONGC has officially become the chief milch cow of the Modi government. Credit: Reuters

The borrowings of Indias Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), until recently a largely debt-free public sector undertaking (PSU), should figure prominently in the essential readings of Modinomics.

The government recently decided that its growing expenditure-revenue gap in 2017-18, partly caused by lower Goods and Services Tax collections, must be fixed by milking the profitable oil public sector undertaking (PSU).

So a bizarre idea was born in the name of creating synergy between two big government owned PSUs, namely between ONGC and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL).

Since the government is the owner of both PSUs, all it had to do was sell its 51% stake in HPCL to ONGC and transfer nearly Rs 37,000 crore into the Centres kitty. With this, the divestment target for this year was more than met. Of course one wonders, if large-ticket deals like this can be carried out so easily, why make any effort to divest small stakes in a large number of PSUs?

To facilitate these financial acrobatics however, ONGC, which has been a debt-free company till now, will be...

08:30

How Violence Against Women in India Can Be Stopped by Training Police Officers "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Justice for Her is a collaborative effort to improve access to justice for women and girl victims of violence in Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab.

For many victims of violence, the police are a large part of the problem. Credit: Reuters

For many victims of violence, the police are a large part of the problem. Credit: Reuters

From the Womans Marches in the US to the global #MeToo campaign, the issue of womens rights has well and truly permeated societys consciousness.

But this should not disguise the fact that womens rights on a global scale and specifically womens safety is still very much in its infancy. Thousands of women and girls each year are victims of gender violence in India and the most recent statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau show that crimes against women have increased 34% in the past four years.

This figure provid...

07:49

Former Brazilian Presidents Election Run in Doubt After Conviction Upheld "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva arrives at the metallurgical trade union while the Brazilian court decides on his appeal against a corruption conviction that could bar him from running in the 2018 presidential race, in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil, January 24, 2018. Credit: Reuters/Leonardo Benassatto

Porto Alegre: A Brazilian appeals court unanimously upheld the corruption conviction of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday and added t...

07:40

Legislation Introduced in US Senate to End Aid to Pakistan "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Rand Paul. Credit: Reuters

Washington: A legislation seeking to prohibit the US from sending nearly $2 billion of taxpayers money to Pakistan was introduced in the Senate on Wednesday by a top Republican leader.

The Bill introduced by Senator Rand Paul seeks to redirect those funds, amounting to $1.28 billion from the State Department and $852 million from United States Agency for International Development to the Highway Trust Fund.

Early this month, US President Donald Trump had supported such a move by Paul.

Trump after assuming office has been criticising Pakistan for providing safe havens to militants.

In his first tweet of 2018, Trump said that the US had foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years, while Pakistan had returned only lies and deceit.

Congressman Mark Sanford from the Republican party and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard from the opposition Democratic will be introducing companion legislation in the US House of Representatives.

We fail our responsibilities to protect our country and properly steward taxpayers hard-earned money when we support countries that chant Death to America and burn our flag, Paul said.

Lets bring that money home and use it to help rebuild our infrastructure instead of giving it to a nation that persecutes Christians he said.

The Congressional move comes less than a month after the Trump admin...

07:37

ONGC Borrows Rs 4,000 Crore From ICICI Bank to Fund HPCL Acquisition "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The acquisition would create Indias first integrated oil company.

The logo of Oil and Natural Gas Corp's (ONGC) is pictured along a roadside in Ahmedabad, India, September 6, 2016. Credit: Reuters/Amit Dave/File Photo

The logo of Oil and Natural Gas Corps (ONGC) is pictured along a roadside in Ahmedabad, India, September 6, 2016. Credit: Reuters/Amit Dave/File Photo

New Delhi: State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has borrowed Rs 4,000 crore from ICICI Bank on top of over Rs 18,000 crore it has taken from three other banks to part finance its Rs 36,915 crore acquisition of Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL).

Sources said ICICI Bank has extended one-year loan to ONGC to fund the acquisition of governments 51.11% stake in HPCL.

ONGC had yesterday stated that it has entered into loan agreements with Punjab National Bank, Bank of India and Axis Bank Ltd for borrowing Rs 18,060 crore for the acquisition.

The pact with PNB is for loan of up to Rs 10,600 crore and with Bank of India for another Rs 4,460...

06:44

Is Kiev Headhunting for Georgian and American Mercenaries in Ukraine? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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It is not hard to read between the lines of recent news articles in the Georgian press about so-called Georgian fighters in Ukraine fighting on the side of Kiev. Apparently a cleanup operation is going on, not to eliminate the alleged pro-Moscow separatists in the East of the country but with some elements within the ranks of those who came to fight in Ukraineon the side of Kiev.

Along with former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, they entered Ukraine to get another go at the Russians, closer to their home territory. Their presence there has nothing to do with Ukraine itself. The cleanup operation is a reflection of Georgian internal politics and overall US plans for the region, which Ukraine can do without being the theatre for.

Set up to be taken out

We are told by the above-mentioned Georgian link that a number of troops walked straight into an ambush, and that their Ukrainian commanders set them up to be eliminated by the separatists. This would be entirely consistent with previous developments in this story, as it is not new. We have been following it since 2014, and NEO and Veterans today were the first to report on the nexus between the indiscriminate murders in Maidan and Georgian-trained snipers, who mysteriously moved from Maidan Square to Syria, as if they would be interested in that conflict, on fake Georgian passports.

Those links were established, with supporting evidence, even before Gian Micalessin, an Italian journalist, claimed to have first broken the story. The lid had already been blown off through contact with Georgian army personnel who had been involved in training those snipers, and even one of the Maidan snipers himself. As Jim Dean of Veterans Today wrote, Micalessins story merely confirmed VTs earlier reports of how outside mercenaries had been brought in to shoot up both demonstrators and security police in a classic Cold War psyop.

There has long been a practice of governments paying snipers to shoot people indiscriminately in Eastern Europe. Prior to August 2008, before the Georgian-Russian war, snipers operating in Georgia (some of whom were the same people), who had been trained by a US contractor, Archangel, were employed to kill civilians in South Osset...

01:03

PKRs giant slayer Ali Biju awaits GE challenge in Saratok "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

If any Barisan Nasional (BN) rural seat should fall in the 14th general election (GE14), it will most likely be Saratok thats the talk within political circles in Sarawak. Why? Saratok BN is a mess. The party representing the ruling coalition in Saratok, the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), formerly known as SPDP, is the []

01:02

Sarawak committed to amend land code to accommodate native practice, CM says "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg today said that the state government is committed to amend the Sarawak Land Code that will give the force of law to the practices of pemakai menoa and pulau galau, which the natives regard as their customary rights (NCR) lands. He said a Bill to amend the land []

01:02

Voon lambasts education minister for intimidating teachers "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) National vice-chairwomen Voon Shiak Ni yesterday lambasted Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid for telling teachers not to vote for the opposition if they want to keep their jobs. Delivering an intimidating statement to teachers is unacceptable and an insult to the noble profession and intelligence of teachers, she said in []

01:02

Call for fast approval of NCR land deal "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Eighteen community leaders from Tamin, led by Ulu Oya Pakoh Area Development Committee (ADC) chairman Henry Kanyan, want the state government to expedite approval of their rental agreement on native customary rights (NCR) land in their joint venture (JV) with two companies for land development. They submitted the proposal to the government in 2016, among []

01:02

Pakatan Harapan Sarawak surprised that state still in second phase of talks on devolution of power "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak is baffled that the state is still in the second phase of pursuing devolution of power from the federal government. Its chairman Chong Chieng Jen recalled that the state government was already into the second phase of negotiations for devolution of power before the passing of former chief minister Pehin Sri []

01:02

Dr M: Review MA63, Sabah, Swak not like other states "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The agreement between the federal government and Sabah and Sarawak needs to be reviewed to give the two East Malaysian states greater autonomy and development, Dr Mahathir Mohamad said. The Pakatan Harapan prime ministerial candidate said this was because Sabah and Sarawak had entered into the Malaysia Agreement, made in July 1963, as partners and []

01:02

Sarawaks river systems offer vast hydro power potential "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Sarawak is endowed with many big river systems with vast untapped renewable hydro power potential of 20,000MW, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan. According to him, the state government has identified 14 economically viable sites which can generate approximately 8,000MW of electricity if developed. The development of these hydro power dams []

01:01

EC to leave case of suspect voters in Wangsa Maju to cops "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Election Commission (EC) is leaving it to the police to take the necessary action on an allegation of suspicious voter registration in the Wangsa Maju parliamentary constituency. EC chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah said this was because the case involved criminal offence under the Penal Code and the National Registration Act 1959 (Act []

01:01

CROCODILE ZAHID THE NEXT PM IF UMNO WINS GE14? MAHATHIRS DAUGHTER MARINA DROPS BOMBSHELL "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

With Malaysias general election due to take place by August of this year, the ruling party has already begun making big promises and dragging the opposition through the mud. But at a time of unparalleled distrust of those in charge of the country, it might not be enough to win them power yet again. Malaysians []

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22:31

America's Awkward "Pivot" to Asia: US-Cambodia Confrontation Widens "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

January 25, 2018 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - The so-called "Pivot to Asia" initiated under the administration of US President Barack Obama as a means of reinvigorating US influence across Asia Pacific vis--vis China has resulted in a backlash against tired US policies predicated on "democracy promotion," "rights advocacy" and increasingly meaningless economic and military ties between Washington and the nations of Southeast Asia.


From a "pivot" that was presented as a means to win over allies across Asia through economic trade and regional security underwritten by US military might, under the administration of current US President Donald Trump, US foreign policy has shifted decidedly toward a coercive and punitive posture to reestablish Washington's influence.

It can be argued, however, that the "pivot" was from the beginning, merely window dressing for a policy that was little more than a highly focused effort to coerce and punish nations for moving out of Washington's sphere of influence, and into Beijing's.

In Cambodia, this backlash against US intentions has been particularly acute. The Cambodian government under Prime Minister Hun Sen has shuttered and expelled US State Department-funded fronts posing as nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) including media organisations, as well as arrested opposition leaders and disbanded the opposition's political party.

US Strikes Back 

In turn, the US has imposed visa restrictions on individuals within the Cambodian government involved in the crackdown on US-backed political activity in the country.

Reuters in its article, "U.S. to deny visas to Cambodian officials over opposition crackdown," would report:
The United States said on Wednesday it would restrict entry to people involved in the Cambodian governments actions to undermine democracy, including the dissolution of the main opposition party and imprisonment of its le...

17:35

Agni V: The Asian Missile Race Heats Up "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The situation is exceptionally dangerous because all four countries involved are nuclear powers, but there are also other tangential consequences relating to the peripheral players of Iran, North Korea, and Japan.

The post Agni V: The Asian Missile Race Heats Up appeared first on OrientalReview.org.

17:00

Washington New Defense Strategy: Keep Russia, China Down "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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One thing can be said about the new Pentagon National Defense Strategy document just released under the name of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. It is honest about what the target of US military policy is going forward. Washington military policy is explicitly aimed to keep China and Russia from developing any alternative counter-pole to unchallenged US military and political supremacy. The new document lays this out in no uncertain terms. The details are notable and show the disarray that is Washington today, as its once-firm grip on world power disintegrates.

creating a security environment more complex and volatile than any we have experienced in recent memory. Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in US national security.

To refer to the period as one of strategic atrophy is not entirely accurate for the power that has waged wars non-stop, direct and surrogate, from Asia to the Middle East to covert regime change operations around the world since it invaded Afghanistan in October 2001. Honest is the statement that the US strategic competitive military advantage has been eroding. This erosion, however is a direct consequence of the erosion of the US economy and the increasingly desperate efforts of Washington to dictate to the world according to their wishes and not respecting sovereignty of nations or peoples.

The key phrase is Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security. What is this inter-state strategic competition that relegates the so-called war on terrorism to the back seat in priority? It is, simply said, the emergence of significant economic, technological and military powers and alliances that feel strong enough to assert their own national interest. For the Pentagon, which operates under the 1992 Wolfowitz Doctrine, strategic rivals to US sole superpower dominance, is not...

16:42

Demolishing Palestinian schools a quiet population transfer "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

By destroying schools in Palestinian villages in Area C and elsewhere, Israel is forcing Palestinians to make a cruel choice  between their land and their childrens futures.

Students sit in a classroom at school in the Jahalin Bedouin community of Khan Al-Ahmar, West Bank, February 22, 2017. (Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Activestills.org)

Students sit in a classroom at school in the Jahalin Bedouin community of Khan Al-Ahmar, West Bank, February 22, 2017. (Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Activestills.org)

When the children of Beit Tamar, a village south-east of Bethlehem, left their improvised schoolhouse for winter vacation about two weeks ago, they did not know if the building would still be standing when they came back.

To call the building a school is to exaggerate. It is comprised of five concrete rooms on the top of a hill, constructed by the villages residents, who also built the road to the school.

[tmwinpost]

Last August, we asked the army for permission to build a school for the children in the village, Hassan Brigiah says on our way to the site. We didnt receive an answer, and after we talked with a lawyer, we decided to set up six caravans to serve as classrooms. The army came and dismantled the caravans. While they were doing this I said to them, but you didnt give us an answer at all! It didnt help. We decided to build a few classrooms out of concrete, and in the meantime, a lawyer managed to get an order to prevent them from bei...

12:56

Americas Awkward Pivot to Asia: US-Cambodia Confrontation Widens "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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The so-called Pivot to Asia initiated under the administration of US President Barack Obama as a means of reinvigorating US influence across Asia Pacific vis--vis China has resulted in a backlash against tired US policies predicated on democracy promotion, rights advocacy and increasingly meaningless economic and military ties between Washington and the nations of Southeast Asia.

From a pivot that was presented as a means to win over allies across Asia through economic trade and regional security underwritten by US military might, under the administration of current US President Donald Trump, US foreign policy has shifted decidedly toward a coercive and punitive posture to reestablish Washingtons influence.

It can be argued, however, that the pivot was from the beginning, merely window dressing for a policy that was little more than a highly focused effort to coerce and punish nations for moving out of Washingtons sphere of influence, and into Beijings.

In Cambodia, this backlash against US intentions has been particularly acute. The Cambodian government under Prime Minister Hun Sen has shuttered and expelled US State Department-funded fronts posing as nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) including media organisations, as well as arrested opposition leaders and disbanded the oppositions political party.

US Strikes Back 

In turn, the US has imposed visa restrictions on individuals within the Cambodian government involved in the crackdown on US-backed political activity in the country.

Reuters in its article, U.S. to deny visas to Cambodian officials over opposition crackdown, would report:

The United States said on Wednesday it would restrict entry to people involved...

11:30

Mike Pence"s Middle East Tour: Outright Pressure and Threats as Foreign Policy Tools "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

If Amman refuses to bow, the United States-led Arab alliance needed to oppose Iran will split to weaken the Americas standing in the Middle East. Itll be a major setback to negatively affect the whole US Middle East policy.

11:15

A National Defense Strategy of Sowing Global Chaos "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

In the new U.S. National Defense Strategy, military planners bemoan the erosion of the U.S.s competitive edge, but the reality is that they are strategizing to maintain the American Empire in a chaotic world, explains Nicolas J.S. Davies.

10:45

South Africa: New Plans for a Radical Transformation of Society "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

On 13 January, the latest in a series of celebrations to mark the 106th anniversary of the African National Congress (ANC) party took place in South Africa. The partys plans were announced for the first time by the ANCs new head, Cyril Ramaphosa, who was elected at the end of December 2017.

10:29

Is Michael Oren a real person? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The alleged former ambassador has made numerous statements and claims recently that cast serious doubts on the veracity of his existence as a real person most recently, news that he initiated a parliamentary inquiry into whether Ahed Tamimis family is real. (Satire)

Alleged Ambassador Michael Oren expresses cynicism about something-or-other at the Knesset, June 27, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Alleged Ambassador Michael Oren expresses cynicism about something-or-other at the Knesset, June 27, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

For the past two years, +972 Magazine has been conducting a secret investigation into whether Michael Oren, Israels alleged former ambassador to the United States, is a real person or just an actor playing a character invented by Israels hasbara agencies. The investigation did not reach any unequivocal conclusions.

The investigation looked into border-line fantastical actions and statements by Alleged Ambassador Oren, including but not limited to: penning opeds suggesting that Barack Obamas Mideast policies can be explained by his daddy issues; boastfully interfering in the reporting of one of Americas most respected television news magazines; arguing that Israel was...

10:15

Donald Trump Suffocates Hope for a Palestinian State "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The $64,000 question is how relations between Washington and Ramallah have disintegrated so rapidly. At least some fault lies with the PA, an organization dominated by old men past their prime who have proven over the years to be much more interested in blaming Israel for every conceivable ill than going back to the negotiating room.

09:45

Trump Officially Restores Cold War "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Trumps new document says that non-state terrorism (Al Qaeda, etc.) is no longer the biggest threat to Americas security; Russia and China pose the biggest threat to America, says the NDS2018.

07:25

What Should Moon Jae-in Do to Establish an Inter-Korean dialogue? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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In the previous articles, we have already mentioned about the straddling the fence policy of new President of the Republic of Korea. On the one hand, Moon Jae-in actively lobbies American policy toward the DPRK, and on the other hand constantly demonstrates the volition for dialogue between North Korea and South Korea taking limited steps towards this direction.

The official statements of Seoul as a whole can be summarized in the following points:

  • The main objective of Inter-Korean dialogue is denuclearization as the only way to peace on the Korean peninsula and any format of negotiations on the North Korean nuclear issue is reasonable, while it may help.
  • Seoul is ready to discuss the normalization of relations with Pyongyang if it abandons its nuclear weapons. The level of understanding of the DPRK in this aspect is very little- it seems that not only are the representatives of intelligence discussing about the imminent collapse of the regime, but also Moon Jae-in himself, as they say, believes that the nuclear program of Pyongyang is a bluff and in fact North Korea wants to renew exchange. To put it mildly, it is quite a strange misconception.
  • Government maintains a position on hard counteraction to provocations based on South Korea-U.S. alliance. Seoul will react on North Korean nuclear tests with the strongest possible terms including tightening of sanctions.
  •  With all this going on, the South Korean side does not seek to crush the North Korean regime or achieve reunification through takeover. Thus, on August 7, 2017, the President of the Republic of Korea said that there would be no second war on the Korean peninsula and recalled that he had received firm assurances from the United States of taking no action without the approval of Seoul.
  • A decision was made to approach the issue of humanitarian contacts flexibly and subject to compliance with anti-North Korean sanctions introduced at the international level. The Republic of Korea supports the preservation of exchanges at non-governmental level without violating UN Security Council resolutions.
  • Humanitarian aid to the...

02:22

Trump & Davos Americanism & The False Libertarian / AltRight Dialectic Jay Dyer (Half) "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

In our post-modern world, two contradictory presuppositions dominate: total and all-encompassing relativism and extreme mathematical quantification in terms of technological dominance. Globalism itself is the clearest manifestation of this double-think, with Trump as an icon of both. Corporatism, mammonism and relativism all coalesce into a sodomy-based world order.

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Tuesday, 23 January

21:34

Israels sports minister posts video with genocidal chants by fans "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

At the end of a Facebook video encouraging sportsmanlike conduct by fans from one of Israels most notoriously racist soccer clubs, those surrounding Miri Regev break out into chants of burn your village, directed at the opposing team from an Arab city in Israel.

Its not every day that a senior government minister, who a week earlier was Israels acting prime minister for several days, publishes a video of herself smiling as she is embraced by people letting out genocidal chants. Then again, this is the same minister who a few years ago called African asylum seekers in Israel a cancer, only to apologize a few days later  to cancer patients.

Israeli Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev on Monday attended a soccer game between Beitar Jerusalem, a team known for its and its fans anti-Arab racism, and Bnei Sakhnin, an Arab squad from northern Israel. At the end of a short message encouraging and praising a sportsmanlike atmosphere at the game, the fans gathered around her break out into chants of burn down your village (alternatively translated as May your village be burned). She continues smiling and says nothing.

One must ask why a senior government minister who is no stranger to social media decided not to edit out the final seconds of the video. It would be hard to blame her for the reactions of people around her, some of whom clearly were looking to provoke on camera. But the decision to publish genocidal chants is troubling.

In contrast to Regevs video and non-condemnation, Beitar Jerusalems management wasted no time denouncing the chants and announcing steps it plans to take to combat racism at games, including shutting down an entire section of its stands used by notoriously racist fans. (The clubs quick reaction can be explained by a suspended sentence it faces from the league for past racist incidents. Other chants at the stadium that night reportedly included: I hate all Arabs and Muhammad is dead.)

Racism in soccer is certainly not a phenomenon unique to Israel. And to their credit, after years in which racist chants translated into actual violence (a year and a half ago Israeli police conducted a six-month undercover investigation into the clubs most notoriously racist and violent fan group, La Familia, which resulted in...

19:22

Is academia the last bastion of progressive thought in Israel? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Israeli universities have long been viewed as a bulwark against extremism. A new database, compiled by a group of Israeli dissident academics, reveals how the academy works in concert with the state.

Israeli soldiers patrol at Birzeit University, on the outskirts of the city of Ramallah in the West Bank, during an operation on June 19, 2014. (Issam Rimawi/Flash90) *** Local Caption *** ?????? ??????? ????? ??????

Israeli soldiers patrol at Birzeit University, on the outskirts of the city of Ramallah in the West Bank, during an operation on June 19, 2014. (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Its no secret that the Israeli governments crackdown on freedom of expression in recent years has extended into the academy. Through far-right student groups such as Im Tirzu, proposed ethical codes that would bar professors from voicing political opinions in class, and attempts to shut down entire university departments deemed too left-wing, the government has in many ways framed the very idea of academic freedom as subversive.

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Nevertheless, Israeli academia is still held up as an independent, progressive bulwark against extremist and reactionary thought, an argument that is often deployed to combat Palestinian-led academic boycotts. But beneath the rhetoric, the truth is that Israels universities work closely with various state bodies, from the m...

17:34

Serbias Migrant Sell-Out Is To Distract From Ivanovics Assassination "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

It would ordinarily make no sense why a national leader would want to encourage a migrant influx into his small and relatively impoverished country in the coming months, but the reason that Vucics government is doing this is because theyre Europhiles more than they are Serbophiles.

The post Serbias Migrant Sell-Out Is To Distract From Ivanovics Assassination appeared first on OrientalReview.org.

17:25

America: Pussy-Footing Around Fascism "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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As tens of thousands of American women marched for the second day against Donald Trump on the anniversary of his inauguration, the US government continued to be shut down over immigration policy. And yet, the real reason for the immigration crisis was merely alluded to in passing by a senior Republican Senator: the presence in the White House of a thirty-one year old white supremacist, the only one of a small group that was put in the White House by the wealthy Mercer family that bank-rolled the latter part of the Trump campaign,.

When, desperate to overcome the government shutdown, the prominent Republican Senator Lindsey Graham referred to Stephen Miller by name, the media failed to inform its viewers that he was an acolyte of Steve Bannon. Its as if Miller just happens to be a Neanderthal when it comes to immigration, when in reality, he has the power to make the President eat his own words a few hours after speaking them. (This is referred to as White House or Republican handlers correcting the President when he mis-speaks.

And because the press is more right-wing than left (while the right claims it is left) it reports with a straight face what is an enormous charade: President Trump can only trumpet what the people he serves approve: Steve Bannon actually called Trump useful a few months ago. When he steps out of line as he did a few days ago during a televised White House meeting in which he said he would sign any bill put before him that would prevent 800,000 young Latinos brought to the US illegally by their parents from being deported. The next day he was forced to claim he had been misunderstood.

Much attention is devoted to Donald Trumps coarse ways, which are at odds with the lofty image of the presidency, but very little is paid to the fact that the White House continues to be held hostage to the Alt-Right even after the departure of its most famous exponent, a scruffy-looking middle-aged man with a checkered past. The press failed to point out that after the departure of Sebastien Gorka the Hungarian-born operator who appeared at a Washington event last year in the uniform of the World War II fascist organization worn by his father followed eventually by Bannon, Miller is the last known Alt-Right operator in the White Ho...

13:51

Asylum seekers to Israels president: Look us in the eyes "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Israel plans to begin deporting tens of thousands of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers in the coming months. Hundreds gather outside the Presidents Residence in Jerusalem, hoping to tell him their stories.

By Yael Marom

Protesters outside of the president's residence in Jerusalem on Monday night, January 22, 2018. (Yael Marom)

Asylum seekers demonstrate outside of the Israeli presidents official residence in Jerusalem, January 22, 2018. (Yael Marom)

Several hundred asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan demonstrated in front of Israeli President Rivlins official residence in Jerusalem Monday night, calling on him to stop planned mass deportations. The asylum seekers, including many women and children, were joined by dozens of Jewish Israelis, among them several Holocaust survivors.

[tmwinpost]

The demonstrators chanted we are refugees, refugees dont deport refugees, and the deportations are a catastropherecognizing the refugees is the solution. One elderly Jewish woman held a sign reading: this Holocaust survivor remembers what it means to be Jewish and what it means to be an asylum seeker. Many of the asylum seekers held up pictures of friends and family members who left Israel and were murdered, imprisoned, or tortured.

The Israeli government has said it plans to give asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea a stark choice in the coming months: accept deportation to Rwanda or Uganda, or go to prison indefinitely. Upon leaving Israe...

13:47

No Taxpayers Nickel is Spared in Washingtons Military Adventures Worldwide "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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At the beginning of 2017, the chief of US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) General Raymond Thomas while speaking in front of one of the Senate committees announced that:

We operate and fight in every corner of the world. Rather than a mere break-glass-in-case-of-war force, we are now proactively engaged across the battle space of the Geographic Combatant Commands providing key integrating and enabling capabilities to support their campaigns and operations.

According the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, William Hartung most Americans would be amazed to learn that US Special Operations Forces have been deployed to three quarters of the nations on the planet. Furthermore, according to this researcher there is little or no transparency as to what they are doing in these countries and whether their efforts are promoting security or provoking further tension and conflict.

This data is confirmed by the publication in the notorious Western alternative media source Tom Dispatch, that features a map showing the locations of 132 countries where Americas elite troops were deployed.

According to the International Business Times, the countless wars that the US government has been waging on other states ever since 9/11...

12:20

Turkish Olive Branch Accelerates the U.S. to Intensify Border Security Forces Training "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The confrontation between the U.S. and Turkey could have catastrophic consequences for the parties involved and especially for Kurds, not to mention the whole region.

The post Turkish Olive Branch Accelerates the U.S. to Intensify Border Security Forces Training appeared first on OrientalReview.org.

11:45

Black Sea Antics by the US-NATO Military Alliance "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

US-NATO military fandangos in the Black Sea are part of the Pentagon-Brussels policy of poisonous confrontation that is intended to increase in intensity. The world is becoming an ever more dangerous place.

11:17

Senior Program Manager: Digital Rights "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Digital Rights Senior Program Manager works closely with the Executive Director to oversee EngageMedias Digital Rights initiatives in Southeast Asia. The position designs strategies and activities, coordinates program staff and consultants, builds and strengthens networks, contributes to fundraising, and works directly on projects as needed.

Applications should be emailed to jobs@engagemedia.org with the title "Senior Program Manager: Digital Rights". Application deadline is February 16, 2018.

Responsibilities

Program and Project Management

  • Develop and lead EngageMedia's Digital Rights program, overseeing strategy and program design
  • Oversee the Digital Rights program team; monitoring, evaluating and supporting project implementation
  • Contribute to the leadership and coordination of regional digital rights networks, fostering collaborations and partnerships
  • Directly undertake project management
  • Monitor and track project budgets
  • Review and approve invoices and reimbursements of program staff and consultants, and authorise project spending
  • Oversee the development of contracts and MoUs with staff, partners and consultants
  • Produce program reports for the board

Development and Fundraising

  • Work closely with the Executive Director to design fundraising proposals and write reports
  • Contribute to EngageMedia's broader management and planning via participation in the Senior Management Team
  • Develop and manage funder relationships
  • Seek out and manage consulting opportunities. Directly implement contracted activities as needed.

Partnerships, Outreach and Networking

  • Lead strategy development for outreach and engagement, working in close coordination with the communications team
  • Work with the communications team to run digital rights campaigns, employing a range of creative media
  • Maintain and develop partnerships with a range of organisations, individuals and networks
  • Attend relevant events to develop networks, and to present and share the work of EngageMedia

Capacity building

  • Oversee planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of digital security and digital rights trainin...

11:15

India-US Bonhomie: Time for a Reality Check "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The ongoing India-US rapprochement has been couched in terms of a pact between the two largest democracies in the world and similar superlatives. While geographically-challenged Americans may be forgiven for not recognizing their immediate northern neighbour as both a larger nation and a better democracy, mnemonically-challenged Indian pundits should nonetheless subject India-US ties to trend-based reality checks.

10:45

The Post-Syria Conflict Reality: Who"s Containing Who? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The White Houses wheeling and dealing in the Middle East, with Mohammad bin Salman, Mohammad bin Zayed, and Bibi Netanyahu, for a deal of the century has yielded not only no deal, but rather, has exacerbated Gulf tensions to a near existential crisis.

10:15

It"s Time to Call Economic Sanctions What They Are: War Crimes "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The first pathetic pieces of wreckage from North Korean fishing boats known as ghost ships to be found this year are washing up on the coast of northern Japan. These are the storm-battered remains of fragile wooden boats with unreliable engines in which North Korean fishermen go far out to sea in the middle of winter in a desperate search for fish.

09:51

TEPCO Withholds Critical New Fukushima Meltdown Data From Public "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Last week another inspection was conducted inside unit 2 at Fukushima Daiichi. This new work looked inside the reactor pedestal

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06:43

Will American Missiles Destroy The Russian-Japanese Rapprochement? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Russia and Japan have a lot to lose if they fall for the US trap by allowing its manipulation of the manufactured North Korean missile threat to undermine their rapprochement.

The post Will American Missiles Destroy The Russian-Japanese Rapprochement? appeared first on OrientalReview.org.

06:36

Russia Strengthens its Position in Bangladesh Through Energy "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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As it is well known, the economy of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh (PRB) is one of the least developed, but one of the fastest growing economies of Asia demonstrating steady growth in the last few years. Today many countries seek to cooperate with PBR, in the hope of making profitable investments, gaining access to its growing markets and cheap labor. Among them are India, China, South Korea, Japan, the United Kingdom, USA and other states.

Russia has achieved significant success in the development of relations with Bangladesh concluding a partnership with this country in a strategically important area such as energy. The Russian Federation plays an important role in the oil and gas industry of PRB and is a key figure in its atomic project.

Fuel shortage is a major problem for Bangladesh. There is a significant reserve of oil, coal and natural gas in its territory, that country pins great expectation economic development with. However, since the early 2000s, the exploration and development of new deposits in the PBR were not conducted.

In 2010, the Bangladesh Government turned towards Russia for assistance in such matters as exploration of new hydrocarbon deposits, their development and establishment of a unified gas supply system in its territory. Later, negotiations started between the leadership of Bangladesh and Russian state oil and the gas corporation Gazprom. Soon Gazprom signed a memorandum of mutual understanding with Bangladesh Minerals, Oil and Gas Corporation Petrobangla.

Gazprom International (GI), a company affiliate of Gazprom specializing on search and production of hydrocarbons outside of the Russian Federation, was entrusted to work with the Bangladeshi partners. In 2011, the GI proposed the leadership of the PRB its program for the development of Bangladeshi deposits and establishment of a single Bangladeshi gas supply system (a similar Russian system was taken as a model).

In 2012, GI signed a number of contracts with , BGFCL and SGFL the subsidiaries of Petrobangla, in accordance with which the Russian company began to drill and equip ten wells with a depth of 3-4 km at the gas fields of PRB. The work began in the spring of 2013 and by November 2014, all ten wells were put on regular operational mode. The results were very satisfying to the Bangladeshi side that it readily continued to develop its cooperation with the Russia...

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Monday, 22 January

18:09

Why has the US Changed Its Mind on North Korea? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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Were we to believe the official, the Trumpian, narrative on the US change of attitude towards North Korea and how the US has embraced North-South talks, we would end up believing that the US president Trump was previously too tough on North Korea and that he has only now decided to show some flexibility. While that sounds like highly gracious and generous, this is sadly not the reality, and therefore, hard to believe as well.  This is how Trump explained his dramatic transformation in a recent interview given to the Wall Street Journal. He said, Youll see that a lot with me and then all of a sudden Im somebodys my best friend Im a very flexible person. But the Trumpian self-declared flexibility is something that has been imposed upon him by the factors external to his idiosyncratic world of events, where things arent that fantastic as he might have thought when he was trying to destroy North Korea through his bombastic tweets only a few days ago before this interview.

It is not Trumps flexibility that has made South Korea embrace North Korea all of a sudden; it is the massively changed ground realities that have forced both South Korea and the US to adopt a different strand of policy to handle the nuclear issue. And the change in ground realities has been perfectly captured by Russias Vladimir Putin, which he explained at a meeting with top Russian editors last Thursday at the Kremlin, saying that:

I think that Kim Jong Un has obviously won this round. He has achieved his strategic goal. He has a nuclear warhead, and now he also has a missile with a global range of up to 13,000 kilometres, which can reach almost any part of the globe, at least in the territory of his potential adversary.

In simple words, what Putin seems to mean to say was that the fact that North Korea can hit the US directly, Kim has achieved in taking the threat level to mutual assured destruction, forcing Trump to become flexible.

Interestingly enough, the situation briefings the US president has recently received from his officials have also focused greatly on the considerably increased threat level and the fact that North Korea could no longer be made to give in to the US demands.

According to media reports, from the US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, to the US Secretary of State Rex Till...

16:55

Thousands of asylum seekers protest deportation outside Rwandan embassy "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The demonstration, held by African asylum seekers, Israelis, and international activists, marks the opening of a new front in the struggle against the deportation. 

By Joshua Leifer

Thousands of asylum seekers protest outside the Rwandan embassy in Herzilya, Monday, January 22, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Thousands of asylum seekers protest outside the Rwandan embassy in Herzilya, Monday, January 22, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Approximately 2,000 asylum seekers demonstrated outside of the Rwandan embassy in Herzilya on Monday against the Israeli governments plan to deport them. The demonstrators, joined by Israeli and international human rights activists, chanted We are Eritrean, we are not Rwandan and refugees are not for sale.

[tmwinpost]

Israel must check our asylum requests and provide us protection, the organizers of the protest said. We are demanding that the Rwandan embassy oppose any agreements with Israel. The protest organizers also called on Israelis to join them in resisting the deportations.

The Israeli government approved the deportation of asylum seekers, most of them from Eritrea and Sudan, to third countries, including Rwanda and Uganda, in December of last year. According to the governments plan, the asylum seekers will face a choice: deportation or inde...

14:16

Macedonia By Any Other Name A New NATO Pigeon "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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NATO wants Macedonia in the fold of European nations arrayed against Washingtons perceived foes. But an old dispute in between that Balkans nation and neighboring Greece threatens the plan to further extend the alliance toward Russias borders. Macedonia being called Macedonia is not all there is to it.

With all the so-called fake news muddying the information waters, its hard for the average citizen to make heads or tails of geo-policy these days. One sure fire way to get a grip though, is to use a bit of reverse-truth psychology. By keying and comparing vested media interest like technocrat/oligarch Jeff Bezos Washington Post and other channels, for instance, anybody can get at the truth beneath all the subterfuge. Heres a good example of what I mean.

Media: Creating Perception

The Reuters audience in America is given Stoltenberg gesticulating like a Nazi dictator in the imagery with the heading Macedonia t...

14:08

I wont fly refugees to their deaths: The El Al pilots resisting deportation "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

At least three pilots for Israels flag carrier publish declarations publicly refusing to take part in the forced deportation of asylum seekers should they be asked to. The Israeli government is giving tens of thousands of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers a stark choice: deportation or indefinite imprisonment.

By Yael Marom

An El Al pilot hangs out the window of one of the carrier's planes. (Illustrative photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

An El Al pilot hangs out the window of one of the carriers planes. (Illustrative photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

At least three El Al pilots in recent days published public declarations of their refusal to take part in the deportation of asylum seekers to countries where their lives may be in danger.

Captain Yoel Piterbarg, a pilot on Israels national airline, wrote the following on Facebook (Hebrew):

Israel is populated primarily by Jews who, in their near and distant pasts, were refugees in countries around the world. The vast majority became citizens and a small number remained refugees. Most went through the Holocaust, many were forcefully expelled from their countries, and many others emigrated out of a desire to improve their lives in better countries that agreed to accept them.

Out of all people we, the Jews, must be attentive, empathetic, moral, and leaders of public opinion in the world in how we treat the migration of refugees, who have suffered and continue to suffer in their countries of origin.

[]

I will not fly deport...

11:45

US Loses Key Ally in South Asia: Screwed Up in Muslim World "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The US-Pakistani relationship has always been extremely complex and turbulent. It was rather a marriage of convenience than an alliance. Mistrust and suspicion have always clouded the bilateral ties.

09:40

Featured Filmmaker: Netting Supolrai (Mekong Nomad) "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Name: Netting Jaruwan Supolrai aka Mekong Nomad

Location: Thailand

Speaking of the phrase "Mekong Nomad", "Mekong" literally refers to "the Mekong River". The word "Nomad refers to "a group of people who usually keep moving from one country to another". Mekong Nomad Jaruwan Supolrai quit her job and equipped with a big backpack full of camera apparatus visited change-makers across the Mekong region who have become friends during her NGO work. The journey for her was to learn from friends in different countries and document it and share with others. She tells her story:

EM: Tell us who you are as a filmmaker and how you began your career as one.

Netting Jaruwan Supolrai [NJS]: I am not a professional filmmaker at all, just an amateur. I come from an NGO background. Throughout my Mekong Nomad film project, I used film or video as one of the tools to document my journey and communicate with my followers. I considered myself as a storyteller as I embarked on a journey across the Mekong countries.

Mekong Nomad on the roadMy solo journey was a self-driven initiative I took after six years working for a regional project called the Collaboration for the Young Generation in the Mekong Region under the Thai Volunteer Service Foundation (TVS) based in Bangkok, Thailand. I gathered experience in working with young change-makers in the Mekong region and several years later I felt that I was very much exhausted and burnt out from the work. At the same time, I was inspired by the stories of positive changes of my friends in the Mekong countries whom I met during my work. I realized that I needed to take some months off by traveling to visit them, to unlearn myself from their real lives in their country contexts and also to produce some interesting media stuff to inspire people.

I decided to resign from my full-time work and began my MekongNomad journey in mid-October 2014. It was an ambitious project and luckily I got enough support to get it started. The journey itself was self-funded (from my own savings) and my mother and father gave me some money. My film production is funded by the TVS.

...

09:15

The Arab Spring: Restoration, Repression and Regime Change "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Western powers may have partially succeeded in managing the Arab Spring. But the potential for revolt against the Western-backed capitalist order has not gone away. That potential is always there, even for an American or European Spring.

07:29

Szeklerland Might Spark A Slovak Crisis That Destabilizes The Three Seas "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Thus far the most newsworthy efforts in this sphere have recently been those related to the Hungarian minority in Ukraines western region of Transcarpathia, but the situation in Transylvania might be even more important.

The post Szeklerland Might Spark A Slovak Crisis That Destabilizes The Three Seas appeared first on OrientalReview.org.

06:37

USA North Korea: Failed Attempt at Dialogue? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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On 13 December 2017, at a Washington forum organized jointly by the Korean foundation and the analytical center of the Atlantic Council, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated, The U.S. is ready to begin negotiations with the DPRK at any time when it wants to and we are ready to hold the first meeting without preconditions. Lets just meet. We can talk about the weather, if you want. We can discuss whether it will be a square table or round table meeting. Than we can proceed to the formation of a road map to what we could aspire, he emphasized. And although the State Secretary immediately expressed an opinion that in reality, the dialogue with North Korea is unlikely to be possible, subjected to Pyongyangs mandatory rejection of its nuclear program, he suggested Pyongyang to bring up any question to the table.

The statement of Tillerson caused certain stir and was seen as a continuation of a replica of Joseph Yun on December 8. Then, speaking at an event on the New Year organized by the Korean Foundation for International Culture Exchange and the Center of Korean Studies at George Washington University, the U.S. Special Representative for the North Korea Policy noted that even after the launch of Intercontinental ballistic missile Hwaseong-15, the United States are ready to engage in dialogue with North Korea, only if it withholds any test of missiles or nuclear weapons for a duration of 60 days. The official statement of the North Korean authorities on cessation of provocative actions will be considered as a signal to start a dialogue.

Meanwhile, before this, numerous statements made by State department representatives including Tillerson could be summarized as follows:

  • Nuclear Crisis on Korean Peninsula is resolved preferably by diplomatic means as stated by the Secretary of State in an interview with CNN, although Trump has a developed plan of military action, he is not seeking to start a war with the DPRK: the problem will be resolved diplomatically until the first bomb falls. We shall note, however, he did not say whose bomb will exactly fall.
  •  Nevertheless, this does not preclude the consideration of other options, including military. As U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis stated after the sixth nuclear test, We are not striving for the total annihilation of any country, including the DPRK. But like I said, we have a lot of options to do so. The DPRK must understand how high the st...

04:36

Revelation, Inspiration & Modern Marcionites Jay Dyer "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

By: Jay Dyer

The doctrine of the revelation of God in terms of Scripture is not as confusing as difficult as many have made it.  Since the argument for Scripture as revealed and authoritative as the written element of Orthodoxy (along with Oral Tradition and the Tradition of the Church as embodied in the liturgy or the lives of the Saints) is the same as the argument for Gods existence (the transcendental argument), we cannot approach Scripture as if it were any other text.  The authority, inspiration, veracity and authenticity of the Scriptures is itself an aspect of revealed doctrine, and just like the doctrine of creation, it is not known naturally, nor is it proven by a classical foundationalist or classical apologetic methodology.

I recall when I was a Roman Catholic reading Bishop Fulton Sheens famous book Life in Christand the beginning of the work challenged the reader and Catholic alike to approach the Scripture as any other text and make a judgment based on the available evidence of whether the texts were inspired or error-laden human concoctions.  Of course, this whole approach is itself the problem as, like the Thomistic view of natural theology, the defense of the Scriptures in Roman Catholicism caved quickly to the onslaught of the critical methods precisely because the faulty presupposition was these texts are just like any other human text and can be authoritatively debunked and dissected by the unbelieving academic.

 

Just as our doctrine of God is not based on a generic theism that subsequently tacks on Person, and Trinity and Jesus down the road, so likewise there is no generic textual analysis or collection of evidences that can demonstrate to the fallen intellect and spiritually dead soul of autonomous man there might be some special truth to the Bible.   In fact, as we have seen in the complete failure of the Thomistic five ways to prove God (based on its faulty anthropology and analogia entis), the loss of the doctrine of the nous and western apotheosis of mans intellect led directly to the assumption Scripture could likewise be pronounced upon by fallen man, giving us higher criticism, the Jesus Quest, ecumenism, etc.

 

Due to the theological errors we have discussed many times here, western theology in both its Protestant and Roman Catholic forms adopted two competing and equally faulty approaches to revelation based on absolute divine simplicity and the erroneous anthropology that follows from that theology proper.   For Rome, the analogia entis is the starting point due to its rabid, extreme doctrine of Gods simplicity God is only known in this life t...

02:12

Announcing the REAL Fake News Awards! "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

So we all saw Trump's fake news awards last week and enjoyed the stupidity of the dinosaur fake news establishment being skewered once again. But #fakenews is not limited to bogus stories about Trump. As Corbett Report stalwarts will know, fake news is being pumped out all the time on any number of issues. So let's hold a REAL fake news awards!

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Sunday, 21 January

18:18

I was on my way back from school and saw the ruins "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Palestinian residents of the Jordan Valley share their personal experiences of what life under occupation has meant for them. The second of two parts.

Fatimah Yousuf Massaeed talks about the difficulties of being a student in the Jordan Valley, where internet access is spotty and the roads difficult to travel in the winter. She has a degree in law and Islamic law from the Open University and dreams of being a judge.

Mahmood Massaeed describes about how the lack of building permits makes it impossible to build a soccer field in his village, dashing his and his friends dreams of becoming professional soccer players.

Rushdi Habib wants to send his children to study at universities, but he cant afford not to have them working alongside him in the fields.

Abd el-Salam Beni Odeh talks about the day his house was demolished; he was on his way back from school when he saw the ruins. A high school student now, he says he wants to work as a human rights advocate.

18:09

Revealed: Shin Bet controlled Arab schools for decades "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Classified documents reveal how, for years, Israels internal security service meddled in Arab societys education system, firing teachers deemed threats and employing Shin Bet agents in the Education Ministry.

An Arab choir sings at Independence Day celebrations, held in Umm al-Fahm, April 29, 1958 (Moshe Pridan/GPO)

An Arab choir sings at Independence Day celebrations, held in Umm al-Fahm, April 29, 1958 (Moshe Pridan/GPO)

It has long been known that the Shin Bet, Israels shadowy internal security service, has been involved in surveillance over the countrys Arab population. Since the very first days of the state, the service monitored Arab political organizations; surveiled nationalist or communist activity viewed as subversive; and enlisted collaborators to ensure maximum control with minimum effort.

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Following the 1948 War, the Israeli government granted citizenship to the Palestinians who remained in the boundaries of the nascent state; but the state also imposed martial law on the Arab population, subjecting them to the authority of a military governor. Under military rule, Palestinian citizens grew fearful of the Shin Bet, which often resorted to sabotage and torture to root out those viewed as threatening to the state. While military rule was officially abolished in 1966, the Shin Bet continued to monitor and interfere in the lives of Israels Arabs most nefariously, in its state-run education system.

The Shin Bets meddling in the education system was an open secret for ye...

16:24

Not just Ahed: Israel holding 300 Palestinian minors in prison "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

There are hundreds of Palestinians like Ahed Tamimi: denied bail and held in detention until the end of their trials. Over 400 more are imprisoned without ever being charged with a crime.

By Joshua Leifer

Israeli lawyer Gaby Lasky (L) speaks with her client, sixteen-years-old Ahed Tamimi (R), before she stands for a hearing at the military court in Ofer military prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, January 15, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli lawyer Gaby Lasky (L) speaks with her client, sixteen-years-old Ahed Tamimi (R), before she stands for a hearing at the military court in Ofer military prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, January 15, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

While the case of Ahed Tamimi has garnered international media attention, the Israeli military prison systems treatment of Ahed and her mother is not unique. Israel Prison Service (IPS) statistics published by Israeli anti-occupation organization BTselem earlier in January reveal that Israel is holding over 300 Palestinian minors in prison. Over 180 of those minors are being held in detention until the end of legal proceedings, without having been convicted, like Tamimi.  

According to IPS data handed over to BTselem, as of the end of November 2017 there were 5,881 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel, of whom 1,775 were being detained until the conclusion of legal proceedings. Over 400 were administrative detainees, including t...

15:31

What Are the Results of the So-Called Arab Spring? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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Seven years after the beginning of the so-called Arab Spring, both commentators across the MENA region and its residents remain fairly unsatisfied with the revolutionary changes this movement brought them.

Seven years ago in the month of January, President Ben Ali was toppled in Tunisia. This was the first tangible result of the Arab Spring a wave of demonstrations and protest movements that swept across the countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Even though in a number of countries those led to a number of toppled governments and other notable changes, today pretty much everyone admits that the results that protesters received fail meet even the lowest of expectations they had . Its curious that even Western countries, those that would support the demands of protesters about political liberalization and economic reforms, are equally dissatisfied with the results their received. They figured that the revolutionary change they were promoting could allow them to get away with a number of unwanted regimes across the region, thus getting direct access to the national wealth of regional players by infiltrating those states with obedient political puppets.

Some of the leaders of the countries affected by the so-called Arab revolution, such as the former Tunisian President Ben Ali, were military men, who would enjoy decades of unhindered power while achieving a fair amount of success in introducing change to the difficult countries they headed. Some of them called themselves Washingtons allies, like Mubarak or Saleh. Others, like Gaddafi, would be establishing relations with the West gradually, while buying off prominent political figures in the West with their unparalleled wealth. Over time, those leaders grew prepared to transfer the reins of power to those who they trusted the most, for example, to their sons. Back in the day the International Monetary Fund was praising a number of MENA states for liberal reforms they were introducing, since those would bear the promise of imminent economic growth.

Nevertheless, the West chose the revolutionary approach over stable relations with MENA states which resulted in people of the region being manipulated into taking their dissatisfaction to the streets. In Tunisia and Egypt, a string of protest resulted in the fall of existing regimes, with the former stopping a step away from a civil war. Yet, Tunis has been plagued by terrorist attacks...

10:22

Only Andal Can Decide What She Is, Not Vairamuthu or the BJP "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

It is not proper for a man who lives in a male-centric society and enjoys the privileges and hegemonic power derived from it to identify a woman, even one who is not a poet or goddess, in an ambiguous manner.

From left to right: Tamil poet Vairamuthu; sculpture of Andal; picture of protests in Tamil Nadu the past week over Vaiaramuthu writing that Andal may have been a devadasi. Credit: Wikimedia/Los Angeles Museum/Twitter

Some divine personas inhabit the realm where myth and history overlap. In that respect, Andal is different from divinities such as Rama. Hence, whenever anyone expounds on matters related Andals provenance in the public sphere, he or she must present at least minimal evidence in support of their claim. This evidence could even be cited from oral histories. But the citing of such supporting evidence is essential.

Next, when we speak of a specific category such as the devadasi, we should have a broad understanding about the meanings that have been conferred on this category in diverse locations and during different time periods in the vast annals of history. The local traditions related to devadasis and the socio-cultural position accorded to them were not uniform across different locations in the subcontinent. Speaking of them as temple dancers, and thereby relating their socio-cultural presence solely to religion, betrays a narrow understanding.

The notion that the varied functions performed and contributions made in public spaces like temples and royal courts by the viraliyar...

10:06

With Ram Madhav and Satyapal Singh in Charge, Even Lord Ram Cant Help Indian Science "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

If the ministers pen, with RSS support, blots the page of textbooks, the Indian child will be at even greater risk of learning nothing in school than she already is.

From left to right: Ram Madhav (Credit: PTI), Charles Darwin (Credit: Wikipedia Commons) and Satyapal Singh (Credit: PTI).

From left to right: Ram Madhav (Credit: PTI), Charles Darwin (Credit: Wikipedia Commons) and Satyapal Singh (Credit: PTI).

Article 51a of the Indian constitution enjoins upon citizens the fundamental duty to develop the scientific temper. The Bharatiya Janata Party and its leaders, who invariably lament the fact that fundamental rights are given more importance than duties, would do well to internalise this section, if only to end the confusion that prevails in the public mind about where the party and government stands on the importance of science.

On the one hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking an active interest in using space-based resources to push social, economic and...

09:58

Kabul Intercontinental Hotel Siege Ends, All Gunmen Killed: Government "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Afghan security force keep watch near the site of an attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan January 20, 2018.Credit: Reuters/Mohammad Ismail

Kabul: Afghan Special Forces ended an overnight siege at Kabuls Intercontinental Hotel on Sunday, killing the last gunman from a group of three attackers who stormed the hotel, taking hostages and battling security forces for hours.

Two gunmen were killed on Saturday nig...

09:27

The Despair of Modernity It Might Not Be All Bad "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The belief in the solvability of all things is a foundation of the modern world. We are nurtured with an expectation of progress and solutions. When this turns out not to be the case, despair is a natural result.

The post The Despair of Modernity It Might Not Be All Bad appeared first on OrientalReview.org.

09:05

Key Cardinal Rebukes Pope Over Abuse Comment in Rare Move "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Cardinal Sean Patrick OMalley speaks as Pope Francis meets with members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors at the Vatican, September 21, 2017. Credit: Osservatore Romano/Handout via Reuters/Files

Trujillo: A key US cardinal distanced himself on Saturday from comments by Pope Francis on sexual abuse, saying they had caused ...

09:00

Revisiting Bade Bhai Sahab: Premchands Endearing Short Story "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Premchands nationalism often looked inward, at Indians, the decay of their culture, the condition of women and poor, the caste system or communalism.

Premchand. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Premchand. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Bade Bhai Sahab, one of Premchands most notable short stories was published in 1910, shortly after he dropped his name Dhanpat Rai and adopted the pseudonym Premchand. The early 1900s were important and interesting times for the Indian freedom movement and its consciousness as a nation. This was the time when nationalism was finally taking firm shape in India with literature both shaping the discourse and responding to it.

08:54

China Says US Warship Violated Sovereignty of South China Sea "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

People pass under a pole with security cameras, US and Chinas flags near the Forbidden City ahead of the visit by US president Donald Trump to Beijing, China November 8, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Damir Sagolj

Shanghai: A US Navy destroyer sailed near a disputed shoal claimed by China in the South China Sea this week, US officials said on Saturday...

08:05

Mexican Governor Shakes Election Vowing Anti-Graft Revolution "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Chihuahua governor Javier Corral addresses the audience as he starts the March for Dignity from the border city of Ciudad Juarez to the finance ministers premises in Mexico City...

08:01

Top Aide of Al Qaeda Leader in Maghreb Killed by Tunisian Forces "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front fighters, December 1, 2015. (Representational Image) Credit: Reuters/Stringer/Files

Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front fighters, December 1, 2015. (Representational Image) Credit: Reuters/Stringer/Files

Tunis: Tunisian security forces have killed a top aide of Abu Musab Abdul Wadud, the leader of...

07:51

Migrants Stuck in Serbia Want to Move On "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A girl plays at the paddle inside the camp for refugees and migrants in the Belgrade suburb of Krnjaca, Serbia, January 16, 2018. Picture taken January 16, 2018. Credit: Reuters/Djordje Kojadinovic

Belgrade: After traversing several countries en route to the rich West, Najibullah, a former policeman from the Afghan town of Kholm, his pregnant wife and four children, got stuck in Serbia.

Now they spend days of relative normalcy in a drab refugee camp in Krnjaca, an industrial area on the outskirts of the...

07:38

As Turkey Launches Operation Olive Branch, Airstrikes Pound Syrias Afrin "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A Turkish fighter jet flies over the town of Hassa on the Turkish-Syrian border in Hatay province, Turkey January 20, 2018. Credit: Reuters/Osman Orsal

A Turkish fighter jet flies over the town of Hassa on the Turkish-Syrian border in Hatay province, Turkey January 20, 2018. Credit: Reuters/Osman Orsal

Hassa/Turkey/Beirut: Turkey opened a new front in Syrias nearly seven-year-old war on Saturday, launching airstrikes against a US-backed Kurdish militia in Afrin province that raise the prospect of a further strain on relations between Ankara and Washington.

The operation, dubbed Operation Olive Branch&#822...

07:33

The Life of Labour: 17 Workers Killed In Fire At a Delhi Warehouse, 50K Telecom Workers to Lose Jobs "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Life of Labour, a compilation of important labour developments from around the world, will be delivered to your inbox every Sunday at 10 am. Click here to subscribe.

Illustration by Aliza Bakht

Illustration by Aliza Bakht

17 workers killed in blaze at firecracker storage unit in Delhi

Seventeen people were killed and two injured in a massive blaze at a firecracker storage unit in outer Delhis Bawana industrial area this evening, a Delhi Fire Services official said, even as the city government ordered an enquiry into the incident. Read the full report on The Wire.

Scheme workers protest across India demanding an end to discrimination

Lakhs of workers across India participated in a day-long protest on January 17 against the discrimination in government employment. Over 50 lakh workers are engaged on a contractual basis by Central and State governments in various departments. They are recruited under various schemes ranging from public health,...

07:20

First Day of US Government Shutdown Ends in Deadlock "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A sign announcing the closure of the Statue of Liberty, due to the US government shutdown, sits near the ferry dock to the Statue of Liberty at Battery Park in Manhattan, New York, US, January 20, 2018. Credit: Reuters/Andrew Kelly

Washington: US President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers were locked in a standoff...

07:10

US: Women Stage Nationwide Protests As Trump Begins Second Year "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

People take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, US, January 20, 2018. Credit: Reuters/Gabriela Bhaskar

People take part in the Womens March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, US, January 20, 2018. Credit: Reuters/Gabriela Bhaskar

Washington: Hundreds of thousands of women and their male supporters turned out on Saturday for the second Womens March, a nationwide series of protests against US President Donald Trump marking the end of his tumultuous first year in office.

The coordinated rallies in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and about 250 other cities featured speakers who blasted T...

07:05

Uttar Pradesh Considers Withdrawing Muzaffarnagar Riots Cases Against BJP Leaders "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Special secretary, UP department of justice, Raj Singh, has sought information on whether the cases could be withdrawn in public interest.

Soldiers stand guard on a deserted street during a curfew in Muzaffarnagar, 127 kms northeast of New Delhi, in Uttar Pradesh on September 9, 2013. Credit: Reuters/Stringer/File

Muzaffarnagar: The Uttar Pradesh government has sought information on the possibility of withdrawing nine criminal cases pending in a court here against BJP leaders in connection with the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, according to a letter to the district magistrate by a senior state official.

The cases were filed against UP minister Suresh Rana, former Union minister Sanjiv Balyan, MP Bhartendu Singh, MLA Umesh Malik and party leader Sadhvi Prachi.

In...

07:00

Gunmen Attack Kabul Hotel, at Least Five Dead "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

FILE PHOTO: View of the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, January 25, 2016. Picture taken January 25, 2016. Credit: Reuters/Mohammad Ismail/File Photo

View of the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, January 25, 2016. Picture taken January 25, 2016. Credit: Reuters/Mohammad Ismail/File Photo

Kabul: Afghan Special Forces moved through Kabuls Intercontinental Hotel floor by floor on Sunday fighting the surviving gunmen who attacked the hotel a day earlier, seizing hostages and staging an overnight siege.

As day broke on Sunday, thick clouds of black smoke could be seen pouring from the building. Several armoured US military vehicles with heavy machine guns could be seen close to the hotel along with Afghan police units.

Television pictures also showed Afghan Special Forces personnel manoeuvering on t...

06:47

The Refugee DilemmaGermany Plays Economic Chicken with Central Europe "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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The German social democrat and conservative parties have finally agreed in a rotten compromise to form yet another not-so-grand coalition with the increasingly unpopular Angela Merkel as Chancellor. With this, its clear that Berlin is on automatic pilot in regard to such divisive policies as accepting hundreds of thousands of new refugees from southern hemisphere war zones such as Libya or Syria. In stark contrast to Berlins open policy, four countries in Central EuropePoland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakiaare steadfast in their refusal and rejection of the Brussels-mandated compulsory refugee policies and are rallying more open support across the EU for more national self-determination. In this not all levers of power lie in Berlin.

The growing resistance of the four, united as the Visegrd Group, is opening a potential breakup of the European Union as Brussels steadfastly refuses to budge on policy and the populations across the EU stare on with disbelief and increasingly vote more national-oriented candidates such as the newly-elected Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz of the Austrian Peoples Party.

The concerted effort of Brussels and the liberal media to demonize leaders such as Hungarys Viktor Orban, as some modern variant of fascist for defending national sovereign rights to decide who is welcome to become citizen and who not, is increasingly falling on deaf ears for ordinary Europeans who are bewildered at why their politicians refuse to abandon a clearly counterproductive refugee policy.

Orban Comes to Germany

Shortly before the German coalition talks concluded, Hungarian Prime Minister Orban made a three-day visit to meet with the leaders of the conservative CSU party in Bavaria. There Orban declared that 2018 would be the year for restoring the peoples will. He clarified what he meant: The peoples will is clear. The people do not want to live under the threat of terrorism; they want security, they want their borders to be protected, and they want their leaders to take those people out of the Schengen Area who have no reason to be there.

On April 8 Orban faces re-election in a national vote where US hedge fund speculator and political NGO operative, Hungarian-born George Soros, is financing a...

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Thursday, 30 November

13:13

Confronting the Threat of Ethnic Bioweapons "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

November 30, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - The United States Air Force's 59th Medical Wing's molecular biology branch recently was revealed to have been collecting specifically Russian RNA and synovial (connective) tissue samples, prompting fears in Russia of a possible US directed ethnic-specific bioweapons program. 


TeleSUR's article, "'Ethnic Bomb' Feared as US Air Force Confirms Collection of Russian DNA," would report:
Russia has raised its concerns over attempts by the U.S. military to collect DNA samples from Russian nationals, noting the potential use of such biological samples for the purpose of creating new genetic warfare weaponry.

The U.S. Air Force has sought to calm the Kremlin's concerns, noting that the samples would only be used for so-called research purposes rather than for bioterrorism.

Addressing Russian reports, U.S. Air Education and Training Command spokesperson Captain Beau Downey said that his center randomly selected the Russian people as a source of genetic material in its ongoing research of the musculoskeletal system.
The report would also state that:
However, the usage of Russian tissue samples in the USAF study fed the long-brewing suspicion that the Pentagon is continuing in its hopes to develop an alleged biological weapon targeting specifically Russians.
Russian President Vladimir Putin would be quoted as stating:
Do you know that biological material is being collected all over the country, from different ethnic groups and people living in different geographical regions of the Russian Federation? The question is why is it being done? Its being done purposefully and professionally. 
And while the US military attempted to brush off the notion that any sort of ethnic-specific bioweapon was being researched, the notion of such a weapon is not far fetched at all....

08:57

Video interviews with some of the amazing people at COCONET "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

From 23 to 27 October 2017 in Indonesia, EngageMedia, the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), and the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) along with key regional allies, hosted COCONET, a Southeast Asia Digital Rights camp.

With over 100 participants Southeast Asia and beyond, the camp was a great platform to share and exchange ideas, projects, skills and tools. Some of the goals also included looking at potential collaborations between participants post-event and building a regional movement for digital rights.

In this post we'd like to share video interviews featuring some of the interesting people who are working on digital rights and human rights issues in their respective countries. They speak about their work and their experiences as well as learnings at COCONET. The interviews were recorded by filmmakers who were participants themselves.

Cathy, vlogger and women's rights activist, Cambodia


Ilang-Ilang, filmmaker and journalist with Altermidya, The Philippines


Wai Phyo, Myanmar Center for Responsible Business, Myanmar


Chat, Association for Progressive Communications, The Philippines


Jeremy, LGBT rights advocate, Malaysia

Read more about COCONET here.

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Wednesday, 29 November

22:41

The Crazy Nuclear Plan Lurking In The Trump Russia Scandal "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The plan itself made news as yet another half baked business idea trying to attract attention a few years back.

Categories:

Tags:

(Read more...)

05:48

LVDC a potential solution for Camiguins power problems "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

LVDC Low Voltage Direct Current electricity for the 21st century.

LVDC

IEC recently published an interesting technology report: LVDC Low Voltage Direct Current electricity for the 21st century. Click on this link to download the report free of charge (5.06 Megabytes PDF).

LVDC - Low voltage direct current

Low voltage direct current (LVDC) is a disruptive technology that fundamentally accelerates energy access and improves energy efficiency. LVDC applications are many and varied, and can be applied in every country in the world.

In developing economies, the standardization of various aspects of LVDC is likely to have a profound impact by facilitating electricity access in even the remotest of villages.This Technology Report examines LVDC in terms of market potential, access to energy, voltage standardization, safety and other key considerations. It pools the collective expertise and know-how of experts from all around the world.

* * *

Within a few years the consumption of electricity has extremely changed. In electronic equipment the vacuum tubes have been entirely replaced by silicon based components and integrated circuits. In lightning appliances, the glowing filaments in bulbs have been replaced by LEDs. In the same short time span solar...

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Monday, 27 November

21:06

The Best Health Care You Can Afford "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.

No, I mean Im sorry that youve inherited such a miserable, collapsing Old Country. A place where rich Bankers own everything, where youve got to be grateful for a part-time job with no benefits and no retirement plan, where the most health insurance you can afford is being careful and hoping you dont get sick

Cory Doctorow; Homeland

Until fairly recently, every family had a cornucopia of favorite home remediesplants and household items that could be prepared to treat minor medical emergencies, or to prevent a common ailment becoming something much more serious. Most households had someone with a little understanding of home cures, and when knowledge fell short, or more serious illness took hold, the family physician or village healer would be called in for a consultation, and a treatment would be agreed upon. In those days we took personal responsibility for our healthwe...

13:46

US Looks to Southeast Asia to Unleash its ISIS Hordes "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

November 26, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Western think tanks have been increasingly busy cultivating a narrative to explain the sudden and spreading presence of militants linked or fighting under the banner of the self-proclaimed "Islamic State" (ISIS) across Southeast Asia.


This narrative - these think tanks would have audiences believe - entails militants fleeing Syria and Iraq, and entrenching themselves amid supposedly sectarian conflicts in Southeast Asia. The think tanks conveniently never mention how tens of thousands of militants are funding the logistical feat required to move them to Southeast Asia or sustain their militant operations in the region once they arrive.

Among these think tanks is the so-called International Crisis Group (ICG). In its report, "Jihadism in southern Thailand A phantom menace," it claims:
The decline of the Islamic State (ISIS) and the advent of ISIS-linked violence in South East Asia evince the possibility of a new era of transnational jihadist terrorism in the region. 

Recurring, albeit unsubstantiated, reports about ISIS activity in Thailand have prompted questions about the vulnerability of the countrys Muslim-majority deep south and, in particular, its longstanding Malay-Muslim insurgency to jihadist influence.
While ICG claims that "to date" there is no evidence that ISIS has made inroads in southern Thailand, it warns:
But the conflict and a series of ISIS scares in Thailand are fanning fears of a new terrorist threat. Such fears are not irrational, though they are largely misplaced and should not obscure the calamity of the insurgency and the need to end it. 

Direct talks between insurgent leaders and the government are a priority; a decentralised political system could help address the principal grievances in the south while preserving the unitary Thai state.
In essence, ICG is warning of a crisis it itself admits is unlikely, then recommends that Bangkok pursue a course......

13:46

US Looks to Southeast Asia to Unleash its ISIS Hordes "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

November 26, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Western think tanks have been increasingly busy cultivating a narrative to explain the sudden and spreading presence of militants linked or fighting under the banner of the self-proclaimed "Islamic State" (ISIS) across Southeast Asia.


This narrative - these think tanks would have audiences believe - entails militants fleeing Syria and Iraq, and entrenching themselves amid supposedly sectarian conflicts in Southeast Asia. The think tanks conveniently never mention how tens of thousands of militants are funding the logistical feat required to move them to Southeast Asia or sustain their militant operations in the region once they arrive.

Among these think tanks is the so-called International Crisis Group (ICG). In its report, "Jihadism in southern Thailand A phantom menace," it claims:
The decline of the Islamic State (ISIS) and the advent of ISIS-linked violence in South East Asia evince the possibility of a new era of transnational jihadist terrorism in the region. 

Recurring, albeit unsubstantiated, reports about ISIS activity in Thailand have prompted questions about the vulnerability of the countrys Muslim-majority deep south and, in particular, its longstanding Malay-Muslim insurgency to jihadist influence.
While ICG claims that "to date" there is no evidence that ISIS has made inroads in southern Thailand, it warns:
But the conflict and a series of ISIS scares in Thailand are fanning fears of a new terrorist threat. Such fears are not irrational, though they are largely misplaced and should not obscure the calamity of the insurgency and the need to end it. 

Direct talks between insurgent leaders and the government are a priority; a decentralised political system could help address the principal grievances in the south while preserving the unitary Thai state.
In essence, ICG is warning of a crisis it itself admits is unlikely, then recommends that Bangkok pursue a c......

08:20

Has ASEAN turned a blind eye to human rights online? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

ASEAN Digital Rights Roundtable
Social struggles and movements have changed over time, constantly adapting to realities of the challenges and technologies of the day. As the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) ICT Master plan picks up pace, and people across the region invite digital technologies into their lives in more pervading ways, the effects of technology on people and human rights challenges online should not be ignored.

In line with this, EngageMedia and the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), collaborated with EMPOWER Malaysia, Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA), and Viet Tan to hold 'TECH. ACTIVISM. HUMAN RIGHTS.', a roundtable discussion on the state of activism and digital rights in Southeast Asia on 10 November 2017 at the Journalism Department of University of the Philippines Diliman, College of Mass Communications. Over 35 human rights defenders from ASEAN region met to discuss a range of challenges they are facing online.

The internet has undeniably opened up spaces for us to challenge and discuss social and environmental issues in a way that was simply not possible before, remarked Don Le of Viet Tan. To this, Thilaga of ASEAN SOGIE Caucus and Justice for Sisters Malaysia responded by saying, the mere availability of technology and access to the internet does not make us equals. The discrimination groups and individuals face in offline spaces, especially those belonging to LGBTQIA communities is real and in some ways has been exasperated by the internet.

The participants of the roundtable debated on the role the internet has played in addressing social and political issues in the region. Religion is a burning issue in Indonesia. Hate has turned into a business for economic and political gain, executed in a professional and organised manner, warned Anton from SAFENET Indonesia. Discussants from the Philippines debated over the validity of the discourse on fake news, stating that the phrase is an oxymoron and that the real issue rests with disinformation, the solution to which can only be more news, more speech, and not criminalisation.

Ed Leg...

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Friday, 24 November

16:24

Understanding Soft Power: Western Journalists Use Bangkok For Regional Agitation "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

November 24, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - The so-called Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand (FCCT) is located in downtown Bangkok and includes the regional offices of many of the United States' and Europe's largest media organizations. It also includes a large, swank clubhouse complete with a restaurant and bar, where events are held.


The FCCT on its website offers a lengthy, self-aggrandising and somewhat incoherent explanation as to what function it actually serves, claiming:

The FCCT moved into a penthouse floor with access from a corridor already filling up with foreign media offices. The Maneeya today houses AsiaWorks, the BBC, ABC, ITN Channel 4, NBC, InFocus, Al Jazeera and the Financial Times, among others. This guarantees the FCCT constant journalist traffic, imbuing it with the feel of a genuine press club. It has a good bar and decent enough kitchen but makes no pretensions to emulating the grandeur of its counterparts in Hong Kong or Tokyo - nor the fakeness of the "FCC" in Cambodia, a bar and restaurant with one of the best views in Asia but no hacks. 
In reality, it is a regional hub where US and European lobbyists and agitators, posing a journalists, coordinate events, programmes and propaganda campaigns targeting not only Thailand itself, but Thailand's Southeast Asian neighbours.

Image: FCCT aiding in political stunt on behalf of ousted regime.
It was a...

16:23

Understanding Soft Power: Western Journalists Use Bangkok For Regional Agitation "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

November 24, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - The so-called Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand (FCCT) is located in downtown Bangkok and includes the regional offices of many of the United States' and Europe's largest media organizations. It also includes a large, swank clubhouse complete with a restaurant and bar, where events are held.


The FCCT on its website offers a lengthy, self-aggrandising and somewhat incoherent explanation as to what function it actually serves, claiming:

The FCCT moved into a penthouse floor with access from a corridor already filling up with foreign media offices. The Maneeya today houses AsiaWorks, the BBC, ABC, ITN Channel 4, NBC, InFocus, Al Jazeera and the Financial Times, among others. This guarantees the FCCT constant journalist traffic, imbuing it with the feel of a genuine press club. It has a good bar and decent enough kitchen but makes no pretensions to emulating the grandeur of its counterparts in Hong Kong or Tokyo - nor the fakeness of the "FCC" in Cambodia, a bar and restaurant with one of the best views in Asia but no hacks. 
In reality, it is a regional hub where US and European lobbyists and agitators, posing a journalists, coordinate events, programmes and propaganda campaigns targeting not only Thailand itself, but Thailand's Southeast Asian neighbours.

Image: FCCT aiding in political stunt on behalf of ousted regime.
It was...

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Thursday, 23 November

14:10

Calculating cost of a flat before possession should be stopped "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

real estate

By Taazakhabar News Bureau

In most foreign Countries a Flat is sold after completion. There is no booking amount and there is no payment linked to various stages of construction. In India, it is other way round. A promoter raises money not only from the prospective Home Buyers but also from the Banks. The Banks make money during the heyday of a Project and once the Project is declared Insolvent, the Banks become the Secured Creditors entitled to receive their stake from the insolvency proceedings.

According to Col T. P. Tyagi, Chief Convenor, CONRWA (Confederation of NCR Resident Welfare Associations) and CoRWA President of the Flat Owners Federation Ghaziabad a project becomes insolvent owing to either the active connivance or passive silence of the Banks. Every Developer submits its monthly progress report containing the stages of construction before receiving loan from the Bank and hence the Bank is well aware of the HEALTH of the Project. If a Project has fallen sick it is primarily due to the lack of foresight of the Bank Officials but in spite of that, the BANK is considered as the secured creditor. It is for this reason that projects about ten lakh crore have become NPA.  On the other hand the Home Buyer is on the receiving end both ways. He has to pay the EMIs and also the installments to the Developer and in spite of that he is considered as the unsecured creditor entitled to get the share of the insolvency proceedings, if at all, left behind after meeting the claims of the Banks, Government and the Workers.

Recently the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Urban Development Durga Prasad Mishra wrote to the Ministry of corporate affairs to include the Home Buyers as secured creditor. But this will not suffice.

The Insolvency rules were framed in India when the Real Estate Projects were almost nil and hence they should be changed at the earliest. More than 17000 ongoing projects are still in currency for which the Completion certificate has not been taken in about 28 Major Cities of the Country.

Real Estate accounts for about 3.5 Lakh crore per year and about 10 Lakh new Home Buyers join the fray every year. It is therefore necessary to take in to account the sufferings of the Home Buyers on priority, particularly in the case of On Going Projects. Why a Developer should be allowed to raise funds from the Home Buyers since he is already getting funds from the Bank.

It is go...

13:12

Thanksgiving 2017 "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Trench Boys
Thanksgiving is a good time to reflect on all the blessings in life, and I have many.

I'm thankful for landing in a career that I find fulfilling and exciting with opportunities to learn new things and meet new people.  This year my job took me to Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Saipan, Tinian, Rota, Guam, Rapa Nui, mainland Chile, and the United Nations to advocate for ocean protections.  I continue to work at the intersection of science and community to drive policy, and increasingly I am able to fold art and culture into this equation.  The people who surround me are inspiring, untiring, and committed to making this world a better place.

I received recognition from my peers and colleagues for my work this year (in trophy form), which I have found to be mostly humbling and embarrassing.  When I was younger I hungered for recognition, but these days I'm more comfortable with it being given to others.  I'm never the smartest or hardest working person in any room, and any credit I get belongs to the people I work with more than anything.  Honestly, the best part about winning an award is being nominated by your friends.

I've got a great wife and together we share an amazing marriage.  Life is always entertaining and exciting with Edz around.  I enjoy sharing our mundane moments on social media with the hashtag #ConversationsWithMyWife.  The feedback I get is that you enjoy them, too. 

We had a bit of a health scare back in March, so I'm thankful for modern medicine and health insurance this year.  I've never really needed it until this year, and I'm glad we had access to it.  The doctors and nurses at the George Washington University Hospital saved Edz' life. I was on Easter Island when she went to the hospital, and rush as I tried, it took me nearly two days to get back to Washington, DC.  In my absence, Delegate Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan really showed what a class act he is and how much he cares.  He was at the hospital when Edz woke up from surgery -- her only family in the city -- and was there when my mom arrived from...

10:20

Video and Technology for Human Rights Documentation at COCONET "IndyWatch Feed Asia"


Video has been utilized for human rights documentation and advocacy for quite some time now and its power and impact seem to continuously grow. We now know that there are about 1.5 billion registered users visiting YouTube every month. Thats a huge number for an audience which is increasing day by day. But aside from the numbers, video has also acted as a catalyst for events that bring about social change such as the Arab spring, or has helped propagate another war.

One of the related sessions at COCONET 2017 (a Southeast Asia digital rights camp that was recently hosted by us at EngageMedia and partners) was Video and Technology for Human Rights Documentation. The session was delivered by Prakkash from WITNESS and Yerry Borang from our organzation who explained how activists, journalists, and human rights advocates can maximize the benefits of using video and technology in their work.

With HD, DSLR and hidden cameras becoming cheaper and more affordable, it becomes increasingly feasible for advocates to use video in their work. Its also become more common and handy to use drones for advocacy, whether to be used as an alternative source for evidence or to document police brutality.

Today there are several useful tools and apps such as Camera V, which is one of the best ways to capture and share verifiable photos and videos on a smartphone or tablet. With this app, individuals working in difficult and high-risk situations can easily capture and gather visual evidence of rights violations and abuse of power.

It can also be used for documenting personal matters such as those related to accidents, real estate and more. All this evidence can later be verified or used in court or to prove that an event or incident actually took place.

Another interesting app is Obscura Cam, which can be used as a tool to remove metadata such as geo-location or obscure faces for anonymity. This gives people the power to better protect themselves and the identities of those captured in their photos before they are posted online.

It can be used as the default camera app on a device to take a picture, and also select photos or videos that were already taken to automatically detect faces that can be pixelated, redacted (blacked out) or hidden with a comical nose and glasses! There is a...

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Wednesday, 22 November

09:44

SimplyInfo.Org: Fukushima Update November 22, 2017 "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A group of businesses and doctors from Fukushima prefecture are suing GE in US court over the negligence of their

Categories:

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Tuesday, 21 November

17:14

Dr. Bethunes Children "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Living in the West has the advantage of access to everything from good to bad as long as you have money, but one disadvantage is being somewhat cut off from Chinese literary scene. Thus I was excited when NYT recently talked about a Chinese living in Montreal having his novel translated to English published. His name is Xue Yiwei. He immigrated from China to Canada on a skill visa 15 years ago. He published about 13 works, with 10 in China, and is very popular in China but little known in the West. The recently translated book is called Dr. Bethunes Children, and it excites literary world in the West. While no publisher in China after 7 years of effort dare to publish it because it deals with 2 taboo subjects of CR and TAM, I do hope China will allow it to be published soon. It is time to revisit those events 50 and 38 years later to show confidence and draw lessons from history.
After I read the article, I immediately downloaded the book from Amazon and finished reading it in 1 weekend. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in China or Chinese literature. Unable to get the Chinese edition here in New York, I ordered it from Hong Kong by mail, hopefully I can read it soon.
The author was asked by publisher in China to write a biography of Dr. Bethune as he has access to archives in Montreal. After studying the archives he was unable to write it, but instead wrote a series of letters to Dr. Bethune as one of his millions of children from China. The questions he asked deal with life and death, tragedy and comedy, public persona and private anguish, parents and children, sex and emotion, in other words, philosophical questions eternally asked by philosophers. He constructed 2 characters both ended tragically to symbolize the 2 events, yet he didnt really blame the government directly but treated them as historically inevitable, just as Dr. Bethune must go to China and died there. He skillfully interwoven events and interactions from China to Canada, from 1938 to 1976 to make you feel real. The juxtaposition of his personal struggle against loneliness and Dr. Bethunes loneliness makes it unforgettable. For I, Mr. Xue, and even President Xi are all Dr. Bethunes children, and by inference also Maos children.
Nobel Prize for Literature has been very much a political game. I think only about 10% of the winners in last 60 years since WW2 are worthy the prize, certainly not the Chinese winners. After reading only one book by Xue Yiwei, I think he may truly deserve one.

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Monday, 20 November

18:31

How Modern Empire Uses "Awards" to Keep Servants Loyal "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

November 21, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Nineteenth century French military and political leader Napolon Bonaparte once said, "a soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of coloured ribbon," recognising a fundamental aspect of human nature he readily exploited to bolster his now famous campaigns of European conquest.



Human beings value recognition. Today, it drives the addictive nature of social media platforms. Facebook co-founder Sean Parker recently admitted that the ubiquitous social network platform was designed intentionally to exploit this and become "addictive."

In the Guardian's report titled, "Ex-Facebook president Sean Parker: site made to exploit human 'vulnerability'," Sean Parker would describe what he called a "social-validation feedback loop," explaining that:
How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible? It was this mindset that led to the creation of features such as the like button that would give users a little dopamine hit to encourage them to upload more content. 

Its a social-validation feedback loop exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because youre exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.

This social-validation feedback loop utilising the "like" button is merely the most recent innovation in social engineering, and the latest iteration of Bonaparte's "bit of coloured ribbon." 

Keeping Servants Eager and Loyal 

Combining traditional methods and modern innovations in social engineering, modern day empires extend their influence through media, activist, political and business circles around the globe. In addition to boosting modern social media accounts of their handpicked proxies, facilitators and agents, they also maintain an impressive network of organisations that both manage and direct "soft power" efforts as well as reward eager and loyal functionaries.


A relevant and recent example of this was provide...

18:19

How Modern Empire Uses "Awards" to Keep Servants Loyal "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

November 21, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Nineteenth century French military and political leader Napolon Bonaparte once said, "a soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of coloured ribbon," recognising a fundamental aspect of human nature he readily exploited to bolster his now famous campaigns of European conquest.



Human beings value recognition. Today, it drives the addictive nature of social media platforms. Facebook co-founder Sean Parker recently admitted that the ubiquitous social network platform was designed intentionally to exploit this and become "addictive."

In the Guardian's report titled, "Ex-Facebook president Sean Parker: site made to exploit human 'vulnerability'," Sean Parker would describe what he called a "social-validation feedback loop," explaining that:
How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible? It was this mindset that led to the creation of features such as the like button that would give users a little dopamine hit to encourage them to upload more content. 

Its a social-validation feedback loop exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because youre exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.
This social-validation feedback loop utilising the "like" button is merely the most recent innovation in social engineering, and the latest iteration of Bonaparte's "bit of coloured ribbon." 

Keeping Servants Eager and Loyal 

Combining traditional methods and modern innovations in social engineering, modern day empires extend their influence through media, activist, political and business circles around the globe. In addition to boosting modern social media accounts of their handpicked proxies, facilitators and agents, they also maintain an impressive network of organisations that both manage and direct "soft power" efforts as well as reward eager and loyal functionaries.


A relevant and recent example of this was...

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Saturday, 18 November

07:52

Beautiful visitor Chrysopelea paradisi variabilis "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A beautiful visitor yesterday enriched our daily life.

Shortly after our usual morning coffee break around 9 a.m., we discovered a beautiful visitor a snake in our garden. I fetched my camera and could take some photos before our gardener arrived and ended the life of the beauty.

Kill such a beautiful visitor?

For me this is a difficult question! On the one side these animals are beautiful and surely important in the nutrition chain. On the other side we did not know whether this snake is poisonous or not. A bite from the wrong snake might be fatal. We dont know if the hospital on our remote island has a antidotes for the venomous snakes. Anyway, I had no decision to take. Danilo our gardener, assisted by Pups, our dog, did the job.

snake 2017-11-17
...

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Thursday, 16 November

23:08

USAID and Wall Street: Conflicts, Coups, and Conquest "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

November 17, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - In 1928 when the US-based United Fruit Company - now known as Chiquita Brands International - faced labor issues in Columbia, it had at its disposal Colombian troops which gunned down hundreds of strikers to maintain production and profits.

Ensuring that Columbia protected "American interests" was the US State Department who hosted company representatives at the US embassy in Bogot, which in turn was in contact with Washington.


The United Fruit Company's actions in Columbia was far from an isolated incident. US Marine Corps General Smedley Butler would write a book regarding his personal, first-hand experience in fighting wars on multiple continents for oil companies, bankers, and fruit companies.

Nearly a century ago large corporate interests already possessed full control over the mechanisms of American governance, determining its domestic and foreign policy, and readily using the nation's military might for their own personal gain across the globe.



The arrangement has not disappeared over time. It has simply evolved.

The US Chamber of Commerce and USAID 

The US Chamber of Commerce on its own website admits it is a lobbying organization and while it claims it represents millions of businesses big and small - it is an organization dominated by, and existing solely for it largest members.

These include Chevron, Citi, Coco-Cola, Chevrolet, McDonald's, Ford, Dow, Exxon, Honeywell, Proctor & Gamble, Visa, Yum, Monsanto, and many more.


And while there is nothing inherently wrong with a lobbying organization, or US companies......

23:08

USAID and Wall Street: Conflicts, Coups, and Conquest "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

November 17, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - In 1928 when the US-based United Fruit Company - now known as Chiquita Brands International - faced labor issues in Columbia, it had at its disposal Colombian troops which gunned down hundreds of strikers to maintain production and profits.

Ensuring that Columbia protected "American interests" was the US State Department who hosted company representatives at the US embassy in Bogot, which in turn was in contact with Washington.


The United Fruit Company's actions in Columbia was far from an isolated incident. US Marine Corps General Smedley Butler would write a book regarding his personal, first-hand experience in fighting wars on multiple continents for oil companies, bankers, and fruit companies.

Nearly a century ago large corporate interests already possessed full control over the mechanisms of American governance, determining its domestic and foreign policy, and readily using the nation's military might for their own personal gain across the globe.



The arrangement has not disappeared over time. It has simply evolved.

The US Chamber of Commerce and USAID 

The US Chamber of Commerce on its own website admits it is a lobbying organization and while it claims it represents millions of businesses big and small - it is an organization dominated by, and existing solely for it largest members.

These include Chevron, Citi, Coco-Cola, Chevrolet, McDonald's, Ford, Dow, Exxon, Honeywell, Proctor & Gamble, Visa, Yum, Monsanto, and many more.


And while there is nothing inherently wrong with a lobbying organizati...

06:35

Apakah Profesi Wartawan Aman di Indonesia? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Apakah Profesi Wartawan Aman di Indonesia?

Oleh Yerry Borang and Egbert Wits

Sebelumnya di tahun 2017, kami bekerja sama dengan Citizen Lab, untuk berdiskusi dengan wartawan-wartawan dari Papua, Aceh, dan Jawa Tengah untuk mendalami masalah terkini mengenai keamanan bekerja sebagai wartawan. Enam belas wartawan kami wawancarai, kami fokus pada persoalan keamanan digital dan bagaimana wartawan menggunakan teknologi (dengan aman). Selain di Indonesia, riset ini juga kami jalankan di Filipina.

Meskipun jumlah situs yang membantu kualitas keamanan pekerjaan kita sudah bertambah, namun ada diskusi yang terlewatkan, yakni mengenai pro dan kontra dari keamanan digital bagi wartawan, serta tentang berbagai kendala keamanan digital yang mereka hadapi di era cepatnya arus informasi dan instant deadline. Kami berharap bahwa hasil riset yang kami sebarkan ini dapat berkontribusi bagi diskusi ini. Mari kita mulai dengan menelaan latar belakang Pendidikan para wartawan.

Pendidikan Jurnalisme

10 dari 16 wartawan yang kami wawancarai memiliki latar belakang Pendidikan di program studi jurnalisme. Mereka mendapatkan materi perkuliahan seputar keselamatan fisik dalam proses peliputan, namun materi mengenai keamanan digital sepenuhnya absen. Tidak ada perhatian sama sekali terhadap keamanan digital selama saya mengecap Pendidikan jurnalisme (Jakarta no. 2). Ketika menelaah program-program studi jurnalisme di beberapa universitas di Jawa [1] hari ini, kami tidak menemukan satupun institusi yang memiliki materi ajar mengenai keamanan digital atau keselamatan wartawan. Ketika job training, mungkin? Sayangnya juga tidak. Tak satupun perwakilan pihak media yang kami wawancarai mengatakan bahwa mereka memberikan pelatihan esktra mengenai isu keselamaan dan keamanan. Pengetahuan yang beredar mengenai keamanan digital sunggguh minimal dan pengetahuan itu diperoleh biasanya dari diskusi sesama wartawan. Umumnya, para wartawan mulai mempelajari atau mencari informasi tentang keamanan digital dan keamanan kerja setelah mereka merasa terancam, dilecehkan, atau pengalaman negatif lain akibat dari pekerjaan jurnalistik mereka.

Minimnya pelatihan mengenai keamanan online dan offline adalah fakta yang mengkhawatirkan mengingat kondisi keselamatan wartawan di Indonesia ada dalam kondisi genting. Human Rights Watch melaporkan [2] bahwa angka kekerasan terhadap wartawan meningkat. Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI), sebuah lembaga swadaya masyarakat bagi para wartawan, melaporkan bahwa ada 78 insiden kekerasan terha...

06:24

Persepsi tentang Keamanan dan Keselamatan Profesi Wartawan di Filipina "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Persepsi tentang Keamanan dan Keselamatan Profesi Wartawan di Filipina

Oleh EngageMedia

Filipina secara konsisten selalu masuk di puncak daftar negara-negara paling berbahaya bagi profesi wartawan dan pelaku media. International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), misalnya, mendudukan Filipina sebagai negara paling berbahaya kedua di dunia bagi wartawan. [1]

Menurut Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 77 wartawan telah terbunuh di Filipina sejak 1992, 75 wartawan dibunuh, dan 68 kasus berakhir dengan impunitas. [2]. Centre for Media Responsibility and Freedoms (CMFR) mengelola sebuah database tentang pembunuhan wartawan di Filipina sejak 1986. Database itu melaporkan adanya 151 upaya pembunuhan sejak 1986 [3] yang mengancam 68 wartawan radio dan 58 wartawan cetak [4]. 57 persen pembunuhan terjadi di wilayah Mindanao, Filipina Selatan.

Kasus impunitas yang paling menonjol dalam pembunuhan wartawan di Filipina adalah kejadian pembantaian di Ampatuan (atau pembantaian Mindanao) di mana 58 orang terbunuh, 32 diantaranya wartawan, pada 23 November 2009. Sampai 5 Januari 2016, 113 dari 197 orang yang menjadi tersangka pembantaian telah ditangkap tapi proses pengadilan masih berlangsung dan terkesan dihambat dan diperlambat [5].

Untuk mengeksplorasi topik ini, dari Juni hingga Juli 2016, berbagai wawancara dengan sejumlah wartawan kami lakukan di Filipina untuk memahami bagaimana persepsi mereka mengenai keamanan dan keselamatan kerja jurnalisme di sana, serta bagaimana strategi mereka untuk menjaga keselamatan.

Tentang Responden

  • Para wartawan yang kami wawancarai adalah campuran antara wartawan tetap dan paruh waktu. Sepuluh wartawan tetap berasal dari beragam perusahaan media, satu seorang pemandu acara televisi, dan tiga wartawan paruh waktu yang secara reguler mengirimkan berita baik kepada media mainstream maupun independen.
  • Ada tujuh wartawan yang bekerja untuk media online, dan empat wartawan bekerja untuk stasiun radio, hampir semuanya mempunyai pengalaman bekerja untuk media cetak, penyiaran, video dan kantor berita radio.
  • Para responden termasuk wartawan-wartawan yang sudah berpengalaman. Enam responden pernah bekerja sebagai wartawan selama sepuluh sampai enam belas tahun, empat responden sudah bekerja lebih dari dua puluh tahun, dan hanya empat wartawan yang menjadi wartawan kurang dari sepuluh tahun.
  • Hampir semua responden menjelajahi ruang peliputan yang sangat luas, di dalam maupun di luar Filipina. Dua...

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Wednesday, 15 November

12:25

US Cuts Funds for Disarming Explosives It Dropped on Cambodia "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

November 15, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - In an article by Thai PBS titled, "US cuts 2018 funding for demining operations in Cambodia," it's revealed that next year's meager $2 million in US government funding for demining operations of US unexploded ordnance (UXO) in eastern Cambodia leftover from the Vietnam War has been discontinued without warning or explanation.


The move caused confusion across Cambodia's government, as well as across partner nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Cambodia participating in the US program.

Speculation over the move revolves around growing tensions between Washington and Phnom Penh as the United States desperately attempts to reassert itself in Asia Pacific, while Asian states - including Cambodia - continue to build closer and more constructive ties with Beijing at the expense of Washington's waning influence.

Cambodia has recently exposed and ousted a myriad of US-funded fronts posing as NGOs and independent media platforms executing a campaign of US-backed political subversion. This includes the disbanding of the Cambodia National Rescue opposition party and the arrest of its leader, Kem Sokha, who bragged of his role in a US conspiracy to overthrow the Cambodian government and install him into power.

Tensions in Cambodia represent a wider, regional trend where US footholds face increasing scrutiny and resistance as Washington's abuse of "NGOs," "rights advocacy," and "democracy promotion" is systematically exposed and rolled back.

Cut or Renewed, US UXO Assistance is Meaningless  

The US embassy in Cambodia would claim after receiving backlash for the move that the US had unilaterally decided to shut down funding in order to open up bidding for a new and "world-class removal program" - the details of wh...

12:24

US Cuts Funds for Disarming Explosives It Dropped on Cambodia "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

November 15, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - In an article by Thai PBS titled, "US cuts 2018 funding for demining operations in Cambodia," it's revealed that next year's meager $2 million in US government funding for demining operations of US unexploded ordnance (UXO) in eastern Cambodia leftover from the Vietnam War has been discontinued without warning or explanation.


The move caused confusion across Cambodia's government, as well as across partner nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Cambodia participating in the US program.

Speculation over the move revolves around growing tensions between Washington and Phnom Penh as the United States desperately attempts to reassert itself in Asia Pacific, while Asian states - including Cambodia - continue to build closer and more constructive ties with Beijing at the expense of Washington's waning influence.

Cambodia has recently exposed and ousted a myriad of US-funded fronts posing as NGOs and independent media platforms executing a campaign of US-backed political subversion. This includes the disbanding of the Cambodia National Rescue opposition party and the arrest of its leader, Kem Sokha, who bragged of his role in a US conspiracy to overthrow the Cambodian government and install him into power.

Tensions in Cambodia represent a wider, regional trend where US footholds face increasing scrutiny and resistance as Washington's abuse of "NGOs," "rights advocacy," and "democracy promotion" is systematically exposed and rolled back.

Cut or Renewed, US UXO Assistance is Meaningless  

The US embassy in Cambodia would claim after receiving backlash for the move that the US had unilaterally decided to shut down funding in order to open up bidding for a new and "world-class re...

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Monday, 13 November

10:05

Turkmenistan: Iran, Saudis Dangle Exits from Energy Cul-de-Sac "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

In these lean times, Turkmenistan has been seeking out potential clients and partners for its energy industry, only for two to present themselves at the same time. Sort of. As chance would have it, they are sworn rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The overture from the Saudis was admittedly very noncommittal and came during last weeks Turkmen-Saudi Joint Committee for Economic and Trade Cooperation, which was convening for its fifth session. 

Turkmen deputy prime minister Maksat Babayev led a 40-person team to Saudi Arabia for a five-day trip intended, in part, to build on agreements finalized during President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedovs own visit in May 2016.

At the time, Berdymukhamedov suggested in a meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud that Saudi companies consider investing in the trans-Afghanistan gas pipeline TAPI for short, as in Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. This energy route will bring warmth to homes of brother-neighbor nations and provide them with great opportunities for further economic development, increase their peoples wellbeing and create jobs, Berdymukhamedov said.

The pipeline is designed to transport 33 billion cubic meters of gas annually for a period of three decades. 

read more

01:55

Finance and Administration Coordinator "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

EngageMedia is looking for a Finance and Administration Coordinator to be based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

The Finance and Administration Coordinator supports EngageMedias Southeast Asia program activities and works closely with EngageMedias Accountant and Operations Manager to ensure the organisation financial and administrative needs are to the highest standard.

Position Aims

  • Provide high-quality financial and administrative support to programs
  • Ensure Southeast Asia administration and office function effectively
  • Ensure the financial integrity of the organisation

Roles and Responsibilities

Finance

  • Bookkeeping track, enter and record all expenses
  • Maintain Indonesian banking and assist with Australian banking
  • Complete monthly account reconciliations
  • Oversee the Administration Assistant to prepare payment requests and track cash advances/petty cash
  • Work with the Administration Assistant to process invoices and receipts, ensuring all  are properly documented and recorded
  • Lead the monthly payroll process
  • Working with Operations and Grants Manager to prepare budgets for grant applications, and with grant reporting
  • Track and maintain a variety of budgets
  • Contribute to and uphold financial policies and procedures

Administration

  • Be responsible for maintenance of the office including payment of utilities
  • Oversee flight tickets purchasing, accommodation booking and other travel needs
  • Assist with logistics for events and face to face meetings
  • File materials on the EngageMedia intranet
  • Participate in weekly staff and finance team meetings

Selection Criteria

  • Experience with online, cloud-based accounting systems such as https://xero.com
  • Excellent English and Bahasa Indonesia
  • At least 5 years experience in finance and administration
  • Extensive experience with office software
  • Advance bookkeeping
  • Experience in an organisation with large amounts of travel and international communications
  • Open minded with an ability to work across cultures
  • Analytical and problem solving skills
  • Excellent time management skills


Start Date and Remuneration

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Sunday, 12 November

22:25

Chevening "Scholarships" and Modern Day Imperialism "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

November 13, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - In 1983 the British government created Chevening as an international award scheme aimed at developing what it calls "global leaders." It is funded and directed by the United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and includes both scholarships and fellowships for individuals selected by British embassies around the world.


The Chevening website itself states:
Chevening offers a unique opportunity for future leaders, influencers, and decision-makers from all over the world to develop professionally and academically, network extensively, experience UK culture, and build lasting positive relationships with the UK.
The website also states that (our emphasis):
Chevening Awards are an important element in Britains public diplomacy effort and bring professionals, who have already displayed outstanding leadership talents, to study in the UK. The objective of Chevening is to support foreign policy priorities and achieve FCO objectives by creating lasting positive relationships with future leaders, influencers, and decision-makers.
In other, simpler and more frank terms, Chevening is a means of producing agents of British influence through the indoctrination of foreigners involved in their respective nation's media, politics, policy making and analysis.

And while Chevening has only been around since 1983, the tool of imperialism it represents is quite ancient.

Roman historian Tacitus (c. AD 56 after 117) would adeptly describe the systematic manner in which Rome pacified foreign peoples and the manner in which it would extend its sociocultural and institutional influence over conquered lands.

Far from simple military conquest, the Romans engaged in sophisticated cultural colonisation.

In chapter 21 of his book Agricola, named so after his father-in-law whose methods of conquest were the subject of the text, Tacitus would explain:
His object was to accustom them to a life of peace and quiet by the provision of amenities. He therefore gave official assistance to the building of temple...

22:24

Chevening "Scholarships" and Modern Day Imperialism "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

November 13, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - In 1983 the British government created Chevening as an international award scheme aimed at developing what it calls "global leaders." It is funded and directed by the United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and includes both scholarships and fellowships for individuals selected by British embassies around the world.


The Chevening website itself states:
Chevening offers a unique opportunity for future leaders, influencers, and decision-makers from all over the world to develop professionally and academically, network extensively, experience UK culture, and build lasting positive relationships with the UK.
The website also states that (our emphasis):
Chevening Awards are an important element in Britains public diplomacy effort and bring professionals, who have already displayed outstanding leadership talents, to study in the UK. The objective of Chevening is to support foreign policy priorities and achieve FCO objectives by creating lasting positive relationships with future leaders, influencers, and decision-makers.
In other, simpler and more frank terms, Chevening is a means of producing agents of British influence through the indoctrination of foreigners involved in their respective nation's media, politics, policy making and analysis.

And while Chevening has only been around since 1983, the tool of imperialism it represents is quite ancient.

Roman historian Tacitus (c. AD 56 after 117) would adeptly describe the systematic manner in which Rome pacified foreign peoples and the manner in which it would extend its sociocultural and institutional influence over conquered lands.

Far from simple military conquest, the Romans engaged in sophisticated cultural colonisation.

In chapter 21 of his book Agricola, named so after his father-in-law whose methods of conquest were the subject of the text, Tacitus would explain:
His object was to accustom them to a life of peace and quiet by the provision of amenities. He therefore gave official assistance to the building of temple...

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Friday, 10 November

09:23

TEPCOs Magic Truck "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

TEPCO recently presented a pump truck concept to Japans nuclear regulator (NRA). The company is trying to use this concept

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05:58

Exporting "Information" Arms "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

November 10, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Nations like Russia and China make billions of dollars a year in the arms industry. Their arming of other nations with the latest in defence technology is not only a means of supporting their respective economies, it also fits into a diplomatic and national defence strategy of their own.


As information technology increasingly shapes the future of economics, society, politics and even warfare, the export of "information arms" appears to be an emerging opportunity not only for a nation's economy, but also in enhancing a global balance of power that may help guard against rogue global super powers.

Defending Information Space 

Russia and China also have begun developing infrastructure, platforms and indeed, entire strategies for defending their information space as well as their physical territory and their economic interests. These include information technology alternatives to large, predominately United States-based technology corporations and the products and services they provide.


In addition to the economic benefits of a large, popular social media platform being based in Russia, VK allows the Russian government and the Russian people to decide how social media is used within their borders rather than such decisions being made in California, or less desirably still, in Washington.


Yandex is Russia's answer to Google. An Internet search engine, e-mail host, cloud service and...

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Thursday, 09 November

04:05

The Stooge Report: As Ukraine Goes Under, Guess Whose Fault It Is? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Uncle Volodya says, It is a disaster that wisdom forbids you to be satisfied with yourself and always sends you away dissatisfied and fearful, whereas stubbornness and foolhardiness fill their hosts with joy and assurance.

Say; did you ever notice that when the west overturns a government, re-orders the political stage to its liking, pumps in a bit of money to get things perking, and its a complete success.the western leadership is content just to let the beaming press tell its story of how the miracle came about? Before the regime-change effort gets rolling, there is naturally a campaign of demonizing the leader the west wants gone, setting him or her up as The Appalling Destroyer of Democracy and Trampler of Freedom. But thats for the mouth-breathing masses, the clodlike peasantry out in Tee-Vee Land., who will sooner or later be asked to throw their weight behind regime change and ardently support it. For the government, who will execute this deft (which is only one letter away from daft) sleight-of-hand which hopefully results in the target country becoming a loyal ally of the regime-changers, there are reports. Lots of them. These reports are written by allegedly experts in their various fields, and offer their government commissioners what is presumably an accurate picture of various elements of the target country: how capable is its military?...

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Wednesday, 08 November

09:11

New Fukushima Contaminated Soil Storage Sits On River Banks "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The new interim storage site designated for longer term storage of radioactive contaminated soil near Fukushima Daiichi has opened for

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Monday, 06 November

09:19

TEPCO Implicated In Paradise Papers Scandal "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A group of newspapers and investigative journalists published a groundbreaking investigation in to tax avoidance schemes of the rich and

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Friday, 03 November

17:47

Colour leg rings unlock migration mysteries "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Some birders and photographers view coloured bands on birds legs as an unwelcome piece of extra bling which can spoil a good photo, or perhaps even interfere with the birds well-being. This negative perception is unfortunate, as birders and photographers Continue reading

11:38

Pivot to or Brawl in Asia? West Already Targeting Thailand's New King "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

November 3, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Not even a day had passed after the funeral rites for Thailand's revered and respected former head of state, King Bhumibol Adulyadej before the Western media began launching attacks on his heir and current Thai head of state, King Maha Vajiralongkorn.


It is a development widely predicted - with the United States and its European partners long-eager to pursue regime change in Thailand as part of a wider strategy to either control or destabilize Southeast Asia as a means of hindering China's regional and global rise.

First Shots 

The AFP in its article, "Protected by draconian law, King Rama X begins to make his mark," would cite rumors and half-truths in an attempt to depict Thailand's new head of state as a shadowy, unpopular, and despotic figure that remains "unpredictable."

The article claims that Thailand's "draconian law" prevents criticism of its highest institution, citing the arrest of a "student activist" for sharing a BBC article slandering the head of state.

What AFP and other articles consistently and intentionally fail to mention is that these "student activists" are US and European funded and directed agitators, enjoying direct support from the US, British, and EU diplomatic missions in Thailand. Embassy staff often accompany their agitators to police stations and appearing in public with their family members.

...

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Thursday, 02 November

05:29

EngageMedia Presents Results and Opens up the Dialogue on Digital Security "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Dozens of people from Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) gathered in Jakarta on 24th-25th September 2017 to discuss about journalism and security. In recent years, concern for journalists safety, especially in the digital sphere, has become an urgent need. Journalists with many different backgrounds in Indonesia felt the internet poses new threats to them, especially through intensified surveillance and the usage of internet for negative purposes. They are complaining that formal laws do not defend them online. The organizer from the headquarters of AJI Indonesia, had invited over twenty branches of AJI, from cities in Sumatera, Sulawesi, Kalimantan, Maluku and Java to come together in Jakarta in order to formulate and share some of problems they are facing.

During this event EngageMedia presented research findings regarding the (online) safety and digital security of journalists in Indonesia. We focused on Jakarta, but also shared some more general research results from the Indonesia based research and the research from Philippines. Executive Director of AJI Indonesia, Suwarjono and General Secretary Arfi Bambani Amri were among those participating.

In our presentation we included a first draft of the short video we are developing for this research.

Some questions that come up from the journalists:

  • What kind of threats are out there, are we talking only digital threats?
  • How to protect sources, how to safely communicate with them?
  • What kind of chat apps for smartphone are safe for you and your colleagues?
  • How to secure data? Is google drive safe enough to store sensitive materials?
  • How much law or State protection for journalists is there regarding digital threats?
  • How can Media companies help journalists to protect themselves? What kind of capacity building do they need?

Results of our discussion and answers to some of the above questions:

  • We tried to explain that we may need to build a stronger security culture. We should not  depend on certain types technology and apps only, but also consider non tech aspect of digital security.
  • An approach to digital threat need to be more holistic. We know from experiences that tackling just a few aspects of a (digital) threat is not enough. Things are much more intertwined than we think at first.
  • Journalist need to do more research themselves. There are already m...

05:21

19th Party Congress- View from U.S. "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Its more than a week since the close of 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress. Its obvious big news in China, with commentators explaining and expounding its significance and vision for the future. With the release of many documentaries before the opening showing the achievements during the past 5 years. (Those who are interested can easily access them from YouTube.)
For readers in U.S. who are interested in world affairs and gather their news from the main stream media it might as well nothing has happened. Obviously Trump and Weinstein scandals dominated the news. Even NYT and WP barely covered the events in Beijing. When they did spare some space to discuss it, its the usual suspects. Authoritarianism versus the exceptionalism of democratic West, even though daily news emanated from Washington D.C. belies the truth of total moral and political failures here. When those China experts from academic circles are quoted they mentioned the personnel changes in Politburo, the failure of anyone in the standing committee in the 50s, so that implies no successor to Xi was named, or Xis intention to serve longer than 10 years. And finally the military threat implied by a strong China, be it South China Sea or Asia in general.
After being here in U.S. for more than 50 years, it still caught me by surprise the ignorance displayed by Americans in science and geography, but the elites are of such low quality astonish me to no end. I have served in jury duties and attended small claim court. I find lawyers are ignorant of basic math, logic, and even common sense. Certainly unlike those lawyer shows on TV like Perry Mason. A country that produce Mark Twain, Jack London, and Edgar Snow now have few writers and philosophers that are valued. We might be in the terminal stages of the decline of Roman Empire. (U.S. Empire.)
For me, Xis message is obvious and magical. China Dream will become a reality. 2 fifteen years stages to reach prosperous strong SOCIALISM China by 2050. Emphasis on Serve the People, Maos calligraphy adorned all those documentaries. Marxism integrating with Chinese characteristic values. A green future with green covered mountains and clean waters are the real gold and silver mountains. Poverty elimination for shared prosperity for all. Any Chinese that knows Chinese history will applaud the ancient vision of clean non-corrupt officials serving the people. It may be beyond the understanding of those China experts based on individualism and not society in general.

01:10

498 Words on Kirimati and 5 Photos "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

I was asked about the most interesting place I've ever visited.  Kirimati tops my list because so few people have been there, and because it is so important to how modern science views ocean health.  My trip was only about 3 months ago, so it's still fresh in my memories.  If you asked the question again in a few months or even years, I'll probably say something different.

Some of my other favorite places to visit, in no particular order are:

Bimini Island, The Bahamas.  Home of the Bimini Biological Field Station, and favorite fishing spot of Ernest Hemingway.  Bimini has large megafauna swimming in its waters that can usually only be seen at an aquarium.  The only place I've ever seen a wild living hammerhead shark.

Easter Island.  I've been there twice this year.  What an iconic place.  I've learned a lot about myself by visiting other Pacific Islands, and Rapa Nui -- as it's called locally -- was no different.  Seeing what others consider Pacific culture has helped me learn about our universal values shared across vast distances.

Maug Island in the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument was a highlight of my professional life, and was incredibly important to my cultural identity.  Several generations of Villagomez have worked to protect our nature in the Marianas, and I continue to work towards fulfilling my kuleana.  Standing on the rim of the Maug volcano expanded my understanding of home.

Taga Beach, Tinian.  This tiny pocket beach on the island just south of Saipan has the clearest water I've ever seen, plus I have fond memories of swimming here as a kid.  I remember going there at night and marveling at the size of the ocean.

A few more: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.  Cartagena, Colombia.  Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica.  Nan Madol, Pohnpei.  Rock Islands, Palau.  Bau Island, Fiji.  Assateague Island.  Cooperstown.  Fenway Park.  Tagaytay, Philippines.  New York.  London.  Paris.  Amsterdam.  Tokyo.  Manila.  Miami Beach.  ...

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Wednesday, 01 November

19:33

Summer's Over "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Getting my Maui on in Kiribati
Well that went by quick.  All of a sudden the mornings are cooler and the sun is setting earlier and earlier each night.  Where did the summer go?


I guess my big accomplishment this summer is losing 25 lbs. At some point in April I noticed I was fat.  I decided I was going to drop a few pounds, and so like Forest Gump, I just went running.  Every day.

I kicked off the summer in New York at the United Nations ocean conference. I wasn't an official attendee, but I did help plan an ocean event for my employer in the lobby.  I was in charge of the entertainment.

It was an exciting week and I got to see conservation colleagues from all across the world. I even got to jam on my ukulele for a few hours with the President of French Polynesia.

Then I went to Kirimati Island in Kiribati to attend the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures, where in addition to giving a talk on culture and conservation, I went fishing.  I also stopped running (I don't want to be too skinny). I also got a really nasty cough while I was there that I wouldn't kick for about six weeks.  Also, there was more ukulele jamming.

In July I went to Saipan for a couple of weeks. Talked with  the community about the Mariana Trench, the monument and the sanctuary, but mostly the monument.  Also, ukulele again.

After Saipan I went to Cartagena, Colombia with Edz to accept a Distinguised Service Award from the Society of Conservation Biology at the International Congress of Conservation...

15:35

War against Twitter, Facebook and Google: End of Free speech? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Mainstream media were already conforming to Americas censorship towards any unfriendly messages against them.  Perhaps the last known frontier towards free speech is the internet and it is going down also.  Recently representatives from Twitter, Google, and Facebook are called to Capital Hill because of Russian Propaganda.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/facebook-twitter-google-reps-grilled-senate-about-russian-propaganda-n816121

Many Westerners grilled China for their censorship efforts towards Western Media but now America is doing the same.  While it is understandable that China censors news that is anti-China, these American internet companies were grilled not necessary because of Anti-America news.

Most themes of the news were about content supporting Texas secession movement Anti-Muslim Jesus for Trump, Miners for Trump,  and etc were nothing about Russia at all.  These ads were blamed for trying to separate America but it is no different than what Trump was doing all along during his campaign during 2016, but Trump were a stronger voice to separate America than what this Russian Propaganda could ever do.

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Tuesday, 31 October

14:00

A China-themed Lords Supper talk "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Every second summer we visit family and friends in the U.S. and Canada, since Jessicas from New Hampshire and Im from B.C. This summer churches in both countries asked me to do the Sunday morning Communion talk, which means talking for a few minutes to prepare everyone to take the Lords Supper, which is, in those kinds of churches, a weekly ceremony where everyone very solemnly gets a cracker crumb and a sip of grape juice to commemorate Jesus death and silently think about its significance for a moment or two (symbolically, its sharing a meal together, hence the token bread and wine, in imitation of Jesus final meal with His closest followers before He was crucified).

While the form of this particular church heritages Lords Supper ceremony could be much improved (back in grad school we did it as part of a real meal with real food, sitting around an actual dinner table at someones apartment), someone who knows their Bible and theology would still be able to explain the powerful meanings and community implications that this ceremony is supposed to communicate.

Anyway, of course I made my talk China-themed, though different for each church since theyre both very different. The American church is mostly (but not entirely) white, middle and upper-middle class with a high level of education (closely connected to a local Christian university and its graduate school of theology). The Canadian church is in the middle of the most ethnically diverse region in all of Canada, so they have a large number of first-generation immigrants from Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe in addition to a born-and-raised-Canadian legacy crowd of fifth and sixth-generation immigrants.

Each church is also going through different things, so I emphasized different things to each church. At one church I said very little about the form/style of the ceremony but emphasized its social status division-demolishing meaning; in the other church I talked more about cultural differences. Below, Ive mashed both talks together so its a bit of a mess, aiming for too many targets at once, but there it is.

~

When you live immersed in a culture thats very different from the one you grew up in, like my fami...

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Monday, 30 October

15:37

The Real Philippine Zombies "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Do you want to experience Real Philippine Zombies?

The small community of Agoho on Camiguin island has a bone shattering experience for you: REAL ZOMBIES! This experience is available all year, but tomorrow night you may really loose consciousness in the  middle of a grave yard. Why?

It started over a year ago. Sometimes in the evening, sometimes in the night but especially on Sunday an erratic and hammering sound could be heard from the cemetery in Agoho. We often saw an old man with a long white beard walking between the graves. He recently had been observed again on the cemetery and on the beach. We tried to take a picture, but he always vanishes on digital media. Strange

This strange old man often has been seen walking between the graves accompanied by grieving younger ladies. He appears and disappears. Strange again

Here are some recent impressions of the grave yard go there tomorrow night Beware, you may encounter many strange people, the old guy included.

Before you loose your soul, be careful. The way down to the cemetery is really dangerous. Because if it rains, youll swim in a torrent together with the bones. Bones? Yes, mostly chicken bones left over together with plastic bags. These are the remains of the snacks offered after the funerals. Of course human funerals, not chicken funerals Hahaha!

Philippine Zombies

These 3 left already a year ago. The top one is still too fresh.

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Wednesday, 25 October

15:25

Shifting Blame as US Agenda Unfolds in Myanmar "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

October 25, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - As violence continues to unfold in Myanmar's western Rakhine state against the nation's Rohingya ethnic minority, the agenda driving the conflict is likewise unfolding in a more transparent and direct manner. 


As was predicted - the US is shifting blame away from the US-backed client regime headed by Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League of Democracy (NLD) party the US installed into power in 2015 - and toward Myanmar's independent institutions, including the nation's still powerful military. 

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a recent talk before the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C. (PDF) laid the blame squarely on Myanmar's military, claiming: 
...were extraordinarily concerned by whats happening with the Rohingya in Burma. Ive been in contact with Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the civilian side of the government. As you know, this is a power-sharing government that has that has emerged in Burma. We really hold the military leadership accountable for whats happening with the Rakhine area.
Reuters in an article titled, "Lawmakers urge U.S. to craft targeted sanctions on Myanmar military," would report: 
More than 40 lawmakers urged the Trump administration on Wednesday to reimpose U.S. travel bans on Myanmars military leaders and prepare targeted sanctions against those responsible for a crackdown on the co...

08:07

NO WORDS #FeelCamiguin an off-track Tourism Campaign "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

NO WORDS #FeelCamiguin a kind of different tourism campaign.

Camiguins tourism advertisements are always a bit different from the others. And often they are good to excellent. Or at least people are talking about the videos.

Do you remember This is Camiguin. This video from  2014 made its way around the world. The script idea of this 3 years old video is interesting:
Show video clips from areas on Camiguin island which are usually attributed to other countries or islands. Then inform the audience: This isnt X, this is Camiguin.
For those who dont know this former campaign, here is the movie again:

This is Camiguin from Camiguin Unseen on Vimeo.

NO WORDS #FeelCamiguin

The new campaign is also a bit different!

The video starts with a tourist talking to her friend who unfortunately left her alone because of a work emergency. She is complaining about how small and boring Camiguin is and wondering what she will do in the area alone. She then is approached by a friendly mute tour guide who takes her for a joy ride while riding a motorcycle. Although she is reluctant and fears the tourist guide at first, as the video progresses, the main character is caught by the islands beauty.

The whole video shows all the different breathtaking sightseeing places, mouthwatering delicacies, and friendly natives of Camiguin. It also showcases the colorful Lanzones Festival.

The video is part of the local governments #FeelCamiguin campaign. It was launched just in time for the 38th Lanzones Festival, happening from October 22 to October 31.
No Words is produced by James de la Vega. It was written by Benson Logronio and directed by ER Alviz. J-mee Katanyag and Marco Augusto Simene c...

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Monday, 23 October

15:00

Dont touch my flowers! (or else!!!) "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Literally right around the corner from our door:no_picking_my_flowersPlucking flowers is plucking your lifespan*. Please watch yourself!!!
 

(snap life) is a phrase meaning to have ones life shortened, usually by indulging in excesses.

Signs like this pop up every once in a while. I even have some myself! For example:

  • ...

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Sunday, 22 October

05:12

Camiguin When Dreams become true A New Ferry Line "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A New Ferry Line will be Camiguins Christmas gift.

This morning when I checked the facebook news an advertisement caught my attention:

Heres another Ferry happy Christmas news to all. Pack your bags and get ready for another exciting experience! Travel through FastCat from Jagna, Bohol to Camiguin Island to Opol, Misamis Oriental formerly part of Cagayan de Oro and vice versa. See you soon! 

I had already written about the rumors in my recent article Camiguin Transportation Fall-Winter 2017-2018

FastCat

Interesting is the fact that New Ferry Line will sail from Opol instead of Cagayan de Oro. The date of launch and the schedules have not yet been published. Well update this post as soon as the information will be available. You may want to check FastCats facebook page.

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Saturday, 21 October

07:16

China and Thailand: Tank Tracks and Train Tracks "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

October 21, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - While Thailand undergoes a sensitive transition with the October funeral for its head of state, the widely respected and revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the Southeast Asia constitutional monarchy, home to 70 million and one of the strongest regional economies, continues forward with solid footing in its, and the region's realignment with its neighbours and East Asia, particularly China.


The Royal Thai Army took delivery this month of the first 28 Chinese-built VT4 main battle tanks (MBTs), with possibly over 100 additional tanks to be acquired in the near future. The growing fleet of VT4 MBTs joins other Chinese-built armoured vehicles in Thailand's inventory including over 30 VN-1 and over 450 Type 85 armoured personnel carriers.

The acquisition of Chinese military equipment by Thailand's armed forces also includes 3 submarines as well as joint-development of multiple rocket launchers. There is also a growing number of joint Thai-Chinese military exercises including Blue Strike 2016, which followed Falcon Strike 2015. The exercises involved both nation's marine and air forces respectively and represent an alternative to what was once the United States' exclusive domain in Southeast Asia.


In addition to growing Thai-Chinese military ties, both nations are moving forward with infrastructure projects including massive railway initiatives. Construction is set to start in November of this year on the Thai-Chinese high-speed rail network. The first stage will link Thailand's capital of Bangkok to the northeast province of Nakhon Ratchasima. Eventually, China and its Sou...

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Friday, 20 October

15:00

Psalm 23 in Chinese "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Two of the most spiritually formative parts of the Bible are Matthew 6:9-13 (the Lords Prayer) and Psalm 23. And sometimes memorizing and meditating in a second language helps you pay attention to what youre saying. So heres Psalm 23 (Chinese New Version//CNV) with pinyin and English (mouseover or tap), and a downloadable /pnyn cheat sheet (PDF).

23
[1]
[2]
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13:45

A mockery of democracy in Singapore "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The island state's recent presidential poll was baldly engineered in the ruling People's Action Party's favor and stirred the race-based politics it had long bid to suppress


Singapores ruling Peoples Action Party (PAP) is on the political defensive following last months controversial presidential poll that saw one of its stalwarts win in an uncontested race.

Halimah Yacob became the countrys first female head of state following sweeping constitutional changes made to ensure that an ethnic minority Malay would become the city-states eighth president.

Halimahs rise to the largely ceremonial post was ushered by an uncontested poll that resulted in a walkover when a government-appointed committee disqualified two other candidates after they failed to meet newly enacted financial criteria required for eligibility.

Billed as a measure to broaden minority representation in government, the first presidential election reserved for candidates from the Malay community has been widely derided on social media for undermining democracy and the countrys highly vaunted meritocratic principles.

Read the full story at the Asia Times.

Nile Bowie is a writer and journalist with the Asia Times specialising on current affairs in Singapore and Malaysia. He can be reached at nilebowie@gmail.com....

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Thursday, 19 October

05:37

Typhoon LAN-Paolo Nasty 48 hours in the Bohol Sea "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Typhoon LAN-Paolo continues moving north!

Even at a distance of more than 800 kilometers Typhoon LAN-Paolo brought very stormy weather to the Bohol sea. Currently the large cyclone rotates about 783 km east-northeast of Naga City, Camarines Sur. Its forward speed has decreased from 22 to 15 km/h. Maximum Sustained Winds (10-min avg) are 120 km/h near the center. Gusts can go up to 150 km/h.

Typhoon LAN-Paolo is expected to move north during the next 36 hours and then bend its track north-east.

Typhoon LAN-Paolo

Typhoon LAN-Paolo disturbs entire Bohol sea

This typhoon works like a giant vacuum cleaner. Over the Bohol sea it amplifies the westerly wind flow by its counter clock wise rotation. The same rotation produces strong north-eastern winds in Luzon and Bicol. Wind maps are here: http://www.silent-gardens.com/marine-weather.php

 

Typhoon LAN-Paolo

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Tuesday, 17 October

15:43

Finally, Singapores first Little Stints! "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

In Peninsular Malaysia, Little Stint has been shown to be a scarce but annual passage migrant and non-breeding visitor, with more than 140 records between the late 1980s and the present, most in the last 12 years (See Table 1). Continue reading

07:04

US Meddling Across Southeast Asia "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

October 17, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - At a time when US political leaders decry with little evidence what they claim is a pandemic of "Russian interference" in Western political affairs from Western Europe to North America, years of documented evidence exist of this very same interference in the domestic affairs of other nations around the world, funded and directed not by Moscow, but by Washington D.C.


Across Southeast Asia alone is an interlocked, deeply rooted and heavily financed network of American-backed agitators and propagandists, operating behind the cloaks of journalism and rights advocacy, working to upend local, independent political institutions and replace them with a system created by and serving exclusively the interests in Washington that created them.

Shedding Light on US Interference in the Philippines

The Manila Times in a recent article titled, "CIA conduit funding anti-Duterte media outfits," would shed light on US government money being channelled into the Philippines for the explicit purpose of manipulating public perception, particularly regarding politics.

The article cites the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and its grantees, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), and the Vera Files.

The article outlines the funding, stating:
NED documents show that for 2015the earliest year for which data is available2016 and 2017, it gave the PCIJ $106,900; Vera Files $70,000, and CMFR, $278,000. (Another funder of Vera Files is Reporters without Borders, which is also recipient of NED funds.)

Even if NED wasnt a CIA conduit, it is an institution funded by the US government, and therefore advances US interests. Shouldnt we be outraged that the US government is funding anti-Duterte media outfits here?
It also points out that this US interference in Filipino politics fits into a much larger, global pattern of political interference engaged in by the US government. The article cites US interference in Ukraine in particular, noting that it wa...

04:22

Kobe Steel Scandal May Hit Fukushima Daiichi Fuel Casks, Incinerator "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A data falsification scandal hit Japans Kobe Steel in recent weeks. The company admitted widespread falsification of data related to

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Monday, 16 October

15:00

Happy Red October, comrades! "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Its that special time of year again.

vpn-issues-in-china

If youre wondering why your VPN is acting worse than usual, ask your Chinese friends about the Or see the links below (if you can, ha!).

10:28

IIPM General Assembly, The First World Parliament "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The International Institute of Political Murder in cooperation with Bahrain Watch and a host of organisations are holding the General Assembly which will bring 60 delegates from around the world to Berlin, from 3 to 5 November 2017, to challenge the newly elected Bundestag as representatives of all actors, of whatever kind, who are affected by German policy but have no political voice in the federal parliament. The first world parliament in human history, accompanied by a group of international political observers, will culminate in the passage of the Charter for the 21st Century and in the Storming of the Reichstag on 7 November, exactly 100 years after the Storming of the Winter Palace.

War victims, labour migrants, economic and climate refugees, the victims of the dawning ecocide, children, the unborn and the victims of colonial history they all have no say under the Reichstag dome. But what would happen if all those whose lives are influenced by the German Bundestag were to congregate and claim their rights? General Assembly and the Storming of the Reichstag will provide a public forum for their concerns and offer their non-simultaneity a moment of simultaneity. A local parliament will be replaced by a global parliament. For the first time, the global Third Estate will claim its rights: one world, one parliament!

Cooperating organisations: Agit Polska, Bahrain Watch, Berlin Postkolonial, Bundesweiter Koordinationskreis gegen Menschenhandel, Club der polnischen Versager, Diem25, European Alternatives, FUTURZWEI, Germanwatch, Society for Threatened Peoples, Heinrich Bll Stiftung, Initiative Schwarze Frauen in Deutschland ADEFRA, Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland ISD, int.ie, the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly / Democracy Without Borders, Kinder- und Jugendparlament Tempelhof-Schneberg, Kurdische Gemeinde Deutschland, Oficina Precaria Berlin / 15 M, PowerShift, Reporters Without Borders, RomaTrial, Tierfabriken Widerstand, Urgewald, Voix des Migrants, Welthungerhilfe and many others. Media partner: taz die Tageszeitung

View the full programme on the IIPM website

...

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Friday, 13 October

16:49

How we end up living better every time we return to China "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Maybe it sounds a little weird to think of making the most of a transition back to China. The goodbyes, 36+ hours of travel door-to-door, jet lag, and downward re-adjustment in comfort all make returning to your overseas home something to merely endure and survive, especially when young kids are involved. Thats still true for us. But weve also found theres a great opportunity buried within each of our familys sad and stressful biannual transitions back to the far side of the world.

Every second summer we spend two months visiting family and friends in Canada and the US (four states and one province). Its great and we love it; lots of food and fun and camping and swimming with people we love and dont get to see even close to near enough. But its not healthy in the sense that its a break from intentionally established daily routines that include sane sleep, eating, exercise, and relating. Plus, the leaving and the returning each have their own special stress.

Saying goodbye is one thing, but making your kids say goodbye to their grandparents at the international departures gate is just about the worst thing ever. Its even worse than international travel with kids, which usually includes a long-haul flight followed by a layover followed by another flight that you barely make because your first flight was delayed (Just hold it, OK?! Better wet pants on the plane than dry pants in the airport! Lets move!). Then theres the step back down in convenience, cleanliness, and familiarity, plus all the stuff/dirt/bugs that has broken/accumulated/infested-and-died while you were away. We return to China physically and emotionally exhausted, out of shape, and relationally disoriented (for an extended period of time our kids havent had their usual amount of regular attention from us, and we havent had normal couple time, either).

Its kind of funny: bracing for all that stress during our last two days with family in Canada is almost worse than actually going through it during the first week back in China. Sure, the first couple days of jet-lag and apartment cleaning/repair while trying to not take it out on your beyond-exhausted children arent awesome. But the level of discomfort I imagine each time never actually materializes, despite accurately predicting the general level of that awaits us. Each time, we slide back into our life here quicker and more smoothly than I expect us to.

And every return to China gives us an exciting opportunity that we plan for each time: the chance to intentionally alter our lifestyle for the better. Since our previously established routines and habits have been blown to smithereens by over two months of travel, its a prime chance to intentionally rearrange them as they st...

09:15

How the West is Trying to Recreate Myanmar's Crisis in Thailand "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

October 13, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Media platforms either directly funded by the United States government or by their political proxies in Thailand, including US-funded Prachatai and Khao Sod English, have begun investing increasing amounts of energy into fueling a currently non-existent sectarian divide in Thai society.


They are concentrating their efforts in promoting the activities of a small anti-Muslim movement in Thailand's northeast region often referred to as Issan. Issan - it is no coincidence - is also the epicenter of previous US efforts to divide and overthrow the political order of Thailand via their proxy Thaksin Shinawatra, his Pheu Thai Party, and his ultra-violent street front, the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD or "red shirts"). Shinawatra and his political proxies were ousted from power in 2014 by a swift and peaceful military coup.

Today, temples affiliated with Shinawatra's political network are turning from a tried and tired, primarily class-based narrative, to one targeting Thailand's second largest religion - Islam, in hopes of dividing and destroying Thai society along sectarian lines.

From northern cities like Chiang Mai to the northeast in provinces like Khon Kaen, suspiciously identical movements, with identical tactics, organized across social media platforms like Facebook are protesting Mosques, calling for specific acts of violence against Muslims, and using the same sort of factual and intellectually dishonest rhetoric peddled by veteran Western Islamophobes used to fuel the West's global campaign of divide, destroy, and conquer everywhere from the US and Europe itself, to Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and more recently, Myanmar and the Philippines in Southeast Asia.

Tools of Empire: Divide and Conquer 

Myanmar, which borders Thailand, currently finds itself at the apex of nationalist and racist-driven violence targeting its primarily Muslim Rohi...

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Thursday, 12 October

23:59

Fukushima Experts Tell All On Unit 3 "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

This is a continuing report on the new findings for the reactors at Fukushima Daiichi from the recent NDF Conference.

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Tuesday, 10 October

15:54

Turkmenistan Downgrades Parliament in Favor of Peoples Council "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The president of Turkmenistan has approved changes to the constitution downgrading the role of parliament in favor of a revived Peoples Council, canceling a minor token gesture toward democratization adopted a decade ago.

At the same time, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has followed through on his long-awaited plan to cancel wide-ranging subsidies that guaranteed Turkmen households free gas, water and electricity.

Parliament speaker Akdja Nurberdiyeva said on October 10 that the Peoples Council, or Halk Maslahaty in Turkmen, which was before its abolition in 2008 drawn from a motley assortment of mainly unelected public figures and community elders, will now become the highest representative institution in the country.  Nurberdiyeva said this move had previously been approved unanimously by parliament.

This change is ostensibly moot, since neither parliament nor the Peoples Council exercise any independent power and are simply used to lend a slight representative sheen to the presidents edicts. In 2008, the constitution was changed to scrap the Peoples Council, which typically convened around once a year to formalize important policies, and its powers were redistributed to the president and parliament. The council was an assembly that grew in size throughout the years at its culmination it brought together more than 2,500 representatives. It was the brainchild of the late President Saparmurat Niyazov, who created it in 1992 in the would-be mold of an ancient, pre-Soviet institution that supposedly better reflected the peoples will than a fully elected assembly. In practice, however, such was the scale of Peoples Council meetings that no real discussions were possible or welcomed, so proceedings were usually devoted to panegyrics to the president.

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Monday, 09 October

14:06

Camiguin Transportation Fall-Winter 2017-2018 (first update) "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Camiguin Transportation the transportation from and to the small island changes very frequently.

I know the Island born of Fire now for ten years. Many things have changed since my first visit. Many things have been improved. Some things became worse. When it comes to Camiguin Transportation, they change all the time. What is permanently lacking, is timely information about schedules.

Just now I got the information from our reader Chris that PAL already has changed the schedule of their flights. Please see below in RED!
And yes, I am angry now!

Lanzones Festival

The Lanzones Festival, Camiguins well known week long celebration of the Lanzones harvest will start in two weeks. It will last from Tuesday, October 24 to Monday, October 30. The daily flights will be fully booked. The ferries from Balinoan (Mindanao) and Jagna (Bohol) will be crowded. It seems that the ferry from/to Bohol will not change its Mon,Wed, Fri schedule. At least nothing had been publicly announced.

By begin of December many things will change!

Air Transportation

It is incredible but true! From begin of December we will have 2 or 3 flights per day. All these flights can now be booked. Just click on the links below.
Cebu Pacific Air (CEB) has announced that they will restart their second flights on Mon, We and Fri. The new schedules look as this:

CEB-CGM
DG6690 05:20 06:10 (every day)
DG6693 14:00 14:50 (Mon, Wed and Fri)
CGM-CEB
DG6691 06:30 07:20 (every day)
DG6694 15:10 16:00 (Mon, Wed and Fri)

Philippine Airlines (PAL) will also fly to Camiguin with their daughter PALexpress. Their schedule did fit in between the two CEB flights.  The new schedule is now almost as early as CEB.

CEB-CGM 11:20 12:10 PR2929
Changed on October 13:
CEB-CGM 07:30 08:40 PR2929

CGM-CEB 12:30 13:20 PR2930
Changed on October 13:
CGM-CEB 09:10 09:55 PR2930...

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