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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...

17:25

Russia China Build Up A New Economic Geography "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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On November 8 Russias large mining group Norilsk Nickel announced it had begun operations at a new state-of-the-art Bystrinsky mining and processing plant outside of Chita in Russias Zabaykalsky Krai. Notable about the project is the participation of China, as well as the fact that four years ago the huge copper, gold and magnetite reserves of Bystrinsky were inaccessible to any market and completely undeveloped. Its one example of the transformation of the entire economic geography of Eurasia thats growing as a result of the close cooperation of Russia with China and especially with Chinas Belt Road Initiative, earlier known as the New Economic Silk Road.

The Bystrinsky mining and processing complex is a $1.5 billion project with total ore reserves estimated at 343 million tons. The huge project is jointly owned by Norilsk Nickel, the worlds largest producer of nickel and palladium and one of the largest producers of platinum and copper, along with CIS Natural Resources Fund, a Russian natural resources fund established by Vladimir Potanin, and by Chinas Highland Fund. The new mine complex is some 400 kilometers by rail from the China border in Russias Siberian Far East.

Chinese participation is not surprising. China is the worlds largest importer of copper and much of the new mine production will be headed to China. Chinas Belt, Road Initiative (BRI) that is seeing the construction of thousands of kilometers of new high-speed rail lines across Eurasia is creating a huge increase in demand for copper as well as steel and iron ore. The new Russian mining project includes construction of entirely new infrastructure of roads, rail spurs and enormous infrastructure in what was previously untouched wilderness. The mine, the largest private project in Russias Far East, will reach full capacity in 2019.

Bridging the Amur River

Another example of the transformation of the economic geography taking place between Russia and China is construction of the bridge over the Amur River or the Heilongjiang River as the Chinese call it. The new bridge will connect China with Russia in the far northeast of China in the region of Harbin. To have an idea of the vast...

16:15

Jan Gan Man Ki Baat, Episode 151: Rafale Deal and Sanitation Coverage in India "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Vinod Dua discusses allegations of corruption in the Rafale deal and lack of access to sanitation in India.

The post Jan Gan Man Ki Baat, Episode 151: Rafale Deal and Sanitation Coverage in India appeared first on The Wire.

15:00

Kazakhstan: Prosecutors Hunt Mystery Millionaire Offical "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Kazakhstan is abuzz with this weeks supposed revelations about how a government official bought an apartment in Paris for a whopping 65 million euros ($76.5 million). After initially scoffing at the reports, authorities have now begun to take an active interest.

A report on the transaction in Mansion Global, a Dow Jones-owned luxury real estate news website, did not name the buyer or the seller, who is identified only as a Russian investor.

If the report is accurate, the official in question will have quite the space in which to luxuriate. The 1,200-square-meter (12,900-square-foot) home has five bedrooms, five bathrooms, a spa and separate wing for the staff,  Mansion Global noted, adding that the property is equipped with a 55-square-meter panic room.

Excited Kazakh media contacted Ignace Meuwissen, the Belgian in-between for the deal, who explained that he has many clients from Kazakhstan wishing to buy homes in Europe for their children. Meuwissen told KTK television station that Kazakh buyers typically dont count their money and are willing to pay two or three times over the real value of a property. In this instance, the apartment was actually worth 25 million euros, Meuwissen told KTK.

Still, maybe this would-be official is not so wasteful after all.

In another interview, Meuwissen told Sputnik Kazakhstan that the former owner of the property invested 100 million euros on theinterior design, so Kazakh taxpayers should, if anything, be satisfied with the negotiating skills of their reputed compatriot official. 

read more

14:30

Tamil Nadus MGNREGA Workers Left in the Lurch Due to Delayed Wages, Unused Funds "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

In 2016-17, pending payments under the employment scheme in the state amounted to a whopping Rs 5,571 crore.

Representative image of MGNREGA workers. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Representative image of MGNREGA workers. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Tiravur, Tamil Nadu: I could kill someone, said Janaki Chinarasu in early June at her home in Tiruvarur, protecting her forehead from the heat with her hands askew. Its like the sun god has conspired with the rain god to punish us.

Chinarasu is a frail, strong-witted woman with a five-year-old on her lap and a husband hovering around, looking for a washcloth to go out to work. She fantasised about her life as a farmers wife in the past before the unforgiving drought struck in the summer of 2016. How we used to accidentally drop rice and then just clean it up. Now we have to eat it from the floor even if a few grains drop, she said, feet gliding across the red oxide floor of her hut to turn off the gas stove.

Tiruvarur, among other drought-hit districts in Tamil Nadu, is uniquely miserable for holding the position of the district closest to the Cauvery delta. Here, the people are especially bitter owing to the Cauvery water crisis that reached a crescendo last year.

In August 2016, protests erupted in Tamil Nadu after Karnataka did not release Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu. In October, the Karnataka government, backed by a state asse...

14:14

Earth-Like Exoplanet Discovered Around Nearby Star Is Potentially Habitable "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The star-planet system is zipping towards Earth. In about 79,000 years, they will replace Proxima Centauri and Proxima b as our closest star and closest potentially habitable exoplanet, respectively.

This artists impression shows the temperate planet Ross 128 b, with its red dwarf parent star in the background. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

This artists impression shows the temperate planet Ross 128 b, with its red dwarf parent star in the background. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

Sandhya Ramesh is a science writer focusing on astronomy and earth science.

Astronomers working with ESOs High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) in Chile have discovered a temperate exoplanet orbiti...

14:05

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

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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 Companys 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 nations 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, McDonalds, 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 doing business abroad, it is what this particular lobbying organization does with its immense, concentrated, and unwarranted influence.

Representing not only the largest corporations in the United States, but also some of the largest corporations on Earth, the US Chamber of Commerce today just as United Fruit did nearly a century ago has direct access to the levers of US governance.
The US State Department today just as it did...

14:04

Interview 1324 New World Next Week with James Evan Pilato "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

[audio mp3="http://www.corbettreport.com/mp3/2017-11-16%20James%20Evan%20Pilato.mp3"][/audio]This week on the New World Next Week: the EU superstate gets its army; Biden and Gaga team up for sexual assault trauma centers; and the digital pill comes to a schizophrenic near you.

14:00

How Thomas Chandys Reluctant Resignation Pits CPI Against CPI(M) in Kerala "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The raging debate of the widening gap between the two communist parties has cropped up once again with the recent developments in Thiruvananthapuram.

Thomas Chandy. Credit: Facebook/MLAThomasChandy

It took almost three days for Thomas Chandy, who had been accused of land grab in the Alappuzha district of Kerala, to quit the transport ministers office after the Left Democratic Front entrusted the chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan to take an appropriate decision. According to Chandy, neither the chief minister nor the CPI(M) state secretary demanded his resignation, but it was him who offered it. He expressed confidence that he would be back in the helm once the Supreme Court clears his name in the case.

It was the high court of Keralas extraordinary remarks that castigated Chandy for filing a petition against his own government and for encroachment. The businessman-turned-politician approached the court challenging the Alappuzha district collectors report against him for violating rules to construct a parking area and a road through a paddy field to his resort, Lake Palace in Alappuzha. The high court has observed that a minister approaching a court against the government  the district collector in this case  goes against the constitutional principle of collective responsibility of the cabinet.

Even after the courts remarks, Chandy was in no mood to tender his resignation and it seemed that the chief ministe...

13:30

Coal Pollution Continues to Spread in Latin America "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

In the November 11 Climate March through the main streets of the German city of Bonn, protesters called for an end to the use of coal as a power source, especially by German companies, such as RWE. Credit: Emilio Godoy / IPS

In the November 11 Climate March through the main streets of the German city of Bonn, protesters called for an end to the use of coal as a power source, especially by German companies, such as RWE. Credit: Emilio Godoy / IPS

Bonn: Despite growing global pressure to reduce the use of coal to generate electricity, several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean still have projects underway for expanding this polluting energy source.

These plans run counter to the climate goals voluntarily adopted by the countries in the region and to the commitment to increase clean and renewable sources, as part of the Paris Climate Agreement, approved in December 2015.

Latn America doesnt have a major global role in the sector, but it does have an influence on the regionColombia (for example) exports lots of coal. The problem is that there are many projects in the pipeline and thats a threat of locking-in dependency for years, Heffa Schucking, head of the non-governmental organisation Urgewald, told IPS in the German city of Bonn.

The Global Coal Exit List (GCEL)...

13:30

Nehru the Professor and the Revolutionary "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Cominterns chosen name for Nehru was The Professor, an apt description given the breadth of his historical awareness.

Jawaharlal Nehru with President Voroshilov of USSR in New Delhi, 20 January 1960. Credit: Nehru Memorial Library

Jawaharlal Nehru with President Voroshilov of USSR in New Delhi, 20 January 1960. Credit: Nehru Memorial Library

The fortnight gone by marks both the centenary of the Russian Revolution of 1917 as well as Jawaharlal Nehrus 128th birth anniversary. Revolutionary Russia and Nehrus India both seem worlds away in present time. But what do we know of the influence this event of enormous gravity had on Nehru, both around the time it happened and in the following half of the twentieth century?

From his letters in Glimpses of World History, it is clear that Nehru saw the October Revolution of 1917 as part of a continuum including the revolutions of 1825, 1905 and, indeed, the earlier revolution of March 1917. He saw them as moments in which the nationalist urges of a people had culminated, and so these experiences collectively spoke to his own anti-colonial impulses. In the letter titled The Passing Away of Tsardom in Russia, Nehru talks of the cries for freedom in the Russian and French Revolutions as having inspired Indias own cry for freedom from British rule, Inquilab Zinda...

13:22

Rajasthan Patrika Publishes Blank Edit Column to Protest Media Gag "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The blank editorial, published on National Press Day, highlights the grave threat posed by state governments black law to journalism.

The blank editorial column in the Rajasthan Patrika on National Press Day.

New Delhi: Continuing its protest against the Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government in Rajasthan, Rajasthan Patrika, a leading Hindi daily in the state, left its editorial column  marked by a thick black border  blank, on Thursday. The blank space signalled the dailys opposition to the controversial ordinance (now pending with a legislative committee) imposing restrictions on media and protecting public servants.

In the headline of the blank editorial column, Rajasthan Patrikas Editor-in-chief Gulab Kothari, said that the governments black law poses a grave threat to journalism. With this blank editorial, we studiously oppose the law which has murdered democracy, he wrote.

The editorial staff of the edit page said the blank editorials thick black border was meant to convey the papers resolve to oppose the ordinance and protect the freedom of press,...

11:45

Theresa May Attacks Russia: Whatever It is, Moscow is Behind It "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The PM announced that the next election would officially take place on March 29, 2019. As recent polls show, if another general election was held today, it would result in a Labor Party victory. The situation is desperate.

11:44

Chuck Ochelli Sorts Through the JFK Dump "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The squirt of JFK documents from the government archives that I reported on earlier became a veritable dump last week when 13,000 more documents were released. Joining us to sort through this mess is host of The Ochelli Effect, Chuck Ochelli, aka The Blind JFK Researcher.

11:15

America"s Righteous Russia-gate Censorship "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Arriving behind the anti-Trump resistance and the Russia-gate scandal is a troubling readiness to silence dissent in the U.S., shutting down information that challenges Official Narratives, writes Robert Parry.

11:09

Developing Countries Win Concessions on Early Climate Action at UN Talks "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A row over the promises rich countries made on climate action before 2020 has been resolved at negotiations in Bonn, with several wins for developing countries.

The UN climate talks plenary in Bonn (Credit: UNclimatechange)

The UN climate talks plenary in Bonn (Credit: UNclimatechange)

Climate talks in Bonn have been held hostage for more than a week over the issue, as poor countries called for a space to hold the rich to account on their promises.

Moroccan diplomats, who were charged with brokering a resolution, found unanimity on Wednesday morning. The final document will put pressure on rich countries to take action on carbon cuts and climate finance.

A request from the like-minded developing country group of negotiators to formally discuss the promises made by the developed world at these talks has threatened to derail other important work fleshing out the rulebook of the Paris Agreement.

Their proposal was not granted. Instead, parties agreed to seven measures that would scrutinise rich countrys action.

These include:

  • Calling on the UN secretary general Antonio Guterres to intervene in the refusal of the majority of parties to ratify the Doha Amendment of the Kyoto Protocol
  • A process to track and report on progress to meeting pre...

10:45

NATO: a Dangerous Paper Tiger "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Chinese have a genius for pithy expressions and few are more packed with meaning, while immediately understandable, than "paper tiger". NATO is one, but paper tigers that overestimate their powers can be dangerous.

10:15

Why Africa Could Provide an 'ISIS Renaissance' "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Already we are seeing ISIS and other terrorist groups take advantage of these complex challenges in the continent. The attacks seen in Somalia, Burkina Faso and Niger could be a precursor for wider terrorist atrocities in Africa, especially given that ISIS is looking to recuperate and establish a new caliphate.

09:30

At 732 Million, India Tops List on Number of People Without Access to Toilets: Report "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

In addition to the increased risk of disease, the lack of sanitation facilities also makes women and girls susceptible to harassment.

When I got pregnant, it was hard to walk to the field to defecate as the path was not safe. My mother-in-law used to accompany me because I needed help sitting down and getting up.Maheshwari (25), Raichur, India. Credit: WaterAid/Tejaswi Balasundaram

When I got pregnant, it was hard to walk to the field to defecate as the path was not safe. My mother-in-law used to accompany me because I needed help sitting down and getting up.Maheshwari (25), Raichur, India. Credit: WaterAid/Tejaswi Balasundaram

India, the worlds second-largest country by population, has the highest number of people (732 million) without access to toilets, according to a new report.

The report by WaterAid, titled Out Of Order:The State of the Worlds Toilets 2017, further stated that 355 million women and girls lack access to a toilet. If they were to stand in a line, the queue could circle the Earth more than four times.

...

09:00

Rajasthans Protesting Farmers Arrested as Construction Begins on Disputed Land "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The farmers had buried themselves in the land to protest against the acquisition of 1,350 bighas of land for a housing project without fair compensation.

JDA began construction work on the mandir mafi land on Saturday in the presence of police force. Credit: Shruti Jain

Jaipur: Ten days after the Nindar farmers called off their protest, seeking written orders from the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) that a fresh survey of the acquired land would be conducted, the authority on Saturday began construction work of the housing project  in the presence of police force on approximately 40 bighas of mandir mafi land, that it says is undisputed.

It was 11 am when the police gheraoed the Lala Bora ki Dhani and JDA brought in JCB machines. The men had gone out on work and only women and children were at home. We rushed out and showed them the high court orders but they didnt listen to us, Manni Devi (50), who was beaten up by the police, told The Wire.

09:00

Finding Jobs Becomes Tougher for Private Engineering College Graduates as IT Hiring Slows "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Hiring experts and placement offices say that recruiters are increasingly seeking skilled candidates.

The dull hiring outlook in the infotech industry has not only meant a slowdown in recruitment but also stagnant compensation packages. Credit: Reuters

The dull hiring outlook in the infotech industry has not only meant a slowdown in recruitment but also stagnant compensation packages. Credit: Reuters

Private engineering colleges are struggling to place their students unlike the Indian Institutes of Technology, which have seen a significant rise in pre-placement offers this year.

These colleges are a source for entry-level recruitments by the information technology (IT) industry. The dull hiring outlook in the infotech industry has not only meant a slowdown in recruitment but also stagnant compensation packages.

These engineering colleges are trying to improve placements by conducting skilling programmes for students and by inviting other industries such as e-commerce, hospitality and healthcare to step up their campus hiring.

Hiring experts and placement offices said recruiters were increasingly seeking skilled candidates and were reducing mass recruitment, especially from private engineering colleges. The effects are visible in the average compensation packages being offered, especially by the infotech industry.

Tamil Nadu College of Engineering, a self-financing college affiliated with Anna University, has seen recruitment by infotech comp...

08:30

A Military Coup Is Afoot in Zimbabwe. Whats Next for the Embattled Nation? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The protracted political crisis in Zimbabwe has worsened since President Mugabe fired vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa. Now the military has entered the fray, raising fears a coup is imminent.

File 20171115 19836 oyw8n1.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace have become increasingly divisive figures in Zimbabwe. Credit: Reuters

Nobody is safe from the rages of Zimbabwes First Lady, Dr. Amai Grace Mugabe. There was the young South African model Grace lashed with extension cords. 93-year-old President Robert Mugabes longtime and usually trusted ally Emmerson Mnangagwa, was next in the firing line: he was sacked because his supporters allegedly booed her at a rally.

The consequences of her vengeance may have led to a coup headed by Zimbabwes army chief General Constantino Chiwenga, who is commonly perceived to be Mnangagwas protg. But ex-freedom fighter Mnangagwa has his own presidential aspirations.

Mnangagwa has been exiled from the party in which he has served since he was a teenager. But he is not just skulking in the political wilderness. On arrival in South Africa he issued a statement calling those who wanted him out minnows. He promised to control his party very soon and urged his supporters to register to vote in the national elections next July.

As if to back Mnangagwa, on November 13 General Chiwenga announced that he and his officers could not allow the counter-revolutionary infiltrators, implied to be behind Grace Mugabe, to...

08:30

Despite Widespread Discontent, Urban Gujarat Is Likely to Stand Behind BJP "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The note ban followed soon after by the new tax regime have hit the predominantly mercantile state hard, but the urban voters still cannot see themselves siding with the opposition.

BJP supporters in Gujarat. Credit: PTI

BJP supporters in Gujarat. Credit: PTI

Anil Dave* is mighty upset with the Narendra Modi government. A top corporate executive and a resident of Ahmedabad for the past 25 years, Dave still cannot get past the hindrance caused by the new tax regime. I went to a sweet shop to buy a different kind of sweets for Diwali gifting. Imagine my shock when I found that different sweets like those made out of khoya, milk and besan  had different GST (Goods and Services Tax) rates. The shopkeeper was confused and so was I after the exercise which took a huge amount of time, he says. Although courtesy the forthcoming Gujarat elections the government is bending over backwards to revise GST rates, the angst of people like Dave remains.

Gujarat is essentially a mercantile state. The procedure for filing GST returns has caused a lot of unnecessary headaches for traders. Traders are angry. They have wasted so much time. Medium-scale and small-scale industry and export sectors which are the mainstay of Gujarat have been the most affected, Dave adds. Yet the irony is that folks like Dave cannot see themselves voting for the opposition Congress. Narendrabhais suc...

07:49

Nigeria: 10 Killed and 30 Injured in Maiduguri Suicide Bombing "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Suicide bomb attackers killed 10 people and wounded 30 in the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Wednesday. Credit: AK Rockefeller/Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Suicide bomb attackers killed 10 people and wounded 30 in the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Wednesday. Credit: AK Rockefeller/Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Maiduguri: Suicide bomb attackers killed 10 people and wounded 30 in the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Wednesday, an emergency agency official said.

Islamist militant group Boko Haram has killed more than 20,000 people since 2009 as part of its attempt to create an Islamic state in the Lake Chad basin.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the latest attack, which emergency officials and members of a government-approved vigilante group said was carried out by four female bombers in the Muna Garage district of Maiduguri at about 6 pm (5 pm GMT).

The use of female bombers is a hallmark of Boko Haram attacks.

We have so far recorded 10 peoples deaths and about 30 victims injured, said Bello Dambatta, a spokesman for the State Emergency Agency (SEMA).

Maiduguri is the capital of Borno stat...

07:43

Golden Leaf Cut From Napoleons Crown to be Auctioned in France "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Auctioneer Jean-Pierre Osenat displays the court waistcoat of French Emperor Napoleon at the office of Ossenat auction house in Paris, France, November 15, 2017. The court waistcoat will go under the hammer on Sunday and is expected to fetch between 100,000 and 150,000 euros. Credit: Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

Auctioneer Jean-Pierre Osenat displays the court waistcoat of French Emperor Napoleon at the office of Ossenat auction house in Paris, France, November 15, 2017. The court waistcoat will go under the hammer on Sunday and is expected to fetch between 100,000 and 150,000 euros. Credit: Reu...

07:38

Tillerson Calls for Credible Probe of Atrocities in Myanmar "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Myanmars State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attend a press conference at Naypyitaw, Myanmar November 15, 2015. REUTERS/Aye Win Myint

Naypyitaw: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on Wednesday for a credible investigation into reports of human rights abuses against Rohingya Muslims committed by Myanmars security forces after a meeting with its civilian and military leaders.

More than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since late August, driven out by a military counter-insurgency clearance operation in Buddhist-majority Myanmars Rakhine State that a top UN official has described as a textbook case of ethnic cleansing.

Were deeply concerned by credible reports of widespread atrocities committed by Myanmars security forces and by vigilan...

07:35

Marwa Osman Reports on the Saudi Purge "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Lebanese Prime Minister has resigned on Saudi tv. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has rounded up a dozen other princes in the House of Saud in a startling move that threatens to upset the kingdom. Reports that King Salman will step aside for the crown prince abound. What on earth is happening? Joining us to help sort through the rubble of this incredible week is Marwa Osman, a political analyst and commentator in Beirut.

06:51

US Must Not Strike North Korea Without Seouls Consent, Says South Korea "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

South Korea's president-elect Moon Jae-in and Choo Mi-ae, leader of the Democratic Party of Korea, thank supporters at Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul, South Korea, May 9, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon - RC15323D3430

South Koreas president-elect Moon Jae-in and Choo Mi-ae, leader of the Democratic Party of Korea, thank supporters at Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul, South Korea, May 9, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon RC15323D3430

Washington: US President Donald Trump should under no circumstances take military action against North Korea without the consent of the government in Seoul, the chairwom...

06:47

Adityanath Government Asks I&B Ministry to Delay Release of Padmavati "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The state governments letter also says that the censor board should take into account peoples views while making a decision on the film.

UP chief minister Adityanath. Credit: PTI

UP chief minister Adityanath. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh government has reportedly asked the central Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to defer the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansalis Padmavati because of public anger over the script and distorted historical facts. The release of the film, the state governments letter to the ministry says, could lead to an adverse effect on the law and order situation and also pose serious security issues.

The letter, from UPs principal secretary (home) Arvind Kumar, also says that the administration will be busy on December 1 the date of the films release with the counting of civic poll votes and preparations for the Muslim festival Barawafat, Indian Express reported. while movies based on facts, with positive stories, motivate and influence the society to move on the right path, movies with distorted historical facts, exaggeration, false and fictional stories create a vicious atmosphere in the nation and society, develop social hatred and generate serious challenges for law and order, the letter says.

...

06:47

Cambodias Opposition Braces for Supreme Court Decision "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen attends a meeting with garment workers, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, November 8, 2017. Reuters/Samrang Pring

Cambodias Prime Minister Hun Sen attends a meeting with garment workers, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, November 8, 2017. Reuters/Samrang Pring

Phnom Penh: Cambodias Supreme Court on Thursday began its final session to decide whether to dissolve the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), thus ensuring victory for Prime Minister Hun Sens ruling party in next years general election.

A verdict is expected later in the day, amidst an increasingly tense political situation and a campaign by the ruling Cambodian Peoples Party (CPP) to crush the opposition ahead of the vote.

If the...

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...

06:29

Theresa May Jumps the Russia Bashing Band Wagon, Again "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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Once the UK Conservative Party lost its majority in the House of Commons as a result of the recent parliamentary elections, a fact that can be largely attributed to a string of failed policies pursued by the Conservative government, the Labour Party demanded the sitting Prime Minister Theresa May to resign. Ever since, the head of the British government has been operating in panic mode.

Most British media sources agree that Prime Minister Teresa May will be forced to leave her post no later than by the summer of 2019, citing various sources within parliament. To somehow escape the shameful image of a PM that is just about to be removed, in her response to the former chairman of the Conservative Party, Grant Shapps, announced that she had no plans to step down.

This is not the first time that Teresa May has dodged criticism and allegations, as shes been able to dodge far more serious political blows over the course of her career. For instance, quite recently May was forced to swerve out of the way of a giant ceremonial mace during the procession at the Guildhall. This is not the first time good reaction saved the British prime minister, as she would also dodge Black Rods staff last June in a similar fashion.

Today, the situation for Theresa May is obvious her government is collapsing after proving to be a train wreck from day one, as the Brexit negotiations turned  from bad to worse. In this situation May needed an excuse for a radical overhaul of the policies pursued by her government. And she provided one at the above mentioned procession at the Guildhall by subjecting Russian authorities to the strongest criticism during her time in office yet. May would go as far as to accuse Moscow of undermining free societies. Thus, she decided that Russophobia would be her fallback since a great many other Western political figures have managed to get away with it.

However, if we take a closer look at the history of Great Britain, we would learn that May hasnt been all that original with this political trick, since throughout its history London has often used but two approache...

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...

04:30

Does It Make Economic Sense for IOC and Gail India to Invest in Adanis LNG Terminals? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

While investors have given a thumbs-down to the deals, as it would add to the PSUs loan burden, it will likely help the heavily-indebted Adani group secure bank loans and make future investments.

Credit: Reuters

A former IOC chairman has derided the deal, dismissing the popular argument that the PSU needed to invest to get access to re-gasification facilities. Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: Over the last year, state-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Gail India have decided to pick up stakes in Adani group-promoted LNG terminals in Odisha and Gujarat.

By participating in these projects as financial investors rather than promoters, the PSUs will help the heavily-indebted Adani group to make further investments. However, in the process they will have to take on more loans on their balance sheets, which could increase their leverage and crimp future investment capacity, say analysts.

A former IOC chairman, who spoke to The Wire, said, Why should a PSU oil company take such a big stake in a private sector project without having any controlling interest. If the objective is to take a financial stake then a small investment would do. But how can a PSU justify such a big stake thus indire...

04:30

Adanis Australia Story: A Crucial Ideological Battle Over the Politics of Coal and Jobs "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

While support for the controversial mine exists in rural areas where the narrative of jobs finds resonance it is opposed in metropolitan centres where a more definitive acceptance of the threats from climate change defines attitudes.

...

04:00

One Death, Three Stories: Understanding Hunger and Starvation in Jharkhand "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Political and media responses to the death of an 11-year-old girl in Jharkhand highlighted how people are only moved to action by extreme examples, rather than a system that is perpetually broken.

VV correspondent Warles Surin and Santoshi's mother, Koyli Devi. Courtesy: Video Volunteers

VV correspondent Warles Surin and Santoshis mother, Koyli Devi. Courtesy: Video Volunteers

At Video Volunteers, we spend nearly all our time reporting on stories that dont make headlines; stories of broken systems and petty corruption occurring amongst the relatively ignored populations of this country. On the rare occasion when hard news breaks in one of 200+ districts we report from, we dont rush to cover it. If a story from a district where we work makes headlines on its own, it means the news ecosystem is functioning as it should. But a few weeks ago, we found ourselves in the middle of the biggest news story of the week.

Youve heard about the starvation death, havent you? our correspondent Warles Surin asked me and my Video Volunteers co-director Stalin K. as we sat in Warless familys village in Simdega district, Jharkhand. Stalin and I were vis...

03:30

Niger Is a Reminder of Why US Military Presence in Africa Needs Constant Scrutiny "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The deaths of four American soldiers in Niger last month highlighted the nature and implications of US military presence in Africa.

The presence of US troops in Africa must be questioned by governments and citizens. Emmanuel Braun/Reuters

The presence of US troops in Africa must be questioned by governments and citizens. Emmanuel Braun/Reuters

On October 4 an American Special Forces team was ambushed by a contingent of I affiliated fighters in Niger. Four American soldiers were killed and two wounded. The team of 12 soldiers was returning from a meeting with community leaders when it ran into a group of up to 50 terrorists.

The incident caused a furore in the US, sparking a recollection of 1993s Black Hawk Down incident in Somalia that saw 18 American soldiers killed. Questions were raised about how it was that four US soldiers died, why one of the bodies was retrieved only 48 hours after the ambush, and why US troops were in Niger in the first place. US President Donald Trumps failure to address the matter with the necessary transparency and sensitivity fuelled the agitation.

The Niger incident reaffirmed the need to ask important questions about US military presence in foreign territories and in this case, in Africa. African institutions that advocate for...

03:30

The Sanghs New Game Plan for Ayodhya "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Will the Hindu rulers use their newfound status to display a spirit of generosity in working towards an agreement or demand nothing less than total submission from the other side?

File photo of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, November 1990. Credit: PTI

File photo of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, November 1990. Credit: PTI

From the time of Adityanaths first visit to Ayodhya as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, the question doing the rounds in the state was why he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are singing such different tunes on the Ram temple controversy. Adityanaths recent Diwali extravaganza, tom-tommed as a return to treta yuga,  has triggered a fresh round of speculation unlike in 2014, will the BJP contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections on a Hindutva agenda, or will it remove Adityanath from his chief ministerial position before that.

This question, which has everything to do with the internal contradictions between the ruling BJP and the RSS, has gained a sharper edge in the light of several factors the differences within and without over the Modi governments style of functioning and policies; the narrative of  vikas going crazy in Gujarat; the bubble of  the so-called Gujarat model of economy bursting; and Adityanath being asked to campaign in parallel with Modi in pol...

03:10

Demonetisation Broke the Informal Economy, Had No Positive Impact: Prabhat Patnaik "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

On the first anniversary of demonetisation, economist Prabhat Patnaik speaks about why its stated objectives were not achieved, the role of GST and more.

Jahnavi Sen: Hello and welcome, Im Jahnavi Sen from The Wire and with me today is economist and professor emeritus at Jawaharlal Nehru University Prabhat Patnaik. Thank you so much for joining us. We had actually spoken around the same time last year, just after demonetisation happened, and you had said certain things then, so maybe we could revisit some of those. One of the main things you had said was that the stated objectives of demonetisation, particularly the weeding out of black money, would not be successful. Now we know that 99% of demonetised currency which is a lot more than the government expected is back in the system. But even now, finance minister Arun Jaitley is making statements claiming that demonetisation was a success. And hes also been saying that people didnt really understand the objectives of demonetisation, and thats why there has been criticism. So what would you say to that?

Prabhat Patnaik: You know actually, he has been making a number of statements which I find quite worrying, because I dont believe a responsible public functionary should be using such utterly specious arguments. One of things he said when it turned out that 99% of the currency had actually come back to the banking system is that No, our idea was not that this currency would not come back, but we just wanted to flush out the system so that this currency actually surfaces. Now I dont see how flushing out the system in any way really affects the whole question of black economy, black operators, black money, etc theres just no connection. But on the other hand, he used that argument.

Then he used the argument some time ago in a press conference that because currency in circulation is now less by Rs 3.8 lakh crore, that is symptomatic of the fact that the economy is now managing with less currency, and that that shows that really illegal activities have gone down. Now, theres no connection between the currency-GDP ratio on the one hand and the magnitude of illegal activities on the other. Some of the economies with the highest cash-GDP ration, like Japan for instance, are not countries that are particularly well known for corruption, while there are a number of Third World countries where corruption is rampant, which also have very low currency-GDP ratio, so there is no connection.

Secondly, even the figure he...

03:03

Paradise Papers Revive Cayman Link to Charge of Over-Invoicing by Essar Group "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The DRI had accused Essar of using offshore entities to siphon Rs 2,900 crore through inflated invoices. So why has the directorate been kept out of the multi-agency group tasked with acting on the latest disclosures?

The Cayman Islands, home to two family trusts of the Ruias who run Essar. credit: CINCB

The country may have been surprised by the names of the various Indian individuals and companies who came tumbling out of the Paradise Papers last week but not the Narendra Modi government, which has been sitting on information about the offshore entities of at least one big corporate the Essar group for two and a half years without taking the immediate appropriate action it is now promising in the face of ongoing disclosures by the Indian Express.

Given the mounting evidence about the overseas financial activities of dozens of Indians, the finance ministry issued a press release last week saying that investigations in cases of Paradise Papers will be monitored through a reconstituted Multi Agency Group (MAG), headed by the chairman, CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes), having representatives from CBDT, ED (Enforcement Directorate), RBI (Reserve Bank of India) and the FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit).

One agency is missing from this list the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and its omission is curious given the fact that it had already unearthed details about the offshore entities floated by Essar now figuring in the...

01:03

See praises states financial achievement, urges caution on reserves management "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

SEE Chee How (PKR-Batu Lintang) has commended the state administration for the financial performance this year. According to See, the state has an increase in revised revenue by RM779 million and no revision in ordinary expenditure and the 2017 revised budget is expected to register a surplus of RM394 million against the original estimated deficit []

01:03

Sees private motion on Bengoh Dam dismissed "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nasar has dismissed the private motion of See Chee How (PKR-Batu Lintang) who wanted the state government to immediately appoint an independent consultant to examine the seepages and determine the potential risk of the Bengoh Dam and called to audit its safety. See also wanted the state government to []

01:02

PH Women wants 30 pct women representation in leadership "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The newly formed Pakatan Harapan (PH) Women wing is urging the state government to help materialise a 30 per cent representation of women in leadership and decision-making positions. Speaking on the sidelines of the DUN sitting yesterday, Irene Chang (DAP-Bukit Assek) said this was one of the main goals of PH Women to bring []

01:02

Mais: Dewan Bahasa can prepare BM Bible to correct Christians Allah use "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka can prepare an official Malay translation of the Bible to correct Christians alleged error in using the word Allah for God, the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) asserted in court today.Mais lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla claimed that the Christian community in Sabah and Sarawak had wrongly used Allah for God []

01:02

Lawyer gives reason why a declaratory relief is needed in Allah ban "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A lawyer representing Jill Ireland today cited actions by the Home Ministry officials in raiding a Sabah church as the reason why a declaratory relief on the use of the word Allah for the Bahasa Malaysia speaking Christian community, is needed to be given by the High Court in Kuala Lumpur. Lim Heng Seng, who []

Sarawak govt accepts e-Wallet cashless payment, first in Malaysia "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Sarawak took another step towards digitalising its economy with the launch today of SarawakPay, a cashless mobile payment solution implemented by the state government to empower the states digital economy agenda. With SarawakPay, payment is made by way of electronic wallet (e-Wallet), credit card or internet banking. Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari said the []

01:02

Chong: State govt rich but ordinary people poor "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A GOOD government entails enriching the people and not enriching the government at the expense of the people. Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Kota Sentosa) said the Penang government was a prime example of this unlike that of the Sarawak government. To be a good government, its about how to enrich the people. But a government that []

01:02

Ali asks for breakdown of jobs created by SCORE "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

KRIAN assemblyman Ali Biju wants the state government to give a detailed breakdown of the number of jobs created by Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) and number of Sarawakians who have benefitted from this mega-project. He said previous speeches had repeatedly reminded the august House that the much-touted SCORE would create two million jobs []

01:02

Adenan a better leader than Abang Johari, says DAP rep "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Even after his death 10 months ago, the late Adenan Satem, fondly known as Tok Nan to Sarawakians, is still remembered for his many people-centric policies during his tenure as chief minister of Sarawak. Most of the state assemblymen, from both Barisan Nasional (BN) and the opposition, who are currently attending the state legislative assembly []

01:02

Sarawak Speaker rejects Opposition motion on Bengoh dam seepage "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker rejected today an Opposition assemblymans emergency motion for the state government to appoint an independent consultant to look into alleged seepage in the Bengoh dam. Sarawak Speaker Datuk Amar Asfia Awang Nasar said although the motion tabled by PKRs Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How on the RM310 []

01:02

Cop apologises to missing pastors family lawyer for evidence fabrication claim "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A police observer had to publicly apologise to the family lawyer of Pastor Raymond Koh for accusing the counsel of fabricating evidence in a Human Rights Commission Malaysia (Suhakam) inquiry into Kohs disappearance. ASP Nuzulan Mohd Din claimed that a photograph from Berita Harian Singapores website, which depicted two Malaysian police officers in black balaclava []

01:01

RM402m allocated to EC for GE14 "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The government has allocated RM402 million to the Election Commission (EC) for the 14th general election, a minister said today. Minister in the Prime Ministers Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said however said that the Commission will request for extra funding from the Finance Ministry should there be unexpected matters. For your information, the funding []

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Wednesday, 15 November

21:27

A Europe We Can Believe In "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

In early October a group of European intellectuals published the impressive and extremely important 36 theses of conservative Manifest we are republishing today in full:

20:23

Modi Degree Case Comes Up for Hearing in Delhi High Court on Thursday "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

There are many flaws in Delhi Universitys opposition to revealing information in the Modi degree case, say RTI activists ahead of crucial court hearing.

New Delhi: Even as Delhi Universitys challenge to a CIC order directing it to disclose the names of all students who graduated with a BA degree in 1978   the year Narendra Modi also says he graduated comes up for hearing in the Delhi high court on Thursday, RTI activists critical of the universitys stand have pointed out how such information is readily provided by prominent foreign universities. They also contend that Delhi University had erred in citing various provisions of the RTI Act in trying to block the disclosure of information which is over 20 years old.

Delhi University has challenged the CICs 2016 order on the grounds that it violates the RTI Acts provision pertaining to privacy (section 8(1)(j)) that it is in possession of the information being siught in a fiduciary capacity under section 8(1)(e) of the Act.

In his order of December 21, 2016, central information commissioner M. Sridhar Acharyulu had allowed inspection of Delhi Universitys 1978 BA degree records. Hearing the RTI application by one Neeraj, Acharyulu overturned the DU central public information officers (CPIO) decision to deny the sought information. The university contended that disclosure of its 1978 university records would invade the privacy of students and that the information has no relationship to any public activity or interest....

19:45

Muslim Panic Over House Markings in Ahmedabad is Painful Legacy of 2002 Violence "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Zafar Sureshwala, Muslim face of the BJP, saw a Congress plot to spread fear but his brother was among those who alerted the police about the red crosses that were placed soon after posters warning of Paldi becoming another Juhapura appeared.

...

19:26

In the Galilee, Palestinians and Israelis grapple with a dark past "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A joint trip by Israeli Jews and internally displaced Palestinians to the village of Miar, which was destroyed and depopulated during the 1948 War, brings up the ghosts of the past.

18:00

Woman in Bareilly Reportedly Dies of Starvation After Husband Was Denied Ration "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Her husband was allegedly denied ration because she could not go along with him to provide her biometrics at the ration shop.

Sakina and her husband. Courtesy: ANI/Twitter

Sakina and her husband. Courtesy: ANI/Twitter

New Delhi: A 50-year-old woman in Uttar Pradeshs Bareilly, Sakina, reportedly died of starvation after her husband, Ishaq Ahmed, was allegedly denied ration because she could not accompany him to provide biometric authentication at the ration shop.

The woman, who had reportedly been unwell for five days, was unable to go with him because of her poor health. After they were denied ration, the household did not have enough food, Navbharat Times reported.

While more details on the case are still awaited, the sub-divisional magistrate told ANI that the family was very poor and had an Antyodaya ration card, and that the incident would be probed in detail.

17:39

If Bindi, Sindoor Can Be Exempt from GST, Why Not Sanitary Napkins, Delhi HC Asks Centre "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The court also expressed unhappiness over the absence of any women in 31-member GST Council.

Sanitary napkins are currently in the 12% GST slab. Credit: Reuters

Sanitary napkins are currently in the 12% GST slab. Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: If bindi, sindoor and kajal are kept out of the ambit of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), why cannot sanitary napkins, which are an essential item, be exempted, the Delhi high court today asked the Centre.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar said sanitary napkins are a necessity and there cannot be any explanation for taxing them and exempting other items by bringing them in the category of necessity.

You exempt bindi, kajal and sindoor. But you tax sanitary napkins. Its such a necessity. Is there any explanation for it, the bench said.

The court also expressed unhappiness over the absence of any women in 31-member GST Council.

Have you discussed it with the Ministry of Women and Child Development before doing it or have you just looked at the import and export duty. This has to be done while keeping in view the larger concern, it said and listed the matter for December 14.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Zarmina Israr Khan, who is a PhD scholar in African studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, challenging the levying of 12% GST on sanitary napkins. The plea has termed it illegal and unconstitutional.

Central government standing counsel Sanjeev Narula said if they will exempt sanitary napkins from tax, t...

17:27

Palestinian rights make a rare appearance in Congress "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A first-of-its-kind bill introduced this week focusing on the rights of Palestinian children could pave the way for greater transparency and accountability in Americas dealings with Israel.   

Palestinian children fill jerrycans with drinking water in the Rafah Refugee Camp in the southern Gaza Strip, June 11, 2017. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Palestinian children fill jerrycans with drinking water in the Rafah Refugee Camp in the southern Gaza Strip, June 11, 2017. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Members of Congress on Tuesday introduced a bill requiring the U.S. Secretary of State to certify that funds bound for Israel do not support military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment of Palestinian children. The proposed legislation, put forward by Minnesota Representative Betty McCollum, had ten co-sponsors when it was announced.

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Although that number may seem small, especially when measured against the 268 current co-sponsors of the so-called Israel Anti-Boycott Act, the Ending Isr...

17:11

Arbaeen The Untold Largest Pilgrimage in History "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Baqee organization distributes food to piligrmis - Arbaeem, Iraq

The Baqee organization distributes food to pilgrims Arbaeem, Iraq

Far from the public eye, carefully blanketed by mainstream media silence, the holy city of Karbala saw this early November its numbers of inhabitants swell by an estimated 17 million and counting. From all four corners of the world, whether by plane, car, on even on foot millions upon millions of men, women, and children have made the journey to Iraq to share in the pilgrimage of Arbaeen, and remember that over 13 centuries ago a man stood alone against an army to defy Tyranny, and with his defiance carved a way forward for humanity.

How many figures in our history can claim to have commandeered to their name such devotion; that not even the fear of Daeshs terror could weaken the hearts and tire ones resolve?

How many personalities across the ages have epitomised, symbolised and altogether embodied the essence of Freedom, Dignity, and Compassion towards humanity, but Hussain Ibn Ali he, who before an army of several thousands strong chose to die where he stood rather than forfeit his dignity, and before a tyrant bow?

How many indeed

I would venture and say none but Hussain Ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammed. If Imam Hussain remains a revered figure of Islam, a member of the holy household of the prophet of Islam, and fourth Imam of Shia Islam, his deeds have echoed far beyond the confines of the Islamic world, to inspire men of freedom. From intellectuals to revolutionaries, scholars and men of God, Hussain stands a towering figure unequalled in the ferocity of his principles, and the compassion which lied within them.

It is to free mankind from the yoke of absolutism that Hussain unsheathed his sword in the plains of Karbala, knowing full well that before the furious clamour of metal before him, he stood defeated in number and yet yet; as he drew his last breath, Hussain forever was reborn a hero among heroes the one banner that would rally to his name all manners of people, beyond all manners of differences for his call was that of humanity for humanity.

...

16:31

Jan Gan Man Ki Baat, Episode 150: Indias Health Story And Abul Kalam Azad "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Vinod Dua discusses important findings from the report India: Health of the Nations States released by the government and Abul Kalam Azad.

The post Jan Gan Man Ki Baat, Episode 150: Indias Health Story And Abul Kalam Azad appeared first on The Wire.

14:58

Interview 1323 Chuck Ochelli Sorts Through the JFK Dump "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

[audio mp3="http://www.corbettreport.com/mp3/2017-11-15%20Chuck%20Ochelli.mp3"][/audio]The squirt of JFK documents from the government archives that I reported on earlier became a veritable dump last week when 13,000 more documents were released. Joining us to sort through this mess is host of The Ochelli Effect, Chuck Ochelli, aka The Blind JFK Researcher.

14:54

Hum Bhi Bharat, Episode 9: Massive Workers Protest Against BJP Government "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Arfa Khanum Sherwani talks about the Mahapadav gathering led by workers and trade unions across India who gathered in Delhi last week to protest against the BJP governments economic policies.

Joining her in this discussion are JNU professor Praveen Jha and national president of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) K. Hemlata. 

The post Hum Bhi Bharat, Episode 9: Massive Workers Protest Against BJP Government appeared first on The Wire.

14:41

Stalemate on Pre-2020 Climate Actions Breaks as Draft Agreement Emerges "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The text, a sort of gentlemens agreement at the moment, will now have to be approved by the COP and countries ministers. If they do, it will be adopted at a COP plenary on Friday.

Supporters of 'Friends of the Earth' at the UN climate talks in Bonn, calling for justice for people affected by climate change, an end to fossil fuels and other dirty energy, and support for community-owned renewable energy. Credit: foeeurope/Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Supporters of Friends of the Earth at the UN climate talks in Bonn, calling for justice for people affected by climate change, an end to fossil fuels and other dirty energy, and support for community-owned renewable energy. Credit: foeeurope/Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Aruna Chandrasekhar is a researcher and photojournalist working on issues of development, land alienation, indigenous rights and corporate accountability in India for the last six years. She tweets at @aruna_sekhar.

Bonn: In a key development at the UN climate talks underway in Bonn, a stalemate around how countries are taking urgent action on climate change has just been broken. Negotiations have been rocked since...

14:05

Kazakhstan: Wave of Emigration to Russia Shows No Sign of Abating "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The outflow of technically qualified and educated people from Kazakhstan has been growing steadily over the past four years. Most are heading to Russia.
 
As economy think tank Finprom.kz noted in a November 14 article analyzing freshly released official statistical data, the bulk of those leaving Kazakhstan are technical specialists, economists and teachers.
 
Over the first nine months of 2017, around 12,000 people secured residence in Kazakhstan for work or study. More than twice that amount, some 28,000 people, left for the same reasons. The divide between arrivals and departures is the greatest the country has seen in the past decade.
 
Between 2007 and 2011, the trend was heartening. Kazakhstan was registering a significant influx, in particular of qualified individuals, while few were leaving. The gap narrowed to almost nothing in 2012. And in the years that followed, the exodus began in the same time as an ever-diminishing numbers of people were aspiring to live in Kazakhstan. The amount of incomers, who predominantly arrive from fellow former Soviet nations, has more or less flatlined for the past four years. 
 
Most of those emigrating are choosing Russia, according to the National Economy Ministry. Over the entirety of 2016, of the 33,000 people that left Kazakhstan, almost 29,000 were crossing the border to the north.
 

read more

14:00

Is Criminality Too Ingrained in Indias Public Life for Judicial Action to Make a Difference? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Supreme Courts interim order asking the Centre to respond with a scheme to set up special courts to try politicians involved in criminal cases may not offer a lasting solution to the problem.

New Delhi: An illuminated Parliament ahead of midnight launch of 'Goods and Services Tax (GST)' in New Delhi. Credit: PTI

An illuminated Parliament ahead of midnight launch of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in New Delhi. Credit: PTI

The Supreme Court of India gave an interim order on November 1, 2017 asking the Centre to set up special courts to try politicians involved in criminal cases. This was in response to the Election Commissions demand for speedy trials and a life ban for politicians with criminal records. The court also sought a report on 1,581 cases filed till the 2014 elections.

The courts directions are likely to have a far-reaching impact on Indias public and political lives. We should recall the Supreme Court...

14:00

The Sari Has Never Been About a Hindu Identity "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Contrary to what a recent New York Times article claims, the sari is not limited to a particular ideological group, religion or class and is, in fact, representative of Indias multiplicity.

Saris popularity is not limited to a particular ideological group. Credit: Animesh Hazra/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The popularity of saris is not limited to a particular ideological group. Credit: Animesh Hazra/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The nun who was my Class II teacher, the Bengali Muslim cleaning ladies that troop through my colonys gates every morning, friends in journalism, friends in large consulting firms, Bollywood actresses and public figures and politicians like Mother Teresa, Indira and Sonia Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Sushma Swaraj and Smriti Irani. If youre looking for proof of the saris persistent ubiquity, all you have to do is look around.

On November 12, the New York Times published an article that claims the Narendra Modi government steered by textile minister Irani is promoting Hindu nationalism by popularising Banarasi saris, which according to the author, are mostly worn by Hindu women.

Modi supporters are irate that the article takes a negative tone on the promotion of Hindu nationalism and the liberals are miffed with the ignorant assertion that the sari is a Hindu garment.

...

13:44

Debate: Delhis Smog and Climate Change Are Separate Environmental Crises "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Blaming the smog in Delhi on a global challenge such as climate change allows local municipal, provincial and national leaders to escape responsibility.

A bird's eye view of Delhi's smog. Credit: alvpics/pixabay

A birds eye view of Delhis smog. Credit: alvpics/pixabay

Omair Ahmed rightly points to Delhi air quality crisis as symptomatic of the key environmental challenge facing India and the developing world (Delhi Smog Reveals Global Failures to Deal With Climate Change, November 13, 2017). While his headline misleadingly argues that the Delhi smog reflects the failure to fight climate change, his excellent piece does not explain how this local (or at most regional) environmental crisis is shaped by climate change.

While it is entirely possible that that climate change might be increasing the frequency of smog formation, the article makes no mention of evidence to that effect. Given the overwhelming evidence on the other hand, that local causes including agricultural stubble burning and vehicular emissions contribute massively to what may be called Delhis autumn paddy soupers (after the London pea soupers), blaming it on a global challenge such as climate change allows local municipal, provincial and national leaders to escape responsibility.

...

13:30

Gradual Tax Reform Would Have Been More Effective Than a Shock GST "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

While government is of the view that the nature of the tax reform required it to be a shock, implementing it in a phased manner could have helped avoid much of the disruptions being experienced.

A BJP supporter holds a placard during a rally to support implementation of the Goods and Services Tax. Credit: Reuters

A BJP supporter holds a placard during a rally to support implementation of the Goods and Services Tax. Credit: Reuters

Last week, the Indian government tinkered once again with the tax reform introduced on July 1. While it is to be appreciated that the government is responding to the difficulties being faced in the economy, could the basic reform itself have been substantially different in the first place? Now the political view in the government and sometimes even the academic view appears to be that since the newly-introduced Goods and Servi...

13:30

Somaliland Becomes First Country to Use Iris Recognition in Elections "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Technological leapfrogging in Africa has so far focused on economic transformation and the improvement of basic services; Somalialand has now provided great possibilities.

Somalilands shift to use iris recognition in a presidential election stems from distrust in the voting system. Representational image. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Somalilands shift to use iris recognition in a presidential election stems from distrust in the voting system. Representational image. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Africa has become a...

13:00

China and Central Asian States "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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As the centre of global development shifts towards the Asian Pacific Region, the geopolitical importance of Central Asia on the Eurasian continent has only been increasing. China and this extremely vast region, which is rich in various mineral resources, are closely linked both historically and geographically. The peoples residing along the Chinese state border and the Central Asian states are tied by kin relations that span centuries. The first contacts of China with the peoples residing in that territory date back to 138 B.C. At that time, Emperor Wu of the Han dynasty sent his ambassadors to the territory of the current Central Asian states to seek help in the joint struggle against the Huns.

In light of these realities, the cooperation of China with that region, which had enjoyed a rapid boom over the last years, has been notably transforming into very close ties.

In terms of economics, China is making no secret of its serious intentions for the neighbouring and nearby Central Asian countries, which are rich in mineral resources and in dire need of financial and trade partners, in terms of coping with its tangible deficit in resources and market issues.

However, for Beijing, Central Asia is beyond any doubt strategically important in ensuring the national security of contemporary China, as it is a kind of heartland and a backbone amidst the US military efforts extending throughout the pacific area, which have been increasingly unsettling to Beijing.

Over the last two decades, China has been actively offering financial assistance to its new and promising partners, thus demonstrating its willingness to increase its investments in joint projects. For example, Kyrgyzstan is the only country in the Central Asian region that has been receiving cheap loans from the Peoples Republic of China (PRC).

For their part, the Central Asian countries, experiencing a shortage of industrial commodities, have been capitalising their territories, that is, marketing their mineral resources and energy commodities, allocating land for the laying of pipeline mains, rail roads and motor ways and developing their infrastructure facilities, whereas the tough-minded China could not miss the chance.

...

12:58

Watch: Why Farmers Are Burning Stubble in Punjab "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

As North India gasps for fresh air and stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana is being blamed for the deadly smog, The Wire travels to Punjab to know why farmers are doing it despite the hazardous consequences.

The post Watch: Why Farmers Are Burning Stubble in Punjab appeared first on The Wire.

12:45

How Iran Came to Be Called "The Top State Sponsor of Terrorism" "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Americas Deep State, which extends to Saudi Arabia and to a number of other Governments its an international network is deeply committed to supporting the fundamentalist-Sunni war to conquer and destroy Shia Islam, and not merely to conquer the leading Shia nation, which is Iran, Eric Zuesse writes.

12:30

Transnational Sunnism and Saudi Arabias Influence "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

An extract from The Islamic Connection: South Asia and the Gulf, edited by Christophe Jaffrelot and Laurence Lour.

Despite popular perceptions, South Asia and the Middle East aren't disconnected from each other. Credit: Pixabay

Despite popular perceptions, South Asia and the Middle East arent disconnected from each other. Credit: Pixabay

South Asia and the Gulf countries are often seen as belonging to two different universes. Indeed, the contemporary geopolitical division of the world situates the former in Asia and the latter in the Middle East. This geographical slicing obliterates dense interactions which have intensified because of migrations and remittances. In a forthcoming book edited by Christophe Jaffrelot and Laurence Lour, The Islamic Connection: South Asia and the Gulf (Penguin, 2017), ten experts of the subject analyse the religious dimension of this relation. An excerpt from the conclusion follows.

   

While Saudi Arabia and Pakistan fight together against al-Qaeda and ISIS, the illicit dimension of the Saudi influence in Pakistan is epitomized by the financing of the madrassas and jihadi groups. LeT, that was designated as a terrorist group by...

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...

12:14

Kerala Transport Minister Thomas Chandy Resigns Over Encroachment Charges "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Kerela Transport Minister, Thomas Chandy. Credit: Youtube

Kerala transport minister Thomas Chandy. Credit: Youtube

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala transport minister Thomas Chandy, who is facing encroachment allegations, today resigned from the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front government headed by Pinarayi Vijayan.

The resignation comes a day after the Kerala high court dismissed Chandys petition challenging a report of the Alappuzha district collector on alleged encroachments by a company in which he has a stake.

This is the third minister in the Vijayan cabinet to resign after the LDF government came to power in May 2016. Earlier, A.K. Saseendran of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had resigned after an audio clip of him speaking to a woman went viral and E.P. Jayarajan of the CPI(M) quit on nepotism charges.

Chandy, a three-time MLA of the NCP, had been inducted into the cabinet eight months ago following the resignation of Saseendran. NCP had only two MLAs. The resignation letter was handed over to the chief minister by NCP state president T.P. Peethambaran Master, after consulting on the matter with the partys national leadership.

Chandy, who left for Alappuzha, after attending the cabinet meeting, told a Malayalam television channel that even though the chief minister did not seek his resignation and there were no circumstances for the same, a coalition partner (the CPI) took the &#822...

11:35

EU Creates New Defense Pact to Reduce Dependence on US "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The idea of creating an independent European defense potential has its pros and cons but one thing is indisputable - only a truly European force - not an assortment of national armies operating under the auspices of US-led NATO - can really protect European interests.

11:15

India Keeps Options Open at US-led "Quad" Roadshow "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

On the eve of the East Asia Summit now under way in the Philippines, diplomats from the United States, Japan, Australia and India met in Manila on Sunday to discuss the issues of security and stability of the Asia-Pacific region.

10:45

How the Israel Lobby Works in Britain "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

There is a lot that is wrong in the United Kingdom at the moment, but the Israeli scandal is the most squalid pantomime yet to be revealed in the tenure of the present administration.

10:15

Mocking Trump Doesn"t Prove Russia"s Guilt "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

President Trump is getting mocked for trusting Vladimir Putins denial about meddling in U.S. politics and not accepting Official Washingtons groupthink but ridicule isnt evidence, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

10:00

Shyama, the Impish Girl in the Dungarees, Is No More "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Shyama was one of the best known faces of the 1950s and with her passing, another link with the golden era of Hindi cinema has ended.

There was magic whenever Geeta Dutt lent her voice for Shyama. This vibrant singer and exuberant actress complemented each other perfectly through several films like Shrimatiji.

She was the impish girl in dungarees in Aar Paar (1954) and the qawwali singer in Barsaat ki Raat (1960). She had no problems playing the parallel heroine and more than held up her end with actresses like Meena Kumari and Madhubala. With her winning smile, Shyama was one of the best known faces of the 1950s and with her passing on Tuesday at the age of 82, another link with the golden era of Hindi cinema has ended.

Born Khurshid Akhtar in Lahore in 1935, Shyama began her film journey when she faced the camera as a pre-teen as part of the qawwali back up players in the Noor Jehan starrer Zeenat (1945). She then went on to play younger sister/sister-in-law roles in various films before getting more important roles by 1949-50 and breaking through in the early 50s.

Though she never really got her due, at her peak, Shyama was perhaps the busiest actress of the decade playing different roles ranging from the heroine in mostly B films to second leads and even negative characters in the A-list ones, working with every actor or actress worth their salt.

With her gorgeous looks and talent, she was in great demand. It was Aar Paar, where she played the garage owners daughter who falls in love with the taxi driver Guru Dut...

09:30

In Kashmir, Cartoons Reflect Skepticism About New Envoy From Delhi "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Cartoonists have illustrated the perception that Dineshwar Sharmas mission is futile, especially after earlier interlocutors reports have been ignored or rejected by the Centre.

Dineshwar Sharma. Credit: PTI

Dineshwar Sharma. Credit: PTI

Srinagar: The appointment of Dineshwar Sharma as New Delhis special representative to initiate fresh talks in Jammu and Kashmir has been viewed with skepticism but also with interest by Kashmiri cartoonists. In Valley-based newspapers, they have sketched out their take on his chances, and on the irony of a former Intelligence Bureau chief being appointed as a Kashmir envoy.

Suhail Naqshbandi, a noted editorial cartoonist for the daily Greater Kashmir, has made several cartoons since the appointment, reflecting his doubts that the new envoy will have any success bringing the Hurriyat leadership on board for talks.

Naqshbandi says the Hurriyats refusal so far is understandable, given that the BJP dismissed any proposals for autonomy before the new envoy had even arrived for talks. They are going to use it for their advantage, he says. They will say, look we tried talking...

09:25

IIM Bangalore Implements Reservation Quotas, Alumni Urge Other IIMs to Follow "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Disregarding appeals for implementing reservation quotas, other IIMs have issued admission notices not in compliance with the law.

IIM Bangalore. Credit: iimb.ac.in

The Indian Institute of Management Bangalore will now implement government-mandated reservation quota for SC/ST/OBC candidates in its admission to the Fellow Programme in Management  (FPM) course for the academic year 2018-19.

Welcoming this move, Global IIM Alumni Network, in a statement said: 

This comes as a pleasant surprise after the Global IIM Alumni Network had recently called on all the IIMs to implement reservation in their respective FPM programs as one of the measures to deal with the appalling diversity deficit at both doctoral and faculty levels at all the IIMs. While commending the leadership at IIM Bangalore to be the first to comply with these statutory measures, we urge them to go beyond the letter of the provisions and take further steps to realize them in their spirit. These can include but may not be limited to putting in place an effective outreach initiative to publicize the admissions in all major institutions across the country, putting in place financial aid for those students who may have educational loan prohibiting them from pursuing a long-duration doctoral course and steps to foster an inclusive and welcoming academic environment for students from marginalized communities.


Also read:...

08:30

Law Commission Report on Torture Is a Step in the Right Direction, but a Just Bill Is Still Some Way Off "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Although the report does have some shortcomings, it recognises that torture is prohibited under customary law without any exceptions and the condemnation of it in the Indian constitution.

Credit: Reuters

An 80-page report by the Law Commission of India on the Implementation of United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment through Legislation was released on October 30, putting renewed pressure on the Indian government to take one big step in that direction through the passage of the Prevention of Torture Bill. The Law Commission was also responding to a petition filed in the Supreme Court by the former law minister regarding the status of the torture Bill. While there has been some media coverage of the Law Commission report, it has yet to generate a robust discussion on the legal and policy implications.

India signed the UN Convention on Torture in 1997, but despite numerous national and international opinions recommending its ratification, has not taken this next step. It is crucial that any such Torture Prevention Bill be comprehensive enough to deal with torture, and cruel and inhuman treatment in the broadest manner possible, and ens...

08:30

Bitter Harvest: Israeli Settlements Close in on Palestinian Olive Farmers "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

For villagers of Wadi Fuqin, harvest is a regular reminder of the occupations impact on Palestinian agriculture.

Nadia Manasra stands in her olive grove in the village of Wadi Fuqin on 10 November 2017 Credit: MEE/Chlo Benoist

Nadia Manasra stands in her olive grove in the village of Wadi Fuqin on 10 November 2017 Credit:
MEE/Chlo Benoist

As the Manasra family picked olives from one of its fields in early November, marking the tail end of the harvesting season, the low rumbling of construction equipment in the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Beitar Illit served as a reminder of the uncertainty ruling the small Palestinian communitys existence.

Squeezed between the settlements of Beitar Illit and Tzur Hadassah, and directly adjacent to the Green Line demarcating the border between the occupied West Bank and Israel, Wadi Fuqin has fought since the establishment of the state of Israel to preserve its livelihood and presence on the villages lands, which once were renowned as the food basket of the Bethlehem area.

We are surrounded by all these settlements, and we are stuck in the middle with only one road out, Nadia Manasra, a matriarch of the family, told Middle East Eye. It feels like a prison.

None of my human rights are applied, most of the lands down in the valley are confiscated or under threat of confiscation, and we dont know what our fate will be here, Mohammad...

08:15

S Durga Director Moves Kerala Court Against IFFI, I&B Ministry "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

I want the ministry to go by the rule and not overlook the jurys decision. They should behave like a democracy, not a dictatorship, Sasidharan said.

Sanal Sasidharan (left), Sujoy Ghosh. Credit: Twitter, Facebook

New Delhi: The row over the dropping of two films from the Panorama Section of the International Film Festival of India further escalated on Tuesday as S Durga director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan filed a petition in the Kerala high court against the information and broadcasting ministry as well as International Film Festival of India (IFFI) officials. Complicating matters even more, Apurva Asrani, another IFFI jury member, resigned.

These developments followed filmmaker Sujoy Ghoshs resignation on Monday as head of IFFIs Panorama section after the I&B ministry pulled out Sasidharans film S Durga and Ravi Jadhavs Marathi movie Nude from the 48th edition of the film festival, to be held in Goa from November 20 to 28.

I want the ministry to go by the rule and not overlook the jurys decision. They should behave like a democracy, not a dictatorship, Sasidharan told PTI. His petition urges the ministry to implement the jurys decision and include films in the final list.

While resigning, Asrani said, I stand with...

08:04

Catalonia Situation Shows Taiwan Independence Effort Bound to Fail, Says China "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

People demanding Catalan's Independence in Barcelona. Credit: SBA73/Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

People demanding Catalans Independence in Barcelona. Credit: SBA73/Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Beijing: The failure of Catalonias effort to declare independence shows that Taiwan independence is also doomed to fail as national unity is paramount for all countries, a Chinese official said on Wednesday.

China takes a dim view of independence or secessionist movements around the world while saying it adheres to a policy of non-interference in other nations internal affairs. Beijing has said it opposes any actions to split Spain.

Last month Madrid assumed direct rule over Catalonia after the Spanish prime minister sacked the regions secessionist government which had declared independence from Spain following an attempted referendum.

The issue is particularly sensitive for China because of the status of self-ruled and...

08:04

Right-Wing Groups in Pune Demand Ban on Marathi Film for Portraying Hindus in Bad Light "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The director of Dashkriya  which has won several national awards and has secured the approval of the CBFC claims the film is about social discrimination and inequality and not caste or religion.

A still from the film. Credit: YouTube

A still from the film. Credit: YouTube

Pune: Right-wing organisations in Pune have demanded a ban on the release of the award-winning Marathi film Dashkriya claiming that it portrays Brahmins and Hindus in a bad light and creates hatred among castes. They have also warned of untoward incidents if the film unit does not take their approval before releasing it.

According to them, the film shows Brahmins and thus all Hindus as greedy people who perform the last rites of bodies for their livelihood. Anand Dave the president of Akhil Bhartiya Brahman Mahasabha, Pune, said, We have asked the police commissioner of Pune to ensure that the film is not released and also told theatre owners to not release the movie.

Dashkriya, which is scheduled to be released on November 17, shows how Brahmins exploit the emotions of bereaved families in order to earn money. Members of Kirvant community who are Brahmins perform the last rites of the dead on the 13th day after cremation to help achieve salvation from the cycle of birth. These rituals are performed on the banks of Ganges. The film shows how the emotionally vulnerable family of a recently deceased readily performs the rites as per the instructions of these Brahmins whose only objective is to earn money.

The film is based...

08:04

Senior Chinese Diplomat to Visit North Korea as Xi Jinpings Envoy "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

FILE PHOTO - A North Korean flag flies on a mast at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva October 2, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

FILE PHOTO A North Korean flag flies on a mast at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva October 2, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

Beijing: A senior Chinese diplomat will visit North Korea on Friday as a special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing said. Although, it did not say he was planning to discuss North Koreas nuclear and ballistic programmes.

China has repeatedly pushed for a...

07:21

Iran Quake Survivors Complain of Slow Aid Effort "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A man sits outside a damaged belonging following an earthquake in Sarpol-e Zahab county in Kermanshah, Iran. Credit: Reuters/Tasnim News Agency

A man sits outside a damaged belonging following an earthquake in Sarpol-e Zahab county in Kermanshah, Iran. Credit: Reuters/Tasnim News Agency

Ankara: Exhausted and exposed to freezing cold, survivors of a weekend earthquake in western Iran begged authorities for food and shelter on Tuesday, saying aid was slow to reach them.

Iranian officials called off rescue operations earlier in the day on the grounds that there was little chance of finding more survivors from the quake, which killed at least 530 people and injured thousands...

07:11

US Attorney General Changes Statement About Trump Campaign and Russia "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Justice Department on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 14, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Aaron P. Bernstein

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Justice Department on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, November 14, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Aaron P. Bernstein

Washington: US Attorney General Jeff Sessions acknowledged on Tuesday he was aware of contact between Donald Trumps election campaign and Russian intermediaries, again modifying a previous st...

07:08

Ahead of Congressional Vote, Colombia Court Approves Peace Tribunals "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos speaks during a news conference in Bogota, Colombia October 27, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Jaime Saldarriaga

Colombias President Juan Manuel Santos speaks during a news conference in Bogota, Colombia October 27, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Jaime Saldarriaga

Bogota: Colombias constitutional court said in a ruling late on Tuesday that special justice tribunals outlined in a peace deal between the government and the Marxist FARC rebels are constitutional, ahead of a congressional vote on the subject.

The court upheld most of the provisions agreed in the 2016 peace accord for the special courts, which will mete out alternative sentences like landmine remova...

07:07

Alwar: Two Arrested for Killing Muslim Man Mutilated the Body to Make It Look Like an Accident "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Alwar police have said that the victim Umar Mohammed and two others injured in the attack were cow smugglers and were transporting cattle in a stolen vehicle.

Men load a cow onto a truck in the Jantar Mantar area of New Delhi (Representational image). Credit: Reuters/Cathal McNaughton

Representative image. Credit: Reuters/Cathal McNaughton

New Delhi: The two suspected in the killing of Umar Mohammed, a 35-year-old dairy farmer in Rajasthan who was transporting cows to his home in Pahari tehsil of Alwar district, have confessed to their involvement in the assault and have identified themselves as gau rakshaks.

Mool Singh Rana, the Alwar additional superintendent of police, told the Indian Express that Ramveer Gujjar and Bhagwan Singh both in their 30s have confessed to mutilating Mohammeds body and leaving it near the railway tracks to make it look like an accident.

They told us that they had spotted an empty pick-up truck passing through their villages, and suspected that it would return with cows. They planned to waylay it if it returned with cows. When it did, they first threw nails in its path, but the pick-up truck moved on for a few metres, Rana said, adding that the two have...

06:46

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

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In an article by Thai PBS titled, US cuts 2018 funding for demining operations in Cambodia, its revealed that next years 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 Cambodias 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 Washingtons 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 Washingtons 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 n...

06:42

Military Seizes Power in Zimbabwe, Says Mugabe is Safe "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Soldiers stand beside military vehicles just outside Harare, Zimbabwe November 14, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo

Soldiers stand beside military vehicles just outside Harare, Zimbabwe November 14, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo

Harare: Zimbabwes military said it had seized power in a targeted assault on criminals around President Robert Mugabe who were causing social and economic suffering, but gave assurances the 93 year old leader and his family were safe and sound.

Zimbabwean soldiers and armoured vehicles blocked roads to the main government offices, parliament and the courts in central Harare, a Reuters witness said on Wednesday.

While nearby, Zimbabweans queued for cash outside banks as public taxis ferried commuters to work.

We are only targeting criminals around him (Mugabe) who are committing...

04:30

Death of a Policeman in Rajasthan Reflects the Apathy of Police Leadership Towards Its Own "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The IPS officers death, his financial distress and the indifference of his seniors to his plight have put focus on the urgent need to hold the defunct police leadership accountable.

Rajasthan police. Representative image. Credit: PTI

Rajasthan police. Representative image. Credit: PTI

He hurt himself grievously while on official duty at Brahma Temple in Rajasthans Ajmer district in January, and stayed bed-ridden for over ten months before dying a painful death. He looked after an elderly mother, a wife and a seven-year-old. His self-respect stopped him from asking for financial help. His seniors in the Indian Police Service (IPS) were indifferent to his plight to the extent that they had stopped his salary for months altogether. He did not have the money to even pay for oxygen cylinders. The Rs 1500 bill for every ambulance trip to the hospital was too much for him. He belonged to the 2013 batch of the IPS. Rajasthan cadre. What was his name? It doesnt matter. His story does.

The story of a policeman in life and in death. Of any policeman and policewoman irrespective of rank and region. Of the worth of the life of each of them. On the front page of the morning newspapers. In the breaking news ticker of the evening news channels. And into the pages of books on rights of policemen and women as human beings.

This is not about that officer alone; this is a...

04:30

India Is Hurtling Down a Path of Self-Destruction "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Just like in many other parts of the world, the decision-making elites have chosen to take short-term decisions that favoured their interests rather than the societys.

Girls play with a balloon under a flyover amidst the heavy smog in New Delhi, India, November 6, 2016. Credit: Reuters/Adnan Abidi/Files

Girls play with a balloon under a flyover amidst the heavy smog in New Delhi, India, November 6, 2016. Credit: Reuters/Adnan Abidi/Files

Jared Diamond, the Pulitzer Prize-winning anthropologist, is an expert on the collapse of societies. In his book Collapse, he explains conditions which can cause the demise of centuries-old civilisations within just a couple of decades. A fascinating insight common to most extinct societies is that even though signs of their demise were obvious, especially in cases of man-induced environmental degradation, those societies continued down the slippery slope to extinction. So why do societies choose to literally die, instead of taking remedial steps?

According to Diamond, one of the main reasons why even sophisticated societies fall into this suicidal spiral is the conflict between the short-term interests of decision-making el...

04:00

Donald Trumps Top Priority at Climate Talks: No Soft Option for China "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

In Bonn, Trump adviser George David Banks says the US will fight Chinese efforts to reintroduce a division between rich and poor countries into the Paris deal.

US President Donald Trump. Credit: Reuters

US President Donald Trump. Credit: Reuters

The Trump administrations priority at the UN climate talks in Bonn is to block developing countries like China from getting an easier ride.

That is what the US presidents lead climate adviser George David Banks told reporters in an impromptu corridor huddle on Tuesday. It was the most high-level engagement with the process seen from the White House since Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement unless the US could secure more favourable terms.

Asked what the US hoped to achieve at the talks, Banks said: We want to make sure that we do what we can to avoid bifurcation. Bifurcation is a major flaw in the framework convention and we certainly dont want to see it in the...

03:45

Karachis Knifeman Can Stab Us, Not Silence Us "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Incidents of sexual violence, such as those in Karachi, call on us to collectively defy, one more time, any attempts by anyone to push us back in the char dewari.

These incidents call on us as women to step back and take a long hard look at what we are up against. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

These incidents call on us as women to step back and take a long hard look at what we are up against. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Between September 25 and October 5 this year, 13 women were stabbed on the streets of Karachis District East. A man whizzed past on a red motorcycle, slapping them on the lower body and stabbing them with a sharp instrument. The media became captivated with these incidents; police started looking for the mad man behind the violence. Similar events were recalled in Punjab, between 2013 and 2016.

These incidents baffled many. As hate crimes against women, they require an othering of someone we all have an intimate connection with. The crimes were of a violent sexual nature. Women were hit and stabbed on their lower body. As one victim reports, I felt a hand on the back of my thigh. I was shocked and froze with anger and embarrassment as the motorcyclist sped away I hurriedly entered the house and it was when I felt pain in my thigh area. My clothes were wet with blood....

03:30

Of Men and Other Demons "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

From Florentino Ariza of Gabriel Garca Mrquezs Love in the Time of Cholera to Kabir Durrani of Vikram Seths A Suitable Boy  literary heroes are redeemed by ones imagination.

Only literary fiction allows one to be hypnotised by the idea of a perfect love. Or the perfect lover. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

His shirt is unbuttoned at the collar, his hair is ruffled and his agile frame is poised to bowl on the cricket pitch. He could be anyone the boy next door who is unemployed but athletic , or a local rogue with time to spare between run-ins with the law. What makes him irredeemably attractive isnt, however, the generic erotic prodding of the unbuttoned shirt and messy hair, but the fact that they belong to Kabir Durrani of Vikram Seths A Suitable Boy.

A systematic inventory of the men one has encountered during ones undergraduate years, and later, when one finds a job, will probably reveal certain archetypes. There is the shy, scholarly type who can quote Tennyson with flair but drowns in a marsh of words when attempting to get a phone number. The flirt is clear in intent, flamboyant in its articulation, but lacking in devotion, his roving eyes confirm. The confounded Leftist wants to walk to the movies, because, Cars are so bourgeoisie. The dreadlocked rocker has never held a guitar but has a kitchen garden that yields, chiefly, cannabis.

...

03:30

Victims of Sexual Assault Continue to Face Humiliation at Hands of Police, Medical Professionals, Finds Study "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Despite reforms, rape survivors face several roadblocks to justice and support services, from officials unwilling to register complaints to problems accessing healthcare, counselling and legal aid.

Medical professionals remain insensitive to the needs of rape survivors and there is no legal aid or assistance available for victims of sexual assault. Credit: Reuters

Medical professionals remain insensitive to the needs of rape survivors and there is no legal aid or assistance available for victims of sexual assault. Credit: Reuters

Five years after the gangrape and death of Delhi student Jyoti Singh Nirbhaya, and despite the legal reforms that followed, rape survivors in India continue to face barriers to justice and support networks, said a recent report.

Public outrage over Singhs death had led to amendments in laws related to sexual offences. There was a 39% rise in number of rape complaints from 2012 to 2015.

Despite this change, rape survivors still suffer humiliation at police stations and hospitals, concluded the report Everyone Blames Me: Barriers to Justice and Support Services for Sexual Assault Survivors in India, released by the international non-profit Human Rights Watch (HRW).

...

02:20

As India, UK Battle It Out For Last ICJ Seat, Heres A Look at What Happens Next "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Some arcane provisions of the ICJs statute may help a deadlocked UN Security Council and General Assembly reach a decision on who fills the world courts last vacant seat.

The International Criminal Court of Justice. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The International Criminal Court of Justice. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

New Delhi: The battle to elect a judge from between the Indian and British candidates for the remaining vacant seat at the International Court of Justice has left the UNs two principal chambers at loggerheads, prompting experts to go look to the courts statute for ways of reaching a possible resolution if the deadlock remains unbroken.

In five rounds of voting held over three hours on Monday afternoon in New York, the UN Security Council (UNSC) and UN General Assembly (UNGA) gave differing absolute majorities to the two candidates.

After convening at 3 pm, the UNSC, the UNs top-tier 15-member body, maintained a voting margin that did not change over five rounds nine votes for Christopher Greenwood and five for Indias Dalveer Bhandari. One UNSC member abstained in all rounds. The votes are secret but British and Indian diplomats have a fair idea of the way each country on the council is voting.

The 193-member UNGA, however, repeatedly gave Bhandari a comfortable majority, with Greenwoods numbers much below the minimum limit of 97 votes. Bhandari, a former Indian Supreme Court judge, secured between 110 to 121 votes, while Greenwoods votes range...

Tuesday, 14 November

19:54

In Dismissing Bribery Probe, SC Equates Request for Recusal of Judges With Contempt of Court "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The fact that the charge of attempted bribery was made by the CBI has been conveniently overlooked in the rush to declare that the petitioners had damaged the great institution.

New Delhi: A request for recusal of a judge is either accepted or refused, with reasons. The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, set the bar on those who seek recusal of judges very high by making it appear as though they should be prepared to face proceedings for contempt of court as well.

This chilling effect on seeking recusal was apparent in the judgment delivered by a three-judge bench which dismissed the writ petition filed by advocate Kamini Jaiswal who sought an independent probe into an alleged attempt to bribe judges to settle a case before the court.

The case was heard by Justices R.K. Agrawal, Arun Mishra, and A.M. Khanwilkar on Monday afternoon. The judges took less than 24 hours to deliver their verdict, which runs to 38 pages. Authored by Justice Mishra, the judgment is a classic instance of how the judiciary can not just stonewall criticism but put its critics in the firing line.

Although the bench found Jaiswals petition and averments contemptuous, it refrained from initiating proceedings against her and her counsel. The bench orally observed that it was doing so in order to work together for this great institution.

Ironically, Mondays proceedings were not on the merits of Jaiswals petition, as both the bench and the arguing counsel ended up debating the so-called issue of propriety of filing two identical writ petitions on the issue a...

18:34

Israels Jewish values will forever leave Palestinians on the sidelines "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Labor leader Avi Gabbay called the Left too liberal and not Jewish enough, reminding us that he has much more in common with Netanyahu than he lets on.

By Iddo Naiss

Zionist Union party leader Avi Gabbay seen at the Knesset, October 23, 2017. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Zionist Union party leader Avi Gabbay seen at the Knesset, October 23, 2017. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

From the earliest days of Jewish nationalism, there were fundamental disagreements between its different stripes over the role their ideology would have once submerged into a state. Many disagreements, but one common denominator: the interests of the Jewish people were first priority.

[tmwinpost]

This was logical during the period before the founding of Israel, when the Zionist movement worried solely about the fate of the Jewish people around the world, much like the Palestinian national movement of today cares for Palestinians spread across the diaspora. But from the moment of the establishment of the state, there should have been an internal Jewish struggle over the influence of Jewish nationalism on the states character. In this struggle (if one can even call it a struggle), the nationalists won. Not only did they win they routed their opponents, to the point that a Jew who does not identify as a Jewish n...

18:00

The US Wants Peace, but Opposes Dialogue in Syria "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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While we often hear rhetorics about no military solution to the Syrian conflict, and despite the fact that ISIS has been almost completely routed from the country, a viable political solution, one that may restore Syria to its pre-war status, continues to seem improbable in the foreseeable future because of opposition from the anti-Syrian forces that include both state and non-state actors. The almost 6 years long war has brought many changes not only within Syria, but also in the whole region. With Russia and forces allied with it, which served as primary ground assets against ISIS, firmly present on the ground in Syria, and with Israel and Saudi Arabia as firmly opposing Iranian role in the post-war Syria, the question of a viable political solution becomes an extremely complicated onesomething that explains why a political solution couldnt be found in the past 6 years. Certainly it also begs the question of how and in what manner will all of these rival states interestsbe accommodatedand that too not at the expense of Syrian territorial integrity.

There are already varied perspectives to the post-war situation of the country, and the way these perspectives are being actively developed defy even the feasibility of political dialogueamong the otherwise competing states. Therefore, despite the US apparent commitment to peace and dialogue, the fact remains that Russia, alongwith its allies, continues to be seen as an antagonist in the US official and un-official corporate funded policy making circles and institutes.

According to this perspective, whatever Russia and its allies do in Syria must only be opposed and equally actively projected as bad, even if it happens to be a step towards dialogue and reconciliation.  This is precisely how, for instance, Russias attempt to convene a peace conference in Sochi has precisely been perceived and projected.

For example, while the conference aims at engaging Syrians into a reconciliation and reconstruction process, the US based corporate funded Carnegie institute sees it as a Russian attempt at undermining the UN-sponsored Geneva process. This projection stays in focus despite the fact that Russia is supporting the Geneva process, and that there is nothing in the process that says that no parallel attempts at...

15:26

Israeli army to evict 300 Palestinians from Jordan Valley "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

So far this year, the IDF has demolished 349 structures, displacing 542 people and 302 children. Israeli human rights NGO BTselem warned in August that the expulsions would constitute a war crime.

By +972 Magazine Staff

Palestinians and Israeli activists attend a demonstration against the construction of Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley, West Bank. November 17, 2016. (Flash90)

Palestinians and Israeli activists attend a demonstration against the construction of Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley, West Bank. November 17, 2016. (Flash90)

The Israeli army ordered the eviction of 300 Palestinians from their homes in the northern Jordan Valley area of the occupied West Bank earlier this month. The residents of Ein al-Hilweh and Umm Jamal, who mostly make their living herding sheep, camels, and cows, have lived in the area for decades. The IDF and its Civil Administration, Amira Hass reported in Haaretz, is taking similar steps to evict three other Palestinian communities in the northern Jordan Valley: Kalat Makhoul, Al-Farisiya, and Khumsa.

For years, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted that Israel will retain control of the Jor...

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