Ali Abunimah Rights and Accountability 24 April 2018
This video shows Israeli occupation soldiers celebrating as they fire weapons at Palestinians in the occupied West Bank village of Madama, near Nablus, on 13 April.
It also catches them discussing the use of live ammunition against Palestinians who pose no threat, before censoring themselves because the exchange is being filmed.
WHEN THE SNIPER BECOMES THE VICTIM
Education Minister Naftali Bennett claims 15-year-old Mohammed Ayoub wouldn’t have been shot dead by an Israeli sniper if he had been at school. Bennett’s comments reflect a reality in which Israeli soldiers kill with impunity.
At least 20 people died Sunday when a Saudi-led coalition airstrike hit a wedding party in northern Yemen. Most of the dead were reportedly women and children who were gathered in one of the wedding party tents. The bride was among the dead. Medics and residents said more than 46 others—including 30 children—were also injured. The attack on the Yemeni wedding party was one of at least three airstrikes over the weekend that killed Yemeni civilians. A family of five died in an airstrike in the province of Hajjah. And 20 civilians died on Saturday when fighter jets bombed a bus near the city of Taiz. Earlier this month, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said Yemen had become the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. We speak to Shireen Al-Adeimi, a Yemeni doctoral candidate at Harvard University.
As America’s largest Wall Street banks continue to count the billions they’ve already raked in thanks to the Trump-GOP tax law, a government report published Monday shows that America’s millionaires—as well as many rich lawmakers and President Donald Trump himself—are getting ready to share a $17 billion windfall thanks to a last-minute loophole tucked into the Republican plan.
When cold surface water no longer sinks into the depths, a deeper layer of warm ocean water can travel across the continental shelf and reach the bases of glaciers, retaining its heat as the cold waters remain above. This warmer water then rapidly melts the glaciers and the large floating ice shelves connected to them.
Deregulation, self-regulation, red tape, green tape, nanny state, small government, privatisation, asset recycling, compliance costs, free market, one-stop shop – these are some of the phrases religiously chanted by big business, and echoed by conservative think tanks and governments, with a certainty that smacks of zealotry.
We are told that the private sector is more efficient so we outsource service provision to them. We sell off valuable assets and profitable government-owned enterprises. We remove regulatory oversight and streamline approval processes.
We sack public servants, urge wage restraint, remove penalty rates, freeze the superannuation guarantee and hobble collective bargaining.
We provide so many concessions for the owners of capital and assets that they end up paying little to no tax. We encourage exports whilst enduring shortages at home. We provide a guarantee for the banks to protect them from the financial turmoil afflicting the rest of the world. We have a whole government department dedicated to making sure the private sector does not face unfair competition from the public sector.
And still, even as companies continue to announce record profits, it’s not enough – they want more.
Amid all the reluctant truth-telling at the banking royal commission, one big lie has yet to be apprehended: shame-faced witnesses keep admitting they put their shareholders’ interests ahead of their customers’. Don’t believe it.
Infrastructure is rapidly collapsing in Australia. Not literally. Not yet. But that could happen if current trends continue.
Australia’s investment in infrastructure remains well and truly in the slump that began soon after the 2013 change of government.
This is proven by the latest quarterly construction data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), which shows private and government spending on engineering and building projects up to the end of last year.
This matters, not just because it is yet another outcome diametrically opposite to solemn Coalition promises, but because Australia’s national net worth is now declining disastrously.
‘Commercial interests’ trumped interests of consumers, ANZ admits. NAB’s Andrew Hagger gives evidence about falsifying of forms. All of the day’s testimony
Former Sinclair reporter Suri Crowe provided BuzzFeed with a detailed account of how Sinclair Broadcast Group’s far-right agenda has affected local news coverage of stories from climate change to gun safety.
Sinclair is the largest TV station owner and operator in the country, with about 190 stations, including affiliates of ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC, that reach approximately 38 percent of American homes. The conservative media company is awaiting final approval of its $3.9 billion bid to buy Tribune Media, which owns 42 TV stations, including in the major markets of Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.
Media Matters has documented Sinclair’s rapid growth and its alliance with the Trump campaign and administration. If Sinclair completes its planned purchase of Tribune, the company’s right-wing bias and disregard for journalistic ethics could inform what 72 percent of American households see on their local news. Its reach is already so pervasive, Media Matters created a tool to inform viewers about the stations near them that Sinclair now owns or could soon acquire.
But if, as many suspect, the alleged killers are agents with Israel’s Mossad intelligence service, they may never be found.
Hamas, the Islamist group that runs Gaza, say the engineer was assassinated.
1. White terrorists are called “gunmen.” What does that even mean? A person with a gun? Wouldn’t that be, like, everyone in the US? Other terrorists are called, like, “terrorists.”
2. White terrorists are “troubled loners.” Other terrorists are always suspected of being part of a global plot, even when they are obviously troubled loners.
3. Doing a study on the danger of white terrorists at the Department of Homeland Security will get you sidelined by angry white Congressmen. Doing studies on other kinds of terrorists is a guaranteed promotion.
4. The family of a white terrorist is interviewed, weeping as they wonder where he went wrong. The families of other terrorists are almost never interviewed.
5. White terrorists are part of a “fringe.” Other terrorists are apparently mainstream.
6. White terrorists are random events, like tornadoes. Other terrorists are long-running conspiracies.
7. White terrorists are never called “white.” But other terrorists are given ethnic affiliations.
8. Nobody thinks white terrorists are typical of white people. But other terrorists are considered paragons of their societies.
9. White terrorists are alcoholics, addicts or mentally ill. Other terrorists are apparently clean-living and perfectly sane.
10. There is nothing you can do about white terrorists. Gun control won’t stop them. No policy you could make, no government program, could possibly have an impact on them. But hundreds of billions of dollars must be spent on police and on the Department of Defense, and on TSA, which must virtually strip search 60 million people a year, to deal with other terrorists.
Amnesty is highlighting state and territory laws and policies which violate the rights of children, like mandatory sentencing in Western Australia. Amnesty has already successfully fought for changes to the law in Queensland which restores the detention of children to a last resort and ensure children are not held in adult prisons.
Little did she know that five months later, Sage would shut down and become yet another footnote in what was arguably the biggest public policy scandal in Australian history: the systematic rorting of the vocational education and training system.
Austrac may or may not have given CBA assurances that it would warn it ahead of any action but it is consistent with what we know of the banks and their regulators that they expect to be forewarned of any regulatory action and they expect to be given – and almost always are given – the ability to negotiate an out-of-court settlement on any issue of substance.
This was a model Trump would use for the rest of his career, telling a lie so cosmic that people believed that some kernel of it had to be real. The tactic landed him a place on the Forbes list he hadn’t earned – and led to future accolades, press coverage and deals. It eventually paved a path toward the presidency.
“The largest portion of Mr Trump’s fortune, according to three people who had had direct knowledge of his holdings, apparently comes from his lucrative inheritance. These people estimated that Mr Trump’s wealth, presuming that it is not encumbered by heavy debt, may amount to about $US200 million to $US300 million. That is an enviably large sum of money by most people’s standards but far short of the billionaires club.”
The opacity persists. In 2016, Trump’s presidential campaign put out a statement saying the candidate had a net worth “in excess of TEN BILLION DOLLARS”. But he has never released his tax returns, and he has said that the core Trump Organisation asset is the ownership of his brand – an ineffable marketing claim that is impossible to substantiate or refute.
Why is the European Union pretending not to see how Israel is deliberately killing civilians in the occupied Gaza Strip?
On Friday, Israel killed four more unarmed protesters, including 14-year-old Muhammad Ayyoub, and injured hundreds more.
This brought to more than 30 the number of Palestinians killed by Israel in its violent suppression of the Great March of Return rallies that began on 30 March and are planned to continue until Nakba Day, the 15 May commemoration of the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
The victims include four children and a journalist.
Thousands more have been injured, more than 1,600 by live ammunition that has caused devastating injuries likely to leave them with lifelong disabilities.
Two weeks ago, the International Criminal Court chief prosecutor warned Israeli leaders that they could end up on trial for this violence against civilians.
But as I told The Real News on Friday, the coddling and rewards Israel receives, particularly from the United States and the European Union, means that Israeli leaders feel completely immune and are continuing to carry out these killings.
Gunman kills 4 at Waffle House near Nashville
(CNN)A massive manhunt is underway for the gunman accused of killing four people early Sunday at a Waffle House near Nashville, Tennessee.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has added 29-year-old Travis Reinking to its “Top 10 Most Wanted” list after he allegedly opened fire at the restaurant in Antioch, southeast of Nashville at 3:19 a.m.
Reinking’s alleged motive is unknown and authorities warn that he may still be armed with a rifle and a hand gun.
The US State Department doesn’t know whether there are civilians in Gaza or not.
This is terrifying – a new low for a department that may soon be led by CIA director Mike Pompeo – a supporter of torture.
The State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert was questioned by Said Arikat of the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds on 10 April: “Today, the Israeli minister of defense, [Avigdor] Lieberman, said – told The Jerusalem Post, an Israeli newspaper, that there are no civilians in Gaza. Do you have any comment on that?”
In one of the most disturbing responses given in recent memory by a State Department spokesperson, Nauert responded by saying, “I do not. I do not.”
Asked to look into whether there are civilians in Gaza, Nauert responded, “If I have an answer, I will give it to you, certainly.”
For the record, children comprise roughly half of Gaza’s population.
An Israeli general has confirmed that when snipers stationed along Israel’s boundary with Gaza shoot at children, they are doing so deliberately, under clear and specific orders.
In a radio interview, Brigadier-General (Reserve) Zvika Fogel describes how a sniper identifies the “small body” of a child and is given authorization to shoot.
Fogel’s statements could be used as evidence of intent if Israeli leaders are ever tried for war crimes at the International Criminal Court.
On Friday, an Israeli sniper shot dead 14-year-old Muhammad Ibrahim Ayyoub.
Prominent Likud Party member of the Israeli parliament Oren Hazan, a former casino manager in Bulgaria, said,
“[She is] a Jewish Israeli, who on the one hand cynically uses her birthplace to advance her career and on the other is proud of the fact that she managed to avoid enlisting in the IDF [euphemism for the Israeli Army]. She’s an actress, but she is unworthy of any honor in the State of Israel . . . Sweetness can come from strength: I call on Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) to rescind Portman’s Israeli citizenship. She left Israel at age four, and has no real connection to the State.”
Hazan denies that there are any Palestinians, and is notorious for harassing families of Palestinians going to see imprisoned relatives (some Palestinians have been imprisoned for writing poetry or for Facebook posts, while several hundred children are being held for acts of protest against the Israeli military). He told one bus full of relatives, that the garbage they called loved ones would never see the light of day:
With the Turnbull Government’s proposed corporate tax cut stalled in the Upper House, the business lobby has been ramping up efforts to convince a handful of crossbench senators to pass the legislation.
Source: Fact check: Would companies that paid no tax in 2015-16 be unable to benefit from a tax cut so as to invest more and help lift wages? – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
One of the most significant findings to emerge from the work of behavioural economists is that human beings would rather go without than be treated unfairly.
This was discovered in a series of experiments involving two people — one of whom had $100 and the other who had nothing.
This year would be the first year since 2012 that the budget’s revenue forecast had improved since the previous budget.
It was happening because of “the best and most synchronised global backdrop in quite some time” and because of improved Chinese demand for Australian resources.
The upswing was coming at “exactly the right time”, when Australia’s house price boom had come off the boil.
From the man who can’t keep his mouth shut, Abbott’s advice
The Abbott government’s 2014 budget set in motion $120 million of cuts to ASIC’s funding over four years, leading to the loss of more than 200 staff. At the time, the government emphasised a greater role for self-regulation instead of government intervention.
Former ASIC chair Greg Medcraft was vocal in his criticism of the budget cuts and pushing for tougher penalties for misconduct.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott.
In 2016, the Turnbull government restored the funding and boosted the regulator’s investigative powers.
In trying to defend the indefensible, she struggled to cut through with anything that was remotely beneficial to her party’s credibility. If anything, it highlighted what a nasty piece of work they are.
Everything she said, stood in stark contrast to her party’s persistent opposition to it, for so long. Meanwhile, revelations during last week’s hearings that customers were given poor financial advice, were charged fees for no service, that a dead person was charged ongoing fees, that the corporate watchdog was deliberately misled for years, makes us salivate over what might be revealed when things resume next week.
Client theft, more compromised financial advice, financially ruining peoples’ lives; who knows what other surprises are in store.
This government’s actions in cutting funding to a multitude of community services shows us only too well, how concerned it is for the welfare of its constituents.
Wilson’s is the latest of multiple lawsuits alleging either discrimination or harassment at the hands of Fox News or Fox Business personalities. In 2016, the network infamously lost its founder, Roger Ailes, after former Fox host Gretchen Carlson sued him for sexual harassment, prompting many more women to come forward with their stories. The following year, Fox fired its biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, after reporting revealed he paid $32 million in hush money for a previously unreported harassment report, which was “at least the sixth agreement” that O’Reilly or Fox entered into to silence his accusers. Other Fox employees have been reported as having committed sexual harassment, assault, and rape. And Fox itself is also facing a lawsuit from a former employee who says she was terminated in retaliation for getting pregnant.
Given the Trump administration’s all-out war on working people, a government by billionaires and for billionaires considerably more blatant in its class warfare than the ordinary White House, it has long puzzled me that some activists insist on giving it the benefit of the doubt when it comes to trade issues.
With Europe into its so-called Dark Ages, the Islamic world was entering its Golden Age.
The House of Wisdom, between the 8th and 13th centuries, attracted Muslim, Christian and Jewish scholars from throughout the known world to study and translate the tracts that had underpinned modern thought to that time into Arabic.
Every important and available book and paper known to exist was collected for translation from Greek, Latin, Persian, Indian and even Chinese sources.
By the 9th century, the House of Wisdom contained the world’s largest library, and up to 500 scholars worked feverishly on their own discoveries.
The idea that the Earth was round, its circumference measurable, was no stranger here. Physicians investigated the causes of infection. The number zero, invented as a useful concept in India, reached Baghdad somewhere around AD 770 and became a crucial element in mathematics. Without zero there would never have been a computer, let alone Google.
The pleasure of harnessing knowledge spread rapidly across Arab North Africa, through refined cities like Fez, and beyond.
Ma’an News Agency | – – Gaza City (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot and killed a 24-year-old Palestinian protester in Gaza on Friday afternoon, the second Palestinian to be killed during Friday’s
This week, Jacqueline McDowall became the human face of the malpractice of Australia’s financial services industry, as she tearfully recounted the woeful advice she was given by Westpac that cost her her house, and most of her superannuation.
What have we found out so far? We’ve heard evidence of appalling behaviour by Australia’s major banks and financial planners from the past decade, including alleged bribery, forged documents, repeated failure to verify customers’ living expenses before lending them money, and misselling insurance to people who can’t afford it. In this week’s hearings, AMP admitted to lying to regulators, and the Commonwealth Bank admitted some of its financial planners have been charging fees to clients who have died. AMP’s chief executive became the first high profile casualty of the commission announcing he was standing down from the company with immediate effect.
The upshot? Abbott became Liberal leader and later prime minister. Joyce eventually became Nationals leader and deputy prime minister. The destruction of a sensible national policy was their pathway to great power.
We’ve now had a decade of political posturing and parlour games on energy and climate change, and what has this achieved?
The price of electricity has soared. The lights have started going out on hot days in some states. And global warming is advancing relentlessly. The economy has lost competitiveness needlessly. The people have suffered an assault on their living standards pointlessly.
And as Australia goes through an endless summer with bushfires in April, the slow death of the Great Barrier Reef is just one of nature’s grim rebuttals of the ideologues and conmen who, even now, try to tell us that climate change is not real.
For the rest of Australia, for everyone from BHP to the Clean Energy Council, the National Energy Guarantee is a sign of hope for an Australian return to rationality.
For Abbott and Joyce and a handful of hangers-on, it’s a target.
Cartoons from The Canberra Times editorial artist.
The U.S. has strayed from its own ideals, and in reality, Americans today enjoy less opportunity than do people of other wealthy nations. The land of opportunity needs to bring the opportunity back.”
“The secret of Nordic success is not big government. It’s smart government. And as many Americans themselves are already well aware, less big government, and more smart government, is something the United States desperately needs.” What is still
Why is Australia with only 24 million people chasing the USA down the spiral of doom?
So hallmarks of Nordic welfare states like universal free healthcare, free college, subsidized day care, and free elder care exist not to lull people into dependence on the nanny state, as American conservatives tend to argue. They exist to allow people to live the lives they choose. It’s easier to start a company when leaving your job doesn’t mean giving up your health insurance. It’s easier to raise kids when every public school is good, and college is free. Their social programs aren’t about dependence on the state; they’re about independence from each other, the better to allow healthy and free bonds to form without the distortions of constant economic need.
But to assume that “freedom” and “government” are engaged in a zero-sum battle is to miss entirely the role of economic coercion in the decisions we make in daily life. To the extent that governments can reduce the strength of economic coercion — through, say, free community college — they can actually increase their citizens’ freedom to live the lives they want to live. If healthcare is a right of citizenship, then it’s easier to leave a crappy job and start a new company. If every school is good and college is free, parents don’t have to strain to salt away money for tuition, and new graduates don’t start their adult lives with student loan debt. If women and men fare equally well in the workplace, and parental leave is paid, then each family can determine the childcare arrangements that make the most sense for them. The conditions that make certain decisions “rational” are, themselves, subject to conscious change.
“It’s wrong… it’s totally unacceptable. I’m an example of the enormous damage that it can do to people.”
That was Ron Smith’s reaction to Health Minister Greg Hunt’s refusal to condemn a controversial plan by a section of Victoria’s Liberal Party to debate gay conversion therapy.
The 71-year-old former Baptist minister is a survivor of electroshock therapy, a now discredited practice once believed to rid patients of their same-sex attraction.
“They … put a wiring on my private parts that measured temperature changes, and showed me about a thousand pictures of men and a thousand pictures of women over about a 10-day period,” Mr Smith recalls.
“When my body temperature rose when I saw the guys, which is natural for me, they delivered high voltages of electricity through wires that were attached to punish me for being gay and try to make me straight.
“It was horrific.”
Mr Smith received the treatment in 1976. It was recommended by his psychotherapist — a respected member of the Baptist community — who knew Mr Smith was gay, and promised this would change his sexual orientation. It didn’t.
Some 70 percent of the Gazan population are refugees, meaning they, their parents, or their grandparents fled or were expelled from towns, villages, and cities inside the territory that became Israel in 1948.
Speaking to +972 Magazine before the first day of protest last month, one of the ‘Great Return March’ organizers, Hasan al-Kurd, explained that the plan was to set up camps between between 700-1000 meters from Israel’s border fence, outside the Israeli army’s unilaterally imposed buffer zone. In the weeks leading up to Nakba Day, there would be weekly marches as well as bicycle races and other events.
By mid-May, the Return March organizers hope that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians will join.
What is Canary Mission?
Canary Mission first appeared in the spring of 2015 with a series of online attacks on undergraduate student activists who had spoken out about the denial of Palestinians’ human rights. Though the organization’s leadership and membership are anonymous, it is clearly ideologically aligned with the far-right end of the Israeli political spectrum.
- Australian companies scammed and remain unpaid from the Commonwealth Games in India
- One of the world’s most volatile Stock markets
- The slowest court system on the planet when it comes to complaints
- Turnbull the mony manager wants to risk our Super in a highly corrupt commercial market
The troubled Adani coal mine continues to raise anxieties in Australia’s relationship with India, but the project was not raised in the leadership talks, with the focus on investment from superannuation and other big funds.
With a PhD in economics, Mr Haraco quickly set about starting his own business. He imports food and drinks, deals in real estate, and runs a pizza and billiards parlour.
He works hard to ensure other African-Australians can enjoy the kind of success and prosperity that he and his family have.
Twin reports by the International Monetary Fund sketch a chain reaction of dangerous consequences for world finance. The policy – if you can call it that – puts the US on an untenable debt trajectory. It smacks of Latin American caudillo populism, a Peronist contagion that threatens to destroy the moral foundations of the Great Republic.
The IMF’s Fiscal Monitor estimates that the US budget deficit will spike to 5.3 per cent of GDP this year and 5.9 per cent in 2019. This is happening at a stage of the economic cycle when swelling tax revenues should be reducing net borrowing to zero.
The deficit will still be 5 per cent in 2023. By then the ratio of public debt will have ballooned to 117 per cent (it was 61 per cent in 2007). Franklin Roosevelt defeated fascism with a total war economy at lower ratios.
The Liberals were right. There’s no need for a banking Royal Commission. It’s just fostering ill will and leading to a lot of complaints from people. Ok, not perhaps, the dead clients that the Commonwealth Bank continued to charge for advice even though they knew that they’d died. Let’s be real here, people. Dead people aren’t in the best position to make their own decisions so they probably needed the advice more than anyone. I have it from a source that in many cases the advice was: “You should stop paying me now that you’re dead.” Not one of these dead clients are complaining that the advice was wrong, even if it wasn’t heeded.
Does the Treasurer really think the public is so dim?
Tony Shepherd has been paid $55,000 for 17 days work producing a report which recommended that the rules governing the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund be changed to allow the government to pretty much do what it likes with its five billion dollar slush fund.
That’s the same Tony Shepherd who was paid $85,000 for a few weeks work as head of the Commission of Audit that was the basis for Abbott’s 2014 budget from hell.