Attacks on medical workers in war zones under fire

By Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS, Feb 12 2016 (IPS) – The growing number of indiscriminate bombings in three of the most devastating military conflicts currently underway -– in Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen – are taking a heavy toll on medical personnel serving with humanitarian organizations — along with thousands of civilians caught in the crossfire between government forces and rebel groups.

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Putin’s plan: ruin Europe before its sanctions kill Russia

GEORGE SOROS* – The Australian

The leaders of the US and the EU are making a grievous error in thinking that President Vladimir Putin’s Russia is a potential ally in the fight against Islamic State. The evidence contradicts them. Putin’s aim is to foster the EU’s disintegration, and the best way to do so is to flood the EU with Syrian refugees.

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Will Russian Victories in Syria Spark a Regional War?

By Yaroslav Trofimov – The Wall Street Journal?

Turkey, Saudi Arabia have few military options, but can’t afford to abandon the rebels

Defying U.S. predictions of a quagmire in Syria, Russia is achieving strategic victories there with this month’s Aleppo offensive. The question now is whether this is a turning point that hastens the five-year war’s end or the trigger for a counter-escalation that will drag other regional countries into the conflict.

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Internet power to the people

Prabir Purkayastha* – The Hindu

The regulations issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) barring differential pricing of data based on content have created a global impact. A friend, who runs a major international software company, called it the most important victory for the people in the tech space in the last 20 years. India has joined a select few countries that have protected net neutrality and barred zero-rating services.

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Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote

By Michelle Alexander* – The Nation

From the crime bill to welfare reform, policies Bill Clinton enacted—and Hillary Clinton supported—decimated black America

Hillary Clinton loves black people. And black people love Hillary—or so it seems. Black politicians have lined up in droves to endorse her, eager to prove their loyalty to the Clintons in the hopes that their faithfulness will be remembered and rewarded. Black pastors are opening their church doors, and the Clintons are making themselves comfortably at home once again, engaging effortlessly in all the usual rituals associated with “courting the black vote,” a pursuit that typically begins and ends with Democratic politicians making black people feel liked and taken seriously. Doing something concrete to improve the conditions under which most black people live is generally not required.

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UN Mobilises Action to End Female Genital Mutilation within 15 Years

Human Wrongs Watch*

Marking the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), dozens of women, girls, experts, and United Nations officials on 8 February 2016 gathered at a special event at UN Headquarters to discuss ways of eliminating the harmful practice by 2030 and to celebrate the increased mobilization against it.

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Overwhelming Majority of Americans Believe Both Parties Are Too Corrupt to Change Anything … “This, In Fact, Is A Revolution”

Submitted by George Washington – Zero Hedge

We’ve previously noted that polls show that Americans are in a “pre-revolutionary” mood, that less than 1 in 5 Americans think that the government has the “consent of the governed”, that government corruption tops the list of Americans’ fears (gee, we wonder why), and that 3 times as many Americans supported King George during the Revolutionary War than support our OWN Congress today.

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The U.S. Military Bombs in the Twenty-First Century

By Tom Engelhardt* – naked capitalism

Here’s my twenty-first-century rule of thumb about this country: if you have to say it over and over, it probably ain’t so. Which is why I’d think twice every time we’re told how “exceptional” or “indispensable” the United States is. For someone like me who can still remember a moment when Americans assumed that was so, but no sitting president, presidential candidate, or politician felt you had to say the obvious, such lines reverberate with defensiveness. They seem to incorporate other voices you can almost hear whispering that we’re ever less exceptional, more dispensable, no longer (to quote the greatest of them all by his own estimate) “the greatest.” In this vein, consider a commonplace line running around Washington (as it has for years): the U.S. military is “the finest fighting force in the history of the world.” Uh, folks, if that’s so, then why the hell can’t it win a damn thing 14-plus years later?

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Cameron at large: Want Not to Become a Terrorist? Speak Fluent English!

By Baher Kamal* – Human Wrongs Watch

Cairo, February 2016 – “Do you speak English fluently? No? Then you risk to become a terrorist!.” IPS posed this dilemma to some young Muslim women living in Cairo, while explaining that this appears to be UK prime minister David Cameron’s formula to judge the level of Muslim women’s risk to fall, passively, into the horrific trap of extremism.

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How Sanders Has Transformed the Democratic Race

By the Editors – The Nation

Clinton eked out her narrow victory only because she adopted Bernie’s populist message. Both she and the Democratic Party have now welcomed his call for more debates.

It is little less than astonishing that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders—a politician who, not long ago, was widely branded as almost irrelevant, a marginal gadfly from the left—secured a virtual tie with establishment favorite Hillary Clinton in the Iowa Democratic primary. There is no longer any question that? the Sanders movement—led not so much by the candidate but by the thousands of young people who first turned out for his rallies and are now turning out to vote—is transforming the Democratic race. Indeed, Clinton eked out a razor-thin victory in Iowa because she veered left and finished her campaign with calls for wage hikes to address income inequality and new taxes on the rich—what The Des Moines Register referred to as “populist fire.” But the result gave Sanders, the democratic socialist from the Green Mountain State, a chance to declare: “I think the people of Iowa have sent a very profound message to the political establishment, to the economic establishment and, by the way, to the media establishment.”

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Jim Grant and the Sustainable Development Goals

Richard Jolly*

Jim Grant showed the world how to link global UN goals with worldwide action, country–by country, to succeed in their implementation and make a revolutionary difference. In the 1980s, Jim Grant mobilized UNICEF staff, then UNICEF country offices, and most important, Presidents, Prime Ministers and other key political leaders, as well, of course, as key government ministries. The goal was to reduce child deaths and improve child survival and development – by specific actions in health, nutrition, education and services for children which are vital for their upbringing and future welfare. He convinced world leaders to commit, first to immunising every child in the world, and then, gradually, to a set of 26 precise goals for children to be reached by 2000. Setting UN goals was nothing new, the first had been fixed in 1960. But Jim Grant showed how the UN and political leadership could be mobilized to ensure implementation and achievement.

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Jim Grant – Messianic Champion of Children

Mary Racelis*

To have been part of UNICEF in Jim Grant’s time was like riding on the tail of a shooting star. He whooshed through our lives, pulling us in to join him in making the Child Survival and Development Revolution happen. How did he succeed in inspiring thousands of staff to go far beyond the capacities they thought they already had, to give their all and more toward making a transformational difference for children?

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James P. Grant: the consumate advocate

by Mehr Khan Williams

In the last two decades of the 20th Century, a massive campaign was launched to save the lives of millions of children who were dying from preventable causes. An estimated 25 million children are alive today who would not have lived without it. And, while the campaign ended with the death of the man who initiated and led it,the world can never again say that it cannot be done. The momentum generated continues to save lives today.

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