Resistance, for the Win!

Charles M. Blow * – The New York Times

Tuesday night’s election results were a major shot in the arm for the anti-Donald Trump resistance and a major slap in the face for all the Democrats who caterwauled last November about how the party had focused too much on courting women and minorities, and ignored angry white men.

After Trump’s election, there seemed to be a surge in coverage of these men, like The Guardian’s “Trump’s Angry White Men” and Time’s “The Revenge of the White Man.”

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There is a way to outlaw tax havens – and I’ll personally tell world leaders how to do it

By  Gordon Brown*

If a million people sign my open letter to Argentine President Mauricio Macri, chair of the G20, I will personally deliver it to him.

Eight years ago, at a G20 summit in London, I tried to end the unfairness of global tax havens. But as the Paradise Papers leak shows, trillions of dollars are still being siphoned off through new loopholes to dodge tax in the most shadowy places in the global economy.

It is one of today’s greatest injustices – allowing the richest to stand aside while the rest of us pay for health, education and protecting the most vulnerable.

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Saudi Arabia gets its first real government

By David P. Goldman* – Asia Times

A couple of years ago I attended seminars with Chinese and Israeli counterterrorism experts in Beijing, in my capacity as a board member of a foundation that promotes Sino-Israel relations. A senior Chinese official complained that the Saudi royal family funds every radical madrassa in Xinjiang province, where Muslim Uyghurs of Turkish ethnicity form the majority. With a long and porous border stretching through sparsely-populated lands, Chinese security couldn’t prevent the funds from pouring in.

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Ten Principles for Protecting Refugees

Human Rights Watch*

Ten Principles for Protecting Refugees and Internally Displaced People Arising from Burma’s Rohingya Crisis.

 Report from Human Rights Watch

1. Members of the Rohingya ethnic group who have fled from Burma to Bangladesh are refugees and should be recognized as such. They are entitled to all rights that attach to refugee status.

More than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled from Burma to Bangladesh since August 25, 2017. Counting previous flights of Rohingya refugees, including after the 2012 and 2016 violence in Rakhine State, the number of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh could reach one million.

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Two Irreconcilable Views on Catalonia

Opinions of  Carles Puigdemont and Guy Verhofstadt

This is not just about Catalonia. This is about democracy itself

Carles Puigdemont * – The Guardian

Spain has imposed a political agenda that goes against the will of the majority of Catalans. We will defend our rights to the end

Catalonia is right now the only territory in the European Union that has been denied the supreme law its citizens voted for; the parliament that its citizens elected; the president that this parliament elected; and the government that this president appointed in the exercise of his powers. Acting in an arbitrary, undemocratic, and in my view, unlawful manner, the Spanish state decided to dissolve the Catalan parliament in the middle of the legislative term, to dismiss the president and the Catalan government, to intervene in our self-government and the institutions that the Catalans have been building in our nation for centuries.

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It’s the Guns. It’s Always Been the Guns

By David M. Perry* – The Nation

Trump and the GOP blame mental illness for the Texas massacre. That’s a destructive lie.

Within a day of the massacre of men, women, and children in a Texas church, President Donald Trump made three claims. First, he maintained it wasn’t a guns problem. Second, he said the shooter was stopped by someone else with a gun. Third, he blamed mental illness. Together the statements made one thing very clear: There is no amount of violence or sympathetic victims that will ever shame today’s Republican Party to take action on guns.

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The inside story of the Saudi night of long knives


Princes, ministers and a billionaire are ‘imprisoned’ in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton while the Saudi Arabian Army is said to be in an uproar

The House of Saud’s King Salman devises an high-powered “anti-corruption” commission and appoints his son, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, a.k.a. MBS, as chairman.

Right on cue, the commission detains 11 House of Saud princes, four current ministers and dozens of former princes/cabinet secretaries – all charged with corruption. Hefty bank accounts are frozen, private jets are grounded. The high-profile accused lot is “jailed” at the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton.

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Mass Shootings In America Are Becoming More Common — And More Deadly

By Rebecca Shapiro* – The Huffington Post

Three of the worst mass shootings in modern U.S. history happened in the past year and a half.

OrlandoLas VegasSutherland Springs: three of the worst mass shootings in modern U.S. history all happened in the past 17 months.

As Denver journalist Kyle Clark grimly observed on Monday, the 1999 Columbine High School massacre that once shocked the world when two gunmen killed 12 students and 1 teacher, has been pushed off the list of the top 10 deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history.

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Women in the Service Sector Are at the Forefront of Resisting Sexual Harassment

By Kai Wright* – The Nation

Strength in numbers is more powerful than naming and shaming.

June Barrett left Jamaica and migrated ?to the United States, looking for safety. It was 2001, and her increasingly open identity as a queer woman was making life untenable back home. When it came up at work and she became a target for harassment, she decided it was time to go. Barrett followed her twin sister to Miami.

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From Miami to Shanghai: 3C of warming will leave world cities below sea level

Jonathan Watts* – The Guardian

An elevated level of climate change would lock in irreversible sea-level rises affecting hundreds of millions of people, Guardian data analysis shows

Hundreds of millions of urban dwellers around the world face their cities being inundated by rising seawaters if latest UN warnings that the world is on course for 3C of global warming come true, according to a Guardian data analysis.

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An Urgent Need to Transform World’s Energy Systems (1)

By António Guterres*

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 1 2017 (IPS) – When we discuss global interconnection in relation to energy, we are at the centre of the two key words that express our global concerns – sustainability and inclusivity.

We want to make sure that we move into a situation in which energy becomes the key factor of sustainability and obviously with a global interconnection effectively working we can produce energy where it can be done in a more friendly way to the environment and to the risk of climate change.

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From Lenin to Xi Jinping

by Pratap Bhanu Mehta  -   The Indian Express

How the Chinese Communist Party has buried the revolutionary spirit of 1917

The 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution this month has passed without too much discussion. This is for entirely understandable reasons: The meaning of 1917 has to a great degree been eclipsed by the meaning of 1989. The more we learn about the revolution from new archives, or rescue it from encrusted Cold War histories, the more difficult it is for even the last remnants of Communist nostalgia to hold onto any idea of commemorating it in a celebratory spirit. The revolution had far-reaching effects, no doubt. The ways in which Bolsheviks acquired, and more importantly, held onto power, still repays study.

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Climate change isn’t just hurting the planet – it’s a public health emergency

Christiana Figueres*

Doctors have revealed that millions are already suffering the effects, in the spread of infectious diseases, uneven crop yields and longer allergy seasons     

When the doctor tells you that your cholesterol is too high, you tend to listen and change your diet. When the world’s climate scientists tell us that temperatures are rising to dangerous levels, we should heed their advice. It’s time to give up climate change, it’s bad for our health.

I’m not talking about the health of our planet or the health of species such as the polar bear, so often associated with climate change – though they are suffering. I’m talking about human health. The health of you, your family, your neighbours – each and every one of us.

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Women and Malnutrition in Africa

By Raghav Gaiha and Vani S. Kulkarni (*)

NEW DELHI and PHILADELPHIA, Oct 31 2017 (IPS) – Undernutrition is widespread and a key reason for poor child health in many developing countries. In Sub-Saharan Africa, around 40 percent of children under the age of five suffer from stunted growth, that is, severely reduced height-for-age relative to their growth potential. Stunting is a result of periods of undernutrition in early childhood, and it has been found to have a series of adverse long-term effects in those who survive childhood. It is negatively associated with mental development, human capital accumulation, adult health, and with economic productivity and income levels in adulthood.

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These Psychiatrists Say Trump Poses an Imminent Threat to Humanity

By Jon Wiener* – The Nation

Amy Wilentz explains psychiatrists’ “duty to warn the public.”

Amy Wilentz is a long-time contributing editor at The Nation and the former Jerusalem correspondent for The New Yorker. She’s best known for her award-winning books on Haiti, most recently Farewell, Fred Voodoo. This interview has been edited and condensed.

Jon Wiener: Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee got the punditocracy going a couple of weeks ago by comparing the White House to an adult day-care center, and, after some particularly crazy tweets from Trump, commenting, “Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.” Since then, we’ve seen news reports quoting people close to the president saying in private that he is “unstable,” “losing a step,” and “unraveling.” Now we have a new book where psychiatrists express their professional judgments about The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump—that’s the book’s title; it’s edited by Bandy Lee and it has spent three weeks on the New York Times bestseller list since debuting at number four. What exactly is this book?

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Checking My Male Privilege

Charles M. Blow – The New York Times

With the recent rash of high-profile accusations of sexual harassment and assault — from Harvey Weinstein to George H. W. Bush to Mark Halperin — I found myself feeling shocked at the pervasiveness of this sort of behavior, and embarrassed that I was shocked.

After all, I know all the data.

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As Trump turns his back on the world, the stage is set for President Xi

Larry Elliott* – The Guardian

It was a symbolic moment. High in the Swiss Alps, before an audience of the super-rich gathered for their annual shindig in Davos, China’s Xi Jinping delivered a powerful defence of globalisation. Protectionism, he said, was like locking yourself in a dark room. “While wind and rain may be kept outside, that dark room will also block light and air.”

On that January day nine months ago, the target for Xi’s comments was more than 4,000 miles away on the other side of the Atlantic, preparing for his inauguration as president a couple of days later. The message was simple: if Donald Trump is going to turn his back on the world, China will fill the vacuum.

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Case for a UN Interim Administration in Rakhine

By Farhaan Uddin Ahmed – The Daily Star, Bangladesh

The Myanmar military’s latest campaign against the Rohingyas began after the attack on multiple police posts in Rakhine on August 25, 2017. The country’s military leadership, with the support of radical Buddhist elements, is perpetrating an “ethnic cleansing” campaign killing, raping, maiming, and setting ablaze one Rohingya village after another. Nearly 600,000 Rohingya refugees have crossed into Bangladesh within a span of two months. The world has not witnessed such a large exodus of people in such a short period since the Rwandan genocide in 1994. As a result of this brutal campaign, the majority of Rohingyas are now residing in Bangladesh.

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In the Era of Trump, Illusions Are Not Reserved for Halloween

By Patricia J. Williams* – The Nation

It is a tribute to the strange unreality of our time that among the children’s Halloween outfits being sold online, there was this: an Anne Frank costume. “100% polyester,” read the product description. “Easy to put on and take off. Visits to the toilet made easy thanks to Velcro fastening.”

“All the kids love it,” another blurb promised. “This outfit can be worn for many different occasions such as World War times, Evacuee times and also as a street urchin.” Happily, the pushback was immediate, strong, and condemnatory enough that the costume’s name was changed. It is now being sold as a “World War II Evacuee…Fancy Dress Costume [for] Girls.”

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Pollution or How the ‘Take-Make-Dispose’ Economic Model Does Kill

By Baher Kamal

ROME, Oct 26 2017 (IPS) - The prevailing “Take-Make-Dispose” linear economic model consisting of voracious depletion of natural resources in both production and consumption patterns has proved to be one of the world’s main killers due to the huge pollution it causes for air, land and soil, marine and freshwater.

Just to have an idea, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that nearly a quarter of all deaths worldwide, amounting to 12.6 million people in 2012, are due to pollution, with at least 8.2 million attributable to non-communicable environmental causes, and more than three quarters occurring in just three regions.

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