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Member since: Wed Oct 7, 2015, 07:51 AM
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Hacked Emails Reveal NATO General Plotting Against Obama on Russia Policy

Source: The Intercept

RETIRED U.S. AIR FORCE Gen. Philip Breedlove, until recently the supreme commander of NATO forces in Europe, plotted in private to overcome President Barack Obama’s reluctance to escalate military tensions with Russia over the war in Ukraine in 2014, according to apparently hacked emails from Breedlove’s Gmail account that were posted on a new website called DC Leaks.

Obama defied political pressure from hawks in Congress and the military to provide lethal assistance to the Ukrainian government, fearing that doing so would increase the bloodshed and provide Russian President Vladimir Putin with the justification for deeper incursions into the country.

Breedlove, during briefings to Congress, notably contradicted the Obama administration regarding the situation in Ukraine, leading to news stories about conflict between the general and Obama.

But the leaked emails provide an even more dramatic picture of the intense back-channel lobbying for the Obama administration to begin a proxy war with Russia in Ukraine.

In a series of messages in 2014, Breedlove sought meetings with former Secretary of State Colin Powell, asking for advice on how to pressure the Obama administration to take a more aggressive posture toward Russia.


“Given Obama’s instruction to you not to start a war, this may be a tough sell,” Ullman replied a few months later, in another string of emails about Breedlove’s effort to “leverage, cajole, convince or coerce the U.S. to react” to Russia.

Read more: https://theintercept.com/2016/07/01/nato-general-emails/

Maori men suffering in disability statistics - another example of oppression?

Professor says poor social conditions to blame for ethnic divide in health outcomes.

An official report has uncovered starkly unequal lives for New Zealand's main ethnic groups, with Maori men living an average of only 54 years before developing a disability requiring assistance from others.

The Social Report, a 300-page "state of the nation" survey by the Ministry of Social Development, also shows New Zealanders rate their own health higher than anywhere else in the OECD and that fewer people are victims of crime - but that te reo Maori speakers are declining rapidly, especially in older age groups as native Maori speakers die off.

The report was published annually from 2001 to 2010 but was then moved to a three-yearly cycle to cut costs. The report due in 2013 was postponed to include 2013 Census data, and has just appeared without fanfare on the ministry's website.

It shows that life has got better on 28 out of 44 measures that can be compared over the past decade, including on life expectancy and "health expectancy" - years lived in good health with no need for external assistance.



If I had to pick a democratic, just and civil society, after Denmark, I would say a good example would be New Zealand.

Yet it seems that even there the indigenous people are still suffering from significant social discrimination that severely affects their lives. Thinking about it, it does seem to be something of a pattern in many other "English" nations -- Canada, the USA, and Australia -- that the indigenous population has been discriminated against not only in the past but that such discrimination continues today. The statistics on indigenous populations in all these countries bear this out in health, live span, alcoholism, unemployment as just some examples.

So, unless we are to think that ethnic groups as distinct as North American First Nations people, Australian Aborigines and the Maori of New Zealand are all some how deficient, the only explanation must be pervasive systemic racism against these people. How can this STILL be happening in such progressive western nations? I am truly boggled.

Cracovians to protest proposed abortion law with clothes hangers

Source: Krakow Post - Poland

A proposed bill which would impose a total ban on abortion in Poland has drawn ire across the country from women’s groups and others, who plan to protest it Sunday afternoon at 14:00 on Krakow’s Main Square.

Under current laws dating back to 1993, abortion is banned except when the mother’s life is endangered, the pregnancy is the result of a criminal act, or the fetus is seriously malformed. Polish women who travel abroad to get abortions, as well as those who get them illegally, cannot be prosecuted.

Critics of the bill say that it will lead to public health crises, undignified and excessive criminal investigations (targeting even women who miscarry), and an increase in illegal abortions, which are often extremely risky.

To symbolize this last point, attendees of tomorrow’s demonstration are encouraged to carry clothes hangers along with signs. As of this writing, nearly 3,000 people have said they will attend the event on Facebook. 14 other cities will hold parallel demonstrations under the banner of “Nie dla torturowania kobiet!” (“No to torturing women!”), organized by the feminist group Dziewuchy dziewuchom (roughly translated, Wenches to Wenches).

A similar proposal to completely ban abortion was rejected 206-178 by the Sejm (the legislative lower house) in September 2015, when it was controlled by the more socially liberal PO party. Polling conducted in 2014 revealed that, while most Poles oppose abortion on demand and even more take a personal moral stand against it, the vast majority of the population supports the current exceptions.

However, the bill, which comes as the result of a citizen’s initiative sponsored by anti-abortion group Fundacja Pro, has the support of the Catholic Church in Poland as well as Prime Minister Beata Szydło of the ruling PiS party.

Read more: http://www.krakowpost.com/12032/2016/04/cracovians-protest-proposed-abortion-law

Poland is still in the grips of the very conservative Polish Catholic church, especially in regards to woman's rights concerning reproduction.

With the right wing now having a majority government in Poland, I am afraid what little abortion rights that do exist and other civil liberties will be further infringed on.

Horrific conditions in Australia’s refugee centers intended to scare off migrants – doctor

Source: RT - Russia Today

The Australian government is creating unbearable conditions at its offshore processing centers to send a message to other migrants not to come to the country, Dr John-Paul Sanggaran, a medical officer, who worked at one of such facilities, told RT.
Sanggaran is the co-author of the paper, entitled “Is Australia engaged in torturing asylum seekers? A cautionary tale for Europe,” which was published in the Journal of Medical Ethics last week, once again attracting public attention to the country’s controversial asylum policy.

Refugees, who were “often victims of violence and abuse” in their home countries, are “placed onto remote islands… essentially, denied their freedom for an indefinite period of time,” he told RT.

The people are forced to live in tents, with “very-very poor medical services there. Especially, in terms of mental health” provided to them, the doctor said.

Australia is “taking these people (asylum seekers) and treating them in a terrible way to send a message to other people that they shouldn’t come here: ‘Please, don’t come to Australia to seek asylum,” he stressed.

“And to the people that are already trapped within the system to make their lives so difficult and so intolerable that they choose to return often to countries where they’ll face prosecutions," Sanggaran added.

Read more: https://www.rt.com/news/349066-australia-refugees-detention-torture/

This sad story has fallen from the mainstream media lately, but clearly has not gone away. I am so very disappointed in Australia for their inhumane treatment of these poor people.

And just in case the article's source, Russia Today, bothers some people, here are addition links that back up this story.

Australia’s Hidden, Deadly Migrant Crisis

How Australia's Twisted Racial Politics Created Horrific Detention Camps For Immigrants

Papua New Guinea: The camps where Australia sends asylum seekers

Driven to suicide – treatment by Australia tips asylum seekers over the edge
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