A Planet in Loss Mode

By Subhankar Banerjee - ICH - December 11, 2018

If you’ve been paying attention to what’s happening to the nonhuman life forms with which we share this planet, you’ve likely heard the term “the Sixth Extinction.” If not, look it up.  After all, a superb environmental reporter, Elizabeth Kolbert, has already gotten a Pulitzer Prize for writing a book with that title.

Whether the sixth mass species extinction of Earth’s history is already (or not quite yet) underway may still be debatable, but it’s clear enough that something’s going on, something that may prove even more devastating than a mass of species extinctions: the full-scale winnowing of vast populations of the planet’s invertebrates, vertebrates, and plants.  Think of it, to introduce an even broader term, as a wave of “biological annihilation” that includes possible species extinctions on a mass scale, but also massive species die-offs and various kinds of massacres.

Someday, such a planetary winnowing may prove to be the most tragic of all the grim stories of human history now playing out on this planet, even if to date it’s gotten far less attention than the dangers of climate change.  In the end, it may prove more difficult to mitigate than global warming.  Decarbonizing the global economy, however hard, won’t be harder or more improbable than the kind of wholesale restructuring of modern life and institutions that would prevent species annihilation from continuing.   

By Peter Koenig -  NEO  - December 11, 2018

The Yellow Vest Movement – weekend 8 and 9 December – Round 4. Some say, they are the worst riots in France since the student-driven mini-Revolution of May 1968. Over the four weekends, hundreds of thousands were in the streets, middle class people, from students to workers to outright employees and housewives. The police force increases by every new Round – and so do the demonstrators. Today – more than 8,000 police, a considerable increase from last weekend’s 5,000-plus. Tens of thousands Yellow Vests demonstrated; police reported more than 1,600 arrests.

There are tanks in the streets – not seen for at least ten years – burning cars and shop fronts, vandalized buildings. The police are fighting them with teargas, water cannons and rubber bullets. Police brutality seems to be unavoidable, However, apparently more moderate than on other occasions. Nevertheless, a youtube is circulating, where a group of riot gear protected police beat up a helpless Yellow Vest, already on the ground and defenseless. These are the pictures you see on TV.

And the globalized ‘everybodies’ throughout Europe and the (western) world sit comfortably in their fauteuils, shaking their heads – “the French again; they are never content, always want more” – having apparently no idea that what they, the French workers, had rightfully accumulated in terms of social funds and public infrastructure – hospitals, schools – since WWII (instead of paying for a heavy army) is being ‘legally’ stolen by a small elite who put a Rothschild banker – Macron – in power to pass the necessary legislation to make the fraud legal.

 
Graffiti on a boarded-up store during a Yellow Vests protest reads "No Christmas for the Bourgeoisie" Photo: Marcel Cartier

The French ruling class is being shaken to the core and the huge people’s struggle has just begun.

It began with the now familiar Yellow Vests movement, a militant street rebellion against intolerable economic conditions of poverty as the super-rich flaunt their wealth stolen from the workers.

With each day, the movement is rapidly deepening, sweeping across France, with mass popular sectors, high-school, university, working and unemployed youth, postal, port, firefighters, transportation and other unionists, and more, joining in.

After weeks of remaining silent while he oversaw the deployment of 89,000 police in a brutal assault in the hopes of crushing the protests, today French president Emmanuel Macron pleaded on national television to the public.

Stating, “Maybe I gave the impression I didn’t care but that is not true. Maybe I hurt some of you. That was not my intention,” Macron declared a state of economic and social emergency, and promised immediate changes.

Among the few concrete measures he announced is an end-of-year untaxed bonus for all workers, while promising to work toward guaranteed work for students after graduation. The French president also committed to raising the minimum wage. Macron said that Prime Minister Édouard Philippe will announce further changes tomorrow in Parliament.

But he made clear that repression will be the order of the day to stop the protests.

He began by accusing the protesters of violence and warned that the state will intervene to stop them. “When there is violence, freedom stops. The calm and republican order is what needs to be restored. We will do everything to restore it … I have given the most rigorous instructions.”

Yet, what could become the biggest mobilization to date, “Act V,” is set for this coming weekend.

The Australian National Justice Project is seeking injunctions and damages for crimes committed by the Common Wealth of Australia against refugees and asylum seekers.

Nauru - fences and barbed wires for refugee detention

On Monday, a class action lawsuit will be brought against Australia by an NGO for abuses committed against asylum seekers and refugees in offshore centers.

“There are 12 people that died offshore because of the way they’ve been treated by the Australian government,” said George New House who leads the National Justice Project. New House is referring to 12 people who have were detained on Nauru and Manus Island and died from causes such as suicide, untreated medical conditions or because they have been murdered.

The two class actions against the Common Wealth of Australia will be lead by a team of lawyers from the National Justice Project, led by the renowned barrister Julian Burnside QC.

The alleged violations committed against refugees and asylum seekers include torture, crimes against humanity, and the intentional infliction of harm as part of the country’s offshore processing system.

Finian Cunningham
© REUTERS / Benoit Tessier

 

French people are standing up for their rights and speaking out for many others around the world who are sick at the injustice of capitalism. None more so than people of Western states who have had to endure decades of economic austerity while a tiny elite become ever more obscenely wealthy.

In addition to the irrational malign distribution of wealth that capitalism bestows, Western states — that is, the oligarch-serving politicians — spend and waste inordinate financial resources on militarism and waging criminal wars.

For the fourth weekend in a row, the French public have taken to the streets of Paris and other major cities to demand economic justice.
They also want President Emmanuel Macron to resign. Macron has so far kept his usual aloof silence on the protests, leaving it up to his prime minister Edouard Philippe to placate the angry nation.

Bringing the country to almost a standstill by blocking transport links and fuel supply, the French have demonstrated "people power" and what can be achieved when we organize for our rights.

Macron's government has caved in to scrap plans for tax hikes on the transport fuel. Those proposed price hikes is what triggered ordinary people's fury, donning the now symbolic "yellow vests" that all drivers in France are obliged to carry in vehicles for safety reasons.

The French public say the new taxes would hit their livelihoods.

Yellow Vests rallies sweep across France and abroad (PHOTO,VIDEO)

 
Color of outrage: Yellow Vests rallies sweep across France and abroad (PHOTO,VIDEO)
France has been gripped by rallies as Yellow Vests demand new concessions from the government. Hundreds of protesters, including the movement’s leader, were detained during the demonstrations.

Yellow Vest protests have hit the country for the 4th consecutive weekend. Protests in the capital this Saturday resulted in clashes between demonstrators and police, with officers resorting to tear gas. Hundreds were detained and taken into custody in the capital.

UPDATE:

MUST WATCH: Assange appeals court-ordered 'house rules (is it truly Assange?)

© REUTERS / Toby Melville

"The suggestion that as long as the death penalty is off the table, Mr. Assange need not fear persecution is obviously wrong," Assange's lawyer, Barry Pollack, told the Telegraph while commenting on the deal with the UK announced by the Ecuador President Lenin Moreno on Thursday.

The agreement envisages certain safeguards for Assange that he won't face the death penalty if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy in London, which has sheltered the famous fugitive since 2012.

Moreno said that Ecuador had received written assurances from the UK that Assange will not be extradited to any country where he might be put to death. Moreno, who has repeatedly indicated that he would like to get rid of Assange, whom he called "more than a nuisance," said the deal struck with the UK is "a path" for Assange to "exit into near freedom."

Moreno however, did not elaborate on how "near" that freedom would be, considering Assange is still sought in the UK on bail violation charges dating back to 2012. The UK authorities reportedly told Ecuador that the maximum sentence for the minor offence will not exceed six months.

Being spared from capital punishment does not mean that Assange is safe from getting extradited and going on trial in the US for releasing troves of US diplomatic cables – something Pollack is not OK with.

"No one should have to face criminal charges for publishing truthful information," the lawyer told the Telegraph.

Ambazonia opted for independence

“I am not Cameroonian, I am an Ambazonian,” these were the words of separatist leaders who appeared before a military tribunal in Cameroon on Thursday.

When asked of their nationalities, Julius Sisuku Ayuk Tabe along with nine others said they belonged to the so-called Ambazonia republic and not Cameroon.

They are standing trial on charges of terrorism, secession, civil war etc. The case has since been adjourned to January 10, 2019 after the defense team argued that the state had submitted a list of witnesses too late to the hearing.

Ayuk Tabe and over forty others were arrested in Nigeria and handed over to the Cameroonian government since January 2018. Their lawyer confirmed last week that the charges could carry the death sentence if they are found guilty.

They had been kept incommunicado for months before they were finally arraigned before a military tribunal. Minister of Information, Issa Tchiroma Bakary is on record to have said they were being well catered for whiles in detention.

MbS - Mohamed bin Salman / Insert: Jamal Khashoggi

(vf) 'Crazy' crown prince is 'complicit' in Jamal Khashoggi killing, said Republican US senator Lindsey Graham after the director of the CIA Gina Haspel updated senators about the case behind closed doors, where Mohamed bin Salman was portrayed as a criminal and liar as crazy, dangerous, a wrecking ball, and "complicit in the murder to the highest level possible" of journalist Jamal Khashoggi after he entered Saudi Arabia's consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul on 2nd October to process marriage papers.

Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the senate foreign relations committee who had already earlier called for a strong US reaction to Mr Khashoggi's death and supports legislation to end all US support for the Saudi coalition embroiled in the Yemen war, said: "The views that I had before have only solidified."

The spy agency has evidence he exchanged messages with Saud al-Qahtani, who allegedly oversaw the Saudi reporter's murder.

At a news conference in Riyadh on Thursday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Shalaan bin Rajih Shalaan said Khashoggi was given a lethal injection and his body was dismembered inside the consulate after his death.

The body parts were then handed over to a local "collaborator" outside the grounds, he added.

Why is this important to know for Nature and Human Rights Defenders

             Wildlife protection abused for Global Governance

(vf) Well funded USA-based groups involved in so-called 'conservation' have since long been on the forefront of forest or wildlife area management - especially in Africa, Asia and South America. Question was always: Where do their funds come from?

At least since the days of the late gorilla-researcher Dian Fossey, who reportedly worked for the CIA in Rwanda but fell apart and was consequently 'murdered' among 'her' gorillas, it has become clear that also this sector had been and is infiltrated by planted 'experts' with different motifs and an ulterior agenda.

While the cover-up story for Dian was financed boldly to produce books and Hollywood films, earlier a German genuine Gorilla protector died in the Magahinga forest reserve in Uganda. Klaus Sucker had likewise vowed to protect the near extinct mountain gorillas of the Virunga Range on the Ugandan side, but unfortunately became witness to the US-backed arms transports across the mountains into Rwanda before the Genocide. The almost 2m tall man was found hanging from a low window handle. The assassination case has not been brought to a close until today.

by Thierry Meyssan

For Thierry Meyssan, by taking to the streets, the French have become the first Western population to take personal risks to oppose financial globalisation. Although they do not realise it, and still imagine that their problems are exclusively national, their enemy is the same force that crushed the region of the African Great Lakes and a part of the Greater Middle East. In order to understand the project which inextricably unites these apparently disparate events, we have to take a step back.

The cause of Western recession

International relations experienced a profound change with the paralysis of the Soviet Union in 1986, when the State was unable to control the civilian nuclear incident in Tchernobyl [1], then with the revocation of the Warsaw Pact in 1989, when the East German Communist Party [2] destroyed the Berlin Wall, and finally, with the dissolution of the USSR in 1991.

At that time, the President of the United States, George Bush Sr., decided to demobilise one million soldiers and devote the efforts of his country to its own prosperity. He wanted to transform US hegemony within its zone of influence, and expand it into that of the leader of the world, the guarantor of world stability. With that, he laid the foundations for a « New World Order », first of all in the speech he gave side by side with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, at the Aspen Institute (2 August 1990), then during his speech to Congress (11 September 1990), announcing operation « Desert Storm » [3].

The world of the après-Soviet Union is one of free circulation, not only of merchandise, but also world capital, under the unique control of the United States. In other words, the passage from capitalism to financialisation – not the triumphant culmination of free exchange, but an exacerbated form of colonial exploitation of the whole world, including the West. Within the space of a quarter of a century, the major US fortunes have multiplied many times, and the global wealth of the world has increased considerably.

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