PROLOGUE: After China, India evolves now very fast into an Orwellian state with mass-surveillance, biometric citizen-control, and by being the No 1 in the world to use the internet kill-switch, thereby still invoking British-colonial laws that never have been scrapped. Human rights violations have become the daily norm in India under President Modi and the colonial move of the Indian regime on Kashmir is unprecedented. India openly admits that they have in the case of Kashmir moved from blackout and shadow banning to only allowing internet connections whitelisted by the governance - means also all VPNs are blocked. In adition they only allow 2G access that makes the attack-use of stingers easy but dosn't really allow for proper internet access. Indian Service Providers like Bharti Airtel play along and even export their internet disruption and mobile phone shut-down skills already abroad, as recently experienced and suffered by millions of Tanzanians. Investors and users alike are advised to stay away from anything Indian, if they want to maintain worldwide and their own internet and mobile phone freedom and security. Indian IT technology is at least as dangerous as Chinese and the EU and USA should classify them likewiese as "high risk". India surely has left the path of being a democracy and the present state government's membership in the Non-Aligned States movement must be seriously questioned.
India Restores Some Internet Access in Kashmir After Long Shutdown
The announcement of restoration applied only to 301 websites, and many Kashmiris said they were still in an information black hole.
NEW DELHI — Months after imposing a sweeping communications blackout in Kashmir, the Indian government on Saturday unblocked some three hundred websites in the disputed Himalayan region, bringing a tentative end to the world’s longest internet shutdown in a democracy.
The announcement comes nearly half a year after India’s government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, revoked Kashmir’s semiautonomous status. Bracing for subsequent unrest, the authorities suspended landline and cellular connections, cut internet services and dispatched tens of thousands of troops to the area.
Prologue: Since Invasion Day on 26. January 1788 continuous oppression and acts of genocide against the Aboriginal people of Australia are still the norm - while the Commonwealth of Australia and thereby the Crown of England - at present Queen Elizabeth II. - hold the lands and its rightful Indigenous owners in a firm grip of imperial colonialism.
The legitimacy of the Australian state is inseparable from its relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the First Nations Peoples. Reckoning with this fact requires disrupting the status quo. Redressing the integral role of First Nations in the national narrative and in governance of our unceded lands means radically abolishing the colony as we know it and revolutionising a nation built on the ancient vision and voices of our ancestors.- Teela Reid
2020: The year of reckoning, not reconciliation
It’s time to show up
By Teela Reid - 26. January 2020 (pre-publication)
IN WIRADJURI LANGUAGE, my native tongue, Gari Yala means ‘speak truth’. Speaking truth is a hard task when you live in a country that denies the truth of its past. If you listen to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples ‘from all points of the southern sky’,[i] Gari Yala talk is omnipresent.
So as 2020 strikes, marking 250 years since the invasion of Indigenous lands, is Australia ready to Gari Yala and reckon with its past?
Let’s be clear: Captain Cook did not ‘discover’ the continent known as Australia. This must be the starting point for any dialogue about the relationship between the Australian state and the many First Nations that have never ceded sovereignty. Being honest about our past means having this difficult conversation, and it raises the question: is Australia ready for reckoning, not reconciliation?
UPDATE 30. January 2020: After the meeting with the WHO, Chinese became desperate to up the numbers: Over 7,000 cases are recorded now and around170 deaths related to this disease reported. BUT - during a typical year in the United States, 30,000 to 50,000 persons die as a result of influenza viral infection. Frequently cited numbers are 20,000 deaths each year, up to 37,000 annual deaths. About 5-10% of hospitalizations for influenza lead to fatal outcome in adults. this means that the present 2019-nCov flu-hype does focus on a very minimal affair with so far only 2.4% deadly outcomes. But the show and the human-herding exercise must go on. Meanwhile the Chinese realize that the economic damage of this Orwellian state-play is tremendous and corporations took their key staff out of China. India and the Philippines finally reported their first confirmed cases. WHO has now declared it a global emergency - despite the very low figures with so far only 68 cases and no death reported from outside China.
UPDATE 29. January 2020: Africa is also catching up with a case in Ivory Coast and two suspected cases reported from Kenya. The suspected cases in Ethiopia were reportedly not confirmed to be coronavirus 2019-nCoV. Australians, who had signed up to be evacuated from Wuhan, China, get now the same treatment as illegal immigrants and are condemned to stay on Christmas Island, the infamous detention island, for a two week quarantine instead of flying "home". Also New Zealand citizens on the Australian flights from China are subjected to this procedure. However, so far the evacuation flights haven't been given the go ahead by Chinese authorities - nobody leaves the circus until the show is completed. WHO is still not declaring it a global emergency - most likely because they are still counting the beans they can gain from such declaration.
UPDATE 28. January 2020: The Snake-flu virus has spread. China (death toll 106 cases, infections over 4,500), Hong Kong, Macau, Nepal, Japan, Thailand (suspended visas on arrival for China tourists), Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, the USA, Taiwan and South Korea as well as Australia, Canada, France and Germany have all confirmed cases. Suspected cases in India, Mexico, the Philippines, Sri Lanka (suspended visas on arrival for Chinese citizens), Pakistan and United Kingdom. The masters of the Orwellian Games got bolder and bolder and people seem not to resist.
China bans all wildlife trade across the country, im- and export.
By VF - 26. January 2020
China banned the shipping and sale of wild animals starting Sunday and said it will quarantine breeding sites. Trade will be forbidden in markets, supermarkets, restaurants and online, the market supervision administration, agricultural ministry and forestry bureau said in a statement.
It also warned people against consuming wild animals. The new coronavirus was first found in people who shopped or worked at a so-called wet market in the central city of Wuhan, where live animals were sold.
China has tightened controls on the sale of exotic animals, considered nourishing in some parts of the country, though some are still sold surreptitiously.
PROLOGUE: "Thirty-three powerful financial institutions have between them provided an estimated... $1.9tn to the fossil fuel sector from 2016 to 2018. (This) is enough money to eradicate global poverty for a decade."
By Graham Vanbergen - 26. January 2020
In 2019, analysis found that the world’s largest investment banks provided more than $700bn of financing for the fossil fuel companies that were most aggressively expanding into new coal, oil and gas projects since the Paris (climate) Agreement in 2016.
Thirty-three powerful financial institutions have, between them provided an estimated total of $1.9tn to the fossil fuel sector between 2016 and 2018. For context, this is enough money to eradicate global poverty for a decade.
And one of the most prominent of those financiers has been led by the Wall Street giant JPMorgan Chase. It provided $75bn (67bn Euro) to companies expanding in energy sectors such as fracking and Arctic oil and gas exploration. Barclays, one of the most heavily invested, has provided $85bn (£65bn) of funding to fossil fuel firms and carbon-intensive projects.
Can AI or Blockchain technology rescue modern slaves?
By Ashutosh Pandey - 24. January 2020
For years people have been knowingly or unknowingly consuming goods made by millions of forced workers worldwide. Now, technology is forcing them to reflect on their choices by exposing their complicity in slavery.
"A child in Africa has to die so that someone can have a mobile phone; a child in Asia has to die so that you can put on the next fancy dress," said Sophie Achieng Otiende as the audience — many of them students — in a jam-packed Davos middle school auditorium listened with rapt attention.
As a survivor of trafficking, the Kenyan knows the horrors of forced labor all too well. Otiende was forced to work as a house help by her uncle and his family. She was subjected to physical and sexual abuse just about every day for nearly 10 years — an ordeal that pushed her to the brink of suicide.
While it is true that rogue states – most notably the USA – have always posed a threat to the rule of international law, I see no serious room to dispute that the development of the corpus of international law, and of the institutions to implement it, was one of the great achievements of the twentieth century, and did a huge amount to reduce global conflict.
The International Court of Justice, the Law of the Sea Tribunal, the European Court of Justice, the World Trade Organisation, these are just some of the institutions which have played an extremely positive role, helping resolve hundreds of disputes during their existence and, still more importantly, helping establish rules that prevented thousands more disputes from arising. Regional Organisations, dozens of them including the EU, the African Union and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, have also flourished.
This Rare Snake Looks Like An Ancient Dragon And Avoids Humans
By MR - 24.January 2020
Do you regularly avoid humans and spend most of your time relaxing until it’s time to eat? You may be a bush viper.
When I first came across the Spiny Bush Viper, I was almost positive that it wasn’t a real creature. It has scales, or spines, that resemble pretty much every single fictitious dragon I have ever seen or imagined.
To my surprised pleasure, these snakes are in fact the real deal.
Their scientific name is Atheris, and they are a genus of venomous vipers known as bush vipers. They are found only in tropical sub-saharan Africa. These snakes live in Congo, Uganda and Kenya, but are rarely seen in the wild because they inhabit regions that are distant from the human settlements. For the same reason, exact number of remaining spiny bush vipers in the wild is unknown.
PROLOGUE: Only with the total withdrawal of the USA and other foreign powers from Iraq the urgently needed international collaborative cooperation in science and also in nature protection can resume.
Can you hear us now?
Over 4 Million People Joined March Against USA While
1 Million People Marched Against U.S. Presence in Iraq
By TeleSur - 24. January 2020
The "Million Man March" convened by Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr exceeded expectations.
According to estimates of the Iraqi police commander Jaafar Al-Batat, over 1 million people Thursday demanded the departure of U.S. troops from Iraq with a march in Baghdad, which was convened by cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr three weeks after the murder of Iran's General Qasem Soleimani.
At the country's capital, streets were filled with an endless column of people who paraded to express their repudiation of the U.S. military presence.
An interview with Carlos Rodriguez Valera. This interview is part of a series of testimonies taken by Friends of the ATC on the July 2019 delegation. Check out the IALA students’ illustrated testimonies in English and Spanish here.
What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Carlos Alberto Rodriguez Valera, and I am from Venezuela. Currently I live in Nicaragua, primarily with the objective of preparing myself politically. I was part of the construction of IALA (Latin American Agroecological Institute) in Venezuela and I came to Nicaragua to be part of the construction of IALA Mesoamérica. I also have my family here. So now I have countless responsibilities with the ATC, with IALA, and with my family. And also a commitment to the Sandinista Front. We may not work for the state, we don’t depend on the state, but we do defend a just cause. And the government of Comandante Daniel Ortega is a just cause.
International Court of Justice Unanimously Orders Measures to Prevent Genocide in Burma
By HRW - 23. January 2020
(Brussels) – The International Court of Justice (ICJ) order on January 23, 2020, directing Myanmar to prevent all genocidal acts against Rohingya Muslims is crucial for protecting the remaining Rohingya in Rakhine State, Human Rights Watch said today. The court unanimously adopted “provisional measures” that require Myanmar to prevent genocide and take steps to preserve evidence.
OPCW investigator testifies at UN that no chemical attack took place in Douma, Syria
In testimony before the United Nations Security Council, former OPCW inspection team leader and engineering expert Ian Henderson stated that their investigation in Douma, Syria suggested no chemical attack took place. But their findings were suppressed.
By Ben Norton - 22.
A former lead investigator from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has spoken out at the United Nations, stating in no uncertain terms that the scientific evidence suggests there was no gas attack in Douma, Syria in April 2018.
The Davos World Economic Forum an Orgy of Power and Money
By Peter Koenig - 21. January 2020
Friends, this year the WEF is celebrating its 50thAnniversary. Forty-nine (49) of the insanely pompous – and every year more – WEF events took place in Davos, Switzerland. Just one, in 2002, after 9/11, was moved to New York City, paradoxically for ‘security reasons’ they said – the logic of such a move was as ludicrous as the WEF itself.
Friends, you should go to the WEF, the notorious World Economic Forum in Davos, (21-24 January), where a 12 square-meter hotel room costs US$ 10,000 per night (if you don’t believe it, look it up on the internet), and where it’s totally normal that sharpshooters are everywhere on roof tops in subfreezing temperatures – to protect the about 3000 upper-echelons, of course – and that a huge section of the Zurich airport has been cordoned-off for the private planes of the ‘environmentally conscious elite’ — and where Trump arrived this morning, Tuesday, 21 January; and where the “plane-spotters” with their sophisticated binoculars and telescopes are practically camping in the airport areal — to be first when the airport gates are opened, for them to enter the airport terraces to “spot” the arriving VIP / CEO / celebrity private planes (you get the picture, it’s sort of like Black Friday, with the campers in front of the Walmart gates) – hundreds of private jets are expected – the normality of abject uselessness and decadence of the rich – and its acceptance and even glorification by the populace, is much more than George Orwell could have ever thought of when he wrote 1984 in 1948.
Supporters of Donald Trump often make the point that he has not started any new wars. One might observe that it has not been for lack of trying, as his cruise missile attacks on Syria based on fabricated evidence and his recent assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani have been indisputably acts of war. Trump also has enhanced troop levels both in the Middle East and in Afghanistan while also increasing the frequency and lethality of armed drone attacks worldwide.
Congress has been somewhat unseriously toying around with a tightening of the war powers act of 1973 to make it more difficult for a president to carry out acts of war without any deliberation by or authorization from the legislature. But perhaps the definition of war itself should be expanded. The one area where Trump and his team of narcissistic sociopaths have been most active has been in the imposition of sanctions with lethal intent. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been explicit in his explanations that the assertion of “extreme pressure” on countries like Iran and Venezuela is intended to make the people suffer to such an extent that they rise up against their governments and bring about “regime change.” In Pompeo’s twisted reckoning that is how places that Washington disapproves of will again become “normal countries.”
THE Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) yesterday ruled out any possibility of extending today’s deadline for biometric registration of mobile phone numbers, saying over 20 million lines will be switched off.
The Principal Communications Officer for TCRA, Semu Mwakyanjala told The Guardian yesterday that 27,287,091 lines had been registered biometrically by Wednesday last week which is equivalent to 56 per cent of 48, 717, 967 subscribed mobile phones.
This means 21,430,876 lines (44 per cent) were yet to be registered biometrically, hence face the button as TCRA proceeds to switch off biometrically unregistered numbers today.
As Australia’s unprecedented bushfires continue to rage, heartbreaking images of scorched koalas and charred kangaroos have devastated viewers around the globe. An estimated 1 billion or more animals have died in the fires, but it’s the pitiful photos of flame-chewed koalas being carried from the blaze like bewildered, beat-up babies that have perhaps most captured our collective sympathy and despair; along with images of beleaguered kangaroos, their normally genial silhouettes frozen in panic against a backdrop of roaring orange.