Julian Assange: Deprivation of Justice and Double Standards in Belmarsh Prison
By Nina Cross - 21st Century Wire - 28. August 2019 (see also video update of 03. September below)
Alfred de Zayas, former UN Rapporteur, has described the actions of the British authorities in pursuit of Assange as “… contrary to the rule of law and contrary to the spirit of the law.” What we see on the surface is an illusion of British justice, masking a political agenda behind it.
Britain’s notorious Belmarsh Prison is now being presented as beacon of good governance, indicative of a fair and just society which is equitable but firm with perpetrators. After carefully reviewing the case of Julian Assange though, there can be little doubt that placing the award-winning journalist in such a facility is nothing but the latest vehicle for his rendition to the US.
So far, Belmarsh has been fulfilling that state agenda.
UPDATE: 09 Sept. 2019: A month after India revoked Kashmir’s special status and imposed a lockdown on the region where internet and cell services are still down while phone lines are only now being restored. The restrictions have had an impact on medical care as well. Here's what you need to know about the current situation there:
1. India has scrapped a 70-year-old treaty with Kashmir, which allows it now to rule the Muslim-majority Kashmir.
2. India deployed tens of thousands of troops to Kashmir adding to the nearly 700,000 soldiers and police already stationed there.
3. Indian authorities have ordered tourists and Hindu pilgrims to leave Kashmir.
4. Journalists inside Kashmir are reportedly being terrorized with arrests, legal threats, and their movement is being restricted. Ad revenues from critical media outlets are also being stopped.
5. Kashmir is under an indefinite military lockdown where public gatherings and rallies are banned and schools are closed.
6. Top Kashmiri leaders are now under house arrest.
7. The internet, cable TV, and cell services have been shut down while landline services have also been restricted.
8. Medical services are down - see VIDEO below. Crimes against humanity.
Why the West Turns a Blind Eye to Democracy Deficit in India
On August 23 the New York Timesreported that the Indian Ministry of External Affairs “won’t say why foreign journalists continue to be blocked from setting foot in Kashmir” but managed to obtain a compelling first-hand account of one of the thousands of arrests by the authorities. In this instance “Asifa Mubeen was woken up by the sound of barking dogs as policemen began pouring into her yard. Her husband, Mubeen Shah, a wealthy Kashmiri merchant, stepped out onto their bedroom balcony in the night air. The police shouted that he was under arrest. When he asked to see a warrant, his wife said, the police told him there wouldn’t be one. ‘This is different,’ they said. ‘We have orders.’ It was the start of one of the biggest mass arrests of civilian leaders in decades carried out by India, a close American partner that bills itself as one of the world’s leading democracies…”
What we are up against in our struggle to create a world of peace, justice and ecological sustainability....
All those individuals – politicians, businesspeople, academics, corporate media editors and journalists, judges and lawyers, bureaucrats…. – who serve the elite, including by not exposing and resisting it, are insane criminals.... And it is important to understand this if we are to develop and implement effective strategies to resist elite violence, exploitation and destruction but also avert the now-imminent human extinction driven by their insane desire for endless personal privilege, corporate profit and political control whatever the cost to Earth’s biosphere and lifeforms (human and non-human alike)...
Rondonia, Brazil - Amid an international outcry over thousands of wildfires raging in the Amazon rainforest, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, during a meeting of state governors, criticised indigenous reserves and suggested he would soon draft measures addressing land demarcations.
Without offering evidence, the far-right president said the Brazilian economy is dependent on commercially exploring natural and indigenous reserves and without such exploration the country could go "bankrupt".
In the meeting, broadcast live, Bolsonaro said he will soon draft a package of measures for the Amazon region. Although he did not discuss details, he said those measures would address land demarcation and indigenous and quilombola (Afro-Brazilian) territory.
There is a new type of pirate on the international scene. These are not the swashbuckling brigands of yore but national leaders who are intent on plundering and pillaging the world’s most-environmentally sensitive resources. From the Amazon rainforest, described as the “lungs of the Earth” because it provides 20 percent of our planet’s oxygen, to Greenland and the Antarctic, unscrupulous and ignorant leaders are placing the entire planet in jeopardy. These leaders include Donald Trump and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, who fancies himself as the “Tropical Trump.” In rejecting scientific methods of measuring and tracking the adverse effects of climate change, political leaders like Trump, Bolsonaro, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, and others are practicing a form of epistemological nihilism, which posits that environmental and climatic science proving the effects of cascading man-made climate change are untrue.
UPDATE 29. August 2019: Bolsonaro rows back and accepted 12mio BritishPounds offered at the G7 summit by the UK for firefighting, deployed 44,000 soldiers and ordered a 60 day fire starting moratorium on Wednesday. Environmental groups see this as mere window-dressing.
Almost 4,000 new forest fires were started in Brazil in the two days after the government banned deliberate burning of the Amazon, officials have revealed. Some 3,859 outbreaks were recorded by the country’s National Space Research Institute (Inpe) in the 48 hours following the 60-day prohibition on setting trees alight. Around 2,000 of those blazes were in the Amazon rainforest.
Amazon Forest Basin in Flames – Brazil’s Bolsonaro Is a World Criminal – Encouraging Jungle Burning for Private Exploitation of Robbed Lands
At the World Economic Forum (WEF) in January 2019 in Davos Switzerland, Bolsonaro made a sumptuous presentation, “We Are Building a New Brazil”. He outlined a program that put literally Brazil up for sale, and especially the Brazilian part of Amazonia. He was talking particularly about Brazil’s water resources, the world’s largest, and the rain forest – offering a huge potential for agricultural development and mining.
None of the world leaders present at the WEF, precisely those that regularly meet pretending to save the planet, reacted to Bolsonaro’s statement on the Amazon region. They all new who Bolsonaro was and is – they knew that the man had no scruples and would destroy – literally – the world’s lungs. They did nothing. They stayed silent in words and deeds, applauding the neonazi for his openness to international business and globalization.
The U.S. Border Patrol and an Israeli Military Contractor Are Putting a Native American Reservation Under “Persistent Surveillance”
By Will Parrish - 25. August 2019
On the southwestern end of the Tohono O’odham Nation’s reservation, roughly 1 mile from a barbed-wire barricade marking Arizona’s border with the Mexican state of Sonora, Ofelia Rivas leads me to the base of a hill overlooking her home. A U.S. Border Patrol truck is parked roughly 200 yards upslope. A small black mast mounted with cameras and sensors is positioned on a trailer hitched to the truck. For Rivas, the Border Patrol’s monitoring of the reservation has been a grim aspect of everyday life. And that surveillance is about to become far more intrusive.
UPDATE 29. August 2019: It was found out that a WhatsApp group with hundreds of members had allegedly coordinated to start fires on 10. August 2019. The group is allegedly now being investigated.
UPDATE 28. August 2019: After an outrageous and often hilarious twitter battle with the French President Emmanuel Macron and others at the G7 meeting, Jair Bolsonaro came under international pressure and has now - in addition to 40,000 army soldiers - also mobilized the Brazilian National Guard, infamous for countless murders and assassinations in the impoverished areas of Rio de Janeiro, other Brazilian cities and especially in the Amazon. A military C130 plane with a crack unit of the National Guard is now flying 'spraying missions' in the Amazon forest. The plane is often used to destroy crops of illicit drug-plantations, but it is claimed that this time the plane would spray fire-retardants. No official statement about the true composition of the used chemicals was released. Brazilian spin-doctors dubbed the operation Operation 'Green Brazil' to green-wash the assault directed straight against Indigenous territories and peoples as well as against their forests. The true face behind the neo-fascist, neo-colonial, right-wing governance of Brazil in the moment is General Antônio Hamilton Martins Mourão.
ALERT UDATE 24. August 2019: ECOTERRA Intl. and fPcN have received credible information that the Brazilian Military is using the allegedly issued order by Bolsonaro to stop the Amazon forest fires for unwarranted intrusions and to break into autonomous and sacrosanct territories of Indigenous Peoples - only to commit further atrocities and speed up the genocide of the the Amazon's Aboriginal owners.
ECOTERRA Intl. urges all G7 leaders to invoke strongest possible measures to stop the apocalyptic disaster in the Amazon and appeals to the ICC to hold Jair Messias Bolsonaro responsible for genocide and ecocide. What is happening in the Amazon Forest is Environmental Crime instigated by the highest office of Brazil and the ICC has all the instruments in place to prosecute and bring justice in this case. Bolsonaro and his henchmen, most of them from the military, must be brought to trial at the ICC. All NATO members must reject Trump's proposal to have Brazil in its present state and under the present governance as NATO Affiliate.
Communities in the Amazon (Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay) are encouraged to send further reports from the ground to - or to establish fully secure communication channels - see HERE
Please also continue reporting from the ground in the DRC, where President Félix Tshisekedi and Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga must likeweise be held responsible finally for the environmental crimes and the atrocities committed against Indigenous communities and their natural forest habitat. The ICC also must look now into the Environmental Crimes and Crimes against Aboriginal Peoples (like the Twa) in the DRC and in Angola. Send the reports to or or see HERE for the establishment of secure channels.
Fires consume large tracts of the world’s forest every year. But the present inferno in the Amazon is man-made and requires global action response. WORLWIDE BOYCOTT: STOP BUYING BRAZILIAN SOY, MAIZE/CORN, BEEF OR PORK, ANY TIMBER AND ANY AUTOMOBIL MANUFACURED/ASSEMBLED IN BRAZIL NOW - and until the Amazon is secured! STOP MERCOSUR AT ONCE ! MERCOSUR involves the EU but also Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Norway already declared its dismay concerning the destrution of the Amazon Forest and has withheld funds from Brazil.
And of course there is already a boycott-breaker - apart from Donald Trump's USA - for Brazilian beef: Indonesia, itself having a horrific human rights record and guilty of thousands of murders and assassinations in West Papua.
UN secretary general, António Guterres, urged Brazil to take action. “In the midst of the global climate crisis, we cannot afford more damage to a major source of oxygen and biodiversity. The Amazon must be protected,” he tweeted. Celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna and Cristiano Ronaldo have also raised the alarm.
Jair Bolsonaro shrugs as the Amazon burns
| RIO DE JANEIRO
WHEN SÃO PAULO went dark at 3pm on August 19th, the city’s 12m-plus inhabitants were stunned by the black cloud that descended on the city. Some took photos of the dystopian scene; others called loved ones in fear that the end was nigh. A popular religious YouTube channel told subscribers that Jesus was returning for the second coming.
Forget the end of days. This apocalypse is man-made. The mid-afternoon darkness, most accept, was caused by rare atmospheric conditions that brought smoke from the fires burning thousands of kilometres away in the Amazonian rainforest.
News coverage of the catastrophic impacts of global warming are everywhere. From the Arctic to Brazil, the house is clearly on fire. One study recently estimated that the productivity of the 10 most important agricultural crops has on average decreased worldwide due to a warmer and drier climate. Make no mistake, climate change is already contributing to hunger, migration and conflict. And while we face a climate emergency of unprecedented scale, there are also signs of possible solutions. Scaling measures to reverse climate change will require large-scale disruption, clarity of purpose and unwavering commitment.
Up to 800,000 hectares of the unique Chiquitano forest were burned to the ground in Bolivia between August 18 and August 23. That’s more forest than is usually destroyed across the country in two years. Experts say that it will take at least two centuries to repair the ecological damage done by the fires, while at least 500 species are said to be at risk from the flames.
The Chiquitano dry forest in Bolivia was the largest healthy tropical dry forest in the world. It’s now unclear whether it will retain that status. The forest is home to Indigenous peoples as well as iconic wildlife such as jaguars, giant armadillos, and tapirs. Some species in the Chiquitano are found nowhere else on Earth. Distressing photographs and videos from the area show many animals have burned to death in the recent fires.
Primary tropical forests continue to be lost at high rates, with disturbing consequences for biodiversity, climate change, and the rights and livelihoods of local communities. Improved spatial data and monitoring systems are enabling researchers to identify drivers of deforestation with increased geographical precision (1) and to assess the relative potential of various interventions to stem forest loss (2). International initiatives currently focus on halting the expansion of commercial agriculture for export markets, a driver of deforestation that emerged in the 1980s (3). Numerous corporations are trying to implement commitments to remove deforestation from their commodity supply chains. However, recent research shows that the drivers of deforestation are complex and can change rapidly. A range of policies customized to specific jurisdictions will be needed to address them effectively.
Scientists, engineers and anthropology experts from the University of Sydney discuss the inferno that's raging through the Amazon, devastating large swathes of rainforest and increasing CO2 levels.
"The planet is losing an important carbon sink"
Danilo Ignacio de Urzedo is from Sao Paolo, Brazil and has worked in the Amazon as a forester. He is completing his PhD at the University of Sydney's School of Geosciences on the topic of Amazon forest restoration.
“The extreme number of fires burning now is not a natural phenomenon. They are a direct result of mismanagement, underfunding and illegal deforestation, mostly for the cattle industry," said Mr Urzedo.
UPDATE 29. August 2019: Political prisoner Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva spoke with the BBC and bemoaned that there is stupidity at the highest level of the Brazilian government that damages the reputation of Brazil. The 73-year-old former Brazilian President led Brazil between 2003 and 2010, and is seen as an iconic figure for the serious reduction of poverty in the country and the drastic reduction of Amazon forest destruction.
Igniting global outrage, Brazil’s Bolsonaro baselessly blames NGOs for Amazon fires
By Reuters/DW/VF - 22. August 2019
“Everything indicates” that NGOs were going to the Amazon to “set fire” to the forest, Bolsonaro said in a Facebook Live broadcast on Wednesday morning.
When asked if he had evidence to back up his claims, he said he had “no written plan,” adding “that’s not how it’s done.”
The former army captain turned politician said the slashing of NGO funding by his government could be a motive.
Record-breaking number of fires burn in Brazil’s Amazon
Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday accused non-governmental organizations of burning down the Amazon rainforest to hurt his government, as a growing global outcry against the wildfires raged through social media.
Kariba Dam and Zambezi River catchment problems. Is it Global warming or mismanagement of the environment?
By Rodger Savory -
Kariba is a dam which is in failing to meet it’s designed parameters for hydro power generation as originally envisaged by my grandfather when he first did the calculations for the dam and surveyed the locations for the dam wall.
Jimmy Savory as he was known was later the head of the Irrigation Department for the Southern Rhodesian government however during WW11 he was hired by Jeffares and Co. to do the “backbone traverse” which was basically 130 miles upstream from Kariba gorge near Binga. He and a crew of workers made all their own roads and basically had to explore the entire area and as he says in his book it became obvious, “and showed for the first time that an immense lake would be created with an excessively high wall” he goes on to state that during the 4 months he spent doing this job he, “traversed, check levelled and chained some 164 miles of county. It had become clear that a dam built at Kariba would create an immense lake, and in fact when Kariba was built later on, the lake created the largest artificial body of water in the world.”
Leaked documents show that Jair Bolsonaro's government intends to use the Brazilian president's hate speech to isolate minorities living in the Amazon region. The PowerPoint slides, which democraciaAbierta has seen, also reveal plans to implement predatory projects that could have a devastating environmental impact.
The Bolsonaro government has as one of its priorities to strategically occupy the Amazon region to prevent the implementation of multilateral conservation projects for the rainforest, specifically the so-called “Triple A” project.
"Development projects must be implemented on the Amazon basin to integrate it into the rest of the national territory in order to fight off international pressure for the implementation of the so-called 'Triple A' project. To do this, it is necessary to build the Trombetas River hydroelectric plant, the Óbidos bridge over the Amazon River, and the implementation of the BR-163 highway to the border with Suriname," one of slides read.
One century ago there were 200,000 lions. Today, there are approximately just over 20,000, a landmark lion conservation report said on Saturday.
According to the report, the king of the jungle that once roamed Europe to the southern tip of Africa and West Africa all the way to India, has today been restricted to just eight per cent of their historic range. With current populations now restricted to pockets of Sub-Saharan Africa and a small population in Northern India.
In Africa, where most of the world’s last lion population still survives, things are not well for the species. Populations are collapsing fast and lions have already disappeared from many African countries.