2019-06-08: News Headlines

WSWS (2019-06-08). US-backed Saudi regime tortures dissidents on eve of threatened beheadings. wsws.org Among those slated for execution is Murtaja Qureiris, arrested at age 13 for participating in a peaceful protest against the monarchy.

pip.hinman (2019-06-07). Bring Julian Assange home appeal. greenleft.org.au Below is an appeal, initiated by Michael Rubbo and signed by many journalists, to the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) to pull out all stops to do more to get Julian Assange released. | * * * | We are a diverse group of people, many of whom originally came together in 2018 to work for the release of James Ricketson from his Cambodian jail. We now reunite to push for the release of Julian Assange who is currently very ill in Britain's Belmarsh prison as he awaits extradition to either the United States or Sweden. | On May 9, he was visited by UN Special Rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer: "Our finding…

Staff (2019-06-07). UN Torture Expert Says Assange Is Victim of Psychological Torture. therealnews.com UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer investigated the situation of Julian Assange, despite initial reservations. He says if Assange is extradited he faces a "politicized trial," part of the unprecedented international effort to silence and imprison him…

Rebecca Gordon (2019-06-07). The War Crimes Trump Can't Pardon. thenation.com The War Crimes Trump Can't Pardon…

Staff (2019-06-07). The Wall Street Journal's Disgraceful Defense of Gina Haspel. truthdig.com A Wall Street Journal report ( 5/25/19) by Warren Strobel whitewashed CIA Director Gina Haspel's career and put a positive spin on the CIA's insulation from public accountability with its turn towards its greatest opacity "in decades." | While one might expect CIA officials to support greater secrecy around the organization, it's odd that ostensibly independent journalists—with a mission to hold official organizations accountable by informing the public—would treat less inf…

Joshua Cho (2019-06-07). WSJ Says CIA Chief Wouldn't Do Anything 'Inappropriate'—Despite Record of Torture and Coverup. commondreams.org The most egregious part of Strobel's report is its whitewashing of Haspel's disturbing record in the CIA by uncritically transmitting glowing endorsements by other CIA officials. (Photo: FAIR) | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

Staff (2019-06-06). Activists Face Prison Time for Rescuing Ducks, Piglets From Factory Farms. truthout.org Nearly 100 animal rights activists were freed today, after being arrested by police in riot gear for carrying out a rescue mission and protest at the Reichardt Duck Farm in Petaluma, California, which they accuse of engaging in animal torture. More than 600 activists with Direct Action Everywhere stormed the slaughterhouse Monday, fanning out in teams to chain themselves together at the entrance, freeing dozens of ducks and in some cases locking themselves by the neck to the slaughter line. Several of the activists made it inside the slaughterhouse, where they began trying to rescue ducks that were hanging ups…

Joshua Cho (2019-06-06). WSJ Says CIA Chief Wouldn't Do Anything 'Inappropriate'—Despite Record of Torture and Coverup. fair.org by Joshua Cho A Wall Street Journal report (5/25/19) by Warren Strobel whitewashed CIA Director Gina Haspel's career and put a positive spin on the CIA's insulation from public accountability with its turn towards its greatest opacity "in decades." While one might expect CIA officials to support greater secrecy around the organization, it's odd that …

MAIL (2019-06-06). Meet the Animal Rights Activists Facing Prison Time for Rescuing Ducks, Piglets from Factory Farms. democracynow.org Nearly 100 animal rights activists were freed today, after being arrested by police in riot gear for carrying out a rescue mission and protest at the Reichardt Duck Farm in Petaluma, California, which they accuse of engaging in animal torture. More than 600 activists with Direct Action Everywhere stormed the slaughterhouse Monday, fanning out in teams to chain themselves together at the entrance, freeing dozens of ducks and in some cases locking themselves by the neck to the slaughter line. Several of the activists made it inside the slaughterhouse, where they began trying to rescue ducks that were hanging upside…

Rebecca Gordon (2019-06-06). Clemency for the Lowly, Free Passes for the Mighty. commondreams.org If the crime is big enough—like creating or countenancing a U.S. torture archipelago that stretched from Thailand to Poland to Guant√°namo Bay, or lying to the world to justify launching an aggressive war on Iraq—the risk of trial is nonexistent. No pardons required. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images) | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

WSWS (2019-06-06). UN Special Rapporteur on Torture warns Julian Assange could die in prison. wsws.org The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture said in an Australian radio interview on June 1 that Julian Assange could die in jail if his persecution is not ended here and now.

MAIL (2019-06-06). Headlines for June 6, 2019. democracynow.org U.S.-Mexico Immigration Talks Continue as Trump's Tariff Deadline Nears, Trump Admin to Cut School, Legal Aid and Recreation for Migrant Children, Mexican Police Arrest Immigration Activists Cristóbal Sánchez and Irineo Mujica, Trump Visits Normandy, France, on 75th Anniversary of D-Day Invasion, Trump Compares Future Irish Border to U.S.-Mexico Border Wall, Irish Protesters Decry Trump's Racism, Misogyny and Climate Denial, Pressed on Climate Change, Trump Says Weather "Changes Both Ways", Yemen's Houthi Rebels Claim They've Seized Territory in Saudi Arabia, CNN: Trump Admin Withheld Intelligence on China-Backed…

CGTN Africa (2019-06-06). Islamic State says it has moved into Mozambique, police say no. cgtn.com The Islamic State group claims it was involved in an insurgent clash in Mozambique for the first time, but analysts expressed doubt and Mozambican police dismissed the claim outright. | According to SITE Intelligence, a company that monitors extremist activity, Islamic State issued a statement late Tuesday claiming involvement in an apparent gunfight with the Mozambique military in Cabo Delgado. | "The soldiers of the Caliphate were able to repulse an attack by the Crusader Mozambican army in Metubi village, in the Mocimboa area," said the statement, according to a SITE translation. | "They clashed with them w…

United Nations (2019-06-06). Syria: Urgent, concrete actions needed, to protect children too young to 'make sense of this senseless war'. un.org New firsthand reporting by UN staff in Syria reveals "increasingly horrific brutality" by all parties in the de-escalation area of the country's northwest, causing "significant civilian causalities" and hundreds of thousands displaced, a senior humanitarian official said on Thursday.

John W. Whitehead (2019-06-06). Technotyranny: The Iron-Fisted Authoritarianism of the Surveillance State. counterpunch.org "There will come a time when it isn't 'They're spying on me through my phone' anymore. Eventually, it will be 'My phone is spying on me.'" ― Philip K. Dick Red pill or blue pill? You decide. Twenty years after the Wachowskis' iconic 1999 film, The Matrix, introduced us to a futuristic world in which More

Andrea Germanos, staff writer (2019-06-05). Calling Solitary Confinement 'Government Torture,' Ocasio-Cortez Says 'Release Everyone'. commondreams.org In tweet commenting on upcoming "protective custody" of Paul Manafort, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez says prison sentences don't provide license to commit "human rights violations" | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

WSWS (2019-06-05). Australian government forces refugees back to face repression in Sri Lanka. wsws.org At least 20 more asylum seekers have been detained by the Australian navy and deported to Sri Lanka to face possible torture and imprisonment.

Staff (2019-06-05). Trump Wants to Make Alaska's Protected Wilderness a Hunting Ground. truthout.org A video featuring a father and son slaughtering a mother black bear and then her two screaming newborn cubs in their den has ricocheted around the world, drawing obvious comparisons to the killing of Cecil, the African lion, by a Minnesota dentist several years ago. | Sadly, the shocking brutality the two men displayed for the world to see could soon be sanct…

Rev. William Alberts (2019-06-05). Beware of Authoritarian Christians. counterpunch.org Christianity and authoritarianism are commonly believed to be at opposite ends of the democratic-autocratic continuum. A commonly held belief is that Christians, guided by The Bible, are accepting and caring of each other and others, and are thus democratic. Yes, many Christians do good with-and-for others, inspired by Jesus' Sermon on the Mount's emphasis on mercy and forgiveness and peacemaking (Matthew 5: 1-10), his teaching that doing to others as you would have then do to you is the bottom line of religion (Matthew 7L 12), and his saying that the greatest commandments are to love God and one's neighbor as on…

RT (2019-06-04). Controversial new US abortion laws akin to 'torture' — UN Commissioner. rt.com Recently passed abortion legislation in several US states equates to violence against women, according to UN human rights commissioner Kate Gilmore, who also called out what she termed the "extremist hate" behind the measures.

Aviva Stahl (2019-06-04). Force-Feeding Is Cruel, Painful, and Degrading—and American Prisons Won't Stop. thenation.com Force-Feeding Is Cruel, Painful, and Degrading—and American Prisons Won't Stop…

RT (2019-06-04). Former UK spy and author of dossier that sparked Russiagate to give US testimony — report. rt.com The former British intelligence agent who authored the infamous dossier on President Trumpler's alleged Russia ties has agreed to speak to American authorities, according to a UK media report.

South Front (2019-06-04). Video: Israeli Military Intensifies Attacks on Syria. globalresearch.ca Overnight on June 2, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) carried out a missile strike on Syrian Arab Army (SAA) targets in the southern part of the country. According to the IDF, the missiles hit 2 artillery batteries, observation and intelligence …

CGTN Africa (2019-06-04). Huawei, AU deepen relationship with new 3-year deal. cgtn.com Chinese technology giant, Huawei, and the African Union (AU) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to consolidate ICT cooperation. The MoU aims at strengthening the partnership between the two sides on broadband, internet of things (IoT), cloud computing, 5G and artificial intelligence, according to a statement issued by Huawei. | The initiative will also train young people in tech skills, and offer AU departments support in dealing with cybersecurity, as well as digital health and education. | The deal follows a 2015 MOU which focused on improving the union's technological capabilities, including by or…

RT (2019-06-04). Pompeo says US intel only OCCASIONALLY 'gets things wrong', after bragging about 'lying' CIA. rt.com US intelligence agencies occasionally make mistakes but should still be trusted and taken at their word, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who once famously boasted that the CIA "lies, cheats and steals."

Julianne Tveten (2019-06-04). U.S. artificial intelligence strategy: Tech monopoly with a dash of job creation rhetoric. peoplesworld.org On May 21, Senators Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., introduced the Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act (AI-IA). The "bipartisan" bill, according to a press release, would organize a national strategy for developing artificial intelligence (AI)—computer systems that can perform functions associated with humans, such as learning, decision-making, and problem solving. The bill would also …

Jake Johnson, staff writer (2019-06-04). Nearly 100 Animal Rights Activists Arrested for Protesting 'Torturous Practices' at Duck Slaughterhouse. commondreams.org "The real criminality is the systemic torture and slaughter of billions of animals in the cruelest, filthiest, most sadistic conditions. But the police protect the corporate criminals." | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

WSWS (2019-06-03). Britain and Australia dismiss UN report that Assange has been tortured. wsws.org The brazen responses demonstrate the criminality of the US-led vendetta against Assange, which is proceeding in violation of due process and the fundamental tenets of international law.

Ben Armbruster (2019-06-03). How mainstream US media is failing us on Trump and Bolton's march to war with Iran. nationofchange.org The Trump administration and its allies are slow-walking the United States into war with Iran, and, with a few notable exceptions, mainstream U.S. media is helping them. | Much of this assistance has been overt. | Just like during the run-up to the Iraq war, outlets like CNN, NBC, and | the New York Times have in recent we…

Ben Armbruster (2019-06-03). How Mainstream U.S. Media Is Failing Us on Trump and Bolton's March to War with Iran. globalresearch.ca The Trump administration and its allies are slow-walking the United States into war with Iran, and, with a few notable exceptions, mainstream U.S. media is helping them. | Much of this assistance has been overt. Just like during the run-up …

Staff (2019-06-03). Russia Demands Tinder Give User Data to Secret Services. truthdig.com MOSCOW — Russia is requiring dating app Tinder to hand over data on its users — including messages — to the national intelligence agencies, part of the country's widening crackdown on internet freedoms. | The communications regulator said Monday that Tinder was included on a list of online services operating in Russia that are required to provide user data on demand to Russian authorities, including the FSB security agency. | Tinder, an app where people looking for dates swipe left or right on…

Staff (2019-06-02). US History Is Defined by the Use of Torture. truthout.org Soon after 9/11, the US began holding people in secret prisons around the world in places called "black sites." Black sites were secret and what happened within them was unknown. When we did learn about the techniques our government was using to extract information, we were told it was not torture but something called "enhanced interrogation." It sounded new and not so brutal. But it was torture. An updated version of it, but torture nonetheless, which forced us to think about what we were willing to do to other human beings in a state of war. In this episode, Rebecca Gordon argues that enhanced interrogation…

Prof Michel Chossudovsky (2019-06-02). Desperate MH17 "Intelligence" Spin. Ukraine Secret Service Contends that "Pro-Russian Rebels had Targeted a Russian Passenger Plane". "But Shot Down Flight MH17 by Mistake" globalresearch.ca According to Ukraine's Secret Service, the alleged design of the pro-Russian rebels was to shoot down a Russian passenger plane, with a view to blaming the Ukrainian government and justifying a Russian invasion.

Binoy Kampmark (2019-06-01). Findings of Torture: The UN Rapporteur and Julian Assange. dissidentvoice.org Another crude and sad chapter, yet more evidence of a system's vengeance against its challengers. Julian Assange, like they dying Roman emperor Vespasian, may be transforming into a god of sorts, but the suffering of his mortal physical is finding its mark. While some in the cynical, narcissistic press corps still find little to commend …

Colin Benjamin (2019-05-31). Cleveland's Cuyahoga County Jail Guards Pepper-Spray Black Woman Strapped to Torture Chamber Restraint Chair. blackstarnews.com Chantelle Glass is being victimized above by guards inside Cuyahoga County Jail torture chamber… | A newly released video shows a Black Ohio woman being pepper-sprayed and assaulted by corrections officers inside Cleveland's Cuyahoga County Jail—while she was strapped to a restraint chair, in July 2018. | The Cuyahoga County Jail has been in the news recently because of the suspicious deaths of nine inmates over the past year. Two corrections officers have been arrested and charged in connection with one of those deaths–that of inmate Joseph Arquillo. Several others have also been arrested and charged wi…

Caitlin Johnstone (2019-05-31). The UN Torture Report on Assange Is an Indictment of Our Entire Society. dissidentvoice.org On the eighth of April, shortly before London police forcibly carried WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange out of the Ecuadorian embassy, a doctor named Sondra S Crosby wrote a letter to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights requesting that the office look into Assange's case. Today, following a scorching rebuke of multiple …

Consortiumnews (2019-05-31). UN Torture Report: 'Demonized' Assange Has Faced 'Psychological Torture'. consortiumnews.com The UN special rapporteur on torture has blasted four nations for imposing psychological torture on Julian Assange. 'A Relentless and Unrestrained Campaign of Public Mobbing, Intimidation and Defamation' Warns of 'Criminalization of Journalism' By Joe Lauria Special to Consortium News… Read more →

Consortium News (2019-05-31). UN Torture Report: "Demonized" Assange Has Faced "Psychological Torture" theantimedia.com (CN) — The UN special rapporteur on torture has issued a stinging rebuke to the United States, Great Britain, Sweden and Ecuador for "deliberately" exposing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to years of "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment," which can only be described as "psychological torture." "In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political …

Kevin Gosztola (2019-05-31). UN Special Rapporteur On Torture: 'The Collective Persecution Of Julian Assange Must End Here And Now'. shadowproof.com In a blistering statement against democratic countries collaborating to prosecute and enable the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture condemned the "collective persecution" against him. "In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence, and political persecution, I have never seen a…

MAIL (2019-05-31). U.N. Special Rapporteur Calls for Julian Assange to Be Freed, Citing "Psychological Torture" democracynow.org The United Nations special rapporteur on torture is warning that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is suffering from the effects of "psychological torture" due to his ongoing detention and threats of possible extradition to the United States. The U.N. expert, Nils Melzer, also warned that Assange would likely face a "politicized show trial" if he were to be extradited to the United States. Melzer writes, "In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution, I have never seen a group of democratic states ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonize and abuse a single individual for such a lo…

Consortiumnews (2019-05-31). UN Says Assange Tortured: Watch the Webcast. consortiumnews.com Julian Assange was "psychologically tortured" by four nations ganging up on him, said the UN special rapporteur on torture. Watch the replay with Pentagon Papers whistle blower Dan Ellsberg, and other guests. The 32nd webcast vigil for Julian Assange was… Read more →

Kevin Blowe (2019-05-30). Five ridiculous reasons why the police label campaigners as 'domestic extremists'. thecanary.co As the Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol) launches its campaign to end the labelling of campaigners as domestic extremists, The Canary is hosting this guest post from Netpol coordinator Kevin Blowe. | It's unclear exactly how many people have their personal details included on the police's secretive "domestic extremist database" — or to give it its full name, the National Special Branch Intelligence System. This database holds records identifying campaigners as either 'nominals' (with their…

Margot Williams (2019-05-29). Meltdown Showed Extent of NSA Surveillance — and Other Tales From Hundreds of Intelligence Documents. theintercept.com Internal NSA reports reveal the exploits of a secret commando unit, new details of a joint venture with the CIA, and spying against Middle Eastern satellite internet.

Shadowproof (2019-05-29). Unraveling The Justice Department's Conspiracy Theory Against Julian Assange. shadowproof.com Espionage Act charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange revealed the Justice Department is relying on a theory of the case, which was concocted and partly tested during Chelsea Manning's military trial. The theory adopts the CIA's viewpoint, which is that WikiLeaks is a "non-state hostile intelligence service," and suggests Assange…

United Nations (2019-05-28). Artificial intelligence summit focuses on fighting hunger, climate crisis and transition to 'smart sustainable cities'. un.org Artificial intelligence, or AI, is at the forefront of fighting hunger, mitigating the climate crisis and facilitating "the transition to smart sustainable cities", said the chief of the UN agency which specializes in information and communication technologies, Houlin Zhao, kicking off the third AI for Good Global Summit in Geneva.

Staff (2019-05-28). The New Authoritarians. therealnews.com David Renton discusses his new book The New Authoritarians: Convergence on the Right. Although the new wave of right-wing politicians is not fascist, it is dangerous and must be studied closely in order for the left to have a chance to fight back. The book focuses on the U.S, UK and France, and shows the…

Lucas Koerner (2019-05-24). NYT Parrots US Propaganda on Hezbollah in Venezuela. fair.org by Lucas Koerner and Ricardo Vaz The New York Times ( 5/2/19) publishes sensational charges about an official enemy, based on documents only the Times has seen, vouched for by unnamed intelligence agents. What could go wrong? | Judith Miller and Michael Gordon published their now infamous New York Times article o…

Jim Naureckas (2019-05-21). Why Jon Chait Can't Read. fair.org Just as an aside, Jonathan Chait's critique (New York, 5/17/19) of Matt Taibbi is directed almost entirely at the headline of Taibbi's piece (Rolling Stone, 5/16/19), which as I'm sure Chait is well aware was most likely not written by Taibbi. | New York's Jonathan Chait ( 5/17/19)…

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