Category Archives: Fail!

Should we blame Islam for terrorism? | David Shariatmadari | Opinion | The Guardian – And blame slaughter of North and South American native people on Christian Theology, as well as convert or die in Spain? Slaughter of Muslims in Burma on Buddha’s followers?

For some – and I suspect this includes Steve Bannon, Marine Le Pen and more than a few British pundits – the natural conclusion is that people should be convinced to abandon Islam, and if that doesn’t work, it should be driven out. This, of course, would be a grossly illiberal and violent programme – but one, I suppose, that sits in a rather long tradition of nationalism and supremacism in the west.Remind me: who’s special again?

Source: Should we blame Islam for terrorism? | David Shariatmadari | Opinion | The Guardian

Assault on Palestinian man shows violent effects of police impunity | +972 Magazine

 

This backdrop of impunity is probably one of the reasons why, despite the officer’s maniacal outburst, none of the Palestinian men in the video dared to hit him back in the same manner. Every one of them is mindful that the officer could easily arrest them, or worse, pull out and fire his gun. The officer might claim that the men ganged up on him and that he acted in self-defense — and the police would have believed him. If the men walked free, police units might raid their homes claiming that the residents were criminals or terrorists — and the media would have believed them.Thursday’s video thus captures a more subtle but pervasive aspect of Palestinians’ experience of state violence. It’s the knowledge that, even if you have done nothing wrong, you are unlikely to receive truth, justice, or respect from the authorities that claim to serve you. It’s the same knowledge shared by black Americans who are mindful of their every move when interacting with the police, wary that the slightest suspicion — most often inferred from the mere color of their skin — can be enough to get shot.As such, the Jerusalem video offers a glimpse into the realities of a city that imposes armed officers, backed by the power of the state, upon a discriminated and oppressed population who are seen and treated as menaces and enemies. The only “irregularity” in this case is that the police commissioner could no longer provide a cover for the officer to carry out his usual work.

Source: Assault on Palestinian man shows violent effects of police impunity | +972 Magazine

bellingcat – CONFIRMED: US Responsible for ‘Aleppo Mosque Bombing’ – bellingcat

It is thus clear that the Pentagon, the local citizens, activists, and journalists on the ground, as well as Bellingcat, are speaking of the very same location. But while the small building is confirmed to be a mosque, and clearly looks like one, what can we find out about the bigger building? Was it indeed a mosque?All available information from local and international media points towards it indeed being a mosque.First of all, a sign outside the western side of the building says this is the ‘Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb mosque, indicates it is a religious school (Arabic: مدرسة شرعية), and refers to a text on people financing the construction of the mosque.

Source: bellingcat – CONFIRMED: US Responsible for ‘Aleppo Mosque Bombing’ – bellingcat

Rise of Hindu ‘extremist’ spooks 40 million Muslim minority in India’s heartland | World news | The Guardian – Hindu Fascists will go after Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains…

The men, allegedly part of a religious activist group called the Hindu Yuva Vahini, cornered one of the parishioners. Smartphone footage shows the woman pulling her blue shawl tightly around herself as she answers questions about her involvement with the church. “No one is forcing me to convert,” she insists.“If the police hadn’t arrived, we don’t know what would have happened next,” Joshua says. “After the men left, everyone in the church was silent, so frightened. This is a time of testing for us.”Last week, the monk who founded the HYV, and whose firebrand Hindu supremacist vision guides the organisation, was selected by the party of prime minister Narendra Modi to lead the most populous state in India – the equivalent of the sixth largest nation on earth.

Source: Rise of Hindu ‘extremist’ spooks 40 million Muslim minority in India’s heartland | World news | The Guardian

Report warns of rise in drug-resistant tuberculosis | CIDRAP

Growing drug resistance

According to the report, approximately 20% of TB cases globally are estimated to be resistant to at least one of the first- or second-line anti-TB drugs, and 5% are resistant to both isoniazid and rifampicin, the most powerful and commonly used antibiotics in first-line treatment. Of the estimated 480,000 cases of multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB, approximately 10% are either extensively drug-resistant (XDR)—with additional resistance to second-line drugs—or totally drug resistant.While TB is curable when patients adhere to the treatment regimen, MDR- and XDR-TB are more problematic. Treatment options are limited, expensive, and often toxic, and drug therapy can last up to 2 years. The report estimates mortality rates of around 40% for MDR-TB and 60% for XDR-TB. And while China, India, Russia, and South Africa have the highest burden of MDR- and XDR-TB, widespread international travel and migration means drug-resistant TB has no borders.Although shorter treatment regimens and new drugs are providing hope for some MDR- and XDR-TB patients, the authors of the report say the fight against drug-resistant TB has to be fought on several fronts.  “Addressing drug-resistant tuberculosis requires an urgent and concerted effort to manage the disease and prevent onward transmission with sustained research to develop and assess new tools,” the authors write.

Source: Report warns of rise in drug-resistant tuberculosis | CIDRAP

Star Witness In Treason Trial Involving Trump’s Campaign Chair Was Just Shot Dead

Yesterday, documents surfaced showing that former Trump Campaign Chair Paul Manafort had received at least $750,000 in illegal payments from former Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych, who is about to be tried for treason in absentia in Ukraine.Today, Denis Voronenkov was shot to death in the streets of Kiev in broad daylight, just a few weeks after he said he would testify against Yanukovych and his cohorts — Manafort included.This is only the latest in a list of Russian dissidents to be murdered or die under mysterious circumstances since the U.S. Election. The timing of Voronenkov’s murder in conjunction with the latest revelations about Manafort — a man he was likely to incriminate — makes this latest tragedy all the more suspect.

Source: Star Witness In Treason Trial Involving Trump’s Campaign Chair Was Just Shot Dead

Trump-Russia inquiry in ‘grave doubt’ after GOP chair briefs White House | US news | The Guardian – “Traitorous and disloyal conduct seems to be catching…”

Nunes took whatever material he had acquired to Trump before sharing it with the committee – a decision that represented nearly a final straw for Schiff, who called for an independent commission to investigate ties between Trump and Russia.In language that stripped away any pretense of cordiality remaining on the committee, Schiff said Nunes would have to decide whether to helm a credible inquiry or whether to operate as a White House adjunct, complicit in what Schiff intimated was a “campaign by the White House to deflect from the [FBI] director’s testimony”.Asked if Schiff was considering pulling out of the inquiry, Schiff said he would have to “analyze what this development means”, suggesting a potential Democratic departure from one of the most internationally watched congressional investigations in recent history.“If you have a chairman who is interacting with the White House, sharing information with the White House, when the people around the White House are the subject of the investigation and doing it before sharing it with the committee, it puts a profound doubt over whether that can be done credibly,” Schiff said.Schiff reiterated that from what he had gleaned from his conversation with Nunes, “there is still no evidence that the president was wiretapped by his predecessor”.Without receiving the actual intercept, Schiff said, it was “impossible” to evaluate the merits of Nunes’s claims.

Source: Trump-Russia inquiry in ‘grave doubt’ after GOP chair briefs White House | US news | The Guardian

While Gorsuch was testifying, the Supreme Court unanimously said he was wrong

All eight justices rejected Gorsuch’s approach. IDEA, Chief Justice Roberts wrote, “is markedly more demanding than the ‘merely more than de minimis’ test applied by the Tenth Circuit.” Indeed, Roberts added, Gorsuch’s approach would effectively strip many disabled students of their right to an education. Roberts went on:When all is said and done, a student offered an educational program providing “merely more than de minimis” progress from year to year can hardly be said to have been offered an education at all. For children with disabilities, receiving instruction that aims so low would be tantamount to “sitting idly . . . awaiting the time when they were old enough to ‘drop out.’”

Source: While Gorsuch was testifying, the Supreme Court unanimously said he was wrong

Russian mafia boss still at large after FBI wiretap at Trump Tower – ABC News Grin – #TraitorTrump ties to Russian Mafia…

There, indeed, was an FBI wiretap involving Russians at Trump Tower.But it was not placed at the behest of Barack Obama, and the target was not the Trump campaign of 2016. For two years ending in 2013, the FBI had a court-approved warrant to eavesdrop on a sophisticated Russian organized crime money-laundering network that operated out of unit 63A in Trump Tower in New York.The FBI investigation led to a federal grand jury indictment of more than 30 people, including one of the world’s most notorious Russian mafia bosses, Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov. Known as the “Little Taiwanese,” he was the only target to slip away, and he remains a fugitive from American justice.Seven months after the April 2013 indictment and after Interpol issued a red notice for Tokhtakhounov, he appeared near Donald Trump in the VIP section of the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. Trump had sold the Russian rights for Miss Universe to a billionaire Russian shopping mall developer.“He is a major player,” said Mike Gaeta, the agent who led the 2013 FBI investigation of Tokhtakhounov and his alleged mafia money-laundering and gambling ring, in a 2014 interview with ABC News. “He is prominent. He has extremely good connections in the business world as well as the criminal world, overseas, in Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, other countries.”Gaeta, who ran the FBI’s Eurasian organized crime unit in New York, told ABC News at the time that federal agents were closely tracking Tokhtakhounov, whose Russian ring was suspected of moving more than $50 million in illegal money into the United States.“Because of his status, we have kept tabs on his activities and particularly as his activities truly enter New York City,” Gaeta said. “Their money was ultimately laundered from Russia, Ukraine and other locations through Cyprus banks and shell companies based in Cyprus and then ultimately here to the United States.”The FBI investigation did not implicate Trump. But Trump Tower was under close watch. Some of the Russian mafia figures worked out of unit 63A in the iconic skyscraper — just three floors below Trump’s penthouse residence — running what prosecutors called an “international money-laundering, sports gambling and extortion ring.”The Trump building was home to one of the top men in the alleged ring, Vadim Trincher, who pleaded guilty to racketeering and received a five-year prison term. He is due to be released in July.

Source: Russian mafia boss still at large after FBI wiretap at Trump Tower – ABC News