India No.1 on global blasts list with 406 bombings… MORE than Iran, Afghanistan, Syria and Pakistan

  • The new report from the National Bomb Data Centre (NBDC) states that there were 406 explosions in India
  • India had the world’s highest number of bombings last year, even more than war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Jammu and Kashmir saw an over 121 per cent rise in blast and IED related incidents after the killing of terrorist Burhan Wani

According to a new report, India witnessed the world’s highest number of bombings last year, even more than war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan.

The new report from the National Bomb Data Centre (NBDC) states that there were 406 such incidents, which include IED and ordnance explosive blasts, in the country. Continue reading

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The Coming Decline of US and UK Power by PATRICK COCKBURN

Boris Yeltsin was making a presidential visit to Washington in 1995 when he was found one night outside the White House dressed only in his underpants. He explained in a slurred voice to US secret service agents that he was trying to hail a cab so he could go and buy a pizza. The following night he was discovered by a guard, who thought he was an intruder, wandering drunkenly around the basement of his official residence.

Drunk or sober, Yeltsin and his escapades became the living symbol for the world, not just of the collapse of the Soviet Union but of a dysfunctional administration in the Kremlin and the decline of Russia as a great power. It was impossible to take seriously a state whose leader was visibly inebriated much of the time and in which policy was determined by a coterie of corrupt family members and officials serving at Yeltsin’s whim.

Donald Trump is often compared to Vladimir Putin by the media which detects ominous parallels between the two men as populist nationalist leaders. The message is that Trump with his furious attacks on the media would like to emulate Putin’s authoritarianism. There is some truth in this, but when it comes to the effect on US status and power in the world, the similarities are greater between Trump and Yeltsin than between Trump and Putin.  Continue reading

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Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One? by JOHN CHUCKMAN

Israel has created a terrible problem which it is incapable of solving. That is why it has always been the case that the United States must pretty much dictate a solution, but it is unable to do so, paralyzed as it is by the heavy influence of Israel and America’s own apologists and lobbyists.

Trump’s suggestion of a one-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is welcomed by some because Israel’s settler policy is said to have made two states impossible, as it was most certainly intended to do. However, a little reflection on hard facts makes it clear that a one-state solution is just as impossible.

A single-state solution would be acceptable to all reasonable minds, but you only have to follow the news to know that Israel contains a good many unreasonable minds. Its early advocates and founders were, quite simply, fanatics, and its policies and attitudes were shaped by that fanaticism.

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The United States of Permanent War

As the foreign policy establishment continues to grapple with the consequences of Trump’s election, U.S. officials can still agree on one thing. The United States is a nation that is waging a permanent war.

In December 2016, President Obama reflected on the development in a speech that he delivered to U.S. soldiers at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. “By the time I took office, the United States had been at war for seven years,” Obama said. By continuing that war, “I will become the first president of the United States to serve two full terms during a time of war.”

Notably, Obama did not issue his remarks to criticize the United States. He only made his point to note that Congress had never provided him with authority to perpetuate the wars of the Bush administration. “Right now, we are waging war under authorities provided by Congress over 15 years ago—15 years ago,” Obama said. Consequently, he wanted Congress to craft new legislation that made it appear as if it had not permitted the United States to remain at war forever. “Democracies should not operate in a state of permanently authorized war,” Obama said.

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Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems

Financial meltdown, environmental disaster and even the rise of Donald Trump – neoliberalism has played its part in them all. Why has the left failed to come up with an alternative?

Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher at the White House.
‘No alternative’ … Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher at the White House. Photograph: Rex Features

Imagine if the people of the Soviet Union had never heard of communism. The ideology that dominates our lives has, for most of us, no name. Mention it in conversation and you’ll be rewarded with a shrug. Even if your listeners have heard the term before, they will struggle to define it. Neoliberalism: do you know what it is?

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HOW PRESIDENT TRUMP COULD SEIZE MORE POWER AFTER A TERRORIST ATTACK

Since September 11, 2001, ninety-four people have been killed in the United States in ten attacks carried out by a total of twelve radical Islamist terrorists. Each of the attackers was either an American citizen or a legal resident. More than half of the ninety-four murders occurred last year, when Omar Mateen, who was born on Long Island, killed forty-nine people at a night club in Orlando.

According to the comprehensive terrorism database maintained by the New America Foundation, since 9/11 there have been three hundred and ninety-six people involved in American terrorism cases, which New America defines as “individuals who are charged with or died engaging in jihadist terrorism or related activities inside the United States, and Americans accused of such activity abroad.” Eighty-three per cent of these individuals were American citizens or permanent residents. (Seventeen per cent were non-residents or had an unknown status.)

 And yet, for more than two weeks, President Donald Trump and his top White House aides have been obsessed with highlighting a threat that does not exist: jihadist refugees and immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Continue reading

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Good times over for expats in Saudi Arabia

Seventeen years after first setting foot in Saudi Arabia, Dominic Steck shipped his two cats and returned to Germany with his wife and school-age children, who hardly know their homeland.

As Saudi Arabia steps up efforts to employ more of its own people, and with economic growth slowing, the ranks of well-paid white-collar expatriates like Steck are thinning.

For them, the good times are over.

Steck said that to reduce costs, his employers “sent the Westerners” away.

“I have to admit, they will save a lot,” he told AFP with a chuckle.

Cost-cutting, financial problems and a drive to employ more Saudis have all led to a noticeable reduction in expatriate employment as the Arab world’s largest economy adjusts to lower crude prices.

Saudi Arabia, which exports more oil than any other country, since last year has pursued its “Vision 2030” economic diversification effort to broaden its investment and business base, while placing more Saudis in the private sector. Continue reading

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